My first published fic! Review, if you please, and let me know what you think! :) Also, I do in general post on the ADMM board, so if that interests you, see my profile for the link :) Enjoy!
Minerva McGonagall felt tears stream down her face as she did her best to comfort a sobbing Hagrid. Her hands trembled as she held his massive hand in her own. His shoulders shook with sobs. Minerva did her best to soothe her friend.
'Shush, Hagrid, we'll work something out. I won't abandon you,' Minerva said forcefully, trying to turn him to face her. He kept his face turned away; she moved to stand in front of him where he sat in the chair in front of Headmaster Dippet's desk, in his office.
'Yeh shouldn't be here, M'nerva,' Hagrid said, his voice shaking as much as his shoulders. 'If anyone finds out, yeh'll be in a load o' trouble…' his voice trailed off in a sob.
'Let them find out,' Minerva said vehemently. 'I won't leave you. We'll work something out, Hagrid, I promise.' Her determination made even more tears stream from Hagrid's beetle black eyes. She was the best friend a person could ask for. But the fact of the matter remained…
'I've been expelled, Min,' he choked out. 'They broke me wand in half. There isn't anything you can do…an' I've got no place tuh go.'
Minerva's eyes glistened, but she ploughed on. 'I'll find you a place. You can stay here, at Hogwarts. I'll do it, I will.' Hagrid finally looked up at her, eyes shining with hope for the first time since that awful night. This only stiffened Minerva's resolve.
'Oh, M'nerva, if yeh could…but it's not possible. No one can let me…'cept perhaps Dumbledore. But he won't let me.'
'Don't even think that,' Minerva said fiercely. 'I'm Minerva McGonagall, remember? I'm a prefect, Quidditch captain, top of the year, and the most popular, brilliant witch Hogwarts has ever seen. I will make them let you stay, just watch me.' She offered him a cocky smile at the end of her egotistical speech, and Hagrid hugged her with back-breaking force in reply.
Just then, a tall, muscled boy with dishevelled hair and darting eyes dashed into the office.
'Minerva, they're on their way, I just heard them,' he said breathlessly, evidently having run the whole way. He offered Hagrid a smile, a rare occurrence indeed.
'Thank you, Alastor, but I'm staying here. If you could do me a favour, though…' Minerva asked of her best friend. At his enthusiastic nod, she whispered urgently in his ear. His eyes glittered with anticipation when she finished.
'Easy as pie, Min. See you in a bit.' Clapping her shoulder, Alastor ran from the office.
Minerva watched him go. Barely two minutes later, the sound of the rotating spiral staircase reached Minerva's ears. She straightened and stiffened her resolve as she took her place beside Hagrid, facing the office door.
She felt her fury rise again at the sight of the Minister, Headmaster, two Aurors, and, of course, Dumbledore. Hagrid wasn't a criminal, for Merlin's sake! He was a thirteen year old boy who'd been framed by that cocky, selfish, idiotic, Slytherin git Tom Riddle. Hagrid wasn't guilty, of that Minerva was sure. He'd been in the wrong place at the wrong time, and consequently accused of killing. Out of everyone in the school, Hagrid was the last person to kill somebody. Minerva could barely restrain herself from hexing these stupid men before her.
Despite all of that, she felt a kind of satisfaction watching the men's eyes widen at her unexpected presence. Dippet raised his eyebrows.
'Who are you and what are you doing here?' the minister demanded. 'This was a secure office!' Minerva raised her eyebrows insolently.
'Secured by a password, Minister,' she replied, her tone of voice adding a very obvious duh at the end of her statement. 'A password which, if you'll forgive, is not terribly difficult to procure.' At the minister's incredulous look, as his face slowly reddened, Minerva continued. 'And I wasn't about to leave my poor, innocent friend here all alone,' she added, placing just the slightest emphasis on innocent.
'Miss McGonagall, it was imperative that Mr Hagrid remain alone for the decision of where he is to go,' Dippet said quietly. Minerva saw Hagrid throw her a panicked look. She made up her mind.
'Of course, Headmaster,' she said with rare subservience. 'Actually, Professor Dumbledore, would you mind if I spoke to you for a moment? It's rather urgent.' Her tone of voice brooked no argument, despite the fact that they were grown men and she was a sixteen year old girl. Dumbledore raised his eyebrows with mild curiosity.
'Of course, Miss McGonagall, if it really is just a moment. Would you excuse me for a moment, gentlemen?' With that, Dumbledore ushered Minerva ahead of him. Minerva shot Hagrid one last reassuring look before the door closed.
As they descended the spiral staircase, Dumbledore spoke. 'Am I to assume that what you are about to bring up has something to do with young Rubeus' current predicament of lodgement?'
Minerva swallowed. 'Yes, sir,' she replied. She respected Dumbledore far too much to be rude. 'Sir, I thought Hagrid could remain here, at Hogwarts.' They both stepped out into the faintly lit corridor. Dumbledore regarded her.
'As much as I am sure that would be preferable, Miss McGonagall, I doubt you have considered the logistics of—' Minerva bravely cut him off.
'With all due respect, sir, I have. Hagrid loves being outside, he loves animals, that's what landed him in this situation in the first place. I thought he could stay on as Gamekeeper. Ogg could help him, if he wanted to. It could work, sir.' Minerva looked the same as she always did when she brooked an argument with logic on her side: determined and confident. Dumbledore nodded thoughtfully.
'I shall think on it, Miss McGonagall.' With that, he turned back to the stone gargoyle.
'Professor?' Minerva's voice rang out before he could mount the staircase. 'I promised Hagrid I would find him a way to stay here, sir. If you won't let him, I shall have to do it illegally.' And with a wide-eyed, innocent blink, Minerva McGonagall was gone. Dumbledore waited a moment, processing her words, and then with a chuckle (the first in many days) he gave the password and rode to the top.
Standing shoulder to shoulder, Minerva, Hagrid, and Alastor faced the brand-new stone hut on the edge of the forest. Hagrid took a step forward. When he turned back around, his eyes shone and his voice was choked with emotion.
'Thank yeh, M'nerva,' he told her sincerely. 'I'll never be able to repay you for this.' Minerva smiled in acknowledgement of his thanks but shook her head.
'You don't owe me anything,' she told him. 'I'm just glad I could help.' As was wont to happen when Minerva got emotional, her Scottish brogue rolled out enchantingly.
'An' to you, Mr Moody,' Hagrid said, turning to Alastor. 'Thank you fer yer help, an' ev'rything yeh've done.' He shook Alastor's hand, and Minerva's. The two exchanged a look.
'Actually, Hagrid, we've got something for you,' Alastor said in a rare moment of sentimentality. From behind his back he produced a flowery pink umbrella. He offered it to Hagrid, who took it uncertainly.
'I managed to get a hold of the pieces of your wand,' Alastor explained. 'They're in there, and so you can sort of use the umbrella like a wand, to some extent. It won't work for everything, but—' He was cut off as Hagrid hugged Alastor tightly.
Massaging his ribs, Alastor gasped out, 'It was Minerva's idea, I just got the pieces and helped put it together.' Hagrid turned to Minerva and crushed her ribs too. He grasped his umbrella with a large fist.
'I thank yeh both from the bottom of me heart.' And with that, Rubeus Hagrid turned and entered his new home, where he would stay, inconceivably for the rest of his life.
The End :)
There you have it! Review and be merry! :)