Once again I apologize for the delay, school got the best of me once again. I can say that while I am busy with school that it shows in my grades, I am going really good.
Also, I received some critique on my portrayal of certain characters, I apologize if I came of as I were portraying them unfairly. I will try to improve on that, that said I present chapter seven, written in one day of 'Must. Write. Chapter'.
The mind of a prodigy is a scary thing. Hermione Granger's however is downrightterrifying.
AU. Slytherin!Hermione, Slytherin!Harry
In the end it took Hermione another twenty-seven days for the heated sensation she felt when casting spells to turn into the feeling of pouring boiling water over your hand. After that it took just two days for her wand to explode during transfiguration.
"Miss Granger!" came professor McGonagall's concerned voice over the intake of breaths that both the Hufflepuff and Slytherin side of the class seemed to make while burning ashes seemed to float down to the floor.
The professor hurriedly made her way over to her and Harry's table, "miss Granger, are you quite alright?"
For a few moments all Hermione could do was blink owlishly at the burning remains of her wand before mumbling, "I blew up my wand. Is that even possible?"
Then she took a look at her left hand and her face twisted in one of shock, a good portion of her sleeve had been burned off (or exploded, she quite frankly didn't know) and … she couldn't feel her hand! Her hand was a mix of pink-reddish marks that faded somewhere around her elbow above which were the charred remains of what once was her sleeve.
"Oh dear," the professor said softly, "don't you worry miss Granger, Madam Pomfrey can mend this in a jiffy. I'll escort you to the hospital wing."
The stern-faced professor then turned to the now-silent remainder off the class, "for the next class I want an one-foot essay on the correct way to transfigure metals into wood that can be lit on fire as easily as normal wood. You can go now, I will escort miss Granger to the hospital wing."
"Can I come?" Harry asked professor McGonagall politely, staring up at her with pleading green eyes and the professor found herself nodding.
"Of course, mister Potter, burns are quite easy to fix so it shouldn't take long. Now, off we go."
They hastily walked through the people milling about the doors and then entered the relatively empty hallway. In the end the walk to the hospital wing was rather uneventful, they passed several Slytherins on their way who merely gave them a sneer which Hermione returned with vigour. Harry was silent, his eyes straying to her burnt hands every now and then before he set them straight ahead again.
"I'm fine, Harry," Hermione chastised him with a nudge of her good arm, "I can't even feel anything so don't worry. It actually looks funny, doesn't it?"
Harry mumbled something, sending her a bemused glance before grumbling, "I'm glad you see the humour in it."
"Mister Potter," the professor intervened, "accidents like these happen weekly. Madam Pomfrey can fix almost anything short of dismembered limbs and only for particularly nasty things does she need help from St. Mungo's. But, mister Potter, such things don't happen at Hogwarts unless you try something particularly stupid as jumping from a broom and landing onto the Whomping Willow."
"Such a thing happened?" Harry pondered while Hermione merely looked pensive.
"Oh yes, the poor girl needed to have quite a few bones in her legs regrown as they were in a particularly bad shape and the healers took quite some time fixing her face. I believe she went to work with Abraxan horses after her graduation though she considered being a Quidditch professional as well."
"Excuse me professor, but you can regrow bones?" Hermione said, "and fixing her face? You don't need hours of reconstructive surgeries and face the possibilities of never being able to walk again with those legs ? Or for that matter, how come she isn't dead?"
Professor McGonagall merely smiled and said, "magic."
"But that's not an excuse nor an explanation," Harry intervened with a frown on his face, "it's magic, I get that much, but how?"
Minerva's smile grew wider and decidedly cat-like as she narrowed her eyes in mirth, "oh mister Potter, that's why you're at Hogwarts isn't it? To learn the how's of magic. If you can wait until third year you can take Healing as an extracurricular subject, it is very basic but a good foundation nevertheless for any later studies on healing and a great help for getting an internship in St. Mungo's. Madam Pomfrey teaches the class herself every week and often shares that duty with professor Snape whose mastery of potions makes him the school's supplier of healing draughts."
