Draco was sitting in his dormitories, the book open in his lap to the second chapter. His closest friends were there, Blaise, Pansy, Goyle, Crabbe. They had formed a sort of reading club for DADA that the other Slytherins in their year weren't interested in. They thought it hilarious that Umbridge managed to find works on Potter. As they didn't have a double defense period, they hadn't finished the first chapter, and they came together in Draco's room to finish it as a group that evening. Umbridge wanted them to read the second chapter for homework where they would briefly discuss it the next class and read as much of the third chapter in class the next day as possible.
"Let's see how ickle Potty grew up now, shall we?" Draco said as he brought the book up again. "Always told you he was obnoxious, and I suppose now we know why."
"Those horrible muggles, it's a shame no one on his father's side was alive." Pansy sniffed. "Blood Traitors as they were, they still were aware of pureblood customs and could have brought him up with more sense."
Draco brought the book up to his face.
Ten years had gone by
"What?" Pansy frowned. "So we don't even get to know how Potter grew up?"
"Quite a let down, really." Draco muttered before continuing to read.
Since the Dursley family found Harry outside, but everything else in the neighborhood was just as it was before. The only thing in the house that had changed were the photographs, which were of what looked like a large pink beach ball.
Crabbe frowned.. "What's that?"
"I assume it's a ball for the beach." Blaise slurred.
The photographs now showed a large blonde boy doing different activities. There was no sign that another boy lived in the house.
"What the bloody hell, if he left why are we still with the Muggles!" Draco yelled.
"Well if you read I'm sure you'd find out." Blaise said impatiently.
Harry Potter, however, was still present,
"Oh." Draco said sheepishly. Then, "Wait, what?"
"What was the rubbish about only one boy living there?" Pansy asked.
"It... it didn't say no other boy lived there. It just said there was no sign of another boy living there." Blaise said slowly. Draco narrowed his eyes at the book and then kept reading.
Sleeping. He was woken by his aunt Petunia shrieking at him to get up immediately.
"That's lovely." Pansy muttered.
She was knocking on the door after he was already awake, and then walked to the kitchen to cook with the frying pan. Harry tried to remember the good dream he was having, noting a flying motorcycle had been in it.
Blaise raised an eyebrow. "He can remember that but he can't remember to listen to directions in potions?"
Draco and Pansy snickered at that.
Harry thought he might have had the dream before. His aunt came back to make sure he was up so he could look after the bacon, as she wanted everything perfect for Dudley's birthday. Harry groaned and his aunt snapped at him, demanding to know what he said.
"He didn't say anything." Draco rolled his eyes. "Are all muggles this... irritating?"
"Isn't that why we keep away from them?" Blaise asked.
"It's certainly a reason." Pansy said.
Harry quickly told her nothing, then wondered how he could have forgotten about his cousin's birthday. He looked around for a sock, and found a pair under his bed and put them on after pulling a spider off of them.
Blaise paled at the mention of spiders. It was the only thing he had in common with Weasley, but he was not very much a fan of the arachnids.
Spiders didn't bother Harry because there were many of them in the cupboard under the stairs, where he slept.
Draco paused. He opened his mouth to speak, and then closed it again. He looked up at his friends, who looked just as stunned.
"Read that over again?" Pansy asked. Draco cleared his throat and reread the line that told them that Harry Potter, Boy Who Lived, slept in a cupboard.
"...That night?" Blaise asked. "Maybe there's something wrong with his room and that's where he slept while they fixed it."
They all nodded, though none of them really bought it. For one thing, he could sleep on the couch, and that's not what the sentence implied. Draco rolled his eyes and was about to go back to reading. It wasn't like he liked Potter. He actually found it pretty amusing that the wizarding world's Golden Boy slept in a cupboard, even if just once.
Fully dressed, Harry went into the kitchen. Dudley had a lot of birthday presents, which seemed to include a new computer, a second television and a racing bike.
Draco raised an eyebrow at his friends, but none of them seemed to know what any of the things mentioned were.
Dudley was very fat and hated exercise, so Harry didn't know why Dudley wanted a racing bike.
Pansy snorted. "Sounds like Goyle."
