A/N: This is, regrettably, the last part. Thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed!
Warning: Fangirly!Minerva. Can you blame her, though? Seeing Remus and Sirius together is enough to turn anyone into a fangirl.
Disclaimer: Still, unfortunately, not mine. If anyone talks to JKR, tell her I would love the rights for my birthday.
"Minnie asked me to give you this."
Sirius only caught sight of messy dark hair and flared Muggle jeans as James darted down the corridor after pressing a piece of folded paper into Sirius's palm. Shaking his head curiously, Sirius carefully unfolded the note.
Come to my office today at 3:00. We need to privately discuss what we spoke of the other day. Please be punctual, and do not do anything stupid.
Vaguely amused, Sirius tucked the note into his pocket and checked his watch. 1:07. Still about two hours to kill. Smiling, he rushed off to find Remus.
"Minerva wanted me to pass this on to you."
Remus only saw flaming red hair flying past him as Lily disappeared into the shadows. He plucked the folded note that Lily had slipped into his hand off his palm, and made quick work of unfolding it. In Minerva's neat hand, it read:
Please come to my office today at 3:00. We need to privately discuss what we spoke of the other day.
Remus carefully refolded the note and slipped it into his pocket. He could worry about the meeting later.
Now, he had nearly two free hours on a sunny Sunday afternoon, and one largely smiling Animagus approaching him.
She was stupid.
This was wrong.
It was all insane.
And, yet, she was going through with it.
Minerva curled up in a file cabinet drawer, her cat eyes gazing at James whilst he pulled it partially shut. She still had a crack that she could peer out of, so she could watch everything that would hopefully unfold.
"Awww, wook at da pwetty kitty!" James said in a high pitched voice that most people used to speak to infants. Minerva always felt bad for those poor babies. "Be a gwood wittle kitty, Minnie!"
With a smirk, Minerva realized that, until then, James hadn't known that cats were able to make obscene gestures.
Minerva watched as Lily threw her arms around James's neck and kissed his cheek soundly, and then pushed him into the corner. James sat down first, leaning against the wall. Lily lowered herself into his lap, resting her head against his shoulder. Peter sat next to the two and nodded. Smiling, James pulled something out of his pocket, and the three disappeared.
Minerva blinked her yellow eyes. How did they just disappear like that? They didn't Disapparate. Did they have an Invisibility—?
No. As far as Minerva was concerned, they had nothing. If she didn't know what they had, she wouldn't have to do anything about it. So, no. No Invisibility Cloaks present. Nope. Invisibility Cloak? What Invisibility Cloak?
Oi, she really was pathetic.
She decided it didn't matter, though. They only had a few more months at Hogwarts; what trouble could they get into?
Then Minerva realized that that was about the worst question that she could have asked herself, because various scenarios of everything that could happen (all of it bad) began flitting through her mind. She attempted to comfort herself by thinking about Lily, strong, controlling Lily…until she realized that Lily would adore about half of the ideas that were floating around in her head.
Remus and Sirius, Minerva reminded herself. Do it for them. Do it for the natural balance of the universe. Do it because they belong together. Do it so James and Lily will stop making such obvious sexual gestures in Remus and Sirius's direction during breakfast, therefore scaring any younger students within four meters of them for life.
Do it because Remus has just walked in, and there's nothing you can do about it now.
"Minerva?" Remus called as he shut her office door behind him. He peered around curiously. "Minerva?"
Shrugging, Remus sat down in a chair, calmly waiting for Minerva to show up. She did feel a bit bad, but then Sirius walked in, and she realized that this was the beginning of the end.
"Remus, what are you doing here?" Sirius asked, surprised. Minerva's feline ears barely heard the nearly silent whisper of obfirmo from the direction in which James, Lily, and Peter were not hiding underneath an Invisibility Cloak.
"Minerva—ahem, Professor McGonagall asked sent me a note to come down," Remus explained, standing up.
"Moony," Sirius said, a wicked grin spreading across his features and his gray eyes glinting with amusement, "using the great Minerva McGonagall's given name now, are you, in a place where she could hear? I thought that you were all, 'We must call Minnie "Professor McGonagall" when she can hear us.' I'm proud."
Just after listening to that simple statement, those few words, Minerva felt like a complete and utter berk. Because, really, how could she have not known? How could she have not deciphered that smile, that glint, that she saw so far into now? How could she have not been able to tell, just from a look, that Sirius was mad for Remus? How could she not have been able to tell, by the joyful look claiming Remus's face, that he was just as mad for Sirius? Why was it so obvious now?
"Don't think I'm going lax," Remus replied, his eyes just as amused as Sirius's. "Minerva herself gave me permission."
"Nice." Sirius grinned. "No 'Minnie', though?"
"Not where she could possibly hear me. She's not here, but it's her office, isn't it? She probably has it set up."
Sirius clapped his hand on Remus's shoulder, and Minerva saw Remus's face flush. "Clever, Moony. Clever," Sirius said.
