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Chapter 2 : Carriage Rides and Memories
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A/N: Hello again! I hope that you enjoy this chapter, this is my first fan fic so please let me know how i'm doing. I greatly appreciate it!
Disclaimer: Anything you recognize is not mine, the plot however is. I hope you enjoy!
The train pulled up to the gates of Hogwarts as the students were pulling their robes on. Hermione, Harry, Ron and Ginny all stepped off the train and were making their way towards the carriages that would take them the rest of the way.
Hermione moaned, “Ugh…what now?” She slowly turned around to face the only boy who could make her skin crawl. She pasted on a sickeningly sweet smile while saying, “Yes Malfoy?”
“Where are you going?”
“To the carriages, you dolt.” She could hardly raise her voice anymore, besides he was hardly worth it in her eyes.
“Yes, well as I’m sure you know, the Heads get their own carriage.”
“Yes I do know that but I figured you wouldn’t want to sully yourself by being in such tight quarters with me, the mudblood, so I was just going to ride with my friends.”
A look flashed through Draco’s eyes, but again she couldn’t quite tell what it was. He replied, “Yes, well, as much as I wouldn’t want to 'sully myself', it is the rules and we all know how you love to follow the rules.” She couldn’t help but wonder why he was trying to get her to go with him. Yet, her Gryffindor pride wouldn’t let her step down. She turned to her friends and shrugged her shoulders. “Alright, I guess I will see you guys later.” She then turned around to follow Malfoy to their carriage. Once they were in the carriage Hermione closed her eyes and pretended to sleep. Although the pretending became real and soon she was off to dreamland. Malfoy didn’t disturb her and he rode the rest of the trip in silence listening to Hermione’s rhythmic breathing.
Malfoy couldn’t believe his luck. He supposed he should have bet on Gryffindor courage any day but he had his doubts. He had after all tormented her for the past six years. However, this year he wanted things to be different. He knew being Head Boy, that he would be sharing a common room with the Head Girl, and he would have staked his life on the Head Girl being Hermione. She was, after all, the brightest witch of their age and he didn’t know anyone who worked as hard as she did. That’s right, he was calling her Hermione, at least in his thoughts. He didn’t know when it happened, but at some point Hermione started becoming interesting to Draco. He couldn’t very well show it though, what with Voldemort out to kill all the muggleborn witches and his father being Voldemort’s biggest supporter. However, now that the war was over and Voldemort was no longer around he felt he could possibly get somewhere with her. The only thing was, he had built up a very good reputation with her of being a complete jackass. In fact, jackass wasn’t a strong enough word. She absolutely loathed him. However, he was always one for a challenge and this may be his biggest challenge yet.
Thinking about the train ride he cringed inwardly at the fact that he had already messed up. He hadn’t meant to trip her but years of habit got the better of him. There was something about their argument that bugged him though. The spark that was usually in Hermione’s eyes wasn’t there anymore. He realized that the war probably changed her a little bit, hell, it changed everyone, but there was something off about her. She seemed almost vacant, and even though she was still as quick witted as ever there was something missing that he couldn’t put his finger on. He decided that he would try and figure out what the problem was.
At the moment, however, he was in heaven. He was watching Hermione sleep and while some people would think that it was just a little bit creepy, he probably would never get another chance like this. She would probably never give him the chance to be that close to her again while she was so vulnerable. He relished in it. She looked so peaceful and at ease. Yet, as he was watching her, her features started twisting. She almost looked like she was in pain. She started to twist in her seat and he almost thought she was having a nightmare. He decided to wake her up since they were almost to the school anyway. He reached over and shook her shoulder. Her eyes popped open immediately with the look of shock etched on her face.
As quick as the look appeared it disappeared and as she rubbed her eyes she caught a tear that was threatening to roll down her face. This shocked Draco because in all the time that he had tormented her, he had never seen her so sad than in that one moment.
