Well first off I would like to profusely apologise for the time it took to get this chapter up. Unfortunately life interfered... damn that life I say!
Thank you all so much for your reviews. Please feel free to do so, and I would greatly appreciate some suggestions or ideas to improve my writing as well (apart from updating more regularly of course...).
This chapter is otherwise known as "The chapter not quite so long as originally intended, nor extending as far as originally intended. Though it is hoped the author is forgiven for such by the end of the chapter"
Oh dear I /really /need some sleep.
"Never be afraid to try -
amateurs built the ark
and professionals built the titanic."
Snape sat in his cold dungeon, a cauldron simmering in front of him, though it was difficult to tell which was simmering more, the cauldron... or Snape. It was Christmas Eve and Snape was missing dinner /again/, everywhere he turned that wretched woman was there! He could have sworn she just liked riling him up, he had never met a more infuriating woman in all his life, he wanted to strangle her. He was at present missing dinner merely to avoid her company, she always contrived a way to sit next to him and bother him non-stop.
We are of course speaking of none other than Julia Figg, and Snape was right she did enjoy teasing him, so much so in fact that she had made a bit of a sport of it, trying to get rise out of him every night (1). She did not of course ever do anything cruel or mean, all that was ever needed to get him annoyed was some good-natured teasing. To anyone observing Snape when he was near Julia the scene was rather amusing, the expressions and colour on his face would change rapidly, and it would almost always end up with Snape storming out of whatever room he was in, his body seething with rage. Nobody could ever seem to get Snape angrier than Julia could, which was quite peculiar indeed. Perhaps it was merely the fact that she used that infernal name for him whenever she could. Snape shuddered as he heard the annoying"Sevieee" bouncing around in his head.
Would this woman never leave him alone, even when he was not near her he could hear her chattering in his head, he was quite sure she was going to send him mad, if he wasn't already there.
He was rapidly shocked out of his reverie when the potion he had been concocting for Madam Pomfrey blew up in his face. "Argh!" he yelled, throwing the rest of the ingredients that he had in his hands into the cauldron's remains. Unsurprisingly this turned out to be a rather unwise move. The cauldron blew up again.
"I am so sick of that woman/. Look what she is doing to me! I haven't blown up a cauldron in 21 years, and even then it wasn't my fault! Argh!" he yelled again "now I am talking to myself, I /am going crazy!" he paused "Oh dear" he sighed.
At this point he heard a soft knock at his door, assuming it was one of his good-for-nothing students he resumed his usual formidable posture and expression, and he said gruffly "come in" but no one did.
"Come in!" he said louder, but still no one.
"Euch" he muttered to himself as he got up, opening the door he yelled in a loud voice "WHAT?" but it seemed it was to nobody, at least he couldn't see anyone. It wasn't until he heard a soft "eeep" that he looked down... There below him was a young girl; she seemed much too small to be a first year, besides he didn't remember ever teaching her.
"What is it?" he asked sharply
The girl looked up at him with the biggest blue eyes he had ever seen, though they were filling with tears "read to me?" she asked quietly
"No!" he answered harshly at which point she burst into tears, after about ten minutes of glaring at her to stop, he found his usual response to children crying didn't work. He wasn't quite sure what to make of it.
He tried many things to shut her up, but nothing seemed to work... she was starting to give him a headache. In the end he decided to bribe her, giving her the contents of his pocket, which was a galleon - he was reallydesperate to shut her up.
To his surprise it worked... for a couple of minutes. She slipped her new found fortune into her pocket before pouting and asking again -"read to me?"
Snape sighed and said "NO! Now go find someone else!" and with that he slammed the door, but alas he could not drown out her incessant bawling, it was quite disconcerting when trying to make a potion.
Fifteen minutes later, she was still outside his door, and still crying loudly. He wasn't quite sure how she could cry as much as she had and not get dehydrated. 'she will go eventually, I can wait' he thought to himself.
Five minutes later he had changed his mind 'how bad can it be, it can't be a very long book, all I have to do is read it and she will go away' apparently with all the noise, he had quite taken leave of his senses.
