Summary: "Enlighten me, Granger, as to why you are being referred to as Professor Granger."Sorting. A new professor. The children make new friends. And Hermione has something to reveal – who is this mystery man of hers? DMHG
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
A/N: This is something really random that entered my mind and I really wanted to write it. Hope you like it.
~Who Could've Thought That...~
Minerva Mcgonagall's P.O.V
Minerva Mcgonagall wound her fingers in front of her and rested her chin on it.
Her thoughts wandered through her memories for the past seventeen years as the Headmistress of Hogwarts. It was a different experience all in all. The workload may be quite over-whelming, add to that the everyday mischief of her students, but Minerva found that she really didn't mind. It was like looking out for children of her own. She chuckled slightly at the thought. Tonight, she would be welcoming more of these children.
And also a new member of the staff.
Minerval leaned back on her chair and thought of what happened only a few days earlier.
She had met one of her previous students. One of the most brilliant students she had ever had the pleasure of teaching. Perhaps, the most brilliant one she had ever taught.
It had been fifteen years since she last saw the intelligent witch. According to the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, Harry Potter, she had left for Australia to look for her parents and restore their memory. However, after finding them, she sent a letter back to inform her friends that she would not be returning for a while as she wanted to stay with her parents. After that, news about her was scarce despite the fact that she continued to correspond with her friends.
Imagine Minerva's shock when she suddenly received an owl from the witch. Apparently, Harry Potter had told her about the teaching vacancy for Charms and she wanted to inform Minerva that she was interested in it. Delighted that such a talented woman would volunteer for the position that she had trouble filling, Minerva replied that she would like for her to come in for a short interview. Of course, Minerva had already decided to give her the position. She could think of no one more competent than Hermione Granger for the job. The meeting was simply a formality.
The war heroine came in a few days earlier and Minerva remembered what she felt when she saw her student. She almost didn't recognize her if not for her greeting and introduction. The woman had looked much more confident and poised compared to her years as a student. Minerva couldn't help but feel proud of her growth.
A knock interrupted her thoughts. The door opened to reveal the Herbology professor, Neville Longbottom. "Excuse me, Headmistress." He spoke timidly.
"Yes Mr Longbottom?" Minerva asked. It was still a habit of hers to acknowledge the younger staff with what she called them when they were her students.
"The students are about to arrive."
Minerva stood up. "Thank you, Mr Longbottom. You may go and assist the other professors in keeping order."
The man nodded and left.
Minerva looked back at the portrait of Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape and gave them a nod. Albus smiled at her while Severus simply nodded in return.
Minerva sat straighter in her chair as Aurora Sinistra announced the start of the sorting. Aurora hadn't wanted to be the Deputy Headmistress but she eventually agreed that until Minerva found a suitable replacement for her position, the astronomy professor will have to fill in for the meantime.
Now that she thought about it, perhaps, if Ms Granger decides to teach longer, she may present the position to her in the future. With the woman's intellect, sense of duty, and determination, as well as her unyielding campaign for equality, she may just be the Headmistress' answer to her dilemma.
"Tamara Adelbourne." Aurora announced and a small dark-haired girl timidly climbed on the stool.
"Hufflepuff!" A cheer erupted from the said table while the girl ran over.
This continued on.
More names were called until it was the turn of one of the children the staff was waiting for.
"Ersa Longbottom." A petite young girl with long blonde hair slowly stepped forward. Her light-brown eyes scanned around before landing on her parents. She smiled at them then proceeded to sit on the stool. From her bearings, Minerva could assume that this girl inherited her father's timid nature in his early years.
From the corner of her eyes, Minerva found Neville leaning forward slightly. His wife, Luna Longbottom nee Lovegood, the assistant of Rubeus Hagrid in Care of Magical Creatures, simply smiled. It took the sorting hat several seconds before announcing its verdict.
A light blush covered the girl's cheeks as she approached her cheering table.
Ginny Potter nee Weasley, Harry's wife and the sister of Hogwarts' flying instructor, grinned at her friend. She had asked to watch the sorting to see where her son, niece, and goddaughter would go. Since Ginny often volunteered to help in the flying lessons and gave advice to the quidditch teams, Minerva hesitantly agreed.
"Oh Luna." The redhead started. "Ersa seems to take after you."
"It appears so." The former Ravenclaw replied in that dreamy tone of hers.
Neville grinned at his wife and took her hand. He then looked towards his daughter's direction and nodded at her. The young girl responded with a shy wave.
Seeing the girl's demeanor, Harry commented with a chuckle. "She's still as shy as Neville during his younger years. No offence, mate."
"None taken." The said man replied while laughing along with them.
Minerva smiled inwardly at the communication. She had been half-listening to the sorting when she fondly watched her former students interact. However, the next name caught her attention as well as her fellow staff members'.
The girl that stepped forward had wavy white-blonde hair that ended just below her shoulders. Her skin was pale with a small sprinkle of freckles across her nose. For a second, she paused in front of the stool and nervously glanced back towards the group of first years. A young boy in front, who looked like her, nodded reassuringly. That seemed to be enough for the girl to put aside her worry and sit down. One gaze at them and it was obvious that they were twins.
A few seconds passed, which was quite strange to Minerva. Malfoys were often sorted immediately since it was a given that they would be placed in Slytherin. But it seemed that it was different for this young girl who she knew could only be the daughter of one Draco Malfoy, who had mysteriously disappeared sometime after the war.
She glanced at her former-students-turned-professors and found them paying rapt attention. Minerva had been informed by Harry that after he testified for Narcissa and Draco Malfoy, he had formed a truce with the latter. She inwardly sighed in relief. At least there was no chance of any of the professors showing some form of dislike towards the young Malfoys.
"Ravenclaw!" The hat finally declared. Minerva raised a brow at that – well, that was a bit surprising.
