|A Moment of Decision
Author: sablin27 PM
At the end of a long day of teaching, Minerva wants to be marking her students' homework, so she can go to bed. Instead she has just listened to Horace Slughorn's grievances and must now make a decision.Rated: Fiction K - English - Minerva M. - Words: 742 - Reviews: 1 - Published: 11-11-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7542316
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Summary: At the end of a long day of teaching, Minerva wants to be marking her students' homework, so she can go to bed. Instead she has just listened to Horace Slughorn's grievances and must now make a decision.
When Horace Slughorn brought the tiny Slytherin girl with green hair and orange, slashed to pieces clothes to the Head of Gryffindor House, Minerva McGonagall she knew she would have to do something.
The eleven year old appeared to be barely holding back tears. The attempt at dignity was rendered pointless by her lurid, dishevelled appearance.
Had the girl been prettier, watching that struggle play itself out on her features might have been heartbreaking. As she was, brightly coloured, ugly and poorly dressed, the child simply looked entirely pathetic.
And that had been before her poise was broken by a flinch away from Minerva's awkward comforting pat.
Minerva wasn't even sure why she had made the gesture. She wasn't inclined to coddle children and this particular child had done precious little to endear herself to Minerva. If the Slytherin girl didn't have the backbone to deal with her classmates' pranks, it was certainly no skin off Minerva's nose.
Nonetheless, it had been a long day and she couldn't quite bring herself to face the unwarranted accusation in Horace's eyes.
Instead, she kept her eyes on the eyesore of a eleven-year-old, who had won the battle against snivelling, but wasn't meeting her eyes. The aloof attitude and lime green hair were unpleasant, but hardly something she was unaccustomed to. However, the lurid tatters of what had been recently been a thoroughly unattractive robe made something inside her twist unpleasantly.
Four (admittedly young) boys destroying the clothes of a lone girl just wasn't right! It was all very well for Headmaster Dumbledore to give his 'boys will be boys' speeches, but this verged on outright bullying. They should know better!
But they didn't.
Clearly she would have to inform them of their wrongdoing. After all, who would, if she didn't?
She was not going to start allowing every teacher the right to rebuke the pupils of her House. Certainly not Horace Slughorn!
In any case, it was no more their job than it was hers.
It was the job of the boys' families, but they clearly did not see fit to teach their offspring proper behaviour. (Or could not in the case of poor Rhea.)
However, that did not mean they should go untaught. The boys were to become gentlemen and gentleman did not attack ladies magically any more than they did physically.
There was no one else, Minerva concluded reluctantly. It would have to be her who dealt with this issue.
As it was her who dealt with all the many other issues that would resulted from a group of boys who, with only the best of intentions, combined youthful high spirits with the cunning of foxes and the manners of wolves.
Still, she was certainly up to the challenge. The day she couldn't keep up with schoolchildren was the day Minerva McGonagall gave in to her father's urgings and found herself a husband.
And, who better to teach chivalry than the Head of Gryffindor?
In fact, on reflection, this little meeting would probably turn out to be for the best, however unpleasant it was to experience after a long day's teaching. She was reluctant to even appear to cede a point to Horace, but she did need a reason to draw the line somewhere with the Marauders, now. Who knew what they might do if left for long unchecked?
Minerva nodded decisively at her own thoughts and turned to the portrait of Fabulam Fabricus, whose other portrait hung in the Gryffindor Common Room.
Out of her sight, the slightest hint of pleasure or maybe triumph lingered for a long moment in the eyes of Professor Horace Slughorn, Potions Master.
The proud, despairing expression on Severina Snape's face did not change at all.
What would mark a limit (that wasn't entirely arbitrary) to the Hogwart's teachers' extraordinary permissiveness? Students lose house points for participating in potentially lethal fight and get detention for attempts at pre-meditated murder. Would inserting a change in gender into the equation radically change what was acceptable intervention for a Head of House who values her mentoring duties very lightly?