Goyle glared at her, but remained silent, as usual.
Unless it was punching someone.
Okay, it really did sound like Goyle, and Crabbe too.
Harry was Dudley's favorite punching bag,
Draco snorted. Seems like Potter wasn't as well liked without his 'Boy Who Lived' title behind him. Although, he wasn't really liked with it anyway, if this year was anything to go by.
However, Harry was very fast, so he couldn't often catch him.
Draco wasn't the only one to roll his eyes.
Harry had always been extremely small for his age. He looked even smaller than what he really was since he wore all of Dudley's old clothes.
"They don't give him his own clothes?" Pansy wrinkled her nose.
"Why ever not?" Blaise looked genuinely confused. "It's not like the Weasleys, he has the money."
and Dudley was so much larger than he was. Harry had a thin face, knobbly knees, black hair, and green eyes.
"Well at least he knows he's pathetic looking." Blaise said, and the others laughed.
He also had round glasses with tape holding them together because Dudley loved to punch him on the nose.
"But I thought he was oh so fast!" Pansy mocked.
All that Harry liked of his appearance was the lightning shaped scar on his lightning.
"'Course he does." Draco frowned. "It's what gets him all the special treatment."
Draco would never get over the rule that first years weren't allowed their own broom being broken just for Potter after he broke the rules already. And then being put on the Quidditch team.
He'd had it all his life, and he asked his aunt how he got it. She told him it was in the car crash where his parents had died.
"She said what?" Pansy yelled pulling the book out of Draco's hands and scanning the page looking for what Draco read. "You're having me on!"
"I'm not." Draco said simply. Potter hadn't even known the truth about how his parents died. He wouldn't even wish that on his worst enemy- and his worst enemy got exactly that.
"Does he know anything about magic?" Crabbe asked.
"Shut up, Crabbe." Pansy said dismissively. "Of course he does."
"No wait, he's got a point." Blaise said. "If they didn't tell him the truth about his parents, did they tell him anything?"
Draco felt slightly sick, but made sure not to show it. "Give me the damn book, Pansy!" he said snatching it back.
She continued by commanding him not to ask any questions. This was the first rule in living with the Dursleys. Harry was still cooking the bacon when Uncle Vernon came in and yelled at Harry to comb his hair.
Draco snickered, the atmosphere in the room getting better at once. It still wasn't as jubilant as when they started the chapter. And they were only on the second page of it.
Uncle Vernon yelled at him about his hair once a week, and Harry had gotten many hair cuts but they made no difference. His hair just simply grew all over the place.
"I still feel like he doesn't really try." Pansy said. "I'm sure he's not simply forced to walk around with that rats nest."
"Of course he could do something about it. His grandfather made Sleekeazy's Hair Potion." Pansy said running her hand through her own hair.
"Really?" Blaise raised an eyebrow. She nodded, going into her bag and pulling out her package of it and showed the bottom where it said Fleamont Potter. Draco mentally gagged at the name.
"Likely because the hair runs in the family." Pansy said putting it back. "Apparently, Granger used it for the Yule Ball, and it actually looked nice. You know it's a miracle worker if it did that for her."
"Does he know his grandfather made it?" Draco asked. "I'd have half a mind to send it to him if I didn't find making fun of his hair daily a great stress reliever."
Harry was cooking eggs
"Of course they've got him doing a servant's job." Blaise moaned with his head in his hands. "Because it seems this book is actively trying to make us all guilty of how we treated him."
"I don't. I still think he hangs with the wrong crowd, and he was still a dick to me when I tried to get him away from them." Draco frowned. "And he has everyone falling over themselves to cater to him."
"I simply don't like him." Pansy said crossing her legs. "And nothing in here changes that, but I will say I feel slightly bad for him."
when Dudley arrived with his mother. He looked like his father with a large round face, wet blue eyes, and blonde hair lying flat on his fat head.
"Now he sounds like Bulstrode." Pansy said.
Aunt Petunia described her son as a baby angel —
"I very much doubt she can see now." Draco said.
But Harry thought he more so resembled a pig in a wig.