He peeked out the door, making sure nobody else was around before rapidly saying to her, "Do you promise to shut up if I do?" to which she answered with a nod "get in here then, quickly!" he opened up the door and she came skipping through a huge smile on her face, her tears instantly forgotten now that she had her way.
With one last effort to avoid the inevitable he asked "You are about three or so, can't you read it yourself?" he obviously didn't have alot of knowledge of children.
"I'm four!" she said proudly "and no I want you to read it"
Snape shook his head, resigned to his fate 'bested by a four year old, there really is something wrong with me!'
She handed him the book "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" by Dr Seuss, "well it doesn't sound that bad" he thought to himself before she jumped on his lap and snuggled into him. "Ack! What are you doing?"
"Just read!" she said exasperatedly, I mean really, didn't he know that she had to sit on his lap when he read to her; he was a bit of asilly adult.
As he reached the end he realised just how wrong he had been. "And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore." He winced for what must have been about the thousandth time while reading this book before continuing "Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means alittle bit more." (2)
"Finally!" he muttered, he had seriously underestimated how long the book was, and just how painful he would find it to read. "Will you go now!" he said rather angrily, after all he was just forced to read a children's book!
"Yes" she said in a voice that seemed to Snape as if it were overly happy and secretly mocking. He stared at her as if willing her to get off his now numb legs, but she only stared back before she reached up and gave him a big sloppy kiss and a hug, neither of which he appreciated.
After that display he quickly lifted her off him carried her outside the door and placed her on the ground. "Thanks" she said before scampering off, book in hand.
"Euch" he muttered, suddenly exceedingly weary "I am /never/doing that again!" before he rambled up to his bed and promptly fell asleep, after all, the potion could wait.
The young girl entered her rooms, which had been quite torn apart, to find her mother running around, throwing things everywhere."CATHERINE FIGG!" Julia yelled as soon as she saw her daughter "where on earth have you been, you scared me half to death!"
Unfortunately for Snape, Catherine quite liked the sound of his voice [ok little in joke... I absolutely adore Alan Rickman's voice it's just so sexy... hmm I'm sad lol.] when he read her story, so on Boxing Day she returned, a new book clutched tightly in her hands. It took about an hour for Snape to give in this time but she eventually wore him down... after all he really was quite funny when his face went all red.
Harry woke up; great numbers loomed over him as he opened his eyes. He had fallen asleep in his math book again. He really ought to stop doing that, it wasn't a pleasant position to lie in, and not a comfortable way to wake up, though he supposed anything was better than the Dursley's usual wake up call.
Life had surprisingly been treating him rather well; he had become rather adept at hiding emotions from his relatives and increasingly more nimble, able to avoid them most of the time. Harry was therefore able to avoid most punishments, though not all.
He had celebrated Christmas for the first time in his young life, with Mrs. Lynn, though she insisted he call her Jane as she was no longer his teacher, though he always managed to forget. Though it was not in fact /on/Christmas day, it still meant a lot to him. She gave him a copy of the novel"Moby Dick" by Herman Melville, he treasured this above all, he had never before owned his own book, and he adored it. Having nothing else to offer Harry had managed to cook up some biscuits when Mrs. Dursley went next door for agossip, a little embarrassed though, he didn't tell her that he had made them himself.
Adonia found his preoccupation with his studies to be rather amusing, though she hastily reminded him if ever he forgot to talk to her for extended periods of time. She had grown quite a bit and was now about 150cm(approx. 5 foot) in length, so she was rather imposing. Her large size made it increasingly more difficult to keep her a secret and made outside excursions with Harry impossible.
At that moment he heard a rather loud knocking on the front door, as it was exceedingly early, Harry was rather confused. He wasn't about to answer it though, the Dursleys would not be happy if he did, then people would actually know that he lived there. The Dursleys didn't come however and the knocking was repeated; eventually Harry heard the characteristic thumping of his Uncle's footsteps. He brought his head back into his room, and closed his door so there was only a small slit through which he could see.
