Christmas Time Moments
A/N Merry Christmas! Happy Yule (I have to add this one as I personally celebrate Yule)! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanza! And have a merry whatever else you celebrate. Just something short and sweet I wrote. This is just a friendship fic no slash a first for me.
I also want to say this is not my normal writing at all but I felt like writing something light for a change. This has something for everyone to enjoy what ever you like in fictions.
Snow was blanketing Hogwarts castle as two young men sat at the large windows in their respective spots. One had black hair and two startling green eyes, not to mention the lightning bolt scar etched onto his forehead. The other boy was opposite in almost every way. He had silver blonde hair and steel grey eyes that changed from iron grey to sky blue. His skin was pale and unmarred unlike the other boy.
These two students were the only students left in the castle it was only them, the teachers, and the ghosts. It was a lonely time despite it being the holidays. The boys were from rival houses and had been enemies since they first stepped foot in the castle. A Slytherin and a Gryffindor did not get along especially when the students in question were Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter.
The lunch bell clanged its merry melody announcing it was time for all living inhabitants of the castle to head to the great hall. Both boys let out identical sighs at opposite ends of the castle. Harry headed out of Gryffindor tower and Draco left the astronomy tower where he had been sitting thinking.
Both boys reached the great hall at the same time surprisingly no insults were exchanged both boys had remained silent. The first couple of meals had been interesting with the two of them quibbling the whole time, but even that daily entertainment had ceased. Now the days dragged on.
It wasn't normally this empty but the threat of Voldemort had taken its toll. The students either went home to avoid the threat or get marked as a supporter. Draco had declared himself neutral and now it wasn't safe to return home. Harry had no family worth mentioning and his friends had anted to spend alone time with their families. So now they were stuck in a snowed in castle, alone with the teachers, and they were bored!!!
The meal passed quietly with little talking and the two boys finished first. They both left the great hall in search of something to occupy themselves. With a heavy heart and an even darker sigh Harry, for the first time in his Hogwarts career, went to library without Hermione's urging.
Surprisingly he was soon joined by Draco. They had both come to the same conclusion that the time could be spent doing justice to their holiday work. It was their sixth year so the teachers were gearing up for Newts. The boys worked in silence Harry dealing with potions and Draco was doing his Charms.
No one was more surprised then Harry when he learned he qualified for NEWT potions. Apparently when you got him away from Snape he could brew a descent potion.
It wasn't until he had started looking through his old school things that he found the reason. The potions steps were different from his notes then what was in the book. Snape was checking to see who had done their homework, and sadly he had fallen for it.
Now that he knew that he always took his own notes from the book and worked off them. Even with Snape's admittedly biased grading his potions had improved. He didn't even mind the other boy's presence in the library. The soft sounds of another person studying were comforting in the lonely castle.
The two boys worked throughout the day until the dinner bell rang. They both rose to adjourn to the great hall. Harry with his potions essay in hand. He planned on looking it over for spelling and grammar errors during the meal.
His thoughts were interrupted when he got to the hall. Only two seats were open one on either side of Snape. Draco was already heading to the one between Snape and McGonagall. Harry heaved another sigh and slid into the chair between Snape and Dumbledore.
It wasn't 2 seconds before Dumbledore struck up a conversation. "Harry my boy, what have you found to occupy yourself with?" he asked in a grandfatherly tone.
"Trouble no doubt, just like his father." Harry heard Snape gripe from his other side.
Ignoring the potions professor for the moment Harry answered Dumbledore's question in a loud enough voice Snape could hear him but not realize it was deliberate. "I've been in the library working on my potions essay. I am finding the properties of the Feralis potion interesting. He answered evenly and no one could say he was lying or exaggerating he really did find it interesting. He glanced over and saw that Snape was trying not to show that he was listening as hard as he could.
"Very good Harry, how far have you gotten?" Dumbledore asked the twinkle in his eyes proving he was aware of the by play between Harry and Snape.
Harry noticed this so he answered cautiously. "I have it finished I was planning on looking it over while I eat."
"Then you won't mind if I take it now?" Snape said and not allowing Harry to answer he took the document from the table.
Harry hid a smirk and Draco had to work to stop his surprise as both teenagers watched their professor read Harry's work. First his face was impassive as ever then a look of surprise finally at the conclusion he actually seemed to be heavily considering one of Harry's theories to improve upon the potion.
