"Alright, Malfoy?"

"Alright, Granger."

"Good." She took a deep breath. "And you definitely read the brief before we left, didn't you?"

"Yes," he rolled his eyes, "and I also read it approximately five thousand times as you asked me to previously. I'm almost certain I have it committed to memory."

"I believe that's my job, actually." She offered him a weak smile. A brief, awkward silence followed.

"So," Draco cleared his throat. "This sucks, doesn't it?" he tossed his fringe out of his eyes and Hermione frowned up at him.

"You need a hairclip for that." She muttered under her breath, smiling sweetly when he looked at her for a response. "Well…"

"Can't believe they actually have us working on the one night our department's throwing a party. Potter really is a sadistic little - " He was cut off when Hermione stopped short and turned around to glare at him.

"Well Harry didn't choose for some wannabe Death Eaters to decide to stage their uprising tonight, did he?" she huffed.

"Okay, Granger," he held his hands up in mock surrender and smirked slightly. "Don't get your panties into a twist." He noted with pleasure that she blushed a little. "So," she spoke conversationally, "the witching hour. Pretty dark, hmm? Definitely seems like they're trying to make a statement, what with choosing tonight and all that – y'know, because Potter's parents were - "

"Are you going anywhere with this, Malfoy?" Hermione snapped. "Of course they're trying to make a point by choosing this precise time for whatever ritual they have planned, but in all honesty, our source is questionable at best so I really don't know how much of the information we can trust at all." She finished, taking a deep breath. "What I'm trying to say, is that we've got to be extremely caref – oh!" Something gave way on the ground below her feet and she slipped before stumbling forwards. She was almost immediately caught by a pair of surprisingly strong arms.

"You were saying, Granger?" Draco grinned, entirely unperturbed as he unceremoniously hauled her to her feet.

She sniffed and strode ahead to hide the warmth rising to her cheeks. "Thanks." She managed to call over her shoulder.

"Any time!" he replied. She could practically hear the smirk in his voice.

Hermione suddenly stopped in her tracks. "Malfoy? Get over here, now." The urgency of her tone wiped the smile off his face and he hurried forward.

"What have you found?" he stood next to her peering ahead in the same direction she appeared to be looking. After a second, he noticed a sort of shimmering translucence which seemed to be hanging in the air.

"Wards." Hermione scrunched up her nose in thought.

"But – we tried, just a few metres back – we couldn't find them!"

"Are you really surprised?" She shook her head. "Summon the others now, I think…we need help getting past these without being detected. I'll just be a second."

"Granger, what're you - "

She was already off, retracing their steps through the woods, so he shrugged in resignation and pulled the charmed ring off the chain around his neck.

A few seconds later, he heard Hermione call out in triumph. He turned around to see that she was standing around the area where she'd slipped some minutes ago, and was levitating some scraps of material in the air.

"They'll all be here in a minute." He jogged towards her. "What are those?"

"Pretty primitive, but when I tripped earlier, it was on the latch for a trapdoor. There's a little hatch down here, and I found these inside. They're cloaks, I think."

His eyes widened. "You didn't touch them, did you?"

She scoffed. "Of course not." She allowed the cloaks to drop to the floor. "Run a scan on these, will you?"

He nodded and pulled out his wand, and she raced back towards the barrier of wards. He couldn't stop a slight smile at her enthusiasm despite the gravity of the situation.

A short distance away, Hermione frowned and leaned closer to examine the wards. After a moment's thought, she bent down to pick up a twig off the ground, and gently threw it in front of her. As she suspected, it lightly bounced off the nearly-invisibly barrier but didn't seem to actively disturb the wards.

"I can't find any curses on the cloaks!" she head Draco say.

"Can you bring them over here?"

She heard the crunch of his footsteps on the drying leaves on the ground beside her and without turning around, stretched out her palm. "Just one, please."

Draco knew better than to question her, so he passed her one cloak without saying anything. Carefully, Hermione threw it in front of her.

It passed through wards easily.

"Another, please." She whispered, and Draco complied. This time, Hermione slipped the cloak on so it covered her, and ignoring the musty stench – and Draco's cry of protest – she stepped forward. She felt a slight resistance as she passed through the wards, but then she was on the other side and she wasn't harmed in any way. She turned around, smiling at Draco's expression.

"It looks like we're dealing with amateurs."


