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    Chapter Two
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    Trying to hide the pain,
    Going to the place where love
    And feeling good don’t ever cost a thing.
    ―Daughtry


    H.


    A loud crash from above startled Hermione. She had been watching a horror film for the past half hour, and although she knew there was nothing that could hurt her in the muggle London suburbs with her being a witch, had still been nervous.

    What was that noise? She thought to herself, images of grotesque creatures or villainous killers like the ones in her movie flashed in her mind. Another loud clamor from the rooms upstairs only proved her paranoia true.

    Someone had broken into the Granger’s house. A tad bit frightened, Hermione flew up the flight of stairs.

    What she saw on the top of the stairs, she was not prepared for. Hermione for once was caught unbearablely off guard. There was a wolf. A wolf half-personified by the darkness in his soul. A werewolf, she realized, as she looked closer, seeing the beast for what it was.

    Only werewolves were once wizards or witches. They were never muggles—the werewolf venom was too potent for muggles to handle and change—meaning that the half wolf in her home knew exactly whom she was and had taken down her carefully placed guards surrounding her house and neighborhood to get her.

    Hermione moved her hand to her pocket slowly as to not startle the beast. Her fingers gripped what should have been her wand, but instead curled around nothing but air. Nothing? Where had she put her wand?

    Horror flooded through her as she realized it might have slipped in-between the couch cushion while she had been watching her movie.

    But what was she going to do with no wand? She couldn’t duel the beast with wandless magic. That kind f magic was a rare gift and strenuous. She herself could barely cast Accio properly while wandless.

    Wait…Accio?

    Taking a deep breath, preparing for the pain to come from the charm, Hermione closed her eyes and tried to think as loudly, clearly, and convictionally as possible for it to work.

    ACCIO WAND!


    Bright lights burned her eyelids. It was the first thing she become aware of as her mind slowly ebbed away from her worst memory. The next was the dull throbbing of her head. She flinched at the first wave of pain.

    Lastly, she became aware that she was not as alone as she had previously thought. Someone with a large, warm hand was holding her right hand, while on her left a more petite hand held on. And a possible third person—she noticed this when her ears woke up—was speaking desperately. With a sudden grasp at reality, she knew that the person speaking was calling for her.

    That voice was familiar. Wait…Hermione knew that voice! It was Professor McGonagall. The always calm professor calling for her so frantically made her want to wake up fully and open her eyes.

    Slowly—the lights were blindingly bright and her eyelids still heavy—Hermione forced her eyes open, curious to know what was going on. The last time she had been woken up in the same manner was in second year after she was un-petrified.

    The first person she saw Harry. He was staring at a wall, his black eyebrows scrunched together in concentration, as if trying to keep focus on something truly troublingly. He was the one on her right. She looked to her left to see Ginny. The red-haired girl was holding on to her hand tightly, an expression of fear and motherly concern etched on her face. She leaped up and flung her arms around Hermione the moment she saw her staring. Hermione pretended not to flinch in pain when the girl rubbed on the wounds hidden under her clothing.

    “Hermione!” she cried out. “Are you alright? Do you remember what happened? It was simply terrifying! The lights went out; there was a screeching, and the train positively shuttered to a stop for no reason. Thankfully, the emergency lights came on after a few minutes. And Hermione…Harry…I…we were so worried about you.”

    Hermione held the hysterical girl in her arms and rubbed her back as if Ginny were the one injured. “Gin, I’m fine. What happened though, besides the train shuttering to a stop?” Mentioning the train stopping had caused snippet only seconds long to come to her, but nothing helpful.

    She turned to Harry for and explanation and help with calming Ginny down, but Harry being Harry, was useless around a group of girls, much less one. Nostalgically, Hermione remember his girl fiasco last year with a Ravenclaw called Cho Chang.

    McGonagall did help fill in some of the answers. “After the train stopped, I went to make sure all the students were un-harmed. When I came to Mr. Slughorn’s compartment, I was nearly mauled down by your friends.” She momentarily glared at Harry. “They were carrying you unconscious out of the room, and your head was bleeding.”

    Like in the movies when someone mentions a head wound, Hermione moved her hand to her head, filling the smooth skin of her scalp. It was perfect skin, unharmed in any way.
    There were no bandages or scabs like in the movies though.

