This is supposed --meaning that I can't promise anything-- to be a series of one-shots about what different characters felt upon seeing Harry for the first time. I have some ideas, but you're more than welcome to submit your sujestions. Again, I can't promise I'll write them, because I don't know if my muse for this will hold for much longer, but I promise to read all of them and at least try to give it a shot.
For now, you have to settle with Snape. I've been thinking about this from the moment I read "The Prince's Tale" --chapter thirty-three in the DH. Just to be clear, I am not in any way suggesting that Lily should have married Snape and have lots of greesy-haired kids. Lily belongs with James. Period. I just think that that chapter was brilliant and it made me a little sorry for poor Severus. That, plus a scene in the first movie, triggered me off. This is not meant to be a romantic fic.
I've never written anything about Snape before and it's been a while since I've written an angsty fic, so I don't know how this came out. Leave me a review and let me know, would you? Please? Pretty please? Review! I'm Imperius-ing you!
Declaimer: If you really think I'm J.K. Rowling... Thanks! But I'm not. I owe NOTING!
Professor Severus Snape sat at his usual spot next to the DADA teacher –Quirel, this year– at the High Table, scanning the crowd before him. Normally he found the Sorting Ceremony incredibly dull, but this year was an exception.
For years he had heard McGonagall call name after name, and he'd seen thousands of boys and girls get sorted into the different houses. But only once had he really cared about what was going on around him, and that was during his own sorting. After that, he had sat and watched and clapped whenever a new Slytherin was selected, but he had never really cared.
But this time, however, was different. This time he was actually paying attention; he was actually looking. This time he had someone to find.
He spotted a redheaded boy in the line of kids following McGonagall into the Great Hall, and his heart swelled. But his hopes were crashed almost immediately. That wasn't her hair. By the looks of it, that boy was a Wesley; not an Evans.
He tore his eyes from the boy and scanned the crowd, but he didn't find what he was looking for. He didn't see her face, her nose, her mouth… She wasn't there.
He knew that the boy had to be there somewhere. Even if he hadn't been painfully aware of the fact that it had been ten years since the incident, one quick trip to Hogsmade or Diagon Alley or anywhere where two or three wizards could be gathered, would have been enough to reminded him that this was the year when the boy was supposed to come to Hogwarts. It had been what everybody had been talking about since the end of the last term.
"It's too bad we're graduating this year," Severus had heard a Revenclaw boy tell his girlfriend as they both left Hogwarts to take the train that would take them back to London. "If we had been just a few months younger, we would have seen Harry Potter."
"Today is Harry Potter's birthday. Can you believe he's already 11 years old? He's going to Hogwarts this year. My son, Henry, is starting at Hogwarts too, come September. I wonder if they'd be in the same house…" He had heard a woman tell a friend in Diagon Alley a few months ago.
"I want you all to pay special attention to security this year. As you all know, Harry Potter is coming, and the last thing we'd want was for him to get hurt during his stay at Hogwarts…" Dumbledore had warned him and the rest of the teachers during their first staff meeting.
Oh yes, there was no possible mistake. Harry Potter –Severus snarled the name– was at Hogwarts. He just had to find him.
The fact that he had never seen the boy was certainly a complication, but Severus didn't care much about it. He was confident that he'd recognize the boy whenever he saw him thanks to the traits he must certainly have inherited from his mother. That was the whole point of it, really. Lily was.
Truth be told, he wasn't that excited about the boy himself. As he saw it, the boy was the reason why his mother had died, and Severus would never –could never– care for someone who had destroyed the one person he had ever loved. But he was still Lily's son. Her blood ran in his veins.
He would never have Lily back, but maybe Harry would be so much like her that Severus could pretend she had never died. Maybe the boy had taken after his mother in potions. Would he see Lily when he watched Harry in his class? Would the boy smile whenever he was brewing a potion, like his mother had? Would he and his friends like to experiment with potions, changing ingredients here and there, like they had used to? Just the thought of having one little reminder of the girl that had once meant the world to him, made Severus' heart beat faster. Maybe…
One by one, the students were sorted into the different houses and went to sit with their new classmates.
