Chapter 2 : New Class
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“You’re going to forgive them eventually.” Malfoy said from her other side.
“I know. Sucks that im so predictable” she replied dryly.
“You’re hardly predictable Granger. You punched me in third year, yet in fifth we managed to work together without tearing each other’s heads off.” He joked.
“Suppose so. Do you think we’ll still be partners this year?”
“Never know, Slughorn didn’t seem too keen to split us sixth year so why would he now?” Malfoy shrugged “have you looked through this year’s potions book?” Hermione gave him a look and he smiled “stupid question, what potions do we do this year?”
“First we have Amortentia, then Pollyjuice potion. Shouldn’t be too hard – I’ve brewed Pollyjuice in second year so…” she trailed off, suddenly blushing.
“You brewed the Pollyjuice potion in second year?” he asked sounding impressed. “Why?”
She cleared her throat. “Remember in the potions lab one afternoon and you said you once thought Goyle’s hair was turning ginger?” he nodded “Well, it was. Only it wasn’t Goyle. It was Ron.”
Malfoy said nothing for a full five minutes as Hermione drank pumpkin juice from her goblet. When he did speak he sounded completely astounded. “Why the hell….?”
“We wanted to see if you knew who the heir of Slytherin did.” She shrugged, watching as the plates began to vanish all over the hall.
McGonagall stood and began her start of year speech “Welcome back to Hogwarts! After the… events of last year the rest of the staff and I hope that this year will be filled with more happy events, which is why this year we will be holding a Halloween Ball and Yule Ball! Now… on the agenda I would like to introduce our new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Ann Leafe” there was a round of applause as a sever looking older lady stood and nodded. “Now, due to the events of last year the ministry as advised me to make sure all students attend Remedial classes – designed to promote house unity and help students who are struggling with after effects from the war.
I would also like to introduce our new Head girl and boy, Miss Hermione Granger and Mr Draco Malfoy” Hermione and Malfoy stood awkwardly and sat down in a hurry, receiving very little applause and more curious glances. “Also, would first years please note that the forest is out of bounds, and that Mr Filch has banned the use of all Weasley Wizards Wheezes products from the corridors. Now, im sure you’re all very tired – prefects please show first years to your common rooms. Goodnight”
The rest of the hall was moving and McGonagall made her way to the two head students. “You two, I’ll show you to your common room. No doubt you would both like to see your friends and… explain some things.” The headmistress gave them both a look before stalking through the little hidden door at the back of the hall, leaving the students to follow.
Draco Malfoy was wondering what the hell the head had meant. Surely she already knew that Blaise and Pansy knew he was a Veela? Hell half the Slytherin house knew – it was not a very well-kept secret that both Narcissa and Lucius were also Veela and where in fact on the English Veela Council. Draco was thankful for the Veela instinct suppressant potion his mother had given him for school. It suppressed and dulled all the instincts of a Veela, ensuring his senses where dampened and his fangs and claws stayed hidden. Unfortunately, it also stopped him from finding his mate unless through physical touch. He doubted his mate would be in Hogwarts anyway, knowing his luck she was probably in china!!
They stopped outside of a portrait of two owls who turned their intelligent eyes to them and ruffled their feathers with a soft hoot. “The password is Manticore, I trust you will be able to find your own rooms?” and with that, the tired headmistress left them alone.
“Manticore” they said in union, and the portrait swung forward to allow them inside, much like the Gryffindor common room.
In fact, their common room looked an awful lot like the Gryffindor common room in Hermione’s opinion, though in neutral black and white colours. There were three black sofa’s surrounding a roaring open fire, the carpet was soft and also black and the walls were white. In one corner of the room where two desks, in the other end was a small library and a kitchen. Defiantly room for two. Hermione was on the stairs that she assumed lead to their rooms when she heard Malfoy ask “Aren’t you going to see Potter?”
She looked over her shoulder at the blonde who was not acting like his usual nasty self at all. Maybe war really does change people. “No, im tired.” She replied softly, her voice sounding sad. He watched her retreat up the stairs and sat on one of the couches.
