Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter though a few of the characters are my own.
Harry sat in a table in the Gryffindor common room, hunched over a bit of parchment. It was early on a Friday morning and Harry was gathering his thoughts so he could send a letter to his parents about his first two weeks at Hogwarts.
It had been an interesting two weeks. At first, the other students were constantly pointing to and gawking at him, their voices muffled in whispers behind his back. Harry tried to ignore them, pulling his robes tightly around himself and making sure his bangs covered his scar. Luckily, Ron, the twins, and, occasionally, Percy would run interference whenever another student got too close or tried to ask Harry questions. Harry was grateful for his favorite redheads.
Hogwarts was turning out to be even more fascinating and confusing than he had imagined from descriptions of his parents, Sirius, Remus and the older Weasley brothers. The numerous corridors and shifting staircases made finding one’s classroom an adventure and made being late a distinct possibility. Luckily, his father and Sirius had taught him as much about the secret passages of Hogwarts that they knew as they could. Using them allowed Harry and Ron to get to their classes on time in spite of being among the last to leave the Great Hall after meals.
There were numerous ghosts in Hogwarts who were more interesting than the ghoul in the attic of the Burrow. There was Nearly Headless Nick, the Gryffindor house ghost whose head was almost completely severed when he was executed for having an affair with a lord’s wife. The Blood Baron, the Slytherin house ghost, was the terror of the other ghosts. Worst of all, was Peeves, a mischievous poltergeist who loved to play mean pranks on students.
The classes themselves fascinated and dismayed Harry. He realized that there was still a lot for him to learn in spite of being exposed to the Wizarding world all his life.
The teachers were both encouraging and intimidating like Professor Flitwick, the tiny wizard who taught charms and was head of Ravenclaw House and Professor Sprout, the little dumpy witch who taught Herbology and was head of Hufflepuff House.
The Defense against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Quirrell, was a strange person to be teaching that subject since he stuttered often and seemed easy to intimidate. He even wore a turban which was a gift of gratitude from some African prince he had saved from a zombie.
History of Magic which was taught by a ghost, Professor Binns, was the most boring class of all.
Professor McGonagall, his Head of House, seemed to be a strict and clever witch who deserved respect. She taught Transfiguration and gave them a stern warning about being serious in its study. Their first lesson, transfiguring a match into a sewing needle, was already difficult. At the end of the hour, only Hermione, Harry and Neville Longbottom had managed to make any change in their match. Harry noticed that this seemed to upset the bushy-haired girl.
Harry was surprised on finding out that Neville’s parents were Aurors. His father seldom mentioned his co-workers and Harry was so often with the Weasleys that he had never had the time to meet the children of other workers. He thought it a pity since the pudgy boy seemed clever but a bit nervous. Harry resolved to get to know him better.
Potions seemed the worst subject to Harry for two reasons. First, they had it with the Slytherins and second, it was taught by Professor Snape. Harry had been warned by Sirius that the greasy-haired potions master may be hostile to him but never explained why. When the Gryffindor first years had their first potions class, Professor Snape sneered at Harry and tried embarrass Harry by asking him several obscure questions about potion ingredients. Fortunately, having been forced by Lily to study his books for at least two hours a night in the month before going to Hogwarts, Harry was able to answer the questions after thinking hard. Harry noticed that Hermione tried to answer the questions faster but was ignored by Professor Snape, which also dismayed her.
The most interesting and terrifying day for Harry had been the previous day and night. It had started normally with regular classes. But that afternoon, during the first flying lesson with the Slytherins, the day turned strange. One of the Slytherin boys fell off his broom and broke his wrist, necessitating Madame Hooch, the flying instructor, to bring him to the hospital wWing, though she gave a stern warning to the rest of the students not to go up alone on pain of expulsion.
While landing, Neville dropped a glass ball called a Rememberall. It had been sent by his mother since he was sometimes forgetful. Malfoy happened to pick it up and refused to return it. When Harry demanded its return, Malfoy took off on his broom and taunted Harry to get it from him. Now Harry, having been flying since his father took him up on his broom when he was not even a year old, was a natural flyer. He immediately zoomed up to Malfoy, in spite of Hermione’s warning. Malfoy, in surprise, threw the Rememberall as far as he could. Harry rushed after it and caught it just before it smashed into a far wall of the castle. Unfortunately, McGonagall saw Harry and called him out.
However, instead of being expelled, McGonagall introduced Harry to the captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, Oliver Wood, as the new Seeker. Wood was ecstatic and hoped Harry would help them win the Quidditch Cup. Harry was stunned and ecstatic at this.
