A/N: I know you're all shocked....I've actually written a new fic, and it's actually Harry Potter! I'm sort of working on a Cats fic, too, but I'm not sure when/if it will be posted. Anyway....this isn't one of my better pieces, I know. I'm not exactly happy with the way it turned out.....I like the plot itself, but something seems to be lacking in the writing. Oh well, I'll let you all be the judge. Oh, and as always, I own nothing. Except....except....no, I was right, I own nothing. Enjoy!




Things sometimes seemed to happen all at once in the wizarding world. Voldemort had been overthrown and destroyed at the closing of young Harry Potter's seventh year at Hogwarts. Albus Dumbledore had just smiled that twinkling, knowing smile of his and congratulated Harry and his comrades, but Minerva McGonagall had noticed then that the Headmaster seemed tired. A new school year started, and he seemed perfectly fine to the students. However, some of his staff members noted a slight change in his manner; his jokes became few and far between, although his smile never faded

But one morning he never came down to breakfast. It was Minerva who found him in his room, lying in bed with a peaceful expression on his face. He didn't look like he had any regrets about moving on, but it was with a heavy heart that Minerva walked to the Great Hall that morning, stepping up to the spot where she customarily stood for the Sorting. Despite her tall height and strict demeanor, the Deputy Headmistress seemed very small and lost standing in the middle of the huge room. The breakfast crowd quieted, sensing the importance of the situation.

"I regret to inform you..." Minerva paused, clearing her throat to keep her voice from breaking. "I regret to inform you that Professor Dumbledore is...is no longer with us." The room was silent with shock. No one even dared to utter a breath. "Classes today are canceled."

A soft murmur started up from the tables; a few students had started to cry, as well as some of the teachers. Poor Hagrid was sobbing into his large hands as though his heart had been broken; and, indeed, there wasn't much doubt that a part of it had been. Minerva looked at him, considering going to comfort him, but she instead left him to grieve. She stood motionless for a moment as she surveyed the scene, not sure whether to take her seat at the High Table or not. The damp eyes of Severus Snape; the quiet but audible crying of Poppy Pomfrey; the misty but genuine weeping of Sibyll Trelawny.....it was too much emotion for Minerva to contend with at the moment. She strode out of the hall without a backward glance, passing swiftly through corridors and up stairwells until she found herself standing in front of the entrance to Albus' office.

"Canary Cream," she muttered, for once not even managing to crack a smile at his silly password. The door swung open, and she stepped inside, slowly walking over to the desk and taking a seat. Everything was exactly as he had left it, down to the last candy wrapper in the wastebasket. Her eyes traveled around the room, finally coming to rest on Fawkes' perch. She let out a soft gasp.

The Phoenix had apparently burst into flame the night before, ending that particular round of his life, and nestled in the ashes was a soft, orange-downed chick

Minerva stared at the newborn Fawkes for a moment in disbelief, tears filling her steel gray eyes. With a soft, choked sob, she bowed her head onto her arms and wept.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Three days had passed, and Professor McGonagall had adjusted well to the duties of Headmistress. The appointment hadn't yet been made official by the Ministry, but everyone at Hogwarts knew the position would rightfully fall to Minerva McGonagall; after all, she had been training to take over when the time came for the past thirty-five years. A part of her dreaded the official announcement, because once she was legally Headmistress, she would be obligated to select a new Deputy Head......a task she wasn't looking forward to in the least.

"Professor Flitwick might be a good choice..." she mused quietly to Poppy Pomfrey on the way to breakfast. The school nurse was good at keeping secrets, and Minerva often trusted her with problems. "But it might be wiser to choose someone a bit younger to be able to take over someday..."

"Severus would be good for the job, Minerva." Poppy interrupted. Professor McGonagall sighed.

"I know...he's just so DIFFICULT at times! Not just at times; nearly all the time!" she complained, then quieted as they entered the Great Hall. No sooner had her foot crossed the threshold when a large, important looking tawny owl swooped over to her, dropping an envelope bearing the Ministry of Magic seal into her outstretched hand.

With a knowing glance towards Poppy, Minerva walked towards the front of the Hall, breaking the seal with a long, sharp fingernail. She cleared her throat and waited until the crowd quieted before she began to read.

