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By Carmen de Waal

Romance / Adventure

Chapter 1: Platform 9¾

Chapter 1: Platform 9¾
As Hermione dragged her trunk to the Hogwarts Express, she knew this year was going to be different. During the holidays, she discovered she had been made head girl, along with head boy Draco Malfoy. Along with that surprise, and the aftermath of the war, she decided to take things slowly, and stay at the Burrow for a while. She knew she had to go find her parents, but she couldn't bring herself to face them, when they didn't even know who she was, not so soon after the war. Things between her and Ron had worked out for a while - until he became a "jealous prick" as she called him, and they decided friendship was a safer bet. Him and Harry both took the opportunity of being Aurors, but Hermione, having the brains, decided to finish her studies, and grabbed the first opportunity to return to Hogwarts. She felt drained since last year, and sort of just wanted to escape the "real world".
So, she decided to try and stay on friendly - okay, not that friendly... Maybe... Neutral, ground with everyone - including the Slytherins. Keeping her chin up, she walked towards the head's cabin, greeting a few old, war-weathered friends along the way.
Opening the door, she's answered with ‘Hello, mudblood.’ By Malfoy.
‘Morning, Malfoy.’
‘Ohhh, why so formal? Don't answer that, I don't care. Now listen here - either stay out of my way, or I'll force you out of my way, got it, Granger?’
‘You know, I was planning on being nice to you, before that. Worst idea, ever, apparently. Look, we'll have to work together, so get over it. Just leave me alone.’
She had already started to feel the “mudblood” scar on her forearm begin to burn at his greeting, but ignored it, not wanting to look vulnerable in front of Malfoy. But now, it was getting worse. Since she got that scar, it started to bleed every time someone called her "mudblood". Saint Mungo's told her to clean it when it bleeds and take potions for the pain, but besides that, they can't do much - she's stuck with her cursed, dark scar, until they figure out a cure.
The rest of the journey was spent in silence, with both of then sending hostile glares at each other frequently. And then, just as Hermione's stomach rumbled, she glimpsed Hogwarts. Already changed (with fresh bandaging on her arm) and eager, despite her companion, Hermione set off towards the Thestrals, whom she could actually see after the war.
Thinking how different life is now than when she first walked into Hogwarts, she sat down for the sorting.
'Students', rang McGonagall's voice. 'I would just like you to inform you, the forbidden forest if off-limits to anyone who can't handle what is in there. This means, everyone, except our war heroes. No one out of bed by nine, unless you are a prefect, patrolling. Mr Filch has a list of various items forbidden in the corridors, up on his office down. It is a lamenting year for the school, as well are all mourning personal losses. I expect you all to have more compassion because of that, and I hope that this year is just as jolly as those before the drama. Last but not least, congratulations to our two heads, Ms Hermione Granger, and Mr Draco Malfoy!'

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