Lord of Darkness
Sorting & Classes
***One day ownership will be mine... BUT IT IS NOT THIS DAY! ***
A/N: As some of your probably noticed this update was a bit slower than what I normally do, it will probably be this way for a while unfortunately. School has been kicking my arse all over the place and I also work full time so... yeah not a whole lot of free time to write. Expect updates about every 1.5-2 weeks :( Wish this could be more often but priorities suck.
Side note: I am looking for a way to include "Deleted Scenes" in my story. I have a few ideas that simply are not going to fit in without breaking the story up so if anyone has any suggestions on how to do this so it doesn't interfere let me know. Quite a few people disliked my way of doing 'Outtakes last story so I am interested in hearing opinions or suggestions!
That was what the Sorting Hat saw upon being placed upon Harry Potter's head. The boy was a monster. The Hat had sorted Tom Riddle mere decades earlier, and yet even then there had been hope for the child who would become Lord Voldemort. Even then the Sorting Hat believed he could be redeemed, could be changed with time and love.
Harry could not.
It wasn't just how powerful he was, but by Merlin was the boy powerful. It wasn't just the manipulative tendencies or the intellect that he already possessed, either would be prized by Ravenclaw and Slytherin. No, it was his utter lack of empathy towards virtually all people.
The boy would kill children without a second thought.
They had to be warned, Dumbledore had to be warned. If it hadn't been for a young girl centuries ago then it would be a simple task. Back then the Hat could speak about what it saw in the mind's of those it sorted... that is until a young girl had been sent to Hufflepuff, while the rest of her family was in Gryffindor. The question had been raised, and the answer simple 'her sexual orientation will not be accepted in Gryffindor, she will do best in Hufflepuff.'
The girl hadn't returned after the winter holidays, and it was later discovered that her father had killed her in a fit of rage.
After that the Founders were split between removing that Hat altogether from the process, and ignoring this as a one time incident. Finally they came to the agreement that secrets had to be kept. That children had to feel safe in the school. Yet they also had to be sorted to where they would be thrive.
Thus the Sorting Hat was modified so that it could not speak secrets, nor could the information be extracted.
They still had to be warned, otherwise this boy could doom them all, but how? As the Hat went through its options he remembered the current state of Hogwarts, and the answer came to it. If the boy's fate could not be directly revealed, then perhaps it could encourage others to look more closely at him. To find his faults, and perhaps even stop the rise of a Dark Lord before it began.
"It must be... SLYTHERIN!"
Please notice Albus, please see what is wrong here. A half-blood boy with happiness in his eyes and not a hint of cunning, please...
Yet despite the silent begging the room was filled with applause, and the boy smiled and gently set the hat back onto the stool. As he did so his smile turned feral. "Clever" the boy whispered out, and for the first time ever the Sorting Hat felt fear.
"Welcome to Slytherin children. For those of you who are new to our school this will be your common room for the next seven years. The male dorms are on the left side, the females to the right. My office is before the door to the common room and is marked as such. I expect you all to behave as per the rules listed on the wall behind me. Remember that you will be treated far more harshly than the other houses and so we must provide a strong front. For that reason I do not want to hear of any arguments in public."
With a nod to his prefects the students were thus divided and taken to their rooms to unpack.
A few minutes later and Draco Malfoy had already claimed the 'best bed' in his specific dorm room before addressing another issue.
"Something wrong with your bed Potter?"
The green-eyed boy glanced up, noting who was addressing him.
"Not at all, why do you ask?"
"I don't see you unpacking anything."
Harry returned a smile, "Oh I didn't have time to go school shopping before classes started. Hopefully I can pick some things up in the next week or two. But with my lack of money to use I am not sure how that will..."
The room practically erupted into laughter, and the boy tilted his head in curiosity.
"Having money problems Potter? I thought with all of that fame money you would be parading about already."
The boy shrugged before a white owl came flying in through one of the charmed windows to land on his shoulder. Due to their underground location magic was applied to various windows to allow for a viewing of the outside weather, along with having owls enter and exit for mail delivery.
"What do you expect from a Half-blood Draco? He probably doesn't even know what a 'Wand' is."
Again more laughter flooded the first and second year dorm at Nott's verbal jab.
Harry merely smiled once more, as if enjoying a joke that only he understood.
Severus Snape strode towards his potions class room for the first day of class with the newest students, a sneer forming on his face as he began to think over of what he had seen thus far. Crabbe and Goyle were just as dimwitted as their fathers were, Draco was already acting like a typical Pureblood, and none of the others had stood out.
Well, except for one, Harry bloody Potter.
