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What Might Have Been
Chapter Three

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"Riddle has always favoured those in Slytherin," Ron began to rant to Hermione, as soon as they were out
of earshot of the Professor. "It's just *sickening* the way he awards them points for hardly lifting a finger.
And then there's Edinns, the new Potions professor. She's bordering his level of Slytherin-favour, but I don't
think anyone can go as low as he does."

Hermione took her eyes off of the floor and sighed.

"I wish we could keep a Potions master- its as if the job is cursed, or something. First there was Ridcully,
the inept scatterbrain, who sent at least one student to the hospital a class," she said, remembering her
first year.

Ron nodded in agreement.

"Then there was Woodes, who really wasn't that bad, other than smoking cigars and puffing the fumes into
our faces."

"After that, we had Lockhart," Hermione fondly said as Ron groaned loudly.

"The biggest self-worshipper known to the wizarding world."

"Last year, there was Coates. He must have been related to Binns because no one that I know besides those
two can even succeed in putting an entire class to sleep in the first five minutes of the class."

"So... at least the teacher this year isn't an inept, cigar smoking, self-promoting, boring Professor," said Ron
helpfully.

"Almost as bad, though," Hermione muttered, shaking her head.

"I wish it were the Defense Against the Dark Arts class that was cursed with a streak of ever-changing
teachers," Ron hopefully said. "Then we wouldn't have to stare at that sour face every day."

She rolled her eyes. "If you honestly think that's going to happen, think again. Riddle has been teaching at
Hogwarts practically since he graduated." She paused, then got a funny look on her face, as if she were
contemplating something. "His grades were the highest Hogwarts has ever seen; his N. E. W. T. records
have been standing for fifty years."

"Someone has too much free time on their hands, it seems. Done a lot of research on Riddle-kins, have we
Hermione?"

"Oh, just shut up. Look, we better hurry or we'll be late to Potions."

"And wouldn't that be *such* a shame."

They changed their steady stroll into a quick stride, and barely arrived in the dungeons, just as Professor
Edinns entered the room.

The teacher was short, smaller than most of her students, and solidly built, with a face that was neither
attractive nor unattractive, but looked like it would be better suited to a smirk or a sneer.

"Hello, class," she said, not looking up as she put a bookbag full of papers on the desk. "Today," she smirked,
"is the day of your scholarship test."

There was a collective groan, and a gasp from Hermione.

"But-but," she stammered in a whisper, "But I didn't study!"

The rest of the class wore similar expressions as Edinns explained further.

"Yes, I realize that I haven't told you, and that's the point of the test. It's based solely on what you know *now*,
not after countless hours of studying things that you'll likely forget. The two students with the highest scores on the
test will receive the scholarships to Edmonton Wizarding College in Ireland. I wish you good luck, and as soon as you
get your test, you may start."

The multitude of quills scratched the parchment furiously.

Off to the races, Ron thought glumly, and began to write his name on the top of the sheet.

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Ron was a quarter of the way through when Hermione proudly placed her quill on the desk and went up to hand the
completed test to Edinns.

Pause.

"Ms. Granger?" Edinns asked slowly. "Aren't you forgetting to put your name on it?"

Hermione smiled uneasily.

"I'm sorry Professor, let me do that."

The teacher grinned nastily at her for a second. "Don't bother, Granger. I'll just take five points off of the grade."
Scanning the answers briefly, she marked the grade at the top of the page: 95. "Not bad, Granger, five points away
from a perfect score."

Hermione paled; Edinns wore a look of semi-disguised enjoyment.