"We have a class on healing?" Hermione whispered with raised eyebrows, "the books don't mention such a class. And isn't healing supposed to be very hard and potentially life threatening, that's what the books said."
"We do, as well as Ghoul Studies, Earth Magic and Magical Theory and some others. They are mostly thought by your current professors though we have a curse-breaker flooing in for Ancient Studies when it is time for their practical lessons. They are not as well-known as the electives because they are extracurricular, meaning you take them on above your normal workload and they cannot be chosen as an elective. You don't get to take OWLs or NEWTs for them either, your professor decides if you can advance to the next year and during the seventh year you have the option to floo to Amsterdam International Academy of Magic to take your IWPEs, the International Wizarding Proficiency Exams for short."
Minerva cast a warning look at the girl after that, "but that doesn't mean you should start experimenting. The reason healing is discouraged to try on your own is because, like all practical magic, it poses a danger. Given some guidance even the simplest of minds can learn healing, it is considered normal for a witch or wizard to at least be capable of healing minor injuries and fixing simple broken bones. Only serious injuries and magical maladies require professional help."
"Does that mean-" Hermione started enthusiastically before she was shushed by the professor.
"We're here now, go on in."
Hermione and Harry quickly entered the hospital wing where a short, motherly matron quickly hurried towards them, her wand grasped firmly in her hands and a worried frown on her face. Once her eyes saw Hermione's arm the woman let out a sigh.
"Oh dearies," madam Pomfrey said softly as she ushered Hermione to one of the empty beds lining up against the walls, "what happened, dear?"
"I blew up my wand," Hermione recounted with a toothy smile, "completely on accident, of course, and now I can't feel my arm, it doesn't really hurt."
Madam Pomfrey shot Hermione a reassuring smile, "completely normal dear. In cases like this where the injury is mostly a surprise, or an explosion, your magic and the shock numb the pain. Otherwise you would be a screaming mess now, wouldn't you?"
"Does that mean wizards feel pain less than, err, muggles?" Harry asked with another frown, "because wouldn't that be a little too much? We can already do magic, live longer, do things that break all laws and then feel less pain?"
Madam Pomfrey's smile grew even wider as she beamed at Harry before turning back to inspect Hermione's burns, "that's what you would think. Magic is brilliant, we can right so many wrongs and heal so many injuries that it might seem like the perfect solution to everything but with magic comes a whole list of new troubles. The dragon pox can't kill muggles but is very dangerous to us, as is casting magic in general. Didn't professor Flitwick give the example of the wizard that mispronounced a spell and summoned a buffalo onto his chest? Even magic can't save you if that happens, but don't you worry dears, such things don't happen here at Hogwarts."
Harry shot Hermione a faintly distressed look at which she shrugged with her good arm, landing on top of the Whomping Willow sounded pretty bad to them.
Madam Pomfrey then directed her attention to Hermione's arm and with a wave from her wand and a short hum under hear breath she summoned a jar with a soft-pink paste inside. Once the lid was off though the smell of rotten eggs, cabbage and mud assaulted their noses and Hermione shot it a distrusting glance.
Madam Pomfrey, either oblivious to the smell or accustomed to it, gently spread it over the burn with steady fingers, "and if it did, we have a stable floo-connection to Saint Mungo's, but that one is only used in real emergencies. And burns like these are very basic, even though it hurts, so you dearies don't have to worry. I'll have you back up and running in a minute now, though I fear you'll need a trip back to Olivander now your wand is gone."
"I guess so," Hermione agreed with a nod, "but is magic truly that dangerous? Wouldn't that negate the whole 'magical' aspect of having something extra?"
"Yes," Harry piped in, "because, apart from a longer life span, what does it offer us besides potential accidents with spellcasting?"
Madam Pomfrey smiled at them as she banished the jar with a flick-swish of her wand, "you're misunderstanding me, dearies, magic is as dangerous as anything else. Say, we could fly? Yes? Instead of magic every wizard and witch could only fly. That itself poses dangers, you could get caught in thunderstorms, die from lack of oxygen or get hit by muggle aeroplanes."
"Airplanes," Harry and Hermione corrected in tandem, "not aeroplanes."
