This is my first fanfic. I am not a native English speaker and don't have a betareader, so bear with me…
The story takes place right after Order of the Phoenix. Sirius is dead, Professor McGonagall still in St. Mungos. The rest is up to my imagination – I always felt that Prof. McGonagall should have played a much bigger role in Harry's life!
Not a whole new idea – just a different approach.Not alone
Harry sat in the deserted common room of Gryffindor staring out of the window. He had no tears left for the moment – dull pain about Sirius' death was the only thing left. He did not even want to talk to Hermione and Ron who sent him worried glances every now and then. If he only had practiced more Occlumency with Snape – maybe he could not have been tricked by Voldemort…
Sirius would still be alive then. He would still have his godfather – the only person who came close to a family and cared about him. Harry had used to daydream a lot since he met Sirius – imagining a life together with his godfather in his house at Grimmauld Place. Now he had no other choice then going back to the Dursleys again.
Three more days of school were left and he did not even bother to go to his classes.
His teachers did not complain – not even Snape. Harry wondered whether Dumbledore had spoken to them about what happened in the ministry.
He was glad to have the schoolmaster back – most of the year had been a nightmare having a Dolores Umbridge at Hogwarts who had even tortured Harry and his friends from the DA.
His Head of House was still in St. Mungos recovering from the stunner attack. Therefore, only Hermione was there trying to convince him to attend classes and get Harry back to a normal life in order to overcome the dreadful events in the ministry. So far, Harry had not given in and sometimes even went hiding under his invisibility cloak.
'Can't you leave me alone for a while', he now complained to Ron and Hermione.
'Harry, stop torturing yourself about what could have been. It's no use and you did not do anything wrong. You could not have seen that You Know Who was playing games with you. Just imagine, Sirius would indeed have been trapped in the ministry and you would not have gone to save him!', Hermione said to him - not for the first time.
'Easy for you to say. You do have a family left and you don't have to go back to the Dursleys!' Harry yelled at her. Whenever he was not desperate he was bitter these days. Losing his godfather after he had just found him was just too much to cope with.
He stormed out of the common room leaving his two friends behind.
Minerva McGonagall was lying in her bed in St. Mungos hospital feeling really miserable. She had regained consciousness after 4 days and at first had not know where she was. Dumbledore had been at her side since it was in the middle of the night. He had looked rather worried for his friend and Deputy Headmistress but had to leave once he knew that she was out of immediate danger. After all, they were still after him…
For days McGonagall was in pain and feeling really weak. Most of the time she was sleeping anyway. Today was the first day she felt that she had a clear mind.
Immediately she remembered everything around the attack at Hogwarts and worry for her students washed over her. She could not bear the thought that she had left them alone – having to cope with Umbridge without her protection!
'I hope, Harry is alright', she thought for the millionth time. She was scared that Harry would provoke Umbridge even further. He was so like his father and Minerva had to smile at the thought of Harry.
She was so proud of her godson and wished that circumstances would have been different for them. If only she could finally tell him and behave like a proper godmother around him. She longed to be able to just hug him and take all the pain from the past years away from Harry.
When his parents were killed Minerva tried in vain to persuade Dumbledore to raise Harry on her own in Hogwarts. Dumbledore had insisted on bringing Harry to his mother's sister. She knew that Harry needed the strongest protection which was offered only by his own blood. Nevertheless, she missed the child she had used to watch whenever Lily and James had to leave him behind for a day. She knew he would not be loved at the Dursleys and it hurt her a lot to see him being neglected over the years.
Dumbledore had not been aware that Minerva used to visit Harry on a regular basis in her cat form. She just had to see him and make sure he was alright with this dreadful family!
When Harry finally came to Hogwarts she could at least try her best to protect him. Being as stubborn and a prank like his father this wasn't always an easy task.
Since she could only be his strict teacher and Head of House she knew Harry would not come to her with private problems. At least he had great friends to turn to and finally also a godfather who cared for him. Minerva was glad that Sirius and Harry were getting along so well – although she was jealous at times that they could now have the relationship which was impossible for her.
