Author's notes: Sorry for the confusion with the last chapter guys. I don't usually do that lol but I tried to change my story and I couldn't get through this chapter so I'm going back to my original idea. Hope you like it. Also I don't know who else caught the age issue but to clear it up, they are 20 years apart. Sorry for the inconsistency, I went back and changed it, along with a few other dates. I also went back and put page breaks in, for some reason they weren't transferring from my word document to the story format. And lastly, I'm so so so so sorry for the wait on this chapter, but here it finally is, hope you like it!
Thanks for reading! Reviews keep me going!
Chapter 8 - Makaria
"I wonder what's taking them so long?" Harry said nervously.
"Relax. They're probably just tired from last night." Ginny replied.
"Hermione always eats breakfast with us though." He argued. "And in case you haven't noticed McGonagall is gone too, explain that." They all looked up at the teachers table and the two empty chairs stood out among the eating teachers.
"I don't kno-" They all turned when the doors to the Great Hall opened. The headmistress stepped in followed by Remus, Hermione, and a girl who looked about their age. She was dressed in muggle jeans and a purple and black striped shirt. McGonagall and Remus continued on to the teachers table and Hermione sat down with the girl.
"Hey guys. Sorry we're late." Hermione said. "This is Aria."
"Makaria, but I prefer Aria. I transferred in from Salem Lake." She told them.
"Salem Lake?" Harry asked. "What's that?"
"A wizarding school in in North America."
"North America like the United States?" Ron asked. She looked over at him with her green-brown eyes and he blushed.
"Yeah, Oregon." She started piling her plate with her food and Ron watched her with admiration.
"So what's Aria's story?" Harry asked Hermione later. They and Ron were in the library studying for their N.E.W.T.s while Ginny showed Aria around the castle.
"She's from Salem, Oregon. She transferred over to finish her last two years here. Her parents split up and her and her mum moved back to London, where she was originally from, and her dad stayed in the U.S." Hermione explained. "That's really all I know." She shrugged.
"Hmm." Harry said, tapping his muggle pen on the desk. "Do you think she's telling the truth?" Tap, tap, tap. Hermione sighed.
"I don't know, Harry." She replied.
"But why would she lie?" Ron asked. Harry shrugged.
"She could be telling the truth." Tap, tap, tap, tap. "I just… I don't know. There's something… familiar about her but I can't place it." Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, ta-
"Is that really necessary?" Hermione sighed in frustration. "If you're not going to study than you can leave. I have my tests later this week and I'd like to be prepared."
"Sorry." Harry said, going back to his book. They studied for another hour before Ginny and Aria showed up.
"This castle is so amazing!" Aria said in her american accent as she sat down. "I don't think I'll be able to see all of it before I graduate."
"Good luck." Ron said, shutting his book and stretching. "We've been here seven years and I don't think even we've seen all of it, though we've seen more than most of the students..."
"Really? Like what?" Aria asked, leaning forward. Hermione slammed her book shut.
"If you guys can't shut up, then I'm leaving." She shoved her books in her bag and left the table, heading out of the library. She wandered down the hall a bit before leaning against a wall and sighing. She scrubbed her hands over her face and slid down the wall. She hadn't meant to lose it over them talking but she couldn't help it. Her emotions had been everywhere lately but she simply chalked it up to being so soon after the full moon. She stood up and started heading towards the common room.
"I've said I'm sorry a million times! What will it take to get you to believe me?!" A voice shrieked ahead of her.
"I don't know, Pansy. Maybe nothing! You slept with one of my friends for Merlin's sake! How am I supposed to believe anything you say?" There was a small scuffling sound. "Get off me!" She heard hurried footsteps go in the other direction and then another set of footsteps came her way. She froze, that delicious, comforting smell reaching her nostrils again.
"Granger? What are you doing here?" Draco asked when he saw her.
"I live here too." Hermione replied, somewhat snarkily.
"Temper, temper." Draco said. "What's got your knickers in a twist?"
"I'm not in the mood, Malfoy." She replied. "I've got a migraine." She went to walk away but he held out a hand to stop her.
"Dolore evanesca." He said, pointing his wand to her temple.
"What the hell did you-"
"Relax, Granger. It was just a headache relief spell." He said, interrupting her. She realized her head did feel better.
"Thank you." She said, slightly confused. "No offense, but-"
"Why am I speaking to you?" He asked, cutting her off again.
"We're adults now." He replied slowly. "I've grown up a lot in the last 4 months and I thought maybe it was time to let... past beliefs stay in the past."
"That's very… mature of you." She replied. He nodded.
"So… truce?" He asked sticking his hand out. She considered his offer for a moment before taking his hand.
"Hermione?" Ginny called quietly, walking through the library on Tuesday. Hermione knocked on her table and Ginny came around the corner a moment later. "There you are." She sat down with her book bag and started pulling books out. "I was wondering if you could help me with this paper. I know you're busy." She added quickly as Hermione opened her mouth to argue. "But I also know that even you need a break from your work." Hermione looked skeptical.
"What do you need help with?" She asked.
"Just grammar and punctuation. I already have a rough draft. I just need you to read through it and correct it so I can rewrite it." Ginny explained. Hermione closed her books and stuck her hand out for the paper. "Thank you!" Ginny said, handing it to her.
Hermione grumbled and reply and started reading, making marks as she went.
"You're getting better." Hermione said a few minutes later, handing the parchment back to her. "Your grammar was awful last year."
"I know." Ginny said glumly. "I've been practicing."
"I'll be right back, I need to find-" She stood up and turned around but froze when her stomach turned.
"Find what?" Ginny asked. Hermione got really hot all of a sudden and then everything went dark.
