I'm Not A Hero
Disclaimer/Plot/Challenge Information/Author's Note: SEE FIRST CHAPTER
Recommended Reads: Pray For The Wicked by Kapiushon, Monochrome by The BlackStaff and NightMarE, Harry Potter and the Perversion of Purity by ACI100, A Flaw in Fate by 521-DREAM, The Crimson Sorcerer by TwistedFilms, Hydrus Black, Dark Lord Potter, Apex and Silver King by JustBored21, Child of Azkaban by Fire and Starlight, Dying Light by Darkw01fe, Harry Potter and the Unwanted Ticket by Red Phoenix Dragon, The Rise of the Last Potter by HPfanfictioner66, Dark Prince, The Allure of Darkness and The Sealed Kingdom by LoveMyRomance, The Good Master by PeacefulCompassion and Serpent's Ascending by Madriddler
Key Pairing: Harry/Flora/Hestia
Other Pairings: To be determined
No responses for this chapter
"As if it could have been anywhere else?" asked Harry.
"HE DOESN'T DESERVE TO BE HERE!"
"HE'S A MONSTER!"
"HE'S NOT A HERO!"
"You're absolutely right, whoever that last one was…I am not a hero, so, again, as if my sorting could have ended up bringing me anywhere, but here, where true friends and real wizards belong, not feckless, fair-weather friends who only care about something when it matters to them!"
"Hear, hear," agreed Draco, earning a faint smile from Harry, while the blond actually offered his hand to Harry once more as he added, "So, let me say it again: welcome to Slytherin, Heir Potter-Black."
"Nice to be here, Heir Malfoy," replied Harry, shaking Draco's hand firmly – though, to Draco's relief, not as firmly as he had done on the train.
"Now, let the games begin."
Chapter 2: Free Hints: Take One!
After the Sorting, and the apparently-horrifying, world-ending revelation that Harry Potter was now a member of Slytherin House, things didn't get too much better for the boy who flat-out refused to acknowledge anything or anyone who came up to him looking for a hero.
Or a celebrity.
As the guy who was supposed to be the neutral Head of Harry's House found out in the boy's first lesson.
"Whatever," drawled Harry, earning a few alarmed looks from his own Housemates, including Draco, who was sitting right next to Harry, as the boy looked down at the notes he'd been scribbling whilst Professor Severus Snape had given a very memorable welcome speech to the art of Potions.
"What did you say, Potter?" growled Snape, earning a sigh from Harry as he set his quill down before he looked back up at the Potions Master.
"I said whatever, Professor Snape; as in I neither know nor care what your problem is with me, but, for the sake of your own life, you pathetic man-child, I suggest you get over it and fast!"
A few of the Slytherins actually moved away from the seat where Harry sat, save for Draco, while Snape advanced on Harry, his hooked nose actually jabbing into the tip of Harry's nose as he hissed in a cold, almost-strained tone of voice. "Do you honestly think I will allow you to threaten me, Potter?"
"That would imply that it's a threat…Snivellus," drawled Harry, earning a shocked look from Severus, while Harry actually lifted his wand and, to the shock – and very mild amusement – of the Gryffindors nearby, Harry pushed Severus away with the tip of his wand as he added, "Also, would you mind not smothering me with your hair when you speak to me, sir? It smelled bad enough walking past that Potions cabinet of yours; I don't need to make it worse by having to suffocate on the thick stench of bigotry, hypocrisy and backstabbing, self-delusional treachery!"
"Why, you insolent…"
"Oh, I almost forgot," said Harry, now rising from his seat before he looked Severus right in the eyes as he sneered darkly at him.
"My Mum told me to tell you that she, as well as my Dad, hopes you burn in hell for what you did to her, you pathetic greasepit!"
Snape's wand came up…
Harry's got there first, as the loud crash of Snape hitting the teacher's desk indicated, before Harry growled at the downed man.
