None of these characters belong to me. No copyright infringement is intended this is merely a writing exercise and not for profit.
A/N This story is a bit different from my others. I tentatively have rated it M for the last chapter which has sexual content, adult content and the language I use in the story. This was a close call and could probably be a T. No kinkfest on this one kids. Sorry! Maybe the next one. This originally was supposed to be much shorter but it had a mind of its own. It is about 10 chapters long and finished except for final edits, tweaking and formatting so I will be posting it up relatively quickly.
This is mostly cannon compliant but I will put my usual OOC stamp on it.
HUGE shout out to Asher Henry. She is the greatest beta ever and a brilliant author in her own right. Check her stories out, you won't be disappointed.
The bodies were littered throughout the school and Hermione tried to avoid looking at the carnage as much as she could. She needed to focus on the living and worry about the dead later. Harry had killed the Dark Lord and now they were trying to round up the survivors and care for the wounded. The task was made infinitely more difficult by the fact that Death Eaters were still loose and many were hiding on the castle grounds trying to evade capture. The Order, students and faculty had been decimated by the battle and help wasn't coming for a while.
The Order and many of the faculty were patrolling and rounding up the remaining Death Eaters leaving the students to tend to the wounded. Upon the Dark Lord's death battles and skirmishes had broken out in numerous wizarding locations including the Ministry, Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade and St. Mungo's. The hospital had lost quite a few Healers and Mediwitches not including any that were aligned with the Dark Lord and being captured by the Aurors. Without access to St. Mungo's supplies and staff, the only medical assistance they had was Madam Pomfrey and she did not have the supplies to treat the injuries. Anyone with medical training was being tapped to help out and Hermione was among them. She had studied and trained before they left on their mission and she also had significant 'field' training. Patching up Ron, Harry and herself counted as serious on the job training and she immediately jumped into action once the fighting had stopped. Madam Pomfrey had been impressed with Hermione's skill set and had been leaning on her as a right hand witch. Right now the main priority was retrieval and triage.
The living were located, brought to the Great Hall and then assessed for treatment. Angelina Johnson was helping her carry Lavender Brown back to the hall. Angelina was levitating the stretcher while Hermione was furiously casting spells to stop the bleeding from Lavender's numerous wounds. She had been mauled by Fenir Greyback and the werewolf had literally shredded the girl. Hermione knew she would lose her if she didn't act quickly. She screamed for someone to bring her a blood replenishing potion as they entered the hall and Ginny came running up.
"Hermione, this is one of the last ones we are running short on all of our supplies."
People handled grief differently. Although most of the Weasley's were too shell shocked to do anything but grieve for the loss of Fred and do minimal tasks, Bill, Ginny and surprisingly Percy had all been recruited along with Hermione. The biggest surprise was the Malfoys who had been helping out as well. It turned out Narcissa was a fully trained and licensed Healer. As a member of the pureblood aristocracy it would have been unseemly for her to work but she had been one of Poppy Pomfrey's favorite apprentices and completed her Healer training after graduating Hogwarts. Upon her marriage to Lucius she claimed her position as the queen of the aristocratic society and spent her considerable training and intelligence hosting fundraisers and dinner parties.
She had saved Harry's life during the battle and numerous other lives after the battle treating many who had been brought in near death. She had even saved her estranged niece. Bellatrix had hit Nymphadora Tonks with a nasty curse and the young Auror had been seizing when they found her. Naricssa was familiar with her sibling's hexes and had known the proper counter-curses and managed to save Tonks. Unfortunately her husband, Remus Lupin, wasn't as lucky and Dolohov's curse had killed him immediately. Draco had been out with the other students searching for survivors and Lucius surprised everyone by running around and doing whatever scut work needed to be done. Hermione wondered how much of their charity was for real and how much was a last ditch effort to keep the Aurors away. She shook the thought away knowing Draco and Narcissa had both lied to protect Harry.
