Disclaimer: This is the world of JKR and Eustace is owned by CS Lewis!
A/N: Well, this is the last chapter of this story, I really hope it doesn't disappoint anybody, although I am almost positive that it will. I may or may not do a sequel, I haven't really decided yet, but the potential for one is definitely left. Anyways, enjoy!
Harry Potter was a very sad little boy, yet unsurprisingly, nobody seemed to notice or care. In fact, Harry felt like just about everything in his life was going wrong. Ms. Watson had left as well as Mr. Snape. Harry now had a teacher who had apparently been warned about him. Right from the very beginning Mrs. Thompson had been rather cold to him and for the most part ignored Harry. Harry was a little hurt and confused but then became resigned to the fact that someone new in his life thought that he was abnormal.
Mr. Snape had gone and the new teacher of the fifth grade class that they were partnered with wasn't mean to him, but she didn't go out of her way to speak to him either.
Eustace was the only one left that Harry really could consider a friend. He actually told Harry that he had had a new adventure. This time, though, he went in search of a prince and the found him underground. Harry was amazed at the stories that Eustace told him and wished, not for the first time, that he would get pulled away to some strange new world where he would have amazing adventures.
Harry knew this wouldn't ever happened, no matter what Eustace said, there was no such thing as magic. Uncle Vernon may not be nice like Eustace, but he was older and being older must mean that he was smarter. Harry didn't really follow his Uncle's rule, though. In the darkness of the cupboard under the stairs, he would always be able to dream of a new and wonderful life far away.
Severus Snape, newly instated Potions Master and Head of Slytherin House at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, was sitting at his desk staring blankly at a colorful piece of paper with a heavy heart. He had finally opened what the Boy-Who-Lived had given him for Christmas. How strange that he had never thought to do so before.
Would it have changed his opinion of the boy earlier? Most likely not. But now that he had in front of him pages that Harry had given him, he sincerely regretted anything he might have said or done before to the boy.
He knew he hadn't given him a fair chance. He saw James Potter's son. Not Harry Potter, a sad and all too wise little boy who had never grown up knowing love. There was nothing he could do. Albus had told him how necessary it was that Harry live with his relatives. Admittedly and logically, he knew that it was for the best for Harry's physical health. But he also knew that Harry didn't have nearly as much love as a five-year-old deserved.
How could he have been so blind? And Harry loved him. Harry had thought that he had been a caring person in his life. He was worse than those so called relatives. He had the trust of a small child and he had thrown it aside all too easily. He wished that he could take it all back now. But in his life, if wishes were galleons, he would be a very wealthy wizard.
Now his chance to be a beacon of light in Harry's dark life was over, forever lost to him. What was he thinking? Harry had brought more light to his life than anyone else ever had before. He could have had Harry be a permanent part of his life and he lost it. Oh what a fool he was.
But there was no use dwelling on what could have been. Harry would be arriving at Hogwarts in just five short years. He would be ready to teach him. He couldn't expect to be a part of his life again, after all, Harry would be older then, and would not remember the cranky man who live a few doors down. He would guide, protect, and help Harry in any way that he could.
The boy would never be able to know, though. He would need someone to ground him. His head would be thrown into the clouds thinking about how people were practically worshipping him. That would not do at all.
Perhaps one day, once Harry was older and understood more, he would be able to explain everything to the boy. Maybe he would allow him to have another chance. Maybe he could once again have Harry be a part of his life. All was not lost. He would survive this stumble, if only to be able to have one more chance later on.
With his newfound determination, Severus Snape rose from his desk and imperiously stalked from his office, billowing his robes for the first time, in what would be a trademark way in the future.
As the door closed, a man with a long white beard and half-moon-shaped glasses stepped out from the shadows, smiling to himself as if in on some private joke. He glided over to his new Potions Professor's desk and studied the paper that seemed to create so many emotions in the usually stony man.
The very first caused Albus Dumbledore, wizard-of-the-century, and the only one ever feared by Voldemort himself, to gasp out loud. There was a sunny background with birds happily flying through the sky and the occasional bunny rabbit littering the ground. What was amazing was a tall form on the page dressed all in black and a sneer forever plastered onto his face. Next to the dark man was a small boy with a bright smile, bright green dots for eyes, and the trademark symbol that would haunt the boy in years to come on his forehead.
What was even more extraordinary was that the two were clasping hands. Then just below the two figures, was a childish scrawl:
To: Mr. Snape
From: Harry (Mr. Potter)
I Love You!
