Haiden stood in the middle of the Slytherin common room, which was strangely vacant at 9:45 in the evening. Perhaps it was the stress of the impending first year exams that had everyone in bed at a decent hour. Whatever the reason, Haiden was thankful for the quiet. In fifteen minutes, he was to meet his accomplices, and they would protect the school, of that he was sure. An eerie feeling crawled up his spine, and he shuddered, his shadow trembling in the fading yellow light from the cinders in the fire place.
This drive to protect the school had Haiden fully perplexed. First of all, the only indication he had that the school was in danger was his own very strong feelings and the fact that a lucrative item rested deep within the bowels of the castle. Furthermore, he was starting to doubt his theories about Lucius being the one trying to breach the security of the castle. It had sounded nearly perfect when he concocted the allegations against his father’s friend, but Haiden was beginning to think that his accusations were firmly rooted in his current disdain for Draco. So if it wasn’t Lucius, then why did he always have this odd feeling, like someone was planning something to obtain the stone.
It was something he couldn’t fully comprehend; it was as if his mind was screaming at him to defend the school he had loved since he was a boy. Flashes of what he thought the tunnel should look like came to him in his sleep, showing him short cuts and passageways. When he awoke in the mornings, the vivid dreams from the night had faded away into his subconscious, as dreams tend to do. Still, as he sat in the common room, preparing for the adventure he was about to embark on, he could see the tunnels clearly as if they were laid out like a map.
“What are you doing up?” Haiden did not have to turn to know that the frigid voice belong to Draco Malfoy.
“I don’t know. Couldn’t sleep,” he lied easily.
“I find it surprising that you would tell such a stupid lie. We’re dorm mates, remember?”
“We haven’t been ‘mates’ in a long time, Draco.”
“Well, that’s not my fault, is it? You’re the one flipping about with that stupid mudblood.” Draco stepped into Haiden’s view, his eyes blazing with malice.
“Really, Draco? Is that the worst you can say about me? I’ve been consorting with a mudblood, so I must have some horrible ulterior motive against you?”
“Hanging out with her is enough. And a Weasley too! I really thought that the honor of my friendship would be enough for you.”
Enraged, Haiden stood.
“That’s just the problem, Malfoy. We quit being friends when you began to assume it was an honor to be your friend! You aren’t my ruler, and I’m not your servant. You were…you were my best mate, Draco. All my childhood memories, they all involve you. Can we not just end this now? Please?”
Emotion infiltrated his voice as Draco’s eyes widened in surprise. He took a moment to think the revelation over, throwing his gaze to the fire place.
“Will you stop hanging out with the Granger girl? Because if word gets out that I was friends with a mudblood lover—”
“Forget it!” Haiden shrieked, standing to face his former friend. “Forget we were ever friends. It really, truly isn’t worth it. From now on, I’ll leave you alone and you do the same.”
Grabbing his things, he stormed from the common room out to the empty halls. He could have sworn that Draco looked genuinely sad as Haiden left.
Concealed beneath the invisibility cloak, Haiden did not feel well as he crept through the dark, deserted corridors. Several times he needed to stop and shake his head, closing his eyes and wishing the nausea would subside for just a while longer. It was a painful struggle to continue on, but this was no time to turn back. He made it to the outside of the common room and waited outside by the portrait. The two Gryffindors emerged seconds later. Haiden shoved his hand out from underneath the cloak, alerting them to his presence, and they quickly joined him.
“This is wicked!” Ron whispered as they crept passed the sleeping portraits the hung on the walls.
“Ouch! Ronald, you keep stepping on my foot!” Hermione exclaimed, elbowing him.
“You two…have to be quiet…it’s an invisibility cloak…not a…sound proof room,” Haiden choked out.
“Are you alright, Haiden?” Hermione asked quietly, putting a hand on his arm, forcing him to stop.
“Yeah, mate, you don’t sound very good. Are you sure we should do this?”
“I’m fine, it’s just a headache, and it’s clearing up now, so there shouldn’t be any trouble.” And in fact, Haiden was not lying. The pain was easing, just as he’d wished. “Now let’s go, we need to hurry.”
They arrived on the third floor, and a wave of exhilaration swept over the motley group. As they neared the door, a strange sound issued from the room where the three headed dog awaited. It sounded like whimpering.
