Blessings of a Bluebird
The place was there, yet it was incomplete. It flourished; the meadow always did, but never in the manner as it did now. Under his care, it not only flourished, but also bloomed to life even the rarest of blossoms. The reinvention of the land had taken years; it was beautiful before, but now nestled comfortably upon the borders of breathtaking. Yet, it remained incomplete.
He glanced about him, admiring his handiwork. A bluebird nested near to the borders upon which he roamed the land, yet, she made it a point to visit each day as he came there. The bluebird was now counted among his dearest friends, yet his paradise remained incomplete. He knew there was a grand, exquisite thing missing, yet he knew not how to transfer it there. He needed to learn the art of persuasion and tongue of charm.
Upon one of the days he visited the meadow, he told a fox of his troubles and asked for her tongue of charm.
"Charm is not an object I can give, but it is a language learned for different reasons," the fox explained. "You must prove your intentions worthy of my time and effort."
And the man did so, doing as the fox wished for days on end during the long summer months that he could afford to spend. He watched the fox's pups as she went out hunting and she occasionally offered him a bite to eat of the small animals she gathered. He took his share only to be polite and did vanish it away magically when her eyes were not trained upon him.
One day came that the den was threatened by an evil force, which wished to gain a fox or two to eat. The man defended the home with magic and the mother fox arrived home just as the force was driven away.
"Your intentions are certain… I will teach you what I know," the fox told him and he waited patiently before she gave him the last words. "Honesty is the best policy… Charm, though handy, means nothing without sincerity. Give it graciously and it will be accepted." The fox refused to say anymore on the matter, despite the man's persistent questioning. He decided that he would put the wise fox's words to good use and he continued onwards with his lonely summer months. He wished that he could learn persuasion, yet knew not where to look.
It was a week later when he came across a boa. Startled slightly by the sudden appearance of the snake, the man decided to tell it of his toils. The snake received it well and told him that persuasion was only worthy when the oppressor desired the otherwise. In other words, persuasion would not work for anyone unless the person had an open mind. The man thanked the snake and carried on his way, realizing that until the next summer months, his visits there would be very limited indeed. He had work to do.
One day of frigid winter, the man visited his icy haven and longed for a friend's company. His execution of a few tricks had gone awry and he sought refuge in his meadow, but it was cold and unwelcoming now.
Without fail, his bluebird friend soared to rest upon his knee, sensing a terrible melancholy in her friend. She hopped upon his shoulder and batted her head against his worn and aged cheek. He turned to her and smiled a watery smile before inviting her in his cottage, of which he had never before entered within.
He opened the door and found a very cozy and bright place to live, yet he ached in his heart, knowing his perfect home was incomplete even now. He allowed the bluebird to settle upon a chair's arm, and he rested upon the same chair. Without a word, he removed his glasses and placed them upon the table. He rubbed his tired old eyes before explaining to the bird his trouble.
"I learned many things here last summer, and I decided that this meadow has gone incomplete for far too long… I pruned this place for a very excellent reason; yet, I have kept it to myself, fearing that it could not be split into two…" He ceased his tongue here and wiped his cheeks of the tears that had stained them wet. He could not explain himself; his pain was too great. To his utmost surprise, however, the bluebird began to speak to him for the first time since the long years he had known her.
"Do continue on with your tale. I find that it is better to have at least one other soul to know of how much your own heart is grieving. The pain fades more quickly that way, but it is not at all less excruciating." The bluebird then bumped her head against his wounded heart, pleading with him to speak again.
The man sighed, his years somehow now falling more heavily upon him in that moment than in any other. For the first time since the meadow had bloomed fifty years before, the wise man that had labored for it looked old. The bluebird sang a soft note in his ear, and he felt courage ignite within him again, so he told her the rest of his tale.
"I, at last, pursued the object of my affections. I felt that the time was finally ripe enough for me to pick and enjoy the fruit it would produce, but something has gone awry. I have fallen a great height in order for her to see me as I do her, yet it all was to no avail. She continues to run faster than I can follow. I fear I have lost her forever now." At the end of his words, the man began to sob. His sobs were so great they shook the cottage and caused the candles to go out, swallowing the inviting abode in darkness. In his great despair, the bluebird began to sing to him, great comforting notes that his heart could understand.
The bluebird again rubbed her head against his cheek. "It is often whom we love run faster than we can follow, yet, we must continue to follow. If your legs ache too much to run, fly. If your wings are broken, then crawl. If all this is impossible, wait. If they are who we perceive them to be, they will eventually come looking for us in our great pain and sorrow. Only by then can we move mountains in explanation for our broken wings and tired limbs."
The man kissed the head of the bluebird before saying, "Thank you. I only hope she is who I believe her to be, for I have done everything in my power to show her what it is I see in her…"
The knock sounding upon his door startled him from sleep, and with good grace, he unstuck his face from his desk before bidding the intruder entrance.
"Albus? I was wondering if I would find you here…" Her whisper was as soft as the roses that bloomed beneath his very touch in that meadow in his dreams, yet it did not distract him to forget that his heart continued to beat with great pain.
"Minerva? I thought you were out tonight…" He trailed off unnecessarily, looking into her eyes for affirmation.
