Author's Note: Hey guys! :) I am back with another story for you all! I'm actually surprised by how quickly I'm back onto a new story, haha… but this idea has been nagging me for a while and I just got inspired to write. This is one of those Hermione-takes-a-stand fics. I've always loved these sort of fics. I hope you guys love these as well, especially those of you who take a very realistic stance on Harry and Hermione's relationship and have wondered what would happen if Hermione just left Ron and Harry after DH. I could imagine her actually taking a stand. After all, she's the coolest bitch on Earth, goddammit (if you know where that's from, I will love you forever).
Rating: Rated M for language, drinking, and possible mild lemony goodness.
Info: Post-DH, about six years after the fall of Voldemort. Canon compatible except for the epilogue, of course. At the beginning of this story, Hermione has left Ron and Harry and has not seen them for three years nor has she had any sort of contact with them.
Chapter One: Two New Appointments
It was with an air of haste that Hermione Granger walked.
It was around midday and Hogsmeade was alive. But this was not her destination. She walked past the busy streets of the village, pulling her hood more tightly over her head in order to avoid hearing awkward questions. The Daily Prophet already made rumors that, admittedly, held some truth between their wild name calling and outlandish theories. She had long since read that bloody newspaper, but Hermione was almost certain that things had not changed.
And so she walked at an even quicker pace, wanting to stray from the populated area immediately. Facing strangers now would mean hearing whispers behind practiced hands calling her the "one who abandoned the Golden Trio".
The castle was not too far now….
Hermione continued walking. She was now past Hogsmeade, and she took the route that the carriages normally rode on to transport students. In fact, this path had been used the day before, since that had been the start of the new term. Hermione climbed up a particularly nasty hill and made her way further up the path.
If she were to be completely honest with herself, she had been expecting this. Hermione had had a steady job at the Ministry in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement; however, she could no longer stand it. It was just a matter of time before she quit and found something more… quiet. Somewhere away from the worries that kept her up at night. And that was why Hermione was walking back to the one place where she'd always found solace: the library. A little bird told her that the school was in need of a new librarian.
Up ahead, finally, was the castle. She found some more energy at the sight of it, as though she'd had an extra cup of coffee that morning, and picked up her pace. This was where everything had all started, it was her home. Her other home, the one that she'd belonged to since birth, was a place where she was just coldly welcomed. Her parents, after her lifting the memory charm from them, were angry with her when she admitted to them that she'd modified their memories in order to run off with a boy she loved and another boy who would never love her back, and live in hiding within a tent around unidentifiable countryside for countless months. When she tried to explain that she had to help Harry, Carl and Jane Granger demanded to know why this boy they'd never really met had somehow been more important to her than them. She'd visit her parents once in a while but it wasn't the same. Even after she said that she'd left him and erased herself from his life, while they were a little more happy that she'd "come to her senses" they said it was "too late" and she "should have left him a long time ago". After all, through all of these adventures, "was he trying to kill you?"
It was all of his fault. All of this was his damn fault….
Luckily, classes must have been going on, and so despite the rare, nice weather outside, no students were out on the grounds. She did not want to face the majority of the student body here right now, especially not before she'd even officially gotten the job. It was best to remain hooded and anonymous while she still could. Hermione indignantly pulled her cloak more tightly around herself and marched the rest of the way to the castle doors.
She knocked three times, waited a few moments, and then heard a ruffled, familiar voice call out, "I'm comin'!"
The door opened just enough to reveal a slither of the face of Argus Filch, the caretaker. His eyes widened at the sight of the hooded figure before him. "Who are you? Reveal yourself!"
Hermione lowered her hood – keeping a stern expression on her face – which was enough of an answer for him.
"Oh, it's you," he mumbled, swinging the door open more so that she could squeeze through into the entrance hall. "The Headmistress told me you'd be here… yes… well, follow me," he said gruffly, and Hermione did as she was told.
It was nice, for once, to see someone and not hear about how she'd left the "Golden Trio"….
Various parts of the castle looked much newer than when she had been a student here. Shiny walls and newer, unfamiliar portraits were all in view as she and Filch walked. Much of the damage from the final battle against Voldemort had required an intensive repair project that had put classes on hold for nearly half a year after Voldemort was defeated. The last time she had stepped foot in this castle was on the one-year anniversary of the final battle, for a memorial service to remember all of the innocent lives lost… Fred, Tonks, Lupin… and so many others….
