They Shook Hands : Year One
An alternate (but realistic!) universe Harry Potter fic
Suppose Draco Malfoy introduced himself before he started acting like an ass. What if he had asked Harry's name before insulting Hagrid? A friendly handshake in Madam Malkin's leads to an alternate but realistic universe which is eerily like the canon, featuring a cast of first year Slytherins as you've never seen them: normal children. Join Harry Potter and his new friends as they discover their magical talents and help him to explore the world that has been kept from him these past ten years.
STOP AND READ THE AUTHOR'S NOTE!
This story was begun in 2001, post-GOF. As such, it contains several anachronisms. Blaise Zabini is written as a blonde girl. Nott's first name is Tim. There is a new character named Jenna Moon. Please don't lose your shirt because it's not 100% canonesque. Now that the canon is complete, I have revised the story to take into account later details, including some things from Pottermore (don't worry, nothing spoilery!). Names were changed to protect the innocent: Tim to Theo, Jenna Moon to Daphne Greengrass, and Blaise Zabini to Tracy Davis. The black kid who doesn't get any screentime in canon until HBP is worked in by a particular fit of genius. It's as close as I can make it to canon without rewriting the entire series, and I'm not going to go that far. I am leaving this original version of the story posted for posterity.
If you are new to this story, please read the Revision! You can find the link in my profile.
Continued from Chapter Five of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Chapter One - Diagon Alley
One wild cart ride later, they stood blinking in the sunlight outside Gringotts. Harry didn't know where to run first now that he had a bag full of money. He didn't have to know how many Galleons there were to a pound to know that he was holding more money than he'd had in his whole life - more money than even Dudley had ever had.
"Might as well get yer uniform," said Hagrid, nodding toward Madam Malkin's Robes For All Occasions. "Listen, Harry, would yeh mind if I slipped off fer a pick-me-up in the Leaky Cauldron? I hate them Gringotts carts." He did still look a bit sick, so Harry entered Madam Malkin's shop alone, feeling nervous.
Madam Malkin was a squat, smiling witch dressed all in mauve.
"Hogwarts, dear?" she said, when Harry started to speak. "Got the lot here. There's 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 up to the right length.
"Hello," said the boy, "Hogwarts, too?"
"Yes," said Harry.
"My father's next door buying my books, and mother's up the street looking at wands," said the boy. He had a bored, drawling voice. "Then I'm going to drag them off to look at racing brooms. I think I'll bully father into getting me one, and I'll smuggle it in somehow. Have you got your own broom?"
The boy's arrogant manner reminded Harry a bit of Dudley.
"No," said Harry.
"Play Quidditch at all?"
"No," Harry said again, wondering what on earth Quidditch could be.
"I do. Father says it's a crime if I'm not picked to play for my house, and I must say, I agree. I'll need that new broom, though. I've got a Comet Two-Sixty right now, top of the line, but it's not a professional broom by any means. I don't see why first years can't have them. It's just not fair."
Harry nodded, not really having his own opinion on the matter.
"Know what house you'll be in yet?"
"No," said Harry, feeling more stupid by the minute.
"Well, no one really knows until they get there, do they? But I know I'll be in Slytherin; all our family have been. Speaking of family, what's your surname?"
"Oh," Harry said, quite pleased that the boy had asked. "I'm Harry, Harry Potter. Ow!"
The exclamation came as Madam Malkin missed a stroke and stabbed him with the needle.
"Oh! Oh, I'm so sorry dear." She turned to her assistant. "Imagine that, Alice, Harry Potter himself coming in to my shop for his robes." She tittered again and continued her hemming.
The other boy had raised an eyebrow as he sized Harry up. "From all the stories they tell about you, I thought you'd be taller," he finally said. It was true, Harry was only a fraction taller than him.
"I'm not short!" Harry protested.
The boy smirked at him. "Never said you were. Father told me that you were my age, but I had no idea we'd meet before getting to school. I've been looking forward to meeting you. I'm Malfoy, Draco Malfoy."
He held out his hand. Harry shook it. "Nice to meet you," he said politely.
