Chapter 1 : Acceptance
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Why would there ever be any question to the fact Draco Malfoy was a deatheater at the age of 19? Or perhaps the bigger question was, why would Harry Potter be calling Hermione Granger right now asking her if she knew about his loyalty? To answer these question perhaps we should go back to Hermione's last year at Hogwarts. Specifically on the day she got one of the most important letters of her life.
Hermione gasped as she reread the letter. "I got in!" She shrieked unable to hold in her excitement. A huge weight was gone and her body was buzzing with happiness. Graduation just three months away, many of the seventh years had chosen careers already and would soon be in the working world. Hermione however had no idea what job she wanted yet, but now she didn't have to worry about it. She had 5 years to decide while she went to the University of Glasgow.
Lavender looked up from her magazine which she was reading, sprawled on her bed, and shared a look with Parvarti. Neither girl knew why Hermione wanted to go to school for five more years, seven years at Hogwarts had been more than enough for both of them. It wasn't like having a degree helped you in the magical world. From working as a healer at St. Mungos to being the Prime Minister of Magic, degrees were useless. You went to a magical school for 7 years, and then training courses set up by the ministry for further education, not universities.
Hermione loved the idea of going to school for a few more years though, and giggled rushing to pull out the university's brochure from her trunk. There were exactly ten universities that were connected to the magical world. Their headmasters knew about magical schools and therefore applications from Hogwarts were able to be sent in as well as normal applications.
Yes, surprisingly Hermione was not the only witch or wizard who decided they wanted to go to a university. Every year about 1000 other magical students, globally, would apply to colleges as well. It was a small percentage to start with, and only half of them tended to get in. The magical students were in competition with all the muggles applying at these universities as well, and it was no easy task getting in. Even if all 35 seventh years applied, it was likely only 4 or 5 would have had good enough grades to get in, if even that. So it was a huge deal that Hermione had gotten in, and even if the people around her didn't understand why she wanted to go, that wasn't going to stop her from celebrating.
Running down the stairs she caught Harry and Ron playing chess. A huge grin was on her face and the two boys turned around to look at her. "Hey Hermione, what are you so happy about?" Harry asked.
"I got in!" She squealed proudly thrusting out her acceptance letter. Harry and Ron tilted their heads reading it and broke out into grins.
"That's great Hermione!" They both said and happily listened to her go on about how wonderful it was, and what classes she wanted to take. Ron had gotten questioning her sanity about wanting to stay in school out of his system months ago when she first stated talking about it. He had finally decided to just let her do what she wants, as it was no use arguing with a crazy lady which she undoubtably was.
As the common room started emptying out for dinner the three went down to the Great Hall, Hermione practically skipping in glee. She spent the night first talking Harry and Ron's ears of about University, going through the brochure she had about it, and then finally as bedtime approached she had a one sided conversation with Parvarti about it. Parvarti eventually just tugged her curtains closed and Hermione was left to stare at the red fabric. It was then she resigned to going to bed, she could celebrate more tomorrow any ways. Harry, Ron, Parvarti, and Lavender who witnessed Parvarti being cornered by Hermione last night, had learned their lesson and avoided Hermione the next day at breakfast leaving poor Neville to hear about the history of Glasgow; how it was built in the 1400's.
As Neville made a desperate attempt to escape the over excited witch, the owls came in with the morning post. He used the distraction to make his way over to Dean but Hermione didn't notice as she saw Malfoy's owl drop a letter in front of him. Looking intently at him she watched his face as he opened it and read it. A small grin appeared on his face before he tucked it away in his robe. Grinning she spun back to her own table and hummed happily as she finished eating.
She went in later to Charms than usual, hoping that would mean Malfoy would already be there. Going into the room 2 minutes before the bell she saw Malfoy just sitting down, and sped up to him. Dumping her stuff two seats away from him; there were two rows with four seats in each, she trotted over and tapped his shoulder. "So you got into Cambridge then?" She asked happily. Malfoy and Terry were the only other two who had applied to a university, and the chance to talk with someone else who was headed to one was exciting.
He smirked and Hermione knew it was a yes. "And I'm guessing you already got into Glasgow?" He asked. She didn't bother answering knowing her grin was all he needed to figure it out. Before she could bombard him with things about college though Professor Flitwick bustled in and the class all sat down and instantly started jotting down notes.
This year Hermione had only one class with Harry and Ron and a second class with Harry. Despite them being in almost all different classes they still hung out in the common room and outside of classes. They were still her best friends but as far as lessons went, she loved the ones without them in it the most. The classes only she took were with more studious students and she loved it. They got so much work done and could learn so much more. Like right now. She looked around and all eight of them already had 6 inches of notes they had started writing silently without being asked to, and were learning an advanced charm only this class got to learn.
