Author's notes: I hope you liked those nine chapters because now we move forward into uncharted territory. This chapter contains quite graphic descriptions of violence so be warned.
Please review; even a 'love it' is fantastic.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything JKR created.
Chapter 10: Remus' Memories
Minerva slipped her dressing gown over her shoulders as she walked into her living room but stopped abruptly as her eyes fell on the stolid figure who sat on the sofa. Remus was slumped on the couch, his feet on the coffee table, reading the Daily Prophet. It was six days since the argument and he had still yet to speak in more than monosyllables. His mood differed from hour-to-hour, ranging from almost catatonia to fits of sheer rage. He glanced up as she entered but said nothing.
"Have you eaten anything today?" she asked as she continued to the kitchenette.
He shook his slowly as he turned his head to watch her progress across the room. "I'm not hungry."
Minerva rolled her eyes even as she slammed her palm against the bench. "Dammit, Lupin," she snapped. "Talk to me! I cannot help you unless you talk to me!"
"I am talking to you," Remus said petulantly.
The Head of Gryffindor gave him a scathing look as she made herself a cup of tea but said nothing. It was a Friday night and for once she had no patrols or meetings to attend and all she wanted was a relaxing night in her chambers, something that was simply not going to happen if Remus continued acting like a child.
"Please, Remus," she said softly. "It will help."
The werewolf snorted and looked away, his eyes falling – as they often did – on the mantle. "You still haven't told me who that is," he said, changing the subject.
"It doesn't matter," Minerva said shortly, turning away to get a mug from the cupboard. "He has nothing to do with your current situation."
"I thought you would say that," Remus said.
Minerva turned slowly, surprised and unsettled by his odd tone of voice. Lupin had leant forward and her peered at her intently, as if he were examining every nuance of her body.
"It's a typical 'Professor McGonagall' answer. 'It doesn't matter,' yes, that's exactly what I expected," he continued. "And you know what I think based on that answer?"
"Enlighten me," Minerva said, injecting sarcasm into her voice.
"That something happened to him, something awful. And you refuse to think about it because it would be too painful," Remus said, jabbing his finger towards her. "Instead, you look to the future, to what you can change."
"Don't be ridiculous," Minerva snapped.
"I don't think I am," Remus retorted. "I think I have hit the nail smack-bam on the head."
Minerva's hands shook as she tapped the kettle with her wand. "Think what you like, Lupin," she said, making a deliberate effort to keep her voice level. "It's entirely up to you."
The younger man laughed. "Oh, I will."
"Well, good for you!" Minerva said sharply. "Ten points to Gryffindor! Well done, Remus Lupin, the resident psychoanalyst."
She poured boiling water into the mug and made herself a cup of coffee, ignoring Lupin who was looking at his feet. She stalked past him to her bedroom where she slipped under the covers and pulled a pile of documents onto her lap. Glasses perched on her nose; she began to read, steadfastly refusing to acknowledge the werewolf who sat alone in her living room.
Minerva's dreams that night were a combination of memories and premonitions with the central theme 'when would it end.' Voices from the past echoed in her mind and she looked to the side to see Marcus but when he spoke it was Fred's voice that came from his mouth.
Marcus morphed into the Sirius of the past who laughingly flung her around but he melded into the Sirius she knew today.
"What about me, Minerva? What about me?"
Sirius had spent fourteen years in Azkaban. His youth, his looks, he had been taken away. The Dementors making short work of the cocky arrogance he once held. And she ... she had let it happen. Abandoned him ...
"Cedric ... Cedric Diggory ... dead!"
Young, handsome with his whole life ahead of him, and yet the Dark Lord had seen fit to ... 'kill the spare.' The ruthlessness, the disregard for human life; it was so cold-blooded and macabre ... why could the Dark Lord not see that a world of death would never reign?
"They're dead and I couldn't do a fucking thing about it!"
Remus ... one of her favourite students, outcast by most and yet so willing to give anything and everything for anyone; whose wish was to merely be normal, who never argued with Albus when he was sent on missions where he could easily be killed.
"No, not her! She's a child, you sonovabitch!"
Minerva awoke to screaming; it was several moments before she realised it was not her own.
She leapt to her feet, landing lightly on the timber floor and darted into the living room. Her black hair streamed behind her as she ran toward the werewolf. Remus lunged forward, falling off the couch and onto the hard, wooden floor, still fighting, though now he was snapping with his teeth in a wolfish fashion. His eyes were open, but glazed, and Minerva knew he was still asleep.
