Title: Mirrored Moments and Distorted DreamsUnfaithful
A/N: This is a songfic to the song: Unfaithful(represented in italics in the middle of the story) and was written for the drama section of the Charming Roots Boards. Please let me know what you think.
Summary: Often, in life, moments between friends are the same but simply reflected differently. Filius Flitwick and Pomona Sprout are married and in love. Albus Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall are also married and in love though they have been so longer. The couples have been friends and colleagues for many years. Their marriages and love for their spouses compliment each other in a reflective way….almost like a mirror. But when the women are hit by a vindictive spell, will the effects tear them all apart or make them become stronger?
Disclaimer: The characters and settings are owned by JKR. The song I have referenced is also not mine, it is by Rhianna.
Pomona sat at her vanity and brushed her wavy chestnut locks languidly. Slowly she brushed as she watched in the mirror until they shown. She then wrapped her, now soft, tresses around a jeweled, flower head pin and piled her thick hair on top of her head. Small ringlet curls created with her wand framed her face to complete the look. Next, she applied a little makeup in earth tones to highlight her hazel eyes and high cheek bones. She then added lipstick in a deep shade of shimmering blush and as she made fish lips in the mirror to even it out she caught sight of her husband, Filius, watching her efforts with a smile upon his face.
Quickly she flung around and threw a cotton ball she had haphazardly grabbed as she whipped around at him. "Why you," she exclaimed but smiled a bright, loving smile at him and he chuckled.
In a flash, his wand was in his hand and he placed a charm on the cotton ball as it sailed through the air. In mid-flight the cotton ball changed into a cotton blossom and he caught the stem in his hand. Filius walked over and stood by his wife, his deep brown eyes bright with love. He tenderly held the fragile flower and placed it gently behind Pomona's ear. As he placed it there, its gentle fragrance kissed her nose and she sighed.
"Only you could take a silly gesture and turn it into the perfect crown for my attire," she told him as she watched him study her in the mirror. Hazel eyes locked with brown.
"Ahhh, but to me you do not need a crown, my love. I use it only as a metaphor, for you are ever my precious flower," he caressed her cheek with the back of his hand and lowered his lips to hers. "And, I want you to wear it so everyone will notice how beautiful you are, especially tonight. It is a very special night indeed." His sweet breath floated over her skin and then his lips touched hers lightly. She closed her eyes as the kiss deepened and then gasped as he removed his lips from hers to travel. She leaned her head to the side as he moved to her neck, breathing in her scent which lingered there. Gently he rested his chin on her shoulder and slid his arms around her waist to give her a squeeze. "Happy Birthday 'Mona," he told her softly and she shivered slightly when the timber of his voice stroked her ear. She sighed as they each smiled in the vanity mirror creating an endearing picture of husband and wife.
Filius' unruly locks brushed the side of her face and tickled slightly. Her gaze traveled to his black dress robes, tapered at the waist to show his sturdily built form. Pomona was dressed in robes of light blue with the off the shoulder look her husband favored on her. He always said he liked when she showed him her sun-kissed skin. Underneath it all Pomona was as giddy as a school girl. She and Filius and Albus and Minerva were going to Demetrios in Diagon Alley to celebrate. It was to be a wonderful evening for the four of them to honor her birthday. Something she hardly ever did. She had been so excited when Albus and Filius had told she and Minerva they were able to get reservations.
Filius' tongue on her neck brought her back to the present. She giggled. "Oh, Fil…," she sighed and brought her hand up to caress his neck as she leaned her head to the side further to allow him easier access.
He looked up at her image in the mirror again and kissed her cheek lightly. "Have I told you how much I love you lately," he asked as he squeezed her again.
"Yes, but it is something I never tire of my love," she leaned back and looked at him. "Well, I suppose I am ready if you are," she made to rise from the bench.
"I am," he took her hands and helped her up. Pomona turned to retrieve her handbag and captured a brief glimpse of the bloom behind her ear. With a beaming smile she turned back to Filius. Sweetly, he held his hand out to her. "Let's make our way to the main hall. Albus and Minerva said they would meet us there at seven thirty. It will be that time soon enough." He smiled at her as she took his offered hand and felt his warm one envelop hers. Fingers laced, they made their way to the main hall, Filius leading the way.
Minerva stood in front of the floor length, gilded mirror, its lines and swirls creating a fluid movement around the frame. She had brushed out her lengthy raven tresses and with a flick of her wand; her hair spiraled itself up into a soft chignon. To her right she caught Albus' reflection by the fire as he watched her. He smiled at her tenderly when he noticed her emerald eyes upon him.
Minerva took in his appearance of finely cut, plum colored robes, his beard brushed and softly laying against his broad chest. The plum robes swished a bit when he paced, but, fortunately, he had stopped that. Slowly he made his way to where she stood and turned her to face the mirror while he embraced her from behind. Tenderly he rested his cheek against hers, his deep blue, smiling eyes meeting hers in the mirror while he held her close.
"Thank you for helping with Pomona's birthday celebration, my love. I have never seen her more excited," she turned her head and planted a gentle kiss on his cheek.
"It was my pleasure, my dear. Filius and Pomona have been our friends for a very long time. It seemed only fitting to help them celebrate her special day."
"I was glad to see you stop pacing. You are doing that more and more of late," she watched his face in the reflection. She felt there was something he wasn't telling her. More and more the ministry coveted his time. It was starting to interfere with their quiet time together. But she knew he wouldn't tell her until he was ready.
Albus cleared his throat. "Have I been doing that?"
"Mm hm," knowing green eyes locked with intense blue.
"It is nothing to concern yourself with, my dear. The Department of Mysteries has taken up a project I feel could be a bit dangerous and I am having a hard time making them listen." She did see a flicker of worry cross his face but it was gone in an instant. He replaced it with his best smile.
In the mirror his blue eyes wandered slowly down her body. The emerald green chiffon of her dress matched her eyes. The spaghetti straps and form fitted design showed off her slender body. He gasped and placed his hands on her hips, lowering his mouth to a tender spot below her ear. She leaned back moaning slightly and her hand ventured to his head and held him there. Her breath hitched in her throat. She felt his desire stirring when he pulled her bottom against him.