Wonder what’s up with Granger? He thought. Though he really could understand why she was angry with her friends, or supposed friends. Personally he would have hexed them for not telling them – even if all they had where suspicions. Another thought was why Granger and Blaise where on such good terms… even Pansy hadn’t batted an eye lid at their casual exchange on the train. And Granger had changed! Her hair was darker and eyes lighter – more glittery, and holy shit had he been surprised by how well… hot she looked in her muggle clothing. She obviously hid her body well under her school cloak! And what had her friend said… she hadn’t seen nor written to them all summer?
Maybe there was more to the Granger girl than just being the class know-it all.
“Hermione?” a timid voice asked in the great hall the next day. Hermione had woken at dawn, unable to return to sleep she had rolled out of bed and gotten ready for the day before being the first to arrive at the Gryffindor breakfast table. She turned now and spotted a rather depressed Ginny.
“Ginny…” she replied.
“Hermione… really, I am sorry… Harry and I didn’t know for sure, and we didn’t want to say in case we were wrong and broke you up anyway…” Ginny ploughed out, sounding rehearsed, as she sat down beside Hermione on the bench.
“Im nor angry with you and Harry anymore Gin” Hermione told her softly. “It was Ron who should have told me, not you or Harry. And really, I was going to have to end it with Ron anyway – I just wish it had been on better terms.”
“I… wait… what?”
Hermione put down her toast and turned to her friend, looking around the hall that was beginning to fill. “I really need to tell you and Harry something that you must keep secret… meet me in the room of requirement at break?” Ginny nodded and the two girls fell silent as Harry, Neville, Ron and Lavender arrived. Ginny gave Ron a glare, which he returned, and moved to another part of the table.
“You were right Hermione; gossip in this school does travel like wildfire. Last I heard, all the Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws knew.” Harry said, slightly timidly.
“It’s one of the only things you can count on in Hogwarts to stay the same – the rate news travels.”
“Did you dye your hair over summer ‘Mi?” Ginny asked suddenly. She had been studying her friend, trying to pin point what it was about her that had changed.
Unexpectedly, Hermione froze at the innocent question and replied a little stonily “Nope.”
The awkward silence was brought to an end by McGonagall handing out the new timetables. “Oh hey” Harry said loudly “We have that new Recreational class first… oh crap, we have it with the Slytherin’s!”
“Can’t be too bad.” Hermione shrugged “Lots of the Slytherin’s have grown… quieter, more unsure, since the war ended.”
“And you would know this why?” Ginny frowned, amused.
“I have to live with Draco Malfoy. Not once has he called me a name… he seems almost… normal.” She replied with a shrug. “Have you gotten any ideas for the Halloween dance? It’s not too far away.”
“Yes, let’s not have the live bat swarms – we don’t want them to attack anyone.” Ginny smiled.
The rest of breakfast was passed with ease, the girls talking about the dance and the boys discussing Quidditch, of which Harry was still captain.
When the warning bell rang, Harry and Hermione trooped up to an old disused classroom with the few other Gryffindor Eighth years who were in their class set and took a seat on the left side of the room. All the Slytherin’s sat on the right and everyone was speaking in low tones.
“Oh come now, that won’t do!” A cheery voice said suddenly, startling a few students who had been dozing. They looked up at the classroom balcony and found a slender blonde witch watching them, dressed in official ministry robes. “Well anyhow, im your teacher, Krystal and I don’t do any of that ‘professor’ stuff. I was assigned especially by the ministry to make sure you are all friendly. Now… I think we’ll have a bit of a move around.”
There was a collective groan from the class.
“Nonsense, it’ll be fun… now…” Krystal waved her wand at the chalk board and their names appeared beside there designated partners.
Slytherin’s where paired with Gryffindor’s.
