Year One: Harry Potter and the Revolving Wall @tararhyme
The Talking Bedpost No One Else Can Hear

"Your dormitories preside over the lake, meaning the Water Wall you see behind me doesn't apply. In fact, you have balconies that overlook the Great Lake, and are likely very glad to hear that you have abundant light in the mornings. Only just don't fall off and splat down- that'd be a nasty clean up." A couple girls giggled at that, and Draco actually looked surprisingly nervous.

"Believe me when I say that Hogwarts is a blessed home of magic, I've had five lucky years here, and will have two more if I have anything to say about it." The huddled group of first years fell nearly silent as Pucey's voice turned compelling. "What you need to remember for rules is firstly- no fighting of any sort, especially not magically. Wands are not permitted in hand outside of class for you lot. First year is when you're learning self control, as much for our good as yours. Without proper direction you'll blow a head off, likely your own, but maybe someone else's."

The girl Prefect, who's name Harry had also forgotten, stepped up next to Pucey. She had been over by those collective desks, speaking with someone in hushed tones. "And to add to that: stealing from classmates, use of potions on others, and damaging others' property are all very punishable offences. Now, the Headmaster mentioned how the third corridor and the Forbidden Forest are both, well, forbidden. That stands obviously, as does the list of banned items he mentioned are on Filch's office door. I highly doubt any of you have any said items, but if you're feeling wary, you can try and find his office."

"Which leads to the next topic," Pucey said. "The castle is very temperamental, and likes to switch about. It'll be exhausting at first, no that's not true- it'll always be exhausting. But you get more used to it. The Professors won't be too terribly upset if you're late for class the first couple weeks, the only thing I wouldn't be late for is curfew. In Filch's eyes, and the Professors too, that's the most punishable offence."

"Why's that worse then stealing?" A brave boy with tan skin asked. "Or even fighting? So what if you're up late?"

"Strange things happen in Hogwarts!" the girl Prefect said, rather spookily. "It's a very magical place after all. At night, the Professors patrol the halls to prevent anything from happening to silly, wandering students." Harry personally didn't feel like this was a good enough explanation. He thought it just sounded like they wanted the students in bed, which was fine, but why were they so mysterious about it?

The rules of Hogwarts were pretty straightforward- if anything they were rather loosely stated. Not that Harry minded the freedom afforded.

The boys were split into two dormitories of ten and seven. Harry was a bit relieved to be in the smaller group, and wondered about the girls who seemed to have an even larger number of students to account for.

They were lead up a dizzying stairwell with no railings and very narrow twists, passing many doors in the curved wall of odd shapes and colours. Prefect Pucey left them at a door most plain, with a rusty looking knob, and lead the other ten boys further up in circles. It should've been a hard squeeze past the seven that were staying on the stairs, but just like magic they could walk by without a problem. One more mystery to address then, Harry thought. I've got a long list by now.

Harry reached for the doorknob as he was first in the line of boys, and once it opened inwards the door lost its odd curved shape that fit the wall of the stairwell, and it looked like any other normal door.

He stepped in, closely followed by his new Housemates.

The dormitory itself was a very wide room, with four beds on one side in a row and three opposite. The ceiling was dome-like, and decorated with further engravings of magical beasts. Of course snakes featured, very fearsomely, with fangs and jaws gaping. It was quite well done artwork, Harry thought, to have been carved into the stone. One of the animals had three heads, a dog of some sort, like a greek Cerberus. Harry'd quite enjoyed greek mythology when he hid away in the local library... hiding from Dudley, of course.

The beds themselves had heavy drawings around them, a silvery color that nearly shone in the pale moonlight.

Light!

At the opposite of the entrance to the dormitory from the stairwell, large double doors inlayed with thick glass let the moon set the room aglow. The glass was nothing like Harry had seen before- he wasn't sure if it even was glass. It swirled gently and distorted whatever lay beyond, letting only light pierce through.

He wasn't the only one taking it in, the other six boys were looking at the sheer floor space as well, or at least Harry thought so. And it was huge, not just compared to a cupboard. The beds and the narrow bedside tables highlighted further how large and sparsely decorated the room was. The gaping distance between the two walls and consequent beds of four and three, was at least eight meters. More like ten, really.

"We've got to share," Draco said, with a tone of distaste Harry did not like. He sounded very unappreciative- he sounded like Dudley. "I suppose Father was right to warn me."

The bold and tanned boy from earlier strode over to the right side, breaking out of the stillness the group had fallen into. He made his way clacking against the stones to the furthest bed and patted it.

"I'll take this one, Merlin knows otherwise I'll never get into the baths. Ridiculously common we've all got to share." He said it loudly to them all, as if they were somehow to blame. But Draco actually laughed, in a rather conspiratorial way. "Speaking of, I'm washing up first, and I like my privacy." He slipped into a less conspicuous door next to the bed on the far side that he'd claimed.

That answers the bathroom question, Harry thought satisfactorily. We've got our very own for our dormitory.

"I'm Cresswell," said a mousy faced boy next to him. "I've got a Morgana thrice cursed first name, so I'd rather go by Cresswell."

"Haven't you got loads of brothers?" Draco asked.

"Yup, and I'm the middle one."

"Ghastly!" Draco Malfoy spoke with the air of someone who'd learned a new word. "I can't imagine what that's like."

