A Crown of Black Upon His Head

Disclaimer/Plot/Author's Note: SEE FIRST CHAPTER

Recommended Reads: Silver King and Trickshot by JustBored21, A Second Chance by Breanie, Ascension by PerseusPeverell092, The Crimson Sorcerer by TwistedFilms, My Child by DebsTheSlytherinSnapefan, The Rise of the Last Potter by HPfanfictioner66, Hadrian Potter- The Snake like Lion and Hadrian Potter- Black and the Gauntlet of Gryffindor by Lord of mystics, Worthy of Magic by Raul Fictitious, Harry Potter and the Prince of Slytherin by The Sinister Man, A Chance Encounter and The Slytherin Reformation by spectre4hire and Harry Black Book 1: The Hero's Return, Harry Black Book 2: The Rising Darkness, Harry Black Book 3: The SPIRE, Harry Black Book 4: The Coming Dawn and Harry Black: Book 1 (Definitive Edition)by AuthorK

Key Pairing: Harry/Daphne; Neville/Hermione

Other Pairings: Sirius/Amelia; Others TBD

Normal Speech

'Thoughts'

/Parseltongue/

Review Answers:

WhiteElfElder: Given he's basically a shadow of his former self, I doubt that's going to happen, especially not if and when the other shadow of him meets Harrison in 2nd year;

Tomboy8888: I daresay even the would-be Dragon is going to discover you don't have to have the name of dragon to be one;

Jostanos: You hear that music, do you? Oddly-appropriate, though I think the Jaws theme may be more-appropriate-still;

A10riddick: I know that would have been funny, but, as you'll soon see, Harrison is a lot of things, but funny? Definitely not one of them: he knows how to play the game…and add his own rules along the way;

Jaxom Wolf 89: I agree with your thought, friend: all that's missing is the feared shark fin and a deathly-silent and still ocean;

Only once in his life, or rather twice, and both times during an age of conflict, had the atmosphere felt this tense, but…but that was impossible.

He…he was…he was dead…

So, how could Harry James Potter even begin to mirror the atmosphere made famous, and feared, by the warrior-demon known as the Black King?

Chapter 2: Black Ice Burns Coldest

"NO! I WON'T HAVE IT! I WILL NOT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN! I WON'T! I WON'T!"

"Fine then, Severus; there's the door. I'll have your things sent home and, on behalf of your colleagues and students, we're sorry to lose you."

While Pomona Sprout, Filius Flitwick and Minerva McGonagall – also the one who'd spoken up against her colleague's temper tantrum – could only watch with a mixture of inevitability and dark, personal amusement as Severus Snape spat his dummy out and started throwing a wobbly, Minerva shot him down with her statement, putting as much finality into it as she could muster.

And silently vowing to have a good laugh later-on, when she recalled the image of absolute incredulity that flashed across her learned colleague's face when she shot him down hard and fast.

As for Severus, he looked from Minerva to Albus Dumbledore, his eyes filled with desperation and silent demands for the old man to do what he did best and stick up for his spy.

Albus, however, seemed to be trembling with a hint of dread and lost confusion himself as he stood over the glowing waters of his Pensieve, his hands gripping the edges, as though they were the only things keeping him on his feet. As the other Heads looked to their superior, there was no doubt in any of their minds that he was viewing the memory that was also the cause for Snape's wobbly, also known as the reason that, now that the Sorting Ceremony had ended, the Four Heads of Houses, as well as the Headmaster, gathered for an emergency meeting.

All because Harry James Potter had been sorted into Slytherin House.

Black

Even as Minerva had read out the last of the names on the list – with Ronald Weasley, unsurprisingly, going to Gryffindor, though not without glaring daggers at a still-calm and focused Harry Potter, who didn't even seem fazed by the boy's glares; then, finally, Blaise Zabini had joined the Potter Scion in Slytherin, though Harry neither noticed or seemed to acknowledge this at the time – she, like her peers, had been all too aware of the horror in Severus' eyes, not to mention his deep breaths and the way he seemed to clench his jaws together even harder than usual.

When the feast had ended, Severus was first out of the hall, much to the amusement of the Gryffindors, Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws, while the Slytherins – whom Minerva knew usually received a pretty stern speech of welcome from Severus in their first year – looked confused, bewildered, suspicious and…bored.

