Emerald eyes took hurried glances around the room.
Finding and memorizing the exits and potential hiding places was a habit, and would be very difficult to break away from.
Normal people didn't do this, he knew. If someone noticed and got suspicious, it could mean life or death- most likely death.
His back was throbbing and his behind wasn't much better. The fresh cuts and bruises from his last punishment were aggravated with each step he took. It wouldn't be long before he collapsed from the pain.
But he was good with pain; that he knew for a fact. He had received a good dose of pain each day since he was at least three. That was when he accidentally knocked off Aunt Petunia's vase from its perch while sweeping. That was the day he received a beating for the first time. And since then it was a daily occurrence.
Either he burnt the bacon, missed a spot, didn't vacuum correctly, didn't weed the garden, or was just a nuisance. Every. Day.
He blinked his eyes once, then twice, clearing his head of all thoughts. It would only get worse if he continued thinking down that path.
'Focus on your steps; one foot in front of the other,' he told himself.
Following the crowd of first years wasn't that hard, it was more of the noise factor. Noise had always bothered him. If he had to choose between having friends and being able to socialize for all hours of the day, and sit in a corner reading a good book, he would choose the book. Not that he didn't want friends. It just wasn't possible, and he knew that.
But the hurried whispers were really aggravating him. And the red head that seemed to be glued to his side wasn't helping at all either.
"So what house do you think you'll be sorted into?" Ronald whisper-yelled.
He shrugged his shoulders and ran his hand through his messy hair.
"Don't talk a lot do you? Well don't worry! I can talk enough for the both of us."
Merlin, this kid was getting annoying. Like a sign from the heavens, Ronald quieted completely along with the rest of the crowd. A man in sparkling blue robes stood and clapped his hands once. The sound reverberated across the room like a gunshot, but seemed to do the trick in quieting the rowdy children.
A woman standing atop the raised platform nodded her head in acknowledgment to the man, and un-pursed her lips.
"Welcome to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You will now be sorted into your houses, and enjoy your first feast as students. Please remain quiet, until all are sorted and announcements are made."
She looked around the room once more, before setting a stool with a ratty hat on top of it onto the platform.
"When I call your name, you will place this hat upon your head, and be sorted into your respected houses. Please take a seat with your house immediately in order to keep the ceremony as short as possible."
'This shall be interesting,' he thought to himself. 'Magic is obviously being used here, but nothing I have read up on so far.'
And he truthfully hadn't read much. He had gotten through his first year books once, and was beginning a review of the first couple chapters in case there was a quiz in the beginning of one of his classes. His favorite subjects seemed to be Defense Against the Dark Arts and Potions.
His musings seemed to take longer than he expected, because when the name "Potter, Harry" was called out, it startled him greatly. He would never show it however, and walked slowly and carefully to the stool. The hall was deadly silent, and Ronald seemed to be gaping at him like a fish from the Gryffindor table.
His behind smarted when he sat down, but the muscles eventually relaxed once more as he slowly put the hat down on his head.
"Ah, Mr. Potter. I was wondering when I would see the likes of you. A brain like your mother's, I see? But a thirst to prove yourself, to show that you are not worthless."
His eyes widened in shock and his hands clenched around the edges of the stool.
"H-how do you know about that?"
"I can see everything that you have seen Mr. Potter. I can see the brutal beatings and suppressed memories."
"Please, you can't tell anyone. They will think I am weak."
"You are far from weak, my child. You have barely touched the surface on the true power that you hold."
"What do you mean? True power?"
"Yes, but I can not give you the details now. I must give you a home, a family. I must give you brothers and sisters that will care and protect you. That won't judge you for your abilities."
"Please, just put me somewhere I will fit in. Somewhere where I can be Harry. Just Harry."
"Your wish is my command. I will expect great things from you Mr. Potter. The world can expect great things from you. Don't suppress everything for long, or it will devour you from the inside out. The best place for you is…SLYTHERIN!"
