Third of November.
I'm only writing this because Mother said it would make me feel better. With all I've been through it would be a miracle! I, Nathalie McGonagall, will never get over these past days. I've lost everything I have worked for since my first year of school at Hogwarts. Friendships, love and hope all went away at the blink of an eye. Before I go pouring my soul out on these pages, I wanted to say that...all I wanted, since I was little girl of three, was happiness and just being loved. All I had was marvellous indeed, but what did I do to deserve this?
From my first day at Hogwarts as a student, I met people who meant something to me and to whom I thought I meant something. My best friend, Lily Evans, was probably the only one who really cared for me. She stuck with me until...her end. We were inseparable! She supported me through every little obstacle, decision and choice I had to make. She actually wanted me to go out with Sirius Black! Sirius...oh how I miss you! I can't believe I am still in love with you after all of this. He was my one and only love that I will never let go of...even in the darkest of times. I fell for him the moment I laid eyes on him. He loved me- hopefully- with the same passion that I loved him with. Or so I thought, because if he did would he have betrayed me like he had?
We loved each other with great ardour. We were the perfect couple according to Lily and James, our best friends. We could never spend even a minute away from each other! After leaving school, I moved in with him; we were both applying for jobs as Aurors and we just wanted to be together. It went up to the point where he asked me to marry him! I said "yes", of course, but we never did because of his choices in life.
Sirius was never the type of guy to really think about consequences. He never would have thought that if he were friends with James Potter that he would become as arrogant as him. Never thought that by not respecting what his parents put as rules in front of him, that his family would disown him. Never thought by betraying all of us, to join a darker, evil side full of racism, that he would bring death to his best friends and make the "one" he supposedly loves upset for the rest of her life. No, Sirius never thought of that at all
In this world of wizards, two clans fight to control our world. The "good guys" or The Order of the Phoenix believe in all that is good, of course, but those wizards don't all have to be pure blood. By pureblood I mean having both wizard parents. Unfortunately, not all wizards think the same way. Some wizards (mostly pureblood) called Death Eaters think that half-bloods and Muggle-born wizards aren't worth being alive. The evil guys, who think those wizards should be eliminated. That is why we call them the Dark Side, led by non other than the Dark Lord V...You-Know-Who. I am on the good guys' side; so were Lily and her husband, James Potter. We thought Sirius was on our side too, until that fateful night that brought the Potters to their death.
Halloween night was the fateful night. The Potters were in hiding from the Dark Lord, knowing they were the next in line to be killed. They had used the Fidelius charm, which allows only the secretkeeper to know where you are hiding only the secretkeeper knows where you are hiding. Their secret keeper was Sirius. We all thought he would keep their location a secret; James trusted him with his family's life. That night, Sirius left the house on "business" and told me he would be back. I waited and waited, all night, until I turned on the wirelesses to hear the news. The Potters were dead, betrayed by Sirius. Not only were they dead, but one of James' friends, Peter, was found dead, trying to duel Sirius after he heard that he had betrayed Lily and James. I had a shock right through the bones. Sirius had betrayed not only them, but me too. He was sentenced to a lifetime in prison. But the good thing was that the Dark Lord fell. The son of the Potters, Sirius' and my godchild, Harry, had for some reason survived. By that, he made the Dark Lord fall.
It has been three days since that incident. I have moved back in with Mother, sold the house I lived in with Sirius, took all my belongings and went away from those memories. I even quit the Auror business right before my exams. It just reminded me of Sirius too much. I went back home to cry my soul out on Mother. From her I heard that Harry was not going to be my responsibility, even if he was my godchild. He was sent to his aunt and uncle. I did everything I could to incite Dumbledore to make me raise him, but nothing would change his mind. Now, I have no job, no life and not even a hobby. What is going to happen to me now?
Fourth of November
Mother came up to me and said I had to get on with my life. How can I when I have nothing left? She says Dumbledore has an opening for a job at Hogwarts for me. I just mumbled and put my head back under my bed sheets. I know she is trying so hard to get me to cheer up, and I thank her, but nothing will ever make me happy. She has been coming in and out of Hogwarts to visit me and to see if I haven't committed suicide. She is forcing me to take Dumbledore's offer, because I might never have a chance to get a job again. He wants me to teach Astronomy. That was one of my many classes I did well in school along with Defence Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration (which is what Mother teaches), Charms and Quidditch. Yes, it may be a sport but I think of it as a class. I was Beater on the Gryffindor team. Very proud memories indeed. So I'm leaving for Hogwarts since Mother said so. Hopefully she is right...it will be a change of setting...
