Another ficlet inspired by a Skillet song. Yeah, I have no clue where I come up with this shit either. Just nod, smile, and back away slowly before I gnaw on your face.
'We're taking over the world,
We're the Alien Youth.
We're coming for your souls,
We're gonna, we're gonna…
We're gonna shake the world,
We're the Alien Youth.
We're taking over, over, over…
How could this be happening to her? HER? The brightest witch of her generation, according to most of her professors?
She, Hermione Jane Granger, had failed her NEWTs. Every last one of them. Not even Muggle Studies had fielded a passable grade for her. How had that happened? Was she lying in bed in the Hospital Wing, suffering from some sort of nightmare-inducing curse?
Sadly, she knew exactly how it'd happened. Harry had done his best to convince her to return to Hogwarts, reminding her numerous times that hunting down horcruxes and fighting Voldemort and his Death Eaters wouldn't exactly leave her time to study. She'd waved off his objections, secure in her assumption that between her own knowledge and the practical experience, her NEWTs would be no problem.
She'd been wrong.
"You too, huh?" Harry flopped down next to her on the couch, holding his own results letter. "Well, at least this means I'm not going to be the only hero of the wizarding world stuck repeating their seventh year at Hogwarts."
Ron laughed and perched himself on the armrest of a chair across from them. "Yeah, but you and me are stupid, Harry. Hermione's not. And you two can have fun with that. The Chudley Cannons don't care that I flunked all my NEWTs, and I'm not repeating my seventh year when I can get paid to play Quidditch."
Scowling, Hermione tried to decide if she could lash out at Ron for admitting he was an idiot without further insulting Harry. After a moment's contemplation, she realized it wasn't going to work and so she tried a different tact. "Yes Ronald, and when you fall off your broom and your career is over at 25… you'll end up working for your brothers while Harry and I have successful careers. We'll see how important education is then, won't we?"
"Not falling for it, Mione." Laughing again at the forlorn expressions on his friends' faces, Ron hopped to his feet again. "Well, I'll leave you two to discuss your eighth year. Gonna see if Ginny wants to go out back and fly for a bit."
Hermione watched him go and then slouched down on the couch, leaning against Harry. "Can't believe we flunked. Especially Defense Against the Dark Arts. You defeated Voldemort! I helped! How did we flunk?"
"Oh, cheer up little emo kids. School isn't that bad, is it? At least this way, Ginny and I will have company."
The Texas twang, so foreign compared to even Hagrid's mangled English, made Hermione look over at the doorway. Standing there was… "Illyria." There was something off about their mercurial ally, and it took Hermione a moment to spot it. Well, apart from the fact that the woman had raided Ginny's school trunk and was wearing a Hogwarts uniform.
The woman was now a girl. Illyria had regressed from someone in her mid to late twenties, to a girl barely their age. A bit younger, probably. Ginny's age? Her brown and blue hair was pulled back into two pigtails, exposing more of the icy blue patches of skin along her hairline. The entire effect was… bizarre. "Why are you dressed like that? And what do you mean about having company?"
"I find myself growing curious about the magical energies that your kind channels. They seem like droplets of the river of power I used to possess." Illyria's warm, friendly voice was gone, replaced with the harsher tones Hermione was used to. "Your headmistress desires protection for the castle to ensure none of your dark lord's pitiful minions attempt vengeance, and asked me to stay for at least one year. I have elected to join the student body and study your magic, and needed an appropriate disguise to do so."
That made Hermione's blood run cold. After the final battle, she'd done some… okay, a lot of research on their new ally. What she'd found frightened her. A monstrous god-king from human prehistory, compressed into the form of a human woman who could shrug off spells up to and including the Killing Curse, and dismember people with her bare hands. And she was now going to be joining them at Hogwarts?
Harry managed to sum her thoughts up for her rather succinctly. "Hogwarts is so incredibly buggered…"