Author's Note: J.K. Rowling owns Harry Potter and I don't.
This is my second fic and I know it starts out slow, but I have good ideas for this one too. I always liked the other Dramione stories I've read when Hermione and Draco end up living together at Hogwarts so I'm giving it a try. I'm also following the books as much as possible. Let me know what you think, I love feedback. I may take awhile to update again, I need to formulate more ideas. =) Enjoy!
Hogwarts had changed. The world had changed. They had changed.
Hermione Granger could still think back to that everlasting, fateful night when she gazed upon the seemingly lifeless figure of her best friend, the Boy that Lived, and then how he rose and sent Voldemort to his destined end. She remembered watching the Death Eaters being taken down and put away. She remembered the cheers of happiness and the cries of loss. She didn't sleep that night…no one had slept. They tended to the dead and the wounded. They all sat up simply marveling at what Harry had just done. And she passed the time with her hand warmly locked with Ron's, awaiting the dawn. She remembered a lot of things. Memory. It had all passed by. They had won. In a perfect world the story would have ended there for them, and in this perfect world Hermione would have walked away with her happy ending. But this was not a perfect world.
Instead she attended funeral after funeral, Harry and Ron always at her side no matter how much all of them wished they could disappear. Why couldn't everyone just rest? A big exhale after years of holding your breath. She had decided to stay at Hogwarts a month after the battle in which many things all happened at once. The Ministry reformed, no longer was it built on corruption, or at least, no longer was it outwardly unstable. Minerva McGonagall took her rightful place as Headmistress and they all began to rebuild the castle they once called home. All the students were sent home early, only a select few were allowed to stay and help, most of Dumbledore's Army was there and what was left of the Order. Their losses were heavy, staying together was the only thing keeping them together. Their wounds were slowly healing, if anything. There were still pieces missing…so many pieces…and Hermione found herself unable to get a good night's sleep anymore, it was impossible.
When she got the letter in the mail it seemed her heart came alive again. Dear Ms. Granger….Hogwarts was once more calling her home. It had been three months since she, Harry, Ron, and countless others left the castle after repairing it. Hermione had found her parents and restored their memories. She had spent some of her summer with Harry and Ron at the Burrow, but that saddened her, there was still the air of loss there. And so she decided to spend the last remaining weeks with her parents, her letter bringing her a strange, infinite joy. She was going back…they all were. The education the students had received under the Carrows was hardly adequate and Professor McGonagall had extended an offer to allow the students to redo their last year. It had been perfect, Hermione, Harry, and Ron would all finally be able to finish their seventh year properly, like it always should've been. And now, as she stepped onto Platform 9¾ it seemed to all fall back into place.
"Took you long enough to find us." Ron Weasley said with a small smile as Hermione opened up the compartment where he, Harry, Ginny, Luna, and Neville sat. Hermione crossed her arms and glared at him playfully. It was good to see him acting normally. Ever since she kissed him during the battle things had changed. Yes, she had feelings for him…but at the same time, part of her believed she would die. Even thinking about it made her hate herself.
"You lot are quiet hard to miss I must say," Hermione said with a smile as she sunk in next to Ron, thinking to herself that this seating arrangement certainly didn't happen by accident. She looked at Harry and Ginny whose hands were intertwined, "Happy to be going back?" She asked Harry who shrugged, his green eyes calm.
"I dunno yet. If I end up being gawked at again like our 5th year I may just leave. I think we're all due for a normal life." He turned to Ginny when he said this and she smiled at him, leaning her head against his shoulder.
"Haven't you realized we're incapable of having normal lives yet? Trying to have them would be too much work." The red-head said and Ron rolled his eyes while Harry and Hermione let out small laughs.
"Oh I find things are quiet normal for me. My father's promised we can go looking for the Crumple-Horned Snorkack again on Christmas break, we have quite a lead." Luna said in her dreamy voice as Hermione's cheeks flushed red and she opened her mouth to speak but Harry simple shook his head, Luna had already gone back to reading the latest issue of the Quibbler.