"Well it means I know how to hold my own in a fight, at least." Cresswell said cheerfully before going to the first bed on the left side. Draco snorted and followed him to the bed next. The other three boys went over to the bathroom's side, chatting animately among themselves. Harry realised there was only one bed left, next to Draco and closest to the doors spilling milky light.

As soon as Harry sat on his new bed a soft glow of lantern light swelled in the dormitory, followed by a series of pops.

"Our trunks!" one of the unnamed boys exclaimed.

Indeed, Harry spotted his trusty brown trunk at the foot of his bed. Must've been magicked up from where they had left it at the train station.

The bathroom-boy came back out with all the ruckus going on, and the whole seven of them set into unpacking their trunks and rooting about.


"Look at him," Cresswell snorted. "Out like he's drunk Living Death." Gordon Pircquey, another one of Harry's new housemates, had in fact laid down on his bed on his stomach. According to his uneven snores he'd miraculously already fallen asleep with his trunk open and barely touched

"What's living death?" Harry asked curiously. "In the wizarding world does it just mean he's sleeping?"

"It's a draught," Draco said. "The Draught of Living Death makes the drinker fall asleep- forever," he wiggled his fingers spookily.

"Ah." Harry sat on his bed. Draco Malfoy had claimed the bed to the right of him, and was picking through a large, star-covered bag. "I haven't read about that in our schoolbooks."

"Huh?" Draco looked up. "Well it's not exactly for first years but I think there's a footnote or two about it by the Kip Slip Concoction, chapter seven in Magical Drafts and Poisons. Pretty famous poison, the Draught of Living Death. We never get to learn the good stuff," he sounded suspiciously whiny.

"Wait, you really remember that? Are we meant to memorise the readings too?"

"Don't believe so, but my father warned me to take extra care with Potions- see he knew the Potions master, Severus Snape. Still does, I guess. I must've read the first ten chapters a hundred times this summer. Lucky thing because he's also my Head of House."

"Thanks for the heads up," Harry said warily. This Severus Snape sounded like a very serious character, and definitely matched the brooding character he'd risked a glance at during dinner. He brought out his copy of Arsenius Jigger's Magical Drafts and Poisons and opened it to chapter seven. He knew what he was reading about before bed tonight.

"I hate potions!" Cresswell moaned a bed over.

"It's called lack of talent," called the bathroom-boy from earlier, who's name was Purtis Blishwick. "Or maybe you can't help it, half breed."

"Oy," Cresswell propped himself up. "My mum's a muggleborn, you twat."

"Really? I would swear you're half muggle, with those table manners."

"Don't make me come over there! I could take your stupid ponce arse any day."

"Sure," Purtis sneered, but Harry saw the nervousness flit across his face.

"Er, what's the difference?" Harry asked Draco, who had been fairly helpful so far. "With muggles and muggleborns, I know that muggleborns have magic and all, but what's the big difference between muggles and magicals?"

"You're muggle raised, right?" He scrunched his nose up. "So I suppose you think they're like us, but they aren't. It's like, dogs and cats. We aren't the same. It's all in our bloodlines, and muggleborns are the start of a new bloodline. If a muggleborn goes off and has kids- be it with a muggle or a magical- the kids will be magical. Or Squibs, I guess, but that's a rare condition."

"A Squib?"

"A magical person that's born unable to reach their magic," Draco said. "Sucks. I'm not surprised you haven't read about it, people don't like talking about squibs. You should know, by the way, the best sorts of magicals are the old families, which are bloodlines carrying old traits like certain magical abilities- like being a metamorphmagus, having magical resistance, Seeing, or wandless magic."

"Wait so those sorts of things- I've read all about it- are carried down. You can't just become one?"

"That's just how it works! And if you're part of a certain bloodline you gain seats of power in the Ministry by heritage, and nearly all old families have homes and gold. The wizarding community is old and built on familial ties."

"Is there some sort of bloodline test? Or spell or potion?" Draco scoffed.

"Oh don't be ridiculous. Then wouldn't everyone be doing it? Tracing every bit of worthy ancestry they can? No. I mean can you even imagine how difficult magic mimicking such an ability would be? You've got to have practice with blood magic or have a blood mage on hand. Doing a blood kit and sending it to a licensed mage is really the only way of tracing your lineage if you don't have a family tapestry, Harry. And then, of course, your ancestors can only be traced based on documentation and locations magics."

"Locations magics?" Harry echoed.

"For locations," the blond said irritably. "Wherever magic has been, no matter how short a time or even if it's only carried through blood inactive, there's traces aren't there?" Harry had not known that but nodded anyway. "Blood kit can show you where people with your bloodline were from and how long they were there. But again, without any written archives they can't be listed by name. It's stupid. Who cares what country your great-great grandfather came from if you don't even know if he's like, a Squib? Or worst of all, Muggle!"

This was terribly funny for Harry although Draco didn't find it so. Because as it was, where your family came from country-wise, was exactly the Muggle version of the muggleborn versus pureblood debate.

"So why can a family tapestry work better than a blood kit? Does it work even without, um, documents? Er, paper trail?"

"Yeah I guess. It's an old family thing. All the Houses have one."

"How does it work?" Harry pressed.

"Don't be so thick Potter, have you got Horklumps for brains? When the family grows so does the tapestry." The snooty boy didn't seem to realise he hadn't really answered the question. Harry was sharp enough to see that he probably didn't even know how the magic behind the tapestry worked. These wizarding families often took their norms for granted. Come to think it, most magical objects, not just these odd family tapestries, were very incredible bits of magic. How did one go about making an object magical? Or did magical objects simply exist, like wizards, witches, beasts, and magic itself?