    “Severus healed you, left not a mark left on your head. It was a good thing he was on the train too, talented with healing charms that man.” McGonagall explained. Hermione didn’t know whether to feel grateful or not that the Potions master had cast charms on her.

    The door opened then, and a startled looking second year rushed in, breathless. “The conductor wants to speak with you about something urgent!” the boy panted.

    “Thank you Conrad.” The deputy Headmistress said before rushing out with the boy.

    No sooner had she left than Harry raised his wand and looked the door, spilling what had been troubling him, “I think Malfoy had something to do with this.”

    “Malfoy?” Hermione questioned. “What could he have possibly done? Harry, he’s a sixth year like us. I don’t think he could perform something this drastic that not even the teachers knew of. Besides he was probably still at the prefects meeting when everything started occurred.”

    “But that’s just it. McGonagall said that the Prefects meeting had been over for at least five minutes or more before the train stopped, giving Malfoy and his cronies plenty of time to put his plan into action.” Harry explained, his nostrils flaring in disgust at the mention of Malfoy.

    “Why are you so against him this year, Harry?” Ginny piped in. “I mean, it’s Malfoy, sure, but Hermione made a point. He’s only a sixth year. What could he have done?”

    “You guys, his father was a Death Eater. It stands to reason with Lucius being out of the picture in Azkaban, that be maybe taking his father’s place.”

    “I still don’t believe he did it.” Hermione concluded stubbornly, crossing her arms as best she could with Ginny still clinging to her.

    The train lurched to life moments later, spending the trio swaying from side to side, before the motion stopped and the train was moving again. Ginny unlocked the door, saying that it would be bad if McGonagall came back to find it locked.

    Harry was still trying to convince them both that Malfoy was behind every thing. “Malfoy did it, Hermione. I know he did.”

    “I still don’t believe it was him who did it.” Hermione argued back for seemed like the a hundredth time in the past twenty minutes.

    “Don’t believe who did what, Ms. Granger?” the tree became aware of another presence occupying them in the room. Professor Snape observed them, his beetle back eyes squinting into a glare all non-Slytherin students were accustomed to since their arrival to the school. “And why, Ms. Weasley, pray tell me, is it that you decided to injure Ms. Granger further by squishing her to death? Five points from Gryffindor for inappropriate use of an infirmary bed, and another for not changing into your robes on time.”

    Ginny blushed a vivid red and scooted of the bed quickly. Harry glared back at the Potions master with only that of pure contempt in his eyes, but did not retort back as Hermione knew he was wanting to do. Hermione too also outraged by Professor Snape’s abusive use of his Head of House power, but too, kept quiet. She already had enough excitement for the first day back.

    “Well, what are you waiting for? We will be arriving at Hogsmeade in no less than twenty-seven minutes and as fashion forward as your Muggle attire may be, it is against the rules.” He drawled snarkily.

    Harry and Ginny left the room reluctantly, leaving Hermione alone in the room with Snape.

    “Ms. Granger, as we were not at Hogwarts when your accident happened, there was no nurse, so McGonagall had me make sure you were out of harms way until he reach the school.” He sounded like he was fishing for a thank you. “Tell me where it hurts, if any pain is present and to what degree.”

    Hermione gulped, feeling extremely alone and vulnerable with only Snape, who was by no mean her biggest fan. There was something about him that set her nerves on an edge. “There is no pain professor,” she lied smoothly, not wanting to be alone with him a moment longer. “Now if you’ll leave, I’ll change into my school uniform.”

    “What are those wounds from?” He demanded suddenly.

    Hermione decided her best tactic as of right now was playing dumb. “What wounds?” Hermione asked, more scared that Snape may have told someone than why he had seen the gashes.

    Had Harry seen them? No, he would have demanded to know what happened. So only Snape knew.

    “The ones only a few weeks old, running from rib to hip, if those are the only ones you have.” His voice suggested that he might have seen the others on her lower back and possibly knew what caused them. But then, that could have all been in Hermione’s head.

    “I tripped and fell…at my cousin’s bout…house.” Without knowing why she was hiding it from someone who—even though it was unlikely—might help her, she fibbed, but not very well. Even to her own ears, she sounded false.

    “Very well, play your game. I don’t know what you were a part of this summer, and I won’t pretend to know either. But when they become infected, as I see they are starting to be, you may want to be more truthful.” he said, his words carefully said to make them sound more daunting, but with no need. Her fears spiked at the mention of infection.

