|SIYE Time:15:15 on 17th December 2018|
Harry Potter and Love's Changes
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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
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: 12556; Chapter Total: 1092
Awards: View Trophy Room
Chapter 5: A Conspicuous Arrival
September 1st was always a hectic day for the Deputy Headmistress of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. After years in that position, Minerva had a well established routine that she followed in order to get all the necessary last minute preparations completed before students arrived in the evening. However, when she received a message from the conductor of the Hogwarts Express explaining that Ms. Granger had reported that Harry Potter and Ron Weasley were not on the train, Minerva’s plans for the day completely fell apart.
Minerva’s first action was to floo Molly and Arthur Weasley to make sure the boys were with them since they had somehow managed to miss the train. She knew that the Weasleys were notorious for arriving on the platform at the last second so she figured they just hadn’t quite made it in time to get all the kids on board. When Minerva reached Molly, she immediately began to worry when she saw the look on Molly’s face. Molly looked like she was panicking so Minerva asked to come through so they could talk.
Upon entering The Burrow, Minerva was appalled to hear that Molly had no idea where Ron and Harry were and that the Weasley’s car was missing. Arthur had been called into work because a flying car had been spotted so Molly was terrified that Arthur might lose his job and that additional anxiety was compounded by her fear for her son’s safety now that she had been informed he was missing. Minerva managed to hide her own panic and worry about the boys behind her usual stern mask. She talked to Molly and had her take a calming draft. Minerva left an hour later which was the soonest she felt comfortable leaving Molly.
When she returned to her office, Minerva found herself nearly overwhelmed by her feelings of worry for and anger at Harry Potter. She was furious at his idiocy in trying to fly a car to Hogwarts. Even James hadn’t pulled such an idiotic prank during his school days. Minerva was also terrified that Harry and Ron might end up injured. She knew that there was no guarantee that the enchantments on the car would be powerful enough for the boys to make it all the way to their intended destination. Every few seconds she kept imagining different ways the car could crash and the boys could be injured or killed. Her stomach rolled and she felt sick as she allowed herself to worry. She racked her brain trying discover a way to find the boys and make sure they were okay, but she couldn’t think of any way to track them. She absolutely hated the fact that all she could do was wait and hope for their safety.
Unable to truly focus on anything else, Minerva picked up the letter she had recently received from Amelia Bones. Minerva had read it several times before, but she read it again just to try to keep her mind somewhat occupied. She read:
I was deeply disturbed by what you shared with me about Harry Potter. I can’t imagine what that poor boy has been through and I want to help make sure he is cared for like he deserves. I feel guilty that I never really thought about his wellbeing beyond the tragedy of losing James and Lily so young - I only felt grateful to him for ending a war he was too young to understand or even remember.
To answer your question, it should not be a problem to remove Mr. Potter from his aunt and uncle’s home with the evidence of abuse Poppy can provide. I know that you are worried about Albus interfering and trying to maintain his status as magical guardian and continue to control things and I agree with your concerns. I think the evidence we have is definitely enough to override any authority Albus tries to assert, but my concern is what happens when Mr. Potter’s situation becomes a matter of public record. With any other child, a change of custody hearing would be public record, but pretty much ignored. I fear that with both Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore involved any proceedings in this case could turn into a media circus. I imagine that this would create an uproar in our community and that many people will try to step in and bid for guardianship of Mr. Potter in hopes of influencing him or to gain influence in his name.
In order to try to avoid the necessity of a public hearing, I did some research here at the ministry. I tried to find the record of James and Lily’s will to see if they had listed anyone other than Lily’s sister as a potential guardian, but there doesn’t seem to be a record of any will. From what I can tell, the entire Potter estate was transferred to Harry with Albus Dumbledore acting as the guardian of the estate and magical guardian and Petunia Dursley acting as Harry’s physical guardian. It seems that Albus was able to use emergency war time powers to push everything through within 24 hours of James and Lily’s deaths. It would not have been questioned at the time because there was no will and it was critical that Harry Potter remained safe.