The last word was shouted to the hall. A deadly silence overtook the space, and he gulped. Looking towards the head table, all the teachers were in complete shock. His breathing increased, and tears prickled his eyes, but he stood up proudly and walked to his table. However, that façade didn't hold when a student at a nearby table whispered the distinct word, "Traitor."
His shoulders sagged and he increased his pace to the table with his head bowed. The room stayed silent, until the Professor continued the sorting in a tight voice.
The students of Slytherin stared at Harry as if he was an animal in a zoo. He found an empty seat at the end of the table and collapsed with his head against his arms. He felt a jab in his side, which aggravated one of his broken ribs, and looked up quickly.
"Yes?" He whispered. He swallowed back the lump in his throat that made his voice heavier and hollow.
"I'm Draco Malfoy," the boy said. His blonde hair was slicked back, and he had a sleek, handsome face.
"I'm Harry Potter," he blinked in surprise at the return in salutations and smirked.
"I know, everyone knows who you are." He blushed and tried to sink into the ground.
The boy chuckled and looked to his friends whom were also laughing.
"Welcome to Slytherin."
He smiled slightly and whispered a thank you before watching the rest of the ceremony. When everyone was sorted and seated, the man who clapped in the beginning, the headmaster, stood.
"Welcome to new and old students. For some, this year is the end; the end of your journey through adolescence and into adult-hood. For some this is the beginning; whether it be in the magical world, or your magical education. But everyone must have the same goal, to unite and to persevere. To break the connections that separate the houses, and become one. Please be aware to check all rules and regulations if in doubt, and to never enter the Forbidden Forest alone. Also, the third floor corridor is banned until further notice. I will leave you with these few words: bobble, wintral, and pip!"
Piles of food appeared on the plates in front of Harry. However, Harry's plate disappeared and reappeared as a bowl of beef broth and a side roll. He looked confused for a moment before looking at the head table. A man with black hair framing the sides of his face, and fingers laced beneath his chin was watching Harry intently; sometimes moving his eyes to another child with the same meal in front of them.
Others, like Draco, seemed to ignore the lack of plates in front of some and piled their plates with chicken, pork, steak, and various pies. Harry shrugged, and began eating. To be honest, he was famished and bordering starving. The last time he ate was two days ago, and he ended up throwing that up after his punishment of the night.
He shivered in remembrance and began slowly dipping his roll in the broth and eating. He almost finished the entire bowl, but his stomach couldn't hold anymore food. Maybe this is why he got a bowl of soup instead of an endless buffet; someone knew he wouldn't be able to handle it. But who? Who could know his secret?
"You okay, Harry?" Draco inquired. Draco's friends were also watching Harry questioningly, and he nodded to satisfy their curiosity.
"I'm just not that hungry, guys. No worries." He smiled slightly to quell their fears and laid his head onto the table. The pain had returned to his back, but his bottom seemed to be numb. He could feel warm trickles of blood begin to come out of the wounds and soak into his boxers. He took a breath and sat up straight, hissing softly in pain.
Draco and his friends were talking about mundane topics. A game called Quidditch seemed to be the topic of choice at the moment.
"Excuse me, but what is Quidditch?" Jaws dropping and wide eyes met that question.
His face turned hot and his shoulders slouched. "S-sorry. Just ignore me."
Draco's friend, Blaise Zabini, was the one that answered. "Quidditch is a game played on broomsticks. You have to try to get the quaffle into one of the three goal posts and earn points for your team. Beaters hit the bludgers at people trying to get the quaffle to stop them and give their team a chance to get it. Seekers are the most important in my opinion. They have to spot a golden snitch, which could be anywhere in the stadium! Whoever gets it first receives 150 points and then the winner is decided upon by the number of points you have."
His face cooled once more, and he nodded in thanks. Seemed a lot like what the muggles would call soccer, but just with broomsticks. Not that hard, really.
"Does the school have a team? It would be really cool to try-out." He inquired.