Of course, only Potter seemed to be the latter and, when he'd seen Severus flee the hall like a bat out of Hades, he'd actually rolled his eyes before following his peers off to the dungeons.

Minerva, Filius and Pomona, meanwhile, were then informed of the emergency meeting arranged by Albus.

Not one Head of House needed to guess the reason for it, although they did have to wonder whose brainchild the meeting was.

The guy who looked like he was going to commit career, and probably personal, suicide by going after the new Slytherin student.

Or the guy who looked like he had just seen all his hopes and dreams for the future come crashing down around his ears.

Black

"It…it isn't right!" exclaimed Severus, whom Minerva guessed had changed his mind about giving up his post. "Potter…Potter cannot be one of my Snakes: he's a Potter, for Merlin's sake! They are all the same: arrogant, lazy, pretentious…"

"AHEM-Malfoy-AHEM!" Growled Filius, earning an accusing look from Severus, while Filius sniffed, "Oh, do excuse me, Severus; I often forget how dusty Albus' office is, but, seeing as how I have your attention, perhaps you might be able to stop acting like such a petulant child who has lost his favourite toy and try to be the fair, just and neutral Professor and grownup you are!"

"Easy for you to say, Filius," argued Severus, sneering in his usual way as he drawled, "I'd imagine you would have loved to pamper Potter's ego and make him your prized pupil!"

"Why?" asked Filius coolly, his eyes shining in a way that made Minerva and Pomona suddenly wish they hadn't come to the meeting, since the look was one that usually spoke trouble.

Well, from a goblin, it was, but, then again, Filius was goblin-blooded and a man you did not cross willingly.

As he proved when, squaring up to Severus as best as he could, the Charms Master, Duel Champion and renowned Battle Mage smirked as he asked in a mocking tone. "Because he's Lily's son?"

There it was: the same flinch that many would show whenever they mentioned or heard the name of a certain Dark Lord; now, Severus gave the same reaction hearing the name of Lily Potter nee Evans, coming from Filius' mouth with all the confidence and pride that the Head of Ravenclaw House could muster.

And all the while, Albus kept his head in his proverbial fish tank of memories, while Filius continued, "You're right, Severus: I would have loved to have Lily's son under my wing, puns fully intended. In fact, I would have done more than loved to have it; I have spent many nights since that dark time dreaming of carrying on the strong, almost-family-esque relationship that Lily and I had, maybe even doing with the Son what I never got the chance to do with Lily and train him as my apprentice and to be my successor in this place. Hmm…do you know something? I wonder if I have any of Lily's old school journals or copies of Lily's studies that I might pass onto Lily's son?"

"Stop…saying…her…name!"

"Why?" asked Filius coolly, keeping his eyes on Severus, who looked like he either wanted to strangle Filius – before remembering who the man was and why he was so feared and respected – or have a heart attack, thereby proving he had one, as the Head of Ravenclaw continued. "Do you honestly think, or are you so petulantly-naïve and selfishly-hearted that you believe that you are the only one who is allowed to mourn her, to miss her and to look back and remember her with fondness? Of course, unlike you, Minerva, Pomona, even Albus, not to mention your predecessor and I would all remember and mourn Lily Potter's memory…"

"Shut up…"

"Whereas you are still stuck in the past, so you would only think of Lily Evans," argued Filius, his sneer now fully-visible as he went for the jugular.

"The woman you insulted and cost your friendship with her, thanks to your friends in the Snake Pit!"

"NO!" Roared Severus, his wand jumping into his hand.

Though not before Filius, Minerva and Pomona all did the same, though they held their wands against Severus, as he snarled, "I didn't do anything: it was Potter! It was always Potter! I loved her; doted on her; protected her, especially from Potter! I worshipped her and he stole her from me!"

"Dear Magic and all the deities behind it, do you even hear yourself when you open your mouth these days, Severus?" asked Pomona, her voice unusually-heated and edged by disbelief, rage and mocking amusement as she insisted, "Lily might have been a lot of things, but she was not some prize to be won. She was a person, not an item, like a quill or a book you could own! No, she was as human as all of us, and she therefore had the right to love, date and marry whoever she chose to, which, in this instance, happened to be James!"

"He stole her from…"

"ENOUGH, SEVERUS!"

Suddenly, Minerva had a vision of a certain other white-bearded wizard from a certain famous fictional series in the Muggle World – a fantasy series that, irony of ironies, she'd discovered because it was one of Lily Evans' favourite books to read – when she, along with her colleagues, heard Albus roar at Severus, his voice tinged with a blend of fear and rage as he finally looked up from his Pensieve.