"How are you Neville?" Hermione asked softly to the boy who was staring out the window as the Hogwarts Express began to take off. His eyes were dark, the usual light not present within them. Hermione had read about the death of his grandmother in the Prophet a few weeks ago and she attended the funeral with the others. It was the last time they'd spoken to Neville. She knew he'd gone off to live with someone else, though who, she wasn't sure.
"Fine Hermione, thank for asking." He said without turning to her and the compartment went silent for a few moments. Suddenly it was Ron's stomach that broke the silence and his face flashed scarlet.
"I'm bloody starving…wish that witch with the trolley would come around. I've been saving up sickles for candy." As he said this the look on Ginny and Hermione's faces could kill. Ginny made a disgusted noise at her brother.
"Honestly Ron? You have to had eaten enough breakfast this morning to sustain a family of three for at least two days. How in Merlin's name can you still be hungry?" She said in fiery, Ginny-esque tone and Harry stifled a grin. Ron leaned back and patted his stomach.
"I'm a growing bloke. I need constant nourishment. My body's still recovering from eating Hermione's cooking when we were in the woods for all that time." Hermione shot Ron a death glare as he said this and Ginny mirrored it.
"You grow anymore and they won't make pants to fit you…" Ginny mumbled and Harry just sighed dramatically and looked at Hermione.
"So you've put up with this for how many months?" She asked with a small smile and Harry shrugged slightly, careful not to disturb Ginny.
"Three, but who's counting?" He said with a small smile as Ginny poked him in the ribs and he laid his head on hers, "And I loved every minute of it of course." As Harry said this, Hermione caught a glimpse of pain in their eyes, something that the Weasley's hid well but it was there, living and breathing within them. Fred. She didn't even dare mention his name. As these thoughts consumed her, the compartment door slid open and a slightly scared looking 2nd year stepped in and held a note out for Hermione.
"Professor McGonagall asked me to give this to you." He said in a small voice as he eyes met hers and she smiled kindly at him. She took the note and he turned and disappeared from the compartment, leaving all eyes on Hermione and her note. Without bothering to look around she opened it and gazed down at the words: Ms. Granger- You and the Head Boy are to meet down in the compartment in the front of the train for 11:00. I will meet you there and go over a few start of term notices. I hope your summer went well. -M. McGonagall. Her eyes went back up to Harry's with a somewhat curious look. It was now or never. She needed to tell them she had gotten the position of Head Girl sooner or later.
"So what did it say already?" Ron asked impatiently. She was annoyed by him, apparently had had stopped trying to impress her so much like the time they spent on their own the previous months. One kiss didn't constitute anything in her mind though.
"Harry…did you happen to make Head Boy?" She asked with somewhat of a curiosity, ignoring Ron who crossed his arms and leaned back against his seat.
"Nope. Wasn't really expecting to get it though, that's way over my head. Besides I'm over not getting Prefect. McGonagall would have to be mental to pick my anyway," He said with nonchalance as he looked at her. Hermione sighed softly, if not Harry, then who? "You made Head Girl didn't you?" Hermione looked down with a slight blush.
"Don't tell me your surprised…you were a shoe in since the day you put on the Sorting Hat." Ron said nudging her slightly with a grin, trying to redeem himself slightly. She smiled at him.
"I really should go. McGonagall wants me to meet her and the new Head Boy in the front of the train. I'd rather be early…I want to know who she picked." Hermione stood up and as she did, Ginny lifted her head from Harry's shoulder and looked at her with interest.
"So you have no clue who it might be?" She asked curiously and now Luna peeked over her magazine, waiting for Hermione's response.
