“Minnie,” Walter hissed half way through the potions lesson, much to Minerva’s dismay, “they put notices all around the school – you can’t just steal more potions,”
“He’s running out,” Minerva said through the corner of her mouth, carefully chopping up her caterpillars whilst resolutely facing the front of the classroom, “look, I did some research Walter: because he’s not magical it will take more potions to heal him,”
“Are you willing to get expelled for this?” He asked, turning to face her and in doing so ignoring his own potion. Despite his normal perfect concoctions Minerva noticed that Walter was far from the star pupil this potions lesson. In fact, her potion was a damn site better than his wreck.
“I’m not going to get expelled,” Minerva said stiffly, returning his gaze for a brief second before securing the tartan ribbon that was tying her hair into its usual bun – as normal she was scared of it slipping off and, this time, falling into her potion.
“The warning notice sounded pretty serious,” Walter said. Minerva had to admit that the notice about missing potions, placed in every single common room (from what she could work out) had been so harshly worded that she’d felt the need to sit down for a few moments. Still, she found it difficult to believe that they really would expel her without further warning if they discovered it was her that had carried out the deed.
“They’re just nervous because of the chamber,” Minerva returned, “they want to prevent people from wondering around after dark,”
“Oh come on,” Walter said, “there is no Chamber of Secrets – it was just some nasty Slytherin playing a practical joke. There’s been no other attack, Minnie. Merlin, I’ve never known you be so illogical – this has really gotten to you, hasn’t it? I didn’t realise you liked cats that much,”
“Stop being idiotic,” Minerva returned, “and I’ve told you to stop calling me Minnie – it’s condescending,”
“See, I’m okay with that,” Walter said. Minerva gritted her teeth, a subconscious hand going up to her hair to ensure the ribbon was still exactly where it should be, before she added her diced caterpillars into her cauldron gracelessly, “I know you’re mad Minnie – but that potion was perfect until you did that,”
“What if he dies and I didn’t do everything in my power to help?” Minerva demanded, trying to push down her anger at having just destroyed her potion.
“You’re pretty fond of this Peter then,” Walter sighed, “fine, Minnie, but there’s got to be another way,”
“But,” Francesca said, raising her eyebrows for a seconds as if deep in thought, “if nobody else asks me to Hogsmeade then I’m going to look like a bit of an idiot, aren’t I?”
“Not really,” Jane said, sipping her pumpkin juice carefully as she listened to Francesca talk (Minerva had lost the thread of the conversation half way through – she’d been distracted by thinking about having to sit through another of Slughorn’s parties tonight), “we could all just go together,”
“But then,” Francesca said, placing down her spoon, “he might be insulted that I said no, if I had another date lined up say... Tom Riddle,”
“Give it a rest,” Minerva said, looking up from her book to give Francesca a withering look, “he’s not even... he’s not even a good person,”
“He’s an orphan!” Francesca said, “Anyway, I don’t want him to be offended. I’d just rather become a nun than go on a date with him,”
“What’s going on?” Minerva asked, raising her eyebrows at her friend in interest, “when are you moving into the monastery?”
“Lockhart asked her to go to Hogsmeade with him,” Jane said, “you really don’t listen to a word we say, do you?” Jane asked with a tired sigh, “don’t apologise,” She said with an eye roll, “we’re used to it,”
“Which Lockhart?” Minerva said, sending Jane an apologetic look anyway. Francesca was so busy deliberating over the imminent rejection of one of the Lockhart brothers that she hadn’t picked up on the fact that Minerva had blocked out her long tirade – something which would undoubtedly save Minerva’s eardrums from a long stream of complaints.
“Eldridge,” Jane said with a grin.
“Congratulations,” Minerva said with a hint of a smile, “how does it feel, Franny, to attract a Lockhart?”
“No need to be condescending,” Francesca said primly, picking her spoon back up from the desk and continuing to eat her porridge with an unimpressed expression.
“Eldridge Lockhart?” Minerva questioned, sending a contemptuous look over at the Ravenclaw table, “he’s never even talked to you, has he?”
