Harry turned over in his bed, the sheets wrapping tighter around him. It wasn’t that it was cold in the Slytherin dormitory; it just made him feel safe. The room was quiet, the rest of the occupants fast asleep. Harry strained his ears for any noise, a catch of one of his roommates snoring, breathing. Anything! Everything down in the dungeon was the complete opposite to the tower. The students departed to their dorms as and when instructed to by their prefects, without complaints. Something Hermione could have only dreamt would have been acceptable in Gryffindor. All noise seized the moment the students climbed into bed, falling into a quiet slumber.
Harry never thought he’d miss Ron’s snoring, Seamus’s constant fidgeting well into the night and Dean lighting up the room with his obsessive reading of some book or another. It had become his safety blanket, allowing him to drift off. But now he was lost without it. Turning over again Harry squinted at the green drapes around his bed, even his own bed held no comfort. Sighing Harry closed his eyes, praying he’d sooner or later fall to sleep.
“Potter” Harry moaned slightly at the intruder’s voice, turning away. He’d just fallen to sleep, what could they possibly want.
“Potter!” Harry mentally rolled his eyes; of course it would be Malfoy. Who else would wish to speak to him in the middle of the night?
“I don’t know how things worked up in that tower of yours but down here we don’t tend to be late for breakfast now wake up!” Harry felt the covers be pulled from him, the cold hitting him hard. Bolting up Harry looked around for the blurred figure he knew could only be Malfoy. Glaring Harry began to register his words, breakfast? Reaching for his glasses Harry was shocked to see the room deserted except for Malfoy and Zabini, both already dressed in their school robes.
“Did you get any sleep last night?” Zabini stood up from where he’d been sitting on his bed, an amused smirk on his face, “You look like shit!”
His glare deepening Harry swung his legs swiftly over the bed, grabbing his school shirt to cover his naked chest. Usually he wasn’t one to be shy about his body, but here in the Slytherin territory Harry felt too exposed for his own liking. Pulling the school jumper over his head Harry paused, glancing at the two Slytherin’s who just stood watching him.
“Err...Do you mind?” Harry watched as they both shared a look with raised eyebrows, “Could I have some privacy?”
Harry was surprised to see Malfoy’s cheeks turn a pale shade of pink as the blond dropped his gaze before nodding.
“We’ll wait for you down in the dormitory,” Malfoy muttered before grabbing Zabini’s arm and dragging him out the room. As soon as the door clicked shut Harry continued to change into his uniform. Finally picking up his robes Harry grimaced at the sight of the Slytherin badge; quickly pulling them on Harry took one quick look in the mirror before picking up his bag. Down in the dormitory Malfoy and Zabini were the only students left. Glancing at his watch Harry was shocked to see it had only just turned 8 o’clock. The thought of Ron still snoring in the Gryffindor dormitory bringing a short smile to his face.
“About time Potter,” Zabini pushed himself off the desk he was leaning against and started towards the dormitory door. Trailing behind the two Slytherin’s Harry began to calculate how long it would be until he would see Hermione and Ron in Defence Against the Dark Arts. If he remembered rightly Slytherin had Charms with Ravenclaw then the rest of the day in class with Gryffindor. All he had to do was keep his head down for an hour then everything would go back to normal. Taking a deep breath Harry stepped into the Great Hall. Relief washed over him, hardly anyone was in there. Only the Slytherin table was almost full, a handful of Ravenclaw’s and the odd Hufflepuff. The Gryffindor table was empty.
Looking back at the Slytherin table Harry sighed, Malfoy and Zabini had seated themselves so they left a seat for Harry between them. Seating himself down Harry stared down at the full plate before him.
“I didn’t know what you have so, I just gave you everything.” Harry looked up to see Pansy smile friendly at him.
“Oh, thanks you didn’t have to...” Harry smiled back weakly, taken back.
