Minerva looked on dumbstruck as Harry Potter managed to kill The Dark Lord with a wisdom she had never realised that he possessed. The immense bravery that he had shown tonight was awe-inspiring, walking coolly towards his death and then facing Avada Kedavra with no more than a disarming charm. The body of Voldemort slumped to the floor and the room erupted in a flood of cheers as people crowded around him to rejoice in the end of the war.
The followers of Voldemort who could still flee did so and Minerva let them go, they would be able to arrest them later and she had neither the time nor the inclination to pursue them further. The Great Hall, corridors and grounds were littered with the dead from both sides of the battle. Hermione was currently giving birth to their daughter. The Headmistress was torn between her duties and her desires, in addition to being completely overwhelmed.
She just stood looking around her for a few minutes. There were hundreds of things she should have been doing but she found herself unable to act. In the last few hours she had personally fought several Death Eaters, had killed some of them – she was injured, bloodied and hurting. Eventually all eyes turned to her and she could say nothing to reassure them.
Minerva closed her eyes desperately needing some calm. She began to picture Hermione in her mind, a memory from their honeymoon playing over and over. The beautiful young woman sunbathing in the fierce Greek sun; sun-kissed dark hair revealing natural highlights, long tanned thighs opening at the touch of her fingertips.
When her emerald eyes opened she was calm. "We have won a great battle today but at a heavy price, too many on both sides had to die. Now we need time to mourn our dead and celebrate our victory." Cheers erupted at her speech, ignoring them she turned to her loyal deputy. "Filius we need to..."
"I know Minerva, I will take care of it. Go to Hermione."
She shot him a grateful smile and ran as fast as her legs would carry her towards the Room of Requirement.
Minerva burst through the door at the same moment that their daughter was born. From the threshold she could see everything. Watched in awe as their child slid from Hermione's body, watched the joyous expression that crossed her wife's face when she saw them both.
"Minerva... You're ok." Hermione panted.
Tearing her eyes from the baby Minerva rounded the bed, wrapping an arm around Hermione and pulling her into a tender kiss. It was at that moment that they both heard their daughter make a noisy complaint about her entrance to the world.
They both instinctively turned their heads in the direction of the cry, noting the now swaddled baby that Poppy was about to place in Hermione's arms. When the little girl felt the touch of her parents she quieted straight away, focussing up at them with an intense hazel gaze. Minerva ran a hand through her wife's sweat soaked hair, feeling the bond scar on her hand burn anew as their bonding was finally complete.
"Thank you Hermione."
"For giving me my life back. For giving me everything I ever wanted. Everything I ever dreamed of."
Hermione raised her hand, slipping it into Minerva's. When the symbol burnt into their palms touched it evoked a powerful memory of lightening within a stone circle. Emerald green tear-filled eyes met tired chocolate brown. "My pleasure."
"I mean it!"
"So do I."
They broke the eye contact for a moment looking down at the now sleeping baby. When their eyes met once more it was an extremely intimate contact, somehow deeper than ever.
"What are you going to call her?" Poppy's voice broke into their reverie.
"We haven't decided yet...." Minerva paused, "...Have we?"
Hermione's eyes dropped from that green gaze for a moment, returning resolute but tender, "I was thinking about Alice."
A frown, "What about her?"
A smile, "I was thinking about the name Alice."
Tears began to course down Minerva's face but she made no attempt to hide them, offered a weak smile before burying her head into Hermione's shoulder next to their baby. Poppy slipped from the room giving them some privacy.
Five Years later
Minerva began to walk around the room, touching picture frames, the backs of chairs, her desk before she moved to the window and began to look at the view out of the window, an incredible view.
A tender arm suddenly slid around her waist, a face pressed against her neck, lips touched skin gently. "Are you sure about this Minerva?"
"You know I am. We've discussed this before love."
Hermione smiled, "I cannot imagine a Hogwarts without you."
Minerva turned to face her wife, "I am sure."
They kissed, the years not having dimmed the passion between them. Minerva pushing Hermione backwards until her legs hit the desk and she fell onto the surface. The older woman's lips found her wife's neck, a hand sliding up Hermione's thigh, underneath her robes and was about to slip into her underwear when she heard a familiar noise on the stairs. She pulled her hand away quickly with a groan, lifting Hermione from the desk and placing her on her feet.
The door opened and Alice bounced into the room, "We found you Ma."
"So you did, come here." Minerva pulled her child into an embrace, picking her up to show her the view from the window – allowing Hermione to calm herself, to slow her breathing.
Hermione watched the two of them together for a long moment. She loved her mate, loved the family they had created together. Minerva kissed her daughter's dark hair and looked into Hermione's chocolate eyes, "Yes I am sure, I want to retire and spend time with our daughter while you concentrate on your research. I have spent decades educating other people's children, now I want to teach my own."
The young woman grinned, "Ok." She wrapped her arms around them both.
"We going home Mum, Ma?"
"Yes, we are." Minerva gestured Hermione and Alice to proceed ahead. She took a long moment to look around the office, meeting Albus's blue eyes in his portrait with a smile and a nod, glancing at her own portrait before stepping out of the office for the last time.
She met her family in the foyer, silhouetted against the mountain view, knowing that she had made the right decision, "Shall we go home then?"
Authors Note: This is the final chapter of the 'Cure' saga, thank you all for sharing this wonderful journey with me.
This story has literally brought about events that have changed my life - has led me to the love of my life, a woman who is not only a wonderful writer but also an amazing person that I am truly honoured to be with.