Authoress Note: I meant to post this yesterday but my date ran a bit long. Went and saw Hansel and Gretal which is worth seeing in 3D and I'm loving my new bright red teddy bear :) The Advanced OWL revision books are my idea, if you would like to use them I am fine with that but credit needs to be given.
The Great Hall was a mess on the morning of February 14th every year and she tended to avoid it if at all possible, stockpiling food to avoid entering the love filled area. This year however was her OWL year and she had let the blasted holiday slip up on her as she had spent most of the weekend in a studying frenzy as OWL's where only three months away.
She woke as normal at six that morning even though she had only gotten four hours sleep, an essay for Professor Victor had won out over sleep the night before, but she still had to edit the research like paper that she had pulled out the night before, but luckily it wasn't due until Wednesday.
Digging through her trunk she found her Hogwarts uniform, slipping into it before gathering up an armload of books she had to return to Madam Prince that morning. When the stoic librarian had gone to close the library up at eleven, Hermione had been hunched over a book while her other hand took notes on a piece of parchment that had long since rolled down the edge of the table. Since Hermione was to be trusted with a book with her life, she was allowed to check out more books than any other student could dream of so she could proceed with her research in the quite of the common room.
Once all her books where gathered and shrunk as well as her notebooks for class that held mountains of notes, from in class as well as outside of class, she added the last of her school books before her stomach growled. Knowing it was quite early even for most professors she made her way to the Great Hall only running into a handful of students who seemed to be wide awake this morning in anticipation for St. Valentine's Day.
She entered the room silently, finding her way to the Griffyndor table before taking her pick of a fruit salad and a yogurt parfait that looked absolutely divine, more so since the dining area was almost dead quite. A glance around her told her if she didn't leave soon however the frenzy would begin, and that was most definitely something she didn't want to be caught in, as a few more students staggered in to breakfast.
One last drink of her orange juice, Hermione grabbed her bag from beneath her and exited the brightly decorated hall that seemed to nauseate her. It was to sweet for her tastes.
The library however was entirely deserted as she spotted Madam Prince setting up for the day.
"Good morning Miss Granger, I take it you got your paper done?" she asked as she checked the thick stack of books that was pulled from Hermione's bag and properly un shrunk.
"Yes ma'am. Well at least the rough draft, I still have to write a final copy today after classes." she said,smiling at the keeper of the books.
"You always are one step ahead of your other students." Madam Prince said, smiling at the young woman that stood before her. "By the way, in History of Magic you're going to have to write a paper about the origins of Valentine's Day. I believe it's only a standard five to six point essay but the books finally came in today, so I assume Professor Binn's will assign it in class today, you'll have until Wednesday to complete it."
Hermione nodded as she pulled out her planner from her bag, jotting down under Monday 'Origins of St. Valentine's Day Essay DUE WENESDAY (Six point)' in the time block for her History of Magic class, turning to Tuesday she added 'Re-read and proofread St. Valentine's Essay' and under Wednesday she added 'St. Valentine's Essay DUE'
"Thank you! This will allow me to start on it once I finish lunch before I go to class, or at least the research for the essay. What's the name of the book?" Hermione asked, prepared to jot it down in the Notes section of her planner for the month of February.
Madam Prince just smiled and handed Hermione a stack of six books, causing her eyebrows to raise slightly.
"All of this for one essay?" she asked as she began to skim the titles.
At this Madam Prince just laughed.
"Heaven's no dear. You'll have an essay assigned by Professor Snape on the properties of Wolfsbane as well as The Draught of the Living Dead, both assigned today and due next class, which is dreadful, two essays for one class is over-kill but the Ordinarily Wizarding Levels has raised their standards again, so he has to cover much more material than last year. An essay on the theory behind the Unforgivable's and why they are named so from Umbridge and for Sprout you'll have another essay on herbologists and their aid to the magical community. I think they'll all be assigned this week so I figured you wouldn't mind a head start on some of it."
