>Author: John Sexton
Genre: Harry Potter Slash
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Chapter Nineteen -- Weasley's Big Mistake
Severus sat at his desk, deep in thought, mulling over the evening's events.
He still had to appear in the Slytherin common room, where he would put on his little First Day act, for the benefit of the year sevens as much as the first years. They could all wait, but not too long, just enough for the aura of the dungeons to weave its magic over the newest arrivals.
Until then Severus' thoughts were on his son, and his fear that the boy might be crushed by the hat's decision.
Severus was proud of Sals, he was the perfect son. But the elder Snape was angry at the hardships that his prodigy had been forced to endure to this point in his life. Severus was most angry with himself, for it had been his poor choices in life that had caused his beautiful boy to suffer for so long.
The Slytherin housemaster was also carrying the guilt of the fate of the woman he loved, besides that of their only son.
Even now, Severus's ill-advised decisions had placed his only flesh and blood in mortal danger, to the point that Hogwarts was now the only place where the boy would be relatively safe.
Complicating the situation further, Severus had exposed Sals to even greater danger, by presenting him to that madman, Voldemort. But, on that score at least, there was little he could have done to avoid it.
Sals had been so determined to be taken to the vile creature that Severus doubted he could have stopped the boy from making his own way there, if he had denied the lad's request.
A sad smile creased Severus's lips.
"My boy has balls," he reassured himself. "But have I taught him enough?" the newly appointed Head of Defence Against the Dark Arts wondered.
"Is the lad capable of killing the madman, when the time comes, as it surely will? Can my boy outwit that monster? At least tonight's encounter with the Sorting Hat has shown him that he still has much to learn, before he faces Voldemort again."
Severus longed for the day where he and Sals would rule over their own domain. No sick freak, like Voldemort, was going to stand in their way, or rob them of that prize. Severus was adamant that the Half Blood Prince and his bastard son would win out in the end... and their revenge would be sweet!
Now a sigh, deep and soulful, marked Severus's new nadir, with the thought that the last six months may account for nothing: that all the hard work -- since he had taken over Sals's life and begun the preparation for this day -- would only end in tragedy; that he would lose the son he never knew he had, so soon after that terrible discovery on that fateful night...
Severus drifted back to that dark encounter, and a tear trickled down his cheek. He wiped it away, angrily. He would not collect it for his Pensieve, he had already committed that terrible event to his memory cabinet.
"Gryffindor!" Severus hissed in bewildered disbelief, merely to distract his morbid thoughts with something less depressing.
"What is the hat's game?" he wondered aloud.
Ginny was quite anxious, as she and Hermione were making their way back down to the Gryffindor common room, after putting the First Years to bed.
"Now that we're practically alone, Hermione," Ginny almost whispered, "about Sals and Malfoy... there's something going on there, right? I mean Sals seems to have Malfoy completely under his control, just from what I've seen already today... I mean... it's pretty obvious to me..." she faltered, then went quiet.
"Yes," Hermione whispered, as she quickened their pace, "but not here... let's go to my room."
The older Gryffindor checked her watch.
"I've got about fifteen minutes before I need to check that the First Years have settled down."
Hermione was obviously quite anxious, as she closed the door to her private study; she flopped down onto her bed dejectedly.
"There is something going on there, Gin," Hermione continued to whisper, despite their privacy.
Her tone was much darker now, and her stare intensified. Then she huffed.
"I've been avoiding it... in an attempt not to admit it to myself."
Ginny was disturbed by this, and sympathetic to her friend's distress, even though she had no idea what Hermione was on about!
But Ginny did not have to spell it out to the brilliant witch; it was obvious, from Hermione's expression, that she realised that.
"I've just spent the best part of a week with them," Hermione huffed again, "and all that time I've been trying to reject the obvious truth about Sals and Draco."
Ginny was annoyed by her friend's theatrical pause, and her expression let Hermione know it.
