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Prologue: Help Will Always Be Given At Hogwarts, To Those Who Ask For It

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The next day found Harry being guided out of Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom by Draco, they had found that it was the most boring lesson yet - well that and History of Magic - it didn't help that Quirrell was a stuttering joke. As they made their way through the corridors and down the stairs the two friends decided to go and visit Hagrid. So Draco guided Harry down the last staircase and through the Entrance Hall and out into the grounds. As they made their way down the sloping lawns, their ears picked up the faint sound of music. Draco commented that it sounded like flute music, and Harry had said that it was the most beautiful and peaceful music, that he had ever heard.

A few minutes later they stopped.
'What's going on?' asked Harry, perplexed.
The music was still being played - though it was much louder now.
'Hagrid's the one playing the flute,' Draco replied in an awed voice.
Perhaps it was because Hagrid was so huge, that Draco was stunned that someone of his size could play something so sweet and peaceful.

Draco and Harry continued on towards Hagrid's, Hagrid was sitting on the steps of his home with his eyes closed as he continued to play his carved flute - completely unaware that he had an audience. Fang, Hagrid's Boarhound was lying at his master's feet, and asleep by the look of it. When he eventually stopped Hagrid's eyes snapped open to the sound of soft clapping. He looked up and found Harry and Draco standing in front of him.

'Oh, 'ello,' he said.
'That was...' Harry replied.
'..Something special.' Draco went on. 'What was it that you were playing, Hagrid?'
'Oh, it were ju' somethin' tha' me mum taught me,' Hagrid replied. 'She's passed on now o'course.'

'I'm sorry Hagrid,' said Harry softly, while Draco nodded beside him.
'Thank you. Would you like some tea?'
The two Slytherin's nodded.

 

Later, once they were back in the castle, after having a lovely time with Hagrid and Fang, Harry was being guided by Prefect Sahara Jennings to Snape's office door.
'Will you be alright Harry, if I leave you here?'
'Yeah, I'll be okay. Thank you for helping me here,' Harry replied.
'That's alright Harry, that's what we're here for.' Sahara finished, as she turned and went back to the common room.

After a few moments Harry felt for the door and then knocked upon it twice and waited.
'Harry? Are you alright?' asked Severus once he had opened the door and found Harry standing before him, alone.
'Yes sir. I was just wondering, if I might ask you something, sir?'
'Of course you may talk to me Harry, come, take my arm child.'

Severus guided Harry over to the chair in front of his desk and once the boy was seated, Severus closed the door and seated himself behind his desk.
'So what did you want to talk to me about, Harry?'
'Potions, sir. Is it possible to learn to make potions by say... your senses?'
'How do you mean, Harry?'
'Well, can you learn how to tell what the different ingredients are, by learning their scent?'

Severus thought about it, perhaps this was the challenge that Dumbledore had foreseen. Perhaps it was possible.
'It will take a lot of time and patients Harry... and it could be extremely risky, but if you're that determined to produce a potion, then you have my full backing and support.'
'At least this way - if it doesn't work, then at least I can say that I tried, sir.' Harry went on.
Severus smiled at that.

'You have spirit child. Alright, give me a day or two to set things up, Harry. You'll hear from me either by myself or either one of the Prefects.'
'Thank you, sir.'

That evening once he was back from dinner and lying in his bed, Harry thought about actually making a potion. This led him to bring to the forefront of his mind the image of Snape he had created. Even though he had created Snape in his mind already, he was still missing one thing, to finish it off, but he hadn't asked Snape at the time. What was the man's skin colour?

'Draco?'
'Yes, Harry?'
'What’s the colour of Snape's skin?'
Draco's eyes went wide at the question. 'Erm, sallow, pale... creamy-white.'
Thanks,' Harry replied. 'Ah.'

The mental image of Snape was more alive than ever now that the skin tone had been added.
'Harry? Are you Okay?' asked Draco slightly worried, from the bed next to him.
'I'm fine Draco, the image of Snape that he helped me create of him in my mind, now has more life to it. That's all.'

There was silence in the room as Draco thought about it. His interest had been piqued.
'What do you have to do, to create a mental picture of someone?' asked a curious Draco.
'Well I ran my hands over Snape's face a couple of times, until I had the image, and then I ran my hands through his hair. Once that was done I asked him a few simple questions and he answered them. Afterwards I had a complete picture of what he looked like - well almost complete; I had forgotten to ask him what colour his skin was. But now I know, and it’s complete.'

