Harry Potter and his New Beginning
Hello ladies and gents, I'm back!
I've decided that I haven't been writing for too long, so I'm getting back in the game! I'm sorry for being away for so long, but my muse has up and left and I've recently recovered from a minor bout of depression.
But the important thing is, I'm back!
I've bounced back from the funk I was stuck in and I'm coming back with a vengeance! Keep your eyes fixed on your notifications, because there are going to be a lot more, my loyal readers! I've been re-reading some of my older stories and have decided to discontinue some of them, but not this one! I have to at least try and finish this!
Anyway, this is Chapter Twelve of my epic tale (not that epic)! So, without further ado, I give you...Chapter Twelve: Back to School!
Chapter Twelve: Back to School
Following the Longbottom's eventful Christmas ball, there was very little time until Harry, Hermione and now Draco were due to return to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The happy, excited atmosphere of a few days prior had dwindled somewhat, as the young couple realised that their holiday was coming to its end.
Despite some events which had partially spoilt the holiday, Harry had thoroughly enjoyed himself, and felt that his Christmas with the Grangers was the best he had ever experienced in his current life, and even his past one. He had spent his first holiday with his family in memory, and he hoped that he would have the chance for many more in the future.
The car ride back to King's Cross and Platform Nine and Three Quarters was a quiet one, apart from Draco's initial surprise and unease about travelling in a muggle vehicle. He quickly relaxed however, realising that, in fact, travelling by car was by far a more comfortable and enjoyable way to travel than by any of its magical counterparts.
In the days after his expulsion from the Malfoy family, Draco had been dreading his inevitable return to Hogwarts and return to his old pureblood friends. Being cast out from one's family was not socially acceptable in the magical community, leaving him on the same social level as a muggleborn.
Harry however, true to his word, had offered Draco a place within any of his families, allowing him to choose. His choice, it seemed, was not as difficult to make as Harry and Hermione had originally thought it would be. After a day to think, Draco found Harry in the Granger's sitting room and took him to one side.
"Harry," he began nervously, "I know you said I could take as much time as I wanted to make a decision, but I think I'm ready." Harry frowned.
"Are you sure?" He asked. "That didn't take you very long." Draco smiled and shook his head.
"Thank you, Harry, but I'm sure. The decision wasn't that hard, really. I narrowed my choices down one by one." He paused. "I discounted Gryffindor immediately, as that would cause more problems than it would solve." Harry nodded sympathetically. "I also discounted Potter as well…" he sighed "…I honestly don't think I'm worthy to share your true family name, Harry. I just…I couldn't in good conscience." Harry nodded again. "So, I was going to choose Ravenclaw…" he paused "…but…then Mr and Mrs Granger offered to adopt me yesterday." Harry's eyes widened and he smiled widely.
"They did?" He asked in pleasant surprise.
Part of Harry was shocked. Draco had certainly changed a great deal. In the old timeline he had hated muggles with such venom; he would never have even contemplated such an offer, let alone accepted it. However, this Draco seemed to be very much leaning towards accepting the Granger's gracious offer. Harry's respect for Draco skyrocketed.
Harry frowned mentally, wondering when the Granger's offer had been made. He had certainly heard nothing about the offer, and he wondered whether Hermione had been told about it either. Perhaps it was just a spur of the moment thing: two loving people taking pity on an abandoned boy…like they had for him.
"Yeah," Draco said with a laugh, "I was as surprised as you, to be honest." Harry nodded with a smile.
"So, I guess you said yes?" Draco grimaced slightly.
"I…thanked them and said I'd think about it." He paused for a moment. "I wanted to think about my choices some more, and…make sure you didn't mind." Harry nodded understandingly and put his hand on Draco's shoulder.
"Draco, it doesn't matter what I want," he said, "what matters is what you want." Harry smiled. "Don't think if you pick the Grangers, I'll hate you. Whether you share one of my family names or not, you'll still be my brother." Draco grinned in relief.
"Really?" He sighed. "Well, if you don't mind…I think I'll take the Granger's offer." Harry grinned and nodded, pulling Draco into a hug.
