Living at Hogwarts Part two
The moment Harry sat foot in Hogwarts, he dashed to the owlery and started to write another letter to Ginny.
Throughout dinner, the Weasley’s and to Harrys surprise even Daniel, shot him many nasty glanced and smirks.
The next day, at breakfast Hedwig flew in with a letter from Ginny. Delighted at how easily she was able to keep up reading and sending letters he smiled broadly at the Gryffindor table.
His own eyes were met with glances of loathing and not long after they walked over in closed formation.
“If you ever write to our babysister again, I swear I’ll make you pay,” Ron yelled.
The twins were grinning madly and said: “Our parents gave us the permission to prank you! We will make sure that you won’t have a single minute of peace. No meal, no piece of clothing will be left untouched! You are an alright chap, but the chance to prank without fearing mum is too good to pass on, don`t take it personal.”
Harry looked expecting to Daniel with a cooked eyebrow. The redheads were now too staring at Daniel, waiting for him to say something.
“Ehm, yes. Don’t write to Ginny, you are a Slytherin and we, ehh can trust you.”
Satisfied with that, the redheads and Daniel walked away while Harry could barely hold in his laughter.
Malfoy came over and said: “Hey, I know you don’t care about me but as a Slytherin I take threats to our house members seriously. We will stand beside you!”
“Thanks Draco, handling Ron and my brother is no problem. The twins are slightly worrisome, they think much more along the lines of a Slytherin.”
“If they do something, they will feel the wrath of a unified Slytherin house. You would be surprised, most your house mates actually like you.”
“Good to know, I guess I never tried to get to know anybody.”
“You seemed very happy with having a pen friend, is it really the daughter of the blood traitorous Weasley scum? She is not worth it.”
Harry’s eyes hardened. “Call her family what you want, but if you talk bad about Ginny once more, I will make you wish you would have never been born.”
“Woah, calm down. I didn’t mean anything by it. No need to try out those curses I saw you reading on the train, have you actually managed to cast any of them?”
“I almost got some of the spells to work, but I don’t devote much time it. For now I am happy with knowing the theory behind them. How about you, I heard you saying you father taught you some stuff over the holidays.”
“Oh so you do listen to your house mates.” Malfoy exclaimed. “He taught me some very powerful and extremely secret spells I won`t share!”
“As if” Harry thought but said: “Sounds awesome! We should head to potions, we might as well tell Professor Snape about Weasley clan’s threats. He will give them hell.”
Malfoy chuckled: “Sounds good.”
The day passed without any further interruptions.
Harry was able to stay clear from the pranks surprisingly well, growing up with a bully who could do anything without fearing punishment thaught him well.
Some weeks before, Harry had overheard Professor Snape talking with Professor Sinistra about the Hogwarts house elfs. They decided to visit them, because Professor Snape wanted to offer a midnight snack for his Slytherins.
Harry had followed them to a painting, where he saw Snape tickling a pear. To Harry’s astonishment the painting flung open and revealed an entrance.
In sight of the pranks Harry went to the kitchens and asked the house elf’s to double check his food for any ingredients that shouldn`t be there. He had learned from Malfoy that house elf had to obey their master. While the pupil where not directly the elf’s masters, they could still give simple orders as long as they did not contradict with order given by the staff. And there was surely no rule to protect oneself against pranks.
The weeks were passing by quickly without many noteworthy interruptions.
Harry tried to take Malfoys advice and to get to know his house mates better, but he soon realised that he did not have too much in common with him.
From those in his year Daphne Greengrass and Blaise Zabini seemed to be the ones he got along best with, but neither of them shared any of his interests. Not that Harry had any particular hobbies, he was not part of any club or engaging in any other social activities.
Something that Harry wanted to do very much was exploring Hogwarts, all the secret corners, the rooms behind paintings and mysteries of the ever moving furniture. But he did not want to spoil the fun of it for himself as Ginny was equally excited to go exploring.
Therefore Harry concentrated on his school work and his letters to Ginny. Because he could not send them every day like he used to, as it would be very difficult for Ginny to get away from her mum so often, he decided to make up the lack of quantity with quality. His letters grew in length and offered all Harry had learned in class, at least the theoretical parts. In addition he wrote her about interesting facts he had read in books and occasionally he put in some Hogwarts gossip.
Harry was struggling with the ladder. But for Ginny, who to his surprise liked gossip quite a bit as he had never guessed she would like such a girlish thing, he asked Daphne Greengrass what the latest stories were.
She had been giving him an odd look at first, but after Harry explained his situation she was happy to help him out. He did not understand what she meant by “that`s such a cute thing to do, I wish you best of luck.” He could not see what was cute about informing his best friend about what`s been going on at school or why he needed luck to write to her. Granted, she might have heard that Harry was not supposed to write her. This thought wasn’t convincing him entirely though.
The twins still tried to prank him regularly, but lost much of their enthusiasm from the beginning as Harry dodged many attempts or got help form Professor Snape to clean up any mess they managed to get Harry into. Professor Snape was showing to be a real live safer, Harry wondered how his father could have ever bullied him. When Professor Snape told Harry that his mother was only put in Gryffindor because she was muggle born and could therefore not be a Slytherin Harry had been very happy.
While he was glad to not be in Gryffindor with his brother, he had always felt like he had let down his parents. Happy with the knowledge of his mother being somewhat of an honorary Slytherin, at least to Professor Snape and him, he strode through the halls with new confidence.
Daniel was not talking to him, even in class he seemed to avoid being partnered with him. Much to Harrys delight, Daniel and Ron were struggling in class. If it would not be for their brown haired friend, he was sure they would fail. Apart from Defence against the Dark Arts Daniel was not excelling in any class, well and Flying if one wants to count that. Given Daniel had an expensive racing broom while Harry flew an old school broom he did not think of it as a fair comparison, so he dismissed it quickly.
