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Walk Me Home

Chapter Text

Hermione was stood in the grounds of a grand manor house. There in front of her was a young girl no older than 7 or 8, grasping the hand of what could only be her father. She was sobbing, heart wrenching sobs. The young girl flung herself into he arms of the man and screamed into his embrace. The pain playing across her face was evident.

Hermione looked around and she could see a few feet from the pair an elegant coffin lay on the ground. With one last sob Minerva turned to see the coffin vanish in a swirl of green flame and a small head stone appear in its place. 'Isobel McGonagall nee Ross. Beloved mother and wife laid to rest too soon'

...

The scene shifted , Hermione looked upon the smouldering ruins of the same manner house, dawn breaking over the trees in the distance. Minerva looked as though she was in her late teens maybe about the age Hermione was herself. She looked at the soot covered teenager emerge from an opening she had seen a grand window a few minutes previously. Pulling behind her the man she had clung to in grief.

Minerva drew her wand and slowly levitate the lifeless form of her father and placed him atop the grave of her mother and with a swift flick of her was he had vanished and the stone morphed 'and her widower Rev Robert McGonagall, loving father and a soul once lost now found, together forever'

...

She was stood in the great hall at Hogwarts watching Minerva walk away the raised platform at the far end, she had just graduated.

A small shift and they were out by the lake still in her graduation gown sat with a beautiful young woman Hermione thought she recognised but couldn't place where.

"I can't believe we are here Marline, it's over and we are going to go out into this wonderful world together and face each day as it comes" A grin spreading and emanating a wondrous glow from the young witch.

A hand slowly placed onto of Minerva's gently caressing it "Min, I know we have all these plans for the future," she paused to draw a shaky breath. Hermione knew what was about to be said. It was the same thing she had said to Ron sat by this very lake the morning after the battle. "I can't be with you any more, we had a great couple of years, and I'm glad I was there for you this passed summer when your father passed, but I am not now and I will never be the one you are meant to be with. We are so very different and on different paths in life."

...

They were in the Hogshead with a much younger Aberforth handing Minerva a bottle of Firewhiskey. "You might as well take the whole bottle, if the passed few evenings are to go by you will have it finished by the time you retire"

"osht, yooul bbling olds fool. If I hant listend to brther, I'dnt be lke to dis." She struggled through the sentence eyes narrowing in concentration to be understood. Hermione bowed her head knowing exactly what it was like to be that drunk. "Love kans shuv t up his arse"

...

Minerva was much older here , 20 years must have passed. Hermione watched as she was crouched behind a wall, looking over to a field where she could see small mounds of earth dotted at random junctures. Minerva's robes were dishevelled, her hair was ragged and she looked as though she had run a marathon. Hermione followed as the woman rose up and made her way towards the first of the mounds of earth. Hermione gasped as she realised they weren't mounds of dug up earth but heaps of dishevelled robes crumpled as their occupants had fallen in battle. Minerva walked though them with purpose, searching, trying to find the identity of each she passed and moving on in haste when it was evidently not the person she sought. Hermione stopped to look at the mask of Death Eater slipped from its lifeless owners paled face.

"Noooooooooooooooo" Hermione reached for her wand through instinct just as she had done an hour or so earlier when her own cry had roused her from sleep. Swivelling on the spot she viewed the stoic witch she had looked up to for so many years throw herself onto one of the lifeless forms. Hermione didn't get any closer she didn't want to infringe on the memory further than she was.

Then she was forced by the current Minerva McGonagall to move closer to the sobbing witch, hysterical in her grief, not the loss of a close relative but the loss of a deep love. Hermione looked into the restful face of the woman Minerva was currently laid across and knew who she was, Marline McKinnon. She had read a news article when researching the first war. The McKinnon's had died in a battle after being ambushed on a family outing. 20 or 30 years had passed but Hermione could see the power of pain emanating from her old professor at the loss of her first true love.

...

She was stood in the Headmasters office in Hogwarts. A younger Dumbledore than Hermione had ever met was looking at the steadfast Minerva. "Are you sure you are ready to take this post Minerva? I know you have had a tough few months"

"Headmaster I do not need reminded of how I have felt the last few months . I am however ready to be your deputy. I am ready to dedicate myself to the school and nothing more" Professor McGonagall rose off her chair and headed to the door. "You have my confidence and my devotion, and that is all that matters" and the door closed.

...

A flash of the hospital wing drenched in sunlight and a the tip of a black tail under a privacy screen, changed to the darkness of night and Minerva stood among those petrified.

...

Minerva marched down towards Hagrid's cabin wand in hand, Hermione looked away she did not want to see this scene again she had witnessed it first hand in her fifth year.

...

Hermione was stood in Minerva's office watching the older woman open yet another Firewiskey bottle. It felt like she had been stood here watching her for the last 15 years time passing by as the older woman changed but the scene stayed the same. Bottle after bottle after bottle each poured into a small Tumbler before it would jump a few months in time to repeat. Yes somethings in the room had not changed but the woman behind the desk had aged and now resembled the woman who moments ago had raised her wand at her. The passage of time stopped and Minerva was writing next to an empty bottle. Hermione moved closer to see what Minerva was penning. It was Dumbeldore's eulogy.

A single tear fell from Minerva's vacant eye as she took yet another bottle, not bothering with the glass the previous ones had been consumed using. Throwing her head back to take a hefty swig, she took her quill and with a single stroke scored out the very first line 'My best friend'

...

The scene shifted for the last time she was stood beside the older witch as she look upon the destruction caused by the battle of Hogwarts her face as hard as stone, no suffering, no joy , nothing, void of emotion in the emerald eyes.

...

Hermione was back to the present, wand half way to casting a shield charm that would have prevented her being shown the life of her beloved professor.

Her wand fell, clattering loudly in the echoing silence. "I... I'm so... sorry Minerva. I... I can't imagine... how you..." she paused in her stuttering. "I'm just so sorry." Her shoulder sunk and tears started to fall once more. Minerva moved with feline grace and wrapped the younger witch in the strong arms and held her in an embrace of strength and courage trying beyond anything to support the emotional wreck that her favourite student had now become.