Hi everyone! This is my first time writing a fanfic, so I'd be grateful for reviews. I cannot promise regular updates, but I will try for at least once a month. Also, I should probably say that, last time I checked, I wasn't J.K. Rowling. I'm definately not that brilliant. This fic starts off immediately after DH and will be, for the most part, canon compliant (I'm still not sure about the epilogue, though. And not the Cursed Child.). One last thing. I have read (and reread, and re-reread) many fanfics involving a Minerva/Hermione friendship, so if I accidentally cut it too close to your story, I'm sorry. Let me know and I'd be happy to change it.

"That wand's more trouble than it's worth," said Harry. "And quite honestly," he turned away from the painted portraits, "I've had enough trouble for a lifetime."

"I agree," Ron replied.

"Also, there's one last thing I want to do before putting this back," he said, giving the Elder Wand in his hand a shake, "Accio Hermione's wand! Accio Ron's wand!"

A few moments later, there was a crash behind the trio and the wands came whizzing in. They bopped Harry hard on the nose before clattering to the floor.

"I guess I forgot to open a window," he stated wearily as he stooped to pick up the wands and turned to the window now in pieces on the floor. "Here."

Hermione felt a warmth spread through her fingers as Harry handed her her wand and knew its allegiance was still to her.

"Reparo."

The window shards rose at Hermione's spell and reformed. Suddenly, a figure appeared in the doorway. Hermione panicked and thought it was a death eater, but before she could do anything, the figure spoke in what was unmistakably Professor McGonagall's voice.

"I thought I might find you up here. Do not worry, Harry, I will not stay for long."

She hurried forward, set a very burnt hat on the desk, and pulled Harry into a quick hug before doing the same for Ron and Hermione. The bushy-haired witch wasn't sure, but it seemed like her professor lingered with her a second longer than the boys. She hoped she hadn't imagined it, that the bond she and her professor had shared was still there. Before the trio had left Hogwarts, the two witches had been as close to mother and daughter as they could have been while still remaining student and teacher. She hoped her year on the run hadn't changed that.

"You do know how proud I am of you, do you not?"

"Yes, professor. Thank you."

"Very well. You had best be on your way then?"

Harry nodded, gave a slight smile to Dumbledore's portrait, and led the trio back down the stairs. Behind them, Hermione heard the portrait say "Oh, Minerva…" before the door closed behind them and Ron spoke.

"I never would have guessed Snape loved your mum, Harry."

"Can we talk about this later, Ron? I'm a bit tired at the moment."

"Yeah, okay."

Cheers erupted as the three passed portraits on their way to the Gryffindor common room. When they arrived, the Fat Lady simply beamed tearfully and swung forward to admit them.

"G'night, 'Mione," Ron murmured as he and Harry ascend the stairs to the boys dorms.

"Night. Sleep well."

They yawned and nodded. Hermione turned, but instead of heading up the stairs to the girls' dorms, she climbed back out the portrait hole and made her way back to the Great Hall.

She took a deep breath, trying to comprehend what had happened. Voldemort was dead, as were many of his supporters. The war was over. There would be no more death.

Now, as she returned to the Great Hall, she was able to take the time to look around. Already there were beds cluttering the rubble covered room, no doubt transfigured from any objects that could be found. Healers from St. Mungo's were scurrying around the makeshift hospital wing tending to those who were injured in the battle. Search parties were digging through the rubble, looking for survivors. At the center of it all stood a tall figure.

Hermione wound her way over to her professor, passing a reporter who was fleeing the castle at the insistence of a rather livid healer on her way. She stopped a few feet off and just observed her. Her hair was tumbling out of its usual stern bun and her emerald green robes were covered in dirt and torn in several places. There was a gash on her cheek and her shoulders slumped almost imperceptibly. Hermione took another deep breath and called out to her.

"Professor?"

Professor McGonagall jumped and started to draw her wand, but stopped when she caught sight of Hermione.

"My apologies, Miss Granger. I'm still a bit on edge."

"It's okay, professor. I imagine you've had a tough year. You look like you could use a rest."

"You must be exhausted yourself."

