It was 1 September. Another schoolyear was to begin in Hogwarts. The students had arrived and gathered in the Great Hall.
During the usual sorting ceremony, the 25 year old, very pretty Professor Granger shifted her gaze from the students to her colleagues.
It was her second year to teach in Hogwarts, the school she had grown so fond of during her student years. It felt like home to her and most of the teachers were her friends. Hagrid, who still taught Care of Magical Creatures (with the assistance of Luna Lovegood); Neville Longbottom, the Herbology teacher, Oliver Wood, also an ex-student, now teacher of flying and quidditch. Yes, they all were her good friends.
She liked the funny Charms teacher, Professor Flitwick; Slughorn, the always cheerful Potions master and the strict McGonagall, Headmistress and teacher of Transfiguration. Hermione could get on well even with Professor Trelawney, the absent-minded Divination teacher who had hurt her so much years ago.
The one she was not on speaking terms with was the new teacher of Defence Against the Dark Arts. Draco Malfoy. A very blond and unfortunately very handsome Draco Malfoy with an enigmatic personality and a dark past. 'Why did McGonagall pick him to be DADA teacher? Why?' Hermione thought angrily. 'She could have asked Harry... Or anyone. Anyone would be better than him.'
Meanwhile, Headmistress McGonagall had started the usual term opening speech. She introduced the teachers to the students one by one and Hermione blushed when she heard some wolf-whistles from the tables of the older schoolboys. She was beautiful, her delicate features, big brown eyes, long silky hair, nice smile and perfect figure always caught men's eyes. Even Malfoy looked into her direction more than he should have.
Malfoy... Professor Malfoy. It would be difficult for her to get used to this. She could see what lustful glances the schoolgirls took at the blond teacher and she knew she wouldn't be the only one to get love letters from students in the coming term.
Suddenly the huge oak door of the Great Hall opened and all the heads turned to see the grumpy Mr Filch first, then his frightened cat, Mrs Norris, and finally an extremely good looking stranger.
This stranger was tall and blond, muscular but lean, his face perfect... Gorgeous. He looked gorgeous.
Wow. The girls gasped and started drooling and the boys, seeing this, just rolled their eyes.
Hermione gulped. She had never seen such an attractive guy.
The stranger walked slowly behind Mr Filch and the cat, towards the teachers' table, looking straight ahead, emotionless. He seemed to be making a great effort to control himself... To suppress his feelings... His desire? 'He might be embarrassed, that's all,' Hermione thought. The way he moved was a bit strange but he looked definitely damn hot. Hermione moistened her lips and the stranger suddenly looked at her.
His eyes... He had golden eyes. Golden eyes, getting darker and darker boring into Hermione's brown ones. She felt paralysed by what she saw in his eyes. It was hunger and desire... And something else she couldn't figure out.
Malfoy shook his head slightly. He didn't like it at all. He felt there was something wrong with this guy. No, he didn't like the beautiful stranger. He didn't like the way Hermione Granger was staring at him. It annoyed him to no end. And McGonagall's words annoyed him even more.
'Let me introduce to you Mr Jasper Hale from the United States. He is here to help Professor Malfoy to teach you how to fight against newborn vampires. Mr Hale himself is also a vampire but you have nothing to worry about, he's a vegetarian vampire who feeds on animals' blood, not on people's.'
My Hale nodded but didn't say a word and avoided the curious glances. The Headmistress broke the dead silence again.
'Please, Mr Hale, take a seat, next to Professor Granger. Your new colleagues will be pleased to help you.'
Hermione got pale and felt her heart start to race while watching the handsome vampire approach her. 'For Merlin's sake, it is a vampire!' Her braincells screamed but her hormones ignored this piece of information. She was drawn to him, more than to anyone else before.
The new schoolyear had begun.
End of Chapter 1
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