As they approached the school, Hermione began to feel extremely nauseous. The last time she was here, she was nearly killed along with all of her friends. She looked around her at the stone castle walls. Hogwarts was beautiful at night. The bright orange light from inside the castle reflected on the surface of the Black Lake. She noticed that Ron has stopped walking.
‘I don’t think I can do this.’ He said, staring at the floor, the death of his brother still a fresh wound. Ron couldn’t help remembering walking towards Fred’s still, pale white body that lay unmoving on the castle floor. He remembered the pained, crying faces of his family crowded around the body. It was at that moment that he realised his brother was dead. He winced at the memory as Hermione grabbed his hand.
‘Yes you can.’ She replied matter of factly. ‘We can do it together.’ He nodded grimly and they continued hand in hand towards the great hall.
Hermione was glad to see that the school had been rebuilt to exactly how it had looked before the war. She was glad. Hogwarts had been her second home for the past 6 years and she couldn’t imagine it any differently. She laughed to herself at the thought of Filch trying to sweep away the remains of a collapsed ceiling, gaining a very confused look from Ron. ‘Never mind.’ She laughed again.
The Great Hall was brightly lit. The warm glow of the fire set a calming atmosphere that Hermione was grateful for. They all took their seats at the Gryffindor table that was filled with food for the start of term feast.
‘If I could have your attention’. Professor McGonagall said loudly. She waited for the hall to become quiet. ‘I would firstly like to say welcome to yet another, and for some of you final, year at Hogwarts. The last year has been a very hard and traumatic experience for everyone. But it is because of the students, staff and other witches/wizards that the wizarding world has been rid of the world’s most dark and dangerous creature. Voldemort.’ She said confidently, never having feared his name. ‘Many people’s lives were lost in this war and I personally would like to acknowledge each and every one of them. Professor McGonagall started to read a list of names. Some of the names Hermione had never heard before.
Alasdair Moody… Professor Snape…’ Harry winced and looked down to the table, tears in his eyes. ‘Nymphadora Tonks and Reemus Lupin’. Hermione thought of their son, Teddy and felt saddened at the fact that he would grow up, not knowing his parents. She, Harry and Ron had all been to see him and vowed to see him grow up. They would tell him stories of his Parents and how they gave their lives to save everyone else’s. They would tell him how they didn’t die in vain.
‘Fred Weasly’. McGonagall finished her list and the hall was silent. Ginny was crying into Harry’s shoulder and Hermione was comforting Ron. A few minutes passed and the professor spoke again. ‘On a happier note, I would like to congratulate Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger on becoming this year’s head boy and head girl.’ The sound of whispers filled the hall. ‘I ask you both to stay behind after the feast and I shall show you to your new common room.’ The whispers got even louder. The professor ignored them. ‘Enjoy your feast and I wish you all the best of luck this year.’ She said sincerely.
The feast began but not many people from Gryffindor were eating, instead thinking about those they had lost. It wasn’t long before the hall was empty apart from Malfoy and Hermione. The stood up as McGonagall approached them and said ‘follow me.’ They followed her out of the hall and to the moving staircases. As they reached the top, Hermione gasped at who she saw. Professor Severus Snape. He of course, was not alive, but he was in the portrait on the door. ‘Snape?’ Hermione asked in disbelief.
‘Miss Granger.’ He replied with a hint of a smile on his face. Harry had told Hermione everything he had seen in Snape’s memories. Hermione’s expression turned sympathetic and Snape winced. ‘Mr Malfoy.’ He said in his usual dull, monotone voice.
‘Thank you.’ Was all he could manage. Snape nodded.
‘This will be your common room from now until the end of the year.’ Professor McGonagall interrupted. ‘Your password is Polyjuice and I will see you tomorrow.’ With that, she left.
Hermione turned to face Snape. ‘Polyjuice.’ She said and Snape let them in. The Common room had black walls and a mix between Slytherin and Gryffindor house coloured furniture. The Hogwarts motto was written on the walls.
As they walked through, they both found their bedrooms. Hermione’s room had scarlet walls with a golden king-sized bed, a wardrobe and a desk. There was a big painting of a lion on the wall, with the words’ Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus’, surrounding it.
She went back into the common room to find Draco sitting on the sofa. As she approached him, he turned and stood up.
‘Look Granger. If we are both going to be sharing a common room, I think that we should both at least try to get along. I know we-‘He started to say before being cut off.
‘How could you?’ She practically shouted at him.
‘How could I what?’ He asked clueless.
‘How could you fight with them? How could you come back here after being a follower of Voldemort?!’ She practically spat his name.
‘It’s not like I had a choice!’ He shouted back. ‘He would have killed me!’ The look of regret and fear was clear on his face. ‘I didn’t want any of this!’ Hermione looked at his pained expression and suddenly felt guilty. ‘You know what? Just forget it.’ He said coldly. ‘You could never understand.’
Malfoy walked to his room and slammed the door shut behind him. Hermione stood there for a moment, stunned and thought about the look on his face when he left, before doing the same. She lay in her bed that night, wishing she hadn’t said anything.