Author's Note: My FIRST published fan-fiction, written for a challenge at Potter Place, and beta-read by Sunshine. All gratitude to her for helping a newbie with such kindness and generosity.

These are not my characters or places, they all belong to J. K. Rowling, whose brilliance is only eclipsed by HER generosity in allowing us to take her characters out to play. No copyright infringement is intended, and no money is being made from this story.

A Different Kind of Love Story

by fizzabella

Chapter One

Office of the Headmistress, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Hogsmeade, Scotland

"Minerva, it's time."

"I know, and I'm ready. But... part of me doesn't want to go."

"I understand, but be content to know that you have done your best, my dear, and truly made a difference all these years."

"Oh, Albus. I certainly hope so."

The elderly witch at the desk cast her glance around the room, a tired smile tilting up the corners of her mouth. Then she sighed and seemed to slump in her chair, her head coming to rest on her desk, and somehow the light seemed to go out of the room. The silence of the big office was broken by the sound of soft laughter that filled the office and then faded away.

The Daily Prophet-Special Memorial Issue

Minerva McGonagall, Order of Merlin, Headmistress, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, passed away today at the age of 109. Headmistress McGonagall was found in her office at Hogwarts. She had suffered from poor health as a result of injuries sustained in the Second War against Tom Riddle.

Professor McGonagall was Deputy Headmistress to Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape and was appointed as Headmistress after the Final Battle. She was a member of the Order of the Phoenix and was honored with an Order of Merlin, First Class, after the Second War.

She held a Master's certificate in Transfiguration, authored several standard texts in transfiguration, and was a regular contributor to many professional publications.

She had no near relations, having been widowed before the First War against Tom Riddle. She survived her daughter and grandchild, killed at the same time as her husband.

This issue of the

Prophet contains a special section devoted to Headmistress McGonagall, including tributes from the Ministry, a photo section, and a bibliography of her many published works.

In related news, The Board of Governors of Hogwarts announced they have requested Madam Hermione Granger-Weasley to serve as Interim Headmistress of Hogwarts. The Board of Governors will be meeting today at the school to discuss the appointment of a new Head of School.

The

Daily Prophet will bring you the results of that meeting and complete coverage of Memorial Services for Headmistress McGonagall.

By Owl
Harry Potter,
Defense Against the Dark Arts Instructor,
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry,
Hogsmeade, Scotland

to:
Ron Weasley
General Manager
All England Quidditch League
Cairmorgan-On-Liffey
Ireland

Dear Ron,

I just got your owl and had a minute and so sat down to write. The school is a madhouse, but you would be proud of Hermione. She has the Board of Governors Meeting all set up and is going to London in a few minutes, to meet with the Minister, and get everything organized for the Memorial Service for Professor McGonagall. I don't think she's stopped to eat; she's just plunged in and gotten things done.

It's too bad you have to be out of the country right now, but I know she understands.

Hugo and Rose are coping. James, Albus and Lily have been with them all day. I saw them not too long ago, eating lunch in the great hall. Rose has been crying, but today, who hasn't?

I shall owl you again when I have more news, and hopefully you'll be back from Ireland in time for the services, which won't be for a few days, at least.

Hermione just popped into my classroom to tell me to tell you that she got your owl, and she thanks you but hasn't got a minute to write back just yet. She'll owl you tonight.

I'll make her eat if I have to tie her to a chair and feed her myself, and I might be able to persuade her to come home with me so Ginny can fuss over her. Your mum and dad will probably be coming to the house, too. They'll help us keep Hermione from overdoing it.

Take care of yourself, mate, and we'll see you soon,

Harry

By Owl
Ron Weasley
General Manager
All England Quidditch League
Cairmorgan-On-Liffey
Ireland

to:
Hermione Granger-Weasley
Deputy Headmistress
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Hogsmeade
Scotland

Dear 'Mione,

I am so sorry it's taking me so long to leave here. I've cancelled practice, and arranged for Bellweather to take my meetings, but our Floo isn't working well and they are sending a bloke out to look at it, so I hope to get away soon.

I WILL be at Hogwarts tomorrow morning, I promise. In the meantime, I'm worried about how you are managing. You were always Minerva's favorite, and I know you have loved working with her these past years. Was it you who found her? Harry didn't say, and there's been nothing in the press about it yet. I hope it wasn't you, that would have been hard to bear, but I hope it wasn't a student, either, as that would have been worse.

I'm sorry for the rips and blotches in this letter, I've a rotten quill and half frozen ink, but I had to write and tell you I love you and send you what comfort I can.

Give Rose and Hugo hugs from Dad, and tell them I will be there as soon as I can.

Love,

Ron

By Owl
Hermione Granger-Weasley
Deputy Headmistress
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Hogsmeade
Scotland

to:
Ron Weasley
General Manager
All England Quidditch League
Cairmorgan-On-Liffey
Ireland

Dear Ron,

I'm at my desk in my office, and every time the Floo crackles, I expect it to be Minerva. I can't tell you how many times I have wanted to call and tell her what's happened. Silly of me, but we chat back and forth, a dozen times a day. I can't bring myself to believe she's gone, I guess, and it all feels so unreal.

Rose and Hugo came to me after lunch and stayed for a cup of tea and a biscuit. They loved Granny Min, but they are taking her death very well, all things considered. Being here at Hogwarts with me, they could see, as I did, how frail she'd gotten these last few months, and how much pain she's been in, though she tried very hard to hide it. I really think a big part of Minerva died when Albus did, and she was just doing her duty till she could be with him. She looked up to him so much, as he was her mentor all her life, and I think he relied on her far more than we ever realized.

In the end, it was very peaceful, I believe. Kreacher took her tea in, as usual, and found her at her desk and couldn't waken, so he came right to my office to get help. He was quite distraught. He was wringing his hands, and he said Lady Professor Cat McGonagall would not wake up. Ron, the papers on her desk weren't the least bit disarranged, and she was smiling. It looked like she had just laid her head down on the desk and gone to sleep. I shall miss her so much, but I know she is with Albus now. Her portrait has already appeared, on the right hand wall of the alcove, so she can look over at Albus. I wish there was a portrait of her in my office, too, so I would be able to chat with her and know she was watching over me.

I must dash. I have an appointment with Minister Shacklebolt at the Ministry of Magic to make arrangements for the funeral."

Love,

Hermione