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McGonagall leaned over the desk and stared over the top of her glasses. Hermione couldn’t help but think that she had got that particular headmistress technique from her predecessor who was smiling out from his portrait just to the left of the pair. 

She hadn’t been in Dumbledore’s office much when he had been alive, at least not as much as Harry had, but from what she had seen McGonagall had changed the whole layout. Gone were the whirring instruments to be replaced by stacks of old spell books and on one table was a tea set with which the headmistress had poured Hermione a satisfying cup of milky tea, just the way she liked it. 

Hermione sipped the tea and looked over at McGonagall who had laid out a number of pamphlets on the table. She had glanced over them in the common room when they had been handed out and now McGonagall had picked three she thought Hermione should take up. 

The first one being the Auror department which Hermione knew she had a job with already if she wanted. After all she had been part of the group that brought down the greatest Dark Wizard of all time. The second was a leaflet about Healer training and the third was about jobs in the law enforcement overall. This was the one she had pushed towards Hermione when she had explained her reasons for this choice.

“Hermione Granger,” she said, “you have been one of my best students and if there were teaching places at this school open I would suggest a post here but there are not so I would not have the pleasure of working with you.” 

McGonagall paused and Hermione murmured an embarrassed thank you. To which McGonagall waved her hand at the girl and offered her a bisect from the cat shaped jar she had on the desk. In unison the two women both dunked their digestives in their tea and ate them. A small smile appeared on McGonagall’s lips and she swallowed and continued. 

“The law enforcement department employs bright young witches and wizards into a multitude of different divisions. If you agree this is the path I have a contact in the wizardmot and you can have a years internship with a job at the end of it if you perform well. During the internship you would continue studying with help of some funding I could get you and by the time you start your knew job you would be a fully train wizarding lawyer.”

“Wow…I…” Hermione didn’t know what to say, she was lost for words.

“Think about it and get back to me by the end of your exams. They are more important right now but the way your grades have gone so far and the fact that you’re already one of the biggest names in the country… I believe you would have no trouble in the setting what so ever.” 

McGonagall handed the leaflet over to Hermione who smiled at her teacher and left the office bewildered at what had just happened and unsure what she was going to do. She hadn’t even taken her exams, exams that were the most important ones she would take and yet the ones she had revised the least for. 

Making her way through the castle and back to the common room Hermione fingered the leaflet unsure of what to do. She could go and talk to Harry about it but he would be with Ron. Ron might have betrayed her but he was Harry’s best friend and they would be working together after school, they would have to protect each other and Hermione couldn’t jeopardize that. She could go up to the Gryffindor common room and talk to Ginny but the girl never really was very good at these sort of things, she was more of a doer than a thinker and besides she would probably be with Harry who would be with Ron.

And then there was Draco, her so called boyfriend who in the two weeks since his return had been distant and not all there. Hermione had seen it before in Ron but this time it was different. She would catch him looking at her and then he would look away as if he were about to cry and Draco Malfoy crying was not something she had seen. Hermione knew something was going on and she knew something was about to happen but not what. 

She figured that it must be the time of year. It had only just passed the year anniversary of the great battle and most people in the castle were still shaken. So she gave him his space like she guessed he wanted and he did not come to her. 

The last time they had spoken had been the day before. He had kissed her on the cheek and told her that he probably wouldn’t see her as he had to study and he wanted to be alone. 

“But I have barely seen you since you have been back,” Hermione said quietly, “can’t we study together, like we did at the beginning of the year?”

“I want to be on my own Hermione,” he had snapped back and Hermione had dropped it and taken the squeeze of her hand and the quick peck of the lips. 

It was such a sudden change. He wanted to spend all his time with her at Easter and now he didn’t want to see her at all. If it had been gradual maybe she wouldn’t have noticed but it was sudden and it was heart-breaking and she didn’t know what was going on. She was scared but it had to be pushed to the back of her mind because she didn’t know if she would be able to recover from another situation like she had been put in with Ron. 

So if he was ignoring her then she wasn’t going to go chasing after him, she was too proud for that and it caused her to much pain. Maybe he was just still getting over being held by both this ‘other side’ and the ministry. She would wait until he was ready and until then she had other things to think about. 

So instead of running to her friends like she so desperately wanted to Hermione made her way out of the castle and to a large tree that rested on the edge of the lake. By it she would be alone and undisturbed as she tried to figure out what on earth she wanted to do with the future that was just a couple of months away from her. 

Settling down out of sight and well shaded from the sun Hermione opened the leaflet and began to read the information given. McGonagall had underlined sections, especially the bits about finance and training. She would work three days a week and study for two all at the ministry. The idea of more schooling calmed Hermione. She was always happier when she was learning. 

There were bits about dress code and how to address certain people and who did what in which area. All in all the leaflet read more like a text book but Hermione didn’t mind it gave her something to think about other than exams and a lack of people to talk to. 

“Hermione!” a voice called across the grass. 

Hermione looked over to her left and a little around the trunk of the tree of which she had been leaning against enjoying the may sunshine. Dean was hurrying towards her a piece of paper in his hand. How he knew she would be there she didn’t know but was answered as he reached her and dropped to the grass next to her.

“I saw you coming outside earlier and when I got back to the common room this was waiting for you,” he said with a beaming grin. 

Hermione took the envelope from Dean and read the handwriting on the front. It didn’t look familiar. She opened it quickly and unfolded the paper. Scanning the paper a smile crept onto her face and she couldn’t help leaping over to Dean and giving him a hug. The Gryffindor was shocked but hugged Hermione back and when he let go gave her a quizzical look. 

