A/N: Many thanks to Araeofsomething for looking this over. Just a little first day of school AU. Enjoy.

Disclaimer: JKR owns the world and characters of Harry Potter, not me. I'm not making any money from the posting of this.

Those Eyes, Those Eyes

It was the first day of school.

Draco Malfoy took a deep breath. He could do this.

Taking another deep breath, he stuck out his chin in defiance of fear. He was a Malfoy, and Malfoys never showed fear. He stepped onto the train and quickly found an empty compartment. Looking out the window, he watched as other kids hugged their parents goodbye.

He felt slightly miffed that his parents didn't hug him goodbye. But they never hugged him, or told them that they loved him. Both his parents were cold and manipulative. They each had their own hidden agendas and would use whatever –or whomever – they could to their own advantage. More than once, Draco had found himself caught between them both as they manipulated him to reach their own ends.

He was glad to finally be out of the Manor and away from all that coldness and uncaring. He wasn't a fan of the "Malfoy Way" as his father explained.

Every inch of Hermione's body was tingling in excitement. She had never felt more thrilled in her entire life. Turning around, she waved good-bye to her parents one more time. Taking a deep breath, she stepped onto the train. She could hear shouting coming from every different direction.

Everyone must be excited like I am, she thought to herself.

Hermione made her way towards a compartment at the end of the hall. Looking inside, she saw there was a small, blond haired boy staring out the window. Biting her lip, she took a deep breath.

She pushed the door open. The boy turned at the sound. She blushed, giving him a small smile. "Do you mind if I sit with you?"

He mutely shook his head, gesturing to the seat across from him. Hermione nodded in thanks and took the available seat with joy.

Draco watched the girl closely as she sat down. Why was she wearing Muggle clothes?

"My name's Draco Malfoy," he said, cocking his head to the side as he observed her. Her hair was insane. It was brown and curly, sticking out in every different direction. Her teeth were a bit crooked, but her eyes. Merlin, her eyes. They were the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. They reminded him of chocolate and warmth. Draco felt as if he could see into her very soul.

The girl smiled at him. "My name is Hermione Granger."

Granger, that name didn't sound very familiar.

Hermione looked at the boy. He was really quite handsome with his blond hair and grey eyes. She had never seen eyes that color. She imagined he'd make quite the model when he was older.

"So what House do you think you'll be in?" she asked, wanting to get to know the boy sitting across from her.

Draco leaned back, smiling proudly. "I'll be in Slytherin."

Hermione nodded. "I'm hoping for Ravenclaw, although I'm sure the other Houses wouldn't be too bad either." She didn't comment on his sureness of Slytherin, mostly because she wasn't sure how she felt about that. Slytherin had a bad reputation – even she as a Muggleborn knew that.

"Are you smart?" he asked.

Hermione nodded. "Oh yes, I've already read our school books through twice."

Draco felt his eyes bulge. "You've already read them?" Wow, she was sure eager. "I'm sure you'll be great this year then."

Hermione bit her lip. "I'm a bit nervous about performing the actual magic though."

Draco raised his eyebrow. "Haven't you done magic before?"

"Accidentally," Hermione said with a blush on her cheeks. "But that's it really."

"Didn't you parents show you anything? Haven't you seen them do magic?" Draco pressed.

Hermione flushed. "My parents can't do magic," she said softly.

Draco froze. She was a Mudblood. He could only imagine what his father would do if he saw them talking. Draco knew he should just get up and leave the compartment. He could hear his father's words echoing in his mind. "Stay away from the Mudbloods, Draco. Don't sully yourself with them. They're filth, lower than dirt. Not even deserving of your time."

But as Draco looked at Hermione, he didn't think she looked like filth. She was actually really nice and he enjoyed talking to her.

"Draco?" she asked, wondering why he suddenly went stiff.

What should he do? Did he leave like his father would want him to do? Or did he stay? He enjoyed Hermione's company and could tell she'd be a bright student. Besides, he felt drawn to her. He couldn't explain it, but Draco wanted to be near this girl. He wanted to be her friend; a part of her life. She was warmth… the first bit of warmth he had ever experienced in a person before.

Did he follow in his father's footsteps and be prejudice, or did he forge his own path and become friends with a Muggleborn?

Draco knew he had to choose, and he knew that this choice would follow him for the rest of his life.

Always do what you're afraid to do. Those words echoed in his head, and he knew what choice he'd make.

Taking a look at Hermione, he saw the kindness in her eyes. Her eyes were beautiful, calming all the turmoil he felt inside. This was where he was meant to be.

Draco shook his head. "Sorry about that, I was just lost in my thoughts. But here, show me your wand." He gave her a reassuring smile.

Hermione grinned and pulled out her wand. She showed it to him and listened as Draco started to explain wand lore. He then started telling her different things about the Magical world that wouldn't be found in Hogwarts: A History.

Draco knew his father would be mad, but Hermione was just so nice. He couldn't walk away from her or the burgeoning friendship developing between them. He wanted her friendship, regardless of what everyone else would say.

This was his life, and he would live it the way that he wanted to. His family's prejudices be damned.