Chapter 21 – Slytherin Me
Harry had the distinct feeling that he was going to be pulled all the way home by his ear and he wasn't entirely sure how much it could take. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you see it Severus had to stop just outside the front gates so that Harry could expel the contents of his stomach on the ground and not all over Severus.
Once that was done with Severus grabbed him again but this time by the arm and dragged him a short distance more, this time with Harry complaining and whining the whole time.
'Geroff me … Oi, you're hurting me … oh, you're sooooo mean!'
Severus didn't reply to any of it and as soon as he got to a place he could apparate he grabbed hold of Harry and transported them to the top of Spinners end whereupon he deftly spun Harry away so that he again could vomit without it going all over him.
'Come.' Severus said as he turned and started walking back down the hill without even a backward glance to check that Harry was following.
Harry was following, it was just that he was a little way behind and the fact that he kept on falling over … six times to be exact. The first time it happened Harry hadn't realise the curb was there, the second time he ended up walking into a bush, the third time he simply tripped over his own feet, the fourth time he was looking at an owl that was hooting at him from a tree and trying to figure out what type it was so ended up walking into a lamppost. The fifth time he just fell into the road and the sixth time he had no idea what had caused it, he just found himself on the floor with no idea how he got there.
By the time he entered the hose both his knees and one of his elbows was bleeding but he never even noticed the pain. By this time Severus had already been in the house a good five minutes and came back into the room from the kitchen with a glass of water. He pushed Harry onto the couch and thrust the glass at him.
'Drink.' He said in a no nonsense voice.
Harry drank and spilled a good portion of the water down his front.
'Why did we have to apparate so far away from the house?' Harry whined.
'Safer.' Severus grunted, then he grabbed the empty glass out of Harry's shaking hand and pointed towards his bedroom.
Harry stumbled into the bedroom and the door was slammed shut before he'd managed to get himself completely through the doorway. So he ended up on the floor for the seventh time but this time he didn't bother to get up and didn't know if he could even if he tried.
The next morning Harry woke up to a pounding in his head, the likes of which he had never felt before. Once he had managed to take stock of his surroundings the first thing he did was to wonder why he was on the floor. Then he couldn't understand why he was still in his clothes from the night before and why he appeared to smell rather, well, rank!
After a minute or two some things started to slowly come back to him.
Party … death eaters … Malfoy … a green drink … vomiting into a mop bucket … blowjob!
Harry ended up getting up so fast that his head spun so badly he almost blacked out. He soon managed to stumble his way into the bathroom and into the shower. It was only after the cold water was spilling over him that he remembered he still hadn't taken off his clothes. Not that it even mattered, they smelled so bad it was probably a good thing.
He somehow managed to disentangle himself from his clothes and throw them on the floor. Then he turned the temperature of the water up and had a proper shower. By the time he got out of the shower he felt a little better. He still had a terrible headache but at least he could walk straight now.
Once dressed Harry walked into the kitchen expecting to find Severus eating breakfast but it was empty. So Harry wandered into the living room, hoping to find him, and by association a hangover potion, in there but that too was empty. However Harry realised then why Severus was at least not eating breakfast. It wasn't morning. If the clock over the fireplace was to be believed it was one in the afternoon!
Harry stumbled back into the kitchen and made himself a cup of tea, it was all he could handle at the moment. The thought of eating anything made him feel sick. After accidentally spilling hot water on himself and holding his arm under the cold tap for five minutes he made his way back into the living room and plonked himself down on the couch, nursing his cup of tea. For the first time he noticed just how uncomfortable the couch actually was. Couldn't Severus even afford new furniture?
Five minutes later Harry had fallen back asleep, propped up in a sitting position on the couch and drooling slightly.
Twenty minutes after that he was woken up by a sharp pinch to his ear which at least reminded him of one thing that happened last night.
'Do you have to wake me up like that all the time?' Harry grumbled. 'You could just give me a nudge you know.'
'I did, the first time.' Severus said as he sat down opposite him and stared at him in an unnerving way.
'So … can I have a hangover potion?' Harry asked hopefully.
'No.' Severus replied.
'O-kay.' Harry dared not look at Severus so kept his eyes trained on the threadbare couch, waiting for the lecture he knew was coming.
'How could you let yourself get to that state?'
