Title: Finding Severus
Authoress: Ladya C. Maxine
Warnings: language, violence, mild slash
Summary: Severus Snape is the class loser at Hogwarts. Shunned or taunted, especially by James Potter and his friends, he keeps to himself and his schoolwork. But will that all change when exchange student Lucius Malfoy comes to Hogwarts?
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of its characters. All unrecognizable characters belong solely to me and are not to be touched. I am not making any money off of this and write only to amuse.
by Ladya C. Maxine
He reread the last sentence before putting down his quill, finally satisfied with his work. Neatly rolling up the scroll and tying it with a black string, he placed it on the corner of his desk and folded his arms in waiting. Outside in the corridor he could hear the enthusiastic chatter of the other students as they came out of the Great Hall, separating into smaller groups and heading for their respective classes.
Looking around the still empty class, Severus strummed his fingers on his arm as he patiently waited for the bell to ring and for class to start. He had been in here for the past half hour, checking and re-checking his assignment, changing last minute things and making sure the fact were 110 correct.
Professor Syntrad was a stickler for discipline and perfection. The Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher was his utmost favourite professor. Kind and humorous were probably not the best words to describe the ghostly pale man, but he was one of the greatest Hogwarts had ever seen in a very long time.
And he favoured Severus. He always told him that he saw his own spirit in him and would always have errands for Severus to carry out which he did enthusiastically. Of course, that had earned him the everlasting taunts of Teacher's pet and Brown-nose, but he was used to the name calling so a couple extra didn't really matter. This way he felt that people at least knew he existed.
He was the average height of a sixth-grader though also very thin and pale. His shoulder length hair always hung limp and lifeless around his face, many times falling before his eyes. Dark eyes, almost black, that peered out of a pale face above a somewhat long and crooked nose and thin lips. Needless to say, he was not the most popular student at Hogwarts, unless popularity meant being teased endlessly. Because he isolated himself so much even his fellow Slytherins usually walked past him without so much as a 'hello'.
And it was all the fault of three students; three teens that had targeted him since he stepped onto the Hogwarts Express to begin his first year at Hogwarts. How or why they choose to pester him he didn't know but his first year had been filled with nothing but humiliation and he had been branded the school's number one loser. Four similar years had followed the same way and now, at the beginning of his sixth year, he doubted anything would change.
The door of the classroom opened and he scowled to see who it was.
'Couldn't they at least give me till noon?'
Three grinning faces watched him maliciously as they entered. Dropping their satchels carelessly on their desks, they walked over and sat down around him, hovering about like three vultures waiting for their meal to take its last breath. The fourth member of the group remained behind, merely taking his seat, absorbed in a heavy volume.
"Well, well, well, Snivellus Snape. Fancy seeing you here so early in the morn," James Potter smirked as he played with the ever-present snitch, showing off his Seeker reflexes as he effortlessly grabbed the buzzing gold ball out of the air only to release it only to snatch it again. The little rat Wormtail watched him with hero-worship.
"What have you been up to?" Sirius Black asked though his eyes were fixed on the scroll sitting on the desk. Before Severus could react, he reached out and snatched it, putting some serious crinkles and dents in the once flawless parchment.
Making a sound of objection, Severus started to rise from his seat but James simply shoved him back down by the shoulder, smirking as he watched Sirius unroll the parchment and cleared his throat.
"25 Incantations To Kill..." An evil smile crept across the handsome face and he repeated himself, this time louder, "25 incantations To Kill A Werewolf. Hey Lupin, interesting huh?"
Remus Lupin gifted his friend with an exasperated look but otherwise remained unmoved, intently reading the book on the desk before him.
Sirius went on anyways.
"Werewolf blood has been used for many centuries in potions and spells, whether to simply cure a common cough or to rid a haunted house of poltergeists and vermin's." Wormtail wriggled indignantly at this. "Yet werewolves themselves are one of our world's greatest banes. Ruthless and sneaky, they kill and spread like infectious plagues..."
He made a face to emphasise 'infectious', much to James' and Wormtail's delight.
As he read on Severus saw Lupin stiffen at each word though the docile teen didn't do or say anything. In all the long and gruelling years he knew them, Severus had never seen Lupin lose his temper. In fact, the teen was rather well-behaved, never participating in any of his friends' infamous pranks though he was always ready to talk them out of trouble as best he could with his calm voice and quick mind.
