Book I: Peter & Wendy
Hermione knew it wasn't a normal book the moment she saw it.
The old, faded, and worn leather journal had mysteriously ended up in her belongings. It was likely a result of Malfoy colliding with her in the halls earlier that day, which had been an unnerving exchange in itself. He'd apologized, for one thing, and had even stopped to help organize their things without a single nasty remark.
Granted, his attitude towards her had changed considerably since that summer. Hermione had no idea why he was suddenly not terrorizing her. Even his father had been cordial in Flourish and Blotts before term, sneering at the Weasleys and Harry, but regarding her with little more than bored indifference.
It was curious, to say the least.
Despite her anxiety, she reached out and flipped the journal over. It looked like there was once a name pressed into the bottom. The gold letters were faded to the point where she could hardly read them, but she managed to make out a few letters — "T..…..i..le"
She frowned. The imprints of the letters were worn. She couldn't make any others out.
Judging by the condition of the journal, she assumed it had been treasured by its owner during its prime. That didn't explain why Draco Malfoy would've slipped it into her things, assuming he'd done so with intent.
Her gut told her he had.
Her gut also told her that she should take it to her head of house and be done with it, but instead she flipped it back over and opened it. All the pages were blank and pristine.
Her frown deepened.
Why would someone have a journal with their name imprinted on the back and never use it? If such an item were a gift and had gone unused, wouldn't they have put it somewhere safe, such as a bookshelf or a desk drawer? Their school trunk, even?
Hermione found a book in the library that was full of spells well above her year, but even after trying dozens of revealing charms, the journal remained the same. She researched potions and mixtures that might reveal charmed ink, only to find that they were nothing more than the charms she'd already tried in physical form.
The old journal found a new home hidden within her trunk. She still didn't trust it, didn't know why or how something that had clearly been used showed no signs of said use. But she didn't want to turn it in either. And if it was Malfoy's, well, he'd just have to ask her nicely if he wanted it back.
A/N: Guess who's back, back again... ;) Happy Tomione Day! There's some important info in the A/N on (the NEW) Part II.
Additional notes for newcomers:
Canon time is shifted forward 20 years. No Timeturner. No Horcruxes. No Prophecy. Eventual Slytherin!Hermione & Slytherin!Harry. Anti-Ron. Anti-Dumbledore. T at first, M later on.