She sighed heavily before sitting before him in the opposite chair of his desk. "I was out, but I am back now," she remarked bluntly.
Despite his stung feelings, a light chuckle escaped the thick barrier of his throat. "Indeed you are," he nodded.
Minerva sighed again and her gaze shot towards his for a moment before she gazed solidly at her lap. Albus sensed that something was of embarrassment to her.
"Minerva is something wrong?" he inquired charitably, his hand groping for her fidgeting one.
She inhaled sharply at the contact, yet did gather the essential nerve before gazing deeply into his eyes. "I lied to you Albus, and yet you continue to treat me in the same manner. I've deeply offended you and hurt your feelings by neglecting to tell you I had a previous engagement tonight that could not be postponed, which would ultimately interfere with our chess game, and yet you continue to shower me with kind words as you always do. Why?"
"Minerva, I could not hold you at fault for the things you have done, for you have done nothing wrong. You simply forgot. It happens to the best of us," he made a point to pause here and gaze at her over the top of his half-moon spectacles. She smiled sweetly and nodded before he continued. "It is not my place to order you about, so I could not… It is not my place to badger or question you deliberately as I wished to, so I did not…"
"But Albus, I forgot to tell you where I was and where I was going… It surely must have caused you some amount of displeasure if not anger with me--"
He held up his hand for quietness, and he did continue at her sudden silence. "I am not finished Minerva," he said gently. "I do wish that you had told me where you went, for you did certainly cause me some disquiet when seven o' clock became seven-fifteen and so on and so forth. It was by pure chance I overheard today that you and Professor Firestone were going out to dinner tonight, so I expected you to forget… There was no harm done."
He was rewarded from his speech by a very deep frown from her. "Albus, you expected me to forget?! We've been playing the same game the same night for years on end and you expected me to forget because I was in the company of another man the same evening this game was to occur?!"
He nodded quietly, and she began to shout at him.
"Albus! You won't blame me for my error because you expected me to forget that I would spend another day in your company, trying so desperately to remember that my dreams and my reality are not the same thing?!" As soon as the words were out of her mouth, she clapped a shocked hand over the offending sense. She stood with a very defined regality about her and began to stride deliberately out of the office without another word, but a hand grasped her arm.
She turned and found Albus so very close to her that she forgot how to breathe properly. Perhaps later the irony would be amusing.
"Minerva, what exactly do you mean by that?" he asked quietly, rubbing both of her arms with his hands, gently coaxing her to come closer.
She obliged him a step, but focused on her shoes as she admitted in a sheepish whisper, "It is as I've said. They are not the same…"
"Would you like to make them the same?" Albus asked, holding his breath for a moment before amending his words at her questioning stare. "In my dreams, you are my goddess and I love you with every fiber of my being. You love me in return and the whole heavens sway as you smile at me… In my reality, you are Minerva, the dearest of friends I have, though not mine, yet I continue to love you with every fiber of my being…Loving you in secret has been a great challenge to me. I would be thrilled to show you how the depth has grown in the hope that you love me too…"
He waited with bated breath, knowing every word he said was true, but knowing that he had fallen an even greater height than before. If it were to be for not, he would cleanly be dashed to ribbons at the bottom, yet would climb the highest cloud to sustain the friendship they shared. That would be more than enough if it was to be for not.
Minerva remained speechless for several moments. She felt his arms slide gently down her arms and they disappeared as quickly as they had come. She saw the pain badly masked at a glance to his eyes; the twinkle vanished and his emotions were dormant within those cerulean, insurmountable depths. She heard him withdrawing into himself again with his backwards footsteps, but she stopped his quiet progress with her voice.
"Albus," she whispered urgently, drawing great, deep breaths that were not enough for her pounding heart to salvage, which was now fevered due to her sudden emergency, "I… love you too…"
And it was like a light that his eyes came back to life. In an instant, he swept her fully into his arms and he embraced her as though she were the most treasured of jewels, and so she was. She was a precious emerald, and she was his. He proved his love to her with but one of his kisses; her mind wiped clean and her heart pounded in love and triumph in his embrace. His love was beautiful, and she told him so.
Albus smiled and kissed her again, his tongue stroking hers affectionately, telling her desperately that he not only loved her, but also wanted and needed her.
Minerva moaned into his mouth, catching her breath at last as Albus held her close to him. She grinned as she realized his heartbeat matched her own and she sighed deeply as he held her closer so he could kiss the back of her neck.
And so it was that Minerva was precious to Albus. Permission was granted before he carried her off to his chambers for the rest of the night. At long last, his love had come for him.
It was hours later that his dreams had carried him away again, but at long last, Minerva joined him in his sunlit meadow, which was all of the love he held for her. They slept in his cottage in his dreams, finally completing his paradise, but Albus swears on Merlin's very socks that he heard a bluebird chirp affectionately at his windowsill in his reality that very same night.
A/N:This was greatly inspired by Hogwart Duo's "Torn Between Two Hearts" and I highly recommend it. I was reading it a second time when I came up with this idea, so I thank you two for posting it! :D My disclaimer states that though these characters are not mine, they are used by me frequently. I write them in the manner that I wish, and I thank JK for that! :D