Madam Pomfrey walked up to Hermione, Ginny, and Angela and began to help Hermione cast healing spells on Lavender, "Hermione, we are running low on potions and I am afraid we have lost both our potion masters."
"He was found an hour ago near the greenhouses, it looked like he managed to take Yaxley and Mulciber with him. St. Mungo's is unreachable and you are one of the most qualified people here to brew the potions. Take what you need and who you need but we must have our stock refilled as quickly as possible."
Hermione was a brilliant student and potions' was one of her strongest subjects but she knew the situation was dire when she was being put in charge. She got a list from Poppy of what they needed and grabbed Penelope Clearwater, Cormac McLaggen, Melinda Bobbin and Lee Jordan to help her. She needed more brewers but the potions were too complicated for most of the students. Melinda's family owned a chain of apothecaries and she was only bested by Hermione when it came to potions class. The others also received top marks. As she was leaving the hall she stopped at one of the tables.
"We need your help to brew potions for Madam Pomfrey." She didn't wait for an answer and walked out the door with the others in tow.
Draco looked at her in surprise. He had helped Harry at the Manor by not identifying him and his mother had saved Harry's life but he had also done nothing while his aunt tortured her and he had been nasty to her for years. He was still a Slytherin and knew better than to anger her now so he quietly followed them to the dungeons.
She easily removed Slughorn's wards and they began to raid the stores divvying up the ingredients. She and Draco were going to brew the blood replenishing potions and she assigned the peeper-up potion, reviving potion, anti-paralysis potion and poison antidotes among the others. She also started brewing a calming draught and dreamless sleep potion which she and Draco were tending to as they worked on the blood replenishing potions.
The hours seemed to slip away as they brewed batch after batch of potions. Narcissa brought them dinner and joined them in brewing after they ate. The patients had been stabilized but now they needed the potions to help them more. High potions marks were a requirement for Healers and Narcissa was still quite adept at brewing.
Hermione stayed focused on the work and avoided conversation with the Malfoys. They had worked through the night and the exhaustion was starting to take its toll. She was grateful for Narcissa and Draco's help even if she wanted to hex them into oblivion. Once the most complicated potions were finished she left Draco in charge so she and Narcissa could return to the Great Hall. They spent the rest of the night administering potions and healing the wounded. Narcissa was a truly gifted witch and an excellent Healer and Hermione couldn't understand why she didn't pursue a career but she was mystified by everything the pureblood elite did.
By morning the Ministry and St. Mungo's had been sorted out a bit and the Healers had shown up giving everyone the ability to grab a bite and get some sleep. Hermione had retrieved Draco and the others and they passed out the calming droughts and dreamless sleep potions they had brewed the night before. St. Mungo's wanted to take a majority of the potions they had brewed since they were low and told Hermione they would have to replenish Madam Pomfrey's stores later. She went to the lab with them to sort the potions out and fought hard to keep enough for the remaining occupants of the castle. Hermione was screaming at two of the Healers when McGonagall walked in. Now that the Aurors were there, the professors could focus their attention elsewhere.
"What seems to be the problem here?"
"Professor, they are trying to take all our potions but they won't take the wounded with them."
"As I told your student" the Healer condescendingly emphasized the word student, "we don't have room for many more wounded we are taxed as it is and as I am now Head Healer it is my job to determine where the resources are needed. St. Mungo's was a battle site and we have too many injured to as it is."
"This student just helped save the bloody war while you were cowering and sucking up to Voldemort's regime. What is your name?"
"Head Healer Paulson"
"Healer Paulson, while you are in this castle you are subject to my decrees..."
"Who the hell put you in charge?"
"The Carrows and Severus Snape once they died. I inherited my job just like you. As I was saying in this castle I determine where the resources go. You will take our critical patients and you will take the allotment of potions that Hermione gives to you or you will leave with nothing and will get none in the future. This student has final say so stop fighting with her and do as you are told!"