How in the world Potter had ended up in his house was beyond the Potions Master. Either fate was cruel beyond belief or someone had finally managed to figure out a way to charm the Sorting Hat... his money was on the Weasley twins.
Regardless he was stuck with the boy for now, unless he could convince Dumbledore to transfer him elsewhere.
He pushed open the door as he made his way towards the front of the classroom. Out of the corner of his eye he noticed that the raven-haired boy was turning through the last few pages of his text book, glancing at each page for a moment before continuing on.
Perhaps he hadn't read in advance as all of the others had been told to do, this put the professor in a difficult spot. Severus had a general philosophy, never take points from Slytherin. It wasn't that he hated the other houses, it was for the simple task of isolating his own house more than they already were. Slytherin is the house of cunning, of manipulations, and, surprisingly enough, of unity. By forcing the other houses to develop that rivalry it helped the talented students from the house of snakes adapt and grow far faster than they normally would have.
No reason to let them get lazy after all.
The problem was that he wanted to take points from the boy so very badly. Lily's son or not, he resembled James Potter far more than the angelic woman who was his mother.
At least the boy knew respect, regardless of his father, "It appears you did not read ahead as was suggested before school began."
The boy just smiled back, "I seem to have missed that information sir, my apologies."
A patented sneer formed on his face, and he ignored the whimpers of several Gryffindors. "There is no excuse, so tell me... what is the last ingredient added to our first potion, the 'boil removal'?" There was no way the boy would remember such a fact, and although it would cost Slytherin some points...
"Powdered goat bones"
The man halted, the boy was right... but he certainly didn't expect him to be.
Maybe he had actually read ahead and just pretended not to? Interesting...
"Then perhaps you could inform the class how many times to stir a 'Wolfesbane' potion?"
It would be almost four months before they even studied this, there would be no reason he would know...
"Nine, five clockwise and four counterclockwise."
Now even the other students looked surprised.
What followed would go down in Hogwarts legend as the Professor tried nearly a dozen different questions from various chapters in the book, and Harry answering each question easily. By the end nearly all of the Slytherins had brought out parchment, along with Hermione Granger from Gryffindor, to take notes for future reference. The rest of the lions were simply staring in shock as the boy, who they all thought for sure would end up in their house, breeze through the 'test'.
"One hundred points to Slytherin..." If Snape couldn't take points due to the boy's failure, then he would certainly not miss the opportunity to begin working towards the House Cup.
"Wh-what that isn't fair! You didn't even give us a chance!"
Ah yes, trust a Gryffindor, especially a Weasley, to make a scene and present an opportunity. "Is that right Mr. Weasley? Tell me then, what is the last ingredient in the 'boil removal' potion?" The boy faltered, and glanced around as if to get some sort of clue.
Ignoring the desperate hand raising, practically flailing, of the bushy-haired Gryffindor Snape stalked towards his target. "Come now Mr. Weasley, surely you can at least copy Mr. Potter's answers."
The boy's face turned almost as red as his hair. A sure fire way of getting a reaction from the 'house of the brave' was to imply that they were inadequate to another house, especially his own.
"Well? I gave Mr. Potter half this time to answer. A response if you will."
"I... I don't know sir..."
"Ten points from Gryffindor for poor preparations. I would not expect someone of your caliper to be as informed as a Slytherin but I do expect reading up on what we will be working on for that day." With that the man turned back to the front of the room, before a wave of his wand displayed a list of components for them to collect.
"Welcome class, welcome. Today you will have your first flying lesson. First you will practice calling your broom, simply extending your hand out and call 'up'."
The various students did as instructed, with varying success. Some managed to raise the object a foot, before it fell back down, others were able to call it after a few tries, and a select few failed completely.
None noticed that Harry hadn't even bothered with the command.
"Now, those who have succeeded in calling the broom will mount and float a foot off the ground. Meanwhile I will be helping the rest of you..." Before she got any further in her instructions the professor watched in shock as Neville Longbottom's broom took off, with him trying desperately to hold onto it.
"Mr. Longbottom! Come back here this instance!" No one was quite sure whether he heard the command over his own screams or not, but seconds later the boy plummeted into the ground, spraining his arm in the process.
A wand wave later and the woman was busy escorting the boy towards the medical ward.
"I will be back shortly, if anyone so much as thinks about taking off I will have you in the Headmaster's office faster than you can say 'Quidditch'."
With that she departed, leaving the other students standing awkwardly in the field. A small gleam among the grass drew Harry's attention, as he walked over and picked up a small orb.
"I'll be taking that Potter."
Malfoy again, Harry forced back the urge to reach out and snap the annoying blonde's neck as he glanced over at him. "I believe Neville dropped this, we have class with him later today so I will be able to return it."
