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Hermione’s POV

I am going insane. I know it.

I tried to stay as quiet as I could be without waking up anyone. I gently closed the door behind me. Then, I started to tip toe up the steps to Ginny’s room where I usually stayed. That is, until I had a heart attack and jumped about ten feet in the air when I heard a woman’s friendly voice say, “Oh hello dear. It’s so good of you to have come. Please let me help you with all that stuff.” I turned around to see a plump, sweet-looking lady sitting in a rocking chair by the clock that had all the Weasley’s names on it. Now Harry’s name and mine were on it. Ever since Dumbledore died, Mrs. Weasley had been extra cautious. She liked to know that we were okay along with the rest of her family.

“Oh hello Mrs. Weasley. I didn’t see you there. I am terribly sorry,” I said, trying to start back up the stairs again. This day had been too long.

“It’s alright dear. Let me give you a hand with that. We don’t want you killing yourself by falling down the stairs now do we? No, I should think not.” Just like that, Mrs. Weasley lifted my luggage into the air with her wand and started toward Ginny’s room. Once I got there, I had noticed a bed had already been made up for me. I smiled at the thought of kindness they went through just to put up with me here.

“Now dear, if there is anything I can get you just let me know. The Order has informed me of what is going on at your home, so I want you to know that if you ever need someone to talk to, you can come to me. I can whip you up some tea and you can get it all out if you wish.” I smiled to myself. Mrs. Weasley was truly my second mother, just as she was to everyone else in the world that would let her.

“Thanks Mrs. Weasley, but I think I am fine for tonight. Would it be too much trouble if I started on my buddy project? I want to get as much work done as possible before summer ends,” I asked.

“Of course dear. Just make sure not to wake Ginny up. Although, I don’t think that’s possible. The one trait that Ginny and Ron share besides their freckles and red hair is their sleeping habits,” she said and sighed. “Well, goodnight dear.”

“Goodnight, Mum. I mean Mrs. Weasley.” I quickly corrected myself. Mrs. Weasley smiled and closed the door as she left. I took a candle out of my bag and lit it. Then I took my eagle owl quill and a piece of parchment and started writing.

Dear whomever I am writing to…fill this in when you get this,

I am your buddy for this project and I hope to make the most of it. Well, here is a little information about me. Unfortunately, I am not as much of a people person as I would like to be. I am shy, timid, and scared most of the time. Once I get to know you, I’ll start to feel safer around you. Then I’ll become as free as a bird, and you will get a chance to know the real me. I guess I can tell you some more about myself, but I don’t want to fill in too much because you may guess who I am. I like to read a lot. I’m not in Ravenclaw, although the sorting hat thought about placing me in there. My favorite book is Hogwart’s: A History. I think it is fascinating. I guess you have just classified me as a nerd, but I can assure you that I am far from it. I love to swim, dance, and when I’m not afraid, singing in the shower. That’s the only place where something is louder than me and no one can suffer from my horrid voice. I also like to hang out with my friends, the people I love the most in the world. So, get back to me whenever you can.

Yours truly,
The Smart Pussycat Doll

I read the letter over and over again until it was perfect. I am a perfectionist after all. Then I sent my owl off into the night sky, wondering what my partner was going to be like. As long as he was not a Slytherin, I was safe. I mean come on. What are the chances of that happening? Slim to none, right? I blew out the candle and snuggled myself into the sheets. Just like that, I was out like a light.

When I finally woke up, there wasn’t anyone in the room. Ginny was already up. So much for her being like Ron in the whole sleep department. I stood up and dressed for the day, putting on my form-fitting black t-shirt with my dark faded denim skirt. I went over to see if Harry and Ron were up. Knowing them, they probably weren’t. Surprisingly, they were. Their beds were neatly made, which, for Ron, is somehow hard to believe. Then I went downstairs. No one was there eating breakfast at the table and everything around it was all nice and neat. It was like something out of the Twilight Zone, except worse. This was real and it was happening to me. I started to search the rest of the house, but not a soul in sight. I went back up to Ginny’s room, planning on going back to bed. I was hoping that this was all a dream and that I would wake up with Ginny in her bed, snoring away. When I walked into Ginny’s room, I saw something far scarier than an empty room. I saw him as I did last night. Draco Malfoy.

“Malfoy! What are you doing here? You should know that you’re not welcome here,” I said, my voice starting to shake.

“Well Granger, I wouldn’t say that,” he smirked. Oh how I would love to wipe it off his perfectly pale face just like in our third year.

“Oh really. Why not?” I asked him. This ought to be good.

