Cauldrons and Lilies

Chapter 57

I don't own Harry Potter

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Chapter 57

Harry hated the attention everyone gave him. He had dreamed of Hogwarts for so long. He loved the school, sure he missed his parents but it was exciting. The youngest Snape did not expect all the questions about his father. Did he really defeat You Know Who? Is he brave? Why is he in Slytherin? He hated those who spoke behind his back and said that his father was the next darkest wizard of all times. After all everyone knew that all darks wizards had been Slytherins. Gus said it would pass with time but it was different for him. Harry had been happy when he landed in Gryffindor. It was his mum's house and all the Weasleys were in Gryffindor too. It was a good house. Uncle Remus and Sirius were there too. He was not disappointed but sometimes he thought that Slytherins would ignore him and that would have been preferable than all these questions.

It was worse when his father accepted the Potions' post. Everyone spoke of his father teaching and being scary. Harry had been beside himself when he learned he would teach him. As it happened dad behaved completely normal to him. He did not receive preferential treatment. If anything dad seemed harder on him than on the rest of the class. Harry was adamant that he would communicate with his parents in the same way that the other students did. He would write to them and he did.

Gus told him to wait it out and he was but he did get into a fight with a second year Ravenclaw student who asked him if his dad trained him on the unforgivable curses. He and Ron received detentions for three days for meeting said Ravenclaw after curfew. His mum wrote to him and dad only frowned at him and took away five points.

Harry sighed, he should think about the positive side of things. It was Hallow's eve and the feasts at Hogwarts were rumored to be marvelous. Ron had spoken of so much food he was just excited to think about all that he would eat.

Harry waited for Ron and then walked to the Great Hall. It was disappointing that Draco could not eat with them. Neville was nice but it was not the same. It had been Ron, Harry and Draco for years. He missed Dudley too. Harry spotted Hermione eating some scones. Ron did not like Hermione much. Harry thought she was smart but terribly annoying and boring at times. Sometimes girls were like that. Ginny could get annoying too. He did not miss Ginny.

"You should pace yourself. You are making a horrible mess." Hermione said with a face. She clearly looked at Ron who ate as if there was no tomorrow. His redheaded friend only rolled his eyes and shoveled more eggs into his mouth. Harry ate his sausages and spotted Draco speaking to Gus and laughing with him. Harry tried to wave but it would have looked ridiculous.

He had a pretty normal morning and afternoon. He missed Draco but to be honest he always got along better with Ron. Draco seemed to get along with Ron better too. Harry was excited for charms class. They would finally learn to levitate feathers. It was a complete disappointment. The only one who managed to make her feather float was Hermione. She seemed very proud of herself.

Ron frowned but Harry was too distracted to notice much because Seamus managed to almost blow himself up.

Harry met with Ron, Neville, Dean and Seamus. Ron kept complaining about Hermione and how much of a nightmare she was. "No wonder she hasn't got any friends." Harry felt bad when Hermione passed them by she looked as if she were crying. The young Snape did not think of It much until dinner. He saw dad talking to McGonagall. Mum was not allowed to be in the Great Hall. It was a small mercy. He knew that dad kept an eye on him. He could feel his gaze almost all the time. Ron looked at Harry, "Hermione is not here."

Harry shrugged, "you were very rude to her. You should apologize."

Parvati chimed in. "you were horrible. She has been crying all day. She was in the dungeons' loo crying her eyes out."

Ron's ears turned bright red. His retort was interrupted when Quirrell burst inside the hall. "Troll in the dungeons." The man fainted and there was chaos.

Dumbledore quickly directed prefects to take all students back to their common rooms. They followed Percy and then Harry realized. "Hermione is down there. We have to get her. She doesn't know." Harry said and separated.

Ron and him stalled. They made their way to the dungeons when they saw Draco. "What are you doing here?" He asked.

"We are looking for Hermione. She is in the loos." Ron said quickly. "Where are the girls' loos?"

Draco ran left, "Pansy always goes this way." He said.

They followed him and heard screams. Harry would always remember that foul smell. They managed to get Hermione to their side. Ron actually grabbed her out from under the sinks. Harry tried to hit the Troll with a spell. They did not know many spells.

Harry managed to hit him and get onto his back. The Troll shook while Harry stuck his wand on its nostril. "Do something." Hermione yelled at Draco and Ron.

