Disclaimer: Hogwarts etc belongs to JKR. The lyrics in the sub-headings are from The Cure's 'Love Song'.

AN: I haven't written anything in SO long! This is an odd collection of drabble-type things. Currently looks like there'll be 15. I think they'll span his whole life when I'm done.

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Love Song.

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i) You make me feel like I am home again.

It wasn't that he didn't like Slytherin, because he did; it was undoubtedly the best place for him. It wasn't that he didn't have friends, because he did; more than some could claim after their first week at school. It wasn't even that James Potter had done everything but stick a great big neon target to his back, though that didn't help matters.

It wasn't that he missed home cooking; the houseelves' food was better than anything he'd tasted from his mother. It wasn't that he wanted to see his parents again, or that he felt hurt that they hadn't written. It wasn't that Hogwarts was so big he got lost, or that the older children scared him. It wasn't even that his dorm was cold and dark with three other boys taking turns to make sure he never had a moment to himself, though sometimes that did bother him a little.

It wasn't that the work was hard, because he was doing well in all his subjects; in Defence Against the Dark Arts he'd got an outstanding for his first piece of homework! It wasn't that teachers were harsh, many were kinder than his own parents. It wasn't that classes bored him or that he wished he could try out for the quidditch team. It wasn't even that he'd been cornered by Peeves on the way out of Transfiguration and ended up losing house points for being late to Charms, though that had been embarrassing.

It wasn't that he wanted to be wearing his own clothes all the time, that he was sick of the prefects or that he wished they'd get rid of Dumbledore. It wasn't that he hated Gryffindors so much he could curse them, that he was found Ravenclaws boring or Hufflepuffs inane. It wasn't that he missed home, because he didn't. It wasn't that he didn't enjoy school, because he really did.

But there was one thing missing, he thought it as he wandered down to the dungeons once more, heading for his first potions lesson. One thing at home that he'd trade all of Hogwarts castle for. One thing that made Potter simultaneously more and less grating, that made him judge his new friends perhaps a little harshly. One thing- no, one person- that could make this whole school experience feel less like a surreal dream, less like a weekend away from life at home.

All their plans had been cut short when she ended up in another house. It had never crossed their minds that they wouldn't be together all the time. What was the point of going to the same school if they saw less of each other than they would have done at home?

He slowed his step slightly to let Avery get ahead, he couldn't be bothered sitting with him for a third hour running. It wasn't that he didn't like him, it was just-

He stopped dead in the door of the classroom.

"Severus!"

Lily.

Sitting at the exact desk he'd been meaning to head to. She'd saved him a seat.

He felt his face break into a smile.

And in a moment everything that itched at him slipped back into place. Suddenly didn't matter that Potter was laughing too loudly, that Avery was still talking about the question he got right in Charms. It didn't matter that Slytherins were starting to cotton on to the fact that Snape was not a pureblood name, that he missed sitting out by the river under their tree, that he missed knowing that no matter how bad it got he could take sanctuary at her house for an hour or two.

It didn't matter.

In a moment, Hogwarts finally became home.

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