Disclaimer: The world of Harry Potter and all who reside therein belong to the woman whose name is on the side of the books: J.K. Rowling. And certainly not to me.
Title: Another World
Author: Aeryn Alexander
Summary: Detention with Snape turns into something of an adventure for Hermione and Ginny, not to mention Professor Lupin, as they all discover that Hogwarts holds a terrible secret than none of them want to learn. HG/SS & GW/RL. No slash.
Rating: PG-13 (mild language, some violence, light romance, and scariness)
Genre: General/drama/romance/adventure/humor/angst
Year: 7th for Hermione/ 6th for Ginny
Author's Note: This story is told in a slightly meandering perspective due to the fact that more than one story is being told at once. It is possible that this plot or close to it has been done before. If so, then I apologize for an inadvertent plagiarism. The question of teacher-student relationships will not be covered herein as that has been dealt with in myriad creative ways by other, more competent authors. All of those who find the idea abhorrent should stop reading now, flame me mercilessly, so forth, so on. I welcome all reviews, but flames will be used to defrost my car in the morning, and if there are enough of them, my neighbors' cars as well. Thank you.
And to anyone reading "The Man Who Knew Almost Nothing", I am still working on it. Believe me!


Another World

Chapter One

In which two Gryffindors are out after hours

It all began with the phrase, "Well, we'll show them, won't we?" spoken by a seventh year Gryffindor named Hermione Granger to a sixth year Gryffindor, Ginny Weasley. Their friends, Harry Potter and Ginny's older brother Ron, rolled their eyes. Well, Ron did anyway. Harry was of course smarter than that.

"What without Harry's cloak or anything? You're just going to sneak down to the kitchens and bring back some food?" questioned Ron, holding the invisibility cloak.

A previously made insinuation had been that as girls, Hermione and Ginny couldn't possibly be as good at sneaking about the castle. The remark had only naturally grated, especially considering their multitude of successful after hours adventures and the boys' multitude of detentions.

"That's right, Ron, and we won't need your silly little map either." said Hermione, glancing at the Marauder's Map in Harry's hands. Harry was without a doubt doing his very best to stay out of it.

"Right." agreed Ginny, although a bit more timidly. She was up the for the adventure, though it was a very fourth year thing to do, but she dearly would have liked to use the map.

"Suit yourselves then. We will eagerly await your return." said Ron, bowing with a grin on his face and gesturing toward the common room's exit.

"Good luck!" said Harry as they turned to go.

"They'll bloody well need it." said Ron, pointing to Mister Filch's position on the map. He was most definitely between the girls' position where they were just leaving Gryffindor Tower and the castle kitchens.

The castle corridors were rarely patrolled by prefects after midnight, leaving only Mister Filch the caretaker and Mrs. Norris, his cat, to deter students from their mischief making and occasional late night rendezvous. There were quite a few romances blossoming between Ravenclaw house and Hufflepuff house this year, more than there had been in centuries. While romantic, especially considering the untimely death of Cho Chang's boyfriend, Cedric Diggory of Hufflepuff house, just three years earlier, it meant that Mister Filch was making extra rounds, which, on nights when he caught students out of bed, did not entirely displease him. But it was true, of course, that he would have preferred to be catching Gryffindors out after hours.

Hermione and Ginny tip-toed carefully down the stairs and out of the tower on their way to the secluded castle kitchens where house elves were busy at all hours of the day and night, almost as though they never slept or rested. It was quite dark, and they didn't dare risk a light, but the challenge of sneaking food from the kitchens while avoiding detection thrilled both of them. It was like a game, albeit a somewhat dangerous one, as neither of the girls wanted to get into trouble, especially with Mister Filch or, God forbid, Professor Snape, who often skulked through the halls in the middle of the night. And then there was also Professor Lupin, who had returned the year before to resume his position as the professor for the Defense Against the Dark Arts classes. If they were caught out of the dormitories after acceptable hours, Hermione imagined that he would be very disappointed, especially if he caught them. It would show far too much carelessness on their part.

As they approached a corridor leading from the dungeons, they saw a shadow, thin and long in the flickering torch light. Ginny bit back a gasp as Hermione dragged her into a recessed area by a window. A mumbling voice told her that it was Mister Filch and his cat. They could only hope that the sinister pair did not come their way. Filch might not notice them, if they were extremely lucky, but Mrs. Norris was a cat, and that meant that her keen senses would pick up on them in an instant. They held their breaths waiting, hoping that the creepy caretaker would go the other way or return from whence he came.

They listened intently as slow, shuffling footsteps started to move in their direction. Hermione thought that she could hear the soft pitter-pat of cat feet on the stone floor as well. The sound made her shiver, despite her own fondness for cats. There was just something unwholesome about Mrs. Norris. Ginny's eyes were getting wider by the second until they heard a voice that made their blood run cold.

"Mister Filch, a word, if you please." called a silken voice from the dungeon corridor. It was Professor Snape.

"Of all the luck!" thought Hermione, hoping that Snape and Filch would retreat into the dungeon for a nice, long chat while they scampered off to the kitchens, or back to the tower in defeat, judging by the frightened look in Ginny's eyes.

"Yes, professor?" questioned Filch, who sounded very near, only a few meters away down the hall.

