A/N So this was a one shot that I expanded into a few chapters. There will be to versions a very clean one I labeled T and the Twisted M version. You can pick your poison. Chapters 1 and 2 will be relatively the same but the story will change a bit from there and both will come to the same conclusion. The story still progresses very quickly but it is now going to be 5-7 chapters as opposed to 1 or 2. The conclusion for both stories will leave room for a sequel and if and when I write the sequel there will only be one and it will be M.
This is merely a writing exercise and not for profit. All characters and the Harry Potter world belong to people who are not nicknamed liidg and this is no way intended to infringe on any rights.
"Please my Lord! I will do anything." Narcissa Malfoy, queen of the pureblooded society was on her knees begging like a vagrant.
"It was bad enough that your husband failed me but your son failed as well...why wouldn't I kill them both?"
"Please my Lord kill me in Draco's stead. I know he has failed you but he is only a boy."
"Fortunately for you Bella has pleaded on your behalf. Your sister has come up with an alternate way to get to Dumbledore. Bring them in!"
Draco, Lucius and Viktor Krum were dragged in by a group Death Eaters. Narcissa let out a sob seeing her beaten and broken son and husband. In her mind Lucius reaped what he sowed but Draco was merely the recipient of the punishment for his father's failures. When Lucius had failed to bring the prophecy to the Dark Lord, Draco had been required to take the mark. He was ordered to kill Dumbledore. Each of his attempts had failed. He had created an entry to Hogwart's through the use of vanishing cabinets but the raid had been thwarted by Aurors, the Order of the Phoenix and most importantly Severus Snape. The Death Eaters had been turned away and the only Order member injured was Bill Weasley who was mauled by Fenir Greyback. The Death Eaters had lost Rowle and Gibbon. Unbeknownst to them, the Potion's Master had been a spy for the Order and had been instrumental in many of the Dark Lord's failures. Voldemort was furious at the betrayal and the failures that had resulted from it and Severus was now number three on the Dark Lord's hit list. Only Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore ranked higher than the Potion's Master.
"Due to the interference of Severus Snape in our raid on Hogwarts and his possible interference in the Ministry fiasco I have decided to be magnanimous and let your family live...for now. There is a caveat. As I said your sister has come up with a plan to infiltrate Hogwarts and potentially the Order of the Phoenix. I have one problem with our plan; the new dark magic wards at Hogwarts sense the Dark Mark even when the person is polyjuiced. I don't have any unmarked followers I trust, but I trust you to...as you said...do anything for your son. Rolanda Hooch has met an unfortunate end and Hogwarts is in need of a new flying instructor. Our friends on the Board of Governors have informed us that her replacement is Viktor Krum who is apparently quite friendly with the mudblood that is always at Potter's side. You will be replacing Viktor. You have until the Christmas holiday to find out what Potter is up to and kill Dumbledore. If your information proves valuable enough or you manage to infiltrate the Order successfully I may not have you kill the old man. Fail me and I feed your loved ones to Nagini piece by piece."
That night she sat down with Draco and they went through everything she needed to know about infiltrating Hogwarts. He told her who the students were and what cliques existed. She then prepared for her interrogation of Viktor Krum. She needed to be successful and was more than willing to torture the dense quidditch player if necessary but the Carrows were more than happy to volunteer. She would save her family even if she had to take the whole school down to do it.
Hermione threw another spell at Ron, this one silencing him completely.
"Honestly Ronald, I accept your dating Lavender, I accept that you're an idiot but I cannot accept that I have to spend the whole summer listening to you being an idiot about Lavender. Quit your whining and just owl her you dolt!"
She heard a chuckle behind her and saw Severus Snape standing in the doorway. She had relocated her parents after the attack at Hogwarts and moved in to Grimmauld Place to spend the summer with the Order. She had turned seventeen the previous September which emancipated her for the purposes of the Wizarding world and did three important things: it allowed her to legally apparate which she was now licensed to do so freely, it removed her trace which allowed her to practice magic freely and travel about without being traceable and it made her old enough to join the Order. She had been inducted during the previous Christmas holiday. Harry and Ron were also to be inducted at the end of the summer. Ron had turned seventeen in March but was waiting for Harry so they could join together and Harry didn't turn seventeen until the end of July.
The Weasleys, Remus Lupin and Severus Snape had also taken up residence at Grimmauld Place for the holiday. They were all targets for Voldemort and being hounded by Scrimeagour and the Ministry. Professor Snape had actually become tolerable and even pleasant to her at times now that he was no longer in the employ of the Dark Lord. He was still sarcastic and completely hostile to everyone including Harry and Ron whom he considered dunderheads, pleasant for Snape was a different scale than the average human being. Her snarky to hostile ratio had changed with the man which for Snape was as good as it got. She had learned how to not antagonize the difficult man and in turn he had begun to respect her intelligence. After the battle she had eventually figured out who the Half-Blood Prince was and returned his potion's book to him. She never told Harry whose book it was. Harry hated Severus and still held the man responsible for his godfather's death. Severus was impressed enough with her research and discretion to lend her the book with the promise that she never let Harry know. Two things became abundantly clear to her. Harry was still dreadful at potions and was only saved by the book and Severus Snape may be one of the most brilliant wizards the world knew nothing about. She quickly saw why Harry was so fixated on the book. She had learned more reading Snape's margin notes than she did from many of her professors.
