|A Chance Encounter
Author: spectre4hire PM
What if Harry didn't bump into the Weasleys at Kings Cross on his first day? What if instead he met another family, one that has ties to his parents? This simple encounter will set him on a different path including new friends and new ambitions. Year Two in progress. Includes: Slytherin!Harry, Good!Dumbledore, Conflicted!Snape, & Supportive!Remus.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Friendship - Harry P. & Daphne G. - Chapters: 20 - Words: 179,236 - Reviews: 1,348 - Favs: 2,827 - Follows: 3,530 - Updated: 05-15-13 - Published: 05-31-11 - id: 7038840
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A Chance Encounter
Chapter Fifteen: Seeking Glory
'Harry, you must trust me.'
Harry sighed, recalling the Headmaster's plea for trust and patience.
He looked up into the night sky, sprawled out above him like a dark canvas with glittering stars winking down at him. The Second year Slytherins and Hufflepuffs were on the Astronomy tower, paired off to take turns looking through the telescopes to chart the moons of Mercury or Saturn… Harry couldn't remember.
The usual studious and disciplined Slytherin was preoccupied due to his recent talk with Dumbledore. He went into the meeting with high hopes, but left afterwards disappointed, with more questions than answers. Not all of which pertaining to his scar, some of these new questions were gravitating towards Dumbledore…
"Huh," Harry blinked, awkwardly running a hand over his face, when he realized he was caught not paying attention by his partner. He looked over to Susan Bones, who was watching him strangely.
"It's your turn with the telescope," she commented, gesturing to the telescope, as she began gathering up her parchment.
"Oh yeah," Harry frowned, scratching the back of his neck, trying to remember the information and directions that they were given about the Project at the beginning of class. He inwardly sighed, unable to recall the instructions for the Project, his thoughts on Dumbledore had led him astray. He was now uncertain and unprepared to handle his part of the project.
"Are you alright?" asked the red headed Hufflepuff, with a sincere tone. Her soft blue eyes had a gentle hue of curiosity.
Oh, you know, Harry mused to himself, just the usual drama- dealing with a deranged house elf, a cursed scar, and talking snakes...
She must have taken his silence the wrong way, since she began to back-pedal. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to pry-"
"No, it's fine," Harry cut-in quickly, not wanting to come across either rude or snobbish to the young Hufflepuff who had only been kind and nice to him in their limited interactions. Great way to return the favor, he reminded himself, of how he was now repaying her kindness by not paying attention to their project.
"I just, have a lot on my mind," he said, hoping his tone was successful in conveying his gratitude on her thoughtfulness. To emphasize his tone, he forced himself to smile, hoping the combination of his tone and smile was enough for the Hufflepuff.
It seemed to work, since she returned his smile, and nodded. "It's obvious that the moons of Saturn are not one of them."
He was caught-off guard by the unsuspected but friendly jab. He offered her a shrug while he looked over his mostly blank piece of parchment, "Ugh, I guess, you're right."
She giggled, before letting out a feigning exasperated sigh, "I suppose I should help you."
Harry shook his head, "no, you don't have to." He replied, he had gotten himself into this mess and it would have been unfair of him to drag her down with him.
She responded to his dismissal of her offer with an unexpected but teasing click of the tongue. "You must have forgotten, Harry, but this a joint project. It would look rather bad of me if my partner did so abysmal on our project."
"Oh, yeah," Harry said, with a weak chuckle, hoping to cover up his embarrassment. He ran a hand through his messy dark hair. He looked down at his parchment before turning to Susan's. He was quick to discover that he had a lot of work ahead of him if they were going to finish this project. He inwardly chastised himself for allowing himself to become so distracted with his musings on Dumbledore to have completely zoned out on his in-class Astronomy Project.
He looked over at his partner, who had just sprawled out the charts she had already recorded on the moons of Saturn. Instead of being angry, frustrated, or annoyed at Harry's ineptness, she seemed perfectly calm and at-ease.
He looked up to see Susan was smiling at him again.
"No more day-dreaming," she playfully chided.
Harry chuckled, "I suppose that's only fair." He sat down next to her at their small table in front of their telescope. He was quick to lay out a few pieces of parchment, dipping his pen into his ink bottle, and following Susan's instructions as he tried to make up for the self inflicted loss of time, in hopes of finishing their project before class was over.
"Five more minutes," Professor Sinistra called out to the class. The Astronomy professor was walking between the rows of telescopes and tables, occasionally looking over some of the student's charts, and chatting with the partners to offer a word of encouragement or instruction. Thankfully for Harry, she was on the other side of the Astronomy Tower, talking with Theodore Nott and Hannah Abbott.
After scouting the professor's position, Harry looked back down on his chart. He had just finished scribbling Pandora's position. He had been working diligently the last twenty minutes since Susan had taken the initiative in catching him up with their in-class project. He was responsible for the moons closest to Saturn while Susan was putting the finishing touches on some of Saturn's furthest moons.
