Severus lay awake in his darkened room. His room was warm, uncomfortably warm. He’d kicked his sheets off him and they lay in a crumpled mess at the bottom of his bed. He was thinking of school, he usually did when he couldn’t sleep. He’d be leaving for the train soon with the others, he felt more at home at school than he did when he was at home.
It was his father’s fault. He had made Severus’s home life hell for most of his life. He would be constantly drunk, weather that be slightly intoxicated and would only tell Severus to stay out of his way or he’d be blind drunk and would beat Severus – sometime so severely he would be unable to move properly for days. There were of course the times when his father would just pass out, Severus preferred him like that.
That’s why he though of Hogwarts, he’d had more happy times at Hogwarts over the past four years than he had in his life and that was why he would lie in his bed thinking over his previous years at the school.
Four years ago.
Severus sighed. He was sitting on his bed with his back on the wall reading the potions book his mother had snuck him. What had he done now? He’d purposely stayed out of his father’s way.
“Boy!” The shout came again, still slurred but angrier now.
Severus marked his place quickly and moved out of his room and down the stairs quickly, moving into the lounge.
“Yes, father?” he said, quietly, looking straight at his father who was collapsed rather than sitting in one of the armchairs. His father was a pale, skinny man, he wore rumpled dark clothes. His face was thin and in need of a shave, his cheeks were flushed red from the alcohol he’d consumed. His short black hair was greasy.
“You have mail” he said snidely, gesturing towards where his mother sat holding an envelope. His father, with some struggle, pulled himself up and staggered out of the room, the front door opening then slamming a few minutes later. Severus turned back to his mother, who was smiling broadly now. He’d missed her smiles; she hadn’t done it in years.
His mother was similar to his father in the sense that she was thin and had black hair but that was where the similarity ends. Where his father’s hair was short and greasy his mother’s flowed down her back healthy. Her face was pale too, most likely from lack of sunlight; it wasn’t unhealthy like his father’s. Where his father was thin, practically skin and bone, his mother was willowy but lean. Where his father was nasty looking and always frowning, his mother was nice and always tried to smile, even if it was faked for his sake.
“Sev, dear. Sit down” she said, patting the seat next to her and he did. She handed him the envelope, her smile getting bigger. “This is your ticket away from here” she said softly. He gave her a confused look and opened the envelope, taking out the letter.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore (Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
Dear Severus Snape,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment. Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31.
Minerva McGonagall Deputy Headmistress
There was another page which read:
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Uniform First-year students will require:
1. Three sets of plain work robes (black)
2. One plain pointed hat (black) for day wear
3. One pair of protective gloves (dragon hide or similar)
4. One winter cloak (black, with silver fastenings) Please note that all pupil's clothes should carry name tags.
Course books: all students should have a copy of each of the following:
· The Standard Book of Spells (Grade 1) by Miranda Goshawk
· A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot
· Magical Theory by Adalbert Waffling
· A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration by Emeric Switch
· One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore
· Magical Drafts and Potions by Arsenius Jigger
· Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander
· The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection by Quentin Trimble
· 1 wand
· 1 cauldron (pewter, standard size 2)
· 1 set glass or crystal phials
· 1 telescope
· 1 set brass scales
Students may also bring an owl or a cat or a toad. Parents are reminded that first years are not allowed their own broomsticks.
Severus looked up from the letter to his mother. He couldn’t believe it. His mother had told him about Hogwarts but he didn’t believe that he’d get the chance to go. He never thought he’d get away from his father.
“I can’t go, I can’t leave you here with him” he said, looking his mother in the eye. She smiled softly.
“Severus, I will be fine” she chuckled. “With you at Hogwarts I won’t worry that he’ll hurt you. That if I stand up to him, he’ll take his frustrations out on you.” She reached out and touched her son’s face. “I hate that he hurts you, I try to focus his attention on me so that you won’t get hurt but I see now that he waits until I leave the house and for that I’m sorry”
“Mother, no. Its okay” he said, cutting her off. “I’d rather he hit me than you” he said
“It’s not okay. What kind of mother am I to keep you in a house where you are getting hurt” she said looking down.
“We have no-where else to go”
“I should have kicked him out already, this house is mine not his” she replied, sighing. “Please, Severus. Go to Hogwarts. Get out of here. Study, learn, and meet friends. Have the life you couldn’t have here” she said, holding his face. “You’ll come home for the summer and if you want to you can come home for Christmases too. It’s not like you’ll not see me again” she smiled. “And I’ll write to you, send it by owl” she said.
“Would you be upset if I didn’t come home for the holidays?” he asked, worried.