"I'm okay, and I couldn't sleep right now if I tried. Besides, I'm more concerned about you."

"Thank you, Miss Granger, but I'm afraid I cannot rest now. There is too much to be done."

"Professor, it does not all have to be done right now. Please go rest. I'll stay here and come get you if anything happens."

"Are you sure, Miss Granger?"

"Yes."

"Alright. Thank you."

"Your welcome, professor. Sleep well."

Hermione watched as Professor McGonagall made her way out of the Great Hall. She knew her professor needed to see a healer, but there was no way she was going to before everyone else had been checked and treated. Even then, Hermione doubted she would.

A crack of apparition from the direction of the Entrance Hall roused the witch from her musings. She was slightly confused before realizing the anti-apparition charm guarding Hogwarts must have fallen during the battle. No one else seemed to have noticed, so she made her way as quickly as she could to the door. The sight that greeted her caused her heart to leap into her throat. There stood Dolohov and Rookwood, their wands pointed at Professor McGonagall.

"You will bring us Harry Potter."

"No." Her voice held no fear.

"You have one more chance. You will bring us Harry Potter!"

"I will never bri—"

"Crucio!"

The professor lifted off the ground, her limbs flailing and her face contorted in pain.

"Stop it!" Hermione screamed.

"Oh, the little mudblood thinks it can save its beloved Professor," Rookwood taunted before engaging the bushy-haired witch in a duel.

"Avada Kedavra!" She jumped aside, a blackened spot appearing on the wall behind where she was standing. She sent a Stunning Spell back at him, the scarlet light narrowly missing his cheek.

"You filthy mudblood," he jeered, sending a Cruciatus Curse at her, which missed but destroyed a nearby suit of armor. As Hermione cast a confundus charm toward her attacker, she saw that Dolohov was advancing on Professor McGonagall, who was now writhing in a heap on the floor. The witch's heart was racing. She narrowly avoided another killing curse in her distraction.

"Diminuendo!" Rookwood dove out of the way, landing with a thud on the floor. That gave Hermione enough time to place him under a full body-bind curse.

Dolohov eater noticed this and roughly snatched the professor from the floor.

"Goodbye, filthy mudblood," he snarled before cackling wildly and sending a killing curse at her.

Hermione dodged the curse and managed to grab on to the hem of her professor's robes as the death eater apparated. She felt the familiar tug at her navel and then she was in what looked to be someone's cellar.

"Ah, the mudblood decided to tag along, did it?"

"Leave her alone!" Dolohov whirled around to find Professor McGonagall glaring at him, her wand raised. Her other hand was on the wall behind her for support. "Leave. Her. Alone."

"Expelliarmus!" She deflected his spell but before she had time to fight back, he cast again.

The older witch's wand flew across the room and into the death eater's outstretched hand. "Not so quick now, are you Minnie? Our little bit of fun was too much for you?" He taunted before turning back to Hermione. "Let's play a game, shall we mud—"

"I thought this was about getting Harry Potter," the younger witch interrupted rashly.

"It was. But I'm having too much fun. Now, hand over your wand, or your beloved professor will suffer." He pointed his wand at her professor as he spoke.

"Don't do it, Hermione!"

Hermione's heart was pounding. She knew her wand was her only weapon, but if she didn't hand it over...

"Crucio!"

A heart-wrenching scream echoed through the room. She took a deep breath and threw her wand at his feet.

"Very good, mudblood." The witch could still hear ragged breathing coming from behind the death eater. "Now for the real fun. Watching you after 'dear Professor McGonagall' dies!" He whipped around and aimed his wand at the professor who was crumpled on the floor. "Avada Kedaver—"

Hermione threw herself at Dolohov, knocking his wand out of his hand just in time. She reached for it, but he got there first and sent a Cruciatus curse in her direction, which missed but struck her professor instead. The screams now echoing once again through the cellar distracted the death eater long enough for her to grab both witches' wands back. He raised his wand to send another curse at Hermione, but she was quicker.

"Stupify!" Dolohov slumped to the ground. She turned and gingerly scooped the form of her now-unconscious professor into her arms before apparating to St. Mungo's.

