Never Alone

Chapter 11

Minerva woke up the following Saturday feeling lonelier than ever. Everybody had left early that morning to go home. She shivered, 'must be catching a cold' she thought as she dressed for breakfast. As she got to the Great Hall, she looked at the one table in the middle of the hall where various teachers and a few students were sitting. She sat at the end nearest to the doors, soon to be joined by her head of house, who sat in front of her.

''Good morning, Ms. McGonagall'' he said with a smile. She smiled back, ''Morning Professor'' she answered. After breakfast, she opted for the library where she believed she could find a book to read. ''Ms. McGonagall, may I have a word please?'' asked a voice behind her. She turned and saw the Head Master and Professor Merrythought asking her to follow them. She followed them up to the gargoyle at the far end of the first floor. He gave the password and the gargoyle came to life. They went up to the stairs to what Minerva assumed was the Head Masters office.

''Please, sit'' he asked her as he sat down behind his desk. She sat beside her Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher just as Dumbledore came in, ''I apologize, Head Master. Horace ended up with both of his shoe laces tied - needed to help him un-spell them'' he said with a smile as he conjured a chair beside Minerva. The Head Master smiled and nodded to him, ''Ms. McGonagall. I've been told that you are all by yourself in Gryffindor tower'' he started. She nodded to him, wondering why he was inquiring, ''Professors Dumbledore and Merrythought came to me with an idea - see, we don't let first years stay alone, in case of accidents of course'' he said. Minerva raised an eye brow; she understood what he meant but didn't understand where he wanted to send her.

''Minerva, normally you'd stay with your Head of House, but seeing as I am male and you are not, it isn't best advised. Therefore, we were wondering if you would be alright with staying with Professor Merrythought? She has kindly accepted the task'' said Dumbledore. Minerva turned to look at her DADA teacher, who just smiled at her. ''If it's not a burden, then I don't mind'' she said, after all, Minerva didn't want to burden her second favorite teacher with babysitting. ''Oh, don't be so modest! I absolutely don't mind. We could also work on second year spells if you wish, I have a feeling you'll catch on quickly'' answered Professor Merrythought with a wink. Minerva smiled and agreed.

As soon as she left the Headmasters office, Minerva went up to her dorm to get what she would be needing and went back to find her teacher, who was waiting by her office. She showed her the way to her private quarters (through the bookcase in her office) and where the guest room was. Minerva thanked her once more for letting her stay with her and unpacked her small bag.

The room was circular and overlooked the lake, which at this time of the year was a beautiful sight. The walls were a light color of red while the blankets were a golden color - Gryffindor colors. Minerva felt at home in this small room, even if she'd never been here before. The thought that her professor put into her room made Minerva smile; she hadn't expected her teacher to try so hard to make her happy and feel at home.

Minerva went to take a walk around the grounds, needing to get clean air. She was walking by, not looking where she was going. She bumped into something solid and fell back, ''I'm sorry - '' she started to say but stopped when she saw who she had bumped into; Tom Riddle. He glared at her and walked by her with a scowl. Minerva watched him walk away, wondering what his problem was and why he looked at her that way. She would soon find out how much that one boy would make her life difficult in the coming months.

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