The Day before the Hogwarts Express leaves
Head of the Irish Dragon Reserve’s Office
Donovan Maccuin sat in his office wondering how he had gotten so attached to the four boys, he was sorry to see them go. The Dragon Boys, that was the nickname the preserve workers had come up with when they were found in the pen being cuddled by a Welsh Green. Cuddled he couldn’t get his mind around it. Dragons are not the most nurturing of creatures and yet the boys were being cuddled! Tristan went crazy with worry when he first saw and since none of them were hurt it was decided that it would probably be best if nobody mentioned it to the other boys’ parents, especially the fact that four nine-year-olds had made past several workers and wards to be in the pen.
Harry was excited! The next day he would be going to Hogwarts, the school where his parents learned magic and most of the preserve workers had gone as well. He had planned out all the places to explore first with his friends and had even gotten advice from Remus about secret shortcuts to avoid detection in any adventures he and friends might get into, although he was told not to break any rules. Theo said it was okay to break them as long as they didn’t get caught so he really wasn’t worried.
He was slightly worried about what house he would get into. Tristan said he didn’t care, as Beauxbatons didn’t sort their students like Hogwarts did and the preserve had a healthy mix of all four houses. Theodore would most likely end up in Slytherin (his family had been Slytherins for several generations), Neville hoped to be in Gryffindor (like his parents), and Seamus didn’t really care as long as they could still cause mischief. They all wanted to be placed in the same house, but that wasn’t too likely. Augusta might have started to accept Neville was his own person but they didn’t think Slytherin was the best place for him, Theo’s grandfather had a weak heart so anything other than Ravenclaw and Slytherin was out for him, (they didn’t want the old man to die from shock or something) and Seamus wasn’t too into learning. Sure, he studied but he didn’t actively pursue new information. They all agreed yellow wasn’t their color so Hufflepuff was out of the question.
Gryffindor would be great he supposed, it was the house his parents were in and Neville and Seamus were almost guaranteed to go there. Slytherin also had a high probability. Theo would probably be there and he might discover more information about parselmouths in the house of the snakes. Hufflepuff might be nice, but you have to earn his loyalty and he only worked hard if he was interested otherwise he would only do enough work to get reasonably good grades. Ravenclaw could be a good fit, he had heard that they had a vast library which would be interesting to explore, learning new things is almost always fun. Wherever he went, Harry decided they would still be friends; there was just something about being cuddled by a dragon that formed lasting bonds between people.
At least he wouldn’t have to deal with the fame. Tristan had changed his last name when he adopted him, so now he was Harrison James Potter Thevenet, and he frequently dyed his hair a few shades lighter and covered his scar when he went into wizarding public. He didn’t particularly like hiding, but it kept people from swarming him and the look had kind of grown on him. At least he wouldn’t be reminded of his dead parents every time someone saw him. Yeah, he missed them and wanted them back but he didn’t need to be constantly reminded of that; he was told it could cause mental damage. Sure, Tristan was great and told him stories about Lily growing up and after Remus had been tracked down the man shared stories about both of his parents in school, but being told stories by your mother’s cousin and father’s best friend weren’t the same as actually having them.
Neville was worried. Tomorrow he was going to Hogwarts and would be sorted. One of his friends was almost guaranteed to be in Slytherin and nobody was sure where Harry would end up (there was actually a betting pool between the dragon tamers over Slytherin and Gryffindor, it was pretty close to fifty-fifty at this point in time), and Seamus was sure to be a Gryffindor, after all, it was his fault they ended in that pen with a cuddle happy dragon.
He hoped he would be a Gryffindor, most Longbottoms were. His Gran was always telling him about his parents and how they were in Gryffindor. He was told by various family members that Hufflepuff was for duffers but he would be lucky to end up there. He thought that he was a squib for many years, the letter was a surprise even though the reserve workers told him it was unlikely he was a squib. He figured he was lucky his Gran got him a new wand, for a while, it sounded like she would make him use his dad’s wand.
Double checking that everything was set, his new wand freshly polished and everything neatly packed in his trunk, he went down to the dinner his grandmother was hosting as a send-off. Dodging around several older men and women who were friends with Augusta and were invited to celebrate that he wasn’t a squib, he grabbed some food and headed out to a greenhouse.
Theodore was slightly worried. When his parents first found out he was friends with Harry Potter they were upset, but then they decided it would be a good idea as the Potters had had a large amount of influence in the past and many of their alliances just needed to be dusted off to get them back to full strength, even if Harry now went by Harry Thevenet. It was decided that Theo could be his mentor in politics. After all, a Frenchmen could hardly understand the intricacies of pureblood politics and if Theo was the mentor of the Potter heir then he could bring more power to the Notts. His parents were not true blood supremacists; they were close to the Malfoys, but mostly it was so they could keep power. As a whole, they had nothing against muggleborns or even muggles. A few cousins from a distant branch joined the Death Eaters but they did not represent the views of the family despite what Voldemort might have thought.
