FanFic 100 Challenge #: 086 – ChoicesAt least a little bitCHAPTER ONE
It was a big party with hundreds of guests. Grindlewald was finally defeated and people loved to be reminded of the people who had fought against him. One of them was Albus Dumbledore, the greatest wizard of our time.
Dumbledore liked parties. But not if he was the guests' favourite topic.
He had wanted to stay at home and relax. After all that had taken place, he was sure that he deserved some minutes in front of the fireside in his living room with some nice lemon drops.
But everybody had pleaded him to attend to the party and so he had finally agreed.
While talking to the minister, he had noticed a young woman who was deep in a conversation with some of his colleagues. He was wondering why a young pretty-looking woman like her was standing next to some old teachers while a lot of young men's eyes were upon her. She surely could have danced all night if she wanted to.
There was something about her. He couldn't quite make out what it was. But something … yeah, something reminded him of someone. Someone he couldn't remember. Was she some relative of one his colleagues? Had he met her somewhere?
He kept talking to the minister who wanted to know every detail about each and every spell he had put on Grindlewald.
No longer counting how many times he had already told "his story", he repeated everything until the minister seemed to be satisfied with what he had just heard.
When he again looked at the place where the woman had stood a few minutes earlier, he could only make out the people she had talked to.
He shook his head as if telling himself that he was an old man who shouldn't think of young women like her. Well, he hadn't really looked at her like all the other men in the room. But he had to admit that she had enchanted him in some crazy way. She had been very fascinating. Her hair was raven black and her eyes reminded him of the cat he'd had when he had been a young boy: Green like emeralds.
The one time she had looked at him, he had felt her gaze like daggers. As if she could read his mind what – of course – wasn't possible.
When the minister finally excused himself telling Albus that a lot of people wanted to talk to him, he thought that it was time for a little take-out, and so he left the room and went out on the balcony for some peace and fresh air.
He looked out at the lake that was in front of him. The moon was shining upon it and only the wind and the birds could be heard.
"Shouldn't you be inside, Professor Dumbledore?"
He turned around and faced the woman he had observed just a few minutes ago.
She smiled at him. Her eyes were sparkling even more in the moonlight.
"Probably. But I guess the world won't stop turning just because I'm here instead of inside."
"If you say so, Professor."
She grinned at him as if knowing that he hated all the attention he got wherever he went nowadays.
A few seconds passed by and no one said a word.
"You don't remember me, Professor, do you?"
She wasn't blaming him, just stating the facts.
"I'm sorry …"
Again she gave him one of her smiles.
"You don't have to feel sorry, Professor. You probably know thousands of famous people and you've had a lot of students over the years. My name is Minerva –"
There he interrupted her.
She smiled even more.
"That's correct, Professor. Well, at least, it was my name when I was your student. I've married six years ago."
On the one hand, he was disappointed to hear that she was married, but on the other hand, he knew that she deserved happiness. Albus now remembered her. She had always been one of his favourite students. Minerva had been intelligent and brave. The perfect Gryffindor.
A dark shadow crossed her face.
"Thank you, Professor. But he died fighting against Grindlewald a few months ago. And I prefer to use my given name now. I don't want to be reminded of … everything."
He felt a lump in his throat.
"I'm sorry to hear that."
She tried to hide the sadness that was shown in her eyes.
"Well, I'm not the typical widow. My parents wanted me to marry him. He was a good man. But I've never loved him. So it's not as if I've lost the love of my life … It's just … Well, I don't know …"
He could see that she was sad, but he could also feel that it was true what she was telling him. She had never loved that man. Minerva had already as a student been very passionate. The way she had worked on her homework, the way her team had won every Quidditch match since she had become captain. But there was no spark of passion for the man she had been married to.
Minerva looked at him. She knew that he was analysing her at the moment. Being curious about the result, she just waited until he was ready.
"You know what I've been doing for the last years, Miss McGonagall. Would you like to tell me what you've done for the last, I guess, ten years?"
Wow, he really remembered how old she was. That man had a memory!
"Of course, Professor. Most of the time, I've been working for the ministry. Sometimes, I've worked at schools when the original teacher hadn't been able to teach his students. I guess, that's all. Nothing exiting as defeating an evil wizard though I might add that some of the students have been very cruel."
"I think I've had a lot of luck and if I remember correctly, you've had great marks in DADA, Miss McGonagall."
Now she was blushing.
"As a teacher you should know that theory and praxis are very different from each other, Professor Dumbledore. And by the way, you could just call me 'Minerva' as you've always done in the past."
Albus doubted that she even knew how much she was flirting with him. Hell, he was 18 years her senior and he'd been her teacher!
"I'm sure you're a great witch and I'm just calling you Minerva if you also call me Albus."
She nodded her agreement.
"I hope it isn't inappropriate to ask you why you came outside, Minerva?"
"No, it isn't, Albus. I came here for the same reason you came. I don't like the attention I got from the persons inside."
"But you get the attention because you look wonderful in this dress and because every men in this room would love to dance with you while they just want me to tell them how I defeated Grindlewald."
"You may be right, Albus. But they just want to dance with me because they like the way I look. They know nothing about me and I don't want to be their trophy of the evening."
Albus shook his head in disbelief.
"You're still the way you've been ten years ago. You've always fought for moral and justice and you've never accepted anyone's invitation for a dance if you knew that he hadn't a pure heart."
Minerva was a little bit confused.
"Do you know this much about all of your former students, Albus?"
He felt caught.
"So you admit that I know you, at least, a little bit?"
She looked at him.
"I think so."
"Would you dance with me if I asked you?"
He sounded very hopefully.
Her eyes sparkled with joy.
"I guess I would."
He stood in front of her.
"Would you like to dance, my dear?"
"No, I'd love to."
Albus stood in front of Minerva.
„Would you like to dance with an old man, my dear?"
„No, I would love to dance with my husband."
„As you wish, Mrs. Dumbledore."THE END
P.S. I'm SO sorry. I've started this story months ago. I wanted to write a long story. But I just couldn't figure out how to continue after their first dance. Then I wanted to let it end right there. But then I thought that you might like to read about them getting married. Well, I would ... I hope you're not too disappointed.