Draco tried a spell but it was Ron who managed to save them. "Wingardium Leviosa." He intoned and the Troll's club hit the creature in the head. Harry had enough time to climb down before the Troll smashed him.

They looked at each other with wonder. The troll was unconscious. "We have to go now." Draco said but it was too late. The headmaster, dad and McGonagall were upon them.

Hermione saved them that time. She lied. He never thought he would Hermione lied. Gryffindor lost 10 points but it was only five because professor McGonagall have him and Ron five points each. She also gave Draco five points.

Dad smiled at him a bit. Harry guessed it was fine that dad was there. He wouldn't have to write about it since dad would tell mum.

Hermione thanked them and then went to bed. Ron did not apologize; he later told them that they had saved Hermione's life. Harry had wanted to say that she would not have been there if Ron had not called her a nightmare.

They became fast friends with Hermione since them. She even made friends with Draco.

Harry liked having Hermione as a friend. She was like Draco, very competitive and kept him on track. Ron hated that but complied. Harry thought he felt guilty about the Troll thing and the fact that he never apologized.

The three Gryffindors established a routine of sorts. They would have class and study and then go to the library and meet with Draco to talk. Draco had friends in Slytherin but he seemed to prefer them over Nott and Parkinson. Hermione hated Parkinson. The Slytherin girl called her names.

"Do you want to come to tea?" Harry asked Draco.

"I don't think I can stomach Hagrid's rock cakes." His friend said with a grimace.

"Come to think of it I don't think I can either." Ron agreed.

"I think it would be nice to visit him before we go home for Christmas." Hermione said. Harry nodded.

"What are you doing for the holidays Hermione?" He asked politely.

"Nothing really, my parents and I are staying home." She said with a smile.

"I am going to Romania to visit my brother Charlie. He works with dragons." Ron said happily. Hermione then asked many questions.

"I thought your families spent Christmas together always." Hermione said.

"Not this year. Dad is taking me and my sisters to America. His parents live there and they want to meet Oriana." Draco said patiently.

"What about you Harry?" Hermione asked with a smile.

"My mum really misses aunt Petunia so we are going on Holiday to France with him and grandpa. Dudley and Gus are going too." Harry said happily. He really missed Dudley. He had so much to tell him.

They spent their last free afternoon at Hagrid's hut. He gave them their Christmas gifts. Harry got a package of sweets and a few tricks from the joke shop in Hogsmeade. Hermione got a set of inks and quills. She loved them. Ron got a Chudley Cannons poster and magazine. Draco loved his ingredients and book. "You remembered." He said happily. Hagrid got a book about Dragons from Harry. Hermione gave him a nice teapot. Ron gave him a pumpkin remedy he got from his mum so that Hagrid's patch would be better next year. Draco got Hagrid a nice looking set of robes. "Mum said all wizards should have robes just in case."

Draco had to run because the dungeons were farther and he had to make curfew. Harry, Ron and Hermione walked to their tower and stayed in the common room until late that night. Harry slept in the following morning. Ron made a ruckus as did the rest of his classmates. They had to take the train to London. Harry was glad that dad would retrieve him later. He would take a portkey home.

Harry woke up late and packed his things. He made his way to the Great Hall and saw Gus. "Sev told me to meet you. Come, him and Lily are at the entrance." His uncle said as they walked out of the Hall.

Dad and mum were laughing about something. Harry liked that his dad wore his usual clothing as did mum. "I am so excited." Mum said and hugged him.

They held onto an old book. Harry felt the tug and then they were home. "Call dad. I want to see Dudley." Gus said happily.

"We are here." Grandpa said. Gus hugged him. Harry greeted aunt Tuney and looked for Dudley. His cousin grinned. "I have so much to tell you." They both said at the same time. Harry thought Dudley would like the book he made. Draco had rolled his eyes at him and Ron thought he was loony but Harry had asked professor McGonagall and Flitwick to help him make a book to record things so that Dudley could see Hogwarts. He had taken pictures too. Harry was proud of his book.

"Come, I have to show some records." Dudley said and pulled him to the living room.

"Don't take anything out. We have to leave in a few minutes." Dad said to them.

"I have them out uncle Severus." Dudley showed him the record, "Guns N' Roses" Harry liked the music as did Gus.

They listened to a few songs before dad magicked the stereo away. "Get ready."

They stood up and met the adults. "Are you sure we cannot apparate. It would be faster." Dad said.

"No, we are taking the cab to the airport and flying to France." Grandpa insisted.

