Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Prisoner of Hogwarts

Chapter 3

by C_P_Apprentice 19 reviews

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama,Humor,Romance - Characters: Draco,Ron - Warnings: [!] [?] - Published: 2011-08-16 - Updated: 2011-08-16 - 9332 words

Even though Harry had packed everything the night before with the help of Tonks and gone to bed early enough so that he wouldn’t be late, he was still going to be woken up rather early. While he had gone to his room early in the night, despite the protests of Ron and a small meek little protest from Ginny, he hadn’t gotten to actual bed until much later in the evening. He was kept up first from reading and making sure that he had everything he could need for the coming school year and then by Tonks coming in for a little fun on the last night that they would be able to be together. It was a groggy young man that started to come around early in the morning with a sleeping woman resting on top of his chest naked just as she had after that first night that they were together.

While the two lovers had agreed that this wasn’t anything serious, that it was just about a physical relationship, both recognized that they were attracted to one another. Each recognized that it was going to hurt being away from the other one as they had gotten to know one another rather well over the few weeks that Harry had been staying at the house. It was with heavy hearts that they talked the night before about how to get together during the year and had come to the conclusion that this was nothing more than sex and if they could pursue others than they would gladly do so.

Harry smiled as he ran his fingers through the golden brown hair of the woman on his chest remembering the previous night as he started to stir between his legs. Ignoring his rising morning problem he gently rolled Tonks onto her stomach and let her cuddle into the pillow while he slipped out of the bed and headed for the shower so that he was ready for the day to come. The shower was communal and located just down the hall from his room so he thought nothing of walking there and back in nothing but a towel. It was still rather early in the morning, but he still got the impression that he was being watched as he returned to his room to get dressed for the day and for the coming trip.

Even though he had voiced the opinion of packing early the night before and even that the rest of the family should get up early and finish packing Harry laughed along with Tonks when the Weasleys finally did get up. The pair had found their way into the kitchen early to start in on breakfast and was sitting enjoying mugs of coffee while watching the chaos around them. Ginny had lost one of her shoes and was moving around the house in her stocking feet skidding on the flooring trying to find it. Ron had slept in late and had shoveled food into his mouth as he worked around packing the rest of his trunk. The twins were enjoying the chaos as much as the other pair was, even if they had to pack as well and were setting off fireworks here and there just to add to the noise and general atmosphere of the house.

How they all managed to make it to the platform on time and with everything that they needed, Harry would never really know, but he did leave Nym on the platform with a hug and a kiss to the cheek. He got a glare from Mrs. Weasley for it, but he felt it was worth it before he boarded the train with only a few seconds to spare before it took off. He got a few stares and comments on his muggle attire as he walked to the train, but no one was saying anything to his face or stopping him as he hopped onto it with his trunk in tow.

He carried the trunk past several promising looking compartments filled with giggling girls that would look at him and then blush and dissolve into more giggles. Finally he found a compartment near the end of the train that didn’t contain anyone. Sliding his trunk unto the luggage rack he sagged into the bench as he stared out the window and sighed. He rubbed idly on the right wrist holster that held his wand, but didn’t reveal it even in the hot summer weather. He had worn long sleeved so that he could hide the holster for the time being, an idea given to him by Nym as she was saying goodbye.

He had settled into the compartment and stretched out along the bench with his back against the window before too long. He was slowly starting to doze off when he heard the latch on the door start to click and the door itself slide apart. Cracking his eye open slightly he stared into the face of a girl around his own age with bushy brunette hair already wearing her robes and a silver badge on her lapel that had the letter P. She stared into the compartment for a moment looking around as if she was lost before staring at him; she didn’t seem to notice that he was watching her back through lidded eyes as she stared at him and took in his body. She started to worry her lip between her teeth as he looked up and down the carriage before stepping inside and looking down at him again.

She came over and bumped the bench and his thigh. Taking this as a cue he exaggerated a yawn and stretched his arms over his head. Opening his eyes he smiled at her and she seemed slightly shocked, but blushed beautifully down the front of her robes. “Are we there already?”

“What? No…I just…uhm…” She chewed on her lip for a moment as she looked at his hair and her eyes flickered up to his forehead. “Are you really Harry Potter?”

Harry groaned and crossed his arms over his chest as he waited for her to say anything else. “I am, but I hardly see it as any of your business.”

She looked down a little more subdued and toed at the carpet for a moment. She was going to say something more when the door to the compartment opened again and in walked a haughty looking blonde boy with two trolls on either side of him. The boy looked to the girl beside him and snnered a little; Harry could see the girl shrink away from him a little and then skitter out of the compartment closing the door behind her. Sighing a little Harry stood and looked the boy up and down before being addressed.