"Have you been living under a rock? Each house has a team that competes against the others. Anyone can try-out, but a first year hasn't made a house team in over thirty years!" Marcus Flint, a big boned boy in his third year, answered.
"Sorry for all the stupid questions, I wasn't really raised in the magical world." He rubbed the back of his head, mussing up his hair further.
"Not raised in the magical world? The great Harry Potter? Where in the bloody hell have you been living then?" Draco exclaimed.
"Well, if I haven't been living in the wizarding world, I've probably been living in the muggle world, haven't I?" Harry deadpanned.
"The muggle world? What was it like? Torture?" Draco leaned closer to him, almost examining him.
"Not the most amazing experience, I must say. If I had to choose between the two, I would pick the wizarding world any day."
"Wouldn't anyone, really?" Draco ended the conversation and moved onto a different topic with his other pals.
This one seemed to be centered around galas and balls and pure-blood parties as Draco liked to call it. He felt completely excluded, but he didn't mind. He didn't like the attention that was placed on him. It was too much noise and unwanted masks that he had to put up to seem normal.
He had many questions to ask, but didn't want to be ridiculed in front of the entire house. Hopefully he would get the chance to read up on them soon, or ask his dorm mates. Most centered around why blood purity was so valued in this world. Others were just questions about classes and teachers.
He was startled out of his reverie by a tinkling bell sounding from the head table, and the almost instantaneous movement of the benches the students were perched on. They moved about a foot away from the table, and allowed the students to stand up. He noticed the others in his house forming into two perfect lines on either side of the table and began their march from the Great Hall.
The prefects lead the group to a staircase leading into the dungeons, and stopped. They allowed the older students to continue their descent into the bowels of the castle, and began introducing themselves.
"My name is Prefect Angelina McKinley. I am a sixth year and am open to any questions at anytime," her voice was soft and warm, and she wasn't all that bad looking. Her brunette hair seemed black in the shadows of the halls, and her robes fit her nicely. She glanced over to the boy next to her, and waved her hand forward for him to begin.
"My name is Prefect Theodore Sampson. I am also a sixth year and am in charge of the tutoring and study group program." He was tall and muscular, and some girls next to Harry were fawning over his looks. He had messy black hair and strong, prominent facial features.
Prefect Angelina decided to continue, "You have been sorted into the most proud and noble house in all of Hogwarts. You have fit the qualities of cunning, resourcefulness, and loyalty. You have been chosen to wear the emerald green and striking silver colors against your chest, for a lifetime. Once a Slytherin, always a Slytherin."
She gazed over the group of short, and awed children before her, and smiled.
"We will now escort you into the dungeons, where the house common rooms and dormitories are located. You are to tell no one where our quarters are held, or even hint at the password to anyone. Whoever does will be held on probation for the rest of the year. This will be later explained by our head of house, Professor Snape. When we enter you will remain quiet and sit at the study tables. Do not do anything else."
Theodore glared at the group. Leave it to him to have to be the bad guy of the two.
They began descending the stairs, and Harry couldn't help but think to himself how haunted-house-like this school was. He was forced to stop after walking for ten minutes, in front of a statue of a snake. The statue had emeralds as eyes, and he could hear a faint hissing sound coming from within.
"This is the entrance to the Slytherin common rooms. The password is, Boomslang Skin. Don't forget it." Angelina said the password and the wall next to the statue split and admitted the group.
The Slytherin common room was decorated in earth tones. A fireplace was the main focal point of the room, and around the fireplace were various cushions, coffee tables, arm chairs, and sofas. All were of beige or brown colors, with forest green and dark yellow pillows. Off to both the right and left sides were long tables, at least able to sit twenty-five people comfortably each, with huge book shelves behind them. Books were packed into the shelves from floor to ceiling, and plants and herbs were placed onto the tables for more color. All in all, it was a very comfortable setting.
