Chapter 1 : Back to School
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Before she had found out she was a witch she had always felt out of place, finding muggle subjects dull and excruciatingly easy, (of course this didn’t stop her from being a very keen contributor in class). She finally felt in her rightful place mentally, she was born to do magic. But it was only till about halfway through the year that she felt socially accepted, she met Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley, her best friends to date. Although being friends with them didn’t especially help your risk of severe danger, she finally belonged. She Harry and Ron, were even closer if that was possible, owing to yet another life threatening experience which they would never forget. Harry’s godfather, Sirius had been murdered by Bellatrix Lestrange, a death eater. This had only happened in the previous year.
Harry and Ron were in the opposite seat; both had shot up again over the summer, adding to the resemblance of two elastic bands stretched to breaking point. Ron had however picked up a more broad shoulder and set jaw… she had always had feelings for Ron, at some times more romantic than brotherly. But for some reason the romantic love she had felt for him had drained over the summer. She felt it had something to do with how much they’d been through. Their bond was now so tightly knitted that she would feel strange to escape the comfort of friendship to a more passionate affair…no, she no longer loved him in that way. She only hoped he felt the same way….
“Hermione!” she woke up from her thoughts and stared stupidly at Harry and Ron.
“It’s time to get off.” said Harry.
“Oh yeah, right.” Hermione stood up hastily and followed Harry and Ron off the train and into the bustling swarm of Hogwarts students on the platform.
The start of term feast was excellent as usual, she had second helpings of everything, and had a content dreamless slumber. She woke up especially early the next day so as she could prepare for her first day back. Her new classes included Advanced Potions and Alchemy.
She made her way down to the great hall for breakfast. Harry, Ginny and Ron were already there, apparently laughing at something highly amusing. She sat down next to Ron, and started grinning, his laughter was so contagious.
“What’s so funny?” she asked him.
Gasping for air, Ron simply pointed as he shook with silent laughter. Hermione followed his finger. It was Draco Malfoy… at least she thought it was… for a start he was sitting at the end of the Slytherin table, apparently alone without his usual gang of followers, he also appeared to have a numerous amount of red blotchy boils on his distorted swollen face. Hermione suddenly felt a pang of unwanted pity. What had happened to him? Why does he look like that? Was he ill? Did he get hexed? She immediately brushed away this feeling of sympathy. This was Malfoy. Draco Malfoy, the one who had tormented her for 5 years. She tried to make herself laugh. But when the others weren’t looking she looked back to see him. He had his head bowed and he was stirring his cereal absent mindedly with his spoon. She saw a small tear fall into the bowl.
“Um, I’ve got to go” said Hermione rashly, to her three laughing friends.
She half ran half walked out of the great hall before they could say anything.
As she walked up the great marble staircase her brain kept replaying the image of Malfoy. It unnerved her for some reason. She had never seen him look so vulnerable. His air of confidence seemed to have vanished.
She stood waiting outside the classroom door, her first lesson was Advanced Potions. She entered the classroom and took a seat, taking out her books and some spare parchment. Only a few people had arrived, (lessons hadn’t officially started yet). She looked around at her classmates, Justin Finch-Fletchley, A rosy cheeked Ravenclaw girl she didn’t know, Dean Thomas and…. Malfoy. I didn’t know he took this class! She looked back at him, he still looked the same: lonely and pock marked.
The rest of the students taking the class entered including: Harry, Blaise Zabini and Padma Patil. Swiftly after them entered the potions professor: Horace Slughorn, a squat little man wearing deep purple robes.
“Good morning class!” he chimed.
“Good morning Professor Slughorn.” droned the class.
“Today we shall be starting a project!” he squeaked excitedly. “Over the course of the next few months, we will be making the Pralestial potion, a tricky little….”
But Hermione wasn’t listening anymore, her eyes had drawn themselves yet again to a certain blonde haired someone. His eyes were such a strange colour- she had never noticed before, a pale pebble grey with infusions of blue and mint green. She felt if she stared at them too long she would fall into them.
“Miss Granger!” called Professor Slughorn.
“Oh, yes Professor?”
“You will be partnered with Mr Malfoy”.
What? Partnered to do what?
She picked up her books and made her way over to sit next to Malfoy. He didn’t look up when she sat down.
“So.” She said sharply. “What are we supposed to be doing?”
“That’s not like your usual two shoes self.” he smirked half-heartedly, still not looking at her.
“Look, just tell me what to do so we can get this stupid assignment over with.” retorted Hermione.
He pushed his open book towards her.
“The Pralestial Potion” it read. “Effects: will make the drinker grow from between 2 and 8 inches in 1 month. If not brewed correctly side effects may include: blindness, abnormal fingernail growth and nausea.”
She scanned down the page and started to read the preparation section . It would take 3-4 months to make. 4 months stuck with Malfoy. Joy.
AN: My first chapter! Yay :) I know not much has happened so far, but if you have liked my style of writing, or are a Dramione shipper, please stand by for the next few chapters of this story!
Thanks to all who have read and reviewed!