"No I thought for sure it would be Harry…" Harry shrugged again when she said this, "I'll let you know when I find out though." Hermione replied with a smile as she said goodbye to everyone and grabbed her robes and things to head off to the special compartment. Who could it be? Hermione thought as she walked down the hall, avoiding bumping into people as she did. She passed the prefects compartment and stopped at the one in front of it, knowing it was for her. She took a deep breath and slid open the door, stopping dead in her tracks as she saw who was sitting there. The boy had the same surprised reaction but he hid it well, his steely gray eyes narrowing as she stepped inside. Draco Malfoy…the new Head Boy was Draco Malfoy. It seemed that as she looked at him, her blood ran cold. He was wearing black pants, one leg slung over the other with his ankle resting on his knee. His button up gray shirt matched his eyes and was rolled up over his pale arms. His perfect lips held a ghost of a sneer and his hair was pushed back and messy on his head, still that same white-blonde. Hermione didn't know what to say. Their eyes remained locked for a moment before her moved and fell upon his exposed left arm, gazing at the Dark Mark imprinted boldly on his flesh.
"Can I help you Granger?" He said with a dark malice in his voice, glaring dangerously at her. His look brought her back to reality as she returned the glare, wanting to abandon all attempts at possibly being civil.
"Well, pardon me Malfoy." She spat as she sat across from him. His icy gaze was locked to her for another moment before her turned his attention back to his book, seemingly to try and conceal his Mark from her sight. She let out a sigh and he looked up from his book impatiently.
"Can't you see I'm reading? You don't have to make so much bloody noise Mudblood." He said with a smooth, anger tone as he looked at her again. Hermione felt her face grow hot with anger and she glared at him, crossing her arms.
"I didn't know it was against the rules to sigh," She retorted, already predicting this year to be terrible from the first ten minutes she spent with the boy before her, "I guess some people never change…" She said under her breath and his eyes went back to his book once more.
"And I guess some people never allow me to read in peace," He said without looking at her and there was a second or two of silence before he looked back up at her, "In case you haven't noticed, I'd prefer to be left the fuck alone this year." He motioned to their empty compartment.
"You've been in here this whole time? Alone…?" She asked slowly but the look on his face still didn't change, it was still full of resentment and annoyance, "What about your other friends?"
"Why do you possibly care? I'm not asking about Potty or Weasel am I? So If you don't mind I'd like it if you shut your mouth and stop inquiring about my personal life. It's personal for a reason." He hissed but his voice was still somewhat cool as he started reading again and she decided to give up. There was no way she would have a even a slightly decent conversation with Malfoy. He was a Death Eater….her enemy. He'd chosen the wrong side and suffered for it. Maybe, just maybe a small part of her felt the tiniest bit of pity for her but that part was too small to even consider. He was Malfoy and she hated him more than anyone she knew.
Time passed. They ate lunch in silence, trying best to avoid each other's gazes as Draco continued to read and Hermione had even opened up her copy of Hogwarts: A History and began to reread it for the thousandth time. More time passed and Hermione was somewhat bored without her other friends there but she knew she had to sit with Draco, no matter how much she didn't want to. After awhile the compartment door slid open and another student came in and handed her a magical mirror not unlike that which Sirius had given Harry before they parted on Christmas of their 5th year. Puzzled Hermione looked at it and suddenly McGonagall's face came into view, the same catlike features Hermione had come to know so well, "Ms. Granger, I'd like a private word." The woman said promptly and Hermione glanced up at Draco.
"You're mental if you think I'm leaving for you." He said lazily and Hermione sighed as she got up and left the compartment, walking down the hallway with the mirror in hand.
"Make sure we can't be overheard, especially by Mr. Malfoy," At these words Hermione became instantly interested as she walked further down to the end of the train to an empty compartment and slipped in, locking the door behind her, "Very good Hermione, this should do just fine."
"What is it you need to talk about Professor?" Hermione asked innocently but she was intently awaiting what the woman would say.
