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Schoolgirl's Fancy (Alexandrian Librarian) (July 19)
Zam Wesell
alexandrian_lib wrote in 30_hath
Title: Schoolgirl's Fancy
Author: alexandrian_lib
House: Ravenclaw
Date/Challenge: July 19/She hath spoke what she should not.
Character/Pairing: Ginny/Luna, Tom/Minerva
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 1776
Genre/Warnings (if applicable): femslash, threesome implied

It is a familiar truth that almost all scholarly students, and nearly as many of those who are merely compelled to attend classes, eventually become enamored of one or more of their teachers. This leads to such overt infatuations as Neville Longbottom's on Professor Sprout and such complicated ones as Millicent Bulstrode's on Professor Snape (likely resulting, we may add, from his unremitting snubbing of the hated Hermione Granger), as well as the mass hysteria over Professor Lockhart. Not all of these studently affections are romantic, however. Hermione saw herself as the future successor to Professor McGonagall in everything, except perhaps hairstyle. Charlie Weasley idolized Madam Hooch, and Dean Thomas in third year really, really wanted to grow up to be Professor Lupin.

Ginny's view of Professor McGonagall leaned toward the latter category, honestly. Only, Professor McGonagall was so masterful and so brave, and she never let Fred and George get away with anything, and she could turn into a cat and everything, and Ginny thought Professor McGonagall's hair would be quite pretty if only she would let it down about her shoulders.

There are certain times in most people's lives, especially when they are young and their personalities are still stretching and trying out new shapes, when they behave most unlike the ways in which they normally would do. Ginny was never the type to memorize every available fact about someone, no matter how she felt about that person (well, except for Harry, and that was different, really). However, Ginny's secret fault was nosiness. She wasn't a gossip, usually; she merely liked the feeling of Knowing About people, so she would listen attentively to such tales as her parents' reminiscences of Bill and Charlie playing house with Nymphadora Tonks when they were young. Likewise, she spent one dreary weekend in second year browsing languidly through the past volumes of Hogwarts, an Illustrated Guide to the People Therein, looking for relatives and teachers in its pages, as this was before she had quite got over her residual shyness from the incident the previous year and she didn't really have any friends yet (except the slightly barmy Luna Lovegood from Ravenclaw, but talking to her was like speaking with Dumbledore as a pre-adolescent girl). Because she was, at that time, eager to avoid any further memories of Tom Riddle, Ginny skipped the volumes which recorded years in which she knew he had been at school. A few volumes back, Ginny found M. McGonagall on the list of Gryffindor first-years. Although her nosiness sense hummed, Ginny wasn't willing to face Tom Riddle to find out more about Professor McGonagall's school years.

There are certain times in most people's lives when they repeat the uncharacteristic actions they've done in the past. In third year, Ginny often went to the library instead of the common room, as Ron was being daft, Hermione was being a nuisance, and Harry was being a maelstrom of misfortune, as usual. Naturally, Ginny didn't get many essays written; instead, she whiled away long hours leafing through the lists of accomplishments and the funny names that went along with them in Hogwarts, an Illustrated Guide, etc. She tracked the development of wizarding portraits from the animated ink sketches of the thirteenth century through the moving miniature paintings of the sixteenth century to the eventual development of wizarding photography in the early twentieth century and the first color moving photographs in 1963. Until the relatively effortless moving photography was developed, only new members of the staff and the Head Boy and Head Girl were depicted in Hogwarts, an Illustrated, etc. Thus Ginny frequently saw empty spaces and painted borders with elaborate names scripted underneath, long abandoned by their former inhabitants, interspersed with the occasional weary face of a wizard or witch, forgotten and unportrayed these many years after their schooling, who had no other portraits to sit in and who saw nothing but the other pages of the book for years at a stretch.

There are certain times when people realize that they aren't behaving strangely at all, but rather are behaving in accordance with their personalities. Such a realization is often accompanied by embarrassment, since it's awkward for people to find that they have been misunderstanding themselves all along. In her fourth year, Ginny had quite recovered from that unpleasantness three years prior and was perfectly capable of looking through pages of accomplishments with Tom Riddle's name on them to find out what Professor McGonagall had done in school. The slim volume, blazoned on the binding with the dates which it covered, proved an excellent passport with the Inquisitorial Squad--for, after all, Malfoy could hardly bring himself to punish someone who was possibly whispering to the Dark Lord's school portrait. The Dark Lord listened, after all; Draco had heard that he kept a photograph which reported to him what all the other photographs saw. There was a small chance that the Dark Lord would be displeased by someone chastising the little Weasley for being enthralled by him. The Dark Lord was not a person to displease lightly.

