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Hermione Prepares for Her New Assignment

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Hermione looked around the classroom with satisfaction. All the posters were exactly in place: the circulatory system, the water cycle, the specimens of Order Lepidoptera, the structure of soil. Pasted to the ceiling were glow-in-the-dark constellations, measured for relative accuracy of scale, of course.

Minerva McGonagall would be aghast at the lack of leather-bound tomes and cauldrons. Hermione had tried to explain her calling to the Headmistress, who despite all of her vast experience with secondary schooling generations of wizarding children had little concept of muggle education. The wide windows, bright colours and uncluttered spaces of a muggle classroom would be mystifying to her, as would be the idea of allowing children to attend classes in mufti. She could picture it now: Minerva looking at the riot of colours and patterns of the students’ shirts and backpacks, and exclaiming, “But how will you ever know what House they are in?”

Hermione would forever be indebted to her former father-in-law Arthur Weasley, for assisting her with obtaining her joint degree in both wizarding advanced studies in Transfiguration and a muggle degree in Education with a Primary focus. She had trained whenever she could with Harry Potter, asking him to conjure Boggart after Boggart, which took on the appearance of snotty-nosed spoilt American brats who wouldn’t behave. Harry admitted after a particularly gruelling session that they all looked like his cousin Dudley Dursley to him. Hermione had perfected the skill of deflecting all of their impertinence with a heartfelt laugh and a thorough discussion of the facts of the lesson (she admitted to herself that that was her favourite part).

At least she could still talk to Arthur, and to Harry. When her differences with Arthur’s son Ron came to a head and they decided to separate, these two understood and supported her. Arthur expected reports on the muggle education system, and Harry expected…nothing at all, except her happiness. Ginny wore her neutrality as a protective shield, and did her best to keep the peace. It had even been Ginny’s idea for Hermione to try teaching in America, where she was not known in the wizarding community as she was in Britain. So Hermione had transformed herself, shedding her name while keeping her mane, using her grandmothers’ names of Valerie and Felicity and allowing her singularly frizzy hair to dictate her surname, Frizzle.

Noticing the time, she called out, “time to go in the bag, Liz!” Her lizard Elizabeth Savannah scurried into her handbag. Poor old Crookshanks would never have done that, Hermione mused. She had just enough time to check on the magical mooring of her master’s thesis project: a transportation and transfiguration envelope spell that could accommodate several people at once. She had been inspired to give it the shape of one of the yellow buses that were used to transport the children to and from American schools.

The children filed into the classroom, finding their names on desks and placing their bags next to them. Wanda. Carlos. Phoebe. Keesha. Ralph. Arnold. It was a lot less ceremonious than arriving via carriages drawn by thestrals, but she could at least match the names on her roster more easily this way. Later they could arrange the desks however they preferred, but for the time being this would work.

These children would never have a magic hat to tell them exactly where they belonged, but Hermione “Valerie Felicity Frizzle” Granger vowed to let them find that out for themselves using whatever powers she possessed.