“Good news?” he asked. 

“They have agreed to publish my book!” she squealed, “I have to attend a meeting with them in a few weeks, they have said they will talk to McGonagall and they will discuss fees and books sizes and everything else!” 

“That’s amazing Hermione! Congrats!”

“Thanks,” she said looking up at Dean who hadn’t stopped smiling since he had walked over to her, “I should go and tell Ginny!” 

Hermione scrambled to her feet clutching the letter but dropping the leaflet she had in her lap. Dean bent down and picked it up for her as well as her bag which like a true gentleman he swung over his shoulder in an offer to carry it up to the castle. 

“Wow, Law Enforcement Department,” he said following it with a low whistle, “Auror?” he asked. 

“No,” Hermione said as they started making their way up the grass and towards the castle, “Law, McGonagall wants me to train as a wizard lawyer.”

“Are you going to?” he asked. 

“Maybe,” Hermione shrugged, “I’m not sure to be honest; I think it could be fun.”

“You would excel I’m sure,” Dean said giving her a playful nudge.

“What are you planning on doing then, after all of this?” Hermione ask, her hand still clutching tightly around the letter from the publisher. 

“Thinking of taking an assistant job in the International Magical Cooperation department and work my way up, Anderson has said he has some links or something and he can help,” Dean shrugged, “I’d quite like to do something like work with the Department of Magical Games and Sports and organise things like that.”

“I figured if I took this internship and then job I have been offered I could do some good,” Hermione admitted, “abolish some of these pro-pureblood laws and things like that.”

“Sounds brilliant,” Dean laughed, “after all this rubbish that has gone on you would have figured that they would have tried to do something like that already.”

“The pureblood families always paid them off I guess,” Hermione shrugged.

“Not now most of them are in Azkaban,” Dean said. 

“No,” Hermione agreed. 

The pair reached the staircase and Dean handed Hermione he bag and leaflet back telling her that he had to meet Seamus. 

“Congrats again though Hermione, it really is brilliant.” 

Dean disappeared and Hermione made her way up the familiar staircase towards the Gryffindor common room. Part of her wished she still had to take this regular root everyday but if she did then her friends would not be her friends and Draco would not be anything.  

But Ginny was not in the Gryffindor common room nor was she in her bedroom or even in the seventh year common room when Hermione returned there. Hermione would have to wait two hours to see the girl and the girl would bound into Hermione’s room and jump on her friends bed with big excited eyes. 

“Harry hasn’t asked you to marry him has he?” Hermione asked saying the first thing that came into her head when she saw the look on Ginny’s face. 

“No,” Ginny said taken aback, then her face lit up again, “why has he said he would?”

“No,” Hermione laughed, “it was just the only thing I could think of that would make you look like this.”

“Try something even better,” Ginny said excitedly. 


“The Holyhead Harpies signed me!” 

“Oh Gin that is amazing!” Hermione cried. 

“I have been in talks with them for weeks but I wasn’t allowed to say but today they signed me for after I finish school next year. I could have joined after this year but mum wanted me to get my N.E.W.Ts so I am training with them over the summer and then I can join once I finish Hogwarts.”

“What position?”

“Chaser,” Ginny shrugged, “I prefer that, I mean I did okay as seeker when Harry couldn’t but I’m a better chaser. I’ll work as a sub for a little while and then when one of the girls switches teams or leaves I’ll be able to take her place! Anyway, I bumped into Dean, he said you have had your book agreed for publishing?”

“Yes,” Hermione smiled, “I have to meet with them first but yes, it looks like I shall be a published author.”

“Yes Dean told me that too,” Ginny giggled winking.

“Gin! There is no need for that,” Hermione scolded. 

“Okay, I’m sorry,” Ginny said holding up her hands, “I just think that he has been making all these excuses to see you, just be careful okay, don’t lead him on.”

“I won’t lead him on, I don’t think of him like that you know that!” 

“I know, he’s just such a sweet guy.”

“Say’s the girl who broke up with him,” Hermione laughed. 

“Yes because I was in love with Harry!” 

“Well now you are with Harry and I am with Draco and you are being signed and I am being published and we don’t need to think about who else is in the picture.”

“Our lives are just falling in front of us,” Ginny sighed and Hermione couldn’t help but laugh at the dreamlike look on the girls face. It reminded her of Luna. 

“I guess…have you seen Draco today?” Hermione asked changing the subject so dramatically she surprised herself. 

“No…why?” Ginny asked looking concerned. 

Hermione didn’t answer. She didn’t want to tell Ginny that after a night of passion Draco Malfoy had all but ignored her. That he seemed to disappear for hours on end and she thought she had once seen him with Astoria when he said he had a meeting with Slughorn. Yes they had been exchanging heated words but still. Hermione felt like she was losing him.

On the one hand she was glad that she had time to study, studying was more important than boys, she knew that, her grades were more important. But she missed him and she didn’t understand why he was doing this to her. The fact he gave her no explanation and acted like nothing was wrong made her feel worse. 

He was messing with her head and she was all over the place and now Ginny was looking at her as if she had gone crazy and it was all she could do to burst into tears and try to explain to her through sobs exactly what was wrong. 


So now there is only one chapter left and then an epilouge and this novel is finally finished...I hope I can keep you all gripped with the final chapter when it gets posted soon! I know a lot doesn't happen in this chapter but i'm setting up for the next novel called 'chasing fate.' I hope you will all read that when it comes around! Read and review (oh and by the way, when the epilouge is posted i will post a teaser of the new novel along with it). Secret Passion x

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