Hermione walked up the long corridoor. She stopped by the food trolley. She took out the pouch of money that Professor Dumbledore had given her when he told her that she was accepted at Hogwarts. She glanced at the food in front of her, and was at a lost of what to buy. So in the end, she bought a bit of everything and trying with difficulty to balance the tower of food in her arms, she stumbled her way back to her cabin. Hermione used her foot and pushed the door open, and staggered inside. She poured the food from her arms onto the seat and stumbled onto the seat beside Draco.
"Whew. Finally got the food back." Hermione panted.
Draco looked up, raised his eyebrowns and said nothing. He was giving her the curious look once again, before burrying his head once again in the thick book in his hands. However, his eyes looked unfocused, like he was deep in thought. Hermione pretended that she had saw nothing and dug into her food. Just as she was beginning to enjoy her pumpkin pasty, Draco interrupted her again.
"Did you know that being muggleborn means that you are a mudblood?" Draco spat suddenly, a smirk curling on the edges of his lips.
Even though Hermione did not understand the word mudblood, she could hardly misunderstand the tone in his voice.
"Don't you dare take that tone with me, Malfoy. You're nothing but an arrogant, spolit little boy!" Hermione yelled in his face.
"Me? Arrogant? Spoilt?!" Draco stood up, facing her with disbelief on his face.
"Yes! What do you mean by mudblood, huh? So what if I'm muggleborn?" Hermione's voice had risen up into a scream.
"You're a mudblood, a filthy..." Draco started to retort but their quarrel was thankfully interrupted when the door slid open. A boy with flaming red hair, a long nose and uncountable freckles on his face stepped in.
"Er... I thought I heard raised voices in this cabin." The red-headed boy started sheepishly, glancing anxiously from Hermione to Draco.
"It's ok. I'm sick of him at the moment." Hermione said, pointing at Draco accusingly, "Can I join you cabin at the moment?" She asked, turning to the red-headed boy.
The boy nodded. Hermione pushed his trunk through the sliding door and slammed the door shut. She left the food in Draco's cabin...
Hermione followed the boy up the corridoor and when the boy stopped abruptly somewhere in the middle of the train and entered an empty cabin. She pushed her trunk opposite the boy and sat down. She stared determinedly out the window, not acknowledging anything or anyone else. The boy broke the silence.
"So you are?"
"I'm Hermione Granger." Hermione replied stiffly.
"I'm Ron Weasley. Nice to meet you. I heard you quarrel with that boy. Care to share with me?" Ron asked.
At first, Hermione hesitated. However, seeing the sincerity in Ron's eyes, her doubts vanished immediately. She started to pour out what happened, from how she met Draco, to how he called her a mudblood. Till that part, Ron's face paled.
"Did you know that calling someone a mudblood," he whispered out that word, "means that the other party has dirty blood? It's the most offensive word that could be used to call a muggleborn." He explained.
"That's why. So, Malfoy think that being a pureblood, he can be that arrogant and call others a mudblood?" Hermione fumed.
Ron calmed Hermione down when he saw Hermione boiling. Hermione finally calmed down in the end. and began striking up a friendly conversation with Ron to distract herself from her previous heated argument. Soon, after a short time, they became the best of friends as their trust between each other became building. Ron also introduced to Hermione his family, including all his brothers, after telling her that he was also a pureblood. Hermione then introduced her parents, who were dentists, to Ron, who stared in disbelief when Hermione described her parents' career.
"Wow, the muggle world is really different. Imagine being somebody who plucks out others' teeth." Ron said, awed as he shook his head.
Hermione grinned. She still had a lot of filling-in to do.
"Hey Ron! What house do you wanna be?" Hermione asked with interest, ignoring the fact that she just asked this question in the middle of their conversation about muggles.
"Um...Gryffindor?" Ron answered quietly, suddenly looking uncomfortable. "My whole family has been in Gryffindor."
"Oh! Me too, Ron! Me too, it sounds the best so far in all the books I have read." Hermione said, laughing.
"So, you want to be in Gryffindor too? I thought you would laugh at me." Ron said, looking relieved, then he froze, "What?! You started reading books? Books?! I haven't even touched a single one I bought from Diagon Alley!" He asked in disbelief and astonishment.
Now it was Hermione's turn to look surprised.
"What? Not even a single book?" Hermione started, "I finished reading all the books we needed to have, and I memorized them all too!"
Ron, who had started to shake his head, opened his mouth in a wide, comical 'O' shape.
"ALL?!!! All the books?" Ron nearly yelled, "Memorized?" He added weakly.
"I can't afford to lose out, can I?" Hermione asked, trying hard not to laugh at the look on Ron's face.
"Anyway, I just can't believe that on the first day of school, I would meet two arrogant and rude boys. I can't believe my luck..." Hermione sighed after she told Ron about Harry Potter and after they had moved away from the topic of houses and books.