"You get one warning, Professor; like the rest of this bunch of circling jackals should have realised by now: I'm not some celebrity, I'm not a hero and I am definitely not someone who is intimidated by the mewling insect who, in case all that grease clogged up your thick skull, you should recall you owe your damn life to! One word, Snivellus: werewolf!"
For the first time in a very long time, Severus Tobias Snape looked at the son of his most-hated enemy, and his obsession…
And he was downright petrified by the thought of what he was looking at.
As a result of Harry's actions against Professor Snape, the boy became an unwanted source of gossip and reverence from pretty much everyone who wasn't a member of Slytherin House.
But, on the plus side, it also sent a message to many Slytherins that Harry was not intimidated by their own ideals of him, much less the one-sided loathing and dislike that his own Head of House had for him, all because he looked like a dead man.
As a bonus, Harry was left alone in Potions, save for Draco's company – though he suspected the latter might have also whispered in certain ears to leave Harry alone in Slytherin, since he wasn't bothered between classes or in the Common Room either – and, as much as he knew Snape wanted to mark him down and make some crude remark about him, Harry kept Snivellus fully aware of the Sword of Damocles that Harry now had over his head.
A life-debt, once owed to Harry's Father by Snape, was now owed to Harry by the same man and, unlike many others, Snape seemed to realise that, if he was forced to do it, Harry would use the debt to make the git's life a living nightmare.
So, while they would never be friends, it seemed that Snape was at least willing to treat Harry like the rest of his snakes.
With somewhat-professional civility.
And, instead, he turned his ire on the idiots and mongrels in red, who seemed to lead the charge against Harry because of his green-clad robe.
Easily the worst, and therefore, in Harry's honest opinion, the most-annoying of the Red Lions was the tactless twerp who'd bugged him on the train: Ronald Bilius Weasley.
For some strange reason, the boy just couldn't leave Harry alone; whether it was in the corridors, the Great Hall, on occasion in lessons or, at one point, even in the boy's toilets, the redheaded prat with as much fashion sense as Petunia's dead flowers – and brains to match – might as well have given himself the title of Harry's stalker.
He was always there, scowling from afar, or coming up to Harry, making nice and offering stupid things like chess and, in his words, a chance to get you away from these slimy snakes.
It was thanks to his stalking that Harry discovered one chink in Weasley's armour: for whatever reason, his family and Draco's family were as cold and bloodthirsty towards one another as a certain two families from Shakespeare's tragedy. At every opportunity, Weasley called Draco things like slimy git, murderer and, at every chance he got, Death Eater spawn.
Eventually, Harry asked Draco why Weasley claimed he was such a thing, which led to a surprising revelation.
Apparently, Death Eaters used to be the servants of the Dark Lord Voldemort, the dark wizard whom Harry had vanquished as a baby – which, as the days turned into weeks, Harry found himself believing and accepting as the truth of the events less-and-less – and, while many had been sent to Azkaban Prison, there were some who'd come out and claimed they were acting under duress.
One such 'victim' of Voldemort's power was Draco's own Father, Lucius Abraxas Malfoy, a man who, in the present, had influence everywhere, eyes and ears all over and also called the head of the country, the Minister for Magic himself, a close, personal friend.
Even though he was adamant that he wasn't a hero, Harry still didn't know how to take Draco's revelation, much less the idea that he was friends with someone who was the son of a guy who'd served the monster that made him something he never wanted to be.
So, for now, at least until he'd made up his mind – and he told Draco the same thing – Harry decided to treat Draco by the example set.
And, for the time being, Draco had been a friend, and nothing else.
Unfortunately, the redheaded prat didn't accept this.
He turned his apparently-non-existent-ly-short fuse on Harry himself, saying how he was betraying his parents and, not long after, Harry found out that a rumour was circling, saying that he was out to finish the job he had started that night.
Not joining Voldemort, but overthrowing him and using the Dark Magic that he'd used to take out his own parents.
It was only after he'd screamed himself hoarse in his dorm room, ripping his pillows to shreds and blasting the walls with the strongest spells he could think of, that Harry finally managed to bite back with a witty remark of his own.