"Albus…," she managed to rasp out.
This seemed to bring him back a little and again he cleared his throat. "Yes, Minerva, I know…are you ready," he asked, watching her in the mirror, his eyes dark with desire still. Her pupils were dilated and her mouth was slightly open. Unable to speak, she simply nodded.
"Well then, let's not keep our friends waiting, shall we," he inquired as he stepped back but lingered so Minerva could regain her footing as she had been leaning against him. Retrieving her velvet wrap and turning from the mirror he offered her his arm. She bestowed him a gentle, loving smile and twined her arm with his. He patted her arm in a comforting gesture and they made their way to the warm company whom awaited them.
The two couples entered the main hall at roughly the same time from different ends of the Castle. All four of them beamed at each other. Both couples made a statement in their finery. The women admired each other's attire and exclaimed over the men's fashionable dress robes. The men smiled and then clasped hands in a firm and friendly handshake.
"Good evening Filus, and a Happy Birthday to you, my dear Pomona," Albus exclaimed and invited Pomona in for a birthday hug. Blushing, Pomona stepped in as her boss and friend of many years opened his arms and gave her a warm and generous hug. Filius watched with delight, the pleasure on his 'Mona's face. This was going to be a birthday she would never forget.
"Yes, dear, Happy Birthday Pomona," Minerva also replied to her dear friend and colleague. With which statement, she also leaned in and happily bestowed a hug on her friend.
"Are we all ready to commence," Filius asked in his squeaky voice.
Pomona bent down and kissed his cheek sweetly then stood up and looked to the other two who gave her a knowing look. Turning to the little Charms Professor they all nodded in agreement.
Filius looked to Pomona and once again held out his hand for her to link her fingers with his and Albus and Minerva linked arms. "Well then, off we go," Filius exclaimed and the foursome walked out of the Castle into the cool May air.
The wisteria trees in the courtyard were in full bloom. Their heavy flowers drooped elegantly from the trees creating a trellis work of lavender and white blossoms and their delicate floral fragrance mixed with the perfumes of the ladies and the scents of the men. A charming concoction of wisteria, lilies, lemon, chocolate and ginger floated in the air around them. This brought a smile to all the faces in the group as they made their way to the gates of Hogwarts to apparate to their destination.
Once outside the gate, the two couples wrapped their arms around each other, closed their eyes and raised their wands. With two light pops the couples disappeared from sight. A few moments later they all reappeared at the apparition point in Diagon Alley. With a happy sigh from Pomona they steadily made their way to Demetrios, a quaint, little restaurant on the east side, not far from the wizarding gardens at the end of Diagon Alley.
Filius smiled up at his beautiful wife. He ran over the agenda in his head. Tonight the plan was to have dinner and dessert then take a leisurely stroll through the gardens, as they were a favorite place to visit of Pomona's. Later, the two of them would have some quiet time together. He had a very special gift he wanted to give her. His eyes gleamed in anticipation as he thought of her reaction to what he had acquired. He was sure she would love it.
When they arrived, the maître d', an aging man with bright hazel eyes and a finely tailored tuxedo, greeted them brightly and showed them to their table. It was up a little flight of stairs and near a beveled window looking out over the gardens. It was the only table in this space so they had a little privacy for their little celebration. Through the window they had a lovely view of the terrain. There was a pastel colored, glass paned green house at the center of the land. The light from inside it seemed to cast a warm glow on the surrounding flowers and hedges as the light of the sun faded to moonlight. In the amber glow the animal shaped hedges cast shadows making them look alive while the many colored crocus and tulips danced in the evening breeze.
The nook where they sat had a red velvet booth and a small waterfall trickled from the wall to their right. The table was covered in a crisp white tablecloth and there was a large clear bowl of water at the center with red roses floating in it. Several smaller red glass bowls with white rose-shaped floating candles within them were placed around the center bowl and threw off an enchanting glow. Pomona placed her hand in Filius' as they were seated and he could feel her quiver with pleasure.
"This is such a beautiful spot," she breathed and her eyes misted as she took in the setting. "Thank you all so much."
They all smiled back at her and Filius squeezed her hand. "We are happy that you are pleased my love," Filius leaned over and put his arm around her giving her a gentle squeeze.
The waiter arrived with menus and told them of the seasonal specials. He also reminded them of the House specialty which was why they were there. Filius indicated they would like a Tapas menu and the waiter beamed a smile. "A most excellent choice sir," he handed everyone a small menu with many choices and descriptions. "May I ask, are we celebrating anything special tonight?"
"Oh yes! It is Pomona's birthday," Filius replied as he smiled at his wife.
"Ah, a birthday! How wonderful! You look simply marvelous young lady, Happy Birthday," he told her with enthusiasm to which Pomona covered her mouth and giggled with delight. "Might I suggest our special birthday Tapas menu," he questioned and a blank menu appeared from no where over his hand. He then leaned in and made to hand the bare menu to Pomona.
Pomona looked at him quizzically. "But sir, there is nothing on this menu," she exclaimed with a puzzled look. They all looked at each other and then up to the waiter in puzzlement.
"Ah, but it is a charmed menu, you see? We give it to the person celebrating their birthday and it magically writes the menu they desire. Thus fulfilling a birthday wish, as it were," his eyes gleamed mischievously. Pomona gasped in pleasure and looked to the others.
"Go on sweetheart, that sounds delightful," Filius exclaimed.
Minerva nodded, "Yes Pomona, take the menu. It is a wonderful idea."
"What an intriguing charm. Please my dear, let's see it in action," Albus smiled and encouraged her.
Tentatively, Pomona reached out and took the menu. Instantly, words began to appear on the blank page at her gentle touch. As the parchment filled, she laid it in the middle of the table so everyone could see.