He snuck a glance at Susan's parchment to see she had just finished up on the moon Titan. A pang of guilt shot through him, knowing it was his fault for the predicament that he had put him and Susan in. His daydreaming was jeopardizing not only the completion of their project, but his and Susan's grade. Yet, the sincere and kind spoken Hufflepuff didn't seem the least bit angry or concerned about the project, he could hear her humming softly as she began labeling some of the other moons of Saturn.
He himself had just finished labeling Atlas and Prometheus when Professor Sinistra's voice cut through. "Time's up, please don't forget to put you and your partner's name on the charts, and hand them in."
"Whew," Harry said under-his-breath, realizing he finished just in the nick of time. He quickly wrote in his name below Susan's, who then took his and her parchment.
"Not too shabby, Harry," she said, inspecting his offered piece of parchment.
"Sorry again," he said sheepishly, packing up his books. "And thanks for your help."
After putting her Astronomy book in her bag, she looked up at him and smiled. "Not a problem, it felt good to save the-Boy-Who-Lived."
Harry rolled his eyes, at her dramatic and mischievous use of the title. "Yes, you saved me from the jaws of defeat, and the clutches of a bad grade."
She giggled, and nodded, "a-self-inflicting defeat."
"Fair point," he deadpanned, watching as Susan quietly handed Professor Sinistra their joint chart of Saturn's moons. The Astronomy professor gave the pair a kind smile before returning to collecting the other student's charts.
Harry was trying to search for the proper words in wanting to convey his appreciation and gratefulness for her kindness in helping him with their project. When she had every right to be angry or frustrated with him, she was only polite and friendly with him as she helped him with his part of their project while also having to finish her part.
"Thanks again," he repeated the words, from a few seconds ago, mentally chastising himself for not having been able to pick a better choice of words. He looked over to see Susan didn't seem the least bit bothered at the continued heaping of thanks- taking his apologies and thanks in stride.
Harry slid his bag over his shoulder. "We should do this again some time."
"You mean charting the moons of Saturn?" she joked.
"We already charted Saturn's moons," Harry replied, "maybe, next time we can chart Mercury's moons."
"Mercury doesn't have any moons, Harry," Susan dead-panned.
"Oh, right," Harry frowned at his continuous display of incompetence. "I'd forgotten." He didn't get to hear Susan's joking reply, since another voice broke through their intimate conversation.
"Come on, Susie!"
The Second year Slytherin and Hufflepuff looked over simultaneously to see Hannah Abbot and Sally-Anne Perks both waving and calling over their fellow Hufflepuff. Susan looking a bit embarrassed at her friend's over-the-top waving turned to face Harry, who could see a faint blush on her cheeks.
"Those are my friends," she explained, with a feigning sigh, "And probably my cue to leave."
Harry chuckled, his eyes roaming the Astronomy Tower to see his own Slytherin friends were waiting by the exit, unlike Susan's friends who were smiling and giggling, his friends were not looking particularly friendly. Daphne was wearing a frown, coupled with her usual icy stare; Theodore looked bored and uninterested at the people around him. However, Tracey sent Harry a wink, with a mischievous smile, he inwardly groaned, knowing his friend well enough to know that smile meant nothing good to him.
"Well, those are mine."
"It was good working with you," Susan said, as she began to walk towards the pair of Hufflepuff girls. "Even, if I had to do all the work." Her joking tone took the sting out of her playful jab.
"Well, next time, I guess I'll do the work," he called back, realizing that he had given her an invitation for them to get together again.
Susan must have sensed the meaning in his reply too, since she turned to give him a smile. "I'd like that." Those were her last words before she met up with her two friends, who were giggling with one another, before the trio of Hufflepuff girls left the Astronomy Tower.
Harry could only smile while he watched Susan lead her friends down the stairwell and off of the Astronomy Tower. Silently wondering if she would take him up on his offer, as he walked over to his friends, he found himself silently hoping she would accept. Believing he may have found a new friend in the sincere and amiable Susan Bones.
"Enjoy mapping the moons?" Daphne put-in sarcastically when he joined his friends.
"Who wouldn't be?" quipped Harry, as they began their descent down the Astronomy Tower staircase.
"You seemed distracted in class," observed Theodore.
"Still thinking about your meeting with the Headmaster?"
Harry nodded to Theo's follow up question. He had given his Slytherin friends as well as Hermione and Neville a summary of his disappointing discussion with the Headmaster in the time between dinner and their Astronomy class.
"Maybe you should try seeing him again," Tracey suggested, sobering up from her previous mirth and playfulness. "Perhaps see him another day this week?
Daphne scoffed, "I don't think Dumbledore will change his mind because Harry decides to meet with him on a Thursday."
Harry appreciated his friend's sarcastic sense of humor, silently agreeing she made a good point. He was sure Dumbledore's answers and thoughts on the matter would stubbornly remain the same, for the time being…
It had been more than two weeks since Harry had spoken to Dumbledore. It was an encounter that he was trying to put in the back of his mind, ever since the Astronomy class incident. He couldn't allow himself to become distracted about the Headmaster, not now, not when every class was giving him loads upon loads of homework.
