Title: Tainted Sonata (1/?)
Author: Angel (Adlina)
Rating: PG to R (maybe NC-17 in later chapters)
Genre: Romance, action/ adventure, angst, suspense
Pairings: HPSS and SBRL slash, RWHG, JPLE, etc.
Status: Work In Progress
Archiving: I'd say yes but ask first so that I know.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and its characters belong to their respected owners; Joanne Kathleen Rowling, Bloomsbury, Warner Bros and other companies I may not know of. This fan fiction is for entertainment purposes only. Please do not sue. Additional characters that can be found, however, belong to me.
Summary: Everyone was confused when Harry Potter quit his job as an Auror and became Hogwarts Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. With Voldemort still at large, people wondered what his motives were. The secret of The Veil was to be uncovered. Three people's return from supposed deaths added to the confusion. There was this whole deal with a Carnis and an Angelis. What could they be? Also, a Malfoy was sorted into Slytherin? Follow this story to find out more.

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Chapter I == Whispering Wind
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   The sky was a reflection of grim darkness as heavy rain continued assaulting the grounds and things alike mercilessly. Flashes of lightning once in a while, followed by roaring thunders had been a must on days like this. No one dared to walk the grounds on their own or even in groups for fear of things unknown. Still, a dark haired young man with a famous lightning bolt shaped scar on his forehead stood in the middle of Hogwarts Quidditch Pitch by himself. Without umbrellas or water repelling charms, he was soaking wet from head to toe. This young man who answered to the name 'Harry Potter' had his eyes closed and both hands opened wide, in which he gripped his wand tightly in one. His flock of usually messy hair stayed down due the pounding of the rain. After a few moments of standing still, Harry raised his wand and shot silver sparks to the crying sky. Lowering his hands, he smiled bitterly and slowly made his way back into the safety of the castle. His unnaturally green eyes, now opened and a bit unfocused, housed unfathomable emotions. It was amazing how a man so young possessed a pair of eyes so old. Yet, almost everything was possible for the boy who lived.

Almost…

   He leaned his forehead against the wall and sighed loudly. A thousand emotions dwelled inside of him; billions of thoughts racing while million voices ringing in his head. He was so deep in thought that he did not hear footsteps approaching. "Mr. Potter, our new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher," said a deep, silky male voice in a familiar intonation that made Harry smiled inwardly as it reminded him of his first Potions class. He let the voice bathe him before composing straight and turning around to face the owner of the mellow voice. Onyx met emeralds. Both Harry Potter and Severus Snape stared into each other's eyes, trying to read thoughts of one another.

   "Professor Snape," Harry's tired voice caused something inside Severus to stir and shatter. When had this once energetic and rebellious boy changed into a grim, tired and hollow young man? How did he get so broken? A distant applause pulled both men back from their reveries. "Looks like the Sorting Ceremony has started," Harry stated dully. He cast a drying charm onto himself and started for the Great Hall, motioning for Severus to walk alongside him. "What were you doing in the rain, Potter? You didn't think the Headmaster would not be frantic to notice his new staff missing just before the feast, did you?" Severus asked in that mysterious voice of his, causing Harry to chuckle softly. "Of course I did not, Professor. I was feeling quite nervous and decided to clear my mind by thinking outside for a while."

   "Really, Potter? To think? You will never cease to amaze me, will you? Thinking isn't your material, Potter. Not to mention that you chose the most inappropriate moment to linger with your thoughts. You are to be introduced to the students before the feast, in case you've forgotten." The sarcasm was obvious. Such maliciousness was hard to be missed. The younger of too shrugged. They continued to walk in silence until they both reached the Great Hall. Everyone was too occupied with the Sorting Ceremony that they did not notice their new DADA instructor sitting next to the Potions Master. Harry listened half-heartedly as name after name was called and sorted. Two students were made Ravenclaws; Adams Locke was sorted into Hufflepuff, Ares Maelstrom into Slytherin and…. A pause. Minerva McGonagall was looking at her scroll in an expression that can only be described as confusion. "Professor McGonagall?" Headmaster Albus Dumbledore asked, urging the Deputy Headmistress to get on with the sorting. Harry and Severus exchanged looks as McGonagall tried to return the colours back to her face. Apparently, the silent chatters died out and everyone was looking at McGonagall intently. The name called by the evidently still confused Minerva McGonagall shocked almost everyone.

