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The warm summer breeze lightly tickled Hermione's face, ruffling her hair as she stared out into the horizon. The sun shone dimly over the hilltop and peeked through the leaveless branches of the trees. Cascades of pink and orange danced across the sky. Dusk was a beautiful time. At this particular moment, everything had come to a halt. The ruffling of the grass was the only indication that time was passing. The birds sung softly but to Hermione, they were barely audible. She sat with her knees up and her chin perched upon them in deep thought. So much had happened in the past few weeks, since the final battle. There had been funerals to go to, people to mourn, tears to be shed. And there had been Ron. As much as Hermione forced herself to believe this was right for her, for them all, she just couldn't. He was driving her insane already and she felt nothing aside from a brotherly love for him. She sighed as she looked back at the higgledy-piggledy house that seemed to just be perfect. The Burrow, a place of closure. Or so she had thought.

Hermione had arrived at the Burrow a little over a week previous. After she had returned from Australia with her parents, she had stayed at home with them for a few weeks. It did not prove to be an easy feat retreiving them. They were hurt by what she had done, but accepted it and understood nether the less. Eventually, they forgave her as they understood it was only for their safety. She had missed her parents, her Mother's sweet honey smelling hair, her Father's cuddles and him calling her Miney; the way they were once a family. Things were slowly healing now. They had eaten dinner together with warm small talk. Her Mother even tucked her into bed and they would sit and drink hot chocolate and chat like a mother and daughter should. She smiled at the recent memories. It was going to be hard leaving, after only being reunited for such a short amount of time. 

Her last ever Hogwarts letter had arrived before she had left for the Burrow. It was slightly different from all the previous years, but all the same too. It felt comforting for something to be normal. Nothing was ever normal any more, not after the traumatic experience of the war. Everyone, everything had changed. She pulled the letter out of her back pocket, where she had been stowing it for safe-keeping, unfolded it and smoothed out the crumples.

Dear Miss Granger,

We are most pleased to welcome you back to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for your seventh and final year.
Please find inclosed your booklist for this year and your selected classes.
Term will begin on September the first and we ask that you be on Platform 9 and 3/4 no later than ten to eleven.

Best Wishes, and we hope to be seeing you soon,
Professor Filius Flitwick, Deputy Headmaster

Harry and Ron  had been weary about returning to Hogwarts, and there had been an argument with Mrs Weasley. Hermione remembered it well.

'But Mum!-' pleaded Ron.

'Absolutely not! Just because you went galavanting around the country over the past year does NOT mean that you can throw away your education!' Mrs. Weasley's voice was uncharacteristically shrill and rang through the tiny kitchen.

'But we dont need to learn anything else, we know-'

'Ronald Weasley, stop being so arrogant.  You will be returning to Hogwarts this year and it is not up for discussion!' A sense of finality in her tone, Ron closed his mouth and sulked. She advanced on Harry, 'Harry, dear, it would be best if you return to school too, Me and Arthur would be more than pleased to care for Teddy whilst you are gone.'

Harry nodded and smiled, he of course wouldn't let Ron go by himself.

Hermione was pulled out of her thoughts as she heard Mrs. Weasley herself call from the house. She stood up, shoving the letter back in her pocket and trudged inside, away from the setting sun, the pinks and oranges showering the sky.

'Dinner's ready, dear.' Mrs. Weasley said sweetly. Hermione smiled and thanked her.

'It looks lovely!'

Five of the Weasleys were gathered around the tiny table aswell as Hermione and Harry. This was the last night before they would go back to Hogwarts for the last time. They ate mostly in silence, not having much to say. Hermione couldn't wait to escape. Not that she meant any ill thoughts upon her company, but she could feel Ron's eyes on her, and that didn't mean anything good. She was very relieved when Mr Weasley told them to all hurry up eating so they could get a decent nights sleep. That meant she could go to bed and escape without being rude. After everyone was finished, Mrs.Weasley thanked, and goodnights were said, Hermione flew up the stairs. One flight, Two flights, nearly there-

'Hermione, wait!' She groaned inwardly and turned to face him.

'Whats wrong? You trying to get away from us?' Ron joked. Hermione smiled weakly.

