As a descendent of a far too long line of Gryffindors, Katsuki had never meant to be put into Slytherin.
It wasn't like he was conspiring against his parents, or that he wanted to taint his bloodline. But after coming from such a long line of Gryffindors, apparently it seemed that way and it was almost painful (almost because Katsuki Bakugou did not feel pain) to remember how when the hat called out 'Slytherin!' for him, basically no-one clapped. They were too shocked, whispering amongst themselves while Katsuki took the hat off slowly and walked off to the Slytherin table, his shoulders riddled with embarrassment he didn't want to show as he took a seat at the edge. People seemed to almost shy away from him and Katsuki sneered at all of them, but he understood a little. Katsuki might shy away from himself too, if he were someone else.
It was even worse when it came to his parents. They had actually visited the school once they found out the news, attempting to bargain with the headmistress but then Katsuki showed up and things changed.
"What could've happened to make him think you weren't fit for our house?" his dad asked in absolute disbelief as he looked at Katsuki in curiosity and the latter huffed in annoyance, shaking his hair out.
"It's not that I wasn't fit for it. Slytherin was just a better fit, I guess."
"It took quite a while for the hat to sort me. He couldn't decide between all of them for a split moment. Like seriously, can you imagine me as a Ravenclaw? Not to mention that I'd be the worst Hufflepuff ever. Tch."
"Why didn't you just tell the hat that you wanted Gryffindor, huh?!" his mother yelled, slamming his head and Katsuki growled as he pushed her away.
"'Cause I didn't want to butch my future at this school, like what if Gryffindor seriously wasn't for me? I didn't wanna take that chance and I know that the hat has the best intuition, I'm not stupid. Huh, maybe Ravenclaw would've actually suited me."
"What is everyone going to think?" his father asked worriedly, turning to face Katsuki's mother while holding her hands tightly. She just shook her head in reply, looking down with a grim look on her face that Katsuki tried to pretend didn't scare him. Then after a silent minute or two, he asked boredly, "Can I go? I'm so tired, and if you're gonna disown me then just send me an owl. I haven't slept in like three days."
"We won't disown you, brat," his mother snapped, hitting Katsuki's head with a nearby scroll. Katsuki glared at her, snarling, "Good for you."
"This is just worrying. I'm not sure how to react anymore."
"He's already made history. Maybe this will be a good thing, I don't know."
"Let's hope so," his father sighed as he pulled Katsuki into a hug and he rolled his eyes but patted his back, groaning when his mother joined the hug with a stilted excuse of 'I can get sentimental too!'.
It was hard to fit in at first, especially with the Gryffindors looking down on him and the Slytherins finding it difficult to accept him, but from the reactions alone, Katsuki was already somewhat happy that he was a Slytherin. The Gryffindors were ridiculously proud of their house and themselves and almost seemed somewhat snooty (and sure, that may only be towards Katsuki but he still wanted to kick all their asses to Mars) but the Slytherins actually seemed to be trying, since they had a sense of pride too and the fact that Katsuki was theirs showed that he was worthy and so...deserved to be accepted? And just like that, Katsuki's slightly twisted perception of Slytherin turned on its head.
Gryffindor wasn't supposed to be his. He was hella fine with that.
Four weeks in and it was barely even a problem anymore because of the simple fact that no-one cared. He had a roommate who Katsuki literally only talked to in tongues of teases but he was honestly okay (don't ever tell him Katsuki said that though), and a friend in such a wholly different house that they both felt slightly burdened to go anywhere near each other's common rooms. But then there he was, sitting cross-legged outside the Hufflepuff common room and checking over his timetable that he needed to memorise before the end of the week.
"Does that say Herbology or...hm, History maybe?" Katsuki asked with a frown, holding up his hastily-scribbled-on parchment to the painting to his left. The woman inside peered at it in confusion, tilting her head to the side before sighing, "Sorry, sweetheart, can't read your handwriting."
