Secondhand Slytherin by Pseudonymous Entity
Summary: Just before the yule ball Harry receives advice from an unlikely source which changes the night's course of events. "They're going to stare regardless you know."
Warnings: I laugh in the face of canon. Ambiguous undertones.
AN: Last chapter and the next few are setting up things that will come into play later. Lots of fun little things thrown in for you guys to catch if you can. This won't be the longest story ever, probably only going through fourth year. But, as I said, I'm not following canon outside of the events I listed in the other chapter, so anything could happen. Hopefully it will prove entertaining.
"Was it worth it? Was it perfect? When you up and left me cynical?
Like you planned it, you're a bandit - Just a no good, too big, filthy, rotten criminal
Let me count the ways: five, six, seven ate my words
Right from the silver plate, we checked in checked out, checkmate
I couldn't keep you honest 'cause I was just a card you played..."
-All Time Low
Harry pulled on a white button-up he still had from third year.
The uniforms tended to be sized up according to a predetermined average rate of growth and Harry would never be anything but a bit on the smaller side. While generally, he didn't mind the roomier clothes -which were still miles better than Dudley's hand me downs- he had Herbology with the Hufflepuffs first thing that morning and the last you needed in that class was extra fabric for a plant with thorns, spines or teeth to latch on to.
After a moment's hesitation, Harry pulled on his dragonhide boots, stuffing his slacks down in them. They were nigh indestructible, why not make use of them? What was the point in having them if he wasn't going to use them?
Harry slung his bookbag over his shoulder and went down to the common room. He and Ron weren't technically fighting anymore but things were still uncomfortable between them. Nothing like it was before. Harry didn't know how long it would take to get back to where they were. Until then, he avoided the stilted conversations and awkward silences to the best of his ability. Maybe it wasn't the best choice on his part. Maybe he ought to push through until everything settled into place. Either way, whether he should or shouldn't, Harry chose to continue the rest of the way down the staircase without looking back.
Because why worry now when he could worry later?
Parvati was leaning against the back of a couch talking to two wizards Harry thought might fifth or sixth years. They left as Harry approached. Parvati flashed him a smile, flicking her braid over her shoulder. She had two books under her arm which she shoved into a purple bag decorated with glittery strands of beads.
"Up early? We're making this a habit."
Harry shrugged. "Yeah, I guess we are."
"Moooorning." Sang out Lavender. She pressed a kiss to Harry's cheek and then Parvati's. "Isn't it a wonderful morning? The seventh years have been up for hours and still haven't completed their work if that frenzied commotion upstairs is anything to go by. First years are still asleep because four months in they still haven't managed to adjust their sleep schedules. Granger is over by the hearth scribbling an additional unwanted five pages on a charm assignment not due for another three days. It must be a Monday." Lavender reached up and adjusted her headband, bracelets clinking.
"A very unusual Monday." Said Parvati. "Harry is up early."
"I did see that." Said Lavender. Her dangling earrings swayed as she turned her head. "To what do we owe the unexpected pleasure? And may I say those boots go with everything? Because they do. A wizard's green jumper. A school uniform. My new shorts..."
"Lavender." Parvati admonished. "I thought we decided jealousy wasn't a good look on anyone?" She bumped her shoulder against Lavender's.
The golden-haired witch put a hand to her forehead and gave a dramatic sigh, leaning back against the couch and sliding down. "I know my dearest, I know! Alas! My inner selfish dragon horde requires an exact pair of those boots or I shall surely perish from envy." Quite a few sixth years were watching them now, laughing.
Parvati gave Harry an exasperated glance. "Quick. Let's get her out of here before we die of secondhand embarrassment."
"Perish." Lavender corrected.
"Right. Before we perish of secondhand embarrassment."
"Oh wait, Harry?" Harry looked toward the couch by the fireplace. Hermione Granger, a tan witch with big coffee coloured eyes and thick hair, waved at him. She did indeed appear to have homework on the table in front of her, as Lavender guessed. "What did you choose for your Charms essay? I'm worried I may have been too obvious. Though I did try to look for non-traditional sources. That may well do, I suppose. Oh, hello Parvati. Lavender." Said Hermione, trailing off. She looked from Harry to the two other Gryffindor girls. Hermione's eyes narrowed. She spun in her seat, thick curly ponytail swishing, lifting up on her knees to look over the back of her couch at Harry. Her eyes trailed from his boots to his hair which he had once again attempted to tame.
