A/N: Hello! Me again! *smiles sheepishly in corner* Firstly; boy oh boy! I got a lot of criticism for the end of the last chappie. I would have uploaded this earlier, but it was kind of funny to see everyone's reaction! (And I'm incurably lazy… and am currently doing battle (en guard and then get out of my head) with approximately five fanfic IDEAS on top of ongoing stories! My mind's a dangerous place and sometimes I swear I'm not the only person in there…) Anywhooo… I know it sounded really unrealistic, but I hope this clarifies and chills some people (you know who you are ;P). Plus when I said doctorates I meant in different medical fields. I know that a PhD and Doctorate are basically the same, but Harry has doctorates in medical fields and PhDs in things like psychology and philosophy. I would have posted this sooner, but the second half was giving me hell to write because I had to look up how some of the classes went because for the life of me I couldn't remember. Hehe… ^^'
"What are you working on now, Master?" Lucifer asked his young master. It was currently 1970 and they were in France, in a small villa near a tiny wizarding village that was barely aware of their existence.
"You'll see." Harry replied mysteriously, smirking at the exasperated look his demon gave him.
"Why don't you tell me while I check for any adverse effects that might have resulted from using the time turner to go back nearly 20 years, hmm?" Lucifer counted, and Harry conceded defeat. "So what was it?"
"It's a potion combined with a charm that will allow me to, well… for lack of a better term 'speed read'. Basically it will take me all of one second to read and absorb one page's worth of knowledge at a time. I love magic!" Harry's eyes glinted as he thought of all he could achieve with that.
"Do you really need more degrees, Master?" Lucifer asked incredulously. The achievement was incredible, he could admit, but still.
"Yep. Knowledge is power, Lucy." Harry smirked, jumping down from his seat and running back to his lab.
Lucifer sighed and shook his head in exasperation. Really, of all the humans-
"Harry! Wake up!" Draco whispered urgently, shaking said boy awake.
"Mmm? Dray, what is it?" Harry murmured sleepily, taking in the boy above him with tears shining in his eyes with growing alarm. "What's wrong?" he asked frantically, sitting up quickly.
Draco threw himself at Harry, landing in his lap with his arms wrapped around his neck and face buried in his shoulder. "I…I had a bad dr-dream! It was scary…" he whimpered.
"Oh, Dragon…" Harry whispered, stroking Draco's hair soothingly. "Do you want to talk about it?" Draco shook his head against his shoulder. "Do you want to sleep with me tonight?"
"Yes please…" Draco whispered softly.
"Okay… get in, then…" Harry said, lifting the covers and dropping them again once Draco was securely cuddled against his side. He lay back down and turned to face Draco, wrapping his arms around his waist and pulling the boy into his chest while Draco's hands fisted his shirt tightly, face buried in the fabric and wetting it slightly with a few left over tears.
Harry took a deep breath and began to sing. "Dancing bears, painted wings…"
He felt Draco's breathing even out and squeezed his arms gently, pulling Draco closer to him before following him to Morpheus' embrace.
Once upon a December…
Harry was the first to wake up in the morning, and he gently untangled himself from Draco's embrace, much to the sleeping boy's annoyance and walked into the bathroom, pulling his ankle-length hair out of the loose plait it was in and allowing the water to run over his body, his eye patch resting next to the sink. He stepped out of the shower, the automatic drying spells drying him instantly and gazed at his face in the mirror, taking in his left eye intently. The amethyst purple eye with the white pentagram was glowing softly, as it always did.
He sighed, pulling on his clothes and putting the eye patch on last. He combed through his hair and pulled it into a high ponytail that did not diminish its sheer length in the slightest, gently rearranging his side fringe to cut across from the right side of his face to cover his left eye, with a little bit just framing his face perfectly. His right eye, still so wonderfully blue, gazed back at him out of a luminescent, pale face.
When he walked back into the room, he almost cooed at the adorable sight Draco made, sitting up on his bed with his legs on either side of him, wearing a button-up shirt that, reached his mid-thigh to sleep in, his pale face scrunched and his gold hair that fell to his shoulders in soft layers like a halo, mussed from sleep as he rubbed the tiredness out of one of his stormy eyes.
"Good morning." Harry greeted, sitting beside him on the bed.
"Mmm, morning…" Draco replied blearily. Harry laughed softly and ruffled his hair.
