Harry Potter and the, ah man, ANOTHER trans Harry fic? Really?

Well That's New

Chapter Eighteen: Well That's New

Part 1

~ Friday morning and the trio walked into the great Hall together. Glancing up confirmed Harry's suspicion that they were likely in for a storm at some point today, with cloudy grey skies dominating the rafters. As they made their way over to the Gryffindor table, Harry nudged Ron and Hermione, smiling as he raised his hand into the victory sign to Hagrid, already seated at the staff table. Hagrid waved merrily back, and the three quickly found their spots and dug in. Seven flights of stairs had done much to awaken Ron, but it wasn't until that first rasher of bacon that the lanky boy truly took in his surroundings. Between bites, mouth full, he commented on the lack of their least favorite, blond snake.

"I wouldn't worry Ron, you'll be seeing plenty of him soon enough. First period is double potions… with the Slytherins," grumbled Hermione.

Ron almost did a spit take, he was so quick to start cursing. While Ron's reaction did cause the last of the potter line a small chuckle, he couldn't really blame the ginger for his outburst. Harry had been dreading the upcoming potions class ever since receiving his schedule, yesterday morning. He had also already noted Malfoy's absence, though hadn't thought it worth mentioning. True, Harry hated crawling out of bed, he almost never felt fully recovered from the previous days exertions, but when it was time to leave the relative safety of his room, he was automatically taking in as much of his surroundings as he could. It had been a necessary coping skill for most of his former life.

With more than a small amount of trepidation, and exactly zero expectation for a better experience than last year, the trio left the great hall, descending to the dark, dank potions room, to meet up with the rest of her class. He grew more and more nervous the farther down they went. The potions room was on the second floor of the dungeon, and Harry couldn't understand why the lack of windows was suddenly bothering him so much, when it never had before. At, or near enough it made no nevermind, Professor Severus Snape's door swung smoothly open, and though he spoke softly, his cold and callous voice cut through all conversation as he instructed them to be seated and to prepare to take notes. Harry and Ron settled into their normal work station in the back, while Neville and Hermione took the one next to them.

Harry really should have seen it coming. He knew better than to do anything even remotely different in Snape's class, and yet he had still pulled out the large, five subject spiral binder Hermione had purchased in muggle London for him. It had been so easy to fall back into the practices or primary school, just from using the binder in divination and transfiguration the previous day. Paper and pen were so much faster. The paper was easier to write on, and a pen made so much less of a mess than a quill.

Roughly ten minutes into Professor Snape's lecture on the magical properties of some of the more obscure plant and creature parts they would be working with this year, Snape strode over to stand in front of Harry and Ron's work station. Snape often walked around class while teaching. Normally Harry thought this was a far better teaching practice than simply speaking from the front, as one could better observe each of their student's work, and it was easier to ask for help when you didn't have to do so loudly enough that the rest of your class could overhear. The problem was, Snape didn't really do any teaching when he walked around. He did it purely for the joy of pointing out mistakes to ridicule the students with.

Snape stared down at the slight youth as he continued the lecture for at least a full minute. Harry continued taking notes, trying his best to keep his head down, Snape's mere presence had a weight all its own however, and the tall, greasy haired dungeon bat's animosity was making Harry jumpy. He could literally feel the dread potion master's sneer on the top of his head. Ron had already backed away as far as he could, and still use the corner of the table to take notes.

Finally, Harry could take it no longer, and with a small sigh he met that cold stare and asked, "Can I help you, sir?"

Not bothering with civility, Snape glared down at the child, who bore more than a passing resemblance to his hated father,

"Why, oh why Potter, are you so unprepared for class, that you cannot be bothered to take notes properly during my lecture? The rest of your classmates were able to follow my explicit instructions, apart from Granger of course, but given her… upbringing, she at least has an excuse."

"But sir, we are taking notes. What difference does it make that we are using pen and," before Harry could finish Snape slammed his open hand down upon the table with a loud bang, causing Harry to jump back half a foot.

Leaning over the table, face a shade or two redder, Snape coldly explained, "You Potter, are not special. It is high time you stopped expecting to be treated better than the students around you. Much like your father before you, you have been given far too much leeway in years past."

With a flick of his wand, causing Harry to flinch, just when had he drawn that!, Harry's pen and notebook were transfigured into quill and parchment, a solitary piece of completely blank parchment. So much for yesterday's notes. With a casual flick, without even looking, Snape transfigured Hermione's pen and binder as well.

"Ten points from Gryffindor for thinking you are better than your classmates, and an additional ten points for being a bad influence on Granger."