He curled up under his cotton sheets and thumbed open chapter seven of Magical Drafts and Poisons. He couldn't sleep, the anticipation left him watching the distorted glass doors until he blinked and it was morning.


The sun was up before Harry was, and so were most of his roommates it seemed. Draco and Cresswell's bed were empty and unmade, and there was only one boy on the opposite side of the room, but Harry didn't have his glasses on- he couldn't tell who.

New ones, fresh and new ones, seven years, now new ones here

Harry blinked and narrowed his eyes at the wooden bedpost, reaching for his glasses on the side table simultaneously.

"What? What did you, erm, just say? Hello? Bed?" Harry breathed in and out, calmingly. Did- did his bed just talk to him?

Speaking? The voice emanated from his bed! It did!

"Yes, are you? Am I crazy?"

Either way it was staying suspiciously silent now, he poked it for good measure and nothing more happened.

"What are you doing?" The dark boy, Blaise Zabini, asked from the bed across from his. "Are you spitting? On your bed, Potter?" He looked horrified. Harry straightened up. He finally knew something they didn't.

"Er- no." started Harry confidently. "It was talking to me. I answered, as one does..." He trailed off more unsure.

"As one does." His Housemate said, rather faintly. "Sure you weren't just hacking a loogie? A really wet one?" Harry snorted and turned away from the boy.

Maybe everyone's said different things- and it was meant to be like a private sort of thing. Harry considered it solemnly while Zabini continued to look at him like he'd started tap dancing at random.

His- Zabini's- bed likely hadn't opened up to him yet. Come on, they've got a singing hat but the talking bedpost is where his Housemates would seemly draw the line. And the paintings, good lord, how could he forget!

Wizards, honestly.

He rummaged in his school trunk, which was a very plain sort of brown compared to his new classmates'. He pulled out each of his course books, as there was no telling what the day could bring. They hadn't gotten any sort of schedule yet...

"What're you looking at then?" Harry asked when Zabini still didn't move.

"No idea," said the boy. "No idea what I'm looking at."

"What are you doing in here anyways? Aren't you in the other dormitory?"

"Yeah, well, waiting for Killian. Apparently everyone in your dorm needs a bloody half hour to get ready. Surprised it's not longer- you've got Draco," Blaise sniggered.

"Ah," Harry said, and that was that.


"Potter Spotters never said he was cracked, did they?" Blaise said loudly as though Harry was not a couple spots down the bench, eating marmalade toast with an alarming look of pleasure. Killian Alves, whom he seemed to know quite well, choked on his eggs from laughing.

"He's not-" Draco sputtered, quick to Harry's defence, "-cracked!"

"What's Potter Spotters?" Harry asked with interest. He'd heard the term before somewhere, so someone must've mentioned it. But he hadn't the foggiest idea what it was. It wasn't in any of the books he'd read either as far as he could recall.

"Sort of like, this column, you know?" Draco explained as a tall teacher shrouded in black slapped down schedules between plates. "It's in the Prophet, and people write in about you. Having maybe seen you, or that they knew what you've been up to all these years."

"Utter codswallop naturally," Nott added. He was also in Blaise's dormitory, and Harry had yet to hear his first name. There were so many people here, he didn't know if he cold remember his own Housemates, let alone the other Houses. "But Draco and Cresswell- you two ought to still have your clippings, right?"

"Don't know-"

"-what you're talking about." Cresswell finished. Both didn't look at Harry. During this all, the teacher was methodically slamming down their individual timetables like he had a personal vendetta against schedules- or maybe against breakfast spreads. Clearly not a morning person, and Harry was loathe to admit he found his new Head of House a tad intimidating.

Thwack

Harry was quick to grab the schedule that thwapped down next to his plate because he was very excited to see where the day would take them.

Monday

Transfiguration at 9 o'clock with Professor McGonagall

Charms at 2 o'clock with Professor Flitwick

Tuesday

Herbology at 9 o'clock with Professor Sprout

Free

Wednesday

Defence against the Dark Arts at 9 o'clock with Professor Quirrell

History of Magic at 2 o'clock with Professor Binns

Thursday

Magical Theory at 9 o'clock with Professor Wiffles

Astronomy at 22 o'clock with Professor Sinistra

Friday

Potions at 10 o'clock with Professor Snape

Flying at 3 o'clock with Professor Hooch

"When do classes end?"

"What?" Cresswell mumbled through some toast.

"Look, it doesn't say," Harry tapped his schedule.

"Er, like an hour? Dunno."

"Only two classes a day..." Harry said thoughtfully. "Though it's nearly nine, we should get going."

"I have to get my books from the dorm," Draco said, guiltily. "I thought we'd have enough time!"

"Oh alright, let's go then, I don't want to be late." Blaise got up with Draco, and Harry, to his own shock, did too.

"I hope that transfiguration isn't too far from the dungeons," he said on the way out of the Great Hall. "Oh hey, Ron. Congrats on Gryffindor."

"Oh, er, thanks Harry. You too, I guess."

"Thanks." Ron gave him a warm smile.

"Well what did you expect?" Draco butted in. "It's the best house!"

"Oh, right. Malfoy in Slytherin, what a surprise," Ron Weasley said without any surprise in his voice.

"And redhead, red house, you're right at home aren't you?" Ron glared mutinously at Draco before stomping away. Whatever tension they'd had on the train seemed to have worsened overnight.

