Professor Severus Snape stopped reading, his lips twitching. 'Potter?' He looked over the class of first-year students, his eyes stopping on one with an arm raised, emerald eyes and a lightning bolt scar beneath the messy, jet-black hair. 'Too much of a celebrity to answer like everyone else?'
A girl beside him with frizzy brown hair spoke up. 'Harry doesn't talk at all, sir.'
'I did not ask for your input, Miss Granger,' he snarled. 'Five points from Gryffindor.' Slowly, he turned his gaze back to the boy, who was writing something down on a piece of paper. 'Writing a note for someone, are we?' His sneer dropped when the boy nodded, pointing at him. 'Very well, give it here.'
Harry got up, walking to the front of the class, passed looks of worry from some and smugness from others. He carefully placed the small bit of parchment in front of the teacher before turning and walking back.
Snape studied him as he sat back down before turning to the writing, deciding to read it out loud in the most obnoxious voice he could manage. '"I am sorry if my inactions caused you offence, but as my classmate said, I am unable to speak." So the Boy-Who-Lived thinks he can become a wizard when he can't use incantations?'
Half the class gave something between a snort and laugh. Hermione Granger was preparing to rant about wordless magic, but was still recovering from losing her house points - something she didn't think she would have ever done.
The lack of response from Harry annoyed Snape and he drew the class back into silence, taking a final look at the boy before continuing to the next name and then the lesson at hand.
After a long lesson, it was after they were through the door and already on their way to their next room that Hermione was tapped on the shoulder. She turned around to a smile and a piece of folded paper. After taking it, she was about to ask what it was about before realising who had given it to her.
Opening it up, she read, 'Thank you for trying to help me.'
'Aren't you upset I lost us five points?'
He shook his head and, before she could say anything else, they had entered their next class.
Harry wasn't sure what to think as he listened to the small, enthusiastic charms teachers called Flitwick. He wondered if he would be treated like he was by Snape and was happy to find that he wasn't when not a comment was made when he only held his hand up when called.
It was only once practical work had begun that he found himself at his teacher's attention.
'Now, Mr Potter, as I'm sure your earlier teacher told you, the headmaster has informed us of your condition. I'm not one for putting students down, but I won't be the first to warn you that you're going to struggle to get even these simple spells down. My office will always be open if you want a bit of practice or advice. Did you have any questions?'
Harry shook his head and, with a reassuring smile, Flitwick began to tour the class, commenting on the technique of the other students. Wand in hand, Harry took a deep breath before carefully mimicking the movements for a levitation spell. He was disappointed to see not even a gentle stirring of his feather, but continued regardless.
On the other side of the room, Hermione was trying to help a red-headed boy. 'It's your pronunciation, Ron; it's a long "o" in "leviosa," not a short one.'
'Oh yeah? If you're so perfect, why don't you just show us all how it's done.'
Harry couldn't help but notice the spite in the words, giving up his attempts to instead watch the two of them. Hermione tried to look like he hadn't affected her, but the slight twinge was there. She cast the spell and floated the feather a metre in the air.
'Excellent! Five points to Gryffindor,' Flitwick proclaimed before turning back to a pair of boys who were struggling to get the final flick right.
Ron grumbled, but once Hermione tried to help the boy to her other side, he loudly said, 'Show off.'
Despite her quick recovery, Harry saw how it hit Hermione. Unsure why, he trained his wand on the boy and swirled his wrist.
He felt his chair wobbling and watched as the classroom fell beneath him. Looking around, he realised he was rising through the air and yelped. Everyone else stopped what they were doing and stared at him, except for Hermione who started looking around.
It took Flitwick a good few minutes to calm Ron down once he was back on the ground and another couple to convince him that it couldn't have been Hermione as she clearly didn't have her wand pointed at him during the flight.
'Why did you do it?' Hermione asked, outside the charms classroom.
Harry stopped walking towards the Great Hall and pulled out a quill and some parchment from one of the pockets on his robes. 'He deserved it.'
'I'm not saying he didn't, but why do you think he deserved it?'
'He was being a jerk. I'm not too fond of them.'
She tried, but failed, to hold in the giggle when she read it. 'Are you going to lunch now?' He nodded. 'Would... it be okay if I joined you?' This time he smiled and started walking. 'Wait, is that a yes?'
He closed the book at the loud coughs from just in front of him. The common room was quiet, some having headed off for an early night and others getting the first bits of homework out of the way.
'Sorry to disturb you, Mr Potter,' the one twin sternly began.
'But we have come to conclusion that,' the other, just as sternly, continued.
