The first time it happened she thought it was a fluke. Perhaps Malfoy had developed a tick over the summer. Or was trying to get his hair out of his ears. The thought that Draco “Pureblood Supremacy” Malfoy had nodded at her, Hermione “Mudblood” Granger, never even crossed her mind.
The next time it occurred was a few weeks later, in the corridor after Advanced Charms. The shock barely left her enough time to nod back before he had passed by. Ron who was next to her didn’t even notice the exchange and continued their one-sided conversation on Quidditch tactics as they walked to Lunch.
The third time it happened she was in the library and he walked past her table. They’d settled into a semi-comfortable routine of nodding by this point but Malfoy had to go and shake things up once again by addressing her by name. Of course the smirk right after made her certain he’d done it just to see her mouth drop open.
By the time November rolled around, it was almost set in stone.
He’d greet her with a nod and “Granger”.
And she’d reply with a nod and “Malfoy”.
The first time Ron noticed that something was going on, it was well into December. Hermione who had been raptly listening to his latest strategy for their next game against Hufflepuff interrupted their conversation with the dreaded word “Malfoy” and then proceeded to nod at the blighter!
Harry, surprisingly, took it all a lot better. Though this might have been due to the distracting influence of Ginny “I know how to keep my man” Weasley. It was rather hard to care much about the rest of the Great Hall when she was doing such terrible, wonderful things with her left hand under the table.
Ginny herself found the whole deal rather funny and never failed to tease Ron about his girlfriend’s penchant for chatting up the enemy-who-was-no-longer-the-enemy. But since that was always followed by slipping away with Harry for some “private” time, Hermione put it down to Ginny’s evasive strategies.
It took a while longer for the rest of the school to figure it out and by the time they did, Malfoy and Granger were actually having semi-civil conversations. And occasionally cackling in dark corners of the library. Disturbing discussion topics involving strange and terrible arithmantic equations and theoretical potions drifted out from those areas and more than a few were inclined to give the entire region a wide berth.
But most frustrating of all was that no one understood how it came about. The teachers were puzzled. The students bewildered. Mrs. Weasley enraged! As could be told by the Howler that Hermione received the next morning!
The Gryffindors blamed the Slytherins. The Slytherins blamed the Gryffindors. The Hufflepuffs blamed the post-war stress. And the Ravenclaws decided that they just didn’t care, NEWTS were far too important for this foolishness.
And through it all, Malfoy smirked, Granger rolled her eyes and both of them continued nodding.