The next morning, Hermione woke in an awful mood, and for a few short moments, she couldn't quite remember why. And then it hit her. Ron. Malfoy. She rolled over and groaned into her pillow, really not wanting to get up. Life was easier snuggled up in her bed. If she got up, she'd be entering her world of drama. After a few minutes of lying motionless, she sighed and reached over to her bedside table where her silver watch lay. Six thirty, I've got time. Slowly and lazily, she pulled herself out of bed and dragged herself to the bathroom. Looking in the mirror, she observed that she looked an absolute state. Her cheeks were blotchy from last night and her hair was very frizzy. Groaning, she locked the door to his room and jumped in the shower.
The smell of raspberry shampoo soon wafted through the large room along with a vast amount of steam. Hermione let the hot water unknot her back and help her relax. After a longer shower than normal, she climbed out, fixed her hair and changed into her robes. Back in her room, the sun and her scarlet curtains were illuminating every surface a warm red. She smiled and opened the curtains to see the sun climbing up from the horizon slowly. She dumped her pajamas on her bed and checked the glimmering watch again. Seven o clock, I've got time. She grabbed a book from her trunk, Advanced Magical Charm Theorem, picked up her wand and bag and trudged down her spiraling staircase to the huge Common Room that she happened to share with him.
Choosing the comfier looking arm chair, she dropped into it and began to read
...for that matter, intention is key even when one does speak the noun; otherwise, "Accio broomstick" would bring every broomstick in the world that isn't nailed down. The caster must be concentrating on a specific broomstick, for example, for the spell to work.
Even charmed objects will respond more or less strongly depending on the intention of the wizard...'
She knew all of this of course. Advanced? Please. This is OWL stuff. She gave up on reading and tossed the book on the coffee table. After a few minutes, one of the portraits on the wall spoke and Hermione jumped.
'Miss Head Girl, I have been asked to inform you that your Headmistress is waiting outside your portrait hole, as she is unaware of the changed password.'
Hermione jumped up in shock. McGonagall? Calling at this early?! She thanked the man quickly and practically ran to the portrait hole. She whipped it open, and sure enough was a stern looking Professor McGonagall standing right in the doorway. Hermione stepped aside and McGonagall walked in before Hermione could say anything.
'Good Morning, Miss Granger. How are you? I daresay I most definitely approve of you changing the password, I most certainly couldn't get in. Although, It would probably be best if I knew, so I won’t be badgered by Sir Cadogan out there...'
'Oh, Morning Professor. I'm good thank you. Oh yes, sorry. The password is Felix felicis...' McGonagall smiled.
'Nice choice of password. You're probably wondering why I am here so early. I apologise for this. I must talk to you about organising your first meeting with the prefects.' Hermione felt a twang of guilt. She had completely forgotten about that.
'And where is Mr Malfoy?'
Hermione's guilt turned to anger and she gritted her teeth.
'He's still in bed, I believe.' she said, as un-coldly as possible. The Headmistress eyebrows furrowed in disapproval.
'Hmm, shall we sit down for the time being?'
'Of course!' Hermione led her over to the chairs where she sat back down in the arm chair she was in before. McGonagall sat down promptly on the settee. Surely she isn't going to just wait for Malfoy to get, knowing him, we'll be here forever! Before she could say anything, McGonagall addressed the portrait that Hermione spoke to before.
'Thank you for informing Miss Granger, Augustus.'
'The pleasure was mine, Minerva.' The portrait replied warmly.
'Professor? Are we just going to wait-'
'Oh heavens no. I was just about to call Kreacher. Kreacher!'
There was a tiny pop and an ugly looking house elf dressed in an oversised Muggle boys shirt appeared. The shirt was ragged and had burns all over it. You could see the lump of the locket underneath it. He recognised Hermione and nodded at her before bowing to McGonagall.
'Yes, your Headmistress, what can Kreacher do you for this morning?'
'I believe you are acquainted with the Malfoy family, yes Kreacher?' Kreacher nodded and the professor continued.
'Excellent, now will you please go and wake Mr Malfoy up, as I need to speak with him.'
