There was nothing in the world
That I ever wanted more
Than to never feel the breaking apart
All my pictures of you

Pictures of You - The Cure [1989]

Hermione cut through the crowd of milling students and their parents, edging forward to board the Hogwarts Express. Begrudgingly she allowed Kingsley to levitate her trunk on behind her, she would normally have been more resistant to any act of gallantry, but she was too eager to escape the chaos of the platform. The chaos that had begun that morning as Molly Weasley attempted to boss around her brood, and anyone else that happened to cross her path, making the near-fatal mistake of remaining motionless for two consecutive minutes. This year the disarray was exacerbated by the Order insisting on an Auror escort to Kings Cross, and Sirius stomping around his family home, pouting like a child that had been denied pudding until he was allowed to come along as well.

The car ride over had been long, and despite the magically enlarged interior, overcrowded. Ginny was snappy, having woken earlier than she wanted, and Moody was on edge, barking at anyone and everyone with a vigour that was unusual even with his paranoid tendencies. Hermione had held herself as still as possible, avoiding eye contact with everyone. She noticed the Twins talking in hushed tones, their obvious scheming would usually have terrified her, but she was too focused on getting through the morning without having a breakdown to care about pranks. It wasn't that Hermione didn't like the Weasley's, far from it, she loved them. With her parents not able to take part in much of the magical world she now belonged to, they were her surrogate family. But Hermione was an only child, used to a quiet home and gentle conversation. The fiery family's display of camaraderie and affection could sometimes feel a little stifling.

After thanking Kingsley for his assistance, through gritted teeth hidden by a sweet smile, Hermione moved into an available carriage, breathing a sigh of relief that was woefully cut short when Harry and Ron crashed in behind her. Dropping into a seat she glanced out of the rain splattered window, resting her head against the cold glass, staring at the blurred movement on the platform. Their ragtag group had barely made it to the station on time what with all of the additional bodies, and the train was already beginning to stir into life. This was her favourite part of the journey; that feeling when the train started to move, watching the steam billowing up around the platform, the flurry of ubiquitous white clouds marking the end of the goodbyes and the beginning of the next year's adventures. It was melancholy and elation all at once, and it had always made her heart thump in her chest, the beats almost aligning with the shuddering turning of the wheels as they picked up motion. But, this year Hermione didn't feel the same nervous excitement fuelled by steam, she didn't have the same whirring in her mind as she mentally ran through the required book lists, and additional summer reading, excitedly attempting to predict what they would learn this term. In its place, she had a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach.

Everything was different now.

Voldemort had returned. Harry had once again faced mortal peril only to be packed off to the unfeeling, detached Dursley's for the summer, forced to act like nothing had even happened. The memories had kept her awake that summer, Harry crouched over the cold, unmoving form of Cedric Diggory, the hush of the crowd as loud as the most vicious spellfire. Many nights she awoke, legs tangled in damp sheets panting for breath, and she had only witnessed a mere fraction of the horrors that her friend had faced. Then they had been prevented from writing to him; her protests had fallen on deaf ears with the headmaster. Hermione always wanted to believe that adults, professors, knew best but as Dumbledore's eyes had sparkled over his half-moon glasses while he muttered about the greater good she was no longer sure. His summer of isolation had left Harry perpetually oscillating between silent seething and white-hot rage. Hermione didn't blame him for his pendulous mood changes, in fact, sometimes she wondered how it had taken so long for him to become angry. Unfortunately, her empathy didn't make him any easier to be around, with his biting comments and scathing looks, Hermione felt uneasy in her friend's presence for the first time since they met.

She turned away from the window to peek over at the boys; they were chatting happily with Neville, who must have joined their carriage in the last few minutes. She vaguely heard Neville start talking about Quidditch, a reference to the Canon's, and she instinctively turned to Ron groaning internally. He was gesticulating wildly with his arms, and Harry's shoulders shook in silent laughter. Ron was always able to blunt the edge of Harry's temper, and for that she was grateful, his method was a distraction, an art that Hermione had never mastered. She leant her head back against the faded seat cushion and observed her red-haired friend from the edge of her vision, so as not to arouse his suspicion. Her feelings towards Ron, she could acknowledge, if only to herself, were confused. Much as she may have wished to, she didn't seem able to move beyond the events of the previous year, his jealousy over Harry being named a Triwizard Champion and then his behaviour at the Yule Ball. Hermione had always felt there was something there with Ron and, despite her insecurities, had believed he returned some kind of warm feeling, something that extended past a friendship born of keeping their mutual friend alive. One of those 'our time will come things', but then there had been a ball, and he hadn't asked her. Hermione had tried to reason that maybe one day, when there wasn't a homicidal maniac trying to change their lives entirely, perhaps then? That argument failed to buoy her spirits when she considered the young people around her. The looming war wasn't stopping anyone else from dating, even Harry, pressurised as he was, still managed to pencil in an alarming amount of time to pine for Cho Chang. It made her feel disconnected from those around her; it wasn't for the first time.

