Ming here (: new story because it's the hols and I'm bored.
Chapter 1: Bet me
Hermione does not turn into a pink llama
Ron does not have pink hair
Draco does not pierce his navel
Harry doesn't die of a heart attack
Pigs do not fly. Seriously, not even in real life. Period.
The last day of school. Seventeen year olds setting out to make a fortune. And there she sat; blowing a random wisp of hair that was blocking her view. In front of her, sat the rows and rows of students, each one whispering excitedly, having a heated discussion. Their futures were set in front of their eyes, each one with that bright spark waiting to explode. Tomorrow, when they boarded that train, it would be the last time she would be seeing so many familiar faces.
"You know, you might want to stop blowing your hair. It's kind of flinging in my direction. Hey look! I have brown hair! Brilliant!" The red head sitting next to her joked. She turned her head to see her two best friends guffawing. "Not funny, Ron. You do know that coming of age means that I can hex you right now, in front of all these people, and turn your hair, say purple?" Ron choked back a peal of laughter and straightened his tie. "Right you are Hermione, no jokes. This is all serious matter."
Hermione arched her eyebrows and stared at the boy sitting next to Ron. His jet-black hair looking messier than usual, and his glasses slightly askew. Hermione gave a small cough and stared on pointedly. Finally getting the idea, Harry rubbed his glasses and sat straight. This was no laughing matter when Hermione got serious.
"And now students, we will be welcoming our Head Girl and Head Boy on to the stage," Professor McGonagall called out over the crowd's murmurs. Hermione took this as her chance to stand up and walk towards the stage. Following behind her was Ron. The crowd roared with applause, especially from the back where the Gryffindors sat.
Up on the stage, she smiled at the crowd and took out a piece of paper. " Good Evening, students of Hogwarts. If you were to just look to the left or right of you, you will notice familiar faces that might be gone very soon. They are your seniors. From Hufflepuff, the hardworking, to Ravenclaw, the bright, to Gryffindor, the brave and to Slytherin, the cunning, there are those who are older, and probably wiser than you who will be leaving the school. Everybody, I believe, will miss them sorely. They leave this school, in search of a bright future. They set out with big dreams and aspirations. And who knows, one just might end up as the Minister of Magic."
From there, Ron took over, " So everybody, start taking out your quills and extra pieces of parchment and start getting signatures from everyone. Who knows, that new Minister of Magic could be the person sitting next to you!" The crowd rumbled with laughter. Ron ruffled his hair and stood straight. " All you seventh-years, this, is for you." He said seriously as he flicked his wand. The curtains that were behind him, on the conjured outdoor stage, opened with a quiet swoosh. Behind them, was the silhouette of three people. The crowd started murmuring, when they heard a loud twang from an electric guitar. The lights went up, lighting the darkened stage and the first voice emitted.
There was a large shout from the back; " The Weird Sisters!" before the first vocal on stage was heard. A huge stampede to the stage occurred, hats lay on the ground forgotten. Amidst the blaring music and the piercing sounds, Hermione threw up her hat and grabbed Ron and Harry's hand. " This was brilliant you guys!" She screamed to make herself heard. "I know! How did you get in touch with them?" Harry yelled at Ron. " They owed Bill and favour!" Ron shouted and gave a grin. Losing themselves in the crowd, they sang and rocked their heads to the beats of the drums, thoroughly enjoying it.
On the train, she sat in the prefect's carriage for the last time. Surveying her surroundings, Hermione flopped onto one side of the seats and sighed. Man, was she going to miss this train. And the trolley laden with snacks and candies. She heard the door open and close. Sitting up, she was met with a cold stare from across the carriage. "What do you want, Malfoy." She spat out. " Nothing. What about you, Bucktooth?" Draco Malfoy replied with a snide remark. " My oh my, still with those insults? How childish can you get?" Hermione smiled. Draco gave a shrug and lay down on the seats. " So where is Weasel? Still having a go with the Patil twin? Or was that Brown? Or, could it be you?" Draco asked coolly.
" None of your business, Malfoy. But if you really want to know, he isn't attached, and he isn't about to."
