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Chapter 1 : Not the Same
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Hermione Granger was no longer the strong and fearless Gryffindor she had been during and before the war, now she was broken, sad and dejected. Her parents had died in a car crash in Australia and Ron and Harry had no idea what had happened. They believed everything was absolutely perfect, but she knew better, she knew nothing would ever be the same.
And Harry and Ron were living in some fantasy world, believing that the war had never happened. Hermione was still dating Ron and knew that he was contemplating marriage, but she didn’t want him like she used to, she no longer loved him like she used to, finding out about her parents death had changed her completely, she had lost weight from depression, her eyes no longer had a spark in them and she had many sleepless nights filled with grief and nightmares. It was evident she would never be the same girl again and she didn’t really care, she had nothing left to live for.
Hermione spent her days in the garden of her small cottage reliving the nightmares that haunted her in her sleep. Without realizing it, she dozed off in the warm heat of the sun. She awoke to the sound of an owl hooting, and extended her arm for the owl to land on, it was a black beautiful barn owl and on its leg a letter was attached. She sat down and set the owl besides her before reading the letter which was engraved with the Hogwarts crest.
Dear Miss. Granger I am pleased to inform you that you have been invited to repeat your 7th year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, this year the attire will be open choice, robes will not be needed except during certain classes, below are the books and extra utensils needed for this year, 7th year potion making elite (which is 2 levels above advanced), 7th year Transfiguration elite, 7th year charms Elite Advanced (a level above elite), 7th year D.A.D.A Elite Advanced, 7th year Elite Astronomy: The Universe Through the Ages by J.G Cromwell, 7th year Magical Healing Intermediate, Monster Book of Monsters year 7, Herbology 707 and a knights armor as well, you can find this at Sir Lancelot's ye Olde Weaponry.
Also: quills, parchment, a familiar (Any animal that is bonded to you), robes, casual clothing, toiletries, and other things you find necessary. And I am discouraged to inform you that due to the fact that you will be returning to Hogwarts after skipping one year, you will not be able to be head girl, the position is to be given to Ginerva Weasley if she wishes to attend Hogwarts for this year as well. We can not wait to see you back Head Mistress Professor M. Mcgonagall.
Hermione stared at the letter before realizing that she finally had another chance, maybe things had changed.
“oi, Hermione love, where have you been?” Ron asked when I returned home.
“oh- I was just out for a walk, why?” I said
“because I received my Hogwarts letter, did you?” I nodded not really enjoying this conversation. “listen Ronald I’m not feeling well, I’m going to bed see you in the morning?”
“of course love, and in case you feel a little lonely my bedroom door is always open.” he said with a kiss and I gave him a smile trying not to look revolted. As much as I loved Ron, I just couldn’t stand him anymore he treated me like some sorta trophy that he got for “helping” to defeat Voldemort and I just found him completely disgusting. I trudged up the stairs climbed into my bed and fell asleep.
I was finally back at Hogwarts the one place that had remained home for me. Ron grabbed my hand and held it like he would the quidditch trophy and I couldn’t care less, I was finally back home. Professor Mcgonagall began her speech by welcoming everyone back and talking about the past year and how Voldemort's reign had affected the castle greatly so they were going to see new changes made to the school and then she introduced 4 new teachers Leona Smith Muggle Studies, Lillian Ross Potions, Jeffrey Byrd defense against the dark arts and Timothy Phillips Heroes of Hogwarts. They seemed very intriguing and I wondered when I would be able to take Professor Byrd's class and Professor Phillips class.
I feel asleep that night dreaming of what could have been, me living happily ever after with Ron, having a perfect life, having miniature Ron's and Hermione's it would have been perfect, but it all flew away from my reach and now my paradise was long gone. I crept out of my dorm and slipped on my ballet slippers before going to the astronomy tower.
I didn’t know why I came here, perhaps I wanted to do some cruel reenactment of Dumbledore’s death and fall from the tower, but I wasnt going to jump off, instead I began to dance, I had been a ballerina at some point, no one knew it was a secret I kept to myself, I had been in ballet since I could walk and had taken classes every possible chance I got.
