That evening Harry Inverse entered the common room with Kora wound around his left arm, her head resting gently on his shoulder.
"Is that a snake?" one of the older students asked.
Harry blinked. "What else would it be?"
"What's that?" Percy Weasley came down the stairs from the boy's dormitory. "Someone has a snake? That's not allowed!" He caught Harry's eye, or more accurately Kora's.
"I have permission!" Harry called quickly. "Hagrid got her for me and took care of all the rules."
Percy relaxed slightly, but he still looked her over disapprovingly.
Kora flicked her tongue at Percy. "He smells like a prat," she hissed. "I'm going to curl up by the fire."
Harry held his right arm out to the fireplace mantle and Kora slithered over his shoulders, pausing to flick his ear affectionately with her tongue, down his arm and onto the warm stonework. She blended into the Gryffindor colors perfectly.
A fact which wasn't lost on other viewers. "She's quite pretty," Hermione offered reluctantly. "You sure you're allowed to have her?"
"Hagrid is," Harry said with conviction. "Besides, it's not like I'm the only one with a different pet. Ron has a rat, remember?"
"Hey yeah, rats aren't on the list," Ron said, looking to Percy. The elder Weasley blanched; Scabbers had originally been his rat. "So I guess there is some leeway after all."