Hermione woke up and stretched. Parvati was already up as usual, she could hear her bare feet on the stone floor. She lay in the warm bed for a moment before building up the courage to brave the cold air outside her blanket. It was Wednesday today, she had Charms and Arithmancy in the morning. Potions with Slughorn in the afternoon. Potions was a lot more pleasant now that Snape wasn't teaching it.
And today, she was going to convince Harry that he needed to show that Half Blood Prince book to Dumbledore. She got up and dressed quickly before her body cooled too much.
She joined the trail of students wandering down to the Great Hall for breakfast. There was a slight murmur going on when she got there.
"They're late." Ron said. He was obviously referring to the food that wasn't on the tables yet.
"I'm sure it will be up any minute."
"They're never usually this late." He said looking worried. Seriously, Hermione thought, this is what he worries about.
"The teachers aren't here either." Harry pointed out and Hermione turned her gaze to the teachers' table. It was completely empty.
"Maybe they're having a meeting that is running late and they're holding the food." She said.
"Where's our food?" Someone shouted.
"Maybe we should go see if Dumbledore is in his office." Harry said.
"I'm sure its fine, Harry." Hermione said. "He would let us know if he needed us for anything." In truth, she was desperate for a bit of normalcy. She wanted them to be normal students, not the best friends of the chosen one as war was looming. Harry's suspicion had been on high alert all year.
"At least Ferret is here." Ron said. They'd figured before that if something serious was up, Malfoy would be absent, called away by his Death Eater parents. Or his potential master, although Hermione doubted her would be that stupid. Harry obviously wasn't convinced.
Malfoy was sitting at the table with his arms crossed looking highly annoyed. Well, if nothing else, at least it was annoying Malfoy.
Another twenty minutes went by and students were starting to get angry. Some of them were leaving.
"Maybe we should go check on Dumbledore." She conceded.
They got up and walked out of the Great Hall. Students were hanging around outside the Great Hall complaining about their treatment this morning.
They walked up the stairs towards Dumbledore's office. Harry said the password and the spiral staircase jumped into action. They knocked on the door, but no one answered. They stayed for a few minutes, but then left.
"Hey Katie." Harry called to Katie Bell who was walking passed. "Have you seen Dumbledore?"
"No." She said. "There's no food. I'm starving, I didn't have dinner last night. I don't want to have to wait for lunch, but they're not serving breakfast."
Katie walked off.
"Maybe we should check the kitchen." Hermione said. She was starting to get a bad feeling.
They walked down into the belly of the castle to where the entrance to the kitchen was. They could hear that the kitchen was quiet even before they could see it.
"There's plenty of food." Ron said. "But it isn't cooked."
"Where are the elves?" She said.
"This is looking really weird." Harry said.
"I am sure there's a perfectly logical explanation." Hermione said. "They were obviously called away somewhere. Class is starting."
"We haven't eaten." Ron said. "I can't go to class on an empty stomach."
"Looks like you'll have to." She said and walked away to Charms class.
The classroom wasn't full, but most students were sitting waiting for it to start. Some were complaining bitterly. They waited but Flintwick didn't show up.
After twenty minutes of waiting, Hermione left. She saw Harry and Ron outside the Great Hall.
"Flintwick didn't show." She said.
"Neither did Snape." Ron said. "Although that's a blessing more than anything."
"Ok, something is definitely going on."
"Listen." Harry shouted to the group of students who were hanging out outside the Great Hall. "Has anyone seen any teachers today?"
There was a murmur of no's and then a further murmur of the students talked amongst each other.
"Lets go see if McGonagall is in her office." Hermione said and they turned back towards the Gryffindor part of the castle.
They knocked on McGonagall's door but there was no answer.
"Something has happened." Hermione said. "Maybe they've all been called away."
"In the middle of the night?" Ron asked dubiously.
"Do you have any other explanations?" She asked.
"Lets see if Hagrid is home." Harry said and they walked towards the courtyard and covered bridge. They walked in silence.
Hagrid's hut was empty as well.
"They're all gone." Harry said.
"I am starving." Ron said. "I have half a mind to go down to the kitchen and cook some bacon on my own."
"You can manage without food for a morning." Hermione said.
"What if no one comes back for lunch?" He said.
"You're hardly going to starve to death." Hermione said.
"What is no one does?" Harry said after a while. "What are we going to do?"
"We'll just have to manage."
The unrest in the student population was increasing as they got back.
"Do you know what's going on, Harry?" Seamus asked.
