A/N: Just so you know, the first part of this story is taken from the book. Thanks goes to my wonderful Beta YenGirl.
Herbology was their first class of the year. Professor Sprout was a squat little witch who wore a patched hat over her flyaway hair: there was usually a large amount of earth on her clothes and her fingernails. Oddly enough, when Harry and his friends arrived at the greenhouse, Lockhart was there, looking even more out of place in his robes of turquoise and a same colored hat with gold trimming.
"Good morning children!" He called, beaming around the rest of the assembled students. "Just been showing Professor Sprout the right way to doctor a Whomping Willow! But I don't want you running away with the idea that I'm better at Herbology than she is! I just happen to have met several of these erotic plants on my travels—"
"Greenhouse Three today," interrupted Professor Sprout, who was looking distinctly disgruntled, not at all her usual cheerful self.
There was a murmur of interest. They had only ever worked in Greenhouse One before. Greenhouse Three housed far more interesting and dangerous plants. Sprout took out a large key and unlocked the door. Harry, and Hermione were about to follow their friends inside when Lockhart stopped them.
"Just a moment, you two, I have a question."
Both siblings looked at him. Sprout gave him a curious look, but Lockhart either didn't see it or he ignored it as he continued speaking. Sprout rolled her eyes and went inside.
"There is talk that you two are Professor Snape's children, is that true?"
Harry and Hermione nodded, curious when Lockhart's expression lit up. He murmured an "I see" before bidding them a good day and walking off.
"What was that about?" Harry asked his sister, watching the man leave.
"Don't know," Hermione shrugged before going into the greenhouse. Harry followed.
Professor Sprout was standing behind a trestle bench in the center of the greenhouse. About twenty pairs of different colored earmuffs were lying on the bench. When Harry, and Hermione took their place next to Ron, she said, "We'll be repotting Mandrakes today. Now, who can tell me the properties of the Mandrake?"
No one was surprised when Hermione answered all of her questions.
"Very good Ms. Granger," Sprout praised at the end before pointing to a row of deep trays, and everyone shuffled forward for a better look.
"Everyone take a pair of earmuffs," said Sprout.
Harry and Hermione made a beeline for the earmuffs that were pink and fluffy. Ron took one look at the crowd scrambling for the brown earmuffs, and went for the pink ones instead.
"Guess Ariel's not the only one who can pull of red and pink," said Harry upon seeing the redhead with earmuffs on.
"Who's Ariel?" Ron asked.
"Make sure your ears are completely covered," their Professor spoke up, interrupting them. "When it is safe to remove them, I will give the thumbs-up."
Snapping on her own fluffy pink earmuffs, she rolled up her sleeves, grasped one of the tuffty plants, and pulled hard.
The Mandrake came out, clearly bawling at the top of his lungs. The students watched, fascinated as their Professor took a large pot, plunged the Mandrake into it, and buried him in dark, damp compost until only the leaves were visible. After that, she removed her earmuffs, signaled for them to do the same and told them it was four to a tray of their own. Oh, and to be careful of the Venomous Tentacula because it was teething.
Ron, Hermione and Harry were joined at their tray by a curly haired Hufflepuff boy that they all had seen at one point.
"Justin Finch-Fletchley," he introduced himself brightly. "Know who you are of course, the infamous Snape siblings, and Ron Weasley."
"We're infamous?" Harry tilted his head.
"Yeah! I mean, not since Gryffindor and Slytherin themselves have there been such an open friendship between the two rival houses."
"Well, like you said, never has there been an open friendship, but you never know what goes on in the dark," Hermione hummed, "though I don't see the reason why."
"Erm, well..." Justin stumbled over his words. "I guess because of a lot of bad blood, and you know the fact that a lot of Dark Wizards come from Slytherin. You know like….him."
Ron raised a brow at the look the siblings exchanged; it reminded him of when his parents exchanged such a look when they knew something but didn't want their children to know.
They didn't speak anymore, because they had to put on earmuffs. By the end of the class, all the students were tired and covered in dirt.
