A/N: A collection of five exactly 100 word ficlets that all go together, but are not linear. Intended for the rarepair_shorts challenge on livejournal in response to the prompt "only not".


At his funeral, her face remains dry. The Minister, Kingsley, and Alastor all sit in front of her. She feels hollow, but she does not dwell on her grief. She merely reflects on their momentary, fragmented, perpendicular coexistence. Their hearts lived in the shadowy places between his words, in the cavernous dark created from the negative space of turned backs, closed eyes, empty rooms — they were together, only not when anybody else was.

Fawkes's song falls over her like Spring rain.

We were in love, she thinks loudly, as though someone can hear.

"You were close," laments Moody, afterward.


His left hand brushes against her face, moving the shadows from the candlelight. Somewhere an owl is rapping at his window, the crackling fire warns him that somebody wishes to speak to him—

He leans in anyways, and his lips brush hers. She blushes as his arms encircle her, pulling her closer, closer, closer; his heart pounds in her ears.

"Sorry for the intrusion—" spit the flames, molding slowly into a face she barely sees, wide-eyed, over his shoulder before he spins away.

She disappears out the door, leaving him to his conference: "no problem at all, Minister..."


A watch. A to-do list that ends with speak with Minerva, checked off sans the last. His robes, folded neatly. A golden necklace strung with a delicate cat. Sweets, fuzzy and stale. Fawkes's favorite treats. Purple, patent leather shoes. His spectacles.

She places this all tenderly on the desk as they're handed to her. Her hands are steady. Her breathing is slow. She lifts a hand to silence the throng of Important People, turns abruptly, and disappears into the washroom.

She vomits the moment the doors close. Then she straightens, douses her face with water, and returns.

"Who's next?"


He leaves the room, and she could scream with frustration. She looks at Alastor, who shrugs. His words meet only the click of her heels.

"...confidential. Constant vigilance..."

She catches him in the hallway, grabbing his arm—he wheels around, pressing her suddenly against the wall. Kissing her. Holding her. Devouring her. His hands shake. His touch is desperate.

"Where?" she demands, shoving him away.

"I'm—" he starts, but Alastor appears in the doorway, frowning his disapproval. "I can't tell you. Farewell, Minerva." Her heart distends—

She cries that night, not knowing why until he never returns.


As she grades essays, they chat over ceramic — he drinks hot chocolate, she sips her tea. His hand covers hers in appreciation of something she's saying, and they laugh until his eyes swim in tears.

"You are divine." She snorts.

"In name, perhaps."

"In every way," he counters, lifting her hand and kissing it. Their eyes meet. His glasses slide down his nose. She thinks, briefly, wildly: for once Albus Dumbledore is going to make his intentions clear

Kingsley storms in, pulls Albus away, and she's left with two half-empty cups and one million unanswered questions.