This fanfiction is inspired by JAWorley's 'The Great Exchange', but I am writing my own version of the house exchange and will write my own depiction of how each of the houses are run. This story will deal with abuse and will jump between Harry and Snape's point of view.
Harry stared up at the moon, taking a break from writing his transfiguration essay. Once again his nightmares had woken him up in the middle of the night, and he decided that he might as well finish his summer homework now, and rest on the train later. It had been a long summer, and his aunt and uncle were still angry about the dementor attack, and Dudley's changed behaviour that happened last summer. His list of chores had doubled in length, and twice a week his uncle found an excuse to 'discipline' him with his belt. His leaving 'gift' had not helped him sleep that night, but he was able to work through the pain to complete his essay. Thankfully his cousin's change in behaviour had been permanent, Dudley decided to stay out of his way and had not sabotage any of his completed chores.
The summer had taken a toll on his body, the Dursley's had hardly fed him, but he no longer felt hungry as his mind was always on Sirius. The loss of his godfather had weighed down on him, feeling guilty that he led his friends into danger, not believing that Sirius was alive and well in Grimmauld Place. He was responsible for his godfather's death, his nightmares reminded him of this every night. He was thankful that tonight he did not wake his 'loving' family with his screams, he could not imagine surviving another beating in one night. He would have to be careful when he returned to Hogwarts, showering before the rest of his dorm mates to avoid revealing his secret. Looking at his watch, he decided to review the rest of his essays before he had to make breakfast.
Sure enough at 7:00 AM on the dot, his aunt rapped on the door so that he could start fixing breakfast. His uncle always enjoyed a Full English Breakfast, even on a weekday. The amount of grease that went into the fry up always made him feel nauseous, but he was grateful for the small amount of baked beans and mushrooms that he was allowed to eat.
"Can't let you faint in front of your friends", his uncle said grease dripping from his mouth. "I hope you appreciate me taking you to the train station on the way to work, I can't afford to be late just to deal with a waste of space like you"
This year he was expected to make his own way to King's Cross, taking a train to Waterloo, and then the underground to King's Cross station. The only time his family acknowledged his birthday this year, was when Vernon and Petunia considered sixteen to be old enough to ride the train alone into London. He was looking forwards to not having to listen to an hour of insults, but he was concerned that he might get unwanted attention on the way into the city. Before leaving Little Whinging he decided to send Hedwig on her way, so that he did not have to carry her on the muggle transport network.
Harry let a sigh of relief when his uncle left him at Guildford station, leaving him with £40 to get him to King's Cross, and a menacing warning to keep the events of the summer holiday a secret. Surprised by the small act of generosity, Harry bought himself the train and underground tickets, buying a sandwich with the remaining change. As soon as he sat down on the train he drifted off, as the lack of sleep caught up with him. A train conductor woke him up at Waterloo station, helping him remove his luggage from the train. After thanking the conductor, Harry made his way to King's Cross.
He had less than an hour to wait around when he crossed the barrier onto platform 9 and ¾, only a few families had arrived, accompanying first year students before they headed off for their first year at a boarding school. Thankfully the train was already in the platform, and he could pick a compartment as he waited for Hermione and the Weasleys. Dumbledore had decided that he needed space after the traumatic events back in June, not allowing Harry to voice his opinion. Dumbledore always knows best, clearly being starved and beaten was an ideal way to spend his summer. Looking at his reflection in the window, Harry could see how pronounced his cheek bones were, but his injuries were well hidden, any adult would say his appearance is due to him mourning the loss of Sirius.
Harry left his compartment when he spotted Hermione with her parents, Hermione wanted to enjoy the summer with her family as she had hardly spent any time with her parents during the last couple of years. As soon as Hermione spotted him, she had run up to hug him, not noticing him wincing. After greeting Hermione's parents, Harry offered to carry Hermione's trunk onto the train as she said her goodbyes, almost regretting the decision immediately as he struggled carrying the heavy trunk. The two of them waited for the Weasleys as the crowd on the platform thinned out, as students boarded the train. At 10:55 Harry saw a small group with red hair rushing onto the platform, after saying a hurried goodbye to Molly, Harry, Hermione, Ron and Ginny joined the students on the train.
"How was your summer" Ron asked as the train started to leave the station.
"Same old, I stayed out of my family's way and focussed on my studies", Harry replied, at least that was somewhat true. "Were you happy with your O.W.L. results? I managed to pass everything except Divination and History of Magic, but I was never going to take a N.E.W.T. in those subjects."
"Same here, I'm glad to be done with those subjects, and we don't need to study potions and endure Snape anymore" Ron remarked.
"Speak for yourself, I am continuing with Potions, along with Defence, Herbology, Transfiguration, Charms, Ancient Runes and Arithmancy. Though I can imagine it will be easier not having Professor Snape as one of your teachers" Hermione commented. "I'm happy with my O.W.L.S., I passed all of them".
"Well done Hermione! I expected nothing less from you", Harry said as Hermione blushed whilst beaming.
"I expect we won't be able to be aurors, if we can't continue with potions with an Exceeds Expectations. I'm surprised I got such a high grade, mum was happy with my results, after all I did better than Fred and George. I suppose we should patrol the corridors", Ron replied.
As Ron and Hermione were leaving the compartment, Harry interrupted "By the way, I'm the new quidditch captain".
"Well done Harry, we do need to go but I'm happy for you", Hermione exclaimed.
"I guess I should practice before try outs, I want to earn my spot on the team!" Winked Ginny.
As the train passed through the British countryside, Harry and Ginny continued their conversation, and were soon joined by Neville and Luna. As time passed Harry fell asleep once again as the others continued their conversation around him. Soon he'll be at Hogwarts, where a grand feast and a comfortable four poster bed awaited him.