Author's Note: I've wanted to write about Draco Malfoy for awhile, but I didn't have any ideas for a full length story. This idea came to me while attempting to sleep, and I hope you enjoy it. This is a reflective piece set during The Half Blood Prince, however, there are no spoilers, and really you could picture this at almost any other time during Draco's time at Hogwarts.
“The Sorting is a very important ceremony because, while you are here, your house will be something like your family within Hogwarts.”
- Minerva McGonagall, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K Rowling
Draco Malfoy had always been told by his family that Slytherin was the house for him. That he would do well there, and that he'd better be sorted there if he didn't want to find himself out of an inheritance. The idea, the need to be sorted into Slytherin had been so ingrained in him that the Sorting Hat didn't even think twice when he was called up to the stool. It called out Slytherin before the old, dusty rim had even touched his perfectly gelled hair.
Perhaps, if his parents hadn't insisted so much, he might have been sorted into a different house.
That was something Draco thought about a lot. He thought about it in the shower, before he went to bed. At meal times and even during class when he spaced out. In these day dreams he tried to imagine himself in a different set of robes. He put himself in yellow and black, blue and bronze... He even dared to imagine himself as a Gryffindor, though he was certain that he would have never ended up there, even if his parents hadn't been so insistent. The idea was a bit amusing, though, he thought, picturing himself sharing a dorm with Potter and Weasley, and having classes with Granger. Maybe they would have been friends then, and they'd run off to breakfast together and do their essays in the Common Room... He always shook those thoughts off with laugh. They wouldn't befriend, even if he was in Gryffindor. Draco would still be Draco, and they really didn't like him.
Ravenclaw was really the more realistic option, Draco decided. He was quite intelligent, despite what others might think about him. He rarely studied, as he was usually caught up in some plot or another, but he still manged to surpass Granger in a few classes. There was no telling how high his marks would be if he actually sat down and did the work. Potions was the only class he actually did try at, and he knew that he was at the top of the class. Professor Snape had even told him once that he could skip to Seventh Year Potions and still be at the top, though Draco was certain he would deny that if anyone ever asked him. Professor Snape wasn't one to give complements, and like him, he had an image to keep up.
Of course, his marks were failing now due to a situation that was completely out of his control. A situation that he would rather pretend didn't exist, but he couldn't. People would die no matter what he did, and he'd rather come out of it alive if he could. That sense of self preservation was probably what tipped that the Sorting Hat over to Slytherin, he mused. He didn't have Gryffindor courage, he couldn't stand up to his Father, and Dark Lord like Potter and his friends. Draco would just have to go along for the ride, shining his Slytherin badge the entire way.
He had to because he didn't know what to do otherwise. It was a poor excuse, he knew, but that was the way he had been raised. It wasn't in his nature to rebel against his parents; he wasn't brave or strong. So, until he could figure things out, and work up a semblance of courage, he'd need to stand tall and wear his green with pride.
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