Chapter Ten – I need a little help from my friend

"Oh, Albus, I feel so stupid. I really should have seen it coming."

"No, my dear, there was no way that you could have seen that coming."

"But -"

"No buts, Minerva. What's done is done. It's best to accept it and get used to the circumstances as soon as possible. I promise you we will make the best of it."

"And what's the best of me having a broken leg, Albus? I will have to use crouches for the next four weeks!"

"You will get used to it, my dear. You're young and in good shape. The only problem is that you're telling yourself that you're responsible for the situation and that you are too proud to walk around on crouches and ask people to help you."

"I'm not too proud to ask for help!"

"Of course, my dear." He tried to calm her down.

"Albus!!!"

He rolled his eyes which didn't go unnoticed by her.

"Albus!!!!!"

For a moment, it almost seemed as if she'd frightened him, but then he laughed out loud.

"What?!"

"My dear, don't you think that you should be nice to me? I'm supposed to help you. But if you're planning on screaming at me and cursing all the time I think I might find better things to do. Although I have to admit that in general I couldn't think of anything better than spending the next four weeks together with you almost 24/7."

His eyes were twinkling and Minerva wasn't sure if he was serious or just joking.

After all, they hadn't talked about the kiss they'd shared a few weeks ago. Of course it was an old tradition to kiss the person standing next to you at midnight. But not many people followed this tradition anymore.

Remembering that night, she didn't notice that Albus walked over to her. "So, my dear, now that we've talked about it I think you wanted me to assist you getting to dinner."

She looked up at him and decided that two could play that game. "Yes, darling. That would be lovely."

So they walked down all the corridors together, Albus never leaving her side.

They soon found their own new routine. Albus always arrived at her door before every meal, meeting or other occasions where he could be of any help to her.

The weeks flew by and soon Minerva was allowed to walk with only the help of a stick.

Because the medi-witch had told her to practice Albus and Minerva spend almost every free minute together walking around. He often invited her to come with him when he had an invitation to an official meeting or to one of his many friends.

Therefore, it wasn't really surprising that it happened from time to time that some people thought that they were together which – since the first time it had happened – Minerva always politely denied. Had she just looked into Albus' eyes, she would have known how it had hurt him to hear her say those words even if it was the truth.

She'd said it because she'd thought that otherwise Albus would have to say it and she'd known that she would never be able to hear him say such words without having to fight back tears.

So they continued to go out together, both wishing they were more than friends, but not daring to say anything, believing that the other one just wanted to be friends.

They had a lot of fun, they really had. But they could have had much more.

There were always moments when one of them almost said something, almost did something that would tell the other one the truth. When they talked to others and secretly searched the room for the other one and their eyes finally connected, but they both acted as if it had only happened by incident. When they danced together and the music slowed down and they were very close and both could almost hear the other one's heart beating faster. Or when they ended the each other's sentences and everyone smiled and both blushed.

So many chances not taken.

You could really say it was a shame. Everyone seemed to know it. Except Albus and Minerva. And nobody said a word.

This game went on for months until just a few days before the school year ended they'd attended a ministry ball and came home very late. Albus, as always, walked her to her chambers and she'd just wished him a good night and turned to walk into her rooms when he turned her around, kissed her on the lips and – before she even had the slightest chance to react – walked away.

P.S. Okay, that's it for the moment. I haven't continued this story for almost two years I think. Therefore, I really hope that I will be able to get into it again. But it you have any suggestions that could help me I would really appreciate them.