Her thoughts kept wandering all day and it was already late in the evening when the door to her hospital room opened to reveal her best friend Albus Dumbledore.
By the look of his face she immediately knew something was very wrong. She tried to sit up but Albus rushed to her side trying to calm her.
'Shh Minvera, take it easy!'
'What happened, Albus? How are the students coping and how is Harry? Is he okay?'
Dumbledore sighed and took a seat next to her bed.
'He is okay Minerva, but Sirius died'. The headmaster filled McGonagall in on everything which had happened to Harry and his friends at the ministry.
Minerva had tears running down her cheeks when Dumbledore finished.
'Albus, I have to tell him now! Somebody has to be there for him and offer him the family he so needs and longs to have. I can take him to my house or to my quarters in Hogwarts but I cannot bear the thought of him being alone again. Not after he lost Sirius! And he should not have to spend his holidays with the Dursleys. They treat him so nasty – I have witnessed it more times than I can count.'
Dumbledore had seen this coming. Nevertheless, he was still not convinced that this was the right thing to do. He knew Harry certainly deserved somebody like Minerva to take care of him – especially now. On the other hand, McGonagall like him had made many enemies on the dark side over the years. After all she was one of the most powerful witches. Harry might be in grave danger when they found out about their connection. Besides, Minerva was still very ill and in no state to take care of Harry in his despair.
'Minerva, I will think about it. At the moment your main concern should be your health. With the Dark Lord back we need you at Hogwarts as soon as possible. Harry will need you there! And he will need you to be as strong as always.'
'But…' McGonagall tried to cut in
'No, Minerva, that is all I can offer at the moment. Harry is very angry these days and would probably hate you for not having told him before. This is all not your fault and I do not want to make you suffer anymore. And now do me a favour and get better. We miss you at school. I am bored in the evenings and want my chess partner back!' His eyes twinkled.
With that Albus Dumbledore got up and left – leaving a very depressed and exhausted professor of Transfiguration behind.
Harry had once more silently cried himself to sleep and woke up exhausted the next morning. Life was so unfair! Why did he have to lose everybody close to him? He had so wanted to finally live with his godfather.
For sure, he would be allowed to visit Ron's family at the end of the summer holidays and was already looking forward to it. But he would have to make it through some painful weeks at the Dursleys before.
With a sigh he packed the rest of his belongings into his trunk. The other students were already in the Great Hall for the final feast of the year. Everybody was so relieved to have Dumbledore back instead of Umbridge and it would be a fun dinner. The only problem was – Harry was still not in the mood for happy faces around him or which was even worse – questions about everything what had happened lately.
When he was just about to leave the dormitory to join the others, Ron came up the stairs.
'Harry, Professor Dumbledore wants to speak to you! Man, I hope you are not in trouble after all the classes you missed. He left to his office and is waiting there for you.'
Ron gave Harry an assuring look and hurried down to the Hall again.
Harry made his way to Dumbledore's office and wondered what he wanted to speak about. After Harry had told everything which had happened in the ministry before Dumbledore arrived there, he thought he would finally be left alone. He did not want to think and even speak about his loss yet.
Hesitantly he entered the headmasters office.
'Oh hello Harry, please sit down' Dumbledore greeted him. Harry could not read his face which puzzled him. Somehow Dumbledore looked unsure and even a bit scared – but that was certainly not possible…
'Harry, what I tell you now must stay between the two of us. I am still not sure this is the right thing to do but I cannot bear to see two people I care about suffer that much. But you have to promise to just listen first before you judge! Can you do that for me?, Dumbledore inquired with a very serious look.
'Yes, I will try, Professor'.
'Harry, a lot of terrible things have happened lately and I am sure there will be more. Therefore, I need you to remain strong and I want you to know that you are not alone in this situation – not even after Sirius' death. And I do not mean your friends, the Weasleys or myself although we certainly care a lot. I do not even know where to start so I just get out with it directly.