"I say, look at that man!" said Draco suddenly, nodding towards the front window. Hagrid was standing there, grinning at Harry and pointing at two large ice cream cones to show he couldn't come in."
"That's Hagrid," said Harry, pleased to be able to talk about something. "He works at Hogwarts."
"Oh," said Draco, "I've heard about him. He's a servant of some kind, isn't he?"
"He's the gamekeeper," said Harry, feeling a bit put out. Hagrid had rescued him from the Dursleys.
"Yes, exactly. The Headmaster at Hogwarts took him on after he got expelled. Now he lives in a hut on the school grounds and every now and then he gets drunk, tries to do magic, and ends up setting fire to his bed."
"I think he's brilliant," said Harry coldly.
Draco peered into his face. "You're Harry Potter, and he's a nobody. Why are you defending him?" he asked curiously.
"He told me I was a wizard and took me away from the Muggles I was living with."
"The Muggles you were living with? You mean you never knew about all this?"
"So that's why you don't play Quidditch or know what house you'll be in," said Draco with sudden epiphany. "You don't know anything about the wizarding world."
Too ashamed to voice it, Harry only shook his head.
"I'm sorry, Harry," Draco said softly. "I think that's a right crime, depriving a true-born wizard of his heritage."
"Thank you," said Harry. He didn't really know what else to say.
"Listen, what I said about that Hagrid fellow," Draco began, "I was only telling you the truth. I hope you're not going to hate me for telling you the truth."
Shame washed over Harry. Here this boy was trying to be friendly, and Harry was being right beastly about it all. "No, I don't hate you. But I think you should give Hagrid a chance. He's been very nice to me."
"You need proper friends, though," Draco decided. "Boys your own age. Shall we be friends, Harry?"
In his whole life, no one had ever wanted to be Harry's friend. Everyone had always been too afraid of Dudley. But there was no Dudley in the wizarding world. "I'd like that," he said sincerely.
"Brilliant!" Draco said enthusiastically. "After we have our robes all finished, we can go around and do everything else. You've got to look at the new Nimbus Two Thousand. I'm going to see if I can convince Father to get me one as a late birthday present."
"I think I'm supposed to stay with Hagrid," Harry said reluctantly. He really wanted to spend time with his new friend.
Draco waved such concerns away. "Father is on the board of school governors. I'm sure everything will be alright."
Harry marvelled at how nothing seemed to bother Draco. He found himself being caught up in the blond boy's enthusiasm.
Madam Malkin and her assistant, Alice, had just finished up with the last of their robes when a distinguished-looking gentleman stepped into the shop. He had the same pale skin and pointed face as Draco, even the same cold, grey eyes. His robes were subtle, yet superbly made. He wore a fur hat on his head and carried a snake-headed silver cane in his left hand.
"Father!" Draco said with spirit. "I want you to meet Harry Potter!"
Draco's father peered at him intently, and Harry felt the man's eyes linger on the scar on his forehead. It may have been his imagination, but Mr. Malfoy's hand tightened on the handle of his cane.
"I always imagined you would be taller," he said in a pleasant voice, echoing his son's comment. He reached out his hand. "Lucius Malfoy, Mister Potter. How do you do?"
Harry shook hands. "How do you do, sir."
"Father, can Harry come around to the shops with us? I've got a lot to tell him all about Hogwarts."
Mr. Malfoy smiled, though it did not reach his eyes. "I don't see why that would be a problem."
"I'm here with Hagrid, Mister Malfoy. He's sort of in charge of me right now."
"Hagrid?" Mr. Malfoy asked incredulously. "Hagrid isn't qualified to be in charge of flobberworms. If he's in charge of you, where is he?"
"He was here just a minute ago. He had ice cream cones, but they were melting. Maybe he went to get cleaned up?"
"Well, I do think I saw him stepping into the Leaky Cauldron a few minutes ago. I would wager he'll be awhile rejoining us. Impossible man. He can't go a day without getting roaring drunk. No self-control."
Harry didn't want to challenge the word of such an important man, so he said nothing. He chewed his lip, wishing he could say something in Hagrid's defence, but nothing was coming to mind.
