She found the roof top garden one morning during her free period. It was quiet, walled in on three sides by the castle with the final side offering a stunning view over the Black Lake and the Forbidden Forest. The garden itself was filled with fragrant blooms that seemed to have absolutely no magical properties, which originally confused Hermione but she loved it so much that she didn’t even question the lack of magic. She opened her book and turned to the chapter she needed, reading in the silence, the air less heavy than most areas of the castle, with none of the negative memories she associated with her time there.
It was almost too quiet and she wished that the silence were less oppressive, more calming, more interesting. Or in fact, less silent. She laughed softly to herself and continued reading. The place was very pretty, nonetheless. A moment later, she heard the sounds of bubbling water and she looked up rapidly, scanning the garden for a change. A small stone waterfall with a tiny pond had appeared out of nowhere and she giggled. Further proof, she assumed, that Hogwarts was in fact sentient. All she needed now was a purring cat and a glass of lemonade and her time here would be well spent. A glass of lemonade appeared by her left hand and she laughed, toasting the air as she took a sip of perfectly cooled cloudy lemonade.
She came back to the garden daily, always listening to the water fountain, always asking for a glass of lemonade, which she had finally realised was probably made by the House Elves, and studying for her NEWTs exams. It took a week before she was aware that there was someone, or rather, something else in the garden. It was after lunch on a Wednesday that she met the other occupant of the little garden that had become her haven.
The cat came towards her nervously, sniffing the air and eventually it lay down against her book. Hermione, having dealt with skittish cats before, knew not to move until the cat accepted her presence in its’ space. However, as an animal lover it was incredibly hard for her. Eventually though, the cat began to run against her and she smiled, rubbing the patch between its ears. Now this? This was perfect.