This story is a translation of my story „Grüne Augen"
I want to thank two people at this point, who helped me to make this readably.
First, my father-in-law, he is English teacher and helped me with the grammar
And second, JadeSullivan, author of the story "Emerald Eyes" She helped me with some terms and checked the story in form and content.
Authors Note: This is a alternative story to Harry's first year in Hogwarts. You'll have to read the first book to keep up with the story, because I do not recite events of the book.
Summary: Harry did not just lose some points in his first potion lesson, but also received detention. See what could have happen, when Severus became aware of some differences between Harry and his father James Potter.
In long strides Severus Snape hastened through the corridors of Hogwarts back to his classroom. Dumbledore had ordered the professor to his office while he was in the midst of giving a detention. Severus hated to leave students unattended; in his absence they easily came up with stupid ideas. And in particular, he trusted this student the least. Who knew what he would do meanwhile? Arrogant little brat…
As he reached the corridor to his classroom, he felt relieved to see that his door was still in place. 'So nothing exploded' he thought. And there was no suspect smell in the air.
Severus considered if he should burst or sneak into the classroom to catch the boy flat-footed in case he was up to no good.
The Professor decided in favour of the quiet way and opened the classroom door as quietly as possible. The classroom was still intact and all the bins, boxes, glasses and books were exactly where they should be. Even the boy was at his place but his head was lowered on his arms on the desk and … the brat was sound asleep.
Did the boy really think he could sleep during his detention?
Harry woke up startled. He had not intended to fall asleep. He just wanted to relax his eyes a bit, before the professor returned. Sleepily he looked around and immediately noticed the looming shadow above him.
"Professor!" he squeaked, frightened.
"So. You think you have permission to sleep through your detention?"
"N… no, Sir!"
But Professor Snape ignored the boy and went on, "You think because I'm absent you can ditch your chore?"
Harry's eyes grew wide, "B… but, Sir. I'm finished!"
For a short moment the professor fell silent, but then he asked in disbelief "Finished?" and noticed only now, that the cauldrons where missing. "Where are the cauldrons?" he asked suspiciously.
Harry pointed to the shelf where he had put them and said, "This shelf was empty. I thought perhaps it was for the cauldrons."
The Professor raised an eyebrow and went over to the shelf in question to inspect the cauldrons. They all shone and twinkled brightly. There wasn't a single fingerprint anywhere. Severus knitted his brows to glare at the boy.
With a deadly, low voice he asked, "Do you really take me for a fool?"
Harry cringed. He had no idea what he could have done wrong.
"I… I don't understand!" he said stuttering.
Severus drew himself up to his full height and said in a cold whisper, "If I say without magic than I mean without magic!"
Harry gulped, but then he shook his head. "I didn't use magic!"
"Don't… Lie... To... Me!" the Professor hissed.
Harry shrank a few inches but he still shook his head. His eyes filled with angry tears. "Sir, please. I -" but he was interrupted by Snape.
"Then how do you account for the fact that there is no single fingerprint on the cauldrons?"
"A fingerprint is a sign of messy work," the boy passively recited. He looked up at his professor, "My aunt taught me. She hates it if I leave fingerprints. I put the cauldrons with the polishing cloth on the shelf." Harry pointed at the chair next to the shelf where the rag was hanging over the backrest.
"I didn't know where to put it," he replied with a shrug as he realised it was still hanging there.
Severus didn't know if he could believe the story.
Who could clean twelve mucky cauldrons to mirror- finish in less than forty-five minutes? And how can that arrogant, spoiled little brat know about polishing? Certainly he never had to do that at home. So what's this rubbish about his aunt?
There was just one way to affirm the truth. With a few strides forward, Severus walked up to the boy and said, "Give me your wand!"
Frightened Harry looked up. Harry could not really handle his wand expertly, but he felt better, stronger when he just touched it. And he felt uncomfortable with the idea of having to leave his wand with the professor. But there was no way out. Snape held out his hand and waited.
Harry gulped and pulled his wand out but he did not hand it over.
"Sir, please believe me, I didn't…"
But again Harry was interrupted "Potter. Give me your wand. Now!" Severus was not in the mood to listen to any sheepish excuses, and by the look on Potter's face, the man believed him to be guilty.
Why else would he hesitate to hand over his wand?
With a fast movement, Severus yanked Harry's wand and out of the boy's hand. Then he gave the wood a small flick with his index and golden sparks shot out of the tip.
Harry was quite fascinated. These were the same sparks he had seen when he had touched this wand for the first time at Ollivanders.
