A/N: Okay, greetings to all (or…any) readers! I have been appalled with myself for my lack of updating. (Yeah…you know that longer Robin fic? It's coming along) Anyway, this idea came to me while having an interesting conversation with a friend about redheads…
Timeframe: Couple years after Deathly Hallows. Albus lives!
Hermione Granger strode purposefully through the corridors of Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. No longer a student and neither a teacher, Hermione was here to pay a visit to a former professor and friend. As she reached the appropriate office, she noted the time. It was after three, and her surprise visit would not be interrupted by any classes. She knocked on the door nervously, clutching a purple envelope in her hands. The door opened and there stood,
"Good afternoon, Professor McGonagall, I'm not sure you remember me but—''
"Of course I remember you, Miss Granger. Come in," Minerva McGonagall shut the door after Hermoine. After she shut the door, she turned around. Hermoine was shocked to see tears threatening to fall from her eyes as Minerva came and gave Hermione a hug,
"You silly girl thinking I don't remember you, Hermione. Can you imagine if I hugged you out in the hallway?"
"You'd lose your reputation," Hermione interjected. The two laughed and Minerva waved Hermione over to the sofa near the fire. As she conjured up some tea, Minerva said,
"Let me say that your article in Transfiguration Today was quite good…extraordinary, in fact. Professor Longbottom was walking around saying, "She was my friend, this one. We had good times and some bad times. You know, I was also friends with Harry Potter," All the first years treated him like a god for weeks,"
The two laughed genuinely and spent a few moments in silence while remembering the final war. Hermione remembered, with a jolt, the reason for which she had come.
"Hermione, do call me Minerva. You are no longer a student," For a moment, Minerva's strict teacher's voice came back and Hermione quelled for a spell until they both laughed again.
"Anyway, Min-Minerva, the reason why I came here is to…well you see…that is,"
"For heavens' sake, Hermione, you were never one to stutter,"
"I—here," Hermione said, quite embarrassed. She gave Minerva the purple envelope. Minerva smiled at the ever so neat handwriting curled meticulously across the front—how long it had been since she had seen Hermione's perfect penmanship—and she opened it.
Mr. and Mrs. Granger
Mr. and Mrs. Weasley
Request your presence at the marriage of their children
Hermione Jean Granger
Ronald Billius Weasley
On the Thirtieth of June
Merlin Cathedral, London
At five p.m.
Minerva read the invitation once. She read the invitation twice. Only on the third scan did the full meaning of its words make a connection in her brain. She looked at Hermione and back at the invitation, then to Hermoine. Hermione gave a sort of "Things just sort of fell into place," grin and Minerva said,
"You and Mr. Weasley?"
"Yes," Hermione said, "Ron isn't so bad now and he is so different compared to the idiot he was in school and I reallyhopeyoucancometotheweddingbecauseyouarelikeamumtomeso," Hermione's voice started getting higher and higher until she was at the hysterical point, which she hadn't needed to use since the war. Minerva got up slowly and turned to the fire. Hermione got up as well but did not approach her. When Minerva turned around, she had tears in her eyes and she ran to hug Hermione again,
"You invited me to your wedding," she said
"Of course I did, Prof-Minerva,"
"You thought I was like your mother," Minerva, for the life of her, couldn't figure out why she couldn't stop crying.
"You did so much for us," Hermione didn't know what else to do besides hold onto her former teacher and hope she would stop soon. As she held Minerva, a soft voice from the doorway said,
"Miss Granger, I'd best take it from here if you don't mind,"
Hermione jerked her head over her shoulder and saw Albus Dumbledore striding over near the fireplace. She gave him a smile before handing over Minerva. To her surprise, Albus took Minerva right into his arms and said,
"What's wrong, love?"
"Oh, Albus, Her-Hermione invit-ted me to her wedding,"
"Well that's wonderful! I am sure Mrs. Weasley is ecstatic," he said, more to Hermione than to Minerva. Hermione's level of shock was clearly evident.
"No-no student has ever come back to-to visit me,"
"Oh, Min, they just don't have time. I trust that you'll go?"
"Of-of course. I am sorry. I don't know what came over me. I'll be right back," Minerva bustled off into her bathroom to clean herself up. Hermione looked at Albus and casually said,
"How long have you two been married, sir?"
Albus was shocked, "My dear girl, always observant. Let's see…I believe it will be thirty years this December,"
"That's wonderful! You will come to the wedding?"
"Of course, Hermione," Albus said, kindly putting a hand on her shoulder, "You've made Minerva very happy today,"
"It's the least I could do,"
The two of them chatted about things, laughing at the hilarious anecdote involving Molly Weasley receiving some fan mail about her remark to Bellatrix Lestrange just before the latter fell at the former's hand. Then, as Albus wiped the tears from his eyes, he said very quietly,
"And how is Harry, Hermione?" At this, the gaiety left Hermione's eyes and she looked towards her shoes. "Does he seem better?"
"Well, sir, yes and no. He is fine whenever Ginny is around, or when Ron and I are talking with him. But whenever he goes somewhere, he is stopped by, well, fans,"
"Naturally, naturally," murmured Albus.
"And, don't get me wrong, he is always gracious with them, but when he gets home, he shuts himself in his room and refuses to eat or, or even to see anyone!"
"Does he still wear black?"
"Always. I wonder why, though,"
"He is mourning. And, I suspect, that he is, shall we say, paying a tribute to Severus,"
At this Hermione grew silent. Luckily, Minerva then emerged saying,
"What have you two been talking about?"
"Hermione and I were discussing how you and she were unfortunate enough to fall for redheads," Minerva blanched. She looked quickly from Hermione to Albus and back to Hermione.
"Albus, does she, I mean Hermione, do," she spluttered
"Professor, it's all right. Albus told me you were married. I myself had suspected," Minerva beamed,
"Always clever, my dear. May I ask since when?"
"Certainly," Hermione laughed, "it was at one of the Order meetings. We were sitting around the table. Albus, you were in the kitchen and Minerva you got up to take some of the tea things away. I wanted to help you because there was quite a lot and I followed you. I saw you put the dishes near the sink and bow your head a little. Albus walked over from the cupboards and he put one hand on your shoulder. Just for a moment,"
Minerva closed her eyes, reveling in the memory.
"And then you looked at him and…I don't know…I just sort of…knew," she finished, shyly. Minerva smiled and said,
"Thank you. I remember that night very well. And I guess that explains why the rest of the tea things were floating in the hallway without a person in sight?"
Hermione blushed, "Yes, I thought you might want some privacy,"
"Thank you, my dear,"
The rest of the afternoon was spent in conversation and an unwilling goodbye. As Hermione Flooed home, Minerva felt a pang of sadness, but looked forward to their promised Sunday dinner at the Three Broomsticks. It was late now, and Kingsley had called in Albus for some advice and she was alone. As she was sitting down with her tea, there came a knock on her door. As she opened the door, a soft voice said,
"Good evening, Professor McGonagall. I am sorry to bother you at this hour but may I please speak with you?" As the man emerged from the shadows, Minerva felt tears spring up into her eyes as she answered,
"Of course, Mr. Potter. Please come in,"
A/N: I am so cruel! BWAHAHAHAHAHA! (cough, cough) Okay (cough), seriously. Cliffhanger endings are cruel but I will be assured reviews that way! Please leave any and all feedback possible—I live for constructive criticism! I hope you liked the change in events…Albus should never have been killed in my opinion and Harry I think needs more time to deal with the gravity of the Final War so…that is just my reasoning…Please Review!