"What's your problem with Ron? And Ron's problem with you?"

"Well, he's a Weasley." Draco offered no further explanation and Harry was not in the mood to badger him for it. It seemed almost as if that was what Draco would want.

"Transfiguration, today please," Harry said instead.


The staircase was sliding, the stone grating to his ears. Harry tried to- nonchalantly- grasp at the railing like a lifeline. His hands were clamming up, but with the many portraits and paintings lining the walls, he didn't feel like humiliating himself by crouching down onto a step for more lumbar support. When it settled again, he was facing an entirely empty corridor, and the stream of students that was headed to Transfiguration ahead of him had vanished.

"Where'd they go?"

Blaise clung to Draco, who also clung to the stone railing.

"Let's try left?" Harry tried. "Or maybe it was right. Right sounds right..."

"McGonagall is going to kill us," Draco stated. "Or worse, she'll have Snape do it. My father will definitely hear about this!" He bemoaned.

"Shouldn't have left all your books in the dungeons!"

"And how did we get lost three times trying to get to our own common room? Because it wasn't my brilliant sense of direction."

"I think we should just go," Harry said abruptly. "Standing here waiting for the stairs to change again won't do us any good."

They decided to go left, although Harry was very reluctant. This part of the castle, like every other part of it, was utterly foreign.

"Don't you have class?"

"Don't you?" Blaise sniped back at the girl that'd appeared in front of them.

"I'm not in Slytherin- Gryffindor has free Monday mornings. I've chosen to study, not sleep in, because I'm productive. But certainly if Gryffindor has a free, you do not therefore you're skipping class." She made a face of disgust. "You really shouldn't do that."

"We're not skipping," Harry protested. "We're trying to find Transfiguration but the staircase moved."

"You're Harry Potter," she said.

"You're Hermione Granger."

"You know my name?"

"We have met before," Harry said pointedly.

"Harry Potter is skipping class," she said.

"We're not skipping. Are you deaf?" Blaise didn't seem to like her much.

"Oh yes," said Hermione Granger with the tone of someone who did not agree in the slightest. Harry actually found the scowl that Blaise sported to be enormously funny, but like most of his thoughts he kept it to himself. Besides, he and Blaise Zabini were sort of friends. He couldn't laugh at a friend unless they were laughing too. "If you really want to find transfiguration, you'd be two floors up, by the very narrow corridor on the left side of the Venus flytrap tapestry. And if you don't mind, I've got to prepare for my afternoon class, so I really can't stand around with people skipping class!" She flounced off, hair swinging wildly behind her hurried footsteps.

"Barmy," Draco said. "Why did you two even talk to her? We should've just kept walking."

She was right though, and they found the Transfiguration classroom two floors up in the 'very narrow corridor' near the tapestry of a frowning Venus flytrap.

"Oh she's not here yet!" Blaise exclaimed, all his previous grumpiness forgotten. "Thank Merlin's saggy left tit, I'd thought she'd have our heads for it- oh look, Killian's saved me one." Draco and Harry got their own desk, right in front of Crabbe, another Slytherin and friend of Draco's, and a Hufflepuff girl they didn't recognise.

There was also a cat on the desk, and after seeing it give the latecomers a very appraising look, and Blaise a rather stern one, Harry thought: oh, an Animagus. That's brilliant, brilliant work. Extremely dangerous transfiguration, no way we'll do that anytime soon.

Professor McGonagall was brilliant, and she gave Blaise an earful for nasty language, but didn't take any points. Tough but fair.

"Harry, oh see! I've got it on the sixth try," Draco said smugly. It wasn't nearly as impressive because Harry himself got it on the second try. A feat that had gotten him an appraising look from the Professor and five points to Slytherin. Draco had, at the time, remained most mysteriously silent. Anyways, even now Draco's looked a bit like painted wood rather than silver. "Harry look, I'll undo Crabbe's- oh he hasn't even noticed, total flobberworm-" Harry was very quickly realising this 'having friends' business was a lot of work. And apparently, a lot of talking. At least on Draco's part. "Did you look, Harry? Did you? Ha!"

"Not much to undo," Harry muttered.

"Well yeah, whatever, but I think I undid the end bit- he made it a bit shiny." Harry eyed the wooden pin in question dubiously. It had never seemed duller, sure, but he thought any shine on it could've been attributed to Crabbe's nervous sweating rather than successful transfiguration.

Also, rather than a lesson in transfiguration Harry was learning that friends are rather difficult to have, and that Draco Malfoy's a bit of an arse- regardless of whether or not Vincent Crabbe was having any success at the spell. It was very clear that 'flobberworm' was a type of insult, and Harry didn't like the idea of anyone talking behind their other friends' backs. It could mean that Draco was doing the same to him, and he wouldn't stand for that.

Not at Hogwarts. Here, things would be different. Better. But how does one even tell a friend they aren't being a very good friend?

He was distracted by the rude Hufflepuff in front of them that was goading another table.

"I've got top of the line computer games," Justin said boastfully. "Dad always makes sure I get the best. And you, Ernie?"

"I don't have a computer," a chubby boy with spiky hair said, matter of factly.

"That's embarrassing," the Hufflepuff snorted at his housemate. Harry was starting to feel bad for Ernie because he knew what is like not to have things, but Ernie changed the entire tone of the conversation.

