Harry Potter don't belong to me, Nope, Nope .

NEED TO KNOW ∞ This is not a slash story ∞ I don't know if or what pairings I will have ∞ WARNING mentions abuse and possibly self harm. Not Beta-ed at the moment... if you're intrested in doing it let me know

Sneaky Snake

Chapter 1

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know. - Donald Rumsfeld

If any question why we died, tell them, because our fathers lied. - Unknown

Harry Potter was as far from normal as anyone could be. He was a wizard and even in the wizarding world he was very unique. Harry was the Boy Who Lived, the only person to ever survive the killing curse. When he was just a baby a powerful Dark Wizard arrived at his family's home and murdered his father and mother, but when the monster turned his wand on little Harry the spell failed and was rebounded back to its caster, Lord Voldemort. The rebound was explosive and demolished part of the home, and the attack left Harry as an orphan.

Harry was rescued from the ruble by Rubeus Hagrid the Grounds Keeper of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Hagrid delivered baby Harry to the school's Headmaster whom decided it was in Harry's best interest to be raised by his mother's non-magical or muggle sister and her husband. As they were the only living relatives the boy had, and the Great Albus Dumbledore had made the decision no one questioned it or checked up on the young boy.

Vernon and Petunia Dursley had a son Dudley who was a few months older than their nephew. However, the children were treated vastly different. Dudley was spoiled, given everything he wanted and more, but Harry was given hardly anything. In fact, he was given so little food he suffered from malnutrition. All of his clothes were his cousin's hand-me-downs and all the toys he had to play with were those that his cousin had broken. His bedroom was a cupboard despite the fact that there were two rooms in the house that were empty more often than not.

Harry Potter was neglected, but never abused. At least he wasn't until odd things began to happen around the little boy. The first strange thing to happen was when the little boy of twenty months old, five months after the Dursley's found him on their doorstep. Harry scraped his knee after being pushed by his cousin. Aunt Petunia scolded the crying child for getting in the way of Ickle Duddy. Then Harry's cries stifled into sniffles and surprisingly the little child's injury healed itself.

Starting that evening Uncle Vernon tried to beat the magic out of the small child.

He failed.

As Harry grew so did his magic; the strange happenings increased and became decidedly more powerful. The older Harry got and the more accidental magic he did, the more violent his uncle became. He tried to get help from a teacher at school once, but the next day she walked in and acted like their conversation never happened.

Harry was smarter than his cousin, but learned to not get better grades than him quickly. After all, Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia did not like anyone outshining their precious son especially their Freak of a nephew. Freak that was what they called him, Freak and Boy, he had no name in that house and he knew it.

When he was eleven he received an invitation to a school of magic. Harry knew it was his tick out, and he grabbed it with both hands. He went into the world of unknown with nothing but a trunk of strange things and tid-bits of information. Information that was very one sided. Harry knew that, but didn't question it. He knew that sometimes asking question gave away too much. He knew he had to keep certain things to himself; that he had to take care of himself. Harry had taken care of himself since he was small, and he saw no reason of why that would ever change.

At Hogwarts Harry made his first friends ever! Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger were his friends. They shared a lot and participated in an adventure that most people could not even dream of. At the end of it all Hermione had asked him if he thought that the Headmaster had meant for him to do it and he had told her 'yes, he probably had.' That surprised her and she told him that it was terrible if that was true.

Harry knew that adults did many terrible things, even adults that seemed to be wonderful people. After all, Uncle Vernon was supposedly a good family man. A kind man that took in his nephew after his lay-about, mooching brother-in-law got his-self and his wife killed in a car crash. A crash that was his fault for drinking, and the scandal was that the poor child was in the back seat, a child that was growing up to be like his father despite the efforts of the loving couple.

Appearances were deceiving.

But, Harry was forced to keep up appearances. At school he was the Hero, at home he was the quite servant that best not forget his place, and in the neighborhood he was the hooligan. He was forced to return to his Aunt and Uncles that summer even though he asked Headmaster Albus Dumbledore to let him stay at school.

Harry's first year was focused on a stone that gave eternal life and money. His second year was focused on a chamber of death. A giant snake that could kill with a look was hidden in a secret chamber that could only be opened by one that spoke its language. A paseltongue. Harry was a paseltongue and there for was labeled as a dark wizard that was trying to kill his peers. He was shunned by all those except his closest friends. This gave him hope. Even though he was shunned and ridiculed by the majority he had people that stood by him, maybe he had people that he could reveal his secrets to?

However, Harry decided to hold off a little while yet. It was better to be careful than to say something he could never get back. Harry returned to his relatives again to their same treatment, but was forced to run after his magic reacted to the insults thrown by Marge Dursley, Uncle Vernon's sister.

