**Disclaimer: I own nothing but my own OC's. Everything else belongs to the magnificent J.K. Rowling**
A Long Time Coming
After that embarrassing interruption by an irate Sirius, Charlie and Harry hadn't really had much time to talk over what his Sursa had meant. They were still unfortunately taking "classes" from various Order members but were actually making an effort afraid that Dumbledore would indeed harm their mother. It came time towards the end of August that they could successfully do all the things brought towards them and they even got their wands. They had been taken to Ollivander under disillusionment to not cause a ruckus in Diagon and then properly disguised as redheaded cousins of the Weasleys while they were measured and fiddled around getting robes, trunks, books, and whatnot. The Headmaster had tried to make reason with the goblins of Gringotts saying that as Harry and now Draco's magical guardians he was able to pull money from their trust vaults but the crafty creatures would hear none of that. Since Harry was supposed to go to Sirius Black, as per the instruction of the Potter Will, only he was able to actually touch any of his godson's vaults. And of course as the last living Lord of Black he also held the guardianship of young Draco as well, since it was proven that he had indeed left Malfoy Manor of his own fruition. Dumbledore was, of course, not happy about this occurrence and then proceeded to try to guilt trip Sirius and Remus into donating some of the money to the Order or perhaps to Hogwarts in the guise of a scholarship. While his husband really wanted to be the one to tell the old man off, it was Remus who ever so kindly directed the Headmaster to please take up his concerns with long crack of his backside and to never butt into their familial relations. Of course Mrs. Weasley had been shocked by such affronting words coming from kindly calm Remus Lupin but one look into his glowing amber eyes told her that maybe right that second wasn't the time to say anything. The rest of the day had sailed by smoothly followed by a lovely congratulatory…embrace by the Lupin-Blacks in the privacy of their bedroom. Harry's wand was of lovely Holly wood with a rare double core of Phoenix feathers and a Welsh Green dragon scale (which made him both ecstatic and sad as he thought of his Sursa. Draco's was one of Rowan wood and an equally rare core of a claw of a Nundu, a giant panther-like cat with bat wings that prowls mainly in South America (of course when Bill found this out he proceeded to tease him flirtatiously until the blonde used said wand to shrink a certain appendage).
Soon September first was upon them and, as usual, the boys were the first up each taking time out of their morning to send their last goodbye's to their respective caregiver. While Severus had no doubt that Draco wouldn't get into Slytherin he knew that showing the boy any excess favor would do more harm than good and agreed that besides holidays and emergencies they wouldn't be allowed to interact as they did during the summer. Sirius didn't care which House Harry managed to find himself in (finally after getting the kick in the pants by both his husband and cousin Tonks who's mother was indeed a Slytherin and his favorite cousin growing up) and he was teaching at Hogwarts as a Defense Against the Dark Arts professor but he also knew that Dumbledore would limit the time he could spend with his godson so he unwillingly agreed to the same terms as his fellow professor. Remus, while able to stay at Hogwarts, couldn't work there as nearly four years ago his status as a Werewolf was leaked when he taught and therefore sacked. But it matters not to him since he managed to get hired by this wonderfully old lady in the muggle world who ran a bookstore and needed an extra hand. With his daily commute between the mundane and magical world and Dumbledore being who he is, he knew he'd have little time to spend with his godson as well and decided to use the little they had cuddled together with his husband and his cub in their large bed until the Weasleys awoke and Molly's shrill voice could be heard echoing around Grimmauld. "I swear I don't know which voice is more annoying some days, Molly's or my Mother's." Sirius could be heard grumbling beneath the covers making Harry giggle as he snuggled closer to the closest source of warmth which happened to be Remus' chest making the older man nearly purr with contentment as he played with the boy's still rather long ebony locks. They stayed like this for another few minutes until grumbling stomachs or protesting bladders finally made their presence and soon they were all standing around a long shoelace that would portkey them directly onto the platform of 9 ¾. When each person had a finger on the string (with Harry pressed rather uncomfortably next to Ginny making his brother nearly livid and her giddy) they all felt the tell-tale navel pull and landed (relatively alright) onto the train platform.
While Molly began barking directions and coddling her remaining children Harry and Draco were pulled to the side by Bill and Charlie.
"Alright you guys, good luck and stay safe and all that jazz." The oldest Weasley son said rather uncomfortably while his brother merely rolled his eyes in amusement before taking each young boy (taking Draco completely by surprise) into a hug.
"Stick to the plan and leave everything else to us. I'll try and find out where Dumbledore is stashing Inilth,"
"And I'll work with the Goblins to get you out of that house." Bill finished. Each boy nodded and thanked the older brothers for doing so much for them while the other's merely blushed and stammered out their replies (Charlie) or just sent a saucy wink and grin (Bill).
