Hermione woke up early and immediately got dressed in a pair of jeans and a white t-shirt. She ran a brush through her curly brown hair and pocketed her wand. She crept out of the dormitory without waking Lavender or Parvati and headed towards the fifth year girl’s dorm. She opened the door quietly and slipped inside.
The clock on the wall said seven a.m. Much too early for a Saturday.
Hermione groaned. Ginny was going to kill her.
The fiery redhead was not a morning person. But Hermione really needed to talk to someone, and Ginny was the only one who would understand.
Hermione crept to her bed and silently pulled back the hangings. Ginny was sound asleep, her mouth slightly open and her red hair a mess.
“Ginny,” whispered Hermione, poking the girl’s shoulder. “Ginny, wake up.”
Ginny mumbled in her sleep and rolled over. Hermione huffed and walked to the other side of the bed. She put her hand next to Ginny’s ear and started snapping her fingers rather loudly.
Ginny gasped and sat straight up, looking wildly around. She peered at Hermione and then at the clock, then at Hermione again. Then she smiled a sweet, fake smile.
“Hermione,” she began, her voice scratchy from sleep. “You are my best friend, and I would do anything for you, but what is bloody wrong with you, waking me up at seven on a Saturday?”
Hermione smiled sheepishly. “Sorry, Gin, I just really need to talk to someone, and you’re the only one who will understand.”
Ginny sighed, but then smiled. “Alright. I will meet you down in the common room in thirty minutes.”
Hermione nodded and headed out the door as Ginny made for the bathroom. The common room was empty at this time in the morning, so Hermione took the comfy armchair by the fire and started to read a book.
Thirty minutes later saw a slightly awake Ginny Weasley coming down the stairs, wearing dark blue jeans and a light blue shirt. Her red hair was no longer messy, but smooth and shiny as it flowed down her back.
“Shall we go to the Great Hall?” asked Hermione, standing up and putting her book down on a table.
Ginny yawned. “Yeah, I could use some coffee.”
Hermione laughed and headed towards the portrait hole, Ginny following close behind. They made their way silently down to the Great Hall, which was empty but for a few Ravenclaws, and sat down. Only when Ginny had her coffee did Hermione begin to explain what was happening to her.
* * *
“Let me get this straight,” whispered Ginny, leaning closer to her friend and ignoring the food all around them. “You think you’re an Air Elemental?”
“That’s right.” said Hermione, just as quietly as Ginny.
The Great Hall had slowly started filling up after eight o’clock and Ginny and Hermione were now seated at the very end of the Gryffindor table, hoping to avoid eavesdroppers.
Harry, Ron, and the other sixth year Gryffindor boys were all eating breakfast and successfully not bothering the two girls. Harry and Ron had seen them have their girl talks like this before, and knew from experience that interrupting them would be fatal to their personal safety.
“How did you come to this conclusion?” asked Ginny. Just like Hermione thought, the redhead was taking this very seriously and not laughing at Hermione and her odd theories.
“Well,” started Hermione, adopting a thoughtful expression. “It started during the summer holidays. Weird things began happening to me. I found that I was most relaxed on really windy days and that I could practically see every particle in the air. I thought nothing of it at first, but then even stranger things began to happen.
“I discovered that all I had to do was wave my hand, and doors would slam shut, papers would rustle, and a chill wind would sweep through the room. I was curious, I admit, but easily dismissed it as coincidence. It wasn’t until I had a rather silly argument with my parents that I started to really think about what was happening.”
Hermione paused, taking a deep breath, and then began again. “Well, we got in an argument, and I got really mad. I was so angry I couldn’t even hear what my parents were saying. I couldn’t see. I couldn’t move. All I remember is feeling immensely angry, and then I blinked. My world came crashing back to our small kitchen, and the sight was not pleasant. It looked as if a tornado had hit. Cupboard doors were hanging off their hinges, pots and pans were laying on the floor, plates and glasses were broken, and my parents looked as if they were clinging onto each other for dear life.
“I asked them what happened, and they said it suddenly got really windy and things just started flying everywhere. I got scared and ran up to my room without saying anything more to them. I had never lost control like that before. I hadn’t performed any unintentional magic since I got my letter for Hogwarts and was sure I was going to get expelled for performing serious underage magic. But a letter from the ministry never came. No notice, nothing. That’s when I began to understand that whatever was happening to me, wasn’t normal.”
Hermione finally stopped and looked at Ginny. She was staring at the older girl in shock, her mouth slightly open. She shook her head and blinked.
“Well,” said Ginny. “I guess that explains a few things.”
Hermione nodded and looked around to make sure no one was watching. Then she turned to Ginny and pointed at the candles floating above their table.
“Watch, I want to show you something.”
