A/N: Hello, hello! Thanks for giving this a read. Much appreciated. I seriously think Baccano! needs more love, as it's sadly underrated in my opinion. I honestly get excited when other people know what it is.
This takes place during OotP, and events and certain things are changed due to various characters' interference(s), so I will not be rewriting scenes if it can be avoided.
This is the first time I have written for both HP and Baccano! so if people are OOC in any way, I do apologize. There will also be slight AU from both universes.
It should go without saying, but I'm only going to say it once, so I don't have to repeat it with every chapter:
I do not own Harry Potter – J. K. Rowling owns it.
Baccano! is written by Ryohgo Narita and illustrated by Katsumi Enami
I only own the OCs and some of the plot.
Chapter One: When Desperate Times Calls for Desperate Measures, the Deputy Headmistress Comes to a Decision
The esteemed Headmaster of Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore, was currently sitting at his desk which had various stacks of parchment covering it. His office was very nearly filled to the brim with shelves that housed books and other magical artifacts, some of which clicked and whirred. Enchanted portraits of previous headmasters literally looked down on the old wizard, quietly whispering amongst themselves so as to not disturb him. Fawkes the Phoenix cooed and preened his feathers, casting the occasional glance at his master.
In spite of all the various noises in the office, it fell on deaf ears as Dumbledore was currently looking at something that very rightly caused him some concern. The parchment he was currently looking at over his half-moon glasses was from the Ministry of Magic, stating that they would like to appoint one Dolores Umbridge as the newest Defense against the Dark Arts Professor if he could not find a professor for that year. And here was where his problem arose; he had no teachers to speak of who were readily available, leaving Hogwarts open to the Ministry to do practically whatever they pleased.
Dumbledore gave a quiet sigh, removed his glasses and closed his eyes as he briefly massaged the bridge of his crooked nose. A part of him very nearly thought that he was getting too old for this. After putting his glasses back into their proper place, he looked back to the parchment in his hand, and saw that the Ministry required his response exactly two days from now, confirming Ms. Umbridge as the new Professor. Just then, there was a polite knock at his door, and giving another sigh, Dumbledore spoke up, "Come in, Minerva."
He easily recognized her knock, and McGonagall had long ago stopped questioning how he knew it was her every time. Minerva McGonagall entered the office, and gave Dumbledore a pleasant smile, one that she only reserved for him.
"Hello, Albus," she said, as she took a seat as soon as he motioned for her to do so. She denied the usual Lemon Drop that he always offered, and asked, "How are you doing, Albus?"
The tone in her voice clearly asked more than what her words did. Dumbledore gave her a small smile, and replied, "I'm afraid I can't find a new Defense teacher this year," and he handed McGonagall the parchment he had been looking at far longer than what should have been necessary. McGonagall read the parchment quickly, her mouth going into a firmer and tighter line of disapproval the more she read. "Of all the-"
Obviously, she wasn't very happy, and was far more vocal about it than Dumbledore had been. "They seriously can't be considering appointing one of their Ministry Officials as a professor; it's preposterous! And to have that woman nosing around, of all things…"
"It can't be helped, I'm afraid." Dumbledore leaned forward on his desk and laced his fingers together. "As I've said, there are no teachers available, so since I'm unable to fill the position, that leaves it open to the Ministry to do whatever they please."
McGonagall only nodded, but her mouth was now in a different type of firm line; one that showed she was thinking. "Albus…" she started, not looking at him at first. She now looked at the esteemed Headmaster, with an expression that both showed resolution and hopefulness. "What if I knew of someone who could possibly fill the position?"
"Who did you have in mind?" Dumbledore's eyes gave a mischievous twinkle.
"Well, he's a rather old friend of mine, from America; New York, to be exact." McGonagall looked thoughtful as she remembered him. "We've known each other for years, and he has trained wizards and witches – although not in a professional setting– but I have met his students, and they both love and respect him. I can personally account for his qualifications." A rare smile graced her lips, one that very few had ever seen. "His name is Maiza Avaro, and he is a very skilled wizard, if I do say so myself." That was saying quite a bit, coming from Minerva McGonagall. "You still have a little over two days to reply to the Ministry, and if I leave for New York now through the Floo Network, that should give us plenty of time."