The man was limping next to her and his breathing was unsteady. "She's teaching now," Filch told her, when they reached Dumbledore's old office, "but she said you can wait in her office 'til she's done."
It seemed strange to refer to this place as McGonagall's office. He murmured the password into the gargoyle's ear, as though afraid that Hermione would remember it and somehow cause destruction that he'd have to clean up. Clearly the rule-breaking of her Hogwarts days was not forgotten, although it was Harry generally leading the rule-breaking….
Hermione shook him from her thoughts and politely said, "Thank you."
Filch looked at her as though he was going to say something, but he didn't, and he was soon scurrying off. There was a loud crash a few corridors behind her and then heard him yell, "Peeves!"
Some things just never changed.
Hermione almost laughed as she entered the office. She had not laughed in a while. When she walked in, the door closed behind her. Within the circular room, there were portraits of previous headmasters, Dumbledore inhabiting the newest one. He was sitting in his chair and looking at her with a look of polite curiosity on his face.
Some of the other portraits were a little more openly curious than he, and they began to walk into each other's portraits, muttering things she could not, and did not, want to hear.
"That's enough," Dumbledore told them.
One headmaster made an annoyed stiffing noise, and then went back into his own frame – labeled Phineas Nigellus – and sat down on his chair, looking slightly put off.
Hermione stood near the chair that was reserved for students that either gotten into enough trouble to land themselves a spot in this office, or received a great reward and deserved the Headmistress's attention. It seemed odd to sit here without being told, now that she was no longer a student. She was almost like an equal, as an adult, to McGonagall. That would certainly take some getting used to.
The bell rang, and she heard a sea of voices carrying past corridors and footsteps shaking the floor. There was no doubt that McGonagall would be here any moment now….
Hermione tried to lamely fix her robes and flatten out the wrinkles of her cloak. She wanted to look presentable. Hermione couldn't go back to her old job… not now….
Minutes later, the door to the office whipped open, and Minerva McGonagall stood before Hermione. There were streaks of gray in her black hair that was, as usual, tied into a tight bun at the back of her head, and several wrinkles lined her tired-looking eyes like dried riverbeds. She was getting up there in age.
"Ah, Miss Granger," she said, as though Hermione were a pleasant surprise. "Sorry it took me so long… Peeves made a mess right outside my classroom…" She straightened up and crossed the room to her seat. "Sit, please..." she added distractedly with a wave of her wrinkled hand.
Hermione sat down as McGonagall took her own seat. She wiped her glasses with the hem of her robes and then, with a flick of her wand, neatly sorted a small assortment of files. Then she eyed Hermione apprehensively. Hermione felt oddly distant from the older woman, as though it was more than just a few feet of empty space keeping them apart.
"Ever since Madam Pince retired at the end of the last school year," McGonagall said briskly, "no one has come forward to take the job. I was afraid that we wouldn't find a replacement…."
Hermione inclined her head. "I'm more than willing to take the job, Professor, as I told you in my letter," she said proudly.
"I was actually quite surprised when wrote to me about taking the job," McGonagall admitted with a frown. "I thought that you, a witch fully capable of much more, would have stuck with your career at the Ministry… the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, I believe?"
"I've found that I'm looking for a more quiet life," Hermione said with another inclination of her head. "Perhaps one day, I will be able to go back if my qualifications are needed. But I can only stand so much time in the spotlight, you know…. And after all, the Ministry has never been kind to me or –" She paused before saying "Harry". "Well, they've just never… never been kind to me," she recovered lamely. "I'm sure you've heard the rumors?"
"Rumors? Oh, no, Miss Granger. I haven't read the Prophet in years. A war could be breaking out and I wouldn't know of it," McGonagall said stiffly. She inhaled deeply and then continued onto a different matter. "Miss Granger, before I hire you, I want you to make sure that you're certain with this decision… you are phenomenal witch, and it would be a shame if your talents went to waste. I'm sure if I look hard enough, I can find someone else to take the job –"
"No, no, I'm sure," Hermione said in a high-pitched voice that was unlike her own. "I'd just like to get away from everything, that's all."
"Yes, of course," McGonagall said, nodding. "Well, there are a few things we'll need to go over…. Would you mind a cup of tea?"