I had considered going to Beauxbatons but decided it wouldn’t be a good enough challenge. I hummed the nutcracker and began to dance a little stiffly for I hadn’t taken classes in an entire year, I had thought of joining once again after the war had ended but decided not to for fear of showing to much angst and sorrow in all of my movements.
It took me a while to warm up but finally I felt myself relax and do fluid and graceful movements once more. I finished with a bow to an imaginary crowd before starting a different dance, swan lake. I jumped onto the edge of the tower and danced precariously from there. I felt a sort of excitement from here because I could fall off and die at any moment. But it wasn’t until the end of dance and I had jumped off that everything went wrong.
I began to practice en pointe I was already intermediate in this but like I said its been a while since I had last practiced and my body wasn’t ready for it. I began to spin on one toe and after the first five consecutive spins I felt a crack in my big toe and I collapsed onto the floor tears flooded my eyes and I shakily removed my worn shoes and stifled the cry of disgust that wanted to erupt from my mouth.
My toe was clearly broken and blood was oozing out of it and it had turned a sickly black and purple color. I cried and mentally punished myself for not bringing my wand, yeah I could do wandless magic but I wasn’t quite, experienced with healing spells without my wand. I sighed and pulled myself up and sat against the wall still crying.
“Hermione, are you all right?” I looked up startled trying to find who had called me.
“wh-what do you want?” I snarled when I noticed it was Malfoy.
“nothing I just wanted to see if you were all right.” His tone was completely kind and silky but I ignored it this was Malfoy slytherin prince and my personal tormentor of 6 years.
“oh really” I snarled glaring daggers at him. He approached me and sat a good distance away from me.
“yes, I know you might not trust me anymore, after all I’ve done these past years, I truly am regretful of it, please let me make it up to you.” I glared at him but at that moment my toe decided to start burning horribly and the wind picked up causing my to yelp in pain and shiver.
I watched cautiously as Malfoy pulled out his wand and pointed it to my toe. “Sana” I watched awed as my toe began to heal but it was painful and I almost screeched out in pain but Malfoy grabbed my hand and I squeezed it as hard as I could. 15 seconds later my toe was completely better and like new.
“how did you know that spell?” I asked, that spell was used by only the best trained healers at Saint Mungo's, not even I could perform it perfectly as he had.
“as a child I had always wanted to be a healer and I took courses from Madam Pomfrey and other healers individually.” I nodded as he performed yet another spell, a scourgify and my foot was cleared of all blood. “now may I ask why you are out here on such a cold night?” he asked placing his cloak around the both of us.
I looked at him and sighed, “nightmares.” he nodded as if he knew what I was going through.
“would you like to join me on a midnight snack then?” I looked at him surprised, when did he suddenly grow a heart?
“um sure I guess.” he helped me up and offered me his arm and we walked to the kitchens together.
“so Draco,” I said using his name for the first time I sorta liked it. “um how did you know I was at the astronomy tower, or were you stalking me?” I asked lightly.
He grinned, “actually I had been on the tower before you, because I myself couldn’t sleep.”
I nodded and then looked at him horrified, “wait you were there the entire time?” was it me, or did he just blush.
“well, um yes and might I congratulate you, you are a wonderful dancer, but I um well, yes, and I did happen to hear everything you said, and I don’t judge I’ve had those exact same thoughts plenty of times.”
I looked up at him surprised, “really?”
He sighed and his eyes hardened a bit before he looked back at me, “yeah, my life isn’t as perfect as some might think.” I just nodded not asking for details. I looked down at the waffle I was eating and a wicked gleam entered my eyes.
I cut a piece of it and placed it on a spoon and launched it at Draco and it hit him right on the center of his cheek, he looked at me in shock before doing the same with his Cocoa Crispies. I grabbed a plate and used it for shelter, then I grabbed a handful of gummy bears and threw them at him. 20 minutes and hundreds of different foods covering each other and the floor later.
“okay okay I surrender!!” Draco yelled after I had thrown a cream pie at him.
I giggled stood on the table and shouted, “victory is mine!” I danced a little before Draco launched himself at me and tackled me to the ground ticking me.