Neville Longbottom – Millicent Bullstrode
Blaise Zabini – Lavender Brown
Parvati Patil – Theodore Nott
Harry Potter – Daphne Greengrass
Hermione Granger – Draco Malfoy
Ronald Weasley – Pansy Parkinson
Adrian Pucey – Dean Thompson
There was a collective groan as people began to sullenly shuffle around the room. Hermione met Malfoy half way and they sat at a desk In the back of the class, put their bags on the floor and began to lounge around as the others sat. At the two desks in front of them sat Ron, Pansy, Blaise and Lavender.
“There now, won’t this be fun!” Krystal smiled at the class, seemingly undeterred by the disbelieving looks she received. “Now, first I want you to get to know your partners so this lesson we shall be playing a getting-to-know-you game called two-truths-one-lie. It’s very simple, you cake it in turns to say three facts about yourself – one of which is a lie, and the other has to guess which the lie is. Well, get on. I’ll be walking around to see what is going on.”
Hermione turned to Malfoy. “Ladies first Granger” He drawled.
“Alright, fine. My first ever friend was Neville, I love blood flavoured lollypops you get at Honeydukes and I was almost put into Ravenclaw.” She said with a shrug, making them easy.
“That’s easy, you hate blood flavoured lollypops” he replied lazily. “My turn. I have an owl named Odin, I wanted to make friends it Potter over there but never knew how and I would prefer to be a chaser than a seeker.”
Hermione watched him. “That last one is a lie, you love being a seeker.” She watched him nod. “Okay, my parents were dentists, my patronus is an otter and my first kiss was Ron.”
“Pfft, your first kiss was Krum and we all know it!” Malfoy rolled his eyes in reply. “Alright then, I hate living in the manor, I broke my wrist over the summer and im eighteen years old.”
Hermione thought about it. “You hate living in the manor? Is that the lie?”
He shook his head “No, the lie was me breaking my wrist.”
“Why do you hate living in the manor? Surely that’s got to be grander than living in a tiny house like the rest of us!” she tried, watching curiously as he shook his head slowly.
“Too many bad memories…” he began when there was a sudden sound like a whistling kettle. The class fell silent and looked around, spotting Ronald Weasley under the kettle-charm. Krystal cast the counter-charm and looked at them.
“Maybe we should try a different activity. This one is about trust. I will cast a simple charm on one of you and the other has to help you, alright?” she then moved around the classroom. In one pair she made one of them deaf, in the other she took away their voice and in Hermione pair she took away Malfoy’s sight. “You can leave the classroom, but stay in your pairs and return before break in half an hour.”
“Come on then Malfoy.” Hermione said, unsure if she should reach out for him. They made it down three corridors before Malfoy walked into a wall.
“Ouch, Granger!” he yelled rubbing his face “Your supposed to stop me walking into things or falling down!”
Hermione was three steps down the staircase watching him. “What do you want me to hold your hand Malfoy?” she asked, rolling her eyes. She looked up in time to see Malfoy stumbling towards her. “NO-!” She called out, too late, and Malfoy tripped right into her sending them both stumbling down the stairs and into a groaning heap at the bottom.
“Miss Granger… Mr Malfoy?” the sound of the headmistress’s voice was far off, but when Hermione’s eyes focused McGonagall was standing above her looking down. “What are you two doing?” she asked. Hermione tried to sit up, but became aware that there was a large weight across her stomach. When she looked she saw Malfoy’s legs hanging over her from where he lay – groaning and still blind.
“The new teacher made us do a trust exercise, so she blinded Malfoy and had me take him around the castle… only we fell down the stairs.” Hermione explained, pushing Malfoy’s feet off her and standing, pulling her skirt straight.
McGonagall gave one her rare true smiles, obviously amused. “Very well, I trust you will look after Mr Malfoy then Miss Granger… also… you may want to refresh your charm.”
Hermione visibly paled, pulled out her wand and muttered a simple charm on herself and Malfoy pulled himself up beside her. He sniffed slightly. “Hey do you smell that? Vanilla” he asked suddenly alert.
“Nope, I smell sandalwood soap actually.” She replied, reaching out and grabbing a fist full of his cloak sleeve. “Now let’s get back to the class, I promise not to let you walk into anything.”
“Better not, I live with you remember. I might decide to get revenge.” He said with a faint smile.