Now she really, really felt daft. She was contemplating banging her head against the side of the extremely small drawer that James had put her in to get out her frustration, but she decided to save the head-banging for when it wasn't necessary to stay unnoticed.
"Why do you think Minnie wants to see us both, then?" Sirius asked curiously, swinging gracefully down into a chair. Remus sat in the other chair, and both boys angled their bodies so they were facing each other.
"Do y'think she called down 'Tail and Prongs, too?" Remus wondered.
"No. Prongs said he was off to spend the day with that insufferable bird with the hair, and Wormtail is off to win to affections of Miss Sheila Mathers, Hufflepuff Seventh Year. They would've told us if they had a date with Minnie."
Remus smiled. "'That insufferable bird with the hair'? Pads, I thought you were calling her 'Evans' last week. What happened?"
"Marlene," Sirius said simply, his voice stubborn and pouting.
"Padfoot, do the gender and name of the giant squid really matter?" Remus asked. "In the grand scheme of things?"
"Yes. Marlene matters extremely. We did have a bit of an argument, though. She actually likes that bird with the hair, and won't eat her."
Remus rolled his eyes good-naturedly. "Maybe if you attempted to like Lily, you and Marlene wouldn't have so many domestic tiffs."
"She hated me first," Sirius said childishly.
"That's because you gave her bright green spots in first year."
"You accidentally gave her bright green spots?"
"I was aiming for Snivellus. She walked in my path."
"I don't think she would care. She still has two, you know. One on the inside of her elbow and the other on her hip."
"How do you know?" Sirius asked, and Minerva heard that jealousy, that jealousy that she should have been able to see earlier. It was so bloody obvious, because Sirius had wanted Lily to disappear off the face of the earth many, many times, but he had never sounded like he did now, like he wanted to make her disappear himself and then throw a 'that insufferable bird with the hair is gone' party.
Remus must've heard some of the rashness in Sirius's tone, as he asked, with a small smile, "Trying to protect Prongs, there? Don't worry. I'm not with Lily, and never have been. But you've even seen the one on her elbow. I pointed it out one day, and she said she also had one on her hip. Completely innocent, I promise. She's Prongs's territory."
"I am not his territory!" Minerva heard Lily hiss, but she guessed that Lily had either shut up on her own accord, or James had silenced her, because Lily said nothing else.
Remus's eyes darted around the room. "Did you hear something?"
Sirius shook his head. "I don't think so."
Minerva breathed a sigh of relief, and then sent a glare in the direction of where she thought James, Lily, and Peter were hiding. She hoped that her glares were still as menacing in cat-form as they were when she was human.
Sirius stood up. "I think I'm going to check around the corridor, see why Minnie is late for our date."
Remus nodded, and then said mockingly, "I'm sure she must be in dire danger if she is missing valuable time with the great Sirius Black."
Sirius grinned. "I must go save my darling damsel."
Minerva watched attentively, waiting for it to happen. Sirius walked slowly over to the door, reached out…and his hand flew back, quickly followed by the rest of him. He fell onto his chair, knocking the chair over and banging his head on the floor. Remus rushed over to Sirius, who was lying pathetically on the floor, clutching the back of his head.
"Padfoot! Are you okay?"
"Fine," Sirius grumbled, sitting up. "Except for the gigantic bruise that is currently growing across my head. Bloody hell, did Minnie do that to her own door?"
"Possibly," Remus shrugged.
In truth, it had been Lily who had cast the entirely too strong Imperturbable Charm on the inside of the door once Remus and Sirius had entered. Minerva would have to discuss the fact that injuries weren't really that romantic with Lily, especially when said injuries were obtained in an Imperturbable office where no one could sort them out.
Sadly, she already knew that Lily would listen to every word Minerva said, catalogue them, and then completely forget about the whole conversation when it came to her next matchmaking scheme.
It was the Lily Evans Way.
"Why would she want her door to maul people with its secret forcefield of doom?" Sirius asked.
"It's probably just a very, very strong Imperturbable Charm," Remus reasoned. "There's one on the other side of her door when she has meetings or doesn't want anyone to come in. Maybe she just…used too much force when she cast this one."
"So, we're locked in, sort of?" Sirius asked.
"Until Minerva undoes the charm."
"And since she is currently not here…"
"We're locked in."
Sirius groaned, and Remus grabbed Sirius's arm, helping Sirius up. Sirius gave Remus a grateful smile as he settled into his chair.
To support her own innocence, Minerva wanted to note that she had no idea what spell Lily used.
All she knew was that the spell led to Remus and Sirius being thrown out of their chairs and magically snapping together on the ground.
"Abuse!" Sirius screeched. "Child abuse!"
"Sirius! Stop screaming in my ear!"
"She's abusing us!"
"No one's here!"
As Minerva watched the intelligence of two very smart seventeen-year-old wizards quickly dissipate, she felt bad for the future, humanity, and the world.
She was going to talk about Lily's choice methods once this was over. For now, she would pretend that this was all James's fault, because it made her feel better.
