Title: A Beautiful Dream

Author: TartanLioness

Disclaimer: Not mine… never will be… bah.

It was an early Saturday morning when Albus Dumbledore woke up. He felt warm and content and not entirely due to the warm blankets. No, he had just woken up from the best dream he had had in years and he remembered every second of it. He scrambled out of bed, nearly tripping in his blankets and dragged his Pensieve out of his wardrobe; he wanted to store this dream forever.

Having done so, he showered and went down to breakfast early, as usual stopping by his Deputy's chambers. When she opened the door she was not quite ready to go; her hair was only half-way pinned up and she quickly shut the door after letting him enter.

"Good morrow, my dear," he smiled, winking at her with a twinkle in the eyes.

"Oh you and your ridiculous medieval way of talking," said Minerva, rolling her eyes. Then they both laughed.

"Well, Minerva, you were the one who called me an old codger."

"That was before I met you! I was sixteen, for Merlin's sake!" She let her hands drop and in the nape of her neck was a perfectly done, tight bun. "Ready to go to breakfast?" she asked, changing the subject. He nodded and bowed, offering her an arm. Again she rolled her eyes teasingly, sending him a warm smile before they headed off for the Great Hall.

Breakfast passed as usual and she went to class. By the time lunch had arrived, her good mood had completely vanished. The students had not quite been cooperative and she had spent a good ten minutes yelling. The only thing she was really looking forward to was the game of chess with Albus later.

When Minerva entered the Headmaster's chambers that evening after dinner, she felt worn out and very, very tired. She really wished that she could just go to sleep but she also knew that if anything could make her feel better it was a nice friendly game of chess with her best friend. But Albus was not in his living room. The chess board had been set up and two cups were sitting on the table, steamy hot. Minerva looked around, suddenly awake and on her toes. Carefully she pushed open the door to Albus' bedchambers. The room was dimly lit and Minerva could only just discern Albus' sleeping form upon the large bed. Chuckling quietly she made her way across the slightly messy floor, towards the bed. She sat down on the edge, smiling softly at her best friend, and reached out to stroke his hair. Her fingers wound their way through the silvery locks softly, making sure not to wake him up.

A shimmering silver glow caught Minerva's eyes and she turned her head to see Albus' Pensieve. The substance began to swirl fiercely and grew into a tall figure. Minerva's curiosity grew when she realized that it was herself.

"What in the name of Merlin?" whispered the real Minerva as she stood up from the bed. The silvery duplicate drew her towards the Pensieve. Even though she knew what would happen if she touched the silver substance, Minerva reached out her hand and touched the mirror of herself.

Immediately she was sucked head first into Albus' Pensieve. Looking around, se recognized the surroundings to be the small Chapel where Poppy and Alastor had gotten married. She smiled gently and looked towards the altar. Her smile faltered slightly as she saw that Albus and Alastor had switched places. Then she realized; this was not a memory, this had to be a dream. The music began to play and Minerva quickly found a seat among the few guests, looking towards the entrance as she did so. She was curious and scared, not quite certain if she wanted to see who Albus had dreamt of marrying.

Poppy Pomfrey-Moody walked slowly down the aisle, followed by Minerva McGonagall. The real Minerva gasped. Dream-Minerva was wearing the most amazing wedding gown, Minerva had ever seen, but it was the look upon her face that made Minerva's heart beat faster; never had she looked so happy, so radiant. Dream-Minerva walked past the pews, eyes locked with Albus'. As they joined hands, Minerva's eyes became teary. It was hard to sit down there, on the pews, when Albus was getting married, even if it was to her, even if it was just a dream.

Albus and Minerva Dumbledore walked up the aisle, past Minerva and the scene changed. Minerva was now standing in a bathroom, it seemed, where Dream-Minerva was bent over the commode, Albus standing behind her, rubbing her protruding stomach and holding back her long black hair as she threw up.

The scene changed again and this time it was of Albus holding her hand tightly through false labour, then through real labour, cringing as she crushed his hand, yelling at him, "This is your entire fault!"

Minerva smiled as the scene changed again and she found her Dream self lying in a bed in the Hogwarts Hospital Wing, holding her and Albus' small daughter in her arms, with Albus sitting on the edge of the bed, holding their daughter's hand. Albus leaned down and kissed Minerva's lips and then the baby's forehead gently.

"I love you," he whispered to their child. Then he looked into his wife's eyes and told her the same words as the scene changed again.

This time Dream-Minerva and Dream-Albus were sitting at the Head Table, holding hands secretly, as their daughter was Sorted. And then Albus was walking their daughter down the aisle, looking proud. As they reached the altar, Albus let go of her and went to stand at his wife's side, putting an arms around her waist. Dream-Minerva and Real-Minerva both smiled proudly at the young girl. But when the real Minerva felt an arm slide around her waist as well, she jumped startled. Turning around quickly, she inhaled sharply as her eyes met Albus'.

"My dear," he said. "I think you've seen enough, don't you agree?" Before she could answer, she felt herself being pulled out of the Pensieve.

Finally in Albus' bedchambers again, Minerva looked at the floor, embarrassed. Daring to look up, she couldn't bare the look of sadness in Albus' eyes and looked back down.

"How much of that did you see, Minerva?" he asked, breaking the silence. Minerva hesitated. For some reason, she felt that saying it out loud would make the memory shatter.

"I… er… Getting married, being pregnant and how attentive you were." She smiled slightly at the memory. "Going through labour and holding our daughter in my arms as you told us you love us. Our daughter getting Sorted and getting married. And then you came."

Albus didn't say anything for a while. But finally he broke the silence by saying,

"I need you to leave my rooms, Minerva. I have to be alone for a while, I'm sure you understand." Albus didn't quite meet her eyes as she nodded and went to the door. There she stopped though and glanced behind.

"Is that really what you want, Albus?" she asked gently.

"You mean, do I want you to leave?"

"No, I mean what I saw in the Pensieve. Getting married, having children with me, spending your life with me."

"Yes, it is. But that will be a dream, nothing more, forever."

"It doesn't have to be," she replied, leaving the room with a final glance at the man she loved.

tbc...

A/N: Wow, look at that.. I'm back with a new story... It feels like ages since I last wrote something... Hope you enjoyed it so far! Cammie