Albus for the first time in a long time was quite frankly, shocked. He was hoping that Severus would see young Harry in a new light, but never dreamed that something like this could happen. Once Harry began school, they would all be in for an interesting seven years, that was for sure.
That summer, July 31…
"Happy Birthday, Harry!" Eustace exclaimed to his young friend. He had brought Harry a present to open up at the park. It wasn't much, but he was sure that Harry would appreciate it. He and Harry saw each other at the park regularly and Eustace was pretty sure that he had scared off the bullies that were bugging Harry, that was part of the reason why he was apprehensive in telling Harry what he had to. "Well, Harry, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and see what it is!" Eustace to a very wide-eyed little boy.
Harry was currently staring at a brightly wrapped package. He had never actually opened a present before, at least not that he could remember. Harry could remember that Dudley got twenty-one presents on his birthday, yet the Dursley's had gotten him none. Harry knew better than to question this, though, if he did, he would be practically asking Uncle Vernon to once again go through the many reasons why Harry should be grateful and how he never lived up to their standards.
Harry put all of this behind him, though, at his new-found excitement in having a birthday present all to himself. Harry started out carefully pulling the tape off of the gift, but with Eustace's encouragement, Harry quickly tore off the rest of the paper, and stared at his gift.
Eustace had gotten him a book that was empty. On top of the book was a brand new pack of bright crayons. Harry smiled warmly at Eustace. He had remembered how much Harry liked to color.
"Thank you so much Eustace! I'll give my first picture to you next time I see you in the park," Harry gushed brightly. Eustace's bright smile faded.
"Harry, I have something I have to tell you. I'm really sorry, Harry, but I won't get to see you at the park anymore. You see, my parents are moving to France and they are sending me to a boarding school there. It is called Beauxbatons. I really am going to miss you, though, Harry." Eustace finished, looking like what he said had hurt him. If Eustace looked bad, though, Harry looked downright awful.
For Harry, his last friend was leaving him. Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon were right. Nobody wanted to be near a freak like him. He didn't deserve to have friends, after all, he was just a freeloader. Dudley was right when he told all the other kids to stay away from him. They shouldn't be around someone like him.
Harry spun around and ran as fast as he could to Privet Drive. He didn't even turn back. He just kept running, hoping it would all go away. Eustace stood staring at the little boy's retreating back with a heavy heart. Sure, he was going to learn magic, which was really great, but he would lose Harry. He felt a pang of guilt as he too turned and walked to his ex-home.
Five Years Later…
Harry Potter was delighted that he had been sorted into Gryffindor and that he had a new friend Ron Weasley. He could not believe that he was actually at a school for witches and wizards instead of Stonewall. Life was definitely looking up and he was prepared to begin his life anew and make friends with people who like him and would enjoy being around him.
Harry began to scan the room. He looked at the other tables; full of other kids who seemed to be really nice. All except for the one at the other end of the hall. What was that house called again? Oh yes, Slytherin. That's the house that Hagrid said evil witches and wizards came from and that blond kid was in, Draco Malfoy. Now the boy was glaring angrily at Harry for some odd reason. Harry just glared back and resumed looking around at the school.
His gaze finally fell on two of the professors. They seemed to be locked in a deep conversation. The first wore a strange turban on his head, the one he had met with Hagrid in Diagon Alley. The second brought some strange tingle of recognition. Harry continued to stare and was rewarded when the man threw him a glare; his scar pulsed with pain all of the sudden. He turned and asked Ron's older brother, Percy who the man was and learned that he was Professor Snape who taught potions and hated all Gryffindors.
Harry Potter was seething! The potions professor was horrible! Harry now knew that Percy was wrong. If Snape hated the other Gryffindors then he loathed him. Harry began walking down the hall, his new best friend complaining loudly about 'that greasy git' and all previous thoughts of possibly knowing the man was forgotten.
To my reviewers:
Tati1 – Ah, all your questions have been answered…yes, it is unfair, sorry it wasn't longer, I just didn't want to drag it out!
Shezan – Yep, last chapter! Hope it doesn't make you sad!
Amber16 – Nope, as you can see, this chapter is over and Sev had no great epiphany, so sad, Harry is still at the Dursley's!
SilverKnight7 – I may just make a sequel, I don't know yet!
Falling-alone – Haha, I hate cliffhangers as well, yet, somehow I love adding them into my story! Anyways, hope you enjoyed!
