Title: New Beginnings: The Seventh Year

Summary: Harry begins his seventh year, having to deal with the dangers and joys of life in school. He also notices that a certain someone is quite good-looking… (Slash) Harry/Draco, Ron/Herm

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Chapter 1: Leaving behind your past

"Wake up, Boy, and cook breakfast for us! Dudley is hungry! Bring your TRASH down so that we can get rid of you sooner!" Harry Potter was awakened by his uncle's shouting and banging on his door and Dudley's heavy footsteps down to the kitchen. He hurriedly got up from his bed, tidied it up real quick (he knew he would have to rush in the morning and ended up packing all his things last night and sleeping on top of his covers to prevent messing up the bed) and unlatched Hegwig's cage. Hegwig hopped out of her cage and lifted one of her talons, looking at Harry, questioning.

"No Hegwig, no letter today. Fly to Hogwarts' owlery and wait for me there huh? No point you suffer the journey with me to the station." Hegwig hopped to the window sill, hooted in agreement and flew out towards the direction of Hogwarts. Harry hurriedly grabbed his trunk and the empty cage, what Uncle Vernon referred to as 'trash', and opened the door to the room. He glanced back into the room to make sure that he had everything that belonged to him before rushing downstairs to place his stuff by the front door and started cooking breakfast.

Anyone looking into the kitchen of this house would think that this was a normal house, with a normal household consisting of parents with two children. Except that this was not the case. Three of them were normal, and they were a family. However, the seventeen-year-old boy who was currently serving the other severely overweight boy was not normal or part of the family. He never deemed himself to be anyway. He was the cousin of the other boy, and nothing about him was normal, due to that lightning bolt scar that marked his forehead above his right eyebrow. He was not just leaving for school, but he was leaving for a wizard school, where the curriculum was pertaining to teaching the students how to use magic. And this year was his last year in the school, and after that, it meant that he would be able to use magic whenever he felt like it. Harry was now hurrying through breakfast so that he could get out of this house for the rest of his life as fast as possible, as he knew that after he graduated, he no longer had to live with his uncle, aunt and his dreadful cousin, whose whole family treated him as a maid.

While he was eating his only slice of toast and looking at his cousin breathe down his share of bacon, toast and eggs, he kept hoping that his uncle would finish his breakfast and they would be on their way. Two days ago his uncle had allowed him to make a trip to Diagon Alley to get his books and stuff for school, and as he was not able to inform his best friends beforehand, he had to make the trip alone. After buying his books and things for potion class, he went to buy some new robes for school as well as bring his old robes for lengthening. He used to be the shortest Sixth Year the previous year. After waiting for so long, he had finally gotten his growth spurt this summer and the running and push-ups that he had been doing every morning had made him quite muscled. This, however, made him outgrow all his clothes. Well, all but his cousin's hand-me-downs as they were so big that no one could outgrow their size. This growth spurt made him to the height of six feet (so he was still shorter than his best friend Ron Weasley, whom Harry last saw before the beginning of summer at taller than six feet and he seemed to be still growing). Harry then exchanged some money to do some shopping out in muggle London, where he could finally get some decent looking clothes and footwear to wear in the future. He walked past some guys who were wearing boots to complement their clothing and managed to get some boots for himself. His last stop was an optician who promised spectacles within half an hour and got a new pair of glasses. He walked out of the shop with his old pair of glasses on his nose and his new pair in a plastic bag. He did not want his uncle and aunt questioning his seemingly abundance in cash so the two days after getting his new things he continued to wear his old things. His uncle did not know that his parents actually left a vault in Gringotts Bank full of gold and he wanted to keep it that way.

Finally his uncle looked up from the newspaper and moved to get up. He glared at Harry, saying "Well, I'm glad that this is the last time that I'm bringing you to that dreaded station and the last day that I'll be seeing you. You aren't coming back next summer, are you?" Harry shook his head, as he got up from his chair. Dudley grinned maliciously and Harry knew that they all couldn't wait for him to leave.

His uncle went to the door and frowned at the empty owl cage as he opened the door. "Where's that damned thing that is supposed to be in the cage?"

Harry bristled at first that his precious owl had been referred to as a 'thing' and calmed himself to endure the last half hour that he had to endure with this horrible being in front of him and answered plainly "At school" and his uncle asked not a single word more as Harry loaded his trunk and cage into the car and they set off for the station.

