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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27. Chapter 27

    Harry helped his friends push their luggage to the train for he had left his behind. Severus had said that he would bring it. After all, it was only one trunk. Draco, Hermione, Ron and Harry snagged an empty compartment and settled in. With a loud noise, the train pulled away and Hogwarts grew smaller and smaller.

    “I’ll miss it,” Harry said sentimentally, thinking of his first true home. 

    His companions nodded in agreement. A solemn silence descended for a few moments. 

    “Anything fun planned for the summer?” Hermione asked to ease the tension. 

    Draco and Ron shook their heads.

    “We’ll that’s disappointing. You, Harry?” she asked.

    “Er, I don’t know,” he said honestly.

    “Right.”

    “What about you?” Ron asked Hermione.

    She replied, “A few camping trips I think. Nothing earth shattering.”

    It was ironic that after wanting so badly to spend these last few hours together that they had run out of things to say. They continued a sparse, awkward conversation until the food cart came by and they all bought chocolate frogs.

    “Another Dumbledore, who’d you get?” Harry asked Draco.

    “Ravenclaw.”

    “I got another Morgan Le Fay, want to trade?” Ron asked Harry. They swapped cards.

    “Circe,” Hermione announced, opening hers. “She’s pretty. Oh, it says she was known for her potions. Probably brewed one for beauty.”

    “Morgan Le Fay sure could’ve used one,” Ron pointed out causing them to erupt in laughter and revert back to their usual chatting selves. 

    The miles magically melted by beneath the rumbling train and before long they had arrived at King’s Cross station. As the train rolled to a stop, Hermione wiped a small tear from her eye. 

    “I’ll miss you all so much,” she said in a wavering voice. “Please write,” she implored, staring sternly at Harry as if he would forget. 

    “I will,” he promised. The others did likewise.

    “Oh,” she cried, launching at Ron with a fierce hug. He stumbled back, knocking his knee on the seat and collapsing.

    “Sorry,” Hermione said sheepishly, righting herself.

    “ ‘S alright,” he replied.

    Harry and Draco also received hugs, albeit rather more gently.

    Ron helped Hermione out with her bags and Harry waited to help Draco.

    “Draco, keep me informed about what your dad says, okay? If there’s a problem I’m sure Snape would help.”

    “I’ll be sure to do that, Harry,” Draco said. “Thanks.”

    Harry nodded and exited the train. On the platform, happy families were being reunited in joyous scenes. Harry smiled and scanned the crowd. A round, ruddy face caught his eye. Harry gulped. He had forgotten to inform the Dursleys that he was no longer their responsibility. As much as they hated Harry, he had been their house elf; now they had lost their servant. Making eye contact, Uncle Vernon advanced with heavy steps toward Harry.

    “Er, Harry, who’s that?” Draco asked warily.

    “My uncle,” Harry replied weakly.

    “Wow. I’d prefer Snape too.”

    Vernon reached Harry in less time than he thought possible for the weight he had to lug around.

    “Ready, boy?” he snapped. “Grab your trunk.”

    “Uh, I don’t have one, sir,” Harry replied.

    “What do you mean you don’t have one? You went this whole year with no clothes? No money? Where is your money? Have you lost it?” Uncle Vernon fired questions rapidly, color rising to his cheeks.

    Harry took a steadying breath. “I’ve been adopted, sir.”

    This stopped Vernon in his tracks. “What? By who?”

    “Severus Snape.”

    “That dark, creepy bloke that came to pick you up?” Vernon asked incredulously.

    “Yes,” Harry said simply.

    “Why weren’t we told?” he demanded.

    “I expect they owled you,” Harry said by way of explanation.

    “Huh,” he replied grudgingly.

    Harry shifted awkwardly. “So, uh, have a nice life.”

    With those parting words, Harry and Draco scrambled off into the crowd.

    “Merlin, he’s pleasant. I see why you were so excited about the adoption,” Draco said earnestly.

