"We're on the run." I can't keep the words out of my head as I lay awake in bed. A real bed, I might add. Lilac is asleep beside me, her arm thrown around my neck and mine around her waist. Her head is in my chest and I can feel her breath creating slight ripples in my t-shirt. Hermione promised to tell us everything in the morning, but I still can't stop thinking about why they're in hiding.
Another sleepless night. I feel Lilac curl and stretch next to me and her long nails dig into my shoulder as she holds it for support. I stand up and put my shirt on before unzipping the back of Lilac's dress for her. I turn as she removes the dirty, ripped emerald green ball gown and the boots belonging to a dead woman. She slips on some jeans and a flannel top that Hermione had lent to her for the time being.
"Breakfast?" Hermione asks as Lilac and I walk into the sitting room.
"How did you—" Lilac starts before Hermione cuts her off.
"Summoning charm. I just have to point my wand toward the entrance and say accio eggs and it will come straight through. I promise you, Harry, Ron, and I will explain everything in just a few minutes. I'm not sure you'll believe us, it's pretty supernatural, but you deserve to know if you're going to be staying here for a while. How do you like your eggs?"
"Over easy, please," I say politely, sitting on one of the chairs. Lilac nods her agreement.
"Same for me." Lilac sits on the arm of my chair, wincing as I lean back. Hermione returns her attention to her stove, her bushy hair blowing with the speed of her turn. Lilac jumps and turns when we hear a noise behind us and I place a hand on her back.
"Calm down," I whisper, rubbing her back. "It's just the guys." Lilac releases a breath and I remove my hand.
"Merendsen, LaRoux," Harry greets, his face wary and his wand in his hand. I nod in a greeting. Lilac tenses next to me in the same way she always used to when I offered her my hand.
We sit in silence for a solid ten minutes while Hermione finishes our breakfast. Lilac's head is on my shoulder and her hand in mine. I decide to break the silence.
"How long have you been traveling?" Everyone jumps at the sound of my voice and Ron turns to face me.
"We've lost track of time but judging by the change in weather, probably five months," he says, his voice wary. I nod, unable to say anything.
"Have you found anything on this planet? Anything... odd?" Lilac pipes up next to me. Hermione whips around to face us, plates in her hands.
"There was a dead cat or bear or something in between next to a tree quite a while ago, and we've been hearing things... like, whispers almost. But we can't tell what they're saying." Hermione sets the plates on the table. I catch Lilac's eye; she looks just as terrified as I feel. We stand gingerly and sit at the table.
There is a painful silence in the room before Lilac speaks again.
"How did you guys get here? I heard you say something about not being able to Apparate off. Did you Apparate on?" She asks, her voice low. Hermione and Ron both look at Harry, eyes wide. Harry sighs before answering.
"We were at a wedding. There was an attack, and we had to get out as quickly as possible. I Apparated onto this planet, something I had heard of before. I don't know I expected, but it certainly wasn't this. I know that we're not extremely far from Corinth." Harry turned his head away from Lilac and I. He gets up, followed by Ron and Hermione.
"Excuse us for a second," Hermione said awkwardly. I glance at Lilac's bewildered face.
"They live in Corinth," Lilac breathes. I don't know whether or not it's a question.
"That's the way it seems."
"No, they do. I remember Hermione. My father taught her from first to fifth grade. She left when to go to a boarding school when we were eleven, I think it's called Hogwarts," Lilac whispers, her eyes on the ground. The three in the other room begin to argue.
"They deserve to know!"
"They don't deserve anything! We don't know them!"
"They could very well be plotting to kill us!"
"Or they could be very nice people trying to help us. They're in the same situation as us and none of us are getting off this planet unless we all work together. Lilac is the heiress of Roderick LaRoux, who built the Icarus spacecraft. She has at least something up her sleeve. We were best friends as children, her father taught me. And Tarver's a war hero, he has to know some way to defend himself and the four of us against creatures and whatever else this hell-hole has to offer. I know Lilac and I know that she's not planning on killing us. And she's totally in love with Tarver—" I snort over my breakfast and Lilac hits my shoulder. "I trust her judgment. So, you can trust me like you have for seven years, or you can leave and risk never getting off this planet. Your choice." I hear Hermione stand and walk out of the room. She catches Lilac's eye and smirks.
"Something you and Anna taught me," Hermione whispers. "Never take no for an answer."