Disclaimer: see chapter one… in case you have forgotten: J.K. Rowling
Author's note: Okay…. It's been two years since I last updated, and I am really sorry about that. I've been so busy, and actually not quite in an ADMM mood, but now it seems as if the words just pour right out of my mind. So I decided to actually update again. I can only hope that some of you are still interested in this story, if not I guess it is my fault. But I'll finish this story this time. lol
Oh, almost forgot, Sue is still in London, which means that this story isn't proof read ;)
So, enjoy the fifth chapter:
Minerva stared at her husband, having a hard time breathing. She slowly moved to one of the chairs and sank down into it. This was it, she thought, he had found out. She was trembling slightly and waited for him to say some more.
"Where have you been tonight?" He asked emotionless, his eyes never leaving hers.
Minerva wasn't sure whether she should stick to her lie or not. Albus took the decision away from her: "Amanda called earlier. She wanted to invite you to some kind of gathering of your old university class. She didn't know about you meeting her in London." Dumbledore's voice was completely calm, and that was what scared Minerva most. The witch quietly tried to think of something to say. How much bad luck could you have, she wondered quietly. She hadn't talked to Amanda for months, and now all of a sudden she decided to call here.
"Albus…" She began helplessly.
"Is it another man?" He asked all of a sudden and Minerva wasn't able to react in any other way than stare at him. "Pardon?" She finally asked and saw him sitting up straight.
"I asked whether you were seeing another man tonight." Minerva didn't know how long she sat in exactly the same position staring at him incredulously, before she started to laugh softly. Another man? That was what he thought? That she was seeing another man? She got up and moved to kneel down before him. She was surprised to see fear in his eyes: "Oh Albus, how can you be so stupid? How could you think I was seeing another man? I love you Albus, no one but you." She had gently brought up one hand to caress his cheek, but he pulled back: "Then what were you doing tonight? Minerva, do you think I am a complete idiot? A fool maybe, but no idiot. I saw what happened with you during the last months. You're always so withdrawn, your eyes always haunted. What are you hiding from me?" He stared hard at her, and Minerva started to squirm uncomfortably in front of him.
"Albus, please don't ask." She whispered softly. Albus leaned forward to take her hand in his: "You know that you can tell me everything, don't you? I am always here for you, always my love." Minerva looked deeply into his blue eyes and could see the love in them. Maybe she should really tell him, maybe he could help her. She wanted her nightmare to end, but could she risk it? Whoever was blackmailing her knew what was going on in Hogwarts. He was going to find out and then Minerva would lose it all.
Albus was still watching his wife, and he saw the battle taking place behind her beautiful green eyes. He was just about to say some more, when the door to her rooms burst open: "Albus," It was Snape, panting heavily, "you have to come with me. The dark mark, it was over Hogsmeade." Albus' and Minerva's heads shot around. Albus had gotten up and walked up to Snape briskly: "Any casualties?" Minerva knew the answer before Snape could give it. One wizard dead, poisoned.
Albus took out his wand and ordered Snape to go and wake the Defence Against Dark Arts teacher: "I'll meet you downstairs in a minute." Minerva was looking at her husband with a terrified look in her eyes. He walked up to her and put his arm on her shoulder: "You'll wait here." He was about to turn around, when Minerva caught his arm: "Be careful, dear." He nodded and stormed out of the room.
Minerva gazed after him for some time, before she sank down into the nearest chair. She had come very close to spilling her secret. From now on she would have to be more careful. She couldn't and wouldn't endanger her husband and daughter. Never.
When Albus returned two hours later, his wife was already fast asleep. He watched her for a long time in her sleep. What was he supposed to do with her? He was sure that she kept a secret from him, one that was gradually destroying her. It was no other man, Albus had known this all along. He had tried to provoke her into spilling her secret, but she had managed to stop herself or maybe Severus had.
Dumbledore sighed heavily, he was worried about her, but what was he supposed to do, when she didn't talk to him. He would have to try again in the morning, he decided. Pressing a light kiss on the top of her head he allowed her to sleep.
When Minerva woke the next morning, she felt wonderfully relaxed and content. She stretched lazily, but then her gaze wandered to the window. Seeing an owl flying by the happenings of last night came back to her. She sat up straight in her bed. Did all these things really happen? Was she really a murderer?
She was the only one who knew that the horrible answer was yes. Albus would never forgive her for that…. Albus! Minerva realized with a start that their discussion from last night wasn't over yet. He would demand answers and Minerva had still none to give.
She slowly got up from her bed and while throwing over her favourite dressing gown she walked into her living room. The table was lovingly set for breakfast and Albus was already waiting for her.
He looked up from his Daily Prophet when he saw her entering the room.
"Good morning love, how did you sleep?"
"Fine, thank you." She tightened her dressing gown around her body, before she moved to sit down: "When did you come back last night?" She inquired, pouring herself a cup of tea.
"Rather late I am afraid, but we didn't find anything. Whoever killed Peter was no death eater, though. The way he was killed just doesn't fit into their killing pattern. It is all rather mysterious."
"Did he have family?" Minerva needed to know. All through the process of watching her victim die, she had questioned herself whether she was killing someone's husband or father right now.
"No, he pretty much lived for his work. He had some very good friends, though. They are more than devastated." Minerva realized that this information didn't make her feel any better.
They were silent for some minutes, before Minerva couldn't ignore Albus piercing stare on her any longer: "Albus, about last night- "
"Minerva, dear, we need to-," he interrupted her.
"No, Albus," Minerva had put up her hand: "Now is my turn to talk." He fell silent and nodded.