“No, I’d understand. Our Christmases aren’t anything to look forward too” she said chuckling. “Besides, maybe by the time Christmas comes round, he might not be here”
“You’d kick him out?” he asked hopeful
“Yes, I think I would. Once I knew that you were safe somewhere he couldn’t get to you” she said smiling. “Maybe I’d sell this house after and buy a small house somewhere he wouldn’t be able to find. How does that sound?” she asked.
“Yeah, that sounds good” he said smiling.
“So, you’ll go?” she asked hopeful.
“Yeah, I’ll go”
Getting to platform 9 ¾ was a strange experience. His mother led him along a normal muggle platform until they came to the third of four pillars that had the numbers 9 and 10 on either side of the wall. She told him to take a run straight at the wall, not to stop, to just keep going and when he came out on the platform to move out of the way so that she could follow but not fall over him. He was skeptical about it though but when his mother whispered “Trust me” he felt his fears slid away and pushed his trolley full of school supplies to the wall and instead of crashing into it he went through it.
This platform was busier, people were moving about both children and adults alike. His mother and father appeared beside him and she ushered him to the red train that was sitting waiting. As they moved near the back of the train to put his belonging on bored he saw people get on the train. Once his belongings were on bored his mother ushered him back down the platform.
“Now, remember everything I told you, Severus” his mother said smiling. “Don’t worry, okay. The other first years are all anxious too. Just walk up to one and talk to them” she said trying to reassure her son, his face still looked worried. “What’s wrong?” she asked.
“What about the houses? What if I make friends then they don’t talk to me because of my house” he asked.
“Are you thinking of Slytherin?” She asked and he nodded. “Honey, Slytherin is just a house. If you do get sorted into Slytherin then just show people that you’re not the stereotypical evil person that Slytherin is famous for. You’re you, Sev. The house you get sorted into won’t change that” she said smiling. The train whistled, signalling that everyone should get on. His mother ushered him to a door and he got on, closing the door behind him and leaning out the window. “I love you, Sev. I’ll write, I promise” she said as the train began to move.
“Love you too, I’ll miss you” he said. They waved and the train sped out of sight.
Severus wandered about the train looking for a carriage with a seat. He kept banging into the sides as the train moved, each time he’d wince. The pain from his new bruises flaring up. His father had given him a going away present in the form of a rather harsh beating, even by his father’s standards. Severus squashed these thoughts away and continued on. He came across one with three people in it: two boys and one girl. He knocked on the door.
“Hi, em, can I join you it’s just I can’t seem to find another seat in any of the other carriages” he asked, trying to sound confident.
“Of course” one of the boys said gesturing the space next to the girl. He had black hair and glasses. The other boy had ginger hair and the girl had brownish read, frizzy hair. “I’m Harry Potter” the black haired boy continued. “And this is Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger” he said, gesturing the other two.
“Severus Snape” he replied. “Nice to meet you” he smiled. The others returned his smile and Severus began to relax, the pain from his body fading. It looked like things were getting better.
A few hours later the train had stopped and everyone had left, the first years following a half-giant toward some boats that took them to Hogwarts castle. Once they arrived they were lead up a stone staircase by Professor McGonagall and told to wait until she returned. A blonde boy had stepped forward to Severus, Harry and Ron and had introduced himself as Draco Malfoy. He had tried to make friends with them but they were not interested. The professor returned then and they were lead into the Great Hall. There were four large tables, all with a line of flags above them. Each table had a different flag; they must have been the house flags. When they reached the front of the room they saw a wooden stool with a hat on top of it.
“When I call your name, you will step forward and I will place the sorting hat on your head. It will call out the house you will join and you will move to sit with your fellow classmates” Professor McGonagall said before opening up a roll of parchment and calling the first name. The call continued and Severus watched as the group of first years grew smaller.
“Hermione Granger” the professor called out. Severus watched as Hermione stepped up to the stool and the hat was placed on her head, a few moments later.
“Gryffindor!” the hat called and he watched as Hermione stepped down and moved towards the Gryffindor table. The roll call continued again.
“Harry Potter” he watched as Harry took his place on the stool. He was up on the stool much longer. From where Severus stood it looked like the hat was talking to Harry. The hat looked undecided before it said.
“Better be . . . Gryffindor!” he watched as Harry moved towards the table to join Hermione.
The names were called and Severus and Ron stood together watching the whole thing. Severus was worried; two of his three friends were so far sorted into Gryffindor. What if he wasn’t?
“Severus Snape” he jumped when his name was called and he moved slowly towards the stool and the hat was placed on his head.
