If you've been reading this for sometime, you may notice frequent changes being made to this story. I'm not adding chapters, just putting up corrected chapters. You can read them again if you want, but it really doesn't make a difference. The story line won't change. At least not until later.
If there are still mistakes, well sue me.
I don't own Harry Potter. Never have and sadly, never will.
Minerva looked across the desk at the headmaster. He had called her in not telling her what exactly he wanted to discuss. She, of course, had automatically assumed it was something about the Order of Phoenix. But with the way he was staring at her now, she was beginning to wonder.
"Well, Minerva, how are you feeling today?" Professor Dumbledore asked, looking at Professor McGonagall over the tips of his steeple fingers.
"Just fine, Albus," she answered looking at the headmaster suspiciously. Minerva would trust Albus Dumbledore with her life, but she didn't like that look in his eyes. It made her nervous.
"As you know, I have something of dire importance to discuss with you." Professor Dumbledore went on.
Minerva nodded. "Yes, that is what the owl said."
Albus nodded as well. "As you may have guessed, it concerns Harry Potter."
Minerva nodded again. She had been thinking that it might. Every since You-Know-Who's return became public knowledge to the Wizarding world, the main topic of discussion within the Order was how to best protect Potter. Now that the Wizarding world knew he was back, Albus was worried that You-Know-Who might strike at Harry openly with no reason to hide. Thus far, it had been pretty quiet. But that certainly couldn't last forever. "You have an idea?" Minerva asked Professor Dumbledore, looking at the headmaster.
"I may." He answered. "You see, it is very difficult to offer protection to Harry. As you know, he tends to buck against adult help."
Minerva nodded again, remembering all of Harry's previous "adventures" over the past five years. All of these adventures could have been adverted if he had only gone to one of the professors for help. It seemed it wasn't in his nature to ask for help, especially when he got the idea in his head that he could handle the situation on his own.
"I have set watch around him, of course, with out his knowledge, but as we saw last summer that is not fool proof." Albus went on.
Again Minerva nodded, recalling the Dementor attack that not only nearly took Potter's life but the life of his Muggle cousin as well.
"That couldn't last forever at any rate." Albus said. "What is really needed, I believe, is some way to get close to him. And this goes back to the initial problem of Harry not willingly taking help from adults."
"Yes." Minerva cut in. "But I'm sure he'll allow adult protection if he knew it was for his good."
"Oh, I have no doubt that he would say he would; that he would whole- heartedly agree, in fact. But the trouble is Harry never thinks to call upon an adult for help. He doesn't even come to me always when he has a problem or think something is wrong. He'll turn to his friends first."
Minerva nodded again. That was certainly true, considering the amount of adventures Harry's friends had joined him on. He would tell his friends, but not an adult wizard who could provide him with the help he needed. She would never understand how his brain worked out that his friends would be of more use rather than someone who had a deeper understanding of magic. "So what can be done about it?"
Albus smiled. "That gets us to my idea." He answered. "I thought that the best way to protect Harry is to send someone his age, but with the magical skills of a fully trained adult wizard, to watch over him. If anything comes up, he would most assuredly turn to that person, especially if that talented wizard was to become a friend of his."
Minerva nodded. "Yes, that could possibly work, but where would you find a sixteen year old wizard that is as magically skilled as, well, you or me?"
Now Professor Dumbledore's face broke into a broad smile, his eyes twinkling merrily. Minerva sat back a little, feeling distinctly uncomfortable. She really did not like the look in the headmaster's eyes. "Well," Professor Dumbledore answered, picking up one of the what-nots on his desk and studying it. "I believe the best way to do that is to find a willing adult witch or wizard and administer a de-aging potion."
Minerva twisted in her seat. She was becoming very nervous. "And do you have a witch or wizard in mind?"
Dumbledore looked up at her. "As a matter of fact, I do."
"Who?" Minerva asked, not wanting to hear the answer at all.
Dumbledore's answer was only to smile even more broadly at her.
"Oh, no." Minerva shook her head. "I-I can't. Who would teach my classes?"
"I have a suitable replacement already in mind."
"But, I would have to become a student again."
"I'm sure you'll do fine in your classes."
"What I mean, is I don't know how to be a student. Do you have any idea how long it has been since I've been a student?"
"As a matter of fact I do. But I'm sure you'll catch on quickly."
"But, de-aging potions don't last always. It'll start to wear off after a few hours. I can't possibly take the potion every two or three hours with out slipping up and being caught."
