“Hermione, what are you in first?” Neville asked her as the seventh years began to stand up from the table.
“I’m in Defence Against the Dark Arts, how about you?” She smiled although she did wander why the subject was still in place seeing as Voldemort was gone.
“Oh, I’m in Herbology, guess I’ll see you later then,” he smiled and left for the greenhouses. Hermione was hoping she would have Neville in her class seeing as Ron and Harry had already left without her.
“Hermione! We’re in the same class next!” Padma called next to Pansy.
“Oh, uh okay, I’ll walk with you guys then,” she said whilst wandering when the Ravenclaw and Slytherin became friends. The three walked in silence for a while, not knowing what to say until Pansy took a deep breath and spoke up.
“Look Hermione, this is going to sound weird and very unlike me but after the war I realised we’re all the same. You’re incredibly smart and seem like a lovely person and I’m sorry I always sided with Draco and called you a mudblood. I regret it all and I hope we can put it behind us and get along,” Pansy said in one breath rather quickly. Hermione just stared at her in shock.
“Right, okay. That would be nice seeing as you two and Hannah are the only other people besides Neville I can speak to in our common room,” she smiled. Pansy looked at her curiously.
“What about Harry and Ron?” she asked.
“Oh well...I don’t know....they just seem to like spending time together just themselves these days,” she mumbled.
“We can talk about it later, we better take our seats,” Pansy smiled sympathetically. Pansy and Padma sat down together at a table and to begin with Hermione didn’t think there were enough seats, until she looked across the room and saw that the only available seat was next to Malfoy. He was looking at her from the table, obviously aware of the situation as well; he looked at her for a few moments before nodding at her then the seat. She was cautious but took the motion as an acceptance to sit next to him. All eyes seemed to be on her as she walked towards his table and sat down next to Malfoy in silence. The class resumed their chatter, waiting for the new Professor to arrive whilst Hermione and Malfoy remained quiet.
Maybe I should start up conversation Draco thought to himself. It was only polite; he had after all allowed Granger to sit next to him. It was only to prove to her that he had changed and that he wasn’t going to be cruel, although he should probably voice that thought in words. How would he tell her though “Hey Granger sorry my family often tried to kill you” there was no way she would accept that. He would just have to open his mouth and see what came out, he took a deep breath and was about to begin.
“Morning all! Sorry I’m late!” a man called from doorway, I guess the apology will have to wait Draco thought.
Hermione turned round in her seat as did the rest of the students to see their new Professor. He was a tall man and looked rather kind reminding Hermione of Lupin. He walked to the front of the class and left his briefcase on his desk before writing on the board.
“I am Professor Rookwood and I will be teaching you this year,” the chalk wrote on the board as the Professor dictated it. He smiled up at the class and looked around at everyone.
“Now how about a warm up exercise, I am going to choose two students to come up the front of the class and duel, the rest of you will then take notes and comment on the pair,” he told the class. Everybody looked around excitedly at having a practical lesson the first day back.
“How will you choose the pair sir?” Padma asked.
“Well let’s see... eenie...meenie...minie...mo!” He said pointing his finger around the class until it landed on Hermione and Draco.
“Oh dear,” Hermione muttered to herself as the Professor set up a space for duelling. This isn’t going to go well she thought as her and Malfoy walked up to the front of the class.
“Now you can duel however you like, use any spells that come to mind and you keep duelling until I say to stop, ready? Begin,” Professor Rookwood smiled at the two facing each other.
“Crush him Hermione!” she heard Ron shout from the back of the classroom.
“Don’t worry I’ll go easy on you Granger,” Malfoy smirked. She smiled back sarcastically.
“Petrificus Totalus!” she shouted at the smug boy in front of her who obviously did not expect it as his body locked together and fell.
“I didn’t say I would go easy on you,” she smirked down at him and the Professor recited the counter curse to laughter amongst Hermione’s class mates.
“Confringo!” Malfoy shouted as he rose to his feet but Hermione met it with “Aguamenti” seizing the fire he had set at her with a jet of water. They stood in silence watching each other’s movements before they started again. They both stood in exactly the same stance, mimicking each other as they moved around the classroom. Each spell Hermione cast Draco had a spell to and each one Draco cast Hermione dodged and fired a spell back. It was like watching a dance as the Gryffindor and Slytherin matched each other’s movements and spells, soon tiring as the class went on. Professor Rookwood sat at the side of the classroom watching the pair duel, they were perfect he thought to himself. They matched each other, exactly what he wanted to demonstrate to the class. To show that you should be able to predict your opponents move and match it which is what they were doing perfectly.
Hermione was getting tired now and she could tell that Malfoy was too. Neither of them were as quick as they were to begin with and they weren’t sending as powerful spells.
“You can stop now,” she heard Professor Rookwood say as the bell rang and with that Hermione and Draco bother collapsed to the floor sweating and breathing heavily. The rest of the pupils left the classroom whilst Hermione lay on the floor next to Malfoy.
