Severus Snape and the Philosophers Stone
Dusk had fallen on the first day of term; the teachers were congregating in the great hall waiting for the train to arrive in Hogsmeade station. Snape, Dumbledore, Flitwick and Sprout stood in silence savouring the last moments of quiet contemplation before the din of jabbering students filled the halls for another year.
Snape was already in a bad mood have just been briefed by Dumbledore in anticipation of Harry Potters arrival. 'You must not let your pre conceived opinions of the boy get in the way, he is not his father, give the child a chance' the words resounded in his head, making him feel more objectionable to the idea than he was previously.
Quirrell burst through the doors in fits of apologies; "S S Sorry I l lm late, I got l l lost" His robes were a revolting shade of lilac, accompanied with a bizarre matching turban. Snape glowered at Dumbledore through curtains of greasy black hair. Dumbledore met his glare with a cool glance and blinked to say 'Oh give it a rest Severus' Snape snorted but the battle was lost for another year, but to a competitor so utterly blunderingly inept; it was quite insulting.
The subdued atmosphere was abruptly ended when McGonagall opened the double doors and the returning students filled the great hall, naturally they sat at their house tables, chattering incoherent babble, the kind that cuts through to your nervous system. The teachers sat behind the top table leaving the task of regaining order to Dumbledore as McGonagall went to fetch the first years.
When the first years were gathered and ready, McGonagall brought them in front of the top table and placed the Sorting hat on its small wooden stool. Snape observed their young flushed faces full of bewilderment of terror. The Sorting ritual was a double edged sword; so tediously dull and yet essential in order to know what he'd be dealing with for the next seven years. Still, there had been a good run on Slytherins; the house cup six years running was no accident.
The hat gave its irritating little song and the first girl; Hannah Abbot sat on the stool facing the four houses of students. "HUFFLEPUFF" the hat said. Well she looked crap anyway.
The first Slytherin was Millicent Bulstrode, generally Snape only bothered to look up when "Slytherin" was shouted, when he would give each new student a 'first impressions' assessment. He didn't need to give Draco Malfoy any such assessment, the boy exuded Slytherin so much that the hat barely touched his head. Snape smiled knowing how pleased his father would be.
And then came the moment when Harry Potters name was called. Nearly every eye in the room focused intently on him as he took his place on the stool. However, only nearly all, as staring at the back of Potters head wasn't exactly interesting. There was little chance the boy would be a Slytherin, but statistically twenty five percent was enough to be somewhat unnerved at the prospect. The potential of having to have that kind of contact did not sit well.
"Not Slytherin, eh?" Snape looked up; the hat was engaging in conversation with Potter! "You could be great you know, its all here in your head, and Slytherin will help you on you way to greatness, no doubt about that -"
Potter was actually holding a debate with the hat about the worthiness of Slytherin House! The child had not yet used his wand and yet thought he not only knew better than the Sorting hat but that Slytherin be a lesser option that other houses. The audacity. the arrogance. he appeared to have inherited all the qualities Snape had expected.
"no..Well if you are sure, better be GRYFFINDOR" The hat sang out. The room erupted with cheers and applause. There was no great surprise there then.
The last girl; Blaise Zabini was made into a Slytherin and McGonagall rolled up the parchment as it was finally time to eat. Having been annoyed by that initial ordeal, Snape turned his attention onto quivering Quirrell whom he had the misfortune of sitting next to. He delighted in venting his irritation onto Quirrell; the man twitched and stuttered when put under the slightest of pressure, which made good sport.
Quirrell had such a gift of being able to understand in-depth anything he read but since that incident in Romania, he was incapable of standing up to his own shadow, teaching defence against the dark arts was a joke when he couldn't actually, practically demonstrate counter curses. And his aroma of garlic was getting to be unbearable, particularly during desert.
Snape suddenly had the feeling of being watched, he looked over and for the first time, locked eyes with Potter. He did look exactly like his father, and for a split second it brought it all back; that first train ride to Hogwarts, the amalgamation of what this child was and what it had caused. He felt a hot wave of bitterness, contempt and loathing burn inside and at the same time Potter flinched, breaking eye contact.
It was a surreal moment; Snape quickly turned his attention back on taunting Quirrell and did not look back;
"So, now that you have gained some, real, experience in the dark arts, will you be applying that to your lessons?" Snape jibed "I expect the students will be intrigued by your familiarity with vampires"
Quirrell jumped at the mention which made Snape smirk somewhat, he was very curious to find out what had actually happened in Romania which would turn someone into such a nervous wreck so he attempted Legilimency in search of some answers. Intriguingly Quirrell's Occlumency skills were some of the best he'd every come across, any way round Snape tried to gain access, he was left with a dead end. Either Quirrell was much better at defence against the dark arts that anyone gave him credit for or else there was something else not quite right about him. Snape was quite convinced that it would be the latter and thought to inform Dumbledore.
The evening was at last drawing to a close, but that meant having to bear the worst part of the Sorting ceremony. Whatever depraved fool came up with the Hogwarts song needed at least two of the unforgivable curses inflicted against them, that is if they weren't already experiencing the Cruciatus curse at the time of writing. Snape winced as the school sang the insipid lyrics, in different timings and different tunes, which ended of course with the Weasley twins singing duet to the melody of the funeral march. It wasn't funny the first year they did it and it still wasn't funny.