"They're Gay, Ginevra!" Hermione finally exclaimed, her own frustration now to the fore.
Ginny was stunned, "you mean homosexuals? queers!"
"Yes, I'm pretty sure," Hermione nodded sadly and grimaced, then she shrugged her shoulders.
"I know you probably find it hard to accept, Gin, but it doesn't bother me, not like that at least."
"You could have fooled me," Ginny scoffed.
"No... I'm disappointed, of course..." Hermione smiled incongruously, "I actually thought he liked me," she blushed, then laughed.
Ginny joined her.
"But it really doesn't bother me that they're Gay; it doesn't matter that much amongst civilised Muggles these days."
"Yeah, well it's not like that in the Wizarding World, Herm!" Ginny cautioned her, "being a queer is worse than being a Death Eater, for most wizards and witches at least!"
"Purebloods, you mean?" was Hermione's rhetorical.
She grimaced again, and adopted that condescending tone that almost everybody hated.
Ginny could feel a lecture coming on; but, contrary to the general trend, she nearly always found them interesting, and the youngest Weasley regarded her friend's sanctimonious pitch as somewhat endearing.
Theodore Nott could barely believe his eyes; he jumped to his feet angrily, startling the rest of the Slytherin common room in the process.
"Malfoy!" Nott's voice boomed out across the large chamber, "what's the meaning?... letting a Gryffindor into our house!"
The room went suddenly quiet, even the Wizard Wireless Network radio went mute, and every eye turned towards the intruder, Salazar Snape.
"Are you suggesting," Malfoy hissed angrily, "that a Slytherin prefect does not have the right to escort a guest into this house, Nott?"
But the blonde did not wait for an answer; "because," he snarled at Nott, "if you are... you are way out of line, and teetering on ruffling my feathers."
With that final quip, Malfoy snorted dismissively, then he fired another broadside across Nott's bow...
"Or are you suggesting that the son of your housemaster is not welcome here?"
But Theodore Nott was not intimidated by the blond poser. He had always hated Malfoy, whom he considered to be an arrogant, conceited git, who was born with a silver spoon up his arse.
Nott might have been intimidated by Malfoy in the past, but things had changed dramatically over the summer: Malfoy's father was in disgrace and no longer on the school board, and that had brought the insufferable blonde poser crashing down.
Draco Malfoy was no longer the self-appointed Prince of Slytherin.
The fact that Nott's father was also in Azkaban, with Lucius Malfoy, only fuelled Nott's intense hatred of Malfoy's son, as it was Malfoy senior's ineptitude that had sealed his own father's fate.
However, despite Theodore Nott's ongoing contempt for Draco Malfoy, it was Snape's presence that had fuelled Nott's outburst. He considered the interloper to be a traitor.
Long before Nott had been sent to Hogwarts, his earliest memories were of his father's expectations that he'd follow family tradition, and be sorted into Slytherin.
Nott had been drilled that to be sorted into any other house was an act of treachery. Anyone who failed to convince the Sorting Hat that they should be in Slytherin, was weak, and a traitor to every Pure Blood tradition.
"Is daddy still talking to you, Snape?" Nott taunted the intruder.
"After what you said and did up there, in the Great Hall," Nott shook his head in disgust, "I can't believe he would be! A Snape in Gryffindor! What an embarrassment!"
Nott didn't get the reaction that he had been expecting from Snape. In fact, the tall, dark youth merely looked at him.
But that look was enough to prompt Nott to redirect his attack. He turned, instead, to sneer at Malfoy, while still directing his comments to his housemaster's son.
"At least, you have your lapdog well trained, Snape," Nott taunted the blonde.
Then Nott was inspired by another barb, which was sure to put them both on the back foot.
"Or should I say... your boyfriend?" Nott taunted them again.
He adopted a pseudo-childish voice, and lampooned Snape's earlier declaration: "I didn't stop liking Draco, just because I'm a Gryffindork!"
