I added content to this chapter, it is now double the length.
A/N: I know I said I wouldn't be starting this until after my other stories were more tied up, but I couldn't help myself. Though I'm warning you all now, I just wanted to get up the foundation of the story here. I will be working on my other stories first, so this will likely not be updated often. Mount Horizon is a temporary title, it will likely be changed. As Mira pointed out and as I earlier forgot to mention, CuraliumLacrimo's story Harry Goes to Mt. Horizon is somewhat similar to this, and I need to give credit where credit is due- I read her story and that's where the HP crossover idea entered my head. It was that story that inspired me, but I've taken the notion of a Harry/ Higher Ground crossover and I've taken it in a wholly different direction, so please don't imply that I'm somehow stealing her idea. Because I'm not.
A few things that should be noted:
This is a Gilmore Girls, Harry Potter, Higher Ground cross over. Obviously, this is AU.
In the GG verse, it takes place a few months after 'Run Away Little Boy'
In the HP verse, it takes place just shortly after Half Blood Prince
In the HG verse, I've completely had to change the story in order to fit in the above events. Things that should be observed include: none of the couples are together, there is a S/J past but they have broken up (though Auggie was not a cause in this). Both Scott and Shelby's pasts are known to the others. I'll tell more about the HG characters later.
Tristan Dugrey couldn't help but be skeptical as his father pulled the car to a stop in front of a location that could be used for a summer camp. The place didn't exactly look like his style. But then, who was he to complain?
He had originally been scheduled to go to military school. His parents had actually gone through with it, too. They had to be delusional to think that military school would be able to tame him. The school had kicked him out, to his relief (and slight amusement). It wasn't a nice place that he had been forced into and from the moment he walked in, Tristan knew that he had to make a choice that would set the way his term at the school would go. Either he could obey, leading to minimal punishment, or he could lash out, leading to pissing off everyone there. If he chose the former, there was hope that his parents would see his improvement and take him out relatively quickly. There was also the much more likely effect of his parents leaving him there for the rest of his high school years since he seemed to be doing so well. He didn't want to risk having to stay at military school for that long, and so he decided to opt for the hope that he could be bad enough to get kicked out. He had succeeded, but not without enduring harsh punishments first.
After his parents were informed of his misdeeds, his mother had wanted to give up entirely. His father, however, had been researching thoroughly on possibilities and came upon the name of the place we had just arrived at. It was supposed to be for kids who had reached rock bottom. Tristan didn't think he was rock bottom, but his parents obviously believed they had run out of ideas.
Really, they were over-reacting. All he had done was break into a safe. And it wasn't even a big safe; it was the safe of the father of one of Tristan's friends. It was supposed to be a stupid prank. He hadn't anticipated nearly getting thrown into jail.
Tristan ran a hand through his dirty blonde hair, forcing his hand not to shake. He kept his handsome features impassive. The knowledge that his parents would probably take away his trust fund if this stint didn't work was concerning him. He didn't necessarily care about what his parents thought about him, but he wasn't going to be ripped away from his birthright to the family fortune.
He only hoped that his getting kicked out of military school wasn't a mistake. This had to be the lesser of two evils…
"Why in the hell must I go to some fucking American institution?" An extremely disgruntled blonde growled.
"Do you really want to see what would happen if you remained in Britain?" Severus Snape coolly retorted. "Listen to me, Draco. This is the safest thing we can do. It is likely that most of the wizarding world in Britain will want both of us dead. To keep you out of the country is the most logical option."
"I know that. But why are you forcing me into a school for screw-ups? I refuse to be treated like some stupid little delinquent."
"The people at this school are the lowest of the low in the country, from what I have found out. Obviously, you are worse. But it is the best thing for you. Before we go in, there must be some things we go over. You are not to mention anything about magic, the Dark Lord-"
"You're sending me in amongst a gaggle of muggles, aren't you?" Draco demanded incredulously.
"Yes. And I suggest you shed your attitude towards them, at least for the summer that you will be here. You must stay for the summer, which means you won't have to take any classes. Depending on the situation, you may stay here for the next year or two, or you may return to Britain. I know that you are stronger and probably more intelligent than the people running this school. But if you run, you will have no place to go. I will be in hiding; I cannot be watching your every move. I will remind you now that you are in a country completely unfamiliar to you, and though you physically can disapparate and are capable of getting away from here if you so choose, I strongly advise you not to. For your own sake, stay here." Snape sternly muttered. He paused to look over at the pale blonde's features, noting the tense posture in which he held himself. Snape stiffly put a hand on Draco's shoulder. "If not for yourself, do it for your Godfather. Do it for Dumbledore, who trusted in you to his death."