"How did you sleep?" he asked softly, pulling Draco closer to him reassuringly.
"Better than ever!" Draco said happily, snuggling in for a hug.
"Do you want to talk about it?" Harry questioned gently, not wanting to push him into it as he returned the embrace.
"Yeah… okay…" Draco said hesitantly, tilting his head to meet Harry's eyes.
"You don't have to if you don't want to." Harry said reassuringly, hating the reluctance in Draco's eyes.
"No… I should, right?" Draco said softly, glancing up for confirmation and continuing when Harry nodded solemnly. "It was… well… it was dark… and I was in a forest, running from something. I don't know what but I know that whatever it was it was terrifying me. You were there too, holding my hand and urging me to go faster. It was getting closer, but I tripped and twisted my ankle. It… I can't remember what it looked like… but it lunged for me… its teeth were huge and pointy! And it had these terrifying hands with claws long as fingers, dripping with blood! Then, you jumped between us… and I woke up just as you… you killed it but it killed you too! I don't want you to die!" Draco sobbed, crying again.
"Oh, Dragon…" Harry breathed, wrapping his arms around the boy and rocking him back and forth on his lap gently. "I'm not going to die. I promise. I swear I won't die."
"P-pinky swear?" Draco choked around his sobs, holding out the aforementioned finger. Harry smiled softly and linked their pinkies together.
"Pinky swear." He said, pressing a gentle, tender kiss to Draco's finger, still linked with his own, as the boy cried in relief and threw his arms around Harry's neck in a choking hug. "Dr-Dragon! C-can't breathe!" he squeaked.
"I'm sorry!" Draco apologised hurriedly, the words practically stumbling over each other.
"Calm down, Dragon. It's fine… now go and get yourself cleaned up." Harry said, gently steering him towards the bathroom and giving him a bundle of clothes that made up his school uniform.
"Hey, Harry?" Blaise Zabini asked from where he had been standing silently throughout the proceedings.
"Yes?" Harry asked kindly, smiling politely in Blaise's direction.
"What was that lullaby you sang last night?"
"Yeah, it was really pretty." Theodore Nott piped up, sitting with the covers pooled around his lap. "I don't think I've ever slept that well…"
"It was the lullaby my mother used to sing to me." Harry replied honestly. That was the best way to lie, after all. Don't make something up completely, just bend the truth almost imperceptibly and you're well on your way.
"Wow…" Theodore said, grinning. "Can you sing it to us every night?" he asked suddenly.
"I- what?" Harry asked, completely taken aback.
"Yeah!" Draco cheered, stepping back into the room.
"I would like that…" Blaise added softly. Crabbe and Goyle simply nodded silently, looking for all-the world as though they didn't completely comprehend the events but agreed nonetheless, simply to be agreeable.
"Come on, guys, what am I, your mother?" Harry snapped irritably, adopting a pose with both hands on hips and one foot tapping impatiently.
"…you sure as hell look like it…" Theodore said, laughing nervously.
"Just go brush your teeth." Harry sighed, rubbing a hand over his face tiredly. "Sheesh… this is the wackiest house ever…"
"Thanks!" Draco piped up, grinning and dragging Harry by the hand into the common room.
Once there, Harry collapsed on a couch, and Draco plopped down on his lap while Blaise sat obediently at his side and Theodore sat on his other side with Crabbe and Goyle on the floor in front of them.
Draco was humming the tune of Harry's lullaby when the four professors walked in through the portrait hall and took in the sight before them with shocked expressions.
Harry was sitting with Draco on his lap, his chin resting on Draco's shoulder as he read a book balanced on Draco's thigh while Draco had his head leant back, resting on Harry's shoulder nuzzling the other boy's neck slightly, humming an all-too-familiar tune as Blaise Zabini sat on Harry's right, watching the rest of the room, leaning slightly protectively towards Harry while Theodore Nott sat on Harry's left, playing a card game with Crabbe and Goyle, whom were both sitting on the floor. Several older Slytherins, Marcus Flint included sat on the other couches that made up a semi-circle and they were all conversing, listening attentively to whatever Harry said when he decided to join the conversation, if only to correct someone's grammar.
"Not even 24 hours and already the whole house is under his thumb…" Severus muttered dryly.
"That is… just a little bit…!" Tom chuckled nervously out of the corner of his mouth.
"Ah, professors! How can we help you?" Harry asked, closing the book on his lap and directing the attention of the rest of the house to the four men.
