A Matter of Necessity
Yet again thank you to all my reviewers: FridaPeace, Marauder Number Five, my anoymous reviewer T and last but not least Vangoghadmirer. And thank you to anybody else who is sticking with this story. It's much appreciated and I'm sorry about the lack of updates. Real life has a habit of getting in the way!
Minerva woke the next day with a contented smile on her face. For a moment she lay curled up in her bed remembering the events of the ball.
There was a tap at the window. The Owl with her Daily profit undoubtedly. With a sigh at being disturbed from the pleasant memories of last night she opened the window and let the owl in. It held out it's leg while she untied the paper and then hooted impatiently while Minerva dug in her purse for a few Knuts. She put the Knuts in the pouch attached to the owl's leg and gave it an owl treat before turning to look at the newspaper as the owl departed.
The headline blazoned across the top soon wiped the smile off her face. It screamed "LADY DEATH INVOLVED WITH FATHER'S SLAYER." Minerva looked at the picture underneath and her heart lurched with shock. Someone at the prophet had captured an image of her kissing Albus. If it had just been a picture of them dancing...
She went onto read the story below. "Once again the Wizarding community has been shocked to the core. The once thought respectable Albus Dumbledore would appear to be courting the daughter of the late dark lord Gellert Grindleward, Minerva McGonagall. How he can date the woman who almost certainly helped in the capture and torture of..." Minerva was unable to read anymore as at that point her anger got the better of her and the paper went up in flames. She dropped it hurriedly and put it out.
She set off for breakfast in a towering temper and a scowl like thunder. How dare they slander Albus! How dare they accuse of her crimes she had not committed. Minerva was still thinking thoughts like that when she walked straight into Rolanda who was dashing in the opposite direction. The collision knocked both witches to the floor.
"Sorry Min." Rolanda apologised as she picked her friend up and dusted her off. "Wasn't looking where I was going." Minerva smiled sarcastically. "Funny neither was I." She snapped.
Rolanda frowned. "Who's tied your wand in a knot?" She asked. "The Prophet." Minerva replied as she stalked off changing into her animagus form to avoid further conversation with Rolanda and anyone else she might meet on the way to the great hall.
She was half-way there when somebody picked her up. She twisted in her skin and hissed before realising that it was Albus who had picked her up. She fought free of his arms and changed back into herself.
"Please don't do that in future." She said. "Have you any idea how uncomfortable being picked up by the scruff of the neck is for a cat?"
Albus smiled softly at her and she felt her anger subsiding. "No, sorry my dear. I won't do it again." Minerva smiled. "You know I didn't mind too much. Just please not the scruff of my neck again!"
He chuckled and held out his arm. She linked her arm through his and they proceeded to the great hall. They had barely started breakfast when the post arrived. She saw Horace who sitting on the other side of Albus suddenly frown and realised he was holding a copy of the prophet.
He handed it silently to Albus.
Albus felt his eyebrow's shoot upwards and glanced sideways at Minerva before silently casting the Incendio charm to burn the front page away and pages three and four on which the rest of the story was continued.
He then handed the paper back to a disgruntled looking Horace. "I say old chap you could have warned a fellow before you scorched his newspaper. There was a potions advert on page five that looked interesting."
Albus however was looking at Minerva and judging by her stony faced expression she'd already seen the article. He covered her hand with his own. "Don't take it so personally." He whispered. "It won't last and anyone who believes what the prophet is writing is an imbecile. We both know that it writes a lot sensationalist drivel."
Minerva managed a thin lipped smile. That was when the first three owls dropped onto her plate. They were followed by at least six more. Minerva stared at them in disbelief. Then she began to untie the letters as they clamoured for her attention.
When the last one was gone she went to open the first letter but Albus stopped her. He picked up the whole bundle and cast a detection spell on it. Then set two aside.
Minerva tilted her head and looked at him quizzically. "Albus what's wrong?" She could feel the same cold anger emanating from him as she had when he'd fought Grindleward.
"These two letters are cursed." He replied. "So I'm guessing that the rest of this mail isn't all that complementary either." He sighed. "I think I'd better screen them first."
Minerva nodded her jaw clenched. So now she was getting hate mail. She must be quite the celebrity. She felt her appetite suddenly vanish and got up from the table. She transformed into her tabby form and trotted away. She heard someone hurrying after her and increased her speed her gait changing to a lope that no-one could keep up with.
Didn't they understand? She wanted to be ALONE!
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