Vernon grudgingly opened the front door, seeing only arather diminutive woman, one whom he did not know at that, consequently his greeting was rather gruff and perfunctory.
To his sub-standard greeting the woman said politely "Excuse me sir, I was wondering if I could have a few words with Harry Potter... might that be possible?"
"Boy!" the tone of his voice rapidly changed at the sharp look she gave him when he called Harry boy. "There is someone here who wants to speak to you, could you come here for a moment?"
That had to be the most polite request he had ever heard from the Dursleys, well if we are being honest, it was the only request/he had ever received from the Dursleys. He recognised the woman, but was completely baffled as to her presence at the Dursley's house. He quickly walked to the door and stood there for a couple of minutes, an uncomfortable silence developing between the three of them. Eventually Mrs. Lynn raised her eyebrow and said with a voice edged in steel, which was in stark contradiction to her height "Sir, may I speak with him /alone."
With a short scowl Vernon gave Harry a slight push out the door and then closed it in her face.
Jane Lynn raised her eyebrow, asking in a slightly shocked voice "Are they always like that?"
Not really wanting to speak about it, Harry changed the subject "Not that I am not happy to see you, but what are you doing here Mrs Lynn?" he asked inquiringly
"How many times do I have to tell you to call me Jane?" his tactic had the desired effect as she rapidly remembered her purpose for being there "Harry, I have some wonderful news for you..." she smiled "do you remember when I took you to the entrance tests for the grammar schools? Well it so happens that you have been accepted to both the Grammar Schools you applied for, and what's more they both offered you a scholarship. Not only that but you have also been invited to study at the Royal Conservatorium of Music! You are going to have some difficult choices ahead of you..."
They had, however, underestimated the lengths that Vernon would go to hear their conversation. He was at present on his hands and knees, listening through the mail flap; after hearing the gist of their conversation, he began to get up, which took quite a bit of effort. When he had once again reached his feet he flung open the door, his face as red as a tomato, looked like it was quite ready to explode, the veins in his temples were throbbing, and his teeth were grinding together. He managed to speak, his voice dripping in anger "HE WILL NOT BE GOING"
He then turned his angry gaze on Harry; although Mrs. Lynn didn't know what that look meant, Harry certainly did. "Boy! Get inside!" Harry scampered in and went straight to his cupboard, it was better to obey him. Then his punishment at least had the chance of being less painful.
Their voices where so loud now that he could hear them clearly.
"But Sir you wouldn't have to pay any more than an ordinary school, he has been awarded a scholarship!" she said, trying to contain her irritation. Her restraint didn't last for much longer.
"What gives you the right to take him to these sorts of things? I did not give my permission, and would never have done so!" He growled at her
"That boy is the most intelligent person I have ever met! If I wasn't going to do something about it then who was!" she screamed back, her reserve suddenly gone.
"No one, that's the point! You had no right! NO RIGHT! Now get off my property, and stay away from him! He is going to Stonewall High and that's the end of it!" He yelled and slammed the door once again in her face.
For the next couple of months Vernon Dursley had the worst case of acne he had ever had in his entire life, though he did not connect the two.
"So?" Julia asked as she plonked down next to Snape at the teachers table during dinner.
"So what?" he replied grumpily. He thought he was safe from her presence that night, as he somehow managed to sit in between Professor Flitwick and Professor McGonagall. Before long, however, she had managed to convince Professor Flitwick that he was feeling an icy cold draft on his knees, and gallantly offered her seat up as a replacement, consequently this placed her next to Snape and his rather 'chatty' conversation.
"Why are you so grumpy?" she asked
"I'm not grumpy I'm annoyed." He replied
"Well then, why are you annoyed?" she continued persistently
"I am annoyed because people keep asking me stupid questions." He said, grinding his teeth.
