They had been walking through the snow for at least an hour, and there was still nothing that to be seen that would give them shelter. Everywhere she looked all she saw was white, with random bits that indicated trees. It was snowing harder all the time, soon they wouldn't be able to move at all, but standing still was not an option. If they did they would surely freeze to death, keeping moving was what they had to do, no matter how hard it was.
They had been fighting, as they were apt to do lately. Every day there was a new fight, one that was greater than the days before. Where the consequences were enormous, and the effects of defeat would be worse than they ever imagined.
Somehow she had ended up back to back with Gregory, curses and hexes flying from both of their wands when the unthinkable happened. It had snuck under her guard, and her wand had gone flying. She didn't know what to do, but he thought quicker than she did. Spinning them, so he was facing the Death Eater, he had hit them with a stunner. He had turned, and pushing her onwards yelling at her to run. She listened, and run as fast as she could. There was nothing she could do now, not without a wand.
She could hear him behind her with more speed than she ever thought he'd have. How long she ran for she didn't know, she only stopped when her legs wouldn't let her run through half a foot of snow anymore.
"Where are we?" She asked as they got their breath back.
"No clue," he muttered looking around them. "I barely knew where we were to begin with."
"100 miles North East of Hogsmeade," she said, when his eyebrow raised, "or something like that."
"We need to figure out where we are," he muttered, "or at least how to get the hell out of here."
"Easier said than done," she sighed. "If I had my wand, I could get us out of her, with a navigation spell."
He reached around to his back, and swore loudly as his hand came back empty. "Fuck!"
"Sorry," he snapped, "but I dropped my bloody wand!"
"What?!" Hermione exclaimed, "where did you have it?"
"In my pocket, I shoved it in there as we ran, running with a wand in hand is not the smartest move."
"Nor is running with it in your pocket, don't you listen to Professor Moody?"
"I find it hard to take anything that man says seriously."
Hermione ignored that comment, "well what are we going to do? It's not like they'll know where to look for us, or us where they are. They could have left by now, even if we got back to them."
He scratched his head, turning and looking around them. "We should walk or something. At least till we find someone, our way out of here, or somewhere to sleep for the night."
"Probably best to keep moving," she agreed.
That's what lead them to here, walking through the snow, searching for someone, anyone. Or shelter from the storm. The snow was falling heavier every minute, she could only see a foot in front of her. Her coat which had seemed adequate this morning wasn't doing much in the way of keeping the cold out. Hermione wasn't sure how much more she could take of this. Gregory kept on going though, and she wouldn't hold him back. So she did her best to keep up.
After a while he pulled her close to him, and they walked like that. Huddled together, sharing as much warmth as they could. She wasn't sure when the full body shivers started, suddenly they were fierce and strong. All she could concentrate on doing was putting one foot in front of the other.
"I see something," he said uncertainly, "at least I think I do."
"Where?" She asked, looking around them and not seeing anything.
"Over there," he pointed over to the left of them, and she could see it too. It was hard to see in the light, and through the thick snow falling, but it looked too thick to be a tree. It looked like a hut of some kind.
"Let's go look," she said.
It turned out to be no more than a rather decrepit looking old shack. It was hard to see in the dim light, but it looked like one strong wind and it would blow down. Hermione knew she couldn't be fussy at this point, they would just have to sleep in there for the night, and hopefully find some way home tomorrow.
"It'll do," Gregory declared pushing the door open as much as he could on rusty old hinges, and shut it tight behind them.
The inside reflected what they saw on the outside, it didn't look like anyone had set foot in it for years. There was a tiny kitchenette, one cupboard, and an old wooden stove. An basin on a table in the corner was all that resembled a bathroom, and one single mattress in the corner with a rather threadbare blanket, and a lumpy thing that could only be a pillow.
"Well this is cosy," Gregory said, turning to her with a small smile.
"Absolutely," she chuckled.
He went and sat on the edge of the bed, which creaked ominously as he did. "I suppose this blanket will have to do the both of us," he said.
"Looks that way," she agreed, sitting next to him. "It doesn't look like there is anything to eat here, the only thing would be to sleep."
"I'm am a bit beat."
"Me too," she looked down, "as weird as it sounds, I think we should keep our shoes on, it'll keep our feet from freezing."
He nodded, and stood up, motioning her to stand as well. He pulled the blanket of the bed, and they coughed a little as a cloud of dust rose. "Lovely," he deadpanned.
"Do you want the wall?"
"Sure," he sat down, and moved to the other edge, rolling onto side, covering as much of himself as he could, while leaving some blanket for her. He looked up with a cheeky smile, "coming to bed dear?"
She gave him a small smile, and slid in next to him, starting a little when he pulled her right up against his chest. Knowing it had everything to do with body heat, and nothing to do with other less noble intentions.
