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Dragon's Fire

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2nd of May, 1998.
End of the Battle of Hogwarts.

‘Hermione !’, shouted Minerva McGonagall finding the girl wondering the corridors alone, while everyone was outside.
Tears in her eyes, the Head of Gryffindor House raised her arms to motion Hermione to her.
Hermione could not cry anymore. She could not laugh either. She let herself go.
In a one-motioned step, she threw herself in the arms of the woman in front of her.

One minute later, Minerva found the courage to break the passionate kiss.
‘No ! I… I am sorry. I can’t !’, she mumbled, as she turned around and left.
End of Flashback

Evening of 24th of December, 1998
Hogwarts, The Staff Room

It had been a whole semester and Hermione did not talk with Minerva unless necessary in class, as Minerva did not find a suitable replacement for Transfiguration.

Tonight, Christmas Eve, Hermione Granger, Ron and Ginny Weasley and Harry Potter have been invited to the Staff Room to enjoy some food and good company, before they left for the Burrow.

Hermione did not know who had the idea, but she presumed that the Headmistress only agreed after her colleagues might have insisted.

‘Oh, children, come, sit down !’, said a happy Pomona seeing the four enter the Staff Room.
Ginny and Hermione occupied a large armchair, while Harry and Ron sat at a small table next to them.
‘Thank you for inviting us.’, said Hermione look at all and avoiding Minerva’s eyes.

As soon as she finished her phrase, the elves were bringing them food and drinks.
‘You’re more than welcome, my dears.’, replied Pomona Sprout.
‘As a matter of fact’, Hagrid said taking a bite of his roasted beef, ‘we were just about to play a new game.’
‘Oh.. really ? What game ?’, asked a very curious Ron taking a big mouth of pie.
‘We have no name for it… yet’, replied Rolanda Hooch. ‘But it goes like this: someone gives you a situation and you say who you’d imagine in that situation. Mind you, it has to be 2 or more people only from those present here. And the room is charmed for truth-telling. The people that first go through your mind, you spell it out for us.’

Absolutely involuntarily Hermione Granger and Minerva McGonagall looked at each other for a brief second.
God dammit, thought Minerva.

‘Yes, why not ?’, said a happy Ginny almost laughing at the idea.

‘Ok. I’ll go first since it was my idea.’, said Sybil.

She took an empty bottle, placed it in the middle of the room and turned it with the help of magic.

‘Yes !’
‘Quidditch pitch. 2 people. Naked and freezing.’
‘Sybil !’, screamed the Headmistress.
‘What ? It’s not like they are eleven anymore.’, she said showing towards the 4 new guests.
‘Yeah, we’re fine.’, said Ron laughing.
Minerva, defeated, let herself drown by her armchair. This was not going well at all.
The ambience was not helping either. Dim lights, soft Christmas music, Hermione Granger in front of her. For Merlin’s sake, I am insane !, she thought.

‘Hmmm… Filius and I. I’d like to see him run around naked.’
Everyone laughed. Even Professor Flitwick.
Filius Flitwick turned the bottle.
‘Hagrid, my boy, forbidden forest. Middle of the night. You find 2 people deep into the forest. Who ?’
‘Severus and Sybil.’, he said laughing, being soon joined by Sybil and not Severus.

Next, the bottle spotted Hermione.
‘Hermione, biggest fight ever ?’
‘Hmmm… that would have to be… Ronald and Harry.’
‘Why would you imagine them fighting ?’, asked Pomona Sprout.
‘Not just imagining…’, she said, and the boys started laughing, soon joined by many.

As she turned the bottle, Hermione had no idea what her question might be, but she knew one thing: that bottle would better not stop on Minerva.
She was always lucky.

‘Professor !’, she said as she slowly lifted her eyes to meet Minerva’s.
‘Yes ?’, she said.
‘Apprenticeship.’ Hermione did not know how that idea came to her mind, but…
‘You and I.’ Fuck this truth-telling charm., Minerva thought.
‘Well of course you and Hermione’, laughed Filius, which really helped erasing Hermione’s confused look and Minerva’s tension.

‘Pomona’, continued Minerva after having turned the bottle, ‘strongest friendship bound.’
‘Ah… that’s a difficult one… Maybe those four here.’, she said under the affirmations of the others.

Hermione could not stop thinking. Is it us that she really thought of in the first place ? of course it was, it is the charm. But why ? It makes no sense.

‘Sybil.’, said Pomona. ‘Love story.’
‘Hermione and Ronald.’
‘What ?’, shouted Ron. ‘No, Professor, no.. Hermione and I are only friends.’
Another spot-on prediction, thought Minerva.

The bottle turned to Poppy Pomfrey.
‘Madam’ Pomfrey, sickest people.’
‘You’re sick, Ronald.’, she spat. ‘Sybil and hmmm… yourself.’
‘Why me ?’
‘Why not ?’, said Severus to shut her up.

Next, the bottle turned by Poppy Pomfrey, landed on Ginny.
Hermione was not happy. Not happy at all. She was the only one that knew about… that. Merlin help me !’, was all that she could think of.

‘Ok, Ginevra. Hottest kiss ?’
‘Professor McGonagall and Hermione.’
Three of the minds in the room were continuously shouting ‘Fuck ! Fuck ! Fuck !’: Ginny’s, Hermione’s and Minerva’s.
Meanwhile, an explosion started around the three quiet Gryffindors.

Harry Potter: ‘What ? You think that their kiss would be hotter than ours ? Why would you even think of them in the first place ?’

Ronald Weasley: ‘Wow, Ginny. You do have some imagination.’

Filius Flitwick: ‘More details !’

Pomona Sprout: ‘Yeah… that would really be hot !’

Sybil Trelawney: ‘What are we talking about ?’

Poppy Pomfrey: ‘Gods I’d pay to see that !’
Rubeus Hagrid: ‘That would be hotter than a dragon’s fire !’

‘Hey everyone. I think that’s enough.’, said Poppy after having looked at Minerva.

Once everyone calmed down, they knew that the game was over and after dessert, they all bid goodbye to the four youngsters, as they were heading towards the Burrow.

24 – 25th of December, 1998
The Burrow

After a good chat about the previous events at Hogwarts, Ginny had fallen asleep, while Hermione could not take her mind off Minerva.
And then, two soft knocks on the door woke her up from her reverie.
She looked over at Ginny’s, who was enjoying a deep sleep.
Slowly, she got up from her bed and went to open the door.

What she saw next scared her.
Minerva McGonagall.

‘Professor, what happened ?’, she asked afraid something bad might have happened.
‘Do not worry !’, she said smiling. ‘I just… forgot to give you your Christmas present.’, she continued to whisper in the very dark corridor.
‘You… you got me a present ?’ Hermione could not understand what was happening. Was this some kind of a dream ?
‘Would you like to step outside and close the door behind you ?’, Minerva slowly asked Hermione, while sending a soft light of the bottom of her wand.
Hermione did as she was asked almost robotically and truth be told, she was a little bit scared.
‘Come !’, whispered Minerva taking a step back, followed by Hermione.

Five minutes after, Minerva McGonagall smiled with sparkling eyes.
‘Indeed. Hotter than a dragon’s fire !’, she smiled, kissing Hermione over and over again.

What happened next in the Headmistress’ quarters at Hogwarts was something that Poppy Pomfrey would have paid to see !