Disclaimer: I do not own this. I'm merely borrowing from JK.

Mistress of Slytherin

A young boy around the age of eleven with dull green eyes stared sullenly at the flickering flames in the fireplace. He had been sitting on the couch in the Gryffindor common room all night in serene silence. His best friends, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, were both upstairs still sleeping in their respective beds without a care in the world. They weren't like him. They weren't at all like Harry. They didn't understand—they couldn't understand the meaning behind of what the upcoming day signaled for the young lonely Gryffindor. His friends couldn't understand the pain this day, All Hallows' Eve, meant, and he hoped they never would.

The poor Gryffindor lion's parents had died ten years to that very day. He had learned all about the famous encounter from Hermione a few months earlier. A sadistic wizard had murdered his parents and had tried to do the very same thing with him. Either luckily or unluckily depending on how you looked at it, that evil dark wizard failed somehow. People in the Wizarding World claimed it was Harry's doing, but that was very unlikely. He was just a baby at the time. If it had been true, then it meant he was a very powerful wizard. However, he was just Harry. He knew it, and he wished others would learn it too.

"It's not fair," the young green-eyed Gryffindor mumbled before settling back against the couch and falling asleep. He truly hated Halloween.

***

Two hours later, Harry felt someone softly touch his shoulder. He grumbled quietly as he woke up. The figure was blurry for a few moments before he quickly slid his glasses on. A girl his age with bushy brown hair stared down at him with concern in her brown eyes. He sighed and rolled his eyes. Here we go again, Harry groaned in his head.

"Harry, you didn't have another nightmare, did you?"

"No, Hermione," Harry quietly replied. "Just couldn't sleep."

"You do know you can tell me anything, right?"

"I know, Hermione, but I'm fine. I promise. I think I just had too many frogs last night." Harry then glanced around the common room. Ron still wasn't up, but it was rare that he ever was when Harry and Hermione were.

"Are you sure it isn't because of what Professor Snape said to you yesterday?"

"Hermione, I'm fine. I just ate too many frogs and couldn't get to sleep. It had nothing to do with that bat."

"Oi, who's a bat?" Ron Weasley, a boy with red hair and freckles, asked sleepily as he finished tying his crimson and gold Gryffindor tie.

"Snape," Harry quickly replied. He ignored the look on Hermione's face. It was yet another thing she didn't understand. She couldn't begin to fathom the hatred the man carried for Harry and vice versa.

"Honestly, Harry, he isn't that bad," Hermione drawled while she rolled her eyes.

"Says you," Ron replied. "You haven't had a detention with the old bat yet." He then glanced towards Harry. "I still say he's a vampire."

"Oh, honestly, Ronald," Hermione exclaimed. "He's in the Great Hall every night eating with us. For the hundredth time, he's not a vampire."

"Maybe he took a potion for that," Ron pointed out. "He is the potions master!"

"You're being ridiculous. Need I remind you about the last time you went on like this?"

"Just because he ate the garlic-laced spaghetti does not prove anything, Hermione. He could have—"

"Taken a potion, yes, I figured you would say that. Honestly, Ronald, do you truly believe that Professor Dumbledore would keep Professor Snape on staff if he was a vampire?"

"Well, look at Quirrell. He's a stuttering idiot, and he's still on staff," Ron quipped back.

"Ronald Weasley," Hermione admonished harshly. "You should not make fun of someone for having a speech impediment."

"Yeah, if that was all he had, we should consider ourselves lucky then," Ron drawled.

Hermione then threw her backpack onto her shoulder angrily. She shot one last dirty look at Ron before whirling around and storming out of the common room. The Fat Lady's portrait slammed shut behind her.

"Nice going, Ron," Harry groaned. It was their fifteenth fight that week, and it always ended in Hermione storming away. He hated it when those two fought because he always felt the knot in his stomach tighten. Somehow, he knew that wherever he would go and whatever he would do, Hermione and Ron would always be there by his side. He sighed heavily. Especially on this day, he knew he needed them together just so he could get through the horribly painful day. "Come on. Let's get to Transfigurations before McGonagall has a cow."

