Chapter 1

Out Late

"I'm going to..."

"The Library," finished Harry and Ron simultaneously.

"Yes, see you at dinner," said Hermione. She then turned up the marble staircase and out of sight.

"I wonder what she's searching for," said Ron.

"We may never know, mate," said Harry

Hermione took a left at the top of the staircase, pretending, as always, to be going to the library. She went to the entrance, and stood to the side, waiting until he would come out and lead her to their next hiding place.

"There he is," she muttered under her breath. She waited until he was almost out of sight, and then followed. He led her down many staircases, and around many corners. She was just wondering, "Are we almost there, I can see my breath," when he stopped and went into an unused classroom. She waited a few seconds, looked around to see if anyone was there, and walked in.

"Where is she, dinner's almost over," said Ron, starting to worry.

"She probably just had more to do than she thought she would," said Harry, trying to comfort him while eating the last of the pudding.

"You're probably right," said Ron, "She's probably up in the common room, squeezing in some last minute work. Come on."

Hermione was scared. She had been for the last six months. She wasn't scared about what she was doing, no; she was scared that someone would find out. Both of their reputations would be ruined. She might be suspended if someone caught her out of her dormitory this late. Or worse, expelled. She checked her watch. 12:01.

"I've got to go," she muttered, "Filch will be patrolling the corridors soon. He always starts around 12:10."

Her companion muttered, "Okay, bye." Then, she left, walking quickly but not making a sound. She had to take her shoes off when she reached the marble staircase because they made to much noise in the empty castle hallways. But, as luck favors us all, Filch was waiting at the top of the staircase. Obviously, he had been making his rounds when he heard her, no matter how quiet she had tried to be.

"Hello, Miss Granger. Usually someone of your status doesn't go sneaking around hallways in the dead of night. What are you doing out of your bed? You better think up an excuse quickly, or I'll take your Head Girl badge and send you strait to the Headmaster. Well, what's your excuse?"

How could she have forgotten she was Head Girl? "Well, Filch, I was just doing some rounds myself. You can never have too many eyes out. What with Valentines Day coming up, you never know when some young couple is going to sneak out of their beds to be with each other. The lower floors are clear, but you can check them if you want to. Goodnight," and with that, she strode past Filch, walking quickly to the Gryffindor common room. "That was close," she thought as she reached the fat lady, said the password, and tiptoed across the common room so she wouldn't wake anyone there. She fell onto her bed and was instantly asleep.