New Life, New Hermione By LizieVamp

Foreword: I've been working on this story for a while and I thought I would at long last post it as the first story on my new account! Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I do not and never will own Harry Potter but this story is mine, it just so happens that most of the charcters and settings belong to J.K.Rowling.

Hermione sighed as she relaxed into the seat. She ran her fingers through her newly dyed hair and grinned in satisfaction. Her mother would have died if she'd seen what Hermione had done to her hair and for that matter her wardrobe and new home. At that thought her smile faltered. Her mother couldn't die twice after all! Sighing once more Hermione shifted until she was comfortable.

Her parents had died over the holidays, a tragic car accident the news and police had said. But Hermione knew better. It had been a deliberate accident as they say, the targeting of the parents of Harry Potter's best friends parents by Death Eaters. But Harry didn't know. Either did Ron. In fact no one but Professor Dumbledore knew, besides Professor Snape. They had been the ones to come and tell her that she would have to move.

And so she had sold her parent's home and bought herself a nice block of apartments in its place. She had rented out the majority of the apartments, but had saved the ground floor and the top two floors for herself, after all the block had about thirty floors. Her parents had been a lot richer than she had let on and with the income from the rent and her inheritance Hermione would be able to live most comfortably for a very long time.

At the advice of Professor Snape she had hired a wizard to be her agent. He took care of who rented out what and took about thirty five per cent of the income he earned for his company, which paid the bills, outfitted the apartments and everything else. The company took care of everything. Apparently, the block of apartments was selling out fast in the Wizarding world. Hermione already had about a third of the cost of her parent's house back.

And so after she had decorated her own floors to match the new her, she had re-done herself as well. Her hair was now black, with varying magical highlights to match what she was wearing or feeling. Her wardrobe was pretty much her own style now, not what her mother had always wanted her to wear. And so here she was, in black leather high-heeled boots that went up to mid thigh, a multi-layered black gauzy skirt, and a deep emerald green gothic top, complete with a long, black velvet jacket.

The effect was startling, as were her eyes. Hermione's parents had made her wear special contacts all her life because her eyes were sensitive to light. The contacts had made her eyes seem brown and Hermione had found a spell, which protected her eyes and enabled her to do away with the contacts. Without the contacts her eyes were an emerald green colour with silver and black jagged edges. Her mother had had the same eyes and Hermione was convinced that she would be able to find out why this year.

All the doctors had ever had to say on the matter was that her eyes were highly unusual and that was why her eyes were sensitive to light. They had given her mother the same verdict. And now, sitting on the train with her black and green outfit, her black hair and startling eyes, as well as the silver jewellery, embedded with emeralds that her mother had left her in the will, Hermione was on the Hogwarts train, in the heads compartment, with the head girl badge clipped casually to the bottom of her jacket.

Hermione's trunk and all her belongings were already at Hogwarts, in the suite designated to the heads. She had been staying at Hogwarts for several weeks and had had to go back to the apartment only quickly to help with the decorating scheme for the apartment blocks. That had been several days ago and she had decided to wait until she could go back on the train. She didn't intend to actually talk to anyone. She hadn't really spoken much since her parent's death.

You see; Hermione Granger had grown up. In the hardest possible way, she had been forced to deal with the truths of the world. And now, she was no longer a little girl. She was an adult, both in the Wizarding and Muggle world. She was eighteen and in reality this last year of Hogwarts was only for the sake of getting the qualifications she already, unofficially had earned, so she could get on with her life.

Hermione was one of the eldest in her year; the only ones older were Draco Malfoy and Blaise Zabini, which didn't exactly make her very happy. But it did mean that she had legally been an adult, at least in the Wizarding world for some time. And therefore she had been able to inherit and move after her parents had died without any problems. Legal problems, that is.

The door of her compartment being opened all of a sudden rudely interrupted Hermione's thoughts. She didn't even bother glancing at the intruder; she just kept on staring out the train window. But the intruder seemed determined to keep interrupting her train of thought. 'You guys gonna come in?' he asked his friends but they said no and left. The intruder closed the compartment door. Loudly. Hermione rolled her eyes and began to search through her shoulder bag for the book she'd put in there.

