Author's Note: So sorry for the wait, everyone. Just started school and it's crazy hard. This was not the way I intended the chapter to go, but I like it. Again, sorry for the wait, I'll be quicker next time. xxx NyeThomas
I stomped down the train to where Harry, Ginny, Luna, Dean and Neville were sitting. When I opened the door, I seemed to have walked in on some sort of snog fest. Ginny and Harry were in the corner of the compartment with their arms wrapped around each other, unaware of my presence. That didn’t surprise me much, they’d had a lot of pent up sexual tension. Harry stayed at the Burrow after the Battle at Hogwarts and he claimed he hadn’t got to spend any time with Ginny. What really surprised me, though, was Luna and Dean. They seemed to have built up a relationship over the summer. They were in just as tight an embrace as Harry and Ginny. Neville was sleeping in the corner.
Luna seemed to sense my presence because she pulled away from Dean. That dreamy look I was used to seeing in her eyes was gone. She looked very alert. She got off Dean's lap and sat next to him. The dreamy look was back as she stared at me.
“Are you going to tell us what’s wrong?” Her words pulled Harry and Ginny out of their private time.
“Our old friend Malfoy is the new Head Boy.” That put an amused grin on Ginny’s face.
“He was trying to convince me that he’d changed.” Harry had a guilty look on his face. “Why do you look like that Harry?”
“Well, Draco and I were sort of pen pals over the summer. We wrote and talked about what it was he was going to do with himself now that Voldemort’s gone. He really has changed.” I could not believe him. I pointedly ignored Harry for the next half hour and instead was informed about the new Luna and Dean relationship. I had never seen Dean so happy. After a while, Neville got up and left. I took this as the perfect opportunity for girl talk (as I was still I ignoring Harry).
Ginny talked about how angry she'd been when her mother refused to let her stay at Grimmauld Place during the summer. Harry hadn't wanted to stay there alone and Ron hadn't been the most pleasant company. I sighed. The compartment door banged open and Neville came in, face red and clammy.
"Neville, are you alright? Is it Nargles?" Luna jumped up and began chanting a series of words and waving her arms around.
Our compartment door opened and in stepped Malfoy. His face looked the exact way it did when we’d argued. I still couldn’t find an emotion to place with it. He looked almost repentant.
“You have to come back to the Head Compartment, it's time for us to meet with the prefects." He left without waiting for a response, but not before sending a strange look and a nod at Neville. Neville nodded, jaw clenching dangerously.
The meeting was brief. In fact, Draco did most of the talking. He informed them of the schedule and how we would all be rotating partners. He warned them not to abuse their power out of spite. I snorted. As if he had any room to talk.
The room cleared fast after the meeting. I looked out of the window again. He was far too quiet for my comfort. I shifted uneasily in my seat. The trolley came by and I stood up. She smiled and grabbed a package of licorice wands. I raised an eyebrow until I saw a pale hand grab the package and hand her some money. He thanked her and went back to his seat. I was dumbfounded. Forgetting the candy, I spun to face Malfoy. He was wearing a small smile as he chewed his candy. He looked almostl like a child. I shook my head and sat down.
Draco must have learned from his mistake because he didn’t try to speak to me. The rest of the ride was silent. When the train began to slow down, I grabbed my things and was the first one off of the train. We had our own carriage back. The therstrals blew air from their noses. Seeing them was very odd. Malfoy climbed in and held his hand out. I ignored it and tried to climb in myself. I slipped and nearly hit my face on the side of the carriage. Two strong hands stopped me from falling. Malfoy pulled me onto the carriage and I pulled away as soon as I was safe from falling. The ride to the castle was silent. I was terrified to see the castle again. Images of Tonks, Lupin, Fred, and all the other motionless bodies flashed in my mind. How could I manage to eat where they had died?
The carriage stopped and I took the outstretched hand offered to me. I didn’t notice it was Draco until I got on the ground. I quickly pulled away. Professor Slughorn was waiting for us at the doors. I held my breath as I entered the Great Hall.
It was almost as if there had never been a battle at all. In fact, if I hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t believe it myself. It was just as bright and happy as ever. It was not nearly as noisy as it usually is, but that was to be expected. Heads turned as students noticed the shining badges on both Draco’s robes and my own. I sat next to Harry, who was busy laughing at some random spell Dean had performed, causing an obliging Luna’s hair to turn bright pink.
The doors opened and the first years marched in silently, looking around the Hall and murmuring to one another. One girl, I noticed, looked like a carbon copy on Pansy Parkinson, minus the turned-up nose. The Sorting Hat sang a song of triumph and grief about the past year. It also spoke of unity and redemption. I couldn’t help to glance at the Slytherin table to see Draco, whispering quietly to Blaise Zabini (who happened to be wearing a ridiculously large grin). The first years were sorted quickly (with heavy additions to Gryffindor and Ravenclaw) and the dinner commenced.
Ginny looked like Ronald’s twin, scarfing down as much food as possible. Ronald. I felt a pang in my chest as I remembered our fight that had ended in me slapping him. It wasn’t a particularly new fight, we’d been arguing about the same thing since we all got out Hogwarts letters and Ronald decided to stay behind. How he managed to even entertain the thought that I would marry him and not go back to school was beyond me. We’d only been together officially for two months. He didn’t even have the decency to propose for real. He just brought it up in casual conversation like we were discussing the weather and not a possible future together. Ginny nudged me as McGonagall stood.
The Hall was silenced by Professor McGonagall, raising her hand to us. “Welcome, students, to another year at Hogwarts. As per usual, the Forbidden Forest is forbidden to all students. Mr. Filch has also posted a list of banned items on his office door, should you wish to be informed.” There was a quiet chuckling throughout the Hall, “This past year has been a hard one, and every student here has felt the harsh sting of war. And, although many of you have performed great magic, you must take this year seriously. So please help me in welcoming your new Transfiguration professor: Oliver Wood. Mr. Wood, if you please.” The Gryffindor table was loud with cheers from the sixth and seventh years as the burly looking man grinned. “Also, your new Muggle Studies professor, Mary Cattermole.” There was a quiet applause, she looked much better than the last time I’d seen her. “Lastly, please give a warm welcome to your new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher: Alice Longbottom.”
How's that for shock and awe? I wonder what Draco thinks of all this madness. I hope you all remember Mrs. Cattermole (HP 7 Chapter 13). I thought she'd be a nice addition. Then there's the heartthrob Oliver Wood :) Leave reviews y'all xxx