"Not to worry. Professor Snape can provide you with an especially potent potion that will last a full month. He will provide you with enough of the potion to last the entire year, longer if necessary."
Minerva's eyes widened. If she agreed to do this, she would have to spend a full year or longer as a sixteen year old girl. She was only too glad to leave her teen years behind the first go around; she certainly had no desire to go back to that age again. "Professor, I don't think..."
"Minerva, I understand if you don't want to do this. But you must understand, this may be the only way we can truly protect Harry. After five years of just watching over him, and nearly loosing him at least once each year, I'm not content to do just that again. This year could be the year we loose him if we don't do something different. I am afraid this may be the only way we can truly keep an eye on him; to stop him from doing something that could possibly get him killed; to stop someone else from doing something that could kill him. Minerva, if you say no now, I will not ask again. But please, consider the boy's life."
Minerva sighed then nodded once more, knowing that she was going to regret her decision.
Dumbledore smiled at her. "Thank you, Minerva. I knew I could count on you."
Harry Potter stared out the window of his small bedroom, watching Hedwig fly off with two letters. There, that should keep Ron and Hermione happy. He hadn't written them much over the summer. He wasn't much in the mood to write or talk to anyone. He could tell from their letters that they were worried about him. They had been overly concerned after Sirius; he didn't want their concern or their pity. What he wanted, they couldn't possibly give him.
Harry shook his head. He still didn't like to think about what happened at the end of last year. It was his fault, what happened to Sirius. Professor Dumbledore tried to take the blame, but it wasn't him that ran off without thinking to go rescue someone who didn't need rescuing. Dumbledore wasn't the one that got himself and his friends surrounded by Death Eaters. Dumbledore wasn't the one who put everyone he loved in the whole world in mortal danger. Dumbledore didn't kill Sirius. It was him. And Bellatrix Lestrange.
He hated her. He hated her more than he hated Voldemort. She took away the closet person he had to a father; His one chance to get away from the Dursleys; The one person that he loved more than anything. He thought he wanted Voldemort dead. He thought he wanted be the person to kill him. But he had no idea what it felt like to really, truly want someone dead, not until last year. After it sunk in, that Sirius was really gone, the hate began to roll up, like black smoke filling him. And he knew. He knew he wished he could kill her. Lestrange had been the one to tell him that to use one of the forbidden curses, he had to feel it. He knew if he ever saw her, he would be able to use the killing curse on her with out a problem.
Harry sighed, and looked back out the window at the empty night sky. Remus' last letter said that someone from the Order would be coming for him soon. It didn't give an exact date, probably just in case the letter was intercepted. Harry hoped that someone would pick him up tonight or tomorrow. The Durselys were weighing on him. They weren't making things easy for him. They didn't know about his god father. He hadn't told them, nor had he any intention of telling them. But even so, it seemed they were being even more rotten than usual. Dudley avoided him, if he could, still terrified of him over last summer's Dementor attack. But Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia had no such qualms and took revenge for their son. They did nothing too openly, for fear that Harry might write back to Lupin or Mad- Eye. What they did was give him extra chores; the particularly nasty ones. They worked extra hard not to speak or even make eye contact with him, unless it was telling him to scrape the gunk off the inside of the rubbish bin.
Harry shook away the thoughts. Maybe tomorrow would be better. He got up from the desk chair where he had been sitting and crawled into his bed. Tomorrow had to be better. It couldn't possibly be as bad as his life was up to this point. Trying to feel positive about the day to come, Harry pulled the covers over his head and fell slowly to sleep.
Harry awoke early the next morning. He rolled out of bed and half stumbled to the bathroom. He was only slightly surprised to find it free. Dudley hadn't been getting up before noon the entire summer. It seemed his cousin didn't mind missing breakfast. Since he was still on his diet, it only consisted of a melon slice anyway. Harry didn't see the point in continuing Dudley's diet; it didn't seem to working. In fact, Harry was sure Dudley was still gaining weight.