"Why not? His little mummy won't let him? Or mummy couldn't feed an extra mouth?"
"Shut up. Stop trying to throw verbal insults at him. I don't think it works anymore. After seven years, how would it?" Hermione scoffed. Draco grinned, " Tell you what mudblood. Let's make a pact. We'll meet somewhere in the next 5 years, we'll see how successful the other is. The winner gets a 1000 galleons, the loser, well, let's just say that the loser will start feeling pretty empty in the vault."
Hermione thought it over in her head. There didn't seem to be a catch. She was willing to risk a thousand galleons, heck! She already has a thousand galleons from her parents. It won't hurt playing this game would it? And what were the chances that she would end up sweeping roads or serving at a bar right? With her brain, it could take her anywhere. "It's a deal, Malfoy." Hermione shook hands with Draco.
The train pulled to a stop at Platform 9 ¾. "See you in 5 years, Granger." Draco smirked as he pulled on his jacket and walked out of the carriage. This would be an easy buck to earn. Hermione smiled grimly and waited for the throngs to pass.
Hermione pulled back her hair into a high ponytail. Gulping down black coffee, she pulled on a shirt and a pair of her cleanest jeans and rushed to the coffee table where a two stacks of papers sat. Picking up the stack on her right, she double-checked for errors, before whipping out her wand. With a crack, she was gone.
"Jesus! Granger, you have got to stop doing that!"
Hermione smiled, " Sorry sir, just trying to rush the papers." Hermione handed the papers to the editor of the Daily Prophet. The editor checked through the papers, scanning his eyes over the words. With a flick of a wand, he conjured out a mug of hot tea and dipped his tea bag constantly into the mug. "What can I say Granger, another good work. Here's your fifty galleons. You do know that your column is pretty much one of the most read articles in the Prophet," the editor admitted, " Sit, sit." The editor waved his hand in a random direction in front of his desk and conjured a hard looking chair. Hermione straightened her T-shirt and jeans and sat on it, willing herself to stop slouching.
" You also know that, if the press likes this, you can be earning yourself a book with all the past columns," the editor said over his mug of hot tea. Hermione nodded her head, sending her hair into a whirl. " Well, you know the rules, every weekly column for the weekend Prophet is 50 galleons. Get another one down here by next Saturday alright?" Hermione smiled and with another crack, was gone.
Hermione appeared a few moments later in her own apartment. This life sure was hectic, she thought. So maybe she wasn't top witch in the cabinet in the Ministry, not that she wanted to be, nor was she some young entrepreneur, like the Weasley twins, but she sure wasn't a witch sweeping the lanes of Knockturn Alley at 12 midnight. Sighing, she picked up her clothes strewn all over her bedroom. With a quick spell, they were sent to the washing machine.
Hermione suddenly remembered something. Shoot! Where were those flyers? I thought I had them printed out last night. Walking over to her coffee table, she found another stack of papers and soon disapparated to the near by post office.
The post office had a huge signboard where notices were placed. Hermione walked unhurriedly to it to find most of the board filled with requests already.
BABYSITTING ON TUES NIGHTS, 10 POUNDS / HOUR.
NEED HELP WITH YOUR BABY? CALL SHARON AT 675349201.
The flyers were stuck haphazardly. Sighing again, Hermione pulled out her own and stuck one of them carefully on top of some of the papers, trying not to block out the flyers below hers. Hermione had been doing this for years. Four to be exact, and soon five.
Being 17 when she met the real world, she was hoping to earn herself a buck. Or rather, a galleon. But by the time she had filled up her own application forms, most of the jobs had been taken. Thankfully, she had journalism to fall back on. The editor had been kind enough to start her off on some regular cases, but when her popularity rose within the newspaper community, she soon got her own column. Last time, she worked three jobs. In the morning, there was the gardening, followed by her paper job, and in the evenings, she worked at the bar.
