I was thinking about Mizsphinx this morning, and how she'd said she might have to leave behind her cat if she decides to move, and this story popped in my head, so I thought I'd start her an early birthday gift…lol. Hope you like this, Miz ;)
Chapter One: Strange Occurrence
The curious tabby cat padded silently through the alley behind Hermione Granger's flat, chasing after the mouse she had just spotted. As she readied herself to pounce, suddenly she saw a flash of light, and all of her muscles froze, preventing her from capturing her prize.
If she could have mewled in desperation, Minerva would most definitely have done so, for she knew her witch had keen enough hearing where she was concerned for her distress to be noticed. But even her throat seemed to deny her, leaving her as helpless as a kitten.
"I've been looking forward to this meeting for a long time," crooned a happy voice—a human voice. Not one that she was unfamiliar with, though the tone seemed somehow off. Like it had gotten higher and much more forceful than usual.
Another flash of light, and the cat fell over and passed out. She did not know how long she laid there before she came to with a start of surprise and got to her feet.
Such an odd dream, she thought, and such an odd place to suddenly take a nap. But, since she obviously had nothing to chase here, she may as well go inside.
Her witch appeared to have a few guests with her—that red-haired man who had stopped kissing Hermione and started kissing another, and the red-haired woman who seemed to care very much what happened to her friend. She cared so much, she had even given Hermione many hugs when the man had gone.
The other two smelled similar. Both wore light colored fur on their heads, and the woman's was longer than the man's. If she went by smell alone, Minerva would think the woman was the mother of the younger man.
She seemed like a very pleasant human, and when she spotted Minerva she made a mewl of delight. Happily, Minerva moved to rub against her leg. The woman reached down to gently rub behind her ears.
"Hermione, isn't this the cat you named after Headmistress McGonagall?" she inquired curiously. "I had heard she looked similar, but I must say the resemblance is remarkable."
"Yes, she is," Hermione agreed. "Draco, would you and Ginny like to have some cookies?"
"Oi, I'm sitting right here, Hermione," the red-haired man replied indignantly.
"If you want any cookies, Ronald Weasley, I suggest you get off your lazy arse and get them yourself," Hermione replied irritably. "Or you could let you wife Lavender get them for you."
"What, you want me to bring Lav here to get me some cookies?" he scoffed.
"You know very well I don't want her here at all," Hermione reminded him, biting the inside of her cheek to hold her temper in check.
Seeing her face turn red, Ron decided that he would get a cookie himself and cease talking to her.
"Now, Hermione, about the wedding," said the blonde woman. "I want my son to be bonded in style, and since you are Ginny's best friend, I'm sure your help in the matter will come in handy."
"Of course, Narcissa," she agreed. "Just let me know what you want me to do. Anything for a friend."
"I'm certainly glad that you now count Draco among your friends," she said with a smile. "I was so worried about how things would turn out after that dreadful war. I never expected you to become the Head of the Magical Beasts control Division, and I certainly did not expect Lucius to gain a position within your Department, either. Isn't it funny how much one's life can change from just a single moment in time?"
"Yes, it is," Hermione agreed.
Minerva began to purr as she jumped up into Narcissa's lap.
"Such an affectionate thing," Narcissa cooed. "You know, I was just telling Lucius the other day how much I wanted a cat. Of course, he hates the things with a passion—but that would just make it all the more diverting. I do so love to take the opposite side wherever he is concerned."
"Are you two not getting along?" Hermione asked.
"The man hasn't touched me in years," she told her. "I swear his affections must be finding an outlet elsewhere—though I won't complain, since my interests have wandered as well."
"You can't be serious," Hermione gasped. "That man has to be an excellent lover—just look at him. How could you want anyone else with him around?"
"Lucius has never been to my tastes, Hermione," she admitted softly. "I prefer my lovers to be of a much softer variety."
"Mother, please," Draco said with some disgust. "We do not want to hear anything about you and that little friend of yours. I'm sure the others don't wish to know what you do outside of your marriage bed."
"Tea's ready," Hermione said brightly.
"Hermione, dear, I'm beginning to feel rather ill," said Narcissa. "I do believe I'd not keep the tea down. Perhaps it would be best if I went home."
"Of course," Hermione agreed, giving the woman a tentative hug. "I hope you'll feel better soon. Perhaps you should drink a potion when you get there."
"Yes, I think I shall," she agreed. "The rest of you have a pleasant evening."
Stepping into the fireplace, Narcissa called out her destination as she tossed some floo powder, and disappeared from view.
"I hope she'll be all right," Hermione said to Draco and Ginny, making sure her back was to Ron.
"So do I," Draco agreed.
"Say, Hermione, there's something wrong with your cat," Ron said.
Hermione reluctantly looked behind her. Minerva lay on the floor, completely limp, her eyes staring off into the distance.
"Oh, no!" she cried, coming to the cat's side. She shook her several times, trying to awaken her, but in the end she knew it was useless. "She's dead," she told the others. "Why would she suddenly be dead? She's only three years old, her health was perfect, and she was perfectly happy not two minutes ago. I wonder what could have happened."
"She's just a stupid old cat, Hermione," Ron pointed out. "Just bury her and get another."
"Ronald, you have no idea how glad I am that you and I did not get married," Hermione told him in biting tones. "She was not just a cat, she has been my truest friend through all the time it took me to get over what you had done. And the only reason you're even here is because of Ginny. Just remember that, and keep your opinions to yourself."
"Fine, I know when I'm not wanted," Ron huffed as he, too, headed for the fireplace. "I'm leaving."
"Perhaps you should call Harry," Ginny suggested. "Harry's got an Auror wand—it can see if any sort of magic was involved in Minerva's sudden death."
"That's a good idea," Hermione agreed. "I'll do it straight away."
"I hope you don't mind that I'd rather take my fiancée and depart before Potter arrives," said Draco. "Last time I saw him, he punched me in the nose."
"Well, he's just sore that you stole his girl last year," Hermione excused him.
"It's his own fault, too," Ginny said. "If he wasn't constantly acting so great and powerful all the time, he might have had more time for me. But anyway, I'm much happier right where I am."
Draco blushed as Ginny swat him on his backside.
"Yes, so am I," Draco agreed. "But I must be off, as I'll need to check on my mother anyway, so good night. And Hermione, thanks for helping with the wedding. I wasn't sure you'd do it, but Ginny knew. She's almost as bright as you."
Ginny had already grabbed some floo powder and Draco stepped into the fireplace beside her and took her hand in his. In unison, and smiling as they said it, they both called out, "Draco and Ginny's flat."
Hermione smiled as she watched them go, then turned somberly back to the issue of her dead cat. She threw a bit of dust into the fireplace and said, "I must speak to Harry Potter straightaway."