They were surrounded by healers almost immediately upon their arrival. Hermione hardly noticed that her professor was moved from her arms on to a stretcher because she was so distracted with the questions the healers were throwing at her. It was only when the healers tried to lead her away from Professor McGonagall that she regained her senses.

"I'm staying with her," Hermione stated.

"I'm sorry, miss, but that is not an option. We need room to work," one of the healers reasoned.

"Fine. But I'm staying in the lobby. And I'm only leaving this room under the condition that I am allowed back as soon as you are finished."

"Alright, Miss," the healer consented with a sigh as she showed Hermione to the door.

The witch did not want to leave her professor, but she knew she had no choice. As soon as she reached the lobby, she sent a patronus to Professor Sprout asking her to come. Hermione needed to explain everything to her. She had just sat down when the professor came bustling in the door.

"What is it, dear? Are you alright?"

"I'm fine. It's Professor McGonagall. She's been attacked by death eaters."

Professor Sprout gasped. "What happened?"

Hermione explained before asking the professor to put an anti-apparition charm around what was left of the school.

"Are you sure you're alright, Miss Granger? A duel with death eaters is no small feat."

"I'm fine, Professor. I'm just—"

A healer had joined them, cutting her off.

"Miss McGonagall will be fine. She is just waking up. Would you like to come see her?"

"Yes," Hermione answered, glancing at Professor Sprout.

"I should return to Hogwarts, but I'll come back later." She gave her a small smile before hurrying back out the door. Hermione watched her go then turned to follow the healer.

The healer led her to a door, then stood aside so that Hermione could enter alone. She took a steadying breath before easing the door open. There lay Professor McGonagall, her expression one of mingled exhaustion and pain. She had several gashes and bruises on her face and arms, and her robes were now singed in addition to being dirty and torn.

"Professor?"

Her eyes flew open and darted around the room before coming to rest on Hermione. She gave the bushy-haired witch a fleeting smile.

"Are you alright?" Hermione knew it was a stupid question, but she didn't know what else to say.

"I will be," her professor replied hoarsely.

"I'm so sorry, professor," she said, her voice wavering.

"Whatever for? You saved my life."

"I stood by while you were tortured. I did nothing." Tears were now falling from the witch's eyes.

"Come here." Professor McGonagall reached out for Hermione's hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. "I'm alright because of you. You saved me. You did everything you could have." She reached up to the younger witch's face and wiped away the tears before pulling her into a hug.

"Thank you, professor."

"No, thank you, dear. Now, I want to know how soon I can get out of this wretched place."

Hermione giggled, earning her a glare from her professor before she too smiled. Just then, a healer arrived with a pain-relief potion.

"How soon can I get out of here?" Professor McGonagall demanded.

"When you are well enough, miss."

The professor rolled her eyes. "I am well enough now."

"No, miss. You will stay at least tonight. After that we'll see."

She glared at the healer, who responded by handing her the potion. She turned to Hermione.

"Make sure she takes it, please. I'll be in the corridor if you need me." And with that she strode out of the room.

"Bloody healers," the professor muttered under her breath. Hermione stifled another giggle.

"Professor McGonagall, I expect you to take that potion," the younger witch said in her best impersonation of the woman she was talking to.

"I do not believe it is any of your business what I do or do not do, Miss Granger," her professor retorted as sternly as she could.

Hermione bit her lip to keep herself from bursting out in peals of laughter. "Whether it is my business or not is not relevant. You will take that potion."

They glared at each other until Hermione cracked and fell into a fit of giggles. Professor McGonagall smiled.

"No, really. Please," the younger witch pleaded when she had calmed down enough to speak.

"If I must."

"Thank you."

Professor McGonagall yawned. It was then that Hermione realized she had not slept in two days, nor had her professor.

"I should let you rest," she said quietly. Her professor's eyes flew open again.

"Would you like me to stay with you?"

She looked slightly ashamed but answered softly, "Yes, please."

"I'll stay right here, professor." Hermione slipped her hand into her professor's to assure her that she had not left. "Sleep well."

Her professor just smiled. Both witches were quickly asleep.