Good morning (sort of)!
This is the sequel to Glimpses, which I do recommend you read before this one. However, read on, I guess, if that's just how you roll. ;)
Expect longer-spaced updates until summer. Finals are upon me and I don't have much free time.
Wait. Also, I don't own Harry Potter.
And one more thing, I normally don't go back in time in my stories. I did it once in Glimpses because I felt it was necessary/important to story. However, as you know, Glimpses ended with Harry's train ride and sorting. I do want to go back and recount what led up to that, and perhaps a more in-depth account of what happened. So, this is going to begin before Glimpses ended. Whoa. Mind blown.
And on THAT note, enjoy! :)
About a Boy – Chapter 1
Aunt Petunia's shrieks echoed through ten-year-old Harry Potter's bedroom door. The sharp rapping of her bony fingers against the wood grew steadily louder as Harry pushed the blanket off his thin body and peered hazily around the room in search of his glasses. He pushed past the disappointment of waking up once again in his relatives' home and slipped his glasses up over the bridge of his nose.
But as he was crawling toward the door of his cupboard, his aunt's shrieks were beginning to sound more and more like squawks and the rapping on his door was growing steadily louder and more annoying.
Harry jumped out of his bed, breathing heavily as he recovered from the dream. It wasn't anything new – how many times did he constantly dream that Snape had sent him back? That he was unwanted once again?
The sharp rapping caught his attention again, and he looked around in interest as he found the source: a tawny owl laden with a thick envelope was tapping against the glass of his window with its beak.
Harry ran over and opened the window, eagerly unfastening the letter from the owl's foot as he ran his fingers absently through the feathers of the bird. He tore open the envelope, his excitement mounting as he recognized the Hogwarts emblem on the wax seal.
The envelope contained two pieces of thick parchment: one congratulating him on his acceptance to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and one listing the supplies he would need for the coming school year.
Clutching the letter firmly in his thin hand, Harry dashed from his bedroom and through the kitchen. He skidded to a halt in the dining room, holding up the slightly crumpled pieces of parchment toward a politely intrigued Severus Snape.
"Harry?" Snape questioned in a low voice, raising one eyebrow in inquiry as he lowered his copy of the Daily Prophet.
"Dad, look!" Harry thrust the papers across the table toward the man. "I got my Hogwarts letter!"
Snape's lips curled up into a genuine smile as he reached over to scan the letter. "Congratulations, Harry. We will have to organize a trip down to Diagon Alley in order to pick up your supplies." There was a slight pause before the man added, "Would you like breakfast?"
The boy slid into a seat. "Yes, please."
As the steaming eggs and sausage appeared on a plate in front of him, Harry began firing off questions, barely pausing long enough to receive answers from a highly amused Potions Master.
"Harry, calm down," Snape murmured, smirking as the boy led him by the hand through the Leaky Cauldron and into Diagon Alley. He pulled out his wand and tapped the bricks crisply, standing back to let the wall rearrange itself into a doorway. Harry stopped jumping momentarily to watch.
However, by the time there was a fully-formed archway leading into Diagon Alley, Harry was once again tugging impatiently on his hand and leading him toward the first store he saw: Flourish and Blotts.
"Mr. Potter!" Snape suddenly snapped, and Harry stiffened and stopped walking. He turned slowly to see the stern glare on Snape's face and his face fell as he realized the man was not joking. "For Merlin's sake, would you please get yourself together? This is school business."
Lucius' smooth voice came from the bookstore. "Oh, Severus. I didn't quite see you there. Don't revert to formalities just because I'm here."
Harry turned and looked closely at the blond man. He opened his mouth to say something but quickly closed it again.
Snape sighed. "Harry, this is Mr. Lucius Malfoy. I believe you remember him from our previous trip to Diagon Alley?"
Harry nodded silently, before muttering, "Good afternoon, Mr. Malfoy."
"Ah, good afternoon to you as well, Harry. I have someone I'd like you to meet." Lucius smiled broadly, showing off a perfect set of teeth. He pulled a blond boy from behind him. "This is Draco. He'll be starting Hogwarts with you this year."
"Hi," Harry greeted shyly, toeing the cobblestone below him feet with his trainers. "I'm Harry."
Draco gaped. "You're – Merlin's beard – Harry Potter. I'm talking to Harry Potter." Lucius lightly slapped him on the back of the head, slightly mussing his perfectly plastered platinum hair. Draco regained composure quickly. "I mean – hello, I'm Draco Malfoy. Pleasure to meet you." He extended a pale hand. Harry shook it. They smiled shyly at each other.