He and his friends were walking down the dungeon corridors for their mid-week Potions class with the Gryffindors. He and his fellow Slytherins had just gotten out of another insufferable Defense against the Dark Arts class. In which their egocentric Professor had passed around a quiz that had nothing to do with the Dark Arts but everything to do with him-Lockhart. To make matters worse, the quiz would be their first major grade of the term.
"And Neville was the only one who got the question right!" praised Hermione, she and Neville had joined them at the entrance of the dungeons so that the friends could make the descent into the dungeons together. The two Gryffindors had come back from what sounded like a rousing Herbology class with the Ravenclaws.
Harry looked over to see a flustered, but smiling Neville, who looked embarrassed but proud at Hermione's doting on his skills for Professor Sprout's class. It was no secret in the group that Neville was the undisputed expert in Herbology. Harry and the others had all come to Neville in the course of last year for their friend's help in the subject. There was no doubt they would be asking him for help throughout the course of this year too.
"Good job, Nev," Harry said, patting his friend on the back. Tracey and Daphne joined in, on offering their praise and congratulations on Neville. Theodore only grumbled a few words, it was clear he was still very annoyed at Lockhart's most recent class, and Harry couldn't blame him, sharing his own frustration and annoyance at a teacher who seemed incompetent in the subject he was supposed to be teaching.
"What's wrong Theo?" asked Neville.
"Lockhart," was the grumbled reply.
"He's just in one of his moods," dismissed Daphne, sounding equal parts bored and annoyed.
Theodore shot a glare in Daphne's direction who returned the icy stare with one of her own.
"I suppose you had to take his quiz?" asked Neville, delicately broaching the subject.
"That quiz was rubbish!" Theodore growled. "I didn't think anybody could be so arrogant!"
"Don't be mad at Lockhart," Tracey stepped in, to defend her favorite professor. "If you had read the books, then you would have done alright."
"You can't be that thick, Trace." Theodore said with a look of bemusement. "How does knowing his favorite color or hobby help us against fighting the Dark Arts?"
Harry silently agreed with Theo's stance and statement. It wasn't even October yet, and Harry had already had enough of Lockhart and his classes, which revolved squarely around him and his supposed adventures. Looking over, Harry could see the slightest nod from Neville, while Tracey and Hermione looked scandalized, turning to one another for support, while Daphne remained bored and uninterested at the conversation altogether.
However, no fervent defense from Hermione or Tracey came, since the six friends rounded the final corridor that led them to their Potions classroom. A few other students were milling around the door, including Gryffindor girls Parvati Patel and Lavender Brown. The two girls were whispering and giggling in hush tones, further away from the classroom and closer to Harry and the others, was the only person who could make Harry's mood worse.
Leaning against the wall with his trademark smirk was Harry's fellow Slytherin-Draco Malfoy. He was surrounded by his usual goons, Crabbe and Goyle, the two glowering gorillas stood to Draco's left while Pansy Parkinson stood on his other side. She had just let loose a peal of laughter which caused Harry to shudder at the shrieking noise that came out of the pug like appearance of the Slytherin girl. Not to be outdone, Millicent Bulstrode, stood on the other side of Pansy, her large arms crossed, wearing her usual dour expression.
"Great," murmured an exasperated Daphne, "as if listening to Nott whining wasn't bad enough; I now have to listen to him."
She didn't need to say his name for Harry and the others to know who their friend was referring to. As if on cue, Draco pushed himself up from the wall, he was leaning on. His grey eyes locked onto Harry's, his smirk in place as he took a few casual strides over to Harry and his friends, Crabbe and Goyle lumbering behind.
"If isn't Potty and Pals," Draco sneered, "His misfit friends of mudbloods, half-bloods, and blood traitors."
Draco's cruel words got his desired effect. Pansy let loose another shrieking round of laughter, with Crabbe and Goyle guffawing.
Harry glared at his Slytherin rival, after his class with Lockhart, Harry had no patience for scum like Malfoy, he opened his mouth to tell Draco to shut, but it was another voice who replied to the Slytherin bully.
"Go away Malfoy," Neville put in, his voice wavered slightly, but the pudgy boy stood tall.
Neville's display of bravery sent Draco and friends into another round of raucous laughter, before Draco stepped forward with Goyle at his heels. "Or you'll do what Longbottom? Sit on me?"
Neville wilted under the combine stare of Goyle and Draco; the former cracking his knuckles while the latter wore his vicious smirk.
"Or I'll hex you," Nott stepped in, to defend his friend.
"You're better than them, Nott," Draco glowered. "You shouldn't be around such filth." The Slytherin pure blooded jerk emphasized his point, by pinching his nose with one hand, while pointing to Tracey and Hermione with the other.
"The only filth I see is you, Malfoy," Theodore responded, stepping in between Draco and Hermione and Tracey's position.
Draco's cheeks tinged at the barb, but he was quick to recover. "Be careful Nott, you might want to speak more properly to the next Slytherin seeker."
"I thought Quidditch was a game of talent?" Daphne offered, stepping up beside Nott. "And last I checked you didn't have any talent."
"Now, Daphne let's be fair," Theodore joined in with a chuckle. "Draco's very talented at bringing up his father's name."
