"When a good man is hurt, all who would be called good must suffer with him"
It was the first day of the term in a new year at the school of witchcraft and wizardry- Hogwarts. The Headmaster of the school, Albus Dumbledore, was sitting alone in his office unwrapping yet another lemon drop. He was thinking over last nights sorting, he noticed that there seemed to be many more Slytherins this year. Although that was no bother since there were still plenty of new students in all the other houses as well as well as the old students.
Severus Snape eyed his potions class in disgust. Of course the first lesson of the year- which just had to be on a Monday- was double potions with the fifth year Slytherins and Gryffindors. Oh what joy. It was no secret that he didn't like the Gryffindors, especially the know-it-all Granger, the stupid Weasley boy and of course the ever so arrogant Potter. He couldn't even be bothered to deal with the antics of his own Slytherins.
"Today, we shall be brewing the simple Animagi Potion" Snape sneered. "Now, any dunderheads that somehow manage to screw this up will be spending the next week in detention"
All the Gryffindors gulped and the Slytherins smirked thinking that they were all safe.
Harry Potter sighed. He knew that getting detention was inevitable. He was fairly good at potions, if he was left alone. Harry found it was much like cooking, which he always had to do at the Dursleys. At the Dursleys whenever Aunt Petunia decided to 'supervise' him, he got extremely nervous and always managed to screw up causing him to get a punishment from Uncle Vernon. It was exactly the same in Potions. Whenever Snape decided to breathe down his neck, Harry gets nervous and screws up the potion- also expecting punishment except at school it wasn't such a corporal punishment like at the Dursleys. Not to mention that the Slytherins liked to throw ingredients into his cauldron- much like Dudley whom liked to do the same thing when he was cooking, or push Harry into the gas or hot grease. Harry sighed, this summer was worse than ever before at the Dursleys and it was affecting him more than usual. Any unexpected touch resulted in a flinch and any spare time resulted in horrific memories making their way back into Harry's brain, no matter how hard he tried to forget them. Any shadow either turned into the looming form of Uncle Vernon with a manic grin on his face, or the blank, pale face of Cedric with the whispering words Kill the spare.
So to keep himself busy, Harry decided to focus on his studies and was trying extra hard in all of his classes-especially Potions.
Snape's booming voice broke Harry out of his thoughts. "As I am in a rather foul mood today I shall be picking your partners for this assignment."
Most of the class groaned at this however Snape was confused to see that Potter was being unusually silent and not whining about the unfairness of the current situation like his peers.
Harry on the other hand was glad he didn't give Snape any reason to criticise him, given his current mood. The snarky professor was shouting out names and Harry immediately noticed the pattern. Snape was pairing up Slytherins with the Gryffindors. It was almost as if he wanted everybody in detention and he must have been in a worser mood than Harry thought if he was also torturing the Slytherins.
"Malfoy. Potter" Snape spat, ending the list of partners.
"Now, this potion will take an hour for the first part to be prepared and brewed. It will then need to sit for half-an-hour, do not waste this time. The last part of the potion can be brewed in fifteen minutes. That gives you fifteen minutes to test the potion. Further instructions are on the board. Go." Snape ordered.
Everybody jumped up not wanting to anger the Potions Master further. Harry collected his things and made his way over to where Draco was sitting, figuring that the blonde aristocrat would not be moving his way any time soon. Harry sighed inwardly as he set his bag on the floor and his books on the table. He could not give in to Malfoy's taunts, he needed a fresh start this he was just too tired.
"Potter" Draco greeted.
"Malfoy." Harry returned. "I'll go get the ingredients."
"Oh, are you sure? Wouldn't want you to run into the Dark Lord on the way" Draco snickered along with some surrounding Slytherins, hoping to get a rise out of the other boy but Harry simply sighed and stood up to go and collect the ingredients.
Another thing that Harry hated about this year. Half of the school hated him and thought he was crazy for announcing the return of Voldemort and the other half thought he was just trying to get more attention. He silently gathered up the ingredients they needed and made his way back over to his working station.
Draco on the other hand was curious as to why the boy didn't retaliate. In fact, he hadn't seen Potter interact with anybody yet except for the occasional greeting he offered to some people. He wasn't worried for the Gryffindor. No. He just wanted his enemy back who he could insult and then be insulted back- was that too much to ask?
He put these thoughts to one side and set up the cauldron and the fire. It was just at the perfect temperature as Potter came back with the ingredients.
They worked in silence for the first hour- shocking just about everybody- Harry preparing the ingredients and Draco throwing the correct amount in. Occasionally Draco gestured for Harry to stir, but all in all both boys thought that the first part of the potion went pretty well.
Draco was surprised to hear Potter ask a question softly "How will we know when thirty minutes has passed? Do you have a watch?"
