Chapter 1: On the Train
A/N: Fixed some of the things people have pointed out, thanks to Teufel1987 for first pointing out a stupid mistake. Also, I tweaked Daphne a bit so she's not a whiny little girl, or at least less so.
Harry Potter stepped through the barrier towards platform 9 and 3/4, with Mad-Eye Moody and Nymphadora Tonks hurried to cancel the Disillusionment charms that had been hiding them as they traveled through Muggle London. He was not happy, rather morose actually as he approached one of the cars of the Hogwarts Express, pushing his trolley parallel to an entrance, and dreading the beginning of his 6th year.
"Well, lad, this is as far as we go," said Moody, clunking to a stop beside Harry. "For what it's worth, I'm sorry about Sirius. He was a good man, and…" Moody paused, not knowing how to continue.
"-and he would've wanted you to live vicariously in his place!" Tonks stepped in, her hair shifting in colour from pink to orange and finally a neon green as she looked at Harry. "Take up his legacy, Harry! Prank the living crap out of everyone, and land some women in your bed, for crying out loud," Tonks winked at him. Harry couldn't decide if he should look mortified, scandalized, or smile brightly at her. He decided that being negative and rude won't do anyone any good, and thanked Tonks for her own two cents. Knuts.
"See you at Christmas!" both Order guards shouted as he dragged his trunk up the few steps and into the corridor. The doors of the Express closed shortly, and Moody and Tonks disappeared from sight. Harry began to lift up his trunk to look for a compartment, when he cursed quietly and realized that, now being on the train, he could do magic freely without fear of a Ministry owl swooping in with a letter. He shrunk his luggage, put it in his pocket, and began walking down the aisle. Most of the students had already taken their seats, so it was just him, trying to peer into every compartment, though most of them had the blinds drawn over the small window in the door. As he checked one of the doors, he heard a loud thud and a feminine grunt coming from one of the compartments he had just passed that had its blinds drawn and the door locked. Harry moved back to the door, and listened.
"-get away from me, Malfoy, or I swear I'll-"
"You'll what? I have your wand, and soon, I'll have you! All of you," Harry heard Malfoy say, he could almost hear the shit-eating grin he must've had on. It sounded to him like he was preparing to… do some vile things to a girl whose voice Harry had never heard before. It took a scream from inside the compartment for Harry to decide to act on his brash Gryffindor instincts. He quickly cast Alohamora at the door, and slid it open. Sure enough, there was Malfoy with his back to him, pointing his wand into the face of a girl in Harry's year, a Slytherin if he wasn't mistaken. She had black hair done up into a knot, and light blue eyes, that were opened wide in fear of what was inevitably coming from the end of Malfoy's wand.
"Diffindo," Malfoy cast as Harry shouted "PROTEGO" and a shield appeared over the girl, and the charm splattered harmlessly it. Malfoy whirled around, and began to cast another spell when Harry calmly Disarmed him and pointed his wand in his face.
"Expulso," Harry spoke, and Malfoy slammed backwards into the window of the compartment, cracking it severely. The girl flinched and jumped to the side to avoid the flailing body. Malfoy tried to get up, but Harry was already there. "Give me a reason, and I will melt your face." Malfoy flinched, but didn't move otherwise. "I know roughly what you were about to do, and I swear on the graves of my parents if you ever come within 20 feet of her again, I'll flay you alive. I don't know the spell for that, but I'll find it. Just. For. You." Malfoy's eyes widened almost comically, and under different circumstances, Harry would've laughed. He looked Malfoy in the eye, and with his wand indicated towards the door. Malfoy struggled to his feet, picked his wand up off the floor, and scurried out like the coward that he was. Harry watched him leave, slid the door closed and sealed it magically, as well as adding a Silencing Charm to it. He then realized that he had forgotten about the girl behind him, and turned slowly to face her. She looked at him bravely, but he could see she was shaking. Harry flicked his wand, and the window returned to its previous pristine state.
"Do you mind if I sit?" Harry sighed, and the girl gave a small nod. She opened her mouth, but couldn't find anything to say. "Are you alright?"
"Yeah, I think so…" She whispered, not too sure herself. "Th-thanks. For…" she nodded towards the door.
