Chapter 1 : Blue Beginnings
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‘Hermione, honey, wake up!’
Hermione Granger opened her eyes to see her mother standing over her, gently shaking her. ‘Get up sweetie, or you’ll miss the train.’
‘Oh, no, I slept in!’ the young girl shrieked, jumping out of bed and running to the bathroom, skidding to a stop just before she reached it. ‘How are you today, mum?’ she asked anxiously. Mrs Granger had been diagnosed with cancer earlier that year, and her health was deteriorating rapidly. But the family had all pulled together to get her the best doctors and treatments, and a ray of hope had been thrown their way when they found out about a revolutionary new treatment in America which had a success rate of ninety per cent. They were hoping to be able to start Mrs Granger on it just after Christmas.
‘I’m fine, dear. I’m having a good day.’ her mother smiled, trying to look sincere but Hermione knew she was lying; she didn’t have good days, only bad days and not quite so bad days.
‘Okay, I’ll be down in a minute.’ Hermione said, entering the bathroom.
‘Please hurry dear. Your father and I need to talk to you before you leave for school.’ Mrs Granger called through the door as she headed downstairs.
Hermione showered quickly, scrunch dried her wavy dark blonde hair, and pulled on a pair of jeans and a black top, before going to meet her parents in the kitchen. The worried looks on their faces told her that whatever they had to say was not going to be good. ‘What’s wrong?’
Mr Granger shuffled in his seat. ‘You might want to sit down for this.’ He waited until his daughter had sat across from him and his wife before continuing, ‘It seems your mother’s medical bills have been higher than we had anticipated, and we’re running out of money.’
‘What are we going to do? We can’t stop the treatments! And what about the new one after Christmas? Mum has to get that!’
‘We know, honey, that’s why we have to sell the house.’
‘We already have.’ Mr Granger said, avoiding her eyes, ‘I’m sorry we couldn’t tell you but we knew you’d worry.’
‘Well, where are we going to live?’
‘Your father and I have already bought a small flat.’ her mother replied, ‘We move in next week. It’s very small, only one bedroom, but with you at Hogwarts for most of the year we think it’ll do, so long as you don’t mind sleeping on the couch when you come home.’
‘Of course not. Whatever it takes, I’ll do it.’
‘Thankyou.’ Mrs Granger whispered, hugging her daughter tightly, before sending her upstairs to gather her school things.
Half an hour later Hermione sat beside her father in the car as they pulled into the train station car park. Her mother had been too unwell to come. ‘Be honest with me dad. How bad is it? We’re not going to be able to keep up the treatments, are we?’
‘No, honey.’ Mr Granger replied quietly, ‘We’re not. But please don’t tell your mother, she doesn’t need to feel guilty, especially not now.’
‘I know dad.’ Hermione climbed out of the car, ‘And just know, whatever I have to do to help, I will. I’ll make sure we get the money we need.’ She turned and strode into the station, trying to ignore the fact that her father, a grown man, was close to tears.
‘Hermione!’ a cheery voice made Hermione look up at the door of the train carriage where she was sitting.
‘Ginny!’ she greeted her best girlfriend.
‘So,’ the redheaded witch began, ‘What you been up to?’
‘Not much.’ Hermione stated. She didn’t want her friends to know about her problems just yet, they would only worry about her, ‘Where’s Ron and Harry?’
‘Oh, they’ll be here in a minute. They stopped to chat to Neville. Guy stuff.’ Ginny rolled her eyes. ‘But I ran into McGonagal on my way down here and she said to tell you you’ve to go to the Heads’ compartment to meet with the Head Boy. I wonder who it is? Do you think it’s someone hot?’
Hermione laughed at her friend’s comment; that girl had a one track mind. ‘Nope.’ she stated, ‘It’s Draco Malfoy.’
‘What?’ the look on Ginny’s face was priceless, ‘How do you know that?’
‘I got a letter yesterday telling me everything about being Head Girl, including who the Head Boy was.’ Hermione shrugged.
