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ō.ō&ö.ö

 

“Who are you? Never mind. Where did you come from?” Severus snapped, frowning at the small pyjama clad black-haired boy who was currently staring around him. The eager way those bright green eyes behind those clunky glasses took in his bedroom made him uneasy, peering at the shabby chest of drawers and the rickety desk before sliding over the walls that desperately needed paint and then finally stopping at his bed.

 

Finally, those eyes looked at him. Severus tightened the belt of his dressing gown that had just appeared over his nightshirt.

 

“Where am I?”

 

Folding his thin arms over his chest, Severus glared at the boy the way his father did him. “You are in my room. Now, where did you come from and why are you in here?”

 

Try as he might, Severus couldn't remember seeing this boy from anywhere before. Watching him stand in the middle of his room looking around and judging his belongings irked him.

 

Pushing a hand through his untidy hair, Harry smiled slightly. “It is a nice room. It is bigger than my cupboard - I mean, my room. That is where I thought I was – my room. Uncle shut the door and I laid down to get some sleep. There’s not much else to do in there. The light is broken.”

 

He walked over towards the chest of drawers and stared at it in awe. “You have drawers... I have a shelf, Aunt said it was for everything I needed. A whole shelf for me, but you … you have drawers.

 

He turned abruptly towards the desk, his eyes coursing over the rough scarred surface. He didn't comment on it but moved over near the bed, his hand hovering over the foot board. “Can I touch it?”

 

Severus rolled his eyes, a part of him uneasy at the awe shining out of that thin face. Was this a dream? He knew he had gone to bed already; he remembered crawling under those thin blankets the other kid was now staring at. “It's just a bed. Of course you can touch it. I'm sure yours is better.”

 

Most people's beds were better. He knew his family was not as well off as others.

 

The boy's fingers touched the wooden rail carefully as he spoke. “No, I don't have a bed, not like this. One won't fit in my room. My bed is on the floor.”

 

Severus frowned. The boy didn't have a bed or a chest of drawers? Was his room really in a cupboard? Was this a dream to remind him that he was still better off than others? He knew that – Father reminded him often enough, but it was hard to remember when the other children at the playground picked on his clothes and where he lived.

 

Harry turned about, his green eyes shining happily, his hands tucked behind his back. “Thank you. What do you want to do? Can we colour? Do you have any crayons?”

 

His happy look faded to a worried look. “Sorry, I shouldn't have asked...”

 

Severus stalked over to his desk and pulled out a sheet of paper and a small box of worn down crayons. “Here, you've seen my room, draw me yours. It's only fair.”

 

Accepting the paper, Harry looked in awe at the number of crayons, eight in total, before sinking down onto the floor. Laying the paper down on the wooden floorboards, he gingerly picked up the brown one to start drawing his room. He started with the ceiling, the undersides of the stairs, and then sketched the odd shaped door and the shelves. He wasn't the best artist, but the image was coming out okay.

 

Severus stared down at the picture that was forming, his eyes widening. The boy's room was a cupboard. The one under the stairs of a two storey house if he was right. Sitting next to the black-haired boy, he started asking about what was in the picture.

 

ō.ō&ö.ö

 

Severus rolled over on his bed and saw the black-hair boy who had visited him three days ago in his dreams, still wearing the same blue striped pyjamas. “Why are you back?”

 

The boy dropped onto the floor, sitting cross legged, his fingertips drawing senseless patterns on the bare floorboard. “It is funner here than back there.”

 

“Funner? Not funner - more fun. Say it right!” Severus glared down at the boy. His mother would never let him get away with such bad English.

 

Green eyes peeked up, astonished. “It is more fun here than back there?”

 

Severus nodded. “Good,” he said before letting out a sigh. “What is your name? If you are going to pop up regularly, I have to call you something. I'm Severus.”

 

“Se-ve-rus? Can I call you Sev?” The boy leaned back on his hands, smiling up at him. “Oh, I am called Harry.”

