Prophecy of the Serpent
Rating: ~Pg-13 for now
A Severitus Challenge fiction
Disclaimer: *Shakes out wallet, a few moths fly out.* Nope, I ain't the owner of anything! *Points to some rich looking people.* Them folks over there own it all.
A/N: Well, here is chapter 9. Man I'm tired. Hiya my APO peeps, if yer reading this! *grins* I wish my computer would just die, so I could actually get a new one. That would be nice.
Beta: The most awesome AndromedaAntigone
*Mice taste good!* is parseltongue (I'm leaving out the extra s's so I don't go nuts trying to spell check, lol)
~I wonder if I'm wearing clean underwear?~ is private thought
You are insane, you know. is that annoying inner voice
~Do my feathers look all right?~ is mind-speech
Hmmm… lots of voices to remember!
It was nearly midnight by the time Harry returned to the Gryffindor commons. Cracking a huge yawn he almost missed the couple sitting on one of the couches waiting for him to get back. Hermione stood up a concerned frown on her pretty face catching his attention,.
"Harry? Why are you back so late? Detention shouldn't have taken this long…"
Ron too got up and moved to Harry's side giving him a commisarate pat on the back. "C'mon, Mione. It's Snape, ya know? He probably had Harry cleaning out his classroom with a toothbrush. Would explain why he's about to drop on his feet, eh, mate?" Ron grinned tousling Harry's long hair.
Ducking away from the offending hand Harry swiped playfully at his friend smiling at his antics. Another yawn overcame his smile though and both Hermione and Ron decided it was high time for bed. Hermione bade both boys good night and Ron was dragging Harry up the stairs to the boy's dorm when Harry stopped them both.
"Wait." Deciding to tell his friend the rather stunning news about his parentage pretty soon he rather cynically thought that that would definitely show him who his real friends were. They wouldn't care that his real father is actually Professor Snape if they truly liked him for himself. "I need to tell you guys something but not tonight. To tired now. Meet me in our corner of the library tomorrow after dinner, ok? It's really important. And tell Ginny to come too."
Both his friends nodded slightly perplexed. Hermione let her gaze follow the dark haired young man a few moments as he disappeared with her boyfriend in the boys dorm. She could feel something had been bothering Harry since he had arrived at the Burrow over the summer. There was something different about him that was worrying her. Perhaps it was just the time of night. Maybe it would look better in the morning. She shook her head and went to bed. As her head touched her pillows she fell asleep and all thought about this night's events vanished.
Thursday dawned as bright and airy as Monday had been dark and gloomy. Since the weekend was upon them, the students were in much a better mood. Breakfast was a cacophony of cheerful calls to friends and light-hearted bantering. For the first time in a long while since the beginning of summer Harry awoke with a lighter heart. It helped him to know that his suspicions of Dumbledore were neither unfounded nor had they been paranoid. Having a living father, a devoted Godfather, as well as Remus on his side to support him in his mistrust made it easier to bear the betrayal he felt towards the Headmaster. He glanced across the table to his two friends as they bickered as usual. Though he had known them since their first year he wasn't quite sure how they would react when he told them his secret tonight. At least he didn't know beyond their initial reactions. Ron whith his short temper would probably blow up denouncing Harry as some sort of Death-Eater in training before he hopefully applied his brain and cooled down again.
On the other hand, he was pretty sure Ginny would take it in stride; she tended to think things through like Hermione. He doubted any of them would believe about Dumbledore though. Well, he'd see. Silestra was a comforting weight around his bicep and he had to resist the urge to reach up and stroke her. Nobody knew about her yet and he wanted to keep it that way as long as possible.
Ron who had been trying to gain his attention for a few minutes now interrupted his musings.
"Harry? Earth to Harry?"
Annoyed he slapped at the annoying hand waving in front of his face and scowled at Ron. Blinking, Ron recoiled instantly.
"Harry mate if you love me please don't do that…you look like Snape when you do it!" He pretended to faint from fright those who sat nearby giggled at his antics. Hermione rolled her eyes and stood.
"Really Ron. There is no need to be so dramatic. We've got to get to class for Merlin's sake!"
Harry glared at Ron before smoothing his features while Ron made cracks about Snape. This lasted until they were nearly at the transfiguration classroom. By then even the uptight Hermione was giggling at some of the jokes Ron was making, like how Snapes hair could grease all the doors in Hogwarts and still have enough left over to service the Ministry building. Harry was sick of it by then and just as they reached the double doors to the classroom he exploded.