“That was very well done; I have to get to a meeting so I’ll see you tomorrow” the Professor said and left the room.
“”What...you in...next?” Draco panted.
“Genealogy,” Hermione replied still trying to catch her breath.
“Same,” he replied. Next to her she saw Malfoy pull himself up from the wooden floor and stretch out a hand to her. She the looked at him before allowing him to pull her to her feet, they grabbed their bags and headed to the Great Hall where Genealogy was being taught. The corridors were empty as they walked next to each other, Hermione knew they were late.
She watched Malfoy push open the doors to the hall and allowed her to enter first. The tables from the hall had been removed and in their place were separate piles of pillows. There weren’t many people in the room but those who were there were in pairs.
“Ah you must be Hermione and Draco! I’m Professor Periwinkle; Pansy here told me all about your last class so don’t worry about being late. Although I’ve already place everyone in pairs so I guess you two will be working together,” the short woman at the front of the hall said. Draco and Hermione looked at each other before taking a seat at the only pile of cushions left. Hermione looked around the hall at the other pairs and noticed that there was only one pair from the same house, another house unity experiment she thought. Harry was with Pansy, Ron with Luna, Neville with Hannah, Anthony with Padma, Blaise with Ginny and now Draco with Hermione.
“Now today I want you to spend some time just getting to know your partner so ask questions, share stories that kind of thing,” the Professor giggled. Everybody looked around the classroom before starting up awkward conversation.
“So...” Hermione said awkwardly. They both looked at each other before laughing to themselves at the situation they were in.
“Nice weather we’re having today...” Draco said.
“Yep...pretty good...” Hermione murmured before repositioning the pillows and lying on her back to look at the enchanted ceiling.
“Why are you doing that?” he asked.
“I like watching the clouds,” she replied.
“Well I guess that’s one thing I’ve learnt about you then,” he replied before lying down as well. They lay in silence watching the clouds float by. They both let themselves relax and unwind after their duelling from the previous class whilst noticing the shapes some of the clouds made.
“Do you miss them?” she heard Malfoy whisper
“Who?” she replied still watching the clouds.
“Your parents,” he replied. She looked at him in surprise.
“Oh...well yeah, but they don’t remember me so it doesn’t matter anyway,” she whispered.
“Why don’t you give them their memories back?” he asked, turning on his side to face her.
“Because...because I’m scared, scared that something terrible could happen again and I can’t risk them being in danger, they’re the only family I have,” she told him.
“Oh...” he whispered. Hermione turned on her side to face him as well.
“What about you? Do you miss your parents?” she asked him cautiously, he sighed.
“Not really, they left me alone. They obviously didn’t care about me so why should I bother missing them?” he replied.
“Because everyone needs somebody to look after them Malfoy,” Hermione told him.
“Your parents don’t know you, so you don’t have anybody looking after you,” he whispered.
“Yeah...guess we’re similar that way,” she smiled softly.
“I’m sorry Granger,” He said with his eyes closed.
“What for?” She asked him.
“Well if my family hadn’t helped Voldemort back into power there wouldn’t have been a reason for your parents to be in danger, so you wouldn’t have had to erase their memories,” he told her with regret.
“You can’t blame yourself Malfoy, you and your family weren’t the only death eaters in the world,” she reassured him and noticed his eyes go cold like in Flourish and Blotts at the mention of him being a death eater.
“I never wanted it you know, to be one of them. I knew if I didn’t accept the dark mark that he would take it out on my mother to force me to do it. I couldn’t see her hurt; she was the only one that cared for me, so I had to do it. I had to become one of them.” He told her in one breath to get it out of his system.
“I’m sorry Malfoy...I...I didn’t know it was like that,” she whispered with guilt in her eyes.
“It’s not your fault, if I told anybody it would have reached a death eater somehow and then Voldemort would find out and punish me or my mother anyway,” he sighed.
“Attention class!” Hermione heard the Professor shout, the two sat up to listen to what she had to say.
“Class is over now but by next lesson tomorrow I would like you to in your pairs draw as much of your family tree and history as you can and then tomorrow we will take it from there,” she smiled and dismissed the class.
The rest of Hermione’s day past by quickly as each Professor informed the classes of the content for their last year at school and how important N.E.W.T.S are, as if she didn’t already know that. She had three new teachers this year, Professor Rookwood for Defence Against the Dark Arts, Professor Periwinkle for Genealogy and Professor Roberts for Potions. They had all given good first impressions however Hermione found Professor Periwinkle to over the top in classes. As well as in her first two classes, Malfoy was in her Potions and Ancient Runes that day. That seemed to be the only time Ron and Harry spoke to her; when they were telling her how unfair it was for her to be with Malfoy so often when really he had spoken to her more that day than her two friends had.