"Malfoy, Phoenix."

   A collective gasp was heard from the high tables. The older students gaped like fishes. To cut it short, those who knew or had heard of the Malfoys were surprised. A tiny, blonde girl with bluish silver eyes stepped nervously forward. Her looks resembled that of Draco Malfoy but she was void of confidence and security. Beads of sweat were forming on her forehead when McGonagall placed the old Sorting Hat on the girl's head. Harry was amused that the hat did not immediately sort her like it did the previous Malfoy. Phoenix's hand was starting to turn blue from gripping the edges of the stool she was sitting on too hard. She was chanting 'Slytherin! Slytherin! Slytherin!' repeatedly in her head. Not that anybody could hear her. Well, except for the hat. "Ah, it's been too long since I last sorted a female Malfoy. Hmm…. You may look like an afraid, little girl but you carry high goals and expectations of others. A clever and cunning girl. (-'Slytherin! Slytherin! Slytherin!' -) Oh, you've got courage inside of you that only few could challenge, unlike all previous Malfoys. Better be…"

'Slytherin! Slytherin! Slytherin!'

"GRYFFINDOR!"

   Harry watched as Phoenix's eyes widened in horror. She made her way feebly towards the Gryffindors, her face white as sheet. If one bothered to look closer, he would notice that the little girl was also shaking. She tried to distance herself away from other Gryffindors. Harry made a mental note to have a little word with her later. The sorting continued smoothly after that. After Ania Zille was made a Gryffindor, McGonagall rolled up her scroll, took the Sorting Hat away and proceeded to sit on an empty seat to the left of Albus Dumbledore. After making sure everyone had settled down nicely, Dumbledore got to his feet and beamed. "Welcome, students, to another year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Before the feast takes place, I would like to say a few words. Firstly, please note that the forest in the grounds is out of bounds to all students. Secondly, Mr. Filch the caretaker has asked me to remind all of you that no magic is permitted in corridors between classes, nor are a number of other things which can be checked on the list fastened to Mr. Filch's office door. Thidly, I am glad to announce that we have a change in staffing this year. Please welcome Professor Potter, our new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher."

   As expected by the staff, low murmurs and disbelieving gasps broke among the students. They all stared at Harry as if he was a strange creature for a moment. From where Harry was sitting, he could hear whispers like:

"Professor Potter? He means the Harry Potter?!"

"Isn't he an Auror?"

"I thought he works for the ministry!"

   It took a while for Dumbledore to notice the annoyed expression on Harry's face. The headmaster cleared his throat to bring all attentions back to himself. "I believe that is all for this year's notices. Tuck in!" With a clap of his hands, all kind of food materialised on every tables in sight and they all began to eat in delight. The first years wasted no time in getting to know the members of their houses. Phoenix, however, was still shaking. The prefects had to convince her to eat something for she looked so pale and close to tears. No one understood why she was so scared. She looked as if something was chasing her. The Slytherins, who kept whispering and pointing at her, were not helping matters either. Harry mentally took ten points of the house.

Weird…

   No one was aware of the little girl's existence before. If she was really a Malfoy, where was her family arrogance? She even got sorted into Gryffindor, the house long despised by the Malfoys. Maybe, the arrogance died out of her the day Lucius Malfoy got thrown into Azkaban. "Something's not right," Harry muttered under his breath. "Something is very wrong," he whispered again, oblivious to the fact that a certain Potions Master was listening to his every word. Looking at the students, Harry felt a sudden pang in his heart. He was reminded of his school days, of how he was always against the school rules and of his best friends.

Of Ron and Hermione…

   The pain in his chest intensified that he choked on his drink. "Is something wrong, Harry?" Madame Xiamora Hooch, who was sitting next to Harry, asked out of concern. Harry smiled and shook his head. "No, Madame. Everything's fine," he lied. The older woman was about to say more but Severus interrupted her. "Honestly, Xiamora! You should stop treating Mr. Potter here like a child because he certainly isn't." That shut Hooch up and she returned to her food. Harry sent a grateful smile towards Severus, who returned it with a tired glare. Neither of them noticed the sudden spark of interest and malicious twinkles beyond the Headmaster's half-moon glasses. After the feast ended, the students were led to their dormitories by prefects and teachers were free to return to their quarters. Phoenix followed her house members hesitantly and very slowly. Harry saw this as a chance to talk to the girl as he had intended to before. "Miss Malfoy," he called. The girl almost jumped as she turned around to face her professor. "Professor Potter," she nodded her head politely. Harry smiled.

