Summary: Mistakenly thought to be autistic, Harry is overlooked as his twin brother Caleb is heralded as the Boy Who Lived. Determined to be better than Caleb and with an IQ that's off the scale, Harry is left to his own devices to try and reach his full potential. Child of the light, prodigy of the dark, which side will he choose?
Disclaimer: I own Harry Potter and I'm going to sue the lot of you for copyright infringement.
Dedication: This chapter is dedicated to Mormon-Girl13 for her amazingly inspiring review that really motivated me to start writing this chapter despite all the work I had to do. Thanks!
A/N: A huge thanks to everyone who reviewed, added me to their author alert list, story alert list, favourites list and added this fic to their C2. I'm honoured that you like it and it's been a great motivation for me.
A big thanks also to my beta, Kaeim, whose wonderful advice and help has proved invaluable.
NB: It's been too long, I know. I've got lots of reviews from people asking me to update soon and why I was taking so long. It's not an excuse but I wrote the first six chapters while I was holiday and now that I've started school I've been constantly drowning in a lake of work. I am sorry and I will try my best to update sooner next time.
BUT don't worry; I WON'T ever abandon this story. Never fear!
Child Of The Light, Prodigy Of The Dark
A Normal Boy At Last
For you to race me home when it was nearly getting dark
How I could've been yours, and you'd be mine
It could've been me and you until the end of time
Do what you want, when you want, be as fucking insincere as you can
I wont be the lonely one, sitting on my own and sad
A fifty year old, reminiscing what I had.
Forget your dad, he's gone
Forget your dad, he's gone
~ Daddy's Gone (Glasvegas)
If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it's another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity. - Bill Vaughan
The great hall rang out with noise as Harry approached it moodily. Even though the doors were closed, the sound still echoed around the entrance hall, reminding Harry that he really shouldn't have tried to put this off. In fact, he had probably only made it worse. Draco, sensing his distress, stayed silent as he walked beside him.
The night hadn't left him any less tired. His worries regarding his sorting and his family's consequential reaction made it harder for him to fall asleep and when he finally did, he was plagued with all sorts of nightmare, most revolving around the central theme of rejection and hatred.
Thinking about it here in the corridor, made it sound foolish. He'd long ago gotten over his fears of being rejected from his family after he'd seen no ill will from any of his family. Sure, they spent a lot of time with Caleb, training and what not, but he was grateful for it. It curbed his twin's exuberant energy and left him with plenty of time to study and generally do what he wanted. But as much as he ignored it, he couldn't completely eradicate the feeling that they would suddenly realise that they didn't need him and then discard him carelessly.
He'd never spent any significant amount of time pondering the nature and depth of his family's extreme dislike of Slytherin House and the Dark. They had of course dedicated their life to fighting the Dark side, notably Voldemort, but unlike Caleb they had never tried to project their opinions on him. As a result, he'd grown up with a far more liberal approach to the Dark than Caleb.
Still he didn't think they would possibly take that as an excuse. He winced as he thought about it; no it was best not to mention anything to do with liberalism in the same conversation as the Dark.
Harry opened the door with a sense of impending doom, and Draco patted him on the back supportively. The hall fell into silence as he crept into the room, the weight of a hundred stares burying him into the ground. In hindsight, perhaps making his first appearance in public alongside Draco Malfoy, whose family was well known for its love and support of the Dark, was not the greatest idea. He studiously ignored the head table as he skulked towards the Slytherin table and slipped in next to the rest of his housemates.
He sniffed as he stared at the tables around him trying to ignore the whispers. Thankfully, the Slytherins acted no differently, chatting between them and cloaking the awkward tension in the room with a false sense of normalcy. Eventually, the rest of the school turned back to their conversations and Harry was left in relative peace, poking at his food and ignoring the questions aimed at him.
He could feel his skull prickle where he was certain his parents were burning hole into it with their vicious glares. Sure, he hadn't actually looked up there to see just how severe they looked but he didn't need to. He knew how angry they would be and didn't need proof of it either. Realising that looking moody and grumpy on his first day could hardly support his claim of wanting to be in Slytherin, he straightened up and started paying more attention to what everyone else was saying just as Snape began moving down the table handing out new timetables.
