A/N: I only own a couple of characters in this story, and the rest belongs to J.K. Rowling.
It was dinnertime when it happened. Fred and George had been missing from the table, which worried the Gryffindors. Earlier that day, the twins had been seen purchasing some very dangerous prankster items from the joke shop Cackles, in Hogsmeade. , Harry's invisibility cloak went missing, along with his Marauder's Map.
"You don't think Fred and George would sneak something dangerous into the school just to prank people, do you?" asked Hermione, wondering where the two boys were.
"I bet they were the ones who took the cloak and map from my trunk ," said Harry with a touch of annoyance in his concern as to their whereabouts.
"You know, I wouldn't put it past them either," said Ron as he stuffed his mouth with chicken. "They're probably sneaking it in now."
"Those brothers of yours are going to—" Hermione stopped mid-sentence as Fred and George entered the Great Hall, with just five minutes left of dinner.
"Hello," they said in unison, taking a seat on either side of Hermione.
"And what have YOU two been up to? You've been gone all day," said Hermione, staring from one to the other.
"Oh, just the usual," said Fred vaguely.
"Yeah, nothing out of the ordinary," said George.
"Really?" asked Hermione doubtfully. "Then, will you explain why Harry's cloak and map are missing?"
"Oh. Yeah, sorry, Harry, we borrowed it," Fred said in a voice that conveyed an apology.
"Yeah, but we put it back in your trunk," George assured.
"Why the bloody hell are your hands blue?" Ron demanded as he stared at their palms.
"That is none of your business, Ronniekins," said George.
"Well, if that got on my cloak…" Harry warned.
"Oh no, you two bought those new Berry Burst Bombs from Cackles joke shop, didn't you!" exclaimed Hermione angrily. "I swear, if you set that of—"
" Professor! Professor! We have a problem!" Filch came screaming into the Great Hall. He limped as fast as he could manage all the way up to the headmaster's chair.
"The...the Gryffindor...the common room...everything blue...the entrance is gone… collapsed," he managed, out of breath. Dumbledore stood and pulled him aside. They talked quietly.
"You two are so dead," said Hermione looking at the twins, who were trying to wipe the ink (a little futilely) off of their hands.
"That's where you're wrong," said George.
"And why am I wrong?" Hermione inquired. "You two are going to get in trouble."
They looked at Hermione and thought for a while. "Nah," they both said in stereo, thoroughly unconcerned as always.
"If I may have your attention," Dumbledore announced, standing up. The entire hall went silent. "I would like all Gryffindors to stay here tonight, as well as one prefect from the other houses."
Murmurs erupted in the room as rumours started flying, though no one knew what was going on, least of all Harry, Ron, and Hermione (the latter of whom was still glaring at the twins). Needless to say, dinner was finished up quickly, and although the other houses tried to stay as long as they could to find out what was happening, they were eventually all ushered away to their dormitories. When the hall finally emptied, there were only the Gryffindors, three prefects, Professor McGonagall, and Dumbledore himself.
"This is a serious situation. Until further notice, the Gryffindor common room is now off limits," said Dumbledore gravely. There were loud noises of complaints, which quieted as Dumbledore powered through. "There's been an accident." He looked over at Fred and George who, despite the dark silence, smiled like they were innocent. "This incident has caused your common room and the stairs leading to your dorms to collapse. It is safe to say that your rooms are still intact, and house elves will be here shortly with your personal belongings and luggage. However, for the time being, we are going to divide you into other houses."
"What?" Hermione Granger, of all people, screamed the loudest out of everyone's objections. "You've got to be kidding me."
"Miss Granger, this is a very serious matter," said Professor Dumbledore with a somewhat clipped tone, "and I would greatly appreciate an appropriate conduct. Now, Professor McGonagall will be splitting you up evenly into the other houses, and you will be escorted there by your new house prefects. Prefects from Gryffindor House, you are still prefects and thus will still have your duties and will represent your house." Dumbledore paused, and then spotted something right outside the Great Hall doors. "Oh and here are the house elves with your belongings," he said, gesturing.
The house elves entered ten at a time, and made quick effort of handing everyone their things. Hermione, as per her personality, expressed facial discomfort at seeing the house elves labouring, but kept her mouth shut.
"If you'll please get into lines so I can split you up," ordered Professor McGonagall to the students. They all obeyed, and she efficiently separated them into three groups. Harry and Ron, to their relief, ended up together in the group to the right, but unfortunately for Hermione, she ended up in the middle group with Lavender Brown and Ginny. The rest of the group was made up of second years, as well as a couple of first, third, and fourth years.
"There have been beds added to the other dorms for you all," Dumbledore concluded. "I am sorry about this inconvenience; we will be avidly pursuing a remedy to the situation. In the meantime I wish you all a good night." With one last compassionate look, he left through the side door, leaving them with Professor McGonagall.
Not wasting a beat, McGonagall proceeded to announce the students' new housing. "The group on the right shall be roomed with Ravenclaws, the group in the middle shall be with Slytherin, and the last group goes with Hufflepuff. There will be no change in room setting apart from, of course, the House colours. Prefects, if you will escort everyone to their rooms."
Hermione tried to join the group on the right, not just to be with Harry and Ron but to get away from the Slytherins, however McGonagall caught her. Under McGonagall's disparaging eye, Hermione reluctantly rejoined the group and followed the Slytherin prefect, Pansy Parkinson, to the Slytherin common room. Ron and Harry gave her identical looks of both sympathy and support, but somehow, Hermione failed to see any upside in her new situation.
"Do you think the guys will be up?" asked Lavender a sixth year girl named Sylvia. They had just reached the entrance for to the Slytherin common room. Hermione rolled her eyes at Lavender's rather lecherous question.
