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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19. Chapter 19

“Ah. How nice of you to join us Mr. Potter,” Quirrell said cleanly, voice unwavering in the presence of his master.

    The cloaked figure that stood next to him turned and lowered its hood. The woman that was revealed would have been fairly attractive with long, straight black hair and pale, delicate skin, if it had not been for the dark red eyes that shone with an evil malevolence.

    Harry gasped as pain like he had never felt before struck his scar. He glanced around the room, looking for an escape route in a frantic attempt to spare himself from the horror of whatever awaited him. Seeing his glances, the woman snapped her fingers and a ring of fire sprung up around them. 

    “I have been so looking forward to this moment, Harry,” she said in a sickeningly sweet voice.

    “Don’t call me that.”

    “Harry? But it is your name isn’t it? What your mother screamed before she died?” She added with vicious smirk. “Harry Potter. They call you the bane of my existence.”

    “Who are you?” he asked, blinking through the pain.

    “Who I am and who I was are very different things. But to you, I am Lord Voldemort.”

    Another wave of pain passed over Harry’s forehead, somehow giving him the strength to fight back. 

    “Last time I checked, Voldemort was a guy,” Harry said, not caring that he spoke the evil wizard’s name.

    Voldemort merely looked amused. “Lucretia Black was generous enough to, shall we say, loan me her body.”

    The thought disgusted Harry. For the first time, he noticed that the Mirror of Erised stood on the far side of the room. Again, Lucretia saw his glance.

    “Quirrell,” she snapped. “Use the boy. He knows how to get us what I want.”

    Harry froze, wondering how she knew that he had recognized the mirror. It then occured to him that Voldemort was almost certainly practiced in Legilimency. Without further delay, he Occluded his mind, putting up the best shield that he had ever done.

    Quirrell approached from his right and grabbed Harry by the arm. He was glad that he had left his wand in his pocket so that they didn’t’ think to take it. Perhaps they thought that he wouldn’t know any spells to use against them. He was led roughly over to the mirror.

    “What do you see?” Lucretia/Voldemort snapped.

    Harry concentrated hard. I want to find the stone before Voldemort does, he thought. In the mirror, he saw himself reach into his left pocket and withdraw the stone. His reflection gave him a small grin before replacing it. Harry shifted his weight. He could feel something heavy and cold rub against his body. His eyes widened.

    “What do you see?” Voldemort demanded impatiently.

    “I see,” Harry hesitated, “my parents.”

    “You lie,” she accused, then paused. “But you could see them again.”

    Harry’s eyes snapped up.

    “Yes, if you join me, we can bring them back. Together, we can give you a family, people who care. That’s what you want isn’t it?” she said in a soothing voice.

    Harry realized that his Occlusion had slipped and that was how she was getting into his mind, finding out his desires. He fiercely threw up a shield and she froze.

    “How did you do that?” she demanded, stalking over to him. “Who taught you that?”
    “I-” Harry cut himself off. Behind the mirror, in the shadows he saw someone lurking. He quickly turned his eyes back to Lucretia’s, still shielded, so that she would not get suspicious. He closed his mouth with a snap in indication that he would not say who taught him. She growled and turned to Quirrell, her back facing the person in the shadows. 

    With a quick surreptitious glance, he discerned that it was Snape behind the mirror. Some of the tension in his chest eased and he took a deep breath. Harry heard her snap something at Quirrell and guessed that he had a few seconds at the most before her attention returned to him. He lowered the shields around his mind and met the Professor’s eyes.

    I have the stone. She is Voldemort, he thought to the Professor, hoping that he was Legilimizing him. Harry pulled his wand out. You take Quirrell and I’ll take her.

    Harry could see the confusion and concern flicker in Snape’s eyes and he wished that he knew Legilimency so that he could tell what he was thinking. Harry assumed that he thought it foolish for him to want to take on the evil dark wizard and ask the older, more experienced man to handle Quirrell. It was foolish, Harry admitted to himself. Nevertheless, he could feel that he had to be the one to face Voldemort given their history. He had no idea how he was going to do that. He turned to the woman and raised his wand.