 

Severus shook his head. “No, you can't call me Sev. It is Severus. Did someone shorten your name?”

 

Harry shrugged. “Don't know. Aunt told me it was Harry the day before I went to primary school. Most of the time I am called by ... other things.”

 

Severus studied him for a long moment before quirking up the side of his mouth in a half smile. “Someone most likely shortened it. So, do you think it might be Harold or Harrison?”

 

The Harrison he knew was a bully at his school so Severus hoped Harry wouldn't pick that name.

 

Harry frowned, obviously considering the choices. “I think I like Harold. It feels nice. Harold and Severus. They go together well. Not too many S's.”

 

Severus huffed and rolled his eyes. He wasn't going to argue though, it wasn't Harrison. “How are you in classes?”

 

Harold gave Severus a long look. “I'm okay, my cousin is… better.” The last part sounded forced.

 

“Are you year one or year two?” Severus swung his feet to the floor and stood up.

 

“Year two.” Harold watched as Severus settled next to him. “What year are you?”

 

A small smile curled Severus' lips. “I am also in year two, and I am near the top of my class. If you keep visiting, I might as well help you get better.”

 

He barely registered the fear that flashed over Harold's face as he started in on what they had learned in class earlier today.

 

 

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“I don't understand it! It is not making any sense to me at all!” Harold slammed his pencil down on the Math workbook lying on the floor in front of him.

 

“Harold, it is simple. Just do it like I showed you and you will come out with the right answer.” Severus leaned forward, pointing to his example that he had already walked Harold through.

 

“It doesn't matter if I can do it or not, I won't be able to do it in class during the exam, you know what will happen if I do. My cousin can't solve them, either.” Harold pressed his lips together as he pulled his legs up to his chest, his thin arms going around them.

 

Severus knew what would happen; he had learned that two years ago, about a month after Harold first showed up in his dreams. That night, Harold had refused to do anything dealing with schoolwork.

 

Severus had kept on asking him why until Harold gave in and told him he had brought home better marks than his cousin, and his Uncle and Aunt didn't approve. It was the first time Severus learned that Harold was sometimes locked into the cupboard that was his room for days on end. He also learned that even though Harold understood the material, he would intentionally keep his marks below the level of his cousin, except this time he had badly misjudged just how little his cousin knew.

 

Blowing out a sigh, Severus picked up the pencil and held it out to Harold. “I don't care if your cousin remains a dunderhead, but any friend of mine has to do their best, and this isn't your best. Now, give it another try. I'll sit here and see where you are having issues.”

 

Taking the pencil, Harold sighed. “You are sounding almost like you say your father sounds.”

 

“No, I would yell a lot more if I was my Father. Maybe cuff you across the head for good measure.” Severus rubbed one of his ears before he continued. “I want to see your exam after you take it. Then you had better be able to explain the mistakes you made and how to do the work right.”

 

“Then we can play?” Harold asked, looking hopeful.

 

By now, they had developed a pattern Severus had insisted on - homework and then play. They had discovered their mutual dreams expanded beyond Severus’ room so they would go outside to the nearby playground and swing on the swings, run by the river even though Harold commented about the smell, or throw a ball in the streets. Sometimes they would stay inside and colour or read. There was never anyone else around and they soon discovered that the weather tended to reflect Severus' mood.

 

Harold sighed. Sometimes he regretted the first night he had thought of his homework before falling asleep. He had found it in his hand when he appeared in Severus’ room, but it was too bad the pages he filled in always remained blank when he woke up. “Okay, and I will remember to make the mistakes as creative as possible.”

 

Severus nodded. “Make them so the teacher thinks you are on the verge of understanding.”

 

Harold didn't answer, he just started on the problems.

 

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Harold sat on the floor, leaning against the front of the chest of drawers with a book propped on his lap. He was writing out a bit of information from the book onto a piece of paper lying on the floor.