Harry's third year brought some truth to how his parents died and why. He discovered that he had a godfather that was falsely imprisoned. Sirius Black was framed by his friend, one of his best friends. This made Harry glad that he held off on revealing his secrets to Ron and Hermione. If his parents could be betrayed to death by a friend of nearly a decade then why should he trust people that he barely knew for three years?

Harry and his friends saved his godfather from the Dementors kiss, a fate worse than death. Even though his godfather escaped he was still a wanted criminal, and Harry once again returned to the Dursley's. They were livid about what happened to 'Aunt' Marge and took it out on him.

Harry's forth year was one of trial. He was forced into a competition that ended in death and started a war. He faced horror's that make up the worst sort of nightmares. Dragons, hostile sea creatures, and sphinxes had stood in his path, and once again Harry was glad that he had not shared his deepest secrets as his best friend Ron had turned his back on him. He had called him a liar and attention seeker. Later Ron came back, but the damage was done. Harry would forgive him, but he would not forget!

Harry starred the devil in the face and stood his ground. He raised his wand and fought when he thought that he had no hope of living. If he was going to die he was going to die fighting!

But, Harry survived, and he brought the body of his friend and classmate Cedric Diggory back with him to the school. He, Harry was declared the winner of the competition even though he felt like nothing was further from the truth.

Harry returned to the Dursley. He slipped his mask back on and buried his pain, but he could not stop the nightmares. He paid dearly for them.

He was attacked by dementors and forced to use magic to save his life and the life of his bullying cousin. The Ministry of Magic tried to get rid of him, have him thrown out of school. They had launched a slander campaign against him. They broadcasted him as a liar, cheat, mentally unbalanced, and attention seeker. They didn't want to admit that Lord Voldemort had returned. The Ministry was acting like children, if you ignore the problem it will go away.

They interfered at Hogwarts, tortured students and all because they were in denial, but the truth came out in the end and it only cost the life of Harry's godfather.

He lost his godfather, the only adult that he was beginning to trust. Sure, there was Remus Lupin, Sirius and Harry's father's other best friend, but Remus had never been there before he taught Harry in his third year. James was dead and Sirius was in prison, but Remus never explained why he had not been there. Even after Harry met Remus, the man never wrote him and he only ever saw him when Sirius was there, when they were both staying in Sirius' house.

Harry returned to the Dursley's grieving the loss of his godfather. He suffered more nightmares and was punished for them. He was punished for nearly getting Dudley killed the previous summer. He was punished for using magic to save him. Harry was punished for not doing enough chores. He was punished for eating too much. He was punished for breathing too loud.

Harry stayed the entire summer at his abusive relatives rather than returning to his godfather's house or his friend's house. His godfather's house would remind him how he got the man killed by rushing into danger blind. If Harry went to the Weasley's they would try to get him to talk. He just wanted to lick his wounds in private. He could handle the abuse he had done it for years, but pity was something else entirely.

Harry woke up this morning at 5 am. It was September 1st and after packing up his few belonging he limped downstairs and fixed his relatives breakfast and did a few chores. Harry had told the Order of the Phoenix that his Uncle was taking him to the station; this of course was a lie. But, he couldn't let them see the bruises that his Uncle left him with as a parting gift. He would use his invisibility cloak to get to the Little Whining bus station.

Harry made it safely and unspotted to King's Cross Station in London where he made it onto platform 9 and ¾ once there he ducted into an alcove so he could place strong glamours on to hide his battered flesh. Harry made his way onto the Hogwarts Express and found an empty compartment where he took a seat.

He was there for several minutes before the compartment door opened revealing his two best friends. Hermione ran towards him and pulled him into a bone crushing hug. Harry tried to mask the wince as she hugged his injured body, "Good to see you too Hermione."

She blushed as she pulled back, "We missed you."

"Yea, mate you should have come to the Burrow," Ron commented as he flopped into a seat.

"How are you?" Hermione asked chewing on her lower lip.

"I'm fine," Harry said lightly taking his seat as the train began to move.

"Oh, you always say that," she vented. Hermione threw her hands up in frustration and collapsed into her seat as the train jerked into motion.

"Yup, you'd probably say that if you were laying on the ground bleeding to death," Ron joked.

"Why aren't you guys in the prefect carriage?" Harry inquired changing the subject.

"Well, neither of us got the sixth year badge," Ron replied looking at Hermione.

"What? Why?" Harry asked sitting up sharply and instantly regretting it as pain ripped through his body.

"We don't really know," Hermione told him. "But, there was an additional letter in with my normal Hogwarts letter. It said that due to this year's circumstances sixth year prefects wouldn't be announced until the first day of classes."

"That's weird. What circumstances?"

"Dunno mate," Ron shrugged.

"Of course you don't Weasel," a board voice drawled from the compartment door. "You're not important enough to know anything."

Ron leapt to his feet drawing his wand, Hermione narrowed her eyes at the intruder, and Harry sighed getting to his feet as well. It seemed that once again the tradition of Draco Malfoy flanked by his two cronies coming into their compartment on the train would be upheld all so they could trade insults.