"Albus, what I am going to ask of you now is not going to be easy for you, and I know that." She took a deep breath: " Do you trust me, Albus? I mean really trust me?"
"Of course, you know I do." The wizard was puzzled by her question.
"Then, my dear, I have to ask you to not question me anymore. I can't tell you about yesterday, Albus. I can't, please don't make me. I need your trust on this one, just this once." She looked at him pleadingly.
Albus didn't like this, none of it. What sort of secret could be so horrible that she wasn't able to share it with him? She had always shared everything with him. On the other hand he had kept many things from her, as well. She had never complained about his secrets, she had always trusted him with his secret mission.
He exhaled slowly: "Fine, I won't ask anymore. I trust you, with all my heart." She took his hand, stroking it lovingly.
Albus returned to reading the Prophet while Minerva kept watching him for some time. Now she had really done it, she thought bitterly. If he ever found out about her secrets now, he would hate her forever. Not only had she gone behind his back, she had also asked him to trust her blindly. Minerva couldn't even forgive herself….
"Albus…. Albus! Albus, she's going to be here soon. Where the hell are you?" Minerva poked her head into his private chambers.
"I am here, and I heard you… the first time." He smiled affectionately at her. Their daughter was about to visit them after she had been on a two weeks vacation with her husband to Italy.
Albus took his wife's hand and led her back into his office, where he knew their daughter would arrive soon via the floo network. As he stood besides his wife, he secretly mustered her. She looked very well. Ever since the fateful night three months ago, it seemed as if a great burden had been lifted off her. She was laughing again, and some colour had returned to her face. Nothing reminded of the drawn and exhausted figure his wife had been three months ago.
Little did he know that that had solely to do with the fact that ever since that night Minerva hadn't been contacted by her ominous blackmailer. She didn't really know what to think of that, but decided to enjoy the carefree time as best as she could.
When the fireplace in Albus' office sparked to life, both parents could hardly suppress their joy. Aurelia carefully stepped out of the fireplace: "I tell you, one of these days I'll get stuck." She smiled brightly at her parents, who instantly drew her into a hug.
"Honey, you've grown quiet a bit." Albus studied his daughter's large belly.
"Dad, I am eight months pregnant, and no word about my lost figure!" She pointed a warning finger at him, and he chuckled softly: "You are beautiful my dear."
Aurelia followed her parents into the living room, where she let herself fall into one of the large sofas. She spent the next hour going into raptures about her trip to Italy. Minerva and Albus listened happily, and Minerva wasn't able to get the soft smile off her face. Her daughter looked wonderful. Her blue eyes were twinkling even more than they usually did, and she literally seemed to glow.
"Uh, I think I have to go to the toilet." Aurelia said suddenly, and Minerva looked at her daughter questioningly: "Well, honey, you know where it is."
"I know." Aurelia said with the frustration clear in her voice: "But I can't get up again." She wriggled helplessly between the large cushions.
Albus had a hard time not to laugh, and he was showing that clearly.
"One word about this, dad, and I'll hex you into next week. I am serious." That did it, Albus started to laugh loudly, and Minerva quickly joined him.
"Very funny." Aurelia growled, but was still glad when both parents took her hands, and pulled her up from the sofa.
Aurelia was almost by the door, when she suddenly stopped and pressed a hand to her belly: "Ouch." Minerva and Albus whirled around so quickly that Minerva felt dizzy for a few seconds: "What is it? Aurelia, what is wrong?"
Aurelia looked into the deeply concerned faces of her parents, but smiled in return: "She is kicking. Do you want to feel it?"
Minerva went to her daughter, and carefully put a hand on her daughter's belly. It didn't take long before Minerva was smiling brightly, too: "Oh my god… she is going to be one hell of a beater." Albus chuckled softly, before he too stepped up and felt his granddaughter kicking lively against her mother's belly. They stood like this for some time, before Aurelia started to squirm: "Okay, that's it, I really need a toilet now."
She practically ran out of the room, leaving her two parents to laugh softly to themselves. Albus took his wife's hand, and drew her close. Gently pressing his lips to hers, he felt her responding immediately. They were still kissing, when Aurelia returned: "Oh now really, you two. You're worse than Bill and I are." Aurelia laughed brightly.
After two hours their daughter decided that it was time to go home: "I'll stop by as soon as I can. I love you two." With a last long hug, she stepped into the fireplace once more.
Minerva returned to the living room and curled up on one of the sofas. Albus followed her a few moments later.
"Did you see Aduardo's invitation?" He asked her, before he sat down next to her, draping an arm around her shoulders protectively.
"No, I didn't. Is it time for his annual ball again?" Albus nodded, and felt with some satisfaction how she snuggled up close to him. "It will be a great opportunity to go out again, don't you think?"
"Yes it is. When is it?" Minerva asked, letting her head rest on his shoulder.
"Next week Saturday I think. It is another chance for me to show off my beautiful wife to the world."
She patted his arm: "You know that no one knows that we are married, don't you? You'll have to content yourself with showing off your beautiful deputy headmistress."
He pressed a kiss onto the top of her head: "Even better my love, but don't you dare flirt with Aduardo again." She laughed softly: "Aduardo is one of your oldest friends and one of the few who knows that we are married. We simply like to tease you." He tightened her grip on her: "You'll always be mine, love."
Minerva sighed contently, and looked out of the window. Suddenly her body tensed, she had seen Hermes flying by…
Well that's it for now, believe me, the exciting part is going to start in the next chapter…. And I promise it won't take another two years ;)
Please leave a review… please! I know I've been a naughty girl, but please review!