Harry tugged his heavy trunk behind him, his arms ached from the weight as he struggled to find an empty compartment. A little over halfway down the train Harry has seated alone in a compartment. He knew without a doubt he would never be able to get his trunk onto the shelves so he just set it down by his feet before he sat down tiredly. His back hurt from the welts, his limbs were exhausted and overall he felt like he would never be able to move again.
"Can I sit here?" A warm, kind, voice asked from the left. Harry turned to the compartment door to see a tall boy with a perfect smile looking at him questioningly.
"S-Sure." Harry stayed silent as the other boy picked up his trunk and heaved it onto the shelves.
"Do you need help?" The boy asked, gesturing to Harry's trunk in front of him. Harry blushed in shame, embarrassed that he wasn't strong enough to lift the trunk himself. "No need to feel embarrassed, I couldn't even get my trunk onto the train without help in my first year. I was a twig and I'm not kidding."
Harry felt a small smile creep onto his lips as he nodded shyly. When the other boy sat down in front of him, smiling brightly Harry couldn't help but smile back.
"Hi!" The other boy chuckled to himself. "I've lost my manners, my name is Cedric Diggory, I'm a third year Hufflepuff." The boy leaned forward and offered his hand. Harry shook back weakly, again embarrassed that he was so weak he couldn't even grip someone's hand.
Cedric's smile faltered for a second before he looked at Harry intently. "M'Harry Potter, I do-don't have a house yet." Harry was mildly confused why Cedric stilled minutely before smiling again.
"Nice to meet you, Harry, you aren't what I expected you to be."
"Hagrid said that too, he said he thought I would look like my dad?" Harry frowned. "I don't know what he looked like so I don't know what's wrong with me."
"There is nothing wrong with you just because you don't look like your dad. If anything you look like the boy version of your mum. I've seen a picture or two of them in textbooks. She had red hair and green eyes like yours." Cedric offered with an encouraging smile. "When did you run into Mr. Hagrid? He's the gamekeeper here."
"He's the one that picked me up from my relative's home." Harry smiled happily at the memory. "It was amazing! Uncle Vernon was pointing a shotgun at him and Hagrid just grabbed it and folded it like it was nothing!"
"What's a shotgun?" Cedric asked in confusion.
"Oh, it's a muggle thing that kills people. You put bullets in them and you point them at people and pull a small trigger - kinda like a switch - and the bullet flies out and it can go through skin and bone sometimes. If the bullet gets stuck you have to pull it out and that hurts a lot. Anyways during wars, Muggles used them to kill people."
"Why-Why would muggle's need those?!" Cedric asked in alarm. "I thought they were kind, understanding creatures."
"Oh, well muggles have lots of wars. I learned in primary school about World War II-"
"Why is it called World War?" Cedric asked.
"Oh, because people all over the world either sent troops of people to help and almost everyone was involved. Anyways there was a man, he believed that everyone who was a Jew - Jewdism is a type of religion and if you practiced it then you were a Jew - should die because he thought they were below him. He wanted perfect people to breed with perfect people. He didn't want Jews to breed with other humans so he built armies of soldiers called 'Nazi's' and they gathered all the Jews into concentration camps where they were forced to do manual labor if they were physically well enough and if they were they were sent into what was basically a giant oven and they were burned alive.
"He ended up killing millions of people before he took his own life when his headquarters were invaded by American soldiers." Harry paused to look at Cedric, who was ghost white and frozen. "A lot of non-Jewish people died too. Soldiers fighting to free the Jews were killed and people trying to keep the Jews in the camps were killed as well. It was terrible. Genocide is what my teachers called it. He killed over 1/3 of all Jews."
The rest of the trip was a lot calmer, Harry asked Cedric anything and everything about Hogwarts and the Wizarding World in general.
Harry walked up the steps after Hagrid, he was quiet, no one around him seemed to notice him or they didn't want to talk to him. He stopped when the stern looking witch started talking. He tuned it out, instead, he looked around him at the giant stone walls, the talking portraits and the murmuring classmates around him. Before he knew it the woman left and the noise increased.
"Well, well, well." Harry turned to see a boy slightly taller than him, with platinum blond hair, startling gray eyes and an overall regal air around him.
"H-" Harry went to say 'hello' but was cut off by the blond boy.
"Red hair, hand-me-down clothes, you must be a Weasley." The boy smirked and Harry felt lost and confused.
"A what?" He asked, looking to the other students looking at them.
"Well, are you a Weasley or not?" The boy was less confident in his question then he had been in the previous statement and Harry was unsure why.
"N-no, I'm Harry Potter," Harry said shyly, his cheeks burning when voices started to whisper his name and a few people just gasping.
"Single file line!" Everyone immediately fell in line at the command of the witch.
Walking into the Great Hall took Harry's breath away. He was in awe of the floating candles, the charmed roof and the thrum of magic.
He ignored the Hat song and instead looked at all the other students. He found Cedric who smiled at him with a little wave. He waved back shyly, blushing when the people around Cedric looked at him oddly.
"HUFFLEPUFF." The hat shouted and Harry was startled at the sheer volume of it. When his name was called he pretended that the shocked gasps and whispered were too far away to hear. He settled himself on the stool, flinching when the hat was settled onto his head.
"Oh, I know where you should go." The hat's voice was projected inside Harry's skull and he was curious to how that was possible and made a note to look into it later when he had the time and the right book.
"Where?" Harry asked mentally.
"You're ambitious and cunning, you crave knowledge but not to know more but to gain power. You want power over others so they can't hurt you like those muggles did." The hat's voice was smug and a bit curious. "SLYTHERIN."
Harry blinked when the hat was taken off his head. He smiled at Professor McGonagall before walking toward the cheering table. He glanced around and saw glares and shocked stares from the rest of the school and even the staff. He hung his head and went to sit down at the end of the table only for the blond boy from earlier to pat the seat next to him, glaring at the brunette girl to move to make room.
He sat down nervously, aware of all the eyes on him.