“You must be Harry Potter. Malfoy is the name, Draco Malfoy.” The blonde boy stuck out his hand and Harry stared at him for a moment. “Don’t mind the riffraff and the mudbloods at the school, you’ll need some powerful friends to get through this war, and that’s exactly what I am, a powerful friend.”

Harry cocked his head to the side and smiled slightly. “Exactly how are you a powerful friend, Mister Malfoy?”

The blonde boy puffed out his chest importantly as he looked down his nose at Harry before him. “There are only a few individuals at the school that could claim they lead the rest of the students and I am one of them. I am not a man to be easily angered as I can make your time here very short and very miserable. There are certain people here that you should not associate with, and I can help you with that.” He stuck out his hand waiting.

Harry stared at the hand and stuck his own into the pockets of his jeans as he got closer to the young man. “Exactly what kind of people do you think I should be avoiding exactly.” He was little more than a hair’s breath away from the boy now and he was slowly moving backwards as if he were afraid to even touch Harry.

“Mudbloods, and blood traitors of course. Those that would go against the natural order of things.” Malfoy still sneered even as he took a step back away from Harry.

Harry smirked a little as he brought up his hand and poked Malfoy in the chest forcing the other boy to move backwards another step. “What exactly is a blood traitor and a mudblood?”

“How can you not know of these things? You come from a well respected pureblood family, surely they taught you something.” Malfoy sneered as he stared at him. “That’s right, your family was all killed. All the more reason why you should stick with me.”

Malfoy expected Harry to react in anger, even to lash out against the injustice of the loss of his family, but he merely shrugged and took a step back away from the blonde boy. “I didn’t know of them all that well. Besides, you seem more than just a petty bully that enjoys picking on those people you feel are below you. I bet you couldn’t hold your own in a real fight.”

Malfoy moved backwards quickly drawing his wand from within the left sleeve of his robe. The curse that he was going to utter died on his lips as Harry knocked his hand to the side and struck out hitting him in the chest. The force of the blow sent him sprawling back into his two bodyguards behind him. Still gasping for breath, Malfoy drew himself back up, but tripped on his large friends and fell backwards. Just as he was falling the door to the compartment opened causing the three Slytherin students to crash backwards into another student into the hallway.

Harry laughed as he pulled the door closed once more with his left hand as his right was closed around something. Pulling up his hand he examined the purple velvet bag that was resting in the palm of his hand. The bag had a gold seal with an embossed M on the side of it and tied at the top with what appeared to be spun gold fiber that clinched closed. He weighed it in his hand for a moment and then stared at it before he started to pull on the twin ends of the string. He stopped when he heard movement outside of the compartment once more. The door slid open to admit the smiling face of Ron Weasley.

“I just saw Malfoy’s face in the corridor. Good one, mate.” Ron came forward and clapped Harry on the shoulder as he smiled even broader. “I tell you, that slimy snake has been terrorizing Hogwarts for years, but not now with you and I working together.”

Harry raised an eyebrow for a moment and then stepped out of Ron’s hand and watched it fall to his side. “Listen Weasley, we’re not friends, not even acquaintances. You had a chance to get to know me while we were living together for so long over the summer, but you didn’t. You and your creepy little sister stalked me the entire time.”

Ron’s face turned red in less than a second as he balled up his hands into tight fists. “You take that back, Potter. I’m the only friend you’re going to have in this school once everyone finds out where we found you.” He growled as he started to go for his wand, but stopped when Harry pulled out the velvet bag.

Harry held the bag in front of him with the gold M facing away from Ron. “Here, Weasley, some money for your time and effort. Just leave me alone for the rest of the train ride and then we’ll talk later, deal?” He tossed it to the redhead and then moved to sit back down on the bench to look out the window. He didn’t even look up when he heard the door to the compartment opening and then closing again.

It was a few seconds later when he saw a flash of red out of the corner of his eye and the strangled scream of someone out in the corridor. He still didn’t move his head to look in the direction of the rather feminine scream that had emanated from just outside of his door. He watched as the countryside slowly slipped past the window as the train continued to travel what he assumed to be north bound. Slowly the houses got larger and the spaces between them were larger and larger as the farms would stretch out continually. Occasionally they would cross over a muggle road and he could make out cars with people staring at the tracks as if they couldn’t simply see the train, but knew enough to stop when the small clanging warning bells could be heard.

He was just slipping towards slumber when he heard the click and the sliding of the compartment door once more. He didn’t even both looking up as he continued to look out of the window and waited until the door had closed again before he looked up. Standing in the middle of the compartment were two girls. They looked to be around fifth year based on their development and the way that they carried themselves and were already wearing their Hogwarts robes. One girl’s robes had the a red and gold crest while the other was blue and bronze; the one with the blue and bronze patch had a silver pin with the letter P pinned to the left side of her well endowed chest. The most satisfying thing, for Harry, was the fact that they were identical twins.