Harry stepped out the bathroom, washed and showered, and feeling only just a little more awake than before. He walked down to the kitchen, preparing himself to be ignored for the duration of breakfast. He seriously hoped Uncle Vernon hadn't thought of anymore disgusting household work for him to do this morning. Pushing open the swinging kitchen door, he stepped into the room and open his mouth to say good morning (just to be annoying), but closed it again when he saw the room was empty. Harry frowned. His aunt and uncle could always be found in the kitchen in the mornings. It was part of their routine. He shook his head and walked back out. Maybe he could find them in the front room. Walking slowly, he headed back to the front of the house. He opened the front room door and stepped in. His uncle, aunt, and cousin were sitting on the sofa facing the television. The TV wasn't on, but they weren't moving. Harry frowned. That was the way they were sitting when he went to bed last night.
"Uncle Vernon?" He asked, walking around the couch to face his family. They all stared blankly at nothing. Harry blinked, and then a thought hit him. They looked dead. He could feel himself beginning to panic. He quickly closed the distance between himself and Uncle Vernon and tried to feel for a pulse. He breathed a sigh of relief. There was one. So they weren't dead. Then what? Stunned? Yes, that had to be it. They must be stunned. But if that's true...
Harry stood up and looked around. He held his breath, listening for any sound. Another wizard must have been the house, and was probably still there. The question was, where? He moved as silently as he could out of the living room and into the hall. He peered around a corner up the steps. Deciding it was safe, he headed up as quietly as he could. He had to get to his wand in his room. He felt completely un-protected without it. He could already be in deadly danger. Easing down the hallway, being careful to avoid the loose floorboards, Harry crept to his bedroom door. He eased it open, stepped in, and stopped dead in his tracks. Standing in the middle of the room, with his back to Harry, was a large man. He wore a ragged, almost thread-bare, over coat. His shoulders were hunched and straggly hair fell from beneath an old hat and to over them.
"You shouldn't ever go anywhere without your wand." The man said, holding up Harry's wand. "Haven't you learned anything in Defense against the Dark Arts?" The man turned around and Harry felt his heart skip a beat in relief. He would have never thought he'd be so happy to see that frowning and scared face.
"Mad-Eye. What are you doing here?" He asked.
"I came to get you. Hurry, get your things together. I have to go un-petrify your family."
"You did that?" Harry asked, a bit dumbly.
"Who else would?"
"But it looks like they've been that way since last night."
"They have been. Serves them right too, for the way they've treated you. Bloody Muggles."
Harry frowned. He didn't know of any cases of people being stunned for long periods of time. "Will they be...hurt?" He asked, not sure if he wanted them to be okay or not.
Mad-Eye shook his head. "They'll be numb for a bit, but no permanent damage. Get moving. We don't have all day." Mad-Eye handed Harry his wand and walked out the room.
Harry grinned at his disappearing back. He was leaving the Dursleys, finally. He didn't think he would be so happy with the prospect of seeing everyone again, but now that it was so close, he couldn't wait to be reunited with Hermione and the Weaselys. He wondered if he'd get to see Fred and George. According to Ron's owls, their joke business was doing very well. He wondered if Mrs. Weasely was still upset with the twins career choice. He thought about Ginny and wondered how she was doing. He wondered if she had thought of him any over the summer. He shook the thought from his head, and began to hurriedly throw his small amount of belongings into his trunk.
Within minutes he was ready to go. Grabbing the end of his trunk, he dragged it out of his room and half way down the stairs. Mad-Eye was standing at the bottom glaring at Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and Dudley. The three of them looked slightly confused and very terrified.
"And further more, treating people like dirt is not good for your health." Moody was saying. "It's bound to come back and get you. Probably through me."
Harry cleared his throat and Mad-Eye turned around. "Are you ready, Harry?"
"Yeah." Harry nodded. "I just need to get my trunk down."
"Oh, right." Mad-Eye pulled out his wand and gave it a wave. Harry's trunk began to float on its own accord and followed him the rest of the way down the stairs.
Harry stopped short in front of the Durselys. "Well, I'm off." He said, not sure what else to say. "See, you." He added and started for the front door.
Mad-Eye followed him. "And remember," he said, never turning around, but his magical eye swiveling in its eye socket so that it was looking out the back of his head. "I'm watching you."
The Durselys didn't say a word. Harry assumed they were too busy being terrified to speak. He smiled, thinking of the shade of purple his uncle's face was likely to turn once they had left the house. He was almost sorry he wouldn't be there to see it--but only almost. Parked outside on the curb was a black four door car. Harry looked at it, then back at Mad- Eye. "Is that our ride?"
Mad-Eye nodded. "Come on. Let's get going. I don't like hanging about here in the day. And grab that trunk so that it doesn't look like it's flying."
