Characters: Neville/Hannah, Minerva McGonagall, Dumbledore's portrait
Prompt number: 147
Word Count: ~1500
Summary: As Neville prepares for his first year as a Hogwarts' Professor, he finds out something about his wife that shocks him . . .
Disclaimer: I am only playing in JKR's sandbox and greatly appreciate her letting me borrow it. ;)
Author’s Notes: Thank you to my wonderful beta!
Neville awoke, rolled over to greet his wife, and found Hannah's side of the bed empty. There were wonderful smells emanating from the kitchen, though, so Neville got up and sleepily made his way there.
"Morning, love!" Hannah kissed him quickly on the lips and began pouring coffee. "Breakfast isn't quite ready, so why don't you shower first? By the time you're back, I'll have everything finished. Here's your coffee." Hannah placed a steaming mug in Neville's hands.
Neville sipped his coffee and glanced at what Hannah was cooking. "You're making all my favorites?"
"Of course! You have a big day today, and I wanted you to start off well, Professor Longbottom."
"Thanks, love, but I'm just going over my curriculum with Headmistress McGonagall."
"Do you not want breakfast?" Hannah waggled her spatula at Neville.
"Well, yeah, I want breakfast! This all smells wonderful."
"Then why are you acting like something's wrong? I'll make you a big breakfast on your first day of teaching, too, if that's what you're worried about."
"Well . . ."
Hannah raised an eyebrow at Neville as she stirred a pot without looking.
"It would have been a great way to start the day in bed with my wife, too." Neville could feel himself blushing. For Merlin's sake! They'd been married for a month!
Hannah laughed happily. "Breakfast is just about finished. I'll add some warming charms and meet you upstairs in a few minutes," she winked.
"Neville, your curriculum is in excellent order. I am confident you will be a superb professor, and I am pleased to have you as a colleague. . ."
Neville could feel himself blushing.
". . . but there is one more item I wish to discuss with you."
"Of course, Hea—Minerva," Neville stammered.
Headmistress McGonagall smiled. "I think it took me four months before I could use Albus' first name without thinking about it."
"I would say closer to six, Minerva."
McGonagall glared at Albus Dumbledore's portrait while Neville hid a chuckle. Dumbledore pretended to fall asleep.
McGonagall turned back to Neville. "Getting back to what I wish to discuss, Neville. Since The War, Hogwarts has instituted a policy of hiring professors who are younger than ever before. This is partly by necessity, as we lost so many members of our community, but there are also many extraordinary young people who have experience and knowledge far beyond their years."
Neville, unsure what to say, nodded.
"Being a young professor presents some unique challenges, but specifically, Neville, you need to be prepared for students who will fancy you."
Neville snorted. "Why on earth would students fancy me? I'm a professor!" Neville's heart swelled at being able to call himself a professor. "And besides, I'm married."
"I take it you never fancied one of your professors?" Neville shook his head. "You would be surprised at what students, particularly the younger ones, will do. Do you remember how many of your classmates sent Valentine's Day cards to Gilderoy Lockhart?"
Neville nodded thoughtfully. Even Hermione sent Lockhart a Valentine.
"You may want to ask Hannah about her experiences. I'm sure she could shed some light for you on how teenage girls think."
Neville nodded. "Has anything happened, er, Minerva, that you felt the need to warn me?"
Minerva pursed her lips. "In fact, yes. We had a young Defense Against the Dark Arts professor from the States for the past couple of years. Last term, a fifth year managed to steal Amortentia and gave it to him. He snogged her in the Great Hall at dinner."
"Merlin!" Neville exclaimed. "What happened to them?"
"The young lady in question was asked not to return after her O.W.L.s in exchange for not being expelled. She, of course, had detention for the rest of the term. Unfortunately, Professor Adams was so embarrassed by the situation he chose to resign. I tried to convince him otherwise, but he wished to return to his home country. If the young man to whom I have offered the D.A.D.A job accepts, you will not be the youngest professor at Hogwarts, Neville."