This elicited a few sniggers and several jeers of support, from some of the most senior Slytherins present; the juniors were already in their dorms.
However, their support did little to embolden Nott, because this time, when he glared at Snape, he was even more intimidated than before, by the powerful young warlock's tacit demeanour.
Nott again changed tack, and turned his anger back on Malfoy.
"Your father is in disgrace, Malfoy," Nott snapped. "You no longer have any influence here, beyond your prefect's badge. You don't threaten me!"
Then, anticipating Malfoy's intention to point out his own disgrace, Nott decided to launch a pre-emptive strike.
"And thanks to your own pater's ineptitude," Nott snarled, "my father is being force to share a cell, in Azkaban, with a Mudblood from Aldershot, who is a child molester to boot!"
"Well then," Malfoy shot back, "they have something in common, your dirty old man and the other pervert should have plenty to talk about."
"You misunderstand, Malfoy," Nott chortled haughtily, determined not to lose face. He still felt he had the blond at a disadvantage. "Dad's not sharing the cell with your pater!"
Malfoy was posturing to retaliate.
"ENOUGH!" Snape roared, startling everyone with his vehemence and an air of unmistakable authority.
Malfoy swallowed his retort, then promptly came to heel, like the obedient cur that he was.
"You are a pathetic fool, Nott!" Snape snapped. "I told the sorting hat to put me into Gryffindor."
Despite feeling the sting of Snape's aggression, Nott still sneered with contempt.
"You're delusional, Snape!" he taunted the tall, dark-haired youth, "nobody tells the hat where they go! Nobody tells the Sorting Hat anything!"
"Think what you like, Nott," Snape quipped dismissively, "but know this..."
He lowered his voice, but did not invoke a silencing spell around them.
The rest of the room was stark-silent. Most of the younger seniors present seemed mesmerised by the dynamic unfolding before their eyes; they watched, unblinking, mouths agape, as the power struggle evolved.
The older observers adopted a more subtle approach, exercising their Slytherin best to feign disinterest.
But, either way, you could have heard a gnat sneeze, as the newest boy set about putting a chastened and embarrassed Theodore Nott in his place.
"Malfoy and I are accomplishing the Dark Lord's deeds and completing his works, even as we speak."
Nott looked across at the blonde, who seemed to have shrugged off the humiliation of being reined in by his master. Malfoy now sneered at Nott condescendingly, with a wicked glint in his eye.
"I suggest, Nott," Snape continued, drawing his attention away from Malfoy, "that you check with The Dark Lord, next time you're having a little chat with..."
Snape paused, then mockingly cupped an ear at Nott.
"What's that you say?..." Snape taunted him... "you're not on talking terms with our master?"
Then Snape sneered, casually folded his arms across his broad chest, and leaned his thigh against the arm of the nearest lounge.
"Well I am! The Dark Lord is abreast of my activities, and he is more than happy with my work to date."
"So, Nott," a now confident Malfoy sneered, as he seamlessly took over from Snape, "you'd be well advised to go along with anything I say.
"If I cheer for Gryffindor, you cheer for Gryffindor; if I support Potter in absentia, you support Potter in absentia, or that old fool Dumbledore, or anyone else that Sals or I deem suitable!"
Nott mirrored the sneer, but bit his tongue.
"You'd also do well," Malfoy continued, his authority now fully restored, "to make sure that anyone who holds similar views, to those expressed by you, hears about this conversation.
"Have we made ourselves clear?"
Nott was livid, but he did not reply: he simply glared at the arrogant duo.
"Do we have a problem, Nott?" Snape threatened, as he drew himself to his full height and folded his arms more assertively.
"No, Snape," Nott grumbled belligerently, "you've made it crystal clear; there's no problem."
"Good," Snape produced a cynical smile, "don't try to initiate anything yourself, Nott. Just follow our lead; make sure the others do too, and you'll be fine.