The twin in the red and gold sat down on the bench opposite him first while the other twin started to speak. “We know that you probably want to be left alone, especially if the rumors about what you did to Malfoy and Weasley are anything to go by, but…” She paused for a moment worrying her bottom lip between her teeth for a moment before speaking again. “On behalf of some of the more mature students, we would like to talk to you and get to know a little more about you.”

Harry looked up and down at the pair of them and then slowly nodded as he waved the girl to sit on either bench. She choose to sit down next to her sister as he looked them over again. “I guess I can appreciate that. I will start out by saying a few things though that might answer most of your questions and then if you still have others we can work something out.” The girls looked between themselves and then nodded. Harry took a deep breath before he looked at both of them in the eyes. “Yes, I am famous, but not that I ever knew it until a few weeks ago. No, I don’t remember anything about that night, and I’ve spent the last fourteen years in the muggle world so pardon me if I don’t know many things about being a wizard.”

The girls shared a quick look before the one with the red and gold patch turned back to him and stared into his eyes. He got a feeling that she was looking for something so he tilted his head slightly to the side to give her a better look at the scars on his face, particularly the lightning bolt and a few others on his forehead. “I guess that answers a lot of what we wanted to know, but we also wanted to talk to you about Hogwarts in general. Since you’re going to be a new student at fifteen you might want to know a few things first.” Harry made a motion with his hand for her to continue.

The other twin picked up her sister’s manner of speaking as she leaned forward. “First of all I guess we should introduce ourselves. I’m Padma, and that’s Parvati.” The girl in red and gold smiled prettily and gave a small wave, but didn’t interrupt her sister. “I suppose the first thing that you should know is about the various houses, do you know about them?”

Harry nodded a little and then spoke. “I know of their names and a little of what they stand for, but there wasn’t much information to gain where I was staying over the summer. I know that most of the Dark Lords in the past have been from Slytherin including Voldemort.” He ignored the shivers that the girls gave off when he said the name.

Padma seemed to come back to herself faster than her sister as she nodded. “Slytherin stands mostly for cunning and ambition. Gryffindors are brave and bold while Ravenclaws are mostly dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. Hufflepuffs are mostly about loyalty and hard work. You’ll find out that there are both good and bad people in each of the houses.”

Harry nodded. “I’ve already met a meek Gryffindor and an overly bearing Slytherin and Gryffindor so I guess I can understand that.”

Parvati sighed as she leaned back in the seat and crossed her arms over her chest and stared at the floor. “Malfoy would be the Slytherin I’m guessing and by his temper I suppose that Weasley was the Gryffindor. They’re the main source of entertainment and terror for most of the rest of the school.”

“Entertainment I can see, but why terror?” Harry moved a little and settled on the bench, stretching his legs out somewhat.

“Weasley is generally called the firecracker because of his quick temper. He’s more likely to go for his wand first and use his brain second, or not at all.” Parvati was speaking with a hint of anger in her voice. “I tried to date him last year, but he was so possessive it smothered me. Then when I told him I didn’t want to go out with him because of his temper he screamed at me and made it seem like I was a slag for it.”

Padma gently slipped an arm round her sister even as Harry reached forward and took the girl’s hand into his. He had some experience with crying girls, but didn’t say anything as Padma took to speaking next. “Malfoy struts around the school like he owns the place proclaiming that his father will get him out of any trouble that he might get into. Trouble is that he’s mostly right. The Slytherins are given a much wider margin than the rest of us specifically because the Headmaster believes that they need guidance and not punishment as well as the head of their house favors them above all else.”

Harry shook his head a little. “Unbelievable, even in a so called advanced society. I got a little taste of what you’re talking about when I was forced to come here, myself.”

“Forced?” Padma scrunched up her nose a little as Parvati sat forward and stared into Harry’s eyes.

“When I was released into the custody of a young woman that I consider a dear friend now, her boss is the Headmaster. He said that I would have to come to school since I’m still underage and she works almost full time. She wouldn’t have time to tutor me or really take care of me so I have to go to Hogwarts.” He shrugged. “Besides the creepy stalker Weasley, the one that tries to blow me up, and Malfoy acting like I’m scum, so far it hasn’t been that bad.”

Parvati giggled a little putting a hand to her mouth. “Yes, I suppose the stalker is the littlest Weasley, Ginny I think her name is.” Harry nodded and she sighed a little. “She hasn’t been quite right since her first year, our second. No one really knows what happened, but she won’t talk about it.”

“You mentioned before that you had met a meek Gryffindor.” Padma asked, bringing the conversation back to the present. “Would you mind telling us who that was?”

Harry shrugged as he leaned back on the bench and groaned, stretching his arms above his head that pulled on the shirt. “I didn’t get her name. She was very timid and asked if I was Harry Potter before shuffling off at a look from Malfoy. I think that she might have had one of those silver pins on her robes though as well.” He pointed to Padma’s pin and she shook her head as her sister started to speak.

