Harry Potter and the Great Cthulhu.
Harry sat in the Gryffindor common room across from his friend Ron doing his astrology homework. Professor Trelawney had assigned them a complex star chart to fill out; what made it difficult was that she had caught on to their habit of guessing what the star chart should say, so now they had to actually do the work according to their books.
"This class is terrible," Harry said flipping to a page on Venus.
"Remind me why we're taking it," Ron said glumly.
Harry shrugged as he looked into the orange coals of the fireplace. Astrology was normally an easy subject and was only periodically frustrating. He supposed that was the reason they still studied it. "Once we get better at faking these charts it'll be a breeze again," Harry said.
An odd silence fell between them as they studied. Something was missing from the scene. Harry looked around the common room. It was dimly lit save for small islands of light in which fellow Gryffindors studied under as they sat in large comfortable chairs. Ron was the first to voice their thoughts. "Where's Hermione?"
Hermione should have been scolding them about cheating at astrology. Even though she hated the subject, she would object to them not taking it seriously. "Good question," Harry said. "It's a bit late for her to still be in the library."
"Knowing her, she's likely got some sort of special permission to stay late," Ron said shaking his head. "It's a wonder she still has her eyesight what with the way she's got her nose in a book all the time."
Harry pushed his own spectacles up on his nose. "I just wonder what it is she's so keen on reading about. You'd think she would run out of books after a while."
"Impossible," said Ron. "Have you looked at how many books they have in the library? And that's just Hogwarts. Who knows what they've got stashed at the Ministry. My dad said…"
The door to the common room swung open and in stepped Hermione. She had what looked to be about a dozen books clung over her back as she walked with her back bent from the weight. She trudged over to the table where Ron and Harry sat and lumped her books down on the floor. As she sat down, Harry noticed that her face was lacking a little color. Harry and Ron looked at each other for a brief moment, both expecting Hermione to say something. She remained silent. "Where have you been?" Ron asked.
Hermione seemed not to hear him at first but then her head twitched to face Ron. "Oh, I was in the library," she said softly.
"This late? Thought it closed an hour ago," Ron said.
Hermione shrugged and looked to the glowing coals of the fireplace.
"What were you researching?" Harry added. "Did you get a special late pass or something?"
Hermione continued looking into the fire. Harry was about say something to snap her out of it when she spoke. "Yes, I got a late pass. They only issue them for special occasions."
"Like when you had that time turner thing," Ron said. "I'm amazed they let anyone have things like that, much less a student." Ron had been put off about the time turner since Harry had explained it to him.
"Yes, like that," Hermione said.
Harry nodded and went back to his work. Likely Hermione was more tired than usual. She had been in the library until closing for the past few days along with studying strange books in the common room until midnight.
"I think I'll head off to bed now," Hermione said grabbing her books, slowly slinging them over her shoulder as she made her way to the girls rooms.
Ron and Harry said goodnight to her as they watched her walk off. "What was that all about?" said Ron.
"All those late hours likely caught up with her," Harry said as he scribbled something onto his parchment about the fourth house of Venus.
Ron grunted in assent and made scribbles of his own. They kept at their work for another hour as the common room emptied of students. Finally, Harry shut his book and let out a sigh. "I think that'll be all for tonight," he said gathering up his parchments. Ron nodded in agreement.
Ron was lying in his bed by the time Harry had his things straightened out. He had left some items on his bed that morning and was clearing them off and putting them in his trunk. As he stuffed a pair of socks in he noticed something amiss amongst his various possessions. The silvery slip of fabric that was his invisibility cloak wasn't where he usually left it. "Where's my cloak?" he said tom himself.
"What's that?" Ron whispered amongst Neville Longbottom's loud snores.
"My invisibility cloak, it's missing," Harry said as he rifled through his belongings, putting them out of order even more.
Ron's brow furrowed. "Well, it is invisible, maybe you just can't see it."
Harry shook his head. "You know that's not how it works."
"Maybe you just misplaced it when you had your stuff out earlier," Ron said rolling back over and closing his eyes. Harry continued to search and mutter as Ron tried to sleep. After Neville made a particularly loud snort, Ron rolled back over. "You can look in the morning, just go to sleep," he whispered loudly.
Harry threw down a pair of socks and shut the trunk hard. He heard someone mutter a curse at him as he crept into bed feeling frustrated. He had likely just misplaced it, but it was one of his most important possessions and he wondered where it had gone off to. He closed his eyes after putting out his light and slept.
To be continued.