This sent Harry and the others into a fit of laughter at the truthful jab at Draco and his constant prattling of his father and the Malfoy 'legacy.' Before any further insults could be exchanged, the Potions door swung open as Harry's Head of House stood in the doorway. Professor Snape was dressed in his usual dark robes, his dark eyes scanning the corridor.
"Get in," he ordered.
No one needed to be told twice. Parvati and Lavender who had been watching the display of the in house fighting of Slytherin were first to go in; keeping their heads down as they passed the Head of Slytherin. Neither Gryffindor girl wanted to be the target of his usual disdain and ire towards their particular house.
"Come on," Harry encouraged, his friends, leading them past Draco and his posse. He met his professor's intimidating stare while he walked by to enter the classroom. Harry walked to the front of the classroom where he and Hermione had been sitting together since their first potions class last year.
She put down her bag beside him, and Harry was quick to offer her arm a friendly pat and her, a smile, knowing that Draco's words had upset her. She responded with a smile before sitting down in her seat and taking out her things.
Harry remained standing at his table as he watched Tracey and Daphne take the seats behind his and Hermione's. Daphne was whispering something to the crestfallen Tracey, whatever she said; it must have had the desired effect since Tracey giggled when the two girls took their seats. Theodore and Neville took seats to Harry's right, remaining in the front row. The two boys were conversing softly, no doubt, whispering curses and insults to use on Draco and his goons the next time they got a chance.
He finally took his seat when the other Gryffindors and remaining Slytherins entered the classroom. A sense of pride swelled within Harry, at his friend's stance of unity and their readiness to defend one another from Malfoy and his cronies. Even with them bickering about Lockhart and his credentials, seconds before their encounter with Draco, they were ready and able to put aside their own opinions and differences to stand up for one another. Because that's what friends do…
"He can't become seeker!" proclaimed Tracey, as the friends filed out of the Potions classroom. The six friends of Slytherins and Gryffindors walked together down the dungeon corridors after another exhausting Potions class.
"Not this again," groaned Daphne, sounding annoyed and exhausted.
Tracey ignored her friend's response turning to Harry. "You're trying out, right Harry?"
"Ergh," Harry stammered.
Tracey frowned; she must have sensed his hesitancy since she added. "You have to, Harry. You're a great flyer! You're sure to beat Malfoy at the try-outs."
Harry would be lying to himself if he didn't say he enjoyed flying. The times he did it over the summer holiday had been refreshing and quite fun, but he wasn't sure about Quidditch. He saw the two as different entities entirely. He wasn't so keen on the latter, especially since some of the more bigoted Slytherins were on the House Team. He wasn't eager to invest his free time flying with so many of the more prejudicial snakes in the house of Slytherin. He also didn't want to further burden his work load either with his bustling school schedule and the multitude of homework that each teacher was giving them.
Thankfully, he didn't have to voice his mixed opinion since it was his friends who rallied to his defense.
"You can't make him play, Tracey," lectured Hermione.
"I'm not!" protested Tracey sounding offended at the mere idea.
"So why are you pressuring him?" asked a quiet Neville.
"I'm not," Tracey repeated in her protest, turning to the two Gryffindors. "I just don't want Draco to be Seeker!"
"Then you should try out," Daphne observed. "And leave Harry out of this silly sport."
Harry turned to the deflated Tracey. He knew her intentions were good, but she had a way of going over-board or overly enthusiastic about certain things, and Quidditch was at the top of that list.
"I'll think about it, Trace," Harry said, but wasn't keen on making any sort of guarantee or promises to actually try out for the sport.
She bowed her head, "sorry, Harry, I just got a little carried away."
"A little?" asked Daphne, a faint mirthful twinkle in her blue eyes.
Tracey stuck out her tongue at her fellow Slytherin.
Harry could only chuckle at the two's antics, arriving at the Great Hall for lunch, the Slytherin and Gryffindors parted to their respected tables. Harry led his friends to the end of the Slytherin table where they had been customarily sitting since the beginning of last year. Harry and Theodore took to one bench while Tracey and Daphne sat across from them.
Harry looked up to see several of the older Slytherins had been watching them, their faces masked and their emotions contained, making sure not to let slip what they were thinking or feeling. It was a skill that was required if you wanted to survive in the house of Slytherin where it was paramount not to show any sign of weakness that your enemy could exploit.
"All smiles at the Slytherin table," Tracey commented dryly.
Harry chuckled, his attention shifted back to his friends, and the wonderful spread of food at their table. He added a turkey leg and gravy onto his plate, before responding. "We're the cheeriest bunch in all of Hogwarts!"
This caused the other friends to chuckle and nod in agreement as they addressed their own plates adding different assortments of food and sides.
Harry was about to take a second bite out of his delicious turkey leg but was interrupted by a series of blinding flashes. He grunted, dropping his turkey leg in the process, seeing white stars in his now blurrying vision. He pushed up his glasses, so that he could rub his weary eyes.
"Who are you?" demanded a terse Theo.