Part of the reason for the truce between the two was that Hermione was on the fast track to a professorship and had been apprenticing with Minerva McGonigall since her induction into the Order. Albus Dumbledore was being pulled in all directions between the war and running the school. Scrimegaour had been scrutinizing every move they made at Hogwarts and had ordered the Aurors to shadow all known Order members. There were squads of Aurors deployed at Hogwarts 'for additional safety'. Dumbledore was giving McGonigall more powers as Deputy Headmistress and was preparing her to take over as Headmistress so he could focus on the war and pull some of the spotlight off of Hogwarts. McGoingall in turn was grooming her replacement in Hermione. Hermione would beat out Severus Snape as the youngest professor in Hogwarts history if she was successful. She was taking her N.E.W.T.s prior to Christmas break and would be taking over the Transfiguration classes for first through fourth years for the rest of the year. The next fall she would be a fully fledged professor at the age of 19.
After she had gone through his potion's book, Snape lent her some of his old text books from other classes. Minerva McGonigall and Filius Flitwick also lent her some of their notes for the summer. The opportunity was fantastic but it had a huge drawback. As much as she liked Ron, she realized they would never be able to have a relationship if she wanted this job. The choice was easy for her which gave her the realization that her feelings were not strong enough to fight for his heart. Their friendship had strengthened once she removed her jealousy from the picture but the downside was that she was the relationship counselor to both Harry and Ron now. She had been so lost in her thoughts she forgot about her friend who gesturing wildly. She removed the Silencing Charm.
"Oi! I am pretty sure there is a rule against Professors using magic on students!"
"She is not a professor yet Mr. Weasley and school is not in session. This is Order headquarters and while we are here we can hex you….as we see fit. I have been requested to summon you two for training. If you two are done playing maybe you would like to pretend there is a war going on" The dark professor stalked off to the basement which had been magically expanded and turned into a training room for the Order members. Hermione rolled her eyes at his theatrics. The man just truly enjoyed being contrary.
They walked down to the basement and found Severus joined by Nymphadora Tonks and Remus Lupin. The recently married couple looked very happy. The attack on Bill had convinced Remus to take the plunge and Hermione was thrilled the two finally got together. A lovesick and moping Tonks was almost as bad as a lovesick Ron. George, Fred and Ginny were already down in the basement as well. It had been decided that there was no way they were going to avoid the battle and therefore they all needed to be trained. The Department of Mysteries would have ended worse than it did if the Order hadn't shown up. Hermione spent months recovering from Dolohov's curse. Sirius had lost his life but had saved them all in the process. Hermione might have been the brightest witch of her age but she had been a liability on the battle field. She knew she would never be Mad Eyed Moody or Dumbledore but she had spent the last year practicing as much as she could so she could hold her own when the time came.
The three Order members barely gave them time to warm up before they went on the offensive. Hermione was knocked across the room by a stunner by Severus and had barely gotten to her feet when Tonks hit her with a leg locker curse. She threw a shield to block the follow up hex and used the counter curse to free her legs. She saw that Fred and George were being backed up by Snape and Ginny and Ron were fighting against Lupin leaving her one on one with Tonks. She looked at Tonks who was grinning at her knowing she had the upper hand. Hermione had learned that her gift was her brains not her brawn. She tossed a petrificus totalus at Lupin catching the werewolf and his wife unaware.
"Ginny help me...Ron help the twins!" The move had caught Tonks completely off guard and the witch fired her next spell too late. She was out of position to defend against Ginny and Hermione and had tripped trying to move back into position. Ginny hit her with the bat-bogey hex and Hermione caught her with a binding spell.
"Well done Ms. Granger. Battle isn't a formal duel and it certainly isn't a game. There are no rules, no referees and the point total is kept in bodies. You turned a disadvantage into an advantage and changed the numbers to your favor." Severus was still repelling the boys' attacks as he was lecturing. He wasn't even short of breath and Hermione knew that all five of them together wouldn't be enough to take him. She shot a stupefy at him and wasn't surprised when he easily deflected it. Since joining the Order and beginning these little training sessions she realized that only Dumbledore and Voldemort were better than he was. Isolation and being bullied are apparently fantastic motivators and he had spent his life working to never be that weak again. He sent out a hex that turned the floor into quicksand miring the boys into the muck.
"Use your strengths" He sent out purple ribbons light which tied the boys together and effectively bound them "and minimize your weaknesses". He turned and put his wand on Hermione and Ginny making it clear they had lost their advantage. She found herself back on the floor and Ginny soon slid next to her. They were both far more proficient in Dark Magic than the boys but they were clearly outmatched.