Draco nodded once, almost imperceptibly. "Where will you go, Severus?"
"Truthfully, I have yet to know. I will come see you when I am able, and we can correspond through letters. Please, don't go on about your magical past or they will surely believe you insane."
"I know." Draco sighed.
"I've already spoken to the headmaster here, and you are to meet them in the head office, over there." Snape pointed. "Here I must leave you. Good luck, Draco. Take care of yourself."
Snape hesitated, and then briefly hugged the boy beside him. "Good bye."
Draco Malfoy was still in a state of anger and confusion. A part of him was relieved to be out of the country, away from the Death Eaters who would be hunting him, yet a larger part was peeved that he was shunted away like a common child. But the days were gone that he wanted to be given more responsibility. He had been treated like an adult for long enough. He was willing now to accept his adolescence, too exhausted from the events of the past year to protest for much longer. It would be a relief to have lowered expectations.
With a small smirk, he strode towards the office his Godfather had pointed out to him. This was supposed to be the school for fuck-ups, but he highly doubted they had ever dealt with a teen who had dabbled in torture, attempted murder, and who had been in servitude towards the evilest tyrant in his country.
In his heart, Draco knew that this was best for him. He would be safe, in hiding. That didn't mean he had to like it.
"The new students are here." Sophie Becker informed the man beside her as she peered out through the blinds of the office.
Peter Scarbrow sighed heavily. "This is going to be a tough case."
"What's the story?"
"The boy heading towards here alone is Draco Malfoy. He's from Britain, and from what his Godfather told me over the phone, he is capable of being quite dangerous. The other one, coming over with his parents, is Tristan Dugrey. His problems seem to be of a lesser extent, it's his attitude and personality that have his parents concerned."
"Why are they coming now? It's almost summer break."
"That's the point. They don't want to teach the boys, they want to keep them out of trouble."
"But aren't the kids all going home for the summer?"
"Not the cliffhangers. Their families decided it would be better served to have them remain here."
"So both of the new arrivals will be in the Cliffhangers? This is going to be a long summer." Sophie chuckled.
"You're telling me."
Draco couldn't suppress a sigh from escaping his full lips. His mind was still spinning from the events of the past year, climaxing two nights ago. After working on fixing the magical cabinet succeeded and the Death Eaters attacked the school, he was in a panic. Whenever he relaxed just minutely, his hands would visibly shake. On the rooftop on the night that changed his life and the lives of every wizard, Draco didn't really know if he believed he made a mistake in hesitating for so long, or if he had finally done the proper thing after years of mistakes. He didn't kill Dumbledore and when it came down to it, he never wanted to in the first place. Draco did it for the safety of his mother, and he only hoped that his failure to follow a direct order from Voldemort would not result in punishments for Narcissa Malfoy. With his dad in prison, he was concerned for her. She was a talented witch but if all of Voldemort's followers were to go after her, well, no one could survive that. Snape had promised to take measures to help her, and Draco knew he could trust his Godfather's promises.
Snape had made him change into muggle clothes. Draco had been quite resistant and the most Snape had managed to persuade him to do was to discard the robe. He was left in a pair of black dress pants and a white dress shirt, rolled up to his elbows, with the school 's standard deep green tie loosely around his neck. His black cloak was hanging over his arms, and he was fully aware that he would look more formal than most people here. Draco didn't really care; actually liking the feeling of superiority his impeccable appearance would exude.
A small chuckle sounded out from somewhere beside Draco. He turned his head and spotted another blonde heading in the same direction he was, being led by an adult who Draco assumed to be his father.
"You being forced here for the first time, too?" a smiling Tristan Dugrey greeted.
"Yeah." Draco grunted.
"You don't have an escort?"
"I'm Tristan Dugrey."
The manner in which he stated his name struck a familiar chord with Draco. It was spoken with a certain pride- he subtly straightened, his voice clearly giving away that the name was supposed to mean something to Draco. Draco granted him a smile. He seemed like his kind of person.
"Draco Malfoy." Draco paused for a moment, silently analyzing the blonde in front of him. "Where are you from?"
