Her and about a dozen other students made their way to the great hall the morning of break. Two teachers and two parents would accompany them. She didn’t really care who was going, she couldn’t plan for that, so the decision to be a solo mission was already made up.
The headmaster had allowed them to connect a floo to reach their first destination. 14 kids before her went through. Two parents, one she was certain was a Hufflepuffs dad and the other a Ravenclaw mother.
Two hours into the trip and even she could tell the dad seemed there to eat his way through. And the mother to squeeze every drop of knowledge out like sap in a tree. Both too distracted to be the effective chaperons they should be. This suited her though, it gave her the ability to pause. To stay back from the group and not be asked inane questions.
Professor Flitwick was taking charge. The trip largely set up by him in the first place. Professor Snape stayed nearly as far to the back of their group as Hermione. She watched him sometimes, his face looking almost pained when anyone tried making small talk with him. But somehow looked calm when he thought no one was looking. Practically the picture of peace as he watched the water flow through the intricate structures.
It made her realize the power in the places they visited. The divine beauty in the mosaic work, the water features like backing music to a song only the birds knew. Being at the back let her pause to admire these, away from the endless idle chatter. And unlike Professor Snape, no one would see her face start to fall. To break.