Authors note: I like McGonagall and Harry as a combinations and wished there would have been more of a relationship in the books. My stories will mostly be about these two – of course the other characters will be involved as well. Sometimes, I will relate to the books sometimes the story will be far away.

In this story Harry will learn a lot about his Head of House and get to know her closer. Takes place after Sirius'death.

GETTING TO KNOW HER

Present:

Harry was sitting in Dumbledore's office waiting for the Head Master. He felt numb and empty. His godfather was dead and he would have to go to the Dursley's again – at least for some time. And he had just thought life would finally treat him well and offer him a family life with his godfather which he had not yet gotten to know.

It was the first day of the holidays already but he had been brought back to Hogwarts after the disastrous events in the ministry. Madame Pomfrey had treated his wounds and Hagrid tried his best to cheer him up. Without success though. Usually his Head of House, Professor McGonagall, would have welcomed him back at school but she was in St. Mungo's after having been attacked. From what Harry had heard she was seriously injured and it would need some time for her to recover.

He was deep in thought when Albus Dumbledore entered the office.

'Sorry Harry, the meeting was longer than expected. I hope you are not too bored from waiting.' He sat down at his desk and eyed Harry seriously.

'I am really sorry you have lost Sirius, Harry. I wish I would have been there earlier to help. But we cannot change the past, we can only learn from these things and try to better use the time and opportunities we have.'

Harry did not answer and did not care that new tears were welling up in his eyes. He was still very angry about this drastic change in his life but finally also allowed himself to feel the pain and take his time to grief.

Dumbledore got up and patted him on the shoulder.

'Harry I could use your help since you are staying in Hogwarts for a few more days. Somehow I messed up a lot of my memories for the pensieve. I think I even got a few from Professor McGonagall here – it would be great if you can skip through them and make little notes concerning the content.'

'Sure Professor. I will start straight away.' Harry was quite indifferent – anyway, work would be better then just sitting around and keep thinking about Sirius.

'Wonderful, thank you, Mr Potter.' With that the Head Master left Harry to his new task.

Harry took the first memory and gave himself over to the pensieve.

Memory I:

A much younger Albus Dumbledore tried to comfort a very young Minerva McGonagall. They were on a graveyard – standing at a fresh grave full of flowers. Harry read the stone:

'In loving memory of my husband David and my baby daughter Claire – may they rest in peace.'

Minerva was on her knees sobbing uncontrollably. She had a huge scratch over her face and seemed to be in physical pain. Dumbledore was standing next to her and seemed a bit helpless. He patted her back soothingly. After a while he pulled her up in his arms and murmured to her trying to calm her down eventually.

'Ssh Minerva. They did not have to suffer. And you could not have prevented it – they were just at the wrong place at the wrong time.'

'What do you mean – there were at the wrong place? They came to see me for God's sake! And I thought it would be safe to meet them. I thought I had everything under control but then Grindelwald had foreseen the move and killed my innocent family.' She dissolved into tears again and was clinging to Dumbledore with only little energy left.

They stood like that for quite some time until Professor McGonagall seemed to give in to her exhaustion. Professor Dumbledore guided her to a pub nearby and ordered her a strong Scottish Whiskey.

'Drink this, my dear. It will calm your nerves. You need to stay strong, Minerva. Despite this terrible attack I think we are close to defeating Grindelwald and I need you to stay by my side.'

'I don't want to, Albus. There is nothing left for me – nothing to fight for.' This did not sound like the energetic Professor McGonagall Harry knew. He suddenly wished he could have solaced his teacher.

'Minerva, I understand your pain. But please don't give up now – this is what Grindelwald would have wanted and planned. Don't let him succeed! You are such a strong witch and he is afraid of you.'

'Don't be ridiculous, Albus. You are the only one he might be afraid of.'

'Minerva, I think you underestimate your powers. And the two of us combined are quite a force.' He said with a twinkle trying to restore her confidence.

'Besides, once this is over I need you with me in Hogwarts. I was offered to become the new Head Master and I intend to accept the offer. But I will need a Deputy then – and I would love you to become the person in question.'

'What?' Professor McGonagall stared at him in disbelief.

'Yes, who else would deserve my trust? You could become the new teacher for Transfiguration and also Deputy Head Mistress. It would be terrific – think of all the things you could offer the students.'

Professor McGonagall still did not seem convinced but was at least thinking about the offer. All of a sudden she did not seem to be this desperate and weak anymore. A hint of the famous McGonagall mask showed on her face and Harry watched this slow improvement in awe.

'I will think about it, Albus.'

