New Housing Arrangements

Harry was sitting on the train back to Hogwarts for his seventh year of school. Hermione was reading and Ron and Ginny were playing a game of Exploding Snap.

Harry looked out the window, thinking about the previous year. The war had started after the Ministry and the rest of the Wizarding world took their head out of their asses and realized Voldemort was back. During the war, Harry along with the rest of the Gryffindors was surprised to see the Slytherins stay neutral. Everyone had expected them to follow in their parents footsteps and become Death Eaters. Apparently Dumbledore had offered them protection from their parents if they feared they would be forced to take the Dark Mark.

Harry was glad he didn't have to fight any of his classmates. He didn't think he would be able to kill any of the Slytherins he claimed to hate.

Over the last year and the summer, he and Dumbledore destroyed all of Voldemort's horcruxes and Voldemort himself.

"Merlin, I'm so hungry I could eat a hippogriff," said Ron, covering his growling stomach.

"And how is that any different from any other time during the day?" asked Harry, coming out of his thoughts as he saw the castle approaching.

"Honestly, you're always hungry," said Hermione from behind her book. "If you used half of the time you think about food studying, you would get great grades."

"Why would I care about grades when I'm starving?!" Ron stuck his tongue out at his girlfriend. Ron and Hermione had finally gotten together after the war ended.

"You are such a pig. I have absolutely no idea how you aren't five hundred ponds. You eat way too much," Ginny added, taking down her trunk from the rack above their heads.

"I resent that. I don't eat THAT much." All three turned to give him a disbelieving look. "Okay maybe I do eat that much," he murmured.

Harry smiled at his friend and took his trunk and Hedwig's cage out of the train and into their carriage.

When Harry and his friends arrived at the Entrance Hall, they saw a group of Slytherins approaching them.

Harry hated all of these confrontations. He had to put up his mask of hatred toward the youngest Malfoy. Harry hadn't hated Malfoy since the beginning of sixth year when he learned that he was not going to become a Death Eater like he had thought he would. After that Harry started paying more attention to him, which led him to see that his meanness was just a mask. When he was just with his friends he was almost…kind. The arrogant Malfoy disappeared and the nice Draco was seen.

But paying so much attention to Malfoy showed to have unpredicted consequences. Now that he knew who the real Draco was, he couldn't stop himself from falling for the blond.

Which was another reason he hated the confrontations. Whenever he was near him Harry had to pretend he hated him, when in reality, he loved him.

Harry was mentally trying to come up with some decent insults to throw at Draco when Professor McGonagall walked up to the Gryffindors. "What are you doing standing out here? Get inside, the sorting is about to begin."

Harry and co walked into the Great Hall and seated themselves, waiting for the new first years to enter.

After the sorting ceremony, the wonderful feast began. Hermione and Ginny looked on in disgust as Ron shoved as much food as he could into his mouth at once. Hermione had given up trying to teach Ron table manners in third year. But that didn't mean she couldn't complain. "Why can't boys eat properly?" she asked herself.

"Hey! I'm a guy and I can eat just fine thank you very much," Harry said with his nose pointing in the air.

"You don't count Harry. You're gay."

"I'm still a guy," Harry mumbled.

They spent the rest of the meal catching up with their friends that they hadn't seen since June.

When the desserts finally disappeared and the students were only thinking about their comfortable beds, the headmaster stood. After his usual warnings about the Forbidden Forest and listing all of the banned items, he dismissed everyone, except the seventh year Gryffindors and Slytherins.

"I must say, I am disappointed in all of you. You seem to be the only students left in this school who insist on continuing House rivalries. Not all of you here insist on fighting with the other house, but all of you have made no effort to become friends with the other house." All of the Gryffindors looked ashamed, while the Slytherins struggled to keep their mask of indifference at the Headmaster's penetrating gaze. "I have spoken with the Sorting Hat and we have agreed that you all need some outside influence to begin to accept each other. We have decided that instead of dorming with your own house, each Slytherin will have a Gryffindor roommate. Each pair will have their rooms somewhere in the castle. It will have a small common room, a bedroom and a bathroom. Each will have a portrait entrance that will only admit those that live in that room. Anybody outside the pair that lives there will not be allowed inside. This way, you will be forced to interact with your partner. All of these interactions will be friendly or at the very least civil.

"I will call out a name of a Gryffindor, place the Sorting Hat on your head, then he will call out the name of your partner."

"Lavender Brown," Dumbledore called. Lavender walked up to the stool and had the hat placed on her head.

It shouted, "Millicent Bulstrode."

The two girls eyed each other carefully and followed Professor Flitwick to their new rooms.

Next, Seamus Finnegan was paired with Vincent Crabbe, Hermione Granger with Pansy Parkinson, Neville Longbottom with Theodore Nott and Pavarti Patil with Daphne Greengrass.

Finally Harry's name was called. He was soon paired with Draco Malfoy. He wasn't sure how he felt about this. On one hand, they might get to know each other and become friends. On the other hand, from their close living arrangements, Draco might find out about Harry's secret and ridicule him for it.

He'll just have to wait and see.