Kady Rilla Wholi – Sev leaves because he'd rather teach in the magical world! Yeah, Harry is cute, I feel bad that life is so rough on him.
Zorro x – Ahh, nope, ten chapters? This is the last one, so you don't have to wait any longer, unless I decide to write a sequel, but then they would meet in the first chapter! Glad you like the story!
Starr2 – Hmm, for some reason, I think that you won't like the end of this story… no grand epiphany, and Snape doesn't save Harry… but thanks for liking the story so far!
Susan – I am cringing away in fear right now, because I didn't do any of the things you wanted me to do… Harry wasn't saved! I'm sorry! Glad you like the story!
Wynjara – Yeah, Snape does regret not being there for Harry, but he has a new plan right now, and he plans on helping Harry as much as he can.
Gina – Thanks! Sorry about Snape just leaving Harry!
Arafel2 – Yeah, sorry this is the last chapter!
Anora – Hope you got into your play, Russian
accents are hard to do without making them seem too fake! I love being in plays!
Glad you like the story!
azntgr01 – Thanks!
LittleEar BigEar's sis – Thanks! I am so glad that you like it!
Kristendotcom – Thanks! Yeah, I liked those parts as well, I hope the gift didn't disappoint people!
DxInsider – I am hiding right now for fear that people are gonna mob me, I mean, you've been waving your sign for weeks…sorry!
Pip3 – Yeah, Harry is gonna miss having him around!
SilverDragonHawk – Thanks! I like the lemon drop part too!!!
Kateri1 – Yeah, Snape should have thought of Harry more. The poor kid!
Eva McGregor – Well, there might be a sequel, and that one would probably have a happy ending…
Amber-and-Ash – Ok, you're right, I did over use the twinkling bit, but Snape doesn't know Dumbledore that well yet… You are right about the tree and dog and me never actually telling you that he hears about it. I probably should have added it. Sorry.
Lee Lee Potter – Sorry, you find out what it is here though!
Erin – Thanks! I'm glad you thought Snape was in character! I hate stories where he is so completely
out of character that it is unbelievable!
Romm – Yep, and yes, poor Harry!
Solaris Isa – Perhaps he'll find out if I make a sequel!
? – Thanks!
Bet's – Thanks so much! I am so glad you like it and hearing reviews like yours always make me so glad that I decided to post this!
Eliza Guerin – Thanks! Glad you like it!
Prophetess Of Hearts – Perhaps I will make a sequel!
Unseen Watcher – Haha! Wow, so dramatic over just one small chapter! Hope this one didn't disappoint!
Anonymous – Hehe! Thanks, I am so glad you liked the chapter, and I am glad that some people were able to figure out what was happening in chapter 10! Some people just need a bigger nudge in the right direction more than others!
Shrouded Spirits – Thanks so much! I am so glad you like the story and that you like how I keep Snape in character! I was hoping I was doing that!
Howlingwolf1 – Perhaps he will learn the whole truth if I do a sequel!
Cally – Hehe, yeah, it's the last chapter and, yes, I so think that there was a freak lightning storm and Fudge did get singed… it would serve him right!
Janet – So glad you like it, and I hope you do get to read my other story and enjoy it!
Starangel2106 – So glad you like it!
GoddessMoonLady – Ah, Sev does miss Harry, but doesn't go back for him…how sad, ah well, perhaps there will be a sequel!
Prd2bAmerican18 – No, if there is a sequel it would be when Harry is older, at least sixth year now, maybe later…
Otspock – So glad that you are enjoying the story!
Ping*pong5 – Yes, last chapter… there may be a sequel, but not of alternate school years, it would have to be sixth year or later now…
Lover5 – Thanks!
Gaina Katrea – Thanks so much, I'm glad you enjoy it!
Lindiel Eryn – Yep, you are actually one of the only people who is accepting it, and wasn't asking me for a super happy ending with Snape running out of the school to save Harry…
Kalliope – So glad you like, hope this answered your questions!
Well, I hope you all enjoyed the story and will review to tell me what you think about it!
*****Well, I can't believe that The Neighbor is actually done! Anyways, I did in fact decide to do a sequel which begins the summer before sixth year. It is called A Guiding Hand. I hope you'll all check it out and tell me what you think! Oh, and yes, it follows canon with everything. Even if I was very upset with the book and the death, I respect what Rowling wrote and will keep its contents in my story. So, that means if you haven't read the book yet (Has anyone actually not read it yet?) and you don't want anything spoiled, best to put off the sequel for the time being! Have fun!