Blessings and Heartache.

An: Oh I know, it's been ages since I updated this story. Real life became busy and I also set up a HP roleplay community, if you would like the address, just let me know and I'll email it to you. I have found writing this chapter very difficult and I do not like it one bit but I need to update otherwise it will be all forgotten about. Here is an update though, enjoy! This hasn't been beta read so you have been warned.

Chapter Ten: Realisation.

Albus stood still and watched her walk away from him, his mind trying to process her words while his heart fell to pieces. Her words had stung him like a dozen hornets and the poison was flowing through his veins quickly, infecting him. He had never thought of her as a joke, the thought had never crossed his mind in any way, shape or form. Seeing her with that man had knifed him in him in the heart, she was entitled to a life but it was only now that he realised that he wanted to be her life. He had always known his feelings for his deputy ran deeper than professional, they were more than colleagues, more than friends but what they were, had never been defined.

Albus had never defined rules about bringing people back to Hogwarts, he himself in his younger years had done that but not since Minerva had come into his life. He hadn't denied himself dates, he had been on a few but he couldn't muster up any enthusesium for the date itself and the woman he was sitting beside. His thoughts would all was end up being consumed by the emerald green eyes of his best friend, Minerva McGonagall. He had known then, his feelings for her but living in denial had become a safety net for him over the years and he had stayed there, wrapped up in her friendship.

He had managed to convince himself that she would never see him in any other light, than a friend. He truly believed that and her actions with Gray, proved him right. Unrequited love was a burden but it wasn't one he would readily give up.

He watched as she swept around the corner, out of sight, part of him wanted to go after her but the other half of him didn't want to see her being comforted by a man he didn't know. He argued with himself whether to call out to her but he couldn't, he simply watched her disappear. He felt like such a fool, he was a man after all and shouldn't be dissecting everything like he was. He took one last look at the corner before storming off to his rooms where he sat down and fiddled with a quill for a good hour before being brought back from his musings by Fawkes, who had decided he was rather hungry.

Albus begrudgingly set about fixing a snack for his loyal familiar, the silver bowl shaped like a sherbet lemon which had been a gift from Minerva had fallen on the floor more than once while Albus mixed Fawkes meal. The phoenix watched his master with interest and on a few occasions rolled his eyes when Albus let out a curse or to when he couldn't open a packet of prawn crackers by hand.

"Don't you look at me like that old chap," complained Albus "you try opening a packet when your fingers are covered in bacon and tuna pieces. It is ruddy hard, I tell you."

Fawkes simply cocked his head to the side and fluttered his wings in a manner, which told Albus that he didn't really care how he opened the packet as long as he did.

"Any one would think I starved you!" continued Albus as he finally opened the packet of crackers and began to mix them with the smoky bacon pieces and tuna flakes in a haphazard way.

Albus attached the bowl to Fawkes stand and sat back down on his chair, he popped a sherbet lemon into his mouth and closed his eyes as he savoured the flavour. Fawkes peered at the food all mashed together and turned his beak up at it, he didn't like messy food and the food Albus had placed before him was like a crash scene. Fawkes liked it when Minerva made his dinner, she would always present it nicely and she seemed to put more effort into it.

"It tastes exactly the same as Minerva's," Albus reminded his picky familiar "the same ingredients so don't turn your beak up at it. Eat up Fawkes!"

The phoenix turned his back on his master and placed his head safely under his wing, a small snorting sound came from under his wing and it was Albus' turn to roll his eyes. Sometimes Albus wondered if Fawkes were a female phoenix, he would certainly behave like one at times when he couldn't get his own way. He had fallen out with Minerva and he didn't want to fall out with Fawkes either, the silent treatment from Fawkes wasn't very pleasant.

"What about if I put a sherbet lemon on top?" suggested Albus.

Albus tried to hide his smile when Fawkes twitched at the sound of sherbet lemons; he knew how to get around his feather friend. He only wished, he could say the same about a certain witch they both knew and loved dearly. He placed two sweets on Fawkes plate and soon the phoenix was happily eating way.

"I have truly messed up things Fawkes," mused Albus as he sat at his desk "I really wish my brain would engage my mouth before I speak, if I did, I wouldn't have pushed Minerva away as I have."

Fawkes stopped eating and looked his master, deciding his food could wait a bit longer; he hopped over to where his master sat and knocked his head against his hand. This was the phoenix's way of telling Albus to continue and that he was listening.

"The whole thing in the paper," began Albus "was true in some respects. I know we aren't getting married but I would love for that to be case. Minerva is in my mind constantly and I did have her in mind as I spoke to that blasted Skeeter woman. I only made a joke of it to make her not worry, I assumed she would be so angry with me for saying what I did but it turns out that my joking has hurt her. I can't make it up to her because she is with that fellow; he is clearing her up when it should be me! How am I ever going to fix this mess Fawkes?"