Stray (grey_hunter) wrote in fanfic_fanfic,
Stray
grey_hunter
fanfic_fanfic

unfinished HP fic

Name: grey_hunter
Length of fragment: 6583 (plot not included)
Fandom: Harry Potter (I think it was originally pre-HBP but I don't even remember)
Main characters and/or pairing(s): Harry/Draco (though actually, it's just getting there)
Rating: PG (Because it's just the beginning.)
May changes be made to what you've already written? Absolutely!
Other notes: I stopped writing this fic because I realised that it's a bit cliché and I think I made out Draco too submissive and too OOC, so if you can change that, that'd be appreciated. However, I like his looks and his boy-next-door personality.

King's Cross was never busier than this year, thought Harry, when he passed the barrier to Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. It was crowded with people seeing off their children who boarded the Hogwarts Express. The crowd was clearly divided into two parts of which one was full with excited children and beaming parents; while the other was full with people wearing a sober expression and often black robes or arm-bands. The first ones were people who were overjoyed that the war ended finally; the second ones were who had fought it. Though the groups weren't physically separated from each other, they were discernible, as a flock of white doves and black crows mingling together.

This was the first year after two years of all out war that Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry opened its gates again for students. For two years it served as main base and refuge for those who were opposed to the Dark Lord.

The position of the Headmaster was occupied again by Albus Dumbledore, who went missing during the last year of the war, and who everyone thought to be dead, even Voldemort. The distraction of his sudden appearance had been what gave Harry the chance to catch Voldemort alone, fight and defeat him and so, end the war. He never spoke of that battle to everyone, not even Dumbledore or his friends.

Apart from the headmaster, everything changed inside the walls of the old castle. For one, the house-system had been done away with, for the continued enmity of the four houses was that gave Voldemort the chance to infiltrate the school and cause nearly the end of the several century-old institution, and the perishing of the Light side. Instead students would be divided into subclasses based on their ability in that particular subject.

With the discarding of the House-system, there was a new sleeping arrangement too. That was once the Gryffindor tower was now the dormitory of the first, second and third years. The forth to seventh year girls have got the Rawenclaw tower and the boys the Hufflepuff quarters. The Slytherin dungeons had almost entirely collapsed when Voldemort attacked the school and were since then inhabitable.

Instead of the Heads of House, there were now form-masters and -mistresses. Every year got a supervisor teacher who was responsible for that group of students until they finished school. The headmaster had discussed this matter at length with the staff and a selected group of students like the Head Boy, Head Girl, some of the prefects and Harry himself, and this was the best idea they could come up with.

The seventh years got McGonagall, perhaps because the most of them still alive and there were from the House Gryffindor. There was Harry, Ron, Dean and Seamus from the boys (Neville died in the first a battle for Hogwarts) but only Hermione from the girls. Instead there were several Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff girls and only a few boys from those houses. There were none remained from the House Slytherin. Though not all of them dead, most of them fought on the side of Voldemort and if they didn't die, they were in the Azkaban or on the run somewhere. Though there was a rumour that one of them was still living freely. That one was none other than Malfoy, the first victim of the Hogwarts-battle, who survived the cave-in of the dungeon, but sustained major brain damage. He was transported into St.Mungo's, and since the accident happened before he could openly declare his loyalty to either side, he was released and left in the care of relatives. It was also rumoured that he hadn't been in the condition to provide for himself anymore. There had been no other news of his condition and Ron was really disappointed at first, until he discovered the fun in making up worse and worse renditions of Malfoy's supposed illness.

"Harry!," he heard the voice of the boy currently occupying his thoughts. He turned and spotted the read head bouncing towards him towering several inches over the crowd. They had separated from each other after his birthday party, since Harry had some things to take care of, like the paper work and financial matters with the new apartment he brought for himself in London, near Diagon Alley. He wasn’t required to live with his aunt anymore since the threat of Voldemort's attack was gone and he turned of age two years ago. That fact was the source of a mutual relief both for him and his relatives and they spent the remaining time together trying to get into as few discussions as possible. Even his uncle Vernon and Dudley behaved themselves. Though it was maybe to thank to the fact that Harry was considered the second most powerful wizard alive, and since he wasn't a minor anymore, he was allowed to cast magic away from the school, even if he hadn't graduated yet. Oh, he took good care of it, that the two of them knew about that.

"Hi, Ron!" Harry put a genuine smile on his face. He had missed his company during the last month. They have been rarely apart since April - the end of the war, and had got used to have him and Hermione around if he wanted someone to talk or do something to relieve the boredom for. After the celebrations ended, they have been at Hogwarts, working together with countless witches and wizards, who volunteered for restoring the school, so it could open its gates to accept the children to be witches and wizards again.

"Did you see Hermione?," Ron enquired after he squeezed through the crowd and stopped next to him.

Harry shook his head. "Not yet, but I think, we should board the train and get a compartment. There will be no more left if we don't hurry up. She will be able to find her way to us."

"You're right, mate," Ron gave him a grin and they begun to force their way through the mass of people towards the train. Their luggage was no problem this time, since they were not underage anymore, and so allowed to simply shrink it to a size that fit into their pockets. It became a second nature to them during the war to pack their belongings quickly and efficiently, so they would be ready to leave any time if the situation required so. The only things they couldn't have shrunken were Hedwig and Pig, but they left them at Hogwarts. Harry didn't want to bring Hedwig to the house of his Muggle relatives, not to mention to London before he bought the apartment and lived in a hotel while looking for one. Ron left Pig, because he was at Hermione's for the first three weeks and went home to the Burrow only for the last week of the summer.

