"Meet the McDores"
A young wizard nervously checked the robes he put on merely five minutes ago. His bed was covered with discarded robes. 'My parents don't care what you wear. Just show them you worship me like the goddess I am, and you're fine.' Her words echoed in his mind. The sound of someone opening the door made him smile. His love was home.
"Nicky, where are you? I'm sorry, Madam Bones was going on and on about the Toad case. I'll change and then we're leaving. Mom is a lateness freak. I fear for her charges. "Aurora quickly rushed to the closet and searched for the tartan robes her mother loved on her.
"By the way, you still haven't told me what your parents do. Their
Names are Al and Vera right?" Niccolo called into the abyss Aurora called a closet.
"Ummm…yeah." How do you tell your boyfriend your parents are the greatest witch and wizard in the world?
"You still haven't told me what they do. I know your mom has to take time off with the pregnancy. Is her job really that difficult? What is she, an Auror?" Niccolo said jokingly.
"No that was her old job." Aurora responded dryly walking out. Looking at her boyfriend, she smiled,
"Good choice in robes. My parents love the colors red and gold. But being Gryffindors, it's a given. Well, let's go. We're apparating to Hogsmeade." Aurora emerged from the closet dressed in midnight blue robes. She grabbed Niccolo's hands and they were off.
Minerva glanced at the table. Four places were set, the food was being kept warm and for the first time in a week she didn't have heartburn. Albus was busy counting lemon drops for his chess game with Niccolo later that night. She paused, remembering that she needed to tell Xiomara she was in charge of Gryffindor the night.
"Mina, is this the one? Rory seems to be very serious. She's never bought someone to meet us. He plays chess, right?"
Rolling her eyes, Minerva hoped Niccolo Curtis liked listening to an old man ramble as she was getting sick of it.
"I'm going to take Xiomara to meet with the prefects. Don't plan anything to embarrass our daughter. I will see you later." Minerva kissed her husband, who deepen the kiss and attempted to pull her down into his lap.
"Later." His eyes held promise. Minerva was amazed at 26 weeks Albus still found her attractive to the point of coming into her free period for an afternoon 'chess game'. She was also amazed she didn't mind.
Turning the corner to remind Xiomara she was in charge second to the prefects, Minerva smiled.
Suddenly out of nowhere a hawk began to dive bomb her head. Gliding back for a second run, the hawk was grabbed by two hands. Screeching from the top of her lungs the hawk didn't struggle. Minerva tossed the hawk onto the desk as she entered her office.
"Damn, Min, do you have to throw me on the desk? Couldn't you be more gentle when you "place" me on the desk?" complained Xiomara.
"Must you dive bomb me? You know I hate that. As much as when you decide cats should fly and pick me up. "Minerva countered.
The two witches stared at each other for a second and then started to crack up. Reaching for a deck of cards, Minerva began to deal cards for Lerczak's Draw. Picking up her cards, Minerva commented that she expected a slow night in the tower. Xiomara waved that off saying any trouble makers could scrub the Quiddich rings.
"How long have they been dating?" Xiomara knew that Aurora and Apollo waited for a relationship to get serious before revealing their identity.
"About eight months, I think. Before this set of kittens were made." Minerva gently rubbed her stomach.
"Are you beginning to get anxious? You look so uncomfortable."
"I just want to keep them in as long as possible. Enjoying this more since I know this will be the last time. Speaking of kittens, I should go. Rory and Niccolo will be here soon."
"Have fun torturing your offspring." Xiomara grinned wickedly as she changed back and began to barrel towards Gryffidors tower.
Minerva rolled her eyes and continued on her way to her and Albus' chambers. She hoped that Albus was ready and dressed. With Aurora due anytime, she wanted Albus and her to be at the front door.
Somewhere in Hogsmeade
When Niccolo apparated to Hogsmeade, he begun to wonder who exactly the McDores were. Most people that lived in the village were shopkeepers. Aurora mentioned that her parents had held several different jobs.