"That was a lovely little tune, Draco." Lucius said softly, voice trembling imperceptibly. "Where did you learn that?"
"Oh! I had a bad dream last night so I asked Harry if I could sleep with him and he let me and he sang that song until I fell asleep." Draco replied, tightening his arms around Harry's neck.
"And where did you learn it, Mr Potter?" Rabastan… no, Professor Quirrel asked, smile completely fake.
"It was a song my… mother used to sing to me." Harry said slowly, gaze almost intent on Tom, who gasped softly.
"You can… remember that? Her?" Tom asked softly, almost sadly.
"No. I cannot remember her." Harry replied, hoping the message was clear.
Harry furrowed his brow slightly to try and skim his surface thoughts, but was quickly taken aback when he hit a steel barrier, impenetrable, and realised his parents' must have let their guard down or he got extremely lucky the first time they met when he obliviated them. Or, the most likely alternative, Lucifer caught on right at the last minute and lent his assistance by breaking down their occlumency shields. Well, that was a blow to his pride.
The whole exchange took less than a minute.
"I can't imagine not be able to remember my parents." Theodore said softly.
"Yeah, well, you can't miss something you never had." Harry replied tightly, bitterness lacing his voice.
"Sorry Harry…" Theodore apologised, reaching out as if to touch him reassuringly before drawing his hand back.
"It is forgotten." Harry answered, reaching out to softly squeeze Theodore's hand before releasing it.
'I'm getting soft.' He thought to himself, tuning back into the conversation occurring around him.
"Did you have a bad dream, Draco?" Lucius asked softly, sympathy shining in his eyes.
"Yeah…" Draco started, looking down at his lap in remembrance. Harry snapped him out of it by gently linking their pinkies, not raising his eyes from the book as he placed it in his bag with his free hand. "But afterwards I had the best sleep in ages!" Draco enthused, cheering instantly at the reminder and sitting up on Harry's lap in a way that resulted in him straddling it, uncomfortably judging by Harry's small and unnoticed grunt of pain during Draco's movements.
"Dragon…" Harry groaned softly. "Your knee is digging into my stomach…" and other areas… he finished mentally as he bodily lifted Draco and moved him into a more comfortable position for both of them, with both Draco's legs hooked over his, resting alongside them on the outside as he faced his adoptive father over Harry's shoulder.
"You two seem very close." Tom-Professor Robinson said, smiling softly.
"Yep!" Draco popped the 'p', grinning happily and winding his arms around Harry's neck once more.
"Everyone lo-oves Harry." Theo smirked from Harry's left while Blaise just watched the room attentively, as though actively seeking out a threat.
'What is he, a trained 40-something year old bodyguard?' Harry deadpanned mentally as he glanced imperceptibly at the Italian. Italian Mafia, more like. Actually, he had met them in 1962. Quite lovely blokes, once you got past the… well… them, really.
"What was your dream about?" Rab-Professor Quirrel enquired.
"Oh… um…" Draco stared down at his lap, worrying his lip.
"You do not have to speak of it again, Dragon, if you do not wish. You have already told me and I, as a doctor of psychology, now believe it is in your best interest to put it from your mind and try not to think about it ever again." Harry said, lifting Draco to his feet with him as he stood, swinging his bag onto his shoulder and facing the four men. "And if I'm not mistaken, we must be getting to the Great Hall for breakfast. Professors." Harry nodded his farewell to the four men as he hurried past them, followed by the other students as they slowly began to pack their things.
"It's breakfast already?" Professor Robinson asked in shock. How the time flies!
"Yes. And you're already late." Harry stated, popping his head back through the portrait hole and smirking at the alarmed looks on the Professors' faces, Tom over-reacting and freaking out completely as he was wont to do.
He shook his head fondly, smiling in a way that didn't match his saddened eyes as he caught up with Draco and the others.
"Hey, Harry." Ron greeted quietly as he caught up with them at the entrance to the Dungeons, jogging to stop at Harry's right.
"Hello Ron. Good morning! What are you doing here?" Draco asked, peering around Harry to the red-head.
"I was waiting for you, I know that Slytherin have their dorms in the dungeons, so…"
"That is very kind of you, Ron. You are welcome to join us at breakfast, should you wish." Harry offered, gaze not shifting from forwards as he took in the boy through his peripheral vision.
