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    "Oy, Hermione Jr.!"

    Ana turned around, moving out of the way just in time to miss a huge, floating paper airplane that was coming her way.

    "Sorry about that. We've found that our customers enjoy little pranks like that, and you just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I'm George. That's my brother Fred over there, polishing our display of Sickly Sweets."

    "Yeah, we met at Mrs. Weasley's house actually."

    "Too true. Too true. Here, I'll show you to your future living quarters for the next week."

    "Thanks," she said, following him up a flight of stairs, "I promise I won't get in your way. I'll probably be locked in my room for hours at a time, studying. I can't believe that I wasn't informed about these stupid O.W.L.s."

    "Oh, don't worry. I'm sure you'll do loads better than me and Fred. You've got that smart look about you. Hermione had it too," he said, bringing her to her room.

    "Has," said Ana, turning from a painting she was inspecting.


    "You said she had it. She still does. She has it."

    "Right," he said, shaking her head, "Well, this is it. Not exactly the Princess Suite, but it'll do, I hope."

    "No," said Ana, placing her suitcases upon the bed, "It's fine."

    George nodded and made his way out of the room. Ana sighed, unpacking her clothes and putting them into the dresser drawers.

    "Hello, class," said Hermione, making her way down the aisle to her desk, "I'm Ms. Granger, and I will be your Potions professor this year. I'm not sure what your schooling has been like these past few years, but I can assure you that we will be getting work done in here. Now, potions is a very complex and important subject. It can be used to cure many different illnesses, but, get one ingredient wrong, and it can cause a lot of illnesses. Because of this, you will test out whatever potions you concoct in here. This works as both an incentive for you to make your potions to the best of your ability, and also as a precaution for your friends, so that they don't have to rush off to the hospital wing sporting lovely purple spots, thanks to you," she looked around at her class, to the kids in the back nodding off, the few kids in the front actually listening, and a small group of about three boys in the middle, goofing off between each other, "Excuse me," she started, walking over to them, "Um, what are your names?"

    "Charles Diason."

    "Henry Larrison."

    "Ethan Karnes."

    She nodded, "And what houses are you in?"

    "Ravenclaw," they answered simultaneously.

    "Really?" she asked, "Have they lowered the standards or something?" a few kids around them chuckled and she shook her head, "I’m sorry. I'm just joking. Sorry. If you could just behave for the rest of class, please."

    What was she doing? Not even halfway into class and she had already insulted three students. She was the Potions Professor, yes, but she was not suppose to be the Snape reincarnate. If she was doing this poorly she was in dire need to know how Ron and Harry had managed to produce any kind of knowledge within a student.

    She walked over to the board and flicked her wand, "Today we'll begin on the potion that cures headaches."

    "It was so horrible. Test after test. I was so worried," complained Ana, resting her head on the table.

    She had arrived back at Hogwarts that morning and rushed right over to her mother’s house. It was no surprise to her that when she had arrived at 10:30 a.m. her mother was still asleep in bed. When she had finally pulled her out of bed, Hermione insisted on coffee, and they had both maneuvered their way to the kitchen, one of the only uses the kitchen had ever proved to have.

    "Ah, I'm sure you did fine," she soothed, waving her hand, "When do you get the results?"

    "The guy there said that Dumbledore had requested that they owl them to me as soon as possible. So I should have them in about four days. I just can't believe no one mentioned I'd have to take those stupid O.W.L.S."

    "Haha. They're going to owl you your O.W.L.S.," she chuckled.

    Anna smiled, "That was entirely too easy," Hermione continued to giggle, "And not at all that funny."

    "Sorry, hon. I’m still a little tired. But yeah, I'm sure you did great. I just don't understand why you can have your results a mere 4 days after finishing the exam, and the people who went about it the right way, had to wait months before getting theirs?"

    "The irony of life," she said, taking another sip of her coffee, "So, mom, how are your classes?"

    Hermione made a face, "They're alright. I accidently insulted a kid the first day."

