Hermione sighed, resting
her head on the train window and glancing over at Harry and Ron who were both
chatting animatedly. They had all been so excited when they found out they were
going to have a chance to go back to Hogwarts to complete their final year.
Hermione’s excitement had broken when she skimmed the next few lines of the
letter. All pupils must be re-sorted by
the sorting hat. Relocation possible. Because they had left school it meant
that they had to go through the sorting process all over again. Harry and Ron
hadn’t even been phased by it. ‘As if we
will be relocated. We belong in
Gryffindor.’ Harry’s words swirled in her head and she shook her head. She
wasn’t as confident as they were. The war had changed them and the sorting hat
picked up on these things. Ron smiled and poked her with his foot.
“You okay over there
Hermione?” he asked. She forced herself to nod and smiled at him to reassure
him. The last thing she needed was Ron worrying about her. Things had been so strange
between them since the war ended. Awkward even. They had tried making a go of
things but it hadn’t worked out. She
loved Ron, she truly did. But, in the end they were just too different. Her
stomach clenched when she noticed the castle in the distance and she had to
focus her breathing. Even if she was relocated, it wouldn’t be that much of a
big deal. Would it?
Her hands were shaking
as soon as the doors to the great hall opened and she had to shove them inside
her robes to stop the shaking. She inhaled and glanced around the hall, her
eyes skimming the crowd. Her eyes landed on a familiar mop of blond hair and
her lips pressed into a tight line. So it was true. He had come back. Not that she cared. Her eyes scanned the
house tables and a nervous feeling settled in her stomach. She jumped when Ron
elbowed her and looked around in surprise. Her eyes met the smug gaze of the
blond and she scowled her cheeks blazing. Trust
her not to hear her name being called! She let out a shaky breath and made
her way to the podium, taking her seat and giving an apprehensive smile to
McGonagall. The sorting hat was placed on her head and Hermione let out a shaky
Hmmm, so much potential. Always a difficult one I
see. Last time you were placed in Gryffindor. Brave, so very brave. But, clever
too. What to do…what to do. Hermione froze in place and she glanced up in shock
at the Ravenclaw banners, trying to picture herself in that house…at least she
would have Luna. No, no. These aren’t
your only traits are they. So cunning, so prepared to do anything to achieve
your goals. Rita Skeeter could testify and your parents…you only did it to
protect them. The ends justify the means but nonetheless it was very cunning.
Hermione’s eyes flicked to the serpent banner and her grip tightened on her
chair. Hmm, greatest witch of your age. Hermione’s
eyes flicked to Draco Malfoy and Blaise Zabini and then quickly to Harry and
Ron. She closed her eyes and shook her head, but she knew what was coming. She
had been expecting the hat to do something like this. After all her bravery was
often down to her willingness to do anything to achieve her goals. She glanced
at her knuckles which were turning white. Maybe the hat wouldn’t say it. She
held her breath, the hat’s silence ringing in her ears.
“Slytherin!” The hat
announced. Hermione’s heart leapt in her chest and her eyes found Ron and
Harry’s and she noticed that both of their eyebrows were furrowed. She swore
that she could have heard a pin drop in the room. She took off her hat, lifted
her chin into the air and made her way over to her new table, it was only then
that the Slytherin table began to erupt in applause. She couldn’t help but
notice that Slughorn was also clapping enthusiastically. She turned back around
to glance at Harry and couldn’t help but feel hurt when she realised he was
avoiding her eyes. She sat down at the table and glanced at the group
surrounding her wondering if they realised they had just clapped for a muggle
born. Hermione’s eyes watched the stage carefully as the rest of her peers
began to be sorted. Her eyes immediately flicked up when she realised that it
was Malfoy’s turn to be sorted. The hat barely touched his head when it shouted
Slytherin. Her stomach twisted and she avoided his eye contact. Of course. The knot in her chest
tightened when she realised that both Harry and Ron were both still in Gryffindor,
she felt like she had somehow failed them. Golden
Trio. Ha. She pushed her food around her plate and was shocked when a frame
sat down directly next to hers.
“Well, well, well. Who
would have thought? Little Miss Granger, becoming a Slytherin,” Blaise teased,
flopping down beside her. His eyes scanned hers and he was shocked to see how
on edge his presence made her. She scratched her forehead and sighed.
“The sorting hat
obviously knows something that we don’t,” she muttered, scratching at her left
arm. Blaise furrowed his eyebrows and glanced over at the Gryffindor table.
“Your friend’s don’t
seem very happy that you’re over here,” he commented. Hermione raised her
eyebrow and met his gaze.
“Would you be?” she
asked, tugging up her sleeve to show the mudblood
scar on the top of her left arm. Her eyes locked onto his, the challenge
evident. His jaw clenched and his eyes met hers.
“This house isn’t like
that anymore. You being here is going to help prove that. Plus, if I remember
correctly Slughorn is very fond of you,” he said, with a smirk. Hermione raised
her eyebrows and picked up her goblet, taking a drink.
“Yeah, at least someone
is,” she said dryly. Blaise stood up sighing; he would leave her alone. For
now. He made his way back over to Draco and Theo and sat down.
“What were you doing
with her,” Draco sneered, his eyes
glancing at Hermione in distaste. Blaise raised his eyebrow.
“Making sure our new housemate is settling in okay,” he said.
Draco frowned staring over at her and pursing his lips. How was he supposed to
put up with that insufferable little know it all in his common room?