Harry and the Feline Heart
This story will mainly be about Minerva McGonagall and Harry Potter. Minerva will contain various flashbacks of her own childhood while she watches Harry grow up at her side.
Normally, I don't like flashbacks, but they will be an essential part of this story, since Minerva's childhood told in the flashbacks will provide thoughts and reasons behind situations. I know that some of you might not like them, but I won't abandon them due to their significance to the plot of this story- just to let you know in advance.
The main persons in this story will be the two Trios, consisting of: Minerva, Poppy, Rolanda and Harry, Hermione, Ron. Pairings (probably): MMAD, HPHG
A short word to the parting of paragraphs: 現在 means PRESENT and 過去 means PAST. Everything will be clear even if you don't know Japanese... just in case you wondered.
Mushcorn is my beta as usual - thanks for your brilliant beta-ing, Marsha!
All recognizable characters belong to J. K. Rowling, and I am not earning anything by writing this story.
1 - My Childhood
Minerva stretched her legs against the stiffness that was slowly overcoming her after sitting on the stone wall next to the Dursleys' residence for many hours and then proceeded to clean her fur on this fateful autumn day.
As she observed Petunia Dursley struggle with an extremely spoiled Dudley, her thoughts wandered back to her own childhood, which couldn't be described as extraordinarily happy. Her mother had been a witch, the heir of the McGonagall line, a powerful family descendant from great Merlin, and as a baby Minerva had already shown that the magical powers of the Merlin family still continued. Her mother had loved her more than anything else and had cared deeply for her little girl, whom she gave her own family name instead of that of her father. Unfortunately, she had died from a cardiovascular defect when Minerva was just five years old.
Minerva remembered the day her maternal grandmother and her father had returned from the hospital on that fateful Christmas Eve morning.
Flashback, 24th of December, 1930
Minerva walked down the stairs at McGonagall Manor when Malcolm, her favourite house elf, told her that her grandmother needed to see her right away. She found her grandmother crying, and her father told her while barely managing to hold back his own tears that her mother had died and would never be coming home again.
"But we can't live without Mummy," she replied, knowing that it was her mother, who had been doing everything for her so far.
"We can and will," her father replied and tried to show his small daughter that life could go on even without her mother.
End of Flashback
Minerva's father had been a Squib, who was not overly fond of magic but at least accepted its existence. He taught History at a Muggle school in the same town that McGonagall Manor was located, but Minerva only saw him in the evenings. However, she still had her grandmother, who continued to teach her reading, writing, arithmetic, history of the magical and Muggle world, as well as easy spells and charms during the day like her mother had before she passed away. When her grandmother died only two years after her mother had, the house elves cared for Minerva, and her favourite house elf, Malcolm, continued her studies with her.
Minerva was abruptly pulled out of her thoughts when all of a sudden the street lights on Privet Drive were extinguished. Looking around with her feline vision she recognized the form of Albus Dumbledore, who was standing across the street.
Seeing his face, she knew that the terrible news she had heard was true. 'Oh Lily,' she grieved inwardly, 'how could this happen to you?' Flabbergasted, she watched as Hagrid brought Harry, the child that was like a grandson to her just as Lily had been like a daughter, to Privet Drive.
'Please, let me keep him and raise him,' her eyes silently beseeched the man at her side, but he explained something about blood wards and gently placed the child in front of the Dursleys' front door.
Minerva slinked around the corner to move her limbs for a while, before she returned to the quiet street in order to continue her vigil on the wall to ensure the child's safety until he was found in the morning. Minerva watched as the small boy slept, knowing that he was unaware of the fact that he was famous and that at that very moment all across the country wizards and witches were celebrating his defeat of a dark wizard, and not really acknowledging that the same small boy lost both of his parents for the peace that they now celebrated.
'I hope they'll raise him well and won't hate him being a wizard,' she mused and couldn't help her thoughts wandering to the past again.