He'd have to resemble her physically, too. Harry must look like her. Maybe he didn't have her hair, but he had to have something that resembled his mother. He'd know who he was when he saw him, because he'd see Lily.
He'd see her again. After all this time, he'd see her in her son. In the son that should have been his. That would have been his if he had kept his mouth shut. If it weren't for Potter and Black… If they hadn't embarrassed him in public one too many times… If he had stopped to consider his words before he uttered them… If she had been sorted into Slytherin, like she was supposed to be…
Would Harry be sorted into Slytherin? Would he have Lily's son in his own house? That would be more than he could ever hope for. Harry would look up to him, like all Slytherin's did. They'd become friends. If Harry had taken after Lily's intelligence and wit, he could almost have his friend back…
It was time. Finally. He'd finally see him. Harry Potter. No. No. Harry Evans.
Snape was sitting on the edge of his chair, leaning forward anxiously. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath as Professor McGonagall called the name everybody had been expecting to hear ever since the ceremony started.
He opened his eyes just in time to see a slimy boy with black, messy hair step forward. He was nervous –probably aware of the fact that all the whispers that had suddenly arose from the different tables were because of him– so he was looking down. But Severus didn't need him to look up to recognize him.
The hair, the tip of his nose, the glasses… That was not Lily's son. That was Potter all over again.
She wasn't there.
He was angry. Furious, really.
He was furious at himself, because he had been hopeful. All the years he had spent trying to forget her, to get over her, to let her go… All of that had gone down the drain the moment he started believing that he'd see her again. Tonight when he went to bed he'd be back at square one.
He was furious at the boy too. She had died for him; for her son, not Potter's. Where was Lily in that boy? How was anyone supposed to know that he was hers? How was anyone that looked at that boy supposed to know that he was the one Lily Evans had loved the most, the one she had died for? They wouldn't. They'd look at him and they'd see his father, not his mother.
Above all, he was furious at Potter. James Potter. He had taken her away from him again. First, he had taken the girl. How Lily could have possibly fallen for a prat like Potter was still a mystery to him. How many times had they sat by the lake and he'd listened to her list all his pathetic attempts to woo her? How many times had she told him "If I ever agree to go on a date with Potter, please shoot me. Or have me committed. I don't care. Obviously, I will be too far gone to notice anything, because if I ever go out with him, it'd obviously mean that I've lost my mind"? And yet she had gone out with him. She had married him; carried his child, died with him…
He could shoulder some of the blame for loosing her the first time. He had let life get in their way and he had pushed her into Potter's arms. He still blamed him, though, because he was still a prat and an idiot and cocky and he had made Lily's life a living hell throughout most of their school years, what with his constant attempts to win her heart.
But now Potter had done it again, and Severus had had nothing to do with it. This time it wasn't the girl he had taken from him –no, that was long lost to him. This time it was the possibility of seeing her again what he'd lost.
He had been so excited… One glimpse at her face would have meant the world to him. But, no, Potter wouldn't allow that. He had taken Lily away from him and everything that was left of her. Lily Evans had disappeared from the world and all that was left from her was tainted by Potter. Potter, Potter, Potter.
He wasn't surprised when he heard the sorting hat called out "Gryffindor". The boy was a Potter –much as he hated to admit it–, and no Potter would ever be in Slytherin. Severus wouldn't allow that.
The rest of the ceremony was a blur, like it always was. What did he care if Turpin, Lisa was sorted into Ravenclaw or if there was yet another Weasley in Gryffindor? He didn't.
Soon, there was food on his plate. He wasn't really hungry, but he ate anyways, all too aware of Dumbledore's eyes focussing on him every now and then. Dumbledore knew that he had been expecting to see Lily; he hadn't told him, but he was sure that he knew. He must guess, too, that he was disappointed, but since Severus was in no mood to talk about it, he was determined to act as if he couldn't care less about how the boy looked.