Snape paused when he reached them and gave them their timetables with a nod, his gaze lingering for a fraction on Harry.
'First day of classes, gentleman, I expect all of you to represent your house well.'
'Yes sir,' they chorused obediently, as they were expected to.
Snape nodded once more and moved on, smirking as he heard the groans he left behind. His curiosity peaked, Harry picked up his discarded timetable.
He sighed as he took in the details, understanding the others' misery. His first lesson was History of Magic, followed by Charms with the Ravenclaws and then, God forbid, Transfiguration with the Gryffindors. Potions finished the day off, and any excitement in him for one of his favourite subjects was destroyed by the horrendous fact that he was going to be joined by his twin and the rest of the Gryffindors - again.
The day could only get worse, he though miserably. Transfiguration with the Gryffindors and Professor McGonagall could only ever be an opportunity for them to corner him and that was a conversation he was trying to put off indefinitely. His feet dragged him to History of Magic and he barely even looked at Binns as he launched into his lecture. He'd already skimmed through all of the material years ago and he'd readily lay a bet that the rest of the class had too. It was a topic all Purebloods learnt, the traditionalists at least, which was a good thing. He couldn't see how anyone could learn from one as monotonous and soporific as Binns.
Pulling out a stack of bound parchment, he closed his eyes and centered himself. There was no need to waste any more time worrying. Time was, as they said, money and he didn't have enough of it as it were. Focusing on his latest Arithmancy thesis allowed him to take his mind off its last point of dwelling and once he was deeply embroiled in his work he didn't notice the time pass. It took plenty of nudging and poking from Draco at the end of class before he gave up and packed away his stuff.
Navigating the corridors turned out to be surprisingly treacherous. Wherever he went people seemed to stop in corridors and stare at him. Whispers followed him and suspicious and curious glances surrounded him. Following a lifetime of relative anonymity, this sudden influx of attention distressed and disturbed him in equal measures.
As he sat in the Charms classroom waiting for Professor Flitwick he thought that the one positive thing about the whole affair was that there seemed to be some kind of loyalty within his Slytherins "friends" towards him. They crowded around him to protect him as best as they could and as filled with dread as he was with his choice, he was happy he had chosen the snakes. For the first time in a long while he felt like a normal boy, with mates he could count on and normal school days ahead of him. Normalcy sounded quite good to him right now.
He smiled softly to himself at the thought and it turned into a grin in the face of Draco's bemused smile. They turned to face the front together as Flitwick entered.
Hopping up onto a pile of precariously stacked books, Flitwick adjusted his glasses before beginning the register. He inevitably gave a squeak of excitement when he got to Caleb's name, almost falling off his stand doing so. Harry's name on the other hand was said in no more than a whisper accompanied by a curious and probing glance.
Once the register was done though, Flitwick returned to his usual excitable self and he cheerfully launched into an introduction to charms, which flowed straight into the theory for performing a levitation charm.
Harry barely held in a yawn as he slumped in his seat. This was almost like being made to learn the alphabet, after you'd already written your first novel. It was completely and utterly unnecessary and without a doubt, inexplicably boring. Harry fished out his thesis when Flitwick had his back to him and subtly carried on writing. On the other side of the room, he could see his beloved twin laughing with a few boys around him. Their eyes caught and his face immediately tightened into a glare.
He mouthed the words, 'Mum and Dad are going to murder you'. Harry scowled back at him and looked down again, making sure he kept a neutral disinterested look on his face. Caleb didn't need to know how affected he was by that.
Harry's mind drifted to his parents again and he sighed gently. Once again worry and fear wrapped themselves around his stomach and he immediately regretted eating breakfast.
By the time Flitwick clapped his hand together excitedly, Harry was already evaluating and re-evaluating various arguments and reasons he could employ in his inevitable fight with his parents. He looked around curiously when everyone started pulling their wands out. Straightening up he followed suit.