    "What?" she asked, almost spitting out her coffee.

    "I don't know. There was a group of them acting stupid, so when they told me they were in Ravenclaw, I was completely surprised and may have asked about the standards for getting into said house."

    "You're ridiculous!"

    "It's just hard sometimes to remember that I'm the authority figure, being that, for many years, I've been the person all the mother's are warning their kids about."

    "Oh, I'm sure somehow you’ll get over it and embrace your authority figure-like abilities that I know are in there somewhere," they chuckled at the thought for a little bit, and then Ana began, "So how are things between you and Dad?"

    "Notice how she elegantly segues the conversation into something horrifically uncomfortable."

    "Well, we’d have to talk about him sooner or later."

    "Not true. I’m an expert at avoiding very uncomfortable things. My mother is a perfect example of that."

    "Mom," Ana warned.

    "Fine," she said, downing the rest of her coffee, "I ignore him, to the best of my ability. We say hellos every now and then. Cold, hollow hellos just to please the other faculty. They seemed to notice the hostility. I hang out with Ron a lot. He’s always been such a good friend, and, you know, now I really need one. So, that’s been helpful."

    And it had been helpful. When Hermione had first felt pressure to be nice to Harry, she had almost died with the sheer humility of it all. Asking about Ginny, the baby, the wedding. All the things that had basically ruined her life. No, wait, hold the basically and then you’ll have a factual statement. But Ron had been such a good friend, he had assisted her through the awkward conversations and been there when she needed a shoulder to cry on. Never bringing attention to the fact that it was his sister she was calling a stupid bimbo slut, fire whore, or hoey mcgee.

    "Well, that’s good," she began to look down at the table, tracing the design on the tablecloth, "But um, has anyone, uh, has anyone asked about me?"

    Hermione looked up and smiled, "Was someone suppose to ask about you?"


    "Were you maybe hoping someone would ask about you?"

    "No. No. I was just...Maybe. Yes, fine. Yes."

    Hermione chuckled, "Well, if you must know, there was a boy. Damn, what was his name? Name, name. I so suck at names."

    "Mom, this is not funny!"

    "I’m sure I could remember if only I had some more coffee," she said, eyeing Ana’s glass.

    "You have your own!"

    "Nope," she replied, showing Ana the empty cup, "All done."

    "You’re ridiculous," murmured Ana, sliding her cup that way.

    "You love me."

    "If that’s what you have to tell yourself to get through the day."

    "You better behave before things get very Mommie Dearest up in here," said Hermione, taking a sip of the coffee then handing it back.

    "Memory all better?"

    "Why, yes! It’s a miracle!"

    "Praise the Lord."

    "I think there was someone named...Kyle, was it? Yes, I think it was Kyle."

    "Really?" asked Ana, hugging herself.

    "Look how excited you are," she started, rubbing Ana’s hand.

    "I’m not excited. It’s just cold."

    On the inside she was yelling with joy. She had been pondering the Kyle situation during the few parts of the week that she wasn’t studying, or actually taking, her O.W.L.S. And while she still missed Logan, Kyle was, she decided, a decent, sweet, smart guy and it wouldn’t really be a problem to him or her if they got to know each other better. It could be a respectable, platonic relationship.

    "Right. Well, anyhow, now you can tell me all about this Kyle and answer that particular question that has been burning a hole in my mind for the last few days."

    "He’s...no one. Just this guy I met on the train. He’s really funny and smart and he’s a 7th year."

    "Oh, really? What house?"

    "Slytherin," Ana mumbled in her cup so that it was completely incomprehensible.

    "Wait, what?"

    Ana sighed, "Slytherin."

    "Oh," said Hermione, obviously disappointed.

    "She replied enthusiastically."

    "Sorry. I was just a Gryffindor. Old habits die hard."

    "Well, he’s different."

    "I’m sure."

    Ana nodded, finishing off her coffee.

    "Well, well, well. We meet again."

    Ana turned around to find Kyle standing behind her.

