Hello my dears, guess who is back!?
While I do not have any real explanations that will explain my complete lack of updates, I can give you my sincerest apologies for not being here and overwhelming gratitude that people are still finding this story enjoyable. It really does mean a lot to me that you are still reading and following this, and I hope that this new chapter does justice to the extremely kind reviews and messages I have had.
So, may I present to you, Chapter 9.
Harry's brilliant start to the year rapidly descended into what he believed was possibly the worst start in the whole of Hogwarts' history as the Slytherin prefect walked over towards him and passed him two wax sealed envelopes. Whilst the prefects face held no hint of curiosity, her eyes gave her away as she warily handed over the envelopes before speaking in a low murmur. "I trust it that you will make sure one of the first years saves you a bed, me and a few others will wait up for you. I will expect answers when you return."
He resisted a scowl; he did not like being told what he had to do but he nodded, making enemies with higher years would not bode well for him for he needed their trust and information and not having to check his own back in his own house. Face impassive he ignoring the curious glances his small group of friends were giving him and the blatant stare of interest the frizzy haired witch from across the table as he broke the wax seal on the first envelope and quickly scanned the contents, his hands balling into a fist of anger as he continued to read.
While Harry knew that he should have been expecting Dumbledore to want to him to come to his office for a "chat", Harry had not expected it to be on the first night. Putting the note back into its envelope, Harry reached for the second envelope before popping the Slytherin crest from the back of it. The contents of this note however had Harry raise his eyebrow in surprise. Tom had warned him that Severus would more than likely want to talk to him in private about his sorting into Slytherin and his role in the war. Whilst Dumbledore believed Severus was firmly on the Light side of the war, Harry knew differently.
Placing the crisp parchment back into the envelope Harry mulled over what Severus had written. The note had contained a warning for him not to look into the elder man's eyes and to be careful as to what he revealed to the lemon drop eating fool. Harry couldn't help but feel slightly insulted at this; Tom had told him that Severus would undoubtedly take a dislike to him due to being James Potter's son but Harry's comeback to this was a mixture of calling the Potions Master both immature and stupid for also bypassing the fact that he was also Lily Potter nee Evan's son.
Putting the issue of confronting the Potions Master to the back of his mind for later reference, Harry turned and lowered his head, allowing his hair to cover his face, efficiently blocking any attempts to read his lips whilst also allowing Harry to speak clearly into Draco's ear.
"I need you to save me a bed; I have been called to the Headmasters office for what I am assuming is not going to be a midnight snack. I do not know what time I will be back as the Slytherin prefect wishes to talk to me after."
Turning back to his food, Harry began to once more slowly eat his mashed potato whilst trying to hide the small quirk in his mouth as he heard the hushed tone of Draco tell the other boys in the group that they were to save the best bed in the room for him.
A bossy tone brought Harry from his moment of self satisfaction and caused it to quickly be replaced with anger.
"What did the note say? It was obviously important. So what was it?"
Every person in hearing distance suddenly fell silent before shocked murmurs erupted as the news was carried up the table. Whilst the Slytherin table did not make much noise as an unwritten rule for decorum and family image was to be kept at all times in public, the murmurs which were created from that one statement was enough to make a few staff members and students to raise their heads in confusion. Once the information had been quickly and efficiently passed along the length of the long table small conversations broke out as to not alarm any other members of Hogwarts that something was the matter. To an observant eye however they would notice that the entire Slytherin table had one ear and one eye on the proceedings between the first years.
"Who are you to ask personal questions like that?"
The girl named Hermione brushed her hair back and looked at him, "Your housemate obviously, there should be no secrets between us."
Harry could hear the disbelieving tutting and could see from the corner of his head the shakes of disapproval from the elder years. This was going to have to be dealt with-and dealt with quickly, he needed to sow himself to be something otherwise there was no way he would be listened to in the future.
In a calm and quite tone of voice which if you were not looking into Harry's eyes you would believe that nothing was wrong he spoke, "I do not care what you think, I do not care that we are housemates and I especially do not care for people like you. When you finally learn some self preservation and the Slytherin ways-for you are obviously a muggleborn, maybe, just maybe I will entertain you"
Deep down Harry knew that what he said was horrible and would upset her, but Harry knew that if he didn't put her straight now, she would receive much worse from the elder members of the group later on.
"How could you say such horrible things? I only wanted to know what the letter said!"
Letting out an audible sigh of frustration Harry looked her, eyes flashing dangerously as he barely concealed his anger "understand this, and understand it quickly. Loudmouths and people who pry do not survive long in Slytherin. Unless you wish to be abandoned and tormented by not only the other three houses but also your own "housemates" I suggest you learn when to keep your mouth shut and also how to turn a blind eye and create a deaf ear to others people's business. Do you understand?"