"Well, look at it this way: if that's true and I do become the next Dark Lord, at least it'll give the rest of you the clear-damn message that I am not here to save you from jack shit!"
Not to Harry's surprise, the way he took the insults with a grain of salt and laughed them off, soon meant that the rumours stopped circling.
Unfortunately, Weasley still hounded him…and worse, he wasn't alone.
Not only did the idiot have relatives in Gryffindor, two of whom seemed to always know where Harry was – though he secretly figured out why soon enough, given the things he knew, not that anyone else knew that he knew – and the third of whom seemed to love apparently catching Harry making trouble and deducting points from Slytherin, not to mention favouring his prick of a sibling if he was ever caught harassing Harry.
On top of that, Harry also found McGonagall seemed to follow Snape's example, but without making it personal: she ignored his attempts in her class, made him work with Weasley, who was struggling and didn't make any bones about hiding it, and also clearly favoured some bossy know-it-all whom Harry recognised as the other nuisance from the train.
Hermione Granger, as he'd learned.
However, on one particular occasion, Harry showed the brown-haired nightmare exactly what her apparent ego trip meant.
"What are you doing in here?"
"Looking for something to replace the toilet paper in Slytherin," drawled Harry, scowling darkly as he looked up to see Hermione Granger standing there, her arms laden with books and her eyes wide with apparent horror, the sight of which not only made Harry laugh, but also made Crabbe, Goyle, Theo Nott, Pansy Parkinson, not to mention Draco and two identical-looking girls named Flora and Hestia Carrow laugh at the fact that she had, apparently, actually believed him.
This small group was one that Draco himself had put together, if only to help give Harry an edge in classes like Transfiguration, since it was clear to them that their silver-clad golden boy wasn't going to get any recognition from McGonagall.
Though when Harry found out that his Dad had been one step away from becoming McGonagall's apprentice, he quickly understood why that was.
Over time, the group became more like a band of those who, like Draco, had come to realise that Harry was being sincere and deadly serious when he said that he was not here to be the hero.
While many other Slytherins interacted with Harry in the Common Room or in the classroom, the group became Harry's escape – though, from what Harry had come to notice, Pansy only seemed to tolerate him because Draco did and, apparently, they were betrothed, so he was all but stuck with her, which meant Harry was stuck – and, when they were in the library, like on the Saturday afternoon in question, their study time also became a chance for Harry to explore his potential further and seek knowledge outside the limited reach of a first-year syllabus.
Fortunately, Draco seemed to know where to look while Nott, like Hermione Granger, practically lived in the library, though, unlike her, he managed to stay out of sight, save for when the band got together.
Unfortunately, this didn't stop the brunette sticking her oar in.
"You…you shouldn't be so rude!"
"Kettle, Pot, come in, Pot?" asked Flora Carrow, her voice cool and almost-hiss-like, which gave her a chilling air.
Ironically, her sister's voice made one think of heat and fire and passion, as Hestia showed as she sneered, "What do you want, anyway, Granger? I'd have thought you'd have long-since published your compendium of homework for all your classes this year by now!"
"Well, some of us are studying," argued Granger, earning a scoff from Harry.
"And what are we doing, exactly? Playing a game of charades?"
"At least you seem to know what a book is, Potter."
"Is that supposed to be an insult?" asked Harry, rising from his seat as it became clear that the nuisance wasn't going to go away in a hurry, much to Harry's ire. "Because, for someone so clever, that was about as effective as a fart in a hurricane: fortunately, we are better than the likes of you, Granger, so we know a real insult when we give it."
"You wouldn't dare…" argued Hermione, looking to the stacks, "M-M-Madam Pince…"
"Is currently restocking the shelves in the Restricted Section," explained Nott, earning an alarmed look from Hermione.
Harry, meanwhile, smirked as he added, "Which means you're all alone, without any backup, or even your so-called brave housemates to back you up against the nest of vipers you've stumbled into, little lion cub. So, how about you tuck your tail between your legs and bugger off, before you find yourself on the wrong end of our fangs?"
