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A/N: This one-shot was written for the staff of HPFF to show my appreciation for all the hard (and often thankless) work they do on the archives and the forums. Just for fun, try to spot the staffers' names hidden within the text of this one-shot.

Minerva McGonagall let out a sigh as she perused the various pamphlets spread out before her. It was late at night in the Gryffindor common room and she was the only student left still out of bed. As a fifth year, the time had come for Minerva to seriously think about her future. In most areas of her life Minerva was extremely organised and knew exactly what she wanted. She was head strong and determined in nature. However, when it came to knowing what she wanted to do with her life, Minerva was at a complete loss.

Minerva scooped up the pamphlets before her and stacked them into a neat pile. She would think some more about her decision tomorrow.

Lisa MacKay woke her the next morning with a loud laugh.

"Can you imagine the look on Romina Stephanies's face when she found out Alex Gingo asked to accompany me on the next Hogsmeade weekend and not her?" Lisa declared loudly to the other fifth year girls.

Minerva ignored the animated chatter of her bubbly blonde roommate and headed down to the great hall for breakfast. How could anyone be thinking of boys, she thought to herself, when the fate of their entire futures lay before them. Minerva barely ate a thing at breakfast and was lost in deep thought as she entered the Potions classroom for her first lesson.

She finely cut her noble vine and shredded her root of bitter epiphany with great care. After adding a handful of scooterbugs, her potion turned bright orange. Minerva reflected upon the fact that she was not bad at potions. Perhaps she could become a healer or maybe run an apocethary.

"Psst. Minerva," whispered Aly Delacour, who was sharing the same table, "Your potion is bubbling over."

Minerva quickly took her cauldron of the heat before the orange potion spilled everywhere.

"I guess that strikes out any professions dealing with potions," Minerva thought to herself.

Slightly disheartened she trudged upstairs Defense Against the Dark Arts lesson. As they studied unwritten curses, Minerva wondered if she would make a good auror. She imagined herself as a famous girl detective. It was something to consider.

Lunch in the great hall was disrupted by the Weasley Twins' Mum storming in demanding that her daughters leave with her straight away. The headmaster, Professor Dippet was following on her heels, urging her to reconsider. The twins, Elivania and Georgia Weasley were both looking mortified.

"What's happened?" Minerva whispered to the twins' friend, Andrina Black, who happened to be one of the few good Slytherin students.

"Elivania snuck out of the castle with Leigh Stagnight yesterday evening and Georgia sent an owl to her mum and snitched on her sister. Now Mrs. Weasley wants to remove both of the girls from Hogwarts and home school them."

Minerva could hear Professor Dippet trying to convince Mrs. Weasley to change her mind.

"But remember the story of the beautiful Raven Gryffindor and her beau Jael Hufflepuff. They met at school, fell in love and the rest is history..."

"Are you telling me you condone this sort of behaviour?" screeched Mrs. Weasley, "Was she logical, Raven? Was he thinking straight, that Jael? No, of course not, they were acting upon hormones. And frankly if you and your teachers are unable to monitor your students I think my girls would be better off at home with me."

"Your girls are so talented and lovely, Rita," Professor Dippet, pleaded, "I'm sure they are also clever enough not to let their hearts get in the way of their education. I can assure you nothing of the sort will happen again."

"And how can I expect to believe you," sniffed Mrs. Weasley, "Just last week I heard from Mrs. Sirius Black that her daughter Andrina wrote to inform her that Hermione Oogermeister and a boy snuck out of the castle. It seems to me that you are unable to control the students in your school, Professor Dippet."

Minerva, tired of the drama unfolding in the Great Hall, moved outside into the springtime air and sat by the Black Lake.

Minerva admired Professor Dippet for his passion towards education. She admired quite a few of her teachers, actually, for their dedication and their ability to impart knowledge. Minerva pondered for a moment whether she would make a good teacher. It wasn't really a profession she had considered before, but the more she thought about it, the more she could see herself in that role.

Minerva watched as a blue jay flittered about by the water of the Black Lake and considered what being a teacher would mean. If only she had a timeturner, perhaps then she could take a sneak peek into the future and see if becoming a teacher would be the right decision for her. She took out her wad of pamphlets from her satchel bag and leafed through until she found the one about teachers. She looked at the list of required subjects. A good grasp of History of Magic was a must, and Minerva knew she was averaging Outstanding grades in that class, she had a good mind for dates. They also asked for at least Exceeds Expectations in Arithmancy, again this was no problem as Minerva considered herself to be somewhat an Arithmancy wiz. And finally Outstanding grades in the subject area one wanted to teach. This presented another dilemma for Minerva, for if she was to pursue a career in teaching, she was unsure which subject area she would like to teach.

Minerva, venting some of her frustration, aimed her wand at the blue jay by the water and transfigured it into a pink rook. She was hit by a revelation. She would teach Transfiguration. She had always liked Transfiguration and had quite an aptitude for it, it seemed quite perfect, in fact.

With a satisfied smile, Minerva perused the teaching pamphlet once more. She noticed a little quote on the back:

All children begin their schooling as a blank slate, but with careful guidance and patient dedication of their teachers, almost every witch and wizard can grow into something great.
ANNAKAY SAUERKRAUT - Poet and teacher

It was settled. Minerva McGonagall was going to be a teacher of Transfiguration.

In the years that passed Minerva McGonagall taught many students, including Lily and James Potter, Harry Potter's mum and dad, as well as the famous Harry Potter himself. Becoming a teacher was the best decision Minerva ever made, and though she sometimes felt unappreciated by her students, and though they sometimes misbehaved or pushed the boundaries, she still felt good knowing that for many of her students all her hard work and dedication paid off. And she would always hold dear in her memory those special moments when a single student took the time to tell her "Thank-you for everything you have done for me, I truly appreciate it."

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