AN: So sorry for the late update. I don't really have an excuse, other than the fact that I was playing league of legends. It takes time to come out with these chapters, and they're very draining on a mental level. It's still fun to write though, so I'll just keep them coming as fast as I can.
To Guest who wrote: "hey nice ploy but it's too much OOC for me to read the storty."
I'm guessing by ploy, (s)he meant plot, so I guess, thank you. As for the OOC, yes, this will be an AU fic, and yes, there will be OOC characters. Just putting that out there. The plot will still largely follow canon though, with the exception of the fact that Harry is a lot smarter and a lot more powerful.
To CuriousGuest, who interestingly enough is not a guest, who wrote: "I wonder how are you going to solve Harry's problem with Snape since Harry in the house of cunning can make a diffrence if the git causes troble."
Well, the Snape problem should be somewhat illustrated in this chapter, but keep in mind, in this fic, Harry was sorted into Slytherin and he doesn't have the last name Potter, which means that the only animosity that Snape should have with Harry is the way he looks, and his blood status.
To Kairan1979, who wrote "I don't see how Slytherin can be good for his future career, after all Harry Grey is a half-blood."
Considering how Tom Riddle was a half-blood Slytherin, and made incredible political and social connections through the house, I think that Slytherin values power, usually in the form of political or magical power. Therefore, purebloods with large political power are valued as well as those without political power with magical power.
ADDITIONALLY, PAIRING WISE: NOT SURE YET WHETHER HARRY/FLEUR OR SOME OTHER PAIRING THAT MAY OR MAY NOT INVOLVE FLEUR. While this is my fic, and ultimately, the final decision is mine to make, I would like to see your input on the final pairing of the story. Right now, nothing is set in stone.
Thank you for putting up with that rather long AN, now here's the story.
The head table of Hogwarts seated a diverse group of many of the most respected professors and researchers in all of England, hell in all of the world even, including one Quirinus Quirrel. The man's brilliance was only outshined by his quivering nature; indeed, he was one of the foremost experts on charms theory yet could barely speak to his students without throwing up. It was therefore no surprise to the Hogwarts staff that Quirrel returned that year more afraid than ever. They had been confused, after all, when he had chosen to go to Albania and take a year off from teaching, and when he got back, his request for the cursed Defense Against the Dark Arts position was even stranger. But they just chalked it up to the man's eccentricity, after all, a man that brilliant does deserve a vice, and so the position was his. He was obviously very qualified to teach it, but his magic simply wasn't as strong as his theory, and he could barely handle the NEWT material, which is why he chose to teach the younger years.
What the Hogwarts staff did not realize was that Quirrel was a host for Lord Voldemort; indeed, who would suspect a stuttering timid figure to be the receptacle for one of the greatest Dark Lords in history. Much like Peter Pettigrew's weak and powerless act was simply a facade for his more cunning nature, Quirrel too was more powerful and much more confident than he let on; it was simply best for him to be underestimated, so that he could better serve his Lord. Quirrel was no fool, he did not serve out of blind devotion like the crazies, including Bellatrix Lestrange, no he served for his own future. Because Quirrinus Quirrel had a secret, a dark secret that no one, not even Lord Voldemort knew.
He was a vampire.
Well rather only half-vampire. The muggle tales of vampiric qualities could not be further from the truth. Vampires lacked the vulnerability to sunlight, crosses, and holy water that are found so often in trashy romance novels or horror stories. They were merely creatures that with enough blood and barring any outside interference could live forever, without eventually succumbing to disease and decay, the fate of the mortals. Additionally, humans could not be converted into vampires by a single bite; that was preposterous, something that was unique to their gnarly mutt cousins, the werewolves. No, vampires were born the traditional way, and Quirrinus Quirrel was half-vampire, half-wizard.
