Fandom: Harry Potter
Summary: When Harry Potter is due to start Hogwarts, everyone expects the Boy-Who-Lived. No one is prepared for who they actually get.
Ravenclaws share their first flying class with the Slytherins. Malfoy is already smirking smugly at everyone, particularly the muggleborns who can’t quite hide their anxiety.
By the time Hooch allows them onto the school brooms, Harry is itching to get into the air. He’s off like a shot the moment she lets them take off, and he’s at fifty feet and drifting within seconds, tension rolling off his shoulders as he smiles up at the sky.
He’s always been more comfortable in the air than on the ground.
He receives an approving nod from Hooch before the woman swoops back to less able students, a few still struggling to get off the ground. Terry has managed to rise a few feet but seems too uneasy to climb any higher. He does wave a little up at Harry though, and Harry waves back with a grin before looping away to circle the training grounds.
“Not bad, Potter,” A familiar voice calls out, and Harry cranes his head around to see Draco flying over to join him. He wavers a little the higher he gets, but overall, it isn’t bad flying for an eleven-year-old. His expression is mostly set in haughty lines, though Harry can see shrewd curiosity and a childish sort of excitement mixed with a hint of nerves underneath.
“I’ve been flying for years,” Draco offers, and the blond may be boasting, but this time around, Harry can also sense the desire to impress in Draco’s voice. “Did your guardians let you as well?”
“This is my first time on a broom actually,” Harry reveals easily, idly turning to face Draco. “I was raised by muggles. My mother’s sister and her family.”
Draco looks disgusted at that, though he at least attempts to hide it. Harry doesn’t mind. He despises the Dursleys more than Draco ever will.
“I don’t think we’ve really met yet, aside from class,” He offers instead, extending a hand. “I’m Harry.”
Draco rears back a little, blinking at Harry’s hand with a momentarily stunned expression as if he never expected Harry to put himself out there first.
Harry has to stomp down on the urge to laugh.
“I’m Draco,” The blond almost lurches too far up his broom to accept the handshake. He hesitates next, like he isn’t sure whether he should tack on his surname since Harry didn’t, and it would hardly be polite to look like he’s lording his family prestige over Harry, who’s a lord in his own right, even if nobody knows he’s already stepped into his inheritance. The silence lasts a beat too long, and then it’s simply too late to add ‘Malfoy’ without making it sound awkward.
Harry shamelessly presses his advantage. “I hear my dad was an excellent flyer so I must have gotten it from him. You’re pretty good too, better than any of the others down there. You must practice a lot.”
Draco automatically preens. “Well, not a lot, but I’ve done my fair share of flying.”
And just like that, the ice is broken, and the blond is soon chattering about Quidditch and international teams, and while Harry admittedly finds it all a bit tiresome after the first ten minutes, he keeps up with the conversation all the same, indulgently patient as he puts forward his own favourite team and preferred position when Draco asks.
Mostly though, Harry watches the Slytherin speak with a lack of world-weary cynicism that the older Draco always wore, even after the Malfoys defected to Harry’s side.
It’s a bittersweet sight, and a part of him wishes for the Draco who was friend and confidante and comrade-in-arms to him, but at the same time, Harry doesn’t think he’ll ever want to see this innocence destroyed to the point of no return again either.
I come by it naturally, I promise.
They hurt you, once upon a time. They’ll hurt you again, given half a chance. I don’t care that they’re children.
Halloween is coming up. Be careful.
Draco joins him and Terry for most of their study sessions. With him comes a deceptively easygoing Blaise first, followed by a suspicious but friendly enough Theo. Crabbe and Goyle stay away, either disinterested in studying or known for their disinterest in studying and are sent away by Draco for the few hours spent with Harry so to avoid headaches for everyone involved.
Harry – personally – doesn’t mind. He remembers Crabbe and Goyle as adults, Death Eaters who turned on Draco at the first opportunity, and it’s hard to let that go. He may hex them if they get too close and stick around for too long.
An uneasy truce forms between Terry and the Slytherins. Draco is fortunately smart enough to have collected data before approaching Harry, and Harry is well aware of how the blond studied Harry and Terry’s friendship for days on end from afar. From there, Draco knows to at least keep his mouth shut about Terry’s half-blood status if he wants to spend any amount of time with Harry, and he evidently warned Blaise and Theo before the other two appeared in the library during their shared History block as well.
