Harry and the Elixir of Time by teddylonglong
I do not own any of the characters in this story; they all belong to Mrs. Rowling or are a free creation, and I am not earning anything by writing this story.
I'm not a native speaker of English; please excuse my mistakes.
Chapter 1 – A Surprising Sorting
"The ceiling is charmed to look like the sky," a first-year girl with bushy brown hair explained to her fellow students as they walked through the Great Hall following Professor McGonagall until they were told to stop just in front of the Head table. Harry waited patiently for his name to be called, wondering if the Hat would sort him or just tell him that he was a freak and should leave the beautiful castle immediately.
Finally, with "Potter, Harry" Professor McGonagall called his name. Harry stumbled to the front and sat down on the chair so that the teacher could place the Sorting Hat on his head.
"Ah, I can see courage and loyalty, but I can also see other traits in your head. Your magic is very strong, but I will not be misled by lies or glamours. Now, where am I going to put you?"
"Anywhere but Slytherin please," Harry whispered back, hoping that the Hat would listen to his words.
"Oh, not Slytherin? That is, however, where I'd like to place you. Why not?"
"Because they told me that all bad people are in Slytherin, and…"
"No," the Hat cut him off. "That's not true, as you will see." The Hat went quiet for a minute, before continuing in a loud voice for everyone to hear,
"Sly…," it stopped, only to continue, "…ffindor."
With this, the hall went absolutely quiet. Harry pulled the hat off his head and threw a questioning glance at Professor McGonagall, who was standing right beside him.
"Just sit down at the Gryffindor table. We will have a talk to the Hat about this later," she said, giving him an encouraging smile.
Harry went over to the Gryffindor table, while the Sorting continued. He was glad to be able to sit next to Ron; he just hoped that the professors would not insist on putting him into Slytherin after their talk with the Hat.
"What kind of a Sorting was that?" the twins, who seemed to be Ron's brothers asked Harry curiously, and Harry told them about his talk to the Hat.
"So it's not yet decided if you can stay in Gryffindor?" Ron asked him, flabbergasted.
Harry shook his head and replied in a small voice, "No, Professor McGonagall sent me to sit here, but she said we would talk to the Hat later."
"Now, Harry," an older girl – the others called her Alicia – addressed Harry. "I know that you are scared by this Sorting matter, but look at the food here. The food at Hogwarts is always good, but during the Welcoming feast it is especially delicious, and you should eat something anyway."
Harry gave her a small smile, while Hermione, who was sitting on his left side, piled some food on his plate.
"Thank you, Hermione," Harry whispered and started to push the food around his plate. He should have been hungry, as he hadn't eaten anything for a few days, but he was used to only eating one or two meals a week, and he was much too excited and afraid what the Hat would tell the teachers.
At the same time, Harry's Sorting was the topic number one at the Head table.
"How can the Hat do this?" Pamona Sprout asked. "Moreover, does this mean that he is sorted into both houses?"
Severus Snape, the Slytherin Head of House, sneered. "You don't believe that, do you?" he asked snidely. "A Potter in Slytherin?"
"Please, Severus, behave yourself," Minerva McGonagall reprimanded her younger colleague. "Harry is not his father, and you don't even know him at all." She didn't know what to think about this either. "Albus?" she asked the Headmaster, who was sitting next to her.
"I believe that the Hat has, in fact, sorted Harry into two houses. The Hat has never made a mistake before, so I assume that he did this on purpose. Therefore, I believe that Harry should belong to both houses. He will have two Heads of House, and he may choose if he wants to spend the nights in Gryffindor or Slytherin, while both common rooms should be open for him. The points he receives will be divided equally between the two houses and vice versa, the points he loses will be taken equally from both houses."
Suddenly Poppy Pomfrey spoke up. "Severus, do me a favour and look at Harry Potter as closely as you can from the distance. I am sure that he is wearing glamours."
"What?" Minerva asked flabbergasted. "Do you think he isn't really Harry Potter?"