"What? Oh – er, thanks, Professor," Hermione said as a tray holding two teacups appeared at the wave of McGonagall's wand. She grabbed the first cup and the professor took the second. Hermione took a sip and looked back up at McGonagall. "How has everything been here, at Hogwarts?"
It was just six years after the battle, yet McGonagall appeared to have aged so much. She sighed. "Oh, you know… just as usual," she said conversationally. "A little bland at times, really, without you three running amuck."
Hermione forced a laugh.
"There have been a few changes in the staff," McGonagall continued. "And I'm afraid we can't find a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher… I've sent out offers, of course, to everyone who I can think of."
Hermione gripped the handle of her teacup tightly. "You don't think – I mean, he's dead, he's –"
"Oh, that silly little curse that kept us from getting one Defense teacher for longer than a year?" McGonagall said dismissively. "That's all rubbish, of course. We had our previous professor for five years! He's left, though… gone to do some Auror work…. I've interviewed a few people for the job, of course, but none of them seem to know what they're talking about. I need the best of the best. In the meantime, we've had other staff members take over the classes and teach what they can, but it's really getting difficult, because we've all got other classes to teach at the same time…. And the Ministry's starting to catch on. Kingsley's promised that they won't get involved just yet, but we'll need to find someone as soon as we can."
"I could always take over a lesson or two, if everyone's schedules are full," she offered, shrugging. She briefly thought of the D.A. and then tore it from her mind. "I mean, mind you, I was never outstanding at Defense Against the Dark Arts – I only got an 'E' on my O.W.L.s – but for the next few days, you know, while you wait for someone to take over –"
"Thank you, Miss Granger," she said kindly. "I'll certainly let you know the moment we need a lesson covered. I do have high hopes, though, that one of these days I will get a reply back from the people I've made offers to…." She sighed and rubbed her temples. "Well, I mustn't bother you with my worries… let's sign a few papers before my next lesson, shall we?"
. . . . .
"Get up, you useless lump."
Harry rolled over and groaned, trying to ignore whoever the hell was bothering to wake him up. He clasped his pillow over his head to cover his ears. Couldn't they leave him alone? He just wanted a few more minutes of sleep at least, although really, he could do with simply staying in bed all day and not having to move a muscle. He'd gotten only about a couple of hours of sleep...
"Harry!" Ron's voice exclaimed, louder this time. "You've got a letter… for Christ's sake, Harry, get up!"
There was a thick, sickening headache pounding in his head. The world around him twisted and twirled, and he was sure that his bed was hanging off the ceiling and Ron was up above him, on the floor. What the hell? His whole entire body ached. Harry winced at the pain. He felt Ron rip the pillow from his grasp.
"Ow," Harry complained dully, still face down in his bed. The headache still throbbed with pain. He covered his face in his hands and kept his eyes tightly shut against the world that was spinning too quickly for him.
"I'll read your letter, then," Ron said irritably, "seeing as you're probably unfit to even read your own name."
Harry didn't say anything. He didn't have any normal correspondents. Whoever wrote to him, it wasn't important, and he wanted them to leave him alone. There was a ripping of an envelope and an unfolding of a piece of parchment.
A moment's silence hung in the air, and then, "It's from McGonagall."
Harry rolled onto his back and slowly sat up. He lazily rubbed his eyes and ruffled his hair. The light in his room was far too bright, and Ron's voice was too loud. He squinted and made his hand into the shape of a visor over his eyes. His extreme lack of sleep was making him far soo sensitive to everything; he wanted to crawl back into fetal position and fall asleep until the next morning, or perhaps forever.
"From – who?" he asked in a groggy voice, trying to keep himself from falling over.
"Professor McGonagall," Ron repeated firmly. "She's offering you a job. Says she's offered it to a lot of people, though, so don't get your hopes up –"
"A what? What about hopes?" Harry had barely paid attention to what Ron was saying. It all sounded like Mermish, or something equally annoying.
"Get up," Ron instructed. He pulled Harry out of his bed by yanking on his arm. Harry unsteadily stood up and swung forward. "You've been drinking again. You smell like shit."
Harry's tired eyes widened and he ruffled his hair some more. "I just – I just had one drink!" he stammered in a weak voice.