 

Severus was pacing up and down. He stopped midstride and whipped around to face Harold.

 

“Why? Why does it matter who the mother of William I was? Who cares who she was?”

 

Harold tilted his head and answered without pausing in his writing. “Because Herleva was brave and succeeded in getting what she wanted. She got Robert the Magnificent, The Duke of Normandy to bring her in through the castle gates on horseback! I mean, she was just some lowly village girl and yet, there she was, on a horse. I am surprised she even knew how to sit on one. You should appreciate her ambition and cunning at least. I mean, she had a Duke wrapped around her finger and he was the ruler of Normandy.”

 

Severus rolled his eyes.

 

Harold tried again. “Then she went and gave birth to William – out of wedlock since Robert and her station were too far apart – and that child actually became a Duke and then King.”

 

Severus raised an eyebrow. “That child also grew up and killed your namesake, Harold, at Hastings. Plenty of reason for his mother to fade away into the veil of the past.”

 

Holding back a grin that Severus' answer caused, Harold tried a different argument. “Then because your father will not take kindly to you not making top marks on the exam.”

 

Severus stood completely still for a long moment before dropping onto the floor next to Harold. “You made a convincing argument. Let me see that book.”

 

Harold wished it wasn't a convincing argument. He was locked in the cupboard without food for making good grades; Severus was knocked about and called a disgrace for making poor ones. He shifted the book so they could read up on the history of the William the Conqueror together.

 

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“How long are you locked in this time?” Severus asked, his eyes searching Harold, looking for any sign that he was hurt.

 

“Uncle said it was going to be a week. I am suspended from school that long, so I guess he just doesn't want to see me, or have me loose in the house while he is gone to work and Aunt is out doing whatever she does during the day.” Harold laid back onto the floor and stared up at the ceiling. He liked seeing the cobwebs in the corners, it was something his cupboard and Severus’ room had in common.

 

Severus turned completely around in his desk chair to stare at Harold. “What did you do to get suspended? That had to be something drastic. Was it because of your cousin?”

 

Harold shrugged while he tried to think of a way to explain the strange things that happened around him without losing Severus’ friendship. Sighing, he braced himself for Severus’ disgust and finally answered. “I was running from my cousin at school and jumped behind the bins outside the school's kitchen door. I guess the wind caught me, or something, because next thing I knew I was sitting on top of one of the chimneys up on the roof.”

 

He tensed while he waited for Severus to say something.

 

Severus leaned forward, searching the nervous face as he asked, “Is the first time something strange happened to you? Something that couldn't be explained?”

 

Harold focused on the dark eyes watching him. There was a sort of contained hope in them, not the fear or revulsion he had expected. “Well, my hair grew back overnight one time when Aunt cut it too short. And then there was this hideous jumper she wanted to force me to wear, but it kept shrinking...” His voice trailed off as the smile grew on Severus' face.

 

“You're a wizard, Harold. All that was accidental magic.” Severus felt a relieved grin spread over his face. He could at last talk to Harold about the hidden side of him.

 

Harold shook his head. “There is no such thing as magic. Aunt and Uncle said so.”

 

“And they've been right how many times about things?” Severus raised an eyebrow as he asked. When Harold rolled his eyes and shrugged, he nodded in satisfaction. “Now my Mum, she is a witch. She has told me all about this school I am going to go to. Let me tell you about it.”

 

Shifting so he could watch Severus' face, Harold figured if nothing else it would give him something to think about while he was locked up.

 

ō.ō&ö.ö

 

“Severus! You won't believe what happened today!” Harold dropped onto the foot of Severus' bed, jostling the book the other boy was reading.

 

Severus marked the page and looked up at Harold, taking in his excited face and happy eyes. “What? I thought your cousin was going to the zoo and you were going to the cat neighbour?”

