A/N: In this story parseltongue will not be hereditary, but instead will show up at random. I know this isn't how it really happens in canon, but this is fanfiction for a reason.
Chapter 2: The Mentor
The sun had just started shining through the dust clouded windows of St Augustine's orphanage. The building from the outside appeared to be quite nice, it was a Victorian stile. But the inside was anything but. The walls which had once been painted a vibrant blue were now peeling and faded. Parts of the ceiling were missing, and the floors creaked with every step. As Quirinus Quirrell stepped through the front door he was overwhelmed by the smell of mold and mildew. It would seem that the funding for this place and its condition have only gotten worse since I was forced to live heresneered a voice inside of his head. Trying to keep the disgust he was feeling off of his face, Quirrell walked briskly across the room to a desk where a lady that appeared to be in her late 40's was seated. She had light brown hair with a few streaks of gray, pulled back into a bun, and appeared to be about 5'6". The woman was reading what appeared to be a newspaper with a frown on her face. Not wanting to be here any long then he had to Quirrell rapped his knuckles on the desk to get her attention. The woman looked up surprise evident on her face. Stupid muggle didn't even realize we were here; she would be dead by now if I had a body the voice sneered again. Just as quickly as the surprise came it vanished and the frown came back. Seeing that she was about to open her mouth and likely start on some rant about scaring her Quirrell cut her off.
"I am here looking for a child by the name of Harry Potter."He told her.
"Harry Potter you say… well I can't say I have many people requesting to see him… after all who would want such a freak child." She informed him.
"Freak did you say? What is so freaky about him?" Quirrell could feel anger not his own starting to bubble and he wanted nothing more then to be somewhere else at the moment.
"Yes he is a freak and a trouble maker. Why I can remember one time real well. He had been outside all day, and when I came out to tell him to come in I find him hissing at a snake. Can you believe that, hissing as if the snake could understand him. Or another time when he and another boy went exploring up by some of those cliffs outside. They didn't return that day and so I went searching for them. I found him in a cave almost unharmed, but the other boy well he looked fine but when I tried to get him to move he couldn't and he said it felt like every muscle in his body was on fire. When I asked what happened he said that Potter boy had beat him up when he wasn't looking. Naturally I assumed this was true because of the freak's lack of injury, but I couldn't find any physical evidence of injury on the other boy either."
Quirrell's interest had been piqued, as well as his master's, when she had mentioned Potter hissing at snakes. Could it be the boy was a Parseltongue? But wouldn't that mean he had some connection to the Slytherin family? While being a Parseltongue was intriguing, the next part about the supposed fight was more interesting. By the way the boy described his injuries it sounded as if he had been held under a Cruciatus. Could it be possible that the boy had a wandless magic talent like his master? It seemed like his meeting with the young Mr. Potter was going to be more intriguing then he had originally thought. It seemed the woman was waiting for him to say something.
"Well, I still think I would like to meet with Mr. Potter anyway." Quirrell told her in a tone that signaled any attempt at persuading him otherwise was futile.
"If that is what you want, a warning though he is very closed off around people and does not take kindly to strangers." She told him.
"I thank you for the warning but I think I will be fine. Now please lead the way to his room."
Wordlessly the woman got out of her chair and started walking down a long hallway. Quirrell silently followed her barely taking in his surroundings as he pondered over the puzzle that was Harry Potter. After a short walk it seemed they had reached the end of the hallway, and the final room. She turned and faced Quirrell.
"This is his room, and you don't have to worry about privacy because no one stays in here but him." Then she turned and walked back down the hallway.
After she left Quirrell knocked on the door and waited until he heard a muffled 'come in' before entering. Quirrell made sure to close the door behind him to reduce the risk of being overheard. When he turned around again he got his first view of Harry Potter. At first glance the only thing that would seem out of the ordinary about the boy would be his vibrant green eyes that looked like they practically glowed. He appeared to be about average height for an eleven year old, with the same jet black unruly hair his father had. Aside from being a little skinny there were appeared to be numerous bruises on his arms and legs. His observations were cut short however when the boy asked him a question.
"Who are you, and what do you want?" Harry asked.
