A/N: I just suppose I'm not able to stop thinking on new ideas... they come to my mind even when I don't want them. I hope you like this new fic, and I apologize on my grammar and spelling mistakes before you find them. Have a nice Easter ;)
AT YOUR SIDE
Chapter one – Severus
The headmaster stood up and walked around his desk to be face to face with me. I knew he was going to ask me some important mission, he always had that serious look on his eyes when he wanted to ask for my help, but that day…
"Severus, there's something else I need you to do..."
"I need you to find out what's wrong with professor McGonagall." He said.
"Excuse me?" I asked confused.
"Minerva has been acting weirdly since the year began and I want to know why." He took something from his pocket to his mouth; I guessed it was a lemon drop since he ate that muggle sweet all the time.
"Can't you just ask her?"
"Of course I've tried asking her, but she wouldn't tell me…" he replied, this time sounding like an annoyed kid.
"Sir, if there is really something bothering professor McGonagall…" yes, I was questioning Dumbledore's empathic abilities; everybody knows he tends to exaggerate things "I don't think she'll be willing to tell me if she hasn't told you; you're supposed to be her best friend."
"Don't be silly, Severus. I don't want you to ask her… I just want you to find out and tell me…"
"You want me to spy on Minerva?" I exclaimed forgetting any formalism. He had become crazy. "What makes you think I'll agree on this? She scares me more than you do…"
"But she can't make you go home on Christmas…" Was he trying to buy me?
"Tell yourself," I said.
"You always say you don't like having to stay here during the holidays with the children, so… you tell me what's wrong with my deputy headmistress and I give you freedom for Christmas."
Ever since I began working for Dumbledore he made me spend the winter holidays in that damn castle with all those teenagers filled with hormones… not that I had any traditions to celebrate back home, or anybody waiting for me, but… I would have given anything to sit down at my living room with a glass of gillywater and a good book to read and forget about checking exams and prepare lessons for a couple of weeks. But I wasn't going to let myself surrender that easy.
"Getting hex by Minerva doesn't worth one Christmas." I said.
"Alright," he said, "What's your price?"
"The Christmas holidays for the next five years." I said, knowing that he wouldn't accept and that maybe then he would forget about that crazy idea of spying on another professor.
"Two years," he haggled.
"Five, I said." If he was actually serious about doing that, I wanted a good reward.
"Let it be three years going home for Christmas and I'll reconsider giving you the Defense against the dark arts position, too."
I had to sit down after that offer. I'd been trying for years to get that position… and it wouldn't be that hard to find out whatever was bothering Minerva… would it? That, in case there really was something wrong with her…
"I would suggest you start informing Mr. Lockhart that he won't be required to be back next September…" I said while I stood up.
"I understand we have a deal, then?"
"I'll keep you informed." After that, I left.
For my job – not my job as a teacher, but the other one – I had had to spy on many people so I knew very well what to do.
I waited every morning behind a corner for Minerva to leave the Gryffindor tower… She left every day exactly at a quarter past seven and walked directly to the hospital wing, where Poppy's rooms were. I always waited outside, and it took her about thirty minutes to come out… after that she went into the great hall and made sure the house elfs had everything prepared for breakfast time. When the first students came in, she took her sit and waited for the rest of her colleagues. She always had a cup of tea and a toast with jam. That daily small breakfast made me guess that she had had a heaviest meal in her friend's office, otherwise I couldn't understand how she was able to survive until lunch time without having anything else to eat.
After breakfast, she had a lesson with the first-year students on Mondays and Wednesdays, and with the third-years on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Friday, she was free half of the morning and she used to spend it on the library checking her pupils homework.
She used the brake between the two classes of the morning to use the restroom, where I obviously didn't follow her.
At lunch time, she didn't eat much either and she tried to be finished soon so she could go back to his classroom and get the next lesson ready.
On Wednesdays and Fridays she was free the entire afternoon too, and if the time was good, she went outside to read near the lake until dinnertime.
After supper, she always went back to Poppy's, except for Fridays, and Rolanda would join them later after the quidditch trainings. What was talked during those lady meetings was a mystery to me… On Friday, she went to the headmaster's office, as long as I knew, to play a chess game.
The morning routine was the same at the weekend. On Saturdays, after having her light breakfast, she went to watch the quidditch training and after that, she would go to Hogsmeade with her third year students and share a drink with Rolanda and the other teachers. Sundays seemed to be her day of relax, since she just left her rooms at meal times.
After two weeks following her, I had no clue of what could make Dumbledore think she was hiding something, so I went back to him.
"She is distant," he said, "she avoids answering my questions and she doesn't smile anymore."
"I have never seen her smile," I replied, "I'm beginning to think you made this up on your own…"
"I didn't. So keep looking for it… I allow you to use any method you need, as long as she doesn't get hurt."
Any method… He said any method, but I knew very well what he was talking about… Now I knew why he wasn't doing this on his own and he had asked me… using legilimens with Minerva was a suicidal mission… but it was the only way to have my Defense against the dark arts position at once.
The next Wednesday I followed her to the last table in the library. It was raining outside, so I supposed she would do her reading inside. I had learned she always sat at the corner near the forbidden section because nobody ever came there… I hide between two shelves and once she was concentrated in her book I casted the legilimens spell.
The first thing I saw was a big boat in the middle of the sea full of pirates, then that image disappeared… it was the scene of the book she was reading, I guessed. Now, we were at the top of a cliff… it looked like a Scotland postcard. There was a kid with long black hair running towards me, following a tabby cat. Right before she could catch the little animal, it transformed into an old lady.
"Good girl, Minnie… You almost ran faster than me." The old witch said.
"Let's do it again, granny!" The young Minerva asked.
"Oh, no, sweetheart… I'm tired… what if we sit down and see the sun going to bed, uh?"
The child sat on her lap and the memory disappeared. Before the next image came, a stonewall was built in front my eyes and I was pushed away.
Back in the school library, I casted an invisible spell on me right before Minerva appeared between the book shelves with anger on her eyes. I sighted on relief because she hadn't seen me, but I heart her muttering something before she took her books and left with long steps… I didn't go after her, neither I follow her again until Friday. I decided I would try it one more time in the forest.
TO BE CONTINUED…