Surprise! This took me to long to write and I'm sorry about the daily, some of my excuses are at the bottom. Please read!
Disclaimer: I own nothing and if I did it probably expired by now
Minerva awoke to her face planted in a pile of bushy brown hair. She smiled softly and looked over at Hermione who was still fast asleep, cocooned into a little ball. Minerva gave the girl a little kiss on the head before slowly getting out of the bed and making her way to the kitchen.
"Twinky?" She whispered and with a pop the house-elf appeared in front of her.
"Can you bring up some breakfast for two please? In about ten minutes." Minerva told the elf.
"Yes Mistress, I will be doing that. Anything else?"
"No that's all, thank you Twinky" Minerva said and the house-elf disappeared with another pop. Minerva slowly began to work on making coffee when she heard a shuffling behind her. She turned around and Hermione stumbled into the room, yawning widely with the little blanket wrapped around her shoulders.
"Good morning little one." Minerva said brightly. Hermione mumbled a greeting and sat down at the table.
"It's too early." She told Minerva resting her head on the table.
"Well I did try to let you sleep in a couple minutes longer." Minerva said pulling two mugs out of the cupboard. "Do you want some hot chocolate, I was going to make myself some coffee?"
"Yes please" Hermione said finally pulling her head up to smile at Minerva.
"How in the world did you end up liking cinnamon in your hot chocolate?" Minerva asked her young student.
"My fourth grade teacher use to make it like that." Hermione said happily taking the mug from Minerva. "It makes it taste so much better."
"You're an odd little girl" Minerva said joining Hermione at the little table. The food appeared on the table a second later. They dug in happily.
"Can I go see Harry and Ron after breakfast?"
"We can go see them briefly but after that we need to come back so you can begin you punishment." Minerva said answering Hermione in between mouthfuls of eggs.
"What's my punishment?" Hermione asked cautiously.
"I'm not going to tell you," Minerva said smirking over her glass at Hermione. "Now eat."
"Fine" Hermione said pouting, stabbing her egg until it burst. Minerva just rolled her eyes at her young students dramatics.
"Do try not to destroy the plate, in your quest to further kill your egg." She said dryly. No surprise Hermione ignored her.
After a quick trip to the hospital wing Hermione learned for the first time that Ron was due to wake up later that day, which cheered her up considerably. However there was still no word yet on when Harry would awaken. Madam Pomfrey didn't seem worried however, she said that Harry was resilient and that all his body needed was rest to make a full recovery.
"Where are we going?" Hermione asked once she realized that they were not heading back to Minerva's quarters.
"We are heading to the staff room." Minerva answered calmly. Hermione frowned slightly.
"Because I have papers to grade and I focus best when I am grading in the staff room."
"But why am I going with you? Students aren't allowed in the staff room" Hermione stated.
"Because that is part of your punishment, you will be right by my side the next 24 hours."
"Oh" Hermione said softly. That wasn't nearly as bad as she thought it would be. She was expecting to be locked in her room, forced to clean or even worse, get spanked or something similar.
"Hello Pomona, Filius" Minerva greeted as she walked into the staff room with Hermione behind her.
"Hello Minerva." Professor Sprout responded smiling at Hermione. "Hello Miss Granger, I heard you had quite an adventure last night?" Hermione blushed deeply and Minerva glared at her coworker.
"Hello Professor Sprout, hello Professor Flitwick." Hermione said softly glancing at the charms professor quizzically as he waved distractedly and went back to marking his papers.
"When he has almost finished all his grading, he does not like to be distracted." Minerva informed Hermione who nodded. "Why don't you go sit in that armchair while I grade." It wasn't a question.
"Can I read a book or anything?" Hermione asked quietly already dreading the answer.
"No you may not, go sit" Minerva said dismissing her.
Minerva resisted the urge to roll her eyes as Hermione sulked over to the chair, any novelty of being in the staff room clearly gone.
Pomona smirked at Minerva as the woman joined her two coworkers at the table.
"Have a fun night Minerva?" She asked chuckling.
"Oh hush, I don't think I've ever been more worried in my life…well at least I haven't been that worried in long time." She amended.
"So why is Ms. Granger with you then?" Pomona asked. "I assume the brief description that Albus gave this morning at breakfast is correct? That the trio went down into the trapdoor?"
"Well I don't know what exactly he told you but he does know what happened better then I do. Who did he tell?"
"Oh just Filius, Severus and I. Did Ms. Granger really remember how to destroy my devil's snare?"
"Yes, the little lass remembered you mentioning it in class and shot flames at it until it released the boys."
"She really does have an amazing memory, I only mention the Devil's Snare once in the beginning of the year, it's not even covered extensively until 4th year. I might have to give her extra credit on her exam, not that she needs it."