Once it was filled with her Tapas cravings they read it:
A light red wine filled with tropical star fruit slices, navel orange slices and sliced cherries
Walnut and Blue Cheese Coated Grapes
Succulent Red Globe grapes, seeded, then rolled in Blue Cheese crumbles and toasted Walnuts
Crab and Goat Cheese Empanadas
Small pastries filled with delicate Crab meat, onions, spices and soft Goat cheese
Crispy Sausage Stuffed Olives
Tender Mediterranean Green Olives, stiffed with spiced, sage sausage, mozzarella cheese, coated lightly then fried crispy
Polenta Bites with Caramelized Onions
Textured polenta morsels rolled in caramelized onions and sautéed until golden brown
Raspberry Panne' Cotta
A light Italian creamy custard with fresh raspberries, raspberry sauce and a sprig of mint
Mocha Choca Lata Yaya Layered Shot
Russian standard Vodka, Disaronno Amaretto and Kahlua layered to create the perfect after dinner shot cocktail
The group had surprised expressions on their faces and exclaimed over the succulent selection described before them. Pomona basked under the compliments of everyone at her tempting selections. "I didn't know I had it in me," she told them as she looked at her hand in wonder and giggled. Everyone else chuckled.
The waiter collected the menu and clicked his heels. "Such wonderful taste young lady, I shall turn this in to the chef and return with the Sangria in just a few moments. Truly magnificent," he finished and then he turned to make his way to the kitchen.
Pomona smiled with pleasure and Filius surveyed the happy form of his wife and placed his hand on her knee under the table. He squeezed and Pomona's breath caught in her throat. She turned her head quickly to look at him and blushed. "Thank you , Fil, this is wonderful."
"Not at all, my darling. And Albus was able to round up the reservations. Thank you so much Albus," Filius beamed at his friend. He flushed with pleasure under Pomona's scrutiny as Albus and Minerva exchanged a delighted look with each other.
"Not at all, not at all, Filius," he replied with a smile.
What followed was a wonderful evening. The waiter brought each item out for them to sample as a course. They all sipped Sangria and savored the morsels. Their conversation traveled from the school to Minerva sharing a story about Pomona during their school days involving a fanged geranium and the Head girl which they all laughed over while Pomona colored, to talk of the upcoming Ministry Ball which would welcome the new Minister of Magic. Filius had been invited to the ball on his own merit as a scholar and a Champion Duelist. Not because he taught at Hogwarts. He and Pomona were looking forward to the event. Albus and Minerva were to go to the ball as well. They would be representing the school and Albus would also be there as representation of the International Confederation of Wizards as he was the current Supreme Mugwump. As their layered cocktail arrived the group was replete with their meal and conversation. After enjoying the chocolaty, coffeeness they rose and made their way to the next stop of the evening, the Gardens.
To reach the Gardens they had to travel through a short alley to reach the other side. As they entered the alley the air around them began to chill. Then their breath began to condensate as soon as it left their mouths. Next, the walls started to frost over and become icy. Neither Pomona nor Minerva had ever seen such an effect. Filius and Albus sensed danger and backed up to the women, creating a front on all sides.
Suddenly, four willowy, black-cloaked figures floated at the entrance and exit of the alley, blocking their way. "What are these things," Pomona whispered as a shiver racked her body. A tremble of fear ran through her when she heard the ragged breathing emerging from the tall figures.
"Albus," Minerva questioned, unable to look at him but she could feel magical tension radiating from his body. To her left Filius was also ramrod straight, gauging the situation with caution.
Soon they were surrounded by strange men in dark cloaks and distorted looking masks with their wands drawn. Albus, Filius, Pomona and Minerva also drew their wands, ready to defend themselves. They heard an awful, high-pitched laugh reverberate off the walls and looked around to find the source. Slowly, the group in front of them parted to allow a tall, thin, hairless man in a billowing black cloak to enter the circle the group around them created. His skin was pasty white and his nose was practically flat. His eyes were rimmed in red and his fingers were long and tipped with claw-like nails. The wind whipped his cloak as he approached and ice continued to climb up the surrounding walls.
"What is the meaning of this Tom? This is a bit open for you, I must say," Albus admitted, not moving.
Tom chuckled, a harsh, chilling sound. "I thought I might introduce you to my new friends, since you think they should not be friends with the Ministry. We were simply passing through when one of my associates noticed your evening out and even a Champion Duelist at your side, no less," Tom let his eyes travel over Filius' form in unhidden disgust then snapped his gaze back to Albus. "Living in fear, are we Dumbledore? Whatever for," Tom sneered at the wizened Headmaster and a figure behind him shifted.
"I can assure you, what you imply has no foundation, simply a friendly outing. Whatever should I be in fear of Tom? As I am guessing you also are enjoying a friendly outing," Dumbledore gave a slight smile but he remained at the ready.
Filius noted the figure that had shifted and he seemed oddly familiar. Something about his mannerisms spoke to Filius, that in some way he must know him. Filius cocked his head to the side and studied him. In his years as an accomplished and Champion Duelist he had dueled many wizards. Surprisingly he had the ability to remember each one; their mannerisms, quirks and techniques. It had been part of his strategy; to research each one by observing their duels, finding their faults and weak points, deciphering their spell casts and wand movements in order to become a better duelist and he had mastered it, had become a champion. During a duel only one would win, the other would lose. He never took the loses to heart, it was a sport, after all. Taking a loss was all part of that and he understood it, he simply used the knowledge to help him improve. But he knew not all in the dueling world felt as he did. Many took the duels to heart, too seriously. They felt it besmirched their honor to be bested by such a little man. And while he had loved the thrill of the sport of dueling, he had left that world and traded it in for one he loved more, one that included Hogwarts and his wife, Pomona. But that didn't mean he didn't occasionally come across someone whom he had bested and felt he owed them another chance.
Filius chased away his thoughts and frowned, surely this wasn't about him? This Tom fellow seemed to be after the Headmaster. But Albus was his dear friend of many years, and while he was not his body guard he would not let his wife or Albus or Minerva be harmed if he could help it. The willowy creatures did bother him though. He found his thoughts traveling more and more to horrible times in his past. Especially his childhood memories of the deaths of his parents by wizards who were against what they called non-humans. The creatures continued to hover and close in as Albus spoke to Tom, they did this slightly, attempting to get close without notice. But Albus did notice one approach Pomona too closely and, with a subtle flick of his wand, he cast a patronus spell which caused the creature to screech and drift to the back of the group.
