She breathed heavily as she sprinted around the corridor, her freckles standing out against her pale face. Her black hair flew into her face as she ran and blinded her when she glanced back repeatedly in fear. Tripping over her sister’s old robes, she gasped in fright. The footsteps following her were growing closer. She heard the original three sets multiply and angry voices join the thuds against the stone. Seeing a door ahead, she took her last chance and dove into what she found was a broom cupboard. She slammed the door and slid down against the wood. Panting and listening with bated breath, she heard the thundering feet and jeering voices pass the door.
Emmeline Vance let out a sigh of relief.
“Who the bloody hell are you?” a voice said from amongst the brooms. Emmeline jumped and widened her eyes, squinting through the darkness.
“Who- who’s there?” she asked.
“I’m not saying a word until you tell me why I’ve been so unceremoniously interrupted here in my broom cupboard,” the voice answered.
“I’m Em- Emmeline Vance.”
“Nice to meet you Emmeline; I’m Gideon Prewett,” the voice said and suddenly a large hand was looming out of the darkness. Emmeline grasped and shook it before it hit her in the face. Then, a wand tip was illuminated, revealing a freckly, wide and caring, smiling face framed by messy, bright red hair. “Now, why don’t you tell me why you’re in my broom cupboard?”
“I was hiding,” Emmeline breathed.
“Well this is a silly place to hide, isn’t it? They always look in the broom cupboards first,” Gideon Prewett said, surveying her. He was several years older than Emmeline. She seemed to remember him from the common room sometimes, although he’d always been with another ginger boy. Besides, his red and gold tie confirmed him as a Gryffindor.
“Well they just ran past, didn’t they? So I believe my hiding place worked!” she replied indignantly, regaining her breath and her confidence now that she'd discovered Gideon was not going to hex her.
“So those are the nosy sods that were making all that racket? What did they want from you anyway?”
“Well… they- they…” Emmeline mumbled. She lowered her head. “My mum’s a Muggle,” was all she managed to stumble out.
Understanding spread across Gideon’s face. “They’re those wannabe Death Eater blokes aren’t they? Who is it? Malfoy? Crabbe? Rowle?”
“That’s sounds about right,” Emmeline said, bowing her head and playing with the fingers in her lap.
“Let me guess, they were trying to punish you for being a half-blood?” Gideon spat out for disgust, leaning back onto a bucket and crossing his arms. The wandlight flickered as he clenched his fist.
“They tried to hang me by the rafters in the dungeons and told me they were going to shave my head.”
“Bastards,” Gideon hissed. He looked up. “You know they aren’t any better than you because they have wizard parents, right? They’re just lousy sods.”
Emmeline chuckled. “Yeah, I know. It helps because it keeps me in shape when I have to run away. And I make new friends when I have to hide in broom cupboards!”
Gideon grimaced. “Let me know if any of them bother you again. I’ll take the mickey out of them. What year are you in, anyway?”
“Second,” piped Emmeline, sitting up a little straighter and giving Gideon a smile. “And thanks. By the way, why are you hiding here?”
Gideon raised his eyebrows and grinned. “Oh that’s easy: my darling twin brother, Fabian, decided he’d make my last Valentine’s Day at Hogwarts go out with a bang by proposing to my girlfriend on behalf of me. Complete and utter bullocks, the lot of it. Unfortunately, my girlfriend said yes- no idea why- and I’ve been avoiding the sure-to-be-awkward confrontation that is going to have to happen eventually by hiding in this lovely broom cupboard and plotting revenge upon Fabian.”
Gideon smiled angelically and Emmeline couldn’t help but laugh at the absurdity of it all. She clutched her sides and leaned against the door for support.
“And,” Gideon continued. “The worst part is that my baby sister, Molly, has already given us her blessing.”
Emmeline’s laughter redoubled and Gideon began chuckling with her. Soon they were caught in fits of laughter, Emmeline placing her head on Gideon’s shoulder for support.
“Alright, time to face the music,” Gideon said finally. “Let’s go. Those Slytherin thugs should be long gone by now.”
Emmeline nodded and stood up, turning the knob on the door and pulling. The door wouldn’t budge. She pulled again, harder this time. Turning back to Gideon, she said, “The door won’t open!”
Gideon shook his head. “Alohomora!” he said, waving his wand. “Try again.” Emmeline did and the door remained solidly firm in the frame.
“Bugger,” Gideon grumbled. He stood up and moved past Emmeline. Gideon grabbed the handle and pulled. He leaned completely backward before losing his grip and falling onto the floor, knocking over several brooms and a bucket as he went. “You must be joking- we’re locked in?”
Mumbling various curse under his breath, Gideon slid down against the wall again, Emmeline joined the wall next to him. “So… I guess you won’t be seeing your girlfriend any time soon?”
Gideon laughed. “Nah, I guess I won’t be. Suppose we’re stuck here for the night?”
“I guess so…” Emmeline said, sighing and trying to get comfortable in the limited space.
Emmeline woke several hours later from Gideon’s shoulder to the sounds of students’ voices and thundering feet outside the door. For a brief moment, Emmeline’s heart sped up as her brain panicked and believed the Slytherins were back. She was calming down by the time Gideon started stirring beside her.
“Door still locked?” he asked sleepily. Emmeline nodded, but stood up anyway just for something to do. She might as well bang on the door so someone could hear them and let them out. In her grogginess, she pushed the door after turning the knob and, to her surprise, the door swung open.
Gideon let out rather humorous strangled cry as the light hit his face. “Bloody hell!” he cried before crawling on all fours out the exit. “All we had to do was push!” he called behind him.
Emmeline laughed as he crawled down the corridor.
“Ready Gideon?” Emmeline cried, wand ready and ten years older, as hooded figures began popping up around them.
“I was born ready,” Gideon said, standing beside his brother and lifting his. “Let’s kick some Death Eater arse!”
With that the arched lights of the spells twisted out of their wands and Emmeline screamed, “Take that Malfoy!”
A/N: So just a little light-hearted fic about an older boy protecting a younger girl and the two eventually becoming partners in a battle against Voldemort- no big deal ;) This was written for Pottergirl7’s “The Broom Cupboard” Challenge! Reviews are appreciated! I hope you enjoyed because I had a lot of fun writing it!