"Please don't, I don't want her to get the wrong impression. They broke the rules and she's being punished for it."
"Yes because a time out is such a big punishment." Pomona said sarcastically.
"Well that's only phase one of her punishment. I need you two to just completely ignore her while she is in here. Hermione loves attention, so if she asks you any questions just ignore her, if any other teachers come in here I'll inform them of this as well."
"Still not your best punishment Min."
"I have to agree with Pomona on this account Minerva," Filius said finally looking up from the essays he was grading. "Why aren't you making her scrub the floors or something?"
"Because my fellow colleagues, if I made her scrub the floors then she would just accept the punishment and finish it as quickly and diligently as she does with school work. Ron will be cleaning something when they are both out of the hospital wing. Cleaning wouldn't be as big of a deal to someone like Hermione or Harry, they grew up the muggle way so cleaning wouldn't be a big deal to them. With Hermione the trick is to make her believe she isn't being punished when she really is."
"And you think you can accomplish that just by ignoring her?" Filius asked.
"Well not entirely." Minerva said smirking and then she raised her voice and said: "Pomona how are your first year exams coming along? Finished yet?" She smirked as she heard the chair squeak slightly behind her.
"Oh almost done with them." Pomona continued in an even louder voice. "Your Gryffindors didn't do as well as I expected Minerva, and half of Slytherin did dreadful."
"Did you grade mine yet Professor Sprout?" Hermione asked from her chair. The teachers ignored her completely.
"Your Puffs did better on my exam then I expected Pomona there was about a EE average amongst them. I am disappointed in some Ravenclaws and Gryffindor's I expected more from them." Minerva responded.
"About the same with Charms, only a couple standouts but a good average all around. Doesn't seem like this batch has any special talents in Charms."
"I love Charms!" Hermione called out. Minerva smirked slightly at the other teachers and continued to ignore her student.
"Perhaps some students simply aren't as bright as we thought, so many of my own Gryffindor's did horrible on my exam. And that's not limited to only first years." This was outrageous statement on her part. She had finished the first year exams and they had all done rather well, as they had in the other subjects. However Hermione didn't need to know that.
"Same I thought some were very bright and it seems that we were just being fooled." Filius continued.
"A shame I'm sure. It's been some years since we've had a truly bright student enter these halls." Pomona finished. That did it for Hermione. Minerva started to respond to Pomona when the girl appeared at her elbow.
"Professor Sprout what about me I'm bright!" Hermione said looking directly at the herbology teacher. "And Professor Flitwick I did great on your exam." Minerva glared at the two teachers silently telling them not to laugh before fixating her glare on Hermione who slowly realized what she had done and looked at Minerva cautiously. Minerva pointed at the chair and glared at Hermione. Hermione frowned and stomped her foot.
"but I am!" Hermione insisted and before the girl even released what was going on Minerva had picked her up, carried her back to the chair and plopped her down without saying a word. "That's not fair, I'm not a little kid!" She said. Minerva continued to ignore her and rejoined her friends at the table.
"Well I hate to admit it but that was really fun" Pomona said. "Do you actually have work to do Minerva or did you just want to punish her some more?"
"Oh I finished grading yesterday." She said laughing and they all laughed loudly glancing briefly at Hermione who was pouting. And at that moment Professor Snape walked in looked at his laughing colleagues and the pouting girl.
"What did Granger do now?" He asked cuttingly. And Minerva couldn't help it she burst out laughing again. "By the way Minerva, Weasley woke up, Madam Pomfrey wished for me to inform you." That startled her out of her laughter.
"Thank you Severus for passing on that information." She said straightening up and grabbing her fake papers. "Hermione you may go on to the hospital wing I'll meet…." She didn't get to finish as Hermione ran out of the room away from the Professors, who promptly started laughing again. "you there" Minerva finished briefly.
"Well Minerva what did you do to the girl? Threaten to poison her?" Severus asked. It was actually hard to tell whether or not he was being sarcastic.
"Calm down Severus, she was just receiving her punishment for her actions last night." Minerva told him.
"And you actually punished her?" He asked. "I didn't think you'd punish any of Potter's little trio." He finished spiting slightly on Potter.
"Unlike you Severus I'm am perfectly capable of punishing children fairly when they do something wrong." She picked up her papers and stuffed them into her bag. "Now if you'll excuse me I need to go to the hospital wing, but before I do Pomona do you mind doing something for me?
"Of course not what do you want me to do?"
Minerva just smirked slightly.
"Ron!" Hermione cried as she ran into the hospital wing. He turned and looked over at her sleepily. Madam Pomfrey had obviously just finished with him as a group of potions rested on the table next to him.