When Minerva was nine, her father married a Muggle colleague, who was worked at a school two hours away from McGonagall Manor. In spite of Minerva's vehement protests, he moved them to his new wife's home, taking Minerva with him and abandoning McGonagall manor for the time being. He arranged with the school that he taught for that he only had to teach from Monday through Thursday and spent those three nights a week in a small apartment near the school, leaving Minerva with her new Muggle stepmother, who was unconscious of the fact that Minerva was a witch. The girl inwardly thanked the house elves, who remained at McGonagall Manor, because they had charmed all her books, so that they appeared to be Muggle literature to Muggles' eyes. Her father and stepmother decided that there was no way she could be home schooled any longer and made arrangements for her to attend a nearby Muggle primary school.
Although she loved to study and adapted well at the primary school, Minerva was sad that she wasn't able to learn magic any more. She even had a few friends. However, after displaying accidental magic in a way that shocked the whole school, even the friends she had distanced themselves from her.
One day, Minerva had a homework assignment of writing an essay on a topic of her choosing. She decided to write a story about a witch, who was waving a wand and transformed into a cat. Maybe she had even seen her mother transform into an Animagus from before, but she wasn't sure anymore. She spent a lot of time on her homework and tried very hard to write a good essay. When she handed it in she was very proud of it. However, the teacher had taken her homework as an example and taught them that magic didn't exist and that women had been burnt in the Middle Ages, because people thought that they were witches.
Minerva became extremely upset. 'Of course magic exists and I'm definitely a witch,' she thought as she became very angry and unintentionally let out a bout of accidental magic, causing the teacher's hair to turn pink.
A few weeks later, she accidentally summoned a piece of chalk from the other end of the blackboard, causing it to hover to where she was standing. Some of the children teased her terribly afterwards, causing Minerva to become so frightened that she let out another bout of magic and transformed into a cat, before she dashed away, hiding under a bush.
It was only when the teacher complained to Minerva's stepmother about her pink hair, the woman had learned that she was a witch and began to absolutely despise her, forbidding her to use any magic at home or even speak about it. Unfortunately, Minerva's father, who was a very gentle man, loved his wife too much to contradict her decision, even if he was hurting the child, whom he loved deeply.
Minerva was devastated. She didn't have any friends and she didn't feel welcome at home anymore. All her free time she spent alone in her room reading her Muggle and magical school books. However, by the time she turned ten, she had memorized all of her books. Pondering what to do now to occupy her time, she remembered how she had once transformed into a cat when she was younger when she had had one of her bouts of accidental magic. 'Maybe I can work on transforming anytime I want to,' she mused and thus began to practise transforming into a cat. She used every free minute she had to practise, even in the washrooms at school, and a year later, she managed the Animagus transformation flawlessly.
Slightly shivering in spite of her warm fur, Minerva jerked abruptly out of sleep at a woman's horrified shriek. Mrs. Dursley had just found Harry. Still in her cat form, Minerva watched how the woman she had met a few times at occasions like Lily's wedding or Harry's christening read the letter that Dumbledore had placed next to Harry on the doorstep.
"Vernon!" Petunia shrieked into the open door of the house, causing little Harry to let out a frightened wail. "Oh, shut up you freak," Petunia said harshly, causing Minerva to throw her an angry look, sad that it remained unregistered by the hateful woman in the doorway.
"What's wrong?" a fat man asked, standing in the doorframe.
"The freaks are dead and we have to raise their son," Petunia told him in a small voice that Minerva could only hear because she was in her feline form, while shaking the letter in front of her. The woman sounded absolutely horrified at such a prospect.
When Harry began to wail louder, the woman threw him a terrified look and said, "Vernon, let's go inside. What will the neighbours think?" With a disgusted expression she picked the baby up, holding him away from her like one would a stinky piece of rubbish, and returned into the house.
Minerva moved in the direction of the garden, from where she could look into the kitchen window, and observed the woman roughly place the boy into the cupboard under the stairs. Ten minutes later, Minerva's sensitive ears could still hear the child crying.
Knowing that her physical condition was not good enough to remain any longer on the cold stone wall, Minerva decided to return to Hogwarts for the time being. 'But I'll come back and check on Harry every now and then,' she resolved. 'If I see that it's gets too bad, Albus will just have to allow me to take him in.' Jumping down from the wall she chased a mouse to behind the garage, where she transformed back into her human form and apparated to the gates of Hogwarts.
