Hide and Seek

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Originally Published: October 28, 2004

Blasted Dumbledore and his foolish ideas!


Hermione Granger glared into the darkness, imagining many complicated hexes to use on their Headmaster. She respected him and thought he was extremely intelligent and powerful, but there were times she was convinced it was all an act and he was really a daft old bat. Tonight being one of those times. It was Halloween at Hogwarts and Dumbledore had been encouraging the most ridiculous celebration of the holiday the last week.


While she knew it was a way to alleviate some of the stress and worry of the ongoing War happening outside the walls of the castle, she found many of the activities ridiculous, if not dangerous. What he had done this evening happened to fall into the latter category. The entire castle was in darkness. A game of hide and seek, he had declared following dinner, then everything had gone dark. She had tried using lumos, but had quickly learned that Dumbledore had anticipated this and must have put up some sort of counterspell, rendering wands useless. It was a perfect time for Voldemort to attack, slowly killing them all one by one, she thought crossly as she continued to slowly make her way through the hallways, bumping into people and cringing as she heard the excited laughter of her classmates.


She had lost Harry and Ron in the Great Hall, had no idea where she was at the moment, and couldn’t wait for this silly game to be complete. There had been stairs, she recalled, the staircase that led to the second floor or was it the third? It was really quite bothersome that he had not informed them of his plans. She would have skipped dinner and remained in her dorm had she known she would unwillingly be playing hide and seek. Besides, as a sixth year Prefect, she should have been prepared for such a game. The students were her responsibility and God only knew what mischief some of them were getting into at the moment.


When Hermione reached a door, she found the handle and opened it, stepping into what she thought should have been the library. When the door shut behind her with an ominous click, she frowned. The doors to the library had never made such a sound before. “Bloody hell,” she cursed softly, realizing she must have, indeed, been on the wrong floor.


“Who’s there?”


Hermione frowned when she heard the unfamiliar voice, her hand instantly moving to her wand, not caring it was useless at the moment. “Who are you?”


“I believe I asked first,” was the response.


It was a boy. No, actually that wasn’t correct. He sounded like a man, which meant he was obviously a sixth or seventh year. Possibly a fifth year who had reached puberty early, she mused thoughtfully. She knew it wasn’t a Gryffindor, knowing all of them in every year. His voice was soft and he sounded amused, though there had been an underlying wariness to his tone. “I’m Hermione Granger. Now who are you?”


“Granger?” he said the name slowly, as if he were trying to place it, “I got it. You’re Potter’s friend, aren’t you? The smart one with the sharp tongue.”


“I don’t have a sharp tongue,” she glared into the shadows where he seemed to be, “and who are you, oh observant one?”


“Kitten’s got claws,” he laughed softly, “Name’s Adrian Pucey.”


“Pucey?” she repeated, her mind instantly working through the various Houses and people she knew since the name was somewhat familiar. “What House are you in?”


“Does it really matter?” he asked.


“Yes, certainly.”


“Why?”


“Why?”


“Perhaps I was wrong. You don’t seem overly bright so far.”


“Now listen here,” Hermione was annoyed at his dismissal of her intelligence, especially when he sounded so smug and amused. Her eyes suddenly widened as she said, “Slytherin.”


“You say it with such distaste,” he clucked his tongue, “and here I thought Gryffindors were supposed to be non-judgmental and accepting. I *am* disappointed, Miss. Granger.”


“You say that as if I care,” she snapped, “I try to be accepting of Slytherins but have yet to find any that prove to be above my judgements of them as selfish, spoiled, arrogant, prejudiced people who rarely think for themselves and simply do whatever their parents say.”


“So you fancy Slytherins, huh?”


“Gah! You’re impossible,” she growled before deliberately turning away from the infuriating Slytherin.


“I’ve been called much worse,” Adrian mused, “I may have to consider that a compliment, coming from one such as yourself, Miss. Granger.”


Hermione told herself to ignore him but soon found herself asking, “What do you mean by that?”


“You are not known as being an agreeable young witch, my dear. In fact, I believe I have heard you referred to as headstrong, opinionated, bossy, and what was the other word? Oh yes, impossible.”


“Hmph,” she was actually unable to deny the terms, a bit surprised that he hadn’t made a comment about her being a bossy know-it-all Mudblood, since that seemed to be his House’s favorite term for her.


“No witty retort?” he queried before sighing dramatically, “And here I was so enjoying our conversation.”


“Why won’t the blasted door open?” Hermione muttered as she pushed on the door and fiddled with the handle.


“I assume it is part of the Headmaster’s silly game,” Adrian replied, and she could practically hear the shrug in his voice.


“Do you not care that you’re trapped in a room with a Gryffindor?”


“As I said previously, Miss. Granger, I could care less about House distinctions. My loyalty is for those who earn it, not for those who simply belong to the same dorms as myself. I would think that you would not be so quick to support the separation of students by placing them in Houses and the encouragement of prejudice and rivalry by the professors and Headmaster,” he smirked into the darkness, rather enjoying this unforeseen discussion.


“You’re a bit of a prat, aren’t you?” Hermione reluctantly smiled as she realized that he was actually saying something she, herself, said quite often, thus giving her no room for argument without going against her own beliefs.


