Minerva's death

Characters belong to Rowling and Terry Pratchett

"I must say that I am most thankful for you taking the time," Minerva said and sipped on her cup of tea. "Most people are so rushed these days."

IN MY EXPERIENCE, the person on the other end of the table said, PEOPLE ARE JUST IN TIME.

"I wish I could say the same," Minerva frowned. "Of course, getting in time to class is a somewhat different matter than getting in time to an appointment with you."

YES.

"Could I perhaps treat you with a biscuit? Pomona makes them herself."

I WOULD BE MOST OBLIGED TO YOU, Death said, and Minerva watched with interest as a bony hand emerged from the black cloak and took one of the gingerbread cats Pomona had made her.

She wasn't afraid, which surprised her somewhat. Neither was she regretful or angry, because after a certain age you know with increasingly certainty that whatever the future has in store, it hasn't a lot of it for yourself. Most of all, Minerva was happy that her case, as she liked to think of it as, was handled by a man - a person - who obviously took pride in his workmanship. She said so much.

YOU FLATTER ME, PROFESSOR McGONAGALL, he answered and bowed slightly. I AM HAPPY TO SAY THAT I RARELY HAVE COMPLAINTS. HOWEVER, IT IS RARE TO BE INVITED FOR TEA. IT IS MOST POLITE OF YOU.

To her amazement, Minerva felt herself blushing.

"Please..." she said, but she couldn't find any way of finishing the sentence, so she left it hanging. She took another sip of her tea.

"You must be very busy," she noted. "I'm surprised that you find time for a litle chit-chat with a client."

THE SAME, SPEAKING OF USE OF AVAILABLE TIME, COULD BE SAID WITH RATHER MORE ACCURACY FOR YOURSELF, Death noted. Minerva shrugged.

"My affairs are in order," she said. "The classes for next term are prepared, and the new girl is keen. They will manage."

SPEAKING OF AFFAIRS... Death hinted. Minerva nodded and put down her cup.

"Very well," she said and reached for her cloak. She hesitated.

"I won't need this, will I?" she asked.

THAT IS NOT VERY LIKELY.

"Very well then, let's go."

Together they left her office and walked down through the corridors of Hogwarts, to the spot by the lake that Minerva had chosen for herself. Her back was straight, and she didn't look back.

Death couldn't help feeling that this turned out to be one of his more pleasant jobs. He had always had a soft spot for cats, after all.