When Hermione had returned home at the end of the year, her parents' had immediately known something was wrong. After being gently prodded by her father, and not so gently harassed by her mother, Hermione broke. Over three cups of tea and half a pack of the 'emergency' biscuits her mum kept, just in case Nanny Granger came over, she explained all about her tangled feelings towards Ron. The conversation had felt a little silly at first. Hermione chastised herself for caring about such things when the world around them was crumbling, but as her awkwardness in talking to her mother, to anyone, about something she had never voiced subsided, she allowed herself to be a teenager girl and nothing more. Just this once. In the comfort of her childhood home, blanketed by love.

Hermione knew she couldn't disclose anything about Voldemort, much as she sometimes wanted to. She tried to tell herself it was because her parents wouldn't understand but that wasn't entirely accurate. Whatever else David and Jean Granger were, they were intelligent and practical people, who had taken the news that their only child was magical, if not in their stride, with a minimal amount of fuss. The real reason, her heart whispered to her, was that she couldn't stand the thought of revealing that she had lied to them, lies by omission maybe, but she had been heavily editing her version of school life since the very first year. Hermione didn't want to tell them that the world she had felt so relieved to find, hadn't accepted her readily, and some factions of it wanted her dead for no other reason other than her existence.

So she focused on what she could say, and Jean had patiently listened as Hermione explained about Viktor noticing her and Ron's cruel words.

"My mother always told me that boys pull the hair of the girls they like," Jean said. Hermione forced her face to smile at the unhelpful cliché, and her mother laughed knowingly at her daughter's unimpressed face. "Yes, I always felt that the explanation fell rather short when it came to adolescence. But that is where you are like me Hermione, a bit of an old soul. You can't expect these boys to understand you; they haven't quite matured enough yet."

"Is that why you fell in love with Dad?" Hermione asked, with a wry smile. Jean had been married at the relatively young age of twenty-three, by Muggle standards at least, to David Granger, a man ten years her senior.

"Yes, amongst other reasons," her mother responded still laughing, though her eyes were downcast. "You would do well to forget about Ron for this year, focus on your exams and... maybe you could spend a bit more time with your girlfriends." Ignoring Hermione's snort, she continued, "You may not believe me, but having female friends at this time in your life can be a great comfort. I know you don't care for the girls in your dorm, but there is more than one kind of friendship. Not all girls sit around talking about boys all day, although there will be a time when you will enjoy a bit of that yourself," Jean winked in a conspiratorial fashion and finally drew a laugh from Hermione. A small one.

"Girls," her mother pressed, in a slightly more serious tone, moving to wrap an arm around her daughter's shoulders. "Girls, mature emotionally before boys at your age, and by devoting time to other friendships might," she paused looking directly into Hermione's eyes, "it might make you feel less lonely."

"But Mum, I not-"

"Especially," Jean interrupted loudly, "If you have one of your yearly fall outs with Harry and Ron, leading to them freezing you out for weeks on end."

Hermione hated to agree with her mother, but the logical side of her brain knew that Jean was right. The only girl she knew anywhere near well was Ginny. The adolescent that was once 'little Ginevra Weasley' had matured dramatically over the last year, moving past her childish crush on The-Boy-Who-Lived and transforming from a shy, skittish girl, who would blush at the sight of Harry's shadow, to a smiling young woman, with a brash sense of humour and an air of unstoppable self-confidence. Where Hermione had remained relatively small in stature, Ginny had shot up, her body maturing along with her personality. Hermione wasn't jealous, as such, she still ranked a great number of things as more important than appearance, but she couldn't help feeling that she didn't come out favourably in the comparison. She was also readily aware that she had nothing of the sense of self that Ginny displayed. Sure she was verbal, and never afraid to raise her hand in class, or shout the odds at someone, but where Ginny's tenacity came off as her having spirit, Hermione's was interpreted as being condescending. She didn't yet know how to channel herself in social situations and still felt uncomfortable around people she didn't know well.