He wasn’t worried about what house he would get into. Ravenclaw and Slytherin were acceptable to his family and the other two weren’t even possibilities. He was worried about his friends though; Seamus was oblivious to most of the subtle maneuverings involved in politics, Neville would probably get eaten alive, the poor boy needs grow a spine, and Harry? Well, the reserve had a betting pool whether he would be in Slytherin or Gryffindor. He was the mastermind behind their pranks and usually managed to frame someone else for it as well. Theo knew that most of his pureblood “friends” wouldn’t approve of him being friends with Gryffindors, because Seamus and Neville were guaranteed to end up there. Blaise wouldn’t mind (would actually think it to be great fun), but Draco would be livid, especially if Harry ended up there and he still talked to them. It would be fun to needle the blond boy though, show him what it means to be a true Slytherin.
He made sure to have his trip planned out. He would have to spend some time cultivating alliances as heir to the House of Nott, but afterward, he would meet with the others and hopefully enjoy the rest of the ride. He did vow to punch Seamus if he even thought about annoying Draco on the trip though. The last time they followed one of his plans they got cuddled by a dragon.
Seamus wasn’t too worried about the next day. Sure, it would be great if they all ended up together but he knew it wasn’t likely to happen. No matter what happened though they would still be friends. Gryffindor was pretty much a sure bet which was fine with him, rumor had it that founder was the reason why the motto was “Never tickle a sleeping dragon.” He would have to mention pranking Draco on the train. Interesting things happen when dragons are involved in his plans. When Neville and Theo dislike someone it is better to avoid them.
Dumbledore was pacing his office. Tomorrow was the start of term and Harry Potter was supposed to be coming to Hogwarts, but he hadn’t sent an acceptance letter. The other schools said they didn’t have him registered either. He didn’t understand. None of his tracking spells worked and the Dursleys couldn’t give him any information about the mysterious man who had taken Harry, but his instruments showed that the boy was healthy. He didn’t know how he was going to explain this to the wizarding public, he had promised that Harry would go to Hogwarts and now it wasn’t guaranteed that would happen. Harry Potter was no longer listed in the registry.
Platform 9 3/4 was filled with families sending off their children to Hogwarts, they were shocked at how many people were there. Seamus and Harry moved out the way of the entrance to allow the adults through, Seamus’ mother and Tristan had accompanied them.
“Now boys try not to blow anything up. I expect weekly updates from each of you and Theodore promised to keep me informed so I will know if you leave anything out.” Seamus’ mother gave them a stern glare that didn’t ease until she heard the chorus of ‘yes mother’ from the boys. “Neville should be arriving soon and Theo should find you later.”
“Stay out of trouble boys, and avoid getting into fights and anyone too interested Harry. Remember, it is okay to make new friends outside of your group and…” He looked around, “Oh look Neville has arrived.” Tristan took off, Harry and Seamus just shared a look and followed; his attention span was ridiculously small.
Harry, Neville, and Seamus had settled in a compartment and were just starting a game of Exploding Snap when the door opened to reveal a set of red-headed twins.
“Seen a boy,”
“Named Lee Jordan?”
After a moment to process what had been said, they all shook their heads no.
“A shame George old boy, I heard he had a tarantula.”
“I do believe he is hiding from us, even after promising to meet with us.”
“We shall have to prank him.”
That got Seamus’ interest and he couldn’t help but ask for advice on the best ways to prank. This of course started an hour-long planning session with the twins, who at the end decided the Dragon Boys could be their protegés with a promise of a prank war after the break as a ‘test’ of what they had learned. Just after the Weasley twins had left the door opened to show a pale blond boy and two what they assumed to be boys. They might have been shaved gorillas in robes.
“They say that Harry Potter is on the train, do any of you happen to know where he might be?”
“Shove off Malfoy, what makes you think we would tell you anything if we even knew where he was?”
“Ah, the Longbottom squib. Did they let you in out of pity or did your family have to pay to allow you to come?”
“Now don’t you think that is going too far? You did, after all, come into our compartment, asking questions without introducing yourself or even asking our names.”
“What’s it to you?”
“I happened to have been raised to have manners, for what it's worth. My name is Harrison Thevenet, this is Seamus Finnegan, you seem to already know Neville Longbottom. You would be?” responded Harry in a superior tone, holding his hand out to the blond boy.
He looked shocked for a moment before brushing it off and taking the offered hand before saying, “Malfoy, Draco Malfoy.”
“Excellent. Now, to answer your question, we don’t know where Harry Potter is.”
Malfoy nodded in acknowledgment and then turned and left. Going back to the game of Snap that had been started when the twins first stopped by, they groaned when the door opened barely five minutes later.
“Well if that’s how you feel about me I guess I will just leave.”
“No, it's just people keep coming in and it’s getting to be a bit much. First, it was the Weasley twins and then Malfoy. It’s great to see you though.” Seamus spoke very quickly filling Theo in on what had happened, “Oh by the way, after the break we are having a prank war with the Weasley twins.”