The next class was Transfiguration with the Slytherins. Once in the classroom, Harry settled down in the empty seat next to Draco who ignored the dirt, smiled at him and gave him a chocolate frog.
McGonagall stared, still not used to seeing such open friendliness between the two Houses, but pleased nonetheless. She was a little less pleased when Draco threw two more frogs across the room to Ron who caught them easily.
"No throwing in my classroom, Mr. Malfoy," she scolded as Ron gave one to Hermione.
Shaking her head, she waited for the last student to take their seat, and began class.
"You know, I think that could have gone much worse if I had my old wand," Ron said after class while they were heading to lunch.
McGonagall had them try to turn beetles into buttons. Draco had spent his time playing with his and feeding it bits of chocolate. Hermione had merely read one her many books, stating that until it was proven that the animal felt no pain upon being changed, she wasn't doing it. Apparently, she had been doing some research on animal cruelty… or have had conversations with Hedwig. Harry tried, but gave up when his beetle kept running away from him. He took out a quill and parchment to doodle on.
Ron was the only one in class to turn his beetle into a button... only it was the wrong color... and shape.
McGonagall was too frustrated to take away points.
When they entered the Great Hall, Draco didn't even bother glancing at his House table, but took a seat next to the Weasley twins.
"Afternoon, Hedwig," Harry greeted his owl as he sat down. Hedwig hooted before going back to eating what Harry was sure was some kind of lunch meat. He turned to greet Ginny, only to frown.
"You okay, Ginny?" he asked her, "You look a little pale."
"Hm?" Ginny blinked sleepily. "Oh, I'm fine, just a little tired, didn't sleep last night. Was too excited, oh, cookies - hey!"
Ron snickered as Hedwig, sugar cookie in beak, hopped over to Draco, very much victorious.
"That wasn't nice," Draco told the owl, poking her in the side.
Hedwig ignored him and ate her cookie.
Hermione giggled while Ginny huffed playfully.
After lunch, Ginny wandered off with the twins while the others went outside to the courtyard. Hermione and Draco settled down on a stone step, and started talking about the classes they had. Harry and Ron stood nearby, talking about Quidditch. Ron was excited that he was now able to try out.
"You have to try out with me," he begged, tugging on Harry's sleeve. "Pleeeeessssseeee!"
"Draco's trying out."
"That's different, he's trying out for another team."
"Which position?" Hermione asked her friend.
Harry hummed thoughtfully before he smiled. "Sure, why not. It might be fun."
He then looked to his left, smile growing when the small mousy haired boy who had been watching them the whole time squeaked and went bright red. In his hands was an ordinary Muggle camera.
Harry went over, curious as to why the boy had been watching them. "Did you need something?"
"Erm, well—I'm Colin Creevey," the other boy said breathlessly.
"I'm in Gryffindor too, and um... well... I was wondering if I could take you picture?" He blurted out.
"Yeah!" Colin nodded eagerly, "I've heard a lot about you, your sister and your friends. About how you and your sister are Professor Snape's children, hang out with Slytherins, had the famous Breakfast Duel, and the thing last year. And erm, a boy in my dormitory said if I develop the film in the right potion, the pictures'll move." Colin drew a great shuddering breath of excitement and said, "so I'm taking a lot of them to send back home, and—"
"Okay, okay." Harry laughed. The boy was really adorable and reminded him of Henry back home. "I would love to take a picture, can the others take one with me?"
Before Colin could answer, a familiar voice spoke up, "Taking picture for you adoring public?"
Rolling her eyes, Hermione turned and looked with the others at Mathew who was with his usual group and sneering.
"At least the public finds me photogenic," Harry said in a pleasant voice. "Can't say the same for you though, that zit is huge!"
There were a few snorts of laughter from the other students who were watching. Mathew's ears went red.
"Maybe he's jealous," Ron piped up, moving closer to Harry. "I mean you are the cute one."
Harry looked at him in surprise. "You think I'm cute?"
Before Ron, cheeks turning a little pink, could answer, Mathew spoke.