“Ah, your bright I see but not only that you are brave at heart, I would put you in to Gryffindor but your blood calls for me to put you in Slytherin, you don’t want that do you?” the hat whispered to him
“No” he whispered back.
“You are afraid, not that you would become evil – you never could you see – but you are afraid of losing your friends, the Granger girl and the Potter boy. I have seen them, they know you, they will not abandon you I promise” the hat continued.
“You’re putting me in Slytherin?” he asked, worried.
“Little one, trust me and remember they will not abandon you, especially not Granger” it replied before shouting. “Slytherin!”
Severus’s heart dropped, he looked over to Harry and Hermione and saw the astonishment on their faces but when they saw the disappointment on Severus’s their faces changed to confusion. Severus slowly moved towards the Slytherin table slowly. He slowly, dejectedly sat down across from Malfoy.
“I knew you’d be joining us” Draco said as Severus sat down.
“I might be in the same house but that does not mean that we are friends. Is that understood?” he replied before turning to watch the rest of the sorting, not even waiting for an answer. Severus welcomed the other Slytherine’s but only out of politeness. He watched as Ron was called forward and was sorted into Gryffindor.
When the sorting was over Professor Dumbledore stood and spoke to the hall. When he was done he moved his hands and all the tables suddenly filled up with food. Severus talked but without enthusiasm with his new classmates. When the meal was done he was lead into the dungeons and to the Slytherin common room before finally his dorm, which he shared with four other boys. He found that all his belonging’s along with his new uniform was already waiting for him. He climbed into his bed and drifted quickly to sleep.
The next morning he woke early, he decided to take advantage of this, thinking of his bruises, and moved to get washed and dressed before anyone woke up. He was dressed and ready to go before anyone was up yet so he made his way down to the Great Hall. When he got there he saw a few other people sitting there already. He glanced over to the Gryffindor table and saw Hermione and Harry watching him. He walked over to them.
“May I sit down” he asked quietly.
“Of course” Hermione said. Severus looked to Harry who nodded. He sat down.
“I didn’t want to be in Slytherin” he began. “My mother had told me of the houses and that Slytherin was where the nasty people and the nastiest of the pure bloods went. I was worried, scared that I’d be sorted into Slytherin but my mother told me not to worry, that if I did get sorted into Slytherin then I was to prove to everyone that I was not like the rest of the Slytherin students, that I wasn’t evil” Severus paused. He looked at both Hermione and Harry before continuing. “She said that that house doesn’t change you and so not to worry that if I did get sorted into Slytherin that it wouldn’t change me and it hasn’t” he finished.
“You looked so disappointed last night when the hat sorted you” Harry said. “Why?”
“Because I was worried that you would not want to be friends anymore” he replied, head falling slightly. “You’re the first friends I’ve had; I didn’t want to lose you”
“We’re not going to abandon you, not just because of the house you were sorted into Severus” Hermione said.
“Really?” Severus asked, face full of hope. Hermione smiled and looked at Harry, he smiled too, and she turned back to Severus.
“Yes, I promise” Severus’s smile was from ear to ear. He noticed that more people had begun to come in.
“I suppose I should go to . . .” he nodded to the Slytherin table, both Harry and Hermione nodded, still smiling.
Severus had moved to the Slytherin table, grabbed a couple slices of toast and poured himself a cup of tea before he pulled out his mother’s potions book and began to read as he ate. He was so engrossed in what he was reading that he didn’t notice the girl sit next to him and get her breakfast, he didn’t hear her when she asked him to pass her the jam and only realised she was there when she leaned over him to get it herself.
“Oh, I’m sorry” he said, moving back on the bench slightly to give her room.
“That’s okay” she said smiling as she sat back down. “I read too, I know what it’s like to get lost in what you’re reading” she chuckled. She spread some jam on her toast then paused and looked back at Severus. “I’m Keira Spencer” she said, putting her knife down and holding her hand out to him, still smiling.
“Severus Snape” he said grinning, shaking her hand.
“Nice to meet you Severus” she smiled again. “You know, the majority of Slytherin students are stuck up, arrogant pure bloods and I hate that but you” she said looking Severus in the face. “You’re different. You’re not like the others. I saw you with those two Gryffindor students. Are they your friends?” she asked, looking hopeful, he nodded. “Good. The majority of Slytherin’s instantly hate the other houses with a passion and that is why I hate this house but I’m glad there is at least one person in this house that isn’t like the others” she said. She took a bite of her toast then took a sip of her orange juice before turning back to Severus and grinning widely. “I think we’re going to be good friends Severus”
“Yes, I think we are Keira” he replied chuckling.
