As It Began

When Snape is sent to deliver Harry's Hogwarts letter on his 11th birthday, will he still be able to hate Harry after meeting the Dursleys? Harry is a first year at Hogwarts. HP & SS No slash!

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11. Chapter 11

Chapter 11

 

    “Hermione?” Harry asked. “I have a couple of things to ask you.”    

    Hermione looked up from the stack of books in front of her. Apart from Ron, who sat across from them, they were alone in the library.

    “Sure, Harry.”

    “Can... wizards read minds?”     Harry questioned.

    Hermione looked slightly troubled. “I believe there is a spell... give me a moment,” she said, heading over to a nearby shelf. As she did so, Harry scribbled words on a sheet of scrapped parchment. 

    “Here it is,” she announced, heading back to the table.

    Hermione laid the book down so that both Harry and Ron could look at it.

    “Legilimency,” she stated, “is the reading of one’s mind. The incantation is legilimens.”

    Harry shook his head, “It can’t be he-” he caught himself, for he realized that they didn’t know why he was asking. “can’t be done without a wand, can it?” Harry backtracked. 

    “Actually, it can,” Hermione confirmed. “But only the most advanced and skilled witches and wizards can do it nonverbally and wandlessly. Why do you ask?”

    “I heard someone mention it the other day and got curious. That’s all,” Harry lied. To distract them, he slid the paper on which he had written across the table.

    “What’s this?” Ron said, speaking for the first time.

    “I, er, found it in a book. What do you make of it?” He said.

    “Herein is contained...” Hermione read aloud. “-Perenelle,” she finished. “Harry, what book did you find this in?” 

    “A potions book...in Snape’s office,” Harry responded hesitantly.

    Ron’s eyes widened.

    Harry sighed. “Can I trust you to keep a secret?” he asked, directed to both of them. He had a hard time trusting people, but was trying hard to overcome his block. Regardless, he felt he needed to ask this question. 

    “Of course, Harry,” Hermione said solemnly. He believed her. Ron also nodded his agreement. 

    “How much do you know about the night I was attacked?” he asked.

    “Not much, mate. I mean, all we knew was that you were with Snape and somebody tried to do you in,” Ron said.

    “Hold on,” Hermione said. She stood and cast a silencing charm around them.

    “Thanks,” Harry said. “Anyway, I, uh, walked into Snape’s office while he was in the middle of something. He dropped the stone he was working on and it broke so he got really angry. I went back to the common room and you know what happened there. Then we realized that the door had been unlocked for me and Snape cast a spell that showed someone in an invisibility cloak. He escaped into the hall, then attacked me.” Harry realized how horrible he was at telling stories as the words came disjointedly out of his eleven-year-old mouth. Nevertheless, they seemed to understand what had happened; well, Hermione did anyway. 

    “A stone?” she asked. “What did it look like?”

    “Like.. a red crystal maybe? I didn’t get a good look,” he said. “But when we returned to the lab, Snape seemed really concerned with the stone fragments and the book that this paragraph came from.”

    She looked thoughtful and reread the passage. “The pages were missing I assume?”

    Harry nodded in affirmation.

    “So, uh, what’s this mean?” Ron asked, trying to catch up. “Does it have something to do with the giant three-headed dog?”

    “I don’t know yet,” Hermione said honestly. “I don’t see how...”

    Harry remained silent, hoping that it was a good idea to trust his new friends. 

    “I don’t know either, though one thing I’m sure of is that you need to get some sleep, Harry,” Ron suggested. “Big day tomorrow.”

    “What’s tomorrow?” Harry asked, brow furrowing.

    Ron looked utterly shocked. “Your first Quidditch game!”

    Harry groaned. “That’s right. I’m excited...but really nervous.”

    “Don’t be, you’ll do fine!” Ron encouraged, grinning wildly.

    Harry was not convinced and spent most of that night coming up with various scenarios of how this game could go horribly wrong.

 

---{}-{}-{}---

 

    Harry stood at the edge of the pitch with his team, ready to pass out. He was so nervous that he had barely eaten anything that morning which, on top of lack of sleep, did nothing for his energy. His eyes drifted closed while listening to Oliver’s extremely long pep talk. Fred nudged him awake.

