Disclaimer: Don't own Hermione Granger or Harry Potter. Just having fun. :)

Prompt: A Defining Moment

Words: 474

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A New Definition

On a bright, sunny July afternoon, three girls were walking home from a very special summer camp, offered to only the best and brightest students. One girl walked slightly in front and in the middle of the other two. Her bushy brown hair bounced up and down with each delighted step she took, for she loved learning and most especially talking about learning. As it happened, the girls were discussing something from their session that day on animals.

"No, Susie, don't you remember what Miss Taylor told us?" asked the girl with bushy brown hair in a self-important tone.

"I bet YOU do, Hermione," said Alice, rolling her eyes at the back of Hermione's head. Susie stiffed a giggle.

"Horses, of the genus and species Equus caballus, have one fewer bone than the average adult human."

Felicity and Sandy exchanged a look.

"And when do you think that's going to come in handy?" Susie asked.

"You never know," replied Hermione. They reached Merriweather Lane and stopped. Hermione smiled at her friends and glanced down the street. "Well, see you tomorrow girls. Don't forget to read that section on the Parliament," she said, turning to walk down her street.

Halfway to the stone path to her house, she turned around and waved at her friends, still standing at the end of the street. She didn't see Susie whisper in Alice's ear, nor did she hear them giggle as she reached the front door.

"Mum! Dad! I'm home!" she announced after entering the house. "Wait until I tell you about school today. We learned about—"

"In the living room, sweetheart," came her mother's slightly anxious voice.

Hermione found both her parents sitting on the sofa, puzzled expressions on their faces, warily eyeing a very strict looking woman in a long, dark dress and tall pointy hat. Her mother had a piece of yellowed paper clenched tightly in one hand. The woman turned to her, lips pressed tightly.

"Miss Granger," she said with a curt nod and the barest hint of a smile. "I've just been telling your parents that you are a very special young lady."

Hermione's eyes widened as she really looked at the woman. There was something… different about her, she could tell; she could feel it. It was almost tangible, carried like particles on the air. And it wasn't the pointy hat.

The woman extended her hand. "It is truly a pleasure."

When Hermione looked into her eyes, she saw a sparkle that belied the woman's age and hinted at mystery and excitement and even danger. She saw power in the woman's dark, swirling eyes, power that reflected something she'd seen in herself when she had least expected it. She had to know more.

She smiled bravely at the older woman and accepted her hand.

"The pleasure is mine."

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