"Why bother? The boy is a class 'O' screw up. I would much rather put it somewhere high up where he will have to look for it."
"You're such a prat Malfoy."
"Weasley" The boy hissed back, focusing his attention on the redhead.
"Yeah, me. Are all you Slytherin's so stuck up that you can't think of anyone else for a second?"
"Perhaps if you were a bit more intelligent then you would actually prove to be a decent conversationalist, but I will leave that to your Mudblood instead."
"Mudblood?" Harry inquired with curiosity, earning a wince from the bushy-haired witch standing nearby.
"It is a term for Muggleborn witches..." she whispered out, having already been called it several times since arriving at the school.
"Not one of endearment then..."
The raven-haired boy hummed to himself in consideration before pocketing the orb, apparently more things would need to change than he originally anticipated.
When McGonagal shifted back into her human form she was pleasantly surprised at the started expressions staring back at her, and one not so startled.
"Mr. Potter, you didn't seem all that surprised by my entrance."
"Oh, I apologize professor, I recently had time to look over my text books and considering this is transfiguration class, and I haven't seen any stray animals or pets at Hogwarts, save for the occasional toad and owl, I assumed that you had the ability to shapeshift."
The woman's eyes widened a bit, before her mouth turned up in a smile. "Ten points to Slytherin for brilliant reasoning. Now then as Mr. Potter here hinted at we will be studying the art of changing objects into different forms with our magic."
"Welcome to Charms class everyone, my name is Professor Flitwick. I hope that most of you have had time to at least glance over your books, if not please do so before our next meeting. Now then can anyone tell me what the most important item for my class will be?"
As usual Hermione Granger's hand shot up almost instantly, earning scowls from many of the other students.
"Ah yes, miss..."
"Granger, sir. The answer is our text books."
"A good guess, but I am afraid incorrect, anyone else?"
'Girl looks like someone just kicked her puppy' Harry noted with amusement as several other hands now raised.
"A quill and paper?"
"That would be two objects, both incorrect as well." the professor answered the next student.
"Another good guess, but no."
At this point the young Potter was becoming annoyed, he wanted to have at least one class where he could learn something more than just what the introductory paragraph of the text book said. A moment later he raised his hand.
"Ah yes, Mr. Potter."
The diminutive man grinned, "Correct! Ten points to Slytherin. Everything else can be compensated for with time... but the mind cannot. It is the most important tool that any of us will ever wield and the primary subject that all of your classes will focus on for your time at Hogwarts. Now then who can tell me what a charm is?"
"W-w-w-welcome t-to D-Defense A-Against the D-Dark Arts c-class."
Harry just stared, who in their right mind would hire someone like this to teach a defense class? Ignoring the obviously dark aura that emanated from the man, another oddity that the boy-who-lived was surprised no one had noticed, the turban clad professor was a bumbling mess.
Maybe it was just an act, like the one that McGonagall had tried. If it was then it truly was impressive, the man should have been an actor rather than a teacher.
Yet as the class continued on, and he showed no signs of improving, Harry's theory began to fall apart.
Twenty minutes later a loud bang, caused when one of the Gryffindor's had dropped their book onto the floor, revealed the man's true colors... as he promptly bolted out of the room.
"I warned you this would happen..." the soft voice noted as Hedwigs fingers gently wove through her boy's hair. Currently his head way laying in her lap on his bed, it was a soothing tradition that had calmed him down many times during his years at the orphanage, and stopped him from causing too many disappearances. With the other Slytherins taking part of a study group, which Harry had not been invited to due to his blood status, this had been the first opportunity they had to start again.
"I know" the boy sighed, his eyes closed and relaxed. "I just figured that there would be someone who I could relate to here... someone who would understand me... who would be like me."
"There is no one like you... it is both a gift and a curse."
A slight nod confirmed he was listening, and agreed.
"You will always have me though" she whispered, thus earning a slight smile.
"And you me my dear."
Once again her heart fluttered, true the boy was only eleven but with his intellect and 'childhood' he was far more mature than that. If she had to guess, his mental age was probably closer to 'thirty' than 'ten'.
"So why do we stay? Why not just leave now? We could run away from this place, from the orphanage. You have a reason to access your vault now, there is more than enough money for us to live on for the rest of our lives. It could just be us against the world, like it always has been."
The child's eyes opened, and peered up at her. "It always will be us against the world my dear, but..."
"You want more."
A nod confirmed her suspicions.