He was also determined not to look at the Gryffindor's table. The last thing he needed right now was to see an exact replica of Potter mocking him. No, he'd rather stay lost in memories and thoughts of what could have been than being pulled back to reality by none other than the one who had destroyed those dreams look-alike.
But even his dreams were polluted by Potter. For sometime now, he had been unable to picture Lily without her son. Before knowing Harry, he had imagined him looking like her. Or maybe, if he was in a really good mood, that boy would look a little like himself, because he'd be her husband. But now, now that he had met the boy, there was no way he could delude himself any further.
He was grateful for the distraction when Quirel turned in his direction and started to make small talk. He told her how honoured he was to be working with someone like him, he hoped Severus would be kind enough to guide him in this, his new career, since he was such an amazing teacher and he had always looked up to him as a student, even though he was never good at potions…
Severus replied with a nod here and a word there. He wasn't really listening to what the other man was saying. Quirel may fool most of the staff, but he couldn't fool him. He was a Death Eater. Maybe that was not the right word, because he was too young to be one –he had been a child at the time of the war, so he hadn't participated in it. But he was one of Voldemort's followers now; Severus was sure. And so was Dumbledore.
The old headmaster had suspected Quirel from the moment he'd stepped into his office, claiming the DADA teacher position. And yet, he had hired him. Upon being questioned by Snape for his poor decision, he had explained that it was better to have Quirel at Hogwarts, where he could keep an eye on him, than on the loose.
"He'll be after Harry," he had said just weeks ago.
"So you're trying to make it easier on him to get to him?" Severus had asked angrily.
The old man had smiled. "Of course not. I'm just making it easier on us to protect him."
"Us? Who do you mean by 'us', exactly?"
"Everyone. You, me, the rest of the teachers, the house elves…"
"What makes you think that I'd want to protect him? He's had other people protecting him before, and look what good it did to them."
Dumbledore had looked him through his half-moon spectacles; looked at him in the way only he could look at someone. He hadn't seen the man standing before him –the bitter potion master. Instead he had seen the boy who still mourned the lost of his only love.
"He's Lily Evans son," he had said. "She'd want you to protect him."
He had a point. If Lily had lived, if Voldemort hadn't gotten to her, if the Dark Lord was still on the loose when Harry was supposed to start into Hogwarts, she would have written her friend a letter, asking –no, begging– him to look after her son. And Severus would have done exactly just that, regardless of who the father of the child was.
So Snape had assured Dumbledore that he'd protect Harry, from that day forward, from any danger he may fall victim to. Right now, that danger was Quirel, so from Quirel he would protect him.
But that was before he met the boy. That boy was no son of Lily Evans, no matter what everybody said. That boy was a Potter, through and through, and Severus would not risk his life for a Potter.
His felt someone's eyes on him, and before he could stop himself he was looking towards the Gryffindor's table.
It was Potter who was looking at him, go figure. But before he had time to curse himself for looking back, he noticed that there was something amiss about the boy. The hair, he had taken after his father. His features too, resembled that of James'. But the eyes… The eyes were not like James' eyes –small, round, hazel eyes. They were almond shaped. And big. And above all, green.
He knew those eyes.
Oh, how Severus remembered those eyes… The times he had looked into those exact same eyes…
Harry had her eyes.
He was staring. He knew it. It was the boy who looked away first, probably thinking that he was rude. And yet, he didn't care.
She was there. She was back. In his eyes, Severus saw Lily. The glasses, the hair, the nose, the mouth, all of Harry… That was unimportant. Because Lily was present in Harry, if only in his eyes. The one trade he had loved the most about her, she had passed on to her son.
Her eyes still existed. And if her eyes still existed, so did she.
He hadn't lost her completely.
He would protect Harry. Not for him, certainly not for Potter… For her. For Lily. She had died for her son, so heavens help him, he would too. He'd carry on with what she had started. Together they would defeat Voldemort. Harry would defeat Voldemort, and Severus would help him doing so.