Please, please take the time to read this A/N and I promise I will not burden you with long notes in the future.

Author's Note: This is my first story in about seven-years so I do hope you bear with me. This story will leave the reader constantly asking questions that will eventually be answered.

Please note the following:

1. This is Deathly Hallows compliant up until the part where Voldemort dies but that is it… although I might shift deaths here and there.

2. In this story they are back in school as seventh years seeing as how the year before was hardly a school year under Snape's reign as headmaster and Harry, Hermione, Ron and Draco (and I'm sure other characters) were not even in school. But the tricky part about the number of first years will also be addressed later on in the story.

3. I'm going to attempt to delve into understanding the dynamics of our lead characters to assess their personalities in attempt to shift their personalities as part of their personal growth. I am hoping it doesn't get messy but I'll do my best to keep it as logical and sensible as possible. It is my personal goal to make the readers fall in-love with the characters in a different way. I do hope I achieve this goal.

4. I am actually looking for a Beta because I don't really have anyone right now seeing as I am practically starting from scratch here in . I will definitely need the Beta to help make sure I am staying in Canon (or is it just canon?) and also to help me keep my characters personalities in check. I do hope someone actually reads this story and volunteers to be my Beta.

5. This will be my first fanfic that will contain sexual situations and I will try not to embarrass myself and try to make it as best I can. Hopefully, its not too awkward.

6. Thank YOU, for taking the time to read this story and my notes. I do hope I do not disappoint.

Disclaimer: I have borrowed the stories, characters, places and all things magical and wonderful from the phenomenal JK Rowling. Any scenes or situations that you may find similar to your life are merely a coincidence. I will also be borrowing poems, passages and songs that have served as inspiration to me for this stoy.

If you come to me softly

As the wind within the trees

You may hear what I hear

See what sorrow sees

Draco sighed as he watched the ripples of his reflection in the lake, ever changing, never the same shape twice. He wondered how something as trivial as ripples in the water was clouding his mind.

"I'm going insane." He let out a sigh of frustration and tossed the pebble that he earlier held between his thumb and pointer finger.

He looked in the direction of the school that was in pieces just a few months earlier. What magic can do to conceal and repair the damage that was done. Draco bent down to pick-up another pebble and threw it as hard as he could.

The school looked majestic, standing tall and proud of the history that lived in the confines of its walls. But the residents, they all knew better, the cracks, the damage was still there.

You could see it in the tired eyes of the students, in the movement of the professors, the scars on their skin that they wore proudly yet desolately as they were constant reminders of the people they lost.

The atmosphere felt almost as though nothing had happened but he could sense it, he could feel it the remains of the war were in his blood stream, in the air that filled the wizarding world.

For months he had been thinking about how everything he had been taught as a child was one big lie.

His father was a liar sitting in a cell in Azkaban.

His mother… he didn't even know what to think of his mother at this point. She too was a liar. She lied about sharing the same fervor as his father and allowed the man to strip him, their only child, of his humanity.

They were pathetic, cowardly and it angered him to know that he was exactly like them. Brought up in a world where perfection was a must and that the standard of perfection was relative to what they thought it was.

They were so wrong.

His aunt and the rest of his family were completely mental and, well, dead. Thankfully.

And then there was Voldemort, thoughts of the Dark Lord angered him. He was the biggest liar of them all. He was not the most powerful wizard in the world but that thought comforted Draco.

And although he was long gone he still haunted Draco's dreams, coming to him with new tasks to fulfill, new people to kill but the Dark Lord always gave him the option to choose—the alternative being death, of course.

They took away his childhood.

Harry Potter entered his thoughts. The-boy-who-lived to save the wizarding world. The hero. He was tired of listening to people constantly over-analyze how his childhood was stripped of him and how he was resilient throughout his trying life.

"I lost my childhood too." Draco said to no one. He thought about how his family had brought him up. Pureblood perfection. They imposed their beliefs on him and instilled his confused hatred for people who were not like him. He didn't know any different but now he didn't know what to think.

Everything he was taught early on in his life was brought into question the night Snape killed Dumbledore for him. But he didn't want to think about it now. Making sense of if would not do anything because no one would bother to listen anyway.

He buried his face into his palms and rubbed it quickly trying to get himself to snap out of his wallowing in self-pity.

"This is pathetic." He said again to no one in particular. He let out a huge sigh and threw a couple of more pebbles as far as he could.

He tried to ignore the rumbling that was coming down from the forest heading in his direction. The crunch of the leaves as feet heavily plodded along.

Draco smiled to himself thinking about Crabbe and Goyle. But even those thoughts were clouded with the darkness of the war. He decided that he should be wiser to choose more intelligent friends this time, if anyone would open to being his friend. The war gave him a reputation. A bad one but he was tired of trying to prove himself, trying to impress others or get validation based on what others thought. Too long he spent his life trying to impress his father and his father's companions and the Dark Lord. He was over it, he was free of that and he was not about to latch himself onto a new "lord" or a new group to get any form of validation.