It had been a good half-hour since the rest of their team of Aurors had arrived, and after some analysis (and a serious berating at the risk Hermione had taken), they found themselves approaching a shack in the middle of a clearing.

"I can't believe they haven't detected us yet." Draco shook his head. "It feels too easy – something's off about this."

"Too late now." Hermione gritted her teeth. "Fan out." She spoke to the group of wizards and witches behind her, who immediately surrounded the building. "On my signal." She mouthed, holding up her fingers. One…two…three.

"ALOHOMORA!" A chorus of yells was heard and the Aurors quickly moved in as the doors and windows burst open.

Their brilliantly executed "raid" was immediately followed by confusion, however, because the single room they'd entered was entirely deserted.


Hermione spun around just in time to see the man behind her fall to the ground, and she whipped her wand up into the air, producing a shield around her as the others did too. There was no way that there was anybody apart from their group standing in the room because they'd filled the entire shack –

"The ceiling!"

She heard someone yell, and her head snapped upwards; she saw that there were dozens of people crammed up in the rafters all with their wands pointing down at them, and with a yell, they began to drop to the ground.

And so, the fight began.


And it ended, just under five minutes later.

Hermione looked around the room. Their team had suffered just one casualty – the first person to be hit with a spell – and he had only been stunned. The floor was littered with the unconscious bodies of teenagers, all wearing billowing black robes – entirely impractical for fighting in.

"Well that was embarrassing." She turned around to see Draco leaning against the wall. He bent over to spit some blood out of his mouth, and then shook his head at her concerned look. "I'm fine." He insisted.

"They're just teenagers." Hermione groaned. "Where are the parents of these kids, for the love of Merlin?"

"Ever the responsible one, Granger." Draco smirked a little.

Two women entered the room. "We just checked the shack and the area surrounding," they spoke directly to Hermione and Draco, "and there are definitely no traces of dark magic here."

"Can't say I'm surprised." Hermione ran her fingers through the knots in her hair. "We haven't heard any more from the person who tipped us off, have we?"

"Not back at the Ministry, no." Someone else called out.

"Okay." Draco raised his voice. "Can we get these kids back to the holding cells? Pass them over to Finnigan's team over there and tell them that there's definitely no threat here. We need the kids identified and their parents need to be contacted." He paused. "And then you guys can go home. We'll both deal with the paperwork tomorrow," he nodded at Hermione. "Take the rest of the night off. Go to the party or something." He shrugged.

After a few "goodbye"s and "thank you"s, the Aurors apparated away with a series of cracks and pops, taking the supposed revolutionaries with them.

"Harry's going to be so embarrassed tomorrow," Hermione smiled a little, turning to face Draco.

"To be entirely honest," Draco was deadly serious, "I don't really blame him. He couldn't have ignored the fact that somebody passed on information about Voldemort sympathisers, could he?"

She grinned at him. "I am so telling him that you're on his side tomorrow."

"When?" he challenged her back. "While we're training the new recruits, or working our way through a huge pile of paperwork?"

The smile dropped from her face. "Oh," she groaned, "I completely forgot about that."

"Yeah, well," he winked. "It's a good thing you have me to rely on."

She rolled her eyes.

"You know, Granger." Draco cleared his throat. "It's probably not too late to catch the party tonight – at McLaggen's?"

Hermione didn't protest, much to his surprise. In fact, she positively beamed – quite mischievously, actually. "Malfoy?"

"Ye-es…" his eyes narrowed.

"Race you there!"

And then she was gone.


Somewhere between entering the house and making her way to the dance floor, Hermione had managed to lose Draco and she spent the majority of her time dancing looking over her shoulder in the hope that she'd be able to spot him amongst the crowd.

As she'd suspected, most people around her had used Halloween as an excuse to…undress, pretty much. She personally, was not a supporter of the nudist movement, but she was surrounded by half-naked "nurses", "cats" and "vampires" – apparently some muggle traditions carried over to the wizarding world.

"Hermione!" She heard someone squeal, and she quickly turned around.

It was Lavender Brown. Damn.

"Lavender!" she forced a smile.

"Look. At you." Lavender paused before shrieking and tossing her hair over her shoulder. She moved closer to Hermione and began to dance. "You have just gone all out! I mean – is that real blood?" Her eyes widened and she clapped a hand over her mouth. "And the ripped open blouse!" she giggled. "Trying to impress a certain," she leaned closer so Hermione could smell the vodka on her breath, "Malfoy?"