"Oh, uh… No, no problem. Are you sure you're not hurt?" Harry asked, noticing for the first time a large bruise on her cheek. He frowned, stood up, and pointed his wand at her face. She cringed and tried to cover herself with her arms. "It's okay, I'm just going to heal that," Harry said softly. She slowly removed her arms, and looked up at him. "Episkey," he cast, and the bruise disappeared, as if it had never been there. "There, that should do it." He kneeled and sat down beside her on the floor, their backs leaning against the seats.
"I'm Daphne Greengrass," the girl said in a low voice.
"And I'm… well… should be pretty obvious" Harry shrugged, and she gave a light smile before reverting to her previous expression. Taking a deep breath, she began to speak.
"Thank you for what you did. He snuck up on me, I wasn't expecting anyone to come in. If you hadn't been here, he would've-" and Daphne could no longer hold it in, and began to cry softly. Harry became alarmed and panic-stricken, having a pitiful amount of experience with girls. He quickly conjured a handkerchief. It came out in Gryffindor colours, so he threw it to the floor it and conjured another one, this time it was silver and green. He used it to gently wipe her tears away, as her crying lessened gradually. She noticed the handkerchief Harry had conjured and began to chuckle, seeing the first attempt on the floor. It soon turned into full-blown laugh that Harry could swear lasted at least five minutes. She finished laughing at looked at Harry, who had been staring at her fascinated for the last little while. "I'm sorry, I'm being terribly strange!" Daphne said as she lifted herself into a seat and motioned for Harry to do the same.
"S'all right, I've been terribly strange all my life. It's an affliction" Harry chuckled, enjoying his private joke as Daphne blinked. "Anyway, I've got to get to my friends, they'll be wondering where I am."
"Oh! Oh, yes, I suppose you're right," Daphne said, looking disheartened. "Well, thanks again for before." Harry looked at her, noting that she had become sad again, and made a decision that would later change his life.
"Uh, would you like to come along?" Daphne looked up, her eyebrows raised. "You could come sit with me and my friends. I bet Ron would wet his pants seeing you walk in with me" Harry winked at her. "Especially considering how attractive you are" Harry smiled a mischievous smile. Daphne turned slightly red and her eyes widened.
"With GRYFFINDORS? They'll eat my head!"
"No, it'll be all right. Besides, you shouldn't be alone after something like that." Daphne looked sad again, so Harry stuck out his hand, offering it to her. She took it and let him pull her out the door, after he cancelled the charms protecting it. They walked down the aisle, passing a Hufflepuff that Harry did not recognize. They stopped in front of the compartment that Harry knew contained Ron and Hermione. He looked down, and realized he had not let go of Daphne's hand, a fact that she also seemed to become aware of, as she blushed once again and pulled her hand out of his grasp.
"Sorry," she mumbled. Harry chuckled, and grabbed her hand again.
"I was enjoying that," he smirked. She turned bright red, but had no time to comment as Harry slid the door open. As he had predicted, Ron and Hermione began to yell at the same time.
"Where HAVE you been-"
"Oh," they both noticed Daphne standing beside him. Hermione blinked, and Ron became quickly angry.
"Harry what are you doing with that snake!" Ron hissed.
"Ron." Ron continued to babble about how evil Daphne was, You-Know-Who was probably already on his way to capture Harry, and an army of Death Eaters is waiting in the next car to take him in once Daphne hits him with enough curses. "RON!" Harry yells over one of his best friends. "Her name is Daphne Greengrass. Use it. And I brought her here, because I want her to sit with us. If you don't like that you can leave. Hermione, if you have a problem with her too, then we can find another place to sit." Hermione's eyes widened, and she began to sputter.
"What! I said no such thing. RONALD! Shut up! You're so unbelievably rude, I don't know why I put up with you!" Ron looked indignant.
"I'm not sitting with a Slytherin," the red-haired boy spat, storming out the door. Harry pulled Daphne down onto the seat.
"Hello Hermione, how are you?" he smiled at the best friend of his that remained. "This is Daphne Greengrass. I brought her along because… well, she's just been through a rought time, and I didn't think she should be alone at the moment." Harry's expression darkened.
Hermione frowned. "Hello, I'm Hermione Granger. What happened?"