Despite himself Quirrell couldn't help but laugh at the straightforwardness."Well Harry, my name is Quirinus Quirrell, and I am here to offer you a place at the school I teach at. But first let me ask you a question, do you believe in magic?" His tone may have seemed somewhat bored, but he was immensely curious as to what the child in front of him knew about the power he held.
The question obviously caught the young child off guard."Magic sir? There is no such thing as magic." Harry replied while looking at the man like he had grown a second head.
"I assure you Mister Potter that there is indeed magic, and people like me and you are capable of using it. Tell me have you ever done something you couldn't explain? Something you have never seen anyone else do?"
Harry took a moment to think about how to answer this. Yes he had done things he couldn't explain, but did that make them magic? Would this man think him a freak like everyone else if he told him about some of the things? He quickly decided against that, the man had said there were others like him, and he taught at a school for people like him. Making a decision to trust this man a little he nodded his head to indicate he had done things. With his interest piqued now, he began barraging the man with questions.
"Do you need something to do magic with? Can you show me some magic? What is this school called? What is this school like? How am I going to get there? What will I be learning when I am there? What will I need? And how am I going to pay for things that I do need?" All of this came out very quick and Quirrell had a hard time keeping up.
"Okay lets take this one question at a time shall we," he informed the now slightly out of breath child," Yes I can show you some magic, and yes in order to do magic most wizards and witches need to use a wand." and with that said he promptly conjured a chair to sit on. "The school is called Hogwarts. The school is separated into four houses. They are known as Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw. You will get there by taking a train called the Hogwarts Express on September 1st. When you arrive there you will take boats across the lake surrounding the school, from there a teacher will take you into the Great Hall. The Great Hall is where all meals are held. Once in the Great Hall you will have to be sorted by a magical hat based on your personality. Gryffindors are known to be brave and chivalrous. Ravenclaws are the ones who value knowledge, so basically they are bookworms. Hufflepuffs value loyalty over everything else. And finally you have the Slytherins, who because they value ambition and cunning are usually referred to as dark and evil. This is not true; ambition simply means doing what it takes to achieve your goals. There are a variety of subjects you will cover once you start; some of them are transfiguration, charms, potions, and defense against the dark arts." Quirrell then stopped for a moment to pull a yellowish looking envelope out of his cloak and handed it to Harry. "Everything you will need to get is included on a list in that envelope. And lastly you will be using funds from a trust vault your parents set up for you. Ah, that reminds me I will be escorting you to Diagon Alley today which is where you will get all of your supplies." But Harry barely heard this part because his mind had been in a daze when he heard his parents mention and his eyes were a little unfocused. There seemed to be a slight glimmer of hope in his eyes as well.
"Parents? You know my parents?" The young boy questioned him.
"No, I did not know your parent's personally, but I did hear some things about them that I could tell you if you would like." At seeing the boy's head nodding frantically he continued," Your parent's names were James Potter and Lily Potter. James had hair much like your own, and hazel eyes. He was a gifted transfiguration student when he went to Hogwarts. Lily had auburn hair and green eyes like yours. She was gifted in Charms while at Hogwarts. Your father came from what is known as a Pureblood family, meaning there were no muggles in the family." At seeing the confused look on Harry's face Quirrell explained further "A muggle is a person with no magic." Once he got a nod of understanding he picked up where he had left off. "Your mother on the other hand was a muggleborn meaning she had come from a family where there were never any witches or wizards. In the Wizarding world there are three basic types of witches and wizards. Purebloods, Half-Bloods, and Muggleborns. Most would consider you to be a half-blood because your mother was a muggleborn, but some may consider you a first-generation Pureblood because both of your parents were magical. That is about all I know about your parents."
"You were talking about my parents in the past so does that mean they're dead now?" The question had escaped his lips before he could think and even though he wanted to know he wasn't sure if he wanted to hear it.
"Yes your parents are dead; it was a great loss to the magical community for two people so strong to be struck down so early." Quirrell stated.
"Sir, how were they killed?" now that he had started to ask about them Harry found himself wanting to know what had happened to land him in this place.
