* * * Starring * * *
Can't Fight the Moonlight
"Episode Two" Copyright © 2008
Copyright © 2008
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters created originally by TVM and are copyrighted to him, any reposting or archiving without written permission is an infringement on the copyright of this series. So in other words You damn well better ask before you steal it.
Feedback: Every author in his or her own way makes it a point to ask for feedback when posting a story, well me I don't usually. But there are several reasons as to why a reader should consider taking the time to give it. The simple fact is that giving some form of feedback is truly the most important thing a reader can do after reading and enjoying a story. Hopefully in the process providing that author with at least one viable reason as to what you liked about the story. This small amount of time spent will no doubt inspire the author to write more and possibly at a quicker pace, knowing that they have a fan base who are waiting on their next works. So thanks for the feedback and please keep it comin.
Original Airdate: June 30, 2008 @ 9:30 p.m.
(following an ALL NEW 'Scent of a Girl')
Story Codes: no sex
Like always, Hermione woke early. Ron was still snoring and Hermione knew better than to wake him and to deal with his morning temper. She had learned that lesson over the last year. Living together with Ron was something she had dreamt of for many years, but it sure wasn't an easy thing to do.
They now lived in 12 Grimmauld Place. They had moved in there together on the autumn of 98, a few months after that glorious night when Voldemort had been defeated. With Harry still at Hogwarts he didn't need it, so he rented it to them very cheaply. Harry had offered to let them stay there for free, but Hermione had insisted that they at least pay something.
Hermione sat by the window and looked out at the city slowly waking up to another day. To the muggles it was just another day, but to the wizards it was very important day. Today was the one year anniversary of the fall of Voldemort. It was to be celebrated with a huge feast up at Hogwarts. Ron and Hermione were guests of honour along with all the other people who had fought the Dark Lord and his Death Eaters. The feast was of course something Hermione very much looked forward too. It was to be the first time in many months to relax.
Hermione had been busier than ever since last fall when she got her new and very prestigious job. She had been appointed to be the personal assistant to the minister of magic himself, Kingsley Shacklebolt. His appointment had been temporary at first, but it had soon been reaffirmed by a very grateful wizarding community and a Wizengamot, now filled with members of the order and their followers. These days members of the order, the DA and others who had fought in the battle were regarded with awe and respect.
Hermione had been offered the job as his assistant right away when he was appointed. She had however turned him down at that moment. She still had a year of education at Hogwarts to go through and she didn't want to have people believing that she got her position simply because she knew Kingsley. Instead she had worked harder than ever before and managed to go through all the courses of the last year in just a few summer months. Even with this tough pace she managed to get very high grades. Only after that did she accept to take the job. The job itself had been just as hard. There were a lot of things to sort through. Voldemort's rule had caused a lot of damage and all that had to be taken care of. There were so many hurt that they had to increase capacity at St. Mungo's. Countless muggles had been exposed to magic thanks to the carelessness of the Death Eaters which meant that memory charms had to be performed on a massive scale. Ancient protective spells had been lifted and had to be redone. Other evil spells had to be reversed both within the ministry and in other places. Trials had to be held for death eaters and those who had helped them, not to mention that they had to be caught first. These and many other problems had to be dealt with.
The workload Hermione had taken on was immense. Kingsley was far too kind to force her to work more than a regular work week; Hermione however would have none of it. She usually put in around twelve hours a day six days a week. That last free day of the week was only because Ron insisted. He had been complaining a lot about not seeing her enough. Hermione couldn't really blame him for that, but she still felt that her work had to take precedence. As the summer approached things had started to clear up a little. Most problems had been dealt with and things started to go back to normal. This didn't stop Hermione from working all the time however. She had become quite used to it and she kept it up.