"Ah...yeah, neither can I," Katsuki muttered, scanning the rest of his timetable and figuring it was Herbology from process of elimination. He was really stupid for writing History of Magic as just 'history', that sounded like a ridiculously simple name for a subject. Like, it was so vague, history of what, the entire world? Everything that had ever happened? Who even had time for that?
"Did you lose your timetable, honey?"
"Yeah..." Katsuki said distractedly, twirling his quill around in his hand before scratching out a misplaced line. "They made me write it out since-"
"He lost it too many times?" an unfamiliar voice with an amused, rough edge to it said. Katsuki froze while the lady made a pleased noise, rushing to the edge of her frame.
"Ah, darling lion boy! What a lovely surprise!"
"Hello, Musidora," the 'lion boy' greeted and Katsuki looked up for a brief moment to catch the red and gold and then he looked back down, feeling satisfied because now he knew why he was being associated with a lion. He heard a small clatter too and he wondered what it was.
"Do you two know each other?"
Katsuki hunched into himself a little because how was he supposed to say 'no' when it seemed like this guy did know him? He didn't notice the guy regard his hermit self with a smile. "Not really but, he's my friend's friend. Bakugou, right? Mina talks about you, I think?"
Katsuki instantly relaxed a little at that, even if he didn't show it. Mina knew the guy and that had to stand for something.
"Hey, you're not lost, are you?" lion boy asked in a tone that sounded confident and almost obnoxious but maybe that was just Katsuki's ears tricking him. Besides, Gryffindors usually had that sort of colour to their voice from what he'd deciphered. "I'll take you wherever you've gotta go."
Huh? This boy definitely didn't look older than him, so why would Katsuki even trust another first year if he was lost? Not that he'd ever ask anyone. Help was for the weak.
"I'm fine," Katsuki muttered coldly, gathering his books and pulling them onto his lap. He heard the guy let out a little humourless laugh before he said, "Typical Slytherin," and Katsuki then heard footsteps that only got quieter and quieter. Any other time and he'd want to blow the guy up with every bomb in existence, but he was just relieved to be alone again. It'd been a long day. Even Musidora seemed to have disappeared from her painting which was, come to think of it, a little sad. But then Katsuki caught sight of a gleaming sort of stick on the floor and he stood up, picking it up and going after the lion boy since the stick looked so valuable and cool.
It was silver and gold. A beautiful mix of colours that Katsuki had never thought about together. It was like mixing Gryffindor and Slytherin—it shouldn't have worked.
"Hey, you—you left your, uh, device," Katsuki called out awkwardly and lion boy paused before spinning around, looking incredibly confused.
"Device...my phone's in my room, I swear?"
Phone...is that some sort of weird slang? Maybe it means phoenix...does he have a phoenix?! "Well, uh...this, this stick, it's pretty, I guess. Wand or something?"
"A wand? What, no, it's-" The guy then seemed to have a lightbulb moment as Katsuki saw his eyes flash in realisation. "You're pureblood, aren't you?"
"I guess. Could you, um, tell me what this is?" Katsuki asked, hating that he had to ask but so curious that he couldn't help it. Lion boy slowly nodded, and Katsuki stared in awe when he clutched the top then cleanly took half of it off which must have been some sort of lid since underneath, there was a thinner stick topped with a small arrow point. Katsuki's eyes widened just a little as he stared at the device with renewed interest. "Wooooah, is this some sort of weapon-"
"No, it's a pen."
"A pen, right."
They were both quiet, until lion boy said, "You don't know what a pen is, do you," and Katsuki's silence was answer enough.
"It's what muggles use instead of quills. Inside this stick, there's ink," the guy said, tapping the side of the pen and Katsuki bristled in begrudging awe. "It's much more practical than a quill, it already has its ink inside so you don't need to keep dipping it, it's harder to break, and it doesn't ruffle."
