What Once Could Never Be…

Chapter 1: The Beginning

As the train pulled out of Platform 9 ¾, Hermione gazed out the window across the now moving countryside.  She looked unhappy at the thought of summer coming to an end and starting a new year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  She should have been thrilled at the start of the sixth year.  Hermione was still at the top of her class and had been chosen, along with Harry, to be the prefects for Gryffindor.  It was easily supposed to be the best year of her life.

However, the loneliness she had felt over the summer had reached a breaking point.  She had Harry and Ron as friends, but that's all they would ever be.  Friends.  Things would never be the same since the end of last year.  Harry had started dating Ginny and Ron had started dating Lavender, but Hermione didn't have anybody.  All she had was her classes and her books.  She was beginning to despise the thought of being Head Girl next year.

The more she thought about it, the more depressed she became.  Harry and Ron were in another compartment of the train with their respective girlfriends probably having a good time without a thought about Hermione who was sitting alone.  She didn't really mind it so much because it gave her time to think, but she felt hurt by being left out of the loop.  She wasn't sure how she was going to make it through the year without her two best friends being constantly by her side.  She imagined she would fully immerse herself within her schoolwork, however, having perfect grades and trying to pull off a perfect image was quickly losing its advantages.  She always prided herself at being able to stay at the top, but she never thought that she would have to be at the top by herself.

Hermione looked down at herself trying to push thoughts of Harry and Ron out of her mind.  She had put more time into her appearance over the summer than ever before.  She had cast a Straightening Charm on her bushy, brown hair to make it lay flat down to her waist.  She had accented her rich brown eyes by making her eyelashes longer and had cast a glamour spell on her lips to make them appear more full.  Over the summer, she had grown out of her old school robes because she had grown to a height of 5'6 and filled out so she now had quite distinctive curves.  When buying new robes, she had chose ones that hugged her curvy new body.  She also opted for more fashionable, showy clothing to wear while not in classes.  Among these were shorter skirts, tighter tops, and heeled shoes.  She was determined to attract someone's attention this year.

She pulled her feet up under her as she tore away from that train of thought while she concentrated on going to sleep.  It would be quite awhile before they reached Hogwarts.  As she started to drift away, the door of the compartment crashed open and a familiar tuft of pale, blonde hair came trudging in.  Hermione sat up quick, having been startled.

"Draco Malfoy!" she screamed.  "What are you doing here?"


Draco Malfoy had not had the summer of his life.  With the rising power of Voldemort being felt in the magical world, his house had been frequently filled with Death Eaters.  Draco, not wishing to follow in his father's footsteps, had scowled every time he saw one walk past him and had opted to spend the majority of the summer locked away in his room.  It had not been a pleasant experience, but it did give him time to think about where his life was going. 

He had started to contemplate all those unanswered questions that had plagued him since refusing his father's invitation to serve Lord Voldemort.  He was trying to figure out what he was going to do when he finally left Hogwarts.  Thank goodness he had more than one year left to make that decision because he honestly had no clue.  He was used to being rich and arrogant for so long that he didn't know what else was out there.  He decided that this year would be a change and he would learn what was out there awaiting him.  He wanted to discover his fate.

Platform 9 ¾ had always looked the same since his first year at Hogwarts.  It was aboard that first train ride that he had found an enemy in Harry Potter.  All that was different now.  While he was not feeling friendly towards Potter, he felt more receiving towards life instead of throwing it aside with a smirk or an insult.  However, he did have a reputation to protect, and he didn't want it getting around that Draco Malfoy had become a nancy boy. 

Having been late to arrive on the platform, Draco was the last to board the Hogwarts Express.  He strolled to the back of the train with a gracefulness that some mistook to be lazy.  He had plastered his trademark smirk upon his lips and his misty, gray eyes set into a piercing gaze.  Upon reaching the back, he walked into the compartment that he had always used with his henchmen, Crabbe and Goyle.   They were sitting quietly in the compartment when he waltzed in.  As always to Draco, Crabbe and Goyle were only bearable because of their large size that had grown over the years.  They were neither quick-witted or tongued and usually just stood behind Draco, grunting like gorillas.  However, they looked menacing enough that everyone knew not to mess with them.

Draco sat down in front of them and stared at the passing scenery out the window for a moment before speaking.  "Did either one of you have a decent summer?"

Both Crabbe and Goyle looked taken aback by this direct question.  Maybe it was because Draco had never asked such a question of either of them.  He had always been all, "I hate Harry Potter" and "my father is an annoying git."  After not answering for several moments, Draco looked over to Crabbe and Goyle.  He looked thoroughly irritated.

"Aren't you going to answer my question? Either of you?"

"I – I – I went down to the Isles this summer with my parents," Crabbe was finally able to stutter.

A slow smile crept over Draco's chiseled features, "Now we're making progress."

Goyle just continued to sit there and look stunned except now it was more of a stupified look.

Draco decided he would go out on a limb and ask another question to see if he could get a response out of either.  He knew that having conversations was not the best quality of either, but he thought that he would give it a shot.

"Why are we always being so malicious to our fellow classmates?"

This time neither one gave any sign of even understanding the question asked.  Draco was not surprised, but was annoyed nevertheless.  The rest of the Slytherins were the same way.  They would not hold a simple conversation with a person without something in it for them.  At that moment, Draco felt very alone in the world.  All the people that he had considered "friends" were just children of his parents' friends, future-Death Eaters.  He took one last look at the expressions on Crabbe and Goyle's faces and fled.  He felt so irritated with himself and his world.  He did not want to be a Death Eater, but it was the only life he had ever known.  It was not a good feeling to have.

He paced down the corridor of the train until he got to a compartment that was closed.  He leaned his ear against the door and, upon hearing nothing, decided it was empty which prompted him to enter.  He threw the door open and walked inside.  Apparently, the compartment was not vacant as he so had thought.  Hermione Granger sat on one of the seats she had previously been laying on and looked startled.  He thought, she must have been sleeping.  She had just screamed his name while he took a seat directly across from her after closing the door.  He took a better look at her and his mind went into overload.  She hasn't always been this beautiful has she?  If she has, then why haven't I noticed it before? 

He crossed his legs and drew his mouth into his trademark smirk while he watched her looking at him warily. 

"So, Hermione Granger, since you are absent of Potter and the Weasel, I think it is safe to assume that your summer was probably as bad as mine."

A/N: That's all for now.  I hope you R/R.  The next chapter should be up within a matter of days.  Probably Saturday.