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Bury the Hatchet
Author's Notes: Strangely enough,
I have nothing to say here besides a huge thank
you to my beta, Night Zephyr! You rule, as always. Also, thanks for all the
kind reviews so far! I feel so loved and welcomed to SQ! ^_^
It was pale, early sunlight spilling onto her face that woke Professor
Granger up. She groaned as she began to slowly opened her eyes…hadn't she just
returned from the trophy room?
Hermione gave a yelp as her vision cleared to reveal someone peering down at
her. She blinked a few times before she realized who the sandy haired, blue
eyed, spectacle-sporting man was.
"Good morning, darling!" he exclaimed energetically, flashing his
very straight, very white teeth. Hermione tried not to groan again as she
glanced over at her clock. It was only in the morning.
"Charles…" Hermione mumbled as she sat up, rubbing her eyes.
"First of all, what in the world are you doing here, and second of all,
what in the world are you doing here at in the morning?"
Beaming, he produced a tray from behind him and set it on her bed. "Why,
I've brought you breakfast in bed, honeycakes!"
he said brightly. It took all of Hermione's willpower not to cringe at the word
She had been seeing Charles Griney, Head of the
Department of Finance at the Ministry of Magic, for nearly a year now. In fact,
it had been around this time, early September, that she'd met him a year
before. When they had first met, Hermione had found Charles enthusiastic, kind,
and sweet. Now…well, Hermione still thought he was sweet,
and very nice…but his occasionally overzealous attitude, corny nicknames, and
excited chattering slightly annoyed her.
"Why, I'm here with the Minister for Magic, sweetheart," Charles
explained as he carefully filled a goblet with orange juice. "He chose me
to accompany him to the Sorting Feast…I think it's marvelous that he's
decided to attend such an important event at Hogwarts each year, it gets the
children so excited…"
The young teacher briefly tuned out as she sat up and began unenthusiastically
munching on a piece of toast. She had never really felt very strong or powerful
feelings for Charles. Not as strong as her feelings had been for…oh, for
example, Ron Weasley…
That, Hermione chided herself, was a girlish infatuation. A stupid crush.
She glanced up at Charles, who was still talking, oblivious to the fact
that she wasn't listening. Professor Granger smiled weakly up at him.
Anyways, she decided as her boyfriend chattered on, what I have with
Charles is much morereasonable. He's dependable, he's reliable,
"Still talking…" Hermione murmured,
unaware of the fact that she'd said it out loud.
" - and…what's that, pumpkin?" Charles
asked, interrupting himself in the middle of a lengthy, tedious sentence.
"I said I should really get dressed and ready now that I'm awake
anyway," Hermione explained, smiling sweetly. "I'll see you later in
the Great Hall," she insisted as she hopped out of bed and began leading
him out the door.
"Well, all right…see you later, snookums,"
Charles said, flashing his pearly white smile, then
leaning forward for a kiss.
Hermione leaned in quickly and gave him a peck on the cheek, then closed her
door with a sigh.
Professor Granger hurried into the Great Hall, where tiny Professor Flitwick
and Professor Willows, who easily towered over her colleague, were setting up
the long house tables. They floated them through the air with swishes of their
"When are the students due to arrive, Kathleen?" Hermione asked the
tall, slender Herbology teacher.
"Soon, I hope." Professor Willows replied, landing the Ravenclaw table with a bang. "I'm rather hungry."
"Should be any minute now, Hermione," Professor Flitwick piped up,
checking his over-large wristwatch.
Hermione glanced around the Great Hall. A few other members of the staff were
making last-minute preparations for the feast, while several of the Hogwarts
ghosts floated above them, silvery and transparent. The bewitched ceiling was a
deep blue colour; stars were just beginning to
appear, winking down on the Great Hall.
"…not a clue," Flitwick was saying to Professor Willows in his
high-pitched voice. "It's a strange new character every year. And each
seems to be crazier than the last!"