"Well don't you look nice." She teased.
Harry felt his cheeks heat up. "I looked nicer over the weekend. Not much I can do with a uniform."
Hermione hummed, an odd smile on her lips. "What are you up to so early?"
"We were going to head to breakfast, I think?" He glanced at Parvati who nodded.
"Oh, is it time already? Hang on for a moment. I'll walk down with you. Let me just get my things packed up real quick." Hermione spun back around started piling up parchment neatly. That was when Harry noticed her hair pulled into a ponytail, which wasn't that unusual if not a common thing she did. It was the red hair ribbon that had him surprised. Hermione didn't usually bother with such things. Then again, neither did he.
"You know Harry, I could help you with your uniform if you like." Said Lavender quietly.
Her own uniform consisted of a close-fit short sleeved button-up, a pleated grey skirt with a bow on the back and dark blue stockings, which matched the blue headband she was wearing that day. Harry had known she wore her uniform differently than the standard one you could pick up in Diagon Alley, but hadn't ever given it much thought in passing. Beside her Parvati's skirt was also grey, this time long and flowy. She also wore coloured stockings, in violet. He remembered Parvati saying something about Lavender knowing the school regulations well enough that she could get away with her alterations to the uniform, even though it displeased their head of house.
Harry shifted his weigh on his feet, looking down at his uniform. He didn't know if it was a witch thing or not, but he really didn't think he needed to be that creative. Clothes that fit and didn't get caught on potentially deadly plant life was more than enough for him. "The only thing I'd like at the moment is better fitting slacks. Less loose fabric. I wore a smaller shirt for the same effect but these already are my bottoms from last year. I didn't bother getting new ones because I knew these were still a little big." Said Harry. He shrugged.
Parvati looked him over. "We could tailor that, couldn't we?"
Lavender nodded. "Get his measurements and I could spend some time altering them."
"I don't suppose either of you knows the charms that let you just..." He mimed swishing a wand.
Parvati raised a brow. "Alteration spells, not charms. And we could if we knew them. You need at least two people to do it, one to alter the texture of the fabric to make it stretch or tighten, and one to remove or add fabric, change pattern and thickness. That's not even taking into account that each material reacts differently. Acromatula silk versus down or leather or moon cotton. It all reacts to magic differently and it takes a lot of concentration. I think just using some scissors and some thread is easier. Unless you want to wait and send it out?"
"Ah...no. I don't need to send it anywhere."
Hermione joined them and they headed out of the portrait. Harry walked with the three witches frowning. Draco had done the alteration spells on his own at the Yule Ball and didn't look all that hard then. Of course, Harry didn't know for certain if he was using the same spells the girls were thinking of, because Parvati didn't say what they were called and even if she did Draco had cast them nonverbally. He guessed it wasn't the most pressing mystery in the world and soon shoved it to the back of his mind.
As they neared the bottom of the main staircase Harry spotted Viktor Krum leaning against a wall, looking around the entrance hall. He glanced over at Hermione with her red hair ribbon and her eyes on a book she was reading while walking. Viktor had taken her to the ball. Was he the reason she was wearing a ribbon.
Harry stepped closer to the studious Gryfindor witch. "Hermione?"
Hmm?" She murmured. Harry checked to make sure Viktor was still there. He was and he had spotted Hermione.
"You know, you should invite Viktor to sit with you for breakfast."
Hermione squeaked, nearly tripped. Harry grabbed her shoulder to steady her. She looked up at him startled, cheeks flushed. "W-what? Oh no, I couldn't I..." She looked at the ground. "I couldn't I just..." She chewed her lip, flustered.
