This story is something I was working on a long time ago...
I thought it was time to revamp it a little. Thank you so much to all my original reviewers... I couldn't have done this without you guys! I'm back and updating like woah, so be prepared for exciting goodness. If you love this and don't want to see it die again, REVIEW thanks!

Rumpelstiltskin's Handcuffs

Chapter 1
The Myth of the Jest

I'm sure that you've all heard the tale of Rumpelstiltskin. The fairy tale where the miller's daughter agrees that if she becomes queen she will give up her first born child, as long as she can spin the straw into gold. The one where it takes her one word, his name, to break the spell. Well, Rumpelstiltskin did more than jump make a deal with the miller's daughter, he was a court jester and a wizard of course. This is the story of how he turned Hermione Granger's life upside down, even after he had been dead for a few hundred years. This is why she needed to find the one word that would break the spell. And so it begins...

It was another humdrum day inside the halls of Hogwarts. The leaves had fallen off the trees and the air held a tingle of cold. It was the season of autumn, in all her splendor. And there was Hermione Granger trapped inside the castle, with Harry and Ron in-tow.

"I can hardly wait 'til Christmas, only 39 days 'til school lets out!" Ron bellowed.

"Yes Ron, are you going to say that every day?" Hermione sighed. "You know the break might be dangerous. Harry will be out of Dumbledore's protection if he goes with you."

"Yes Hermione, that you've told us a zillion times."

Harry finally spoke up, "Look Hermione you've got to chill out nothing is going to happen. Everything is under control. If it wasn't Dumbledore wouldn't be letting me go."

They entered the classroom and took their seats. Prepared for another boring class of note taking, everyone began to pull out their quills and parchment. The rustle of paper and lingering voices in the hallway filled the room.

Then, suddenly, and all together out of now where, the castle was plunged into a sudden darkness.

It was at this point that Hermione screamed. She knew she did; she remembered screaming, but no one else remembered her screaming. It was later that she realized that she never heard anything else in the darkness.

The lights slowly began to reappear, the air was no longer just chilled it was icy. In the moment of darkness everything seemed to have changed. Hermione let her eyes scan the classroom. She saw that everything was in disarray. There were students strewn all about as though they had each been hit by a different spell. And in fact that is just what had happen. In her state of shock and panic she didn't realize the heavy piece of metal wrapped around her wrist.

When she did, though, she screamed again!

Handcuffed to her wrist was Draco Malfoy. This time people heard the scream but no one paid particular attention to it, as they were busy bustling around the room helping others. Lavender suddenly ran right into the pair.

"Oh sorry, who are you?" She said this touching for what she had just run into, but not looking in the right direction.

"It's me, Hermione, what's wrong Lavender?"

Lavender started bawling.

"I can't see. I can't see anything! I thought maybe it was just the dark but I really can't see! I'm blind!"

Hermione tried her best to comfort the girl, but in the back of her mind she began to worry about Harry and Ron. She frantically looked around the classroom for them. (It's not like Lavender would realize she wasn't looking at her.)

Ron was laid out on the floor, but he wasn't moving. His mouth hung open as if he was screaming, but no sound escaped his lips. Harry, on the other hand, was nowhere to be seen. The whole time Malfoy said nothing.

Hermione began to drag Draco towards Ron, to make sure he was okay and only unconscious when-

Her voice was shaky, "If you can walk on your own, you need to go straight to the hospital wing. Do not try to remove the spells yourself. I repeat do Not under any circumstance try to remove the spell yourself. Even if you only need something small, still head to the hospital wing." McGonagall seemed flustered and yet at the same time her voice carried a hint of sadness. "I know you are worried about your friends, but leave the students who cannot make it on their own in this room, someone will be around to help them shortly."

Hermione began to rise and follow the instructions, but she was suddenly pulled back down into her seat and met by a quiet drawl.


"But why? Didn't you just hear Mc-"

"This is clearly not an ailment mudblood. And here I thought you were supposed to be smart"

"But Malfoy, McGonagall said to go to the hospital wing and not to try to undo anything ourselves!"

"You always do everything you're told?" He smirked his trademark grin, "Wait never mind I know the answer to that."

"Humph" Hermione glared.

Draco knew there was really no point in arguing with an angry female, so he gave in. "Fine let's go."

Slowly the class herded their way to the hospital wing. The entire school was heading in the same direction, with seventh years and teachers magically counting and trying to bring some semblance of order to the chaos. Lines of students filled the hallways, and it was, Professor Sinstra that was yelling, "Get in line, Get in line." Directing the various spell conflicted parties into different sections and lines.

It seemed like they stood in line for hours. Their classmates around them gossiping loudly, conjecturing their own ideas of what had happened and discussing the various spells that had hit the student body. It sounded most embarrassing for a second year who had grown an elephant trunk, and a fourth year who had grown thick unruly red hair from every inch of his body.

Finally, Malfoy and Hermione were directed into the queuing line of the actual Hospital Wing. "NEXT!" As they entered the door, Professor Binns studied their ailment and determined where they would head.

"Hmm... charms see Professor Flitiwick."

Professor Flitwick touched the cuffs and studied them carefully. He pulled out his wand a said a spell then another, then another, and then another. Nothing happened.