“Well, yes actually,” Francesca said, “we’re in Care of Magical Creatures together and he lets me copy his homework. Anyway, better Eldridge than Galvarium,”
“Is it?” Jane asked, now looking towards the Hufflepuff table, “I’ll admit he has a slightly better name,”
“But otherwise,” Minerva continued, “I’d say they’re about on the same level. A level that I’d like to call ‘avoid at all costs,’”
“Now you’re just being cruel,” Francesca said, “he’s actually quite nice. I know he’s hardly a catch but at least... well, at least he isn’t as arrogant as Tristan,”
“Oh no,” Jane said, “You want us to tell you to say yes. You want to go to Hogsmeade with Eldridge Lockhart,”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Minerva said, “she wouldn’t be so darn idiotic,”
“Well at least I’m not going to spend all of next Saturday locked up in my room writing letters to a bloody muggle!” Francesca said rather loudly, capturing the attention of a group of seventh year boys who began giving Minerva some peculiar looks.
“Francesca,” Jane said with a sigh, “great idea advertising the fact that Minnie likes muggle when there’s an attacker running round the school after blood traitors,”
“Take her side then,” Francesca said wildly, “you can write to Peter’s brother. Let’s all have muggle pen pals and ignore their friends –”
“If you want to go out with Eldridge, go out with Eldridge,” Minerva said curtly, shutting her book and glaring at the offending seventh year boys.
“Fine,” Francesca said huffily, “Okay, but... you won’t tell anyone, will you? I don’t want everyone to laugh at me,”
“Of course not,” Minerva said, exchanging a glance with Jane before turning back to her book feeling distinctly amused, “but don’t bring Peter up,” she added sharply, “that’s no one’s business but mine,”
“Sorry, Minnie,” Francesca said half way through their transfiguration lesson, “I didn’t mean for Tristan Peakes to hear about the whole Peter thing and go on about it for two hours...”
“I’m sure you didn’t,” Minerva said, glancing at the front of the classroom and watching as Professor Dumbledore demonstrated the spell to Timothy Blake a second time, “and I’m sure that I might completely accidentally tell your brother about your little date with Lockhart, or Tom Riddle that you’d like to marry him,”
“Minnie,” Francesca whined, leaning over her view and pouting slightly, “It wasn’t my fault!”
“And yet, who’s having to deal with Tristan following me around asking me about my muggle-lover?” Minerva snapped, prodding her gerbil with her wand to vent her frustration.
“Looking forward to the match on Saturday, Jane?” Walter Davis asked, pointing his chair towards their table.
“Don’t mention it now, Minnie’s already on the warpath,” Francesca sighed, poking Minerva with her wand and accidentally signing a hole through her robes.
“You know, Francesca, I don’t think you’re helping,” Walter suggested lightly, raising his eyebrows and leaning forward, “Match, Saturday, Jane?”
“I don’t know,” Jane sighed, “Everyone’s going to be watching me,”
“Yeah, that’s Quidditch,” Walter said with a smile, “you’ll get used to it, and Minnie?”
“Will people stop calling me Minnie?” Minerva snapped loudly, her lips thinking to an absurd degree. Jane shrank back away from her, but Walter simply grinned and stretched his fingers across the desk.
“Does your muggle ‘friend’ call you Minnie?” Tristan called from the back of the classroom.
“The next person to talk to me is going to wish they’d been born without the ability to speak,” Minerva muttered, balling her hands into fists on the desk before taking a deep breath and assessing her ferret again.
“Anyway, Minnie,” Walter said with an even bigger grin than before, “meet me in the common room after potions,”
“Why?” She demanded through gritted teeth.
“You’ll find it very interesting, don’t worry,”
“Are you worried?” Francesca said in a carrying whisper, after Walter Davis had pulled his chair back to its original position and continued sending pointless sparks in the direction of his guinea pig (the poor creature was trying, unsuccessfully, to dodge the red light).
“I think she’s worried,” Jane answered from Minerva’s other side, “she looks worried,”
“I’d be worried,” Francesca continued.
“Eldridge Lockhart, anyone?” Minerva said brightly.