During that same year, Ginny summoned the courage to read the whole of the volumes encompassing Tom Riddle's time at Hogwarts. Ginny had made a pact with herself to be completely forthright that year (she was entirely too shy, after all, no matter what Ron said), so she secretly admitted that her aim was to find out more about Tom's girlfriend. This mysterious girl was the topic of nearly every conversation between them in which Tom had tried to flatter her. Ginny wryly realized that Tom likely preferred declaiming upon the wonders of his girlfriend to finding something charming to say to an eleven-year-old who perpetually babbled about Harry Potter. Still, Ginny hadn't known many strong women (her mum overshadowed them all), so she had enjoyed the tales Tom told of standing up to his Head of House, of sneaking down to the Slytherin rooms past the door of her Head of House, and of secret spells researched in the library and accomplished in daring acts of self-transfiguration. One volume had a picture of the House Cup match between Gryffindor and Slytherin the year Moaning Myrtle was murdered, which Ginny remembered Tom saying showed his girlfriend bashing a Bludger directly at his head in a stunning display of House spirit. The caption only says Gryffindor defeat Slytherin, 160-40, and the players themselves are all but unrecognizable. Still, Ginny occasionally would see a long-haired Gryffindor Beater knocking the Slytherin Keeper off his broom. Ginny wanted nothing to do with Tom Riddle, but she found his girlfriend strangely compelling. She had dreams in which beautiful dark hair swirled across her cheeks and pooled on her pillow from above, but every time she looked at the Beater's face in her dreams, she saw Professor McGonagall, hair now graying slightly at the temples; Ginny didn't wish to analyze that too closely.

Also, this young woman of Tom's had found other girls attractive. Tom once told a story, the import of which she hadn't comprehended at the time, about himself, his girlfriend, and a Luna-like Hufflepuff whose name Ginny couldn't recall, in a large bed doing what came naturally. The point of the story seemed to have been that the Hufflepuff had, at the moment of truth, rolled her eyes back and said something strange and profound which had given Tom the final insight necessary to discover the whereabouts of the Chamber of Secrets. Tom had sketched variations on this scene over and over in the decades he was trapped in the diary, and he tested his control of Ginny's body by sketching it over and over with her hand. She had never actually seen their drawings with her right mind behind her eyes. Tom had always stuffed them in a crack in the wall underneath her bed which Ginny had discovered the first month she was at Hogwarts; the house elves never cleaned there, so Ginny assumed the sketches remained.

By the time another year and the O.W.L.s had passed and sixth year was half gone, Ginny and Luna had become Quite Good Friends. Luna knew all there was to know about Ginny (including her adulation of Headmistress McGonagall), and Ginny knew all that a sane person could comprehend about Luna Lovegood. Divination with Professor Trelawney was an easy N.E.W.T. level class for both of them (they chose such an easy option because they expected to be busy improving the fate of the wizarding world, since Harry needed his sixth-year auxiliaries)--Luna was esoteric by nature, and Ginny was entirely capable of smiling charmingly as she spouted cleverly-constructed nonsense. Fortunately for their romance, Trelawney left the class pretty well alone, snoring softly or nursing a headache in the corner while the students snored softly, chatted amongst themselves, or even practiced with the crystal balls and innumerable cups of tea. Ginny and Luna brought things to show one another and talked in the aimless and affectionate way in which girls do when they're in love.

One afternoon, Ginny crawled underneath her bed, moved the stone, found the folded sketches, and brought them to show Luna in class. She was feeling a little nervous with nude sketches concealed on her person in the halls, and she felt even more so when Headmistress McGonagall came in and started to speak to Professor Trelawney in the corner. Luna's head was bent over the pieces of parchment as Ginny watched the two of them, wondering what the Headmistress could possibly have to discuss with Trelawney. A log collapsed in the fireplace, sending sparks and a rush of color over the faces in the corner. Ginny frowned, puzzled, wondering what about their conversation looked so familiar.

"It's them," Luna said loudly, eyes even wider than usual. A few heads turned towards the sudden noise.

Ginny looked at the piece of parchment which Luna was holding up for inspection. It depicted a stern young woman on the left, looking crossly but fondly at an ethereal young woman on the right, and between them was Tom Riddle. The subjects of the sketch were, of course, entirely unclothed, and Tom appeared to be touching them both in intimate places.

At the moment she realized Luna was right, Ginny lost control and shrieked,

"McGonagall and Trelawney and Tom Riddle!"

This was most unfortunate and left many important and unpleasant aftershocks, but let us draw the curtain after this unhappy utterance, dear reader, and remind ourselves that all of us have been young and have done unwise deeds and have spoken unwise speech.

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(Deleted comment)
I'm glad it didn't seem jarring; I tend to lecture instead of tell stories (note the measly two lines of actual human speech), so what started as a single scene morphed and meandered into a several-year setup for the bit at the end. Congratulations on surviving the backstory, and thanks for writing to tell me you enjoyed it (it's nice not to be the only person laughing at one's own jokes).

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