Warning/s: Explicit sexual situations; character death
Disclaimer: All characters, settings and other elements from the Harry Potter franchise belong to J. K. Rowling.
Two weeks later, Minerva was standing in front of her sixth-year N.E.W.T. students, demonstrating the technique for Transfiguring a sentient creature—in this case a newt, as it happened—into an insensible one (inkpot), when a sudden and intense wave of nausea overcame her.
Possibly the only person more astonished than her students—who watched their normally serene teacher suddenly drop the newt to the floor and run out of the room—was the fifth-year Gryffindor who was washing her hands at the sink in the girls’ lavatory when Professor McGonagall came barrelling in. The professor went immediately into a cubicle and slammed the door without a word. The girl heard retching from the cubicle her teacher had occupied, and was frozen in shock. She didn’t know whether to wait to see if Professor McGonagall was all right or to slink out quietly and avoid the woman’s wrath at having her privacy invaded, however inadvertently. The child’s Gryffindor courage failed her. She left.
Minerva washed her face and rinsed her mouth at the sink, then took a moment to smooth her hair and regain her equilibrium before returning to her classroom. Although she no longer had regular morning sickness, she did occasionally suffer from sudden bouts of nausea, although this had been the worst yet. Outside the classroom door, she took a deep breath and stepped in.
“That will do,” she said sharply to the students, who had been murmuring and standing about, wondering what to do since her abrupt departure minutes ago. “Kindly take your seats; I do not recall giving anyone permission to leave them. Miss Rattigan, will you be so good as to retrieve a new newt from the box on the table?” She said nothing about the strange interruption in the class.
Of course, Professor McGonagall’s odd behaviour was the talk of the House common rooms that evening.
“Maybe she’s transformed one too many times,” said one Gryffindor. “Gone ’round the bend …”
“Yeah, or maybe she saw a mouse and just couldn’t resist,” quipped another.
More joking speculation ensued until Nigella Starsgaard, the fifth-year who had been in the lavatory, spoke up. “I think maybe she was just ill. I saw her in the girls’ bathroom, and I think she was being sick.” The others were suddenly crowded around her.
“As in, puking?” asked Ian Robinson.
“Yes, if you insist on putting it that way,” answered Nigella.
“She looked fine when she came back to the classroom,” said Deirdre Rattigan, she of the newt retrieval.
“Hey, maybe she’s up the duff,” said Ian, to the uproarious laughter of the gathered Gryffindors, with the exception of Molly Prewett, who slammed her book shut in ire.
“Ian Robinson, that is just revolting! If I ever hear you say something like that about Professor McGonagall again, I’ll hex your bollocks into next year!” she yelled and stormed off into the dormitory.
“Oi, mate, what’s got into your girlfriend?” Ian said to Arthur Weasley, who just shrugged.
Arthur hadn’t the vaguest idea, but he thought he wouldn’t ask her about it in any case. It wasn’t a good idea to get Molly too upset. The girl had a temper and wasn’t afraid to use her wand to back it up. Besides, he thought, he had just got to cop a feel of her enticing bosom after weeks of trying, and he wasn’t anxious to muck things up at this delicate stage of negotiations.
The same evening, Minerva was in Albus’s office discussing some scheduling matters. They had just wrapped up, and she was shutting her agenda when he said, “I hear there was a disturbance in your N.E.W.T. class this afternoon.”
“Gods! Just the bloody morning sickness rearing its ugly head again. It was over quickly, but it gave my class a start,” she said.
“Gave them something to talk about, as well,” he said, grinning at her.
“I suppose we ought to make the announcement soon,” she said, placing her hands on her middle. “I’m starting to show.”
“Indeed. I think we should plan on telling the staff at Wednesday’s staff meeting. That will give me a chance to speak to Filius tomorrow. Would that be acceptable to you?” he asked.
“Yes, fine. What do you plan to say?”
“Only that our lovely Transfiguration professor has found herself suddenly in the pudding club,” he said merrily. He abruptly found himself covered with large white feathers, sporting a beak and a coxcomb. She let him strut and cluck around the office for three minutes before she Transfigured him back.
“My dear! A rooster, really? I thought canaries were more your specialty,” he said.
“I thought cock o’ the walk more appropriate to the situation,” she said.
Wednesday evening, the staff were gathered around a large table in the staff room. They had just concluded the business of the meeting when the Headmaster said, “Before we adjourn, I have just one more item to discuss.”
The rest of the staff looked around nervously. Whatever it was, it wasn’t on the agenda he had sent around.
Dumbledore stood and walked to stand behind his wife, putting a hand on her shoulder. “I thought you all should know that Minerva and I are expecting.”
The momentary silence was broken with a hearty round of congratulations and applause. Albus was patted on the back by most of the male staff, while Minerva had to submit to Charity Burbage placing a gnarled hand on her belly and numerous assurances that she looked “radiant, dear”. She caught Poppy’s eye, and the mediwitch hurried over, saying, “All right, all right, don’t crowd the pregnant woman, give her some air.” Minerva kicked her in the ankle.
Albus recalled their attention. “Thank you all for your good wishes. Minerva and I are very pleased. I need not tell you that this is privileged information for the moment, so we would appreciate your keeping it to yourselves. We expect the baby sometime around the last week of January or first week of February. Filius has kindly agreed to take over some of Minerva’s Deputy duties for a few weeks after the child is born, and I intend to find a temporary replacement to teach her first- through fifth-years. I will take her N.E.W.T. classes until she is ready to return to teaching.”
Albus came to Minerva’s quarters that evening rather than returning to his own after the staff meeting.
“That went rather well, I think,” he said.
“You didn’t have Charity running her spotty hand up and down your belly, though,” said Minerva.
He walked over to where she stood, and parted her robes. He pulled her blouse from under the now-expanded waistband of her skirt to expose her abdomen and ran his hands gently over its newly convex surface. He knelt to kiss it, and she held his head to her for a moment, enjoying the warmth of his breath on her skin and the slight tickle of his beard.
“You do look beautiful, you know,” he murmured, “with your belly full of my child.”
Merlin, how she loved him at that moment.
← Back to Chapter 6 On to Chapter 8→