This was crazy.
She was crazy to be more precise. The rustling of her robes seemed to literally boom down the hallway, her shoes on the stone floor clicking lightly even as she skipped on her toes and her own breathing amplified inside her head.
She drifted a hand down to the side of her robes as she climbed the ascending hall, gripping the jar that she just 'liberated' from the dungeons. She hated it down here at the best of times, let alone in the dark with her thoughts running a million miles through her head.
What if Snape caught her? He would of done so by now.
What if someone saw her? But she was a prefect, she could create a story easily and be on her merry way.
Yet her heart still beat furiously in her chest as she finally neared the large wooden door, leading back onto the main hall. If she reached that door and slipped out she'd be fine, as soon as that door closed behind her then tonight would have been a success.
Gripping the handle she pushed through and onto the other side, trying to limit the noise as much as possible by slowly closing it with a tense grimace on her face. A great sigh of relief escaped her as the door clicked itself shut, leaning her forehead on the harsh wood she let out a slightly crazed laugh before muffling it with the back of her hand.
Turning she walked towards the stairway, giggling behind her hand every now and then she grabbed the banister and started to climb. Now she knew why she had agreed to Harry and Ron; not to please them or hurry along the potion they were brewing, but for the sheer thrill of 'getting away with it'. Another giggle floated through her fingertips before she coughed lightly and made to return to the common room.
With her nerves completely gone and the short burst of adrenalin in her veins, she nearly didn't hear the scuff of a shoe behind her. Three steps later and her brain finally registered the sound, stopping her dead and making her turn on the spot. She looked into the darkness, willing her eyes to define shapes and movement though all she saw was blackness.
She was still standing in the main entrance, hand frozen an inch off the banister as her eyes darted back and forth; waiting for the next noise or any sign of movement. For a second she ran the possibility through her mind that she had imagined it, that was until a wand lit up before her and George Weasley leapt forwards. A short 'boo' and a devilish grin and she felt herself go wide eyed and reel back.
She jumped back and fell to the ground, landing on her back and hearing the vial clatter down the stairs before giving a final tinkling smash. All thoughts of screaming in shock ran out of her head as dread set in; she leapt up and peered down the stairs grabbing George's wand swiftly from his hand. The vial had cracked and most of the contents was already seeping out.
She turned swiftly on George, pointing his wand at him without hesitation as he backed away - yet kept grinning all the same.
"Okay 'Mione, now that wasn't too clever," he said calmly, eyes darting from the wand to Hermione as he slowly raised his arms in some form of surrender. "In hindsight, maybe I shouldn't of done that,"
"Shouldn't of done that? Shouldn't of done that?! No, you shouldn't of done that, because now I'm going to have to turn you into a monkey!" she said with the slightest hitch in her voice, advancing on him a little more with each second, hand shaking on the wand and causing the light to jump slightly.
"A monkey?" he stopped and looked a little affronted, with anyone but George she would of believed them. "Why a monkey, can't I be a lion?" he said with a lopsided grin, letting it slip from his face as Hermione carried on advancing. She had his wand just touching his nose as he hit the wall, still with that bloody smirk on his face although he looked a little more unsure that before.
"Shut. Up." she growled lowly, gritting her teeth as she spoke. For a few seconds she just stared up at him before relaxing her jaw and looking away. The wand was lowered and she heard George let out a little sigh of relief, she turned back towards the broken vial at the foot of the stairs. She heard him walking slowly behind her, cautiously coming to her side and looking at the little glittering pool of liquid now forming on the floor.
"So," he started slowly, looking down at her cautiously as she bowed her head. "What you doing?" and to his immense relief she laughed, at first a titter until she turned to him and saw his bewildered look. Passing his wand back she covered her face briefly with both hands, seeming to compose herself she lowered them again and looked up with a shrug.
"The usual, though it was going really well until a minute ago,"
"I know!" he said before catching her bemused expression and adding "I heard your manic laugh,"
They stood in silence as Hermione realised how fast her anger had gone, now looking upon the situation and simply trying to find a solution. The thought occurred to her that she had ran into the twins a lot this year, not just for rule breaking and making some poor first year try out a Fever Fudge but as a casual occurrence.
Only last week she had pleaded with George for half an hour to give her wand back, which he refused and carried on grinning at her as her annoyance grew. In the end she had simply returned to her seat next to Ginny, ignoring the girl's knowing smirk at her brother. In the end he had left it beside her potions homework on his way up to the dormitory, smirking all the way to her anger.
"What are you doing here?" she asked suddenly, letting the tone of suspicion creep into her voice as she looked up at him. For a few minutes he seem to ponder his answer, mouth open but no words coming, looking away and giving a shrug before trying to say something again. She knew he wouldn't say, but it was nice to watch him blunder along looking for an excuse. After a moment longer he looked back down at her, levelling his wand at her eye level.
"What are you doing here?" A pause as George looked triumphant.
"I asked first," Another pause, this time his face fell. He didn't answer again until he once again smirked, bending down a little until he was eye level with Hermione. For a second he didn't say anything, simply flicking his eyes to each of hers before looking towards the door leading to the dungeons.
"I saw you come out of the dungeons," Silence. For a second she panicked, watching the satisfied grin of the other as he realised she'd been trumped.
"Oh indeed!" he straightened up, tutting as he did so. "Breaking rules are we 'Mione?" he didn't pursue the matter, simply watching her as her mind flitters from panic to an adequate reply. As the silence stretched on she realised there is no answer, but there didn't need to be one as George wouldn't say anything.
"It doesn't matter now anyway, seeing as you ruined it all," she glared half heartedly up at him and nearly smiled as he looked just a little apologetic, giving a half smile and a shrug of the shoulders.
