Chapter 1 : A Chance Meeting
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Platform 9 ¾ - the beginning of another year.
Draco’s 5th year to be exact and he was glad to be back.
His summer had been almost unbearable. He had spent most of his time at home – avoiding his mother’s constant nagging and his father’s constant ranting by spending most of his time in his room.
Even there all he could really do was read, which wasn’t so bad - despite what others thought, he really did enjoy his classes and got high marks in every one of them. But all too often, just as he would get comfortable with a book, the portrait in his room thought it fitting to question him about it and seemingly every five minutes thereafter. After the fifth or so time of What are you reading? and the fourth or so time of The same thing I was reading the last time you asked! He’d decide he need to get out of the house.
He’d then wander the property, a book and scroll in hand, searching for some place to get some real solitude. There he’d sit, under a tree or by the lake, finishing his books one by one; the parchment quickly filing with key points of what he read – and the occasional lazy doodle – before he’d go in for lunch or dinner.
He didn’t mind being alone. He actually preferred the non-existent company than any real – bound to be terrible – company he could get from anyone else. Eventually of course, his mother would complain. “All that reading and thinking is going to mar your naturally good looks and give you wrinkles, you know.” She’d warn before banishing him from the house, telling him to go play with his friends.
Crabbe and Goyle. He wouldn’t exactly call them his friends. They were lackeys, nothing more. And yet he knew that they were probably the closest things he had to friends. He tried not to think how pathetic that sounded.
His father always told him that one in his position - of his caliber and breeding - could not truly have friends.
“Sad but true.” He had said in his usual tone of mock melancholy. “We are Malfoy’s,” he explained, “we tolerate the presence of most and employ the presence of others, but we only make… friends…” he said the word as if it was something distasteful in his mouth, “of the purest and most capable of wizards. Do you understand?”
“Of course, father.”
Draco stood for a long while, watching the people on the platform. There were noticeably fewer students this year, but he couldn’t tell if it was because they had already gotten onto the train or because of what had happened the year before. Lesser ranks of the wizarding community tended to become timid in uncertain times like these. Especially with the rumors going around.
He smirked to himself thinking about the recent newspaper articles, wondering if Potter would have the galls to return or if he even knew what the papers had been saying about him. No doubt he would have more than his usual foes to contend with this year. All the better, he thought to himself as he decided it time to board the train.
Turning briskly, he found himself hitting something that wasn’t supposed to be there. ‘Watch where you’re going!’ He almost growled, getting as far as “Watch whe-“ when, straitening himself, he noticed whom he had run into and his voice hitched in his throat.
His mind noted the robes she wore. Another student, it said, though he was hardly listening. She was brushing her clothes down after having picked herself up off the floor.
She seemed to be about the same age as he, slightly taller, with short spiked jet-black hair, cream-colored skin and – she looked up – oh, striking steel-gray eyes. For a moment he just stood there, a grin playing at his face as he regarded her.
The girl raised an eyebrow at him in response, looking him over with a stern look on her face. “Sorry.” He said, finally finding his voice. When she didn’t reply, he continued, “I guess I should’ve been more careful…” He scratched his head absently, slightly puzzled by his sudden need to apologize and explain himself. “Hmm,” was her only response as she took one last questioning look at him and walked off towards the train.
“I'm Draco by the way.” He said. She gave no indication that she had heard him.
Having followed her onto the train, Draco noticed her head towards the rooms that he himself usually took as his own.
He also noticed the absence of Crabbe and Goyle. It was unlike them to not come running to flank him on both sides, his personal bodyguards that they were. Just as well, he thought. He'd much rather keep the company of this girl who now sat across from him.
He had been watching her for nearly an hour now as she stared out the window, seemingly attempting to deter any thought he had in speaking with her by feigning interest in the scenery. Quite successfully I might add, he thought bitterly to himself.
Then again, maybe she did find the landscape interesting. He himself had long since forgotten its beauty, having seen it for the past several years. And he was certain he had never seen her before today.