So, despite her immediate, and lengthy reservations, Hermione had promised to follow her mother's advice and at least attempt to spend more time in female company. As that was unlikely to include her dorm mates, Lavender and Parvati, that meant Ginny and maybe even, dare she even think it, attempting to make more friends. Hermione swallowed, well, if that didn't go to plan she would at least owl her parent's more frequently this year.

Hermione was so lost in her thoughts she barely noticed the comings and goings in the carriage, though she paused her internal contemplation to deliver 'hellos' and 'goodbyes' when Ginny entered, and the boys left to change. Without her really knowing it they arrived at Hogsmeade Station, and if anyone had noticed her reflective mood, they didn't say anything. It wasn't unusual for her to be inside her own head, though normally it would be academics her mind would be chewing over, instead of her myriad shortcomings. As she doubted the other occupants of the carriage were accomplished Legilimens her thoughts were probably safe.

Their little group exited the train and attempted to navigate through the throng of students. Hermione repeatedly huffed in annoyance, being short made crowds rather intimidating, even if this one consisted of only other children. Rather than panic, she fell back on her go to crowd handling strategy and grabbed onto one of the loose straps on Ron's bag. He'd had another growth spurt over the summer, making him much more equipped to steer through the masses than she was. His size, when combined with having the Harry Potter stood next to him, meant the gathered horde moved out of their way, and Hermione was able to skip along in a clear path behind them.

Upon arriving at the carriages, Harry stopped abruptly, causing Hermione to crash into the back of him. A delicate hand prevented her tumble, and she looked up into the porcelain doll-like face of Luna Lovegood. Luna, however, was not returning her gaze, she was focused on Harry in her typical absent way. "You're not imagining things; I can see them to you know," she breathed out dreamily. Everyone turned to look at her, and then back to the empty clearing, sharing puzzled looks.

Hermione knew most of the students in Ravenclaw house, mainly as it was most frequently those students that she encountered in her beloved library. Her dealings with the now fourth-year had been limited, but she had definitely heard of her. Luna appeared to Hermione as a sort of Frankenstein's Monster of Muggle literature and film references of what a 'good witch' would look like; a touch of the floating angel-like quality of Glinda from the Wizard of Oz, and a dash of the dress sense of Magrat Garlick from Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters. Her white blonde hair was virtually as pale as her face, her large wide eyes almost too blue, Hermione found it difficult to maintain eye contact with her for long, she couldn't help but fidget under the girl's gaze.

Forcing herself out of the introspective state she had indulged in for the last few hours Hermione broke the silence. "Everyone this is Looney Lovego-" realisation dawned, and her heart dropped right down to her sensible shoes. "Oh, I'm... I meant… this is… Luna, this is Luna Lovegood," she blushed furiously, feeling bitter bile climb her throat. After a couple of deep breaths, she chanced to look up to see Luna regarding her, not harshly, her mouth seemed to pull into a small smile. Everyone rushed to make introductions, their words washing over each other in a transparent attempt to cover the awkward moment as they entered the carriage together. Following her blunder Hermione kept her eyes averted and her mouth firmly closed.

As the horseless carriage, at least to her, pulled into the Hogwarts grounds she suppressed a sigh. Good job on the making friend's front, she chastised herself. Oh well, I can try again next year.

Even after a few weeks had lapsed, Hermione was feeling no more at ease. She used the 'quiet reading time' Umbridge insisted on in Defence Against the Dark Arts to stare at the back of Harry's head. Her gaze would surely have been robust enough to force a psychic connection through sheer force of will alone, if she believed in such drivel. With silent, pointless concentration she willed him to control his temper. Could he not see that Umbridge was enjoying pushing him into making increasingly damaging outbursts? Their 'professor' wanted him to lash out, to make claims so she could humiliate him in class, add to the evidentiary consensus of his failing mental state, and assign yet another medieval detention. Given the amount he had already incurred since the start of the school year, it was likely that Harry would leave Hogwarts with the incredible distinction of being the first student ever to pass a legacy of detentions on to his future children. When Hermione had calmed enough to take her eyes of Harry for whole minutes at a time, she practised wordless and wandless silencing spells. It may have already been too late for his children, but she could hopefully save his future grandchildren from cleaning the trophy cabinets and picking up after Filch.

