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Summary: When the gang are forced to share a train compartment with Draco Malfoy, there is no way that it is going to be friendly. Draco has secrets of his own that he is hiding... She combed her red hair in excitement, pulling on her shabby jeans and red tank top in a hurry. She wandered around the room idly putting things in their places for no apparent reason. It was September 1st, and Ginny Weasley was preparing to leave for King’s Cross Station. As her mother’s order, she called George and Fred, who were staying at the Burrow over the weekend, and got them to levitate her luggage down the stairs. She couldn't wait for the time when she, too, was allowed to use magic at home.

Arriving at King’s Cross, Ginny caught sight of brown hair, and hurried towards it. She grinned up at Hermione Granger, who seemed to have finally had her growth spurt over the holidays and towered half a head taller then most of the seventh years. “How are you, ‘Mione?” she asked.

Hermione smiled back at her. “You ask that when you only saw me last weekend? Ever since you’ve been seeing that friend of mine, I hardly get time to miss you before seeing you again!” Harry had been staying with Hermione over the summer along with Ron, while Ginny had remained at the Burrow.

Ginny turned pink, and opened her mouth to make some witty reply when a long arm went around her shoulders. “Hello sweetheart,” a deep voice drawled. Smiling up at Harry, she wrapped an arm around his waist. Ginny’s boyfriend’s voice had finally broken, and it was now as deep as Ron’s had been for some years.

“Hi,” she said quietly, turning her mouth up for the kiss that Harry neatly planted on her lips.

“For goodness sake, can a guy say hello to his mate without him pashing some common girl?” laughed another voice, and Ron walked up to the group, draping arms around both of their shoulders, sticking his head in between them and making kissing noises.

Ginny pulled apart from Harry and smiled up at Ron. “How are you Ginny? Enjoy staying with mum and dad?” He grinned.

“Alright,” she sighed. “Holidays were boring. Bill went to Austria for a holiday, and I hung out by myself when I wasn’t with you guys.”

Hermione laughed. “Poor Ginny- spending ten minutes by yourself! How did you cope?”

Ginny giggled, and gave Hermione an affable push. “Shuddup,” she growled, mock-angrily.

Although they were not aware of it, the group of friends were being watched. As they had talked, they had walked through the barrier and onto the Hogwarts Express. Not yet bothering to go through the tedious business of finding a compartment, they had stood in the narrow pathway chatting. Tucked away in a small compartment with the door open, Draco Malfoy glared at the group with gray eyes, wondering what possessed Gryffindor’s to throw back and forth this frivolous banter with no seeming intention of stopping it. Hermione however, peered into the compartment and Draco (not wanting it to be known that he was eavesdropping) pushed himself back into a shadowy corner, feeling the leather pattern of the seats imprint itself in his skin.

“This one’s empty!” Hermione announced, leading the way into the compartment. The group followed her and were about to sit down when a voice hissed from the corner where Draco had remained hidden.

“Not quite. Do all mudbloods suffer from blindness or is it just you?”

Ron, spying Draco in the shadows whipped out his slightly crooked wand and pointed it straight at the Slytherin. “Take that back, Malfoy,” he snapped.

Draco smiled slyly. “Let me think about that… Ah, no.”

Harry grabbed Ron by the back of the collar and pulled him back to the sitting position. “Forget about him, Ron. Can’t you see that he’s still the same evil loser that he always was?”

Draco’s smile widened. “At least I’m not poor,” he said silkily.

Ron turned bright red, but he was not the one who answered. Ginny had pulled out her wand too. “How dare you!” she yelled.

“Temper, temper,” Draco tutted.

Hermione stood up hastily. “Don’t worry about him Ron, Ginny,” she said anxiously. “Let’s just go to another compartment.” She was about to lead the group out of the room when a guard saw her about to leave.

“All other carriages are full, Miss,” he said in a strong cockney accent. “I’m afraid you’ll have to stay in here.”

“WHAT?” yelled all Gryffindor’s simultaneously.

The guard shrugged. “Nothing I can do about it. Good day.” He tipped his hat and walked out, shutting the door behind him.

“Oh God,” muttered Harry. Draco smirked at him, and Harry shot Draco an icy glare. Draco smiled cruelly, it had been an awful holiday for him and he decided to vent his anger on these children.

*Flashback*

“Draco, get me a cloth. My head is sore,” Narcissa moaned from the couch. Draco stood up, angrily.