"Oh, right." Harry said, quickly turning around and catching hold of one the handles. The trunk lowered to the ground so that it was hovering just inches above it. Any passerby would think the trunk was on wheels. He more or less led his belongings to the back of the car where Mad-Eye helped him store it in the trunk. Harry walked around and climbed into the back seat and grinned when he saw Remus Lupin behind the wheel.
"Professor Lupin. You're here too."
"Of course. I couldn't let Moody come by himself. Who knows what he might have done to the Durselys. Probably turn them into ferrets or some other type of rodent."
Harry grinned. "He left them petrified for an entire night."
Lupin sighed. "I know. Unfortunately I didn't find out about that until this morning. How are they?"
"Confused and terrified. But, honestly, I'm not really sorry."
"Neither am I." Mad-Eye said, climbing into the passenger side seat. "Let's get going. I have things to do."
Lupin nodded and started up the car. "Don't worry about Hedwig, Harry." He said as he pulled away from number 4 Privet Drive. "We spotted her during the night and sent her on to the house. She's probably there now. Hermione and most of the Weaselys are there as well. They are all very anxious to see you, again."
Harry nodded, then asked, "The house?"
"Grimauld Place." Lupin answered, glancing at Harry through the rearview mirror. "The headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix. That's where we're headed now."
"Oh, right." Harry answered. All through the summer, Harry had thought about leaving the Dursely's, but he had never thought about where he would be heading. It never occurred to him that he would be returning to Grimauld Place, Sirius' old home. Of course that was where they were going. It only made sense. Like Professor Lupin said, it was the headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix. He just wasn't sure he wanted to go there. He wasn't sure he wanted to go to Sirius' home, knowing that Sirius wouldn't be there to greet him. He sat back in his seat, listening to Lupin chat about some of the happenings of the summer. Of course, he didn't say much pertaining to the Order or to what was going on with Lord Voldemort. But Harry didn't mind. He had other things on his mind, like trying to sort out how he felt about returning to the home of his dead god father.
All too soon, they were there. Lupin parked the car between two non- descript, dull homes. "Here we are, Harry." He said, turning off the motor and looking back. "Ready?"
Harry looked at his old Defense against the Dark Arts professor. He could see the concern pouring from his clear grey eyes, and Harry knew he wasn't just asking him if was ready to see his friends again.
Looking back at the house (or rather the spot where the house would appear) Harry nodded. "Yeah, let's go."
"Right then," Lupin said, smiling reassuringly at Harry. "I'll get your things."
Harry climbed out the car and looked down the walk that would lead to the house. Professor Lupin squeezed his should and gave him an encouraging smile. "You know, if you want to ride around for a bit, we can." He said, quietly.
Harry shook his head. "No, it's okay." He turned and headed determinedly down the walk, leaving Lupin to pull out his trunk. Quite suddenly, and fairly unexpectedly, the house appeared. Harry blinked at it. It looked exactly the same way it had the last time he had been there: dismal and a bit depressing. Harry thought its appearance suited it now. He continued on to the front door. He started for the bell, then stopped. Looking back at Professor Lupin and Moody coming up behind him, he asked, "Is Sirius' Mum still in the front hall?"
"Unfortunately." Lupin answered, nodding. "She really is difficult to remove. You had best use the knocker. That doesn't disturb as much."
Harry nodded and reached for the knocker, but before he could raise it, the door swung open. Mrs. Weasely was standing on the other side. She looked at the three in surprise. "Oh, I wasn't expecting you so early." She said, grinning. "I was just stepping out. Hello, Harry dear. It is so good to see you again." Mrs. Weasely grabbed Harry in a quick but loving hug. "Ron and Hermione are upstairs. Go on, they've been waiting for you."
Harry nodded. "Thanks." He said, before stepping around Mrs. Weasely and heading up the stairs. He went back to the room he and Ron had shared last summer, and found his two best friends inside.
"Harry." Hermione exclaimed, jumping up from the bed. "I thought you wouldn't be here till much later." She said.
"I'm glad you're here, Harry." Ron said grinning. "This summer has been something boring. Mum and dad still won't tell us anything about the Order. But Fred and George can go to the meetings, since they've turned eighteen. Can you believe that? And the two of 'em won't tell us anything."
"I don't want to talk about the Order right now." Harry said, sitting down on the bed next to Ron. "Let's just talk about normal stuff, like Quidditch and school, okay."