The young girl slowly approached the cheering table but looked back at her brother worriedly. The young boy only smirked in return then gestured for her to go ahead. With a smile, she bounded over to sit next to Ersa Longbottom and engaged her in a conversation.
"Well, Neville, looks like you'll be meeting Malfoy at one point if those two continue like that." Ron Weasley, the flying instructor, commented.
Neville paled slightly while Harry chuckled at him. "Don't worry, mate. I've met Malfoy several times before he suddenly disappeared. He was already starting to change that time so I'm pretty sure he isn't the same prat now."
That made the Herbology professor let out a sigh of relief.
"Ersa likes her so she must be nice." Luna pointed out.
By the looks of it, Minerva had to agree with Luna. The two girls were becoming fast friends.
"There's two of them?" Minerva heard Ron say under his breath. This was followed by a 'shush' from his younger sister.
The young boy earlier strode forward confidently. He looked a lot like his father – with white blonde hair, pale skin, and a slight air of arrogance. Now that he was a bit closer, Minerva found slight differences between him and his twin sister. Whilst his features were more aristocratic, his sister's were softer and more innocent-looking. He appeared to be more confident than his twin as well.
Again, to the curiosity of the Headmistress, it took the hat several seconds before finally announcing. "Slytherin!"
The boy stood up and approached the table. He smirked at his housemates then glanced at the Ravenclaw table. The siblings shared slightly disappointed looks before directing their attention back to the proceedings. It was apparent that they didn't like being separated.
Then another name that some of the staff was waiting for was called.
Harry and Ginny leaned forward and smiled at their nervous son.
He was the spitting image of his father – black unruly hair, bright green eyes, and he even had his father's height and thin face. The boy glanced at the Gryffindor table. Minerva followed his gaze which landed on Harry's eldest son, James Potter, who was smirking teasingly at him.
With an indignant huff, Albus Potter sat on the stool. Like his father and his brother, the young boy waited for a while before the hat announced. "Slytherin!"
A guffaw came from the Gryffindor table which made Harry and Ginny direct a stern glance towards their eldest son. James ignored the strange looks he was getting and continued to laugh silently at the expense of his younger brother. Minerva raised a brow at this odd behavior.
"What's that about?" Neville asked Ginny.
"Al didn't want to get sorted into Slytherin after James told him that there was a possibility since the hat almost sorted him there." The woman explained.
Minerva observed the young Potter as he tentatively approached the table of the snakes. She sighed when she noticed several of the Slytherins giving him glares. Unfortunately, there were still those who held onto Pureblood beliefs but, thankfully, they weren't as numerous as before. There were several Slytherins who welcomed the young boy and, to Minerva's surprise, the first person who actually extended a hand towards him was Scorpius Malfoy. Albus took the proffered hand and shook it.
A choke drew Minerva's attention and she turned to her right to find Ron the source of it. "Mate, I think Al just befriended Malfoy's son."
Neville chuckled when his wife commented. "It looks like you'll be meeting Malfoy again at one point too, Harry."
Harry just looked speechless at that.
"It's not as if it's a problem, Ron. Harry and Malfoy already formed a truce years ago." Ginny said with a roll of her eyes.
"Well, yeah, but still!" The older Weasley. "He's a slimy Slytherin."
In reply, Ginny raised a brow and spoke. "Are you forgetting that you're married to a Slytherin?"
That shut the flying instructor up while his face gradually matched the color of his hair. Though, that disappeared when he noticed that it was nearing his daughter's turn. After a few more names, the last name that the younger staff had been waiting for was finally called.
Ron leaned forward to see his daughter confidently walk towards the hat. The young girl inherited her father's red hair (though its shade was slightly darker) and she was tall for her age. Her complexion, which lacked freckles, was obviously from her mother. She made a show of sitting on the stool, and crossing over her legs and arms in impatience. Minerva couldn't blame her though since she was the last one to be called.
The girl stood up, turned to grin at her father, and bounded over to the Gryffindor table to sit beside her cousins and friends: Victoire Weasley, Teddy Lupin, and James Potter.
Once everyone was settled, Minerva stood up and welcomed the students. "Welcome to our new students, and to our old ones, welcome back. A few announcements before we begin the feast." She proceeded to explain the curfews and the forbidden forest. And then, she gestured towards her right where she knew Hermione was. The witch had opted to watch from the shadows before making her appearance when her presence was announced. She reasoned that her friends might not pay attention to the sorting and would badger her with questions about her life during the years that she was gone. It was better to breach the topic over the feast so Minerva agreed to her request. "And may I introduce the new Charms professor: Ms Hermione Granger."
The woman stepped out of the shadows and smiled at the students. After the applause, she gracefully took the seat beside a shocked Harry and greeted her fellow staff members.
"Let the feast begin."
And with that, the banquet appeared.
Third Person P.O.V
"Hermione!" Harry gasped then proceeded to hug the witch. "Why didn't you tell us that you're back?"
Hermione laughed. "I wanted to surprise you."
"So that's why Mcgonagall didn't tell us who the new Charms professor is." Ron realized. He was sitting on Hermione's other side so he only had to lean over and hug her.
"Budge over, Ron, stop hogging Hermione." Ginny demanded and stood up to go to Hermione's side and gave her a hug. Luna and Neville did the same.
"It's been fifteen years, Hermione! You look great!" The redhead witch said as she looked over Hermione. The older girl wasn't wearing extravagant robes but they were simple and they complimented her nice figure well. Her hair was pulled back in an updo that would've made others look old but, on Hermione, it made her look sophisticated.
Hermione blushed slightly. "The same goes for you, Ginny."
"Hey, you should meet us later at the lounge!" Ron said and stuffed his mouth with food.
"A lounge?" Then Hermione's face twisted in disgust. "For Godric's sake, Ronald, can't you eat like a civilized human being? Use your manners!" She received a cheeky grin from him as well as chuckles from her other friends.
"You have no idea how much we missed you, Hermione." Harry laughed. "And yes, a lounge."
