Severus sweeps into the Slytherin common room where all his snakes are gathered. Severus always makes a speech to welcome his new and old students. Every year, Severus fosters the world's belief on Slytherins. He always made a speech with an eye that he was supposed to be a Death Eater. This year though, the speech will not foster the old ways.
"Slytherins are cunning."
Severus looked over his snakes. Malfoy had pushed his way to the front (or more likely, had his goons push his classmates away.) He was smirking, looking high and mighty, trying to enforce that HE was the ultimate in a cunning Slytherin.
So like his father. That swagger, that smirk, that cock sure attitude. This is what Slytherin is about? Not if I have anything to say about it this time.
"Mr. Malfoy, wipe that smirk off. I don't know how YOU got to be in Slytherin"
Malfoy's face fell.
"My father will hear about this."
Severus sneers at him.
"How nice. Maybe you should bring your father here so he can fight all your battles for you."
The Slytherins laugh. Malfoy had already alienated his classmates by attempting to bully them with Lucius' power. Last time, Severus implicitly gave power to this spoiled brat by turning a blind eye. Hopefully, this time he can nip it in the bud.
"As I was saying, Slytherins are cunning. We are ambitious." Severus looks at each one in the eye. "That doesn't mean we can't learn from other houses. Intelligence, bravery and loyalty. It's a power all in itself."
"Ambition without bravery, loyalty or intelligence will get you no farther than where you are."
Now his snakes are confused. They spent all their life looking down at all other houses, thinking that there is only the Slytherin house to be proud of. Severus looks on amusedly.
"How are Slytherins perceived, Flint?"
Marcus Flint eyes his Head of House carefully.
"Like future Dark Lords?"
"Are you asking me or telling me?" Severus demands.
Marcus squares his shoulders.
"They believe that we are or will turn evil and dark."
Severus looks at his snakes carefully in turn.
"Are we? Do you think what they say are true?"
Adrian Pucey cautiously raises his hand. Severus acknowledges him.
"We're just kids."
"It's like saying that we were born evil," Marcus replied, "judged by our parents for something they did."
"You no longer can hide behind your parents." Severus looks at the well known Death Eater children. "Choose wisely."
All his snakes look at him with incomprehension. Severus bit down his long suffering sigh.
"Do you think you should follow the Dark Lord?" Severus asks hoping that at least some of his snakes were smart enough to see where he was leading.
"Slytherin is all about following the power. Who do you think we should follow?"
All his students look at one another. They have been raised that the Dark Lord was the most powerful. Now, Snape was telling them that the dark Lord didn't have the power.
"Headmaster Dumbledore?" offered one of his fifth year, timidly.
"Headmaster Dumbledore is more powerful than the Dark Lord but there is someone more powerful." Snape said hoping that at least someone knew where he was heading.
Now, there was disbelief. Who could be more powerful than the Headmaster and the Dark Lord? Murmurs among the students, as they try to riddle this.
"Harry Potter?' offered one of his seventh year, cautiously.
"That is correct." Finally, someone got it and without him naming names.
The whole of Slytherin stare at their respected teacher. Professor Snape, the bane of all Gryffindors, wanted them to follow the Golden Gryffindor.
"Who is the only survivor of the Killing Curse? Who at age one and a half destroyed the Dark Lord?"
The looks on his students faces are priceless. Some in wonderment, not realizing what the Boy Who Lives meant outside of the Death Eater circle. Some in disbelief, that someone their age be considered powerful. All in shock, that Severus Snape, who hates Gryffindor since he was a Hogwarts student himself, is telling them that they should follow what seemingly is the quintessential Gryffindor.
"Your parents chose Hogwarts so that you can make contacts that will help you later in life. Who do you think is the most important contact you can make right now?"
The students now are looking at one another. Before coming to school this year, all were told to cultivate their relationship with Draco Malfoy. The Malfoys are believed to be powerful and having that power in their corner will supposedly be good in the long run.
Malfoy now puffs himself up. His father has told him that he will have all of Slytherin, most Ravenclaw, some Hufflepuff, and even a few Gryffindors behind him straight away because he has the Malfoy name. Lucius told Draco that he was to get the rest of the school so that the Malfoys will have the power.
Severus knew that Malfoy was supposed to befriend Harry because no matter what the rest of the Death Eaters believed, Lucius knew that Harry was very powerful to survive the Killing Curse. Severus never really knew what happened between Malfoy and Harry before the sorting but Harry never warmed to Malfoy the way his father wanted.
"Malfoy!" Severus barked.
Malfoy looks at him with a sullen look.
"You have already been denied a friendship from Harry Potter," Severus said. "How do you think your father would react once it is reported that you have failed in the task he has given you?"
Malfoy loses a little color as his housemates mutter with comprehension. Lucius Malfoy gave a task to his son. It seems like the Malfoys wanted to Harry Potter on their side.
With just a few sentences, Severus just dethroned Malfoy and gave the rest of the Slytherins another option than Voldemort. Since all the Slytherins parents told them to cultivate Draco but if his father believe that Harry Potter needed to be cultivated that means that they should cultivate Harry Potter.
Severus inwardly smirked. Draco Malfoy has lost his power seat and in one fell swoop, Severus just handed the power to the eleven year old Boy-Who-Lived currently in the Gryffindor tower.
Now, to get his son back.