Harry was sure that his friend had been caught by the flashes too. Satisfied that he could no longer see white stars in his vision, he returned his glasses to their rightful position allowing him to see who had been the culprit of blinding him with the multitude of camera flashes.
Standing at the end of their table, between the two rows of seats, was a small boy with mousy brown hair, brown eyes and a wide smile. The Gryffindor crest on his uniform was easily discernible and the boy's small height signaled that he was probably a first year. He seemed full of exuberance practically bouncing on one foot to the other.
"I'm Colin Creevy!" he said, in way of introduction, raising his camera for another picture, both Harry and Theodore were ready to duck under the table to take refuge from the blinding flashes, but there was no need. Daphne had snatched the camera from the young boy's grip.
"Stop that," she chided, with an icy glare that caused Colin to quiet any protest, he may have had. She put the camera on the table, in front of her, a challenging glare in her blue eyes, before adding, "You take another picture and I'll hex you."
The young first year looked startled at her threat, gulping loudly before nodding in agreement. He turned to Harry, his exuberance replaced with his anxiety as he wrung his hands before him, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset you."
"It's okay," Harry lied, knowing that Daphne had succeeded in teaching the boy a lesson. "It's just rude to sneak up on someone like that."
Colin had the good sense to look embarrassed before meekly nodding. "I'm sorry; I just have wanted to take your picture since I first heard about you."
"Erh thanks?" Harry said, uncomfortably rubbing the back of his neck. He snuck a glance down his table to see more and more Slytherins were turning in their direction. No doubt, they were all curious in how he was going to handle this Gryffindor interloper.
"I just had to meet you, I've heard so much about you!" Colin admitted, "My family back home won't believe that I met the Harry Potter! We might be muggles but we know so much about you!"
Harry inwardly groaned at this boy's praise, feeling a rush of embarrassment and annoyance swell within him. To make matters worse once the boy mentioned his muggle heritage, a rush of dissenting whispers went up and down the Slytherin table.
Colin must not have noticed the table's reaction, since he continued. "My friends told me I shouldn't come see you because you're a Slytherin."
"You should have taken their advice," Theo muttered darkly, still annoyed at being caught in the crossfire's of Colin's camera barrage.
Colin gave a weak chuckle, before his eyes finally traveled up the table to see more unfriendly faces and stares aimed in his direction. "I think…I think, I'll be going back to my table, now." He turned from his camera which was resting on the table to Daphne; she gave him an imperious nod. He was quick to grab his camera and retreat back to his own table without another word or wave.
"You have to admire his courage," Tracey said, her eyes shimmering with mirth while the corners of her lips tugged upwards. She was obviously enjoying herself and the scene that had unfolded between them, "Walking right into the lion's den and all."
"It was stupid," Daphne declared with a shake of her head. "Does he know nothing? What sort of fool, proclaims he's a muggle right in front of the house of Salazar Slytherin?"
"Well you know Gryffindors always acting without thinking," Theodore quipped, before taking a long sip from his pumpkin juice filled goblet.
Harry had watched the young Gryffindor return back to his table, immediately be engulfed by his fellow first years, all of whom had their heads bowed, and talking quietly amidst one another.
"Picking up another stray, Potty?"
Harry inwardly sighed, before turning in his seat to see Draco and his goons a few seats away, all of them looking entertained and amused at the scene that took place."Shut up, Malfoy."
"It's pathetic you know," Malfoy drawled, loud enough so that the other Slytherins further up the table could hear, "Allowing that mudblood so close to our table."
To Harry's own frustration and disappointment, whispers of agreement spread up and down the house table, many of the Slytherins nodding in agreement. This only seemed to strengthen Draco, feeding his already over-sized ego, as he continued:
"It's one thing to be friends with mudbloods, Potter. You're only sullying your own reputation," Draco sneered. "But make sure you keep that filth away from our table. Lest people think that the house of Salazar is within reach of these…animals."
Another ripple of agreement went up and down the Slytherin table. Harry clenched his fists under the table, trying to push back the growing tide of anger which was aimed at Draco and his fellow Slytherins for being so narrow minded and prejudicial.
"Come on Harry," Daphne said quietly, standing up and grabbing her bag. "Let's get ready for Charms."
Tracey and Theo were quick to get up from their seats as well, grabbing their things as they did. Harry looked back at Draco who seemed to be enjoying all the attention directed at him, lavishing praise that was being heaped on him upon the older Slytherins for his cruel words. It was enough to make Harry's stomach turn.
"Yeah, let's go," he said, grabbing his own bag. "I think I lost my appetite."
After a rather tumultuous day, Harry Potter was glad to take a moment and bask in the peaceful refuge that the school library provided him. Even if he had to focus his time and effort on his homework and studies, he still relished the quiet peace that could only be found within these walls.
He didn't have to worry about Malfoy or his goons. He didn't have to think about his House's prejudices and persecutions. Here, he didn't have to listen to Lockhart's rambles or Binn's droning. It was the library who provided a haven for him, offering him aide in classes when certain professors couldn't.
