Title: Acquaintances

Summary: How different would things be if Draco had been sorted into Gryffindor with Harry? What if Draco made Harry realize he was being used by the Order and helped him discover his true potential? AU Drarry Independent!Harry

A/N: I'm sure that people have thought of the Draco in Gryffindor before, and I'm really sorry but I've never seen those before so I feel like this is my own idea but it probably isn't lol. Anyway, this was supposed to be a oneshot but it turned into a full story whoops.

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Disclaimer: All rights go to JK Rowling and Scholastic Inc., I am only playing with her story. Also, some scenes and lines were taken directly from the Sorcerer's Stone in this chapter.

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chapter one: the sorting


Harry anxiously watched as his fellow classmates were sorted into their Houses. MacDougal, Morag was sorted into Slytherin, and passed the Sorting Hat to Malfoy, who swaggered forward once his name was called: the hat had barely touched his head when it screamed, "GRYFFINDOR!"

The hall was very silent. Harry wondered if it was some how possible for a person to be able to guess what house you belonged in, because for whatever reason, it seemed that Malfoy had been predicted to be in any house except Gryffrindor.

"Bloody hell," Ron muttered, shaking his head. Harry turned to him questioningly, and he added, "Everybody knows that all the Malfoys belong to Slytherin. It's been like that for generations."

"Mr. Malfoy," said Professor McGonagall, who nudged Malfoy gently. He remained still upon the stool, frozen in shock. "You must join your classmates now."

The blond haired boy stood; the hat was taken from him and given to the next pupil. He walked as if he were sleepwalking: stiffly and unthinkingly. Still, Harry waited his turn to be sorted as his stomach churned uncomfortably, his nervousness rising once again.

After the Sorting was finished and he too was placed in Gryffindor, Harry sat at his table and ate hungrily. In his peripheral vision, he could see Malfoy, his housemate, who appeared to be ostracized by his peers already. He sat at the end of the table, alone. His plate was left untouched.

Harry felt a surge of guilt and pity for him. Perhaps he had judged him too harshly? How bad could a person really be, anyways, if they were in Gryffindor? He suddenly felt less hungry and pushed his food away.

He could relate to Malfoy, he supposed. Dudley had kept him from having friends as well. Harry knew what it was like to be alone in a world of friendship. After the feast and Dumbledore's strange words, Percy the prefect led them to their common room, and the food he had eaten left him stuffed and sleepy.

A portrait of a very fat woman in a pink silk dress smiled welcomingly at them.

"Password?" she said.

"Caput Draconis," said Percy, and the portrait swung forward to reveal a round hole in the wall. they all scrambled through it - Neville needed a leg up - and found themselves in the Gryffindor common room, a cozy, round room full of squashy armchairs.

Percy directed the girls through one side of the dormitory and the boys through the other. They climbed a spiral staircase and found their beds at last: five four-posters hung with deep red, velvet curtains. Their trunks had already been brought up.

The other boys went to the bathrooms to wash up before bed, but Harry stopped beside Malfoy, and pulled on his pajamas before laying down in the bed next to his.

"I suppose I could be your friend after all, Malfoy." he said quietly, praying that it was not too late.

The boy was silent for a moment, and then he said, "Draco,"

"Pardon?" said Harry, confused.

"My name is Draco. It's nice to meet you." they lay in beds adjacent to each other. Harry chose not to look at him. Instead he smiled up at his bed curtains, and replied:

"It's nice to meet you too, Draco. My name is Harry."

"But I'm not your friend," Draco added suddenly. "I'm just your acquaintance." The pillow rustled underneath the blond's head, and Harry could imagine him lifting his chin haughtily.

It didn't seem possible, but Harry's grin stretched even further. "Even better."

The next morning, Harry and Draco made their way to the Great Hall, chatting up a storm. Whispers followed them wherever they went, and Harry wasn't sure if it was because of him, or if it was because Malfoy was with him. Perhaps it was both:

"There, look."


"Next to the blond boy - Merlin, is that a Malfoy?"

"Why is Harry Potter with a Malfoy, of all people?"

"They're both Gryffindors, mate."

"Rubbish! A Malfoy is Gryffindor is like a having Weasley in Slytherin."

