“Have a wonderful summer, Professor!”
“Bye, Professor Granger! See you next school year!”
“Enjoy your summer holidays, Professor Granger!”
Hermione managed a, “Thank you, you too!” through her forced smile.
“I’m going to write you a postcard from the Maldives, Professor! By Muggle post! Where should I send it to?” a fifth year girl smiled eagerly at her.
“Hogwarts,” Hermione answered glumly.
She ignored the confused expression on the girl’s face. She couldn’t very well let all of her frustration out on her poor students who had nothing to do with her unfortunate fate. So she ushered the last of her class out of the Charms classroom and walked towards her quarters with a sorrowful sigh.
Summer holidays for her were essentially cancelled.
This may come as a surprise, but despite being an overachiever and workaholic for the majority of her life, even Hermione Granger needed time to unwind every now and then.
But seeing as she and her - admittedly favourite - colleague had “volunteered” (meaning: their names had been drawn from the Sorting Hat) to do so, the two of them were tasked to supervise and teach summer school. Originally, this had seemed like quite a good idea from a pedagogical perspective, so she had nodded enthusiastically when the Muggle Studies professor had found the idea in a magazine and presented it during a conference. Only problem was, she hadn’t expected that she would be one of the professors staying at Hogwarts and teaching those students who had received either Dreadful or Troll on their O.W.L.s or N.E.W.T.s, or had spectacularly flunked their end-of-year exams.
For the first time since its opening, the school was offering about fifteen pupils the chance to retake their exams after they spent their holidays in remedial review courses. Muggle schools had been enforcing similar practices for decades, but reforms tended to be very slow in the wizarding world.
Didn’t mean Hermione wanted to be a participant and witness their studying.
Her mood hadn’t brightened the following morning, especially not after she had said goodbye to the Headmistress.
Minerva had left for Tahiti - probably to relax on the beach, cocktail in hand, and a bunch of exotic males seeing to her wishes. She had kissed Hermione goodbye on the cheeks, adding, “I left you a little whisky reserve in my study, my dear. You won a war; you can handle a bunch of students and one adult professor in an isolated castle for a few weeks.”
Easier said than done, Hermione thought and poured herself some much-needed coffee.
“By any chance, do you know a charm that can help us?” Her highly valued colleague sat down next to her, routinely taking the coffee pot from her hands and pouring himself a generous portion of the wondrous liquid - only to add unhealthy amounts of sugar and cream to it. Such a terribly sweet tooth he had.
“I do, but I hate to disappoint you. Turning our students into ferrets isn’t actually an option.” She didn’t even try to mask the sarcasm from her voice.
He answered with a charming smile, making her morning only an iota better. “Granger, Granger, do I hear bitterness in your delightful voice?”
She rolled her eyes.“Yes. Because, believe it or not, I did have plans for the summer that didn’t include teaching.”
“Research? Writing some papers? A bit of educational travelling and meeting your ‘best friends’?”
Were it not for his teasing tone, she would have socked him on the shoulder, but instead, she tried to figure out when she had become so transparent to Draco Malfoy. Of course, she wouldn’t very well tell him that he was too spot on with his theories.
Thankfully, he changed topics. “Be grateful, Granger, that this summer the great Draco Malfoy is by your side. It could be worse than me, right? You could have ended up with a flowery Longbottom or even dear, cheery Severus. I, on the other side, am at least a joy to look at.”
She pretended to ponder something, tilting her head and adopting a far-away expression.
“Ewww, don’t tell me you have a crush on Longbottom!”
“Who says I thought about Neville? Maybe it was Severus I dreamt of?” she deadpanned, and Draco almost choked on his richly buttered croissant.
Hermione giggled, glad to have distracted him. Because Draco was right again, he was incredibly handsome, and she had caught herself staring at him more than once in the past year since he had started teaching at Hogwarts. And it wasn’t only his exterior that she found appealing. Despite their exchanges consisting of ninety-five per cent teasing and banter, and only five per cent real arguments, they got along surprisingly well. He was well-read, intelligent, and an excellent teacher.
Besides Neville and Severus, he was the only available single, adult male at Hogwarts. And as much as she appreciated the two of them, her relationship with them would always be strictly platonic. That, upon reversion, didn’t automatically mean she had to fall for Draco. Not at all.
