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Rowling Owns the Universe, I just play in it.

Note: This fic is set during OoTP, and is also related to my other Lions of Gryffindor Series. Hermione shows up for her career counciling with McGonagall.

Career Advice Part 2

*********************Professor McGonagall’s Office**********************

Minerva McGonagall scowled as she looked down at a pink sheet of parchment. Muttering implications about the author’s parentage under her breath, she shoved the offending document under a stack of papers just as a soft KNOCK came from her door. “Come in.” She commanded in her soft burr.

“You wanted to see me Professor?” Hermione Granger asked softly from the door. At McGonagall’s wave, she crossed to the Assistant Headmistress’ desk, sat in one of the straight-backed chairs in front of the desk, and took an offered biscuit. Hermione straightened her uniform skirt over her knees and waited for her head of house to speak.

McGonagall opened a drawer and removed a stack of multicolored pamphlets from her desk. Setting them down on a clear spot, she folded her hands she looked over at Hermione with a small smile. “Miss Granger, I have called you here to discuss any career ideas that you may have and to advice you of what classes that you would need to take.” McGonagall pulled a folder from the top of the stack and opened it, “Now Granger you have held top…”

McGonagall stopped suddenly as without warning her door was flung open and a short, toad-like witch shambled in. “UH-HEM” Delores Umbridge coughed, “Minerva did you not understand that as High Inquisitor I should be involved in any career planning of students.” She paused and looked at Hermione with a small little smile, “especially those that require proper placement.”

Minerva crooked an eyebrow at that statement. She did not speak to Umbridge as she turned back to Hermione, “Now as I was saying Miss Granger you hold top marks in…”

“UH HEM” Umbridge coughed from the corner she had taken residence in, a clipboard resting on her knees. “Minerva,” she inquired in a sickly, sweet voice, “did you not get my note, I am quite sure that I related to you…”

McGonagall did not respond she looked turned back to Hermione, “Now Miss Granger, with your marks, almost any career would be available, Healer, teacher, many careers in the Ministry…”

Professor Umbridge coughed again, and McGonagall sighed, “WHAT, Delores?” She snapped, her brogue thick enough to cut with a knife.

“I had assumed that you had read my note…Miss Granger’s marks in DADA have been sub par this year, and Severus has expressed concerns about her performance…”

“Yes I did…however,” Minerva breathed in deeply, the knuckles on her joined hands white. “I assumed that an error had taken place.” Looking at Hermione, “now Miss Granger, did you have any thoughts on a future career.”

Hermione had been carefully taking in the meeting, not speaking; she now looked up at McGonagall, her hands in her lap. In a small voice, she whispered, “I had been considering being an Auror.” Minerva’s lips quirked as out of the corner of her eye she could see Umbridge bristling at the statement. With a small nod, McGonagall pulled a gray pamphlet from the bottom of the stack.

“An interesting choice, however, I feel that your talents would suit that role nicely…” McGonagall said with a slight nod as she slid the pamphlet to Hermione, “If that is the case, then I would recommend…”

“UH HEM”

“What, Delores?” McGonagall glared over the tops of her square framed glasses, her fingers tapping softly on the top of the pamphlet.

“I wish that you would not insist on getting these students hopes up, Minerva…” Delores smiled sweetly as McGonagall pointedly did not look at the wand that sat on the edge of her desk. “The Auror corps demands a certain…degree of patience and discipline, along with tops marks on the appropriate NEWT subjects. As you said that you received my note…you will notice that Miss Granger is just not performing up to scratch in my class.” Umbridge’s sickly sweet smile grew, “just like Potter, I am afraid that she will not be suitable for that course of employment.” McGonagall bristled, then as she glanced at Hermione, a cold chill settled in her bones. An odd fire was glowing in Hermione’s eyes as they hardened to chips of brown flint. “Considering her background…perhaps a career in Muggle relations.”

Hermione took in a sharp breath, you loathsome, sodding little cow. Harry is a hundred times the wizard you are you worthless bitch. She opened her mouth to retort, but fortunately, McGonagall beat her to it. Acting as if Umbridge was not present at all, she gave Hermione a knowing smile, “As I was saying, for that course, I would recommend Transfiguration, Charms, Potions, DADA and Care of Magical Creatures. I know.” McGonagall said with a small smile, “that you are currently averaging an O in Transfiguration, Charms and Magical Creatures, and.” She paused flicking a glance to Umbridge, “ I feel that you will do adequately on your OWLs considering your past performance in the other two areas as well.”

“Minerva.” Umbridge interjected “I will insist that you stop giving Miss Granger false hope. Her grades in DADA this year have been an A at the most, and Severus has stated that she…” She stopped and smiled sweetly, or it might have been if any other creature, say a Dementor had worn the expression, “And anyhow, I will remind you that the Ministry will be looking carefully into the records of any prospective Aurors…Dear girl, I really think some field like Muggle relations, or maybe perhaps a job with the care of Magical creatures…your background just doesn’t lead to such a demanding role as an Auror, I am afraid.” Umbridge shrugged.

McGonagall opened her mouth to respond once more, but Hermione was ready, her voice was flat and cold as she half-turned in her chair, “just what in my background excludes me…ma’am.” The disrespect in the last word was palatable. “My gender, my scores…or my parentage.”

“You said it my dear, I did not.” Umbridge smiled, and McGonagall shot to her feet.

“THAT IS IT DELORES.” McGonagall snared in a brogue so thick that it could have held up a stone thrown in it. “You will not, come in my office and insult a member of my house.” McGonagall’s hand fell on top of her wand, “Get out of my office, now.”

“I am the High…”

“I don’t care if you are Voldemort himself, GET OUT.” Minerva snapped as her hand tightened on her wand. Delores’s face grew pallid. She shook at the name, and without another word, left the office in a huff. “Damn bloody little…” McGonagall muttered under her breath, Hermione bit back a smile and careful did not meet her eyes, until, “Granger, you can look.” Hermione glanced up and let out a chuckle, while McGonagall ate a biscuit.

“Miss…Hermione” Minerva said suddenly, seriously, “I will probably pay for that, however I will do my duty and part of it is meeting with students…You do have the academic background to succeed in this field, but you should know that this course will normally take another three years and will involve a great deal of physical and emotional tests, in addition to the academic ones.”

“I know, I read Mad-Eye’s book.” Hermione responded.

“I am not surprised…” McGonagall nodded, “I do need to know one thing…why?”

“It’s where I feel I can do the most good” Hermione replied quickly, she fiddled with the hem of her skirt as she glanced down at her lap.

“I am sure that is one of your reasons…but is that the only reason?” McGonagall queried and then without so much as a breath’s pause, “is this because Harry is applying as well?” Hermione once more did not meet the eyes of her head of house, and after a minute of silence, “Very well then, I will conditionally put you forward for this course of study, providing you get the appropriate scores on your OWLs. Hermione, make sure Potter studies…you seem to be the only one he listens to any more.” A brief grin flitted across Hermione’s lips and she nodded. At a dismissive wave, she got up, crossed to the door and left.

Minerva nodded to the closed door and sighed. Taking out a sheet of parchment, she jotted down a note:

Potter has taken the path that we thought he would, and Granger is beside him. Albus, the time for them to be let in is past, we will have to begin training them this summer.

Minerva

McGonagall folded the parchment in thirds and sealed it with a flick of her wand. She held it up like a runner passing a baton, and in a fall of fire the note was gone.


A/N: I threw this together. I got a sudden urge and had to write it after hearing Harry’s career discussion on CD in the car. As you can tell if you’ve read my other fics, it’s implied that this fic is backstory to my Lions of Gryffindor series.







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