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As night fell, the common room of Gryffindor got filled with noise and laughter.
The Gryffindor Common Room was a cozy space filled with comfortable furniture, windows with bright red curtains, and a roaring fire that kept the room warm and inviting. The walls were painted a deep red, with golden accents from the house's crest above the fireplace.
The figures in the paintings and portraits were like real, living people. They would tell stories of the past, give advice, and even gossip about what was happening in the wizarding world.
But in the common hall, a peculiar sight had been spotted by a select few. While everything else surrounded the boy-who-lived, nobody paid any attention to the boy-who-eats.
'They don't hate me, just afraid of the name—such a bunch of kids.'
Feeling the eyes of his peers on him, Happy knew why they looked at him that way—he was the new kid, and his name carried a particular reputation.
"Why are they ignoring you? Why did Neville attack you? Everyone says you come from a dark wizard family...?" Hermione walked up to Happy and asked, sitting right across the tea table.
She didn't see Happy as a bad person, since he was very polite to her before on the train. However, she keenly noticed that there were things that she didn't know, so her curiosity got the better of her.
Happy, who was busy gobbling down some chocolate cream puffs, slowed down a bit.
He didn't have an ounce of negativity in him. "They're not wrong. My family is synonymous with evil. You can find evidence of this in current history books or the Daily Prophet. I'm the only free Lestrange left. The rest are either dead or are facing their punishment in Azkaban. Honestly, it's a waste. The Ministry should have given them the death sentence. Why give them a chance to run away?"
Hermione gasped and covered her mouth. "That is rather distressing. I hope you are doing well. But don't you have any family left? Not even distant?"
"None at all. My parents are gone. I've got two brothers, and they're in prison. So that leaves me, the crazy rich young lord of the Lestrange house." Happy proudly said as he picked up some more puffs.
But he didn't enjoy it that much anymore.
Happy squinted at the array of dishes laid out on the long dining table. He turned to Hermione and complained, "Hermione, don't you think Hogwarts should have a wider menu? It's a shame we never have anything different to eat around here. Like, why couldn't we have some Italian, Chinese, Indian, or Japanese? I'm sure they're all delicious!"
Hermione looked at him with worry. "Aren't you bothered by it? They're whispering about you."
Happy chuckled and passed her a chocolate puff, "Me? Bothered? Won't it all be sorted out if I just stay out of the way? After all, they'll soon realize I'm no danger. So let's just forget all this fuss and enjoy our time."
Happy and Hermione settled into a cozy corner of the common room, munching away on treats.
As they ate and chatted, Hermione told Happy about her family of dentists and how she had once dreamed of following in their footsteps — until the letter came, and a much more magical future opened up before her.
Happy saw an opportunity and seized it, "Ah, so you enjoy reading. Well, since I'm the head of one of the oldest families in the wizarding community right now, if you'd like, I can allow you to read in my library. There are a lot of books in there that are unavailable in Hogwarts, or even in the restricted section."
One could almost see stars burst out of Hermione's eyes, "Really? You'd let me do that?"
Happy grinned, giving a thumbs up. "All I really care about is food, so if I'm able to lend you a helping hand, of course, you'll have to feed me in return!"
"Heh, sure. I'm sure I can afford that much." She chuckled.
Although it had only just begun, a strong and lasting friendship was forged between them right then and there.
Soon, as the clock hit nine, they all headed to their respective assigned rooms. In no time, a much-needed rest descended upon Happy.
He curled up in his bed with Koko near his legs, comforted by an extra-large pillow, and allowed himself to drift off into a peaceful slumber. The day had been a roller coaster of emotions, from thrilling highs to confusing lows. But now, finally, the day's weariness had taken its toll, and all could be forgotten in a blissful sleep.
All he wished for now was to sort things out with Neville.
The morning sun cast its beautiful light across the grounds of Hogwarts School, illuminating the majestic buildings and welcoming the students to their first day.
Excitement and anticipation filled the air as students made their way to their classes.
For Happy, the jitters were extra strong. The day would start with Professor Snape's class, and he was both eager and apprehensive of what the enigmatic professor had in store, especially when he remembered that Snape had also been eyeing him throughout the feast last night.
Severus Snape had always been a man of many secrets. He had been the Potions Master at Hogwarts for over ten years, and during that time, he had managed to keep his true nature hidden from almost all of his students. He was not one to be swayed by the opinions of others, a man who was thought of as evil but turned out to be chaotic neutral, despite his appearance.
