Disclaimer: All Hail J.K. Rowling, Queen of the Harry Potter Universe!! She owns it all and I am just a mere muggle admiring her work. Not to forget Bloomsburry, Scholastic Books and WarnerBros and all others with copyrights. There. Don't sue me. Please.

Author's Note: I was one of those people who found SS/Hr sick but after reading several beautiful pieces, I can easily see Hermione with Severus now. She seems too mature to be with someone her age. Of course, in the books she will eventually get together with our dear Weasel but hey, what is fanfiction here for? This idea came to me a few days ago. Not too original but I liked it so here it is. It probably will eventually turn out to be a romance but not for now, I guess. The title is from a song by Cat Stevens. The story has nothing to do with the lyrics, I just like the way 'Moonshadow' sounds...

Though I do plan to continue this, I will not neglect my other fic. The third chapter of 'Cold Masks and Lost Souls' is coming as soon as my dear beta is finished with it. Ah, that reminds me, this chapter is not betaed; I am too impatient and rather lazy.

Comments most appreciated though Sev is not seen at all so far...

~Moonshadow~

by Coesius

Chapter 1

Draco once again caught himself gaping at that girl again. Hermione Granger. Such a dumb name and a mudblood, too. She had been no problem in the years before, basically just a walking encyclopedia and an insufferable know-it-all. And that idiot Potter's friend. But now in their 7th year, he had finally realized how much she had changed over the years. He couldn't exactly name what was different with her. He presumed it was in the way she held herself; confident and regal. Oh yes, her hair did look different, finally having settled into shiny curls from that bushy look. And her body had developed, her soft curves making her look graceful. But it was not that what made him stare at her occasionally. Not her beauty; he had several beautiful girls flirting with him, him being very handsome, pureblood and rich. It was her dignified posture and the radiant power behind her every move... He hated her. "No mudblood should have that kind of power, that kind of beauty. She is not worthy of what she is fast becoming," he thought. He was very irritated with her and he hated her with all his being. But he still stared.

********

Hermione was painfully aware of Malfoy's disgusting gaze and she shivered. "How annoying can one get?" she thought. Harry, always the perceptive and caring one, realized her discomfort right away and turned around to glare at Malfoy. Ron, as sweetly possessive and protective as he always was, realized it too and snapped,

"What the hell are you staring at Malfoy?"

Malfoy was shaken out of his reverie with the dumb voice of the Weasley boy, Potter's penniless side-kick. He smirked and said,

"At whatever I wish, Weasley. Shouldn't you be concerned of finding money from somewhere rather than messing with me?"

Ron went hot red with anger and said,

"Watch it Malfoy" with a voice shaking with frustration as he took one sharp step towards Malfoy. He was now quite tall and had an imposing affect as he towered above Malfoy.

Crabbe and Goyle stoop up dangerously fast for people of such slow brains. They pushed up their sleeves and stretched their arms threateningly, now standing behind Malfoy. Years had only added to their already big size and they truly earned the name of 'Malfoy's bodyguard trolls' now. Malfoy raised his hand as if to stop them from interfering just yet.

"I am so scared Weasley. Seriously, even I didn't think you were as stupid as to threaten me. But obviously, you are even worse. Worthy of Potter, I would say." he said, with a slimy tone.

Harry opened his mouth to say something, possibly not something pleasant at all when Malfoy interrupted,

"Oh, spare me Potter. Your retorts proving of your brain level have gotten rather boring over the years. I shall miss your constant idiocies when you are finally gone for good." referring to Voldemort's recent actions. He had risen in their 4th year and seemed to have gained the upper hand this year in the on-going war, despite the Ministry finally acknowledging his return.

Hermione felt the fury in every inch of her body. She'd had enough. Her hands were shaking and she knew from the heat she felt around her face that she was probably all red. For months, no actually since her 4th year with the return of Voldemort, she had been quiet against all of Malfoy's insults either directed towards her or her best friends. She had gritted her teeth and kept quiet knowing that being a muggleborn, she was vulnerable against Voldemort. She had to be careful for the sake of her family because Malfoy had connections; hell, his father was a Death Eater! But everyone had their limits and hers were long crossed. Before she could stop herself she found herself hissing,

"Shut up, Malfoy".

Malfoy narrowed his steely gray eyes and slowly said,

"What. Did. You. Just. Say. Mudblood?"

There was no backing down now. "Oh, to hell with it," she thought and said,

"Oh, I do apologize Malfoy, I forgot about your incredibly low IQ. It is my fault, I should have said it more slowly for you to comprehend. Shut. Up. Understand?" with a low and dangerous voice. Ron and Harry stared at her, they had never seen her use that tone towards anyone. She was obviously stronger than she let on.

"Who are you, mudblood, to dare insult me? You do not deserve to be even alive." snapped Malfoy, though he did look a little less confident.

Hermione took a sharp breath and slowly let it out to stop herself from cursing Malfoy. He was not worth it. She said,

"Why, Malfoy, do you see it necessary to keep repeating to me that I am a muggleborn? Do you think that I will be ashamed of it, ever? I pity you. I pity you because you do not know what you are talking about. So you think I ought to be ashamed of my parents. Tell me, Malfoy; Have you ever felt the security of being fondly hugged by your father? Ever tasted the unconditional love of your parents? Not likely with the family you have. Ever woke up to the smell of cookies fresh out of the oven that your mother woke up at dawn to make, just so that you can eat your favorite breakfast before you go to school? Ever felt loved? I doubt it. Why? Because you do not deserve to be loved which is in my opinion worse than death."

Malfoy now was shaking with barely contained rage, his hand itching for his wand. But he had a better plan. He took a confident step towards Hermione. Hermione felt the sharp flash in his gray eyes deep within her soul as they stared into her eyes from only a few inches away. Strands of his silvery blond hair that had fallen over his forehead tickled Hermione's forehead. His angry breath mingled with hers. But though disgusted, she did not step back and she steeled herself.

"You will dearly regret every word you spoke today for the rest of your life, mudblood. I will personally make sure of that." and with that he turned around, walking away with long, sharp and angry strides.

His goons, Crabbe and Goyle followed him though they did look rather disappointed because of the lack of action. They both had been looking forward to beating Potter and the Weasel.

Hermione stared after him, waiting for her angry pulse to settle down. Ron opened his mouth to say something but Hermione stopped him from talking by raising her hand, she did not trust her voice. He looked at Harry with concern clear in his eyes as she bent to pick up her books. Harry shrugged but his face, too was troubled. She started stuffing her books and quills into her bag, trying to stop her hands from shaking. Finally done, she stood up straight, turned around on her heels and walked away as steadily as she could without even looking at her friends, nor waiting for them. She could not stand them asking if she was all right and even seeing their concerned faces. Not now.

With every step, as her mind swept over what took place a few minutes ago, she felt a crushing weight build on her chest. But she kept walking towards her room given to her because she was the Head Girl, though her steps were now less steady and sure. Giving the portrait the password with a strained voice, she started climbing up without glancing into the common room. She let out a quivering breath that she had not realized she was holding when she reached the door of her room.

Putting her bag next to the door on the floor, she walked up to her bed. The light coming from the large window near her bed did not help to brighten her mood as it always did, the light was dim. She sat on her bed, looking out the window numbly. She noted that the sky had turned gray and gloomy despite how bright and blue it was before in the day. "Seems like it will rain, soon." she thought. Then she laid down, hugged her pillow and cried herself to sleep, the weight on her chest finally lessening a little.