At the same time, an air of great and powerful magic buffeted against each of the Heads of Houses as they turned to their boss, who was looking at Severus with a cold, unyielding iciness in his blue eyes, the likes of which Minerva hadn't seen since…well…she honestly couldn't remember ever seeing the look, much less the cold, unwavering strength of his voice as he addressed the white-faced Potions Master directly. "Now, while I do agree that this unexpected turn of events, shocking though it has been for each and every one of us to have to bear witness towards, the fact of the matter is that, while it is something I might consider impossible, if not hard to believe, there is still the other fact here. Let me remind you, my old friend that the innocent, if somewhat-surprising young soul whom you speak of is not James, nor is he Lily…"

"Well, not yet, anyway," added Filius, though his eyes never left Severus as Albus continued.

"After all, as I am sure our colleagues will vouch for my claims of such a thing by the end of this first week, I have a very strong suspicion that young Harry might have inherited a lot more than just Lily's eyes, but the point still stands."

"What point? That you'll all favour him?"

"You blind fool!" hissed Minerva, scoffing in clearly-unrestrained disbelief as she exclaimed, "You know, I'd always heard you were known as The Bat, but now, I finally see why! Your blindness…it's so laughable, I'd even call it pathetic if I didn't respect your once-great reputation as a Potions Master and warrior-wizard, Severus. I mean, hasn't it even crossed your mind as to why Mr Potter looks so…so unlike his Father, much less why he doesn't even look like Lily? I mean, for Morgana's sake, Severus, did you not see his posture? His way of moving? His eyes?"

"His arrogance you mean?"

"His stance," said Filius, drawing in a slow, shaky breath through clenched teeth, as though he didn't want to admit what he was going to say next, not even to himself, before he glared at Severus once more as he pressed on.

"Are you honestly telling me, you so-called spy for our side, that you cannot look at all the evidence present in young Mr Potter and not see the signs of one whom is practically a double, if not a reincarnation of…of him?"

"His Father!"

"Arcturus Black!" exclaimed Albus, Filius and Minerva in unison, the act earning a shocked look from Pomona, as well as Albus, as the Heads of Gryffindor and Ravenclaw said it in perfect tandem with Dumbledore's exclamation.

And yet, Severus just scoffed as he drawled, "Nice try: but let me remind you of something…and that is that He is dead, you weak-willed children!"

"And, I'm sorry to have to ask it like this, but, if he is dead and buried, Severus, then, indulge me when I ask you: James Potter is…what, exactly, my learned colleague?" asked Filius, though he already knew what was coming.

"An arrogant brat who all of you believed walked on water, so you'll spoil the son rotten and make him a double of his Father…"

"And Lucius Malfoy's son is…what?" asked Minerva, sensing where Filius was going, both now and when he'd had his coughing fit.

"My godson: there's a difference."

"Indeed there is, Severus," argued a cool, sibilant voice from behind them, the sound of which made Albus' blood run cold as, along with his four colleagues, he also looked to the other side of his office, right into the eyes of a former Headmaster of Hogwarts, Phineas Nigellus Black – or rather, his portrait's eyes – as the man looked at Severus with a predominantly-proud air as he looked into the Potions Master's almost-black eyes.

"For one thing, Heir Potter is not merely a Potter, but also a Black, and, as is evident by more or less all Blacks, save for my distant relative and a few other rogue wanderers, all Blacks have gone…where?"

"Slytherin House," said Filius, before he sneered himself as he added, "A trait young Master Malfoy has continued to prove is applicable to the Black Family sons, as has Mr Potter."

"Actually, Filius, I think you'll find that's Potter-Black," argued Phineas, a note of apparent amusement in his drawling voice as he explained, "And, despite what you may have heard, my friends, I, as a Son of House Black and the magical reliquary of the essence of a Black, can honestly tell you that you are wrong about two things…"

Here, he looked to Severus, his shrewd gaze looking even more unnerving as he explained, "First…Harrison is not a carbon copy of James, nor is he even a glimmer of the overconfident, not to mention brash, bullying prankster and strategic troublemaker that James was…in fact, if anything, I would even say he is worse!"

"Exactly!"

"No, Severus, not exactly," argued Phineas, before he smiled.