 

Harold flopped back onto the bed next to Severus, almost crushing the book. “The cat neighbour broke her leg, she couldn't watch me. So, I got to go to the zoo! It was so-o-o-o much fun. The animals, they were amazing to see up close. It is one thing to learn about them from book and see them in pictures, but totally different to see them in real life. I got a lemon ice lolly, too! Oh and the gorillas reminded me of my cousin.”

 

Severus moved his book a little further away from Harold as the green-eyed boy rambled about his day. A laugh broke loose at the gorilla comment, and Harold joined in on it. “So, what went wrong?”

 

Something always went wrong. It was just their luck. When something good happened, it was always countered by twice the amount of bad.

 

Smile disappearing, Harold curled up into himself for a long moment before answering. “In the reptile house, there was a boa constrictor sleeping. My uncle and cousin did their best to wake it up by pounding on the glass, but they finally gave up and walked away. I was sympathizing with the snake – trapped inside a small area and unable to leave, people staring at it all the time – and the snake opened its eyes and talked to me! The amazing thing was, I understood what it said! We held a small conversation about people being pains and how it would like to travel to Brazil to see its native land. Then my cousin's friend told Uncle what was happening and they came running over and knocked me down. In all the fuss, I did accidental magic and made the glass disappear. The snake left its home and headed out.” Harold stopped for a moment, remembering the chaos that ensued before continuing. “Uncle was livid.”

 

Severus envisioned a tuna sandwich on a plate and handed it to Harold. “How long are you going to be locked up? Are they going to feed you or not?”

 

“Uncle promised I would not leave my cupboard until Christmas if anything freaky happened at the zoo. I have to go to school, so I hope he will rethink that.”

 

“We should get our Hogwarts letter soon. Then you can come to school with me and Lils.” Severus gestured to the plate in Harold's hands. “Eat up, I know it is just dream food, but maybe it will help.”

 

Harold took a bite. Severus was right, somehow dream food did help. “So, what did you and Lils do today?”

 

He had been jealous of Lils when Severus first told him about her. It had taken him over a week to get over it. Severus had found it funny at first and then he assured Harold there was no way Lils could replace him. Now, he liked to hear about what they did together and he wished he could join them, even if he had to deal with that magic hating older sister. He was used to dealing with people who hated magic.

 

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“I was given a room!” Arms outstretched, Harold spun about Severus’ room before finally stopping to look at its surprised owner. “But I wish I hadn't.”

 

Severus blinked. “You finally got a room, and you want to be back in your cupboard?”

 

Harold dropped into the desk chair. “Yes, since it came at the expense of my Hogwarts letter. Uncle won't let me have it and told me to move into my cousin's second bedroom. He acted really strange.”

 

Severus shot up off the bed, his eyes glaring daggers. He wished could hit Harold's uncle. “How could he?!”

 

Harold shrugged. “Do you think they will send another one?”

 

“I hope so.”

 

Since that day, Harold had been keeping Severus updated on the attempted letter delivery: the Smeltings stick battle for the letter, the sneaky morning attempt to catch the postman, the letter-box nailing. The funniest was the letters in the eggs, though Harold seemed to like the ones that flew in through the fireplace. Severus supposed it was because his uncle was hit with many of them.

 

Harold was late arriving that evening. Severus paced back and forth in his own dream, grumbling. Yes, it was July thirty-first, but Harold always made it a few minutes after midnight. He felt the moment Harold appeared.

 

“What kept you!?” Black eyes glared at his friend.

 

“A giant!” Harold grinned at Severus' face and then he frowned. “Or a half-giant maybe since he isn't as tall as you said a giant would be. He was huge! Any rate, he tracked me down to the island Uncle took us to tonight. Broke down the door, bent Uncle's new rifle, told him off, gave me a birthday cake, gave my cousin a tail for eating the cake, and…” he paused for a moment before showing a piece of parchment to Severus with a flourish, “he hand-delivered my Hogwarts' letter.”