"Yea, and I'm sure you know what's going on. I mean your dad's real important isn't he?" Harry asked. "Oh, wait I forgot, he got himself arrested didn't he?"

"Why you little…" Malfoy growled pulling out his wand.

"Little what?" Harry goaded him not pulling out his wand. "I faced down your father's wand and you think I'm going to be afraid of you?" He would like nothing more than to have a go with Malfoy; Harry had been forced to take whatever his uncle and cousin dished out, but he could fight Malfoy the little twitch.

"I'll kill you Potter!" Malfoy hissed menacingly.

"Get in line," Harry growled back before pushing the annoying boy and his hunch men out and shutting the door. "Hermione, know any good locking spells?" He asked through clenched teeth, it would do no good to get more injured than he already was no matter how much he wanted to fight.

She nodded and cast the spell. They trio enjoyed the rest of the train ride to school. Ron and Hermione filled Harry in on their splendid vacations and Harry dodged their questions. They ate sweets from the trolley and puzzled about what would be different this year.

They arrived at the station and rode the carriages pulled by Threstrals up to the castle. Harry sighed again as the Trio climbed the steps to the castle and entered the Great Hall. They moved to their seats and stares and whispers followed their every move. Harry had been proved right at the end of the previous year and was once again a hero. He was tiring of this never ending rollercoaster ride of pain and unreasonable expectations, of fame and deprecation.

He often wondered why Ron and Hermione were his friends. They were very different. He understood that he saved Hermione's life and before that she had few, if any friends, but Ron got jealous often and wanted fame and fortune. Harry couldn't help but wonder if this was why the boy was friends with him. They had been in many life and death situations, situations that Ron and Hermione would never been in if it wasn't for Harry. Hermione was the quiet bookworm, so why would she be friends with someone that was constantly in danger and always breaking the rules she so adored? Why would Ron the youngest of six boys and had a little sister, someone that craved to stand out on his own rights become friends with someone famous? Someone that was known for doing the impossible?

Harry tried to clear his thoughts as his Head of House and Deputy Headmistress lead the new first years in to be sorted. It was a slow and boring process as each child was called up and tried on the centuries old hat that would determine their fate.

It determined whether the child would be seen as a brave and noble Gryffindor, or perhaps a loyal but unnoticed Hufflepuff. Ravenclaws were known for their brains and Slytherin for their cunning. Slytherins were almost always assumed to be dark and evil as they did what they had to in order to achieve their goals.

Harry had nearly been in Slytherin his first year, but he convinced the hat not to put him in the house of snakes. He was supposed to be an icon of light, the wizarding world's hero. Harry could imagine only too clearly what would happen if he had been sorted in to that house. Then there was Professor Severus Snape the Slytherins' Head of House. He was a man that hated Harry Potter, well, hated James Potter. Since James Potter was Harry's father, Snape hated him by association even though he had never met the man, that he could remember anyway.

It wasn't fair, but neither was life. Something Harry knew all too well.

Professor McGonagall was Head of Gryffindor, Harry's House. She was a strict woman that took the rules seriously and was very protective of her cubs. She was a fair woman, but occasionally she gathered a few students that she grew more attached to. Harry knew deep down he was one of them. He assumed it was because of his propensity to get in dangerous situations.

Harry was brought out of his thoughts when the Headmaster stood. Dumbledore spread his arms in welcome, "Welcome to a new school year. Now I know last year's fifth year prefects are wondering why they did not receive there badges. Well, we have decided that to promote house unity we are going to re-sort all sixth year students."

The hall was completely silent, the calm before the storm as it were and was the ever a storm. The uproar that followed was deafening. Dumbledore watched the chaos with a smile on his face. He waited for the yells and objections to subside before continuing, "We all change as we get older so as sixth years you might be better fit for a house different from the one you were fitted for at the age of eleven. However, at the end of the year if you are unhappy with your new house you will be allowed to return to your original house. Professor McGonagall if you would…"

She nodded and pulled out the list of sixth year students to call them forward to be resorted.

Harry took a deep breath in before letting it out slowly. What were the chances that he could convince the hat twice not to put him in Slytherin? He didn't know but he didn't think they were good.

Oh, he could see it now… The Boy Who Lived Re-sorted into Slytherin! Is he the next Dark Lord? Does he plan to destroy You-Know-Who so he can replace him?

Then there was what the students would say. The whispers that would follow him everywhere he went. He finally convinced people he wasn't a lying attention seeker, and now this was happening. Never would anything go smoothly for him, never.

"Blimey, can you believe this?" Ron asked. "Not like anyone's really going to be moved to a different house. Well, maybe Hermione, you are kind of Ravenclaw-ish." He said turning towards her.

"Oh, thanks Ron," She said glaring at him. "But, Professor Dumbledore is right people change. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people were moved to different houses."