“Mother, you’ve been sore all holidays. I’m not a house elf! Get Eeny to do it!” Eeny, their replacement house elf since Dobby had been freed cowered in a corner.

Lucius Malfoy stood up. “Don’t you dare speak to your mother like that, boy!”

“I’ll speak to her however I bloody want!” Draco yelled.

“NO YOU WILL NOT!” thundered Lucius, standing up and advancing towards Draco, wand at the ready.

Draco’s lip curled. “You’re pathetic,” he sneered. “Only managed to escape from Azkaban because you paid them five sacks of gold! Look at you… you’re not worth the dirt you walk on!” He knew that he was deliberately provoking his father, but he was sick of being treated like a misfit.

“You dare to speak to me like that,” growled Lucius. “You will pay for it! Laedo vulnero!” A jet of purple light shot towards Draco, who was too startled to react quickly enough. The spell caught him in the chest, and he was thrown back to the wall, slamming his head against it and cutting his jaw.

“Expelliarmus!” yelled Lucius, and Draco’s arm was caught neatly and slammed against the wall. There was a sickening crunching noise, and his wrist snapped, leaving the hand dangling at a strange angle. Draco moaned softly in pain, face white.

“Get you’re mother a cloth,” Lucius said in a soft, dangerous voice. Staggering to his feet, blood trickling from his mouth, Draco managed to walk from the room. There, Eeny waited for him.

“Stupid master,” the house elf scolded, using long tapered fingers to gently clean the boy up and heal his arm. “Should have done what the mistress wanted first time! Eeny has warned master several times, but master never listens to Eeny, oh no. Now master hurt again!” Although the house elf seemed annoyed, concern filled his big black eyes. “Master must be careful,” he said quietly. “Eeny knows that Mister Lucius is very angry now, nobody trust him in ministry. You make him angry too. Soon, Mister Lucius hurt you really bad! Then what will Eeny do?”

Draco stared at the house elf with cold eyes, flexing his now healed wrist. “Maybe do some work for once,” he hissed, before going off to find his mothers cloth.

*End Flashback*



Hermione bit her lip nervously, wondering what to do in this awkward situation. “So Ginny,” she said finally. “What did you do all holidays? I didn’t go to the Burrow much, but when I did you weren’t there.”

“Haven’t you heard?” Draco said in mock-surprise. “The Burrow got too crowded, with Molly Weasley having all those illegitimate children and Ginny had to move to the garbage bin.”

Ginny turned bright red, but forcefully made herself ignore him. “I hung out in Hogsmeade a lot,” she said, trying to sound natural.

“Hasn’t a new pub started up there?” Harry asked, getting Hermione’s idea. They must ignore Draco, and speak as if they hadn’t noticed Draco.

“How could you be so rude?” Harry was startled for a minute, then realised that again Draco was speaking. “You know Ginny can only afford to eat what people leave in gutters!”

They ignored his comment once again, and thus the conversation continued in this awkward, stilted manner with Draco interrupting with rude remarks whenever he could. Soon both the girls were almost in tears, and Harry and Ron were filled with rage.

Finally, Ron couldn’t take it any more. “It’ll take more than your little barbs to make me mad!” he hissed.

Draco stood up, and pulled out a jet black wand. “Oh yes? Maybe my wand will then.”

Ginny stood up as well, holding out her wand. “I’ll handle this, guys,” she murmured. “I’ve been longing to practice the new curse I learnt.”

Draco smirked. “Ooh, tangling with the son of a Death Eater are we? Not a wise choice. I’ve been-” He snickered. “Dying, if you will, to practice the killing curse.”

Ginny widened her eyes. “You wouldn’t dare. People go to Azkaban for less than that.”

Draco’s expression suddenly turned from mocking to deadly serious. A weariness that a seventeen year old should not know lined every aspect of his face, and his eyes hid in their cold masses a secret sorrow. “Do I look like I care, Weasley?” It wasn’t a rude, sarcastic comment- it was a question, and one that Ginny dared not answer.

“You’re mad,” she whispered.

A dry smile crept over his face. “Perhaps.”

The train suddenly pulled to a halt, and gratefully the group piled out of the train, Draco following at a distance. Overhead, thunder boomed and lightening forked through the sky, while a steady stream of rain began to fall.

“Strange weather for early September,” Harry whispered. The Gryffindor’s nodded.

Suddenly they realised that Draco was behind them, watching the sky with a strange glint in his eye. “And so the school year begins,” he whispered.

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