There it was.
Harry sighed. 'I really didn't mean to, it's just that I started off the night with such good intentions. I was trying to get to know my future dorm-mates but I could see they weren't going to be very accepting of me unless I started acting like them. Anyway Nott offered me this drink called … I can't remember. It was green.'
'Alchemists Thistle.' Severus said.
'Yes!' Harry said a bit too loudly, getting a bit more excited about remembering something. 'Yes, Alchemists Thistle. Anyway it was really toxic—'
'I dare say it is as it isn't even supposed to be drunk. It's main use is in the blood-boiling potion.'
Harry paled at that and Severus just smirked at him.
'Well I didn't know that.' He said.
'Obviously.' Severus replied with disdain. 'But you still knew it was toxic, didn't you? So why drink it?'
'Because Nott offered it to me.' Harry replied as if that was explanation enough. When Severus only replied with an incredulous raised eyebrow he hastily continued. 'I couldn't say no 'cause he was testing me. We all knew it. I had to taste or else they'd never have accepted me.'
'Be that as it may you didn't then have to have more.'
'By that time it was out of my hands … and my head.'
'Indeed.' Severus sat back against his chair and sighed. There was silence for a minute until Severus tiredly rubbed his hand over his eyes and with a greater effort than it should have been he sat back up.
'To be honest with you I'm not that angry with you. At least I'm not as angry as I should be with you.'
'Oh.' Harry said, hope dawning in his eyes. 'Why's that?'
'Because you were only doing what I was asking. At the beginning of the night I was actually very proud of you, when I saw you going over to the other Slytherins I could see you were really making the effort, against your better judgement.'
Harry nodded sagely. 'Yes, I really was.'
'And I also have to say that is the drunkest you are likely to ever get and you didn't say anything you shouldn't have and that was my only real fear. Well, that and liver problems.'
Harry burst out laughing.
'I'll go and get you some Hangover potion.' Harry's eyes lit up. 'But as punishment you have to find out each and every ingredient that goes in it before I give it to you.'
'What?' Harry said in horror.
'You may use any books I have on the shelves.' Severus continued, ignoring him. 'The sooner you start the sooner that headache goes away.'
'No it won't, you'll still be here!'
Three days later Harry was invited back out to Invincible.
To say he wasn't look forward to it was a slight understatement. It was only slight because Harry was already planning to ditch his two 'friends' as soon as possible and head over to the muggle-style part of the club where he would at least feel more comfortable.
Also he had known it was coming as Martin and Steven had told him about it at the Death Eater party before he got so drunk he could no longer remember anything. In fact if he remembered rightly Steven had said something to the effect of that they had to give him an antidote to Malfoy lest Harry start turning into the bigot. Harry had found that quite amusing.
This time Harry chose the clothes he was going to wear himself, happy that they were not going to be as revealing as they were for the party. In fact he chose a casual dress robe over tight muggle jeans and a black T-shirt, which was much better all round.
However he couldn't help feeling a bit of nostalgia over the dress robe as it was a dark green colour, the same colour he used to wear when he had his mothers eyes and people used to comment on that. Harry turned away from the mirror before he could totally get lost in the memories and went off to find Severus.
Severus was in no mood to chaperone Harry so he opened the floo network for Harry to go straight to the Three Broomsticks where he would meet his friends.
This time they didn't bother hanging around at the Three Broomsticks for a drink, something Harry wasn't that happy about as he needed something to calm him first. Instead, as soon as Harry got there Steven and Martin ushered him towards the floo network, shoving his ticket in his face as he went.
'What's the rush?' Harry asked as he queued up for the fireplace.
'No rush.' Martin said.
'But you are half an hour late.' Steven continued.
'And I have a certain blond haired girl to meet up with.' Martin finished.
'Ah, I see now.' Harry said with a smug smile.
'Oh shut up.' Martin said as he bodily pushed Harry into the green flames.
He landed in the same antechamber as last time, although it was much busier this time around and was shoved out the way of the fireplace as Steven came sliding through.
'Sorry.' He said but the first rule of flooing is to vacate the fireplace as soon as you arrive.'
'Yeah, whatever. Let's get this over with.'
Steven laughed as they made their way through into the main hall and Harry's senses were again assaulted by all the faintly disturbing and very arousing scents and sights.