"Was the Goblin Rebellions in 1456?" asked Neville, a tinge of worry in his question. The plump Gryffindor was sitting across from Harry and Theodore at their favorite table in the library. The trio of boys was trying to complete their History of Magic essay. More than a dozen history books and text books lay open on the boy's table. Daphne and Tracey had gone off to the Owlery after dinner to send letters to their respective mothers. Hermione was somewhere in the library, no doubt collecting tomes and texts for both class and some reading of her own.
"You have to be more specific, Nev," Theodore replied, looking up from his textbook, "Which rebellion exactly?"
Neville gulped, blinking owlishly. "You mean there was more than one?"
Theodore offered him a sympathetic smile, "There were more than two dozen in the span of 1215-1475."
"Oh," Neville said, anxiety creeping into his tone as he re-examined the essay he had been working on for the last hour.
"Let's see," Theodore said, tapping his chin with his forefinger. "There was the rebellion of 1335, the wizards won that one. Then another one occurred three decades later, the wizards won that too, but lost a lot of lives in the process.
Harry rolled his eyes, he was sure his friend was enjoying himself. He found it hard to believe for Theo to be so informative in the History of Magic especially when they had a horrid teacher like Professor Binns, but the Slytherin always chalked it up to his own interest in history. It was an interest that Binns couldn't kill, no matter how much the ghost professor could try with his boring lectures.
"Then the one in 1415, very bloody, the goblins actually won that one, killed a lot of wizards and witches in the short span too," Theodore was now tallying up the rebellions on his hand, counting each one with a raised finger.
"We get it, we get it," Harry cut in, feigning exasperation. "But can we please focus on the particular rebellion we were assigned."
"Oh right," Theodore smiled, before turning to Neville. "That one was in 1426."
"Thanks," Neville said, looking down at his essay, before beginning to fix his miscue. Since the Gryffindor was erasing more than once, Harry had the inkling that Neville had made the slip-up numerous times throughout the course of his essay.
"You know," Harry drawled, looking up from his newly completed essay. "This would have been a lot easier if we had a competent teacher to help us."
"You mean like Lockhart?" replied Theodore, the corners of his lips tugging upwards.
Harry snorted in amusement, before shaking his head. "If he taught the class it wouldn't be a history of Magic, but a history of him!"
"We're already taking that class," deadpanned Theodore. "It's called Defense against the Dark Arts."
This sent the three friends into a round of laughter, but they were careful not to laugh too loudly, since they didn't want to be the target of the librarian's ire. Harry turned his attention to his finished essay, feeling a sense of appreciation and gratefulness now that it was completed. This particular assignment had consumed most of his study time in the last few days. He was also pleased with his timely completion because he was supposed to meet up with Susan in the library shortly.
He had offered to get together with her after his Astronomy Project debacle, and was silently pleased when she approached him after their afternoon Astronomy class. He was looking forward to getting together and getting to know the Second Year Hufflepuff, even if school and homework had to be involved.
His musings were interrupted when a pile of books were dropped unceremoniously onto their table. He didn't have to look up to know the culprit was Hermione Granger. She took her seat next to Neville, while Harry and the other two friends attention remained on the number of books she had collected.
"A little light reading?" Theodore teased.
She smiled, "something like that." She then picked up one of the books, and offered it to Theo, who looked at the offering strangely.
"It's the book on the Giant Wars, you wanted," she clarified.
A look of understanding and satisfaction came to Theo's face as he grabbed the book with a nod of thanks and a smile. He quickly thumbed through the massive tome, eagerly reading bits of excerpts on any page he happened to stop on.
"Giant wars?" Neville repeated. "I didn't think we're studying them until next term."
"We're not," Theo explained, looking up from his book. "This is just for some reading in my spare time."
"I could really use some spare time," Neville groaned good naturedly, before going back to his essay.
Satisfied, when he finished looking through the contents of the book, Theodore packed the tome in his bag.
"I'd like to borrow it when you're done," Hermione said, who had already opened one of the many books she had gathered. She too was thumbing through it, periodically stopping to write down a line or two of notes on a piece of parchment before continuing.
"Not a problem," Theodore smiled.
She returned his smile before returning to the book she was looking through.
"Which one of these books is for school?" asked Harry, cautiously picking up one of the closer books. He read the title: An Anthology of Medieval Charms and Potions.
Hermione brushed away some of her bushy brown hair that was threatening to fall over her face, "Mostly for school."
"I don't remember this on our reading list," Harry observed, gesturing to the book he was holding.
"Be careful with that," Hermione warned in a worried tone, "that was written by a monk in the fifteenth century!"
Harry put down the book in hopes of appeasing Hermione. Though he did notice Theo was now looking at the book with a particular interest. Harry resisted the urge to roll his eyes at his two history enthusiast friends.
"So what are you working on now?" asked Neville cautiously.
"Transfiguration," she answered.
Theo frowned. "I thought we turned that particular assignment in already?" He asked looking to Harry and Neville for confirmation.
"We did," Harry confirmed, while Neville nodded affirmatively.
"I know that," Hermione said. "I'm just trying to get ahead."
"Why does that not come as a surprise?"
Harry and the others turned to see the two newest arrivals of Tracey and Daphne.