"You'll love it, Hermione." Neville commented.
Then, with that, they proceeded to catch up with each other's lives.
"Oh, I'm so happy you're here, Rose." Victoire Weasley said. "Boys get boring once in a while."
James Potter and Teddy Lupin pouted and simultaneously yelled. "Hey!"
Rosemary giggled at them. "The sorting hat considered Slytherin for me but he said that I was too much like Dad. Thank Merlin! I don't know anyone there!"
"Al is there." Teddy pointed out. This earned another snigger from James. They rolled their eyes at him.
Rosemary shrugged. "I suppose. But I'd rather be with someone who's a girl. I mean…" Her nose wrinkled in disgust as she eyed the piles of food on Teddy's and James' plates. "Boys are icky."
Victoire laughed at her comment while the two boys huffed indignantly.
"Speak for yourself." James gestured at her plate which was also filled with so much food that it almost rivaled theirs.
"At least I have table manners." Rosemary retorted and proved her point by starting to eat with considerably better table manners than them.
"I still find it amazing that you could eat like Uncle Ron and never get fat." Victoire said in slight awe. "As a girl, I hate you for that." She added teasingly.
The younger girl grinned cheekily. "Love you too, cousin dearest."
"Oh wow, I can't believe that I'm talking to the daughter of the one of the most prominent wizarding naturalists in the wizarding world." Aries Malfoy said in awe while daintily placing a Yorkshire pudding on her plate. "And your father is a renowned Herbologist too. That's amazing."
Ersa Longbottom blushed slightly. "I guess it is pretty amazing."
"So, did you ever go along with your mother on one of her trips?"
"Well, I was there when she finally found evidence of the existence of Gulping Plimpies." Ersa answered. "They're small and really ugly. I didn't dare touch them."
"After seeing pictures of them, I won't either." Aries agreed, making both girls giggle.
"So, before coming to Hogwarts, what were you doing?" Ersa asked, and then blushed again before stammering. "I-I mean, if I'm not prying… I don't mean to… I mean…"
"Really, Ersa, it's fine." Aries assured the flustered girl. "My parents and I, along with my brothers, travelled around the world – Greece, Rome, France, Japan, Italy and more. It was my mum's childhood dream and my dad decided to fulfill it. He said it was his way of making it up to my mum because he was horrid to her during their school years."
"That's so sweet." Ersa couldn't help but gush. "I've never heard much about Lady Malfoy." She mused.
A mischievous grin made its way onto Aries' features. It made Ersa realize that books really shouldn't be judged by their cover. Aries' pretty innocent appearance made her look incapable of mischief. Ersa could now see otherwise.
"There's a reason for that. Mum doesn't like publicity. She and Dad agreed to only come out in the open once we came back to England after travelling. They also wanted to let us have a childhood without the scrutiny of media."
"Oh, I understand where she's coming from." Ersa commented with a nod. "Uncle Harry hates it too. And, after a while, so did Uncle Ron. James, Al, Lily, Rose, Hugh, Dhalia, and Lucas complain about being unable to freely roam the streets without being stalked."
"That's troubling." Aries stated. Then to Ersa's curiosity, Aries jumped slightly.
"Give me a moment." The other girl said while fishing through her robe's pockets. She took out a small, folded piece of parchment, opened it and read what was inside. A smile formed on her lips before she turned to Ersa. "I'll be right back. I need to talk to my brother."
"Um… okay." Ersa trailed off as she watched her new friend walk over to the Slytherin table. She noticed that Aries drew some attention to herself. It was quite unusual for a first year to approach another table at the start of the year but, thankfully, most just ignored her.
"What's got your knickers in a twist?" Scorpius Malfoy asked with a raised brow while he reached for some roast potatoes.
Albus Potter eyed their housemates warily before answering. "Well, getting glares from the people I'd be living with for the rest of the year isn't exactly comforting."
Scorpius glanced at his fellow Slytherins and found some of them doing just what Albus said they were doing. There weren't many of them, around fifteen, more or less, but it was rather unnerving to be glowered at like that. "What are you lot looking at? Fancy Potter, do you?" he ignored the choked laugh from Albus.
A number of those who were glaring had the courtesy to look embarrassed while the rest narrowed their eyes even more.
"What are you doing, Malfoy? Lowering yourself to associate with those that have tainted blood." One of the guys growled. He looked like a second or third year.
"Shut your mouth, Bletchley, and get over it." A girl who seemed to be Bletchley's age scolded. "Just because you're enemies with James Potter doesn't mean you should take it out on his younger brother. Honestly, could you be anymore childish?" She then turned to the two first years and smiled. "Allegra Zabini. Welcome to Slytherin. Just ignore the prat over there. Not all of us here are gits."
"Not you too, Zabini." Bletchley glared at her. "He's a half-blood. He's tainted. How could you welcome them here?"
"Some of us have put that prejudice behind us, Bletchley. Stop dragging the rest of us into your idiotic bigotry. Times are changing. Learn that." Someone beside Allegra drawled. He then glanced at the first years and introduced himself as Lawrence Nott.
Bletchley turned his glance at Scorpius. "You're not really going to hang out with that filth, are you?"
Scorpius smirked. "You're right, Bletchley. I should really stop associating myself with filth." The answer earned him shocked glances from Albus, Allegra, and Lawrence as well as some of the nearby people. That was until his face twisted into a sneer and he spoke again. "So do all of us a favor and make yourself scarce."
That shocked several of them into silence until the implication of the words sunk in and those who weren't on Bletchley's side laughed at his expense.
Red with rage, Bletchley was about to reach for his wand when he was stopped again by Scorpius. "Do you really want a Malfoy and another Potter as enemies, Bletchley?"
Bletchley froze. The meaning in that statement was enough to stop him. He wasn't a fool to disregard the hidden threat of someone from a very influential family so, with a last glare, he marched towards another part of the long table.