'Drinks first.' Steven said pushing his way towards the bar.
'But what about Natasha?' Martin whined, looking left and right and squinting past people in a hopeful manner.
'I'm sure she'll still be around after you've had a firewhiskey and I am bursting for a drink.' Steven continued.
Harry was about to make his move and opened his mouth to speak when it was almost filled with the biggest pair of breasts he had ever seen. He jerked away suddenly as a stick thin girl in a bikini that did nothing to hide her huge breasts blew a kiss at him as she walked past. Harry sub-consciously pulled his dress robes tighter around him as if that would fend her off.
Finally the three of them reached the overcrowded bar and Harry made his move.
'I'm just going to the loo first guys, all right.' Harry shouted over the music. 'When I get back I'll get my own drink and then I'll find you.'
'That's what we thought would happen last time and we didn't see you all night.' Martin said.
'I told you I was with Blaise, and we had fun so you don't need to worry if I don't come back. There's a couple of people I might know around here.'
'Like Malfoy and his cronies.' Steven couldn't help adding petulantly.
'I wasn't even thinking of him.' Harry replied. 'Anyway I've really got to go 'cause I've really got to gooooooo.'
'Oh go on, get out of here. Even though I don't think we're gonna see you again until the end of the night.' Martin said.
Harry didn't want to answer that because he didn't want to lie. The other two sauntered off anyway and Harry sighed when he finally realised he was on his own.
He started picking his way through the crowd to the door by the toilets that said 'No Admittance. Authorised Personnel Only' on it, but decided that he actually did need the toilet now so made a detour there and then wished he hadn't.
He sighed in relief as he pushed down on the handle of the door that was the gateway to the muggle club and walked straight in without even looking at where he was going. So it was that he ended up stepping right into a mop bucket. As he did so he put his hand out to steady himself and a load of brooms came crashing down on top of him and then a mop head before the avalanche finally ended with a dustpan and brush.
Harry looked about him in a daze before realising in horror that he was not in the muggle-style part of the club but was instead in a tiny storage cupboard. He finally managed to disentangle himself from the mops and brooms and was just stepping out of the cupboard when he was yanked fully out by the collar of his robe.
He found himself staring up at a heavy-set man who he assumed was a bouncer and he was not looking very happy.
'What in the name of Merlin do you think you are doing?' The man growled.
Harry was still trying to find his feet as the man was holding him an inch off the ground at the time. 'I-I thought this was the toilet.' He stammered out the first thing he could think of.
The man almost threw him across the floor towards the toilets. 'Well then can't you read?' He said. 'This door clearly says 'no admittance' while that one funnily enough says 'toilets'. Now using your obviously impressive powers of deduction which one do you think is the toilets?'
Harry shakily pointed his finger towards the toilets. 'Er, that one.' He said sheepishly.
'Oh, so there is a brain in there.' The man said as he turned and walked off.
Harry childishly stuck his tongue at the man's retreating back. However as soon as he was gone Harry went back to the door of the store cupboard, confused. He cautiously opened it and peered inside.
It was still just a store cupboard. Harry closed the door and leaned against it in confusion. He know he had the right door, so where was the other part of the club.
Maybe it was a by invitation only club. One of those 'if your names not on the list you're not coming in' kind of thing,' but of the magical kind. Maybe the only reason he was able to go in before was because he was with Blaise who was a member of the club.
Maybe the secret entrance to the club changed every day and you had to be privy to where the next entrance was going to be. Or maybe it only ran on the first Saturday of every month or on a half moon or every three days or only when it was raining.
Maybe it was like the room of requirement and you had to walk past the door three times or spin round in circles or sing baa baa black sheep at it.
There were just so many possibilities when magic was involved that it was hurting his head to think about it. Maybe the whole night had been a figment of his imagination but he didn't want to think of that. So finally he started to wander away with the vague thought of trying to find Blaise so he could ask.
He never did find Blaise. Instead he ended up drinking himself into a stupor and let himself be fondled by two blonde girls who looked like twins. They then dragged him onto the dance floor where he promptly fell over and decided he couldn't be bothered to get up again.
Everyone has a certain thing they do when they are drunk; Harry's thing was falling over.