Draco leaned sideways and said, 'we're practicing the levitation charm. Most people here won't get it, mudbloods and whatnot. How long do you think we should wait before doing it?'
Harry tapped the table with the tip of his wand and shrugged, 'long enough for it to seem as if we've practiced it a few times, I suppose.'
Draco nodded and they leaned back to watch the Gryffindors. Harry snorted derisively as he watched Caleb twirl his wand elaborately before waving it airily at the feather in front of him. It immediately caught alight and Flitwick had to hurry over to put it out.
'Really, Mr Potter, I expected better. I understand that it is difficult working with a new wand but maybe a little bit more care is needed. Less airs and graces and more control.'
Caleb looked irritated and glared at Flitwick's back as he moved away to the Slytherin side of the room. Knowing him, he was probably feeling humiliated by that pathetic display of a simple charm. Caleb flung himself back into his seat in a sulk, frowning at the table, his arms crossed over his chest.
Harry didn't know whom he was more scornful of. Caleb for being so useless or Dumbledore for insisting on waiting until Caleb was eleven before he got a proper wand. For all the trouble they went to, to train him and teach him, they waited until before Hogwarts before getting rid of the toy one. Where was the point in that?
'Well, Mr Potter, why don't you give it a go?'
Harry jerked his around to stare at Flitwick standing in front of him. Preoccupied as he was, he had missed his arrival. Lifting his eyes to Caleb he smirked.
'Wingardium Leviosa' he muttered, waving his wand minutely in the pretence of needing the incantation and wand movements to perform the spell. His feather rose steadily in front of him, hovering above his head.
'Do you know what this is, Harry? A wonderful opportunity to show off.'
Harry's eye twitched when he heard his voice say that. If there was one thing he really detested it was showing off. After all, attracting any more attention to himself than was strictly necessary was an idea he'd always been adverse to.
'It's not about attracting attention; it's about standing up for yourself. Show him and everyone else what you're really made of. The whole school will know by the end of the day and then you'll earn some real respect round here.'
Holding eye contact with Caleb, he gave his wand a twitch, controlling the feather in an elaborate pattern of twists and turns in the air. He was oblivious to the gasps and wonderment of his classmates, as the feather's dance became increasingly intricate and complex. His eyes were joined with those of his brother. Words weren't needed to convey what he was saying to him.
As the feather dropped to a rest back no the table, Flitwick clapped vigorously.
'My, my, that was wonderful. You must have inherited your mother's talent at charms. I wonder if you could do more perhaps?'
That of course drew Harry's attention back to the professor in front of him. More? He was never one for arrogance, but he wasn't in a charitable mood right now and his voice was making humiliating Caleb further a greater incentive to break the mould for once.
Gripping his wand tighter, he peered down at his professor. Waving his wand again, every feather in the room rose simultaneously. Gracefully twirling his wand, the feathers swirled around the room in formation, floating gently from one direction to the other. Spinning faster, they became more independent from each other, flying in their own patterns. Flexing his fingers around the handle, the feathers clumped together in a ball above Flitwick's head before dropping gently down, imitating rain.
Though it wasn't at all difficult for Harry, Flitwick seemed delighted by the display.
'Thirty points to Slytherin Mr Potter for that excellent display of the levitation charm. Truly impressive.' Flitwick beamed at Harry before turning away to go and help another Gryffindor.
'Yeah Harry, truly impressive.' Draco chirped.
'Simply sublime' Blaise muttered, leaning down to Harry's ear.
Harry turned to stare at Theo.
'Phenomenally doesn't begin with a f.'
'Yeah, but it sounds like an f, so it counts.' Theo replied, with a shrug.
Harry rolled his eyes before turning them back to the front. Caleb tracked his movements with angry eyes. Harry cocked his head at him and waved mockingly. He was baiting him, he knew, but he didn't particularly care right now and those opportunities had thus far been few and far between.
They spent the rest of the lesson practising the levitation charm and Caleb had by the end managed to get used to his wand enough to be able to do it. He and a girl named Hermione Granger were the only ones from Gryffindor who did, though most of the Slytherins didn't have any trouble with it.