    Snape left, his robes billowing out dramatically in a way that only the Potions Master could knew how to.

    Taking a deep, long breath, Hermione waited for her heart rate to slow down. It was thumping erratically in her chest and echoed in her ears frantically. Seeing her trunk was brought to the compartment—probably at the expense of a house elf—she rushed to it and changed into her robes. The task of changing clothes was only one for hands unfortunately, and her so the fears of infection and death stayed at the forefront of her mind.

    Only moments after she pulled on her outer robes, the train stopped for the second time that day and thankfully at its proper destination.

    Hermione left the compartment was soon as she closed the trunk and set out into the middle of a crowd full of wild and exhausted students. If only she had turned around for a second to see the plumes of black smoke coming out of the door she had just exited and the figure that walked out.

    The figure smiled. Their plan was coming together perfectly.

    :::

    Hermione was the last of the stragglers to exit the train. It was lightly misting outside and there was a slight breeze. Hermione held her outer robes closer to herself to keep warm.

    Being the last off the train meant she was last on the carriages and as her luck—or rather lack of, because her day was lacking it plenty—it was no surprise that fate would stick her with two people who she was very uncomfortable being around.

    Cho and Hermione sat in silence side by side. After the accusations made by Cho during Valentines last year, neither of the two girls wanted to be the first ones to speak, but not the second one either. Gathering up as much proverbial Gryffindor courage as she had left, Hermione spoke to the seventh year Ravenclaw.

    “You made Head Girl.” She stated, pointing to the badge on the girl’s robes. “That’s a great accomplishment.”

    The only other occupant of the Therstral-drawn buggy scoffed at Hermione’s weak attempt at small talk. But what else could you expect from Draco Malfoy? Hermione choose to ignore the childish boy and so did Cho, she noticed.

    Cho smiled tentatively at the praise. “Thanks. I didn’t see you at the meeting. I heard you got hurt. Someone said it was your head. Oh, and that reminds me…the meeting…Malfoy, do you still have her schedule?”

    Malfoy gave the Asian Head Girl a what-in-the-bloody-hell look before reaching into the depths of his pockets and pulled out a piece of crumpled, damp parchment before throwing it at her. “It’s for your patrolling duties,” he explained dryly while rolling his grey eyes.

    “Thanks so very much.” Hermione replied sarcastically while trying to un-crumple the paper without tearing it in the wet places.

    “You know me Granger. No thanks is necessary when helping out mudbloods such as yourself.” He retorted back snarkily.

    Both Cho and Hermione sent a glare his way. Mudblood was a foul word in the wizarding world. A derogatory term for a witch or wizard whose parents were both muggles. It was never a word used civilly.

    Cho pulled out her wand, and for a split second looked as if she were to hex Malfoy, but spelled Hermione’s ruined schedule. In seconds, the ruined paper was brand new, not a cringle or wet splotch on the parchment.

    “Wow, that’s a useful spell,” said Hermione.

    “My dad taught the spell to me. With him being a lawyer, he has to keep all the papers nice, so it’s pretty handy to know. I use it to fix my homework before class.” Cho explained.

    Malfoy just sneered. “You two are pathetic.” It was sad that for someone who would have advantages at learning so much clearly had no appreciation for magic.

    When the carriage reached its destination at the gates of Hogwarts. Hermione could help the smile that fought its way on her lips. She had missed Hogwarts. Missed the classes. Missed the people who made her laugh. The books that made her think and forget. And most importantly, she missed the security. It was like coming home after spending the night in the seventh circle of hell.

    I’m home, she thought before stepping off the carriage and through the doors





    I'm soo sorry for not updating. My other story kind of took over for a while, but here it is chapter two! Thanks to the two reveiwers ilove_HP7899 and thehpyears. Reviews are like heaven, or having your very own Draco Malfoy. ;) Please leave one!

    love always,
    jaz xoxo

    disclaimer: anything that you do recogonize from Harry Potter does not belong to me. I do this for fun not money.

    Update 08/08/2012

    I changed a lot of things, made some scenes longer, and added a creepy part! I wasn't really proud of the first version of this chapter, so I hope this one is much better. :p Reviews are like cupcakes! Everyone loves making and getting them!

    love always,
    jaz xoxo

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