A/N Hi so first fanfic, would appreciate any reviews you can give me. This is post battle, but before the stupid epilogue. I always wanted to see something like this, well maybe not this, it's a little ambitious of me lol but something more between MM and HP. I embellished a little here and there. The animagus thing especially. *shrugs* couldn't help it. I liked the idea!
Disclaimer - I'm secretly J.K. so I don't need to do this... oh no wait, I'm not J.K. bugger! lol not mine, never will be wish they were. OK? OK.
When Harry woke up he wasn't really sure where he was, but once he put on his glasses and everything around became a little clearer everything came rushing back to him. He squeezed his eyes shut as he replayed the last year of his life. He didn't want to see it, he didn't want to see Remus and Tonks die, he didn't want to see Hedwig die, he tried to scrub the tears away as saw Dobby die, he let out a sob as he thought of Severus and broke down completely when Albus Dumbledore's face swam into his memories. All he could do was sit on the end of the bed in the empty dormitory and sob.
Minerva McGonagall was a strong woman. She had been strong her entire life, but now everything seemed to have piled up in her heart. As she traversed the broken corridors of their once perfect castle, she thought of all the people that had died when she was young, Lily and James especially. She'd adored Lily, just like she'd adored Lily's son Harry. An unbidden tear ran down Minerva's face as she thought of Harry. He was the reason she was wandering the halls. She'd been into the Great Hall, walked among the dead, trying to find his face. She'd paid her respects to all those she had been close to and even shared a moment with George Weasley, sitting together next to his twin, her holding his hand, him gripping hers tightly. Harry hadn't been there like she though he would. Ron and Hermione and Ginny were, but not Harry.
Where on earth could he be? She walked to the infirmary. Being the commander in chief now it was her duty to check everything was running smoothly, but selfishly she only wanted to find him. She'd know him for his entire life, and had come to understand the boy better than he really understood himself. She knew the chances of him seeking healing were slim to nil. But these were not normal times. She flicked a piece of hair that had escaped from her uncharacteristically messy bun back onto her head as she perused the patients before her. Poppy Pomfrey bustled here and there, comforting people, healing people. She was caught up in her work and only noticed Minerva when she had started to leave. Poppy rushed to her, enveloping her in a hug.
"Oh Minerva," Poppy said thankfully. They hugged for a moment before parting. If it shocked the people around her that Minerva McGonagall could show affection, nobody showed it. Minerva smiled gratefully at Poppy, they'd been friends since school and even now Poppy could always tell what she was thinking. "He's not here Minerva," she said quietly as they looked around. Minerva nodded and patted Poppy's arm, before leaving her to get back to her work.
Minerva wandered the halls once more, racking her brains for anywhere that Harry might be. As she passed a portrait in the hall she stopped. She looked at it incredulously.
"Oh Minerva, you really are an idiot," she said to herself shaking her head before turning and walking quickly in the opposite direction. The proud lion sitting on the pedestal let out a roar and the other portraits around him smiled.
The fat lady saw Minerva coming and swung outwards before she'd even had to say anything. Rushing into the common room she realised that it was empty.
Everyone would be with their families of course, she thought with a pang of sadness. She raced up the stairs and into the boy's dormitory.
And there he was, perched on the edge of the bed sobbing hysterically. Her heart broke and she rushed forward onto the bed, climbing onto the bed and over to him with an ease that was surprising for one not so young.
Harry felt the bed dip as someone got on it, but he didn't care. He couldn't care; his entire thoughts were rolling around his head like a whirlwind. He felt a hand go through his hair, and a hand go on his shoulder as he finally looked up. Slightly confused at what he was, he stopped crying and studied the person harder.
"Pr, Professor?" he said.
"Harry," was all she said before she opened her arms and he flung himself into them. The force of him knocked them onto the bed and he cried into her as her arms encircled him. Knowing it would not be long before her grief finally caught up with her, she sent a patronus to the portrait outside the Gryffindor common room and requested that she admit no-one until she sent word that she was clear to do so, before sending one to each of the teacher in charge of the various departments that had been set up throughout the castle to inform them that herself and Harry would be unavailable for however long it took. Ignoring the pang of discomfort at leaving them to fend for themselves Minerva stroked Harry's hair as he sobbed. "I'm here Harry," was all she said before she started crying as well.
As they cried together Harry's devastation lessened somewhat as he realised his teacher was crying also. He could tell she was by the way her breathing had changed since he'd been in her arms. He held her tightly and whispered to her that he was sorry.
She stopped crying immediately and looked down at him, cuddled into her arms. She smiled and enjoyed the warm feeling it was creating in her chest.