"I'm sure you weren't taken by surprise when I chose you for the position of Head Girl, although I'm sure my choice for Head Boy has far from thrilled you…" The look in Hermione's eyes made the smallest of smiles appear on McGonagall's face, "But it isn't without good reason. You know Potter would fit the description well, but I'm sure after what we've all been through he out of everyone would find comfort in a less stressful last year. Despite Mr. Malfoy's…upsetting behavior in the past, academically he's a fine choice. But more importantly I want a firm watch to be kept on him. Hogwarts had just been rebuilt and I want no reason for it or its students to be harmed again. I trust you'll be able to watch him, carefully, and assure me that he isn't up to anything. I don't want to take any chances. I fear that he could be volatile after everything that's happened and I know you're even headed and intelligent enough to keep your distance and also keep a very close eye. Because of this I'm reinstating the private dormitory for Head Boy and Girl. You two will live alone together in the South Tower. I'll explain more to him and you of course, after the feast. But most importantly…he cannot know you're watching him. Do you agree to this?" After McGonagall finished, Hermione sat there in deep thought. She wanted her to watch him…basically spy on him…and ensure he wasn't up to anything dark. Yes, this year would certainly be a torturous one.
"Yes Professor I agree." Hermione said almost sorrowfully and McGonagall sighed.
"Ms. Granger…I assure you this won't be as terrible as you think it sounds. If anything your influence should have a positive affect on him. Wouldn't you like to be able to finally rest easy after all we've been through?" Her voice had softened as she spoke and it was now Hermione saw how much the woman had aged, war had taken its toll. And Hermione couldn't help but long to be able to rest easy.
"I'll do my job Professor. And thank you, for choosing me," Hermione stood up and smiled into the mirror at the teacher she'd known for so long, "And I think you make a brilliant Headmistress. Dumbledore would certainly be proud."
"Now now, no need to get me flustered before the Sorting. You should get back to Mr. Malfoy. The train will be arriving shortly and I'll see you then." McGonagall nodded slightly before her image disappeared from the mirror and Hermione tucked it into her bag before walking back into her and Draco's compartment where he had already put on his robes. She walked in as he was pinning his Head Boy badge on.
"Best get dressed, we'll be there soon." He said dully as he sat back down and stared at her. Hermione face flushed pink as she grabbed her robes, his eyes still gazing at her.
"Do you really have to watch me?" He asked as she pulled off her sweater and stared right back a him, a small, wicked smirk crossing his lips.
"Well, I am done with my book." His tone made her shoot him a disgusted look as she slipped her robes on over her clothes and sat down in a huff, pining her badge on and looking out into the dark black night.
"First years! First years this way!" Hermione called out from the Platform as students began to swarm off the train and there was complete chaos. She saw the form of Hagrid way at the other end waving a lantern and Malfoy stood somewhere close to her, rudely calling out to the first years. With a frown she helped the frightened new students onto boats as they were taken across the Lake. She looked over and saw Malfoy standing by a carriage, impatiently waiting for her as she hurried to go meet him, "Took you bloody long enough…" He muttered as he let her get in first and he followed in after her. His eyes stayed on her for a moment before he looked outside and kept his eyes there the whole ride up to the castle, silent. Hermione's mood hadn't gotten better. She only longed for sitting at the Gryffindor table soon and being separated from the angry boy in front of her.
Malfoy pushed his way out of the carriage and sauntered up the grounds towards the castle as Hermione hopped out behind him and ran to catch up, "We could at least pretend to stand each other for the sake of our job Malfoy." She said through gritted teeth and he let out a short, mocking laugh.
"I didn't ask for this Granger. And even if I did fancy being nice I wouldn't waste it on you."
"Fine then. Have it your way." Hermione said as she kept her eyes forward, already furious with him. Did he have to be so difficult? At least if they somewhat got along it would make her task all that simpler…but it just had to be him didn't it? She let out a sigh as they entered the castle. Being in here again brought her both newfound happiness and also a vague sadness as well. She glanced at Draco who slipped his hands into his pockets, his face a mask as they walked into the Great Hall. For some reason though she suspected his feelings had to be similar to her own. He turned to look at her once more before going to sit with the Slytherins as Hermione planted herself next to Harry and laid her head on the table. At least her she felt better, with her friends, at home.