Severus smiled thinking of Keira, he missed his energetic friend. He soon discovered that Keira was an optimist; she was always smiling and talkative. She wasn’t one of those people that just talked for the sake of talking; she talked because she actually had a lot to talk about. It was on a rare occasion that she wasn’t smiling and talkative. It was then that he knew something was wrong and he hated to see her upset or troubled. Over the first few months Keira and Severus had become very close and both Harry and Ron joked that they’d end up together but to Severus and Keira that idea had just felt awkward. They felt more like brother and sister than boyfriend and girlfriend and Severus was glad about that.
Severus smiled as he though of Ron and Harry. He was glad that they had stayed friends. He’d spent so many hours with the two, learning the secret passages and messing about on the grounds both Keira and Hermione looking on laughing or complaining that they were being silly, both however, grinning like idiots while they did so.
Severus sighed thinking of Hermione. When he had started hanging around with the quartet he had learned that he and Hermione had a lot in common. They both loved to read, they both had to produce the highest quality of work all the time. They found similar things fascinating and could talk for hours debating them. He thought back to when the group of them had almost been attacked by a werewolf. Ron was injured on the ground Harry and Keira on the ground next to him trying to help him stand, Hermione had stood and pointed at the wolf as it came closer to them. Severus hadn’t even thought about it, he stood in front of her and the others and threw his arms wide shouting “Back!” as loud as he could. The wolf was then attacked by the black dog, which was actually Harry’s godfather Sirius.
He sighed again and moved to his window. He missed Hermione more than the others, and for that he felt guilty, but he’d discovered when he got home that summer after their third year that he had feelings for her and now that he looked back he’d had them for a while. He knew why too. Apart from having so much in common with her, he’d seen on many occasions how brave, courageous, smart, resilient, resourceful and calm in dangerous situations she was. She was also beautiful. Her hair had lost its frizz and had become wavy. Her face was beautiful, especially her eyes. They shinned when she was talking about something passionately and when she laughs it’s the most beautiful sound he’s ever heard.
He thought back over what he’d been through with his friends. It had started with the Philosopher’s stone in first year. He’d gone to his new home that summer and re-accounted everything to his mother. His father had been kicked out and his mother had moved after Christmas. He’d been pleased to move into the small flat and found that his mother hadn’t started to decorate without him, saying that this was their home now and that they could both decide how to decorate. He’d had fun that summer but was looking forward to his second year at Hogwarts.
His second year had brought about the Chamber of Secrets. Ron’s little sister, Ginny, had been affected by this fiasco. She had been under Tom Riddles spell, in the form of his diary. Harry had gone down into the Chamber and rescued her. After he, Ron and Harry had figured out the message that Hermione had left for them before she had been frozen by seeing the reflection of a Basilisk. Severus shuddered, remembering how she had looked lying motionless in a hospital bed. But after Ginny and Harry had come back from the Chamber, she had woken up again.
Then there had been his third year and the scare that the mass murderer Sirius Black had come back and was looking for Harry to kill him but he was actually looking for Peter Pettigrew, the one who sold out Harry’s parent to Voldemort, the one that had got them killed. Sirius was being helped by Professor Lupin, who was actually a werewolf. He too had been the Potter’s friend. It was him that had come towards us and it had been Sirius who had attacked him, Sirius was an anemagus, a shape shifter who shifted into a big black dog. Harry and Hermione fought Dementors and helped get Sirius away from Hogwarts so that he could go back into hiding again.
Then there was last year and the Tri-Wizard Tournament. Harry’s name had somehow been slipped into the Goblet of Fire and had been picked somehow. He was forced to compete with the other three competitors Cedric Diggary from Hogwarts, Fleur Delacour from Bobatons and Viktor Krum from Dumstrang, who seemed to take a liking to Hermione, he even took her to the Yule Ball. That had bothered Severus but at the time but he was too frightened to act in his feelings for fear of rejection as Krum was older and a more experienced wizard. Harry had to get through three trials: the first had been the dragon, followed by the lake and the third was the maze. Each one was worse than the last. Of course there was also Professor Moody, who wasn’t actually Moody but someone using Pollyjuice potion. Then there was the fact that the Tri-Wizard cup had been a portkey that had transported both Harry and another competitor, Cedric Diggary, into a graveyard and then Voldemort had appeared, killed Diggary and fought Harry. Harry barley managed to escape, bringing Cedric’s body back using the portkey but when people saw Harry come back with Diggary dead they blamed him, they said Harry had killed him.
