Fandom: Harry Potter
Written For: Steph, aka lilacmermaid
Prompt: McGonagall/Dumbledore pairing
Characters: Minerva McGonagall, Albus Dumbledore
Word Count: 572
Summary: McGonagall comforts Dumbledore when all seems lost.
Author’s Notes: Yeah … still not exactly sure where this came from. I had intended to write it quite seriously, and was sort of sticking to that principle, and as a result wasn’t getting anything out of myself I could actually use. I had a starting paragraph (what we journalism geeks call a “lead”) but not a whole lot else. Then something happened – I decided to let myself go, let the fic take me whither it would. And this is the result. I’m far happier with it than I probably would’ve been with a so-called “serious” fic. I love it when I can just totally dissect my writing process like this. *grins*
Ever since she could remember, she had trusted him. This might have been because she had known him since she could remember, but she didn’t believe that. She had known many people ever since she could remember, and there were few of them that she trusted.
On her first day at Hogwarts, everything had been too overwhelming for her. She’d gotten lost, people had laughed at her for her braids and glasses, and she was disciplined by a Prefect for running in the halls. She had retired to the Gryffindor common room and collapsed into one of the armchairs, sobbing desperately. No one came to her aid. They were all preoccupied with their own selfish problems.
He had come to the common room on some errand. If pressed, neither of them would have been able to remember, now, precisely what that errand had entailed. What they would have agreed on was that he spotted a small girl, lost and alone, and extended the hand of kindness to her.
He told her about his own first day, when some of the same things had happened to him. He told her how lost and alone he had felt, and how no one had helped him. He told her of how he had vowed that, when he became older, if he saw a student in similar distress, he wouldn’t hesitate to help them.
And then he reached into one of his deep pockets and withdrew a Chocolate Frog. She burst out laughing, because who would ever have imagined that a teacher, so official, would carry chocolate around?
That became a sort of standing joke between them. In the years that followed they would pass in the halls and wink at one another, sometimes mouthing the words “Chocolate Frog!” And then one or the other would grin and suddenly they both would be straining to hold in their laughter.
When she grew, beyond all her wildest dreams, to become a Hogwarts teacher, to fill the position he had once occupied so he would become Headmaster, the first words they said to each other were not, “Congratulations!” The first words were, “Chocolate Frog!” followed by an outburst of laughter that they have seldom equaled since.
After awhile, it was not only a joke. It was also said to offer comfort. When she worried about the outcome of the First War, he would reassure her by sending her notes saying nothing but, “Chocolate Frog!” and she would smile. When he worried about the future of the young Harry Potter, stuck in a houseful of evil relatives, she would scribble the words, “Chocolate Frog!” on a piece of parchment and instruct her owl to take it to him. When she cried about Harry’s going after the Philosopher’s Stone, when he was nervous about the outcome of the Chamber of Secrets incident, when they grieved for Lily and James Potter … one or the other would whisper, “Chocolate Frog!” and the circumstances would become just a little more bearable.
So now, in what seemed this most desperate hour, she knew precisely what to say. She did not express her grief, she did not mention any of the thousands of worries tumbling through her mind, she did not bite her lip or bow her head in sorrow.
“Chocolate Frog!” said Professor McGonagall instead.
And on Dumbledore’s lips, where before there had only been profound sadness, there was now a wide smile.