 

 

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

 

 

    Severus stood in the darkness waiting and watching the scene unfold in front of him. He heard the cloaked woman offer to bring James and Lily back, and some tiny part of him hoped that the proposition was indeed possible. His logical mind rejected that thought and focused on how he was going to help the boy.

    “Who taught you that?” the woman demanded angrily and Severus swore, hoping that he would not be the cause of injury to the boy due to his use of Occlumency. He also wished that his cover would stay intact, but the thoughts of the future currently racing through his mind told him that it would be blown soon enough. 

    Harry stuttered, then Severus saw him take notice of him standing there in the darkness. He held his breath, hoping that Harry would have enough sense not to point him out. He did. 

    As soon as the woman turned away, Severus met Harry’s eyes and Legilimized him. There was a haze of adrenaline but one thought stood out as if he wished it to be found.

    I have the stone. She is Voldemort. You take Quirrell and I’ll take her.

    Immediately, Severus opened his mouth to protest, then closed it, remembering the situation. He thought back his protest argument, but Harry didn’t give any indication of receiving it. Severus swore again and vowed to teach him Legilimency for situations like these. Not that he hoped this would ever happen again.
    Why in Merlin’s name wouldn’t Harry take on the Professor? Severus was fairly sure that he could handle both if surprise was on his side, but if Harry made a move towards the Dark Lord, he would have to protect him and take on the two dark wizards. That, he was sure he could not do. The only way to stop him was to reveal himself and thus lose the factor of surprise and be in the same situation. Severus was horribly angry with the fact that he could do nothing but allow Harry to make his move and attack Quirrell himself. 

    He saw Harry raise his wand to point at the woman’s back. Severus raised his as well and prepared a body bind curse. He saw a flash spill from Harry’s wand and reacted immediately.

    “Petrificus Totalus,” he shouted, though Quirrell was disturbingly fast with his wand. The spell was deflected and Severus growled, advancing out of the darkness. As he did so, he tried to spare a glance toward’s Harry but he was forced to counter a Blasting curse which efficiently distracted him. He shot one back at Quirrell immediately, though his aim was off due to the fact that he didn’t give himself a moment to recover from the curse hitting off his block. Quirrell didn’t have time to block this one, though it only caught his arm rather than his chest as Severus was going for. Fortunately, this was his wand arm and he watched in horror as it flew off to the far side of the room. 

    Severus gave a true smile as he pointed his wand at the center of Quirrell’s chest and fired his most powerful Blasting curse he could summon. The light streaked from the wand and Quirrell made no attempt to dodge. Inches from his chest, the effect suddenly dissipated. The spell dissolved into nothing. Quirrell gave a smirk. 

    Severus suddenly remembered what Harry had said about his necklace. Figuring that it was charmed with some sort of shielding spell, he lunged at Quirrell’s neck. The sickly man was not expecting this aggressive move and he toppled back, Severus landing on top of him. A scream from behind Severus startled him, for he could not tell from who it came. With renewed determination, his hands grasped the chain and pulled it free. He considered choking the man right then, but figured that he did not have time to spare. He put him in a full body bind and turned to help Harry, then froze.

    He could not believe the scene that lay before him. Severus’ heart seemed to stop beating in his chest as gripped his wand and stepped forward.

 

 

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

 

 

    Harry raised his wand and pointed it at Lucretia’s back. He took a deep breath and hoped that Snape would follow through rather than try to stop him.

    “Expelliarmus,” he muttered quietly. 

    Her wand flew from her hand and Harry caught it in his. A look of pure shock stole over her face. Quirrell pointed his wand at Harry but a flash of light shot towards him. Harry assumed that Snape could handle him with ease and ignored their battle in favor of focusing on his own. 