His people once lived in peace amongst wizards and the rest of the magical races, but the wizards got greedy, and began taking over and killing or enslaving all of the members of other species. The once mighty goblins were forced to handle the wizarding banking systems, the dwarves forced to work in the mines, and the elves forced to serve wizards and witches as handservants. They were the lucky ones. Dragons, sentient creatures that had language and could be understood by those with the dragon-tongue were forced into servitude and eventually became the attractions of wizarding zoos. As for the horst of other magical creatures, death or exile were the only two options. And exile was straight to the forest of Albania.
Quirrel was a smart man, and he therefore could not blame the current wizards for what their predecessors did, but that still did not change the fact that he wanted equal rights for every magical creature. Which was why he aligned himself with the Dark Lord; the man wanted power, and Quirrel honestly couldn't fault him for that. Especially after hearing the Dark Lord's updated goals, Quirrel believed that supporting the Dark Lord would help him achieve his goals overall, which is why he agreed to allow the man to possess him.
Possession honestly wasn't all that bad, as long as he cooperated. The Dark Lord only had power within his body that he gave the man, whether he realized it or not, and he was able to take control of his own actions. It was as if his body had merely adopted the Dark Lord's soul within it, allowing Voldemort to see what he saw, and have a limited amount of motor control of his body.
And as he gazed at over the batch of first year students, a tall green-eyed boy with jet black hair caught his eye. McGonagall calling out the name "Harry Gray" was the last straw.
"Master," Quirrel said in his mind. "We may have a problem."
On the other side of the staff table, a heated, but hushed discussion was going on between the two Potter professors: Lily and James.
"James, I'm sure that's him," Lily said.
"Lily-flower, that can't possibly be Harry. I mean, yes, that's Harry, but he can't possibly be our Harry." James replied.
"Well why not? They never found a body. It's possible that someone took him before." Lily said, in a hopeful tone.
"Lily, I don't want you getting your hopes up. We have no idea what happened that night, all we know is that Harry and Voldemort were both nevermore. As much as it pains me to say, Harry Potter is for all intents and purposes dead. And even if that is Harry out there, what are we supposed to do? We didn't raise him, he's not our son." James gently chided.
"Well fine. I still think that's Harry out there," Lily said. "The fact that his name is Harry, plus his green eyes and black hair, and he shares your facial structure. Plus, he's also Harry's exact age. How can that not be Harry?"
"It is true, he does share many resemblance to the both of us, and the name. Hmm, I don't want you getting your hopes up, but I'll ask Albus if he can poke around a bit inside the boy's mind. I know it's a bit unethical, but that may be Harry out there, and I don't want to take any chances." James deftly replied.
"As much as I hate that tendency of Albus, I think it would be best for now. Why don't you tell him, and meanwhile I'll observe Harry and see what he's up to." said Lily.
In the middle of the staff table, another conversation was underway, this time between Severus Snape and Albus Dumbledore.
"I'm telling you, he's a Potter. His scent reeks of it," Snape said.
"Now now, Severus, don't be hasty. We can't be sure that Harry Potter's the one sitting there." Dumbledore cautiously replied. "Don't play me to be a fool; I too noticed the similarities. Identical facial structure between him and James Potter, Lily's eyes, the same name. And therefore I took a preemptive peek inside Harry's head. What I found was an absolutely ordinary childhood with a mother and a father."
"But Albus, don't you see? This could be an elaborate plan by the Dark Lord. Maybe he took the boy and raised him as his own in order to strike the wizarding world just when it was rebuilding. Think of the poetic justice, the hidden child, the savior of the wizarding world, actually alive and serving the dark side. And he covered it up with a few fabricated memories." Snape conspired.
"Severus, don't be ridiculous. That sounds like a cheezy B-grade novel with a large group of plot-holes. Obviously the Dark Lord would not have done that, you and I both know that he would never share power," Dumbledore responded. "And besides, I checked for fabrications on the way in. It was clearly authentic, thus this is not Harry Potter."
Unbeknownst to Dumbledore, Quirrel had drawn the same conclusion after peeking about in the boy's mind, and realized that there was no way this could be Harry Potter.