Wormtail was actually somewhat of a groupie; hanging around them, acting tough though he scampered behind James or Sirius the moment trouble arose. If anything, the only real trouble-makers of the group were James and Sirius. Two best friends, very popular in school, admirably good students. They had it going for them, and knew it. James was a show-off because he was Gryffindor's Quidditch team's Seeker. Sirius was a show-off because he was simply handsome and flirty. And if there was one person they loved to flaunt their good fortunes at it was Severus, who everyone knew would never reach their level on the social ladder.
'I'll never even make it to the first wrung,' he though miserably, coming out of his self-pitying as Sirius finished a paragraph with a flourished gesture.
James was snickering as Sirius read with flamboyance. Wormtail laughed nervously, stopping when James did and starting when James did. It was quite sickening to watch the little rat grovel so openly at Potter's feet.
A shimmer of luck shone on him, finally, as professor Syntrad entered. He was a tall man with balding black hair. A long tuff of hair sprouted from his chin that he plaited everyday. Dressed in dark red and black he looked somewhat feral and all first- and second-graders feared him. Severus was sure that the higher graders did too but no one would ever admit it.
Setting his black satchel on his desk, he first nodded his greeting to Lupin and then turned his brownish-red eyes onto the four teens, eyes narrowing at the Gryffindors.
"What did I say to you the first day of school, Mister Black?"
"No foolish behaviour once we've stepped over the threshold, sir," Sirius said with a hint of a growl but he kept him temper in check. He was the class troublemaker, of course, along with James, but he knew that Syntrad took bull from no one and the punishment for anyone who attempted to change that was agonizing.
No writing lines or cleaning floors for misbehaving students for Syntrad, oh no. His method was sneaky and very effective.
The day he had placed an anti-sleeping charm on Sirius when he had nodded off in class Sirius had laughed at it. A week later he was no longer laughing. His eyes had been bloodshot and his muscles had ached as if on fire with each move he made, begging for him to rest but he couldn't. Sleep refused to come to him and simply lying down did nothing to ease it.
Still, he was grateful that it had not been an Anorexia charm like the one their DADA teacher had placed on a podgy Ravenclaw who he had caught eating in his class. Every time afterwards if the student placed so much as a breadcrumb in his mouth he would vomit it back up at once. It had been a very unpleasant experience for the student and all those around him. Luckily, Headmaster Dumbledore had lifted it after a few days.
"Take your seats, now," Syntrad hissed and the three Gryffindors obeyed immediately. Sirius scowled at Severus as he half dropped, half threw the scroll at the greasy-haired boy. James had found the whole thing amusing, chuckling as he sauntered back to his desk, Wormtail following closely.
The bell rang and the rest of the students entered; the red and gold of the Gryffindors contrasting with the green and silver of the Slytherins. Their animated conversation broke off with the loud crack of Syntrad's ruler making contact with his desk.
"Sit down and shut up." There was a rustle as everyone hurried to comply. "Have your assignments ready. When I call your name you will bring it to my desk."
As he called up the students one by one Severus tried to get the wrinkles from his scroll in a hurried attempt to make it presentable again. Glancing up to glare at them occasionally he secretly envied their friendship to each other.
Well, Wormtail was more of a hanger-on, but James, Sirius and Remus were as close as brothers. Right now the two former whispered to each other softly, turning to watch him for some seconds before turning back to whisper more eagerly.
Yup, they were planning his downfall. The reason completely absurd, but they didn't care. Any excuse was a good enough excuse to pick on him.
"Snape Severus," Syntrad's voice called up.
Grumbling softly, he was forced to settle with what remained of his once perfect assignment and he tied the ribbon back on it as he stood. Striding quickly to the professor's desk, he released a soft breath of relief when no one stuck their foot out to trip him or stuck something on his back.
His relief was short-lived when his foot suddenly jerked and he tumbled forward in an ungraceful heap, landing with a loud "Oof!"
While the entire class, including the Slytherins, cracked up with laugher he looked up to see Sirius holding his wand beneath his desk, a smirking look of satisfaction on his pale face. Potter had his head back, roaring with laugher while the little rat squealed. The only person, next to Syntrad, who wasn't laughing was Lupin who gave Severus a pitying look. He softly said something somewhat of chastising to Sirius who merely shrugged it off, still grinning triumphantly as he high-fived James.
"That was uncalled for, Mister Black," a calm voice said from the door and everyone, including the three pestering Gryffindors, fell silent to see Headmaster Albus Dumbledore standing there, a faint frown on his bearded face. "I expect more from my elder students."