Draco was tugging him towards Quality Quidditch Supplies. "C'mon, let's go look!"
"I have to get my books," Harry protested feebly.
Mr. Malfoy smiled again, indulgent of his son's eagerness. "I'll take care of it, Harry. May I call you Harry?"
"You boys run off and look at brooms. I'll pick up another set of books and meet you both at Ollivanders in thirty minutes. Not one second later, understand Draco?"
"Yes, Father," Draco said, already looking towards the shop.
"Thank you, sir," said Harry as he followed his new friend towards the broom shop. "Your dad's really nice," he said to Draco.
"He's strict about the rules, but there's not that many of them. Otherwise he's very easy-going. Just don't make an enemy out of him. He's got a brutal sarcastic streak."
They looked at the Nimbus 2000 for quite awhile, and Draco explained to him a lot about Hogwarts.
"There's four houses and the best is Slytherin. Anyone who wants to succeed is in Slytherin. It's the house for the ambitious, the clever, and the sneaky. If you're really smart then you belong in Ravenclaw. My brother Elan says they're a bunch of bookworms. If you like to work hard then you'll be in Hufflepuff, so they say, but Elan says they're a bunch of duffers. They have to work hard because they don't really fit anywhere else. Then if you've got more courage than common sense, you're in Gryffindor. They don't understand that sometimes discretion is the better part of valour."
"What's that mean?"
"Sometimes you should run away because otherwise you might get hurt." Draco was grinning.
Harry pondered that philosophy and found that it made a lot of sense. Certainly running away from Dudley was the best policy. "So Slytherin is the best house?"
"That's right. Unfortunately people don't think kindly of Slytherin sometimes."
"Well one of the key traits is ambition, see? There's all kinds of ambition, and one of those is the desire for power. That means that more Dark wizards and witches have come from Slytherin House than any other, and it's given us a bad reputation. When a Dark wizard comes from any other house it's just brushed off as a one-time thing, but with Slytherin it's treated as the rule."
"That doesn't seem very fair," Harry commented. "To judge a whole house by the example of a few people?"
Draco turned to Harry and looked at him for a few seconds. Finally, he said, "You understand. No, it's not fair. I think it all comes from them being jealous."
As Draco talked about why the other houses were jealous of Slytherin, they'd won the House and Quidditch Cups every year for the last six years, Harry was feeling very happy. It was only his first day in an exciting new world, and he'd already made a friend his own age. Draco wasn't acting at all like the people in the Leaky Cauldron had and seemed to genuinely like him. It was a new experience for Harry and he hoped it would last.
Quidditch also sounded very interesting and Harry bought a copy of a book called Quidditch Through The Ages so he could read all about it. Draco was assuring him that riding a broom was the best sensation in the world as they walked out, heading towards the wand maker's shop.
"I've missed out on so much," Harry said wistfully.
"What was it like?" Draco asked curiously. "Living with Muggles, I mean?"
"I hate it," Harry replied instantly. "I hate them. I got blamed for everything. Uncle Vernon seemed to think I was some sort of devil. Aunt Petunia is a horrible, shrewish woman. Dudley is just a fat monster. He and his friends used to enjoy bashing me. I think he got it from Uncle Vernon."
"Did they, did they hit you?" Draco's words were uncertain, as though he didn't know how to ask his questions. Harry wondered if wizards ever hit their children.
"Sometimes. When something happened that they couldn't explain, I'd always get in trouble. He'd smack me and I'd get locked in the cupboard under the stairs. If I was absolutely silent, sometimes I'd get dinner." Harry's voice was dead, with no emotion whatsoever. He might as well have been reading from the encyclopaedia. He'd never told anyone how the Dursleys had treated him, but Draco was his friend, and Harry knew friends talked to each other.
"What horrible, horrible people," Draco said. "My family doesn't like Muggles, Harry. Never has. Now I've got another reason. How can anyone treat a boy like that?"
Harry had no answer, but fortunately he didn't have to give one, for they had arrived at Ollivanders. Peeling gold letters over the door read Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C. A single wand lay on a faded purple cushion in the front window. The shop was narrow and shabby.
