Chapter 2 : Home Sweet Hogwarts
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Hermione entered platform 9 ¾, where the scarlet train was waiting to take all the students to Hogwarts. Hermione searched the large crowds for the bright red hair that would undoubtedly lead her to her friends. Her eye caught the long, red hair that she knew to be Ginny’s and she closed the distance between them.
“’Mione!” exclaimed Ginny in excitement, “I’ve missed you so much! You must tell me all about your summer. I hope you didn’t meet any interesting guys that you didn’t tell me about in the few letters that you did write to me. You hardly wrote at all! Next year, we’ll have to keep you at the Burrow with us.”
Hermione fidgeted uncomfortably. There wouldn’t be a next year, she thought glumly Hermione quickly reminded herself that she must remain cheerful and present in order not to draw unwanted attention. After much consideration, Hermione had decided to keep the tumor a secret.
It would change them, she thought. They would begin to treat her like glass, as something so breakable that you can’t touch it. She simply didn’t want that. She wanted to have fun this year. It was, after all, her last chance to do so.
Hermione snapped out of her thoughts and forced herself to listen to her friend’s story. She noticed Harry and Ron coming towards them. They greeted each other enthusiastically and Hermione found the conversation to be less than adequate at keeping her attention as Ron began a rather grotesque story about he was now able to fit two entire boxes of chocolate frogs into his mouth at the same time. Her thoughts began to drift once again until she noticed someone staring at her. She looked around the compartment that they had seated themselves in and met Harry’s concerned gaze.
She knew that she had been caught off guard, and that Harry had sensed that something was off. Hermione only hoped that he wouldn’t question her and that her renewed interest in the conversation would fool him.
Hermione was spared the trouble of pretending to listen to Ron’s newest grotesque feat when Lavander poked her head in the compartment and told Hermione that she was needed in the Head’s compartment. Grateful for the chance to escape, she quickly scurried off to the correct compartment.
When she arrived, she decided she would’ve preferred the company in her previous compartment, but as far as keeping secrets went, she was in the right place. She couldn’t keep what seemed to be her 100th inward groan from occurring, though. As happy as she was that her secret would be easier to keep, Draco Malfoy-the ‘mudblood’ hating bastard-was probably the worst company that Hermione could possibly think of.
“Nice of you to finally show up Granger,” he drawled, “now that Dumbledore has already been here left the instructions and gone ahead to Hogwarts. I’m so glad you are able to be on time to important meetings.” He looked up at her from the papers he was looking over and paused. “You look terrible.”
Hermione quirked a brow at him in puzzlement. Didn’t she always look terrible to him? As if reading her mind, he continued.
“More terrible than usual,” he added. Once he was certain she wouldn’t fire some witty retort back at him, which he seemed to expect, he launched into detail about their Head Duties.
Once he was finished, Hermione propped her rather large bag against the side of her seat and rested her head against it. The majority of the ride, she spent in a fitful slumber.
After what seemed to be mere minutes, Hermione heard the surprisingly kind voice of Malfoy calling her. As time passed, the pleasant voice seemed to grow more and more agitated.
“Granger, if you don’t wake up in the next 10 seconds, I’m going to jinx your hair green for two weeks.”
This comment did wonders, for Hermione’s eyes flew open and her body shot upright. Or rather, her body shot upright until her head slammed, rather painfully, into something quite hard. She didn’t realize what this hard object was until she heard the cursing of someone in a rather large amount of pain.
“Damn it Granger you didn’t have to slam your head into my face!” he raged. “And speaking of your head, it’s bloody damn hard!”
“I’m so sorry Malfoy, are you alright? Really, is there anything I can do?”
“Bloody hell Granger; is your head really that hard? I mean, trust me, I know it’s hard, but are you totally unscathed?” He was now clutching just above his right eye in obvious pain. When he noticed that Hermione was in very little or no pain, he scoffed.
“This seems all wrong,” ha ranted. “Here I am, being a kind and caring person,” Hermione had to laugh, “waking you up so you can change into your school robes, and you hit me. Not only do you hit me, but you hit me hard! Even worse, you’re perfectly fine!” She glared at him.
“Well, it’s not my fault you were standing over me when you threatened to change my hair to green.” She shuddered. “It’s such an ugly color.” Now it was him who was glaring at the rather pleased face of Hermione Granger.
“Why did you wake me up anyways? I don’t recall you caring about me, why start now?”
“I already answered that if you were paying attention,” he said. “I just figured we could be civil to each other. It’s not like we’re twelve or something. And I woke you up because there’s ten minutes…” he corrected himself, “…five minutes left until we reach Hogwarts and I thought you might want to change into your school robes before we get there, rather than in the carriage on the way.”