"Lupin," she said firmly, holding his shoulders down. "Remus!"
He gave no indication that he heard her, and struggled out of her grasp. He continued to twist and turn and she whipped her wand out. "Augmenti!"
The water did nothing except infuriate him and Minerva was forced to flinch backward to avoid his fist, her wand flying across the room in the brief struggle. She flung herself forward again, pinning him to the ground by placing her knees on his chest. The younger man twisted, struggling to remove her, but she dug her nails into his upper arms, holding on tightly.
"Remus, wake up!"
With an animalistic howl, the werewolf ripped her away from him, and she landed on the floor some six feet away, her back colliding with the polished wood so hard she knew that she would be bruised tomorrow. The wind was knocked from her lungs, and she rolled onto her side, wheezing, curled up foetal. Remus was still thrashing, his hair sopping wet with sweat and she rose unsteadily to her knees and crawled towards him as he again cried out.
"I am going to fucking kill you!"
For the second time she used her body weight to hold him down, her fingernails digging into his shoulders, and though he tried to throw her off, she held on. Together they rolled, Remus striking out with his hands and teeth, only Minerva's quick reflexes preventing her from being beaten. Remus' lycanthropy was advantageous in the physical battle and she found herself pinned beneath him as he bared his teeth in a snarl. He lunged once more, and in the interests of self-preservation she raked her nails across his cheek, the skin tearing underneath her manicured nails.
As his hands flew to his wounded face, Minerva managed to crawl out from beneath him. Her nightgown was torn in several places and she fumbled for her wand which had fallen beneath the coffee table. Her fingers wrapped around the smooth wood and she pointed it at the young werewolf who was turning toward her, an expression of unimaginable fury on his usually handsome visage.
The spell hit him in the centre of the chest and he fell to the ground in a limp heap. Minerva realised that sweat was pouring from her in torrents and pushed a sopping lock of hair away from her forehead as she struggled to her feet. As the adrenalin ceased to surge through her veins, she collapsed onto the recently-vacated sofa, placing her feet on the coffee table. She was breathing heavier than normal and as she rested her arm on the armrest, she saw the large gash inflicted by Remus' own nails. Further inspection of her body revealed other similar wounds and she closed her eyes briefly.
It was events such as these that people like Umbridge seized on to alienate werewolves from wizarding society. Unlike animagus transformations, werewolves had no control over their bodies when the wolfish tendencies reared their ugly head. In sleep, a time where thoughts circulate through the mind, often taking obscure forms, that same wolf could take over the human mind in slumber, and no spell could awaken the person; as Remus had demonstrated. Groaning as she moved slightly, causing the bruised muscles to grind against each other, she rose to her feet and crossed to the fireplace where she threw in a handful of floo powder.
In a swirl of emerald green she reappeared in the medical ward and Poppy glanced up from her desk, her eyes widening at Minerva's beaten and bruised state.
"Bloody hell, Minerva," she said as she crossed to the Scottish witch and examined her forearm. "What happened?"
Minerva gave a small grin, despite the circumstances. "Have you ever tried waking up a werewolf from a nightmare?" she said wryly.
Poppy's eyebrows shot upward. "Remus did this?" she asked incredulously.
"He didn't know what he was doing," Minerva said quickly, wincing as Poppy traced the line of a cut that ran from her shoulder and across her clavicle.
The School Nurse said nothing as she pointed her wand at Minerva's various injuries, the wounds healing almost instantaneously.
"Thank you," Minerva said, taking a step back from the mediwitch. "I'll go back now."
Poppy eyed her almost critically. "Is there anything you wish to tell me, Minerva?" she asked shrewdly.
Minerva hesitated briefly.
Fred... Sirius... Umbridge... Remus...
"No, Poppy," she said eventually, shaking her head. "Nothing at all."
Remus was where she had left him, on the floor, and she leant over him and touched her wand to his chest.
With a shudder the werewolf came to, and his eyes darted about his surroundings, eventually landing on the Scottish witch who smiled apologetically.
"I had to 'stun'you," she said softly, holding her hand out. "You were having quite the nightmare."
Colour flooded to the younger man's face as she helped him to his feet. He sat down next to her, not meeting her eyes. Minerva turned and gripped his shoulders, swiveling him to face her. He looked up and his mouth opened slightly in horror as he saw the bloodstains on her nightgown.