"My bad," Madam Pomfrey apologized, "but do you get my point? Magic can do miracles, not many and not big ones, but it comes with its own drawbacks. Just like being capable of flying. Incendio can save your life if you need to make a fire, but you can set yourself on fire if you as much as point your wand at the wrong thing, like your sleeve."
Hermione guffawed and Harry smirked, "I take it that happened?"
"Still does," Madam Pomfrey said conspiringly, "more often than you'd think. Now, off you go, you're all done now. Don't strain your arm for a while and I suggest you seek out professor Snape and have him take you to Diagon Alley to buy you another wand."
Hermione nodded gratefully, "thank you, Madam Pomfrey."
Then she slid off the bed and left the Hospital Wing, Harry at her side as Madam Pomfrey watched them go with a fond smile.
"Miss Granger," professor Snape drawled icily as he stared at the two first-years standing in front of his quarters, which were conveniently located near the Slytherin common room so his little snakes could find him were there ever an emergency, "and mister Potter. Such a surprise, what can I do for you?"
"I blew up my wand, professor Snape," Hermione admitted giddily, still finding it rather humorous, "and Madam Pomfrey said I'd have to go to you in order to get a new one."
Severus's eyes narrowed, the little chit blew up her wand. Of all the-, he pinched the bridge of his nose as he glanced at Harry, "and you suppose I have a crate of wands in my quarters ready to be handed out to students the moment they ask for one?"
"No," Hermione said, now slightly irritated, "but she said you could accompany me to Diagon Alley, because I'm a student and you are responsible for me, sir."
Severus merely inclined his head, "Madam Pomfrey is right though, miss Granger, for without a wand you cannot perform practical magic and I do not condone my Slytherins slacking off, be it intentional or accidental. Now, mister Potter, did you by any chance blow up your wand as well?"
"No sir," Harry responded with a toothy, if not slightly fake, grin, "I was wondering if I could accompany Hermione when you leave to get her a new wand?"
The potion's master sighed, James Potter's spawn got on his nerves but he still had an act to perform and a he disliked performing inadequately. "Do you intent to blow up your wand, mister Potter?"
"No sir," Harry said, not getting it.
"Then you have no reason to accompany us, tell the professor of your next class where miss Granger is. I have today's afternoon off, you couldn't have picked a better moment to have your wand explode, miss Granger, I applaud your foresight. Now, off we go, I take it you haven't travelled by floo?"
Harry left, but not before Hermione gave him a reassuring glance before she vanished in the professor's room to use his fireplace.
"Ah, miss Granger," Olivander said patiently as he saw the bushy-haired girl enter his store for the second time, "and mister Snape, I wish I could say it was a surprise but really, miss Granger, I've been expecting your return since you left with a wand so obviously unsuited to you. Fir and a phoenix feather, twelve inches, a waste of a perfectly fine wand, miss Granger, I trust you understand that?"
"Yes sir," Hermione answered immediately, but her heart wasn't in it. She really didn't mind wasting that wand because it wasn't wasted, she used it perfectly fine for the time it was hers, even if she didn't like it.
"Good," Olivander said, not at all convinced, "now. Let's get you a proper match, shall we?"
And that they did, stacks of boxes were pulled from their hiding places in the enormous, ceiling-high shelves as Olivander sought for a proper match. Professor Snape had long since transfigured himself a chair and was rather impassively watching Hermione get matched to a wand with bored eyes.
"Ah, vine, 10¾ inches and a core of a dragon heartstring, give it a wave will you?"
And Hermione did, the wand feeling comfortably in her wand as it produced a few smoky birds that flew around for a moment before dispersing.
"No explosions, or even sparkles?" Hermione asked, rather dejectedly.
Olivander shrugged, "wands express themselves differently. One boy accidentally summoned his cat, another turned the counter into chocolate."
Hermione handed him the appropriate amount of galleons, professor Snape had her floo to her dorm room to get her money because he refused to pay for her, before they left the shop.
"I trust I will not be required to do this anytime soon, miss Granger?" professor Snape asked with a raised eyebrow.
Hermione shook her head, she didn't want to waste any more money on a wand she didn't even really want in the first place.
Thank you for reading.