Disclaimer: I do not own anything dealing with HP and I doubt that that will ever change any time soon. Peace out!

A/N: I hope you guys like this. I want you to enjoy it. I'm still a little down cuz no one reviewed my third chapter to "No Good Deed" and I'm sad, so I felt the need for an angsty piece.

Reflection…

Look at me

You may think you see

Who I really am

But you'll never know me

Minerva stared into the mirror, her eyes red from crying. She just could not do it anymore. She could not deal with all the hiding… the pretending… the lies. She could not stand to pretend for another minute. No, she just could not. She wanted to try, for everyone. She wanted so much to continue this façade which she had been playing for the past thirty five years. She wanted to continue for her students, all of whom were depending on her daily… for Harry, who was just beginning his years at Hogwarts… for the Order, for those she cared about… for him. But no, she just could not do it anymore.

Minerva McGonagall was seen day in and day out as nothing more than a strict, straight laced, no nonsense, uptight prude who could not love anyone and she was sick and tired of it all. She was sick and tired of walking these dreary, cold stone walls, knowing full well that her students were talking about her. She had heard all the rumors before, knew what they were saying behind her back. She knew that they were calling her all the names one could imagine. She had even heard a few of them as they spoke in whispers, when they thought no other teacher was around. The conversation was always the same.

"Do you suppose Professor McGonagall has ever been married?"

"Not likely. She doesn't seem the sort to ever get married."

"Do you think she has ever… well, you know?"

"Ew! No, I can't see it."

"I agree. I highly doubt she would be the kind of person who could let go enough to do that with any man, no matter how romantic he is."

These conversations were what she dealt with more often than not and each time only served to cut her deeper. How could they not? She was, after all, a woman who did love and feel every single emotion that comes with being a woman. She felt love, anger, sadness, resentment, humiliation… Everything. Did they think for one minute that she did not just because she showed a strong front? She had to for their sakes. When dark times, who would they turn to? If not Albus, who? They would no doubt turn to someone who showed strength, compassion and a sense of control. Minerva was all of these. She had to be… for them.

Every day

It's as if I play a part

Now I see

If I wear a mask

I can fool the world

But I cannot fool my heart

Minerva stood up and walked to her wardrobe. She pulled out her bag and began to pack her things. She had to get away, had to go somewhere for a while. She had to contemplate her life as it was and see if she could find it in her strength to continue her teaching career here. She hated the thought of running away with her tail between her legs, as though she were some sort of coward, but she had to do something. Even though she was sure she would come back here, at least she could say that she thought of it.

She paused in her packing to stare into the mirror once again. What if they were all right? Was she really cold, prude, and unable to be loved by a man? If so, when has she begun to act like this? Where did it come from? When had this mask begun to cover her face? Had it started when she started here at Hogwarts? Had it begun when she worked in the Ministry of Magic before that? Or had it even begun before that, when she was just a student herself? This thought caused a tear to slip from her left eye before she quickly wiped it away.

Who is that girl I see

Staring straight back at me?

When will my reflection show

Who I am inside?

That woman she saw in the mirror was not the woman she knew she was. She was so much more than what they saw. She was loving and caring and she did know what love was. After all, she had loved the same man for decades. He may not love her back, but she did love him and knew that it was more than just a crush, as some would call it. She loved him so much that it hurt. She literally ached with need for him. How could they look at her looking at him and not see how much she longed to be his? How could they not see how much she needed to just be near him on a daily basis? She needed and wanted him every second of every day, but did they see that? No. They were all blind to her affections, as was he.

I am now

In a world where I

Have to hide my heart

And what I believe in

She fisted her hand and hit the table in front of her vanity. If only things were different. If only their world was not being threatened. If only that threat, the threat of Voldemort's second coming, was not looming in their world, then perhaps things could change. But no, things could never change. She had to hide everything that she felt for this man. Even her students could not know that she loved him. Or that she loved at all. Perhaps this was all for the better. All for the better… But that did not mean she had to like it.