Hermione bit her lip and nodded her head to try and stop the tears and save giving herself away with her wavering voice in an attempt to try and keep a little bit of her dignity.
Looking back down Harry could hold back the scowl and sent the now silent witch a dark glare of anger due to the fact that he now possessed an empty plate as the main meal had been replaced with the desserts during his second "chat" to the girl-that-couldn't-keep-her-nose-out-of-other-people's-business.
Desserts had always been something that Harry hadn't been given the luxury of having as a child and even in the past month living with Tom, Harry had viewed them with distaste and caution as to him they served as a reminder of times he wished to forget.
"Not hungry little snake? No, it's something else, anger? Hurt? What is the matter my dear Prince?"
Harry, even with hearing Tom's voice couldn't shake the current mood he was in. "It's this witch, Hermione Granger I believe she is called, interfering with my business, made my miss most of my meal. The old coot also wishes to speak to me after the meal and Severus has warned me to not look into his eyes. On the plus side I have now got a few more followers and have made it into Slytherin. The prefect wishes to speak to me after my meeting. Should I be worried?"
Sitting in his office Tom opened his eyes in shock at this. He knew Dumbledore would want information from Harry as quickly as possible and begin to try and bring Harry closer to him, but Tom never expected it to happen this quickly. This was something that worried him.
"I will help shield your mind little one, he will get no information out of you that you do not wish to give. Remember, speak calmly and use your knowledge. He needs to see that you are not a boy ignorant to the world around you."
Back in the great hall Harry subconsciously nodded his head in agreement at Tom's words. He would show Dumbledore that he meant business.
Tom continued, "The prefects will want to make sure that nothing has occurred that goes beyond Wizarding Law. You were placed in Slytherin for a reason, so they will treat you no differently regardless of whom you are. They will be curious but cautious. Many of the seventh years will be joining me at the end of the year so once they receive their marks, you may reveal yourself to them if you so desire."
Pausing for breath Tom decided what he should say next, "I am assuming from the short pieces of memory I am glimpsing in your mind, this female is muggleborn. I know you do not want to but take her under your wing. You will be easy to adapt and mould she may become a valuable asset to you in the future. I am pleased to hear you have more followers and I am proud that you are a Slytherin; I always knew you would be. I will let you get going now my Prince, I believe dessert is nearly over and you have a trip to the headmaster's office to deal with. Take care of yourself my growing serpent, if you get hungry; just ask one of the prefects for the name of the Slytherin's personal house elf."
Bringing himself back into the room, Harry blinked and looked up at the face of the Slytherin prefect, "I am here to take you to the headmaster's office. Professor Snape will bring you back to the common room."
The prefect did not speak again until they left the Great Hall, turning the first corner the prefect stopped and held out her hand, "I am very sorry for the lack of introduction beforehand. My name is Gemma Farley."
Being the courteous Slytherin, Harry took her hand and pressed a quick kiss to the back of it. The amused smile and the small look of appreciation and satisfaction passed over her face before she reined it in. It was in that moment Harry appreciated Bella and Narcissa's constant lectures about etiquette.
"It is a pleasure to meet you Miss Farley. I hope that we can become close allies in the future, and I hope to dispel some of the myths that surround the name Harry Potter to prove myself a worthy Slytherin."
Smiling to herself, Gemma began to walk them towards to the headmasters office whilst speaking softly, "Gemma, please. If you continue the way you currently are, Mr. Potter you will have no problems fitting in. The higher years thought the way you dealt with Miss Granger's appalling behaviour was mature and appropriate for her lack of decorum. She has much to learn but I can already see that you are more than capable of changing her ways."
Stopping outside the gargoyle Gemma murmured a password under her breath before indicating with her head that Harry should go on without her, "I wish you luck, Mr Potter. I can already tell that you are not the person most people believe. I shall be waiting in the common room for your arrival later this evening."
As Gemma began to walk away Harry called out to her, his foot on the first of the stone steps leading up to the headmaster's office, "Harry, just Harry."
Gemma continued to walk away with a smile on her face. She couldn't wait to see what just Harry conquered in the future.
Severus looked up with a scowl on his face as James Potter's spawn threw the door to Dumbledore's office wide open and began to walk down the stairs before reappearing a moment later to stand in the still open door and speak to the headmaster in a low deadly tone.
"I would suggest headmaster, that you learn, and that you learn soon that I am NOT your toy. I will do things my way and my way only. I do not belong to you, I have never belonged to you and I will never belong to you. I regard you highly for what you have done but trying to make me leave Slytherin for Gryffindor was a mistake. Slytherin is my home if you like it or not."