Severus moved back to his bed, he was wondering what would happen this year because something always happened. Not that he was complaining he wouldn’t have it any other way if he was honest. He kind of looked forward to whatever happened. He smiled and looked at his clock, it was early but that was okay. He moved through to the kitchen and began making breakfast.
“Morning, mother” he replied turning and smiling at her.
“You all packed for Grimmauld Place?” she asked as she sat down at the table and began piling the pancakes that Severus had made onto her plate.
“Yeah, it’ll be good to see everyone again” he said as he brought over her cup of tea before sitting down opposite her. “I’m glad you’re coming too, I really want you to meet my friends” Severus said, blushing slightly as he finished.
“Sev, are you blushing?” his mother asked smiling. Severus blushed a bit more. She chuckled seeing him blush. “Might this have something to do with a certain Miss Granger” she said smiling. Severus was now scarlet by this point and was trying his best not to look at his mother. “Severus” she said trying to get his attention.
“Maybe,” he replied. “But I really do want you to meet the others” he said. His mother just chuckled.
“I’m looking forward to it” she smiling “Now, lets finish our breakfast. We’ve got to leave soon.”
It was about ten o’clock in the morning when they arrived. Severus was still holding his mother’s arm, they had decided to apparate as it was quicker. As Severus looked round he saw large, dull old houses, they were arranged in a square shape around a grass area that had a railing around it. That had been where they had landed. His mother handed Severus a piece of paper and told him to read and memorise it. It said:
The Headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix may be found at number twelve, Grimmauld Place, London.
“Now think about what you’ve just read” Severus did and as he did he began to see another house between numbers eleven and thirteen appeared, it seemed to push the houses on either side out of the way. “Come on” his mother said once the house had stopped moving. They made there way over to the house and once his mother tapped the door and it clicked a few times before they entered.
The house was dull and crampt. To his right Severus saw the staircase, he looked up and he saw that it went up quite a few levels. His mother was moving towards the back of the house and he followed. They came to a staircase that went down, they could hear voices floating up. At the bottom of the stairs they found a kitchen and walked in.
“Sev!” Harry said, moving from the large table he was sitting at and towards Severus. “It’s good to see you again” he finished as Ron, Hermione and Keira followed him over, all saying “hi” too.
“Yeah, it’s good to see you all too” he replied smiling, he noticed Hermione looking at his mother. “Guys, this is my mother, Alexandra.” Then turning to his mother he said “Mother, this is Harry, Ron, Hermione and Keira” he said, pointing each of his friends out, who all nodded and said “hello”.
“Hello, it’s nice to finally put faces to names” she said smiling.
“Lexi?” Ron’s mother, Molly, said from the other end of the room. “Is that you?” Alexandra turned.
“Molly” she said happily before moving quickly to Molly and giving her a big hug. “It’s been too long, Molly. You’re looking good” she said when she had pulled back.
“Yes dear, too long. You’re looking wonderful” she said smiling. “Now,” she said turning to the others in the room. “Why don’t we all sit down and get Alexandra and Severus up to speed on everything” she said motioning everyone to sit down.
They had all sat down and Severus had said hello to Sirius, Remus, Alastor Moody, Ginny, Fred, George and Arthur Weasley before being introduced to Bill Weasley, one of Ron’s other older brothers, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Alaric Heronedale, who was to take the position of Potions Master at Hogwarts when they returned to school, and Nymphadora Tonks, Tonks for short. They were all members of the Order of the Phoenix, which had been organised by Dumbledore himself. It was created to fight Voldemort, which is what happened the last time he’d risen to power, years ago.
They continued to say that they believed that Voldemort was building his forces and that they believed that he was looking for something, something powerful; something he didn’t have the last time. But before anyone else could continue, Mrs Weasley stopped the conversation, saying there was still a lot of cleaning in the house to do and with that she gave everyone a job to do and they dispersed to do so.
They spent the next few days cleaning and tidying the house. Severus didn’t mind though as he got to spend time with his friends. Each night after dinner he and Hermione would sit together in her and Ginny’s room and they would discuss different books or just talk, he enjoyed that most. Then when it become late he would climb up the stairs to one of the top rooms that he shared with his mother and they would sleep then get up and do it all again the next day.
When it came time for them to go to Diagon Alley to get their supplies they were forced to write down everything that they would need and Mr and Mrs Weasley along with Severus’s mother went and bought all the supplies needed as it was too dangerous for them all to go. Leaving for Platform 9 ¾ was more like a military operation than anything else, the Order accompanied then to the station to protect Harry.
Saying goodbye was an emotional event, as always. Everyone hugged and then boarded the train, trying to hang out the windows as the train moved off and towards Hogwarts once again. Ginny, Fred and George moved away to find their friends while the others moved to find a compartment, finding one they sat there and enjoyed the ride.
