"So, Hermione..." Her father said as she got back home from fighting Larry, "How'd it go with the whole...magical girl thing?"
"It went really well!" Crookshanks said, "There's nothing you have to worry with me arro-ow!"
"He was asking me you know," Hermione said after she dropped Crookshanks to the ground, "Well dad, it didn't go well."
"Oh, so how bad was it?"
"Well I nearly died multiple times tonight, I witnessed a robbery, got shot at..."
"Ah, that sounds really bad." Her father said.
"So is that really all you're going to say?" Hermione said as she crossed her arms, clearly irritated.
"Er, sorry I'm just a little out of it," Her father said, "Seeing a talking cat kind of...freaked me out a bit."
Her father then tried to smile, "At least I'm taking it better than your mother!"
Hermione tilted her head to see that her mother was still in the dinning room, it seemed as if she hadn't left the room since Hermione left.
"Talking cats exist...what the hell...a talking cat..." Hermione's mother muttered to herself as she rocked back and forth in her chair, clearly effected by seeing a talking cat.
"Yeah, I think she's gone insane now..." Her father said as he scratched at his cheek, "We might need to check her into a mental hospital."
Hermione glared at him, and he sheepishly raised his hands, "What I was joking!"
Hermione sighed, and dragged Crookshanks up to her room while her father tried to drag her mother back to reality.
As soon as she got into her room she locked the door behind her and glared at Crookshanks,
"So what did you mean by, 'This is the tenth one that's died this week?'" Hermione asked him. Crookshanks began to sweat as he tried to think up of a lie that would make him sound good, while at the same time keep her from trying to quit.
"Er, you see this job is really dangerous, and though I've tried my hardest I can't keep everyone alive," Crookshanks began, "I've actually become quite depressed over this, and I drink cheap wine to help me forget the pain."
"Really?" Hermione said skeptically.
"Oh god, the pain is too much for me at times!" Crookshanks cried, "That's why I didn't train you because you reminded me of all the other girls who died under my watch."
"And so that's why I chose you, Hermione, I wanted a shot a redemption!"
"So please Hermione," Crookshanks gave her his best teary eyed look(trademarked), "Will you help a poor soul like me get a shot at redemption?"
"What?! And after I spilled my guts out to you!"
"You mean after you tried to come up with a story to manipulate me into helping you," Hermione said, "After I already saw you trying to abandon me when you thought I was dead."
Damn it, this is why I hate work with preteens, they're not as easy to manipulate as six year olds! Crookshanks thought to himself as he rapidly tried to come up with another excuse.
"I-I'll admit that was stupid of me," he said, "But there's a reason I need your help you see there's this great threat that's coming to destroy earth."
"Yes and it's name is uh, Walpurgis Day!" Crookshanks shouted in desperation, "And it's being controlled by wicked man known as, um, Tom Riddle!"
"I think you have to lie better than that." Hermione said. "Really, 'Walpurgis Day'? 'Tom Riddle'?"
"Uh I think Riddle goes by a different name now, I think he calls himself Moldemort or something?" Crookshanks said.
"You mean You-know-who?" Hermione asked. "Wait his real name is Tom Riddle?"
"Er, yeah You-Know-Who is planning on using Walpurgis Day's power to uh," Crookshanks looked away as he tried to remember the name the wizzards gave to kids who weren't purebloods, "Wipe out all muggleborns on the planet, and then force the muggles into indentured servitude."
Hermione was silent for a while before speaking up, "And there's no one else who can do this?"
"Er, well most of them are out in space remember?"
Hermione sighed, "Fine I'll help, but after we're done-I quit."
Crookshanks shook his head, "Alright then, how about it then-are we partners?" He held out his paw, and Hermione shook it.
And so winter break came and went, Hermione was dropped off at the platform along with Crookshanks who was perched on top of her shoulder. She got a few strange looks as she traveled on the platform, and Crookshanks glared at a man who was walking alongside her,
"What, you've never seen a cat before?" He asked.
The man was so surprised he ended up walking straight into a pole, and collapsed on the ground in fear. The man pointed fearfully at the cat on her shoulder,
"T-talking c-cat..." The man stuttered.
Hermione quickly shook her head, "Um no it's actually a toy, I'm a huge fan of them," She said. "All you have to do is press down on its head and it'll say something."
Hermione hit Crookshanks on the head with her fist,
"Ow!" Crookshanks shouted, "What the hell are you-"
"See sir, it's an ordinary toy!" Hermione interrupted him, "Nothing to worry about!"
"O-oh I see..." The man said as he stumbled to his feet, "I've worked for so long, I'm starting to imagine things..."
The man then stumbled away, bumping into multiple people as he left the station. Hermione sighed in relief and glared at Crookshanks,
"What do you think you're doing; you can't just talk to people like that!" She hissed at him, "You'll freak people out!"
Crookshanks shrugged, "Eh, whatever, so are you getting on the train or what?"
Hermione sighed and put her things away before climbing onto the train. She opened the door to the room she, Harry, and Ron usually stayed in and waited for the other two to show up. Eventually, she heard the door slide open, and the two boys entered the room, though Ron was rapidly reading a newspaper for some reason. It was the most she had seen him read in the two years that she had known him; she was almost impressed that he was taking the time to read.
"Hey Hermione, have you seen this?" Ron said as he shoved the newspaper in front of her face. She took the newspaper and blinked as she found herself on the front page of the paper. The newspaper was an article written about her, and how she had fought Larry the night she had met Crookshanks. The minister himself had even commented on her actions, calling her a glorified faker who couldn't understand the complexities of 'real' magic.
"I wonder who that girl is." Harry said, "I don't think I've ever seen her around Hogwarts before."
"Yeah, I've never seen her either," Ron said, "Maybe she's a first year."
Hermione frowned, "Really you guys can't tell who it is?"
Harry and Ron shook their heads.
"Wait do you know who it is Hermione?" Ron asked in shock, "You should tell us if you know."
"It's me Ron, the girl in the photo is me." Hermione said.
Harry and Ron looked at each other for a few seconds, and then burst into laughter.
"That's a really funny joke Hermione," Harry said, "There's no way that could be you."
"Yeah," Ron nodded his head in agreement, "After all you're not as pretty as that girl in the ph-ow!"
Ron rubbed his shoulder and winced in pain after Hermione hit him on the shoulder.
"Alright fine, I'll show you then," Hermione pulled out her wand and yelled, "Transform!Princess Belle!"
Now in her magical girl outfit, Hermione turned to face Harry and Ron, "Okay now do you believe me-"
"Woah, I think I've gone blind Harry," Ron said as he waved in front of him, "I can't see anything!"
For his part, Harry was hunched over near the corner of the compartment and vomiting, eventually Ron's eyesight returned and Harry stopped vomiting.
"Whoa, when did she get here?!" Ron asked in surprise, "And where did Hermione go?"
Hermione groaned in frustration and transformed back.
"Whoa, where did that girl go?!"