Title: Serpentine

Summary: Harry's relatives never raised him. In fact, they abandoned him the day they found him on their doorstep. It's going to be a very different Harry Potter than Albus Dumbledore expects who shows up at Hogwarts ten years later...

Warnings: 1. This is a SLASH fanfiction. It contains yaoi. Male/male relationships. People who dislike fanfics like that should press that lovely back button right now.

2. I can promise you that Harry is NOT a Griffindor here. Nor is he likely to leap before he looks. So sorry to disappoint.

3. Harry. Is. DARK. In. This. Fanfic. I don't care if you think he's OOC. He's supposed to be.

4. There will probably be character deaths. Please, do not flame me if your favorite character dies. You have been warned.

5. I'm not experienced in writing human characters. If you don't want your eyes burned out by massive OOCness and bad character writing, you'd probably be better off reading someone else's writing.

Disclaimer: Me? Own Harry Potter? HA! That's a laugh. If I owned HP, Snape wouldn't have died, but he DID, so obviously, I DON'T own HP.


It was safe to say that he had never had real parents. He had been raised on the streets, and taught to distrust all adults. He had grown up knowing one person as his protector and family. A boy who was little more than sixteen, and who he thought of as a big brother. He came to depend on the teen. He loved the teen. He trusted the teen. He had learned everything he knew of survival from this one person, who had never given his name, and who had never asked what the boy's was in all the years they'd been together.

"Keep up, kid. You want food? We have to be quicker than this, or someone will see." The teen was several paces ahead, and his voice startled the smaller male out of his thoughts. He kept his voice low for fear of waking anyone or attracting attention, as it was the dead of night. They tried not to be out and about too much in the daytime. People might see their faces.

The boy quickened his step. He hated to disappoint his big brother. They made a living from stealing, and the boy had grown quite good at it too, in the time he'd been helping his brother. He was the distraction when they needed to steal someone's money, asking directions, or if someone had seen his parents. And he was the lookout, when his brother decided they needed to raid a store in the quiet and stillness of the night.

His brother was the one who did the stealing, as he was far more experienced, and had lightning quick reflexes in case they messed up and had to make a fast getaway. If they needed money, he spotted the targets, and while people were distracted by the boy, his brother would pretend to stumble and would grab the person's arm to steady himself, knocking them off-balance as well. Then he had only seconds to get what they needed, and usually six times out of ten, he got it before someone saw his face. The other four times, they'd had to run as fast as they could and find a place to hide so they wouldn't be caught.

Now, the boy stood motionless in the shadows, watching while his brother broke into the store they'd picked out with as little forced entry as possible. Sometimes they were very lucky - sometimes the owners forgot to lock up the store, and those were the times when the boy and his brother ate well for a while before they had to steal some more. Most of the time though, they had to break in and had minutes at best to get in, grab what they needed, and get out. They didn't eat so well those times, and they'd have to move on to a new place and steal again within a few days at best. At worst, they ran out of food and water - for they only ever stole water because anything else slowed them down too much - in a single day.

If the boy saw the police coming, he had to whistle as loud as he could, to make sure his brother heard it. It had taken him months to get it right, and sometimes they only just got away, thanks to his brother's speed and sharp ears and eyes. Really, people shouldn't go rushing around with flashing lights and loud, wailing sirens if they wanted to catch criminals.

The boy had been given a dagger by his brother when he was younger. "Don't ever use this against another person," the teen had told him seriously, looking deep into his eyes, "unless you have absolutely no other choice. If you use it in any other way except self defense, one day it will hurt you in return. But always keep it close...you never know when you might have need of it." He never had used the dagger, but it was strapped to his waist, within easy reach. Sometimes he kept a hand over the dagger's hilt, fingers just barely brushing the metal to remind himself that it was there.

The boy's eyes were caught by flashing red and blue lights that were still far down the street - but getting closer. He let out a loud, sharp whistle and turned to see his brother darting from the store, the bag they used on raids like this clutched in one long-fingered hand. Not a word was spoken - they'd done this so many times in past years that there was no need to speak. They slipped into a side alley as swiftly and silently as a pair of cats would, their steps light, their breathing controlled.

The cops arrived just seconds later, but were still too late to catch the burglars.


"Hey, kid..."

The boy looked up from caressing the blade of his dagger, slightly surprised that his brother was awake so early the morning after a raid. The teen knelt beside him, gripping his chin gently so he could look the younger full in the face. "I know I've never asked you this before now...but do you remember anything before the night I found you?"

Oh. So that was it...the teen probably wanted to know if he remembered his name or something...

"No..." the boy answered, being completely honest. "Nothing."

The teenager sighed and ran a hand through his wild chestnut-colored hair. "Well, that makes things a bit more difficult to understand, then...because this" - he held up an envelope, showing it to the boy - "was brought here by an owl, of all the unusual things, and it's addressed to a Mr. Harry Potter."

The boy blinked. "I don't know my name, or if I even have one, but I'm pretty sure I'm not this Harry Potter person."

"Hmm...well, I'm going to give you a name," the teen replied. He tilted the boy's chin upwards with one finger and studied him thoughtfully. "You will be called Zephyr."

The boy, now named Zephyr, repeated the name silently to himself. He liked it. "What are you called?" he asked the teen, for he truly didn't know.

There was a long, thoughtful pause. "Living alone, one doesn't need a name. But a long time ago...my mother called me Evan. Evan...Ventulus, I think my last name was."

Zephyr blinked. "So...am I Zephyr Ventulus?"

Evan smiled, the first smile Zephyr had ever seen on his face. "Yes. You are. Now, shall we read this letter? I think it deserves a reply."


Well, what did you think? Did it suck? Is it good? Before any of you ask, no, Evan is NOT going to be the one Zephyr falls for, and no, he is not going to fall in love with Zephyr. Their relationship is that of brothers and always will be.