That night, dismayed that Harry had not been expelled, Malfoy challenged him to a Wizard’s Duel at midnight. Neville and Ron offered to be his seconds. Hermione tried to stop them from leaving Gryffindor Tower but found herself locked out of the Tower when the Fat Lady painting who guarded their entrance had gone wandering off. The four went off to the agreed place of the duel, but Malfoy didn’t show up. Instead they were almost caught by the caretaker, Angus Filch, for being out of their dorms after curfew. In fleeing from him, they found a huge three-headed dog behind a locked room and barely made their escape back to their Tower.
Harry decided to leave that last adventure out of his letter. No sense in worrying his parents since he had no intention of going anywhere near that beast again. He wondered why there was a monster like that in a school. Hermione had mentioned that it seemed to be standing on a trapdoor, guarding it.
Harry remembered an article in the Daily Prophet newspaper about a break-in at Gringotts Bank on September 1st, specifically into a vault that had just been emptied. Hagrid had been at Gringotts earlier that day and seemed to be hiding something in his pocket. Harry wondered if there was a connection between the mysterious object in Hagrid’s pocket, the monstrous dog and the break-in at Gringotts. It seemed just like a case his dad would be interested in.
He added a note to the letter, asking his parents to send his old broom, a Comet 260, so he would have his own broom for use during the Quidditch matches. Once he had finished his letter, he waited for Ron to come down to accompany him to the Owlery. So he could use his owl, Hedwig, to deliver the letter to Potter Manor.
That night, during dinner, Hedwig returned together with Artemis, his mother’s eagle owl, carrying a long and thin wrapped package between them. There was note attached to Hedwig’s leg with READ THIS FIRST on it. Harry immediately ripped the note open and recognized his father’s untidy scrawl interspaced with his mother’s lovely handwriting.
Congratulations, son. We are proud of you. I knew you had it in you to make it to the team, though I never dreamed you’d be in it in your first year. Imagine! You’re the youngest Seeker in a century.
Now, James, control yourself. Harry, we’ve talked with the Headmaster and Professor McGonagall. We aren’t happy with the way you attracted her attention with your flying skills, young man. Anymore rule breaking and we’ll come down there and have a talk with you.
Now, Lils let the boy have some fun. Merlin knows its boring just studying.
It’s fine to have fun, James, but not while breaking the rules. Those are meant to keep him safe. Definitely, he can’t have fun like you did in our fifth year.
You know I only had fun with those gits who deserved it. Ouch!
James! Language! Harry, you better not pull any pranks while in school. I know the Weasley twins have been trying to convince you to start a new generation of Marauders.
How did she find out? Harry wondered. Wait, this is Mum. She knows everything. What was that comment about their fifth year?
Please, Lils. Let me finish this. Okay, son. Now about the broom the owls brought you. We got permission from the Headmaster and Professor McGonagall to send you this. It isn’t your old broom. We thought you deserved something worthy of a Seeker. Consider it an early Christmas present. Don’t open it until you get to your dormitory.
Don’t think this is a reward for rule breaking, Harry. Remember, we’ll be in touch with your teachers, especially Professor McGonagall, who was our Head of House.
Really, Lils! Okay, Harry. That’s it for now. Good Luck. We’ll try to be there for your first match.
Love, Mum and Dad
Harry was stunned and wary. Could it possibly be? There was a certain broomstick he had been eyeing at Quality Quidditch Supplies in Diagon Alley. His mother had told him he wouldn’t get a broom like that until at least his thirteenth birthday.
He passed the note to Ron and caressed the wrapped broom, his insides clenched in anticipation. Ron’s eyes widened as he looked from the note to the broom.
As soon as dinner was done, the two boys were the first to leave the Great Hall. When they were in their dormitory room, Harry jumped to his bed and proceeded to rip off the brown wrapping paper.
A beautiful broomstick was revealed. It was made of mahogany and had a lovely tail of precisely trimmed twigs. On its handle were the words NIMBUS 2000. It was the broom he had been gazing at in the display window of Quality Quidditch Supplies.
Harry was ecstatic and wished he could be outside right now to try it.
“Wicked,” Ron said, grinning, “now that you have that, there’s no way anyone will beat you in getting the snitch. We’re sure to win the Cup this year.”
The weeks passed in a flurry of classes, homework and practice. Wood was pleased with the level of natural skill Harry possessed. The older boy threw golf balls as fast and as far as he could for Harry to catch and Harry never missed. His new broom was a great help.
Soon it was Halloween. Harry and Ron were looking forward to the Feast after all the twins had told them about it, but it turned into another interesting day.
