Disclaimer: I don't own any of these movies or characters. I only own this plot and I don't gain anything but experience, favorites and followers with it.
Summary: Harry Potter, The-Boy-Who-Lived, was sorted into Gryffindor. But what if he hadn't? What if he was sorted into the one house no one thought he'd be in?
Harry Potter was the only child of Lily and James Potter, both having died a year and a half after Harry was born. At that time, Harry witnessed the murder of his mother and father, both of whom died trying to protect their son. The man who murdered them was called The Dark Lord, or Lord Voldemort as he was less commonly called, and he attempted to kill the only surviving member of the Potter family, their son.
The killing spell, Avada Kedavra, was one that he had previously used successfully several times. Yet this time, something went wrong and it backfired, killing Voldemort and leaving Harry Potter, with a lightening bolt curse scar on his forehead and forever an orphan who was known throughout the wizarding realm as The-Boy-Who-Lived.
Within that very night, Harry was taken from the ruins of his home to live with his relatives. His mother's sister, Petunia and her husband and son, Vernon Dursley and Dudley. All of whom hated the very thing that made Harry special, Magic.
Harry's Aunt had grown up as a muggle, a non-magical human, wishing to have the same magic that her sister did. As time passed the sisters grew apart and Petunia's resentment of her sister and magic grew into hatred. When she married she refused to tell her husband anything about her sister beyond that she was a freak.
Yet, as the only living relative of Harry, she was the only one able to care for him. So he was left with a letter of explanation on her doorstep to be found the next morning, and so for the next eleven years, he grew in the care of the muggle family.
Throughout the years strange things happened around Harry, things his Aunt knew were magic. Each time something magical happened around Harry or if he said or did something strange, he was punished. He quickly learned that questions and anything strange from him were the two things that the Dursley's hated the most. He promptly became as independent as he could, finishing chores and projects as soon as he could before disappearing until the next meal.
Then, a week before Harry's birthday he was sent to retrieve the mail, and he found a letter addressed to him. Look quickly towards the kitchen to make sure he wasn't seen he slipped the letter under his cupboard door.
Later that day, after they had returned from Dudley's birthday zoo trip and he was thrown into his cupboard as punishment, he read the letter. His eyes widening as he read that he was to attend Hogwarts, a school for witches and wizards, and he began prepared for the day he left in great anticipation. Knowing that even if the letter wasn't true he was going to leave the Dursley's.
Over the course of the next few weeks, he had managed to write Professor McGonagall, tricking her into telling him everything he needed to know. He got the Professor to send him directions to Diagon Alley for his school supplies, saying that his Aunt had never been and didn't know the way. When he professed concern about being able to afford it all he was sent his Gringotts vault key. Finally, he was told how to get to platform 9¾. He made sure to hide all of the correspondence letters lest the Dursley's found them and kept him from leaving.
After his Birthday, which passed the same as it always did, the Dursleys seemed to become more relaxed, letting him escape with fewer words and giving him fewer chores. Harry once overheard a conversation between his Aunt and Uncle, where they sounded relieved that the boy wasn't freakish enough and that they had beaten the freakishness out of him. This lead Harry to the conclusion that not only were his relatives aware of his status of being a Wizard but that they had been expecting the letter that told him what he was.
That weekend Harry managed to slip out of the house after making breakfast and from there he made his way to Diagon Alley to collect his school supplies. He spent the first hour in Diagon Alley observing the other Wizards for the proper manners. The rest of the time he refused to look around in obvious awe, noticing that several Witches and Wizards gave those who did strange looks.
The very first place he went was Gringotts, asking a passing Witch where it was, saying it was his first time and he had gotten separated from his parents. She pointed with hardly a glance at him and he scurried away.
The bank was filled with strange creatures, but Harry refused to look scared or affected in any way. He politely requested to see his vault, handing over his key when asked. He gave his name in his best quiet and respectful tone, and he was lead away by one of the creatures called Griphook.
After the fast ride down to his vault, Griphook was kind enough to explain the money system when he confessed he had no clue what the gold, silver and bronze coins were and how to use them. With sincere thanks, he pulled out a bag and filled it with some of each. He thanked Griphook for his help when they reached the top floor once again.
The very first place he went was Madame Malkins for his robes, school and casual. He was made to stand on a stool while measuring tapes flew about him. There was another boy on the stool across from him, with bright red hair and a face covered with freckles.
Harry blinked in shock when the boy turned towards him and started up a conversation without even introducing himself. Harry shrugged when asked what house he thought he would get into and when the boy went off on a rant about Slytherin's Harry tuned the other boy out. The moment he was done being measured he gave the boy a nod and slipped off the stool and out the door to get his new robes, changing into his one pair of casual robes immediately.
Harry paid for them and walked out the door to get the rest of his school supplies. He forewent getting a pet, knowing that he wouldn't be able to take care of it properly at the Dursley's. The only thing that he bought that wasn't on his list was an extra book about potions, the subject having peaked his interest.
At the end of his trip, Harry rented a room at the Leaky Cauldron for his school supplies. He changed back into his normal clothes and only brought one of the course books back to the Dursley's with him, hiding it in one of the stairs above his cupboard. So during the next few weeks, Harry slipped away and returned to the Leaky Cauldron to exchanged books he had read with ones that he hadn't.