“Perhaps, but I am also rather cute and lovable,” he smiled, enjoying himself far more than expected. He’d never given the Gryffindor witch much thought, knowing her due to her position in Potter’s life and because of her academic standing, but never dwelling on what she was like. He tried to recall her image, remembering lots of curly brown hair and a rather plain face. Somewhat pretty in a natural way but not what he would consider beautiful or gorgeous. Taller than most witches, judging from the direction and sound of her voice, she wasn’t much shorter than he was, which was an average height for wizards.


“Forgive me for not trusting your arrogant opinions of yourself,” Hermione quipped, though she had to admit that the wizard was very attractive. When she had heard his name, she remembered where she had heard it. Quidditch. The dreaded sport that bored her to tears. But she went to every Gryffindor game to support her friends and House. He was on the Slytherin team, a chaser she believed. And, to be quite honest, she had noticed him for his looks after listening to Lavender and Parvarti giggle over the attractive players. Light brown hair that reminded her of the caramel that Mum made for the holidays, a nice friendly smile that was surprising to see on a Slytherin, probably Harry’s height with a slender build, though she had noticed muscles beneath his uniform after Parvarti was kind enough to point them out. With a roll of her eyes, she realized that it had taken nothing but his name to have her recalling his good looks and feeling all girly and foolish. He was a nice looking wizard, but she would never have looked without being forced by her friends. At least, she wouldn’t have looked that much.


“I shall do my utmost best to not appear too wounded by your sharp words, kitten,” he drawled lazily, waiting.


“Don’t call me that!”


Five seconds. It definitely hadn’t taken her long to react to the term of endearment. Adrian grinned in the darkness, making a mental note to send Dumbledore a note of congratulations for actually thinking up some foolish scheme that was somewhat enjoyable. “Call you what, kitten?”


“Kitten. I am not your kitten,” Hermione’s eyes narrowed as she gave up trying to open the door to face him.


“Perhaps not now, but who knows what the future holds?” he teased, “Besides, I rather like it and find it perfectly suitable for you.”


“You are just annoying, you know that?”


“Do you ever have a conversation where you refrain from insults? Personally, I find it somewhat charming, but I’m certain others might find you rather rude.”


“I’m not being insulting,” Hermione smiled smugly, “I’m merely stating the truth.”


“Ten points to Gryffindor,” Adrian remarked with a laugh, “So, kitten, what brings a nice girl like you to a place like this?”


“I enjoy spending my evenings with impossible men!” Hermione snorted, blushing slightly as she realized how that sounded. “I mean, God, that didn’t come out right.”


“I was going to ask if I should be jealous,” Adrian could imagine that she was probably blushing, the mental image of Hermione in his mind following suit and looking rather adorable. He wished now that he had paid more attention to her, rather intrigued by this intelligent and fiery witch. He smiled, “I am a one witch wizard, after all. I will be the only impossible man you spend your evenings with from now on.”


Hermione assumed he was teasing, but there was something in his voice that caused her to pause before replying. This was ridiculous, she decided. It hadn’t even been ten minutes since they spoke their first words to one another. Besides, it was widely known that Adrian Pucey was a flirt, which meant he was simply teasing. And he was a Slytherin. It was silly to let her mind dwell on his words and wonder what if, knowing there was no way a charming, handsome wizard would ever say such a thing to her in seriousness, especially not this particular wizard whom she’d just met.


Before she could respond, the door opened. She stepped outside, thankful the hallway was lit with candles. She caught sight of Professor Snape turning a corner and realized that he had “found” them, not wasting time to gloat and instead moving on to find more students. Turning to look at her companion for the duration of the game, she said, “Well, it looks like the game is over.”


Adrian looked at her for a moment, realizing that he had been wrong. She was rather beautiful, in a unique way that many might not appreciate but that he found riveting. Shaking his head slightly, confusion flashing in his green eyes before he smirked, “And here I thought it was only just beginning, kitten.”


“Yes, well, um,” Hermione couldn’t believe she was stammering, wishing the floor would open up and swallow her before she appeared an even bigger fool. It had been easier talking to him in the darkness of the room, things a bit awkward now that they were out of the room and she could clearly see his handsome face and his Slytherin tie. With a slight smile, she ignored his comments, telling him, “Have a good evening, Mister Pucey,.” before she turned to find her friends.


Adrian reacted without thinking, something he did far too often but usually didn’t have such enjoyable results. He grabbed her hand, pulling her back, his lips brushing over hers in a soft kiss. He heard her gasp of surprise, seeing her eyes widen at his actions, releasing her as his hand ran through his hair. With a determined gleam in his eyes, he smiled, “This isn’t over, Hermione Granger. Goodnight, kitten.”


Hermione stood in the hallway, her fingers brushing over her lips as she watched him walk away. At the end of the hall, he turned and winked at her, whistling as he headed downstairs. She nervously straightened her tie as she tried not to think about the simple but electrifying kiss she had just shared with Adrian. When that proved impossible, she frowned as she headed to find Harry and Ron, muttering under her breath, “Blasted Dumbledore and his foolish ideas!”


The End.