They got up the train, started to search for an empty cubicle along the corridor and soon found one at the middle section. It was over the wheels so it would be probably a bit noisier than other ones, but that probably meant, fewer people bothering them, searching for an empty seat.

They sat down next to the window opposite to each other, so they could see the platform and maybe spot Hermione.

"How is Ginny?" Harry asked after they sat there for a moment in silence.

Ron just shrugged miserably. "The same, I guess. No one can tell for certain." He wanted to make her feel better, but he was aware that he wasn't in the position to do so, mostly because she didn't let anyone get close to her these times. "Her physical wounds have healed, but she doesn't really speak to anyone about how she feels. The medi-wizards said that they could regrow the skin on her face, but it would take time and cause a lot of pain. Not to mention that it is risky and costs a ton of money. Mum and Dad promised her that they would save it up and Fred and George would support her too, even if it took years to spare up that amount. She is depressed. She cannot bear to look into a mirror, but at the same time, she hasn't done anything but. She is obsessed with her looks, and thinks everybody would look at her and face away in disgust…"

They let the last words drift away and sat there in renowned silence. After what seemed hours, Harry cleared his throat uncertainly if he should bring up the subject, knowing how Ron felt about the financial state of his family.

"Ron, you know, I would gladly give… I mean, loan the Galleons for the medical intervention. You know I have more than enough for myself. I don't want to sit on the money and I would loathe myself if I had the means to help my friends and didn't do it…"

Ron looked at him and gave him a smile. "Thanks mate. You know, I'm not comfortable with living off other people’s money, and if it would have been me instead of my sister…"

"Ron! It would be the same. At least for me. I think your parents will agree so please, let me do it! I am going to write them tomorrow."

Ron just nodded and swallowed. They were so absorbed in their conversation and the thoughts that were evoked by it, that they nearly didn't hear the door to the compartment open, and jumped when Hermione's inquiring voice startled them out of it.

"Is something the matter with you two? You didn't hear when I just said hello to you. You haven't fought, have you?"

They looked at her for a few seconds in surprise, then Harry told her, "No, we were just speaking about Ginny."

"Oh! How is she?" she asked in a concerned voice, and Ron told her what he had told Harry before she came in.

"Well, I hope we will be able to cheer her up a bit. Maybe meeting with her friends will do that for her."

"Yes," Ron agreed, looking at his hands, apparently not so convinced of it. "So, how, do you think, this year will be?" he tried to row onto more cheery waters.

"I don't think Hermione is going to learn many new things. She already knows what she would be required to know to take her N.E.W.T.s, and then some," Harry tried to pull one on her. "Maybe she should teach classes instead."

She just gave him a look of incredulity, and lifted one brow. "That is going to be you, Harry, if I remember correctly."

Harry swallowed. "Oh, yeah. I had forgotten," he muttered. As usual, Hogwarts was again struggling to obtain a proper Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, and Harry was asked by the headmaster to take up the teaching of the lower years. Dumbledore just told him to do like he did with the DA since his fifth year.

Harry was meanwhile used to instructing other people, and, like most of those, who fought in the war, knew more about defensive magic and techniques, than was required to teach first to fourth years classes, but he was still a bit anxious of having to work with kids he didn't know personally. The ones he would be required to teach were not of his own age group, but much younger ones. He didn't really know how to handle children and was nervous of his inexperience. Though Professor McGonagall assured him to stand at his disposal any time he needed a few clues. Hermione hunted down bookstores and provided him with a Muggle book on teaching methods that she thought to be satisfactory in the topic.

The years forth and fifth had been assigned to Dumbledore to teach, while students from the sixth and seventh were either excused from taking the subject or encouraged to learn by themselves or in study groups; partaking in the DA for the practical education (now officially dubbed as 'Defence Association', but no one used that name). Of course, the DA was again Harry's responsibility. If he didn't like it so much, he perhaps would have been pissed off with Dumbledore for assigning it to him without previously asking, but as it were, he didn't mind that bit of extra job.

"I wonder who the new Potions professor will be," Hermione mused aloud. "I don't think it will be someone we know."

"Doesn't matter," said Ron with a lot of enthusiasm. "Anyone can only be better as Snape was!"

Harry nodded slowly. It was unlikely that the new professor possessed so much hatred and spite than Snape, but he couldn't imagine anyone who would know more of the subject. He was only partly listening as Hemione and Ron argued about the same thing. His thoughts drifted to memories of the man, who had taught him the basics of survival. He had to admit, as much as he loathed Snape's personality, he would have been dead nine times over, if it hadn't been for him and his teachings. He couldn't count on his fingers the occasions he would have died without a healing potion or an antidote; he had learned to brew Polyjuice even with his eyes closed (and the time accelerator spell that bordered on Dark Magic, had been also taught to him by Snape); he had used sleeping potions countless times to make infiltrating a Death Eater camp easier. Once he had had to brew an antidote to an infection, when he had been alone, hiding in the woods, without proper brewing kit, with the ingredients he had been able to find growing in the forest. He wouldn't have been able to do all that without the gruesome tutoring of his least favourite professor. Once, when his resentment towards him has settled to a bearable level, he knew, he would have to thank him properly.

