Disclaimer:I do not own Harry Potter.
I was extremely thankful for the skills that I had relearned from my first life as Vernon barely stopped when he let me off at the station without even looking at me as he ordered me to get out of the car. I ducked my head to avoid the gazes of the people milling around as he sped off and rolled my trunk into the station as quickly as I could without running into any of the people. I desperately tried to avoid tipping Hedwig's cage as she watched me with younger eyes than I was used to. Lady Zabini had seemed amused when I had picked Hedwig up the moment that I laid eyes on her and refused to set her down, not that she was complained of course.
The station was every bit as crowded as it was the first time and I dodged both businesspeople and harried families as I made my way toward platform 9 ¾. The familiar sight of the platform was a sight for sore eyes, especially without Mrs. Weasley trying to smother me or yelling at the twins for something that they hadn't even done yet. They probably got most of their troublemaking ideas from the things that she told them not to do. I made sure to get to the platform with more than enough time to find an empty compartment so I could avoid the press of the last minute arrivals as they rushed to get into the train seconds before it was due to leave.
It was calming to slowly make my way down the train at my own pace and look for a compartment to settle down in. There were already several older pureblood students gathering in the compartments toward the front of the train so I decided on a compartment about halfway down the train before stowing my trunk above the seat and locking the door on my way back to the platform to wait for Blaise. Something about him was calming, I wish that I would have known him as more than a shadow the first time through. Hopefully that will change along with my relationship with Draco. I made the mistake of letting others make decisions about who I should hang out with the first time and found myself surrounded by traitors and cowards who only wanted someone to do all their fighting for them and then disappear like a good little soldier.
You could literally feel the moment that Lady Zabini entered the platform, everything seemed to slow down to a crawl and the newly formed crowd parted quickly as she swept across the platform with an amused Blaise following behind her with a small smirk floating across his features. They came to a stop in front of me without seeming to have to look for me at all. "Good morning, Mr. Potter. It's good to see that you managed to find the platform, Blaise was slightly worried that we would need to find you and rescue you from unintelligent muggles." Blaise managed to look sheepish without changing the look on his face. "Have you already acquired a compartment?"
"I have chosen one. I decided to wait for Blaise so that we could ride together." I smiled just a little as several witches and wizards figured out who Lady Zabini was talking to but didn't want to get any closer to her to smother me; I am beginning to love Lady Zabini.
The Lady looked around the platform with a look that clearly said that everyone she saw was so far below her that they didn't even deserve to have her look at them. "You boys should hurry onto the train before more of the other 'children' arrive with their parents. One should avoid prolonged contact with rubber-necked gawkers, it might start catching." It was amazing to watch full grown wizards and witches simultaneously turn bright red and pretend that they weren't just staring.
"How was your summer, were you able to get any reading done?" Blaise took the seat across from mine and leaned back with a small quirk of his lips that could almost be called a smile.
"It was a summer. I managed to get through all of the course books and several of the additional books that I picked up. I can only hope that Hogwarts library has enough books to keep me busy." I hadn't had anything better to do so I had almost literally devoured the books that I had gotten and realized half way through that there was simply so much that I had missed with Hermione and Ron making sure that I never had time to myself. I started with Transfiguration and simply couldn't stop until I had run out of books to read. The library wouldn't know what hit it.
"It sounds like you'll be a shoe in for either Slytherin or Ravenclaw. Hufflepuffs tend to hover around the average level since they don't want to do better than their friends and Gryffindors are to focused on their 'bravery' and 'pride' to get anything done." Blaise leaned forward and looked out at the people bustling around the station. "Draco Malfoy should be coming soon enough; his family prefers to arrive just in time to have the most people see them so more people can be awed by their wealth and beauty." Blaise looked back at me with a dramatic swoon before falling back as if he was feeling faint and I couldn't stop the giggle, I mean, the manly chuckle.
"Should I be afraid of his ego inflating and swallowing me whole then?" I made sure to insert a shudder and peered around as if a creature was going to pop out of the shadows and eat me.