"I… would love that. Thank you." Ron said, smiling happily.
"For what? I simply extended an invitation to breakfast, not tea with the Queen." Harry said shortly.
"For still being my friend. Thanks." Ron replied, not wavering in the slightest as he reached over and grabbed Harry's right hand, his left occupied by Draco.
"…you are welcome." Harry replied softly, smiling in a barely-there way as Ron's fingers tightened around his own for a moment.
They sat in the Great Hall together at the Slytherin table, Harry glaring down any Slytherin who tried to object to a 'Gryffindorks' presence until the new arrivals just accepted it without argument.
Professor Snape handed out the schedules for class, taking a slightly longer time with Harry's as he imperceptibly brushed their fingertips together, gazing at him with once again a myriad of indecipherable emotions, confusion shining through as he shot Harry a classic 'I know you from somewhere' look.
Harry, however, as a psychologist, took it upon himself to decipher and accurately read in the future the mannerisms that accompanied each of the dour man's emotions, which were, while not openly showed, a sign of emotional and possibly physical neglect and abuse during childhood, Harry noted, definitely there. He had seen this before, and if the man did not begin to "open up", as it were, he would be faced with what one would call "build ups". Ones that, Harry imagined, from that man, would be rather disturbing and frightening and possibly scarring for Hufflepuffs. Yes, he would definitely see about speaking to the man after his first class with him. For strictly professional purposes, of course.
Professor McGonagall came over to the Slytherin table with Ron's schedule. "It is nice to see some inter-house unity." She smiled, her Scottish accent rich in her words as she walked away.
"That's professor McGonagall." Draco informed the other two. "My father says she's strict but fair and un-biased when it comes to houses, and especially to punishments."
"Come on, we have Potions first thing." Harry said, picking up his book bag and stowing his new schedule in it.
"Alright!" Draco said happily.
"Ugh… with the greasy git first thing on a Monday? No thanks…" Ron groaned, earning a glare from Draco and a withering stare from Harry.
"Do not judge books by their covers, Ronald Weasley. He is not that bad." Harry said coldly.
"…I'm sorry, Harry. It won't happen again." Ron said sincerely, meaning it.
"It had better not." Harry replied coldly.
"Do you hate me now?" Ron asked quietly.
"Not at all. You apologised and meant it, we grow and learn. Just refrain from doing it again." Harry said, reaching over and squeezing Ron's hand reassuringly, laughing softly when Draco latched onto his other hand possessively with a pout.
"Hey, Ickle Ronniekins!" two voices called in unison. Harry's lips twitched as Ron turned a shade of red that clashed horribly with his hair and turned angrily.
"Leave off, Fred and George!" he snapped.
"But I'm George!" the one on the right said, looking hurt.
"Oh, sorry Geo-" Harry cut him off before he could apologise for nothing
"No, you are most definitely Fred, just as your younger twin on your right; my left is most definitely George." Harry stated simply, smirking internally when the twins shot him appraising looks.
"Hello… who's this?" Fred said, leaning over to come face to face with Harry, though he did not need to by much.
"Harry Potter." He replied before Ron could. "And I prefer questions concerning myself to be posed to myself, thank you very much, or I swear…"
"Or you swear what?" George challenged.
"I solemnly swear I am up to no good." Harry replied smirking outwardly at the twins shocked faces.
"How the hell did you know about that?" George hissed.
"Know about what?" Harry asked innocently, tilting his head in a 'whatever are you referring to?' manner. "Now, if you gentlemen would please excuse us, we have potions."
"Catch you later." Fred smirked.
"No you won't." Harry sing-songed, striding away with Blaise, Ron, Draco and Theodore trailing behind him, sending the twins smirks and mocking looks to show support for however Harry managed to best them, despite their utter lack of knowledge as to what is was that had rendered the infamous twins speechless and sputtering. It was a momentous occasion, after all.
The door slammed open against the wall, shocking the students out of their collective dazed stupor and Severus felt a momentary moment of self-satisfaction as he watched one particular Gryffindor, who seemed more like a Hufflepuff to him anyway, fall all the way off his stool in fear.
It was good to be the King.
Then his eyes caught sight of the boy sitting between what remained to be the oddest pairing he had ever seen in his life; Malfoy and a Weasley, Harry Potter.
