1. Caithness: After the Wedding

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"That wasn't so bad, was it?"

Albus shut the door behind him as Minerva sat on the edge of the bed and pushed off her shoes with a sigh.

"No," she said. "It was quite nice, actually. Well, other than Filius's singing ... that I could have done without."

"You can hardly blame him, after all that wine. He normally has quite a fine tenor."

"I hope he gets back to Hogwarts safely."

"I asked Amelia to take him via Side-Along," said Albus. "She'll make certain he reaches the castle in one piece. And Horace is holding the wards in my absence. He can hold them for another few hours until Filius gets his hands on a Hangover Potion."

Minerva stood, her eyes drawn to the face of the man who was now her husband.

She'd loved him for thirteen years—longer, if she counted the love of a child for a favourite adult—sometimes with great joy, sometimes despairing, and, until recently, secretly.

This evening, they'd publicly—well, semi-publicly—declared their feelings for one another as if they were a matter of importance to anyone else. He'd even kissed her in front of everyone ... and she'd sung to him!

He'd been surprised by that, she thought, smiling to herself. The McGonagalls were a musical family, and song was a regular part of their private celebrations, but she'd never sung a note in front of anyone but family. But after her brother's rather maudlin rendition of "My Luv is Like a Red, Red Rose" had made her father weep, she'd thought the atmosphere needed lifting. So she'd made Einar accompany her on the piano while she sang "Comin' Thro' the Rye". An odd choice for a wedding, perhaps, but it was jaunty and suited her voice well, and it was fitting somehow, with its verse about the anonymous swain.

Not so anonymous now, she thought as she regarded him.

He was just standing there looking back at her, making no move to get ready for bed.

She began to take the pins from her hair by hand instead of by magic, saying, "There's room in the wardrobe if you'd like to hang up your robes."

She shook her hair loose, unwove the flowers from it, and set them on the dressing table. Sitting back on the bed, she bent to rub her feet for a moment. When she looked up, he was still standing there, looking at her.

"What is it?" she asked.

"I just want to remember how you looked on our wedding day."

She smiled. "Edgar took some photos."

"That was good of him."

He knelt in front of her, resting his hands on her knees.

"Thank you," he said.

"What for?"

"For wanting to be with me."

She stroked his cheek and leant down to kiss him.

"I still can't believe it," she said.

"What?"

"That this is happening ... that we're together and nothing's going to stop it. It's like a dream."

He reached up to brush a strand of hair from her face and said,

"My love is now awake out of her dreames,
And her fayre eyes like stars that dimmed were
With darksome cloud, now shew theyr goodly beames
More bright then Hesperus his head doth rere."

"Spenser," Minerva said.

"You know it?" he asked, surprised.

"My father was very fond of Elizabethan verse. I had to memorise large parts of The Faerie Queene and Epithalamion."

Till A' the Seas Gang Dry | Epithalamium #2 | Minerva McGonagallWhere stories live. Discover now