"It was Malfoy, he cornered me in my compartment and tried to- tried to…" Daphne seemed close to breaking down again, so Harry finished for her, starting from how he had heard a noise coming from a locked compartment. Hermione paled, then looked appalled, and finally enraged by what she heard.
"-and then I came in, cast a shield over Daphne, and banished him into the window. It didn't break, but I wouldn't have minded that much. Doing the world a favour, I would've been." Harry smirked.
"That's horrible! I can't believe he would do something like that! We have to tell Professor Dumbledore about this," Hermione said, entering her bossy mode.
"NO!" Daphne sat up straight, looking worried. "No one else can know, that's not the way it works in my house. Besides, I rather think I can exact my own revenge." Harry's brows knitted together and Hermione eyes nearly popped out of her skull.
"I think she's right, Hermione. It would be my word against Malfoy's, and that's not enough to get him chucked out. But," Harry said, turning to Daphne, "if he tries anything again, let me know, I'll kill him on principle. Or I can at least help with whatever plan you cook up to humiliate him" Daphne nodded, thanking him. At that point, the door slid open and Ron poked his head in, seeing Daphne and looking like had had eaten something rotten recently.
"Hermione, can I talk to you?" Hermione agreed, and left with Ron. Harry didn't say a word to him, a sentiment that the other boy returned with another nasty look at the Slytherin.
"I'm sorry about Ron, Daphne. He's not all that… open-minded."
"Oh, that's all right. I'm used to it. Been in Slytherin long enough" she answers casually, rolling her eyes. Silence takes over the room, neither knowing what to say. Suddenly, Daphne smiled, and turned to Harry. "I've never had a friend in Gryffindor. What's it like to be a lion?"
Harry smirked, deciding right away that living life like Sirius is a much better alternative than as the brooding boy he had become over the years. "So we're friends, are we Miss Greengrass?"
Daphne blushed. "I, um, I…" she stammered.
"I'm joking, keep your shirt on," Harry laughed, but then appeared to fall deep in thought. Daphne just looked at him. "Or don't," he said, raising an eyebrow daringly.
She just stared at him. "I didn't know you could flirt, Mr. Potter." She smiled slightly, trying to keep calm.
"I can do a lot of things," Harry said softly, leaning in a bit closer to her face, as she blushed slightly. Suddenly he stood up. "Wouldn't you like to know," he laughed again. Right on cue, the food trolley rolled up and the door slid open.
"Anything from the cart, dears?" Harry asked for some Sugar Quills for himself, and then stared pointedly at Daphne.
"Just a cauldron cake, please," she said to the plump old witch as she pulled out her money pouch. Harry was quicker on the draw, and gave the woman a galleon for everything after telling her to give them three cauldron cakes, not one, as well as two Butterbeers.
The woman looked at Harry, embarrassed. "I'm afraid I haven't got change for a Galleon."
"That's all right, keep it," Harry shrugged. The woman thanked him profusely and slid the door shut.
"Thanks, but you should've let me pay! I have money! And why'd you buy three?" Daphne said to him as she took one of the cauldron cakes off the seat beside Harry.
"You're welcome, no I shouldn't have, yes I know you do but I have, unfortunately, much more, and I bought three in case you wanted one more, one is for me," Harry said to her, smiling.
"What do you mean, you unfortunately have more money than me?" Daphne asked, confused.
"Well, I inherited two vast fortunes as compensation for my lack of family. One from my parents, and one from my godfather, who recently died at the Ministry" Harry said, a sad look now squarely on his face.
"Oh. I'm sorry, that was rude of me-"
"No, no, it's all right. It's not your job to know. Well, hey, since we're friends now," he dragged out the word, "maybe we can get to know each other this year." Harry laughed at Daphne's indignant but smiling face.
"Yes, I think I'd like that. Now, um, we're just about to get to Hogsmeade, so I need to go find my sister and get changed, but… Thank you. Oh and... keep it a secret. If you mess up my Ice Queen persona, I'll wring your neck." She kissed him quickly on the cheek, blushed, and ran out of the compartment, leaving Harry rubbing his cheek, trying not to make a big deal out of his new friend.
A/N: Read and review, say anything you like, I'm a big boy, I can handle flames as well as constructive criticism. And THANKS for the reviews, there's helpful stuff and food for thought in there.