The boy was an enigma. Every time he looked at him he had this all-encompassing urge to protect him, to sweep him up into his arms and never release the child. He had only ever felt the same sensation with his three husbands and his… his son, and it disturbed him greatly
"You are here to learn the subtle science and exact art of potion-making." He began, glaring down his nose at the insufferable brats as he swept down the aisle of desks, cloaks billowing around him in a parody of wings. Some say it made him look like an over glorified bat, but it never failed to inspire a frightful sob in a Hufflepuff, so he would stick with it, thank you very much.
"As there is no foolish wand-waving here, many of you will hardly believe this is magic." Apparently Flitwick was 'offended' by his calling it 'foolish wand-waving', but Severus hardly had time to worry about the ridiculous man's delicate sensitivities. Real wizards don't prance around with wands.
"I don't expect any of you will really, truly understand the beauty of a simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes…" Yes, surprise, surprise! When your potion bubbles like hell and boils over, then you have too much heat under it. That tended to be how it worked. And when the fumes make your eyes water, there is most probably something wrong with the potion. Funny how that works, wasn't it? Suppose there can't be a logical explanation for everything.
But why bother, eh? Let's add some more precious ingredients which you have butchered on your cutting board. Let's stir a little more vehemently, clockwise of course, instead of anti-clockwise. Why read the instructions? There are more important things to do.
What? The potion has just leaped out of your cauldron and is now hiding under the table? Really? It's probably running for its life.
A million points from whichever House you're in!
"…the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins…"
Severus began to wonder if he could get away with poisoning anyone this year. Just a little bit. Not a fatal amount. This time.
But Poppy would probably notice, and then she would tell McGonagall. And then there would be nagging and finger-waggling. No, it's not worth it.
"…bewitching the mind…"
Good to know that the majority of the red and gold portion of his class weren't in danger on that regard. He doubted that they would even have a mind to bewitch, let alone notice that they themselves was.
"…ensnaring the senses…"
Wonder if it's too early for a drink?
"I can teach you how to bottle fame…" about here in his other class he would lose the attention of the last Hufflepuff. They are about as interested in fame as a troll with soap and water (just noticed the foreshadowing in the novel there, referencing to trolls ;).
"…brew glory…" hopefully that would be enough to reawaken his more ambitious Slytherins. Those snakes had better get and move on and win him back his House Cup.
"…even put a stopper in death."
Why bother? Let them all die. His life would be so much easier.
"If you aren't as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach."
Oh, why does he even get his hopes up? They will be. Incompetent, arrogant, lazy… that's it, Dumbledore. Get yourself a new Potions master. I've had it! I quit!
Snape sneered as he surveyed the room, speaking the last line and snarling softly to himself in his head as he… dear god. Don't tell him Potter wrote down the whole thing!?
"Potions is a delicate art…" he began softly, staring at the Potter boy as his mouth repeated the words and wrote down the line. "One which must be carried out with a careful hand and thoughtful actions. Not unlike a female." He muttered, earning a laugh from the male section of his class. Severus Snape was not humorous!
"Can anyone tell me what I would get it I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?"
This was the fun part, making them feel like utter idiots when none of them knew the answer and was that Potter's hand in the air?
"Yes, Mr Potter?"
"Asphodel and wormwood, when added in the reverse order to what I just spoke, stirred twice clockwise, added the sloth brain and the sopophorous beans' juice, best crushed, not cut to get more juice, and stirred seven times anticlockwise and then, in my opinion, clockwise once, will create a sleeping draught so powerful it is referred to as the Draught of Living Death." He recited flawlessly.
Severus' mouth nearly hit the ground as everyone turned to stare at the nonplussed Potter, who seemed to get this a lot.
He was beginning to understand why.
"And where, Mr Potter, would you look if I asked you to find a bezoar?"
"Bezoars are formed in the stomach of goats and can cure most poisons."
"And what is the difference between Monkshood and Wolfsbane?" he almost whispered, shocked by the boy before him.
"There is none. Another name, which it is more commonly known by, is the poison aconite." Harry replied, his eyes hardening. "But it was a good trick question, Professor, anyone else would have been caught out by it."
"Yes. That was the intention…" Severus muttered to himself. "Ten points to Slytherin, Mr Potter. And one from it for cheek." He added, turning back to the board. "Now, today we will be brewing a potion to cure boils. This is truly one of the easiest to brew because none of the ingredients are reactants or volatile, so if any of you manage to blow it up I will commend you before taking one hundred points from your house…"