After Ron had exclaimed loudly about Harry Potter ("What? You mean The Harry Potter? The-boy-who-lived?"), he nodded his head symphathatically.
"Yeah I know. It's hard sometimes." Ron said wisely. Ron had opened his mouth to start speaking again.
"Hey! I can see Hogwarts up ahead!" Hermione exclaimed excitedly, cutting Ron off, as she pointed outside the window, towards the sky which was gradually darkening.
"Let's get changed then!" Ron said in an equally excited voice, with a hint of amusement to his voice.
After changing into their black Hogwarts robes, Ron and Hermione both took out their wands and stowed it into their sleeves and Hermione even caught Ron looking admiringly at his brand new wand. They both looked impressively smart, and as the train slowed down, there was many sounds of doors slamming open and loud, excited chatters from the students. As the train finally slowed into a stop, a cheer rose up in the corridoor and there was a yell as students rushed out into the corridoor and down the train. Hermione and Ron exchanged grins and followed suit, heading towards the exit at the end of the train. They alighted the train and stepped out into the night.
They heard a loud voice call out, "Firs' years here! Firs' years!"
Hermione saw a huge pair of hands wave through the darkness and they followed the crowd of small, nervous first years. They reached to the edge of a river and in front of Hermione was the tallest man she ever saw. He can't possibly be human!
"I'm Hagrid and firs' years follo' me!" The 'man' said.
Ron whispered in her ears, "He must be the gamekeeper. He's half-giant, according to Fred and George."
Hermione stiffled a gasp as she and Ron stepped into the boats that Hagrid was leading. Two other first years followed them into the same boat. Just as Hermione turned around to say 'hello', the glance turned cold. It was Draco and Harry.
"Hey... look who we have here. The mudblood." Draco drawled, grinning as he nudged Harry and the boat started moving.
Harry roared in laughter. It seemed that the two had become best pals. Hermione stared daggers at both of them, and pushed Ron towards the edge of the seat, trying to move further away from the two arrogant boys. Ron stared at her with a blank look, then finally understood after Hermione glared at Draco and Harry and nudged him sharply in the ribs.
"Oh. So this is Weasley eh? Bright red hair, freckles..." Draco said with interest, as he started listing with his fingers, "Oh right, and extremely poor. The Weasleys can't even afford to feed all their children. What a pity." He added, with mock pity.
Harry grinned before adding, "I've heard all of this from Draco too. Seems like his father heard all of this before and he works in the Ministry, which means that you, Weasley and Miss Mudblood better not mess with the Malfoys.
The tip of Ron's ears started turning bright red, as he flushed.
"You better watch out, Potter and Malfoy. I won't let you talk like that about my family!" Ron fumed, and Hermione could almost see the smoke coming out from his nose and ears.
"What can you do? Fight me?" Draco smirked.
Just as Ron whipped out his wand from under his sleeve, a loud voice called out, "We're here! Get off the boats!"
They turned towards the towering castle of Hogwarts as a large, dark figure appeared in front of them. "Enoug' quarrelin' here. I could hear it from the other boat. Get off quickly!" Hagrid said irritatably, but winking at Hermione as she had met him at Diagon Alley on the day she went to purchase her books and robes.
Ron helped Hermione to get off the boat and the both of them goggled at the grand entrance of the castle. All of the anger was erased from their memories as grins broke on their faces. Hermione glanced around her, and saw that all the students were staring at the castle in awe. At that moment, the gate swung open and Hermione saw how grand the inside of the castle was. Royals chandelions were hung from the celiings and the carpeted floor made the place grander than ever. There was sounds of 'oohs' and 'aahs' as the first years were ushered into the castle. Once they were all inside, a crisp voice rang out, "Welcome to Hogwarts. I am Professor McGonagall and follow me to the grand hall for the feast and the sorting ceremony, where you would be sorted into the four houses-Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Gryffindor and Slytherin. You first years should prepare yourselves mentally as you would be having lessons with your house and work together. Now follow me please."
Hermione and Ron followed her up the stairs to a large hall, where the ceiling looked exactly like the starry sky outside.
"I have read that the ceiling was enchanted to look like the sky." Hermione whispered very quickly to Ron, "And I am really nervous about the sorting. I could find nothing in the books about how we were going to be sorted..." She suddenly felt nervous and clammy.
She saw Ron looking terrified as students around them were tidying their robes and straightening their wizard hats. They were all looking frightened too.
Hermione was still talking feverishly, about if they were going to be asked to perform spells in front of the whole school and all. Those around that had heard her paled further. They stood in a single line, as Professor McGonagall started to arrange them in alphabatical order according to their names. Harry was standing a few places in front of her, and annoyance flashed through her again, until...
"Let the sorting ceremony now begin!" Professor McGonagall's voice rang out loudly.