Thanks a lot to my wonderful beta, saiyanwizardgurl, for correcting my story and improving it.

A big thanks to my brainstorming beta, Visitkarte, for her help!

Disclaimer: All recognizable characters belong to J.K. Rowling, and I am not earning anything by writing this story.

Dear readers,

I'm sorry, but I had to end this story. I didn't feel comfortable with writing it any longer. I don't write fanfiction because I think I'm a good writer, I write them to cope with my experiences at work and my disease. Just to balance me. Personally, I think I wrote a good end for it, even though some questions are still unanswered. I'm absolutely sure that I will write a sequel one day, but right now I need a break. I hope you aren't disappointed and like the last chapter nevertheless.

One last question. A reviewer told me my summary is misleading. I don't now what he/she meant. If someone can help me please let me know!

Please leave me a comment.


Chapter 15 – His Love

Severus slowly woke up. The first thing he realized was that he had drooled on his cushion, and the second was that his hand was resting on something furry. Something warm and furry. With a jolt, he sat up in bed.

At the same moment, a tabby cat jumped in the air with her fur standing up to make her look three times bigger. Her hiss could have come from a tiger. Seconds after landing on the floor, the tabby cat changed into its human from. "Severus, you almost gave me a heart attack!" Minerva grabbed her chest, still looking shocked at Severus.

"Minerva, have you taken leave of your common sense? I'm an Ex-Death Eater. What if I had my wand? I could have killed you," Severus said seriously. Just thinking about what could have happened made him shiver.

"The emphasis lays on ex, Severus. Even if you had your wand, you would not have hexed me," Minerva said now that she had calmed down. She slowly sat down on the bed near Severus.

"At least one of us is sure about this." Severus shook his head in disbelief. Thinking back to the situation made him look, shocked, at Minerva again. "We were lying together in Poppy's and Alastor's bed?"

"I was in my cat form, Severus." Minerva just rolled her eyes.

"Why did they let you in?" Severus asked while propping himself on his elbows.

Minerva looked as if she was trying to find the right words. "I wanted to speak with you, Severus."

He had the misgiving that he knew what she wanted to speak about. "Minerva – "

"No, Severus, please let me speak first," Minerva said to interrupt him. "I know what we agreed to was because of the war. I understood that you did not want to risk my life by having a relationship with me. It was hard to accept, but I did. I really hoped that after the war we could build a relationship, but when the time had come, you withdrew from me and all the others. I thought you needed time, and when I realized what you were going to do, it was too late. You pushed me away in the hospital, and I was unsure if you ever wanted to see me again. I still feel the same for you as I did before this all happened, but what's about you? Have I waited for nothing?"

Severus let himself fall back onto the bed. "Minerva…." He felt a lump build in his throat. "I still love you, Minerva, but I am not sure I can act on that feeling right now. There are too many confusing things at the moment. This Bond, living here, the Healers, it is all quite confusing."

"I can wait, Severus, as long as you tell me there is something to wait for." She took his hand and looked deep into his eyes.

Severus took Minerva's hand in both of his. "There is, Minerva. I love you, but I want to love you as a strong man, not as the weakling I am right now."

"Oh, Severus." Minerva threw herself on his chest and was relieved when he encircled her with his arm. "I love you just as you are. I don't care if you are weak or hurt or strong or whatever."

"I know, Minerva, but I do. I promise to try to get healthy and strong as fast as possible. Until then, let's take it easy," Severus said calmly as he hugged her tighter. How much he had missed her.

"Don't push me away again," Minerva whispered into his chest.

"I won't, Minerva," Severus said and placed a kiss on top of her head.

The kiss made Minerva look up. "How slow do we have to go?"

He grinned and kissed her. "We shall see." His stomach rumbled and reminded him that it was time for breakfast.

Breakfast passed uneventfully. "I will come back later, Severus." Minerva promised, kissed Severus on his cheek, and left for her meeting with Pomona and Rolanda.

Alastor would have loved to tease Severus about Minerva, but Poppy had threatened to have him sleep on the couch for the next days if he did. Why does that woman always have to spoil all the fun? Alastor thought while watching a blushing Severus.

Knowing her husband, Poppy could imagine what was going on in his head and that he was calculating if it would be worth the punishment to mock Severus. Sometimes, he really was impossible. But so am I. "Alastor wanted to speak to you about your wand."

Alastor shortly glared at Poppy, but then turned to the hopeful-looking Severus. "Let's go to your room."

