Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger landed in a cold cavern, the electric snap of blocked spells still hanging over them like a cloak.

From behind them both, Narcissa Malfoy completed her spell, freezing Hermione Granger in place, before Granger had a chance to get even one syllable out.

Draco nodded at his mother, and she smiled smoothly, gesturing towards the small tea table, set with two chairs. "I'll make tea," she said, in her silvered voice.

Quickly, Draco stepped towards Hermione, stepping around her in a short, tight circle - as if assessing a quality broodmare. His nose was full of her scent, made pungent by the adrenalin surge of battle. Oak... and onion. As he inhaled, he realized that she was ripe... fertile... Angrily, he shook his head, thinking, that's cheating - and trying his best to put thoughts of how to turn that to his favor out of his mind, entirely. Nevermind that he had already generated at least three plans. Absentmindedly, he noted the flush on her cheeks, the deep breath she was taking.

Setting his face in order - a seething glare, he strode around her back to face her again. His hand gestured, spinning a chair out from the table, and pushing it behind Hermione Granger. "Sit," Draco commanded, his icy voice matching his steely gaze perfectly, as he dropped the spell holding her petrified. Granger had other ideas (didn't she always, Draco snarked), but her shout turned into an awkward squawk as Draco shoved her down into the chair, his little wandless spell making it as though the ropes curled around her by themselves. Granger braced herself to keep from shrieking at the entrapment, no matter that Draco caught the wordless terror in her eyes.

"What do you want?!" Granger fairly shrieked, her adrenaline pumping through her veins like venom, pushing her far off any productive paths.

Draco Malfoy raised an eyebrow, waiting a moment before he smoothly drawled, in a voice as slow as syrup, "I'm bored." No one but a Gryffindor would take that as the truth - and weren't they convinced that Slytherins always lied? "Perhaps you can conceive of something interesting for me to do?"

"Go to hell!" Granger shouted, and Draco was certain his mother was shaking her head, and silently mouthing "manners."

"Now that would be utterly boring. Surely you can do better than that. Be creative. If it's amusing enough, I might actually do it." Draco held all the cards here, and he wasn't bothering to show even a scrap of stray emotion on his face.

Granger sputtered, and then looked at him with a flinty gaze. I bet I could strike sparks off that glare, Draco thought. "Spatter yourself with acid, dive through a ring of fire, sink to the bottom of an endless, icy pit, and feel yourself encased by rubble until you cannot bear to breathe." With each command, Draco cast a spell, quietly but deliberately using his wand. By the end, Granger could feel the sizzle dripping behind her, and listen to the crackle of flames.

Draco Malfoy leaned over her, his silvery eyes suddenly level with her mudbrown ones. "Very good." And then his face twisted into an evil, genuine smile. "You first." With a wave of his wand, Hermione Granger spun towards the doom that awaited her. As she spun, she saw frozen people, their identities mutely recorded for later consideration. Two she recognized, two thought lost - or missing... Bellatrix Black and Mad-eye Moody. And, nearly as she came face to face with a spray of acid, the ghastly figure of Severus Snape.

[a/n: This was supposed to be a oneshot, single scene piece. But apparently my characters like cliffhangers. Glare at them, not me, and write a review!

Snape simply always looks ghastly. What else do you call pale and sallow, anyway?]