“Shush!” Francesca said, “Don’t be malicious now Minerva, it’s not in your character,”
“You’ve got nothing on me,” Jane said with a smug smile, as she sat up and inadvertently turned her guinea big bright purple. Francesca’s ferret was currently attached to her robes as she attempted to stroke it. Minerva considered her ferret for a few minutes before pointing her wand at it deliberately.
“Minnie’s done it again!” Francesca said loudly, making a point of pointing at the spot where her ferret had been moments before.
“Franny Lockhart...” Minerva said quietly, and Francesca dutifully shut up and continued petting her ferret lovingly.
“I lost my guinea pig,” Walter said later, “That’s essentially the same as vanishing it, isn’t it?”
“You didn’t lose it; you put it in Tristan’s bag because he’s scared of small furry creature,”
“And it was hilarious,” Walter said, “anyway, you’re going to have to come upstairs,” Minerva’s eyebrows shot up her face so quickly that they seemed to disappear in her face, “Minnie, come on, trust me on this,”
“Is that my only option?”
“Yes, now come on... don’t tell me you’ve never snuck into the boys dorms before,”
“Really, you’re asking me that question,” Minerva said, folding her arms as she followed him up the steps. She was half expecting some sort of alarm to go off (because she had a vivid memory of the undignified slide down the stairs that had occurred when Tristan Peakes had attempted to make the climb) but after the first step she relaxed little.
“Okay, so... I’ve been brewing a potion,”
“In your room?”
“In the bathtub,” He nodded, pushing open the door and letting her into his dorm. Minerva raised another eyebrow before stepping into the dormitory and looking around disdainfully – it was very similar to her own, the only difference being the number of beds and the amount of mess.
“So, you’re washing..?”
“Prefects bathroom,” Walter said with a grin, “anyway, I think... I think it’s about right,”
“Any particular potion?” Walter pushed open the door of the boy’s bathroom and stepped inside.
“Healing potion,” Walter said and suddenly Minerva wanted to hug him (which was not something that had particularly happened, well, ever before this moment). Then it passed, very quickly.
“You imbecile! You don’t think any of your dorm mates are going to put two and two together and realise that you stole the potions!”
“I didn’t,” Walter said lazily, unhooking a sign reading ‘do not disturb’ over the top of the rail and pulling back the shower curtain. The cauldron was suspended from the ceiling by a rope of glittering blue light above delicate pink flames that seemed to burn without touching the white porcelain of the bath tub. Minerva stared at this arrangement for a few seconds and found it hard not to appear impressed, “relax, Minnie I’m not stupid – they think I’m brewing a simple truth potion,”
“And that’s just fine in your dormitory, is it?”
“They’re used to it,” Walter shrugged, “you don’t think I set this all up for your benefit do you?” He grinned, peering over the potion for a few seconds and stirring it twice counter clockwise, “I’ve been doing this for years – they’re hardly going to be suspicious at all,”
“So you just illegally brew truth potions all the time?” Minerva asked, crossing her arms, “and then I suppose you just spike people’s drinks and then...”
“No,” Walter said, “I sell them,”
“And surely that’s worse?!” Minerva demanded, “To whom? Anyone who has enough galleons? Merlin, Walter – do you realise how much trouble you could be in? And so you just told Tristan and all the others that you’re just brewing another truth potion to sell to some, I don’t know -”
“No, I told them you needed it,” Walter grinned, prodding the flames at the base of the cauldron with his wand.
Minerva’s lips thinned significantly, “You told Tristan Peakes that I’m paying you for truth potions?”
“No, I told him I’m brewing you one for free,”
“If I wanted a truth potion I would do it myself,” Minerva said, stalking out of the bathroom with her arms folded.
“Ahh, come one,” Walter said, pulling back the shower curtain and closing the bathroom door closely behind him, “you haven’t even thanked me for helping out your little muggle boyfriend yet,”
“Thank you,” Minerva said stiffly, her nostrils flaring dangerously.
“So you’re not denying it then,”
“Walter Davis,” Minerva said sharply, turning around to face him with her eyebrows raised, “Peter Anderson has been my next door neighbour since I was seven years old, I have seen him once in the past two years after I discovered that he may lose the ability to walk. It seems to be everybody’s mission today to irritate me beyond usual levels, but if you say one more thing you will need that healing potion yourself. Are we clear?”