“Pansy, I told you not to. Potter’s used to getting his own breakfast.” Malfoy surveyed Pansy over the top of his cup, blowing slowly Malfoy sipped the contents.
“I know! But you said to welcome him into Slytherin, and treat him like one of us. I do it for everyone else, so I just thought...” Pansy dropped her head slightly.
“It’s fine,” Harry leant over the table, gently placing his hand over Pansy’s. She snapped her head up so their eyes met, “It was nice of you to think of me like that.”
Pansy nodded her head smiling. Glancing at Malfoy she began to tuck into her own breakfast of pancakes. Harry sat back and picked up his fork. Deciding on the English breakfast Harry picked up the toast and began to spread the warm butter over it. The hall was quiet; the Slytherin’s spoke gently their voices seeming to never rise above a whisper, a change to the loud table of Gryffindor. Harry found he actually liked the peaceful meal.
Suddenly the noise in the hall grew as more students began to enter, the majority seating themselves at the table of red. Harry’s eyes darted between the Gryffindor’s, searching for Hermione. He was no fool to believe Ron would be awake.
“Suppose we better hurry up and finish before the worst of the rabble join us,” Malfoy placed down his knife and fork neatly at the side, drinking the last of his coffee. The rest of the Slytherin’s followed his lead. Many down the other side of the table had already risen from their seats and made their way out of the hall.
“The worst?” Harry turned away from the crowd and looked at Malfoy.
Malfoy opened his mouth to reply but his words were cut off by a large group laughing. Recognising the voice Harry couldn’t help but grin. Returning to look at the doors Harry rose from his seat as Ron, Dean and Seamus walked in. Neville ran up behind them his face flushed.
“What are you doing?” Malfoy now stood beside Harry, his hand hovering in mid-air as he hesitated about grabbing Harry again.
“Do I have to run everything I do with the Slytherin Prince?” Harry frowned, now aware that Ron and the others had looked over in his direction. Their laughter stopping.
“No, but we have got Charms in a couple of minutes...”
“I know were Charms is Malfoy. I don’t need an escort.” Stepping away from the Slytherin table Harry noticed Pansy grab Malfoy, muttering quietly. Whatever she said made Malfoy return to his seat, his eyes glancing at Harry and back down at his plate. Shrugging at the exchange Harry’s pace quickened as he neared the Gryffindor table, welcoming the noise and commotion.
“Everything okay over there Harry?” Ron’s eyes were still fixed on Malfoy as he ate. Nodding Harry slumped down into the seat beside the redhead.
“Just keeps questioning where I’m going all the time. Getting annoying to be honest.” Ignoring the fact he’d already eaten Harry picked up one of the muffins Ron had loaded onto his plate and bit into it. His taste buds were in heaven how was it possible for the same food to taste so much better over here?
“Hey they’re for Gryffindor’s!”
Harry paused, both he and Ron looked over at Dean seated opposite them. From the glare he was sending towards Harry they knew he wasn’t joking. Putting down the muffin Harry’s wrist was grabbed by Ron.
“He is a Gryffindor.”
Harry glanced up the table, the majority of Gryffindor’s had stopped to watch. A few sent glares down at him also.
“No he’s a Slytherin,” Dean pointed his knife at Harry’s badge, “see the snake”
“Harry’s a Gryffindor. The sorting hat put him in Gryffindor first year.”
“I heard that he wanted him to go to Slytherin.” Dean glared at Ron, refusing to now look at Harry.
“Where did you hear that?” Harry whispered. Dean continued to look at Ron as he replied.
“Everyone’s saying it, apparently the sorting hat wanted to put you in Slytherin but you manipulated it so it put you in Gryffindor.”
“You can’t manipulate the sorting hat! What you heard is rubbish!” Ron shouted, “Harry is a Gryffindor! Only a Gryffindor can pull Godric’s sword from the sorting hat and he did it! He’s only a Slytherin because of some stupid plan about house unity!”
