Chapter 2 : The New Head Boy
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The moment he stepped onto the train students glared at him hatefully, and he kept his head down and tried to ignore their accusing stares and whispers as he made his way to the heads compartment at the front of the train to await the head girl and ponder over his summer.
It hadn’t been cheerful for Draco, after his father’s admittance to St Mungo’s insanity ward (thanks to the damn Dementors) he and his mother had spent the summer purging their family’s ancestral home of Voldemort’s unwanted presence.
Narcissa Malfoy had never been a big fan of Voldemort, she wasn’t ever a true Deatheater like her sister Bellatrix, and she had despised that Voldemort had been in her home and had punished both her husband and son in cruel ways. She wasn’t even fussed about blood-status anymore, she had seen too much muggle, half-blood and muggle-born blood spilled in her own home that she knew no matter what your heritage everyone’s blood was the same. But she had been forced into the wrong side of the war because of her upbringing, just like Draco.
His father, with what little sanity he had left, had begged Draco and his wife for forgiveness with every visit, but it was what both his parents had told him during the last visit “Draco” his father had said suddenly “be happy…” and his mother had asking him to be happy too.
But Draco had no idea where to start with ‘being happy’. From what he could gather everyone on his trail bar two people hated his guts and wanted to see him dead.
He sincerely hoped the head girl was someone he might be able to get along with, or at least be civil.
When Hermione stepped onto the train no one recognised her.
He wild brown curls where gone, tamed into silky tame maroon curls that fell to just past her shoulders and under the black cloak with silver fastening she was wearing muggle denim shorts that displayed her long smooth legs and a tight white shirt that clearly shower her curves off. She dragged her trunk down the train, getting stares, and looking for her friends. On top of her trunk where two cat baskets, one wrapped in a ribbon.
She found Harry, Ginny and Ron sitting in a compartment with Neville, Luna and to Ginny’s obvious displeased Lavender, who Hermione had just head finish a scented with “-compared with Hermione!”
“Don’t say that about ‘Mione!” Harry defended looking quite angry and torn. Ginny was giving a look that would have had Lavender six feet under if looks could kill. Luna was frowning at Lavender in a dreamy way and had even looked up from her copy of the Quibbler and Neville was looking surprised. Hermione was unable to see Ron’s face because Lavender was sitting on his lap.
Lavender was about to open her mouth again when Hermione, leaning on the compartment door asked “Compared with Hermione what?”
“Mione!” Ginny cried jumping up and hugging her. “Your hair looks great!”
“Thanks Gin, and before you ask I did not dye it.” Hermione smiled at her, then reached for the ribboned cat basket and handed in to Ginny “I missed your birthday” she said as a bewildered Ginny took the basket. Inside was a kitten that looked a lot like Crookshanks, only its face didn’t look so squashed “I gave Crookshanks to my gran to look after during the war, and he got very friendly with her cat. Anyway, I went to pick him up only he doesn’t want to come home but two of the kittens did.” Hermione explained as Ginny cooed to the little kitten.
“Oh Mione he’s gorgeous!” Ginny cried hugging her again “Thank you so much... but are you going to tell me how you did your hair?”
Hermione looked around the compartment. “Later perhaps, but I have to go to the heads compartment. See you later guys”
As Hermione left she heard Neville say “Hermione looks really… nice in her muggle cloths.” And she couldn’t help but grin.
Draco was getting gawked at, yelled at and had pieced of parchment throw at him in his compartment where he sat alone waiting for the head girl reading a book. The idiots passing the compartment where doing their best to get at him, and he hated to admit it but they were getting to him, but he deserved it.
He frowned as he realised he had just read the same paragraph of his book three times.
Just then someone entered the compartment. At first he didn’t recognise her, but he spotted the large H.G on her trunk and wondered how he could have missed that Granger would be the head girl. He was a little thankful to be honest, if anyone would believe he wanted a truce between them it was Granger.
Hermione was a little shocked that Malfoy of all people was the head boy, but then again she supposed he was just below her in lessons… she hid her shock well as she put her own kittens basket gently on the seat and tried to lift her heavy trunk. She was struggling to get it in the luggage rack when suddenly it became lighter and she was stunned to see Malfoy holding the other end and helping her to lift it. He then sat back down in his seat and picked up his book.
Hermione smiled as she realised he was reading a muggle book, and pulled her own book, a very worn old copy of the Grimm Fairy tales that was once her mother’s book out of her trunk. Successfully she ignored Malfoy for the next ten minutes until he foot slipped and kicked hers. “Sorry” he grumbled as he moved his foot away so there was no chance he would touch her again. Hermione reckoned this was a natural reaction for the Slytherin prince, but the apology was not. She stared in shock for a moment before being distracted by and enchanted paper aeroplane that swooped into the compartment and landed on Malfoy’s lap.