"Harry," she croaked before clearing her throat and repeating herself, a little more forcefully. "Harry look at me please."
Harry pulled out of their embrace and sat cross legged on the bed a little away from her. She regretted her harsh tone almost immediately and sighed as she tried to sit up, but finally feeling the adrenalin of the battle and the aftermath leave her, she realised she had no energy to even sit up, so she turned, resting her head on her hand as she looked at the young man in front of her. He wouldn't meet her eyes, so she rested a hand on his arm, moving her head into his eye line. Catching his gaze she smiled. His eyes betrayed his thoughts that she had never smiled at him like that before and she made a conscious decision to do it more often.
"Harry, did you kill all those people?" she asked gently. He looked at her, shocked that she could talk about their friends like that. "Well did you?" she asked again. He shook his head.
"Ah, no but anything young man." She said cutting him off. "Voldemort did this Harry, Voldemort and Bellatrix and the Carrow twins and Greyback and countless other names that I will not soil this moment with. They did this Harry, only them." She moved her hand from his arm to his hand and held it, half expecting him to shrug it off.
"But if I'd have gotten him sooner," he said
"Ridiculous," Minerva replied, "All this happening was the way it had to be Harry. It had to be like this, or else someone else would have taken his place. Someone we wouldn't have understood, someone Albus couldn't have predicted." At the mention of Dumbledore's name they both flinched for the friend that they had lost. "I loved him you know," she said in barely a whisper. She let it sit before looking at Harry, gasping a little at the look on his face.
"It wasn't that hard to see Professor," he said, his eye's twinkling for the first time since they'd lost him at the tower. She laughed a little before slapping his arm. He flung a pillow at her and suddenly there were pillows flying everywhere as the two fought.
"Enough Potter," she said gasping for air slightly, but giggling a little. "I'm not as young as I once was." He laughed and flopped down beside her. She smiled at him again, the same smile as before and he matched it, the feeling reflected in his eyes. She tenderly stroked the hair back off his face.
"I used to visit you, you know." She said as her hand stilled on his cheek. "I'd sit watching you for hours. I begged Albus to let you come with me, but he refused every time saying that you were safer with them than with me." Harry stared at this new side of his professor, the stern woman who usually was so stoic in her manner. Harry realised that, like Dumbledore, he didn't really know her at all.
"I never saw you?" he said looking away. Wishing that he'd had this the whole time.
"Yes you did," she replied, her eyes sparkling a little at the joke. Harry just looked at her confused. She smiled and disappeared into the bed covers. He stared at her new form, in shock at what it meant. The spider ran from the sheet into his hand and sat contentedly just looking at him with all eight of those green eyes. Jumping back onto the bed from his hand Minerva changed back to her usual form and smiled at Harry's shocked face.
"The spider from my cupboard? I thought you could only be one Animagus?" he said incredulously. She chuckled at this,
"Mr Potter, I am the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry's transfiguration professor and have been so before even your parents were a twinkle in someone's eye. You don't think I'd let me honorary grandson suffer alone do you?" Minerva stopped, shocked at how candid she had just been with him.
"What do you mean?" he asked shyly. She pulled him closer into a hug, before pulling back a little to stoke his forehead,
"When your mother was at school she was such a beautiful young woman. Not just pretty, but a beautiful person. I never had children, with my student's being more than enough to fill that gap in my life, until Lily. We became firmly attached to each other and when she left school we kept in touch almost every week. When she had you she invited me to see you at St. Mungo's and they'd already picked out your godfather, but once I had you in my arms Lily said to me,
"Minerva? You know that you have been like a mother to me from day one. It won't be official, but I'd very much like for you to be an honorary grandmother to Harry."
"Really?" said Harry. Minerva faltered at this, not sure how he would react. They'd known each other for seven years now and she'd never once mentioned this before. She just nodded silently and waited for him to say something. "It was you that screamed wasn't it?" he said at a whisper as they lay on the bed together. "When you thought I was dead, you screamed." She smiled a sad smile as her answer.
"I thought I'd lost you," she said clutching his hand tightly. "Before I even got to tell you that I have loved you like a grandson from the day your mother told me she was expecting." A tear rolled down her face, and she noticed that a few had rolled down Harry's face too. For a moment they stared at each other before gripping each other in a fierce hug tears falling down their faces freely as they entered into a silent agreement to never let this connection fade again.
After their tears had stopped and they lay in silence, Harry was wrapped up in his 'grandmother's' arms contentedly, thinking about life.
