by Dolores

The trouble with being a painting was that you tended to have a somewhat fixed view of the world.

Not just because you were attached to a wall, and moreover a door guardian (so that you couldn't even wander off into another frame for a chat with Violet all that often lest some Gryffindor pupil appeared needing to get into the dormitory).

No; it was more that you made up your mind about things and tended to stick with that. After all, only the ghosts in the castle could rival or exceed your age and when you'd seen as much as you had, you tended to have taken a stance on most issues several centuries before and little could be done now to alter your point of view.

Sometimes that rigidity of opinion was shaped by who you were a portrait of. The nymphs on the astromony tower stairwell, for example, were and always would be flighty and vain. That knight Sir Cadogan from the south tower was the same insane old fool the original had been when he'd been painted.

But not always. The highly aristocratic Duchess whose form had been the basis for you shared perhaps your fondness for chocolate liquers and pink crinolene, but she had died committing a somewhat unwise act with a hippogriff. Something you would never consider even were there a painting of such a creature elsewhere in the castle.

Your tastes in romance were far removed from that. Oddly, that was something that had changed in the last fifty years or so. It surprised you more than anyone. Mainly because you hadn't told anyone so that they could be surprised, but even if you had you'd probably still be more surprised than they would be.

Perhaps you saw something of yourself in her. The timbre of her voice, the way she carried herself as if she were part of the nobility, the intelligence that once more foolish wizards had underestimated.

There were also things you did not necessarily share but very much admired. She was a warrior, even if age belied that history now. She was compassionate, although she kept that hidden. She was strong. And she was really quite beautiful.

The day you realised that you felt more than admiration was most strange. You'd never really considered matters of the heart before, that was why any change at all was shocking. Of course, you'd heard of paintings falling in love with people before and had scoffed at such a notion. Now, you could just about understand.

But you were a practical painting. A pragmatic portrait. There was no use in getting upset wondering what might be. You could never tell her this, never confess. The real Minerva was, quite literally, out of your grasp.

What you had to do was convince the Headmaster that the perfect way to honour his Deputy was by commissioning a suitable portrait. And you were sure he would agree, sentimental as he was.

And then, when she was hung, who but you two would have a greater affinity with Gryffindor amongst the works of art in the castle?

Possibly her view would be as fixed as yours once was, and she would be unresponsive to your overtures. But then, you would both be there for hundreds of years - and if you could change your mind then, surely, so could she.


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