Part one: Envisioned
As Minerva McGonagall entered the Great Hall that evening she had to grip the door frame for support. There it was again. The vision. The vision that made her stomach to turn into a tight knot of sexual tension. It lasted only for a moment – the feeling striking her like a thunderbolt, quick and strong, crashing against her defenses and leaving her entirely overwhelmed.
And this whole situation was because of the mere sight of him. A man who had been her superior and friend for a long time.
She could not understand what had been happening to her for months. Having never experienced anything like this before she was now totally confused. She had managed, or at least she thought that she had managed, to bury these needs and desires deeply inside her after loosing her husband during the first years of the war against Voldemort. But even then the needs had never been so strong and urgent. She had never felt something like this in the presence of her husband, and definitely never experienced visions.
The whole thing made her shudder. This had started being ridiculous. She had started being ridiculous!
She composed herself and proceeded towards her chair, she sat down and in that instant was greeted - by him,
"Good evening, Minerva."
"Good evening, Headmaster." She nodded and turned to the large bowl at the center of the table. She did not really feel like eating soup but it smelt rather delicious. Before she could indulge herself in the steaming hot liquid, she could not help but notice the Headmaster's cramped position. She put the ladle back into the bowl and turned slightly into his direction,
"Albus, are you all right? Is there something wrong?" She asked, with concern. His whole facial expression changed as he shook his head.
"There is nothing wrong, just…" He looked into her eyes – and for a moment there it was again, the vision. She closed her eyes, praying silently to control this as soon as possible. But her wish was denied.
She saw him, again. He was leaning over her – love in his eyes. And she was grasping desperately at his hair as her body responded to the sensation of his touch. And then he was kissing her neck and the sensation grew. It was almost impossible to bear.
Her eyes shot open. She could see the troubled look on his face. But she could not deal with him now. She needed to cope with her own problems at the moment.
"I…" She stood up abruptly, loosing her balance for a moment. She searched frantically for support, the vision had never made her sway before and she was a little frightened now. She felt a strong hand gripping hers, but then the vision came back with much greater force. She pushed his aiding hand aside, wound her arms around her stomach and dashed out of the Great Hall.
She did not notice the concerned look of her colleagues. Or the Headmaster's stunned expression.
She rushed back to her chambers, locked her door with a strong charm and went into her bedroom. She did not bother to change her attire properly, with a wave of her hand her outer robe disappeared into her wardrobe. She kicked off her boots, they landed under her bed, but she was not interested what happened to them.
When she turned around to climb into bed, she saw herself in the mirror of her dressing table. She shot a disgusted look at her appearance. Her black robes, which she had become accustomed to wearing since her husband's death, gave her the appearance of the spinster she should have felt like. But her flushing cheeks and shining eyes betrayed her emotions, she was a young woman again. With another wave of her hand her room darkened. She lay down on the center of her four-poster bed and pulled the red and gold sheets over her shivering body.
Her breath was labored and she just could not calm down. What had happened a few minutes ago was too much to deal with. She was afraid to close her eyes, but still she did so. She was tired of this insanity.
When she next opened her eyes a concerned Mediwitch was hovering over her.
"How did you…"
"The Headmaster is very worried about you, Professor McGonagall. And so am I. After your abrupt departure we decided to check on you. And seeing your present state it was a good thing we did." The Mediwitch was shaking her head as she waved her wand above McGonagall.
"I can assure you, Madame Pomfrey, I am perfectly well." She tried to sit up, but was pushed firmly back between her cushions.
"Somehow I doubt that. So, will you tell me what symptoms you are experiencing?" When her 'patient' seemed unwilling to respond she pointed emphatically to the closed bedroom door. "Outside this room is an extremely worried Headmaster, who I must satisfy with my report regarding your health. So tell me what's going on!" Madame Pomfrey took a seat next to her on the bed and looked at her expectantly.
McGonagall narrowed her eyes, the Mediwitch was seldom as forceful as she was now. Though she could be firm with the students or with other colleagues, she never spoke to the Headmaster or his deputy in such a way. Something must have happened to change her attitude.
She closed her eyes again and sighed deeply. The Mediwitch clearly sensed her hesitation, because she spoke again – her tone was now kinder and rather soothing.
"Professor, please. I would like to help. I have noticed for a while that something is troubling you. And that it has affected your physical state. You have lost weight." Here McGonagall opened her eyes, lifted her head slightly and looked at her. She did not believe anyone could tell that – her robes were quite concealing. "And you are feverish." she added.
McGonagall waited another minute to say something.
"It's a rather personal problem of mine, Madame Pomfrey." She said once she was sure there weren't going to be any other symptoms that the Mediwitch had observed.
"You can trust me, Professor."
"I fear I am going mad," somehow she wasn't expecting the Mediwitch to begin to laugh.
"Oh, I don't think that would be possible, Professor. I have never met a person saner than you. But tell me what makes you think that."
McGonagall felt as her face became warmer.
"I have been experiencing some inappropriate visions…"
"Oh…" Said Madame Pomfrey, and she moved closer to her. "What kind of visions? I mean when do they occur, are they of the same thing or not and so on?" McGonagall swallowed.
"I would rather not tell you. It's a personal matter."
"Professor, as I mentioned you can trust me."