* * *
Draco Malfoy quietly entered the Great Hall, careful not to attract the attention of anyone. He slipped to the Slytherin table and sat down next to Blaise Zabini, a quiet boy with black hair and blue eyes. Blaise was the closest thing Draco had to a friend, and Draco felt comfortable telling the boy things he couldn’t tell anyone else.
Draco scooped some sausages onto his plate and looked around the hall. The House Tables were slowly filling up. All the Ravenclaws were already there. They were a bunch of early risers. The Hufflepuff table was half full, as was the Gryffindor table. Draco scanned the students and found Potter and Weasley talking with the other Gryffindor boys, laughing hysterically about something.
That was odd. Where was Granger? She always sat with her boys at meals. Draco looked further down the table and finally found her. She and the Weaselette were sitting alone, deep in conversation. Draco cocked his head to one side as he watched them. What were they talking about? And why weren’t they sharing it with Potter and Weasel?
Draco watched as Granger pointed up at the candles floating above the table. She looked up at one and fixed it with an unblinking stare. Her mouth curved into and ‘o’ shape, and next moment, the flame of the candle was gone.
Draco blinked. Granger could not have blown out the candle; it was too far away. Yet it certainly looked as if that was what had happened. He narrowed his eyes as Granger repeated the procedure, and another flame went out. Draco shook his head and looked down at his plate of uneaten sausage.
Something very strange was going on here, and Draco had an idea as to what it was. But it didn’t make sense. Granger couldn’t be one… could she? No. She couldn’t. Draco shook his head again and stood up. He left the Great Hall and headed towards the library, knowing that Granger would be there shortly.
* * *
Ginny was, once again, staring at Hermione in open-mouthed shock. Hermione had put her head down on the table, and was breathing very deeply.
“Blimey, Hermione,” whispered Ginny, unsure of what to say. “If you really are an Elemental, don’t you think you should tell Dumbledore?”
Hermione raised her head and propped an elbow on the table. “Yes, but I want to tell Harry and Ron first.” she looked down the table at her two friends. “When they aren’t stuffing their faces.” Hermione looked down at her watch and then up at Ginny. “Sorry, Gin, but I have to go. I am supposed to meet Malfoy in the library soon.”
Ginny raised an eyebrow as an evil grin spread across her face. “You’re meeting up with Malfoy?”
Hermione rolled her eyes and nodded, standing up. “To make a long story short, we got paired up in Arithmancy for projects.”
Ginny nodded. “Okay, just be careful, Mione. Malfoy may be devilishly handsome, but he is still an evil Slytherin.”
Hermione laughed. “Don’t worry, Gin. I can take care of myself.”
“I know you can,” said Ginny, smiling. “But if he hurts you, I will personally see to it that a rather nasty Bat-Bogey Hex is sent his way.”
Hermione laughed again. Ginny was famous for her Bat-Bogey Hexes, and Draco had been on the receiving end of one last year. Hermione waved to the redheaded girl and walked towards Harry and Ron.
“Hey, guys,” she said. “I have to go meet Malfoy now, but I’ll be done before lunch. See you then?”
Both boys turned to her wearing frowns and looking terribly like they wanted to say something, but they refrained and simply nodded at her. Hermione smiled and walked quickly out of the Great Hall. She slowed down as she neared the library, and came to a stop right outside the doors. She took one, deep breath and pushed the doors open.
The familiar scent of the library washed over Hermione, and she relaxed quite a bit. She looked around for Malfoy, but he was nowhere in sight, so she headed towards the Arithmancy section, thinking he might be there. He wasn’t. So Hermione started looking through the books on her own.
She had been wandering the aisle for barely a minute when she felt warm breath on the back of her neck and heard a quiet, yet dangerous voice whisper in her ear, “Hello, Granger.”
Hermione jumped and dropped her book. She spun around and came face to face with Draco Malfoy. He was close, much too close, and Hermione nervously stepped back. She bent down and picked up her book and then glared at Malfoy, who was smirking at her.
“Don’t do that.” hissed Hermione, and she swept past him out of the aisle.
Draco followed her to a secluded table at the back of the library. She huffily sat down and Draco sat across from her, evil smirk still in place.
“Do what?” asked Draco, feigning a look of innocence.
“You know what,” snapped Hermione, opening her book. “Sneak up on me like that. Don’t do it.”
Draco folded his arms across his chest and leaned back in his chair. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Hermione rolled her eyes and buried her nose in her book. Draco let her read for a minute and then cleared his throat. Hermione didn’t look up so Draco began to speak.
“You’ll never believe what I saw this morning, Granger.” he said, smiling wickedly. “It was really quite strange, and I was hoping you could explain it to me.”
Despite her mind screaming at her not to, Hermione looked up. Was Malfoy acting civil?
Draco smirked at her. “You see, I was sitting in the Great Hall, minding my own business, when I happened to look over at the Gryffindor table. Do you know what I saw?”