A cold, almost-shark-like smile that chilled even Severus to the bone, as he added, "For you see, this brings me to the second reason you are so very wrong about what you claim, dear neutral Head of Slytherin House."

"What?" asked Severus, more-hotly than Filius, Minerva and Pomona asked it, while Albus looked to his predecessor's portrait with a hint of dread.

"No…" whispered the old man, earning another cold, knowing smile from Phineas as he begged, "Phineas, you…you cannot possibly mean…you don't mean to say that…"

"I can and do, Albus," said Phineas, chuckling menacingly as, once again, he looked to Severus, eyeing him like a vulture circling a dying carcass as he leaned forwards in his portrait.

"The second way you are so very wrong, Severus Tobias Snape, is when you say that my grandson, Arcturus Septimus Black, is dead!"

All of a sudden, any and all doubts, lingering troubles or arguments that Severus might have come up with regarding the sorting of his once-mortal enemy's spawn died long before they might have reached his lips as he took several shaky steps back, his eyes wider than wide while his hand flew to his forearm, where a Mark that had not burned for nigh-on ten years suddenly did something that should have been impossible.

It became colder than cold could go, as though frostbite was actually disintegrating Severus' arm and shattering it into a bazillion pieces, which, irony of ironies, the magic of the Dark Mark then did a few seconds later, shattering Severus' mind, heart and soul as he fell to his knees, sobbing profusely for the first time in ten years as he whispered the same thing over and over again.

"No…no…please…anything, but…but this! Please…Albus…Filius…somebody put…put this right…"

"Put what right, Severus?" asked Pomona.

Once again, the sly, sinister chuckle of Phineas Black filled the office, drawing everyone's attention to him as he smiled toothily.

Though the words he spoke made even Dumbledore's blood turn to ice as he heard his predecessor's voice echo through the almost-silent office.

"As is his right, as Future Lord Harrison James Potter-Black's guardian and Patriarch of the Family, my grandson, Arcturus Septimus Black, has just claimed the life of Severus Tobias Snape, for the whims, commands and desires of his Heir, Harrison James Potter-Black, as is his right as owner and custodian of the life-debt once owed to young Harrison's late Father…so, in other words, Severus…"

"Watch what you say!"

The ice-cold, bass rumble of a voice that suddenly filled the office made every other portrait freeze up, while even Fawkes seemed to prefer to be anywhere but there, judging by how he flashed out of existence, leaving Filius, Pomona, Minerva, Severus and Albus alone with the voice's echo.

An echo that Filius summed up pretty well – or so Minerva thought – as the Head of Ravenclaw clicked his tongue before he spoke to his downed colleague, who still continued sobbing, begging for someone to make it all better.

"You know, I never thought I'd see the day where I agree with Argus when he says it, but…oh dear, you are in trouble, Severus…"

The only sound that filled the office was Severus' sobbing as he felt the magic take hold of him.

And, this time, no amount of snivelling, promises of spying or hopes and two-faced, double-edged-bladed deals was going to get him out of it.

Chapter 2 and it looks like one of Harry's future-biggest annoyances has been cut off at the knees, left to crawl in the mud like…well, like a not-so-slimy snake, but what will Harry himself do when he realises this has come to pass?

Also, even with Phineas confirming it, could that voice…and the magic…could it have really been…him?

Keep Reading to Find Out

Next Chapter: While one snake gets de-fanged, in the Pit, a would-be King Cobra discovers just how venomous the bite of a Basilisk really is, while also learning what it really means to be a sleeping dragon…and what happens once they're tickled;

Please Read and Review

AN: Portrayal

Phineas Black: Julian Richings

(I KNOW Phineas had a brief appearance in the movie, but when I imagine his portrait, with his shrewd, cold stare and Black connections, I have this actor in my head…weird, I know.)

Voice of…I-Think-You-Know-Who: Charles Dance

(The VERY first actor who came to mind when imagining him! Appropriate? No? perhaps you had your own thoughts: seriously, I'd love to hear them, but, regardless of your own opinions, this is who I envision, so it's who I'm using…)

AN2: Chapter Titles

Also, for a bit of a weird, funny running gag with this story, I aim to have EVERY chapter title have a 'Black' reference in there, even if I have to use a euphemism like shadows, darkness or some other funny idea.

I don't know where this particular nugget of inspiration came from, exactly, but it puts a smile on my face thinking about it.