Meanwhile the intruder was heaving his trunk onto the rack. Hermione could hear him shuffling around. She risked a glance at him while his back was turned and the look confirmed her guess that the head boy was Draco Malfoy. The silver-blond hair was unmistakeable. If a little longer than it had been at the end of last year. Hermione smirked to herself as she finally found her book. She twirled her own hair around a finger. It was longer too. She had put in some silver-blond highlights in her own hair this morning.

As she opened her book she felt his eyes on her. 'Who are you?' he asked with his trademark arrogance. She ignored him, which he obviously didn't like. 'Don't you realise this is the head's compartment?' he asked angrily. She shifted in her seat so he could see the badge pinned to her jacket. 'Hang on… Granger?' he said after looking at her closely. She looked up at him. 'Hmmm?' 'You are Granger then?' he asked uncertainly. Hermione sighed, exasperated.

'Of course it's me!' she snapped at him. 'Or don't you recognise the filth mousy mudblood you love to hate?' he simply stared at her for a while and then blurted out, 'But you're hot!' Hermione simply laughed, 'Men seem to like telling me that!' she said, 'What usually comes next is just plain annoying, another stupid male asking me to go out with him, or just trying to come onto me.' Draco was still staring at her. She grew angry with him. 'Is there a problem?' she asked in a voice that came out harsher than she'd intended. He just shook his head and she went back to her book.

Several minutes later her reading was interrupted by the sound of the compartment door being opened. Irritated she snapped her book shut and looked at Malfoy. He was lying on his side of the compartment, listening to loud rock music, oblivious to the world. She looked to the door. 'Who are you?' asked one of the newcomers loudly and obnoxiously. He had red hair, was about six foot, three and was accompanied by another tall boy. Hermione immediately recognised her two best friends but didn't say a word.

'Are you a Slytherin?' asked Harry, a bit politer, but still obnoxious. Hermione reached out and kicked Malfoy. Lazily, he opened his eyes and turned to look at her. She jerked her head to the two boys and he turned to face them. He blinked and then looked back at her. 'Is she your new slut, Malfoy?' asked Ron. Hermione snorted at her best friends assumption and the fact that he didn't recognise her. Malfoy just smirked and sniggered. 'Are you completely blind Weasel?' he asked arrogantly.

'Whatever Malfoy, who is she? Where's Hermione? She should be head girl! Not one of your Slytherin sluts!' came the outburst from Ron in response. Hermione looked at Draco beseechingly. She didn't want to talk to them if they couldn't even recognise her. Draco seemed to understand. 'She is the head girl none the less Weasel! And you'd better respect that!' said Malfoy in a superior tone. Harry and Ron just sneered at him and made to walk out. At last Hermione spoke. 'Ten points from Gryffindor for insulting the Head boy and girl.' Ron sneered at her and left.

Hermione put her book down then and shrugged her jacket off. She was mad now. She stood up and went to the bathroom. Luckily it was just down the hall. She reapplied her mascara and lipstick and tidied up her hair. Then she stood at the sink, staring at her reflection. Luna Lovegood came in and redid her hair beside Hermione. 'Hello Hermione.' She said once she'd finished. 'Whoa Luna?' asked Hermione incredulously. 'You look different! But in a good way!' she said fast. Luna grinned at her. 'I'm not the only one.' She said before she left.

Bemused Hermione went back to her compartment. When she entered however she found that it was near full. Apparently, Slytherins had invaded it while she'd been in the bathroom. They didn't notice her until she tried to take a step forward and found herself in Blaise Zabini's lap. He looked just as surprised as she felt but helped her up. Scowling she moved to her seat and dragged her bag out from behind Goyle. He and Crabbe didn't even move.

Irritated she put her hands on her hips and debated in her mind whether she should just go find another carriage. But Malfoy solved that problem for her. 'Move you idiots!' he barked at the two boys. 'Can't you see the lady is trying to sit?' The two idiots just blinked until Malfoy, in disgust just told them to get lost. And they did, they exited the compartment, leaving Hermione alone with Malfoy and Zabini. Hermione sat down and crossed her legs.