"Sure, Harry." Hermione said, taking a seat on the opposite twin bunk bed. "Have you heard, Dumbledore is trying to get Professor Lupin to teach Defense against the Dark Arts again this year."
"Really?" Harry asked. "He didn't mention that on the way over here."
"Well, nothings official yet." Ron admitted. "We sort of overheard Professor Dumbledore talking to Lupin about teaching at Hogwarts."
"Overheard?" Harry asked.
Hermione laughed, turning slightly pink. "We thought they would be discussing Order stuff. We were listening in with a pair of Fred and George's Extendible Ears."
"You mean Mrs. Weasley is letting you keep those?"
"She doesn't know we have them." Ron answered. "And don't let it get out please, Harry. If she found out..." Ron left the statement hanging only shaking his head.
Harry laughed. He didn't realize how much he had missed his friends. He was certainly glad to be back with them. "How are Fred and George doing?"
"Great. Their business is booming. Lee joined them at the end of the year." Ron answered. "And mum stop being angry with them when she saw them turning a profit. But I don't think she's entirely happy with their career choice, yet." He shrugged. "At least she's stopped crying."
Harry only shook his head, remembering how upset Mrs. Weasely had been with Fred and George's desire to open a joke shop. She wanted them to follow in their father's footsteps and go to work for the Ministry of Wizards; like Percy. Harry looked at Ron, curious about his older brother, but not entirely sure he should bring up the subject. Last year, the entire Weasely family had not been on good terms with Percy. Percy Weasely had flat refused to believe that Lord Voldemort had returned. Instead, he sided with Fudge and the Ministry. He betrayed his entire family, calling them all fools for following Dumbledore and believing Harry. Ron used to get red in the face when ever his brother's name was mentioned. Mrs. Weasely would burst into tears, and Mr. Weasely would suddenly lose the ability to speak. But things had to have cleared up by now, since the Ministry could no longer deny the fact that Voldemort was back.
Looking up at Ron, Harry asked. "How is, um, Percy?"
Ron frowned, but it was nothing like the reaction he had had last summer upon hearing his brother's name. "He came crawling back to us, all sorry and stuff. Mum and dad forgave him right off. But it's going to take a little more than just saying he's sorry to make me, Fred, George, Charlie, Bill, and Ginny let him off."
"What more do you want?" Harry asked.
"That's what I've been asking him." Hermione said. "He won't give me a straight answer."
"That's cause I don't know." Ron answered. "More than just I'm sorry, though." Ron shook his head, then looked up at Harry, his eyes a little brighter. "Here's something that will make you smile, Harry. Kreacher's dead."
"What?" Harry asked, looking up. Kreacher was the Black family house elf. He hated serving Sirius, and was partially to blame for what happened to Sirius. If it had not been for the house elf, Harry might not have run off like he had.
"Dead," Ron repeated. "And I say good riddance."
"Ron, that's awful." Hermione scowled, though she didn't look at all angry.
"What happened?" Harry asked.
"Apparently what he did to...what he did was betrayal of a member of the Black family. He had to punish himself. He decided his punishment ought to be hanging." Ron explained. "It was really bizarre walking into the kitchen and seeing him hanging from the rafters."
Harry groaned. "That was a mental picture I didn't need."
"It's even worse to see." Hermione mumbled. She shook her head, as if to shake out the memory. "Anyway, have you completed your summer homework, Harry?"
"Er, I've gotten through most of it." Harry answered. In truth, he had only gotten through parts of each assignment. He found he couldn't focus on Transfiguration, and History of Magic was so boring. He started his Divination homework, but the class had become so confusing since the gain the centaur instructor. He saw no reason to focus on Potions, since he would undoubtedly not be in advanced potions. But mostly he just didn't have a desire to work on the assignments. "Yeah, most of it," Harry said, grinning.
Hermione narrowed her eyes at him. "You haven't finished any of it, have you Harry Potter?"
"No you haven't. Honestly, Harry, you're just as bad as Ron." ("Hey." Ron cut it, but the glare he received from Hermione was enough to shut him up.) "And we haven't even gotten our O.W.L.'s back yet. What if you've done terribly and have to redo a class." ("I'm sure I haven't..." Harry started to say, but received the same look as Ron had and quickly closed his mouth.) "That's it. Both of you are doing your assignments now. And neither of you are leaving this room until you've finished it all."