It started in Charms with Hermione Granger correcting Ron’s pronunciation of the levitation charm’s words. Ron had called her a “nightmare” as they left class. Later, they noted her absence from their next classes and even the Feast. Parvati Patil told them that she was in the girl’s ground floor bathroom, crying.
Then Professor Quirrell had burst in during the Feast screaming about a Troll being in the dungeons before fainting. As the students were being led back to their dormitories for safety, Harry convinced Ron to find Hermione to warn her about the Troll.
Unfortunately, the Troll found her first. The boys rushed to her defense and ended up with Ron levitating the Troll's club over its head and knocking it out. The professors were stunned by what happened. The boys were equally stunned when Hermione took responsibility for the incident. That led the two boys to accept her as a friend and their duo became a trio.
A couple of weeks after that, Harry noticed that Professor Snape was limping. A few times, he barely heard him muttering something about “three-headed beast”, “get past it” and “bother changing the dressing”. He wondered whether Snape knew of the huge dog in the third floor corridor and why he would want to get past it.
By the time of Harry’s first Quidditch match, the three were closer than anyone else in their year. Harry and Ron introduced Hermione to Harry’s parents when they came to watch the match. Harry was quite nervous and hoped he wouldn’t disappoint his parents especially his father. Then in the middle of the match, just as he had seen the Snitch, Harry felt his broom lurch and start to buck until he was hanging on to his broom by his fingernails.
Hermione spotted Professor Snape staring at Harry with his lips moving.
“Ron!” she said, grabbing the redhead’s arm, “I think Professor Snape’s cursing Harry’s broom. Look at him, his lips are constantly mouthing words.”
Ron stared at the said teacher, “What, what do we do?”
“It’ll take too long to tell an adult,” she said, “leave it to me.”
She moved to the back of the bleachers where the teachers were sitting and set fire to Snape’s robes with a spell. This forced him to jump around, bumping several other professors including Professor Quirrel and Professor Sprout.
Harry quickly regained control of his broom. He almost crashed into the ground as his hand grabbed the snitch before the Slytherin seeker even saw it.
His parents rushed over as soon as Madame Hooch blew her whistle to end the match in favor of the Gryffindor team. Harry reassured them that he was fine as his teammates carried him off the field on their shoulders.
Later, after the Gryffindor tower had settled down from celebrating the victory, Ron and Hermione told Harry about Snape.
“Why would he want to do me in?” Harry asked the two.
“I don’t know, Harry,” Hermione answered, “but he has been a bit harsh on you since we started here. I noticed he and your dad never looked at each other, much less said hello to the other.”
“I noticed that too though he and Mum were civil enough,” Harry said, “I know from Remus that they were all here together in the same year. There seemed a bit of tension at home whenever Snape was mentioned.”
“You think they’ve got a history together,” Ron asked. “After all, your parents, Sirius and Remus were Gryffindors and Snape was most likely in Slytherin.”
“Maybe, but that can’t explain cursing Harry to fall off his broom,” Hermione said, “It’s a bit too far just for an old grudge.”
“Let’s ask Hagrid tomorrow,” Harry suggested. “He’s been here since before my parents started here. Maybe he knows something.”
The next day, which was a Sunday, the trio visited Hagrid in his hut and asked him about Snape and Harry’s parents.
“Now, you three leave that be,” Hagrid said, “It’s not me place to tell. That’d be between Professor Snape and Harry’s parents.”
“But Hagrid,” Harry said, “we think he tried to kill me.”
“Nonsense, Harry,” Hagrid said, “no teacher here would try to kill a student.”
“But, he’d try to get past a three-headed dog,” Harry said suddenly.
“Three-headed…” Hagrid said, “here now, how’d you know about Fluffy?”
“Fluffy?” Ron said, surprised, “that thing has a name?”
”Yeah, he’s mine.” Hagrid said. “Got him from a Greek chappie I met in the pub las’ year. Dumbledore borrowed him to guard the...”
“The what?” Harry asked.
“Never mind,” Hagrid said, forcefully. “That’s all top secret.”
“But Snape may be trying to steal it.”
“Nonsense,” Hagrid said, “he’s a Hogwarts teacher, he wouldn’t do such a thing.”
“Then why did he try to kill Harry?” Hermione said, “It can’t be from a grudge he has against Harry’s dad.”
“Now you three listen ‘ere. Whatever is between James an’ Snape is their business and it isn’t any reason to kill Harry. I don’t know why Snape would try to do such a thing. Forget about it and forget about Fluffy and whatever it is ‘e’s guarding. That’s between Dumbledore an’ Nicolas Flamel—“
“So this has something to do with a Nicolas Flamel,” Harry said.
Hagrid just glared at them and refused to say anything else.