“Crystal,” Water said, “one more thing,”
“Chose your words carefully,” Minerva said, walking out of the boys dormitory and pausing for a second on the staircase for Walter to catch up with her.
“I’m nearly out of some of the ingredients,”
“You want me to help you steal some from the supply closet?”
“No,” Walter said, skipping down the stairs in front of her, “you don’t always have to steal everything, Minnie. My plan was just going to buy some in Hogsmeade next Saturday. So...?”
“So?” Minerva repeated.
“You want to come?”
“Is my presence really necessary?”
“Well, I’m doing you a favour. The least you could do, really...”
“Can’t I just pay you for the ingredients and have done?”
“I couldn’t take your money, Minnie,” Walter said with another grin.
“Just my time,” Minerva said, reaching the bottom of the staircase. She thought about it for a long second; she had reserved next Saturday for catching up on homework and enjoying them empty common room whilst everyone else was in Hogsmeade, but Jane would probably have forced her into going anyway. Walter was undoubtedly annoying, but if the healing potion was successful she wasn’t exactly sure how she would be able to thank him. She could just about bring herself to extend her goodwill to keeping him company when he was buying ingredients for her potion “Fine.”
Tom Riddle seemed to be the most frustrated out of all the Prefects about the added duties they were forced to comply with, although Tristan was the first to point out that whoever the attacker was obviously didn’t answer to the authority of the Prefects given the first attack had been such a slight on the Head Girl.
“So really, Dippett is actually putting all of us in danger,” Tristan said impressively as they stood around in the third of Slughorn’s parties this year. Minerva was incredibly fed up of them now and she wished more than anything that they weren’t so ruddy beneficial for gaining contacts and generally being known.
“Oh, pipe down Tristan,” Minerva said loudly, “unless you’re scared about the safety of your pet rat I really don’t think you have much to worry about,”
“See,” Geoffrey Cuffe, another Gryffindor in her year, said, appearing by her side with a grin, “you don’t believe there’s a danger – Water was wrong,”
“No, I just don’t like Tristan,” Minerva returned, taking a glass of water from the drinks table and looking round feeling tired. Between Walter, Francesca and Jane she participated in enough conversations– there was no need for anyone else to get involved.
“You don’t like anybody much,” Geoffrey continued, “except that muggle bloke and Walter, where’s Walter anyway?”
“Brewing, I believe,” Minerva said, “although I think you should direct that question at one of your fellow dorm mates, and not me,”
“Oh, but you’d know – wouldn’t you Minerva?”
“I don’t know what you mean,” she said, taking a delicate sip of her glass of water and wishing that one of her friends were around so she had someone better to talk to.
“Hogsmeade next Saturday, is it?” Geoffrey suggested lightly.
“What’s that?” Tristan asked, bustling over importantly.
“Minerva has a date next Saturday,”
“Muggles can’t see Hogsmeade though, can they? Anyway, I thought your muggle was an invalid,” Tristan said with a scoff and an arrogant smirk at his friend, “is it just the leg, or is it brain damage too?”
“You’d do well to shut up,” Minerva said lightly, still looking at her glass of water and struggling to remain impassive. Everybody seemed determined to wind her up to day – she didn’t know when annoying Minerva McGonagall had turned into some sort of sport but it was quickly becoming very boring.
“She’s playing the muggle and Walter off against each other,” Geoffrey said with a grin, “my money’s on Walter,”
“My money is on one minute,” Minerva added, setting her empty glass of water down on the drinks table.
“One minute?” Geoffrey questioned.
“Until I lose my temper,”
“You’re all talk,” Tristan said confidently, “all these threats, and how many times have you ever followed through with them? Even a Huffepuff could do that maths – even one of your idiotic friends,”
It had been a long time since Minerva had gotten so angry that she’d pulled her wand out on someone, and it seemed fitting that the first time it happened this year would be to someone as insolent as Tristan Peakes. All it took was one, graceful moment to successfully shut him up.