They both boarded the train sending their last waves and shouts of goodbyes before relaxing in their seats and breathing a much needed sigh of relief. While they knew they were merely going from the cauldron to the fire this time they could actually fight back.
((AN: I had intended to stop here but you guys have been so awesome with your reviews and favorites I thought you'd appreciate it if I just kept going))
The train ride was uneventful thanks to helpful warding spell they learned from Bill to keep away unwanted visitors (ie everyone) and so they spent the time going over their extension of the plan on how to keep Bumblebee buzzing. They agreed that trying anything at the sorting would only make him keep more tabs on them and hinder their plans instead of help but thought of small incremental things they could do with each passing day. Harry had just disagreed that just by saying "Duck!" did not give enough warning, especially for something that involved a fifty foot duck when they both felt the train slow to a stop and say a figure of a rather large man with a lantern.
"I guess this is it." Draco said with an air of confidence he wish he had while his brother fiddled nervously with his black tie before giving up and allowing the blonde to do it for you. "Relax Em, you know no matter what they throw at us we'll still be us. Nest mates forever right?"he teased making Harry chuckle as he remembered a rather arduous fight they had when they were children which nearly had Emeralds in tears before his brother, very seriously explained in nine year old logic, that they were nest mates and no one and nothing would ever ever tear them apart. "Right, nest mates forever." He agreed before taking a deep breath and tried to calm his nerves as they stepped off the train. Hagrid greeted them both warmly as if he had taught them for years and gave them the choice of either riding with the first years or with the older students. Since both were a tad too big to fit in the boats with the other kids (but mainly because Draco discovered there was a Giant Squid lurking in the water and knew he wouldn't be able to resist playing with it) they found a carriage of their own and were soon joined, unfortunately by Ron, Hermione, and Ginny.
"There you are mate! Couldn't find you on the train…and what are you still doing with Malfoy." Ron immediately began to talk to Harry as if they were old friends and spat Draco's name like it was dirt making the boy snort considering the amount of it on the other's face.
"He's my brother, why wouldn't I sit with him?" Harry politely if coldly replied. Since Dumbledore's warning he and his brother had decided to stop the phony Wild talk and speak normally…for now.
"Yes but not by blood. And really Harry what would people think if they saw you hanging around with a Slytherin of all people?!" Ginny cooed to him trying to cling to his arm. The brunette frowned and removed the appendage away from her. "Well what if I'm in Slytherin?" he asked and was surprised by the laughter that came from all three of them.
"Harry you won't be in Slytherin, you'll be in Gryffindor like us and your parents. It's in your blood you know." Hermione replied as if talking to a child. He was quiet after that and the trio took it as a win and continued talking to him as if he would reply and were not deterred by his silence while completely ignoring the blonde. When they finally arrived at the castle and could finally separate they wished him good luck and left to sit at their table. Harry swore he couldn't use Scourgify quick enough.
"How dare they?! They think just because I'm supposed to be their fucking savior I'll end up in Gryffindor? And who the hell cares if my parents were in there, it's not like I was there to remember it?" Harry ranted while Draco looked on in slight amusement. It was always funny to see the normally calm and peaceful Emeralds spitting mad like he was now. Not to say he wasn't annoyed in the slightest, in fact he had a tally of how many times he was going curse one of the three and each came out in the double digits.
"If you're quite through with your hissy fit, we have a school to disenchant." He told his brother and watched as he calmed himself down and nodded. They were instructed by McGonagall to wait outside the Great Hall until their names were called which wasn't long after the ending of the regular sorting.
"And now a pleasant surprise. Tonight we will be sorting two young men who have gone through great lengths to join us here at Hogwars…" ('Those great lengths being kidnapping, soliciting, fraud, endangerment' Draco thought viciously) "and I am happy to see them finally where they belong!" ('I'm sorry is it now that I can finally shove my foot up your ass?' Harry thought with a snort). "Please welcome Messrs.' Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy!" Hearing their names they offered each other one last look before they strode inside.
Any other time Harry would be awestruck at the night sky enchantment hovering above their heads but since he was supposed to be acting impervious he kept his eyes straight and blank. Draco, he was sure, hadn't even blinked since the doors opened even as the whispers stopped being whisperers and were instead murmured conversation. When they finally reached the stool McGonagall didn't even have to read their names since everyone knew who they were just from their physical appearance. Harry Potter with his jet black hair, green spellbinding eyes, and a lightning bolt scar just on his forehead. And Draco Malfoy, platinum blonde hair, cold silver eyes, a sneer that could cow a giant. It wasn't a matter of who they were just who would go first. Draco took the initiative and plucked the Sorting Hat straight from the elder witches surprised fingers and plopped it straight onto his head.