Shocked silence followed his yell. Ron snapped his mouth shut teeth hitting with an audible click while Hermione blinked, stopping in mid-giggle.
He pulled them both over to a nearby side hallway venting his frustration and annoyance on both of them. "I don't care what you may think of Professor Snape! That's still no excuse to treat him the way you do. He is a Professor here and on our side or have you forgotten that already? How can you justify treating him like that? You Ron know how it feels when Malfoy ridicules you for being poor or you Hermione when he calls you a mudblood! Those are things you can't help about yourselves probably like Snape can't help about his hair! I'd be bitter too, if I had to do half the things he had to do for Dumbledore!" Though he kept his voice low throughout the entire tirade it was delivered in a fierce, angry whisper. It was eerily reminiscent of a certain Professor they all knew.
Obviously the entire speech made little impact on Ron once he got over the first shock. "Its just Snape, Harry. Remember, the greasy git who has made your time here miserable? Really mate what's wrong with you? Did he brainwash you or something in detention? Nobody would care if the old bastard went and disappeared from here. Except maybe those Slytherins." He pushed past Harry, pulling 'Mione along with him as he went to class. She had only time to cast a slightly apologetic glance behind her before she was pulled inside.
Left alone outside the hallway Harry was fuming. His nostrils flaring as he attempted to control his anger before going inside. Finally feeling ready to go in without blowing anything up, he swept (I honestly can't figure out what you ment with "staled") forward, robes billowing out around his tall frame as he did so. He made it just in time for the beginning of class. McGonagall only raised an eyebrow slightly as he entered without his friends choosing to sit on the opposite side of class from them. Used to the workings of teenagers though she let it slide as she proceeded to demonstrate the finer points of animal transfiguration.
"Okay…tell me I didn't just hear and see what I did, Blaise?" Draco pleaded with his friend, staring at the side hallway Potter had only just occupied.
"Nope, afraid I can't Drake."
"Ah. Since when does Potter stand up for Professor Snape?"
"Maybe since he started to look like him?"
"Hm. Perhaps. You know what this means, don't you?"
"Yup. Time to keep tabs on 'our celebrity.'"
Draco offered his arm in a courtly gesture to Blaise. "Well then, now that this is settled shall we go to class then, Mylady?"
She took his offered arm with a slight smile on her face. "Of course, kind Sir. Do lead the way."
The two bantering Slytherins made their way to their own classroom confident that Binns wouldn't notice them entering late. Both had an interesting tidbit of information to chew on to occupy them while in class. Why would Potter defend Snape, and why was he suddenly changing?
Unhindered by the chatter of his friends, Harry was able to concentrate on his lesson. On his first try he managed a perfect transfiguration of a canary into a parrot even before Hermione gaining Gryffindor 10 points. Most of the rest of the Gryffindors were a bit confused as to why the Golden Trio weren't sitting together but none of the trio felt like informing them. The rest of class was spent with McGonagall helping those who had yet to transform their canaries.
At long last class was over and they all prepared themselves for a quick nap in History of Magic. Hearing about yet another Goblin revolt was not how they'd choose to spend the time between Transfiguration and Charms. The Slytherins were just exiting the history classroom when the Gryffindors arrived, looking just as bleary eyed and dazed as one could get listening to Binns' lecture. Two stood out though. Unlike the others they remained alert and were the only ones to notice that Potter still stood away from his friends. As the rest of the Gryffindors swept past them they shared a look, silently communicating. This merited a closer look, if only for the dirt they might dig up.
History of Magic dragged on until finally it was time for Charms. Here too, Harry managed to master the new charm first. He'd gotten tired of always holding back and had decided that it was high time to apply himself to his studies. He chuckled to himself. At least Hermione would appreciate that. Now someone would actually go to the library with her! He glanced surly over to where the other two sat. At least she would if Ron wasn't being such a prat. He was beginning to have some serious doubts about telling him what he had found out. And poor Hermione was again sitting between two chairs.
Staring vaguely towards Professor Flitwick he tapped his quill against his chin. Would Hermione accept him still or would she just blindly follow the lead of Ron? He groaned softly and dropped his head onto his arms on his desk. It was no use worrying about it now- he'd find out when he told them both and Ginny. At least he didn't have to worry about her.