'It was you who levitated our dear brother.'
'And humiliated him greatly.'
They took the note from him. 'Not to confirm nor deny, but what if I did?'
'We would be have to give you a warning.'
'To not do that ever again.'
'Because it is our job to do that.'
'What made you think it was me who did it?'
'The first we cannot tell you.'
'The second is that no one suspects you, so it must be you.'
'The third is that Ronald is destined to become a dark wizard.'
'And so you are destined to battle him.'
'No one suspects Professor Flitwick and I can barely levitate a feather.'
'You can't fool us.'
'So until next time little Prongs.'
Harry was going to ask them what they meant by "little Prongs," but they were already up the stairs. With a sigh, he went back to the reading assignment.
The chilling wind left most shivering in the weak morning sunshine. It was excruciatingly painful for Harry to watch as the poor boy fell from his broom. Hooch stopped the bleeding before getting him up and walking to the infirmary, leaving a warning to the class.
'What have we here?' one of the boys said, moving over to where Neville had just crash landed. 'Looks like that little squib dropped his Remembrall.' Harry to started to walk over, writing a note, but before he got there the boy had taken off on his broom. 'Did you want it Potter?' Harry nodded. 'Why don't you come up here and get it?'
He thought for a moment, then discretely removed his wand. One of the crowd shouted, 'Draco, come down before Hooch gets back!' but the flier ignored them. Harry carefully targeted the ball-like object while pretending to mount his broom.
'Oh I'm so scared of big boy Potter,' Draco teased, to the amusement of some of the crowd. A few voiced objections at Harry, but he was ignoring them. Suddenly, a flick of his wrist and the Remembrall shot out of Draco's hand, though not after he tried to snatch it back, sending it arcing high across the pitch.
Draco thought about chasing, but deemed it a lost cause as it hurtled further. Harry, though, was willing to try and already racing barely above the ground. The crowd stared as the ball dropped just ahead of him, but his hands shot out and, with a last burst, caught it.
Looking up, he barely had time to react to the wooden wall fast approaching. A firm kick off the ground hurtled him upwards, another kick pushing him off the stand and catapulting through the air in a spiral while half the onlookers cheered, the other half scowling.
'Mr Potter, a word,' a rather serious sounding teacher said as he landed. Seeing that it was Professor McGonagall, his head of house and transfiguration teacher (thought he hadn't had a class yet), he visibly paled, much to the Slytherins' amusement.
Harry sat down on the table, trying not to laugh at the curious looks Hermione was giving him. Before she could ask, he jotted down what had happened between his departure from the pitch and his arrival now.
'Wait, after you did all that, she bent the rules so you could go on the Quidditch team?' Hermione asked, stunned into silence when he nodded.
'I still have to learn all the rules, but I really like flying and think I'll enjoy it. Wood, the captain, said my dad was on the team when he was here, but he played chaser rather than seeker.'
'Well, since you didn't lose any points, I guess all I can say is congratulations.' She returned his smile before returning to her toast.
'It seems, Mr Potter, that you have a bright future in transfiguration,' McGonagall said with a smirk, admiring his needle, which was a matchstick moments prior. Glancing at her, he wasn't sure if Hermione was impressed, jealous or somewhere in the middle. 'Ten points to Gryffindor.'
The bell rang and the class hastily made their exit, McGonagall reminding them of the homework due in the following lesson. Barely a step passed the doorway, a rushing boy collided with him, taking them both to the floor.
'Watch where you're going,' Draco said, dusting himself as he stood up with the help of two large boys. He had half-turned before he realised who he ran into. Grinning, he asked, 'Did you enjoy the trouble you got into?'
His face dropped as Harry just smiled back at him before turning and walking off.
'Wait! No one does that to a Malfoy!' The others present for the incident barely contained their laughter as Harry just waved back at him, still with his back facing. 'Potter, I challenge you to a wizard's duel!' Harry stopped walking. 'I've interested you, haven't I?'
Noticing he wasn't coming to him, Draco began walking to him.
'Tonight, the trophy room, midnight,' his voice barely a whisper. He continued right passed Harry, not even turning to see if he agreed and if he had, he would be worried by his enemy's smile.
Hermione gripped his arm. 'Surely you aren't going, are you?'
The evening hastily crept upon the inhabitants of Hogwarts. He flicked again, but the quill wouldn't budge.
'So you can lift classmates, but not feathers?' Hermione asked, taking a seat next to him. 'How is that possible?'
He shifted back in his seat, admiring the luxury of the Gryffindor common room. 'Do you know about accidental magic?'
