Thanks for giving me that out, anon. I don’t think I can ship Draco/Hermione in canon HP, but seeing as how the following brainstorm is an AU, readers can feel free to interpret Draco and Hermione’s relationship as platonic or romantic.
Slytherin Harry Potter is cunning; ruthless and powerful and political.
Slytherin Harry Potter fights smarter, not harder. Slytherin Harry Potter always wins.
This is not a story about Slytherin Harry Potter.
Given how prolific the HP fandom is, no doubt there already exists a story with the same premise which is Harry goes to Slytherin because he doesn’t fight the Sorting Hat. Why? Because Draco Malfoy, sorted before him, was put in Gryffindor and all Harry knows is that he doesn’t want to be in the same house as Draco Malfoy (and the first friend he made on the train, Weasley, Ron, has not been Sorted yet)
And there are tons of Slytherin Harry Potter fic–some of them fantastic, some of them less so, but generally following the description in the summary right?
Colorblind is basically the B-side of a Slytherin Harry Potter fic. Harry going off and dealing with his adventures as part of the Silver Trio–Harry, Blaise, and Daphne–substituting cunning for courage, etc. etc. Those are the A-sides.
Colorblind would be about the people left behind, basically. You know how the really good canon divergence AUs have an almost liminal vibe to them? Like you can almost feel the way the universe is straining around the differences “this is not how destiny was meant to go, but we’ll make do”
And that would be mostly Gryffindor Draco who has been bodily thrown off his path (his father has never been so disappointed in him, but his mother looks at him with the strangest expression as if seeing someone else in him) and Hermione who doesn’t have years of saving Harry Potter’s neck to look forward to.
Unsure what to do with Ron, really. Because on the one hand he is highly prejudiced against Slytherins no matter that he and Harry were friendly to each other on the train, but on the other he does actually hate Malfoy’s guts so…
Anyway, obviously Draco and Hermione–no matter that they are both fish out of water–don’t like each other. He’s a bigoted prick and she’s the antithesis of everything he’s been taught as worthy. But they are also both very smart (much smarter than the rest of their Housemates) and aliens in their House because of their attitudes.
Both of them retreat to the library frequently, although at separate tables for as long as possible, until those overrated Ravenclaws try to muscle them out and it’s just like.
“I hate you but you’re the only intelligent conversation I have,” and
“I might as well study near you so I can be sure to defeat you on the next exam” which turns to
“You’re doing this wrong, Merlin, use this book I can’t have my only academic rival make such an embarrassing mistake,” becomes something… better.
Gryffindor Draco doesn’t embrace his altered destiny as much or as immediately as his uncle Sirius did, but he gets there eventually. And, well, befriending a muggleborn witch? Not even uncle Sirius did that (not really, Lily was never Sirius’ friend so much as she was dating his best mate). If Draco’s going to be stuck doing something he’s going to damn well excel at it. And that includes teenage rebellion.
And when Harry bloody Potter brings about the end of the Dark Lord (again) well, this time Draco is on the right side.
Mostly, though, it’s Draco and Hermione snarking at each other and whatever school destroying nonsense Harry bloody Potter is up to this week and having to learn to communicate because they come from such disparate backgrounds that sometimes they can’t even understand each other.
Politics and socio-genetic culture will no doubt run rampant in Colorblind because there’s no way, same House aside, that they can get along without them addressing and overcoming the elephant in the room. Ie the systematic racism Draco was raised to believe had a purpose and is constantly proven wrong (muggleborns aren’t dumber or weaker, they literally come from a different world and are told to abandon a lifetime of what is familiar and conform to a society that doesn’t tell them what the rules are only that they’re going to fail)
But, I mean, after that it’s all sass and badassery. Hermione probably teaches Draco how to throw a proper punch and Draco explains the necessity of fashion/putting on appearances so that it makes sense to Hermione and isn’t just incessant drivel like Lavender and Parvati chatter on about.
I’m thinking Draco becomes a professor at Hogwarts–Transfiguration maybe? (No doubt McGonagall has a significant role in Colorblind being their Head of House, and this would be a kind of nice ending point to their no doubt relationship with her ending up as Headmistress).
Hermione probably writes a lot of books. And collaborates with Draco on the textbooks for his class (the NEWT level book is an ongoing constantly self-editing thing because the two of them are always trying to prove the other wrong).
The problem is, anon, that I’m pretty sure Colorblind would have to be a full series rewrite from the Draco and Hermione’s POV with background Silver Trio shenanigans, but that is just waaaaaaaay too much for me to tackle and I feel like–simply by the law of large numbers–that this story, or a version of this story, or the premise must exist somewhere?
But, I mean, this is the fic I would write for that title and description, anon, had I the skills and time and patience for it.