Caleb did of course have a problem with this turn of events. Harry and his friends were making their way over to the door, on their way to Transfiguration when Caleb stepped in front of them blocking the exit. The red head and a couple of others bunched up behind him in support, though they looked wary when Crabbe and Goyle appeared. Harry raised an eyebrow at this,
'Problem? I'll tell you what the problem is, you and them.' He spat, jabbing his finger at them as he spoke.
'Well, that's not my problem so if you don't mind we'll be leaving.'
'How could you? Consorting with death-eaters and filth. You're a Potter, you should be in Gryffindor.'
'I can be wherever I want to be, and believe me when I say that it has absolutely nothing to do with you.' Harry growled, his face taut with anger and rage.
'Yes it is, I'm the one who has to take Voldemort down. I thought you were my brother but it's obvious you'd rather support the dark. You're just one of them now.'
Harry clenched his fists in rage and moved forwards as if to hit Caleb, but was quickly restrained by Draco and Blaise.
'Don't bother ever coming home, Harry, no one wants you back anyway. Try changing your name, it's not like you're a Potter anymore, you're nothing but a disgrace and a shame to the family.'
Caleb quickly turned and left, probably to avoid the fight that was bound to happen if he stayed. Still restrained by his friends, Harry swore loudly. Pulling away he kicked the closed door trying to vent the anger that had built up. Once finished he leant against it and pressed his forehead to the wood.
'Forget it Harry, your brother's a jerk. He's just jealous of you, you showed him up big time and you got Slytherin thirty points. No wonder he's upset.' Draco patted his shoulder comfortingly.
Harry sighed and stood up. Straightening his glasses and adjusting his robes, he took his bag off Theo.
'Let's just go to Transfiguration before we get late.' He muttered.
When they slipped into their Transfiguration lesson, Harry was as calm and collected as ever, though Professor McGonagall did eye him speculatively. Unlike the rest of the teachers he'd had so far, McGonagall took the register normally without bringing any attention to the two Potters.
McGonagall was one of those teachers who took no nonsense from any of her pupils. It was rumoured that she was fair to everyone, and that she showed no favouritism to the Gryffindors. Having known her all his life, Harry was curious to see how she taught and whether she really was as fair as she was made out to be.
'Transfiguration is one of the most important branches of magic you will learn here at Hogwarts. It is a journey you will all take together until at least your fifth year. I don't expect that any of you will find this subject easy. Transfiguration requires practice, dedication and diligence, as does any other form of magic. I do however expect nothing less than your utmost effort in every lesson and for every homework.'
Here she paused to flick her wand at her oak desk, turning it into a pig and then back again. Most of the class gasped at this display of magic, eager to start doing that themselves.
'You won't be turning furniture into animals for a while, I'm afraid. We will be starting with simple transfiguration. Get your quills and parchment out, you will be making notes first.'
Most of the class looked disappointed at that, though they hastened to follow the command when McGonagall gave them a stern look. The first half of the lesson was then spent on the theory behind transforming a match into a needle. Though he was far ahead of this standard, Harry made the notes anyway. He thought it unlikely that he'd be able to get away with anything else.
It was with a sigh of relief that they all took their wands out to start practicing the spell. While everyone else immediately launched themselves into their task, Harry used the end of his wand to scratch the back of his neck. He made sure that he didn't look anywhere near Caleb, he didn't want to be tempted into showing off again. It was harder though to miss McGonagall's comment on his brother's attempt,
'A good try Mr Potter, but you should be focussing a bit more. You need to control your magic and concentrate it on your match. Try to direct and channel it down your wand.'
Harry snuck a glance over in their direction and saw Caleb once again trying to show off and failing miserably.
He looked back again quickly lest Caleb saw him watching but he once again couldn't stop the feeling of disappointment. His parents had given up most of their time for the last five years to train him, leaving him on his own. The least he asked for was that it was worth something. Five years of training and Caleb couldn't even do any basic spells, or at least he couldn't with a real wand. Toy wands didn't mean anything in the real world.
