Harry was against it, but Draco was adamant about his idea- just go ask Professor Snape what was going on. And so Harry found himself following Draco down into the dungeons to Professor Severus Snape’s office.
It really shouldn’t have been a problem, he thought. After all, Snape was head of Slytherin House, and known to favor his own students. And Harry, after all, was a Slytherin. So… why did he always get the feeling that Snape wished nothing more than to deny his existence?
“Come on Potter,” snapped Malfoy, looking over his shoulder. Harry was about fifteen yards behind, his footsteps getting smaller as he neared the Potions room.
Resigning himself to whatever happened next, Harry ran ahead to catch up, as Draco knocked on the door.
They waited there for a few moments, and as Harry was about to say “He’s not here, let’s go back,” Snape opened the door to peer at them.
“Ah, Draco. And Potter. What can I do for you?” he asked, eying them suspiciously.
“I was wondering, sir,” began Draco subtly, “What’s that three headed dog on the third floor guarding, and why is Professor Quirrell trying to steal it?” he finished, all subtlety dropped by the wayside.
Snape’s eyes grew to the size of Galleons, and he yanked Harry and Draco into his office, looking around the dungeon hallway to see if anyone else was there.
“How? What? Why?!” he spluttered, losing the ability to form coherent sentences. “How do you know about that dog?!” he finally got out.
“We followed you on Halloween,” said Draco calmly. His casual confidence and frankness startled Harry, who would never have imagined that a student would speak to Snape like that.
“Of course,” sighed Snape, rolling his eyes. “How many times did I tell that blithering idiot that Hogwarts was no place to guard treasures?! Now I have first years in my office asking me about it! Bah! ‘Relax, Severus, it will all be fine,’ he says, but does he go to stop that idiot Quirrell from taking it? Does he lose half his leg in the process? No, that’s for Snape to do, Snape the worry-wart!” he spat.
Draco and Harry sat there quietly, as Snape continued ranting and raving at Dumbledore’s insanity, though he was careful the entire time not to specify what the ‘treasure’ was, or any other details.
“So professor,” interrupted Malfoy, “what is the dog guarding?”
“I can’t tell you that,” Snape snapped.
“Well,” said Draco calmly, in the voice he usually used to coerce other Slytherins into doing his bidding, “I could always write to my father, and then he, along with the rest of the Board of Governors, could come down to the school to investigate.”
At first, Snape looked as if he would like nothing better than to see Dumbledore humiliated before the Board of Governors, but then he thought better of it. After all, a new Headmaster might not tolerate his background, or his teaching methods.
“It’s the Philosopher’s Stone,” he finally told Draco, whose eyes doubled in size. Harry didn’t know what that meant.
After he’d explained to them what the Philosopher’s Stone was, Snape swore Draco and Harry to secrecy about it. “I can’t wait to see Dumbledore’s face when I tell him that a couple of first years found out about his precious little Stone!”
With that, Snape rushed them out of his office and darted up the stairs.
“Did you know he could move that fast?” asked Draco.
Defense Against the Dark Arts with Professor Quirrell was, needless to say, awkward after Halloween. Harry and Draco kept their eyes on Quirrell the whole time, as if expecting him to dart out to take the stone at any moment. Professor Quirrell, who wasn’t used to students paying attention, kept getting nervous about it.
“What’s up with you two?” asked Blaise after class.
“What?” asked Draco, still staring at Quirrell as he entered the staffroom.
“You two are actually paying attention to Professor Quirrell!” Nott yelled, bending over in laughter. “Really now, who does that?”
Harry and Draco shared a nervous glance with each other. “It’s, um,” said Harry, “a little joke of ours. Quirrell’s never had anyone pay attention before, so he gets flustered, and drops things, and generally makes a mess of his life.”
“Oh,” said Blaise skeptically, “so why not do that with Professor Binns?”
“That old nut wouldn’t even notice,” pointed out Harry, which made Nott and Blaise laugh.
“Speaking of nuts,” said Draco, “look who it is. It’s weasel, Longbottom, and the Mudblood.” Indeed it was- Gryffindor’s idiot trio, responsible for losing 60 points and embarrassing the entire House.
Upon hearing of them, Longbottom flushed a dark shade of purple, and Weasley ducked behind Granger. “Oh, shut up Malfoy!” she snapped.
Glad that the trio had showed up to change the subject, Harry joined in on the assault. “What’s wrong Weasley?” he asked, “Are we really so scary that you’d get so close to that thing?” He was pointing at Granger, who opened her mouth in indignation. Weasley on the other hand, flushed the same color as Neville.
“Get up, you!” snapped the Mudblood, yanking Ron up by his ear. “They’re just two typical Slytherin idiots, nothing to be scared of.”
“She’s right, Weasley,” sneered Malfoy, “no reason to be afraid of Nott and Zabini here. Us, on the other hand…” He smiled maliciously.
“Let’s just get out of here,” Neville muttered. “I don’t want to be cursed-”
Suddenly, Harry drew his wand above his head. “Abracadabra!” he snapped, and before he brought his wand down, Weasley and Longbottom were already running down the corridor.
“Why do I even put up with those idiots?” Hermione muttered darkly, glaring at Harry before turning around and storming after her idiots.
“What spell was that?” asked Nott, staring at Harry oddly. Blaise was also eying him curiously. He realized that, never having been near Muggles, they wouldn’t know anything about weird Muggle conceptions about magic.
