Thanks for reading so far! I'm feeling this one out and just going to see where it takes me. I hope you're enjoying it! 

JKR is the lovely owner and creator of these storie series... I only came up with the specific plot!!! :) 


Chapter 4 ~ Disliking is Worse than Ignoring


After the feast, they had all headed to the dormitories and the 7th year returning students found they had an interesting situation. All 6th and 7th year students had been given their own dormitory, the catch was that it contained all four houses. When they entered, it was just a smaller “waiting” room with a couple chairs and cushions, on the opposite side from the portrait hole there were four different doors, each with a symbol of the house it represented (a lion, serpent, raven and badger). They had also noticed that an invisible bubble surrounded the entrance of the door so other people could not over hear the password. A note had been attached to each door informing them that each house had a common room in their section, but that there was a combined community common room. Each house had a door which opened to a spiral staircase that took them up to the community house room above all their dormitories. A few people had scoffed at the idea of such a thing. Not many people seemed keen on the idea of having Slytherins able to voluntarily share a room with them. Hermione found it unsettling but intriguing. She knew exactly why the Headmistress had done this. It was the older students who held the most anger and grudges for the other houses. She doubted it would ever be used since they all could easily join each other’s private common rooms if they wanted. 

The following morning they found out they had a couple days before classes started and the three upper years of students were given permission to roam the castle and grounds freely, while the younger students were asked to stay within the main highlighted areas on the map provided in all the common rooms. Harry and Ginny felt the best way to relax was to go see and use the new Quiddich pitch. Ron asked if he could join them. Hermione also found out why and where he had disappeared to, apparently he was seeing Parvati. She felt alone. Since Ron had asked Harry thought maybe they should play a mock game and asked Dean Thomas and a couple others to play. Excitedly they all left, leaving Hermione alone to find something to do.

Hermione sat there thinking of where she wanted to go and she thought of the new open common room. Curiosity got the better of her and she tentatively made her way up the spiral staircase to have a look. Her jaw dropped when she walked through the archway that entered into the gigantic room. There were all four house color variations but they have done it right so it wasn’t overwhelming. There were couches, cushions, single chairs, tables and a couple desks in sections of the room and on the outer wall hung tapestries, paintings, huge book cases and beautifully carved wall sconces that had everlasting candles in them. Floating above the middle of the huge room was an ornate and rotating chandelier that had probably 50-100 candles. The different sections of it rotated within and around itself like atoms around a nucleus. It was memorizing. Hermione had been so enraptured by her new surroundings that she hadn’t noticed there was a person sitting in one of the single chairs in a corner slightly in the shadows.

Without her knowing, this person watched her walk around to the bookcases and some portraits, examining them.

“Quite extravagant don’t you think? Especially when I doubt anyone will use this place.”

Hermione jumped while pulling her wand out and pointing it in the direction of voice. Not only was it instinct to react like that now, but the person whose voice it was had also taught her to be on edge.

“Malfoy, what the hell are you doing here?” she said glaring at him and keeping her wand pointed at him.
“Well this is the open common room that anyone can use, is it not? And would you stop pointing your wand at me.”

Ignoring the fact that he hadn’t insulted her she felt all sorts of emotions come over her. She took a step closer and shouted,

“Why the hell are you even here? You Slytherin git. I don’t remember you openly taking a stand against Voldemort yet you sit here like everything is fine.”
“Granger,” he said dangerously low, “You don’t know anything about me and what happened in the war… I am back so deal with it mud—Granger. The way out is right there.”

And with that he pointed to the Gryffindor archway and went back to his book. Stunned but anger, Hermione turned around and stomped out of the room. Next time she’d be more careful and look around to see if anyone was in there. Feeling extremely irritated and alone, she decided to sit down and write George a letter.

Dear George,

I hope you’re mum is handling everyone being away alright. Please send her my regards.

So to say this last year is going to be an interesting one is an understatement. McGonagall has this new house point pillar for houses that earn what are called “unity points”. Pretty much if two houses are getting along or helping each other they get points and at the end of the year will be honored somehow. Lets just say that’s got a lot of people talking, although the only house that’s going to be a problem is Slytherin. Before the feast began Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Gryffindor were all mixed together and consoling each other, Slytherin just kind of sat there.

