Watching Them Dance



After most of the guests had left the lawns of Hogwarts five people walked along a beaten path to the lake. Harry, Ron, Hermione, Lupin, and Tonks walked in silence thinking about the great Headmaster. Albus Dumbledore was dead and they were to live on in his memory.



The silence was broken by Hermione. "Isn't that Professor McGonagall?" Sure enough, sitting on a stone bench on the shore of the black lake was the new Headmistress, Minerva McGonagall. Taking a seat on the hard ground the group looked at the older professor.



"She has to be hurting worse than us." Harry gazed southward in a mindless trance.



"Why do you say that?" Hermione and Ron looked at him questioningly. Lupin put his arm around a pink haired Tonks.



"Well, I kind of overheard something I don't think I was supposed to know. It was right after the Yule Ball in our fourth year..."



~~~~~~~~~~~

"I'll be back in a minute. I left my coat in the Great Hall." Leaving Ron to deal with is unhappiness, Harry made his way down to the Great Hall where the Yule Ball had just taken place hours earlier. Walking along the now empty halls of the school Harry let his mind wonder about the Tournament. He still had no idea who had put his name into the Goblet of Fire. He had taken on dragons at the first task, but he was no where near figuring out the golden egg; no matter what he told anyone.



As he drew nearer to the ball room, he could hear soft music playing. That is odd. I thought the ball was over at midnight. He looked at his watch and it read two thirty in the morning. He walked slower- natural instinct told him to move quietly. The large double doors creaked open and he entered. Dancing alone was, to Harry's great surprise, Albus Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall.



They were doing a slow waltz and dancing slightly closer than usual. His hand sat a little lower on her waist and she laid her head on his shoulder. Neither seemed to notice Harry enter the room. Lost in the moment the couple danced as one, swaying with the beat of the soft song. Spotting his coat across the room Harry crept quietly toward it, trying not to think what would happen if he was caught. Just as he was about to leave he heard McGonagall speak.



"Albus- Do you have any idea who put Harry's name in the Goblet?" She removed her head from its resting spot and looked into the man's sparkling blue eyes. The two stopped dancing and stood motionless in the middle of the floor as she waited for an answer. Harry slipped behind a table- they were going to talk about him, and he was not about to leave.



"Minerva, times are complicated. Anyone could have put his name in the Goblet. Like Alastor said, someone is out to get him."



"You believe Mad-Eye? You know he doesn't completely have everything up here." While she said this she motioned to her head. Dumbledore just laughed.



"People say the same thing about me and you do not believe them do you? I think he is right. Something is wrong, but I just can not figure out what." Sighing, he wrapped his arm around her and began steering her around the dance floor again. "I just can not figure out what." He murmured to himself again.



"I am just scared something bad is going to happen. I mean we have not had a quiet year since he started school and now this? Who would want Harry to enter the tournament?" Shaking her head she stopped dancing again and sat down. Dumbledore took her hand in his and sat down beside her.



"I can count the people who would want him to enter and get killed, but there is no proof for anything. Everyone seems to think he entered himself. I just..." For the first time in Harry's memory Dumbledore did not seem to know what to say. They sat in silence for a few moments.



"Min..." Min? Harry thought to himself.



"Last time you called me 'Min' you were begging me to marry you." Maybe I should leave.



"I never begged. I just strongly insisted, but it did not seem to help. You still have not said yes yet." Dumbledore played with her hair, letting it call softly out of its usual bun, slowly through his fingers, and then onto her back.



"Albus, we had this discussion. We can't-"



"Minerva- I do not care what the risks are any more. I want you." He kissed her softly on the cheek. That was more than I wanted to see. Harry tried to slip soundlessly towards the door, but he was still a few tables away. "You know I would not want anything to happen to you, but my dear, I do not think I can go on like this."



"Like what?"



“Like not being able to know that you are alright every minute of the day.”



“Albus, we teach in the same school. It’s not like you can not find me anytime you want to.” He chuckled softly at her reply.



“Yes, but if I checked on you every minute we were apart it would look odd- would it not?” She shook her head and lay on his shoulder. “Marriage is something different. Love can overcome anything and I want to be able to conquer all. Even death.”



“Oh, quit with the death thing. It is not going to convince me to marry you. The only thing marriage is going to change is our relationship being out in the open. I won’t love you anymore than I already do.” I have got to get out of here before they start snogging. Harry had at last made it to the door. He left the couple to ponder on their marriage and exited the room.



~~~~~~~~~~



"I never knew! How sweet!" Hermione exclaimed. Ron looked a bit nauseous about the whole thing.



