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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22. Chapter 22

    “So here’s how it works,” the twins began, cornering Draco outside the Great Hall. They whispered an explanation on how to set off the prank that was scheduled for the Slytherin house. “Let us know how it turns out,” they winked. 

    “Oh, I’m sure you’ll know,” Ron pointed out.

    “You’ll be in so much trouble. How could they not realize it was you?” Hermione asked Draco.

    “Hermione, we have like two weeks left of school. What could they possibly do to me in that time?” Draco asked. “This will be worth two weeks of detentions.”

    “Anything I can do to help?” Harry offered with a mischievous grin.

    Draco replied, “Sit back and wait. And laugh the loudest at them when they walk into the Great Hall for breakfast tomorrow.”

    “Will do,” Harry replied.

    “I can’t believe our first year is almost over,” Hermione stated sadly.

    “Good thing we are squeezing this prank in under the wire,” Fred said. “Wouldn’t want our third year to end without a bang.”

    “I’ll miss you guys,” Ron said sincerely.

    “Yeah, Harry, you ought to come and visit,” George offered.    

    Fred nodded in agreement, “Get away from those awful muggles.”

    Harry hesitated. “Uh, I’m not actually going back to them...”

    “Really?” They asked in unison.

    “Where are you going?” George asked with interest. 

    “I’ll let you know when the plans have solidified,” Harry hedged, figuring they would be even more shocked than Ron at the news.

    Fred raised an eyebrow. “Well, come visit anyway.”

    “If you’re allowed out of your room, that is,” Ron muttered derisively.

    Harry shot him a look that was becoming too well practiced.  He could only hope that Ron would accept it in time.

    “Come on guys, we’ve got revising to do. Exams are coming up fast,” Hermione said seriously.

    “They’re over a week away, Hermione!” Draco complained.

    “It’ll go faster than you think,” she pointed out. “Come on, I’ll help you with Herbology and Harry can help Ron with potions.”

    “Ugh,” Ron groaned. “I suppose you’ll be the best in the class soon.”

    “Why?” Fred asked.

    “Studies hard,” Hermione said, coming to his rescue. “Let’s go.”

    “Fine,” Ron mumbled.

 

 

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

 

 

    Draco woke at three o’clock in the morning and slipped silently out of bed. He crossed the room to where he had hidden the needed supplies the night before. Pulling back the long green curtain, he removed a mirror replication of the one  in the Slytherin boys’ bathroom and a large bottle. He hovered the mirror out the door then shut it gently behind him. Tiptoeing down the stairs, mirror floating behind him, Draco thought over the twins’ instructions.

    “The mirror shows somebody what they think they look like,” Fred explained.

    “Good for aging women in denial,” George quipped. “Horrible for insecure teenage girls.”

    “Perfect for the boys though, oblivious as they are,” Fred said.

    “Anyway, just hang this in place of the other one and then fill the shampoo bottles with the Weasley’s Wonderful Washing Water Whammy mixed with water of course. The rest will be up to them,” George told him.

    “We added an extra spell so that anyone affected with the solution won’t be able to see its effects on others,” Fred assured him. “Don’t want them tipping each other off.”

    “Rather complicated bit of magic, that,” George said proudly.

    “Good luck,” Fred intoned.

    Draco stepped off the last stair and out of the corner of his eye, saw a dark man staring at him.

    “Ah!” he yelled, though luckily not very loud, and stumbled back.

    “Quiet,” the man snapped.

    “Oh, Professor Snape,” Draco said in relief.

    The Professor waved a silencing charm at the top of the steps.

    “What are you doing out of bed?” Professor Snape snapped.

    “How’d you know I was out of bed?” Draco challenged, bolstered by his relative familiarity with the professor.

    “After years of being the Head of Slytherin House, do you think I do not have motion detectors in place after hours? Now answer my question.”

    “I was...uh... going to pull a prank,” Draco admitted sheepishly.

    “On your own house?” Snape shot back with a raised eyebrow.

