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Short Story

From the Besieged Ardea

On his way to becoming Lord Voldemort, Tom Riddle pauses to settle a score with Minerva McGonagall. A little Polyjuice creates a terrible mystery for Minerva and Albus.

Albus Dumbledore, Minerva McGonagall, Voldemort (Tom Riddle)
5,400 words

Read It On

I don’t know what to say. My emotions are all over the place and my heart just broke.


Wonderful writing, and the story is compelling in the way it presents a young, eager, and waiting-to-be-wooed Minerva. Makes me hate Tom even more.


Oh, this story gave me chills. The way you have framed it with the dry language of a long-ago history book just makes what happened to them all the more vivid and terrifying. I am blown away. Wow.


Minerva’s eyes snapped open. It took her a second to remember she was in her bedroom, then another to realise that the cause of her interrupted dream was the figure now seated on the side of the bed. She instinctively slipped her hand under her pillow and whipped out her wand, pointing it at the intruder. As her eyes adjusted to the low light provided by the waning gibbous moon, she recognised her visitor as Albus Dumbledore. Her heart stopped pounding quite so hard when she realised it was her friend and colleague perched next to her prone form. She lowered her wand and sat up.

“Albus, what are you doing here? I thought you were in Za—” she began, but he put his fin-gers to her lips to silence her. When he carefully took her wand from her hand, she let him. He laid it on her bedside table, just out of her reach.

There must be some crisis.

She had been Deputy Headmistress for only four months, she reasoned, so perhaps she was unaware of the protocol for urgent, middle-of-the-night problems. She knew the Headmas-ter could enter any of the rooms in the castle; surely Albus would only use the privilege in case of emergency.

She began again: “Is there a problem with one of the—” but again he stopped her, this time placing his palm more firmly against her mouth. She felt a prickle of unease when he put his other hand on her chest and pushed her gently back down against the pillow, raising his palm from her lips to put two fingers against his own, whispering, “Shhhh.”

She noticed then that the bedclothes had been pulled back from her body, and she suddenly felt exposed and vulnerable.

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