The tension in the air hung as everyone in Professor Mc Gonagall’s advanced transfiguration class sat in silence waiting for her to arrive. Draco’s eyes scanned the room uncertain of who he might be paired with, until now it hadn’t really crossed his mind all that much. He was sitting alone at a table near the radiator warming his hands on it. He had a serious expression of his face as his eyes danced around the room at everyone. He knew what was coming or rather who was coming, but to his surprise it was coming quicker than he thought. Hermione Granger got up from her seat and sat beside him. He didn’t say a word he just raised his right eyebrow in confusion as to why she was now sitting beside him. She threw some dirty looks around the room at those who were now staring so they’d stop
“Look I’m sorry about earlier I didn’t mean to be so cruel”
Draco’s face relaxed into a blank expression, still remaining mute
“I don’t know what came over me, and I said I better apologies because you know as well as I do we’re going to be paired together because of our marks”
“The thought had crossed my mind” he said seeming uninterested in whatever else she had to say
“And I was thinking that we should probably be courteous of one another, not even just stay out of each other’s way at least”
“Maybe you should, I haven’t done anything to offend or upset you thus far”
“Thus far?” Hermione was surprised he would come out with something like that “What about the other six years of torment I had to put up with” she huffed then began nervously fixing her hair as Draco’s relaxed attitude was throwing her off, she was used to his snide, witty, offensive comments
“Well people change, at least I’m changing for better”
“What? What’s that supposed to mean?” she snapped slamming her hand on the table in anger. The rest of the class looked over at them, but then continued on with their own conversations. Only those who were close enough could hear what was being said.
“I finally have something to agree with Weasley on, you sounded just like Pansy Parkinson earlier”
Hermione held her tongue, she couldn’t argue with him she did sound like her and that scared her a little as she hated her nearly as much as she hated Draco!
“Well I’m sorry”
“Apology accepted” he smirked at her knowing saying that would rub her up the wrong way, he could have just said thank you but decided not to
“Ok class books out wands away, theory today no practical” Professor Mc Gonagall bust through the door with a stack of books floating behind her. Hermione returned to her seat relieved she had that over with, now there was the small matter of her study partner and she knew for a fact she wouldn’t find out till the end of class.
Everyone watched as time ticked on wishing the end of time would come quick. The anticipation was getting too much for some and Padma Patil couldn’t resist the urge and raised her hand
“Professor have you picked our partners?”
“Miss Patil, yea I have”
“Will we find out today?”
“Well I suppose I can tell this class first” she stood and thought for a moment “Oh no I better not I’ll do it at dinner this evening when the entire year is together”
“Oh please Professor” Hannah Abbot pleaded
“Ok then” She agreed rather excited about the whole thing. She took a notebook from the large pile of books that followed her in and then fixed her half-moon shaped glasses into her nose and began to read of her pairs
“Padma Patil and Terry Boot, Ron Weasley and Millicent Bullstrode”
Ron sunk into his chair he’d rather be partnered with the giant squid than Millicent Bullstrode
“Blaize Zanini and Daphne Greengrass, Harry Potter and Tehodoe Nott”
As the list went on there was excitement and disappointment swarming around the room. Some students were shocked with their partners others had worked it out that week themselves. No one was tenser than Hermione she just wanted to know and be done with it, and this was it her name was next
“Hermione Granger and Neville Longbottom”
Hermione nearly jumped from her seat with excitement but she tried to remain composed, the wide grin on her face however she could not control
“Oh I’m sorry I meant to say Hannah Abbot”
Hermione didn’t mind, anyone but Draco Malfoy she relaxed back into her chair and sighed
“So Hannah Abbot and Neville Longbottom and last but not least Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy!
Hermione’s heart sank she thought she had avoided the inevitable but now she was stuck with Draco
“Ok class off you go” Professor Mc Gonagall let them leave ten minutes early, there was a melee to get out of the class but Hermione just sat there as if she were depressed. Draco also took his time walking out, he stopped at her desk and picked up her quill out of its ink pot and began twirling it in his fingers
“Karma’s a bitch isn’t it” he placed the quill back in the ink and casually walked out of the classroom leaving an extremely pissed off Hermione.
After a quick briefing about what you and your study partner have to do, excitement charged round the Great Hall and everyone began pairing up to lay out their study plan and routines with the exception of a few. Hermione and Ron sat at the Gryffindor table beside each other with their heads down dreading the thoughts of spending time with their partners.
“Maybe we could switch” Ron mumbled as he flicked through his potions book “At least Malfoy doesn’t smell” he had never liked Millicent Bullstrode ever since she picked him up and squeezed him tightly at the Tri-Wizards ball a few years previous, he never did know how to handle girls who fancied him!