"By Morgana, it's like you're proud to be a muggleborn!" Macmillan and a couple of his friends laughed at that. "But I guess somehow you got to come to terms with it."

"What's wrong with being muggleborn?" Finch-Fletchley snapped. "Just cause I've got an Atari and you don't doesn't mean you have to make up stupid stuff. Not my fault you're poor, Ern."

"I'm rich," Ernie said with a surprised voice. "My dad runs a couple very successful post-owleries. And more importantly, I don't have dirty blood! I mean come on, you're not even a half breed. Bottom of the barrel you are- as mum would say."

"What?" Justin said weakly. He sounded like he couldn't think of anything else. Harry listened in extra hard, and tried not to think about how he was emulating Aunt Petunia's spying. He, like Justin, didn't really understand where this conversation was going.

"Yeah, well," Ernie looked very thoughtful. "It's not like you can help it. It's just your sort aren't as good as us- purebloods that is. You can't be. Dad says that's why your lot have to work extra hard- otherwise it's back to your world, and I guess your funny little trinkets. That's why I don't care much about your muggle stuff, Justin, it's beneath all this. Doesn't matter here. And you'd know that- if you were one of us."

Harry felt this muggle and pureblood thing was a lot more prevalent than what he had read about. In the books they made it seem like a radical ideology, but even the students didn't think much of muggle raised magicals. Harry can only imagine how horrid adults could be with that prejudice, if it wasn't contained to the history books like he'd been lead to believe...


Lunch was a quiet affair, everyone bone tired from three hours of transfiguring class. Harry may have had enormous success, but after an hour of switching the wooden pin into a silver needle it became harder and harder, until he failed entirely.

Professor McGonagall was shockingly gentle about it, and said it was to be expected for his very first day of using magic properly. She had even said he was doing well, and gave him a private little smile.

He'd never received such ostentatious praise before.

Harry liked it.

Now, Charms class however... three hours of dry torture.

Professor Flitwick looked to be the very opposite of Professor McGonagall both in severity and stature. They were wrong on one of those accounts.

They split the class with the Gryffindors this time, not the Hufflepuffs, and Harry was waved down by Ron, who looked like that had taken all of his courage. Neville Longbottom was sitting next to him and fire-prone Seamus Finnigan in the row in front.

Said lad was muttering nervously about his fire tendencies to a girl next to him and the this did not start the class on a good note. After register was taken, the professor leapt down from his stack of books.

"Do you know what silence means, Seamus Finnigan?"

"Er, sorry sir, I was listening I swear-"

"I think you'lll find a significant amount of fucks not given, Mr. Finnigan!" He squeaked menacingly. "Oh, and if anything in here is being set on fire today young sir, it will be you. Stand down here, out of your sit, yes GET UP and stand in the aisle if you so graciously would."

"Y-yes, Professor Flitwick," Seamus grimaced.

"Look more enthusiastic why don't you," he said drily. Seamus tried to fix his face but he just ended up looking constipated. Harry hid a wince as the Gryffindor shuffled nervously.

"Ugh," Flitwick waved his hand at him. "Vile! Sit down, I've eyed enough of you for a lifetime."

"Yessir." And the Irish shuffled back to his row quickly.


His first week at Hogwarts was passing fairly quickly and yet he'd gotten no better at navigating the halls. Harry was happy at least to know the way from the common room to the Great Hall with relative ease- there was only one special corridor he really had to watch out for. It'd appear between six and seven in the morning and lead you onto the seventh floor instead, and all Slytherins were meant to take heed of that. Harry'd almost been caught out by it around half past six, but a bulky sixth year girl yanked him back by his cloak.

He also was nearly used to the staring, and something else that Draco called fan-girling: a byproduct of reading from a particular wizarding magazine called Witch Weekly. It infected people with saying his name breathlessly and following him around.

He'd taken to his old habit in the muggle world: hiding in the library. It was a beneficial choice, because the library had entirely new explorations and subjects. At this particular time on a Thursday before his first potions class, Harry was researching more about sleeping potions.

But right as Harry felt like giving up on finding anything more detailed in this alcove of the library, he felt the strongest urge to lurk. His sixth sense was proven right once again as he stood between the bookshelves that separated Society Lawand Sleep.

"...eanpole defeated the Dark Lord?"

"He's not even a beanpole he's like, a singular bean. I think a strong breeze could take him out, let alone a powerful mage." Snickering followed.

"I don't know what to think."

"Dumbledore's barmy?" Someone laughed.

"That's not the solution to everything, and besides everyone knows he's brilliant, too. I mean if he says it was Harry Potter that took out the Dark Lord-"

"But he didn't! The Ministry did, and they aren't known for transparency."

"They said Dumbledore said it himself-"

"James and Lily Potter were like, wickedly talented though. Wasn't his mum a Charms prodigy?"

A girl agreed to that. "She wrote a ton of work in the field, and she was so young. Merlin, my mother is practically obsessed with Lily Potter." The boy hummed.

"And his dad was an Auror, a very well known one. I reckon that his folks did something to kill the Dark Lord, not a baby.I mean, a whole war was centred around this guy because he was unbeatable, and a baby stops him? Not even magic goes that far."

Silence rang out after that, and Harry fled before anyone could discover him behind the bookshelf. It was good to know what people where thinking about him, and he wondered too why it was assumed he did something to the wizard and not his parents.

This was still bothering him as he mumbled, "Profunde ad cor arce," to the Slytherin entrance wall.

