Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Harry Potter characters, they belong to J.K. Rowling.
A/N: This story is non-magical, AU, and OOC concering some characters. Please review at the end!
If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
Or the mountains should crumble to the sea
I won't cry, I won't cry
No I won't shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me
Stand by Me by Ben E. King
Harry sighed as he sat down on his bed and glanced around his bare room. It looked new and like every other new home it had white walls and tan carpets with a large window that overlooked an expansive backyard. He inwardly groaned at the thought of having to mow the lawn during the springtime since it was sure to be a hassle. Sirius had assured Harry that they would go out this weekend to pick out paint for his room and the other rooms in the house to add a little more color.
He and his godfather had recently moved back to Sirius' hometown, an average sized town in the middle-of-nowhere United States. Sirius was rebellious as a child and his parents had sent him to boarding school across the Atlantic so they wouldn't have to deal with him where he had met Harry's father and he had never been back home. Until now that is. Sirius was a surgeon and had been offered a job in a few cities over from where they were currently living. It was through his old childhood friend Remus Lupin that he heard about the job. He hadn't wanted to displace Harry thousands of miles away from his life back in England, but Harry understood. He didn't like it, but he understood.
The door opened and startled Harry out of his reverie when he saw Sirius leaning against the doorframe, arms crossed over his chest.
"Almost unpacked?" he asked, eyeing the few remaining boxes that were lying on the floor. Harry glanced at them before looking back at Sirius.
"Yeah, just a few more things."
"Well," said Sirius, "those can wait. I'm starving and I'm sure you are too. How about we go pick up a pizza and then drive by the school? I know you are just dying to see what your new school looks like." He smirked at Harry and Harry gave a weak glare back. He wouldn't say he was the most popular bloke back at his school in England, but he was at least in that group. Having to start all over again at sixteen years old was not something he looked forward to. Especially in an American school where he knew he would be gawked at. Maybe his accent would at least help. Didn't Americans love British accents?
"Not funny, Siri. You know I'm dreading it tomorrow." Sirius' smirk had slid away into a look of concern and he moved to sit on the bed next to Harry. Harry shifted to make room for him.
"I know this isn't ideal and you have no idea how thankful I am that you accepted this so easily. Believe me, I know how you feel. Granted, I was a few years younger than you when I was shipped off to boarding school, but it's a scary feeling not knowing anyone and having to put yourself out there. But you'll make friends and within no time you'll find your niche. Things will get better, I promise." Sirius patted Harry's knee and he forced a smile at the older, dark haired man sitting next to him. He didn't voice his thoughts on what if things didn't start looking up.
He was currently sitting in the guidance counselor's office, running his fingers through his already unruly black hair. It was a habit of his he always did when he was nervous and now was definitely a valid time to be nervous. The woman was a petite redhead who had various pamphlets showcased behind her desk offering advice on "What to do if you are 16 and Pregnant" and "So you want to have sex with your teacher, what should you do?" Harry raised his eyebrow at that one, and turned his attention back to her.
"So, Harry," she said in a bright slightly high pitched voice. "I see you had extremely high marks in English so I have you placed in the Advanced Literature class. You also have Physics, World History, Pre-Calculus, Spanish, and as an elective I have you in Musical Theatre."
"Musical Theatre? Um, I can't sing or act." Harry knew that if he took this class it would be an immediate failure. Weren't you naturally born to either sing or act? He knew he was born with neither of these talents. Where was the Physical Education elective? Now that he could do.
She laughed and it reminded Harry of a bird, although her smile remained firmly in place. "No, silly. They don't expect you to be a natural and Mr. Lupin is extremely nice and understanding." Lupin? Harry knew that Sirius' old friend was a teacher, but he had no idea it was here. He was tempted to try and persuade the counselor out of it, but he felt somewhat guilty trying to get out of Sirius' friend's class and the lady was pretty nice. He sighed and accepted the paper that was handed to him.
"Right now you have Physics. How about I show you over there?" Harry nodded reluctantly, dreading the upcoming day already.
