A/N: I hope you all will review my story and give me some much-needed critique. I want this to turn out relatively enjoyable. Please refrain from flaming. This chapter is dedicated to my best friend. I hope to goodness that she likes it!
Disclaimer: I own a Platform 9 ¾ sign, but not any recognizable characters or places. I am however, trying to gain ownership of Australia. Who wouldn't want pet kangaroos? Seriously!
Hermione had left for Australia with Harry and Ron the day after the mass funeral at Hogwarts. But before they had left, the trio had visited Minerva's quarters to say goodbye. She had been pleasantly surprised to see them, after all, she didn't expect them to come back to Hogwarts now that Voldemort was dead.
"That's absolute rubbish Professor!" Hermione had argued, "We wouldn't leave you by yourself to repair the castle. Besides, we love it here. Hogwarts has been our home for years now." The young woman stared at her once-teacher as if it was obvious.
"I figure if we round up the surviving members of Dumbledore's Army, we can have the castle restored and better than ever before the new school year would start," piped in Ron, "then we can all start the school year over again." The end of his remark sounded questioning. The professor smiled at his sudden insecurity.
"I do think," Minerva said slowly, "That with enough help we can definitely have this place up and ready again." She smiled at the now excited faces of her students. "But, as to whether we can re-open the school, it depends on if we can get new staff members. I couldn't possibly guess if anyone thinks Hogwarts is safe enough." She reasoned. "What do you think Mr. Potter?" Minerva had realized that Harry hadn't said a word since he entered her room. She looked to see him by the window. He had a faraway expression and she realized that he was looking at the newly created cemetery near the lake. It took her a moment to realize that he began speaking to her.
"I think that the Ministry will give us permission. After all, we were strong enough to battle Riddle, all of the Death Eaters, and the other creatures in his army. If we can do that, than we can protect ourselves from any other threats that arise in the next few years. There aren't many more of Tom's followers left out there. I talked to Kingsley- he says that there are only a hundred at best. The rest were either captured or killed already." Harry's face was serious. It struck Minerva how much mature he'd become in the last seven years. Hell, Harry had practically aged twenty years in the last eight months alone. But as impressive as his attitude and plan seemed to be, she still heard some flaws.
"I'm glad to hear that you've began thinking this out," Minerva started, "But I can't possibly lead this on my own. There is about two and a half thousand people already on the grounds! How could I possibly convince the house elves to try feeding that many? Organizing all the tasks to people would be just as difficult! And then the matter of decorating the cemetery…." by now the Transfiguration professor was speaking quickly and seemed on the verge of tears.
Realizing the immense stress that his soon-to-be-teacher has been under lately, Harry diffused her meltdown saying, "Don't worry about it Professor. I promise we have it all taken care of. I held a meeting with the remaining members of Dumbledore's Army and they will help you lead the construction. Neville is in charge of the plantlife around the grounds. The forest, grass, the Whomping Willow, the various patches of flowers, and the quidditch pitch. He and a team of people who have talent for herbology will begin today. Luna and another team of people are in charge of repairing the various paintings and decorations that line that were blown up during the fight." Harry paused for a moment and looked at Hermione. He figured she would want her own two cents on what she was assigned.
Taking Harry's cue she said, "I will be with a team of people assigned to restoring the walls and staircases. We will also be returning stored books in the Room of Requirement back to their proper places in the Library. Ginny will be taking over my tasks until we return mid-day tomorrow." Hermione then smiled at Ron to continue where she left off.
"When we come back," Ron said, "Ginny will then have her own team to help her sort out Gryffindor Tower. Its basically lying in a pile of rubble at the foot of the school. They also are in charge of mending the hourglasses for house points. My mum and some of the cooking-oriented people will be helping the house elves feed everyone. Because there are so many of us, the plan is to have a big breakfast and a light dinner. Hermione's aunt and uncle own chain of successful farms, so they will be donating food and water to help us stay healthy. Her cousin Alexa should be arriving from America tomorrow after we get back."
Minerva stood there speechless. Her lions had certainly been thinking about her. "I don't know what to say. You three seemed to have thought of everything haven't you? You have no idea how much it means to me to have some of this mess taken care of." Minerva's eyes were welled up with tears of gratitude. She would sleep better knowing that she didn't have to do as much explaining to all of the volunteers.
"You're welcome Professor," Harry said with sincerity, "We got almost all of it covered. The rest of the people were assigned to do odd jobs. That way no group is understaffed. We also have a special group of people who have asked to do a memorial down in Hogsmeade. We got permission from all of the shopkeepers and the Minister. The last two groups are in charge of water and food deliveries. All you will need to do is make some rounds and oversee the progress. That way you can focus on writing up the Hogwarts letters and other tasks for the upcoming school year." He finished his speech with a huge smile, proud at the thought of how much he was able to help the woman he considered family.
"Wonderful," Minerva beamed, "I will get everyone started right away! Breakfast was nearly an hour ago, so I figure the work day will be from nine until four. That seems reasonable, wouldn't you agree?" She walked over to her desk and enchanted a quill to write down everything she needed to remember in her new notebook. The older witch then turned around to say goodbye to her soon-to-be-students.
"You lot better promise me that you won't go looking for trouble. I don't want anything to happen to you in such an unfamiliar place! Command one of your Patronuses to apparate back here when you arrive. That is an order, am I clear?" Minerva's used her traditional stern voice with them. She would be devastated of they let down their guard somewhere so far away. As well-connected as the professor was, she didn't have any contacts in Australia that she could use to keep an eye out for them.
"We promise professor," Said the trio in unison. They each gave her a warm hug and left her office. She watched through her window as they walked across the grounds and passed through all of the makeshift camps. She noticed how they said a brief hello to everyone that was near them as they headed for the gates. They closed the metal doors and turned to face her window. Hermione grabbed each of her companions' hands. All three of the teenagers' gazes landed on their professor's window before they apparated to a foreign destination.
A/N: So what did you guys think? You loved it? Didn't like it? Want me to change something? What do you want to happen next? Please R&R, but no flames. Thanks again!