She couldn't wait for college when she could be surrounded by studious students all the time. In her common room she felt so out of place sometimes. No other Gryffindor in her year studied as hard as her or took some of the courses she took, giving her more homework than everyone else. The eight she were with now had sort of formed their own little group through the year always being together for class and working and worrying about grades. Sometimes doing a homework assignment she just wished she could go to another common room and find one of them to do it with, but she couldn't. She was stuck in her own common room and while she loved her Gryffindor friends to death, she just wished they weren't the only ones she could be around at night after curfew and during meals when she was trying to do work.
She supposed Alex felt the same way, he was the only Hufflepuff of their group. Draco and Daphne could help each other with homework being in Slytherin. And Terry, Mandy, Padma, and Anthony could always be around each other, all of them Ravenclaws. Lucky Ravenclaws.
At the end of the lesson Professor Flitwick announce a thirty point exam next class and they all grouped together as the bell rang. "Seven tonight in the library?" Draco suggested, only to be shot down by Terry.
"No, we have to finish that Arithmacy tonight, can you believe he assigned 5 different worksheets?"
"Did anyone see page 4, that one page will take an hour at least." Alex added and they all nodded their heads with frowns.
"I guess we can use our free period tomorrow, if we can finish reading that chapter for Potions tonight also." Mandy said and they nodded going out the door to their next class.
Hermione and Padma scurried together down the hall towards DADA, to intent on balancing their books and getting there early to talk. This was the one class she had with Harry and Ron and she adjusted her brain to the more ‘fun-loving' mode. Time to be with people who studied like her was over, and now she would go through class with the goofy and lazy friends she loved. Well, actually Harry was getting an E in this class which was great for him. Ron was getting an A which was good for him also.
She was proud of them but also had the image of her group of eight and how they dealt with grades. How they all had mostly O's and when they got any grades back they would exchange tests and see how they messed up and what questions they got a point off of and why, or even who had a better thesis statement on their essays. Never would Harry and Ron do things like that.
Class was rather exciting as they learned a new protection spell against the fire a dragon breathes. One partner got flames to shoot out their wand towards the metal target and the other blocked it before it reached the metal with the new spell, which would makes the flames quickly die out. Hermione went over and practiced with Lavender and Hermione got in on her second try while Lavender eventually got it on her fifth try.
Forty minutes later seven people still hadn't gotten it and Hermione and Padma caught each others eyes and rolled them. They both had Arithmacy out trying to work on it, while the rest of the class was watching the last seven trying to do the spell. Laughing next to her Ron nudged her arm completely amused. "Did you see that? Micheal just swung to hard and his wand flew back and smacked the Professor's face!"
Hermione quickly looked up and seeing only a miffed professor and embarrassed Michael went back to her homework. "Poor Michael, hope he gets it soon." She said in response.
Chatter filled her ears and a note zoomed past her head. Oh yes, DADA was defiantly different than Charms. They had only had about 20 minutes of actually learning something and then this hour to well, talk and be lazy. Why the professor gave the an hour to practice one spell she didn't know. Most of the class had gotten it in 30 minutes and now only the slower learners were still practicing it. If it was just the eight of them she had in other classes, they probably could have learned 4 new spells instead of one by now. Oh well, at least it gave her a chance to get some Arithmacy done.
Later that night she was laying in bed with her Potions book propped up on her knees, notes next to her and a quill in her hair. She had just grabbed her quill getting ready to write a note about William Omniwall, when she heard a tap on her window. Frowning she got up and opened it. She had retreated up here to get away from the noise of the common room, yet she was still being bothered. A gigantic box was flung inside and a team of three owls quickly flew away. Realizing what it was she tore it open and grinned.
It was all her math textbooks. Geometry, Algebra, Trigonometry, Statistics, Calculus. Oh! How wonderful! She wondered if Draco got his too.
She had started to pick up the algebra book to start reading when she remembered Potions. Right, school work due in two days comes before reading textbooks about things for next year. Since universities were muggle, after a magical student was accepted they spent the first year on a crash course of muggle subjects. It started June 25 and ended the next year on August 5. It was intense and Hermione was so ready for it. Then after that they became freshmen at the university.
Finishing her Potions chapter she feel asleep clips of Harry and Ron's Quidditch practice she had watched early today while doing Arithmacy flittering through her head. She woke up to Crookshanks on top of her and smiled while petting his soft fur. This was her favorite way to wake up. Stretching she made her way to breakfast and then Arithmacy.
