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He had seen how this turned out: too many people had suffered, too many people had died. His power in the mortal world was limited though as he had been gone for too long. He could still reach across the divide but his power was sorely limited. However, the Elder Wand was in play and had plenty of power. He had to find a link to it that he could use.

The obvious choice would not work, however. The Guardian of the Light did not claim it until too late. The motivation just wasn’t there at that point. He could only manipulate links, not the motivation or the power. He looked back in time and stumbled on a moment that he had not noticed before. The link to power was there and so was the motivation. He was an unusual subject to choose though as he had been on the side of the dark. He still believed in redemption, perhaps he would give this young man a chance to prove him right. He found no better moment to change so he manipulated the necessary link and hoped for the best.

 [Scene change]

 I was sitting in the head boy’s dorm room in Hogwarts. This had once been my dream, part of my plans for getting ahead in life and fulfilling my destiny as the Malfoy heir. Now it was a hollow victory. The Dark Lord was in charge and didn’t care one whit whether I was head boy or not. The bloody git celebrated his victory by disappearing on some mission, probably just a vacation really. I’m sure it was just Snape’s idea to make me head boy. He had always made me one of his favorites, which I never understood with him and my father being rivals and all. I did sometimes wonder if he liked mum though.

 My former dorm mates were busy in the Slytherin common room anticipating the fun they would have this year after gorging themselves at the welcoming feast. Idiots. I see no reason to celebrate, no reason to anticipate the future for my present and the dreams I once had for the future are ashes. Father had told me all of my life about how my pureblood status, the old ways and the inspiration of the great Dark Lord would lead to a golden future.

 Even father paid only lip service to those ideals now and he did it only at the necessary moments to preserve the lives of his family. I know now that all of those fools had been duped by the ravings of a madman. I have seen pureblood families devastated at the Dark Lord’s whim, the old ways ignored whenever they were inconvenient. I see a golden future for only one man: the Dark Lord. For everyone else there was only servitude, torture or death. I have seen first hand how being in the inner circle really changed nothing. A slave was a slave regardless of any pretense of greater status. All who were not the Dark Lord served the Dark Lord. It was as simple as that.

 I closed my eyes and wished with all of my might that somehow this could all be changed. I’d even be willing to help Potter if it came to that. If Potter was really the chosen one then only he had the chance to end this madness. Pride had to take a distant second to expediency. Just about anything was better than what was happening now. I just wished that this all could end and just have been a bad dream. This really couldn’t be my present and future; this couldn’t be my fate. Later, I realized that I should have remembered that old saying about being careful what you wish for.

 [Scene change]

 Suddenly, I heard Madame Malkin’s voice welcoming a client. I opened my eyes and found myself standing on a stool in her shop having my robes pinned to length. I froze in shock wondering if I was hallucinating. I was too close to the floor even on a stool – was I back in a memory? I looked over at the next stool now occupied by another boy and saw a young Harry Potter. I realized that this is when I had first met Harry Potter but was this real?

 I decided to treat it as real for the time being and if this really was a second chance, I had to make the most of it. I suddenly remembered that mum would be returning soon. I had better make the most of this time while Potter was still there but I have to pretend that I don’t already know him.

Harry was looking around as though bewildered so I decided to speak first just as I had done the first time. “Hello, are you about to go to Hogwarts too?”

“Yes.”

I was about to turn to try to introduce myself and shake hands but realized that I couldn’t at the moment. “Me too. I’m Draco Malfoy by the way. I’d shake hands but I’m not supposed to move at the moment.”

“Right. I’m Harry Potter.”

I was about to fawn over him as I was sure that he’d expect but then I remembered Harry’s constant denials of any desire for fame. Best to take a more subtle approach for now then.

“Pleased to meet you then, Harry. Have people been making a fuss over you?”

“Yes.”

“Do you like that?”

“No.”

“I won’t do that then. We can chat on the train on our way to Hogwarts.”

“Train?”

“Yes, we take the Hogwarts Express from King’s Cross Station. Didn’t you know?”

“No. I didn’t even know I was a wizard until yesterday.”

I did not know what to say to that. I’d have to give this some more thought. “It looks like Hagrid has an ice cream for you.”

“What? He does?”

“Sure. Look at the door.”

Before Harry could respond, he was dismissed and told to come back later for his robes. I knew he wouldn’t have another chance to talk until the train so I tried to make sure that Harry would expect me. “See you on the train then Harry. We’ll talk some more, OK?”

“Sure, um – Draco.”

I smiled and nodded to him as he went out and met Hagrid outside the door. I sighed and cooperated as my robe was pulled away for work and settled down to wait for mother. This sure didn’t seem like a dream and if it was a new reality, I’d make sure it was better than the old one.

I made sure to sneak a book about Harry Potter in with my purchases and managed to get it past my parents without them noticing. It sure is frustrating to be treated like I am eleven, though that is my physical age in this new reality. I’m going to have to start over with developing my network of contacts and I wish that I’d paid more attention to certain things the first time around. The book helped me prepare to talk to Harry but I wonder how much of what I read in the book that I should believe.

Fortunately, I had noticed that Harry tended to arrive late so I stayed with Crabbe and Goyle until I saw that Harry had arrived and told them I’d be gone for quite a while and that they weren’t to come looking for me. I gave them money for the food cart to encourage them to fend for themselves for a while.

I went down towards the back of the train and saw the Weasley twins just leaving a compartment to head back outside. I was pleased to see Harry alone so I could talk to him as a friend before anyone told him to expect otherwise. I knew that Ron Weasley would likely do that and I suppose I’ll have to be friendly with that stupid git. I had to suppress my amusement as I realized that I was very accustomed to dealing with stupid gits as Crabbe and Goyle were excellent examples of that.

