Set in the year after the war with Voldemort. Fred, Crabe, Lavender and Snape all survive the battle and Dumbledore returns to Hogwarts as a ghost
Hermione smiled as she passed through the barrier on to the platform. It was the first of September and their final year of Hogwarts was about to begin. The war with Voldemort was over and the rebuilding of the magical world was underway, under the watchful eye of the new (and competent) minister for magic Kingsley Shacklebolt. The Hogwarts board had decided that all students would repeat their year at Hogwarts because of last year's disruptions and the biased teaching of the dearth eaters.
Hermione looked around the platform for her friends, usually she would have met up with them at the burrow but Hermione still felt a bit awkward around Ron. They had got together during the final battle and had tried it as a couple, but it hadn't worked. The transition from best friends to partners had felt weird and they had decided that they should go back to friends.
"Hey Hermione" said a voice from behind her. She spun around to come face to face with Harry, Ron, Ginny and Luna.
"Hi guys" she replied "you lot ready for our last year?"
"Yep." Replied Harry "maybe we'll actually get a normal year at Hogwarts now that old voldys gone." Everyone laughed. Voldy was a nickname that Peeves had created in his victory song and it had spread around like wildfire
"Does anyone know what a 'normal' year consists of? Cause if I remember correctly we are yet to have a year without someone trying to kill us" replied Hermione when she stopped laughing.
"By the way, congratulations on becoming Head Girl" said Ginny pointing to the badge on Hermione's shirt
"We all knew it had to be you" added Ron
"Any idea who the Head Boy is?" Asked Ginny
"No, I won't find out till we're on the train." She replied Hermione looked around, searching to see if any of the other seventh year boys had a Heads badge. The identity of the Head Boy was the one thing that worried Hermione about the coming year. The Head boy and girl shared a dormitory separate to their houses and Hermione was unsure of who she would want as a roommate.
"How bad could it be?" said Ron shrugging "it's probably going to be Ernie Macmillan"
"Or Terry Boot" chimed in Luna
"Hey guys look its Neville" said Harry waving him over "let's all go find a compartment"
"I can't" said Hermione "I have to go to the heads compartment.
"Ok, we'll see you later then." Replied Harry, at that moment the whistle blew for last boarding, the group hurried on to the train.
Hermione walked to the heads compartment wondering who she would find there. She opened the door and came face to face with the last person she expected to see, Draco Malfoy.
Hermione stopped dead, Malfoy? How could he be Head Boy she asked herself? The rational part of her brain answered for her. Although he was a prat she had to admit that his marks were second only to hers and in truth, she admitted ruefully, he actually beat her in defence against the dark arts (in that class the only one scoring better was Harry). 'But he's a git and the Slytherin Prince she complained to herself. And although she didn't like to admit it a small part of her brain still thought of him as a Death Eater. He had shown his true colours in the final battle, by following in his Godfathers footsteps, and turning on Voldemort, no one knew why he switched. In the midst of the battle he had suddenly come out and started attacking the death eaters. He had actually saved her life at one point, she had lost her wand and was under attack from Lucius Malfoy when he had burst in and risked his own life in a duel with his father to save her, although Hermione was still at a loss to why. Suddenly a drawling voice startled her from her thoughts.
"I know I'm so good looking, but you really shouldn't stare Granger." Hermione rolled her eyes, sighing, he may not be a Death Eater anymore, but he was still a git.
Just then the train jerked forward and Hermione was thrown on top of Malfoy. A look of shock and pain flashed across his face before being replaced by his trademark smirk.
"Can't wait to get into my arms, Granger? Whatever will the Weasel say? Don't be embarrassed all the girls want me, I'm surprised you would be so forward but I'm afraid you'll have to wait until we get to our rooms"
Hermione hit him in the chest and stood up. "In your dreams Malfoy" she retorted "and I doubt half those girls would have been with you were it not for your fortune."
"Oh I don't know about that," replied Malfoy smirking again "there's always my other nickname "
"What Ferret?" she retorted blushing slightly at the thought of his nickname 'the Slytherin Sex God'.
"Your blush tells me you know it." Replied Malfoy his smirk growing. Hermione huffed, of course she knew it most of the girls in the school did, Lavender and Pavati used to call him that when she shared a dorm with them.
"Whatever Ferret" she replied "and I for your information I am no longer dating Ron, we split over the summer and went back to being friends."
Hermione turned away from him and got her book out of her trunk before stowing it over head. Hermione had just begun to read when Mafloy's voice broke through the silence.
"What are you reading today, Bookworm? Your new textbook?"
