Better Be Slytherin! -- Chapter 1

By jharad17

Summary: As a first year, Harry is sorted into Slytherin instead of Gryffindor, and no one is more surprised than his new Head of House. Snape mentors Harry fic.

Disclaimer: None of this is mine. Honest. She's rich, I'm not.


"Hmm," said a small voice in Harry's ear. "Difficult. Very difficult. Plenty of courage, I see. Not a bad mind either. There's talent -- my goodness, yes -- and a nice thirst to prove yourself, now that's interesting. . . . So where shall I put you?"

Harry gripped the edges of the stool and a horrible thought struck him, as horrible thoughts always do when you're very nervous. What if he wasn't chosen at all? What if he just sat there with the hat over his eyes for ages, until Professor McGonagall jerked it off his head and said there had obviously been a mistake and he'd better get back on the train? Had that ever happened before?

He didn't think he could face going back to the Dursleys having failed at his very first test of wizardry. Dudley would laugh, and Aunt Petunia would sneer, and Uncle Vernon would tell him he'd always known Harry would come to no good at all . . .

Anywhere at all, he thought fiercely. Anywhere I can belong.

"No preferences, eh?" said the small voice. "Are you sure? Well, if you're sure -- better be SLYTHERIN!"

The utter silence in the Great Hall was deafening.

Harry lifted the battered hat off his head and looked around at all the shocked expressions surrounding him, and he bit his lip, hard. He turned to look at Hagrid, at the end of the head table, and the giant man was frowning, which made Harry's heart plummet. Near Hagrid, though, next to the stuttering Professor Quirrell in his absurd turban, sat a man with dark eyes, a hooked nose and a curtain of greasy dark hair, his face a study in complete surprise before it went carefully blank.

Harry recognized that look, from his own repertoire, when he was upset or really angry about something, but didn't want the Dursleys to come down on him because of it. He was used to hiding, and by the continued silence around him, he knew he would have to hide here, too.

The dark-eyed man captured Harry's gaze and after a long moment, nodded his chin toward the table where Harry had seen other new Slytherins go. So Harry obediently slid off the stool and handed the hat off to Professor McGonagall before making his way over to his new Housemates.

Once there, he stood next to the table, with the newly sorted Slytherins staring up at him like he had three heads, maybe four. He was sure he was about to told to "bugger off" for the space of one breath, then two, before one of them, a stringy looking boy, sorted into the House just two before Harry, slid over on the bench and gestured to the space now open beside him. His name was Nott, Harry remembered. Theodore Nott. "Sit down, Potter. And quit gawking for pity's sake."

"Thanks," Harry said, and slipped into the seat, ducking his head to avoid the stares.

But the rest of the Hall finally recalled what they were doing before Harry's sorting startled them, and went back to watching the hat as "Thomas, Dean" was sorted into Gryffindor. He got the expected cheers that everyone so far – except Harry – had received, and was followed by "Turpin, Lisa" going into Ravenclaw, and "Weasley, Ronald" into Gryffindor. "Zabini, Blaise," was last, and landed in Slytherin. Harry clapped along with others at his table, and made room as Zabini came to sit down on the other side of Nott.

Professor McGonagall rolled up her scroll and put it away.

TBC . . .


Next chapter: After the first feast!

A/N: This is just an idea, which if no one cares about, I'll probably write anyway. If you do like it, though, be sure and let me know. Or if you hate it, too. I can take it. :-) Gotta have something in between 5th Summer Harry and 7-year-old Harry, right?

Short chapter to begin with, my apologies, but I wanted to get the set up out of the way, and I need more time to think about where it'll go from here. Hopefully, I can keep up with this story as well as my other two, but it may be a bit more sporadic -- like once a week instead of every other day.