The portrait door swung open and Professor McGonagall rushed in, her eyes gleaming with fury. Sparks shot out of her wand as she glared at the four of them, standing guiltily in astonishment looking back at her. Hermione heard a small squeak escape Su's mouth, but they were otherwise silent.
"What ON EARTH are the quadruple of you doing in the common room in the middle of class???? I'm EXTREMELY disappointed in all of you, especially you, Potter, Weasley, and Miss Granger. You are all fifth years, and well old enough to know what to do, and skipping class is most certainly NOT one of them. As for you, Miss Chang," she turned to Su, still furious, "I believe I told you to come to get a book? Why are you all standing in the middle of the Gryffindor Common Room half an hour before lunch while the rest of the school is in class???"
For a moment, no one spoke. Harry, Ron, and Hermione seemed to realize that no explanation would get them out of this dilemma. To even begin to explain that they were originally going to complain about Professor Snape would eventually lead to the Marauder's Map. As Hermione thought of this, a horrible image came to her mind. Slowly, she edged toward the table where the Marauder's Map lay exposed. Discreetly, while McGonagall was still glaring at Harry, she snatched up the map and stuffed it in her robes. Harry, seeing what she had done, gave her a grateful nod. He relaxed a bit, but immediately tensed up. Professor McGonagall had gone completely red. Her mouth formed such a thin line it was hardly visible. Without another word, she grabbed them all by the arm and led them out of the room.
Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Su, taken by surprise, had no time to react to McGonagall's sudden grab. Looking at each other in fear, they had no choice but to follow Professor McGonagall out of the room and through the portrait hole. Harry looked over to Hermione, who was biting her bottom lip in anxiety. She had never been in such trouble. Harry himself was afraid as well. He had never seen Professor McGonagall so angry. But she had a right to be, he thought, we were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Professor McGonagall led them into a small broom closet. It could fit hardly ten people and had but a lightbulb and two crates as seats. She shoved the four of them in there.
"You are to stay in here until after dinner. You will not have any lessons nor meals until tomorrow morning. I had better not hear anything." Her eyes softened a bit and she said in a lower voice, "Potter, I expected better from you." Without further ado, she slammed the door behind her, locking it from the outside. Harry hung his head in shame as the rest stared in bewilderment. Ron and Hermione were curiously looking at each other. It was unusual for McGonagall to perform such harsh treatment. Su and Hermione sat down on the empty crates. Leaning against a wall, Su slowly nodded off.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione, however, were far from tired. They looked around them. It was a cramped room, but infinitely tall. There was a small window near the very top of the ceiling that could fit one person through. Sun poured in through the miniscule window and cast streams of sunlight around them. Around them, there were five to six brooms, each Cleansweep Sevens and coated in dust. Harry and Ron stood while Hermione sat; the three of them waited in silence for dinner to come. Eventually, the rays of the sun disappeared as dusk settled in. Finally, night fell and Ron grabbed for the switch to the light. As he snapped the bulb on, Su awoke with a start. She looked around her, confused at first, but seemed to realize where she was. She, like the rest, sat quietly, waiting for Professor McGonagall to retrieve them. Seconds past, minutes, and finally hours. The four of them waited until the reflection of the moon shown brightly through the window at the top of their crowded broom closet. They waited until the stars could be seen glimmering in the sky. They waited until it was evident that it was no earlier than midnight. They waited until the truth sank in that Professor McGonagall was not coming to get them.