But Snape wasn't going to come back to teach in Hogwarts. He was now living some place secluded, and only a few people, including the headmaster, knew about his location. He had been injured severely during the war, one and a half years ago, and no one had seen him since that time. Rumours had had it, that he wasn't fit to fight in a battle anymore. Harry had been informed of his injury by Dumbledore, who had told him, it had been a close call and he was just glad, that Snape survived. Even Ron had to admit, that he had been a necessary addition to the ranks of the Order, and had done everything to help their side to victory. He wouldn't have deserved to die.

"Harry, will you still take Potions this year?" He turned his head towards Ron at this question. His friends knew that his former decision to become an Auror wasn't so adamant like before the war, and he only took NEWT-level Potions before because it was a requirement to the application for Auror training. He nodded hesitantly.

"I haven't really decided yet what I want to do after we graduate," he answered truthfully. "Apart from that, it possibly won't be so awful like with Snape, and it would be a shame to let sixth year's work be all for nothing."

Hermione nodded solemnly, apparently fully supporting this decision of him, Ron just rolled his eyes at both of them. Harry didn't want to mention, but he hoped, that since he had so much real-life experience with brewing now, he wasn't afraid of getting something wrong and then blowing up his cauldron because he panicked or didn't concentrate on what he was doing. He got used to pay attention to what he did, because it would have made the difference between life and death if he had made a mistake and hadn't corrected it. He also realised that small mistakes, like too much of one ingredient, could be corrected most of the time. Some of the potions could be brewed at lower or higher temperature; he just had to measure the brewing time accordingly. (He had learned that during his adventure in the forest, where he couldn't make a too big fire without the proper equipment or the danger of being discovered, and had to wait for days, sitting next to the fire, until the antidote was ready to consume.) And he never had any problems with the wand-work and the incantations required. He discovered that the basics of potion making weren't too different from those of cooking (an activity he had to perform for the Dursleys for years). He wasn't a genius in the kitchen, but he could get along just fine. To brew a basic potion wasn't entirely different than to put together a simple meal. It was just the smell that was considerably worse.

Harry didn't notice when the express started to move and next time he turned his face to the window, already there was moving landscape behind it. He was drowsing lightly, listening to the conversation of his two friends and the monotone clattering of the wheels in the background, when he heard the door slide open noisily, and someone cleared their throat. The conversation stopped abruptly in the middle of a word - that was strange enough for the usually eloquent Hermione to draw his attention to the newcomer. Harry felt his glasses slide down the ridge of his nose when he lifted his brows suddenly, surprised.

"Sorry, but every other compartment was already full. Can I sit here?" The voice belonged to no other than Draco Malfoy.

At the first blink, Harry thought, he looked just the same as two years earlier, last time he had seen him. But at the second, he noticed several surprising differences that he couldn’t place. Malfoy had grown a bit and he didn't look like the snotty, spiteful brat anymore. He seemed older and more mature, though there was a too innocent quality to his expression. Perhaps it was the general impression that the slightly longer and not so perfect looking tresses gave him, which were messy, windblown and hung half into his face. There was the end of a red, knitted bonnet peaking out of one pocket of his coat that looked like he just tucked it into it hastily after removing it.

None of them was able to utter any kind of voice for a few seconds. What shocked them wasn't only the sudden appearance of their old school enemy, who was thought to be living somewhere far away, convalescing from some mysterious brain damage. It was more the complete contrast between his dishevelled looks and his polite, neutral tone of question, which took their respective breaths away. Both of those features were unreal and unexpected, just like the person itself.

"What the hell are you doing here, Malfoy?" Ron inquired in a confused voice, after he shot up from his seat. He towered over the blonde in an intimidating way. Harry and Hermione stood up too, and looked at the young man halfway through the door, whose eyes reflected unadulterated anxiety. His eyes bulged, and he wasn't terribly in control of his expression and his body language, didn't even try to pretend to be in control, and his usual superiority was nowhere to be found.

"I'm sorry, I… I didn't know…" his voice broke and he just looked at Ron with large eyes.

"I asked a question!" Ron pushed, realising that he had the upper hand for once, and intent to exhaust every moment of it. Malfoy looked afraid of him; that was something he wanted to attain since he had first met him, perhaps because now he didn't have his cronies behind him, he thought.

"I'm sorry, I just wanted to have a seat," Malfoy seemed to have pulled himself together. Now he looked still a bit frightened, but he wasn't frozen from shock. His voice was clear and devoid of his usual drawl. "But if you don't want me to sit in here, then I will just stay in the corridor until we arrive." He let his voice drift off and looked at Ron expectantly.

Harry snorted. "Malfoy? Why are you here?" he asked, since Ron didn't seem to get the situation under control soon. The blonde snatched away his glance for the first time from the redhead and looked at him. His eyes reflected a kind of shocked, wondering expression for a second, but then he hardened his expression and gave him a serious, guarded look.

"I told you already, there was no other free seat. I wanted to ask if I could get in here. I didn't mean to disturb you three. See, I usually avoid the middle section, because it is too noisy and I get a headache easily. I wouldn't bother if I could find somewhere else to sit."

Harry turned his head slightly, to look at the boy from other angles too, and furrowed his brow when he couldn't detect anything unusual in his looks, apart from three years of growth. "All right. Who are you, and what where did you bury the real Draco Malfoy?"

The other startled slightly, and didn't answer for a few seconds.