His own marks were quite good, he was the year best in Potions and Transfiguration. While he was struggling a little bit with Charms he was still among the top students. It bugged him that he just seemed to not be able to control his magic as much as he would like. Where as in transfiguration the extra power he put into his spells could easily make up for a lack of control that was not possible in charms.
He resolved to ask Snape for some tricks to improve his control further, but he said that the art of Occlumency was already the best way. “Oh well some things are just not supposed to be, I guess,” he mused.
The weeks passed by quickly with Harry spending most of his time studying, writing letters to Ginny and evading pranks by the twins. He briefly wondered why Daniel, Ron and their friend Hermione seemed to be so interested in the legendary potion maker Nicholas Flamel, but thought nothing major of it. He deemed it best to stay out of their business, as long as they stayed out of his.
The upcoming end of year exams filled the entire student population with dread and stress. Harry was glad for his letter to Ginny as they served as a perfect tool for revision. Knowing he had learned a lot and understood all subjects, he went into to exams calm, collected and with a good feeling.
On the morning of the end of year feast they received their marks.
Harry eagerly opened the envelope and read:
History of Magic: O
Defence against the Dark Arts: E
He was grinning widely as he made his way up to the Owlery to let Ginny know about his marks.
On his way back down, he overheard Professor Snape talking with Professor Dumbledore: “The foolish Potter boy is nothing but trouble, he has to be expelled!”
“My dear Severus, how could I expel someone who just defeated Voldemort once again? He was willing to sacrifice his live for the light, I am glad I got their in time to rescue him from the flames.”
Snape snorted: “How did this stupid boy get through your protections anyway? You told us they were absolutely secure.”
“It seems, like Mr. Potter and his friend are much more than you think. I hope he will be out of the hospital by the evening, it would be a shame to miss the feast.”
“Ah yes the feast, my glorious Slytherin’s have once again won the cup.” With that Snape turned and walked away, while Harry hurriedly made his way towards the hospital wing.
Despite their animosity, Daniel was still his brother and having him lying in the hospital was not something Harry wished for. The fact that Dumbledore claimed him to have defeated Voldemort once again spiked his interest even more. Why would someone have to defeat a dead man?
Harry was glad to be entering the hospital wing for the first time, unlike his brother who seemed to be attracting trouble. “Or trouble is attracting him,” he thought.
He did not get far into the room until Madam Pomfrey came up: “Hello, are you hurt?”
“No, I would like to see my brother.”
“Oh, I am afraid he is still unconscious. I will tell him you were here once he wakes up. But in the meantime are no visitors allowed.”
“Ok, can you tell me what happened?”
“No, I cannot. Good bye.”
Being shoved out, Harry wondered about how his brother got into this mess. It was not unusual for him to get hurt, but he never had to stay in the hospital for longer periods of time. And Harry was sure that with magic any smaller injuries could be healed easily, this had to be something serious.
Harry entered the Great Hall for the end of year feast with a huge smile. While Gryffindor won the Quidditch house cup, Slytherin had far more house points than Gryffindor. He was proud to have contributed to the score. While gaining points in Potions classes was not difficult for Slytherins, few from his year were gaining points in other subjects. Mainly Blaise Zabini, Daphne Greengrass and him. While Malfoy was not bad at magic or too stupid to get things right in class, he seemed to think hard work was beneath him.
Harry was unsure how the other Slytherin years were, there had to be probably a lot more hard working people.
Sitting down he saw Daniel, Ron and Hermione entering the hall, chatting excitedly.
His brother was shooting odd glances towards the headmaster, who had this, in Harry’s opinion, false look of fatherly love in his eyes.
Dumbledore was starting his end of year speech. Praising the students and teachers for the hard work. With glee the whole Slytherin house waited for him to announce the winner of the house cup. But Dumbledore started into a love song of how amazing the house Gryffindor was for “fighting evil”. The headmaster gave Gryffindor countless points for nothing, Harry and his house mates were shaking with rage.
The blatant favourism by the headmaster was plain unfair. Malfoy was telling loudly everybody how his father would hear about this and how he would set Dumbledore straight. The house members, even those who usually laughed about Malfoys Daddy rambles, agreed.
Fuming the Slytherins made their way back to the common room. Before going to sleep Harry headed to off to see Professor Snape. He knocked gently on the door.
“Hello Professor, I hope I am not interrupting.”
“No Harry, I always have an open ear for you. How may I help you?”
“Well you see, the school year is about to end, is there a way for me to stay here for the summer break? I don’t want to see my relatives again.”
“I am sure you don’t. I already asked the headmaster, unfortunately he declined. He demanded you and your brother to be placed at your aunt and uncles house.”
“But how am I supposed to do my homework and learn for the next year? My relatives will never allow it, and I bet they will give us a never ending pile of chores. After all, we weren’t doing them for an entire year!”
Snape looked thoughtful and then smiled. “Harry, you know you are not allowed to use magic at home. Don’t think like your father, be like your wonderful mother. Use your brain!”
Harry looked at Snape oddly until it dawned on him. “Of course, they don`t know I am not allowed to use magic! They will be so scared, they won’t lay a hand on me.”
“Exactly. While your summer break won’t be as nice as it should be, I am sure they won’t bother you. The knight bus can get you to Diagon Alley quick and cheap, if you spent most of your time there, you might even enjoy your holidays.”
“You are right, thank you so much Professor.”
“No problem Harry, you are your mother’s son after all.”
Harry was putting all his belongings into his trunk and went to sleep without dreading his reunion with his relatives.