Oh, and you know what else is just dandy (and I say that with all the sarcasm I can muster)… All the 6th and 7th years of all four houses are sharing a dormitory tower. We each are still separated and have private house common rooms, but then above all of us there is an open community common room. I doubt anyone will use it, but of course I’ve already had an unpleasant encounter in there. With who, you’re wondering… well it was our favorite bouncing ferret that’s who. I don’t know what his deal is but he’s acting weird and he even stopped himself from calling me a “mudblood”. I was so surprised I didn’t even respond.

I wanted to check in with you, but I was also feeling really alone. Harry and Ginny have each other… Ron is with Parvati Patil… and today a bunch of them went out to play Quiddich. I was thinking of visiting the memorial after writing you. The papers didn’t do it any justice… it really is quite beautiful. Last night they had it surrounded by candles and it made it glow and kind of pulse.

Keep your head up!

Love, Hermione

She finished writing it and went to go have Vena take it to George. After attaching it to her leg and watching her fly off she made her way back through the grounds to the memorial. She gazed at it and started looking through the names. She saw so many that she knew and found the names of those who she held close to her heart; Fred, Tonks, Lupin, Sirius (who was included), Dumbledore, and a few others. Tears were streaming down her face and she collapsed on the ground in front of the wall. She reached out to touch the wall and trace their names but she was surprised that when her hand made contact with the stone that it felt warm. Not from the sun, but a warmth emanating from the inside. This is so beautiful… if nothing else good happens this year for me, at least I got to see and experience this.

Once Hermione had composed herself she made her way back into the castle. Not feeling up to eating in the Great Hall, she made her way down to the kitchens to pay the house elves a visit. After tickling the fruit and stepping through, she was met by a round of applause once they noticed her. Winky stepped forward and spoke in her squeaky voice,

“Ms. Granger we is so happy to see yous back. We house elves are proud to be back here and you is to thank.”

Hermione tried not to cry again and bowed her head in acknowledgment. They bustled around making lunch and sending it up to the tables but also made sure she had everything she wanted as well. When she was leaving, one the elves came up to her with a basket and told her it was for her and Mr. Harry Potter to share with their friends. Hermione thanked them and left. Those little creatures were so giving and selfless. She wondered how many of them had fallen during the war and the final battle. Her eyes went to her scar yet again… Dobby had died saving them from the manor. She owed him her life and she tried to remind herself of her decision to make her scar represent that, but she frequently failed.  

She wandered past a window that happened to be facing the pitch and saw that red and gold blurs were still zooming around so Hermione decided to go to her safe place, the library. Being one of the few students who actually used the library frequently, she had found a lovely window seat cubby that had two huge windows and a desk. Rarely did anyone come upon her while she was there because it was along an outer wall at the end of an aisle of bookshelves. Part of the reason she liked it was because it really was only big enough for two people and there was an etiquette among library goers that if you found someone sitting in the same spot more than twice it was unofficially “their spot”. Plus many people who came in only were there to find a book and check it out or to study with a group of people which required a larger table that were located more in the center of the library.

Hermione found her spot and pulled out the books she had randomly grabbed while walking in the aisles. She cracked a window and made herself comfortable in the window seat that looked out over the grounds and lake. During a break from reading, she stretched and surveyed the landscape. She noticed a figure walking around the lake and sit by the tree she had frequented in the past. It only took a moment to realize who it was… no one else had that color hair and was male and was a little taller than average. Malfoy. At the moment he turned to face the school and looked up at it. Hermione ducked before she realized that it was almost impossible for him to see her sitting here. Stupid ferret she thought and went back to her books. The next time Hermione looked up she noticed how late it was and knew if had to be about dinner time. She gathered her things and headed to the Great Hall this time to eat.

When she walked in she found that people were already starting to ignore the house tables and were sitting where they wanted and with their friends. Luna and Hannah Abbott had joined the so called Gryffindor table, and Parvati (followed by Ron) had gone to sit with her Ravenclaw sister and friends. She took a seat between Neville and Harry. Listening for just a couple seconds told her that there had been a few spectators to the pick-up Quiddich game and people were talking about plays that were made. Harry greeted her with a quick hug but she was otherwise ignored. That stung a little. Then she suddenly heard the topic change to parents and grandparents and she excused herself. No one, not even Harry, made any connection to why she was leaving and just waved while they continued talking. As she entered their common room she saw the basket that she had set down earlier. She looked inside and grabbed a couple desserts before hiding herself in her bed and fell asleep early.