Kreacher bowed once more and disappeared. Hermione was now alone with her Headmistress again, and there was an awkward silence that hung in the air. Until-
Hermione's head flung around to face the direction of Malfoy's staircase and she had to repress a giggle. It sounded as though Kreacher had had too much fun waking up Malfoy. There was another few minutes of silence, only to be broken by Kreacher reappearing in the Common Room. He smiled sickly.
'Master Draco is woken, Headmistresses.' McGonagall nodded and Kreacher disapparated one last time. Hermione giggled out loud and Professor McGonagall smiled at her.
'He has his ways...'
Draco Malfoy waltzed into the Common Room a few minutes later, pulling on a shoe. He looked around grumpily and walked over to the two women. He strutted straight past Hermione, not wanting to make eye contact. He assumed that she was still mad about last night. A loud huff told him he has assumed correctly. He sat down on the arm chair opposite hers and looked expectantly at the professor.
'Good morning, Mr Malfoy. It is kind of you to join us.' Malfoy nodded curtly.
'Well, we are here to discuss your first meeting with the prefects, which you have obviously failed to organise. You shall be organising a Hogsmeade weekend soon and getting proposals for the Celebration Ball. Understood?'
The two heads nodded, not daring to look at each other. Hermione was furious with Malfoy, and he knew it. He hadn't meant to say what he said. It just sort of, slipped out...
'When shall I tell the prefects that the first meeting will be held?'
'Erm... We can do it tomorrow night, I suppose?' Hermione put forth. McGonagall looked in Malfoy's direction and again, he nodded without a word.
'Excellent, I shall let them know at breakfast! Have a nice day, you two.'
And with that, she left. Hermione and Draco sat alone in the Common Room opposite each other. Draco glanced a look at her and noticed she was staring away from him, hard.
'Granger, I didn't mean to. It was a slip o-'
'Slip of the tongue, was it Malfoy? You've already used that excuse once before. Don't try it again.'
Before Malfoy could retort, Hermione grabbed her bag, pocketed her wand and stormed out of the Common Room. She made it down to breakfast quickly, and to her annoyance, Ron was seated at the Gryffindor table with Ginny. She didn't want to sit with him. No way. She looked up and down the table quickly and spotted Parvati sitting towards to end with Dean. She hurried over to them and greeted them brightly. They were surprised, but talked to her all the same.
Draco sat defeated in the arm chair in the Common Room as he watched the mass of brown hair disappear through the portrait hole. He stood up and kicked the table leg.
'Women!' he shouted, exasperatedly. After a few moments, he realised that his actions had actually hurt his foot and he sat down again a massaged it. I don't even know why I care so much?! It's just Granger! He thought about it for a moment. You did want to make peace. You did promise to never call her that again. A small voice was talking to him in the back of his head. Face it, you want to be friends with her. He was hit with sudden realisation. No? Really... ? He knew the answer subconsciously.
'Shut up.' he told himself quietly. Grabbing his bag and wand he stalked out of the Common Room. He wasn't hungry at all, and he wasn't in the mood for talking to people. Especially Pansy, who he had been trying his utmost hardest to avoid these past few weeks. It helped not being the in Slytherin Common Room anymore. Instead of taking the usual right turn towards the Great Hall, he took the route he didn't take very often. The route to the library. The library was practically empty at this time of the morning, and the only person he saw was Madam Pince scurrying around the book shelves.
He sat down in a secluded corner on a comfy arm chair. He had never been one for non-stop, continuous reading. No, that was Granger’s past-time. However, he did like to learn. He picked up one of the books lying on the ground next to him. It was about Transfiguration, good. His new favourite subject. No dark magic, no torture, no death. He read until his first class, until he unhappily walked to Charms.
History of Magic was a bore. Ginny sat tapping her quill on the table next to Hermione. For the first time she could remember, Hermione had her head in her arms and wasn’t paying that much particular attention to what Professor Binns was saying. A new topic had been added to the History of Magic NEWTs curriculum; The Battle of Hogwarts. As if you know half of it, thought Hermione, bitterly. She turned her head to face the table where Harry and Ron were sitting. She hadn’t spoken to Ron since their little argument the night before. She didn’t plan to any time soon, to be perfectly honest. He was slumped down in his chair and staring out the tiny window. She looked at Harry, he had his head in his arms too. When he caught Hermione’s eye, he rolled his eyes sarcastically in Binns’ direction.