"Hartford, New York. I went to a prep school before today. Chilton. You?"
"England. My old school was the most prestigious of its kind on the continent." The words both spoke were meant to demonstrate their social standing, and both knew that the other was trying to label each other in their minds. The sentences they exchanged were as plain as they could speak without blatantly saying- "how rich are you?". Their analyzing mutually ended with approval. It was almost as if they could sense that they both belonged to the same social circle.
"So, how do two upstanding citizens such as us end up in this camp ground?" Tristan laughed.
"Long story. How long do you think you'll be stuck here?"
"Until I reform, probably. My family's kind of sick of me right now." Tristan rolled his eyes.
A third person sidled up to the guys. An attractive light eyed blonde girl smiled slyly at them as she matched their pace. "Hey. So we've got some newbies."
"I'm Shelby." The obvious way in which her eyes quickly checked out both blondes made it clear she liked what she saw.
Draco smirked. He didn't much mind being treated like a piece of meat, especially not by someone as physically appealing as her. A grin popped up on Tristan's face as well, his eyes betraying the lewd thoughts that sauntered into his head.
"Tristan." Oh, please. As if Dugrey actually thought he could hold a candle to him. Draco watched in amusement as the second blonde boy grinned charmingly.
True, they were both blondes and both rich, both upper class, and both a bit snobby. Arrogant, prick-ish even. But Draco's hair was much lighter than Tristan's, and he had a smoother, more elegant attraction. Draco's features could almost be described as pretty, they were almost flawless. Tristan had a rougher edge to him, his nose was slightly crooked and his eyes crinkled slightly when he smiled. Mr. All American. It was apparent that they shared some similar qualities, but Tristan at once appeared to be more open than the British blonde.
"And you are?" Shelby nodded in Draco's direction.
"My name's Draco." The moment he spoke, her eyes gleamed. She had noticed the accent, no doubt. He had a feeling she was one of those girls who had a thing for British accents. In his numerous vacations across the globe, Draco had found that the accent combined with the looks was often a deadly aphrodisiac for most women he encountered.
"Mmm. You from England? You must've been really bad for them to ship you out of the country just to come here. Or are we really the best school for screw ups in the world?"
"I see you've met our new students." Peter smiled wryly. "Go back to your group, we've got to get them settled in. You can talk to them later."
"Wait, does this mean they'll be with us? In the cliff-hangers?"
"Yes, Shelby." Her barely concealed happiness only heightened Peter's thoughts of chaos in the near future.
"I can be Draco's welcome buddy." She suggested. "And Tristan's, too, if you'll let me."
"Go back to the group," he shook his head. Funny how she had managed to locate and pounce on them before they were even properly registered.
The two blonde boys watched appreciatively as Shelby walked away with just a touch more sway than she normally employed. They exchanged a look with each other once Shelby was out of sight, identical smirks on their faces- 'Oh, yeah.'
"Okay boys, let's sit down in the office, shall we?" Peter pulled their attention back to him. "My name is Peter Scarbrow, and I'm the head director of Horizon. Draco, don't you have a guardian with you?"
"My Godfather told me he told you all the necessary details over the phone." Draco shrugged. The three made their way to the office and Peter gestured towards chairs.
"We normally do this individually, but I'm sorry to say that I have an appointment to meet in twenty minutes, and my partner Sophie Becker is currently discussing the final details with your father, Tristan. We're going to have to do this together, which I hope won't be a problem."
"I don't care." Tristan replied. At Peter's questioning look, Draco merely gave a shrug.
"Now, Tristan, your father tells me you're on drugs-"
"Oh please. I've experimented."
"-And you smoke-"
"Your grades have slipped and you haven't been showing up for classes-"
"I sleep in sometimes."
"You arranged a few serious pranks and got booted out of military school-"
"Would you want to stay in a place like that?"
"And Draco, I was told you have a history of getting in fights-"
"Don't worry. I'll play nicely here."
"Potentially violent…out right rebellion against almost all forms of authority…and a blatant desire to break every rule, law, and regulation that is placed in front of you."
"Oh, don't worry. I've tried drugs too. And I've been known to use black mail and extortion to get my way. There are things I've done that would have you out on my ass in a heart beat, but under strict rules I couldn't tell you even if I was so inclined to do so."
"I think it's safe to say both of us have a flair that will entertain the other students here, if not you, while you have us stay. You know, maybe you'll get lucky and we'll cancel each other out."
