Disclaimer: Don't own it, J.K. Rowling does.

It was just a silly shower, wasn't it?

Lavender was right. She had exceeded her weekly ration of one shower. Her next turn would be in five days. No one was above this rule, created to save their badly needed resources. Not even the 'best friend of his holy-frickin Majesty, Harry Potter'.

She knew all of this, but still, she did not care. She needed so much to feel the cleansing water flow over her, to feel its cool touch wash away her dirt, her grime, and everything that had built up after her last mission. She felt dirty from her contact with this world, and tired, so tired. It had even got to the point where she felt loathe to touch her bed or any of her possessions, fearing that her body contaminated everything around her. It was insensible and illogical, she knew, but she couldn't help but want that one, tiny shower.

Just one, one more, she found herself whispering and almost chanting to Lavender, the Shower Nazi from hell. But Lavender was resolute. It was not fair, she argued. You've had your turn.

That bitch. Hermione seethed silently, furiously. That absolute bitch who was not good for anything else other than this bloody stupid useless job, who stood there in all her shower glory while people who actually contributed to the Cause had to go out there, day after day, and get soiled and contaminated from all the blood, all the screams, all the death, the crucios, the sweat, fear, and disgust that came from being under the glare of the evil one, of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named…the one whom Hermione never had any trouble saying his name till today, till he had cast his terrifying red eyes on her, smiling his malevolent smile, full of yellow decaying teeth, and licked his lips. Till she had barely escaped his oily decaying touch on her long hair and neck, as she screamed from the pain and the crucio and the blood, sweat, grime, dirt, diseased, oily knarled hands with boils and yellowed fingernails feeling like snake skin and disease and…

She was slowly becoming more and more horrified on the spot, eyes wide and unseeing, fists clenched, as the scene replayed itself over and over in her head. No, she told herself, revolted, his fingernails did not rake into her scalp; it was only the hair…an insidious voice argued, then why did her scalp hurt so? Why did her fingers come away with blood when she combed through her hair? Blood from other curses! She shrieked inwardly. Blood from when her hair was pulled! Nothing more! But didn't you feel it? That evil voice whispered again. Feel his terrible yellow nails dig into your scalp, bringing his evilness into her bloodstream, infecting her, contaminating her, you're turning into him! Evil like him where you stand! Did you not feel anything when you Crucio-ed Goyle as you fled out with the others? Goyle, that stupid doorkeeper who didn't know left from right and probably wouldn't know how to repel a properly cast Stupefy or Rictusempra or Expelliamus even if he was hit point blank in the face?

Lavender was shouting at her, and she could hear people behind her muttering angrily about how she was wasting their valuable showering time when suddenly she heard an achingly familiar voice from her left.

"She can have my shower ration." Hermione turned, shocked as Draco Malfoy told Lavender to strike off his name on the list.

"But Malfoy!" Lavender complained, "She's already had her shower for this week, and she's not allowed another one till next!"

"What does it matter?" Malfoy said, coldly, "There's no difference if she or I have the shower, it's still the same amount of water used right? I'll just wait for my turn next week."

"Ok then," Lavender huffed, "have it your way. Granger, step forward to cubicle 3!"

Hermione turned, still shocked, to stare at Malfoy and to offer a feeble, "Thanks".

"No problem", he replied gruffly, "I have no need for such fripperies like showering, a simple Scourgify will do for me."

He walked away without another word, and Hermione walked forward to her much-needed shower. As the water fell over her head, her hair, and her body, washing away the day's trials, and evils, she spared a thought for the golden haired Draco, shivering as she imagined the cool water flowing past the curves of her body to be his long, sensual fingers, soothing her and cleansing her in ways that water never could.