Feedback address: Alluvus2303@cs.com
Date in Calendar: 7 December 2005
Word Count: 899 words
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: McGonagall/Hooch fluff
Summary: Hermione stumbles on to an enlightening image while searching for wild herbs
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC:DW05
A/N: Written for the 2005 Femmeslash Advent Calendar
I've never held much faith in gossip. I prefer facts and rational consideration to idle speculation, especially when it comes to the private lives of people I know. But this is not idle speculation. At least, I think it isn't. I saw what I saw, and now I must find a way to come to terms with it.
I was wandering the grounds today, as Harry and Ron had Quidditch practice and I wanted to get extra credit for Herbology by gathering plants and roots for Madame Sprout. I had just stumbled on to a marvelous patch of wild lavender when I heard voices from nearby. I followed the sound, just murmurs really, and came upon a peculiar sight.
There, in the center of a small clearing, lay Madame Hooch dressed out as a Greek goddess, lying on a low crimson velvet couch surrounded by flowers and exotic fruits. She wore a gold wreath of laurel leaves about her spiked silver hair, and a bow and quiver of arrows leaned against the back of her divan.
Not five meters away, Professor McGonagall stood in front of a canvas, studiously working on a portrait of Hooch. Her hair was braided loosely in a single thick mass down her back. Instead of her usual forest colored robes, she wore a simple white shirt, buttoned to the throat with long ruffled sleeves, and a straight navy skirt down to her ankles. She seemed a woman from the Edwardian times, except that she wore the most intense look of concentration I'd ever seen.
Hooch had a snitch in her lower hand, and she kept releasing it to flitter momentarily, then snapping it back into her palm.
"Xiomara, please," Professor McGonagall snapped, and Hooch tucked the snitch under the cushion of the couch.
It was perfectly innocent, but I felt as if I had intruded on something very private and personal. I know I should have turned and left them to their privacy, but I couldn't help myself. I moved in closer and watched as McGonagall moved to adjust the folds of Madame Hooch's toga. Her slender hands were precise, taking great care with each fold of the fabric as she adjusted her model's garb. She reached up, a single finger under Hooch's chin, just barely tilting her face upwards. I think I caught the barest hint of a smile on Hooch's face, and Professor McGonagall's hand lingered for what seemed a moment longer than necessary.
I watched for a long time as McGonagall painted, her long brush-strokes, the slow, scrutinizing gazes at every inch of Hooch's form.
I felt embarrassed. It was so…personal, so intimate. Hooch watched McGonagall watching her, those wild eyes fixed on the part-time artist with the same intensity she usually reserved for Quidditch championships. When Professor McGonagall turned away, or looked down to blend her paints, Hooch smiled gently, an expression quite unlike any I'd seen on her face in my six years at Hogwarts.
I doubt five minutes passed before I quietly turned away and went back to my herbs, but it felt as if time stopped moving in that grove, that years and decades had stretched into that small collection of moments as these two women relaxed in each others' company.
I know there was love there, even though they barely spoke, and only touched in the context of McGonagall adjusting Hooch for the portrait. I try to remember what I know about them--and realize I don't know much about them outside their professional lives at all. Professor McGonagall was a member of the Order of the Phoenix, and is one of the few animagi who actually bothered to register, but other than that, she was a mystery. I know even less about Madame Hooch.
I am suddenly reminded of an incident in our first year, when Draco Malfoy stole Neville's remembrall and sent Harry on a wild broom ride to recover it. Professor McGonagall saw his flying and was out almost immediately to the practice field.
But now, I think, why was she watching flying practice? Surely she couldn't have thought she would find a Seeker for the Gryffindor team at a first year flying class.
Her office looks out over Madame Hooch's field. How often does she watch flying classes?
I've never seen anything before or since that would make me suspect anything between them. In fact, I almost never see them together in public. I see McGonagall with Snape more than Hooch.
Are they being discreet?
And why do I care?
As I've said, I've never held much faith in gossip or idle speculation.
But I'm fairly certain, at least as certain as I can be, that Professor McGonagall and Madam Hooch are in love with each other.
It's rather nice, I think, as I reflect on the moment I saw. McGonagall is a good teacher, perhaps the best I've ever had, and though she has probably given up on me as a complete loss when it comes to flying, Madam Hooch is a fair and decent sort. I like the idea of them carving a little happiness for themselves. I shudder at what the likes of Pansy Parkinson and her little goon squad would do with this information, and resolve never to breathe a word of what I saw to anyone, even Harry and Ron.
After all, everyone deserves love. Even teachers.