"I did that," he said, shaking. "McGonagall, I'm so sorry, so sorry…"
"Shh," Minerva said, putting a finger against his lips. "I need to heal your face."
Remus stayed still as she touched her wand tip to the scratches she had inflicted and in seconds they had vanished, leaving the faintest of scars she knew would fade quickly.
"Can you tell me what you dreamed about?" Minerva asked softly.
The werewolf shook his head adamantly. "No, I just … I can't…"
Minerva nodded gently. "Could you show me, perhaps?" she said. "Via leglimency?"
Remus took a shuddering breath and Minerva knew he was thinking hard. She waited patiently, knowing he could not rush this sort of decision.
"Yes," he said hoarsely. "All right."
Minerva gave him a gentle smile as she reached out and touched her fingertips to his temples. "The second it becomes too much, pull away. Okay?"
Remus took a deep breath and nodded. He closed his eyes and Minerva found herself doing the same.
Minerva felt as if her eyes were wrenched open and she found herself standing next to a bound and gagged Remus Lupin who was pushed and shoved along a dirt path in Sherwood Forest. How long they walked she wasn't sure but they soon entered a clearing and Remus was thrown into the centre where he landed with a sickening 'thud.' Remus wheezed as a figure approached and pulled him upright by the neck of his robes.
"Remus Lupin," the figure mocked. Minerva felt her blood run cold as she recognised the rough voice of Fenhir Greyback. "Wanting to join my pack? I never thought it possible."
Remus tried to talk through the gag but Fenhir let him go and he fell back to the ground.
"And I still don't," Greyback continued, now pacing before Remus. "I'm sure you can understand why; you've been a Dumbledore man for so many years."
Greyback flicked his wand and a fire burst upward from the earth mere feet from Remus. Lupin's eyes widened as the blue flames flickered, casting the forest into a menacing blend of blues and silvers.
"I never thought you had the stomach for killing, Lupin," Greyback said, nudging Remus with his boot. "But, I might be wrong. We'll soon see."
Minerva's stomach twisted as two men – both other werewolves – emerged from the trees holding two sacks. They placed them on the ground, six-feet away from Fenhir and walked backwards, not letting their backs face him. Greyback bared his teeth in a mocking smile as he pulled one of the sacks towards him and opened it with a knife he withdrew from his belt. Inside was a muggle girl, no more than eight, who looked around with scared eyes. She was obviously under the body-bind curse as she was as stiff as board and Fenhir placed her on the ground as he opened the other sack and took out another child, this time a boy. The two were obviously siblings, with the same hair and eyes, and they wore identical expressions of horror.
"Does this bring back memories, Lupin?" Fenhir asked, waving his wand at the children and releasing the spell.
Remus didn't say anything as he tried to sit upright. Fenhir laughed and pulled the children to their feet. They seemed too terrified to even scream and Minerva watched as they reached out and clasped hands. Greyback's lips curled back in a snarl and without warning he reached out for the girl and held her in the air. Her brother did scream then and threw himself at the werewolf leader, punching, biting and kicking, trying to free his sister who had still not said a word. Fenhir kicked out and the boy went sailing through the air, landing some six feet away. Remus struggled to get to his feet but kept falling and Fenhir threw his head back and howled. Even in his human form the call was wolf-like and Minerva watched in horror as she saw countless pairs of eyes through the trees.
Other men – all wearing feral smiles – stepped out and made a circle around Greyback.
The boy managed to get back to his feet and rushed toward Fenhir who raised his eyebrows and laughed. The next second he had opened his mouth and was leaning his head toward the girl's neck. His teeth was brown and sharp and Minerva watched in horror as they inched ever closer to the girl's neck. Remus was screaming against the gag and Fenhir glanced up when his teeth were a mere inch away from the girl and laughed softly.
"Ah, the memories," he said sarcastically.
He snarled then and an instant later had bitten the girl. The boy screamed as blood burst from her neck as Fenhir's teeth bit through the carotid artery. He dropped the girl to the ground and kicked her away. The girl's brother screamed again and rushed to her side. He was sobbing as he tried to stop the bleeding with his hands but Minerva knew the girl was already gone. Greyback laughed and crossed the distance between him and boy. He hefted the child up and without any theatrics bit him as well before he tossed him down next to his sister. Minerva felt physically sick as Greyback threw his head back looked at the moon. Scarlet blood oozed steadily down his chin, dripping onto his shirt, but he made no attempt to wipe away the blood. Instead, he ran his tongue slowly against his lips as if savouring the children's blood. His expression was truly evil and Minerva's hand flew to her wand despite her knowing that she was a voyeur rather than a participant in the horrific events unfolding before her eyes.