'Of course I do. When I was little-' Harry snorted. 'Fine, littler, I broke my mum's favourite vase. I was so worried she would be upset and then, all of a sudden, the pieces started jumping back together and it was as good as new. Why did you ask?'
'I think I did accidentally-on-purpose magic to get Ron in the air.'
This time Hermione snorted as she read it. 'Accidentally-on-purpose magic?' He nodded. 'Well, I guess it could be. What about Neville's Remembrall though?'
'It felt the same, kind of like I wanted it to happen and it did.'
'Intent is a big part of magic, maybe that's how people do wordless magic? I'll go check the library.'
Before he could finish his note, she was gone. With a sigh, he turned back to trying, and failing, to float the quill.
Early in the morning, Draco stormed into the hall, heading straight towards the Gryffindor table and to one person in particular. A few around him tensed, but he kept perfectly calm despite having a direct view of the warpath Draco was on.
'You tattled on me to Filch! What kind of honourless mudblood are you?'
More than a couple looked ready to curse Draco, but Harry pulled out a note he had written much earlier. 'It is not a very cunning thing to tell someone who dislikes you that you will be out after curfew and where to find them.'
Those who spotted the severely angry look on Draco's face wondered what Harry could have written to do that to him and how long until there were hexes flying. Harry continued eating, despite Draco's stare, though it was his act of offering him a piece of toast that pushed him over the edge.
Others were quickly on their feet while Harry was thrown back from his seat, landing with his back on the floor and a resounding thud. Draco, though first pleased that he managed to cast the spell, was now a little worried at the wands pointed at him.
However, Harry thought better than to let them have the fun. He noticed that, while most of the staff were watching, none had acted yet. Tapping on the shoulders between him and Draco gave him a clear line of sight. He pointed up at the teachers, Draco being gullible enough to look.
Snape glared at him, pointing to his right. Draco, unsure at first, turned back around to face Harry. Right on cue, a large pumpkin pie slammed into his face.
With a snarl, he cleaned his face enough to see, only to find himself once more staring down a dozen older and more experienced students. It took a few moments, but with a huff he fled the sniggering hall.
'Harry my boy,' the one twin said, clamping a hand on his shoulder.
'We thoroughly approve,' finished the other, taking up his other side.
They waited as he wrote. 'People looked upset when he said mudblood, could you tell me why?'
The two looked between each other, silent communication of who would say. It was the one to his left who went first. 'Let us introduce ourselves properly.'
They each stuck an opposite hand out and Harry shook both awkwardly, looking between them both either side of him. 'It's a horrible word Slytherins.'
'And other slimy gits.'
'Use to describe.'
'People without a purely wizarding lineage.'
'So muggleborns, those with a muggleborn parent or a muggle parent.'
They paused. 'Why do they use it?'
'Think they are better.'
'Something about purer blood making them stronger.'
'How can they be such idiots?'
'A good question.'
'We think it's an inherent trait of Slytherins.'
Those listening in joined the laughter, happy to move onto lighter topics as the twins began to inform those willing to listen of some of the "unfortunate accidents" (as they described them) that had occurred during their first and second year.
'Erm Harry, did you have a sec?' a conflicted Ron asked before Harry got up from the dining table. He thought about Hermione waiting for him in the common room, but decided it would be fine and nodded. 'I, I just wanted to apologise for how I acted on the train.' Harry raised an eyebrow. 'It was stupid of me to think that you were ignoring me, I didn't know you couldn't talk and,' he paused to gulp somewhat, 'I'm sorry I called you a pompous big-head.'
Harry thought that the twins may be behind the apology, due to the excessive sweating and look of fear, but he decided neither would benefit from asking. 'Will you apologise to Hermione too?'
'Why would I apologise to her?'
'She was only trying to help you.'
'She's just bossy and wanted to make me look stupid.'
He shook his head, turning away and writing a note to fling over his shoulder before leaving. Ron picked it from the floor, more than a little disgruntled. 'Whatever.'
Hermione, spotting her friend, calmly walked over. 'What took you so long?'
She was impressed at how he managed to walk and write so well. 'Ron's brothers got him to apologise to me. He wouldn't for you when I asked, so I walked off.'
'Oh Harry,' she said, trying to push away the blush as she realised it was probably the first time anyone (not including teachers) had done that. 'Why wouldn't he?'
'Something about being bossy and doing it to make him look stupid.'
'Bossy? Stupid? Well I never!'
'I know, he doesn't need any help to look stupid.'
A suppressed smirk brightened her a bit and she tried to scold him, failing as he laughed back and she broke.
'You are a little bossy though.'