Harry Potter, or Gray as he was now called, of course noticed the intrusions of both Quirrel and Dumbledore, and fed them fabricated memories without a hitch. He had been training his entire life to refine his Occlumency and block out such intrusions, and although both Dumbledore and Quirrel were powerful wizards, neither dug very deep into his mind. He was sure that in an actual mental fight, he would have lost to the two of them, but in simply feeding fabricated memories, he was king.
The way legimency worked was that it did not look through the hippocampus, where memories were actually stored. Rather, it triggered the drawing of memories from the hippocampus to the working memory, but only subconsciously. A legimens could rift through someone's mind very quickly, or could search for a specific memory by hijacking the subconscious and asking for a specific memory from the hippocampus, leaving the person unsuspecting. Of course that was if the victim was not a trained Occlumens, like Harry was. Harry was always on alert, with his proximal shields being up, which meant that he notice any legimency coming his way. Even Voldemort could not be stealthy enough not to trip Harry's security system.
Once a mental bridge was created, which did not require connection through the eyes, as that was a misconception, the action that Harry would take depended on the aggressor. Normally Harry would force feed torture memories to the Legimens while scoping out his opponent's memories, thus putting himself at the advantage, as not many people can hold their mental fortitude under the Cruciatus curse. After thumbing through his opponent's mind, he would block off the connection on his side, but still leave it open on his opponent's side and engage in magical combat. Harry would have a distinct advantage because he would be able to read his opponent's thoughts.
But as he did not want to initiate a mental fight between Quirrel or Albus Dumbledore, and instead wanted to play the role of an innocuous boy, he instead fed false memories of a different life that were so realistic that both of them bought it.
"Harry, Harry, you okay?"
Snapped out of his reverie, Harry looked up and saw that Daphne was looking at him in concern. Apparently, while they were thumbing around in his memories, Harry had been solely focused on blocking them out, and therefore had his eyes closed in spot. Looking up, he saw Dumbledore look back at him with an apologetic glance, as if he thought that Harry had figured out his mind was invaded.
"Yeah, I'm fine," Harry said.
"You sure mate? You seem mighty down," another boy, who Harry had previously learned to be Blaise Zabini, responded.
"Yeah, it's cool. So, what were you saying about the potion master?" Harry said.
This started an argument between the members of the table, some of whom thought Severus Snape was a brilliant instructor, and others who thought he was an idiot. Harry personally thought the latter from what he was told by the upper-years, especially considering his inflated ego. Harry himself had set his goals on becoming a future potions master, but certainly did not want to apprentice under Severus Snape.
Harry hadn't had any problems with his blood-status as of yet. He explained that no, he was not of any relation to Gandalf the Gray, and while normally the community would have gone against him for being a half-blood, his sheer knowledge as demonstrated with quick conversations with his peers proved that he was a formidable wizard regardless of his importance.
After the feast, the troop of first years marched down to the Slytherin dungeons under close examination from the fifth year prefects. Harry immediately found out that his room would contain him, Blaise Zabini, Theodore Nott, and Draco Malfoy.
Blaise, while pure-blooded, was not from an important family. However, his mother had married and subsequently widowed six Lords of somewhat powerful houses, taking the Lordship and passing it on to Blaise, who Harry understood, actually carried his mother's love. Therefore, Blaise would be poised to inherit a vast fortune with political influence similar to that of Draco Malfoy.
Draco was also pure-blooded, and Harry figured that he liked the boy the least out of the Slytherin first-years. That is not to say that he hated the boy; no, it was just that he was pompous and expected Harry to, as a half-blood, be inferior to the rest of them. Additionally, he was of the opinion that Slytherin was the superior house and that interacting with members of the other houses was a waste of time. He had two pet bullies, Crabbe and Goyle, who Harry thought honestly needed some remedial education before they could even attempt the complicated magic that went on at Hogwarts. While Draco was not of the opinion that half-bloods should be eliminated, he absolutely hated Mudbloods. Harry assumed that this was based on the influence of his father, and Harry was looking forward to turning Draco's pureblood supremacy on his head in subsequent coursework.