"Please tell me you didn't just walk in here with Malfoy…" Ginny Weasley said as she looked sympathetically at Hermione who lifted her head with a slight frown.
"I wish I didn't have to tell you…" Hermione said with a groan as the new first years walked in to be Sorted, "But unfortunately yes, he's the new Head Boy." As she said this Ginny grimaced, Ron's jaw dropped, and Harry moved his eyes to focus elsewhere, Hermione knew he wasn't pleased with it.
"That bloody git? Out of all the blokes she could've chosen McGonagall chose him? Maybe she's losing it or something…" Ron said still dumbfounded and Hermione shot him a glare for insulting her. They all clapped instinctively as a Gryffindor was chosen by the Sorting Hat, "All I'm saying is that after everything that happened she could've chosen someone you know…a little less evil."
"I doubt he's evil Ron…maybe a complete bastard…but not evil," Hermione said quickly, wanting to believe her words as she finally looked up and studied the staff table for the first time since she entered the Great Hall. McGonagall sat in Dumbledore's old chair and now it was Professor Sprout who was helping with the sorting. Her eyes went to Snape's old seat and saw Professor Slughorn occupying it, a bored, hungry look on his round face. It was then she realized they would have appointed a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher and Hermione scanned the table for a new face. When she spotted who the new edition was she was surprised she didn't recognize him before from his violet top hat, "Harry…is that Dedalus Diggle?"
"Did the hat tip you off?" Harry turned to Hermione with a grin and she rolled her eyes playfully at him. Dedalus was a member of the Order and had been there the night Harry escaped from the Dursleys, "Yeah that's him. He's probably here as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts post." As Harry said this his eyes darkened slightly.
"You don't think…well…you don't think it's still cursed do you?" Hermione asked softly as they all met each other's gazes. They knew this man and the prospect of more people dying was too fresh and horrid for their minds to bear again.
"No," Harry said firmly, looking past Hermione towards the windows, "I think it ended with Snape. I reckon it had to." They all went silent as they thought back to the story Harry had told about the truth he'd discovered about Professor Severus Snape. It hurt to remember it, even remember that night. The four fell silent as the Sorting ended and all the new Gryffindor's joined them, the feast soon appearing magically in front of them. Despite their conversation Ron tucked in almost inhumanly and it was then they realized they too were starving. The feast went by fast and soon everyone was stuffed and ready to head back to their rooms. McGonagall stood and started giving her notices and Hermione let out a yawn as Ron nudged her and she looked back to the staff's table.
"And finally I would like to congratulate Ms. Hermione Granger and Mr. Draco Malfoy for being honored with the post of Head Boy and Girl of Hogwarts." McGonagall said with a smile as she glanced at Hermione and started a flood of clapping that made the girl flush pink. She glanced over towards Draco for the first time since they entered and she frowned slightly. He was sitting away from everyone else, barely having eaten anything, his eyes on a book. He glanced up wearily at the mention of his name and Hermione looked over to see Blaise Zabini, Goyle, and Pansy Parkinson all shoot him cold glances. Maybe he truly did want to be left alone. Before she knew it everyone was standing and the Prefects were leading the first years out of the Great Hall.
"McGonagall's going to want a word with me and Malfoy, you'd better go on. I'll see you tomorrow morning ok?" Hermione said with a small smile but Ron grabbed her arm.
"What do you mean by, 'tomorrow morning?'" He asked questioningly and Hermione bit her lip.
"McGonagall's having me live in my own dormitory…with Draco." As Hermione said this both Harry and Ron shot Draco dirty looks and Ginny crossed her arms, finding this situation both unfortunate and infinitely interesting.
"No. I won't let you live with that fucking ferret. No way in hell." Ron said angrily but Hermione pushed him towards the exit with Harry and Ginny.