"Oh! Of course, you must have known me. Sorry, I forget sometimes that people may react to me like that," he said finally, and it didn't make any sense to Harry, until he continued. "I had an accident and have amnesia. I can't remember anything that happened before that…" He waited for an answer for several seconds, but when it didn't come, he reached forward with his hand hesitantly.

"I'm Draco Malfoy, nice to meet you."

Harry saw that Ron was on the verge of saying something rude to the blonde. "Wait Ron!" he grabbed him by his arm and pulled him back. "This could be actually fun!" he told his taller friend, so that the Slytherin didn't hear his last sentence. He saw a large, malicious grin spread on Ron's broad face, and took a step forward, while Ron let him take the initiative.

Harry stepped before the blonde and examined him for the longest time, with a slightly quirked smirk. Lastly, he took the offered hand into a firm grip and shook it lightly.

"I'm Harry Potter, these are my friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger," he told the smaller boy and pulled him through the door by his hand.

-----

Harry motioned Malfoy to sit down next to him, opposite to Hermione, who hadn't said a word since he entered. The Slytherin was staring at him the whole time, and Harry started to feel uncomfortable. Though since his defeat of Voldemort, he was more used at people giving him looks, but seeing Malfoy doing that just creeped him out.

"Is something on my nose?," he asked morosely. The blonde blinked rapidly, and pulled himself together, trying to act like he wasn't caught staring one second prior.

"Sorry," he said, riveting his glance to his lap. He looked frustrated with something and that became quite obvious when he pulled out his bonnet of his pocket and started to knead it between his fingers. It was a battered scarlet one, with a yellow pompon at the top. Seeing that Ron started to laugh loudly.

"What's that, Malfoy? That looks hideous! Not even Harry would have worn something like that!" he spat with amusement that contained just a bit too much disdain to be considered friendly. Then, when he felt his friends offended gaze on him, he gave Harry an apologetic smile for having insulted him about things he couldn't have done anything against before. Since he wasn't required to live with the Dursleys anymore, he didn't have to wear Dudley's hand-me-downs for pretence, but he had worn them for so long that the image had stuck to him forever. Hermione furrowed her brow but didn't say anything, just continued to observe the three boys, and Malfoy in particular.

"Oh, this?" Malfoy looked up at Ron and shrugged. "A present from my uncle. He told me, if I frequently looked at it, it might make me remember why I would hate to wear something like this." He pulled the cap onto his fisted palm and whirled it a few times while looking at it, as in thought. "I still don't know what he meant," he added slowly; his voice was barely audible to Harry who sat next to him.

"I suppose, you would," Harry muttered under his nose, but Malfoy heard him nonetheless.

"You knew me before," he said and it wasn't a question. "Please, tell me about myself. Were we friends?" The last question sounded sceptical, as if he knew he would get a negative answer for it. With Ron's performance earlier it was no secret that they weren't, Harry thought.

"No," Harry told him straight, in a neutral tone.

Malfoy nodded once. "So you don't know what I was like before…?"

Harry wanted to sneer and tell him exactly what he thought about him, and what Malfoy had used to do to them, but hearing the distress in the Slytherin’s voice, he just couldn't. He didn't know what it was that made him feel pity for him, but he felt it anyway, and the thought that all that Malfoy wanted for years continuously was to hurt him, didn't seem to matter in this question. The person sitting next to him created a strange blur in his mind of a child, who was lost in the body of his old school enemy. It wasn't the same person.

Ron had no such qualms about telling Malfoy what he felt about him, the only thing that made him stay silent was the Hermione's hand, which she put on his arm in the exact moment he opened his mouth.

"Malfoy, where were you? What happened to you after the… accident?" Hermione asked with a serious expression, speaking for the first time since he entered the compartment.

He looked at her for a few seconds, considering if he should tell them, and decided to do so.

"I don't remember much from the beginning. I woke up in a hospital room and was there for a few weeks after that. I was in St. Mungo's. Then I was left to the care of an old wizard, Albus Dumbledore, who told me, he would bring me to a secure place. He left me in a Muggle town to live with a Muggle family, Mr. and Mrs. Hilton, whose daughter was accepted in Hogwarts but died when the school was attacked. So they knew about our world and they took me in. Then eight months later Dumbledore came back and brought a wizard with him, who was injured and needed a place to hide from the Death Eaters. In trade Dumbledore made him teach me everything to know about the wizarding world and everything I should have remembered from school. He told me to call him 'Uncle', though he isn't related to me. But he was the only wizard I had contact with, and he seemed to know me from before, so I did. Then Dumbledore came again at the beginning of this summer and asked me if I wanted to finish my schooling and I told him yes. So now I'm here."

Hermione didn't like the hungry look on Ron's face, that told her, he was revealing in the other's bad luck. He didn't give a damn about how Malfoy fared, as long as he could make it worse. He still hadn't grown up. Harry was the other one, and she thought, she was disappointed in him. He should have known better. Even if it was Malfoy, whom she detested. She had to admit herself that she probably felt irritated with them exactly because it was Malfoy. She didn't want to do anything with the Slytherin. It would have been better to tell him politely to seek another place; or not so politely, if the end result was him not being there.

As Malfoy was there though, she felt obliged to continue asking questions; partly to divert the other two from tormenting him, partly to find out everything he was inclined to reveal to them. And it had been a lot; she was surprised. Malfoy really wasn't the same as before.