Theodore Nott was the quiet one of the group. On the outside he put on a cold and aloof personality, similar to that of Daphne Greengrass except more vindictive. However, Harry quickly found out not to underestimate the boy. Nott had spent his whole life training under his father, who was on the run from aurors. How did Harry know that? Nott had foolishly attempted to read his mind, and once he had tried so, Harry had no qualms about going on the offensive himself while locking Nott into one of his torture memories. The incident granted Nott great respect for Harry, and as a result, the two chatted about the dark lord and his future return. Theodore was not foolish enough to believe that the dark lord was truly dead, but he was certain that once he came back, his father would immediately join the lord. However, he was not all that sure about his own obligations. He had nothing against Muggle-borns, and did not believe that they should be eliminated, much like his father did.
The four roommates quickly went to sleep, eager what their first day of classes would bring.
Three weeks had passed since that pivotal first day of school, and Harry was already bored. Yes, he knew what his birth-father had been saying to all the first-year students: it was impossible to get bored at Hogwarts. And he supposed that if he continued pulling pranks just as his birth-father did, he probably would not be as bored. While Harry enjoyed the good prank or two, he didn't consider pranking to be like a pseudo-religion.
He was fairly certain that neither James or Lily Potter suspected him of being their son, and this was likely due to the probe that Dumbledore had sent him. But he was able to develop a sense of camraderie and basic friendship with his parents. While he did not have his father as a defense teacher, as that honor went to a professor Quirrel, his father had not lost his pranking spirit, and as a result enjoyed messing around with the first year students. In the evening meals of the second day there, James decided that it would be a funny to have all of the students turn into giant canaries, and with the help of his two minions, Fred and George Weasley, was able to add a special potion to all of the drinks. Harry, of course, being ever-paranoid for the presence of such potions, always checked his meals with his wand to make sure that they were untampered with, and when he found that his drink was potioned, Harry decided not to drink with the meal. The potion was a delayed reaction, so the entire student body was unaware of the fact that they had been poisoned, the teachers as well. As such, every single professor and every student as well turned into a large bird. All except for Harry Gray - and James, Fred, and George.
What resulted was an all-out prank war between James and Harry, throughout which Fred and George were forced to pick a side. It seemed that Harry had a sixth-sense regarding pranks, and was turning into a budding prank king himself.
Eventually they called a truce, to the relief of all of Hogwarts, which then turned into terror as they set their sights back onto the student body. No one really minded the pranks though, it was all harmless fun in the end.
Lily, on the other hand, Harry developed a more academic relationship with. While she wasn't really the pranking type, the two could talk for hours about potions, transfiguration theories, and charms itself. Harry felt that he was filling a void in his life while talking to Lily; as James became somewhat of a mentor, but Harry never did have a mother figure in his life, up until now. It would be perfect to be Harry Potter; James and Lily seemed like perfectly balanced parents. But Harry knew that his path was for the best, as he did have a father in his life, Peter.
Professor Quirrel's class was interesting, to say the least. He could tell that the man was hiding something behind his stammers. It was all too practiced; it seemed all rehearsed, as if he wanted himself to be underestimated. On a basic level, however, Quirrel seemed very intelligent, but also very weak magically, as he failed to deflect even the simplest jinxes and curses from the first years. Overall, Harry was not all that impressed with the defense curriculum.
Transfiguration was ... interesting, to say the least. The class would be alright for a first year, however, Harry's knowledge extended that of a typical first year, and he could already do NEWT-level transfiguration. What made it better was Professor McGonagall; she seemed very intelligent in the subject, and allowed Harry to do whatever he wanted in her classroom, and granted him access to the restricted section of the library after finding out his true transfiguration prowess.
In fact, it seemed that their wasn't a teacher that wasn't impressed with the young Gray, except for, of course, Severus Snape. The man had called him to his office on the second day of Hogwarts.
"I know who you are, Potter." Snape said.
"I'm afraid that I don't know what you're talking about, sir," Harry said, his heartbeat rising.
"Oh, you may have Dumbledore convinced, and the rest of the staff along with him, but trust me. You're a Potter and I will treat you as such."