A tinkling bell rang somewhere in the depths of the shop as they stepped inside. It was a tiny place, filled with shelves. Thousands of narrow boxes filled those shelves, reaching all the way up to the ceiling. For some reason, the back of Harry's neck prickled. The very dust in here seemed to tingle with some secret magic.
"Draco, there you are!"
A blonde woman, tall and slim, wearing very nice dark blue robes knelt down and hugged Draco. She was smiling broadly, and Harry could see that she had very pretty teeth.
"Mum!" Draco cried, clearly scandalized about being hugged in front of his new friend.
"Oh don't be silly, Draco. I'm your mother, I'm sure he understands."
"Umm, Mum? This is Harry Potter."
Draco's mother turned a most unflattering shade of red. "Oh by the stars," she muttered. "I've fumbled it now."
Then she composed herself and smiled, the flush fading from her cheeks, and she offered Harry her hand. "Narcissa Malfoy. It's a pleasure, Harry."
Harry shook hands. "How do you do, ma'am?"
"Good afternoon, Harry Potter," said a soft voice, startling him. "I rather suspected I'd be seeing you here soon."
An old man was standing behind the counter, his wide, pale eyes shining like moons through the gloom of the shop.
"You have your mother's eyes," he said. "It seems only yesterday that she was in here herself, buying her first wand. Ten and a quarter inches long, swishy, made of willow. Nice wand for charm work."
Mr. Ollivander stepped around the counter. Harry hadn't yet seen him blink those creepy silver eyes.
"Your father, on the other hand, favoured a mahogany wand. Eleven inches. Pliable. A little more power and excellent for transfiguration. Well, I say your father favoured it. It's really the wand that chooses the wizard, of course."
The wand maker had come so close that he and Harry were almost nose to nose. Harry could see himself reflected in those misty eyes.
"And that's where..."
Mr. Ollivander touched the lightning scar on Harry's forehead with a long, white finger.
"I'm sorry to say I sold the wand that did it," he said softly. "Thirteen-and-a-half inches. Yew. Powerful wand, very powerful, and in the wrong hands... well, if I'd known what that wand was going out into the world to do..."
He shook his head, turning to Draco. "And young Master Malfoy. A pleasure to make your acquaintance. Your mother has told me a great deal about you."
"I'm sure she has," Draco said wryly.
"Well then, let's get you two lads fitted. Mister Malfoy, which is your wand arm?"
"I'm right-handed, sir."
Mr. Ollivander snapped his fingers and two measuring tapes hurried over and began taking all sorts of measurements on the two boys. They measured from shoulder to finger, then wrist to elbow, shoulder to floor, knee to armpit, and round the head.
"Every Ollivander wand has a core of a powerful magical substance. We customarily use unicorn hairs, phoenix feathers, and the heartstrings of dragons. No two Ollivander wands are quite the same. And of course, you will never get such good results with another wizard's wand."
As he talked, Mr. Ollivander was flitting around the shelves, taking down boxes.
"That will do," he said, and the two tapes crumpled to the floor. "Right then, Mister Potter. Try this one. Beechwood and dragon heartstring. Nine inches. Nice and flexible. Just take it and give it a wave."
Harry took the wand and, feeling foolish, waved it around a bit, but Mr. Ollivander snatched it out of his hand almost at once.
"Maple and phoenix feather. Seven inches. Quite whippy. Try-"
Harry tried, but he had hardly raised the wand when it, too, was snatched back.
"Mister Malfoy, give this one a wave."
Draco did so, and a jug of water on the counter exploded. Water spilled everywhere. Mr. Ollivander shook his head. "No, apparently not." He handed over another. "Ebony and unicorn hair, eight and a half inches, springy. Go on, go on, try it."
Harry tried. And tried. He had no idea what Mr. Ollivander was waiting for. The pile of tried wands was mounting higher and higher on the counter, but the more wands Mr. Ollivander pulled from the shelves, the happier he seemed to become.
"Two tricky customers, eh? Not to worry, we'll find the perfect match here somewhere. Mister Malfoy, try this."