Julia rolled her eyes, knowing it was something else as he was extremely tense, in this state it wouldn't be anywhere near as fun to tease him, it would just be too easy. So she continued watching him, he seemed to grimace a lot, and it took her a long time to figure out the cause, McGonagall and Dumbledore were having an animated, though quiet conversation about Harry Potter coming to Hogwarts, in fact the whole school seemed to be talking about it, and every single time Harry Potter's name was mentioned within hearing distance he grimaced. Attempting her theory, Julia started a new conversation with Snape "So... I hear Harry Potter is coming to Hogwarts in the next school year" she smiled, catching his dark look turning even stormier if that were possible. "Now..." she poked him "you are going to tell me what you have against Harry Potter!" she raised her eyebrows at him, refusing to look away.
He tried to ignore her penetrating gaze for as long as possible, but she really was quite a formidable opponent eventually he answered"No."
"Well..." she said "I am going to annoy you until you tell me"
"You annoy me anyway, so why should I care?" he replied
"Oh I can be much more annoying, just you wait, you'll break down eventually." She smirked
Julia proceeded to torment Snape every other moment throughout the rest of dinner, alternating between poking and saying "tell me!"By the end of dinner he still had not broken so she changed her tactic. Following him as he walked rapidly out of the Great Hall she started repeating the name Harry Potter over and over again behind him. By the time they had reached the dungeons he was positively seething "Would you desist!" he yelled"Go away! I am not going to tell you. Ever."
"Hmph" Julia sighed "tell me?"
Snape growled and slammed his door in her face; it was particularly quiet after that so he assumed she had left.
Julia however was still standing outside the door, preparing to get a little revenge... she charmed the door to start serenading Snape with asong with terrible lyrics to the tune of "that's amore" after that she headed back up to her rooms, though paused to repeat the same procedure to the door of his room.
The first time it began to sing he was shocked, the second he quickly became irate, after trying all manner of curses, spells, jinxes and even a couple of potions he still could not get it to stop. Eventually he walked out, seething as he stepped over the broken remnants of his door, and headed off to his rooms to get some peace.
He breathed a sigh of relief as he walked through the door of his room, to complete silence. Unfortunately for him he didn't bring the particular potion he had used on the last door to blow it up, which presented asignificant problem. As soon as the door shut however it began to sing the same infuriating song that went something like this:
"When you heara that name
You scream out and flame
Well you will giva in
Or I will ki-ick your shin
"Argh" he yelled trying to get out into the hallway unsuccessfully as she had also conveniently placed a locking charm on the door. In the end he resorted to burying his head under his pillow which muffled the sound somewhat, and he eventually fell into a restless slumber only to be awakened by the same song early the next morning, though the sound was magnified somewhat.
The anger he felt from last night had not dissipated significantly and it flared up once again when the irritating strains once again reached his ears. He went to the door in a blind rage and once again began throwing curses at it, after one particularly brutal hex the door exploded loudly, sending shards of wood into the hallway. "Ha!" he yelled triumphantly
"Severus what is wrong?" apparently his explosion had caused a commotion amongst the teachers as they all ran out in their nightgowns, which was not a pretty sight on some of them I might add.
"Why pray tell did you just blow up your door?" McGonagall added, trying admirably to withhold her grin.
"Um..." Snape coughed embarrassedly "Ah... someone locked the door, and... it was singing to me..." he finished lamely
"Why didn't you just use alohomora?" Julia asked with an impudent grin and a raised eyebrow at which point she could have sworn she saw Snape blush slightly.
"I... ah didn't think of it..." he said, in his rage he had not quite been thinking straight.
The teachers all shook their heads and made their way back to their rooms, Julia walked straight past him humming something that sounded suspiciously like 'that's amore'.
Snape merely growled and stalked away.
"Up! Get Up! Now!" Petunia Dursley screeched.
Harry awoke with a start. His Aunt rapped on the door again.
"Up!" she screeched. Harry heard her walking towards the kitchen and the fry pan being put on the cooker. He rolled onto his back and tried to remember the dream he had been having. It had been a good one. There had been a flying motorbike in it. He had a funny feeling he'd had the same dream before but he could not rightly recall when.
