Defense Association: Year One

Written by: Ie-maru

Note: Thank you to my reviewers (though I wished there were more, ;)

Someone said something about this going a year at a time or so- well, it'll be something like that, you'll just have to wait and see (me too, lol).

Someone also mentioned something about if England even aired the shows- I don't know and (sorry if it offends you) I don't really care. If people can make guys pregnant here then I don't think it should be a big issue.

I refuse to go far into Hagrid's accent. It'll probably only reach as far as him 'im.

Sorry if it seems short or rushed, I was just trying to get it out because I know it's been a while since I last updated. Sorry about that. I blame it on Writer's Block or Laziness, so don't point fingers at me, lol.

OOoooOO

"Be back in 5." -?

OOoooOO

Harry blinked wearily and yawned. He hadn't meant to, but he must have drowsed into a catnap.

Stretching, Harry shot his sleeping dog an amused look.

"Oi, are you coming with me?" Shep just rolled over, giving his answer loud and clear.

He sighed, "Fine then, leave me to my lonesome self, all alone and woeful."

Shep wasn't impressed. Harry pouted before transforming and gathering his things before trudging down the stairs towards the entrance.

A few taps later and the way to Diagon Alley opened, showing itself in all its glory.

'It was a lot more impressive the first time. Now…I should leave some (a lot) of money to jingle in my wallet just in case I need something later. Sooooooooo…I should only get books that they probably won't have in the library, not to mention some extra potions ingredients as well. It'll be a lot easier to do all this if I knew exactly what to expect, but I'll just have to wait.'

He scowled, 'Information is still horribly lacking – the books I'll buy then will help brush off my horrible ignorance. Reading my textbooks should help me prepare for my classes, but it won't do anything to help me understand about this world in general.'

The door to Flourish and Blott's opened quietly, the skilled nin-mage slipping through the cracked door without opening it wide enough to ring the bell. The twenty-something, nothing-special looking 'man' then swiftly made his way to the shelves, browsing for what he might need.

He grabbed Hogwarts a History, An Appraisal of Magical Education in Europe, the extended version of the Muggleborn's Guide (the pamphlet), and (deciding to following the pamphlet's advice) bought A Junior's Guide to Potions – Common Ingredients and Techniques of the Art, and the Quiddich Player's Guide.

He sweat-dropped, 'a bit more than I was planning,' he shrugged, 'but I suppose I shouldn't really buy the extra ingredients until I know what, exactly, I should buy.'

He would have gone strait back to his room in the Leaky Cauldron, but he was stopped when a giant of a man blocked his way.

"What room did Professor McGonagall say he was in?"

His blood ran cold.

The man was oblivious to the one behind him, whom was discreetly clutching a hidden kunai.

An owl hooted, "Not right now, we have to find 'im first. I'm sure you'll like 'im though – from what the Headmistress said, I'm sure you two will get along just fine. He might want a little company without 'is dog."

His hand removed itself from the knife and he tapped the giant, wild-looking man on the shoulder.

"I think I know the lad you're talking about. What did you want with him?" he eyed the other suspiciously, hoping the owl wasn't a front for deeper intentions.

The giant span around and Harry had to control himself lest he give himself away in a defensive stance.

"Ah! You know Mr. Po…"

"Please, I don't think the lad would appreciate being mobbed by zealous fans. Why don't you come with me to one of the back rooms for privacy?"

"Yes, yes, hadn't thought of that. Poor H…sorry, almost did it again!"

He gave a quirk of the lips and motioned the still unnamed man to one of the back rooms held for such private things. Closing the door he returned his gaze to the other.

"What was your name again?"

"Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts," the man goofily smiled and puffed out his chest, "but you can just call me Hagrid – everybody does."

"Oh, you work at Hogwarts? That's reassuring – I didn't want anyone bothering Harry unless they had good reason to. I'm Wyatt Summers. Dare I ask what the occasion is for your visit?"

The other blinked, "His birthday of course! I know it's a bit late, but I wanted to get 'im something anyway. I was friends with his mum and dad you know."

"The owl?" Harry looked deep in the pools of gold that stared at him knowingly.

'Smart…and creepy.'

"Yeah, I figured he could use one, you know, to deliver mail and keep 'im company."

Harry looked him deep into the eyes of the groundskeeper, causing Hagrid to squirm, and deemed him honest in his intentions.

"I'll go get the lad. You wait here."

And with those clipped orders Harry returned to his room, dropped his bags to the floor, transformed back, and made his way back downstairs.

"Hello?"

"Ah! Harry! Last I saw you, you was just a babe! My name's Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts, but you'll know all about Hogwarts, wouldn't you?"

Harry shrugged, "Not really." The man ignored him, causing his eye to twitch.

"You'll probably end up in Gryffindor, just like your mum and dad."

Harry shrugged again. In all honesty, he wasn't sure exactly how much he was like to his parents, so he couldn't really agree with the man on that.

"Anyway, happy birthday, I know it's a bit late."

