The Needs of the Many

By Isis Malfoy

Summery: One sacrificed to save them all

Disclaimer: The characters don't belong to me, they belong to JKR and Warner Bros. I am making no profit, trust me I've seen my bank records

Rating/Warning: PG, it isn't scary, but a tissue (or a box) may be necessary

A/N: The title comes from the Second Star Trek movie: The Wrath of Kahn. In it Spock exposes himself to deadly levels of radiation in order to save the ship from a warp core breach that would kill the whole crew. When Kirk asks the dying Spock why he did it Spock says "The needs of the many out weigh the needs of the few…or the one."

A/N 2: I know I promised fluffy, and its coming, but this got stuck in my head so I wrote it. And I wrote it, so I posted it.

            The sky was dark, and the ground was littered with dead, from both sides, but it was over. The weary soldiers picked themselves up and dragged themselves over to the wounded, giving them as much help as they could. In the middle of the battle field stood two men: one young, one old. The younger man turned his green eyes up to the tired blue of his companion and opened his mouth to speak. But before he could a large black dog, wimpering sadly tugged the older man's sleeves and began to lead him away.

            The dog was actually a man, an animagus by the name Sirius Black, but he was a felon, and until his name was cleared he had to remain as Snuffles, Remus Lupin's faithful pet. He led them passed the dead and dying, barking and tugging each time they tried to stop and help. He led them over to a small circle of people. Former grudges had been put aside and thin wizard/werewolf had his hand on the arm of a former death-eater. There were tears in their eyes as they looked down at the ground. The old wizard and his young friend couldn't see what they were staring at, but both felt lumps rising in their thoats. Completing the circle were the three dearest friends of the younger wizard. The boy, a tow-haired wizard met his best friend's eyes sadly over the top of the red-haired and the chestnut haired witches crying in his arms. That was when Harry knew. "No…" He whispered. He pushed Snape aside and looked down in horror.

            She was lying in the middle of the circle, her breathing shallow, her face pallid, and blood oozing from the arrow in her heart. For once her grey and black strands were falling in her dirt covered face, instead of in a perfect bun. "No…." He repeated.

            He knew the older wizard was looking over his shoulder, staring in disbelief at his dying friend. "NO!" The headmaster roared. He pushed passed Snuffles, and didn't let the other two professors hold him back either. He broke their circle to cradle her in his arms. "No." He repeated again, this time with tears choking his voice.

            Her beautiful eyes were closed, but she wasn't quite dead, and his voice, so full of pain, gave her the strength to open her eyes. She knew she was dying, knew she couldn't stop it, but one last time she had to take his burden and his pain upon herself, as she had so many times in their friendship. "Albus."

            He brushed back a strand of her hair. "Minerva, why?" He cried softly. "I asked you to be careful."

            She smiled tenderly. "The whole world came down to this battle." She reminded him in the strongest voice she could manage. "And I knew…Harry had to cast the final spell. The arrow would have hit him…."

            He closed his eyes and pulled her closer. "Tell me you didn't jump in front of it." He begged her.

            "I didn't." She lied. "A little tabby cat did."

            Then her breathing became labored. She drew a few shuttering breaths before speaking again. "I lived a full life my dear." She reassured him. "I spent it beside the man I loved, and helped to raise children that mean more to me than any of my own blood could have. We may never have been…" Here she choked on her own blood, but she continued again. "But  still, I spent my life with you. I see my children, two generations before me, the men and women I hoped they would be. And I feel near by, two more of my children, beckoning me to the next place. You once told me that death was merely the next step in every life, remember?" She waited until she saw him nod. "It's time for me to take that next step Albus. And there, there I will await you." She drew a last shuttering breath and closed her eyes. "I am proud of you all. And Albus, I love you."

            Harry wheeled around, tears obscuring his vision. "Fawkes!"

            They all heard the call of the phoenix and he dove quickly into the center of the circle. He took a moment to assess the situation, his master's tears, and the fatal wound on the woman in his master's arms. He hopped gently over to her and cried, his tears falling on her heart. The arrow pushed out and the wound closed. But her breathing had stopped and her eyes remained closed. As the sun rose on the place of the Dark Lord's defeat, Minerva McGonagall hovered for only a moment before following Lily and James to heaven.