Remus grabbed Sirius's wrists, and, after a few seconds, Sirius calmed down. Minerva peered through slanted yellow eyes, watching the scene unfold in front of her. As she saw how close Remus and Sirius were, fronts pressed together as if they were stuck with glue, hands clamped over wrists, eyes locked, she realized that maybe Lily was right, and that matchmaking could really be as easy as gluing two people together until they started snogging.
Or, in Remus and Sirius's case, it could be slightly more complicated.
"Are we glued together?" Remus asked.
"I think so." Sirius frowned. "First we're Imperturbable-d in, and now we're stuck together. I think that there's something going on, and it's not my paranoia telling me."
"No. That's your ever-elusive common sense," Remus said wryly.
"You wound me, Moony."
"It's my calling in life."
"Find something else."
"Oh, but it's much fun."
They were leaning in. Merlin's kneesocks, they were leaning in! Their lips…oh, oh. Oh, Merlin. They were barely a centimeter away. Oh, they were going to…
"Moony, you have this little birthmark thing, right above your lip," Sirius said. Minerva felt her heart sinking. "Like, a freckle."
"Really?" Remus asked. "I've never noticed."
"I have," Sirius said offhandedly. "It's cute."
For that second, it seemed like time froze. Sirius and Remus certainly froze. Minerva watched as Sirius's body immediately tightened as he realized what he had just said, and saw Remus freeze in reaction to Sirius. They were attached and lying on the floor, yet they were there, frozen, doing nothing.
"I meant that in a, y'know, way that…like, birds would think it's cute," Sirius stammered.
"Of—of course," Remus stammered in return. "I knew that."
Minerva felt like beating both boys over the head with a chair. Thankfully, her lack of opposable thumbs reminded her that, no, she could not do that, because it would mess up the plan. However, she could see nothing wrong with doing it later, so she catalogued it in her mind.
"Sooo…" Sirius started, eying Remus carefully. "Should we try to…unglue ourselves?"
"I think I might know a spell…but my hands are glued to your wrists," Remus realized. "Bugger. That isn't going to work."
"You did grab my wrists," Sirius reminded him.
Remus rolled his eyes, a small grin playing on his lips. "Maybe if you hadn't launched into some sort of voluntary seizure, I would be able to get my wand."
"It was magical adult abuse."
"I'm sure it was."
"It was," Sirius insisted stubbornly.
"And now we're glued together."
"Until Minnie comes and saves us."
"Who ever thought we would be the damsels?"
"I had my suspicions about you. You do have very damsel-y hair. Like Rapunzel."
"Was she the one who ate that apple?"
"No, that was Snow White."
"The glass slipper?"
"The lazy, sleeping one?"
"Then who was Rapunzel?"
"The one with the hair that the prince climbed up to save her from the tower."
"Ouch. That had to be painful."
"It's a fairy tale, Sirius. Things are only painful when they make the characters look good."
"I think that it would have been nice if Rapunzel's hair would have ripped off single strand by single strand until the prince tumbled to his death."
"It's a children's story. Although the original version probably had something like that."
"Like that one story that you read to us, where the two bints hacked off their toes and heels?"
Remus gave a long-suffering sigh. "Yes, like Cinderella, Sirius."
Although Sirius opened his mouth to respond, Minerva didn't get to hear what he was going to say, as two whispers of somnus came from a corner of the room, and suddenly Sirius and Remus were asleep on the floor, heads lolling to the side. James, Lily, and Peter reappeared, and Minerva started meowing loudly. Lily quickly opened the drawer, picked up Minerva, and set her on the ground. Minerva happily transformed, adjusting her pointed hat as she resisted the urge to lick her hand.
"I can't believe this," Lily whinged as she perched on the corner of Minerva's desk. "I mean, really. I glue them together, for Merlin's sake, and what do they do? They discuss fairy tales. Not even the snogging parts of them, but the apple and shoe and sleep parts of them! This is so very wrong."
"What are you going to do about it, Miss Evans?" Minerva asked, for, no doubt, Lily Evans knew exactly what she was going to do to fix this.
Lily examined Minerva carefully for a moment before saying, "You didn't see this." Minerva nodded, and Lily pulled a phial out of the pocket of her Muggle flares. Minerva looked away quickly when she registered the pink liquid inside the phial.
"I am not seeing this. I am not seeing this. I am not seeing this. I am not seeing this," Minerva muttered quickly to herself. James, on the other hand, appeared to be seeing thisbecause he quite loudly exclaimed, "Lily! Is that a love potion?"
"Not seeing this. Not seeing this. Not seeing this."
"Yes," Lily hissed. "It's a love potion."
"Against school rules, I know."
"Not seeing. Not seeing. Not seeing. Not seeing."
"Lily, you can't use a love potion!" Peter insisted, but the second his mouth closed, it looked like he wanted to retract his statement. Lily turned blazing emerald eyes on him, and he swallowed hard.
"Why not?" Lily asked in a low voice.