Noticing that the others were looking at her expectantly, Poppy answered, "That is not what I think. He probably is Harry Potter, but he seems to be hiding something. He must be very powerful to have such glamours in place, but having plenty of experience with Severus and his glamours, I can't be easily fooled."
Severus frowned. He had only used glamours to hide his injuries, so that others couldn't see them. So why would a child – no, a certainly pampered child, he corrected himself – encounter the necessity to wear glamours? He stared piercingly at the subject of attention, who was sitting at the Gryffindor table.
"I am not a hundred percent sure, but I think you could be right, Poppy," Severus finally said hesitantly. "But why would he do that? Could he be abused? I would imagine him to be a pampered little brat, who even seems to be used to better food, considering that he's not eating anything at all. He is only playing with his food."
Albus sighed. He couldn't imagine a reason either. But it would be necessary to speak to the child. "We'll ask him to come to my office later to discuss his situation of being put into two houses. Therefore, I need Minerva and Severus to accompany me anyway, and if you could please come along as well, Poppy, you could have a closer look at him and, if necessary, ask him about the glamours."
Everyone nodded agreeably, and Minerva went over to the Gryffindor table, stating, "Mr. Potter, please join us at the Headmaster's office directly after dinner. I will take you to your dormitory later."
"Yes, Professor," Harry replied as quietly as possible, before he turned his attention back to his classmates, who were just introducing themselves to each other. Too soon, dinner was over, and Harry hesitantly walked over to the Head table where Professor McGonagall and Professor Snape were already waiting for him.
"Don't worry, Harry. Everything will be all right," Professor McGonagall told Harry, while they were climbing up the stairs to the Headmaster's office. The Headmaster greeted them and offered Harry a lemon drop, which Harry felt inclined to take. He glanced around and looked in awe at an amazing bird, which was sitting on the perch and greeting him with a short melody. Dumbledore motioned Harry to sit down, and he complied, sitting down between Professors McGonagall and Snape.
"Now, Harry, first of all, I will introduce your teachers to you," Albus started to talk. Noticing that Harry threw an unsure glance at Severus, he continued, "On your right side is Professor Snape; he is the Head of Slytherin House. To your left side is Professor McGonagall; she is Head of Gryffindor. The lady next to me is Poppy Pomfrey, our Healer. As you will probably know, I am Albus Dumbledore, the Headmaster."
Harry smiled at the teachers and said in a small voice, "I am pleased to meet you, Professors."
"Now, I believe the Sorting Hat has behaved a little abnormally today. He indeed has sorted you into two different houses, Gryffindor and Slytherin. Is that right, Harry?" Dumbledore asked the obviously scared boy in a soft voice.
"Yes, Professor," Harry said hesitantly, watching his hands intently. "We had a bit of a discussion, and then the Hat finally... um… said what everyone could hear. I don't know…" He slowly trailed off. Harry did not notice the piercing looks Poppy and Severus gave him while Albus went over to the shelf the Sorting Hat was placed on and quietly talked to the Hat.
Having watched Harry now for a while and taking in his every movement, Severus was nearly sure that the boy was not only wearing glamours but that he had to be abused. Thoughts of another eleven-year-old, who carefully had to hide his injuries whenever he returned to Hogwarts after the holidays, started to pop up in his head.
"That is all right, Mr. Potter," Severus heard himself say. "You have done nothing wrong, and it's not a problem."
Harry carefully glanced at the seemingly unfriendly professor, who had spoken in a very soft and silky voice. In the meantime, Albus had returned to his seat and resumed speaking.
"I asked the Hat, and, in fact, the Hat has sorted you into both houses, Gryffindor and Slytherin. This has never happened before, so we are able to handle this situation as we want to. For you, Harry, this means that you belong to both houses. You may choose in which dormitory you want to spend the nights. You may use both common rooms, and you have two Heads of House, Professor McGonagall and Professor Snape. When you receive points, they will be divided equally between the two houses, and when you lose points, they will be taken equally from both houses. Do you understand so far?"