"Since you didn't even know magic existed until today I am going to tell you a brief story so that you can understand why your parent's were killed first." And so Quirrell began to tell him the tale of Lord Voldemort and his use of the dark arts, and how his parents had been part of a group to fight against him to protect the muggles and muggleborns, Quirrell noticed a slight narrowing of the eyes at that and filed it away, he told him briefly about the boy-who-lived, Neville Longbottom, and finally he came to recount how Harry's parents and their friends had been attacked at home.
After hearing this Harry was slightly angry, he couldn't believe his parents would protect the muggles. They had died protecting muggles, and because of that their only son was left to suffer at the hands of muggles, what irony. The muggles Harry had met at the orphanage had been nothing short of cruel. All of the other boys would always pick on him and steal his food. Yet, if he tried to get them back then Mrs. Lanning would punish him. And when she said punishment it wasn't the normal go to your room, it was a whipping with a belt. Not sure how Quirrell would react if he told him what he thought of muggles Harry decided a topic change was in order. Luckily Quirrell must have sensed his unease because he asked him a question.
"So Harry, the lady that led me to your room said you try and speak to snakes? Tell me, can you understand them?" Quirrell had been waiting through this whole discussion to finally get to a point where he could ask about the events that woman had mentioned.
Harry for his part was looking at the floor embarrassedly. Finally he gathered up his courage and answered, "I can talk to them and they can talk to me if that's what you mean." Mistaking the look of surprise on Quirrell's face for disbelief Harry tried to defend himself, "Wait, I can prove it. I just need a snake." Quirrell had become quite curious now, and so he offered to conjure a snake. Harry accepted the offer. And so with a silent spell and a slight twist of his wand a snake shot out of the end of Quirrell's wand and landed in the middle of the floor. The snake looked around and took in it's surroundings. It then began to hiss menacingly and slither towards Harry.
"Wait, I don't mean any harm" Harry hissed towards the snake. This froze the snake in its spot.
"Youssss ssspeaks?" Was all it managed to get out before Quirrell banished it. He sat there quietly contemplating the revelation that the Potter child was a Parseltongue.
"See," Harry stated with a smug little smile on his face," I told you I could do it."
"Yes, you did," responded Quirrell," but a word of caution, many people fear those who can speak to snakes, they are called Parseltongues, because it has been known as the mark of a dark wizard. "Waiting a minute for that to sync in fully, Quirrell then asked about the other incident. "I have one last question for you before we go to Diagon Alley to get your supplies Harry. Can you describe for me what you were feeling when you were up in the cave with that other boy." If Harry was surprised that Quirrell knew about that he didn't show it but instead answered the question.
"I was angry," he started but then his face became a little cloudier," No that's wrong I was more then angry. Steve always picks on me and beats me up, so sometimes I would go up to the caves to just hide. One day he followed me up to them and beat me up there. It was like something inside of me had it though. And I wanted him to feel the pain he was putting me through, and then… I just blacked out. When I woke up Mrs. Lanning was yelling at me because she thought I had attacked Steve. I don't even remember what happened yet I know I did something."
"Interesting." Quirrell mumbled. To cause a wandless Cruciatus to happen, and so young is an amazing feat of accidental magic. The boy must be exceptionally powerful. With the right training he could become a great ally in the future. Maybe, maybe I should offer to mentor the boy this year. I could slowly fuel the boys hate and anger towards the muggles and essentially I would be turning him against the Light side to. Yes, he decided, before I leave him later I will ask if he wants me to tutor him in advanced material. And with that decided he addressed the young boy across from him again.
"Well now if you are ready we will go inform Mrs. Lanning that you will be attending school for the year, and that we are leaving now to gather your supplies." When he got an affirmative nod he rose from the chair he had sat himself on and began to make his way towards the door. But remembering something he stopped and turned around.
"When we are in public I must pretend to talk with a stutter, and please don't ask why just know that it is something I must do for now." He could tell Harry was confused but the boy nodded none the less. With that cleared up he again started his walk towards the door.
As Harry followed his soon to be Professor through the door of a pub called the Leaky Cauldron, he immediately began taking in everything around him. He noticed several platters floating by themselves to tables, and some dishes cleaning themselves as well. He was snapped out of his observations when professor Quirrell began talking to him.
"Try and keep up I don't want to lose you in this crowd. Hopefully we can make it through the Pub and to the Alley before another…" he was cut off though as a huge giant like man came over to them. He was closely followed by a girl with bushy brown hair and what appeared to be overly large front teeth.