Peter swallowed again. "We already know that they love each other. The love potion will just give them more feelings, but they'll be artificial. So it won't be real when they admit their feelings for each other. And that will accomplish nothing."
Lily scowled. "I hate it when other people make sense." She tucked the phial back into her pocket. "Fine. No love potion. Which didn't exist in the first place."
"Love potion? What love potion?" Minerva said obediently. Oh, Merlin, she so deserved to be sacked.
"Now, to my idea," James said, sticking two fingers into the pocket of his jeans. "We could tip a bit of—"
"Mr. Potter, let it be known that I can always see Veritaserum," Minerva warned.
"Pete, what do you have?" James asked quickly, withdrawing his fingers.
Peter grinned. "Anyone up for a pride parade?"
Minerva was in a drawer.
Lily, James, and Peter were hiding with no Invisibility Cloak whatsoever in the corner.
And Remus and Sirius were waking up, unattached, to several not-very-good-to-wake-up-to sights.
"Light!" Sirius exclaimed in a sleepy voice. "It burns!"
"Bright colors," Remus moaned. "Ugh."
Minerva couldn't imagine the level of horror that the two boys felt when they finally registered the scene in front of them. She couldn't imagine it because the level of horror she was feeling was so high that it seemed impossible to be any more horrified, but Remus and Sirius undoubtedly were, because this was all directed towards them.
"Is that a rainbow?" Remus muttered, his eyes slowly opening.
"Mmmmmm," Sirius groaned in response. "Colors. Bright. Light. Evil. Hate."
"Pain. Torture. Suffering. Death," Remus growled.
Minerva couldn't help but think that Lily should have used a better awakening spell. She also couldn't help but think that she and Lily should have taken James and Pettigrew more seriously: Remus and Sirius definitely weren't morning people.
Sirius rubbed his eyes and attempted to sit up. "Bouncing. Color."
"Letters," Remus finished as he stretched his arms out in front of him. "Bouncing color letters."
"'It's okay to be gay,'" Sirius read, squinting at the rainbow letters that were hopping together in midair.
"'It's okay to be gay'?" Remus repeated. "What the hell?"
"Someone Imperturbables us into Minnie's office, glues us together, knocks us out, and then decorates the office with bright colors and tells us it's okay to be happy?" Sirius spat.
"Who could be happy under these circumstances?"
She was vaguely aware of Lily, James, and Pettigrew simultaneously banging their heads against the wall. She felt like joining them.
"It's legal to AK someone under these circumstances, right?" Sirius asked. "Confident bastards, they are, whoever's doing this."
Remus rubbed the heels of his hands against his eyes, leaning back against his chair and fighting to stay awake. His eyes locked on the rainbow letters, then widened. "Since when do letters have mouths?"
Sirius glanced at the letters apprehensively. "I don't think that's a good thing."
"I have to agree."
And, as Remus and Sirius shirked back in their seats, the colored letters bared their sharp teeth and burst into song. Song being a very, very, very loose interpretation of the noise that the letters were spewing.
"MAKE IT STOP, MOONY!" Sirius screeched. "MAKE IT STOP!"
"MY WAND IS GONE!" Remus yelled back.
"SHIT!" Sirius swore as he searched for his own missing wand. "WHY DOES THE UNIVERSE HATE US SO?"
As Remus and Sirius began throwing their shoes, chairs, and other various objects at the letters, Minerva couldn't help but think that they were overreacting. Okay, so the song wasn't the best…but it wasn't that bad, was it?
Fine. It was that bad. The song consisted of James, Lily, and Minerva singing (for lack of a better word) three songs at the same time ("I Know A Song That Gets On Everybody's Nerves", "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star", and "God Rest Ye Merry Hippogriffs", respectively) whilst Peter shouted, "It's okay to be gay!" over and over again. Lily had also spelled in a nice baseline, some drums, and a brilliant guitar solo to "spiff it up". Minerva had recorded it and charmed the letters to sing the song loudly to Remus and Sirius, hoping that it would spar them to get together.
I am an idiot, she thought. Get them together? No. The only thing this will accomplish is one of them hurling a chair at the other's head and both of them somehow dying. I am never, ever listening to Pettigrew, Potter, or Evans ever again
Minerva, who was curled up on top of Remus and Sirius's wands, really wasn't too worried about the two locating them. However, the fact that she could tell that various injuries would definitely ensue was not a good thing.
"Sirius, kindly do not throw paperweights at my head," Remus said through gritted teeth.
"Sorry, Moony," Sirius apologized, briefly pulling an innocent face in Remus's direction. With that taken care of, he picked up said paperweight and threw it in the direction of the letters. Remus had taken to sitting down and massaging his temples with two fingers, wincing in pain.
This was not going well.
"Merlin, I'm hallucinating," Remus breathed, staring at the floor. Sirius quickly darted to Remus's side, also looking down.
"If you're hallucinating…so am I," Sirius said. "Are those…?"
