Authors Note: Here's something a bit different for you, will be a short 2/3 chapter fic (in theory). Enjoy ;) Thanks to the wonderful Tigertales for her input and help.
Hermione Granger was walking along a familiar corridor with her friends, she was infinitely glad to be back at Hogwarts for the last few weeks of term. They had survived the war, Voldemort was dead and although Harry was a little quiet they had come through all of the challenges unscathed. Idly she listened to Ron bitching about his homework and inwardly grinned, it was nice that things were getting back to usual.
She was happier than she had been in a long time, partly because she was back at Hogwarts but mostly for another reason – all of the confusing feelings she had been experiencing about Ron during the past year had evaporated as though vapour. Over the past few weeks she had come to the conclusion that her feelings had been the result of close-quarters and stressful situations. This was a huge relief, having feelings for someone like Ron had been an anathema to her.
Suddenly there was a loud noise, almost but not quite the noise made when someone apparates. The three jumped and drew their wands, reflexes sharpened by the events of the last year. They spread out, walking around the corner cautiously. Stopping only when they saw the perceived threat.
A teenage girl was sprawled at the base of a staircase, a pile of books scattered across the corridor, with blood dripping from her face. Ron was the first to shove his wand back into his sleeve and go to her aid, despite the fact that the girl was younger than him by several years, he always did have an eye for a pretty witch – especially one in distress.
He helped her to her feet, letting her lean on him until her dizziness eased. Harry and Hermione immediately noticed the Gryffindor tie that she wore, the emblem of their house on her thick winter cloak. Hermione began to note the irregularities of her appearance almost immediately, her robes were far too thick for the summer heat, there was melting snow around her collar and encrusted onto her boots.
Harry frowned, he did not recognise the girl but there was something oddly familiar about her. Something he couldn't quite put his finger on...
"Thanks." The girl spoke to Ron, as she stood up a little straighter and brushed herself off, "The floor is a little slippery, I should have been paying a little more attention. I hit my head, cannae tell if it's serious or not. I....." She suddenly stopped staring at Ron, her eyes were wide and shocked. She was well spoken, with a hint of local accent in her voice.
She turned around and spotted Harry and Hermione, her gaze was filled with horror, pure unadulterated horror.
"Oh shit, oh shit, SHITE..."
Hermione couldn't help herself, she was despite everything a Gryffindor Prefect. "Mind your language!"
"......" Instantly she stopped swearing, "Sorry Mum." Her answer was automatic but as she said the two words, she realised what she had said, what she had let slip.
"What did you call me?" Hermione stared at the girl even harder now. She had long wavy black hair, kept neat and away from her face with a clip. Oddly familiar green eyes stared back at her from behind spectacles, obviously perturbed.
Harry spoke up, "We need to get you to the Hospital Wing, you're bleeding." He picked up all of the books and repaired her bag, "We can...erm...sort out everything else later."
They set off towards the hospital wing in an odd procession, Harry walking first with a huge pile of books, Ron behind him supporting the still dizzy injured girl. Hermione was bringing up the rear, walking in a daze.
"Mr Potter I suggest that you go and get the Headmistress." Harry nodded at Madam Pomfrey's instruction and left the room walking quickly.
Hermione sat down still staring at the girl, her eyes picking up certain features that the two of them shared and noting the ones that differed. Was what she had said true? Was this her daughter? Those green eyes were driving her crazy, she knew them, they were so familiar, where had she seen them before?
Poppy ignored the uncharacteristic behaviour from Miss Granger and Mr Weasley's slack jawed imitation. She merely concerned herself with the welfare of her patient and busied herself with potions, Minerva would be here in a few minutes to sort it out. She engaged the girl in some meaningless chatter to take her mind off of the situation.
When Minerva walked into the room she was confronted by a very strange scene, her eyes first went to Hermione who was looking as though she had seen a ghost and then to the unfamiliar young Gryffindor. There were no students that Minerva didn't know, especially those belonging to her former house. She noticed the same things that Hermione had, the winter clothing and an uncanny resemblance to someone she knew.
The girl glanced up midway through an animated conversation with the nurse, matter of factly she greeted Minerva. "Oh hello Mother." Minerva's jaw dropped in shock, as did Hermione's.
Ron frowned, "How can she be your mother? You called Hermione Mum a few minutes ago. Are you sure that you don't have a concussion?"
Hermione looked harder at the girl realising now where those features had come from; she had Minerva's green eyes, framed by her own eyelashes and her cheekbones. This was her daughter. Her eyes sought Minerva's slender frame and her mind whispered at her, 'our daughter'.
Minerva was currently making the same assessment, the girl had a thick mane of hair like Hermione's although somewhat less bushy and the shade of her own hair. This was a child born of herself and...Miss Granger...
Noticing the state of his Headmistress Harry spoke up, "What's your name?"
The girl nodded almost reluctantly, she had said too much already, "Siobhan Jean McGonagall."
Minerva sat on one of the spare beds, pinching the bridge of her nose between finger and thumb, she was rapidly getting a headache. "Time-turner?" She chose for a moment to ignore the wider implications and deal with the biggest problem, a student from the future.
Siobhan nodded, answering the rhetorical question by pulling a long chain from beneath her robes. Minerva, Hermione and Poppy all groaned as they saw the broken magical device, they all knew the problems that could be caused by a damaged time-turner. Minerva's next sigh was even louder, she alone knew how much paperwork an incident like this could generate, she would have to notify the Ministry. "I'm sorry I fell and must have broken it. I have been following the guidelines, honest."
Hermione smiled gently at the girl, her daughter, "Of course you did. These things happen."