Hermione jotted down the four essay topics in the Notes section of her planner once again and watched silently as Madam Prince checked the books out for her, stating that as long as Hermione got them back to her a due date wasn't necessary. As she was about to walk away Madam Prince called her back.
"The other two books are a gift for you for Valentine's Day. I have never met such a serious student as yourself since Professor Snape and Lily Potter where in school. Enjoy them."
With that Hermione was shooed off to her usual table. Once there she then looked at the two books that Madam Prince had gifted her with. The first was 'Advanced OWL Revision: Potions' and the second was from the same series 'Advanced OWL Revision: Arithmancy' her two toughest subjects. A glance in the back of the book told her that there was a book for each course taught at Hogwarts.
Deciding to forgo re-reading her rough draft until later that night Hermione dove into the new potions book before her reading until it was time for Potions.
Double Potions proved as annoying as usual. He offered little help unless someone's cauldron was going to be blown sky high. Harry and Hermione's potion turned out perfectly even if Hermione had to add an extra newt eye to counteract the extra vampire fang Harry had accidently dropped in the potion and sure enough because Griffyndor had lost an excess of one hundred points in that class, or so he said, two essays were assigned, one of which was strictly for theory and the other, Wolfsbane, was going to be covered in the next class.
Arithmancy proved to provide another number calculation that looked like it would more than likely take up many pages of parchment and another sixty pages to be read before the next class with a summary of the reading, as long as it needed to be.
Lunch proved that she could not avoid because of the rumbling in her stomach, lunch would be much worse than breakfast as more people would be awake. Entering the Great Hall she immediately spotted Harry and Ron, Harry was nose deep in a potions book and Ron was stuffing his face as usual.
She sat down in a huff and let her bag hit the ground beside her as she began to load her plate with food, she was hungrier than usually today from a light breakfast.
"Hermione, can you help me on my potions essay, I know which direction I want to take it but I don't know how to word it." Harry asked as lunch ended, they both had a free period until History of Magic with Binns.
"At least you've started on your essay. Ron probably hasn't given his any thought." she huffed as they began the walk towards the library, stopping as the stair case swung the other direction.
"I've learned it's better not to wait until the last minute, at least with qudditch practice."
Hermione smiled at him, glad he had finally learned to budget his time a little better, something he hadn't mastered well for his first few years.
As the entered the library they went to an empty table near the stacks of books that smelled of parchment. Once they settled down, Hermione began the revisions process of her essay from the night before as Harry began researching again for his essay, which at this stage consisted of reading.
Hermione noticed that his notes where all over the page, something that made her cringe.
"If you like I can show you how I format my notes so it's easier to understand." she stated, pulling out her notebook for potions, her neat script flowed across the page.
"I use a format called Cornell. It consists of two columns, the left one is for a summary of your notes and the right side is for your actually notes. The summary needs to be short and to the point, key words, formulas, things of that sort. Where as your notes side is for the actual notes. I divide the paper before class so I don't have to fuss with it in class. The summary at the bottom is a summary of your notes for that page, not the entire class."
As she talked he followed along with a set of potions notes from earlier in the semester.
"Leave room in between your summary points to add more later and for reading clarity, at the end of each class I also tend to do a one page summary on the front of a sheet of parchment."
Harry started in on taking notes again using the format Hermione showed him and found that his notes flowed much smother. History of Magic came and as forewarned an essay on St. Valentine was assigned but there was plenty of room for improvisation on this essay, which made Hermione happy.
After History of Magic it found them back into the library to work on their essays some more before dinner. As dinner came to an end it found Hermione back in the common room long after everyone else had called it quits for the night.
As she was taking a break from one of her essays an owl flew into the open window of the common room, landing in front of Hermione.
She untied the parcel from it's leg, pulling the strings on the brown package that stated it was from Flourish and Blotts. Untying the strings she gawked at the book that lay before her, it was a first edition of Hogwarts: A History as well as the rest of the Advanced OWL Revision set, something that was not cheap.
There was no note with the package but it was obvious who it was from.
Her first Saint Valentine's Day but it would be one she would remember forever.