Harry was even more amazed when Snape spoke. "Alright Potter, this is way above even your know-it-all friend's usual work. I never took you for a cheater although I had my doubts when you got the required OWL grade. I would be willing to give you full credit on this assignment with one condition. Brew this potion and prove your theory one way or the other." Snape said laying out the deal.
Harry having nothing better to do and being curious himself about reality of his theorem answered. "When do you want me to come down?"
"Right after you finish your meal. The potion doesn't take more then an hour to brew. Mr. Malfoy you are welcome to join us." Snape answered.
Harry looked down at his barely touched plate of food realizing he was more interested in the potion then food. "I am not very hungry I will wait until you are finished sir." Harry replied.
"You really don't know the basics of potions brewing Potter. The potion draws out your own magic core. You need to eat to keep up your strength or the potion wont come out right." Draco said arrogantly from the other side of Snape. He didn't realize that by trying to lord his knowledge over Harry he would actually help the other boy.
Harry disgruntly picked up his fork and finished his food. A few minutes after the two Slytherins were also finished. They brought harry down to the potions classroom, and set him up at a cauldron.
The Gryffindor used a quick charm and his notes popped up next to his hand. The Feralis potion was designed to lesson the effects of dark curses such as Cruciatus. Many attempts had been made to make the potion stable enough to accept phoenix tears. If someone was able to do that instead of just stopping the damage from getting worse it would actually heal the damage.
Harry got to work, it might not take long to brew but that meant a lot of things had to be done in a short amount of time. He got everything chopped, diced, minced, and measured before he ever turned the fire on under the cauldron.
Measuring out the quarter cup of Armadillo bile brought up memories. He remembered the time he had deliberately knocked it over to spy on Snape. With that thought Harry heard a rapidly indrawn breath. He knew his thoughts were no longer his alone. He stopped his trip down memory lane and continued brewing.
It was in the last fifteen minutes of brewing that Harry's alterations came into play. Instead of the 4 ounces of doxy wings the potion called for Harry put in 3 ounces of pixie wings and 1 ounce crushed billywig stings. The potion started to bubble and sizzle but still Harry waited to put in the last ingredient.
Finally the thick murky green liquid turned transparent and thinned out. Harry dumped half a cup of Sphinx blood into the still violently bubbling mixture.
At first Harry thought the mixture would boil over but to his surprise it settled back into the cauldron just gently simmering. Not just harry was surprised, Snape couldn't believe how Potter of all people had just done what potions masters hadn't been able to do.
"Potter, how did you do this?" Draco asked saving Snape the trouble.
"Well the substitution made sense. Doxy wings are used to get the temperature of the potion up high enough for it to accept the Sphinx blood. Pixy wings do the same thing to the cauldron except for the fact it make the fire hotter. The billywig stings in the potion make the pixy wing's reaction temporary. When the cauldron finally settles down afterward it should be back at a stable temperature to add the phoenix tears." Harry explained his theory.
"Come down here tomorrow, both of you. Then I will show you how to properly test an experimental potion." Snape snapped at the two boys before going into his office to work on his own theories.
Directly after breakfast found the same three people together making potions. More precisely correcting their current theories. They were playing with the amounts of ingredients needed to make an effective potion.
Harry was working harder then he ever had. He was working so hard trying to help people. He felt it was his duty and purpose in life to help as many people as possible. He wasn't aware of it but he was being observed closely by the other two men in the room.
They were beginning to realize they had been wrong about the Potter boy. They had always assumed that everyone catered to his whim. That the precious golden boy didn't know how to put in a hard days work. That was why Snape was always so hard on him. He was trying to give Harry a decent work ethic.
Now watching Harry work he had his first inkling there was more to Harry then meets the eye. He worked to thoroughly and too fast. Almost like he had a history of having to do difficult tasks in short amounts of time. Carefully while Harry was distracted he snuck under the unmentioned but still impressive mental walls.
What he found shocked and amazed him. The boy who lived didn't grow up coddled at all. He was pushed around and made to work harder then a house elf. He wasn't abused physically but the neglect and the mental trauma were enough. Even his abused Slytherins still had a sense of purpose, to run their family lines. Harry didn't have that, he only had one purpose to die, at the hands of lord Voldemort. Severus was horrified to discover that Harry fully believed he wasn't going to live through the war.
When he made that discovery he was unaware he had let out a shocked gasp. Harry looked up from one of their trial potions and said. "Did you find what you were looking for?" He spoke in an even tone. It implied Harry had known full well Severus was looking through his memories but didn't care enough to toss him out.