But somehow

I will show the world

What's inside my heart

And be loved for who I am

Minerva turned around to see if she had forgotten anything. She didn't think so. After all, she would only be gone for the weekend. At least, she thought she might only be gone. If she found that she felt better away from Hogwarts, she might be so inclined to just leave it all. She did not know how much longer she could deal with hearing such things. Finally, she stopped turning, her eyes once again falling on the one thing that had started this all… her reflection. Suddenly, her eyes filled with tears of anger. Someday, somehow, and someway, she would show all of them- students and teachers alike- what she held within her heart. Everything.

Who is that girl I see

Staring straight back at me?

Why is my reflection

Someone I don't know?

Must I pretend that I'm

Someone else for all time?

When will my reflection show

Who I am inside?

With one final sigh, Minerva wiped the few tears she allowed to escape and turned on her heel. She had to leave now before she lost her nerve completely. She walked across the room and made her exit. Just as she was closing her door and turned around, she came face to face with the man whom she had loved for so long, and he had a concerned look upon his face.

"Minerva, are you alright? You look upset." She looked around, anywhere but directly at him.

"Oh, it is nothing, Albus, I am fine," she murmured, finally resting her eyes upon her hands. She quickly hid her bag behind her back, though she was sure that he had already seen it. She was right, he had. He walked up to her until he was mere centimeters away from her, slipping his arm behind her. To anyone who was watching, it would have looked as though he were going to wrap his arm her waist or even touch her bum. Instead, he grabbed the bag she held in her hand and she let him take it, though she did not know why. Perhaps it was because she was focusing on just how close he was. He smelled of lemon drops, hot chocolate, and something else she just could not quite figure out. Her face flushed and she could not get her thoughts organized. Albus pulled the bag away from her and pulled back. Oh that was cruel, she thought. He looked at her, his eyes not having left her face since she first looked at him.

"A bag, Minerva? Were you planning on going somewhere?" Minerva tried to think of something, and yet she couldn't get her mouth to form words. She could not even think in coherent thoughts, let alone form ones with her tongue, which felt swollen now as though she were having an allergic reaction. Didn't he know what he did to her? She doubted it. Finally, she nodded.

"Not for long, though," she whispered, trying to clear her throat. "It was just a little experiment. Something I was just attempting to discover, that's all." Albus nodded and smiled.

"And what, may I ask, were you attempting to discover, my dear?" he asked. Minerva once again cast her eyes downward. Her heart was beating wildly within her chest. What should she say?

There's a heart that must be

Free to fly

That burns with a need to know

The reason why

Why? Why? Why was she acting this way? It seemed as though no matter how hard she tried, she could not get her heart to settle down. She felt as though it was about to beat right out of her chest and then fly away. She finally managed to bring her eyes to meet his.

"I fear that I should not reveal anything until I make my discoveries. It might affect the results." Where did that come from? She did not know. Luckily, he merely nodded.

"Very well, my dear," he whispered. He held out his hand in a gesture to hand back her bag. She took it and nearly gasped aloud when his hand lingered where it was, covering her wrist. She now held her bag, palm up, and his hand covered both her hand and the strap, his fingers lightly grasping to the flesh of her wrist. If she didn't know any better, then she would take that gesture as an attempt to keep her there. "Good luck."

Why must we all conceal

What we think, how we feel?

Must there be a secret me

I'm forced to hide?

As she watched Albus walk away, she wondered why she had to hide herself from him. Why should she conceal herself from the world, or from Albus? And what was that moment which had passed between them? She didn't know. Her secret self was getting harder and harder to hide. But now that she thought of it, she didn't think she wanted to hide it. Shaking her head, she pushed her door open (since she didn't need a password for her own rooms… they opened for her without it) and stormed in.

How could she pretend to be someone she wasn't? Why did she pretend to be someone she wasn't? More importantly, how could she think that she would even consider leaving? Leaving the school meant leaving what she was most passionate about. She loved teaching, it was all she had in the world that made her feel important. Leaving the school meant… meant leaving him. How could she leave him? She couldn't. She just could not, WOULD not, do it.

I won't pretend that I'm

Someone else for all time

When will my reflection show

Who I am inside?

When will my reflection show

Who I am inside?

A/N2: Soooo…. What do you think? Always Hopeful