Harry nodded. "Yes, Professor, I understand. Maybe I could spend the nights in Gryffindor, because I have already become friends with Ron Weasley and would like to share the dormitory with him."
"All right, Harry. You will stay in the Gryffindor first years' dormitory," Professor McGonagall confirmed in her stern voice, though she smiled at the excited boy. "You may change this any time. However, Professor Snape and I, as well as your dorm mates, always have to know where you are spending the night. You have to make sure that we always know where you are," she added.
"However," Professor Snape threw in, "since you belong to both Houses it will be expected from you that you keep contacts to both Houses and show up in both common rooms at least once a day. I would also require that you eat at least one meal a day at each table in the Great Hall."
"I'll keep that in mind, sir," Harry said sincerely, warily glancing at the teacher next to him. He didn't notice that Dumbledore and Snape exchanged a glance with the Mediwitch, who gave them a confirming nod.
"Now, Harry, I believe Poppy has something to discuss with you," the Headmaster said, and Harry glanced curiously at the friendly looking lady opposite him.
"Harry," Poppy addressed him softly, "I would like to know why you are wearing glamours."
Harry looked at her questioningly. "I'm wearing what?" he asked, not understanding what he had been asked.
Poppy and Severus exchanged a quick look. "Glamours," Poppy repeated gently. "They change your outer appearance."
Harry was outright shocked. He was not wearing anything. What did she mean? Unsure about how to react or to reply, he became very anxious, and noticed that it was getting difficult to breathe. He hardly noticed that Minerva took his hand, but he took in a friendly voice saying, "Breathe, Harry, everything is alright. Try to breathe calmly; you can do it," Minerva told him. "Does he need a Calming Draught?" she asked Poppy, who shook her head.
"No, I don't want him to take any potions until I have done a check-up on him."
Severus cleared his throat and again spoke very softly in order not to scare the frightened child even more. "I have to hold a house meeting in Slytherin in a few minutes. I suggest that Harry accompanies me so that he can attend the house meeting along with his Slytherin housemates. After the meeting, I will bring him to Poppy's office, because I think it would be better to have this particular conversation with less people present. When Poppy has finished with him, I shall call Minerva so that she can take him to his Gryffindor dormitory," Severus suggested, and everyone nodded approvingly.
"Yes, Severus, that does sound like a good idea," Poppy voiced her agreement.
"All right, Harry. Let's go down to the Slytherin common room," Severus addressed the student beside him and stood up from the chair he had been occupying. His dark eyes gave Harry a searching look, but he seemed unwilling to say anything more. Harry quickly got to his feet as well and followed the professor out of the Headmaster's office. He nearly had to run in order to keep up with the professor's fast pace. He strode purposefully to the dungeons, his robes menacingly billowing behind him.
The teacher stopped in front of a portrait and explained, "This is Salazar Slytherin, the founder of this house. The password to enter the common room is 'The snakes' den'. Please remember the password; otherwise Salazar will not let you in."
In the meantime, the portrait had opened, and teacher and student entered the common room, where many students were gathered. A few of them were reading; others were talking quietly to each other. As soon as the students spotted them, everything went quiet. One of the older students approached them.
"Good evening, Severus," he said. "Shall I call the others?"
"This, Harry, is Fabian Zabini, our seventh year's prefect. Yes, please, Fabian." Harry watched in awe as many students filed into the room, sitting in a circle on the floor. Severus motioned Harry to come with him and stood in front of the students, where Harry felt very uncomfortable. Noticing this, Severus quickly addressed his House.
"Welcome to Slytherin House for a new school year. First of all, I would like to introduce to you Harry Potter. He is a first year, and probably all of you have noticed at the feast that the Sorting Hat sorted him into two Houses – Slytherin and Gryffindor. In the history of Hogwarts, this has never happened before, so no one truly knows what it means to belong to two Houses. However, I believe that this is a superb opportunity for Slytherin to demonstrate to the other houses that we are unique, reliable and loyal towards our members.
