This isn't the world you're used to.
Sidney took a drag of coffee from her cup and grimaced. It had gone cold again, and it really wasn't doing anything to perk her up. Not after the twelfth cup.
Giving a frustrated growl she leaned back in her chair. Giving a disgusted look at the parchment stacked high in front of her on the desk. She'd been here all night, and most of the morning and had yet to see the end of it. This always happened on the fourteenth of February; anyone married or involved called the day off and the bulk of the work was left to those who didn't have anyone. Her name had cropped up on the list of the poor single unfortunates this year. Even if she really wasn't. Too bad, so sad, no documentation, start working.
Two, three more hours, Sidney decided. If she hurried she could get the bulk of it done by then. And if anyone came into work early, bubbling about what a wonderful fourteenth they'd had she wring their necks.
Harry deliberately drags his feet as he crosses the Great hall, miserably wishing that he could get someone else to do this chore. He's already sent Ares off to search and informed the Headmaster of what their little search party found today (though he omitted the part about the group). The Headmaster was missing from the head table tonight. Harry suspected he was with the Wilson boys parent's right now...This is the last duty he has to full fill tonight.
Coming to a halt in front of the table, Harry ignored all the evil looks cast at him by most of Slytherin house.
"Draco. I need to talk to you."
The portal spits them out just within a few meters of the edge of the Forbidden Forest. The foliage isn't that dense; the forest floor is covered only covered with low bracken. But hundreds of tall, well-established trees with thick trunks spread out in all directions as far as the eye can see, their branches are so thick that even at this time of year almost all of the afternoon light was blocked, giving a sacred otherworldly quality to the forest.
Harry turns to the others, his face pinched with worry. "Sorry. But we don't want be seen. The woods seemed like the best place to set the portal too." he grimaces and points to the edge of the forest. "We should come out of the woods far enough away that no one will be able to see us from the castle. Just be careful."