“Oh,” she mumbled, “thank you.” Hermione grabbed her bag and went to the bathroom to change. She was surprised by how much time had passed in what she thought was such a short amount of time, but more surprised at Malfoy’s unexpected kindness toward her. Since when did he start caring about mudbloods?
Hermione finished changing and began to rummage around in her bag for the large, orange bottle that contained her pain medication. Her hand clasped around the familiar form she knew to be the pill bottle and she extracted it from the bag. She unscrewed the top and took a single pill from the bottle and replaced the lid, screwing it on tightly and conjured a glass. She swallowed the pill with a gulp of water, finished the contents of the glass and replaced her belongings back in the bag before exiting the bathroom. The last few minutes of the trip passed in silence.
Draco yawned as Dumbledore rambled on about several unimportant facts of the school year. Not that every single 5th, 6th and 7th year didn’t have this speech memorized, because they did. Draco even knew a couple of people who could’ve given the same speech right alongside Dumbledore without faltering had they been provided with the new Defense teacher’s name.
Draco’s gaze was turned away from the banner hanging above Dumbledore’s head to the tables where food had suddenly appeared before him. He realized that he wasn’t particularly hungry and he allowed his eyes to drift. He found himself looking toward the Gryffindor tables, for some absurd reason, of course. His eyes took in the scene around Hermione Granger and he noticed several things.
Weasley was shoving potatoes and a drumstick into his mouth at the same time. Disgusting. The Weaselette was gazing at Potter from the corner of her eyes. The moron was obviously blind for missing her attentions. He also noticed Hermione Granger’s half-hearted smiles and brief moments where she appeared to be elsewhere. He also noted, with some irritation, that she wasn’t eating, but instead she was stirring the food aimlessly around her plate with the fork that was held loosely in her hand. For some reason, this really irked him. She seemed to be relieved when Dumbledore called the heads to the front.
She cast one last half-hearted smile to her friends and headed to the front of the Great Hall. Draco followed shortly after and Dumbledore began speaking once they were within hearing distance.
“Now,” began Dumbledore, “if I’m not mistaken, the two of you already know most of the details regarding your head duties. All that remains to do is lead you to your dorms and tell you your passwords. I trust the two of you are already finished with your meals?”
“Yes, Sir,” answered Hermione a bit too quickly. Draco guessed that she had no deep desire to return to her rather poor acting. Neither would he if he had to watch Weasley shove food down his throat. When he realized that they were awaiting his reply, he nodded and Dumbledore led them away.
Draco could tell that Hermione was quite tired. Past exhaustion, he would say. She didn’t speak except for when they arrived at their common room, which was just past the room of requirement. He spoke the password, phoenix feathers, and the portrait of a beautiful woman in angelic white robes swung open.
“Thank you Alànna,” said Dumbledore as he entered, Draco and Hermione trailing closely behind.
The common room was pleasing to the eye, and not too extravagant. The room was decorated in deep, rich shades of the red and green that belonged to both of their houses. The carpet was deep red, while the furniture was a deep green, gold lining the edges of it. The drapes, which hung from the French doors leading to a balcony, were also deep garnet and hung to the matching floor. There was a silver cord around the folds of each drape, restricting them from closing.
There were two staircases on either side of the large common room, which held a fireplace in the middle of it, leading to their individual dorms. Placed near the two staircases were desks, one for each of them. Overall, the room was perfect.
“Miss Granger,” said Dumbledore, “the room to the left is yours. Mr. Malfoy, your room is the one to the right; you may set your own passwords and change them as you wish. Now I’m sure both of you are tired,” he looked pointedly at Hermione, “so you should get some rest.” That said, Dumbledore exited the room and left the two of them alone.
“So,” said Draco, “how do you like it?”
“It’s nice,” replied Hermione simply. “I’m going to bed now. Night Malfoy.” Hermione turned and went to her own dorm, pausing to set her password and introduce herself to her portrait, which was even more beautiful and angelic than Alanna, and disappearing behind the portrait of the lovely young woman.
“Don’t all start to rush a conversation at once,” he muttered, sarcasm thick in his voice. He then walked up his staircase, introduced himself to his portrait and set his password. Just before entering his room, he cast a last glance in the direction of Hermione’s room.
“Home sweet Hogwarts,” he murmured quietly before he too, disappeared into his new quarters.
A/N: Thank you all so much for the reviews, I loved them!
Hope you enjoyed this chapter, though it's short and kind of non-eventful. Please just bear with me as I set up the plot.
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