 

Severus took the parchment and briefly scanned the letter, a smile filling his face. His friend was coming to Hogwarts with him.

 

Harold flopped onto the bed. “You would not believe how hard it was to pretend as if I didn't know anything about Hogwarts or the Wizarding world! Oh and I… did find out what happened… to my parents though.”

 

The melancholic tone at the end drew Severus' eyes from the letter to focus on Harold. “You said they died in a car crash.”

 

“That is what I thought. The half-giant said an evil wizard killed him.” Harold didn't go into the rest of what Hagrid explained, he just didn't feel like it right now. He would tell Severus later, once he had come to terms with it.

 

Severus dropped the letter on his desk as he sank into his chair. “Harold – I'm sorry.”

 

Harold shook his head, his eyes closing as he snuggled into the mattress. It was far more comfortable than the floor he knew he was sleeping on. “It doesn't change the fact that they are dead, just how they died.”

 

Severus crossed the room and settled on his bed as well. He knew the moment Harold went to sleep he would disappear. “Happy birthday, Harold.”

 

“Thanks, Severus. It really is happy this time.” Harold's eyes closed and his body faded away.

 

Severus stretched out and let himself drift off into other dreams.

 

ō.ō&ö.ö

 

“It is summer still, Severus. Why are we doing this?” Harold pushed the Charms book away from him only to have Severus push it back.

 

“We are going to be starting from scratch. We don't live in the Wizarding world, so we haven't been exposed to as many charms and spells as those who have. We have to be prepared.” Severus ignored the eye roll and just pushed the book even closer.

 

“Fine. I know you are right, but...” Harold sighed. “I'm scared and excited. Where are we going to meet up?”

 

Severus looked up from his Potions book. “Maybe near the end of the train. Just find an empty compartment down there, and Lils and I will find you, okay?”

 

Harold nodded and picked up his book again. He decided he needed to take the time to go through one of his textbooks so they had more to look at later. The worn edges of Severus’ book's cover reminded Harold he had a question to ask.

 

“Severus?” Harold waited for the black eyes to look over at him. “I told you about my visit to Diagon Alley...” His voice trailed off at the other boy’s expression.

 

“Yes, and you mentioned that large vault of money just for you.” Severus huffed. He didn't begrudge Harold the money, but at the same time he didn't want to hear about it again.

 

Harold growled lightly under his breath. “Honestly, Severus. It is just a pile of money, and that is the problem. It is just a big pile. I don't know how much is there, how far it will go or anything. It is all I have to cover school costs, supporting me once I leave Hogwarts while I hunt for a job or try to get a higher degree. I've got to eke it out, make it last. When I went shopping, all I went to were shops that sold new stuff.”

 

Leaning back, he searched Severus' face. “Where do you go for good second hand things? I mean, new robes are good the first time, especially since I convinced them to add a few inches to all the hemlines so I can keep using them for a while, but I've seen the boys in the neighbourhood shoot straight up in height. What is the use of getting new robes when I am going to outgrow them in a year? I could just borrow yours and we could go in for the cost together, but I don't think your Mum would agree.”

 

Severus frowned for a moment before shaking his head. “They are in a little crooked alley off of Diagon, but you can't go there yourself. Mum had to take me and she was always on her guard. I know your Aunt and Uncle wouldn't willingly take you. So you can't go. Sorry, Harold. We'll come up with a plan at Hogwarts.”

 

 

 

ō.ō&ö.ö

 

 

Severus stood up the moment Harold entered his dream. He had concentrated hard on the interior of the Slytherin common room when he went to bed, since it didn't feel right for Harold to meet him in the dorm room where his other dorm mates were sleeping. “Where were you? Did your Uncle refuse to bring you to the station? I couldn't find you on the train, and you weren't at the Sorting. Should I tell the Headmaster to send someone to get you?”