One the other werewolf men rushed forward but Greyback sent them flying back with another flick of his wand. There were snarls and gnashing of teeth but none dared to fight the werewolf leader.
"Today, you don't eat," he said, nudging the boy with his foot.
The child was still alive and Minerva's hand flew to her mouth as she watched him reach for his sister. Remus was yelling against the gag and Fenhir flicked his wand and the piece of cloth disappeared.
"You fucking bastard," Remus screamed, struggling to reach the children. "They're innocent!"
Fenhir and the rest of the werewolf pack laughed as one and the awful sound echoed through the forest.
"I knew you would never join me," Fenhir said, kicking Remus in the stomach so he doubled over. "Dumbledore insults my intelligence. I will leave you alive so you can tell him that directly."
Remus glared upward from the ground and when he spoke his voice was ice-cold. "I will kill you," he said simply. "Remember that."
Fenhir shook his head. "I doubt that, Lupin."
With those words he turned sharply and he and the other werewolves disappeared into the night leaving Remus and the two children alone in the clearing. Remus struggled against his bonds but couldn't break them. Infuriated, he raised his hands and began to bite at the ropes. It took several minutes but eventually he was able to gnaw through; hands now free he untied his feet and rushed over to the siblings. They were lying in a pool of their own blood and had leant towards each other. Remus hefted them into his arms and ran through the woods, somehow weaving a path through the trees. Finally he reached a muggle town and he sprinted through the main street screaming for someone – anyone – to come out. People did and there were shrieks and cries from the muggles as Remus fell to his knees in the centre of the street, still holding the children. Minerva, who had been running behind, felt tears begin to fall down her cheeks as she watched Remus draw them close to him and let out a heart-wrenching scream for they were – unmistakably – dead.
Back in her living room, Minerva felt Remus pull away and she opened her eyes to find him rocking back-and-forth, his eyes clenched tightly shut. She reached forward and pulled him towards her. He buried his face in her neck as he held her so tightly she thought she might break. He said nothing and his body shook as he sobbed silently, his tears soaking into the material of her nightgown. They mixed with her blood and she felt the blend of tears and blood slide down her back, making her shudder. Remus didn't notice and squeezed her still tighter to the point she found it hard to breathe.
"I couldn't…" Remus whispered into her neck. "I tried…"
Minerva stayed silent, knowing that words of comfort would have no effect and slowly Remus began to regain his composure. She ran a hand through his hair when he finally pulled away from her and wiped his eyes with his shirt. Minerva gave a small smile and conjured a handkerchief which she used to wipe his face. Remus stayed perfectly still as Minerva stopped the tears that streamed down his cheeks.
"I couldn't save them," Remus said hoarsely.
Minerva nodded as she vanished the handkerchief. "You couldn't have," she said gently. She held his chin as he went to look down again. "You couldn't have," she repeated. "I want you to realise that."
There werewolf inhaled sharply and Minerva knew he was trying to hold back more tears. He pulled back from her grasp and turned away.
"Lupin," Minerva said, placing a hand on his shoulder. "Look at me."
He didn't, instead looking firmly at the floor, and Minerva stood and stepped around so she was standing in front of him. Still, he didn't look up and Minerva leant forward and placed her hands at the back of his neck and pulled her towards him so their foreheads were touching.
"Lupin," she whispered. "You can't blame yourself; it was Greyback, not you, who murdered those children."
He finally looked up and reached out and took her wrists in his hands, pulling them away from his neck. He didn't let go as he rose to his feet and he gave Minerva a slight smile.
"You're right," he admitted. "But it doesn't make it any easier."
"I know it doesn't," Minerva agreed.
He nodded and kissed the back of her hands before letting them go. "I'll go now," he said. "We should both get some sleep."
