Harry was panicking. His nose hurt and he could barely breathe. Cursing Malfoy and cursing himself, his eyes dulled as he tried to concentrate on his magic to free himself from the foreign magic holding him stiffly in position. He wondered if, since Voldemort claimed they shared magic
(like in a marriage bond, eurgh)
, if it was possible to draw magic from him and use it to break the Petrificus. He wondered if he needed extra magic. He could feel his own if he really tried; it thrummed inside him, circulating in his body as naturally as the blood in his veins, and, trying harder, he felt a foreign magic coating his body, feeling something like oil against sand, completely unpleasant. Concentrating on his head now, he could feel the bond he shared with Voldemort, quivering from the effects of Dark magic.
He paused. How was he supposed to do this? He couldn't move to reach his wand, and wandless magic was hard…really hard to do. He only did things accidentally when he was angry…like blowing Aunt Marge up, or—
Could he make himself angry enough to use wandless magic and break the spell? How much magic would that need? And what if it did something to the train?
(What if I don't do it in time and end up back in London?)
He closed his eyes and tried to think about Malfoy stomping on his face. He thought about Voldemort forcing blowjobs on him,
(something stirred inside him, but he squashed it down)
he thought about Sirius falling through the Veil, he thought about Dumbledore keeping the prophecy from him, leaving him on the Dursleys' doorstep, secretly feeding him nutrition potions, knowing what had happened and doing nothing about it…
The sound of rattling metal spoiled his concentration and he opened his eyes to see the compartment shaking slightly. He tried wiggling and breathed out his disappointment, but quickly tried to bring out his anger again.
(Malfoy, Sirius, Pettigrew, Voldemort, Dumbledore, Dursleys, Dumbledore)
The anger soon returned (had it even gone away?). He took quick, shallow breaths, the Body-Binding spell not allowing for much more. His magic prickled his skin, but the feeling of Malfoy's against him, holding him in place against his will, did not go away. The luggage rack started rattling again, but Harry tried not to pay attention to it.
(Come on come on)
The oil fizzed against him. An air bubble swelled against his trousers and popped, suddenly freeing his knee. His joy at making progress nearly made another bubble die down. He quickly re-concentrated on Dumbledore, and several bubbles inflated and popped.
A sudden jolt jerked his eyes back open. A strange thunk. The train swayed ever so slightly. Cold panic re-seized his body. The train was leaving! The train was leaving Hogsmeade station and he was going with it. He desperately tried to throw off the spell once and for all, but he hadn't managed to lift it enough through wandless magic. He frantically tried to bring his memories back up, tried to get the anger flowing again, but the agitation was too much.
The wheels clunked over the rails. Harry was immobile. The compartment door slid open, the sound abrupt against the sounds of the train. Harry's eyes widened marginally, the most the spell would allow. A figure, heavily clad in black despite the enduring summer heat, towered above him from the doorway, his hair swaying with the train's movements. His lips curled in a sneer.
Snape squatted down and grasped the Invisibility Cloak, which slid off Harry in a caress and trailed on the floor as Snape held it. If it was possible, Harry panicked even more internally.
(Snape's got the Cloak Snape's got my dad's cloak)
"You just couldn't stay out of trouble, could you?" A wand was brandished in his direction, and "Finite Incantantem" was uttered in a low voice. Immediately, he felt that he was able to move his limbs again. He stiffly sat up, gingerly touching his nose.
"I would prefer it if you hurried, Potter. It is disagreeable Apparating from a moving vehicle." Snape had already turned and was marching down the train. Harry hastened to follow, but it was too late; the train had already pulled out of the station and was steadily picking up speed. Snape was at the door, the occasional light throwing his sallow face into sharp relief: his nose nearly hitting the window glass with the train's swaying movement, his lips thinner than usual, and his eyes gleaming darkly. He turned around sharply and grabbed hold of Harry's arm.
"Ready?" he said, voice barely audible over the clunks of the wheels against the rails. Harry only had enough time to hastily draw a breath –as if that would save him- before he was once again being squeezed through a straw. He felt as if there was even more pressure on his body than the first time, though it vanished much quicker; he only coughed a few times and stumbled against the wall of Hogsmeade station in an attempt to steady himself and catch his breath. Snape stood a few feet away, eyeing him coolly.
After a moment, he pushed himself off the wall. Snape was already walking away. Soon they were out of the station and nearing Hogwarts' gates. Harry squinted but could not make out any sign of thestrals or carriages. He glanced at Snape but the professor's face was as shuttered as ever. As they paused in front of the gates, Snape took out his wand and tapped the metal once, a loud clicking sound immediately audible, similar to the sound of a lock opening, and one metal gate slowly opened soundlessly, just wide enough for a person to pass. Snape brushed past Harry and entered the grounds, sweeping off into the dark. Harry copied his movements and as soon as he was in, the gates shut behind him, clicking again, this time resembling a lock securing. They walked in silence, Snape in front and not bothering to look back to see whether or not his ex-pupil was following. Meanwhile, Harry fidgeted, the cold sweat not having left him. Snape hadn't offered to fix his nose, not that he had expected that from Snape of all people, but it throbbed painfully and only added to the nervousness coiling in his belly. The feast had probably already began, and not only would he have to go and eat with people that most likely wanted him dead, but he also had no Ron or Hermione or Ginny there, not because they didn't want to be there, but because he was unlucky enough to have a connection to Voldemort in his head and was too weak to prevent the bastard from taking over his body and blasting Aurors to kingdom come.
He let out a breath and folded his hands into fists.
(Remember this. Remember what Voldemort's done to you. Killing your parents, killing Sirius, trying to kill my friends, trying to kill you so many times…)
Something shifted in his mind.
