Setting: Yet Another School Corridor
Summary: Harry and Ron have a sekrit rendezvous at night, where they both fret and are Generally Gloomy about Death Eater-ness.
Harry breathed a sigh of relief when 10 o'clock rolled around. McGonagall had chosen to use his detention to give up Transfiguration help, which he would appreciate a lot more if she hadn't lectured him for the whole three hours - it wasn't exactly the most comfortable experience. Reminding himself that a far worse fate would have befallen him if Snape had given him detention instead, Harry put the mice back in its cage and thanked McGonagall before exiting the classroom.
"Harry!" hissed a voice from the shadows. Harry started, but then recognised the voice as belonging to Ron.
"It's a little too early to start hiding from Death Eaters, Ron," Harry said, nonetheless hurrying towards Ron in case McGonagall saw him.
Ron gave him a hard look. "Is it?"
"The castle's not being overrun by Death Eaters yet," Harry pointed out, smiling, albeit uneasily.
"It's only a m--" Ron cut off suddenly. Footsteps were echoing round the bend. He shot Harry a worried look and ducked back into the classroom they had just passed.
"Why're you wandering around on your own, then?" Harry said, dropping his bag on the floor.
Ron looked pointedly at the doorway. The footsteps passed, and then faded off into the distance. Convinced it was safe to talk again, he said, "Hermione wanted to revise for Binns' class and I said I'd sooner kiss a Sock Goblin than have anything to do with History of Magic notes until a week before exams..." He cleared his throat. "I thought I'd see if you'd finished your detention yet."
"Oh, okay. Thanks mate - I could use the company," replied Harry gratefully, although he'd rather spend sometime alone. He peered closely at Ron. "You - are you all right?"
"I'm alright," Ron said a little too hastily. He glanced down at his feet. "D'you--d'you ever think there's something we ought to know, but no one's been telling us? I reckon my mum and dad know about the breakout, but they haven't owled us to let on what's been happening. Well--" he amended hastily, "they haven't owled me. Dunno about Fred and George."
"There's always something going on that nobody tells us about," Harry said darkly. "Lupin hasn't even replied to my owls."
"That's really strange." Ron thought for a moment. "Maybe he's worried the owl could get intercepted on the way to Hogwarts?" he suggested. "Or! What if he has tried to owl you and somebody got to it first -- like Umbridge, reading all our mail?"
"Yeah...I hope he's okay."
"I think Fred knows something," Ron said into the momentary silence. "He won't admit to it, though. Everytime I ask him, he changes the subject, starts talking about Trelawney. And once he's started on that, he never stops."
"I suppose he probably wants to do something else besides constantly worrying about Voldemort. You know Fred," Harry said. "He hates worrying."
"Yeah. He really does."
"S'better than always wondering about Voldemort and that stupid p - all that stupid stuff," Harry muttered.
Ron flinched at the mention of the name. "Yeah," he said quietly. "So, d'you want to get back to the dormitories before Snape can find an excuse to give you even more detention?"
"Good idea. We'll have to hurry, never know when the Fat Lady goes wandering off at night to play Bridge with the other portraits." Harry slung his bag over his shoulder.
Ron held up a hand. "The map, mate. The map." He motioned to Harry's bag. "Have you got it with you?"
Ron grinned. "Okay. I solemnly swear I am up to no good." He stuck his wand back in his pocket, glancing at the tiny writing bearing the names of Hogwarts staff. "Alright. We should probably take the right-hand passage." They slipped out of the classroom and headed for the dormitories, Ron hunched over the map and Harry leading the way.