"We did." Harry, Hermione, and Ron looked at Lupin in surprise. "Well, I don't think that Minerva knew we knew, but Dumbledore did. It was right after she was stunned..."



~~~~~~~~~



"Albus! Minerva has been hurt! They sent her to St. Mungo's this morning. Poppy just told me!" Snape came running into the dining room at Grimmuald Place slightly out of breath. Lupin, Tonks, Mrs. Weasley, and Dumbledore were sitting having breakfast when Snape came bursting into the room. Lupin noticed the sparkle in Dumbledore's eyes vanished and deep concern lined his face.



"What happened?"



"It was that Umbridge woman- she and some other aurors. They were trying to get rid of Hagrid, and Minerva tried to stop them, but they stunned her, all at once to the chest. Poppy said she was not doing well." They watched Dumbledore get ready to leave as Snape told the story.



"Albus- you are supposed to be in hiding; you can't just walk right into St. Mungo's!" Mrs. Weasley stopped him at the door.



"Remus, come with me. I will go invisible. Come on now!" Lupin jumped up from his seat and followed him out the door. Once outside he turned invisible and both apperated to a side street in London. From there they walked half a block until they arrived at the run down Muggle shop. There they entered St. Mungo's.



Once inside, Lupin made his way to the front desk and found out where McGonagall's room was. The healer in charge said he had ten minutes. He entered, leaving the door open a little longer than needed to ensure Dumbledore made it inside. Once alone, Dumbledore became visible once again. Lupin took the seat closest to the window, while Dumbledore made his way to the bed.



McGonagall looked different to Lupin. He did not know if it was the fact that she was sleeping, or if it was that her hair was down. The silver shone against the dark waves of brown. She lay there motionless; her chest barely moving with breath. I guess four stunners to the chest aren't good for anyone, let alone anyone of her age, he though to himself.



Dumbledore took her pale hands in his shaking one and pressed them against his cheek. A single tear crept down his face. He whispered something Lupin could not hear. They were more than friends- he loved her. He suddenly realized that it was not only a friendship that bonded the two together, but love as well.



Dumbledore reached around her neck and pulled a silver chain with a charm of some kind on it, but from where he was sitting, Lupin could not tell what it was. Dumbledore kissed the necklace, tucked it back under the collar of her dress and kissed her cheek. Then after staring silently at her for a few more moments, Dumbledore turned towards Lupin and nodded that he was ready to leave.



It is a good thing he is invisible- I don't think I want to see him cry.



~~~~~~~~~~~~



Tonks shook her head in sorrow. "I can only imagine what he was thinking. Now she is in the same predicament, but the difference is he won't wake up."



Just as Hermione was about to talk, Mrs. Weasley came walking up.



"Hello dears." Following Lupin's absent minded gaze, she saw McGonagall. "Just the woman I was looking for. I have been meaning to talk to her, but with Bill and all, well...I just think if I ever lost Arthur- Oops. Pretend you didn't hear that." Mrs. Weasley blushed at the mistake she thought she let slip.



"It's alright Mum, we know."



"Well, we kind of figured it out."



"Oh, well then. I thought I was the only one to know they were married. Such secretcy isn't needed."



"So they were married!"



"Yes. What did you think was going on?"



"We just thought they had a thing for each other, that's all."



"Yes, they were married. I squeezed it out of Minerva one day this summer..."



~~~~~~~



"I don't know why he just won't marry her and get it over with. Clearly Tonks doesn't care if he is a werewolf or not!" Mrs. Weasley walked back into her sitting room after showing Tonks to the door.



"I agree with you completely. I think he is putting her through more pain by pushing her away like this than what he thinks he will do to her." McGonagall was seated in an arm chair by the fire place.



"I have tried and tried to get it through his thick skull, but really he is worse than most of my children! For Merlin's sake, I know he loves her! Is it just me or has she seemed a little grey lately?"



Instead of getting an answer from the woman sitting across from her, all she got was silence. McGonagall was staring into the fire, the flames dancing in her eyes. Her hand was at her throat, as if grasping an invisible necklace. She has been doing that a lot lately.



"Minerva?"



"Oh, yes, she has. I think part of her breakdown is affecting her transformation-"



"Minerva, are you feeling alright?"



"Yes." Well you don't look it.



"Every time the subject of Lupin and Tonks comes up you act...odd."



"I am fine, really. I just do not agree with what he is doing, that is all." Self-consciously McGonagall reached for her neck again. Mrs. Weasley raised an eyebrow, but said no more.



"Have you heard from Albus lately?"

"No. He is supposed to bring Harry here next week, but he has been in and out of the castle constantly." The stern look that usually stayed in her eyes was replaced by a worried, dark, overcast one.



"Please forgive me if I am mistaken, but he is more to a friend to you, isn't he?" Mrs. Weasley half expected for McGonagall to snap at her, but instead she was met by silence. Sighing, McGonagall pulled a chain from around her neck and handed it to Mrs. Weasley. On it was a golden ring was a simple diamond on it.



"I'm his wife."



"Why didn't you tell us?"



McGonagall just shook her head. "If any one other than you found out, namely You-Know-Who, they would try to use it against us for the worse. We have only been married for two years but we were more than friends before. He asked me to marry him years ago, but I said no. I guess it was just the fear of You-Know-Who returning, at the time, and ruining our lives together. When he really did come back I felt I wanted Albus to know how much I really loved him."



"You are worried about him aren't you?"



“You-Know-Who is gaining power and he keeps talking about death…I just don’t want to lose him.” Mrs. Weasley handed the ring back to her and she put it around her neck once more. It is everyone’s greatest fear, losing the ones we love.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



“I guess we all kind of knew that there was more than friendship between them, we just never paid attention.”



“I guess we have,” said Harry. “I mean all these years we have been watching them dance around us.”



“Dancing through pain and happiness; through friendship and love.” Hermione, face dry since the end of the funeral, had tears on her face once again.



“And the dance is over; just as we were beginning to enjoy it.” Lupin pulled Tonks a little closer, silently wishing he would never have to let go.



Mrs. Weasley left them with their thoughts and walked down to McGonagall. The two exchanged a few words before the headmistress laid her head upon Mrs. Weasley’s shoulder and cried. The music had stopped and the dance had finally ended. Everyone knew a new one would begin soon, but no one could find the strength to dance again. Yet.


A/N: I don't own any of the characters...duh!! Please review!!! Also go check out The Dance, which is the companion to this one!!

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