Remus turned and walked away from her, down the corridor to the spare bedroom, and Minerva waited until the door had closed behind him before going into her own room where she collapsed onto the bed. She rested the back of her hand against her forehead in a gesture than on anyone else would have been cliché. She had always known that Greyback was sadistic and cruel but to see him kill children with such glee and no remorse had cut through her like a knife. Minerva rolled onto her side and closed her eyes. To her surprise and relief no images flashed past her eyes and she found herself slipping into a deep – and dreamless – sleep.
Saturday dawned dull and overcast and Minerva yawned as she pulled a mug from the cupboard. She was meeting Amelia at her London town-house, to discuss this week's roster and was in desperate need of coffee. She glanced up as she heard the unmistakeable sound of footsteps against the wooden floor. Remus gave her a tired smile as he walked to the dining table and sat down. He dragged his hands down his face and looked out through his fingers at her.
"Morning," Minerva said, grinning slightly.
Lupin opened his mouth to speak but his eyes fell on her exposed collarbone and widened. "Did I do that?" he asked urgently, rising to his feet and crossing the room to stand next to her.
"Do what?" Minerva said, trying and failing to see what he was looking at.
"This," Remus answered, trailing a line over her clavicle.
She raised her hand and touched where his fingers were. The skin was slightly raised and she knew that there must be a faint scar.
"No," she said quickly.
"Liar," Remus snapped, peering closer. "This is new. I can tell."
"Well, I didn't notice it before you pointed it out so it can't be that bad," Minerva said, trying to make light of the situation.
Remus scowled as he leant against the bench. Minerva echoed his movements and the two were silent for what felt like hours before he finally spoke again.
"I'm going to leave today," he said softly. "I'm too dangerous to be around."
Minerva turned slightly and touched his forearm. "Lupin," she said earnestly. "I trust you with my life. Surely, you realise that?"
Remus snorted. "That doesn't change the fact I could have killed you last night."
The Head of Gryffindor laughed. "You give me very little credit, Lupin," she said with a smile. "It would take far more than that to kill me. I'm far too stubborn."
She watched as the corners of his mouth turned upward ever-so-slightly and squeezed his forearm lightly. "I expect you to be here when I get back," she said with a smile. "Sirius wouldn't be good for you at the moment."
She glanced at her watch and swore lightly under her breath.
"I have to run," she said, standing on the tips of her toes to kiss him lightly on the cheek. "Remember what I said."
Minerva gave him one last smile before she rushed past him and to the hallway where she grabbed her coat from the rack without pausing in her stride. As she walked down the corridors, she struggled into her coat and tied the sash tightly around her waist. She knew that Remus would feel forever guilty for hurting her, but hoped that he would realise that she bore no grudge. Minerva rounded a corner and immediately darted behind a heavy tapestry. Umbridge and the Auror Dawlish were walking in her direction but thankfully they were so deep in conversation they hadn't noticed her at all. Minerva found herself holding her breath as they passed and she exhaled in relief once they had turned the corner. She waited several moments before poking her head around the tapestry. Finding the coast clear she transformed into her feline guise and leapt onto the windowsill and then to the ground.
Sometimes it was just much easier to be a cat.
Minerva couldn't help but whistle softly under her breath as the heavy brick wall she had just tapped slid to the side to reveal Styron Court. The entirely wizarding street was lined on both sides by houses which, whilst different in styles, held one common factor: sheer opulence. Minerva was no stranger to posterity; her family held as much, if not more, wealth than the Malfoy's but they also held a degree of restraint. None of her family cared for what they deemed 'ornamentation' and their residences, whilst not strictly normal were plain.
She drew to a halt in front of Amelia's townhouse and a small smile touched her lips. The Head of Magical Law Enforcement seemed to echo Minerva's own opinion about extravagance and her residence was far less... ostentatious than the other houses. An iron fence surrounded the property and Minerva touched her wand to the lock and it opened without a creak. She stepped inside the sizeable yard and continued to the steps. As she reached the door it swung open and Amelia stood framed in the doorway.
"The wards on the gate alert me when anyone crosses them," she explained upon seeing Minerva's raised eyebrows. "Please, come inside."
She stepped aside to allow Minerva to enter and gestured for her to follow. They bypassed several rooms and Minerva glanced inside, noting an impressive library and office in which she supposed Amelia carried out any duties she took from work.
"Tea?" Amelia asked as they walked into the living room.