At the time, Harry had felt the magic in his wand and he concentrated hard as he held it, but he still was not able to cast a single spell.
"Have you ever cast a spell with it?" Severus asked puzzled and brought Harry's mind back to the present.
"No!" the boy replied in irritation, "I don't know how…"
But Harry was also beginning to feel ashamed. He was probably the only wizard in this school who had never ever conjured anything in his life - apart from the strange incidents in his childhood.
Severus studied the boy in front of him and as Harry looked up he suddenly realised that the boy was telling the truth. It was strange…the most famous boy in the wizarding world did not know how to cast a single spell.
As the professor gave Harry his wand back, the boy's eyes grew larger, "You're giving it back to me?" he asked astonished.
"No one has conjured any magic with this wand. Why should I keep it? Or have you hidden a second wand in your sleeve?"
Harry shook his head. "No, Sir."
While he took back is wand, his ears turned a brilliant shade of red. "Thank you…" he whispered.
Silence fell between the two.
Severus looked at the shiny cauldrons again. How did the boy do that at such a speed and perfection?
"Sir?" a small voice asked.
"Yes, Potter?" Severus said and looked back at the boy.
"How did you do that? How did you know that nobody had cast a spell with my wand?"
"Priori Incantatem. It shows all spells, charms and curses that were cast with someone's wand. It tells you the history of a wand. And your wand doesn't tell much, except that it had been handed out over the counter and had found its master."
Severus did not know why he had told him that. But the boy looked interested and eager for knowledge. His bright green eyes shone with innocence. And it almost hurt to look at them.
Why did Potter have to have his mother's eyes?
"Can you teach me that spell?" Harry asked sheepishly but looked straight at Severus. His eyes full of hope.
Severus felt uncomfortable. Since when has Potter looked at me like that? And what will the boy ever need this particular spell for?
"No," Snape said firmly.
The gleam in Harry's eyes faded. He nodded once and then put his wand back in his pocket.
The professor sighed. He knew exactly why the boy had asked him to teach him this spell. Harry simply wanted be able to cast one spell, so he said "Priori Incartatem is advanced magic. But I can show you another spell. A simple one."
Am I cursed? Why did I say that? It's not my job to teach this boy spells.
Harry looked up "Really?"
Severus flicked his wand and the torches on the wall went dark. Now it was pitch-black in the classroom. You couldn't even see your hand in front of your face. The Slytherins were always impressed by that spell.
And indeed, Severus heard the boy gasp.
But then there was a fearful "No!" followed by a crash and a thud.
Severus released the light with a second flick of his wand and saw an overturned chair. The boy lay on the floor pure terror in his eyes. Harry tried to stand up, but he was still very shaky.
"What was that?" the professor asked a little bemused.
Harry was ashamed; he looked down at his feet. "I don't like darkness," he whispered.
"I'm sorry. I didn't intend to scare you,"Severus said and wondered why he really felt sorry.Shouldn't he make fun of this? Shouldn't he humiliate the boy, like Potter's father had done with him? Wasn't that the real reason behind this detention? Just to humiliate Harry and make him look small?'
But Harry was so different from what the professor had expected. He was not arrogant. Not even a bit. He was exactly the opposite. He did not have much self-confidence. There was nothing left in the boy to humble.
Again, complete silence filled the room. Harry slowly looked up. He waited for the mockery, for the amused commentary, but it did not come. It was so stupid to fear darkness. He knew that. He was eleven, not five, but there was nothing he could do about that.
"Very well," Severus said suddenly, "I think this detention should come to an end. I'll escort you to Gryffindor's Tower. It's late, and if you are too tired to keep your eyes open during detention, then I ought to accompany you to make sure you make it to your room."
Harry could not believe his ears. He considered protesting, saying that he was absolutely able to find his way back by himself. But then he realised that Professor Snape had offered him his accompaniment. Harry was sure the corridors of Hogwarts would be very dark by now, so it would be nice to have someone with him. Finally he nodded.
Severus walked to the door, opened it and waited for the boy to follow him. The professor could not explain why he was doing this. But he did not want Harry to stray through the corridors if the boy was afraid of darkness. He knew how pitch-black certain corridors were at night.
They walked in silence. Harry had a difficult time keeping up with Snape's long strides. But he did not complain. When the professor noticed that the boy was struggling to keep up, he lowered his speed.
The Potter boy was odd Severus admitted to himself. He looked like James, but he was not like his father. He had Lily's eyes, but he was not his mother either. He was … different.
"Sir?" Harry's voice brought Severus back to the present.
"Why do so many people think I'm special?"