People lined up outside classrooms and stood on their tiptoes to get a good look at them, or doubled back to pass them in the corridors, staring. Harry wished they wouldn't, because he was trying to concentrate on finding his way to classes. He hoped Draco knew where he was going.

"My father's told me all about Hogwarts," Draco boasted. "I know where everything is already." including the Slytherin common rooms, was left unsaid.

"Lucky us, then," Harry grinned as they hurried to their first class.

Harry found, throughout his classes, that he was indeed a bit further behind than some others who were raised with magic, or at least, those who were raised like Draco. They, at least, knew how to properly write with a quill. Draco had to help him adjust his grip.

Classes were far from boring (except for History of Magic, of course), and Draco was quietly reviewing things from their first lessons with Harry. They were beginning with the basics of magic, Draco explained, and these fundamentals, if properly learned, will shape the rest of your magical ability.

One morning at breakfast, as Harry buttered toast while simultaneously reading a chapter ahead in his Transfiguration text, Draco began to write a letter to his parents, explaining his unexpected Sorting. He looked very anxious as he sent it.

"Does it really matter what House you're sorted into?" Harry asked, munching his toast.

"It does to my family," Draco said quietly, watching the owl soar out the window.

"But what's the worst that could happen? You'll get grounded?" Harry asked, still confused. Sure, he could understand if Draco felt that his parents wouldn't be proud of him, but …

"I could be disowned."

Harry started, at first thinking he was joking, but the serious expression on Draco's face told him otherwise. He replied his most honest opinion on the matter: "That's stupid."

Draco snorted softly, "It's the truth. The sorting reveals who you truly are, your ideals. Slytherins are cunning, ambitious. Gryffindors are loud and act before they think."

Some of their nearby house members scowled, but Draco didn't pay attention to them.

"That's not all that you are," Harry said, emphasizing the 'you'. After all, Draco was a Gryffindor too. "Gryffindors are brave. Do you really think if you weren't the least bit brave, you could have sent that letter to your parents?"

They ate in silence for the rest of breakfast before making their way, together, to their first class of the day.

That Friday, they had double potions with the Slytherins.

"Now, you really ought to pay attention especially well in Potions," Draco said, turning a corner. Harry struggled a bit to keep up. "I know a lot about it already, because Professor Snape is my godfather. He visits the manor a lot to tutor me. But he can be really strict."

Harry absentmindedly touched the scar on his forehead, remembering the way it prickled when Professor Snape had looked at him.

Draco stopped suddenly, outside of a door. Harry very nearly ran into him. "I…I think he's going to hate us." Draco said, wincing.

"What? Why? We haven't even met him yet." Harry said, flabbergasted. The idea that a teacher could hate them before they even walked into the classroom was ridiculous.

"He doesn't quite like students outside of his own house." Draco said softly. A few students in their year walked inside. There was light chatter drifting through the door. Harry suddenly understood what Draco meant.

"Draco, if he really cares about you, he shouldn't care about the house you're in. And we are prepared for his class, remember? We've read half the book already." Harry said gently. "C'mon, let's sit down before all the good seats are taken."

They walked in side by side. Professor Snape wasn't in yet, but the only seats left were right in the very front, or they were to sit with other people and be separated.

Harry and Draco glanced at each other, and they came to an understanding right away. Their chins held high, they practically marched to the frontmost seat of the classroom and sat down.

Draco began to take out parchment, ink, and quills. He set them neatly on his desk, as well as putting his copy of the Potions textbook in the far corner. Quickly, Harry mirrored his set up. He wanted to be prepared for his class.

The doors to the classroom opened and Harry recognized Professor Snape as he strode to the front of the classroom, black cloak billowing out behind him. Draco sat up straighter, so Harry did too. He paid attention as well as he could. Both boys diligently took notes.

At the start-of-term banquet, Harry had gotten the impression that Professor Snape disliked him. By the end of the first Potions lesson, he knew he'd been wrong. Snape didn't dislike Harry, he hated him.

Professor Snape started the class by taking roll. He paused at Harry's name.

"Ah, yes," he said softly. "Harry Potter. Our new - celebrity." Snape peered down at Harry over his nose in mild disgust, and then his cold gaze flickered briefly to Draco, who kept his eyes away and sat still as if he were afraid to move.