I’m truly sorry I don’t have a better answer for your at the moment, but the only way I can see to both keep things quiet and to ensure that you would be named as Mr. Potter’s guardian would be for Albus to sign it over to you. Of course, you and I both know that he wouldn’t be willing to do so. I will continue to search for a better option for you and Mr. Potter as I am sure you will be doing as well. Regardless of the options we discover, I am confident that Mr. Potter will not have to go back to an abusive home at the end of the school year.
Just like the first time she read it, Minerva couldn’t believe that a will wasn’t filed with the Ministry. James and Lily both knew that they were in danger and Minerva knew that they would have taken all necessary and responsible steps to make sure Harry was well cared for should they die. Minerva strongly suspected that Albus had something to do with the missing will, but she couldn’t figure out what to do about it. Could the Potters have left a will in another location? Would there be one hidden in the ruins of their home in Godric’s Hollow or could there be a record of a will somewhere inside of Potter Manor? How could she get inside to look for one?
Unfortunately, Minerva still had many more questions than answers. She knew that Albus would have to be completely backed into a corner before he would willingly sign over custody, but that seemed like the best option. Perhaps the threat of his neglect of Harry becoming public knowledge would be enough to persuade him to keep things quiet and just agree with Minerva’s demands. How else could she go about making sure that she received guardianship of Harry? What did she have to do in order to fulfill the promise she had made to take care of him? Minerva sighed and leaned forward in her chair rubbing her temples to try to ease the headache she was experiencing from the tension and stress that came with loving Harry Potter.
Minerva still had a little time before students were to arrive at the castle so while hiding behind closed doors, she finally allowed a few tears to fall. She only allowed herself a couple minutes before she steeled herself and stood up. She couldn’t just sit around. She had to do something. Since it was nearly time for the train to arrive in Hogsmead, Minerva sought out Filius Flitwick to arrange for him to meet the first years prior to the sorting ceremony. She regretted not being the one to greet the new students as they entered Hogwarts, but she knew that Filius was more than up to the task and felt that Harry should be her priority. After arranging things with Filius, Minerva headed out of the castle and towards the gates. She had decided to head into Hogsmead itself and wait until the train arrived. Then if there was still no sign of Harry and Ron, she would apparate to London to visit the Ministry and the Daily Prophet in order to discover where the flying car had last been spotted so she could begin her search.
Upon arriving to the train station in Hogsmead, Minerva decided to transform to her animagus form so that she would be less conspicuous on the platform. She didn’t want the students worrying because she was there since it was completely out of the ordinary for her to be at the station when the train arrived. She watched as the Express came closer and her heart fell at the thought that Harry would not be getting off that train. As the train came to a stop, Minerva saw something that nearly made her heart stop. High in the sky, she discerned two points of light that were coming nearer. Minerva knew that the muggle repelling charms around the town of Hogsmead kept airplanes from ever passing overhead so she knew that she must be seeing the Weasley’s flying car. What worried her was that the car seemed to be descending and was weaving as if it were driverless. Frozen in terror, she stood transfixed as the car flew overhead going in the direction of the school.
Now gazing at taillights, Minerva finally unfroze and began running back toward the gates of the school. Even in her animagus form, it took several minutes to get back to the school and she had been greatly outpaced by the car. Unfortunately, she had lost sight of it as the car dropped, but her keen feline ears picked up the sound of crashing in the distance. Her stomach plummeted as she considered what the force of the crash must have been to be so loud. After a couple seconds of silence, Minerva heard several more loud bangs and the frightened screams of two boys. Feeling simultaneously worried about why the boys might be screaming and relieved by the fact the boys were obviously conscious and able to scream, Minerva continued to run to the castle.