As Snape walked back to the front of the class, the majority of the Slytherins were openly laughing, albeit quietly. Harry made eye contact with Hermione, he could tell she was practically vibrating with the injustice of it, the loss of yesterday's notes just adding insult to injury, but with a subtle shake of his head he managed to convince her to hold her tongue, at least for now.

Thirty minutes later, and it was time to begin brewing their shrinking solutions.

As most of the class hurried to the student pantry to gather their ingredients, Harry, who didn't want to admit it, but was still a bit rattled from Snape's tirade earlier, carefully set up his cauldron, then laid out the stirring sticks, scales, and silver athame. He finished up just about the time most students were heading back with their ingredients, "Hey," he thought, "I might just be onto something." As he made his way to a much less crowded pantry, he noticed that Tracey Davis, Daphne Greengrass, and Blaise Zabini had all had the same idea. He wondered for a moment that Hermione and Draco hadn't tumbled to the same strategy, not that Draco had daned to grace them with his presence yet today. Harry hated to admit it, but the pompous jerk was clearly one of the more intelligent in their year, so long as he didn't trip over his own ego like with the hippogriffs yesterday. As he gathered the handful of ingredients necessary for today's potion, he smiled tentatively to the two Slytherin girls. When they responded with polite nods, instead of the hostility he still halfway expected, he plucked up some of that Gryffindor courage he supposedly possessed and asked,

"Hi, umm… s-so uh, where is his lordship Malfoy today? Madam Pomfrey didn't have any trouble fixing his arm up, did she?"

The two girls locked gazes in silent communication for a moment, either they had decided it wouldn't hurt to talk, or that Harry's concern was genuine enough that he deserved the truth.

"He is claiming that he is still in a great deal of pain, even though the wound was easily closed," Tracey replied.

Harry frowned in thought for a moment. Considering his words carefully, he said,

"Hmm, the chapter on hippogriffs didn't mention anything about a magical aspect to their attacks… You don't think their claws are like, poisonous do you? Surely they would have mentioned it in the monster guide, right?"

"Hippogriffs have no magical or toxic effects, as far as I'm aware. You read the entire chapter?" Daphne asked him, a note of surprise in her voice.

Harry responded with an acknowledging grunt, "Mmm, it was pretty interesting. Actually, I skimmed through most of the book. I've always liked animals, but I had no idea there were so many magical varieties."

The two girls gave him a funny look, but said no more as they made their way back to their separate work stations.

~ Nearly halfway into the three and a half hour class, Draco Malfoy strode in as casual as you please. His arm was held in place by a sling, and wrapped in bulky bandages. The way his large contingent of the third year Slytherins reacted, you'd think a decorated war hero was finally returning home from an extended deployment. After a minute or two of fanfare, Snape finally called for them all to settle down. Harry and Ron just stared at each other, if either of them had mosied into class, an hour late, and created the kind of disturbance Malfoy just had, you could bet your arse Snape would have had a very different reaction. No one was more surprised than Harry when Malfoy told him to, "budge up there, scarhead," and began to set up his cauldron and potioneering implements right there at the same table as he and Ron.

Though Harry did indeed 'budge up', he also had to ask, "What are you on about, Draco?"

Draco's only reply was a knowing smirk before he headed off for his ingredients. Ron just shrugged at Harry's questioning glance, but as he began to quarter his third caterpillar, Harry paused. He looked down at his ingredients, then over at Ron, who was busy meticulously shredding the daisy roots they would need for their solution. Harry flopped back in his seat, letting out a long suffering sigh.

"What's up, mate?" Ron asked.

"Wait for it."

Ron looked confused, but just then Draco returned.

Ron, ignoring Malfoy's interruption, pressed Harry, "Wait for what?"

Harry gestured at the evilly smirking blond, who acknowledged Harry's gesture with a gallant little nod before calling out, "Professor, I'll need some help cutting these daisy roots, because of my arm, sir."

It was Snape's turn to smirk at his young charges' devious little plan," Weasley, prepare Malfoy's roots."

Face threatening to match his red hair, the youngest male Weasley roughly snatched up Draco's roots, only to begin hacking through them in such a way that Harry was concerned for his friend's finger's well-being.

"There's nothing wrong with your arm, is there Malfoy? Madam Pomfrey can heal smaller wounds like that in seconds," whispered Harry, but not as if he was completely convinced

Draco, working hard to keep from laughing at his younger classmate's naivety, whispered back, "Perhaps, perhaps not. You'd have a hard time proving otherwise, wouldn't you."

Harry just shrugged, trying to give off an air of disinterest. Meanwhile Ron was grumbling to himself, something about how he'd like to give the pale ponce a real injury.

