Chapter 1 : Hogwarts Express
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The train whistled, warning all stragglers to get onboard. Hermione jumped on the train a second before it departed. She breathed a sigh of relief, bending down to rub her legs. She had never run that fast and her legs were not used to that much exercise. She had been so nervous that she was not going to make it and be late for her seventh year at Hogwarts.
Once she loaded her luggage in the compartment with the others, she walked through the train looking into the different compartments, trying to find her two best friends. She stopped in front of one compartment and found Luna Lovegood reading The Quibbler.
Luna looked up from the magazine and smiled. “Hello Hermione. Did you hear that Snapping Bafflebops were found almost two miles from the school?”
Hermione laughed to herself and shook her head. “No, I haven’t. Have you seen Harry or Ron?”
Luna shook her head and returned her attention to the magazine. Hermione walked away, passing a few more compartments. She waved at a few of her fellow Gryffindors as she walked along and again stopped at another compartment. She saw Ginny Weasley sitting close to Dean Thomas, gliding her hand through his hair. She turned and spotted Seamus Finnigan sitting across from them, playing wizard’s chess with Neville Longbottom.
“Hey guys. Any of you seen Harry or Ron?” she asked.
“I think they’re in the last compartment,” Ginny responded, not even looking in Hermione’s direction.
Hermione nodded and walked away. After Harry broke it off with Ginny, she had separated herself from the Golden Trio, becoming jealous of Hermione when she believed Harry liked her more and that was the real reason they broke up. She had returned to Dean and didn't talk much to her old friends. Hermione was sad when her friendship with Ginny broke apart, but she was not going to let it consume her. There were more important things to deal with in her last year of school.
As she hastened her walk toward the last compartment, she turned her head to tighten the pack that she was carrying on her back, frustrated by how stubborn they were being. When the straps finally gave in, she turned back around and quickly slammed into someone. She lost her footing and fell down on her backside, cursing herself for having bumped into him when she heard his familiar snicker. She sighed and looked up, seeing the boy with cold gray eyes and slick blonde hair glaring down at her.
“Thanks a lot, Mudblood. Now I have to burn my clothes,” he sneered.
“Hopefully with you in them,” she snapped, as she stood in front of Draco Malfoy.
Draco smirked, rather impressed by her quick comeback. He swiftly took mention of her body, noticing how much she had filled out over the summer. Her hair was still as bushy as ever, but she suddenly had these wonderful curves he had never seen before on her.
“What?” she barked, seeing his eyes loom over her.
Draco snapped out of his gaze and furrowed his eyebrows. “Where’d you find a potion to do that to yourself?”
Hermione fought the urge to fight back, knowing nothing she said would work to her advantage. Sure she would feel better letting off steam, but she knew it would be a wasted battle. She just rolled her eyes and walked off, nearing the last compartment.
Draco stood back, puzzled that she wasn’t yelling back at him. “Yeah that’s right. Run to Scarhead and Weasel,” he called after, hoping to ruffle her feathers.
“Shove it, Malfoy,” she yelled, not able to fight her temptation any longer.
Draco smirked and walked away, knowing he would get to her eventually. His best enjoyment was annoying the Golden Trio, especially Granger.
Hermione finally made it to the last compartment and opened the door. She smiled when she saw her two best friends sitting across from each other, talking about Quidditch. “Miss me?” she interrupted.
Harry and Ron immediately stopped talking, turning their heads toward Hermione. They both smiled and stood up, hugging her simultaneously.
“We thought you were going to miss the train,” Harry said.
“Where were you?” Ron asked at the same time.
Hermione shook her head and laughed. She was so happy to be back with her friends. She had missed them so much over the summer.
After school last year, following the death of Dumbledore, Hermione’s parents thought it best to get away from London during the summer holiday. They vacationed in Hawaii, where Hermione was finally able to relax. She lay out in the sun, drank virgin strawberry daiquiris and even flirted with some local boys. She loved that nobody knew who she was there and was glad to become someone she never thought she could be. After that experience, she knew her last school year was going to be different. She had grown so much self-confidence, no longer afraid of anything that would come her way; except, of course, the fight with Voldemort.
“Did you see who was back?” Ron asked, as they all settled into their seats.
“Ugh, I know. How could they possibly allow that ferret to return after what happened last year?” Hermione questioned.
“Well it seems McGonagall wants to keep a close eye on him,” Harry reported.
“How do you know that?” Ron asked.
Harry shrugged. “After Dumbledore died, we got a little closer. She’s been keeping me informed about the Order, and I’ve been telling her about the Horcruxes.”
“So she tells you everything?” Hermione asked.
“Pretty much. She believes that I have a right to know what’s going on since it’s up to me to end this war,” Harry answered.
Hermione bit her lower lip when Harry finished his sentence. She knew it was only a matter of time before he would have to fight Voldemort. She looked out the window and watched the trees quickly pass by, sighing to herself.
Harry wrapped his arm around her shoulders, seeing her turn back around and smile at him. He smiled and leaned in, softly kissing her forehead. “Let’s not worry about that just yet,” he whispered.
“My mum also said Snape was back. Is it true?” Ron asked.
Harry looked over at Ron and nodded. “Yeah. McGonagall said she has her reasons.”
"She wouldn't tell you?" Hermione asked, leaning her head against his shoulder.
"No, but I trust her," Harry replied. "I'm still gonna keep an eye out on him though."
"Good thinking," Ron agreed.
"I can't wait to get to Hogwarts. Things are going to change this year. I can feel it," Hermione excitedly said.
"Hopefully for the better," Harry sighed, rubbing his scar when it began to throb.
Hermione watched the pain in Harry's eyes and frowned, wishing there was something she could do to stop him from feeling it all the time.
"Sometimes I wish I could just live someone else's life," Harry muttered.
"Be careful what you wish for, Harry," Hermione smiled.
The train stopped and the three friends began to dress in their school robes. Once dressed, they left their compartment and followed the other students off the train, excited that their seventh and final year had begun.
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