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Hermione’s POV::

Ron had me against the wall when his hand raised suddenly. For a second I thought he was going to slap me.

But then he froze, lowering his hand slowly. He leaned forward, leaning his head on my shoulder as he began to cry. 

Shocked, I gently put a hand on his back, holding him as his body shook. Ron then straightened up, wiping at his eyes.

“Ron,” I began, whispering. “I’m sorry.”

He returned to the couch, glancing at Harry quickly before falling onto the sofa with a sort of defeat. 

Then the door opened.

There stood Professor McGonagall with her wand out.

“I heard commotion,” She said, looking around the room. “Are you all alright?”

We didn’t answer.

“If you are all alright, then it is time to go.” Her voice was stern. “If you each take my arm?” McGonagall walked up to Harry’s bed and held out her arm. Ron and I joined them, holding onto the Professor’s arm.

I felt sensations similar to my skin sliding around my bones as we apperated. I clenched my teeth, a tear falling.

I felt my feet touch ground. My eyes fluttered open and I was back at Hogwarts. A feeling of home calmed me, and I knew I was safe. 

Professor recovered flawlessly and spoke.

“Now that you are here, join the other Gryffindors at your tables.” She nodded towards the long tables for Gryffindor, where our friends and classmates were.

Then she was gone to take more students back.

Ron and I each supported Harry as we walked slowly to the table where Seamus, Lavender, Pavrati, and Dean were.

“Hermione!” Pavrati threw her arms around me and Lavender smiled. “I’m so glad to see you again, I was so worried!”

Her dark brown eyes met mine and I laughed.

“I’m glad to be back.” Seamus and Dean greeted me as we sat down.

Several professors were seated at the head of the hall, including Dumbledore who caught my eye. He raised a hand, beckoning me to go to him.

“Dumbledore would like to see me,” I excused myself and began to walk to the professor’s table.


Draco’s POV::

“Draco, stop!” Pansy cried as her fists beat my back. Suddenly the door flew open, causing Blaise and me to jump. 

Snape stood in the doorway, his face in the ever present state of 'I Do Not Approve of Whatever Is Going on Here.'

“Gentlemen?” He spoke, raising an eyebrow. “It is time to go.”

He held out a robed arm, and in seconds Blaise, Pansy, Snape and I were in Hogwarts.

“I must retrieve other students now, please sit at the Slytherin table.” Snape ordered, before disappearing. 

Blaise went quickly to the table, eager to get out of my presence. 

“Draco, are you feeling well?” Pansy came into my vision. “I thought you and Blaise were going to kill each other back there.”

Beyond Pansy’s face I could see Dumbledore at the head table, and he raised a hand at me, silently calling me to join him.

Incredibly grateful to Dumbledore, for once, I pushed past Pansy and walked to the table he was seated. I was climbing the few steps up to the professor's table when I heard my name.

I stopped where I was. I turned to see Hermione behind me, also called to Dumbledore. Her warm brown eyes were soft and tired. 

“Miss Granger, Mr. Malfoy?” Dumbledore’s voice brought us back to the present, reminding us that there was a half full hall of students, most of them watching us. We ascended the stairs, meeting him.

“Does a walk to my office sound right with you?” Dumbledore turned to leave before we answered.

“How are you doing?” I walked closely with Hermione as we followed our headmaster.

“I’m okay,” Hermione answered, walking quickly to keep up with Dumbledore’s tall frame and my long legs.

“It was weird. After those three days with just you, those fifteen minutes with two other people was surprisingly lonely.”

Her comment made me think and silently agree as we crossed the magnificent threshold of the headmaster’s office. 

“Take a seat, please.” Dumbledore sat in his chair and faced us as we lowered into two chairs on the other side of his large desk.

“It had come to my attention that you two were lost for quite a time,” he peered at us from over his half moon spectacles as he spoke.

“And I am concerned about your state of well being. How are you two, truly?”

I answered first, an automatic reply I was used to since childhood. “I’m fine, sir.” 

Then I rethought. “Actually, I've never felt this way before. I’m glad to be back, but disappointed I was found …” my voice drifted.

“I agree, Headmaster, mixed feelings. It was great, truly, on the island. We got along quite well.” I could hear her smile through her words. 

“That is certainly unexpected to hear,” Dumbledore commented. “I have discussed this with your professors, and it was unanimous to give you a two day break from your classes. If today is the twenty-first …” 

He mumbled a little, doing mental math. “For the days of May the twenty second and twenty third you do not have scheduled classes.”

I heard Hermione relax in the stiff chair as I thanked him.

“Thank you sir, that’s much needed and appreciated.” I smiled; thankful we had time to ourselves.

“Now, you may return to your dorms.” We left his office, standing together in the deserted hallway.

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