Disclaimer – Minerva McGonagall and rest of the Hogwarts staff belong to JK Rowling and Lorne is another wonderful creation of Joss Whedon.
Author Notes: I want to thank Dulcinea for encouraging me to post this. This was inspired by her “How Many Days Until Christmas”. You are a rockstar Dulcinea!
As Deputy Headmistress, it was Minerva McGonagall’s job to plan the faculty Christmas party, but this year the Headmaster had come to her and said that he wanted to surprise the faculty. Minerva gladly turned over the reigns since she had to hold daily review sessions, but as she stood staring at the neon sign glowing over the door, she made a promise to never let Albus Dumbledore plan another faculty event, EVER AGAIN.
Raising her head high, Minerva opened the door and entered. Inside, Minerva found herself standing in what she would describe as a cave. The walls were covered in dark blue curtains, and the lights barely gave enough light for someone to see somebody sitting across from them. To her left stood a marble-topped bar lit by neon blue from underneath, not at all welcoming like the worn oak bar at the Three Broomsticks. On the other side of the room was a small stage bathed in green light where a tall red-haired man in a bright purple suit –looking much like Fred and George’s lost twin- sat on a stool crooning some muggle song. Most of the patrons passively listened to the singer as they sipped their drinks, but a few softly clapped as he sang his final notes. Doing a quick scan of the room Minerva quickly noted that looked like none of her fellow faculty members from Hogwarts.
“Perhaps, I’ll just slip outside and apparate back to the castle to see if anyone else will be joining me.” Minerva whispered to herself. But when she turned around to let herself out she found herself facing the man who had been on the stage just a second before.
“Welcome to Caritas London, Sugar Plum. Grab yourself a table and enjoy the rail drink happy hour special. Karaoke starts in half an hour and I can just tell that a song is ready to bust out of you.”
Not many things in surprised Minerva, but this man was one of them. What she had thought was just a light effect actually ended up being green scaley skin. His eyes were the same firey red as his hair, which hid a pair of short rounded horns.
“You’re not a…,” Minerva began to say, but was interrupted by the stranger.
“At Caritas, we welcome all age, gender, nationality, and breed. But if you’re here to cause trouble – you can just turn around because all evil and violence is checked at the door.”
This interruption snapped Minerva McGonagall out of her stupor and tartly replied, “I was going to say you’re not a Weasley – as in the Weasley family.”
“Got me there. The name’s Lorne, proud owner of this fine establishment,” he said as he whisked out a business card out of his jacket pocket and handed it to her. “And you must be?”
“Oh, so you’re the plaid pixie that Albus was telling me about. Well, I’m afraid you are the first one here for your party, so you’re just going to have to join me at my table till the calvary arrives. Now what can I get you to drink?”
An hour and a half later, Professor Dumbledore led a loud crowd of Hogwart’s professors through the front doors of Caritas London. Although Lorne had told Albus he would only need fifteen minutes, knowing Minerva he gave them plenty of extra time.
“Albie, you’re finally here.” Lorne said carrying a seabreeze in one hand and a glass of eggnog in the other. Albus met Lorne halfway and clapped a hand to his shoulder.
“So how did the ol’girl do?”
“See for yourself.” Lorne motioned to the stage. Sure enough, Minerva McGonagall stood up there with an orange Qualog demon singing “Merry Christmas Baby.” A squeek and a thud from Professor Flitwick falling out of his chair indicated that the other professors had also noticed the usually prim and proper Deputy Headmistress up on the stage belting out the blues. Professor Dumbledore chuckled to himself and then reached over to take the egg nog out of Lorne’s hand.
“I don’t think so, Bubby. That one is for the song bird up there.” Lorne said as he instead handed Dumbledore the pink Seabreeze. “She can definitely hold her own. It wasn’t until I started plying her with these Firewhiskey-laced Nogs that she decided to open up. She got on stage about half an hour back and hasn’t let go of the mic since.”
“Have you found out anything?”
“There’s a couple of rare books on transfiguration theory she would like for Christmas, a new eagle quill, and page 38 of the Victoria Secret’s catalog.”
Professor Dumbledore smiled at the last item before he said, “Thank you so much. I can’t tell you how much easier this is going to make my shopping this year. Some of these professors have been on my staff so long that I’ve run out of ideas on what to get them.” Then as he began to walk away he called out, “Oh Severus, have you ever heard the song ‘Good King Wenceslas’?”