Two years ago she had been excited. She still blushed when thought about how awkward she had been when she had been introduced to all kinds celebrities such as the prime minister of

Atlantis, several actors, singers and other stars of the wizarding world. Two years. Funny how fast these things changed. She had already been to more of these balls and dinner parties than she

could count and it hadn't taken her long to realize that these things were always the same. It certainly wasn't the kind of glamour she had counted on when she had joined the Auror academy 4

years ago. What she had wanted to do was be out in the field, fighting against a threat she didn't need Albus Dumbledore to tell her to know that it was looming above England. It was the thrill of

wands cutting through the air in duels, the rush of adrenaline through her veins that she had been aiming at. Also she had found out that the black uniforms were quite useful and the dark

mystery the job gave her didn't hurt with the girls either. But ending up protecting the minister during any of his official happenings wasn't her idea of the perfect job. It definitely hadn't been the

reason why she had worked so hard at the academy. Still it was what had brought her here. If she had to go through the whole procedure again, she sure as hell wouldn't end her training as top

of her class.

She shifted from one food to the other while scanning the room for what had to be the thousandth time during the last 15 minutes. At least there would be some interesting people here tonight.

England had won the Quidditch world cup the week before and this was the ministry's party to welcome their players home. Although she doubted that she would come close enough to actually

talk to them it would still be nice to observe. It was the only thing that made these things entertaining: observing people. Watching how they told small and big lies, how they embarrassed

themselves and how they generally interacted with other "important" people.

"Boring, isn't it?" she heard a voice behind her. Turning around she found herself face to face with a spiky haired woman with yellow – yellow? - hair. Rolanda Hooch. Literally the new shooting star

of the English Quidditch team. It had taken her exactly 27 minutes to catch the snitch and thereby to make her team the new World Champions.

"Excuse me?" she asked, knowing that actually saying that even listening to her mother's rants about her still being single and being too shy (if she only knew…) was more exciting than protecting

a room full of arrogant, lying, self-sufficient politicians would probably cost her job.

"Oh come on! It's not as if anyone couldn't see you are bored out of your mind!"

Hooch laughed and Minerva smiled because it was right of course. She probably was screaming boredom to anyone who took the time to actually look at her.

"Don't worry! I won't tell anyone. I would have to admit that I'm falling asleep if I have to listen to any of those people telling me how much they admire my talent!" Hooch winked at her and

Minerva found herself wondering if the other woman was on the hunt.

"Are you? I'd imagine it's quite exciting to have all those people here for you?"

Hooch raised an eyebrow. "Would you like to have these people here for you?"

Now Minerva had to laugh. "You're right. I'm wrong. I would hate it."

Smirking, Hooch said "so I thought."

Before Minerva had the time to get her knees back under control and give some really witty reply she heard her supervisor's voice in her ear. "Back up's here, McGonagall. Get out of here till

anyone notices how much you hate being here in the first place!"

Minerva looked at Hooch. Suddenly not so sure if she still wanted to go. Again, the other woman raised her left eyebrow and Minerva briefly thought that if Hooch kept that up she was a goner.

"What?" Hooch asked, noticing Minerva's unsure glance.

"I'm off duty…"

Hooch began to laugh. "Well you're free to go. Dream come true. What are you still doing here?"

"Well…" Shit. Good job, McGonagall, she thought. Just made a total ass of yourself. "It's just that I have nothing to do." There she had to smile again, getting her confidence back. "And I still

haven't gotten over the fact that there is someone here who can carry on an adequate conversation…"

"Ouch. That bad? What about coworkers?"

"You see any?"

Hoch looked around, shaking her head. "No"

"It's their job. There's always only one of us who is actually in the room while the others are monitoring from the outside. Makes it easier to notice trouble."

Nodding, Hooch said "Sounds plausible"

Minerva smiled "doesn't it?"

Tilting her head to the left side, Hooch looked at her curiously. "Would you mind if I used my celebrity privilege on you and asked you a personal question?"

Also curious, Minerva answered, "why don't you try?"

"What brought you here? Like I said anyone can see you can imagine thousands of things that are more entertaining than this"

Minerva sighed. "I went to the academy because I wanted to do something… I guess the right term really is dangerous. I've always loved dueling. I have two older brothers and we used to fight in

some way or other. With fists when we were younger. With basic spells at school. Got us quite a bit of detentions. Though we always made sure not to hurt the other two. Still, I like the thrill of

the fight."

With knitted eyebrows, the other woman asked "What happened?"

Minerva sighed and resisted the urge to roll her eyes "I got the highest possible marks. And the best people are always reserved for the minister's guard."

"Oh dear. That really has to be bad!" Hoch sighed."But I get what you said about the thrill of fighting. It's basically what I love so much about being seeker. You know you're a part of the team and

without them you can't win but in the end you're on your own. It's you and your broom and your skill. It's your game."

Minerva nodded. "Maybe I would have thought about going into Quidditch when someone had told me earlier that wizards are so bad at throwing parties!"

Hooch laughed again. "These sure are!" Looking suddenly thoughtful, she bit her lip. "Wanna see how muggles do it?"


"There's this bar. In muggle London. They have great music. A great atmosphere. I'd love to show it to you."

So. Hooch had just asked her out. Right? "When?"

Looking around, smirking, the spiky haired woman said, "what about now?"

"What about the ball?"

"Nothing about the ball. I'm the star. I decide when I go."

Minerva shrugged. "If you think so…"

"Oh come on. I know I can't stand one more Quidditch-hating guy telling me he's seen all of my games. Pleeease??" Mockingly batting her eyelashes, the shorter woman look up at Minerva.

"Besides. If I leave now, they have something to talk about tomorrow. It will make them happier than any of my World Cup games could ever do!"

Minerva laughed. "You're right. They are all gonna love it… "

Just as Hooch wanted to say something else, Minerva spotted the minister heading towards them. Or rather towards Hooch she guessed. The other woman followed her gaze and sighed.

"It seems as if I won't get out as easily as I thought. Leave and wait outside. I'll try to come out as soon as possible!"

Sighing Minerva nodded before turning around and making her way across the room. When she was at the exit, she heard Hooch's deep voice say, "You know what a great honor it was for me to

be you guest, minister, but you have to excuse me. The journey and the time difference really exhausted me!" And while the minister was assuring his Quidditch star that it was alright and it was a

greater honor to have her as guest, Minerva had to smile in anticipation of what the rest of the night would bring.