Author: Nox (

Summary: Sequel to "Breaking the Stone." It's been almost 2 years since that certain Winter Break & trouble is brewing at Hogwarts. Draco/Ron slash (or shounen-ai). Rated for language, violence, etc.

Disclaimer: These characters do not belong to me. They belong to Rowling and Scholastic. However, this fanfic does belong to me. Please don't steal. Please don't sue.

Notes: I have only a vague idea about where this story is going. Please forgive me if updates don't turn out to be frequent. This is the sequel to my fic "Breaking the Stone". Hopefully this fic will have less mistakes. I think a person who hasn't read BTS can most likely figure out what's going on in this story, but I'm not sure. I'd like to THANK (again ^_^ ) every reviewer of Breaking the Stone. It was all of you who inspired me to write more fics. THANK YOU!!! This 1st chapter is mostly background on what's happened the past couple of years. Next chaps will be more interesting ( I think...). ENJOY!! Reviews are pleaded for!!

WARNINGS: This story contains slash. (Boy + Boy = LOVE) Meaning, a homosexual relationship. The characters are most likely OOC. The slash relationship may turn out to be more intense than what it was in BTS (not sure yet...). Broken will probably contain SPOILERS for books 1 through 4. And maybe 5, though that technically didn't take place in this universe.

/...../ Denotes thought or dream sequence. _ABCD_ Denotes Emphasis. ****Marks scene change.

Part One:

Hermione Granger was not happy.

She wasn't not happy because she hadn't received a letter that summer congratulating her on being appointed Head Girl, nor was she unhappy because she hadn't been chosen as a prefect during fifth year. Heck, she wasn't even not happy because, no matter how up-front and obvious a girl tried to be, Ron Weasley never seemed to notice when he was being flirted with.

No, Hermione Granger was not happy because it was the first day of seventh year and her two best friends were missing from the breakfast table. And this meant, of course, that they would be late for their classes.

/I'm not lonely,/ she thought, stabbing at a bowl of oatmeal with her spoon. /I'm just worried about the futures of my friends./ She hadn't taken up owling letters to Viktor every two days, or signing up for about fifty extra classes just because she was feeling left out. That would be ridiculous.

/Although, Harry did spend an awful lot of time with Cho sixth year. And Ron . . . Ron just seems different./ Hermione dropped her spoon and sighed. Okay, so she was lonely. So what? Who wouldn't be? Her friends had virtually abandoned her.

It had been a slow change. A change that had begun fifth year. Nothing out of the ordinary had happened that year. No Voldemort, no evil diary, no Sirius Black. Nothing. At first, there had been tension. What was You-Know-Who planning? Why hadn't Harry Potter been in the papers lately? These questions had been on every witch and wizard's mind. And then fifth year had passed, sixth year had come, and the nothing had persisted.

It was bound to happen, Hermione guessed. She just wished it hadn't. Without strange events and mysteries to solve, the famous trio had deteriorated. Harry had asked Cho Chang out in the beginning of sixth year and had been dating her ever since. The bespeckled boy had also started working harder on his classes after his OWLS had determined he was fit to become an Auror. Hermione had gotten over her anger at the fact that she hadn't been chosen as a prefect, and had dealt with the idea that she wouldn't be Head Girl, before deciding that she wanted to be qualified for pretty much any position in the Ministry, and signing up for an unnatural number of classes. The girl only occasionally brought her nose out of a book, and that was only to converse with Ron. Ron Weasley, who had been the first one to act decidedly _off_ fifth year, who was just hoping to pass all of his most basic classes in order to graduate, and who seemed the most distant of any of them.

Something had changed Ron fifth year. And Hermione, for the life of her, couldn't imagine just what it was. Or maybe it was the lack of what. Maybe it had been the nothing.

"Hey Herm." It was Harry. He gave her a pat on the shoulder before grabbing a piece of buttered toast and stuffing it into his mouth. As he ate, Hermione vaguely noted the slight layer of muscle he'd gained, and how much taller he'd gotten. He certainly wasn't the scrawny little eleven-year-old she'd made friends with first year.

As Harry was pouring himself some orange juice, Ron sprinted into the Dining Hall and slid to a stop in front of his usual seat. "Hey Herm," he said, and nodded a hello to Harry. He grabbed himself a plain piece of toast, spun, and sprinted away again.

At the same moment Ron disappeared into the Entrance Hall, Harry spotted Cho and sat down his half-finished glass of juice. He went over to his girlfriend and proceeded to walk her to class.

Hermione realized that the tables were clearing, and that all of this mulling over her friends was going to make her late for class. She pushed away her plate and reached for her book bag.

"Hey guys. How are you? I'm well," she said to a rapidly-emptying Dining Hall, before getting up and hurrying to her first class of the year.

Nothing was as it was supposed to be. Everything seemed . . . broken.

And Hermione Granger was definitely not happy.