Nicholas Flamel. The name echoed through Haiden’s mind as he traipsed lazily down the hall with Hermione as his side.
“I’m going to search the library again later, do you want to come?” she asked ambitiously?
“Again? Honestly, Hermione, there’s no chance that you can skim the entirety of the Hogwart’s library for one name!”
“Well it can’t hurt to try!” she replied brightly. “Anyway, I have charms now! What do you have?”
“Transfiguration. I’ll catch you later,” he said quietly.
They split directions, and he started toward Professor McGonagall’s classroom. He felt his stomach turn and he shook his head, angry at his thoughts. He ached to tell someone who he was, and there had been a few moments with Hermione where he’d nearly blurted his secret, just to get it off his chest.
Taking his seat, he joined his fellow Slytherins as an outcast. He dreaded when any professor uttered the word “partners” because Haiden was often the odd one out. The only time he ever spoke to Draco was during potions, and even then their verbal exchanges were no more sophisticated than grunting animals. He noticed the dirty looks and proceeded to ignore them as he set off to complete another agonizing day of classes.
At 7 PM he found himself beside Hermione once more, wondering how on Earth he’d managed to agree to another pointless library search.
“I think I’ll seach Wonderous Winged Wallywomps after this, although I can hardly imagine that,” she stated, grabbing the next book from the sack.
Haiden put his head on his forearm and considered the possibility of sitting idly in the path of stampeding hippogriffs. His reverie of no longer being subjected to mundane searches for one name ended abruptly when he heard someone loudly clear their throat. He looked up into the eyes of Ron Weasley.
“Hello, Ron, would you care to join us in our search for the name ‘Nicholas Flamel?’” Haiden asked sardonically, gesturing for Ron to sit beside the two sleuths.
The two didn’t really speak to each other, but there was an unspoken truce and respect between them. As such, Ron did not say anything as he took a seat.
“Oh splendid! Here, Ron, can you search through Petrifying Pumpkins and their Pompous Ponderings?”
Instead of taking the heavy book, Ron did something completely unexpected. Haiden watched as Ron dug deeply within the pocket of his trousers, and to their great surprise, he pulled out a card.
“Actually, I think I may have stumbled upon something on my own,” he said, sliding the card over to Hermione.
Mumbling as she read, Hermione made a small noise as she excitedly threw the card toward Haiden.
“You’ve done it! Nicholas Flamel was the partner of Albus Dumbledore! He’s an alchemist! The founder of the Sorcerer’s Stone! How could I have been so Stupid! That must be what the Dog are guarding! The Sorcerer’s Stone!” She slammed her book shut and stood abruptly, gathering her things.
The two boys, wide eyed, looked at each other in utter amusement and a small amount of embarrassment as Hermione sped away, mumbling an excuse about needing to think.
“So uhh…Snape. I see you’ve been hanging around Hermione a bit,” Ron started, the conversation seemingly forced and somewhat awkward.
“I have. My friends have all but shunned me for it, but she’s smart, and she’s kind of pulled me into this whole detective thing, even if it is a bit absurd at times. She’s a nice girl,” Haiden responded, taking great interest in his fingernails as he spoke.
“Well, I figure that anyone who would go against his own house to hang out with some Gryffindors is alright in my book.”
It was a compliment, and Haiden was inwardly thrilled. Hermione was great, but he missed the rough and tumble fun he used to have when Draco wasn’t a jerk.
“Yeah. So uhh..do you like quidditch?” Haiden asked, attempting to continue the refreshing conversation.
“Do I? I love it! My favorite team is the Chudley Cannons, and one day they’re going to win the quidditch world cup. Do you have a favorite team?” Ron asked enthusiastically.
“Honestly, I didn’t have a lot of exposure to professional quidditch, but I still love it. I think I’m going to try to out for seeker on the Slytherin team at the end of the month, but I don’t know if I’ll make it.” Ron’s eyes grew to the size of saucers.
“As a first year? That would be wicked! Of course, I’d root against you, but still, very ambitious. Your dad is head of the house though, so it might be a little easier.”
“Are you kidding? I don’t even think my dad knows which way a broom is positioned when you fly! I, for one, have never seen him on a broom, and I know he didn’t play when he was here. He is very funny about matches though. Of course he’s a huge Slytherin fan, and goes to all the matches and makes bets with Professor McGonagall, but deep down I’m not entirely sure he even knows what he’s watching!” Haiden laughed. “We should play some time…you know, if you’re not embarrassed to be seen with a Slytherin or something like that…”
“No, yeah, definitely. We should play sometime. Maybe when it gets warmer.”
The conversation tapered then, and before long both the boys decided to vacate the library, but they felt more of a connection, and Haiden felt himself smile all the way back down to the dungeons.
As he turned toward the common room, a cold chill struck him, and decided instead to stop at his father’s private quarters first.
His foot steps echoed down the hall as he reached his father’s door. He knocked quickly, and a few moments later his father pulled the old door opened.
“Hello, Haiden,” his father greeted.
“Hey Dad. Can I come in for a bit?”