“What in the…” Ron trailed off, peaking behind the door. “Bloody hell! Someone has already been here! And they’ve hurt the dog…”
Fluffy, the monstrous three headed dog, lay wounded off to the side of the room. One head licked his paws, which had thick, bloody cuts across them, while the other two whimpered in pain.
“Who would do such an awful thing to a defenseless creature!” Hermione moaned, running out from under the cloak.
“I’d hardly call that thing defenseless!” Ron exclaimed. “Besides, you ought to be careful, Hermione, I don’t think we should mess with it. It seems pretty sickly. Not mortally wounded but, you know…still dangerous.”
“It’s not an it, it’s a he, and he is just a poor dog who needs help—”
“Alright, you two, can we please stop arguing? This means that there is someone here already…someone has already gone down in the tunnel! And that means we have to hurry!” Haiden said, closing the door to the room behind him. The dog looked up when the door creaked and gave a low guttural growl, but did not take any action against the three students. The trap door in the middle of the room was open, and smoke poured through it.
“What on Earth could have caused that? I’m going to go down and see.”
“Haiden, wait!” Hermione exclaimed, but Haiden had already jumped down the hole.
He landed with a loud thud in what seemed to be a large pile of ash. Several scorched tendrils hung from the ceiling, and a small fire was burning off to the side, sending plumes of smoke through the hole in the floor.
“I’m not sure what used to be down here, but it has definitely been destroyed. Whoever has decided they want the stone is just destroying all the safeguards set up to protect it. I don’t even know how they would do that…unless they were using some kind of really, really dark magic.”
Within seconds, the other two had joined him down in the hole.
“I think this used to be devils snare. It seems to have the components of it. I know that it doesn’t like light, but why on Earth would someone destroy it?” Hermione tried to reason through it and could not find a suitable explanation. “Haiden, I don’t think this is Lucius Malfoy. Whatever it is…I think it is much, much worse.”
Looking down the tunnel, they saw what appeared to be a long hallway, with several fires burning ominously.
“I agree. Let’s go.” Could it be the one who tried to kill him all those years earlier? It seemed impossible, but who else would destroy everything?
“Haiden, are you sure you want to do this?” Ron asked hesitantly.
“I have to. I have to do this for me, for my dad…for my parents…”
“I don’t understand, Haiden, why do you have to do this?” There was palpable tension suddenly between the three of them, and Haiden turned away from the other two.
“I promise to you, I’ll explain everything when this is all over, but right now we don’t have enough time for that. Now let’s go!”
Haiden took off running, passing through a door way. On the other side, he found thousands of keys with wings flying around the room and a broom thrown haphazardly on the floor. It was an odd sight, watching keys fly around as though that was what they were made to do. There was a key already in the door, with its wings torn off. The heavy door was ajar, and Haiden struggled to open it fully.
“Will you look at this? It’s amazing. And how stupid for whoever was here first to just leave all this stuff destroyed. It’s much faster for us,” Ron said, looking up at the keys. The other two were already out of the room, and he to jog to catch up with them.
The next room held broken chess pieces, in a game that Haiden assumed had been wizard’s chess. The board was life size, but he did not take the time to inspect the pieces. They were smashed all over the floor, bits scattered in every direction. Ron looked almost heartbroken that he didn’t have a chance to play the game, but Hermione did not stop to mourn the wasted opportunity.
“Haiden, look up ahead, it’s some kind of potion…I bet your dad had something to do with this one.” Haiden closed his eyes as a strong wave of nausea invaded his senses. “Dad,” he said simply, before collapsing onto the floor.
“Haiden? Haiden!” Hermione yelped, kneeling beside her fallen friend.
“What in the hell happened to him?” Ron asked.
“Oh…oh my God, look. There, on his forehead…” she trailed off and abruptly stood, backing away from Haiden.
“That can’t be. He can’t be…what’s happening?” Ron stumbled around, looking for any sort of word that would describe what he was looking at, but in truth, he could not. The boy everyone knew as Haiden Snape began to transform magically before their eyes. The first evidence of this change was a lightning bolt scar, just above his eyebrow.
“Harry Potter.” It sounded silly, almost clunky coming from her tongue, but it was true.