The prefects lead the group over to the tables, and sat ten at each of the tables. Only two tables were needed, and each prefect sat at the head of one. Harry sat with the boys at Theodore's table, while all the girls sat at the other with Angelina. Theodore addressed his table before any chattering or whispering could start.
"Salazar Slytherin was a great potions master just after the time of Merlin. He was a pure-blood, and believed that all magical children should receive a proper education. His friends, Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, and Rowena Ravenclaw, believed that all children should have a chance to learn to use magic responsibly as well. Hence the beginning of Hogwarts. Each person created a house, which they named after themselves. Salazar wanted children who were pure-blood, noble, and worthy to learn magic. The others didn't agree with his views, and asked him to leave the school. This house is still here in his memory today."
Every boy in the room stayed silent and hung on every word Theodore said. Angelina seemed to finish her rendition as well because the girls were completely silent. As if on cue, a creak sounded from a door that suddenly appeared, and a black figure stepped out of the shadows. Black hair framed a strong, pointed face. High cheek bones, and a slightly pointed nose were the most notable features, but no one could miss the jet black eyes that seemed to bore into your soul, or the thin mouth that was pressed tightly together.
His black robes billowed around him and his black, hard-soled shoes was the only noise in the room. He stopped at the head of the tables, between the two prefects.
"Thank you, Miss McKinley, Mr. Sampson. You may return to your dormitories."
Both nodded and slinked out of the room with smirks on their faces.
Everything was quiet for an entire three minutes while Severus looked over the faces of his new snakes. All seemed small and awkward at the moment, but these children would be molded into perfect adults by the time they graduated. He was most surprised to see Harry Potter join the new group, and slightly infuriated. He would, however, ignore petty childhood grudges and treat him as he did the rest. The child was obviously here for a reason, and Snape would find out what it was if it was the last thing he did.
Severus noticed many of the children holding their breath in anticipation, and could almost smile. These children hadn't seen the darkness yet, or at least he hoped they hadn't. He wanted to preserve their innocence, and keep them away from the horrors they would face from the outside world. That was his main goal. Anything else he achieved was just a small reward.
Severus flicked his wand at one of the armchairs, and it came whizzing into place behind him. He slowly sat down, crossed his legs, and placed his hands in his lap.
"Welcome to Slytherin house. Unlike the other houses where the children are spoiled and have no other rules except the school's, Slytherin students are forced to earn respect and extra activities. Slytherin will be your home away from home, or for some a true family. If you have done something to earn praise, you will get it. If you have done something against the rules set in place by the school and myself, you will be punished."
Harry's eyes widened and he clenched his fists. This was going to be exactly like the Dursley's residence.
"School-wise, I only ask for you to try your hardest and work to the best of your abilities. Some teachers may be stricter towards Slytherin students, and not treat you as fairly as others. Don't react in a negative manner. You must show them that you are as worthy as the others. If you are having trouble in any classes, or are in need of extra help, please don't hesitate to contact me or any of the prefects in order to set up tutoring, or extra help. You will be sorted into a study group during the second week of term every year in order to help in the areas you may be struggling in most.
"If there are any conflicts within the hall of the castle, please notify a teacher or prefect immediately. Slytherins are also preyed upon more than other houses. Don't be afraid to ask for help from your fellow snakes. Any questions?"
A girl with short blonde hair raised her hand. The Professor called upon her and she stood up.
"Professor Snape, what subject do you teach?" The girl sat down and blushed when the other students looked at her. Harry really couldn't blame her for asking; everyone here was probably wondering which subject they were going to have to try their hardest in as well.
"I currently have taken the post of Potions Professor, but I also substitute for Defense Against the Dark Arts when the teacher is absent. Anymore?"
Everyone shook their head and Severus took that as a sign to continue.
