Chapter Image made by JRose16 @ TDA
Seven months ago, September 1st, Sixth year
Hermione Granger was nervous about starting her sixth year at Hogwarts. She wasn't looking forward to going back after what had happened during the summer. She had a secret that no-one was allowed to know not even her close friends, Harry and Ron. She boarded the train after saying goodbye to her anxious parents. She found an empty compartment which meant she could think things over. She scratched her left arm, irritated by what was underneath. She pushed her thick brown hair back away from her face to reveal her caramel brown eyes. Memories of her previous years at Hogwarts were flashing before her eyes. All the wonderful times she had with her friends but this year she knew it was going to be completely different. She knew that there was no turning back on the events that would follow. Suddenly the compartment door slid open to reveal a boy with a mop of black hair and glasses stood in the doorway.
"Hey Hermione," said Harry. "I didn't see you there,"
But as Harry looked at Hermione and met her eyes, she couldn't help avoiding his gaze. For six years, they shared everything between them. Nothing was 'secret' between two. But now, it felt like some kind of magical barrier was set between them.
"Hermione?" asked Harry, his eyes filled with concern, "Anything wrong?"
Hermione's gazed stayed fixed on the window as she looked in awe as the countryside flew past in a swirl of emerald and aqua colour. The sun was shining bright outside illuminating everything it touched. She didn't even acknowledge her best friend who was now sat opposite her. The only thought that graced her mind was the pain that was still stinging in her lower left arm. As if that wasn't bad enough, now Harry looked incredibly concerned about her welfare.
"I'm fine!" Hermione snapped irritably, wincing at the pain in her left arm. "I'd just rather throw myself off the highest tower before I had to continue for another two years,"
She looked up to see the worried expression that had formed on Harry's face. She quickly snapped her gaze away to looking back out of the window. She wasn't looking forward to spending another year at Hogwarts. It wasn't everyday that she was chosen to do something important. Deep down Hermione didn't even want to go through with the mission. If anyone were to find out about what she had become then she'd be the most hated person in the whole of the school. She used to be the brain box of Gryffindor but recent events now meant that she was on the dark side. Before long her mind started to focus on what had happened over the summer.
“You are here so I can brief you once more about what you have to do,” Voldemort hissed. “When you arrive at Hogwarts that is when your mission will start. If you fail then I will have no choice but to kill you!”
Hermione's eyes widened. ‘Kill me…' she thought.
"Yes, my Lord," she whispered as a small solitude tear fell down her cheek.
"Do I detect a sense of failure from you?” Voldemort hissed moving closer to Hermione. She averted her gaze down to her feet not wanting him to see the fear in her eyes. How could she do her mission?
"N-No my L-Lord," She stuttered hoping that he would miss the fault in her words.
It didn't go a miss. Voldemort had heard it almost straight away. He rounded on Hermione his eyes full of anger. Hermione knew that his cold, dark eyes were boring into her head. He was quick to react. Faster then the speed of light he had thrown Hermione to the floor. Her body connected with the solid floor with a thump. She winced in pain as her head took the full blow. She started to shake uncontrollably. She never heard what he had said but the next thing she knew was her whole body was aching full of pain.
It felt as though she had been burned with not one but a thousand white hot pokers. Every part of her body was burning as though in a raging fire. She let out a scream which echoed off into the distance. She shut her eyes, wishing and hoping that the pain would stop but it never came to an end. When the pain had dropped Hermione got up off the floor, shaken by what had just happened. A tiny prick of pain was till going round her body. Her legs felt like jelly as she tried to stand. She winced in pain at every breath she took. Her body still felt as though it was on fire. It wasn't a nice feeling at all.
She shoke those memories away as she heard another voice call into the compartment she was in.
“Harry, there you are. I’ve been searching for the whole train for you,” Ron Weasley had his head sticking round the compartment door. “Oh, hey Hermione,” He added sitting next to Harry.
“How was your summer Hermione?” Harry asked trying to get her attention.
She finally took up the courage to look at him. She sighed before she closed her eyes for a second or two gathering her thoughts.
“Same old things happening really. Still trying to settle in with the new family I guess,” She said without her normal cheery smile.
“Hermione, you’ve had over a year to settle in,” Ron said.
“You don’t know how it feels Ronald Weasley!” Hermione snapped getting up out of her seat angrily.
Sliding the compartment door open she stopped for a moment considering her actions when she heard Ron whisper, “Someone got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning.”
How could he be so insensitive to her feelings? She slammed the compartment door behind her and started to walk up the train hoping to find a free compartment where she could gather her thoughts again. Ron had now made the situation three times worse then it had already been. Suddenly Hermione bumped into someone. She stumbled backwards she opened her mouth to say something but no sound escaped.
“Watch where you’re going Granger!”
She looked up to see the pale face and chilling grey eyes of Draco Malfoy staring at her. For many years this boy had been the source of all the trouble. He loved calling Hermione a mudblood. He seemed to get a certain thrill about it.
“I’m so sorry Malfoy,” she said her eyes locking with his grey ones.
“Always so humble Granger,” Malfoy smirked.
“Will you move out of the way?” she asked forcefully.
She hoped that by asking this he would move straight away but instead he thought that it would be best if he were to annoy her a little, satisfying his own needs to bully someone.
“Which way would you like me to go Granger, to the left or to the right?”
“Just get out of the way Malfoy!” She said pushing past him.
She had only taken two steps forward before she realised someone was holding on to her wrist tightly. She turned her head to see Draco’s pale hand wrapped round her wrist stopping her from moving.
“Let go of me!” Hermione snapped.
She tried and tried to get her wrist free but with every movement his grip got tighter and tighter. She finally gave up the struggle when she felt her hand fill with pins and needles.
“I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of each other this year,” Draco said releasing his grip on Hermione’s wrist.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Hermione asked.
“I’m sure you’ll find out sooner or later,” Draco said brushing against her arm as he walked away. A slight stinging pain filled Hermione’s arm but she just pushed it aside.
“Mione, what did Malfoy want?” Ginny asked walking towards Hermione.
“Did you hear all of that?” Hermione asked looking at her best friend.
Ginny ignored that question as concern filled her. She looked at Hermione to see that she had gone ghostly white.
“Are you sure you’re alright?” she asked.
“Yes, I’m fine. Ron was just being a bloody prat that is all,”
“Come on, come and sit with me and Luna and you can forget all about my brother,” Ginny said taking Hermione by the arm.
A/N: Feel free to review this chapter as I would like to know what you think of it and your views on the over all story so far. Don't worry I don't bite. Well I'm off to college soon so I might not be able to update this as much as I can so please bare with me. I'll try to update the story when I get free time.