Adonia slithered over his feet as she went beneath the house in search of some food.
His Aunt was back outside the door.
"Are you up yet?" she demanded.
"Nearly" said Harry.
"Well get a move on, I want you to look after the bacon and don't you dare let it burn, I want everything perfect on Duddy's birthday"
"What did you say boy!" his Aunt snapped through the door.
How could he have forgotten, it was the Dud's birthday... what a way to ruin a perfectly good Saturday. He felt a little sorry for that particular Saturday, for the Dud to be born on that day, well the Saturday would probably have preferred it to be doomsday... poor Saturday.
At the sound of a loud clang from one of the pots Petunia was cooking with, Harry drew himself away from his somewhat whimsical thoughts, and emerged from his bed with haste, ready to endure his least favourite day of the year.
Some hours later, he felt considerably better, for the first time in his life he was going to the zoo, the day was definitely turning out better than he expected. Harry felt, afterwards that he should have known it was all too good to last.
As he walked into the reptile house he felt a peculiar sort of headache coming on, he could hear whispers everywhere and they were terribly disconcerting. He also felt like he was being pulled in about a hundred different directions at once.
The Dursleys and Piers Polkiss, who was Dudley's guest for the day stopped in front of a rather large snake, and in his distraction Harry almost ran into them. They were all staring intently at a rather large boa constrictor, the snake had no such interest in them, it was too busy sleeping and no matter what they tried it wouldn't wake up. Eventually they simply gave up and moved on, though Harry stayed where he was, he could have sworn as soon as they turned their backs the snake looked up and winked at him. If it hadn't been for Adonia he would have been more surprised, but as it was he still thought Adonia was the only snake who could speak; but as he focused on this one snake the faint whispers surrounding him began to narrow down to one soft voice, though he couldn't quite catch what it was saying he pushed his head closer only to jump in surprise, it was singing "I Go to Rio", a song in stark contrast to it's formidable exterior.
"Excuse me..." Harry asked "can you understand me?"
The snake stared at him and nodded
"But how... Why is it that snakes can speak to me?" he asked more to himself than anyone else. When he first found Adonia he was too young to comprehend the difference, and as he got older he took the fact that she could speak for granted. He never stopped to question it.
"I don't know... why don't you tell me?" the Snake replied obtusely
"Well have you ever met anyone else who can?" Harry tried again
"No" the Snake replied succinctly.
"Watch out" the Snake said, before Harry was pushed to the ground by Dudley as Piers had yelled "DUDLEY! MR DURSLEY! COME AND LOOK AT THIS SNAKE! YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT IT'S DOING!"
As Dudley and Piers pushed their faces against the glass it promptly disappeared, leaving the inhabitants of each side relocated to the opposite side. The glass reappeared, leaving both where they belonged, the Snake free, and Dudley and Piers in a cage in a zoo.
"Thanksss amigo" the snake murmured to Harry as it slithered away.
"You're welcome" Harry replied, baffled.
Unfortunately for Harry, Vernon Dursley heard Harry's parting comment to the snake, or at least he heard him hissing, so Vernon decided to take the days mishap out on him.
This particular mishap caused Harry his worst punishment to date, and considering the violence of his past punishments, one can only conclude that it was bad indeed.
By the time Harry had fully recovered from his ordeal it was the Summer Holidays, school, his haven, had ended and the Dursleys seemed to find all manner of menial chores for Harry to accomplish, as such he hardly ever got a moment to himself and always appeared to be covered in dirt, conversely the house had never looked so clean.
Although he new it was impossible for him to go to either of the Grammar Schools he had got into, nor to the conservatorium he still wished it were possible. Though Stonewall he supposed would be good enough, at least he would be away from Dudley, that was the main thing.
