Warnings: Spoilers: I've read the books, and since it's set in seventh year, the events of all of the books will have happened.
Rated: PG13- swearing
Summary: "'Mione…" his voice was tired. More tired than she'd ever heard it. "I need your help." He turned to look at her. "Help me, please?" (dracohermione)
Disclaimer: not mine. never was mine. /sigh/
When Hermione Granger found out who was Head Boy, she was, to say the least, extremely disappointed. It wasn't to say that she would have only been happy with Ron or Harry being Head Boy, but she certainly wasn't thrilled with Draco Malfoy as her roommate.
She decided, because she was logical and thought through her problems, to give him the benefit of the doubt, for the seventh year running, and wait a month before requesting separate quarters. To her surprise, that month passed and she never had to go to Albus Dumbledor, the beloved headmaster of Hogwarts, for said room change.
For her entire wizarding life (since she had turned eleven and received her letter by owl) Draco Malfoy had been her enemy. While he was one of her best friend's archenemy, she had most definitely made his hit list.
She didn't quite know why, even all these years later. She'd never said a rude word to him first, even after years of his intolerance, and she'd never made a show of hate. She never did hate him, despite what other might have thought. There was only one reason that she could come up with that he wouldn't like her.
She was Muggleborn.
And that reason made her snort with disgust. Just because she was a Muggleborn it didn't mean she wasn't just as powerful, as smart, or as deserving as a Pureblood. In fact, she just so happened to be the 'brightest' witch in her class. In other words: she had the top grades of everyone in her year. She was the best. She was the smartest. She was the most advanced. She knew, with out a doubt, how to handle herself.
She was one of the most powerful of her class as well. Maybe even the most powerful.
And for some reason, that just didn't sit well with Malfoy or his cohorts.
At least, not until the current year. When she'd arrived back at Hogwarts and found out that Malfoy was not only the Head Boy, but she had to share a common room with him, she'd had to take a minute to compose herself, to keep from screaming, whether it be fear or disgust. Either one would have gained her a look of disapproval from her Head of House, and that was something she didn't want.
So she'd composed herself and walked steadily into the room, gracing the pixie in the painting a smile along with the password, 'sodalitas'. An amused, yet bitter smile had crossed her face when she'd first heard it. 'Companionship'. Something she doubted she would be getting from her new roommate.
She'd been the first in the room. It was a beautiful room, no questions asked. She looked around, seeing the tasteful mixture of their house colors. The carpeting was a deep tan color, the walls left the bare, pale gray the stones that made them were. There was some crimson and some jadish, Slytherin color of green in the room, but for the most part it was decorated with silver and gold.
With out thinking, she began to hum a childhood song. "Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold…"
When she realized she'd said the words out loud, she'd smiled softly. Even if she wasn't consciously trying to follow the song's advice, she often did. She was one of those few people in the whole of Hogwarts who truly had friends everywhere. While they were fewer and far between in the Slytherin house, they were there. Many of them were in the years below her, children that she had tutored over the years. Most of them would help defend her, should she need that.
She was just that kind of person, one that could draw you in and make you a loyal friend. Even if you felt that you should fight against her.
She had begun the song again. "Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold. A circle's round, it has no end, that's how long, I'll be your friend…"
She let out a chuckle, wondering exactly how she had retained that whole song in her memory. The first part, sure, because it was common knowledge, and many people referred to it, but the second part… She could only remember one place she'd heard that, and that was a kidvid that she could no longer remember the name of.
She had been about to go look through the three doors on the left side of the room when the door behind her opened. Turning, she came face to face with Draco Malfoy.
Internally, she cringed. Here it comes, she thought, the insult of my life. She knew, that under no uncertain circumstances, that he hated her with all his being. It had been so for the last six years. There was no doubt in her mind that the seventh would be the same, despite her decision to give him a month.
Imagine her surprise when he nodded politely to her and walked to the windows, his only comment, "Nice view we have."
"Why?" had been the first thing he asked. His father had only laughed at that, the silver eyes that his son had inherited glinting with something other than sanity.
"Why?" his father had mimicked back, his voice almost gleeful. "Why? Because this way I can insure your cooperation."
At that, Draco Malfoy's eyebrows had risen and his stomach had dropped. Cooperation for something his father thought he needed this much insurance for must not be good.
Lucius Malfoy did not notice his son's distress, or if he did, he did not care. Either way, he figured that his son would do exactly as asked with this over his head. "Blaise was the obvious choice. He's not only your follower, but your seeming second in command. By upsetting this chain, I can insure you have to watch your back at school, and I can insure that you're well aware what will happen to her should you choose to disagree with me."
"No father. I will not play along with this game." Draco let a smirk cross his face, showing confidence he did not really feel. "You see, you can't hurt her until the baby comes, and when that happens… How will you keep anything safe?"