Harry, besides Sirius you also have a godmother. She wanted to take you in already as a baby but I forbade her since you needed the Dursleys blood protection. All these years she has been pestering me about it and still would love you to know and be able to stay with her if you want to.
I still think it is too dangerous and not a wise move probably. Then again who am I to neglect the two of you a bit of happiness and peace after all you had to go through in order to fight Lord Voldemort. And I am sure you will still have to go through a lot more and can use somebody to fall back on.'
Harry was in shock. He could not believe what Dumbledore said – or rather mumbled since he was obviously for the first time ever almost at a loss for the right words.
'Who is it?' he asked quietly.
'What??' Harry was speechless for a moment. Then he turned red in anger. 'You mean Professor McGonagall left me all these years with the Dursleys without even showing up once to let me know that I have a godmother?? Why didn't she at least tell me when I came to Hogwarts – and even into her house? What kind of godmother is that? How could my parents ever chose her together with Sirius? She left me alone to my misery all these years – how can she do that if she only cares about me a bit?!' He was about to yell even more but was stopped by a furious Dumbledore.
'Stop, Harry!' he yelled back. 'Don't you dare to blame anything on Professor McGonagall! She always wanted you to know and be there for you. I had a very hard time to convince her that it would be safer for you to stay with the Muggles. All these years she was looking after you as best she could. Maybe you remember a cat visiting you at the Dursleys every now and then to comfort you? Well, I did not even allow her that and she did it anyway.
And maybe you think about your Head of House who was always there for you and trying to keep you out of danger or trouble – at least whenever you had allowed her to do so and filled her in! More than once did she risk her position when she jumped in for you.
And at this very moment she is lying in St. Mungos because she tried to protect the people she cares for. I saw her the other day in hospital.
She was desperate to hear about Sirius and begged me to let her be there for you finally. She does not know that I tell you the truth now since I was afraid your reaction would exactly be as it is and Minerva certainly deserves better!
If there is anyone to blame then it is me – although I also had the best intentions with regard to your safety. Please think about everything and do not offend Professor McGonagall in any way. She loves you and has enough problems to cope with at present.'
Dumbledore saw his words slowly sinking in. He could tell Harry was still very angry and knew he would need a bit of time to get his head around it. All he could do was hoping it all turned to the better once the summer holidays were over and Harry would have to face his transfiguration teacher again. He prayed silently that Harry would come around without giving Minerva a hard time. Albus dreaded to see his good friends' pain and sadness.
'Is that all, Sir? If so, I would like to attend the feast and meet my friends before we take the train.' Harry said stiffly.
'Of course, Harry.'
Harry was staring at the walls of his tiny room. Ron and Hermione had prodded him on the train about his meeting with Dumbledore.
He had not been able to speak about it though. Too many thoughts were whirling in his head and he still could not believe what he had learnt from his headmaster.
They had said there good-byes at the platform – not without the Weasleys assuring him to contact him for the last week of their holidays which he was supposed to spend at his friends' house.
As always he was looking forward to that but once in a while caught himself thinking about holidays in Hogwarts together with his strict teacher. He smiled at the thought of Ron's or Hermione's reaction to this idea. It was absurd to think about McGonagall as his godmother. She was acting far away from a mother figure although Harry knew that she cared deeply about her Gryffindor cubs. He could not believe that there was a soft side to this incredible tough witch.
His anger was gone though and he felt ashamed of his reaction to this relevation. After all he WAS happy to have somebody to turn to – even if it was his teacher. Sirius' death had definitely left a big gap and a strong pain but Harry was relieved that he would not be left alone to deal with it if he decided to calm down and deal with this new situation.
After Dumbledore's revelation it was up to him to decide whether he wanted his godmother in his life and able to help him or whether he wanted to shoulder the burden all by himself.
He just hoped that Dumbledore had not told Professor McGonagall about their conversation. He would always feel guilty and as if he had been a traitor to her trust in him.
If he only had a chance to speak to her! He was profoundly confused about his feelings and the Dursleys' awful behaviour made him long for his godmother all of a sudden.
After having served lunch to the Dursleys he took his invisibility cloak and headed down to the street and knocked at their neighbours door.