Amazingly, or to Harry's amazement at least, his Physics class went very well. They were working in small groups and pairs on a velocity experiment and the two people he was paired with were extremely welcoming. The girl, Hermione Granger, had slightly frizzy and thick brown hair, and was very intelligent. Ron Weasley, a tall lanky redhead who was a wide receiver for the football team, had informed Harry that she was the class valedictorian so they were sure to get an A. The girl promptly smacked him on the arm and the boy grinned at her in response.
"Football, huh?" Harry said to Ron as Hermione was furiously writing something down and checking the stopwatch. It seemed that Harry and Ron were both content to watch her although she wasn't complaining. "So how does the game work?" Ron's mouth dropped open and his eyes seemed to widen somewhat. Hermione looked up and rolled her eyes, muttering under her breath about how Ron would now never shut up about the game. For the next half-hour Harry attentively listened to Ron explain this new sport to him.
It was in his Advanced Literature class when Harry noticed him. He was sitting in the front row of the class, head bent over a book that Harry later spied was Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky. Hermione was in the class with him and so they too sat near the front and Harry was close enough to get a closer look at this flaxen haired boy before him. He had come to realize he was gay last year and although it took himself several months to accept it he was pretty open about it yet didn't flaunt it. If people asked, he would tell and that was that. He had never actually dated a guy yet, but maybe he would finally get lucky and find someone here.
Harry looked at the blonde again. He had put away his book and had retrieved the book they were reading in class, 1984. Harry was pretty sure he hadn't heard a word his teacher said the entire time since he was staring at the young man before him.
"Who is he?" Harry asked Hermione and Ron at lunch. They were surrounded by several football players whom were Ron's friends and Harry had found out that Hermione and Ron were dating so she too sat with them.
"Who's who?" Ron asked, mouth full of food. Hermione looked up from her Chemistry notes and gave Ron a pointed look. The redhead appeared sheepish for about five seconds before taking another huge bite. Hermione rolled her eyes and repeated Ron's question.
"Him, the blonde," Harry said, with a nod in the blonde's direction. He noticed said boy sitting at a table in the back of the cafeteria, alone with his Dostoevsky book in hand as he ate.
Ron snorted and Hermione kicked him under the table.
"Be nice," she hissed. This time Ron rolled his eyes as he answered Harry.
"That would be Draco Malfoy. The richest boy in town, yet he's the biggest loser at this school."
"What?" Ron said nonchalantly with a shrug of his shoulders. "Don't act like you don't know it's true. He's one of those musical theatre geeks and when he isn't singing his head off his nose is stuck in some book."
"I happen to love books!" Hermione exclaimed. Ron gave her a quick peck on the lips as if to soothe over his insult.
"Yeah, but you're you." Harry rolled his eyes, thankful that neither of his two new friends saw. "Anyway, he's super annoying and have you seen how he dresses? He looks like he's always going to a fancy party and his social skills are seriously lacking, hence the fact that he has zero friends and is sitting alone."
Harry looked back over at the blonde, Draco, he reminded himself. He was dressed rather nicely, in fitted black trousers and a gray cashmere sweater over what looked like a white Oxford dress shirt. Even though it was fall, it wasn't that warm outside and he did seem a little overdressed, but the outfit definitely did not look bad on the blonde, at least not to Harry's eye.
The conversation slowly changed and Ron told him he should come watch the football practice sometime. They were, much to Ron's distress, looking for a new quarterback since theirs had broken his arm in the last practice. If they didn't find a replacement soon besides the freshman backup then they were going to be in serious trouble this season. Harry agreed since he had no other plans and today was Sirius' first day at the hospital so he figured it would be a late night for him. Although Harry joined in the conversation with Ron and his football friends, Harry couldn't help but glance at Draco Malfoy several times throughout lunch.
His last class was Musical Theatre and much to his dismay he knew no one in it. Although neither Ron nor Hermione were in his History class he had known a few of the other football players due to lunch. But when Draco Malfoy walked in, a smile on his face, Harry couldn't help be feel considerably brighter about his situation and the class itself. He wanted to know this boy and why exactly he felt drawn to him. The class was held in the auditorium and all of the twenty students were sitting in the first three rows although several people looked like they wanted to escape into the darkness of the back. Harry was sure he would have felt that way, but the way the blonde lit up as he entered made Harry intrigued. It was at this time a man with stringy brown hair and a mustache entered from the side stage and came out.
