Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of it's ideas, themes, characters, books, movies, images, etc.
Friday, June 19th, 1998
It was over.
Finally over. Completely, utterly over.
The wizarding world had breathed a collective sigh of relief that night in which Voldemort had fallen, the news spreading faster than wildfire.
Hogwarts had (amazingly) held strong around them as the remaining students had cried in relief knowing that despite all the sadness, the pain, the trauma, it was going to be alright in the end. The sun had finally re-emerged from the clouds, and the future was looking brighter than ever.
Hermione Granger wandered along the almost empty sun-lit corridors of Hogwarts, a gleam of sadness in her eyes as she walked the halls that were so familiar. She was always sad to leave Hogwarts for the summer holidays but this time was different. Next year would mean seventh year; and after that she would graduate and leave the place that had become one of her three homes.
On top of that there were NEWTs, and then her career to figure out. She felt slightly giddy at the thought of it. She should start studying over the holidays, and then she'd be prepared. But more than that clouded her mind as she slowly walked along, gazing out the window to the sunny Hogwarts grounds.
So much had happened in the past year; she had lost friends, and almost lost Harry and Ron. The Wizarding World was still reeling from the impact of Voldemort and his followers as Death Eaters were rounded up and imprisoned or put on trial, and as Death Eaters that had fought for the light side in the war were interrogated, and often put into recovery groups to help heal the scars that had been carved into their lives. The wizarding world was finally healing, and it was different.
All the remaining students were looking forward to the holidays this year. After what had happened, they all needed a break.
Hermione, Ron and Harry had returned soon after the final battle to spend some time at Hogwarts. They had had a month back at Hogwarts together, spending most of their time with the new Headmistress, Minerva McGonagall, helping to complete repairs on the castle, along with the other witches and wizards that had volunteered their time.
It seemed that almost every single student from every single year had accepted the offer to repeat, minus the first and second years. Many parents had refused to send their children after the death of Albus Dumbledore while Voldemort still maintained an iron grip, and now that it was safe the students were coming back, slowly but steadily, their letters flooding in day by day.
"I am so tired of all these bloody owls!" McGonagall had huffed one day as she and Hermione scoured records to update which students had and hadn't confirmed a return, interrupted by the thunk of an owl smashing into the closed office window.
Hermione had tried not to giggle.
She had just returned from the library, giving Madam Pince back the twenty books that she'd loaned to read for the scant few weeks they had been back at Hogwarts. The train left in about 40 minutes, and this was her last time alone for awhile.
Ron and Harry were playing wizards chess in the Great Hall, always competitive. The moment they boarded Hermione would cease to have a moment to herself. Ginny would be asking her questions, Ron would be nagging her to put her book down and Harry would just sit there agreeing with him or making gooey eyes at Ginny while he offered her sweets like she was a goddess which needed to be plied with sugar. Although Ginny was rather like a goddess, her fierce spirit and determination making her stronger each day.
She was so caught up in her own thoughts that she didn't even notice that there was one other student in the corridor, who was too busy reflecting on his own complicated life to notice anyone else. The two were so busy thinking about other things that they didn't even notice each other until...
With a smack, the two collided. Hermione felt herself falling backwards from the impact before she grabbed something, or rather someone's robe. With a loud crash, she toppled into a nearby broom closet, taking the other person with her. The two tumbled down the small set of stairs, landing at the bottom in a tangle with a small 'thud'. Hermione groaned, rubbing her head where she had smashed it against a wall on the way down. It felt like a large egg was forming on top of her head already.
She then realised that she was lying on someone, who she couldn't see very well due to the darkness. They groaned, and her eyebrows creased together in concern.
"Oh Merlin, I'm so sorry. Are you ok?" she asked, worried. The person groaned again.
"Granger?" the voice asked, and Hermione almost rolled her eyes. Of course.
"Malfoy?" she could recognise that slow, precise drawl anywhere. Except she couldn't believe it was here, now! This was so inconvenient.
"Granger," Draco drawled, "I hate to interrupt whatever fantasy you're having about crushing me to death with your knowledge, but could you kindly get off? I'd like to feel my legs again." he asked.
"You're such a spoiled brat!" she spat, scrambling off him and leaning against the wall as he got up, rubbing his head.
"Excuse me? I asked you politely to get off me."
"But you had to make a jab, so it isn't polite is it?" she raised a finger, and gaped in surprise as he wrapped his finger around her wrist.
"Don't be rude. Pointing fingers at people is not polite. And it wasn't a jab, I know you used to day dream about throwing books at my head."
"Insulting people in the dark isn't polite!" she retorted, ignoring the fact that he was right.
"Fine. Lumos." He muttered, and Hermione had to blink to get rid of the white spots in front of her eyes due to the sudden light from above. He looked at her, narrowing his eyes.
"Granger, I know that being caught out fantasising about your enemy can be embarrassing, but please refrain from lecturing me. You're being worse than Pansy or Daphne on one of their bad days." He sighed. She glared at him.
"As if I am anything like those two!" Hermione spat. Draco raised an eyebrow as he looked at her.
"Oh really? Do tell, superior one."
"I'm not vapid, I don't care about learning hair charms, and I'd rather not be anywhere near you."
