A/N : My idea for this fic was: during OOTP, McGonagall is attacked while defending Hagrid. What if he reacted violently to it? I tried really hard to get his idiom somewhat right, but if you have constructive feedback on it, please don't hesitate to point out what I did wrong there, and how I can get it better :)
The idea came to me two weeks ago, as I was taking the plane back to Belgium from Berlin. I'd had plot bunnies running around in my head for most of my holiday, but for another fandom. Then, as I was waiting for my plane, I started thinking about this ship, and a wild plot bunny appeared. It used "sudden inspiration", which was super effective xD. So I took out my notebook, and started to write (rather frenetically, if I'm honest). On the plane, I was seated next to a very nice woman with whom I talked about this idea. If you ever read this, it's dedicated to you, and to that very nice conversation :) thank you for letting me bother you with my stories, and for the tea :)
Summary: Rubeus is a giant teddy bear of a man. Attentive, loving and protective, he doesn't have a mean bone in his body. Minerva is his lover, and he adores her. So what happens when she is attacked?
Rating: T to M
As always, please review to let me know your thoughts on the story. Feedback helps me improve :)
The strident cry of the tea kettle broke through the eerie stillness of the night, and Rubeus Hagrid sook out of his contemplation as his dog gave an answering bark. Is it that late, already? He wondered, turning his eyes away from the crackling fire. Through the window, the stars shone bright on the dark sky, like diamonds on a black tapestry. The steam was now freely flowing from the kettle.
"Tea's ready, boy" he said, getting up wearily, running a hand through his beard. I'll have to do something about that tomorrow, he thought. "Wha' d'yeh think, Fang?" he grumbled, scratching the dog's head, earning himself a joyful jap. "Think she wouldn' min' if I went teh tha' new salon down the village?"
The dog's only answer was a short bark, and some excited tail wagging, and Rubeus chuckled as he took a purple potholder, removing the kettle from the fire. Yep! Even the dog is all for it, he thought, then smiled as he recalled their early morning.
He'd awakened to the glorious sight of her, all tousled hair and pouty lips, her legs entwined with his. Her eyes full of sleep, she was running her fingers through his beard, a tender look gracing her features. Seeing that he was awake, she'd smiled brightly, and made to kiss him, but frowned quickly as he'd groaned in pain: his hair had gotten stuck under his shoulder during the night. "That woman worries far too much!" he muttered. She tended to worry about everyone or everything that was dear to her. Not that he minded that she, well, cared. In fact, he was overjoyed, and grateful that she was even with him in the first place. She was way out of his league, after all. Or that she cared so much that she'd worry for so little. but… he hated it when she was worried. Or stressed. Or nervous. Or sick. Or annoyed. Or hurt. Or… well, in short, whenever things did not go her way.
He could still recall her soft sigh as he'd tangled his fingers in her hair and pulled her back to his chest, her ear so close to his mouth that his breath tickled them as he rumbled. "'M fine, love, jus' my hair stuck under me, tha's all. Don' worry 'bout it."
Her answering words had been so muffled that, had he not been used to her muttering, he would not have understood a thing. "'ll cut 'm for ya lata t'day, 'f ya wan'" He had chuckled then, she was positively adorable when she mumbled in his chest, still half asleep. Besides, Minerva was gifted in many things, but with a pair of scissors, she was not. She was more of a menace, if he was honest with himself. "I'll jus' go teh the salon som'tim's this week, love. Don' fret yaself.". He'd kissed her on the crown of her head, and they'd cuddled for a bit before she'd pressed herself against lower parts of his anatomy. Merlin, he wanted her, now.
Is she coming tonight? he wondered aloud, surely the woman would need a break, especially as she'd planned on grading the exam papers from Year 1 today. His Minerva had appeared dispirited, and on edge at the mere thought of it. "Surely it can't be that bad, love" he'd told her many times during the year. "They'll grow up, they'll learn teh work, Min, don' worry, they're jus' immature" he'd told her. He shuddered at he recalled his foolishness… the looks she'd given each time he'd tried (to no avail) to reassure her with platitudes, or the short cynical laugh had answered him enough. So had the way Filius or Pomona commiserated with her. Or the "You'll never guess what they've done this time!" as she launched into another tirade on their atrocious behaviour, pointless pranks, general immaturity, lack of work, and how they could not be bothered to even try -at all. Yes, it was, in fact, that bad. On top of all the stress of the year, he thought as he finally covered the tea leaves with the water, – Dumbledore's dismissal, Umbridge's witch hunt, the way she'd targeted Harry (who's one of Min's favourite, not that she'd ever admit it), the injuries and even deaths of some Order members, their secret fight against You-Know-Who, even keeping their own not-so-secret affair away from the prying eyes of their colleagues and students (mostly from Umbridge, if he was honest with himself, she didn't care if anyone learnt) – the firsties… well, it all added up, didn't it? Her nerves were quite frazzled. Well, more frazzled than they usually were at the end of the schoolyear. Just the other day, after a particularly trying afternoon, she'd broken down in his arms, crying from sheer exhaustion. And she'd started having nightmares again, which didn't help. And he doubted this war was going to go well any time soon…
Sighing, Rubeus poured himself a cup and took a sip. Then made a face. He'd been so lost in his thoughts that the water had cooled down too much. Now, the blasted tea was tepid at best.
I'm gonna check on her. She's sure to need a distraction or some sort of comfort, or support, he thought. At the least, a good cuppa, a cuddle or a good snog. "C'mon, boy" he said.
"Woof?" barked Fang interrogatively.
"Yes, boy, we're goin' to see Min"
He opened the door. The night sky was clear, and the stars were shining brightly. The air was sharp but retained the humidity that announced a dewy morning. "Perfect weather for a picknick, right, boy?" Yes, maybe he could get her to take a good, long, break. It would do his Minerva some good, he was sure.
Having closed the door, he started purposefully toward the castle. In the distance, he could still see the Fifth Years taking their Astronomy OWLs. He spared a thought for his young friends, hoping they would do well.
He suddenly noticed something strange. A group of people was coming down from the castle. From where he was, he could not yet see who they were, but they were determined, and did not bother to stay on the path.
Who in Merlin's name could that be, at this hour?
1 In latin, it means the « Mad/Furious" Rubeus. It comes from the name of the latin play Hercules Furens, by Seneca (transl. available here: wiki/Tragedies_of_Seneca_(1907)_Miller/Hercules_Furens). In this play, Hercules, in the throws of a "madness" sent by Hera, kills his wife and childrenThe term furor, in latin, describes a certain state of madness/"murderous" fury, where the character, submerged by his passions, becomes almost animalistic, and does horrible, "unnatural things" (infanticide, rape, cannibalism, patricide, fratricide…). As you can imagine, Rubeus does not go that far !SPOILER ALERT! but the mental state he will find himself in, might be close.