Hermione said good bye to her parents and walked thought the barrier between platform 9 3/4. She looked around her, feeling over-whelmed. Her fellow Hogwarts students were saying good-bye to their families and finding friends. Hermione ducked her head and hurried to the back of the train.
She found an empty compartment and pushed her trunk into it. She climbed in and sat down away from the window. She pulled out her portable CD player that she had charmed to work around magic. She put in her High School Musical CD and skipped to song six. When there was Me and You played in her ears.
She was so caught up in the sad song, she didn't hear the compartment door slid open.
Suddenly her headphones were yanked off her ears. She looked up and her brown eyes clashed with ice blue ones.
"What are you doing Granger?" Malfoy snapped. Hermione looked down at the CD player, than back to him. Malfoy arched a brow. "I think I asked you a question." Hermione held up the CD case and gestured to the phones. Malfoy put them on and listened to the last part of her song. Then he handed back the phones.
Malfoy watched as she put the ear-things back on. The song that had been playing had been sad and had reflected the inner pain he sensed in Hermione.
He sat down across from her and she looked surprised. He motioned for her to take off the ear-things.
"Why are you sitting here and not with Potty and Weasel?" She pulled a quill and a piece of parchment from her pocket and wrote down her answer. Malfoy took it and read it.
I don't want to be around them anymore. They didn't listen to me when I asked for help. They ignored me.
Malfoy looked up at her in surprise. He had thought that she was holding the spot for them. Then he noticed she had handed him a note, and had not spoken.
"Why don't you talk?" Hermione gestured for the parchment back. When he handed it to her, she scribbled down her answer.
I don't know. I can't talk anymore. I don't know if it's a spell. Professor McGonagall has tried all the spells she knows and none of them have worked.
Malfoy smiled lightly at her. "Damn. That must suck huh?" Hermione shrugged.
The compartment door slid open and Harry and Ron walked in. They looked from Hermione's pale face to Malfoy and pulled out their wands.
"What did you do to her Malfoy?" Ron snapped, pointing his wand at Malfoy's heart. Hermione let out a strangled sound and jumped in front of Malfoy. She glared at them and pointed out of the compartment. The boys turned, but saw no one.
"There's no one there Mione." Ron reached for her, but she jerked back. Malfoy handed her the parchment and quill. She scribbled her command and held it up for them to see after scratching out her responses to Malfoy's questions.
GET OUT!!! I DON'T WANT TO TALK TO YOU ANYMORE. MALFOY WAS JUST TALKING TO ME AND BEING NICE. SO LEAVE ME ALONE!!!
Harry and Ron looked at each other confused. Hermione must be under some kind of spell.
"Come on Hermione, we're leaving." Harry reached for her, but she pulled back and turned toward Malfoy. Her eyes begged him not to let them take her. So he wrapped an arm around her shoulders and held her close.
"She's not going anywhere with you." He said softly. Harry and Ron glared at him, but left. Malfoy looked down at Hermione. She was crying. Malfoy closed the compartment door and sat next to her and held her tight as she cried.
Harry and Ron rejoined Ginny and Lavender. The girls stopped talking when the boys sat down.
"So where's Hermione?" Ginny asked, confused. Ron glared out the window so Harry answered.
"She's sitting with Malfoy."
"What!!" Lavender and Ginny said at the same time. "You're joking." Harry shook his head.
"She doesn't want to talk to us anymore. I don't know why." Ginny stood up.
"I'll talk to her." She left and walked down the hallway, looking for Hermione. She saw her alone with Malfoy. He was holding her while she sobbed uncontrollably. Ginny watched in fascination as Malfoy soothed her and rubbed her back. She leaned close and listened.
"Shh. It's gonna be OK Hermione. Are you listening to me? I don't know what's going on, but I can hear what your thinking. You think that nobody loves you because of what happened over the summer, but you're wrong. I'm sure your parents will come around and let you move back into the house. If not, you can come live with me. My father was killed over the summer and my mother's gone. The mansion belongs to me now. I promise. I won't be like Potty and Weasel who leave you alone when you need them most. I'll always be here for you." Ginny turned and left.
"Well?" Harry asked as Ginny walked back into the compartment. Ginny glared at them.
"She sent you an owl over the summer vacation, didn't she?" Harry and Ron nodded slowly. "What did it say?"
"That she needed help." Ron said. "We thought it was with homework."
"Something bad happened to her over the summer. She can't talk and nobody knows why, but Malfoy can read her thoughts and she thinks you guys abandoned her. Which you did. If one of your friends needs help, then it's your obligation to help them." She sat down next to Lavender. "Her parents have kicked her out of her house.