"Mr. Lupin!" Draco shouted, clutching his books to his chest as he strode forward.
"Yes, Mr. Malfoy?" Mr. Lupin seemed amused, yet not surprised at the boy before him. Harry heard several snickers and mutterings of "Oh god, what now" around him.
"I have the perfect new musical for us to perform this year!"
"I'm sure you do, Mr. Malfoy. You know I would love to hear it." Harry knew that many people could have taken what Mr. Lupin said as sarcasm, but he said it with true genuineness.
"Hair!" the blonde exclaimed.
"Fuck no," one guy in a letterman jacket exclaimed. "My sister is into this shit and she forced me to watch the movie when I was fourteen. No fucking way."
"Mr. Berkley, language," Mr. Lupin said sharply. He smiled at Draco and Draco's smile faltered somewhat. "Draco, I think Hair is an excellent musical but, you know that we can't perform it."
"It's ground breaking!" Draco exclaimed, setting his books down on the stage and moving his arms about as he spoke. "It discusses war and peace, drugs, and it was the beginning of a social revolution!"
"You know as well as I do, Draco, that this would never be allowed. I appreciate your enthusiasm behind it, but I'm sorry, we just can't." Draco's shoulders sagged in defeat and he sat in the seat at the end of the row.
"I am very glad to see someone so inspired and enthusiastic about our production this year. Of course it has yet to be chosen, but I will welcome any ideas. Now, we have a new student, so please be welcoming to him." Mr. Lupin turned towards Harry and smiled warmly at him. "And please, Harry, don't be shy. This is, after all, a theatre class. The past few weeks we've only been practicing. Have you ever done improv before?" Harry told him no and Mr. Lupin explained that it was acting without a script – doing what one feels at the moment. He called upon Draco, a blonde haired girl in a cheerleading uniform, and another boy.
Harry's eyes were glued to Draco. He acted with such naturalness and he was impressed by this whole improv business. He himself was terrified for the moment he knew his name would be called. Some of the others clearly were not into it and had no emotion or effort behind what they were doing, although others truly tried. Draco moved with grace, his gestures and emotions on his face not overly theatric. Harry had barely heard Mr. Lupin call his name up to the stage along with an Asian girl who had heavy dark purple eye shadow on and fishnet stockings underneath her black skirt.
"Here is your situation," Mr. Lupin called from the left end of the stage where he was sitting so he could watch over the students who weren't participating at the moment and the ones who were on stage. "Harry, you want to finally tell Linda that you have feelings for her. Ready, go." Harry's eyes widened slightly and he had a moment of panic as he stared at the girl before him. Harry was sure that if she wore more color besides black and took off the heavy eye makeup she would be pretty, but he wasn't into girls so even trying to imagine her without all that made it difficult. He didn't dare glance out and look at the boy he really wanted to so instead he envisioned that he had known Draco for a while and that it was Draco he was talking to. His conscience hissed at him that he was slightly creepy for declaring his love to a boy, well girl at the moment, whom he hadn't even met yet. He told it to shut up and still pictured the blonde beauty.
"Linda," he said, starting slowly. "I know we've know each other for a while now and that we're friends. Great friends, actually." Harry shoved his hand in his pocket and ran his fingers through his hair. Was he supposed to do this? He was way too nervous and his habits were showing through. That couldn't be good, could it? "You're funny, beautiful, and clever and the sad thing is I don't think even you know it. You have a wall up around your heart because you're afraid that someone will break it, but isn't life about taking chances?" Harry shifted from foot to foot and he continued. "I know I'm not perfect. I snore at night and I'm really awful at remembering certain dates. And have you seen my hair?" He laughed and heard several people chuckle. "It's not about finding the perfect person. It's about finding someone who embraces them for their imperfections and maybe you could take a chance with me, imperfections and all." Harry paused a moment, waiting if Linda would say anything. She actually looked like she had tears in her eyes, but Harry wasn't sure if he was seeing things. When she didn't reply Harry lightly touched her arm and stepped closer. "So, um, if you haven't figured it out I like you. A lot." Harry heard several laughs and then the bell rang, signaling the end of the day. Linda smiled at him with a shrug and then jumped off the stage.