"Good one, Malfoy." Lawrence grinned. He then directed his attention to Albus. "Sorry 'bout that, mate. Just don't mind those on that end." He advised while pointing at the group Bletchley sat with. Albus noticed that they were the ones glaring at him. "They're the ones who still hold onto past prejudices. Most of us here have put that behind us."
"Alright. Thanks." Albus smiled. His unease had slowly melted away as several of his housemates assured him that they were fine with him. He even met fellow half-bloods.
When they were all back to their own devices, Albus glanced at Scorpius. "Thanks for that, mate."
Scorpius shrugged. "Don't mention it." He looked at Albus seriously and added. "Seriously, don't."
"Aw, what did ickle Scorpius do that he doesn't want it to be mentioned." Both boys, as well as some of their nearby housemates, turned to the source to find a girl who looked like Scorpius.
"None of your business, Aries." Scorpius answered defensively. "What are you doing here?"
Aries handed him a small parchment. Scorpius smirked after reading it. "So Mum doesn't want to be called 'mum' until Dad arrives? I wonder what they have in mind now."
Aries shrugged and stuffed the parchment back into her robes. "Knowing Dad, they'll probably put up some kind of show and reveal it in the process. Either way, it would almost certainly be entertaining."
"True." Scorpius agreed. "I still think it's unfair that you get a magic parchment when I'm older than you."
"That's because Mum loves me more." The female twin said cheekily and stuck her tongue out at him.
He rolled his eyes at her. "Very mature, Rissy."
Aries bristled. "Don't call me that! Only Taurus is allowed!" Then, all of a sudden, an impish smile graced her features. "Oh well, I need to go back to my table now. Bye, Scorpy." She chirped before skipping away.
Scorpius glared after his sister while suppressing the urge to blush at the nickname. He heard snickering from beside him and he directed his piercing look at Albus. "What's so funny, Potter?" he hissed.
"'Scorpy'?" Albus chortled.
He went back to his food and tried to ignore Albus when Lawrence called out. "Was that your sister?" The Malfoy nodded indifferently. But he instantly directed a fierce look in the upperclassman's direction when he commented. "She's cute."
"You stay away from my sister, Nott!"
Lawrence only laughed in response.
He continued to drill holes into Lawrence's back when Scorpius noticed that Albus had gone strangely silent. He glanced at his new friend to find him in a daze and looking at something in the distance. The blonde followed his gaze to find his sister just settling herself at the Ravenclaw table. With an irritated look, Scorpius kicked Albus in the shin eliciting a yelp from him.
"What in Merlin was that for?" Albus demanded.
"What in Merlin are you looking at my sister for?" Scorpius countered.
Albus turned red and determinedly ignored the blonde's glare. He went back to eating his food but discreetly sent fleeting glances at that pretty Ravenclaw 1st year.
"Oh, this place is so beautiful." Hermione gasped as her hands grazed the mantel of the fireplace.
The room slightly resembled their Gryffindor common room, though it was larger. Comfortable couches were situated in a circle in the middle of the room with a small ornate table in the center. Shelves with books and beautiful ornaments lined the walls. On one side was a door leading into the bathroom. On another side was a kitchenette complete with snacks and cooking tools.
"Isn't it?" Luna agreed. "The Headmistress thought that it would be nice to have a place for the professors when they want to speak to each other. Although, after some time, it seemed to become our common room because the other professors thought that they were intruding on us."
"By the way, Hermione." Neville spoke. "You could floo to your room from here as well as to the other common rooms."
"I told her that already, Neville." Ginny said. Neville blushed slightly. "Oh, I didn't know."
"This is how your wives and children visit you, right?" Hermione inquired. The others nodded.
As they settled themselves comfortably on the couches (or, in the cases of the guys, on chairs they conjured) they conversed with each other while waiting for the arrival of those they were waiting for.
"Wait a minute! I can't believe I haven't asked this before!" Ginny exclaimed. "Hermione, how's your love life?"
Hermione, who was drinking Pumpkin juice, choked on her drink. Harry and Ron were instantly by her side and rubbing circles on her back.
"Sorry about that." The redhead apologized sheepishly.
However, before anyone could say anything else, the flames in the fireplace roared, indicating that someone was arriving through the floo. Out of the flames stepped out a woman.
"Pansy!" Ron grinned and stood up to greet his wife.
Pansy Weasley nee Parkinson kissed her husband on the cheek then proceeded to greet the other occupants of the room. Her eyes landed lastly on the witch that disappeared years ago and they widened in surprise.
"Granger?" She uttered in disbelief.
"Hello Pansy." Hermione greeted with a smile. "I'm glad to find out that you've been taking care of Ronald so well. Godric knows what a task that is."
"Hey!" Ron yelled with a huff whilst others laughed.
Pansy seemed slightly shocked at the friendliness Hermione showed her. She had been expecting the Gryffindor to be at least put off by the knowledge since Hermione had been dating Ron before she left. After a few moments, she regained her composure and smirked. "Don't I know it. How did you put up with him through all those years? Especially with his table manners of utmost atrocity."
"A smack on the head often does the trick." Hermione played along.
"As much as I'd like to do that, I fear for his mental stability. He's already an idiot enough as it is."
"He is right here!" Ron interrupted with annoyance. The others were clutching their stomachs in laughter with Pansy and Hermione following them soon after.
"Ha ha, very funny, alright, you can stop now. You had your laugh at my expense." Ron said in mock anger. "And you." He pointed at Pansy. "You're supposed to be on my side, yeah."
Then, the flames burst again and out stumbled Teddy Lupin. He steadied himself and caught Victoire Weasley, who almost fell on the floor. They scurried out of the way when the flames indicated the arrival of another person and out came James Potter, closely followed by Rosemary Weasley, who bumped into the older boy since he didn't move out the way.