Ron would probably have complained a whole lot more if it wasn't for the fact that he too had a good job. He was now working full time in the joke shop with George. It was a job that suited him well and that he thoroughly enjoyed. Hermione had mixed feelings about it. On the one hand she had wanted Ron to finish his education, but that would have meant that they couldn't live together. Hermione had been determined to work with Kingsley so this was the only solution if they were going to live together. There was another thing to consider as well. Naturally George had been hit harder by the death of Fed than anyone else. Having Ron working with him was obviously a good thing. After Fred Ron had been the brother George had been closest to. During the spring he had started to very slowly revert back to his old happy self.
The more Hermione thought about the day ahead of her the more she was starting to look forward to it. She thought about all the people she looked forward to seeing. She was going to meet Harry and Ginny for the first time since they had spent Christmas at the Burrow. Harry had decided to spend one more year at Hogwarts so that he could finish his education. He had also wanted to spend more time with Ginny. They had graduated yesterday but stayed in the castle in anticipation of the big celebration. Hermione was very curious about their N.E.W.T.S, but had not yet had the chance to interrogate them.
It wasn't just Harry and Ginny she missed of course. There was Neville who would come back from his stay in Brazil. He had spent the last year in the rain forest, studying plants. He, along with his grandmother had briefly visited the burrow on Christmas. He had been very different from the Neville she used to know. He was glowing with confidence and he had acquired a very nice tan. Hagrid had been fired from his teaching job and was back to being gamekeeper, but from what Hermione heard he was quite content with that. Hermione missed is childish optimism and end even found that she missed his dangerous creatures. She hadn't been very happy about his recklessness in the past, but she had to admit that it was exciting to meet all those animals.
Minerva was another person who Hermione missed. She had never spoken much to the boys about her deep admiration for the Headmistress, they thought her too strict. Hermione however rather appreciated that quality. Minerva was a strong and confident woman who commanded great respect with her mere presence. There had been many occasions during the years at Hogwarts where Hermione had spoken with Minerva. Mostly it had been about purely academic matters, but there had also been the occasions where Minerva had given valuable advice about the difficulty in being a strong woman in a world still very much dominated by men. But the one she looked forward to seeing the most was Luna. Hermione had always been somewhat irritated by the strange opinions held by the young Ravenclaw. At the same time however those strange opinions posed a great intellectual challenge that Hermione loved to take on. She was still convinced that most of what Luna said was complete bollocks, but she did love debating. It wasn't just that she missed however.
The two had grown very close during their stay at Bill and Fleur's last year. Not only did they share a room, they also shared the potentially traumatizing experience of being tortured at Malfoy Manor. Luna had been quiet about it at first, but Hermione had insisted that they talk about it. Luna hadn't been interrogated like Hermione. Instead she had been subject to random cruciatus spells whenever one of the Death Eaters had felt like it. Fortunately the Narcissa and to some extent Draco had made sure that nothing worse happened. Luna seemed to have gone relatively unscathed through it and Hermione had commended Luna for having the bravery of a Gryffindor to witch the younger witch simply responded by giving Hermione a serene smile.
They also had another very personal conversation a few days later. Hermione had hesitated to bring it up, but she felt it was better she told Luna than anyone else. She had told Luna about the events that had taken place in Luna's home. Hearing that had been devastating for the younger girl. She had broken down completely, crying and begging Hermione for forgiveness. The usually so calm and serene Ravenclaw had lost it completely. Hermione had not really known what to do. She had just held Luna in a tight embrace, while whispering soothing words. It had helped apparently, because the crying had subsided and Luna had fallen asleep. Hermione had tried to untangle herself from Luna, but it had been impossible. Hermione actually found that she liked being so close to Luna. She had slept great that night and woke up happy and refreshed.
A warm smile graced Hermione's face as she thought about the younger girl. She really, really was looking forward to this day.
A few hours later Hermione found herself on the train to Hogwarts. They could just as easily have apparated to Hogsmeade and walked from there, but Ron had wanted to take the train for old time's sake. Hermione and Ron shared a coupe with George, Neville and the Parvati twins. Ron and George were filling Neville in on their work in the shop. Hermione knew all about that so instead she turned to Padma.
"So, one year of Auror training complete. Has it been what you expected?" Hermione asked.
"It has been really good. A lot of hard work of course, but I've done alright." Padma answered.
