Draco took a step backwards and failed to hide his grimace.
"What have you done?" demanded Snape.
"It's not really the result I hoped for, but it's the best I can do." Draco said, with his arms raised in a placating manner.
"Show me." growled Snape and Draco conjured a mirror.
Draco backed away hurriedly as Snape leapt to his feet with a snarl. Although they were now close in height and physical age Draco still had the Slytherin self-preservation to realise that Severus in this kind of mood was as dangerous as ever.
"What in Merlin's name have you done to my hair Malfoy?" Snape bellowed, spittle flying from his mouth in his rage.
"It doesn't look too bad, sir..." Draco began to protest.
"Doesn't look too bad?" Snape said incredulously, jabbing a finger at his reddish hued hair. "It's...I look like a damn Weasley you halfwit!"
Draco fled from the room leaving Snape to rage as his magic flared out of control and created sparks and flames. This was suddenly a very dangerous place to be.
Snape was not in the best of humour after listening to McGonagall's plan to enrol him as a seventh year NEWT student as part of his cover story to remain in the school. He was to be passed off as a distant cousin of Draco's, on his mother's side, who had previously been home tutored, but was completing this year at Hogwarts while his parents were out of the country on business. The interrelated nature of the pureblood society was ideal to mask this aspect of his cover. Draco had talked him into trying to transfigure his hair blond so that he looked more like Narcissa's colouring. Unfortunately the potion had another side effect, Snape's magic had become less controlled and reliable. Which lead to Draco attempting the transfiguration and only managing to achieve a dark red. It was possible that the potion was preventing the magic from taking hold effectively, but for now Snape wanted to blame Draco.
He struggled to rein in his temper and bring his wild magic under control, shuddering with the effort before collapsing back into his chair with his head in his hands. He groaned softly.
He wasn't sure he could do this. His teen years had been traumatic enough the first time round, why on earth was he subjecting himself to it again? But the answer to that was very simple, the only other option was St. Mungo's and he had spent more than enough time in that place. He was an expert at subterfuge. Pretending to be a student should be a piece of cake in comparison to his time among the Death Eaters. So why was he so nervous about this?
September 1st, on platform 9 and 3/4Draco and Snape stood quietly together on the platform, watching the noise and excitement unfold around them as students called to each other and laughed.
"Are you ready, sir?" Draco muttered.
"Stop calling me sir you foolish boy." Severus snapped at him, "I'm Evan from now on, even if we are alone."
"Sorry, Evan." Draco huffed, with just a hint of a sneer at the name Snape had chosen. Evan Asphodel. He wondered if he was the only person to notice the obvious links to Harriet Potter's mother's name. Maybe the potion had addled Snape's mind for him to pick a name even Potter would see through, but then again Snape was barely recognisable as the formidable potions master in his current state. Maybe nobody else would pick up on it.
Blaise Zabini waved to Draco from a carriage and beckoned them to join him. Draco gave a lazy wave back and tugged at Snape's sleeve to attract his attention. Together they ambled onto the train and made themselves comfortable opposite Blaise.
"Blaise, this is my cousin Evan who will be joining us at Hogwarts this year." Draco drawled, with his trademark confidence, "Of course, he's bound to be sorted into Slytherin so I'm sure you will see plenty of him."
Blaise simply raised an eyebrow at Severus, but he shook his hand with an inquisitive look.
"Draco darling, you must introduce us!" gushed Pansy, as she sauntered into the carriage eyeing Snape hungrily. "Who is this exquisite specimen and where have you been hiding him?"
"Pansy Parkinson, allow me to introduce Evan Asphodel, a cousin of mine who will be at Hogwarts this year." Draco said.
"Charmed," Pansy smiled, slipping into the seat next to Blaise and practically drooling at Snape.
"The pleasure is mine Miss Parkinson." Snape said, managing to sound sincere, but unable to repress the roll of his eyes as Pansy looked away after simpering at him.
Opposite him Blaize snorted with laughter, earning him a glare from Pansy before she launched into her customary rundown of current society gossip. Snape settled back in his seat to let her inane chatter wash over him and Blaize caught his eye with a wink. Snape smirked back at him and felt a brief surge of happiness. Maybe this could be fun after all.
"So he's another stinking Malfoy then." Ron grumbled, flopping down in his seat in the Gryffindor carriage and scattering chocolate frogs to the floor.
"Ron!" Hermione scolded, "Draco disowned his parents and you know nothing about this new boy, at least give him a chance."
Ron shrugged and threw Harriet a chocolate frog from by his feet.
"She's got a point Ron." Harriet said, "Draco isn't as bad as he was and the new guy, well, who knows?"
"Just because you think he's all mysterious and interesting." Ron scoffed, gulping down his third frog. "You can guarantee he'll be in Slytherin with the rest of the snakes."
Hermione muttered something under her breath that sounded like 'prejudices' before she settled down with Crookshanks on her lap. Harriet smothered a laugh and settled back for the long train journey with a contented sigh. Imagine, a quiet year at Hogwarts at last.