Feeling mischievous Harry bounded down the stairs leaving a squawking Hermione behind him. He walked right over to Viktor who appeared to have been watching the entire exchange with interest. The Bulgarian seeker was tall with broad shoulders and thick dark brows. Much the same as when Harry saw him at the world cup.
"Krum, do you think I ould ask you a favour?"
Viktor blinked. "You can ask." He said, after a moment.
"I'm going to be sitting at the Ravenclaw table today with some friends. I was wondering if you might sit with Hermione for me? I'd hate for her to eat alone." Viktor stood a little straighter glancing over Harry's shoulder than back to him.
Viktor gave him a shallow bow. "I would be pleased to do you this favour, Potter."
Hermione skidded to a halt near them, out of breath. She looked furious with Harry. Her bag was bulging so Harry assumed she'd stopped to stuff her book into it before running down the stairs after him. She probably could have caught up with him if she'd been willing to risk dropping a library book. Before she could tell him off Viktor walked in front of her and gave a bow. Hermione closed her mouth and glanced between them.
"May I escort you to breakfast, Hermione?" He asked, low voice rumbling.
"I...you..." Hermione stuttered. She looked down at the floor, face rosy, shy smile blooming across her face. "Yes, I would like that very much.
Harry watched Viktor lead his still frazzled, if pleased, friend into the great hall. Parvati and Lavender sopped beside him. Lavender twirled a golden curl around one of her fingers, violet eyes tracking the couples progress to the Gryffindor table.
"Are we sitting with my sister today?" Asked Parvati.
Lavender pulled her eyes away from Hermione and the famous quidditch player to throw Harry a smirk. "I didn't realise you were so assertive with your date planning Harry."
Oh. Right. "About that.."
Lavender laughed, seized his arm and pulled him into the hall. Her bracelets glinted in the morning light. "No harm Harry. We don't mind. Do we Parvati?"
Parvati shook her head. "I don't mind sitting with my sister. You should ask in the future if you plan to use as a cover, though. It's only polite." She took a seat next to her sister who was reading a book. Harry sat across from them, Lavender sliding in next to him. He did feel a little guilty. It was nice they were being such good sports about it.
Padma reached out and snatched a blueberry muffin without looking. "Morning Parvati. Lavender. Potter."
"Morning Padma." Said Harry. He piled some pancakes on his plate and poured himself some juice. It was pretty much his default breakfast at this point if he wasn't sure what he wanted to eat. Besides, every day was a good day for pancakes in Harry's opinion.
"That was very nice of you Harry." Said Parvati, out of the blue.
Harry looked up at her, blinking. "What was?"
"Same question." Said Padma, looking up from her book curiously.
"Earlier. With Granger. That was nice of you to do that." She was looking at him seriously. "You didn't have to do that. You knew her first and you're very close. You could have sat with her instead of us. You could be there right now."
It clicked and Harry choked. "No. No. I mean, yes it was nice but no. I don't have any...er...romantic inclinations toward Hermione. Really. I'm totally fine with her spending time with Viktor. She likes him. I think it's nice for her. Really." He said.
Parvati frowned, exchanging a look with Padma. "If you say so." She didn't sound convinced. Harry wondered why anyone would think he was interested in Hermione. Not that she wasn't pretty or anything. He just hadn't ever looked at her that way. They were just friends. That wasn't so unusual, was it?
"Handle it, Quinn!"
Harry jumped. A group of older students collapsed onto the bench to Harry's left. A bond witch with close-cropped hair and a prefect's badge glared at the two wizards across from her before turning to the girl sitting next to her. On the other side, a wizard with shadows under his eyes held his head in his hands, groaning. A wizard next to him with short black hair and a wide mouth looked displeased.
"Everything hurts. I think." Moaned the first wizard. "I'm not sure. Everything is fuzzy and my brain is exploding. Somebody make it stop." He tried to stand up and ended up half sprawled on the dark-haired wizard in an attempt not to fall on his face on the floor. The other wizard looked resigned. "I need...twins...hangover potion..." The wizard Harry was quickly realizing was intoxicated mumbled.