This question took Severus by surprise and he did not know how to answer.
So Harry went on: "They're talking behind my back. They point their fingers at me. They all think that I did a great thing. But I really don't understand. I didn't do anything but survive an attack. I did nothing for that. It just happened. I can't even remember any of that. They all believe I'm a great wizard, but I don't know a single spell. I'm … just Harry. Do you think they're mistaking me for somebody else?"
Severus came to an abrupt halt. The dim light of the moon fell through the window on the boy's face. Big green eyes looked up at him. But above them the lightning scar caught his eyes.
"No. There is no confusion. People are idiots. They love to make someone responsible for world-shaking incidents. They can't accept that there are things that just happen. They need someone to blame or to idolise. The murder of your parents went down in history because you survived and brought an end to a long war. You are the only one who survived the killing curse."
Shaking his head Harry said, "That's stupid!"
"Yes, it is. And I have no intention of going along with their stupidity!" Severus confessed.
"You're the only one…" Harry answered with a frail smile.
Severus did not respond.
As they continued their walk back to Gryffindor Tower, the professor was astonished that Harry had just complained about being famous. James wouldn't have done so. He would have been proud if he had been as famous as his son is now.
"It's rather weird," Harry suddenly said and Severus cast a glance at him, not knowing what the boy meant. "So many people know so much about me. They know more about me than I do myself."
"Nonsense. Nobody knows more about you, than you do," the professor disagreed.
"But Hermione told me that people can read about me in books. So every wizard who reads these books knows about me. Just a few weeks ago, I learned that I am a wizard and my parents were murdered by an evil, dark wizard. My aunt and my uncle had always told me they had died in a car crash."
Severus could not believe his ears. Why would they lie to the boy?
"But didn't your magic sometimes break out? Normally there are magical incidents when wizard children get upset or experience other strong emotions. Most of it is raw, uncontrolled magic," the professor informed.
For a moment the boy fell silent, but then he said in a faint voice, "I didn't know what it was. I didn't know how I did it, but Uncle Vernon always got really angry when something weird happened. He called me freak and grounded me for weeks. I was so afraid. I didn't want it to happen again. I didn't want to annoy my uncle. I didn't want to be a freak. But I couldn't help it. I never knew when it would happen again. I didn't know that it was magic and that I was a wizard. I didn't know that there were other people like me. That's why I'm sure the others know more about me than I do… Because they've always known I am a wizard, whereas, at the same time, my uncle lectured me about magic not existing."
Severus remained silent. He realised he had really misjudged the boy. Harry was anything but spoiled. The professor became more and more convinced that there was something completely wrong at the boy's home. Was it possible that Harry had been neglected? Or even worse, abused? He would keep an eye on that and would have a chat with professor Dumbledore about these relatives of Harry's soon.
"Nevertheless, Potter, I'm absolutely certain that nobody can learn about who you really are just by reading books!" Severus remarked.
"Yeah, but they believe they know who I am. And they expect… well… I don't know what they expect from me," Harry said and dropped his head.
"Don't listen to their babble. It's not relevant what people believe to know. You shouldn't wrack your brain about that."
Harry nodded in response.
As Professor Snape and Harry turned off into a very dark corridor, the professor noticed Harry looking around anxiously. And then a thought hit him. If the Morphe Negro charm wasn't impressive to the boy, then perhaps the Lumos charm will be.
Silently he took out his wand and cast the spell under his breath. Bright light immediately shot out of the wand and lit up the dark shadows of the corridor.
"Wow!" Harry was amazed.
"It's a simple spell. You just hold your wand in front of you and give it a small flick. The word is lumos."
"Lumos?" Harry repeated inquiringly.
Harry pulled out his wand and did as instructed. With a timid voice he said "lumos" but nothing happened.
"Potter, you have to mean it! You need more confidence. Try again and imagine the light before you say the spell!"
Harry took a deep breath. He concentrated on the light he wanted to cast and then repeated the spell.
A small glint arose at the tip of his wand. It was nothing compared with the bright light his professor had conjured. But Harry beamed.
Severus gave him a short nod. "To extinguish the light you simply say nox" The light of Severus' wand immediately vanished. Just the small gleam of Harry's wand remained.
"Nox." Severus heard the boy's voice and the corridor went completely dark again. Shortly after that Harry said "lumos" again. This time in a much more assertive way. And now there was a real light coming from Harry's wand.
"Nox." It was dark again.
"Lumos!" the light was back. The more often Harry cast the spell the brighter his wand shone. It was really hard to say who beamed more, Harry or his wand.