The identity of this mysterious wizard, who had appeared at the Muggles to teach Malfoy irked her curiosity. If he had indeed known Malfoy from before, it must have been someone to know his family. But it couldn't have been a Death Eater if he had been brought by Dumbledore. Or it could have been…

"Malfoy, what is the name of your uncle?" The best way was to ask directly, she thought to herself.

"Mr. Snape. But he didn't like me to use his name. He told me, somebody could hear…"

"Ah, so! It was Snape. Makes sense," she nodded. She had known, he had been injured, but nothing more. If he went to live in the Muggle world until he recovered, she could just applaud his choice; Voldemort wouldn't have searched for him there for sure.

"How is he?" the voice belonged to Harry, and Hermione was a bit surprised by its placidity.

Malfoy looked at him, and he seemed also a bit put out. There was that reverent look in his eyes again.

"He is… He told me not to reveal anything about him," Malfoy said finally.

"That bad, huh?" Ron felt the need to quip in.

"Mmm… No. He is awfully morose and sneers all the time, though," Hermione felt his mouth twitch at the reflecting look on the Slytherin's face. It was too open to be from Malfoy. And though he had said just a few seconds before that Snape didn't want him to tell about him, he did it just the same.

"Just the usual then," Harry added with a light sneer of someone who had just told an insider joke to someone who obviously couldn't understand it. Malfoy just nodded indecisively, because evidently, he couldn't know what for Snape was considered 'the usual'.

After that Ron and Harry entertained Malfoy with stories about Snape and Potions that had only two things in common. First was that they described the Professor as an utter bastard and though they didn't have to exaggerate much, it was still enough to make Malfoy feel uncomfortable, as his fidgeting indicated. The second was that it featured the Gryffindors in common as the innocent victims and Snape and the Slytherins as the evildoers who, though, always met their right punishment at the end. Hermione, for fact, knew that neither of the last ones had been true. It was only after the third anecdote that Malfoy asked what a Slytherin was.

For a few seconds all three Gryffindors showed the same reaction: staring at Malfoy astonished. Then Ron broke out in harsh laughter, and Hermione started to explain in a nutshell the old House-system amidst Harry's suspicious observation of Malfoy's facial expressions. Seemingly he couldn't decide if he was a really good actor or if he was for real.

"You were in Gryffindor?" the blonde asked after her short (this time really short, as she had learned that effective explanations skills could sometimes save time and lives) description ended. Everyone could have figured that the way Ron and Harry had told their tales.

She nodded.

"Was I in Gryffindor too?" he asked then with a small hope in his eyes that Hermione couldn't decide if it was hope for the positive or the negative.

"You are a Slytherin," Ron told him with the most disgust and accusation in his voice he could have ever mustered.

Malfoy blinked a few times. He looked at Ron for the longest time, then swung his head to glance at Hermione and then at Harry for a few brief seconds.

"I… I'm sorry," he told them in a small voice that told her that he really was, though he didn't really know what it was that he was sorry for. No one bothered to say it is forgiven, not even Hermione, who felt that it was unfair towards Malfoy to blame him for something he didn't have any recollections about.

After that the ride passed in silence. Hermione pulled out her book again, Harry seemed to nod off and Ron threw from time to time infuriated glances at Malfoy, who in return tried to make himself as small as he could.

Half an hour before the train would arrive, one of the fifth year prefects popped his head into the compartment and told them it was time to change into their robes. They thanked him and after he left, the Gryffindors transfigured back their clothes (that they had changed into Muggle clothing or in Ron's case simple robes before they left home that morning) as they were wont to do, into the new school robes.

Malfoy looked at them for a few seconds like he had never seen anything like that and then jumped up from his seat and started to search in his trunk frantically. At last he had found his simple, black robes stood. His first move was to start and pull out one arm from his sweater than he stopped rather abruptly and blushed to an unattractive shade of pink as he registered the stares directed at him.

"…" he opened his mouth to say something but only a squeak escaped his throat at first. Then he swallowed and grabbed the school robe, holding it to his chest as if he would try to conceal his state of undress though he had been still mostly dressed. "I go better find the lavatory?" he looked between the other three with hesitation.

"You only have to change your upper clothes so you can stay. No one is watching you, Malfoy," Harry answered before anyone else could. Hermione, suddenly conscious that she had been doing just that - watching - averted her eyes and looked at the baffled Ron next to her and elbowed him so he would look away at last. Harry was again staring out of the window, and - Hermione realised with a double-take - observing Malfoy's reflection in the reflecting surface that with the now completely dark background acted like a mirror, with a perfectly detached expression. The blatant lie and the impertinent interest didn't seem to fit with the image of little innocent Harry she had in her mind of her best friend. She didn't like the thought of him turning more and more into a Slytherin; but it wasn't the first time she noticed something like that. Of course it had been necessary during the war to be observant, and hadn’t hurt to be able to conceal one’s actions. Here and now though, she didn’t see any reason to act like that.

Twenty minutes later the Hogwarts express pulled to stop in the Hogsmeade station. Students were lining up in the corridor, waiting for their chance to get down and into the carriages that would transport students up from second year into the castle.

This year was distinctly different from every preceding one. For a start there was no ‘Firs’ years!’ yell when the train arrived, not just because Hagrid wasn’t here anymore. The traditional journey through the lake was cancelled this year (and probably for several more to follow). The squid was not the meek tempered overgrown house pet anymore; it got injured when the dungeons had collapsed and since then it turned aggressive every time it spotted any other creature – be that human, Grindylow or mermaid. The mermaids could protect themselves and no one cared for the Grindylow population of the Hogwarts Lake, but the headmaster wouldn’t want to risk the lives of his new first years by the creature. Instead of the boats, first years also got into the ‘horseless’ carriages, which seemed now a bit overstuffed.

