CHAPTER 1: Pray Tell
A/N: Hello! I started writing this chapter as soon as the prologue was validated, and I’m hoping to keep this writing habit constant. School might get in the way, but I have my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to balance everything.
Anyway, I’ve decided that –under the inspiration of One Tree Hill – the chapters will be titled after songs from my all-time favorite band, Anberlin. The title of the story itself, Dismantle. Repair, is a song of theirs, as is the prologue, Debut. Check them out! Their songs are awesome! :)
So just a bit of context information: This story follows the original Harry Potter series plotline, all the way up to Deathly Hallows, in every way EXCEPT in these character deaths: Lupin, Tonks, Fred, and Dumbledore. Oh! And Hedwig. :D I’m sorry to those who don’t like that I’ve changed that, but I just couldn’t find it in myself to write a story without them! I loved them too much. :D
Anyway, enjoy! :)
Hermione was early, of course. She arrived at Platform 9¾ a good twenty minutes before the Hogwarts Express was due to leave. Walking down the length of the platform to the front of the train, she couldn’t help the wide smile that took over her lips. She had never been more excited to go back to school, and that’s saying a lot because she is, after all, Hermione Granger. She couldn’t wait to walk the Hogwarts corridors, sit by the lake, roam the aisles of the library, and soak in every learning experience. She was especially excited to see the castle returned to its’ former glory; the last time she had been there, it was a battle ground. She was so glad that the new Minister of Magic was supportive of re-opening Hogwarts, because going back to complete her seventh year – and for most of the other students, redo their last year – was the perfect ‘new beginning’ they were all hoping for.
She stopped her cart on the platform outside the Heads compartment and glanced at her watch. “I’ve got at least 10 minutes before Ron and the others arrive. I might as well wait here. I can’t wait to see them all again!” she thought to herself. The Weasley’s and Harry were all coming from The Burrow, and given their history of last-minute packing, they were most likely to arrive just before the train whistles. Hermione’s thoughts started drifting and she found herself thinking, “Obviously the Head Boy isn’t much of an early bird. I honestly hope it’s not who I think it might be.” She’d done a lot of speculating about the identity of the Head Boy after she received her Hogwarts letter. There were plenty of possibilities, but there was a particular Slytherin boy who seemed, for her, the most likely out of the others. She only hoped that this time, she was wrong.
For September, it was unusually sunny. Hermione had dressed this morning in a thick jacket, scarf, and jeans, as she was expecting wind or rain. As she started to feel the sweat forming, she removed her scarf and pulled her jacket above her head, folding both and stowing them in one of her smaller bags. She pulled her tamed, honey-colored curls into a high ponytail.
Over the past year, Hermione had bloomed spectacularly. The effects of puberty had hit her later than most girls her age, but it had undoubtedly done the best for her. She got a bit taller and subsequently slimmer. Hunting for the horcruxes and fighting before and during the battle left her with a stunningly fit body. Her facial features got sharper; her bushy hair finally settled into manageable curls. She was aware of these changes, and she was relieved, but she was never one to show off. Ginny told her constantly while she was at The Burrow that there’s nothing wrong with flaunting what you have every once in a while, but Hermione was modest, and inherently shy. If there was ever any “flaunting”, it was purely accidental.
Crookshanks meowed loudly from his cage, and Hermione smiled at him fondly and let him out after instructing him, “Now Crookshanks, don’t wander. I’d hate to accidentally leave you behind.” Crookshanks set about to walking circles around her cart and occasionally brushing up against her leg. Her newly acquired tawny owl, Felicity, hooted quietly as a plea to be allowed out too. “Sorry, it’s against station rules to let owls out because of the droppings most leave behind. I’ll let you out as soon as we get to Hogwarts,” she promised.
Hermione checked her watch again and muttered, “Any time now…”
Draco arrived at Platform 9¾ with fifteen minutes to spare. He walked over to where he knew his friends would be waiting for him by the front of the train. He spotted the five of them talking amongst themselves, next to one of the pillars. His best friend, Blaise Zabini, was the first to spot him and their previous conversation was momentarily forgotten as the rest of them said varied hellos.
“It’s about time you got here, mate. We’ve all been here about ten minutes already,” Theodore Nott smirked.