"She's just being humble. She's done great. She's aced almost all her tests and she has even helped capture a Death Eater." Parvati beamed with a proud smile on her face.
"Yeah, I heard something about that from Head Auror Williamson. Tell me how it was." Hermione said.
All attention now turned to Padma.
"Well, it was a week ago or something. With so many Aurors in Azkaban either as prisoners or as guards, they decided I could come with. Normally they don't allow that until the last part of third year in training. It was no big deal really. It was just the guy they had appointed to run St. Mungo's. He wasn't dangerous really."
"Still, he was a death Eater and you helped catching him." Parvati filled in. Padma received a round of praise from the others in the coupe. They were all obviously very impressed and wanted to know more. Padma described in detail for a rapt audience how it had happened. Of all the students in their year two had been accepted into Auror training. Padma was one and the other was Ernie McMillian. The fact that they were in the Battle of Hogwarts had certainly helped, but they both had the formal requirements as well. Hermione had run into them on occasion at the ministry, but with her workload she didn't really have them time to talk much.
"I suppose Harry will start Auror training now that he is done at Hogwarts." Padma asked in an attempt to move focus away from herself.
She looked at Hermione and Ron, waiting for an answer.
"I'm sure he will. He hasn't said anything, but he's just gotta do it." Ron said confidently.
"I'm not so sure. I think he would have mentioned it if he was going to do it." Hermione said.
"Nonsene, Why wouldn't he be an Auror?" Ron retorted.
"I'm just saying he might be tired of fighting dark wizards."
Ron just rolled his eyes and an uncomfortable silence spread in the coupe.
"Hey, You wanna see my latest invention?" George asked and broke the silence. He took out a small box with what looked like candy in it and held it out.
"Go on, it is completely safe and the effect wears off in a few minutes." There was a moment of hesitation before Neville took one and put it in his mouth.
"Tastes normal. Seems Ok."
Then his head started to slowly swell. It swelled and became about one meter wide and then Neville started to slowly float up in the air until the roof stopped him. He laughed heartily so it was obvious there was no pain. The others laughed as well. Hermione however could only manage a small smile. She was still miffed at Ron for his behaviour.
Fortunately they didn’t have much longer before they reached their destination. They all filed out of the train along with wizards and witches in all ages. This was obviously no normal trip to Hogwarts. The station was crowded with people and it was impossible to see anything. Fortunately George had an idea. He handed out another round of what he called “airheads”. Hermione looked apprehensive, but George assured her that they would be able to steer once they took air. They all took one and soon the six of them had giant heads and were floating a meter or so above the crowd. Some turned to watch, but most were to busy sticking together or finding someone in the crowd.
“Hey. Take one of these and follow” George shouted.
The others looked and saw Harry, Ginny and Luna not very far away. George threw the box in their direction. Luna saw them and started to laugh so much that a lot of people turned to her rather than the giant headed floaters above their heads. Luna was first to take one and quickly joined them. Harry and Ginny followed suite and soon all nine were soaring towards Hogwarts. Luna’s continued laughing proved contagious, even to Hermione who still hadn’t forgotten about how Ron had acted. The short trip to Hogwarts went smooth and the effects ended slowly so that they all could make a smooth landing near the lake.
Hermione looked up at the castle and was happy to see that it was fully restored to its old glory. But that wasn’t what really caught her attention. What was new was the huge wooden platform on the lawn. It was covered with what looked like hundreds of fully set tables. There was also a stage decorated with flowers.
Above everything was something that Hermione had never seen before. It looked like a huge glass ceiling and it was hovering in the air above the tables and the stage. The rays of the sun were reflected and redirected in the patterns in the ceiling and split up into elaborate rainbow patterns on the ground.
“It floats in the air and will keep everyone dry if it rains. Professor Flitwick did it and he let all us Ravenclaws help. It is so big that you need the magic of ten people to make it. I even got to help design it.” Luna proudly explained. Hermione and the other’s stared in awe at the ceiling and the patterns.
“It is so beautiful, Luna.” Hermione said.
