Chapter One: The Sorting

Severus Snape sneered as he watched the latest bunch of little brats get sorted, standing there like mice, shaking with fear as McGonagall read out their names. None of them looked worthy of the houses they were sorted into, just snivelling little children. Apart from the three at the back, they were different, one with red hair and a patched robe, a Weasley he surmised, a girl with bushy hair and beaver-like teeth, muggleborn, and, ah yes, Harry Potter. Severus was going to have fun tormenting him, worthless little Gryffindor, as he was sure he would be. No, these three were different, they weren't nervous of scared, they appeared perfectly calm, bored even, as they waited for a hat to decide their fate. Severus snapped out of his contemplation as he heard Professor McGonagall call "Granger, Hermione" and the bushy haired girl separated herself from the two boys and walked serenely up to the stool. Ravenclaw, he thought, or Gryffindor, as he watched her place the hat on her head.

"Hmmm, you are a tricky one aren't you, determined to excel, fiercely loyal to those you deem worthy, clever, goodness yes, you are clever, and able to stand up for what you believe in. Now what's this, oh no that wont do, you'll have to tell someone deary, Professor Snape's a good one for that…"

"No!" was Hermione's strong reply.

"Ah well then, you'll have to in the end deary, but until then, better be… SLYTHERIN!"

Severus spluttered, a Slytherin? Now he definitely had not see that one coming. He would have to keep an eye on her, he turned his attention back to her two friends, neither of them looked shocked at where she had been placed, in fact they still showed no emotion, Snape wondered what had happened to these eleven year olds that they had developed masks so young. Once again he was brought out of his thoughts by the call of "Potter, Harry", whispers ran round the hall, "The Harry Potter?". Potter didn't bat an eyelid merely walked expressionlessly up to the stool and placed the hat on his head.

"Difficult. Very difficult. Plenty of courage, I see. A excellent mind too. Talent, oh my goodness, exceedingly talented, your going to be great you know? And a thirst to prove yourself. Ambitious and cunning, hmm, so where shall I put you."

"Why ask me, isn't that for you to decide?" asked Harry, eager for the sorting to be over, he wanted to get back to his book.

"I see you aren't going to tell anyone are you, ah well, I'll put you with your friend, good luck Harry Potter, you're going to need it in… SLYTHERIN."

Silence, then the whispers broke out again, "A Potter in Slytherin…" Severus was shocked, that hat had obviously gone senile, Harry Potter in Slytherin, this couldn't be happening. He watched Harry walk over to the Slytherin table and take a seat at the end, next the Hermione, have a brief whispered conversation with her, then turn emotionless to watch the rest of the sorting. Finally Severus heard "Weasley, Ronald." This one was certain, no Weasley had ever gone anywhere but Gryffindor.

"Ah, a strategist, don't see many of them anymore, you're going to be useful young Weasley."

"Enough of that, where am I going?" asked Ron impatiently.

"Hmm, well, your brave, exceedingly so, but with a well developed sense of self-preservation, your clever, but not with books, so not Ravenclaw, loyal, yet wary, so not a Hufflepuff, so I guess the real choice is Gryffindor or Slytherin…

"I don't care"

"Ah, but you do, well then, better be… SLYTHERIN."

All in all, it was one of the oddest sortings Severus Snape had ever seen, a Weasly, a muggleborn and Harry Potter had all been sorted into Slytherin, this sorting would go down in history. Now to work out why they were in his house. Ah well, he had seven years to work that out. He noticed the food appearing as Dumbledore finished his speech, the feast had begun. Continuing to observe the strange trio Severus tucked into his meal.

Down at the Slytherin table the trio were having an important discussion of their own.

"No Ron, I don't care about your pride, I have more money that I could ever use, and if we are going to be a recognisable group we all need to have some sort of distinguishing feature. Altered Hogwarts robes would do that!" argued Harry forcefully.

"But, I don't want charity." Ron hissed back.
"It's not charity, it's a friend taking care of a friend!" Harry stated fiercely.

"Fine, but I don't have to like it!" Ron said.

Hemione smiled exasperatedly at the two of them, "Honestly you two, stop behaving like children!"

Both Harry and Ron turned to look at her, "But we are children." They said together in identical insincere shock. Hermione giggled and turned back to her food, the two boys decided this seemed a sensible idea and both tucked into the food before them, neither of them used to this amount of food to eat at one meal.

Severus was relieved to see them laugh, for a brief time they looked like normal eleven year olds, maybe they wouldn't be as bad as he expected, well, he was certain Potter would be as arrogant as his father, but the muggleborn and the Weasley may be bearable. He would just have to wait and see, he would judge their reactions to his welcoming talk, judge whether they were worthy of his house, then again he would do that with all his Slytherin's.

AN: Hehe, lots of alliteration in that chapter, chapters may get longer as I go on, but I'm not sure, thanks to csi-jess for my first review! Next update soon, am on holiday and dreadfully bored!! Reviews are much appreciated!