Disclaimer: I don't own the Harry Potter characters or settings, as much as I wish I owned Draco. JK Rowling does and I am not taking credit.

A/N: OK, this is my first HP fic, so please be gentle. Do review, though. I hope it's ok!

Chapter 1

"Mom!" I shrieked. "Dad!" When I heard a muffled answer from my father saying they'd be down in a minute, I screamed again. "Aaaaaarrgh!" And with that I stomped out the door and down the driveway, flinging myself into our green Jeep.

My trunk was already in the back, and I was more than ready to get going. Finally, my mother exited the house and trotted down the driveway and into the passenger seat, quickly followed by my father, who locked the front door and climbed up into the driver seat. As he backed down the driveway and all the way to the train station, I couldn't help but think of all my friends, who'd I'd be seeing in less than an hour. What would they say?

"Hermione!!" That was the last thing I heard before I was thrown into darkness, pounded back against a brick wall, as two guys enveloped me in a huge hug. When I was released, I was surprised at how much I had to look up to see the faces of Harry and Ron, who I would have sworn had not been this tall last year. They stepped back, which helped my neck a bit, and seemed to take in my appearance for the first time. Even I had to admit, there were some extreme changes from 4th year.

While before I had been simply a long, gangly girl, all limbs, I had filled out over the summer, as I could tell Harry and Ron noticed from the way they were staring at me. Suddenly I felt self-conscious about the tight belly shirts I had slipped into the habit of wearing lately. My bleached hip-hugger jeans clung to a thin waist, and were tight to my shapely legs until they flared at the bottom. I had pierced my belly- button, and was wearing my favorite belly-button ring, a simple round one with blue and green beads. My hair had grown out to a little longer than my shoulders, and was bleached light blond from being out in the sun, which had also given me a tan, accentuating my honey-colored eyes.

While Harry and Ron were staring open-mouthed at me, I was doing a bit of checking out myself. Harry had grown his hair out, and as it became longer, it became more manageable. It was settled behind his ears, with a few small strands falling into his eyes, the look that made girls just want to reach up and push it back. He had abandoned his old broken glasses for contacts, and his eyes sparkled like emeralds in his smiling face. Ron looked like he had been working out. I could see his abs through his tight black shirt. His unruly red hair was sticking out every which way as it usually was, but somehow it suited him better, I'm not quite sure what it was. I decided black was totally his color, since it made a brilliant contrast with his red hair and bright blue eyes.

"Wow," Harry said, breaking the silence. He was grinning a crazy lop- sided smile, and it looked fantastic on him. I directed my gaze to catch his eyes, and I smiled back at him.

"Not too bad yourself!" I laughed. He looked at me sideways with a funny glint in his eyes.

"Yeah, Hermione, what brings the sudden change?" Ron asked, still awed.

I laughed at them both, and grabbed my trunk, dragging it and the guys toward the train. "Come on, there'll be plenty of time to catch up later."

We claimed an empty compartment before the train was too full to find any. I sighed and plopped down into the nice, cushiony seat. "So, how was your guys' summer?" I asked anxiously.

"Great!" Harry answered. "I spent most of the time at Ron's. Not that Aunt and Uncle missed me much, I'm sure. They're still a little sore from that time I blew up the cupboard under the stairs when I tried to make a potion to turn Dudley's face blue." I hadn't heard about this.

"Harry!" I scolded. "You know we aren't allowed to use magic over vacation. You got a letter from the Ministry, didn't you?" I teased.

He looked a bit confused, though. "Actually, no. I never got a Ministry letter. It was strange."

"Hmmm. That is strange." I thought about it for a minute, then decided not to let it ruin our reunion. "Come on, though! What else did you guys do? You had to have done something fun!"

"Well," Ron said. "Dad brought some pretty interesting stuff back from work." Harry and Ron both started cracking up.

"Uh-oh. That laugh doesn't sound very good. What was it?"

"Oh, nothing," Harry gasped. "Just some rubber bands and fireworks." They started cracking up again. Their laugh was contagious, because I started giggling too, but I had no idea at what.

"So what happened?" I asked when I had gained control again.

"Fred and George," Harry started. "... Scabbers..." He was having trouble getting this out because he was laughing so hard, so Ron took over.

"Fred and George rubber-banded Scabbers to one of those big fireworks that shoots way up and explodes, then lighted it in his room, hoping for him to go out the window, but the rubber band popped, and Scabbers was the only one that made it out the window. The firework went off in their bedroom, and they-" He started laughing uncontrollably. "They came out completely scorched," he managed to gasp out.

By this time I was laughing too, and I hadn't even been there. It was just such an easy picture to imagine! But someone interrupted. The door swung open and, of all people, guess who popped his head into the compartment?