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Chapter 22: N.E.W.T.S.
Hermione was pulling a brush through her stubborn hair absent-mindedly, while internally hyperventilating at the prospect of being handed back her results for the NEWTs. It didn’t help her nerves that the results would be handed back today. Hermione felt pale, and she dressed quickly, grabbing her bag before hurrying down to the great hall for a bit of breakfast. She hated people telling her that she’ll definitely get perfect marks. It was ridiculous to get your hopes up, and be horribly disappointed when the results weren’t what you expected…
Draco wasn’t nervous. He didn’t care about his NEWTs, since it wasn’t important to his career, as Quidditch teams didn’t give a crap about how many O’s a player received in their tests. Draco knew, however, that Hermione would be completely freaking out. Professor McGonagall had told the seventh years that she would be handing back their test results exactly one week before the end of term.
McGonagall had explained that the NEWT results were given back to the students at school, while OWL’s were sent home during the holidays, as the seventh years would not be returning back to Hogwarts. She also wished to speak with the students about their future careers in the wizarding world.
As Draco walked into the Great hall, he saw Hermione with her face in her hands at the Gryffindor table, while Ginny patted her on the back, while rolling her eyes and saying something to her.
“Hey ladies…Harry” Draco greeted smoothly, before sliding into the vacant seat opposite Hermione. “What’s got your knickers in a twist Granger?” Draco mocked, grinning as she lifted her head to glare at him, before dropping it back into her hands.
“Well, it obviously can’t be the NEWTs; Hermione would neverbe worried about something as ridiculous as test results” Ginny told him sarcastically, while Hermione elbowed her in the ribs, and Draco chuckled.
“Calm down love, I’ll bet you ten thousand galleons that you’ll get an ‘Outstanding’ in all your subjects”
Hermione threw a bread roll at him.
Draco held Hermione’s hand as she hyperventilated the entire way to the great hall. It was just after their charms lesson and McGonagall had announced that she would be handing back the results in break before lunch. Hermione had a hard, flustered look in her eyes, and it amused Draco.
The seventh years sat down in the rows of chairs set up for them, and the nervous tension in the room was so thick it could be cut with a knife. It seemed Draco, Blaise and Harry were the only ones relaxed. Harry already had a secured job as head of auror office at the ministry, so his grades didn’t matter to him. The Ravenclaws seemed to be more relaxed than the rest of the houses, and even the Slytherins were a little tense.
“Abbot, Hannah” Professor McGonagall’s voice called out to the students. Hannah walked shakily up to the podium and was handed a thick cream envelope with the Hogwarts crest stamped on the seal. She retreated to her seats and tried to open it, but with a little difficulty due to her vibrating limbs.
“Bones, Susan” Susan’s NEWT results were levitated to her as she was having trouble stumbling up the steps to collect them.
“Boot, Terry” McGonagall continued reading names and handing back envelopes containing the key to the students’.
After ‘Finch-Fletchley’ and ‘Finnigan, Seamus’ had received their results, Hermione was positively shaking with panic. Draco smirked but squeezed her hand reassuringly.
“Granger, Hermione” McGonagall called and Hermione closed her eyes briefly before trembling her way up to collect her NEWT results. Professor handed Hermione her envelope before offering a small smile at her favourite student.
Hermione made her way back to Draco, who was smiling winningly at her as she fumbled to open her envelope. A thick wad of parchment slid out, and Hermione bent over to study them.
Hermione Jean Granger has received:
Defence Against the Dark Arts: O
Ancient Runes: O
Care of Magical Creatures: O Transfiguration: O
Muggle Studies: O
Hermione let out a huge sigh of relief, and her face broke into a relaxed smile.
“Hermione, what did you get?” Draco peered over and glanced at her results. “See, I knew you would get full marks!” He teased, but stopped as his name was called by Professor McGonagall.
Hermione stuck her tongue at him and dropped her head to rifle through the rest of the papers.
Hermione Jean Granger is eligible to apply for the following jobs:
-Spell Inventor -Potioneer
-Arithmancer -High Inquisitor
The rest of the papers were brochures and applications for jobs that Hermione had expressed interest in. She flipped to the very last page and let out a gasp of surprise.
'The Minister of Magic (Kingsley Shacklebolt) and Headmistress of Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry (Minerva McGonagall) are pleased to inform you that Hermione Jean Granger has placed first in her year in terms of NEWT results. The minister would like to offer Miss Granger a position in his office, or present Miss Granger with immediate application to her selected job interests.
The Minister has also seen fit to award Mr Harry James Potter, Mr Ronald Bilius Weasley, and Ms Hermione Jean Granger an order of merlin first class for their contribution towards the defeat of Lord Voldemort (Tom Riddle Jr.) and for destroying Lord Voldemort’s horcruxes in the process.
Signed Kingsley Shacklebolt, Minister of Magic, Order of Merlin first class'
Hermione was gobsmacked, but excited that she had been awarded such an honour. Draco returned moments later, a smirk set upon his handsome features.
“Well, what did you get Draco?” she asked him curiously, as he sat back down beside her. He handed her his results and she skimmed her eyes over it, to find all O’s except for one E in Herbology. Hermione beamed at her boyfriend and kissed him on the lips. “Congratulations.”