"Well, mom said just to walk. " Niccolo looked up at the direction that Aurora pointed to.
"Rory, that's Hogwarts."
"You know what I like about you? You notice the obvious. Com'n. We're already late. "
Aurora took Niccolo's hand and began to lead him toward the buildings. Pausing for a moment, her face became serious.
"That's a weird expression. What's wrong?" Niccolo asked. It was so rare to see Aurora serious.
"I need you not to freak out about the information I'm telling you. It's about my parents."
"O.k…." Please don't let them be vampires or werewolves.
"I lied to you about my parents."
"Al and Vera aren't your parents?" Niccolo slowly asked, humoring Aurora.
"No, they are."
"Al and Vera aren't their real names. Their real names are Albus and Minerva." They reached the front door of Hogwarts.
"Minerva, huh? They continued the whole gods and goddesses thing with you and Apollo. Wait…the one who teaches here."
"That means your father is Albus Dumbledore. Minerva McGonagall. McDore. Clever. " Aurora thought Niccolo was taking this really well.
"You are ok with this?"
"Sure. My girlfriend's parents are the greatest witch and wizard in the century. No problem."
Raising an eyebrow, Aurora knocked at the door. The door was open immediately.
"Rory! How are you, kitten?" Minerva attempted to hug to Aurora, only to find her stomach got in the way.
"Mom, you look great! This is Niccolo. He works as a liaison for the court to St. Mungo's."
"Welcome to our home, well the one during the school year. I guess we're going to eat in…."Minerva trailed off seeing the look on Niccolo's face.
"You're Minerva McGonagall." Niccolo said.
"Well, yes I suppose for the last seventy-nine years, I've been Minerva McGonagall. Are you Niccolo Curtis?"
Niccolo nodded, confused.
Turning to her daughter, Minerva asked,
"Are you Aurora McDore?"
"For the past thirty-eight years.".
"Well, I'm happy we got that out of the way. A couple years ago, we had a real problem with imposers. Your father is waiting in our suite. When your Aunt Pommie heard you were coming, she insisted making your favorite strawberry lemonade. My daughter the only person who likes lemonade in October." Minerva smiled at her daughter.
"Really? Great! " Turning to Niccolo, she said, "Aunt Pommie makes the best lemonade ever."
"You're Minerva McGonagall."
"Rory, are you sure he was in Ravenclaw? I'm Minerva McGonagall, and you are dating my daughter, and we're going to eat dinner. Nothing too complex, ok?" Minerva could tell Niccolo would probably faint when he meet Albus.
Minerva led them to the Room of Requirement, where a replicate of the McDore kitchen was placed.
"Albus and the rest will be join us in a few moments."
"The rest? Mom, I thought it was just going to be us and you and dad." Aurora cried.
"Aurora, tonight is a McDore night. Of course your brothers will be joining us. You didn't mention Harry was living with us?" Minerva scrutinized her daughter.
"Not exactly. Nicky, my parents took in an orphan, who happened to be mom's godson, Harry. Of course you know Apollo. "
"Harry, as in Harry Potter? " Niccolo asked.
"Well, of course. He's my godson. But enough about family. You'll just meet them in a few minutes. " Minerva smiled.
"Fewer than a few minutes. We're here." Albus returned with Apollo and Harry both with mischievous grins.
"I'm Albus. The one with the messy hair is, obviously, Harry. James and Lily did an excellent job naming him. And Apollo, I believe you know from St. Mungo's."
"Hello, Niccolo. How are you doing?" Harry asked.
Of course, Niccolo didn't answer, due to his fainting. But Albus expected this, and turned to Minerva, saying,
"I knew he was going to be a fainter. Mina, you owe me ten gallons!"
Rolling her eyes at her childish husband, Minerva said,
"Well, enervate him. I'm hungry and dinner's ready."