Hermione smirked. She could see the Healer wanted to respond but was holding his tongue. Hermione gave him a list of the most critical students and gave him an allotment of potions making sure they kept enough for the students.
When they returned she could see Aurors and Ministry middlemen milling about throughout the room. Kingsley was surrounded by a pack of Aurors and Order members and they were arguing over something. Hermione quickly realized what the fighting was all about. Sitting in the corner was Lucius, Narcissa and Draco.
"What the hell is going on Kings?" The surrounding Aurors gasped at her familiar tone and one of them corrected her.
"He is Minister Shacklebolt now!"
"You certainly don't waste time do you….Minister Shacklebolt, will your Royal Holiness please grace me with an explanation as to the current situation?"
Kingsley rolled his eyes. The two had become friendly during the numerous Order meetings he had attended. He had been quite the swot himself in school and the two had bonded over a love of Arithmancy and books. He adored Hermione and considered her a friend.
"I like you better without the sarcasm Granger. I am acting Minister….we will be having a proper election but someone needed to step up with Pius gone and according to the Ministry rules I am the next in line. We are debating what to do with this lot but as the brightest witch of her age I am sure you surmised that. Any suggestions?"
She looked over to the Malfoys who had all paled upon knowing she was helping to decide their fate. She rolled up her sleeve revealing her mudblood tattoo and she saw Narcissa wince at the sight. "Azkaban."
Harry and Ginny had walked in and saw what was happening. Harry stopped the Aurors, "Well I think I have a bone to pick as much as anyone here considering my relationship with them has been tumultuous at best. It is no secret that Draco and I have spent the last seven years as sworn enemies and frankly I would like to do nothing more than see how many different jinxes I can hit him with and keep him alive…but I think it is only fair to look at this a bit more objectively. Narcissa saved me from the Dark Lord and is in part the reason we won. Draco lied to protect me in the Manor and all three of them have been here helping with triage. They saved a lot of lives in the last twenty four hours and that needs to count for something. I am not saying give them a pass on what they have done but for now put them on house arrest and we can sort them out later. We are low on potion stores now and the less critical injuries are still here to be treated. Draco is the most qualified person to help Hermione and Narcissa is the only Healer not at or returning to St. Mungo's right now. We need them here. They helped you last night didn't they Hermione?"
"Does that make up for everything Harry? Does it make up for what they did to me? How about Lucius almost killing Ginny second year? Does it make up for that?"
Kingsley interrupted the debate, "Hermione we will sort this out but for now they will stay here and help." He looked around at the Aurors who were stunned he was taking advice from students, "Now I think considering the circumstances we face we can spend our time addressing the larger issues at hand like rebuilding the wizarding world. With me!"
He left the hall being followed by the Ministry leeches and the Aurors. Narcissa walked over to Hermione and put out her hand, "I am sorry for what happened."
Hermione looked pointedly at her hand and didn't take it, "You did save a lot of lives and for that I am grateful but the three of you also aided your sister in my capture and torture. You stood by and watched while I screamed. Fortunately for you only a handful of people know the full extent of what was done to me in your home and I have no intention of making it public knowledge. Ron and Harry don't need to know everything I have been through nor does anyone else. You watched it. You sat there and watched me be...hurt. You turned your nose at me every chance, Draco made my life a living hell for six years and in the end we both know I am just a mudblood to you and that's all I will ever be. If you hadn't fallen out of the Dark Lord's graces would you have even changed sides? I think not. With Harry's help and my silence you will get a second chance on life…..don't bloody waste it."
With that she walked away. She was needed by her friends and had no time to comfort her enemies. The survivors' grabbed cots where they could and make shift dorms were created in the class rooms. Hermione took over Firenze's classroom and transfigured the desks into the bunks for the Weasley's and Harry. She smiled as she saw Harry grab a bunk next to Ginny. It looked like the two would make it after all. Ron had been holding himself together for most of the night to help his family but he was close to breaking and Hermione transfigured a cot in the corner and the two of them held each other and cried. The others had taken their potions and were fortunately oblivious to the situation. The two eventually fell asleep and stayed that way until nearly the next evening. Hermione found herself being woken by Winky.
