Official Story And Future Stories Disclaimer: I don't own any recognisable characters. All recognisable characters belong to the author of the books, they are located within the contents of. I only own the OC characters that may crop up i.e the none-recognisable to said books or movies. :)
Hermione Granger felt like this was the longest walk of her life. She had been summoned—alone—to the Headmaster's office in the dead of the night. As they walked the dark halls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, she could not help but remark upon the eerie shadows that were cast upon the ancient walls by their dim wand lights.
Stern as ever, Professor McGonagall walked a few steps ahead, leaving Hermione to her racing thoughts. The first week of her fifth year had been a dismal failure, judging by the current state of affairs. What could she have possibly done to warrant this kind of action, whatever it may be.
She feared the only reason for a midnight rendezvous with Dumbledore could only involve something quite horrid—maybe even expulsion. But she had yet to work out what she would be expelled for.
Professor McGonagall refused to tell her anything. In fact, she appeared almost speechless, and spoke no more than one or two words at a time when she even deigned to speak at all. Though the normally well-composed woman may not be aware of it, her disgust and disapproval over whatever was going on were as clear as day.
When they finally reached the impressive stone gargoyle which marked the entrance to the Headmaster's office, McGonagall's voice was cold and hard as she spoke the password. The golden statue slid open to reveal the spiraling staircase beyond, and Hermione hesitated for a moment before moving forward.
She ran through everything that she and her two troublesome best friends had done lately, wondering if any of them might be the cause of this visit. But if Harry Potter and Ron Weasley were involved, why had they not been summoned here with her?
Seeing that her pupil was no longer right on her heels, McGonagall motioned for Hermione to join her without even turning to meet the girl's questioning gaze. Hermione took a wary step onto the first step, then began to make her way up to join the older woman inside the belly of the statue itself.
The two came to a halt at the top of the stairs and faced the ancient, curving door that led to the secrets held within. Now Hermione's stomach was turning somersaults as her Professor did not even bother to knock, but marched right in just as if she, herself, were in charge of the castle and school.
Hermione followed reluctantly in her wake, entering the round, intriguing office filled with its strange assortment of oddities. Harry often told her of the unique instruments and random objects to be found inside, but this was her first time actually seeing them herself.
Pictures of former Headmasters and Mistresses littered the wall near the entrance, each of them facing the impressive, curving desk of the current Headmaster himself.
"Here is Miss Granger, as per your request, Headmaster," McGonagall announced through tight lips.
Hermione was shocked. She had never heard such anger from the Head of her House directed at the Headmaster. The two usually seemed to be in perfect union, with never a hint of contention between them. Now Dumbledore peered over his half-moon spectacles, his brows raised, at the woman who had just addressed him.
"Thank you, Minerva," he said in stern tones, his normally sparkly blue eyes seeming to have been snuffed out like a pair of candles set out in a thunderstorm. Minerva crossed her arms and looked over at her student as the Headmaster next turned his focus on her.
"My apologies for calling you from you bed at such an hour, Miss Granger," he said. "But an important matter has just come to light, and I felt it must be dealt with immediately."
"Yes, sir, Professor Dumbledore," Hermione said nervously. "I understand."
Both Dumbledore and Hermione turned to the sound of a derisive snort from the Gryffindor Head of House as she began to tap an impatient foot. Hermione gazed at her in shock, while Dumbledore's glance was much more annoyed.
"Professor McGonagall, if you cannot be professional in this matter then I suggest you leave," he said pointedly.
"I am sorry, Headmaster, but I believe you are well aware of my views in this matter," she said, her head held high. "I am almost certain that Miss Granger will feel the same, considering who is the root cause for this clandestine meeting."
"That will do, Minerva," he insisted. "We are losing precious time with such petty disagreements. Our guests will be here shortly, and we must have time to prepare Miss Granger."
The pair of them seemed to have some kind of silent showdown after this. Hermione felt like she was watching a Muggle tennis match as she watched, her head swiveling from side to side. Finally, she decided to remind them of her presence in the room.
"Excuse me, Professors, but you have yet to tell me why I am here," she said. "Have I done something wrong?"
