Hermione looked out her window, slightly bored at Harry and Ron's talk of quidditch, when she realized she was supposed to be in the Heads' compartment, waiting for instruction and meeting the head boy. She jumped out of her seat and ran off without explanation. She rushed down the narrow hallway of the train and pushed her way into the compartment, breathless, to find a tall, blonde haired boy smirking at her.
"What are you doing here?" she asked, not willing to believe what she knew must be true.
He pushed his hair out of his eyes, gave her a once over and opened his mouth to say what Hermione was sure would be something awful, when Professor McGonagall brushed past her and sat down. "Hello, Ms. Granger. Mr. Malfoy. I want to congratulate you both on becoming Heads." She eyed them approvingly.
"As you should know, you're common room is in the west tower, as are your dormitories. Heads are expected to set an example for all Hogwarts students, inside and outside the classroom." She glared at them over her spectacles pointedly and then stood up. "The first head meeting will be on the 19th of September. I'll see you both at Hogwarts." With that she apperated and left Hermione alone with her arch enemy.
"You're supposed to be in your robes Granger." Hermione stared out her window in silence, deciding it was best to ignore the insufferable prat.
"Did you hear me…are you deaf Mudblood?"
Silence. She wouldn't answer to that.
"What?" Hermione whipped around, unable to take him anymore.
Draco paused and then smirked. "Nothing." Hermione looked at his face, the haughty grin didn't meet his eyes, which looked tired and somehow sad.
She sighed, "Please don't ruin this year for me, Malfoy."
"Why shouldn't I, you've already ruined mine, you had to go and muddy it all up, didn't you, Granger?"
Hermione bit her tongue, he was only looking for a reaction, and she wasn't going to give him one.
"I'm surprised you didn't stay home, I figured you'd be popping out Weasleys by now." Hermione shuddered but didn't move her gaze from her new Arithmancy book. And he fell silent, for a minute…
"Are we required to stay here?"
Hermione nodded, rolling her eyes, "didn't you read the manual they sent us?"
"Some of it…" he mumbled. Hermione rolled her eyes, though, in all fairness, it was at least fifty pages long and most of the information supplied was completely useless.
She returned to Arithmancy and Malfoy took to staring listlessly out the window, every so often making some sort of offensive remark which she ignored. The day began to fade as the train sped through the countryside and her eyelids grew heavy, but she wasn't stupid enough to fall asleep in the presence of her sworn enemy. They would be there soon, she told herself and for the first time in hours she looked up and into the face of the head boy.
He was asleep, his hair was tousled and fell into his eyes, his head hung against the seat and his mouth was slightly open. Hermione looked at him in disgust, and back down at her textbook. And then up again. She felt uncomfortable, this sort of situation seemed oddly intimate, and then rather funny. His stooped shoulders and lulling head, open mouth and messy hair were such a stark contrast to his normally flawless appearance; perfect hair, posture and mannerisms. This was the perfect opportunity to play a trick. She thought, hard, but couldn't come up with anything that seemed remotely funny. Besides, she wasn't going to start out being the immature one.
She looked at his face again. He didn't look nearly as scary when he was sleeping, he looked almost innocent. She studied his features; there were dark circles under his eyes, and slight creases that seemed premature. They were around his mouth too. Between his thigh and the side of the train was a little black book. There was no title on its spine. Hermione's fingers itched for it. It looked ancient…and fascinating. But it wasn't hers, and if he woke up he would probably kill her, or try to. But she was in Gryffindor, she wasn't afraid, and her curiosity couldn't be stifled.
She slowly reached out a hand, standing up, leaning forward and reaching under his arm, she She held her breath and felt her fingers close around the spine of the book, when the train gave a lurch and stopped, causing her to fall forward onto his lap, she instantly released the book and moved her hand away.
"What-"he shoved her off him, "the fuck, mudblood." He stood up, still looking dazed, but angry.
"I fell down." Hermione said calmly, praying he would buy it.
"Why were you standing up?"
"I was going to the restroom," she said indignantly. Righting herself and brushing her hair out of her face to find him looking around frantically for something. "It's on your left."
He pulled the book up and glared at her, "how did you know what I was looking for?"
She shrugged, "I dunno." He looked livid and his hair was sticking in all different directions. She couldn't help it, she giggled.
"What-did you-" he pushed her against the wall, gripping her wrists painfully, "I swear to god Granger, if you read that book I will make you wish you died last June," he spat, centimeters from her face. She disarmed him wandlessly, causing him to fly sprawling across the seat.
She took a deep breath, "I didn't." her hands were shaking and she held her breath in effort to stop herself from crying. She wouldn't cry in front of him. She sunk back into her own seat, feeling embarrassed. She didn't look up to see if Malfoy would do anything in retaliation. She felt weak and dizzy and paralyzed with fear. She clenched her fists to stop them from shaking. It was just like the war.
They were ordered out first and went with the Headmistress to see where they would be living. All Hermione wanted to do was go to sleep, she couldn't even tell Ron or Harry about this, they would only try and kill Malfoy which wouldn't make her life any easier. She didn't look at him once as Professor McGonagall led them up to their common room, which was impressive enough to distract Hermione from everything else.
It was larger than the Gryffindor common room, and much more ornate. A floor of worn, wooden planks covered by large, oriental rugs with intricate patterns that seemed to move when you stared at them, magnificent arm chairs and couches so large they looked more suited for Grawp than for any human. An ancient chandelier hung in the center of the room and covered almost the whole ceiling, at least ten meters above them. This came to be Hermione's favorite feature and she took to lying on the couch, staring at this chandelier, which had arms that looked like the gnarly branches of an oak tree. "The password is," McGonagall glared at them, daring them to laugh, "unity. The feast starts in five minutes." And she apperated.
"I thought you couldn't apperate at Hogwarts."
Hermione ignored this and started walking down the stairs. She didn't understand either, but she wasn't going to tell him that.