Chapter 1 : We Welcome You Back
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Yourself amongst other pupils that either missed out on or did not feel they received the proper education in their seventh year of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry are here by invited back to finish the education that you deserve. As you well know, as new Minister of Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt has enforced a new subject into the seventh year curriculum you do however not know what that said subject is. The new subject will not be revealed now as equipment is not require, you will be informed of this subject and other changes during the welcoming feast in the great hall, should you decide to continue your education. Furthermore I would like to congratulate you on being awarded the position of Head Girl. It will be yourself and the Head Boy’s (Neville Longbottom) responsibility to behave as expected as to set the right example for younger pupils and prefects.
Please send your letter of acceptance or decline as soon as possible so that I may send you your head girl badge and school resources list if required.
Hermione wore a grin as she read over her letter for the fifth time, just to ensure that she had read it correctly. Of course Harry and Ron had known Hermione would be made head girl but even after their reassurance that it was not a mistake or that it was them trying to humiliate her she still had to perform spells to check that the letter was authentic. The main surprise of the morning was finding out that the once shy and clumsy Neville Longbottom was to be the Head Boy which caused Ron to choke on his milk and spit it out onto a rather unimpressed Crookshanks.
"It will be just like old times!” Hermione grinned in excitement.
"Slow down Hermione, we haven't even said we're going yet'" Ron mumbled with a full mouth.
"Of course you are going to finish your education Ronald! Neither you nor Harry will become Aurors without sitting your N.E.W.T.S" she informed him.
" He's bloody Harry Potter! The-Boy-Who-Defeated-You-Know-Who, of course he'll get in as an Auror and as long as he does he can rope me in," Ron told her whilst Harry sat and rolled his eyes at his bickering friends.
"First off Ron, Voldemort is dead so you can say his name and secondly I'm going back to finish my seventh year but it's up to you if you join us" Harry said, receiving an approving look from Hermione from across the Weasley's kitchen table.
"Yeah...well...I guess I'll go too then," Ron mumbled, giving in. On hearing his final agreement Hermione began to write their letters of acceptance and posted them within the hour although she did not trust Errol but he was the only owl in the Burrow. After spending the summer with the Weasley clan she had really begun to feel like family and after witnessing the mourning for Fred she knew that she and Ron wouldn't work in a relationship because she thought of him as more of a brother lately but the feeling was mutual. As for Ginny and Harry they were still going strong even though Ron was constantly watching over them, fulfilling the roll of protective older brother. What Ron didn't know though was that each night at midnight Harry and Ginny took to the skies on their brooms to breath in a Ron free environment but what he doesn't know won't hurt him.
Within the hour the trio received their replies from the headmistress with their resources list and Hermione's Head Girl badge which already took priced place on her cloak. With a quick goodbye to Molly, Arthur and Fred the trio flooed over to Diagonal Alley to buy what they needed as well as to find out which other students would be returning for their seventh year. Diagon Alley was alive with students, from new first years to the returning first years it was like the war had never happened but thing were better that way. Taking ten N.E.W.T.S meant Hermione had the longest equipment list but was relieved to find enough galleons in her Gringotts account to afford everything. Money had been a worry for Hermione when she had first obliviated her parents the previous year but she found that since her first year her parents had set up an account that would extract money from the muggle bank into Gringotts. Her parents living in Australia was still difficult for Hermione to deal with from time to time and she could have restored their memories after the war but she wanted to wait and be sure that everything was most definitely over. Living with the Weasley's wasn't easy to begin with; she and Harry had felt like they were intruding for the first few weeks whilst the family adjusted to life without their beloved Fred. George just wasn't the same anymore; he didn't just lose his brother that night it was like he lost a part of himself. Since the beginning of the summer he has spent every day locked up in his room working on a secret idea Fred had had before he was killed but nobody knew what it was.
“Well, well, well, dreaming of a tragic love story like Romeo and Juliet’s for yourself and Weasel, eh Granger?” she heard the distinctive voice. She didn’t need to glance over the book to know instantly that there would be a smug boy with slicked back, platinum blond hair in front of her.
“And how do you know I’m reading Romeo and Juliet Malfoy? Read it so often you recognise it even by the front cover?” she replied civilly, knowing that the thought of him even touching a muggle item would have him cringing. A short silence followed her comeback as if he was pondering over the question before he answered.
