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When the Wife's Away, the Cat Will Play

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The sitting room was a shambles. Ornaments and vases were knocked over, several books had been knocked off the shelves. There were deep scratch marks all over the furniture and walls.

“Minerva McGonagall, what do you think you are doing!" Rolanda hissed, snatching the snitch away from her before she damaged the wings.

Minerva turned a thoroughly unimpressed look Rolanda’s way before returning to her human form. She brushed her hands down the front of her robes and then left the room without a word.

Rolanda hurried to put the snitch away in its box before following her. She was led into their kitchen, where Minerva put the kettle on and busied herself with tea things as if nothing had happened at all.

If she hadn’t seen it herself, Rolanda might have thought she’d imagined it.

“A snitch is not a toy!” Rolanda chided, surprised she had to remind Minerva of all people. “Its wings are delicate and only charmed to retract to a human touch. You could have damaged it!”

How Minerva had managed to catch it as a cat was something she’d ponder later, but chasing a snitch around certainly explained the state the sitting room was in. And she’d only been gone an hour.

“You don’t even like playing with toys when you’re a cat,” she continued, squinting at Minerva’s back and wondering if the silent treatment was punishment for taking the snitch away, or embarrassment for getting caught with it. “You told me that years ago. Quite superior about it, you were.”

Minerva put something down heavily enough to create a loud sound that startled Rolanda. When she turned around, she had a sour look on her face.

“I suppose you think I lied?” she said.

She sounded out of breath, even though she didn’t appear so.

Rolanda squinted at her. “Lied to yourself then, did you? Shall we venture out to a pet shop for some toys then?”

Minerva's expression darkened rapidly. “We will do no such thing!”

If she had been in cat form, her tail would have been fluffed up from anger.

Rolanda amused herself with that image for a few moments before responding. Minerva turned her back and fiddled with the tea things again.

“Is this a seeker thing, then?” Rolanda finally asked. “You haven’t played in decades, surely those instincts have well and truly died by now.”

Minerva’s back straightened, but she didn’t turn around. “I’ll thank you to drop the subject. How was Diagon Alley?”

“Oh no,” Rolanda laughed. “We’re not dropping this. You had fun, you can’t deny it. The state of the sitting room is proof of that. If it got loose on its own you could have easily captured it with magic. You chose to chase it as a cat.”

With a loud clatter, Minerva dropped something and whirled around.

“Oh, fine!” she snapped. “I may be old but I’m not dead yet! Yes, it was enjoyable to chase that thing around like a common cat chasing a bird. There, I said it. Are you satisfied?”

Rolanda could have laughed. She’d have a titter about it with Albus once they returned to Hogwarts for the new school year. Maybe if she was feeling particularly peevish, she’d tell Severus. She did so love to watch the he and Minerva bicker.

“Have you done this before?” she asked. “Waited until I’ve gone out and then scampered around the house after one of my snitches?”

Minerva looked like she’d bit into a lemon, and Rolanda did laugh. “Oh, Minnie, you ridiculous woman.”

“I’ll bite its wings off next time, just you wait,” Minerva muttered, abandoning the tea things and moving back to the sitting room.

Once there, she began setting it to rights, and Rolanda continued to laugh while she watched. From the damage, she could very well imagine just how lively the chase must have been. It seemed Minerva had scampered straight up the walls in one or two places.

“This is perhaps an opportune moment to tell you I finally achieved my own Animagus form,” Rolanda finally said, after ceasing her laughter and catching her breath.

Minerva turned and frowned at her.

“You said you were nowhere close last I offered to help.”

“I lied,” Rolanda said with a grin.

“You really could have achieved it faster if you’d let me help you,” Minerva huffed, turning and repairing the wallpaper with an expert flick of her wand.

“Don’t you want to know what I am?” Rolanda asked, leaning against the doorframe. She could feign disinterest all she liked with her posture, but if Minerva turned to look at her again, she’d read the excitement in her expression like she was an open book.

“Well, go on,” Minerva said waspishly. “The suspense is killing me.”

Rolanda grinned. She was sure she could turn that mood around, now that she knew Minerva wasn’t as immune to her feline instincts as she liked to pretend.

“I’m a goshawk. Feel like trying to catch me?”