Of course in public, Snape couldn't help but show blatant favoritism to all of the Slytherins, including Harry. But in the common room, Snape did all that he could to make sure that Harry was not having a good time. Additionally, Snape had done all he could to try and break the tentative friendship between his godson, Draco Malfoy, and Harry. Unfortunately for Snape, Draco, having found out how powerful that Harry truly was, was willing to do anything to try and gain an alliance with Harry, including putting up with Harry's other friendships, including one with Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley.
The two could not stand each other, however, ever since their first scuffle on the train. Harry was beginning to think the two were acting like an old married couple with Hermione's continuous nagging, and Ron's return quips. The two shared charms class together, and that was where the two really fought. Ron was obviously fairly intelligent, with the way his chess-playing went, but was also very lazy, and did not want to practice magic or study theory when he could sleep, eat, or play chess. Harry remembered his first chess game against Ron. The boy had started off boasting about his chess prowess, but after a few strategic moves from Harry, he was playing on the defensive for the majority of the game, and eventually lost to Harry's superior tactics. After the incident, Ron demanded a rematch, and then another, and another, until the two were playing all the time.
Meanwhile, Harry, Hermione, Blaise, and Daphne, four of the top five of their year, with second place going to Theodore Nott, decided to form a semi-competitive study group. Harry was, of course, miles ahead of the other three, but it did not hurt to review the basics, which in their case, was about third-year material. And occasionally Harry found something that he didn't know.
Harry was really the oddity of the first year batch, breaking the misconception that all Slytherins were evil. Seeing such a warm and kind-hearted person from Slytherin made many of the other houses reconsider their impression and broke the cold nature of the Slytherin house as well for the first years. In fact, even Draco Malfoy had started spending some time around Hufflepuffs, who he had previously considered useless, after Susan Bones had agreed to partner with him in Herbology in exchange for the reverse treatment in Potions. All around, the cliquey environment of Hogwarts had really come to fade in such a short period of time.
And Severus Snape was not happy with this.
Slytherins couldn't mix in with the rest of the population. They had to be their own entity, a strong group that hated all the rest and were hated by all the rest. Now the first years had the crazy idea that Slytherin was an open house. Slytherin was always the best; they could not interact with lessers.
Severus did not even begin to consider the hipocrisy of his statement, considering his close friendship with Lily Evans, a Gryffindor during her time at Hogwarts.
Though Harry was close with Draco, Daphne, Ron, Hermione, and Blaise, he found somewhat of a best friend and dueling partner in the form of Theodore Nott. Nott was the only one who was remotely close to Harry in terms of magical prowess, and Harry found that Nott only had one major goal in his life: to be stronger than his father. Nott Sr was one of the most formidable Death Eaters, besting even Bellatrix Lestrange in a magical showdown, and Nott believed that the only way that his father would accept his decision of not becoming a death eater is if he bested his father in a magical battle. Harry took Nott as an apprentice of sorts, as although Harry obviously was not magically powerful enough to take down Nott's father, he was much further than Nott in this regard. They still called each other by their last names, Harry as Gray and Theodore as Nott, but the friendship between them sas deeper than that which Harry shared with either Draco of Blaise. Harry knew without a doubt that Nott had his back, and vice versa.
Harry's friends, though, wondered why he hanged out with the boy. He was physically and magically scary. During defense class, when they were practicing "mock dueling", he went all out on a terrified Emily Moon, who proceeded to leave the room crying, even though they were simply using basic stinging jinxes that gave just a twitch of pain. Nott was also very quiet, and he disliked speaking for trivial matters.
Overall, the first three weeks of Harry's Hogwarts experience put him in experiences that he had never been through, challenges he had never faced. Before he was an academic, a fighter, somewhat isolated from the whole social group. Now, he was blending in as one of the most popular students at Hogwarts, with sets of friends from each of the houses.
It was a welcome change in Harry's opinion.
AN: So, I don't really think this was my best work. I like dialogue and action scenes, but they require intricate set up, and this is one of those chapters. It may be a little bit boring, but it's not worth skipping over.