After dinner the ten seventh years along with Ginny and Luna retreated back to the common room to work on their Genealogy projects. Hermione looked around the room to watch the different pairs. Harry and Pansy clearly weren’t overly comfortable working together but they seemed to be completing the work together well. Ron and Luna had finished quickly and were laughing over something in the Quibbler. Anthony and Padma both Ravenclaws got along well before and soon had a large family tree drawn up for themselves. Neville and Hannah were sat together with Butterbeer whilst eating Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans and laughing at each other’s reactions. Last were Blaise and Ginny who were surprisingly getting on rather well. Each pair had been able to message families quickly with questions about their history and write them down easily. Hermione and Draco on the other hand were at a dead end with no family to contact. Ginny and Luna soon returned to their own common rooms whilst Harry and Ron left to practise Quidditch and the remaining seventh years went up to their dormitories.
“Well that Professor obviously didn’t think to check if we could all contact family,” Hermione saw Malfoy glare at the large pieces of paper that they were supposed to fill with a family tree. Hermione grabbed his paper and at the bottom wrote “Draco Malfoy” and then wrote “Hermione Granger” at the bottom of hers. Up from her name she wrote her parents names, “Mark Granger” and next to it “Alison Granger”. She watched Malfoy do the same with “Lucius Malfoy” and “Narcissa Malfoy”.
“Right now we need to write in if they had any siblings,” Hermione told him as she wrote “Ann Granger” next to her father’s name whilst Draco wrote down “Andromeda Tonks” and “Bellatrix LeStrange” next to his mother’s. They continued adding parents, siblings and spouses names to their family trees until they couldn’t go on any longer. Draco had managed to date his tree on his mother’s side back to 1845 but only as far back 1920 on his father’s side. As for Hermione she got as far back as 1905 on her father’s side but didn’t know anything about her mother.
“You’ve not written anything at all for your mother,” Draco pointed out to her.
“I know, my mother was adopted by a family when she was three but then they took her back to the orphanage and she couldn’t remember anything about them,” Hermione sighed.
“That’s...odd,” Malfoy told her. She nodded and got up from the table to grab a Butterbeer.
“Malfoy do you want one?” she called from the fridge.
“Please Granger,” He called back as he collapsed on the sofa by the burning fire. She handed him the Butterbeer and sat down next to him with her legs crossed in front of her.
“I don’t think I’ve insulted you at all today,” Hermione heard him say.
“No there was when... or that time...wait....you haven’t,” she said in shock.
“Don’t look so surprised Granger, I told you I don’t want to go back to how I was, it wasn’t the real me...it was who my father wanted me to be,” he whispered.
“I get it Malfoy...so what we’re...friends?” she asked awkwardly.
“Not quite...just Partners for now Granger,” he sipped at his Butterbeer.
“Well I think partners should call each other by their first names not their surnames,” she murmured.
“If you say so...Hermione,” He said, it felt weird to say but right in a way, it showed they were moving on.
“Thank you, Draco.” She said back.
“This is an improvements, for the past 7 years you’ve hated my guts,” Draco chuckled.
“Remember when I punched you,” she said through sips of her drink.
“Yeah I remember...wasn’t that painful,” he glared at her. She couldn’t help but laugh at his expression and the memory.
“I thought you were going to cry,” she said between bursts of laughter.
“It’s not that funny!” he told her but chuckled quietly next to her whilst she clutched her sides.
“Uh...what’s going on?” she heard a voice from the doorway, Hermione turned around and stopped laughing when she saw Harry looking shocked whilst Ron glared at Draco.
“Oh me and Draco were just talking about third year,” she said.
“Did you...but he....you just...Draco?! it’s Malfoy!” Ron spluttered.
“Uh yeah, that’s his name Ron,” she rolled her eyes.
“I can’t believe you sometimes!” he stormed up to his dormitory with Harry behind him leaving Hermione to sigh and face the fire again.
“What was that all about?” Draco asked confused.
“They’re both against me even speaking to you so the fact I called you by your first name is just such a dilemma,” she said sarcastically.
“You don’t see them very often do you?” he asked her.
“Not really, they just like being together that’s all,” she sighed.
“Anyway I think I’m going to get some sleep so I’ll see you tomorrow,” she started to get up and walk towards the stairs.
“Wait!” Draco called to her.
“Yes?” she asked
“Nothing, goodnight Gra-Hermione,” he said before turning back around to face the fire.
“Goodnight Draco,” she whispered back.
Hello all! thankyou so much to all of you that have been reading my fanfiction and leaving reviews! I really appreciate it :) Also I'd love a banner for this story so if any of you are good designers and could help me out I would love it:) This chapter was suppossed to be up to view byt he 28th of July but sadly it was rejected and now won't be viewable untill the 1st of August at the earliest :( I was hoping it would be validated on the 28th so that I could upload the next chapter before I go on holiday, but unfortuntly I will be on my way to Portugal by the 1st of August:( I won't be able to upload the next chapter after this one untill the 17th of August :'(
Thankyou to those of you that have been reading this from the start and again I'm so sorry that this was rejected. I hope you all stick around to read the next chapter when I'm home. I will slowly be revealing some secrets!