The sickening feeling in his stomach was overwhelming, and he bent over and puked on the floor, his dinner out there for both of them to see. Harry coughed as Ron jumped back and made a disguised noise. Harry grabbed his own stomach and his eyes screwed up in pain. The back of his throat was now on fire and the smell of vomit mixed in the air which already heavily smelled of Firewhiskey.
"You're pathetic," Ron spat, waving his wand and cleaning up the mess. "Take a shower, get dressed, and then go down to Hogwarts. We'll get you a job there… come on…."
Harry barely understood what Ron was saying, but he did not find the energy to protest. He mindlessly stumbled into the bathroom and took a shower, removing the smell of alcohol from his skin. He felt disgusted with himself. Ron was right: he was pathetic. Harry did not constantly drink – it had not gotten to that point yet – but once in a while, perhaps once every few weeks, he'd drink himself into nothingness, which was right where he wanted to be. Nothingness meant not feeling a thing, being completely numb, waving all of his worries away….
Whenever he got wind of Harry drinking again, Ron was immediately there, forcing him out of bed and calling him names so that Harry would feel like shit and refrain from drinking for a while. Ron generally ended up waiting with him until he was sober again. At the time, Harry would get extremely annoyed, but he knew that Ron was just being this way because he actually gave a shit. Perhaps he was the last person in the world who was like this.
For the last minute of the shower, Harry turned the handle to make the nozzle spit out cold water. It was freezing as hell, but it woke him up. He shook his head and then walked out of the shower, nearly falling over in the process. He put a towel firmly around his waist and then walked out of the bathroom. His headache was slowly ebbing away, but it was still somewhat there, torturing him. He felt like shit; there was no other way to describe it. Harry instantly regretted having more glasses Firewhiskey than he intended to have…. He'd honestly only meant to have one glass, but memories found their way into his brain and he kept saying just one more drink, just one more drink, until he was unconsciously picking up more bottles without even realizing it, and all he knew was that he didn't feel any pain anymore….
Ron threw a few articles of clothing at him. "Put these on the right way. Don't put your trousers on backwards like you did last time…"
Harry nodded wordlessly and dressed once Ron walked out of the room. He fell while trying to put his trousers on, but at least they were put on the right way.
"You alright?" Ron asked from outside the door, obviously coming by because he heard the noise.
"Yeah," Harry lied.
He coughed and pulled himself back up to his full height and looked closely at the tag on his shirt to make sure it was on the correct way. Harry initially put his left shoe on his right foot, and then fixed it when he started walking funny. He walked back into the bathroom to check his reflection.
God, he looked worse than he felt.
His eyes were bloodshot and he had dark stubble around his jaw line. But he knew that he shouldn't bother to shave; he'd probably get plenty of cuts with his horrible aim, which no doubt would look worse. Harry leaned over and grasped the sides of the sink so tightly that the scar I must not tell lies shone on the back of his hand. He looked back up at his reflection. He hated himself… he no longer wanted to be Harry. If this was the life he was living now and would be forced to live, then he did not want to be a part of it. There was a horrible feeling that coursed through his veins that made him loathe the person he was staring back at in the mirror.
And without thinking, he punched the mirror.
"What's going on?" Ron called out before he opened the door and saw Harry's bleeding knuckles and a broken mirror. "Harry, what the hell is your problem? Reparo!"
The mirror repaired itself and the few glass shards that stuck to his hand flew out to become part of the mirror once again. Harry didn't even feel any pain at all in his hand.
"Damn, Harry, I leave you alone for two minutes and this is what happens," Ron said angrily. "Here – give me your hand –"
Harry mutely did as he was told. Ron waved his wand and the cut closed and was smoothed over, and the bleeding stopped. He did not want to face Ron anymore… he felt stupid and ashamed of himself once again.
"This isn't you," Ron told him as they walked into the living room of Harry's flat. His voice was so loud that it caused a ringing to sound in Harry's ears. "You're not a drunk, Harry. This isn't like you…."
"I know I'm not a drunk!" Harry yelled. He felt his headache worsen at the volume of his own voice. He sat down and put his face in his hands.
"I wrote a reply to McGonagall while you were getting dressed," Ron told him, ignoring Harry's yelling. "I told her that you'll be there soon. Come on, I'll take you there."