"You all need to go, and don't worry about me. McGonagall's coming and I don't want any trouble ok?" Hermione said as she met Ron's gaze pleadingly. She didn't want to tell them about her mission, not yet at least, "Please?" She said softly and he nodded, his face still angry as they said their goodnight's and left the Great Hall. Draco pushed his way over to Hermione with a frown as McGonagall found them.
"I'm not sure if Ms. Granger had informed you yet but you'll be sharing a Common Room this year. Your dormitory will be located in the South Tower behind the portrait of Queen Maeve. You'll have your own private rooms and unfortunately there's only one bathroom but the Prefect's one is of course available to you. The password is Witherwings," Hermione had to hold in a laugh as McGonagall said this, a smile twinkling in her narrow eyes, "You two will be able to patrol until midnight on weeknights and 1am on weekends if you wish. Also you hold responsibility for the other Prefects but I'm sure they'll look to you with reverence. You can work out schedules amongst yourselves. Now go rest up, it's been a long day. And congratulations again." She smiled slightly as she turned to head back to the staff table. Hermione watched her go for a moment before she realized Draco was already walking away.
"I'm not pleased about it either you know." Hermione said softly as they walked through the castle, her trying to get some even ground. He looked forward, not bothering to look at her, his face stoic as ever.
"Just stay out of my way and I think we'll both survive this year," He stopped as they reached the portrait that served as the entrance to their Common Room, "Look Granger, I hate you. You hate me. We can do this bullshit job and get through this year. I don't want to start any trouble. Got it?"
"Fair enough. I'd rather not have to have anything reminiscent of what happened last year." Their eyes met for a moment and she swore she saw a flash of pain in his but he turned and mumbled the password as the portrait swung open and he stepped inside, Hermione followed. She knew she shouldn't press the issue, something about him seemed…unstable. Wordlessly he slunk up the stairs on the right to his room, leaving Hermione standing their beside the fire. She gazed around, pleased to find this room more closely resembling the Gryffindor Common Room than anything else, and she went up the stairs on the left into her new room. It was spacious and looked out to the grounds, but it was hers…and a bed had never looked more comfortable. She pulled off her outer clothes and collapsed on top, hoping that this sleep she was falling into would last.
1:17 am. Hermione groaned. She had been tossing and turning in her bed as moonlight spilled into the room, the blankets being more of a prison then a source of comfort. Frustrated she threw the blankets off her and pulled on a robe as she stumbled down her stairs, tired but unable to find sleep, just like every other night. The fire had nearly gone and she went to sit on a couch but as she did she realized Draco was sitting in one of the chairs, facing the dying fire. She jumped slightly in surprise and went to turn before he spotted her.
"Couldn't sleep?" Came his cold, velvety voice through the darkness and she paused, deciding to take a seat on the couch anyway now that'd he'd seen her.
"Not at all. You either?" She looked over at him and he was silent for a moment before shaking his head slightly.
"No," For a few minutes they remained silent and she brought her knees to her chest, looking into the fire, "How long haven't you been able to?" He asked with still somewhat of his coldness, but also a hint of curiosity.
"A little over three months," They both went silent at her response, knowing the significance of the time frame, "What about you?"
"The same." He replied softly and once more they were silent.
"If you want I'll leave. You were here first and I haven't forgotten your leave me alone speech." It was then he finally glanced over at her, even in the dark his hair and skin stood out, their eyes met.
"I've been here awhile. I'll leave," He went to get up but his eyes still were on Hermione's, whatever look was within them made him sit back down, "Unless you want me to stay…"
"Can you? Night's the hardest time." She said softly and he nodded, he seemed so human now, so real. The old Malfoy seemed farther away from her right now.
"I know." Was all he said in return as they sat once more in silence, waiting for the night to disappear and leave them free again. Hermione only wondered what this night meant to them, to her, and if there was really a man left inside of Draco Malfoy. Only morning would tell.