Chapter 1 - The Welcome.
Harry stood mesmerised in the Great Hall, his mouth slack as he gazed up at the starry ceiling. Professor McGonagall placed a four legged stool in front of the gathered first years and then put an old pointed wizards hat on top of it. Harry looked around confusedly as the hat sang the strangest song, about all the houses at Hogwarts. One by one, Professor McGonagall called his fellow first years forward and the hat cried out the name of the house they were to call their home for the next 7 years.
Finally, Harry's name was called and he stepped forward, the Great Hall suddenly seeming much quieter than before. Harry hoped it was just his imagination.
Hagrid had told him about his fame when he had taken him to Diagon Alley, he had been overwhelmed and so had hidden out on the train, in order to avoid pointed stares and uncomfortable questions, he didn't like attention. With a deep breath, Harry stepped forward and sat on the stool. The hat was placed on his head, which, due to his small stature came down almost to cover his eyes. Then the hat began talking presumably to itself. Harry didn't like the sound of it, by his reckoning the hat wouldn't put him anywhere! Panic began to set in as the seconds turned into minutes and still the hat had not made its decision. Harry peeked out at the students lining the hall, a few were looking concerned, a few confused, as the time rolled on, students began whispering to each other. Harry screwed his eyes shut against the threat of tears at the thought of having to return to the Dursleys and in a tiny voice, he begged the hat to place him anywhere, he didn't mind where, as long as it was somewhere.
"Well, well, well. In that case, the best place to put you then, would be… Slytherin!"
Harry blew out a shaky breath of relief, he could stay! He jumped off the stool and belatedly realised that nobody clapped as he walked over towards the Slytherin table. He was sure they had clapped for everyone else, even the other Slytherin first years. He looked around nervously as he took his seat and looked up at the Head Table, the Headmaster nodded slightly at Harry and then began to clap enthusiastically, the rest of the teachers quickly followed suit and eventually, the stunned students began to clap, confusion still plastered all over their faces.
"Everyone thought you'd be in Gryffindor, like your parents were." A blond haired boy sat next to him stated.
"Oh." Replied Harry. What else could he say to that?
Severus had difficulty keeping the surprise from his face. Harry Potter had been placed in Slytherin! In his House! He watched the boy sit down next to his godson in the silenced hall, his body oozing a nervousness he hadn't expected to see in the-boy-who-lived. As the feast began, Severus kept glancing over to where Potter and Draco sat. Potter's behaviour seemed…odd to say the least. He waited until everyone else began eating before he timidly reached out and grabbed a small amount of food, then ate it quickly as if it would disappear. He saw Draco shoot Potter an odd look, then gesture towards the ample pile of food on the table. Although Severus could not hear what was said, he did see the small raven haired boy smile sheepishly at Draco before reaching out once again and taking a little more food.
"Well, that was certainly a surprise, wouldn't you say, Severus?" Asked Minerva, drawing his attention away from the students.
"He's small for his age, probably the smallest student in the school." Minerva said, seemingly deep in thought.
The woman had a point, Severus had noticed the boys height, or lack thereof, as soon as he had entered the Hall. It was unusual, neither of his parents were short, James especially had been rather tall and well built, but the boy was small and scraggly and seemed very… timid. Severus mentally shook himself, he would not waste time thinking on the spoilt brat, he was probably just upset about being sorted into the house of the snakes, and he was probably just waiting for his growth spurt. Yes, that's all it was. Without further ado, Severus tucked into his food and smiled to himself as he thought of the rude awakening the brat would get when he realised Severus would not show him any favour for being famous.
Harry stepped into the Slytherin common room with the rest of his house and followed Draco to sit on the rug in front of a blazing fire, awaiting the arrival of their Head of House. They did not have to wait long. Professor Snape stalked into the room, his black robe billowing out behind him. He looked very intimidating, and someone who Harry definitely didn't want to get on the bad side of.
"Welcome to Slytherin!" Professor Snape began, his voice silky smooth.
"As first years, there will be much to get used to, however, you will be expected to learn quickly, as I do not tolerate rule-breaking, especially through ignorance. You all have a booklet on your beds containing the general school rules but also the rules of the House. I expect you to read it thoroughly and assimilate the information. I will stress some of the most important rules now. The most important thing to remember is this - your House is your home whilst at Hogwarts, your fellow Slytherins your family, and in Slytherin, we always look after our own. Help each other, and stick by each other. The other houses do not generally like us, so it is imperative that we stick together. One struggles, we all struggle, one succeeds, we all succeed. Understood?"
Harry nodded quickly along with the rest of the firsties, Professor Snape peered at them all for a few moments before continuing;
"Bedtime for first years is 9pm Sunday to Thursday, 10pm Friday and Saturday. You will be expected to keep your rooms tidy and make your own beds, I will conduct an inspection of your rooms every Friday, anyone who fails to keep good hygiene can expect to receive a loss of privileges at the weekend, and will spend Saturday mornings learning how to clean properly. There is plenty of storage for all your belongings, they will also be inspected, your trunk is your own, anything inside your trunk is considered private and personal and will not be subject to inspection. That does not mean you throw your belongings in it willy nilly to avoid having to tidy your things! You will listen to and obey the prefects, and you will also have monthly meetings with myself to speak about your progress and any concerns you have. Ensure you read the notice board daily," he pointed to the left and everyone's eyes followed it to where the notice board stood.
"Conduct yourselves with dignity at all times and do not bring the proud House of Slytherin into disgrace. That will be all for tonight, I'm sure you will want to unpack and get settled in. Good night my little snakes." With that, the Professor turned, making his robes billow impressively around him before gracefully striding over to the portrait and disappearing behind it.