Disclaimer: I don't, and never will, own Harry Potter. All plots and characters belong to J.K. Rowling and company.
(9) New Boy
After the emotional turmoil of the trials, and further dissociation from the Potter family, the young boy's looks changed even quicker than anyone had previously thought. Just a couple of days after the trial of Dumbledore, the weekend before the winter break was over, there was nothing left of Harry Potter. Only Alexander Snape remained.
The young wizard stared at his reflection in the bathroom mirror... where a stranger was staring back at him.
Where there was once a head of short messy black hair, there was now long, straight, silky hair that laid flat and to his shoulders. The boy pulled his hair back into a low pony tail at the nape of his neck and examined his face. His cheekbones were more prominent as was his chin. He had the look of an aristocratic pure blooded wizard. That could work in his favor... Alex blushed at that thought crossing his mind.
Shaking his head, he continued his examination. He had grown a couple more inches and was thankful that he had thought to have growth charms added to his clothes the last time he went shopping. His fingers were longer and thinner and felt more natural to him.
Actually, when he thought about it, everything felt more natural to him. He supposed he was in the wrong skin before, but it was odd to have this feeling of release when he looked like a stranger.
A knock on his door startled Alex from his thoughts. He moved to open it and saw his brother standing looking slightly uncomfortable.
"We have visitors," the older Snape brother said before the younger could ask.
"Malfoys" his brother answered with a sneer.
"I thought you said they weren't so bad?" Alex said confused. He was excited to finally be meeting his godparents.
"They're not. But they brought Lucius, Narcissa and Draco with them."
Alex's jaw dropped open. He snapped it shut with a click after a moment, "Do they know?" Do they know I was a Potter? Do they know I'm your brother?
"I don't believe so. As you know the Potters were able to keep their involvement from the papers by some miracle, so it is not a widely known fact. How they managed that, especially with James going to Azkaban, I'll never know. Dumbledore's known to be involved in something, but no one is really sure of the details."
"It will get out sooner or later," Alex said. Then he got an evil smirk on his face, "I'm sure we could make it sooner with an anonymous tip or two."
"Considering Dumbledore was attempting to manipulate the students into becoming dark and starting another war... maybe we should. Anonymously," Severus smirked before letting out a low chuckle. Alex turned back to his mirror and look himself over.
He looked at the casual robes he was wearing and deciding that for meeting his godparents and being before the other Malfoys, he needed something nicer. The youngest Snape moved to his wardrobe and pulled out a nice set of royal blue robes. Under them, he decided to wear a white silk shirt and black slacks. Dragon hide boots completed the look. He changed quickly, then, with a nod at his brother, they headed out of the bedroom and to the main hall.
The first thing Alex noted was a sea of white blonde hair. He groaned inwardly at the sight of Draco Malfoy standing with his nose stuck in the hair.
He never did like the ponce. He did get along with quite a few Slytherins, but the Prince was never one of them. He was always too good to spend time with a Potter, which honestly Alex was happy about. It only annoyed him because the other boy made trouble for those he was friendly with.
Tobias turned and smiled approvingly at his sons walking down the stairs. He beckoned his youngest forward and stood behind him, placing a hand on each of the boy's shoulders.
They stood facing two older blondes who had kind eyes. "Abraxus, Ellandra. I'd like you to meet your godson, Alexander Hadrian Snape."
Alex couldn't help but smile as he was introduced. He put a hand out in greeting and shook Abraxus' offered hand, then kissed the knuckles on Ellandra's. "It's a pleasure," he greeted softly.
Suddenly he was pulled into a hug and fought the instinct to stiffen, still unused to physical affection. "Oh my dear boy!" came Ellandra's voice in his ear. "I am so happy you have been found." She pulled away and examined him, holding his hands in her own. "You are far too skinny, child!" She looked around when she heard a snort. "You as well, Severus. Don't think I didn't notice you hiding back there."
"It's a Snape thing," said Tobias' voice amused.
"Let the boy go, Ellandra," Abraxus said good naturedly. "Let's learn about him!"
Suddenly all eyes were on Alex and he didn't like it. He glanced at the other Malfoy's and raised a brow at Draco's sneering face.
Ellandra seemed to realize the faux pas and quickly introduced everyone, "I'm terribly sorry! We were so excited about meeting you. Alexander, this is my son Lucius, his wife Narcissa, and my grandson Draco."
The woman either didn't notice or was used to her grandson's attitude.
Alexander bowed to each in greeting.
Just then Tibby popped in to announce that lunch was ready in the dining hall and the group headed in.
Dinner was an exciting affair for most of the family, thought quite stressful for Alex. They all asked how school was and what his favorite subjects were.
It wasn't until he mentioned Hogwarts that the Malfoys got really curious.
"So you were at Hogwarts all this time?" Abraxus asked, in interest.
"Yes, sir, I was."
