a/n this is a sequel to disenchanted lullaby, by me strangely enough, so if you want you can read that one first but if you don't want to you should be able to read this as a stand alone story, I'm looking at about seven chapters I think….Love as ever paula-lou.

She looked at the familiar walls that surrounded the overly complicated grounds of her childhood. The familiar feeling of belonging floated across her, along side the shadow that fell across the stone work. "People will start talking about you!"

She turned and flung her arms around Luna who cast the familiar shadow.

"Hermione, I'd like to breath."

Hermione dropped her grip but the grin did not slip from her face, it had been a long time since she had seen a familiar face, far to long in fact the way she had been summoned back seamed not a moment to soon. Luna looked every bit as radiant as she had the last time that Hermione had seen her. She had left Hogwarts and truly come in to her own, now working for the Ministry as assistant head to the department of Magical Creatures she had never yet been disproved in any of the 'discovery's'. Her once erratic hair now framed her face in a perfect bob, her eyes sparkling behind a pair of slightly tinted pink sunglasses that complemented her pink tie died robes.

"You have no idea how good it is to see you." Hermione said pushing her own sunglasses up on to her head so she could see her friend better.

"Well I couldn't let you come all this way and not see a friendly face could I?" said Luna grinning.

"Oh, I saw a friendly face this morning; you would think that after seven years Lavender wouldn't still hold a grudge…"

"Yes you would think that, but some people are just plain crazy."

As the two women walked up to the front gates Hermione couldn't help but let out a giant sigh, it felt weird to be back here after all this time, how would the place have changed? Would she still feel like the place was home after all the time spent in France? She hoped so. The offer of employment had drawn her back, although the job working along side Flure had been a learning experience (not to mention a test of patience, just because something takes a different name does not make it a different thing, no matter if that name is Weasley.) The though of returning home to England had played heavy on her mind for so long now, she had politely refused many a trip to the burrow to visit Molly and Arthur, not because she didn't want to go, not that she hated it, it all came down to the fact that she couldn't face the fact that Ron wasn't there…

"Fred sent me an owl this morning told me that he was coming to help you move your things in to the flat after you had been up to see McGonagall. Seamed to think that you wouldn't stay otherwise…"

Hermione smiled "I always said that Fred was the one with the brains." She tried the gates and they swung open under her touch. "So much for security, I would have thought that after everything that happened that they would have at least put some sort of enchantment on the gates."

"They did but the threat is seen to be lifted, anyway no one can get anywhere near Hogsmead these days with out top level clearance, even Diagon ally has so many early warning systems in place that if anyone who even thinks dark mark comes within five miles we know about it." Luna said shrugging. "Anyway how was France?"

Hermione filled the time in as they walked up to the head masters office with complaints of how awful the heat was and how the fact that the Quidditch team was the worst in the league. The second part causing a raised eyebrow or two from Luna.

"What?" Hermione asked eventually as they reached the stone griffin.

"I was just wondering why the sudden interest in Quidditch? I thought you hated the game?"

"I take a passing interest in the league."

"And a passing interest in a certain player no doubt." Luna said conversationally.

Hermione shrugged, no point denying facts.

"I can't say I blame you…"

Hermione was saved the embarrassment of answering by the door opening to show the smiling face of professor McGonagall.

"Hermione dear, you have no idea how good it is to see you." Hermione took a chance to take in the appearance of her old school mistress; the sight of her in normal clothes was something that Hermione could not get used to, without her hair pulled in to a tight bun and her dark green tartan robes, professor McGonagall didn't command quite the same amount of power. The long denim skirt and white shirt didn't quite have the same affect.

"It's good to be home." Hermione smiled as she took the seat offered, Luna sliding in to the one next to her. "It's good to have her back." Luna said as McGonagall sat down behind her desk.

"As soon as the position of charms teacher came up I thought of you miss Granger, even now you hold the highest test results in the history of Hogwarts I can think of no better candidate." She smiled at Hermione over the top of her half rim glasses. "I know of course that I asked you to leave a job you seamed to be avidly suited to."

Hermione smiled, she could think of nothing further from the truth.

"Minerva I can think of no other job I would rather have at this moment in time, I need to be home, and I need to be near the people that care about me live."

The picture of Dumbledore watched nonchalantly from the wall behind McGonagall.

"Then there is just the small matter of your quarters?"

Hermione cut across her, "I have a flat in the village, above Zonkos."

"Normally we like our teachers to stay on site."

Hermione looked down at her hands. She fidgeted with the silver ring that adorned her finger. "I would rather not, if that's alright, I will take a room here only in times of emergency."

Professor McGonagall, stood up nodding at the two women to follow her, "As you wish Miss Granger, it's a little unorthodox but if you wish." She tapped the door and they descended down the stairs. "Now I think we really should go see Rosemerta, I'm sure she's heard of your return, and I'm sure Mr Weasley will be anxious to help you celebrate."

The three Broomsticks, although still showing some signs of the destruction that had rampaged through the village some six years ago, looked as inviting as it always had. Flowers fell out of the planters splashing the charred stone with colors, some things had changed since the last time Hermione had visited, Rosemerta had placed wooden tables and benches outside on the small well tended lawn, and some had pretty parasols over them, shielding the customers from the blindingly hot sun. The weather was the warmest that Hermione had ever felt it as she sipped from the bizarre cocktail that Luna had bought her. She fiddled with the bright blue umbrella in the glass as she listened to Luna talking about the last letter that she had received from Neville.

"Obviously, he appreciated the offer of work, I mean he loves the school as much as any one of us, but his research is at a critical stage at the moment and he really can't afford to leave his post." Luna said beaming with pride. "I just wish he would come home soon, I do miss him, the house is so lonely without him, plus I have no idea how much longer I can keep his plants alive."

"Tell the daft bugger to come home and look after them himself."

Hermione nearly jumped a mile as a booming voice announced the arrival of Fred Weasley looking more freckled and brown that usual. "I dunno about you Loony but he does seem to forget that you're just his friend and not his wife."

"And I don't mind at all, I've told you a thousand time's." she smiled quite coyly at Fred, who went a slightly interesting shade of crimson then turned his attention to Hermione.

"And you!" he pulled her in to a bone breaking hug, " You are a sight for sore eyes, how are you? How was France? Did you bring me anything back?" Fred recoiled from the punch that Hermione delivered him.

'Since when did I become you're punch bag I thought that was our dear little Ronnikins job.' Fred said rubbing the vastly reddening patch on his arm. 'Well he's not here is he so I can't hit him can I?' she said smiling.

'Yes where is young Mr Weasley? I did expect him to be here to help.' Said McGonagall looking at Hermione curiously.

'I haven't seen Ron at all in the last twelve months, he's far to busy with his new life isn't he, he can't just go dropping everything, I mean, victor and Ron hold that team together they can't just abandon posts every time I need to speak to them that would be far to uninvolved of them, I mean how dare I get in the way of Quidditch?' Hermione was suddenly aware that almost everyone was looking at her, she hadn't meant to blurt quite that much out.

'Ok, changing subject…'Fred said picking up the empty glasses from the table, 'Who would like another drink?'