It was after the sorting and Dumbledore had just welcomed everyone back. He continued to tell the first years that the forest was out of bounds to all students and that magic is not permitted in the corridors.
“We have three changes of staff this year. We are very pleased to welcome back Professor Grubbly-Plank, who will be taking Care of Magical Creatures lessons. We are also delighted to introduce Professor Umbridge, our new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher and Professor Heronedale, our new Potions Master” Dumbledore said. He then continued about the tryouts for the new Quidditch house teams but was cut off and had turned towards Professor Umbridge, who was rising and making her way forward, she then began talking. When she had finished she went and sat back down again and everyone soon left for their common rooms.
Severus made his was down to the Slytherin common room. When he reached it he found he wasn’t tired so he sat down in one of the large armchairs in the corner, both his legs hanging off the left side of the chair with his back resting on the right side. He watched as Draco and Pansey Parkinson walked in followed by the new first years. He listened to them talk about the rules and where they would be sleeping. He watched as they all made their way to their dorms, Pansey following to get to hers. Draco stayed where he stood, quiet for a few minutes.
“Is there something you want, Draco?” Severus asked, feeling awkward. Draco’s head snapped up and looked over to him as if he hadn’t notice Severus sitting there.
“Em . . . no, not really” he said but continued to stand there.
“Are you okay, Draco? Because you look a little dazed” Severus said, moving to rest his right foot on the floor.
“Hmm . . . Yeah, I’m fine” he looked unsure but he moved towards the large couch and sat down heavily. It was quiet for a few moments. “No”
“No, what?” Severus asked confused.
“I’m not okay” Draco said simply.
“Oh. Do you want to talk about it?” Draco gave him a disbelieving look. “Look, I know that we didn’t get off to a good start but I’ve seen you change over the years and you seem to have got better, less like the rest of the Slytherin’s, less arrogant and selfish” Severus said, changing his position again so that he was facing Draco. “So, I’m not going to mock you or go running to everyone about your problems. I’m willing to listen and help if I can, I promise”
“Okay . . . you can’t repeat this to anyone, ever” he stressed. “I mean it and don’t even think about mocking me or treating me different, got it” Severus nodded solemnly. “I think I’m . . .” he trailed off.
“You think you’re what?” he asked softly after a few minutes.
“Gay” he barley whispered.
“Draco, it’s okay”
“No. It’s not. My father will disown me, my friends will abandon me”
“Draco, if he disowns you then he cares more for his title than his family. He’d be stupid to let his only son, his only child, go because of their sexuality” he said moving to lay a reassuring hand on his shoulder. “And if your friends abandon you, then they’re stupid and narrow-minded, only caring about their image. I won’t abandon you. I promise Draco. I know what it’s like to feel like you’ll lose your friends, I wouldn’t leave you like that” he said quietly. Draco looked right at him then.
“When did you think you’d lose you’re friends?” he asked. “You’ve always been close to them.
“When I got sorted” he explained. “Harry and Hermione had already been sorted into Gryffindor. I knew of the hate relationship between Gryffindor’s and Slytherin’s and I was worried that they wouldn’t want to be friends with me. I remember what the hat said to me when I was up there”
“What did it say?”
“It said `Ah, your bright I see but not only that you are brave at heart, I would put you in to Gryffindor but your blood calls for me to put you in Slytherin, you don’t want that do you? ` I remember saying no and it said `You are afraid, not that you would become evil – you never could you see – but you are afraid of losing your friends, the Granger girl and the Potter boy. I have seen them, they know you, they will not abandon you I promise` I asked it if it was putting me in Slytherin and it said `Little one, trust me and remember they will not abandon you`”
“Then what happened?”
“Then next morning I woke up early and I went down to the hall. Harry and Hermione were there. I walked over and explained to them that I didn’t want to be in Slytherin and that I was afraid that I would lose them as friends; I’d never had friends before. I told them what my mother had told me; that I was me and the house I got sorted into wouldn’t change that” he said with a smile, thinking of his mother. “And do you know what?” he asked. Draco shook his head, no. “It hasn’t”
“So you wouldn’t abandon me?” Draco asked unsure. “I mean even though we’ve never really talked?”
“Then why don’t we try” Severus said with a comforting smile.
After an awkward start the boys talked. They talked about everything, from school subjects to Quidditch and from music to some of there memories. They found that they had similar interests, in Quidditch and in music. Severus found that behind his façade Draco wasn’t what he projected people to see, he cared about things, he even read. Draco found that he liked Severus’s company; he found that he could talk about the things he wanted to without fear of rejection or ridicule. He could be himself with Severus, he didn’t have to pretend about himself and he liked it. They both began to feel really tired and decided to go to bed. They came to Draco’s dorm first and he made to go in but stopped and turned back to Severus.