"Hi Hermione!" He said happily and immediately asked: "What happened after I got hit?" She began to tell him but Madam Pomfrey yelled at him to finish drinking those potions. So Hermione filled him on everything she knew, it didn't take long. Ron wasn't all that happen that she had balanced him, unconscious, on a broomstick, but Hermione quickly managed to get him to shut up about it.
"So what have you done today? Is Professor McGonagall mad?" Hermione nodded.
"Maybe not so much now, but she was really mad last night. She yelled, I yelled…"
"You yelled at McGonagall?" Ron shouted clearly shocked.
"Shut up!" She said hitting him lightly in the arm. "Do you want the whole world to know?"
"Oh calm down, no one is in here except for us. Well and Harry" Ron said and the two friends glanced over at their best friend who was sleeping softly in the bed beside Ron. "When did you say Madam Pomfrey thought he'd wake up?" The hospital matron had long since left them to their own devices. She had cleared Ron to be released but warned them that they should wait until Minerva got there.
"She just said it would probably be a couple days, his magic core was depleted somehow. He used too much magic or something, but I don't know how. Or how he got those burns on his hands."
"Well then I guess he won't miss one of these." Ron said grabbing a chocolate frog from Harry's table. Throughout the day people had been dropping off sweets and letters for Harry, Ron had even gotten a letter or two when people found out he was in the hospital wing. "I might get Plotemy" Ron defended after seeing Hermione's glare.
"Yes, I agree taking treats from your unconscious friend does seem to be taking it a bit to far Ronald." Minerva said striding into the room with a bag under her arm.
"But I'm hungry." He defended himself. "I haven't eaten in almost 24 hours!"
"Poor baby" Minerva said rolling her eyes. But she gave the boy a hug. "I'm glad you're all right."
"Yeah shouldn't I have gotten hurt worse after being hit by a stone knight?" He asked.
"You would have if those chess pieces had been designed to hurt, however they were charmed to only knock out the enemy for roughly 24 hours." Minerva told him.
"Oh… wish I had known that at the time." He frowned.
"And I wish three little kids had listened to me, and then one of you wouldn't be unconscious, you'd be full, and you young lady wouldn't have just embarrassed yourself in front of two professors." Hermione and Ron both looked guilty but Hermione frowned deeply.
"That was my true punishment wasn't it? You knew I wouldn't be able to sit still and not have my questions answered." She said pouting.
"I have no idea what you're talking about." Minerva said smiling and feeling slightly sorry for the girl gave her a small kiss on the top of her head. Ron gasped at the show of affection Minerva gave Hermione but then giggled at Hermione's red pouting face. "Oh I wouldn't laugh Ronald you're getting punished to."
"What!" He shouted "But that's not fair!"
"It's perfectly fair, as your head of house I am in charge of any punishment you receive for breaking the rules. Once we're done with a quick lunch you will be scrubbing the floors of my quarters."
"Awww! What about Hermione?" Hermione swiveled her head towards Ron quickly.
"Hermione has to stay by my side the rest of the day no objections." Minerva said before the girl could yell at her friend. "And that's final!" She said as she saw Ron open his mouth. "Now I think Harry would appreciate a get well letter from his two friends." Minerva said pulling out some parchment and handing it to both of them.
"What else is in the bag?" Ron asked.
"Finish the letter and I'll tell you." Minerva said. Ron quickly scribbled a 'get well soon' onto the paper before folding it sideways and making a card. Hermione on the other hand drew a small quidditch player on the card, wrote get well soon and, using the same charm she had used at the quidditch match and made the words flash in different colors.
"Now I have some errands to run." Minerva announced after they finished lunch in her quarters, although the two children had wanted to join their classmates. "Hermione you will be coming with me, and Ronald you will be beginning your punishment."
"Aw." They both sighed, each thinking they got the worse end of the deal. Hermione had had enough trips with her mother running errands to know it was dreadfully boring, especially if she couldn't read.
"I only have to scrub the main floor right? Ron asked hopefully.
"Nope you have to scrub every floor in my quarters, and to make sure you do it." Minerva strode over to the fireplace and threw some floo powder in. "Pomona I'm leaving now!"
"Coming!" came the reply and Professor Sprout stepped through the fireplace. "Hello Mr. Weasley, Ms. Granger."
"Thank you for agreeing to supervise Mr. Weasley's punishment." And then she turned to Ron with a no-nonsense tone. "And you treat this as a detention because it is punishment." And then she turns back to Professor Sprout. "We should be back by 5 at the latest."
"5!" Hermione asked. "What errands do you have that take 4 hours?" Minerva ignored her, but pulled her over towards the fireplace. "Have you even used floo powder before Ms. Granger?"
"No… what's floo powder?"
"A very quick form of travel, now…" she threw more floo powder into the fireplace. "step into the flames with me."
"What?" She asked in a rather squeaky voice.
