Coming Out of the Broom Closet (Chapter One)
I enter the transfiguration room. I'm quite early, but that suits me fine. I can see her already preparing for the next class. My class. She won't notice me, though. She's far too busy.
Hogwarts is my home. I shouldn't feel so uncomfortable in my own home. Though, to be honest, it's not really her fault I feel uncomfortable. I don't know why I feel this way. Ever since Christmas break, though. I've been entertaining strange thoughts in my head. I know none of my fantasies will happen. But they are rather fun to have in my head.
I always want to be near her. I don't understand. I have friends I can talk to about this…. But I doubt they would understand. How could they? They wouldn't, no couldn't, understand.
Just seeing her… Being there while she talks and laughs… I cherish these moments. I can't stand being away from Professor McGonagall for a long period of time. I try to steal moments away that I can visit her, but I know she's busy. She works here. She doesn't come here to talk to me or any of her other students. But still, I feel a deep connection with her. Like I can tell her anything. Can I though? Will this be too much for her? With this cross the student-teacher line? Which admission do I start with? Can I really expect her to understand and accept this when I have not yet reached that point?
Have I known her that long? No. But I still feel that there is something about me that no one could understand but her. She's gone through this, hasn't she? Thinking she might be gay? Knowing in her heart of hearts that she was a lesbian? She must have. She is all but married to Madam Hooch. That means she clearly came out at one point.
She looks up at me and smiles a hello. My heart soars. She appears to be talking. I look around. I'm the only one in the room.
"Hermione?" The way she said my name makes me think she's said a few times already. I must look aware again as she continues speaking. "You're here early." Professor McGonagall tells me, "Is anything wrong?"
"I'm fine professor. Really. I just have something important to tell you. It's just…" I began. Flustered for words. How do I begin? Do I merely say "I'm in love with you,"? Do I tell her "I think I'm a lesbian,"? Should I tell her? Wouldn't it only complicate things? Do I really care at this point? I have to tell someone.
"What is it? Are you okay? Is anything wrong?" she repeats. "You can tell me. I'm listening."
"That's part of the problem," I think to myself. "I'm not…" I manage to choke out before the remainder of the class filters in. "… in my seat and class is about to start." I tried to tell her, didn't I? Would I have told her if the class hadn't entered? She looked at me as if she knew what I had planned on saying. I prayed she didn't. I went and took my seat between Harry and Ron with the rest of the Gryffindors. She smiles a knowing smile at me and begins to teach.
I know I should be paying attention, but I can't help feeling distracted. Today could be the day I tell Professor McGonagall I love her, or that I'm a lesbian at the very least. I'll feel better once I tell someone, won't I?
I can't believe I hadn't noticed before what an amazing woman she is. Beautiful, talented, funny… Simply amazing. I noticed myself noticing small things about her I find to be quirky and adorable. For instance, the way she tightens her bun when she's upset, the way her mouth curves when she's about to smile, the dimples she gets in her cheeks while laughing her adorable laugh, the…
"Okay everyone, good class today! See you all tomorrow!" Did I really not pay attention during all of class? I hope Ron or Harry took good notes. Assuming I'll be ready to focus on anything once I tell her. I'm sure panic attacks will abound.
"You coming Hermione?" Ron and Harry ask me from the door. I wave them away.
"I'll meet you at flying." I tell them. They nod and walk off. Flying… My stomach drops when I think of Madam Hooch. I have to see her next. Ordinarily, she's fine. One of my three favorite teachers, second only to McGonagall herself. Professor McGonagall looks up at me and my heart leaps into my throat.
"I thought there was more you had to say to me." she informs me, "I'm assuming you are going to tell me this time?" She grins and my heart skips a beat. I made her smile… "What is it Hermione?"
"I… I'm… not… straight." I tell her, looking down at my hands. They were shaking, badly. I'm sure she noticed. She started speaking in gentler tones.
"Okay…"She sits down, sensing that I am going to want to elaborate.
"I've known for a while, but I didn't admit it out loud until…" I cannot make myself tell her the truth. That I could not admit it aloud until I met her. I say nothing further yet.
"Is there someone inspiring these feelings?" she asks me.
I manage to squeeze out the truth. "Yes. There is someone."
"Do I know them?" She asks me. Do I answer truthfully? She'll know if I'm lying. She knows almost every one of her students and has a personal relationship with each one. I must try to answer without lying. She can tell when I lie. She sees right through me.
"Yes." I answer again. I know by this point I will not tell her that it is she who is inspiring these feelings. I realize I may never work up the courage. I begin to feel heat in my cheeks. I know I'm blushing. "I… need to go…" I mutter, standing while picking up my bag and slinging it over my shoulder. "I have flying…" I begin to walk out.
"Wait. I'll talk to her. Stay here, sit." She commands before gliding out purposefully.
What do I do when she gets back? What is she going to ask me? Should I try to answer with a lie if I can't take the pressure of her knowing? I know she would know if I lied, but wouldn't that be preferable to her knowing?
Several minutes pass and I hear footsteps in the corridors. Hers. I'm sure of it. My heart begins to race and I stop breathing for several seconds as I know she is returning. My hands begin shaking again. Or had they never stopped? What am I doing here? What have I done? I can't stop the chain reaction now. Professor McGonagall enters once again. I feel my face grow hot again. That's all the proof she needs to know that it's her.
She doesn't seem to have noticed, though. Instead, she sits down upon her stool and looks at me as if prompting me to continue where I left off. I stare back at her. Had her eyes always been so deep and inviting? I felt as though I could get lost I them. They seemed safe. No pressure or doubt. I longed to allow myself to lose myself in them, but I knew she was paying very much attention to me at the moment so I fought to focus. "You are the only one I've told, so far. I'm just not sure how Harry and Ron would react."
"Are you nervous about telling your parents?" She waited before answering herself.
"I hadn't even thought of that! I was raised in a Muggle society where we were taught it's wrong. That's one of the reasons I haven't told anyone yet!" I was still staring at my hands which I now noticed were becoming blotchy and rather clammy. I tucked them into my robe pockets so that she would hopefully notice less. "I really need to go now." I insisted again. Once again I rose from the stool opposite hers. She did not stop me this time. She clearly sensed I was getting too nervous to continue speaking about it.
"Well, Madam Hooch does not expect you for class today so if you like, you may return to your dormitory to rest. Or calm down at any rate."
She stood as I left and I knew she was planning to go speak with Madam Hooch abut what I just told her. She was merely waiting until I was out of sight. I walked briskly toward the Gryffindor common room entrance tower. She could talk about me all she liked. I was feeling far too sick to care. My brisk walk turned into a run once I heard her heels beginning to click down the corridor. I needed to get as far away from that room as possible.
I reached the common room and raced up to my dormitory before crashing down on my four poster bed to sleep away my sickness. Flying and divination be damned. I was sleeping through supper and quite possibly straight through until breakfast the next morning. I laid there quite a while before the exhaustion of the days events overtook my senses and allowed me to drift into a sleep that was anything but dreamless.