"I know you usually do a bit of cleaning up down in the dungeons tomorrow, but since I must finish working on some Wolfsbane potions for that damn monster tomorrow, I was wondering if you would mind postponing ..." Snape requested, sounding even more churlish than usual.

Both Ginny and Hermione silently fumed at the potions' master's characterization of their favorite professor. Werewolf or not, he hardly deserved to be called a monster. But then, Snape couldn't quite forgive him for things that had happened in their past, both the remote and the rather recent, and Hermione and Ginny were both aware of that fact.

"Not at all, professor, not at all." said Mister Filch. Professor Snape was perhaps the one person in the castle with whom he was relatively civil. The only other sure exception was Headmaster Dumbledore. "It's delicate work, I imagine." he added.

"Indeed. This particular potion especially. I always try to have a good supply of it available with Lupin around ... again, though it is incredibly difficult to store." said Snape with a sigh. He could talk about his 'art' for hours upon end, with or without a willing audience, Hermione suspected.

"The sacrifices you make, professor." said Filch sympathetically.

"Tell me about it."

"I've got rounds to make. I have a feeling that tonight ... I just may catch Potter or perhaps Weasley." said Filch.

"I wish you happy hunting, Mister Filch, and if you happen to catch anyone ... interesting, please assign their detentions to me." said Snape. Ginny and Hermione could both picture the look on his face, sneering with an almost gleeful malice. It was present in his voice too.

"I would be pleased to, professor. You're the only one who takes these matters seriously." said Filch, raising his voice as he called after Snape, whose quiet, almost inaudible footsteps they could hear retreating into the dungeons.

The pair held their breaths as Mister Filch began to move again ...

Ginny Weasley almost wanted to cry as she realized that they, Filch and Mrs. Norris, were coming toward where they had chosen hide. Hermione pulled her closer to the wall and gave her a reassuring we-are-Gryffindors-brave-and-strong look. Ginny bit her lower lip and tried to live up to that for at least the moment. It wasn't easy. She had been terrified of Mister Filch since the end of her first year.

They watched as Mister Filch passed them by and then Mrs. Norris. But the cat paused and turned toward them, her eyes flashing in the torch light. She gave an unhappy, almost surprised meow that was like an alarm going up. They heard Filch stop and begin walking back. The cat stood sentinel as though they were going to bolt, going to run for it, but, frankly, the two girls knew that they were caught.

"What have we here?" drawled Mister Filch with a maniac gleam in his eyes. "Two Gryffindors out of their dormitories. This will not do at all. I am afraid that two of you will be serving detention with Professor Snape every evening for the rest of this week at the very least." Then his eyes rested on Ginny. "And you, I hope his has something particularly nasty for you to do."

Hermione shouldered her way in front of Ginny, angry that Mister Filch still remembered Ginny's first year and the unfortunate incident involving Tom Riddle and the Chamber of Secrets, which had also included his beloved cat being petrified. Ginny had been eleven years old and under the power of an extremely formidable Dark Wizard.

"Leave her alone!" said Hermione.

"Awfully brave, Miss Granger, but you've just earned yourself an extra evening of detention. I'd watch your step, if I were you." he said with an unpleasant smile.

Filch took them to his office and signed them up for their detentions. Neither of the girls felt like saying anything much as they walked back to Gryffindor Tower sometime later. They felt miserable. Ginny only hoped that her mother wouldn't send her a howler. She had never received one before. She sighed softly as they approached the portrait of the Fat Lady and the entrance to the sanctuary of their house's dormitories and common room.

"Cheer up, Ginny. At least we'll be doing our detentions together." said Hermione.

"But with Snape ... Could it possibly be any worse?" she asked as they stepped through the painting.

Ron and Harry greeted them with slightly smug looks, Ron especially. It was unbearable, Ginny believed, to have an older brother like him, especially one that went to the same school.

"We followed your progress with great interest." said Ron, holding up the magical map. "Everything was fine until about here. Then, we suppose, you either spotted or heard Filch and ducked into a little alcove just here." he said, pointing to positions on the map. "Then the greasy git comes up from the dungeons here." he said, making a sort of swooping motion. "I thought for a minute you were safe, but, no, he nips back into the dungeon and Filch, not to mention his cat, come along here. And wham! You're spotted." he said, making series of exaggerated motion, tapping the map, and chortling. "We followed your march up to his office, but unfortunately what the map can't tell us is how many days of detention you got." said Ron.

"Very funny." said Hermione crossly.


"Ginny got four evenings with Snape. I got five. Happy?" asked Hermione.

Ron's face immediately fell and he looked apologetic as he said, "I never thought it'd be with the greasy git himself. Sorry. Rough luck, girls. I figured you'd just have to scrub trophies or help Madam Pomfrey."

"Yeah, sorry." said Harry, no less sincere.

"It isn't your fault. We should have been more careful. It was just dumb luck." said Hermione, shaking her head.

"You don't think mum will send a howler when she finds out, do you?" Ginny asked Ron, who was an expert about such things. He had received three himself over the years. Ginny, poor girl, looked very close to blubbing about the very idea.

"To you, Gin? Of course not! She would never send her ickle baby girl a howler over mere detentions." Ron reassured her in the most annoying way possible.

"Let's all go to bed then. I think I've had enough excitement for one night." said Hermione, rolling her eyes.


A/N: Just a reminder: please, if you've read, then review! Most grateful ...