Chapter 1
No Exceptions

[Wednesday, August 31st, 2016]

"Professor Granger, do you have a moment?" Headmaster Garth sauntered into the Enchantments lecture hall. The room seated nearly two hundred students, with a blackboard that was nearly twenty feet high behind a large marble desk. Professor Granger's hybrid course on Transfiguration and Charms had become something of a staple to any program available to the students at The University of Hogwarts. Every student wanted to take it, though the waiting list was becoming increasingly selective.

Which is why Hermione did not expect to be interrupted or disturbed the day before the first term of the year started. Regardless of that fact, she could hardly turn away the Headmaster, no matter how new he was to his role.

"Headmaster, certainly. How can I help you?" Hermione tipped her wide brimmed hat upward to get a better view of the rather large man. He was about a foot shy of Hagrid's height and the width of a healthy oak tree. He was the perfect image of a Headmaster with his regal robes and braided white beard that nearly reached his hips. Hermione tried not to go back down the rabbit hole that was filled with questions like, why did McGonagall choose this man of all people to be the Headmaster of Hogwarts University?

For six years, Hogwarts had been expanding. Several educational facilities had been built, among them was the prized University. McGonagall tried her best to run both the school and college, but after two years, the task had become nearly impossible. The college had gained popularity by the thousands and magical students from all over the world had sought to gain a magical degree in lieu of apprenticeships.

"I just wanted to check in; see if you need anything before tomorrow," headmaster Garth glanced about the room. It must have been the first time he had stepped into her classroom.

"Oh, how thoughtful. There's no need, I am quite prepared," Hermione said proudly.

"Excellent. Also, did you receive my memo? About the new requirements for professors?"

"Oh, yes indeed! I've already sent over a transcript of one of my more recent studies to an editor for review. I've gotten quite the head start on the other items as well," Hermione shifted through a small stack of start of term documents she kept handy. Among them was the memo he mentioned.

"I'm glad to hear it. However, I noticed you are the only professor who has yet to select a class to sit in on this term," he stepped toward a cabinet with her collection of eighteenth and nineteenth century wands. Hermione would normally enjoy explaining how it was she came to receive the collection if she wasn't so busy trying to reconfigure the words he had just said to her.

"I'm sorry Headmaster, I must have misheard you. What do you mean 'select a class'?" She walked around her desk to stand beside him, her long iridescent robes dragging behind her. She loved how the light danced over the delicate fabric.

"Yes, I would have thought you'd be the first to sign up. Minerva tells me you were an excellent support to her vision. Do you not approve?" It was a trick question, of course Hermione approved. More of her colleagues needed to branch out into other fields of study instead of being too centred on their own subject. Of course, she always supported McGonagall's plans. It's because of Hermione's involvement that the college was so successful. Normally she would be the first to sign up for any program or planned event, except this one.

Firstly, Hermione's schedule was always full, her class was in high demand year 'round. Secondly, Hermione was already well versed in plenty of subjects, she really didn't see the point in spending precious time toward that endeavour, and thirdly:

"But your memo clearly says some exceptions apply. You must know I have no time to sit in on a class, my term is fully registered, nearly every day," she was baffled that she even had to explain any of this. Didn't he know who she was?

"Professor, that particular stipulation was meant for the quidditch instructors. Not professors, I thought I had been clear."

"You certainly were not!" Hermione snapped and instantly regretted it. Headmaster Garth raised an eyebrow and his jaw set in resolve.

"Worry not, Professor. Fortunately for you there is an evening class that meets twice a week that should fit into your schedule just fine. I'm sure your student aides could take on some of your grading responsibilities, so you are not overwhelmed."

"My student aides won't be ready to take over for at least a month-"

"Professor, you will be sitting in on this class, no exception." The Headmaster said sternly. Hermione fought the urge to pout and stomp her foot, but a small part of her really wanted to.

"Very well, Headmaster," she took a deep breath clasping her hands together behind her with a smile she knew didn't reach her eyes.. "Which class did you say was available?"


Hermione felt a pit fall to the bottom of her stomach. Her mouth dried and she was left speechless.

"If you need anything, please let me know. I've already taken the liberty of informing Professor Malfoy you will be sitting in on his class," headmaster Garth turned to leave. "Have a pleasant start of term, Professor Granger."