Silliness written as an homage to "certain cliches" in Hermione-centric stories.
World enough and time
It was an unusually sweltering late-afternoon in June, and every inch of space in the Gryffindor common room was covered with sprawling seventh years, all too exhausted to even think about starting the festivities that traditionally began the minute the last NEWT finished.
"Oi," said Ron, blearily opening one eye. "Has anyone seen Hermione today?"
Harry propped himself up on one elbow and shook his head. "Not me. Hey...you know, I don't think I remember seeing her at all over the past three weeks. She can't still be studying, can she? I mean, Transfigurations was the last NEWT , except for Advanced Tarot Reading, and she didn't take that."
Parvati rolled over on the couch. "She hasn't really been in our room much this term, not that I've noticed. Lav? Have you seen her?"
"Hermione?" Lavender sat up at the other end of the couch. "No...I've barely seen her - not even at night. Honestly, I thought maybe she was . . . well, you know."
"What?" Ron said "Maybe she was what?"
Lavender giggled. "Getting lucky."
Ron scowled. "Not with me, she wasn't."
Parvati rolled her eyes. "Of course not with you, Ron. You're just a boy."
"What's that supposed to mean? Are you trying to tell me I was so bad that one time in sixth year that she likes girls now?"
"Oh, grow up, Ron," Parvati said, rolling her eyes. "You didn't have anything to do with that."
"Harry," Ron whispered with alarm. "Did you know Hermione liked girls?"
"Never noticed," Harry whispered back.
"What I meant," Parvati said, "was that you're too young for her."
"Too young for her?" Ron frowned. "She's the youngest student in our class."
"Not any more, mate," said Seamus.
Seamus grinned. "Have you taken a look at her recently? That's no little girl."
"Of course she's not a little girl. She's seventeen . . . same as the rest of us!"
"I wouldn't be so sure about that," Neville said.
Ron pushed himself up off the floor and crossed his arms over his chest. "Look, if you have something to say about Hermione, then . . . ."
"Ooh, I wondered why my ears were burning."
There, in the entrance to the common room, stood the subject of the discussion herself.
"You all look exhausted. NEWTs must have been worse than usual this time around."
"Must have been?" Harry said, frowning a little. "Didn't you take them too?"
"Oh, of course I took my NEWTs. Fifteen . . .no, sixteen of them, but it seems so long ago now."
"Sixteen?" Ron said. "You didn't take that many classes."
"Of course not," Hermione said with a smile. "But the Ministry, well . . . you know how persuasive Albus can be when he wants something. Minnie thinks he must have been Slytherin back when he was in school."
"Albus?" Ron whispered.
"Minnie?" Harry whispered back.
They stared in tandem at their friend, trying to figure out what was different about her, apart from her sudden ease with calling professors by their first names. She looked the same . . . well, mostly. Her hair looked . . . shorter than it usually did. When did she get it cut? And . . . hmm, no, she couldn't really be taller. Maybe it was an optical illusion. Or a stretching potion?
"Anyway, I just came in to say goodbye to everyone and to wish you well with your results."
"Goodbye?" Harry said. "Aren't you even staying for the feast?"
She shook her head. "I wanted to, but Tonks and I are moving into our new place, and I still have to finish marking the third years Charms essays."
Ron frowned. "Flitwick's got you marking papers?"
Hermione laughed and tiny laugh lines appeared at the corners of her eyes. Did she always have laugh lines?.
"Of course not. You know how Filius is . . . so sentimental. He said he wanted to do all the marking himself in his last term teaching at Hogwarts."
"Flitwick's leaving?" Ron whispered.
"Nobody tells us anything," Harry whispered back.
"No, it was part of my apprenticeship in Charms at Beauxbatons. Monsieur Ibrahim said it would build character or something. I think he just couldn't stand to read another . . . . ."
"Apprenticeship?" Harry asked. "When did you do an apprenticeship at . . . .."
"No wait," Ron interrupted. "You're moving in with Tonks?"
She blushed. "We were going to keep it a secret, but you know what it's like."
"Not since sixth year," muttered Ron.
"Anyway, we're getting a place in Hogsmeade. Tonks can Apparate into London, and it'll be easy enough for me to just walk in to teach."
"You're going to be teaching? Here?"
"Where else would I . . . oh, that's right! I guess I didn't tell you about the job offer."
"Listen, Granger. What's going . . . "
"Mrs. Snape. I know. Not all witches change their names these days, but Severus is such a traditionalist that .. . ."
"You married Snape!!"
Hermione nodded. "Don't ask. It was a different plot . . . not really related to time-turner fics at all."
Ron shook his head, his eyes wide with shock.
Harry patted him on the shoulder. "You look like you could do with a chocolate frog, mate."
Ron sighed. "I think it better be a double."