AUTHOR'S NOTE: Once again, family issues have risen -_- I'm pretty sure you don't care but I just thought I'd let you know in case I stop writing for a long period of time. If I do stop writing, it's because of these family issues but I'm also pretty sure that if these issues get bad, I'll inform you all through tumblr.
Here's a ONE-SHOT. Enjoy!
Flash. 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 BOOM!
Hermione Granger was an extraordinary witch.
She could easily perform any charm the Professors asked of her, she could easily brew one of the best potions that Snape threw her way, and she was constantly earning her House points by answering and performing well in classes. She helped the famous Harry Potter throughout the Triwizard Tournament and she formed Dumbledore's Army, a rebellion group against Headmistress Umbridge right within her own school.
Flash. 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 BOOM!
Yes, Hermione was extraordinary but she was also plain human at times. And it just so happened that she was most human when a thunderstorm rolled around. She faced a three-headed dog, punched Draco Malfoy in the face, and even snuck a baby dragon off of school grounds yet she was terrified of a storm.
The windows rattled with the strong winds and booming thunder, gusts of wind pushing themselves through the cracks of the walls, and rain pelted against the windows as if pebbles were being thrown. Of course, magic kept the windows from breaking and dungeons from flooding but none of it didn't help ease Hermione's fears.
Flash. 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 BOOM!
Hermione pulled the blanket tighter around her shoulders and up over her head. The thunder and wind had rattled the windows too much in her dorm and even when she had cast the silencing spell around her bed, the lightning still flashed behind her eyelids and all around the room. Being that it was way after mid-night, Hermione silently tip-toed her way down into the Common Room and waited out the storm in one of the comfy arm chairs. The lightening continued to flash, the thunder booming, and windows rattling, yet it wasn't as loud as it was in the dorms, when Hermione decided whether or not to restart the dying fire or sit in the dark.
She got her answer when she heard a door in the distant slowly creak open and after a couple of seconds, a click echoed down to where she was sitting, signaling a door shutting. Muffled whispers floated down to her and she confirmed that the whispers were coming from the boys staircase.
"I'm starved! Do you reckon' the elves will whip us something up at this time?"
"Don't see why not." A second voice answered. "It's what they're here for, is it not?"
Hermione would've have glared and gave those two boys a piece of her mind if it was not for the raging thunderstorm that kept her glued to her spot. The whispering continued, getting closer and closer until two familiar red-heads stopped dead in their tracks upon seeing her.
"I thought you said no-one was down here?" One twin elbowed the other.
"No! I said it looked like no-one was down here." The other twin rubbed his side where his brother's elbow made contact. "How was I supposed to know Granger would be down here past her bedtime? At least, I think that's Granger all wrapped up."
The twins moved closer to get a better look at the scowling girl sitting in the armchair, stopping shortly before her and giving her their most innocent smiles.
Flash. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 BOOM!
The twins whipped around to see the lightning outside while Hermione flinched behind their backs. Yep, the storm was definitely getting closer now.
"What, in the name of Merlin, are you two doing down here?" She questioned as soon as she knew her voice wouldn't shake. "It's passed curfew and you two should be in your beds sleeping!"
She watched as one of them pulled out their wands and pointed it at the dying fire, making it flare back up to life. "We could ask you the same thing, Miss Prefect." The light from the fire illuminated their faces and Hermione saw that it was Fred speaking to her. She could only tell them apart since Fred kept his hair a tad bit longer and shaggier than his twin's. "Prefects only have an hour longer to get their bums in bed than we regular students have. And if my timing is correct, you should be in bed too."
George grinned at his twin's quick comeback and watched on as their favorite bookworm squirmed in her seat. Not only had she busted them after curfew but they busted her as well.
Flash. 4, 3, 2, 1 BOOM!
Hermione jumped in her seat, her gaze lingering on the floor since she knew that the twins were still staring at her. And now, they're probably ready to poke fun at her because of her fear. Instead of answering Fred's question, she changed the topic. "So you two are heading for the kitchens, huh? Mind if I join?"
The knowing grins were wiped from their faces, shock taking over as they studied the girl before them. They let the silence linger for a bit longer, waiting for Hermione to tell them that she was just joking and send them straight back to bed. Instead, they were faced with a girl who kept glancing at the rattling windows while biting her lip and flinching whenever the thunder boomed.
"You're not gonna get us caught?"
"Or give us detention?" They questioned.
"Nope." Hermione shook her head before looking up at them. "In fact, if we do get caught, I'll cover and say you two are sleepwalking. That I just followed you two to keep you out of trouble since it's not good to wake someone while they're sleepwalking."
