Tears falling in darkness – year one
First year in Hogwarts
AU / After ten long and miserable years with the Dursleys Harry finally finds his freedom and a home – in the house of Slytherin. Will he find a family as well? Severus has lost something ten long and miserable years ago. Will he find it again now?
Well ... I do not own Harry Potter, nor Hogwarts, his friends or his belongings ... J. K. Rowling owns them all ... I just borrow them a bit ...
Uhm ... and well ... sorry for the confusion I create at Hogwarts ... I am sure I can straighten it after I am done with this ... I at least promise to try ...
M – Not suitable for children or teens below the age of 16
Uhm ... ok ... I have to admit ... English is not my language by birth ... so ... please do not kill me while reading ... neither for the bad English I use, nor for what I am writing ... I do not have much experience in Harry Potter stories ... it is my first one, I have to admit ...
Well ... I of course know that there are things which are not authentic to the book ...
AND ... I as well know there are things which are logically not possible ...
Yet – on paper, everything is allowed. It is called fantasy, and within fantasy everything is possible ... you just have to use it ...
Do not question every word you read, do just read and try to feel the words ...
Chapter contains child abuse
Child-abuse is a really serious thing, it is an evil thing ... and there are a lot of children in our world that really would need help without being helped ...
I think, a lot of readers do not really grasp the meaning behind the words in all the stories here written about an abused Harry, they read the words, maybe they feel sorry for poor Harry ... but I guess just a few are really able to know what they mean, those words, what they mean for those children in our world ...
Yet, closing our eyes and pretending it does not exist, is no solution ...
So I write this to remind all of you who will read this, that there are children in our world which are enduring just such ... and worse ...
to remind you of your feelings, of your sympathy, and of your understanding ...
Maybe it will help some of you to handle people, children as well as adults, which are showing any signs - whichever - of once being abused ... with understanding and with help ...
what does not mean I am not as evil as I pretend to be ... ^.~ ... believe me - I am ...
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Tears falling in darkness
Children were sitting at four long tables in a great hall. A lot of children. Children of every age.
While at the end of the hall, opposite the large double winged door, was a long table placed alongside the back wall, filling nearly the entire back space along the masonry at which adults were sitting, talking to each other, casting stern glances over the mass of children from time to time.
The masonry of the old castle they were sitting in was heavy and the stony walls seemed to be nearly dark and cold. But they weren't. In the contrary. The great hall was filled with warmth and light.
Torches illuminated the walls from which the flickering glow was cast through the large space, mixing with the light from hundreds of candles which were floating through the air high above the five tables.
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Just one boy was left now to be sorted into the house where he would belong to during his time in Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry, and every one gazed at him, expectantly and intently.
Professor Dumbledore leaned forwards a bit in his seat, leaning his elbows onto the wooden surface of the table in front of him, so as if to have a better look. He was sure Harry would be sorted into the house of Gryffindor. Both his parents, Lily Evans and James Potter, had been in Gryffindor as well and most of the children were sorted into the same houses as were their other family members. In fact it was a rare occasion when families were visiting different houses – yet possible when watching the Patil-twins.
Nevertheless Professor Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts, was sure what the sorting hat would chose for Harry Potter, the boy who lived. As was Professor McGonagall, deputy headmistress of Hogwarts.
She as well was sure the boy would be sorted into the house of Gryffindor, into her house as she was the head of Gryffindor-House and her hands trembled slightly with expectance when she called his name. Potter would fit well into her house she guessed, remembering the boy's parents, now dead.
"It is not true, Albus, it cannot be true. Tell me that all the rumours are just rumours and Lily and James are safe." The low voice of Minerva McGonagall trembled slightly as she spoke, walking beside the old wizard along the pavement.
"I am sorry, Minerva, but I fear all the rumours are true. Lily and James are dead, killed by Voldemort." Albus Dumbledore shook his head, a sad look on his old face and he sighed heavily.
"I cannot believe it, Albus. They were such good people. They were members of the order. They were friends of us." There was a sound like a sob, but when Albus glanced sideways at her, her face was a calm mask. Of course. Minerva would never allow herself to lose her composure in front of others, not even Albus.
"I know, Minerva." Was all Dumbledore answered.
They arrived at the house they were been heading for, the house Minerva had been sitting in front of, in her cat form, the house she had been watching the entire day. Number four, Privet Drive.
"What of Harry?" She asked in a low voice.
"Hagrid is bringing the boy. He is safe. Nothing has happened to him when Voldemort cast the unforgivable against him. Nothing beside the fact that somehow the spell was backfired at Voldemort himself."
"Hagrid?" Minerva gasped. "Do you really think it wise to trust Hagrid with the life of the boy?"
"I would trust Hagrid with my own life, Minerva." Albus answered with a slight chuckle.
"I do not question the loyalty of Hagrid, Albus. I only question his abilities. You know he is a bit ..." Her voice trailed of and again Albus chuckled while he turned to the house they were now standing in front of.