"She's beautiful." he cooed to the knowledgeable avian.

"What's her name?"

"That's up for you to decide Harry. Well, I best be off. Take care of yourself and don't get into trouble."

When the man left, Harry looked at his new companion.

"Well, I suppose I aught to introduce everyone then."

He opened the cage and held his arm out, allowing the owl to hop up his arm and rest on his shoulder.

"There now, that's a lot more comfortable isn't it?"

The snowy owl hooted appreciatively as he returned to his room, and flew over to rest on the headboard as soon as they entered.

"Shep, wake up now, we've got a new partner to get introduced to."

His nin-dog's head snapped up and stared at the owl with the same searching eyes Harry had placed on Hagrid. Harry was relieved when the two seemed to come to an agreement and settled down – he'd been afraid there'd be a bit of jealous hostility.

"Now we just have to give you a name," Harry picked up one of his books, searching for inspiration. He doubted any plain name could suit her.

"How about Hedwig?"

He got a positive response, causing him to smile.

"Alright then Hedwig, I'm Harry and my partner there is Shep. He's a houndour," seeing her confused gaze towards Shep, he elaborated, "He can spit fire, etc, etc."

"Hoot."

Harry tilted his head.

"You know, I think you'd make a pretty good noctowl."

Hedwig looked confused again, but Harry told her that they'd talk about it later before he left to buy new supplies for her.

OOoooOO

"Mr. Potter, are you up yet?"

Harry started and shooed Shep to the other side of the bed to hide.

"Almost ready Professor."

"See that you meet me downstairs quickly then. I'll apparate you to platform 9 ¾ so you can board the train."

Harry tilted his head, not that she could see.

"Why can't you just apparate me to Hogwarts? Outside the wards, I mean."

"Because it's traditional, Mr. Potter, and you wouldn't want to miss it, I promise. Besides, don't you want to meet up with Ms. Granger?"

"Yes. I'll be right down."

"See that you are." The sound of fading steps signaled her leaving.

"Hedwig, can you fly there? I'd hate to leave you in that cage."

"Hoot."

"Alright," he opened the window and watched as the white avian flew away.

"C'mon Shep, let's go."

A transformation later and Harry and Shep were sharing a body.

McGonagall met them at the bottom of the steps.

"Grab my hand Mr. Potter. That's right – I'll take us strait on the platform."

OOoooOO

It almost was akin to chaos. People, students and parents alike, flooded the platform while cats, toads, and owls went this way and that.

He was quite glad now that Professor McGonagall had dropped him off early. He was very happy in his compartment, and away from that crowd, thank you very much.

"I wonder if I'll see Hermione," he muttered, opening the beginner's guide to potion brewing.

'It's like cooking,' he decided.

Everything was coming back to him now, and the excitement returned full force. His feelings mixed with a bit of apprehension when the train started moving. That was understandable, seeing as how he, even after brushing up on Hogwarts a History, still didn't know exactly what to expect.

The fact that the first few chapters mentioned a sorting into the houses, but didn't say how they were sorted just added to his nervousness.

'What if I don't pass whatever test they give and I get sent home?'

He bit his lip and stared distractedly out the window, only shaken out of his thoughts when his compartment door opened. A familiar bush of brown hair trailed by a nervous-looking boy greeted him.

"Have you seen Neville's…Harry! There you are! I was looking for you," she pouted.

He blinked and then scratched his head sheepishly, "Sorry?"

She waved him off until her eyes brightened as she remembered something.

"Have you seen a toad? Neville here," she gestured to the boy, whom he noticed had a round face, brown eyes, and black hair, "lost one."

"No, I haven't, but I can help you look for it. Did you check by the bathrooms?"

"Not yet," the other boy mumbled before he sighed, "Trevor's always running away."

Harry looked over his shoulder as they made way to the end of the train, "Then why don't you just get a different pet?"

Neville's shoulders slumped.

"Gran's allergic to owls and says that cats would ruin her furniture."

"So she gets you a toad," Hermione deadpanned.

"Um, yes."

Harry shook his head, "Alright, Hermione, you check the girl's bathroom and we'll check the boy's."

"Right."

A search in the boy's bathroom yielded nothing, but they heard Hermione call out for them. The poor girl held the large toad as far away from her as she could.

"Trevor!" the boy exclaimed, taking the toad from the relieved girl.

"Thank you so much for helping to find him," he grinned.

"No problem," Harry replied, "but I think we should go back to my compartment, no?"

The other two nodded and went to fetch their things while he waited outside the sliding compartment door.

"All set now?"

A twin chorus of 'yes' answered him and they all picked a place in the train compartment.

"So, what house do you think you'll be in? I don't think my Gran would accept anything besides Gryffindor House."

Hermione 'hmmed', "I think I'd like to be in Gryffindor too – it's the house that Dumbledore was in, you know. Ravenclaw sounds nice too. What about you Harry?"

The other two looked at him expectantly and he crossed his arms.