"Like any family, there are house rules. The rules are relatively simple, and shouldn't be difficult to follow. The first and most important is that you never lie to me. I may call periodic meetings between study groups or certain people, and I expect honesty the entire time. The second is that if you are in need of help, you ask for it. Don't try to do something yourself or solve a problem if you don't know for a fact that you are correct. If you need guidance, ask your friends or older housemates for help. Third, if you are feeling sick or unwell, you will alert me or a housemate immediately. If you alert a housemate I would like that person to get me or an older student immediately.
"For first years, it is a more difficult transition into house life. You are changing- mentally and physically -, unsure, and for many of you this is the first time leaving your families for long periods of time. My door is always open if you need to talk or are in need of something. Now, if you break the rules there will be punishments. For the first time you do something, you may receive detention with me, or a grounding. This depends on the rule you have broken. The second time you will either have an early bedtime, long-term grounding, or another punishment of my choice."
Everyone nodded in understanding, and Harry relaxed. None of the punishments were beatings or other harsher forms of punishment. He would live by those rules and not go against them if it was the last thing he did.
"Every year, each student of Slytherin house is expected to get a medical exam. You have until the end of the week to report to my office, or you will be taken to the infirmary by force."
Harry couldn't breathe. This couldn't be happening. He prayed his injuries would be healed or that some sort of magical god would take pity on him and make him heal completely. He swallowed the lump in his throat and closed his eyes as they prickled with tears. His life was just getting better, but now he was going to die. Surely he would. His aunt and uncle would be informed and they would remove him from the school and kill him on the spot. Then they would say it was some freak accident, and he would never know magic or have friends or a real family.
Little did he know that the Professor was keeping an extra special eye on Harry. Every year he charmed the cutlery and plates to change according to what person was sitting at the table. If the child was sick, not feeling well, or just plain unhealthy the dished would change into what would best suit that child. He had not been surprised to see some of the former death eaters children's plates turn into soup, but for a couple of his new first years was a problem. If Harry was anything like his mother, and Severus' ex-best friend Lily, he would be too stubborn or ashamed to admit defeat in that way.
Severus would keep an eye on the boy, and make sure no harm came to him. That was the last promise he ever made to Lily, and he didn't expect to break it anytime soon.
Severus continued, "First year's curfew is nine o' clock. If you are not in the common room at that time, you will be searched for. You must be in bed and lights out by ten thirty. Older years have slightly longer curfews and bed times because their load of homework is greater. Before going to bed you will be expected to have completed and gotten your homework checked by your study group leader. This will be one of the older year's students, most likely a second or third year.
"It is nearing nine thirty, and I expect you to be unpacked and lights out by ten thirty. Breakfast is served in the Great Hall until eight. Have a good night, and welcome once again to Slytherin."
The Professor exited the room, and the doors to the dorms opened. Angelina stepped out of the one on the right, and Theodore stepped out of the one on the left. They motioned for the first years to come over to them and lead them to their respective dorms.
Harry was silent for the rest of the night, and said a soft good night to the other boys in his dorm after he was done unpacking. He still didn't know what he was going to do about his injuries, but he knew for a fact that he couldn't show them to the nurse or the Professor.
That night his dreams were plagued with images and scenes of his uncle beating him, as well as other forms of abuse he would rather just forget.
Disclaimer: Don't own anything.
This is a re-continuation of xxcassxxcullenxx's story The Broken Child. This is my new account, the other was completely bogged down with story alerts, and this one is a lot more organized and will be my main account for my duration on fanfiction.
This story is also posted on Potions and Snitches, a Harry Potter and Severus Snape forum dedicated to non-slash relationships. This means no romance whatsoever, just father-son or professor/mentor Snape fics.
This is the first fic that I am transferring to this permanent account. I recently discovered the information to an account I held years ago but forgot about, so you will be seeing a lot more edited, plot specific stories popping up soon from the Twilight, Harry Potter, and Teen Wolf Communities.
Updates for this story will currently be spaced at one and a half to two week intervals. Editing and perfecting the plot to my stories is my current focus, as well as school. Please be patient and expect sometimes sporadic updates!
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