"It says right here that you have it!" A bright screen pushed forward into her face.
With a sigh and a quick count to ten she regained her sense of calm.
"Sometimes the system lies. Or a customer picks up a book and puts it back in the wrong place. People steal. Counts are off. What I'm trying to say is there are a thousand and one reasons the website states we have a copy of that book and I am telling you that we don't. Wherever it is, it's not where it's supposed to be and unfortunately there is absolutely nothing I can do about that. Now, if you'd like to order a copy to the store I'd be happy to help. Otherwise, will there be anything else Sir?"
His response was a steely glare before he stomped away from the counter.
She heard a sudden buzzing sound in her left ear. "Angelina, could you come to the registers I've got a coupon malfunction."
Another sigh as she made her way to the front of the store. "It never ends."
Eleven minutes before midnight she propped the door to her flat open with her right foot as she bent to grab the pile of boxes behind her. Stumbling in with the mountain of boxes obscuring her vision, Angelina did not notice the cloaked figure seated on her couch in the near darkness. The boxes were dropped onto the wooden floor with a loud thump and she slipped out of her shoes. The tick of her wall clock and the whirring of her refrigerator were the only sounds in the apartment until a throat cleared from somewhere behind her. Within seconds a previously concealed wand was out and she muttered a stupefication spell in the general direction of the sound.
"Shite. Probably best not to stupefy one's old professor. But on the other hand probably best not to sneak up on a witch. Rennervate!"
Minerva McGonagall snapped back to life, "Angelina Johnson, good to see you haven't forgotten yourself."
"Pardon me Professor, but what in heavens are you doing in my flat!?"
"Actually it's Headmistress now."
"Right sorry, of course."
A moment of tense silence passed between them as they were brought back to the events that brought about this change in status.
"Why didn't you block my spell?"
"I didn't want to startle you. Besides I figured you'd course correct as soon as you realized."
"Right…now you're in my flat because?"
"Angelina, it's been ten years. It's time. I know you retreated here after- Well, you've got to stop hiding. You're needed. At Hogwarts. It's time to come back."
Angelina bristled at the almost mention. As far as she was concerned she needed to do nothing of the sort.
"Would you like some tea Professor-er Headmistress? I'll put the kettle on."
She busied herself in the kitchenette while McGonagall watched.
"One of the best players I saw in my time, a worthy successor to my captainship – Oliver Wood; A tough but understanding captain willing to put the needs of the team over a win – Harry Potter; A devoted and true friend – Alicia Spinnet; A clever and tactical player with a mind sharp enough to cut through glass and a heart big enough to push through any challenge – Madame Rolanda Hooch…shall I continue?"
Angelina returned with two mugs of tea and sat beside her former professor on the couch.
"No, I reckon that's quite enough. I know who I used to be. What I used to care about. But I'm not that girl anymore."
The older woman fixed her gaze on Angelina's face. After a moment she finally spoke again this time her voice gentle, "He would have wanted you to move past it, you must know this."
Angelina left the couch wordlessly and opened the door to her flat, waiting.
"There's a job for you at Hogwarts if you change your mind. We're in dire need of a Flying Instructor that doesn't have a fear of heights. I do hope you'll reconsider." With those final words Minerva McGonagall disappeared into thin air with a loud crack.
Angelina stood there staring at the space where she had just been. Had it really been a decade? How was it possible for her to still hurt so much? It felt as though she'd been living those last ten years barely conscious, moving through molasses, everything else so far away. There was an incredible emptiness inside her that reminded her of a black hole. It was as if she'd collapsed into herself.