A/N: Thank you for your reviews, favorites and follows! We've finally made it to Hogwarts - I am very excited! You can follow me on tumblr (nauticalparamour) where I post sneak peeks, story updates and answer questions. Huge thank you to Ava Safari for beta reading this chapter!
Please let me know what you thought of chapter four and be on the lookout for chapter five soon!
When he'd been standing on Platform 9 and 3/4, Draco was finally struck with nerves about heading to Hogwarts for the first time. He'd been dreaming of this moment basically as long as he could remember, when he'd finally go to school to learn about proper magic, but now, he was having second thoughts.
It was his mother's expression that made him rethink how great it would be to move away from home. As usual, Narcissa Malfoy's face was a proud mask of poise and charm, but in her eyes Draco could sense an overwhelming sadness of sending her only child off to school. Suddenly, he felt terrible about leaving her all alone in Malfoy Manor for months out of the year. Of course, she'd have Grandfather Abaxas and Grandfather Cygnus, but it wasn't the same as him. No one could replace him in his mother's eyes.
Draco had even wavered when it was time to board the Hogwarts Express, and literally the only thing getting him to go along was Hermione's tiny hand tugging at his, eager to get on the train and leave the muggle world behind. He promised his mum that he would see her at Christmas - something that had her smirking at him - before he disappeared into the scarlet steam engine.
The train ride had been mostly uneventful. He and Hermione sat with Harry and Alphard, and were joined not too long after by Theo Nott and Daphne Greengrass. Daphne eagerly took to Hermione, asking all sorts of intrusive questions about what it was like to be a muggle. She looked at Hermione as if she were some sort of potions experiment, but Draco knew that she wasn't trying to be rude.
The only real disruption had been when a red faced Weasley urchin and Neville Longbottom intruded into their compartment. Weasley expressed shock that Harry and Alphard would be sitting with such him and Theo, proclaiming that his mum had discouraged him from talking with dark wizards and witches. It just took a little bit of clever wand work on Alphard's part to send the pair squealing down the hallway.
Draco had laughed, but Hermione had just given him a scowl, not approving of breaking school rules.
Once they arrived at the castle, he quickly found himself separated from Hermione as they placed the first years in alphabetical order. Draco gave her a longing look, suddenly very worried about the sorting, but Hermione seemed okay - confident and excited. She happily continued to chatter away with Daphne.
Alphard was the first of their cohort to be sorted. Draco had to admit that he was more than a bit surprised when the Sorting Hat placed him in Slytherin. Alphard blanched, proclaiming that "my pops is gonna kill me," before he was welcomed by the Slytherin Head of House, Professor Vector.
Justin Finch-Fletchley, the first of the muggleborns in their year, went to Hufflepuff, which Draco could say was no great surprise. He watched as the rest of the students were sorted, ticking closer and closer to Granger, Hermione.
When her name was finally called, Hermione did look a bit nervous. The Sorting Hat sat on her head for so long that older students were calling for a hatstall, which only made Hermione blush. After much consideration, though, Draco was disappointed to hear her placed into Ravenclaw.
Daphne was sorted into Slytherin, Hopkins into Hufflepuff, Longbottom into Gryffindor, and before he knew it, it was Draco's turn to be sorted.
Once the old Sorting Hat was placed onto his head, Draco had begun begging it to put him in Ravenclaw, too. He couldn't imagine being separated from Hermione, who'd grown to be his best friend in these last five years. However, the Hat argued with him, telling him that he would do best in Slytherin. In the end, he couldn't convince the ratty old thing otherwise.
He trudged the whole way over to the Slytherin table, feeling his heart sink when he stared over at Hermione, who was happily chatting with another girl at the Ravenclaw table. He couldn't even find it in himself congratulate Theo when he joined the Slytherin table moments later, nor did he participate in the furious whispers after Harry Potter was placed into Slytherin as well. It seemed a coup for the green and silver to get both Black and Potter.
"This is going to be awesome," Alphard said to Harry. "Even if I ended up in Slytherin, at least I'll be in good company. Who do you think is going to be more pissed, my pops or yours?" he asked Harry.
"My grandma was a Slytherin," Harry said with a shrug of his shoulders, apparently not too bothered by it. He agreed that it would be great and they all began discussing how they were going to set up their dormitory, eagerly pulling Theo into the discussions as well.
Draco just sat there, listening quietly, his eyes still darting over to the Ravenclaw table. How could it be awesome when he and Hermione weren't even in the same house? Suddenly, he was struck with a worry he hadn't even considered. What if Hermione was only friends with him due to his proximity? Now that she had more people to talk to, what if she didn't want anything to do with him?
His thoughts were spiraling out of control as he grew more and more heartbroken that Hermione Granger had ended up a Ravenclaw.
Perhaps she sensed his eyes on her, because Hermione was suddenly making eye contact with him. She stilled when their eyes locked, before a real smile grew on her face. Lifting her hand, she gave him a shy little wave. In that moment, Draco felt a sense of...acceptance wash over him. He calmed down and realized that being in different houses wasn't going to erase several years of friendship. Proudly, he returned the wave, not caring if anyone saw.
And, he thought with a grin, at least she wasn't a Gryffindor.