Ron groaned but Harry grinned. "Fine, Hermione. If you insist," he said. He knew they would probably be locked up in that room all evening, and probably through dinner, trying to catch up on their work. But he didn't mind. He was with his friends again, and things strangely felt like old times. For the first time that summer, he felt like he could possibly be happy again.
Minerva stared at the thick grey-brown liquid Severus was pouring into a glass. It looked like molten metal and mud, and she thought it would probably taste about the same. She was seriously beginning to have second thoughts about her decision.
"I was able to modify the potion a little more." Snape was explaining as he poured the liquid into the glass. It had the consistency of cold molasses. "You should be able to remain sixteen for three months with this. Of course, it is much thicker than it would be normally. If you can't get it down..."
"I'll get it down, Severus." Minerva said, still giving the ugly drink an ugly look.
"Don't look so upset, Minerva." Dumbledore said, smiling at Minerva, his eyes twinkling above his half moon glasses. "What you are doing is for a very good cause."
Minerva sighed. "I know, Professor. Who all will know about... me and my...transformation?"
"Only myself and Professor Snape," Dumbledore answered, coming out from behind his desk and leaning in front of it, so that he was closer to her. "I thought that would be best. The fewer people that know, the less likely the information will get out. And remember, our whole plan hangs on Mr. Potter not knowing an adult is looking after him."
Severus snorted, but didn't say anything. He filled the glass to the top with the liquid and handed it to Minerva. "As a Muggle would say, bottom's up."
Minerva took the glass and grimaced at the contents. Taking a deep breath, she raised the cup to her lips, and then threw her head back in an attempt to swallow the potion all at once. That didn't work out as she had planned, and she choked on the foul tasting stuff before she could get the first swallow down. Taking a deep breath, she drank down the rest of it, gagging. She dropped the glass, making a spewy face. She knew right now, she must look very unprofessional, but she didn't care. The potion was the most disgusting thing she had ever had the misfortune of tasting, including that time she had gotten a vomit flavored Every Flavor Bean.
She shook her head, her eyes watering. Her head felt light. She thought she was going to faint. She had the distinct feeling that she was falling. No, not falling, shrinking. Minerva decided she had to sit down. It was a full minute before she realized she was already sitting. Maybe she should lie down instead. She thought she had slipped out of her seat, but she wasn't quite sure. She closed her eyes, everything becoming very dark...
Minerva opened her eyes to see Professor Dumbledore and Professor Snape leaning over her. She was lying on the floor, and she wondered vaguely what she was doing there.
"Are you all right?" Professor Dumbledore asked, taking hold of her arm and helping her into a sitting position.
Minerva nodded. "Y-Yes. I-I think so. I..." She stopped, speaking. The voice coming from her mouth wasn't her voice. It sounded too...young.
"I suppose I should have warned you." Professor Snape said. "The potion would have that effect the first time it is taken. There were a good number of years that needed to be taken off it was fairly concentrated. Don't worry, it should get easier to take from now on."
Minerva looked at Professor Snape, but she wasn't really listening to him. He looked much bigger than she remembered. She looked down at her hands. They weren't her hands. They belonged to a girl...not her.
"Are you sure you are all right, Minerva?" Dumbledore asked, concern shinning in his blue eyes. "You do remember what the potion was for, don't you?"
Minerva blinked. Potion? Oh, yes. To become younger so that she could after look Harry. She smiled weakly. "Yes, Professor. It's just...a...shock."
"Of course." Professor Dumbledore, stated. "I imagine it is. Would like something to drink? A glass of water or pumpkin juice?" He asked, holding out a hand to help her to feet.
Minerva shook her head. "No. No thank you." She shook her head again. For some reason, she couldn't seem to make the room stop spinning.
She looked up at Professor Dumbledore and his out stretched hand. "Oh." She said, taking his hand and allowing him to pull her to her feet. That made the room spin even more and she immediately sat in the chair behind her. "Will I feel this ill every time I take the potion?" She asked, holding her head in her hands as if that would stop the spinning.
"No." Professor Snape answered. "As I've said, the potion should get easier to take. You should probably lie down for now."
"But perhaps you would like a change of clothes first." Professor Dumbledore suggested.
Minerva looked up at him. What was wrong with what she had on? Then she noticed that her robes were a little big. In fact, her collar was slipping over one shoulder. She gathered up her robes trying to adjust them to her smaller body. "Yes, I think a change of clothes would be good." She said. "And perhaps a mirror." She added, suddenly curious as to what she looked like. It had been so long since she had been sixteen, she couldn't remember what her face had looked like then.
