Disclaimer - I still don't own HP. Just sayin'...
Harry giggled as he and Sirius exited the fire. He liked flooing, it tickled. Harry glanced around the room, his jaw dropped. It was full of neat trinkets and baubles scattered throughout the room.
Harry noticed that the older men were watching him and he ducked his head, cheeks burning. He felt Sirius shake and noticed that he was failing to hold back laughter.
Harry blushed further and buried his head in Sirius' chest. He didn't look up until someone cleared their throat.
"Harry, Professor Snape is out. Would you like to meet Professor McGonagall, instead?" Dumbledore questioned Harry, blue eyes twinkling (AN- I sooo want to do that someday).
Harry looked to Sirius and then to Remus. Both nodded, showing that he would be okay. Harry nodded, too, not wanting to displease his guardians.
Professor Dumbledore waved his wand and a brilliant silver white phoenix erupted from the tip. Dumbledore whispered to it and it raced off. Harry watched in wonder at the beautiful creature, but was also sad to see it go.
Not even a minute later, a similar cat appeared with markings around its eyes that looked suspiciously like glasses. It nodded it's head in approval and disappeared.
A knock sounded at the door. The professor called a quick, 'enter,' and the door opened.
Behind the door was a strict looking woman. She had a long, pointed nose and her hair was pulled into a tight bun under her hat. Her robes were a dark, shimmering green, similar to Harry's favorite color.
"Hello Minnie," Sirius said cheekily, earning him a half-hearted glare from the strict professor.
"Don't call me Minnie, Mr. Black," She responded in a no-nonsense tone, frowning at her old nickname.
Sirius just laughed and looked to Harry while McGonagall greeted Remus.
"Don't be afraid of ole Minnie there. She just doesn't like my nickname for her," Sirius explained, "She knows how I love to mess with her."
Harry felt reassured by this, and turned to 'Minnie.' He did a quick once over and realized she wasn't much like Severus. While Severus was a bit cold, he understood. Professor McGonagall seemed kinder, but not to mess with all the same.
She finally turned to look at Harry, having finished her conversation with Remus. Her face softened when she saw how much he looked like his father. The resemblance was uncanny, except for his eyes. The were a brilliant shade of emerald, so much like his mother's. It took all her will not to cry and not a single tear escaped.
"Hello, Harry," she said softly, startling Harry and his new family. Harry because he still wasn't used to being addressed; Sirius and Remus because they had never heard Professor McGonagall with that tone of voice. She continued, ignoring their surprised looks. "I am Professor McGonagall, but I will allow you, and only you," cue glares at Sirius, "to call me Minnie." Sirius gave a cry of outrage and indignation while Harry giggled. "Would you like to come to my office while the men talk?" She finished.
Harry nodded, but not after checking with Remus. Sirius wasn't in any condition to be talked to. Harry knew he was joking but didn't want to chance it so he gave the animagus a quick hug and scrambled down. Harry ran to give his other guardian a hug before walking over and looking expectantly at Minnie. She held out a hand and together they left the office.
He followed Minnie down the hallways and corridors. When they reached the moving staircases his mouth became an 'o' of wonder. He hadn't been to this part of the castle yet; the castle that always surprised him.
Harry caught a glimpse of Professor McGonagall's door. 'Professor McGonagall. Transfiguration. Head of Gryffindor.' Hmm, maybe I'll ask her about that, she probably won't mind. He entered the office, taking a glance around. It didn't have as much stuff in it as Professor Dumbledore's but Harry still found it interesting. Her office had a lot of books and had a red and gold theme, but hints of green could be found. He sat on the couch that was in front of the desk and continued to look around in awe.
Minnie cleared her throat and looked at Harry. He ducked his head and blushed but quickly looked back up, curious. "What's Transfiguration?" He asked, taking his time saying the long word that was unfamiliar to him.
Professor McGonagall didn't hide her surpise and answered his question. "Transfiguration is a class here at Hogwarts. It is the magic of changing objects," she smiled "In fact, your father was one of my best students in this class." Harry smiled at the information, glad to hear more about his parents. She looked at him curiously, "Why do you ask?" She questioned.
Harry felt (AN- with his Spidey skills! Sorry, couldn't resist) that she was merely curious, not angry or upset. "On the door. It said 'Transfiguration and Head of Gryffindor.' What's Gryffindor?" He questioned, unable to resist.
Professor McGonagall raised an eyebrow at the boy, a bit surprised he could read. With his parents being who they were, it shouldn't surprise me. They were both brilliant. She answered his question, "Gryffindor is one of the four houses at Hogwarts. There are Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Gryffindor is for the brave and strong at heart. James and Lily were both in Gryffindor when they were here." Harry smiled, soaking in as much information as he could.
Harry continued asking questions about the houses when a knock sounded at the door. Professor McGonagall stopped her speech on Slytherin, which she hadn't quite started, and stood to answer the door.
Harry tensed and slid down the couch, scared of who might be on the other side of the door. He couldn't see who was on the other side of the door nor could he hear any words. He did, however, see Minnie's face and he saw surprise. He also felt the surprise along with suspicion. The person at the door did not have any hurtful or bad feelings so he slid off the couch and slowly walked to the door.
When Harry saw who was on the other side of the door, he ran the rest of the way. He ignored Professor McGonagall's surprised look and grinned, shouting, "Severus!" He ran and hugged Severus around the legs and was surprised when he got a full hug in return.
Severus was prepared for such a reaction from the boy in front of him. He returned the hug rather than stand awkwardly because he regarded Minerva as a mother figure and could drop his mask in her prescence without a fit. He stood, Harry now in his arms. The boy launched into a conversation immediatly.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you, Severus! The owl is so pretty and I named her Ice and I can understand her! Thank you, thank you, thank you!" Harry rambled within a matter of seconds.
Severus allowed himself a laugh and stopped the boy before he could speak again. "You're very welcome, Harry. Now what's this about understanding her? Another gift?" Harry nodded, realizing something.
"I think I can understand her because I helped an animal once. I was outside working," Severus frowned at that but didn't say anything, "and I saw a squirrel. It was hurt and I touched it and it was all better. I thought I imagined it but I think it told me, 'thank you.'" Harry rushed to say.
Severus nodded, mulling over the new information.
Harry took that chance to tell him about his chat with Minnie. "Severus, Minnie told me-"
Severus held up a hand, "Minnie?" He questioned, mouth quirking upwards. He heard an exasperated noise from 'Minnie' and nodded for Harry to continue.
"Yep, she said I could call her Minnie but Sirius couldn't. She told me about Transfiguration and the houses. Did you know that she's Head of Gryffindor?" Harry asked innocently.
Severus nodded, "I did. Did you know that I'm Head of Slytherin?" He asked, smiling at Harry's awed expression. Harry shook his head and opened his mouth to speak but Severus held up a hand.
"I actually came to say that Professor Dumbledore would like to speak to you now. You can come, too, 'Minnie.'" Professor McGonagall scowled at Severus.
"I have some lessons to plan before the term starts. You two go ahead. Good-bye Harry, Severus." She nodded to each of them in turn before closing the door.
The two made their way to Professor Dumbledore's office in silence, Harry in Severus' arms.
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