A/N: asdfghjksksks okay so I know I've been on hiatus for pretty much a year now, but something came up in my personal life that needed a lot of early preparation on my end. Thankfully that's all over now and I can actually finish writing this fanfic. I'm cross-posting this story on AO3 under the same name and it will have (tentatively) 10 parts in total. This is a rewrite of how far we've currently gotten in the story.

BTW, this work is inspired by White Angel of Auralon's Overheard Conversations. If you haven't read that, go show it some love :)

"Or perhaps in Slytherin, you'll make your real friends, those cunning folks use any means to achieve their ends!" — The Sorting Hat, 1991.

Orange and purple blended into gradient skies outside the stained glass windows of Hogwarts, a soft glow of pride shining quietly in its hallowed halls. Harry Potter was on his way back to the Gryffindor tower, legs shaking at his every step with a promise to give out any minute.

As he took another turn toward a flight of steps, inwardly cursing the high placement of the Gryffindor tower, he heard two people talking in low voices. Strange; Harry was sure curfew passed not too long ago. Following it, he made his way to the fifth floor corridor, careful to not let his steps make a sound.

Sure enough, Professors McGonagall and Flitwick had been walking together at a slow pace, no doubt enjoying the luxury of having no curfew, and were now chatting amiably in the middle of the corridor. Harry trailed after them, managing to hide inside one of the alcoves closest to the two Professors, and went completely unnoticed.

"...imagine my surprise!" Professor Flitwick said, then added teasingly, "Looks like your lions have missed another opportunity, Minerva."

"So it seems," Professor McGonagall sighed, disappointment heavy in her tone but voice still light, "not that your eagles have been doing much better. Tell me, what was your Ms. Patil's reaction when she heard her sister overtook her rank?"

The part-goblin laughed. "Quite the sight! We absolutely must borrow that pensieve from the headmaster. I have so many more enchanting memories to share with you. Ah, and with Severus and Pomona, of course."

"We must," she agreed, "did you know that the Weasley twins have ranked very highly this year? They're only one rank behind Mr. Pucey."

"Truly?" Professor Flitwick asked, looking curious, "well, greater miracles have happened before. I do hope this is a start for them to curb their extracurricular ideas for the next two years and focus more on their OWLs."

Minerva snorted inelegantly.

"Though, perhaps, that may be too much to ask," he amended, smiling.

"A woman can dream, Filius. At least the new first years are much more bearable. Though, I admit I was surprised with Mr. Potter and Ms. Granger this term. Perhaps we had judged them too quickly?"

"I have no doubt that Ms. Granger will be fully adjusted by the end of the year, at most. But," Professor Flitwick hummed. "I am unsure what to make of Mr Potter's lack of interest in his studies. I wonder if I was wrong to push my expectations of his parents onto him. Lily and James were quite the curious pair. Though I suppose not every child must feel that way."

"It seems he might not wish to do well in his classes," McGonagall agreed, "Or perhaps he is just uninterested in Hogwarts' courses."

"Could it be that he is far too taken to Mr Weasley?" Flitwick mused, "Friendship is, after all, a very powerful thing."

"I get the impression as well. Perhaps Mr Potter believes his new friend might not wish to talk to him if he shifts his focus onto his schoolwork," McGonagall said. "And you know how the others are: focusing on the most spectacular quality and forgetting the rest. The boy is nothing short of a celebrity. If he wishes to be known for anything more than the Boy-Who-Lived, he will have to give them something to talk about."

"Quite right," Flitwick agreed, "it does not seem Mr Potter himself is comfortable with the attention, in spite of whatever Severus thinks. I was worried that he would not be able to make many friends. It is good to see he gets along so well with Mr Weasley and Ms Granger."

"The three make quite the adorable trio," McGonagall laughed. "I do hope Ms Granger sets the two of them straight. That girl is quite eager to prove herself, bless her. I was surprised that she was not put in with Severus' snakes or even your eagles, Filius."

"In some ways, she reminds me of Lily." Professor Flitwick admitted and Harry could tell he was smiling just by hearing his voice. "Lovely girl. It's a shame that she passed away so young. So smart, so ready to prove herself. The life of a muggleborn is not an easy one and she fought tooth and nail to build herself a name in our world. Ah, sobering as that name might be..."

"Now is not the time to think of the ghosts of the past, Filius. We all have faced the disasters of war and fought with our own tooth and nails to do it," she said firmly. "Do come and join me in my office. One of the seventh years has written quite the convincing argument on the role of charms in human to animal transfiguration."

He groaned good naturedly. "Minerva, you can't actually be taking that seriously…"

They both started walking again and Harry lingered back until they left the hallway, when he bolted to the common room.

Panting, he made his way inside.