"You are Draco Malfoy's sister, are you not?"

The girl nodded at the question.

"You look worried. Are you scared?"

A nod.

"Why?"

Silence.

"Well, if you don't want to tell me, it is fine. Hm, I see the other students are gone. Let's walk you to Gryffindor Tower. Come," Harry began to make his way towards Gryffindor Tower, followed by Phoenix. They were nearing their destination when Phoenix suddenly stopped. "Miss Malfoy?" "I am a Gryffindor," she started, "All of my family members were Slytherins." Ah… So, that was the problem. "You're scared because you're a Gryffindor? That your family will.. Er… Punish you?" Harry guessed and Phoenix nodded.

"Why would they do that to you?"

"You don't know what my family could do," she replied coldly. "You don't understand. No one would."

"What's done is done, Miss Malfoy. You are a Gryffindor. You can't go wishing you're a Slytherin now. That wouldn't change things. Try to open up a bit and you'll know that Gryffindors are not as horrible as the Slytherins tried to picture them to be. If you have problems, you can always seek advice from me and other teachers. We'd be glad to help you. C'mon, it's near curfew. You should be in bed soon." They continued walking until they reached the portrait of the Fat Lady. Harry told her the password, Winged Lion, and ushered Phoenix inside. Before closing the portrait, she allowed a light smile to grace her pale face and thanked Harry.

   A lot of questions played at the back of Harry's mind. After Lucius was put to prison, the Malfoys had moved to Bulgaria. Why didn't Phoenix go to Durmstrang, then? Unless the Malfoys were still in allegiance with the Dark Lord, which was a very high possibility, Harry couldn't find the reasons. What if they sent Phoenix to spy for them? He needed to keep an eye on the girl to prove his suspicions wrong. On the way back to his quarter, he bumped into someone and fell back on his back. Harry quickly apologised and composed himself. When he opened his eyes, he was shocked to see Severus Snape standing before him. "Professor Snape. I'm sorry, my mind was elsewhere," he stammered. Severus merely smirked. "Your mind was always elsewhere. Did you talk to Miss Malfoy just now?" "Yes." "What did she say?" "That she was scared because she is a Gryffindor."

   "I see…"

   Harry walked to the window and stared at the view outside the castle. The rain was still raging war out there. "I am afraid that maybe Voldemort is forming a nasty plot, again." Severus, too, stared out of the window, staring into nothingness. "He always does, doesn't he?" Severus could not help but felt quite useless for not knowing anything. His cover as a spy was blown three years ago during an order mission. It was a miracle that he survived at all. According to Dumbledore, he always died but a cloaked stranger transferred his life energy to him and kept him alive. They never got to know the stranger. "Why did you quit being an Auror, Potter?" Harry shuddered at the question. "You worked so hard to get into training. Why did you quit after everything?"

   Distant screams of agony ringed in his ears. Vision of two people covered in blood and then swallowed by a void flashed out of nowhere. "I failed my friends." He whispered. "I failed to protect them."

"Potter, Granger and Weasley's deaths weren't your fault!"

"You don't know the whole story!"

"Because you didn't tell us!"

A pregnant pause…

"I'm not ready to talk about it."

Again, a pause.

"Fine," it was Severus who broke the silence this time. "Go to sleep then, Potter. You need energy to face those dunderheads known otherwise as 'students'." Harry nodded. "Goodnight, Sir."

"Potter?"

"Yes?"

"Call me Severus. You are my colleague now."

A real smile graced Harry's tired face. Severus had to hold his gasp as the dim light added to the beauty of the young man's smile. "As long as you call me Harry, sir."

"Fine. Goodnight, Harry."

"Goodnight, Severus."

And they both went separate ways.

- To Be Continued -

Author's notes: That had to be one of my longest chapter, but not the longest. How do you like it? I don't really like it much but I am making this my project and therefore, I will do the best of my ability to complete this story. Suggestions and reviews are always welcome. Pardon the mistakes (grammatical errors and all). English is not my mother tongue . Thanks for reading, anyway! – Angel -