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: Hello all
Author's Notes: Thanks to everyone who's reading and reviewing
here, even if you've already done so on ff.net – it's so awesome of you!
Actually, I've made some changes and added some things to this chapter (which,
on ff.net, was two chapters – I combined them into one because they were both
very short), so it's kind of like BTH…the extended version! I should totally
get an audio commentary going too.
Ron: Oh yeah, and this is the part where I crashed into a
suit of armour.
Hermione: We laughed and laughed…
Ron: What people don't realize is that the suits of armour are not very well-paid. They were quite cranky on
the set. I, personally, believe that the thing tripped me, the stupid *bleeped
out*, and I called him that to his face, too.
Hermione: And then Eugene,
the suit of armour, got all upset and wouldn't come
out of his trailor.
Hermione's brain didn’t seem
to function properly for a few moments. All she knew was that her head was
spinning from astonishment, and that her heart was pounding for some strange
He looked different, yet
very much the same – his hair was still the tousled, bright red mess she
remembered, and his eyes still sparkled with mischief as a wild grin played on
his lips. But gone was the seventeen-year-old boy Hermione had last seen; this
was a fully grown man. There was also some maturity in the mischievous blue
eyes, and all of the tall, gangly, awkwardness was gone from his posture.
Hermione stopped analyzing
him and, for once, forgot to be the prim, cool, educated professor she was. She
did the first thing that came to mind - threw her arms around Ron and gave him
a bone-crushing hug.
have you been?!"
Hermione squealed, sounding like a sixteen-year-old girl.
"Hello to you, too!" Ron laughed, returning the
hug enthusiastically. He held
his old friend out at arm’s length to have a good look at her, then whistled and shook his head.
"Blimey it's good to see you, Hermione," he said hoarsely.
Hermione said quite breathlessly, forgetting the fact that just the other night
she'd been telling herself she was glad
she hadn't kept in contact with Harry or Ron. "You…you two ran off abroad
to fight hags and vampires and…you could've been hurt, or…or dead for all I
knew!" she said shrilly.
Ron smiled warmly.
"Well, well, well. And here I thought you didn't give a damn about us any more
since we never got a letter." He suddenly looked a little apprehensive,
and his eyes dropped to the floor momentarily. "Er…why didn't you ever write?" he
inquired, looking back up at Hermione.
"I…my owls could never
find you two," she lied quickly. Hermione suddenly felt horrible for not
keeping in touch with her best friends. How could she not have? After all
they'd been through, her, Ron, and Harry…
Something occurred to her
quite abruptly. "And Harry? Where's Harry?"
Hermione looked around wildly, half expecting to see her untidy-haired friend
pop out from behind a suit of armour.
"Harry's fine; he's in Canada at
the moment on a secretive and deadly mission," Ron said with a wink.
Hermione's eyes widened
slightly and she looked a bit pale.
"I was joking, Hermione," Ron explained
wryly. "But he is in Canada."
Hermione nodded quickly, deciding not to ask what Harry was doing halfway
across the world. She took a deep breath. The initial shock of seeing Ron was
wearing off, and Hermione abruptly realized how silly she had been acting.
Professor Granger took a moment to compose herself.
Feeling embarrassed at her immature conduct, she hastily smoothed her hair,
which had come out of its neat bun, and brushed off her robes.
finally said politely, her heart slowing somewhat. "How long will you be
staying here at Hogwarts? A week or two?"
"All year," Ron
answered promptly, a smile tugging at the corner of his mouth.
Hermione blinked. "I
beg your pardon?"
Ron held out his arms and
grinned broadly. "You're looking at the new Defense Against
the Dark Arts Teacher!"
Hermione stared at him
incredulously, a sense of foreboding descending upon her. "You're joking," she said slowly.
replied happily. He suddenly clasped Hermione's hands, his eyes bright.
"This is going to be brilliant! Ron and Hermione,
together again at Hogwarts!"
Hermione quickly wrenched
her hands away from his. "What do you mean, together again?" she snapped, feeling panicked. Ron would ruin
everything - her carefully planned, peaceful little life. Wherever he went,
trouble and mischief always followed. Plus, there was always the issue of her
old feelings…that could not start
again. She wouldn't allow it to. And yet, her heart was doing that annoying,
Ron's face fell at her
reaction. "Oh…well…I just meant…you know…friends again," he said, his
voice sounding strained.
Hermione agreed. She took a shaky breath then glanced towards the Great Hall.
"Well," she said, a definite edge in her
tone. "We should head to the feast."
"Oh," Ron looked
disappointed. "Don’t you want to, you know, catch up? I mean, for heaven's
sake, I haven't seen you in seven – ruddy – years! Do you know what that's like? I mean, of course you do, but…er,
what I meant was…I mean, you were my best friend, Hermione, mine and Harry's.