Draco smirked at her as she rearranged her bag and jacket. 'What?' she asked waspishly. 'Nothing.' He replied. 'I'm just still having trouble believing that you're you.' Hermione frowned. 'How on earth does that make any sense?' she asked, confused. 'Oh course I'm me. Why should you have any trouble believing that?' Zabini was looking back and forth between them. 'Right. Soooo, who are you anyway?' he eventually asked Hermione. 'Cause I've never seen you before.'

Draco looked at him in disgust and then turned back to Hermione. 'Am I the only one that figured out that you're Granger?' he asked curiously, and then his expression turned amused. 'That's really sad that your best friends didn't recognise you.' 'Not true.' Butted in Hermione. 'Luna Lovegood recognised me.' Draco snorted and Zabini was looking at Hermione like she was a three-headed dog (oh the irony!). 'You're Hermione?' he asked in amazement.

She nodded, 'And anyway Malfoy, it's even sadder that you recognised me!' and then she looked out the window. 'You two had better change. I can almost see the castle.' She told the boys. They nodded and she went back to her book. 'Aren't you going to get changed?' asked Draco. Hermione shook her head. 'Can't. All my stuff's at Hogwarts.' 'Pity.' Breathed Zabini before he left. Meanwhile Hermione was left wandering why she was thinking of Malfoy as Draco but dismissed it.

'I'm getting changed now.' Draco told her and mutely she nodded, her attention already taken up by her book. 'Aren't you gonna leave?' he asked her in disbelief. Hermione looked up, startled. She hurriedly got up and walked out into the hallway. There she stood, tapping her foot impatiently as she waited. She was growing impatient when Pansy Parkinson appeared out of no-where. Hermione looked at her and blinked in surprise at the sight of her. Her hair had been cut and now nestled around her neck at shoulder height. The effect was very strange.

Many people had insulted Pansy before, saying she was pug-nosed and ugly but the new haircut and her more natural makeup made her look really quite nice. Pansy stopped in front of her and they both looked each other up and down. 'What the hell happened to you, Granger?' asked Pansy, blunt as ever. Hermione shrugged, 'What about you? What happened to you?' she asked back. Pansy shrugged as well. The two girls grinned nervously at each other.

'Did you come to talk to Draco?' asked Hermione. Pansy shrugged, 'Sort of, I was bored listening to those other buffoons going on and on about nothing and you can actually hold a decent conversation with Draco!' 'I know what you mean,' replied Hermione earnestly, 'Sometimes I just get so fed up of Harry and Ron and I just go and talk to Hannah or Ginny. But apart from Ginny I don't really have any girl friends.' 'Hey neither do I!' said Pansy, 'Do you think that maybe you'd like to be friends?' she asked Hermione cautiously.

Hermione smiled at Pansy. 'Okay! I'd be cool to have a girl friend in my own year!' 'Totally!' agreed Pansy. 'Now… why are you out in the corridor anyway?' Hermione sniggered, 'Draco's getting changed.' She replied and turned to knock loudly on the door. 'Are you ready yet?' she called out. The response came in the positive and Hermione and Pansy entered the compartment together. They pretty much ignored Draco and sat down beside each other and continued their conversation.

'Now correct me if I'm wrong but what about Lavender Brown and Parvati Padil or whatever her name is? Aren't you friends with them?' asked Pansy curiously. Hermione laughed. 'Oh please the most intelligenty conversation I've ever had with them was whether Harry wore boxers or briefs and lets just say that I didn't stick around long after that!' Both the girls laughed. 'What does he wear?' asked Pansy with a conspiratorial glint in her eye. Hermione glanced at Draco who was staring at them frozen in disbelief.

'I'll tell you some other time, when he's not present!' she told Pansy who had followed her train of thought in regards to Draco. Pansy giggled and nodded in agreement. 'So Hermione… why are you back at school? Because I heard a rumour that you'd already passed your NEWTs.' Hermione sighed. 'My life has been turned upside down in the past couple of months.' She said truthfully. 'Yes I've passed my NEWTs but I still need the experience of one more year.'

'What did you get?' asked Draco unexpectedly. Hermione just looked at him. 'I got all Outstandings.' She said quietly. 'Whoah!' said Pansy and Draco at the same time. 'So this year I'll be more of a teacher's aide.' Continued Hermione. 'And I'll be able to concentrate more on my duties as Head Girl.'

To Be Continued…