The trip was rather short, September the first happening to be a Sunday, causing the traffic to be smooth. Harry actually reached King's Cross Station at eight fifteen, giving him an additional forty-five minutes till his train. His uncle did not even bother to get out of the car to say good-bye and as soon as the door of the car slammed behind Harry, he drove off. Harry couldn't be happier. Looking at the station, he grinned to himself as he went off in search of the restrooms. First he took off the atrociously big t-shirt and jeans and put on a tight-fitting shirt that he bought two days ago, as well as jeans that fit him better. Then he took off his old glasses and put on his new ones. He exited the cubicle to throw away the old t-shirt and jeans, as well as all the clothes that once belonged to his cousin. Then he put his old glasses into his trunk to keep it (he just could not bring himself to throw away the pair as one of his best friends once commented that it seemed to be a Harry Potter trademark). Looking at himself in the mirror, he was quite satisfied with what he saw. The thinner metal wire frame of his new glasses brought more emphasis to his emerald eyes and make him look less childish, his messy hair was styled such that the scar was being covered and his clothes seemed to emphasize the muscles he had gained from his workout as well as the tanned complexion he had gained from his aunt forcing him to work in the garden all summer. The final touch to the whole outfit was a change of footwear from sneakers to boots. He stashed his sneakers in his truck and zipped it up. One last look at the mirror and his watch, he picked up his things and left the restroom.

Walking towards Platform Nine and Ten, he could still remember seven years ago when he stupidly asked a conductor about the way to Platform 9¾ and being scolded for being stupid. As a group of girls hurried past him, quite a few of them looked back at him, checking him out. Harry blushed slightly as he wondered if this was the right thing to do, to change his style of clothing so outrageously. He wasn't very comfortable of people in the wizarding world giving him attention because his scar made him to be the supposing 'savior' to save them from the evil overlord, as he seemed to be the only person which the Killing Curse did not work on. This Boy-who-Lived name always made him feel disgusted as he really did nothing and the scar was given to him when he was one.

So why did you dress up to take the train? He asked himself. I don't have my eye on anyone at the moment. Thank Merlin that everyone knows that I go for guys when I came out last year.

He finally confirmed his sexual preference last year, when he found himself checking his roommates out. He was so shocked that he collapsed on his bed while all his other roommates were still getting ready for bed. Ron was so concerned when he saw his pale face that he wanted to bring him to the infirmary immediately. Seamus Finnegan, one of his other roommates just asked Harry what was wrong. Harry, in his shocked state of mind, did not even attempt to lie and blurted out "I was checking you guys out." The silence after he said that made Harry look at his roommates' faces. Four pairs of eyes were staring at him unblinkingly. Then Seamus bounced up from his position beside Harry and announced "Oh Harry, don't worry. I've been checking all of you out since fourth year." Everyone turned to stare at Seamus while he happily went on changing in front of the rest.

Ron then slung his arm around Harry and said casually "I never did tell you about Bill, did I? Well, he IS gay. I don't mind gay people, so long as they are not after me. You aren't in love with me, are you?" He added worriedly, looking at Harry. Harry shook his head, noticing that Dean Thomas and Neville Longbottom, his other roommates actually didn't seem to mind as they were both smiling at him. All of them went back to changing into their pajamas. At least he didn't lose his friends over that. The next day Ron told his girlfriend Hermione Granger about Harry as she was also one of Harry's best friends and she also accepted his sexual preference. It seemed that the wizarding world was more accepting of gay people and Harry told his friends that he did not want to hide it. However, Harry, being Harry Potter the Boy-Who-Lived, was so famous that by the end of the day the whole school knew, even the professors. The new gossip from then on was who his current boyfriend was, but since he did not get a boyfriend at all the whole year, everyone was left guessing.

As he came to the area between Platform Nine and Ten, he casually looked around to see if he could sport any friends. Seeing none, and noting that he still have fifteen minutes to nine o'clock, he leaned on the wall between the two platforms and let himself fall back against it. He passed through the barrier, leaving behind the past and things that he did not want to remember, reaching Platform 9¾, to begin his seventh year in Hogwarts.

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A/N: Please review! This is my first fanfic ever and I hope to churn out my second chapter as soon as possible. Hope you like it!

A/N II: removed some of my disgusting tenses… hope this is better.