Yes, Minerva had kept all of the still-living goldfish from the "God Save the Queen" incident. She just felt too badly for the poor animals to kill them, or turn them out on their own into the lake. Marlene/Neil/Jamie didn't have much of a liking for goldfish. So she had put them in a nice tank and stored them in her bedroom. Now, though, she had decided that they could be put to much better use. And, with a few charms, she and Lily had twelve goldfish inhaling oxygen and singing whilst wearing rainbow costumes.
"It's like that time when I drank too much at the Ireland vs. Scotland Quidditch match," Sirius said. "All of the rainbows…the hallucinations…"
"At least you aren't the one singing," Remus pointed out gratefully, even though the letters' singing was considerably more quiet. Sirius shot him a look of mock outrage and mussed Remus's hair. Remus looked up, grinning, and swatted Sirius's hand away.
Minerva felt like melting. Really, she felt like turning into a huge pile of female mush. Because it was cute. The flirting was adorable.
"We don't have wands," Remus pointed out apprehensively. "Throwing objects at letters doesn't work…so…"
"We brutally and directly attack the evil singing letters of doom?" Sirius suggested.
Remus grinned. "Yeah, something like that." He paused. "The fish?"
"Put them in water?"
"This!" Sirius said, snatching a glass of water off Minerva's desk. Minerva winced. They really should have remembered to hide the glass they used to transport the fish.
Remus and Sirius quickly scooped up all twelve fish and stuffed them into the glass. Considering that those fish were breathing air, not water, they quickly died and struggled to float to the top.
"Erm…okay," Remus said awkwardly, looking at the cup of dead fish. Minerva felt a certain sense of loss. The fish were fun to try to catch when she was a cat.
Deciding to give the poor fish a proper burial later, Minerva sighed and watched as Sirius grabbed a floating letter. The letter promptly sunk its teeth into Sirius's hand. He let out a cry of pain, and Remus rushed over to Sirius, abandoning the dead fish.
"What did you do, Padfoot?" Remus asked.
"Why do you automatically think that I did something wrong?"
"Because you always do something wrong."
"Good point," Sirius shrugged, "but the letter attacked me!"
Remus looked at the "I" lying harmlessly on the floor. Raising an eyebrow, he stooped down. Although all of the letters were still singing the "song"—albeit very quietly—this one was silent. Remus carefully picked up the letter with his thumb and forefinger, inspecting closely. Then, suddenly, it snapped and bit into Remus's finger. He quickly dropped the "I", biting his lip to keep from saying anything.
Note to self, Minerva thought. Next time, when charming letters to sing, make sure that they don't have large, sharp teeth or evil biting tendencies. Or just don't have Lily do it.
Yet, Minerva couldn't help thinking that maybe Remus and Sirius would look at each other, feel sympathy for each other's pain, and start snogging on her desk. Yes, she was at the point where she really wouldn't mind them snogging on her desk.
As long as they picked up everything and put it back in its place when they were done, of course.
Sirius took a chair and swung it around, successfully knocking into all of the letters. They silenced, finally, and both Sirius and Remus gave small sighs of relief. Still, Remus swore. "Damn it." He groaned quietly. "I have a headache, my finger hurts, and…what is this?"
"It looks like a photograph," Sirius said conversationally as he approached Remus. "Of…ohh, I like his shirt!"
Cue head banging.
Remus and Sirius had been locked in, glued together, knocked out, woken up, sung to, and now, they had been given a picture of two blokes snogging. And what does Sirius say? What do they say?
"I like his shirt too," Remus commented. "They look familiar."
Of course they look familiar, Minerva wanted to scream. They're Peter and James with a few Altering spells. They're very familiar.
The picture had been Lily's idea. Extra encouragement, she had said. And they had needed a picture of two blokes snogging…there were two blokes in the room…
And James and Peter were both five galleons richer for it.
After Minerva had altered their appearances so Remus and Sirius wouldn't immediately recognize the two, the photograph had been deemed satisfactory. Minerva actually thought that it looked quite good. Lily had promptly called it hot. James had looked very, very scared when she said that, though, and he had hidden behind Minerva when Lily started musing aloud about how James would look in eyeliner (because, no matter how much she hated Sirius, she did have to admit that eyeliner looked very, very good on him). James and Peter might have developed mental scars that would last them the rest of their lives, but it was all for The Cause, as it had came to be known (to Lily, at least, who had said so).
"Bit like Jim and Pete," Sirius said. "Doesn't Jim have a shirt like that?"
"It's blue, though. This one is red."
"Oh, well." Sirius shrugged, tucking the photograph in his pocket. "Wonder why they were snogging?"
No. No, no, no. How bloody daft were they?
Then, there was a loud popping sound.
Sirius and Remus whipped their heads around to glance at the area where the offending pop had sounded. It happened again, and Sirius squealed in delight when he realized what they were.
"It's fireworks, Moony!" he exclaimed excitedly. "Explosives!"
"Oy vey," Remus muttered. "Sirius, back away from the explosives. Now. But…do they say something?"