'I am not!'
'I distinctly remember three books I am reading at your "suggestion."'
She was a little hurt by it. 'Whose side are you on?'
He picked up on going a bit too far. 'I'm your friend. I was just being honest.'
'Oh yeah?' Her hurt had turned to annoyance, especially as she thought about what she knew of him. 'If you're "just being honest," then why does no one know why you don't talk?'
She immediately saw this was the wrong thing to say as anger followed by a deep sadness flashed. Before she could recover to say anything, he was gone through the massive doors leading to the grounds, leaving her amongst gossiping onlookers.
Outside, he headed to Hagrid's. She didn't know that they had even met, much less that Hagrid told him he could come over whenever for tea and cakes. He didn't need to be reminded of his past right now.
The excitable dog barked inside after he knocked on the door. Hagrid quickly had the door open, releasing the massive hound onto the little boy, knocking him over and covering him in slobber.
'Stop it Fang, leave 'im be,' the booming voice of the half-giant said, somewhat succeeding in chastising the dog. ''Ow are ya, 'Arry?' he asked, hefting the boy to his feet.
'I'm okay. Can I stay here for breakfast?'
'Afraid I eat at the castle. Are you avoiding someone?' Hesitantly, he nodded. 'You know problems don't jus' go away.'
'I just need a bit of time, that's all.'
Hagrid nodded. 'I'll keep yer company, maybe talk a bit abou' some of me favourite creatures.' He couldn't help but return Harry's smile. 'So, 'ave I told yer about Blast-Ended Skrewts?'
If Hermione wasn't fretting over exactly what she should say, she would have been trying to pay attention to the teacher, even if he was a dreadfully boring ghost. As it was, she wasn't at all confident it would work and she didn't want to lose her first ever proper friend.
Nervously glancing, she noticed he was taking down notes and seemingly listening intently to the ramblings, which was odd as, literally, no one else was. Wondering what he was writing, she carefully leaned over slightly.
Once she had seen it, she realised that it wasn't the spectre, but a Hufflepuff girl near the front, that he was watching. Before she could stop herself, she leaned over and whispered, 'I didn't know Susan Bones was part of the course.'
She stifled her giggles as he jumped, quickly covering up the drawing and blushing.
Her thoughts of pushing it further quickly ended and she went back to what she wanted to say. 'Listen, Harry, I'm sorry about what I said,' but she stopped as he held out a bit of parchment, one he pulled out of his pocket.
'I'm sorry for earlier. I didn't have to be so blunt, especially when I think you only act a little bit bossy because you care.'
He was relieved to see the smile. 'I'm still sorry, I shouldn't have been so snappy. Also, I shouldn't have tried to push you - it's your decision to tell people anything, not mine.'
'I'll tell you what, I'll forgive you if you forgive me.'
She read it and immediately said, 'Deal,' sticking her hand out and they shook on it. 'Now, about Miss Bones, is there anything you want to tell me?'
He gulped, carefully writing down what he hoped were safe words. 'I was just bored and drawing is quite fun.'
'Nice try Mr Potter, but one doesn't simply draw a specific girl for fun.' Hermione barely held in the laughter as she heard him gulp again, before turning to the history book in front of him. Deciding to take the hint, she turned to her own book, now able to fully concentrate on the lesson at hand, a little happier with her friendship safe.
After watching a particularly long (and impressive) staring match during the lesson, an odd thought occurred to Hermione. She realised she wasn't actually sure why Draco hated Harry. Of course, she knew why he hated him now, but even their first Potions class had suggested some animosity between the two.
'Harry, did you see Draco on the train?' she asked before taking another bite of lunch.
'I did, but he pretended he didn't see me.'
'Why would he do that? Did you meet him before then or something?'
He started chuckling. 'Getting our robes at Diagon Alley. He kept telling me about how great his dad was until his dad finally stopped in and realised who I was. Draco got a bit annoyed at me ignoring him and probably would have hexed me if his dad didn't step in.'
'Well I guess it would be a bit hard to write down if Madam Malkin was measuring you, though I'm surprised she didn't step in. Didn't she know you couldn't talk?'
Harry nodded his head, smiling. 'Once they left, she burst out laughing along with her assistants. I think she would have stopped any actual fighting, but I'm glad she didn't.'
Smiling back, she asked, 'Meet any other classmates under interesting circumstances?' She noticed the blush. 'Oh, you did! Who was it? It was Susan, wasn't it?'
He let a long sigh. 'I may have accidentally tripped her over and insisted on buying a replacement ice-cream.'