"Well, is that so?" he said with a chuckle.
"How is that funny, Malfoy?" Hermione practically hissed.
"Because it's completely untrue. Daphne and Pansy are some of the most complex girls I know. It's hard to believe, but they care about more than trivial things. And just because they know how to spell their hair doesn't make them vapid, either. You're being unfair."
"I-That is totally unfair of you to say!" Hermione felt her cheeks flushing in embarrassment.
"You know I'm right."
The two glared at each other for awhile, before they realised where they were. The two walked over to the door, and she took the handle, pulling it. Nothing happened. She tried again, this time pushing against the door a little, but still nothing happened. He snorted softly, earning another glare from her.
"Let me try, Granger, I don't have puny, non-existent muscles." He said.
"No, you don't have any muscles at all." She retorted. He scoffed, shooting her a sideways look but saying nothing as he grasped the door handle and pushed, hard. Again, nothing happened. A determined expression appeared on his face as he pushed harder as Hermione snorted. He glared at her again but stayed silent. He went to push on it again; he rammed his shoulder against it, even made a running start. When none of it worked, he leaned his forehead against the door and sighed a long, deep sigh.
"I'm pretty sure we're stuck in here." He stated flatly.
"No, we can't be, that's impossible."
"I'm not lying, Ganger." Draco said. Hermione shoved him out of the way and grabbed the handle, throwing herself at the door with as much force as she could.
"No! This isn't happening! Not here, not now, not ever!" she yelled in frustration, slamming against the door.
"Granger, I don't think that's going to help-" Draco started, before she bounced off the door and flew into him, for the second time that day. He crashed to the floor with Hermione on top.
"Well, this is familiar. We should do this more often." Draco said, amusement clearly in his voice. It dawned on her as she realised that her body was flush up against his, their legs entangled from the fall. It was as intimate as they could get, and immediately Hermione felt herself blushing in mortification.
"You typical, hormonal boy. That's such a creepy comment, I expected no less from you." She gasped as she scampered off him, dusting herself off. Reaching into her pocket, she found her wand, turning around and facing the door with a determined scowl on her face.
"Alohomora." She said. The door didn't budge.
"Confringo!" she shouted. Again, nothing happened to the door.
Draco sat up after having dived to the floor to avoid the rebounding spells, and looked at Hermione as she stood, stunned.
"Granger, I think we're actually stuck in here." He said. When she turned to look at him, and he noticed panic and fear in her eyes.
"There, there, Granger, surely being stuck in a closet with me isn't that horrifying." He sneered. She shook her head, looking at him with wide, brown eyes.
"Don't you see, Malfoy? We're stuck in here, for Merlin knows how long! With no way of getting out." She hiccupped a little as she put her hand out, steadying herself on the nearest wall.
"And?" he asked.
"No-one knows we're here, and I have no books to read." She whispered, sounding very afraid.
"Look, Granger, don't cry. I'm sure someone will come along and find us eventually, and then you can go back to studying for next year like I know you were planning to." Draco said, sighing and scooting back to lean against a wall.
"I'm not crying!" she snapped, glaring at him. He smirked.
"There is one thing I haven't tried." Hermione spoke to herself, tapping her wand on her thumb as she looked at the door.
"Please share with the class, I wouldn't mind going and having a nap on not concrete with you having a mini-meltdown."
Raising her wand in a flourish, Draco curled his legs against him tightly and shielded his head with his hands as she cleared her throat.
"Expecto Patronum!"Hermione yelled, her patronus sliding into view and around them.
"Find Ginny, and get her to send help. I'm in the level six broom closet." Hermione spoke clearly, waving her wand towards the door as her otter patronus swam through the air towards the heavy wood. However when it reached the door, it simply bounced back. She tried the walls, roof and floor to no avail; there was no magic that could escape the closet.
"Good idea, but no luck. Looks like we've discovered one of Peeves prank closets that he uses on Filch."
"You're no help." she grumbled, looking defeated.
"Whatever." He said, leaning his head back against the wall. She sighed; looking at the door dejectedly as she slid down the wall next to him-there really wasn't much space in these closets. She pulled her knees to her chest and rested her chin on them, as he crossed his arms and his legs in an attempt to get more comfortable.
"Queen to E6." Harry said softly. Ron groaned.
"Checkmate. You bastard." He chuckled.
"Ron, my parents may both be dead but I'm pretty sure the word bastard doesn't apply to me," Harry told him.
The students gathered around them laughed as Ron turned slightly pink. Ron's brows furrowed a moment before he looked around at the surrounding faces.
"Hey, anyone seen 'Mione?" he asked. Everyone looked around, before shaking their heads. He sighed.
"Guess she's at the Library, probably trying to read as many books she can before the holidays start. She did say we didn't have to wait for her." He shrugged. Harry and most of the other Gryffindors laughed. Ginny swatted him over the head.
"Don't be mean, Ronald." She scowled, before going back to watching Harry.
"Another game, Harry?" Ron asked, stretching his arms.
"You reckon we can finish one before we have to go in twenty minutes?" Harry asked, looking at the clock. Ron shrugged.
"Can't think of any other way to pass the time."