    “They don’t act like they’re my house,” Draco said petulantly.

    “I will not stop you, for I believe the retribution that the other Slytherins will give you will be punishment enough,” Snape said.

    Draco had been worried about that. “Can someone change houses, Professor?”

    “I do not believe it has ever been done before.”

    “Oh.”

    “Very well, carry on. Though I warn you that your father would be disappointed to have you returned at the end of therm physically mutilated,” Snape said in a bored tone.

    “I can defend myself,” Draco assured him.

    “I suppose growing up with a Death Eater has its benefits. Do not forget that you are not the only Slytherin with this... privilege,” Snape said sarcastically.

    “Sir?” Draco asked.

    “Yes?”

    “Aren’t you worried about what the others will think about you adopting Harry?” Draco asked tentatively. “I’m scared to even imagine my father’s reaction.”

    “I have already blatantly betrayed the Dark Lord. This is simply adding to the pile,” Snape said dismissively. “He would be angry either way.”

    Draco looked unconvinced. “Well, keep Harry safe, okay?” He felt that his friendship with Harry was one of the only things that kept him reasonably safe at this point. Without him... Draco shuddered at the thought. 

    “Naturally,” Snape said with narrowed eyes. He turned and exited without another word, as quiet as the animal for which he was nicknamed.

    Draco took a deep breath and carried on with the plan. He entered the bathroom and set about taking the existing mirror down. It took several cancellation spells to get the Stickfast charm to release, but eventually the mirror was free. He set it gently on the floor and hung the other in its place. He stoppered one of the sinks and filled it partway with water. He dumped the powder courtesy of the Weasley twins into the water and stirred it. The resulting mixture was a faint purple color. He gathered the shampoo bottles from the showers and emptied them into another sink. Luckily, the bottles were opaque so that no one would notice the difference. With the help of a spell, he transferred the new mixture into the now empty bottles. He replaced them and took the mirror up to the dorm and hid it where he had the other one. Draco decided that he would move it in the morning while the others were showering. He, for one, would skip that step.

    Draco collapsed into bed and fell asleep instantly, not a trace of guilt in his mind.

 

 

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

 

 

    “WHAT THE H-” a sixth year Hufflepuff was cut off by a sharp warning look from Professor Snape.

    The twins doubled over in laughter. Harry was almost crying from laughter, as was Ron. Hermione was amused, yet retained her slightly disapproving air. Draco was the only one who seemed troubled by the occurrence, as odd as that was.

    “What’s wrong Draco?” Harry asked, wiping his eyes and clutching his aching diaphragm. 

    “Nothing,” he lied, though he met Harry’s eyes.

    Harry knew that it was an invasion of privacy, but he delved into his friend’s mind to find out what was really troubling him, for he has been waiting in anticipation for this day. He saw only fear of retribution in his eyes. 

    “Don’t worry, Draco,” Harry assured him. “If you want, I can teach you some defensive spells that Professor Snape taught me.”

    “Thanks, Harry,” he said, looking relieved.

    Harry nodded. “This is great,” he praised the twins.

    They stared dramatically over at the Slytherin table. Almost every Slytherin boy was currently sporting hair of different houses’ colors, primarily Gryffindor. The girls began explaining why everyone was pointing and laughing. In quite an amusing serious of expressions, many of the boys’ faces morphed from confused to embarrassed before settling on anger. 

    “Oh boy,” Fred said as three sixth years sauntered over to the Gryffindor table where Draco sat almost religiously. They smirked threateningly and drew their wands. Draco gulped.

    “May I ask what is going on here?” Snape asked, appearing out of nowhere.

    The Slytherins looked up at their Head of House. 

    “Mr. Flint, tell me, what would removing Mr. Malfoy’s tongue accomplish?” Snape asked calmly. “You cannot prove who pulled the prank, despite your suspicions. I am sure things will come even in time, but for now I shall ask that you leave Mr. Malfoy and his companions alone. Understood?”

    They nodded, glaring at the Professor who did not seem the slightest bit disturbed.