For his part, Terry glances once at Harry, notes his acceptance, and settles down again without a word. He’s openly wary of the Slytherins, but when no insults – subtle or otherwise – are thrown his way after two weeks’ worth of study sessions, and Blaise even starts a discussion with him about their Transfiguration homework one afternoon, he eventually relaxes enough to let his guard down.
They aren’t quite friends yet – they do bicker sometimes, especially when it comes to Terry and Draco –but Harry thinks they may just get there in time. Terry can hold his own in the intelligence department despite being a half-blood with a mostly Muggle background due to living in the Muggle world for the entirety of his childhood, and even Draco can respect a decent mind, especially since Terry doesn’t have the bad habit of constantly throwing what he knows in other people’s faces the way a certain Gryffindor does.
As for why the Slytherins decided to throw their lot in with Harry, well, that’s easy enough to figure out. Harry doesn’t flaunt what he can do at every turn – in fact, he hides quite a bit of what he knows – but he doesn’t hide everything, and what he does show in class is enough to put an inquisitive and almost hungry gleam in Draco’s eye when the blond sees Harry poring over a tome on Egyptian runes. Blaise and Theo follow for much the same reason. Theo has the same knack for Arithmancy that Terry does, and Harry lets Blaise charm one or two useful and occasionally extra nasty spells out of him each week to make up for Quirrell’s dismal Defence classes. And Draco speeds through his homework before proceeding to wheedle rudimentary lessons on Ancient Runes from him.
That’s how Harry finds himself acting as teacher once again. It’s… not bad. He likes it, explaining concepts and clarifying details, and the way Terry and the Slytherins seem to defer to him as their unofficial mentor despite Harry being the same physical age as them also helps make his life a little easier. None of them seems to find it odd when Harry acts older, even more mature than he lets himself be in class, and it gives Harry a reprieve from the monotony of playing at being an eleven-year-old student all the time.
Hogwarts is more bearable even if his new friends are both unexpected and children.
He’ll write to Luna about it. She’ll laugh, though come next year, they’ll be her friends too.
Of course, not everyone is happy with Harry getting chummy with a couple Slytherins. The most vocal – of course – is Ronald Weasley.
“You’re a traitor!” Ron spits out belligerently one time (amongst other things, many times). “Hanging around evil Slytherins! No wonder you’re not in Gryffindor like you’re supposed to be! The Hat knows you’re evil too!”
And so on and so forth. The majority of the first-years in Gryffindor House seem to agree with the redhead but Harry has played both hero and villain, and Ron’s been insulting him since Harry put a stop to the youngest Weasley son’s blatant attempts to gain favour with the Boy Who Lived; it hasn’t affected him since the beginning, and that isn’t going to change.
It’s a different matter when it comes to the Slytherins. Ron picks fights with them too, Draco in particular, who – spoiled by parents who love him, not at all tolerant of Ron’s blood traitor status, and with a temper that can have a fairly short fuse when too many buttons are pushed – does not take too kindly to a Weasley taunting him in the halls.
And obviously, Harry also gets the brunt of Draco’s complaints for his inaction.
“Why do you let him get away with it, Harry?” The blond sulks as they head to the library after lunch one day. Blaise and Theo trail a few steps behind them. “You could- You could hang him from the Great Hall ceiling by his ankles without anyone figuring out it was you!”
Harry just shrugs. “I have better things to do than argue with children. Weasley’s opinion means nothing to me; why should anything he say affect me?”
Blaise and Theo exchange thoughtful looks before they both relax a little. They aren’t as affected, not when Harry and Draco are there to focus on, but they’re targets by association, and being Slytherins doesn’t help their case.
Harry has other worries though. Like Halloween right around the corner.
There’s no reason for the troll not to show up, so he wonders who the victim will be this time. He doesn’t think it will be Hermione; he can’t decide whether or not he’s amused by the fact that a prejudiced, envious Hermione is accepted far more readily in Gryffindor than she ever was the first time around.
“It doesn’t matter to me,” He says now, glancing first at Draco before including Blaise and Theo as well. “You’re my friends; what Weasley thinks of me for that isn’t of any consequence to me.”
They look surprised, all three of them. Sometimes, Harry forgets they’re only eleven; he doesn’t forget that they’re children but he forgets just how young they still are, with all the insecurities of someone their age no matter how good a pureblood front they put up, but he’s reminded all over again now when Draco glows beside him, and Blaise’s smile becomes less patently disarming and more quietly genuine, and Theo flushes the faintest of pinks and scowls off to the side without any real heat.
Harry inwardly chuckles.