"Hogwarts, dear?" she asked as Harry started to speak. "Got the lot here – another young man being fitted up just now, in fact."
In the back of the shop, a boy with a pale, pointed face was standing on a footstool while a second witch pinned up his long black robes. Madam Malkin stood Harry on a stool next to him, slipped a long robe over his head, and began to pin it to the right length.
"Hello," said the boy. "Hogwarts, too?"
"Yes," said Harry.
"My name's Draco, Draco Malfoy." He stressed the last name with an air of importance, "You are?"
Harry really didn't want Hogwarts to be like his old school where he had no friends and was alone most of the time. This boy seemed as if he knew his way around the wizarding world. With the way he held his head so high and looked so confident in a way that Harry could only hope to achieve. He looked so comfortable standing there in a pinned up black robe when Harry himself thought about how ridiculous he must look right now.
"Harry Potter," he stated humbly.
The other boy's eyes widened imperceptibly before he seemed to reign in his emotions. "I heard that you were raised by Muggles. Were they nice to you?"
The thought of the Dursley's being nice to him or showing him affection was a bizarre and slightly nauseating thought. Harry was a little uncomfortable talking about his 'family'. "Well, my relatives aren't the nicest people, but most Muggles are decent."
Draco seemed to pick up on his uneasiness so he chose another topic. "Do you know anything about Hogwarts?" he asked politely.
Harry sheepishly played with one of the pins in his sleeve hem only to have his hand slapped away by Madam Malkin's mauve fake nails. "No, not really."
"Well," the boy started with a look of glee in his silver eyes, like he had just won a prize, "I'm here with my mother and father. I'm sure they'd be happy to show you around and explain some things."
Harry grinned at his new friend. "Sure, I just have to ask Hagrid, the man I'm here with. He should be back from the Leaky Cauldron soon."
Madam Malkin told him that she was done and told him to follow her to the counter.
"There's Hagrid now." Harry pointed the half giant out to Draco as Hagrid lumbered down the busy street.
"He's quite… large." Draco said hesitantly.
"Don't worry. He's really nice. He came to get me from the Muggles I live with," Harry reassured him.
"I'll… uh… meet you in Flourish and Blotts in forty-five minutes, okay? I have to go find my parents at the Apothecary," Draco called as he was swept away by the current of people walking down the street.
"Okay." Harry called back and turned to talk to Hagrid. This gave them enough time to go get his wand.
"Now, you're sure you want to meet this Malfoy kid?" Hagrid asked for what had to be the fifth time.
"Yes, I'm sure. Why wouldn't I be?" Harry asked, curious about the reason for Hagrid's strange behavior.
"Well, you see," he paused as he saw the way Harry's eye lit up when the platinum haired boy came down the street, "… never you mind. I'll be in the Leaky cauldron; head back there when you're done. And be careful."
"Sure thing, Hagrid. I'll see you later." Harry replied brightly as he saw Draco approaching.
"I'll start from the beginning." Draco's parents had left them at Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlor for a sundae. They had graciously offered to buy the necessary school supplies for the two of them, anything to make their Dragon happy.
While Draco explained things - from the different shops in Diagon Alley to the rules of Quidditch - the two got better acquainted. Harry found the blond boy's personality to be slightly outlandish compared to what he was used to, but he guessed that was to be expected. His presence just seemed to command respect from those around them, even though they were a meager eleven years old.
"Do you know how to get onto Platform 9 ¾ to board the Hogwart's Express?"
Harry shook his head 'no'; he seemed to be doing that a lot lately.
"It's quite simple really," Draco clarified, "you just walk through the barrier between platforms 9 and 10."
"You walk into the wall?" Harry asked, bewildered. Was Draco joking?
Draco chuckled, "The wall's just an illusion so the Muggles don't see the station. Now, when you get to Hogwarts is the important part; first years need to be sorted."
Harry's brow furrowed. "Sorted into what?" He really hated feeling so ignorant and having to ask so many questions, but Draco didn't seem to mind.
"Houses, there's four of them. You have to live with the people in your house and have classes with them. You get sorted based on your characteristics. Don't look so worried," he reassured Harry's nervous demeanor, "they just put an old hat on your head and it looks into your mind or something."
"So, what are the houses?" Harry found the idea of mind reading hats oddly scary.
"Well, there's Hufflepuff - but you don't want to go there. It's for babies and dunderheads. There's also Ravenclaw - that's for smart kids and the bookworm types. Next there's Gryffindor… for the recklessly brave and stubborn. And then there's Slytherin. It's for the cunning and ambitious. Each house was made for one of the founders of the school: Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, Godric Gryffindor, and Salazar Slytherin. Each had different values." Draco said in rush, as if he had had this speech prepared.
"Which one do you want to be in?" Harry was torn between Gryffindor and Slytherin. Bravery was a valuable trait but cunning was good too.
"Slytherin, of course. Every Malfoy since the founding of Hogwarts has been a Slytherin." And Harry instantly knew which house he wanted to be in.
"It would be nice to be in the same house as you." He smiled and decided not to say anything about never having friends before.
"It would," Draco smiled back. Harry breathed an inner sigh of relief; things didn't seem so bad anymore.
"Are you done eating, Dragon?" A sophisticated, delicate voice asked softly from behind them.
