Disclaimer: I do not own 'Harry Potter' the great J.K.R. does. I have just borrowed the characters and shall return them unharmed.
A/N: Just a one shot that came to me after watching HP5 the other day and I thought I'd share with you all. All thought, comments and support are most appreciated. Enjoy!
Minerva and Albus had spent the past few hours sitting in Dumbledore's office discussing Dolores Umbridge.
"I've been here for 39 years Albus, and that's not including the seven I spent here as a student – how could she even suggest that I wasn't up to my job?!"
"Min, my love, no matter what she says, you are my wife, and you're not going anywhere." Albus went and took a seat next to Minerva and pulled her close to him as a few free tears started to fall. "There's nothing Dolores can do to take you away from your home. And I'll do everything in my power to keep you teaching."
"I know, Albus." Minerva pulled herself closer to Albus as a loud rapping came at the door.
"Come in." Albus called from his position next to Minerva.
Dolores Umbridge stalked into the office, first looking at Dumbledore's desk, then realising that he had just had a meeting with Professor McGonagall, turned to the sofa and chair that sat in front of the blazing fire.
"Dolores. What can I do for you?" Albus felt Minerva go tense in his arms, so he pulled her onto his lap and planted a gentle kiss on her forehead.
"Albus, I must talk to you about the teacher inspections." Umbridge stood in front of the couple and looked directly at Albus, completely ignoring Minerva. "Alone."
"Whatever you have to say, Dolores, can be said in front of Minerva. That is, as long as you haven't come to order me to fire her, if that is the case, then you can leave." Albus starred at Umbridge while gently making small circles on the back of Minerva's hand.
"Professor Dumbledore, I have here my notes on all the staff members I feel are not up to the job. And also a list of those I feel have been here too long." Umbridge risked a sidewards glance at Minerva. "I feel that some of the members of staff aren't – uhm – teaching the children the way the Ministry of Magic expects."
"Dolores. I have no intention of getting rid of any of my staff. They are all teaching the way they like. Every single child that has been through these doors, has passed all their exams and every witch and wizard has succeeded in life."
Dolores took a few steps back and looked from Albus to Minerva. "Of course Albus, I have already sent this information to the Minister and he has insisted that you have a copy. He will be taking action as he feels. That includes Professor McGonagall and your relationship." Dolores' voice was now cold and formal as she mentioned Minerva and Dumbledore's marriage.
"Dolores, please leave the information on Albus' desk and he'll get back to you as soon as he can." Minerva was now sat bolt straight next to Albus, their hands still entwined, her mouth was thinner than it had been in years. Albus looked into Minerva's eyes and saw nothing but hate and anger directed at the short woman in front of her.
Dolores ignored Minerva and continued to look straight at Albus.
"Do as she says, Dolores. She is, after all, the deputy." Albus remained calm as he felt Minerva tense even more, and out of the corner of his eye he saw a single tear trickle down her cheek. "Dolores."
"I'll see myself out Albus." Umbridge turned on her heel with one last look at the pair, and headed out the door.
Once the door had slammed shut, Albus turned to Minerva and wiped the tears from her cheeks.
"Minerva? My love?" Albus once again pulled Minerva onto his lap and pulled her into a warm embrace.
Minerva pulled herself closer and rested her head on his shoulder, the tears flowing freely down her face.
"Shh, my darling." Albus soothed Minerva and brushed a few stray stands of hair that had managed to escape her usually tight bun, out of her face and once again wiped the tears away. "There, there, Tabby. I'm here."
Minerva stayed silent as she tried to control the flow of tears.
Albus scooped his wife up and carried her to their bedroom. After placing Minerva on the bed, Albus changed her robes into her emerald green pyjamas and changed his own robes into his sapphire blue pyjamas. He slid between the sheets and spooned himself to Minerva and held her close. Minerva turned in Albus' arms to face him and placed a light kiss on his soft lips. Albus responded and deepened the kiss, allowing all the passion the pair had been holding in flow between them. Minerva stopped as Albus' hands started to roam too low.
"Minerva, what's wrong?" Albus was worried about his Min. She had never stopped their quest in love making before. But, saying that, he had only seen Minerva this sad once before, when she was in her last year of Hogwarts.
Minerva rushed to Dumbledore's office, tears streaming down her cheeks. It was Saturday night and Minerva had just finished her Head Girl duties in the corridors of the castle.