'No, i'm just tired Ron, and i really should sleep seeing as we're leaving tomorrow.'

'Can't you just stay up for a bit? It's our last night together before going back to school!.' He said brightly taking her the hand. She groaned, out load this time. He stared at her puzzled.

'Ron, I would actually like to get some sleep tonight. I'm going to bed, goodight.'

'Oh come on Herms..' he pleaded sickly. She fliched at the use of Ron's nickname for he. Herms?.. oh please..

'No, just no...Ron!-' He had brought his lips to hers and she instantly felt repulsed. She pulled away angrily. She had to tell him, this couldn't go on. Hermione sighed and looked him in the eye, still feeling nothing. She opened her mouth to do it, but guilt overwhelmed her at the last minute.

No.' She said firmly. Ron's mouth opened, and then closed. He repeated this a few times before closing his eyes and storming off up the stairs. Hermione bit her lip. It's for the best, she told herself. She stomped into the room in which her and Ginny shared, groaned and slumped down onto the bed, still fully clothed. She didn't even hear a certain red headed girl come in a few minutes later as Hermione had already  fell into a dreamless sleep.

~-~

Draco sat on the edge of his mahogony framed bed, toying with a black ribbon that had once been his mothers. Not that his mother was dead, no. She was away; escaping. Narcissa needed to be away from their manor for a while, away from the death and the destruction, the darkness of it all. It was just him and a few dozen house elves seeing as his father had been locked away as soon as the new Minister for Magic was appointed. Said Minister being Mr Kinglsey Shacklebolt, ex Head of The Auror Department. He sighed and flopped backwards staring at the Slytherin green canopy. He was going back to school the next day. The decision had been made without much consideration at all. He needed to get away from the manor desperately too. He hated it, the dark magic and the evil shadows of death; it chewed him up. He felt constrained and claustraphobic. It was sickening.. He remembered the Death Eaters sitting silently around the table in the drawing room, with Him at the head of the table, glaring down upon them all. He remembered the snake, slithering guiltily, predator like around his feet. Nagini. The mere though made him shiver. He remembered the torturing and the killing and he suddenly felt disgusted. He was glad it was over, but it would remain as a scar on him forever. A scar. He brought up his left arm and pulled up the sleeve, staring at the spot that branded him an outcast from magical society. It was ever so faint, disappearing slowly since He had been destroyed. But he could still feel it, it burnt, reminding him that it was there and reminding him of what he had done. He sighed and pushed the thoughts to the back of his mind, jumping up. He stripped off his robes, threw on some boxer shots and a black t-shirt.

'Lacey!' he called. A tiny pop and a little house elf stood before him. He smiled at her reluctantly.

'Master Draco, how may Lacey help?'

'Can you bring me a hot chocolate?' He asked, and then,

'Please.' He added grimacing. She nodded enthusiastically.

'Of course, Master Draco.' She disappeared with another pop. As he waited, he grabbed his wand and packed his trunk. It took him all of ten seconds, thanks to magic. Lacey appeared again with a steaming mug of hot chocolate. Draco smiled, took it from her trembling hands with a thankyou and she disapparated once more. He sat back down on his bed and took a sip. It warmed him from the inside immediately. He grinned stupidly. She does make the best hot chocolates, he thought to himself. As he was drinking, he thought about this year. It would be different, but still the same. And he felt comforted for the return to normality, without violence and loss. No Dumbledore, no Snape. He sighed at that, he had liked Snape after all. And Dumbledore, well..he thought guiltily, the old nutter had his death planned out anyway! He defended himself from no one. He went to take another sip, only to discover after looking at it grumpily that the mug was empty. He sighed and put it on the bedside table. With a simple flick of his wand, it had disappeared back down to the kitchens. He climbed into bed and turned over. Sleep would come, he told himself. Though it was more of a silent wish.
 

 

 

 

A/N: Okay, so I know this chapter is short, but i was just introducing the story. The rest will be much longer! This won't jump straight into Dramione as they still pretty much destest each other, but i promise the wait wont be too long. So what do you think? Review please! -LadyMalfoyx
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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