Fifth of November
We Apparated to the Three Broomsticks. We were well greeted by Madam Rosmerta; she was two years under me at school. She was the only one at the pub that actually smiled at me. Ever since people knew about Sirius changing sides, men and women have been giving me looks that say "Why didn't you warn us?" like it's entirely my fault! I didn't know about him being a traitor, so why bestow the blame and the responsibility on me? Anyway, we walked towards the castle when Mother spoke:
"Nathalie, Dumbledore expects you to start where Professor Sinistra left off, as she is on maternity leave. He also expects you to do well and get along with the whole administration." I chuckled; I had a tendency to pick fights with people... It was a problem with me at school, because I defended people who needed it. I got carried away with my defending sometimes...
"...And he means everybody. Promise me you will," Mother finished. I looked at her long and hard before replying:
"Of course! I mean why would I pick a fight with somebody who either was my teacher or I probably know?" She just looked me and murmured:
"If only she knew..."
"Knew what, Mother?"
"Nothing...here's the gate." I looked up at my old school. I knew this building like the back of my hand. Being a daughter of teachers did have some advantages. I mean I had practically lived there my whole life! I use to run around the corridors, read books in the library or go visit Hagrid during classes when I was young! That was if I was not learning how to read and write, of course! We went through the gates and entered the grounds. It was the same as when I had left it. The same green grass, the same forests at the far end of the grounds, the lake, the Whomping Willow, everything to the last little peck of fallen brick from off the roof top.
"Home, sweet home," I murmured. Mother looked at me surprise.
"I never thought you like it so much. I mean, you used to complain that there was nothing to do."
"That was before I learned magic, Mother." We both laughed and entered the castle. It hadn't changed much either! There was the same extravagant marble entrance filled with students laughing, playing and studying.
"Your luggage was picked up by house elves and brought up to your room. But first, you must meet Dumbledore." So I followed her towards his office. On the way there, I passed some sixth or seventh years who I knew from my time at this lovely school. I mean I just graduated what...three years ago! We passed students running, jumping, snogging (Mum stopped them right there) and then to get to Dumbledore's office.
"Chocolate Frog," Mother spoke to the gargoyle in front of his office. We went up and I knocked on the door. There was a faint "Come in." I entered and saw my godfather. I hadn't seen him since I had pleaded with him to raise Harry. We hugged and he motioned for me to be seated. Mother sat beside me and he began:
"Welcome back, Nathalie."
"It's good to be back, sir."
"I'm glad you feel this way. Now, there are a few things we must discuss. First off, I received a letter from Professor Sinistra, in which she expressed her reluctance to continue teaching. Therefore, I would like to offer you a permanent teaching post." I looked at him then to Mother and then back and forth. Permanently? I never really thought of teaching forever. I mean, I had only taken this because Mother wanted me to and because I needed something to occupy me and earn cash. So I replied:
"I really didn't think about taking this job for the rest of my life. Really, I didn't think about it. I would actually like to try it out first, and then I will either give you my consent or refusal on the matter."
"Deal. Now, there are other matters to tend to as well. As I'm sure you'll understand, Professor Sinistra's powers of concentration have lain outside of the classroom for the most part of this year, due to her pregnancy. Many of her students will be taking their O.W.L.s at the end of the year, so it is critical for them to catch up with her usual teaching curriculum. I'm sure you understand, but this week, I must ask you to review and teach the students all the information they should have learned up until this point of the year."
"Also, I know you're going through a tough time right now and you need to be strong. These students do need discipline. If ever they give you a hard time about...Sirius, just let me know. I will deal with the matter myself." I nodded again, because if ever they did, I would go back to my secluded depression.
"In addition to being a teacher, you shall be Head of the Gryffindor house. When your father passed away, your mother took over his place as Deputy Headmistress. She cannot do both jobs so you have been appointed to it. Now, here is your schedule plan with all the classes and students you will have. You start Monday." He showed me everything I had to do. I looked at the papers and said to myself, "Nathalie what did you get yourself into! This is so much more than what you normally do! But I can do it! If Mother and Father could, I certainly can! If you say so..." Now Dumbledore had covered everything, he turned to me and said with a smile:
"On a brighter note, I have a surprise for you. An old friend of yours has joined the administration; actually, I beseeched this old friend of yours to join, knowing that he or she will cheer you up very much." Dumbledore's eyes twinkled as he said, "However, you are not the only one being kept in the dark. Your friend does not know that you are here, as you do not know the identity of your friend. He or she has accepted to spend an afternoon with you; I hope you will take the offer." I just looked at him and said,
"Is this a friend of mine a close one?"