“That was probably the female prefect for Gryffindor fifth years, Hermione Granger. Unfortunately, Weasley is the male for that year.” She waved off him before he was going to say something. “The others weren’t really qualified and we all think that his mother had more to do with him getting the pin than anything else. He makes Granger do all the work for him and she’s such a pushover that she does it without complaint.”

“Why doesn’t she stand up for herself?”

“She used to. She was an energetic young girl in our first year always wanting to answer the questions before anyone else. Something happened that made her a little scared of her own shadow for a while. There was talk that her parents even wanted to pull her from Hogwarts, but she came back the next year more subdued. It’s been a slow degradation over time, but I think it has more to do with who she interacts with.”

“What do you mean?” Harry was interested in the bushy brown haired girl that had almost looked hopeful to really meet him before scurrying off.

“The Slytherins, Malfoy in particular, take pleasure in taunting and teasing her. A few of the Gryffindors stand up for her here and there, but some of them have gotten into the habit as well. Weasley is the most infamous of those that like to torment her, especially if she tries to answer questions in class. It’s gotten to the point where she has very few friends, if any at all, and doesn’t speak in class unless the professor asks her something specific.”

Padma nodded a little and sighed. “We’ve all tried to get her to come out of her shell over the years, but we’re only ridiculed by our own houses as well as the Slytherins for even trying. It’s gotten to the point where we can’t openly side with her or a few others unless we want to be pranked rather cruelly.”

“I guess that covers the others at Hogwarts and some of their motives, but what about your own?” At the confused looks he smiled a little and sat back crossing his arms over his chest. “Why are you two the one’s that came in here to tell me all of this and not the Head Boy or Girl?”

Padma shared a small ghost of a smile while her sister still looked a little confused. “I’m glad that you picked up on that. We want to help you throughout your school years, but mostly we wanted to see what you were really like.” Her sister nodded, but didn’t add anything more. “For a lot of us you represent hope. Hope for the rest of the world as well as for Hogwarts here. There is a war going on right now, and like it or not that war has spilled over into Hogwarts.”

Her sister sighed as Parvati started speaking. “The children of Death Eaters walk among the children of those light sided people trying to put as stop to the tyranny. A lot of us think that you’re going to come sweeping in here and make some radical changes.” She held up her hands to stop him from speaking. “We know that you’re just a normal teen that wants a normal life, believe it or not, we understand.”

“Being magical twins puts quite a bit of pressure on us from both this world as well as our home country.” Padma shifted so that her robes opened a little to show the skirt that she was wearing that fell down to almost her knees. “The point is, we want to help in anyway that we can, and we know that there are others that want to and can help in many discrete ways.”

Harry nodded and smiled. “One last question, I promise.” The girls nodded as one and waited for Harry to ask it. “You’ve helped me out a lot with all this Hogwarts information, and I would love to help, but I do wonder. Are you doing all of this to get on my good side for something down the line? What I mean is, are you hoping that I’ll be dating or shagging either of you at some point this year?”

The girls turned a beet red and seemed to stare at their laps for a moment to collect their thoughts before Parvati spoke up. “I won’t say that the idea didn’t cross my mind, but I’m in a relationship with someone wonderful right now and I don’t want to compromise that.”

Padma smiled and nodded. “Not that we don’t find you attractive, Harry, and I’m sure that the girls will be falling all over themselves to get to you, but we’re not really interested in you like that right now. Perhaps in the future if things start going better, maybe, but not right now.”

Harry smiled and nodded. “I can accept that. Now, what were you saying about people pulling pranks on the rest of the school?” He adopted an evil looking smile that caused the twins to rethink some of their assertions before as all three of them bent forward to put their heads together in the middle of the compartment.


Harry left the train with the twins and were split off from them when the carriages arrived. Padma, it seemed, had to go up to the castle with a small contingent of second years to help them along since, as a prefect, it was expected that she would help them. Parvati traveled up to the castle with her friends, and was a little ashamed that they wouldn’t let Harry come with them. They only saw the scruffy looking boy in muggle clothing and not the scar in the dimming light of the night. Far from being upset about it all, Harry was actually excited to see the Hogwarts without anyone clouding his perception of it, and while it made him mad that people would treat others that way, he knew it was the norm in the center and would more than likely be so here, given the people he had already met on the train.

He got a carriage to himself, much to the consternation of some of the other students. As he was riding up to the castle he kept his senses open for anything that was important. He kept going over what the twins had told him on the train about the various people that he would encounter before too long and the politics being played out in the school. Almost immediately he came to the conclusion that this place was no better than the center had been, regardless of their talk of high society and being better than the normal people. As the carriage slid up to the front doors he knew that he was going to have to do something different.

