Summary: As Hogwart's new Head Girl, Hermione has to deal with her new duties all while tolerating the presence of some very unwelcome roommates. Head Boy Draco Malfoy is one of them. Four opinionated portraits and an arrogant ghost who won't leave her alone are the others.

Warnings: AU seventh year, and past partly-AU sixth year. Slight crossover with Meg Cabot's Mediator Series, although its reading is not at all necessary for the understanding of the fic. Non-regular updates.

Rating: T at the moment. Will probably change in future chapters.

Acknowledgements: To EuphoniumGurl0, for the beta work!

I never said I'd lie in wait forever
If I died we'd be together
I can't always just forget her
But she could try

At the end of the world
Or the last thing I see
You are
Never coming home
Never coming home
Could I? Should I?
And all the things that you never ever told me
And all the smiles that are ever ever…

Get the feeling that you're never
All alone and I remember now
At the top of my lungs in my arms she dies
She dies

At the end of the world
Or the last thing I see
You are
Never coming home
Never coming home
Could I? Should I?
And all the things that you never ever told me
And all the smiles that are ever gonna haunt me
Never coming home
Never coming home
Could I? Should I?
And all the wounds that are ever gonna scar me
For all the ghosts that are never gonna catch me

If I fall
If I fall (down)

At the end of the world
Or the last thing I see
You are
Never coming home
Never coming home
Never coming home
Never coming home
And all the things that you never ever told me
And all the smiles that are ever gonna haunt me
Never coming home
Never coming home
Could I? Should I?
And all the wounds that are ever gonna scar me
For all the ghosts that are never gonna...

The Ghost of You, My Chemical Romance

"Is everything clear, then?" Professor Minerva McGonagall demanded in a crisp, professional tone as the new Head Girl and Boy of Hogwarts took in their surroundings.

"Crystal," Draco Malfoy answered in a deceptively polite voice, his face contorted in a sneer as he paced around inspecting every corner of the room.

Hermione didn't know why he was being so particular. Sure, the place probably wasn't Malfoy Manor, but she rather thought it was quite satisfactory a setting nonetheless.

There was a small common room, a fireplace, a modest bookshelf, and the two bedrooms—each with its own en-suite bathroom too. The passworded fireplace was wired to the Headmaster's office, so that they could speak with him anytime, although not actually floo to it. In addition to these commodities, the common room's walls were furnished with portraits that would allow them to send messages to all four Houses, should the need ever arise.

So yes, all in all, the Heads' chambers were quite comfortable.

Head Girl Hermione Granger was absurdly irritated by the colour theme though. But then Slytherin green and silver really did clash horribly with Gryffindor red and gold.

Professor McGonagall nodded briskly. "Well then, I'll let you unpack," she said, and raised her wand to tap the manticore statue that had let them in. She seemed to loom at the entrance for a second. "I certainly expect you children to make an effort to get along," she said, eying both of her students before settling uncommonly soft eyes on the Head Girl.

Hermione nodded, but Malfoy seemed too preoccupied to reply, worried as he was staring at the scantily-clad maenads of the animated bacchanalian tapestry above the fireplace.

She wasn't sure if such choice of decoration was entirely appropriate for a castle whose population was largely composed by teenaged males, but it wasn't really her place to say anything.

A brown-haired maenad sent Malfoy a feral smile, eliciting a suspicious scowl from the blond.

"And Miss Granger..."

The girl turned her attention back to McGonagall, who still stood by the door. She appeared unwilling to leave, and her wrinkled forehead was set in a worried frown.

"You should come by my office one of these days," the Deputy Headmistress said in a quiet tone, sparing a glance at the Head Boy as though to ensure he wasn't paying her any attention. She sighed and looked at the Gryffindor again. "I mean it, Hermione."

The girl's jaw tightened and she suddenly felt like screaming, but she forced her lips into a polite smile nonetheless.

It wasn't McGonagall's fault after all. And she was grateful of her Professor's concern.

Or she should be, in any case.

"I will," Hermione assured her, although she would do nothing of the sort if she could help it.

McGonagall returned her smile before walking away, the statue moving to close the entrance as she did.

Silence fell over the room. Malfoy had abandoned his glaring match with the tapestry girl to start one with the young shepherd of a nearby pastoral painting. She'd like to know what had his knickers in a twist.

Shaking her head, Hermione ignored her fellow Head in favour taking in her new quarters once again.


The awful red-and-green plait of a nearby loveseat seemed to mock her in its ugliness, and she pursed her lips in disapproval.

Well, this she could fix easily at least. And the Headmaster wouldn't mind a few temporary colour charms, right?

Hermione nodded to herself, gathered her wavy toffee-brown hair in a ponytail, and whipped out her wand.

"Malfoy?" she called out to him. "What do you say we settle on a more… neutral colouring?"

The boy quickly turned around, eyebrows raised.

"This place looks like a bloody Christmas tree," she elaborated, and pointed towards the offending loveseat.

The pair of blonde eyebrows seemed to rise even further at her uncharacteristic swearing, but he remained silent. After a moment he nodded.

"Fine," he replied in an even, if guarded voice. He paused. "What do you think of beige?"


The room turned out quite nicely.

They had decided on dark brown, and some creams and beiges. A few details in forest green and deep burgundy served to remind visitors of the Heads' houses.

Malfoy was just finishing engraving the fireplace with a small snake and an – almost – equally sized lion.

"You could really make a living as an interior decorator, you know," Hermione commented idly as she waved her wand over the last crimson couch, turning it into a deep brown.

He grunted something unintelligible, but the Gryffindor noticed his lips tugging upwards.

She felt irritated by his amusement and, not for the first time since the start of summer, felt the powerful desire to antagonize someone. It was irrational and immature, she knew, but found herself unable to bite her tongue.