"Yes, you were very close; I'm quite afraid that the two of you have not kept in touch diligently." I started thinking of names, but I couldn't think of anyone who was suited for this description. Out of curiosity, I said yes. I am to meet Mother at her office at ten in the morning to meet this person. I am to dine and eat breakfast in my new office so as not to see the mysterious persona before the date. I'm really curious to find out who it is!
Later, Fifth of November
I have made myself at home in my new office and quarters. They are situated right below the top of the Astronomy tower, through a hidden door. My office is fairly large, with windows. It's painted a soft purple with white drapery and upholstery. There's a small fireplace that has a big mantel, which I have used for pictures of what used to be. I have an oak desk and chairs, and a small bookcase filled to the top with Astronomy books. I can't wait to read them! There is a door right behind my desk that leads to my quarters. In those quarters, I have a bedroom and bathroom, a study, a small living area and a small but cosy eating area. I don't get why they have those when the Great Hall is downstairs. My bedroom is burgundy red and has a window that opens to a beautiful view of the park. A four-poster bed centers the room, with a night table, vanity and closet. My bathroom is baby blue with a big tub, only to be used when I want to relax from a hard day. My study is upstairs at an end of the Astronomy Tower that only I can reach. The living room is quite the charm, painted in a very light green with comfortable couches and poufs. There is also a fireplace and four bookshelves. The eating area consists mainly of a sink, pantry, table, chairs and windows. It has a cute yellow colour to it.
I am very happy with being here and I actually look forward to teaching. I also can't wait to start as Head of Gryffindor! Father's job always looked like it was fun. But I am more excited to meet this friend of mine. I hope she/he will put me in better spirits. I looked over my yearbook to see who it might be but the only person I have come close to is Remus Lupin, an old friend of James and Sirius. But I had seen him not long ago at Lily and James's burial. But the best part is that I have moved so quickly to better spirits. I am still sad, but I feel loads better. I can actually laugh. Now I must get some shut eye; I haven't since their deaths and I really am tired.
Sixth of November
I woke up at nine-thirty, because I had actually slept for once. I went and ate breakfast when a knock at the door disturbed my peace. It was Mother. I had expected her to come since I had woken up so late. But it was still Sunday. She came to tell me the appointment had been moved to ten-thirty. That meant I had an hour to get ready for the mysterious friend I was going to meet. I went to change into my robes that Mother bought for me. They were my professional robes. It was basically a long dress up to my knees, with a v-neck blouse collar with patterns on it and a cape/coat on top that arrived to my ankles. I put on the blue dress and coat to match my eyes. I looked at myself in the mirror. Gosh, had I changed from a few weeks ago. My blue eyes weren't as sparkly as usual, puffy, swollen and with big dark circle under them. My black curly hair seemed to be less bouncy, and I was very pale. I guess it was a gift from all the horrors that had just occurred. I was feeling happy, but my looks didn't show it. I put on make-up to make me look less of a sick, unhealthy woman.
I went see my mother. She asked me if I was ready. I didn't know what to reply, I mean, yes I was, but my inside was saying no. It was saying to me DANGER RIGHT AHEAD. I just looked at her and replied, "Yes". And off we went to Dumbledore's office. Everybody was out and about for last of the sunny days before the snowfalls of December. As we arrived at the steps, Mother said to me:
"Just so you know, I had nothing to do with this; it was all Albus' idea. I didn't know that you two had a past and I really wouldn't have done this if I was him, but he thinks it's best for the both of you." I looked at her with a hard stare. She was saying this like I was going to get killed in there. Now I really did not want to go. Then she opened the door to his office and pushed me in there, but not before she put her hands over my eyes so I couldn't see. I could hear voices and then Dumbledore spoke:
"Now, I have decided to bring you here for one simple reason. The war may be over but we need to have allies, even if you dislike them. Voldemort might have disappeared, but you may never know when he will come back. This is why, even if I was the only one to know about you and even if you are probably still angry at each other, we have to act fast because we will never know what could happen. Minerva, if you may let her see as I will let him." So this was all a scheme to rekindle some boy and me, just for the sake of Voldemort's possible return. Before I could say anything, Mother removed her hands, and I finally saw who this "friend" was. A man my age was standing in front with the same inexplicable look on his face. He was pale, with long greasy black hair and a crooked nose. It was my ex-boyfriend, Severus Snape.