    “How can you sleep at a time like this?”     he whispered jokingly.

    “I’m nervously exhausted,” Harry replied, hoping that made sense.

    Fred looked a little confused. “Don’t be nervous, George and I both got injured in our first game, but Pomfrey fixed us up in a day or two. How bad could it be?”    

    Harry thought that he had meant to sound encouraging, but it came across as quite the opposite to Harry. He rubbed his eyes, hoping that he wouldn’t fall asleep on his broom. Harry could only imagine how badly he would get injured if that were to happen.

    Wood wrapped up his talk and the team walked toward the center of the field. Harry started to follow but a hand held him back.

    “Where’d you come from?” Harry asked Professor Snape. “Sir,” he added as an afterthought.

    A light sneer formed on the older man’s face. “Drink this.”

    “What is it?”

    “Wideye potion to keep you from falling asleep on your broom,” Snape stated, sneer deepening, “and crashing to your death.”

    Harry’s eyes did indeed grow wide. “Is that what would happen?”

    “Most likely. Unless someone is quick with their wand,” he said dryly. “Drink.”

    After Harry did so, he received a nod of approval before Snape left the pitch. Harry joined his team who were preparing to mount their brooms. No one seemed to notice Harry’s delay. He soared into the air and took his position, waiting for Madam Hooch’s whistle. When it sounded, he began lapping the pitch looking for the golden snitch. 

    Harry did not recognize the Ravenclaw seeker, but she was tall and thin with cropped brown hair. She eyed him appraisingly, then flew off in the other direction. Harry continued his search for the Snitch. In the background, he heard Ravenclaw score first, then two cheers from the Gryffindor fans. Snape’s potion had worked well; he felt completely alert. In fact, his senses seemed unusually heightened and he spotted the snitch a mere twenty minutes into the game.

    Harry sped towards it, wind whipping at his face. He was only feet away, stretching his right arm out to snatch it up when his broom skidded to a stop. He looked down in confusion, though as he did so, it jerked so violently that Harry was thrown off. He did a somersault in the air, then fell towards the ground. He did not have time to be afraid. Only inches from the ground, Harry suddenly stopped, suspended by the ankle. Gently, he was lowered to the ground. He felt a tickling or scratching sensation on his chest. In fear, Harry scrabbled with his fingers at the spot. Tearing his shirt open, he pulled out the tiny golden snitch. Harry laughed almost maniacally.

    He looked up an found people running toward him, Gryffindors screaming in triumph, and a few disappointed Ravenclaws. His eyes searched the professors’ table, pausing on two empty seats.

    “Harry!” a voice cried from beside him. “We won!”

    “Ron,” Hermione chastised, “that’s the first thing you say? Harry, are you alright?”

    “I don’t know honestly. But we won!” Harry said, making Ron grin.    

    Hermione rolled her eyes. 

    “That was-”

    “-bloody fantastic!” George finished for his twin brother.

    “I knew we had a good team this year, I just knew it,” Wood murmured, mostly to himself.

    “Need a hand, Harry?” Draco offered.

    “Draco!” Harry said, noticing him for the first time. He smiled.

    “Nice one, Harry,” Draco said, matching his grin. He offered his hand.

    Harry grasped it appreciatively, not noticing the looks they were getting from the other Gryffindors. He went to pull himself up and flinched. A small groan escaped him as he straightened. 

    “You okay?” One of the twins asked.

    “Yeah,” Harry replied. “Only a little stiff.” In fact, his ankle felt both stiff and bruised. Harry wondered if the charm that caught him was meant to be put to that use.

    “Good,” Fred said.

    “See you in the common room, Harry,” George said with a meaningful look at Fred. They headed off towards the castle. 

    “Go on ahead guys, I have to grab a few things from over there,” he gestured vaguely to the other side of the pitch near the forest.