Malfoy actually did laugh at that, then he called back to their professor about how Ron was mutilating his roots, and that he'd need his shrivel-fig skinned. Snape made Ron switch out his own beautifully sliced roots for the mangled ones, and with his customary sneer, told Harry to skin his fig. Harry didn't even grumble, just pushed over all of his own prepared ingredients, apart from his daisy roots, and rapidly set to work recreating them.

After watching for a few moments, Draco reluctantly admitted, "As much as I loathe to offer you any compliments, you know your way around that blade Potter. Why?"

Harry fumbled just enough to decapitate one of his caterpillars, which caused Malfoy another smirk. Harry looked at Draco carefully, then gazed up at the ceiling disbelievingly.

"What are you doing?"

"Just checking to make sure the roof isn't about to collapse on us. I figure that if the high and mighty Malfoy is giving me a compliment, something dreadful is about to drop on my head."

Ron, who'd been glaring at Malfoy ever since his complement, started laughing, but stopped immediately when Draco laughed as well.

"I'm fully capable of acknowledging skill when I witness it, perhaps if you were to actually display some from time to time, this wouldn't come as such a revelation."

"Ha," Harry deadpanned, "though I suppose I could say the same for you when it comes to the Quidditch pitch."

Draco actually growled softly at that.

"Stop trying to dodge the question, what training have you undertaken to be so competent with a blade?"

Harry squinted at the older boy for a few moments before finally shaking his head, "I haven't had any training, or whatever the heck you're thinking. I just had to do most of the cooking for my relatives, so I got good at it."

Draco nodded for a second before the implications actually landed, "Wait… you 'had' to do the cooking for your 'muggle' relations? Like a bloody servant!?"

Harry quickly tried to backpedal, "What! No… no no no, I uh, wanted to do the cooking, cause, umm, because, uh, cooking was fun!"

Draco stared, mouth in a round little "O".

Harry was blushing beat red as he stood, nearly shouting as he demanded, "Stop looking at me like that! I said it was cause I wanted to, okay!"

"What is the meaning of this outburst, Mr Potter," demanded a cold voice from the other side of the potions room.

"Nothing sir, Harry was just explaining where he picked up his most excellent knife work, weren't you Potter," Draco drawled, malicious joy obvious in his voice.

Harry stammered, "I-I uh… I'm going to the restroom." He didn't wait for permission, just fled from the room as fast as he could, finally ducking into a bathroom stall two floors up.

~ Harry didn't return until ten minutes before class ended. He was terrified that Malfoy was going to tell the other students that he had grown up as some kind of bullied victim, by muggles no less. He really REALLY didn't want that lie spreading all over the school… even if it, maybe, wasn't one hundred percent a lie… GAH, okay no! Change the topic Harry, before you start crying again!

When he sat down, he noticed all of his ingredients had been vanished, not that it mattered, he wouldn't have time to brew the potion before class was over anyway. Yay another zero. Apparently he had also missed some excitement while he was gone. Five minutes before twelve, Snape instructed them to bottle up a vial of their potions to be labeled and handed in; then they were going to test Neville's shrinking solution on his pet, Trevor the Toad. Harry wasn't sure why, but she didn't expect anything good to come of it.

Surprisingly, Trevor the tadpole emerged unscathed, and was easily returned to his customary form with the antidote Snape provided. Harry's prediction wasn't entirely incorrect however, as Snape took ten points from Hermione "for showing off." Apparently she wasn't supposed to help Neville. Harry wasn't going to say it aloud, but if Hermione had been able to instruct Neville well enough to correct a botched potion, then she was obviously a much better teacher than the head snake ever would be.

Harry was just beginning to think he might miraculously escape class without punishment for running out, but his hopes were dashed when potions master swooped down to inform him that he'd be serving detention in the dungeon tonight at seven.

Lunch was thankfully uneventful, other than Hermione extracting a promise from Harry that he'd explain why he'd run out during Snape's class, and Seamus Finnegan telling them about how it was reported in The Prophet, that Sirius Black had been spotted near Hogsmeade.

~They left lunch a few minutes early, much to Ron's displeasure, because Hermione insisted they had to stop by Professor McGonagall's office before class. Harry was intrigued as Hermione refused to say why, Ron on the other hand seemed entirely indifferent, apart from missing out on five more minutes in which he could have stuffed his face.

They knocked on the Deputy headmistress' office door, which was a large, ornate affair. It was made from some dark, dense wood Harry couldn't identify, it's not as if he was a tree expert after all, and had all manner of carvings covering nearly the entire surface. Harry had tried to identify the scenes depicted a few times, but as he knew very little about the folklore of the magical world, thank you Professor Binns for never teaching anything outside of Goblin rebellions, he hadn't had much luck. Still, they somehow reminded him of scenes from Greek mythology. Only instead of Hercules defeating Cerberus with a sword, he wielded a wand. Harry actually had to give himself a little shake to banish the reminder of their encounter with "Fluffy" in their first year.

