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Chapter 3 : Chapter Three: House Unity
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A few weeks after Draco’s trial, Hermione was sitting alone in a train compartment, waiting for the Head Boy to arrive.
Shortly after the trial, Hermione had received a letter from Hogwarts, inviting her back to finish her seventh year- which she’d never even started.
And, along with the letter, she had received the Head Girl badge which was now pinned to her sweater. She was very proud of being made Head Girl, and had half-hoped the Head Boy would be Harry, but when she announced that she had to go the Head Compartment, he hadn’t followed, which minimized the possibility of who the Head Boy was.
She just hoped it wasn’t Ron, who hadn’t joined her, Ginny and Harry in their compartment. He was probably in a compartment alone with Lavender.
I don’t care, Hermione told herself furiously, I really don’t.
But that was a lie. Because she did care- more than she would let anyone believe.
So imagine her surprised when Malfoy walked into the compartment a minute later.
‘What the-? I must have gotten the wrong compartment. Sorry to bother you, Granger.’
He almost walked out, but Hermione stopped him. ‘No, you got the right compartment, Malfoy. I’m Head Girl.’ She pointed to her badge.
Malfoy’s eyes widened. ‘Of course. I should have known. Well, Head Girl. I’m Head Boy.’ He said.
‘I can see that,’ she said, nodding at his badge that matched hers so perfectly. ‘But what could possibly move McGonagall into giving you the position of authority?’
Hermione and Draco looked up at the voice. McGonagall was standing in the doorway.
‘What do you mean Dumbledore’s orders?’ Hermione sputtered.
‘Exactly what I said, Ms. Granger. Shortly before Professor Dumbledore died, he asked to make Mr. Malfoy Head Boy. As he was not here when he should have been, Professor Dumbledore told me to follow his wishes. And so that is why Mr. Malfoy has the position of Head Boy.’ McGonagall said.
‘Well, then. I suppose I shouldn’t argue. What do you want us to do first?’ Hermione asked.
Malfoy looked at her strangely, but Hermione ignored it.
‘Patrol the train, please. Then come back here and meet the prefects.’ McGonagall said.
They both nodded. McGonagall left, and Hermione and Malfoy waited a moment before following after her.
A Few Hours Later
They arrived at Hogwarts in no time, and Draco’s stomach twisted at seeing the school again. He hadn’t seen it since June.
‘Ready?’ Blaise’s voice asked.
‘Yes,’ Draco said.
They stepped out of the carriage. It felt extremely different this year, coming back to Hogwarts. For one, Pansy was not clued to his hip, and Crabbe… well, Crabbe was gone. And so was Goyle, who was one of the few who hadn’t bothered coming back this year. Now, Draco only had Blaise and Theodore Nott, the only people who seemed to actually care about his feelings.
Not that Draco would ever tell anyone how he felt- even them.
‘Doesn’t look much different, does it?’ Theodore asked.
‘Not really,’ Draco said. They walked into the Entrance Hall, and Draco felt his stomach churn at the amount of memories that this hall held. He remembered standing in this very spot when he first introduced himself to Potter. And it was in this Hall where Pansy had kissed him for the first time, so many Christmases ago. And, most importantly, it was this hall where he’d watched so many people die.
‘Drake, you OK? You look a little nauseous.’ Blaise said.
‘I’m fine. Let’s just go in.’ He muttered.
Blaise and Theodore exchanged a strange glance, and they went into the Great Hall, where they joined the other Slytherins at their table. Far across the room, he could see Granger sitting with Potter and Weaselette. But not Weasel-face, he noted. In fact, the Weasel was currently sitting at the far end of the Gryffindor table, with Brown clinging to him. That Brown girl made Draco sick to his stomach. It took a moment before he realised that Granger had her head down at the table, her lips unmoving, even though Potter and Weaselette were conversing.
He wondered why.
‘Why are you staring at the Mudblood?’ Theodore hissed under his breath.
Draco looked away immediately. ‘Am I not allowed to find her intriguing?’ He asked.
‘No, Drake. Because she’s a Mudblood. And besides, she hates you, so I wouldn’t bother trying to seduce her. It’s probably hopeless anyway.’ Theodore said.
‘How do you know she hates me?’ Draco asked curiously.
‘Because it’s obvious. She wouldn’t have punched you Third Year if she didn’t hate you.’ Theodore said.
Draco grimaced. He remembered that punch all too well. Granger had broken his nose, and he had had to go to Madame Pomfrey to get it fixed. It was now in perfect shape, of course.
‘I suppose.’ Draco said reluctantly.
But she doesn’t hate you, the tiny voice whispered in the back of his mind. If she hated you, why’d she make sure you didn’t go to Azkaban?
He had no idea, but he suspected he was going to find out very soon.