"What was it?" he said as an afterthought, looking back to the spilled ingredient.
"Pollengranite," she said and carried on at his questioning look, it's George and for some reason she knows he won't breathe a word to anyone. Not even Fred. "Harry wanted it for a potion, something we found weeks ago. It's like a long lasting Pollyjuice potion, but with a fair warning before you change back," Silence again as they both stood quite still, for a minute she just listened to the other breathing steadily.
"Well, was there another?"
"Another?" she asked bewildered as George walked slowly down the stairs, clearing the spill and broken glass with a flick of his wand.
"Yeah, another of that Pollygranmit?" he asked while walking away, Hermione following him at a safe distance. Following the greenish light of his wand, until he extinguished it suddenly.
"Pollengranite, and I didn't check," she broke into a jog, grabbing his arm and halting him just before the dungeon door. "Where are you going?"
"C'mon, let's not hang about!"
"George? George?" she whispered sharply, arms spread in the pitch black as she tried not to imagine the ghastly things in jars along the walls and the smell of damp that surrounded her. She's panicking, more than before as she couldn't find George or hear him moving. For a few moments she tried to grab her wand before a shuffle alerts her to movement behind.
"Weeergh…" she jumped and ran a few paces forward, hands hitting the cold stone of the wall before her as George laughed almost silently.
"George! Please don't," she hated the way her voice sounded on the brink of tears, for a few seconds she tried to ignore the pounding of her pulse in her ears as George shuffles a little closer but not close enough.
"Sorry," Silence again.
"Where are you?" she splayed her arms before her, waving them slightly to try and make contact before a wand is ignited and she can finally see a foot in front of her face. Yet the dark doesn't recede enough, she can still not make out George's features, can't see the cocky grin or the shocking blue eyes… And for some reason she knew it'd make her feel better right about now.
"That doesn't help!" there's definitely panic in her voice now, until he moved forward a little bit and raised his wand to eye level. He's wasn't grinning but it still calmed her a little.
"Here see, that's my hand," he waved it before her face. "that's your arm," he poked her with an extended finger and she can see his smile in the dull light. She fought the urge to smile, instead watching something just over his shoulder.
"I hate you for this, y'know that?" he guffawed for a few seconds comically, pointing to his chest as she turned her attention back to him. "It was bad enough the first time,"
"Is this it?" he pulled something out of his pocket and held out a hand, grasped within it a little glass vial twinkled back in the light and Hermione could feel herself calm immensely. He turned it in his hand, revealing the label and she finally grinned up at him.
"That's it, you were quick,"
"Well, can't have you walking around being angry and scared can we?" he grinned down at her with a strange twinkle in his eye, making her look away for some absurd reason. She was suddenly self conscious and folded her arms over her chest.
"Was." Silence as she continued to pout at the floor, until suddenly they're flooding into darkness and she automatically grabbed at his arm in the darkness. Her grip is vice like yet he still laid a hand on her shoulder, giggling insanely before his wand ignited again.
"Knew it," She glared at him, though not arguing the fact.
"Don't do that, I mean it," she glares for a moment until George grabbed her hand and walked calmly towards the exit.
They walked out in comfortable silence, Hermione could already feel the slight blush burning her cheeks as George kept his grip on her hand. For a few moments she felt a giddy smile coming to her lips before she fought it back again, walking out of the door held open for her and being tugged along the hall. They make it up 3 flights of stairs in complete silence before Hermione walked straight into George's back, feeling him turn and back her into an alcove.
At first she was confused until the familiar shuffling steps of Filch echo slightly in the darkness, she looked up in panic as George bore over her. His eyes were not focused, yet he turned to her as she shook his robes lightly.
She widened her eyes at him, though he didn't look too bothered and just stared at her a moment longer. She couldn't take the close proximity as George loomed over her, eyes boring into hers and she could feel his breath caress her cheek lightly.
She could hear Filch muttering to himself, shuffling closer and closer with every passing second and with a sudden lurch George moved himself against her. She straightened herself fully against the wall, moments before George's lips pressed against hers and two hands came to rest on her sides.
There's no coherent thought, none at all as she felt George slant his mouth a little; trying desperately to coax some kind of positive reaction as she stood frozen. So this is why he was always around, always teasing and pranking her, always making a point to get her attention somehow. How hadn't she realised before?
With a sudden shock she realised he was leaning back, breaking the kiss that she hadn't even registered. His hands were slipping away from her hips, his lips lost contact and she could see him coming into focus once more. He looked to the floor, letting his fringe fall into his face and hide his eyes a little as he won't look at her.
Without a moments thought and not a hint of panic to Filch as he came even closer, she grabbed his hands and placed them back to her hips. At any other time the look of pure shock in his face would have been comical, yet now, she can't find anything remotely funny about it. Leaning forward she meets his lips, placing a hand against the short hair at the back of his head and bringing him even closer to her. This time she participated; her other hand gripping his shoulder and pulling him against her, her lips slanted against his mouth as she felt his tongue brush briefly against her lip, testing her reaction as she invited him further.
For a while she could feel herself planning every move until she followed her instinct, forgetting to think about every little move and gesture. Until she can think of nothing but George; this is George! She's kissing George! Yet, she knew that already.
After a while - she's not sure how long - they both pull back, and even in the darkness she could see the sharp red in his cheeks. Filch had gone at some point, missing them in the alcove and carrying on his rambled conversation to no-one.
They both carry on breathing heavily, George making no motion to move away as Hermione watches his face with interest. Without thinking, she grabbed his hand and pulled him out of the alcove and up the moving staircase without a word; grinning back at him every once in a while.