Yet another Harry Potter related fanfic. I think, however, that this will a multi-chaptered fanfic, with excerpts - or fillers - from various years – while Harry's at Hogwarts, of course – and will feature mainly around the characters of the a few Hogwarts Professors, a handful of former – and current – students.
The idea for this particular piece came from the last chapter of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, when Harry received the letter from Sirius, and sees the extra slip of parchment in the envelope; the extra slip of parchment that reads;
'I, Sirius Black, Harry Potter's godfather, hereby give him permission to visit Hogsmeade at weekends' and when Harry goes;
'That'll be good enough for Dumbledore!'
Disclaimer: I wish everything to do with Harry Potter belonged to me……but alas, reality always kicks in when I start to dream, rather rudely showing me that no, I do not own a single thing relating to JK Rowling's wonderful universe. Oh well.
Of Harry Potter, Hogsmeade permission slips and Minerva McGonagall's curiosity:
"I see that Potter is now being allowed to go to Hogsmeade during the weekends…" commented dark haired Professor McGonagall, once she had settled down and accepted the cup of tea from her colleague.
"Oh, yes," he said, cheerfully. "And it's a good thing too. No young Hogwarts student should find themselves in a position where they are not allowed to visit Hogsmeade…" The Headmaster shuddered. "That is simply unheard of."
McGonagall sipped her tea slowly.
"Am I to understand that his uncle finally signed the permission slip?" she questioned, a dark look crossing her face as she thought of her student's Muggle relatives.
"Oh dear, no, I doubt if the man would ever sign anything that would do some good to our dear Harry," said Dumbledore, shaking his head sadly.
McGonagall found that she had to agree with the Headmaster on that. She still did not understand why he had chosen to leave the boy with his Muggle relatives. For, surely, any Wizarding family would love him and raise him in the manner a young child should be raised in?
But I digress, she thought, shaking her head slightly to clear it.
"Then…" she paused, frowning. "You gave Potter special permission…" Dumbledore smiled at the younger witch – one of his former students, in fact.
"Yes, I did give him permission."
"I understand your reasons for it, Albus, but really, I thought we were meant to set an example to our fellow colleagues?" McGonagall frowned. "Yes, I understand that had you not given the boy permission, he probably would never have been allowed to visit Hogsmeade during his entire stay at Hogwarts, but still-"
"-My dear Minerva, I said I gave him permission, not special permission," cut in the blue eyed, elderly wizard, his eyes twinkling as he observed her over the top of his half-moon spectacles. "I merely approved of the permission slip he gave me on his first day back."
He nodded to himself. "And it's a good thing that he did that too, for I would have been rather busy with the preparations for this Tri-Wizard Tournament, and he might not have had the chance to catch me in my office…"
"If…but…" McGonagall stopped, staring curiously at Dumbledore. "He gave you a signed permission slip…?"
"Yes, did I forget to mention that?"
"If his uncle did not sign it…"
"No, Mr. Dursley definitely did not sign it."
She received a rather enigmatic smile in answer to her question. "Oh. Was it the aunt? Lily's sister?"
"Heavens, no," said Dumbledore. "I don't think Harry even showed her the permission slip." He shook his head. "In any case, it wasn't exactly a permission slip that Harry gave me; it was more of a note, stating that its writer gave him permission to visit Hogsmeade."
He smiled. "Do drink the tea, Minerva, for I fear it gets quite cold when left for too long. Hmm…it must be something to do with this office, I fear…" He sighed, before he brightened almost at once. "Ah, that reminds me, I was able to visit my favorite confectionary shop in Muggle London, and managed to procure quite a collection of lemon drops…would you like to have one…?"
McGonagall, it turned out, could not care less about the Headmaster's precious lemon drops, but she did continue to sip her tea, muttering a warming spell when she realized that it had indeed gotten rather cold.
"If the Dursleys didn't sign – didn't give Potter permission, then who did?" she questioned.
"That is the question, isn't it, Minerva?" asked Dumbledore, pleasantly. "Who indeed…?"
"Albus," said McGonagall, a warning note in her voice. "Do not play around with me; who gave him permission?"
"Someone who most certainly has Harry's best interests at heart, so there is no need to fear, my dear Minerva, for no harm will come to Gryffindor's seeker-"
"-I do not care – well…er, I mean, of course I am concerned as to whether he will encounter any danger…but that is not…what I want to know right now," said McGonagall, somewhat flustered. "As far as I know, Potter has no other family, or guardian, who could give him permission…"
"Is it really all that important, Minerva? To find out who it was?" Even though his eyes still twinkled, there was a slightly more serious undertone to Dumbledore's voice.
