A/N: Saw the Deathly Hallows part 2 trailer, then I read the last few chapters of Deathly Hallows (naturally) and then I wrote this. Enjoy!
The Abandoned Boys.
He had barely dared to believe it until now.
He was here, and he had a large bed, all to himself. He was sharing with four other boys but that hardly mattered - they were all his age.
His stomach was full, and the flavours of the feast were still tingling on his taste buds. He'd never seen so much food in his life, so perfectly prepared, cooked and presented. And it had all just appeared, like - well, not even like, because it was magic.
The other boys were already asleep, but he couldn't even begin to contemplate such things. Lessons started the following morning, and he didn't want to be tired, but how could he sleep? He was still reeling from everything he had seen - the castle appearing out of the distance, like something in a film, the boats moving forward of their own accord, the talking portraits, the talking hat, the ghosts...
And the staircases; the staircases that were intent upon ruining your journey. He would not be a slave to them, he would figure them out before any of the others did.
He would not get lost.
He held his wand in his hand and examined it closely. He had not been given an opportunity to use it since he had bought it, but now he was at school.
Now he was allowed.
He opened his trunk quietly, and took out his tatty, second hand copy of The Standard Book of Spells: Grade One. He had already read it through once - there was not much else to do at the orphanage but read. One of the younger boys had tried to take it off of him. He was new.
He soon learned his lesson.
Shaking the thoughts of the orphanage from his head - he didn't need it now, not that he'd ever needed it, they'd just insisted upon keeping him - he studied the diagrams on the page, matching up his fingers to those in the faded line drawing.
"Lumos," he whispered, and a bright light appeared at his wand tip.
It had been very easy, and he wondered why he needed to spend seven whole years learning to be a wizard.
He wondered how much magic there was to learn, and how far he could go.
He read to the bottom of the page, before whispering "Nox."
The light vanished in an instant.
Frowning, he turned to the next chapter. He wanted to challenge himself, wanted to outdo the others in every lesson, with every spell. He needed to work hard though, they'd all been brought up around magic, they probably knew loads.
Deciding not to bother practising the swish and flick motion that the book insisted upon, he pointed his wand at the alarm clock on his bedside table, rolled his wand in his fingers a little as he prepared, and took a deep breath.
Swish and flick.
The clock sprang upwards, as though it had been catapulted, and crashed into the ceiling, springs and coils flying all over the first year Slytherin dormitory, the bells sounding as they rocked back and forth against the stone floor.
Three of the other boys woke instantly (the one in the bed next to Tom's remained remarkably undisturbed by the commotion).
"What was that?" Arcturus asked, his grey eyes wide and panicked.
"I think it might have been the poltergeist," he kept his face straight. The spell hadn't gone entirely according to plan, but he wasn't going to tell them.
The other boys looked at each other, their brows creased in fear.
"It can't hurt us," Arcturus said slowly. "They wouldn't keep it in the castle if it could."
This seemed to ease their worries, and soon enough they were asleep once more.
He flicked to the index, seeking the repairing charm that he'd remembered spotting. He turned to the right page, and after a moment, directed his wand at the pieces of clock, and whispered "Reparo!"
It flew back together, and landed on the bedside table.
Tom Riddle smirked, blew out his candle and laid down in his bed, still clutching his wand.
He had a feeling he would like it here.
He was devastated.
He had always thought tonight would be the best of his life, that he would be jubilant beyond belief, but no. Instead he hugged his pillow, listening to the snores of the others.
She'd been sorted into Gryffindor.
And not only that, but those two from the train, Potter and Black, they'd been sorted in there with her.
They were going to take her away from him.
He closed his eyes but he could not sleep. He imagined her, in her dormitory up wherever the Gryffindors slept - it was bound to be somewhere nicer than the dungeons, Gryffindors were always seen as the best and so they deserved the best. Apparently.
Gryffindors always died a lot younger than Slytherins did.
And then he felt terrible. What if Lily died? Gryffindors were always doing stupid things and calling them brave, what if she got tied up with Potter and Black doing something idiotic and he lost her altogether?
He held his pillow tighter.
After a few minutes of deep, calming breaths, his mind slowed down, and his nerves stopped tingling. Lily wasn't going to die. She wasn't even going to be friends with Potter and Black. They were fools, loud, annoying and arrogant. Lily didn't like people like that.
Lily liked him.
And they'd been horrible to him, called him Snivellus, she was far too loyal to him to make friends with boys who'd been mean to him.