"Hermione Granger needs to wake up….Winky needs to bring you to Headmistress…."
Hermione raised her head and looked around. Ron was asleep next to her and none of the others had woken, "Winky, what's going on?"
"Hermione Granger needs to come with Winky to see the Headmistress."
Hermione extricated herself from Ron's grasp and followed the elf through the school. Headmistress? She assumed it was McGonigall and was amazed the Board of Governors had responded so quickly but she assumed it was acting Headmistress and temporary just like Kingsley's position. Winky lead her back to the Great Hall. The bodies had been removed and the critical were taken to St. Mungo's. The remaining wounded that needed extended care were relocated to the infirmary. The Death Eaters had been removed and taken to Azkaban until they could be processed and Most of the students had been sent home.
There were only a few people sitting in the Great Hall now. Nymphadora Tonks and several of the professors were gathered around Minerva. They had charts spread out on the table and when Hermione got closer she realized that were creating a new class schedule. Hermione sat down next Aurora Sinistra and listened in on the conversation. The Carrows had been killed in the battle as had Severus Snape, Horace Slughorn, Pomona Sprout, Rolanda Hooch and Septima Vector. The professors were at the front lines protecting the students and they took heavy losses. Charity Burbage gone missing and had been presumed dead. Narcissa had confirmed that she had been killed earlier in the year by Lord Voldemort.
They were going to spend the rest of the year and the summer rebuilding Hogwarts and students who were six and seventh years could chose to either take their N.E.W.T.S now or repeat their studies. Hermione knew many of the students who fought in the war were going to opt to take their N.E.W.T.s early. They were already well trained from their time in the D.A. and in battle and they wouldn't want to return to the school where they saw so many horrors and lost so many friends. With the deaths to the faculty the school was now short professors in multiple subjects. They needed to replace the Defense of Dark Arts, Potions, Herbology, Flying, Arithmancy and Muggle Studies professors.
If McGonagall was made Headmistress on a permanent basis they would also need a Transfiguration professor. They were filling the Dark Arts post with Tonks. With the chance of reprisals against the Order members, Tonks wanted to keep her son Teddy as safe as possible. If the Dark Lord couldn't take the castle with a full army helping him, Tonks and little Teddy Lupin would be safe against whatever attacks the stray Death Eaters could come up with.
The problem they were facing is filling the other posts after so much had happened. Professor positions were hard to fill under any circumstance, the pay was low, there was little room for advancement and you were surrounded by children all day. Foreign candidates wouldn't want the job due to the post war climate and the mortality rate of the faculty at Hogwarts. Hermione felt someone sit next to her and looked to see they were being joined by Neville, Draco, Narcissa, Lucius, Oliver Wood and Luna Lovegood.
McGonagall finally turned to address Hermione and the others, "Thank you for joining us. As I am sure you are aware we are now short staffed and we have a school to rebuild. Almost everyone who is qualified to teach these classes will be needed to fill jobs at St. Mungo's and the Ministry including replacing all of the Aurors lost in the war. None of you will qualify for those jobs due to age or...other reasons." She looked pointedly at the Malfoys and then resumed, "We need help cleaning up this castle and we need teachers for classes next year. With the exception of Narcissa, none of you will qualify to teach N.E.W.T. level classes but if you take your N.E.W.T.s now you will be qualified to teach all of the other classes. We want your help rebuilding and teaching."
She paused and looked to Oliver and Hermione, "Your teaching will count towards your apprenticeships and at the end of next year you will be qualified for numerous positions within the Ministry and have a guaranteed acceptance into the Auror office if you so choose. If you complete an accelerated study program during the year and do well in your teaching you can take a full professorship in your subject. For this year your N.E.W.T. Classes will be overseen and at times taught by several volunteers who cannot take the subjects full time but will help out as much as they can."