***

Harry's day didn't get any better than it started. He had to sit in between Hermione and Ron during Potions, a deadly combination any day. The students were to brew a simple Pepper-Up Potion. Harry's potion, however, turned into exploding goo of rainbow colors that, unfortunately, found their way to Snape.

The greasy haired potions professor was not at all happy. The mysterious goo covered Snape's all-black robes with every color in a rainbow so that not a shred of black showed. Bits of red and orange streaked Snape's typically pale face. He looked as if a rainbow had just vomited all over him.

"Mr. Potter," Snape's deadly quiet voice whispered. "Did or did I not specifically state—"

"You did," Harry immediately replied. He hadn't noticed he had interrupted his professor until he heard the soft gasps behind him. When he saw the black eyes of his professor narrow into slits, Harry gulped. He was dead.

"Six hundred points from Gryffindor for Mr. Potter's atrocious manners," Snape sneered before a smirk took over his face. "You will write me a twenty foot essay on the proper way to address a teacher, and be lucky that is all you are getting, Mr. Potter. After all, even celebrities such as you need to realize that certain necessities and rules must be followed. You are not above the law, Mr. Potter. I hope you realize this now." His eyes of coal then glanced around the room. "Get out of here, all of you!" he barked at the frightened Gryffindor and Slytherin students. They fled from the room.

Later that same night, after Harry, Ron, and Hermione faced down and defeated a fully-grown Mountain Troll, the Golden Trio decided to go to bed. However, Harry couldn't get the fact that Snape had a gash to his right leg. There was more to the potions professor than met the eye. So, as Harry sat on the couch in the common room for the fifth night in row pondering his thoughts, two figures quietly crept down from their respective dorms towards him.

"Hey, Harry," Ron softly whispered before he took a seat in the recliner closest to him. "Couldn't sleep again?"

"Ron," Harry replied shocked. It was rare for Ron to be up still. He then caught Hermione's silent figure standing next to Ron. Wonderful, Harry groaned in his head. "I'm fine, guys."

"We know," Hermione quietly responded. "You just can't sleep." She then inhaled deeply before sitting next to Harry. "Well, we can't sleep either."

"Yeah, especially after that troll," Ron mumbled. "Blimey, that thing was huge." The three friends then quietly laughed in their shared joke while they watched the dying flames. "You know, I still think Snape's a vampire. I mean, did you see how fast he got there afterwards?"

"I'm not so sure he is a vampire anymore, Ron. I saw his reflection today in the mirror when McGonagall, Quirrell, and he were in the lavatory after the troll," Harry said.

"Well, I say we take a little trip down to his rooms and find out," Ron bravely said.

"He'd kill us."

"Least we'd know then," Ron replied. He then burst into a full-blown smile. "Come on, Harry. Not even my brothers Fred and George have done that. We'd be famous."

"Yeah, for being stupid," Harry muttered. "Sorry, Ron, but I don't want to give Snape anymore reason to kill me…especially since I saw his leg."

"His leg?" Hermione asked with a puzzled look.

"Yeah, it looked as if something bit him."

"You think he was trying to steal whatever is on the third floor?"

"Beats me, but it would make sense."

"Of course it makes sense, Harry. He's a creepy bloke," Ron said. He then glanced towards Hermione. "Come on, Hermione. We need to check it out now. What if Snape's trying to steal whatever is up there? We have a duty to save it, don't we?"

"You just want to see if he's a vampire, Ronald, not to save Hogwarts. I'm not convinced that he is trying to steal anything. He's a Hogwarts professor, and Professor Dumbledore trusts him."

"So…he's barmy. Look at his choice to make Quirrell the Defense against Dark Arts professor. That definitely wasn't a choice made by anyone sane. Either way, I say we go." Ron then leapt up out of his chair and started to head towards the door. He turned around when he reached it. "You two coming?"

Harry glanced from Hermione to Ron. He sighed heavily. He knew he shouldn't go, but he also knew he needed to know. There was something off about their potions professor, and if they happened to figure it out, then maybe Harry could finally get some sleep. So the three Gryffindors set out on their first of many adventures to come.

***

After successfully bribing the portrait in front of Snape's rooms with promising that they would move the portrait of the witch in the Astronomy tower closer, the three Gryffindors were standing in Snape's living area. It was dark, but the three didn't expect anything different. They quietly crept in the darkness with their pathetic Lumos-casted wands deeper into the rooms. Just as they were about to open a shut door, the Golden Trio heard soft laughter in a nearby room.

