Nothing like the Sun


A/N:

"Nothing like the Sun" is the extended and so far never-published version of "Minerva McGonagall and the Half-Blood Prince".

Let me explain.

I put a lot of work into my stories, and I have two very faithful betas. Each and every chapter goes through several rounds of re-writing and proofreading, so you can imagine that this kind of work approach consumes time. A whole lot of time.

While working on "Nothing like the Sun" we realized that we would never be able to finish it before the publication of JKR's "Deathly Hallows", and for some reason we wanted to beat that deadline. (Don't ask why. We don't know.) So about half of the story was cruelly cut away, and we decided to publish the much-shortened version under a working title that resembled "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" and would thus be easy to remember.

Naturally I have come to regret this decision. So here's the real story, the way it was meant to be...

If you know "Minerva and Half-Blood Prince", then you know the plot. But it is not just the same story published again.

This version here is more… complete, for lack of a better word. There is more time for proper character development, and we have re-included all those scenes that were cut from the story for brevity's sake. More darkness! More angst! More chapters devoted to my beloved side characters! And hopefully, the writing style has improved a bit ;-)

If you're not put off by the fact that this is oh-so-boring-the-same-again, then enjoy reading!

This fic is canon compliant to JKR's "Half-Blood Prince", but completely AU to "Deathly Hallows". Some of the Horcruxes are different. The reason why Snape returned to the side of Good and Light and Fluffy Bunnies is a very different one. And, sorry, while I think it is totally cool that JRK's Dumbledore is gay – my Dumbledore is boring and heterosexual.

Frank


Sonnet 130 by William Shakespeare:

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red:

If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.

I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;

And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.

I love to hear her speak,--yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;

I grant I never saw a goddess go,
My mistress when she walks, treads on the ground;

And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.


Prologue

The castle doors closed behind Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy. Minerva McGonagall glanced at the Gryffindor and Ravenclaw hourglasses which she had just filled with an immense amount of rubies and sapphires. Poor little Harry and his friends clearly deserved some kind of a reward after the brave fight at the Ministry.

Minerva suppressed a not-very-ladylike grin. She had just returned from St Mungo's to Hogwarts, and within the very first five minutes after her arrival she had won an argument against Severus Snape. This was going to be a good day.

Minerva allowed herself to lean a little more on her walking stick. She knew perfectly well that she was not 'as good as new' – as she had claimed only a moment ago – but she was darned if she was going to admit that now. Straightening up once more she looked into Snape's face and was surprised to find something like a smile there.

"You know, Minerva, it is good to have you back here."

"Why, just a minute ago, you didn't seem too happy about it."

"You really don't know how much I appreciate this? Having one person around who will stand up to me?"

"Someone who will best you, you mean. Severus, you are quite arrogant."

Minerva smiled, just a tiny little smirk to show him that she was well aware of the irony of her words. Snape walked over to where she stood.

"I would have offered to carry your luggage, but as you have already used my students for that purpose – may I nevertheless offer to escort you to your rooms?"

He actually held out his arm for her to take. It was disturbing how the man sometimes used mockingly good manners for his personal revenge. No, she was certainly not going to be seen led around the castle as though she was his elderly aunt.

"The gesture is charming, Severus, though I think it might be misunderstood. I am perfectly capable of walking on my own."

"Of course."

He nodded and turned away.

"But if you would care to accompany me to my office, I would certainly appreciate it if you had tea with me and could fill me in on the latest events around here."

"I shall be delighted," he said dryly, but she saw a little smirk in his eyes.