"The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well."
The kindergarten teacher shut the book of 759 pages with an air of finality. Sitting on the floor were twenty three of her students, but they did not applaud as she had expected them to. Odd. They had been reading the book since the beginning of the summer and finally finished at the end. Marie Birch remembered how the students had cheered through the action packed chapters and urged her to read more. They begged her to read on because they wanted to find out what would happen after Ron left Harry and Hermione. The students' parents were also present in the room as this was the last class for the summer. They too remained silent.
"Why is everyone so quiet? Didn't you like the book?"
"No, Mrs. Birch," the room said in unison (parents included).
Marie blinked. Impossible! Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was her favorite out of the Harry Potter series. Not only did the protagonist live, he also married his one true love, Ginny Weasley, and had the family that he had always wished for. A happy ending! The kids should have liked it; it was the perfect fairy tale ending. Marie secretly wished she could have found a husband like Harry.
"Dear Lord! Why not?" She glanced at the parents who were standing at the back of the room, but for some reason, they did not wish to speak whatever they were thinking. The mothers and fathers glanced away, apparently leaving their children to speak for them.
"Well, I liked the adventure and all that, but I thought Harry was a bit of a wimp."
"Don't use such language!" Marie scolded Francine, a vivacious sort of girl. "Why do you think he was that?"
The young brunette flipped her hair over her shoulder and scoffed in a bratty way. "Well, he didn't even train. He used fifth year spells. Plus, how could he have gotten so good at Occlumency? He barely managed it in fifth year, Mrs. Birch," Francine logically explained. Oddly, her classmates nodded their agreement.
"What happened to the phrase 'practice makes perfect'?" a young boy shouted from his seat.
"Yeah!" said the class in unison.
"And Snape! In love with Lily Potter?!? That's total a fanfiction steal."
Marie and the class turned to Rory, a girl with blonde hair and bright pink glasses. "What-what's fanfiction?" a boy named Tom, who was sitting beside her, asked.
"Oh!" The girl said and smiled. "I'm glad you asked. Fanfiction is basically stories about characters or settings written by fans of the original work, rather than by the original author. Harry Potter fanfiction is especially popular-which is no surprise. Rowling's work tends to leave many unsatisfied."
"That actually sounds cool. Where can you read it?"
"There's this really excellent site called Portkey dot org. Run and visited by only the most elite Fanfic writers and readers. P-O-R-T-K-E-Y. My mom's a writer on it. Her penname is M-I-S-S-A-"
The little girl cringed again. "Sorry, I forgot you wanted to keep it a secret…anyways, she's teaching me to write; I'm currently working on a plot," she stated matter-of-factly. "It's a definite Harmony fiction, but AU obviously. Ginny bashing." Marie had no idea what she was talking about.
"B-but…why would you want to do that? The series was perfect. And what's harmony?"
Rory laughed a bit too meanly at Marie. "Perfect? Ha, perfect my-"
"Rory!" a voice yelled from the back. The girl winced, biting her bottom lip. "Sorry, mum! It's just…oh, come on, if we can spot plot holes, how can you not? You're supposed to be a logical adult!"
"The use of Ginny in the series was a delusional author writing herself into a book. At first, I liked her. She was your typical pubescent and shy little girl who had a crush on a seemingly nice guy. Then, bam, suddenly, she's a bombshell!"
"Bombshell?" Marie repeated. That's not your usual little kid word.
"I think that's the word. That's what Dad calls our psychiatrist."
In the back, an older version of Rory crossed her arms and turned to glare at a pale, balding man.
"Listen. She's, to an extent, loyal to her friends. She's smart apparently because she can blow up things. And she's wicked popular. Wow, Harry Potter's dream girl. Rowling makes it sound like we need to be desperate and not so innocent girls to get the boy of our dreams," explained Rory glumly.
"You say it, girl!" her female classmates encouraged.
That was a pretty good point. Marie shook her head.
"Alright, if everyone is so against the way Ginny had acted, tell me, how would a girl get the attention of a boy she likes?"