    "Kyle! What are you doing here?"

    "I, uh, live here. Learn here, eat here, sleep here. Do a lot of stuff here, when you sit down to think about it," he said, scratching his head.

    "Well, that’s uh, that’s great," she said, folding up the piece of parchment in her hands.

    "What do you have there?"

    "Oh, my, uh, O.W.L.S. results. Dumbledore wanted to give them to me."

    "Ah, the reason I was denied your presence for one whole week. How did you do?"

    "You missed my presence?" she asked, teasingly, while on the inside she was doing that screaming thing again.

    "I always miss an opportunity to mock one of the red and gold," he said, pinching her shoulder playfully.

    "You’re mean," she pouted, rubbing her shoulder.

    "Only to those I like. Now, tell me how you did."

    "All O’s."

    "Really? That’s excellent!" he said, wrapping her in a hug.

    "Yeah, really excellent."

    "So you can take any classes you want?" he asked, backing away.

    "Yeah, I have to tell Dumbledore tomorrow morning so that he can give me a schedule."

    "Well," he said, tucking a piece of hair behind her ear, "Gryffindors share Defense Against the Dark Arts, History of Magic, and Transfiguration. So I'd stay away from those, so that my fellow Slytherins don't outshine you," he placed a kiss on her cheek and made his way down the hall, "See you tomorrow, Gryffindor."

    Ana smiled at him and went to put the paper back in its envelope. She was getting very much annoyed with him doing cutesy little flirty things then walking away saying Gryffindor condescendingly. Respectable, platonic relationship her butt.

    Ana sat down, placing her ink and parchment onto the top of the table. Quite suddenly, there was a flash of black robes and blonde hair and a girl appeared in the seat next to her.

    "Uh, hi," said Ana, waving slightly, trying to be polite.

    "Hi," replied the girl, enthusiastically, "I’m Irma."

    "I’m sorry?" asked Ana, still surprised at the girl’s appearance and not quite sure what she was saying.

    "Haha," she laughed, slapping the table, "You’re funny."

    "Thank you, I’ll be here all week. Try the lobster, please."

    This, however, only caused Irma to laugh harder, making the other students in the class look over at them. Ana, completely bewildered, tried to cover the girl’s mouth with her hand, but she only succeeded in getting laughing spit all over her hand.

    "Aw, Irma," she groaned, wiping her hand on her robe.

    "I’m sorry," she started, handing Ana a napkin from her robe, "I find the humor in things really easily. My mother says I could win the Happiest Person on Earth Contest hands down. How about you?"

    "I’m Ana. Probably not a placer in the Happiest Person on Earth Contest, and if you find humor that easily, stay away from my mom."

    Irma giggled, "Will do," Ana smiled and looked around, "Are you looking for someone?"

    Ana shook her head, "No, not really. Just looking to see about the number of students in the class, but it’s still pretty early, right, so they’ll be a few more coming in. And the professor, she has to arrive also, and-"


    Ana looked behind her, along with about seventeen other kids. It was, however, a call for her. Kyle stood in the doorway of the classroom, waving her towards him. Ana’s insides sang.

    "You know Kyle?" asked Irma, bringing Ana back into reality.

    "What? Oh, yeah, we met on the, uh, train."

    "He is so gorgeous. All the girls in the school think he’s the cutest thing ever."

    "Yeah, he’s nice to look at, I, uh, guess."

    Irma rolled her eyes and went to say something else but Kyle broke in, yelling, "You gonna come out to meet me, or just sit there talking about me?"

    Ana rolled her eyes and walked over towards him, "We were not talking about you, Mr. Ego."

    "So you’re making friends?" he asked, gesturing to Irma.

    "I guess, however involuntary."

    "Aw, be nice. She looks sweet."

    "I am being nice, I’m always nice. You’re the mean one around here."

    "You Gryffindors, always taking everything so seriously."

