A/N:: This idea came to me while reading Deathly Hallows, though it is definitely set before the DH time period. Btw, my muse left me just before giving me a good name for this fic. :P

FanFic 100 Challenge #:: 29- Birth

In Memory

Minerva stood with her hand over her stomach, heavy with child. As Albus approached her, his blue eyes frantically searched her glowing face for an answer, but her features were inscrutable. Albus suddenly became aware of his lungs forcing the breath in and out, his heart beating forcefully and echoing in his ears. He squeezed her hand, eager for news. Worry lined his ancient yet handsome face. Minerva smiled and cupped his cheek in her hand.

"It's a girl, Albus."

He sighed audibly, feeling his knees become weak and unstable. He chuckled nervously, catching his wife in a secure embrace.

"That's wonderful," he breathed into her sweet-smelling hair.

"I need to talk to you about something," Minerva said as she pulled away from him, gripping his hands in her own.

Her demeanor became instantly serious, and Albus's smile fell into a pained anxiety as his heart sunk, fearing the worst. He squeezed her hands as a sign of support.

"What's wrong, Minerva. Are you okay? How is the baby?"

"Fine, just fine," she replied, not meaning to scare him again. "I wanted to talk to you about what to name our child- our daughter."

Albus nodded.

"What do you have in mind?"

He could tell she had given this some thought, though she had surprisingly shared very little about it with him.

"Well.." Minerva bit her lip, not wanting to upset him. "I was thinking.. I was thinking of naming her Ariana, in memory of your sister."

The silence that Minerva had been expecting seemed to reverberate in the air around them. She could feel her hands quiver as Albus held them, but she wasn't sure whose hands were shaking harder.

"Ariana," he repeated, as if the word was slow to register in his mind.

Minerva nodded, fearful she had said the wrong thing. She closed her eyes tightly as a glittering tear rolled down Albus's cheek.

"It's a beautiful idea, Minerva," he said at last.

She opened her eyes to find a smile gracing his face once more. He pulled her close to him.

"Thank you," he whispered.

Minerva gasped as the air seemed to force itself back into her lungs at once, and she found herself struggling with tears.

"I love you," she said.

"And I you," Albus said, his words becoming weak. "It means so much to me."

"I know."

Minerva rocked with him gently in her arms until taking his hand in hers and placing it over her stomach. Albus grinned as the baby kicked against him.

"Feel that?" Minerva asked. "She loves you already."