They worked for the better part of the morning in the garden, tending and degnoming it completely. By the time Mrs. Weasley shooed them inside to get cleaned up, they were sweaty and had mud across their clothes, hands and faces. Hermione took the first shower followed by Harry, then Ron and then Ginny. Once Ginny got out of the shower, Mrs. Weasley had some sandwiches set on the table and a note to clean up afterwards.
“So what do you think Professor McGonagall needs to tell us?” Hermione asked the boys while eating.
“I get the feeling that she wants to ask us something more than tell us.” Harry spoke after swallowing his bite of roast beef.
“Well, I think she wants you all to teach. I heard that Madam Hooch was going to retire after last year. Ron will do great with that. And Harry would be the ideal choice for Defense against the Dark Arts. And Hermione, you would be great for History of Magic seeing as that you were the only one to pay attention in that class.” Ginny quipped before taking a bite of her sandwich.
“Ginny, why would we be teaching? We haven’t even passed our NEWTs. I don’t think it would be legal to have us teach since we aren’t even qualified.” Hermione stated logically. “No, I think it has something to do with Hogwarts needing students.”
“That’s our Hermione, always thinking about school.” Ron grinned at her mischievously. She huffed at his statement and turned back to Harry. He looked bewildered at her response.
“I still think she’s coming to ask us to come back. It makes sense. Why wouldn’t she? The heroes of the War going back to school; it’ll help many parents feel reassured about sending their kids back, knowing that Harry Potter is going to be there.” Hermione said taking a small bite of her sandwich and a pensive look on her face. “At least that’s what I think.”
“Would you go back to school, mate; knowing that you’ll be gawked at?” Asked Ron
“Not like I haven’t been stared at for being famous before.” They all rolled their eyes and chuckled at this.
They finished their lunch and cleaned up the kitchen as well as started on the sitting room before McGonagall showed up. As soon as the clock struck one, there was a brief rapping on the front door. Ginny went to open the door as Hermione and Ron sat on the couch and Harry sat on the loveseat. Ginny walked in with Minerva right behind her and sat next to Harry.
“Mind if I sit down?” McGonagall asked as she stepped in.
“Sure. Would you like some tea, Professor?” Hermione asked as Minerva sat in Mr. Weasley’s chair by the fireplace.
“That would be delightful, thank you Hermione. And please, I’m not your professor right now. Call me Minerva.” The older woman said as Hermione swished her wand and the tea tray came floating in and set itself on the side table. She tapped the pot and it started whistling and automatically pouring the tea. “Just one spoon of sugar please.” A spoon lifted up, scooped up some sugar and started mixing it up as the cup floated to Headmistress.
“So what do you want, Professor?” Ron asked without preamble.
“Ronald!!” both Hermione and Ginny exclaim at his rudeness.
“It’s quite alright. I’m here because I need you assistance, all of yours. I just got word from the school governors that Hogwarts is going to be reopened for this next year and that I have been allowed to make some changes to the way it is run, on a trial basis. But to implement some of these trials, I need students.” She looked around, “I can see you aren’t surprised by this.”
“To be honest, Professor, Hermione had thought that was the reason for your sudden visit to us.” Harry stated, shrugging.
“Well, I can’t say I’m shocked either, knowing that brain of yours, Hermione. If we were in school, I would have granted some points.” A smile showed itself on her withered face as Hermione lightly blushed. “Now, I don’t know if any of you read the Prophet anymore, but a recent poll the paper published last week shows that many parents don’t feel that Hogwarts is secure.”
“And you want us to come back for our last year so that, hopefully, parents would be reassured that their children will be safe inside the grounds.” Harry finished.
“Precisely. I know that I can’t force you to come back, but I would like to have your decision soon, seeing as that it will have to be published and some certain modifications will have to be done to the castle. Also, Harry, as well as you other three, if you do choose to come back, a brief statement would be greatly appreciated.”
“I don’t speak for the other three, but I know that I’ll be coming back Professor.” Hermione stated matter-of-factly, “I know I want to finish my last year.”
“I’ll be going as well. I need to finish my NEWTs so I can become an auror. And I’ll keep you to your promise, Professor.” Both Harry and Minerva smiled at that.
“Well if you two are going, I might as well as tag along and finish up my schooling.” Ron said, almost glumly
“Mum would kill me if I dropped out now.” Ginny said. “I don’t think I could stand her huffing around the house, glaring at me.” Everyone chuckled at the thought of Mrs. Weasley doing just that.
“Well then, I’m glad to have you four back on board.” The matron stated with a smile, “I know you don’t want any more publicity, but I would appreciate a statement of why you chose to go back. Also, so you aren’t shocked when you read it in tomorrow’s paper, Ms. Weasley, this last year doesn’t count on your, or anyone’s, record due to sub-standard teaching. That also includes yours’ too, Mr. Potter and Weasley and Ms. Granger.”
“Oh thank Merlin. How did you get that to happen, Professor?” Hermione sighed with relief.
“The governors’ proposed it, actually. I just agreed to it.”
“Oh, Professor, just so you know. The four of us are travelling internationally soon. And we might not be back before September first. Is it okay if we might miss a few days to a week of school?” Harry asked.
“And why would you need to travel and miss school, Mr. Potter?” Her face grew stern in an instant.
“It’s my parents, Professor. Before we disappeared, I obliviated my parents memories so they wouldn’t remember me; So that they couldn’t be used against me, and through me, Harry.” Hermione looked down to the floor, ashamed.
The Headmistress’s face softened a little. “I’m sure that you’ll find your parents rather easily. And if it does take you longer than two months, I understand and will excuse you.” She turned back to the rest of them, “But the rest of you had better be on the Hogwarts Express for the beginning of the term.” Her sternness was back in an instant. “And you all know that you’ll need to have the proper documentation to go internationally since you are all technically students still, and especially you, Ms. Weasley seeing as that you are still underage.”
“It’s already been taken care of, Professor. I just have to visit with Kingsley tomorrow before the Malfoy trials to get the passports and sign a few documents.” He looked around to the bewildered expressions of his girlfriend and best friends. “I’ve been planning this for the last month.”
“How were you funding it?”Hermione whispered
Harry blushed, “I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve been paying out of my own money.”
“How much?” She breathed mentally calculating how much a trip to Australia would cost.
“Not enough to repay for all the loyalty and friendship you’ve shown me, especially with this last year.” Harry said.
“Oh, Harry, you didn’t have to! I would have been able to do it myself.” A few tears dropped from her eyes.
“Have you cleared this with my mum, mate? She’ll go mental if you don’t.” Ron asked.
“Yes, Ron, he already asked. He asked when he came here for the summer. Plus, it’s not just me who’s going, but Mum and Dad are going as well.” Harry shot Ginny a look at what she said, “Oops. Sorry, love, I just couldn’t sit here and hold it back anymore.” She shot him an apologetic smile and he briefly kissed her, letting her know she was forgiven.
“Well, Mr. Potter, it looks like you have everything planned. I guess I’ll be off to the Prophet to let them know that you all will be attending. Good day, and no need, Ms. Weasley, I know my way out. Thank you for the time and tea.” And with that, Professor McGonagall walked out of the Burrow.
“What time is your meeting with Shacklebolt tomorrow?” Ginny asked.
“At 8 in the bloody morning. He said that he has another quick appointment right before the trial that he has to attend to. So it’ll be quick.”
“Are you going to stay for the trial? Asked Hermione, knowingly.
Ron let out a chuckle, “Going to see that prat, Malfoy get the Dementor’s Kiss, eh?”
“Ron!!” Hermione and Ginny exclaimed, but Harry remained quiet.