Blaise let out a surprised laugh. "Okay, he's funny, I'll give him that."
Draco had to stop himself from laughing at the comment as well, on principal alone.
Harry served them with eggs and bacon while Dudley counted his presents. He noticed he only had thirty-six, which was two less than the year before.
"Can't blame him for being upset." Draco said. "I've always felt the number of presents should go up with age."
Aunt Petunia pointed out a present from 'Auntie Marge' under a larger one from her and Uncle Vernon. Dudley was still unhappy as his face grew red.
"Can't say I agree with the lack of respect, however." Draco frowned.
Harry sensed a tantrum and shoveled food into his mouth before Dudley could flip the table.
"And we all know Potter needs all the food he can get." Pansy snickered.
"Dudley sounds stupid." Goyle said, which made the other three laugh harder. It was a well known fact that Goyle and Crabbe weren't the brightest, so it made it all the more funny when Goyle said this about someone else. "If he flipped the table, he'd miss out on the food."
Harry was not the only one who saw the warning signs as Aunt Petunia told Dudley quickly that they'd buy him two more presents. Dudley thought, and tried to figure out how many presents he'd have after he got two more presents.
"He can't be serious." Draco said staring at the book.
"You were right Goyle." Pansy snickered. "He's an idiot."
Aunt Petunia supplied thirty-nine and Dudley was satisfied. Uncle Vernon ruffled Dudley's hair, praising him for wanting his money's worth like his father.
"If I ever talked to my parents the way this ugly, fat nitwit did, I don't think you'd ever see me again." Pansy said disgusted. "And this little turd is being congratulated for it!"
"Well that's why he does it, isn't it. He knows he isn't going to be told off." Blaise shrugged.
"That's why Potter doesn't have any respect." Draco said. "He was never taught it."
Aunt Petunia went to answer the phone while Dudley began to unwrap presents. He'd gotten through a few when Aunt Petunia came back looking unhappy as she explained that someone named Mrs. Figg had broken her leg.
"Mrs. Figg..." Draco said. "I think my father told me a Figg spoke up at Potter's trial this summer."
"So Dumbledore has spies." Blaise said. "Bad ones if they don't know where Potter sleeps."
"I thought we agreed it was only for the night." Pansy mumbled.
"I think we all know that's not true." Draco sighed.
And she can't watch Harry. Dudley was horrified but Harry was excited. Harry got stuck with Mrs. Figg every year on Dudley's birthday. Her house smelled like cabbage and she forced Harry to look at photos of her cats.
Aunt Petunia looked furious as she asked Vernon what they should do now. Harry knew he should feel bad about the broken leg, but he was so glad to not have to look at Tibbles, Snowy, Mr. Paws, and Tufty.
"Mr. Paws?" Blaise said with an unimpressed look. "Tufty?"
Uncle Vernon suggested Marge, but Petunia quickly dismissed this by reminding him that Marge hated Harry.
"Is there a single person in the muggle world that likes him?" Pansy asked.
Draco shrugged. "I say good. Snape's the only one who really deflates his ego around here."
The Dursleys usually talked about Harry like he wasn't there, or like he was something gross like a slug. Uncle Vernon suggested Yvonne, Aunt Petunia's friend, but she was on vacation in Majorca. Harry cut in saying they could just leave him in the house, and he hoped he'd be able to watch what he wanted on tv and go on his cousin's computer. This didn't go over well with Aunt Petunia, who said if they did that they'd find the house in ruins.
"That's more than possible." Draco said. "Everywhere Potter goes is left in ruins."
Harry said he wouldn't blow the house up, but they stopped listening as Aunt Petunia suggested taking him to the zoo and leaving him in the car.
"Okay," Blaise said slowly. "I think we can all agree to dislike Potter... but also his relatives. Because they're... they're horrible."
But Uncle Vernon refused, saying the car was new.
"What do they think he's going to do?" Crabbe asked, his face scrunched up. No one answered him because no one had an answer.
Dudley began wailing, but not actually crying. He knew if he screwed up his face, his mother would do whatever he wanted.