“Yeah well, he isn’t allowed to eat at the Gryffindor table,” Dean dropped his gaze back to his plate.
Ron opened his mouth to speak but Harry cut across him, “its okay Ron. I’ll see you in Defence against the dark arts. I’ve got to get to Charms anyway.”
Pulling his wrist away, Harry rose before Ron could speak. Walking for the entrance Harry stared down at his feet, aware of the eyes following him. The students returned to their conversations, the noise only just drowning out Ron’s voice as he shouted at Dean. Harry walked out onto the school grounds, his appetite vanishing he through the muffin into the lake. He watched as the tentacles of the giant squid rose out the water and dragged it down to the depths.
He heard the bell signalling to students to hurry up and get to their classes. Allowing his eyes to cast over the tomb of Dumbledore in the centre of the lake Harry quickly turned and rushed back to the castle.
By the time Harry had reached the classroom his sides ached from the numerous elbows of students as they pushed past one another to reach their destinations. Squeezing between two groups of girls gossiping to one another Harry finally reached the door to Charms. Stumbling through he quickly regained his balance as the class turned to him. His cheeks flushed when he realised he was the last to turn up. Cursing himself, Harry made a mental note to remember that both Slytherin and Ravenclaw always turned up early for class. Harry cast a quick look round the room, the only seat left beside Malfoy at the end of the first row. Surprise surprise, Harry sighed. He should have known. Slipping in beside Malfoy, Harry dared another look at the students. The Ravenclaw’s were doing a bad job of hiding their whispers and looks. However a single glance from Malfoy shut them up immediately. Harry was secretly glad he was beside Malfoy.
“Almost late Potter, I thought you said you didn’t need an escort?” A cheeky smile played on Malfoy’s lips as he leant his head on his hands.
“I had somewhere to go first...” Harry began to unpack his bag, placing his ink bottle and charms book on the desk he delved deeper into the bag searching.
“Forgot your quill?” Malfoy pulled out one of his fine eagle quills and lay it down next to Harry’s book. Nodding his head once Harry dropped his bag to the floor, someone whispering his name caught his attention. Spinning around in his seat Harry glared at the two Ravenclaw girls.
“Haven’t they got anything better to talk about?” Harry turned back in his seat, grabbing tufts of his hair in his hands. It wasn’t like he chose to swap houses!
“Ignore them; they have nothing better to do in their lives than judge others. Sad really.” Malfoy began to examine his fingernails as he continued, “So, your Gryffindor friends didn’t appear to be too happy to see you. Trouble in paradise?”
“No!” Harry’s mind wandered back to Dean’s words. He wasn’t a Slytherin, not really. Gripping his hair tighter Harry thought back to that day he was first sorted. Yes the sorting hat had said he’d do well in Slytherin but that was because it saw Voldemort’s soul. It was Voldemort’s soul it wanted to sort back to the house of green. He was his father’s son. A true Gryffindor, like his mother.
“Have you heard a rumour about me?” Harry slowly turned his head to Malfoy, the blond gazed down at him. From this angle Harry couldn’t deny that yes Malfoy was handsome. Very handsome, no wonder so many girls, and a few boys, fancied him.
“Good morning class, welcome back to Hogwarts!” Professor Flitwick climbed up onto the pile of books in front of the class, his wand raised. Malfoy stared down hard at Harry his mouth slightly open, his eyes glistening with emotion before turning away. Frowning Harry looked over at his Professor too. Flitwick cast his beady eyes around the room, smiling at the members of his own house, the smile slipped when travelling over the Slytherin. They stopped at Harry; the Professor wiggled his fingers in a small wave before clasping his hands together.
“Right I think as a warm up we will just go over the basic spells. Get us all back into the rhythm of the school. So if you’d like to pair up with the person beside you and work your way through these charms.” With a flick of his wand, Flitwick had a dozen pieces of chalk scrawling down spells on the blackboard that stood behind him.