‘Now, I know that I am not Professor Dumbledore, nor can I try to be, but I am still your Headmistress, and it is my great honor to teach such fine young students. First years will be warned that the Forbidden Forest is off-limits to all under third year. Hogsmeade trips will be planned by our Head Boy and girl. Whom I am about to introduce.’
Draco looked up. He hadn’t even realised that the Sorting was finished. He did notice, however, that Granger had lifted her head and was now staring at McGonagall with tear-filled eyes. Who knew a girl could get so emotional, he thought to himself while smirking.
‘Head Girl, please stand.’ McGonagall said.
Granger stood, and students applauded her. ‘Head Boy, you too.’ McGonagall added.
Reluctantly, Draco stood up. Unlike with Granger, absolutely no one applauded him.
Until Potter started clapping loudly, standing up along with Granger. Slytherin table didn’t like this much, and they joined in, applauding even louder. Soon all four tables were applauding their Heads. Draco felt slightly embarrassed. The school had never given him that much attention in his life, and he was rather shocked that Potter had started the whole thing.
‘Alright everyone, please take your seats.’ McGonagall said after a few minutes.
Draco couldn’t say if he was relieved or not, because he didn’t quite know himself. But out of the corner of his eye, he saw Potter give him a slight nod of his head as he sat down. He almost mouthed “thanks” but decided it would be better if they remained enemies.
‘I know what you’re all thinking, and I am going to tell you the answer to your questions. But for now, your feast is served.’ McGonagall sat down, and the plates instantly filled.
Draco immediately helped himself to every bit of food his plate could carry, and ate as though he were starving, which he was.
‘StrangethingPotterdid,’ said Blaise with his mouth full.
‘What?’ Draco asked, swallowing a bite of mashed potatoes. Blaise swallowed.
‘I said, that was a strange thing Potter did, don’t you think?” He asked.
‘Oh, yes. I suppose.’ Draco took a bite of steak, and chewed for a minute, thinking.
‘Why do you s’ppose Potter didn’t get the Head Boy?’ Theodore asked thoughtfully.
Draco didn’t want to tell them what McGonagall had said- about Dumbledore requesting he get the position. ‘I don’t know. Maybe McGonagall thought Potter needed a break or something. Why do you care, anyway?’ Draco asked, shoveling more food into his mouth.
‘I don’t.’ Theodore said.
They dropped the subject, and continued eating.
‘Nice speech McGonagall gave, don’t you think ‘Mione?’ Harry asked.
Hermione blinked. She hadn’t been paying much attention to anything that was happening at Gryffindor table. Up until Harry spoke, her attention had been on the Slytherin table, where she’d been watching Malfoy speak to Zabini and Nott.
‘I wasn’t really listening until she said the last bit about me and Malfoy.’ She admitted.
‘Are you OK?’ Ginny asked, looking at her strangely. Hermione laughed bitterly.
‘’Course. Why wouldn’t I be? Pass the brussel sprouts, please.’ She added. Ginny, still giving her the funny look, handed her the bowl of sprouts. She piled a handful of the things onto her plate, and started eating.
‘Well, Hermione Granger always pays attention. Does this have something to do with Ron?’ Harry asked finally.
‘Idon’tknowwhatyou’retalkingabout.’ Hermione said through a mouthful of sprouts.
‘Yes, you do. Did Ron say something to you at the prefects meeting?’ Harry asked.
Hermione swallowed. ‘No, Harry. He didn’t speak to me at all, actually. And Malfoy has nothing to do with it either, so don’t say anything.’ She said.
‘I wasn’t going-’ Harry began.
‘Yes, you were,’ Ginny said, laughing. ‘Malfoy was your next guess. Ooh, Hermione. Do you see the boy he’s sitting with? Not Zabini, the other one.’ She said.
‘That’s Theodore Nott, Ginny. He’s been here just as long as us.’ Hermione sighed.
‘Oh, that’s the String-Bean?’ Ginny asked, eyes widening.
‘String-Bean?’ Harry repeated.
‘That’s what I nicknamed him. He was skinny as a string bean. He isn’t anymore, though. In fact, he’s quite handsome.’ Ginny sighed dreamily.
‘Ginny!’ Harry sputtered, spitting out pumpkin juice- which he’d just taken a sip off.
‘What? I was just looking,’ the red-head laughed.
Hermione wasn’t really listening. Her attention was still on the Slytherin table. Ginny was right. Theodore Nott was no longer a string bean. He was very handsome, with dark hair and dark eyes, and white skin. Zabini, too, was handsome with his dark skin and deep chocolate brown eyes. And of course, there was Malfoy, whom every girl wanted to get with at one time or another. Hermione could see why, of course. She wasn’t blind, after all. Draco Malfoy with his platinum blonde hair and grey eyes and pale skin.
He looks like the moon, Hermione thought suddenly.
