"Mr. Potter. Our new celebrity."
Harry grimaced at the reference. Ever since Harry had discovered the wizarding world, while a relief to leave his uncle, was tiring with all of the unwanted attention. He wasn't used to it, really. At the Dursleys, he had either not gotten attention at all, or got attention that leaves a few things to be desired. His uncle, in other words, was never kind, and it seemed that this Professor Snape had the same intentions. But maybe a little less drastic.
At his relatives (he loathed to call it home) he was nitpicked for everything he did, and his uncle was always in a snit whenever the ebony-haired boy showed his face, and was sure to give him a welcome-home present when the year was through. Harry wondered in they had magical doctors or just regular ones. It wouldn't matter, Harry thought, because the Dursley's wouldn't pay for the medical bill either way.
Another thing was his grades. They were always low, even in primary, D's to remain on the safe side of things, for Harry remembered the time when he had thought that bringing his straight A's home would be a good thing. He hadn't been given food for a month, and beaten twice a day, and back then, he was so scared, for he didn't even know if he would survive. Now he suspected that it was his magic keeping him alive.
He knew the treatment he got wasn't right. Children were supposed to have rooms, a bed, food. They were supposed to be praised for good work, not belittled for it. They were supposed to have love. For Harry, that was just a pipe dream. No one was going to help him.
A voice interrupted his thoughts.
"Tell me, what would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?"
He looked up to the dark man, wondering what his intention was. And it was clear as he looked into the professor's eyes. He wanted to humiliate him.
Alright, Harry acknowledged, time to heat things up a bit.
Harry decided that he would actually use the intelligence he was born with for once, the intelligence he earned by going to the library when he was left on the porch alone by his 'family'. Damn the Dursley's, for this man seemed to want him to play stupid.
"Sir, academically, I wouldn't know. I've never studied anything magical in my life, with good reason, as I might as well have been a muggle-born at my home life," the pre-teen answered.
Snape critically raised an eyebrow. "You said academically?"
"I know what I said, Professor," Harry answered smoothly.
Snape sneered. Truly he wondered if the boy could answer the question otherwise, wishing to test the boy's intellect, even if what he was referring to was risky to be said aloud, for appearances sake, but he figured the boy was too pampered to know the difference between a twig and a tree.
Snape pinched the bridge of his nose. "I mean, Mr. Potter, could you tell us what exactly your answer would be, if not academically in magical terms?"
Potter nodded. "I'd be delighted to sir," he paused. "It means you bitterly regret Lily's death."
They heard gasps around the classroom. Snape snorted, though Harry thought he could hear an edge of hysteria in it. "And how did you determine that, Mr. Potter?"
Harry hesitated. "Well sir, according to Victorian Flower Language, asphodel is a type of lily meaning 'my regrets follow you to the grave' and wormwood means 'absence' which typically symbolizes bitter sorrow. If you combine that, it means 'I bitterly regret Lily's death'."
He remembers that specific book, in fact, it was one of his favorites. He liked learning different languages, and that one was kind of unique to him. He also knew French, but he didn't see how that would help him any. He would have to learn Latin, Harry mused.
The silence was overpowering. Then again, Harry was used to it. He had been silenced more than enough in his cupboard.
"Your cupboard, Mr. Potter?"
Snape had a curious look on his face, mixed with a sneer. Harry narrowed his eyes, knowing he didn't speak out loud. Harry figured he could read minds, or something. This was a magical world after all. The ill-tempered professor let out an exasperated sigh.
"I asked you a question, Potter!" he barked out. Harry flinched at his raised tone. Snape made a gesture with his hands to continue.
Harry's voice was hoarse, and he spoke in clipped tones. "My cupboard, where I sleep. Sir," he tacked on to the end. Harry was seething, gritting his teeth at the obvious disbelief in Snape's eyes. Snape hadn't gone through half of what he had gone through, so he could just butt out.
Snape looked even angrier once that thought passed. "DON'T LIE!" Then he regained composure. "Mr. Potter," he drawled," do you know that there is a potion that forces people to tell the truth?" Snape lived off of the anger on the young boy's face. He leaned over Potters desk, getting uncomfortably close to the boy as he spit out, "It's called veritaserum. They use it on prisoners in Azkaban."
He smirked at him, his onyx eyes gleeful, spiteful.
"I have veritaserum, and while, regrettably, it is forbidden from use on students, my hand might just slip over your morning Pumpkin Juice."
Harry was enraged by this point. How dare the man ask questions if he already had seemed to make up his mind about it?! The teen looked as angry as he felt. "Use all of the veritaserum you want! I can't help that you think it's unfair that I lived and she died! Take this into your consideration, I never knew her! I was told that my parents were no good, lousy, drunks that didn't give a rat's ass about me! I was told they died because they didn't want to live on the same damn planet as me, let alone take care of some freak like me. So go shove your pompous beliefs about me up your ass and do your research first!"
He strode across the room to the exit. As he got to the door, he turned, but just barely.
"Next time," he said in a hushed tone," I'll make sure to be the only target, then everyone can be happy," and with that, the door closed softly behind the distraught first year.