"'Lo Professor Quirrell," the giant man greeted Quirrell.
"Why he-he-llo th-th-ere Rubeus." answered Quirrell.
While Harry was momentarily confused as to why his soon to be teacher was now stuttering he let it go and decided on asking the man later. Instead he chose to observe the girl who had come with the giant. It appeared she couldn't take the quiet anymore though and she started talking to him.
"Hi isn't this just so wonderful, I mean we get to learn magic. I can't wait till I get my books so I can start learning right away. When I asked Hagrid what Hogwarts was like he said it was amazing and that there would never be a dull year because I was going the same time as the boy-who-lived. And when I asked him who the boy-who-lived was he told me the most amazing story. Have you heard it? I mean it's so amazing that Neville could defeat a man that no one else could. Oh my where are my manners, I am Hermione Granger." She said all of this in a rushed tone.
"Harry Potter" he informed her. Harry looked at the girl again and decided he would avoid her at all costs. She was just too excitable, and not only that but he could practically see stars in the girl's eyes when she started talking about the boy-who-lived. The last thing he wanted was some little fan-girl constantly telling him about the great Neville Longbottom. It appeared as though the giant and Professor Quirrell were done speaking, as Quirrell had started walking away so Harry began to follow him. After all the last thing he wanted was to be left behind with that man and the over-excited beaver girl. Quickening his pace to keep up with his Professor he was more then a little surprised when they stepped out the back door only to come face to face with a brick wall. His shock must have been evident on his face as Quirrell gave him a little smirk then pulled out his wand and tapped the bricks. For a moment nothing happened, and then the bricks began to pull themselves apart and revealed a whole new street with shops lining either side of it. Turning to his Professor he asked where they would be going first.
"Our first stop is going to be Gringotts Wizarding Bank so we can get you some money for supplies." His professor informed him in a whisper so as not to be overheard without a stutter. And then he began walking towards a large building in the center of the Alley which looked to be made entirely of white marble. As they walked up the stairs towards the doors Harry noticed a plaque with writing on it. Silently he read it to himself.
Enter, stranger, but take heed
Of what awaits the sin of greed,
For those who take, but do not earn,
Must pay most dearly in their turn.
So if you seek beneath our floors
A treasure that was never yours,
Thief, you have been warned, beware
Of finding more than treasure there.
If the warning was a shock he was again shocked by the creatures that were running the bank. They were short with pale skin and white hair. There ears with long and pointed, and there faces seemed to be set in permanent frowns.
"Professor," Harry questioned, "what are they?"
"Goblins, they can be nasty if not given the proper respect so just let me handle this."Quirrell informed him. Harry was more then happy to oblige as the goblins looked intimidating. As they approached one of the tellers Quirrell began speaking.
"Hello, I am here with Harry Potter and he needs to make a withdrawal for his school supplies."
"Very well, does Mr. Potter have his key?" the goblin asked.
"Yes, I have Mr. Potter's key because he has been living in a muggle orphanage."Quirrell informed the teller.
"Fine, please wait a moment," and with that the teller walked away, a few moments later he came back with another goblin."Griphook will take you to the vault. Next!"
The cart ride that lead to the vaults left harry feeling very sick to his stomach, and Quirrell appeared to be slightly off-balance.
"Lantern please." The goblin stated in a bored tone. Harry passed the lantern to him and they started on a short walk to vault number 687. Once they were there the goblin spoke again.
"Key please." It stated in that same bored tone. Harry took hold of the lantern as the goblin grabbed the key and proceeded to open the door. Inside there were mounds of gold, bronze and silver coins. It was then that Harry realized he had no clue how much each of the coins was worth. Turning to his Professor he asked the man about the value of each.
"Don't worry about the bronze and silver coins ,which just so you know are called knuts and sickles respectively, but the gold ones are called galleons if you fill two or three of your money bags with them we will have enough for your supplies." Deciding that it wouldn't hurt to have extra money incase he wanted more of an item then what was required Harry filled five bags with galleons. Now that he had money Harry was eager to begin his shopping trip. He planned on spoiling himself a bit to make up for lack of supplies at the orphanage over the years. He had just started walking for the door when a hand on his shoulder stopped him. He turned to see Professor Quirrell beckoning him off to the side. Confused, Harry followed to see what the professor wanted.