"Ahhh, I see you have been doing your research, Professor," Tom snarled at Albus. "That isn't a pleasant way to introduce yourself."
"But I find it hard to extend liberties when your friends have not been hospitable, Tom," Dumbledore admonished and stood stock still. Tom twitched in anger, he was attempting to instill fear. However, he noted that it was not working against Dumbledore.
"Have it your way, old man," Tom informed and whipped around in anger as if preparing to leave. But in the next step he turned, just as quickly and cast a spell at Dumbledore.
Albus threw up a shield to protect everyone in their little group from Tom's spell. But then the other men in masks joined in and Minerva, Pomona and Filius joined in the fray. Albus was locked in a duel with Tom and Pomona pulled Minerva behind a dumpster next to the wall as a spell narrowly missed them. Filius raised his arms and shielded himself from a hex thrown at him by the masked man he thought he might know. When he cast a spell back at him it knocked his mask loose and it was then that Filius realized why he thought the man's mannerisms seemed familiar. It was Augustus Rookwood. He had been one of the last he had defeated in a duel. It had been Rookwood's wounded pride that had taken the joy of dueling from Filius. Rookwood felt he was better than Filius. Which he meant by the fact that he was a normal height. He had goaded Filius to participate in a rematch but Filius wanted nothing to do with dueling after that. He had tried to explain to the younger man about the sport of it all but Rookwood would hear nothing of it. Therefore, Filius had left him to his wounded ego with hopes he would someday recover. Now, as Augustus looked at him, his deeply pocked face showing anger and resentment, Filius knew the man still held a grudge.
Quickly Rookwood recovered himself and aimed at Filius again which Filius blocked easily and cast petrificus totalis back to which Augustus threw up a mirror spell and it bounced off and back in the direction of Filius who then ducked. The spell hit another masked figure trying to come up behind him. Albus and Tom circled each other, seeming completely oblivious to what was going on around them as they concentrated. But when Tom cast a spell and Albus side stepped to avoid it, he moved his arm to cast a wandless spell, which knocked Pomona out of the way of the spell as well. Meanwhile, the hooded creatures where swirling around overhead trying to single out a victim. They were focusing on the women as they were slightly away from the battling group.
Filius noticed this and moved toward Minerva and Pomona who were still using the dumpster for coverage and casting spells at the other men to assist Albus and Filius as much as they could. Every once in a while one or the other would step into the open to cast a hex when they couldn't get a good shot otherwise. A man near Filus fell down clasping his face when tree limbs started growing out of his face, thanks to Pomona. Another near Albus called out in shock as he found himself suddenly transfigured into a rodent, compliments of Minerva. In the darkness it was getting more difficult to see the willowy black creatures, but Filius squinted up at the sky and cast a patronus when he saw one heading toward Pomona.
The creature screeched and flew away, but there were still two left. As he made to cast another patronus, the wall to his left was blasted as a spell narrowly missed him, but he was blown over by the force. Quickly he got to his feet, noting that Rookwood was moving toward him again. He looked over his shoulder to make sure Pomona and Minerva were still holding their own and turned to face him. He saw an odd expression cross the younger mans face as he also looked at the women. Then a malevolent smile came to his face. He cast a curse at Filius and moved to the side to assist Tom in his duel with Albus. Filius blocked the curse and moved in the direction Rookwood had moved. All that remained of the group which had surrounded them was Tom, Rookwood, one other man and the two hooded creatures above, moving quickly toward Pomona and Minerva.
Filius saw Augustus say something to Tom, who smiled wickedly, nodded and cast one last strong curse at Dumbledore who blocked it easily. But while Albus blocked that curse, the other man left engaged Filius in a sparring match with hexes and distracted him. At the same moment, the creatures above swooped down upon Pomona and Minerva. They knocked the two women to the ground as they seemed helpless to resist the strange force the creatures possessed. Filius managed to hit the other man with a hex and send him reeling back. He turned to send another patronus, as did Albus, but as the creatures hovered above Pomona and Minerva looking as if they were sucking the breath from their bodies, Tom and Rookwood cast a spell at the same time, "Agitare insomnium," they yelled together.
The spell hit Pomona and Minerva as their breath was sucked from their bodies by the creatures and when it hit them, the creatures above them disappeared and their bodies were covered in a hazy orange glow. It was all Filius could do not to call out. His 'Mona, his precious 'Mona, his heart gripped in terror at what the spell might have been. He turned to cast a curse at Rookwood but he and Tom disapparated at that instant, as did all the others in the group who were still able to. Filius and Albus ran to Pomona and Minerva and fell to their knees. The orange shimmering glow died away and Filius cradled Pomona in his arms. She looked at him, her breath ragged and she tried to speak but no words would come.
"My love," Filius asked in a croak. Pomona was still conscious but she didn't seem to see.
Albus lifted Minerva tenderly, her chest was heaving, as if she was having trouble breathing. She seemed to try to say something to him but no words would come. "My darling," Albus whispered, holding her tightly.
Pomona was in a spin, the battle before her scaring her and thrilling her at the same time. She and Minerva held their own behind the dumpster as Filius fought off man after man and bested them. Albus was locked in combat with the man named Tom but she and Minerva did what they could to distract and hex from their vantage point. Suddenly, when it seemed they were about to win, the hooded creatures swooped in and knocked her from her feet. She felt so cold, so terribly, terribly cold. Her thoughts traveled to the day her mother had died. Struck down by a raging hippogriff when its master had whipped it at the circus they were visiting. Then her thoughts turned to fears, fears that Filius would leave her, that she wasn't good enough for him, that she would do something to make him want to abandon her. As she struggled to comeback to reality she saw the creature above her, draining her life with each stolen breath. Then, she felt an intense, hot pain run through her body and everything turned orange. She struggled to move, but could not. A tiny tendril of hope entered her heart when Filius was above her, but she could see he was worried. She couldn't speak, couldn't move and a dizzy feeling was invading her consciousness. 'Filius, I love you…please remember that…always remember that,' was the last thought she had before the darkness invaded.