His hopes were renewed at the appearance of a social worker, apparently Mrs. Lynn had filed a complaint against the Dursley's for their behaviour towards Harry, but as she new very little about the extent of what /actually/went on in that house, added to the fact that there was no evidence of maltreatment, other than the fact that he was a trifle skinny, this however could be for a number of reasons. As such after a couple of days they left the Dursley's, giving them only a stern warning. Harry was consequently punished for the appearance of the social worker, though he had no say in her presence at their doorstep.
Harry awoke to a strange smell, it was quite awful really, so he stumbled out of his room in search of the vile smell. He found his Aunt was marinating his 'new school uniform' in dye - oh he was going to get off to a great start at his new school!
He slumped down in his chair as Dudley and Vernon came through the kitchen door their noses scrunched up in response to the foreign smell. As soon as they sat down they heard the mail flap open.
"Boy! Get the mail!" Vernon glared at Harry.
Knowing it was unwise to argue he merely got up to fetch the mail. When he picked the pile up he flicked through them, finding a couple of letters for the Dursleys and one for... him. He had never received a letter before, in shock he started walking towards the kitchen, ready to hand over the rest of the letters. In a moment of mental abstraction, for which he would never quite forgive himself, he walked in with his letter still clutched in his hand, and it was subsequently taken away from him and no matter how much he objected he couldn't get it back before it was destroyed by his Uncle.
Harry Potter tossed and turned as he lay on the cold, hard floor, his black and blue chest and shoulders making his present position all the more uncomfortable. In a few minutes he would turn eleven, though it was not much of a birthday. He and the Dursleys were at that time staying in the dingiest shack imaginable, perched on a small rock island just near the coastline. To make matters worse a dreadful storm had manifested and Harry of course was under the thinnest, most ragged blanket imaginable. So thin was this blanket it was almost invisible, in fact it may even be plausible to suggest that he would have been better without said 'blanket'.
He could not really complain though, this was probably one of his better birthdays, at least he wasn't being yelled at, or worse yet, beaten up. That had happened before.
He wasn't entirely sure, but he thought perhaps his Uncle had taken leave of his senses, they had driven away from the Dursley's house and had eventually ended up on this freezing lump of rock in the middle of the ocean, if that wasn't a sign of insanity he didn't know what was. This was all because of Harry, or rather because someone refused to allow the fact that Harry hadn't received a certain letter. They were very persistent.
Harry was staring at the lighted dial of Dudley's watch as he waited for his eleventh birthday to arrive. The seconds ticked closer and closer, and as the time ticked over to midnight on the day of his birthday, amassive bang was heard, rattling the walls of the rather unstable building that surrounded them.
Another bang was heard, though a large crack was accompanied with it. This time Harry watched as the dust dislodged itself from the roof and fell down around him, this worried him considerably as he believed the only thing that was holding this particular building together, very likely /was/the dust. In his present pre-occupation he missed the entry of a rather ragged looking half giant. This was quite a feat in itself as it was exceedingly difficult to miss this particular man's presence anywhere, when taking into account his considerable size.
Harry was quickly startled back to reality as the half giant boomed his name. 'boomed' is a particularly apt word for the way in which this man spoke as it indeed rattled the building when he yelled. "HARRY!" the walls shook again "Las' time I saw you, you was only a baby" the giant said, who appeared to be wiping tears out of his eyes "an' look at yer, you look a lot like yer dad, but yeh've got yer mum's eyes." He sighed, apparently caught up in memories. As such he did not notice Harry flinch as he placed his huge hand on Harry's shoulder.
Although not entirely comfortable with the huge stranger as he had an overly familiar manner of touching him, Harry was still as inquisitive as he had ever been and so asked the giant all manner of questions.
"Excuse me sir, but who are you?" Harry asked meekly
"Right yeh are, I haven't introduced myself. Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of the Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts" Hagrid replied politely, well as polite as he could muster.
"And this 'Hogwarts' is a school of some description?" Harry asked, beginning to get excited, perhaps Mrs. Lynn had sent this person here and he would get to go to a grammar school after all, any school other than Stonewall, even.
"O' course, Hogwarts is the bes' school of..." Just what this was a school of, however was cut off as Hagrid was rudely interrupted by Mr. Dursley "He will not be going to any school of the kind! I advise you at this moment to give up! Now get out you are trespassing on private property."