"That's great mate." He released his new brother from his hug. "You'll never find a pair of more caring and loving people than Michael and Emma." He finished.
As Harry finished speaking, they heard sniffling from the door, and turned to see Michael, Hermione and Emma standing watching, the latter in tears. Before anything could be said, Emma rushed forward and pulled Harry and Draco into a tight hug, which they returned after an initial moment of discomfort from the human contact, while Michael and Hermione watched with smiles on their faces. After she had calmed down a bit, Emma pulled back and hugged Harry on his own.
"Thank you for what you said, Harry." She said tearfully. "That means so much coming from you, dear."
"You're welcome." He said with a smile.
Emma then turned to Draco, kneeling in front of him, smiling at the young boy, who was a little bit surprised by the previous contact and emotion, but pleasantly so.
"And Draco, we're so glad you accepted our offer." She said happily.
Michael took this as his opportunity to walk over, and joined his wife kneeling in front of Draco, smiling as much as Emma.
"You're officially a part of the Granger family…son." He said, finishing what his wife had started.
Draco was silent for a moment, taking in everything, before he was overwhelmed from the kindness being shown from Michael and Emma, throwing himself at them in a hug. As they held the crying boy, Harry went to stand next to Hermione by the door.
"Did you know about Michael and Emma's offer?" He asked Hermione quietly. She turned to him and smiled.
"No, I didn't, not until a few minutes ago, Harry." She replied. "They wanted to give Draco the option before he made a choice." She smiled. "I can't say that I'm upset about them for not telling me, though." Harry smiled in thought.
"I'm glad they offered." He admitted. "All I was offering Draco was a name…they offered him a family." Hermione nodded in agreement.
As they watched Emma and Michael embrace the emotional Draco, it was clear to Harry and Hermione that Draco wasn't used to such warm, caring treatment from any adult…something incredibly similar to Harry before he had met the Grangers a few weeks ago. Harry smiled with that realisation, prompting Hermione to nudge him questioningly.
"I was just thinking…with your parents looking after Draco, I'm sure he'll make as remarkable a transformation as me." He said. Hermione laughed and leant her head on Harry's shoulder.
"They tend to have that effect on people." She said, before sighing. "I just hope Draco doesn't suffer for having agreed to be adopted by a muggle family." Harry frowned darkly and nodded.
"I agree." He paused. "We'll have to keep an eye on him at Hogwarts, make sure no one is bothering him." She nodded in agreement.
Harry and Hermione had since alerted their other friends to Draco's situation, and asked for their help in making sure he was safe in Hogwarts. They had all agreed positively, apparently taking a liking to the new Draco.
On the same day Harry and Draco had their conversation, they all travelled to the ministry in order to properly adopt their newest family member. Apart from encountering some initial surprise from ministry workers that a pureblood was being adopted by a muggle family, they were finished quickly and with little fuss.
From there, they travelled to Diagon Alley to purchase Draco some new school supplies, (his old belongings, excluding his wand and owl, were still in Malfoy Manor) and then into a muggle shopping area to buy him some everyday clothes.
Again, Harry was surprised how easily Draco adapted, but with Emma and Michael as his new parents, it was hardly surprising. Whenever he felt unease or shock during their sojourn into the muggle world, they were patient and caring and explained to him why he needn't be afraid. Needless to say, Draco learned more about the muggle world in that one day than he had in his entire life.
Hermione had some bloody good parents.
Despite the amazing few days Draco had spent with his adoptive family, as they arrived at King's Cross, they could almost feel Draco's uneasiness and anxiety. While Michael and Harry unloaded their trunks from the back of the Granger's black Range Rover, Emma pulled Draco to one side and gave him a reassuring hug.
Hermione had already spoken to the Grangers about the stigma of muggles and muggleborns in the wizarding world, and they knew that was why Draco was so nervous. He had taken a big risk taking their offer, and they were going to support him.
"Draco, we know this is going to be difficult for you," Emma began softly, "and we won't be there to help you. But remember that we love you and we're never more than a letter away, ok?" He nodded with a smile.