Neville nodded. "That's awful. I can't believe a student would do something like that."
"Not all students are as well behaved as you were, Neville."
Neville felt himself blushing again. "So, Mi—Minerva. Did you ever have a student fancy you?"
Minerva breathed sharply through her nose. "Unfortunately, yes. I was the youngest professor at Hogwarts when I began teaching, although I was quite a bit older than you are. I had a very bright student, one of my best in first and second year, but in third year, I found I was forced to give him frequent detentions. It took me a bit of time to realize he was earning detentions on purpose!" Minerva appeared outraged. "When I realized what was happening and why, I sent him to Headmaster Dippet the next time he was involved in mischief."
"Did that work?" Neville asked.
"Yes. Apparently the punishment he received was sufficiently . . . unpleasant . . . as to discourage any further wrongdoing, but it would have been easier on both of us had I realized sooner what was happening. Hence, my warning to you."
Neville nodded. "I'll keep that in mind. Thank you, Minerva."
"I'm glad your curriculum review went well. Did the Headmistress have any extra advice to give you?"
"Actually, yes. Let me ask you something." Hannah nodded for Neville to continue. "Did you ever fancy one of your professors at Hogwarts?"
Hannah's cheeks turned pink, and she didn't answer.
"You're blushing!" Neville accused, laughing. "So who'd you fancy?"
Hannah mumbled something unintelligible.
"Was it Lockhart?"
Hannah shook her head, making a face as she did.
"Come on! Tell me . . ."
"Professor Snape." Hannah whispered.
"Snape?! You can't be serious!"
"I answered your question! Why would I lie about fancying Professor Snape?"
"I didn't say you were lying! I just can't believe . . . How could you have ever fancied . . . The way he treated students . . . Snape, of all people?" Neville sputtered incoherently.
Hannah put a soothing hand on Neville's arm. "Calm down, love. My experiences with Professor Snape were very different from yours."
"They couldn't be that different! I don't care if he did help bring down Voldemort, he's still a slimy git! He terrorized me throughout five years of Potions, Hannah! He was my boggart for Merlin's sake! I just don't see how you could even like the man let alone fancy him!"
"First of all, the Hufflepuffs had Potions with the Ravenclaws, and while Professor Snape was very strict, he never terrorized anyone. He was always sort of like Professor McGonagall—stern, but fair. Secondly, I only fancied him first year and part of second. When we had the dueling club second year, I saw how mean he was to the Gryffindors and how he favored the Slytherins, and I stopped fancying him. Before that, I never knew he didn't treat everyone the same way."
Neville sighed, "Did you ever do anything about it?"
"Do anything about fancying Professor Snape? What would I have done?"
"Sent him a Valentine's card or a birthday card or give him a love potion . . ."
"Did McGonagall tell you about a student giving a love potion to a professor?!"
"That's terrible! No, I never sent cards or anything. I thought all those girls who sent Lockhart cards were silly. I didn't do that kind of thing. I would never have even considered a love potion!"
"But it wasn't silly, and quite frankly disturbing, to fancy Snape?"
Hannah rolled her eyes. "All young girls fancy people at some point in time. Yes, it's silly, but who doesn't do something silly when they're eleven or twelve?"
"That's true, I guess. So what made you fancy Snape?"
Hannah smiled sheepishly. "It started the first day of class. Professor Snape made Potions sound like the most exciting thing in the world, 'You can brew fame, stopper death . . .' Plus, his sexy bedroom voice didn't hurt." Hannah winked at Neville.
Neville groaned and put his face in his hands. "I never thought I would hear the words Snape and sexy in the same sentence. Especially not in a sentence spoken by my wife. Please Obliviate me now!"
Hannah sidled up to Neville, wrapping her arms around his shoulders. "I'm not going to Obliviate you, but I can certainly put new images into your head, Professor Longbottom."
Neville smirked as Hannah began to play with the hair on the nape of his neck. "Yeah?"
"Yes. You are far sexier than Snape." Before Neville could say anything, Hannah kissed him and effectively ended the conversation.