Albus Dumbledore smiled warmly as his staff entered the office. This truly was one of his favorite events of the year, when the various teachers would get together and discuss any unusually talented students that they had observed. Usually this would only apply to the first years, but occasionally a 'late bloomer' would be found and surprise everyone years after beginning their magical education.
Slowly the professors filtered in and took their various seats. Refreshments, and lemon drops, were offered until everyone was appeased, then the older man began. "Quite a class we have this year hm?"
Several nods confirmed his suspicion. With so many Pureblood heirs it would bound to be a very interesting school year.
"We will start with you this time Filius, are there any Ravenclaws who stand out to you?"
The shortest professor gave a short summary, with no one being mentioned in particular before the attention was centered on the Hufflepuff head of house, who reported much the same.
"How about your lions Minerva?"
"I do have one thus far, Miss Hermione Granger seems to be exceptionally intelligent and absolutely loves to learn."
The man's eyes twinkled happily. He loved that quality in a student above all else.
"I see, has anyone else noticed this as well?"
The others, even Snape reluctantly, nodded in agreement. "Ah, well then we will have to keep a close eye on Miss Granger to ensure that her love of learning is properly nurtured. What about you and yours Severus?"
"Draco Malfoy has reported high grades in all of his classes, especially potions."
"Ah to be expected of Mr. Malfoy, perhaps he will take after his father and end up being a Head Boy as well in the future." The eldest man complimented, "what about Mr. Potter?"
The potions master bit back a retort, of course it would come back to Potter. Unfortunately he had nothing ill to say about the boy... yet.
"He is... above what I would have expected."
McGonagall's eye roll was practically audible, "Oh please Severus, if he is half as talented in potions as he was in my own class then I doubt even you could find anything to critique the boy on."
"He is gifted Minerva?"
An excited nod greeted him, "Takes after his father I imagine, James Potter always was quite the prodigy in transfiguration, and you Filius? Does he take after his mother in charms as well?"
The shorter man hesitated, before shaking his head. "No... if I had to guess has quite thoroughly surpassed her level of growth in that field."
Now quite a few staff members were staring. Lily Evans had been a natural in that class from the day she stepped into it. For her son to surpass her...
"Hagrid, what did you see in the boy during your first meeting with him?"
The half-giant gulped, before breaking out in a slight sweat, "Well tha thing is Headmasta..."
"I asked Hagrid to pick up some supplies for me, they were quite cumbersome and I knew he would be able to accomplish this far better than I. In return I agreed to greet the boy so that Hagrid would not be pressed for time."
The Headmaster's eyes twinkled merrily, while the larger man gave a slight nod in thanks.
"Ah very good, I am glad to see my staff works so well together. Well then Aurora, what was your first impression of young Harry?"
"He was..." The professor hated lying to the older man but... well she couldn't exactly confess that she had been turned on by an eleven year old child and still keep her job. Plus it would be years before she would ever have a class with him... right? "Mature, and very intelligent. I am actually very surprised he did not end up in Ravenclaw with how interested he was in learning."
"Yes very odd... Severus, have you noticed any manipulations or shows of cunning by the boy?"
Nearby the Sorting Hat perked up, this was it. The choice made was being noticed. Now all they had to do was look further into it. All Slytherin had the capability of subtleties, now if someone could just see it...
"I'm afraid not Headmaster."
"Perhaps he is just ambitious, how much have you actually spoken to him?" McGonagall inquired, earning a scowl from the potions master.
"I do not have time to learn the hopes and dreams of every student, keep a house in line, and prepare for the classes themselves."
Dumbledore intervened before the conversation escalated any further, and judging by the returned glare from his Deputy Headmistress it was about to be. "Of course Severus, of course we were not expecting you to show young Harry any more attention than any other student. I was simply curious is all."
Inwardly, the Hat let out a sigh, maybe it would take longer than it hoped. As long as the outcome was the same though it wouldn't matter... as long as the boy was stopped before he could grow anymore powerful.
The blonde boy jerked up, before his eyes widened at Harry's presence. Red eyed with dark circles, obviously he was not sleeping much, perhaps he had been too upset for that?
"H-hello M-M-Mr. Potter"
"Now now Neville none of that, I would like to think we can be closer than a last name basis."
The raven-haired boy nodded, before reaching into his cloak and pulling out a small orb. "Before I forget, I believe you dropped this during our flying class. I was hoping to return it sooner but it is harder than I thought to speak with a Gryffindor alone."
The boy's face had lit up, as he quickly took the offered object, "thank you so m-much! It was my f-fathers..."
"Ah, an important heirloom then?"
"No... just something he wanted me to have..." the whisper was barely audible, yet Harry was well aware of the meaning.