The dark-haired wizard pushed his friend off of him and onto the bench, though the other kept trying to wrap his arms around him. "The Weasley Twins are what got you into this mess to begin with, Callum, and I hardly feel sorry for you. I should make you spend the day like this as punishment. Let Owens rat you out. Maybe a month of detentions with Filch or Hagrid would teach you."
"Awww Quinn." Whined Callum. "You're making frowny lines." He reached out and tapped at the place between Quinn's eyebrows which was in fact creased with a line. "Don't...don't make frowny lines Quinn."
Quinn's dark grey eyes narrowed. Then he sighed. "If I help you will you promise not to be an idiot when you have classes in the morning?"
Lavender laughed quietly into her hand. She and the other witches were making a point not to watch but it was obvious they'd realized what drew Harry's attention away from them and were just as amused as he was.
Callum tried to nod then clutched at his head and groaned. Quinn rolled his eyes and reached into his robe. He glanced around, eyes stoping on Harry before dismissing him. Harry was too amused to bother being offended. Quinn held a small bottle half under the table -Harry suspected it was hangover reliever- toward Callum who seized it and downed it in one go. Slowly colour returned to his pale cheeks and his eyes visibly brightened. Callum sighed with relief.
He turned to Quinn, a look of pure adoration on his face. "You complete me."
Padma stuffed a blueberry muffin against her mouth to stifle her laughter.
Quinn sniffed, stashing the now empty bottle. "You'd do well to remember what life feels like without me in it."
Callum nodded in agreement, helping himself to breakfast now that the world wasn't spinning. Apparently, he was quite confident in whatever elixir Quinn gave him for he grabbed the greasiest foods within reaching distance and piled them on his plate. Quinn pushed a glass of water at him and then let it be. Harry didn't think this was a first-time occurrence. On that note, someone should probably do something about the Weasley Twins. Not Harry. He couldn't be bothered. But someone surely.
And who knew Ravenclaws were closet alcoholics?
"You're lucky I don't turn you in." The girl with the close-cropped hair was saying. "Those Weasleys are a menace. First chance I get I'm taking them down and if you insist on falling in with them Redding," She pointed at Callum. "I have no problem taking you down with them."
Quinn's eyes narrowed at the threat to his friend. He opened his mouth to say something but Harry, to even his own surprise, beat him to it.
"How brave." Said Harry, lowly.
The witch turned to him and blinked. Her eyes took in his Gryffindor uniform and then flickered up to his forehead. "What's brave Potter?" She asked. Harry noticed her tone was much more polite with him than it had been for Callum. That only annoyed him more.
"Did you know Fred and George have three older brothers? There's a lot of them, the Weasleys, so it won't be surprising if you didn't know. I'll even tell you about them. One of them you may remember, he was head boy last year? Yeah, he works for the ministry now in international relations. Another one was here not too long ago. At the first task?" Harry continued, conversationally. "He's a dragon handler. Works out in Romania. Then there's the eldest. He's a cursebreaker contracted to Gringotts. I just thought it took a lot of guts to be willing to stir up bad blood with a family that can ensure you have no future in the ministry, is friends with the people who control your money, and could snap your neck like nothing. Have you seen Charlie? Muscles for days."
Harry turned all the way in his seat toward her, aware most of this side of the table was watching the exchange. "Brave to be so willing to jeopardize your career prospects, finances and safety just because someone is doing something you don't agree with. Even more brave to make threats against said people when their friends are, well, sitting right next to you. Do you agree?"
"What?" She asked. The witch had gotten very pale halfway through his speech.
Harry rested his chin in his hand, gazing up at her through his lashes. "Do you think you're brave?"
"I…" She looked at her friend who shook her head and scooted back, not wanting to be a part of it.
"Hey Owens," Callum stage whispered. "This is the part where you walk away in humiliation."
Amidst snickers the witch, Owens, stumbled to her feet and did just that. Harry grinned to himself, turning in his seat to sit the right way. He picked up his fork to continue eating his pancakes. When he glanced up Parvati and Padma were looking at him with an unreadable expression. "What?" He asked, defensively.
"Where did that come from?" Asked Lavender.
Harry shrugged. "Fred and George are my friends. No one goes after one of my friends and gets away with it." He paused. "Do you smell mint?"