"Fine, if you insist." Albus clapped his hands and Niccolo immediately woke up.
"What happen?" Niccolo looked around the faces surrounding him.
"Nothing really, you just fainted. Of course there's a more complex medical explanation. But mom's starving, so we are going to eat now." Apollo answered helpfully.
"Oh. O.k. " Niccolo let himself be led to the table.
"Pol, I had the house elves make stir fry for you. The rest of us will have three meat lasagna. I was in the mood for Italian. I thought we would dine in the Room of Requirement." Minerva glanced around the room which looked festival.
As the family sat down, Albus smiled at Niccolo,
"So Niccolo, Rory told us you're a chess player. I hope you wouldn't mind joining me in a game after dinner."
Swallowing the hot lasagna in hurry, Niccolo said,
"No, it would be my pleasure. Aurora has said that because of the skills you taught her playing chess is the reason she is such a good lawyer. Is true you are reigning champion of England in wizard chess?" Niccolo thought the topic was safe and easy to stick to.
Albus' face suddenly closed up. His blue eyes glared at Niccolo in fury. The room suddenly grew awkward and still.
Minerva broke the silence.
"We don't mention the championship. Albus thinks his opponent won by cheating."
"Oh. Well, my grandmother often said cheaters get what is coming to them. I'm sure he got what he deserve, the no-good S.O.B."
For some reason, Albus seemed even more upset at this. Minerva grasped his arm and gave him a look.
"I'm the current reigning champion. Albus thinks I used my feminine wiles to distracted him.
The dinner continued in awkward silence for about twenty minutes with only Fawkes singing a mournful song for Niccolo. Soon it was time to play games.
While setting up the mini Quiddich set, Apollo, knowing how much his sister liked Niccolo decided to take pity on the young wizard.
"Nic, (can I call you Nic?) I hear from Aurora you are doing research for the case against Umbridge. That must be interesting. "
Feeling more comfortable with the subject of law, Niccolo begin to explain the details of the case. Once he got to the case of students feeling the need to take matters into their own hands, Albus winked at Harry
"I believe that the students in Dumbleddore's Army had no other recourse. Two students even created a swamp in the hallways…."
"I'm good friends with those students. They started a store selling joke products. I even get free samples to try out. Here's the newest one. 'Release the Beast' Since Professor McGonagall is off duty tonight, I'm safe with giving you this." Harry said cheerfully.
Niccolo took the blue and green stripe candy and chewed. Not a minute later, there was a blue and green snake slithering around the room.
"MOM! Make Harry turn him back!"
" what's going on? Who's hissing? Oh, wait, I'm hissing. I'm hissing! Why am I hissing? Aurora!"
"Hey, Nic. What's the buzz? Tell me what a-happening." Harry switched over to parseltongue without thinking.
"Harry! You can understand me! What happen?"
"I just gave you a piece of candy and you turned a snake."
"It's kinda funny if you think about it…."
Albus interrupted the conservation.
"Harry, perhaps you could give Niccolo the antidote."
"What do you mean, uh-oh?" Aurora cried.
"I used up the antidote on Neville."
''I don't want to a be snake! You need to change me!"
Minerva and Albus sighed. This was a practiced drill among the staff . Minerva went over to the fireplace, while Albus flipped through a glowing book.
"Well, they didn't update the antidote book in a couple weeks. We really need to get them to do that weekly."
Minerva rolled her eyes, and agreed. She went to the fireplace, threw blue powder in and called out,
Minerva threw floo powder and called out,
"Weasley's Wizard Wheezes."
A redhead popped into the fire place.
"Weasley's Wizard Wheezes. No prank too small or too inappropriate. Half off Umbridge swamps this week…."
"Fred, I need the master spell to Release the Beast." Minerva was one of the few who could the twins apart.
"Ah, let's see." Fred rummaged through a thick book. "Yes. contineo – bestia should do it."