“I guess I’ll change that to thirty seconds,” Minerva said darkly, her wand pointed at the base of his throat. Tristan swallowed and tried to take a step backwards to avoid the tip of her wand but was woefully unsuccessful, “I could just silence you... or I could remind you why it is better for your health if you don’t annoy me,”
“And I thought this party was going to be boring,” A smooth voice said from behind her.
“Riddle,” Minerva said politely, continuing to stare down Tristan who was looking increasingly worried by the moment, “a little busy,”
“Yes,” Tom Riddle said, “and fortunately for you, so is Slughorn. As much as I would love to continue watching you threaten him, I didn’t think you’d want to be caught breaking the rules,”
“You’re lucky,” Minerva said to Tristan, dropping her wand and glaring at him one last time before taking a fresh glass of water. Tristan muttered something about how Walter was going to be along later before shuffling off to talk to one of his Ravenclaw friends in a low voice. She suspected that he was plotting.
“It’s a shame,” Tom said, leaning against the table and raising his eyebrows, “you might have almost made turning up worth it,”
“Got something better to do, I suppose?” Minerva asked dryly, feeling slightly elated at putting Tristan in his place at least for a little while.
“Yes, actually,” he replied – glancing over at his fellow Slytherins for a second – “and it would have been very convenient to have the dormitory to myself,”
“Breaking the rules, I suppose?”
“A minor infringement... nothing serious, really... just a little investigation,”
“On what?” Minerva asked sharply.
“Transfiguration, actually,” he nodded his head to her.
She suspected it was mainly down to the way Tristan had looked at least a little sheepish upon the arrival of his saviour, but there was something mildly flattering about the way Tom Riddle had broken off from his usual group of exclusive Slytherin friends – and if Minerva’s friends were ‘stupid’ then Tom Riddle had chosen the most influential and powerful group of students in the school to follow him around – to talk to her and to stop her getting into trouble. She couldn’t help but feel slightly satisfied that her intellectual capability was worth more than their money – because Tom Riddle never spent time and effort when there was nothing in it for himself.
“Animal,” Tom returned.
“So, mildly,” She said with a satisfied smile. Animal transfiguration wasn’t covered in Hogwarts until Seventh year, and even then the subject was only just touched upon.
“Something like that. Anyway, I was seconds away from a breakthrough before being dragged away to indulge Slughorn’s little fantasies of importance,” Tom said with a grimace, glancing over at their Potions Professor, “... if I could just sneak off,”
“What animal?” Minerva asked.
“I borrowed a Niffler, probably destroyed the dormitory by now,”
“A magical animal?” Minerva asked, unable to hide the fact that she was very nearly impressed. It was twice as hard to perform transfiguration on any animal that had magical blood running through its veins, and although a Niffler wasn’t a particularly complicated animal – a magical mammal was almost beyond her capabilities. Not quite, but nearly, “you want to flick your wrist more,” She said, “or it will retain some of its characteristics post transfiguration,”
“A gold finding spider,” Tom questioned, “might even be more useful that way,”
“How far off do you think you are?”
“Ten minutes,” Tom said, glancing at his watch and then back at Slughorn, “but... I suppose it will have to wait till next weekend,”
“Go now,” Minerva said, glancing at Slughorn who was still involved in the middle of a deep conversation with Miranda about something or other (Minerva had always gotten the impression that Miranda hadn’t liked Slughorn very much, but they’d been talking for a solid fifteen minutes at this point – she’d been acting very peculiar recently. Minerva put it down to shock over her beloved cat), “I’ll cover for you,”
“A deviation from the rules?” Tom asked, raising an eyebrow.
“A minor infringement, for the sake of Transfiguration. Only for ten minutes mind you,”
“Tell them I’ve gone to the bathroom,” Tom said, a smile twisting onto his face – it definitely didn’t suit him – before slipping out of the room and into the corridor leaving Minerva, once again, on her own.
Exactly how she liked it.
“Where’s Tom?” Slughorn asked, fifteen minutes later when he’d gone round and talked to each of his favourite individually, before realising that his particular favourite was nowhere to be seen.
