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Disclaimer: You all know what this says, so do I even need to bother saying it? It's all Jo Rowling's!

A/N: A bit of a longer chapter for you all. I hope Draco and Hermione are both in character, I tried to keep them pretty close. Please read and review and tell me what you think so far! Thanks to the people who have already commented on this story, you guys rock.



Chapter Two: Thoughts and Realisations

Hermione wasn’t going to pretend that she wasn’t interested by the boy across from her. For a long time, she had been impressed by the fact that he was nearly as good as she was in nearly every class. Even his Defense Against the Dark Arts marks were good; he was definitely the best Slytherin at the subject.

In fact, Hermione thought that a lot of Draco’s image was because he was the son of Lucius Malfoy. Everyone expected him to be an egotistical pureblood maniac, and so he was. But from what Harry had said about Lucius Malfoy, he treated his only son with distain, particularly because he was bested at every turn by Harry Potter, almost an equal to Draco in most respects, and by Hermione herself, a Muggleborn, a Mudblood. Add Ron, as a Weasley, and therefore despised by the Malfoy family, and Hermione thought it was no wonder that Draco’s father thought so little of him.

Hermione glanced at him over her book. He was actually quite tall, and while he was thin, Hermione could tell that he was fairly muscled because of playing Quidditch. He had let his hair grow longer so that it fell into his eyes a bit, and she couldn’t be sure which way he was looking unless he looked right at her. He seemed completely at ease, sitting across from her, reclining back in his seat with his feet propped up on the seat next to her.

As she looked closer, Hermione realised that Draco was wearing a very different expression than the one he usually wore in her presence. He seemed rather lost in thought, and there was no trace of his trademark smirk on his face at all. He almost looks human, Hermione thought. She looked at him for a moment longer. Suddenly his eyes met hers. She felt like she was looking into pools of molten silver. Hermione looked away slowly, trying to seem as though she hadn’t been staring at Draco.

As Hermione looked down at her book again, she realised that she had seem nothing of the usual emotions that were in Draco’s eyes when he looked at her. There was no malice, no distain, no hatred, none of the things she was used to seeing. Now that she thought about it, they had been sitting in this same compartment together for half an hour, and not one had Draco said anything about her or her friends. No remarks about Harry, nothing about Ron or the Weasleys, he hadn’t even called her Mudblood. Just Granger, and he hadn’t even said that as harshly as he normally did. In fact, he had been about as civil as Hermione could before her brain kicked in and reminded her that this was Draco Malfoy she was talking about.

Draco had been staring blankly at the wall trying not to think about anything when he suddenly felt Hermione’s eyes on him. He looked at her; she held his gaze for a second before looking away. She actually has pretty nice eyes, Draco thought. They were a warm dark brown that reminded him of chocolate. And Draco just happened to love chocolate. He watched Hermione for a few minutes, both hoping and not hoping that she would look at him again. He didn’t want her to know that he was staring, but he wanted another look at her eyes. There was something about the way she had looked at him, a sort of feeling he’d never gotten before.

It wasn’t a bad feeling; it was actually sort of comforting. Draco had the strangest sense that if he had wanted to, and if she had let him, he could tell her anything and she wouldn’t tell anyone about it. And that just heightened his interest in her. Something was telling him that maybe this interest wasn’t such a bad thing after all. And oddly enough, just across from him, Hermione was thinking the same thing.

Finally, Hermione couldn’t take it any longer. She had to get away from Draco. She had felt him looking at her since his gaze had met hers nearly ten minutes ago. And it was getting hard not to look up again and meet his eyes. But that was only part of what was bothering her. It was also that he was being civil to her, and she could not now begin to think of anything else, especially not with his eyes on her.

Suddenly Hermione stood up and walked to the door, careful not to look at Draco. Once she was in the corridor, she closed her eyes and leaned against the wall for a moment before setting off down the train to look for Ron and Harry.

Draco sat by himself in the Heads compartment. Hermione had suddenly stood and walked out, purposely looking away from him. Draco sighed, thinking about how different it was, sitting here with her versus sitting with his fellow Slytherins. Somehow he was more comfortable sitting with a girl he was supposed to hate.

Maybe it was because he could do whatever he wanted; she wouldn’t get mad if he didn’t act like King of the World. She might be suspicious and confused, but he wouldn’t lose her respect, assuming she even had any for him. He didn’t need to worry about upholding his reputation in her eyes, since it was clear that her opinion of him was far less than flattering. The Slytherins were always asking annoying questions or trying to be his best friend so that he would invite them to Malfoy Manor over the holidays.

Draco frowned. He had only just realised that he had been sitting in the same compartment as one of the Golden Trio, and he hadn’t said a single insulting thing to her. He hadn’t even thought about it. All he had noticed was how she looked and the way she acted. Other than that first remark, he hadn’t said a single word.