Blaise already had a deeper laugh than I ever had the first time through and probably this one as well. "It's mostly an act that they put on for the benefit of all of the sheep of the ministry and the muggleborns that stare in awe of anything slightly magical. Having people view them as a family of cold but beautiful aristocrats makes it easier for them to get people to do what they want. Draco is a little on the arrogant side but with how much his family is worth and how much his ancestors have accomplished its more pride in his family than the arrogance some of the lower purebloods carry around."
Ronald Weasley hated being the youngest brother. All of his older brothers had already claimed their place and have pretty much done everything there was to do to stand out in the family without leaving anything for him to prove himself with.
Charlie was an athlete all through Hogwarts and had plenty of O's along with the position of Head Boy. After Hogwarts he went and got mastery in Care of Magical Creatures in record time before running of to become a Dragon Tamer. Every time that he came home he had a new burn and a story that made their mum shriek and made their dad just gets a proud look on his face.
Bill was also an athlete and Head Boy but he was also a real ladies man, whatever that means. There wasn't a school year that went by where Bill didn't have some girl sending him Christmas gifts and their mum was always complaining about how he needed to find the 'right one'. He got mastery in Ancient Runes and Arithmancy, whatever that was, and became a Curse Breaker for Gringotts, their mum almost had kittens when he came home with a fang earring and long hair.
Percy was the model student that never got in trouble and got better grades than Ron knew he would ever be able to get by sticking his nose in a book all the time. Their mum was so proud that he obeyed all the rules and got O's on all of his exams. She was sure that he was going to be a prefect and then Head Boy and probably get a high paying job in the Ministry.
The twins had troublemaking down to a science. They didn't care about their grades but they were still so much smarter than he was. They figured out all kinds of new pranks that he had never seen in Zonko's just by sitting in their room and talking things out. They were currently trying to beat the school record for the most detentions in a single year but they always seemed to fall a bit short of their 'idols' though they didn't tell anybody who those idols were. Their parents kept trying to get them to follow the rules, at least in school, but they did their own thing and would probably be famous pranksters when they grew up.
Ginny was going to make a name just by being the first female in the Weasley family in like five generations. Their dad said that the reason that there weren't any female Weasleys had something to do with the Malfoys and that Ginny meant the curse was lifting. She could glide through life without doing anything and people would still know her for being a female Weasley. It just isn't fair.
Ronald had a plan now though. Dumbledore had come by to talk to his parents about keeping an eye out for the Boy-Who-Lived at the station just in case his relatives didn't know how to get to the platform and help him out if they could and that gave him a wonderful idea. If he managed to became the best friend of someone that famous than he would be set for life no matter what; he would have something that would always set him apart from all of his brothers and he would be able to do anything he wanted in life without having to do all of the hard work that Percy was doing and he wouldn't have to be as inventive as the twins either. All he had to do was find him and make sure that he became his best friend, which surely wouldn't be that hard.
Blaise was right about the Malfoys; they managed to glide into the station with their heads held at the perfect angle and every hair in the right place. Every witch and wizard in eyeshot was mesmerized by the family as they managed to say their goodbyes without breaking decorum once and parted without the crying and carrying on that some of the families were dealing with. It was over in just a couple of minutes but I could tell that they made an impact in the minds of all of the adults and children present.
Draco slid into the compartment without even looking at me before he collapsed next to Blaise with a heavy sigh. "All of those plebeians should know better than to stare at us like that. Did they think that we were going to do tricks?"
"They are probably not used to seeing children that aren't sobbing and clinging to their mothers or trying to prove that they're adults while their mothers sob and carry on." It was fun to see Draco Malfoy jump and slam his mask down just a second after I saw the shock on his face. "I am Harrison James Potter."
Draco looked me over from head to toe for a moment before extending his hand. "I am Draco Lucian Malfoy; it's a pleasure to meet you."
I had an extremely dizzying moment of déjà vu before reaching out to grasp his hand firmly, noticing idly that his hands were soft but there were signs of stress wherever his hand would have touched a broom handle. "It is also a pleasure to make the acquaintance of a friend of Blaise's."
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