Pairing: Minerva McGonagall/Rolanda Hooch
Word Count: 1953
Disclaimer: None of this belongs to me. :)
Author's Note: Written for Round Five of the Harry Potter Random Facts Fest. This is longish... more so than I originally intended. Oops.
20 Random Things about Rolanda Hooch (and Her Relationship with Minerva McGonagall)
1.) Rolanda's best friend was Minerva McGonagall. Minerva was also her lover, but they were friends first, and in Rolanda's heart, she was more thankful for the 'best friend' part—they'd been through so many things together that they never would have survived if they hadn't known each other so well.
2.) Rolanda was three years old when her mother died, and she doesn't remember her at all. She was raised by her father, an Auror who didn't have enough time on his hands for a daughter, and she spent most of her days playing at the McGonagalls' house. Minerva's parents never complained, and sometimes Rolanda imagined that she was really Minerva's sister instead of just her neighbor. She didn't stop feeling that way until they were teenagers and she realized that there were benefits to not being related to Minerva.
3.) At age seven, she taught herself to fly using her father's old, beat-up broom. She loved to fly because from high above the house, the world felt like it was open to her. She didn't fall in love with Quidditch until she was eleven and went to Hogwarts, though, and she didn't try out for the house team until her third year. Daniel Longbottom said she was a natural and made her the new Keeper.
4.) Rolanda knew that Minerva would be in Gryffindor long before her friend went away to Hogwarts, and she was thrilled when she got a letter telling her that she'd been right. The next year, though, she was unpleasantly surprised to find herself in Hufflepuff. The Hat said it was because she was loyal and true, and the approval in its tone softened the disappointment quite a bit.
5.) When Minerva's parents were killed during the war against Grindelwald, Rolanda was afraid Minerva would hate her because her father was fighting for Grindelwald, and somehow neither girl had ever realized just exactly what being on opposite sides of the war meant until that horrible day. Minerva didn't say a word about it, though, when she slipped into the Hufflepuff dormitory that night and curled up beside Rolanda. They both just held onto each other and cried.
6.) When Minerva informed her just four months later that she was leaving school and going to fight in the war, Rolanda told her she couldn't go with her because of her father. The truth was that she was too afraid, and after Minerva disappeared one night and then didn't come back, Rolanda hated herself for not going with her. But she was fifteen, and the world seemed like such a big and scary place, and the only thing she could see either of them successfully accomplishing by trying to fight a dark wizard when they weren't even fully magically trained was dying.
7.) The next year went by more slowly than she'd thought possible, and when Dumbledore pulled her aside one evening and told her that Minerva had been badly injured and was recovering in a Resistance safehouse, and that she'd been asking for Rolanda whenever she did wake up, Rolanda made what she still considers to be the hardest choice of her life. Dumbledore helped her sneak out of the castle after curfew that very day, and she'd never really forgiven him for refusing to come with her.
8.) Once Minerva was back on her feet, she insisted on throwing herself back into the war effort. Rolanda went with her this time because she couldn't bear the thought of being left behind again. She just hoped she'd never have to face her father in battle because she wouldn't be able to lift her wand against him, even if it meant her life.
9.) She and Minerva kissed for the first time in a field somewhere in northern England, after a fierce skirmish with some of Grindelwald's men. Alastor Moody, who'd spent months trying to talk his way under Minerva's skirts, developed a grudge against Rolanda that day, and Rolanda couldn't bring herself to care as long as Moody could stay focused long enough to get them all through the war alive.
10.) When the war ended, Dumbledore pulled some strings and managed to convince the Ministry to allow all of the kids who'd left school because of the war to return to Hogwarts. Minerva accepted. Rolanda didn't want Dumbledore's help, and instead tried out for the Appleby Arrows. She was taken on as their Keeper, and with them she traveled the world. She wrote to Minerva every week.
11.) When Minerva left Hogwarts for the second time, she had nine NEWTs and a world full of dreams. She traveled with Rolanda for a few months, but ultimately decided she wanted to do something more meaningful (there was quite a row over that comment) and ended up in London. Rolanda had never been one to stay angry for long, and so she left what few things she didn't need during her travels at the flat in London, and it was theirs instead of just Minerva's. Rolanda had somewhere to go home to for the first time since she was sixteen, and just the thought made her grin.
12.) During the off season Rolanda was home more, and for the first time they saw firsthand how the average person in the wizarding world responded to the idea of homosexuality, especially when it involved, as Augusta Longbottom put it, "two otherwise healthy witches of marriageable age." Rolanda just barely restrained Minerva from hexing the woman. Augusta was the first person besides Alastor to ever find out, and the last, because Minerva was afraid the Ministry would fire her and Rolanda had her own fears for her Quidditch career. It all seemed incredibly unfair.
