The Way It Should Have Been

Creator: margaretrevie
Rating: M/R
Warning(s): Major character death; teacher-student relationship; miscarriage
Word Count: 35,075

The interweaving paths of Minerva McGonagall and Albus Dumbledore. Their lives may not have turned out as they thought, but they are forever intertwined. MMAD fic, featuring lots of OCs, plus Poppy, Augusta, and Rolanda. Re-doing and updating in 2021. Warning for character deaths. Cross-posted to FFNet under the same username.

Characters: Aberforth Dumbledore, Abraxas Malfoy, Alastor Moody, Albus Dumbledore, Amelia Bones, Augusta Longbottom, Bartemius Crouch Sr., Charlus Potter, Filius Flitwick, Isobel McGonagall (née Ross), Minerva McGonagall, Original Character, Poppy Pomfrey, Robert McGonagall Sr., Rolanda Hooch, Voldemort (Tom Riddle)
Pairing(s): Albus/Minerva, Minerva/OC, Minerva/Tom Riddle (Voldemort), Poppy/Rolanda
Why You Should Check It Out:

This is a long-arc story that hits—and artfully subverts—many of the usual tropes and expectations for an Albus/Minerva fic. It wins a place alongside some of my favorites because it delivers what I always want but seldom get from fic about this ship: a deep and unflinching exploration of the complexities of a relationship between two powerful, flawed characters. It digs beyond the obvious issues of power dynamics and age differences to get at fundamental differences between their personalities and worldviews which love may or may not overcome.

This Minerva and Albus are each far from perfect, and far from perfect for one another, and author margaretrevie doesn’t shy away from the less attractive aspects of their personalities: Albus’s enormous ego and his desperate need to be admired, and Minerva’s intolerance of what she sees as frailty or moral imperfection. The length of the fic gives the characters room to change and grow over time, which is part of what makes it such a satisfying read.

The story also features some powerful magic of a kind that one encounters in other fics, but rarely are the practical and emotional ramifications for the characters who practice it so thoughtfully and poignantly explored. I won’t spoil it for you with too much detail, but the author takes a trope particularly beloved of AD/MM shippers and gives it a realistic (in the HP realm) treatment that delivers a punch to the gut.

Added to all that, you’ll find satisfying and surprising backstory for several familiar HP characters as icing on this lovely, richly textured cake.

Spoiler Alert!

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