“He just went to the bathroom,” Minerva said, glancing towards the door and wondering what was talking Walter so long. He’d assured her that he would be, at the most, twenty minutes late but now they were forty minutes into the party (a particularly dull one, Minerva noted) and there was still no sign of him, “are you okay Miranda?” Minerva said, turning to look at the Head Girl concern.
“I feel a little sick, actually,” She said. She definitely looked sick, especially her eyes, and Minerva nodded with a frown. She looked a little mad actually, as though there was something in her eyes desperately fighting to get out – a long way off from her usual state of calm brilliance.
“Maybe you should go to the hospital wing,” Minerva suggested, “I’ll go with you, if you like,” Anything to escape the dragging party.
“No, no,” Miranda said, “I’ll just walk on my own – it’s quite all right...I’m fine, really,” Minerva watched her walk to the door for a few seconds before tearing her gaze away and facing her teacher instead. She was about to enquire about one of the potions they had begun in that past lesson when a high pitch scream ripped through the air.
Everything suddenly seemed to be happening very fast: somebody dropped a glass; everybody seemed to swarm towards the door in a panicked frenzy, spilling out into the corridor before freezing completely.
“What’s happened to him?” Tristan Peakes demanded his eyes wide as he stared at the frozen body on the floor.
“I just... I just found him like this!” Miranda said, her eyes welling up with tears, “I just came out here to go to the hospital wing and... and I just found him like this!”
“Somebody get Dumbledore,” Minerva said, taking another step forward and taking in the expression of surprise in the glassy eyes. She bent down over his body feeling sick – he looked as though he had been turned into stone. She pressed two fingers against the side of his wrist before withdrawing her hand quickly. His skin was ice cold.
“What’s going on?” Tom Riddle asked, hurrying back onto the scene looking alarmed, “what’s happened? What...?” The crowd cleared slightly as he approached, permitting him to see the frozen form, “Minerva, who is it? Is he dead?
“Walter Davis,” Minerva said quietly, a lump rising up in her throat, “and... I don’t know, I couldn’t... I couldn’t feel a pulse,”
A hufflepuff let out a soft scream, Miranda was still crying and Minerva was trying to think.
“It must be the same as before; maybe he’s just... petrified,”
“What’s that near his side?” Tom asked, reaching forwards.
“A glass potion’s flask,” Minerva said, swallowing deeply, “I need to take it, people will ask questions...”
“Professor Slughorn,” Tom Riddle said loudly, getting back up to his feet and addressing everybody, “we need to take Davis to the hospital wing and we need to work out what’s wrong with him,” Minerva glanced upwards. Tom Riddle was using his naturally ability to command respect from those around him, allowing her enough time to reach out and slip the flask into her pockets of her robes. He was helping her (she’d hadn’t thought it was capable of anything quite so selfless – maybe he would use this against her at some point).
“Professor Dumbledore!” Miranda exclaimed, “Professor, it wasn’t me I swear – I found him like that,” Minerva looked up and felt a flood of relief as she saw Dumbledore walking quickly down the corridor with a Hufflepuff girl in tow, so it seemed somebody had listened to her.
“Miss Goshawk,” Dumbledore said, “if you accompany me and Mr Davis to the hospital wing I am sure the matron will be able to offer you a calming draft,” Tom Riddle crouched back down next to her.
“Have you got it?” He asked her quietly.
“Professor Slughorn,” Dumbledore continued, Minerva glanced up at her potions professor and noted that he looked extraordinarily white and hadn’t uttered anything more than a stream of shocked mumblings, “McGonagall,” he said, glancing down at where she was still staring at Walter’s form – she didn’t think it had hit her yet - “and... Riddle,” he said, pausing for a long moment and setting his piercing gaze on her. He seemed moderately surprised to see her with Riddle (it was common knowledge that Dumbledore was the only Professor that didn’t continually sing Riddle’s praises, which was one of the reasons why Minerva had never trusted him in the first place). “Come with me, the rest of you – to bed,” he said sternly.
Minerva stood up shakily and found that it was slowly beginning to hit her that the corpse like figure on the floor was Walter.
“Now, tell me – what happened,” Dumbledore demanded, turning to her with his blue eyes blazing.