13.) Rolanda had never been so angry as the day that Minerva told her she wanted to return to Hogwarts, this time to teach. Even though she knew in her heart that the very idea was preposterous, in her rage she accused Minerva of having more feelings for Dumbledore than a woman should have for her former teacher, and asked if he'd only offered her the position because he wanted her closer to him. Normally Minerva would have hexed anyone who even suggested such a thing, or at least yelled and then stormed off, but instead she just looked... sad. Rolanda convinced herself that it was because Minerva was offended at the very thought, but she didn't sleep well that night at all. When Minerva did finally leave for Hogwarts, Rolanda told her that she was leaving as well, going back to traveling, and they both moved their things out of the small flat.
14.) Another war began, and too many people died, and she and Minerva barely spoke. Rolanda spent a lot of time convincing herself that this was exactly what she wanted, but somewhere along the way she found herself marching through the gates of Hogwarts and interrupting Minerva's last class of the day with a sheepish half-smile and a soft, "Can I see you for a moment?" They didn't move back into the flat, and Minerva didn't leave Hogwarts, but things were on their way toward 'better', and Rolanda didn't complain.
15.) Rolanda's Quidditch career ended with a bad fall and three weeks spent in a wizarding hospital in Italy. She woke up to Minerva sitting at her bedside, looking exhausted and terrified and grateful that Rolanda was even alive. The Healer explained patiently that she couldn't play anymore—magic could only do so much, and the damage to her spine was extensive, and while they would get her back on her feet, she couldn't risk another hit from a Bludger or another fall. Minerva told her that Dumbledore was going to offer her the recently-vacated flight instructor position at Hogwarts, and despite her insistence that she would rather starve and live on the street in Knockturn Alley than accept Dumbledore's charity, Minerva somehow managed to talk her into accepting, if only so they can see each other more. The fact that it meant Rolanda would still have an excuse to fly fairly regularly was just an added bonus.
16.) When yet another war started, Rolanda didn't join the Order, and she didn't feel guilty about that in the least. She supported the side that wasn't supporting Voldemort, and that's was far as her loyalties would have gone, really, except that Minerva was so entrenched in the Order's activities that it was impossible to stay out of things. Many a night found her standing watch in the rain outside Potter's house because she didn't like Minerva standing out there all night by herself despite knowing that she was perfectly capable of self-defense. She wouldn't have been able to live with herself if she'd refused to get involved and then something had happened to Minerva.
17.) Rolanda thought that Dumbledore was an idiot for placing all of his hopes on the shoulders of a child. She couldn't have cared less about prophecies and blood protections and love saving the day, and she was tired of Albus letting children fight his wars. She and Minerva fought with each other over this issue more than they ever fought with Death Eaters. It was hardly the first time they'd ever fought, or even the most they'd ever fought—the year Minerva started teaching came to mind—but it was all coated in a feeling of desperation and fear and worry, and Rolanda thought that she'd lived through enough wars for one lifetime, thank you very much.
18.) Rolanda had never liked Albus Dumbledore. She'd thought he was a coward during the Grindelwald war, sitting back and letting others fight and die when he could have ended everything so quickly—she never cared what his reasons were. Two Voldemort wars and some sixty years later, her feelings about him hadn't changed. But Minerva loved Albus Dumbledore, thought of him as a mentor and a friend and a leader to be followed unconditionally, and so when he died, Rolanda held Minerva and listened to her cry, and she attended the funeral the next morning even if she didn't really care to be there. It took all of the willpower within her not to scream after hearing the hundredth person talk about how wonderful the man had been.
19.) It took her three days after Snape was announced as the new headmaster to convince Minerva not to throw herself headfirst into the conflict and instead stay and do what she could at Hogwarts. It hurt a little to Minerva probably only agreed in the end because it was what Dumbledore had asked that she do. You-Know-Who needed followers who could fly on a broomstick without falling to their deaths, and so Rolanda continued on with her position at Hogwarts, albeit reluctantly. She couldn't leave Minerva anyway, and she hoped she can do something to help at least some of the students, so she gritted her teeth and clenched her fists and put up with Snape and the Carrows and Filch's smarmy grins.
20.) Rolanda nearly died during the final battle. She fought right alongside the other teachers and the older students, and she got hit with some spell that was probably cast by someone on her own side and intended for a Death Eater because it didn't kill her. She woke up a week and a half later in the hospital wing at Hogwarts. Everything around her looked battered and dreary, and once Pomfrey examined her, the mediwitch disappears through the doorway and returns with a harried looking Minerva. "We won?" she asked, and Minerva smiled grimly and told her, "More or less," as she took her hand. Rolanda let out a sigh of relief and grinned.