"No," she replied "its Romeo and Juliet, though I don't suppose you know Muggle authors."
"My love sprung from my only hate! Too early seen unknown, and know too late! Prodigious birth of love it is to me that I must love a loathed enemy" recited Malfoy smirking again. Hermione stared at him in shock, Malfoy was reciting Shakespeare, what next were pigs going to grow wings.
Malfoy sniggered at Hermione's expression "It may be Muggle but it is still one of the classic tales, though why it is regarded as the greatest love stories is beyond me."
"You know the story well yet you don't consider it a great love story?" asked Hermione, still in shock "What do you consider a great love story if not this?" She said waving the book around.
"I think it is a great story but not a great love story, if I had to pick the best it would be Pride and Prejudice" admitted Malfoy
"because he know that hate and prejudice will forever try to keep them apart, yet still he dreams of a day when he can hold her in his arms and call her his" he replied and for a second Hermione thought she saw some strange emotion in his eyes, but it was gone before she could be sure.
"But what's the difference to Romeo and Juliet then they both have that idea" she replied
"Yes" he replied softly "but in one they overcome this hurdle in the other they are betrayed by fate, and killed by hate."
They lapsed into silence for a long while as Hermione tried to comprehend this new side to Malfoy. Again he was the first to speak. "Grange this may sound odd, but I believe that, for the sake of our mutual sanity, that we should call a truce of some kind"
"What?" Malfoy was acting really strange today
"As Head Boy and Girl we will be forced to spend a lot of time together, not to mention the fact that we are sharing quarters. I think the year might go smother if we are not trying to kill each other. Also as we have just proved, the two of us are capable of a civil conversation when we try. Therefore I suggest that, during the times that we're alone, postpone our hostilities and attempt to coexist."
"What's your definition of truce Malfoy?"
"How about we don't use harmful or degrading magic on each other, try to avoid fights over sensitive topics, though teasing is ok, and no physical violence." He suggested. As he said the violence part Hermione had a vision of her fist coming into contact with his face in third year.
"Ok we'll have an undefined truce then," she replied tentatively "but may I add in one more thing." He nodded "can you please not call me Mudblood again"
He looked at her with an unreadable expression on his face "Granger, have I called you that once in the time we have been alone here? I am not the same person I once was. While you and your golden boys were running about the country last year, things happened that changed me. I swear that insult will not cross my lips again, with or without the truce."
Hermione was taken aback when she realised he was right, he had not called her that once so far. "Thank you," she paused and then continued cautiously "I don't know why but that insult always hurt more from you than from anyone else." She wasn't sure why she was admitting this to him but it seemed like the right thing to say.
He nodded and looked down "Could you do one thing for me in return" he asked. Oh great thought Hermione, there is always a catch with him. "Can you please not call me a Death Eater" again Hermione was surprised. At her silence he continued "I know most of the school will still give me that title," he said and she noticed his hand twitch over his left arm "and I know you have more right than most to call me that but could you please refrain from doing so."
Hermione took a breath before answering "you tried to protect us when we were captured, I know you recognised us immediately but you didn't give us away and you saved me in the battle. I won't call you that." The part of her mind that had called him a death eater seemed to have been silenced by their conversation.
"Thank You" he whispered looking down. Hermione had never heard Malfoy apologise and so had no response. The two of them just sat there in the resumed silence.
After want seemed like ages the door to the compartment burst open to reveal Blaise Zabini, Malfoy's best friend and (Hermione had to admit) one of the few Slytherins who weren't total gits. He noticed the tension the moment he entered the room. "Are you two fighting already," he said in a mocking voice "that's a shame I had a bet with Theo that you would be able to play nice until we reached the castle, but it looks like I lost that one." Malfoy threw his jacket at Blaise and just like that the spell of silence was broken.
"You better get change into you school robes mate" continued Blaise throwing the jacket back. "Shouldn't you set an example or something as head boy?"
"Yea I guess" said Malfoy starting to undo the buttons on his shirt.
"Wait a moment for me leave," cried Hermione turning red, as she grabbed her clothes and made for the door,
"What didn't you ever see a guy without a shirt" Joked Blaise
"Ever the prim proper virgin, aren't you Granger" teased Malfoy "Tell me do you still believe babies are delivered by storks?"
"Ha ha" she replied sarcastically "your mother should have thrown you away and kept the stork"
"Oh Burn," said Blaise laughing harder "I think this round goes to the Gryffindor"
Hermione smile as she left the compartment. It looked like this year was going to be interesting after all.