 

Harold stopped and stared at Severus in surprise. “No, Uncle brought me to King’s Cross; I am at Hogwarts. When you didn't meet me on the train, I was afraid your Father refused to bring you, even though I was certain your Mum would. I didn't see you at the Sorting, either. Are you at Hogwarts?” Harold then looked around, taking in the long, low ceilinged room. The only light came from the low burning fire in the large fireplace, small windows, and from the scones along the walls. “Where are we?”

 

Severus sank down onto one of the green sofas as if his legs would no longer support him. “I am at Hogwarts. You are at Hogwarts. We were not able to find each other at the end of the train, nor were we at each other’s Sorting.”


Harold felt his eyes widening as he sank onto a different sofa. “I know you exist. You know I exist. We proved that beyond a doubt. The books neither one of us knew existed – A Wrinkle in Time, Shakespeare's Sonnets, Kipling's Jungle Book – we have shared them with each other. Then we found them when we were awake, and they were exactly the same. Oh, and the lessons we taught each other that we could never have figured out on our own.”

 

“We are in different times,” Severus said slowly, his stunned gaze meeting Harold's. “That is the only explanation that I can think of. One of us is in the other’s future.”

 

 

Harold shuddered slightly at the utter conviction in Severus’ tone. “So, not only am I slipping into your dreams, I am travelling through time to do it.” Sitting up straight, he gave Severus a defiant look. “I'm not stopping. You are my friend.” Then he gave a wry smile. “At any rate I don't know how to stop.”

 

Severus let a small smile curl his lips before giving Harold a serious look. “We can't use names, not that we usually do, but we can't now, not at all. Not a professor's name, not a friend's name, nothing. And we can't talk about big events that would make the news.” Black eyes bore into green, trying to impress how important this was. “We can't change the time line between us. We can't change someone's future because...” he swallowed hard, thinking back to what all those time travel stories he had read had warned him, before he continued, “if we do, we might not meet anymore.”

 

Harold’s smile disappeared. “So, nothing of importance. Just lessons and general every day carrying ons. We can still help each other study, can't we?”

 

Severus let his face relax into a grin. “There is no way you are getting out of that.”

 

“Good. How was your train ride? Mine was fairly boring, actually.” Harold leaned against the back of the sofa, relaxing now he knew Severus was safe and at Hogwarts. “I almost didn't get to it, I had no clue how to get onto Platform nine and three quarters, Hagr – uh, the half-giant forgot to tell me. A red haired family helped me out though, two of their sons helped to heft my trunk onto the train, and then the youngest sat with me. I was thinking that we would make a sight once you and Lils got there. Both of us with black hair and both of them with red. Then Mal - a blond prat insulted him later in the train ride. That and a missing toad were the only thing interesting things that happened.”

 

“I'm glad someone joined you. It would have been interesting to see if their red hair matched. Mine was about as boring. Instead of a blond prat, I had two black haired ones. They took it upon themselves to deride me for my robes and such. Lils and I read most of the way here.” Severus relaxed into his sofa as he spoke. “How was your Sorting?”

 

“The Hat wanted to put me in Slytherin, but I talked it out of that and so it put me in Gryffindor.” Harold frowned as Severus' expression went from happy to closed off.

 

“Lils went to Gryffindor, as well. Why didn’t you want to be in Slytherin?” Severus knew his voice sounded stilted, but he didn't care.

 

Harold searched that thin face, wondering what he had said wrong. “The blond prat was put in that house before I was sorted. Honestly, if I was in the same house as him, I know I would have done something I would regret later. Also, the wizard who killed my parents was a Slytherin, and I was told bad wizards come from that house.”

 

Severus stiffened, folding his arms across his chest. “So, you do not like Slytherins?”

 

Understanding dawned at last and Harold wondered, not for the first time, how he could have been so dense. “You were placed into Slytherin, weren't you?” At Severus sharp nod, Harold grinned. “Well, there goes that theory then. Not everyone in Slytherin is dark or bad.”

