She just stared back. “yeah I do, every detail, please tell me about it…” she asked for the second time.
I sighed, breathed deep and began my tale of the past year.
Rushing to make it on time I took a short cut through the waiting room. “Oh god I’m not going to make it!” I thought in desperation. Fighting my way through the crowd to where the others stood I glanced at the clock just briefly. Five minutes left to get through the barrier, on to the train, with the luggage and be settled before it chugged out of the station for the second last time. With all the extra precautions being taken place to get on to the train a lot more time then usual. Panting I made it to the others just in time to be let through in the final group.
Platform 9 _ was a shambles, people everywhere, magic flying off the walls and kids screaming as the struggled to leave their parents for the first time. Groaning I pushed my way through this crowd until I saw an opening in the crowd at the front. “Hey guys I think I’ve found a place”. Hearing no reply I turned and didn’t see a familiar place anywhere. A hand closed around my arm and I was dragged on to the already moving train as it made its way out of the station. “Thank you so much I didn’t know what I would have done”.
Glancing up I saw the crystal blue eyes that could only belong to a Malfoy. He was just looking at me before mumbling something that could possible be translated as “Yeah well..” before he stalked down the hallway to his compartment.
But where was everyone else? I was worried as I slowly made my way down the center aisle in hopes of spotting a familiar face amongst the sea of people in the compartments. As I got closer and closer to the end I began to panic. Maybe they hadn’t got on the train, maybe they were kidnapped, maybe this was a trap and this wasn’t the real Hogwarts Express. Paranoid, I was relieved to finally see Harry and Ron in the last compartment on the left. Sighing happily I walked in, collapsed on the empty seat.
Harry and Ron looked up in surprise as if they weren’t sure who I was. “Where the bloody hell have you been Hermione? We’ve been worried sick about you!” Ron exclaimed. He looked exasperated whilst saying this and whilst at the time I may have been flattered by this I soon realized it was because he was playing wizard chess and Harry was actually winning. Smiling at the boys and their habits I just replied “Oh you know the usual checking out the talent, making sure I wasn’t going to be beaten.” Harry and Ron just gave me a look and then glanced at each other and went back to their game of wizard chess. I leant back against the chair and stared out the window looking forward to this year at Hogwarts, away from the paranoid groups of muggles and wizards alike, away from the war. They couldn’t attack Hogwarts despite the fact that Dumbledore was gone.
The war had changed everything in my life. I had to be on watch 24/7 in case I saw something suspicious that my parents didn’t understand. Every night I went to sleep dreading that something could happen during the night and I wouldn’t know about it. I wouldn’t know until day break whether my parents had survived the night, my friends, my neighbours. I hoped that I wouldn’t wake to the light of the dark mark. To be amongst friends, to be amongst some of the most powerful wizards known to man was a comfort compared to the summer holidays. Returning to Hogwarts although may be painful it will be also a relief. Tuning back into the conversation between Ron and Harry I just heard the end of the sentence. “I can’t believe they are letting him back!” Harry had exclaimed. “What? Who are they letting come back? What are you guys on about?” I asked timidly.
“Malfoy!” Ron screeched. “After what he did”
“Well actually he…” Harry interrupted
“Okay what he was going or planning to do, they still let him back in to Hogwarts to complete his education!” Ron continued.
I hadn’t heard much about that night in his office. I hadn’t heard much about Malfoy’s involvement within the death of Dumbledore. I only knew that Professor McGonagall would not of let him back if he actually was a part of the murder. She would not of let him step one foot over the threshold of Hogwarts if she thought he was on the bad side. “HERMIONE!!!” Ron’s voice filtered through my thoughts. “What!” I exclaimed.
“Well, for the fifth time I try and get your attention I am trying to ask you do you know who is head girl and boy?” Ron spluttered out breathlessly.
Head boy and girl. My dream was to be the head girl. I wanted it so badly. Sadly though I had to come to the realisation that I wasn’t to receive the honour I had worked for. I had no idea who was to bestow the honour and I voiced that to Ron who just looked away in disgust. Smirking I found myself slightly happier at the thought that this year was hopefully going to be okay. As long as we three stuck together, everything would be okay.
Ginny popped her head around the door at this point. “Hey guys, just saying hi and letting you know I’m alive” after she spoke she gave a meaningful look at Harry before once again closing the door to us. After he break up with Harry, Ginny had found it harder to be around us. Everything about us had reminded her of the one time that her dream had come true and she had been with Harry. Ginny had said many times that she had wanted Harry. Since she had first arrived at Hogwarts her main aim was to get Harry to notice her. After the break, she had been devastated. Although Harry had been trying to be all noble and protective, he unknowingly opened up the floodgates of Ginny making her vulnerable to attack, making her slow in her reactions to the world around her. Harry was yet to see this side of her but he would soon understand it.
I once again tuned out of the conversation about Quidditch and tried once again to hopelessly shake the feeling of paranoia running throughout my body. A cold draft from the door opening shook me awake as I quickly turned to see who was at the door.
“Miss Granger, you are requested to attend a meeting in the front carriage”
I just stared at this person as if they were insane and about to attack me. I reluctantly got to my feet and made my way down the corridor towards the front carriage. Not a noise from any compartment, not a head poking out the door to whisper some gossip to the next door neighbours. It was quite disconcerting really. But slowly and surely my feet directed me towards the front carriage.
Opening the door I got quite a surprise when I saw Ginny there crying. “Ginny, what’s wrong?” I ask concerned. I already knew the answer it began with H and ended with Arry.
“I still don’t understand how he can’t be with me anymore?” she sobbed. “I love him Mi, I always have and I don’t understand that just because of one death he has to stand up and leave, I mean I could keep our relationship a secret if I wanted to I mean it wouldn’t have to be public, and how did you know I was in here by the way?”
I snapped my head up “Ginny, what do you mean, someone sent for me”. The cold feeling crept down my spine.
“What are you talking about Mi? I just got here, it was the only one empty!” She said.
I got up quickly despite the pleas of “where are you going?” coming from Ginny and rushed down towards the end carriage. Not getting there quickly enough I scolded and tried to run faster. “Harry!”.
I felt a hand on my shoulder and it slowly shaking. Waking with a start I realized that my paranoia was spreading. “Oh sorry I must of drifted off”
“Yeah you did Hermione, we’re almost there and you haven’t even got changed yet!” Harry said whilst looking at me as if I was meant to be in the home for the criminally insane.
I smiled and quickly and discretely got changed while the boys had to shut their eyes, face the other way and hide behind cushions.
Finally we arrived at my home for the next year, and hopefully a safe haven for the storm brewing all around us.