Snape finished calling the names and started his lecture, "You are here to learn the subtle science and exact art of potion making,"

Harry and Draco immediately began to jot down tidbits of his lecture.

Professor Snape spoke in barely more than a whisper, but they caught every word; Snape appeared to have the gift of keeping a class silent without effort. "As there is little foolish wand-waving here, many of you will hardly believe this is magic. I don't expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its hammering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through the human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses . . . I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death - if you aren't as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach."

Draco and Harry exchanged looks. Hopefully their studying had given them enough of a head start to push them forward in the class. Hermione Granger was on the edge of her seat and looked desperate to prove that she wasn't a dunderhead.

"Potter!" said Snape suddenly. "What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?"

"Erm," Harry racked his brains. He remembered that asphodel was used in Dreamless sleep, and he remembered Draco mentioning something about infusing powdered roots together, they created a . . . "A type of sleeping draught, sir?" he tried, cursing himself. He knew he'd read over something like that, but couldn't remember exactly what it would create.

Snape sneered at him. Hermione's hand was outstretched in the air. He ignored her.

"Let's try again. Potter, where would you look if I told you to find me a bezoar?"

Hermione's hand stretched as high into the air as it would go without her leaving her seat, but there was no need.

"Bezoars are found in the stomach of a goat, sir." Harry responded more confidently.

He glanced at Draco out of the corner of his eye, who seemed to be fighting a smirk as he scribbled down the questions and answers on parchment beside him.

"What is the difference, Potter, between monkshood and wolfsbane?"

At this, Hermione literally stood up, and Draco snorted audibly. Harry paused, thinking the question through but knowing he only had mere seconds to reply, and he asked, tentatively, "Aren't they the same thing?" He winced, thinking the answer was horribly incorrect.

But it appeared correct enough for Professor Snape, for with one more sneer he turned away to scowl at Hermione. "Sit down," he snapped at her, and then to the rest of the class, he said, "Asphodel and wormwood make a sleeping potion so powerful it is known as the Draught of Living Death. Bezoars, once taken from the stomach of a goat, will save you from most poisons. Monkshood and wolfsbane are also known as aconite. Well? Why aren't you all copying this down?"

There was a sudden rummaging for quills and parchment. Draco and Harry traded sly grins. Then, Professor Snape set them to mixing up a simple potion to cure boils. He swept around in his long black cloak, watching them weight dried nettles and crush snake fangs. He criticized everyone except for the Slytherins, but he strangely left Draco and Harry alone.

Professor Snape was just yelling at Weasley for the way he had stewed his horned slugs when clouds of acid green smoke and a loud hissing filled the dungeon. Neville had somehow managed to melt Seamus's cauldron into a twisted blob, and their potion was seeping across the stone floor, burning holes into people's shoes. Draco and Harry hoisted themselves onto their shared desk.

Within seconds, the whole class was standing on their stools while Neville, who had been drenched in the potion when the cauldron collapsed, moaned in pain as angry red boils sprang up all over his arms and legs.

"Idiot boy!" snarled Snape, clearing the spilled potion with one wave of his wand.

"He probably added the porcupine quills before taking the cauldron off the fire." Draco murmured in Harry's ear, snickering softly. Harry nodded in agreement, frowning.

"I suppose you added the porcupine quills before taking the cauldron off the fire?" Snape thundered.

Neville let out a pitiful whimper; boils were popping up all over his nose.

"Take him up to the hospital wing," Snape spat at Seamus. Then he rounded on Ron and Dean Thomas. "You - Weasley - why didn't you tell him not to add the quills? Thought he'd make you look good if he got it wrong, did you? Five points from Gryffindor."

Ron's face and ears colored enough to match his hair.

"He probably would've said that to me if we'd been sitting closer to them," Harry said to Draco, who pursed his lips and nodded in agreement. "I think the only reason he isn't is because you're with me."

Draco shook his head, "He isn't terrorizing me because I'm his godson," he said haughtily. "But the reason he's not breathing down your neck is because you exceeded his expectations, Potter. He thought you were the biggest dunderhead in the class and you proved him wrong."

Harry grinned in spite of himself and shoved Draco off the desk while Snape wasn't looking.


End of Chapter One