Hermoine got two letters on her 11th birthday. She also got two visitors. Both where witches. Both told her that she was a witch, and showed her magic. Both invited her to attend their wizarding schools. But she could only go to one. She knew what she chose was risky, but Hermoine was a witch, she could handle it, hopefully.
The first, one Professor Minerva McGonagall gave her a Hogwarts letter and took her to Diagon Alley to get her books for Hogwarts. She then listed all the regulations and limitations that were on her as a witch in a Muggle neighborhood. She had magic but she couldn't use it unless she wanted to be cast out of wizarding society was the gist of it, as Hermoine understood. She still had a year to decide whether she wanted to go to Hogwarts or not, which was nice. At least they weren't telling her she didn't have a choice. Well, they kind of where Hogwarts was the best and only school in Wizarding Britain. Unless she wanted to go abroad to Bulgaria or France, or something like that it was currently her only option.
The second visitor and letter were both magical as well. The second witch, a Mistress Nyx Sicari, was from a new wizarding school, that would hopefully let in young witches from all over the world. The school was going to be built in the sky using magic to hide it from view and to keep it suspended in the air. Ms. Sicari admitted after offering Hermoine admittance to the school that it had yet to be approved by any magical government and that it was basically on a trial run. If Hermoine accepted, she would be going to a school that could fail and if that happened would leave her without a recognized education. Ms. Sicari also told her that if Hermoine attended she would be a trial student whose scores and behavior would help determine if the school, Haven Cross Academy, would be recognized as a formal school. She admitted that the first option of the school being shut down was much more likely than the first as Haven Cross would be accepting anyone with magic from any country. This included witches and wizards, werewolves, werecats, sirens, house-elves, fairies, and veela.
Hermoine had no idea what any of these creatures where. When asked Ms. Sicari seemed quite knowledgable about them. She was a werewolf and as such had been unable to attend a magic school. She had not been able to get wolfsbane a potion that repressed the wolf and had found a way to live with the lycanthropy. She said she had had to learn magic by herself and steal a wand as the wizarding world wouldn't give magical were-wolf children wands unless they were being sent to Hogwarts or another magic school. She explained that the wizarding world looked down on creatures who weren't like them, or who they deemed dangerous.
House-elves she explained to Hermoine had it the worst. Used as slaves by many wizarding households, they were smart and powerful and only served wizards because long ago they had been tricked. Now most of them didn't want to be free because they didn't know any other life. To allow owners of house-elves to let their house-elves attend the school, and the other future teachers had said that it was a course that fixed unruly house-elves that didn't respond to the punishments set to them and that trained young house-elves to be obedient.
Sirens where considered dangerous because they had beautiful voices, though most knew how to control it. To hear her the wizarding world had a lot of bias against people unlike them and like her, witches and wizards that had on-magical parents, or Muggles. Hermoine liked that had called her parents non-magical people instead of Muggles like Professor McGonagall.
And so, even if it was a risk, Hermoine looked at Ms. Sicari and told her she would go to her school and help make the wizarding world more equal for everyone in it, no matter what they were. Ms. Sicari smiled and told her that she would pick her up in a few months from now for the start of the school year started the day after New Years. And would go year round, except for a short break for the summer months if students so chose.
Hermoine was warned that she would probably be one of the only witches and wizards at the school that wasn't a werewolf or werecat, or half veela, siren . Hermoine understood. But if she was going to be looked down on for something, she would rather be looked down on for something other than her blood status. She couldn't believe that Professor McGonagall had forgotten to mention that. Did she want Hermoine to go to Hogwarts totally unprepared? It didn't matter Hermoine told herself, as she was going to Haven Cross, but she couldn't help but wonder what would have happened if she had decided to take the safe route and go to Hogwarts. Probably nothing as exciting as going to school with fairies, and bird people, and other magical creatures. Like those poor house-elves. Ms. Sicari had said that they didn't want to be freed as they knew nothing but enslavement and that some house-elves had good lives. She assumed though that the house-elves being sent to Haven Cross would be the ones from the worst households or those that were young enough to be able to live free. Hermoine hadn't gotten a wand at Diagon Alley, but Ms. Sicari said that one the first day of school a wandmaker from a place called Knockturn Alley would come in and give all the students who needed wands, the chance to have custom made wands.
Hermoine couldn't wait for her first day of school.