"Or we'll destroy this institution from the inside outwards."
"And on that note…As you should probably know by now, you're both here because your parents didn't know what else to do with you. You've taken some wrong paths, made some mistakes. But everyone here has. This isn't a place that will give you all the answers, that will somehow fix you or make you suddenly turn into the person your parents want you to be. We don't want that. I don't want to squash your character; I want to build on it. To help you heal from your past but also to become a person you like."
"No offence, Mr. Scarbrow, but I do like who I am." Tristan interjected. Draco snorted quietly.
"It's Peter, we're all equals here. It's a great thing to like yourself, a lot of the people here don't originally. We've had many self esteem issues, and I'm glad you don't seem to think you have them. But you've made some bad decisions. Can we agree on that?"
"It was supposed to be a joke. The safe was my friend's. It wasn't like I robbed a bank-"
"You stole from your friend's safe?" Draco blinked with interest.
"Nice. Did you get anything good?"
"Nah. Got caught before we could really take anything."
"Must've been careless."
"We were. It wasn't a serious thing, we were just bored."
"Was your friend in on it, or were you trying to screw him over?"
"He was in on it. We were trying to mess with his dad."
"Ah. I've been there, mate."
"Guys." Peter interrupted with a frown. "This is exactly what we're here to change. That attitude-"
"I'm a cocky jack ass with no moral fiber, I've heard it, all right?" Tristan rolled his eyes and earned a grin from the other blonde. Tristan got the impression that the two would have a beautiful friendship.
"We don't allow language like that here."
"Can we get along with it? Didn't you say you have an appointment?" Draco pointed out.
"Fine. As I was saying, we're here to help you. If you chose to run away from here, you wouldn't be the first or even the first this month. But know that-"
"We're in the middle of bloody no where, what's the point of physically running?" Draco said.
"That's what I was getting at. You've got nowhere to go. So please, for everyone's sake, just stay put."
"What do you do here that's bad enough to make people want to run?" Tristan raised an eyebrow.
Peter sighed in frustration, and Draco, sensing that if he didn't say something this conversation would take all day, stated, "Listen. We understand. Nobody else wants us, we're screwed if we leave, and we're supposed to be magically healed here in the land of little to no civilization. Is there anything you have to tell us that we don't know? And before you say it, I know my attitude is crap, I know you don't want me saying crap, and yes, I think you are full of crap."
Peter just smiled. "Yes, there are things you don't know. We don't allow appropriate touching, drugs, alcohol, or caffeine. We don't tolerate dishonesty, and we make sure that everyone feels safe here. No violence, no threats, no fights. There are Groups every night where we get together in your assigned groups and talk, briefly, about your emotions. Anything you choose to say to me or any of the other counselors stays between us unless it could endanger yourself or others."
"You're cutting us off from caffeine?" Tristan exclaimed indignantly.
"You'll be awake enough doing the mandatory chores everyone shares in here." Peter answered brightly.
"Chores." Draco laughed hollowly. "What in God's name do we have to do chores for? I know how much money we paid you to get into this school. You just take that money and gamble with it or something? We pay you enough for a small car and you can't afford to hire staff to do that crap? This is supposed to be a damn good school. That kind of money deserves some kind of benefit."
"The staff do help out with the chores, same as everyone, like I said, we're equal. As for the money, we use it to fund the large variety of activities here. There are a lot of physically demanding sports that we do the wilderness, your room and board is covered, and the premises is pretty large. And we want to invite as many kids here who need to come. Usually if there is a tuition issue, we can easily work it out. With you two, money wasn't an issue in the slightest, unless I'm mistaken?"
"Just because we're rich doesn't mean we should have to pay more." Draco snapped. He was fine with the withholding of all that muggle crap, but there was no way they were going to make him work. He was a fucking Malfoy for God's sake, he hadn't done chores a single day in his life. That's what house elves were for. He had spent the better part of last year locked up in a small room tinkering away with fixing a faulty magical cabinet in the service of a man who constantly hung the threat of death if he failed. This was supposed to be a break for him!
"I'd love to argue more with the discrimination of the rich, but my appointment will be starting in a few seconds. I'll introduce you to the cliff-hangers group in which you will be a part of, and they can explain the rest. I'll be checking on you later today to make sure everything is all right." Peter said and led them out of the room. He wasn't in the mood to argue and half an hour with them proved to him what a headache the next few months were going to be.