She shook the thought away, and continued eating. Draco Malfoy wasn’t worth a single thought from her, and she vowed not to think of him from now on.
But of course, she didn’t know how hard keeping that vow would be.
When the last plates had been emptied, Hermione and the rest of the Gryffindors waited for McGonagall to stand. When she did, the whole hall fell silent.
‘Alright. You are all probably wondering why Mr. Malfoy was chosen as Head Boy, given his… erm, past.’ McGonagall began.
All eyes in the room turned to Malfoy, except Hermione’s.
‘Well, I will have you know that Mr. Malfoy’s position of Head Boy was courtesy of Professor Dumbledore. And while making Mr. Malfoy Head Boy was not something we all agree-’
‘I DON’T BELIEVE IT!’
McGonagall fell silent. The whole hall turned to the direction the voice had come from, and Hermione felt sick when she realised it was Ronald who had spoken- or shouted, rather.
‘Mr. Weasley, please sit down or I will have to ask Professor Quincey to remove you.’
Hermione looked up at the Professor’s table and realised that Professor Quincey must be the new Dark Arts teacher. He was probably in his mid-30’s, with blonde hair and blue eyes and tanned skin. And with the look of those muscles, Hermione didn’t doubt for a second that he was capable of removing Ron.
‘THERE’S NO WAY DUMBLEDORE WOULD ASK TO MAKE THAT BLOODY GIT HEAD BOY!’ Ron shouted.
Everyone was staring at him. ‘MR. WEASLEY, SIT DOWN RIGHT NOW OR I WILL HAVE YOU REMOVED!’ McGonagall shouted.
Hermione flinched. She’d never heard McGonagall raise her voice quite so much in all the years she had known her. But it worked, because Ron sat down instantly, mumbling under his breath.
‘Now,’ McGonagall said, regaining her calm. ‘While making Mr. Malfoy Head Boy was not something we all agreed with, we did agree with what it offered. Because our two Heads are from opposite houses, this signifies House Unity. And I expect that all houses will get along with each other- including you, Slytherins.’ McGonagall gave the Slytherins a pointed look, and Hermione noticed Malfoy’s lips twitch in a smirk.
‘House Unity, from this day on, will be what Hogwarts is known for. Anyone who wishes to disgrace this will see themselves removed. One last announcement before you all go to bed, though. I would like to welcome Professor Quincey, who will be teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts.’ McGonagall said.
The entire school- minus Ron, but that didn’t count- erupted in applause as Professor Quincey stood and nodded at them all. A couple of the girls in Hufflepuff actually swooned, and Hermione had to keep herself from gagging.
‘And now, to bed!’ McGonagall said.
Everyone stood up, and started making their way out. ‘Ginny, Harry, can you lead the first years to the dorm? I have to meet with McGonagall and Malfoy.’ She said.
‘Sure, ‘Mione.’ Ginny said. ‘HEY, YOU LOT! First years!’ The red-head shouted.
The first years, startled and a little scared, turned around. ‘Harry and I’ll be taking you to Gryffindor Dormitory. Now follow us and keep up!’
Ginny and Harry marched the terrified first years out of the Great Hall, and Hermione waited until everyone except the Professors and Malfoy were gone. McGonagall waved them both to the Head’s table.
‘Hermione Granger, I presume.’
Startled, Hermione looked up at the deep voice and realised it was Professor Quincey. ‘Y-yes, P-Professor.’ She stammered.
‘No need to be so timid, girl. I s’ppose the boy standing next to you was the famous Harry Potter.’ Professor Quincey.
‘Yes.’ Hermione said, less timidly this time.
‘I look forward to seeing the Trio in my class.’
He winked, and then left. McGonagall walked over, Malfoy in tow. He looked rather bored, Hermione thought.
‘What’d Quincey want?’ Malfoy asked her.
‘To ask if I was Hermione Granger and if Harry was Harry.’ She rolled her eyes.
‘Huh.’ Malfoy shrugged.
‘Alright, you two. Listen up. Since you’re Head Boy and Girl, you’re required to share a dormitory together.’ McGonagall said.
Malfoy began to protest at once, but a stern look from McGonagall made him shut up. He mumbled something that sounded like ‘cotton balls’, but Hermione was sure her ears were deceiving her.
‘Professor, what do you mean?’ She asked.
‘Exactly what I said, Ms. Granger. You and Mr. Malfoy will be sharing a dormitory together. This dormitory is located down the hall from the Headmaster’s Tower. Follow me, and I will show you.’ McGonagall said.
Malfoy and Hermione followed McGonagall out of the Great Hall. They did not speak as they walked, and silence was becoming rather dreadful by the time the trio reached the Headmaster’s Tower. It made sense that the Head Girl and Boy dormitories were located here, and Hermione was rather interested to see what the dormitory would look like. She had been on this floor a few times before, and never had she seen the entrance to the Head’s dormitory.