"Lemme go by – by myself," he mumbled. Harry clutched the side of his head as though it would somehow ease the pain of his headache. He felt his empty stomach twisting uncomfortably, but he did not feel hungry… he would probably vomit if he dared to eat anything.
"No, you're not able to," Ron said sternly, almost in a McGonagall-ish way. "I'll take you to Hogsmeade at least, you won't be able to Apparate there by yourself, not in the state you're in. For all we know you could end up in Antarctica or something…. Jesus, Harry, get up!" he added, for Harry was starting to close his eyes and lean back into his chair. "Get off your lazy arse and get this teaching job!"
Harry stood up, swaying slightly on the spot. Ron was a huge shadow looming over him, the outlines of his figure very blurred.
"Teaching? Who's teaching?"
"You're teaching," Ron said briskly. "Defense Against the Dark Arts, as a matter of fact. McGonagall says she knows you have the potential, which, after the D.A., who can blame her?"
Harry only absorbed half of this; most of Ron's words sounding very distant and too loud for him to bear. Teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts? He was always good in those classes, but… teaching them?
"What d'you mean?" he mumbled. He winced and rubbed his temples.
"Christ, Harry," his friend said with a sigh. "We're going to get you a job. You've been unemployed for a month now."
Harry got up and rubbed his eyes. He didn't like to think about his quitting at the Ministry. The Daily Prophet had had a field day over that. Harry had always wanted to be an Auror, but when he got the job, it became apparent to him that it was not worth risking his neck for a few wannabe Dark wizards when he had a godson to look after. Voldemort was finished, and his most dangerous Death Eaters were as well.
His godson needed a father figure in his life… he needed what Harry never really had. Andromeda Tonks, the six-year-old boy's grandmother, looked after Teddy for the most part, and Harry took care of him on most weekends and would often stop by whenever he could. Thinking about Teddy made Harry even more ashamed of himself. Teddy didn't deserve him if Harry was to keep up with this….
"Sure, whatever… let's go."
"You need to sober up," Ron said solemnly as they walked out of the flat. "I wish I asked Mum about a remedy for a hangover… she usually fixes that stuff up for George…."
"She doesn't – she doesn't need to know about this," Harry said at once. "Look, I know I – I know I fucked up, okay? I just… I'll try not to do it again, alright?"
"You better not," Ron said. Then he looked up at his best friend. "You promise?"
Harry nodded and then winced; moving his head too much was painful. God, he needed another night's sleep to get rid of this. "Yeah, mate… I promise." They shook hands on it, although Ron looked disbelieving.
Godric's Hollow was before them soon enough, and they descended the stairs that led them to the sidewalk. The scent of fresh air filled his nose and awakened his senses a little bit. They were no longer cooped up in his flat that smelled strongly of alcohol.
"Grab my arm," Ron instructed, so that they could do Side-Along Apparition.
"I really don't need help, I'm fine –"
"You're barely aware of where you're going," Ron told him. "I bet you've forgotten the point of this trip. Honestly, I don't even know why we're going, McGonagall's gonna take one look at you and –"
"I'm going to teach!" Harry said indignantly.
Why the hell he was actually going with this, he had no idea… he supposed that it was easier to go along with whatever Ron said than to fight it. Ron was always there when Harry found himself waking up from a drunken stupor… Ron was the one who made him feel guilty and kept him away from Firewhiskey until Harry's worries and troubles would get the best of him and he'd reach for just one bottle… and then another… and then another… and then he wouldn't be able to stop, because the feeling of not feeling was too addicting, too unreal….
"Yes, well, let's go, then," Ron muttered. "Grab my arm. Might as well close your eyes, too. I don't want you to vomit on me like you did last time."
Harry sighed and grabbed Ron's arm. Within moments, he was being pulled through a miniscule tube through time and space, and every part of his body was protesting against the pressure, and a sickening feeling was developing at the pit of his stomach. And then his knees buckled as they reached a solid place once again, but the world was still spinning. Harry doubled over and felt Ron back away from him as he vomited onto the pavement.
"Come on," Ron said softly when Harry stood back up and coughed. "I'll walk you up to the castle…."
Harry didn't protest. He just walked beside his best friend, feeling like an asshole and hating himself. He wished Ron never repaired that stupid mirror in his bathroom. He would smash it again, he was sure of it. Harry didn't want to have to face his reflection. It was beyond him how Ron could even look him in the eye, like he was an equal, like he actually had his life together.