"Professor?" he asked quietly. She clicked her tongue at him,
"Harry, surely you can call me by my first name at least." She said with a smile in her voice. He thought about it for a moment.
"Grandma," he said tentatively feeling a little weird but certain that he didn't really want to call her anything else. She pulled his shoulder away, looking into his face. She smiled before placing a kiss on his forehead.
"You make me very happy Harry." She said, her eyes twinkling with a happiness she hadn't felt since before Lily and James were killed.
"Grandma what do I do now?" Harry said quietly after they went back to their embrace. She made no move to answer it, sensing that he had not finished talking. "It seems like my sole purpose on this earth was to get rid of Voldemort, but now he's gone what do I do?" Minerva sighed at this. She and the other teachers had tried their whole lives to prepare their students for a life after school, but with Harry it was different, he was right. They really hadn't had the opportunity to teach him about life. He'd been too busy trying to save their lives than learn about his own. Even though she didn't want to admit it to herself Minerva knew that they hadn't tried all that much, just in case he never made it through school. Minerva shook her head to clear her thoughts and looked down at her grandson.
"Harry, you can be anything you want to be, as long as you know that whatever you choose, I'll be there for you, along with all your friends, and family. And we'll support you and help you through it, no matter what."
"It just seems so pointless," he said into her chest. She stroked the back of his head gently,
"For once, Harry, stop thinking and just go with it. For the first time in your life the world is hopeful, not hopeless, and the reason it is, is because of you." He they stared at her for a while before she sighed and kissed his forehead again.
"I have to go and make sure everything is still running smoothly." She said, the headmistress in her ready to go and do her duty, the maternal side of her already feeling sad at the loss of this moment. He nodded, understanding. She took a breath, opening her mouth to say something before closing it again, unsure of herself for a moment. Harry just looked at her confused.
"Harry," she said before pausing again. "Harry, if you wish, you're more than welcome to come and stay with me for a while if it would help?" His eyebrows shot up into his hair as surprise sprang onto his face,
"Here?' he said not really understanding. She laughed,
"No silly, at McGonagall Manor." Realisation dawned on Harry as he understood what she was offering. "Your friends will always be welcome, any time you wish, but I would love it if you stayed with me for even a little while and maybe,"
"I'd love to," he said cutting off anything else she was going to say. She smiled at him and finally let him out of her arms.
He got up off the bed and stood looking at her wanting to say something, but not really sure how. She tilted her head and gave him one of her trademark stares.
"Mr Potter?" she said a tone of amusement in her voice.
"I like this side of you," he said, honesty shining out of his eyes, "I mean, I liked you as a teacher, you were our favourite after," he trailed off as he thought of his old headmaster and she showed him a soft smile to show she understood. "Well, you're pretty much everybody's favourite. But no one ever gets to see this side of you, and I think they'd love you more if you showed them every now and then." He finished quickly, unsure of himself a little.
Minerva pursed her lips together looking at him trying not to smile,
"But then what would I keep for you?" she said unable to keep the happiness from her face. He smiled as well,
"As long as you promise to always be my grandmother, I'm happy to share you with your students, only every now and then though; I wouldn't want the trademark Professor McGonagall to lose her edge." He said. She nodded once, indicating she'd think about it. She laughed as she thought about what he'd said.
"Come on Harry, help an old woman up." Holding out her hand to him realising that her body had gone to sleep while they'd been lying there. He gripped her hand and helped pull her up and once she was standing didn't release it. "You sure?" she asked understanding that this meant he was coming too.
Harry nodded and they left the common room together, hand in hand; taking comfort even in such a small gesture. Harry watched her as they walked and noticed that even after everything that had happened today she looked younger. The light had come back to her eyes and she was standing taller than he'd seen her. She was back to Professor McGonagall, but when she caught him staring she winked at him and smiled a small smile and he realised for the first time that she'd been hurting just like him. The whole time she'd been mourning for the family she'd never known, just like he had and he squeezed her hand, causing her to stop and look at him questioningly. He hadn't realised that the whole time he'd been here she'd been there the whole time looking out for him. More often than not she'd been first on the scene and it warmed his heart. He pulled her into a tight hug.
"You were always there for me, you were always part of my family." He whispered into her ear. It wasn't a question, or even a statement. It was an affirmation. Harry needed her to know that he knew it and it was appreciated. She sighed and wrapped her arm around his broad shoulders. He wrapped his arm around her waist and they walked down the empty, damaged corridor heading back to the real world. The world that didn't seem so dark now they had each other. The world they would rebuild; with the Weasley's and the Tonks'; with the Grangers and the Longbottom's; with each other; as a family.