"Yes, I know but…" She sighed, "I am someone who prefers to keep my private life private." Madame Pomfrey nodded. "You probably don't know that I was married. My relationship with my husband was an affectionate one, but I struggled with the intimacy of our relationship. Though I missed him very much when he was killed."
"I am sorry, Professor." McGonagall just nodded.
"Since his death I haven't thought of passion, or of my emotional and physical needs. Until now." She stopped for a moment. "I have started to see myself making love and even worse feeling it. I don't know why this is happening; it's ridiculous. But every fibre of me has started to live again and I cannot deny I enjoy the feelings creeping through my body. But I can't allow it to continue…"
"Just out of curiosity, who do you see in your visions, Professor?"
"The mere sight of him causes the whole thing to start. His touch exacerbates the intensity of what I see and feel. Until today I was able to tolerate the effects, but something changed and it appears I am not able to control my body any longer. I just don't understand why this has started to happen, we have been friends for a long time, since I started teaching here."
McGonagall heard the sharp intake of the Mediwitch.
"Professor, are you talking about the Headmaster?"
"Yes." After admitting this tears started to form and slowly to fall from her eyes.
"There, there." Madame Pomfrey shifted closer and wiped away the tears with a handkerchief. "There is nothing to be embarrassed about. You know this could be a good thing."
"How can it possibly be a good thing?"
"Love sometimes makes its presence known in very strange ways."
"What do you mean? I don't love him."
"I believe you do, and that your buried emotions have started to influence you." The Mediwitch smiled and continued gently, "there is a cure you know."
"What is it?" McGonagall felt relieved to hear there would be a way to end her discomfort.
"You must talk to him about this."
"No buts, Professor." Madame Pomfrey stood up. "I believe our esteemed Headmaster will be very interested to hear about your visions." There was a curious glint in her eyes, which McGonagall did not understand. "I will send him inside, and please, tell him everything."
"Thank you." She whispered.
With this she left the bedroom. For a couple of long minutes McGonagall lay alone with her thoughts. She was not sure how to even approach telling Dumbledore about the visions. She was worried about how he would react.
It had taken them a long time to form a relationship that someone observing would probably call friendship. But they would be mistaken. In many ways they were more than friends, but in other ways they were much less.
When they first started working together, she had been reserved, purposely avoided the chance to get to know him better, mainly because she never wanted to give her husband a cause to be jealous. And Dumbledore had always respected her need for space.
But that had changed some years ago. She could sense he had been determined to know her better. After her husband's death he found ways to spend time with her in the evenings – too. It was his way of trying to persuade her to relax, prevent her from sinking into despair. She had probably never told him how much she appreciated his efforts.
Over time they talked less about the war and more about everyday life. But never about personal matters. She had learnt a lot about him, perhaps more than anybody. She could describe how he saw the world, but she would not have been able to explain how he felt about it. Simply because she had seldom seen any emotion displayed on his face.
It was a cold November night when she had first seen the vision. They were having a heated debate about the Christmas break, when he suddenly sat back into his chair and closed his eyes. She was still standing leaning over his desk and she could remember being confused at his defeated look. She could even recall the sound of his voice.
"I am not able to fight you, Minerva. You can have your own way."
Then he looked up and his eyes were full of emotions she had never seen before. It was at that moment she had experienced the vision for the first time. It surprised her, but passed so quickly she was almost able to believe she had imagined it.
Since then she had tried to find an explanation for what was happening to her. For a long time she had denied the obvious, though she had always known she was drawn to him, attracted to him. Deep down she knew it was desire, perhaps even love, but she did not want him to feel obligated to do something about her feelings.
She was woken from her musings by a soft knock. She called out for him to enter.
The door opened slowly, the headmaster came inside then shut the door quietly. He sat down in the same spot Madame Pomfrey had occupied. He was obviously just as concerned as the Mediwitch had been, but there was also tenderness in his eyes. He took her hands in his.
In that moment she could see and feel it again. She fought the urge to arch her back. But she could not stop herself from gripping his hand tightly. Upon feeling this he started to speak.
"Minerva, what is wrong? Madame Pomfrey was not willing to tell me anything. I hope…" His voice trailed off for a moment. "I hope it's nothing serious… That you are all right?"
"I am." She breathed and looked into his eyes. She could see he was troubled. "Albus, there is something I must tell you."
"I am listening to you."
McGonagall chewed her bottom lip.
"Albus, I am in love with you." She said finally. She looked into his eyes, studied his face for any response, but his face remained emotionless. She looked away for a moment, but as she felt him shifting beside her, she could not help but meet his eyes again. To her surprise his gaze bored into hers, his expression full of more of those emotions that she didn't recognize.
And then there it was again. Now more forcefully than ever before.
"Oh," she moaned and arched her back. Her grip on his hand grew.
"Merlin, Minerva! You can see that!" His voice was hoarse.
"What… can… I… see?" Her breath was labored. She hardly could talk or think coherently.
"Oh, my dearest Minerva." He rolled on top of her and started to place feather-light kisses on her neck and shoulders, just as he did in her visions. "I have always wanted to do this, I have envisioned this…"
And suddenly she understood.
"You did this to me. I thought I was loosing my mind." The sensation was almost too much to bear. "Why?" She was panting.
"It wasn't intentional. But it seems I can't control my Legilimency when I am near you. I love you, Minerva."
"Oh, Albus, …" She moaned softly and did not finish her thought.
End of part one