"Except for me." Draco slid onto the bench by Harry, grabbing his plate and pulling it toward him. "I always go after your friends and I've never not gotten away with it." He took Harry's fork and started eating his pancakes.
Harry blinked owlishly. "I...You...what?" A glance toward his friends showed all three witches watching wide-eyed.
Draco looked him over, then did a doubletake. "What have you done to your hair?"
"Oh, I er tried?" Said Harry.
Draco scoffed, pointing at him with his fork. "That is trying? You failed. Fail is what you did Potter."
"...sorry?" He reached up and touched his hair selfconsciously.
Draco smacked his hands. "Stop that. You're making it worse." He pulled Harry closer by his tie, examining the offending hair.
"Sorry?" Harry repeated.
"I can't keep fixing it for you. I'm not your personal stylist." Said Draco, as he proceeded to fuss with Harry's curls in direct contradiction to his words. Harry wondered if he ought to just buy his own jar of that hairstyling stuff to have on hand if he was going to be around people like Draco and Lavender more often now. It might be easier just to let them fix whatever was wrong. He might at least get fewer speeches on his failed aesthetics that way.
Parvati leaned toward Padma. "I think I'm hallucinating." Padma took a large bite of her muffin, nodding in agreement.
"At least it's a pretty hallucination." Said Lavender.
Draco paused in his obsessive hair fixing to lean around Harry and wink at Lavender. "Good morning Gryfindor I don't know the name of. Good morning Patil and Patil."
"Hello." Said Parvati, weakly.
Harry felt Lavender lean around him, her bracelets clinking. "You know Malfoy. Harry was asking for help with his uniform earlier. Any ideas in your not-Harrys-Stylist brain?" She flipped her golden hair over her shoulder.
Draco leaned back to look Harry over again. Abruptly he looked up. "New boots?"
"Oh. Yeah actually. Dragonhide. Hungarian Horntail...specifically. I've never had boots..." He trailed off awkwardly.
"Thanks." Said Harry.
Lavender tapped her nails against the top of the table. "They're more than nice. I've been trying to guilt him into buying me a pair all morning." She complained. "Alas it is to no avail. He simply hasn't got a heart." The Ravenclaw students, Quinn and Callum, were watching with intense amusement. Harry supposed it was only fair with how openly he was entertained by their own drama earlier.
Draco snorted. "Just ask. He'll do most anything if you ask and isn't completely ridiculous." He took a bite of Harry's pancakes then made a circular motion with the fork. "And sometimes he'll do it just because it's ridiculous."
"I resent that." Said Harry.
"No, you don't." Said Draco. "Oh." He turned to Harry. "You're late."
"Herbology. Fourth-year puffs left ten minutes ago. I was going to tell you but I got distracted by that trainwreck you call hair."
As one Parvati, Lavender and Harry scrambled to their feet. Stuffing last-minute bites of food into their mouths and gathering up their bookbags. Parvati ducked under the table and squeezed out from the bench on Harry's side, stumbling to the floor. Harry helped her get steady and they all took off across the hall.
"I'll just finish your pancakes then, shall I?" Draco called.
Harry grabbed an apple from a Hufflepuff first or second year as he passed their table and chucked it at Draco. The blonde caught it easily and took a bite. He shot Harry a sarcastic wave then turned back around to finish Harry's breakfast. A glance at the Slytherin table just as he left through the doors confirmed Harry's suspicions. There were no pancakes at the Slytherin table.
Thoughts, Questions, Theories, and Limericks always welcomed
AN: So, that happened.
ANx2: Harry met some Ravenclaws in this chapter, thoughts? We saw a little of Hermione (who is mixed in this story because that's my head canon). Harry noticed he was treated better than Callum by the Ravenclaw Prefect Owens, but doesn't know why. Think you can guess? Padma ate some muffins, Lavender fantasized, and Harry's new resident tag-a-long Slytherin stole his pancakes and insulted his hair. The blonde is being nice-ish to harry as of late, ulterior motives?
ANx3: Brace yourselves. Anything can happen.