Summary: Dumbledore visited Harry at the Dursleys to deliver his Hogwarts letter, rather than leave it to fate. What he found distressed him immensely and he made a few suggestions to Harry that will have long lasting implications. Maybe a one-shot, maybe not.

A/N: This ficlet popped into my head randomly a few hours ago. I'm not making any money on this, and I don't really intend to. These aren't my characters, though I hope if someone wants to borrow my plot bunny they at least ask.

Hero Worship

Albus Dumbledore was a bad, bad man. Not evil, in the sense you're probably thinking, just bad. He'd had many people tell him this in many different capacities. However, he thought his crowning achievement came when Minerva McGonagall herself told him, "Albus, I cannot believe you've done this. You're such a bad man. Severus may never forgive you, I hope you know."

Her twitching lips belied the fact that she wanted to laugh, though he wouldn't have been able to tell if he hadn't been looking at her face. The others in the staff lounge certainly didn't realize how thoroughly he had pranked young Severus.

"Minerva," he said seriously, his eyes twinkling, "all I wanted to do was ease the animosity I thought may be present between our resident potions master and Mr. Potter. I wouldn't want any injustice to be done to young Mr. Potter in a misplaced display of hatred for his father after all."

"Does Severus know the... ah... full extent of your meddling?" she asked cautiously.

"I don't believe he realizes I've done anything. He may notice when he has Mr. Potter in class though."

Her mind flashed back to the sorting that had just happened. It had been going normally until Harry Potter's name had been called.

~*~ Great Hall, 6:45 p.m. ~*~

"Potter, Harry"

Whispers broke out across the hall. "Did she say...?" "Is that the Harry Potter?" "He's so small!" "I think I can see his scar" Across the hall, and even a bit at the staff table people were craning their necks to get a better look at the young man. Severus Snape, on the far end of the staff table, scowled down at his empty plate.

Harry, unknowingly mirroring Snape, scowled at all the whisperers. "I'm not some animal on display you know," He muttered to himself. The staff, and a few students close to the front, looked down in embarrassment at being caught staring. That was the first indication that something was not quite as expected.

As soon as the hat dropped over Harry's eyes, he heard the hat's voice. Interesting. Very interesting. Good courage, some cunning, loyalty, and OH! What knowledge. I know just where to put you.

Harry realized that the had was talking in his mind and cried

WAIT. Don't put me in Ravenclaw. I want Slytherin.'

You could be good in Slytherin, but in Ravenclaw you will be great.

'But Severus Snape is an absolute genius and you put him in Slytherin.'

You know Mr. Snape, eh? He could have been great in Ravenclaw as well, but he chose Slytherin for power. You would choose it for loyalty. I'm not sure you would have such a nice time there. Many would be out for your blood you know.


You are uniquely situated for Slytherin, Mr Potter. It's all in your head. However, I think the best place for you is RAVENCLAW

Harry yanked the hat from his head and glared at it for a moment. He barely noticed as the table closest to the Slytherin one he had been eyed, decked in blue and bronze, made an absolute ruckus. "Stupid hat, " he muttered. At least it wasn't Gryffindor. Minerva of course assumed that he was disappointed about not getting into Gryffindor. However when she heard "Not Slytherin indeed," from his mouth as he practically stalked to the Ravenclaw table to sit with the other first years, she was left gaping after him for a few seconds. She quickly pulled herself together.

Albus would certainly want to know about this. He was unhealthily invested in that boy.

~*~ Staff Lounge, 8:45 p.m. ~*~

After Minerva had told him this stunning information, all he had done was twinkle at her.

"Albus! What did you do?" She practically hissed at him. "I thought he was a dead ringer for Gryffindor."

"Oh, he is my dear. He does have the qualities of all four houses. However, I may have taken along a little extra information when I visited him this May to deliver his letter. I'm quite glad I did, especially seeing his living conditions."

The twinkle in his eyes faded as he recalled the cupboard Harry had been living in. He had removed Harry from the Dursleys for a week, as he promptly explained how things would be to the (now terrified) Dursleys. Albus was, altogether, thankful that the boy was well adjusted and not a second Tom Riddle but what he saw in the minds of those Lards staggered him. He shuddered to think what would have happened if Harry had followed the same path as Tom, and still blamed himself for the ten years of neglect Harry had suffered.

He now checked in on the Dursley Family every few days when Harry was living with them to make sure they didn't regress to their past technique of parenting, if you could even call it that.

When he brought Harry to Diagon Alley, he may, perhaps, have subtly implied that potions was the one art he could practice outside of school and not get reprimanded for. He may also have pointed Harry towards some of the books written in part by the Potions Master in residence. They could both use someone to look out for them.

When he relayed as much to Minerva, she steadily grew redder. He was afraid she was angry until one small giggle escaped her lips.

"Albus Dumbledore, you are a bad man."

A/N: Questions or Comments? You know what to do. If you can see this going anywhere, just drop me a line and I'll continue it, though it was initially a one-shot for me.