Harry thought it would be fine. He liked planes quite a lot and he would have time to listen to the record. Dudley had a Walkman after all. Gus looked annoyed but did not say a word.

Harry talked to Dudley during the flight. They arrived to Paris and checked in at their hotel. Harry would share with his cousin and uncle. It would be fun. He spent that night telling everything about Hogwarts. Dudley told him about his school and the wrestling team he was part of. Dudley seemed really happy about his school and his friends. "I hoped to see Ron and Draco too but mum explained they're on Holiday too."

Gus was very annoyed with them because they would not stop talking. "Shut it you girls! I'm trying to get some bloody sleep."

Dudley farted in response as did Harry. He guffawed when Gus farted longer and louder.

Harry enjoyed the break. Dad was just dad and not his grumpy potion's teacher. He liked the museums and the sights. Gus was too cool to admit he was having a good time. Mum and aunt Tuney fussed over them and bought them things. Grandpa and dad played football with them at a park.

They went to sleep late on Christmas Eve and woke up to gifts. Harry loved all his gifts. Dad outdid himself and bought him a broom, "for next year." He wrote. Mum gave him a nice set of videogames. His friends got him sweets. Grandpa and Aunt Tuney got him some clothes and Gus gave him more sweets. Uncle Remus and Aunt Cissy gave him a new set of robes and quills. Uncle Sirius got him joke things and dungbombs. Mrs. Weasley sent his Christmas sweater. It was blue with his initials on it. He wore it immediately. Dudley got him the records. Harry looked at the last gift, "From James Potter." It read. Harry opened the wrappings and revealed a very old cloak. He wore it and Dudley jumped.

"You are invisible." His cousin said.

Harry looked down and saw nothing. "Wicked." James Potter was one of the Marauders. He had been a good man. Uncle Remus and Sirius loved him. Mum had been his friend too.

Dudley grinned. "Let me have a turn." He gave the cloak to his cousin for a bit. He looked at Gus who was still dead to the world.

Dudley reappeared in the loo. "This trumps all the gifts for all this year." He said excitedly.

Harry grinned and retrieved the cloak from his cousin. "Open my gift."

Dudley opened the box. "A book." He said trying to be excited. No boy liked books on Christmas. Maybe Percy or Draco but it had to be on something they were interested in. Dudley tried to not look disappointed. Harry tried hard to contain his excitement. He was sure his cousin would love the book. Harry felt a bit nervous for a second. He had spent months trying to perfect the book.

"Flip through it." Harry encouraged.

Dudley nodded and then looked at the first page. His cousin smiled. "It's Hogwarts!"

"Yes, since you are a muggle I thought you would like to see what it looks like." Harry continued with a smile.

Dudley's eyes were a bit sad but then he smiled. "It's wicked. Thanks Harry!" His cousin hugged him tight.

Harry felt better. He wanted Dudley to be close to him like he always was. He remembered dad and mum talking about how mum and aunt Petunia had a fall out when mum went to Hogwarts. Harry was very good friends with Dudley. He did not want to lose his cousin.

Dudley reviewed each page excitedly. He asked many questions. Harry and him giggled at some pictures of them. He named all of his friends in the pictures. Gus woke up and checked his gifts.

He was bad tempered in the morning. "Dudley, go shower. You always take the longest. Harry you'll go next and then the both of you will go downstairs and wait for the adults."

Harry frowned, "I showered yesterday night. I don't have to shower again, besides you not a prefect here."

Gus rolled his eyes. "Fine, stink to high heavens for all I care." His uncle continued rummaging through his gifts.

Dudley listened to Gus. "I have to shower." He ran to the restroom.

Harry changed clothes and took a look at Gus' gifts. "Anything good?" He asked. Gus showed him some of the presents.

Dudley came out, dressed and grabbed his book. "I have to show mum."

"What is it?" Gus asked and then Dudley proudly showed him.

Gus grinned, "these are some good photos Harry. I didn't know you were so talented."

Harry laughed. "just some pictures." He said and tried to keep from blushing.

They waited for Gus to be ready. He came out moody, "I told you both to wait downstairs."

Dudley and him shrugged. They walked downstairs and found their parents. They greeted the adults.

"Did you boys have nice gifts?" Mum asked them.

Harry nodded and eyed the breakfast menu. His mum called the waitress and ordered something for him in French. Soon they were all eating and thinking or at the Burrow. This touring and looking at things excited mum and aunt Petunia. Dad and grandpa humored them Gus Dudley and him tried but they expected more fun to be honest.