Remus and Sirius squinted to make out the letters. The lights quickly went out, courtesy of, undoubtedly, a spell from Lily Evans. The darkness made the fireworks easier to read. James and Peter, veterans of magical fireworks, had come up with this aspect of the plan.
"Moony plus Padfoot equals…" Sirius squinted, tilting his head sideways. "What is that? A square?"
"It looks a bit like a spade," Remus replied.
"IT'S A HEART!" Minerva wanted to scream, but, as she had some semblance of self-control, and cats can't scream, she refrained. She couldn't help but think that letting James write out everything hadn't been the best idea. James had perfectly horrible handwriting, and it was a miracle that they could read even that, though his art skills were even worse. His stick figures looked like mutilated spaghetti noodles poking out in different directions with a curled up flobberworm stuck to the top. (James had a total inability to draw a complete circle.)
That's why she really couldn't blame Remus and Sirius for not being able to tell what the heart was. Personally, she had first asked James what a lopsided trapezoid meant before he explained that it was a heart.
"Moony…and…Padfoot are…gay," Remus read, squinting.
"We are NOT bloody happy!" Sirius yelled up to the ceiling, apparently thinking that it would accomplish something. "WE ARE NOT GAY!"
Remus looked peevish. "I hate fireworks."
"And I used to love them," Sirius pouted, "until this evil force of…evil did this to us."
"They probably have Minerva locked in a broom closet somewhere."
"Evans, Prongs, and Wormtail are probably all bound in a cupboard." Sirius pulled a face. "I feel bad for Wormy, then. Evans and Prongs are probably going at it, squishing the poor bloke into the corner."
"They have—well, Lily has—enough propriety to…no, they're probably snogging and squishing Pete," Remus amended. Sadly, Minerva would have come to the same conclusion.
"More like shagging."
"No, snogging. Even Jim wouldn't do that Peter."
Sirius relented. "I guess so."
Then, suddenly, another firework went off. In rainbow letters, it proclaimed, "It's okay to be gay!" The song restarted up along with it, all of the letters repositioning themselves. It was noisier than before. Sirius and Remus swore loudly.
"I can't take it anymore!" Sirius screamed before he collapsed to the ground. Remus didn't have a chance to ask what was wrong, because, not even a second later, he was lying next to Sirius.
In the corner, Lily threw off the not-an-Invisibility-Cloak and started ranting, soon followed by James and Peter.
"I can't believe it…"
"…so bloody obvious…"
"…laid it out perfectly…"
"…beat some sense into them…"
"…do they work at being this clueless?"
"…I am going to kill them…"
"I HAVE AN IDEA!" Minerva interrupted. The complaints stopped, and three pairs of expectant eyes turned to hers. "It's brilliant. And it will work. They can't ignore this."
"But they've ignored everything else…" Lily said, chewing on her lip thoughtfully. "How can you know…?"
"Lily, if this doesn't work, you have permission to come out of hiding, grab their heads, and smash their lips together. But I think this will work better without reverting to such schemes," Minerva said confidently.
Lily's eyes were dancing. "Head smashing?"
James murmured something that sounded a bit like, "Sadist," but he was ignored by Lily.
"Head smashing," Minerva agreed. "But only if this doesn't work."
Smirking, Lily leaned against Minerva's desk, crossing her arms and cocking her head.
"What's the plan, Minerva?"
Minerva watched attentively as Remus and Sirius awoke again. It was a ten-minute process, complete with much moaning, groaning, whinging, cringing, and half-asleep abuse. She reminded herself to never, ever attempt to wake those two up.
Finally, Remus and Sirius were both standing up, each sporting rather impressive-looking bruises on their foreheads. Apparently, they weren't very good at collapsing, as Minerva didn't want to even imagine the other places where bruises were hidden.
"I. Am. In. Pain," Sirius said through gritted teeth.
"So. Am. I."
"I. Hate. These. Evil. People."
At the moment, Minerva was considering Lily's head-smashing technique. Maybe Remus and Sirius would at least regain their ability to form coherent sentences.
Instead, Minerva turned her head to face where Lily, James, and Peter were hiding. She blinked her yellow eyes twice. Quickly, the tip of a shoe came into appearance, and then disappeared. Minerva blinked three times and turned back, a small kitty-grin on her lips. With her nails, she quickly flipped up the lids on two ordinary black boxes. Immediately, sound plagued the air, and it was a considerably better sound than the "song".
"He's just so perfect, Minnie, he really is. He does things that should be annoying, but are just fantastic when he does them…"
"He's an oxymoron, but when I tell them that, he gets indignant and tells me that he is not a moron, thank you very much. But he is. An oxymoron, I mean, not a moron…"
"He also approaches me when I'm in a mood, which I should hate, but I don't because he talks to me and refuses to leave me alone until I confess whatever is bothering me to him…"
"And he does it all with that distinct smile, not the one that he flashes his fan club or gives you, but that small, Sirius smile that he only gives me. And it makes me feel so…I dunno. Just so special. Because I have that smile, and no one else does…"
"And sometimes it scares me that I know all of this stuff, that I notice all of this stuff, because it reminds me that I'm getting in too deep, and pretty sure I'll drown…"
"Something is wrong with him, and I do admit, I'm bloody hurt, because he tells me everything that's wrong with him…"
"But I really don't want to ruin my friendship with him, because I have no idea what I would do without my Moony…"
"I probably even know too much about him, which is perhaps why I fancy him. Actually, I don't even think I really fancy him…"
"He's just so… I love him."