Hermione smiled slightly as she realized what her former Charms teacher was
talking about. True to the strange tradition that had begun in Hermione's first
year at Hogwarts, there had been a different Defense Against
the Dark Arts teacher every single year without fail. When Snape, to everyone's
great surprise, finally got the job in Hermione's seventh year, everyone
was sure at least he would last awhile. Hermione flinched every so
slightly and forced herself to think about something else.
"White and Ramone seemed to have started up a rumour at the end of last year that the new teacher was
going to be a gnome," Willows was saying, unable to contain a smile.
Flitwick burst into tiny giggles and Hermione snorted. Paul White and Roger Ramone were, without a doubt, the Fred and George Weasleys of the new generation of Hogwarts students.
"Hopefully the students keep in mind that White and Ramonealso started the infamous rumour that Filch's cat is really an alien," Hermione said,
rolling her eyes.
"Ah, but that rumourdid have some truth
in it, Professor Granger," said an amused voice behind her. Hermione
turned around to see Albus Dumbledore leaning on his
cane. "I myself have had doubts that Mrs. Norris is an ordinary cat. I'm
positive her alien counterparts are scheming to beam her back up any day now,"
he said with a twinkle in his eye, hobbling up to the three of them. "Is
everything set for the students?"
"Headmaster," Hermione began, her tone
considerably gentler. "Perhaps you should take a break…sit down for a
"Nonsense!" Dumbledore insisted with a wave
of his hand.
"Your health, Headmaster," Hermione reminded him in a soft voice.
"Not to worry, Hermione, I feel fit enough to wrestle a Hippogriff,"
Dumbledore assured her with a wink, then limped up to
the Head Table.
Professor Willows sighed. "The poor dear. His
health has just been going downhill ever since…well, around this time last
Chewing on her lip, Hermione didn't respond, just sadly watched Dumbledore's
frail, retreating form. It seemed so…wrong. Dumbledore had always been
omnipotent, unstoppable – his presence alone was reassuring to all of the
teachers and students, just as it had been back when Hermione herself was a
student. Even with the dark shadow of Voldemort looming over the school,
Dumbledore had remained calm, had protected them.
But then again, Hermione reminded herself, when they had needed his
protection most, Dumbledore hadn't been there. Not until she was crouched,
sobbing, over Snape's lifeless body, while Harry
proceeded to be violently sick on the dungeon floor. Dumbledore had turned out
to be human just like the rest of them – he'd felt the constant fear and
anxiety too, and had mourned for the lives lost as well. He'd even been
completely powerless at some points, just as helpless as the rest of the wizarding
world when it had come to some things.
Still, he remained the most powerful wizard of their time. And to finally
see age catching up with the fiery old wizard was heartbreaking.
"Professor Granger," a crisp voice said. Hermione jumped a little and
spun around. Apart from the flecks of gray that were starting to appear in her
chestnut-coloured bun, Minerva McGonagall looked
exactly the same as Hermione remembered from when she was a student. But just
now, McGonagall was standing right behind Hermione, looking furious.
"What is it, Professor?" Hermione asked in alarm. She would never be
able to call Professor McGonagall by her first name.
"White and Ramone," McGonagall said through
clenched teeth. "I need you to deal with them…I'm supposed to be greeting
the first years. This way," she said as she walked briskly away. Professor
Granger hurried after her, following the strict professor into the Entrance
Paul White and Roger Ramone could have passed for
brothers. Both had messy brown hair, wore their robes loosely and casually, and
had a knack for getting into trouble. The only difference between them was that
Paul was a bit shorter than his tall, gangly best friend. They were standing
behind a group of burly seventh years, hoping to hide. However, Roger's untidy
brown hair was just visible, sticking up from behind a Ravenclaw
"So," Professor Granger said as the seventh years quickly
moved aside to reveal the pranksters. She and McGonagall gave the boys
identical strict looks. Both mischief makers smiled innocently up at them.