'That's all I ask for, Minerva.'

Present:

This is where the memory ended and Harry was back in the office.

He was rather surprised – he knew that his Head of House had defeated Grindelwald together with Dumbledore but he never knew that she had been married and even had had a baby. How sad.

He felt for his strict teacher and wondered whether this loss was the reason for her not to let anybody come too close to her. She always seemed so unapproachable in a way. Yet he knew she definitely had a heart and he could always go to her if he was in trouble. At the same time she was really intimidating.

He made a note and placed this memory in a box. There was still a pile let to go through so he just grabbed the second one and dived into the pensieve once more.

Memory II:

Harry was now in the room next to the Great Hall where he and the other contenders of the Triwizard Cup had to wait for first instructions. Now it was only Professor Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall in here. They seemed to be in a heated argument after the students had left.

'How dare you, Albus!' Professor McGonagall was obviously very angry since her mouth was the famous thin line and she used her death glare for the Head Master.

'He is just a young boy and he does not stand a chance in this tournament. He might even be killed. You should have forbidden this nonsense!'

'Minerva, calm down. You know that we cannot take him out of the tournament – if the cup throws out your name it is a binding contract.'

'But how can his name be thrown out in the first place? Harry is too young and on top of it he claims that he has not even put his name in there.'

Dumbledore sighed – worry was clearly written on his face now. 'I do not have an answer to that – yet. I agree when you think, Mr Potter is in danger. Somebody has made sure that he is part of the tournament and you and I have to make sure he survives it, Minerva.'

'I will do everything I can to protect him!'

'Thank you, Minerva. And please be subtle!' Professor Dumbledore added.

Professor McGonagall snorted and gave him a look as if he was a complete idiot. 'Of course' she mumbled when she left the room. Harry could still feel her anger but had to grin involuntarily. Her last look had been priceless – poor Dumbledore!

Present:

The memory ended here and Harry again marked the little phial.

He sat back and thought of the events around the tournament. Indeed, his Head of House sometimes had seemed a bit pale and exhausted and with this information Harry briefly wondered, whether Professor McGonagall had had her ways to look after him secretly.

In any case it was a good feeling to know that she cared about him. Harry always knew that he could rely on Ron and Hermione and he felt comfortable with asking Professor Dumbledore for help. Now he was relieved that there seemed to be yet another person he could turn to.

He had to admit though that asking Professor McGonagall for help was not always easy – she was just incredibly strict and hardly showed anything remotely soft.

Harry shrugged his shoulders and took the next memory out of the lot.

Memory III

Harry found himself next to Professor Dumbledore at the staff table and was looking at the Great Hall. The big Welcome feast was waiting but first the new 1st year students had to be sorted.

He saw Professor McGonagall arrive with a big group of kids. Then he realised which group of students he was looking at! He could see himself standing there next to Ron. How nervous they all had been!

Professor McGonagall had placed the Speaking Hat on several heads already when Harry could focus on the scene in front of him again. Now it was his turn!

'Mr Harry Potter! He heard his Head of House and saw himself approach the chair insecurely.

Professor McGonagall place the Hat on his head and Harry could feel Professor Dumbledore tense next to him. Even Professor McGonagall seemed strained from this point of view. They all seemed to hold their breath while the hat was having his silent conversation with Harry.

'Gryffindor!'

Professor Dumbledore next to him let out his breath again and applauded happily – as did Hagrid. Harry looked around the staff table – almost all the teachers seemed relieved only Snape had his sour face and faked a tired applause.

The feast began and Professor McGonagall returned to the staff table to sit down next to Professor Dumbledore.

'Well, that was exciting, Minerva, wasn't it? Dumbledore asked his Deputy with a twinkle.

Minerva just pulled a face which Harry could not read.

'You have a few promising new cubs I would say, congratulations. Even young Mr Potter is in your house.'

'Of course, Harry is a Gryffindor. What else did you expect, Albus!' Harry had to smile at her proud tone.

'Nothing, Minerva, nothing…' Professor Dumbledore smiled at his colleague and went on with his meal.

Present:

Harry sighed. This seemed such a long time ago and his world seemed still to be alright. He had just learnt bits and pieces about himself and his past. If only these carefree moments would be back in his life.

His thoughts briefly wandered to his teacher again. How odd that Professor McGonagall mostly spoke about him as Harry in these memories whereas she addressed everybody else by their last names. It felt a bit as if she already had known him which, of course, was impossible.

He grabbed the next one – eager to learn more now.

Authors note: Let me know if you like it. Any special events you want me to deal with ?

Thanks for your input which is always helpful.