Even once some bouncer had picked him up from the middle of the dance floor and dragged him off over to the corner he just let himself slide down the wall to the floor and sat there in a daze.
That's where he was found two hours later by Steven and Martin who had to bodily pick him up to get him out of the club.
His only thought the next morning was why oh why did he have to go and get himself drunk again. He had woken up completely disorientated and rolled over from his back onto his side only to roll over onto his own sick. It was one of the most disgusting things he could remember doing in a long time and it got him out of bed pronto.
Of course this only made his head feel worse but he still managed to wobble his way into the bathroom and to the shower. At least this time he had seemed to manage to strip down to his boxers last night before getting into bed.
As he let the water cascade over him he was thankful for the fact that he felt better this morning then he did the morning after the party. At least he stopped himself from getting that drunk again. Of course he knew this was because he got drunk only on firewhiskey last night and not alchemists carduu. He would never touch that stuff again.
He finally got out the shower and started getting dressed but even while doing so he wondered why he felt like he had to drink himself into a stupor when he couldn't get into the other part of the club instead of at least giving Invincible a go. Now that he thought about it Invincible was no worse then the Death Eater party a few nights ago. In fact it was infinitely better and he at least tried to join in then didn't he? So what was his problem and why couldn't he just roll with whatever came for him.
When he came out into the living room it was apparent that he had missed breakfast- again.
It soon also became apparent that Severus wasn't in the house and Harry had the fleeting thought that maybe he had been with Narcissa Malfoy all night instead but it was obvious that he had been here at some time this morning if the smell of strong coffee that lingered in the air was anything to go by.
So Harry decided it was worth the risk of sneaking into Severus stores to nick a hangover potion. He knew where they were kept now. Annoyingly the potion happened to be on the top shelf of the storeroom meaning Harry had to grab the stepladder and drag it over to the correct place. This bit wasn't too bad but the grating noise the ladder made as he dragged it across the floor would set Harry's teeth on edge on a normal day. But today it was ten times worse as the noise went straight inside his brain and seemed to swirl it around a bit.
However it is never a good idea to try and make your way up a ladder, no matter how small, when you have the worlds worst hangover. Well … the worlds second worst hangover. Apart from a slight wobbly moment at the top of the ladder when he felt a slight moment of vertigo Harry made it up and back down in one piece. He downed the bottle of potion so fast he ended up choking on it which made his headache flare up for a moment before the potion started to work.
Finally feeling he could eat something Harry made his way into the kitchen to make something for his lunch. He decided on an omelette as it was quick and easy. Unfortunately he ended up burning the omelette so that it stuck to the frying pan and he had to scrape it all off onto a plate. He ate it anyway grumbling the whole time about how it was like being back in potions class.
Severus got back around four in the afternoon and as usual didn't bother to tell Harry where he had been or even talk to him at all. Instead he went straight into the kitchen and made himself a cup of tea. He looked extremely irritated- and that's saying something, as he always looks irritated.
When he came back out into the living room he not only had a cup of tea in his hand but a plate of chocolate biscuits. He set them on the battered coffee table opposite where Harry was reclined on the couch reading his new DADA textbook and then took a seat on the couch.
Harry looked up at Severus wearily but his foul mood seemed to have waned slightly and he just looked exhausted. He waved his hand a the plate of biscuits as if to say 'take one.' Harry gratefully grabbed one, feeling very hungry after his unsatisfying omelette.
He took a drink from his glass of pumpkin juice and after another weary glance at the potions master he turned back to his book. There were still times when he did not have any idea how to act around his father and this was one of those times.
After only a couple of minutes however, Severus broke the silence with the last thing Harry expected him to say.
'I have just had a private meeting with the Dark Lord.'
That got Harry's attention. He put the book down and just stared at Severus, not quite knowing what to say.
'Oh.' He said finally. 'And what did he want this fine morning?'
'To know how the bond was going.' Severus replied.
Harry put down his glass of pumpkin juice with a crash, glad he hadn't actually had any as he knew he would be choking on it right now. 'And what did you tell him?'
Severus sighed slowly and started rubbing the back of his neck sub-consciously. 'I told him it was progressing well and that you were doing most of things I asked of you with no problem. I did still say that the couple of times I have really tested the bond and asked you to do something you really didn't want to you have rebelled and refused to do so and that it is to be expected that you would as you can fight off imperius in the same manner.
