A/N: The idea for this story was born from one of those "diamond" commercials we all see around this time of year. Hope you all enjoy a little bit of early holiday cheer from us!
Diamonds, Traditions, & Family
It was very early on Christmas morning, too early to be awake in fact but Albus found he couldn't sleep. Beside him, slumbering peacefully, was the woman of his dreams and this was their twenty-fifth Christmas together. Albus shifted slightly and brushed a lock of dark hair away from Minerva's face so he could better study her expression. Obviously she was dreaming of something wonderful, for a smile was beginning to curl about her lips and he could just make out the movement behind her eyelids. He wondered if she was dreaming of him, of the two of them together, perhaps something intimate from a memory they shared.
He watched her for several moments, observing Minerva and marveling at how amazing and perfect she was for him. They truly complemented each other in every way. She could be practical to his impracticality, stubborn to his more lenient side, grounded to his more adventuresome urges, and yet they grew deeper in love every single day. As if sensing him observing her as she slept, Minerva rolled into his arms, burying her face against his chest as his arms instinctively wrapped around her. He pulled the blankets around her and dropped a kiss to her forehead before trying once more to sleep.
But the more he tried to fall asleep, the more excited he grew about the special gift he'd decided on for Minerva. Over the years, they had exchanged many gifts, ranging in extravagance, style, and value but this one was something simple yet important to Albus. He shook his head and mentally scolded himself for not thinking of it much earlier in their marriage. It wouldn't have held the same meaning as it was going to this Christmas but it would have been special in other ways. Still, he was pleased that it had finally come to his mind and he could present her with this gift this Christmas. It would mean the world to give it to her this year and he was sure she'd be just as happy to receive it.
Albus looked over to the large window. Minerva had asked that they leave the drapes open so they could snuggle while watching the snow fall from the comfort of their bed. She wanted to drift to sleep in his arms as the Christmas snow fell slowly outside, covering the whole world in a blanket of white. It was such a simple request and one that he gladly indulged, for it inspired the romantic side of him. That was certainly one thing very few people knew of Minerva McGonagall. Beneath all the stern glances and lectures, the pursed lips and raised eyebrows, even the tightly woven bun, was a woman who loved romance.
The thrill of receiving a single rose for no special reason could warm her heart better than any bouquet of flowers chosen for a special occasion. A stolen kiss in the classroom or a lesser used corridor would certainly earn him a playful slap but he could tell by the light in her eyes that she appreciated the gesture. Wine and cheese picnics on a late Saturday night after all their work was done had given them many hours of enjoyment. For both of them, it was the simple things in life that mattered most and neither had any regrets.
Another half hour had passed and still Albus couldn't sleep. His excitement was getting the better of him. Minerva mumbled his name with a smile before rolling onto her back, giving him a wonderful view of her enchanting body as she withdrew from his embrace. The smoothness of her skin seemed to glow in the soft firelight and with each rise and fall of her chest, he was reminded one more that he'd been lucky enough to fall in love with a goddess walking among mortals.
Slipping quietly from the bed, Albus tiptoed over to chair where he'd casually tossed his robe. Rummaging around in the deep pockets, he grasped the dainty item and held it up to the light. The chain was elegant and had been strengthened with charms to ensure it wouldn't break but the beauty of the necklace was the stones. The sparkling diamonds nestled in platinum settings were unpretentious but were more precious than any material possession on earth to Albus.
The first diamond in the linked stones had belonged to his great-grandmother. His great-grandfather, having made a rather substantial fortune in the wizarding world, had found true love in the muggle world. Her parents, after learning of their future son-in-laws magical gifts, insisted upon having a traditional wedding ceremony in addition to the wizarding one. Albus could still remember seeing his great-grandmother's eyes twinkle like little blue stars when she told him about the special diamond ring and how she had been whisked away by Portkey to some exotic location to choose her ring. It had been one of the most memorable experiences of her life and she cherished the ring until it was time to pass it along to another generation of Dumbledores.
The second diamond in the trio had belonged to his paternal grandmother. The diamond had been part of a larger set given to her by Albus' grandfather upon the birth of the first born son, Perceival Dumbledore. When that young lad had grown and chosen a wife of his own, Katherine Dumbledore had decided to part with one of the stones. She had always told her son that when he had a son of his own, she would pass along the diamond in her set to her daughter-in-law, hoping to start a tradition that would last for generations.
That is how Albus came into possession of the three diamonds. His mother had added a similar diamond to the link the day Albus married Minerva. Years and years of waiting patiently for a child to be born from their love, the stones sat in the family vault in Gringotts. And after so many years, Albus and Minerva began to doubt whether they were ever going to be blessed with a bundle of joy to call their very own. It wasn't until the first day of December when Minerva had finally consented to see the mediwitch about her lack of energy and appetite, that they had been given the joyful news.
Minerva stepped into Albus' office, still reeling from the news she'd just been given by the mediwitch. She found it hard to believe but it was only because they had tried for so long that she'd nearly given up hope. Sensing her presence, Albus looked up and immediately he knew she had something important to share with him. He guided her over to the small sofa in his office, his worry growing by the second.
"I just left the infirmary and my test results are back. It seems that one of the vials turned a brilliant shade of pink, blue, then settled on purple." She watched for any sign of realization but seeing his eyes clouded in confusion, she forged ahead. "Seems it's too early to tell the sex of our baby just yet so it stayed purple for the time being. In another couple of months, we can do another…"
"A baby? Purple? You mean…you've been so sick and tired because you're carrying our child," he gasped, his excitement ready to explode around them. Without any warning, he pulled her into his arms, kissing her hard on the lips as his hand made its way to her tummy. His work lay on his desk, unforgotten for the remainder of the day and most of the next.
It was some time in the wee hours of the following morning that Albus had remembered the necklace still in his Gringotts vault. He would need to choose a diamond to add to the link to celebrate the addition to their family, but he felt certain that could easily be done in London on one of their shopping excursions.
Once again, Albus returned to the side of the bed and stared down at Minerva still sleeping. Not able to contain his excitement any longer, he unhooked the clasp on the necklace and draped the gift around Minerva's neck before quickly getting into bed and trying desperately to pretend to still be asleep.
Minerva began to stir and her hand instinctively went to the cold metal against her chest. Feeling the foreign object, she opened her eyes as she pulled the necklace up to take a look. She gasped when she saw the beautiful gift then looked over at Albus, who was peering at her through half-lidded eyes.
She leaned over and kissed him soundly on the lips, making sure he was fully awake. "Albus, it's gorgeous. Is this the famous Dumbledore necklace that's been passed down through your family?" Tears were filling her eyes as she sat up and lit a few candles to better inspect her gift.
He sat up as well and drew her into his arms. "One and the same. When you told me about our baby, I knew I had to give it to you this Christmas morning. I bought a diamond for you as well and when you're ready, we can cast the appropriate charms together to add it to the set." He pushed her away from him for a bit and took the necklace in his hands, securing the clasp then drawing her back into his arms. "Happy Christmas, my dear. Each year with you gets better and better and this one is the best one yet." His hand drifted to her tummy, caressing it softly as he kissed the side of her neck. "I love you…both of you."
Minerva turned in his arms and snuggled into his embrace. "And we love you too, very much." They doused the lights and spent the rest of their pre-dawn hours watching as more snow fell and the flames of the fire danced, casting a warm glow in contrast to the cold outside.