The man turned to Severus, "The boy looks so much like you and your father, yet you didn't even realize he was there? How blind could you-"
"Leave him be," Alex cut the man off. "You don't know the full story." He blushed as he realized how rude he had been, but Abraxus simply rose an eyebrow and beckoned him to continue. "I was under an illegal blood adoption. Turns out the people who kidnapped me, adopted me, even though they never wanted me. They kept my heritage from me, but I took the ancestry potion, against their express demands mind you. That is how I found out who I really was."
Ellandra and Abraxus looked shocked, while Draco looked contemplative. Severus and Alexander exchanged looks, knowing the young blonde would figure it out.
Sure enough, only moments later the blonde looked at the younger Snape with malice in his eyes, "Ah! Perfect Po-"
"Potter," Alex cut off, stealing the boy's thunder on purpose. He smirked at the angry blonde before turning his attention to the group. "Apparently Dumbledore told them that the Snapes were a dark family and a child needed to be taken from them to be raised by the light. For some 'greater good' that he babbled about. They didn't believe it but listened to the old man anyway."
"So, that is why the Potters have not been seen at the usual holiday events," said Narcissa softly. Alex nodded his head and returned his attention to his dinner. "What happened?"
Over the next hour, the three Snapes explained to the Malfoy family what happened at the trials. Lucius and Narcissa seemed annoyed at Dumbledore' meddling and want of a new war.
"While I still believe my ways," Lucius began, and others knew he thought muggleborn were filth, "I don't believe war is the answer. We lost too many pureblood families in the last one. Should there really be another, so soon, we would surely die out completely."
When dinner was finished, they bid farewell to one another. As the Malfoy family was preparing to leave, Draco came up to him. "Just because your face changed, doesn't mean you are a true Snape," the boy sneered. He looked Alex up and down, as if inspecting him.
"It's not because my face changed," he replied in kind. "It's because my blood changed. Because my magic changed. Why do you think I've always been so good at Potions?" he smirked at the surprised on the boy's face. The blonde probably expected the boy to cower and hide. After all, that's what 'Harry Potter' would have done after all. "It's because I'm accepted. I don't need your approval to be a Snape. I only need the approval of my father and my brother."
Alex watched on amused as Draco's cheeks tinged pink. They then became darker as another voice entered, "He is a Snape." said Severus. "He is my brother and I am proud to call him so." He stepped up and put a hand on Alex's shoulder, then turned his glare on the young Malfoy, "If I ever hear you speak to him in such a way again, you will regret it. Do I make myself clear?"
The pink disappeared as the blonde paled drastically. "Yes, sir," he whispered before scampering from the room.
The two brothers followed out, just as Draco began to complain to his father. Tobias had witnessed the whole conversation and followed behind his boys. "I suggest, Lucius," grey eyes met black, "that you teach your son to respect other pureblood families. Otherwise he will not be welcome in this home anymore. And neither will you." Without waiting for a response, he turned to the other Malfoys and bade them farewell.
Abraxus and Ellandra planned to visit Tobias weekly and told Alex that they expected weekly letters from him. The young wizard smiled happily, glad to have someone caring about him... finally.
When Alex returned to Hogwarts, it was under his new name. The fact that there was a young Snape on board quickly spread through the Hogwarts Express and by the time the train arrived at the school everyone knew. The only uncertain thing in the rumor was whether he was the son or brother of Professor Snape. No one seemed to connect 'Alex' with 'Harry'. Possibly because of the pitch black owl that was with him, when everyone knew that Harry's owl was snow white.
Soon as they entered the hall, he sought out his Head of House and requested a resort.
"I am sad to see you go Har... erm... sorry. Alex," the boy didn't believe her at all. She had never supported him throughout his four years. He figured she would miss have two Potters in her House.
"I never should have been in Gryffindor, Ma'am," he said respectfully, even though inside he was seething. "I went there in an attempt to make my adoptive family proud of me. I should have known that was not possible, but I still hoped. Now I would like to go to my proper place."
"Of course. Towards the end of dinner, I will make the announcement. I need to go and get the Sorting Hat."
"Of course. Thank you Ma'am," he replied before returning to his table.
"So you're slimy Snape's kid then?" Came a voice as he walked past the table. He looked to see a redhead and knew it was Ronald Weasley. The Gryffindor Draco Malfoy.
He paused in his step and glanced up at his brother who was talking to Flitwick. The man had a rare smile on his face.
Alex had a smile of his own and he continued walking, sitting down beside Ginny.
He got odd looks, being the strange new boy sitting next to Harry Potter's best friend. It wasn't long before people realized that he was there, but the other boy wasn't. Throughout dinner, students made snide comments about him and his family. They didn't know his family and he refused to even give a response to some of the ridiculousness that was spouting from their mouths. Heck, they didn't even know who he was!
The only time he did speak up was when Ronald started bothering Ginny, "What are you doing with the slimy snake, Gin? He'll make you go dark. Stay away from him if you know what's good for you!"
