September 1st, 1998
Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, the Chosen One, Defeater of Voldemort felt extremely lost as he walked into the Ministry of Magic. Ginny and Hermione has left earlier on the Hogwarts Express, and Ron was running just a few minutes late for their Auror trainee induction.
Auror training was supposed to start in November and take three years. After those three years as a trainee there was an additional 6 months as a Junior Auror. However, in light of the lack of Aurors and Harry and Ron's previous experience Kingsley had decided to allow them to skip their first two years. Now Harry and Ron just had to last through next September, and then complete their six months as Junior Aurors.
Harry stepped into the empty magical elevator and pressed Level Two. The elevator smoothly descended and a cool, female voice said
"Level Two, Auror Headquarters." Harry stepped out and walked to the training room at the end of the hall way. Pushing open the dark mahogany door, Harry found himself in an almost-full room. He stood near the back just as Ron ran in; looking very flustered and came to stand next to Harry. A small woman who Harry recognised as a Ravenclaw one year ahead of him walked calmly in after Ron and stood off to the left.
"Attention, attention!" Kingsley Shaklebolt, acting Minister of Magic, needlessly called the already-silent room to order. "This year we've changed things up a bit in the Auror department. The following people are going to begin their junior section of Auror training a few months early; Greene, Sloan, Hurley, Anthony." Three men and one woman stood up and moved to the section marked "Junior Aurors" in large, purple script. "The following people are beginning their third year of training; Berg[B1] , Potter, Floyd, Weasley, Conrad[B2] ." Harry and Ron stood up and moved to the next section of chairs. The other three, two women and one man, sat down behind them. They were much older than Harry and Ron. Kingsley continued to sort the trainees. The small woman from Ravenclaw was in the second year group. Her last name was Monroe. Harry distantly remembered her first name being something with an "M;" Marissa, Mary, Melinda, or something like that.
"Now you may have noticed some new additions to the second and third year groups. Mr. Harry Potter and Mr. Ron Weasley will begin their training at the third-year level. Also, Miss Melinda Monroe joined us last April and we've decided to move her up with the rest of her year. That is all, dismissed." The group of about twenty Auror trainees stood and left the room. Work didn't officially start until tomorrow, so Harry and Ron decided to go back to the Burrow.
Only Hermione, Ginny, Bill, and Fleur were living away from the burrow. Harry had Bill's old room, Ron stayed in his fifth floor bedroom, and George and Percy were in their own rooms on the second floor. Harry had always considered putting the twins and Percy on the same floor to either be extremely foolish or very ingenious. When Hermione and Ginny were home they shared Ginny's small room on the first floor which had once belonged to Charlie.
Harry, however, could not stop thinking about having his own place. He had inherited Number 12 Grimmauld Place from Sirius, as well as Potter Estate, a large house where James Potter had grown up, just north of London. But soon after thoughts of his housing situation left his head, he began to think of Ginny. She was probably halfway to Hogwarts. Hermione would be done with her Head Girl duties and free to spend time with Luna and their other friends.
Ginny, Hermione, and Luna sat in a compartment on the Hogwarts Express. They were already dressed in their black Hogwarts robes, and the train was about 15 minutes away from Hogsmeade station.
Hermione had her Head Girl badge, and Ginny was wearing her Captain's badge. Hermione felt a little alone. Dean had decided not to return to Hogwarts, instead going to America to study for some program they had there. Hermione had heard of the Muggle GEDs and Neville had said that Dean was going to get his wizarding equivalent.
Seamus, Lavender, and Parvarti had, of course, graduated, despite come complications with the Carrows. Seamus had really come through in the end, which made up for the things he said to Harry in the beginning of their fifth year.
Hermione was used to sharing a dormitory with only Lavender and Parvarti and she was unsure as to what her lodging assignments would be this year. It would be interesting to be in a dormitory with Ginny and some of the other girls in her, now Hermione's, year.
Neville had graduated and was studying Herbology in Ireland. Hermione often corresponded with him. She spent a good deal writing letters these days, what with arranging for her parents memories to be restored and the many other things that were going on. She imagined it would only get worse because of her letter writing to Harry, Viktor, and, of course, Ron.
They had only been separated for a few hours but Hermione already missed him.
After Harry finished writing his letter to Ginny, he went downstairs. Dinner was almost ready. Only he, Ron, Mr and Mrs. Weasley, and Percy were home for dinner. It was very quiet without the two girls at home. George hadn't been around much. The official reason was that he was preparing to reopen the shop, but Harry had his suspicions that he was avoiding the family. Bill and Fleur had returned to Shell Cottage and Charlie had gone back to his dragons in Romania. Ron joked that this was because Mrs. Weasley had been complaining about his hair again.
Percy lived at home and was working for the Ministry. His job was to give information on the Voldemort administration and also weed out possible Voldemort/Umbridge supporters in the Ministry.
"Harry, I thought you should know that Dolores Umbridge is set to go on trial soon. Your testimony is not needed, but I think you'll be happy to know she'll probably get a life sentence in Azkaban," Percy said.
Harry nodded. Soon dinner was finished and they all went away to their rooms. The after-dinner chatter was sparse with the house so empty.
"As you know, Hermione, you are in a very unusual situation. The staff and I all agree that you are much too advanced for many of our classes. Hogwarts had already started looking into an accelerated program. Now is the perfect time to try it out. I'm offering you what is more of an apprenticeship. You attend accelerate classes in each subject twice a week and are an assistant teacher in some of the lower level classes. This program will also provide you with more freedoms than the ordinary student, for example you will be permitted to go on weekend trips and visit Hogsmeade whenever you like. We've also set up a private room for you on the fifth floor near the Prefects' bathroom. Some parents have expressed concern over your age, so I felt this might be a nice compromise." Professor McGonagall finished speaking and looked at an overwhelmed Hermione.
"I accept!" Hermione said, after a moment's hesitation.
"Excellent," said McGonagall, "The password to your new room is 'Lettuce Leaves.' Your trunk, schedule, and books have been delivered. I will see you tomorrow. Goodnight."
Hermione went to her private room, hidden by a sliding wall, and entered. Inside was the standard four-poster bed with drapes and a closet. Her trunk sat at the foot of her bed with a new pile of books and her schedule. She attended to classes of every subject a week, as well as assistant teaching in first and second year Defence against the Dark Arts, first year Potions, and second year Transfiguration. She got 10 galleons a week plus room and board. Hermione couldn't wait to tell Ron.
Revised as of 11/11/2010.