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This is the beginning of one of my newer stories. It's a little short, but I'll try not to take up too much time waiting to post the next parts. Let me know what you think! ~*~ Part one Hermione Granger looked up at the snow-coated mountain that she was trekking up, then back down to where Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Moriah Turner, her fellow Aurors, were camping out. Even from that distance, she could see them against the magical fire they had lit so they wouldn't freeze. They were all just out of Auror training, and it was a first mission for them all. They had recently heard that a band of Death Eaters were hiding away on that mountain and had been sent to scope it out. There were ideas that they were planning a mass attack on a wizard village in the area. Hermione smiled looking down on her friends. Harry and Moriah had been together since the beginning of Auror training, when they were matched against each other to fight in one of their exercises on one-on-one dueling. Hermione and Ron had been on rocky grounds since she told him and Harry about her engagement to Viktor Krum, whom she had been seeing since her fourth year in Hogwarts (six years ago). She sighed, switching her gaze from her friends to the diamond tear-dropped shaped ring she was wearing. It had been a month ago, but Ron was still sure that she should wait until Viktor knew she was an Auror to marry him. She didn't see why, but Ron was still furious at her engagement. He was positive she deserved better. As far as Hermione was concerned, Viktor was better than anyone she knew, and knew that he loved her. Hermione forced her mind away from Viktor and back to the task at hand. She had offered to trek some way up the mountain to make sure there was nowhere close enough to their camp where Death Eaters could stay and ambush them in the night. Everyone had quickly agreed, since someone had to do it, and everyone knew that it would be a long, cold, wet trip. Hermione just hadn't counted on it being THAT cold. She could no longer feel her body, and was sure that she was more blue than the average flesh color. She briefly wished that she was down by the fire with the others, and that someone else was up there, but quickly changed her mind. She wouldn't wish this cold on anyone. Not even Draco Malfoy, whom she hadn't heard from since her seventh year at Hogwarts, when he had nearly beaten the life out of her. She was sure he would have, if Ron and Harry hadn't come looking for him. Malfoy had ended up tied up outside Dumbledore's office with a note taped to his forehead saying "I beat Hermione and Harry Potter and Ron Weasley are witnesses if you need them." It had taken Hermione a while to convince them not to flay him within an inch of his life, but turn him in to Dumbledore. With the thought of a nice cup of hot chocolate when she got back, Hermione headed back up the mountain. * It seemed like Hermione had been walking for ages. She was so numb that she had fallen several times. She was, at this point, relying on her luck to not have her meet any Death Eaters. She didn't think that she would even be able to mutter a simple levitating spell through her frozen and chapped lips. She wished that she didn't have so much clothes on, it seemed like they were holding in the 50 degrees below zero temperature instead of keeping it out. "AAAHHHHH!" Hermione screamed as she fought to keep her footing. She had nearly fallen off a rugged drop that had been disguised by the almost blinding snow. She had no idea her visibility was that poor. She had just decided that it was time to head back, that they were good for the night and would say her piece about not having to do something that bad again quite yet, when she heard a familiar voice say her name right behind her. "Hermione."

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