Busybody. Meddler. Notorious snoop. I, Rolanda Hooch- with one ear planted firmly upon the crevice of Minerva McGonagall's bed chamber door- certainly seemed to be living up to my titles that one particular night in October. The night had begun innocently enough. Most of the students were spending their weekend at Hogsmeade, so the corridors were fairly empty. I had come to wish my dear friend and fellow Hogwarts teacher Minerva a good night and to bring her a fresh tin of the Ginger Newts she has always loved so much. I knocked, but there was no answer. All that could be heard from inside was moaning, rustling of bed sheets, and the mumbling of an unrecognizable name. My jaw dropped. After a few seconds of straining my ears to hear, suddenly the name Minerva was calling out became clear. Albus.
I immediately dropped the tin of Ginger Newts I was holding and ran back to my own chambers as quickly as my legs could carry me. How could Minerva do this? Most importantly, how could she not tell me this was happening! I threw myself onto the couch and shook my head in an effort to erase the mental image of the Headmaster and his Deputy. Despite my shock and slight disgust at the situation, I smiled to myself. Finally, after all these years...
Minerva showed up for breakfast the next day looking, with no surprise to me, profusely exhausted. She had very little to say even to Albus who looked concerned with Minerva's odd behavior. I, the caring friend that I am, made a decision possibly even against my own better judgment. I would consult Minerva and confess what I had overheard.
She'll kill me, I thought to myself as I made my way to Minerva's chambers. It was dark, and I wasn't paying much attention. Who could really concentrate in a position like this? Halfway down the hall, I collided with someone ahead of me. I caught my balance and, as he turned around, I realized that the someone was none other than Albus Dumbledore himself.
"You!" I stammered. "Oy! Not again."
Add that to my list of predicaments! The Headmaster stared at me. I knew what he was thinking.
"...Should I take you to Madam Pomfrey?" he asked calmly.
I gave a nervous, weary laugh.
"No, thank you. I was just on my way to visit Minerva."
"Ah, then we are going to the same place. I don't believe she's been feeling well lately. I wanted to see if there was something I could do for her."
"By the sounds of it, you already have," I muttered.
"I beg your pardon?" he said.
"Nothing!" I said quickly.
He nodded and led the way. I prayed silently that Minerva was not yet prepared for Dumbledore's visit. I had been through quite enough surprise over the last two nights to last for years. We reached Minerva's door, and Dumbledore knocked.
"Albus," Minerva called out as clearly as if she was standing directly on the other side of the door. "I love you."
I gasped. Looking up at Dumbledore, I could see his face redden, but he knocked on the door again, pretending not to have noticed. I heard footsteps from inside. Minerva opened the door and looked questioningly from Dumbledore to me. I dropped my gaze to the floor as I could not bring myself to make eye contact.
"What's wrong?" Minerva asked. "Is everyone okay?"
Dumbledore nodded. "We were worried about you Minerva. You don't seem to have been feeling well lately."
"Come inside," she said and gestured for us to enter.
She followed and began pouring tea. I found the silence extremely awkward and hoped someone would say something soon. Minerva handed us each a cup of tea and sighed.
"I haven't been sleeping very well lately," she said.
Ha, I wonder why, I thought to myself, fighting to refrain from rolling my eyes.
Minerva went on. "I continue having these strange dreams that keep me tossing and turning all night. I never seem to get any rest."
"Perhaps Madam Pomfrey could give you something to help you relax," Dumbledore suggested.
I could tell Minerva hated the idea by the sudden narrowing of her eyebrows and thinning of her lips. Dumbledore obviously saw it too.
"Minerva, something must be done," he said. "I can't stand seeing you like this."
Minerva grinned. "Albus, I'm thankful for your concern, but I think I will be just fine."
This was beginning to make me sick all over again. I had the feeling the two of them were forgetting my presence, so I cleared my throat loudly before the conversation could progress any further. Minerva snapped her head towards me and looked at me as if I had suddenly appeared out of thin air. She shook her head.
"I am frequently awakened by falling off the bed or even talking in my sleep. It seems that whatever I do, I simply cannot get any rest."
I chocked on the tea I was drinking. Everything was suddenly becoming clear. Talking in her sleep? Is that what I heard! Minerva raised an eyebrow.
"Did you by any chance... awaken last night while talking in your sleep?" I asked.
"Yes," she said. "In fact, I did. But how did you-"
"Oh, just wondering," I replied sheepishly, wondering if I could cast an unnoticed spell that would make me disappear. "Well, I think I'd better get going."
I stood up, and Minerva and Dumbledore followed my action.
"You don't have to-" Minerva began.
"No, no. It's getting late. I think I'll just leave you two alone," I said.
I left swiftly so that no other questions could emerge. As soon as I closed the door behind me, I could have sworn I heard something... something that sounded exactly like the moaning and rustling I had heard before. I quickened my step until I could no longer hear the sounds, never to look back.
If you are ever in a hallway of Hogwarts late at night and you hear strange sounds, probably the best thing to do in your case is not to snoop or meddle into it. I have learned that the hard way.
A/N: Somniloquy, btw, means "sleep talking".