His thoughts were interrupted when he heard a loud sob. It was almost as though the person was struggling to breathe. Draco tried to ignore the cries but it really sounded as if the person had gotten a Bertie Bott's bean stuck in their throat.

He made his way in the direction of where the sound was coming from and spotted a figure hunched with their face buried into (what appeared to be a) her knees. He couldn't quite tell as the hair of the person was in a messy bun but the body looked like that of a female, unless, it was first year boy or something along those lines.

He took another step and heard the crack of a branch under his foot. The person's head shot up and look at his direction. It was definitely a she.

"Sorry, I heard you crying and I thought you were choking," Draco started rambling completely embarrassed at the fact that it looked like he was just watching her. He sped up his movements until he was a meter away from her.

She looked at him puffy, bloodshot eyes, her nose was red and the tremors from her tears kept her body shaking. But he noticed how the tremors had quickened by the time he had finished his statement. And she laughed, hard. It made him uncomfortable because after about the thirty-seconds of her laughter they were suddenly accompanied by the sobs that had interrupted his thoughts earlier.

He looked around trying to look for an animal. He found an anthill. There was no way that was going to work for what he needed. He looked into the water and saw a couple of fishes swimming around. He dipped the tip of his wand into the water and quietly summoned one of them to come toward him. He cringed when he felt the slimy scales swim into his palm.

He lifted his palm slightly out of the water, pointed his wand at the fish and whispered, "Vera verto."

Nothing happened and the fish started squirming.

"Its actually more accurate if you use the word fera instead of vera." She managed to let out between her sobs.

This caused a tension in his chest and he could feel his anger rising. He had been taught so many wrong things in his life, it wouldn't do too much damage if he listened to her.

"Fera verto." He said softly repeating the movement of his wand. And in an instant the fish transformed. He pointed his wand into the cup, "Aguamenti."

She was watching him intently but the tears didn't seem to turn of when the sobs did. Her body was still trembling from the struggle to normalize her breathing.

"Here." He reached out the goblet to her. She looked up at him once more, taking the goblet from his hand. The tremors in her hand shook the goblet letting a bit of water spill out.

"Thanks." She managed as she brought the goblet to her mouth. She drank heartily and let out a huge sigh when she finished. The water had helped her breathing. Draco noticed the liquid film that rested on her upper lip and her hand swiped it away as she simultaneously let out a shaky sigh. Her tongue grazed between her pursed lips and she made a face, "fishy."

"I had to make do." Draco replied. She was starting to annoy him. He couldn't believe how ungrateful she was being.

"I didn't mean it like that," she started shaking her head furiously causing her hair messily on her face. "But really, thank you."

She shifted uncomfortably as if trying to make space beside her. She bit her lip and looked at the space beside her and Draco heard her say, "Misery loves company."

She looked him straight in the eyes. The redness was still there but much fainter; he could see the intensity of her brown eyes. The sun made them look golden almost as if you could see right into her soul. He felt his breath hitch and he shook his head but took a seat beside her. Significantly far from her, it was definitely awkward.

"You're a pretty talented wizard." She said looking out into the horizon of the lake.

His eyebrows furrowed trying to see whether she meant that as an insult or if she was being genuine. "That's a second year Transfiguration spell." He said defensively.

"I know." She replied and he watched her curiously studying her as she brought her hands to her neck and started rocking herself back and forth. She shut her eyes as if trying to hold back her tears. "I really love it here, right here, right where I am. I can feel it coursing in my veins, I've never been so sure of anything except the fact that this, all of this is home."

Draco was not sure if she was talking to him or mumbling to herself. He wasn't judging given the fact that he was talking to himself just a few minutes earlier.

"I'm sorry." She bit her lower lip and paused before turning to him. "My name is Hermione."

He shifted his head to the right toward her but couldn't get himself to look her, "I know."

"Oh," she pressed her lips together.

"I should go." Draco stood up quickly and dusted off the invisible specs that were on his slacks.

He didn't notice that she too had stood up but all too soon he felt her hand on his wrist. Startled he pulled his hand away he examined his wrist covering it with his other hand willing the strange sensation to go away.

He looked up at her and found her face was a little too close for his comfort. Her eyes seeking for some sort of answer from his but still she whispered,

"Should I remember you too?"

A/N: So concludes my first chapter. It really feels great to be writing again. Please forgive any grammatical errors or spelling mistakes. I would love to have grammar Nazi as a Beta! But I do hope you enjoyed it and I can't wait to continue to let this story unfold. I do hope for your patience in this story and I will work hard to make it worthwhile.

Also, the excerpt in the beginning is from a poem entitled, "If You Come to Me Softly," by Audre Lorde. I will be using it throughout the story.

Many thanks and God bless.