SIYE Time:15:11 on 17th December 2018

Harry Potter and Love's Changes
By ScubaDoc3

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Category: Pre-OotP
Characters:Dumbledore, Harry/Ginny, Hermione Granger, Minerva McGonagall, Ron Weasley
Genres: Angst, Drama, General
Warnings: Mental Abuse, Mild Language, Spouse/Adult/Child Abuse, Violence/Physical Abuse
Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 45
Summary: After Harry is injured protecting the philosopher's stone, Minerva McGonnagall promises herself that she will do a better job looking after him. That promise will eventually lead to large changes in Harry's life. This will ultimately be Harry/Ginny, but since it starts at the end of Harry's first year, it will take a while for any romantic relationships to develop.

This is my first fanfic and I have no idea how long it will be or how long it will take me to post.
Hitcount: Story Total: 12554; Chapter Total: 1211
Awards: View Trophy Room

Author's Notes:
Hi everyone! It is day 3 of writing this story and I am posting the third chapter. Iím not sure if Iíll be able to keep the frenetic pace of posting a chapter a day (especially on weekdays since I work), but I hope to keep things going fairly quickly. Honestly, as crazy as it sounds I keep writing because Iím really curious what is going to happen next (I really am taking this one chapter at a time). Thank you so much to all of you who have reviewed, followed, and favorited this story! It is really encouraging to know that many of you are taking the time to read this and apparently getting some enjoyment out of it.

This chapter completely focuses on Minerva and her reaction to seeing Harry at the Dursleys. I promise you (especially my concerned SIYE readers) that Harry and Ginny will both become the focus of this story in addition to Minerva. Right now, Minerva is the only character whose actions are not congruent with cannon so most of the focus is going to be on her. I personally believe that Ginnyís experience with Tom and and the Chamber of Secrets is a big reason that she is such a perfect match for Harry, so I wonít be changing much of the year 2 plot except for showing Minerva working behind the scenes and perhaps adding a few conversations between her and Harry. I also hope to delve into more of Ginnyís experience and perspective than JKR did in the book.



Chapter 3: Minerva’s Mission

Poppy was sitting at her desk going over some paperwork and checking her supply inventory before the beginning of the new term. BANG! Poppy jumped out of her seat and drew her wand in reaction to the door slamming open. Once her brain caught up with her body, she realized she was now standing behind her desk with her wand trained on none other than her best friend, Minerva McGonagall.

“Minerva! What is going on? Are you okay? You frightened me terribly by storming in here like you did.” Poppy asked as she shakily lowered her wand and started to move toward her friend. Minerva didn’t even seem to notice that Poppy was in the room. She was still near the entrance to the wing pacing back and forth. Minerva looked uncharacteristically frazzled. Her clothes were rumpled and many pieces of her hair had fallen away from her normally tight bun. Trying again to break through Minerva’s distracted state, Poppy yelled, “MINERVA!”

Finally hearing her friend, Minerva stopped pacing and looked at Poppy. She noticed Poppy’s look of concern and was surprised that her friend had moved so close to her without her even noticing. Minerva forced herself to take a deep breath and exhaled slowly in order to calm herself down. “I’m sorry. I’m a little upset at the moment.”

Poppy tried to hold back, but she burst out laughing. “A little upset?” Poppy laughed. “You call this a little upset? What happened to you?”

“I went to check on Harry.” Minerva said seriously.

Poppy’s mirth immediately disappeared and her stomach dropped upon the mention of Harry Potter. Knowing what she knew about the abuse Harry had suffered in his past, she was afraid to hear what Minerva was about to tell her. She was terrified that she had doomed the poor boy to suffering by trusting Albus Dumbledore when he said it would be best to send him back to his relatives. Looking now at Minerva, Poppy realized that if she continued to withhold the information she knew about Harry’s past and Minerva learned that Poppy had kept it from her, it could end a decades long friendship.

“Why did you check on him? Is he okay? Does he need medical attention? Do you need my help?” Poppy asked quickly without giving Minerva the chance to reply. She also started walking toward the corner of her office where she kept her supply bag that held the potions she might need in an emergency.

