After Hermione finished lunch, her afternoon classes went by like a breeze. Transfiguration and Charms were both just reading and taking notes, on which she had already finished. This was her first night patrolling the halls as Head Girl, and even though it included Draco she was still excited. After supper, she walked up to her dorm to finish her homework; she had a one-and-a-half page of parchment on the benefits of staying with 7th year Transfiguration. McGonnagal was obviously nervous that some people would drop out. She quickly sat down at a table in the corner of the common room and took out her quill. Draco walked in at just that moment, though it seemed that he was having a hard time ignoring her. Laying on the couch, Draco was lost in mixed up thoughts. Why was it that she was the one person he would back down from? Especially since she was a girl, and a muggle-born at that! It was something about the way she carried herself, unafraid to look him in the eye, which made him oddly confused. She was his equal, and he had never felt that experience before. She glanced his way, their eyes locking for a minute until Draco coldly turned away. He couldn’t stand what was happening. Was it pity? Yes, that must be it. Draco’s head swirled in thought, unnoticing to a certain chestnut beauty as she stood over him. “Draco, we need to patrol the halls tonight,” she said, looking at him strangely. “Are you alright? You’ve been staring into space for at least an hour.” “What? Oh of course I’m fine!” Draco snapped, making Hermione jump at least six inches. “Well, come on then lets go.” They silently walked out of the room, both jumping a bit as the knight returned to his stance that guarded the doorway. Going their separate ways, they were able to think alone for a time as they slowly circled through the immense corridors. Once Hermione was alone with herself, she was distracted by thoughts about a certain Slytherin. Why did she need to defend him? How could she laugh and talk with him? He was a Slytherin prat and a player, she didn’t want to get involved with that! He couldn’t like her, he hated muggle-borns and he had made her life a living hell for the 6 years. He couldn’t change, he wouldn’t. And he definitely wouldn’t do it for her. She was just a pawn, some girl that he could seduce and then she was some kind of trophy on his wall. She heard a noise around the corner and saw a Gryfindor girl crying out in the hall. She walked over to the girl, which she recognized as a first year and quietly knelt down beside her. The little blonde girl was startled as she Head Girl next to her. “What’s your name?” Hermione asked soothingly. “Cassandra, but everyone calls me Cassie,” she said nervously, waiting for her detention. “Do you want to tell me why you are crying out here Cassie?” she asked, turning to face the pale girl with immensely big blue eyes. “The, the boys said that I was a show-off and a nerd because I knew the answers to most of the questions,” Cassie said quietly, as a few stray tears escaped her watery eyes. Hermione chuckled before quickly quieting down, not wanting to seem cruel to the little girl. “You know, I had the exact same problem as you when I was little,” Hermione said sitting down. This was going to be a long story. “Really?” Cassie said, her eyes sparkling in wonder. “When I first got here, these two boys from Gryffindor… You probably know who they are, kept saying that I was a show-off and bossy. They made me cry too, though eventually I just got over it. By the end of the year, we were best friends and couldn’t be separated,” she explained, laughing at the memory. “Who were they?” the little blonde asked in wonderment. “A certain Mr. Harry Potter, and a Mr. Ron Weasley,” she answered; faltering a bit as she remembered the fight they had had just this morning. Cassie looked up at her with her big blue eyes wide, “You are friends with Harry Potter? And Ron Weasley? That must mean that you’re… Hermione Granger?” “Why yes I am, how did you know that?” “You are my role model! I heard about the way you solved problems getting to the Sorcerer’s Stone. And how you figured out about the Basilisk before anyone else! You helped Harry with the TriWizard tournament too!” Cassie said bashfully. “Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever been a role model. You have really made my day, it hasn’t been a good one,” she replied shaking her head. “You helped me, maybe I can help you?” she asked shyly. “Harry, Ron, and me had a fight today. Do you happen to know about Draco Malfoy?” she asked curiously, the girl seemed to know about just everything else. “Oh,” she said wrinkling her nose. “He’s the Head Boy, and his father is the one that gave Ginny the journal. He does not seem like a very good person.” “Very good! Yes well, Ron said that he was going to duel Draco after curfew and I stopped them and made them apologize to that Slytherin prat. Of course I made Draco apologize as well,” “I think that if they are angry at you, you should stop the duel somehow without them knowing. Then make up with them. It’s probably not a very good idea though,” Cassie said hanging her head. After hearing the suggestion however, Hermione’s mind was put into full gear formulating a plan. “No, no! That’s a very good idea, Oh my goodness! Look at the time! You really should get back to the dorm! If you ever want to talk to me again, feel free to come up to me anytime,” “And I know where your dorm is, I read Hogwarts a History,” she said sheepishly before running off, her blonde hair streaming behind her. “That girl sure has good taste,” Hermione laughed to herself as she continued her rounds. She moved from floor to floor, cruising down the hallways looking for people breaking the curfew rules. When she got to the DADA room, she heard a noise and quickly walked in. She was quickly pushed against the wall and her wand was knocked out of her hand. As her eyes adjusted to the light, she noticed the Slytherin emblem on the subject in question’s robes. She looked up, but she her eyes didn’t meet a pair of blue ones, but instead a pair of black beady eyes. She screamed with all her might until the Slytherin smacked her across the face. She screamed again, until he put a silencing charm on her. Finally, her eyes adjusted completely to the light and she saw her torturer in front of her…
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