"Jealous, of what? A bunch of snot-nosed spoiled brats and the runt of a litter whose family's so poor that—" Draco suddenly stood, stopping Mathew.
"Finish that sentence," the young heir said angrily. "I dare you."
"Now, now, what's going on here?" Lockhart came striding toward them, his turquoise robes swirling behind him. "Oh, taking pictures, eh?" he said, spotting Colin's camera.
Harry squeaked when Lockhart suddenly flung an arm around his shoulder. "Marvelous idea, we meet again, young Mr. Snape."
Pinned to Lockhart's side, Harry looked to his sister for help. "Erm, Professor, that wasn't—"
"It's alright, Mr. Creevey, fire away!" Lockhart beamed at a stunned Colin.
It took a bit of fumbling from the bewildered student, but Colin managed to take a picture just as the bell rang, signaling the start of the next class.
"Off you go, move along there," Lockhart called to the crowd. "Mr. Creevey, would you mind giving me a copy?"
"There's a good lad." And with that, Lockhart swept Harry down a corridor, Hermione and the others scrambling to keep up.
"Harry, I was wondering if you could tell me about your father?"
"I'm curious, your father has quite the reputation."
Glancing back at his friends, all he got were shrugs.
Lockhart's class was… weird, so, so, weird. There was the test that were all questions about the man himself, Lockhart saying it was to see how well his students read his books, and how much they had taken in. None of the Snape children or Draco had read them, not even Ron or his siblings.
Severus had forbidden them from doing so, stating that he didn't wanted the children's IQs to be lowered from reading such garbage. The Potions Master's words were more elegant of course, but that was how they were translated via Lucius.
Apparently, Hermione had read some pages because she was the only one who knew the Professor's secret ambition. When her brother turned a questioning gaze on her, she just shrugged. She had been bored one day.
After that class came the current one with... pixies.
They were electric blue and about eight inches high, with pointed faces and voices so shrill it was like listening to a lot of budgies arguing. The moment the cover over their cage was removed, they had stared jabbering and rocketing around, rattling the bars and making bizarre faces at the students nearest to them.
"Right, then." Lockhart said loudly. "Let's see what you make of them!" And he opened the cage.
It was chaos, pixies everywhere, wrecking the classroom while half the class took shelter under the desks. Lockhart tried to round them back up with Peskipiksi Pesternomi, with no effect at all. When a pixie grabbed his wand and threw it out the window, the Professor quickly joined his students under his own desk.
Luckily, the bell rang and everyone made a mad rush toward the exit. Well, almost everyone. Harry, Ron, and Hermione ended up having to round the pixies up, thanks to Lockhart.
"Can you believe him!?" Ron grumped ducking a diving pixie. "Who leaves their stude—ow! Hey, stop that!"
While Ron fought with the pixie pulling at his hair, Hermione shook off another and turned to her brother for a plan, only to pause.
Those green eyes were glazed over.
"Enough," Harry said.
Hermione shivered at the tone, it reminded her of when her Papa's voice did the same thing sometimes. It didn't happen often, and she had the feeling it wasn't intentional, at least not with her and her brother.
The pixies all stopped what they were doing.
Ron and Hermione stared as they gathered around Harry, who wasn't at all bothered by them. The pixies started to touch him in wonder, chirping softly and curiously, nothing at all like their shrieks from moments before.
"What is with your brother?" Ron asked quietly.
Hermione shrugged. "At least the pixies have stopped causing trouble."
They don't put the pixies back into the cage. Instead, after returning to normal, Harry merely opened a window and all three watched as the pixies flew off in the direction of the Forbidden Forest.
"... Think we should tell your dad?"
"Which part? That we let pixies loose in the Forbidden Forest, or that Professor Lockhart let loose said pixies and then abandon us?"
"Whichever doesn't get us in trouble."
The children did tell Severus, who had a very long and private conversation with Lockhart after that. Oddly enough, the blond wizard, although properly reprimanded, and even apologized to them, did not look traumatized like one would expect when dealing with an unhappy Severus.
In fact, Lockhart looked quite happy.