Pansy and Blaise looked at each other and laughed loudly. Draco was lost and read back over the sentence looking for the joke. Even Crabbe and Goyle looked amused.
"What the bloody hell is so funny?" Draco asked.
"He- He sounds like you!" Pansy panted out.
Draco felt heat run through him and he stood quickly, letting the book fall. "Don't ever compare me to that pig again."
"Calm down, Draco." Blaise said, looking annoyed now. "Like it or not, you do the same thing, Narcissa adores you."
"Just read the story." Pansy said, no longer laughing. Draco glared at them and snatched the book up. There was an awkward quiet when he had to find his page, but he got to it eventually.
Aunt Petunia began to comforting him, hugging and promising her Dinky Duddydums that she wouldn't let him spoil things. Dudley continued to pretend to sob, saying Harry spoils everything. He then gave Harry a nasty grin when his mum couldn't see.
Blaise and Pansy sent amused looks to each other. Draco pretended to himself he did not see them, this way he wasn't tempted to hex them.
Someone was at the door, Dudley's best friend, Piers Polkiss. He usually held people while Dudley hit them. Dudley stopped wailing at once. Not long after, Harry was in the car with them and going to the zoo. Uncle Vernon had pulled Harry aside before they left to warn him that any funny business and he'd be in the cupboard until Christmas. Harry promised nothing would happen.
"Somehow I'm finding that hard to believe." Draco scoffed.
Uncle Vernon found this unbelievable because strange things always happened around Harry, and it did no good telling him he didn't make it happen.
Draco paused, looked at Crabbe, but said nothing.
An example was when Aunt Petunia had cut his hair herself, cutting it down to his scalp apart from the bangs to hide the scar.
"I wish I had pictures!" Draco laughed with his friends at the mental image.
Harry dreaded going to school the next day and being made fun of, but the next morning his hair was just as it was. He'd been punished by being forced to go in the cupboard for a week.
The amusement left. As much as Draco wanted to laugh at Potter's pathetic home life with the muggles, something about it all made him feel uneasy.
Even after trying to explain he had no idea how it happened. Another time Aunt Petunia tried to force a horribly ugly sweater on him, but it kept shrinking until it would only fit a mouse. He didn't get punished for this because Aunt Petunia had decided it had shrunk in the wash.
"She can't have really believed that." Blaise mumbled.
But once, he'd been chased by Dudley and his gang when suddenly he had been sitting on the chimney. A letter had been sent home, explaining Harry had been climbing school buildings. Harry admitted he'd tried to jump behind the big trash cans, but the wind must have caught him mid-jump.
"What?" Blaise, Pansy, and Draco said.
"Erm... is that possible?" Goyle asked. Pansy ignored him.
"It's accidental magic! Surely they explained this!"
"Actually, I think Crabbe was right." Draco said squinting at the book. "I don't think he knows about magic at all."
"But Dumbledore explained everything in a letter." Pansy said.
"Oh I'm sure the muggles know." Blaise said. "I just don't think he does. I don't think they ever told him."
Draco was getting angry on Potter's behalf, which was an alarming thought he didn't want to dive into. "They've got some nerve! Why Potter associated with mudbloods at all after growing up with filth like this is lost on me!"
"Let's just... get through the chapter." Pansy said looking at the floor.
Harry was sure, however, that nothing would go wrong that day. He was very excited to be somewhere other than his cupboard or school or Mrs. Figg's. Uncle Vernon loved complaining, and did some complaining about motorcycles on the drive to the zoo. Harry suddenly remembered, and expressed to the people in the car, about his motorcycle dream where the motorcycle flew.
Pansy gasped, Blaise groaned, and Draco said, "That idiot."
"I don't get it." Crabbe said. Draco sighed.
"They get mad at Potter every time he's associated with magic. He shouldn't be telling them about dreams where it's showcased."
The reaction was immediate and they nearly crashed. Uncle Vernon turned back to yell in his face motorcycles don't fly.
Pansy was muttering something, but Draco kept going.
While Dudley and Piers laughed at Harry, he said he was well aware that motorcycles didn't fly and that it was just a dream, but wished he hadn't opened his mouth at all.