She’d remembered Walter’s potion precisely the minute Professor Dumbledore had asked her if she was okay, and implored her to go and sleep too (promising to update her on the state of her friend as soon as anything changed). Sleep seemed an impossibility both due to the issue of the potion and the sober Gryffindors who continually question her well into the night.
She stayed up until three in the morning this time in a hope that it would ensure that everyone would be fast asleep, but given one of their number had been petrified a few hours ago she could hardly be certain that any of them had managed to sleep at all. Still, she had no choice. Who knew how long it would take before Walter’s potion bubbled over and burnt a hole through the sixth year bathroom? Tristan, Geoffrey and the others might have taken his word that it was a truth potion, but Dumbledore would not be so easily fooled – and then the second Walter woke up he would be kicked out of the school for stealing.
She swallowed and pulled her dressing gown closer around her, pushing open the door of the sixth year boy’s dormitory as quietly as she could.
She took another step into the dormitory before freezing and listened to the rhythmic sounds of six people who were quite clearly fast asleep. She took one more tentative step before dashing into the bathroom and pulling back the shower curtain.
The cauldron had gone.
“Minerva,” a voice said behind and she whirled around so fast that it made her dizzy, “I thought you might turn up here,”
“Tristan,” Minerva breathed, desperately trying to steady her breathing after the shock, “I... the potion,”
“I know,” Tristan said, “I vanished it earlier and... you know what’s interesting? It wasn’t truth potion,”
“Forget it, Tristan, it doesn’t matter – it’s notimportant,”
“I’m going to find out what it was,” Tristan said quietly.
“How?” Minerva asked, folding her arms over her chest.
Tristan smiled, pulling a small glass vial out of his pocket and waving it in front of her face, “I kept myself a sample,” Minerva made a grab for it, “now, now, save that for tomorrow,”
“We’re a player down,” Tristan said, narrowing his eyes at her, “so you’re Gryffindor’s new beater,”
“What?” Minerva asked, “I’ve never played beater in my life! I’ve never even held a beater’s bat!”
“That’s your problem,” Tristan shrugged, “but you better watch it if you make us lose, Minnie,”
“It’s three in the morning, the night before the match. You can’t make me play,”
“I’ll just take this to Dumbledore right now then. I wonder how he’ll react to his favourite student illegally brewing potions in the boy’s dormitory...”
“Why are you doing this to me?” Minerva asked desperately.
“You made a fool of me,” Tristan said darkly, “and I know it’s your fault Walter’s all petrified,”
“How is it my fault?” Minerva said, blinking desperately, “how?”
“He told you he was muggle born,” Tristan said, “nobody else knew – the monster feeds on dirty blood,”
“What? I didn’t even...” Minerva stopped suddenly, remembering – ‘You know about the war too? My parents are muggle see and I always find it incredible the way the magical world just ignores it’ – Minerva hadn’t even considered the fact that Walter had been confessing this to her, she’d barely been listening, but if nobody else knew that must mean that Walter had been ashamed of his muggle heritage, “we were walking past a great big group of Slytherin’s – anyone could have heard!” Minerva said desperately.
“You’re rather friendly with Tom Riddle, too,” Tristan said thoughtfully.
“He’s a bloody orphan, how could he be the heir of Slytherin?” Minerva said desperately, “give me the potion, Tristan,”
“No. You are going to play beater in tomorrow’s game and unless you find out who or what attacked Walter then I’m going to take this to Dumbledore and watch you get expelled,”
“Why?” Minerva stammered, blinking up at him stupidly, “why do you hate me so much?”
“Walter is my friend, Minerva,”
“It’s got nothing to do with me,”
“Prove it,” Tristan said simply, pocketing the potion and smiling at her triumphantly, “and get a good night’s sleep, we’ve got a big game tomorrow,”
Minerva McGonagall very rarely cried, but she spent the rest of that night crying into letters to Peter as she poured out her soul to him through her pen. And now she had more than one person to miss.
One of the most dramatic chapters I've ever written I think. I love this story a lot right now and PLEASE REVIEW it's my underloved story and.... and yeah... thanks for reading guys :)
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