She watched curiously as he put down his book and picked up the message, which had been sent by Zacharias Smith was watching from his own compartment opposite theirs with a smug expression with some other Hufflepuffs. Hermione watched with something close to horror as Malfoy’s hands began to shake and his eyes began to water.
Growling Hermione noticed several other bits of parchment on the floor of their compartment that also looked like messages, and she bent down to pick one up.
‘Deatheater scum like you shouldn’t be allowed to live never mind be out of Azkaban, hope your whole family rots in hell bastard’
Hermione was stunned and angry as she read the message, and then looked up at Zacharias who was still looking very smug. Hermione stood up abruptly and walked straight into the compartment where Zacharias was standing with other Hufflepuffs. He opened his mouth to speak but stopped immediately when Hermione whipped out her wand and pointed it directly between his eyes. The temperature in the compartment dropped a few degrees in Hermione’s opinion.
“Zacharias Smith” Hermione said, her voice rough from the canine growl that wished to erupt in her chest “if you dare even so much as look in the direction of the head boy once more I can promise you will be missing a very valuable part of the male anatomy, are we clear?”
He looked like he was about to argue, so Hermione moved her wand down to point at his crotch “Are. We. Clear?” she asked again, and this time he nodded.
Hermione gave him a sharp nod then turned on her heel back to the heads compartment where a single tear had slid from Malfoy’s eye. She slammed the door of the compartment shut so they would not be bothered again and waved her wand to vanish all the messages. “Are you alright?” she asked him gently, her whole attitude changed from the one she had used seconds ago of Zacharias as she held out a tissue from her pocket.
Malfoy nodded though his eyes where still damp as he stared at her, gratefully taking the tissue to whip his eyes. “Why did you do that?” he asked quietly.
“Because no one deserves to go through what you went through, only to return to this” she held up a hand as he frowned and opened his mouth “I can imagine what you went through with Voldemort living under your roof with you, and I saw the state of you in sixth year.”
Malfoy put his head down and muttered very softly “im sorry”
“What?” Hermione asked confused as she sat down opposite him again.
“Im sorry for everything I said and did to you… im sorry for what my aunt did, im sorry I couldn’t help you and im sorry for every time I called you a mu-I can’t say it!” he said miserably.
“I forgive you. Im sorry for every time I called you a ferret”
That made Draco smiled and looked back up. They sat in awkward silence for a few moments before he asked “So, how was your summer?”
Hermione winced a bit “It had its ups and downs. Yours?”
“Same, but mostly just downs.” He admitted, sitting back in his seat. “What’s that you’re reading?”
They talked for the rest of the journey about books they liked and disliked, Hermione was surprised to learn that Malfoy had a thing for muggle books, as well as music. They also discussed the differences between muggle and Wizarding stuff. Draco didn’t believe that there could be a better alcoholic drink than firewhisky didn’t understand what a television was and found the idea of aeroplanes baffling. When the trolley witch came round Hermione bought a box of Bertie bots every-flavour beans and two bottles of pumpkin juice, one of which she tossed to Malfoy who had mentioned earlier that he was thirsty but had not brought money on the train. They spent the next hour doing the prefect rota charts and taking turns to try a bean. It was getting dark outside when Hermione finally stood and asked “How are we going to get changed then?”
Draco looked up at her and couldn’t resist a smart comment “You don’t know how to change into your uniform Granger? I could always help you strip, but I can’t make any promises on getting your uniform on.”
Hermione laughed “Sure you could Malfoy, but I think I’ll just put my uniform on over my muggle cloths.” Was Malfoy flirting with her? She wondered but put it down to just playful banter.
By the time they had stopped at Hogsmead station Hermione and Draco where each in their uniforms with their heads badges pinned to their robes they got off the train and put their luggage with everyone else’s and went to help Hagrid herd the little first years to the boats.
Not another word was said between the two of them since they ended up in different boats, the two first years in Hermione’s boat both happened to come from Wizarding families and where bombarding her with questions about Harry, but she was thinking about Malfoy. She couldn’t help but pity him, he had cried at whatever Zacharias had said in that note and she vowed not to let it happen again. She also thought that Malfoy was going to make a good head boy; he seemed enthusiastic while doing the prefect rota’s.
Her suspicions where confirmed when she watched him use a hover charm to stop one of the little first years falling in the lake as he peered over to try glimpse the giant squid.
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