Happy entered the classroom and took a seat right next to Draco while Ron, Harry, and Hermione sat behind them. Each of them had a small cauldron on their desk.
"Eating chocolates in Professor Snape's class?" Draco caught Happy secretly opening a chocolate wrapper beside him.
In response, Happy glanced at Draco's face as if the blonde boy had stolen his kidney. Begrudgingly, Happy broke the chocolate into two and extended one. "Want some?"
Draco gulped, torn between being sane and being friendly with Happy 'Lestrange'. But finally, he gave in. "Thank you."
The moment Draco munched, Happy smirked. "Now, both of us will be in trouble if caught."
The door to the classroom swung open.
"There will be no foolish wand-waving or silly incantations in this class..." Snape took large strides and walked towards the teacher position with a 'no-nonsense' look.
"... As such, I don't expect many of you to appreciate the subtle science or the exact art of potion making; However, for those select few... who possess the predisposition..." He suddenly eyed Happy as he continued his speech.
Meanwhile, Harry was busy writing down each word since he wanted to be diligent and didn't want to be left behind. While Happy was busy chewing on something in secret while watching Snape talk as if it was a movie scene.
"I can teach you how to bewitch the mind and ensnare the senses. I can tell you how to bottle fame, brew glory, and even put a stopper in death. Then again, maybe some of you have come to Hogwarts in possession of abilities so formidable that you feel confident enough not to pay attention!"
Hermione noticed that Snape eyed Harry as he said the last sentence and poked him in the back.
"Mister Potter, one of our celebrities..." Snape came closer to Harry and Happy's desk.
"Tell me, what would I get if I added powdered root of Asphodel to an infusion of Wormwood?"
Hermione instantly raised her hand in excitement. Happy stopped chewing and quickly swallowed, not wanting to get caught, while Ron just rolled his eyes.
Harry shook his head, confirming he didn't know.
"Alright. Mister Potter, let's try again. Where would you look if I asked you to find me a bezoar?"
"I don't know, Sir," Harry answered with a low voice, feeling a bit embarrassed.
Snape slightly shook his head, "Pity. Clearly, fame isn't everything, is it, Mister Potter?"
'Haha! Classic!' Happy smiled ear to ear, seeing the scene personally. He could feel why Harry hated the man now.
But then Snape turned his attention to him.
"Now tell me, Mister Lestrange. What is the difference between monkshood and wolfsbane?" Snape asked, as he took a closer step to Happy's part of the table, looking down on him while he stood there.
"Monkshood and wolfsbane are probably the same plants. They also have a cool name... Aconite!" Happy remembered almost every tidbit about the Harry Potter world since he was a true fan.
"What's the name of the potion that temporarily grants the user good luck?"
"What ingredients are used?" Snape's eyes squinted at him.
"Ashwinder egg, Horseradish, Squill bulb juice, parts of a Murtlap, dash of tincture of Thyme, Occamy eggshell, powdered common rue, and Felixempra incantation!"
"When was the first known use of it?" Snape's eyes squinted even further.
Happy paused for a moment. He didn't know the answer to that as this was about world history that wasn't common in the novels.
In a panic, he looked down at his desk, where he had opened his potions book. There, in plain view, the book was opened on a page that explained the history of potions. Due to his powerful luck, he had the information ready for him.
"By Tertius...in the 16th century!"
Snape raised a single brow for a few seconds in a slightly scrutinizing, slightly amazed look.
He suddenly turned around and headed back to the large main cauldron of the class. He then turned back to the first years and looked at their dumbfounded expressions, "Well? Why aren't you all copying that down? Just because it's not in your first-year syllabus does not mean it's useless."
The students quickly pulled out their books and quills while Happy smiled and proceeded to secretly open another chocolate secretly to celebrate.
"Five points for Gryffindor." Snape suddenly added.
'Hmm… I wonder if he considers me a spy Voldemort has planted or something.' Happy wondered as he remembered the complex relationships Snape had with the dark wizards and Dumbledore.
Soon, the lesson seemed to have flown by in the blink of an eye, and the students prepared to go their separate ways. But as they began to disperse, one particular student was called back by the potions professor.
"Not you, Mister Lestrange."
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Special thanks to *DougErNuts* *Franklin Walley* *Qul* *phong thanh nguyen* *Dillon Tyler* *andy cohen* *Martin Bosley* *Jason Jimenez* *Devor*