Hermione awoke with a start. She sat up in her bed, chest heaving as she recounted her dream. Elijah's face had transformed into that of her current worst enemy Draco Malfoy. She shook her head, clearing her thoughts, and looked around the room, her sensitive eyes burning from the sunlight coming in through the window. Luckily she had fallen asleep with her ring on; she chastised herself for forgetting to shut the heavy drapes.
Swinging her legs over the side of the bed, she stood and made her way towards her trunk, pulling out her toiletries and headed for the bathroom to take a nice long shower to start the day.
She magically dried her hair, her much too dark tresses cascaded down her back in smooth, loose waves. Sighing out of sheer laziness, she reached for her contacts case and placed each of the lenses into her eyes, effectively covering the ruby red irises beneath. Next came her makeup, she covered her face and neck in her usual shade which was also much too tan for her marble-white skin, added fake freckles, and set it all with magical powder. Lastly, she glamoured her hair into her original texture and hair color and threw it into a ponytail, not wanting to deal with the riotous curls.
Hermione stared at the face in the mirror, feeling slightly detached from the woman looking back at her. She looked so plain this way, though the beauty of her transformation did still leak through the various products and charms. She put her uniform on, grabbed her book bag, and left her room hoping to get out before Draco Malfoy had a chance to say anything to her.
It appeared that luck was indeed on Hermione Granger's side, Malfoy seemed to still be sleeping, and with a smile, she headed for the portrait.
It was still very early in the morning, leaving the halls quiet except for the occasional teacher hurrying around, getting their final touches ready for the first classes of the year. With an hour to go before breakfast was served, Hermione headed for her favorite place in the whole school, the library.
One of the many joys of being a vampire, Hermione learned, was being able to memorize everything. No more going through books searching for a specific passage, her new abilities allowed her to read it once and remember it all. And while she did indeed love it, and she could now read a book in no time at all, it saddened her. Studying was her favorite thing to do, and now she could get it done in just a few moments.
By the time breakfast had come around, Hermione had already read through and memorized two textbooks for her upcoming classes. Classwork was sure to be a breeze, not that it ever wasn't before.
The walk to the great hall was much more lively; students in various states of emotion rambled through the corridors. Hermione reached the Gryffindor table and sat across from Harry next to Ron.
"Good morning Hermione." said the boys in unison, Ron's mouth full of food. She smiled and greeted them in return.
"Did you sleep well? Malfoy give you any trouble?" questioned Harry, who was reaching for a slice of toast.
Hermione reached for a glass of pumpkin juice and put some eggs and sausage onto her plate. She wrinkled her nose a bit at the smell, and while the food didn't necessarily taste horrible to her, it just didn't taste that great. It was akin to eating empty calories, it did nothing to sustain her other than curbing her thirst slightly, but it helped to keep appearances.
"Surprisingly, he barely spoke and headed to his room. He was still there when I left this morning." She said, shrugging her shoulders slightly.
Both Harry and Ron were surprised that Malfoy even tolerated sleeping in the same dorm with the muggle-born witch.
"You let me know 'Mione, if he does anything to bother you, I'll make sure to take care of the prat." Said Ron between mouthfuls of food. Hermione's nose wrinkled at the sight of him, "Will do, Ronald."
Breakfast was going by reasonably quickly, chatting with her two best friends, even though she did miss Elijah. Hermione kept notice of how Ron kept glancing at Neville across the table; she sent him a knowing look.
The reason she and Ron broke up was that he had come out to her as bisexual, and while Hermione had no problem with that, He confided in her about the crush he had on their housemate, and he did not want to toy with her emotions. Hermione understood entirely and agreed that they would be better off as friends anyway. He made her promise not to tell anyone, especially Harry, out of fear their friend would abandon him. Hermione thought that was ridiculous knowing Harry wouldn't mind in the slightest but agreed; it was not her place to out him. He would have to do that when he was comfortable.
He smiled at her, a slight sadness in his eyes that caused her heart to clench. She reached out and patted his forearm in a comforting gesture; he pulled his arm away abruptly. "Blimey, your hands are bloody freezing! What have you been doing? setting them in an ice bath under the table?"
Hermione's eyes widened in realization, forgetting about their temperature differences. "I'm just super cold today." She replied quickly and poured herself a cup of tea, remembering something about how caffeine helped to raise a vampire's body temperature. Before long, breakfast was over, and the trio made their way towards their morning classes. She caught the eye of Draco Malfoy, who was still sitting at the Slytherin table, who shot her a glare which she swiftly returned. He was just so infuriating.
"Why do we even need to take Defense Against the Dark Arts?" Whined Ron as they entered the classroom. "We fought in the bloody war; I don't think we need to learn anything else." Harry grunted in agreement. And while Hermione could usually rebut his opinion with a lengthy speech on the importance of the class, she had to agree with him.
The wounds were still too fresh, and the thought of having to deal with more dark arts really was dragging everyone down, especially for Hermione, since she was now a creature that they learned about in this specific class.
The class size was rather small, considering it held all of the returning 7th and 8th years from Gryffindor and Slytherin. Once everyone was seated, they sat in silence, waiting for the arrival of their new teacher...again. Before long, a tall brunette woman with elf-like features entered the room carrying a rather large box. Her hair was pulled back into a long braid; she wore large glasses with a think wireframe, and traditional teachers robes. She was particularly pretty and appeared to be in her late twenties.
