Disclaimer: all characters are the properties of JK Rowling, and BBC executives Steven Moffatt & Caro Skinner. No copyright infringement intended.

Hermione shivered slightly as the cold north wind whistled past the top of the Astronomy Tower. She huddled further into her cloak and wished that she could just head back to her dorm – her cozy, warm dorm. But she had made a promise and she always kept her promises. Her wild honey colored curls tickled her face as she scraped them back, trying not to sigh impatiently. He was late.

All her life he had appeared to her. He came at different times, in different bodies, but she could always tell it was him. He had even taken her for a few adventures when she was younger. Nothing very dangerous, mind you, as she was just a child then.

But lately, the adventures had started to skirt the edge of danger, even more than the run in with the Troll in her first year at Hogwarts; or the path to the Sorcerers Stone; or the rescue of Buckbeak and Sirius; or the encounter with the Death Eaters at the Ministry. It almost seemed like he was trying to prepare her…for something. She just couldn't figure out what.

There had also been an instant attraction between them, even when she was small – it was like they had recognized a kindred soul in each other. He had always been kind to her, listening attentively to her smallest concerns and offering what advice he could. He was her best friend and confidant. He was also her closest guarded secret. Her parents, Harry and Ron did not even know about him.

He had been pleased to hear that she had made friends her own age at school, but she thought she had detected a bit of concern that her friends were boys. He had mentioned that she should try to make a girlfriend or two, and had laughed heartily when she tartly informed him that when she wanted a two-bit piece of fluff with nothing but air between her ears, then she'd make a girlfriend. It wasn't that she disliked other girls, she just found them annoying – even the older girls. It seemed that all they were interested in was primping, giggling, gossiping, boys…and sex.

Hermione sighed; she had so many other more things to be concentrating on than such petty concerns. She was really hoping he had some answers for her tonight on some of the questions she had sent him; questions regarding souls, reincarnation, resurrection of the dead, body possession and prophetic dreams. Hopefully between them, they could help Harry become prepared for whatever Lord Voldemort had planned.

Pulling her cloak closer and whispering another warming spell, Hermione considered using the communication device he had given her to contact him. He was rarely late. She considered the possibility that perhaps he had run into trouble. A stray thought crossed her mind that maybe he had had a romantic encounter. She scoffed at herself and ignored the jealous twist it caused in her stomach. He was her friend, period.

But lately, her mind had begun to see him in a different light, and she thought that perhaps he was seeing her the same way. She remembered the way his eyes always followed her, how he never let her stray too far from his side, and that his touches had started to linger a few seconds longer that they used to. Hermione shook her head firmly and thrust the images and feelings away aggressively. 'I don't have time for this, not now,' she thought.

A faint thump caught her ears, and she sat up straighter. He was coming! The familiar wump-wump-wump of the TARDIS materializing filled her ears as she jumped up to greet her oldest friend – The Doctor.