McGonagall was silent for a moment.
"Well…" she paused. "Well, I suppose it's not…but…" she glanced directly at her superior. "As his Head of House, I feel that I have the right to know what is going on, concerning my students and---" She stopped with a sigh, "Oh alright, I'll admit it; I am simply curious."
"I know you are, Minerva," he said, jovially. "Some things certainly never change, do they?"
"And what is that supposed to mean?" questioned the younger witch, as her dark eyes narrowed. Dumbledore waved a hand casually.
"Oh, nothing, nothing," he said hurriedly. "I meant nothing by it."
"So…who was it?"
"Would you like some more tea?"
"I – no, thank you."
"Some biscuits, perhaps?"
"Albus – no, but thank you for the offer."
"Some --- I am afraid that I do not like any of that…sweet stuff…"
"Oh. Hmm…how about some-"
"-No, Albus, I would not like anything else with my tea. I am perfectly happy with what I have had, thank you very much, although it was very…nice of you offer," cut in McGonagall, hating the amused smile that was on the Headmaster's lips. She really hated the fact that he could make her feel like a fifteen year old school girl all over again.
"Of course, of course…" said Dumbledore, pleasantly, as he leaned back in his chair. McGonagall stared at him expectantly, as he opened his mouth. "Dear me, would you look at the time? I had not realized it was this late, did you?"
Dumbledore stood up.
"I am afraid that I must end this lovely tea party, Minerva, for I have some things to do. As the Muggles say, I have places to be and people to see." With a wave of his wand, the empty tea cups and the still half-full teapot were vanished. "And I really must speak to Hagrid about preparations for the steeds of Madame Maxime's…no doubt he'll know what to do with them…"
Gallantly tipping his hat at her, he headed towards the door.
"You still haven't told me," said McGonagall, causing him to pause.
"Told you what, my dear?"
McGonagall fought against the urge to growl in frustration.
"His name…or her name, whichever one it is." Dumbledore tilted his head to a side, sending her a quizzical look.
"I do not know what you are talking about, Minerva; perhaps you could enlighten me…?"
"The person who gave Potter permission to visit Hogsmeade," said McGonagall, through gritted teeth. She honestly didn't know how she put up with her superior!
"Ah," said Dumbledore, sagely. "That."
There was a moment's pause, in which the Headmaster looked thoughtful.
"Sirius Black." Observant blue eyes watched as the Transfiguration Professor unconsciously clenched her jaw shut. Upon closer inspection, he could see her jaw muscle ticking.
"If you are trying to be funny, Albus," she said, in a voice that was low and...chillingly devoid of any emotion, "let me tell you that it is nowhere near what you were aiming for."
Her eyes narrowed. Never mention that name in my presence again, she pleaded, mentally, it has caused me enough of grief. To think, to think...that after everything, I was wrong to have placed my trust in that bright student of mine. To think that he caused...that he caused -
"Forgive me, Minerva," said Dumbledore, a sad smile forming on his lips as his Deputy stared at the floor with dazed eyes. If only you knew...maybe someday I will be able to tell you, but not now. Not when hatred has rooted out the unwavering trust you once had for all your students. One day you will learn that your trust was not misplaced.
McGonagall pulled herself together after a good mental telling-off for bringing up memories of the past that were known to cause her grief.
"Well?" she asked.
"Who gave Potter permission to visit Hogsmeade?"
"Oh." There was a pause."Would you believe it, I think I have forgotten." Dumbledore shook his head, looking amazed. "It must be my old age…the mind does not work as well as it usually does as the years go by, you know…" His blue eyes twinkled. "Ah well, it's just as well, I suppose, although I hope I do not forget any other vitally important bits of information……"
He nodded cheerily at the stunned dark haired witch. "I will see you later, Minerva. Good day." With an equally cheerily wave, Hogwarts' Headmaster all but skipped out of the door and down the stairs that led out of his office.
McGonagall allowed herself to release the frustrated growl that was threatening to escape her pursed lips. That man would certainly be the death of her.
I was wondering if none of the staff, particularly McGonagall, who the students had to hand in their Hogsmeade permission slips to, had been curious about Harry suddenly being allowed to visit Hogsmeade. (Of course, they wouldn't have known of the map and how he had used it to go into Hogsmeade the previous year…)
Oh, and this takes place in Harry's fourth year, before the students of Durmstrang and Beauxbatons arrive at Hogwarts for the Tri-Wizard Tournament.
Hope you enjoyed that!
Till next time,