"Why did you let me look?" was the first question Severus was able to put into words.
"Because you would never believe unless you witnessed it yourself. Draco and you have made the mistake of thinking I don't know hardship or the value of backbreaking labor, I do. Until you realize this we can't work together properly. I will not let innocent people suffer if the saving them only cost me my memories and a hurt pride." Harry answered evenly.
"Why do you believe you will die?" Severus asked next.
"No one has given me a reason to believe otherwise. If they really thought I would live don't you think they would be training me? Or at least giving me enough information to keep people out of danger. I will not let anyone else die by my own ignorance. Learning that lesson cost me my godfather. After all as long as I kill the Dark Lord in the process I will have served my purpose. What else is here for me after that, nothing that's what." Harry said in a way that made it clear he believed every word of it and wasn't bothered by what he was saying.
It was that unflinching acceptance that put Severus on edge. "Why isn't any of this bothering you?" he asked.
"It used to, but I also learned that getting upset doesn't change anything. It just makes the people around me unhappy when I should be spending what little time I have enjoying life." Harry again answered this time his voice gained some warmth at the allusion to his friends.
"What if someone did train you? What would you do then?" Draco asked as he had been following the conversation from the beginning.
"Take whatever help I am given. It may not seem like it but, I don't want to die, I just accept that I am going to. It doesn't really matter does it they haven't trained me before why would they start now?" He asked a hint of bitterness detectable in his voice then. The first sign that Harry was not at all content with his fate.
"Then we will just have to train you." Severus said making the decision. "You can't hope to beat the Dark Lord with a simple Expelliarmus. You must fight fire with fire, no I don't mean Dark Arts, and there are plenty of light spells that can cause the desired effects." Severus said at Harry's wide eyed look. "Of course it might be beneficial to learn the basics of Dark Arts just so you know what you are fighting." he continued almost to himself. "Are you ready to learn from Slytherins?
"If you honestly want to do this then by all means do it." Harry answered. "I didn't learn what I needed from others and Slytherins are not evil just cunning."
And that was how Harry Potter landed himself in a position to be trained by two Slytherins. All it took was time and memories.
Harry spent every moment possible down in the dungeons training. He had never felt so sore yet so content at the same time. He soaked up the knowledge like a sponge. He wasn't just dryly learning the spells out of a book. They taught by action so he actually learned how to use a spell versus learning how to cast it.
Soon with his determination and raw power backing him he could hold his own in a duel against both of them. Christmas it was nearly overlooked in the training. In the end he ended up spending his Christmas down in the Slytherin dungeons with Severus and Draco. They let up on the physical training and focused on putting the finishing touches on the improved Feralis potion.
The day after they finished the potion and two days before the rest of the school was supposed to come home, Severus felt his left arm burn. That was the beginning of the end.
Harry had been staying in Draco's dorm to be closer if this kind of situation happened. He was going to be joining the death eater meeting. Only Voldemort or himself would come out alive but not both of them.
He fought hard as he could, and Severus fought beside him taking down as many death eaters as they could. Finally he managed to clear a path through the death eaters to face off with Voldemort.
The fight was actually very anticlimactic, Voldemort was so shocked that his death eater ranks could be decimated so efficiently. Pain and fear was no way to keep fighters loyal enough to stay by your side when it's their necks on the line. The death eaters scattered to the winds leaving behind their once master.
He was killed from a tandem spell by both Severus and Harry. It was kind of fitting that the worst Dark lord in history was brought down by sunlight. Harry had cast the sunlight charm with Severus casting an amplifying hex. The combination burned the dark lord alive. Burning was the only mode of death that would keep the dark lord from coming back.
Exhausted from his battles with the death eaters, Harry slumped to the ground at Severus's feet. To tired to apparate correctly, Severus created a portkey from a pebble and they were of back to Hogwarts.
They were met by a worried Draco and a joyous Headmaster. It was finally over the war had been won. Not through sacrifice as Dumbledore had thought, but through the people who had the foresight to train their savior. After all Voldemort was destroyed using a first year charm. All it took was applying a little Slytherin cunning.
So you see that is how one Christmas with Slytherins won the war. The best part of this tale is what happened after the school year ends. Harry potter no longer returned to the Dursleys. He went to Snape manor and Draco followed as well. They all had past wounds to heal from and how better to heal them then by talking with those that understand. They became a family in every way but blood, and they never could remember just why they had fought in the first place.