    “Yeah,” Harry agreed, spotting  a group of redheads a few feet away. “I have to go home with the Weasleys.”

    “Okay, my father’s over there,” Draco pointed. Harry saw the same menacing figure that he remembered from Diagon Alley.

    “Good luck, Draco,” Harry intoned in reference to telling his father about the house change. “And goodbye. Keep in touch.”

    “I will, Harry. Thank you for everything,” Draco said.

    Harry smiled a bit sadly. 

    “Bye, Harry.”

    “See you, Draco.”

    His blond head disappeared quickly in the crowd. Harry turned to join the Weasleys.

    “There you are, Harry dear,” Mrs. Weasley said through a crushing hug. She pulled away and looked him up and down. Still much too skinny though.”

    “Nice to see you, Mrs. Weasley,” Harry said politely.

    “Oh, dear,” she said fondly. “Now that you’re all here, we best get going.”

    They ran through the wall in pairs then proceeded nonchalantly on the other side.

    As they walked, the twins were telling Ginny horror stories about the year that had just come to an end. 

    “And the Slytherins cursed the bench last week so that anyone who sat on it was frozen to the seat,” Fred said.

    “They did not,” she protested.

    “Sure did,” George said. “Right, Harry?”

    “Uh, yeah,” Harry hesitated, caught unawares.

    “Ha! You’re lying.” Ginny accused.

    The twins shared a look. “Thanks, Harry,” they said in unison.

    Harry’s eyes narrowed and he allowed the others to walk ahead so that he was alone with the twins.

    “How do you talk in unison like that?” Harry asked. “Just out of curiosity.”

    “We’re twins, we share one mind,” George said capriciously.

    Harry scoffed. “Is that common mind called ‘Legilimency’?”

    They looked horrified, “He’s onto us!”

    Harry laughed and threw up some Occlumency blocks.

    “Well, sometimes,” George admitted. “Sometimes it’s just because we know each other so well.”

    “How’d you know?” Fred asked.

    “Go ahead, read my mind,” Harry challenged. Fred met his eyes and tried, but ran into a block.

    Harry winked. 

    “Snape teach you that?” George guessed. 

    “No,” Harry lied. “I’m kinda impressed though; Hermione tells me it takes a lot of skill to do it wandlessly and nonverbally.”

    They looked proud. “How do you think we always know the best jokes to crack?” Fred asked.

    Harry laughed again and jogged to catch up with the others.

 

 

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

 

 

    Back at the Burrow, they sat playing chess until Snape arrived. It was late afternoon and Mrs. Weasley was preparing dinner in the kitchen. Severus stepped in to announce his presence.

    “I’m here for Harry,” he said bluntly, startling Mrs. Weasley.

    “Oh, and hello to you too, Severus.”

    He nodded distractedly, then began to head into the adjoining room in search of the child.

    “Hold on a minute, Severus,” Mrs. Weasley said in a bossy tone that could only come from raising a houseful of boys. “Was anything the Prophet said true?”

    “No, of course not. Ask Harry,” Severus replied defensively.

    “I didn’t think so,” she said, sounding reassured. Mrs. Weasley then began to grin wryly. “So what was that about not giving him any ‘love and care’?” she quoted from their conversation over the summer.

    Severus scowled. Without a reply, he left the room. He found Harry playing chess and nodded approvingly.

    “Are you ready, Harry?” he asked.

    “Yeah!” the boy replied. Severus waited patiently through a sad goodbye with the youngest Weasley boy, then raised an eyebrow when the twins came in.

    “See you, Harry,” one of them said.

    “Don’t let him get you down,” the other added in what he thought was a hushed tone.

    “I won’t,” Harry and Snape said simultaneously. Harry grinned as Severus scowled.

    The twins stared with open mouths. “Er, better go now. Bye,” Fred said as they edged out of the room.

    Severus led Harry over to the Floo.

    “Where are we going?” Harry asked.

    “Spinner’s End.” Snape gestured for Harry to go first.

    Harry stepped inside and very carefully said, “Spinner’s End.”