"Honestly, Severus," a woman's voice floated out. "You need to stop being so harsh with them. Otherwise, Minerva's finally going to make good on her threat."

"I'd like to see her try," Snape's soft voice replied.

The young Gryffindors' ears perked up. There was a woman in their potions professor's quarters, a woman that all three Gryffindors recognized. Ron was the first to say it.

"Sinistra?!" Ron whispered. "Snape and Sinistra? Ugh, now I know I'm going to be sick." He was immediately rewarded with a swift punch to his shoulder from Hermione. He remained quiet as he gently rubbed his arm.

"Oh, yes, I bet you would, Severus. You love goading people. I bet it's your favorite pastime."

"Indeed," Snape replied in an amused tone. "Tell me, Aurora. Is it not also yours?"

"Yes, but I know just how far to take it."

"As do I. Or have you forgotten? After all, you have been stuck up in that tower for years."

"Oh, you wish," Sinistra drawled. She then softly laughed again. "You know, one of these days the students are going to learn their potions professor's dirty little secret."

"And they will be dead by morning," Snape replied.

"I think Dumbledore would notice that, Severus. And while I might currently share your bed, I am not ever going to be your accomplice when murder a few students. My loyalty shifts to whichever way that suits me. Being an accessory to murder is not something I wish to be known for."

"No, of course not," Snape drawled. "You'd much rather be known as the emotional professor."

"Oh, shut up, Severus. I am so not emotional."

"Forgive me, but did you not cry last year at—" SLAP!

"I told you never to bring that up again, Severus," Professor Sinistra's voice growled.

"So you did," Snape replied softly. "I apologize, Aurora. I meant nothing by my words." It then became quiet for a few minutes.

"Severus, when are you going to tell Harry?"

Harry's eyes widened. He felt like the wind had been knocked out of him. He stared towards the door, eagerly awaiting the answer. What was he supposed to be told and why?

"When the time's right. Now is not the time, though. It'll do him no good to know the truth."

The truth…? No, Snape, tell me. Come on. Please, Harry begged silently in his head. He needed to know. His curiosity was already peaked. What's the truth, Snape?

"Severus, you don't know that. I've watched the boy. He's not his father."

"You think I haven't seen that, Aurora," Snape harshly snapped. "No. No, he's not at all like James. He's all Lily." Silence then settled into the room. "However, as I said before, it does not good for him to know the truth, Aurora. We all have our parts to play, which is what I am doing."

"Oh, is that why you're such an ass to him? Had me fooled," Sinistra growled. She then snarled loudly before something in the room broke. "I hate this, Severus. I hate that he's using you like this. We don't even know if—"

"The signs are all around us, Aurora. You would do well to believe him also."

"It's been hurting again, hasn't it?"

"It comes and goes, but it is tolerable as long as I am near you."

Ron made a disgusted face at his professor's words. It was so sickening for him to hear his two professors carry on like that. He then shuddered as a thought crossed his mind. He hoped to Merlin the image that had come to his mind right then wasn't true.

"You still love her, don't you, Severus?"

"Always," Snape replied fiercely. "However, she does not belong to me anymore. She made her choice, as have I, Aurora. Now, rest. You should not be up."

"Oh, you just don't want to have to deal with me grumpy tomorrow."

"Au contraire, I do not wish to hear the little brats whine how their Astronomy professor is such a witch to them. I believe I've shown I can handle your temper. Now rest or I shall cast a sleeping spell."

"Fine," Sinistra sighed. "You do know that he's probably missing them both tremendously?"

"Yes, however, it is not my concern. I am only to protect the brat, not be his mentor. That is my role, and I will do everything in my power to keep him safe."

"I know you will, Severus."

Harry felt Hermione yank him towards the door. He stumbled in shock and followed her. When they were in the corridor, he felt his heart sink slightly. He needed to know the truth, but he could wait for now. Maybe Halloween wasn't so bad. After all, he had learned that he had someone looking out for him. He hadn't had that before. Maybe his luck was changing; then again, it was Snape protecting him.