Draco took the wand and raised it above his head. He swished it down and a stream of green and silver sparks filled the air around him.
"Oh! How pretty!" said Mrs. Malfoy. "Slytherin colours, you see that Mister Ollivander?"
Mr. Ollivander was nodding to himself as he put the wand away and wrapped it in brown paper, very satisfied. "Yes, a rather unusual wand. Silver lime. I know of a patch out in Cardiff. Eleven and a half inches, very bendy. A core of dragon heartstring. Rather appropriate, I do believe Master Malfoy also has some dragon heartstring in his wand."
"Now, Mister Potter. Let's see if we can't find yours."
They went through another half dozen boxes before Mr. Ollivander pulled a box out from near the back.
"I wonder, now. Yes, why not? Unusual combination, holly and phoenix feather. Eleven inches, nice and supple."
Harry took the wand. He felt a sudden warmth in his fingers. He raised the wand above his head, brought it swishing down through the dusty air, and a stream of gold and silver sparks shot from the end like a firework, throwing dancing spots of light onto the walls. Draco whooped and clapped for his friend while Mr. Ollivander cried, "Oh bravo! Yes, indeed, oh, very good. Well, well, well... how curious... how very curious..."
He put Harry's wand back in its box and began wrapping it up, still muttering, "Curious... curious..."
"Excuse me sir, but what's curious?" Harry asked, not sure he really wanted to know.
Mr. Ollivander fixed Harry with his pale stare. "I remember every wand I've ever sold, Mister Potter. Every single wand. It so happens that the phoenix whose tail feather is in your wand, gave another feather - just one other. It is very curious indeed that you should be destined for this wand when its brother. . . why, its brother gave you that scar."
Harry swallowed hard.
"Yes, thirteen-and-a-half inches. Yew. Curious indeed how these things happen. The wand chooses the wizard, remember. I think we must expect great things from you, Mister Potter. After all, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named did great things. Terrible, yes, but great."
Harry shivered, though the day was not particularly cold.
Draco put his hand on Harry's shoulder. "It's all right, Harry. He's dead now. He can't hurt you."
Harry looked at his friend, seeing the sympathy in his face. He half-smiled, letting Draco know that he appreciated the support.
"Harry!" That was Hagrid's voice booming through the wand shop. The ice cream was nowhere to be seen. "Why did yeh run off like that?"
"I didn't run off!" Harry protested. "I was with my new friend, Draco."
"Draco?" Hagrid's face was a storm cloud.
"Malfoy," Draco drawled in an insulting tone, "Draco Malfoy. Son of Lucius by Narcissa."
"Hagrid, there is no call for acting like this," Mrs. Malfoy said, appearing very put out. Her nose had risen slightly into the air, and was wrinkled slightly, as though she found something distasteful.
"C'mon, Harry, we're going." Hagrid put a heavy hand on Harry's shoulder.
"Hagrid, what's wrong?" Harry was very confused. Hagrid was not acting at all like the nice person he'd been before.
"The boy can't leave without his books, Hagrid," said Mr. Malfoy as he closed the door behind him. "And do pipe down, I could hear you clear down the lane."
"Mister Malfoy." Hagrid's voice was anything but pleasant, a stark contrast to Draco's father.
"It's good to see that you haven't lost all of your manners, Hagrid. There's no problem here at all."
"Harry's with me. I'm in charge of him." Hagrid was half-growling his words.
"The boy is perfectly alright with me," Mr. Malfoy said urbanely.
"Professor Dumbledore put him in my hands!"
Mr. Malfoy clucked his tongue. "Hagrid, you do recall that I am on the board of governors? I would never let anything happen to Harry Potter, or any other student. I assure you, I have everything well in hand."
"One governor does not overrule the Headmaster," Hagrid practically snarled.
"Gentles, please vacate my shop," Mr. Ollivander said firmly. He held his own wand in his hand now. "Mister Potter, seven Galleons please. Mister Malfoy, the same."
Harry dug out his money and paid for his wand. Draco's mother slid seven gold coins across the counter as well.