Flustered he gave up, "Peculiar, go see Professor Sprout perhaps a magical plant will free the magical bond."

But Sprout too came up empty handed. "Go see Professor Snape, perhaps a potion will help."

Snape could do nothing either. (Though Hermione was quite sure that she caught him stifling laughter at the odd predicament) "Go see Professor McGonagall"

But even McGonagall could do nothing to the enchanted handcuffs. "Well I just don't know," she eventually said. "Why don't you two just go have a seat until the crowd dies down, and we'll see what we can do."

Despite, Hermione's own deplorable predicament her friends still weighed heavily on her mind. Since she'd left class she hadn't seen either Harry or Ron.

After another small eternity, Malfoy and Hermione were the last two in the hospital. The professors all gathered around, each voicing their own theory.

"... maybe a freeing spell...maybe if they yank apart and we use an unlocking spell...a simple potion should erode the metal..." But none agreed with each other or even seemed very sure of their own idea. Finally Professor McGonagall suggested the best idea yet.

"The two of you should go on to the Headmaster's office." And so they did.

The moment they entered the headmaster's office Hermione breathed a sigh of relief because there, in a chair by the desk sat Harry.

"Oh Harry, you're all right!" She all but screamed.

"Oh goody!" A small voice muttered, but Hermione wisely choose to ignore it.

"What happened? Where were you? Where's Ron? Is he okay?"

"Slow down, Ms. Granger, Harry will be able to answer all of your questions in just a little while. As for Mr. Weasley he is just fine. Harry you can return to your common room. I'm sure the house will be wondering where you are." Dumbledore had a calm tone and yet something seemed wrong, a slight hint of disarray rang in his voice.

"Ah and now let's see what we have here."

Dumbledore lifted the cuffs to his eyes. Then, dropping their wrists he walked to his desk and removed a magnifying glass from the top. He returned to where the pair stood. Picking up their wrists again he raised the magnifying glass to the handcuffs. "Hmmm...very odd, yes strange indeed."

He then walked to his bookshelf and removed a rather large book called Magic Through the Ages from the shelf. He flipped through until he found what he had been searching for. "Ah ha," he said, "Rumpelstiltskin's Handcuffs!"

"Rumpelstiltskin was quite the mischief maker. He longed to wreak havoc and cause dismay. The legend of the girl with the hay and the gold... I'm sure you know the one I speak of, I can't seem to quite remember it, Ms. Granger would you?" Dumbledore loved watching his students pour out their knowledge, but before Hermione had the chance

"This is not time for storytelling. I hate to be rude professor, but is there anyway could you please tell us something useful."

Hermione scowled in disbelief, but Dumbledore replied, "Ah, young Master Malfoy, you do have a point this is quite a predicament you are both in. There is a small symbol just there," he pointed to the center of the cuffs, "it is the symbol of jest."

"What does that mean professor?" Hermione inquired.

"It means that these cuffs were made as some sort of joke. There was no true malicious intent just fun foolery of one joker."

"Great we know what they are so how do we get them off?"

"Mr. Malfoy, that is quite the question. I'm certain that it is just as all other spells of Rumpelstiltskin. The key to breaking them is very simple."

"Good, I was afraid he and I would be stuck together forever!" Hermione had a smile on her face.

"Don't get your hopes up quite yet, Ms. Granger the key is simple, but that does not mean it is easy. The key to breaking the spell and the cuff's lock is a single word. "

"Which word?" asked Malfoy suspiciously.

Dumbledore's eyes twinkled in their all knowing way. "Well that is the hard part. It technically could be any word I suppose."

Hermione let out a gasp. "Any word?!"

Draco too gasped, "But there are millions of words"

"Yes, I know and not to mention all the languages."

"It could be in another language?"

'Yes, I'm sure of it. Also, no magic can touch either one of you. At least that is what the legend says and from what the other professors said it seems quite true."

An eerie silence buzzed through the air. Hermione's shallow breaths raged on. She was begging herself to remain calm and in control. Draco's normally smug expression was gone and in its place hung a grim, dull one.

"I am very sorry right now there is little we can do."

The wheels in Hermione's head were still a turnin', "Wait- in the original tale of Rumpelstiltskin there was a trade the girl made, her child. Is there some sort of deal we could make?"

Dumbledore looked pensive. "A keen thought Ms. Granger, it will have to be looked into. For now though, we need to handle to castle situation. Once everything has been secured and restored, we will be able to figure this out."

"What has happened to the castle exactly?" Hermione was concerned.

"Now, now. Ms. Granger you'll find out with the rest of the school. Why don't the two of you return to each of your houses and collect some of your things. There is a portrait of a blonde girl in a red dress a few portraits to left of the outside entrance to my office. Do you know where I speak of?"

"Yes I do"

Draco cast a furtive glance in her direction, 'Of course she knows, she always does'!

"The password is Droobles. Get your belongings and stay there. Either myself or another professor will check on you both before the sun sets. Ok?"

"Ok" They both echoed.

They got up and began to head to the Slytherin dormitory.

As the door closed, Dumbledore realized how dangerous the situation was that the pair of them was connected at the wrist. He hoped that they could get to the bottom of it before any damage was done.

AN: Ok, So if you want more let me know. Or else I may forgo updating. Thanks!!