Minerva was anxious, could that be Tom? Tom Riddle from her days at school? She had heard rumors that what he was doing now was not honorable, or even flattering as he had so often been when she knew him in school. No, now she had heard rumors he was gathering followers for a movement into power. That it was the side of dark he favored. Albus seemed calm but she felt his magic fluctuating. Then, suddenly, a battle had begun. Pomona pulled her from behind helping her avoid a spell cast her way as the younger woman tugged her behind a dumpster. They stayed there; casting hexes and spells when they could to help the men. Then those creatures were upon them, hovering…sucking her breath away. She had awful images of the worst parts of her life swimming in her head. She came back to reality just long enough to realize her body was cold. Freezing, she was dying. Then she felt a jolt as a spell hit her and heat and pain shot through her body. An orange haze was all around her. She could barely breathe. Then, Albus was there. Cradling her in his arms as concern etched his features. She tried to speak but no words would come. She attempted to move her hand to his face in a caress, but her body would not respond. She felt the shadows coming and tried desperately to speak. 'Never forget, Albus….never forget how much I love you,' was the last reflection she managed to comprehend before the dimness claimed her.
Pomona awoke as the sun beamed brightly into their bedroom. She and Filius lay tangled with each other and in the sheets. Filius' chest rose and fell steadily in his slumber. His face carried a smile, even in sleep. Pomona gazed at him with love, but then a feeling of guilt stole over her. She knew it would happen again, this odd compulsion to visit Augustus Rookwood, no matter how hard she tried to fight it, she continued to give in when the darkness invaded, the temptation.
Story of my life
Searching for the right
But it keeps avoiding me
Sorrow in my soul
Cause it seems that wrong
Really loves my company
They had met at a Herbology convention in early spring and hit it off right away. She had visited his greenhouse after talking to Fil about it and one thing had led to another and now, without thought, she was drawn to the other man. She did not love him, she loved Filius. But no matter how hard she fought, the pull to the other man always seemed to win. Sighing, she got up and dressed slowly, putting on the top with the yellow daisies, Filius' favorite on her. Behind her he stirred and she went to him. She sat down on the bed and cupped his face, then leaned in for a quick kiss.
When they broke the kiss Filius smiled up at her, "Good morning my love," he exclaimed and bounded out of bed and into the bathroom.
Pomona smiled wistfully back at him but didn't say anything as she watched him close the door behind him. She needed to tell him, but it would rip him apart. She just knew that it would. How could he possibly love her if he found out she had been unfaithful. And more than once, and when the time came again, she knew she would go to Rookwood again. She frowned. Something just wasn't right; she didn't think she was under the Imperious curse, she still had her will, well, at least right now she did. But what about when the calling struck her and she felt compelled to answer the call yet again? She wanted to tell him, needed to tell him, but she didn't think she could. And the longer she waited, the worse it would be. She decided she would tell him, after dinner tonight.
Finally decided she called out to Filius, "Fil? I am going out to the greenhouse to check on the devil snare."
"Alright, 'Mona, my dear. Be careful," he poked his head around the door for a goodbye kiss. With a gentle peck on the lips from Filius, Pomona made her way to Greenhouse Number 3 and a distraction from her fears.
All day she rolled it around in her head, what she would say to Filius, how she would break the news to him. She wanted to stay with him, but how could she when he would know about the other man? As she ate her dinner in the Great Hall and managed to make light conversation about her day with him, she felt the compulsion again. Once she was finished she rose from her chair and told Fil she had made plans with the girls tonight. She asked him if he minded and he shook his head as he smiled up at her with love in his eyes. "No, my precious 'Mona, go on and have fun. I will see you later," he smiled again.
He's more than a man
And this is more than love
The reason that the sky is blue
The clouds are rolling in
Because I'm gone again
And to him I just can't be true
Pomona made her way to their chambers quickly and freshened up. She then made her way to the gates and apparated to the Rookwood Estate. Once there she was greeted by Augustus. "Ready for more I see," he told her with a leer and she felt like there was a pit where her stomach should be.
Pomona wanted to tell him no, to scream at him she loved Filius, to resist, but she could not. She felt like she was not herself. The dark compulsion taking her over as Rookwood took her hand and led her into the greenhouse. Once inside he swung around and pressed her hard against the door. His body leaning into hers and she felt his desire for her. His dark eyes bored into hers and inside, her mind and heart screamed at her to resist but her body melted into him. He did not kiss her lips; he simply took her roughly against the door as her head fell back. When she turned her head and gazed at the window to their left she thought she saw something. She narrowed her gaze and when she was able to focus, her breath caught in her throat. Filius was at the window. His face was immobile with shock and drained of color as he watched the scene before him. She saw tears come to his eyes, a frown crease his face and then he was gone.
At the knowledge that Filius was there, watching what she did, she was able to fight back. For once, she did not let Augustus take her fully and she pushed him off her with some force. Rookwood smiled malevolently and pushed her roughly against the door but Pomona fought back and, with a sharp crack, she disapparated back to Hogwarts and Filius. Rookwood screamed loudly into the stillness of the Greenhouse, "You'll be back, you ungrateful trollop!"
Once she reached the gates she raced to their chambers, hoping to find Filius there. She ran down the corridors, up the stairs and into their room. There she found Filius sitting on the bed, her cloak on his lap. "How long," he asked as she rushed into the room.
"Filius, I…," she croaked as tears filled her eyes.
"How long," he repeated.
Pomona went to him and sunk to her knees at his feet. She wanted to grovel, to beg his forgiveness. She leaned over and put her head in his lap as her hands clutched at his waist. She tried to swallow past the lump in her throat and her breath was painful in her chest. She wanted to scream about how wrong it all was but she didn't know how to explain. "Please," she begged. "Don't…,"she began and he cut her off.
Filius put his finger under her chin and tugged her gaze up to his. "How long," he asked again and when Pomona's gaze met his she saw the terrible pain in his eyes. It felt like a stab to her chest. She thought she could deal with anger but this terrible pain in his eyes was her undoing.
"S..ss..spring," she managed to stutter as her tears began.
"Why, 'Mona? Why would you do this? Am I not enough of a man for you," he asked as she saw pain shoot across his face. "Does our love mean nothing to you? Or is it dead now?"