Hermione smiled, looking mildly embarrassed, while Tracey took a seat on one end of the table between Theodore and Hermione, and Daphne took the seat at the opposite end of the table between Harry and Neville.
Tracey looked over Theodore's essay, before letting out a groan. "I knew I was forgetting something."
"You're not the only one," Neville replied, his attention on his own in-progress essay.
Tracey had put her bag on the table and was now sifting through it, retrieving her text book, parchment, and feather quill.
Harry having just finished his essay was already packing his things.
"Where are you going?" asked Daphne, a dark eye brow raised.
"I'm meeting with someone."
"Susan Bones," he answered. They were supposed to meet in a different spot in the library in a few minutes. Harry looked at his watch as he pushed back his chair and slung his bag over his shoulders.
"I'll catch up with ya later," he said, with a quick friendly wave before leaving his friends at their table so that he could make his rendezvous with Susan on time. He had decided to meet with Susan alone. He knew it could be intimidating to bring her into the fold with his close knit friends so quickly, he also wasn't sure if she would be willing or able work in the atmosphere his friends sometimes provided.
He looked up to see the Hufflepuff second year smiling at him. She was standing at their agreed upon site.
"Hey," he replied, stopping in front of her. He frowned, before going to his watch as he asked. "Am I late?"
She shook her head. "No, you're right on time."
He let out a sigh of relief. "Well then, lead on."
She nodded, walking amongst a few towering book cases before stopping at a small table that was tucked in the corner, positioned right in front of the window. It offered an exquisite view of the school grounds.
"Wow," he was impressed at the location and the view that this secluded spot provided. He looked around to see there were no other tables within sight, just towering book cases in all directions, completely shielding them from view.
"This is where me and my friend's study," she explained, slinging her bag on the back of one of the empty chairs before sitting down.
Harry took the opposite seat, putting his bag on the table. Silently trying to recall the friends he remembered seeing her with. "Hannah and Sally-Anne, right?"
Susan smiled, "Yeah, I've known Hannah since we were little and I've known Sally for a few years."
Harry nodded, remaining silent, not sure what else to say or add to her answer. He settled for getting out his own things which he believed he would need for their study time. He noticed her attention had shifted to his house crest that was pinned on the right breast of his shirt.
Her eyes thoughtful, transfixed on the image of the serpent of Slytherin, "You know, you're not at all like the other Slytherins."
The other Slytherins, he mused, remembering his House mates supporting Draco's crude remarks and prejudicial perspective on the magical world. In those ways, he was nothing like them, his friendships with Neville, Hermione, and Tracey strengthening his desire to distance himself from Slytherin's infamous political views within the magical community.
He then remembered the traits that are often used to describe those who found themselves in the house of Salazar-Ambitious, cunning, subtle, and maybe even ruthless. These were traits that Harry prided himself on having and needing if he was going to be a great wizard when he grew up.
"In some ways, I'm not at all like them," he paused, to make sure she was listening closely, before adding. "But in other ways, I strive to be the very best of Slytherin."
She frowned; confusion shimmered beneath those blue eyes, chewing on her lower lip while she tried to understand what he was referring to, in his reply. "So you wanted to be a Slytherin?"
"It was not by chance, but by choice that I wear the colors of Slytherin."
"It's in Slytherin where I will achieve greatness," he explained, remembering the Sorting Hat's own words on the matter. He looked up to see that she still didn't look convinced, and he was sure that nothing he could say, could truly explain the methodical house of Salazar Slytherin.
So he settled, with offering her a shrug, "I'm not sure it's something that those outside my house will ever understand."
She slowly nodded, "I think you may be right on that." She pulled out a blank piece of parchment, "But I think they were lucky to get you."
He wasn't sure Draco felt lucky about Harry's sorting. He wasn't sure the older Slytherins considered themselves lucky for being forced to welcome the Boy-Who-Lived into their ranks. He was sure very few were actually pleased or content with his sorting into Slytherin. He knew this was because they were satisfied in inheriting the same prejudices and bigotries that have been a notorious staple in Slytherin house for centuries.
He shook his head, "no, I don't think they do." He looked up to see Susan frown, but wanting to convey his thankfulness for her kind words, he clarified his opinion. "But in time, I think they will."
Harry had thoroughly enjoyed the studying time that he and Susan were able to accomplish as they worked on the Charms essay together. Their session went over the planned hour, but neither seemed to care, as both had been enjoying the time together. He found the Hufflepuff Second year easy to get along with, her kindness, thoughtfulness, and easy going demeanor went well with Harry. The two had agreed to schedule a second study session in the weeks that followed.
"So how was the Hufflepuff?"Daphne asked, in lieu of greeting when Harry returned to meet up with his friends by the dungeon's entrance.
"Fine," he answered briskly, pocketing his hands. "You would probably like her," he replied before turning to the silent Theo and Tracey and adding, "All of you would."
"So are you going to 'study' with her again?" asked Tracey.
Harry frowned in her direction but she took it in stride, returning his frown with a mischievous grin.
"You didn't answer my question, Harry."
