A/N: This is the add-on to my very first story "Light up my World". It's actually not necessary to read before – but, then again – better do it. Since you all asked for this one here – I indulge you. Okay, okay, I'm kidding.                                                

This is very much experimental and a WIP, thus it might take a while to update. And yes, I am guilty of giving them a daughter, too. But honestly – I can't really see them with a son.

Disclaimer: Everything you don't recognise from the canon is mine – Except the names of Minerva's parents. They are from one of Isis Malfoy's stories.

Warning: This is AD/MM – if that pairing makes you sick – do the Rockford-turn NOW!

And off we go…

"Memories a Piece"

By stoneygem

Chapter I: Children's Party

It was a warm summer. Already in June temperatures were high, even in usually cold Scotland. The scenery around the manor looked bright and colourful – Rhododendron bushes in all colors, the grass bright green under a cloudless blue sky. Even the grey stones of the manor sparkled brightly.

"Could you imagine a scenery more perfect for a children's party?" an ebony haired witch asked her companion.

"No, certainly not. The children will love to play on the grounds." The other woman replied. "And Papa outdid himself this time with all those games and sweets and what not."

"Too true. Too true.", a third woman chimed in as she joined the other two and looped her arm through the one of one woman. "One would think that he is all grown up by now, but when it comes down to it, he is just as much a child as your Albus."

The woman in the middle just smiled "I guess, in many ways Albus is still a child. And he really is rather fond of all things muggle. Those carrousels for the kids should be of great interest for him."

"And think of the ridiculous number of, what was it, Min? Lemon drops? That Mama ordered?" The witch on the left shook her head in amusement. "You know, sometimes I think, she likes to indulge your man."

The middle one laughed "Actually I think, the whole family likes to indulge him too much. He's just human, not Superman and it's me after all, who has to deal with those crazy habits you all are fostering so much."

With that the three women had come close to a stairway leading up to the wide terrace. On top of the stairs a man expected them. He was tall and broad with long black hair that he wore in a low ponytail. His eyes lit up proudly, when he saw the three women.

"You three are sure a sight for sore eyes." He commented "If I weren't your brother, I think I would make a pass at you."

"Yes, and be slapped by each one of us, Uray."

"Minerva, really…I'm shocked."

"But not hurt."    

He laughed "No. I'm not. Come on you three, everybody is waiting for you. After all, it's not every day that His Excellency, the minister of Magic himself, is throwing a party for his grandkids."

Peri grinned "Since the party is for his grandchildren, he can certainly wait for his daughters."

Another deep voice broke in "I can, but I don't want to. And it's your son, Peri, who has been asking for his mama and aunts Min and Sym."

Before Horus McGonagall could finish his sentence a little boy came running over. "Mama, Mama, auntie Min, auntie Sym, come on!" five-year old James Potter yelled excitedly, "There is so much stuff, you have to see. All the sweets and the cakes and the games and everything." He grabbed the hands of his mother and aunt Minerva and urged Sym "You too, auntie Sym. Come on…" With that he dragged the women away.

Horus McGonagall shook his head amusedly "My girls and this boy. He has them all wrapped around his little finger. Especially Min. I wonder what will happen when she has to teach him in Hogwarts."

Uray smiled "We'll see. But Albus says,…"

"What do I say?" A voice came from behind them.

Both men turned. Albus Dumledore, Deputy Headmaster in at Hogwarts, threw them a questioning look. "What do I say about Minerva, Uray?"

"Oh, you said that Min is completely different when with her students. You said, one wouldn't recognise her as my sister, when she is teaching. That she is a no-nonsense person in class." Uray answered, while greeting the newcomer with a warm handshake.

His father also greeted their guest, but much less warmly. As much as he respected Dumbledore as a wizard, he could not forgive the man to live with his daughter without being married. It was beyond him, why Minerva accepted this dishonourable arrangement and also to keep their relationship a secret. Still, Dumbledore was a guest – a welcome guest as his wife had told him in no uncertain terms, and he would act accordingly.

The men joined the crowd. The McGonagall-clan was a large family with their eight grown-up children. And this party was for their kids for the occasion of little James Potter's fifth birthday.

***

About an hour later, the party was in full swing. The air was filled with laughter, giggles and excited shrieks of the children. Everybody seemed to have the time of their lives, but someone was missing. Albus Dumbledore scanned the crowd for any sign of his wife, but Minerva was nowhere to be seen.

Suddenly, somebody nudged him on his arm. Turning he looked straight into Peri's worried eyes. "She went down to the pond. I think, all those happy children were too much for her." She whispered. "Go to her. She needs you."

His expression darkening, Albus squeezed her hand. "Thank you, Peri." With that he left the crowd and went in search for his wife.

He found her on a bench overlooking the pond. Heavy sobs were wracking her body. Albus heart went out to her as he sat down next to her. Minerva didn't even look up as she threw herself into his embrace and cried into his chest.

Albus did the only thing he could do. He wrapped his arms around her and waited for her to calm down.

After a few minutes, Minerva's sobs became lighter and finally ceased. She looked up to him and Albus marvelled once again, how he had gotten so lucky to have her as his wife, for married they were. Even though most of the family didn't know, they were husband and wife for more than 17 glorious years.        

At last, Minerva spoke: "I'm sorry, Albus."

"Why, my love? Crying is natural. And on a day like this, I'd be surprised if you didn't."

She put a hand to his cheek. "I always think that I'm strong enough to stand seeing the others with their children. And don't get me wrong, I love my siblings and I love all my nieces and nephews. I'm happy for all of them, but sometimes it is just too much. Then I become envious and ask the heavens, why our Lanney cannot be here. She would like it and they would love her. But she isn't here. And then I become angry. And then I cry…"

Dumbledore was silent. What could he say? He felt the same way. Their daughter should be here among those children. She would probably be the one to watch out for the younger ones. – Or she would take them far out onto Lake Mischief. She would be a beautiful teenager by now, with dark auburn hair and those beautiful black eyes like her mother's. But Lanney wasn't here. Lanney was dead.

He tightened his hold of his wife and together they looked out onto the pond as he began to remember…

Please, let me know what you think…How can I go on, if nobody nags me to do????