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Fanfic / They Shook Hands

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Up Slytherin!

"Or perhaps in Slytherin, You'll make your real friends, Those cunning folk use any means, To achieve their ends."

They Shook Hands is a series of For Want of a Nail / Alternate Universe Harry Potter stories written by Dethryl. The first chapters were posted on the author's Yahoo!group before the release of Order of the Phoenix in 2003. It has gained enough fame in the fandom that it was featured and discussed on Potter Fic Weekly.

Post-Canon Revision: Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4Year 5Year 6

The Point of Departure (for Harry, anyway) is when he meets Draco Malfoy in Madam Malkin's robe shop. In TSH, unlike canon, he introduces himself to Draco. They shake hands and decide to be friends. They spend the next month before school exchanging letters, and on the train Harry is introduced to other children Draco knows. We see Ron and Hermione, but Harry doesn't interact with them. Things really deviate from canon when Harry is Sorted into Slytherin. The story is distinct from the many other Harry-in-Slytherin fics because it doesn't turn on Harry being sorted to Slytherin but rather on Harry becoming friends with Draco.


This fanfic is an attempt to tell the big overplot of the Harry Potter series using the Slytherin characters. The functional POD is that Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy have a child before Draco, and consequently their development is slightly different. By the time Draco meets Harry, he's realized the value of friendship and is more open of a person. He's not Draco in Leather Pants, but his friendship with Harry is slowly morphing him into a better person.


