Late to this thing that accidentally turned into a fic? Want to start at the beginning? Click here.
And now... more lego fic. 🎄🎁
A certain ginger has withdrawn to the faculty lounge to order her thoughts. She's making a hash of things and needs to sort that. Tout de suite. Occasionally thoughts of the 'emergency' interrupt her deliberations, but she has precious little information to go on, and absolute confidence in the abilities of Severus and the Headmaster. Say what you will about... well, everyone is human, but despite their respective flaws, both are formidable wizards. If they can't handle whatever the problem is, she doubts anyone can.
Which isn't to say it isn't a distraction, but she's generally good at focusing when push comes to shove. Most of the time anyway.
She thinks she about has things worked out, what she can and can't say, and there's sadly far more of the latter than she might have thought and definitely more than she prefers.
It can't be helped, so she tries not to dwell.
That's going swimmingly for her when Minerva enters the staff room, providing a bit of distraction.
'Have you had any news about Madam Pomfrey's emergency?'
Nothing as yet. I'm sure Albus will let us know if there's anything to be done.
Personally the DADA apprentice can't help thinking that was only half the issue, and she's quietly dying of curiosity here, but it seems injudicious - and more than a little bloodthirsty - to say so. At this rate, she's going to get a reputation.
To distract them both she suggests they tackle the last door in the calendar.
'Shall we see what we've got?'
Happily. That is if you wouldn't rather wait for someone else, Minerva's eyes twinkle as she says it, reminding a certain ginger of the Headmaster in more ways than one. Apparently he won't be the only one teasing them if they move forward with... things.
'Things'. How mature.
She puts it on the list of... things to work on, but snogging Severus Snape... To say nothing of anything else... It's a daunting proposition. Perhaps she's entitled to falter now and again.
They open the door and the contents spill out, and immediately she wishes she'd waited for Severus after all, although presumably they have more pressing concerns...
'Hedwig! She cries gleefully. It's a bit of a relief, as she'd not cared for the image of the roast turkey she'd begun to associate with the bird, thank you very much, Severus. She giggles at the thought.
Why, that looks very much like my signature, Minerva exclaims.
'I think it's Mr. Potter's trunk. That would be his admissions letter to Hogwarts. I remember getting mine. It was the most exciting day of my life.' She sounds wistful.
Well surely it can't have come as much of a surprise to a half-blooded witch such as yourself?
'No, no of course not,' she shakes off the moment of whimsy, 'but it was exciting nevertheless.'
Minerva wrinkles her brow in concentration, trying to get the facts together in her mind, Your parents didn't go to Hogwarts?
'No, Durmstrang and Beauxbatons. They met on the continent.' And that's about as much as she cares to say on the subject, her parents being something of a sore point. She shifts her attention back to the contents of today's door, sifting through the pieces. 'Yes, it'll be Mr. Potter's trunk alright. Now why they'd give him books is beyond me.' She sounds a touch snubbed.
I don't believe they have. I think it's for all three of them. The owl is for Mr. Potter, the book for Miss Granger...
The DADA apprentice laughs, 'And the chocolate is obviously for Mr. Weasley. Of course. How well suited. They'd doubtless have included a turkey leg, but that's probably cruel and unusual treatment of animals what with Hedwig in the same bag.
'It's just food to them, isn't it? Chocolate? I don't imagine they've learnt about its medicinal properties yet?'
From Gilderoy? You'd be best positioned to know. Her tone would seem to indicate that she considers it highly improbable to say the least.
'Then no, that's unlikely.
'Oh, look! Isn't that nice... There's a Spell, too, for the book. Wingardium Leviosa.'
The first Charm we teach them, Minerva nods fondly at the recollections. What lovely attention to detail.
And now the apprentice starts laughing and can't stop, 'I think the wand is for Mr. Weasley.'
Ah, yes. There was an... incident at the beginning of term. You'll remember mentions of a Howler and the... unsanctioned use of the family's motor vehicle? Severus may have a point about the staff's tendency to gloss over Harry's and Ron's indiscretions. Mr. Weasley broke his wand in the process.
'Oh, the broken wand. Spellotaped together.' She wipes the tears of mirth from her eyes and is just deliberating whether she should tell the Transfiguration Professor about how she and Severus had forgotten to end the Charm rendering precisely that broken wand a branch when the door slams open and a dark figure stalks into the room.
Think of the devil...
Minerva! Ginger! Splendid. Minerva, Albus would like to see you in the Infirmary. Nothing too urgent, but it will require your attention. At the least, you needed to be informed.
Severus? He's practically quivering with excitement.
