This was my contribution to this year’s HP Friendship Fest on LiveJournal. The prompt was from MMADfan (who also wrote a wonderful story, “Not Entirely Tedious”): After being sacked, Sybill turns to drink again. Minerva intervenes. Can be either a hopeful fic or more ambiguous.
Title: Sybill Trelawney and the Unexpected Gift
Characters: Sybill Trelawney, Minerva McGonagall
Summary: “You can’t use your Gift, it uses you,” Professor Dorsett tells Sybill, and over the years she finds out how lonely a Seer’s life can be. But when she turns to drink to help her manage it, she finds help from an unexpected source.
Rating: PG-13 (for depictions of alcoholism and some violent imagery)
Word count: 8,095
The dinner was interminable. Sybill managed a few bites of potato and nothing else; even if she had had any appetite, her hands were shaking so badly that she could barely get the fork to her mouth. Finally, blessedly, the pudding arrived, signalling that Christmas dinner was nearly over.
When Dumbledore stood to offer a closing toast—in pumpkin juice, sadly—he caught Sybill’s eye and smiled encouragingly. A vision of him lying in the mud, his long white hair matted with blood, danced before her.
When she took her hands from her face, the vision faded, but she couldn’t look at Dumbledore. Desperate for anything to distract the Inner Eye from the terrible thing she had Seen, she fixed on the two boys standing near the end of the table. “My dears!” she said to keep herself from uttering anything she shouldn’t. “Which of you left his seat first? Which?”
Minerva said something, but Sybill couldn’t hear it. The voices were speaking to her again.
As she fled the Great Hall, no one heard her murmur, “Choosing death, you will defeat it.”