Arabella Figg was not the least surprised to stare into nothingness when she opened the door. She was used to Harry's visits under the cloak and let him in.
'Sorry Mrs Figg', he said taking off the cloak. ' Can I use the floo net – I need to go to St. Mungos!'
'Of course, my dear boy', she said with a concerned smile. 'Everything okay?'.
'Yes, thank you Mrs Figg. I just want to pay somebody a visit which is long overdue' he smiled back at her and stepped into the fireplace.
Harry arrived at the reception of St Mungos and felt very insecure all of a sudden. What if his Professor wasn't here anymore? Or what if she did not want students visiting her? After all, she still might not know about his conversation with Dumbledore.
'Well, I am here now' he thought 'I might as well try my luck as long as I feel brave enough to see her'.
At the reception he was told that Professor McGonagall was indeed still at the hospital but that Harry should have a look for her outside since she usually was sitting in the park when the sun was out.
Harry went into the hospital's park which was a vast area at the backside of the building. Many patients we enjoying the summer outside he realised and kept looking for his teacher.
He found her sitting in a chair in the shadow – a blanket over her legs, a cane leaning to the chair next to her. She looked pale and tired and Harry felt once more ashamed. Never had he seen his strict professor this frail.
He approached her carefully. 'Professor McGonagall?' he quietly said to her in order not to scare her.
She slightly jumped anyway and looked very surprised to see him there. 'Mr Potter. What are you doing here in the middle of your holidays? Did anything happen?' Concern was evident in her voice.
'Ahm, no Professor. I came here to see you' he stammered. 'How are you?' He could hardly look into her eyes and did not quite know how to proceed. He had not thought about what to say to her and by the confused look on her face it was clear that Dumbledore had not yet spoken to her about his conversation with Harry. He felt stupid all of a sudden and was ready to run away. She was his teacher after all! And a very tough one although she did not seem very strong at the moment.
'I am fine Mr Potter, thank you!' she smiled at him. 'Just wait until school starts and I will make sure you come up to my expectations'.
A bit softer she went on 'I heard about the events in the ministry, Harry. I am very sorry about Sirius. Please let me know if you need somebody to talk about it. I am sure you have a hard time accepting his death. And I wish I would have been there to prevent it from happening.' She reached for Harry's hand and gave it a slight clasp.
He sat down next to her and felt tears welling up in his eyes. Never had he heard this soft tone on her and it made him even more wish to just cling at her and pour his heart out. He felt so alone without Sirius.
'Professor' he started hestitantly ' – I know…' He couldn't go on.
'You know what Mr Potter?'. His professor was clearly confused and unable to follow him which did not make it any easier.
'Professor Dumbledore told me. I mean… I don't know how to say it… but….'
'Harry, whatever it is – you can tell me. I am not as frail as I may look at the moment' Professor McGonagall tried to reassure him.
'I know that you are my godmother!' he finally managed to blurt out.
Professor McGonagall let out a small cry and stared at him with a mix of disbelief, fear and hope. Never had he seen her fight for composure and at a loss of words.
'Harry, please hear me!' she was clearly waiting for his anger arising and aiming at her so he quickly interrupted her attempt of an explanation.
'Professor! I came here to tell you that I know and that I understand – well, at least sort of. Professor Dumbledore told me everything and how he did not allow you to approach me. I had a hard time accepting this and I still wish it would have been different and you would have fought even harder for me. But I do respect your decisions and I am glad that I know now.' He wasn't confident at all anymore and felt weird to discuss anything personal with his teacher.
She could feel his discomfort and did not quite know how to react or behave herself. But a huge pressure all of a sudden seemed to leave her and in her weakened state she could not help it but started sobbing uncontrollably.
Harry was shocked to see his strong Head of House crying in front of him. Before he could think about it he had taken her into a timid hug and Minerva was grabbing him hard in return – clinging desperately to him until her crying subsided.
'I am sorry, Harry. I should not have lost it', she murmured quietly after having released him.