 

Severus searched Harold's face looking for the truth, and saw the other boy believed what he was saying. He felt a tight knot inside his chest loosen. “Just because I am a Slytherin? Is that why?”

 

Harold nodded. “Were you offered Ravenclaw? Just curious.” At the rolled eyes, he grinned again. “I know, the books are because of your Father's instance, but I know you love learning anyway.”

 

“No, unlike someone I could name, I was only given one choice,” teased Severus.

 

Chuckling, Harold asked the next question he was curious about. “The Sorting Hat sat forever on my head mumbling and such before it agreed to place me in Gryffindor. How about you? How long did you sit there? The hat barely touched the blond prat's head before it yelled out Slytherin.”

 

Smirking lightly, Severus answered. “It sat on my head for what seemed like forever too, but it wasn't mumbling or grumbling like you said it did for you. No, it was laughing manically. It only spoke right before it called out the house choice.”

 

“Laughing? Well, what did it say? It told me Slytherin would help me achieve greatness.” Harold leaned forward, smiling.

 

Severus snorted. “And you didn't think that was good?”

 

“The prat, remember? I figured you would scold me if I got into a fight and was expelled on my first night.” Harold shook his head. “Now, what did the Hat say?”

 

Ah, a second Salazar and then it said Slytherin out loud.” Severus waited, hoping Harold wouldn't show any of the prejudices he had already experienced because of the house he ended up in. On the way out of the Great Hall, he had stopped to exchange a few words with Lils. Black and Potter were with her and they had made insulting comments.

 

Harold sat still, contemplating Severus for a long moment. “I guess Salazar can't be as bad as he was made out to be in Hogwarts, A History. Of course, he couldn't be – he was friends with the others for a long time, and they had to know what he was like.”

 

“He went bad, Harold. He left them over a Muggle issue.”

 

“History doesn't tell if he ever came back or not, and we both know that history is like the news, it reports all the bad things that happened, but the good things... not so much. So, if you are like Salazar, then he would have come back. ” Looking about once again, Harold took in the stone walls and strange lights coming from the windows. Was that water outside? “This is the Slytherin common room, isn't it?”

 

Severus nodded. “Let me show you around before you disappear, and you can tell me how it differs from your Gryffindor common room.”

 

ō.ō&ö.ö

 

Harold wasn't expecting the tense look on Severus’ face the following night. “What happened. Severus?”

 

Severus growled lightly under his breath before answering. “I thought you didn't have a problem with me being in Slytherin, but if you do, you can go sit over there and ignore me.”

 

Harold blinked for a moment and then he shook his head. “No, I told you last night I didn't.” He stopped at Severus' expression.

 

“That was two nights ago, Harold. You didn't show up last night.”

 

Harold frowned. “My last night was the Sorting ceremony, and today was the first day of classes. What was your last night?” He watched Severus carefully. They had been friends long enough to know Severus was touchy at the moment.

 

“Last night was the first day of classes, today was the second day.” Severus felt a small wave of relief wash over him. Harold hadn't forgotten him.

 

“I guess since we learned we are in different times, we are shifting times now? I mean, we were right in together for years. Why is your time going faster now?”

 

Harold's question caught Severus’ attention, jogging his brain to work. “I guess I am the one in the past and you are in the future. Maybe I am just catching up to your time line.”

 

Harold gave him a scared look. “What if they never meet?”

 

Something cold settled in Severus’ stomach, but he ignored it. There was nothing they could do about that. “Then we won't. Now, you have two days of lessons to go over with me.”

 

“But – wait, two? I've only gone to one day's worth.” Harold dropped to the sofa, pulling out his books from his bag even as he grumbled.

 

Severus grinned as he sat next to him. “Yes, you have to keep up with me. I'm not going to have a slacker friend.”

 

With a groan, Harold started in.