I own nothing but the plot!

Seclusion

Minerva McGonagall lounged on the couch staring unseeingly into the fire. She had been in seclusion at her family's vacation cottage in the Irish countryside for a few months now. She hadn't informed anyone of her whereabouts but merely left. She had received numerous owls from various people but ignored them. She didn't care if she lost her job or offended a few witches and wizards. She wasn't ready to end her seclusion yet and if her mind didn't change it would not likely be for another four months.

She had abandoned the newly formed Order of the Phoenix that Albus had organized to help fight against Voldemort and his followers. She left behind her friends and colleagues without as much as a goodbye. She felt a tad bit guilty about it but couldn't avoid it. She had to seclude herself away from everyone so that she could keep her secret safe, so she could keep her unborn child safe.

Minerva was a little over five months pregnant and she hadn't told many people. Of course, Poppy knew but she had been sworn to secrecy. She had been completely supportive of Minerva's need for seclusion and even agreed to come every two weeks to check on the progress of her pregnancy. Minerva had been relieved that she didn't have to find a local doctor to deliver her child. She was afraid to trust anyone new lately but wisely so with the rise of Voldemort and all.

A knock on the door stirred her from her relaxation. She assumed it was Poppy so she immediately answered it and wished she hadn't. Standing there on her door stoop was none other than Albus Dumbledore. He was drenched from the steady rainfall that had been falling for the past few days. She quickly tugged him inside and performed a quick dry spell on him.

Albus could only stare at her as she ushered him towards the overstuffed chair by the fire in the parlor. He vaguely felt her gently push him in the chair but he couldn't focus on anything but her midsection. She started to move away from him but he caught her hand and held her in front of him. She gave him a quizzical look but allowed him to pull her closer to him. She gasped when he gently placed his hands on her swollen belly but allowed them to remain there. "Our child," he asked hesitantly.

Tears flowed down her face as she nodded. "Our daughter," she replied then added, "for now."

He studied her for a moment before asking, "What do you mean for now?"

She sighed in frustration then started explaining. "Albus you know as well as me that we can not keep her. With as many enemies as we both have, she will be a constant target. I can not and will not allow her to be placed in danger even if that means I must give her away."

He was silent for a moment then nodded his agreement. "You're right of course, if Voldemort or any of his Death Eaters found out about her it would be almost impossible to protect her. Is that why you left without telling about her or informing me of what you had planned?"

"I had to Albus. You already had so much to worry about with the Order and Hogwarts business. Then there's the prophecy about Voldemort's downfall and trying to find that child. I did not want to add to your responsibilities with this child that I knew we could never keep. I had planned to have this baby and give her up for adoption without anyone knowing about it."

"Why not me," he asked curiously, a bit of hurt evident in his tone.

She motioned for him to stand and touched his face sweetly. "I did not want to give you the child you long for more than anything else only to have it taken away. It is just not fair. I wanted to spare you from this torture."

"There's no need to spare my feelings Minerva. I desperately want this child but I know that is just not possible or at least not now," he said prompting her to look at him in confusion. "One day when she is older she may come searching for us and then we will be able to be a part of her life."

A huge smile graced her features before she replied, "Yes one day."

Minerva grasped his hand and led him upstairs to her bedroom. She settled herself on the bed and beckoned him to her. He did so but quietly cast a spell to remove her robes. He saw her swollen belly and carefully ran his hands across it. He grinned when he felt the baby kick then bent down to kiss her tummy. As he started to crawl up to Minerva he felt a draft and noticed his clothes were completely gone. He looked up at Minerva to see her smiling but no wand in sight. "Minerva you have never been able to do wandless magic before?"

"I couldn't before I was pregnant. I think I am somehow tapping into the baby's abilities."

"What else is different besides the wandless magic?" he asked curiously yet extremely proud of such a powerful offspring.

"Sometimes when I attempt to drink pumpkin juice or something like that it will change into hot chocolate. Or when I retrieve a tin of ginger newts, I will open it to find brownies or sugar cookies. I haven't had a ginger newt in months apparently the wee one doesn't care much for them."

Albus laughed then kissed her lovingly before saying, "It could be worse she could make you eat liver or something."

She scrunched her nose up in distaste then laughed. "I guess so," she said then added, "I love you Albus."

"I love you Minerva," he replied then showed her how much.

11 and ½ Years Later

In the Great Hall at Hogwarts Castle, Minerva McGonagall and Albus Dumbledore sat quietly watching a little girl with untamable raven curls. She had been sorted into Gryffindor like they had hoped she would. She sat with Harry Potter and the Weasley children so they knew she was destined for great things. Minerva leaned over and whispered, "Albus she is beautiful."

He nodded in agreement then whispered back, "Our daughter seems to have inherited your mannerisms. Did you notice when she moves just like you?"

She smiled and gripped his hand underneath the table. "I'll see you tonight in our rooms," she whispered and left to perform her duties.

Later that night, she and Albus were playing a game of chess when a soft knock at the door interrupted them. She allowed entry and watched as none other than Hermione Granger waltzed into the room. "Can I help you with something Miss Granger?" Minerva asked.

The little girl nodded and pulled a locket from her robes then asked, "Would you explain why?"

Minerva's eyes misty over with unshed tears and her voice failed her. She looked at Albus hoping he would take control of the situation. He understood her silent plea and beckoned Hermione to sit down. She did so politely and waited for the answers she hoped would come. "You already know who we are, don't you?" he asked.

"Yes sir," she answered sweetly.

"How did you know?" he asked curiously.

She smiled before answering, "Every year during summer I noticed a cat with these unique markings that would watch me closely and keep me from danger." She turned to Minerva then said, "When I saw you transform this evening I knew you were my mother. Only a mother would watch their child that closely." She shifted towards Albus then said, "I knew who my father was when I received my Hogwarts letter. The writing of that letter was the same as the letter on my birthday presents I received every year."

He laughed then looked at Minerva who was staring at him quizzically. "I guess she inherited your curiosity and observational abilities as well as your mannerisms," he said.

She smiled before replying, "It would appear so."

Minerva turned to her daughter then explained, "Hermione we had to give you away. Albus and I have so many enemies you would have been a constant target and I could not handle it if anything were to ever happen to you."

"You gave me up for adoption to protect me," Hermione said understandingly.

"We had no other choice Hermione but it was our hope that you would seek us out one day and here you are," Albus said lovingly.

"I want to know about my family history," she said honestly.

"We will tell you everything starting tomorrow but for now you need to return to your rooms and get some sleep," Albus said then added, "It is imperative that you wear your locket at all times. It will protect you from harm."

She nodded her understanding and put the necklace back on. She started to leave when Minerva stopped her then dashed in the other room. She returned carrying a leather journal then handed it to Hermione. "I started this journal when I found out I was pregnant with you. Maybe it will answer some of your questions until we have an opportunity to talk further," she said hoping to provide some answers.

"Thank you," Hermione whispered then started to walk away. She stopped then ran back to hug Minerva and Albus then rushed out of the room.

Albus chuckled then pulled Minerva to him. "I'd say that went well," he said.

"Yes it did," she replied then added, "I'm glad she knows who we are. And I am glad we are no longer in seclusion from our daughter."

"So am I," he replied then carried her to their bedroom to show her his love.