Her growing exasperation aside, Hermione did not feel in any way above the hatred Harry had for the woman, she shared it, and shared it vehemently. But at her core she was a practical girl, something needed to be done, and not in the way that Harry was going about it, that was playing right into her chubby hands. Whatever the Ministry wanted to believe, the fight was coming to them, and soon, they needed to be ready. Harry needed to be ready. A year of learning nothing while he slowly wound himself up was not going to help, and of course, she needed to pass the O.W.L., not even an emerging Dark Lord and government bungling was going to stop her from getting the grades she deserved.

Her mind leapfrogged from potential plan to potential plan, dismissing them just as quickly as she thought them up. Hermione knew they couldn't go to the teachers; they were in it up to their necks as it was. If Professors McGonagall and Snape had both submitted to increasingly ridiculous class inspections, they were obviously unable to circumvent the Ministry overstepping at Hogwarts. Hermione had been surprised by the flagrant disregard both had shown the woman, particularly Professor McGonagall, surprised and delighted. That said sarcasm wasn't going to be enough, and if she couldn't rely on the pre-established authority, she would need to look to the people. Then it hit her, her head snapping up with the surge of excitement rushing all the way to the tips of her fingers. The quick movement startled Ron next to her, who had been drifting in and out of consciousness for the last fifteen minutes. He momentarily lost his balance on his stool, wobbling with abandon, as soon as he stabilised his chair he glared pointedly in her direction, Hermione couldn't stop beaming at him, her face reflecting the new feeling of hope she now had, which only seemed to anger him further. The class broke out seconds later and the trio filtered into the corridor falling into step with each other.

Ron shoved between her and Harry, "Oi Mione! What the hell was that in there? I nearly fell off my chair," he snapped.

A cruel smirk overtook her face, "I was pondering about Umbridge, and I got to thinking about how the students can't be expected to do anything if the teachers can't," she remarked, pointedly ignoring Ron's irritation.

"Yes, we are aware of that Hermione," Harry interjected angrily, and Ron gave her a warning look.

"Yes, I know, sorry Harry," she placated quickly, hoping to avoid a minor explosion. "What I meant was, I was thinking about that, and it triggered a thought about the French Revolution."

"The French what?" Ron questioned bemused.

"In 1789-" Hermione began.

"Ung," Ron groaned, "Can we wait until after we've eaten for the History lesson?"

Hermione was undeterred but mentally conceded the point. There would be no winning them over if she started this conversation in a corridor before dinner. "I think it's time to start action citizens," she loudly pronounced as she quickened her step, drawing stares from across the corridor.

"What on earth?!" Harry said staring after her.

"No idea mate," Ron replied with a shrug.

"Come on, no lollygagging, Ron's right we need to eat. After all, an army marches on its stomach," she shouted over her shoulder. Ron and Harry exchanged puzzled looks before taking off at speed to catch her up.

To be safe Hermione waited for a long while after dinner to finally resume the subject. She had sat impatiently waiting for the common room to clear until eventually, her nerves frayed and she snapped at a couple of second years she deemed to be dragging their feet, patience was never her strong suit. She felt a small thrill at using her Prefect status to enable a conversation that definitely would not be about following the rules, only to immediately wonder what was happening to her. "The main idea," she started when they were alone, "is that there are more of us than there are teachers. As in any hierarchy, the control at a school is an illusion; the faculty rule us because, generally speaking, we behave. But what if we don't? What if we start to make life difficult with a view to disrupting Umbridge's control?"

"Professor Umbridge," Harry corrected with a smirk.

"Not now Harry," she replied in a warning tone, but she couldn't help the smile that pulled at her lips. She knew she could be uptight, but showing respect for authority figures was something hardwired within her. It was a big deal for her not to use Umbridge's title, and once she had made the decision she had to fight against herself saying it automatically each and every time. "You know more than anyone that this isn't a year we can afford to sit around not learning anything. We need to set up a way in which we can make sure we are prepared; that is the primary goal. Hopefully, some of the disruptions will keep her from finding out what we're doing."

"So what's your 'Grand Plan'?" Harry uttered sarcastically, a look on his face that Hermione did not care for at all, though he couldn't hide the glimmer of excitement in his eyes, she knew that she had peaked his interest.