“Hello, Harry. Can I join you for a bit?”

“Sure Draco. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it here.”

“Yes, it can be a little crazy in the station.” He looked out the window and noticed that Harry must have been watching the Weasleys. “You’ve met the Weasleys then?”



“Sure did. Are they friends of yours?”

“Actually, no. My parents and theirs don’t get along. I imagine they won’t like me much. I’m not my parents though. I hope people will judge me for myself, for who I am.”

“I know what you mean. I wouldn’t want to be judged by my Aunt, Uncle and Cousin.”

“They aren’t nice then?”

“No.” 

It was obvious that was not a good subject for Harry so I dropped it. I had to be careful. I couldn’t do much to change my fate if Harry didn’t trust me. I had to get in to Harry’s good graces – and even Ron’s and Hermione’s as well. I had to lay some more groundwork before the Weasleys returned. “Sorry to hear that. To be honest, my father isn’t always very nice either.”

“Does he – um – do things to you?”

I wasn’t sure what he was referring to but assumed it was some sort of abuse. I felt my first twinge of sympathy for Harry. What had those bloody muggles done to him? “He treats me well enough most of the time. He doesn’t beat me or anything but doesn’t like to be disappointed. Things can be – uncomfortable – if he doesn’t get what he expects.”

Harry nodded and I noticed movement on the part of the Weasleys – not much more time left. “I can tell you a lot about Hogwarts. I had a private tutor so I even know some magic. Do you know about the houses? About Quidditch?”

Harry shook his head so I took the opportunity to start telling him the truth, to become a good source of information for him. “There are four houses. They foster competition for excellence in the students at least that is what they say. They are Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Gryffindor and Slytherin. Those were the four founders of Hogwarts and they each valued certain qualities in students. Ravenclaw wanted the smartest, Hufflepuff liked loyalty and hard work, Gryffindor liked courage and Slytherin liked cunning. He eventually left though. He also wanted only purebloods.”

“Purebloods?”

“Wizards and witches from families only of wizards and witches. No muggles – you know, nobody without magic.”

“Seems to me that Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff might be good then.”

I was surprised that Harry would consider anything but Gryffindor and especially that he would consider Hufflepuff. I wondered if I should steer him toward Slytherin but the Weasleys arrived and I dropped that thought. I had a big enough challenge right now.

“Can I sit in here? Everywhere else is full…”

Ron peered curiously at Draco while Harry said. “Sure, come on in.”

I decided to meet this head on so I stood up, extended my hand and smiled “Hi, I’m Draco Malfoy and you are…?”

Ron looked at me in surprise and said “Ron Weasley” he tentatively shook hands with me and I decided to continue as if everything was fine. “Pleased to meet you. This is Harry Potter, I was just telling him about Hogwarts.”

The twins arrived and gave me an odd look but they talked to Ron anyway. “We’ll be down the way a bit, Lee Jordan has this cool big spider.” They ignored Ron’s expression and turned to Harry and said “We’re not sure we introduced ourselves, Fred and George Weasley.” They then peered at me expectantly. “Draco Malfoy. It’s nice to meet you too.”

The twins looked skeptical but they decided they wanted to move on right away. “Right. See you lot later at Hogwarts then.” Ron, Harry and I chorused a “goodbye” back as they left and closed the door.

I was beginning to think that this might be easier than I’d thought when Ron asked “So which house are you going to be in?” I saw Ron looking at me with an expectant look. There was no dodging the answer, I decided.

“My parents were in Slytherin. I’ll probably end up there too.”

“My parents were in Gryffindor, same with all of my older brothers.”

I saw no benefit in becoming shy or reluctant. “It does tend to run in families.” I turned to Harry and asked “Your parents were in Gryffindor too, right?”

“I don’t know.”

“That’s what I read, I assume it is true.” It got quiet after that and I was afraid that I’d brought up the wrong thing. Then I remembered Quidditch and how much Harry had liked that so it certainly ought to be safe. I looked at Harry and asked “Do you know about Quidditch?”

That set off Ron and he dominated the conversation for quite a while. I was amused to find that the Chudley Cannons were his favorite team but kept that to himself. I could not afford any negative feelings from the ‘golden trio’. I was surprised when Hermione didn’t seem quite as annoying as I had remembered her. Unlike Ron, she did not seem to have any prejudice against the Malfoy name. Neville was as inept as I’d expected but again kept that opinion to myself. Overall, I felt things had gone pretty well as Ron, Harry, Hermione and I travelled by boat to Hogwarts.

While they were waiting to be called for sorting, I drifted back to join Crabbe and Goyle. I’d probably still find them useful so best to keep them attached to me. I was annoyed to find that they had overstuffed themselves with candy and they were now feeling a bit unwell. I thought they were idiots but kept that to myself as well.

Things proceeded as before. The hat had barely touched my head before sorting me to Slytherin before so I expected the same. I was surprised when it settled on my head and remained silent for a few moments. “I expected you to be easy to sort Mr. Malfoy and you are. It’s just not where I thought – Gryffindor!”

I was so shocked that I just sat there for a few moments. The hat had shouted the last word to everyone so I was sorted I guess. How the bloody hell had this happened though? I had not expected or planned this. I sensed that McGonagall was about to intervene so I took the hat off, slid off of the stool and put the hat down on it and slowly walked toward the Gryffindor table. I chanced a glance at Snape and although his face was an emotionless mask, his eyes showed shock and they followed my progress as I walked by. Some of the Gryffindors were applauding but others looked as amazed as I felt. How was I going to explain this to father?

I realized that this might be a good thing when Harry sat next to me and when Weasley joined us I decided that I would make the best of this that I could. Being in the same dorm as two of the ‘golden trio’ would be helpful. I just hoped I would be able to convince my parents that all was well. First I’d have to convince myself though.

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