Hermione, Malfoy and Hogwarts, Oh My!
Summary: After the final battle, the Boy Who Lived is transported back into his 11 year old body, just prior to receiving his Hogwarts Letter. Sound like every re-do fic you've ever read? It is, except for one minor detail; the Boy Who Lived is named Neville Longbottom!
Disclaimer: Is this really necessary? I don't own any of the Harry Potter Characters or settings.
Pairings: None to start, come on; they're 11 years old! Will eventually be Neville/Ginny, and Harry/Hermione.
Authors Note: This is another plot bunny that has been biting on my toes, and hopefully I can get it out of the way and get moving on my other stories.
Feedback: Of course, it helps me write faster.
September 1st; Kings Cross Station
Neville made sure he was at the station early on September 1st, he wanted to make sure that Harry was able to find the gate okay. He was glad he did; because he had only been waiting about 20 minutes when he spotted Hermione Granger, already in her robes, with two people who had to be her parents. Neville never had a chance to meet the Grangers in the previous timeline because they were killed in his 6th year. Putting his book down, he walked over to them, and said, “Hogwarts?”
Hermione's eyes lit up and she nodded, while her parents looked faintly relieved to see it really wasn't some elaborate practical joke. “I'm Neville Longbottom; and I'm just waiting for a friend to get here so we can board together, you can wait with me if you like?”
“Oh, that would be wonderful, Neville! It's going to be ever so exciting; and I'm happy to have somebody to talk to that would understand! I'm Hermione Granger, and these are my parents, Nick and Eliza Granger, they're dentists.”
Neville was mildly amused that she was able to get all of that out without taking a breath, and, turning to the Grangers, he greeted them politely. They all joined Neville where he had been sitting; and of course Hermione noticed the book he was reading, “A Guide to Wizarding Society? I haven't read that one! Can I see it please?”
“Of course,” Neville said, politely; “I was just going over it to refresh my memory, I'm sure that my friend is going to have a lot of questions when he gets here.”
“Is your friend Muggleborn like me? I have to admit; there are a lot of things I didn't really understand in my reading.”
“I can understand that, unfortunately; most of the books you would read for school assume you have enough background information to understand the material. It seems like they don't want to admit that there are getting to be more and more Muggleborn every year. And, no, Harry isn't a muggleborn; but he was raised by his relatives who are muggles. I met him in Diagon Alley and had him get a few books to give him the information he would need. In fact, if you ask him nicely, he may let you borrow them.”
“Excuse me, Neville, but, I'm concerned about something you said;” Hermione's father said;“You mentioned that people don't like to admit there are more and more Muggleborns, are you saying that Hermione will have aproblem because she doesn't come from a family of wizards?”
Neville sighed; “That's a tough question, Mister Granger, and all I can say is; there are bigots no matter where you go in life. However, a lot of the prejudice Muggleborn's encounter is simply due to the fact that they come into our world fairly ignorant of our customs, and, unfortunately; very few take the time to learn how things are done. Those that are intelligent enough to realize they have a lot to learn, and take the time to do so; like Hermione has done; will have a much easier time fitting in. In fact, that's one of the reasons I came over to greet you; besides the fact that I'm always looking to make a new friend,” he finished with an ingratiating smile.
Slightly mollified, Nick nodded, and, turning to his daughter said, “We have to get back to the office, Hermione; but send us a letter when you get there, okay? Neville, it was a pleasure meeting you; and I appreciate you explaining things to us.”
“It was my pleasure sir, by the way, did you get the instructions on how you can send letters to Hogwarts if you don't have an owl? Judging by the expression on your faces, I'd guess not. Okay, there is a mail box address in Edinburgh that you can address letters to, and they get forwarded to us at the school.” Giving them the post office address, the Grangers hugged Hermione and left the station. Hermione opened the book as soon as her parents were out of sight, and started reading while Neville watched out for Harry.
He didn't have much longer to wait, as he spotted Harry pushing a cart, while three of the ugliest human beings he ever saw stood there watching him, with an air of smelling something unpleasant on their faces. Neville got to his feet and went over to greet his friend; and help him with his cart. The relatives never said anything to Harry that Neville could hear, but, when he looked up; they had already left.