“You heard Mc Gonagall we’ll lose house points for things like that” Hermione added feeling defeated by the situation. She pulled out a blank sheet of parchment and began to write down a list of times and places furiously. When she was sure she had everything down she folded it in half then got up from her seat
“If I don’t make it back come after me, I have a feeling I may kill him” she joked as she left Ron sitting alone to make her way to the Slytherin table.
She felt like the entire Slytherin table was staring at her as she approached Draco, but in reality no one really cared all that much, but to her it was a little intimidating. Draco, however, was staring at her, dreading whatever it was she had to say. He didn’t feel like being verbally abused today.
“What do you want Granger?”
Hermione presented him the folded piece of parchment “Here, it’s a list of days, times and the places I like to study”
Draco took it from here, not knowing why though, why should she get to call the shots! Who did she think she was? He felt saying it to her and did she not know who he was and she had no right to boss him around, but sadly she kind of did. He wasn’t the intimidating Draco Malfoy he once was, so instead he just said,
“Ok” and placed the parchment in his journal
Hermione was expecting an argument for sure, in fact she was kind of hoping for one so her little outburst at him the other wouldn’t seem so bad if he shouted at her, but, nothing all she got was an “Ok”
“Fine” she responded not knowing what to do next she let out an angry sigh and turned on her heels and stormed out of the Great Hall.
Daphne Greengrass was sitting opposite Draco at the Slytherin table with her study partner, Blaise Zabini, which Draco was secretly happy about as it would keep Blaise happy and hopefully Daphne wouldn’t act like she did the other night towards him, he didn’t need another reason for Blaise to be angry at him. Daphne was staring at Draco intensely. Draco looked at her slightly confused not sure why she was staring him down
“Never would have taken you for a doormat Draco” she hissed
“Draco the doormat has certain ring to it doesn’t it?” Blaise added, he was still a little annoyed at Draco from the other day
“Letting that little prissy bitch walk all over you” Daphne said spitefully
Draco slammed his journal closed and got up from his seat and made his way out of the Great Hall.
After a long lap of the castle to clear his head Draco took Hermione’s list of places and times out of his journal. It wasn’t written as neatly as her handwriting normally was but still legible. The first place was the library with the days and times she used to study there, the next place was the prefects common room followed by Professor Trelawney’s Divination class room when it was available, which Draco thought was odd as he knew Hermione wasn’t a fan of that subject, however, he was aware of how comfy the seat were in that class room. There were several other places around the castle she had listed that Draco would never have thought of as a good place to study and even though he hated to admit it, Hermione was just as dedicated as him when it came to work so there must have been some method behind the madness!
He check the time, it was just after eight o clock, he looked back at the parchment
“The library it is then” he said aloud and made his way there
Draco approached Hermione’s table in the library, which was cover with books and notes, he didn’t expect her to be so untidy. He made a soft coughing noise to get her attention. She looked up from her book and the expression on her face fell as if she were disappointed her showed up
“I didn’t think you’d actually come” she spat as she tidied her notes and books over to one side so he could sit across from her
“I’m just full of surprises” he said giving a fake smile as he took a seat “So how are we going to work this?” he asked, genuinely wanting to hear what she had to say as he was fresh out of ideas on how two people who hate each other are supposed to get along
“How about we’re seen studying together to keep Professor Mc Gonagall happy, but we don’t actually have to communicate with each other?”
“Sounds perfect, I don’t need you and you don’t need me”
“Exactly” she returned to her book and Draco began to lay out his notes. They remained in silence for the next hour.
Mrs Pince the librarian gently placed her hand on Hermione’s shoulder, startling her and making her jump, which in turn startled Draco who also jumped at her sudden movement
“Hermione dear it’s almost curfew” she looked over at Draco with a disapproving expression and returned to her desk near the door
Draco glanced round the deserted library something he was quite used to, but he normally left before Hermione. He stared out the stain glass windows at the sky, it wasn’t completely dark yet even though it was half past nine, there was still a glimmer of blue seeping through the twilight sky reminding him it wasn’t just autumn yet, summer was still holding on by a thread.
“MALFOY” Hermione shouted
Draco jumped in his seat “What is your problem Granger?” he snapped
“I called you three times, Mrs Pince is waiting to lock up”
“Oh right sorry” he quickly grabbed his things realising he had got caught up in a world of his own for a moment
If looks could kill, Hermione’s would have rivalled a basilisk! There was the word again “Sorry” from Draco Malfoy even if he hadn’t consciously said it, he still did.
Much to their dislike, the had to walk the same way to get to their dorms if they wanted to make curfew on time, Hermione had considered being late and facing filch but then thought that would just make things more tense between them, even if Draco had been thinking the same thing.