"What's good for me?" Ginny has spoken up disbelievingly. "Where were you when we were growing up? Whenever Potter came by, which was often, I was on my own." She looked at Henry, "I don't blame you, no worries." She returned her piercing blue eyes on her brother. "Alex was always there for me though. So I know what's good for me."
That outburst drew the attention of the hall and more people began studying Alex more intently. It didn't take long before 'Harry Potter' and 'Alex Snape' were heard in the same sentence.
The youngest Weasley boy stood and stalked over to where Alex and Ginny were sitting. He grabbed his sister by the arm and tried to pull her from her seat, "Get away I said," he growled.
Alex stood and pulled Ronald's hand from his friend's arm. He could already see the red handprint turning into a bruise from the boy's grip. "Yes, protect your sister by causing her harm. Brilliant Weasley."
At that point, the twins stood and dragged their younger brother from the hall, having been too shocked to do anything previously.
"You okay?" he asked his best friend.
"Yeah, Alex," she said softly, blinking tears from her eyes.
"After dinner, go see Severus or Madame Pomfrey for some salve for your arm."
At the end of dinner, the Headmaster stood to give his announcements, "Before our announcements, we have a student who would like to be resorted. Harry Potter, please come forward."
Alex remained sitting, refusing to reply to the false name. He looked at his brother, Severus, who was glaring daggers at the old man.
Professor McGonagall stepped forward with the Sorting Hat in hand as the old man tried calling the name again.
Surprisingly it was Henry who stood up. "For all that is magical, Headmaster, his name is Alexander Snape! And you have known that for longer than anyone else, so use the right one!" He turned to Alex, "I have known since your second year. They made me take secrecy vows so I couldn't tell you. I'm sorry."
"Thank you, Henry," he said honestly.
Henry returned to his seat and the Hall watched on, waiting for the next drama. "Fine then, Alexander Hadrian Snape, step forth." Dumbledore grumbled out.
At his full name, Alex stood and headed to the Gryffindor Head of House. He was surprised at the multitude of gasps and whispers that began at the mention of his full name. He caught a couple of people say 'the missing Snape child?' and it made sense. It was such a controversy in their parents' time of course they would know something about it.
Professor McGonagall put the hat on his head and a familiar voice echoed through his mind. "I told you that you would be back, did I not? I also now know why you were so different from any other Potter. Not a Potter, are you? Not a Potter, but a Snape."
"I do wish I had listened to you, but who knows where I would be now if things had been different. What if I was in Ravenclaw and Ginny hadn't been in class with me when I went running? I would not be here, now would I?"
"Everything happens for a reason, Mr. Snape. Now let's get you sorted." There was a pause in the voice as the Hat searched through his mind, "Surprisingly I can even find a bit of Hufflepuff loyalty within you now, you didn't have that so much last time."
"No one to be loyal to, was there?"
"I suppose not. You are still cunning, though being within Gryffindor has muted that some." The hat said with some amusement. "I believe I know where to put you. Somewhere you will flourish, but not be in anyone's shadow. Your intelligence will be respected and admired. Yes, Mr. Snape. There is only one place for you to go..."
Alex smiled and took the hat from his head, and handed it over to the Professor. Before she could walk away with the hat, a female voice echoed through the hall.
"I request a resort!" yelled Ginny. All of the Gryffindor stared at her surprised, but she ignored them and walked with her head held high.
The hat seemed to have a hard time sorting her. Eventually, it yelled out Hufflepuff, shocking Alex.
The two sat together at the Ravenclaw table, greeting everyone there. Once Dumbledore started his announcements, though, Alex had to ask.
"Alright, why did the hat take so long? Did it want you to stay in Gryffindor?" Ginny snorted, then looked at his face and broke out in laughter. "What?"
Ginnyis laughter tapered off slowly. "No!" she giggled. "I'm not a Gryffindor!" She leaned in close and whispered, "The hat was fighting with Slytherin or Hufflepuff."
Alex was silent for a moment, brows drawn in though. Suddenly his black owl came flying into the hall, landing on Ginny's shoulder. It nipped her ear lightly, making her jump in surprise. He turned to the owl and raised a brow, but the owl just rubbed its head against his friend's face.
He looked over at his best friend, a smile lighting his face, "Yeah I can see that." Ginny smiled at him, but blushed a bit. They continued chatting until they were dismissed for bed.
"Onto a new life," he whispered as they stood from the table.
"A better life," Ginny said and smiled.
A/N: So... in case you don't get it... when the owl flies to Ginny, it's her loyalty that makes Harry/Alex say 'I can see that'. I always believed Ginny would do well as a cunning Slytherin, but for the sake of my tale, she is more loyal than anything.
And that's it! Thank you for all the reviewers that have stuck with the story. Thank you to everyone who added it as a favorite as well! It is such a great feeling to know someone likes what I am posting. Thank you also to LilyFlower5 for posting her challenge. I greatly enjoyed writing this tale.
There may or may not be a sequel... unsure just yet. lol