Siobhan smiled back at her before looking at Minerva with some trepidation, it was fairly obvious to everyone who the stricter parent was. "Hermione is right, it was not your fault." Hermione's back straightened when Minerva said her first name, surprised by the intimacy that it implied, watching as her friends exchanged shocked, curious looks.
Wordlessly Minerva summoned a sheet of parchment and a quill from Poppy's office, scrawling a letter rather rapidly in her irritation, "I am going to owl the ministry and let them know about your situation." Once she sealed the parchment, Minerva walked over to the window and let out a curious warbling whistle. A huge owl with an enormous wingspan responded and landed on the sill, the Headmistress absently stroked it while tying the note to the outstretched leg.
Poppy finished with Siobhan, "You will have a 'scar' for a few days but after that it will fade away. Take a look."
Siobhan walked over to a full length mirror across the room noticing that Hermione and Minerva followed her as though transfixed. The two women stood behind their daughter with several feet separating the two of them, since the girls' revelation neither of them had dared to even look at the other. For a few minutes they watched as their daughter inspected Poppy's work before gradually their eyes shifted, their reflected gazes met and locked.
The eye contact was brief but intense, chocolate brown boring into emerald green. Just when it seemed as though it could have gone on forever, Minerva deliberately broke the connection between them.
"If you wish to use my floo Headmistress, please feel free." Minerva excused herself with a grateful look at Poppy, eager to retreat behind a closed door and compose herself. "Mr Potter, Mr Weasley, could you give Miss Granger a few minutes alone with... Miss McGonagall."
After a few moments Hermione was alone with her daughter, she frowned and sat down again. "This is a shock."
"I'm sorry I put you in this position Mum. Aren't you and Mother together yet?"
"No we aren't."
"Do you want to be?"
Hermione stood and began to pace, "That isn't the point."
"Actually Mum I think it is. You'll be happy together, I know that." An exasperated hand ran through bushy brown hair as Hermione sighed. "You know that I cannot give you details."
"I know. I also know that she would never look at a student that way, not the way that I want her to."
"You will not be a student forever."
Hermione nodded, a helpless look in her eyes, she opened her mouth to say something further but stopped as the office door opened with a decisive click and Minerva McGonagall stepped through it. The older woman still avoided Hermione's eyes as she spoke to her, "There are three ministry officials who wish to speak with you in the office Miss Granger." Hermione walked towards the door confused beyond belief by the turn that the day had taken and by the extremely strange way in which Minerva had just said her name.
"Ah Miss Granger, please sit down."
Hermione did as she was told, straightening her uniform as she sat in the proffered chair. This meeting appeared to be taking a strange direction.
"Miss Granger we are just here to ask you a few questions."
"By all means." Hermione was very suspicious of their motives now, there was something odd going on here.
"I understand that you found the... young lady in question when she first appeared in our time?"
"Yes I did, along with Harry Potter and Ron Weasley."
"And she stated that she was your daughter, correct?"
"Yes she did."
"Has she said anything about the circumstances of her birth?"
"How it came to be that you and your Headmistress came to have a baby?"
Suddenly it dawned on Hermione just what was really going on here. "May I ask who you are?"
"I am Pierce Crowhurst from the Wizengamot."
"And your companions?"
"Thorn and Bester from the Department of Mysteries. Answer my question please Miss Granger."
"Siobhan has told me absolutely nothing about the future. If you check your records I had a timeturner in my third year and I as such I know the rules. She can tell me nothing and I cannot and will not press her - despite my own curiosity on that subject."
One of the other men spoke up now, "Your curiosity?"
"Yes!" Hermione could feel her anger rising as a result of the looks on their faces at that moment. "Despite what Mr Crowhurst is insinuating there is nothing between Professor McGonagall and I. We are not in a personal relationship of any kind, the appearance of a daughter is as much of a shock to me as it is to you and I daresay to her as well."
"I am merely trying to get to the truth Miss Granger."
"I cannot tell you what I do not know, nor will I implicate Professor McGonagall in something that she is not guilty of. Siobhan needs the help of the Unspeakables to get home, I don't feel that it is appropriate for the Wizengamot should be involved at all." She stood up and prepared to leave.
"No. Unless of course you'd care to wait until I have Ministry representation of my own." She threw the door open and went back into the main room, face flushed with anger.
Minerva had left Hermione to face the Wizengamot and sat next to her daughter looking into intense green eyes so like her own.
"Yes, they are less concerned with your presence than your parentage."
"It will be ok."
"You know that you are not allowed to tell me anything about the future."
Suddenly Minerva was looking at Hermione's cheshire cat grin in the young girls face. "Yes I know, but there are some things that I can reveal."
"What do you mean? How can you without breaking the rules?"
"Because I have done it already."
Minerva shook her head not understanding.
"What if my presence is the catalyst for your relationship?"
"It cannot be."
"It is. The proof sits before you. Don't allow propriety to stand in your way of something truly wonderful." She stood up as a furious Hermione walked out of the office, "Do they want to see me now?"
"I think so yes."
Siobhan said goodbye to both parents, slipping a scrap of parchment into Hermione's hand before she left with the two Unspeakables so that they could return her to her own time. Crowhurst nodded at the two women, "I will be in touch Headmistress." His words sounded like a threat.
Minerva's answering nod was curt, her mouth pulled into a tight line, her anger was obvious as was her contempt. Hermione's expression was almost identical and he smirked at the obvious connection between them. He stalked out of the room.
Hermione heard a muttered curse from the Headmistress, she repressed a smile knowing that Minerva wouldn't appreciate it. She turned to face Minerva who again avoided eye contact, physically turning her face away from Hermione. "Good day Miss Granger." She too left the room, leaving a stunned Hermione behind her.