As she spoke, Professor Snape suddenly stepped out of the fireplace, gaining the two Professor's attention instead. Hermione puffed up her cheeks in frustration and waited to see if he would add anything meaningful to the events currently unfolding so slowly before her eyes.
"Ah, Severus, you're just in time, as always," Dumbledore said, his voice resounding in its usually calmer tone. "We were just about to inform Miss Granger about the state of things."
Snape's lip curled in a snide smirk as he took in their expressions. "Oh my," he said darkly. "Has something ruffled your fur, McGonagall?"
Hermione marveled again at how Snape could sound so patronizing and yet wear such a nasty smirk all at the same time. McGonagall's stance tensed as if she were ready to strike back. Her disgust for the Head of Slytherin House shown clearly upon her face.
"Will someone please tell me what is going on?" Hermione demanded before any one of them could say another word. "I still don't even know why I'm here. Unless, of course, I'm not really here. Maybe I'm just having a bloody nightmare."
"Ah, yes, I do apologize, Miss Granger," Dumbledore said, as if he only just remembered she was waiting. "I am afraid another prophecy has been brought to our attention."
"Prophecy?" she repeated, raising her brows. "Why tell me about a prophecy?"
She had a sinking fear that she already knew. All heads turned to the Head of Slytherin House. Snape snorted and rolled his eyes. "And you're supposed to be the smartest witch of your age?" he scoffed. "Sure shows what direction the youth of today are headed, doesn't it?"
"Did he really have to be here, Albus?" Minerva asked as she jerked her chin in her rival's direction.
"Professor Snape will play a key role in greeting one of our guests," Albus said.
Minerva cringed. "I still can't believe it," she muttered. "How can you be sure this prophecy is even true? You know what a crackpot Trelawney is."
"Wait a minute," Hermione gasped as McGonagall's words sunk in. "Professor Dumbledore, are you seriously going to listen to a woman who keeps predicting Harry's death every bloody chance she gets?"
"I told you, Albus," said Minerva with a satisfied smile. Hermione spared the woman a brief glance before turning to the Headmaster with pleading eyes, hoping that she had guessed completely wrong.
"I wish it were that simple, Miss Granger, but I am afraid Sybill's most recent encounter with her seer side has picked the path for someone other than Harry Potter," he answered as a bit of the light returned to his eyes. "You, Miss Granger."
"I'm no chosen one, Professor," Hermione protested. "What could she possibly have had to say about me?"
"The problem is not with what, but with whom," Minerva interjected.
Dumbledore shot the woman a look of warning as he said, "That will do, Minerva."
"The werewolves are not that bad, despite all the rumours the gossip hounds spread about them." Professor Snape said.
Hermione glanced over at Snape, noticing his smirk get bigger than ever as he observed the drama being played out before him.
"Just because you are mated to one does not mean we all approve," McGonagall snapped.
Hermione's jaw dropped, and if looks could kill the one Snape shot the woman he would have left her as ashes at his feet. If the pair of them had been alone, Hermione was convinced Snape would have Crucioed her—or worse, maybe even killed the Head of Gryffindor House.
"You'll pay for that," he informed her, his voice cold as stone.
"Enough!" Dumbledore roared as he slammed his hands down onto his desk with surprising force just as Snape was about to draw his wand. McGonagall stood her ground, but she nearly jumped out of her skin as she did so. Snape's eyes snapped back to Dumbledore and the matter at hand.
"Minerva, that was out of line," Dumbledore said. "But Severus, you brought it upon yourself. Stop taunting the woman if you don't wish for such information concerning your private life to slip out in front of a student. Even if she is one who could soon be a part of the same circle as yourself."
"That's it!" Hermione half growled and half yelled at them. "I'm tired and I want to go back to bed and pretend this really is one big misunderstanding revolving in my nightmare. Would somebody please just tell me what the bloody hell is going on? So I can get back to sleep."
All three professors stared at her in shock.
"Well, you may as well forget that idea," said a new voice full of authority from the vicinity of the fireplace. "You won't be returning to your bed any time soon."