The little girls giggled in their seats, and their mothers were smirking knowingly. Their husbands/boyfriends actually looked thoughtful.
There was silence until…
"Let 'em know that you got something to give!"
Marie glanced at Eddy again, wondering what the boy could possible say next. "Alright…can you elaborate?"
"Well, I heard this from my brother; he's in college. All the girls have to do is get on her knees and-"
"Edward Murphy, you finish that sentence and you will not get to read The Prince in a week!"
"Aw, mum," groaned the boy, turning in his seat to face his mother. A plump woman with sleek brown hair was looking back at him with a glare. "But I was getting to the part where Machiavelli reveals his knowledge on what political advantages are needed to be acquired before becoming a ruthless leader!"
"Edward," his mum said warningly.
"Fine! But don't block the History Channel; a documentary on Leonardo da Vinci is airing at 5."
"Then sit in your seat and listen to Mrs. Bitch."
Marie felt offended. "Birch, Mrs. Murphy."
The woman looked nonplussed. "That's what I said." Her female friend, who was standing beside her, elbowed her discreetly and whispered something while trying to act like she wasn't. Mrs. Murphy's face was erubescent.
No wonder her daughter is so…rude! Marie harrumphed her head. But despite her annoyance, she brought back her I-don't-have-a-shit-of-a-problem smile and clapped her hands together. Somehow, she'd have to get the lesson under the control. Somehow.
"Act like a slut!"
"Margaret! Where did you hear such a word?"
"Well, that's what my mum calls Ginny," the little girl replied innocently, waving over at her mom. The latter smiled embarrassedly. The teacher pursed her lips.
"That word is not permitted, Margaret, dear."
"What's…p-permitted, Mrs. Birch?"
"Never mind." Marie shook her head. "Anyways, how about…another person? And children, be serious. How do you make someone fall in love with you?"
"Use a potion!" Eddy suggested. Marie turned exasperatedly to him, wondering what the boy could possible say next.
"Eddy, honey, potions do no exist."
"Well…how else would've Ginny gotten Harry?" he asked innocently.
"She used her wit and loyalty."
The boy laughed as if she said something silly. "No, that's Hermione."
"No, I'm speaking of Ginny Weasley."
"No, no, Mrs. Birch," Eddy said, shaking his head. He pinched the bridge of his nose as if he was dealing with a petulant child. "If you mean 'wit' by using Bat Bogey Hexes constantly, than you need to go back to school. Sure, she may have been smart, but Harry was mostly attracted to her because of her beauty. You know, teenage hormones and all that."
"As for loyalty, she showed as much loyalty as her character could provide. About the same amount of loyalty as Neville and Luna…but you don't see Harry falling for either of them. Neville, especially. That would make Harry bisexual, and the only homosexual character in the series to this date is Albus Dumbledore. Of course, Rowling can always shock us again."
The rest of the class chuckled knowingly while Marie sat in her chair, stunned by the show of logicality in her student. Eddy was always the sort of boy to pick his nose and put his boogers on the back of a girl's shirt. He ate glue for God's sake!
"Yes, Hermione was the one who helped him find the Philosopher's Stone, led him to find the basilisk, helped set Sirius free, tutored him through the Triwizard tournament, lead the D.A…and…and she risked her whole life basically! That's loyalty. When you are that dedicated to someone, it means something. Harry and Hermione together create everlasting, sempiternal harmony. Doesn't everyone want that in the world?"
"But, nooooo…Rowling had something else in her mind, regardless of the amount of disgruntled fan mail she had received. She was so set on Ginny, Ginny, Ginny, that she blatantly ignored how much Harry needed Hermione Granger by his side," Eddy explained.
Rory nodded, agreeing with her classmate.
"Well…you guys are all rooting for Hermione and Harry, I see. Well, what would happen with Ron then? If Harry married Hermione, who would Ron have had?" Marie wanted the question in their heads. Let them find the answer by themselves and realize their mistake in believing that someone like Hermione could be together with someone like Harry. They have nothing…nothing in common! Sure…they may be smart. They may seem to know how to talk to each other without words. And sure, they may…
Oh be quiet, Marie.