"What?" Hermione snapped, looking down with a gasp. Apparently during the fight earlier, her clothes had snagged on something and ripped, ending up in a more…revealing…fashion than she'd intended. She pulled her wand out and quickly dealt with her top, ignoring Lavender's disappointed pout.

"Forget I said anything," she winked conspiratorially. "But I just have to ask – I mean, that lace was gorgeous – where did you - "

Completely mortified, Hermione cut her off immediately. "Hey Lavender, what are you doing here?" she almost-snapped. "I mean…you're not part of the department, are you?"

"No, silly!" She was easily distracted. "My boyfriend organised this!"

Oh. Of course.

"Cormac can be so wild sometimes!" Lavender laughed.

I would know, Hermione thought with a shudder. Some memories simply weren't welcome.

Just then, she noticed a flash of platinum-blond in her peripheral vision. She turned her back on Lavender, who was happy enough to latch onto someone else while she gushed about Cormac, and saw Draco pushing his way through the crowd as he headed in the direction of the balcony. Hermione quickly moved after him, grabbing a drink and a couple of snacks when she passed a hovering platter, and she finally made it outside. Draco was leaning against the railings and looking out over the garden, and he didn't hear her approach.

"I'm assuming you're not the dancing type?" Hermione teased, and he jumped a little when she put a hand on his shoulder.

"Are you going to make this sneaking-up-on-people thing a habit?" he retorted, but without any real malice. "And no, Granger, I am not the dancing type."

"Don't be such a loner." She laughed. "I would pay good money to see you dance."

"I bet you would." He arched an eyebrow suggestively and she snorted, trying to ignore how warm she suddenly felt.

"You should go socialise." She pushed.

"Granger, I would rather shit on my hands and clap."

They both looked at each other and burst out laughing. When she finally regained her breath, Hermione raised her champagne flute a little.

"Despite the circumstances, we did well tonight, partner." She smiled.

"As much as I hate to admit it, we make a good team. Cheers." He clinked his glass against hers and took a large gulp of his drink. Hermione noted that he was more relaxed tonight, and his usually immaculately styled hair was falling into his eyes a little. It was cute.

She shivered slightly.

"You okay?" he looked at her but didn't offer her his robes. He knew she would just be insulted by what was supposed to be a "chivalrous" action.

Hermione nodded. "Catch." She threw him one of the little cakes she'd picked up and he caught it, taking a neat little bite from the side.


They ate in companionable silence.

When Hermione looked up at him again, he'd finished his cake, and in doing so, he'd managed to get the chocolate sprinkles all over his lips.

"Malfoy," she laughed, pulling his sleeve so he turned to face her. She pointed to her own lips. "You've got a bit of - "

"What?" he delicately wiped at the corner of his mouth, making her laugh even harder.

"Not quite there, just - "

He bent down and gestured for her to help him. And Hermione suddenly got the strangest of urges –

And for the next twenty seconds, her hands were tangled in his hair as she kissed away all the sugar from his lips, pulling herself closer to his body until she finally got a response.

She stepped back from him with a sparkle in her eye.

Draco's arms hung awkwardly by his side. "So," his voice was low and it caught slightly as he spoke, "that's how you celebrate?"

She cocked her head at him.

"If it is, remind me to take you out more often, because - "

"Oh, shut up and kiss me again." Hermione grinned, and he did, and it was gentle and sweet and ever so slightly intoxicating this time round, the way his arm wrapped around her waist and her hand slid behind his neck.

This time, the entirely ignored the people staring at them.

(After all, they both had a feeling that this was going to become a regular occurrence.)

Hello everyone! No, I'm not dead. I must have written between 20,000-30,000 words over the past few months, and I've deleted pretty much all of it. I used Halloween as a prompt to force me into writing something and I came up with this only last night so it's pretty rushed and pretty last-minute but it's the first thing I've actually had fun writing in absolutely ages and I really wanted to get it up today. I'm so sorry to all of the people who have PM'd me with no response, I promise I want to talk to all of you and I will find time to have a lovely long conversation with everybody I've abandoned in recent weeks. Thank you for your patience.

Hope you enjoyed this silly little oneshot…happy Halloween! Love y'all,

Tris xx