I will begin with a disclaimer that will stand for the entirety of this fictional work: none of J.K. Rowling's characters or story lines belong to me.

4/23/15: I'm in the process of re-working this story, changing some of it up with the plan to keep going with it. I apologize for how long it's taken me to update it and I hope those of you who are interested stick with me. Thanks so much for all of your patience and reviews thus far and I hope to know what you think of the changes and the story going forward.

Hermione Granger paced the length of the enclosure back and forth, back and forth. Her imitation patent leather mary janes tapped monotonously against the cold, stone floor like a metronome. She began to concentrate on the sound and on keeping it in perfect time. One, two, three, four, one, two, three, four... If she didn't occupy her mind with something mundane, she feared she'd go mad.

Perhaps she was being slightly melodramatic. After all, they'd only been down here for a few hours at most. But she wasn't in any way certain of how much longer they would have to remain, and a few hours could turn into a few days, a few months, a few years...

One, two, three, four, one, two, three, four...

The cell was large, perhaps the size of a decently priced flat in London. It was equipped with two old, white-sheeted double beds, an equally ancient overstuffed easy chair and matching ottoman, a small wooden table with two chairs, a rickety cupboard and a tall, brass-stemmed floor lamp. There was only one door in the room which led to a small bathroom with an open shower stall, a white porcelain toilet and matching sink. There was no entrance or exit as they had been Apparated into the room, and there was no Portkey. They'd been promised food and water but they hadn't received it yet. What if Malfoy had been lying or decided to change his mind? What if he forgot about them down here? It was all she could do to prevent herself from panting with fear. She damned her lack of composure-which was made all the more obvious as he sat there calmly-and quickened her pace.


"Miss Granger, stop that!" Professor Snape snapped at her, his depthless voice resonating throughout the room. She immediately obeyed, standing uncomfortably still and blinking at him owlishly, hoping he would give her another command to follow, to concentrate upon. But he only glared at her from his seat on the easy chair, his left nostril twitching in irritation. "I'm unable to think clearly with that blasted tapping."

"I'm sorry, sir," she murmured at length. Her eyes began to water, her knees quivering in protest of their forced stillness. Snape sighed in exasperation and rolled his black eyes.

"Go lie down and try to get some rest. It's been a long day," he said, his voice infused with sarcasm on the last sentence.

She immediately complied, her limbs shaking as she settled onto her back in the middle of the bed located closest to her professor. The sheets smelled musty, as if they were clean but had been left untouched for years. She stared at the grey ceiling for what felt like hours, measuring her breaths as she had measured the tapping of her shoes before. A noise sounded in Snape's direction and she gasped, quickly turning to face him. He had shifted in his seat, crossing one leg over the other. He met her gaze and his eyes seemed to soften ever so slightly. His voice when he spoke again was low, pitying.

"Go to sleep, Miss Granger."

And she did.