And I don't even - "
"Oh, there'll be plenty
of time for catching up and whatnot later, I'm sure," Hermione interrupted
briskly. She spun on her heel and started marching away. She could see Ron
standing very still out of her peripheral vision, looking lost and
disappointed, and felt a tug at her heartstrings. A moment later, she heard his
reluctant footsteps follow her into the Great Hall.
Whatever Hermione was
feeling or thinking at that moment, it was soon forgotten as every head in the
hall swiveled around to stare at the flustered-looking Arithmancy professor and
the unfamiliar man with flaming red hair. The two strode up to the Head Table,
every pair of eyes staring curiously.
Dumbledore was standing, no
doubt already giving his beginning of the year speech. His eyes sparkled as Ron
and Hermione took a seat. "Well. Now that everyone has arrived…"
All the students looked down
at their plates expectantly.
"…I can introduce the
newest member of our staff!" Dumbledore continued pleasantly. There was an
audible groan from the ravenous students. "May I introduce Professor
Weasley, our new Defense Against the Dark Arts
The groans immediately
disappeared as the student body erupted into murmurs and whispers, which soon
got louder and louder until the entire Hall was chattering away excitedly.
"Did he say Weasley?"
"I read about him in
the Daily Prophet!"
Auror guy, right?"
"No, I think he's one
of the ones that plays Quidditch for England…"
"Don't be stupid, it's
the Auror. Fred 'n George Weasley are supposed to be playing tonight in Italy,
why would one of them be here?"
"Is Harry Potter with
you?" Paul White yelled to Ron over the din. Nearly everyone laughed.
Ron was grinning from ear to
ear, his disappointment at Hermione's attitude evidently forgotten as he
enjoyed the attention. Hermione rolled her eyes at him and glanced down the
Head Table to see Charles and the Minister for Magic sitting side by side.
Charles spotted Hermione and waved energetically, then blew her a kiss.
Hermione smiled weakly and prayed that none of the students or Ron had seen
Dumbledore held up his hands
for silence, still smiling. "I trust you'll all make your new professor
feel welcome. Now, I advise you all to tuck in," he said, holding out his
arms. Food appeared on every last plate, and the entire student body dug in
The headmaster gratefully
sunk back into his chair, a momentary expression of weariness flashing over his
face. Professor Granger stared at him anxiously, but the moment quickly passed,
and soon Dumbledore was eating quite contentedly.
Dumbledore…" Ron murmured quietly beside her. Hermione whipped her head
around and stared at him, eyebrows raised. Ron wasn't grinning anymore.
asked, searching his face.
Ron smiled brightly.
"Nothing," he replied, then quickly speared a potato and started
shoveling food in his mouth. Rolling her eyes again at Ron's horrible table
manners, Hermione began eating daintily. She had been wrong; he hadn't changed
Still, Hermione found
herself unconsciously glancing at Ron every now and then all through dinner.
She still couldn’t believe he, of all people, would be teaching alongside her
at Hogwarts all year.
This is going to be a difficult, dreadfulyear,
Hermione thought darkly.
For the first time since she had become a
teacher, Professor Hermione Granger was a mess.
On the first day of school, her fourth-year
students arrived to find a pale-faced, disheveled, irritable witch slumped in a chair at her desk in the Arithmancy classroom.
"Good lord, what in the devil happened to her?"
someone whispered loudly as the class took their seats. A few giggles escaped
"Ten points from Hufflepuff,
Mr. McKenzie," Hermione snapped. "And a further five points for
giggling in class," she said, scowling at her students. The fourth-years
slowly sunk lower into their seats to avoid her burning glare.
"Open your textbooks," Hermione began,
writing furiously on the board. "To page three hundred and
hundred and sixty-two!" a red-haired girl burst out. "But
that's at the very back of the textbook! It's the first day of class!"
"Another fifteen points from Hufflepuff!" Hermione shouted shrilly, slamming her
chalk down with a bang. Several students jumped.
Professor Granger glanced around at her
frightened-looking students, then let out her breath slowly, ran a hand through
her tousled hair, and sat down at her desk. "I apologize," she said
in a clipped voice. "Summarize pages in your textbooks and answer the questions at the end of
the chapter instead."
The class fell into an uneasy silence after that;
the only sound that could be heard in the large, open classroom was the
scratching of quills on parchment. The familiar sound was almost comforting to
Hermione as she stared into space, thinking. She felt angry, confused, and
scared, all due to a the presence at the castle of one
single person: Ron.
Hermione supposed she was angry at no one other
than herself, and confused as well about the way she had behaved yesterday -
like a silly little schoolgirl. She was an adult now, with a normal, organized,
stable adult life. Ron's presence at the school threatened to destroy what
she'd been working towards ever since graduating from Hogwarts - to forget her
graduation from Hogwarts, and to be a normal adult with a normal adult life.