“Oh, umm, I was just waking you because we are about to be at the school.” At that moment the carriage stopped and before he knew it Hermione had hopped out of the carriage and had disappeared into the crowd. Something was definitely wrong.
Meanwhile, Hermione couldn’t believe that she had actually fallen asleep with Malfoy so close. She must have been more tired than she thought. Granted, she hadn’t been sleeping very well at home and the constant barrage of nightmares about this past summer was not helping either. That was what happened in the carriage. She had been dreaming about her parents and she just couldn’t believe that Draco had caught her. She had been so stupid. At least, she thought, he didn’t see the tears, or at least she hoped he hadn’t. She needed to be more careful. She walked into the Great Hall and headed down the Gryffindor table towards her friends.
“Hey guys,” she gave them her best smile.
“Hi Hermione, how was the carriage ride?” asked Harry.
“It was fine. I pretended to be asleep and he left me alone.”
“Yeah. It was weird that he didn’t try anything but at least he left me alone.”
“Yeah, that’s true.”
Once everyone was seated, food appeared on their plates. Dumbledore usually allowed them to eat first because he knew too well that a hungry student was a student whose attention span lasted .2 seconds. Once everyone was full and the talking started Dumbledore walked to the podium.
At that moment, Dumbledore started his ‘beginning of the year’ speech. “Welcome students, new and old, to another year at Hogwarts. As you may know, there was a chance that we were not going to open due to unforeseen circumstances. However, we were able to make everything possible at the last minute. As I welcome you back…” He continued his speech as Hermione glanced over at the Slytherin table and met eyes with Draco Malfoy. Shit, he must have noticed something in the carriage, Hermione thought. His eyes broke their contact while her memories took over.
It was a week after the war had happened. Hermione was on a plane ride to Australia, anxiety ridden because she was on her way to pick up her parents. Before the war started she modified their memories so they would go to Australia on an extended vacation, not knowing they had a daughter. She only did it because she wanted to protect them, save them from Voldemort in case he decided to use them against her to get to Harry. She was anxious because she was worried at how her parents would take the news of having a daughter who modified their memories. She figured she would befriend them at first so as to not make matters difficult when it came to un-modifying their memories.
Once she got to Australia, the scene that awaited her was not one that she expected. She walked into the home that she had made her parents to believe was theirs. As she walked in, she noticed that there were a lot of people walking around; all of them in black. After asking around, she finally located her father and after a brief conversation with him she realized it was her mother they were grieving for. Her mother. She felt as if the wind had been knocked right out of her. Like there was now a huge gaping hole that could never be filled, right where her heart was. She took her father into an unoccupied room and performed the spell to return his memory.
After talking with her father, she found out that her mother had been killed in an attempted robbery. Apparently, someone had broken into their home while her father was at the store and encountered her mother. By the time her father arrived, he had found her mother lying on the floor and the house ransacked. Her mother had been strangled and the culprit never caught.
Devastated, her father said, “I’m so sorry honey. I don’t even know what to say.”
“No dad. This was my fault. If I hadn’t sent you away then this would have never happened.”
Her father grabbed her by the shoulders and said, “No Hermione! This is not your fault! I could never forgive myself if you blamed yourself for this. No one would have ever been able to predict this, not even your mother. She would, in no way, want or allow you to blame yourself. Right now we have each other and we have to help each other get through this.”
“You’re right dad. I’m here for you and together we will get through this.” Little did she know that that was going to be harder than she thought. After the funeral, they moved back to England. Her father had gone back to work for a weeks before his depression took over; then it he seemed to check out of life. He started passing his patients off onto his co-workers and soon he was home every day. He couldn’t stand to be around the office because he co-owned the practice with his wife. He stayed home and slept all day. When he awoke, Hermione would bring him food but he was most likely to fall back into a sleep caused by depression. After a few weeks, Hermione was struggling. She was trying to keep up with her father and her schoolwork and she tried making sure that her parents practice didn’t go down the drain.