"You can go now... we'll let you know if we need to talk again," Snape quipped; with that, a chastened Theodore Nott was summarily dismissed.
When Hermione entered the Gryffindor common room, after checking on the First Years, she was surprised to find Ronald Weasley there.
He was in a huddle, in the corner near the fireplace, where he was obviously still presiding over his cadre of malcontents.
Hermione was sure that he would not have been allowed back to Gryffindor unless he had already reported to Professor Dumbledore, especially after the way he had stormed out of the Great Hall. She wondered if his new wand had been returned to him.
"His meeting with Professor Dumbledore can't have gone too well," she thought, judging by the boys' mood, which turned really black, as soon as they realised that she had entered the room.
Ginny was sitting with Vicky Frobisher, Demelza Robins, Lavender and Parvati over in their usual corner.
"Where's Neville?" Hermione asked, as she sat next to Ginny.
"Oh," replied Ginny soberly, lowering her voice, and nervously glancing across at her brother, "McGonagall just came in and took him off to see Dumbledore."
"What on earth did he do?" asked Hermione anxiously; but she kept her voice low, in deference to Ginny's cautious glances in Ron's direction.
"You haven't heard then?" whispered Ginny conspiratorially, adding -- as soon as Hermione's expression proclaimed her ignorance -- "I'm pretty sure Neville's going to replace my idiot brother as the new prefect."
"So he's been stripped of his prefect badge?" was Hermione's rhetorical.
"And he's been banned from using his wand for a month, except in class," added Parvati quietly, "he's been like that since he returned," she nodded in the direction of the disaffected.
"He's playing to their Gryffindor prejudices," Hermione scowled at the boys. "The hat was right! This is getting us nowhere," she groused, as she turned back to her own little cadre.
She sighed and shook her head.
"Sals is going to find this more difficult than he ever imagined."
"Oohh!" purred Lavender, not quite amiably.
There was a trace of disdain and a jealous tone in her voice. She sneered slightly, and became less discrete, as she almost hissed, "so it's Sals, is it?"
The other girls all glanced at the boys, clearly expecting a reaction from them. But they were too wrapped up in their own deliberations to notice.
When Hermione turned back to face Lavender, she was sure there was disappointment in her eyes, and the shape of Lavender's mouth suggested that she'd been expecting to get a rise out of Ron.
Hermione was just about to challenge Lavender on that very issue, when Parvati squealed...
"So the gossip is true then," she cried, almost as indiscreetly as Lavender, "you were eating ice cream with him and Malfoy, at Edburg's."
Then Parvati cooed salaciously, "I heard a rumour that you spent the hols with both of them."
Hermione froze, then darted a quick look of hurt and betrayal at Ginny, who creased her eyebrows discretely, and shook her head even more so, desperately trying to assure Hermione that she was not the source. But she was not subtle enough.
"So it's true," Lavender squealed loudly, "you actually spent the summer with Snape and MALFOY!"
She had almost shrieked the blond Slytherin's name with blatant disgust.
Lavender Brown achieved her objective with this outburst, as the boys went suddenly quiet and glared at Hermione angrily.
Ron was looking particularly murderous. He stood up and strode halfway across the common room.
"I dunno what pathetic little game you think you're playing, Granger," he spat angrily, "but we don't take kindly to traitors in Gryffindor."
Hermione was torn between wanting to ignore him and needing to put him in his place. She decided that this was not the time for diplomacy, she needed to nip this in the bud, before it got out of hand.
"I should have sent you to bed with the first years," she retorted, "since you insist on behaving like one. Didn't you hear what the Sorting hat said last year, and again tonight... and what Dumbledore and Sals said?"
"I heard the hat, and Dumbledore," growled the redhead. "As for Snape... I wouldn't trust him as far as I could kick his greasy git of an old man... he should be in Slytherin with his boyfriend, where he belongs."