They walked in silence the only noise being made was their footsteps which fell in and out of unison as they echoed down the corridors. Draco knew they would be parting soon and was trying to decide whether or not to say something or just go their separate ways.
“See you in the morning” he said awkwardly, the tension of the situation causing him blush slightly
“Yea sure” Hermione responded just as awkwardly
As she walked alone back to her dorm she thought about the whole thing, he wasn’t as difficult as she thought he was going to be, in fact, he wasn’t difficult at all. She felt differently towards him, she just couldn’t figure out why? He was being tolerable for once. The whole thing was more confusing than the end of year exams Professor Snape used to give them!
“You’re back later than usual” Blaise greeted Draco with as he walked through the door of their room
“I was studying” he answered coldly as he threw his things on his bed
“Doing that little mud bloods homework for her? Or has she not got you that whipped yet?”
Draco shot him a look something similar to Hermione’s basilisk impression she had gave him earlier and began to get undressed for bed. Blaise didn’t mean to watch him undress, but the scars on Draco’s back caught his attention. There must has been at least fifteen scars slashed all over his back, two of them stood out more than the rest, you could tell they were deep wounds.
“Are, Are they from the war?” he asked nervously
“Some” Draco rubbed round the back of his neck then ran his fingers through his platinum blonde hair before turning to face Blaise “Some are from intense death eater training courtesy of the wonderful Bellatrix and some were just for my father’s own sick twisted amusement when things weren’t going his way” Draco raged spitefully
“And these ones” he ran his hands across his chest and abs that were starting to make a comeback from getting back on the Quidditch team, something he had been looking forward to doing all summer “These are from Harry Potter himself”
Blaise remained silent he didn’t know what to say to Draco, what were you supposed to say? Sorry you had a horrible family? Draco was used to it though as most people were under the illusion he had the utmost respect for his family, he had lost that when his father was sent to Azkaban, when his whole world started spiralling out of control. Not that he ever let it show.
“I might get them covered with a tattoo of a dragon” he said rather cheerfully as he climbed into bed and turned off the lights.
Professor Slughorn had assignment sheets laid out on everyone, waiting for them as they unwillingly made their way to their desks
“Your first assignment of the term” he chippered “all the instructions are there, you must research the list of ingredients and then come up with a potion of your own that works and that you’ve made a clear and exact report on, you can only use the ingredients on that list, there’s plenty there”
The classroom buzzed with excitement, making your own potion seemed like it was going to be great fun! Hermione however was fretting a little, she could handle potion theory just fine but actually making them was a different story.
“It will be a partner assignment and to save time you will be paired with your study partners”
No one really seemed to mind all that much as it had been two weeks and everyone was getting used to their partners. Draco looked over his shoulder at Hermione was reading over her notes. He rolled his eyes at the thoughts of having to do this with her, their system of meeting up, not talking and just studying was working just fine but now they have to decide on something, together! It was never going to happen. He did want to get excellent marks on this assignment however, as it’s what he wanted to do with his life, so that meant he was possibly going to have to tip toe around her to make sure they do the best and keeping her happy was going to be the key! He looked back in her direction to find she was staring at him, probably thinking the exact same thing as himself. He lifted his bag off the seat beside him and put out his hand to gesture that she sits beside him. She whispered something to Ron who seemed to smile sympathetically at her. As she walked towards Draco’s table she looked over her shoulder at Ron who mouthed “Good luck”. Draco sighed, it was beginning to get frustrating that someone openly disliked him so much, he could handle people not liking him but they usually kept that to themselves with the exception of Harry, Ron and especially Hermione and since Harry seemed to be coming round to getting along with him, Ron was easy to handle as he was never quick enough to come back with anything worthwhile to say but there was something about Hermione the riled him up.
She sat beside him any laid out her notes neatly, the smell of her perfume wafted towards him, he was beginning to dislike the sweet, delicious smell as it reminded him of her! She seemed unusually timid today which was unlike her, she was usually quite head strong. He could tell there was something up with her but wasn’t going to bother asking, instead he was going straight ahead with the assignment.
“Ok so I was thinking if you come up with a few concepts and idea’s I’ll back them up by trying them out and seeing what works best together, we should probably start small and start ruling out the obvious combinations that everyone is going to come up with, it has to be something original”
Hermione was secretly relieved he had suggested that he would test them out, if she took care of the research and he made the actual potion this was going to work perfectly.
“That sounds great” the relief in her voice was obvious
“I know brewing potions isn’t your forte” he said smugly, he had watched her struggle in potions for his own amusement several times, it was the only class he was constantly ahead of her.