“No, he doesn’t need medical attention as far as I could see. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to get you worked up as well. I came to you because I just need to vent and I need you to be the voice of reason because I know I am upset and I need to make sure I am making rational decisions right now.”

“Okay, I can do that for you. Goodness knows you’ve done it plenty of times for me, the least I can do is return the favor. Please have a seat and we will talk.” Poppy motioned to one of the chairs in her office and then moved to sit in the chair across from it. With a wave of her wand, Poppy shut the door and waited for Minerva to start speaking. When Minerva waved her own wand and placed privacy wards on the room, Poppy raised her eyebrow, but continued to say nothing and waited for her friend to speak.

“I went to check on Harry because I received notification that he had been sent a warning from the Ministry for Magic for using magic in the presence of muggles.” Minerva began. “After hearing directly from Albus that in order to appease those horrid muggles he placed Harry with, he had prevented any sort of investigation into the incident, I decided I should personally ensure that Harry had the chance to tell his story.” Looking down at her hands in shame she continued, “After not listening to Harry about the stone, I wanted to try to make it up to him. I wanted to give him the opportunity to explain since denying him that opportunity in the past produced such disastrous results.”

“Min, you’ve got to stop beating yourself up about that.” Poppy said. “You couldn’t have known what was going to happen. When are you going to forgive yourself?”

Sighing Minerva looked back up at her friend, “I don’t know if I can forgive myself. Especially after what I heard and saw last night.” Minerva then explained to her friend how she had heard Harry tell the Weasley boys that he wasn’t guilty of performing magic in front of muggles. As Minerva was explaining the bars on Harry’s window and what she overheard about the locks on Harry’s door as well as Vernon’s reaction to Harry’s “escape”, Poppy’s head dropped and she stared at the floor. In a tell-tell sign of stress, Poppy started fidgeting with the bracelet she always wore on her right wrist. Poppy’s actions reminded Minerva of the time Poppy had made a mistake and almost lost a patient during healer training. Minerva began to wonder why Poppy was acting in such a manner so she asked, “Poppy, what is it? What aren’t you telling me?”

Poppy looked up with tears in her eyes and a pleading look on her face as she stared back at her friend. “I’m so sorry, Minerva, but I just couldn’t bear to tell you before. Albus said he would take care of things so I didn’t see the point in making you worry.”

“Make me worry? What are you talking about?” Minerva asked, confused.

Taking a deep breath, Poppy replied, “I didn’t tell you about my findings when Harry was here in the hospital wing at the end of the term. You already felt so guilty about the fact that he was hurt and I know you still agonized over not doing more to prevent him from being placed with his relatives. I decided it was best for you if you didn’t know. I didn’t want to have to tell you that Harry is an abused child.” Ashamed at this proclamation, Poppy looked down at the floor and could no longer meet Minerva’s eyes.

Minerva felt dizzy as all the air seemed to rush out of her lungs. She felt shaky and all she could hear was the sound of her own heart pounding in her chest. Her hand reflexively moved over her heart as she tried to force herself to breathe. She was hoping she had somehow misheard because she knew Poppy wasn’t one to use a term like “abuse” if it wasn’t true.

“Min, I am so sorry I didn’t tell you and I am even more sorry that I failed that boy by not doing so. I wasn’t happy when Albus said he had to go back, but I trusted him to make sure Harry would be protected.” Poppy then looked at her friend and realized that Minerva’s hand was on her chest and she had become deathly pale. Her eyes looking toward the ceiling, Minerva didn’t even appear to be hearing what Poppy was saying. Poppy rushed over to Minerva and grabbed the hand that wasn’t clutched to her chest. Poppy felt Minerva’s pulse in her wrist and noticed that her heart was racing as well as the fact that Minerva barely seemed to be breathing.

“Minerva, look at me! Minerva, you have to take deep breaths.” Poppy said in a commanding tone. Minerva’s panic filled eyes finally locked on Poppy’s and she took a shaky breath. “Min, I need you to keep breathing. I’m going to get you a calming draft to help you, okay?”