"Yes, Mother." He responded, rising from his chair, as did Harry.
"Good, your supplies have been purchased and we need to get back to the manor," Draco's father told him with an indulgent smile. To Harry, Draco's father gave off an air of great importance and pride - with an undertone of menace that unnerved Harry.
"I'll write to you so we can meet on the Platform. Goodbye, Harry." He waved before taking hold of a glove that his father handed him and disappearing.
"Here you go, young man." Mrs. Malfoy handed him what looked like a change purse bulging with contents. "All you need to do to return them to their regular size is touch your new wand to them and say 'finite'."
He smiled, "Thank you, very much." He tried to be as polite as possible.
"You're welcome." She smiled before vanishing with a crack barely audible over the sounds of the alley.
As Harry made his way back to the Leaky Cauldron to meet Hagrid, he realized something that saddened him: How would Draco write to him if he hadn't given him his address?
A week later, Harry sat dejectedly in Dudley's second bedroom reading from his new potions book when there was a tapping from his window. His head snapped up at the sudden noise, almost falling out of his chair when he saw a regal looking eagle owl perched on the sill of his half opened window.
He clambered out of his chair, eager to let the bird in. Seeing as owls had delivered his Hogwarts letters, he figured this had something to do with the school. It swooped over his head and landed on the small cot. Its leg jutted out where a letter was tied to it with a black satin ribbon.
Harry hesitantly untied the letter. The bird had its beak upturned as if he were better than this sloppy boy and was here against his better judgment. When the thick parchment was removed, it pecked at some of the remains of Harry's dinner on the bedside table before taking off.
Harry ran a finger down the crack in the scroll breaking the green wax seal. He walked over to his desk, smoothing out the roll on the harsh wooden surface after carefully placing the ribbon in the top drawer.
I hope your summer is going well and your Muggle relatives aren't too terrible to you. Just think; you only have a couple more weeks before you'll be leaving for Hogwarts.
I remembered you saying that you didn't know that much about your family history. In the wizarding world what family you come from can be quite important. I thought it would be a good idea for you to get to know your family history, so I had one of Father's secretaries draw up your family tree. Sorry if it bothers you that I did this or that I took a look for myself. You family lineage is very interesting.
Father said that if you agreed, we could pick you up to bring you to King's Cross. It'll be easier for the Muggles that way.
Awaiting your reply,
Harry admired the neat, perfect script that Draco wrote in. His own choppy and messy print paled in comparison.
There seemed to be something embedded in the paper, making it slightly bumpy if he ran his fingers over it. He held it up to the light for better inspection. To his amazement, there was an elegant and ancient looking crest for a watermark. It bore the word 'Malfoy' across the top of the shield on a silver ribbon being held by two flying dragons.
He looked at the lined loose-leaf paper he had pulled out to write his reply on… it seemed so plain and dull.
He was deciding to put off writing his reply until the next day when he remembered Draco writing about a family tree. He didn't see one on the small paper he held in his hands.
As if on cue, a nearly identical eagle owl came to his window, distinguishable only by the different markings on its face. In its beak, it clutched a long thin rolled up scroll that was almost as long as the window.
This one didn't even come in; it just dropped its bounty in Harry's waiting hand and flew off. This time before breaking the seal, Harry noticed the same crest on it that was in the watermark stamped in the wax.
He sat by his pillow and unrolled the paper. His eyes went wide at the intricacy of the tree. His eyes checked the top and saw that it dated back a thousand years. "Whoa," he breathed.
At the bottom was a small picture of himself as an infant with no scar and only a small crop of messy raven hair. It was underneath the joined line of Lily Evans and James Potter. He sat mesmerized by the two photos. He had never really seen a picture of his parents.
His mother was beautiful with long flowing ruby red hair and bright green eyes that mirrored his own. His father had a handsome defined face that still held boyish qualities and had the exact same untamable 'do as Harry.
He skimmed back up to the top; it had a lot of generations listed on it. He started with his mother's side first.
His great grandmother's name was 'Le Faye'. He liked the sound of it so he followed it up noting the changing surnames. When he got to the top of the long paper, he read 'Salazar Slytherin'.
His heart hammered in his chest. Hadn't Draco said this was one of the founders of Hogwarts? Maybe it was a coincidence that they had the same name. He'd heard of that happening on the soap operas that Aunt Petunia watched during the day. Or could he really be descended from someone that great?
He recapped and started with his father's line. Halfway up he paused and saw the names of 'John Weasley' married to 'Douglas Potter'. To his amazement, there was a child stemming from the two. At first he just assumed it was adoption, but when he looked at the picture of the child it was the spitting image of what you would imagine of their combined traits.
'Interesting,' he noted with surprise, 'men can get pregnant.'
He continued up and noticed that the Potter name stayed strong, most heirs being males. The second generation from the top 'Victoria Gryffindor' was shown married to 'Galahad Potter'. He followed up to Victoria's father to see 'Godric Gryffindor' staring back at him with amber eyes.
Could he really be a distant descendant of two Hogwarts founders? That would be fantastic.
It was around one in the morning when Harry carefully placed the tree under a loose floorboard, tied with the black satin ribbon. He also put Draco's letter in the hole next to his shrunken school supplies.