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Disclaimer: Sadly, the only part of this that I own is the plot. I'm just borrowing Jo Rowling's characters and places and playing wiht them for a bit. She's the true genius behind everything here!

A/N: I realise that this chapter is pretty short, but this is just the first chapter and I wanted to get feedback before I posted longer chapters. This is only my second story, so please review and tell me what you think of my writing! And now, our feature presentation!

Chapter One: Different?

Hermione was standing on Platform 93/4, staring at the train that would take her to Hogwarts for her seventh and final year at school, and she was looking forward to it being her best year. She had been made Head Girl, of course, and her shiny new badge was pinned to the strap on her bag so she wouldn’t lose it.

Hermione sighed happily. She had seen Ron and Harry briefly before she got onto the Platform, and they had agreed that they would save her a seat on the train in their compartment. Hermione got on the train and worked her way up to the front where the Heads special compartment was. She didn’t know who the new Head Boy was, but he wasn’t there yet.

She stowed her trunk in the rack above her seat and sat down sideways on her seat with her back to the window. She watched the other students boarding the train and thought about all the things she wanted to do during her last year.

Draco lugged his trunk down the corridor on the train. This was one of the few problems with being Head Boy. It had been the same when he was a Prefect. Because he had a different compartment than the rest of his cronies, he had to haul this stupid trunk for himself. It wasn’t hard, he just hated doing it.

He reached his compartment and slid the door open. There was a girl sitting there already, but she didn’t seem to have noticed him yet. Draco lifted his trunk up onto the rack, but still the girl didn’t seem to have heard. Draco wondered who she was. There was something very familiar about her, but he couldn’t place what it was. Her back was to him and he couldn’t see her face.

Whoever she is, Draco thought. She’s quite pretty...He looked at her for a moment longer, trying to think why she seemed so familiar. Then it hit him. He suddenly recognized the curly brown hair. And just as suddenly, Draco realized what he had just thought. Oh damn! Draco, you idiot, you just called Hermione Granger pretty!

Just then, Hermione looked around, seeming to realise, finally, that there was someone else in the compartment with her. Her eyes narrowed when she saw who it was. “You.” She hissed, standing up. “You’re Head Boy.” It wasn’t a question; she knew it when she saw the badge pinned on his chest. Draco smirked. “Oh very good, Granger,” he said, as though bored with this conversation already. “Yes, I’m Head Boy.” Hermione rolled her eyes at him and sighed in frustration. “I’m not going to deal with you right now, Malfoy.” She said. Oh, of all the people to be stuck sharing a common room with! Hermione thought angrily. She reached up into her bag and pulled out a book. Sitting down on the seat like she had before, Hermione started reading, still alert in case Draco tried anything.

Draco closed the compartment door again; he didn’t want Pansy coming to look for him. That he would see her when they reached school was bad enough, he didn’t need to deal with her right now, not when there was already so much on his mind. He sat down on the seat opposite Hermione. Something’s different with her, Draco thought absently. But what? True, her hair wasn’t the bush mess that it had been; now it was shiny and smooth, no longer frizzing out in all directions. But there was something else, too.

He looked closer at Hermione. She had gotten a nice tan over the summer, almost matching Draco himself, who had devoted a large amount of time to Quidditch over the summer holidays. This was, after all, his last chance to beat Potter and Weasley at the Quidditch Cup. Looking at Hermione again, he saw that she was wearing different clothes than she usually did. They were more fitted and stylish than what she had worn the last time her saw her. Actually, Draco thought, somewhat amusedly, she wasn’t all that bad to look at. Maybe he just hadn’t looked at her properly before. Or did the absence of her little boyfriends have something to do with it?

Draco had paid closer attention to Hermione ever since she had hit him in their third year. Something about her nerve had interested him. He knew that she wasn’t a soft, weak bookworm. She had proved that by hitting him. True, she had been almost insanely angry at the time, but that had just intrigued Draco even more. Not many girls would have the daring to hit a Malfoy, much less the son of Lucius Malfoy. But she had.

In classes, Draco and Hermione were almost equal, Draco was second nearly all of the time, and Hermione rarely had a lead of more than a few points. Draco knew she was a stubborn as he was, maybe even more, and she was just as determined. In fact, many of the things that his father had taught him were common among Muggleborns, Draco had found to be untrue in Hermione Granger. His father had said that they were weaker in magic, without it flowing through their blood the way that purebloods did. He had also said that most of them didn’t see the finer points of magic, or many of its more delicate uses, having grown up thinking that magic was just lights and bangs and funny words.

Draco had believed all of this when his father had first told him, but that had been before he had met Granger. She had broken all of the rules that Draco’s father had insisted upon. Even though Draco wouldn’t admit it to himself, he sort of liked the idea of sharing a common room with only her. He wanted to know more about her; outwardly, he still hated and despised her, but on the inside, Draco had begun to question why he had hated her to begin with.

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