Hermione smiled as she walked towards Hogwarts. It took her back to the first year she’d gone there as a student. Who knew on that day nearly 15 years ago that she’d be going back, this time as a professor?

The only dark cloud to her good mood was the small argument she’d had with Ron that morning before he left for work.

“Aw, 'Mione, why do you have to spend two weeks at Hogwarts?” Ron whined.

“Ron, I have to get my classroom set up. I haven’t been back there for so long and I’ve never been there as a professor. I want to make sure that everything’s the best it can be.”

“But can’t you come home at night? I mean, we live right here in Hogsmeade.”

“I’ll see what I can do. I just want to prove that I can do this, Ron. You know me – I throw myself into everything I can.” She shrunk her trunk and put it in her pocket. “Please understand.”

“I do,” Ron said, leaning in and giving her a kiss. “You’ll send me owls, right?”

“Of course, and I’ll come and see you when I have some free time. I just want to make sure that everything’s perfect.”

Coming back to the present, Hermione sighed. The other issue was that she still had the heartburn problem. Once she got settled in, she’d have to brew some more of the potion.

At last she was outside Hogwarts’ gates. The school was just as awe inspiring as ever, having been repaired and rebuilt after the final battle against Voldemort.

“’ermione! Good ter see ya!” a familiar voice boomed.

“Hagrid!” Hermione exclaimed, turning around and smiling at him. “Good to see you, too! How are you doing?”

“I’m good. Couldn’t tell you how excited I was when Minerva told me you were taking the Transfiguration position.” He gave her one of his bone crushing hugs, and then opened the gate for her and gestured for her to go ahead.

“I’m glad to be back. I came in early to get my classroom set up and make sure everything’s perfect,” she said as he fell into step alongside of her.

“It will be an honor to teach alongside of you,” Hagrid said, beaming.

“And you, Hagrid. I think I’ll go see Professor McGonagall first. Talk to you later?”

“Talk to yer later.”

Hermione’s shoes echoed as she walked along the empty corridors of the school. It reminded her of when she was patrolling as a Prefect, when most of the school was asleep. She smiled as she saw Nearly Headless Nick floating towards her.

“Good morning, Miss Granger. I’d heard you were coming back to Hogwarts to teach. It’s a pleasure to see you again,” he said, doffing his hat.

“Good to see you too, Nick,” she replied.

Hermione made her way to the Headmistress’ office and realized she didn’t know the password. She went through some of the authors and the gargoyle finally leapt aside when she spoke “Jane Austen”. It wasn’t long before she stood before the door to Minerva’s office.

“Come in, Hermione.”

The door swung open and Hermione smiled as she saw Minerva seated behind her desk.

“It’s so good to see you, Hermione.” Minerva smiled at her, standing up and offering her hand.

“Good to see you too,” Hermione said, taking Minerva’s hand and shaking it, then sitting down in the chair in front of her desk. “Good morning, Professor Dumbledore.”

“Good morning, Miss Granger. Welcome back to Hogwarts.” Dumbledore’s eyes twinkled behind his half-moon spectacles.

“Thank you. I thought I’d come over and get my classroom and office ready and make sure everything’s in order before September 1st. By the way, I want to thank you for allowing me to live at home.”

“You’re welcome.” Minerva Levitated a tea seat to her desk and poured them each a cup, then handed one to Hermione.

“Is there anything I need to know as a teacher here?” Hermione asked, taking a sip of tea.

“It’s a good idea to have a set time for office hours so that students can come to you if they have questions or they want some extra help. Madame Pomfrey will report any injuries any injuries to me. Your class isn’t as dangerous as something as Potions or even the flying lessons, but accidents do happen. There is one thing that each professor does when he or she comes to teach for the first time. We have an oath that we require each teacher take before starting here at Hogwarts. It’s a simple oath that you will promise to protect each student when you’re a professor here.” Minerva sighed. “Thankfully we don’t have to worry about as many things as we did years ago but as you know, there are still Death Eaters out there.”

Hermione nodded. “I can’t count the number of times Ron has been called out in the middle of the night because of some raid. But he loves his work and it’s nice that he and Harry were able to become Aurors.” She looked up at Professor Dumbledore’s portrait, which seemed to be listening with interest to their conversation. “I often wondered if perhaps one of the reasons why you gave Professor Snape the Defence position in our sixth year was to give Harry a chance to become an Auror. After all, had he continued teaching Potions, Harry wouldn’t have been able to go to N.E.W.T level. He only got EE in Potions on his O.W.L.”

Dumbledore chuckled. “Now you know that I can’t show favourites, Miss Granger. I’m sure you know the reason why I brought on Horace Slughorn, because you are very close to Mr. Potter.”

“I do, and so does Ron.” Hermione took another sip of her tea, noticing that he’d not really answered her question. “Harry and Ginny are expecting their first baby,” she said, changing the topic. “We’re all very happy for them. We got the owl about it the same day I received your owl.”

“That’s amazing. Please offer them my sincere congratulations.”

“I will,” Hermione finished her tea and stood up. “I think I’ll go get settled in and fix up my classroom. Did you want me to take the oath before I leave or is it done closer to the beginning of school?”

“We can do it now,” Minerva said, standing up. “Do you, Hermione Granger, promise to watch over the students in Hogwarts and protect them from harm to the best of your ability?”

“I do,” Hermione said solemnly.

“Hold out your wand and touch its tip to mine,” Minerva said, holding out her wand.

Hermione held up her wand and touched it to Minerva’s. The wand’s tip glowed golden.

“Thank you. Please let me know if you need anything else.”

“I will, and thank you again for this wonderful opportunity.” Hermione left the office and made her way to her office, a feeling of warmth spreading through her.

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