Severus had a difficult time not smiling along with the boy. But he had to live up to his reputation. He had to keep the distance between himself and Harry. They had already gotten too close on this short trip through the castle.
What if the boy starts to like me? That's all I need. Then my image of the evil and cold teacher will be ruined. His own thought appalled him. No I have to put an end to this! Severus needed Harry to understand that he was still the bad guy, whom these Gryffindors hated to their heart's content.
The game with "nox" and "lumos" went on. And although Harry's light was still not as bright as Severus' there was a clear improvement on Harry's part. And deep inside of the professor's heart, no matter how hard he tried to ignore it, he felt proud of the fact that it had been he who had taught the boy his first spell.
"Here we are," Severus said as they finally reached the portrait hole to Gryffindor's common room.
Harry blinked in puzzlement. He had not realised they had got that far. He smiled sheepishly and then dropped his head.
"I assume you will find the way to your bed?" Snape suggested in a half-hearted sneer.
Harry blushed but fortunately in the dim light of his wand it was not really visible that his ears had turned a deep shade of red.
"Yeah, erm… thanks, erm… thank you, sir" but than Harry looked up and met the professor's eyes. "Thank you for listening and for that cool spell," Harry said in a firm voice.
"You are welcome. But I hope you won't forget what this detention was for!" Severus had the impression that this evening didn't seem like a detention any more.
"Because I didn't answer your questions correctly?" Harry asked and tried to remember. "But Sir, I really looked in these books before school, but I didn't know I had to know all that material before school had even started! I thought we would learn all that during the year."
Severus cursed to himself. Maybe he should not have forgotten why he had given this detention to the boy in the first place. Then he would have remembered that it had been completely unfair. But at the moment when he had assigned the detention he was certain that Harry was just a spoiled, arrogant little brat, like his father, and needed a clear reminder of where his place was.
"No, it wasn't for the lack of answers," the professor finally spoke "but you need to know that I will not tolerate any impertinence in my classroom!"
"Yes. Like your suggestion to question someone other than you!"
"But I… I didn't mean to be cheeky. I thought maybe you hadn't seen …"
"Ms. Granger with her hand toward the ceiling?" professor Snape interrupted.
"Yeah, well… I didn't understand why you needed the answers from me when she was next to me and obviously did know the answers. I'm sorry…" Harry looked miserable.
As the boy looked up again and locked Severus' gaze, the professor could see the plea for forgiveness. And it hurt him, as he knew the boy had not meant to be cheeky at all. He was far too shy for that. Harry gave the perfect impression of a house elf that had done something wrong by accident.
"Maybe it wasn't exactly fair of me," Severus said before he could stop himself. "I did know you would not be able to answer my questions. I just wanted to show you that I wouldn't treat you in any special way."
"Oh," Harry said thoughtfully "But I don't expect any special treatment!"
"Yes. I know. Now I know."
After that they remained silent for a while.
"Sir?" Harry finally asked.
"You aren't really as bad as the others say."
Great Severus! …There goes your reputation!
"I have to keep up with the way I act in public. And as potions master I have to watch out and keep everybody in line to prevent explosions. I hope you know that everything that has happened tonight has to be kept just between the two of us. Is that clear?"
Harry smiled knowingly, "Of course, professor. I understand. You don't want to give up your evil-potions-master-image. But as for me, I haven't met many adults who have given me the feeling that they understand me. But you… you seem to…"
Severus nodded. He did. He could understand this small boy better than he intended. But nobody should ever know how close he had gotten with this boy in just one evening.
"Thank you for the company," Harry whispered. And before Severus registered what exactly he had just heard, the boy went to the portrait and gave the password.
Just before the portrait-hole door snapped shut, Harry looked back over his shoulder. Severus did not expect this so he did not have the time to wash his face of emotion. There was an undefined sadness in Severus' eyes.
As the door closed behind Harry, the boy looked at the inner side of the door for a long moment. He knew it was just this one evening. He knew there would not be any repetition. For sure, his professor had more important things to do than to babysit Harry. But still it was the first time for Harry that he appreciated the company of an adult. He felt safe with Snape.
At the outside of the portrait hole, Severus stared at the door to Gyffindor's common room. He got goosebumps when Harry looked back at him over his shoulder. The boy was so fragile, but there was a strange force shining from inside. And Severus knew he could trust Harry with their secret. He was proud of the boy but also sad. Harry reminded him far too much of himself.
And there were still many mysteries about Harry Potter. How did he scrub twelve cauldrons at such a speed? Why was he so humble? And how was Harry treated at home?