“Off you go!” He announced cheerily.
Harry looked sideways at Malfoy, wondering what sort of partner he was. He’d never recalled seeing Malfoy work, rather sitting in class and making snide comments about the other students.
“Are you going to take your wand out or have you forgotten that too?” Malfoy flicked his wand in a movement similar to Flitwick, both Malfoy’s and Harry’s quills jumped to life, copying down the spells written by the chalk.
“How did you want to do this? Work from top to bottom or easiest to hardest?” Malfoy asked.
Harry withdrew his wand from his sleeve and gave a shrug.
“Whatever Malfoy, you choose.”
Nodding Malfoy glanced down at the list of spells, reading through them. After a couple of seconds he spoke,
“Top to bottom I think, saves sorting them into another order.” Malfoy waved his wand again and Harry’s quill became motionless.
“Well come on them Potter. I’m sure you’ve not forgotten how to cast the wingardium leviosa spell.”
Harry looked over at Malfoy; the comment had been made in fun rather that sarcasm. Smiling back Harry waved his wand, a small Ravenclaw girl and her stool began to lift up from the floor. She screamed in surprise and grabbed the stool in fear. Lifting an eyebrow in surprise Malfoy grinned waving his wand in the same motion as Harry. The girl who’d previously been sat next to Harry’s victim now also rose from the floor, rising higher towards the ceiling.
“Always have to outdo me don’t you Malfoy,” Harry laughed, sending his girl and stool even higher.
“Very good boys, but if you please can you put my students back down.” Flitwick giggled from his perch. Doing as they were told both Harry and Malfoy placed the girls gently back down.
“10 points each to Slytherin,” Flitwick announced before returning to his earlier conversation.
“Hey we might have a chance at the house cup this year with Potter!” Goyle nudged Zabini’s side as they both laughed at his comment. Looking away Harry chewed on his lip suddenly feeling guilty. Malfoy turned away from Goyle grinning, however it faded rapidly at the expression on Harry’s face. Looking down at the piece of parchment Malfoy lifted his wand again.
“Come on Potter stop slacking, next one.”
As the lesson progressed Harry began to feel more comfortable in the presence of Malfoy. They were laughing and joking like old friends, reminding Harry of lessons with Ron. Or more along the lines of Hermione, Malfoy was keen to finish the task, but willing to have fun. Harry couldn’t help but laugh out loud when Malfoy set the jelly legs jinx on Goyle sending him flying into Pansy. This was a side he’d never really seen of the Slytherin’s. They were human behind their cold masks.
“That will do for today class. We’ll start this year’s work next lesson, be prepared!” Flitwick dismissed the class. Backing away his stuff Harry picked up Malfoy’s quill.
“Hey thanks for lending me this...” Harry held out the magnificent feather but Malfoy simply glanced sideways and continued packing away.
“Keep it. You’re going to need it for other lessons and I have loads.” Swinging his bag over his shoulder Malfoy smiled.
“Oh right...Err...Thanks” Smiling back Harry pocketed the quill and headed for the door. Outside DADA Harry found Ron and Hermione already waiting. This was one lesson Gryffindor’s ensured never to be late for. Strolling over Harry was aware of the Slytherin’s moving to the other side of the corridor.
“How was it?” Ron asked, “first lesson alone with the snakes.”
“It was...” Harry paused; he couldn’t tell Ron he’d had fun. Interesting? , “Strange...”
“I bet! Anyway Harry what Dean said earlier, ignore him he’s being a prat.” Ron sent a glare over Harry’s shoulder where Dean appeared around the corner, talking to Ginny. Following Ron’s gaze Harry lifted his hand to wave at Ginny, he’d not had a chance to speak to her since they’d returned to Hogwarts. Strangely Ginny ignored him, leaned forward and whispered something into Dean’s ear before running back around the corridor. A smirk appeared on Dean’s face as he watched her go; he then turned to look at Harry. Slowly he walked up to him.