"The hat seemed to think differently," purred a voice that none of them, save Hermione and the Weasleys, had heard more than once before, "so you'd better get used to it, Ron."
"Only my friends call me that, Snape... and you don't qualify," spat the redhead, as everyone else turned to focus on the new boy.
No one had heard Sals come through the portrait hole, and for most of the other Gryffindors it was the first time they'd seen him up close.
No one spoke, as the two biggest boys in the house of lions faced off across the huge room.
Ginny stepped forward and sighed loudly.
"Don't pay any attention to my brother, Sals, he's an ignoramus, and he's rude."
She smiled at the new boy, "so... welcome to your new home, Salazar Snape," she opened her arms, and turned slightly, as she swept them out towards the common room.
"How the bloody hell can anyone with a name like that be in Gryffindor?" spat Ron, loudly enough for everyone in the room to have heard.
"Thanks, Ginny," Sals lowered his voice, directing his comment to her, rather than the rest of the common room, "it's good to know not everyone in Gryffindor hates me. I suppose most people expected that I'd be sorted into Slytherin, given who my dad is, but I guess the hat knows best."
"Well, I wasn't surprised," Hermione lied whitely with a diplomatic smile, "you'll do well in Gryffindor, Sals."
"If you ask me," Ronald snarled spitefully, "it was Dark Magic!
Then, with an aggressive swagger, he closed the remaining distance between himself and Sals.
"You're a Death Eater if ever I saw one, Snape," the red-head continued his verbal assault; "you don't belong here.
"How did you do it, anyway?" Weasley snarled, now only two steps away, "what did you do to that moth-eaten pile of rags?"
"I'm flattered," Sals laughed, "that you think I'm powerful enough to control a magical entity that's as old as Hogwarts, Ron. Do you--"
"I told you before, dick-face," spat Weasley, who angrily stepped even closer to Sals, "you don't get to call me by my name," he repeated, as he recklessly invaded the powerful new wizard's personal space.
"Whatever..." replied Sals casually... "do you really think I'd have chosen to be in Gryffindor... after I'd met you?"
"What," snapped the redhead, just before a triumphal snarl distorted his face, "do I scare you, dick-nose?"
Sals laughed dismissively, "hardly, Ron," he taunted Ronald again; the redhead bristled with the barb.
"Actually, despite knowing I'd have to put up with you," the tall, fit youth turned dismissively from his antagonist, towards the girls and smiled, "I begged the hat to put me in Gryffindor," he declared.
"How gullible do you think we are, Snape?" Ronald exploded, "why would you want to be in Gryffindor?"
"Think about it, Ron," Sals continued to needle the volatile teen, "how would you like to be in the same house that your dad was housemaster?"
The redhead didn't have a chance to respond.
"If you thought my father would treat me more leniently than the others, you don't know him as well as you thought."
"I know your old man well enough, Snape," Ronald retorted, "he's a prick, just like you!"
"You really are slow, Ron," Sals quipped, as he shot a wicked grin at the hostile youth. "I thought you'd learned your lesson in Edburg's."
Weasley bristled at that remark, and his face flushed crimson.
"Yeah, well you're not in Edburg's now," he snapped, before he composed himself slightly. "Try anything at Hogwarts, especially here in Gryffindor, Snape," he spat the name viciously, "and not even your Death Eater daddy will be able to help you... you dickhead!"
"You really do have a thing about genitalia and faces, don't you, Ron?" Sals grinned.
"Yeah, well... you looked in the mirror lately, Snape?" Weasley taunted, "you're about as ugly as your greasy git of an old man. In fact, I reckon if your nose was a prick, no one would even notice the difference!"
The redhead turned back towards his cohorts, who -- like Hermione and Ginny -- had remained silent throughout the exchange.
Dean and Seamus each bore particularly smug grins of approval, which annoyed Hermione; though she hardly expected any display of maturity from them.