She and Anthony were talking about Lucius Malfoy's escape from prison when Draco walked in. Hermione and Anthony instantly stopped talking and Hermione switched over to asking Draco if he had gotten textbooks last night. She was in the middle of explaining statistics to him when class started.
Yes people knew Lucius was a deatheater but no one would mention it around Draco. One thing about the eight of them, they didn't talk about the war. No one knew which side Draco was loyal to and no one wanted to ask. He was pleasant enough when you didn't annoy him, and damn smart, but no one was rash enough to push him. War and his family, it was one subject Hermione had managed to suppress her curiosity about.
But that was back at Hogwarts. Now she was in the middle of her crash course, quizzing herself on the Chinese Dynasties as she decorated her apartment for Christmas. Hearing a pop outside her flat she abandoned her string of lights and brushing past her tree opened the door. Standing there was a blonde man wearing a dark green dress shirt with the first two buttons undone and black jeans with black boots. "When will you remember I have muggles as neighbors?" She questioned sourly.
"Memory's great pet. So fantastic that I remember the 80 year old bloke that's half deaf is the only one around here at 10 am." Looking over her head, which wasn't too hard as she was only 5'7 and he was 6'2, he noticed the Christmas decorations and walked inside. Hermione shut the door not at all annoyed he came in without being asked. He was here two or three times a week, every week. It was practically a second home to him, actually she was pretty certain she had one of his jackets in her closet.
Watching him flop onto her couch she sighed softly. He was so handsome, and smart, and here he was on her couch. All right, so she had a little crush. Big deal, he didn't need to know that. Before he could notice anything she looked away and started putting her lights on the tree right where she left off.
"Could I borrow your slide rule? I think I left mine at the manor." He stated. Draco actually had his own flat, but he still spent a lot of time at his family's manor. She spent a lot of time at her parent's house as well. It wasn't exactly hard to spend time at two houses when you could apparate. You then may wonder why Draco couldn't apparate to his manor and fetch his slide rule. Well Hermione wondered too, but she knew better than to ask. There were times when Draco would just refuse to visit his house. Once Hermione asked why and he just ran off, not to be seen again by her for four days.
Being Harry's friend had taught her not to push to hard on some subjects, and it was a lesson she absorbed just like every other lesson. "Still haven't finished doing logarithms? It's due tomorrow." She informed him cheerfully.
"No, but I finished the Physics worksheet due Tuesday." He taunted aware Hermione had yet to do it. She wrinkled her face at him and went in search for her slide rule.
It was amazing how easily he was adapting to learning muggle things. True, he was still doing magic and was very comfortable in the fact that they were doing this crash course with other wizards and witches. But he was wearing muggle clothes more. He still had plenty of wizard robes he wore at his house, but he was slowly adjusting. Being in classes with muggles next year might be a bit scary though. He still felt weird even talking to one.
It wasn't like he'd applied to go to a university to meet muggles. Or even study for that matter, but he was doing a fantastic job at that any ways. He just wanted an excuse to stay out of the war in his world. Hopefully in five years it would be over.
Crookshanks had made his way into the room and Draco scanned the floor for one of his rubber balls. Grabbing one he tossed it and the cat scampered after it, bringing it back to him to throw again. Whoever said fetch was for dogs was ill informed. Cats were quite found of it too.
Coming back into her living room she sighed. He looked so comfortable here, so at home. So why did he have to live a life at his stupid manor with his death eater parents. And the real mystery was that he liked it. He liked being a pureblooded rich wizard, and was proud of his father. Argh. She knew if it wasn't for the war he would be living full time at the manor happy to be a Malfoy, and doing some high positioned job at the ministry. He wasn't trying to turn his life around, he was still him. He just was avoiding the war. So why did she like him so much! It was a question she struggled with a lot but her answer was always the same. 'Because he's him.' Stupid answer, she knew, but it made sense in her twisted mind. She couldn't list traits that made him a good guy, but he was her guy and she liked him.
Before she could give him the slide rule her phone rang and she answered it.
That last year had Hogwarts had gotten them talking civilly towards each other, but it was the studying they had to do in their crash course was what brought them together, and that was why Harry was now calling her. "Hermione? Is Malfoy a deatheater?"
(A/N: Had to write it, couldn't help it. Ployjuice Potion Baby will be updated eventually. I just had to write a story about schoolwork, because well it rules my life. Their Charms class, like my AP History class and then DADA, like my Chemistry class. Their group of eight, the group of honors students at my school- and yes we do the things they do. Compare tests, essays, talk WAY too much about studying/grades and how long we each studied for a test the night before. Our assignments that take us 3 hours a night to do...I could go on. So this is me venting, and hope my venting wasn't too much of a bore to read.)