    They nodded and started off toward the castle. Harry was glad to see that Ron and Hermione walked beside Draco rather than leave him in the dust. Harry got onto his broom rather painfully, then set off towards the forest. Before he had reached the edge of the pitch, he spotted Professor Snape walking out of the forest. He landed behind one of the stands hoping that he hadn’t been seen. From there, he walked towards the professor on the ground so that it did not seem like Harry had been trying to spy, even though he had.

    “Professor!” he called from a few yards away.

    “Yes, Mr. Potter?” he said, looking tense.

    “I wanted to thank you for the potion, it helped a lot,” he said. “Was it you who stopped me from falling?”

    Snape tilted his head. “It was.”

    “You said that I would die if I fell off of the broom,” Harry said, confused, and almost accusing.    

    “Lucky for you, I am very quick with a wand,” he said in a monotone.

    “Oh. Thank you, Professor,” Harry said. In a much quieter voice he continued, “that’s twice now that you’ve saved my life.”

    “I am glad someone is keeping count,” he said sarcastically.

    “I just want...” Harry began, “nevermind. Can I still come down tomorrow night?”

    “Absolutely,” he replied. “I will also give you something for those bruises.”

    Harry looked at him curiously, “How did you know?”

    Snape gave him a dark look. “I have experience,” he stated simply. “Go to your common room, I believe the celebration should be starting soon.”

    “Celebration?” Harry asked curiously.

    “Every time that Gryffindor wins a match, Fred and George Weasley steal food from the kitchens and an excessively loud party that lasts far past curfew ensues,” Snape stated matter-of-factly.

    “Wicked!” Harry exclaimed, earning him a look. “Wait, how do you know that? I don’t think the twins would have told you,” Harry said. “Sorry.”

    “The fact that I was not told something does not mean that I do not know,” he stated cryptically. “Go.”

    Harry nodded. “See you tomorrow then, professor.”

    Snape inclined his head.

    “Thank you,” Harry said once more before walking away.

    “You’re welcome, Potter,” he said quietly.

    Harry flinched at being called by his last name, but figured he could address that later. Now, he had a party to go to.

    Preoccupied with heading back to the castle, Harry did not notice the thin figure stalking out of the forest. Its dark red eyes bored into Harry’s back, but at such a distance, his scar didn’t prickle. It watched him until the castle doors removed the small boy from its view.

        

---{}-{}-{}---

 

    True to Snape’s prediction, a party raged that night within the Gryffindor common room. Two tables had been pushed against the wall and were covered with pumpkin juice, cauldron cakes, sandwiches and all sorts of candy. When Harry arrived, everyone in the room turned to him and cheered. He smiled, trying to cover his embarrassment. In attempt to escape the wave of congratulations and hand shaking that was heading his way, Harry stepped over the the table of food. He gratefully grabbed a sandwich and a drink, hoping that if both of his hands were occupied no one would expect him to shake hands.

    “Congratulations, Harry,” Percy Weasley said solemnly.

    “Er, thanks,” Harry replied. “Are you okay?” An expression of superiority was etched across Percy’s face as he stood in the corner of the room.    

    “Of course. I simply disapprove of such antics. After all, it was merely a game, who is to say who really won or lost. Childish if you ask me. Just look at-” Percy fell into lecture mode until Harry cut him off.

    “I know, just look at it all,” he agreed tiredly and moved away quickly. “Thanks for stealing the food,” Harry told Fred and George.

    They attempted to look innocent and hurt. “Why do you assume it was us?”

    “Professor Snape warned me that this happens after every victory. You steal food, Gryffindor has a party.”

    They looked horrified. “That slimy git knows about our secret passage?” Fred asked, dumbfounded.

    “But we were so stealthy!” George agreed, equally appalled. 

    Harry laughed. “I feel like he knows a lot more than you give him credit for,” he said honestly. He thought it best not to mention the suspicion that Snape could read minds.

    In unison, they gave an exaggerated shudder. Harry chuckled once more and stalked off to join the rest of the party.

    By the time he made it up to the dormitory, it was almost midnight. He groaned, thinking that he should’ve tried to make up the sleep he had lost the night before. He was out almost before his head hit the pillow, making it seem as if Snape’s potion had effectively worn off. That night, Harry slept well, dreaming of nothing but Snitches and Bludgers with red eyes...

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