Set a few weeks after Albus dies. Written from Minerva's point of view.

Standard disclaimer stuff - I don't own Albus and Minerva, if I did they would be secretly married with lots of children, and Albus would still be alive.

I stand by the window and stare at nothing with unseeing eyes. My day is done and at last I escape to lonely solitude, to my icy unlit chambers. To rooms that once used to glow with Albus' very presence. Despite his great age he was always so alive, so radiantly marvellously alive.

Somehow I thought that Albus would go on forever, was foolish enough to believe in the myth of eternity when life should have taught me that nothing lasts forever. Yet he had made me forget all the pains and losses of the past, had swept me away on such a tide of love and passion that I could not help but bathe in his warmth, as one basks in the fleeting summer sun. I had thought that he would always be there, until that darkest night when he fell dying from the tower to lie broken on the unforgiving ground, silvery hair streaming around him like a shroud.

The light in my world has gone out leaving me a mere shell. I am devoid of all emotion, I do not cry nor mourn. I simply stand here alone when my day is done and gaze at nothingness.

Sometimes I cannot even recall how long it has been. The days and weeks have merged together, each one bleak and devoid of him, as I continue on because that is what I do. My days have remained largely the same. Meals in the Great Hall, gazing blankly at the high backed chair next to mine which remains so resolutely empty, never to be filled again. Lessons in the very same classroom where he taught me, the room where the first seeds of my love blossomed, growing slowly within me through all those years of quiet unspoken longing untill the day his lips first met mine. Only one thing has changed - my passion for my job has died, my distance from the students an unthinkable impossible chasm. I scarcely notice their blank needy faces staring back at me, the shock and grief still raw in their tired sorrowful eyes. Once I would have reached out to them, but I am so empty with nothing left to give.

My days are much the same as before, only my evenings and nights have changed. Where once there was laughter and joy now there is simply the absence of Albus, an all encompassing nothingness suffocating my every emotion.

The rain teems down from the skies, the faint embers in the fireplace flicker and die as the clock strikes midnight. Still I stand unmoving and unseeing. 'Why did I have to love him ?'

Night after endless night I ask myself the same question. For if I had not loved him I would not have had to loose him. 'Why did I love him ?' Was it his beauty that had first tempted me to lower my guard ? Not the splendour of his blazing fiery hair and brilliant sapphire eyes, but the sparkling incandescant beauty of the man within, the man so many glimpsed but so few knew well. For Albus was good. Like no other I had ever met he was good and it illuminated him.

The wind howls in the dark, twigs like skeletal hands scrabble against the window, I clench my fists as the breath catches in my lungs. 'Why did I love him ?' Was it because he was my best friend, my companion and confidant through times of darkness and joy ? The one who knew me better than I knew myself, who always knew just what to say or do, the one I could turn to. So many evenings of gentle firelit companionship, of soft chuckles and tender glances. So many days of glory and wonder when for a brief moment I would let my facade of stiffness slip, and see the world through his eyes.

My breath paints the glass with fog, my body sags wearily but still I stand and stare. 'Why did I love him ?' Was it because he loved me so truly, giving himself so freely to me that I could only marvel at his courage ? Was it because he touched me with such adoration, held me more tenderly and respectfully than any other man ever had ? Each glance of his eyes a tune of longing, every caress a poem of adoration, his every embrace a proclamation of eternal love.

The answer comes - I loved him because I couldn't help but love one like him. How could I not have loved him, would be a better question.

My hand moves across the ice cold window pane, brushing away the mist that has obscured my vision, forming it into rivulets that cascade down the glass, just as the tears stream at last down my face. The stars that twinkle so far away in the sky above call my gaze to them. The distance between us is a thousand infinite universes, and yet suddenly I know with all my heart that Albus is among them, up there with those glistening specks of light that gaze down upon the world every night.

I remember the words he whispered to me on a starlit night just a few days before he died. "Love is eternal Minerva." He murmured tenderly as he cupped my face in his gentle hands, and kissed me softly. I understood now the message he had tried to give me, that true love is not just for one lifetime but for all lifetimes and beyond.

Tomorrow I would go on, outwardly nothing would have changed, but within me everything would be different, for I knew now that one day I would be with him again, that we would never truly be apart.

Author's Notes

I really still like to think of Albus as still alive, and really hate that he died, but this story just came to me out of nowhere and I had to write it. When Minerva thinks of Albus blazing hair, she is of course remembering how he looked when she first knew him, I always think he must have been magnetically handsome in those days. And I love the idea of Albus looking down on us from among the stars.

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