A/N: Thank you all so much for your reviews, favorites and follows! You can find me on tumblr (nauticalparamour) where I post sneak peeks, story updates and answer questions. Huge thank you to Ava Safari for beta reading this chapter!
Please let me know what you thought of chapter five and be on the lookout for chapter six soon!
Settling into Hogwarts had been easier than he expected. Even though his family name no longer carried the same prestige as it once did - honestly, Grandfather Abraxas made it sound as if a Malfoy could get away with anything - thanks to his father, Draco was still a popular boy. It helped that Alphard and Harry also came from well to-do families. Before long it felt like they were running the school.
Being in a different house from Hermione had certainly taken a lot of getting used to. In all of his future plans for Hogwarts, he'd always imagined Hermione being in Slytherin with him. Seeing her in the bronze and blue of Ravenclaw had been a strange sight at first, but even he could admit that the Ravenclaw ribbons looked especially pretty in her brown hair.
While they didn't have all of their classes together, they did have a couple together - charms, defense against the dark arts, and history of magic. Draco always made sure to sit next to her in every class that he could, even though he knew that it garnered looks from their classmates and professors alike. Draco didn't care what they thought - after all, a Malfoy doesn't concern himself with what commoners thought.
He also dragged himself away from Harry and Alphard several times a week to study with Hermione in the library. It was nice, really, to get away and spend some one-on-one time with his best friend. It was almost like being back at Malfoy Manor, sneaking off to his room hand in hand to read books together.
In turn, Draco made it his mission to pull Hermione out of the library to the outdoors, to mess around with the boys, and to watch them run drills for when they eventually played Quidditch.
"Come on, Hermione," he begged, wanting nothing more than to shut the book that she was reading, but knowing that it would only make her retreat to Ravenclaw tower. "You could practically teach this unit better than Professor Binns at this point. You've studied enough, now let's get some fresh air outside!"
Hermione stared at him, rolling her quill in her fingers, considering her options. "Alright, but just this once," she agreed, before beginning to pack up her bag. "Now, let's go before I change my mind."
Draco didn't have to be told twice and practically skipped out of the library with Hermione trailing at his heels. Everything was going fine, until they crossed paths with some Gryffindors in the entrance hall.
Weasley seemed to have it out for him specifically, though he frequently liked to disparage any Slytherin who came across his path. "You should be careful around this one, Granger," Weasley sneered, not wanting to give the impression that he might actually care about her. "Everyone knows Slytherins hate anyone who isn't a pureblood."
Hermione was never one to back away from a challenge jutted her chin out. "I highly doubt that, Weasley. I think I can make friends on my own," she answered proudly.
She was ready to walk away from the confrontation, but Weasley couldn't do with looking stupid in front of his friends. Immediately he elbowed Longbottom in the side. "No wonder she sticks up for him. He's her only friend - couldn't get anyone else to talk to her," he said maliciously. "Even if he is probably just messing with her...no way a son of a Death Eater like Lucius Malfoy could really be friends with a muggleborn."
Draco immediately felt his cheeks burn red hot at the mere mention of his father's name. He was utterly embarrassed at the things that his father had done. His mother had told him time and time again that he was his own man and what his father had done had no bearing on the way he chose to live his life, but that other people might hold it against him. It was his job to show other people that their impressions of him where wrong.
His hand fumbled for his wand, but he needn't have bothered at all.
In the blink of an eye, Hermione had whirled around, her hair wild and her jaw clenched. She had her wand pointed directly between Weasley's eyes and he looked like he was realizing that he'd made a terrible mistake.
"Why don't you keep your opinions to yourself, Weasley," she demanded. "Draco is my best friend and he has been for over five years. He certainly doesn't care if I'm a muggleborn. It seems to me like the only prejudiced one here is you."
Neither Neville Longbottom or Seamus Finnegan looked ready to back Weasley up, even against only one girl. Hermione might have been small but she was fierce and protective. "Ron, maybe you should just let it go," Longbottom said cautiously.
Weasley took a step back. Hermione let her wand drop a fraction, and the moment he thought he had an out, he ran away.
When Hermione and Draco were left alone, she was turning back to look at him, concern evident on her face. She took his hand in hers and squeezed it. "Who even cares what an idiot like Weasley thinks," she said immediately. "He's just jealous of you because you are popular."
Draco gave a quick nod, wondering how he had gotten so lucky to have a witch like Hermione come to his aid. Then he remembered the horrible things that Weasley had said about her too. It simply wasn't true that Hermione had no other friend besides him. Harry in particular enjoyed Hermione's company, and she was becoming fast friends with Mandy Brocklehurst.
Wanting to give her some reassurance, too, he squeezed her hand back. "Hermione, you know you really are my best friend, right?" he asked.
Seeing the small smile that formed on her face, he knew that she had needed the confirmation more than she let on. She nodded happily. "Sure, now let's go outside before Harry and Al send a search party to rescue you from the library."