Minerva's mirror: Chapter 5

(The great hall: breakfast the following day)

"My mirror's gone on strike."

"On strike? How can it do that?"

"It keeps steaming itself up every time I go near it. Can't see a thing."

"But why on earth would it do that?"

"Said I was reckless with my hair. Said that as I was prepared to take advice from other quarters without first verifying their competency, I clearly no longer required its services. I wonder, Professor Flitwick, is my beard tidy this morning?"

"Perfect, as usual, Headmaster. But I still don't understand. Where have you been getting alternative hair-care advice?"

"From Minerva."

"Still I fail to understand…"

"Well, the mirror thinks it is inappropriate for me to take advice from her when I have never actually seen her hair. Down, I mean."

"I am completely confused."

"It thinks she's hiding something. Thinks she's got something wrong with her hair."

"But surely she only wears it up for practical reasons?"

"Well that's what I thought. But when I asked her to come and prove it to the mirror, she refused."

"Perhaps she thinks it's all nonsense."

"Well, of course it is! But I don't think it was that which stopped her. She seemed more embarrassed than annoyed. Wouldn't give me an explanation as to why not either."

"Very strange!"

"Indeed!"

(Toast munched meditatively)

"Have you ever seen her with her hair down, Filius?"

"Don't think I ever have, Albus."

"Me neither. Not in all the years I've known her. I wonder why she won't show the mirror."

"Perhaps there is something wrong with it."

"Nonsense!"

"Well, perhaps she dyed it irreversibly once and she wears it up to hide the mistake."

(Pause)

"You don't have much hair, do you Filius?"

"Not much, as you see."

"Hmm. I don't think your theory holds out, then."

"No?"

"No. And I do not believe that there is anything wrong with Minerva's hair. But I must confess that I find it a pretty little mystery, and I am determined to get to the bottom of it."

(Flitwick emits squeak)

"I think you should steer well clear of Minerva McGonagall's bottom, Headmaster! Unless you want to be transfigured again into that rather nasty…"

"Thank you Filius! I don't need reminding. But have no fear. I am not interested in Minerva's bottom. Only her head."

"Jolly good, Headmaster. But I'm not certain that messing with her head is any safer than messing with her..."

"Good morning Filius!"

(Albus quickly exits the Great Hall via the side door, slamming it behind him.)