Disclaimer: For legal purposes i dont own the characters (just borrowing them for a time, so they can come out and play)
A/N this doesn't really have a title yet. I can never think of good ones. Review if you feel like it! There will be more, its stewing in my head at the moment just wanting to be written.(BTW this is my first ADMM fanfic (actually my first actual fanfic) and its thanks to the people who have already written their own. cheers.
Albus Dumbledore really didn't want to turn around. Deep in the pit of his stomach he knew that he didn't want to see what was walking up behind him. Of course, he had no real idea of what, or indeed who, it was...but his intuition had always served him well in the past, and he intended to trust it in the future. Dragging himself out of his reverie he reasoned that it is always better to meet your foe head on than have it creep up from behind to ambush you in the night.
Turning slowly on the ball of his foot, it was as if all his senses had been switched on in tandem, and the force was enough to almost overwhelm him. He heard soft organ music playing in the background, the quiet whisper of a thousand voices, talking but not wanting to be heard. And he could hear the soft swish of her gown as it crept along the aisle, drawing ever closer.
He always reasoned that this was his favourite part of the dream, when he turned and saw her looking at him with adoration in her eyes. He was kidding himself though, if he wanted the nightmares to come so that he could witness that one perfect moment. The stern, severe woman he knew was replaced by the soft and gentle feline-like goddess he had been privileged to witness on occasion. She wore no veil. There was nothing she need hide from him, and despite growing old (she was nearing 70) the grey that interspersed her shimmering ebony hair only served to enhance her beauty. He knew every line of her face, every crease, and the stories behind them (having written quite a few of them himself, and been the cause of countless others, although the Weasley twins were giving him a run for his money) On occasion he was heard outrageously claiming that they were out to seduce him at every possible opportunity. Minerva always laughed.
To see his bride walking down the aisle towards him Albus felt his heart lift with immeasurable happiness and he felt like he could float on air. (and had actually managed it once or twice!) But today there was a shadow overhanging his head like a rain cloud threatening to burst open. He'd had this dream twice already this week and was under no illusions about what was to occur.
He hoped if he shut his eyes and thought about something else then maybe the humiliation would happen faster and he would be free to escape into a dreamless sleep and pretend that the tears he knew he cried didn't fall.
His Minerva, arriving at the alter, and instead of capturing his eyes, and invading his heart like she had every day for the past thirty seven years, she faced the crowd, raised her voice and proclaimed "This man doesn't love me. See how he cowers there in the corner" (at least this part of the dream had changed. She was no longer accusing him of being uncaring when he was actually looking at her devotedly and trying to persuade her that there was nowhere he would rather be.) "Albus Dumbledore cannot love anybody, and nobody could ever love him. The ceremony is cancelled, please return to your homes."
The first hundred times he had cried, he had begged, but now there was simply a black hole opening inside him, sucking all his emotions. If his Minnie couldn't see how much he loved her, then there was no point to love. Perhaps he was incapable of it after all. His goddess turned towards him with contempt in her eyes and laughed, "Love you? Albus, I hate you"
"Minerva, I could never feel that way about you..."
...and his eyes filled with unwanted tears.
Outside the realm of Albus' mind, he was, in point of fact, curled up on a couch in his living quarters, having once again fallen asleep while replying to the owls that arrived day and night from all over the world asking for his advice.
(In fact He felt like JK Rowling must, having to read all her fan mail and write at the same time. Who knows how either of them managed to run a place such as Hogwarts. Thankfully, Dumbledore wasn't pregnant to boot, otherwise they'd really be in a mess! However, I think I speak for the majority when I say it's a storyline we are all looking forward too.)
Albus whimpered slightly into the armrest, and tears continued to roll unbidden from his eyes. Despite convincing his dream self that he was beyond caring his heart refused to let go. In the shadows of the room, away from the soft candlelight that was still guttering, and the cold blue light of the moon shining in through the window, sat a mottled grey tabby cat, similarly distraught (although for almost entirely different reasons.) The thought of her headmaster and confidant was in pain and suffering was nearly enough to drive her from hiding.
Minerva McGonagall, one of only seven registered animagi in the twentieth century, had been coming to the headmasters rooms on and off for too many years to count. Suffice to say that these nightly visits were now stretching into their third decade. At first it had been in awe, and simply the thrill of being able to break unnoticed into Albus Dumbledore's personal rooms, but as time went on, and the visits continued she had realised that perhaps there was a deeper reason behind her continued presence. This past decade she had been sure. But when you're seventy (and a witch) there is still much time left for confessions of love, and Minerva didn't want to ruin the fantastic friendship she shared with the headmaster. She cherished his conversation more than anything else in her life, and his playful banter, and absolute absurdity. He was the saving grace of her days when she was forgetting that there was a softer woman beneath the façade.
Lately she had been getting more and more concerned about the health of the headmaster, and her best friend. Of course, this was a side of him she was never supposed to see. In company he was always composed, always in control. Even with her he had difficulty letting all his shields down. People had been saying for so long, and with such confidence and utter belief, that the great Albus Dumbledore could do no wrong that he had begun to believe that a single sign of weakness would be the undoing of all he had worked so hard to achieve, here now; so close to the end. Since the accepted return of the Dark Lord, the pressure had only intensified. The wizarding world looked once again to Albus to be their guiding light. Minerva couldn't be sure what Albus was dreaming about, but whether he was crying for Harry or for himself, she didn't begrudge him the indulgence.
It was a tad odd though, that this crisis was taking place in the middle of the summer holidays. She would have thought that the period following Sirius' death would have been much more difficult "But," she thought, somewhat bitterly, "I were in St Mungo's at the time, and could not have known anything about how Albus was suffering, as he didn't even come and see me" The horridly quashed that though as soon as it had reared its head. It was hard enough hiding her feelings from Albus everyday, hard enough suppressing her emotions that she sometimes felt her heart was about to burst with longing, there could be no good to come of wishful thinking.
All these thoughts seemed to swirl through Minerva's head in the space of a second and before she had time for rational thought, her slim feline body had bounded silently across the room and onto the sofa, and quietly licked the tears from his cheeks and buried herself in the crook of his arm, hoping to comfort him in his sleeping nightmare. Her soft wet nose nuzzled the inside of his elbow. She heard Albus stir in his sleep and cry out. She felt like she was hearing through a fog...
"Minerva, I could never feel that way about you..."
...and her eyes filled with unbidden tears