The truth was, Hermione had planned various activities for her summer. There was this article she wanted to write about the combination of arithmancy, charms, and potions. She wanted to visit her parents (and ignore their not-so-subtle hints that they wished her to settle down). She wanted to see Harry, Ginny, and Ron (and maybe Lavender too, on a good day). With her friends came her godchildren, James and Leo, and it was Aunty Hermione’s damn job to spoil them rotten. Also on her list was spending the long summer evenings in the garden of the Burrow with too much wine and hopefully a relaxing tryst with Charlie Weasley. The dragon tamer and she were friends with benefits, nothing more, but she wanted to enjoy those muscles and tattoos and his entire… Charlieness .
Sighing, she pulled herself from her fantasy and back to the reality of the Great Hall. The students they were to supervise sat at one round table, the house system making even less sense now. Some of them looked like Hermione felt; others were boisterous and cheery like pupils usually were on holidays. When one boy emptied a carafe of pumpkin juice over a girl’s blonde head, she groaned and looked at her colleague. “Draco? Pour me another coffee, please. Looks like I’m going to need it.”
Like Hermione, Draco had imagined his summer differently. Though, his plans were not as different from hers as one might think. He wanted to spend the summer handling the family affairs, catching up with the casual sex he didn’t get throughout the school year, and getting wasted with his friends and a cigar in hand.
Settling in his favourite leather armchair next to his personal fireplace, Draco swirled the firewhiskey in its tumbler. He really missed his gentlemen’s time with Blaise and Theo, even with Theo and Daphne being inseparable these days. They were newly engaged and their clinginess was to be expected, or so Draco supposed, having zero experience with long lasting, serious relationships.
But with Daphne came Astoria, and having snogged her heavily during her sister’s engagement party a few weeks ago, he was looking forward to indulging in a bit more of her sweetness in the privacy of his bedroom. Maybe she was the witch he would settle down with? He didn’t know, nor did he plan to actively pursue that road.
As if on cue, his Floo activated, and the face of Blaise Zabini appeared in the flames. Without further introduction or greeting, Blaise started to speak.
“Mate, we expected you to have already stumbled through the Floo by now!”
Draco rolled his eyes, a habit he had adopted from his bushy haired colleague; because, sometimes, an eye-roll conveyed so much more disapproval than a rise of eyebrows. “As much as I want to get wasted with you in your villa in Italy, I’m afraid I have to work.”
“But the school year ended, didn’t it?”
“Blaise,” Draco growled, “are you dating a girl still at Hogwarts?” As much of a ladies’ man as he was, Draco wouldn’t ever consider a girl he teaches. Disgusting! He felt his protective teacher instincts roaring red alert.
”Fuck, no! Not even I am that needy!” Blaise retorted. Draco released the breath he didn’t realize he had been holding, knowing Blaise wouldn’t lie so blatantly at him. “I saw Snape’s robes billowing on Diagon this morning, so I assumed your year was over.”
“It is,” Draco nodded, “but I’m stuck here. It’s a new concept called summer school. I’m teaching over the summer.” To articulate his role as a teacher out loud was still new to him, even after a year of it.
That caused him to snort amusedly. “Salazar, no! Granger is here with me.”
“How did that happen?”
Draco shrugged. “Bad luck for both of us, I suppose. Though, she’s not as frenetic as one might expect. We got along quite well over the year.” He didn’t want to tell his friend that he and his brunette colleague got along excellently most days.
Blaise looked at him as if he wasn’t right in the head. “You sure you’re not Head of Hufflepuff, are you?” He pondered a while then surmised, “Or is it that you actually don’t mind being stuck in that old castle with a pretty, female professor?”
“Blaise! We’re not having that kind of relationship! We’re colleagues,” Draco replied. Even though he maybe wasn’t entirely truthful here. But that was just between him and his brain, and, sometimes, between him and his cock.
“How boring!” Blaise responded, but he didn’t look entirely convinced.
“Well, you might not be familiar with this concept, but it’s called growing up!” Draco smiled.
After a bit more small talk, Draco and Blaise said goodnight, and the former started to prepare for bed.
He had to work tomorrow, after all.