Go on ahead, Albus will explain when you get there. You needn't worry. I can assure you, it's nothing that won't be sorted soon enough. Nearly harmless, in fact. It will simply take some time.
The more he tries to reassure her, the more concerned she grows. Well he tried. She hastens from the room, and Severus remains behind with the DADA apprentice.
I thought of you the moment I saw it. From his tone, for a brief moment she hopes he's forgiven her earlier clumsiness. It should tickle you no end. Truly, I've never seen anything like it; it's absolutely brilliant. She's never seen him this animated. He looks rather like all his Christmases have come at once.
'I take it no one was harmed?' His reaction would lead her to believe as much. Surely he wouldn't make light of serious injury...
That may depend on how you define 'harmed', he chuckles. It's lacking any hint of malice and she relaxes at the sound. And it doesn't hurt that he has a nice laugh. But as I assured Minerva, it's nothing permanent. It's not even painful. I suspect it might be a bit embarrassing, all considered, but you have to appreciate the skill involved. This was minor miracle. Come, I don't wish to ruin the surprise. And with that he snares her hand and ferries her from the room, refusing to say another word more.
She considers trying to address their earlier misunderstanding, but his mood seems too good to risk ruining it. She decides to let it lie for the moment.
Fine, coward she may be, but she's no idiot.
When they reach the Infirmary, there's already a number of staff gathered in a clutch around one of the beds.
Poppy? Severus asks in a low voice.
Come on in, the Matron responds in her normal tone. I've given her something to help her sleep; you won't disturb her.
A certain ginger can't help thinking that if the patient were aware of just how many people were gawping at her, she'd probably feel very disturbed indeed, but the Matron believes strongly in a policy of what her patients don't know can't hurt them.
So much for privacy, but then that's in rare supply in a school such as theirs.
Sybill claps a hand to her forehead and sways slightly, even odds it's the sherry or purely for show. I was telling Filius just this morning that I had a sense of foreboding! I knew this was coming, didn't I? I said so all along.
No one pays her much mind, attention focused on the small figure in the bed before them.
When they join the others, reaching the bed, the patient lies almost completely covered in blankets, only a wild mop of hair sticks out and an ear.
A very large, furry and pointy ear.
The DADA apprentice draws closer with a sinking feeling and Severus begins explaining, It seems the ingredient theft was for Polyjuice after all. I'd never have believed it, but there's no question of anyone else having brewed it. She did this. A minor mistake, and a costly one, no question. Apparently a cat hair was used... Of all things, to fail on account of that! And it seems this is the result. It's certainly one for the books. But for this to have happened, it had to have been a viable potion. Think of it. A second year. The audacity!
And just then a tail slips from beneath the covers, knocking them half to the ground in front of them as it does, and then twitches, and the witch practically lets out a shriek. Her wand is already in hand ready to face a nonexistent opponent. She's clearly a bundle of nerves.
Albus, coming to his senses, addresses her, Ginger, perhaps it would be best if we...
He never gets to make his suggestion, as things begin going sideways. Quickly.
'I can't believe I forgot about this,' she says quietly, running her right hand through her hair.
There's a flicker, and her wand ripples and the next thing they know, the black wand they're accustomed to seeing her with turns beige.
Ms. Bred, what happened to your wand? Minerva asks, wary.
There's another ripple, the air seems alive with it, and her hair deepens in colour to a rich chestnut, increasing in length and volume as it does so.
Never mind that, Severus hisses, what's wrong with your hair?
'Kettle meet cauldron,' she snaps, as another ripple hits and her features shift.
Forget about her hair, what about her face? Even *I* can see that. Sybill pushes her glasses demonstratively further up her nose as if to illustrate the significance of that achievement. She has a point.
Confundus! Stupefy! Albus cries and Sybill, Filius and Poppy go still, expressions blank.
Next he flicks up a Privacy Charm and with the... patient still unconscious, it's only the four of them left, himself, Minerva, Severus and the young witch beside him. I apologise, Albus starts, It must have been the shock. I neglected to consider it...
I don't understand, Minerva replies, shaking her head. Severus says nothing, he just darts forward grabbing the young woman's hand. He takes it in his, turning it slowly back and forth and then looks up into now brown eyes on a face both very foreign and hauntingly familiar.
Ms. Bred? Minerva asks, practically begging for an explanation, and Severus shakes his head.
Miss Granger, he corrects. Certain.
I think we owe the both of you an explanation, Albus begins.
I couldn't agree more, Severus responds, a disturbingly cold air about him.
Hermione suspects this won't be easy.
Fortunately she's done impossible things before.
Happy hols, everyone, and safe travels. 🎄🎁❤️