A/N: I'm a girl who loves fluff and is writing an angst fic... Please be patient with me. I truly struggled with a title for this fic, but I had to settle with something, of course.
One year and two months had passed, but it felt like only yesterday...
Minerva collapsed onto the floor in a rage of tears. Sometimes she could still hear him, still feel him. These illusions had only been getting worse with time, and recovering from them was becoming a slower and more difficult process. Minerva lifted her head in the darkness.
"Albus," she cried out.
The room spun. Minerva closed her eyes to ease the vertigo but fainted, like so many times before, only to awaken several hours later. She was persistent with hiding her pain from the rest of the world with a false mask of strength. Minerva often bitterly reminded herself that had Albus still been alive she would not have to fight alone. Now the only thing left of him was his pictures, memories, and the ring on Minerva's finger.
Poppy Pomfrey, the only person alive that seemed to still care, often insisted on giving Minerva medical treatment after she found her barely breathing in her office three months ago. Poppy was currently attempting to persuade Minerva into a type of therapy for improving and maintaining her "mental stability".
You have no idea, Minerva thought to herself.
She wondered what Albus would do if he was still alive.
"If it will help you, Minerva..." he would say.
Albus had always wanted the best for his Minerva. She began to sway as his memory triggered another flashback. Poppy grabbed her by the shoulders and sat her down in a nearby chair.
"I'm fine!" Minerva snapped before Poppy could ask.
Poppy nodded, unconvinced.
"Please, Minerva, get some rest."
Minerva glared at her and jumped to her feet.
"It would take all the Binding Spells in the book to give her the treatment she needs," Minerva heard Poppy say to someone.
Minerva threw herself onto the bed. A framed picture of Albus waved to her from the nightstand. She took it into her arms and studied his features until tears flooded her eyes. She wiped them away and lay with her face down on the pillow and Albus's picture tucked beneath her chest.
"This is all my fault," she whispered into the pillow before drifting off to a restless sleep.
Minerva awoke to the sensation that she was not alone. Maybe Albus's death was just a dream after all. She ran her hand across the space beside her, however, to find the bedsheets empty and cold. She felt an uncomfortable pressure against her stomach and remembered she had fallen asleep on Albus's picture. Minerva placed it back onto the stand and walked across the room. Sunlight escaping through an uncovered corner of the window told that the day was not yet at a close. She grimaced. Nothing was quite as beautiful or enjoyable as it had once been.
Minerva went to dinner in the Great Hall and ate a few bites to please Poppy. The truth, of course, was that she was rarely hungry anymore. She was slowly wasting away both physically and mentally. She took the first opportunity she received to get away from Poppy's overbearing watchful eye and headed towards her own rooms.
Minerva opened the door and stepped inside the darkened room. She gasped. She had felt it again. It was the same, powerful jolt of emotions rushing through her that she had always felt by Albus's mere presence in the room. She could almost feel his hand in hers and smell his light fragrance of lemon sweets. Minerva began feeling dizzy again, but this was far worse than she could ever remember. It was almost as if she could hear Albus now calling to her.
Poppy, who had come to check on her after she noticed she was missing, walked through the door as Minerva fell.
"Minerva!" Poppy screamed.
Poppy's voice seemed so distant, and Minerva was not strong enough to respond. Poppy ran and kneeled at her side, searching for a pulse, but nothing could be done. Minerva took her last breath as Poppy burst into tears. Minerva's struggles, most unknown to the rest of the world, were over. Poppy smiled through the tears and heartbreak. Albus and Minerva would finally be together again. This time it was for eternity.