    “I shall also request that you spread the word that if I hear reports from Mr. Malfoy about exceptionally ill treatment, your punishment shall. Not. Be. Pleasant,” he finished, with trademark pauses and enunciation between his words.
    They scampered under his fierce gaze.

    “Thanks, Professor,” Draco said.

    Snape simply stared at him, as if judging if he was worthy of defense. His gaze flickered to Harry, then back again.
    “You best improve your defense skills, despite your assertions that they are proficient. Perhaps Mr. Potter would be willing to help during your empty Defense Against The Dark Arts class period,” he suggested.

    Harry nodded eagerly, glad to have something other than studying to do.

    Snape gave a sharp nod and retreated to the Head table.

    “He always that pleasant around you?” Draco muttered.

    “Yep,” Harry said, unbothered.

    Ron shook his head in disbelief once more. The meal continued as normal with the exception of the fact that everyone who walked in and glimpsed the aberrations for the first time drew fresh attention to the group. Draco smiled at his plate, finally enjoying his success.

 

 

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

 

 

    “Expelliarmus,” Draco said. Harry’s wand jerked, but he did not lose his grip.

    “Almost there,” Harry encouraged. “That was the best one yet.”    

    Draco sighed, “You know the older boys are going to know this.”

    “Yes,” Harry agreed, “but they won’t expect you to. Try again.”

    “Expelliarmus!” 

    This time, Harry’s wand flew into Draco’s hand. He returned it with a grin.

    “What’s next?” he asked. 

    “Uh.” Harry thought for a moment. “How ‘bout a Full Body Bind?”

    “Sure. What’s the incantation?” Draco asked.

    Harry replied, “Petrificus Totalus, but I don’t really fancy you trying it out on me.” He looked around the room. “Well I guess if we drag those cushions over.”

    They pulled the cushions that were piled in the corner of the empty classroom over to where they were practicing.

    “Alright, I’m ready.” Harry said.

    “Petrificus Totalus,” Draco said. Nothing happened.

    He tried again, “Petrificus Totalus.”    

    This time, Harry’s arms snapped to his side and his legs sprung together. The invisible bonds were easy enough to break, however, and Harry was soon free.

    “Again.”

    Draco tried once more and this time, Harry’s limbs went rigid and he fell back onto the pile of pillows. Draco grinned and cancelled the spell, helping Harry to his feet.

    “I think that’s quite enough for the day,” Harry said, rubbing his back.

    “Thanks for the help, Harry,” Draco said sincerely.

    “Sure.”

    “When are you signing the adoption papers?” he asked.

    “After final exams, but before we leave Hogwarts,” Harry said.

    “Uh, Harry?”

    “Yeah?”

    “I just wanted to er, warn you I guess...” Draco began. “You know that Professor Snape was a Death Eater?”

    “Yes, I did know that. He told me before I made my decision,” Harry said, almost in Snape’s defense.

    “Not everyone knows that, though some are suspicious,” Draco told him. “Anyway, I’m not sure if you realize, but Snape betrayed the Dark Lord and adopting you is not helping his case. His followers are going to be very mad at you and Snape.”

    Harry thought that over. “Thanks for the warning. I think we’ll be okay, though.”

    “I also wanted to tell you...” Draco hesitated, then continued quietly. “That includes my father.”

    “I know, Draco.”

    “You do?” he said in surprise. “And you’re still friends with me?”

    Harry smiled faintly. “I believe in not judging people based on their family. I mean, you should meet my old family. Who am I to judge?”

    “Thanks, Harry,” Draco said with a smile. “I was afraid that you would hate me after I told you that, but I didn’t want to pretend otherwise.”

    “Not a chance,” Harry said. “Though I think I’ll decline the offer to use your library. Research is difficult enough without having to watch your back.”

    Draco laughed. “Agreed. I also want to mention that I don’t believe in what he does. I don’t like the Dark Lord.”

    “I know, Draco. I believe you.”

 

 

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