Hermione suddenly remembered how awkward this class would be for Harry to sit in. After all, he was the one who defeated Voldemort. Harry smiled at her warmly and she returned it, though rather weakly. Reluctantly, she forced herself to look at the ghost at the front of the classroom. He was rambling on about how the war came about. Harry’s name popped up frequently, and when it did, some students in the class would conspicuously turn to him. Hermione felt a rush of pride for Harry, being able to put up with that. She remembered back to her fourth her, when Rita Skeeter printed an article about her in the Daily Prophet. The attention she got from that was bad enough! At least this was the last lesson of the day. After this, she could have dinner and retreat to her Common Room, alone. This was becoming a recurring habit; always being along.
Draco grumbled angrily and the rained sheeted in front of him. He could barely see any of the students flying above him. Technically speaking, with everything on his mind and his arguments with Hermione, he had left Quidditch try outs to the last minute. Last minute being the operative phrase, seeing as the first Slytherin match was against Gryffindor, in a week’s times. He didn’t even know why he bothered really, the Slytherin’s trying out this year were atrocious.
Many of them were second and third years; whom some couldn’t tell which end of the broom went behind. He dismissed them coldly, the weather was doing nothing for his mood.
Many of them were second and third years; whom some couldn’t tell which end of the broom went behind. He dismissed them coldly, the weather was doing nothing for his mood.
Six people had tried out for the position of Chaser. One was brilliant; Warrington. But he had been on the team before. Three were absolutely crap, and the other two were okay. One of these happened to be his best friend. No one tried out for the position of Beater so he left the job to Crabbe and Goyle. Considering this, he realised that Crabbe and Goyle might be the reason why people didn’t want to try out. They had a pretty nasty temper. All the Keeper’s was crap, but he chose the one that could catch fairly decently and move fairly quickly. Of course, he was Seeker; the Captain and back bone of the team. He had even laughed at a few fourth years who turned up to try out for Seeker. Did they really think he was going to give up his position? Ha, no.
Draco watched up just as Warrington belted the Quaffle at his best friend, who, unsurprisingly, didn’t catch it. Draco moaned. This was going to be a long, vigorous week. He blew his whistle loudly and squinted to see the six players flying down towards him.
Dinner was a loud affair, as usual. Hermione still wasn’t talking to Ron. Sure, she was being stubborn, but he had most certainly violated her trust. Not that he was paying that much attention to her anyway. He was in an in-depth conversation, or was it an argument? Either way, with Dean over Muggle football. After seven years, Ron still didn’t see the point in it and refused point-blankly to compare it to something as “remarkable” as Quidditch. Speaking of, Harry and Ginny were having a conversation about tactics. Seeing as Hermione was neither a fan of football or Quidditch, she sat quite back from the table being rather anti-social. Though she wasn’t the only one.
Across the hall was a very distracted looking Draco Malfoy. Hermione studied him inconspicuously. His head was hung low, his hair was untidy, though it appeared that he had attempted to tame it. He wasn’t eating, just poking his food around the plate with his fork. And despite a pug-faced Pansy badgering him, he didn’t say a word throughout dinner. He was emotionally distance. It was kind of… sad to see him like that. No. Thought Hermione firmly. Don’t pity him, don’t forget last night. She didn’t want to talk or even think about Malfoy.
‘So Hermione…’ asked Ginny, out of the blue. ‘How’s living with the ferret?’ She added sweetly.
Thanks Ginny. Hermione groaned inwardly.
‘Oh, you know… It’s alright. We don’t really talk, to be honest.’ She lied, weakly. Ginny nodded, evidently not wishing to further the topic.
‘It’s not the same, really Hermione. You not being in the Common Room…’ said Harry.