"Not as cool as a weapon but I can still stab someone so. Cool," Katsuki murmured more to himself than anything, spinning the pen around slowly to see it from all angles and lion boy laughed as he gently touched Katsuki's hand to stop him, and Katsuki immediately drew his arm back and slammed his elbow into the guy's stomach. Oops. Wasn't supposed to do that-
"TH-THE HELL, BRO?!" lion boy wheezed, kneeling on the floor while clutching his stomach and Katsuki just stared down at him, even though he was slightly panicking inside. He was really planning on trying hard not to get expelled, and attacking another student probably wasn't his best bet. Should he apologise? Or what? Kill him so he wouldn't blabber? One of those seemed more fun than the other.
He blinked when he heard laughter. Lion boy was looking up at him now, his red eyes filling with tears a little but he had the biggest grin on his face. Who the hell was this guy? "You're so cool! I want reflexes like that."
Katsuki turned red and wished he'd punched this guy so hard that he'd knocked him out.
He had good recovery time, since he seemed fine as he got up to place the lid back on top of the pen. Katsuki watched as the thinner stick was swallowed before flinching at the small click that the lid emitted when it was completely back on.
"Now it's all attached again. The lid's so the pen tip doesn't get damaged and so the ink doesn't dry out."
"Neat, right? Guess a pureblood would think so, haha—just keep the pen, bro, stop trying to give it back to me."
"What?" Katsuki asked in half-shock, half-absolute-and-utter-disagreement. "No, but- but that's dumb, it looks too nice and it's not my birthday, or any other present-giving day, and you don't know me and I could use this for the greater evil and you wouldn't- well, you wouldn't know."
"Oh sure, he's gonna draw someone to death, oh no!" lion boy gasped, his voice overly dramatic before he backed up at least five feet as Katsuki got his fists fired up. "Calm it, calm it, don't hit me again! Alright, I'll be off, hope I see you again!"
The boy really did leave, a jaunty whistle leaving his mouth and Katsuki gave his stupid back the most judging look he could before he brushed off the pen and put it carefully into one of his pockets, feeling a little, just a little giddy that he owned such an amazing thing. Maybe at another time, he might have wanted to brag about it to everyone but he decided to keep something this cool to himself, and it wasn't even that long before Mina was running up to him.
"KitKat! You didn't wait too long, did you?"
"No, I just came a little early," Katsuki replied, bracing himself with mild disdain when Mina tackled him into a hug. The girl really felt protective over him after what happened with the houses, he could tell by the way Mina wanted them to be together 80% of the time and got so scared whenever he left her sight. Katsuki didn't quite mind because he kind of hated her less than other people but he hoped he'd get a little space to breathe soon and let her know that he could easily beat up anyone who'd cross him. Guess he didn't look like it yet in this tiny kid body of his.
"You seem a bit out of it," Mina noticed worriedly as they walked to the library. "Did anything happen?"
Katsuki was almost too slow at fighting off his smile muscles. "No. I burnt off Sero's eyebrows this morning and met a lion boy but otherwise, no."
Mina blinked. "Poor Sero...lion boy? An animagus or something?"
"Worse. A Gryffindor."
Mina's eyes widened as she stopped them from walking, laying her hands on Katsuki's sleeves. "What? Oh gosh, were they mean to you? Did they bully you? I'm sure there are other bad things they could've done too?!"
"Look, it was fine, I didn't even really focus on him. Musidora seems to like him and that's good enough for me."
"Oh shut up, Musidora likes everyone."
"She actually has a distaste for Ravenclaws," Katsuki challenged and Mina raised her eyebrows in slight surprise. "I don't blame her. And hey, did you know you're famous?"
Mina furrowed her eyebrows so hard that Katsuki thought they were gonna cave in. "I'm what?"
"Yep, heard people talking and knew it could only be about you—'did you know there's a Hufflepuff who's bad at Herbology'-"
Katsuki snickered loudly when Mina started attacking him with her books, making him dip away and run off down the corridor with an angry hot-pink wildfire on his tail. "This is completely true, I'm actually not being mean for once!"