"Well done, Harry!" Harry turned from where he was standing to see Mr. Lupin approaching him, a smile on his face. "Your first time on the stage I imagine?" Harry nodded and Mr. Lupin continued. "You were a little too nervous, but I believe that was first time stage fright. With some more practice we could have a star on our hands!" Harry blushed and shoved his hands in his pockets.
"I wouldn't say that, but I do appreciate the compliment. Honestly I was more terrified of this class than all my others, including Pre-Calculus and I'm awful at Math." Mr. Lupin laughed and patted Harry on the back.
"Well as you can see it wasn't as bad as you thought. Do have a good afternoon Mr. Potter and tell Sirius I'll contact him soon." Harry gave a nod and the teacher went behind the stage.
After Harry had collected his things he was walking through out of the auditorium when he saw Draco Malfoy walking down the hall, alone. Making a decision he really didn't even need to think about, he walked quickly to catch up to the other boy.
"Hey," Harry said. The blonde stopped, a moment of surprise flitting across his face, before it went away.
"Hello," he said, somewhat cautiously. Harry wasn't sure if this was due to the fact that nobody talked to the blonde or if it was another factor.
"You did a really great job in there," complimented Harry. The same look of surprise passed across the boy's face along with a blush that he couldn't stop from spreading.
"Thanks," he muttered.
"And your idea about Hair was a good one." This time the boy's mouth opened slightly in shock, surprised that Harry had probably even heard of the play. "So I don't know if the play is any different than the movie, but my good friend back home was taking a film class and they had to pick a film that was "revolutionary." Being the good friend that I was, I watched it with her. Although I'm pretty sure that if we did the play we couldn't get away with nudity," he teased. The blonde smiled at this and they continued walking.
"You're right of course," said Draco. "It wasn't a very reasonable proposal, but it's not as if any of those people would have known what it was if it wasn't for Berkley and his sister. I knew it would never have worked, but I might as well have taken a chance right?" They stepped outside and into the sunlight, Draco squinting his eyes as he looked up at Harry who was a couple inches taller. Harry noticed that Draco had gray eyes and in the sunlight along with the gray cashmere sweater he was wearing it made them appear silver. This time Harry was the one to blush, but in the sunlight it was virtually impossible to tell.
"Have you ever acted before?"
"No. Honestly I thought I would be awful and was dreading going up there. I had no idea what to say at first." Draco laughed and Harry felt himself shiver at the sound, despite the warm sunlight beating down on them.
"Well, you did look a little like a deer in headlights at first, but once you started speaking it seemed to flow. You're very good." They had reached the parking lot and Draco had stopped at a shiny black BMW.
"This is me," he said. Harry raised his eyebrows at the car and the blonde looked away as if embarrassed by it. "It was my sixteenth birthday present."
'Some present!' thought Harry as he recalled Ron's words about Draco being the richest person in school. "It's awesome. You must have great parents."
Draco didn't reply, instead asking, "Do you need a ride?" Harry was tempted to say yes, but remembered that he was supposed to meet Ron at the football field. He imagined he was already late.
"I can't, I'm sorry. I promised a friend that I'd go to the football practice today."
"Oh." Harry could literally see Draco's demeanor change to friendly and hopeful, perhaps because Harry had actually approached him to talk, to almost cold and detached.
"Well, bye then." Draco turned towards his car, opening the back door and throwing his books in the back seat.
"Maybe you could eat lunch with us tomorrow?" The words came out of Harry's mouth before he had even thought about them. He knew if Draco said yes that Ron and likely all the others at the table would be furious, but Harry hardly knew them. Draco glanced at him quickly over his shoulder as he paused before getting into his car.
"I don't think that's a good idea." Before Harry could say anything more the blonde had shut the door and Harry was watching him back out of the parking lot, until the black car was only a spot in the distance.