"Hello class, I'm sorry for being late, my name is Professor Aurora Fae, your new herbology teacher, and temporary DADA teacher." She spoke with a strong Australian Accent. "Now, I spoke with the headmistress, and she agreed with my course of action regarding the 7th and 8th-year students. You will not be learning methods of self-defense this week while I'm with you, but rather you will be able to use this time to get to know each other and promote house unity." She smiled broadly.
The class groaned, and as the Professor explained what exactly they would be doing until the new teacher arrived.
"For the next few, you will be placed into pairs, you will stay with your partner for the duration of our class, you can not change your partner for any reason, and I will be choosing your partners at random." Said Professor Fae to the irritated group of students. She pulled a large glass goblet from the box she had sat on the desk.
"Now, when I call your names, please stand and walk towards the front of the class with your partner." She cleared her throat "Blaise Zabini and Ginevra Weasley, Harry Potter and Pansy Parkinson," and on she went until finally. "Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy."
Hermione groaned this had to have been a joke, of all the people for her to get stuck with, Malfoy just had to be the one. She stood up and walked towards the front with Draco on her tail.
"Now, These will be your partners for the duration of our time together." The class mumbled and groaned in response. "None of that now, I want you all to take a walk around the grounds and try to tolerate each other's company. We, as a wizarding community, need to work on getting more acquainted with one and other." Professor Fae pushed up her glasses and bent into the box once more, pulling out long lengths of what appeared to be strands of green string.
"These are to ensure you do not separate from your partner. Only I am able to remove them; they are made from a variety of strong herbs, including," She paused and looked directly at Hermione, her eyes telling more than she should know. "A powerful herb known as vervain."
Hermione took a sharp inhale and gulped, her mouth dry all of a sudden. Could she know? She reached for the necklace that rested at the base of her throat, barely hidden by the collar of her shirt and played with it. This situation could go horribly wrong; Being the know it all that she was, Hermione made sure Elijah taught her everything that she needed to know.
Vervain is a vampire's most well-known weakness in Elijah's world. Elijah had her begin ingesting it in small amounts to build immunity, but she had not been doing it long. But she did know she would no longer burn horribly; at least she hoped she wouldn't.
Everything could be shattered from a simple little string; by the time the Professor reached them, Hermione was nearly ready to bust with dread.
"That is quite the ring you have there, Miss Granger." Professor Fae stated plainly as she reached for Hermione's Right hand and pulling it towards her wrapping the string around her sleeve covered wrist, Hermione let out a shaky breath and met the eyes of the Professor who turned away and tied the other end to Malfoy's bare wrist.
"You have one hour, to get to know your partner, the bond will become warm, signaling your time to return." Professor Fae shooed them out of the classroom and into the hall.
The students grumbling many were taking it well, but Hermione could feel the rage flowing from the blonde tied to her.
Hermione tugged and started walking down the hall, half dragging Malfoy behind her. Her mind racing with unanswered questions and anger. Just who was Professor Fae? "Let's get this over with." She stated plainly.
Malfoy quickly caught up with her, glaring as they made their way outside, he was uncharacteristically quiet. She led them towards a tree and sat under it on a rock large enough for two.
Not a word was spoken between the two for what felt like hours; each sat turned away from each other.
Hermione had enough, her heightened emotions taking over. "Now, Malfoy, let's discuss our head duties. I want to take on the evening patrols."
"And what makes you think I would go along with that Granger?" He sneered.
"Let's be honest, Malfoy, you couldn't be bothered. Had daddy buy your way into head duties?" She growled, "As if that could change the way anyone looked at you."
Draco stiffened anger marring his aristocratic features. "Leave my father out of this." He shifted towards her glaring. "And you better watch your mouth Granger; you know nothing."
"I think I know enough." venom lacing her voice, "You're still the same pompous git you've always been...and that will never change."
Draco abruptly stood up, the bond holding her wrist together flung up, her hand brushed against the string, and it burned, Hermione yelped in surprise.
"What Granger, trying to frame me now?" He snapped. "You think I wanted this!? You think I seriously want to be here, stuck in a bloody castle where everyone fucking hates me!?" He shouted as he tugged his arm again, pulling Hermione to a standing position.
"What's going on in my life will never be your concern." He said through his teeth, the bond between them warmed, signaling the end of their time stuck together. Hermione bit back the urge to retaliate, anger coursing through her veins as she turned on her heel and mustering her superhuman strength pulled Draco so hard he nearly fell over.
They walked back to the castle in silence. Neither dared to say anything and less than five minutes later, they were successfully separated.
'So," questioned Professor Fae, "you both have arrived intact, I assume it went well?"
"Fine," mumbled Draco, he turned and grabbed his books from his desk and stopped in the doorway.
"Stay out of my way Granger." and then he was gone.
Hermione wanted to get the heck out of that classroom, she could admit to herself she was acting extraordinarily immature, but she couldn't help it. He was just such a git, who smelled so good.
Sighing, she walked to her desk to gather her things, and she was almost to the door when Professor Fae spoke.
"You better be careful, Miss Granger, and remember someone is always watching."
Hermione walked out of the room without saying a word. Two thoughts raced through her head, just who exactly was Professor Fae? And why did she smell so odd?