Yes, my wand and my own room. Things are getting better hour by hour, Severus thought happily.

"Poppy and James agreed with me that from now on you can sleep in this room," Alastor said as he led Severus over to the room opposite their bedroom. "Like I already told you, I placed a Monitoring Charm on the room. It will inform me if you have difficulties sleeping or if you are in pain. It's not much, but it is at least a little more privacy for you." Alastor gestured in the room. It was a mid-sized room with a comfortable bed, a cupboard, many shelves for his books, and a desk. "You can decorate later, and we can gather your books or whatever you want from the dungeons."

"It's fine, thank you," Severus said. The room was bigger than he had expected, and he would have everything he needed. A desk meant they would let him work, and Alastor even offered to get his own things from the dungeons. He would never teach again, but Potions was what he loved most. Maybe there really would be an opportunity to start an own business in Hogsmead. Severus went over to the bed and sat down. His gaze fell on the night table on which his wand lay.

Alastor saw Severus' gaze and said, "You can have it back, but there are some adjustments. I know your wand is something very private and important, and I'm sorry for having it altered, but as long as we still – "

"I understand," Severus interrupted. He did not want to hear it. He just was happy to have his wand back. He had felt naked without it.

"You can't cast anything harmful. Just spells for the daily routine and protection charms." Alastor felt very uncomfortable about it. Altering someone's wand was as bad as looking into his mind without permission. At least that was what his old Auror instinct was telling him. It had to be done to protect Severus, but that didn't make it easier for Alastor.

Severus held his wand in hand as if it was the greatest present he had ever received. He felt more alive with it. He felt safe in Alastor and Poppy's quarters, but the outside would be another thing. "Can I meet Ro outside the quarters this afternoon?"

"Two hours for the first day, and then it depends on your condition. You are no prisoner, Severus. We just want to protect you," Alastor explained. This Bond was harder than he had thought. It compelled him to keep Severus safe. He would like to force him to stay where he had a close eye on him and could not do something stupid, but he knew that this would not help Severus to find his will to live again. Healer Meyer and James had supported him in giving Severus a little more freedom. If Severus tried to kill himself, he would feel it immediately. Not even Hogwarts' Anti-Apparation wards could prevent him from getting to Severus, but the fear that it could nevertheless be too late was great. Before the Bond, Alastor had felt protective of Severus, but that was nothing compared to what he felt now. No wonder this Bond is only allowed to be cast when there are others ensuring that nobody abuses it. You have to be strong to not wrap the person you have to take care of in cotton and hide him from all the bad in the world.

"Accio." Severus grinned like a school boy getting his first wand when the quill hovered in the air. It felt good to do magic again.

"I'll leave you alone," Alastor said and headed for the door.

"Alastor?" Severus called for the older man. When Alastor turned to him again, Severus said, "Thank you for everything. I am very grateful that you got me out of there. It was horrible…." Severus felt a lump build in is throat that made it difficult to go on.

"It's okay, I know." Alastor tried to assure Severus that he did not have to thank him.

"No, you don't. You cannot imagine what it meant for me to be there. Having my wand back…it is quite…amazing, regardless of adjustments. You don't have to worry. I am very grateful for everything you and Poppy have done. I will not abuse the freedom you are granting me."

Alastor smiled sadly. "Is it so obvious?"

Severus shrugged with his shoulders. "You look different. I have never seen you so worried before. The bond disturbes you, doesn't it?"

"Yes, but I don't regret it. I want to help you, and I will learn to take it easy when I see that I can trust you to not do something stupid while I'm not around."

"I will promise not to try to kill myself, but doing something stupid?" Severus asked sarcastically.

"Brat." Alastor shook his head and rolled his good eye.

"You know that looks scary, old man?" Severus asked, looking at the magical eye that still stared in his direction.

"Yes, that's the point." With a grin, Alastor left the room.

Severus threw himself on his back and clasped his hands behind his head. My own room, my own bed, and I have my wand back. Ro is not mad at me and still wants to spend time together. Minerva is still interested and, Merlin, I love that woman. I did not even know I was still capable of those feelings until she visited me today. Alastor tries hard to give me more freedom and does not use the Bond against me, even when it makes him feel uncomfortable. He could not have found a better person to be Bonded to. He was out of the hospital with people that loved him and cared that he lived. No, he did not feel like a prisoner any longer. Maybe my life can really get better.

There will come a sequel 100%, but I can't tell you when. Please review!