‘Oh, Mione, good luck.’ Ginny groaned, before adding slowly, ‘But you have to admit, Malfoy is kinda hot…’
‘Ginevra Weasley! What would your brother think if he heard you speaking about the Slytherin ferret like that? Not to mention your boyfriend!’
‘Oh, no, I love Harry, really I do!’ Ginny cried quickly, although as Hermione left the compartment she added quietly, ‘Doesn’t mean I can’t look.’ ‘I heard that!’ Hermione called over her shoulder as Ginny slumped down in her seat. The older witch giggled as she headed down the corridor to the Heads’.
Malfoy was already there, and he looked up as she entered, and took a seat across from him. ‘Ferret.’ she said to him in acknowledgement. ‘Mudblood.’ he replied, with a slight nod of his head.
‘Well, I see you two are getting acquainted nicely.’ They both looked up to see the headmaster, Professor Dumbledore, standing in the doorway.
‘Morning, Professor.’ both greeted him.
‘As you know, the prefects from each house will see to the new first years, so you won’t have to worry about that; you’ll meet them tomorrow once they’re settled. I’ve decided to give you both the night off from your duties to allow you to get settled into your new dormitory.’ Dumbledore continued, as Hermione and Malfoy shared a disgusted look. They knew that although they both had private bedrooms and bathrooms, they were expected to share a common room and kitchen. ‘Well, I’ll leave you to it.’ the elderly headmaster said as he left the compartment.
The two Head students sat in silence for the rest of the journey, both staring out of the window until they reached the station. They each gathered their belongings, left the train, climbed into the Heads’ carriage which took them to Hogwarts and entered the Great Hall, all in silence. Hermione strolled over to the Gryffindor table and plopped herself onto a bench beside Ginny.
‘So, how’d it go?’ the younger witch asked. Hermione just rolled her eyes in reply.
‘I hope Malfoy behaved himself. If not he’ll have me to deal with …’ Ron growled, glaring over at the Slytherin table where the blonde Head Boy sat.
‘Relax Ron!’ Hermione laughed. Ron was so overprotective of her; it was like he had two baby sisters instead of one. ‘Malfoy didn’t do anything. We ignored each other the whole time.’
‘Good.’ Harry stated, also glaring at Malfoy, ‘You know you just have to say the word, and we’ll …’
‘I know.’ Hermione smiled at the boys gratefully. She knew he meant it; they really would do almost anything for her.
The four friends sat quietly through the sorting ceremony, welcoming their new Gryffindor members, before laughing and gossiping their way through the feast that followed. ‘Hey, look at the time, we’d better get going.’ Hermione said, looking at her watch; it was very late. Everyone waited as the prefects led the new first years up to their dorms, Ron and Lavender Brown taking care of the Gryffindors.
Harry, Ginny and Hermione then started to walk up the stairs toward their common rooms. They were about to part ways when Harry stopped Hermione, and looked her directly in the eyes. ‘Remember what I said, if Malfoy tries anything, just come and find me or Ron …’
‘I know Harry,’ Hermione rolled her eyes, ‘But really, I can look after myself. I’ll be fine.’
‘Yeah, Potter, relax.’ a firm arm was slung around Hermione’s shoulders, and she looked up to see Malfoy smirking at her, ‘I’ll take care of Granger,’ he grinned wickedly, and then Hermione felt him slap her arse, ‘I’ll take very good care of her…’
‘Sod off, Malfoy!’ she tried to shake his arm off her so she could wriggle away from his hand which had remained on her backside, ‘And get your hand off my arse!’
‘As you wish, Granger,’ he smirked at Harry and began to walk off down the hallway, calling over his shoulder, ‘I’ll see you in our room.’
Hermione sighed and Ginny looked at her seriously, ‘Please be careful Mione. He’s a lot bigger than you and we don’t know what he’s capable of.’ Hermione nodded, before heading toward her new room.
(A/N – so what did you think? Plz review! I’ll try to update as soon as I can, depending on the reviews I get!)