“Ginny asked me to ask you if she could have a quick word, privately.”
“Oh, why didn’t she ask...”
“She said to meet her quickly in Myrtle’s bathroom.”
Dean suddenly barged past Harry knocking into his shoulder.
“Harry you can’t go, Tomlin will be here soon.” Hermione gasped.
“I’ll be quick. Tell him I forgot something, I needed the bathroom. Whatever. Just make up an excuse, it’s obviously something important for Ginny to skip class.” Harry was already down the corridor shouting over his shoulder.
Reaching Myrtle’s toilet Harry double checked the corridor before entering. Just as he remembered it Myrtle’s bathroom was flooded slightly, his footsteps in the water echoed around the room. Ginny stood leaning against the sinks; a shiver ran down Harry’s spine seeing her near the tap with the Slytherin emblem. Her head was bowed so her hair covered her face.
“Ginny what’s up?” Harry reached out his hand but Ginny pulled away.
“I’m sorry Harry, it’s not you...People are talking and...They’re saying you want to be like Voldemort and...Now with you being in Slytherin...” Her voice was shaky but monotone. Almost as though she’d been practising. Harry stepped back, was she breaking up with him?
“I don’t want to believe them but...Dean said...”
“Dean!” Harry balled his fist, no wonder he looked so smug, “What did he say?”
“No Harry!” Ginny snapped her head up, Harry had expected to see tears in her eyes but they were dry. “Don’t you hurt him. Don’t you dare!”
“Are you...Are you seeing him again?” Harry waited anxiously for the reply. Ginny smiled and nodded.
“I can’t date a Slytherin Harry,” Ginny pushed off from the sinks and headed out.
“You’re dumping me because I’ve been moved to Slytherin? After everything I’ve done for you! I love you Ginny, I died for you!”
“Oh Please Harry!” Ginny spun back round, “You died to kill Voldemort. We’re over, I’m with Dean. Accept that!”
Harry grabbed Ginny by the arm stopping her, he saw her eyes widen in fear before going back to their emotionless state.
“What about when I become a Gryffindor again?”
“Then we can talk.”
Harry watched as she slammed the door behind her, the only sound in the room came from his rapid breathing. Harry stared at the door; he didn’t know nor care for how long. He could feel his magic bubbling inside of him, he had to get control. Sinking to the floor Harry gripped his hair, his only way to release his frustration. Harry heard the water splash near him, someone had come in. Ginny? Raising his head Harry glared seeing Malfoy pop his head around the door.
“Potter are you in...? Potter? What’s wrong?” Malfoy grew closer to Harry, his eyes searching the bathroom for Ginny.
“Where’s Weasley? I overheard Thomas telling you she wanted to talk.”
“Piss off Malfoy.” Harry dropped his gaze, suddenly aware of the water being soaked up by his robes.
“I see that what Thomas wasn’t lying then, she broke up with you.” Malfoy’s voice held none of its usual sneer, frustrating Harry further. Why was Malfoy being so kind to him when what he needed right now was someone to yell at, fight with.
“Did she say why?”
“Because I’m a Slytherin, because she wants to get with Dean, because everybody is talking...The list goes on apparently.” Harry spat.
“That’s normally the case,” Malfoy sighed and crouched down so he was level with Harry. His robes draped around him as they floated above the water.
“What does everyone want to get with Dean?” Harry stared at Malfoy, his mind suddenly thinking about the last time they were alone in this bathroom, Harry’s eyes dropped to the water surrounding them, he could still see Malfoy’s blood swirling around within it.
“No because you’re Slytherin. No matter what anybody says about not being prejudice towards anybody their lying. I’m afraid to tell you that the Weasleys are the biggest hypocrites around. They may love muggle-born and be friends with half-bloods, but they seem to avoid pure-bloods, and anybody that is or has been a Slytherin they just hate with a passion.”