What did it matter that they were in different houses? They could still hang out together, in the library, at break times, they could even sit together in lessons. All that mattered was that they had made it at last. After two long years of waiting excitedly, nervously, sometimes even fearfully, they had made it to Hogwarts. They were going to learn how to do proper magic, and they were going to be proper wizards.
All that mattered was that he wasn't at home, and his school robes fit him much better than any muggle clothes ever had.
All that mattered was that his father was miles and miles away, and he wouldn't see him until next summer.
Petunia was also miles and miles away, and though Lily might be upset about that (though he would never understand why, her sister was absolutely wretched) he certainly wasn't.
He had Lily all to himself.
The thought made his mind whiz and whir, and he held his pillow even tighter, not out need of comfort, but out of excitement. He needed something to grip onto, in order to release the energy caused by this miraculous, long awaited circumstance.
He smiled. Properly smiled, so much that his cheeks hurt from the strain. He'd never smiled so much, he felt like a fool, like an idiot, like he ought to be in Gryffindor.
But no. He mustn't be horrid about Gryffindors now. Lily was one, and if Lily was one then that meant that they weren't all bad. All of her niceness could make up for a thousand Potters, a thousand Blacks and a thousand other oafs.
Lily Evans was someone that Gryffindor house could be proud of.
It was a long time before his excitement settled, and, his eyelids heavy, Severus Snape fell into the first contented sleep he'd ever had.
Tomorrow would be the first day of the rest of his life, and Lily Evans was going to be a part of it forever.
It was odd, but it already felt like home.
He supposed Privet Drive never really was a home. It was a house, in which he was an unwelcome guest. He felt like the bubble was going to pop at any minute, like it was another one of his ridiculous dreams, and it would all end in a flash of emerald green light.
He pinched himself.
Ron was snoring already, and his smile grew even wider. He could tell they were going to be best friends, even at the feast he could tell, even on the train.
He'd never had a best friend.
He'd never had a friend, come to think of it.
All the boys seemed nice though. Dean was just as clueless about magic as he was, it was nice not to be alone like that, and Seamus was really funny. He got the feeling that Neville might be a little useless, and his heart sank as he thought it.
He wanted everyone to do well.
Well, maybe not Malfoy. But just because Malfoy was from a rich family it didn't mean he'd be any better at magic than Neville would.
He hoped he would live to see the day where Neville turned Malfoy into a frog, or some other horribly funny thing that wizards could accomplish.
It did feel like a practical joke, even though the Dursleys exploded every time he would take a look at his spell books in the lounge, every time he even mentioned the M word. He bit his lip. It was funny now that they were far away. He found out from Percy that students could stay over Christmas and Easter. It was a good job too, as he didn't much fancy going home to watch Dudley make his way through three Christmas dinners or six Easter eggs, all in one sitting.
He wanted to know who made the food, and how it just appeared on the table. He knew magic was real now, but even so, it didn't stop him from being amazed at just how magical it could be. He hadn't known what to expect, even though he'd looked through his books, and seen the names of several spells and potions. He didn't really know what all the different teachers were for either. How many different subjects could there be when it came to magic?
All he hoped was that he didn't get the greasy haired one. Snape, Percy had said his name was.
He didn't look very friendly.
He wondered if his father had ever slept in this dormitory. Maybe he had, maybe, he had even slept in this bed. It was a long shot for sure, but there was still a chance, wasn't there? That however many years ago it had been, when his father had been brand new, that he had sat up late in this bed while the other boys slept.
He wouldn't ever get the chance to ask him. Voldemort had seen to that.
It was odd, but he felt an even greater sense of loss, now that he knew his parents had been murdered. A car crash was an accident, something unavoidable, just a dreadful tragedy, but murder. That was deliberate. There was no getting around that.
Voldemort had taken his parents away from him.
He hoped that wherever they were now, they were together. And happy. He wondered if they actually could look down on him, wondered if his father was shouting the answers to his questions in the same way that Uncle Vernon would shout at the television whenever he didn't approve of a golfer's putt or a quiz contestant's answer.
He hoped that wherever Voldemort was, that he was alone. And unhappy.
He took one last look around the dormitory, illuminated by the moonlight pouring in through the leaded windows, and wriggled down in his bed, lying on his side and making himself comfortable.
Tomorrow was a brand new start, with magic and lessons and friends.
Harry Potter closed his eyes.
The sooner he fell asleep, the sooner it would arrive.