A/N: Here's chapter 3. Finally got off my ass and decided to write it. I hope you all like it, and if you were wondering why there wasn't major Harry Potter hype last chapter: he never met the Weasley's so Fred and George didn't spread the rumor of Harry Potter, and Tonks didn't actually say he was a potter. Now on to the story!
Harry stared out the window into the night where he could see the lit up outline of a castle. He was a little nervous of the idea of being around all the new people in a place he had never been before. He shuddered thinking of the last time someone touched him. His uncle had not been pleased when Hagrid dropped him off back at Privet Drive. He had taken his time to show his displeasure.
Luckily for him Dora's arm was still draped over him and she was leaning on him while looking out the window with him. He didn't know why but her touching him didn't make him nervous or scared, for some reason he wished she would do things like this often in the future... he needed to get in the same house as her.
"Its okay," Dora soothed. "whether you're sorted into Hufflepuff or not I'll still watch out for you. Besides if you really want to be in the same house as me all you have to do tell the sorter where you want to go." When she had initially started speaking again Harry worried that he wouldn't be in the same house as the person who's touch was soothing to him, but by the time she finished he felt relieved.
A warning came over a loudspeaker of some kind warning people that the train was five minutes away from the station. Hearing this Harry quickly went to the bathroom and changed into his school robes. While he was out the girls had a little talk while waiting for him to return.
"So Tonks," Angelina began jokingly waggling her eyebrows, "whats the really going on with your little first year friend?"
Tonks thought about the best way to convey her feelings so that there could be absolutely no misunderstanding between them. "He's mine," she growled possessively causing her friend's eyebrows to raise simultaneously.
"Tonks, you realize that he's four years younger than you right? Hell, he isn't even a teenager yet. He's probably just started puberty!"
"Calm down Angelina. I'm not planning on rushing a physical relationship. You seen him when you burst into the compartment, he jumped like, three feet in the air. Besides, if you think I'm going to let the only other man in the country who understands the blight of a metamoph go, then you are sorely mistaken," Tonks finished her rant with a derisive sniff at the other girls daring them to continue challenging her. After a minute or two Katie decided to speak up.
"Angelina is just making sure you haven't gone off your rocker Tonksie. Don't worry we won't try to steal 'your man'. Unless of course your okay with that." Tonks scowled at the use of the nickname the girls had given her. She was about to respond but unfortunately for her argument the compartment door opened revealing Harry.
"Hey there cutie, your robes looks pretty good on you." Harry's response to being called cutie was only increased by being complimented by the girl who made him feel safe and liked. That is to say, he blushed up to the roots of his hair, and then his hair took it upon itself to continue the blush turning a bright red, just what Dora was trying to do to him. "Come here cutie and sit back down next to me."
Instead of responding verbally, Harry just nodded and sat down next to the bubbly girl. Dora hoping to further get him used to her touching him threw her arm over his shoulder and pulled him close which didn't help with his still existent blush. With that the residents of the compartment sat in silence waiting the last few minutes before the train arrived at Hogsmead station, though that didn't stop Angelina, Alicia, and Katie shooting Tonks looks and her returning the looks with glares of her own.
"Okay cutie," Dora said her arm still around his shoulders as they left the train, "just follow Hagrid, he's really tall man over there." Dora pointed over to Hagrid who looked pretty much the same thing Harry seen him wearing last time. Namely wearing a moleskin coat with his bushy hair and beard. "He'll take you to some boats and to the sorting. I'll see you there in the hall during the sorting."
Just as she was about to leave him he pulled on the hem of her robes and mumbled something to quiet for her to hear.
"What was that cutie?"
"I said what if they d-don't sort me and tell everyone they made a mistake and I get sent back to my relatives? I don't want to go back to my relatives Dora." Dora was happy that he only stuttered once, even if he had said what worried him so fast she almost missed it. She took it as a sign that he was getting more secure around her.
"Harry," she said seriously, "they won't send you back to your relatives. Believe me, there is no way they would reject you, you already have you acceptance letter and those only get sent if someone is magical enough for it." Harry looked up into her eyes, red meeting purple, and nodded. "And don't worry if you get sorted into another house. I'll still be here for you, though it would still be nice if we were." Harry nodded mollified with her responses to his deeper worries that had surface last minute. "Oh, and Harry, after you get sorted I want to talk to you about your relatives." Seeing the panic on Harry's face she tried to calm him. "I have an idea of what they've done Harry," she said in a low voice, "I want to help Harry. If they're doing what I think they are I'll do my best to take you away from them."