Draco’s View…

Having woken up and seen that everyone had left, he decided to take a look at this shared common room knowing that no one would be up there. The room was huge and everything was placed just right. He grabbed a couple books from one of the many bookcases and then settled in a single armchair that could fit 3 people. It was nicely tucked back in some shadows but still lit enough to read. He had been for around an hour and then had thought back to the night before. Granger had seen him at the stone memorial, he knew this because their eyes had met. He felt the same sensation he’d had all summer whenever he thought of her. It was something he could not describe and didn’t really know what it meant, but the feeling had grown since he’d seen her tortured by his aunt. He had wanted to stop it, but there was no way he could have without getting himself and his family killed or something possible worse.

Last night when he’d bowed his head, it wasn’t because he really knew or had been close to many of those people. But, he had admired them and respected what they had done and their sacrifice. There were days that he felt he’d be better off if he’d done something to help the good side and died. Died in front of everyone who doubted where he wanted his loyalties to be. Then he could have been more true to himself and instead of being in people’s way, his name would be on that stone. Free. But because of his actions he now had a more difficult path to walk in order to show people what he wanted to. He wished so badly that his mother was there for him to talk to… Just then his thoughts were interrupted by the sound of someone walking into the room. He looked up to see Granger admiring the room and beginning to walk around. She hadn’t noticed him yet so he stay silent and still. After a little longer he couldn’t control himself, he spoke,

“Quite extravagant don’t you think? Especially when I doubt anyone will use this place.”

She jumped while pulling her wand out and pointed it at him. Not good.

“Malfoy, what the hell are you doing here?” she said glaring and keeping her wand pointed at him.
“Well this is the open common room that anyone can use, is it not? And would you stop pointing your wand at me.” He said irritated.

She always was so headstrong and even though she was smart, he sometimes felt like she didn’t always put two and two together. His response seemed to hit a nerve because she exploded at him,

 “Why the hell are you even here? You Slytherin git. I don’t remember you openly taking a stand against Voldemort yet you sit here like everything is fine.”

Now she had struck a nerve… how dare she say anything about standing up to Voldemort when she had no idea what it was like to live in the same house as him.

“Granger,” he said dangerously low, “You don’t know anything about me and what happened in the war… I am back so deal with it mud—Granger. The way out is right there.”

He had stopped himself from using that disgusting word. Even though she made him so irritated at times he never wanted to call her that again. He watched for a second as she fumed and composed her shock, then he heard her storm out and down the spiral staircase that led to her dormitory. After she was gone, he threw his book down and let out a strangled groan of exasperation. If he couldn’t get across anything to her, he doubted he could make anyone else see him as anything other than a Death Eater. Covering his face with his hands, he sat there for a few minutes before a thought occurred to him. He got up and walked over to the archway that led to the Gryffindor dormitory. Could he go down there? No, otherwise they wouldn’t have protected doors and password, right? He couldn’t help himself, he had to find out.

Draco took a cautious step forward, nothing happened. Then he took another and another until he was passed the archway and standing at the head of the stairway leading down to their door. He kept walking carefully down the stairs until he was almost to the door. Then he hit the invisible shield guarding it. He sighed. Of course it wouldn’t have left him get into their area, but he had gotten further than he expected to. He made his way back up the stairs and then returned to his room to grab his cloak and say hi to Seren. She eyed him as though she knew exactly what he had just done.

“Oh stop looking at me like that. It didn’t let me get too close and I wouldn’t have gone in anyways.”

The cat just continued to look at him. Would I have gone in? No, that would probably be suicide if any Gryffindor’s were in there. Plus, on the flipside I wouldn’t want them to be able to get to near my stuff uninvited either. He patted his kittens head and then went to grab his stuff for a walk outside after a quick bit to eat. As he entered the hall and began eating, he noticed that Granger never showed up. Had he pissed her off that much? He stabbed at his food. It wasn’t his fault that she got so worked up and he hadn’t instigated anything either!

Blaise sat down next to him but then noticed the mutilated food on Draco’s plate.

“Uh is it safe to approach?” he said half-jokingly.

Draco really didn’t want to be near anyone, but he’d escape in a few minutes when he’d be done eating and go for a walk.

“So what’s up?”
“Nothing.” He lied, but he also didn’t feel like talking about it.
“Uh huh…”

Draco got up to leave but fortune did not smile on him in this instant. His least favorite person besides Ron Weasley had just run up to him.