"Ouch! Bloody hell, James! Where are your Quidditch reflexes? On vacation?" Rosemary complained while rubbing her forehead that collided solidly into James' back.
"Sorry, 'bout that, Rose." James apologized sheepishly.
Rosemary grumbled under her breath when she caught sight of her mother and ran towards her. "Mum!"
The others greeted their respective children/godchild/niece/nephew. Hermione smiled at the scene.
"Hey Teddy, mate, remember when you were a lot younger and you had an aunt that looked after you?" Teddy gave his adoptive father an unsure glance. Harry only grinned and gestured towards Hermione. "Remember Aunt Hermione?"
Teddy's eyes widened. He did remember. He had been very close to his aunt and often played with her. She was his second adoptive mother. He had been so confused when she disappeared but he believed that she would come back, especially when she included messages for him in her letters to his adoptive father.
Teddy grinned and, when Hermione extended her arms for a hug, he didn't hesitate to accept it. "Aunt Mione! I missed you!" He greeted, using the name he used to call her when he still had trouble with long words.
Hermione laughed. "I missed you too, Teddy. You've grown so much!"
When they pulled away, Teddy changed his hair and eyes to match hers – one of the things he vividly remembered doing when he was with her. Hermione laughed at his actions.
They all settled down on their seats again, with the young ones taking one of the couches. The adults then introduced Hermione to them as their aunt, though only Teddy was comfortable speaking to her. The other three only knew her through their parents' stories.
"So, Granger, what have you been up to?" Pansy asked curiously. "You've been gone for so long and you couldn't have been in Australia the whole time."
"Yes. Despite what Harry and Ron believed, I don't think you stayed in one place." Luna added. Harry and Ron stared at her with wide eyes.
"Really, Hermione? Then where were you the whole time?" Ron asked.
"I did stay in Australia but, yes Pansy, not the entire time. I've been travelling around the world." Hermione replied to the shock of many.
"No offense, Granger, but where did you get money for it?"
"Oh shush, Ron, it was a harmless question."
"I'm not offended at all. It's a valid question." Hermione assured and, with a smile, she answered. "But, I'll have to answer that later."
"Why?" Ginny asked. In reply, Hermione pointed towards the fireplace to find it roaring again.
The one who came out was Albus Potter.
"Hello Mr Slytherin." James teased. Albus only stuck his tongue out at him in response.
All of a sudden, another person came out and bumped into Albus and caused the dark-haired boy to fall on the floor.
"For Salazar's sake, Potter, stop blocking the floo!" Scorpius Malfoy hissed at him and, to their audience's astonishment, he offered his hand to the fallen boy. Albus took the proffered arm and pulled himself up.
"Thanks. Sorry 'bout that." Albus groaned. He looked up and spotted his parents. "Hey Mum, Dad. Guys, this is Scorpius Malfoy."
Teddy, Victoire, Rosemary, and James waved at him. Scorpius nodded his head at them in acknowledgement.
"So, what are you doing here, Mr Malfoy?" Ron asked.
Scorpius was about to answer when, again, the floo acted up.
Ersa Longbottom stepped out and, thankfully, caught her balance before colliding into the two boys in front of the floo. She let out a sigh in relief. "I think it's best if you don't stand there." She said while stepping to the side.
"Why, it's not as if anyone else is – oof!" Albus got the air knocked out of his lungs when someone rammed into him and sent both of them sprawling onto the floor.
"Albus!" Several exclaimed and approached the tangle of limbs.
The two groaned in pain. Albus wasn't sure what happened – all he knew was that there was someone on him and there were tresses of blonde hair covering his view. And his back hurt from the collision with the floor. Then, to his relief, he felt the person get off him.
"Oh my gods, I'm so sorry! I didn't know that I would bump into someone! Oh dear, are you alright?"
With a groan, Albus pulled himself up. He opened his eyes to find Aries Malfoy staring at him worriedly. He felt his face heat up as he answered. "Y-yeah. Don't worry, I'm fine."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes." He stammered.
"That's good." She sighed in relief. She then stood up with the help of Scorpius. Albus took James' arm and stood up as well.
Scorpius narrowed his eyes at him and used the 'I'm-watching-you' gesture. Albus rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly.
"After that fall, I think you should sit down first before we ask you anything." Hermione suggested and they complied. Everyone missed her wink towards Scorpius and Aries as well as their grin of response.
Once they were comfortable, Ron repeated his earlier question. Scorpius answered. "Our Dad is coming. Headmistress told us to wait for him here instead of in her office since she had to attend to many matters there."
Ron groaned which earned him a whack on the head from Pansy.
"So, you're Draco's children…" The ex-Slytherin mused out loud.
"You know Dad?" Aries asked. Pansy nodded. "He's a good friend of mine."
"Who are you?" Scorpius asked.
"Pansy Parkinson, but now I'm a Weasley." Pansy answered and shared a smile with her husband.
"Oh!" The female Malfoy exclaimed. "We heard him say your name along with some others like Blaise and Theo. You were in the same House."
"Yes we were. And, speaking of Houses. What house did you kids get into?"
The first years answered enthusiastically. Apparently, the hat also considered putting Rosemary into Slytherin but it decided that she was better off in Gryffindor. Ersa was almost placed in Gryffindor but the hat thought that she would prosper more in Ravenclaw. As for Albus – to the amusement of his older brother – though the hat did say that he could be in Gryffindor, it was adamant that Slytherin was a better house for him despite Albus' persistence.
"I don't see what the problem is." Scorpius commented nonchalantly. "Slytherin isn't that bad." Pansy nodded in agreement whilst Harry sent him a glare. Aries hit her brother on the arm for his insensitivity. What escaped everyone's notice – except the Malfoy twins – was the stern look Hermione directed at him. Scorpius hurriedly amended what he said. "I mean, I'm sure you'll get used to it." Aries bit her lip in an attempt to hide her laugh.
Albus visibly deflated. "Easy for you to say. They weren't glaring at you."