He frowned slightly, remembering how he had acted with her - stammering and apologizing as if he had done something wrong. His father would disapprove. He disapproved. He didn’t know why, but he found her to be intriguing. Certainly she was beautiful and while that may have been what caught him off-guard at first, it certainly wouldn’t have been enough to keep him interested. Beauty had never been enough for Draco. He was used to beautiful pure-blooded witches pining after him, and while they were good for some fun, he had never found himself intrigued with any of them for a prolonged period of time.
No, it was something else. She didn’t respond to him the same way most did. Most - knowing who he was; his family, their stature, what they represented – knew how to behave around him. They either tred on glass or they all but groveled at his feet. She didn’t. She pretty much ignored him. It was something he wasn’t used to and it had him transfixed.
He silently wondered how much longer would be appropriate to wait before speaking to her.
“Would you dears care for some sweets?” Having been so wrapped up in his thoughts, Draco hadn’t noticed that the trolley had stopped at the doorway while making its usual rounds.
“Do you want anything?” He asked her, sensing this to be a good time to ease into a conversation.
Shaking her head absently, Draco frowned. She was certainly determined to remain quiet. “I'll take two Chocolate Frogs and two bags of Bott's Every Flavor Beans.” he said, deciding that despite her refusal, she may still yet want some.
“You're more than welcome to some whenever you want.” He muttered as the trolley disappeared down the hall.
“Kiera.” Came the unfamiliar voice.
Startled he turned to the girl now looking at him. “I'm sorry?” He asked awkwardly, inwardly cursing himself for sounding like an idiot.
“That's my name.” She said, with a sliver of irritation in her voice that made him grin.
“Ah, Kiera, nice to meet you.” He said, noticing her accent.
“Hmm.” She half smiled. It could have been in agreement or dismissal.
“Have you been here long?” He asked hurriedly before she could turn back to the window. Seeing her eyebrows furrow in confusion, he added, “It's just that I've never seen you here before... and I'm certain I'd remember you if I had.” He smiled, weakly. Lamely, he thought.
She smiled briefly, but warmly.
She seemed like she was about to reply when the long-forgotten Crabbe and Goyle walked passed the room. “Oi!” Called one to the other as he stuck his head back into the room and noticed Draco. “I've found him.”
Looking at his watch, Draco laughed. “Only took you forty-five minutes. Where have you two been?” He asked, not really caring.
Crabbe, or maybe it was Goyle - he never really cared enough to get it straight - looked a bit sheepish. “We uh... got distracted.” He said with a grin that made Draco sure he didn’t want to know what he meant. “Fine.” he said, waving off any further comment.
Croyle, as he preferred to think of them, noticed the girl opposite him. One looked between him and Kiera – a grin playing on his face - while the other openly gawked at her. “Who's the beaut'?” asked the later, sitting himself next to her as he shot a glance at Draco.
“This is my new friend, Kiera.” He stated dryly.
Whichever half of Croyle had sat himself down next to her inched a little closer. “Oh yea? Kiera what?” He asked her while adding, “She your new toy, Draco?” with a devilish smile. “I’d sure like her to be mine if you’re not using her.” He muttered, moving his hand towards her leg.
Before Draco had a chance to reply, Kiera had her wand at the Croyle-half's neck. “I don't think that would be wise.” She hissed at him. To his benefit, the Croyle-half turned slightly pale. Draco couldn’t help but grin. “Nor is it wise to talk that way about a woman - especially while in her company. Don't you agree?” She continued, shoving her wand hard into his neck. Draco smirked as the Croyle-half nodded. “Good boy. Now why don't you take your other half and run along... before my wand slips and you accidentally loose a limb.” She threatened as her wand drifted down; her eyes growing dark, showing just how serious she was. The Croyle-half turned a shade paler as he got up to leave.
“I'll see you two when we get to Hogwarts.” Draco stated as they left and Kiera turned back towards the window, scowling.
Draco stared at her for a long while, a smile dancing on his face. It wasn't often that a girl could scare the two slabs of meat that had just left - even with her thinly veiled threat. He decided that she was definitely worth getting to know.
Sitting back, he knew this was going to be an interesting year.