Disclaimer: JKR is the lord of all things.
"Hopelessly Mundane" was originally published on FictionAlley on 8 July, 2004.
Hermione strode purposefully toward Gryffindor Tower, trying with all her might to let go of the anger that she felt toward Professor Trelawney
Hermione strode purposefully toward Gryffindor Tower, trying with all her might to stop being as angry as she was. After all, in a little under an hour she would have to go back and attend her Arithmancy lesson, and there was no way she'd be able to use her remaining time to any advantage if all she could think about was that stupid, stupid woman. She was so close to falling behind on the extra credit she'd agreed to do for Professor Vector, and now that she was free of Divination, she'd have time...
Divination. Hermione gripped her books tighter in her hand, and didn't care when she could feel her fingers going a bit numb. How dare she! thought Hermione. I wonder if she's even allowed to say such things to a student? Hopelessly mundane indeed...
She stopped in the hallway, blinking as a new idea crept into her mind. It had never before occurred to her that a teacher might not be allowed to insult a student outright – surely there had to be some sort of rule? And surely, if she found one and pointed it out to Professor McGonagall, or even the headmaster, she could put Trelawney in her place?
I am not mundane! she thought fervently to herself and immediately changed course, heading for the library.
But as she turned the last corner before the library door, she nearly collided with one of the people she'd least been expecting to meet. He looked calmly down at her with raised brows, and somehow she got the uncanny feeling that he'd been expecting to meet her here. But that, of course, was just silly.
"Oh!" she exclaimed softly. "Headmaster – I'm sorry, I wasn't, er... I wasn't looking where I was going..."
"Quite all right," said Dumbledore, looking thoughtfully at her as she skirted around him and made for the library door. "May I detain you just a moment, Miss Granger?" he said just as her hand reached for the doorknob.
She turned around toward him, feeling ever so slightly sheepish – not to mention a little nervous. He was going to ask her why she wasn't in class, she was sure of it. And then she'd be in trouble, wouldn't she, but if he only knew what that woman had said...
"Don't take her words to heart," said Dumbledore.
"Er... I'm sorry?"
He smiled at her, blue eyes twinkling behind his glasses. "Professor Trelawney. She was rather short with you today, wasn't she? And unless I'm mistaken, you took the liberty of returning the favor."
"Well yes, but..." Hermione trailed off, her anger losing its momentum in the face of the headmaster's calm assessment of the situation.
Dumbledore nodded slowly, squinting at a point just beyond her head. She was tempted to turn round and see what was there, but instead she settled for watching him in fascination, wondering just what he was thinking about.
"Headmaster?" she ventured timidly.
"Ah," he said, focusing directly on her again. "Yes, I meant to ask you if you really think that dropping Divination is the wisest course of action."
She bristled, not even bothering to wonder how he knew. "You want me to go back?"
"Not at all," he said mildly. "I merely want to know whether or not you've given the matter a good thinking over. Rash actions often have unpleasant results."
"Oh, I've thought it over," she said, feeling her anger rising as swiftly as it had diminished. "I've been thinking it over since the beginning of term. I have so much to do, and I can't waste my time on a class that – on a teacher who – doesn't teach me anything!"
As she heard her own words echo back at her, she realized just how loud she'd been – and she felt her cheeks go red. "I mean," she began in a much calmer voice, "'the Fates have informed me?' 'Clear the Inner Eye?' It's all a load of rubbish. Professor McGonagall thinks so too," she added desperately.
"Ah yes," said Dumbledore with a chuckle. "The Fates. You know, I've never been able to say that without laughing, myself."
She breathed a sigh of relief, looking up at him with renewed wonder. "Really?"
"Of course," he said. "I too was a very poor Divination student." Then, seeing her look of indignation, he amended his statement. "That is to say, I too thought it a waste of time."
She smiled at his last word; her fingers finding their way to her chest, where the Time-Turner was hidden beneath her shirt. "Thanks," she said.
"Not at all, Miss Granger," said the headmaster as he made to move away down the hall. "And as I said, don't take her words to heart. A young lady with a mind such as yours should pay no heed to petty insults. Although... if you wish, I'd certainly be able to have a chat with her about being more – shall I say – patient with her students?"
His blue eyes stared keenly down at her, and she considered only a moment before replying. "No," she said, letting out a deep breath of resolution. "I mean thank you, but no. It wasn't really that important."
She feared for an instant that she'd said the wrong thing. Dumbledore's eyes seemed to be searching for something, maybe even wondering if she meant what she said. But after a moment, the edge of his mouth crooked upwards into a faint smile.
"Very well, Miss Granger," he said with a nod of his head. "I wish you a pleasant afternoon. Enjoy it while you can, though – I hear that it will rain today..."
And with that, he swept around the corner and was gone. Hermione, feeling considerably lighter of heart, walked right past the library and headed for the common room.