He had resigned himself to some more silent treatment by Ron during lunch and was mildly surprised when both Hermione and Ron approached where he sat. Or rather he noticed cynically Hermione approached. Ron was being dragged by the death grip she held on his hand. Ginny, who hadn't heard about their enstrangement yet watched amusemed as Hermione marched Ron up to the table where she whacked him on the head.
"Hey! What was that for?" He rubbed his head, glaring at his girlfriend.
Hermione just gave him 'The Look' and nodded towards Harry, then sat down across from him. Harry raised an eyebrow and smirked at the girl. She blushed slightly then smiled. "Hey Harry. I think Ron here has something he'd like to tell you."
Ron for his part did look a bit contrite though what Hermione was putting him through didn't really help his temper much. "Uh, yeah. Um, look Harry, I'm sorry 'bout what I said earlier. Didn't really mean it, mate." His cheeks flamed to the color of his hair and he thumped down to his seat next to Hermione instantly starting to load his plate with food as he did so.
Harry snorted and rolled his eyes but smiled nonetheless. "All right Ron, I forgive you."
Ginny giggled at the exchange earning a growl from her brother. She responded in the most mature manner possible; she stuck out her tongue. At this point the rest of the group dissolved into laughter while the rest of the 5th years sighed in relief that the trio was back together again.
The last class of the day was DADA. Having Professor Lupin back was like a breath of fresh air. They were all glad to have a competent teacher back in that class. They were starting to learn dueling techniques allthough this days lesson was spent somewhat less exciting on dry theory. Even so Professor Lupin managed to hold the whole class in rapt attention . At the end off class Professor Lupin held Harry back.
"May I have a word with you Harry?"
Harry nodded, motioning to his friends to go on with out him. "Sure. I'll catch up with you guys later, ok?" 'Mione and Ron nodded and left, leaving Harry alone with their Professor.
Remus walked to the door and locking it after making sure no one was close. He returned and motioned towards a chair taking one for himself. Harry took the hint and sat looking curiously at him.
Remus smiled slightly. "Call me Remus, Harry. Professor makes me feel so old!"
Harry rolled his eyes, and did as he was asked. "Ok then Remus, is anything wrong?"
"No. Actually I just wanted to know how you`re holding up with everything that's happened lately?"
"I'm fine really. Professor Snape and I had a long talk last night. Or rather, he showed me his memories that he had regained in his pensieve. It's still a bit much to take in though." From the corner of the room a dog whined almost as if in agreement. Both Harry and Remus laughed slightly at the big dogs voiced sentiments.
"Quite frankly Harry I think both Snuffles and I feel the same way, especially Snuffles." The dog whuffed, then buried his head in his paws. Harry snorted at his Godfathers antics. Remus smirked at the dog then continued on. "It's not everyday you find out the person you hate was actually a good guy and was your best friends good friend as well."
"Yeah, I know. Still it's weird. At least we don't have to worry about me changing anymore. Dumbledore saw to that."
Remus looked slightly alarmed. "What? What do you mean?"
"You know how I've been changing looks as the glamour wore off? Well, Dumbledore called me to his office supposedly to see how my summer was and whatnot. While sitting infront of him he layered another glamour over the old dying one. So now I will remain looking like I did back then. I figure it will only take another month until the old one has completely faded."
Remus nodded thoughtfully. "I see. Well, it doesn't hurt us any so that's all right I suppose. He didn't do anything else though, did he?"
Harry shook his head. "No, that was it." He decided he'd keep the fact that Fawkes had spoken to him to himself though. "If that's all? I probably should leave now before Ron and Hermione wonder what happened to me." He stood up along with Remus
Remus smiled, pulling the tall boy into a hug before unlocking and opening the door. "All right then, off with you. Do try not to get into too much mischief now, will you?"
"Me? Mischief? Perish the thought, dear Moony! Ta!" Harry ran off down the hall back to Gryffindor Tower the sounds of Remus' laughter and Snuffles barking following him.
Hey, it's me again. Yes, I am still alive! Just busy. But- some good news. I have found a beta! And a wonderful one at that. Kudos to AndromedaAntigone for her awesome work. Ok, I'll be in the process of revising the previous chapters now, when we both have the time. Prologue has already been improved. I want to leave thanks to all you wonderful people for leaving me such wonderful reviews! Mwah! We're running into uncharted territory here, as I've not really thought this out beyond this point. Sigh. The main reason for these updates taking so long. But, we're getting there. Before I bore you any longer with my rambling, I hope you enjoyed, and pleas R&R!