"It's not as if they'll be bothering you anymore." The Malfoy snorted. After a moment, to the curiosity of Albus and the amusement of Aries (as they were the only ones to hear since they were seated on either side of him), he cursed under his breath.
Hermione gave the young Malfoy a scolding look while resting her hands on her hips. "Scorpius Malfoy, what did you do?"
"Nothing Mu – Professor Granger!" The young blonde instantly defended. "I just told him to mind his own business!"
"You used the Malfoy name to threaten him, didn't you?" Aries said dryly, though there was a smile playing on her lips.
Scorpius crossed his arms and looked away. "The idiot was getting on my nerves."
"Aw, ickle Scorpy defended his friend. Isn't that sweet?"
"Shut up! I did no such thing." Scorpius said with a blush.
"Whatever let's you sleep at night, brother dear." She then looked over her brother's shoulder and smiled at Albus. "Don't worry about it. Truthfully, I don't think the prats would dare touch you. You're Harry Potter's son. Although they dislike you, your name enough is a threat. No one would be crazy enough to try and mess with someone from your family because you basically have the whole wizarding public on your side. If they ever make a wrong move on you, the news would spread like wildfire and that is all it would take to destroy them and their reputation. And that's without being associated with Scorpius. You have nothing to be afraid of."
Hermione wasn't sure if she wanted to reprimand Scorpius or smile at Aries.
Albus gave the blonde girl a shocked look. "I never thought of it like that."
For a moment, Harry gaped at the young Malfoys for actually defending and comforting his kid. Who the heck did the ferret marry to get children like this? Nevertheless, he grinned and turned to Ron and Neville. "I like these kids."
Pansy gave the girl an impressed look. "You have a Slytherin mind on you." The twins merely shared a mysterious glance.
James grinned and commented. "No wonder he never acted on his threats! I like the way you think. The name's James Potter." He said and extended his hand. Aries shook it and introduced herself. This prompted the other children to introduce themselves to each other and, in no time, they were already conversing amongst themselves and forgetting the presence of the adults.
"Would you look at that?" Ginny mused. "Looks like all of us will be seeing more of Malfoy if they go on like this."
"I don't have a problem with that." Pansy said.
"Neither do I." Luna agreed.
Harry, Ron, and Neville only shifted uncomfortably. Hermione laughed at them.
"Oh, that reminds, Hermione." Ginny started in a sing-song manner. There was an impish glint in her eyes. "Don't think you got away from answering anymore questions."
Hermione sighed at her friend but she inwardly smirked. She knew that it was time to inform her friends about her life for the past years. She didn't really plan to keep it from them for too long but she didn't want to tell them anything until he arrived. Might as well divulge the truth but, it didn't mean she couldn't have fun while at it.
Minerva Mcgonagall sifted through the papers of official documents, schedules, event plans, lesson plans, and more. She let out a soft sigh when she found what she was looking for. She then proceeded to cast a spell that arranged the documents in proper order.
Minerva made herself comfortable on the chair and started to read the document. However, she was soon interrupted by someone coming in from the floo. There was only one person she was expecting to arrive so she was slightly startled when she found there were three people there.
"Mr Malfoy." She greeted curtly then directed her eyes to the children with him.
"It's a pleasure to see you again, Professor Mcgonagall." Draco said with a nod. He then glanced at the portrait of his sneering godfather. "Severus." He greeted.
"Draco." Severus drawled.
After giving his father a nod, he returned his attention to the Headmistress. "I apologize for bringing my children without asking your permission but I still haven't found anyone I trusted enough to take care of them."
Comprehending his reason, Minerva nodded. "I understand, Mr Malfoy. Your children are in the teacher's lounge. I sent them there since I am aware that some of the professors are meeting their own children there. I am also aware that they have become friends with said children."
Draco seemed curious as he asked. "May I ask who these professors are?"
"Mr Potter, Mr Weasley, and Mr and Mrs Longbottom. I believe that Mr Potter's and Mr Weasley's wives are there as well. Oh, and I suppose Ms Granger too."
"Granger?" Draco asked with furrowed brows.
Minerva, mistaking his reaction for disapproval, went to the defense of the muggleborn. "Yes. Ms Granger is our new Charms professor. I assure you that she is a competent witch."
"You misunderstand, Headmistress. I'm sure she's capable of the job." Draco started. "But there must be some sort of mistake."
"What seems to be this mistake you speak of, Mr Malfoy?" Minerva asked in a somewhat perplexed tone.
Draco smirked. "It seems that it slipped her mind to mention that her last name is no longer 'Granger'."
Minerva's eyes widened. Severus' gaze narrowed. And Albus Dumbledore had that twinkle in his eyes as well as that knowing smile on his lips.
Ginny Potter was getting frustrated.
She had been trying to get answers from Hermione about her years of absence but the woman was being too bloody cryptic.
So far, she had found out that Hermione left to find her parents – they already knew that. She had found them and had successfully restored their memories but they insisted on staying in Australia. Wanting to spend time with them, Hermione decided to stay as well. They already knew that! What came after was what irritated Ginny.
Apparently, while there, Hermione had met someone. The problem was, the older witch refused to divulge details on his identity as well as how deep their relationship was. She had tried to look for a ring yet there was none, but the redhead wouldn't put it past Hermione to put a glamour spell on her hand to hide it. According to Hermione, she refused to say anything until they met her mystery man. This annoyed the younger woman even more since there was no telling when that would happen. Ginny also came to the conclusion that this mystery man was rich. How rich? She didn't know. She only guessed this when Hermione told her that this man brought her to different countries. To where and to how many countries? The witch wouldn't say either. So, the guy was also sweet since Hermione had once confided to her that travelling around the world was her childhood dream. Also, according to Hermione, the guy was also a wizard. From where? The bloody woman wouldn't say.
All her answers were infuriatingly vague! And where the bloody hell did the woman learn to smirk like that?