"Yes, obviously." Draco rolled his eyes. "Apparently he's always had an inability to keep his mouth shut."
The Dursleys never let Harry talk about things that shouldn't be, for fear he'd get dangerous ideas.
The zoo was crowded and it was a sunny day. Harry got lucky when the Dursleys bought Dudley and Piers chocolate ice creams. The lady asked Harry what he wanted, and so they bought him the cheap lemon ice pop.
He looked at a gorilla and Harry thought it looked exceptionally like Dudley besides the fact that it wasn't blonde.
Blaise snorted. "Yeah, okay. He's got a good sense of humor."
It was a very good morning for Harry. He was able to stay far enough away so that there wasn't a threat of Dudley and Piers to start hitting him.
"But he's fast." Pansy muttered, the joke not being as funny the second time.
Dudley had a tantrum about his knickerbocker glory not having enough ice cream, so Uncle Vernon bought another and left the remains to Harry. It was all too good to last.
"Ugh," Pansy said. "What does he do?"
"We're about to find out." Draco spat.
They moved onto the reptile house, which was full of lizards and snakes.
"Oh..." Blaise said. "You don't think he'd be stupid enough to talk to a snake right in front of the muggles, do you?"
"I think there's no limit to the amount of stupid things Potter would do." Draco answered.
Dudley found the largest snake in there, and it was fast asleep. Uncle Vernon tried to get it to move when Dudley whined, but it it kept sleeping, so Dudley moved on. Harry was still interested, and got closer to look at the snake.
"No..." Pansy moaned quietly to herself. Draco looked at her frowning.
He empathized with the snake, noting being in there having people knocking on the glass was worse than Aunt Petunia knocking on the door to his cupboard because he at least got to go to the other parts of the house. Just when he thought this, the snake opened it's eyes, it winked.
"This is going to be a disaster." Blaise said quietly.
Harry paused briefly, staring at it. When he saw no one was watching, he winked back. The snake made a movement that Harry understood to mean he got that all of the time. Harry spoke back that he understood.
"He doesn't think it's strange?" Goyle asked. "That it's talking back to him?"
Draco shook his head. "No it didn't say it actually spoke yet, just that Potter understood what it was trying to say anyway."
He continued, unsure if he was actually successfully communicating with the snake, that he figured it was really annoying. The snake nodded it's affirmation and Harry asked where it was from. The snake gestured to the sign next to the glass that said it was a boa constrictor from Brazil. Harry asked if it was nice there
"See?" Draco pointed. "He's having a conversation through gestures. Although I don't know why he doesn't think it's unusual that the snake actually understands him."
The snake gestured to the sign again and Harry read that the snake was bred in the zoo and that it's never been to Brazil. But a large shout scared them both as Piers yelled for the Dursleys to look at what the snake was doing.
Everyone in the room groaned.
Dudley ran, or tried at least, and punched Harry out of the way so that Harry fell hard on the floor. Then in the next second, something happened. Piers and Dudley were leaning on the glass, and then jumped back howling.
"If Potter served them some much deserved cumupets it'll be the best thing he could do." Draco said.
Because the glass containing the boa had vanished.
"Oh." Pansy said. "What are the chances it will eat the muggles?"
The boa constrictor slithered out of its confinement as people screamed and ran. Harry wasn't sure, but thought he heard the a low hissing voice stating it was on it's way to Brazil along with a 'thanks amigo'.
Draco paused. "So we're all in agreement that the thing is dead now right?"
Blaise and Pansy nodded but Crabbe frowned. "Why?"
"Well there's no way in hell it made it to Brazil, and the weather in London isn't fit for anything that's supposed to be in the tropical weathers of that country. Unless it was caught again and taken back to this zoo, where they probably gave it what it needed to survive, it died."
The keeper of the reptile house couldn't understand what happened as the zoo director tried to calm Aunt Petunia with a cup of tea while apologizing. Harry had only seen the snake playfully snap at Dudley and Piers and keep moving,
"And it's really a shame that's all it did." Pansy said sadly. Draco snickered.
However Dudley was sure the snake had tried to bite off his leg and Piers thought it had tried to squeeze him to death.