“Draco!!!” Pansy gushed, “I’m sooo glad you came back. Now we can be together for more time and start planning the wedding and everything!”
“Um excuse me, there is no us and no wedding… I would never marry you.”
“But Draco, you remember what your father said.”
“I don’t give a shit what my father said, or thought. He’s not around and has no control over me anymore so don’t ever bring this up again.”

Then he stormed off. Women. Right now he hated all of them, except his mother, but the rest of them could just cease to exist for the moment. Once he finally passed all the staring people and got outside things changed and became a little better. He wandered around and made his way to the lake. He sat down under the gigantic tree that hung slightly over the lake and looked back up at the castle. Draco now appreciated what so many others had felt about this place. It really was a welcoming and warm environment. He just wished he could have realized this earlier. Leaning back against the tree he closed his eyes and thought of his mother. Anger built up inside him and he punched the ground. Ow. He tried to calm his breathing and then heard purring. Opening his eyes he saw Seren sitting next to him. When he looked at her she lifted a paw and set it on his leg. She held his gaze for a moment and then ran to chase a leaf that had just blown down a few feet away.

Draco laughed. She could be so sweet and then stern and then turn into a normal playful kitten in the matter of moments. Feeling it was getting late and towards dinner, he scooped Seren up and walked back to the castle with her sitting on his shoulder. You’re cute… you damn little furball.



Hermione’s View…  

The couple days before classes started just flew by, but Hermione was glad. She needed something to distract herself. Ron and Parvati were becoming unbearable. Not just with the PDA and behavior, but how they treated her. Parvati would give Hermione looks and Ron ignored her completely. Instead of trying to talk to her, he was moving further away from saving any sort of friendship and she didn’t fully understand why. Very often she was alone because Ginny would be with Harry off talking quietly away from people. Hermione’s guess was that Harry had gone to see the memorial and was struggling. The only thing that had sort of kept her going was the reply letter from George.

Hermione had fallen back into her habit. She was there for George and wrote words of encouragement while ignoring the fact that she could shatter herself at any point. By helping him, she was somewhat able to push her own feelings aside and focus on him. That was until she tried to fall asleep at night when her pain flooded into her and she had nightmare after nightmare about being tortured and then that painful phrase, “it would have been better if you’d died.” Those words haunted her so much. But she wouldn’t add more pain to anyone else’s life so she hadn’t told a soul.

The Wednesday of classes dawned bright and early and groans could be heard throughout the castle corridors. While sitting at breakfast that morning, they received their class schedules and Harry was given a letter informing him that he had been made Quiddich captain again. This lifted his spirits immensely. As Ginny and Harry began to talk about tryouts and the team practices, Hermione looked at her schedule and vividly imagined herself banging her head on the table. Almost all of Gryffindor classes were with the Slytherins. Complaints started to erupt along the table as others noticed this too. Ron came over and exploded to Harry of course and then sat down practically on top of her. He just glared at her and then went back to Harry. Hermione felt the well-known prickling sensation and got up to start walking to class. Ginny joined her.

“Did Ron just sit on you?” She said glaring at the back of her brother’s head.
“Um, yeah –“
“You know, he turns into such a jerk whenever he gets together with someone. I mean, I know we were all mad at you and I think it hurt Ron more than he’ll admit, but he doesn’t need to treat you this way.”

Hermione just nodded. She appreciated Ginny’s support but she doubted that Ginny was aware of all the rude behavior Parvati had been giving her too. Their first class was Transfiguration and Hermione was eager to see who the new teacher was since McGonagall was now headmistress. When they entered there was a younger middle-aged witch sitting at the desk that sat at the front of the classroom. She didn’t look up as they walked in and took seats on the side but near to the front. Once everyone else had filed in and Harry and Ron sat behind them, the new professor stood up and looked around. She had sharp eyes but a soft face, making it impossible for Hermione to tell if she was going to be strict of not.

“Welcome. I am Professor Mirtac. I do not allow extraneous wand use in this class, you will work on what the assignment is unless I give permission to do otherwise. This class is about learning different methods for transforming items, animals, people and things. I expect you to pay attention and not practice your other homework in here. Is that understood?”

There were nodding heads around the room. No one wanted to speak after hearing her voice in such a strict way.