The whole summer essentially drained any energy she had left in her. She didn’t even read all of the books that she needed to for her schoolwork, which upset her greatly. Although she wouldn’t admit that she was just trying to keep her emotions at bay with the reading, she still wasn’t ready for school. She was worried about her father once she left for school and for a moment she actually contemplated not returning for her final year. She knew that she could have taken her N.E.W.T.S. and she would have passed with ease but she also realized that she would not have been able to cope with having to care for her father day-in and day-out. As is, the summer had already killed her spirit. She didn’t know how long she would have survived if she didn’t come back to school.
She was jarred back to reality with an elbow jab to the ribs. Hermione gasped, “Ouch!” She gave a scathing look to Ginny, the elbow jabber.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered, “But Dumbledore just announced you as Head Girl. You should probably stand or something.”
She looked towards Draco and noticed he was standing. He was also staring at her with a questioning gaze. She stood up and waved to everyone, slightly blushing. Draco and Hermione sat back down and Dumbledore finished up his speech, “If anyone needs any help you can let the Prefects, Heads, or Professors know and we will help you as best as we can. Thank you and now you may all go to your common rooms. Miss Granger and Mr. Malfoy, would you please stay.”
The rest of the students filed out and headed towards their common rooms. Hermione said good-bye to her friends and went to stand over by Draco. They didn’t acknowledge each other and once all of the students were gone Dumbledore appeared at their side.
“Well, I hope you two had a good summer,” said Dumbledore.
“I did Headmaster, thank you,” said Draco. Hermione looked up at him in surprise. She couldn’t help it, he was actually being nice to Dumbledore. He looked at Hermione expectantly. She looked at the Headmaster and he too was looking at her.
Not meeting either of their eyes she said, “Oh, umm, yes well summer was summer and I’m just glad that school was allowed to reopen.”
“Well if you two would follow me please,” and with that Dumbledore began walking up the staircase.
It took them awhile, but once they reached the sixth floor it seemed they were not going to go any higher. Dumbledore wandered down the hallway and finally stopped in front of a painting with a woman reading. Figures, thought Draco.
Dumbledore smiled at the portrait and said, “Good evening Lady Grey, and how are you this fine evening?”
Lady Grey responded, “Hello Headmaster, I’m doing well thank you. Are these the new Heads?”
“Indeed they are.” He turned towards them and said, “This is where I leave you. Lady Grey will help you figure out your password. Here is a list of all passwords for the other common rooms and I expect we shall meet in the near future to discuss the extra-curricular activities of this year. As for tonight I am tired as I’m sure you two are as well. Good night.”
As they watched Dumbledore retreat, they were brought back to reality as Lady Grey was coughing to get their attention.
Startled, Hermione introduced herself, “Hello, my name is Hermione Granger. Pleased to meet you.”
Draco smiled and introduced himself, “Hello, and my name is Draco Malfoy.”
“Good evening you two. My name is Georgette Grey, but you can either call me Lady Grey or Georgie. Personally, I prefer Georgie but as you can tell the Headmaster prefers Lady Grey. Now as for your password, the both of you have to agree as to what it shall be.”
Hermione and Draco looked at each other. Hmm, this was going to be tough, thought Hermione. We never agree on anything let alone a password.
Draco was the first to speak up, “Well we could always have our password be ‘ferret face’.” He glanced sideways hoping to get a good reaction out of her. Hermione looked at him perplexed. Was he serious? The grin, not smirk but grin, was his tell-tell sign that he was trying to be funny gave him away.
“Yes, well, seeing as how you are narcissistic I suppose you would want the password to be named after yourself,” she allowed a smile to grace her face. Draco momentarily felt hurt by her words but quickly realized that she was smiling, therefore, making him feel better.
“Haha ok, or not. Do you have any suggestions?”
“How about ‘compromise’?
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