Harry could feel the many eyes on him as he walked down the aisle. He tried to ignore it as best he could, but it really was upsetting. Unlike most of the others, he was aware of how they were to be sorted, and was not surprised when the stool and hat were placed in position. The sorting hat's song was interesting, but he suspected that it was not manufactured by the hat itself. Either that or it was forced to modify it to fit with Dumbledore's demands.
Draco was sorted into Slytherin, while others were sent off in other directions. The tension in Harry's stomach grew as the witch approached P on the list. He noted that Dumbledore seemed to be searching the line for any sign of the illustrious Harry potter. He seemed troubled when he couldn't find what was supposed to be a nervous, but happy boy. Draco too was scanning the line up with a scowl on his face.
At last the witch called, 'Potter, Harry,' and the whispers erupted. Harry swept forward with his robes swishing around him and sat on the stool with a flourish. He saw Draco nearly fall off the bench in shock. Clearly he hadn't been expecting the snake boy to be The Harry Potter. Dumbledore was also greatly troubled. Harry reached up and removed his hood, causing even more startled gasps to run through the hall.
Dumbledore stood immediately, "what is the meaning of this?" he seemed more than a little upset. Harry couldn't help but be pleased.
"The meaning of what? I am Harry Trucido James Potter. I received an invitation to this school by owl. Surely you are not going to revoke it now?" Harry smirked, and adjusted his lip to reveal his fangs.
"Harry Potter is human. You cannot be him. I demand that you leave this instant!"
The snake boy raised his bangs, and revealed his scar, "surely I am the one you seek? I may no longer be human, but my original mother and father remain the same."
The old man's eyes widened upon seeing Harry's scar. One could practically see the wheels begin to turn in his head, "see me later. I believe we need to discuss your child hood."
"I believe it would be better to let everyone know. I do not wand absurd rumors to have the chance to circulate," he glared at Dumbledore who recoiled. Harry's glare could actually kill. Though he wasn't feeling vengeful enough quite yet, Dumbledore would still feel something pressuring him, and sapping at his life force. He sat quickly, which most took to be a sign of consent, which Harry knew would not have been given other wise, "After finding me where you left me on my aunt and uncles stoop, they decided that I was not a necessary being to be kept alive, and they left me in the middle of the woods to die," Harry began.
There was an outraged look in Dumbledore's eyes at being so blatantly insulted. Many cries could be heard about the hall, and Harry could sense the respect everyone had for the 'leader of the light' drop several notches. He continued, "A basilisk found me, and upon discovering that I could speak her language, she brought me home to her well."
"That's not possible! Basilisks eyes kill with a glance!"
"That is a common misconception. Basilisks only kill when they want to. They have a secondary set of eyelids that can prevent their gaze from killing. After a week with Oasis, she took me to those who are now my surrogate fathers, and proposed rituals that would make me into a snake. I completed these rituals when I was seven, and have recently been deemed the successor to the leading position on the Basilisk council."
Several people's jaws dropped at that. Not many people understood the significance of the return of the Basilisk Lord, but those who did instantly knew that Harry would be a formidable foe. Dumbledore looked triumphant for a moment, "should this be true, you would have been gifted with the necklace worn by Slytherin himself. I see no such necklace upon you."
Harry pulled it out, and the older man's eyes widened before he sunk with defeat, "My grand mother on my snake side was the one to change Slytherin. It has been in the family since he died."
Draco had been looking more and more shocked by the second. He knew that his father's reaction would be priceless, though the tantrum he would throw at discovering that he had missed his chance to make a good first impression would be frightening. The concept that the basilisks would be taking their place at the council once again was astounding. As a prominent pureblood family, Draco had been taught politics from the time he was old enough to understand them.
At one time, each species had its own council. The most prominent being the basilisk, the vampire, and the werewolf. The leader of each group held a spot on the interspecies council. Basilisks were always the ones said to be the most level headed. When the humans became scared, and attacked the basilisks, they were forced to leave their position. The interspecies relations had become more difficult from there, and humans had become far more controlling – placing bans and regulations of all sorts on the other members of the council. With the return of a basilisk to the council negotiations were sure to be far more interesting.
Hagrid, being a non human himself was ecstatic at the pronouncement. Basilisks had always lobbied for equality, and with there return giants would most likely gain respect. He looked forward to the day when he could show his heritage proudly.
Dumbledore gestured to McGonagall, and she went to place the hat on Harry's head, but it called out Slytherin before it even touched his head. McGonagall pulled back confusedly, and Harry stood. He sat next to Draco and silence reigned for a few minutes, before Harry coughed, and McGonagall continued with the sorting. When it was over, Dumbledore didn't even bother making his normal announcements. He simply said to enjoy, and clapped his hands.
He was clearly upset by Harry's lack of human characteristics, and Harry suspected that he had not seen the end of the questioning. The hall was simply buzzing with the energy of many peoples curiosity. Draco was the first to question him, "Harry Potter? You're Harry Potter?"