"Thank you. Come over for a pick Quiddich game sometime. Hooch misses her favorite beaters."
Minerva turned to the room and looked at Niccolo.
"You know he is a rather cute snake…."
"Oh fine. " Minerva waved her hand over Niccolo.
Niccolo returned to his natural state. Harry smiled weakly, knowing Niccolo is likely to explode.
"What was that?"
"I really was a snake?"
"Um, yeah. Sorry about the whole antidote thing."
"Sorry! Listen buddy I know you're the Boy who lived but you can't just embarrassed people in front of their girlfriend's parents, I was a snake! I'm dating a former Gryffindor do see the problem? Her parents are Minerva and Albus Dumbledore. They're on Chocolate frogs, for Merlin's sake!"
Albus cut Niccolo off, by asking if he would like a lemon drop.
"What are they?" Niccolo looked at small yellow oval shape candy.
" Lemon flavor Muggle candy. I love them! Really you must try them!"
Taken back by Albus' enthusiasm for a mere candy, Niccolo replied, "Sure."
Albus gave him the candy, which Niccolo began to suck on.
"You know this is quite good. I think the Muggles are on to something."
Albus beamed at someone else loving his beloved candy. Suddenly Niccolo was grasping for air, with a rash quickly spreading over his face.
"Albus! Get Poppy now! I'll loosen his collar."
Albus nodded, and jotted a note, which he gave to Fawkes, who burst in flames. This sight of flames seemed panic Niccolo more.
"Nicky, it's ok. Remember Fawkes is a phoenix. That's the way he travels." Aurora soothed, stroking his forehead.
A minute later, Poppy tumbled out of the fireplace. Shaking her head she looked at Niccolo, and turned to Albus.
"What did he have?"
"A lemon drop."
At this information, Poppy glared at Albus.
"Albus Percival Wulfric Brian McGonagall-Dumbledore, how many times have I told you not to give people Muggle candy! Magic people haven't been exposed to the candy. Sano-signum."
The reaction immediately lessen and Niccolo took several deep breaths.
"Are you trying to kill your future son-in-law?" Poppy snapped at Albus.
Albus looked at Minerva for help with the question. She shrugged.
"Eh, it is a valid question, dear."
"Not at all. Besides I would hire someone else to do that. I have connections." Albus replied indignantly.
"Well, Niccolo, I think you should go home and relax. And be happy you are escaping alive. I remember when Apollo bought home Ella Rankin….what a shame that was."
Aurora, Apollo, Albus, Minerva and Poppy bowed their heads and took a moment to remember Ella Baugh.
"You could use Fawkes to go back to your apartment." Albus offered.
"No! I mean, no thank you, sir. If you could create a portkey…" Niccolo seemed a bit wary of phoneix travel.
"Of course. Well, it was lovely to meet you Niccolo. You're welcome to come back anytime."
After Niccolo had settle down in bed, still recovering from the allergic reaction from the lemon drop, he looked at Aurora with such fear.
"Oh, don't worry. I'm sure Harry didn't mean to give you that candy but at least you could talk him while you were in the snake form. Fawkes only bursts into flames near people he really likes. And he was just getting Aunt Poppy because of the reaction. And you could've refused the lemon drop, really. Just tell papa you were allergic. Oh, well. But I think mom likes you."
Niccolo still was afraid but began to relax. At least he made one good impression and Minerva seemed like reasonable person. Just as he was asleep, he heard Aurora said,
"Remind me to tell you about how mom and my aunts kill a man."
Niccolo laid awake for the rest of the night. Dating a McDore could horizons to one's health.
Albus turned to Minerva in bed,
"What a nice young man. I do hope we didn't scare him too much."
" Well, it could've been worse. Goodnight, dear. Love you."
Leaning over and kissing her belly, then her lips, Albus replied" Love you three."
Just then a loud crash was heard coming from Gryffindor tower.