"Alright…mum. Thank you." He said with a smile.
Draco was still getting used to calling Emma and Michael mum and dad. The words had never had much feeling behind them before when he was a Malfoy, proving to be nothing more than words to distinguish his parents.
Now, however, he felt the feelings that the words inspired, and realised how much more the Grangers deserved those titles than…Mr and Mrs Malfoy. Each time Draco called Emma and Michael mum and dad made them extremely happy, especially when they felt the feelings he put behind those two words.
Hearing Draco use her new title made Emma smile happily and pull him into another hug, which he gladly returned. He was quickly becoming used to the regular hugs and displays of affection from his adoptive parents.
With that, they made their way into King's Cross and to the magical barrier between platforms nine and ten. After saying their goodbyes to Emma and Michael, and making Harry promise to come back to stay with them during the summer, Draco, Hermione and Harry pushed their trolleys through the barrier and onto the crowded platform.
As was the typical trend at Hogwarts, a large majority of the students had gone home for the Christmas holidays, leaving the platform as busy as it was at the beginning of term. Pushing their trolleys through the masses of people, Harry glanced over to the nervous Draco.
"Hey, it'll be alright mate," he said reassuringly, "don't worry about it." Draco smiled weakly and nodded.
"Yeah…" he trailed off, not fully confident in what Harry had said.
The trio quickly found their way onto the carriages and located an empty compartment near the back of the train. As the platform emptied and the train filled, Neville and Susan soon joined them and they began chatting, catching up from the last few days.
After a few minutes, the train departed, and talk in the carriage turned to the events of the Longbottom ball. They tried to skirt around the topic of Draco's expulsion from the Malfoy family, but it was impossible to do so.
"Hey Draco," Neville began, his face apologetic, "I'm sorry about what happened at the party. If there's anything I can do to help, let me know, ok?" Susan nodded.
"Yeah, we're your friends, and we're here for you." She said in agreement.
This seemed to hearten Draco somewhat and he smiled both in happiness and relief. Harry and Hermione shared a brief look and smiled, as Draco's friends rallied around him, offering him their support. It would do well to help Draco get through the rest of the year.
However, as the train ride continued, it was inevitable that the good mood would be spoilt sooner or later, and it was. The disturbance in their cabin came in the form of Pansy Parkinson, Theodore Nott, and the two idiotic bodyguards, Crabbe and Goyle.
"Well, well, well, what do we have here?" Pansy began with a sneer. "If it isn't Draco no-name, I'm surprised you had the guts to come back to school after your parents decided to throw you out." The four Slytherins laughed derisively.
Draco, to his credit, elected to simply ignore them, choosing to look out of the window rather than rise to their insults. For the time being, Harry, Hermione, Neville and Susan chose to remain silent. However, the snakes were not to be so easily deterred.
"Oh, hang on Pansy," Nott began, "didn't you hear? Draco has gone and gotten himself adopted – by some filthy mudbloods no less!" Again, the Slytherins laughed.
Up until this point, Harry had been willing to remain silent, knowing that Draco didn't need him to stand up for him, being able to do it himself. However, with the blatant insult against the Grangers, his blood began to boil.
Just as he was about to speak, however, Draco shocked them all. In a swift set of moves, Draco stood up, drew his wand, and banished all four of the Slytherins from their cabin, throwing them to the ground.
Stalking over to where they fell, the four still moaning from the impact, he pointed his wand at them threateningly and growled menacingly.
"If you ever insult my family in front of me again, I'll rip the three of you apart." He snarled; his face the very definition of anger. "Is that clear?"
Whimpering slightly from the look on Draco's face, Pansy and Nott nodded frantically, before scrambling to their feet and running off down the corridor, Goyle and Crabbe taking slightly longer to follow the others. Slamming the door shut behind them, Draco took a deep breath before retaking his seat.
Their compartment fell silent for a moment as Harry, Hermione, Neville and Susan stared at Draco in shock and respect for his outburst. In the end, it was Neville who broke the silence in the room, with a stunned exclamation.
"Bloody hell, Draco!" Said wizard looked up sheepishly and grinned.