"Don't worry it's perfectly safe, step in and lets go." And they were whisked away in a swirl of green fire.
To Hermione's delight the errands did not take the full 4 hours, although they were dreadfully boring. And Ron was happy that Professor Sprout helped him out a bit after finishing the main floor. As soon as Hermione and Minerva came back the girl bolted for her room, happy just to be able to do something meaning full again, also known as look up everything that had been on exams to make sure she didn't get anything wrong.
Ron was lounging on the couch when they came back in and did not look inclined to move.
"Comfy?" Minerva asked sarcastically.
"Very." He said grinning. "Professor Sprout left when I finished the floor about half an hour ago."
"So the floors all done?" She asked raising an eyebrow at him while un shrinking her packages.
"Yep every single floor is done." He grumbled. "But why did I have to scrub the floor and Hermione only had to follow you around all day?" He said angrily. Minerva sighed and sat next to him on the couch.
"Ron what does Hermione hate more then anything?" The boy frowned he had not been expecting that and had to think about it for a minute.
"She hates it when Harry and I don't take school work seriously, and she hates it when we ignore her."
"And?" Minerva prompted.
"She hates being bored?" Ron guessed.
"Yes she does, and she hates being treated like a child." Minerva paused to make sure he was looking at her. "so by making her remain by my side the entire day and not allowing her to read anything…"
"She was really bored and miserable." Ron finished.
"Understand?" Minerva said. "You two had different punishment because you are two different people. Would you have minded running errands with me?"
"I would have liked that better then scrubbing the floor." He told her. "I'm use to errands, Mum use to take me and Ginny with her all the time when she went shopping."
"I hated scrubbing the floor more because I was working…Hermione would have preferred it because she would have been doing something and wouldn't have been bored?"
"That's it exactly." Minerva said patting his shoulder. "Now I do have a little surprise for you."
"What? Its not another punishment is it?" He said dejected.
"No you had your punishment I'm not going to give you another one." She pulled a box out of her shopping bag. "Here you go." She said handing him a box. He took it cautiously and then ripped the paper off of the top of it. It was a brand new chess set.
Ron was speechless as he stared at it in shock. "Is this for me?" He asked. "But it's brand new. I've never had anything new." Minerva winced sadly knowing that the Weasleys didn't have much money but smiled at Ron's face.
"Well I do believe I said that if you beat me in chess I would buy you your own chess set." Ron looked shocked again.
"I did beat you didn't I? This is awesome! My own chess set! Wait until I show Dad and Percy! He's never had a new one either!" He leap at her and gave her a big hug that surprised her. "Thank you! Thank you! Does Hermione know you got this for me?"
"No I grabbed it when she wasn't looking." Minerva said chuckling. He leap up and grabbed the box and ran towards his and Hermione's room.
"Hermione look what Minerva got me! You got to help me break it in!" Minerva chuckled again. He ran back out a minute later. "She won't play with me you gotta play with me!" He said placing it in front of her.
"Alright but be prepared, your win last night was lucky because I wasn't really there. It won't happen again." She said smiling. They ended up playing 3 games that night with Ron finally winning the last game.
"Look Hermione! I beat her again!" Ron said happily when the girl finally immerged.
"It just took three games." Minerva said smiling. "Come here Hermione" Minerva said patting the seat beside her.
"No I'm sick of you." Hermione said and Ron laughed. Minerva raised a eyebrow at her.
"Well then maybe you aren't my favorite anymore…"
"Ha! So you admit I'm your favorite!" Hermione said happily hopping to where Minerva was sitting.
"Nope I never said you were my favorite but it got you come over here." Minerva said smiling at Hermione's disgusted face. Ron howled with laughter as Minerva stuck Hermione to the couch with a wave of her hand. "You can stay out of your cave for a couple minutes to watch us play another game."
"But I like my cave, it's nice and cozy." She said giving into Minerva's pressuring and leaning against the couch. Minerva rolled her eyes at the girl's stubbornness but smiled fondly at the two as Ron began to pick on Hermione because she was still stuck on the couch. Minerva released her and watched amused as Hermione chased Ron around the room. The only thing that would make it better would be if her other cub was there chasing his friends around the room as well.
All I ask is that you please don't kill me for not updating in a long time! My life has been very very hectic the last couple of months. Accepted to study abroad, finals, summer classes, jury duty, working full time. But I want to clarify for everyone I WILL FINISH THIS STORY & CATS IN THE CRADLE! Don't give up on me, I'm trying to write in every chance I can while still having a form of social life, ps go see Brave, it's amazing. Just be patient with me guys, I really am trying. I can't say anything more then that.
On a completely unrelated note, has anyone reading this been to the Stirling University in Scotland? I'm studying abroad there in the fall and am just trying to learn more about it.
Thanks to everyone who read and for sticking with me!