He gave the things pulling the carriage a pat behind the wing joints and behind the head; he didn’t know what they were as they weren’t any horses he had ever seen, but after being introduced to the magical world he felt that nothing would scare him now. He headed inside with his robes on and waited patiently in the entrance hall to be told what to do. Dumbledore had said that someone would be by to escort him into the waiting area that the first years would use before the sorting and he would be sorted with their class. He was told that while technically he was to room and go to classes with the other fifth years, he would be sorted with the first years before the entire school. This, he knew, was absolutely tosh.

The black haired sallow faced man that had insulted him before was waiting in a dark alcove just off one of the side hallways when he entered. The man sneered at him before walking towards him in the entrance hall. Harry wasn’t impressed by the billowing robes or the hunched sinister look that the man gave off, but had to give him some credit as a few of the older students shivered and hurried past them. When he came up closer to Harry, the man sneered even more, his face becoming more evil looking and sunken as he did so.

“Mister Potter, our new celebrity. So nice to see the rich and famous coming down to the level of us mere commoners.” The man sneered and snickered a little. “I am Professor Snape, the Potions Master and Head of Slytherin House. While I’m sure that as a Potter you expect to be treated differently than the rest of us, you’ll be sorted with the first years.” He turned away and walked quickly towards a small ante chamber off the main entrance hall.

Harry hurried to catch up with the man, and followed him into the small room, keeping his hands close to the weapons he had concealed on the way in. He knew from years at the center that you never go into a situation completely blind, and while he had his wand he didn’t know how to use it properly yet. He had read up on various curses and jinxes, but he didn’t know how to really use it in a combat situation. This was why he had smuggled in a few knives and things that he had fashioned himself over the summer.

Snape threw open the door to the chamber, letting it bang hard against the wall. “You will wait in here, Potter.” He stepped away from the door and indicated the small room beyond. “Professor McGonagall will be by shortly with the new students.”

Harry gave a small nod and moved into the room, pulling the door closed into the face of Snape. Harry was sure that he was going to say another acidic comment, but the slamming of the door prevented such. He gave a small smirk as he imagined the man’s look before he moved to the back of the room and leaned up against the cool stones of the wall. The room was circular about fifteen feet across and didn’t seem to be able to hold many people all at once. Even with the relative size of the eleven year olds, he didn’t think that the room could hold an entire first year class of children.

His musings on the size of the school population was interrupted as the door was pulled open once more and a line of small children came into the room followed by a stern looking woman with a pointed hat on her head. Harry fought not to roll his eyes at the absurdity of wearing a pointed black hat within the school, but kept his comments to himself. Quite a few of the girls seemed to find their way back to him and crowded around him while the boys almost were repelled by the same unknown force. He caught the eye of one small girl and she blushed before shuffling her feet and looking away. At her actions there was a small pinch of pain at his side before he looked up at the older woman whom was speaking.

“Welcome to Hogwarts. The start of term banquet will begin shortly, but before you take your seats in the Great Hall, you must be sorted into your houses. The Sorting is a very important ceremony…” Harry tuned her out at this point for a time until she seemed to be close to being done. “..few minutes in front of the rest of the school. I suggest that you all smarten yourselves up as you can while you wait.” (Dialogue taken from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Chapter 7).

“You don’t suppose they’re going to make us do magic this early in the year, do you?” One nervous looking little boy hiccupped as he was speaking to another that looked equally as pale. A few of the pureblood students stood sneering off to the side of the room at the others that looked distinctly nervous about the entire thing.

Harry rolled his eyes as he knelt down next to a small boy that was muttering to himself next to him. He gently tapped the boy on the shoulder that nearly jumped three feet in the air. “You have nothing to worry about the sorting; it’s just some stupid old hat that you have to try on.” He had been nervous about the ceremony as well, but would never admit it to anyone; Tonks had told him about the entire thing during one of their post-coital bliss moments.

“You just have to try on a hat?” A small redheaded girl nearby was pulling at her pigtails and staring up at him with awe in her eyes. “My brothers were going on about how I would have to transfigure a rock into a puppet.” She scowled and walked off muttering to herself.

“Is that really all that you have to do?” The small boy whom Harry had startled looked back towards him. “I’m a muggleborn and I never even knew that magic was real up until a few weeks ago.”

“Me too, you have nothing to worry about.” Harry smiled as he patted the kid on the shoulder again and stood back up to work out the soreness in his legs that he had gotten from kneeling for so long.

McGonagall had come back for the children and Harry followed at the back of the small line of children partially to make sure that none of them were left behind, but mostly so that he could get a good look at everyone. When they entered the large Great Hall he could hear the exclamations from the small first years in front of him, but he could also hear the breaking out of whispers when he came through the doors. He pulled his long hair back off the nape of his neck a little so that it would be enough to cover his forehead scars. He had grown his hair long during the summer specifically for this purpose, but it was still long from his time at the center.