Harry's anger at this moment went up ten-fold, and before Hagrid had time to yell at the Dursleys, Harry asked as civilly as he could"and me going to this school, that would mean that I would be away from them?"he jerked his thumb at the Dursleys.
Hagrid's placid nature did not quite grasp the animosity behind that particular question so he answered, misinterpreting the question entirely "well no, o' course not! Don't worry, yeh would still see them over the holidays... but fer the most o' the year, yeh wouldn't see them."
Harry contemplated this for all of five seconds "why is it that you have come here?"
"The headmaster, Albus Dumbledore sent me ter help yeh get your supplies" Hagrid replied, his chest swelling with pride.
"Well let's go then" Harry replied with eagerness
"He will not be go..." Vernon was cut off by Harry's hard glare.
"ah... it's a bit late, we will leave in the mornin'." Hagrid replied with a smile at Harry's enthusiasm. At which point he directed Harry to the sagging couch, covered him in all the blankets he could find and left him to sleep, which he did, almost immediately. Hagrid then went over to the Dursley's, who had remained relatively quiet up until this point.
"He is not going. He does not know about your strange world of freaks, and it is going to stay that way!" Vernon sneered
"HE WHAT?" Hagrid thundered, though despite his booming voice, Harry lay asleep, blissfully unaware of the argument that waged until the early hours of the morning, by which time Hagrid, usually of a placid nature, was seething. The Dursleys had since been exiled to another room so as not to interfere with his forthcoming explanations.
"Mornin' Harry!" Hagrid said smilingly as Harry opened his eyes "there's a couple 'o things I shoulda told yeh las' night that I plain forgot" he paused and scratched his beard "but first here's yer letter." After handing the letter over Hagrid walked to the window and appeared to be penning a note, though Harry was soon too preoccupied with the substance of the letter he had been handed to pay any more attention to Hagrid's further actions.
Later that day, as Harry sat in a train bound for London, he really did not know what to believe. That he believed his companion believed this story of witches and wizards he was certain. But he was not sure that what his companion believed to be true was what he himself believed to be true. Of course all the studies he had done previously supported the idea that this was merely fiction, though he had no idea what this person would have to gain by telling him a falsehood. On the other hand the man called Hagrid's story about his parents seemed to add to the veracity of this odd man. By this point his thoughts had quite thoroughly confused him, so he decided to not be prejudiced in his thoughts either way until sufficient, undeniable truth was presented to him to support either assumption.
Diagon Alley, however, would have to be too elaborate a ruse to be a scam. He therefore reluctantly concluded that this world of witches and wizards must be undeniable fact, despite his many studies that proved the contrary.
Harry had indeed been too caught up in his thoughts to pay much attention to what he was passing or where he was going. He was rapidly brought back to reality when he stopped in front of a white building. It was not the size of this building, though it was considerable, nor the fact that it was ten times larger than half the surrounding buildings that caught his attention. What had in fact shocked him was A rather ghastly looking creature, with long limbs and digits, it was sharp and clever looking which he soon found out to be a goblin. Harry decided at that moment that goblins were not something that you'd want to anger. Harry's observation of the poem on the second door they walked through reaffirmed that notion.
From living with the Dursleys for such a large amount of time Harry had learnt not to ask questions, but just this once Harry exerted himself to do so. "Why is it that we are here Hagrid?" he asked.
"To get yer money o' course" Hagrid explained.
"I have money?" Harry asked incredulously.
"o' course. Yer parents did leave yeh somthin' after all."Hagrid replied.
Harry merely raised his eyebrows and remained silent until they once again returned to the surface, though he paid close attention to the interactions between the goblins and customers. As he walked to the door with Hagrid, Harry changed his mind and stopped, saying quietly "Excuse me Hagrid, do you mind if I just speak to Griphook again for a moment" at Hagrid's nod he walked back. Harry did not notice the strange look Hagrid gave him at his request, he was once again too busy thinking.
