His Mother's Son

Author: Sthrissa

Summary: Snape's thoughts during Harry Potter's Sorting.

Disclaimer: I just play here.

The hall was filled with the delighted exclamations of reunited classmates, eager to share their holiday exploits. He forced himself to stillness as the students poured through the wooden doors and took their seats, unwilling to allow the slightest hint of his anticipation to show.

This day he had awaited with trepidation and longing for the past decade, and though logically he knew that a few more minutes would matter little, he nevertheless cursed for the first time the time-consuming rituals that preceded the Sorting. Today was the day Lily Evans' son came to Hogwarts. Today he would finally see the child of his first and only love, yet tradition had the nerve to delay him with ridiculous boat rides, door knocking ceremonies and preposterous pep talks.

He allowed himself a moment to wonder what the child would be like. Perhaps he would have her smile, her vibrant laughter, and delight in the most silly of things. Would his eyes sparkle when amused, and his lips quiver ever so slightly when he tried to hide it. He would undoubtedly be brilliant. The son of a mind such as hers could not help but excel. Oh, and he would be a natural with magic, wondrous. Though he had been sent to live with that dreadful muggle, certainly nothing could ever corrupt a child of Lily Evans.

Finally McGonagall emerged from the holding chamber, leading a line of awestruck eleven year olds into the hall. He searched the faces eagerly, hoping to recognise Lily's child:
A plumb black-haired boy looking slightly dishevelled -unlikely-, a girl in pigtails -wrong gender-, a flaming-red haired– -another Weasley – that family has obviously never heard of contraception-, girl, girl, Draco -I wonder how much money that boy spends on hair gel-, girl, a black-haired boy with hideous glasses and…

Shocked, he could only stare, watching numbly as the boy's compatriots and finally the boy himself, were sorted. In denial he examined the child, searching, hoping that perhaps he was deceived. Perhaps the lighting –

What he saw, was a child seated under a banner of red and gold, basking in the adulation of his rash, foolhardy, self-righteous House. He saw the beginnings of a group of hangers-on, drawn as they always are by the undeserved fortunes of fickle fate. He saw confidence –arrogance– the boy commanding the attention of his housemates (and even the pompous headless ghost) as if he were royalty, so smugly assured of his own superiority. Beside him, Quirrell, the stammering twerp, made some inane comment concerning his recent travels, and for a moment he was distracted from his task. Annoyed, he returned his attention to the boy – and staring back at him, he saw the face of James Potter.

Dreams crumbled to ash and the triumphant laughter of his childhood bully echoed throughout the night. He did not look again.

As the hall emptied, with tired murmurings trailing behind the departing students, he swore an oath. James Potter's son will get what he deserves.