She glanced at the floor contemplating the best way to phrase her response for a couple of seconds, she was hesitant about his reaction, but there was no real way to go other that come right out with it. "I think we should start an underground organisation. A defence club, and...I," she breathed in, "I think you should lead it, Harry, be the teacher."

Harry regarded her, eyes narrowed for an anxious moment, "No," he said firmly.

"But Harry," she protested.

"I said no Mione," he snapped back.

There were several seconds of silence and Hermione tried to work out her next line of attack, she was pretty sure shouting was going to make the situation worse and it seemed a little early in the negotiation for tears.

"Listen, mate," Ron said hesitantly breaking the tense silence and turning towards Harry, "maybe it's not such a bad idea? You've said it yourself; we can't carry on doing nothing."

Harry stared at both of them in turn then shut his eyes nostrils flaring; Hermione looked at him and bit down on her bottom lip to stop herself from saying anything more, not wanting to relinquish any ground Ron had just brought them. "I'll think about it," he ground out finally and stood abruptly to leave the common room.

"Thank you, Harry, that's all I ask," she called after him as he sloped towards the boy's dorms. Sighing back into the chair she looked over at Ron, "Thank you," she murmured, "he will be much more receptive with you on board as well." She hadn't anticipated Ron's active support but was exceptionally glad to have it.

Ron smiled slightly, "It was a good idea; he can't carry on like this, we can't carry on like this," he said as he rubbed his palm over his already messy hair. Hermione smiled in return before saying goodnight and stretching before Ron's voice made her pause.

"One thing?" he called out to her.


"How exactly are you supposing to go about 'disrupting the control? You're not a novice with this sort of thing, but your last major actions involved knitting hats and liberating a hippogriff, agitating the masses seems a bit of a leap even for you," he kept his voice level but his eyes danced with poorly concealed amusement.

Hermione smiled beatifically, "Well, any good aspiring revolutionary is aware of their strengths and limitations, for the club to work it needs a leader; thus I attempt to draft Harry, we need disruption, I plan to outsource."

All things considered, the 'persuading Potter' element of Hermione's plan had gone relatively smoothly. After herself and Ron had coerced his begrudging consideration Hermione forced herself to not raise the matter with him again; he had to come to her. A very long week of chewed lips and frazzled hair later he brought it up, on their way back from the Herbology Greenhouses. "I'll do it," he said without preamble, his eyes fixed straight ahead and Hermione decided not to test him by enquiring what he was referring to.

"That's wonderful Harry, I really think this is the best solution," she enthused, hoping the eagerness of her tone covered the sigh of relief.

"What do we do now?" he asked, brows furrowing, and Hermione placed a hand on his to halt his progress.

"Now we arrange a meeting for interested parties," she elaborated. The plan had always been very simple. One of the biggest downsides to school life was how quickly word of something could get around, in this case, Hermione was looking to exploit it to her advantage.

"How are we going to know who the interested parties are?" Harry inquired lightly.

Hermione swallowed and smiled sheepishly up at him, "I may have already put some feelers out," she rushed out as his eyebrows knotted. "There is a good level of enthusiasm; I think we need to arrange a meeting to answer questions and set some expectations," she trailed off as her mouth went dry under the weight of his scowl.

"You did this before I said yes?" he probed coolly.

"You were always going to say yes Harry," she said brightly trying to keep the confidence in her voice, to attempt to conceal that she didn't wholly believe that. The Harry of last year would have said yes, possibly after a few limp protests but he would have agreed. She hadn't been certain of him this year. Her backup plan had been to have a few different students teaching different things, but it wasn't a perfect solution.

Harry's glare intensified momentarily, and Hermione braced herself for a potential eruption, but then he unexpectedly sighed, his body sagging as he looked at her resigned. "When are we meeting?"

She grinned up at him, and tucked her arm underneath his, resuming their walk back to the castle. "Not to worry, it's all in hand."

"Well, that went well," Harry bit out caustically. The trio had just left the first meeting, for what was still a potential defence club. Hermione had suggested meeting at the Hog's Head to avoid too many awkward questions, a decision she was grateful for when many more students had shown than they had been expecting. Despite a rocky start, with a few hostile questions and disbelieving murmurings, it had gone pretty well, all things considered, whatever Harry might have thought.

"Come on mate; it's not like we didn't know that Smith's a dick," Ron chided.

"Language Ron," she chastised.

"Well, he is Mione" Ron protested in a whining tone. Zacharias was never going to be popular with the boys, and privately Hermione agreed with Ron's assessment, though she probably wouldn't have used that word.