"Hermione…" Ginny said through gritted teeth.
"Ginny…" Hermione copied her tone with that annoying look on her face.
Harry and Ron were also getting slightly impatient. It was killing them to know so little about the current life of the girl they saw as their sister. Neville and Luna, on the other hand, decided to just watch the proceedings from the sidelines. Pansy was observing the interaction in amusement. Who knew that the Gryffindor Princess could be such a Slytherin?
On the children's side: Victoire, Rosemary, and Ersa have pulled Aries into their circle of girls and were getting along swimmingly. The boys were also getting better acquainted. After learning that they were actually related, Scorpius and Teddy decided get to know each other better. James proceeded to tease Albus about things, especially his House as well as his crush on Aries, which James noticed after catching his younger brother not-so-subtly watch the female Malfoy. However, when Ginny had started to become more irritated at Hermione, they opted to also observe the interesting happenings as well.
Something which perplexed them was that Scorpius and Aries kept on snickering and sharing this knowing look. When asked about it, they simply shrug in response.
However, before Ginny could interrogate Hermione even further, the fireplace roared again, indicating another person's arrival.
"Oh, who is it now?" Ginny snapped.
"Well aren't you just the big ball of sunshine, Weaslette." Was the dry response of one Draco Malfoy. Everyone turned to him in shock – especially when there was a young boy, around nine or ten, beside him as well as a toddler in his arm.
"Dad!" Scorpius and Aries yelled simultaneously and jumped up to rush towards their father and give him a hug.
"Aries!" The boy cheered and threw his arms around her.
Aries enthusiastically returned the gesture. "Leo! I can't believe you came along!"
"What am I, an ornament?" Scorpius said sarcastically. Leo only stuck his tongue at him then cheekily grinned. The older boy rolled his eyes and fondly ruffled his younger brother's sandy-blonde hair.
"Hey! Not the hair!" Leo complained and tried to fix his mane. Once Aries was free from her brother's embrace, she lifted her arms in a gesture to take her youngest brother off her father's arms. Draco carefully handed his youngest son over to his only daughter.
"Rissy!" The toddler cried out excitedly at the sight of his older sister. Aries gave him a kiss on the cheek making him giggle.
"Hello, Taurus. Have you missed me?" She coddled the boy. Taurus giggled even more.
Draco smiled slightly at his children. He bent down and gave Aries a kiss on the forehead. He then turned to his son and ruffled his hair. The show of affection shocked his former classmates into silence. Who knew Malfoy was capable of that?
"So, how is Hogwarts?" Draco asked them.
Aries' eyes lit up eagerly. "Oh, Dad, it's wonderful! It's what Hogwarts: A History said it would be and more! And I haven't even started exploring it yet! I can't wait to find out more about the castle and learn about magic and spells!"
Scorpius and Leo laughed at their sister's enthusiasm while Draco smirked at her.
"And your Houses?"
"Slytherin." Scorpius replied with pride.
Draco's smirk widened. "As expected. And Aries?"
"Ravenclaw. The hat also considered Gryffindor and Slytherin for me but I remember Mum telling me that she did wonder what would happen if she chose to be placed in Ravenclaw instead so I thought I'd experience it." She reasoned.
"You are too much like your mother." Draco commented before directing his attention at the occupants of the room. He raised a brow at the sight of his old friend and smirked when he noticed her closeness with the youngest male Weasley. "Pansy, when were you planning to tell me that your taste in men deteriorated with time?"
Ron growled at him but was held back by Harry and Hermione. Pansy rolled her eyes at the man but moved forward to embrace him nonetheless. "Stop being a git, Draco. And when were you planning to tell me that you got back from wherever you went to? Greg, Blaise, and Theo have been wondering where you've disappeared to. We thought you got yourself killed stupidly or something."
"It's Weasley now." Pansy smirked as she pulled away.
"I'm pretending I didn't hear that." Draco replied then walked forward and shook hands with Harry and nodded.
And, as Draco acknowledged the other adults in the room, he spoke. "Mrs Potter, Weasel, Longbottom, Loony…" then his eyes rested on Hermione. "… Granger." He uttered her name slowly.
Scorpius, Aries, and Leo shared a look. This is going to be good.
"Malfoy." Hermione acknowledged.
"You have some explaining to do, Granger."
"What is he talking about, Hermione?" Ron asked while keeping a suspicious glance on the blonde.
Hermione tilted her head with an innocent look on her face. "I don't know, Ron. What are you talking about, Malfoy?"
"Don't give me that, Granger. You know exactly what I'm talking about." Draco almost growled as he stepped closer to Hermione. Harry and Ron tensed and were ready to draw their wands. Pansy and Ginny watched the exchange with interest. Neville was just giving them a nervous look while Luna's dreamy expression remained on her face. The children observed this all with confusion and slight interest. The Malfoy children, who had moved closer to their friends, seemed to be biting their lips in an attempt to hold back their laughter.
"Enlighten me, Granger, as to why you are being referred to as Professor Granger."
"Well…" Hermione began slowly, as if speaking to a small child. "You see, Malfoy, when you become a teacher, the title Professor is usually placed in front of your name. It's a sign of respect. Something you obviously lack. Have you heard of this thing called 'personal space'?" Despite her words, Hermione didn't move to increase the distance between them.
"You obviously don't care about it since you seem to relish my presence in yours. I know you fancy me, Granger, but do control yourself. I am a married man after all and my wife is quite possessive."
Hermione rolled her eyes at him. "Please, Malfoy, don't flatter yourself. You're too ferret-y for my taste." She scoffed. "And please move away, my husband wouldn't be delighted seeing you this close to me. He gets jealous easily."
At this point, to the confusion of many, Scorpius, Aries, and Leo were already clutching each other in silent laughter. Though Taurus had no idea what was happening, he was also giggling due to his siblings.