Albus was sat at his desk, answering a letter to a parent when Minerva ran into the wide, round room without knocking.
"Minerva." Albus stood, opened his arms to her and embraced her as she collapsed into his arms. Her body being overtaken with racking sobs. "Shh. It's okay Tabby. I'm here now." Albus absent-mindedly ran his fingers through Minerva's loose hair, which was usually tied in a tight bun. Minerva pulled herself closer to Albus as more and more tears started to fall.
"Tell me, what's wrong, Min?" Albus scooped Minerva up into his arms and carried her into his room.
Minerva had spent many nights here in the past year, lying in the arms of the love of her life, feeling comfortable and safe. As Albus lay her on the large soft bed, she remained silent until Albus went to join her on the bed. Minerva let out a small whimper. Albus immediately backed off and sat on the edge of the bed.
Minerva sat up and looked straight into Albus' sapphire blue eyes. "I'm sorry, Albus."
"Shh. It's okay, my love." Albus held out his arms and Minerva slowly pulled herself to Dumbledore. "What happened darling?"
Minerva buried her head into Albus' chest, attempting to control the tears and shaking. "I'm sorry, Albus. I really am." Minerva pulled herself closer.
Albus planted a kiss on her forehead and held his arms protectively around Minerva's waist. "I'm here."
Minerva nodded and said one word, "Riddle." Minerva's hands were entwined with each other as she tried to control the furious shaking.
"Did he?" Albus moved his hand slowly, gently down Minerva's back , which imitated another whimper from his Min.
Minerva nodded and held herself close to Albus as the tears started to flow again.
"Oh, Min." Albus stroked Minerva's hair and gently lay her down, spooning himself to him and whispered, "I'm here Tabby. I'm not going anywhere. And don't worry about Riddle, I'll be sure to deal with him." The anger was rising in Dumbledore, so he concentrated on soothing his Minerva. "Everything's going to be okay."
Albus tried to back off like he had done so many decades ago, but Minerva held on tight to him, afraid to let him go.
"Don't go Albus."
"I'm not going anywhere Min." Albus put his arms around his tabby and pulled her close. The tears had started trickling down Minerva's cheeks again and Albus swiftly wiped them away before she could refuse.
Minerva closed her eyes tight and willed herself to calm down.
While Minerva's eyes were shut, Albus glanced at the calender on the far wall. All he had to see was the date and he immediately realised why Minerva had gone into overdrive. It was on this day, 40 years ago, that Riddle had got his revenge on Minerva as a teenager. "Oh Min. I'm so sorry. If I had remembered I wouldn't have asked you to fill in for me. Did he – ?"
Minerva started to shake as the memories of his touch, taste and the way he invaded her came flooding into her mind. She had tried so hard all day and now ... now she had to crumble. Sometimes she felt so weak, but was always too coward to talk to Albus about how she was feeling. It made her feel strong, that is, until it overtook her every thought until she broke down.
"No. Dolores was there and she made damn sure that everyone in that room knew what happened that night." Minerva pulled herself upright on the bed and Albus followed, pulling her back into his embrace. "And Riddle just sat in the middle of the room and laughed. It was so hard to keep myself together. Before everyone left he made a great scene about retelling the whole story to anyone who would listen." Minerva paused briefly to think through the next part and compose herself. "Once the guards had taken him out of the room so we could all have a debate on what would happen to him, Umbridge turned it 'round onto me and started throwing questions and accusations in about me and my part that night. She even brought up our marriage and tried to make people believe we were lovers while I was your student."
"I know Albus. But if she had succeeded, then you would have lost your job here straight away and then all most certainly put into Azkaban. And I couldn't have that. I wouldn't be able to live without you Albus." Minerva once again took a few deep breaths and continued before Albus could interrupt her. "After shutting that Umbridge woman up, we all decided that Riddle would be sentenced to the Kiss and life in Azkaban. I was the first to leave the room after Riddle. And as I was walking out the door, he was waiting outside with one of his guards. He reached over as I passed and he – he. Albus I can still feel his hands from 40 years ago, and he had to go and touch my ..."
"There, there, Tabby." Albus pulled Minerva onto his lap and soothed her as he had done that day. "Would you like to take a shower?"
Minerva shook her head, "It wouldn't do any good."