"The Ministry of Magic is pleased to announce that, upon the unfortunate demise of Headmaster Albus Dumbledore, his position at Hogwarts will be filled by Professor--" Minerva paused, her face turning dead white with shock. She quickly composed herself and finished in a slightly too-high voice,

"Professor Percival Weasley."

A gasp echoed through the Hall. Several pairs of eyes turned to Ginny Weasley, who shrugged, bewildered as everyone else at this strange news. Minerva quickly raised her voice a little to read the last half of the letter before the commotion got out of hand.

"He will arrive at the start of next week. We trust that you will show him the same respect and loyalty that you have shown to Professor Dumbledore all these years."

A split second of silence, then the entire room exploded in conversation. Minerva didn't hear any of the scattered comments, didn't hear any of the pity, didn't hear any of the remarks about unfairness. She walked to her seat at the teacher's table, refusing to meet the gaze of any of her colleagues. She couldn't stand the pity that she knew was there. It was there in different amounts, from the slight, sympathetic frown of Sibyll Trelawny to the angry injustice in Xiomara Hooch's eyes.

"Why?" Minerva thought numbly, staring blankly at the limp toast in front of her. "Why did they do this to me?" Her breakfast held no answer for her. She sat there for several moments, taking her glasses off once to polish them with the sleeve of her robes, then stood up with a determined look on her face. "Poppy, will you please see to it that the House Elves make a room up for Mister -- for Professor Weasley?"

Madam Pomfrey looked momentarily befuddled. "Er, yes, Minerva. Shall....shall I tell them to use Albus' old room?"

"No." Professor McGonagall answered quickly. "No....leave Albus' quarters as they are. There's a spare set of rooms in the tower to the left of the Astronomy tower, office and all, left over from the time when Hogwarts still hired a Professor to coach dueling. They're quite comfortable and should do very nicely."

The week sped by rapidly. Minerva was still trying to adjust to the idea of the position going to someone as young as Percy Weasley; true, the boy was brilliant, but he had graduated from Hogwarts only, what, five years ago? He had only acquired his teaching license last year! "Life isn't meant to be fair," she kept telling herself firmly, but the deep-rooted injustice in her heart still ached more with each passing day.

Monday morning she was at the doorway to the castle, waiting to greet her old pupil and new Headmaster. The wind blew cruelly, causing her to wrap her cloak more tightly around her thin frame. It wasn't long before she saw the unmistakable red shock of Weasley hair coming up the steps. Forcing a pleasant smile, she steeled herself for the greeting.

She was thrown off guard as she realized Mr. Weasley was running, not walking, up the steps, his glasses slightly askew. "Professor!" he called out, a slight urgency in his voice. She stared blankly at him, unable to register this new change.

"Professor, there's been a mistake." The words flew out of Percy's mouth. "I would have owled you before this, but I didn't get word of the mix-up until just this morning...."

"What are you talking about?" Minerva asked, unable to hide the puzzlement in her voice. The redheaded man laughed, still panting slightly from his flight up the steps.

"Some daft woman at the Ministry got her information mixed up," he said, shaking his head. "You got word that I was to be the new Headmaster, right?"

"That is correct." Minerva answered, her Scottish accent becoming slightly more apparent in her confusion. Percy shook his head.

"They made me the new Deputy Headmaster. Dunno quite why I got the job, but I did."

Minerva continued to stare for a moment, realization dawning on her features. "You mean....you mean I'm Headmistress, after all?" Her voice sounded faint in her own ears. Percy nodded, smiling.

"Of course you are. Even if it had been offered to me, I would never have taken it, not when you deserve it so much more," he replied. Minerva began to smile, then laugh, then cry, until she was doing all three at once as well as hugging a slightly embarrassed Percy Weasley around the neck.

Therefore, everyone was rightfully put in his or her place. Professor Weasley became an excellent Deputy Head, although Severus Snape grumbled for years about 'young upstarts'. Minerva followed in Albus' footsteps, leading Hogwarts in an age of peace, free from the rule of the Dark Lord.




A/N: Um....okay, the ending sucks. I know that. But I had to wrap things up SOMEHOW without dragging this out into a novella, so...yeah. *grins* Please, R/R. Constructive criticism is welcome, praise is welcome, and flames will be used to keep my poor little fingers warm enough to type.