Harry spent the next few weeks busy, hoping that he wouldn't be found out before he left. He didn't know what he would do after the school year, whether he would return or where he would go if he didn't. He decided that he would check his options when he got to Hogwarts and if there were none then he would go from there though he highly doubted that there would be no option that he would prefer over the Dursley's.
It was September 1st and Harry was finally on his way to Hogwarts. He had arrived at the Leaky Cauldron so early that it was still black outside and quickly put a change of his robes at the top of his trunk before locking it and dragging it down the stairs. Harry passed Tom the bartender with a short nod and a polite smile as he dragged his trunk out of the pub. Harry managed to catch a cab to the train station, paying with the little muggle money that he'd had exchanged at Gringotts.
He made sure that there was no one looking his way before he walked through the barrier that led to Platform 9 ¾. The sun was peaking over the horizon and it shone on the train before him. Grinning, Harry made his way onto the train, struggling to lift his trunk first up the stairs and then to the overhead compartments. He gasped for air when he finally managed to get the trunk situated, collapsing on the seat he was standing on and promptly fell asleep.
Harry woke when his compartment door opened with a bang and the redhead boy from Madame Malkins burst in with two other boys, talking loudly about someone who was supposed to be on the train. He glared, causing the boys to quiet before shifting towards the window and falling back asleep.
The train pulled to a stop, waking Harry, who briefly glanced outside into the dark foggy night. Ignoring the other boys around him as best as possible, Harry left his trunk and made his way off the train, joining the group of first years who were huddled against the cold.
The light of a lantern bounced through the fog before a giant man appeared and called for all of the first years to follow him. The giant introduced himself as Hagrid, Hogwarts gamekeeper, before leading them all to the lake were several boats waited. With some trepidation Harry and three other boys climbed into a boat under Hagrid's watchful eyes.
Harry introduced himself to the boys and smiled shyly when they returned the favor. The boy with slicked back blonde hair was called Draco Malfoy, and his two friends were Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle. For some reason, they all paused at the sound of his name, but Harry brushed it off.
When the boats jerked and set sail at Hagrid's call, Harry tried not to panic. After a moment of gripping the edge of the boat with a death grip, Harry watched in wonder as the boats moved smoothly across the lake. They floated through a wall of hanging vines, which parted to reveal a majestic Castle ahead. Harry let out a gasp and blushed slightly before he realized he wasn't the only one in awe of the sight, but still composed himself.
The boats jerked to a stop and students began to get out of the boats. Harry rushed to follow, falling in beside Draco as they made their way to the castle entrance. Hagrid knocked once on the front door and handed them over to the stern looking woman who answered. She introduced herself as Professor McGonagall before leading them to a side hallway to wait to be sorted. She left, telling them all to stay until she returned.
"What house do you think you'll get into?" Draco asked quietly the moment the Professor left. Harry simply shrugged before asking where Draco thought he'd be placed. "Slytherin, of course. My whole family is Slytherin," Draco replied confidently.
"Not a witch or wizard who went bad that wasn't in Slytherin." A voice called out from behind them. Turning, Harry and Draco saw the small red headed boy Harry had seen twice now and who was glaring at Draco. "My name's Ron." The redhead introduced himself holding out his hand to Harry. "You don't want to get mixed up with the wrong people. I can help you make the right sort of friends."
"I think I can decide who the right sort are myself." Harry declared as he glared at Ron, whose face began to turn red. Turning back to Draco Harry ignored the other boy as he commented, "I hope I'm in Slytherin with you." Out of the corner of his eye, Harry saw Ron open his mouth angrily.
They were interrupted when Professor McGonagall entered the hall and ordered them to all follow her, cutting of Ron's angry retort. She led them into the Great Hall, passing in between the tables up to the front of the hall where a stool and a hat sat. She announced that when she called their names, they were to come sit on the stool where she would place the hat on their heads and they would be sorted.
Harry tuned the sortings out, trying to go unnoticed as he waited anxiously for his and Draco's names to be called. When Draco was called, he sauntered up to the stool. Harry made sure to study how Draco moved, determine to be as seemingly confident when his name was called. The hat wasn't even touching his head when it called out Slytherin. As Draco moved towards the Slytherin table to the far right he made eye contact with Harry and smiled encouragingly.
"Harry Potter" Professor Mcgonagall called out, jerking Harry out of his thoughts. Paling slightly he slowly made his way up to the stool, trying to seem as confident as Draco had, and looked at the teachers before him. After a sharp glare from the pale black-haired teacher he rushed to sit on the stool, the hat lowered onto his head where it covered his eyes. He listened in shock as the hat debated on where to place him, only saying that he would like to remain friends with Draco, but that he would go wherever the hat thought would be best.
"SLYTHERIN!" The hat called out after a long moment of silence which led the great hall to erupt in whispers before his sorting settled in and they were all silenced. In shock, Harry lifted the hat and made his way towards the Slytherin table, keeping his head high and his face composed to keep from shouting in joy. He observed every Slytherin except Draco, who was smirking, watch his progress before suddenly they started to shout and clap louder than any sorting had received before.