"Yes, I'm in love with Sirius Black."
Remus and Sirius stared at each other, eyes wide and faces white. Sirius was gaping, and Remus's lips were slightly parted in shock.
"You…that…?" Remus stuttered.
Remus's eyes were searching Sirius's face. Finally, he quietly asked, "Love?"
Sirius bit his lip, and then nodded furiously. "Yeah. You?"
Minerva wasn't quite sure how it happened, but it did. Because, within a matter of seconds, Remus and Sirius were on the floor, limbs entangled and lips pressed against each other.
Oh, now she was melting. She wanted to cry. It was so…adorable.
She wondered how many other people felt like melting when they watched two blokes kiss. By the giggles coming from the corner, she knew she could count at least one other person.
They were snogging, and it was cute, and it was adorable, and it was sweet, and it was so worth all of the morals that she had sacrificed to get them there.
She mentally thanked Lily for taking pictures, as she knew that was what the girl was doing now. She definitely wanted prints, too.
Remus pulled away from Sirius slightly, murmuring something against Sirius's lips. Minerva was once again a nice little puddle of kitty as Sirius gently rubbed his nose against Remus's. Really, could they be any cuter?
"You can come out now," Sirius called out.
"We know you're there," Remus added. "Lily, Jim, Pete, you're in the corner. Out."
Minerva watched said people in the corner throw off the it's-not-an-Invisibility-Cloak-so-bugger-off and stand up guiltily. Remus rolled off Sirius and stood up too, offering a hand to Sirius. Sirius grabbed it and allowed himself to be helped up, smiling at his friend. Was "friend" even the right term anymore?
"I'll go and get Minnie out," Sirius said. Minerva sat there, shocked, as Sirius pulled out the drawer, lifted her into his arms, and set her down on the floor. She found it quite unnerving to be at eye level with Sirius's combat boots, so she quickly transformed, her eyes now resting comfortably on his chin.
"Minnie, Minnie, Minnie," he said condescendingly. "Peeping tomcat, are you?"
"I'm a bit too female to be a tomcat," Minerva said acerbically, but she was unable to hide her smile.
"Playing matchmakers?" Remus asked, his eyes as omniscient as ever. His fingers knotted with Sirius's, and Minerva could tell that Lily was holding back a squeal, too.
Still, they looked down ashamedly, following the examples of Peter and James, who were experts at being caught.
"Yes," they all murmured together. Minerva made sure to keep her eyes hidden.
"Well, the thought was nice," Remus said.
"The plan was poorly executed, though," Sirius added. "Jim, Pete, I'm ashamed."
"It was femalely controlled," James said.
Sirius nodded. "Ah."
Remus's eyes quickly darted down the row of faux-ashamed people. "It was pretty much pointless, though."
All four heads darted up.
"But…we got you together!" Lily insisted.
"Wrong, Evans," Sirius said, grinning. "We got together last night."
Now there were four identical gapes on their faces.
"Give us some credit," Remus said. "Really. I figured out what Minerva was doing yesterday, and I confronted Sirius. We talked—"
"—and snogged," Sirius added.
"—and snogged," Remus amended. "We got together."
"When did you get together?" Peter asked.
"Why didn't you tell us?" James demanded.
"We got together whilst you three were in a meeting with Minerva here," Remus explained. "And we were going to tell you. But when we got back—"
"—from snogging in a broom cupboard—"
"Yes, Sirius, from snogging in a broom cupboard—you three were already at dinner, and there was a lovely diagram on James's bed, complete with an outline on a plan to get us together tomorrow. Well, today."
"James!" Lily exclaimed, turning to her boyfriend. "You left it on your bed?"
James looked sheepish. "Erm, sorry?"
Even Peter was exasperated. "What happened to, 'Sure, Pete, I'll put it under my mattress'?"
"Lily said that she was wearing that pink shirt to dinner." James shot Lily, Peter, and Minerva an apologetic look. "She just looks so pretty in it."
"Boys," Lily, Minerva, and Sirius sighed. By the way that Sirius was looking at Remus, Minerva had a feeling that he meant it in a completely different way than Minerva and Lily did.
"Hold on," Minerva said, finding her head. "If you two were together…what, did you play along with this?"
"Of course we did." Sirius grinned. "We thought—well, mostly I thought—it would be fun. Moony agreed, so we decided to play along."
Peter tilted his head. "But the whole Moony-has-a-cute-birthmark-I-didn't-mean-to-say-that thing was…?"