“Yes, it is.” Luna said.
Hermione thought she saw just a hint of blushing on Luna’s pale cheeks. All the other’s chipped in and praised Luna too.
“You know the others have helped too. Harry for instance has come up with a new spell to help security.” Luna said.
“You have? A new spell? What kind?” Hermione asked, always curious about new inventions.
“It’s just a modification of the patronus spell really. Now the patronus can patrol all on its own.” Harry explained.
“You just have to come join us in the Auror department.” Padma exclaimed.
“Well actually, that kinda brings me to something I wanted to share. I just got a job.”
All eyes turned to Harry. Even Luna and Ginny seemed to be surprised.
“I haven’t told anyone yet. I just got to know this morning. McGonagall called me to her office. She had ordered a quick grading of my NEWTS. It was quite good so she offered me…to become Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher.”
“Congratulations!” Hermione exclaimed and threw herself in Harry’s arms giving him a fierce hug.
The others followed congratulating Harry to his new job. All except Ginny that was.
“You wanna stay here!? At Hogwarts?” Ginny asked in a sour tone.
“Well yeah. This is my favourite place in the world. The job is great. You know how much I liked it in the DA…”
“You didn’t think to mention it to me.”
“I just got it, two hours ago. I wanted to tell everyone at the same time.”
“I’m your girlfriend. You just …aaaaaaaargh” Ginny growled and then she stormed off.
“I better…” Harry said and set after her.
An awkward silence spread in the group.
“How about we go find the parents.” George suggested.
Ron quickly agreed and the two set off.
“That was very thoughtless of Harry.” Parvati stated.
“Yes, perhaps so. But you saw how happy he was about the job. He obviously wants it. I know he’ll be a great teacher.” Hermione said.
“If you’re really committed to a relationship you put your loved one before a job.” Parvati retorted.
Hermione fell silent. Not so much over the whole Harry/Ginny thing, but because she herself had valued her job over Ron during the last year.
“But some jobs are very important.” Padma said.
From there things evolved into an argument between the twins. Padma argued that you had to focus on your job in order to be happy about yourself so that you could have a good relationship. Parvati argued that you had to have a functioning love life in order to perform a good job. Hermione briefly considered leaving the two squabbling siblings to their own when they suddenly got company. Ernie MacMillian and Justin Finch-Fletchely joined the group. Padma broke off the argument to greet her fellow Auror in training.
“So, Ernie. First year of training over. How do you feel?” Hermione asked.
“What can I say. It’s been so tough. Well worth it though. Especially with that
Death Eater we got to catch. I reckon Padma has told you all about it.”
“More like I told about it. She is so humble.” Parvati said and gave her sister a friendly squeeze.
“I’m very happy for you. And how has it been for you Justin? First year a teacher at Hogwarts? Hermione said.
“You’re a teacher now?” Parvati asked.
“Yes, I’ve been teaching muggle studies for a year now. There’s been a lot of catching up to do. Obviously the year before I started was a complete waste. It was worse than a waste in fact since it was hate propaganda being taught. Most students didn’t listen of course, but some of that vile hate speak still seeped through. Fortunately Professor Burbage had done a good job, teaching the students. ” Justin explained.
At the mentioning of Professor Burbage the group fell silent. So far it had been a happy event, but now they were all reminded of the horrible fate of the teacher. Hermione felt herself tearing up. She knew very well that she herself had been close to such a fate in Malfoy manor. Luna closed in on Hermione and put a comforting hand on her shoulder. It was a small gesture, but it was very helpful. Hermione put her hand on Luna’s and looked into those wide silvery eyes, finding comfort and understanding. The whole group shared a moment of silent remembrance, not only thinking about Professor Burbage, but about all those who had died at the hands of Voldemort and his Death Eaters.
I have wanted to read this fic for a while, but hadn't because I hadn't finished the last Harry Potter book yet. I fnished it yesterday and jumped right into this. Very pleased with the beginning and interested to see how it unfolds.
Monday Night on...
* * Guest Stars * *