'However I know the bond is supposed to be stronger, the magic is darker and more suppressing so I can't keep this lie up forever. But anyway for now he wants me to continue as I supposedly have done and keep pushing the bond.'
He paused and looked at Harry to see how he was taking it but Harry just nodded slowly as if Severus was telling him about the weather. So he continued.
'It is normally around this time that he asks the bonded child to come in so he can test the bond himself but he believes he should wait a bit longer with you and let me be the one to command you of what to do instead of him.'
'Well that's a relief.' Harry said.
'Not much of one.' Severus said. 'He has given me a task to give to you for you to start on when you go back to Hogwarts and he expects it to be done or else I will be punished.'
'You but not me?' Harry asked raising an eyebrow.
'Yes, that is the way the Dark Lord works. He punished Draco for the fact that his father got caught by giving him an impossible task and is now punishing Lucius for the fact that Draco could not complete the task he knew he wouldn't be able to.'
'Huh, okay. So what's the task?' Harry asked.
Severus raised an eyebrow at him. 'You are being surprisingly calm about this.' He remarked.
'I don't know about that, I haven't heard what the task is yet. Once I know then we'll see if I remain calm.'
'Well you will be pleased to know that it is an easy one to start off with. He wants you to go back down into the chamber of secrets to retrieve some things for him that he has left there and most importantly he wants you to do it without being detected.'
'Well I can see why he has asked me to do that.'
'Indeed.' Severus said. 'Anyway I have some instructions here on where to go and what to pick up for him- mostly books I might say, and more importantly what not to pick up! Some of the items are very dark and may give you quite a nasty surprise.'
'I'm confused.' Harry said, eyebrows scrunching together in thought. 'There were no books there when I was last down and nowhere that looked like it could store books either. Not that I could see. It was just a big chamber.'
'Not that you could see! That is the key here and do you have to look so constipated when you're thinking. It is not a good look and makes you appear to be as dumb as Crabbe and Goyle.'
'Oi.' Harry said, getting up in his anger. 'I can deal with the constipated remark but that is going too far.'
With that he stormed off to his room, Severus chuckling in his wake.
An hour later Harry was bored, venturing out into the living room to find it empty he simply followed the noises of pots and pans clinking together until he made his way into the kitchen. Severus was in there setting up the ingredients for what they were going to have for dinner. He acknowledged Harry's presence with a slight grunt.
'Can we get out of here tonight? I'm bored!' Harry said in a whiny voice.
Severus simply raised an eyebrow at him as if to ask what brought this on.
'It's just that we don't have to be careful anymore because the people who were trying to kill me are not anymore and my appearance has changed anyway. I could walk past Ron and Hermione without them batting an eye.'
'You may not need to be careful but I do.' Severs said. 'In case you fail to remember I am a wanted man.'
'Yeah but you could just wear a glamour or drink some polyjuice like you did for Diagon Alley and Blackpool. You must want to get out of here too.'
'In fact I go out more than you do but hardly to places I actually want to be.' Severus replied. 'Anyway you went out last night.'
'Again not to a place I wanted to be. And I don't count it anyway because I simply flooed from place to place and I will only count non-Slytherin type outings- like Blackpool!'
'Fine. I guess you need a change from all things Slytherin. If you help me with the dinner now I will take you out somewhere afterwards.'
'You make it sound like a date. Where are you going to take me?'
'A candlelight dinner in the park! Now, boil some water for the rice.'
'Yes, Sir!' Harry said, reaching for a saucepan. 'What are we making?' He asked, noticing all the different spices that Severus had laid out on the counter top.
'I thought we would go for something oriental so I'm making chicken tikka masala.
'What's that, a type of curry?' Harry asked.
'Yes.' Severus said with a sigh. 'As you so eloquently put it, a type of curry.'
An hour and a half later Harry had just finished setting the table as Severus brought the steaming hot dishes to the table. Harry had to admit he had actually enjoyed helping Severus make the dinner. It was certainly nothing like trying to help him with potions.
Harry sat down and placed his napkin on his lap, waiting for Severus to take the first bite.
'Why were you so much better when teaching me how to cook then you ever were teaching me potions.' Harry asked.