"You…you won't do anything!" snapped Hermione, earning a scoff from Harry.
"And why not?"
"Y…Y…You're Harry Potter!"
"I know," said Harry, before he actually patted his waistband as he added, "Says so right here on my underwear."
As the others laughed, much to Harry's amusement – since their attitudes kind of reminded him of Dudley's gang of laughing hyenas, while Harry also found the idea that he was slowly turning into Dudley both amusing and a little revolting, seeing as how, the next thing you knew, he'd be getting fat – Hermione shook her head as she looked Harry in the eyes.
"You…you shame your parents' legacies: especially your Mother!"
"Ah, so you're a Necromancer as well as a Nuisance, are you, Granger?" asked Harry, earning a snort of amusement from Draco and the Carrows, while Harry looked to Granger as he asked, "Or are you a Psychic? A Medium? A Ghost Whisperer? Tell me, I'm curious: what, exactly, makes some arrogant, self-centred, copycat-loving creep like you so sure that she knows more about how my Mum and Dad would feel than anyone else who, apparently, talks to the dead around here?"
"Don't be stupid," argued Granger, earning a scoff from Harry.
"Stupid? Me? I'm not the one claiming that I know the wishes of the dead," replied the Slytherin boy, his voice tinged by a note of annoyance as he added, "Here's a lesson for you, Granger: dead people don't want anything, nor do they care about anything. You could say it's one of the perks of being dead and, if you can't believe me, just go and ask that half-headless horseman of yours, or how about His Grace, the Bloody Baron? Or, better yet, how about the Ravenclaw Ghost?"
"Shut up!" growled Granger furiously, clearly growing more-and-more annoyed that she wasn't getting under Harry's skin as she'd clearly hoped she would. "You…you don't know anything, Potter! You're just a lying, cheating scumbag who doesn't care about family; I bet you won't even care when I become just like your Mum!"
"So, you're going to die screaming?"
As Granger paled, she fumed, "No! I'm going to make all wizards realise that Muggle-borns are better: you don't even have electricity or logic, for God's sake! And, unlike you, when I become the newest, greatest Muggle-born ever, even Lily Potter herself would…"
To Granger's horror, Harry's wand fired off a spell she didn't know, but it did the job regardless as it seemed to fuse her lips closed, leaving her squealing through muffled lips.
"Nice shot, Harry," laughed Hestia, earning a shrug from Harry.
"Finally, someone shuts her up!" agreed Flora.
While Granger fumed and squealed in rage and disbelief, Harry scoffed, "Your feebleness is staggering, Granger; you're obviously overtired from spending all your time in this pseudo-labyrinth of mysteries and wisdom. I mean, why else would you ever think you could rise to a level that equals that of not only the brightest witch of our time, but also the bravest, strongest and, as I'm sure even they would admit, the most-noble of souls, despite her…disadvantage."
"Disadvantage, Potter?" asked Pansy, earning a nod from Harry.
"Well, as much as Mum tried to embrace magic, the fact remained that, sadly, she was tainted by Muggles, just like me," explained Harry, folding his arms in a casual manner, while he slowly sank back into his chair as he continued, "Not that she let that stop her, mind you. I mean, before she had me, she was on her way to becoming one of the youngest Charms Mistresses of the past century, not to mention how she successfully held an undefeated streak of seven years' worth of O and even O+ Grades, all of which she earned by doing her own work, not by copying from books and calling it her own work…like some Mudbloods I could mention."
Hermione's eyes widened in horror, while her face paled as Harry used the Slytherin-infamous term.
At the same time, even the other Slytherins were shocked to hear Harry badmouth Muggle-borns with that word, but Harry went on without a care in the world, "Furthermore, Miss Delusional, my Mother, Lily Alexandrea Evans, as she was back then, also managed to bridge a gap between two warring tribes, had friends in high places in certain circles and even had a trusted confidant and ally not in your bigoted, overcompensating Head of Gryffin-dork House, but in the former Head of Slytherin, Horace Slughorn himself, who even dubbed her the Potions Princess for her talents: a skill only bested by one man…hint? He teaches us now!"
