Minerva McGonagall was frowning at the letter in her hands. She had on multiple occasions written to Walburga Black on the behalf of her son's various misdeeds and pranks but had never before received a reply. The letter in question was short and straight to the point and made McGonagall's insides turn. She had at first wondered if it was some sort of sick joke, but after a quick spell that revealed the emotion of the writer whilst writing it, she was forced to conclude that it was indeed serious.
Professor M. McGonagall
I and my husband received your report on our son's latest act of unacceptable misdeeds. I wish to inform you that he will be punished for his actions the moment he returns to our house. Please know that neither I nor my husband condone our son's behaviour and are doing our utmost to form him into an acceptable, young, pureblood man. We would like to thank you for taking the time to do your very best to help us with that. With this letter, we would like to employ that we accept hard consequences for our son whenever he is acting inappropriately. I am sure that you are familiar with the traditional punishment used within pureblood families.
The other reason I have chosen to write to you is to ask for your help. It has not escaped my notice that a certain James Potter is mentioned in your letter when you are writing to us about our son's behaviour. I am quite plainly astonished that you have not acted quicker on this subject. I and my husband wish that you and the rest of the staff responsible for the two will do your utmost to separate them. I do not accept my son hanging around a boy who clearly lacks the correct pureblood values. I am familiar with the boy's parent and happen to know that they, unfortunately, lack the appropriate pureblood manners. My suggestion is that the two no longer should share dormitories and that they are forbidden to speak to each other. I shall, of course, write to my son myself to inform him this.
My other concern is the boy Lupin. My other son, Regelus, has informed me that that boy has formed an unnatural and, quite frankly, disgusting relationship with my son. I am sure that you understand that those kinds of relationship are unaccepted for a proper pureblood man such as my son. I do not wish to critique the school, but I am astonished that the boy Lupin is allowed. He is clearly a danger to all the young boys who attend the school. A homosexual young man should not be allowed to sleep in the same dormitory among other young boys. I cannot expel him, nor expect the headmaster to do so either, but I am imploring that you shall do your best to stop him from harming my family name. I shall, of course, write to my son on this matter too.
I remember you from school and although we never saw eye to eye on certain things, I believe that you are a terrific witch with great talent considering your background. I do not blame you for your mother's mistake for marrying a muggle.
Minerva let out a sound like an angry cat and threw the letter onto her desk. How Walburga had to nerve to insult her mother was beyond her, but even more infuriating was her attitude towards her own son. Everyone knew that the Black family was twisted but the fact that this woman so openly was displaying her true colours was disturbing. How far up your own ass and beliefs did someone have to be to believe that openly telling a half-blood witch that their son must cease to be friends with someone due to lack of "pureblood manners". It was outrageous! And then asking said half-blood to perform "traditional pureblood punishment". Minerva's insides gave another twist when she thought about those kinds of punishment and her blood drained from her face when she realised that Sirius surely must be suffering those punishments while at home. She stood up and walked over to the window in her office. There was not much she could do to help the poor boy. Traditional pureblood punishments were not illegal and she had no power to force Walburga not to perform them. If her plan went as planned however, she might be able to do something about the situation.
Just as she was about to sit down at her desk again, the door knocked. With a flick of her wand the door opened, and James Potter stood there looking curious. He went inside and sat down at his usual chair in front of the desk and grabbed a biscuit without asking. She forced herself not to smile, but seeing the glint in the ruffled haired boy she knew he must have noticed.
"'Ello, Minnie. What can I do for you tonight?" the arrogant, but nevertheless goodhearted boy asked as he poured himself a cup of tea from her prepared pot. "Remus reckons I'm in trouble, but I can't recall doing anything fun since last time I was in here!"
"That's Professor McGonagall to you, Mr Potter," she said sternly as she too poured herself a cup of pumpkin tea. "And no, Mr Lupin is for once wrong. You are not in any trouble, as I haven't caught you doing anything wrong the last couple days. Note the word 'caught', as I am convinced that it was either you or one of your friends that hid that dung bomb in Filch's office."
"Professor," James said and looked hurt, but ruining the effect by barley conceding a smile. "How you have the nerve to accuse me of such crimes! I would never! How you can think that poorly of me is beyond me!"
"As I said, I have no proof and can therefore not punish you for it. The dung bomb, which I had to retrieve for your information, is not the reason I brought you here," she noted the look of guilt written all over James' face and had to fight the urge to roll her eyes. For someone who seemed to devote his whole life to mischief, he was embarrassingly talented at giving himself away. "The reason I asked for you is to discuss your partner in Crime, Mr Black."
"If you for a second believe that I will rat my best mate out, I -" James began and uncharacteristically glared at her, but she quickly interrupted him.
"No James, it has nothing to do with your little adventures. I need you to listen to me. I received a letter from his mother this morning and I have reason to be worried about him. Has he ever discussed his home life with you?" James nodded and looked nervous all of a sudden. "I am not going to display to you all the things she told me since I don't want to upset you. But it was a very troubling read. If I could I would make sure that Sirius did not return, but I am in no position to do so. This is where you come in. Sirius has spent a few weeks at your parents' house during the summers, am I correct? I spoke to your parents last summer and they seemed to love him."
"They do," James interrupted with a bright grin on his face. "They invited him over for Christmas and the three of them had a blast. His parents didn't care that he didn't return home, which seemed to bother my mum. She hates the Black family and if she could she would totally adopt Padfoot. Sirius, I mean."
"My point exactly. I am convinced that neither Fleamont nor Euphemia would mind if he stayed at your place this summer. Is there any chance you could write to them and arrange that?"
James smiled and leaned back in his chair, ruffling his hair so it became even more of a mess. "Already did, Minnie. He'll stay the entire summer and bugger what his parents think. We have a spare room for him and all, my parents want him to move in permanently as a matter of fact. Dad has useful contacts at the ministry, so if there's a problem with them he'll fix it."
Minerva smiled, nodded and stood up. "The problem is solved then. That was all Mr Potter, you may return to your dormitory. And let it be known that if there is as much as a wift of dungbomb in Filch's office I will not rest until I can prove that you and your friends are responsible."
James too stood up and grabbed a handful of biscuits from her jar. "Good luck with that Minnie, but I wouldn't be too sure that you'll succeed. Goodnight then," as he went to the door he winked at her and she frowned.
"Potter!" the young man turned around, smiling as always and raised his eyebrows. "That's Professor to you. Goodnight."
The door closed and Minerva sighed as she once again sank down to her chair. Rubbing her temple she reached for one of her quill and a piece of parchment. Staring at the blank piece of paper she twirled the quill in her hand, trying to come up with a suitable answer for Walburga Black. She glanced at the letter and the words "I do not blame you for your mother's mistake" seemed to stand out brighter than the other words. She put the quill's end down and wrote a short, straight to the point letter herself.