“You’re one to talk...”
“I know I’ve been judgmental about muggle-borns, heck I’m the first to admit I’ve been a cunt. But how was I supposed to turn out with growing up in the morals and views of my family? At least we admit it! At least I’ve never gone around making out I love everybody then jinxing some muggle-born behind their back!”
“I just can’t believe how everyone is being,”
“Harry you’re a Slytherin now, a snake. The second you put on those robes, bore that crest on your chest, the whole school hated you. You’re not everyone’s favourite Gryffindor any longer. The faster you accept that fact, the easier being one of us will be for you.”
Harry stared at Malfoy, searching his grey eyes. It was strange to him how comforting Malfoy could be how much of a good friend he could be. What would his life have been like if he’d taken Malfoy’s hand on the train?
“What are you doing here anyway?” Harry glanced down at his watch; lesson had begun over 20 minutes ago.
“Oh Granger made up some excuse about you forgetting something from the dorm, and Tomlin was getting worried you’d got lost or gotten into trouble with some mean Slytherin’s so he sent me out to look. Being the caring classmate that I am I agreed.” Malfoy shot Harry a cheeky grin before standing up; he extended his hand out to Harry.
“So are you coming or you spending the rest of the day in here? I’m sure Myrtle would enjoy the company.”
Harry quickly took the offered hand and glanced around the bathroom, it was strange that Myrtle hadn’t emerged.
“I wonder where she is...” Harry muttered.
“Most likely spying on someone bathing in the prefect’s bathroom.” Malfoy headed for the door as he spoke. As they stepped out into the corridor they both waved their wands and the bottom of their robes dried instantly.
“Chin up Potter, don’t let them see they’ve got you down, it annoys people more to see you uncaring about their words and actions. You can sulk in private.” Grabbing Harry’s arm Malfoy dragged him down the corridor until they were outside the DADA room.
“Remember big smiles now!” Malfoy pulled open the door, Tomlin stopped in his speech and smiled when he saw Harry.
“Sorry Professor, still getting used to the change.” Harry forced himself to smile as he looked around for his seat. The entire class was staring at him, analysing whether Ginny had actually broke up with him how upset he was about it. Harry’s eyes swept over Dean’s face, his old friend’s smirk was fading at seeing a calm Harry. He actually paled slightly.
Harry wasn’t sure whether to be happy or not that he was getting to sit next to Ron. His friend however was pointing at the seat beside him eagerly. Still smiling Harry walked to the back of the class as Malfoy dropped into his own near the front next to Zabini.
As Harry seated himself Tomlin continued to speak. Ron leant closer to Harry as they always did.
“So what was it about?” He spoke slowly, almost afraid to ask.
“I was under the impression that Dean had already informed everyone.” Harry glared at the back of Dean’s head, Ron quickly joining him.
“I thought he was lying. I’m really sorry Harry I had no idea. Are you okay?” Ron’s glare dropped into a sympathetic glance. Harry was aware of Lavender leaning in close to them, listening in. Turning his glare on her Harry waited until she had sunk back into her chair before continuing.
“Did Dean happily tell you why she dumped me?” Harry began to doodle on the piece of parchment before him, giving the illusion of his taking notes. He was sure Hermione would understand and lend him hers.
“No Tomlin arrived before he could brag anymore,” Ron had also picked up his quill and begun to fake note taking.
“She’s with Dean,” Harry’s grip tightened around his quill as his eyes shot up to Dean.
“Oh and she apparently doesn’t date Slytherin’s.” Harry turned his gaze to Ron who stared back at him dumbfound, “Does that go for all Weasley’s? Are we no longer able to be friends because of the house I’ve been forced into?”
Harry took a deep breath, his magic once again danced within him, threatening to escape. Ron shook his head.
“Don’t be daft! After everything we’ve been through! I’ll talk to Ginny, make her see sense...”
“Don’t bother. We’re over, for good.”