"I think I'd prefer Ravenclaw. It sounds like I could learn the most there," he replied.

"You're right there." Hermione admitted, "It sounds a lot better now that you say it out loud."

Neville shifted, "I've never been that smart, so I'll doubt that I'll get in there."

Harry waved it off, "I don't think it works that way. I think it's more your desire to learn than how smart you are at the moment. First years aren't generally geniuses, so I doubt that that's a requirement."

"Still, I'm not really the bookish type…"

"Don't worry Neville, we can be friends no matter what house we're in," Hermione consoled.

"That's right," Harry supported. "You seem like a good chap to me. I wouldn't mind being friends with you, but I think we should finish the introductions first," he chuckled.

"I'm Harry," he pointed at himself, "Harry Potter."

"The Boy-Who-Lived?" Neville squeaked.

"I'd rather you not see me as that. I'm just Harry," he sighed.

"Right, I'm sorry. It was just a bit of surprise there. It's not everyday that I meet the Boy-Who-Lived," Neville joked, clutching his toad tighter before he could escape.

"All's forgiven," Harry replied mock-haughtily.

Hermione giggled before pointing at herself too, "I'm Hermione Granger," she smiled, "and it's nice to meet you."

Neville smiled back, obviously relaxing in their company.

"I'm Neville Longbottom, and it's really nice to meet the two of you too."

The rest of the time was spent in comfortable conversation. Neville would explain to them the general shebang that was the wizarding world. In turn, Harry and Hermione helped him, and themselves, prepare for their classes.

Other than the snack trolley, the only other interruption was when they had to change into their school robes.

Neville gulped nervously as they exited the train, Trevor in his hands. He was pretty glad that the house elves were going to be picking up their trunks – his hand would've been pretty full if he were carrying Trevor and his trunk.

Seeing his nervousness, squashing down their own, Harry and Hermione each walked on either side and smiled.

Neville smiled back as they boarded a small, rickety boat along with a blond haired and gray eyed boy. Said boy only really paid attention to them when he saw Harry's scar.

"So the rumors are true. Harry Potter has come to Hogwarts," the blonde stated.

"I'm Draco, Draco Malfoy."

"I'm Harry, as you seem to know, and this is Hermione Granger and Neville Longbottom."

Draco scrunched up his nose at the two as they were introduced and huffed.

"Careful there Potter, you don't want to make friends with the wrong sort. I can help you there," he finished arrogantly, holding out his hand.

Harry's eye twitched, but he told himself to calm down.

'It wouldn't do to make an enemy on the first day.'

"I wouldn't mind hearing you out on things, nor would your company be unwelcome unless you make it so. However, I still reserve my right to make my own opinions."

The other was frowning, so he decided to put it a different way.

"Would you like it if I told you who to be friends with? I doubt you're one to let other kids boss you around so easily."

Draco's eyes got a little misty in thought, and only came out of it when he had to scramble out of the boat along with the others.

"First years, Professor McGonagall," boomed Hagrid.

"We can meet up sometime later, alright?"

The young Malfoy blinked, nodded, and followed silently as they made their way inside.

"Ah! Ghosts!" someone choked up ahead.

As a group, everyone looked up to inspect the ceiling and saw that, indeed, ghosts were floating by. Harry picked up something about a poltergeist named 'Peeves' before a plump ghost wished them luck in the sorting.

Everyone seemed to get a little tense at the word 'sorting', including himself. What would happen was unknown. They didn't even know exactly what house they'd end up in…well, Draco was bragging to someone about his family always ending up in Slytherin House, so he didn't seem so nervous like the rest of them.

"My brothers said something about fighting a troll, but I think they might have been having one on me," trailed a scared redhead.

Shep growled in the back of his mind, but he assured his partner that such a thing was ridiculous. Or…he hoped so. His friend, Hermione, was whispering every spell she could remember, and seemed to be moving her wand in lazy imitations of the motions made to cast them. Poor Neville looked terrified and white as a sheet. Harry took mercy on the boy and straitened his collar before giving him a reassuring squeeze to the shoulder. He got a shaky smile in response, but Neville still looked pale.

"It's time," McGonagall announced, waving them into the Dining Hall.

The group seemed to shift nervously before falling in a line to follow the Headmistress.

At the beginning of a dais that supported what was obviously the teacher's table, there sat a stool with an old, worn out hat.

They kind of just stared at it and the redhead before groaned about killing his brothers.

Harry wasn't sure what to make out of the whole thing when the hat seemed to tear at the ridge, forming a mouth. Nor were the rest of the group, especially when it began to sing.

He was just glad he didn't have to wrestle a troll.

OOoooOO

A/N: I'm so, so sorry I've left you guys hanging on updates. Please –gets on knees– forgive me!

I'll try to update on either this or my other stories sooner than I have. A new semester started at school though, so that'll take a bit to get used to.

Thanks to all who reviewed. Please continue to do so, lol, it makes me feel good. : )