Shock

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"Well anyways, Remus thinks I got his head-boy thing down."

"What? Oh...that's great Harry" Hermione replied distantly, apparently deep in thought.

"I'm sure you'll make Head Girl, I mean who else could it be?"

"We're almost at the school now, we should change into our robes. Why don't I just strip down right here? Better yet, I'll strip you down." He said with a smirk painted across his face. Hermione didn't flinch. "I'm in league with Voldemort Hermione." Harry said, seeing that his last attempt didn't work.

"Hmmm? Right Harry, that's spectacular."

"HERMIONE!"

"What! Honestly Harry, sometimes I wonder about your temper."

"Well you're not listening to a word I'm saying. What's up with you? You've been...quiet all summer."

"I'm just...worried about school." She replied quickly.

"Okay, if that's the way you're going to act..."

"I'm not acting any way Harry." Hermione snapped before he could finish.

Harry sighed and was about to say something else when Ron came bursting into their compartment.

"You are NOT going to believe this! Crabbe and Goyle got moved to Durmstrang! I am not joking." Ron added, seeing their shocked faces.

Harry immediately burst into laughter. "That's amazing! I mean now Malfoy won't have his cronies to protect him. 100 Galleons says he won't be so brave this year."

"You're right Harry!" Ron said grinning.

Hermione smiled and turned to look out the window, seemingly uninterested.

Ron looked at Harry who shrugged, then sat down next to her. "What's up Hermy? It's great news don't you think? I mean he won't tease you as much or anything."

"Don't call me that," was all she said for the remainder of the train ride. Harry and Ron spent the time going over Quidditch strategies and trying to quietly puzzle out what was wrong with Hermione.

"Do you think it was me? I mean I just burst right in here." Ron said hesitantly.

"No she's been acting distant for a long time now. Haven't you noticed?"

"I thought maybe it was just that time...you know."

"For two months Ron? No this has to be something much more complicated than that, or it wouldn't be bothering her so much for so long."

"I know, you're right. I was just hoping things would go back to normal after we started school up again. Plus I don't think I could ask her about it, you know how she is with me."

"Well I just hope she's okay. I haven't seen her so upset since, well..."

"I REMEMBER HARRY! YOU DON'T HAVE TO REMIND ME THAT I'M A STUPID GIT ALL RIGHT? BELIEVE ME I ALREADY KNOW!"

"I'm sorry Ron, I just..." Harry said a little shocked at his friend's reaction.

"You just nothing Harry." Ron cut-in.

Wow, those two are more alike than I thought. Harry pondered to himself.

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After the sorting ceremony, a heartily sung song from the sorting hat, a magnificent feast that seemed to get better and better every year the students were eager to relax in their dormitories and get ready for the day ahead.

Hermione, who was anxiously awaiting very important news, had her favourite book 'Hogwarts a History' open and Crookshanks idly napping beside her. She was sitting on one of the cozy, yet vast couches in the Gryffindor common room. The hearth was lit and although she seemed to be well into the hardback, she had been staring at it for so long that one might've thought she was sleeping with her eyes open.

Harry entered through the portrait hole slowly and apprehensively. He wasn't quite sure how he was going to do this. He walked uneasily over to Hermione and tried his best to look nonchalant. As it seemed, he needn't do anything. She saw right through him like glass.

"What? I...I'm not Head-girl? Then who?" Hermoine said wide-eyed.

"I'm sorry Hermy but it's that girl Samantha from Ravenclaw. You just broke the rules too much I guess and in the process helped save not only me but the entire world."

"Thanks Harry but there's not much that'll cheer me up right now." Hermoine was so dumbstruck by this news that she again just sat and stared into space, not even caring how much time had passed. Although this time, she sat no longer in excited suspension, but in complete disappointment, self-loathing and utter disbelief.

Harry had decided to leave her alone to think things over. He knew that this had been one of here greatest ambitions practically since she got her first letter. Harry himself couldn't believe the news. He had told Hermione that cock and bull story about her breaking the rules because he honestly didn't know what else to pin it on. Though, she really hadn't broken many rules and she had been a Prefect after all. There must be some hidden reason behind it, concealed in a veil of mystery by Dumbledore. Harry hadn't even been able to tell her the worst part of it all. The most unexpected and infuriating aspect of the whole situation, Malfoy had been chosen as Head-Boy.

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Hermione could hardly bear getting up the next morning. She dreaded the thought of going to her classes. What would everyone say? They would most certainly act with caution towards her with the things that they said. She loathed people feeling sorry for her. She was perfectly capable of handling this and any other disasters, which may come her way. That was exactly how she perceived the situation, a complete and utter disaster.

As she walked into the Great Hall, she felt as if all eyes were on her. None-the-less she walked defiantly to the Gryffindor table. Her heart began to race as she saw Harry and Ron watching her approach the table. She felt her face grow hot and told herself firmly to get a grip. You are an independent and capable woman. You are not embarrassed. You are dealing with this in a calm, rational way and there is nothing to feel this way for. Relax. She kept on like that until she reached the table where she sat down and began eating breakfast.

"Uh, morning 'Mione." Ron squeaked.

"I'm perfectly fine, thank you, Ron." Realizing what she had said she began to concentrate solely on her food.

"Do you know what classes you have Hermy?" Harry said with more assurance than Ron.

"Yes." She replied simply.

"Well, can I see your timetable?"

"Sure, here." She said looking up at him for a brief moment while handing him her timetable.

"Hmmm, double potions first period with the Slytherins. Not good."

"Wha? Nah, nah aga! I hatha stupa gaat. Ron said with his mouth full. Bits of his food fell out of his mouth in small crumbles as he spoke.

"Oh well, we've dealt with it every other year, it won't be so bad." Hermione replied thoughtfully. Secretly she was fuming inside at her luck. The last person she wanted to see was Malfoy. Even if he didn't have Crabbe and Goyle this year, it wouldn't change him. Plus, he had all his other Slytherin lap dogs to drool all over him. Nope, that was one thing she was sure of; Malfoy would be the same spoiled prick he had always been.