The sun was hiding behind the dark gray clouds that September morning. It seemed that more people were at Kings Cross Station than normal and there were an unusual amount of animals walking along the tracks with their humans. Most of those people were on the platform that separated Track Nine and Ten, but then again, it was a Monday morning, and people were too busy getting to work to realize that many of those people were disappearing. Mrs. Snape was there with her son, Severus, and she was anxiously trying to calm him down.
"I know you're excited to be going, Severus, but you must calm down – the muggles will start to notice."
He hung his head a little lower and got quiet. This is how it always was when they were doing something conspicuous in the presence of muggles. Getting to platform 9 ¾ was one of those 'somethings'. And they had to do it carefully, as the risk of having the wizarding world exposed was high.
They leaned against the platform's post and found themselves suddenly at platform 9 ¾. The great train, the Hogwarts Express, was resting on the track, engines steaming and ready to take students to the grand castle-school. He looked around and took in what he saw, wanting to remember this day forever.
"This way, Severus."
He followed his mother to the train and as the attendant magically lifted his belongings on the train he looked up at his mother.
"What?" She said, glancing at her son sternly.
"I'm…I'm a little nervous."
She gave a tender glance to her son, which was rare.
"I know. You'll be just fine. Up you go."
He smiled at her and boarded the train, waving to her as she left his sight. She neither returned the wave or the smile. This was how it always was with either of his parents. No public signs of affection, no emotion.
His father was a muggle, or 'a non-magic person'. That was the reason that his father didn't drive him to the station. Severus had been seven when his mother finally told his father that she was a witch. The row that followed had practically turned into a war. Severus had hid in the closet in his room while his mother and father yelled and threw things around their family room. Of course, his mother had fixed everything that broke with one simple spell. It had been the first spell that Severus had ever learned.
He would specifically brake things to learn how to use "reparo", and struggling a few times in the beginning, be became quite skilled at this simple spell.
The arguments between his parents became more frequent, and when he was at home while his parents fought, he would have his nose in a book… his mother's spell book. He took a twig from the yard and kept it in his room so that he could learn how to move a wand, and he would learn any spell or charm that he could learn. Soon he had quite the arsenal of charms under his belt, more than any child his age would have had. He knew more charms than many second or third year students would know at Hogwarts, and he knew that one day he would be going to Hogwarts himself. He wanted to be the best, to show his father that wizards and witches weren't all bad and that it wasn't anything to be ashamed of. His mother had taken him to Diagon Alley on his 9th birthday, and he stopped outside of Ollivander's, the wand shop. He walked in and Mr. Ollivander looked at the young boy standing in front of his counter.
"Why young Master Snape. What may I do for you on this beautiful day?"
"I'd like a wand, sir."
Mr. Ollivander smiled at him.
"Well, wands aren't normally given to children until they are ready to go to Hogwarts, Severus."
"But I've been practicing. Don't tell my Mum, but when there's no one home, I sometimes use her wand to practice."
Mr. Ollivander looked a little shocked.
"Well, son, I don't want you to be using your Mum's wand anymore. It could be quite dangerous you know. What charms have you learned?"
"Well, wingardium leviosa for one. That was easy to learn."
Mr. Ollivander looked impressed with his skills and resolve.
"Well done. Can you do any others?"
"I can do about 50 different charms, Sir."
Mr. Ollivander gave him a little smile, then nodded his head to get him to continue.
"Accio, aguamenti, alohamora, aparecium, ascendio, avis, colloportus, confundo, deletrius, descendo, duro, engorgio, lumos, lumos maxima…"
"Let's test you. Take my wand and show me on this feather." Mr. Ollivander had retrieved a small feather from the counter and placed it on a pillow. Young Severus pointed his wand at the feather and said "engorgio" and a jet of silver stream came from the end of the wand and the feather grew double in size. Sufficiently impressed that this young man knew his charms, Mr. Ollivander took back his wand from Snape's hand and quietly went to the back of the store. He returned with 4 different boxes.
"Young Master Snape", said Mr. Ollivander. "The wand chooses the wizard, but I must remind you that no matter the wood or core of your wand, only you can choose your destiny." He reached for the first box, opened it and removed the wand. "Try this one."
Snape held the wand and absolutely nothing happened. No puff of smoke, no glowing tip, nothing. "I suppose not. Try this one." Severus took the next wand in his hand and instantly he saw a glow from the tip of the wand, and a mysterious wind came through the shop. Mr. Ollivander smiled. "Excellent, young man. 13 inches, ebony with a phoenix feather core. Your wand will be your best friend, Severus. It will protect and defend you, but use it wisely."
"Thanks, Mr. Ollivander."
Severus paid the money for his wand and left the wand shop with an excitement that he didn't knew existed. He'd be able to do real magic now, not just practicing with a twig or 'borrowing' his mum's wand.
Severus found a compartment on the train that was almost empty and he sat down, immediately took out his charms book and began to read. He kept his nose in the book until the Prefects came down the train and told the first year students that they would be arriving at Hogsmeade in five minutes, so they had to get their robes on and get ready to leave the train. It was only then that Severus realized that he was not alone in the compartment; in fact, there was no sitting room at all. No one had spoken to him during the trip, and though he was a little sad at that fact, he was so involved in his charms book he realized that he didn't really care.
The ride up to Hogwarts was uneventful, and Severus took it all in. Riding in the boats with an eerie calm across the water was beautiful, if uneventful. Hogwarts castle was huge – so very much larger than he had ever imagined it to be. Snape knew that this would be one of the definite highlights of his life – the first trip to Hogwarts. As the first year student assembled at the front of the Great Hall, he felt more on display than ever. He was a quiet and very shy person by nature, his habits when his parents were fighting were proof of that, but he felt quite uneasy. He didn't know what was going to happen and to which House he was going to be sorted in. He had hoped with everything in him that Lily Evans, his best and only friend, would be in the same House as he; then at least he would know one person.
Professor McGonagall, who he later discovered was the deputy Headmistress, was placing a hat on each of the students' heads and it was sorting them into their House.
"Gryffindor!" the sorting hat shouted. Cheers came up from the Gryffindor table, and the Professor called out the next name.
"Evans, Lily". She walked up the steps and sat on the chair. The sorting hat was placed on her head, and she received more than just her house.
"One of bravery, one of strength, and will bring an end to war. I will decide that you belong, in the noble house of Gryffindor!" Cheers went up from the Gryffindor table as she walked toward the Gryffindor table. She smiled at him and he tried to return the smile. However, the Professor had called another student's name.
He was so lost in his own thoughts, that he hadn't realized how much time had gone by. He approached the chair on the platform and before the Professor had even placed the hat upon his head, it yelled out "Slytherin!" Cheers went up from the Slytherin table, Lucious Malfoy being one of the happiest to welcome another Slytherin to the table. Severus looked at Lily and with a look of regret he walked over to the Slytherin table to join his classmates. He was sitting at the table with his brain full of thoughts, when the next student that was sorted (and happened to be sorted into Slytherin as well) sat down opposite him. He looked up to see who the student was and he felt as though she was possibly as nervous as he was. She looked at him and gave him a nervous smile, which he acknowledged with a short nod of his head.
"Nice to meet you."