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To celebrate the births of mctabby's cats, she hosts an annual drabble-a-thon, and this year, I decided to participate, because last year I was busy recouperating from a post-birth headache and thus was quite miserable. This year, I plotted it out on the beach while watching my daughter play in the sand, so what was supposed to be 100 words turned into about 1100 words - meep, that's what happens when you don't write at all in over a year! - so I've posted it here

For: kitsuneneko
Prompt: Hermione and Harry running around after Draco
Word count: 1100+
Rating: PG at most, and that's for language only



"It's so nice of Headmistress McGonagall to incorporate an Easter egg hunt this year, with everyone restricted to grounds until Voldemort's finally defeated," Hermione said as she and Harry walked from Gryffindor Tower towards the infirmary. He'd been waiting outside the Fat Lady for twenty minutes while she spoke to some third years who were disgruntled about the new ban on Hogsmeade visits for those under sixth year. "It's really terrific to have you back for the weekend, Harry. I didn't think we'd see you until N.E.W.T.s week."

"I couldn't leave Ron stuck in the infirmary without paying a visit," Harry replied. "Breaking his leg hiding Easter eggs! Did he even know that the Whomping Willow had put out roots that far?" He laughed. "Besides that, I needed to pick up a bundle of shredded networt from Neville - even Hedwig won't carry it anymore. And I wanted to talk with both of you about something."

"No other reason? No other Weasleys you wanted to see?"

"You mean Ginny?"

"Of course," she said. Harry didn't sound happy, but he should! Ginny hadn't gone to the Easter egg hunt - she'd been finishing her notes for Quidditch practice the next day. Hermione had left Ginny at the dorm so she could finish getting ready, and then she'd meet them in the hospital wing.

"I saw her already. She was on the steps when I got here. She gave me a kiss and said she'd be back after she ran an errand in Hogsmeade so I... Hermione? What?"

"That wasn't Ginny," Hermione said. "She's up in the dorm. I just saw here there and --" Hermione pulled the Marauder's Map from her pocket; she'd been carrying it since Headmistress McGonagall had named her Head Girl and Harry had decided not to return for his seventh year - he couldn't very well use it away from Hogwarts.

"Malfoy!" Harry looked at the map and shouted. "It's him that's heading for Hogsmeade, not Ginny!" He started running back towards the Entrance Hall with Hermione close on his heels.

"He won't run fast this time," Hermione gasped out as they dashed down the front stairs in between glances at the Map. "He won't want anyone getting suspicious, so we can catch him if he doesn't see us. Or you could put on the cloak and --"

Harry seemed to guess what she was suggesting and pulled his Invisibility Cloak from a pocket, then tossed it over his head as Hermione slowed to a trot and shouted, "Ginny! Wait for me!" towards a polyjuiced Draco Malfoy. "I need you to pick something up at the Hog's Head!"

Draco kept walking as if he didn't hear her; perhaps he'd forgotten that he was supposed to be Ginny right now? Hermione thought she could hear Harry running from where she was towards Draco, and when she was only twenty feet away, she called again, "Ginny! Stop! Please!"

Draco paused and started to turn around when an invisible Harry took advantage of the situation and knocked Draco to the ground. Hermione pulled her wand out and dashed the last few yards to where the boys were struggling on the ground, as Draco tried to get away and Harry tried to pin him.

"You kissed me! You snuck into Hogwarts to kiss me? You stole Ginny's hair and made Polyjuice to kiss me? Or is there some other evil you had in mind, Malfoy?" Harry shouted as he pushed Draco onto the ground. Hermione didn't know what to say or do - if she tried a freezing charm on Draco, even at this close range, she might miss him and catch Harry instead, they were moving so fast in their struggles.

"You're not worth that effort, Potter! You think I'd take that risk for a petty reason like that? Draco asked, struggling to crawl away from Harry's grasping arms and twisting Ginny's mouth into a sneer. They were both shouting at each other as Draco's face continued twisting back into his pale face and grey eyes. Harry sat back a moment as Draco's limbs lengthened a bit and his legs stretched from the feminine robes. He pulled the clip out of his hair and threw it towards Harry, almost in defeat. In his hand, Hermione saw a small Easter egg, one of the ceramic ones that had been hidden the day before, and spelled so it wouldn't appear until the younger students descended on the grounds for the special event.

Hermione gasped. "You came to get the ashwinder eggs, didn't you? How did you know?"

"They're not just any ashwinder's eggs! They're --" Draco stopped and closed his mouth into a line. "Well, I don't have to tell you what they are. What are you going to do now? Tie me up and drag me to the Headmaster's office?"

"There is no Headmaster, Malfoy," Harry growled. "Snape made sure of that!"

"Headmistress, then. Or do you have a Dementor lurking here, or will it be the Ministry instead?"

"Um," Harry said. He seemed surprised at Draco's sudden calmness, but Hermione reasoned that Draco must've expected something like this every day for about a year. Maybe he was glad to finally stop running. "I've been running around after you and Snape for months, Malfoy, and I still don't know what the pair of you have been trying to do. Tell me and that will determine what we do with you."

"Too easy. There's a trap here, but I don't really care any more."

"If you don't care, then hand over the egg, Malfoy," Hermione interjected. He opeed his hand and she saw the small purple ceramic egg, smoke billowing from the tiny holes in its shell. His hand was red where he held it, so she plucked it from his palm with a finger and thumb, then charmed her pocket so she could keep it there without burning her robes.

"So why ashwinder eggs? What made you, as you said, risk everything to get a handful? Is Snape trying to create a potion to make Voldemort fall in love with --"

"Ugh, no! Granger, I'd expect Potter wouldn't be able to figure it out, but I thought you would by now. Snape's come up with a way to negate the effect of a freezing charm on ashwinder eggs, and he thinks that they're the best way to..."

"To set a horcrux on fire!" Hermione and Harry exclaimed together. She sat down hard onto the grass next to the boys and threw her arms around both of their necks. "Back to the castle with you, Malfoy, and into my suite. I think we have a project to wrap up tonight!"

Oh, and sharp_tongue wrote a wonderful ficlet for me! Thanks so much for it!