It was quite a different thing teaching at
the school where she had become a murderer and a celebrity in the same night.
Yes, sometimes when she passed the dungeons she felt nauseous and weak, and
occasionally when she passed Moaning Myrtle's bathroom she felt a pang of
sadness. But those were only places where memories had occurred. Places and
memories couldn't hurt her. Hermione could bury memories, forget them, toss
them aside and never think about them again.
But Ron was a real, living, breathing memory. She
couldn't toss him aside and forget
him any more than she could
teach Divination. Especially now that she would see him every
single day for the rest of the year…
"Professor?" a timid voice said,
snapping Hermione out of her stupor. With a jolt she sat upright and stared at
the short, curly-haired girl standing in front of her desk. "I was
She glanced back at the rest of the class, who
looked impressed with her bravery at approaching the ill-tempered professor. A
few kids gave her a thumbs-up sign. "Could you help me with this
question?" the girl squeaked out, and then took a quick step backwards, as
if she was expecting Professor Granger to explode.
Hermione sighed and mentally kicked herself. She
couldn't let Ron's presence at Hogwarts faze her. In fact, she was sure she
could avoid Ron most of the time. Feeling a little better, she smiled weakly at
the curly-haired student.
"Of course, Miss Longley," Professor
Granger replied with false cheerfulness. The students seemed to take heart at
her sudden positive change of attitude, and the rest of the class passed quite
pleasantly, as did the class after that.
Hermione soon discovered that avoiding Ron would
be much more difficult than she had imagined. The teachers ate lunch in the
Great Hall along with the students, and it was rather hard to elude someone
when you were to be dining right next to them. At ,
a hungry Professor Granger took one step into the Great Hall and promptly
Ron was sitting atop the Gryffindor table,
talking animatedly with a huge grin on his face. Students were gathered around
him, listening eagerly as Ron recounted some apparently thrilling tale, making
huge gestures every now and then.
Ron yelled, smacking his fist into his hand. "I was thrown nearly ten feet
into the air, and my wand went flying! And it lands…get ready for
The students' eyes widened as they leaned forward
in excited anticipation.
"So here I was," Ron continued,
obviously enjoying himself greatly. "Crumpled on the
ground after being tossed into the air like a bloody rag doll, and my wand was
slowly sinking into quicksand."
"What'd you do?" an over-eager first year squealed.
"The only thing I could do," Ron said
solemnly. "I wrestled the brute with my bare hands."
A shocked gasp rose from his adoring audience.
Hermione rolled her eyes in disgust, and marched out of the Great Hall.
Professor Granger walked aimlessly through the
empty halls. Right now, students and teachers alike were at lunch, eating delicious,
filling food, and drinking thick, tasty pumpkin juice…
Hermione's stomach rumbled unceremoniously. With
a sigh, she realized she couldn't very well just stop eating in order to avoid
Ron. Feeling defeated by her own human need to eat, she turned around and
slowly started trudging back towards the Great Hall.
She stopped in her tracks as a thought occurred
to her. She hadn't been down there in ages…she wasn't even sure if she
remembered what to do…but it was worth a shot. Anything was better than story-time
with Ronald Weasley, Auror extraordinaire.
Hermione hurried down a winding staircase, her
stomach grumbling. She turned a corner, and started walking down a narrow
corridor, searching for a painting of fruit…
shrieked as someone crashed into her, their arms laden with food. Several
chocolate truffles and a cheesecake flew upwards into the air.
Professor Granger quickly said, pointing her wand at the airborne desserts.
They froze in midair, to the relief of the would-be victims below them. With a
wave of her wand, Hermione placed the goodies back into the arms of their original
"Charles?" Hermione said blankly as she
finally took a good look at the man who had bumped into her. Her blonde
boyfriend was looking slightly pale and was mopping his brow with a
handkerchief. "What are you doing here?"
"Why…I came to see you, pumpkin,"
Charles flashed his perfect smile and laughed good-naturedly, tucking his
handkerchief away. "You gave me a fright for a moment there!"
"Sorry," Hermione apologized, glancing
at the painting of a bowl of fruit behind him. A doorknob was slowly turning
back into a pear. She furrowed her eyebrows, glancing from the painting to
Charles and back. "How did you…?"
"Well, I was a boy at Hogwarts once myself,
gingersnaps!" Charles chuckled. "Don't think I didn't get into any
mischief while I was here! Oh, no, I was quite the trouble-maker…"
Hermione vaguely remembered Charles Griney at Hogwarts. He'd been a good five years ahead of
her, but she recalled him being a Prefect and then Head Boy. She almost laughed
trying to picture him getting into mischief'.
Instead Hermione just smiled secretly to herself.
She grabbed a few truffles from Charles and popped them into her mouth as he
rambled on about his trouble-making days at Hogwarts.