    "Was there a point to this meeting? Because, you know, I have my class, and I guess you have a class, one that you probably shouldn’t be late to. So if you could hurry this up," she said, gesturing wildly between her, him, her class, and down the hallway.

    "Okay, calm down, Maniac McGee, before you have a meltdown of some sort," he said, chuckling, "I’m here to ask you a question."

    Ana’s insides screamed, "Yes?"

    "Well, you see, they just posted up the Hogsmeade trips up, and there’s one for this weekend, sort of a beginning of school type of thing, and my friends are all bringing their girlfriends and I was wondering if you’d like to come with me. You’d be the only Gryffindor there, but I mean, every group must have its loser, right?"

    "Oh, haha," she said, rolling her eyes, but her insides were screaming louder.

    "I’m just teasing with you," he said, placing his hands on her shoulder, "So, yes or no?"

    Ana smiled, "Let me get this straight first. You want me to come with you, and your friends and their girlfriends, to the Hogsmeade trip this weekend?"

    "That is correct."

    Her insides had suddenly reached an octave that, had it been audible, would’ve only been heard by dogs, "Well, then, I guess I could make time for you," she said, looking at her nails, pretending to inspect them.

    "Great," he said, stepping aside for McGonagall to enter the classroom, "But you do know what people will think, right?"

    "Damn, that boy is lucky to be accompanied by such a remarkably beautiful woman, when his face looks like, well, that."

    "Oh, touche, Ana."

    "I try my best," she said, chuckling.

    Just then McGonagall appeared at the door, "Class is about to start, I suggest you enter the classroom before I take off house points. And any kissing goodbye will also resort in the loss of points for both of your houses."

    "Oh, no, Professor, we’re not-" started Ana.

    "It’s okay, Ana. Can’t keep anything from McGonagall. And while I think a kiss goodbye would be worth the house points, I’ll contain myself so as not to embarass you in front of your professor, on your first day of classes. So, goodbye Ana, Professor," he said, walking away, throwing a wave at Ana over his shoulder.

    Ana followed McGonagall into the classroom, completely confused by what had happened. Was he kidding about the kissing thing? Was he asking him to join a group date because he wanted her to be his girlfriend, or was he just playing her along for a little enjoyment for himself? As she sat down, Irma turned to look at her and winked. Ana ignored her and turned back to McGonagall, writing down everything she was saying.

    "You look ill."

    "My mother just owled me," said Hermione, sitting down on her couch.

    "Oh, so you are ill," said Ron, sitting down next to her.

    Hermione chuckled and ran a hand through her hair, "She wants to know if I’m free to have Christmas dinner at her house."

    "We have months till Christmas."

    "Yes, I know, but this is just an excuse to get one last insult in. I’ll send a note back to her, saying that yes, we are free, and then she’ll send another note to me, saying that she thought that was wonderful and since I’m usually such a disaster at trying to get together for big dinners, she thought it’d be more polite to tell me about it months in advance. Just a get back for choosing to stay with Mrs. Weasley over her."

    "You two have a very difficult relationship."

    "Ah," started Hermione, waving her hand, "We are what we are. Now, what did you bring?"

    "Here, in my hands, I have a letter from Dumbledore saying that you have permission to lift the electricity spell from your property and one of those GVBs and some Moocows that Ana recommended."

    "Ah!" Hermione screamed, hugging him tight, "And that’s a, uh, DVD player and movies. Just for future reference."

    "Well, thanks, but I doubt it comes up again."

    "Wow," breathed Hermione, looking through the bags, "This is so great, Ron."

    "I thought you deserved a pretty great birthday present. Seeing as how you’ve been through so much lately."

    Hermione smiled, "Thank you, Ron. You really are a terrific friend."

    Ron grinned, "Yeah, well, I should go."

    "No, you should stay. Ana’s coming down and we can all watch these Moocows, or whatever the hell you had called them. It’ll be fun."

    Ron nodded, "Okay."

    The two exchanged smiles, and, after a while, Ana arrived, and Hermione went to plug in the DVD player.

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