(Author's note: I am remiss in not updating Runner before starting this. But for the life of me I cannot think of how to choreograph the next chapter for Runner. So, I am answering my own Challenge: More Then Meets the Eye. Unlike my other ones, this story begins with Harry just starting Hogwarts. It is most definitely AU, and will have it's own twists and turns before the end. I will try to update Runner sometime in the next week or two depending on how I am feeling. But, without further ado let the story begin)

Harry watched the passing scenery with his good eye, hardly believing his good fortune. A little over a month ago he had been just plain Harry Potter, beaten and cowed by his hateful relatives. Then Hagrid had come with his acceptance letter to Hogwarts, and his whole life changed. And for the first time in ten years, he was getting away from Number Four, Privet Drive for a whole school year. Needless to say, he was pleased though his aunt and uncle hadn't been. He still bore the marks of their farewell 'gift'.

A knock at the door startled Harry out of his reverie. Looking over to the sound, he saw a boy of about his own age. He was impeccably dressed, had a face that looked as if it was used to sneering down at people, and platinum blonde hair at about ear height. He was taller then Harry, by a good few inches. Despite looking like he'd be a bully however, his silver eyes were merely curious without a trace of animosity in them.

"Hi...D'you mind if I sit here? Everywhere else is taken." Harry shrugged, and nodded at the opposite seat. He wasn't really surprised at the cultured tone in the boy's voice. He had heard that tone before in others who looked rich. After the other boy had seated himself, said boy said "My names Draco, by the way. Draco Malfoy. And you are?" Harry bit at his lip, wondering if he should speak, or simply show his scar. After all, everyone seemed to know him in the wizarding world. Or know of him rather, for they didn't truly know him personally.

Making up his mind, he said in a soft voice that was barely above a whisper "Harry. Harry Potter." He winced mentally at how hoarse his voice sounded. After he said his name, Draco was silent for a moment. Then his eyes grew wide as the name registered. He seemed, however, to be too well brought up to act as the others had. With fawning adoration that made Harry quite uncomfortable.

They stayed quiet for most of the rest of the trip, only talking when the trolley came by. Both were occupied by his own thoughts. Then it came time to change into the school uniforms. Harry went to a nearby bathroom to do so, while Draco stayed in the compartment. Though they were both males, Harry didn't think it was a good idea for anyone to see his back. He winced as the fabric of his shirt rubbed against the still raw belt marks on his back. The new marks were almost hidden by the lattice-work of scars. Shrugging into his school uniform, he went back to the compartment he was sharing with Draco.

The train slowed as it neared the station. Harry forced himself not to bunch his robes up in his fists. He looked over at Draco, and was glad to see that he wasn't the only one nervous. As the train came to a complete stop, they stood. Exiting the compartment, they followed the other students. They'd been told at the beginning of the ride that their luggage would be taken up to the school for them, so no need to worry about it. Harry shivered as the night wind hit him, and was glad that he was wearing something more substantial then he usually did.

"Fir's years, ov'r 'ere. All Fir's years to me!" came the resounding voice of Hagrid. All the first years gathered round the giant man. Harry smiled shyly at him, and was rewarded for the effort by a greeting. They followed him to the lake, where they found out that first years got to the school by boat. At least it wasn't storming, thought the raven-haired boy to himself.

The trip wasn't that arduous, and no one fell in thankfully. Then they were delivered into the stern hands of Professor McGonogall, who led them upstairs to an off-shoot. They could hear many voices beyond the door that was in front of them. They were all told to wait there, and to behave themselves. Then she bustled off, perhaps to prepare the school for the Sorting. Harry whispered to Draco "I heard back on the train that their are four Houses. How are we suppose to be Sorted into those Houses?" Draco was just about to answer when Professor McGonogall came back with a stool, a hat and a scroll of parchment. She then led them through the door into the Great Hall.

The noise level, which was at first tremendous, died down instantly at the sight of the First years. The nervous younglings trouped out in front of the Head Table. They were told to stand in a line(alphabetical), and to come forward when called. She would then place the hat on their head and the hat would call out their chosen House. The Sorting went fairly fast, starting with "Abbot, Hannah" who was chosen as Hufflepuff. As the names were read, Harry fretted. He wondered what would happen if he wasn't chosen for any house? Would they send him back to the Dursley's? He would rather be anywhere else then that hell-hole.

Then his ears perked, for it was nearing his turn. A "Granger, Hermoine." ended up as a Gryffindor. Draco was shortly after her, and almost as soon as the hat was placed on it's head it cried out 'Slytherin!' Then it was Harry's turn. Walking up to the stool without his knees knocking was a feet in itself. Sitting down, he wasn't surprised by the resulting darkness. Being smaller then everyone made it so that the hat completely covered his eyes.

~Ah, Potter. You are a confusing one sure enough. You have enough courage to protect those you care about, and yet you have the crafty intelligence to avoid trouble. You could do well with either Gryffindor or Slytherin.~ the hat said in his head. Harry whispered under his breath "Just place me where I'll be accepted." The hat questioned him if he was sure(for this wasn't a very decisive answer). When he kept whispering that over and over, the hat said ~Very well. The best place to be accepted is..~ "Slytherin!" The last was yelled for all to hear.

Taking off the hat, he got off the stool. Barely noticing the dead silence in the room, he walked over to where Draco was. He sat down by his new acquaintance, and looked around. Though the Sorting continued, many faces were stunned. Undoubtedly there would be much gossiping that night. His eyes were almost automatically dragged up to the Head Table, where it locked gazes with a taciturn man. The face was unperturbed, but the onyx eyes were turbulent with the inner surprise the man felt.

Draco whispered to Harry, seeing where the other boy was gazing "That's Professor Severus Snape. He's our Head of House. Don't get on his bad side, he can be mean. But I've heard he's very protective of his snakes. Have to be, I guess. Slytherin is the least liked House of all Hogwarts. To many Dark Wizards they say came out of that house. Hog-wash I say; just as many Dark Wizards came out of the other houses...." The boy's talking stopped as the feast was laid out before them.

As the school set into the glorious food, Harry pondered. He also thanked his great fortune that no one had yet noticed that one of his eyes was fake. He hoped that the year would turn out okay. At least he had found some place to be accepted. For now, he would tread carefully. He didn't like the look of the adults that had stared at him briefly. It was always better to be safe then sorry. Oh how wise those words would turn out to be.

(End Author's note: Okay, so I used a bit of paraphrasing from the first book. As well as it is fairly short. But I thought it was a good start. How'd you like it? My first Slytherin-Harry. Please R&R)