"Night Granger," he said into her hair as he tucked the blanket around them.
She had no idea how much time passed before he spoke. It was impossible for her to sleep, she wasn't cold, she was comfortable. Maybe it was lying so close to Gregory, taking comfort from his closeness. His obvious strength made her feel safe, even though they were in a strange place. Although, there were things that made it odd. Every movement he made reminded her of just how close he was, and how his body was so different to her own. It didn't help that he'd wrapped an arm around her, securing her to him. Leaving hardly any distance between them.
"So it would seem," she smiled.
"I thought so."
"I can't seem to shut down tonight," she sighed.
"Why did you come back?"
"When?" He asked softly, his grip tightening momentarily.
"After," she began. Taking a deep breath, "after Vincent."
"I had to."
"No," he sighed. "Well not completely, part revenge. We had talked about getting out of there someway, and when he was killed, I had to go. For my own safety, if Vince wasn't save, I wasn't save. It was for him as well, I had to do it for him, more than myself."
"I'm glad you came back," she said quietly. "I just wish that it had happened sooner, and you both could have got away."
"Me too," he said gruffly. He cleared his throat, "Weasley?"
"No," she stated simply. "Maybe in the past I wanted it, and maybe he did too. Too much has happened, the water under that bridge is too deep. I like having him as my friend, anything else is just too complicated, especially at the moment."
"Since we seem to be baring all Granger, why did you trust me and Draco when we came back?"
"Well it wasn't easy trusting Malfoy, he spent the better part of six years mocking me, and being a plain old pain in the backside. I just thought that of all the places he could have gone to get help or to help, the last place he would come was to us. So when he did I knew he was serious. It's not something he would have done ordinarily. With you, well I had no reason not to trust you. Other than standing behind Malfoy and crack your knuckles at the appropriate moments, you had done nothing untoward. I took a leap of faith I suppose."
"You know, I'm really glad you did."
"Well first off it made things with Potter and Weasley, and the rest of them easier. When they saw you trusting us, making an effort to trust us. I think it made them more open to it."
Hermione snuggled backwards a little, further into his arms. "Can you do something for me?"
"I'll do my best," he chuckled. "Can't do much here."
"Can you call me Hermione?" She asked softly, "I'd really like it if you called me Hermione."
"All right, if that's what you'd rather."
"Okay then, Hermione. My name is Greg, just Greg."
Hermione tilted her head, and looked at him. "Night, Greg."
"Good night Hermione."
The next morning they set off as the sun rose, they weren't sure which way to head. They decided that the best course would be to go directly north, or at least try and go directly north. Hopefully they'd find someone, or someone would find them before too long.
After what seemed like hours, they came across another cabin, this one inhabited it seemed, but vacant at the moment. Judging by the photographs on the walls it was a wizards home, and when Hermione spotted the jar of Floo powder on top of the mantle place she didn't hesitate. She pulled Greg in with her, and Flooed them directly to the Weasleys home.
In her haste to leave, and return she forget just how unco-ordinated she was with most magical travel. This journey by Floo ended with a rather embarrassed Greg waiting as she climbed off him, and turned to face the gathered Order.
After explaining what had happened to them, and eating a long overdue meal, they were separated. Harry and Ron immediately pulling her away, despite their new feelings towards Greg and Draco, they weren't automatically trusting. She managed to appease them for the most part, and she spent the rest of the day researching as was the norm these days. Fight, and then research. Maybe if she was lucky she got a chance to relax sometimes.
All for the greater good she kept telling herself.
She should be able to sleep. It was her bed, it was warm, it was very comfortable. It didn't matter though, no matter how much she snuggled in, or spread out, it just didn't feel right. There was something missing.
She came to the only plausible explanation, and she decided to act on it. There were no ulterior motives involved, she just wanted to sleep like she had last night. In his arms, she had had the best sleep in a long time. There was no nightmares, she had slept soundly till the morning. She wanted that again.
That was why she was standing in the hallway outside his room, waiting for him to answer her quiet knock.
"Hermione?" He whispered as he opened the door, "what's wrong?"
"Nothing," she answered quickly.
"What are you doing then?"
"I can't sleep, at all. I'm tired, but I just can't get to sleep."
"Come in," he said. Shutting the door behind her, "I'll lock it, just in case anyone wants to pop in, I don't care to explain this, do you?"
"Not particularly," she smiled, looking at his bed.
"Well hop in," he said climbing in.
Hermione did like he said, but instead of lying like she had the night before, she huddled up to his side. "More comfortable this way, thank you Greg."
"It's alright," he whispered. "Sleep well."
Her soft moan was all the answer he received, she was already dozing.
"Good night Hermione."