The carriage Harry sat in carried him, Hermione, Ron, Dean, Seamus, Anthony Goldstein, who spent the train ride with the two other ex-Gryffindor boys, Ernie MacMillan and Draco Malfoy, who didn’t seem to be willing to part from them since they got down from the train. He was stuffed between the carriage wall and Harry, and first observed suspiciously by the others, then teased because of his red cape and his windblown hair. He didn’t seem to mind it. Harry had the distinct feeling that Malfoy cared more for the company of someone ‘familiar’ than the covert offences directed at his person.

Another tradition that had been put away with was the sorting ceremony. Since there were no houses anymore, there was no need for it. The Sorting Hat still got to sing his new song, but it was much shorter and somehow sadder than what anyone had ever heard from it before. The Great Hall still looked the same, and the walls were now decorated with the old house banners lined up alternating next to each other. Harry knew that behind them the walls looked weary and cracked – the banners weren’t there just for tradition’s sake.

The house tables and the head table were still at their original places, only now they weren’t ‘house’ tables. The sitting order was generally random, though students tended to sit with their own year, and friends sat in groups. Harry was now sitting with the people from the carriage and the other seventh years around them. Malfoy seemed to be firmly attached to his side and seated himself next to Harry quickly before anyone else could occupy that place, which Harry thought amusing, if a bit annoying.

Professor Dumbledore had started with his customary opening speech, adding the Slytherin dungeons and the lake shore to the list of the forbidden places. Most of the classrooms in the dungeons’ upper levels, like the Potions classroom were still intact, and after the repairs Harry had helped with through the best part of the summer they were secure enough to let students take their classes in them – even if they looked even less pretty than before. But the teachers’ quarters there had been locked down and not in use anymore.

The new Potions teacher didn’t fancy living under the earth any more than Harry himself, so he requested his quarters to be in the teachers’ wing, where his other colleges lived. It was the first time that he or any of his friends had got to see him sitting at the head table. He looked like a cheap imitation of Snape with the black robes and black (probably dyed) hair, but without the distinct facial features and gloomy expressions. His glares weren’t half as intimidating as Snape’s, though he tried; Harry had to give some credit to him. His name was Professor Marius Black – Harry’s heart throbbed when he had first heard his name from the Headmaster during the summer and Professor Dumbledore confirmed that he was a very distant relative of Sirius. Professor Black looked to be in his mid-forties, a bit older as Sirius would have been, but the list of similarities ended there. Harry only knew that he attended Durmstrang and had lived in Eastern Europe while Voldemort was in power. Because of his likely knowledge of the Dark Arts Dumbledore had mentioned giving him some of the upper level DADA classes on probation, but he hadn’t said anything in his speech about it if Professor Black had agreed or not.

The plot I devised for it: (It may contain misspellings, abbreviations and *gasp* foreign words.) You don't have to go along with it, it's just posted as a guideline.