Harry rolled his eyes. "Yeah, we plan on it."
"Now all you need is a Ravenclaw, for the complete house set," Theo joked. The friends made their descent down the stairs and into the cold, drafty dungeon corridors that would lead them to their Common Room.
Harry chuckled, "I'm not trying to collect them."
"Uh-huh," Theo smirked.
"You know, Harry, I've seen Padma Patil staring at you a few times in our Herbology class," Tracey teased, the mirthful twinkle in her eyes. Harry was sure she was enjoying every moment of this playful ribbing.
Harry sighed in resignation, before running a hand over his face, this caused Tracey and Theo to continue in their laughter, but Daphne remained silent and aloof in the conversation.
"And to think," Harry began, "I was going to invite her to our next study time."
"Oh really?" asked Tracey, who was still smiling, "don't worry, Harry, I'll behave."
"I doubt it," Harry dead-panned, his lips crooked into a smile at Tracey's feigning pout.
"So when will you make your move with the Ravenclaws?" asked Theodore.
"Ugh," Harry groaned.
"He already did," Daphne pointed out, entering the conversation.
"What?" asked Tracey, turning to her, "Who? When?"
"Lovegood," Daphne answered, her smile growing when she saw Tracey and Theodore's reaction.
"She doesn't count," Tracey declared.
"Why not?" asked a confused Theodore.
"Because," Tracey began, pausing as is trying to find the right words to delicately describe the girl. "She's a bit…out there."
"That's the understatement of the century," Daphne replied sarcastically.
"She's not that bad," Harry said, finding a need to stick up for the Ravenclaw first year.
"Yeah," Theo agreed, but his tone wasn't as convincing as Harry's. "A little strange isn't too bad."
"Speaking from experience, Nott?"
"I'm friends with you, aren't I, Greengrass?"
Harry watched the glaring showdown between Theo and Daphne that followed their remarks. The two glowering friends remained in a staring contest in the seconds that followed. Until a crooked smile from Theo released any tension that Harry may have thought was building up. Daphne returned the crooked smile, before tossing her hair over her shoulder, imperiously and moving forward to the hidden entrance of the Slytherin Common Room.
"Aconite," Daphne recited the password to the hidden entrance of the Slytherin Common room, the door slid open to allow Daphne and the others in, still laughing and joking with one another, but their mirthfulness was replaced with curiosity when they discovered the common room was bustling with people and noise. Harry couldn't remember the last time seeing it so populated this late on a weeknight. If he didn't know any better he would think his housemates were celebrating winning the House Cup.
Harry cautiously stepped into the common room, noticing that the Slytherins were swarming around a pair of sofas that were reserved for the seventh years.
"What's going on?" Theo muttered.
Harry could only shrug, unsure what events could have contributed to this festive like atmosphere in this late evening.
"I'll tell you what's going on," answered an all too familiar voice.
The crowd of Slytherins parted, to show Draco Malfoy lounging alone on one of the sofas. His arms stretched along the back of the sofa, drawing the allusion that he was some sort of king, over-looking his subjects. He had his feet propped up on a footrest, while his usual goons Crabbe and Goyle stood on guard, behind the sofa, their arms crossed and glowering.
"We're celebrating," Draco smirked.
Daphne undaunted by Draco's surroundings or attitude was quick to retort. "Let me guess, you've been transferred?"
Draco's cheeks flushed when some of the Slytherins chuckled at Daphne's remark, but he was quick to regain his arrogant demeanor. "No, Greengrass," he said before gesturing to a handful of tall, burley, Slytherins, each one of them were holding broomsticks. The one standing in the middle was Marcus Flint, Chaser and Captain of the House team. Harry also spotted another one of these broomsticks leaning against the sofa Draco was sitting on.
They must have noticed Harry and his friends staring, since Marcus Flint stepped forward, holding out the broomstick for them to admire, "A gift from Mr. Malfoy."
Harry wasn't sure if he had ever seen a nicer broom in all his life. This slick model could easily strip the paint off of the broomsticks that he and Tracey had flown for fun over the summer holiday.
"Those are the new Nimbus 2001s," Tracey gasped.
"Very astute for a half-blood," spat Draco, this vicious barb sent a ripple of laughter throughout the Common room.
"Don't call her that," Harry growled, stepping forward.
"Careful Potter," Draco replied, with a wag of his finger. "If I were you I would show a little respect to the new Seeker for Slytherin."
A/N: The struggle for supporters between Harry and Draco continue with Draco being named the Seeker and not Harry. I know some wanted Harry to be the Seeker and not Draco, but I have my reasons for putting Draco as seeker and not Harry. Besides just because Draco's seeker now, that doesn't mean he will remain seeker...
Also I apologize if I botched up the moons of Saturn (That's a lot of moons to chart since Saturn has around 60) or the Astronomy class altogether, I admit it's not a subject that I have ever studied, so if I made any mistakes, send me a PM and I'll make the appropriate fixes.
I want to extend my appreciation to all those who are supporting this story. Thanks for reading, alerting, favoriting, and reviewing. I'm humbled by the feedback that this story continues to get.
Until next time,