McGonagall came to a stop in front of a bare wall in the Headmaster’s Tower, right down the hall from the Headmistress’s Office.
‘Um, Professor? There’s nothing here.’ Malfoy said.
‘I am aware of that, Mr. Malfoy,’ McGonagall said dryly. She took out her wand, and pointed it at the center of the wall, cleared her throat and said:
Hermione did not recognise that spell, for she had never heard it before, and it took her a moment to realise that this must be the opening spell, which was would reveal a secret doorway.
And sure enough, it did. Malfoy, however, seemed to not understand the meaning of this spell, and the surprise on his face when the door with appeared was quite obvious.
Hermione’s own surprise matched his when she saw the portrait of Snape hanging over the door, like the Fat Lady in Gryffindor tower.
‘Professor Snape,’ Hermione said cheerfully.
‘Miss Granger, I do believe that Professor Snape is a bit unnerving, as I am no longer a professor. You may simply call me Severus. And you, as well, Draco.’ The portrait said.
I have to tell Harry right away, Hermione told herself.
‘Thank you, Sir.’ Malfoy said.
McGonagall coughed. ‘Miss Granger, Mr. Malfoy. Please come up with a password. Make it something that you will remember.’ She said.
‘Pureblood,’ Malfoy said. ‘It was the Slytherin password a long time ago.’
Hermione rolled her eyes. ‘No, because not everyone is Pureblooded. I think it should be… Quidditch.’
‘Perfect!’ Malfoy exclaimed, much to her surprise. ‘That’s something I’ll definitely remember.’
‘You’re welcome?’ Hermione said questionably.
Snape rolled his eyes. ‘Quidditch it is. You may enter.’
The portrait swung open, and Hermione, Malfoy and McGonagall stepped inside a common room that was bigger than Gryffindor common room times two. To her right, there were three doors. One door had a large painting of a snake on the door, which was probably Malfoy’s room, and the other had a Gryffindor lion. The door in the center was bare, which she assumed was the bathroom. The common room had a fireplace, and two large bookshelves.
I can only have one to myself, Hermione thought sadly. I will have to ask Malfoy if he minds me using the second one…
‘There is only one rule, and I ask that you obey it. If you are to have friends here, they cannot be here after hours.’ McGonagall said.
Hermione jumped a little at her voice; she had nearly forgotten that she wasn’t alone.
‘Professor, what about our trunks?’ Hermione asked.
‘Your trunks are already in your rooms. I will send someone to tell your houses that you will not be sleeping in your house dormitories. Oh, and Miss Granger,’ McGonagall added before she left, ‘do not worry. Mr. Potter already knows about the portrait. I told him on the train.’
Hermione nodded. How did she know she was worried about telling Harry about Snape’s portrait? ‘Thanks, Professor.’ She said.
‘You’re welcome. And don’t forget, patrol starts at six until seven when breakfast begins.’ McGonagall said.
And then she left, and she was alone with Malfoy.
‘You can have the bookshelf, by the way,’ he said. ‘Or at least, the top two shelves.’
‘How did you know I was going to ask?’ She asked, shocked.
‘Sometimes, Granger, people are predictable.’ He said, smirking.
She humped. ‘Fine. Well, if we’re going to set an example, we should start calling each other by our first names.’ She said.
‘Alright, G- Hermione.’ He said.
‘Draco.’ She said. It felt funny to say his name aloud. ‘And, it’s OK, you know.’ She added softly.
‘What are you talking about?’ He asked.
‘It’s OK… to be sad. I saw your face when you were talking to Sn- Severus. You can cry. Hell, I’ll probably cry with you.’ She said.
Draco’s face softened, for once in his life. ‘What did McGonagall mean? About telling Potter?’ He asked.
‘Oh… Harry feels very um, sensitive, about Severus. He watched him die, you know.’ She said.
Draco nodded. ‘I had wondered. Well, we better get to bed. I’m exhausted from that train ride, and we need sleep.’
They both walked to their rooms, but Hermione stopped for a moment, walked over to Draco, and threw her arms around his neck. It was a very strange thing, to be hugging Draco Malfoy. But surprisingly enough, he awkwardly returned her hug.
When she pulled away, she was sure her cheeks were redder than Luna’s radish earrings.
‘Goodnight, Draco.’ She said.
‘Goodnight, Hermione.’ He said softly.
Then she went into her room and closed the door. She changed into her pajamas, crawled into bed, and fell asleep. Her last thought was:
House unity is getting to me.
And then she passed out.
Thanks for all the reviews everyone! And just to note, 'Patefacio', the spell McGonagall uses, is not a real Harry Potter spell. It translates from Latin meaning "open". Hope you all enjoyed! Next chapter is already being written!
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