Chapter 1 : The Course
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Now, as she sat on her chair, listening to the endless chatter of the Gryffindors, she realized that this last year in Hogwarts would be the one ordinary. However, the meaning of ordinary was quite debatable. She shook her head and watched and listened to Ginny, Ron and Harry. As per usual, they were talking about Quidditch.
Hermione and her friends stayed in their seats and did the remaining Seventh Year students. Then she noticed the number of the Seventh years students. Despite the combination of 'the last two years of students, there were still fewer than in any other class. She supposed that the families thought it would be better to cherish their moments together after the war.
Ginny nudged her out of her trance, pointing to McGonagall. The elder witch started to speak. "I have asked for your attention today because the Ministry has ordered the school to add a new classto your year. It has come to their attention that students should be taught about having families. It will be in preparation for the, er, shall we say future. Tomorrow, you will stay here after breakfast to have the new course fully explained to all of you. For now, go to your dormitories and have a good nights sleep." With that she turned around and left through the door behind the head table.
Draco Malfoy sighed in anticipation. He couldn’t put a finger to if this is a good thing or bad thing. To the rest of the houses, he was a coward who turned his back on the dark side moments before it lost. But to the Slytherin house, it was a different story.
He and his mother had escaped the wrath of Azkaban with their new and improved security services with the help of the Golden Trio,most especially the Golden boy himself, Harry Potter. During the summer, he had stood in defense for the two Malfoys. Draco couldn’t be grateful enough to Harry, but staying out of their way, he thought, would suffice for his gratitude.
Draco together with Blaise Zabini, the Italian Slytherin, were the only ones who had had the courage to go back to finish their final year. Most of the students that had been in their year had been on the run, killed or simply held back by the Ministry for house arrest including Pansy Parkinson, Theodore Nott, and Gregory Goyle, Vincent Crabbe was killed by his own curse during the war. Draco may be grieving a little but he couldn’t care less, to him Vincent was just a minion, Zabini had been more a friend.
The whole night he had set his gaze on his plate, pushing the food around nonchalantly with his fork. Nobody in Slytherin dared to speak, he believed that their table was the quietest one. When McGonagall stood at the Head Table, he dared to look up, but he tuned her voice out. It was only Zabini’s nudge that brought him back to reality.
“What was that about?”
“Something about family life classes. She didn’t elaborate, I don’t know.” The Italian boy shrugged his shoulders and stood up to go to the dungeons. Draco quickly stood as well following Zabini to their dorms.
As Draco strode towards the stairs, murmurs started erupting from the groups huddled in each corner of the room. He stopped dead in his tracks when he overheard the conversation of the boys closest to him.
“He’s a traitor. Dad is in Azkaban because of him and his mother.” The blond Second Year spat to the other with a lot of venom in his voice. He glared at Draco for a second but it was quickly gone.
“He’s a coward. He was just saving his skin. Associating with mudbloods and blood traitors, he doesn’t deserve to be in Slytherin.” The other agreed with the same disgust.
Blaise held him in place as his fists clenched and unclenched. His blood was beginning to boil. They didn’t know that this world is not just black and white. He thought, taking in deep breaths trying to relax himself.
“It’s time to turn in! And Slughorn wouldn’t be quite pleased with your behavior. Really talking about a housemate behind their backs? I thought Slytherins were better than that.” Blaise shook his head in disapproval as he led Draco upstairs, leaving the room in silence for the second time that night.
The morning came quickly. Hermione and the rest of the gang sat at the Gryffindor table for breakfast. Everyone was jolly and clearly not thinking about the pending announcement of the new class, everybody apart from Hermione herself.
The moment breakfast was finished the Seventh Years were left, once again, in their seats. McGonagall, rising from her chair, whisked her wand and the tables were gone, leaving rows of benches in place for the students to sit down on. Harry, Hermione, Ron, Ginny and Luna sat side by side in the front, while Draco and Blaise sat in the last row.
"You will be partnered by the Sorting Hat, as I have charmed it to be able to fairly pair you up. You and your partner will live as husband and wife, and are expected to care for a child. The children will be charmed and every two months the children will grow from months to years. As parents, you will be the one responsible for your finances, thus having internships from the Ministry and the school. You will be living with your partner and your child. Each dormitory would be consisted of group will consist of four families.”
“Yes, yes, Miss Granger, thank you very much. I seem to have forgotten about that part. WellYou will attend a class that will monitor your progress once a week. Professor Merrywood will be the one handling that class. Any more questions?” she asked. After a considerable amount of time, and nobody raising their hand - all were absorbing the news and'immersed in their thoughts - Professor McGonagall continued, “Shall we proceed to the pairing up then? Good. Now, when your name is called, please sit at the stool and let the sorting hat decide.” She cleared her voice and started calling them up, one by one. Hermione closed her eyes, in her mind there was a mantra; Please not him.
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