"No Potter" Draco sneered "I will cast a charm which will tell us when the time is up"
To prove his point, Draco swished his wand and softly muttered an incantation, and a countdown appeared in front of them.
Harry nodded and replied "Ok, when it has been twenty minutes, I'll collect the rest of the ingredients and start preparing them so we can add them in straight away"
And with that Harry was silent once again and pulled out a couple of books from his bag along with some parchment and a quill.
Harry was reading through his books and making notes, oblivious to the stares he was getting. It wasn't until five minutes later when Snape strolled over and plucked the book away from Harry, that he actually directed his attention on to the Professor.
"Mr. Potter" Snape snapped "Why is it that you are reading a first years potions textbook?"
A few sniggers were heard around the room and Snape proudly thought that he had once again humiliated the boy.
But Harry answered "I was trying to use this time productively, Sir. It's obvious that I'm not good at Potions, so I thought I'd go over some old material to try and catch up."
"Hm, well I suppose that is rather…intelligent for you, Potter. Finally realised the importance of Potions for your future auror career" Snape sneered. Just like his Father.
"..Erm, actually Sir, I've been thinking about going down the medical route and becoming a Healer" Harry responded quietly, effectively shocking Snape.
Snape shook out of it, reminding himself that this was still the Potter brat, and told him "Well, on you get, Potter."
Harry nodded and accepted his book back but Ron was having none of it.
"WHAT?!" he shouted.
Only Draco and surprisingly Snape noticed the small flinch that Harry gave, both coming to the same conclusion that Harry was acting rather oddly.
"Mate, we're meant to be auror's together, it's our dream." Ron reminded him.
"It was your dream that I followed, Ron. I've had a lot of time to think and I know what I want to do with my life now." Harry replied firmly.
"Oh and when did you decide all of this?" Ron fumed.
"As I said, I've had a lot of time to think. Especially over the summer." Harry shrugged but Draco knew that something was bothering him. The whole trio actually, did theyactually fall apart over the summer?
"But why a Healer?" Ron yelled.
Everyone thought that Harry had ignored Ron's last comment but only Draco managed to hear Harry's whispered response "Because for once I want to save lives instead of killing them."
Harry went back to his work but Draco was finally realising how hard the past year was on the Gryffindor. First he gets into a deadly tournament and everybody turns on him thinking that he cheated. Then he has to go through all sorts of challenges including dragons and mermaids. And then he witnesses Cedric being murdered and the Dark Lord being reborn. Then having to duel with the snake faced git, only to then manage to escape with the dead body to be slandered and called an attention seeker, a liar and a faker. Of course, Draco only knew most of these happenings because of what his Father told him. Not to mention all the previous years with all the rumours of his past adventures. He was honesty surprised the boy had only just begun to crack.
Draco silently watched as the mudblood, Granger, came over- Harry's attention once again being taken away from his textbook.
"Harry, please talk to me." She sighed.
"I'm sorry but I'm busy right now-" Harry tried to get rid of her.
"Harry." She warned. "Please, I'm worried about you."
"Not one single letter." Harry muttered and Draco wondered what he meant but it was obvious that Hermione knew due to the sad look on her face.
"I'm so sorry Harry-just please…"
"Can we talk later? I need to focus on this potion." Harry told her.
Without waiting for her response he got up and went over to where the ingredients were. Hermione didn't notice Draco, she just sent a sad look over to Harry and then returned to her own potion.
Harry couldn't bring himself to be angry. Angry reminded him too much of his Uncle. No, Harry could only feel disappointment. He was left at the Dursley's all summer and he was just as pleased as his relatives were about that. And if that wasn't bad enough, he didn't have any contact with any of his friends for the whole summer either. He sent them many letters, he even reached a point of begging for them just to reply, but none were replied to. It reminded Harry of the summer after his first year. However there was no rescue this time round, not when he really needed it.
Shaking his head of the thoughts, Harry turned to the chalkboard, but Snape's italic writing was very hard to read, for him anyway. He couldn't tell if the last ingredient was a moon lace root or a moon lace leaf. He grabbed the first one he saw which happened to be the moon lace root. Both ingredients were obviously from the same plant so how much difference could it make?
He made his way back over to Draco who on sight huffed at Harry as he put down the ingredients.
"About time." he snapped.
"Sorry, I couldn't see if Snape wrote moon lace…" but Harry never got time to finish his apology.
"Never mind Potter. We have five minutes to get this all prepared before it has to go in the cauldron." Draco rushed grabbing some ingredients from him.
Once again they both worked in silence, the only noise from Draco asking for ingredients that needed to be put in.
"Has the moon lace been crushed with the newts eyes?" Draco asked impatiently.