Arriving at the castle, Minerva strained her ears to try to discern where the boys might now be. She circled the grounds and did not see either the car or Harry and Ron. She decided she would head to the great hall since that seemed the most likely place for Harry and Ron to go. In the time it took her to circle the grounds, the carriages had already arrived and the sorting was about to begin. Remaining in her feline form, Minerva entered the castle still listening as hard as she could. She then heard the distinctive voice of Severus Snape and three sets of footsteps heading toward the dungeon. Listening she heard Severus saying, “Completely arrogant, just like your father. I’ll have you expelled this time, Potter.” Minerva bristled at Snape’s comments. Yes, it was true that some of James’s pranks crossed the line, but it was completely hypocritical for Severus Snape to judge his actions. Minerva knew that Snape was responsible for bullying many students during his days as a budding death eater. James might have been somewhat arrogant and thoughtless in his early teens, but Severus Snape was downright cruel and evil well into adulthood.
Once she was within about 30 feet of Snape and the boys, Minerva changed back to her human form and continued to follow. Watching keenly, she noticed that Harry had a nearly indiscernible limp and that it appeared Ron was bleeding. She then realized that Snape was leading the boys to the dungeons rather than to the hospital wing so she spoke, “Professor Snape, may I ask where you are going with Mr. Potter and Mr. Weasley?” Both boys had jumped, startled upon hearing her speak, but Snape simply turned around and glared at her.
“Professor Dumbledore asked me to see to them since they arrived by completely inappropriate means. I am taking them to my office to await their punishment for their gross misconduct and flaunting of wizarding law. There must be serious repercussions for their deeds tonight.” replied Snape silkily.
Minerva struggled to maintain her neutral expression and managed not to roll her eyes at the younger professor. Her lips thinned as she felt anger at Albus for sending Severus Snape of all people after Harry and Ron rather than speaking with her or at least sending someone who didn’t have a completely childish grudge against Harry. While Harry had never once complained, Minerva was aware of the rumors that Snape regularly picked on him during class. Minerva responded, “While I agree punishment will be necessary for Mr. Potter and Mr. Weasley’s imprudent behavior, I am wondering why you are not taking them to the hospital wing since they are obviously injured.”
“The do not appear to be severely injured, so my office would be an appropriate place for us to go to discuss their punishment.” replied Snape through gritted teeth.
“Since I am their head of house and ultimately responsible to seeing to their wellbeing in addition to any punishments for their behavior, I will take them from here. You may go, Professor Snape. I am sure you would like to attend the rest of the feast and observe the new Slytherins that have joined your house. Please tell Professor Dumbledore that we will be in the hospital wing if he wishes to speak with the boys regarding their behavior tonight.” Recognizing the dismissal, Snape angrily turned on his heal and with robes billowing walked back toward the great hall. Now addressing Harry and Ron, Minerva kept her tone harsh to show her anger and stated, “Let’s go to the hospital wing to get you checked out. Then we shall discuss suitable punishment for your atrocious actions today.”
With his head hung down and shoulders slumped, Harry responded quietly, “We are fine Professor. We don’t need the hospital wing. You can go ahead and decide how to punish us now.”
“Yeah Professor, we aren’t injured very badly.” Ron stated and broke eye contact to look at the floor as he continued, “We can just go get our things now, no need to delay with a trip to the hospital wing.”
“Go get your things, Mr Weasley? What do you mean by that?” asked Minerva.
Looking back up at her Ron responded, “Well, I assumed you would be expelling us. That’s what Professor Snape said would happen.”
“Mr. Weasley, I have not yet decided on your punishment because I do not even know what happened today. Also, despite both of your assertions that you are not injured, I want you checked out by Madam Pomfrey since you just experienced a high speed collision. Come, we will go there now.” As Minerva led the boys back to the hospital wing, she shook her head as she thought about what might be an appropriate punishment for their conspicuous arrival to school, but part of her was just glad that they were present and well enough to be disciplined for their actions.
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