"Harry I wanted to ask you a question before we start, you may need certain supplies depending on your answer," Professor Quirrell could clearly see the confusion on the young boy's face, " I would be willing to offer extra lessons to you during the year, sort of like advanced training. Would you be interested in taking it, we would cover not only the classes from school, but also some advanced techniques you could use in future careers." Having never had anyone care enough to help or even offer extra help to him Harry was thrown for a second. Once it started to sink in though he liked the idea more and more. Perhaps Professor Quirrell could teach him ways to make those muggles at the orphanage leave him alone. Yes, he was really beginning to like this idea.
"Yes Professor that would be great, and I promise to do my best so I won't let you down or waste your time."
So caught up in his ideas of what he might be learning Harry failed to see the smirk that spread on his professor's face. His master had used some subtle legilemency on the child while he had been deciding to take the lessons or not, and with the hatred of muggles already there it would be too easy to corrupt the young Potter.
"I am sure you won't let me down Harry, I can sense great potential in you. But for now take the list I gave you earlier and go get the required items, I will gather up everything you need for our private lessons." With that said Quirrell began walking away leaving harry to get his school supplies, all the while he was planning on how to fuel the hatred the child had.
Upon looking at his list Harry decided the first thing he would get would be the robes as it would most likely be the most time consuming thing for him today. So he casually walked out of the bank, and began looking around until he spotted a place called Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions. Deciding that would be the most likely spot to get his robes for Hogwarts, he entered. Almost at once he was being questioned by a woman.
"Hogwarts, dear?" After he gave her a polite nod indicating she was correct she began to shuffle him over to a stool to stand on next to a boy with pale skin and blond hair.
"Hello," said the boy, "Hogwarts, too?"
"Yes," said Harry.
"My father's next door buying my books, and mother's up the street looking at wands," said the boy. He had a bored, drawling voice. "Then I'm going to drag them off to look at racing brooms. I don't see why first years can't have their own. It's just not fair."
Harry nodded, not really having his own opinion on the matter. In all reality he was trying to keep himself from insulting the boy because he didn't want to make enemies with someone before he even got to school. The boy's voice broke him from his thoughts though.
"So where are your parents?"
"Dead." Harry replied
"Oh, I am sorry" the blond boy replied," Were they our kind?"
"If you mean a witch and wizard then yes, they were."
Further conversation was halted when the lady who had ushered him over to the stool came over with his robes. After paying and thanking her he was about to leave when the blond boy's voice stopped him.
"I am terribly sorry I forgot my manners, I am Malfoy, Draco Malfoy." The boy held out his hand.
Reminding himself that he wanted friends not enemies he turned around and introduced himself.
"I am Harry Potter" He briefly shook the boys hand and then turned and left.
Meanwhile in Knockturn Alley a man was getting ready to close his shop early when someone came in. Couldn't they see he was closing? As he was going up to confront the man he suddenly got a good look and stopped dead in his tracks. Staring back at him was a pair of glowing red eyes.
"Hello Borgin" the man greeted in a cold voice that came out more like a hiss.
"Mas-Mas-ter it is s-o good to s-s-ee you again" by now Borgin was on the floor cowering.
"Crucio" The man watched on as Borgin writhed on the floor, his screams were like music. "I need something that will remove any Ministry monitoring wards on a wand Borgin, and it would be in your best judgment to get it now." As the man was released he wasted no time in getting what his Master had requested. He handed over a bottle containing a dark blue potion and began telling the Dark Lord how to use it.
"All you have to do is pour this over the wand, and say the words exonero absisto custodia."
"Very good Borgin." The Dark Lord took the potion from the cowering man's hands and began to walk towards the door. Once outside of the building he put Quirrell back in control of the body, after all it wouldn't do to scare away the young Potter.
