Madam Clearwater exited her office and was crossing the hospital wing. She had just received the potion results from . The whole room was silent save for the gentle clicking of her boots on the stone floor, the occasional sound of a distant closing door, and a children laughing in the hallway outside the Hospital Wing. The walk to convey the recent findings of Ms. McGonagall's current condition seemed to drag on for hours. The Head Nurse was dreading telling the girl that she was pregnant by an insolent Slytherin boy who forced himself upon her.
She knew in the very back of her mind that the girl was pregnant all along. The symptoms were obvious signs that she was but she prayed to the Gods that her hypothesizing was all in her head. She reached the curtain concealing the girls from the prying eyes of her fellow peer. Quietly, she extended her hand to the hanging material and pulled it back slowly, hoping that in doing so she wouldn't disturb the peace of the two people behind hind the curtain.
There, still perched on the side of her hospital bed like his ever loyal animagus (a phoenix), was none other than Professor Dumbledore himself. His eyes were so focused on the young and restless face of the sleeping girl in question that he hadn't noticed her standing at the foot of the bed. She waited a few minutes until; finally, she cleared her throat gently, consequentially waking him from his reverie.
Seeing that Madam Clearwater was present he squeezed Minerva's hand- just as he had done the first time he woke her.
Her eyes were red-rimmed and full of hopelessness and rightfully so thought both of the adult.
The eyes of the Head Nurse and the Deputy Headmaster connected and shared a look that told Albus that their suspicion, though hopefully wrong, was confirmed. Minerva's wet eyes were still adjusting to the well lit room and did not witness the exchange between the two staff members. As soon as her eyes adjusted to the light she locked eyes with Albus he gave her hand a comforting squeezing and encased it firmly within his own.
"Minerva, the results have come back positive. You're with child. " Minerva sat in the bed in the hospital wing for what seemed like hours. Did I just hear that correctly? Am I really… Oh my Gods… Her chest was rising and falling at an alarming rate. Her hand was rubbing her chest from the pain of hyperventilation. Her mouth was open as if she was about to say something but no words came out. She stared straight ahead, not daring to make eye-contact, as her hand moved slowly from her collarbone to her flat abdomen, where her unborn child was. Yes her child and Tom Riddle's.
"I… I-I'm…" Her speech was becoming rushed and she was stuttering, something that she never did. Dumbledore was still holding her hand in his. Her eyes were threatening to spill with unshed tears as she gripped his hand tighter.
He returned the gesture. He was searching her face for any sign that would indicate danger.
Her eyelids fluttered as she fought to stay in the conscious world. She started to sway. The world was spinning around her and her last lucid though was that she was carrying a child; her child and Tom's.
"Minerva…" He muttered this as her upper body collapsed on the bed. Madam Clearwater rushed to her side once again to run diagnostic spell work.
"She's alright. She just fainted because of emotional overload. I'll be in my office if you need anything, Albus dear?" She laid a gentle hand on his shoulder. He didn't move an inch. The head nurse walked into her office, shutting the door quietly behind her.
His hand was holding her." I'll do anything for you Minerva. I'll help you though this.Anything you need I'll give" He whispered to her in the quiet of the hospital wing. Yes. He would get her through this.
"Albus…" It was barely a whisper. He had been sitting there for what was hours. Her face held a depressing expression. He assisted her in sitting up in the uncomfortable hospital bed. Her hand was still in his. He placed His right hand on the middle of her back for support. Additional pillows were conjured to support her torso while sitting up. "I always thought that I'd give it to someone I love and he took it from me. Now I carry his child inside me. This child is inside of me and it's his… but this child is also mine."
She broke down again for the fifth time that week. Tears were streaking down her now blotchy, reddened face. Her face was slowly lowered into her hands with each shudder of her being. Her body shook uncontrollably with sobs and she whimpered from the pain caused by the damage left as a parting gift from Tom.
Albus did the only thing he could do to comfort her at the moment. He was still seated on the left of her and had easy access to her so he pulled her into his embrace quickly, not wanting her to feel alone in her struggle alone. His touch was firm but gentle. His left arm was wrapped around her back while his right hand was busy cradling her head to his chest. He rocked her side to side and whispered comforting and reassuring words to her.
Soon enough her breathing had slow immensely and her body was no longer wracking with uncontrollable sobs. Only silent tears crawled down her cheeks now.
They continued to rock; rock and whisper. He rubbed her back in soothing circles. Her head was still rested on his chest. She listened to his heart beat and focused solely on it. It was steady and solid; her rock. After days of pain and fitful nights she final felt at peace. A smile crept onto her feature as he held her close.
"Minerva?" Albus called out to her. His hold on her loosened. Slowly she emerged from his embrace. Green eyes met Sapphire ones. For the first time in these days of darkness he saw the light emanating from her eyes. Her face was etched with fear. He also saw another thing; love. It's can't be. She can't return the feeling I have held for her since her sixth year.
"Please promise that you'll stay with me. I need you to be here for me now. Please." Minerva's tone was scared; scared of what would happen if he wasn't there, and the fear that he would abandon her in her hour of need.
"Of course I'll stay Minerva. I promise you that is will help you through this and not only this but everything and anything. "He gave her a hug and then withdrew, giving her a sympathetic look. "I should go now. I have to meet with Headmaster Dippet soon."
Standing to leave for his meeting with Dippet, he felt of slight tug on the sleeve of his robes. He turned around to see her look into his eyes beseechingly. "Please. Stay with me a while longer, 'til I fall asleep? "
Her eyes were looking into his for an answer. She got it when he smiled at her. He took his place at her bedside once more. She was about to lay down when he stopped her by placing a hand on her shoulder. She looked at him questioningly but smiled when he reached behind her to fluff her pillow. She lay down on her side facing him and curled up into a ball. He walked around the bed and tucked her in. Afterward, he conjured a knit blanket knowing that the Hospital Wing blankets were thin, and covered her with that. Finally he sat down and took hold of her hand. His other hand cupped her cheek and moved upward to run through her hair, repeating the process until her eyelids became heavy. He notice and spoke up in the comfortable silence but not before lifted her hand to his lips and place and slightly lingering kiss on her knuckles.
"Sleep well, my dear Minerva." He replaced his hand back onto her cheek, her eyes close and her breathing evened out, slipping into the first restful sleep in nights. He stayed there for a moment to make sure she was sleeping soundly before moving to leave. Once he was off the bed he placed another kiss on her forehead. "I can see that you feel it as well, tough you may not realize it. I will wait for you my Minerva. Goodnight."