    Lucretia’s eyes flashed with fury. “Give me back my wand.”
    Harry’s mind was fiercely Occluded. “No.”
    Here eyes narrowed as she attempted to Legilimize him. For several moments they grappled back and forth mentally, neither giving any ground. While she had him distracted with a mental battle, she took an unexpected lunge towards his right hand, the one with the wands. Harry, head reeling from the fight he had just had, didn’t move fast enough. Her hand grasped his wrist, holding it tightly as she used her other hand to pry his fingers from the wands. Harry’s grip failed and she straightened triumphantly. 

    Lucretia opened her mouth to either say something or shout a spell when she suddenly glanced down in alarm. 

    “What did you-” Her hands bubbled and blistered. The skin fell away in a gruesome sight as her hands fell dissolved into a pile of ash. She gave a remarkably girlish shriek and lunged at Harry. 

    Harry’s scar seared with pain and he raised his arm to protect his forehead. She flew into it and Harry slapped outward with his hand to push her away. His hand connected with the exposed skin of her face and within moments, that too began to bubble. A look of fury and pain etched itself across her features as she screamed out.

    Harry himself fell to his knees as a wave of agony washed over him. He was sure that his scar was splitting open and he gritted his teeth. He turned his eyes to the woman perviously standing before him and saw her disintegrate quickly into a pile of ash. 

    Some sort of wind stirred the ash and rose, forming a hideous interpretation of a face. It gave a shriek of its own and flew out of the room. Harry, unsure whether he had just hallucinated that, slipped gratefully into the darkness. 

 

 

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

 

 

    Severus rushed over to the fallen boy, careful to skirt around the pile of ash. He stared at the locket in his hand before slipping it into his pocket for later inspection. He pointed his wand at Harry’s chest, preparing for a Reviving Spell.

    “WHAT DID YOU DO TO HIM?” A horrified voice cried out from the entrance to the room. The flames had since died away, revealing the youngest red haired Weasley boy.

    He ignored him, and noticed Ron being held back by his friends out of the corner of his eye.

    “Rennervate,” he said softly and the boy stirred, but just barely. 

    He head sputtering noises of anger emanating from the aforementioned Weasley. 

    “Ms. Granger, would you be so kind as to remove your friend and fetch Professor McGonagall?” he asked without moving his eyes away from Harry. “Tell her to send for Dumbledore.”

    “Of course, Professor. Do take care of Harry.”

    Severus glanced up and nodded. Ron turned to Hermione in disbelief. With Malfoy’s help, she escorted him out of the room. 

    Severus was reluctant to leave Quirrell behind unattended, but he knew that Harry needed help. Using Harry’s wand in one hand and his own in the other, Severus attempted something he had never tried before. He cast the same spell out of both of the wands and levitated both people at once across the room.

    In this manner, he took them both to the Hospital Wing to wait for assistance. On the way, he was far more gentle with Harry than with his fellow professor; a few of Quirrell’s bumps and bruises could not be attributed to the fight alone.

    As Madam Pomfrey checked over Harry, Minerva strode in, a concerned look dominating her usually stern face. 

    “Is he alright?” she asked. “Oh, poor boy.”

    “He checked out fine, a few scrapes but otherwise unharmed. I’m not sure why he is unconscious. He scar is horribly inflamed,” Poppy reported.

    “He probably passed out from the pain,” Severus suggested, his own pain exposed in his voice.

    “Then it will be best to let him sleep,” Poppy advised.

    “I have sent for Albus, he should be here by morning. He was furious to say the least,” Minerva said. “Why don’t you go get some rest?”
    “I shall stay.”

    “Very well,” she consented. “I will send him down when he arrives.”
    Snape nodded as the two women left. He watched Harry sleep for a few moments before rising suddenly and going to the supply cabinet. From the ingredients in there, he mixed a quick salve and spread it gently over the lightning bolt shaped scar. He capped the tin, sat back and waited.

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