Draco has amnesia about himself and his life, but the things he learnt about magic are comming back to him instinctively. But he has a problem to remember anything. The war in 7th year caused Hogwarts to close its gates for students and after V was killed, and it opened again, the students went back. H and co. has to repeat from 7th year. D is also there (he lost his memory two years before the war ended, and lived with muggles at first, then Snape, who had been injured in the war and couldn't fight anymore, also he was wanted and had to go into hiding. Snape taught D anything that was taught in the first 6 years, and D was able to do everything. The first day on the Express, the first (second) meeting between Harry and Draco repeats, but this time, Harry takes his hand and invites him in. They are terrible to him. R: "What do you want?" H: Wait, this could be actually fun! R: You're right… H: Well, come in. I'm HP, this is RW and HG. D: DM. - reaches out with his hand, and H takes it. (he comes in and smiles). It is clear, that he has something for H. Ron jokes and says that it is a crush. Hermione looks revolted, but it makes her think. And H realizes it too after a time, and plays on it. H plays with him, ridicules him, and D, who still has the mental age of a child (but he matures distinctly) doesn't notice. There will be no houses, since those were the downfall of Hogwarts: the houses working against each other. (the dorms will be: the towers will accomodate the 1-3 years (Griffindor), 4-7 years girls (Hufflepuff) and boys (ravenclaw). The dungeons have been caved in during the war, and won't be used.) There will be very few ex-slytherins remaining (Nott, Millicent, Tracey (coming later), Draco), so it isn't a wonder that most of the students encourage H to play his game with D, who has no other friends. But H gets to know him more and more, and he realizes, that D isn't a bad person, and starts to look at him differently. He starts to protect him from other pranks, saying that it is his privilege to play pranks with him. But when D comes to him one day, and after a Hogsmade trip there is only the two of them, and kisses him, after telling him that he is glad, that he has a so good friend like Harry, H starts to feel ashamed. He suddenly feels irritated by the naivite of D, before, he only ridiculed him because of it, so that D didn't even notice. Now he tries to teach him, that people aren't good, they have hidden motives and he gets angry, when D fails to notice that a joke was cracked at his cost again. D is anxious and tries to apologize, he thinks it is his fault. H thinks it too, but strangely, he finds himself explaining D that it isn't, and other people should be ashamed of themselves. Then D says that he has a secret, that Mr. Snape forbade him to tell others, and shows his forearm. There is the Dark Mark. He says, he doesn't know what that is, but when he has nightmares, they usually involve it. H tries to hide it from others, and tells D, that he shouldn't show it anyone. D asks him not to be angry with him, and tell him why he is angry, and H is desperate (he himself doesn't understand why) to explain him that no, he isn't angry with him, and no, he wouldn't leave him alone. D smiles a terrific smile, and H cannot withstand the emotion in it, and suddenly, he finds himself kissing D. H gets anxious and tries to back out, and D gets upset. He feels that H doesn't tell him anything. H asks Ron and Herm not to be so terrible to D anymore, because he is like a newborn puppy, that doesn't understand anything, and they are treating him, like he was treated by the Dursleys. Herm understands, but Ron gets irritated and feels jealous for their friendship. D doesn't know it, because Ron always showed a friendly face to him, only to be able to ridicule him more. D asks Ron, why the other people are treating him like dirt (Harry's words, because D didn't notice it) and what did Harry mean when he said, that he acted on a grudge, and D didn't deserve what he got from him. Ron is in a pissed off state and he vents his anger on D. He tells him, that his father was a DE, and that they were enemies for 6 years in school before. R tells D, that they were never his friends, they were just playing with him, and that he deserved it for what he had done to them during those 6 years. R says, that he hates him, and H does too, and he should slither down under the earth where he belongs and better not show his face again. That he isn't normal, and he is sick. D is crying and runs away. Ron feels awful and doesn't have the courage to tell anyone about what he said. (He doesn't think, Harry would be terribly angry with him, but he fears Hermione's reaction.) D runs into the dungeons and spends one day there. No one misses him (apart from Harry, who gets increasingly anxious when he doesn't come to breakfast and to classes. He goes to the infirmary to check, but he isn't there. So H decides to skip his afternoon classes in advance to search for him with his map) Hermione remarks that he isn't there, but she isn't too excited about it. Ron feels too guilty to say anything, and he gets irritated, when he sees H fidgeting and stressing about his absence. At least, he says, that he will cover H after H tells them, that he is going to search for D. Herm looks at him funnily, but doesn't say anything. (She suspects, that D's disappearance has something to do with Ron.) H finds D sitting like Gollam in the dark. D repeats him what he heard from Ron, and he tells him that he understands it. He had thought about it, and had seen that he was just a joke for them. H: well, it started like that. But I was wrong. You aren't the same person with the one who had taunted and tried to get me killed for years. D: no I'm not, am I? H: I don't hate you anymore. I know I wasn't a very good friend, but I was wrong. And I have changed. D looks up and just looks for a while. : You have. I can see that now too. H: so you aren't angry with me? D: I haven't said that. H I'm sorry. I cannot apologise enough, can I? D: no, so don't waste your time with it. Anyhow, I don't want to think about it anymore. H goes near. D looks at him with tears, and H pulls him into a hug instinctively, like he was a child that needed protection. He fears, D would pull back, but D doesn't, he is grateful and he buries his face in H's sweater. H: I'm sorry (again). D: don't! I don't want to hear it. What's done is done. … D: did you ever forgiven me for all that I have done to you? H: no, but that wasn't you. That was then, and you are now here. D: But what if my memories come back? H: I dunno, I guess, we will see. D: friends? H: Friends.*light kiss*. Time passes. D: do friends do this? H: depends, what kind of friends they are? D: and what kind of friends are we? H: Friends, who do that? D: laugh. Epilogue: years later. H and D live together in a house. Scene starts with waking up at morning (like it would be only minutes passed after the finishing scene of the last episode - D disentangles himself from the hug. Or snuggles closer.) But then the differences come slowly: he kisses H who answers enthusiasticly, D's POV. D had his memories back after a trauma, when he had seen his dad. He was in shock for days, but no one did actually know what nature was that shock. The shock was about that he suddenly remembered. He thought about his life, what it was worth to be a Malfoy, but he just couldn't think about Harry like his enemy. His mind tried to persuade him about it, but his heart told him otherwise. He was in st. Mungos for three days, and at last, when H came in in the morning, and he didn't throw his pillow at him, shouting at him that he wants to be alone, H came in with a relief written on his face. And D only told him to bring him home, and didn't say anything about his condition. (That was also the beginning of their life together. Until then, they were living in separate places, D just visited H an awful lot, but insisted his independence.) Now D knows that H started to suspect something, and he even caught him trying stealthily to catch him off guard and admit that he remembered when these and that happened (before his memory loss). And once he did succeed, but didn't say anything. Back to the starting scene, H in bed, D brings him coffee and slips back next to him. (Short but intense lemon scene, not first time, they are familiar with each others needs) And D thinks after it, that H is satisfied with his life as it is. H tells him, that he wouldn't trade D for anyone. And that he would be a terrible father, since his childhood was so bad, and he doesn't know anything about how to treat children properly.

