A/N: This is my take on how Minerva would deal with Albus' impending death because in my Harry Potter universe they are secretly married, of course.


Minerva McGonagall woke from her uneasy slumber when a silent noise reached her ears. She opened her eyes and needed a few seconds to orientate herself. She sat in Albus' favourite armchair near the fireplace in his office, and apparently, she had dozed off quite a while ago because the light of the fire was almost extinguished.

It was pretty dark around her, but Minerva didn't need lights to recognise the silhouette of her husband. His entering had probably caused the noise that had woken her up. Minerva was glad it had. After all, she had meant to wait up for Albus, but she had simply been too tired.

While her husband reached for his wand to light the flames anew, Minerva rose to greet him.

"Albus, you're back."

"I am, but I didn't think you would still be up. Didn't I tell you that I would be late and that you shouldn't wait for my return?" Albus asked. He sounded tired, too.

"You did. But you were gone for three days. I missed you," Minerva explained. Though she felt that her missing her husband did no longer need explaining.

Albus' expression softened. "I know. I apologize. I just didn't wish to trouble you."

Minerva snorted. "It's a bit late for that. But don't worry about me. I'm fine. Now," she took his travelling cloak from him to put it away and then conjured two cups of tea for them. "Is there any point in asking you where you have been off to?"

Albus' silence was the answer she had expected. He moved to sit in the second armchair and reached for his teacup with his left hand – as he always did ever since he had rendered his right hand practically useless.

"I didn't think so." Minerva reached for her teacup as well and wanted to let the matter go. She really did. But she couldn't.

"If you would at least tell me what it is you're looking for," she complained instead and set her cup down again. "There are so many people who could help you. Or don't you trust the members of the Order you handpicked yourself? Don't you trust me?"

Albus' eyes met hers and she could see how exhausted he was – both, physically and emotionally. "We both know that I trust you with my life," he replied silently.

"Your life, yes, maybe your heart, but not with whatever it is you're doing these days," Minerva corrected him, fully aware that her words were hurtful, but she was hurting as well.

"There are just some things that are not meant to be shared."

They looked at each other and Minerva shook her head. "Fine, never mind what you're looking for – tell me what you did to your hand."

Albus sighed. "We already talked about this, Minerva. Every single day since it happened, I might add."

"No, we didn't talk, Albus. I asked, and you said nothing. But I'm your wife. If you're not telling me where you're going and what you're doing, I at least ought to know how you hurt yourself!" She was well aware that they had already been over this, but she was too stubborn to hold her tongue.

"There is nothing that I can tell you beyond that which I have already told you. And now please excuse me. I am tired and would like to go to bed," Albus replied and got up.

"Albus!" Minerva rose as well. "You have asked me to accept that there are things you cannot tell me. Many times, in fact. And I have. But don't ask me to watch you hurt yourself, hurt both of us with your silence."

He looked at her and Minerva's anger melted because there was so much pain and guilt in Albus' eyes that she would have done anything to relieve him.

"You know there is nothing I want less than to hurt you, Minerva, but I'm afraid your marvelously strong spirit and quite undeserved loyalty to me will do exactly that," Albus said softly. "Good night, my dear," he added and left Minerva alone with her fears that had just grown a lot worse.