The fear in Harry's eyes receded and was replaced with something Dora didn't expect to see so soon. It was replaced with trust. Harry looked at her a moment longer before tentatively hugging her, which shocked Dora, said goodbye and turned away.
Harry walked to Hagrid ignoring the stares of the other people forgetting about his appearance and thinking they were just acting like the people at the leaky cauldron and staring at him because of some stupid fame. He was able to ignore the mutterings and stares all the way into the boats, across the lake, and onto the shore where he the group of children was introduced to professor McGonagall.
She looked over the students after they had been handed over to her by Hagrid. She noticed with some panic that Harry Potter was absent but was curious to see a boy with icy blue hair and disturbing red eyes. This made her excited, metamorphmagi were amazing at transfiguration, and if this boy was as good as the girl then she would enjoy watching his progress over his years at the school.
"Greeting children," she began Scottish accent, "and welcome to Hogwarts. You will all be sorted in a few moments, but an introduction for the houses before then. The four houses of Hogwarts are Gryffindor for the brave, Ravenclaw for those who seek knowledge, Slytherin, for the cunning and ambitious, and lastly Hufflepuff for the hardworking and loyal. While in the school your house is your family. Finally points are awarded for your good deeds and reduced for your misdeeds. If you have any other questions you will need to ask your future house mates. I will be back in a moment. I must make sure the hall is ready for you." With those parting words Professor McGonagall left the group of students lone while she checked the hall.
Harry was leaning against a wall off to the side and away from the crowd waiting for the professor to come back and sort him until a somewhat self-important voice interrupted his internal worries, "Hey whats with your hair. Are you a freak or something?" Harry flinched at the word freak, memories of his uncle surfacing unbidden into his mind's eye.
He looked over to the boy who called him such a thing. He had hair the color of copper and a dirt smudged nose. His blue eyes though, Harry noticed, didn't have the cruel gleam his family's did whenever they called him a freak or beat him. His eyes only showed curiosity, as if it was perfectly normal to call someone different a freak. For some reason that hurt more than if he had been called freak with malicious intent.
His hair changed from it's icy blue to a deep blue and shortened slightly in length but laid perfectly flat, as if showing his pained thoughts. His eyes followed the example of his hair changing into the palest purple.
'But.' he thought, 'Dora isn't a freak, at least I don't think she is, and I'm just like her. So doesn't that mean I'm not a freak either.'
"I'm... I'm not a f-freak." He hated his stutter and couldn't wait to get back to the safety of Dora.
"Oh." Suddenly his eyes flicked up and spotted something he couldn't see before due to Harry's hair getting in the way. "You're Harry Potter!" he said loudly making everyone else stop talking and look over at them. Before Harry got a chance to say anything another boy with pale gelled back blond hair walked across the room and started talking in an arrogant tone, as if the world owed him everything.
"Harry Potter? Are you blind Weasley? Harry Potter has black hair. Besides, I doubt Harry Potter would waste time talking to a blood traitor like you." Weasley colored with anger at being called a blood traitor, though Harry had no idea what that meant, and before he could say anything Professor McGonagall reentered the room holding a scroll and battered hat.
"We're ready for you now. If you'll all just follow me we can begin the ceremony." Everyone followed the professor through the door and into the Great Hall.
Harry was stunned by the sight of it. The halls was massive with four long tables that traversed one end of the hall to the other. Above the tables suspended seemingly in mid-air were banners representing what Harry imagined were the different houses. The farthest away was green with silver trim and a snake embossed on it. The next one was blue with gold trim and a bird, then red and gold with a lion. The last table's banner was gold with black trim and had a badger embossed on it. Above the banners was possibly the most amazing thing he had ever seen. Instead of a ceiling there appeared to be an open sky and he idly noted someone murmuring 'it's enchanted' and 'Hogwarts: A History'.