“Because, you see Granger, I was invited,” he said, handing me over a letter that indeed Mrs. Weasley herself had written. My mouth hung open at what I saw. Mrs. Weasley wanted to have a little ‘heart to heart’ with Malfoy. Why did she have to act like a mother to everyone? Then I realized what was going on and why no one was around.

“What did you do to them?” I questioned as intensely as possible.

“Them? Them who?”

“You know exactly who.”

“Who are they?”

“Oh, don’t play dumb with me. I know you know who I am talking about.”

“Who’s playing?”

“So you admit it. You are dumb.”

“Well, about this, yes. What are you talking about?” Before I could say another word, I heard a loud hello coming from the kitchen. I sprinted down the stairs to find Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Mrs. Weasley all together.

“Oh Hermione! Great! You’re up. I hope we didn’t worry you too much with us leaving like that this morning. Harry had some business to take care of down at the Ministry and Ron and Ginny insisted on coming. You were asleep so I didn’t think I should wake you up since we were going to be quick. I hope you didn’t get upset.”

“No, it’s not that…have you been sending letters to Draco Malfoy insisting him to talk to you?” I blurted out.

“Yes dear, but how did you know about - I don’t think I have told anyone because I knew he wouldn’t respond.”

“Well, he did. He’s upstairs in Ginny’s room right now. I was just talking to the git.”

“Hermione! I am surprised by your language.”

“Sorry Mrs. Weasley, but he is upstairs right now. Go see for yourself.”

“Eww! Malfoy’s in my room! Now I am going to have to burn everything he touched,” squealed Ginny.

“You will do no such thing,” Mrs. Weasley said, putting her daughter into place. “You will act nice and civilized to Mr. Malfoy or you’ll be hearing from me, young lady.”

“Mom, why the bloody hell would you invite Draco ferret Malfoy to our house? Are you insane?” Ron wined. Harry just stood there, too scared to say anything. Honestly, I don’t blame him.

"Ronald Weasley! You will cool your temper right now! Do you hear me, young man? You will not say anything disrespectful like that to Mr. Malfoy!” Mrs. Weasley said this with such a stern voice that I think even the toughest dragon would be scared to face her.

"But Mum-" Ron started.

"No buts about it. Ronald, you will behave yourself and that is that. Now let’s all go up and meet our guest.” Then we all started walking up the stairs to Ginny’s room. Both Ron and Ginny started mumbling something under their breath. As we got up to Ginny’s room, Mrs. Weasley opened the door and he was gone. Just like that, he was gone. No more Malfoy.

“But I swear he was there a moment ago. It’s just like last night. He was there one second and gone the next. It makes no sense. I am not going crazy, Mrs. Weasley. He was there, I swear.”

“Of course dear, don’t worry about it. If he wants to come back to talk to me, he will. It’s nothing to be disturbed about. But what do you mean, you saw Draco yesterday? Where did you see him?” She asked. Her face showed that she was trying to understand, but that there was no chance she was buying it.

I took a deep breath. “I guess it was just my imagination playing tricks on me again. But, hey Ginny, at least he really didn’t touch any of your stuff so you can save yourself a bonfire. Right?”

“You got that part right.” They all started to laugh a bit. If it wasn’t Draco she saw, what was it?

Draco’s POV

Draco sat up at his desk at the Zabini estate since it was no longer safe to return home. The Zabini’s have kindly kept me in - for now. I wonder what will happen if I don’t complete my mission.

God. I was so close. That’s twice in two days. What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I kill her when I see her? I mean, it’s not like she’s changed at all. She has the same old puffy hair. She has the same everything. Nothing is different, so what's wrong with me? I mean, it's still Granger. The mudblood Granger, except that she’s not a mudblood anymore, is she? So, that doesn’t change anything, does it? No, of course not, I mean how could it?

After all, she was still raised the way filthy muggles were, so at heart she is still a muggle. I am a pureblood and nothing will ever change that. No matter how good she looked in that short mini skirt. Oh god, what’s happening to me? Next time you will kill her, Draco. Next time this dragon is going to pounce and crush one of the members of the Golden Trio. Then I’ll watch them crumble over their scared little mudblood.

Then came three owls. One was red like a howler. Great. What could I have done this time? The other two were white but one of them looked slightly more weighed down than the others. Well, might as well get the howler done with now, right? To my surprise, it was not a howler at all. Instead it was saying something like ‘we need to cope with the loss of our great headmaster. Blah, blah, blah, blah. So we will be given buddies to talk to - blah, blah, blah. So basically, it was a waste of a perfectly good piece of parchment.

Then came the slightly heavier white one. I soon found out that the reason why was because I had become Head Boy. Now that is interesting. Try to kill the headmaster and become Head Boy. Who knew it was that easy?

The last letter made me smile. It was from my pen pal. I read it over and then started to write:

“Dear Smart Doll...”

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