Minerva was glad that the Headmaster had cancelled all the classes for the day as she sat in her seat at the head table in the Great Hall next to Dumbledore and told him exactly what she had witnessed.
"Just to let you know, Albus, I'm going to check on Harry whenever I can. Do you know that he called me 'Gwanny'? I just have to make sure that he's all right."
Dumbledore sighed. "Minerva, I'm sure that he'll be safe with his relatives, but if it'll make you feel better, you may go and check on him from time to time. However, you must not let him see you, and you know that you shouldn't let yourself get so upset, my dear."
"Maybe you could stop doing things that upset me then," Minerva smirked, although she knew that her old friend only meant well. She returned to her quarters and let herself sink into her comfortable bed, feeling completely exhausted. However, sleep didn't come easily, and her thoughts turned back to her school days.
In the summer before her eleventh birthday, Minerva's father told her that beginning in September, she would attend the school in which her stepmother taught at. "Minerva, we expect you to behave yourself. Remember, no magic at school," her stepmother said sternly.
'I don't want to attend the school, where she is teaching,' Minerva thought horrified. 'Everyone will tease me about it in spite of the fact that she hates me, and I don't know what'll happen to me, if I do magic even without wanting to.'
One day, an old man came to visit her at home.
'Oh Albus, you're the best,' Minerva thought and slowly drifted off to sleep.
Minerva only woke up when her best friend, Poppy Pomfrey, poked her head in the door of her bedroom. "Minerva, what's wrong with you? I missed you all day yesterday and today," she said worriedly, giving her friend a piercing look.
"Sorry Poppy, I'm fine," Minerva replied. She motioned Poppy to sit on the edge of her bed and told her where she had been and what she had witnessed that morning, before she burst into tears, clinging onto her friend's robes. "What if Petunia hates him like my stepmother always hated me? You know how jealous she was because I had a good relationship with my Dad and because I was a witch. What if Petunia and her family, especially her son, are jealous of Harry or hate him because he's magical?"
"Oh, Minnie, it's all right. He'll be fine and if not we're going to bring him here. You know that Albus loves you; he'll do anything for you," Poppy replied, gently rubbing circles on her friend's back. "Rolanda and I will accompany you whenever you want to go to check on Harry. I suggest that you give them a bit of time to adjust to the new situation, and we'll go check on him Saturday morning, provided that I can escape from the hospital wing for a few hours."
"Thanks a lot, Poppy," Minerva replied, feeling slightly consoled. During the rest of the week she spent a lot of time thinking about her past. Even the Gryffindors noticed that their Head of House seemed to be very distracted and used the time to play pranks, hoping that the professor wouldn't bother to take points away from her House.
'When I heard that I could come to Hogwarts I was so happy. It was the best day of my life,' Minerva mused, throwing the Headmaster a grateful look, who chuckled, because he had just won their game of chess.
"Check mate, my dear."
Flashback, 1st of August, 1937
Minerva was just sitting on the swing at the nearby playground, musing about how to get to McGonagall Manor to get a few books from the library, when an old man appeared out of nowhere and stepped over to her.
"Minerva?" the old man asked, giving her a questioning look.
"Yes sir," she answered politely, looking curiously at the man's long white beard.
"I am Albus Dumbledore. I'm a teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry," the man introduced himself, causing Minerva's eyes to widen in delight.
"A magical school?" she asked excitedly.
"Yes, and you're supposed to attend Hogwarts beginning the first of September, but you didn't answer my owl to telling me if you want to come."
"I want to!" she blurted out without even needing to think the matter over. Suddenly realizing what the old man had said, she enquired incredulously, "Your owl? I never got an owl from you."
"Well, then I'm going to have a small discussion with your parents, because they must have received my letter. I'll inform you afterwards, but I'm quite certain they will let you go."
End of Flashback
On the first of September, Minerva's father took her to King's Cross and showed her how to get onto platform nine and three quarters, where she boarded the Hogwarts Express in absolute delight. 'At least they can't laugh at me because I'm a witch,' she thought in relief.
You can find a story graphic on my Yahoo newsgroup page!