"Nymphadora, the best way to minimize your weakness is to fight from a chair. You really are your own worst enemy." He drolled as he released her from the bind and removed the hex.
"I had it covered and DON'T call me Nymphadora!"
Hermione laughed at the overly sensitive Auror. Her laughter didn't last long as she found herself hanging upside down.
"It isn't over until your enemy is dead….Never forget that Ms. Granger. I will leave you in Remus and Nymphadora's capable hands for the rest of the afternoon." Severus smirked at her floating in the air and walked back upstairs.
She looked over at Tonks who was back to grinning at her, "um…can someone get me down from here?"
Her training with Minerva had been going well. In fact the hardest challenge she had faced so far was to remember to address her professor and mentor in a more familiar fashion when they weren't in the class room or around the other students. Ron had tried to call the stoic professor by her first name and through a few choice words found out that offer didn't extend to him. Hermione had spent the last month going between Gimmauld Place and Hogwarts as she continued her studies and training. The other professors were thrilled to have Hermione coming aboard and for the most part had been extremely welcoming and helpful to her. When her apprenticeship had been announced the previous winter only three professors that had issues with it. They were Sybil Trelawaney who was still holding a grudge after Hermione stormed out of her class third year and promptly dropped it, Severus Snape who couldn't understand why they were letting the insufferable know-it-all be even bossier and Cuthbert Binns who believed she was too young to teach. She had pointed out to him that he was too dead to teach and that didn't stop him ending the debate right there. It was that remark that had originally earned her Severus Snape's respect. He wouldn't show it until he was exposed as a spy but once he was exposed he got to know her better at faculty meetings and found she wasn't as obnoxious as he thought. Knowing that her hand waiving and over exuberance wouldn't follow her into teaching changed his views on her joining the staff. Plus he had to admit she was the only other person besides him keeping the dunderheaded duo from killing themselves before Potter fulfilled his prophecy.
She spent as much of her free time as possible in the library trying to research Horocruxes. Harry had sat Ron and her down after the battle and told her what he had learned from Slughorn and where he had gone with Dumbledore. He was supposed to show them the note he had found in the fake locket but they had been disturbed by Ministry officials and hadn't had a chance to talk alone since then. She was going back and forth between the library at Grimmauld Place and the Hogwarts library as she prepared for the next year. Hermione would be spending the first semester being a teacher's assistant for most of her professors as she prepared for N.E.W.T.s. She was nervous she would look foolish and wanted to make sure she had everything right so no one even asked about her hours in the library. She used the time to snoop for the cause while preparing for her classes.
Minerva thought that if Hermione worked with each teacher it would give her a view of different perspectives on teaching. So far she had spent a few hours with each of them helping them prepare their lessons for the upcoming year and each one gave her their words of wisdom on teaching. Tralwaney read her palm and told her she would die horribly before she ever taught a class, Septima Vector told her to take no guff, Pamona Sprout suggested kindness but not to be too soft and Hagrid had spent the whole time discussing how amazing his Hermione was. Snape provided color commentary on all of the teachers and lectured Hermione on why his view of teaching was superior. He gave her a copy of The Prince and told her to apply it to the classroom. She was young and a muggleborn and the only way she would be respected was to earn it through a lesson plan of equal parts fear and terror. He told her to go in nasty and take no prisoners if she wanted to control her classes. Thinking about the students she went to school with she realized that he was probably right.
In the beginning of July she began training as an animagus. It was one of the few things she ever struggled with and it was slow going. N.E.W.T. level Transfiguration professors were required to be animagi and as the month rolled on she began to worry. Minerva told her to relax that it often took months if not years for a student to learn if they learned at all and she wouldn't need to do it until the next summer when she would defend for her Transfiguration masters. Hermione didn't do relaxed and she didn't do failure and she was beside herself at her inability to change. Most of the professors gave her support and told her to keep her chin up. Snape had told her she would probably turn into a Chihuahua when she finally transformed since the form of animagi was based on the personality of the witch or wizard. There were still days where she wanted to hex the caustic professor.
There was a huge perk to her new status in that she would be getting her own rooms. The Heads of House received suites near their house but the rest of the faculty had simpler rooms in the faculty wings. Each room had its own bath and there was a faculty lounge shared by all of the staff. Meals could also be ordered up to the lounge if a professor couldn't make it to the meal but attendance at the meals was usually mandatory. She had start moving into her quarters and was thrilled to have a quiet space to study. The room was simple and had enough room for a bed, a desk and each had a small sitting area with a two-seater couch and a few bookshelves but after years of sharing space with the boisterous Weasleys and her Gryffindor bunk mates, the room was her own little slice of Heaven. She had heard that Rolanda Hooch was missing and that Viktor was taking her place. Although she was saddened by the loss of Professor Hooch she was thrilled to have Viktor back at Hogwarts. He was a good friend and she wondered if they might rekindle their relationship now that he would be at Hogwarts full time. She didn't know what was going to happen but one thing she knew for certain was that it was going to be an interesting year.