i talk about how much mcgonagall loved the marauders all the time but also i’d like to point out that mcgonagall loved james and lily to death. like, i don’t doubt that she would have died for either of them. she would never admit it, but throughout their years at hogwarts, she found their bantering and arguing endearing and she could see something beneath the harsh (albeit empty) words that a young lily evans spewed and the gawdy declarations of love by fourteen year old james potter. she was the only teacher who didn’t bet on when the two would get together, not because she was morally opposed to it and wanted to show the two respect (thought that was partly a factor) but because she would have sworn on her favorite pair of velvet robes that the two would fall in love one day, and she didn’t need some bet to prove it. when they were heads together, mcgonagall absolutely loved watching them learn to work together and watching them realize their chemistry and fit together like the pieces of a puzzle. she was the one to tell the two about the order of the phoenix because the amount of trust and respect she had for them was insurmountable. she was almost overwhelmed with pride when they both accepted without hesitation. she got teary eyed when she received the wedding invitation. she cried when they promised to be each other’s forever on the altar and she cried even harder when they shared their first dance because there was lily evans (now potter), with her long red hair flowing behind her, her dress white and bright against her pale skin, looking as if she was floating through a dream, and there was james potter, his hair as endearingly mussed as ever, his eyes sparkling with the light of a thousand stars, the sheer amount of love on his face overwhelming. she sends a little knitted jumper and a baby book with little interactive spell simulations when they announce the birth of their son, harry james potter. when she comes to visit him, she’s blown away by how the special this young child will be. not because he might be the baby of the prophecy, but because he is a beautiful mix of lily and james potter and how could he not be special, with parents like those? and when she hears the rumors, she can hardly believe it. her ears ring. her head spins. and she’s at privet drive before she can even think, because she knows this is where dumbledore will be, and her back is stiff from sitting in that damned position as a damned cat for hours upon end but she needs to hear it from albus, needs to know if it’s true. and then he confirms it, and it feels as if the ground is collapsing around her. because lily and james potter are gone. lily evans, who came into her class one day as a second year and asked for pointers on a spell and stayed for three hours until she perfected it. james potter, who handed her the quidditch cup when gryffindor won in his seventh year and said “this is for you.” james and lily potter, who she watched grow up and fall in love. she goes home after albus drops harry off on the doorstep (harry, just a child, and the injustice of it all makes her want to scream) and cries on the couch. the tears, hot, angry, are a foreign, almost forgotten feeling. but she lets them fall for lily and james potter. and then, ten years later, she finds young harry potter in the crowd of first years waiting to be sorted, looking as if he might be sick, and her gaze lingers for just a moment. and she vows to herself, in that moment, that she will protect this boy with her life. and he will grow up to be just as special and caring and full of life as his parents.