“Good to see you, Mate!” Neville said, “I've been waiting for you, and managed to make another friend. Hermione? This is my friend Harry, he's the one who has the books you are interested in.”
It didn't take long before the three of them were talking like old friends; and soon they found themselves in the last compartment of the train. They weren't there for more than a few minutes when the door slid open and a red headed boy looked in. And that was how they met Ron Weasley.
After getting snacks from the cart, and teaching Harry and Hermione the rules to Exploding Snap, it was time for the irritating part of the journey; as Malfoy and his goons shoved the door open and were their usual charming selves. Neville did his best to keep his temper, wanting to see how his new friends handled themselves. When Malfoy did his patented 'Some Families are better than others' shtick, Harry actually smirked at the ponce; saying “Oh, you mean like my friend Neville, whose family, the Longbottom's have had seats on the Wizengamot for 1100 years, which, if memory serves me; is about 600 years longer than the Malfoys, is that what you mean about some families being better than others? Or are you talking about your money? I've heard how generous your father is, it's funny how his generosity came at the same time he was cleared of being a Death Eater, isn't it? Is that what you meant? In case you haven't noticed, “Bad Faith”; yes, I've done some studying on Wizarding history; don't look so surprised, I have already decided who my friends are, and don't need a smug little ferret like you to come in here and insult my friends. Now, you can leave!” Harry said, shooing them out of the compartment. Neville waited until the door slammed shut behind the three of them before bursting into laughter.
“Oh, Harry mate! That was beautiful! I've wanted to put that prat in his place since I first had the 'pleasure' of meeting him; but you did it so much better than I ever could. Thank you!”
Ron had kept quiet during the confrontation; but was looking at Harry with something like awe on his face, and Hermione was enthralled by the way he had used the information in the books to totally destroy a bully.
Neville saw the look on Hermione's face and smirked to himself. 'Well, some things stay the same; ever if the details are different.' he mused, 'The two of them got close on the ride to Hogwarts the last time, too.'
A few more games of cards, and it was time for the rest of them to put their robes on; and get ready to arrive at Hogsmeade Station.
The boat ride was fairly uneventful, although Draco managed to fall into the water while trying to show off, and soon enough Harry, Ron and Hermione got their first look at Hogwarts Castle. Even though Neville had seen it before, it was still a breathtaking scene, and he gasped along with his friends.
Soon enough and they were lined up inside the castle, waiting to be sorted, and Neville mentioned quietly to his friends that; if you thought really hard about what house you want to be in; you have a good chance of being put there. The other three agreed to try and be in the same house, and Hermione said that she was going to try to be in Gryffindor; because she had read that was Professor Dumbledore's house when he was in school. The others agreed, because their parents were in Gryffindor as well.
** Insert Your Favorite Sorting Hat Song Here***
The sorting went as it always does, and even though the Hat paused when deciding where to place Neville, he soon joined Hermione at the Gryffindor Table, as did Harry and Ron when their turns came.
After all of them were seated, Neville glanced up at the Head Table, and did a double take. 'Wait a minute, where's Slughorn? And who's the greasy bat? At least Quirrellmort is here, and he's got the turban on, so at least that hasn't changed. The grease ball must be the replacement Potions Professor, wonder if he's as good as Sluggy was?'
Hearing a quiet groan from Harry; he looked over and saw him rubbing his scar. 'Oh bugger! He must have the same connection to Quirrellmort that I did! I've got to get him studying Occulmency; so he can block the bugger out.' Putting his hand on Harry's shoulder, he pulled Harry's attention away from the Head Table, and Quirrell's malevolent gaze. “You alright, mate?”
“Yeah, just a headache, I guess I'm more tired than I thought, it's been a long day.”
“That's for sure! Well, I'm sure they will be taking us up to the tower pretty soon, so you can kip out if you want.”
“If my head still hurts when we finish, I will, but I really do want to get some more reading done before we start classes.”
“Are you sure you aren't supposed to be in Ravenclaw?” Neville teased.
The four of them laughed and started eating. The pain on Harry's face eased considerably as time went on, and soon was joking and laughing with the rest of his friends. Neville didn't say anything more, but was more determined than ever to help his friend keep Voldemort out of his head.
End Chapter Three