He Doesn’t Like Yelling: A Oneshot
Professor McGonagall was having a really bad day. A student had vomited in her morning class, the Daily Prophet was abuzz about a Death Eater attack, and Professor Dumbledore had held a staff meeting about pay-cuts. To make matters worse, her office now smell liked dung! The two teenagers didn’t seem to mind. She had a feeling that they were used to the residual smell. She peered down at them, looking for any signs of guilt. James Potter adjusted his glasses and Sirius gave a stifling yawn.
"I have just about had it with you two!" Professor McGonagall barked, “I’m at my wits end! What were you thinking? Dropping a Dungbomb onto the head of another student?”
"Well," James mused, “We saw his head…and we realized that it was severely lacking a Dungbomb.”
"That’s enough!" Professor McGonagall snapped, “You could have injured him! Not to mention the blatant violation of school rules! Never in my years of teaching have I seen two students with such a disrespect for authority! I am deducting twenty-five points from each of you and am putting you in detention for a week!”
"Fine," Sirius mumbled, “Can we go?”
"No, you may certainly not go!” Professor McGonagall cried, “You ought to be ashamed of yourself, Mister Black!”
"Professor,” James muttered.
"Not a day goes by where you don’t get into trouble for something!”
"Would you kindly lower your voice, miss?” James abruptly asked.
Professor McGonagall was caught off guard.
She blinked and stammered, “Ex…excuse me?”
"Your voice,” James quietly said, “Would you mind lowering it?”
She flushed as she realized that the volume of her voice had gotten out of control, a side-effect of the overwhelming exasperation. She rarely yelled at her students. Then again, she was sure that James and Sirius were used to getting yelled at. She didn’t understand why the former was giving her such a piercing look.
She glanced at Sirius and felt a flurry of surprise. The teenager seemed to be trembling. His eyes, which ordinarily sparkled with adventure, were sparkling for a different reason.
"Mis…Mister Black?” Professor McGonagall bewilderedly asked.
"Sorry about the Dungbomb,” Sirius mumbled.
He abruptly jumped to his feet and walked away.
Professor McGonagall stared after him, utterly shocked. She did enjoy it when a student showed a bit of remorse. But that wasn’t what she was seeing. That wasn’t it at all. She glanced at James for an explanation.
James shrugged and muttered, “He hates yelling.”
"What do you mean?"
James merely stuffed his hands into his pocket and said, “So, fifty points and a week of detention? Seem doable. Good afternoon.”
Professor McGonagall called his name but he too ignored her. It wasn’t out of disrespect. Professor McGonagall knew that she was his favorite professor. Sirius’ as well. But James had other priorities to tend to. And so she let him leave without another word.
She sank into her chair.
He hated yelling…
The revelation hit her like a hex. She had heard rumors about the inhabitants of Number 12 Grimmauld Place. She had overheard whispered conversations between Sirius and his friends. Sirius rarely spoke about his homelife. He always clammed up at the mention of his parents. And never before had Professor McGonagall seen somebody look so happy to return to Hogwarts.
A few minutes ago, she had silently remarked that James and Sirius had certainly faced yelling before. Now there was no doubt in her mind that the latter faced it more than she had thought. Much more.
She wasn’t aware that she was walking until the door clipped her shouldn’t. She didn’t so much as flinch.
Instead, she went out into the courtyard, where the two Gryffindors were sitting on the bench. James had his hand on Sirius’ shoulder.
Professor McGonagall cleared her throat and said, “Boy, I am sorry that I lost my temper in there.”
She glanced at Sirius who remarked, “Did you? ‘Didn’t notice.”
James chuckled and Professor McGonagall’s mouth twitched.
"Nevertheless,” she gently continued, “I am still holding you accountable for dropping that Dungbomb. The punishments still stand.”
James groaned but she was happy to see that Sirius looked considerably more relaxed. It was amazing how a simple tone and volume of voice could have such a big impact.
"Your detentions will begin tonight,” Professor McGonagall softly declared, “Until then, enjoy the rest of your day.”
James sighed and mumbled, “Thanks, Professor.”
Sirius’ tone was warmer as he mumbled, “Thank you, Professor.”
"You’re quite welcome.”