The next morning, Harold went about his usual training routine and went to the Great Hall for breakfast. Harold was just finishing when the doors to the Great Hall opened and a rather portly man with a green hat walked in.
"Ah, Cornelius," greeted Dumbledore, "What brings you to Hogwarts on such short notice?"
"Well, if you recall, You-Know-Who was beaten nearly ten years ago," said the newly identified Minister of Magic.
"I recall," said Dumbledore.
"Well, that means Harry Potter's eleven years old now. Why isn't he at Hogwarts?"
Murmurs and whispers broke out amongst the students. Dumbledore sighed, "He is here, Cornelius, but is not using the name he was born with."
The whispering intensified. "What?" Fudge asked incredulously. "He's not using his own name? What sort of nonsense is this?"
"Alas, that is his decision. Perhaps it would be better to discuss such matters in my office."
"Oh. Of course."
As Dumbledore and Fudge left the Hall, Snape watched Drakken. The boy was glaring at Albus, as though he did not want his true identity revealed. James Potter would have revealed himself in front of the students and the minister with a burst of theatrics to boot. No, this boy was not interested in theatrics or mounds of attention. He was subtle, he was clever, he was a Slytherin.
Snape smirked inwardly. "A Potter in Slytherin. The Marauder must be rolling over in his grave." His thoughts wandered when he saw Drakken's green eyes. "Well, he's not Potter's son, but what about Lily's?"
At the Slytherin table, Harold was fuming. How did the minister learn "Harry Potter" was not at Hogwarts? If the students learned his true identity, they would avoid him like the Rakghoul Plague, thinking he was a Dark Wizard! He wasn't ready to tell Susan, Hermione or Neville his birth name, as he did not trust them enough yet. Someone must have got word to the minister. Someone whose parents had strong ties to the Ministry. Harold narrowed his eyes as he put the pieces together. "Malfoy." If Dumbledore told the Minister Harold's identity, he would make the blonde snob suffer.
That evening found the Harold, Sabrina, Susan, and Hermione in the same empty classroom they used last night. "Where's Neville?" asked Susan.
"He didn't want to come," Hermione answered. "He's been awfully quiet."
"He'll come around," Harold said dismissively.
"Did anyone see Dumbledore talking with the minister this morning?" Hermione asked.
"I think the entire school knows about that," Sabrina noted.
"I was wondering why I hadn't seen Harry Potter," said Hermione. "I've read everything about him, of course."
"We can't trust her," Harold told Sabrina via the Force as Hermione began listing the books she had read about the Boy-Who-Lived.
"Agreed," Sabrina replied.
Susan groaned, cutting Hermione off. "Everyone here is so ignorant!" she exclaimed. "Everyone keeps talking about how they'd love to meet the famous Harry Potter, but no one's bothered to think about what life's like for him! No one's forgotten that You-Know-Who was beaten all those years ago, but everyone's forgotten that the poor boy lost his parents that night! Does anyone have any idea what his life's been like, growing up without his mum and dad?"
Hermione was stunned silent. "Oh," she said finally. "I hadn't thought of it that way."
"Susan seems trustworthy," mused Sabrina.
"Perhaps," Harold replied.
At dinner, the primary topic of conversation was which of the first-years was Harry Potter.
"Hope he isn't making friends with the wrong sort," said Malfoy.
Harold rolled his eyes.
Dumbledore stood up at the staff table to speak. "As all of you are no doubt aware by now, Harry Potter has come to Hogwarts under a different identity. Some of you are probably troubled by this, but the decision to remain hidden ultimately rests with Mr. Potter. I simply ask that you set an example that will persuade him to step into the light."
"So Dumbledore thinks he can guilt me," thought Harold. "Well, it won't happen! If I tell anyone my birth name, it will be when I'm good and ready!"
The next day was flying lessons with Gryffindor. Harold was hoping for a chance to speak with Neville, who was looking borderline ill with nervousness. Madame Hooch stepped onto the pitch and gave a brief warning against foolishness. She instructed the students to hold a hand out over a broom and say "Up".
The broom flew into Harold's hand the second he said the word, while others struggled.
Hooch showed everyone how to properly mount and grip their brooms. Harold smirked when the teacher showed Malfoy, who had been bragging about his flying skills all morning, that he was gripping his broom incorrectly.
"Now, on the count of three, I want all of you to kick off the ground," Hooch instructed. Neville was so nervous he kicked off prematurely and crashed. Several Slytherins snickered as Neville cradled his arm, crying.
Harold pinched the bridge of his nose. "How am I supposed to make him stand on his own two feet when he has this much trouble!"
"Broken arm," Hooch declared. "I'll be taking Mr. Longbottom to the hospital wing, and if I see anyone off the ground I'll have you expelled before you can say 'Quidditch'!"
"Did you see the lump's face?" Malfoy mocked as the other Slytherins burst into laughter. "Look! He dropped his remembrall, the useless Squib!" Malfoy picked up a glass ball that was on the ground.
"Give it here, Malfoy!" yelled Ron Weasley.
"If Neville wants it back, he should be willing to fight for it," Harold declared. "Once Neville's arm heals, he can challenge Malfoy to a duel. The winner takes the ball."
Malfoy smirked. "I might as well keep it. That Squib doesn't stand a chance against me."
Harold snatched the Remembrall from Malfoy's hand. "In the meantime, I'll be holding on to this to make sure it isn't misplaced. As I understand it, Malfoys are known for misplacing things, like their brains."
Malfoy's smugness dropped and the boy charged at Harold. The Sith apprentice sidestepped the attack and stuck out a foot, causing Malfoy to trip and fall.