“Of course.” Haiden stepped inside as his father’s familiar scent penetrated him. “Actually I just wanted to tell you that I’m definitely going to try out for quidditch at the end of the month.” Severus smiled.
“Good, son. Sometimes I feel like you’re not happy, and that worries me. I know you and Draco still aren’t talking—“
“That’s only because he doesn’t think that I shouldn’t have friends outside of Slytherin, and he also was mad at me when I was all moody last term.”
“Well you’re not anymore, but I must impress upon you the importance of House loyalty and sticking together. It’s fine to have friends outside of your house, but you are a Slytherin and there are certain responsibilities that come with that,” Severus said quietly. “I had friends outside the house of Slytherin, notably your mother. But you have classes and share many things with the people in your house, and you should remember that.”
“Dad, I think maybe I’m supposed to be in Gryffindor,” Haiden said quietly.
It was as if Severus had always known his son would say these horribly traitorous words to him. He lowered his head slightly, but then looked Haiden in the eye.
“The sorting hat is never wrong.”
“But I asked it to put me in Slytherin. More specifically, I asked not to be put in Gryffindor. But honestly dad, I think that was because I had been raised to believe that Slytherin was the right house. I didn’t even give any of the other houses a fair chance, I just knew I wanted to be in Slytherin, but now I don’t think I do. Now I think I am definitely more suited toward Gryffindor. I chose nurture over nature!” Haiden finished.
“You chose…what?” Severus asked.
“Well, I’ve been researching this…well, I’ve been helping Hermione in the library, and she made me look through this muggle psychology book, and I just read about this thing called nature vs. nurture, or being born with certain things vs. being raised with them.”
“Well that’s the problem. If it’s a muggle text book it probably doesn’t apply to this. Tell me why you think Gryffindor is more suited for you.”
“Well, because I’m not really that cunning or sneaky or anything. I don’t try to hurt people, and I certainly don’t make fun of others because they are different or don’t agree with what I do. I think I’m loyal and brave. I know I’m brave, I feel it. And I survived a freaking death curse. That’s pretty brave, isn’t it? And both my parents were Gryffindors, and I just think I should be too.”
“You’ve already been sorted,” Severus countered, surprised at his persistence to push Slytherin upon his unhappy son.
“You are right, and I accept that. But…Harry Potter hasn’t been sorted,” Haiden said the last part quietly.
“But you know that you cannot live as Harry Potter. Even though that is who you truly are, you cannot live as him, at least not yet. It’s too dangerous. Especially right now.”
“Why right now? What’s going on right now?” Haiden asked, his indignant attitude melting into curiosity.
“If it’s something to do with me, then I demand to know!”
“It has nothing to do with you. But if you emerge as Harry Potter, it will have a lot to do with you.”
“Does this have anything to do with the Sorcerer’s Stone?” Haiden asked, and then he slapped a hand harshly over his mouth.
“How do you know about that?” Severus asked sharply, rising from his seat.
“I-I don’t. I just…guessed. I learned of it in class…”
“You did not. How do you know of the Stone?”
“It’s-It’s on every chocolate frog card. Nicholas Flamel. It’s…common knowledge. Why, is the stone here or something?”
Severus paused, appraising his son’s countenance. “No. Now you should go to bed, it’s getting late and you have class tomorrow.”
“Of course. Always a pleasure, father.” Haiden gave his father a quick hug and then ran from the room, through the common room and into his dormitory, where he shut the curtains of his bed and thought about the events that had just transpired. He grabbed a pen and paper and wrote his frustrations to his father, noting as he wrote that his stomach pained him and he felt dizzy.
I know about the Sorcerer’s Stone. I know that the Dogs are probably hiding it. I know that you know about it too, and I don’t know why you do. I know that before Christmas you tried to get passed the dogs, but they bit you and that’s why you were bleeding. Why do you want the stone so bad? I’ve been thinking about it more often, and I think there’s a lot you’re not telling me. I remember when I was younger and I saw that thing inside Lucius Malfoy’s penseive about Harry Potter. I haven’t forgotten really, I just pushed it down and don’t think about it. But…you were there with the Dark Lord. I hope you’re not trying to help him or something. I mean, I know he’s dead and all, but seriously, why would you want it? If Hagrid and Dumbledore were the only ones who were supposed to know about it, then why do you know? I wish I could ask. I want to know why I’m in danger. Most of all, I just want to be me…”
Haiden laid down, feeling intensely dizzy, and decided to go to sleep. At least when he dreamt, he could be moderately happy without the scrutinizing eyes of his house mates.
A/N: I am so exceedingly sorry for the amount of time it has taken me to get this chapter up. My boyfriend recently left me for Air Force boot camp, my father lost his job of 26 years, my mom had surgery, and I didn’t get an interview for my #1 graduate school choice. That, combined with school, work, volunteering, and that stupid staff competition that I’m trying to help out with by validating my little heart out…has put me waaaaaaaay out of commission. I hope it’s not so long of a wait next time. I had major writer’s block with this chapter too, so I hope it’s not too stagnant. I’m planning on picking this story up some more, so be ready :) Oh and my birthday is tomorrow, YAY ME!!!!!! Lol.