"Well, Ron could have just walked to the corner of a street and find girls lined up, selling their nearly exposed…"
"NO DA VINCI!"
Eddy huffed angrily and sat back in his seat. Francine decided to finish his explanation in more different terms.
"What Eddy was trying to say is…Ron could have found someone else. Someone more suited for him."
She paused. "Someone who wouldn't despise getting into bed with him at night. You know."
"All of you really feel strong about this, don't you?" Marie asked softly, finally beginning to understand. Her class must have thought about this subject for such a long time.
"Of course," said Rory, "when I realized that Ginny looked exactly like Harry's mother, I nearly puked."
"But then again," piped the smallest girl in the room (she had bushy black hair and a doll's face), "recent studies say that men are more likely to pair up with women who are similar to their mothers. This goes the same for women and their preferences for guys like their dad."
"But that's almost like incest!" Francine commented, sounding scandalized. Eddy turned to her with an eyebrow raised. The class was beginning to disperse as were the parents who were coming forward to receive their child. The girl's mother quickly handed her daughter her summer jacket while also muttering 'ignore him, ignore him, ignore him'.
"That's life, kid," answered Eddy in a casual tone. That boy simply knew too much for a kid his age.
His mother pulled him away by the ear.
Marie still sat in her seat, the shock not yet leaving her. The book the she had formerly loved before the session began lay abandoned on her lap. Her students smirked as they said their goodbyes. When the room was nearly empty, save for maybe four other families getting ready to go home, she whispered in dismay, "I don't get it; how are these children so knowledgeable?"
"That's what you get for teaching an Advanced Literature class for the young."
The young distraught teacher turned in her seat and gently laid the last book of the Harry Potter series on the ground. "A-Advanced?"
"Oh, sure." The woman, who had a brown ponytail and a chic business suit on, tilted her head questionably. "You didn't know? This is a center for highly gifted children. Most of the kids who attend this class are already reading high school material."
"What?" How the hell did she miss that in the job ad?
Then again, she did apply through Monster.com.
"Oh, they must have fooled you," the pretty woman laughed. Her daughter, the smallest girl who had spoken statistics before, came running up to her. She hid behind her mother's legs. "I was wondering for a moment why you'd read this book. I didn't find it particularly of literary merit. I guess they just wanted you to read the book. Usually, they don't get story times since the administrators believe them to be too juvenile."
"But, then I've just wasted a whole summer-"
"Not really. I think the kids need to be reminded that they're still kids. You did an excellent job, even though some, like my daughter Adelaide, detest the series."
The last family of three left, leaving Adelaide, the woman, and Marie alone until the door opened once more. A man stepped through this time, and she could tell with one glance that he was a handsome one. He had dark, black hair that was cut not too short but left not too long. As he crouched down, his shirt hugged his chest, showing that he was one well built man. Adelaide squealed, dashed towards the man, and jumped into his arms. As she did so, the man tilted his head back and let out a joyful laugh. He opened his eyes to quickly look at the woman and Marie, and the latter was surprised once more, for she saw that he had the deepest and greenest eyes she had ever…
"W-What was your name again?"
The woman glanced up in slight surprise, then at her husband who had approached them quietly and had a hand gently resting on her shoulder. They blinked at each other, like they were talking. Adelaide impatiently pulled on her father's finger, only to have him quietly shush her.
"Oh, I didn't say it yet. But it's Hermione, Hermione Potter," she smiled, then paused before saying, "Thanks for reading to my daughter."
After releasing her hand, Mrs. Potter turned and grabbed her daughter's hand. As they walked away, the both of them began to excitedly chat about their day. The man, who watched his wife and child with a fond smile, turned to the young teacher. His eyes rested on the book that she had just finished.
"Nice book," he commented lightly and somewhat sarcastically. Then he walked away with a knowing smile on his face.
Marie collapsed onto the nearest chair.