Knock, knock, knock. Remus pulled the door open and let Hermione inside.
"Hermione, shouldn't you be studying?" Remus joked.
"No more studying today, Madame Pomfrey's orders." She sat down on the couch in front of his fire.
"Madame Pomfrey's orders? What happened?" He asked, alarmed.
"I had a small fainting spell in the library." She admitted. "But I'm fine now. Ginny walked me down here and went back to the common room."
"It's only an hour until curfew, you shouldn't stay long." He said sitting down next to her.
"Actually, I was thinking... maybe I could stay with you tonight? They say the best thing before a test is to get a good night's rest and I always sleep the best with you." She smiled sweetly at him.
He chucked. "Yes I'm sure that's why you want to stay the night with me."
"I don't care if we do anything, I just want to be near you." She explained.
He nodded his consent after a moment and she snuggled into him.
Hermione spent the next day in the library doing some last minute studying. She was taking her N.E.W.T.s early the next morning and wanted to be extra sure she was ready.
"Should you be studying?" Harry asked her as he sat down. She smiled and pushed the book aside.
"Just doing some brushing up." She laughed.
"So tomorrow..." He paused. "Do you think you're ready?"
"I'm honestly not sure. I feel like there's so much more to learn but at the same time, I know that I know these books," she tapped her quill on her school books, "front to back."
"Along with several hundreds more, I'm sure." He joked.
"Probably." She laughed.
"So what are you going to do after your tests?" He asked.
"Well, McGonagall offered me a job, but I'm not sure I'll take it."
"Why not?" He asked sounding shocked.
"I didn't think I want to teach." She started. "I've thought about it quite a bit and I think I want to go in to healing. Specifically diagnostics. The only problem is I would have to take classes at Merlin's Academy, which I would have to pay for. But-"
"What's Merlin's Academy?" Harry interrupted.
"Its the wizarding university they recently opened in the Ministry. Haven't you heard of it?" Harry shook his head. "They just opened it in September. Any high up position in the Ministry or hospitals now requires a few specialized classes after Hogwarts." She explained. He frowned.
"But you have to pay for it?" He asked. "That's dumb."
"Most of the time, the place you get hired on at will reimburse you within the first couple of paychecks."
"Yeah but what are you supposed to do until then?" He complained.
"Get a lower level job. Each class is only around 100 galleons." She said. "I'd really like to get a job at a bookstore or library."
"Of course." Harry laughed. "You'll be great at whatever you decide to do, Hermione."
"Are you ready to begin, Ms. Granger?" Headmistress McGonagall asked her. Hermione nodded pulling out her spell check quill.
"Is this alright to use?" Hermione asked. "It's just a spell checker."
"Of course." Minerva said. "Now, you have 45 minutes for every written test and, if you'd like, you will get a short break after every test, and we'll line your tests up with lunch as well. The order in which you do the tests is up to you but you may only work on one test at a time. Which test would you like to complete first?"
"Let's go in alphabetical order." Hermione replied. Minerva nodded and handed her the Ancient Runes test.
The next 3 hours we're filled with tests. She got Ancient Runes, Arithmancy, and Charms done before lunch. Remus, Harry, Ron, and Ginny were waiting for her outside McGonagalls office.
"How did you do?" Remus asked, as she stepped into the hall.
"I'm not even close to done yet. I still have Defense, Herbology, Potions and Transfiguration to do after lunch." She replied. They started heading towards the Great Hall.
"And the practicals are tomorrow?" Harry asked.
"Yes and then I'm done." Hermione said. "I'll get my results next week and then I can start looking for a job."
"Has Minerva said when you have to be out of the castle yet?" Remus asked.
"No but I'm guessing after I get my results."
"What do you want to do?" Ron asked. "For a job, I mean." He added when Hermione looked at him confused.
"The Ministry just opened up a university. I'm thinking I'll find a easy job to help pay for classes and then I want to apply at St. Mungo's." She said. "I want to work my way up into Diagnostics."
"That sounds difficult." Makaria said, stepping into line with them.
"Not if I study enough." Hermione replied as they reached the Great Hall. They all took a seat at the Gryffindor table and Remus continued onto the head table. "McGonagall told me to tell you guys that if I pass, the three of you will be on the list with the first round of students to take the tests next month." Hermione said.
"The three of us?" Ginny asked.
"Yes Ginny, the three of you. As you you, Harry and Ron." Hermione said laughing. "You have to make absolutely sure you're ready to take them though. You only get one chance. If you fail you have to wait and finish with the rest of your class." Food started appearing on the tables and they all began loading their plates.
"Would you be willing to help us study this weekend?" Harry asked. "I know we have the dance on Saturday but we can study a little bit before hand and then on Sunday."
"I'll think about it." Hermione replied, putting a turkey sandwich together.
"Are you going to the dance?" Ginny asked. Hermione shrugged.
"I'm not sure I'll have the energy to be honest, after two straight days of nothing but tests." She said.
"Yeah but that's why you need it. It'll be good for you to relax." Makaria said.
"I can't wait." Ginny said. "It's going to be so much fun." Hermione turned her out as Ginny continued gushing about the dance. It was the one thing they never really had in common. Ginny loved getting dressed up and going to events, and while Hermione was sure she would probably have fun at the dance, she dreaded the idea of spending hours getting ready. Not to mention she hadn't ordered a dress. As she finished up lunch, said her goodbyes and headed back up to McGonagall's office she decided she wouldn't go. After all, what was the point when she couldn't go with who she wanted.
Author's Note: Thanks so much for reading after the awful wait I put you through! What do you guys think? Are you still with me or did you give up? Please let me know if the page breaks don't work!
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