His attention was brought to the front of the hall when McGonagall placed the raggedy hat on the stool. He was amazed when the hat lurched and a seem separated revealing a mouth-like tear. He was even more amazed when the hat seemed to sing.
Oh, you may not think I'm pretty,
But don't judge on what you see,
I'll eat myself if you can find
A smarter hat than me.
You can keep your bowlers black,
Your top hats sleek and tall,
For I'm the Hogwarts Sorting Hat
And I can top them all.
There's nothing hidden in your head
The Sorting Hat can't see,
So try me on and I will tell you
Where you ought to be.
You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart;
You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil;
Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
If you've a steady mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind;
Or perhaps in Slytherin
You'll make your real friends,
Those cunning folk use any means
To achieve their ends.
So put me on! Don't be afraid!
And don't get in a flap!
You're in safe hands (though I have none)
For I'm a Thinking Cap!
Harry clapped along with everyone else at the end of the song. When everyone stopped Professor McGonagall began talking again.
"When I call your name, you are to come and sit down and have the hat place on your head and you will be sorted. Now: Abbot, Hannah..." Harry tuned most of the sorting out deciding to instead search the tables for Dora. He payed just enough attention to tell where people were going but nothing past that. Finally, he spotter a patch of pink hair at the tables under the banners with the badger and figured it was the Hufflepuff table.
Finally, Professor McGonagall called out "Potter, Harry." Harry felt nervous but any of his fears were set aside by what Dora told him earlier. He was acutely aware of the whispering surrounding him but he did his best to ignore it. The few things that stood out however, were 'whats with his hair?' and 'Is that really Harry Potter.' Finally he reached the stool and sat down. This was immediately followed by the hat being placed on his head, which immediately slipped over his face.
'Ah, Mr. Potter. I was wondering when I would finally sort you.' The voice sounded old and scratchy, but what startled Harry the most was that he was hearing the voice in his head.
'Why have you been waiting to sort me... sir?' Was sir the right way to address a hat?
'Just call me hat Mr. Potter. As for why I have been waiting to sort you, you've been on most girl's minds and some boy's minds for quite some time, even more so this year. I'm curious if you're mind will live up to the hype. Now let's see what going on in there...'
'You're going through my mind?' This irked Harry, he didn't want people rooting around his mind.
'Not to worry Mr. Potter, everything I see in your head is private. Oh, my. I'm sorry, this wasn't what I was expecting. Your life has been a difficult one. You would do well in Slytherin if you have survived that.'
'Place me in Hufflepuff please,' he thought as an image of Dora flashed through his mind.
'Hmm, brave enough to demand which house I place you in. You would do well in Gryffindor as well.'
'Put me in Hufflepuff with Dora!' Why wasn't the hat listening? Dora had told him it would... did she lie?
'And finally, you're willing to choose the house you'll live in for one person. That shows true loyalty... better be,' "Hufflepuff." 'Stay with her Mr. Potter, you'll need her.'
The hall was silent as Harry took off his hat and began walking towards his pink haired friend. Everyone in the hall noticed as he walked his hair turned from a dark blue, to an light green. When he reached Dora he sat down next to her and she put her arm around his shoulder to comfort and shield him from the attention.
During this, Harry failed to notice his surroundings. He failed to notice the silent shock of most of the hall. He failed to notice the wide eyed stairs of most the staff. He failed to notice the scowling redhead and blond from earlier wondering how to become his friend. But most importantly he failed to notice the Headmaster on his throne, scowling slightly in his direction thinking of plans that needed to be changed and how to get his most valuable piece back under his control and away from the independent witch.
A/N: And there it is. Hope you enjoyed it, If you have any questions post them in a review and I'll answer them. For those who don't like the stuttering, it'll be gone in a chapter or two mostly due to Tonks' influence. If your wondering if he's becoming comfortable with Tonks to quickly its about 50/50 between she has been nothing but nice and has even taught him something, and that he gets the same feeling from her as he gets from his wand, mostly due to her hair being in it.
Crazyjim87: Excellent idea. They do say all the Blacks have at least a touch of insanity in them and maybe hers will come out here.
Kenka: You bet. By Christmas they will most likely be in a tentative romance. Mostly just being boyfriend/girlfriend without too much physical stuff... that'll come later.
To everyone else reviewing and enjoying it, thanks. Toodles!