"I slipped," Sirius admitted. "Almost gave it away. But I fixed it. I'm a fantastic actor."
"Up for a bloody BAFTA," James grumbled.
"Never," Remus said. "His acceptance speech would be awful. He'd ramble on about how wonderful he is, and then throw in a, 'Yes, and thanks to Remus, James, Peter, and Minnie,' and the end."
"You know me too well." Sirius placed a quick kiss on Remus's lips. James and Peter pretended to gag, Lily snapped a photograph, and Minerva smiled.
"I'll share my BAFTA with you," Sirius said, smiling at Remus.
"Whilst all these poofy displays of affection are just lovely, you're ignoring the most important part of this all," James said. Five pairs of eyes looked at him levelly. "You tricked me!" he burst out.
Remus and Sirius laughed. "It had to happen someday, Prongsy-boy." Sirius ruffled James's already-messy hair. James quickly tried to rearrange it, but Lily stopped him with a light kiss on the fingertips. They both (and everyone else) knew that James's hair was hopeless.
"We should probably go down to dinner," Peter suggested, glancing at Minerva's clock. "It started five minutes ago."
Remus, Sirius, James, and Lily also checked the time. With collective nods of their heads, they agreed with Peter.
"Let's go," James said.
"I think Sirius and I will stop by the hospital wing first." Remus held up their joint hands. Minerva could see the dried blood near Sirius's wrist and around Remus's finger.
Lily winced. "Sorry. I didn't expect them to be quite that vicious."
Sirius shrugged. "No problem, Evans."
Everyone except Sirius went into an immediate state of shock. Sirius had just been civil towards Lily. It was like the bloody apocalypse.
Lily was the first to recover. "Did you just pass up a chance to insult and/or yell at me?"
Sirius considered this for a moment. "Yeah. I did. You're not that bad, Evans."
"I guess you aren't really that horrible, Black."
Sirius considered this for a moment. "Acquaintances that don't feel the need to hex each other on a regular basis?" he asked, extending his hand.
Lily took it. "Acquaintances that don't feel the need to hex each other on a regular basis," she agreed.
James looked like someone had just told him that Lily was a bowtruckle in disguise. Remus looked oddly unsettled. Minerva was waiting for the sky to fall. Peter just smiled. "I love happy endings."
"And now you'll finally see the error of your ways," Sirius said, "and realize that the darling creature residing in the lake is Marlene, the female giant squid."
"His name is NEIL!" Lily shrieked.
Immediately, Minerva, James, and Remus felt much, much better. This was normal for them. Peter, however, looked discontented. "Temporarily happy," he muttered.
James picked up Lily easily and threw her over his shoulder. Minerva quickly disarmed the Imperturbable Charm as James shot her a grin. He carried out Lily, kicking and screaming, "NEIL!" repeatedly.
Remus looped an arm around Sirius and pressed his lips against the other boy's in a quick, hard kiss. Sirius shouted a few more, "MARLENE!"s, so Remus kissed him again, efficiently shutting him up. Remus turned slightly to face Minerva, rolling his eyes. She returned his eye roll as he dragged Sirius out the door, towards the Great Hall.
"I'm going to make sure they don't kill each other. Or someone else. Or start shagging in the middle of the corridor," Peter said.
"Good luck, Mr. Pettigrew."
"I'll need it."
Peter hurried out the door, shutting it soundly behind them. Minerva drifted over to her desk and sat down, placing her feet on top of the desk and crossing her ankles.
It takes a certain kind of madness, she mused, to go to such lengths to get two students together. To even interfere in their lives in the first place.
That's because you love them, the pesky smart part of her said. They're your favorite students, even if they do drive you up the wall. You just want to make them happy.
Fine, I do. So what?
So nothing. You made two of them happy. Have a relaxing night.
When you're not being insufferable and right, I actually quite like you.
Thank you. Now, please go and find some human companionship, before you truly register how truly mad you really are.
So, with a smile, Minerva quickly penned a note, gave it to her tiny owl, and opened her door. She watched as he flew down the corridor in the direction of Albus's office.
Well, she had already established that she was mad. It just so happened that she was just a bit mad for Albus, too. After all, she had been put through a lot. Professors—even mad ones—needed some loving too.
That's why she felt no remorse playing footsie with Albus beneath the staff table. It wasn't as if she was on her own. It was quite obvious that Remus and Sirius were doing the same—although she had a distinct feeling that many, many more wandering hands were involved in the two boys' case.
Albus winked at her, blue eyes twinkling. Before she could respond, she felt other eyes on her.
Lily, James, Remus, Sirius, and Peter wore identical smirks, and they were all directed at her. She smirked back, made a vague suggestive gesture, and turned to Albus.
Minerva grinned as many disbelieving looks passed around the Hall and laughter burst out from the Gryffindor table.
She did love those students way too much. Although, in the end, did it matter? Sure, she was a bit mad. But there was a certain kind of madness involved in love.
And, Minerva had to admit, she was quite enjoying it.