Chapter 1- Encounter

I woke up in the early morning in my room I shared with Ginny, while I stayed at the burrow. I stretched with a yawn. Molly appeared in my doorway, looking excited.

"Good, you're awake. The Owls are here." She announced. Ginny heard and since she was in the year below us, she had nothing to wake up for. I frowned at her as she turned over and went back to sleep. I shook my head and ignored her actions.

I jumped up and pulled on my robe. I made my way down to Harry's and Ron's room.

"Harry! Our owls are here!" I screamed, while I jumped onto his bed. He groaned and covered his head with the bed covers. I wouldn't have that though, and my hand ripped them away onto the floor. He shouted a protest, but I laughed. I moved to Ron's bed and ripped his covers away too. He was still sleep like a rock. I slapped his face and he jumped out of the bed like a rocket.

"Our Owls are here!" I screamed again and they registered what I said finally. I grabbed their arms and pulled them from their beds then down the stairs. With both boys rubbing their eyes, Molly handed each of us our letters. I waited for Harry's first, anxious to know how well he did.


Pass Grades Fail Grades

Outstanding-o Poor- P

Exceeds Expectations-E Dreadful- D

Acceptable-A Troll- T

Harry James Potter has achieved:

Astronomy- A

Care of Magical Creatures- E

Charms- E

Defense Against the Dark Arts- O

Divination- P

Herbology- E

Potions- E

Transfiguration- E

He did better than I had expected, I saw him smiling brightly, and then I turned to Ron who was also smiling.

"Seven Owls, I failed History of Magic and Divination but they don't really count!" Ron said and his mother was crying with tears of delight.

I turned to my letter feeling more excited. I had helped them throughout the whole year so I must have done well.

I opened the letter carefully and saw nine 'Outstanding' with one exceeds expectations in Defense Against the Dark Arts. I breathed a sigh of relief and Ron smiled and me warmly. I frowned slightly but nodded at him.

"Well done, Hermione!" Harry exclaimed happily, but I heard him sounding a little upset.

"What wrong Harry?" I asked stepping closer to him. He sighed and chuckled.

"I needed and Outstanding in Potions to become an Auror." I nodded in understanding.

"That's too bad. I'm sure you'll find something you'll like to do." I assured him, but I didn't think he was listening. He picked around his breakfast and then disappeared into him room while no one noticed.

I only saw Harry twice after that. W stayed at the burrow for three more days and then we headed to platform 9 & ¾. Harry seemed to be avoiding everyone, but I couldn't find any time to seek him out. I was packing and planning for the new year. I had so much to do, so much homework and assignments to do this year. It was so overwhelming to me. I couldn't expect my Newts to be nearly as good as my owls.

"Hermione! We're flooing to Kings Cross!" Ron's voice shouted up the stair loudly. I smiled in excitement. I would never tire of hearing that.

With my luggage floating down the stairs behind me, I ran down to meet everyone. Harry had just grabbed him Floo Powder and I saw his sad eyes as he shouted out the address of platform 9 & 3/4. Ron was next and then Ginny. I went last hoping I would be able to find Harry and Ron before the train left. It seemed that every year we ended up almost missing the train.

The platform was crowded, as it was every year on this day, I searched for Ron and Harry, but I spotted Ginny before them.

"Ginny! Have you seen Ron and Harry?" asked breathlessly. She nodded and pointed at the other end of the train where they were stepping into it. I put my luggage with the rest and ran to join them.

"Thanks for leaving me guys. I am so tired from all that running now." I said with a laugh. Ron looked at me, and I became aware that I was wearing my low cut muggle t- shirt. I crossed my arms and looked away pointedly. Ron kept staring, and I sighed with irritation.

"So Harry, are you happy to be going back?" I asked, trying to refrain from hitting Ron.

"Actually I am. It doesn't feel right when I'm not there." He said seriously. I nodded in understanding. I knew exactly what he meant. Hogwarts was a magical place; it just has an essence that surrounds it. It pulled the magic out in all of its students.

"I missed butterbeer as well." Harry continued, absently. Ron said his agreement loudly, and I was suddenly not part of the conversation.

I most have fallen asleep because I was roughly shaken by Ron's hands.

"Get off of me!" I shouted and stood up quickly. Ron looked hurt and upset.

"You were asleep. The train is almost there. You might want to put on your robes." He said and I grabbed my stuff. I couldn't be in there with him for another minute. After changing into my robes I walked down the aisles of the train. I would only ride it three more times: the end of this year, the start of next year, and the end of that year. I smiled through my watery eyes. What would I do when I was out of school? I thought last year I would want to be an Auror, but now I wasn't so sure. With my owls I could study to be a Healer. I liked helping people, I wasn't as good as Harry was, but Healing required at gentle touch and a strong stomach. I had both, and the smarts to exceed in it. The train suddenly stopped and jerked a little, signaling its arrival at Hogwarts, but also caused me to stumble. My head bashed into the wall of the train and I fell to the ground, sucked in my darkness.

I coughed loudly and felt someone supporting my torso gently.

"Granger lets go before we head back to London." I stiffened at the unfortunately familiar voice. I opened my eyes and saw Draco Malfoy holding most of my body in his grasp. I tried to stand but found my head was swimming.

"What happened to you?" He asked causally. I groaned in remembrance.

"When the train stopped I tripped and hit my head on the wall." I said and he helped me to my feet. I swayed and he leaned me on the wall so I wouldn't fall.

"Oh shit." He muttered and I looked up to see his face had paled.

"You're bleeding; you must have your head hard. Come on you should go see-"

"I will. Thank you for helping me, I think." I said and moved to walk out of the door and the end of the hallway.

"Don't worry, Granger. I won't let it happen again." I laughed aloud as he followed me off the train.

"Don't say a word to anyone that I helped you." He said, and I thought he was joking. He roughly grabbed my arms and forced me to look at him.

"I mean it. Don't say a word to anyone. Just say you woke up on your own." He said shortly and stalked away leaving my stunned. Was he bi-polar? One minute and joking and helping me and the next he is giving me orders. I shook my head, wincing as it throbbed. I would have to stop by to see Madam Pomfrey before joining Harry and Ron at the feast. I always enjoyed watching to first years being sorted, but I would have to miss it this time because I was so clumsy. I took a deep breath and headed down to the school hospital sure to get a lecture about having to visit her on the first day back.

A/N: I would really love reviews! Let me know what you think!