"Please," she tried again. "Filius, I wanted to tell you. I do not love him. Something is wrong…please…don't leave me," Pomona begged and held him tighter around the waist.
Her words penetrated his painful thoughts and he tugged her face back up to him. "What is it, what is wrong?"
"I am not sure…something is happening and I cannot control it. I have tried to fight it, but I cannot. Only tonight, after I knew you were there could I fight it, but I do not know how long it will last. Please, Filius, I love you. I need you. I am so sorry," she looked up at him and the grief in his eyes was torture for her. She pushed up and caught his lips with hers and he returned it with a renewed passion. He pulled her up on the bed and wrapped her in his embrace in an effort to protect her, but from what?
The next morning, Pomona woke, her body sweetly wrapped around Filius. He slept with a slight frown on his face but smiled at her when she shifted in his arms. He opened his eyes and attempted to give her a smile but it didn't quite reach his eyes. He kissed her lips chastely then silently got up from the bed to head for the shower. Pomona stretched, then rose herself and got ready for the day. After a peck to Filius, she headed to Greenhouse number 2 for her classes. After a tedious day of showing the students how to repot Mandragoras she went to the Great Hall for dinner. Filius was there, pushing his food around his plate. He spoke to her, but not as much as usual. When he looked at her she could still see the pain she caused, even if he continued to say it was alright.
When the compulsion came again, Pomona rose from her chair and gave him an excuse about having forgotten a book in the Greenhouses. She quickly made her way to the gates and apparated to Rookwood's Estate. This time they didn't make it out of the Garden before he was on her. She pushed at him feebly, her body betraying her mind. Something felt like it was shifting. She shoved it aside and again pushed him away and apparated back to Hogwarts and Filius. When she entered their room in tears he opened his arms to her and she fell into them. He kissed her neck, her eyes and her lips then caressed her as she sighed and gave herself to him. With great tenderness and agonizing pain in his heart he tried to chase away the demons once more.
And I know that he knows I'm unfaithful
And it kills him inside
To know that I am happy with some other guy
I can see him dying
The next days and weeks that followed started to change Pomona. While her heart beat painfully in her chest as she knew she was hurting Filius, she found her body started to crave her meetings with Rookwood. But she also noticed a dramatic change in Filius. Every time she would leave he would not stop her. But his eyes burned with anguish at her departure from him each time. She noticed he had practically stopped speaking to anyone and his complexion began to pale. When he came to their room after dinner one night, he found her sitting on the sofa by the fire.
She looked up from her thoughts, "Filius?"
"How are you feeling?
"I'm alright. A little tired perhaps and sad. But you know why," he broke off and looked at her with a pained face.
"I need to go," she rose from the couch and went to the door.
Filius looked down in defeat then back up at her as he sagged to the floor at her feet. "Pomona, I cannot do this anymore. I feel it is sucking the life from me. I love you, I do, but I don't think I can go on like this anymore," he choked out and a sob rose from his chest.
Pomona felt the pull and tried to resist but her body had a mind of its own. "Filius," she called to him and tears rose in her eyes. "I…stay..stay right there, I will be right back," she told him with new determination. She had watched as he loved her, even through her unfaithfulness. Each time she had left it had killed him a little more inside and she couldn't do it anymore. This was not going to be a meeting, but a confrontation. She was not doing this anymore. Her heart wasn't dead…she still loved Filius with all of it, even if her body had betrayed her. This was going no further.
I don't wanna do this anymore
I don't wanna be the reason why
Everytime I walk out the door
I see him die a little more inside
I don't wanna hurt him anymore
I don't wanna take away his life
I don't wanna be…
"Yes, my dear?"
"There is something I need to tell you," she swallowed around the lump in her throat. She was gripping her hair brush so hard it was about to break in half. He rose from the bed and came to her side. His eyes searched hers imploringly and she looked away, unable to tell him while looking in his eyes. "Tom wanted more….and…it is so shameful, I ….I don't know how to explain. I wanted to defy him, to…to resist, but I could not. I don't understand this strange force he has over me. Albus, please….I didn't want to do it…I never want to…," she broke off, unable to continue when his eyes clouded.
He turned from her, "Are you…do…do you love him," he asked brokenly wondering how it had gone this far. He had thought he was prepared for anything. But this had not even dawned on him for some reason.
"No," she whispered on a breath. "Never…you. You are the only one I could ever love, please believe me," she told him as she moved and grabbed his arm in a pleading manner.
He looked down into her tear-filled eyes and his shoulders fell. Tears rose in his own eyes as he took her in his arms and tried to comfort her, but inside him, his heart was breaking. "I…believe you."
I feel it in the air
As I'm doing my hair
Preparing for another date
A kiss upon my cheek
As he reluctantly
Asks if I'm gonna be out late
I say I won't be long
Just hanging with the girls
A lie I didn't have to tell
Because we both know
Where I'm about to go
And we know it very well
Minerva stood brushing out her long, raven locks. She watched Albus as he paced yet again, along the floor to the rug by the fire and back again. "There has got to be another way," he frowned and paused in his pacing as he looked at her.
"There is no other Albus, I have the mark, I must answer," she looked at him with indifference but her heart cried out inside her. Her body was answering the call, not her heart. Her heart belonged here, to Albus. She watched as he strode to her and went down on his knees, his arms encircling her waist.
"Minerva," he pleaded. "You must fight this; the only way to break away from Tom is to fight."
She pushed at his arms and backed away. The agony in his eyes was almost her undoing. "Albus, I love you, I do. But I do not know why I must go, but I must. Please understand. I need you to understand. You do know I love you," she asked in a pained voice.
He closed his eyes in an effort to hide his agony from her and nodded. His breath trapped in his chest as his heart lurched painfully. "I do, but …," he began.
"But? As I recall, you are the one who encouraged me to meet with Tom when I told you he had contacted me," she reminded him almost scornfully.
"I know…I know. But I didn't think it would go this far." He looked up at her, the pain evident in his blue eyes and she turned away bringing her hand to her mouth.
"Let's discuss this later. Alright," she whispered hoarsely over her shoulder at him.
A heavy sigh escaped his lips, "Alright, is that where you are going now? To Tom?"
