No-One But You

Summary: Minerva wants to run away.

Rating: PG-13

Author's Notes: For Uhura. Happy Christmas!!! … Natal Feliz!!! (is that Portuguese?) ) Sorry it's not happy, I'm not so good at happy fics :S I would offer to beta one of your fics, but I can't speak Portuguese, but maybe if you ever wanted to translate one into English I could help, make sure it all read fluently and the like?

Minerva looked into her bedroom mirror and thought she would weep. Her stern expression, her tight bun and her always prim and proper robes were things she had grown accustomed to. They were all consequences of the life she had led: robes to cover the scars from her days as an Auror; tight bun to try and hide the growing streaks of grey; and the stern expression, well that went without saying. She had lost so much in her life, but as she placed her hands onto her forever flat stomach, she realised that this was just too much. Her many injuries sustained from battles with followers of Grindelwald had apparently left her unable to conceive. Unable to give a child to the man she loved.

Laughing mirthlessly, she turned away from the mirror and finished packing the trunk on the bed. It wasn't that she particularly wanted children, she'd never had any strong maternal instincts, but she figured she would learn how to be a mother when the time came. Albus, her darling Albus, was a father without any children, and that was why she had to leave. If she stayed around Albus never would be a father, and she couldn't live with that.

She knew that she was being cowardly, knew that Albus wouldn't understand, but she also knew she couldn't explain this in any way other than a letter. If she had to explain it in front of him she knew he'd tried to convince her she was being foolish, and she knew that she'd probably believe him. So she wrote about how happy their life together had made her, about the awful reason she had to leave, and about how much she loved him - how much she would always love him.

Shrinking her trunk and putting it in her pocket, she took one last look around the room, to say goodbye to the dreams she'd never admitted aloud. She knew in these frightening times while this young man calling himself 'Lord Voldermort' kept gaining power marriage was not an option, but someday…someday she had hoped to be Mrs Dumbledore.

Walking through the house that had been her home for the last five years, she prepared herself for the cold and for the trip she would take with the Knight Bus to Germany. Germany was the one place she knew Albus would not look, he knew how she had always hated it there, but her days undercover had left her able to speak fluent German.

Pulling her winter cloak tighter around herself, she opened the front door and…. walked straight into Albus.

"Going somewhere my dear?" he asked jovially.

When she failed to respond, failed even to look him in the eye he grew concerned.

"Minerva, are you alright?" he asked.

Forcing down her panic and a smile onto her face, she looked him straight in the eye and murmured, "Yes of course."

"Jolly good. Well I promised you a cooked dinner tonight, so a cooked dinner you shall get. It shan't take me long."

"Good," she said, smiling, "I guess I'll just go and get changed."

Walking back to their bedroom she began to panic, what was she going to do? How the hell was she going to get out now? Luckily she'd shrunk her luggage earlier, or Albus would have known for sure that something was wrong.

When she returned to their room, she took her luggage out and returned it to its original size. After getting some clothes from it that would be suitable for dinner, she pushed it under their bed and retreated to the bathroom to change.

She felt stiff and her entire body ached, and studying her reflection in the mirror she decided that it showed on her face. Hoping a bath would soothe away some of her tension, she started to draw a bath as she undressed. A flick of her wand was all it took for the bath to be filled with big white bubbles, and the room to be filled with a soft vanilla scent.

Laying back in the bath, she sighed as the knots in her back seemed to sooth, and her headache started to dissipate.

She guessed she must have fallen asleep, because she woke up later feeling dazed in a bath of freezing water. Shivering, she washed quickly and got out of the bath as quickly as she could to wrap herself in a fluffy towel. Hugging herself into its warmth, she squeezed her eyes shut against the tears that wanted to fall. She had no time for them now, she had no idea how long she'd slept for but she was sure Albus would be wondering where she was, but she just couldn't shake the feeling of deep sadness she'd had ever since she'd seen Poppy earlier in the day. She felt like a failure.

Slipping into the dress she'd selected, a simple forest green that fell to just below her knees and covered her arms, she waved her wand once over her hair, and tied it back simply once it was dry. Without even looking into the mirror she knew she'd looked better, but at the moment she didn't care. Walking back into the bedroom she threw her dirty clothes onto the bed, she'd tidy them up later, where they landed in a pile….on top of Albus' head.

"Albus, I'm so sorry," she said, stepping forward to take them off, "I didn't see you there I was in such a rush to get downstairs, I…" She froze. Albus was holding the letter she'd wrote earlier. He did not look happy.

She promptly burst into tears. She couldn't help it and she hated herself for it, but the look on his face was just so horrible, he looked confused and it was so obvious he'd been crying.

"Minerva," Albus said gently, stepping forward to wrap her in his arms. He held her and soothed her until her sobs turned into just the occasional sniffle.

"Did you really want to run away?" he asked her softly.

"Want to? No, I didn't want to, but I had to Albus. You deserve so, so much better than me." She mumbled softly into his chest.

"Minerva, look at me," Albus said, pulling away from her slightly so he could look her in the eye. "I can't believe you really think that, Minerva you're the reason I get up in the morning; the reason, the only reason, I have the strength to keep fighting; and the reason there's always a twinkle in my eye."

Minerva bowed her head and for a moment Albus thought she might start to cry again. "But I can never give you children, Albus. I know every time you see a couple with a baby you wish it was us, so how long can you still want me, how long will it take until you start to resent me when I can never give you that?"

"Minerva," Albus said softly, and moved her to sit on the bed. Kneeling down on the floor at her feet, he looked up at her and said. "You're right, Minerva, I do want that, I do want to have a child with you. But I only want that because….because it's you. I don't want a child just for the sake of having a child, I want it as an expression of our love. And I don't love anyone else, Min, I never could, not now I've known what it's like to love you."

She remained silent after that, amazed that anyone could love her so much.

"Minerva," Albus said after a while, "where were you going to go?"

"I'm not sure really, somewhere in Germany. I knew you wouldn't have thought to look for me there. I know you know how much I always hated when I had to go back there. Bad memories." She said distantly.

"Minerva, I would have searched there for you. It probably wouldn't have been the first place I went but I would search the world for you. And then if I didn't find you, well I'd search the moon too. I'm nothing without you, and I love you so, so much."

"I love you too Albus. More than anything." Minerva whispered, and Albus captured her mouth in a kiss.