"Mum, Tobias, I have to show you the gift Harry gave me." Dudley then showed them the book.

Harry smiled, "I thought it would be nice for Dudley to see the castle."

"I never thought of that." His mum said and looked at aunt Petunia.

Aunt Petunia smiled ruefully, "I do not think I would have taken the gift as graciously as Dudley."

His cousin frowned, "I think is wicked. See mum, the stairs move. This is Harry's transfiguration classroom. Look, there is uncle Severus." Dudley pointed out.

Grandpa laughed, "you certainly look fearsome."

Gus rolled his eyes, "he is a pain in my arse is what he is."

"Augustus, language." Aunt Petunia frowned at him.

"But Tuney, he is. Tell dad how you have been torturing me." Gus replied.

Dad arched an eyebrow, "you happen to need an Outstanding in the Potion's OWL if you wish to continue in my class next year."

Grandpa frowned, "is he not meeting expectations."

Dad nodded, "he meets them but he is capable of so much more if he put in the work. He has talent; seems to get that from mum."

"Yes, you both get that from her." Grandpa agreed.

Gus felt insulted all the same, "I happen to be very capable of doing my work. You are just too hard on me and Harry because we are your family. Don't think I don't know that you barely give points to Harry because of that."

Harry felt the need to defend his dad, "I told him I did not want any preferential treatment. He never gives any points to any Gryffindors."

"That seems rather unfair." Aunt Petunia chimed in.

"I have said the same since I heard about that rumor and confronted him about it." Mum spoke up.

Dad sighed, "That rumor is untrue. I give points to adequate students. As it happens these are very few. Harry is a good potioneer. He is excellent but as he said asked me to not award him any special treatment. I have tried to abide by his wishes."

"So you do give points to Gryffindors?" Dudley asked.

"I have on occasion. You have to understand that Gryffindors can be rash and that does not bode well in potion making. Your cousin is good and he is the exception. And I will have you know that I give Harry regular house points. Usually on his homework. He does excellent work but I suspect that is under the influence of Ms. Granger."

Harry nodded, "She makes Ron and me write our essays in the library when we see Draco."

Gus rolled his eyes, "Percy is a good potioneer as well."

Dad nodded, "he is but he lacks instinct as does Ms. Granger. They are apt because they are conscientious, good students. You and Harry have natural talents thanks to the Princes."

Mum frowned, "I was excellent at Potions. Maybe Harry gets that from me."

Dad smirked, "doubt it."

Mum hit dad on the arm. "you are getting more aggressive every year."

Dudley and him rolled their eyes. Harry felt better that his father recognized his good work. Dad always commented on his work heavily. There were words of praise here and there but this verbal acknowledgement did wonders for him. He was in better mood when they walked up and down the streets of Paris and the countless museums aunt Tuney and mum wanted to visit. Gus wandered off. Grandpa let him. Aunt Tuney asked Gus to be back by dinner and to take care of himself. "Do you have enough money?"

"Yes Tuney." He said and hugged her.

Dudley and him were exhausted and ate sweets after dinner. He was sleeping when Gus turned in. "Aunt Tuney is going to yell at you tomorrow." He said after a yawn.

"Don't worry little Snape. I talked to her." He said and went to bed.

Harry had to say he liked his vacation. It picked up once Dad refused to go to more museums. "They are crowded, hundreds of people go through them and we barely see "culture."

"What do you propose then?" Mum asked a little annoyed.

"We travel and see the city. Not where a hundred people go. Let the kids go to parks, enjoy themselves instead of looking at paintings that they don't care about." Gus and Grandpa agreed immediately. Mum and aunt Tuney were outvoted.

Harry had lots of fun with his dad and mum. She quit pouting after dad whispered something in her ear and gave her a kiss. They went to different places, ate ice cream and even went to magical parts. Gus did not go. He went with aunt Tuney, Grandpa and Dudley to some place Gus discovered the day before.

Mum and Dad bought him a nice set of quills and a charmed set of Puddlemore United cards. His parents laughed and kissed. They went to a bridge and put a lock with their names on it. "This is the most ridiculous thing you have ever made me done." Dad said and mum laughed at him.

"You love this romantic side of us." She said and kissed him a little too much.

"I don't love it." Harry said.

Mum kissed his forehead and they walked through some gardens mum loved.