Fred and George looked at each other, a silent conversation passing between the two before George shrugged. "Alright. Let's go. I'm starved!"
Flash. 3, 2, 1 BOOM!
Hermione followed the twins throughout the corridors, her blanket still wrapped tightly around her shoulders. The storm was greatly muffled throughout the castle now that there weren't that many windows to be rattled or pelted with rain. The wind still swept through the cracks but at least she wasn't jumping every few seconds.
They crept effortlessly down the ever changing staircases and through the empty corridors without fear of their footsteps being heard. George and Fred occasionally took turns with peering around the corner to make sure Mrs. Norris or Felch wasn't lurking in the shadows in hopes of catching a student out of bed.
Hermione knew something was wrong when the Kitchen portrait still hadn't come into view. She knew exactly what floor said portrait resided on and figured she'd lead the twins but the twins had no problem leading the way. She didn't know how they knew where it was since the kitchen was forbidden to anyone who wasn't a Head or Prefect and she didn't want to ask them, breaking the comfortable silence between them.
"Um, you do know the kitchen is the on a completely different floor, don't you?" Hermione finally spoke up when she was pushed through a secret passage way behind a suit of armor.
"Of course." George breathed from behind her, holding onto her shoulders as Fred led the way in front of them. "We just thought it'd be a good time for a stroll since we have a Prefect looking after us and all."
"Of course." Hermione dead-panned, a smile fighting to uplift the corners of her mouth.
Fred and George led her up and down staircases, down darkened corridors that she never knew existed, and behind suits of armors that often took them to a different level of the castle.
After about a twenty minute stroll through the castle, the kitchen portrait finally came into view and Hermione watched as Fred tickled the pear causing the portrait to swing open. Inside, the kitchen was completely lit up but no elf was in sight.
"Great. They've gone off to bed." George grumbled.
Hermione snickered from her spot, lowering the blanket a bit and taking a seat on an empty stool. "Well, what did you expect? Elves need sleep too. They can't constantly work every single hour day in and day out, can they?"
As soon as the words left her lips, a POP! sounded and an elf was standing beside Hermione's stool. It's floppy ears were tucked beneath a knitted wool cap and a scarf was wrapped around it's neck. Different colored knitted socks adorned it's feet and as soon as it spoke, Hermione knew exactly which elf this one was. "Miss Hermione, friend of Harry Potter, has come to see Dobby! Such a pleasure, miss, such a pleasure. Is there something you need?"
Hermione smiled down at the friendly elf, glad to see that her clothes were being used, and shook her head softly. "Hello, Dobby. It's nice to see you." The innocent greeting caused Dobby's eyes to swell with tears and a sappy grin adorned his elfish face. "But I'm sorry to say, I don't need anything. Although, I'm sure those two are hungry." She pointed to Fred and George behind Dobby and he happily turned to them.
"Red hair twins? The pranksters of Hogwarts? Yes, I know all about you!" Dobby greeted them. "I is so happy to serve Miss Granger's friends. What can I get you?" Hermione playfully rolled her eyes at how George and Fred grinned down at Dobby. Poor elf inflated their ego and he didn't even know it.
"Yes, we'll take some chocolate chip cookies and milk."
"Please?" Fred added as an afterthought as he saw Hermione glare at George. As soon as he said 'please', her gaze softened as she turned to him.
"One moment, sirs." And Dobby disappeared to prepare their snacks.
The trio stumbled through the Fat Lady portrait after angering her by waking her up and fell into their Common Room giggling. On their way back to the safety of Gryffindor Tower, Mrs. Norris had them cornered but thanks to George's quick thinking, he unraveled Hermione from her blanket and threw it over the cat. Fred grabbed Hermione's hand and they sprinted out of the corridor before Felch found them.
Flash. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 BOOM!
The booming thunder echoed through the room, completely killing off Hermione's giggles and reminding her why she had left with the twins in the first place.
Fred had caught the flinch, feeling bad for the witch who he and his twin always gave so much trouble to. "You really that afraid storms, huh?"
Hermione didn't bother to lie since she caught the sincerity of Fred's voice. "Yes. Have been since I was a child. I used to sneak into my parent's room and sleep between them when it got really bad outside." She sunk back into the arm chair that she first sat on before their trip to the kitchens and pulled her knees up to her chest. "I don't know why Dumbledore would make the corridors pretty much sound proof but not the Common Room and dorms."
"It's just a little rain and noise." George piped up. "Just go back up to your bed, wrap yourself in your blanket, and it'll pass in no time."