The elderly professor was already setting up the stool with the hat on it as Harry took a look around the Great Hall at the students and the large high table with the professors. He caught the eye of a toad looking woman near the end of the table in a horrible looking pink cardigan; she sneered at him and shuffled in her seat so that she was pointedly looking away from him. He didn’t listen to McGonagall as she was already calling out names as he looked at the other teachers in turn ending at an elderly woman at the other end that was speaking to Professor Snape.

“Potter, Harry.” McGonagall’s voice broke through his musings as he slipped past a few of the smaller first years towards the front of the line. Not only were the smaller one’s staring at him, but he could now hear more of the whispers from before now not even trying to be discrete about it at all.

Groaning he came to the front and took the stool, letting the hat drop onto his head. The hat seemed a little too small for him and rested on the top of his head for a moment before he started to hear the voice in the back of his mind. It was a little disconcerting to have someone else listening to your every thoughts, but he let the thing do it as he had been told by Tonks what would happen. He knew that even those he had told about what this was going to be would be terrified if they were new to the world to be talked to by an inanimate object.

“Ah, Mister Potter. It should have been you seated up here some time ago, but I suppose there’s nothing to do, but sort you now. Although you were supposed to be sorted privately and not in front of the entire school before the start of term.”

Harry groaned and thought about all the things he could do to Dumbledore and ways not to get caught. The hat laughed a little and bobbed on his head as if it were nodding. “Normally I would get that reaction from the purebloods, but you are quite right about me after all. While I enjoy my job, I do understand that it is quite a bit much for the muggle born to be introduced to us like this. I guess we should now get to your sorting then. Difficult, very difficult. You seem to have plenty of courage, and are loyal to those that you consider to be your closest confidents. Not many true friends, but I’m sure that will change with time. You want to prove yourself while….” The hat seemed to laugh almost loudest at this point. “…yes, I see that you want revenge already on a few people, and I commend you for wanting to get the Headmaster, not even the Marauder’s could do that, but where to place you?”

Harry thought as he looked around the room making sure that the hat could hear him. I’m not really sure I care where I end up considering I don’t really want to be here.

The hat moved on his head again as if it were nodding in agreement with his sentiment. When the voice came back into his ear it seemed like there was a small amount of satisfaction and a little amusement in it. “The old man assigned a fifth year prefect, a girl prefect, to show you around the castle once you’re sorted. It’s his hope that you might start to fall for the girl if you spend so much time with her and you’ll be encouraged to stick around for longer than just this year.”

Harry grinned a little at that and hopped that the others around the room that he was in could see it. He didn’t care how much time he was sitting up there and figure he might as well get some dirt on the old man while he was at it. Anything else you can tell me about his high lordedness?

The hat laughed in his ear openly now before the voice was back. “Not at this moment, but if you were to go to the fourth floor and visit with a painting of a nice young man in a blue robe, you might want to mention that I sent you that way. Now, down to business I suppose. It’s really up to you at this point considering where you end up. If you were to end up in Slytherin, doubtful I know, you would be paired with Pansy Parkinson. She’s that ugly girl with a face like someone smashed a bulldog in the face with a shovel.”

The pair shared a short laugh with that until Harry looked around the hall to find the girl in question. She did indeed have some rather dog like qualities and was hanging all over the blonde boy that he had been introduced to earlier. She seems to be a little more preoccupied at the moment.

“There’s been some speculation as to whether or not he’s actually doing that thing, but personally I think they’re just keeping up appearances. At any rate, for Hufflepuff you’ve got Susan Bones. A good enough girl with a good head on her shoulders, everything you would expect from a Puff, but there’s enough rumors around the castle to suggest she’s more interested in the blonde girl next to her than she is in any boys. You might be breaking up a good pairing for material for the rest of the school if you end up there.” They both shared a small laugh at that as well. “Ravenclaw would be Padma Patil, but I see that you’ve already met that one on the train. She’s a good enough girl, but again probably not something that you’re looking for in a girl at the moment. She is involved with someone, but is rather tight lipped about whom. Finally, you’ve got the meek and oddly out of place Hermione Granger.”

Harry moved his head only slightly as if he was working out a sore muscle so that he could look to the Gryffindor table. Seated near the end of it closest to the Head Table was the mousy looking girl that he had seen before on the train. Her eyes were slightly downcast, but still paying attention to what was going on around her, but she seemed almost deflated.