Minerva began to pass out a proposed faculty list, "Each of you will have a mentor to oversee your work and teach or help teach the N.E.W.T. level classes. We all know that there will probably be very few N.E.W.T. level students returning. The Ministry is expecting and pushing for the six and seventh years to take their exams early. Our world has been decimated by this war.
She went through her list, "Neville you would be teaching Herbology and will be co-teaching with Ted Tonks who will also oversee you. Draco you will be covering Transfiguration and working with me. Luna will be taking Potions and working with Narcissa who will be teaching all of the N.E.W.T. level classes Narcissa will also be working with Madam Pomfrey. The Malfoys have entered into a deal with the Ministry. In light of their services during the war they will be given leniency in regards to their...various crimes. Draco will have two years of public service, Narcissa four years and Lucius ten years. They will be serving them here for now. Narcissa will be pulling double duty and also working the infirmary. After this year Narcissa will be taking over Madam Pomfrey's duties as Poppy wants to retire and spend time with her family. I have protested this appointment but the Ministry in its infinite wisdom has determined the best method of rehabilitation for Lucius would be teaching the muggle studies classes. Hermione I expect you to help and oversee Lucius. You will also be teaching Arithmancy and Kingsley will be overseeing you. Oliver will be taking over flying and there really is no need for you to be supervised. We will also need your help rebuilding the castle over the next few months. Please let me know by the end of the day if you accept."
Hermione was seeing red. "Are you bloody kidding me? We haven't buried our dead yet and it's more of the same. The ministry thinks so little of muggles that they are going to have the biggest fucking muggle hater pureblood snob still alive in this country teach it….this is rubbish. I can't be around them Professor, please. You don't understand."
"The idea of working with you does not appeal to me either Ms. Granger and I certainly don't fancy teaching about mud….muggles but it is the situation we find ourselves in." Lucius sneered.
She reared back and slugged him. She felt the satisfying crack as his nose broke and smile,
"Lesson one, we are not teaching together…..I will be overseeing you and if I agree to do this I swear to you I will relish every ounce of misery I can make you suffer so stay out of my way and keep your trap shut."
No one had jumped in to help. Not even Narcissa and Draco. She stormed off to cool down and think things through. Teaching at Hogwarts was her dream job but she had Ron to think about and she had no intention of spending time with Lucius Malfoy. As she left the meeting broke up and she went back to the classroom they were bunking in. When she entered she found everyone awake. They had conjured a table and everyone was sitting down to start supper. Her stomach growled as she grabbed a seat next to Ron. She didn't want to burden them with her problems but Ron and Harry prodded a bit and she filled them in on her dilemma.
"What are you going to do 'Mione. Teaching here been your dream but you will be stuck around the Malfoys. I can't believe those gits are getting cushy jobs as their punishment! What a crock of…."
"Ronald Weasley you watch your language and don't talk with your mouth full" Molly scolded, "Hermione dear, part of the reason why they are getting such leniency is that the only crime they have witnesses for is Lucius' involvement at the Department of Mysteries battle. I heard what happened at the Manor, why don't you say anything?"
"I can't Mrs. Weasley….I just….I…..I can't go back there. I can't talk about it it's too much."
Ron wrapped his arms around her, "she hasn't even told us exactly what happened, it's cruel to make her relive it."
It was true. Ron and Harry had heard her screams and seen the aftermath but the Malfoys were the only people who had witnessed her torture at the hands of Bellatrix and knew the details of everything she had been through. She shifted her hand to the scars on her forearm subconsciously. She had been under the Cruciatus curse longer than the Longbottoms' had and came through but she was only barely on the right side of sane. She had been marked for life by Bellatrix and now would be reliving it every day in the presence of the Malfoys.