Ginny had left him. She'd become so stuck on wanting to join the Holyhead Harpies, and when Harry refused to travel with her, saying that he couldn't travel around because he had to help take care of and raise Teddy, she went off on her own, ending their relationship. She claimed that she wanted to further her career in Quidditch and she would not let a man stand in her way. Harry let her go… their relationship had been going downhill anyway, and sometimes, when he was left alone in his flat and holding a glass bottle in his hand, he wondered if she'd gone to the Holyhead Harpies just for an excuse to leave him. That thought often caused him to put that glass bottle to his lips. He now prevented himself from reading the Prophet too often, because mentions of the Holyhead Harpies would be shoved right in his face.
Ron had stayed neutral about it. He didn't blame Harry or Ginny. It was their matter and he did not get involved… he stayed in touch with Ginny and remained friends with Harry.
"I reckon it's the third day of school," Ron noted. "Wonder how they're getting on without a Defense teacher."
Harry shrugged. All of this seemed unreal. He doubted that he would actually get the job. Harry knew that he looked like shit, and he felt like shit, and McGonagall would probably be able to tell just how shitty his situation was. He felt embarrassed; he could already imagine the professor scolding him for daring to show up at Hogwarts with an obvious hangover.
"Why do we have to go today?" Harry complained, rubbing his eyes. "I could do with some more sleep."
"The job could be taken by tomorrow," Ron explained. "You need this… it's not a typical office job, you know, and you're not putting yourself in danger. And in a few years, if you're still here, you'll be able to see Teddy all the time!"
"That's another ten years, though."
"Five, Harry," Ron corrected.
Harry stared stupidly at his fingers and counted. "Oh. Right." He ruffled his hair.
They continued to walk. Ron had Apparated far enough from Hogsmeade so that they would avoid meeting the public. Harry didn't read what newspapers had to say about him, but Ron still kept his eye on the public's opinion, and he'd hinted that it wasn't favorable. Either way, Harry never did like attention.
But now, Hogsmeade was out of their line of vision, and the castle was coming up around the corner. Harry squinted. They were in a clearing now, and the sunlight beamed down right into his eyes. Since when had sunlight been so goddamn bright?
"Here we are," Ron announced unnecessarily when they reached the castle's doors. "It's early… I bet classes haven't started yet. You'll let me know the moment you're hired, right?"
"I won't get hired," Harry told him, still squinting even though Hogwarts was casting a huge shadow over where they stood. "Look at me…."
"Well, it's worth a try," Ron said. "McGonagall knows that you're damn good at Defense Against the Dark Arts… she'll give you a chance."
"Not likely," he mumbled.
"Oh shut it. Go on, then."
Ron nudged him forward, and Harry knocked on the door, wishing to be anywhere else but here….
"Potter, are you even paying attention to me?" McGonagall scolded minutes later in her office.
She leaned forward, snapped her fingers, and he sat up, blinking quickly and shaking his head.
"Wha – oh, sorry, Professor," Harry mumbled. He rubbed his eyes. There was no way he was getting this job. He was a wreck and it was quite obvious. He felt even more ashamed of himself from the way that McGonagall was looking at him.
"As I was saying," she continued harshly, "I will give you a chance. One chance, Potter, don't screw it up. The Ministry is breathing down my neck already these days." She took a deep breath. "You can start teaching tomorrow. Spend today planning your lessons. I will make arrangements to sort out a living quarters for you that will connect to your office."
"I'm not done," she said. "Don't think I'm stupid, Potter. Whatever is going on in your life right now, you will not let it affect your teaching ability. Is that clear?"
Harry nodded and then winced at the pain of moving his head. "Righ'. I know. Sorry, Professor, I won't let anything get in the way."
"Good," McGonagall said shortly. She sighed. "I'm glad we've gotten all these staff issues out of the way… We've got you now, and I just hired the new librarian yesterday. But of course, you already know who she is."
McGonagall raised her eyebrows. "You didn't know?"
"Know what?" Harry stammered. His heart was racing… what was going on? He suddenly felt very aware of what was going on around him.
"I thought…" she began, but her voice trailed away and she started over again, her expression full of confusion. "I thought that you would have known. The new librarian is Hermione Granger."