A 'missing moment' ficlet set within my MM/SS story 'To Everything a Season'; I wanted to show the scene (or one of them, anyway) where Minerva has 'strong words with the portrait of Albus Dumbledore', but it didn't fit within the rhythm of that story itself. So here it is, standing alone.

Several weeks had passed since the Battle of Hogwarts, and the last of the wounded had finally been sent home. There would be no more funerals for a time, or so Minerva hoped, but now the Ministry was finally starting to pull itself together, making noises about memorial services and monuments, wanting her input. Minerva loathed the idea of having anything to do with any of it. She supposed she would have to, eventually.

Now the numbness that had permitted her to function, carrying her forward as the days since the Battle unrolled themselves around her, had finally worn away, and as she mounted the stairs to her office she found she was trembling with grief, with exhaustion, with rage.

'Out.' One glance at the expression on her face sent the portraits' occupants scurrying from their frames, until Minerva was left at last alone with the image of Albus Dumbledore.

Her knuckles strained against the lean skin of her hands as they gripped the back of a chair. 'What have you done, Dumbledore?'

'What was necessary.'

Minerva's response to this was a harsh epithet; Dumbledore's calmly seated figure did not turn a hair.

'I understand your anger, Minerva,' he began, but she cut him off.

'You used them – Harry, Severus – put them through hell, put us through hell with this, this scheme of yours – sent them each to die-'

Her throat seized up; she could not speak further.

'And if I had not?' The blue gaze was steel; Minerva was momentarily glad that she faced only a portrait and not the wizard himself. She was being unreasonable, unfair – after all, Dumbledore had not spared his own life in the war against Voldemort – she knew all this, but she could not help herself, not tonight.


But she turned on her heel and walked away.

Later, she would apologise, listen, talk; but not tonight, not tonight.