He tapped his wand on the desk rhythmically, keeping one eye on McGonagall's approaching figure as she made her way over to where he sat. Beside him, Draco had made his match turn silver, though its shape was in no way affected. He muttered directions to him out of the corner of his mouth stopping when McGonagall reached his desk.
'Let's see what you can manage then, Mr Potter.'
Harry nodded and flicked his wand at the match in front of him. It slowly darkened into a metallic silver, becoming thinner and more pointed at the tip until a perfect needle was left in its place. McGonagall smiled at him and awarded five points to Slytherin. Out of the corner of his eye he could see Caleb once more scowling at him.
When the lesson finished, Caleb and his friends were quick to leave, though that didn't stop them from glaring at him as they left. As Harry made his own way out of the room McGonagall stopped him. Harry nodded to his friends to go ahead without him to lunch and went to stand by her desk until everyone else had left.
'Good work today, Harry, you're obviously a natural.' McGonagall said with a small smile.
'Thank you, professor.' Harry said with a nod.
'Your mother asked me to pass on a message to you. She wants you to come up to her rooms for lunch.'
Harry pressed his lips together and nodded again, before saying a hurried goodbye. Possibly McGonagall could guess at some of what was going on in his mind, for she didn't question him anymore, letting him leave without further conversation.
It was a slow walk up to his parents' room. He'd struggled against the tide of students rushing down to lunch absentmindedly, being thrown from side-to-side and knocked into walls without a thought. Now though there was no one in the halls and the only company he had were his own thoughts and the scuffling of his feet on the stone flag floor.
Sooner than he'd have liked, he was standing in front of the door to his parents' room, stalling as much as could. He reached forwards to knock but then stuffed his hand straight back into his pocket. Rocking on the balls of his feet, he pondered the situation.
A few days ago, before he'd come here to Hogwarts; if someone had asked him if he were worried that his parents would even disown him he'd have denied it immediately. Now though, he wasn't so sure, and it really didn't help that this was one of those strange situations that you just couldn't predict what was going to happen.
Hunching his shoulders, he thrust an arm out and knocked sharply on the door before he could bail out anymore. Swinging his leg backwards and forwards he waited nervously. In the silence of the hallway, he could hear the approaching footsteps on the other side of the door. It swung open to reveal his mother. Smiling softly at him, she opened the door wider to let him in. Squeezing through the gap, Harry shuffled forwards to stand inside.
The room had definitely received a woman's touch. Artfully decorated, it was a warm, open space despite the generally cold nature of the castle. A crackling fire flared in the fireplace to his right, and surrounding it were armchairs and sofas sitting on a red woolly rug that encompassed the entire area around the fire.
The mantelpiece was filled with framed photos of the Potters; family portraits and snaps of them in various locations and poses. In all the rush, Harry had forgotten how much he'd missed his home but this brought it all back to him. It was almost like stepping directly from the castle into his own living room.
Lily stepped up behind him and squeezed his shoulders, gently guiding him to the sofas. Dropping his bag by the end table, he sat down next to Sirius, who playfully cuffed him around the back of the head.
'Getting down and dirty with the snakes are we?' He muttered out of the corner of his mouth.
Harry turned to look at him, relieved to hear no ill-intent in his voice. Sirius' face was as open and honest as ever, and Harry could easily read the shock and faint hurt in it as his godfather took in the Slytherin tie and jumper. More obvious than that though, was the smile on his face and the shimmering in his eyes that showed his pride for him. Harry struggled to smile back at him, he was sure that his own face was more shocked than Sirius'.
On the sofa to his right sat Remus, who grinned back when he turned to look at him. Winking he took a swig of his drink but didn't say anything. It seemed as if they were all waiting for either Lily or James to speak first.
On Sirius' left was an armchair occupied by Caleb, who was openly scowling at him, a mixture of anger and hate dominating his features, but Harry was hardly surprised by that. Next to him in another armchair sat his father.