“Aye, such potential in that one. She was so enthusiastic when she put me on that she nearly ripped my top off.” The hat laughed a little again. “She was all set to head to Ravenclaw when I picked up a small thought somewhere in the back of her head. It seemed like she wanted to be placed where everyone thought you would end up. She’s a muggle born if that matters and seems to have heard about what happened at your last residence.” Harry tensed a little at the mention of it, but the hat kept speaking. “Don’t think she actually believes it, but she had heard. She was such a good student that first year, but over time she’s slowly lost interest.”

Do you know what might have happened?

“It was rumored, but never confirmed that she met with a troll on Halloween her first year and she froze up. She was right as rain for a while, but she’s been bullied for the last four years and it’s gotten her down a little. She has no real friends, only people that want to copy off of her in class. A few others have tried to get her to come out of her shell, but whatever happened must have really spooked her.” The hat got a little cross-eyed for a moment and then laughed again. “Yes, I suppose that might help her, so have you made your decision.” After waiting for a moment the rip in the brim opened wide and screamed out for the entire hall to hear. “GRYFFINDOR”

Harry pulled the hat off of him, gave it a small nod and stood to hand it back to the Professor standing nearby. He caught a few looks from around the hall as he made his way to the screaming table of red and gold on the far end of the hall. He caught Susan Bones sighing almost in relief and then relaxing sideways into the arms of the blonde girl next to her. As he was coming up level with the table of red and gold his eyes found that Hermione was staring at him and briefly their eyes connected. He saw something in those eyes for only a brief moment and then she was back to staring at her plate before him. Ignoring the other offers of seats he moved and sat down across from Hermione, making a small sandy haired boy squeak in surprise and nearly slide a few feet away when he asked to take the seat.

Harry gave off a small smile and extended his hand across the table to the small girl. “Harry Potter, but you already figured that out on the train.” He smiled a little at the small tinge of red that appeared on her cheeks. “You never were able to introduce yourself before you were run off by the great ape.”

“I…I…” She stammered for a moment before getting a little more of her courage back before looking up briefly from her plate. Her eyes caught his for only a moment before she looked back down at her plate. “I’m sorry about the train, I’m sure that you-“ She was interrupted by a loud exclamation from a little ways down the table.

The Sorting had almost finished when Ron had stood up and waved stupidly down the table towards where Harry was sitting, speaking loud enough for his voice to carry almost all over the hall. “Come on, mate, you can come sit down near us. You don’t need to associate with the bookworm.”

Hermione shrank slightly from his voice, slumping down into her seat as she stared at the plate before her. When she didn’t hear anything more she looked up into the sparkling green eyes of Harry. He was still sitting across from her and staring at her a little as he ate. He didn’t even look up when he answered the uncalled for summons. “I’m fine, Weasley.”

Ron’s face seemed to turn as red as his hair as he sank back down into his seat near his friends, some of which were snickering at the talking to of the redhead. In a few moments the sorting was over and the speeches from the new defense professor as well as Dumbledore had passed. The level of talking in the Great Hall had gone up slightly at the end of each speech, but the students were now happily talking about the new year that was upon them. Harry had kept his eyes on either Hermione or the speaker throughout the entire exchange, causing the bushy haired girl to color red and look away frequently from him. At the end he had turned back to his plate to begin loading up on his food, carefully selecting out a few meats and vegetables; life in the center had taught him the value of a good meal.

“I suppose if you’re going to be the one holding my leash that I should at least get to know a little more about you.” Harry spoke before popping a spear of broccoli into his mouth and chewing thoughtfully.

Hermione’s cheeks seemed to be permanently red as she kept averting her eyes from his face. “I’m nothing special. The Headmaster just asked some of us prefects to show you around for at least the first few days.” She was playing with her hair idly and missed Harry staring at the left side of her face with his head tilted to the side a little. “I…I mean, I’m not your babysitter or anything.”

Harry shrugged as he took a sip of his goblet and felt an odd tingling sensation in his mouth before the cool liquid slid down his throat. He stared at the gold cup for a moment and then set it back down. “I disagree with you on a few things.” He moved his spoon around his mashed potatoes for a moment giving himself some time to think of what he wanted to say. “You’re obviously put in this house for a specific reason and I’m sure that the Headmaster has his own reasons for choosing you specifically to show me around.” He spoke plainly, trying not to let on that he knew more than he was supposed to about the arrangement. “Be that as it may, while I’m here, I would like to get to know both you and the castle a little more, I like meeting new friends.”

His words made the girl seem to pale slightly as she fiddled with her fork and played with the food on her plate. Picking up her fork and putting it down repeatedly her hand shook a little as she tried to form a response. “Y…You’re nice, but really…” The feast was nearing the end and she was saved from having to say anymore by a drawling voice coming from behind Harry; he didn’t have to turn around to know who it was.

“Potter, I hope that you have thought over my offer of friendship from the train.” The voice carried a small amount of scorn and those around Harry at the table turned to look at the blonde boy standing just behind him; for his part, Harry hadn’t moved an inch since he had started talking, not even putting down his fork. “I will overlook your placement with these simpletons if you will agree to join with me for the foreseeable future.”