“So, we’re friends?” he asked tentatively.
“Yeah, Draco. We’re friends” he said smiling. “Goodnight” he said before continuing up the stairs to his room and collapsing into his bed.
The next morning Severus woke and got ready before moving down into the common room. He walked in to see Draco sitting on the edge of the large couch, when Severus walked in he stood up and walked over to him. Crabbe and Goyle were behind Severus and pushed him out the way and moved to flank Draco. Draco, however, moved away from them and helped Severus up.
“What you doing helping him?” Crabbe asked, confused.
“Because he’s my friend” Draco said simply, moving Severus towards the door.
“Hey, wait up Draco” Goyle said moving to catch up.
“Guys, stay away from me okay” Draco said turning around to face them.
“Why?” Crabbe and Goyle said in unison.
“Because you won’t accept me” he whispered very quietly.
“Why?” they asked again obviously not hearing his answer.
“Because he’s bored with you” Severus said, cutting Draco off and motioned for them to leave. They ascended from the dungeons and moved towards the Great Hall. It was after they had sat down that Draco spoke.
“Why’d you say that?” he asked curiously.
“I just thought that the last thing you needed to say was that in front of the whole common room, that was all” Severus replied, turning to give him an encouraging smile.
“Thanks but I really didn’t mind. I thought about it last night and I thought that if I just got it out the way then the people who still stuck around would be my true friends” Draco said, reaching for some toast as they sat down at there table. “I appreciate it though” he smiled.
“Morning” Keira said as she landed on the bench so that Draco was in-between her and Severus. “So, I take it your one of us now Draco?”
“Yeah, I guess” he said unsure.
“Well, if you just told Crabbe and Goyle to leave you alone and chose Severus over them then that would make you one of us” she turned and looked right at him “That also means Harry, Ron and Hermione though. Just so you know” she said with a smile.
“I know, but they won’t want to be friends with me, not after all the things I’ve done” Draco said sadly. Severus sighed and pulled Draco up.
“Come on” he said as he pulled Draco over to the Gryffindor table, to where Harry, Ron and Hermione sat. “Morning” he said as he pushed Draco to sit and he joined him. All three just sat and looked at him as the whole hall began to talk and whisper. “Right, well. You’re not going to like this but at least be civil. Draco is joining us, he told me something last night and after talking extensively with him I’ve decided that we’re friends” he paused to watch their reactions. They all looked stunned.
“What did he tell you?” Harry asked, skeptical.
“Well that’s-” Severus began.
“I’m gay” Silence followed.
“Please guys” Severus began. “This is really important. His father will disown him when he finds out, his friends will hate him. He’ll be abandoned by them and I won’t stand by and watch that happen. Remember I know how he feels about losing friends. Can you at least try?” he begged.
“Well, I’m willing to give this a try” Hermione smiled after a long pause, “Lets start again shall we?” She said sticking her hand over towards him. “Hello, Draco.” Draco smiled, took her hand and shook it.
“Hello, Hermione” he replied. “About everything I’ve said to you and about you, I really am sorry for that. Especially calling you . . . well, you know. I’ll never use that word again” he said bowing his head.
“That’s okay” she said smiling. She turned to Ron and Harry.
“I’m fine, I suppose, as long as Crabbe and Goyle don’t join us” Ron said not looking to happy but seeing the emotion of Severus’s face as he’d spoke he knew better than to disagree.
“Well, Draco, never thought I’d say this but I guess were friends” Harry said with a smile.
“Thanks” he said as he moved to get up he stopped. “I’m sorry, you know. For everything I’ve done. I understand if you don’t believe it but I am. For the past four years I’ve pretty much lied about me, I’ve barely let anyone know what I’m really like. If I ever did I’d get laughed at so after a while I stopped, I think that’s why I started picking on people. So, I’m sorry”
“Its okay” Harry replied, he could see that Draco was sincere and he decided then to make this work as best as he could.
“Great, well were going to go eat. We’ll see you later” Severus said smiling and he and Draco walked back to the table and finished their breakfast. As people began to finish their breakfast the head’s of house walked down their tables handing out timetables.
