Her Chance Gone

Disclaimer: If the characters are familiar, it's because they belong to JK Rowling.

Summary: Minerva decided to reveal her feelings to Albus as soon as he arrives back from his holiday. Her hopes are dashed when he returns with his fiancée.

A Decision Finally Made

Poppy Anna Pomfrey strode into her best friend's rooms only to find the usually immaculate room looking like it had been raided by Ministry officials. In the midst of a dozen different colored robes sat Minerva McGonagall.

"Minerva?" questioned Poppy as she picked up some of the robes. "What in the name of Merlin is going on?"

"Albus is coming back today," she simply replied as she picked up a pair of light blue robes. She held them against her then quickly discarded them into the growing pile.

"I thought you didn't care," replied Poppy with a bemused smile.

"Of course I do, you know that!" snapped Minerva a she stood up and swept over to her wardrobe. "I only said I didn't to shut up Xiomara."

Poppy smiled again as she bent down and picked up some of the robes Minerva had discarded. She laid them down on the bed before sitting down and watching her friend with amusement as she emptied the entire contents of her wardrobe. Most of the robes Minerva pulled out of the wardrobe, Poppy had never seen before. Minerva was known for always wearing emerald green robes or her family tartan pattern.

"Minerva," suggested Poppy, "why not wear these lilac ones?"

"Lilac doesn't suit me!" answered Minerva.

"Why did you buy them," questioned Poppy?

"YOU made me buy them," she pointed out. "Do you think I should wear my hair down, or is that to obvious?"

Poppy stood up from the bed and walked over to join Minerva. She gently pushed Minerva aside and pulled out a pair of crimson robes with small silver stars sewn around the cuffs. "Wear these," she said as she handed them to Minerva, "and don't fuss!"

Minerva opened her mouth and was about to say something when she noticed the way Poppy was looking at her. "When Professor Kann said you were mild and meek, he was seriously mistaken!"

"Go and put them on," ordered Poppy as she pointed towards the bathroom.

Minerva didn't bother to reply as she stomped off into the bathroom. Poppy watched her close the bathroom door before making her way over to Minerva's dressing table where she set her best friend's brushes out. Minerva appeared five minutes later, looking beautiful dressed in the crimson robes.

Poppy has always admired Minerva's looks, even when Minerva was completely oblivious to them. Xiomara Hooch had often commented that Minerva reminded her of a porcelain doll, with her creamy complexion and defined cheekbones.

"So, are you going to tell me why you are making such an effort?" asked Poppy.

"I'm going to tell him," replied Minerva softly. "I've waited too long as it is."

"Oh Min," gasped Poppy as she clapped her hands with excitement "this is wonderful! Everyone thinks you both are made for each other!"

"Everyone?" questioned Minerva with surprise.

"The way you dance around each other has been the topic of conversation for years," explained Poppy. "The staff and students discuss it as well as some Ministry officials."

"Oh Merlin!" exclaimed Minerva, covering her face with her hands to hide her blushes.

Poppy couldn't help but giggle at her friend's blushes. It was a rare sight to see the usually straight-faced professor blushing like a silly schoolgirl. Poppy was delighted that Minerva was finally following her heart instead of trying to ignore it. She watched Minerva twirl her ebony locks into a French twist instead of her usual tight bun. This new hairstyle made her look a lot younger and far less severe. Poppy got to her feet and walked over to the window. The view looked over the lake and down towards the entrance gates.

"What are you going to say to him?' she asked.

"I have no idea," admitted Minerva. "I am hoping it comes to me when I see him."

"Well, you'd better think quickly," warned Poppy, "because his stagecoach is approaching."

"I can't do it!" exclaimed Minerva, shaking her head. "What was I thinking?" Minerva rose from her dressing table and quickly swept over to her wardrobe. She pulled out her usual emerald green work robes and was about to go back into the bathroom to chance when Poppy snatched the robes from her.

"Poppy," protested Minerva.

"Don't even try it," warned Poppy as she opened the door and pushed Minerva out into the hallway.

Minerva knew that there was no chance of getting back into her rooms so she followed Poppy along the quiet corridor. It was the summer holidays so the students were all at home while the staff had stayed at Hogwarts to reinforce the protection spells surrounding the castle.

They reached the top of the stairs that led into the grand entrance hall. Minerva came to an abrupt halt. Albus had just entered the hall but he was not alone. He was arm and arm with an unfamiliar woman.

To be continued…