Draco was silent for a while.
'Would you like to create a mental image of me, Harry?'
'I would. I've been wanting to know what my friends look like, but I didn't like to ask you, because of the whole 'touching part'.'
'Well, I can see how that might look to others, but Blaise, Pansy and myself touch you already, as we guide to around Hogwarts... so I don't see much of a difference really.'

'I suppose you're right,' finished Harry. 'But do you mind if we do it in the morning? I have to have a clear mind to do it, and I'd prefer to do it when I'm not tired.'
'Sure thing, Harry.'

 

The next morning Harry and Draco were sitting on Draco's bed, they had gotten up early so that they had time to create an image in peace. They sat cross-legged facing each other. Harry was resting his hands on Draco's shoulders.
'You might want to close your eyes, so that I don't accidentally poke you in the eye,' said Harry.
'Okay.' Draco replied as he shut them.
'Are you ready?'
'Ready.'

And so Harry repeated the same process that he had used on Snape, he ran his hands up the sides of Draco's cheeks, across his forehead, over his closed eyes, down over his small slightly pointed nose and then over and across his lips and chin. After repeating the process a second time, Harry moved his hands up and into Draco's hair, which was combed back and shorter than his (Harry's) own. Once he was seeing a clear picture of Draco in his mind, Harry removed his hands.
'You can open your eyes now.'

Draco did.
'What's the colour of your hair, Draco?'
'Blonde - almost white.'
'The colour of your skin?'
'Pale white - sort of like Snape's, but slightly more pinker. So, a pale pink-white tone.'
'And finally, the colour of your eyes?'
'Silvery-grey.'

'Done.' Harry finished. 'Your mental image is now stored along with Snape's.'
Once they were seated at the Slytherin table and eating their breakfast, Draco was telling Blaise and Pansy about Harry being able to see Draco clearly in his mind, by creating a mental image. Interests also piqued Blaise and Pansy both wanted Harry to create an image of them too.

Midway through breakfast, Severus and the rest of the staff at the staff table sat and watched along with the rest of the Houses, as Harry did the same that he had done with both Snape and Draco on Blaise and Pansy. While over at the Gryffindor table Ron Weasley was looking ill, as he watched Harry touching Pansy and Blaise’s face and hair. Once breakfast was over Harry made his way with Draco out of the Hall towards their first lesson – Transfiguration.

All the way through Transfiguration while Harry was listening to his textbook read to him, Ron was glaring daggers at him, and was getting even more pissed off as he realized that Harry wasn’t even reacting to his glares.  For some banal reason Ron didn’t believe that Harry Potter was blind, he still believed that he was faking it – and Ron was intending to prove it.  After Transfiguration was over Harry and Draco made their way to Charms, while behind them Ron was watching them with narrowed eyes, making plans. 

 

During lunch an owl flew into the Great Hall and dropped a roll of parchment onto Harry's plate.  Draco reached over and picked it up, unrolled it and read it. 

It’s from Professor Snape.  He wants you to come to his office at seven o’clock this evening.’ 
‘Oh good,’ said Harry, ‘I’m looking forward to it.’ 
‘To what?’ asked Blaise. 

'Well, I asked Professor Snape if were possible to learn how to make potions, just by using your senses. He said that he would teach me.’ 

 

At five to seven that evening Draco guided Harry out of the common room and along the corridor to Snape’s office.  After knocking a few times, Snape opened the door and stood aside to let them in.  Once he had shut the door behind them, he came over to Harry and guided him over to a work table that had been set up.  Draco stepped up to the table also. 

‘This table Harry,’ said Severus, ‘has the entire ingredients on it, that we will be using this year.  Now as Draco is here, he can help us.  Draco would you take that knife and cut up the same ingredient that you cut up first, when you were in my first class, when we made the Boil Cure potion.  Let’s see if Harry can recognize the scent.’ 

Draco picked up the silver knife and the ingredient and began to cut it up.  The scent that filled Harry’s nostrils was the same one that he remembered smelling in their first potions class. 

‘That’s it, sir.  What is it?’ asked Harry. 

'That Harry, is Mugwort and the scent that you are smelling is the same scent that vanilla has.’ Severus replied.  ‘Now onto the recognizing the other five ingredients that’s used in the Boil Cure potion, and then we will try and make it.’ 

 

All in all his first lesson wasn’t a complete disaster.  He had been able to recognize all the ingredients used in the Boil Cure potion, and he had succeeded in managing to brew a partially perfect potion.  And Harry was happy with what he had achieved so far.  As Snape had said and reminded him tonight, that it would take time and patients, but for his first try it was very good indeed.  Severus even gave Harry twenty points, because Harry had proved in that first lesson tonight that he can still learn potions.