"I see... so tell me Neville, how have your classes been thus far?"
If possible the Gryffindor shrunk further into his cloak, "I... am not doing well..."
"I understand Professor Snape can be a bit rough but surely your other classes aren't that bad."
The shaking of his head brought a frown upon the emerald-eyed boy's face, yet internally his grin grew ever wider.
"I... can't do anything right... they... it doesn't matter..."
"Of course it does if it is upsetting you. Tell me all about it Neville, no judgments, no ridicule, just two friends talking."
"I... I am so sick of them! It has barely been a month and all I hear about is how much of a failure I am! 'Neville can't do anything right'. 'Neville is just a stupid Squib'. 'Neville is a failure'. 'Maybe Neville can just fall into a coma like his parents'. Can you believe that!? Those stupid... stupid... gits!"
The boy nodded, but quickly turned bright red as he realized who he was talking to, "It-it isn't just them though. The Gryffindors pick on me a lot too."
"I wish... I wish I was just good at something. I mean like you... I heard you are good at everything."
Harry gave a slight shrug, as if such things weren't important to him... and if he was honest they really weren't. The classes were painfully easy... and painfully useless.
"I am sure that you will find your path with time."
"I don't know..." the Longbottom heir's voice had quieted once more, "I'm just so bad at Magic... maybe I am a failure."
"Only for now."
At first Neville looked on the verge of tears, to have his suspicions confirmed, before he realized something and perked back up, "For now?"
"Yes Neville 'for now'. I see greatness in you Neville Longbottom, a greatness that outshines every other student I have encountered thus far. You will do amazing things... once you accept this aspect of yourself. You simply lack the confidence and proper tools. Build upon yourself this year Neville, grow in confidence and knowledge and during the summer I will correct a... inadequacy that I see in you. Then come next year you shall show everyone what you are capable of."
The blonde stared in awe at the boy, or man, before him as he slowly nodded.
Harry returned the nod, before standing to leave, "Oh and should things become too bad for you in Gryffindor let me know in a few months and you shall have a place in Slytherin as well."
With that he departed, leaving a confused, but oddly reflective, Neville Longbottom behind.
Hermione Granger sat on her bed, curtains drawn as she went over her homework once more, yet as she tried to do so her mind betrayed the focus she so desperately sought and journeyed to another.
The bushy-haired girl knew who he was, of course, and the story behind him. She had believed that it was just silly myth and legend. Sure he might have survived, through some bizarre magic, the attempt on his life but all of the other tales? Ridiculous at best, outright lies at worst.
Then she had begun taking notice of him, the only other student who seemed to know as much, if not more, than she did. He always had the right answer when he bothered to raise his hand, which wasn't all that frequent. The few tests they had taken seemed to give him no hardships at all and the 'potion incident' had already started its own legend. Even she hadn't known the answers to some of those questions.
But worst of all was his abilities. Sure she could memorize tests, and was decent at learning the few spells and potions they had attempted, but him? Harry had succeeded at every trial... and made it look effortless.
The boy was a natural, a prodigy that even the professors had begun to notice with an interest far outweighing that which had been given towards her own accomplishments.
It wasn't fair, she never saw him studying, or in the library, or taking any of the classes seriously. He shouldn't be allowed to succeed so easily where everyone else had to put in effort.
"Hey Higgs, what do you see over there?"
The current Slytherin seeker followed the gesture, and glared ominously. "That Half-Blood filth, Potter..."
"Yeah, I hate that he is in our house. I mean he isn't even a true Slytherin, just some brat who is good at studying."
The older boy nodded, his friend Adrian Purcey was right... and someone needed to put the house back in order. Who better than himself?
Sauntering over the Slytherin glared down at the raven-haired boy, who was reading through an advanced book on potions.
"What you got there Potter?"
Without even a glance up the boy replied, "Just reading up on some potions information in advance. Never know when Professor Snape might spring a pop quiz."
The book was slapped out of his hand a moment later by the older boy, who promptly grabbed the younger by his collar and brought him up to eye level. "I don't like you Potter, no one likes you. I am sick of seeing your face in the common room for the Noble house of Slytherin. You are a freak, a useless Half-Blood freak who doesn't deserve to even be at Hogwarts much less here. You are going to regret being here Potter, I am going to make sure of it."
Throughout his speech Harry merely stared back. He did not struggle, nor glare, there was no threats of his own or provocations. He just stared back, almost as if it wasn't worth his time to reply.
After his 'speech' the large boy dropped the Potter heir to the ground, before striding off and relishing in the whispers about how someone had finally 'put Potter in his place'.
None noticed the deathly glare that had appeared on said boy's face.