Harry, Hermione, Draco, and Ron spent a lot of the few days diving into empty rooms and hiding behind statues and taller and bigger people—much to the confusion of said taller and bigger people and and statues—whenever they saw Lockhart coming down a corridor. Which was kind of hard for Harry who now had a shadow via Colin, who seem to have taken a liking to him.
Something Severus noticed and gleefully sent a letter to Fenrir about it. A letter was sent back, stating where Severus could shove it….in detail.
Severus was in a good mood for the rest of the day.
Saturday came, and Harry was awakened early by a very excited Ron.
Today was the day for Quidditch tryouts.
Yawning, Harry listened with half an ear as Ron rambled on and on, making appropriate noises as need while he dressed. After putting on his clothes and feeling a little more awake, Harry managed to convince his friend to wait until the sun was up, and food was in their bellies before running off to the Quidditch pitch.
"I'm too excited, and nervous to eat!" Ron exclaimed as they made their way down to the common room.
"And I'm too sleepy to fly a broom," Harry countered. He was wondering if he should go wake Hermione up when he noticed Colin curled up in a chair in the corner.
"Hey Colin," Harry greeted, going over to him. He saw the boy's eyes were red and would have put it to the First Year still being sleepy if it wasn't for how wet they were or the stuffy sniff Colin did before answering.
"Hey, Harry. Hey, Ron." Colin rubbed hastily at his eyes.
"What are you doing up so early?" Ron asked. "First Years aren't allowed for the Quidditch tryouts."
"O-Oh, not that." Colin suddenly looked nervous. "Nothing, just couldn't sleep."
Harry and Ron glanced at each other, not buying it.
"Did something happen?" Harry then asked after a moment.
Colin shook his head.
"No, it's nothing. really. It's just—" he bit his bottom lip, and kept biting at it until it turned red. "I miss my family! I know it's silly, it been a week, but I miss my mum and dad and my brother and now I—I know I'm acting like a baby."
As Colin rambled, looking close to crying again, Harry and Ron glanced at each other again, neither knew what to do.
"Come on," Harry said after a while, tugging a little on Colin's arm.
"Where are we going?" Colin asked.
"To see my dad."
"Professor Snape!?" Colin squeaked. He shrank back in his chair.
The look on his face clearly said Professor Snape terrified him, and it still bewildered him how Hermione and Harry could be so nice and happy with having such a scary man as a parent.
"But, but, but—"
"Don't worry," Harry smiled, "it'll be okay. Right Ron?"
Ron nodded, giving the younger boy a small reassuring smile.
Colin reluctantly got up, and with his hand still in Harry's, followed the two boys out the room, through the halls, down numerous staircases into the dungeons, and finally to a door.
After a long moment, the door opened to reveal a sleepy looking Severus Snape in a green night shirt, who blinked blankly at them,
"Morning, Dad," Harry greeted, "this is my friend Colin."
Colin gave a nervous wave when Severus turned to look at him.
"He's feeling a little down."
Severus blinked again.
"….Right," He said after a moment. "Well, get in here, and I'll see what I can do after coffee."
It took a firm tug for Colin to follow, looking very uncomfortable after he was gently pushed onto the sofa by Harry who left him and Ron as he headed to the small kitchenette. Ron just sat down next to Colin talked to him quietly. The early morning seeming to set his tone.
When Harry returned, it was with two mugs in hand. His father behind him also had two mugs and one most definitely filled with strong coffee.
"Alright," Severus said after he had sat down and taken a few sips. "What's wrong?"
By the end of the hour, Colin felt better and could even eat breakfast with Harry and Ron before going to watch their tryouts. Not only that, Colin's opinion of the Potions Professor changed so much that he could be seen following Snape around and chattering happily to him, much to some students' confusion, and the other Professors' amusement.
This time, the Snape children, Ron, and Draco sent letters about Severus's new friend. It was a long time before Lucius and Narcissa stopped giggling while Molly and Arthur wondered if this was going to become the norm for now on.
And Voldemort sent Severus a letter stating that if his lover insisted on adopting other people's children they were going to need a bigger house.