Professor McGonagall called for them to enter, and after a brief pause as she conjured a third chair, they sat down.

McGonagall gave them a hard stare, but then she betrayed her intimidating aura by asking, rather kindly, "While I would like to say that it is a pleasant surprise to see you three again so soon, I can only assume some precipitous misfortune has brought you to my door? I'm afraid I do not have much time before my next class, so let us skip the preamble. What have you done this time, Mr Potter?"

"Wha… No, I… but that's not…"

Hermione rescued her best friend's sputtered denial by reaching into her bag, and withdrew her quill and parchment with today's potion notes. Harry, noticing what Hermione had done, finally registered where this was going, and with a shrug, rummaged around in his own bag to do the same. Meanwhile McGonagall raised a thin eyebrow, inviting Miss Granger to continue.

"Professor Snape has no right to destroy student property without cause or reparation."

Professor McGonagall's other eyebrow joined her first.

She took a deep breath before explaining,

"When our professor," Hermione stressed the word in a rather unfavorable light, "asked for us to take notes today, Harry and I got our ink pens and spiral notebooks out, and began taking notes just like everyone else. Nowhere is there any written rules forbidding the use of paper, but apparently Snape objected to our use of muggle stationary, as he berated poor Harry in front of the entire class, took off twenty points for 'being unprepared,' and transfigured our things into these," she finished, angrily gesturing to the parchment. "Honestly, paper and pen are far easier and faster to use, and much better for organization. Plus, we had all of yesterday's notes in there too! And yes, I know any work that must be turned in should be done so on parchment, but those were OUR notes! Not school property."

Professor McGonagall had allowed Hermione's fury to play out, but now gave the young girl a stern, tight lipped glare. Hermione winced at the look, and squeaked out a small, "sorry ma'am," before McGonagall finally spoke.

"While I must remind you to refer to Professor Snape with the same level of respect you would any other member of this staff, I happen to agree with your stance in this instance."

With a wave of her wand, a copy of the parchment with notes, was created for both Hermione and Harry, another silent flick and twist saw the reversal of Professor Snape's spell.

Harry and Hermione both let out a grateful sigh, Harry adding a hurried, "Thank you ma'am."

"It probably need not be said, but may I suggest refraining from bringing these back to potions class?"

They all hurriedly nodded, and Harry and Hermione began to put their things away again, but then the Scotts woman asked, "Before you go, may I see one of those notebooks?"

Harry quickly handed his over, though he felt a bit nervous as his head of house flipped through the pages. Granted it only had yesterday's notes, and a few things he had jotted down for each subject he was taking, taken from the first few chapters of his textbooks, but it was still a bit nerve wracking.

"Yes, I can see what you mean about organization, Miss Granger. If any other teachers offer complaint for possession of these items, you may inform them that you have my express permission, however they still may forbid your use of them in their own class, though I doubt that will be a problem."

The two beamed with gratitude.

As she handed Harry's back to him, she added, "I couldn't help but notice that your penmanship is considerably better on paper Mr Potter, I sometimes forget that you were raised in the muggle world. I also noticed that you have taken notes in advance during summer break. Twenty points to Gryffindor I think. Now, I have a class to teach, and I believe you are due in Defence."

They left the office together, and headed in the sure direction until reaching the first intersection, but as Harry and friends made the turn for the staircase, he paused to ask, "Professor?"

At her acknowledging nod Harry softly murmured, "He was bullying Neville again. Professor Snape…"

McGonagall gritted her teeth, and closed her eyes for a moment. She was clearly displeased with her colleague, but all she said whilst pinching the bridge out her nose was,

"I see… Thank you for informing me Mr Potter. Perhaps you three could persuade Mr Longbottom to come forward this time."

At the trio's nods she started to turn, only to look back, "Mr Potter, please remind Mr Longbottom that my door is always open to the students in this school. And do try to keep that in mind yourself?"

Harry's reply was small, but his voice was steady.

"Yes ma'am."

With that they headed out to their respective classrooms.

Authors Notes

Sorry, but it looks like I'm going to break another chapter into two part again. Lupin's first class is next, and I've got something fun planned for it. Hopefully it'll be up Monday or Tuesday, but I don't want to rush it.

Also of interest, I finally fixed chapter 13. It'd been rushed originally, but it's finally fixed.

Also also, I now have a short story posted. I found a fairly short but abandoned story a week or so ago, and I hurt from the emotional cliff hanger it ended on, so I wrote a completion. It'll make WAY more sense if you read the other authors story first. The Authors name and Title are listed, so yeah go check it out. Trigger warning though, for attempted suicide.