(I will never yield to him again. YOU HEAR ME, VOLDEMORT? I KNOW YOU'RE LISTENING. I WILL FIGHT YOU WITH EVERYTHING I HAVE, AND I SWEAR IF YOU EVER TRY TO TAKE MY BODY OVER AGAIN I'LL MAKE YOU REGRET IT)
Harry continued walking. There was no amused chuckle or any other response from his link. Good. He didn't really care if Voldemort chose fit to respond to him or not. It was himself he needed to concentrate on. Concentrate on his studies, concentrate on Occlumency, concentrate on defeating Voldemort once and for all…
There was the sound of a door opening. He looked up, surprised to see that they were already at Hogwarts' front doors. Snape pushed the enormous door open, enough to let a sliver of light out onto the stone they were standing on, just enough to let himself through. Harry followed. They went up the stairs. It was silent, but as they neared the Great Hall, Harry could hear the chatter of some 400 students. Finally, the large double doors were in front of him. Snape pushed them both open, and Harry winced as everyone's attention was turned towards them. 400 pairs of eyes settled on him and it was silent enough that Harry was sure that Dumbledore could hear his heart pounding against his ribcage from the other side of the Hall.
"After you, Potter," Snape said silkily, holding an arm out almost mockingly. Harry only gave him a brief look before steeling himself and walking towards the Gryffindor table. The whispers started up, louder with every step he took, until there were shouts as he was moving to slide himself on the bench. The Gryffindors remained immobile for a moment, the younger ones talking amongst themselves with a frenzy, before turning their heads away as if they were embarrassed. Only a few of them gave him outright hateful looks, he noticed thankfully.
It took a few moments for Dumbledore to rise and for the attention focused on Harry came to focus on the Headmaster instead.
"Please," Dumbledore called, and the last ones speaking went quiet. "As you have surely noticed, Harry Potter shall stay in Hogwarts." There were several cries of outrage. Dumbledore held his hand up for silence and continued. "Undoubtedly you are aware of the rumors circulating about Mr. Potter and Voldemort." Tension spiked at the mention of the name, but the students stayed silent. "It is not my business to reveal to you whether or not these rumors are true, but I insist that Mr. Potter be treated as any other student. It is not amongst ourselves that we should be fighting." He looked weary and seemed to be looking particularly between the Gryffindor and Slytherin tables. "And may I introduce Claudius Prince, Mr. Potter's tutor." Claudius stood up, his face shuttered, to light clapping. The rest of the students took this time to whisper more amongst themselves. "Mr. Prince is to be addressed with the same respect as the other professors at my sides." Dumbledore surveyed his students for a moment. "That is all." He sat back down and the voices started back up immediately as the benches scraped against the stone floor and the students started filing out of the Hall. Harry followed, but broke off from the Gryffindors to follow the Hufflepuffs, who took one look at him and huddled closer to each other, as if he would suddenly go on a mad rampage. But he simply gritted his teeth and ignored them. They made a turn to go to their dormitories and Harry continued straight, towards the kitchens. He tickled the pear until it stopped its squirming and turned into a handle. He grasped it and stepped inside, his presence pausing the house elves activity briefly. Dobby appeared out of nowhere, his tower of hats suddenly obscuring Harry's vision momentarily as his knees were hugged.
"Harry Potter is back so soon to see Dobby!" the elf cried, and finally moved back. His eyes shone. "Was Harry Potter sir enjoying the feast?"
"Well, erm, I arrived a bit late, you see, that's why I'm down here—"
"So you has not eaten?"
Dobby snapped his fingers and a large plate of chicken legs appeared on the nearest table. He snapped his fingers a few more times and each time, another plate of food appeared.
Harry looked at it all in wonder. "This is all leftovers?"
"What do you usually do with it all?"
"We is eating it ourselves, Harry Potter sir. Or if there is too much sometimes we is giving it to the animals of the Forest."
Harry seated himself and spooned himself some mashed potatoes. "This is excellent," he said without exaggeration, after having taken several bites.
"Harry Potter sir?" Dobby asked hesitantly. He hummed in reply, mouth full. "What happened to you face?"
He turned towards the elf and swallowed his mouthful. "Erm…it broke."
Dobby peered at him for a moment. "Would Harry Potter like for Dobby to fix Harry Potter's nose?"
"Can you?" he asked, then mentally smacked himself.
"Of course." Dobby gave a casual wave of his hand and Harry's nose snapped back into place painfully, forcing a strangled sound from his throat. Another wave of the house elf's hand had the blood disappear from his face and fingers. Harry gingerly touched his face and was pleased to note that it didn't hurt nearly as much as before.
"Thanks, Dobby." The elf responded with a beaming smile, before being called by another elf and hurrying away, his hats swaying dangerously, but not before saying an enthusiastic good-bye. Harry ate slowly, partly to savor his dinner, partly to put off going to his new, unfamiliar rooms. And seeing Claudius. Maybe Snape had paid his cousin to poison him in his sleep. Harry shook the thought from his head. Snape would want to do it himself, for the satisfaction.
The name brought hate with it and he nearly crushed the treacle tart he was preparing to feed himself.
Eyeing the dessert again, he sighed and put it down. He didn't feel like eating anymore.
A/N: I hate real life. And inspiration that comes to other people but not me. It still isn't coming, but I just watched HP3, and that's got me…thinking.
A big thank you to Killer Rabbit of Caerbannogand Emriel for responding to my questions. Got me thinking (more) and that particular story is no longer just ideas in my head, but now ideas on paper! Haha. But don't worry, I'll put your time and effort and my ideas together in… a bit of time.
That's all for now. See you in May or something. Happy New Year!