Draco smiled suddenly as a thought struck him. Pansy would be furious; she didn’t know that the Heads had to share a common room. She would be expecting him to return to the Slytherin Common Room after dinner. Yes, there were definite advantages to being head Boy. No Pansy, and instead, he got Hermione who seemed in no hurry to get in his way. Yes, things might turn out quite well after all.

Hermione found Harry and Ron in a compartment halfway down the train. They looked up and grinned when she opened the door to their compartment. “Hey Hermione,” Ron said. “Who’s Head Boy?” Hermione grimaced. She had been trying to avoid thinking about the blonde Slytherin boy. “Malfoy,” she said, frowning. She had suddenly been unable to say his name with the same hatred and loathing that she was used to. Instead, the word had come out expressionless and flat.

“Malfoy?” Ron’s eyes were popping slightly. “Malfoy?!” Hermione sighed. “Yes, Ron,” she said tiredly. “But that’s not all. I have to share a common room with him, too.” Both Harry and Ron looked aghast. “No way,” Harry muttered, almost to himself. “No way, there’s got to be a mistake. They can’t force you to do that!” Ron nodded in agreement. “Everyone knows how he is to you. He’s probably planning something right now...” He made a face. “Augh, Malfoy, Head Boy. Sick...” he trailed off, pretending to be puking violently.

Just then, Ginny walked into the compartment. “Hey, guys, Hermione!” she said brightly. Then noticing their expressions, she frowned and asked, “What’s up?” Hermione made a face and told her about Malfoy. Ginny looked horrified. “Oh no,” she said, looking as though she might be sick. “Oh no, they can’t do that to you!” Hermione shook her head. “I don’t know, but it’s too late to do anything about it now.” She checked her watch. “I’d better get back to my compartment. My letter said the Professor McGonagall wanted to talk to us at noon.” She stood up and walked to the door. Ron called after her, “If he does anything to you, we’ll beat him to a bloody pulp!”

Hermione walked slowly back up the corridor to the Heads compartment. She was confused. She didn’t want to go back where Draco was, and yet, she was so intrigued by him. Something about him had changed, and she wanted to know what it was, and why.

Finally, Hermione got back to her compartment. Draco was sitting just as he had been when she left. Hermione could have sworn he was looking at the same spot on the wall, too. As she closed the door, however, he turned his head slightly so that he was almost looking at her. Suddenly Professor McGonagall appeared in the doorway. Out of the corner of her eye, Hermione saw Draco sit up straighter and turn his attention away from the wall just beyond Hermione and look at McGonagall. “Congratulation to the both of you,” she began. “Your duties as Head Boy and Girl were explained to you in your letter, so I’m only here to answer any questions you might have. Also, I must explain about your living space this year.” She took a breath and continued.

“You will be sharing a dorm for the rest of the year. You will each have your own bedroom and bathroom, but you will have to share a common room. Also, you will patrol the corridors together each night.” McGonagall looked at Hermione and Draco. “Well, if there are no questions, then that is all I have to say.” She turned and walked out the door, closing it behind her. Hermione looked at Draco, expecting to see revulsion and disgust on his face, but instead, she saw curiosity and something else that she couldn’t name. She turned away from him and sat sown again, staring out the window. Across from her, Draco slid back down in his seat and put his feet up again. He was much more comfortable this way, and Draco knew that, with the number of thoughts running around his head, he might not be moving anytime soon.

First off, there was the concept of having to share a dorm with Hermione. He was actually slightly shocked that he had felt no trace of his usual emotions regarding the girl. In fact, if he was going to be honest with himself, he was almost looking forward to it. He thought that it might not be too bad, and it would make a nice change from the Slytherins. And he was curious. He had watched her, sometimes out of the corner of his eye in classes, or from across the Great Hall at mealtimes. Once or twice he had watched her in the library under the pretense of looking through books for class. Something about her had slowly been making him more and more curious about her, even if he hadn’t realised it until recently. He wanted to know more about her, and he was finding that the more he tried to ignore it, the harder it was to stop watching her.

Hermione was watching Draco’s reflection in the window, wondering what he was thinking about. She wondered briefly whether he was plotting against her, but a second look proved that wrong. He looked too thoughtful and wrapped up in his mind to be planning anything. That’s a good look for him, Hermione mused. He’s actually good-looking when he’s like this... Hermione realised what she had just thought. But it was true, wasn’t it? Perhaps this year wouldn’t be as bad as she had thought it might be.



A/N: Next chapter: Hermione and Draco have little appetite, we get a look at the Heads dorm, more confusion from both parties, and Draco becomes suddenly...polite? It's all coming soon! Also, I'm thinking of including HBP in this, just because I thought of a really great thing I can do with the plot, but it would require the events in HBP to have happened. What do you guys think? I can't tell you what I want to do, incase I actually use it, but it would be really good. Let me know what you think!

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