A/N: This will be set a couple of years after the golden trio leaves Hogwarts. This is largely about McGonagall. HP, RW, HG, AD, GW, and TR will figure greatly along with a few other guest appearances. Ships will include but are not limited to HPGW, RWHG, MMAD, and MMTR.
Disclaimer: I'm a starving student studying writing. Basically, I'm starving in school in order to become a starving artist. I have no money. Actually, I think my bank account is in the red right now. Don't bother suing me; you'll get naught but pocket lint.
For readers of my other chapter stories: I'll say this quickish: Cat and Mouse, Spectrum, and Seven will all be updated. I'm neither abandoning nor putting anything on hold. It's simply a matter of what I feel like writing, and much as I'd love to update all day everyday for you lovely folks, the nitty-gritty truth is that I write for me. This idea just occurred to me during a conversation over coffee with a friend- but all the best ones do. The reason I'm putting this up now instead of waiting until I finish my other longer stories (specifically Cat and Mouse) is so that I can hopefully lure anybody following that story to follow this one... I'm diabolical. Anyway, don't be too mad, lovers.
It occurred to her that she ought to tell them to call her Minerva, and if not, at least Ms. McGonagall, or something less stilted sounding, especially coming out if Harry's distinctly grown-up mouth. However, she liked order and, despite her fondness for the triage of Gryffindors before her, needed distance. A verbal proscenium seemed so very Minerva; she could almost see Dumbledore's smirk in her mind's eye. She glanced up at him briefly before looking back down to the letter she was scribbling to the Minister. "I don't know, Mr. Potter. I don't think it's a good idea."
Harry frowned, looking at Hermione beside him, as though looking to her to defend him. She merely fiddled with the sleeve of her robes, however, raising her thick eyebrows, seeming to imply that this was his battle and his alone. Minerva smirked, careful not to look up and give herself away- Hermione and Ron would follow The-Boy-Who-Lived to the ends of the earth, to the hellish bowels of battle, but argue for something so silly as this? Stand up to their former head of house? Clearly not. "The Ministry's records, however awful they are, say that Dumbledore left you his pensieve." Minerva sniffs, neither confirming nor denying his statement. "He must have left some memories behind."
"Unfortunately, the Ministry confiscated any memory that would be significant to you, in your quest to 'get to know him'. I have but a handful of moments that Professor Dumbledore had the foresight to deliver to me prior to his death. These are, however, more or less... unimportant. I have but the pensieve itself."
"I couldn't have even a peek?"
"I'm telling you," McGonagall said, sounding more serious than she felt, "you will learn nothing from them." She drummed her fingers against her desk, peering over her spectacles at Ron, who squirmed and looked away. He was still lanky and coltish, even in adulthood, and his eyes, like Hermione's, were fixed on Harry. Harry himself looked as though he were trying to hide his disappointment and failing quite miserably. Mineerva sighed, biting her lips lightly. She was fond of them, Harry in particular, though she was hard-pressed to show it. She hated to disappoint him so. But she certainly couldn't show him the memories Albus had left her, not only in order to maintain her own privacy, but also out of respect for Harry himself- she would bet her last galleon that he would be more than a little unhappy if he knew the true content of the memories she had... "However..."
Harry's eyes jerked upward to her own.
"If you are really determined to do this, I might prepare some of my own memories for your viewing. If you were to come back next Tuesday..."
She didn't get to finish, as Harry had shot to his feet, a grin immediately in place on his features. "Yes! Great! Thank you, Professor!" Ron and Hermione echoed his gratitude as the three filed toward the door like students after the bell.
"Yes?" Harry responded, poking his shaggy head back within the office.
"He would be touched at your efforts," she said, and Harry reddened slightly. "However, it would be best if I warned you ahead of time- Albus was a man of many faces. You may not find them all to your liking." She was almost surprised by her own words. Though she and the Headmaster had been exceptionally close, though she had been privy to more information, more thoughts behind his actions than any other Order member, she had not always found his rationales satisfactory. She would need more hands if she were to count on her fingers all of the times she had left his office in horror.
Harry nodded. He left swiftly, descending the stairs on Ron's heels. The moment they stepped out from behind the gargoyle and into the Hogwarts hallways, Harry had to resist the urge to pump his fist triumphantly in the air. "This is great," he said instead, grinning.
"I suppose so," responded Hermione, looking thoughtful as her pace quickened and she strode ahead of the boys.
"She doesn't like this," Harry said, more to himself than to Ron. Ron shook his head.
"No. She thinks that if McGonagall isn't sure about you doin' this, you shouldn't. I'm bloody curious, though," Ron told Harry, "powerful, famous wizard like Dumbledore? Life like that, life that long? Bet there are all kinds of skeletons you can dig up."
"I'm not trying to dig up skeletons, Ron. I'm trying to get to know him. He was," Harry paused, running a hand through his unruly hair and bobbing his head at a group of first years, who stumbled away in a fit of starstruck giggles, "like a father, y'know? Like a grandfather. And toward the end of the war, I realized he knew me better than anyone. But I don't know the first thing about him."
"Still," Ron said with a grin, "wonder what McGonagall will come up with. I heard Kingsley saying she was a right piece when they were in Hogwarts... wouldn't mind seeing some of those memories..."