"-and just because I don't suckle at the teat of Quidditch doesn't mean I can't fly, Purtis!"

"That attitude-"

"So have seen the pervert since?" Harry avoided Purtis and Killian's heated argument in favour of sitting with Cresswell, Draco, and Blaise, who got on mostly chummy.

"No I haven't- have you, Harry?"

"Hm?"

"That pervert from the train?"

"Thankfully not! We should probably report him or something if we see him," Harry said gravely. The boys went on to play an instructional game of Exploding Snap, Harry nearly lost half an eyebrow but he considered that a worthy thrill.

After Harry made off to study some more (as he was wont to do most evenings), Draco asked if Blaise actually knew what a pervert was. He shrugged. "Not really."

Cresswell snorted. "Are you two serious?"

"Yeah, and?" Draco asked defensively.

"Merlin, if you really want to know... just ask a Professor. Adults explain it best, trust me." Draco and Blaise didn't notice the evil glint in their classmate's eye.


He had slept uneasily as his sixth sense told him to take notice of Professor Snape. Tomorrow, it warned him, would be important. His bed spoke to him for the second time, a momentous occasion. It told him to sleep well, which was very sweet. He had yet to ask his roommates about their bedposts' messages. Again, maybe it was private.

Potions class the next morning at 9 o'clock sharp began very oddly, and did not proceed in a better fashion.

"And Mr. Potter. Our new... celebrity." Harry gave a winning smile, as the beady eyes of Professor Snape lifted from the parchment register to examine him. He thought it was a bit weird a Professor would be- as Draco called it- fan-girling, but if Harry was going to milk his fame for anything it'd be for a good grade. The Professor, however, looked as though he had sucked on a particularly juicy lemon slice. To be fair, the Professor always seemed to be sucking on something sour when Harry saw him. Maybe he was cursed.

But the Potions master moved on.

"You are here to learn the subtle science and exact art of potionmaking," he began. He spoke in barely more than a whisper, but they caught every word- like most of the Professors here, Snape had the gift of keeping a class silent without effort. "As there is little foolish wand-waving here, many of you will hardly believe this is magic. I don't expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses... I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death- if you aren't as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach."

More silence followed this little speech. Harry and Melissa, his potions partner, exchanged looks with raised eyebrows. Quite a few overachievers were on the edges of their seats and looked desperate to start proving they weren't dunderheads.

"Potter!" said Snape suddenly. "What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?"

Powdered root of what to an infusion of- ? Harry swallowed his nerves at the barking voice that was reminiscent of the Dursleys, and answered as chapter seven came to his mind.

"Draught of Living Death, sir," said Harry.

Snape's lips curled into a sneer.

"A miracle, you've opened the book! I wonder how many of the rest of you knew that, hm?" Students began to shift uneasily.

"Let's try again. Potter, where would you look if I told you to find me a bezoar?"

"The Potions cupboard?" He tried, but he couldn't remember where the poison antidote was from.

"Smart mouth, eh, Potter? You do think you're clever..." Harry forced himself to keep looking straight into those cold eyes and said nothing. He read loads, but did Snape expect him to remember everything in One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi? Just like his Uncle, he knew these kinds of questions were rhetorical and meant to cause a reaction. He wouldn't give him the satisfaction of a reaction.

"What is the difference, Potter, between monkshood and wolfsbane?" Why on earth was he asking all these questions? Why him? And this time...

"I don't know," said Harry quietly. Defeated.

A few people laughed, at him! Draco definitely cracked a smile, which was a terribly unsupportive thing to do to a friend. He was so obnoxious sometimes...

"For your information, Potter, a bezoar is a stone taken from the stomach of a goat and it will save you from most poisons. As for monkshood and wolfsbane, they are the same plant, which also goes by the name of aconite. Well? Why aren't you all copying that down?"

There was a sudden rummaging for quills and parchment.

Things didn't improve for as the Potions lesson continued. Snape put them all into pairs and set them to mixing up a simple potion to cure boils. He swept around in his long black cloak, watching them weigh dried nettles and crush snake fangs, criticising almost everyone except Malfoy, whom he seemed to, at the very least, tolerate. But he especially was cruel to the Gryffindors, and Harry.

When class was nearly up, Neville suddenly got up to leave, his things all packed. Professor Snape, to everyone's shock, merely nodded in his direction.

"Why are you leaving?" The girl with big hair that was sitting Neville asked. It was Hermione Granger.

"I'm muslim," Neville said. "Prayer."

Hermione Granger looked at him like he was an idiot. "But you're white, Neville."

"Does that have something to do with it?" Asked Harry, who knew very little of worldly religions, besides his Uncle cursing them out.

Neville simply left the classroom, face red.

"That's like, racist," Melissa Orpington said. Harry thought she was the nicest girl in their year, mostly because she was the funniest and sat with him and the lads at meals.

"No it's not," the Gryffindor sputtered. "Muslims are from the Middle East primarily! I learned about it in religion class."

"Oh whatever," Melissa rolled her eyes.

"If you have albinism are you assigned a different religion? Even if your family follows one already? Is it like, the shades of color in your skin matter, too? And-"

"What are you spouting?" The Professor hissed from behind, appearing from what seemed to be thin air. "You are reminiscent of a fountain, Mr. Potter, drowning us in your cra- hm, nonsense..." But Harry thought Professor Snape looked particularly displeased when talking to him. This could be wrong because it wasn't much of a switch up from the usual doom-gloom look... but Harry was beginning to think that the Professor didn't like him.