This fanfic provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: The Triwizard Tournament ends with Harry being transported via portkey into Voldemort's clutches, just as in canon. However, due to changed circumstances, Bartemius Crouch Jr. is never revealed, and may not even have assumed Moody's identity at all. The question of who exactly tampered with the trophy cup is never brought up again.
  • Affably Evil: Lucius Malfoy treats shopkeepers and other people he does business with politely and courteously. He even gives Flourish a Galleon after his trouble dealing with the Monster Books and tells him to buy drinks with it.
  • The Alcoholic: Hagrid. He's not really, but the main characters view his canon drinking with less tolerance than the canon characters.
  • Alpha Bitch: Pansy Parkinson. Laine Slater.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Arcen Bulstrode. Astoria Greengrass.
  • Animorphism: Sirius Black. Later in the series, Harry.
  • Big Brother Mentor: With traces of Big Brother Worship. Harry looks up to Draco's elder brother Elan, to the point he doesn't realise Elan's large faults.
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • Elan Malfoy. He is extremely protective of Draco, and he has taken Harry under his wing as well.
    • Percy Weasley. He may be a stickler for rules, and have no problem turning in his siblings for committing assault on another student, but deeply cares about his siblings, especially Ginny. When Ginny is put in danger, Percy risks his life and offers Harry anything, including a valuable magical artifact and a willingness to hide Harry's crimes. When that doesn't work, Percy offers his own life, and later digs himself in further by asking for more favors for his sister. In exchange, Percy gives a magical oath to serve Harry and proceeds to be a major source of help to Harry, even breaking rules for him.
  • Big Man on Campus: Harry, Cedric Diggory, and Viktor Krum during the Triwizard Tournament.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality
  • The Bully: Draco and the Slytherin kids bully Neville and Hermione for the pettiest of reasons. Harry eventually calls them out on it and comes to act as their Morality Pet.
  • Call-Forward: Goyle has quite the affinity for fire magicks. Readers of the series will remember that torched the Room of Requirement with Fiendfyre in Deathly Hallows.
  • The Casanova: Sirius has the entire delegation from Beauxbatons twined around his finger at the Yule Ball.
  • Catch Phrase: "Up Slytherin!" Also, The Catchphrase Catches On.
  • Cool House: Malfoy Manor. Later on Grimmauld Place. Also Big Fancy House
  • Dark Is Not Evil: A recurring theme in the series. See Hitler Ate Sugar below.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • Hermione is killed by the basilisk in Year 2.
    • Wormtail is given the Dementor's Kiss as a result of Snape actually listening to Harry in this timeline. May be a Fate Worse than Death
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Pureblood society
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Multiple cases.
    • Y1: Hagrid insults Slytherin house and Professor Snape, so the kids decide they're going to hex him.
    • Y2: Lucius essentially got Arthur Weasely fired, so in retaliation Draco is nearly killed by Fred, George, Ginny, and Ron.
      • Ginny is possessed by Tom Riddle at the time, and she's the one who escalates the incident beyond a simple beating by casting a Dark curse.
      • The retribution continues to escalate when Percy stops them (and as a result Gryffindor loses 600 points and all four get several months of detention); he's ostracized, pranked, and eventually drugged and left hanging by his feet from the Astronomy tower.
  • The Don: Lucius Malfoy
  • Enemy Mine: Lucius Malfoy and Albus Dumbledore have reached this kind of alliance based on mutual hate of Voldemort.
  • Everybody Hates Mathematics: Arithmancy is nothing more than maths class.
  • Evil Overlord: He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named
  • Extranormal Institute: Hogwarts, of course. Also Academy of Adventure, Boarding School, Eldritch Location, Functional Magic, Haunted Castle, Mage Tower, Magic A Is Magic A, Magical Library, Wizarding School.
  • Family Business: Malfoys
  • Family Values Villain: Lucius Malfoy
  • First Girl Wins: Gets played in several ways throughout the story.
    • Subverted in the case of Draco and Pansy. They were betrothed at a very young age, and are initially fine with it, but both ultimately decide that they would much prefer to date other people.
    • Played Straight between James and Lily. While James dated many girls throughout his school career, Lily was the first one to catch his interest, and the only one he seriously pursued.
    • Averted between Elan and Jamie Davis. They go through a nasty breakup after his first year spent at Durmstrang.
    • Subverted between Harry and Tracy. Tracy gets Harry's first kiss, and is the first girl he officially dates. Though he breaks things off to avoid ruining the friendship they enjoyed, and he goes steady with two (almost three) other girls, they swing back around to Official Couple. Then Harry discovers that Jamie Davis is Voldemort's spy inside of Hogwarts, and breaks off the relationship again due to being unable to trust that Tracy isn't also compromised.
  • For Want of a Nail: Harry's first friend in the wizarding world is Draco Malfoy, not Ron Weasley. This changes the entire foundation of his introduction to the magical world.
  • Freudian Excuse: Theo turns into a Jerk because his Dad has been neglecting him.
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Evil: Marauders, Slytherin, and Voldemort
  • Heel–Face Turn: Sorta. During Harry's 2nd year, Percy moves into Slytherin after being ostracized from Griffyndor. He subsequently becomes a much happier and more pleasant person.
  • Hitler Ate Sugar: Slytherins very much resent being labelled Junior Death Eaters. Just because Voldemort was a Slytherin doesn't mean all Slytherins believe as he does.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Even with all of the changes, some events happen almost exactly as in canon.
    • Ginny still receives Tom Riddle's diary and is in danger of having her soul devoured by Voldemort before Harry rescues her.
    • Harry is still submitted into the Triwizard Tournament against his will.
    • Voldemort still returns in living form at the end of the fourth year, despite his primary lackey having been given the dementor's kiss at the end of the third.
    • Umbridge still arrives to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts in year 5, and is appointed by the Ministry to review her fellow professors' performance.
  • In with the In Crowd. Harry. Also I Just Want to Have Friends and Friendless Background
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The Slytherin kids are very nice and supportive of Harry but that doesn't stop them from being total asshats to everyone else.
  • Magical Society
  • Make-Out Point: The Astronomy Tower.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Lucius Malfoy, natch.
  • Morality Pet: Harry to Slytherin House.
  • Muggles: Harry is encouraged by Slytherin to express how he feels about the Dursleys. While this may be psychologically healthy, it's part of Harry's fall towards the Moral Event Horizon.