On Christmas morning, Harry was woken by a loud pounding on the door. “Wake up Potter!” It was Draco.
“What is it?” he asked groggily. He was in one of the many guest rooms at Malfoy Manor, surrounded by luxury items he never would have dreamed of a year ago- like the silver clock on the bedside table that magically glowed with blue fire. It was close to 6 in the morning.
“Just get up already, it’s Christmas morning,” snapped Draco. “I want to see what my mum got you.”
“Oh!” Harry exclaimed, jumping out of bed and dressing himself as quickly as he could. Christmas at the Dursleys was usually a sordid affair- at least for him- and he was looking to the first enjoyable Christmas of his life.
“Come on,” Draco insisted as he got out the door. He dragged Harry down the stairs, to the foot of the 18 foot Christmas tree. There were brightly wrapped boxes everywhere, which Malfoy immediately started sorting through.
As Harry stood there idly, Draco turned around and stared at him. “Potter, don’t expect me to open yours for you!”
“There are some for me!?” Harry asked, still disbelieving.
“Yes,” Draco said. “Yes. There are presents for you, Potter. Now stop standing there awkwardly and find them.”
Still feeling strange about seeing his own name on a Christmas present, Harry soon found there was a rather large pile for him- not as large as Draco’s, but much larger than any pile Dudley had ever received. “Ah yes,” Draco said, grinning ear to ear, “Father accidentally mentioned to some of his Ministry friends that you were staying here at the Manor for Christmas, so they all decided to send you a thing or two.”
The pile of stuff seemed endless, and mind-blowing. Unlike Draco, Harry wasn’t used to spending two hours opening presents on Christmas morning, and he was actually tired of it halfway through.
He got several boxes of various candies, some money, a great deal of precious gold and silver adornments, free dress robes from Twilfitt and Tatting’s, tickets for the next Quidditch World Cup (Egypt versus France, held in Russia), and some rock cakes from Hagrid which he let Dobby the house-elf throw out for him.
“Ooh, World Cup tickets,” said Draco, leaning over his shoulder. “Mr. Bagman sends them to us every year. Last year was Japan versus Italy, in Norway.”
“Want to go for a quick fly around the grounds before your parents wake up?” Harry asked- despite all Draco’s attempts, their brooms were still at the Manor.
“Alright then, come on.”
As soon as the two of them left for the grounds, Lucius and Narcissa came down the staircase, surveying the various unwrapped gifts.
“Lucius, what exactly is your plan for Harry?” Narcissa asked her husband. She was still wearing her red nightgown, which hung loosely off of her slim frame.
“I’ve already explained this, Narcissa. The Potter boy has incredible powers. Making him an ally of the House of Malfoy would ensure our power for a century or more,” he told her. “He has power, but he’s still young and naïve. This is the best time to bring him under our wing.”
“What powers, Lucius?” Narcissa asked. “I’ve been watching him constantly, and he’s demonstrated no ‘special powers’ that I can see. He’s just a normal eleven year old boy.”
“Really Narcissa?” asked Lucius, a malicious glint in his eye. “Then why are you suddenly his advocate?”
“What?” asked Narcissa, confused.
“Narcissa, you don’t usually get involved in my schemes. Why are you questioning me about Potter?”
“I-” Narcissa began, but Lucius interrupted her.
“And Draco, who has never had a friend before, is actually… how do I say this, is actually being a decent person to Potter.”
“What are you babbling about, Lucius?” she demanded.
“Potter has abilities the Dark Lord never had- he makes friends of everyone,” Lucius explained. “Magical power isn’t what it used to be. The Dark Lord made Grindelwald look like a semi-retarded Muggle circus act, and even at the height of his power, he did not control the hearts of his followers. Potter has that power.”
“So you truly want him to be the next Lord?” asked Narcissa.
“I do,” he said, picking up and examining Harry’s present from Minister Fudge- an official “Friend of the Ministry” plaque.
“What about the Dark Lord?” Narcissa hissed, looking around to make sure there was no one around. A decade after his fall, Lord Voldemort still inspired fear in those who had known him. “He will come back one day. And there can not be two Lords.”
“It’s simple,” Lucius answered calmly. “Potter and-” he paused before going on- “Riddle will fight again. And hopefully, it will go the same way as it did last time.”
“Hopefully?!” Narcissa demanded. “You plan on having an 11 year old boy fight against the Dark Lord?!”
“The Dark Lord will not rise today, nor tomorrow. It could be twenty years before they have their showdown.”
“He’s not strong enough,” Narcissa insisted.
“Then by all means, Narcissa,” Lucius laughed, “train him.”
“I shall,” she snapped, interrupting her husband’s chuckling. “You may forget this when it is convenient Lucius, but I am a daughter of the House of Black, and one of the four most powerful witches of the age.”
Lucius started laughing again. “Ah, I’d forgotten all about that Daily Prophet contest. How long ago was that? 18 years? Well, your sister’s in jail, she tortured Alice into insanity, and Lily Evans is dead, so I guess that makes you the greatest witch of this age, doesn’t it?” He was wearing a wolfish grin again.
“You’ll see,” she told him. “Come summer, I will turn Harry into a killing machine to make the Dark Lord cower.”
Author's Note: As always, reviews are appreciated. In particular, tell me what I'm doing BADLY.
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