Smiling sheepishly, Sirius placed his wand back in his bag. Dumbledore turned to Severus who had loosened his knotted shoelaces, which Sirius had tied into a large rat's nest with some spell. The old wizard's soft eyes asked him if he was okay and he nodded softly, feeling even more humiliated to have the head of the school witness his fall from non-existing grace.
"Good day, Headmaster Dumbledore. Is there anything I can do for you?" Syntrad stood from his desk, giving Sirius a glare that said "A word with you after class" and came to stand next to Severus, who stepped away to allow both professors to speak privately though Dumbledore had other ideas.
"As a matter of fact, there is something that all of you present, especially those of the Slytherin house, can do."
He turned to address the students who listened respectfully.
Rubbing his sore elbows, Severus scowled at James and Sirius who lounged uncaringly in their chairs with their feet on the desk. At least Remus was paying attention. Wormtail was listening half-eared, watching Potter to make sure he didn't miss any 'wonderful' things the bespectacled teen would do.
Dumbledore didn't seem to mind as he went on.
"We have a new student who has just transferred here. He has already been sorted in my office and the Sorting Hat has placed him in Slytherin. "
A small cheer came from those of that house.
"I ask of you all to welcome him and make him feel at home here at Hogwarts."
He fell silent and they all nodded their agreements, some leaning over their desk to try and the see the newcomer.
"Glad to know that. Class, I want you to meet Lucius Malfoy."
He turned towards the door and all heads turned with him.
All whispers fell silent as Lucius stepped into the class. Several people exhaled loudly and Severus swore he heard a low whistle from Sirius. Severus himself could do no more than gape.
Standing tall and proud, dressed in the black, green and silver robes of the House of Slytherin, was a teen of such regal bearing that he could have been royalty. Stance perfect and shoulders proud, Lucius looked around the class with calm, green-blue eyes so vibrant that they were almost blinding. His face was a masterpiece carved in marbled ivory with not a single trace of imperfection. Shining, white-blond hair was held back in a loose ponytail by a black ribbon, leaving the silky locks to flow down his back.
Syntrad broke the silence and held out his hand.
"Welcome to Hogwarts, mister Malfoy. I am professor Sedan Syntrad, your Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher."
"A pleasure to meet you, sir," Lucius answered in a soft but assured voice as he shook the offered hand. "I have always held a fascination with this subject and I am sure that I will be most looking forward to your lessons."
Severus shifted slightly from where he stood behind Syntrad and the aqua eyes locked on him almost immediately. Something in them was haunting yet mystifying at the same time and Severus found himself freezing, unable to even think.
"I leave him in your hands then, Sedan," Dumbledore said, "Good day to you all and we shall meet again at dinner tonight in the Great Hall."
With a nod he turned and headed out the door, his long robes gliding behind him.
"If you will please take a seat, mister Malfoy," Syntrad motioned to the empty desk in the first row…the one right next to Severus'!
"Thank you, sir."
Breaking off the stare, he walked around them both and took his seat. The other students had yet to blink and some in his vicinity blushed when he made eye-contact with them. Whether used to being goggled at or simply not noticing it, Lucius calmly took out his books and sat back in his seat, waiting for the class to begin.
"Until I have collected your papers you will all turn to Vexing Hexes volume two, chapter three, paragraph twelve. I want notes at least one foot long and they are to be turned in at the end of the lessons. And I mean all of you," Syntrad growled pointedly and Severus glanced over to see his tormentors studying Lucius from across the room.
Sirius was practically drooling and even Potter was more than mildly impressed though something resembling jealousy flickered behind the glasses. Lupin had actually torn his eyes off the page of his book to give the newcomer one look over before returning to his notes; a rare experience since usually nothing could take Lupin's mind off his literature. Reluctantly, the others turned their gaze away they began reading the thick book that was almost the size of the entire desk.
"Your assignment, mister Snape," Syntrad's voice startled him as the teacher now stood directly before of him.
He handed in the crumpled paper. Syntrad raised a brow at the unusual shabby state of the teen's work but remained silent, having witness how it was the paper had gotten into this condition.
"Thank you, mister Snape."
The professor then called another name but Severus didn't hear who as he slowly made his way to his desk, trying his best not to look like a brain-dead house-elf as he took his seat. Fumbling with his satchel, he managed to retrieve the heavy book and quickly turned to the page they were on.