Hermione was also well aware of this. She let his smug comment go and began thinking of ideas. Their vow of silence between one another was back in place till it had to be broken again.
“How come you have to think of it by yourself it seems pretty unfair if you ask me” Ginny protested as she poured tea fir herself, Hermione and Harry in the Gryffindor common room.
“Not really Gin, he’s going to brew whatever I come up with, I think he’s aware if my bad luck with that” she twirled her spoon in her tea and watched the sugar dissolve and thought to herself that yet again Draco was being nice to her by splitting the assignment like he did
“Sounds fair to me, he seems very perceptive doesn’t he?” Harry, yet again, trying to get Hermione to lighten up.
“What do you mean Harry?” Ginny asked, passing him tea carefully trying not to spill it.
Harry took a moment to think about how he was going to answer, he looked up at two girls who seemed eager to hear his answer
“Well, he’s always been able to wind us up and get a rise of out us very easily it’s like he knows how everyone ticks and the only one of us that seems to be able to get the same reaction out of him is Hermione, and I personally think that’s because she punched him”
Hermione burst out laughing as Harry reminded her of how she punched Draco she ended up spilling tea all over herself, Ginny joined in as she watched her spill her tea. Harry looked over at Ginny and winked at her and began laughing himself.
The mood changed as Ron stormed through the portrait hole with a wicked scowl on his face then plonked himself beside Hermione
“Everything ok Ron?” She asked moving away from him slightly as he was covered in muck and smelled like he’s had his quidditch uniform of for months “Maybe you should relax and have a shower, how was Quidditch practice?”
“Horrible, Malfoy the git was being his usual self on the Quidditch field”
The three of them smiled at each other trying not to laugh, not at Ron, but at the idea of Hermione punching him again
“Maybe you could punch him again Mione one for Ron this time” Ginny giggled
“What’s so funny?” Ron snapped at his sister
“We were just talking about Hermione punching him, wish I had of been there to see”
Ron’s sour expression slowly turned into a wide grin and his shoulders began to shake as he stared to laugh “Awh Gin it was excellent”
“What did he do anyways?” Hermione asked now at the complete opposite end of the sofa
“Caught me off guard and I ended up wrapping myself around the bleachers” Ron held up his left hand to show a long deep cut the was covered in dried blood and muck
The other three winced at the awful sight
“Go have a shower and we’ll go see madam Pomfry” Hermione suggested “That’s going to scar”
Ron got up from his seat and began to make his way for a shower “I hope it does scar that’d be so cool”
“Oh Ron you’re much a big kid” Ginny laughed
“Scar’s aren’t all their cracked up to be” Hermione added as she clutched her arm
Harry rubbed his head at the mention of the word scar, it always made him think
“It doesn’t hurt anymore, at all, since Voldemort died”
“Really, that’s great Harry” Ginny got up and sat beside him taking his hand
Hermione smiled at the pair, she was so happy they were finally together
“I wish I could get rid of mine” she pulled up the sleeve of her uniform and took out her wand and gently ran it down her forearm to reveal a scar that read “Mud Blood” carved into her delicate pale skin “I keep it masked by a spell I read about when I was younger, I actually looked it up for Harry”
“You never told me about that one Mione”
“Well by the time I was sure I had perfected it, I realised you were proud of your scar”
Her mind drifted off as she never thought she’d have to use it on a scar hurt her so much every time she looked at it and how she’d have to do this for the rest of her life, it felt like she was hiding something
“Not to bring the conversation back to Malfoy, but when Voldemort died all death eaters were left with a horrible scar, and he got his covered with a tattoo”
“Really of what?” Hermione was curious, though she didn’t want a tattoo on her arm
“Just script of some sort I think it was Latin” Harry didn’t want to tell them what it said, as he knew Malfoy told him in confidence that he wouldn’t tell anyone, it was a quote from Dumbledore that effected them both
“And he showed you?” Ginny asked a little shocked
“No, no I just noticed” He figured if he said yes, that they had a conversation in the Astronomy tower the first night they got here, they wouldn’t leave him alone till he told them everything the spoke about.
A comfortable silence fell in the common room as they three of the relaxed into their seats and enjoyed the blazing fire beside them. All of a sudden Hermione jumped from her seat
“I’ve got it” she began to head for her dorm
“You’ve got what?” Ginny asked a little startled
“My potion, I’ve got it” she shouted back as she ran up the stairs
Ok, so I hope this chapter was ok! It was a little long winded in some parts so I hope I didn’t bore you! It was all necessary though!
Thanks for all the reviews I’ve gotten so far!! And I hate to beg but please, please, please, please review!! It makes me happy!
Thanks to everyone who reads and reviews