Sals backed away casually and eased his shoulder against the archway, beyond the portrait entrance, just next to Hermione and Ginny, where he casually proceeded to inspect his nails.
"You really think so, Ron?" Sals asked rhetorically, "I think people would notice," he turned to Hermione, "what do you think, Hermione? Ginny?"
Before either of the girls could respond, Ron Weasley had done the unthinkable.
Not thirty minutes after the return of his confiscated wand, he drew it on Sals, for the third time in as many brief encounters.
"Let's see then," the redhead spat nastily; then he cried out, "cock face!" as he flicked his wand at the newest Gryffindor.
Hermione and most of those closest to Ron Weasley gasped, when he let out a shriek of terror. The light from his own wand had obviously hit an invisible barrier, and it rebounded on him with a massive force.
But Sals had not moved a muscle, he continued his nail inspection.
The stunned redhead was knocked to the floor as his own curse took effect. He screamed like a girl, as his nose began to shrink, only to be replaced by a prepubescent penis that rapidly grew down from the gap between his eyebrows, until it hung, in all its flaccid glory, over his mouth.
Hermione couldn't believe her eyes.
She ogled at Ron in disbelief, at the spectacle that was unfolding before her and the rest of the Gryffindors assembled in the common room.
"What have you done?" cried Weasley, in an unusually nasal tone, given the absence of that particular appendage.
He leapt to his feet, reached into his robes, in sheer panic, then screamed again, having determined that the member on his face was indeed his own.
"What have you done, Snape?" he screamed more desperately.
"Me?" quipped Sals innocently, "I suggest that what have YOU done? is far more appropriate."
Snape's son smiled wickedly at the redhead, who was feeling his face with both hands, in sheer desperation, disbelief and panic.
Weasley raced over to the mirror, on the far side of the common room, and screamed like a girl again, when he caught sight of his own reflection.
The mirror seemed amused.
"I think the new boy is right, dear," the redhead was taunted by his own ghastly reflection, "you do look quite different, though I can't say it's an improvement."
Hermione was torn between horror and amusement, for the limp dick was the least of Ron's problems. His forehead was covered with a mass of thick, tight curls of copper-red pubic hair, while the lobes of his ears had descended to form two massive testicles, that were like grotesque Muggle earrings.
By now the common room had erupted into an eclectic array of gasps of awe, shock and horror, tittering amusement and outright hysterics.
"Put it back," roared Weasley, his anger suddenly outstripping his panic. "TAKE IT BACK, NOW, SNAPE!"
"This was your idea, Ron," Sals replied calmly; a touch of amusement was on his lips and in his eyes. "Everyone here heard you, whatever makes you think that I had anything to do with this?"
"I said: put it back, Snape," the redhead screamed, as he pointed his wand at the new boy's chest, yet again.
"Expelliarmus," cried a familiar, shrill voice that rang out over the noise and confusion in the common room.
All heads turned towards the portrait hole, where Professor McGonagall stood, glaring at the assembled Gryffindors, Weasley's wand in her left hand, her own in her right.
"What is the meaning of this?" she demanded, "Weasley," she began, then gasped when the wayward Gryffindor turned towards her, his face already flushed.
Then he threw his hands up to cover his embarrassment and his genitalia.
The wily old witch was lost for words, something none of the Gryffindors could ever remember witnessing before.
"You," the Gryffindor housemistress eventually nodded impatiently to Weasley, "report to Madam Pomfrey... NOW!" she snapped when he hesitated.
Just as he made to move off, Weasley paused, then he began to heave, as if he was having trouble breathing.
"The rest of you," McGonagall rounded on the common room, "off to your dorms this instant. I want you all up bright and early for breakfast."
As they all turned towards the stairs, McGonagall called out over the chatter, "Mr Snape, Miss Granger and Miss Weasley, I'll see you in the Headmaster's office, if you please. Wait at the gargoyle until I return from the hospital wing."
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This is a two-chapter Potterverse short story [complete].
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