“surrender!” he shouted with glee.
I started laughing gasping for air but managed to choke out, “never, give me liberty-HAHAHA- or give me-hahaha- DEATH!” I continued giggling.
“WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?” we immediately stop and look up, professor Mcgonagall was standing before us in a low cut leopard print night dress and her hair let down. I choked and Draco got off me.
“um, we we were just en-enjoying ourselves professor.” I finally managed to stutter.
“by destroying the kitchens and acting like lunatics and after curfew as well, I expected much more from the both of you.”
I looked down in shame, “but professor, it was by accident, you see, I was having nightmares and feeling quite, well um depressed and I started wandering the corridors and well um Draco had prefect duties this night and he found me and helped me feel better.” I squeaked out, still looking down in shame.
I risked a look up at the professor and she gave me a knowing look and said, “alright both of you are pardoned but before returning straight to your dorms you will clean up the entire kitchens.” I looked at the professor my eyes wide, no house points deducted?
As if reading my mind she said, “no Ms. Granger, like I said you and Mr. Malfoy are pardoned you will have no detentions or reduced house points now hurry and clean up the kitchens and straight to bed.” she then grabbed a cup of coffee and a jar of cookies before leaving.
“at least we get to use our magic.” I say with a grin towards Draco who has been entirely quiet the entire time, he just shrugged and continued to enchant brooms and mops and dustpans. “be our guest, be our guest put our service to the test, tie your napkin round your neck Cherie and we provide the rest...” I sang the song Be Our Guest from Beauty and the Beast while enchanting the plates and cups and silverware to clean themselves and go back into the cupboards.
Draco looked up at me with surprise and shook his head and mumbled something that sounded like, “she's mental!” I laughed playfully and continued to sing. By the time I was done singing the kitchen was spotless and me and Draco could go to sleep. He brushed by me without another word and stormed off. I looked at his retreating figure in shock, why was he being such a jerk all of a sudden?
The next morning Draco was back to his old scornful and cruel self all traces of last night gone from his memory so I returned the sentiment and slightly returned back to my depressed self. My first class was d.a.d.a with Ravenclaw which I took as a blessing since I wouldn’t have to put up with Malfoy.
“alright class, this week we will be reviewing everything you have learned from first year so pair up in twos and practice dueling.” professor Byrd said. I paired up with Ravenclaws smartest student Jason Stevenson, who was also quite the looker, but I was only dueling him because of his skill, although it was nice to admire him every once in a while.
“wow Hermione you are quite a worthy competitor.” he said when we were given a five minute break.
“thank you Jason and I must admit you are quite a skilled competitor as well.” I said blushing.
“hey I was wondering, what are you doing this next hogsmeade weekend?”
I shrugged, “i don’t know I haven’t made any plans yet, why?”
He smiled at me and then his smile disappeared, “wait are you still dating that Weasley fellow?” he asked.
Then I remembered I’m Ron’s girlfriend, “oh yeah, I guess I sort of forgot about that.” I whispered.
He just gave me a kind smile, “well if anything goes on between you two, give me a call and I’ll be there for you alright?”
I grinned “I will make sure to take that into consideration.”
Jason got his call exactly one week later when I caught Ron cheating on me with his old flame Lavender Brown. He found me sitting in a window sill in the 5th floor looking outside, the sky was overcast and giant raindrops fell from the heavens.
“hey Hermione, how you feeling.”
I looked at him and he seemed a little shocked that I wasn’t crying, “fine, I think I knew it was bound to happen, I was supposed to break up with him before we came back, but I- I couldn’t bring myself to do it, I just I hope he is happy, you see for the truth is I never really loved Ron like he loved me, there was a time when I did return the feeling but its just gone now maybe I can finally find my paradise now.”
Jason smiled at me, “so you wont mind if I do this then?”
I looked at him, “do wha-” his lips came crashing onto mine mid sentence and I couldn’t help but kiss him back. He pulled apart and grinned and I couldn’t help but grin to. He grabbed my hand and dragged me away and outside where a rainy day was slowing turning into a bright and sunny day. This truly was beginning to turn into paradise.
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