"Very well. Lucius, this was a pleasure, but I really must be off to buy Mr. Potter's school supplies. Harry, come along," Snape interrupted, walking through the door of the bookstore. Harry looked up and began to follow, looking back with a regretful smile.
"Uncle Severus!" Draco protested, but Lucius' pleasant voice overcame his son's.
"I believe we can linger around the store a bit longer. Besides, I'm sure Draco would enjoy the company?" He looked down at his son for confirmation; Draco nodded enthusiastically.
Snape hesitated before sighing in exasperation. "I suppose it's alright."
Draco bounded over to Harry excitedly and began chattering away. They slowly walked through the store as Snape and Lucius strode ahead to gather the required books. "What house are you going to be in? What broom do you have? Can you believe they won't let first years have them? What position do you suppose you'll be when you make the team? Will you try to make the team? What's your favorite subject? Do you like Potions? I do, but Father won't let me brew any because he says they're too dangerous. Does Uncle Severus let you brew? I bet he does, because he's a Potions Master and can keep you from blowing stuff up. You're so lucky."
Harry stopped in his tracks, surprised by the bombardment of questions. He wasn't prepared to answer any of them. Houses? Well, of course he knew what they were – Snape had seen to that – but he didn't have a particular preference for any of them. And brooms? Quidditch? What the hell was that? Subjects? What was even taught in a magic school? Potions. Ah, potions. That he could talk about.
"Yeah, Dad lets me brew them all the time. As long as he's there with me, of course. I blew one up once – no, I've blown up two – oh, I don't remember," Harry babbled, smiling at the memories. Well, most of them. Draco smiled but looked intensely jealous.
"Mr. Potter! For Merlin's sake, pick up the pace and bring me your class list!" came Snape's deep voice. Harry hurried over, pulling the creased parchment from his pocket and handing it to his father. "The Standard Book of Spells (Grade 1) by Miranda Goshawk, A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot, Magical Theory by Adalbert Waffling, A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration by Emeric Switch, One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore, Magical Draughts and Potions by Arsenius Jigger, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander, and The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection by Quentin Trimble. I only wish that fool wasn't teaching this year. Harry," he began again, raising his voice slightly from its lowered mumbling, "take Draco with you and find all of your books, excluding your potions text. I myself will provide that one. Off with you."
Harry and Draco scampered off, climbing up on ladders to get particularly hard-to-reach volumes, chatting all the time.
"Did you ever tell me what house you want to be in?"
Harry hesitated, then shook his head. "I don't really know. I mean, they all sound good. Dad was in Slytherin, but my real mum and dad were in Gryffindor. Ravenclaw wouldn't be so bad either, I guess. They're really smart."
Draco grinned. "As long as it's not Hufflepuff." He stuck his tongue out in mock disgust. "They're all the castoffs, really. That's what Father says, at least."
Harry's heart fell. "I bet that's where I'll be." Draco gave him a strange look. "Castoff. That's all I really am."
All the thoughts came rushing back. No. No. No. Never good enough. Not ever. Just wait until he sends you off. Freak. Castoff. Good-for-nothing brat. He sat down roughly, the wood of the bookshelf pressing uncomfortably into his back.
"Harry?" Draco looked concerned. "Why would you be in Hufflepuff? Why are you acting – are you okay?" He quickly ran off.
Look who else has abandoned you, Harry thought nastily.
Harry looked up swiftly to see Draco running back towards him, Snape and Lucius close on his heels. Snape fell to his knees in front of the curled-up child.
"Harry," he whispered urgently. The boy snapped for him to leave. Swallowing the pain that gripped his heart, Snape replied, "Harry, look at me. You are safe. I am here, and I will not leave. Not ever."
The boy looked up slowly, veiled hope shining in the tears swimming in his eyes. "Really?"
"Foolish child," Snape murmured. "How many times must I tell you? Yes, I really mean it. Of course I really mean it. You are my life now. Now, please do not cry. Do not waste your tears on such foolish occurrences."
Draco was hiding behind his father, peeking around the man's leg at the scene taking place before him. Lucius shifted awkwardly as Snape pulled Harry to his feet and wrapped him in a hug.
"What do you say we find your books?" Harry nodded and started off. He suddenly turned and sent a nervous glance toward his new friend, who joined him quietly.
"You're – uh – do you want to be in Slytherin with me? It's really cool and the animal is a snake and stuff," Draco stammered, the awkward silence splintering like ice.
Harry gave him a grateful, watery smile. "Yeah. I'd really like that."
Sooooo, I really don't know where that little drama came from. And I wanted to split this into two chapters just because of the drama that takes place in the first chapter, but then I didn't because they would be small as all hell.
Yes. Anyway, did you like the first chapter? :)