Dumbledore nodded in response, and McGonagall brought a hand to her cheek in thought. "Although I don't exactly like approaching Maiza with so short a notice, he did say to come to him if I ever needed anything."
She was truly thankful that Maiza was as patient and as kindhearted as he was. She hated springing surprises on people just as much as she appreciated them being sprung on her. Dumbledore looked at Minerva with smiling eyes.
"I've always thought that Hogwarts could use a bit more of diversity," Dumbledore more than approved of her plan. And the fact that the Ministry wouldn't be happy justified his approval all the more.
"I'll contact you as soon as I know he's able to fill the position," McGonagall said as she rose from her seat, already making mental preparations for everything she would need for her trip. Dumbledore only nodded, rising as well.
"I wish you luck, Minerva."
"Thank you, although I certainly hope I won't need it," responded McGonagall. She quickly left the Headmaster's office, and headed for her own. Before she started packing, she made sure to contact the magical officials in America to let them know she'd be coming, and where she intended to go. Judging from her past experiences with the American Magical Ministry, and the stories others had told her, it would take a few hours for the American Ministry to process her order. A part of her honestly disliked having to deal with the American Magical Ministry, because although America was one country, it had Fifty Regions or Fifty States, (however one wanted to put it) and each State had its own set of laws that differed from State to State, and each State reported to the AMM. This meant she would have to call the AMM, who would then put her into contact with the officials in New York, who then open the Floo Network allowing her to travel.
McGonagall took a pinch of Floo Powder, and tossed it into her fireplace, and contacted the AMM. A woman's face appeared, smiling brightly. "Good evening!" she called, quite enthusiastically, and McGonagall was sure that the younger woman's enthusiasm radiated off of her and into the office. "My name is Trish. How may I be of service to you today?"
"Good evening," McGonagall began. "I'm Minerva McGonagall, Professor of Transfiguration at Hogwarts, Head of Gryffindor, and Deputy Headmistress. I'm calling because I need to travel to New York, and it is of the upmost importance that I leave immediately. I'm afraid my time is rather short."
"Oh, hog sprites!" the woman on the other end beamed. "The Minerva McGonagall?"
McGonagall honestly worried for a moment that the woman would want to chat or ask questions, when she really didn't have that sort of time. The woman on the other end excitedly continued, "I've heard so much about you from my mom! She was a Gryffindor Keeper, Sally – Sally Hensworth, was her name before she got married!"
Before McGonagall could give any sort of answer, Trish glanced back and forth, almost conspiratorially and whispered, "Can you be ready to leave in an hour? I actually have a cousin who works in the New York branch, and he owes me quite a few favors."
"Yes, of course. Thank you." McGonagall said genuinely.
"Alright, I'll make sure to let the New York branch know you're coming," Trish said. "Have a good night, or a good day – depending on which side of the world you're on."
"Of course, thank you, you as well." McGonagall said just before the connection cut off. She took a deep breath; a sigh of relief. What were the chances? Luck seemed to be on her side. Not having any time to waste, she quickly rose and packed the necessary items she would need on her trip.
It was an hour and fifteen minutes until her fireplace lit up, showing the face of a young man, who had a rather cocky grin. "Hello, hello! I'm Ricky!" he greeted, and saluted. "Are you the Professor Minerva McGonagall that I've heard so much about from my lovely aunt?"
"Yes…" McGonagall wasn't sure if she would have the patience for this type of young man.
"That's great! Pack your bags and get ready to take a bite out of the Big Apple, Professor!" Ricky clapped his hands, not giving McGonagall a chance to get a word in edgewise. "Step on through, whenever you're ready."
She made sure that the cloak that she used for traversing in the muggle realm was fastened securely and neatly, and then picking up her bag, which was an old, but somehow fashionable carpet bag, and with a handful of Floo powder, she said, "534 Mallard's Den, New York City, America," and stepped through the Floo Network from Great Britain to New York.
So what'd ya think? Does it have potential? Please leave a review – it keeps the Plot Bunnies fed. Future chapters will be longer, it just seemed like there wasn't really anything else to add after McGonagall's departure.