Their eyes, especially those belonging to Harry, Ginny, and Ron, darted back and forth from the bantering pair and the hysterical children.
"Do you have any idea what's happening?" Ron asked Harry. "I don't know, mate. I'm lost too." The latter answered.
"Oh, but Granger, I know that deep inside you, you are thoroughly rejoicing for the privilege to be this close to me." Draco said and moved closer.
"You are being delusional, Malfoy. Perhaps you're the one who's delighted in being in my presence. Oh, Godric, Malfoy, you're pathetic."
"Excuse me? No one speaks to Malfoy like that."
"What if it's another Malfoy?" Hermione moved closer when…
"Ew! Please don't do what I think you're gonna do." Leo suddenly exclaimed.
Without giving them a glance, Hermione waved her hand dismissingly at them. "Not now, Sweetie, Mummy and Daddy are putting on a show for Mummy's friends."
That just made Scorpius and Aries laugh even harder. Leo huffed dramatically before joining his siblings in hysterics. Not long after, Hermione laughed with them while Draco sent them an amused smirk.
"WHAT?" Harry, Ron, and Ginny yelled at the same time – their mouths agape.
"Sorry, I must've misheard that." Ron spluttered while shaking his head. "Did you just say 'mummy'?"
Pansy smirked. "I think I heard it right. So what spell did Draco use to get you to go out with him, Granger – oh, sorry, I mean Lady Malfoy?" She received a glare from the blonde man for that.
"Wait! So you married Malfoy?" When Hermione nodded, Ginny squealed then engulfed her in a hug. "I'm so happy for you! Oh my gods, your children are so good-looking!"
Scorpius glanced at Albus. "I must say, your mother has good eyesight." Albus rolled his eyes at his friend.
Draco smirked at the compliment about his kids "Of course that is to be expected."
James snickered and turned to the male twin. "I can see who you take after."
Aries approached her mother and handed Taurus over. Taurus giggled and gleefully cried out. "Mama!" Hermione smiled at her son then kissed him on the cheek.
"Hello Honey, this is Aunt Ginny." She said while pointing at the redhead.
For a moment, Taurus stared at the woman curiously before beaming. "'Inny!"
"Aw! You are so adorable! May I hold him?" Ginny asked. Hermione transferred her child into Ginny's arms while Pansy and Luna walked over to look at the baby.
Harry and Ron shared a shocked glance before jumping up and holding Hermione by her arms. "Did he confund you?"
"Did he blackmail you into marrying him?"
"Did the git give you a potion?"
"Are you on drugs?"
"Maybe if you shut your mouths I might be able to explain." Hermione cut in. She aimed her glare at Draco. "And wipe that smirk off your face before I slap it off for you." That only made her husband's smirk widen even more. "Now Harry, Ron – no, Draco did not confund me. No, he did not blackmail me. No, he did not give me a potion. And no, Harry Potter, I am not on drugs! What made you think I'd even consider that?" Harry had the decency to blush.
"But, but… he's Malfoy!" Ron cried out.
"And I'm your friend! Couldn't you just trust my decision on this?"
Ron and Harry paused and stared at their best friend then, after several seconds, let out a sigh.
"We just want you to be happy." Harry said.
"And I am."
Ron let out another sigh. "Fine. But that doesn't mean I'll be nice to him!"
"Wouldn't dream of it, Weasel." Draco scoffed and wrapped an arm around Hermione's waist and pulled her to his side. He directed his gaze towards his wife. "Don't think I've forgotten about what we were talking about earlier, Granger. I expect this problem to be rectified immediately."
"What problem, Love?" Hermione asked innocently.
Draco smirked. "The problem of what people should refer to you as, Professor Malfoy."
"I'll see what I can do." She said while placing her arms around his neck and leaning closer. And closer. And closer. Until they…
"EW! MUM! DAD!" Three voices yelled out in chorus.
CUTSCENES! [These are scenes I had to take out but I was so amused by them that I decided to put them here too]
"Bletchley called you what?"
The outburst, unfortunately, also got the attention of the adults.
"What's going on?" Harry asked them in concern.
Teddy gritted. "Bletchley called Al filth."
"He what?" Harry exclaimed.
"I'm going to punch Bletchley's lights out the next time I see him." James growled.
"James!" Ginny scolded.
"He deserves it!"
"Fine, Mum!" James complied grudgingly, then added. "I'll send a bludger his way on the next game."
Ginny narrowed her eyes at him but James grinned cheekily. "Accidentally, Mum."
"You're not a pureblood?" Albus pointed out.
The blonde looked at him and laughed. "Who said I was a pureblood?"
"But, you're a Malfoy." Ron retorted. "Isn't it tradition to 'keep your line pure'?"
"But why should we follow that?" Scorpius smirked. "It's fun breaking tradition. We love doing it! Aries and I even have a competition on how many times we break tradition. I believe we're tied at fifteen."
"No, I'm on the lead." Aries said smugly.
Scorpius stared at his sister in disbelief. "What? When?"
"When I got into Ravenclaw and you got into Slytherin. You followed the tradition of Malfoys going to Slytherin. I didn't."
"Drat! I am going to befriend another muggle when we go to the Muggle world. That should even the score."
"Not when I date one."
Scorpius' eyes narrowed. "I'd rather you date Albus than date someone I don't know."
Albus turned several shades of red which didn't go unnoticed by some. Teddy and James grinned knowingly at him. Ginny bit back a giggle – it looked like her younger son had a crush. Hermione covered her mouth to hold back a laugh. Not only did young Albus have a crush on Aries, but Scorpius was also aware of it.
A/N: Yeah, yeah… I've been overusing the 'revealing a relationship plot' for my stories – but what the heck. I have this guilty pleasure of reading/writing about different scenarios wherein Hermione and Draco have a relationship and I just love coming up with ideas of how they reveal it and to whom they reveal it. I still have other ideas to write. XD
THANK YOU FOR READING! I hope you liked it.