Severus at that point was torn between a myriad of emotions which ranged from anger, to amusement to surprise at the words that came out of Potter's mouth. Severus finally settled on curiosity, while his Lord had told him that Po-Harry was of great interest to him, Severus had never understood why, but seeing how the boy spoke and acted Severus decided that he would play along and watch how Harry turned out. Maybe he wasn't the carbon copy of James Potter after all; maybe there was some hope in this endless despair. Though the anger needed to be worked on, some things never changed.
"Mr Potter, I believe you have said what you came here to say. Enough."
Harry turned around and closed the door with a wave of his hand; his eyes once more had the glow around them that Severus had seen at the order meeting. Noticing that Harry was not far from losing his temper and possibly destroying the whole staircase, Severus took hold of Harry's upper arm and dragged him down that stairs and set about walking at a brisk place towards the Slytherin common room where he would have maximum security, something that right now Severus needed desperately.
"If you do not let me go in the net three seconds Severus you won't have a hand left and I assure you, Madam Pomfrey will not be able to get it back. Potions Master with only one hand doesn't quite work does it?"
They didn't make it to the common room as Severus pushed the mouthy boy into a empty classroom before binding him in place, voice low as he spoke "I would suggest Mr Potter that you quit this nonsense right now and quickly come to realise that if you don't you are going to lose yourself an ally in this little game"
"Listen to him little snake, you do not want to give Dumbledore any more of a reason to dislike you"
Taking a deep breath Harry slowly relaxed, reigning the anger in before he opens his eyes to look up at the Potions Master "apologies, my anger is something I have not yet mastered"
"So I can see" Severus replied dryly though he accepted the apology, his Lord had told him to keep an eye on the Potter boy and he wasn't going to fail him by acting as immature as the boy. "Now, I suggest you follow me to the common room so we can talk about this little matter in more privacy. I know Miss Farley wishes to hear of this as well as a few...others" Severus has thought it appropriate to let the new wave of followers know of his mission with the young boy, more eyes made it easier to track the boy.
Nodding his head Harry let Severus lead the way as he obediently followed, there was no doubt in his mind that the group would consist of Tom's new followers though he did send the question out to Tom just to make sure.
"Correct my Prince; Severus has been informed that you are of interest to me and that I wish for your movements to be tracked, for this he will employ the help of my coming followers. However this gives you the chance to slowly show them your power. Get them to respect you-"
"And then reveal who I am. Have them loyal to me before they know of me. And Severus...is he to know who I am?"
From the safety of his office Tom mulled this over before he sighed "Not yet, show your true self to him slowly. He will be under your power eventually and I want him to bow to you long before he knows he has no choice. Be wary little one. The castle has eyes everywhere and each wall listens, but she will come to your aid if she believes you are worthy. Do not mistreat the magic that is woven into her core, she is a friend and Dumbledore has her power caged in his wards. Show you are worthy are she will divert her eyes and ears"
Smiling he runs his hand over the castle wall as they descend into the dungeons. Harry already knows the way from exploring the castle from Tom's memory but he lets himself get led, letting himself feel the excitement of seeing the castle with his own eyes. Tom had once walked these very corridors and that thought put a soft smile on his lips. Tom's stories had been real after all.
Listening to the password Harry made a mental note before he walked down the passageway as he tries to hide the look of glee on his face, he could practically feel Tom's curiosity to see if the room had changed at all after all the years before he heard the laugh of glee when the room finally came to view.
"She hasn't changed"
The room itself was strangely beautiful, with a slight erethral quality to it Harry could see why many would feel like the room was cold and an unwelcoming place to be, but Harry could see otherwise. The chairs ranged from low backed black and dark green leather sofa's to earth green and ornate grand chairs with cushions that were plush and welcoming. The far end of the common room held what at first glance appeared to be glass that showed a clear view out into the lake; it was only when Harry got closer did he release that it was a sheet of ice that held the water back. Tom quietly explained that while there was magic in place to keep the water back, the ice had been an addition in his early school life when one Slytherin had fallen through into the water and then found that he was unable to get back through due to the magic in place.
Shaking his head at such idiocy Harry broke from his daze before turning his head to regard the sitting group of elder Slytherin students. Moving forward Harry sat on one of the free chairs, not looking up as he allowed himself time to compose his thoughts and get his nerves under control. This meeting would either sow the seeds that would lead to unbreaking loyalty, or make them believe his was a young boy trying to be an adult in a dangerous war.
Looking up he gives the sitting group a slight smirk, mischief and magic clear within his eyes as he speaks up.
"I'm not the boy you think I am so...who's fist?"