"Sounds dandy and all," Hermione set her gaze on George. "But it seems that some buffoon used my only blanket to wrap up a cat." She tried to be serious but ended up in a giggling fit. The thunder put a stop to it seconds later.
"Oh. Well, come join us in our room. No-one else is up there and since tomorrow is Saturday, we can help keep you entertained while the storm passes." George shrugged.
Hermione blinked back and forth between the boys, wondering if it was a good idea to go to their dorms and if George really meant what he said. When neither boy laughed in her face and said they were only joking, she started to wonder why there were only two of them in their dorms and not five or four like every other dorm held. "Why are there only two of you up there?" She asked.
"Oh, that," Fred rubbed the back of his neck while he stared at his twin. "Well if we tell you, you can't turn us in."
Hermione stuck her tongue out at Fred. "Have I turned either of you in tonight?"
"She got you there, brother." George grinned.
"Fine. Well Lee has been sleeping over with Alicia and before you start yelling, all they do is sleep." He assured her before she started to rant about school rules. "And Phil, well he hasn't slept in his own bed since the second week of term. I think he sleeps with the Puffs."
Flash. 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 BOOM!
"So what's it gonna be Granger?" George smirked at a shivering Hermione. "You gonna brave this storm all by your lonesome or are you gonna stay up with the two best looking blokes Hogwarts has to offer?"
"No, thanks." Hermione grimaced as she watched George wiggle his eyebrows at her. "I'll brave the storm down here."
George had expected the Gryffindor bookworm to decline but he knew that giving her the option to keep her company was the somewhat gentleman thing to do. He watched as she settled herself down in the armchair closest to the small fire and brought up her knees to her chest, wrapping her arms around them.
Shrugging, he turned on his heel, ready to go back to his bed, when he caught Fred making his way to the sofas. Arching an eyebrow at his twin who caught his stare, Fred waved him off. "I'll be up there in a bit."
Hermione smiled gratefully at Fred for staying with her and watched as he got comfortable on the sofa nearest her. George left the two of them alone and decided to wait for his brother in their room and question him later.
"Thanks." Hermione sighed. "But you didn't have to stay."
Flash. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 BOOM!
"Didn't I?" Fred smirked as Hermione barely jumped in her seat.
Hermione shook her head. "Nope. It's going away already."
"And how do you know that?"
"Because of the time it takes for the thunder to boom after the flash of lightening." Hermione answered him. "My dad once told me that the greater the seconds between the flash and boom, the further the storm is. The fewer the seconds, the closer it is."
"Your father sounds like a wise man." Fred told her.
"He is." Hermione happily sighed. "But he also said, when I was learning to ride my bike, 'I promise, you won't fall if I let you go'." Hermione giggled. "And I fell. Skidded my knee on the pavement."
"Ouch." Fred laughed. "I had an experience like that as well. Of course, it wasn't my Dad who said, 'Trust us, it's only a few feet in the air. You won't hurt yourself if you fall.' It was Bill and Charlie.
"Oh no!" Hermione giggled before covering her mouth with her hand. "What happened?"
"Got about three feet into the air and slipped off the end of the broom." Fred leaned forward, pointing to spot near his elbow. "My arm landed on a rock and it cut me open. Mum was pissed."
Hermione couldn't see from her spot so she stood up and sat next to Fred on the sofa he was sitting on. Sure enough, a small scar made the skin rise to a bump on his arm.
The sat next to one another, each taking turns to tell one another a story about their childhood. Fred had more to tell, seeing as he had numerous brothers to get into trouble with but Hermione didn't mind. She had never had time to actually talk with Ron seeing as he was too busy with Harry and talking about Quidditch. Hearing about the Weasley's warmed her heart as she got a glimpse inside their life at the Burrow.
They didn't know how long they'd been down there or when the last time it was that they saw the flash of lightening or the boom of thunder but the next thing they did remember was someone shaking them awake.
She was leaning sideways, something warm wrapped around her shoulders, her body leaning against something that was steadily but barely moving up and down. "OI, you two! Wake up before Ron stumbles down here and has an aneurysm."
"Wha-" Hermione sleepily opened her eyes, too comfortable to do anything else. "What time is it? Did I fall asleep in the Common Room?"
"Mhm." George hummed. "You and Fred both fell asleep down here and I was expecting my brother upstairs four hours ago."
Hermione suddenly jerked her body straight, her cheeks flaming red in the dark as the pillow she was just leaning on groaned and slowly sat up next to her. "Bloody hell. Did you have to elbow me in the ribs?"
Hermione squeaked, unable to form words as she put space between her and Fred. "I-I'm sorry!"