For many minutes the class was silent with the exception of Syntrad's voice as he collected the homework. A pile of scrolls were already on the corner of his desk and he had yet over half the class to go. Occasionally someone would cough or sniff and once or twice there was a whisper here and there, Severus had a hint of what the subject was, but they fell silent when Syntrad snapped at them to shut up.
For his part Lucius didn't seem at all surprised by his new teacher's attitude. Newcomers usually took several days to adjust to each professor's moods but the blond sat calmly reading the page, green eyes moving slightly from left to right as he went along each sentence. He was now sitting somewhat leaning forward, resting on one arm while the other hand supported his head, a single finger extended against the side of his temple as he turned the page.
Wind from an open window blew through the room, rustling some papers and causing one of the scrolls to fall off of Syntrad's desk. A strong breeze tugged at a loose lock of hair that Lucius had behind his ear and it fell down into his face. Absently, he brushed it back and Severus heard several sighs from the female population around the room. Again, Lucius paid no attention to them.
Mentally slapping himself, Severus forced his eyes off the blond and onto his page. With much summoned discipline, he finally started to read. Again there was a long period of silence and he had just started to get absorbed in the paragraph when a light tap on his arm caused him to jump in his seat.
He turned to see that it had been Lucius. The mixed blue-green eyes looked somewhat confused at his behaviour but that soon faded.
"Forgive me for bothering you, but may I look at your notes from the previous classes?"
He could feel all eyes on him and he could feel their burn also. The left of his head felt as if it was on fire which was being thrown at him from Sirius' direction. He himself was stunned as to why Lucius would ask him. Behind the blond sat a girl who was already grabbing frantically at her bag and was withdrawing all of her own ruffled notes.
'Answer him! Surely you don't want him to think you a loser on his first day here, do you?' his inner voiced reasoned and he complied.
"It is no problem," he said quietly and handed over his leather binder which held all his notes in order, starting from the most recent and dating back.
"Thank you," Lucius accepted the binder...and smiled! It was a small smile but the most beautiful smile he had ever seen in his life. He heard at least three girls squeal and someone dropped their book.
Watching nervously as the blond opened the binder he felt like he was letting one of the magic world's greatest wizards evaluate a paper of his. He worried his hands together, waiting to see what Lucius would think of his work.
The blond said nothing but as he read Severus could see him nodding faintly at certain things and copying them. As he sorted through the papers he pulled out a single sheet and a brow rose, impressed at the O, for Outstanding, on the top of the OWL Severus had taken last year for Potions.
"Not bad," he said softly, more to himself than to Severus, but it was a compliment nonetheless.
Feeling unusually proud, Severus sat up straighter as he continued to read, casting side-way glances at Lucius to see what else he would react on. Something made him tickled his senses and he turned slightly to see Sirius attempting to hide glances at the blond.
One didn't need to be a genius to see that Sirius fancied their new exchange student. With his ruggedly good looks, Black had merely to wink at a girl and he'd have ten of them hanging on to him within a second. The fact that he also went out with other men was not an issue for them. He was basically Hogwarts' biggest flirt, rivalled maybe only by Gilderoy Lockhart of Hufflepuff.
The dark eyes narrowed somewhat when Lucius got Severus' attention once more.
"Thank you." He held out the binder to him and Snape nodded, trying to look calm and collected though his heart was hammering in his chest.
"Just helping a fellow Slytherin," he said and was gifted with another small smile at that.
Reaching out to take the binder, his eyes locked on with the intoxicating aqua orbs. Which probably explained why he didn't see Sirius whip out his wand or hear him mutter a spell.
Suddenly, the bolts and screws of his chair sprang loose at where they had been keeping it together and he tumbled with a clatter to the floor as his desk and chair collapsed from beneath him.
Aw! Poor Severus! And just when he was starting to build confidence!
I was inspired to write this after having read the chapter 'Snape's Worst Memory' because I so hated James and his friends for the way they treated him. Sure, they grew out of it, but imagine how long they had made fun of him and humiliated him! (Note these are my favourite Harry Potter characters are: Lucius, Snape, and Draco. So most of my fics will be centred around these three or at least have them in it.)
Do note that though this fic will contain some one-sided slash (possible Sirius/Lucius but at a rather mild level) it will not be a slash Severus/Lucius fic. Though his thoughts might be a bit slashy-looking it is all pure admiration. And how can it not be? I mean, just compare the two of them!
Read & Review, please.