"If you say so Ronald, the point is he had to eat his words once we talked about what you can do Harry. There are many adult wizards that cannot produce a Patronus that takes corporal form."

"You're only saying that because you can't do it!" Ron shouted, his raucous laughter cutting through the tension in the conversation. He stepped to the side in expectation of Hermione's punch to the shoulder and slipped on a patch of black ice, his legs speeding back and forth as he attempted to keep himself upright, rendering Harry and Hermione immobile with giggles. With the mood now lifted they headed back towards Hogwarts at speed, on the promise of getting out of the cold and shepherd's pie for dinner.

Hermione scanned the parchment in her hands, her eyes lingering over the different script and ink types, the scratches and blots making up the list for the newly formed Dumbledore's Army or DA for short. She bit down on her lip, had the jinx really been such a good idea? While she could probably say, hand on heart, that some protection had been advisable, not telling those that signed was probably a bit sneakier than strictly necessary. Says the girl that trapped Rita Skeeter in a Mason jar, her mind rebuked. A sudden noise to her left made her startle, and she turned in time to see Luna dropping into the chair beside her. "It wasn't wrong you know," Luna spoke, not taking her eyes off the parchment still resting in Hermione's grasp. "You were only protecting those you care about, and you signed your name too." Hermione gaped at her wide eyed before flipping the paper over and back again in her fingers, how could she tell?

"Don't worry your secret is safe with me," Luna whispered with a smile before turning to focus on the tome she had on the desk in front of her. Hermione wasn't sure if Luna was talking about the DA in general or confirming that she could see spells like a human X-Ray machine.

Rather than probe, Hermione stumbled out a 'thank you', realising that she wasn't thanking her for the secret keeping, even if it was about the parchment. No, she was thanking Luna for the little piece of absolution she had given, for telling her that what she had done was ok. Maybe it didn't make her a nice person, but it was ok. After the initial greeting, the two girls worked next to each other in what Hermione felt was comfortable and companionable silence. It continued for around an hour before the waiflike blonde turned to face her again. "What are you working on?" Luna asked politely

Hermione stilled and the fingers of her hand resting on the book in front of her splayed unconsciously, whether to hide the text from view or to find some grounding from the feeling of parchment beneath her fingers she had no idea. She contemplated lying, telling the truth would be betraying a trust, Harry's trust. Something that he wouldn't be particularly willing to overlook at present. She warred with herself; Luna never pushed as she debated, she just continued to look at her amiably until Hermione felt herself sag. "I'm looking for a balm or potion that would help with the curing of deep cuts, specifically to reduce residual pain and prevent scarring," she tried to keep her voice as clinical as possible. She had been venturing to think of it in the same way, ever since Harry had told her about the detentions and showed her the evidence. She gave it her best effort to talk with complete detachment when it came to Umbridge; the practice didn't work as effectively with her thoughts, however.

Hermione was consumed by such an overwhelming feeling of disgust for the self-appointed authority within the school that she almost entirely forgot Luna was there. When she looked back up, expecting to see a face full of a million questions, as hers would have been, she saw Luna digging through her school bag. Hermione watched in silence as an array of strange objects were removed from the bag and placed on the desk. Distracted by a gadget that appeared to have metal teeth surrounded by purple feathers she was totally unprepared for Luna to grab her wrist and deposit a small pot onto her outstretched palm. The Ravenclaw had a triumphant smile on her face.

"Murtlap Essence," she chimed, "I asked Professor Snape in my last potions lesson what the best remedy would be and he suggested this, I've been carrying some around."

Hermione regarded the tiny pot and looked up at Luna's expectant face. She couldn't believe it. She had been looking for a solution for weeks and Luna had just asked Professor Snape. While that was perfectly logical Hermione knew she could never have risked asking the dour Potions Master. Though she certainly didn't hate him in the same way that Ron and Harry did, she still hadn't forgiven him for his comment last year regarding her teeth, more than that she simply didn't trust him not use the information against Harry somehow. Hermione huffed out a laugh; I wonder if Professor Snape is a confounded by Luna as I often am? She grabbed Luna's hand with her free one and squeezed it lightly for a second. "Thank you," Hermione said earnestly, "this is a weight off my mind and, just thank you." Luna grinned at her and nodded in understanding, and with that, the girls went back to their quiet study.

