I own none of the Harry Potter characters. I write this for fun. Please read and review.
In 20 minutes curfew would begin but Hermione was too engrossed in her book to notice. It was very hard for anyone that was not in Slytherin to get away with much now that Umbridge pretty much handed the school over to Malfoy and his friends. Control given to those that want power was an efficient way to keep all students in line.
Hermione did her best to keep up with her studies and has kept her spirits up with being part of Dumbledore's army, though the meetings have been put off for a while now as the room of requirement had been very difficult to get to.
She turned the page and then yawned. She looked at her watch and realized that it was well past curfew. Part of her wondered if it would be best to just stay here all night or to risk being caught heading back to her rooms. Curfew past about two hours ago and so there would be no excuse for her to be out at this hour.
Two options entered her head. Run and try to get back into the tower before being seen or simply stay here and study and use the excuse that she forgot the time. Option two would be better as there would be deniability of guilt.
A set of footsteps was heard approaching her and she ignored them, or at the very least appeared to not notice them. They approached, stopped then came quicker until they could not be ignored.
"Well, well Granger. This must be my lucky night."
Hermione looked up to see the Draco with a full smirk on his face. She stood up from the window sill and placed her book on the ledge. "What time is it?"
"Too late for you to make any excuses. I am sure Headmistress Umbridge has a quill with your name on it." Draco stepped forward and crossed his arms.
"I never intended to stay up. You know me far too well by now to know that my studies mean far too much for me to neglect sleep." It was a reach, she knew it but as long as they bantered the less chance of her facing cruel and unusual punishment.
Draco thought about her words then his thoughts drifted for a moment. "I would have thought you would have learned how to lie after all these years."
"I'm not a Slytherin."
"So does being foolish go along with being brave?" He stepped closer. "Because that's what I see." He stepped closer until he was close enough for her to back against the wall next to the ledge. "You of all people should see what is happening."
Hermione was not going to be intimidated by him. Then she saw the look in his face and realized his tone wasn't to intimidate but out of fear. "Our freedoms are being taken away. What is happening here is a small sample of what will happen beyond these walls. Don't think that you will be immune simply because of your father."
Draco huffed in mock laughter rather than getting upset. "Very good Granger. So tell me what do you think will happen to you next year, you not being a pure blood and all?"
Once again his tone wasn't to hold a threat but was simply direct. Hermione realized he was telling her something. "I shouldn't be here next year should I? Why are you telling me this?"
Draco paused a moment before answering. "Before you leave look up Myra Gray. She will be of use to you."
"Why are you telling me this?" This startled her more than any of his threats.
His smirk was firmly planted on his face and his arrogant persona took over. "You think you are so smart. I am sure you can figure it out. If you leave now and take the right corridor you will make it to the tower in time. The rest of them are on patrols away from that area."
Hermione took her books and left and as Draco said the path was clear. She got to the common room and headed straight to her room. Draco was acting so strange and couldn't figure out why. Myra Gray, the name stayed in her head and she fought hard to think of who that was or is. Soon sleep overtook her and she never thought on it again until morning.
The papers were older but held the print only found in the muggle world. The font was new and very machine made. It was a small booklet that was obviously bound with the idea of keeping costs down as it would need to be spread quickly. The staples holding the pages together had lost their original shine replaced with the dusty grey with the paper side showing the first signs of rust. The ideas of this booklet were not new.
Voldemort realized that since he was first considered dead this type of thinking was allowed to flourish. The witches and wizards of Britain and most of Europe feared his name to the point that it wouldn't touch paper by the most brazen of intellectuals. Then this simple booklet did what no other had done. His name was published, written in plain sight and distributed.
"Tell me Severus how close are we to securing the lines within the ministry?"
"About three weeks away. As soon as Umbridge is removed from Hogwarts the final phase can begin."
Hogwarts had always been a priority as it is central to the education of future generations. "I want to ensure that Potter doesn't get too far from Hogwarts so I have a task for you."
"Of course My Lord." Severus gave a slight bow and waited for instructions.
"Give this to Ms. Granger. I hear that she has a thirst for knowledge." He handed Severus a small bound book with a dark green hard cover. "This should suffice to quench some of that thirst of hers."
Severus took the book unsure of the consequences it would have for the girl. Not that he cared too deeply for her but he didn't want any harm to come to her. "I will ensure that she receives it My Lord."
As he left to return to Hogwarts he brought the book to his study. There was no way he could contact Dumbledore at this time to seek council on this matter. He knew the fate that lay with the one that opens it first as he was one of those that crafted the potion to seal the spell to the pages.
The book itself was a thing of beauty. The emerald green mixed with gold and browns drew the eye then the intricate weaved designs ensured that you would pick it up and open it to view the contents inside. It took a month to brew the potion. He hated to admit it but this was one of his finest works as a potions master and a girl on the edge of becoming a woman would suffer the consequences.
There was opportunity for him to get the book to Hermione as he had assigned a rather long detention cleaning out cauldrons to spare her the fate of Umbridge's quills. He would modify the detention to ensure that her fate is sealed.