Hermione swallowed and shook her head. She didn’t like where this was going. Draco smiled inwardly. The mudblood looked like she just failed an exam.
“I saw you, blowing out one of the floating candles.” said Draco, quietly. “Now tell me, Granger, how did you do it? Those candles are too high up to be blown out. Did you use magic?” he paused, looking at Hermione’s shocked face. Then, “I didn’t think so.”
Hermione’s eyes widened as she absorbed what Malfoy was saying. He had seen her, seen her in the Great Hall while she was showing her Elemental powers to Ginny. What was she going to do? Maybe Malfoy didn’t know what an Elemental was, or maybe he did. Either way, Hermione wasn’t about to admit anything, especially to the ferret.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” said Hermione calmly, crossing her arms. “Why would I want to blow out a candle?”
She picked up her book and stuck her nose in it once again. Draco narrowed his eyes at her. He could tell she was lying. Her voice was calm, but her eyes were fearful.
“Fine. Have it your own way, mudblood.” Draco whispered, his tone low and dangerous. “But I know you are hiding something, and I will find out what it is. Mark my words, I will find out.”
With that, he got up and disappeared down an aisle. Hermione scowled after him. She wouldn’t go so far as to say she was scared, but she was nervous. She would have to be more careful from now on. She couldn’t risk using her new powers out in the open anymore, that was for sure.
Draco came back to the table a few minutes later carrying a stack of books. He sat down and without a word began to read one. They sat that way, silent, books open all around them, for the better part of an hour. Hermione was discouraged because she hadn’t found one witch or wizard worthy of a project. She sighed exasperatedly and set her book down.
“Have you found anything yet?” she asked the boy sitting across from her, not really caring at the moment that he was her sworn enemy.
Draco didn’t even look up. “No.”
Hermione sighed again and picked up another book. They all seemed the same to her. She never thought she would say it, but these books were useless. Either that or no one had made any remarkable discoveries in the field of Arithmancy. Finally, after another thirty minutes, Hermione came across a passage that she deemed worthy.
Edward Hasslehoth, a wizard born in 1819, was most known for his extremely accurate predictions using Arithmancy. Hasslehoth, who was not gifted with the Inner Eye, turned to numbers to tell the future. His career started out slow, but in 1840 he predicted the entire life of his daughter (who was just a baby at the time) using numbers he got from her name. When said predictions started coming true, witches and wizards from all over Britain rushed to the small home of Edward Hasslehoth, hoping to get insight into their future lives as well.
Hermione smiled and pushed the book towards Malfoy. “This seems interesting.” she said, leaning across the table to point out the passage.
Draco wordlessly picked up the book and began to read. A moment later he set the book down and looked at Hermione.
“Sure,” he said. “Let’s do that. I’ll check out the book and take some notes, then give it to you tomorrow.”
Draco didn’t really care that he was agreeing with, and being civil towards a mudblood. He was so tired of looking through all the bloody books that he would have agreed to anything, even if Granger proposed they do the project on herself.
Hermione smiled. “Alright.” she said, then paused. “Well, I have to go meet Harry and Ron. I told them I would catch up with them before lunch.” Hermione didn’t really know why she was telling Malfoy this, but she felt the need to explain.
Draco’s look of exhaustion turned to a look of disgust faster than the golden snitch could fly. “Ah, Prince Potter and the Wonder Weasel. What do you see in them anyway? They are such idiots.”
Hermione’s mouth dropped open. She could feel her face flushing in anger. And to think, Malfoy had actually been civil towards her. She stood up and clenched her fists at her sides.
“How dare you.” Hermione hissed. “How dare you insult my friends. Just look at the people you associate with. Why, the whole lot of you are probably Death Eaters in training!”
Before Hermione had any idea what was happening, before she could even blink, Malfoy had her pinned against the wall. His hands dug into her shoulders and she could feel bruises forming. But that was the least of her worries. Malfoy looked angry. No, he looked furious. She had never seen him like this before. His face was flushed and his gray eyes had darkened to an almost black color. She could feel him shaking in rage, and she suddenly became aware of how tall he really was. He towered over the petite Gryffindor, and for the first time in her life, Hermione was truly afraid of him.
“Don’t ever say that again.” whispered Draco, his tone cold and dangerous. “Don’t ever mention Death Eaters around me again. You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. You may understand a lot of things, Granger, but you will never understand this.”
Hermione didn’t trust herself to say anything, so she merely nodded. Draco slowly let go of her, and then turned on his heel and left the library, silent and quick as a shadow. Hermione rubbed her shoulders and turned back to the table. Malfoy had left the book, so she tucked it under her arm to check out, and then quietly left the library.
From that moment on, however, Hermione never mentioned anything about the Dark Side while she was around Draco, unless he brought it up first.
Author's Note: Well, what did you think? This is my first major interaction between Hermione and Draco, and any feedback is welcome.
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