1"Where is Hermione?"

"I dunno, Ron. It not like her to be late."

"Not like her? Its not like her to eat dessert before supper. She is never late!"

"She's been late a couple times..."

"Harry, Charms is almost over!"

"I know. We'll go look for her when it is. A few more minuets won't make much difference. The first place we'll look is the library. You know how she thinks things up and takes off..."

"Ten minuets is a long time if someone's in trouble, Harry!"

"She's not in trouble! What's your problem, anyway?"

"I've got a bad feeling about this, I'm going to go look for her."

"Hermione can take of herself, Ron. What are we going to do, just walk right out of Professor Flitwick's class?"

"Proffesor," Ron raised his hand. "May I use the restroom?"

"Is it an emergency?" Flitwick asked patiently.

"God, I hope not." The class laughed but Ron's face was impassive.

"Go ahead Mr. Weasley and you might as well take your things with you. No homework this evening. So many of you produced patronuses so exceptionally today I see no need. Mrs. Granger will be more than capable of catching up I imagine..." He trailed off.

Ron gathered his things in a swish of his wand, something that never went smoothly under normal circumstances, and left class. Proudly watching his D.A. members effortlessly produce perfectly shaped patronuses Harry began to worry too. It wasn't an emergency really, was it?

Hermione Granger stood at the window looking out on the sun setting over the forest and although she looked very relaxed her mind and heart were racing. Would Ron and Harry realize she needed them to lie for her? Would they catch on soon enough? These guys weren't exactly the most observant in Hogwarts but the weren't stupid either. She had always been there for them they couldn't possibly let her down now, could they? Even if they didn't see her plan soon enough certainly they wouldn't let her get expelled! One thing was for sure and certain-her future stood in their hands at that very moment.

If only she could have known were there hands were. Harry's were clamped around a cauldron cake and his wand. One of Ron's hands were holding the book he had checked out from the library while looking for Hermione. He didn't know what it was but he had to pick something or Madam Pince would have been on him faster than a hippogrif on a dead ferret. The other was carefully and bravely pushing open the door to girls lavatory.