Chapter 10 : Chapter 10
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The morning of August 28 was the usual scramble to gather up last minute items that we had forgotten to pack the night before. I hid my grin when I remembered the time the twins nearly knocked Ginny down the stairs at Grimmauld Place with their trunks. It was difficult though when Ginny did almost the exact same thing to Ron that morning. Mrs. Weasley was of course yelling herself hoarse at us to get moving. As I grabbed my rose from Ginny’s windowsill I felt the ever present tears rolling down my cheeks. After this year I would be on my own. I knew that I could always come back to the Burrow, but I didn’t want to overstay my welcome. And who knew what the year would bring.
When I opened my trunk to put the rose in it I spied my Head Girl badge and caught myself wondering for the first time since I had gotten it who the Head Boy would be. I had my suspicions, but when I thought about it I figured McGonagall would never pick him. Not to mention Draco never said anything in his letters about getting the badge. Surely he would’ve told me if he had been named Head Boy.
“Come on Hermione,” I heard Ron yell up the stairs. “Mum is about to have a fit that we’re going to be late.”
Sighing, I called back down, “I’m coming. Just give me a second.”
“Alright,” Ron called. “We’ll be out in the car.”
Wiping the tears from my face I took a deep breath and headed for the front drive of the rickety old house. Mr. Weasley had gotten Ministry cars again for us. At least this time it wasn’t to keep Harry safe. No, this time it was because we had three of the most famous people in our world in the house. I guess nothing was too good for Harry Potter and his friends. I would have gladly just Apparated to King’s Cross, but Mrs. Weasley wouldn’t hear of it. I had told her the night before that I didn’t want anyone to go out of their way for me, but she told me, “Dear no one is going out their way. This is just a nice gesture for you lot. I know you don’t see it, but if it hadn’t been for you three we would all still be living in fear right now.”
I think that was got to me. I didn’t want people to hold me responsible for their lives. Not when my own life was in shambles.
Finally we arrived at the station and after many strange looks from the muggles passing us on the street we made it to the barrier between platforms 9 and 10. I found myself strangely nostalgic about the first time I walked through to platform 9 3/4. I hadn’t known what to expect back then I thought maybe it was joke, but when I walked forward and didn’t run into a solid brick wall I knew it wasn’t.
The Hogwarts Express looked the same as always. The scarlet engine sat there majestically with white steam coming from the top of. Of course the platform was a madhouse. There were students and parents everywhere. There were more students as there were to be double the first years. Pushing my way through the crowd I could almost forget that I hadn’t missed my last year. It seemed like just yesterday we were getting off the train at the end of our sixth year. Once I got on the train I started looking for an empty compartment for myself and my friends. That was when I saw his white blond hair standing above the crowds. And just like the other day in the bookshop I felt my heart skip a beat. Draco was walking right at me. Suddenly I got really very nervous. What was he thinking? There were bound to be reporters around somewhere just looking for a good story.
“Hermione,” he drawled. “I want you to come meet my mother.”
Swallowing I answered, “Are you sure Draco?”
“Of course,” he said smiling. It was so rare that he smiled that I couldn’t deny him at that point.
I don’t know how to describe what I was feeling. I was afraid of meeting Narcissa Malfoy. Yes, she did save Harry, but that didn’t mean anything right then. The Malfoys had always thought people like me were beneath them and not worth the time of day. Slowly I followed Draco back out onto the platform. I gasped when I saw the elegant figure of his mother. She was so beautiful. Her fair looks were nothing like those of her deranged sister, Bellatrix. In fact she didn’t look like her other sister, Andromeda, either. I caught myself wondering why. Bellatrix and Andromeda could have at one time passed for twins. I made a mental note to ask Draco about it later.
“Mother,” Draco said as we approached. “I have someone I want you to meet.”
He pulled me forward gently and continued, “ This is Hermione Granger.”
Narcissa put her hand out toward me and said, “Granger? The girl that is best friends with Harry Potter?”
I knew it she was going to judge me based on my friendship with Harry, but I wasn’t going to let her. “Yes, Harry is one of my best friends. Thank you by the way for what you did for him.”
“I did nothing for Harry Potter,” Narcissa said haughtily. “I did what I did to save my son.”
“I know that Mrs. Malfoy,” I replied coolly. “But you did none the less save Harry while you were trying to save Draco. And for that I owe you my gratitude.”
“Well then you are welcome,” she said. “Draco said he wanted me to meet someone very important to him. I just wasn’t expecting it to be you.”
“I can understand that,” I said. “After all who would have thought a Malfoy could be friends with a muggleborn?”
“No one,” she answered. And with that she laughed. I was mesmerized by the sound of it. Her laugh was nothing at all like I thought it would be. I thought that it would sound like her sister’s laugh, but no it sounded like bells peeling. There is no other way to describe it. It was such a lovely sound.
“Well, mother,” Draco said. “I have to get going the train is about to leave. I will write you when I get there.”
“Yes of course,” Narcissa said to her only son. And then she grabbed my hand and shook it. “Miss Granger it was a pleasure.”
“Thank you,” I said unsure of what else to say.
When Draco and I got back on the train he turned to me and said, “Mother takes some getting used to. She really is a great woman, but I may be biased. Please don’t judge her based on her sister.”
“I won’t,” I promised. “I just wasn’t expecting to meet her so soon. Next time give me fair warning.”
“I’m not promising anything,” he said. “You will just have to be on your toes.”
“Like I don’t know what that’s like,” I replied sarcastically. “Anyway, I have to get back to my compartment. I’m sure the others are wondering where I got to.”
“I think I’ll come with you,” he said.
I didn’t know what to say. I was sure that Draco coming with me to where Harry, Ron and Ginny were sitting was not a good idea, but then again it was time for all of my friends to give each other a chance.
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