But he didn't even know him!

Harry risked a sideways glance to see only that quickly familiar wall of doom- Professor Snape had still yet to move.

"Something the matter, Potter? Something else you would like to add?" He said softly. Harry shifted his eyes back to his potion studiously. He knew better than to answer that.

The next interruption came from Draco as it was, so Professor Snape managed to contain his ire. He seemed to almost like Draco, which was absurd because there was no way the Potions master had liked anything in the history of ever.

The subject matter once again did not pertain to Potions.

"Sorry er- Professor Snape!" Malfoy waved him over to his cauldron. "I just needed to ask... what's a pervert?" Said teacher blinked. Then blinked again. He looked perplexed, and like he thought he heard very wrong. Draco clarified. "Only because I met one on the train, Professor." Then the man rubbed his eyes a couple times. With a tight drawn mouth he swept up to Draco and placed a hand on his shoulder that looked fairly hesitant.

"Would you mind speaking to me about... this, after class?"

"Su-ure," Draco said after a beat, eyeing the wavering hand on his person. After the man had stalked away through the rows with that same tight lipped look, Draco swirled to Blaise Zabini in the row behind.

"Holy shit," Zabini whispered leaning over his cauldron. "Now we're onto something."

On his way out of the classroom, Draco staying behind for some reason with Blaise, Melissa walked with Harry.

"Was Professor Snape really about to say crap?" She whispered to him. Then giggled. "Drowning us in your crap? Wow." Another giggle. Harry felt his lips pull into a smile that he made sure to hide until he was well away from the Potions corridor.

He wondered what Draco was staying behind for.


Draco was late to lunch with Blaise in tow, and neither were speaking to anyone. They picked at their food morosely.

"We've got flying this afternoon," Purtis said with emphasis. "Cheer up, you two."

"Maybe they can't fly to save their lives," Cresswell offered.

"Shut up Cress," Draco snapped. That was all he said the whole lunch, which was fine by Harry because he was still a little mad he saw Draco crack a grin over Snape picking on him.

He was first on the Quidditch Pitch, alone. No one wanted to walk down early with him, and the feeling of a divide between him and his classmates began to settle into reality.

Harry made his way slowly along the line, but the brooms were all in pretty wonky shape. Bristles stuck out, or the wood looked like it was splintering. He settled by one with a smooth handle and the rest of his house soon showed up, and Draco bragging about running into a Helicopter out flying one day.

"How do you know what a helicopter looks like?" Harry asked.

Draco spluttered for a moment, not able to decide whether to continue with his story, or deny knowing about anything muggle. In the end he settled for a glare and claiming he'd found out afterwards what it was. Harry was pretty impressed with the straight-up lie.

Draco was becoming increasingly more difficult this whole week, moaning about everything and how life was so much better at the Manor. He was also sometimes very mean to people, even ones he called friends. Harry felt it was fine to snark at him sometimes, because he was often such a prat, but Draco was starting to realise that Harry was a bit mad with him. It was too much, of course, for them to communicate clearly.

Boys will be boys.

"Must've been embarrassing for your parents," Harry continued bravely, "getting a letter from the ministry about breaking the Statute of Secrecy."

"What do you even know about the ministry?" Draco replied, but his cheeks had turned a very telling pink.

Harry shrugged lightly. "I am perfectly capable of reading- yeah, even muggle raised as I am."

Draco opened his mouth to reply, likely with another snide comment because he was feeling hurt about being called out, but the Gryffindors arrived and Hooch stepped up to silence them all.

"Now, as you may already know, there are four common means of magical travel," Hooch said, speaking loudly to be heard by spread out group. "The first being Apparition, and the most popular. The second is the Floo network, and the third, Portkeys. The fourth is on a type of magical vehicle." She gestured to the brooms laid upon the grass.

"This fourth means has a near infinite amount of possibilities- one can charm nearly anything to move by magic, from Muggle automobiles to an animal, magical or otherwise. The Knight Bus is an example of that. And there is a very good possibility that if you have imagined it, someone, somewhere, has put a charm on it and ridden it, no matter how outlandish. However, the most popular object to enchant is the traditional broomstick. This is primarily because broomsticks were readily available to magicals who had need of them, and the wood and straw retained the charms better. We continue to use brooms today mainly as a tradition. There are better ways to travel but just as Muggles still ride horses for leisure and competition, we too use brooms for leisure and competition."

"Well, what are you all waiting for? An invitation?" Madam Hooch said with a cheery clap. "Everybody stand by a school broom, and say 'Up'. Nice and confident, if you can."

Harry stuck his hand out over the broom, willing more than anything to fly and it moulded to his waiting palm without him have said a word. His eyes widened in shock. Luckily, no one noticed as everyone else was saying (or yelling) 'Up!' to varying degrees of success. Harry got just some satisfaction out of Malfoy being corrected on his grip after all his boasting, apparently he'd been doing it wrong for years. Hooch merely told Harry to free the thumb up more, and he did with his cheeks flushing. He hated not knowing things and being caught out on it. He'd come to Hogwarts free of the restrictions of the Dursleys, and had done nothing but shine. Flying would be no exception- he would be sure of it.

As Hooch began to count down for them to try their first push into the air he saw, from the corner of his eye, Neville Longbottom drift up with a look of horror. He opened his mouth to say something, but realised didn't want to interrupt Hooch, so just winced as he watched Neville float up in the air, then come down with a solid THUMP.