Hermione had been stalking around the castle for the best part of an hour, that the individuals she was hunting were remaining elusive was unsurprising, they had a knack for not getting caught, even when they were the main suspects, and were very, very guilty. Just when she was reconciling herself to give up for the day, a movement at the end of the corridor caught her attention. She darted behind a nearby tapestry and watched as two second year Gryffindor's left one of the abandoned classrooms. They exited the room at a quick pace, talking animatedly among themselves in a low register, their eyes pouring over the form in front of them. Hermione's eyes lit up. Got you.

She rushed down the corridor towards the classroom the students had just vacated. Halting abruptly when she was only a couple of steps away as another couple of second year Gryffindor's rounded the corner stopping dead at the sight of her. The scene reminded her of a western movie, both boys facing her with matching guilty expression, not saying anything, as if debating their next step. Before the situation dissolved into a wand fight at the O.K. Corral Hermione started talking. "If you will excuse me, I need to speak to the occupants of this room; you can come back later." She did her best to draw herself up and peer down her nose at them to assert a sense of authority, which was not easy given she was only about an inch or two taller than they were. One of the boys opened his mouth to say something in rebuttal. "Unless you would like me to speak to Mr Filch? I'm sure he would be very interested to know why you are here."

The boy closed his mouth abruptly, and they both retreated. Hermione waited until they had turned the corner fully before grasping the door handle and swinging it inwards. "Good afternoon Gentleman, so this is where you moved your operations after I bossed you out of the Common Room," she exclaimed with false cheer in her voice. The Twin ginger haired figures with their backs to her froze and spun around to face her simultaneously. Her smugness evaporated quickly. Acting quicker than she would have thought possible they each linked an arm under one of hers and began dragging her bodily from the room, despite her trying to slow their progress by squirming and kicking. "STOP!" Hermione shouted, and stomped her foot involuntarily, wincing when she realised how much this made her look like a petulant child. She untangled herself from their limbs and took a step back to be able to look up into their eyes. "I'm not here to shout at you," she began, and Fred raised a brow incredulously. "Despite my feelings on this whole enterprise being incredibly suspect," she continued, and George snorted. "I came here to talk," she implored, trying for a soft tone, though not quite managing it.

The twins shared a look, "Then talk Granger," Fred began, crossing his arms over his chest, a movement his brother quickly replicated.

"Yes talk, step into our office," George finished, making an elaborate sweeping motion and directing her to a chair.

She outlined her revolutionary epiphany from earlier in the week, being careful not to reference the word revolution, she wanted the Twins assistance, but she didn't think it would be useful to educate them on the effectiveness of mass civil disobedience to the extent of beheading or the Storming of the Bastille.

"So, for the DA to work, and to prevent Umbridge doing any real damage while she's here, we need some distractions, things to keep her occupied, to undermine her authority. Things that when they start mounting up will, at some level, call into question her capabilities as a witch," she concluded, her arms coming to rest on the side of the chair she had all but been thrown in.

The boys both leant forward simultaneously an action that would have been unsettling if she hadn't seen it countless times already. "So why call on us Granger? After all you're supposedly very bright," George said, eyes regarding her contemplatively.

"Brightest witch of the age, so they say Freddie."

"That's right Georgie, so why do you need us?"

Hermione narrowed her eyes at their smiling faces; they were enjoying this. "I came to you for your… expertise," she replied as sweetly as she could manage, though the words felt somewhat dragged from her throat.

The Twins shared another quick glance at each other. "We're glad you finally came to your senses Granger, Georgie and I will be working on this as a matter of priority" Fred beamed smugly.

"Excellent!" she exclaimed, happily jumping onto her feet, "Though this doesn't mean I have changed my opinion on you canvassing in the common room for your products, and I'm still not happy about the testing on the first years."

"It's perfectly safe Granger," George started.

"Within reason," Fred qualified.

Hermione glared.

"We'll be careful," they said together.

Hermione exited the room quickly after that, the less she knew about the Twin's enterprise, the better. She briefly wondered what was happening to her moral compass, but she quickly shook the thought off. After all, what was a revolution without a few radicals?

A/N: March 2017: this story has been revamped. Nothing will have changed too much, but hopefully, it will be somewhat tighter than the original version. As mentioned in my original Author's Note, Pictures was my first ever fanfic and I was inspired to take on an Antonin x Hermione pairing after devouring the excellent works of both Canimal and Thrifty Crimson.