‘I know. I miss those days, but…’ she really had nothing else to say. Luckily for her, McGonagall stepped up to the front and dismissed them to bed. There was suddenly loud chatter and the scraping of benches on stone. Students filed out of the Great Hall in groups, chatting happily, and some sleepily. Hermione saw a mass of platinum blonde hair disappear up the staircase quickly. There really is something wrong with him. She was about to say goodnight to Harry and Ginny, when she heard her name being called from behind.
‘Miss Granger! Miss Granger!’ Professor McGonagall was walking briskly towards her.
‘Potter, Weasley, it is nice to see you.’ She greeted Harry and Ginny. ‘Miss Granger, would you mind coming with me for a moment?’
Hermione was taken aback, but nodded nether the less. The muttered a hurried good night to Harry and Ginny and quickly followed the Headmistress through the mass of students trying to get to their Common Rooms. Hermione was led to Dumbledore’s old office. She didn’t know why she kept referring to it as that, but it sounded weird calling it McGonagall’s office. When they arrived, McGonagall gave the handsome, and newly repaired, Gargoyle the password.
‘Liquorice Wand!’ she said promptly. Hermione smiled.
‘I thought I’d keep his tradition with the sweet names.’ The professor mused. His office hadn’t changed at all. His vast amount of brass and silver instruments were still cluttered around the circular room. The Penseive stood illuminating in its cabinet and all the books remained perfectly in place. The only difference was two new portraits. Dumbledore and Snape. Severus Snape was fast asleep in his face, sitting on a dark mahogany chair with black leather upholstery. It was unusual for Hermione to see him so vulnerable. And peaceful. Dumbledore was as brilliant as ever, one of the only portraits awake in the office. His half moon spectacles glistened in the light from the fire brackets on the wall. His piercing blue eyes looked down at Hermione warmly.
‘Ah, Miss Granger. It is a pleasure to see you again!’ The portrait Dumbledore said.
‘And you too, professor.’ Dumbledore chuckled.
‘I do not believe I am your professor anymore!’ Hermione smiled weakly.
‘That’s enough Albus, I wish to talk to Miss Granger…’ said Professor McGonagall, butting in in a rather motherly tone. Dumbledore smiled apologetically. She indicated for Hermione to sit down and she did so, whereas McGonagall sat on the other side of the large desk. For the second time that day, Hermione was awkwardly sitting in a room alone with her Headmistress.
‘I see you and Mr Malfoy have had some difficulties in starting your Head Girl and Boy-ship.’
Hermione looked at her knees, remembering the previous night’s experiences she had tried to forget.
‘Er…’ McGonagall smiled, understandingly.
‘Yes, there hasn’t been a Gryffindor and Slytherin pair for Head Boy and Girl for a very long time now. I suppose you’ve probably wondered why he was chosen.’ Hermione nodded her head.
‘You would obviously know all about Draco’s experience with the Death Eaters of course. But you may not know that he did not do it out of wish, but force. He was threatened. He didn’t choose to become a Death Eater. I believe it is one of the regrets he must live with every day. It is like a constant burden he must carry around.’
Hermione instantly felt very guilty and sorry for him.
‘I… I had no idea. I mean, I assumed, but…’
‘He is a good man. We gave him the role of Head Boy as a second chance. We know he is capable of the responsibilities. It is to let him know we still all have faith in him. That’s a very hard thing for him to accept, he is under the impression the world hates him for being associated with the Death Eaters. He needs your help, Hermione; to reform him.’
‘Right...’ Said Hermione quietly. ‘I’ll see about sorting things out with him.’ She said, not entirely convincingly. It seemed to work well enough though as Professor McGonagall beamed.
‘Thank you. You can go now. Good night, Miss Granger.’
Hermione stumbled out of the Headmistress office sombrely. Is that really what he’s carrying around with him? She felt censurable. Maybe she had been too hard on him. Maybe he had an excuse for last night. And then she remembered. No, he called me a Mudblood. There shouldn’t be any excuse for that. Should there? She didn’t care what Professor McGonagall wanted her to do. He was a nasty git, and if he was to remain that way, Hermione was going to be stubborn. On her way back to the Common Room, she was sure she felt some strange looks from the portraits. The muttering darkly did nothing for her appearance or sanity.
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