Minerva stared at the letter, hands involuntarily shaking from the content and despite herself, she re-read the second to last line.
You'll have to trust me.
Her heart hammering at the mere notion that her life could once again, return to a semblance of normal, but…what that would mean…she shuttered to contemplate if he had written that she'd have to trust him. Dear heavens, what would they have to do?
Could she survive it?
The last incident regarding Gellert had almost cost her…everything; including her sanity.
The mere notion caused a shutter to ripple over her skin, gooseflesh rising up her arms as bile rose in her stomach.
The haunting words stirring her soul enough to want to try, despite her body's adverse reaction.
Green eyes snapped to the window, gaze trailing after their daughter and then back to the letter.
"First things…first." Minerva muttered aloud as she set the letter down and eloquently stood upright. It was time to put some things right, because if she was to do try what Albus had suggested; and she didn't survive, her daughter needed to know the truth regarding who her father really was.
And she needed to meet and spend time with Albus so Minerva would know if it would be worth it going through with it, for not only her but their child. If Albus and Aryianna didn't have a connection, then she – well she would forgo the possibility at a chance of recovery. She had to be sure that if something happened that her daughter, their daughter, could have a semblance of normal and happy life; even if it meant she continued to sacrifice her own life.
It was a sacrifice she was more than willing to make.
Aryianna stared at the tall, auburn haired man, "I don't understand." She said glancing to manicured grounds of her mother's estate, eyes fastening upon her mother's solitary figure sitting beneath the chair under a cluster of English Oakes. "You mean, you want to be my father?"
Albus felt his heart lurch in his chest at the hesitantly innocent question, "I not only want to be your father, I am your biological one."
Large eyes blinked several times as her mouth moved before she managed to find words to formulate into a question, "Where have you been? Why did you take so long to want to be a part of our life? And why did you leave mother?" At the last question, tears sparkled in her eyes, voice breaking his heart, "She's needed you."
"Until a short time ago, I did not know that Minerva survived the war; and that you…were born. I never would have left her," he kneeled down, "or you, my dear one. I love her. And it is that love that almost killed not only her, but has separated us all these years."
Long black locks swung side to side, "Love doesn't hurt."
Large tears fell from azure eyes, "It shouldn't. But a very mean wizard used your mother's and my's love against the other," he replied trying not to recall what Gellert had done to Minerva to spite him. And what it had and would possibly cost her, but him too. "That is why Minerva gets very bad headaches, they stem from her thoughts regarding our love."
Hope flared in his daughter's eyes, "Then you can heal her?" She took a hesitant step forward, "You can reverse what the other wizard did, right? You are suppose to be the most bestest wizard ever. And if you love mother, and mother always says that love is the strongest magic; even stronger than an unforgivable curse. Then you can heal her."
"Let your mother and I worry about that," he gently reached out, taking his daughter's hand, "and let's you and I work on learning about each other."
Three weeks had passed since arranging for her daughter and…her father to begin spending time together, and while her headaches had become far more frequent; Aryianna's disposition had irrevocably changed.
And Minerva knew that a strong bond was forming between father and daughter; causing a spark of hope to flare within her chest.
Hope at what the future could possibly bring.
Hope at who could possibly be in that future.
And more importantly, that she could be a part of the future with Aryianna and…Albus.
White pain lanced through her consciousness, bringing tears to her eyes; but the pain didn't snub out the spark that had began.
And she would willingly take the lance of pain if it meant a chance of having a family that had been ripped away before ever having an opportunity to begin. Her decision having been made with how quickly Aryianna was taking to Albus…
She gasped as she drew a quill from the inkpot, tears blurring her vision as she addressed the letter –
I want to try. For our daughter. A chance at having a family.
I do miss you.
I always have.
Let me know the details of when and where and I will be there.
a/n: Merry Christmas!