"If only we were all so lucky." Blaise said.
When Piers calmed down, he mentioned that Harry had been talking to the snake.
And another groan sounded in the room. "Of course." Pansy whispered to herself.
When Piers had gone to the house, Uncle Vernon could hardly speak and only grunted out five words to communicate that Harry was to go in his cupboard and stay in there with no meals.
"No- no what?"
"He- What did it say?"
"He isn't getting meals?"
Crabbe, Blaise, Pansy, and Goyle all asked at the same time. Draco reread the line.
"Those miserable little-" Pansy cut herself off. She took a deep breath. "How much more is there in this chapter?"
"Less than a page." Draco answered.
"Good." Pansy spat. "Because this isn't fun anymore."
And then fell into the chair while Aunt Petunia went to get him a brandy. Much later, Harry wished he had a watch. He didn't know when the Dursleys were asleep, and until they were, he couldn't sneak into the kitchen for food like he was planning to.
"Good. Thank Merlin." Pansy said. Draco didn't hold back anymore.
"Why do you care?" he asked. He was completely ignoring the fact that since the chapter started, he'd been standing up for Potter like Pansy had been. However, Draco's fear that he'd lose his friends to Harry Boy Who Lived Potter had gotten the better of him and he was now focused on that. "You're not starting to like him, are you?"
"I think he's still treated too well here, all the teachers are lenient to him other than Snape and Umbridge. But I'm allowed to hope he doesn't starve."
"We know he doesn't." Draco snapped.
"He's not treated well." Blaise cut in. "Pansy just recognizes that. Don't think we're going to go run off and hang out with him and the mudblood and blood traitors now."
Harry reflected on the long years he'd lived with the Dursleys. Ten miserable years, since the car crash that killed his parents. He could sometimes remember a lot of green light and horrible pain in his forehead.
"Seriously how the hell does he remember this?" Draco muttered. He couldn't remember what he had for breakfast.
He figured that was the memory of the crash but didn't know where the green light came from. He had no memory of his parents. His aunt and uncle didn't speak about them and he never asked any questions, as this was not allowed. And there were no pictures of them in the house.
"So he doesn't, or at least didn't know what his parents looked like then." Blaise said. Then, he glanced at Draco, likely wanting to avoid the same questioning that Pansy got, and he simply said, "Pity."
Harry thought back to how he dreamed of someone out there taking him away, but that never happened because the Dursleys were all he had. Although there were strangers that seemed to know him. He remembered a tiny man bowing to him once when shopping with his aunt and cousin.
"Idiots." Draco muttered. "Never wondered if maybe Potter was hidden for a reason, they just go out and find him to be able to brag to their friends that they'd done so."
Aunt Petunia had rushed them out of the store with no purchases after asking if Harry knew who the man was. Harry also remembered a woman in all green waving to him on the bus, and a bald man shaking his hand on the street one day but then walking away and saying nothing to him.
"How do they know where to find him? Surely they can follow him and see how he's treated and hex the muggles into eternity?" Pansy asked rhetorically. "They already have no shame."
But what was strangest about all of these people was the fact that they would disappear right after their interactions with him. He was alone at school, as no one was stupid enough to mess with Harry in the too large clothes and crooked glasses when it was well known that Dudley's gang didn't like him.
"That's it." Draco said. Pansy got up and left without another word. Crabbe and Goyle leaned back on their beds. Goyle looked about ready to nap, as if all the reading was exhausting him despite the fact that he wasn't actually doing any reading. Crabbe went in his pocket to pull out whatever food he'd stashed there.
Blaise sighed and went to his bed. "This isn't going to be as funny as we thought."
"That's just with the muggles." Draco said. "We can go back to laughing at his misery when he gets here."
Next chapter will be another Slytherin chapter (with some Ravenclaws too). Chapter after? The teachers.
Another reminder to look for my twitter and tumblr. There you can find updates on the story, when you can expect the next chapter to go up. And if I'm feeling generous, I'll even post a preview of the upcoming chapter on tumblr. Sometimes just a line, sometimes maybe a paragraph.
You can find a full link in my profile. That's it, have a good day!