How to Mix a Harvey Wallbanger
With the final dregs of the wine drunk, the last of the celebrations attended, and the students back at the castle, life swiftly returned to normal. Well, almost. Severus naturally continued chastising the little idiots in his classroom, handing out detentions like sweets to unsuspecting misbehavers, and relishing the thrill of removing copious amounts of house points. Hermione recommenced the work for her apprenticeship; she buried her head in books, was always scribbling notes, and was often spotted running through the halls with a flushed face and panicked mumblings about 'deadlines'. To everyone else, students and staff alike, it was as if the Christmas holidays had never even happened, but for Hermione and Severus...well, when the frantic rushing of the day was done, they could settle in front of the fire and pretend that school had never begun again. The wine would flow once more, along with the conversation, and they would go to bed with reeling heads and a swift dance of removing clothes amidst passionate embraces.
The month of January passed quickly and, before either of them had even really noticed, Hermione's final dissertation had been written and sent off to the Ministry. On the 31st, Minerva called students and staff into the Great Hall for a celebratory feast in Hermione's honour – which, still being the slightly awkward and limelight-shy girl she was, Hermione wasn't exactly pleased about.
"As I am sure you are all aware, Hermione Granger has been working at Hogwarts for these past three years as Professor Snape's apprentice, working towards the accolade of Potions Mistress" Minerva said, addressing the entire school, as Hermione shifted uncomfortably in her seat.. "Hermione has completed the requisite training, and so it is with great pride that I hereby announce Hermione to be Professor Hermione Granger!"
Hermione stood up from her position at the top table and moved to stand by Minerva's side. The older woman offered her the certificate that proved her qualification, before shaking Hermione's hand in congratulations. Hermione grinned at her, before turning nervously to face the students.
"Thank you very much, Professor McGonagall. And many thanks to Professor Snape too, for his help and support these past three years." Hermione nodded graciously as the students applauded, before returning to her seat. She squeezed Snape's hand beneath the table, flashing him a smile as he inspected her certificate.
Minerva accompanied Hermione and Severus back to their rooms after the feast, and was somewhat surprised when she was confronted with piles upon piles of boxes.
"What on earth is going on? You needn't move straight away, Hermione! I shan't see you on the street." Hermione laughed.
"You needn't panic, Minerva. I've managed to rent a flat down in Hogsmeade, so I'm not going too far away."
"But how shall you pay for it? You haven't found a job yet!" Hermione smiled fondly at Severus.
"Well actually I have. Severus used his connections and got me a research job for the Ministry, so I can work from home and only need to visit London once a month to report back to them. So unfortunately, you are likely to see me just as often as you do now!" Minerva surprised both Snape and Hermione, as she stepped forwards and gave the younger girl a tight hug.
"There is nothing at all unfortunate about that! Congratulations Hermione, I knew you would make a success of it." She stepped away and sighed. "Very well, I shall leave you two to celebrate and pack up together!"
When the door shut, Hermione walked over to the bookcase and plucked a familiar pink book from the shelf. She flicked through the pages, before stopping and nodding.
"Are you still trying to decide if I fancy you?" Severus teased, smirking at her from the sofa. "I had hoped that you would have figured it out by now; I've given you plenty of hints."
"No." Hermione replied, rolling her eyes with a smile.. "I thought I'd try just one last task."
"Oh Lord, what shall I have to endure next? Swinging upside-down on a trapeze? Or a complete guide on how to use a whip?"
"No!" Hermione giggled. "Although, if you must know, both of those things are in this little book! And if you carry on being so sarcastic, it will be 'How to write a Dear John letter'!"
"Perhaps you can send it to me by owl from this room, whilst I stand in the bedroom?"
"Oh shut up!" She said, sticking out her tongue. "I was actually going to do something quite pleasant, but now I've changed my mind." Severus knew she hadn't though, when she left for the kitchens and promised she'd back shortly.
She returned ten minutes later carrying several bottles, which she placed down on the table before transfiguring two ordinary glasses into Martini glasses. Severus watched, intrigued, as she began to measure different spirits and liqueurs, before shaking it and pouring the liquid into the two glasses. She garnished it with a slice of orange, before handing it to him with a smile.
"A Harvey Wallbanger!"
"I beg your pardon?" Severus replied, smirking.
"It's a cocktail! I thought we would toast our success."
"Very well. To Professor Hermione Granger!"
"And to 211 Ways to Keep a Bright Girl Entertained!" Hermione grinned over the top of her glass, as they both took sips of the mixture. "Mmm, it isn't that bad, is it?"
"No, it isn't that bad at all." Severus smirked. "It seems there aren't many things that a bright girl can't do." Hermione responded with a smile of her own.
"I'll certainly drink to that!"
Author's Note: Many many many thanks for all of those who have followed this story and reviewed! This is the very last chapter, an epilogue of sorts I suppose, and thus is the end of Things a Bright Girl Can Do! If you're interested in trying any of the things that Hermione did for yourself, I highly recommend buying the book 211 Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Bunty Cutler. It is in fact bright pink, and you can learn how to mix a Harvey Wallbanger, make a sausage dog draught excluder, or even figure out whether a man fancies you or not! It's incredibly funny too. As I'm moving away to university for the first time ever next week, and I'll have to learn to wash my own clothes whilst getting incredibly drunk and somehow fitting some work in there, I'm going to be going on hiatus for a little while! I'm not sure how long for, but hopefully some new inspirations will come my way in the little town of Durham. Who knows? Anyway, thanks again for your reviews - keep 'em coming! :)