Hermione cooed. 'You've even had your first date already!' She laughed as his blush deepened and he held his finger to his lips.
'It wasn't a date, Hagrid just gave a galleon to her aunt and then we went our separate ways.'
She frowned at this. 'That's not very romantic, but don't worry, I'll help you make sure that your first date is one for the history books.'
Harry switched from shaking his head so violently it was making him slightly ill to a facepalm when he realised she wasn't even paying him any attention, instead happily talking about ideal Hogwarts date locations. He knew this wouldn't end well.
It had only been one week, but Harry was thrilled he could finally relax. A rather eager Hermione had insisted on staying to finish even more homework, but was willing to let Harry go as long as he promised to work over the weekend.
He hadn't realised just how late it had got when he entered the nearly deserted common room, in fact there was only one person there. Observing him, Harry noticed the how tense the older boy looked.
A tap on the shoulder and he turned around, a bit confused why he was being handed a note. 'Anything I can do to help?'
The boy offered his hand. 'You must be Potter; I'm John Bridges.' Harry gave him a smile as they shook hands, then took a seat a bit beside him and looked expectantly. John followed his movement and, after a chuckle, conceded. 'Fine, there's a bit of a problem between me and my girlfriend. Not an expert with women, by chance?'
'I heard McGonagall likes posh chocolates.'
John howled. 'At the least you've cheered me up.' His face slowly dropped though and he eventually let out a sigh. 'I guess there's two problems though and one of them is that I'm too afraid.'
'Other people and what they think, though I guess that's a bit of a silly thing to say to someone who is idolised for his scar.'
'You're just jealous you don't have an awesome looking scar.'
'Too right.' He ran a hand through his hair.
'It really bothers you, doesn't it?'
'I'd say you're pushing it now, I'm not actually that fond of scars.'
Harry scowled at him. 'Your other problem, not lack of scar.'
'Aha, yeah.' He turned to face the fire. 'Of all the people I thought I'd tell this to, I didn't think it would be the Boy-Who-Lived.' He took in a deep breath. 'As great as Amy is, and I really don't want to hurt her, I've started to have feelings for someone else.'
He silently prepared for the question he knew was coming, therefore making him quite surprised to find a completely different one. 'Does she feel the same way?'
'I don't think Amy has also fallen in love with them,' John said, only to grimace at the serious look Harry was giving him. 'No, I don't think they do.'
'Why don't you ask?'
'It's complicated, more than you could ever think.'
'It's not Snape, is it?'
John burst. 'You were just giving me dirty looks for joking around, but you're allowed to?' Harry nodded. 'No, it's not Snape, though it's nearly as bad.'
'What's the worst that could happen?'
'Well, the whole school could hate me and I'd spend my final year being laughed at and bullied.'
'That does sound pretty bad, but I'm sure you're exaggerating. After all, even if it's a Slytherin, I'm sure only most of the Gryffindors would hate you for it.'
'I'm afraid I'm not exaggerating.'
'Well, either it's worth the risk or it isn't.'
'Way to point out the obvious.' He let out a sigh. 'I'm just not really sure it's worth the risk. I don't know and have no clue.'
'The good news is you have just under a year to decide.'
'I guess you're right. Maybe waiting it out is the best idea.'
Harry shook his head. 'What good is a brain if you don't use it for making decisions?'
'I'm not a Ravenclaw, in fact, as per my house, I'm not supposed to use my head, otherwise I wouldn't do any of the brave or courageous things expected of me! Same goes for you, I wouldn't be surprised if you're battling another bringer of doom before you graduate.'
'According to Fred and George, their little brother Ron and I are destined to battle.'
Another snort. 'Man, I'm honestly not sure if those two are sane, but it's nice to have them around.'
'I think so too.' It was while John read this that Harry stifled a yawn.
'Go to bed if you're tired, I'll be fine.'
'Promise you won't stop thinking?'
He chuckled. 'I promise. In fact, I'll even promise to decide by Monday, how's that?' Harry smiled in response, making his way to the stairs leading to the dorms.
For whatever reason, Harry isn't talking and no one knows why or when. His silent past makes him a bit more thoughtful and observant as well as making those who are a little more impulsive annoyed with first meeting him.
How will having to learn all magic wordless change him? Will Hermione really set him up with Susan? Who is John's crush? Why are Fred and George stockpiling potion ingredients?
Edit: amended at being reminded that Care of Magical creatures is for third years up and Hagrid only started teaching in Harry's third year – I'm a bit silly sometimes.
Tweak: added the accredited scene breaks and a dabble of time frames. It's a rolling tweak for first three chapters, so no one needs to worry about it.