"Professor Granger, these two troublemakers decided it would be…"
McGonagall rolled her eyes, "…amusing to bewitch the Hogwarts
carriages to take them to Hogsmeade instead of the
"We would never do such a thing!" Roger insisted, sounding
"The carriages decided to take us to Hogsmeade
all by themselves!" Paul said, his eyes wide. His
innocent act was ruined by Roger's untimely snickering.
"My office, boys," Hermione said sternly. The shoulders of both
students slumped dejectedly as they followed her into her office.
"Since the school year hasn't even started yet…" Hermione shot the
two boys a glare as she sat herself at her desk. Paul and Roger seated
themselves comfortably in the chairs opposite her. "I won't deduct points
The boys grinned hopefully.
"Don't think you're getting off the hook," the strict witch
continued wryly. "By pulling that little stunt you could have endangered
Hogwarts property, the other students in the carriage, and yourselves. Detention for both of you tomorrow night. I know Professor Drago needs some help organizing potion ingredients in the
At this both boys sat up, complaining loudly at the same time. Hermione sighed
and held up her hands for silence.
"One at a time," she said flatly. "What's the excuse
White and Ramone exchanged glances, then finally Paul spoke up. "Professor Granger…"
he began dramatically. "You can't send us into
those dungeons…alone…with her…"
"And why not?" Hermione demanded crisply.
Roger took a deep breath. "Professor Granger," he said, clutching his
heart. "Drago…is trying to kill us both."
Hermione couldn't help it; she barely managed to stifle laughter. Pressing her
lips very tightly together, she managed to control the giggles that had
suddenly threatened to escape. Taking her lack of a response as a good sign,
the mischievous pair continued.
"She's made three separate attempts to take our lives thus
far," Paul continued in a long-suffering voice. "I think it's just
because we're Gryffindors…"
Hermione couldn't help smiling dryly at that. The one thing Hermione liked
about Diana Drago was the fact that she didn'tfavour the students in her Slytherin
over the others. The one thing she strove for was to be fair everyone. However,
this one positive quality certainly didn't mean Hermione was Drago's biggest fan. Usually, the potion master's fairness
policy just meant that no matter what house you were in, she'd have a
witty, sarcastic remark about your poor workmanship ready for you at any given time.
But at least she wasn't just torturing the Hufflepuffs,
Ravenclaws or Gryffindors. Slytherins got told off, too.
"And us…well…if you send us down to
those dungeons…" Roger continued.
"You'll never see us alive…again," Paul finished, sniffling
Hermione stared at them blankly, and then slowly shook her head. "So. The Potions Mistress is plotting to murder you? I
must admit, it's one of your more creative excuses. I give it an eight-point-five
for imagination. Now, despite the fact that this was one of your best
performances yet, you still have detention."
The boys tried their best to look hurt.
"Oh, get to the feast; we've probably already missed the Sorting,"
Hermione said with a sigh, standing up.
"Ah well. We tried," Roger said brightly.
"Yes, I s'pose.Brilliant acting, Roger, old boy. Truly, it was, by far, your best performance,"
Paul said cheerfully.
"Same to you, old chap!"
Hermione couldn't stop the grin tugging at the corners of her mouth as she
ushered them out the door. Professor Granger leaned against the door frame as
she watched the pair run off to the Great Hall . Deep
down she was rather fond of the two boys, despite
their frequent run-ins with the Hogwarts law.
"Hope you weren't too hard on the rascals, Professor," said a
teasing, vaguely familiar voice to her right. Wrinkling her forehead, Hermione
turned her head to see who it was.
Leaning against the wall and grinning from ear to ear was a man, around her
age, with flaming red hair and boyish blue eyes. He was rather tall and had the
look of someone who had gone from being very skinny and gangly to very
athletic. It took Hermione's astonished brain a few seconds to properly process
what - or rather, who - she was seeing. When she finally realized who it was,
she nearly had a heart attack.