Truth be told, she didn't enjoy it. But once she got her own column, things took a better turn. Now, she was a trusted babysitter, or in better terms, an au pair. Except she did less housecleaning (not that she wasn't good), and more taking care of the children. Parents dropped their children of at her apartment, muggle or wizard, from nine to six. At 15 pounds an hour, or 5 galleons an hour, it was a pretty okay job. Flexible hours, and more pay especially on weekends or late nights, she was quite contented. The money earned from baby-sitting fluctuated monthly, but with the journalism job backing her up, she always had enough for food and rent, and even a pair of suede heels every once in a while. All she had to do was get the column done and hand it in at six in the morning, and the rest of the day, she just spent it with the little 'beasts'.
Hermione shook her head slightly and smiled at the flyers. After 4 years, she knew how to make a proper flyer. It meant as few words as possible, big uppercase letters, and bright fonts. People didn't take your flyer even if it did smell of lavender or it had a floral border. She knew. She'd tried.
Turning away from the overcrowded board, she walked leisurely towards the near by park, randomly sticking the flyers on the lamp post or the random rubbish bin and bought herself a cinnamon roll. She'd be heading to the wizarding post office soon, so a little breather wouldn't kill her business. Sitting on a park bench whilst eating her breakfast, Hermione sure was content. That was until she heard a wail. It pierced the cool morning air, causing the birds from the trees to squawk and take off. Hermione turned her head to the origin of the sound. There, in the sand box sat a small boy with platinum blonde hair. Walking over to the boy, she squatted down next to him by the sand box.
"Alright honey, what's the problem? Did you hurt yourself?" Hermione said soothingly. The little boy stared back at her with the most shocking blue eyes. "It's a cut," he sobbed, pointing at his knee. Hermione smiled at the young boy, " There there, that's nothing to be worried about. Let me show you something." Hermione placed her hand over the cut, murmured a few undistinguishable words and slowly lifted her hand. The blood was gone, and so was the sand. Instead, it was replaced with a bright green plaster. The small boy grinned with delight and pointed at her, " You did magic!" Hermione lied with a smile on her face, " No it wasn't, I just have quick reflexes. So what's your name?" She'd done this so many times with the rest of the other children it was almost second nature.
"Really? That's a nice name. So where's your daddy?"
"Not here. He's gone away."
"Oh, so who brought you here?" Hermione asked. The little boy looked over her shoulder and pointed. "Him. He's my uncle!" Finn said delightedly. Hermione turned to see where Finn was pointing to see a young man jogging towards the sandbox. His blonde hair, just like the young boy, was in a mad tussle. When the man reached the sandbox, he scooped up the young boy with one arm and chided, " Benjamin Michael Murray! What did you think you're doing running off like that? You almost had me in a tizzy!" The little boy glared at him and crossed his arms, " I'm Finn! I'm Finn! Who's Benjamin? I'm Finn Murray!" The young man laughed and turned to Hermione.
"Thanks for finding him. He just ran off all of a sudden. Thanks again," The man smiled, showing his brilliant white teeth, his grey eyes twinkling. Hermione smiled and shook the hand warmly. "It's not a problem, just have to be careful. Oh, by the way, is he Finn or Ben?" Hermione asked curiously.
"It's Ben. Don't be fooled by him. He keeps on thinking he's Huck Finn. You know from that muggle—" The man halted and said, " I mean famous, famous book." The young man ruffled his already messy hair and looked away. Hermione laughed, " It's alright. I'm a witch too." The young man looked back at her in shock. "Right, well thanks again. Have to go off. This young man has piano lessons with Madame Eleanor to attend at 9. Right Michael?" Ben pouted and sealed his mouth. The young man sighed and smiled wanly at Hermione. Hermione bid Ben and the young man goodbye and walked away, accidentally dropping one of her flyers on the ground.
Curious, the young man picked up the paper only to see red, font 70 alphabets screaming at him: NEED HELP WITH YOUR CHILD? JUST DROP HIM/HER OFF AND LET HIM BE LOOKED AFTER WHILE YOU SPEND A WELL DESERVED BREAK AT ONLY 5GALLEONS/HOUR! That was just the start, below the rest of the bold uppercase words was her address to be owled to.
He folded up the paper neatly and kept it in his pocket. He just might deserve that break after the past week of his crazy life.
Just the start but I thought it was okay. Read and review yeah? (: Ming