James was sitting tersely in his seat, his body pressed into the material. His hands gripped the arms of the chair tightly, his fingernails digging into the embroided material. He was a wearing a strained expression as he stared determinedly away from Harry, refusing to look up or even acknowledge his son.
Sirius took a sudden interest in the ceiling and Remus peered intently out of the window, both trying to stay as uninvolved as possible. Caleb was pouting moodily at his leg as he repeatedly slipped his foot in and out of his shoe. Clearing his throat slightly, Harry ventured a meek,
James however continued to steadfastly ignore him, though he did hunch his shoulders more, staring deeper into the fire. Caleb looked up suddenly to grin maliciously at him, taking pleasure in his look of anguish. Tearing his eyes away from him, Harry repeated,
But to no avail. Though James did obviously hear him, he seemed to pay his son no attention preferring instead to peer into the fire. Harry frowned to cover up the hurt he felt, and sunk lower in his seat as Lily walked back in with a tray of tea. She placed it carefully on the coffee table between them, before sitting back in the seat next to Remus.
She was no fool though; she knew exactly what had happened even if she hadn't been there to witness it. Her eyes flickered from Harry to James and back again, but no one made eye contact. Suddenly the atmosphere had changed from nice and cosy to awkward and tense in a few short minutes.
'James,' Lily said frowning, 'Aren't you going to congratulate Harry?'
James ignored her as well, his frozen expression unchanging.
Narrowing her eyes at him, Lily leaned over to pat Harry on the knee. 'I have it on good authority that he's been quite impressive today in his lessons.'
Grimacing into the fire, James abruptly stood up. As one, the rest of them craned their necks up to look at him. Muttering something under his breath about an errand he had to run, he made a hasty exit from the room slamming the door shut on his way out.
Lily frowned deeply at the closed door, angry with her husband for his behaviour while Remus and Sirius looked worried. Harry stared down at his hands, as he twisted them in his lap, his eyes blinking rapidly behind his glasses trying desperately to ignore the ugly feeling growing in his chest.
'Harry-' Lily began.
Harry titled his head in her direction, though he didn't look up. He didn't want her to see the sudden watery-ness in his eyes.
'Harry, ignore your father. He's just very shocked.'
'He's had a day to get over it.' Harry replied bitterly.
'He will get over it, he is over it. He just needs to get used to the idea'
'What, that his son is in Slytherin, the most evilest house of them all. That he's turned dark and is consorting with death eaters and plotting to bring down the light?'
'Yeah, that's about it' Caleb butted in.
Lily, Remus and Sirius all turned to glare at Caleb angrily and under the weight of their disapproval he backed down, hesitant to get on their bad sides at the same time. Though he looked apologetic, no one was fooled. It was obvious that he really believed that and Lily felt anguished that her son had turned out to be so close-minded. That he would turn on his brother and twin, on his family, so easily and readily. For a moment there, it felt as if she were back at the time when she first started Hogwarts, when Petunia had declared her hatred for her, despite it not being Lily's fault that she was the only witch in the family.
'No one believes that Harry.' She replied, throwing another stern look to Caleb. 'You're not evil, we know that. And no one hates you for going into Slytherin, not even James.' She paused to smile broadly at him before continuing. 'We're all very proud of you.'
Harry looked suddenly, surprised. 'You are?'
'Of course we are, you're my son. We'd be proud of you no matter where you went.'
Remus nodded his agreement and Sirius pulled Harry into his side in a one armed hug.
'We don't care that you're a Slytherin, Harry.'
'But I though you hated Slytherins? You and dad always go on about it, how can you just change your mind?'
'We were young when we were in Hogwarts. Young and foolish. We might have hated all Slytherins then but not anymore.'
'Just the evil ones then?' Harry asked with a raised eyebrow.
'Well, statistically speaking-' Harry raised his eyebrows even more but Sirius ignored him and carried on. 'A lot of Slytherins really are death eaters. But I guess time and a war has brought us to the conclusion that real friends are few and far between but enemies are easily made and kept. So maybe not all Slytherins are evil…like you.'