Harry nodded, looking a little green, and passed the mixture to Draco. The one thing Harry hated more than anything in potions, even Professor Snape, was having to crush eyes. He hated the squelchy feeling and how it seemed to be looking at him and accusing him. Bleh.
"Perfect." Draco mumbled as he tipped the mixture in. "Now, we just need to stir anti-clockwise five times and it will be complete for you to try."
Harry just nodded, not really listening to Draco, until he realised what he just said. "Wait, what do you mean by 'for you to try'- you're trying it too, right Malfoy?"
Draco chuckled. "No Potter, this project only requires one out of the pair to try it. I do not wish to spend the next few hours as an animal, therefore you're taking it."
"But-" Harry tried to argue but he just couldn't be bothered.
This admittedly annoyed Draco more than he thought it should have. Draco raised an eyebrow, desperate to get some sort of reaction out of his enemy. "Aren't you meant to argue back? Demand that I take the potion?"
Harry shrugged. "What's the point?"
"Because it is what you are meant to do Potter!" Draco told him, raising his voice slightly.
"Yeah, I'm meant to do a lot of things." Harry sighed.
Before Draco could question this and Harry's strange behaviour, Snape had demanded the attention of the class.
"Now, everyone should be finished. If not, well, you shall be serving a detention. One out of the pair shall be drinking the potion- I will be picking." he told everybody, making a lot of the students gulp in fear. "You will be in your animagus form for an hour- providing that you have brewed it correctly."
Harry looked behind him, sure that he had heard a was right- his fellow Gryffindor, possibly the only person that believed him about the Dark Lord, Neville Longbottom was sitting behind him and was understandably nervous about his potion. Neville wasn't the best at potions, his many failed attempts and blown up cauldrons proved that.
"You ok, Nev?" Harry whispered, concerned for his clumsy friend. Neville smiled, what he thought to be encouragingly, but another whimper escaped him when Snape bellowed "Goyle, you first!"
Dean in front looked relieved that he wasn't chosen. Goyle bravely gulped down a vial of the potion and to his surprise he quickly shrunk down into a frog.
"Congratulations." Snape drawled, not sounding celebratory at all. "You've managed not to screw up."
Snape crossed the room over to Ron's table and snapped "Weasley."
Ron took a deep breath and slightly glared at the vial, as if it was the potions fault, and swallowed it. He sprouted one fiery, red wing and a beak but didn't transform fully.
"Weasley, Crabbe, detention tomorrow night." Snape barked and stepped down to Hermione's table. "Parkinson, your turn."
She swallowed the potion and Hermione was glad that it worked, although there was not much chance of her brewing it incorrectly, even if Pansy wasn't too happy about being turned into a pug dog.
Snape nodded and went to Seamus' table. "Finnigan."
Seamus sprouted some kind of horse ears and zebra stripes tattooed all over his skin. "Oh damn."
"Detention you two, Wednesday night, another one for you Finnigan on Thursday for your uncontrollable, potty mouth."
Snape looked around the rest of the class, choosing his next helpless victim.
"Potter." Snape decided.
Harry sighed and took the potion. Of course it would be him that Snape chose, but with Malfoy as a partner, everything should turn out fine. He suddenly felt ears grow on top of his head and a sensation in his tailbone, which happened to be his tail growing.
"What? I brewed this perfectly!" Malfoy scowled.
"I'm a cat- out of all the animals- and I am a harmless feline." Harry muttered to himself but Draco ignored him.
"How did this happen?" Draco turned to Harry. He couldn't believe it, he never messed up a potion. Potter must have ruined it on purpose.
"I don't know!" Harry answered quickly, but then he felt a spasm in his stomach. "I don't feel too good."
"Don't change the subject, Potter!" Draco shouted.
"No seriously, I think something in the potion didn't react well with me." Harry told him, doubling over to help ease the pain in his stomach.
"Wait." Draco said suddenly remembering. "What part of the moon lace did you end up putting in?"
"WHAT?" Snape yelled. "Draco, how did you not spot the difference? I thought you would have noticed that the leaf is silver and the root is brown."
"It was already crushed with the newts eyes when I saw it!" Draco defended himself.
Harry wanted to argue and say that he tried to say to Malfoy that he was confused between the two, but another round of pain stopped him.
"Mr. Potter, are you aware of how much danger you have put yourself in, you insolent boy." Snape spat, getting less polite and angrier at the end of his sentence.
Snape was, of course, expecting some sort of comeback from Potter. Some sort of poor defence but the only return he got was a pained expression on Harry's face.
He sighed and told Draco. "Take him to the hospital wing, now."
However, before either of the boys could make a move to step forward a bright light surrounded Harry. Then in the next second it was gone, leaving no evidence that it had actually been there except for a small boy with cat appendages who was curiously gazing around the room.