A/N: Alright. Thank you to everyone who has read or reviewed this story. I love all of you. Here's the conclusion to Minerva's Wish! And thank you for waiting for it. Please, again, review and let me know what you think. The problem with reviews seems to have fixed itself. Let's hope it stays that way!
I bolt upright in bed in a cold sweat. The images from my nightmare immediately assault me again, and I feel my eyes burning with unshed tears.
I've had recurring nightmares about the night I lost her for months. I wake up from reliving my own personal hell and there's no relief in waking up, but there's nothing I can do. I was too late to save her. Minerva's wish was for me to go on and celebrate Riddle's defeat, not to let her death spoil it. No matter how much I want to honor her, I can't force myself to do so.
I bury my head in my hands as the tears stream down my face. I'm so sorry, my love…
I look up suddenly, a thought occurring to me. What if… What if it wasn't real? Perhaps it had just been a terrible nightmare! Of course, it must have been, nothing could have happened to Minerva. She's probably sleeping peacefully in her quarters right now.
Despite the late hour, I jump out of my bed, donning my robe and exit my quarters, practically sprinting toward Minerva's rooms. I have to check, make sure she's all right.
It feels like years, but I finally make it to her portrait and whisper her password before the door opens to me. I step in immediately, seeing the darkness of the room. I try not to let this concern me too much, because of course, Minerva must be sleeping. I know I shouldn't disturb her; she'll hex me into next month if she catches me trespassing in her room in the middle of the night. I can't help it though; all I need is to see her sleeping peacefully and well in her bed, then I can leave without her ever knowing I was here!
I go to her bedroom door, slowly opening it. I step inside and close the door gently behind me, before turning to the bed.
My heart falls to the floor just as it had in my nightmare. Minerva isn't here and the bed is made. It doesn't look like anyone has slept in it for months. The room itself doesn't even look like it has been visited in nearly as long.
It feels like my heart is breaking all over again as I realize what a fool I am. Minerva, my beautiful Minerva is gone. My nightmare had been real after all; I'd lost the only woman I've ever loved.
It hit me like a thousand bluggers for the second time tonight and I couldn't keep the tears at bay as I stared at the empty bed.
"Oh, Merlin, Minerva… My darling I am so sorry, this is all my fault! What am I going to do without you?" I cry, burying my head in my hands.
Suddenly a voice whispers softly from behind me. "Albus? Whatever is the matter?"
My heart pounds frantically in my chest. I look up and turn around, staring straight into the beautiful emerald green eyes of Minerva McGonagall.
"Minerva?" I ask, afraid I've fallen back asleep and this is just another dream.
"Oh, Merlin…" My eyes must be playing tricks on me. She's haunting me, isn't she? I let her die and this is my punishment.
"Oh my love, I'm so sorry!"
She furrows her brows in a confused, almost concerned way, "What are you talking about, darling? What on earth do you have to be sorry about?"
"I should have tired harder to save you, Min. I should have said to hell with your demands and gotten you the help you needed before it was too late! But now you're gone and I can't do a thing to help you."
"Albus, what…" Suddenly a look of understanding passes over her face and her eyes soften. "I'm not dead, Albus. I am not the newest ghost haunting the halls of Hogwarts. I'm right here, flesh and bone. You can't see through me, can you?" She gives me one of her little half smiles that I loved so much.
I stare at her, blinking. She has a point, but this must be another dream…
"Albus. Love, come here." She says, taking a step closer and reaching out her arm to me.
I reach for her hand. "Oh, you're here! You're alive!" I pull her body toward me quickly and rather forcefully, crushing her against me. "I thought I'd lost you." I whisper in a trembling voice.
"I was only in the bathroom for a moment, dear. I came out and you were gone. Why on earth did you come into my old rooms?" I hold her tighter.
"Sh, Albus." She pulls away to look into my eyes. "Oh, darling… you had the dream again, didn't you?"
I nod, not letting her go. If I let her go, she might disappear. "My love, look at me. I'm here. I'm alive, thanks to you. We're together now; everything is just as it should be."
I hesitate before nodding again, "I know."
She smiles at me. "Come, lay back down." She walks us to the bed after pulling the covers back with a wave of her hand, pulling me down beside her, still facing me.
"Everything's alright, dearest. I know you still feel guilty about that night, but please don't. I'm alive only because of you. If it weren't for you I would have died in the Battle like I was supposed to."
I feel myself tense instantly at the thought. "Sh! Never say that!" I say, putting a finger to her lips to stop her words, but she only kisses my finger in response. I stroke her cheek with my hand before moving to her neck, subconsciously making sure her heart is still beating.
"I love you so much, Minerva. Don't go."
"Never, Albus. I love you too much." She says, wiping away the tear still on my face.
She leans in to kiss me, which I return immediately. After a moment, I deepen the kiss, needing her as close to me as possible. I move an arm around her waist and pull her on top of me. Moving a hand to her breast, I begin gently massaging it and she moans, but pulls away to look at me. Her eyes are full of love, something I'm sure she sees reflected in mine.
"Really, darling? Now? It's the middle of the night. Not that I'm complaining, of course."
"Yes. I want you. I need to feel you as close as possible."
She gives me a sly smile. "Well, when you put it that way…" She vanishes her thin silk nightgown, leaving her naked above me.
She leans down to kiss me again, grinding her hips against me at the same time. I feel myself responding almost immediately from her ministrations. I wrap my arms around her, breaking the kiss to instead plant small ones on her neck and jawline.
"You're so beautiful, my love." I whisper in her ear. She shivers.
"I love you."
"I love you too."
She hums with contentment and laughs, before pulling even closer to me and purring in my ear.
"Prove it, Albus."
I groan before looking up at her. "As you wish."
A/N: The End! Thanks for reading guys. Let me know what you think. Oh, and for anyone who's looking for beta readers I'm now accepting requests.
For those of you who may also be reading Another World, Another War, I have not abandoned it! Please be patient with me.
Until next time...