Minerva followed his gaze and she shook her head. "You cannot really intend to leave the boy here, Albus!" She said, her voice aghast. "I have watched them, Albus. I have watched them the entire day. They are the worst sort of muggles you could think of. I am not sure the boy will be safe here."
"They are his only relatives now, Minerva." Albus gave contradiction. "And besides of the blood wards which will keep him safe from the still free Death Eaters, they will care for him. It is the best choice we could make for the boy. Here he can grow up in peace and quiet. Without having every wizard at his heels wherever he turns."
She watched the boy when he slowly came closer to sit at the stool in front of the students, in front of the teachers and somehow she felt relieved. The boy was here finally. At Hogwarts. Yes, he would fit well into the house of Gryffindor.
Professor Snape on the other hand – even as he as well was sure where the boy would be sorted in – was glad that he would not have the opportunity of having Potter in his house and that for would not have much to deal with him. His dark eyes lingered at the boy, who now took a few unsure steps towards the wooden stool, with loathing in his dark gaze.
Harry ... Potter.
The soft flickering of the flames in the fireplace to his left felt calming.
It was the end of August and tomorrow the castle would be filled with students once again. It was the end of August and surely not cold enough for starting a fire. Yet – the dungeons were always colder than the rest of the castle so Severus often lit the fire in his private chambers during the late evening hours – even in summer.
The students. Severus sighed.
Tomorrow evening the peace and quiet of the summer holidays would be over and he would have to deal with new first-years. A subject he surely was looking forward to. For a moment he sneered at his own sarcasm. The first-years were the worst of students in general. The second-years already knew how to avoid him best. And the older they got the more peace he had from them.
The only students he really did not bother teaching were the sixth- and seventh-years. They already had some sense in their heads and he had to teach only those of them who gained an outstanding in their OWL's in potions at the end of fifth year. Those who really wanted to learn.
Yet – this year ... this year would be different.
This year two students would arrive to attend Hogwarts, school of witchcraft and wizardry, which he already knew about.
The first one was Draco. Draco Malfoy. His godson. And he was looking forward to have him in his house.
Of course he knew there would be problems occurring. Draco was not a child who would easily accept being just a student here and Severus was sure he would have to restrain the boy. Even if he was his godfather, and even if he liked the Malfoy boy, here he was his professor and his head of house. And Draco would have to accept this fact, if he liked it or not.
But what he most looked forward to was the fact that here at Hogwarts, he would have some influence at the Malfoy boy who came from a family of loyal followers of the Dark Lord. Maybe he would be able to lead Draco onto a different path in his life. Maybe he would be able to show Draco that there were other ways besides of the Death Eaters.
Yet – he knew he would have to be very careful. He had been a spy during the war. And within the Death Eater ranks he still was the loyal follower of the Dark Lord, the loyal Death Eater. And he was the head of Slytherin house. Not Gryffindor or Hufflepuff, nor Ravenclaw. No, Slytherin.
The house that was predestined for most dark wizards to come from and he knew he would have to be very careful to not put Draco – or himself – into danger of being a traitor.
Yet – somehow he would manage it. He had managed this with many other students. Even with Marcus Flint. And he had to admit that Marcus Flint had been not easy. He was in his sixth year now. And a year ago he had been sure that Flint would follow his father and become a Death Eater this very summer.
Yes – the Dark Lord had been defeated. Ten years ago now. Ten quiet and peaceful years ago. But there were still so much followers of him, hoping he would return, bringing up their children with the knowledge of the dark arts, and preparing them for the day when they would follow the Dark Lord when he returned.
The defeat of the Dark Lord. That was a thought that brought him to the second student whom of he knew would arrive Hogwarts this year.
Harry Potter. The-Brat-Who-Lived. Harry Bloody Potter.
Would any other child have defeated the Dark Lord those years ago, he would have celebrated, he would have been able to enjoy the past ten spy-free years. But Potter? Had no other child been able to do this job? Why of all people Potter?
No, he really did not look forward to have Potter here in Hogwarts. The brat of his childhood's enemy. Damn James Potter. Damn him for being a stupid, spoiled and arrogant brat, damn him for torturing him during his entire days ins school, and damn him for stealing the one thing he ever loved from him. Lily. Damn him for all the pain and humiliation he ever had brought over him.
And now he would have to deal wit Bloody James Potter's brat. The-Boy-Who-Would-Make-His-Days-In-Hogwarts-A-Living-Hell.
No, he really did not look forward to this year.
Even Crabbe and Goyle, as stupid as they surely were, as stupid as their fathers, and both of whom arriving at Hogwarts this very year, he would prefer them.
Nott was another thing. Nott senior, one of the most loyal Death Eaters, and intelligent to add. He would have to be careful handling the young Nott. Yet – he would try to get him from this dark path too. As he did with every student of his house.
So the brat of James Potter had finally arrived at Hogwarts. And he looked like his father too, Snape noticed with a curl of antipathy in his upper lip. He – in the contrary to every other teacher at Hogwarts – did not look forwards to have the brat in his lessons. Yet, he wouldn't be able to avoid it, now, would he?