Fred yawned and rubbed his eyes, waving off her apology. "Don't be. It was nice chatting with you, Granger, but I think it's time we head up back to our own beds now."
She numbly nodded but bolted up the steps to her dorm, leaving a chuckling George to pull his sleepy twin up the stairwell to their beds.
Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months. George never teased Fred or Hermione after that night of finding them asleep together on the sofa to which they were grateful for. Ever since that one storm, it was sort of an unspoken agreement to meet in the Common Room, take a trip to the kitchens, and talk more about their families while the storm passed.
Much to the surprise of Harry, Ron, and pretty much everyone else in the castle, when Hermione wasn't studying or preparing for her O.W.L.S, she was hanging out with Fred and George. With Umbridge being a complete troll, her usual rule-abiding self found herself letting Fred and George do whatever they pleased. The only time she did her duty as a Prefect was when the twins got caught doing something in front of their Professors or the Slytherins. If they got caught in front of Slytherins, Hermione put on an act for them and punished them but later let them off the hook.
O.W.L.S were finally here and Hermione found herself seated in the Great Hall with a great deal of other Hogwart's students. Ron and Harry were seated behind her, probably guessing on half their test questions while she sat there bored, answering them one by one. Umbridge kept her watchful eye over everyone while an abnormally large pendulum swung back and forth behind her to keep track of time.
Whooosshh. BOOM! Pop! Pop! Pop!
Heads shot up, quills stopped scribbling, and eyes scanned the room to see where the noise had come from. Umbridge's annoying smile instantly slipped off her toad-like face, a scowl making an appearance as her eyes scanned the room as well, looking for the culprit.
Whooossshh. BOOM! Pop! Pop! Pop!
More heads snapped up, the ones who had ignored the first round of noises, and Umbridge was starting to get aggravated. She slowly walked down the aisle, making sure that the students were still seated and testing before making her way to the big oak doors. Opening them up, another bang sounded off in the distance.
A miniature firework exploded right in front her face, two more whizzing behind her and exploding into great colorful sparks above the students.
"Yeahh!" The twins shouted, diving in on their brooms and flying above the students.
Harry, Ron, and majority of the other students shouted and cheered for the twins as they released more fireworks in the air, colorful sparks whizzing left, right, up, and down while other fireworks chased after the Slytherins. Hermione watched in awe as the bigger ones exploded, miniature fireworks falling from above and exploding right before her eyes and vanishing. Students laughing turned her attention to a dragon completely made up of fireworks that seemed to be chasing Umbridge out of the hall and everyone, including Hermione, raced outside to follow Fred and George.
Up in the air, Fred and George were pulling tricks with their brooms, setting off more fireworks as the people below cheered them on. Hermione clapped, tears forming in her eyes as she watched her friends make their great escape. She, of course, knew this was going to happen but kept her word and didn't breathe a word of their plan to anyone. She was sad to see them go, especially since she now didn't have anyone to keep her company during a storm. The one boy that would sit with her, cuddle with her on the Common Room sofa was leaving Hogwarts for good.
"Granger!" A voice hollered. Hermione looked up, discreetly wiping her eyes and saw that Fred was hovering a few good feet in the air above her. "Catch!"
A bundle fell from Fred's grasp, Hermione catching it before it could hit the ground. The fabric was soft in her hands, an Orange W stitched into the corner of the blue blanket that was facing her. As she looked up to find Fred in the sky, she only saw the back of him as he and George set off their last firework, leaving a blazing giant W in the sky as they rode off to find shelter elsewhere.
Later that night as everyone fell asleep, Hermione stayed down in the Common Room already missing her two friends that she grew to greatly care for. Opening up the blanket that Fred had tossed at her, a note fell out. Before she could read it, she wrapped the blanket around her shoulders and inhaled the scent that the blanket held; it was a mixture of baked goods from the Burrow and Fred.
Snuggling deeper into her chair and newly acquired blanket, Hermione picked the note back up and read.
I've had this blanket for a good while growing up and, well, since I'm not there anymore to keep you company during a thunderstorm, just grab this blanket and it'll be like I'm there with you. You know, it also makes up for the one blanket that George threw away by throwing it at Mrs. Norris. I figured we owed you a new one. Haha.
I'm sorry we left you there but you know we had to as I explained everything to you the night before.
Stay safe, Granger, and give the toad-lady hell for us, yeah? Peeves will help.
See you soon,
I hate thunderstorms. Really, really hate them. Haha. The bit about seconds between lightening and thunder, I'm not sure if it's true but I added in there because my own Dad always told me that when I was little :)