A/N: Yup, chapter 3 is up. Geez, I wonder, how I am doing that. But only 2 more days and I finish my last research paper (Goethe and the garden) and then…NO, I'm not free. Then I can start on my senior thesis.
This chappy is Peri and it contains a little more magic (I find my stories lacking a bit of the magical touch, but I'm working on that, promise).
Oh and one more thing: Some of my friends from the Albus&Minerva-group have been heavily attacked by flamers. And I want to say: We like critique – constructive critique. It improves our writing. Flaming doesn't!

To my faithful reviewers. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.
LinZE: Geez, you are right. I didn't make the connection, but I love that song.
IlUvDrAcOmAlFoY: Well I try, but I hope for a huge boost in motivation after that date.
go to hell my love(): Well, I go with Freelancer on that one: My Fic, my rules. In this (my) universe he is about 55 years older than her. That might be about her father's age, but it doesn't really matter for the story. And I love them together.

Chapter III: Peri – The Wonder of Birth

"Come on, Min. You can do it. Just push."

"Don't tell me to push. What do you think, I'm doing the whole day?" Minerva groaned through gritted teeth as she got up to her elbows to work through another wave of another contraction.

Peri grinned. It was true, they were going through this since about midnight and now it was late in the evening. "I know, I've been in here too, you know. – Just push…yes…yes. That's it."

Minerva flopped back onto the bed, completely exhausted. "I'm telling you, if he ever touches me again, I'll beat him with a Quidditch-club."

Nicole – co-fighter and spontaneous midwife – chuckled. "That is, what they all say…Until they have the baby in their arms. Then they all want another baby as soon as possible."

Peri grinned. Then she whispered to the other woman. "Doesn't it take awfully long? I thought, it would go much faster. Can't we do anything? Anything magic"

The other witch shrugged her shoulders "I thought so, too. But it's taking extremely long, especially since there seems to be no progress. At this rate it may take another day until the little one is here. And I don't know, if she can make it." She said with a nod to Minerva.

"But my sister is strong."

"That she is. But there isn't anything to help her."

"Not even a potion, maybe?"

"Not at this stage. I don't know of one that would work fast enough."

Peri rolled her eyes "So what do we do?"

Nicole shrugged again "Don't ask me. You are Gryffindor-heirs. You are much more powerful than I am. And you are her sister. Think of something."

Peri groaned. She never had a baby. She had not even been pregnant yet. What could she possibly do? She went over to the bed, took the cool washcloth from the nightstand and dabbed it to Minerva's damp forehead.

Her sister smiled weakly in gratification. She had never imagined that giving birth could be so hard and so…painful. She was exhausted. Why couldn't this be over. She grabbed her sisters hand. "Peri, help me please. I can't go on anymore. I'm so tired. Can't you do anything?"

The other one send a helpless look towards heavens. "I don't know, what to do, Min. What can I possibly do?"

"Take some of the pain. Give me strength. Anything…" Minerva demanded, her voice harsh from the pain of another contraction.

"That's it. That's it. Min, you are brilliant." Peri exclaimed. "I know, what to do."

"Really?" Two surprised voices answered.

"Yes, I do." The oldest McGonagall-daughter said excitedly. "Min, think. The ring. We can do it. Better, I can do it. We can form the ring, and I can take a part of your pain from you."

Minerva stared at her with wonder. "Would you really? You know, how dangerous it is without Sym or Uray to back us."

Peri just smiled. "Don't worry, I know what I'm doing. And I know, I can do it. So, just trust me, okay."

Minerva only nodded.

Peri sat down next to her on the bed facing her sister. "Take your amulet and put it into your left hand." Minerva did as said. "Now give me both of your hands."

The sisters joined hands and then Peri began to recite:

"One soul can be strong, but stronger they are united.

And so I join my mind, my heart and my soul to yours –

To be stronger together in this Ring of Souls.

We are bonded together through the love of sisterhood.

Bonded together eternally.

Thus, I'll take the pain to lessen yours –

Thus, You'll take my strength.

Let us find our way through this hardship –

United in this Ring of Souls."

Nicole watched with interest. There was no obvious sign of magic working. But suddenly, Minerva seemed to be less exhausted. Her features lost the pained expression and she seemed to have found new strength. Out of the blue, she looked at their French companion. "There is another contraction coming. Can we go on?"

The other woman frowned. What did happen here. When she stepped closer to the bed, she could feel an aura of power that was surrounding the two women. And she understood.

"Very well, Minerva. Let's do it."


Three hours later the first weak cries of a newborn filled the house. Minerva laid back, completely exhausted but very happy. Next to her Peri was slumped down, too. Minerva smiled and took her sisters hand again. "Thank you Peri." She said somewhat choked with emotion. "I don't know, what to say except: thank you."

"Don't thank me, Min. We made it. Together."

"Yes, but still. I don't know, how I can ever properly thank you."

"Then don't. Besides, you can repay me." Peri grinned slyly. "Should I ever be in that situation – do the same for me. I don't know if I can stand the whole birth-thing."

The sisters smiled in understanding. "I will, Peri. I promise."

Then Nicole stepped closer with the still wailing infant in her arms. She handed the bundle over to Minerva and said: "While you get acquainted, I'll fetch the men."

"And while Nicole fetched you, Minerva told me that this little baby would be just as much my kid as it was hers." Peri finished her tale.

"And then you guys came and it was most funny and beautiful moment in my entire life. To see Albus come in and see Min and his baby and being completely besides himself with joy." Her eyes moistened at the memory. "See, just remembering their tears of happiness makes me cry, too. It was so beautiful, when they were counting toes and fingers. And when they decided to name her Lanney. – And it was so funny then seeing Albus completely enraptured by this tiny creature. She had him wrapped around her little fingers from the very first moment on. Andy and Luc too. And you." Peri chuckled. "I knew then already that this little girl would always be the center of everyone's attention. You men were gone all over her."

Uray chuckled too. "Yes, I have to admit I was completely overwhelmed. She was such a beautiful baby. And I loved her from the first moment on."

His sister grinned slyly. "Who would have thought after your first reaction…"