Minerva shook her head and Amelia gestured for her to sit down and disappeared into an adjoining room. Whilst alone, Minerva examined her surroundings and couldn't help but be impressed. Like its owner, the house spoke of understated and elegant wealth. She recognised that the numerous paintings on the walls were worth a great deal of money but they hung alongside family photographs, not blatantly displayed as 'look at me' items. Minerva's eyes fell on a large black-and-white photograph of Amelia and her niece and smiled to herself. The two were laughing at the camera and the photographer had captured their closeness.
"It's lovely, isn't it?" Amelia said, returning to the room.
Minerva nodded as Amelia sat down opposite her and pushed a pile of documents over the coffee table.
"Did you speak to Susan?" Minerva asked as she flicked through the files.
Amelia's expression fell. "I sent her a letter, asking if she wanted to meet..."
"And?" Minerva pressed, closing the files with a 'snap.'
"I got the letter back without a response."
Amelia closed her eyes and turned away from Minerva. The other woman's cheekbones came into sharp relief and Minerva knew she was biting the inside of her cheeks. Minerva said nothing, knowing Amelia would talk when and if she wanted. She took the time to examine Amelia closely. As always, the Head of Law Enforcement was immaculately dressed despite being in a personal setting. She obviously favoured muggle attire and her skirt and blouse were tailored to perfection.
"I'm worried that she is unravelling, Minerva," Amelia said eventually, though she didn't open her eyes or turn towards her. "All similarities aside, Susan is young and she isn't handling Voldemort's return well. She knows how savagely her aunt and uncle were killed." Here Amelia's eyes opened and Minerva saw them to be full of a cold fury. "My idiot brother-in-law thought it wise to tell her in great deal what happened and now she's terrified that her parents or I will be murdered the same way."
Minerva leant back into the sofa. "You say his name," she said slowly.
Amelia's eyes snapped to hers. "Call it 'rebellion'," she said with a harsh laugh.
"Have you tried talking to her?" Minerva asked.
Amelia rolled her eyes. "Of course I have," she said tapping her manicured nails against the armrest. "But I can't say what she wants me to say."
"Which is?" Minerva pressed.
"That it won't happen," Amelia answered heavily. "You and I both know how much clout I hold for the Light and this puts me in a great deal of danger. I can't lie to her and say that I won't be killed when there is such a huge possibility that I will be."
"Any one of us may be killed, Amelia," Minerva began.
"No, Minerva," Amelia interrupted sharply. "Look at it from Voldemort's point-of-view. I am in charge of Law Enforcement; get rid of me and the entire department will go into disarray. Even if it's only for a small amount of time, this gives him a huge advantage. If I were in his position, I would do just that."
Her tone was matter-of-fact and Minerva found she could not refute any of her words.
"Of course, there's also the fact that I went to school with him," Amelia continued, glancing upward at the photo of her and Susan. "And we weren't exactly the best of friends there."
Minerva's eyes widened at her words and Amelia gave a soft laugh.
"I found out only recently," she said, her mouth still turned upward in a smile. "Dumbledore told me citing that 'I should know exactly who I am dealing with.'"
"Of course, he did," Minerva said shortly. Whilst she had no problem with Amelia knowing of the Dark Lord's past – indeed, she had suggested that Albus tell her years ago – she was annoyed that once again he had neglected to tell his second-in-command of his decision.
"Anyway," Amelia said with a flick of her hand. "You see my dilemma. I can't lie to Susan. I just can't."
"Have you said it to her as plainly as this?" Minerva asked, dragging herself from her thoughts.
Amelia shook her head.
"Do so," Minerva continued. "Susan has the maturity to hear it plainly."
The other woman took a deep breath and rose to her feet. "I suppose that's it," she said, tucking a piece of hair behind her ear.
Minerva also rose, easily recognising the entirely non-subtle dismissal. "I'll keep these safe," she said, tapping her wand to the files and shrinking them so they fit in her pocket.
"I'll owl you about our next meeting place," Amelia said, already reverting back to her professional guise.
"Fine," Minerva said, smoothing invisible creases from her blouse.
Amelia followed Minerva down the hall and leant against the door frame as Minerva walked down the stairs.
"Next week," she called.
Minerva raised a hand in acknowledgement as she continued down the path and opened the wrought-iron gate. For reasons unbeknownst to herself, she turned back toward the house but Amelia had already gone back inside.
Author's notes: A slow chapter, I know, and mainly filler, but it is necessary.
REVISED: 7 AUGUST 2011
Dates: Nov 8 – Nov 9