"Harry is a full member of this house like you all, and I want everyone to treat him accordingly. At first, he will sleep in Gryffindor – although do feel free to convince him that it's better to stay in Slytherin. He will come to our common room each evening, and he will eat at the Slytherin table at least once a day. His house points will be divided between us and Gryffindor."
He addressed Harry and pointed to a group of younger students. "Please sit down together with your classmates," he instructed Harry who hurried to comply and sat down next to Draco Malfoy. Severus addressed the students once more.
"My office is just next to the Potions classroom, which you will become familiar with tomorrow morning. If you wish to speak with me, you may come to my office at any time. Additionally, I will be spending some time in your common room every evening around curfew. You are not required to be here during those times. You may be in your dormitory at that time. However, each Friday evening, we will have a house meeting thirty minutes before curfew, and I expect every one of you to attend. Harry, you don't have to worry about curfew, I will see that you have the opportunity to attend our meetings. Here in the common room, you may call me Severus, as I will call you by your given names. However, outside of this House, you must address me Professor or sir, otherwise I shall be forced to take points. Now, I would like the first years to introduce themselves."
The eleven first years, including Harry, introduced themselves, and afterwards Severus sent everyone to bed. Harry said 'Good Night' to his classmates – very relieved, because everyone had been extremely friendly to him – maybe Slytherin wasn't so bad after all!
"Let's go, Harry." Severus' smooth voice pulled him out of his thoughts, and Harry followed Severus obediently out of the common room, although he would have preferred to just go to bed with the others, suddenly feeling very tired. Apparently, he was too tired to keep up with the professor's fast pace. Suddenly Severus noticed that Harry was quite a bit behind him, and waited for him to catch up.
"Is everything all right, Harry?" he asked, in a surprisingly gently voice. Harry threw him a wary glance.
"Yes, Professor, I'm sorry. Where are we going?" he asked hesitantly.
"We must go and see Madam Pomfrey in her office in the hospital wing," Severus explained patiently while slowly guiding his student through the empty halls. Harry cleared his throat nervously, frantically thinking of how to ask what he wanted to ask.
"Um… Professor?" he tried and continued, when he saw that the teacher was looking at him expectantly, "You know, she asked me something, when we were in the Headmaster's office." Severus gave him an encouraging nod. "I am sorry, but I don't know what she means. Did I do something wrong?"
Severus shook his head and replied, "No, Harry, you didn't do anything wrong. We will explain her question to you once we are inside her office. You have no need to be afraid. Madam Pomfrey is a kind woman, and she has only your best interests at heart. Moreover, you can confide in her without any fear that she will reveal what she learns to any other student. She was already stationed here when I was a student, and she has helped me many times." Too soon, in Harry's opinion, they reached the hospital wing and went straight into Poppy's office.
"Now, Harry, there you are," Poppy greeted them, but Severus interrupted her.
"Poppy, I don't believe Harry understood your question in the least. Could you please explain to him what it was you were asking about?"
Poppy threw a glance at Harry and then explained patiently, "I noticed that you are wearing a Glamour Charm, and I would like to know why. Do you understand my question?"
Harry threw a pleading glance at Severus and slightly shook his head.
"All right, my dear," Poppy continued and explained, "A glamour charm is a spell, which magically hides certain features of a human's outer appearance. Has anyone put such a spell on you, or have you put yourself under this glamour?"
Harry shook his head and voiced, "No, Madam, I'm sorry. I have no idea."
"Okay, Harry. Then you won't mind if I tried to cancel the spell, right?" Harry nodded, and Poppy pointed her wand at Harry. "Finite Incantatem." Nothing happened. Poppy frowned and exchanged an exasperated look with Severus.
"Apparently the charm is quite strong. Let's try together," he suggested, and both of them pointed their wands at Harry, speaking the incantation simultaneously.
"Finite Incantatem." This time it worked, and all three of them gasped.