Potions and Pilferings

Summery: Snape is love-struck, McGonagall hides in Dumbledore's office, and someone's been raiding the girls' dorms. A little insanity now and then never hurt anyone…I don't think.

Disclaimer: Blah-blah-blah, don't own a thing, blah-blah-blah.

Professor Minerva McGonagall rushed down the deserted castle hallway, her voluminous robes flapping behind her, cautiously looking over her shoulder at odd intervals. She came to a stone gargoyle recessed in the wall and gasped out the password.

"Chocolate frogs."

The statue slowly spun upwards, trailing a spiral staircase. McGonagall quickly jumped on the platform and rode it up to the Headmaster's office. Bursting through the huge oaken doors she found Dumbledore lounging on a loveseat, half asleep, an ancient tome open in his lap.

"You have to hide me, Albus!"

Dumbledore looked up from his reading and blinked at the hysterical professor. "My dear, what seems to be the problem?"

She ducked behind the loveseat. "Someone spiked Severus' pumpkin juice with a love potion and now he won't leave me alone. You have to hide me!"

"Are you sure Severus isn't just trying to be nice?"

"Oh, I'm sure." Her green eyes widened in fear behind her spectacles and she transformed into a cat before scampering under his seat.

Snape came running up the stairs and stumbled through the door. "Dumbledore, have you seen Minerva anywhere?"

Albus opened his mouth and then thought better of his answer. The fact that Minerva had jabbed him with one of her very sharp claws might have had something to do with it.

"I…I'm afraid not Severus. Is there anything I can do for you…something I can tell Professor McGonagall if I see her?"

"I doubt it. It's of the greatest importance."

"If it's so important I think I should know. I am the headmaster after all."

Snape held a fist to his heart and tried to strike a gallant pose. "I must profess my undying love to her."

Albus pursed his lips, looking as if he were lost in thought. In truth he was trying not to laugh. Minerva poked his ankle again.

"I do believe I heard her say something earlier about going to talk to Poppy up in the infirmary. You might find her there."

Severus nodded and headed out the door with the utmost speed. Albus strode over to his desk, took out a piece of parchment, scribbled something on it, and handed it to his phoenix, Fawkes.

"Please give this to Madam Pomfrey immediately and make sure Severus does not leave the infirmary until she tends to him."

Fawkes bowed his head before soaring out the window. Minerva crept out from under the love seat and peered around cautiously.

"It's all right Minerva. Your true love is gone."

He didn't think it was possible for a cat to scowl but Minerva did. After a few tentative sniffs of the air she returned to normal, reached under the loveseat, and put her hat back on as she dropped onto the seat. Albus sat down next to her and absently patted her hand.

"Don't worry. Poppy will have Severus back to normal in no time. Although, I have to admit, he looked much happier in his present state."

She glowered at the old man and then there was a knock on the door. Minerva promptly returned to her feline form, fearing Severus had returned and snuggled up against Albus' leg, effectively hiding her identifying marks. To anyone else she would appear a normal tabby cat.

"Come in."

Harry, Hermione, and Ron made their way in and glanced about the room as if in search of something or someone.

"Can I be of some service?"

"Sir, have you seen Professor McGonagall or Snape?" Harry asked.

"Professor Snape should be in the infirmary by now and I have yet to see Professor McGonagall."

"Oh, well if you do, would you tell them we found out who took part in the panty raids this past week."

Dumbledore's eyebrow slowly rose. "Panty raids?"

"Someone has been hitting the girls' dorm this last week, one house each night, and has been…"

Ron blushed furiously and Hermione took over. "Someone's been stealing the girls' undergarments and hiding them away. It seems Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle were the culprits."

"I take it they're receiving their just punishment?"

Harry made a funny face. "I think Filch is having them do the wash for the whole week."

"…or hanging them from the ceiling by their ankles. I think he's leaning toward the latter." Ron supplied.

Albus absentmindedly began to scratch behind the cat's ears as he vocalized his thoughts. "I think I'll have to have a talk with Argus before the boys serve their time."

Minerva began to purr, and quite loudly; which didn't escape the notice of Hermione.

"When did you get a cat Professor?"

Albus stopped his ministrations and looked at his idle hand, still resting on the cat's head. "Oh, this is just a stray that found its way to my office. I'm taking care of her until I can find a good home for the poor thing."

"I think I remember Ginny saying she was looking for a pet, Professor. I know she'd love to have a cat." Ron said.

"I'll take that into serious consideration Mr. Weasley."

Satisfied with his answer the students left for the infirmary to hopefully (or not so hopefully) find Professor Snape. Albus turned back to his tome and began stroke his hand up and down the back of the tabby still tucked against his leg. He failed to notice when she transformed into a woman who started leaning very close to him, his hand still slowly traveling up and down her spine.

Minerva's eyes were half closed and she purred in contentment. "If you don't stop that by next year Albus Dumbledore, I'll hex you."

Albus' hand stopped mid-stroke and he blinked at her. "Oh, I see you're back. The coast, as they say, is clear. I suppose you heard the news from Ms. Granger?"

She nodded and he cocked his head. "Did you just purr while in your human form, my dear?"

"Well…yes." Minerva blushed and looked slightly put out as she fixed her slightly rumpled robes.

His blue eyes twinkled as he ran a hand up her spine and tugged at an errant lock of hair that had worked its way out of her tight bun. She involuntarily arched her back under his hand and let out a little purr.

He leaned close and whispered in her ear. "It's nice to know that after all these years, I'm the one that makes you purr, dear Tabby."