Minerva shook her head. She didn't want to see the pain anymore. It was getting harder and harder to bear. Her head knew it was wrong, her heart knew it was as well, but her body seemed to have a mind of its own. "Pomona and I are going into Hogsmeade," a lie she didn't have to tell since he knew about Tom. But every time she mentioned him, the anguish in his eyes tortured her and threatened to rip her heart out of her chest. With a weighty sigh she turned and he kissed her cheek in goodbye. "I will be back soon, my love."
Cause I know that he knows I'm unfaithful
And it kills him inside
To know that I am happy with some other guy
I can see him dying
Minerva made her way to Tom that night and again her body betrayed her. When he spoke to her it raised goose bumps over her flesh and a chill ran down her spine. But when he touched her, her body caught fire in a way she was not able to resist, though she did try. As he caressed her she felt tears rise to her eyes at the humiliation. She knew he did not love her and her thoughts went to Albus and her deep love for him. What was she doing? She pushed Tom away. Managing to put some distance between them, her senses came back for a moment. Without another thought she disapparated back to Hogwarts and its Headmaster.
Tom's head snapped up at Minerva's crack as she apparated and he shouted, "NO! You will not return to him straight from me, it is time you learned a lesson," he reached out his arm and placed his wand on it to call her back to him, weather she wanted to comply or not.
After she appeared at the gates she ran. She ran, tearing across the grounds and up to his tower. She took the spiral staircase two steps at a time and burst through the door at the top of the stairs. "Albus," she called as she searched their rooms frantically for him. As she reached their bedroom she found him there, huddled on the floor in a heap. "No! Albus?" She ran to him and he rose up to look at her. There was evidence on his face of his tears and she embraced him fiercely. As she ran her hands over him she noticed how thin he had become.
As she reflected on the last weeks she realized he had begun refusing to eat and his pallor was turning pale. "What have I done to you, my darling? Why have I not seen you wasting away? Oh Albus," she rasped as the ache rose acutely in her chest. "Oh," she exclaimed as her arm began to burn and throb and she rubbed it. She noticed Albus' eyes travel to her arm and she heard his breath catch.
Tenderly he raised a trembling hand to her face, "Minerva, my love," he croaked. "I am sorry, I cannot do this anymore. I cannot pretend it is not tearing me apart inside. I love you too much. Pl..please. You have to fight it,…him. No one else can save you. You must find the strength in you," he stared at her and when her eyes met his she saw the sorrow and grief there. The pain she was causing him and she grabbed her chest to try and still the pain. But she knew, this was the end, it had to be the end of her association with Tom or she may as well kill Albus with her bare hands. She saw his love for her dying in his eyes. She turned on her heel sharply to answer the call and paused when she heard Albus call to her, "Minerva…"
She turned, "Albus, please don't lose your hope in me. I will return soon, I promise." Minerva made her way back to the gates to disapparate. She set her face with determination, tonight would be the end, one way or another.
I don't wanna do this anymore
I don't wanna be the reason why
Every time I walk out the door
I see him die a little more inside
I don't wanna hurt him anymore
I don't wanna take away his life
I don't wanna be…
There was an antiseptic smell in the air. The room was quiet except for an occasional gasp or cry from the two beds that occupied the room. On one side of the room Filius was slumped in a chair next to Pomona. His body leaned across and he held her hand tightly. His features were worn and haggard. He had not trimmed his beard or tended his personal needs in days. Not since the battle. Not since his 'Mona had been taken from him. After they had brought her up to the Spell Damage Ward on the fourth floor of St. Mungos it had taken two excruciating days to figure out what the spell's intent was she and Minerva had been hit with.
But when they had found out the answer, it had been all the more painful. There was no counter spell for it, it was a dark spell used to turn a witch or wizard to the side of dark. The only counter to the spell laid within the victim themselves. They had to have more light in them, they had to fight it, and no one could help them. With this revelation his heart had dropped to his stomach. Pomona was strong but many wizards had fallen to this curse and no one was quite sure how it affected witches. He feared he would lose her. He feared what he would see in her eyes when she awoke and it tore him apart. As the days passed he sat at her bedside and listened to her mutterings of the nightmare she was trapped in and the pain in his chest had become excruciating.
He listened as she tossed and turned…writhed and cried as she dreamt of being unfaithful to him. He witnessed as she fought against it but could not seem to resist and, though she was not actually being untrue to him, it pained him that she had to endure such a thing. He knew she would never be unfaithful to him if she had any control over the situation. But his heart still beat painfully in his chest at the idea. Many times over the last week he had soothed her, and it had taken its toll on him. He was weak; he had hardly eaten anything in the last week and nothing in the last two days.
His energy was running low and he was to the point he couldn't take it anymore. He had murmured in her ear of his love, for her to resist. The mediwizards had told him it might help and over the last hour Pomona seemed to resign to her fate and that worried him. While he had faith in their love he didn't know if their love was enough to stop the intent of the spell. He wouldn't be able to live if she awoke and the love was no longer there in her eyes for him. "'Mona, please…I remember how much you love me. Do not fret my love, I am here. I will always remember," he croaked and laid his head on her chest, finally giving way to the pain long buried in his chest.
Albus leaned against Minerva's ear and whispered his love to her, asked her to fight the temptation she had been placed under. He watched as Filius leaned over Pomona and his shoulders shook in grief. Sadly he identified with the small charms teacher. He knew well the anguish he endured. For the past week they had listened as their wives fought an inner struggle and attempted to resist the compelling intent of the spell they had been hit with. His own turmoil was replete with remorse. As Minerva mumbled her unfaithfulness with Tom as she dreamt he had felt the color drain from his face. He knew in his heart she loved him, that she would never turn to Tom but it still caused his chest to ache painfully, the mere thought of it.
Last hour he had broken down, begged her to fight. He loved her but this was tearing him apart. He didn't know what he would do if she was no longer on the side of light, if her eyes no longer poured love for him as if from her soul. A war was about to begin and he didn't think he could take part in it if she was not by his side. He flinched at the thought that she and Pomona might be the first two casualties lost to a war the Ministry refused to admit was coming. He was angry and tired and frustrated and hurting. He needed Minerva; she was the only one who could bring him joy in a world torn down the middle. "Pl…please Minerva, try. No one can save you…you must fight. I will never forget how you love me. Never," he begged raggedly then gave way to the tears in his throat.
