Draco Malfoy walked into Flourish and Blotts to look for his Father, the bag containing his new school robes in his hand. His father was supposed to be buying his books, but he wasn't in the Transfiguration section, or the Potions, or the Defence Against the Dark Arts.

Heading over to look in the History section, Draco saw a girl about his own age with very bushy brown hair kneeling on the floor to look at the lower shelves. Next to her was two neat stacks of books; one pile was books on History of Magic, and he recognised the titles of the other pile as being on his booklist.

"Hullo," he said, making her look up from the shelf she was avidly examining. "Hogwarts too?"

"Yes," she said, getting to her feet.

Draco extended a hand for her to shake. "I'm Draco Malfoy."

"Hermione Granger," she replied, smiling as she took his hand.

"That's an unusual name," he said, noticing that her front teeth were rather large, but not in a disfiguring way.

"So is Draco Malfoy," Hermione Granger pointed out.

Granger, he wondered if she was any relation to the famous Potioneer Hector Dagworth-Granger. He didn't recognise her, but that didn't necessarily mean she was from a bad family.

"You know," she continued, tilting her head like she was studying him. "You're the first Wizard my age I've met."

"Really?" he asked. So that was it – she must belong to one of the old-fashioned families that cloistered their daughters, keeping them hidden away until their seventeenth birthdays when they were thrust into the social circles of the magical society.

"Don't worry," he said when she nodded. "I know several, so I can introduce you."

"Thanks, it'll be nice to have at least one friend when I go to school," she said, smiling shyly.

He grinned at her, and then glanced at the shelf she had been examining. "What were you looking at?"

"Just some extra History books for background reading."

Draco made a face. "Why? Apparently History of Magic is the most boring subject at school. It's all just dull Goblin rebellions."

"But that sounds fascinating!" Hermione exclaimed, her brown eyes glowing with excitement. "I was just reading about the Giant wars, and it was all so interesting!"

Draco smiled at her. "I bet you're in Ravenclaw, you're obviously really clever."

She smiled back. "Where do you think you will be?"

"Oh, I know where I will be. My whole family has been in -"

"Miss Granger, have you found everything?" a stern voice interrupted. They both turned to see a tall woman with square-rimmed glasses bearing down in them, several books on advanced theory of Transfiguration in her arms. Her hair was pulled into a tight bun, making her face look very severe.

"Almost, Professor," Hermione replied.

"Good," the Professor said. "I shall go and join the queue."

Draco frowned as the woman swept away from them. "You came with one of the Professors?"

"Yes," she said absently, kneeling down to sort through which books she wanted out of the stack on the floor.

"Oh," he said, thinking about the black-haired boy he had met in Madame Malkins whose parents had died. "I'm sorry about your parents."

"Hmm?" She was slipping the unwanted books regretfully back into their places on the shelves.

"I said I'm sorry about your parents," he repeated as she stacked the books she did want back into a pile. "If you don't mind me asking, how did they die?"

"Die?" She looked slightly shocked, the pile she had made falling over.

He bent down to help her with the books, restacking them and picking the whole lot up in his arms. "Well, since you're here with one of the Professors, I just assumed …"

Hermione's expression cleared as she understood what he had meant. "My parents aren't dead," she said, taking the books out of his hands. "They don't have magic, so Professor McGonagall bought me here."

"They … I mean you … you're Muggleborn?"

"Muggle, is that what you call it if someone doesn't have magic?"

Well, there are far less complimentary names, Draco thought as he nodded dumbly, unable to process the thought that this girl with her delicate features, clear skin and good posture came from a filthy muggle family.

"Miss Granger?" The Professors stern voice rang out across the shop.

"I have to go," she said, looking over her shoulder to wear the Professor was waiting. "I guess I'll see you at school."

"Yeah, I guess so," he said slowly, knowing his father would never let him associate with a Mudblood.

"Bye Draco," she said, smiling as she walked passed him, the books balanced precariously in her arms.

"Bye … Hermione."