Lucius' face had contorted in rage. He's sent a curse streaking towards his son, but Draco was no fool. A simple shield had blocked it, and a simple rebounding spell had left his father withering in the pain of his own curse.
He had somewhere near seven months to plan for this.
Kateeka Malfoy would be saved, as would her child. Her brother would make sure of that.
Hermione had waited for the almost pleasant nature that Draco was employing to end. Both of her best friends, Harry Potter (The Boy Who Lived) and Ron Weasley, thought that he was faking it in order to make her let her guard down.
Lavender Brown and Ginny Weasley, two of Hermione's best girlfriends, were of the opinion he'd finally found out that she was beautiful and that he was gaining her trust so that he could woo her.
Hermione herself thought something was wrong and nothing else but that one problem mattered.
Her guess would prove to be the correct one, though she didn't know what the problem was and she didn't know how right she was that nothing else but the problem mattered. Draco Malfoy had always been maybe half a point behind her their studies, but quick glances over at him in class showed that he was really starting to struggle. So, instead of trying to help him and making him angry with her, she took to doing her homework in the common room and asking him about what he did on his, even if she didn't need the help.
She never received one nasty comment about being too stupid to know these things, too stupid to know anything.
Instead, he'd come over and do the assignment for himself, or do an assignment for another class. Soon, he was getting all of his work in on time, and was almost back to his customary spot just a half a point behind her.
She didn't know if he knew what she was doing. She didn't truly care, as he was doing it and he was doing okay in the classes. She did wonder what could have made someone as smart as Draco forget that he needed to do his school work.
She didn't press for answers.
She still tutored many kids, some of them mass study groups for a class, some of them one on one. Instead of the library, unless they needed to be there for the resources, they used the Head Common Room.
Slowly, Hermione began to draw Draco into the studying sessions. She'd realized, when she'd asked him about his work to get him to do it, just how brilliant he was. He seemed to see everything differently than she did, but that hardly mattered as a different view was always good.
At first the students she taught had rebelled against the idea of him helping them. The Slytherin's put up the most part, to her surprise. It quickly dawned on her that they wouldn't want their Houses' most powerful seventh year to know that they sought not only a Gryffindor's help, but her help. Harry Potter's best friend's help.
Slowly, though, she talked them into it. Slowly, she brought Draco into the sessions. Slowly, people were coming for HermioneandDraco's help, not just Hermione's.
Death Eater attacks had slowly begun to grow in intensity. On Halloween, a small wizarding village that allowed Muggles to live in it was razed to the ground. While the Aurors managed to save many of the attacked people, they could not save everybody.
The next day, the Ministry of Magic finally conceded to Dumbledor. Tom Riddle, in the form of Lord Voldemort, had returned. Minister Fudge may have been a few years late, but he did concede, and Hogwarts could only celebrate this sadly.
The night after the attack, Hermione caught Draco scowling out into the night from one of the windows that decorated the far wall of their common room. The window in the very center ran from floor to ceiling and both of them had spent much time staring out it.
"Dray?" she'd asked quietly. She'd taken to calling him by his first name, that first night she'd asked for his help on her homework. It stood to reason she would have a nickname for him.
"Yeah, 'Mione?" he asked. He had returned the favor of using her first name, and she'd allowed him to shorten her name.
She didn't allow anyone else, including Harry and Ron, to do that.
"You okay?" she didn't ask what was wrong. She never did. He would tell her if he wanted. He knew she would listen. Instead she settled on making sure he was okay.
"No…" he said, lowly. "My father was there. Probably led the attack."
She could hear the faint 'the bastard' under his breath. "You sure?"
He nodded. "He wouldn't be able to resist. That kind of thing just draws him."
Hermione hadn't pushed, and he'd stopped talking. It was that day she realized something had truly changed in Draco Malfoy. She just didn't know what.
The Christmas holidays were approaching. While Ron and Harry went to The Burrow, Hermione was staying at school. It was too dangerous for Harry Potter's best friend to be alone in the muggle world, and she'd never deny someone else their holidays.
Several day's before everyone was leaving, Hermione entered the Head Common Room to find Draco in what she'd dubbed his thinking spot. He was standing in front of the large window, staring into the darkness that seemed to envelope them before the afternoon had even come.
Trying not to disturb him, she shut the door quietly and silently made her way to the right of the room. There were two doors there, one green and one crimson, the green one with the Slytherin crest on it, the crimson one with the Gryffindor crest. She had her hand on the handle to the Gryffindor door, the one that would lead to her House's common room, when he stopped her.
"'Mione…" his voice was tired. More tired than she'd ever heard it. "I need your help."
He turned to look at her. "Help me, please?"
Authors Note: Hi! So, first fic in this section... Sorry if they seem a little OOC. More soon, /smiles/!