Caleb snorted in derision.
'Stop it Caleb. I have no idea what's gotten into you but I'm guessing that somehow you think as a Gryffindor you have to hate your brother just because he's in Slytherin. But you're wrong, he's your brother no matter what happens and that comes before anything else.'
Caleb turned away angrily, hating that for the first time in his life Sirius was telling him off.
'None of us ever wanted you to grow up too fast but face it Caleb, you're the Boy Who Lived. If, no, when Voldemort returns you'll be fighting him, do you know what that's like? To not know if someone's a friend or an enemy? To spend every day in fear that you'll lose a loved one or that someone you thought was friend would betray you? Do you?'
Caleb shook his head mutely.
'Never forget Caleb, that war changes everyone. And at the end of the day, the only people you can really trust are your family. You're lucky you have a twin, don't push him away because of your narrow-minded judgement of how you think you should behave. I'm sad to think that it is James and I who are responsible for this but we probably are, telling you stories of our marauder days. If you're acting like this to be like us then stop, because I hope that if we had ever been in your situation when we were young we would have stood by our brother regardless.'
Sirius stopped, breathing heavily. The sudden fierce look and tense body language following probably the longest, most passionate speech of his life, looked strange on the usually laid back and joyful man. Caleb on the other hand looked more gormless than Harry had ever seen him, reeling as he was from the shock of having a few closely held truths shattered so efficiently.
Lily leant over the table to pour tea for everyone as they tried to digest Sirius' sudden change in behaviour. Harry sat forward as Lily held out a cup to him, but as he took hold of the cup Lily clasped her hands around his. Confused he looked up and Lily smiled back at him lovingly.
'I love you' she whispered.
There was a lump in Harry's throat as he replied, 'I love you too, Mum.'
Smiling she leant back and continued to pour tea as Harry stared deep into his cup, his eyes watery again.
'Professor Flitwick was telling us Harry, that you produced an astounding display of magic in his lesson today.'
'Uh-huh' Harry replied hesitantly.
'Must have been really something special to impress him so thoroughly.'
Harry shrugged and took sip of his tea.
'Where did you learn how to do that?'
Harry sighed and took another sip to give himself time to think. There was no way he could tell them about the wand he'd acquired all those years ago and had been practicing with ever since. And he definitely couldn't tell them just how far ahead of the Hogwart's syllabus he was because that would bring up a whole new can of worms and it wasn't something he wanted to deal with right now. Or ever for that matter.
'Just say that you'd studied the theory for awhile and you have a talent for adapting easily.'
'I read about it in one of mum's books a while ago. I guess I pick up new things easily or I just studied the theory well enough.'
Harry gave his voice a mental thumbs up and a high five for the save. Everyone seemed to accept that easily, they'd always known that Harry was a clever child and his explanation didn't seem that far-fetched.
'I'm glad to hear that you take after me. Filius, I believe, is planning on giving you some extra material to push you a bit more. He has high hopes for you and high expectations but I'm not worried, I know you'll do wonderfully.' Lily smiled at him again before leaning over to give him a kiss on the forehead.
Looking away from her Harry pushed himself into the sofa, smiling happily. Despite the catastrophe that was his father, he was immensely happy that whatever horrific images he'd conjured up previously were not going to happen. Knowing that his mother still loved him like she always did made him feel lighter than he had felt in days. Suddenly everything took a turn for the better. Not only did his family (or most of them at least) accept him for what he was and what he had chosen, but he also had friends, real friends who would stick by him.
Choosing Slytherin turned out to be the best decision of his life.
A/N: Not the most interesting chapter but I hope you liked it.
I'll start work on the next chapter as soon as I can. I am however, reworking my story plan so once I've done that updates should be quicker.
By the way, I'd strongly, strongly urge you to listen to the song I took a quote from, 'Daddy's Gone', by Glasvegas. A really wonderful song that sounds stunning. Give it a go!
Anywho, please review and tell me what you thought.
A pot noodle and a signed photo of Bradley James to everyone who does!
(Does anyone else watch BBC's Merlin?)