Everybody rushed over to see him. Hooch had gone white, Harry could tell that must've broke something by the pain etched on Neville's face.

"I'll take him to the hospital wing, if you'd like professor?" Harry found himself volunteering before he could think. He hadn't really talked to Neville since the train ride, but he was nice- if quiet. And he was feeling a little responsible for the injury because he didn't tell the professor.

As a whole, the class and Hooch turned to look at him in shock.

"What?" Harry felt nervous, maybe they could sense his guilt?

"Maybe it would be better for Longbottom... if someone from his own house…" Hooch started, but all of the Gryffindors wanted to try flying, and they looked away.

"Harry's fine." Neville's small voice spoke up.

"If you are sure, Mister Longbottom." Hooch herself didn't sound sure at all, but Harry helped Neville up, then they made their way off together. They didn't quite hear Malfoy's taunt about cry babies, but they still did and the laughter was even louder. Harry watched Neville turn even paler.

"Well at least you'll be remembered. I suppose it was brave to fly without instructions too- that's your House, right? Bravery? Cheer up, Neville!" Harry said cheerfully.

"That was so embarrassing!" Neville groaned, his face now an ugly shade of beet red.

"Well at least you did it in flying lessons. It's better than in a class you'll have for the next seven years." Harry reasoned.

"Yeah, but I haven't been going so well in those either."

"Oh, well, have you been studying?" Harry cringed at his own question. He sounded like a berk.

"I have, I really have!" Neville exclaimed miserably. "I just suck at magic Harry, I really do."

"Maybe you just need practice?" Harry hedged. He was not sure what to say to Neville- he'd personally had no trouble at all in school so far. He usually enjoyed poring over textbooks because they were so, well, magical.

Neville gave him a sad look and likely was going to continue shitting on himself, but they reached the hospital wing at the same time, and Madam Pomfrey started bustling around, looking to fix the boy up. Harry noticed she kept eyeing his forehead. Harry made sure Neville was comfortable (or as comfortable as one can be after taking a bunch of nasty healing potions), then headed back to class.

When he arrived he noticed Ron was missing from class. In fact, all the Gryffindors were looking mutinous.

"Sorry it took so long." Harry said, when Hooch turned her gaze on him. The rest of the class were in the air, so Harry simply grabbed a broom and joined them. He hadn't thought about it- and hadn't realised he'd never been shown what to do.

It was brilliant. The broom responded to him like it was another limb, and he could weave around his classmates with ease.

The rest of the lesson went smoothly. They were shown the three Quidditch balls (bludgers staying in the box, and a practice snitch that came back when you called), and then played an overly complicated game of catch. Hooch complimented Harry on his technique several times, and reminisced over his father's Quidditch days for the majority of the lesson. Harry'd never known that his father was anything more than a drunk before he'd read about how his parents really died.

It was sort of nice to know he'd been a good flier too.

Ron never returned to the flying lesson.

After the lesson wrapped up with everyone's faces flush from exertion, Harry asked Blaise what had happened.

"Draco found that crying kid's Rememberall, so Weasley- remember Ron from the train?- had a problem with that and they took the argument in the air. Weasley tried to pitch Draco off his broom, so he threw it. Weasley went after it but crashed into the wall, hard. McGonagall seemed to think he had a broken shoulder!"

"Where was Hooch? And what was McGonagall doing there?" Harry demanded. He hoped Ron was okay!

"Hooch was chasing one of the Gryffindor girls… Lavender, I think. She lost control of her broom and it went soaring over the forest. McGonagall was just passing by, I guess, and stepped in."

"Right. Thanks." Harry said and was about to turn away when something registered. "Hey, you guys seem to actually know Neville. Not 'that crying kid'. You know Ron Weasley's name and call him by it, why not Neville?"

Blaise went a bit red but just shrugged, and moved back in with the group.

"Where is Neville's Rememberall? What happened to it?" Harry addressed Draco now, frustration beginning to bubble.

"Smashed when it hit the wall." Draco said proudly. Harry gave him a look of utter disdain, and just muttered 'typical' while turning away.

"What's that?" Malfoy said.

"I said typical, you being a bully," Harry snarled. "How typical, isn't it."

"What the hell's your problem?" The blond looked confused. "You've been ignoring me all the time, and now you think you can call me names? At least I'm not basically a fucking half breed, Potter. Watch your mouth."

"Draco stop," Blaise cut in. "You can't say that!" Harry felt a warm happiness... that was dashed not a second later. "Hooch might hear you, you'd be in loads of trouble." Blaise wasn't his friend either, Harry realised with shame. This revelation kept him from continuing to berate Draco, and he felt overwhelmingly tired.

Friends, no, people, were terribly complicated things.

"Come on Harry," Blaise prodded with a tired sigh. "Let's wash up for dinner, I'm already starving."

"Can't you see that what you did is wrong?" Harry protested but he could already taste defeat. "You know Neville, and he's your friend!"

"I mean not really, but I guess I do know him." Draco shrugged. "You think fatso is so great, whatever. Thought you could choose your friends better than that." He sneered impressively down his nose. It was an expression he'd never made at Harry. Harry turned to Blaise, who said nothing at all, merely looking on.

"Well he's my friend then, and honestly worth ten of the both of you- what with the way you're acting!"

When Harry stormed off towards the lake, Blaise and Draco didn't follow him. But he wasn't alone.

"Harry! Harry wait up!"

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