'Because first of all you are a better cook then you are a potions maker so you don't irritate me so much and secondly, if you add a little too much Paprika you won't blow up the kitchen.'
'Okay, so I get that potions are a little more volatile and you have to be a bit more precise.'
'Understatement of the century.' Severus muttered.
Harry ignored him. 'But if you had a little more patience with people you wouldn't get so many of them blowing up the potions classroom.'
'I disagree. If you give students a knut they take a sickle. The only thing they will listen to in the end is shouting and orders. And anyway I find potions so stimulating and bewitching that I have no time for people who don't understand the intricacy of it.'
'Good thing you're a teacher then.' Harry said with a smirk, taking another bite of chicken. 'This is very good by the way. Maybe you should be a teacher of home economics in a muggle school if you have more patience with it.'
'Hah, muggle children wouldn't last an hour with me. I think the main reason I like it is because I don't have to teach it. You were surprisingly good with making this dish, I just wish you could make potions like that.'
'Believe me, so do I.' Harry finished his meal and pushed his plate away with a yawn. 'So, what are the instructions for this task?'
Severus raised an eyebrow at the change of subject. I haven't got the parchment on me but from what I can gather you have to crawl into Salazar Slytherin's mouth, which The Dark Lord said is where the Basilisk would have crawled out from.'
'Ew, perfect.' Harry said with distaste.
'I know the basilisk was wandering the pipes at times but there still must be a big enough space back there to hide him comfortably while he was sleeping.'
'I suppose so. And that would be a reason why I wouldn't have seen anything in the chamber that he says is there.'
'Exactly.' Severus said. 'There are a couple of enchantments and passwords to get through until you get to what I understand is a study of sorts. They are all in parseltongue obviously.'
'Obviously.' Harry drawled.
'Severus looked at Harry searchingly for a moment over his glass of wine.
'What?' Harry asked shortly.
'It's just that I can't believe you are taking this so well.' He replied.
'Well how exactly did you expect me to take it, I mean I could have a worse task. I actually think this could be quite interesting.'
'Don't get me wrong, I think you are being very mature about this. It is just unexpected, that's all. Why the sudden change?'
'Well.' Harry said, trying to choose his words carefully. 'I guess I've decided to just roll with things.'
Severus looked at him, perplexed. 'I'm not quite sure what you're getting at.' He said. 'Unless it's some weird take on an Oasis song.'
Harry laughed. 'You know Oasis?'
'Well I may have heard of a few of their songs. After all I had a muggle father so I'm not ignorant of all things muggle like some of the purebloods are. And they are a famous muggle group.'
Harry still couldn't help but smirk at the thought of Severus listening to Oasis songs. 'So do you like them?' He asked.
'I have no feelings for them either way but can we get back to the original purpose of what you were saying.'
Harry sighed as he thought about how to explain.
'Well ever since this whole thing started I've just wished things would return to the way they were before. Before I got kidnapped and found out I was your son and had to pretend to be on The Dark Lord's side and be friends with death eater children and not being able to see my friends.'
Harry stopped to draw in a breath as he had been speaking very fast.
'And so I didn't want to change because I liked how things were before and I liked how I was before. I didn't want to become this other person who fucks and smokes and drinks and acts like fucking Draco Malfoy, because that isn't me.
'But now I just think it's time to stop trying so hard to be the me I was before because it's just too damn hard. Which obviously means that I am really not that person anymore so why pretend. I need to accept and move on and fit in and become a proper little Slytherin. And most of all I need to lose my fucking virginity because it's annoying me and all the other kids keep teasing me about it.'
To his credit Severus didn't smirk or laugh at that he just had this very pensive look about him.
'I know this will sound strange because of what you just said but I think you are being very grown up about it and I also think this will make things so much easier for you because like you said you are not the golden boy anymore and the sooner you accept that the better and easier it will be for you.
'You don't have to pretend about anything or do anything you really don't have to do but at the same time you can let go and have fun without worrying about the consequences. Because whether you're happy about it or not you have changed and you have been in denial about it.'
Harry sighed and picked up his glass of wine. He took a sip and smiled wryly at Severus. 'Yeah, I have been in denial and that's going to stop right now. Here's to the new Slytherin me.'
Severus also picked up his glass of wine and they clinked glasses. Then they drank.