Hermione’s eyes flickered from the boy behind Harry and to his eyes, her own growing a little wide. Harry gave her a small wink and popped another sprout into his mouth chewing it thoughtfully. The others at the table didn’t have to wait long for a response however as a voice erupted from down the table drawing the attention of everyone nearby. “What are you doing here, Malfoy?”

The crowd that had seemingly formed in the split second since Malfoy had started speaking slowly parted to allow a raging Ron Weasley to pass by them. Behind him, in an odd mirror to Malfoy himself, was flanked a black boy and an Irishman both sporting furious looks. For his part, Malfoy looked bored with a sneer on his face as he turned to meet the new three. “Weasley, I thought they had drummed you out last year for failing Transfiguration. Now be a good dog and go back to your hovel while civilized people talk.”

Harry gave a small smile to Hermione, whom was looking back and forth between Malfoy and Weasley as if the world was going to end. Her eyes had grown to almost saucers and Harry could see that she was worrying her bottom lip almost to the point of it bleeding. Weasley didn’t help matters any when he decided to open his big mouth as he came up almost level with Malfoy, with Harry between the pair. “Harry doesn’t want to associate with slimy little snakes, Malfoy. You might as well just go slither back into your hole.”

By now a great many people both at the Gryffindor table as well as the Hufflepuff table next to it were craning their necks around to see what the commotion was all about in the aisle between the tables. The staff didn’t seem to take notice of the exchange, or they did and were simply ignoring it all together. The two groups had drawn up to a standoff position with Harry between the two groups. “Potter and I are having a civilized conversation about our mutual benefits and his continued survival while in this castle, Weasley. You, as a blood traitor, have no real standing in any conversation that us good people might be having.” Malfoy snarled as his two bookend bodyguards drew their wands and leveled them at the other group.

Instantly three wands met the challenge of the other group now creating a classic Mexican standoff between the two groups; if one was observant enough they could have heard Harry softly humming some music from Gunfight at the OK Corral. He had slipped his wand into his hand under the table and aimed it behind him between the two groups at the nearby Hufflepuff table. With another wink to Hermione across from him he launched a single hex at the table causing it to tip slightly and spill two plates of food on both Weasley and Malfoy. This of course set both groups off and started to fling spells left, right and center at each other not caring for the bystanders at both tables.

When the food had tipped Harry launched his body over the table and tackled Hermione to the floor just as a nasty green looking hex flew over their shoulders and struck the wall behind them. She squealed as they hit the floor, but he was already moving to stand, offering a hand to her feet even as more and more people were join in the melee in the middle of the tables. Gryffindors were throwing hexes from concealed positions along the table while the Slytherins were taking up positions on the other side of the Hall and using the Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs in the middle as cover as they threw spells back into the crowds of red and gold students. In a matter of seconds the entire hall had dissolved into one massive fight with Weasley and Malfoy in the center physically trying to wrestle the other to the floor.

The staff was beside themselves as they fired off stunners and trip jinxes into the crowd of students attempting to maintain some semblance of order. It was no good in the end however and the spelled students would simply be overwhelmed by others in the crowd. At some point an unknown person started to fire spells a little too close to the Head Table and caught Professor Umbridge in a crossfire that caused her hair to fall out and her pink cardigan to turn a sickly yellow color before dissolving to show her undergarments. She screamed in rage and jumped down off the dais as her wand flashed, firing off curses left and right at any student that was close to her. Before too long the staff now had to subdue not only the students, but a raging professor as well.

After helping Hermione to her feet, Harry cast a shield charm and headed towards the doors to the Great Hall. A few enterprising students, those wishing to save themselves and not get involved, had already fled the scene and were keeping low profiles in the entrance hall. As he pulled her along, holding his wand behind him to keep the shield up, even as a few spells splashed across it as well as some thrown food he gave her a small smile. “I didn’t think that going to a boarding school would be this entertaining.”

Hermione’s face showed shock and disgust, but hearing Harry a small smile ghosted across her lips for only a moment before it was replaced by her lip being sucked between her teeth once more. “Oh, everyone will get in so much trouble. I mean, fighting alone, but in the Great Hall and the amount of spells, and poor Professor Umbridge…”

Harry snorted as he shook his head a little, noticing a certain female redhead had escaped from the Great Hall covered in spaghetti sauce and was already trying to hide behind a corner from him again. “Poor Professor Umbridge was flinging some pretty nasty looking spells after someone got rid of that horrible pink cardigan of her’s.” He smiled and shook his head as he looked at his own spell and food free clothes as well as Hermione’s. “Now then, I think we should probably head up to the Tower for an early night, don’t you?”
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