"You are, well you're mind is. So organized and focused, but then again I do usually sort pre-teens." The Sorting Hat chided gently making the blonde beneath snort.
"How you can sort through that haze of hormones and sugar I'll never know."
"It is indeed a hassle at times. Now enough about that, where to put you? Bravery? You have it in spades but I fear that Gryffindor house would be naught but ashes by dawn."
"Dawn? You insult my ingenuity."
"Plenty loyal but only to those who have proven themselves worthy of your time."
"My mother always told me not to trust strangers…or talking objects for that matter."
"Hush you! Hmm, very intelligent but you care not for just learning but what you can achieve with it. There's only one place I can put you…"
"Tossing me out already? And here I thought we had a connection!"
"Slytherin!" The Sorting Hat bellowed and immediately the table farthest to the right began to thunder with applause while the rest either politely clapped or stifled any boo's the might have for fear of retaliation. It was only when the noise had quieted down did they realize that he hadn't moved from his position at the front but merely taken the hat off his head.
"Mr. Malfoy, you can go join your new House table." McGonagall said briskly. Draco tsked. "I don't think I will just yet Madame. I'll just wait here for Harry's if that's ok with you." it wasn't a question. Those closest to them that overheard began to spread the news that Draco Malfoy just said Harry Potter's name like they were friends or something. Preposterous! The Scottish witch opened her mouth to retort but the sound of a throat being cleared by the Headmaster made her think otherwise.
"Very well Mr. Malfoy. Mr. Potter if you would be so kind?" she directed towards Harry who merely nodded and took the hat like his brother and placed it gently on his head.
"Hmmm...great things you and your brother are destined to do young one. Great things indeed."
"Um, thank you?"
The Hat snorted in amusement at the cordial yet apprehensive response before sobering
"Take heed Dragonling, your enemy may not be who he seems."
"What do you mean?"
"All I am able is to advise, and I'd advise you to look farther than the gilded cage. Now! in all the excitement I've nearly forgotten to place you..."
"Couldn't have that now could we?"
"Incredibly brave and courageous but that's not who defines you. That and I would not like to be placed in Azkaban for facilitating murder."
"Very loyal and never afraid to get your hands dirty, but no. As much as I hate to say it Hufflepuff would probably just hold you back."
"Pft. I still can't believe people can say that name with a straight face…err, voice."
"Intelligent, creative, and very witty. Yes, Ravenclaw would be a fit but I wonder…you're also cunning and not afraid to use any means to achieve your end."
"Oh come now, you make it seem like I'd kill someone for a piece of pudding!"
"Difficult, difficult but I have to place you somewhere. So better be…."
"Just remember, I don't think hats would survive long in prison. Especially magical ones with very large mouths perfect for-"
"Ravenclaw!" The Hat couldn't get the name out quick enough much to Harry's amusement. For a split second everyone was quiet until an unnatural roar came from the table of Blue and Bronze while nearly audible sobs could be heard from Gryffindor and Hufflepuff. Slytherin appeared to not care although a few curious looks were thrown his way when they were sure he wasn't looking. He looked over to his brother who beamed at him with unmistakable pride before they both went to sit at their respective tables but not before getting a quick look at the Headmaster. Dumbledore looked as if someone had pissed in his tea and he was forced to not only drink it but ask for more, it was glorious! He stood and began making some longwinded speech about the rules and where not to go but the brother's weren't paying him any attention. Instead they looked at the table to their respective guardians and when they each saw the approval in their eyes did they finally allow any lasting tension to melt away.
"Let the feast begin!"
At his words the tables sprung to live with different plates of food in front of each student and one by one they started piling and eating. And at the tables with a new older student groups could be seen forming trying to find out more about the elusive teens.
"Is it true you were hidden somewhere in like Antarctica for training?"
"Is it true that your Father's been keeping you in a dungeon?"
"Have you mastered pretty much every spell under the sun?"
"Is it true you were married off early and just came back to finish your schooling?"
"What all have you learned from your training, can you teach us?"
"Is it true you've been taken by the Dark Lord to be his new Heir?"
"Is it true Dumbledore's your magical guardian?"
"Is it true you curse Dumbledore with colorblindness?"
"And what's with Malfoy?"
"And what's with Potter?"
On and on the questions went until each boy just stopped answering or even replying non-verbally. Eventually they either got the message or a swift glare made them get it faster. Soon everyone was stuffed to the brim with good food and sleepy from all the excitement. Each boy was lead along with the rest of their House to their common room and given the passwords ("What does everyone have but can never lose?" "Runespoor"), and shown their bedrooms for the duration of their stay (each House offers the chance to room alone after fifth year) and with that the first phase of Operation Take-Down was completed.