  • Non-Idle Rich: Lucius Malfoy may be wealthy but he seems to be actively involved in government and seems to expect his sons to well educated, productive wizards. All of the Slytherins seem fairly well off and still seem to have a great deal expected of them
  • Noodle Incident: Mentioned when Sirius is going to be best man at Remus and Tonks' wedding.
    Sirius: Have I got some stories to tell. I might even finally tell everyone about the Noodle Incident.
    Remus: We agreed to never speak of that again. How dare you even bring it up?
  • Our Founder: Salazar Slytherin
  • Orphanage of Fear: Yet to be seen if the Magical Child Protection Act will result in this or an Orphanage of Love
  • Patricide: To put it mildly, Theo and his father have a disagreement about joining Voldemort's cause.
  • Pet Monstrosity: In Year 2, Harry takes control of the basilisk instead of killing it.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Blaise Zabini is written out of the story in the Revision so that the whole series wouldn't need to be rewritten to include him. Later on, The Bus Came Back.
    • Hermione Granger is sent to Hufflepuff where she is largely out of the story. Later becomes a Bus Crash.
  • The Patriarch: Lucius Malfoy. A loving one but you don't want to get on his bad side.
  • Properly Paranoid: "CONSTANT VIGILANCE!"
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech: Harry to Tom Riddle
    Harry: "I don't fear you. I've seen what you are now: a pathetic shade, clinging to life by leeching off of others like a parasite. Whatever your plans are, I'm going to stop you, Voldemort. I stopped you eleven years ago, I stopped you last year, and I will stop you tonight! ... You are a failed and unworthy descendant of Slytherin. You're nothing more than a shade from a time long past. You are nothing. I am the Heir of Slytherin!"
  • Running Gag:
    • "My Head is NOT FAT!"
    • That's Charles Warrington the Third.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!
  • Shout-Out:
    • A few Potter Fic Weekly injokes.
      • Such as?
    • Author nods to other fanfics.
      • jbern - Y4 speculation about the tasks includes "Who can get closest to the dementor?" which actually happened in The Lie I've Lived. Also Y4, one line of prose reads "to fight the coming darkness", which is the title of another of jbern's fics.
      • After the End - There is a throwaway line in Y4 that Lavender Brown has an older sister named Rose.
      • A Year Like None Other - Y5, when discussing how Snape can prove his loyalty to Voldemort, Snape suggests that there will be a sacrifice made at Samhain.
    • A Very Potter Musical
    • Monty Python's Flying Circus
      • A few lines of one scene with Professor Sinistra appear to have been lifted from the Management Training Course sketch. Wordof God: They are.
      • Some remarks by Elan are very reminiscent of the Writers sketch. Wordof God: Again correct.
      • Also, Dumbledore sometimes acts like the Psychiatrist and uses strange turns of phrase for "Come in" and "Sit down." Wordof God: but you missed this one.
      • An early one in Y1, there is no Rule #6 in the Slytherin House rules. Wordof God: And this one.
    • The Princess Bride - Several quotes slipped in very smoothly. Draco to Goyle: "Am I going mad, or did the word 'think' just escape your lips?"
    • Star Wars - Elan quotes Vader in Empire, "Search your feelings. You know I'm telling you the truth."
    • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The lifts in the Ministry of Magic are just as happy to serve as the doors in Hitchhiker's Guide. (Just so you know, that came from a joke chapter that Dethryl posted on April Fool's Day.)
    • Down Periscope: Harry opens the door while in a private chat with Daphne to reveal four other Slytherins plainly eavesdropping and teasing him about what was going on inside.
  • Slouch of Villainy: Averted. The Slytherins have an image to maintain.
  • Slowly Slipping Into Evil: Though the series isn't finished, Harry has journeyed into Darkness. It remains to be seen if he'll pull himself out before he crosses the Moral Event Horizon.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • Cedric
    • Sirius does not fall through the Veil at the Ministry of Magic. Instead, Harry's girlfriend does.
  • The Stations of the Canon:
    • Y1: Due to the influence of outside forces, otherwise known as the plot, Harry still goes through the usual stations of The Visit To Diagon Alley, The Trip To Hogwarts, The Sorting Hat, The Troll, all the way up to The Confrontation With Quirell/Voldemort. Only how he deals with these things is different.
    • Y2: Again, many of the same points are hit. Lockhart, the Heir of Slytherin, et cetera. Some things are changed, like Harry doesn't go to Sir Nick's Deathday party, but things largely parallel canon until the very end.
    • Y3: Still very much a character story, the big plot hits familiar beats like Sirius Black, Professor Lupin, Dementors, the Patronus Charm, and so on. The ending is a doozy. Sirius is proven innocent and offers Harry a home.
    • Y4: From Harry's perspective, the story is the same: the Triwizard Tournament comes to Hogwarts. In the big finale, it is revealed that Voldemort's plot has been completely different due to the events at the end of Y3.
  • Tell Me About My Father: Harry to Sirius.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Harry, in comparison to his canon self, learns several spells far sooner (including the Furunculus curse, which develops into his favorite). By the time the Triwizard Tournament rolls around, he is able to take the lead handily in the first two events.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Theo takes several levels in Year 4, because his dad has been ignoring him.
  • Trophy Wife: Subverted. Narcissa and Lucius genuinely love each other and are Happily Married. It may also be a Perfectly Arranged Marriage.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Narcissa Malfoy
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Lucius Malfoy. Also Even Evil Has Loved Ones, Even Evil Has Standards, and Not Evil, Just Misunderstood.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Dobby. He not only plays a much smaller role than in the canon universe, he was never freed, and he is never caught attempting to 'save' Harry's life.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: The Malfoys believe that Voldemort started his crusade against Muggles with honestly good intentions, but the dark magic he was using gradually drove him insane.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Y3: Jamie Davis accuses Elan Malfoy of cheating on her and tries to hex him. She gets off three spells, which he blocks, before he uses a spell that breaks all the bones in her wand hand.
  • 0% Approval Rating: It seems like a large chunk of the Death Eaters have left the Dark lord in favour of a more kindly Heir of Slytherin.

Dethryl revised the story following the completion of canon but has left the original version posted for posterity. This is the version of the story covered on Potter Fic Weekly.

Original version: Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4


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