Hearing Poppy’s concerned words, Minerva nodded as she struggled to calm herself. It felt like she was breathing through a thick blanket, but she struggled to do so as Poppy had ordered. With Poppy helping hold her hand steady, she managed to drink the potion Poppy handed her and immediately felt her heart begin to slow. Her chest seemed to loosen and she was finally able to take a deep, full breath. Poppy was kneeling in front of her and had once again grabbed her hand. As Minerva calmed down, she was moved by the look of compassion and concern she was receiving from Poppy.

Noticing that Minerva’s pallor had begun to return to normal and the potion had taken effect, Poppy spoke, “I am so sorry.” Her voice trembled and tears began to fall as she continued, “I truly thought Albus would take care of things. You felt so guilty and were so down on yourself that I thought it best not to tell you.” Poppy continued to ramble about her reasoning and her guilt over Harry’s experience.

“Poppy, stop. As much as I would like to be, I can't be angry with you right now. I am angry at myself and I am outraged at Albus bloody Dumbledore, but I can't be mad at you for doing the same thing I have done for eleven years. I can't fault you for trusting Albus to do the right thing.” Minerva then reached out and hugged her good friend. Stepping back, Minerva looked at Poppy with a burning look of determination and said, “I have to make this right. I must get Harry away from those people and I am going to have to make it happen right under Albus’s damn nose.”

“What do you need from me?” Poppy asked mirroring her friend’s look of determination.

“The first thing I need is to see your records for Harry. I need to know what has happened to the poor child.”

Poppy walked over to her filing cabinet and grabbed a thick folder. As she handed it to Minerva she cautioned, “This is his medical record. It is going to be difficult for you to read. Harry has had a very difficult life.”

Minerva opened the folder and was both saddened and shocked by the amount of information it contained. Poppy had recorded multiple broken bones that had occurred as early as age 3. She had also noted that it was unlikely he received any medical attention for his injuries since many had healed improperly even to muggle standards. Poppy had also documented that a history of malnourishment was responsible for Harry's small stature. To combat this, Poppy had recommended a regimen of nutrient potions and strengthening potions until Harry achieved a proper weight and height for his age. “Did Albus read all of this?” Minerva asked as she finally finished going through the catalogue of injuries.

“Yes, I showed it to him as soon as I had finished writing it. Harry was still in the hospital wing at the time.”

“Did he ask you to provide these potions you recommended?”

“No, I just assumed he asked Severus to provide them.”

“Is there any way you will be able to check and see if Harry received those potions over the summer? Would you be able to determine if Harry received any further injuries while away form school?”

“The easiest way would be to simply ask Harry.” Upon seeing Minerva’s skeptical look, Poppy continued, “There are some diagnostic spells that will show me any injuries that occurred within the last three months, but I would have to do another complete medical examination for anything to be conclusive. I assume you are trying to keep this from Albus so I am not sure what pretense we can use for me to have Harry overnight in the hospital wing again.”

“We will figure something out. You are correct that I don’t want Albus to know what is going on. If he realizes we are trying to prove how neglectful he has been as Harry’s magical guardian, he may take steps to prevent us from interfering.” Minerva replied. Minerva then stood and started pacing again. Talking mainly to herself she said, “It shocks me that James didn’t leave other provisions in his will for Harry’s care in the event Sirius couldn’t care for him. I know James never expected to be betrayed, but he also knew that it was a dangerous time for everyone. Lily avoided even talking about her sister so I can’t imagine she would have chosen her to raise Harry. I need to start researching to see what legal options we might have if we can show everyone the poor decisions Albus has made. Perhaps I should contact Madam Amelia Bones. Even when she was a student she had a strong drive to do what was right and protect those who couldn’t protect themselves. With her position as the head of the DMLE and as a member of the Wizengamot, she should be able to help get things done without Albus’s involvement.”

As she continued to pace, Minerva realized Poppy was still listening to her. Looking up at her friend she said, “Harry Potter is now my number one priority. He deserves someone who will fight for him and it is time I finally started doing that. Thank you for listening to me and telling me what you know. I’m going to go start doing some research and make a few floo calls.” Then with a flourish of her wand she cancelled the privacy spells as she walked out the door.

Poppy sat back down at her desk and smiled as she thought about how Harry’s life was going to change since he now had Minerva McGonagall on a mission to take care of him.
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