“No one told you to be so early, Theo,” was the quick retort.
Laughing lightly, Draco’s ex-girlfriend and now good friend Pansy Parkinson piped up. “Now that you’re here, maybe you could help us. See that girl standing right in front of us?” She paused as she pointed the girl out to Draco. “We can’t figure out who she is. She was already there when we got here; she hasn’t turned or looked around since.”
“Why are you so keen to find out who she is?” Draco asked as the girl propped her elbows on the handle of her cart and rested her chin in her hands.
Daphne Greengrass answered before Pansy, “She’s standing in front of the Heads compartment, Draco. Chances are she’s Head Girl. We just want to know who she is. Well,” she paused, arching her right eyebrow, “Pansy, Astoria, and I do. Theo and Blaise are just dying to know why they haven’t noticed her before. Maybe you can figure out who she is.”
He looked over at her and tried to figure out who she was. “It’s a bit hard to tell who she is when all you can see is her back. She’s barely even moving.”
“Well she’s obviously a Gryffindor; the colors on her scarf scream it,” Daphne replied. “And she’s in our year. Whether she’s Head Girl or not, I’m sure she’s in our year. Only seventh years are allowed two animals, and I’m sure there’s an animal in the carrier next to the owl cage. But I don’t know anyone in our year with hair that...” she trailed off, not sure how to describe it. “Nice.” her sister Astoria finished.
“I don’t know any girl in our year with a body that nice either,” Blaise added, grinning widely. “Even under all that cover, you can see it. I can’t believe I never noticed her before, whoever she is. Maybe I should just go up to her now and introduce myself. If she doesn’t already know me, of course,” he laughed jokingly.
All six of them simultaneously looked over at the mystery girl and as if on cue, she straightened up and removed the scarf from around her neck. She pulled her jacket up over her head, revealing a sliver of skin around her torso. She placed both scarf and jacket in her bag, and then reached up again to pull her hair up into a ponytail. The three boys watched a tad bit over-eager as her shirt was lifted slightly yet again.
Blaise whistled softly before turning to look at his friends. “I told you there was a bloody nice body underneath,” he said to the three girls. Noticing that the others hadn’t looked away from the mystery girl yet, he turned back to look at her too. She had bent over her cart and seemed to be talking to whatever animal was inside the carrier next to her owl. As soon as a huge, ginger cat jumped out from the carrier, Astoria and Pansy gasped loudly causing the rest of them to look away from the girl and towards their two friends. They had identical looks of shock etched on their faces
“No way. There’s just no way that’s her!” Pansy said, shaking her head slightly.
“It has to be. There’s no one else in Hogwarts who would own a cat like that,” Astoria responded somewhat calmly; she was getting over the shock much quicker than Pansy was. “Now I think about it, it’s really quite obvious. We should’ve figured it out sooner. I mean, who else would be Head Girl?”
“Bu-but she looks so…different!” Pansy stuttered through her still apparent shock.
“I’ve actually talked to her more than the rest of you put together, and I didn’t even recognize her. It must have been an interesting summer for her,” Astoria mused, the look of shock now completely gone and replaced by an amused one.
Will one of you please tell the rest of us what’s going on? You’ve figured out who she is?” Draco interjected.
Pansy nodded, “That hideous looking cat is one-of-a-kind at Hogwarts. And Astoria’s right – it completely makes sense for her to be Head Girl.” When none of the others caught on, Astoria sighed loudly. “Apparently it’s not as obvious as I thought,” she said.
“Honestly guys. Its – “
Astoria was cut off by the redhead who’d shouted, though it was soon unnecessary for her to continue as the group of Slytherins would soon be able to finish the sentence themselves. They barely noticed the redhead and the group of people accompanying him as they watched the mystery girl turn to the boy who shouted. They finally got a good enough look at her face to recognize who she was, and the reaction was instant. Daphne gasped loudly; Blaise, Theo, and Draco‘s jaws dropped.
“He took the words straight out of my mouth,” Astoria said. “It’s Hermione Granger.”
A/N: Hello everyone! Thanks so much for reading! I really hope you guys like it. Tell me what you think! I’m open to all comments (good and/or bad) and suggestions, so please please please rate and review! :) I’ll respond to every single one.
Thanks again for reading! :)