Several lions and serpents laughed at the blonde bully's ineptitude. "This isn't over, Drakken!" Malfoy declared.
The students turned to see an angry Professor Snape. "What is the meaning of this!"
"That filth Drakken insulted me!" Malfoy whined.
"And you saw fit to disgrace your house by failing yourself about like some common drunk?! Twenty points from Slytherin!"
"Sir, I can-"
"Five points from Gryffindor for talking out of turn, Miss Granger."
Snape stormed off the field just as Madame Hooch was returning.
"What happened?" she asked.
"The matter has been dealt with," Harold declared. "Bringing it up again would be pointless."
As the students walked back from their flying lesson, Hermione went up to Harold, who was accompanied by Daphne Greengrass.
"Harold, give me Neville's Remembrall!" the lioness demanded.
"No," Harold replied.
"Harold, If you have a shred of decency, you'll give Neville his Remembrall back!"
"If he wants it, he'll have to grow a backbone and fight Malfoy."
Hermione huffed, "I'm going to speak with Professor McGonagall about this you... you... snake!"
"Rather annoying, isn't she?" Greengrass commented as Granger left.
"Found a benefit to my company, have you?" Harold asked.
"Malfoy just cost our house twenty points. He probably won't get his popularity back until the duel, which will be very soon, sadly."
Harold smiled mischievously, "But if Longbottom wins, Malfoy will be completely and utterly humiliated."
Daphne raised an eyebrow, "Just what are you scheming about, Drakken?"
"Now, now, that would be telling."
Harold proceeded to the hospital wing. Neville was walking out with Hermione Granger, his arm fully healed.
"There you are!" Granger exclaimed. "Give Neville his Remembrall!"
Harold ignored her, "Neville, I assume Granger told you the conditions for getting this back."
Neville nodded, "It's alright. I don't really need it. It lets me know when I've forgotten something but doesn't tell me what I've forgotten. It's useless, really."
"If you back away from this, your own house will call you a coward."
"Well, they're right!" Neville cried. "Everyone knows I'm not brave enough for Gryffindor! You were right about Gran and the rest of my family. They always told me to be more like Dad, never really believing in me. Gran won't even let me get my own wand!"
"Then this is your chance to prove yourself." Harold insisted. "Defeat Malfoy and everyone will think twice before bothering you again."
Granger huffed, "Just talk to Professor McGonagall, Neville. She can make Drakken give you the Remembrall and I'm sure your house wouldn't call you-"
"SHUT UP!" Neville shouted. "JUST SHUT UP!"
The boy ran down the corridor.
Harold began walking away as Granger tried to follow him.
"Now look what you've done!" she scolded. "If you had just given it to him-"
Granger collapsed to the ground, sound asleep. "It seems books and rules don't keep you from being weak-minded," Harold mused aloud.
Later that day, Granger was absent from the study group. "I heard a strange rumor," said Susan. "I heard that Neville Longbottom is going to fight Draco Malfoy tomorrow."
"It's true," Harold answered.
"But why?" Susan asked.
Before Harold could answer, Neville walked in. "I talked to Professor McGonagall," the boy announced. "We're going to Diagon Alley in the morning to get me a new wand. She tried to talk me out of the duel, but I said I'd made up my mind."
"Good," said Harold.
"Why are trying to help me?" asked Neville. "Your a Slytherin and I'm a Gryffindor."
"House rivalries mean nothing to me," Harold answered. "As for why I'm helping you, let's just say I hate to see others denied their true potential."
Neville was silent for a moment. "Could you help me prepare?" he finally asked.
"We all will," Susan declared. "By the way, has anyone seen Hermione?"
"She cost Gryffindor twenty points and got detention for sleeping in the middle of a corridor," Neville answered. "Snape caught her."
"Pity," said Harold, "Someone ought to tell her it's unhealthy to study all day and through the night."
"That was you, wasn't it?" Sabrina demanded over their bond.
"Yes," Harold answered. "And you say I'm no fun."
"You and I have different ideas of what 'fun' is."
At dinner, Harold was approached by Professor Snape. "See me in my office, Drakken," the head of Slytherin commanded, "Eight O'Clock."
The apprentice nodded. "Understood."
"What do you suppose he wants?" Daphne asked once Snape had left.
"I suppose I'll have to ask him," Harold answered.
Harold arrived at Snape's office on schedule and entered.
"May I ask why you saw fit to enter without knocking?" Snape asked, clearly annoyed.
"You were expecting me," Harold answered. "Any other time and I would have knocked. In this case, however, it would have been pointless."
Snape glared for a moment, "I see. I understand you are setting up a duel between Malfoy and Longbottom."
"Simple. If Neville wants his Remembrall back, he has to fight for it."
"You've worked with Longbottom. You know he can't fight his way out of a wet paper bag."
"Are you hoping Longbottom will win?"
"And humiliate that fool Malfoy? Yes."
Snape stared at Harold with a calculating expression, "Why go to all this trouble? Why not fight Malfoy yourself?"
"If I did, he'd try to take revenge for his defeat and continue being his pompous, foolish self because we're in the same house. Losing to a Gryffindor, on the other hand, ought to bring him down a few pegs."
"I assume you are helping Longbottom in some way to ensure he wins?"
"That hardly seems fair to your housemate."
Harold chuckled, "Since when has Slytherin ever been about being fair?"
Snape was silent. Eventually, he told Harold to leave.
When Drakken left, Snape contemplated the boy's actions. "A Slytherin through and through," Snape said to himself. "Yet from what the others tell me, he is as smart as Lily was. But why would he befriend a Gryffindor?"
I'm in the process of expanding my previous chapters to include more than just plot. This means it might take awhile before the next update, but I assure you it'll be worth it.