“It says Romeo and Juliet on the front cover Granger, that is how I so obviously knew what you were reading. Honestly you think I would ever lay hands on such filth.” He spat out. Ready to fire back an insult she slammed the book to her lap and glared at the boy before her eyes widened slightly at the now young man stood in front of her. He was no longer the averaged height platinum blond with dull eyes, in fact other girls may say he was good looking but Hermione knew better than to think such vile thoughts of her enemy. He had grown over the summer now around 6ft and his hair seemed to have darkened to a slight dusty blonde. It was his eyes that Hermione was drawn to though, they no longer looked as if dementers had sucked the life out of them in fact, they almost looked welcoming.
“Ten. How many N.E.W.T.S is the spoilt death eater taking this year?” She smiled to herself at her comeback and crossed her arms defensively. At the mention of those two words Hermione saw him stiffen and his eyes darken, reminding her of the boy she had seen in her sixth year.
“Watch your tongue mudblood, it’s ex-death eater for your information and I’m taking eleven,” He glared before placing the money for his books on the counter. Hermione stepped back slightly at his harsh reaction to being called a death eater, it was after all his choice.
“Wait! Eleven! How on earth could you be taking more N.E.W.T.S than me?!” she demanded, hating the fact that her enemy would achieve higher than her. He walked towards the door before turning around to look at her.
“Because I took ten subjects but the new subject being announced makes eleven, “he chuckled to himself at the annoyance on Granger’s face before turning to walk out the door. Hermione sighed at her stupidity of not thinking sooner that she too would be taking eleven N.E.W.T.S now that they were to attend a new subject.
“Stupid Malfoy, thinks he’s better than me, I’ll show him this year,” she mumbled to herself as the door opened again.
“Hey Hermione, want to go get lunch?” Harry and Ron smiled and Hermione instantly agreed and smiled before kicking herself for not ignoring them like she had planned. The boy’s left the shop with Hermione walking behind them carrying her pile of books and was once again excluded from the two boys’ conversation. Grin and bear it Hermione, Grin and bear it she thought to herself. However she didn’t notice that across the road in Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour where they were heading to get something to eat was Draco who was sat watching the three. He noticed how the once cheery trio was now a duo of the two boys with Granger trailing behind them like a lost puppy. He thought this arrangement to be very strange because without her they wouldn’t have defeated the Dark Lord, she was of course the brains of the group and there was no denying that. He kept silent and hid his head behind his Dailey Prophet as they walked past his table because he definitely did not need any attention drawn to himself. Hiding behind the paper may not have been the best idea though because the front page news was the story of how Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy had abandoned Malfoy manor and their son leaving him with money and the deeds to the house but nothing else. He still felt bitter at retuning home one afternoon to find the manor silent and in the entrance hall was the key to their Gringotts bank account and the deeds to the manor, no note explaining where they were, nothing. For the first time in his life Draco was alone.
“Pssst Harry, “Draco heard Ron whisper front the table on the other side of the parlour. He glanced over his paper and saw the two boys glaring at him, sighing he put the paper down and pulled out one of his school books to get a head start on his studies. He didn’t focus on the book though, he instead listened to the ginger haired weasel bad mouthing him whilst The-Boy-Who-Didn’t-Die nodded and agreed with his every word.
“I’ll be back in a second guys, “He heard Hermione say before walking gracefully towards the ladies room. The boys continued to send dirty looks towards him before they finished their food and left the parlour cautiously. Moments later the brunette walked out from the bathroom towards the trio’s table but stopped when she noticed that no one was there. Tears slowly began to fill her chocolate coloured eyes but she closed them and breathed deeply before collapsing down into her chair and staring at her meal. Draco could tell she felt alone and realised this had been going on for longer for much longer than a couple of days and he felt a wave of pity wash over him towards the girl but soon let it go when she left her untouched meal and exited the parlour not once noticing Draco sat with his eyes on her in the corner. So now she doesn’t eat either he began to think before he heard a high pitched squeal.
“Draco!!” He heard Pansy shout from the door with Blaise before she engulfed him in a hug and began conversation of their holidays.