Back out in Diagon Alley Harry had collected most of his required items. The only things left he had to get were the books and a wand. And most likely he would get an owl if for nothing other then some company during the summer other then his snake. Deciding on getting the wand last Harry made his way too Flourish and Blott's. As he made his way through the small crowd gathered in the store he caught sight of a familiar patch of bushy brown hair. He almost groaned out loud in annoyance. Hopefully if he stayed on the opposite side of the store she wouldn't notice him. As he worked his way through the list of books things seemed to be going according to plan, and she hadn't noticed him yet. How ever, like all good things it didn't last. As he was looking through a book he had found interesting, The Greatest Dark Lords and Their Stories, he heard that annoying voice right behind his ear. Spinning around he found himself face to face with the girl and no one to save him from her babbling.
"Hello again. It's such a coincidence that we met up again. I mean really what are the odds…" At this point Harry promptly tuned her out and continued working his way through the book list occasionally stopping to pick up a book that seemed interesting. As he finished and went up to pay he was resigning himself to having to put up with her, but luckily Professor Quirrell decided to turn up at that moment. As he spotted me he came over and asked if I was finished.
"No, almost though, all I have left is my wand and a pet if I want."
"That is fine, but we must hurry because its getting late and we have a few more things to discuss when you get back to the orphanage."
For a moment confusion was evident on Harry's face then a sudden dawn of understanding hit him. The private lessons. Professor Quirrell had said that he would gather things they would need for them. He probably wanted to show him what he needed to know for their first lesson.
Feeling grateful for an excuse to leave the annoying girl behind Harry told her he needed to get a wand, and get back with Professor Quirrell. She seemed saddened by this, but then seemed to brighten up and rambled something about seeing him on the train before dashing off. Harry had to physically hold himself back from smashing his head against the wall. Seeing that Professor Quirrell was getting impatient Harry quickly grabbed his things and stored them in the new trunk he had gotten earlier, which was charmed to be feather light. Together the two of them made the relatively short trip across the road to Ollivander's. Hanging right below the name was a smaller sign that read: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C. The shop which had looked very small from the outside seemed to expand backwards forever with rows upon rows of boxes, which presumably held wands in them.
"I was wondering if I would be seeing you Mr. Potter."
Jumping in fright Harry quickly turned around to see an old man with, silver eyes and white hair staring back at him."Umm..hello..I..I..need..a..wand.." The old man had scared him so bad he couldn't even form complete sentences without stuttering.
"Yes it would appear that way," replied the old man, presumably Mr. Ollivander, "Well let's get started then shall we, which is your wand arm?"
"I am right-handed, sir" Harry responded. He was unprepared for a tape measure to suddenly fly out and start taking all different types of measurements and therefore almost fell over. As quickly as it started the measuring stopped, and then Mr. Ollivander disappeared in the back when he reappeared he was carrying a box with him.
"Try this wand Mr. Potter, Beech-Wood and Dragon Heartstring. Nine inches. Nice and Flexible. Just give it a wave." Harry did as he was told, but almost immediately the wand was snatched out of his hand. And so that's how it went for the next half an hour. Wand after wand was given to him only to be taken out of his hand.
"My, my you are a tricky customer." If anything this seemed to make Mr. Ollivander even happier. After another half an hour of trying the man's excitement seemed to be leaving him. Just as their seemed to be no hope of Harry getting a wand, Mr. Ollivander seemed to regard him curiously before going into the back and coming out with a wand that appeared to be solid black.
"This wand Mr. Potter, I have never been able to find a match for and as such it had been almost forgotten. But, since you seem to have exhausted all of my other wands I don't see what the harm in letting you try this one is." And with that said he handed Harry the wand. As Harry grabbed it he suddenly felt a surge go up his arm, and as he waved it black sparks shot out of the tip. Looking around to the other two people, Professor Quirrell seemed relieved that he had gotten a wand, but also curious as to why no one else had taken the wand. But it was Mr. Ollivander's reaction that would shock him the most. The man was looking at him with a hint of fear and sadness. Curiosity getting the better of him, Harry asked Mr. Ollivander what was wrong.
"That wand is a symbol of death and destruction. The wood was from a burned ash tree, while the core is a thestral hair. The wand is 11 inches, and it is nice and flexible. Perfect for the Dark Arts. I can only hope, Mr. Potter, that I won't regret selling that wand." This revelation left Harry in a kind of stupor, and he barely noticed as he took out the seven galleons to pay, and was guided to the Leaky Cauldron by Professor Quirrell.