“I am always prepared to give points for excellent work, but I am just as quick to take away points if you goof-off. Please turn to page 5 and skim over the description of the spell and incantation we will be working on today.”

Hermione looked at it and realized she already knew this spell and had used it frequently. She raised her hand.

“Yes Ms. ---?”
“Ah yes, I’ve heard about you.” She said eyeing her, “what is your question?”
“Well I, um, I already know this spell and have used it.”
“I see, well in that case just wait for my next instructions and then we’ll go from there.”

Then she turned away to observe whether the class was done reading. Several people were staring at her for how she had spoken to Hermione. No one besides Snape had ever treated her that way. Hermione just sat there confused. Why did this teacher seem so harsh? When professor Mirtac deemed everyone done and ready to move on she spoke,

“Now that you’ve all finished reading I’m going to divide you into pairs and seating partners.”

Everyone looked around and felt uneasy. This was a Gryffindor/Slytherin class.

“Harry Potter and Blaise Zabini… Ronald Weasley and Zachery Jenkis… Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy... Ginny Weasley and -.”

Hermione stopped listening and put her head down on the desk. This professor had it in for her. Why on earth would anyone put her and Malfoy together? Ginny squeezed her hand and held it for the remainder of the divisions. As they all got up and relocated, Harry kissed her on the head. She kept her head down as she felt someone sit down next to her and didn’t even lift it when professor Mirtac started talking again.

“With your partner you will be learning and experimenting with what we study. I understand that your two houses have been rivals a long time and that some of you have personal grudges, however, I do not care. I expect you to behave and not purposely endanger your partner in any way. So, for the rest of class you will work together on this spell.”

As soon as she stopped speaking she walked back around her desk and sat down. She flicked her wand so several instructions appeared on the board and then set about looking through some papers. Hermione could not believe this. She had to work with someone who despised her and had tried to harm her in the past? She considered running, but that wouldn’t do anything but cause more trouble for her.

He cleared his throat next to her and she stiffened. She did not look at him but listened as he spoke,

“So am I just going to work on this by myself, since, as usual, you already know it?”

She lifted her head but said nothing.

“Seriously Granger? Why don’t you stop being so bloody stubborn and work with me here. This affects my bloody grade as well you know.”
“Alright fine… but I’m not putting up with any of your bull Malfoy. One toe out of line and I’ll hex you into oblivion.”

He just smirked at her. Ugh she hated that look. No he hadn’t insulted her yet but she felt that something was off and supposed he could flip at any moment.

“So… Ms. Know-It-All, where do I start?”

She glared at him.

“Do this with your wand as you speak.”
“But that’s not what the book says…”
“You want my help or not?”

He started working at it and she just watched him out of the corner of her eye. She contemplated their interactions so far. He had not really insulted her, he hadn’t called her a Mudblood and she thought it was safe to say that he was attempting to be civil. She looked around and saw Ginny working with one of the more timid looking Slytherins. Harry and Blaise seemed to be at least finding a way to work together and Ron… Well Ron and his partner were arguing over what the right thing to do was. Served him right, the dirty rat.

Focusing back on Malfoy she noticed he kept doing an extra flick of his wand. She grimaced, the only way to get him to notice and fix it was to physically adjust his hand movement.

“No, you’re doing it wrong.” She told him and then grabbed his hand.

He looked at her in surprise and almost dropped his wand. He had obviously not been expecting her to make contact. Hermione on the other hand was trying not to feel awkward but was also noticing that his hands were warm. When she finally did the proper movement with his hand a few times and was satisfied he could figure it out she quickly let go. He smirked again.

“See, touching me didn’t kill you.”
“Surprised you let someone like me touch you at all. Didn’t think you wanted this kind of filth to get too close.”

His smirk turned into a scowl and he looked away while muttering,

“Maybe you should stop making so many bloody assumptions when you don’t know anything.”

Just then the bell rang and he sprinted out of his seat and left her sitting there. She gathered her things and stood up when,

“Ms. Granger, can I have a word.”

Hermione stepped around her desk and went to stand in front of the much larger desk.

“I expect you not to be so rude or demanding with your partner. He didn’t look very happy when he left just now. You may go.”

Hermione wanted to scream. Did she have any idea who that person was? It was only the first class of the day and of the year and her life was already falling into a pit. A teacher who seemed to hate her, she was partnered with Malfoy and on top of that she didn’t really have friends who were around anymore. Yep, great year this was going to be.  

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