Peter halted in front of a group of people in the middle of a football game.
"Guys, come in for a minute. We've got some new kids with you."
Shelby looked up and grinned, sauntering over as if they were old friends. "Hey Draco, Tristan."
"Scott, if you could be Draco's buddy, and Auggie, if you coul-"
"Man, you made me buddy up with the last kid who came here." Auggie protested.
"But Ezra left at the start of summer!" Peter pointed out.
"I already said I wouldn't mind," Shelby piped up.
"You're pathetic, Shelby." A third blonde guy in the group shook his head. "Listen, if they're not runners, and if they're not anything, and I mean anything, like David, I'll do it. But I want to be off washroom duty for the rest of summer."
Out of options, Peter relented. "Fine. But you're only off duty for two weeks. Thanks, Scott."
"No problem." Scott shrugged.
The identical looks on Juliette and Shelby's faces revealed their glee at the prospect of spending the summer with the three guys standing in front of them. The blondeness heavenly, it looked like the start of a gorgeous blonde trio had been hatched.
"If you get bored with Scott, come find me." Shelby smiled at Draco, running her hand over his chest.
Juliette almost rolled her eyes. It was obvious to the brunette that territory was being marked. They had gone the love triangle route before with Scott and she had no intention of continuing it on… At least not when there was a perfectly handsome guy smiling at her from beside Draco.
"I'm Juliette." She introduced herself, looking at Draco but shaking Tristan's hand. "Welcome. We're the only group staying for the summer so we have the place to ourselves. It's pretty cool here once you get settled down."
"What are you in for, babe?" Tristan asked curiously.
Her smile faltered for a moment and an ashamed blush crept onto her cheeks. Her gaze fell to the floor for a moment but Tristan lightly tipped her chin up to bring her gaze back to him. "Come on. It can't be that bad."
"If she doesn't want to tell you-" Auggie started.
Juliette shook her head, "No, it's okay. I was bulimic." She hesitated again before admitting, "And a cutter."
"Aw, princess, you're hot as you are." Tristan smiled comfortingly. He was awarded with a beam.
"What about the rest of you?" Draco glanced around.
"I think the rest of us want to get to know you before we go spilling our life's secrets." Auggie answered, with a mild frost.
"Fine, we were just making conversation." Tristan shrugged. "Come on, who wants to show me around campus?"
"I've got to stick with both of you for the first week, so I might as well." Scott said.
"I'll tag along." Shelby quickly said.
Scott looked at her with thinly veiled disgust. One moment she was pushing herself on him, and the moment some new males came into the picture, she latched onto them instantly.
"Want to join us?" Tristan eyes Juliette. She slowly nodded and giggled as he offered her his arm to hold onto. He didn't mind that Shelby seemed to be drawn to Draco. He liked a walking advertisement as much as the next guy, but he had a soft spot for innocent Mary's. A part of him still missed his own Mary from school... Rory Gilmore, the only girl who had ever turned him down in his life. But months at military school with no word from her had made him push her out of his mind. It wasn't as if they had even dated, and it's not like he was in love with her or anything, but the fact that Juliette reminded him vaguely of Rory drew him to her.
Friendships seemed to be made relatively quickly. The blonde boys seemed to find a lot in common and Draco managed to tone down his normal anti-social tendencies. If he was going to be stuck here for God knows how long, he might as well forge some allies as soon as possible. He always liked to rely on himself but things were different now. Relying on himself had led him to this situation to begin with and he didn't want to make that mistake again. It couldn't hurt to have some people having his back, though he knew they wouldn't be able to find out much about him due to his circumstances. Draco was glad that he had visited America and various other places around the world, and had familiarized himself with muggle life when he was still a child. His family didn't approve of the filthly muggle ways but his dad had been rather stern about educating Draco on everything, just in case. The fact that many pure bloods in his place would be royally screwed here, what with having to do muggle chores and all, amused him.
Maybe things would turn out. In the first few minutes of their arrival, Peter was already very nervous about what the two months would bring. Rebellious, hormonal teenagers forced to stay in the school for all of summer time when normal kids got to have time off would likely only allow their stubborn tendencies to grow... He told himself to give them more credit, but wryly knew that since the other counsellors had taken the summer off since everyone but the Cliff hangers had gone home, he and Soph would be incredibly busy.
At least he wouldn't be able to claim boredom this summer...