Harry looked up and down the table with disgust. Nothing was to his tastes, "I only didn't tell you because I wanted to see your reaction. Though the phrase 'gaped like a fish' is overused, I must say that it applied in this instance."
Draco's cheeks tinged pink, and Harry reached into his pocket for the small cage with his dinner in it. Upon seeing it Draco's eyes widened, "you're not really going to eat them again are you?" Harry nodded, "I had thought you were joking."
"I do not joke," he said as he un-shrunk the cage. No one seemed to notice his lack of wand, so Harry counted his blessings. Inside were a handful of baby mice, two rats, a small bird, a baby rabbit, and a weasel. Harry hadn't been hungry earlier, and as such, had decided to put on a show and eat a very large dinner. He doubted that he would need to eat more than a few baby mice in the next few days. The cage he had was specially made, and grew compartments as needed. Harry decided to start with a rat.
When the teachers saw Harry pull out the rat, they all assumed that he was just taking out a pet. However, when he punctured it with his fang, they became alarmed, "Mr. Potter! What do you think you are doing?"
He looked at them like they were crazy for asking, "eating of course. You don't expect a snake to eat any of this junk do you?" before they could answer, Harry had inserted half of the rat into his mouth, and was walking his jaw down the remainder. Everyone in the hall was speechless at the spectacle. They watched as Harry repeated the performance with the rabbit, and the other rat. The bird got its legs and tail ripped of, causing several people to gag. Harry swallowed its head last, so that the beak wouldn't hurt his throat. The looks of horror were priceless as Harry pulled out the weasel. It took him nearly ten minutes to swallow the creature. During that time people began to talk once more, though several people had begun to cry. Draco, having had at least some preparation managed to put on a show of indifference, though Harry could tell it was strained. People managed to eat again when Harry sat back with the cage on his lap. He was saving the mice for desert.
"I don't think I'll ever get used to that," Draco remarked.
Harry smirked, "you'll have to. I carry a mouse farm in my trunk. Mice breed like rabbits, and I often get hungry. My cage is usually filled with baby mice. They weren't kidding when they said I eat them like M&M's."
Draco grimaced, "don't tell me that there's more."
"I haven't had my dessert yet," was Harry's only reply. Minutes later, the deserts appeared, and Harry reached into his cage once more, pulling out a baby mouse by the tail. Mouths dropped open when he threw the mouse up in the air, and caught it in his mouth. He swallowed swiftly, before it got a chance to squirm. The taste was excellent, and Harry reached for another. Sympathetic whispers were abundant in the great hall when Harry repeated the motion. After about ten more, he finished. He smiled, and offered the cage up to his fellow housemates, "Want some? I have plenty."
Several people gagged, and a number Hufflepuffs really did throw up. Apparently, the floor was self cleaning, as it vanished instantly. Dumbledore was shaky as he made his final announcement, and sent them off to bed. As soon as Harry was out of the hall, he was bombarded by questions about if he was really the Basilisk Lord.
"Do my scales look fake to you? I assure you that I am indeed the heir to the Basilisk Thrown," he hissed out. He rolled his eyes at the demand that he speak in parseltongue, 'you all are behaving like imbeciles.'
Their reactions were very predictable. Most of them gasped, and looked slightly awed. Harry rolled his eyes inwardly, as the group reached the entrance to the Slytherin commons. The password was dark mist. Once inside Harry went straight through to his room to avoid any more questions. He had been feeling crowded since leaving the compartment, and was relived to finally be alone. He looked around the dorm room, and was horrified to note that there were only beds.
He failed to keep the expression off his face, "what's wrong?" Draco had entered the room.
"I can't sleep in one of those!"
Draco gave him an odd look, "what? You need a hole in the ground or something?"
Draco's jaw dropped, "well you can do magic! Figure it out!"
Harry nearly slapped himself. With a wave of his hand, one of the beds had become a cave with a curtain over the door. He smiled in relief.
"You are very strange. Did you know that?" Harry scowled, "and I was wondering, what did you mean when you said Crabbe and Goyle weren't very snake? They're Slytherin aren't they?"
Harry had been waiting for that question, "snake is my way of describing personality. I've always had a knack for judging people, and I label them in terms of how 'snake' they are. The more snake, the better I'll get along with them. It makes sense because there is a general mentality that all snakes share, and that happens to be the type of personality I get along with best."
"How can you tell?"
"The personalities have a sort of smell that I use to judge," Harry explained.
"So it has nothing to do with blood?" Draco asked.
"Not in particular. I can smell the differences in blood caused by creature heritage, but there are few creatures that nauseate me," he yawned widely, causing his jaw to open fully. Draco hadn't seen that yet, and was slightly shocked by how much Harry would be able to fit in there. Harry was slightly subdued as he pulled off his robes, and transfigured his pants into pajama bottoms.
Draco didn't speak when he saw the scales that adorned Harry's back, and the scar carved into his chest. He suspected that Harry's mind had been severely taxed by the day's events.
Harry yawned once more, and crawled into his cave after mumbling a subdued good night to Draco. He fell asleep quickly, despite the lonely feeling he got from sleeping without another body near by.