"Right this way." Professor Dumbledore said, waving at a small door on the other side of his office, his private bathroom. "I took the liberty to order you something from Madam Maxim's Robes for All Occasions. She promised me they were the latest fashion."
Minerva nodded and walked a bit dizzily to the bathroom. The room was fairly large, much larger than her own office. As she looked around the marble and gold gilded bathroom, she thought the job of headmaster was worth it just for this. She spotted her outfit easily. The pink stood out in this obviously masculine bathroom. She stepped up to it and frowned. The clothes consisted of pink outer robes and a pink and blue mini-dress. The dress' tail was pleated, like the skirt of a Muggle cheerleader. She started undressing and donned the new outfit, hoping she didn't look as ridiculous as she felt. After changing, she stepped up to Dumbledore's full length mirror. To her surprise, she actually looked--cute. She was shorter than she had been, but for sixteen she was fairly tall. The short skirt of the dress, accented her long legs. Her face had lost at least fifty years of age and wrinkles, and her cheeks were rosier than she could ever remember them being. Her eyes were huge behind her horn-rimmed glasses. They were a deep hazel, flashing grey-green at times, framed by dark eyelashes. Her hair had come down from the bun she usually kept it in, and hung loose around her shoulders. It was much blacker than it had been in years, and had natural copper highlights. She stared at her reflection. She certainly didn't remember being so pretty. She took off her glasses. They didn't match her younger face, and she made a mental note to get a new pair.
Stepping away from the mirror she picked up her old robes and folded them neatly, placing them in the cushy arm chair. She placed her shoes next to the chair (they were much to large for her now) and stepped out the bathroom bare footed. Both Snape and Dumbledore turned to look at her, when they heard the door open. Snape raised his eye brows at her, as if surprised to see her looking as she was. Minerva didn't blame him, she would have never thought she would be caught dead in pink.
"Well," Snape said, grinning wickedly. "You shall have all the young men after you in no time."
Minerva gave him the stern look she usually reserved for her students. From the look on Snape's face, she could tell the look didn't have the same effect on a sixteen year old face. Dumbledore was grinning as well, and she turned the look on him. He quickly erased the look, but he couldn't hide the laughter in his eyes.
"Feeling better?" Dumbledore asked, still trying to keep a straight face.
"Yes. I am." Minerva answered.
"Well, I am glad to hear that. Have you given any thought to your name?"
Minerva blinked. "My name?" she asked.
"Well, yes." Professor Dumbledore said. "You certainly can't go around calling your self Minerva McGonagall. The students might find that...suspicious."
"Oh. Yes, of course you're right. But no, I haven't thought about it at all."
"Perhaps you can go by a childhood nickname." Snape suggested. "Did you have one?"
"My parents used to call me Mindy." Minerva answered, "But I hate that nickname."
"I think Mindy is perfect." Dumbledore said, smiling, "And a last name. Maybe your mother's maiden name."
"James." Minerva said. "But Professor, I hate the name Mindy."
"Mindy James it is." Professor Dumbledore said, ignoring Minerva's last statement. "I suggest you start thinking of yourself as that. It'll make it easier to be recognized when someone calls you."
"Professor. You aren't listening." Minerva said. "I hate the name Mindy James."
Professor Dumbledore gave her a long suffering look, a look he only used with his students. "Minerva, I assure you ninety-five percent of the students here are not completely satisfied with their names. I believe Mindy James suit you. Now, Hagrid will take you shopping for your school things. Do remember to be fitted for your school robes. You should go rest for now, you'll have a busy day tomorrow." And with that Dumbledore turned to his desk, picking up some paper work and seemingly forgetting that Minerva and Snape were still in his office.
Minerva frowned. Mindy. Yuck. Then she frowned at her choice of words to express her dislike with the name. Being sixteen is going to suck. Frowning again at her word choice she twirled around, her pink robes flaring out behind her, and stomped out of the headmaster's office. This was going to be the worst year she had ever experienced at Hogwarts, she was sure of it.
I hope you enjoyed my first chapter. I always hate first chapters. They always seem to start off so slow to me. But anyways, things'll pick up around ch. 3 or 4. Review, please. But only if you have something nice or at least constructive to say. I'll burn any bad reviews and use the flames to make smores. Yum. Smores.