"Severus?" asked Draco, earning a nod from Harry, while Draco whistled softly, "So…so when you said you knew things about him, you…you were telling the truth?"
"I've never lied about what I know and what I want," argued Harry, again looking to Hermione as he continued, "And what I want, in case you and that redheaded stalker boyfriend of yours can't figure it out, not even with all your so-called greatness, is to be left alone! To be able to be what I want to be, nobody else; not my dead parents, not their rotting corpses, not the worms eating their flesh, not the bugs crawling through their eye sockets, not the dogs pissing and shitting on their graves and not even the birds crapping on their tombstones: me!"
Dead silence gripped the library; even the other stacks seemed to have been stunned into silence, while Harry rose up one more time, advancing on Granger as he leered at her darkly.
"Tell me, Miss Know-It-All: do you know what next week is?"
Granger spat out a muffled response, thanks to Harry's spell.
Fortunately, the others weren't so incapacitated, as Nott proved, "Halloween…it's Samhain."
"Exactly," said Harry, pointing upwards as he explained, "Halloween: the night of the dead and the spiritual reverence of all that we have lost. Do you know what I am going to do on Halloween Night next week?"
Granger again tried speaking, much to the amusement of the snakes, while Harry scoffed.
"No, not mmmphmmmmfffffphmmmfffpfph…what I'm going to do next week is go to another incredibly-filling, probably even sweet-infested feast, stuff my guts until I'm probably as bulky as Vince and Greg here…no offence, boys."
"None taken," chorused the duo, though they also wore smiles, as did the others, at how cavalier Harry was.
"And then, I am going to eat more, until I throw up, at which point, I'll probably fall into a sugar coma, sleep it off, wake up with one Merlin of a tummyache and, once that's all done, I'll be ready to cheer Slytherin to victory over you thick-headed lions in the first Quidditch Match of the year. And, personally, I hope we either thrash your asses or, ideally, your boyfriend understands what real friends and family look like when my Slytherins send those thieving sons of bitches, the Weasley Twins, to the Hospital Wing where they belong…but do you know what I'm not going to do?"
Granger now actually had tears in her eyes as she shook her head.
"I am not going to waste my time, or the feast, thinking about people who aren't even here, because, newsflash, nothing will bring them back and even less will make them take me over their knees so they can spank me for being a naughty boy and because I've disappointed them! As for you being like Mum, here's how you do it…die!"
Granger ran, her tears streaming down her cheeks, while Harry scoffed before he turned back to the speechless Slytherins.
"There…maybe now, the message gets through to the thickest of heads…but since that's my stalker, who doesn't seem to want to come in here unless his girlfriend drags him in here, I won't hold my breath for the rest of them."
Chapter 2 and it looks like Harry's sent a message, but will he have to actually send a much-clearer, more-obvious one because the idiots just can't understand plain English?
Also, is he really so willing to blacklist the past, the sacrifices therein and even the honour of the fallen, just to prove he isn't a hero?
Keep Reading to Find Out
Next Chapter: Halloween comes around, but Harry's got two problems: one's a redheaded nitwit and the other is someone who thinks the tenth anniversary is an appropriate time to convince Harry not to give up: so…is this meant to be the Trick…or the Treat?
Please Read and Review
Theo Nott: Jake Abel
Flora AND Hestia Carrow: Jenna Ortega
Also, since I know at least one reviewer will moan about Harry doing what canon-Harry wouldn't – willingly calling someone a Mudblood, to name but one example – let me remind you of this story's Dark nature, as well as the fact that this Harry doesn't care about his heroic ideals, much less what people think of him.
In fact, you could say that, for the first time ever, he's getting the chance to be the rude, disrespectful rebel of a kid that has always been there inside of him.
I mean, he is the son of a bully, the cousin and nephew of a bully, a liar, a hypocrite and a rage-machine and he's also been through Hell living with the latter, so what else is he meant to be?
Nature vs Nurture?