Three hours later and Minerva had finally fallen into a peaceful sleep. Albus on the other hand, was still awake. He had just learnt that a member of his staff had broadcast to the whole wizarding committee that his wife had been rapped by Tom Riddle in her seventh year and that Albus himself was the one who had provided her with the comfort she needed. No doubt there were plenty of reporters for The Daily Prophet at the meeting earlier that day. There wasn't a single doubt in his mind that it would make the first page tomorrow.
'I better make sure that Minerva doesn't read that tomorrow.' Albus made a mental note and carried on watching his beautiful tabby sleep.
A few hours later Minerva started to stir. Albus stayed still hoping that Minerva would stay asleep for he was still loathing after what Minerva had told him earlier that afternoon about Dolores Umbridge and the Ministry Hearing.
"Mmm. What time is it?" Minerva opened one eye and looked up at Albus.
"Half five my darling."
"Albus, have you slept?" Minerva opened both of her eyes and looked worryingly at her one and only.
"There's no need to worry about me, my love." It was very rare that Albus didn't sleep while his wife did. She slept best when they were both sleeping in each others arms.
"But I do Albus." Minerva planted a soft kiss on his lips and rested her head on his chest.
"And I you." Albus ran his hands through her lovely raven hair while she starred into space.
"You didn't sleep. Did you?"
"No. I'm not tired tabby."
"Albus, you're exhausted. Why don't we go down to the great hall, have something to eat while the feast is still on and then come back up here and rest. Together."
"That sounds good my dear. But are you sure you can bare sitting next to Dolores?"
"As long as you keep a firm hold on me, I am sure I can keep my cool. What about you?"
"I shall do no harm to her." Albus smiled sweetly and gave Minerva a passionate kiss. Minerva deepened the kiss and heir tongues danced together until the need for oxygen became too great.
"Lets get going if we want to eat." Minerva had tensed and she felt weak for it once more.
Albus recognised at once that his Min had retreated inside herself once again. He made a mental note to be careful of what he did and to keep his lust and passion for her under very strict control until she was ready.
Minerva took her seat to the right of Albus and to the left of Dolores. Minerva caught Albus' hand as he went to place it on the table.
Albus looked at Minerva when he felt her hand brush his. "Min?"
Minerva looked down at her lap and kept her eyes down as Albus squeezed her hand.
Albus felt Minerva's hand shaking in his own. Ignoring the others at the table and the few pupils that were still left in the Great Hall and pulled her close. "It's okay my darling."
Minerva tensed as she felt Dolores' eyes on her side. Minerva scooted her chair closer to Albus' and gently rested her hand on his lap. Right now she wanted to be as close as possible to her husband and she didn't care who saw her affection for him.
Albus filled both his and Minerva's plates with food and tried his hardest to convince her to eat. "Minerva, please, you need to eat something. For me my love."
Minerva wasn't having any of it. She knew that she should eat, but she just didn't feel like it. She kept her hand rested on Albus' lap, but her eyes were wondering the room.
"Minerva? Hun, are you okay?" Albus was really starting to worry about Minerva. She hadn't touched her food and she was visibly starting to shake.
Minerva glanced over to Dolores whom was gossiping with Poppy who was turning redder with every word that came out of her mouth.
Minerva couldn't bare to hear what Umbridge was saying about her. She looked at Albus and shook her head slightly, stood and stalked off without a second look back. She folded her hands together in front of her and headed straight to her chambers.
Albus watched her walk out of the Great Hall, her head hung low. This only made Albus worry more than he already was. His Tabby always held her head high, even when she was feeling down.
After staying for the last fifteen minutes of the feast, then, being the first one to leave the hall, he headed straight for Minerva's chambers. He knew full well that Minerva would only go to his chambers if he was with her, or when he was away.
"Minerva?" Albus stepped into Minerva's chambers and called out to her. When he got no response, he headed for her bedroom. " Tabby." Albus sat next to his wife on the floor where she had spread photos of her former students out.
"They were all so young, Albus. No child should be born into a world like this." A lone tear made it's way down Minerva's cheek..
"I know." Albus pulled Minerva into an embrace and held her close. "It'll all be over soon. I promise." Albus pressed a kiss to his tabby's hair and soothed her to sleep. "It'll all be over soon, my dear. Then maybe we can be blessed with a child of our own."