They all piled out into the street, Mrs. Malfoy standing next to her husband, Draco standing near Harry. Hagrid pulled Harry closer to him, away from his friend. Harry could smell spilled alcohol.
"We still got lots ter buy an' can best do it w'out interference from the likes o' you." Hagrid's face was a little red, Harry could see in the daylight.
Mr. Malfoy's eyes narrowed dangerously. "Don't cross me, Hagrid. You had better believe that I will be taking this issue up with the board. You'll have to be lucky in the extreme to keep your job."
He handed Harry a bag filled with books. "There you are, Harry."
"Thank you, sir." Harry reached into his pocket for some money.
"No, no, consider them a birthday present."
Harry swallowed. Charity, from a man he'd barely met. Did he look that ragged? "Sir, I can't. I just wouldn't feel right about it. Please take the money."
Mr. Malfoy studied Harry's face for a moment. "Very well, Harry, if that's how you feel. It came to five Galleons and some small change. Just give me the Galleons. I do believe that the rest was about the cost of your Defence Against the Dark Arts text, which I will insist on gifting you with."
Harry handed over the coins. "Thank you again, Mister Malfoy. It was nice to meet you."
"The pleasure was all mine, Harry," he said, shaking hands. "Do take care. I hope to see you again."
Mrs. Malfoy knelt down and kissed him on both cheeks. "Goodbye, dear. Study hard. You're going to be a great wizard."
Harry felt himself blushing to his roots. "Ma'am," was all he could say.
"Bye Harry!" said Draco, shaking his hand enthusiastically. "I'll save you a seat on the train!"
"Thanks, Draco. I'll see you then."
Hagrid had said nothing during this exchange, but his face was furious. He kept his eye on the Malfoy family as he stepped away, keeping himself between them and Harry. He kept up a brisk pace, forcing Harry to practically run to keep up. People were clearing out of his path as he marched directly for the Apothecary.
"I don't know what yeh was thinkin', Harry, goin' off like that. And with Lucius Malfoy, of all people!"
Harry felt anger rising up from inside him. "What's so wrong with him? He seemed like a perfectly nice man. He went and bought my books for me so that Draco and I could get to know each other. I made a friend today, Hagrid, and I've never had a friend before."
"Malfoys are trouble. Old purebloods and snobby as the devil about it. Yer better off staying away from 'em."
"They were being perfectly civil to me," Harry ground out between clenched teeth. "Then you came along and ruined everything. You didn't even give them a chance. You just barged in and started making assumptions."
Hagrid's face fell as he realized just how angry Harry was with him. He looked down at the tiny boy and could see his lifebeat pulsing in the scar on his forehead.
"Maybe yeh'll just have to see for yourself. C'mon, we still got some things ter buy."
Hagrid kept a close eye on Harry as he asked the clerk for a supply of basic potion ingredients. Harry didn't particularly want to be around the big man in his current mood, so he busied himself investigating the shop.
The smell was awful, a mixture of bad eggs and rotted cabbages. Barrels of slimy stuff stood on the floor; jars of herbs, dried roots, and bright powders lined the walls; bundles of feathers, strings of fangs, and snarled claws hung from the ceiling. He saw silver unicorn horns at twenty-one Galleons each and minuscule, glittery-black beetle eyes (five Knuts a scoop).
From there they picked up Harry's cauldron, a set of scales, and a collapsible brass telescope. When there was nothing left to buy, they returned to the brick wall that led out of Diagon Alley. The large man reached into his shaggy overcoat and pulled out an envelope. He handed it to Harry.
"That 'ere's yer ticket fer the Hogwarts Express. It leaves at 'leven o'clock from King's Cross station. All the information is on the ticket. Now let's get yeh a train back home."
Harry didn't speak at all as they walked back through the empty pub, down the road, on the Underground, up an escalator, and into London Bridge station. He only realized where they were when Hagrid tapped him on the shoulder.
"Yer train leaves in ten minutes. Best yeh be on it."
Hagrid looked like he wanted to say something else, but did not. Harry boarded the train and watched Hagrid until he was out of sight.
to be continued...