December 1st

Hermione looked at her timetable skeptically. She had, in fact, been happy to discover that in the one year of training for the Ministry of Magic there were two separate months of vocational school. Although she was 20 and no longer a Hogwarts student, she still enjoyed studying much as ever. But the name of the teacher who would function as the mentor of this year’s group took all the fun out of it immediately: D. Malfoy. There was only one family by the name of Malfoy on wizarding England and she was certain that D stood for Draco. Would she really have to deal with Draco Malfoy as her mentor?

How did he get that job in the first place? She had returned to school for her seventh year after the war and afterwards had taken a year off to travel Europe, to calm her soul and find herself. What had Malfoy managed to do  these past two years that now put him in charge of training new Ministry workers?

Suddenly, she regretted the decision to postpone her vocational education. She only had been gone for two years, but apparently that was enough time for someone like Malfoy to move ahead in his career.

With a sigh she turned to the second page that listed the books she would need for the first month of vocational school. There was still a week left until December 1st, so she would have enough time to buy all of them and get at least a good outline of the topics they would go through. The first two months of her training at the Ministry had gone by in the blink of an eye and now not only the first month of school, but also Christmas was around the corner. She actually had been looking forward to the Advent season; all the snow, Christmas markets - but the prospect of having to deal with Malfoy’s face every day for the next three weeks and, even worse, as his student, was not very promising.

“Lamenting won’t get you anywhere,” she scolded herself as she went to the kitchen with the list of books in her hand. Though, to call it “kitchen” was perhaps an exaggeration for the little corner of her single apartment, where she had her living room, bedroom and the kitchen all in one room. Who would have thought that living in London would be as expensive for wizards as it was for Muggles? With another sigh Hermione grabbed a cup of instant pasta, heated a kettle full of water with a whip of her wand and then watched as the pasta and whatever else was in that cup slowly swelled in the water. If only she were not too lazy to cook.


oOoOoOo


“Good morning,” Draco greeted the little crowd of students in front of him: “I suppose you all know me, but I’ll introduce myself nevertheless: My Name is Draco Malfoy and for this first month of school I will be your mentor. I teach organisation and human resources as you can see on your schedule, so we’ll have the pleasure of meeting every day of the week. Additionally as your mentor I will be responsible for all of your questions, that is what the class on fridays is for. If there are no immediate questions now, I’ll go through the participant list to at least get to know the faces to all of your names.”

Low murmurs followed his speech, but Draco did not care. He had expected - and had been warned about it - that for most people it would be a shock to see him of all people as a teacher for the Ministry. He had been determined not to care about it. His family had been ever so close to ending up in Azkaban, but even though they were able to avoid that, most of their fortune had been confiscated. It had always been his plan to work after school, but now with the changed circumstances he had been forced to.

It was almost ironic that it was thanks to Potter, of all people, that he had gotten this job. If he had not stood up for him two years ago, he would have never been accepted for the one year training at the Ministry. He had been lucky that his own mentor had taken a liking to him and recommended that Draco  become a teacher. He had needed to study like a madman for another year to get the licence, but in the end it had paid off. Not only was he an official teacher now, he was also the direct successor of his own mentor who had retired last summer. So now it was his responsibility to coordinate everything related to the training year. He really was looking forward to it, even though of course he had been very nervous, too. After studying the list of participants for this year, however,  his joy had been instantly eradicated.

Why did Hermione Granger, of all people, have to participate? And why now? What had she been doing those past two years? He had hoped that if he could prove himself as a good teacher, any prejudices against him and his past as a Death Eater would be overlooked and, that he would be seen as a normal, respectable wizard. But with Granger that hope was in vain. He had treated her even worse than Potter, and even Potter had stated clearly that he would help him once, only this one time, and only as thanks to his mother, and that he hoped to never see him again afterwards.

None of these bloody war heroes would be open-hearted towards him, they were too self-engrossed for that kind of tolerance. He already knew that the fact that know-it-all Granger, brightest witch of her age, beloved by all and Potter’s best buddy, was in the first class he would ever teach would be his downfall.

After going through all the names, he put the paper away and scrutinised the ten students in front of him closely. As expected, Granger was eyeing him skeptically, full of distrust and suspicion, but as his eyes took in the rest, his mood got better. The other five female students definitely liked what they saw. Suddenly it dawned on him that it might not be the worst thing in the world to be a teacher for female adult students. No law prevented him from flirting with any of them.

With a bright smile he decided to just ignore Hermione Granger.

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