As their husbands waged a war with their grief, Pomona and Minerva were waging an internal battle of wills. They found that the love they had for their husbands far outweighed what was trying to affect their will. Their love made them stronger than they could ever have imagined.
In her nightmare Pomona raised her wand at Rookwood and hexed him. She shouted, "You cannot have me! I belong to Filius; he is my heart, my all. I love him and he will always remember how much I do. Nothing can ever defeat our love, nothing!" She stepped back and sent a final stunner at him and his form disappeared into thin air and Pomona began to feel dizzy.
In her nightmare Minerva circled with Tom, her nerves on edge. "I am not yours Tom. I never will be. Everything I do is for Albus; everything I have is for him. All my love, and my life, is for him," she spoke evenly and determinedly as they continued to circle. She noticed Tom begin to raise his wand but she was faster. She sent a powerful stunner at him and caught him out. He was thrown back with terrible force as she resisted the sensation hovering over her. "Everything," she repeated with force and she watched as he vanished and she began to feel light headed.
Our love, his trust
I might as well take a gun and put it to his head
Get it over with
I don't wanna do this
Pomona came to wakefulness slowly. She felt a weight on her chest and heard Filius' anguish as his sobs shook them both. Hesitantly she moved her hand to rest on his back and stroked it tenderly. His sobs soon began to subside when he felt the warmth of her hand on his back as it roved in halting circles. He brought his head up from its place on her chest and looked at her face. Her eyes were open and the love for him was still there. It burned brightly from every facet of her face. He watched as tears rose in her eyes. "Fil…," she began and it was the sweetest sound his ears had ever heard. His sorrowed face turned to one of joy as he leaned in to embrace her with all the love in his heart. She had fought, she had fought and she had won. She still loved him, his heart pounded in his chest.
"'Mona, my darling….I love you so,' he squeaked. "I've been so worried," she shivered slightly as his breath caressed her ear and she shifted her head and kissed his cheek tenderly. She was still reeling that it had all been a dream, no; she frowned and corrected herself, a nightmare. Filius leaned up and brushed his lips against hers lightly.
Gently she pushed him a little to make him lean back so she could look at him and assure herself he was alright. He looked worn and ragged and his color was returning as he was bolstered by her well being. "Filius," she began and put her hand on his arm to still him. "I…my dream…I," she didn't know where to begin or if she even wanted to. She didn't want to hurt him further as it was evident he had already been hurting with worry over her health.
Filius settled suddenly and resigned as he took her hand in both of his. "'Mona, I know…," he began and paused as tears came to her eyes. "I have an idea about what was going on during your nightmare, sweetheart. And it pained me to be unable to help you in your distress. Do not fret, my love. For, if your love for me had not been so strong, I would not be sitting here looking into your loving eyes. No…," his voice cracked a little and he sighed. "I know you would never betray me unless it was against your will. I tried to encourage you while you were asleep by telling you that I remember your love for me, I would always remember, no matter what happened. And…I am so sorry," he started.
Pomona frowned and cocked her head in puzzlement. "My love, this was no fault of yours, that spell..it was cast…"
"By someone who holds a grudge against me, 'Mona," he shook a little in anger and Pomona shrank back a little in the bed as she was still very weak from dealing with the spell. Filius noticed this and calmed a bit. He reached up and stroked her face. "My dearest Pomona, there are some things in my past I have not shared with you, and when we leave here, I plan to tell you everything. And while I may not be able to completely prevent it, I hope it will help us avoid some problems in the future. Albus and I feel this is only the beginning. Troubled times may lie ahead and I want you to be prepared," he gazed at her intensely and smoothed her hair back. She closed her eyes enjoying the sensation of his touch against her forehead; it felt like it had been so long.
Slowly she opened them again and watched him. "I love you Filius, forever, always remember that, always," her voice was a caress to his ears and he smiled. The weight lifted from his chest.
Minerva regained consciousness gradually. She heard Albus' despair as if from far away then closer and closer, until her eyes fluttered open and she saw him sitting next to her. His face was in his hand and his shoulders shook in dejection, his other hand clasped loosely to hers and just when he was about to pull it away she held it tighter. Albus' breath caught in his throat and his head snapped up. Instantly he was on his knees beside her bed, pulling her into his arms. She brought her hands to his face and pulled him to her in a gentle kiss then her hands traveled around to his back to hold him closer to her.
"Never…Minerva, never did I forget how you love me, how I am hollow without you. My dear," he exclaimed and held her to him. "I…I am so relieved you are safe in my arms again, my love," he informed and smiled down at her. As he observed her a gentle frown crossed her face.
"Albus…there is…I need to tell," she began but he intervened.
"I know about Tom, Minerva," a pained look briefly crossed his face. "It was only a nightmare caused by the spell."
She looked at him with astonishment, "B…but it seemed so…"
"Real," he nodded and sighed. "And for that I must apologize to you my love."
Minerva frowned again, "Albus," she began in exasperation. "Tom hit me with the spell, not you."
"But, my dear, he did it in an effort to attack me. In fact I believe that spell was meant for Filius and me. Not Pomona and you. And if I had told you about the Dementors when you asked me what I was worried about, you could have been better able to handle them. Too often, I have shut you out of my concerns when I should have confided in you. I love you and when we return to Hogwarts there are a great many things I wish to discuss with you. And while it may not solve every situation, I hope it will deter problems in the future and better prepare you for what, I believe, may lie ahead."
Minerva reached up and ran a finger down his jaw. He closed his eyes, let out a breath and leaned into her touch. Softly she spoke, "Through it all, I will never stop loving you Albus, never," he returned her gaze and felt relief wash over him.
After the two couples had talked and resolved their issues they all looked across the room at each other and smiled, thankful for the respite from troubles for the moment. Albus and Filius were confident in the knowledge that their wives loved them. Minerva and Pomona were in no doubt that their husbands loved them. And all were convinced in the belief that love really did…conquer all.
A/N: Thanks for reading! Stef o)