Disclaimer: As much as I hate to admit it, I do not own Severus Snape. Nor do I own Harry or any of the others, but I'm okay with admitting that.
A/N: To anyone also reading "Uncle Severus," I apologize for the huge delay in getting the next chapter up. I am still working on it, but there is some important information I needed to convey in the first part of the chapter and I am having a hard time rewriting it. I am hoping to get the file soon, but it is proving difficult.
The idea for this story came to me randomly. I hope you enjoy it! Any recognizable phrases are not mine.
Harry looked around at his fellow Gryffindors. They all looked as nervous as he felt. The Slytherins, however, all had blank expressions on their faces, just as he did. Although he had not been sorted into Slytherin, the Dursleys had ensured that he had their survival skills—including hiding one's emotions.
Hagrid had told him that both his parents had been in Gryffindor, so he had requested for the hat to place him in Gryffindor. The hat, understanding his reasoning, had done so, but not before attempting to convince him that it would better for him to be in Slytherin. Harry had stood firm, however—it was expected that he would be in Gryffindor, and he could not yet afford to go against those expectations. He would have to work from within the house of Lions to find those who would be his allies.
Despite his experiences, Harry had his mother's personality. He forgave most offenses easily, sought to understand others and see the good in them, and loved completely and unconditionally. His experiences had taught him to be cautious, to keep his true emotions hidden, and many other things that would aid him in surviving. All in all, he was a Slytherin with the heart of a Lion, but because he could not afford to stir up trouble quite yet, he was stuck in the Lions' den...
Harry's thoughts were interrupted by a loud BANG!, the sound of the door being thrown against the wall. He watched as the professor stalked to the front of the room, his robes flapping behind him like bat wings, and listened carefully as he made his beginning-of-year speech, taking in and memorizing every word. Fred and George Weasley, two Gryffindors a few years ahead of him, had told him about this particular professor during the welcoming feast, and they way he welcomed new students.
Then the professor began roll call, pausing as he reached Harry's name. "Harry Potter, our new…celebrity." Although he spoke with disdain, Harry knew well enough that it was impossible for the professor to know enough about him to hate him. He would just have to show the professor that he wasn't…whatever the man thought about him.
He probably thinks I'm spoiled, Harry thought to himself. Perhaps he also thinks that because I'm famous in the wizarding world, I expect everything to be handed to me on a silver platter. Well, I'll just have to prove him wrong.
"Tell me," Severus continued, interrupting Harry's thoughts again, "what would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?"
Harry took a deep breath. With the Dursleys, it was always better to keep his knowledge to himself and his mouth shut. But the Dursleys aren't here, he reminded himself and then responded, "Asphodel and wormwood create a sleeping potion so powerful, it is known as Draught of Living Death."
A look of surprise flashed briefly in Severus' eyes, but only Harry seemed to have noticed it. Severus had noted the boy's hesitancy and wondered at it, but pushed the thought aside in favor of seeing if he could still humiliate the brat. "Where would you go if I asked you to find me a bezoar?"
Harry again hesitated, unsure if he had answered correctly. "A bezoar is found in the stomach of a goat and will save you from most poisons."
Severus frowned. The boy had clearly studied ahead. Well, he would try one last question. "What is the difference between monkshood and wolfsbane?"
Harry answered promptly, but with the same undertone of nervous anxiety that only Severus noticed, "Monkshood and wolfsbane are the same plant, which also goes by the name of aconite."
Severus' frown deepened, before he snapped at the rest of the class, "Why aren't you all copying down Mr. Potter's answers?" There was a rustling of paper as students scrambled to write down the answers. Harry ducked his head and smiled to himself, proud that he'd gotten the answers right, as he also wrote them down. He knew that, as he was in Gryffindor, he could not expect more acknowledgement than was given and was actually quite relieved that he had not been scolded for doing well.
Severus watched Harry with a puzzled frown. The smile on the boys' face was a mixture of relief, joy, and pride, but it was not boastful or haughty. He also did not look around at his classmates to boast or to seek their praise for answering the questions correctly. In fact, he currently had his head bent, writing the answers, as if he were trying to hide his smile. The boy was certainly a puzzle, but if the Dark Lord returned, as the headmaster feared he would, he would need to spy again. Therefore, it was imperative that he continue to treat the boy as if he hated him. His view of Harry had been altered, yes, but he still didn't like the boy, so it would not be difficult. He was probably spoiled at home.
Harry, having felt Severus' eyes on him, chose that moment to look up at his professor, as he had just completed writing the answers, and gave his teacher a small, tentative smile, then glanced back down at his notes to check that the ink had dried. The action further served to perplex Severus, so he did what he always did when he was frustrated and couldn't take the time to puzzle something out. He snarled and snapped and was generally unpleasant to anyone in the vicinity.
The students quickly and quietly got to work on their potions. Because Neville was sitting beside Harry, he avoided causing any accidents and making any mistakes with his potion, as Harry whispered quiet encouragement and corrections to him. Severus, who's ears picked up even the quietest noise (a skilled learned from his spying days), was impressed by the gentle manner in which Harry spoke to his classmate. The boy's tone was not condescending or haughty, merely encouraging and instructional.
Ten minutes before the bell rang to indicate the end of class, Severus instructed the students to bottle their potions, label them, and then place them on his desk. As the other students scrambled to leave the classroom when the bell rang, Harry packed up at a normal pace as he quietly spoke to Neville. It was apparent that they would be good friends.
Severus watched them closely as they left the room, glad that he had only to endure dinner in the Great Hall and then his time would be his own. He sat down to grade seventh-year essays to take his mind off the puzzling boy who seemed to be so much like his mother, even though he looked so much like his father.
A/N: So, what'd you think so far? Also, I'm not a fan of the title, so if you think of a better one, please let me know! Thanks for reading! Please review and let me know what you thought!
Next chapter, we explore what Harry's life has been like with the Dursleys.