FanFic 100 Challenge #: 038 – Touch

This story takes place in the summer between OOTP and HBP. I haven't read the books for quite some time now and I hope that I've not changed too much. Anyway, I hope you enjoy my little story.

Sacrifices

"Goodbye, Minerva!"

The two women hugged each other.

"Goodbye, Molly!"

Minerva closed the door and sighed.

Molly had been the last member of the order to leave after another exhausting meeting had taken place at the McGonagall estate.

Minerva really loved each and ever member. She loved Molly who was always afraid that something could happen to her wonderful children and Arthur who had a predilection for muggle things. Then there were Remus and Tonks who'd been in love for months but thought that they weren't good enough for each other. And all the others …

She'd known most of them since their first day at Hogwarts and therefore she'd seen them grow up to become wonderful adults and have families of their own. Somehow she felt like they all were the children she'd never been able to have.

That was one of the reason why she loved and hated the meetings at the same time: she was always reminded of what she had, of what she'd sacrificed and of what she could still lose.

Minerva closed her eyes for a moment. "Please, Lord, don't let any of them get hurt."

Taking a deep breath, Minerva used her stick to make her way to the living room.

She could smell the fire that was cracking in the oven. But most of all, she recognized the smell of lemons, a sure sign that Albus was in the room.

She smiled at him and he looked up from the book he was reading. "Would you like to join me, my dear?"

"I'd love to, Albus."

Sitting down next to him, she sighed once more.

"What's wrong, Minerva?"

She shook her head. "Nothing. It's just that so much is happening at the moment. School is going to start in a few weeks and we still don't know if it's really safe for the students to return to Hogwarts now that even the Ministry has admitted that the Dark Lord is back. There is so much more that we can only suspect to happen, so much Harry and his friends will have to go through. Harry's just lost Sirius. How is he going to get along with everything? What if he looses another friend? What if we can't help him? I know that the prophecy says that he's going to fight against the dark lord. But I really don't want him to fight without our help, Albus. He's just a little boy."

The two of them were silent for a few moments.

"Minerva, my dear, Harry's no longer a little boy. He may be young in years, but he's already gone through so much – too much – that he's very grown up. I'm sure he knows what lies ahead of him. But of course that doesn't mean that he won't need our help. You know that I'm going to do everything in my power …"

A lonely tear left Minerva's eyes.

"That's what I'm afraid of, Albus. What we're going to sacrifice this time … We've decided to keep our marriage a secret and decades ago we agreed that it would be better for us not to have any children of our own because they would never be safe. That's okay. I've accepted all these sacrifices. But I'm scared that one of us will have to make the ultimate sacrifice …"

Albus embraced Minerva and she sobbed. "I don't want to lose you, Albus."

"And I don't want to lose you, Minerva. But I can't promise you that I will always be there for you. It would be a lie and we both know it. I'm sorry."

"I know, Albus. But that doesn't make it any easier."

He touched her face and kissed the tears away that were running down her cheeks.

"It's never been easy, my love. But never forget that I will always love you. Even after this life."

THE END

P.S. I'm really sorry. Once more. I've REALLY tried to write a happy story. But somehow …