FanFic 100 Challenge #:: 071- Broken
Because I Love You
The constant tick of the clock on the wall resounded a counterpart to Minerva's heartbeat as she sat in the deafening silence at Number Twelve Grimmauld Place with Molly Weasley and Nymphadora Tonks. Thirty minutes had passed since the estimated time of the men's arrival from a mission for the Order of the Phoenix, but no one had yet returned. Only Tonks, as the youngest of the three women, dared to speak aloud the fear looming tensely in the air.
"What's taking them so long?" Tonks asked, glancing once more out the window.
"They are all fully competent grown men," Molly said, shooing Tonks back onto the couch. "They're capable of taking care of themselves."
Despite Minerva's knowledge of the anxiety evident in Molly's voice, Minerva smiled warmly at her, thankful for the encouraging words.
"Molly's correct, Tonks."
"Thank you, Minerva," Molly said, beaming for the support she had needed and received from a friend.
"Oh, I know, but I'm worried about them."
Minerva opened her mouth to comment, but her every thought was immediately extinguished by the sudden opening of the front door. The women jumped to their feet at the noise as Arthur Weasley approached Minerva and grasped her shoulders tightly as if fearing she may fall. Her eyes searched his frantically, her lips uttering only one word.
"He's okay, Minerva, but there has been an accident."
Minerva gasped, thankful for Arthur's grip on her shoulders, for she felt as if the floor had been pulled from beneath her feet. The remainder of the men entered- Lupin, Mad-Eye, and Kingsley supporting a weak Albus.
"What happened, Arthur?" Molly shrieked.
"Death Eaters," he replied, still holding onto Minerva. "One of their spells rebounded and hit Albus's leg, breaking it."
"Dark magic?" Molly asked, eyes widening as she inspected Albus's leg.
"It won't be able to be fixed magically then, of course," he said. "It's going to be painful."
Though she did not yet trust her own legs to support her, Minerva pulled free of Arthur's hold and swept over to the couch on which Albus now lay.
"Minerva," Albus murmured in a low voice, breathing heavily as if simply speaking had taken every bit of energy he could muster.
"Shh," Minerva said, placing a hand lightly over Albus's cheek.
"We're lucky the spell didn't kill him," Minerva heard someone whisper from somewhere behind her.
Minerva closed her eyes, not wanting to think about how easily she could have lost her husband... She leaned over to Albus's ear as she opened her eyes once more.
"I'll take care of you, my love," she whispered.
Albus exhaled suddenly as a sign that he understood and appreciated her words.
"Minerva, you and Albus are welcome to stay here while he recovers," Molly offered quietly, placing a hand on Minerva's shoulder.
Minerva nodded as she held Albus's hand in her own.
"Thank you, Molly."
The days passed slowly as Minerva helped Albus recover. Taking care of him was a difficult task, but Minerva could not deny she enjoyed being able to nurse him back to health. Albus was considerate and patient as Minerva tended to him, careful to never ask for too much and always wanting to put her needs even before his own. Whenever Albus became discouraged about his slow healing or his inability to help the Order in any way, Minerva supported him and never failed to put a smile back on his face and a twinkle back in his eyes.
"How is the pain?" Minerva asked, seeing Albus's solemn face as she entered the room to check up on him.
"It's not as bad," he replied simply.
Minerva ran a hand through his silver hair and kissed him softly on the forehead.
"What's wrong, Albus?"
He dropped his gaze to his lap and sighed.
"I suppose this is what happens when we wish for more time together and more time away from work for the Order.."
"Oh, Albus," she said in a voice just above a whisper as she raised his chin with her hand. "Neither of us asked for this- for you to be hurt."
"I know, Minerva. I apologize."
"It's okay," she said. "I understand. Oh, and I brought you something."
Minerva reached into her robe pocket, eager to change the subject and help Albus to feel better.
"Lemon drops," she replied to his curious gaze.
Albus grinned widely as he accepted the bag of his favorite candies. He embraced her tightly, relishing in her sweet, warm scent.
"You're so good to me, Minerva," he said, kissing her lips.
"I have to be."
"Oh, and why is that?" he asked with a smile.
Minerva returned his smile as she tapped him lightly on the nose with the tip of her index finger.
"Because I love you, silly!"
A/N:: Yes, a bit of fluffiness for you there at the end. I'm telling you- the fluff is addictive. lol