Harry approached the goblin once again, outwardly displaying quite a bit more confidence than he inwardly felt. After conversing with Griphook for a certain amount of time he was handed a bundle of papers which he took over to the waiting Hagrid. Harry was, as usual quite unaware of the reactions of those around him, and as such he did not notice the baffled look from Hagrid, nor the mute look of respect from Griphook.
Seeing that Harry wasn't about to answer him, Hagrid just let it go and walked on to continue their business, Dumbledore's package tucked safely inside one of his innumerable coat pockets, pockets that only Hagrid could navigate.
As Harry entered Flourish and Blotts he was spellbound (no pun intended... well maybe there was...), so many books at his disposal, none of which he had ever heard of or read before... this would be fun.
Hagrid found it exceedingly difficult to drag Harry away from the store and consequently to keep him from buying out the entire store. In the end Hagrid only succeeded partially, Harry walked out of that store with a considerably greater number of books than the school booklist required.
"Seviee!" Julia said in her most annoying sing-song voice"can I talk to you for a minute?" to which he merely grunted.
"Please?" she whined.
"I'd like to help you out..." He replied "Which way did you come in?"
She rolled her eyes at his childish antics before saying "I've been thinking..."
"So, a thought crossed your mind? Must have been a long and lonely journey..." Snape replied scornfully.
"You know, I have always wondered why people bang their heads against brick walls... then I met you!" She replied challengingly, daring him to continue their childish insults.
Unfortunately for Julia, he did not rise to the challenge, but she was now determined to get under his skin, and if it took another twenty stupid insults, well then she would attempt it!
"If we were to kill everybody who hates you, it wouldn't be murder; it would be genocide!" she started off, but to no avail.
"When you get to the men's room, you will see a sign that says, "Gentlemen." Pay no heed to it. Go right on in." still no reaction.
"I'll never forget the first time we met - although I'll keep trying." Finally! A reaction
"Hey, here's a hint..." Snape said glaring fully at Julia now"If I don't answer you the first 25 times, what makes you think the next 25 will work?"
"You know, you are really anti-social" Julia said changing tact
"I am not anti-social. I just don't like you" Snape said peevishly.
"You are going to end up a cranky old man, alone and unloved. Well I suppose they do say opposites attract...so I sincerely hope that you meet somebody who is attractive, honest, intelligent, and cultured. Not likely though"
"Pardon me, but you've obviously mistaken me for someone who gives a damn." He said, rolling his eyes "I'm busy now. Can I ignore you some other time?"
"I don't think you are a fool." Julia smiled sweetly before continuing "But then, what's my own humble opinion against thousands of others?"
"You should toss out more of your funny remarks; that's all they're good for!" Severus replied smugly
"Roses are red violets are blue, God made me pretty, what the hell happened to you?" she retorted back again
"Marry me?" Severus replied
"WHAT...?" she said, stopped in her tracks
"Thought that would shut you up" Snape smirked
"Hmph" she said, still thinking, unwilling to be bested. She stood there for a few minutes trying to get her thoughts back on track before she said "Is there a mirror in your pants? Because I can see myself in them" before high-tailing it out of Snape's potions room, her laughter echoing down the hallway as she ran.
Snape stood there for a significant amount of time, thoroughly confused as to what had transpired. When he finally realised that he was standing in the middle of the room as if he had been stupified he heard someone laughing at him. He turned around and around trying to find the annoying little cretin who was making fun of him, but couldn't find anyone. It took him many minutes to realise that it was in fact him who was laughing; when he did, he quickly stifled it, lest someone overhear him acting in such an undignified manner.
(1) D'oh I was going to be good this time, and here I am one paragraph in, I just couldn't resist... Dirty! (or is that just too easy?)
(2) I do not own this book, if I did I would be an amazingly cool writer.
(3) Just thought I would point out most emphatically that this was not in fact an /actual /proposal of marriage... just to avoid any confusion that might arise...
Anyway that's all for now folks!
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