“Thank you, what’s that?” He asked, craning his neck to try and look at the parchment containing Hermione’s order of merlin first class.
“Oh, uh, it’s nothing” she said hastily, shoving the note away into her back. Draco was about to argue but McGonagall had just finished handing back the results had proceeded to speak. Draco closed his mouth and turned back to the professor, but not before shooting a suspicious glare at his girlfriend.
“Now that you have received and read your results for the N.E.W.T.s, you will notice that there are other sheets of parchment accompanying the results. These are the jobs that you are eligible to apply for, and the applications and brochures you will need to read and complete. I have arranged for all seventh years to attend a short meeting sometime throughout the week with your head of house regarding their future career choices. You are dismissed” She said crisply, before turning and walking out of the room. The seventh years immediately erupted in chatter, hurrying to friends to compare results, or to complain about how their family members would react to their scores.
“Hermione!” she turned to see Harry running towards her, with Ron following behind. “I bet you got all O’s so I'm not even going to ask. But did you get that letter from Kingsley?”
Hermione nodded, while Draco turned his head to eavesdrop on her conversation. “What letter Harry?” He asked politely, while Ron frowned at him in distaste.
“Oh, Hermione, Ron and I were awarded Order of Merlin first class from the minister of magic for defeating Voldemort…and Hermione’s probably includes something about her being top of the year…” Harry explained, smiling proudly at her.
Draco turned to grin at Hermione, while she blushed and hastily buried her head in Harry’s NEWT results. She saw that Harry had received mostly A’s and E’s with an O in defence against the dark arts. No surprises there…
“You should go find Ginny; you know she’ll be dying to find out what we got…” Hermione said to Harry and Ron, handing Harry’s results back to him. They nodded and said goodbye to the couple, before exiting the hall, Ron clutching the letter from Kingsley tightly, like it was a precious treasure.
“Let’s go check the timetable for our appointments with McGonagall…” Hermione suggested her cheeks still slightly pink from embarrassment.
Draco took Hermione’s hand and they walked out of the hall to the seventh year noticeboards. Hermione scanned the piece of parchment and identified her meeting as 3:00 tomorrow afternoon with McGonagall, while Draco’s was today after dinner with Snape.
Once Hermione had written down the time for her appointment in her weekly planner, she reached for Draco’s hand, giving him a quick peck on the lips, and they walked back to the common room.
“Good evening Mr Malfoy” Severus Snape’s bat like figure stepped out of his dark office. “Come on in” he suggested flatly.
“Professor” Draco greeted, with a nod of his head in acknowledgement.
“Mr Malfoy, you surely know why you are here. Which career choice most appeals to you?”
“Well, I’ve already been signed by the Puddlemere United Quidditch team, so there really isn’t anything we need to discuss at this meeting” Draco spoke slowly, looking up at his professor, who was, until recently, his favourite teacher. It was as clear as Veritaserum that the potions master did not approve of his and Hermione’s relationship.
“I see. Then I suppose this meeting is over. However, I do have other things to discuss with you Mr Malfoy. Concerning your relationship with Ms Granger; you risk and entire blood line and inheritance. It would be wise to stick with the purity of blood that flows through many generations of your family” Snape began, speaking in a bored tone, but with a stern edge that suggested that this was an order; most likely given by Draco’s father.
“Professor, who I choose to be with, is really none of your business. And Hermione is much smarter, nicer, prettier, and more independent than any of the Slytherin girls. The war has changed my views on blood purity, and I now know that it doesn’t matter anymore. You should also consider thinking differently” Draco replied, before turning and walking away to find Hermione in the library.
“Ms Granger, there you are. I was starting to worry that you had forgotten our appointment”
“Sorry professor, I was a bit busy with homework” Hermione apologised hastily, closing the door behind her and sitting down in the wooden chair opposite McGonagall’s.
McGonagall nodded and said, “I see. Well, Ms Granger, have you given any thought to what you might want to do in the future?”
Hermione nodded enthusiastically. “I was thinking maybe a healer, because the war has really changed my views on everything, and I want to be able to help others that are injured or need help.”
“A healer…that is interesting, I would have thought that you would be successful in the ministry…?” McGonagall’s statement trailed into a question.
“I just don’t think that I could work at the ministry after everything they’ve done to Hogwarts, Harry, Ron and I in our fifth year. I know Harry wouldn’t have applied at the ministry if he hadn’t wanted to become an Auror so badly.” Hermione explained warily.
“I understand. Well, I’ll write a letter to St. Mungo’s with my recommendation for your application. I’m sure that you’ll be accepted, with your excellent grades and- ‘fame’-shall we say- in the wizarding world for defeating he-who-must-not-be-named with Mr Potter and Mr Weasley. Speaking of which, congratulations on your order of merlin…” She smiled one of her rare smiles and offered a blushing Hermione a biscuit.
“Thank you Professor” Hermione said, biting into her ginger newt as she walked out of McGonagall’s office. Hermione smiled and walked to the Library to find Draco for dinner.
A/N: What do you think? :/ Leave a lovely review, and let me know! I'm really hoping to get to 300 reviews by the end of the story, which is in 2 chapters, so, review away! Thanks for reading guys