Harry Potter did not notice all the expectance in the gazes he got from the staff table. He only tried to concentrate on setting one foot in front of the other, taking step after step, slowly, and to reach the large stool without stumbling. But then he had made it and he was sitting at the large stool, and even if he knew perfectly well now that every one within the hall was staring at him, he was relieved.
Professor McGonagall placed the hat onto Harry's head and then took a step backwards, watching with interest what would happen.
But nothing did happen. Nothing at all. For a long time at least.
'I see bravery in you ... you would do good in Gryffindor ...' The sorting hat mused within his head and Harry – even if startled – just knew only he himself could hear the words. 'But I see intelligence as well ... you would fit into Ravenclaw too ... I see kindness there and gentleness ... maybe you should be in Hufflepuff ... yet... I see an incredible sense to prove yourself, to come forth ... you could prove into the house of Slytherin ... but now ... where to place you?'
A much too long time the hat mused about him and Harry began to fear if the hat would have a place for him at all and he nearly began to panic. What if not? What if the hat decided he wasn't worth being a student at Hogwarts at all? He could not go back home. He could not go back to his family.
At first, while sitting in the train, and then while arriving at the old castle, he had thought the Dursleys were playing a joke on him. Only that the Dursleys had no sense of humour at all. But this place had been – was – so strange. No, the Dursleys would never ever play any joke on him concerning ... magic. Year after year, ten years they had taught him that magic did not exist, ten years they had punished him for all strange things which had happened in their surroundings, accusing him as if every thing was his fault.
And now, now he was sitting here, about to attend Hogwarts, school of witchcraft and wizardry, a school concerning ... magic ...
Maybe this was just a dream and any moment he would wake up in his cupboard. But somehow he knew, this wasn't a dream either. But there was this hat, this hat that had placed all the other first year students into different houses. And this hat seemed at a loss placing him anywhere. He would have to go back to the Dursleys.
Yet – it was just impossible and memories washed over him, came unbidden and unwanted. Memories of his family. His aunt and uncle. And his cousin.
"You are not worth to live here, you ungrateful thing!" His uncle, uncle Vernon, bellowed while bringing the belt down onto his back as hard as he could in his rage. "And as you did not fulfil your chores, you cannot think us to give you anything to eat, now, do you?" He asked, still screaming, while Harry tried to at least protect his head with his arms as best as he could as he curled into a small ball at the ground. He was lucky his uncle did not fix him this time so he actually could curl into a small ball.
"You do not even deserve the clothing we give you, nor the blanket in your cupboard!" He bellowed at Harry while kicking his foot into Harry's side, causing a strange breaking sound and pulling at his shirt at the same time until the boy lay with his bare upper body at his feet. A lot of bruises and scars already covered the skinny body and his back was already covered in fresh red and bleeding welts from the beating he just now got but Harry knew better than to scream. Not now at least. Far too soon this part would come, he knew. But not now. Not as long as he was able to hold it back somehow.
He just would worsen the situation he was in.
"And you will not go to this freak school either!" His uncle went on screaming and kicking and beating at him. "So you just will have to sleep in the cellar from now on!"
With this words Vernon Dursley took Harry by the arm and drug him over the corridor and to a door to his left which he opened. Without thinking he threw Harry downstairs, laughing amused at the small 'thud' and the low cry of pain that came from the dark when the body hit the ground and followed down the stairs.
He took hand of one of the wooden laths that stood in a corner beside the door and continued to hit Harry with it.
It was one thing to got hit by a leather belt, but another to got hit by a wooden lath and Harry just wasn't able to suppress the screams any further while he tried to drag himself over the stony ground as deep as possible into the darkness of the vault, further and further away from his uncle.
This had been nearly two month ago now. But it hadn't been the last time.
It had occurred nearly every day from then on, whenever he had been let out in the early morning hours to fulfil his tasks and uncle Vernon coming home during afternoon and seeing he had not completed them to his entire satisfaction. Not that it had changed much from before that. Yet ...
He had been standing in a corner of the kitchen, waiting for the Dursley's to be finished with their meals, standing there, watching them eat, hungry and wishing he would get just a little bit to eat, knowing the beating would be the next after uncle Vernon had finished his meal. But he had just been too tired and too exhausted to get his work done properly.
And now he was sitting here and the hat was about to refuse him.
'Not home ...' Harry desperately thought. 'Not home ... please ... anywhere but not home ...'
'Not home ... eh?' The hat answered inside his head and Harry nearly nodded. 'Not home ... then better be ... Slytherin!'
When Harry's name had been called out, for a moment everyone had become silent, frightening silent. But then, while the hat had been pondering that long over where to place Harry, whispers had been erupting at every table. Whispers about the famous Harry Potter, whispers about the boy who lived.
And then ... the hat had called out ... "Slytherin!" ...
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To be continued
Next time in Tears falling in darkness
Snape watches Harry's strange behaviour during the welcoming feast and he has to set the rules for his new Slytherin students – including his childhood enemy's son.
He is not looking forward to this.
Added author's note
thank you for reading - and yes, I would be grateful if you took the time to review this chapter … thank you …