The 7th years are: HP, RW, Seamus, Dean, Michael Corner, Anthony Goldstein, Justin Flinch-Fletchley, DM
HG, Susan Bones, Hannah Abott, Padma Patil, Lisa Turpin, Morag MacDougal

Pranks on D:
1. there is no houses now, so he doesn't know that wearing red and gold is a mocking of his past house. Ron and H make him do that, as they buy him a red T-shirt with a figure of Kimba? From Lion King - Disney - in gold (muggle) (another mock). He wears it, because H gives it to him for his birthday. - Beginning.
2. Mocking his seeker abilities: they suggest him to learn how to ride a broom from Harry - to everyone's amazement. H is anxious at first, even if he thinks, he can laugh at his cost. (Everyone is there on the spectator stages. D isn't disturbed by it, though they sing: Ferret is our king.) Why do they sing that? What does it mean? A 'ferret-king'? It's just a stupid joke, don't listen to them. Come on! This is how you sit on a broom!… Harry finds it fun after he gets the hang of teaching flying techniques, and that Draco is a so fast learner. This is in the beginning.
3. mocking his mudblood-hating (Maybe telling him, that 'Mudblood' is an elite club, and he has to try hard to get into it. After that, he asks everyone, how he could be a mudblood. They look weird at him and tell him that you must be born into it.)
4. mocking his muggle-hating (they do that a lot)
5. mocking his hair (geling it into spikes?)
6. mocking the snake symbol
7. giving him a stuffed lion
8. trying to give him a tan, but instead he just burns and has red skin.
9. piercing his ear? He gets a lightning-shaped golden ear-piercing. (not ring-earring). Because H suggests, that he would look good with an earring, he goes to someone else and asks her to help him with it. (Lavender?) [In the epilogue: it was the first thing after waking up to put in his earring. He still wore the lightning shaped one, though he got several others from Harry for his birthdays. First he got a silver snake, then an emerald one, several other shapes that seemed to symbolize something. Yet he liked his first one the best. He sometimes felt, that when he wore it, he had something common with Harry, and it was a reminder of his first attempt to make him aware of his feelings... But he didn't like to sleep with it, because it was uncomfortable when he had lain on his side.]
10. making him wear something ranbow-colored or giving him a rainbow-colored mug that he loves and always drinks from it. Of course, only mugle-bloods understand the implication.
11. giving him a nickname that he likes.
12. They give him a Remembrall (christmas or birthday).
13. Paint his eyelashes during he sleeps in history of m class and he doesn't realize it. They charm make up on him: founding, mascara, violet eye-shadows and pink, wet-look lipstick. They charm little pins into his hair with pink butterflies. Harry sees him and OMG! He takes him into a toilet, taking care, that he cannot glimpse himself in a mirror (acting er… stay here, no, don't turn around! Just… trust me, okay? You have a bit of… ink on your face…) He tries it with Scourgify, and then the remains with water. D knows it, but either he is too disturbed, or he wants to know why H does what he does.
14. Giving him (leaving on his desk and later claiming that it was an accident) canary cream, ton tongue toffee, nosebleed nougats or puking pastilles.
15. something ferrety. - making him dress on a costume-ball for a ferret.
16. someone lets his robes vanish and it looks like an accident. H just succeeds to hide the Mark on his elbow from others' eyes. And sees D's nipples harden into little dusky buds with goose bumps from the cold. *gulp*
17. feeding him veritaserum, and making him admit his feelings and insecurities about Harry and his life before the whole school. (end)

Character D: he has no memories, but his personality is the same, only a bit more subdued and scared at the beginning. He is still snotty, witty if need be, but he helds himself back, because he doesn't want his friends to be mad with him. He doesn't want to be alone and hated. He has a temper, but he can be real sweet if he wants. He is stubborn and doesn't take well if he doesn't have right or doesn't get the last word. Instead of Crabble and Goyle, now he uses Harry as a shield, but he isn't so terrible. He might say things, the wishes he hadn't, but he says sorry after saying it, and he acts sheepishly. He also knows how he looks, and thinks, that it isn't bad, but he doesn't want to look good just for the sake of it, he only wants to impress Harry. He takes an immense time with grooming, but he isn't very organized. He leaves his things around (like he thinks the houseelves will pick them up) and sometimes H does that. He act terrible when he gets pimples and doesn't want anyone to look at him, he thinks, it is a cathastrope. He likes sweets, but he is prone to give it away, so people like him and when H asks why, he tells him, that he doesn't want to be hated. He is still snaky, and is prone to have secrets. He is a very introvert and private person. He likes to read. He is a suck up, but in a good sense, he thrives to impress people and make them proud of him.

D will be put back from 7th into 6th year, because he still isn't good enough. So he will be together with Ginny and she knows no mercy for him. But he still sleeps next to Harry and the door.

Ginny: she is mad at D for something, maybe because she blames him for not having Harry. She had an accident or a war injury that made half of her face disfigured (not too badly, just a large scar, maybe a slicing charm or a burn on her cheek). But she blames D for it, because it was caused by Lucius to revenge his son's accident. She is self-conscious and thinks that no one would want her. She uses glamours and hides half of her face with her hair. She is too mean to D, but in the end she realizes that she has wronged him, and they reconcile. After D learns that he is responsible in a way for her condition, he tries hard to pay the dept to her, but she doesn't want kindness and understanding from him, she only wants to hurt him and he takes it from her, because he feels guilty. H doesn't know about that for a long time, he thinks, she does just pranks on him, but sees that she hurts his feelings bady sometimes, and discovers that she hurt his body too (she uses to relieve her frustration on him by beating him, and he endures without a word or move, because she is the one wronged, she is a girl, and he feels guilty.) Ginny is going to be friends with someone who she didn't look at before, who was blinded in the war and so she thinks, if he cannot see her, he wont be disgusted with her burns. Or acid.
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