"It's not my fault plants hate me! Oh sure, Valerian is nice and sweet and all when you only know it's in treacle fudge but when it makes you breathe fucking fire, that's where I draw the line, a massive, curly, VERY PROMINENT LINE-"
"Okay, I get it, stop trying to kill me!" Katsuki yelled quickly as he bolted past the lion boy who blinked, a little windswept as he stopped walking for a moment only for Mina to race past too, slowing down for a second to spin around so he could send the other a big smile and wave.
"Hey, Eiji, how you doing, no time to talk, see you later, wish you all the best, byeee!"
And Katsuki would have run into his own common room but he thought that might be a little mean so he stopped abruptly only for Mina to crash into him and he wouldn't have fallen if he didn't trip on his robe. He made a startled noise of surprise as he slipped and fell back onto the floor, groaning from the impact of both the floor and Mina falling on top of him. "Damn, you're heavier than you look..."
"YOU CALLING ME FAT?!"
"BITCH- and don't say words like damn, you're eleven," Mina grumbled, flicking Katsuki's forehead which made the boy say flatly, "I'm literally older than you and you say everything under the sun."
"Wha—don't say that! I'm very, very responsible in front of kids-"
"You're a kid!"
They both glared at each other for a moment, a very long hard moment filled with tension to rival any sort of cowboy fight.
Then Katsuki dissolved into snorts, pushing Mina off of him as he spread out across the floor like a starfish. Mina grinned at him, sitting up as she shook her head, her curls flying. "I really can't believe you're in the house you are."
"Eh, I personally think I'll grow into it. Enjoy my gross childlike wonder while it lasts, I'm not gonna be eleven forever."
"It's not just that. I just don't see it. You're blunt, you can be cold, sure, but still, you're quite sweet."
"Me? Sweet? Who the hell messed with your head?"
"Dunno. Maybe it's just me who sees that side then?"
"Look, I think you're too used to like, super super really mean Slytherins. And even if I'm that, I'll never be actually mean to you, so don't be sad," Katsuki shrugged, sitting up too and poking Mina's cheek. "What, you don't wanna hang out with me anymore? 'Cause I'm a Slytherin? That's cool, don't need you anyway bitc-"
"No, no, not at all," Mina gasped, sounding so offended by the notion as she pulled Katsuki into a hug that Katsuki didn't return nor reject. "I just don't want you to ever grow up. I want you to stay little and I want you to not get tainted by the people around you, because some of them are so horrible. I'd never live with myself if you become even a little bit horrible."
"Mina. I've always been horrible-"
"No, I mean a different type of horrible. The...the..."
"The Slytherin horrible? The horrible where I go to the dark side?" Katsuki asked with a raised eyebrow, and it seemed like he had hit bingo by the way Mina froze up. "It's alright, don't look so kicked. Everyone in this school has a damn perception of Slytherins, even I did, and it's okay if you do but don't you have a perception of me that's different?"
Mina looked at him for a long while, then slowly she smiled. "Yeah. You're right. Sorry, KitKat."
"Don't apologise, it's embarrassing. Look, I'll grow up but I promise that I'll never go to the dark side. How's that?" Katsuki asked, holding out his hand and Mina couldn't hold back a smile as she wrapped her own hand around Katsuki's to seal the deal.
"That sounds great."
And Katsuki knew that he could keep that promise without much hassle, just as long as he kept true to himself and didn't get bribed by food by some loser leftover Death Eaters. Simple.
Katsuki really loved being a wizard. Even five years later, after hundreds of hits to the head, backlashes from spells going wrong, meeting all sorts of people who weren't always the nicest and getting into the dumbest of fights; he still loved being a wizard through and through. It felt right, and something that kept him going was how cool it would be to blast people away with just a flick of his wand. He wouldn't even need his fists anymore.
Like his father always said, 'the magic runs wild through your veins, son!' and maybe his cringy ass was right, even if Katsuki wouldn't tell him. Maybe he was destined for more than he thought he was. Maybe he wasn't just a trouble child. Maybe he could prove Gryffindor wrong, and rise above all of them. Above everyone.
If he was number one, no-one would ever hurt him again.