"Yeah, sorry about that." He said apologetically.
"Don't apologise, mate," Harry admonished, "you just did what we all wanted to do anyway…" he paused "…and you stood up for the Grangers." Draco nodded, as if it was the obvious thing to do.
"Of course I did," he said, "they're my family."
When Harry and Hermione related this event and Draco's words to Emma and Michael in a letter, they were utterly delighted. Needless to say, the next time they say him, they gave him the biggest hug of his life.
The rest of the train ride to Hogwarts passed without incident, no Slytherins or other students coming to mock or annoy Draco Granger. Word of his outburst, however, travelled quickly through the student population, increasing the other house's respect for him, including the reluctant Gryffindor.
As they climbed off the train, having arrived back at Hogwarts, and took the carriages up to the castle, their group of five was surprised to be met by a rather disappointed looking Severus Snape. His eyes focusing on Draco, he walked over, apparently wanting to speak to him for some reason.
"Mr Mal…" he caught himself "…Mr Granger, I have been told by some students that you attacked and threatened them on the train ride." He said, silkily. "Is this true?" Draco sighed and nodded.
"Yes, professor." He replied. Snape nodded with a frown.
"Would you care to tell me why?" Before Draco could answer, Harry stepped in and replied.
"Professor, if I may?" Snape nodded. "Parkinson and Nott came into the compartment spouting insults against Draco, including insulting his adoptive family." Harry said. "He was simply defending his family."
Professor Snape; initially surprised that Harry had spoken up in defence of Draco, appraised his face for a moment, before nodding in acceptance.
"Thank you, Lord Gryffindor." He turned back to Draco. "Is this accurate, Mr Granger?" He asked, to which Draco nodded. "Very well, as this was a provoked attack against you, and this is a first offence, I will not deduct points, nor assign a detention. However, I would prefer if this not happen again. Understood?" Draco nodded in relief. "You may go."
With that, Professor Snape stalked off back inside the school, and Harry, Hermione, Draco, Neville and Susan headed into the school. Internally, Harry was barely preventing himself from gaping in disbelief, as he saw a fair investigation into an event by Severus Snape. The man had even accepted Harry's testimony on Draco's behalf.
Whatever he and Hermione had done to change the man's opinion of them so drastically in this timeline, he was grateful for.
As they sat down for the welcoming feast that evening, the Hogwarts rumour mill was working overtime, processing the latest gossip from around the school, within the magical world and within the Daily Prophet.
Much to his discomfort, Harry received many condolences and much sympathising from his fellow students, regarding the articles written about him in the wizarding paper. Having had such a pleasant holiday, Harry had almost forgotten that most of the wizarding world knew about the abuse he had suffered at the hands of the Dursleys. It was only with the support of Hermione and his friends, that he was able to force a smile and thank them for their kind words, instead of just leaving the feast.
From Draco's point of view, however, eating at the Slytherin table had not been as painful as he thought it might have been. While normally, many would have been preparing to mock and bully Draco as much as possible, the news of what he did to Pansy and Theodore, plus the close friendship between him and Harry Potter, who still scared much of the student body, meant that it passed rather uneventfully. It even appeared that Blaise Zabini and Daphne Greengrass were still willing to speak with him and be his friends. Losing the Malfoy name had not been as bad as Draco Granger had initially feared.
As the meal progressed, however, another story was filtering through the student body: a front page article in the Daily Prophet. As Harry chatted with his three friends, he noticed an abandoned copy of the paper and the headline caught his eye. Pulling it over, he unfolded it fully and gasped.
There, in large black letters, was the headline and article he hadn't expected to see until his third year at Hogwarts:
SIRIUS BLACK ESCAPES FROM AZKABAN
"Oh merlin," Harry said, his face shocked, "Sirius..."
There we are, Chapter Twelve!
So, what did you think? Was it good? Was it terrible? I like reviews, so please feel free to review! Just no mindless flames, because they don't help anyone, especially not me! Like I said before, keep an eye on your notifications! There will hopefully be a lot more chapters coming your way soon!
Thank you for reading!
This is the Quill, signing off!