“The Harry Potter? Blimey, all this time, he’s been alive right under our noses. The boy who lived. I don’t believe it.” But there he was on the floor, with all the facial features of Harry Potter. His face softened a bit, and his hair shortened considerably, sticking out every which way as if it had a mind of its own. And that prominent scar—it could be no one else. At least three minutes went by while the transformation occurred, and shortly after that, Haiden stirred.
“Euuggghhh,” he groaned, opening his eyes. “What’s happened? Oh God…why do I sound like this?” The pitch of his voice had raised a few notes and sounded more tenor, rather than the baritone of his father.
“Haiden, um…I’m not sure how to say this…I don’t know if you even know. But…I think you might be Harry Potter,” Hermione said the words gently, in case the poor boy was not already aware.
“What? How do you know that?” He asked, brushing himself off, and standing. “Did I…have I changed?” He instinctively put his hand up to his forehead and felt the rough edges of the scar. “Oh no…ooohhhh no…”
“Wow mate, I can’t believe it’s really you. Harry Potter…that’s so wicked.”
“My name is Haiden!” he spat, turning toward the potion. “My name is Haiden, and I have to do this.”
“But what…what if the person who is trying to steal the stone is he-who-must-not-be –named?” Hermione asked in a fearful, small voice.
“It probably is him! And I have to stop him, Hermione. Weasley, don’t look at me like that, seriously, it’s bugging me out. It probably is him, and I have to stop him. I’ve done it once before, who’s to say I can’t do it again?” Haiden’s green eyes sparkled with determination, and he stepped closer to the last obstacle in his way, the only one that wasn’t completely destroyed.
“There’s a riddle attached to this one, I don’t think it’ll be easy,” Hermione whispered, clearly shaken at the events that had just unfolded.
“Well, who would know my father better than me?”
“Is Snape really your father?” It was a logical question, and Haiden did not express anger as he turned to face the fiercely blushing red head.
“In DNA, no, he’s not. But in every other aspect of my entire existence, he is all I know. I love my father very much. He raised me, and took care of me, and even though sometimes I was ungrateful, he loved me all the same. So yes, he really is my father.”
The look Hermione gave Ron was worse than daggers, but Haiden was oblivious.
“I don’t even know what the riddle says, and I think the answer is going to be uncharacteristic of him. I would say, without even looking at it, that the answer is love, or being a parent, or having a son, or a father to a son, or something mushy like that.”
One of the words, and he didn’t know which, was exactly what the obstacle was looking for, and it pushed a potion out for him to drink.
“How did you do that?” Hermione asked, confusion painted across her face.
“I figured that, besides me and Dumbledore and some of the other professors here, no one would know my dad had anywhere in his heart for love. So if it truly was the Dark Lord who tried to get through here, he probably had a nasty time trying to figure out the answer.”
“Well, whoever it was left only a little bit of potion, probably enough for only one person,” Ron said simply. “I think we should probably run to get help.”
“No! I don’t want to leave you, Haiden, you need help, and I’m staying!” Hermione exclaimed, taking hold of Haiden’s arm.
“Hermione, no. I have to do this alone, and I need you to get help. Ron’s right, this might end up being bigger than me.” He patted her hand gently, and unwrapped the fingers plastered to his arm.
“Haiden, mate, I’m sorry for all the things I said about you. You’re alright, y’know? Good luck in there, we’ll be back as fast as we can,” Ron said, nodding toward the Slytherin.
“Thanks, Ron. Not sure I want to know all the things you said about me. Hermione, without you, I wouldn’t be getting ready to do this. Thank you for all your help.” He leaned in and kissed her cheek, feeling slightly awkward. She blushed crimson and nodded.
“You better go. As fast as we can, Haiden, I promise we’ll return.”
Haiden downed the potion and stepped through the barricade. All that was left was a sleek looking tunnel with a door toward the end of the hall. He paced himself as he walked, trying to mentally prepare himself for whatever lay behind the door. Wand in hand, he finally reached the end of the hall. Taking a few deep breaths, he muttered “Alohomora” and burst through the door.
The chamber on the other side was large, and there was a man standing in the middle, clearly surprised at the interruption.
“Professor Quirrell?” Haiden could hardly believe his eyes. The stuttering professor was not wearing his turban, and Haiden instantly saw that there was another face on the back of the man’s head.