“Slytherin, eye’s this way please” everyone turned towards the bottom of the table, there stood Professor Heronedale. “Now, I apologize for not introducing myself last night but there was a lot going on. I am your Head of House, so if you have any problems or questions you can bring them to me. You’ll find me down in my potions classroom. Now, I’ll hand out your timetables”
The older Slytherin’s lapsed back into their conversations. It was a little while later that he reached Severus, Keira and Draco. He handed them their timetables before moving towards the rest of the Slytherin students.
The three of them made their way to the Dungeons for Potions and they met up with Harry, Ron and Hermione and they lapsed into a comfortable conversation before Professor Heronedale appeared and ushered everyone into his classroom.
All the students piled in and picked seats, all sitting in their houses with their friends. The Professor handed out books and returned to the front of the room, noticing how everyone arranged themselves.
“Right, before we start I think a new seating arrangement is in order” he began. “I think we’ll mix the houses up a bit” he proceeded to organise the first few benches at the front. “Miss Granger, Mr Snape, Mr Malfoy, Mr Potter, Mr Weasley and Miss Spencer you sit at the back bench, in that order please starting from that seat” he said pointing out which bench and which seat. Once the class was in their new seats the professor took his place at the front of the class again. “I am Professor Heronedale. I will only accept your best standard of work, if you give me less I will give you more work until I am happy with the level you are showing me and if I have to I will make you work in detentions. I don’t intend to be unnecessarily harsh I just want you all to give your best and get the grades you deserve. Now, I realise that we’re running out of time so I want you all to read chapters one, two and three for tomorrow” he finished, then dismissed the class.
“What have you got now?” Severus asked Hermione as they made their way out of the dungeons.
“Study period, you?”
“Same. Shall we go to the library?” Hermione smiled and nodded.
They made their way through the now deserted corridors and stairwells. Once they reached the library they made their way to the back of the room, to the most hidden part and took out their Potions books. They were quiet as they read and took notes but they finished quite quickly. Severus looked up at Hermione and saw that she looked distracted.
“Mione, are you okay?” he asked, slightly worried. It wasn’t like her to be this distracted this early in the year.
“Hmm?” she replied, turning to face him. “What did you say?”
“I asked if you were okay” he replied, putting a hand over hers and holding it, noticing that as he did she began to blush “You seem distracted” he continued.
“I’m fine, just . . .” she trailed off.
“Just what?” he asked. “Mi, tell me. Has someone said something or done something? Tell me, I’ll sort it out” he placed his other arm around her shoulder, still holding her hand. “Mi, I don’t like seeing you like this” he said quietly, softly, looking straight at her.
“I like someone” she said quietly. Severus sat back and loosened his hand slightly.
“Oh,” he said, slightly dejected. “Who?”
“You” she said, a little louder. She had seen him move back, had felt his grip loosen, had heard his voice and had known that he felt something for her. It had given her the courage to get the last word out.
As soon as Severus had heard her he’d moved forward and kissed her softly, sweetly. When he did her free hand moved to hold his face. He let her hand go and moved it to the back of her neck, once he had her other hand moved to hold his jumper. The kiss that had started off as a tentative, soft kiss soon turned more passionate. Severus could feel his heartbeat quicken. All he could feel was Hermione’s soft sweet lips, her hand pulling at his jumper, pulling him closer, her soft hand caressing his face. He’d waited so long and it was perfect. He ran his tongue along her bottom lip, she shivered and opened her mouth, he tentatively slipped his tongue in and felt her respond. Eventually they both broke for air, still holding each other. They smiled at each other.
“So, I guess you like me too, then” she chuckled, her eyes sparkling.
“Mi, you have no idea” he said grinning before leaning in and reclaiming her lips.
They had the next class together and when they left the library they were holding hands. It felt like the most natural thing in the world to them. Each class they had together they sat next to each other. When the class would finish Severus would walk Hermione to her next class, even if it wasn’t his and before he would leave he would give her a quick kiss, pull back and tell her that he’d met her once their class was over. Once classes were over for the day they stayed together, walking to the Great Hall for dinner then sitting with the guys to do their homework in the library. A few hours later they finished their homework and they all left heading for their common rooms. This routine continued for the rest of the week, the group would all relax in the library after finishing their homework and they would leave for their common rooms Severus walking Hermione to hers before leaving for the dungeons, and going to bed.
The group were sitting one night in the library. They were sitting around one of the large fires deep in the library and Severus was watching Hermione. He saw how the glow from the fire light up her face, her eyes shinning, bringing out the brown in her eyes, and watching her hair flare and see hints of red shine through it. She was beautiful. It was as he was watching her that he began to think that his life was better now. It had begun to get better when he’d first met her and the guys in his first year but now that he was with Hermione his life just looked so much brighter. He was looking forward to what the future brought him, especially with Hermione by his side.
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