"I mean it," she continued, her voice turning nasty even to her own ears. "You might even want to consider it as a career choice if you decide being a Death Eater isn't really your thing."

She regretted the words as soon as they left her lips, but knew she wouldn't take them back. She once again wondered where the hell had Hermione Granger gone hide.

Malfoy had turned around slightly, and she could notice something brief but violent flashing on his face before his expression settled back into one of bored apathy. His knuckles still remained white from blood loss as he gripped his wand tight, though.

Something about his posture suddenly reminded Hermione that he and She were relatives, and the icy fire of hatred that now thrived in her gut swelled tempestuously.

A pair of cruel brown eyes glinting like shiny daggers in the darkness... A burst of maniacal laughter echoing throughout the household... The electric storm raging outside...

Hermione was very glad when Malfoy seemingly decided she wasn't worth neither his time nor indignation.

"Funny," was his cold, humourless reply before he turned towards the stairs that led to his room.

"Night," she whispered under her breath as she saw him disappear behind the thick wooden door.

Damn it, Granger. Pull yourself together or you'll accomplish nothing.

Shaking her head, the Head Girl climbed her own stairs, her eyes surveying her new common room one last time.


Hermione Granger stood fuming in front of her dark mahogany door.

Loud cries and strained whispers could be heard from the inside, making her extremely curious as to what the hell were people doing in her bedroom.

Huffing in irritation, and holding her wand firmly in her right hand, Hermione threw the door open.

Two ladies and two gentlemen stood on a large portrait in the middle of the room. The setting was apparently the Heads' quarters, although it was decorated in the colours of all four Houses. The furniture looked antiquated, however, and there were several ornate swords and shields hanging of the stone walls.

The people in the portrait seemed agitated.

One of the men – the bearded, sandy-haired one – was outright yelling; his face red and his hands gesticulating wildly. A petite witch with curly blonde haired was trying to soothe him, while the willowy, auburn-haired one tapped her foot impatiently. The second man had a paler complexion, darker hair, a frown, and sat on the farthest end of the portrait, looking supremely bored.

A translucent figure in elegant, old-fashioned robes, stood before the portrait, loudly hissing back at the enraged wizard. His handsome, aristocratic features were fixed in a sneer that reminded Hermione much of the moody blonde Slytherin she had just had the pleasure of spending the evening with.

Hermione blinked twice.

"Excuse me?" she wondered aloud.

The men continued to yell at each other, her question apparently unheard.

"Excuse me!?" she repeated, getting increasingly irritated.

The yelling continued, but the blonde witch had noticed her and was patting the auburn-haired one on the shoulder.


The room's five integrants turned to stare at her, wearing similar surprised expressions.

"Oh, you must be Miss Granger, our brand new Head Girl!" the taller witch said in an eager voice, her midnight blue eyes darting from Hermione to the other portraits, and then back to Hermione. "I'm sorry for the ruckus. Honestly, Godric doesn't know how to behave himself sometimes."

"Who are you and what are you doing in my chambers?" Hermione demanded, glaring at the unknown ghost that was now leaning proudly against the cherry dresser that stood by her four-poster bed.

The man raised his head and stared at her with interest, but without giving any sign of realizing that she had just addressed him.

"Us?" The witch sniffed, looking a little affronted, "Why, Miss Granger, we're only the Founders of this most prestigious institution. Now, I was told you were an exceedingly bright girl, but if you were then you surely would have read Hog—"

"—warts a History, page 262, 'the Head Girl's private chambers are guarded by the portrait of the Four Founders with the purpose of ensuring her protection and safety,' or with the purpose of ensuring she doesn't bring any boys to her room, most likely, but that's beside the point." Hermione interrupted in a bossy tone.

The sandy-haired man in the portrait – Godric Gryffindor, as it seemed – smirked. "It seems Ro's found her match," he whispered to the blonde witch – surely Helga Hufflepuff – who smiled back at him.

"I do remember agreeing to a spying portrait," Hermione bit out. "But I haven't read anything about a loud, degenerate ghost haunting the Head Girl's rooms."

The Founders – even Slytherin, who had done nothing but sit moodily in a corner until now – gasped in surprise. In his shock, the iridescent gentleman apparently lost control of his materialization, falling back through the dresser. He rapidly stood up again, gawking at Hermione with huge eyes and a slightly open mouth.

The brunette's fast-working brain took in their stricken expressions, trying to come up with a plausible explanation for their shock.

She failed.

Her anger abating slightly, and feeling a little ashamed of her outburst, she continued in a more subdued voice. "So… who are you?"

The ghost, loosing his previous haughty air, just continued to stared at her eyes wide open, and breath coming in short pants as if he was having a panic attack.

Hermione raised both eyebrows, still very confused.

"Wait! You can hear him? You can see him?!" Salazar Slytherin's demanded almost shrilly.

"Of course I can hear him, he wasn't being very quiet before, now was he?" She snapped. Her anger was rising once again. "And what do you mean by asking me if I can see him? All magical beings are able to perceive ghosts and poltergeists!"

Something occurred to Hermione and her eyes widened a fraction.

Salazar Slytherin's portrait and the ghost both stared at her looking perplexed, but very much delighted.

They both had the same expression—

"Except for those that are cursed," they said in unison.

the same voice—

"And unfortunately, Miss Granger," Slytherin's portrait murmured darkly, "I am cursed."

the same face—

"Merlin's ghost," Hermione whispered softly.

The man's lips curved, but it was not a smile.

"No, not Merlin's," he said. "Just Salazar Slytherin's"

The shocked silence that fell among the room's occupants was only interrupted by Helga's cry of surprise when the bedroom's door was violently slammed open.