    He was gone in a flash of green. Severus politely said goodbye to the nearest Weasleys and followed.

 

 

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

 

 

    Harry stood in a sitting room that was appropriately dark though accented by an old woven rug. Its colors had tried to remain lively, but to no avail; the faded cloth gave the room a sad look. On top of the rug sat a couch and an armchair, equally drab. A large writing cabinet resided in the corner and a solitary window broke the right wall’s clean expanse. To Harry’s left was the door to the kitchen, as far as he could see, and a door opposite him seemed to lead to a small hallway. Harry jumped as the fireplace flashed behind him and Snape stepped out.

    “I see you made it to the right place,” he said casually.

    “There’s no mistaking it; this is the right place,” Harry said with repulsed air. “When was the last time this place was cleaned?”

    “Yesterday morning, sir,” a squeaky voice piped up. Harry’s head whipped towards the kitchen where a small creature with sagging skin and very large ears stood. He was dressed in a tea towel. His golfball sized eyes turned to Harry. “I is Midgy, sir, at your service.”

    Harry looked at Severus incredulously. His mouth twitched. “A house elf, Harry. She cooks and cleans here. She came with the house.”    

    “I will start dinner, sir,” she said and disappeared.

    “She?” Harry asked. “Do you think she needs help?”

    “Harry,” Severus said gently. “You don’t need to do chores here. She’ll take care of it.”

    “I still might do a little,” Harry searched for a tactful way to say- “livening up.”

    “As you wish,” Severus said indifferently but a little amused. “Come, I will show you around.”

    The hallway that Harry had glimpsed through the door had a decent sized library at one end and the front door and foyer at the other. A set of stairs led off the foyer. They climbed these and Harry was introduced to Snape’s room, a bathroom and his own. He opened the door to his room hesitantly.

    The bed was covered in green and silver silky sheets and a large wardrobe sat in the corner. A writing desk was pushed up against the far wall under a large window. Harry smiled. He much preferred this to his cupboard.

    Snape seemed anxious. “Well? Is it to your liking? I can change the colors of the sheets or wallpaper with a quick spell, if you wish.”

    Harry smiled, “Of course it’s to my liking. I lived in a cupboard, remember? And we may need a bit of red and gold in here somewhere...”

    In a flash, the sheets had turned Gryffindor colors. 

    “Thanks, Severus,” Harry said. “I love it.”

    Severus gave a very small smile. “Good. Let us go down to dinner now.”

    “Is it ready that quickly?”

    “Midgy is very good, Harry,” Severus said.

    Indeed, dinner was ready. The small house elf served them at the dining room table. 

    “Thank you,” Harry said.

    If it was possible, Midgy’s eyes widened to an even larger size than normal. Harry glanced at Snape to see if he had done something wrong.

    “It is not common for someone to thank a house elf. They are like servants,” Severus explained.

    “That sounds like a Dursley way of thinking,” Harry said in disdain.

    Severus frowned. “It does.”

    “Is that why she wears a towel?” Harry asked after she was gone.

    “Yes. If they are given clothes, they are freed.” 

    “Oh,” Harry said, wondering why more weren’t freed.

    The dinner was delicious, almost Hogwarts fare. As soon as he set his fork down with a sigh, the dish wiped sparkling clean. Within moments, a piece of chocolate cake had appeared. 

    Harry smiled. This was going to be a good summer. As soon as dinner was over, Harry went to his room to unpack. He did this in a hurry, noticing that his belongings seemed sparse in the spacious room. He set the stationary set that Hermione had given him for Christmas down on the writing desk. Harry sat and began his first letter to his friends.

 

    It’s going to be a great summer.

 

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

 

The End!!

Thanks to everyone who has stuck with me throughout this story, I really hope you liked it! And a special thank you to all those who commented, it really means a lot. Also, fear not, there will be a sequel called Screams and Whispers and it has been posted and can be accessed through my profile page. I hope you follow that one as well as you have this one, and thanks again, you are all awesome!

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