"No." Harry said. Harry walked up the stairs a few steps. "Listen everyone. I think we need to search the castle. Each house take a quadrant and we'll search."
"Search for what?" Someone said.
"I don't know. Anything. Teachers."
"We don't do what you tell us." Crabbe said.
"Well, your lunch is depending on things getting back to normal. So if we all have to skip lunch because you won't search your part of the castle, we'll all know who to blame." Harry said.
The student body collectively turned a hard stare to the Slytherins.
"Fine." Blaise said and stalked off with the rest of the Slytherins in tow.
Harry ordered the Gryffindors to search their part of the castle. He ordered groups to search the various floors.
"I am going down to the Chamber of Secrets." Harry said. "I think we need to check everywhere."
"How are you going to get out?" Hermione said.
"I'll take a broom."
"I'll come with you." Ron said.
"Fine." Hermione said. "I'll check the Room of Requirements. We'll meet here afterwards."
They all nodded and went off in their separate directions.
The room of requirements was quiet and seemingly untouched. It was full of old stuff and there didn't seem to be anything out of order from what she could tell from the mess it already was.
She went back to the Great Hall. Students were getting anxious. Hermione still felt like she should be in class, even though logically she knew there were no teacher there to teach. It just felt wrong sitting in the Great Hall late morning.
Harry and Ron returned about half an hour later. "Chamber's empty."
"I'm starving." Ron complained. "I'm going to the kitchen."
Ron walked off.
"Let's check Dumbledore's office." Harry said.
Hermione felt uncertain. Dumbledore's office was off limits. Although maybe not to Harry, he did have special priveleges when it came to Dumbledore.
They walked back to his office and opened the door. It wasn't locked. The room was quiet except for the whirr of his contraptions. Fawkes was pacing back and forth on his perch.
"He looks aggravated." Harry said looking at the bird.
"Do you think he knows something?"
"He can't talk even if he did."
Nothing looked out of place.
"His private chamber is over there." Harry said. He slowly walked over and knocked on the door.
"Professor?" He called, but there was no answer.
He tried a few times then opened the door slowly. "Professor?"
They slowly walked inside the room they'd never seen. There was nothing but a bed in there. The bed was messy.
"Its unmade." Hermione said.
"Maybe he keeps it that way." Harry said.
"Maybe he doesn't." Hermione said. "He is pretty ordered. Maybe whatever took him did so in the middle of the night, while he was sleeping."
Harry was looking very concerned. "Something is wrong." He said.
They walked back downstairs.
"Harry." Hannah Abbot said. "I sent an owl to my parents and they weren't home. That's not right."
They absorbed the news and wondered what the implications were.
"Go home and check." Harry finally said. "Use the floo in Dumbledore's office. Go now."
They went up the stairs again. Hannah floo'd away and they waited for her return.
She flooed back within a minute. "They're not there." She said, concern obvious on her face.
"Go back and check their beds." Harry said and Hannah complied.
She was gone two minutes. Her eyes were glassy when she came back.
"They're beds were unmade. Father's glasses were on the bedstand. He is blind without his glasses." She said, she was seconds away from crying. "Where are my parents, Harry?"
"I don't know." He said. "Mione, lets check the Ministry."
They got in the fireplace and threw the floo powder. They walked out of one of the Ministry floos into the large foyer. It was completely deserted and quiet except for the water flowing in the ridiculous fountain.
"Hello?" Harry called out and got nothing back but an echo.
"What do you think this means?" Hermione said. "Where is everyone?"
"I don't know."
"I'm going home." Hermione said.
Hermione apparated home. Her house was quiet, but that wasn't unusual in the middle of a week day. She ran up to her parent's room and their beds were completely unmade too, which was not typical.
"My parents, Harry, where are they?" She yelled.
"There are no cars." Harry said.
"There are no cars."
"Its a quiet street."
"Let's go somewhere less quiet." He said. "Piccadilly. Meet me there."
He was gone and she apparated after him. They were right in the middle of the square and there were no cars anywhere, no people.
"Something is seriously wrong." She said. "Everyone is gone. What happened?"
"Something bad." Harry said. "Let's get back. We can floo from the Ministry."
They apparated back to the Ministry, which was completely silent again, then flooed back to Dumbledore's office.
Hannah wasn't there anymore.
The students were silent in the Great Hall, when they got there.
"What's happened, Harry?" Someone said.
"I don't know, everyone is gone." He said. "Even the muggles."
There were shocked gasps and cries in the cry.
"You're lying." Michael Corner said. "I'm going home."
Harry turned to Hermione. "What are we going to do?"