"Hang in there, Hermione," said Ginny. She herself was far from happy about the new arrangements, but at least her two best friends weren't in a totally separate house. Sighing, she rested her trunk and her book bag down, next to the statue of a snake coiled around a man, and sat beside a scowling Hermione
"The password is 'pure'," announced Pansy a few moments later to the blank wall. Without warning, it opened up into an ominous archway, stairs leading up and an indeterminable distance away from the corridor. Hermione and Ginny shared an uncertain look.
"Come on, let's go," said Ginny, with more confidence than she felt, as she helped Hermione up. Hermione picked up her trunk and stepped through the archway, climbing the stone stairs with Ginny and the group of displeased Gryffindors.
They climbed the steps and stepped into a dark common room. It was just like the Gryffindor room, but in Slytherin colours. Everyone went silent when they entered.
"What the hell are the Gryffindors doing here?"
Hermione and Ginny turned to see Draco Malfoy, the prince of Slytherin, standing there, his shirt unbuttoned and his tie undone.
"Oh cool it, hot head. Someone blew up their bloody common room and now they have to live in other houses," said Pansy. She, Malfoy, and Blaise Zabini were essentially the de facto heads of their house, much like Harry, Ron, and Hermione were. The homicidal prejudices between the two houses were mainly over, but Gryffindor and Slytherin still remained enemies. Well, some of them did.
Malfoy stood there staring them down along with Blaise. They walked past the Gryffindors, Malfoy's face scrunched up. He turned and started to talk to Blaise, who started laughing.
"Okay, first years in here," said Pansy as they arrived at the first set of doors.
On the left were boys and on the right girls. When they finally reached the seventh floor and entered the room, they found that there was a whole row of extra beds in the back, in Gryffindor colours. Hermione chose the bed in the middle and Ginny chose the one next to it. There was a nightstand in between every bed with a lamp on it, and Hermione immediately set her trunk down and pulled out her nightgown. It was a silky black gown with a matching robe, stopping mid-thigh but going down to the back of her knees. She placed it on her bed and drew the curtains closed to change. She put her now beautiful curls into a sloppy bun and searched in her bag for a book to read before bed.
"Ginny," she said.
"Yeah?" Ginny answered, looking up from her trunk.
"Have you seen my bag?" Hermione asked, searching around.
"Oh no…Hermione, you left it by that statue," said Ginny concernedly, as she pulled on the robe she had just taken out of her trunk. Hers was a pale gold night gown, but otherwise matched Hermione's; Hermione's mom had bought them for the two girls when Ginny had slept over at her house once and they'd gone shopping.
"Okay, ah, I'll be right back then," Hermione said, running past the many girls still up talking. She walked into the common room and was surprised to see Malfoy and Zabini still up. Their eyes shot up as she approached them. She bent down and looked at the paper Malfoy'd been bent over, temporarily forgetting about the bag.
"Potions," she whispered. She quickly scanned the paper and found a few messed up things. She stood straight up again and looked Malfoy in the eye. "You might want to look that over before you hand it in. There are a couple of spelling mistakes, and the dragon scale is used in the antidote, the dragon hide used in the potion itself," she said, taking out her wand fixing a few things.
"Give me my paper, Granger, I don't need your help," Malfoy snapped.
"Hey man, we don't want Snape on our tail again," Blaise said. To Hermione, he added, "It'd be great if you look it over for us." He held up his paper as well as Malfoy's, a glorious smile planted on his face.
Hermione hesitated, but then sighed. "Sure, but in return you have to go get my bag from beside the statue of the snake outside the entrance," she said.
"Deal. I'll be right back," said Blaise, getting up and walking towards the exit.
"Who said you can sit?" said Malfoy, watching her take Blaise's seat.
"You should really grow up, like your friend has." She said, crossing her legs and using a Potions book that was on the table to lean on.
"That's mi—" Malfoy stopped mid-sentence when she leaned back and her robe fell open.
"Oh, sorry, here," She leaned toward the table and switched the books, not knowing she was giving Malfoy a great view. She sat there for a while fixing their papers, and a couple of minutes later Blaise came back.
"What took you so long?" Malfoy said.
"Peeves grabbed your bag, Hermione, so..."
"When did you start calling her Hermione?" Draco demanded.
"Since she saved my butt and yours with this Potions essay it is due tomorrow, so we can practice without having this on my already packed schedule, twit," said Blaise crossly, taking a seat next to Hermione flashing her a friendly smile.
"You really should stop being so immature, Malfoy," Hermione said, handing the boys back their papers. Slightly curious, she added, "So you guys can't practice without handing your reports in first?"
"Thanks, and yeah, this was an old report we didn't do 'cause of a Quidditch game," Blaise answered with a friendly smile. Hermione looked at Malfoy, who was packing up his things.
"Well, at least someone has manners," she sniped, stretching her arms and yawning.
"Thanks Gra…er, Hermione," Malfoy mumbled grudgingly, looking up at her as he closed his bag.
"Goodnight. And I'll see you two Saturday morning," Hermione said primly as she turned to go.
"Why Saturday?" asked Blaise, ignoring the fact that Hermione could still very much hear them.
"Tomorrow's Saturday," said Malfoy, as if Blaise was an idiot.
"Oh, well then why didn't she just say tomorrow?" Blaise said, slightly confused.
Malfoy and Blaise, not fazed by much, simply shrugged, deeming the comment not of much consequence.
When Hermione finally got up the stairs and approached her new room, she heard a lot of giggling. She opened it to see five girls sitting in a circle laughing.
"Come on, Hermione, come play Truth or Dare!" said Ginny excitedly, pulling her over, ignoring Hermione's resistance.
A/N: Review, review, review, please.