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It was a warm, muggy night in late August. Fast paced salsa music was playing on the deck behind her parents' house and Hermione could feel the beat pumping through her body. Her feet knew this music, she let them lead her. Her hips swayed and she kept her back straight, head held high, arms poised perfectly around her invisible partner. The tempo changed quickly to jazzy swing, and she relaxed her body before dipping forward into the Charleston steps. “Back, toe, touch, up, back, toe, touch, up…” she whispered the steps to herself. Her body ached, begging her to rest. She had been dancing for hours.

“Hermione, sweetie please come inside now. You need to eat, and it will be getting cold out soon.” A small woman in her mid forties poked her head out the screen door.

“Mum, I’ll be in soon, but it’s the middle of summer so I doubt I will be catching cold.” She replied.

The woman smiled softly. “Can you blame me for trying to get you in? I haven’t seen my little girl all year. Your father and I would actually like to see you before you must return to school.”

“I’ll be in soon, I promise.” This must have satisfied her, because she retreated into the house. Hermione turned back to the music which was now playing a slow ballet melody. She propped herself up onto her toes, holding onto the deck railing for support. Ballet was the dance that challenged her the most. Fox trot, tango, waltz, swing, meringue, jazz, she could do them all. But ballet…she was good, but not great. And to Hermione Granger, okay was simply unacceptable.

“Come on Hermione, you can do this.” She told herself. She prepared for a double pirouette, letting her legs move gracefully across the wooden floor. One turn, two, and then “Uh-oh” she thought. She had spun too fast and squeezed her eyes closed, bracing herself for the fall that she had experienced many times before when performing that very same error. When the ground hadn’t caught up to her, she opened her eyes to see that she was still spinning! She had done a triple pirouette, something even the best dancers in her summer dance class couldn’t do! She stopped, planting her feet firmly on the floor. The music had stopped, but none of that mattered because all she could hear was the blood rushing through her ears.

“Yes! I can’t believe I just did that!! Oh my god that was amazing.” Hermione said aloud triumphantly. She picked up her portable stereo and went inside.

“Ah, there you are pumpkin. Your mother and I were beginning to think you were never going to come back inside.”

“Hi daddy. I really need a shower so I’m gonna go upstairs now. Goodnight.” She said. Her father kissed her forehead as she started up the stairs. Hermione walked into her room and immediately removed her shoes from her sore feet. She noticed a small pile of letters on her desk. Picking them up, she recognized Harry’s messy handwriting on one, and the Hogwarts wax seal on the other. Putting them aside for later, she made her way to the bathroom, peeling her clothes off as she went. As the hot water beat down on her sore muscles she thought about the approaching school year. She was going to be in the seventh year. The Golden Trio had become somewhat of a Golden Duo. It worried Hermione that Harry and Ron had been drifting away from her. She had no other real friends. All the other girls looked at her as either a geeky bookworm, or a tom boy because of her lack or female friends. Malfoy would be his usual pain in the ass self, and even Ginny, who had been friends with Hermione last term was now to busy with her boyfriend Dean to talk about books with her. Perhaps that’s what had attracted her to dance. It was something she could do alone. No one else could tell her that she was doing it wrong because it came from the heart, and you didn’t ever get graded in dance.

Hermione had started dancing when she was eight. Her parents had signed her up for muggle dance lessons hoping it would help her develop some grace and poise. To their proud delight, she had taken a liking to it and had excelled at it, like everything else she did. When her Hogwarts letter came however, she stopped dancing except during the summer, for there was no dance class at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Now clean, she stepped out of the shower, wrapping a fluffy white towel around her now curvy body. Hermione was growing into quite the beautiful young lady. She was no longer the girl that was teased for her square petite figure. Her hips widened, her breasts developed a little late, but better late than never, and she grew taller. Unfortunately her hair had yet to straighten its self out, but the frizz factor had gone down. Pulling her nightshirt over her head, she settled down on her bed to read her letters. She opened Harry’s first.

Dear Hermione,
How is your summer going? Not studying too hard I hope. I’m at the Burrow with Ron so if you need to reach me that’s where I’ll be. Have you gotten your Hogwarts letter yet? They’ve added a new class this year, ballroom and contemporary dance. Can you believe that? I’m probably going to get stuck with Millicent for a partner or something. Yuck. Hope to hear from you soon.

Harry


Hermione dropped the letter in shock, then snatched it up quickly again to reread it. There it was. “They’ve added a new class this year, ballroom and contemporary dance.” The words stared up at her. She made a quick grab for the Hogwarts letter. Ripping it open she hurriedly scanned it.

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is proud to welcome you back to your seventh year of study…blah blah blah

Students are reminded that the Forbidden Forest remains off limits to all students…

Reading list for seventh year students as follows…

Attention to all students, this year we are excited to announce that we are adding a new class. All students will be required to take Ballroom and Contemporary Dance in order to meet graduation requirements. Dancing equipment will be provided. We look forward to your arrival.


Harry had been right. Hermione knew she should be happy, her one true passion was now being taught at her school, but she never told anyone that she could dance, and she had always been a bit nervous about dancing in front of others.

“Hermione, get over it. This is a good thing. It’s a chance to show everyone your not just a bookworm.” She told herself. Putting the letters aside, she shifted under the covers of her bed and turned out the light.

“This is going to be one hell of a year.” She thought silently before drifting asleep.

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