“HARRY POTTER!” A voice that was not Quirrell’s boomed, and it sent shivers down Haiden’s spine. The area of his scar was suddenly burning and aching.
“It is you. I knew it. I knew you would want the stone.”
“Where have you been all these years, boy? And where is the stone?” Quirrell had not spoken a word, only the thing that seemed to be possessing him.
“I am not telling you where the stone is! It is safely hidden!”
Quirrell’s body lurched forward at Haiden, and he ducked out of the way. Why was the room empty? Where was that bloody, stupid stone? Haiden was panicked, but he tried not to show it.
“You’ve no idea where the stone is anymore than I do, boy! But that’s alright. I shall use this opportunity to do what I failed to do all those years ago. Kill the boy!”
His voice was severe as he said it, but Haiden did not fear, and he did not run away.
The only thought that ran through his head was “Dad. Where are you, father, I need you. Dad!”
Several loud thumps issued from the front of his chambers. Severus was instantly awake, and he threw on a robe before running to the door. Standing in her night clothes was Minerva McGonagall.
He wasted no time, running to his bedroom to get his wand. He was ready to turn away when he saw something, blood red in color, sitting on his night stand. He grabbed it, and his breath caught in his throat.
“Minerva, why is the stone in my room? I assure you…my God, Haiden is in the chamber.” He took off running, with Minerva trailing behind him.
“Two students…from my house…they were with him. Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger.” Severus groaned, hearing the two Gryffindors’ names.
“We must make haste. How long has he been down there? If it truly is the Dark Lord…” Severus stopped, feeling his heart break. “If it truly is the Dark Lord, then I cannot be anywhere near Haiden.” Of all the times he had cried in his life, the urge had never been this overwhelming. “I can not continue down with you. I’m compromised, I can’t show any sort of emotion. I’ll go get Filius. Go down on your own.”
“Severus, this is not a time to think of that,” Minerva said sharply. “You must come down with me. You are not a death eater anymore. Now come downstairs and get you son. He needs you.”
Nodding once, Severus continued on. “How did this happen? There were so many obstacles in that tunnel, there’s no way that Haiden could have passed them all.”
“It seems as though they were destroyed. Hurry, this way.” They reached the third floor in no time, taking note of the poor whimpering dog. Running through all the obstacles, they came to the same door Haiden had faced not thirty minutes earlier. Pushing it open, they found him, crumpled on the floor. There was no sign of the Dark Lord, and there seemed to be some sort of sandy substance on the ground.
Severus felt his world completely shatter as he looked at the broken boy. “Not you too…Oh no, not you too,” he said, falling to his knees. Not his son, not his Haiden. Not like Lily… He felt the tears in the corner of his eyes, but he would not let Minerva see him cry.
Minerva checked the room for any evidence of a Dark force, and there was none. She had a strong suspicion that the sand on the floor had once been Quirrell, but she did not say so.
Haiden was pale, and he had transfigured in to Harry Potter. The scar on his forehead was red, and there were several lacerations across his face and arms. They did not bleed much, and yet the boy was like a rag doll. Severus brushed the hair away from his face and noticed a slight rise and fall of his chest.
“He’s alive…oh thank God…”
“We need to get him to the hospital wing, Severus. I’m not sure what happened in here, but I’m going to call Dumbledore straight away. Come on.”
Severus nodded, scooping his son up into his arms. He carried him to the infirmary and placed him on the bed, not leaving his side for the rest of the night.
*** A/N: confusion? Puzzled? Haha, well don’t worry, I explain it all in the next chapter. I do want to say a few things about this chapter, about why I chose to do things this way. One of the challenges of writing this story has been avoiding having things happen exactly like they did in Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone. Since I could not do it in the same way, I chose to have Voldemort destroy everything, thus avoiding going through the obstacles. Another thing- I never introduced the mirror of Erised in my story, so I had to come up with a different way for Haiden to get the stone. I did not read SS prior to writing this (well, let’s say I haven’t read it in a long time) intentionally so that I would not take copyrighted material. Anything that is recognizable is found in the Sorceror’s Stone, Chapters 16 and 17. I will explain how the stone got on Severus’s night table in the next chapter. I see one more chapter and an epilogue in the future :) Please review!