The Sugar Quill
Author: Silver Phoenix (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Bury the Hatchet  Chapter: Chapter 1: Memories
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The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Author's Notes: Yeeeeeeehaw

Disclaimer: Now this is a story all about how,

My life got flipped turned upside down,

And I'd like to take a minute just to say right now,

I do not own Harry Potter, no way, no how. ^_~

Author's Notes: Well, this is my very first story on the Quill! *Excited* Although this baby's already up on ff.net, I've now got an amazing SQ beta (We love you NZ!), so hopefully this version will be even better! Enjoy, and for the love of Ron Weasley and all else that is red-haired, review! ^_^

Bury the Hatchet

The echoing sound of clicking heels cut through a deathly silence as Professor Hermione Granger, Arithmancy teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, walked briskly through the dark, deserted halls. A waning moon shone through the castle windows, illuminating her face and chestnut hair, which was pulled into a tight bun. She turned a corner into yet another empty hall. Hermione was not surprised; the students would not arrive at Hogwarts until tomorrow, and the only member of the staff likely to be up at this ungodly hour was Argus Filch, the irritable caretaker, and his stealthy cat Mrs Norris. Professor Granger smiled ruefully - she knew that most students prayed that Mrs Norris kicked the bucket soon. The meddling feline had lived longer than anyone had expected, and continued to enjoy getting students in trouble just as much as her master, despite her rapidly declining health.

Hermione passed the portrait of a wizard with a high collar, who would have looked very important and dignified if it hadn't been for the fact that he was snoring loudly. She was nearly there. Turning one last corner, she entered into the trophy room.

Professor Granger walked slowly now to her destination - the place she had found herself coming to on many other sleepless nights, despite the fact that she desperately warned herself it was stupid. On this particular night, she had lain awake for hours before she found herself getting dressed and heading to the trophy room. Perhaps she couldn't sleep because of the high amount of stress the entire staff had been under for the past week. Getting Hogwarts ready for the hundreds of students that would be arriving by Hogwarts Express tomorrow was no easy feat. It didn't help matters much that the Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, seemed to be aging more rapidly than ever. And while every last teacher respected him greatly and was rather fond of the old man, they had to admit that he was getting old. Hermione sighed. She never thought she'd see the day when she thought of Albus Dumbledore as old.

Hermione finally stopped in front of a large trophy, sitting on a high shelf in its place of glory. She stared at its polished, shiny gold surface, her eyes slowly traveling down to the bottom of the trophy, where three names were engraved.

Hermione Granger. Yes, that was her. Or it had been her. Professor Granger slowly ran her fingers over her own name. The Hermione Granger whom this trophy had been awarded to was quite a different person from the accomplished professor who stood before it now. It was true; in her own days at Hogwarts she had been a bit of a know-it-all, a brilliant student. That part of her hadn't changed much.

But she'd also been the courageous Muggle-born who had braved a deadly series of challenges to find the Sorcerer's Stone in her first year at Hogwarts. She'd been the semi-mischievous youth who brewed a Polyjuice Potion secretly in the girl's toilets on a quest to find the Heir of Slytherin. She had been the fiery girl who'd slapped Draco Malfoy once in a fit of rage.

She had possessed a kind of courage that grown wizards and witches could not muster to help defeat the greatest Dark wizard of all time in her final year. Hermione closed her eyes and flinched as Voldemort's dying shriek echoed through her mind once again. But it wasn't the sound, or even the image of the Dark Lord dying that, even now, frequently woke her in the middle of the night. It was rather the memory of the smell…the sickening, burning smell that had risen from Voldemort's still sizzling body once he had been killed. She would never forget that smell, as long as she lived.

Finally she opened her eyes, shaking ever so slightly. Professor Granger ran her fingers, almost lovingly, over the second name. Ronald Weasley. She sighed softly as she tried to fathom where Ron was now. She hadn't seen him since that memorable graduation…the week after…Hermione ran her fingers over the last name…the week after they and Harry Potter had finally killed the Dark Lord, finally getting revenge for the untimely death of Harry's parents.

Hermione put a finger to her temple as seven-year-old memories came flooding back to her as if they had happened yesterday…soft, evil cackling echoing throughout the dungeons as Voldemort stepped out of the shadows…the Dark Lord, pointing his wand wildly at Harry and screaming the words that would kill him…Severus Snape, doing the last thing any of them had expected and flinging himself in front of Harry at the last second. The old potions master had sacrificed himself so that his old enemy's son wouldn't have had to die.

Snape's sacrifice had meant that Harry once again had power and protection against Voldemort…then all three of them had raised their wands…Hermione had blinked back tears, and said along with her two best friends in a shaking voice…

"Avada Kedavra," Professor Granger whispered out loud to the silent room. The three of them performing the fatal spell had done what one could not - killed the unkillable. Hermione's eyes traveled down the trophy, and she stared at the words engraved beneath her, Ron, and Harry's name.

For Bravery Beyond Bravery,

And Destroying the Darkness That Plagued the World

Hermione sighed again as she glanced at the trophy beside that. On it was engraved the name Severus Snape, with the same caption as the latter award.

Professor Granger leaned against the wall, closing her eyes again. Voldemort had been destroyed the week before she, Ron, and Harry graduated from Hogwarts. The day Hermione had been looking forward to since she had begun her first year was bittersweet. The three companions who had defeated Voldemort had basked in glory and admiration as they graduated, while the rest of the wizarding world rejoiced. News had spread fast that the Dark Lord had been destroyed by the Boy who Lived.

Hermione hadn't wanted glory. That night, she couldn't stop thinking that she had become a killer at the tender age of seventeen. Hermione had felt empty and emotionless during what should have been the greatest day of her life. The day she had planned to tell Ron what she felt…

Professor Granger shook her head and stood up straight, banishing the haunting memories from her mind and scolding herself for being so silly and sentimental. It really isn't healthy for me to come down here at night and foolishly relive the past, she told herself sharply. Ron and Harry were gone - they had decided to study Defense Against the Dark Arts abroad so that they could become Aurors. After all, the fall of Lord Voldemort had not meant that all Dark wizards had fallen. True, they had been dealt a vicious blow by the downfall of their master, but there were those who would try to continue his Dark legacy.

Now both of her former best friends were famous Aurors. Professor Granger read about them frequently in the Daily Prophet. They called them the dream team, the dynamic duo. Dark Wizards beware of Potter and Weasley, the great Aurors, Hermione thought bitterly.

She had not written to either of her friends since all three had left Hogwarts. She had decided to leave her past - and them - behind, and get on with her career. Within a year of graduation, Hermione had returned to the castle to teach - even though there were many painful memories haunting the stone corridors.

But that's all they were - memories. Professor Granger had left them behind. She was content now - she had her work, and an organized, sophisticated life. No nonsense about chasing Dark wizards around. No mischievous red-head and trouble-making, scar-bearing boy to distract her anymore. Let them run around the country hunting down dark wizards. She was perfectly happy where she was.

What happened to you, Hermione Granger? said an annoying little voice in her head that sounded suspiciously like Ron.

"I grew up," Professor Granger snapped sharply, her voice bouncing off the trophy room walls. Taking one last glance at the trophies, she spun on her heel and marched out of the room.

 

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