'Don't worry, Professor, it is alright' he replied with a small smile.
They sat in comfortable silence for a moment – just enjoying each others company and not keen on more explanations. They both knew that there would be a lot to deal with and many stories to be told and questions to be answered. For the moment though they were happy to be with the other in silence.
'Minerva, Mr Potter!' came the voice of Albus Dumbledore and interrupted their thoughts. He noticed Minerva's red eyes from crying and eyed Harry suspiciously.
'Oh, Professor Dumbledore' Harry jumped up. 'I didn't know you were coming'.
'You couldn't, Mr Potter. I am here to get Professor McGonagall and bring her back to Hogwarts where she wants to spend the rest of the holidays under Madame Pomfrey's care and get well enough for the next school term.'
'I see,' Harry stammered and innerly steeled himself for getting up and go back to the Dursleys.
'Harry, why don't you come with me' Professor McGonagall interrupted softly. 'I could certainly need help back in Hogwarts and would love to spend a bit more time with you.'
She turned to Dumbledore 'Harry told me, Albus, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Please let him for once come with me – he has spent some time with the Dursleys again so the blood protection still works. Please, Albus!' she begged.
Dumbledore sighed but smiled at his friend and his favourite student 'Yes, that's fine with me if Harry wants to spend the rest of his holidays at school.'
'Of course, I want to come with you!' Harry exclaimed happily. 'I will just have to get my belongings from the Dursleys and let Ron know that I cannot spend the last week with them.'
'Harry, are you sure, you don't want to go to the Weasley family either?' Minerva asked him almost bewildered.
'I am sure, Professor! I want to spend some quality time with my godmother. I think that is long overdue' he smiled at her.
Dumbledore watched them with deep satisfaction and made arrangements that both Harry's and Minerva's belongings were moved to Hogwarts. He then helped his friend to the next portkey which would take them to Hogwarts. Apparition was still too stressful for Minerva.
It had been two weeks in Hogwarts now and Harry still could not believe how drastically things had changed.
He had gotten to know Minerva quite well in the meantime – he didn't even have a problem saying her first name anymore without flushing red or stammering which had amused her a lot.
He was still surprised that his Head of House indeed had a very soft side to her and a wicked sense of humour.
There were spending almost all their time together and would laugh a lot. He felt really comfortable in her presence and even got used to her hugs. 'It must feel the same if you have a real mother who loves you', he often mused, when Minerva would take him into a hug. He could not get enough of it and got brave enough to cuddle with her whenever he longed for it.
They used to often go for a walk since Minerva still had to regain her strength and detested to be dependent on her cane. During these walks Minerva told him many stories about his parents and he was very grateful for that. It was a whole different side he got to know about them since her relationship with his parents were completely different than the one Sirius had had with James and Lily. He learned that Minerva had cared very deeply about his parents and indeed had loved him all the time although she could not openly show it.
Ron and Hermione had been completely surprised that he had cancelled their week together at the Weasleys and Harry was looking forward to soon being able to tell them and see their faces. He and Minerva chuckled constantly when they tried to foresee their reaction.
The only thing he was not keen on was that by the beginning of the next school term he would have to be distant again to Minerva. It would be back to Professor McGonagall then.
She promised to spend as much time with him in the evening though whenever he could sneak out or felt he wanted to be with his 'old bag of a godmother' how she would teasingly call herself.
Way too fast the remains of the summer holidays flew by and before they could see it, Hagrid was on his way with the students from the Hogwarts train.
Minerva used those last private minutes to pull Harry in a bear-hug and give him a kiss on his forehead.
'Be careful this term, Harry. I don't want to worry about you all the time. Especially not now that I can spoil you the way I want' she smiled at him warmly.
'Yes, mom – äh Ma'm! he replied with a grin and ran off to greet Ron and Hermione.
He still missed Sirius but he was indeed not alone anymore.
The End Chapter 1
Reviews welcome. Let me know what you think. And remember – it's my first story… There is always room for improvement
Maybe there is time and content to go on…?! I might try a more detailed version one day who knows…