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Chapter 37

Hermione was in a good mood as she made her way down towards breakfast. She had slept really well the past few nights and had woken up feeling incredibly well rested.

Blaise was quiet as they made their way down.

"You're not still mad about the Harry thing are you?" she asked, casting her friend a glance.

He sighed. "I wasn't mad at you Mia, I didn't agree with your choice, but I wasn't mad. You can be friends with whoever you want to be."

"But I don't want it to be weird between us," Hermione said, stopping.

Blaise turned, pulling her in for a quick hug. "It won't be. I'm sorry for being such a jerk. All better now, okay?" He gave her a smile.

Hermione nodded. "Okay. Sounds good."

Blaise smiled. "So how are things with Ginny?"

He blushed. "They're good. She's just so amazing."

Hermione looked at Blaise and the love-struck look on his face. He cared about Ginny so much, and Hermione was so happy for them.

"What about you and Charlie? I have you two started planning your wedding yet?"

Hermione nodded. "We're going to get married on the beach, and we'll be going to Greece for our honeymoon."

"That sounds nice, Greece is beautiful," Blaise said.

"I've applied for the Healing Program at St. Mungo's."

"Really?" Blaise asked, sending her a look of happiness. "Good for you!"

She nodded. "I'm hoping to be able to do the program from the Dragon Reserve in Romania."

"Does Charlie know?"

She shook her head. "I'm not going to tell him unless I get accepted. Don't want to get him excited for no reason."

"Good for you though, I think I'm going to move back home to Italy, and take over the family wine business."

"I can't believe we're nearing graduation, it just seems to unrealistic, doesn't it?"

"Mhmmm," he responded. "It's just crazy."

Hermione and Blaise entered the Great Hall, surprised to see it was chaotic. Looking around, Hermione saw there wasn't anyone at the staff table.

"Where are all the teachers?" Blaise asked, looking around.

"I'm not sure, but we need to get this under control." Casting a Sonorous Charm, Hermione spoke out. "Everyone sit down!"

Immediately, all the shouting stopped, and people sat down. Hermione and Blaise walked down the aisles, noticing some people were crying. What on earth had happened? She saw the Daily Prophet lying on a table. Picking it up, she read the front page article. Her heart dropped into her stomach.

Bellatrix Lestrange Escape Azkaban.

The female Death Eater escaped Azkaban late last night, killing more than seven guards as she escaped. It's unsure as to where she has gone or what she plans to do, but a clue was left in the cell, written on the walls with blood. The message read, "They will all pay, starting with the Mudblood." There is great discussion on what this means, and who exactly will pay. Auror Robbards believes-

She felt the blood drain from her face. Hermione stopped reading. She couldn't read any more. Clutching the paper in her hand, she turned to the students. "Return to your dorms until further notice," she said.

No one moved.

"Now!" she shouted angrily.

There was a murmur, and all the students got up and started exiting the Great Hall.

Moments later, the only ones in the room besides her were Blaise, Draco, Ginny, and Harry. Hermione sat on a bench, a sob escaping her lips.

"It'll be okay," Ginny said, sitting down and wrapping her arms around Hermione.

"How could this have happened? Didn't they double the guard?" She shook her head, tears running down her face. This couldn't be happening…

"Hermione, we won't let anything happen to you," Harry said, giving her hand a squeeze.

"Yeah, we'll all protect you," Blaise promised. Draco and Ginny nodded.

"She'll come for me," Hermione whispered.

"And we'll be ready," Ginny said, conviction in her voice.

Vaguely, Hermione reached up and touched her arm. Why wasn't Bellatrix dead yet? Why hadn't the kiss been performed? Why was it always here?

"Hermione!" a voice called out.

Looking up, she saw Charlie running towards her. The faculty was following behind.

He tackled her into a hug, squeezing her tightly. "It'll be okay," he murmured in her ear.

"Where are the students?" McGonagall asked, looking around the empty hall.

Hermione pulled away from Charlie's embrace. "I sent them back to the dorms. It was chaotic in here."

"Good thinking Miss Granger," the Gryffindor Head said.

"So what happens now?" she asked, looking at the others.

"We wait for her to get caught by the Auror's."

Hermione shook her head. "I don't want to just sit around in fear, we have to do something!"

"Hermione," Harry said gently, placing his hand on her shoulder. "We aren't in charge of saving the world anymore."

"I won't just sit here. Why don't we set a trap?"

"And use you as bait? I don't think so," Charlie huffed, crossing his arms.

Dumbledore looked pensive, "That might be a good idea."

"I don't agree," Madame Pomfrey said, giving her opinion.

Hagrid nodded. "S'not a good idea."

"I think it is," Hermione spoke up.

Charlie shook his head. "You could get hurt Hermione."

"But just think, the sooner they catch her, the less people get hurt. It's only logical."

"Screw logic, I want you safe," Charlie said.

"I agree with Charlie," Harry piped up.

"Don't you understand that this is a good idea?"

Dumbledore held his hands up to quiet the muttering group. "Why don't you think on it, and we'll discuss it again tomorrow."

Everyone nodded.

"Classes are canceled for the day, as I have some visits to make. Minerva, set out strengthening the enchantments on the castle. I don't want her getting in."

"Can we go to the Room of Requirement?" Hermione asked, turning towards Charlie. He nodded. Hermione said goodbye to everyone else. Grabbing Charlie's hand, the two of them walked down the hall towards the place that didn't technically exist.