A/N: Hi, my name is Sweeney, and I have a dreadful time with
sentence structure. But see, here’s the thing: I’ve got this thoroughly ROXing
beta named Zsenya – maybe some of you know her? – who straightens these things
out for me without making me feel like an idiot. So everybody give her virtual
The song at the end isn’t mine. Lots of people have
performed it; it was written by Brooks Bowman.
The next morning over breakfast,
Theron said casually, “I have some business I need to see to this morning, but
after that, I thought we could have a sort of day out.”
looked up at him sharply from her toast. “What sort of day out?”
shrugged. “Just a bit of a day.”
“I am.” He
relaxed; she spread jam on her toast. “All right, Theron, I’ll play along.”
Everything was going according to plan. “You’ll need to accompany me on my
business, then, to make things a bit easier time-wise. Oh, and Muggle clothes
would be good, too.”
looked at him suspiciously. Theron gave her his most charming smile. “Trust
near Trafalgar Square with
the huge fountain behind them and the columns of the National Gallery in front
of them, in the heart of Muggle London.
raised an eyebrow. “Business?”
did you know I’d been wanting to come here?” She looked toward the building
with a hungry expression.
a page out of his father’s book and merely raised an eyebrow. Minerva laughed,
and he was glad to see it. “All right, I won’t ask. But –” she slid her arm
through his and smiled up at him. “It’s very kind of you, Mr. Dumbledore.”
all, my lady,” said Theron, thoroughly enjoying the role of the gallant
gentleman. “Shall we enter?”
as she half-dragged him inside.
themselves in front of Monet’s Houses of Parliament, Sunset a few hours
later, simply staring. Minerva said in a hushed voice, “It’s a bit like
nothing, only looking at the strangely evocative, misty mixture of color. Hogwarts.
Minerva continued, “I keep expecting it to move.”
have a magic quality.”
looking. After another minute, he broke the silence, saying, “We’ll be late for
lunch if we don’t leave soon.”
smiled. “Another stop on our tour.”
Minerva shiver as they got used to their new surroundings. “Would you believe
me if I told you I was a magician?”
laughed. “Very probably.”
Theron drew a pencil and his wand out of his pocket with a flourish. He then
quietly Transfigured the pencil back into its original form – his old blue
cloak with the fur collar and paisley swirls. “If I may, my lady?” He settled
it around her shoulders and was rewarded with a lovely smile. Stepping back, he
extended his arm. “More magic – Cader Idris is before you.”
on a ridgetop in Wales,
a lovely rocky ridgetop with heather and grass and wildflowers and a great flat
rock about twenty feet away. In the distance, a tall, craggy mountain resided,
brooding over the land below like a foreboding monarch. A curlew cried; the
know about you, Minerva-girl, but I’m rather hungry,” said Theron after they’d
taken in the view. With a beckoning smile, he went to the flat rock and pulled
a small wooden spool out of his pocket. The spool was quickly Transfigured into
a picnic basket. He reached inside and drew out a red checkered tablecloth,
which he spread upon the rock. “‘A jug of wine, a loaf of bread, and thou,’” he
quoted. “Have a seat, and we shall feast.”
He set out
the bread and sausages, and pulled an apple out of the basket, waiting for
Minerva to settle herself on the rock; he tossed the apple to her. “Our opening
course, madam.” She laughed, and he reached for his own apple, sprawling on the
rock propped on one elbow.
ate, they reminisced about their courtship – the times they’d spent walking in
the wildernesses of Britain,
the people they’d known, the conversations full of laughter. With every minute
that passed, Theron saw and felt her lighten, felt her usual good humor
returning, and he was glad to see it.
He took out
two mismatched cups and a small flask. “We’ve had the loaf; it’s time for the
jug.” Handing one of the garishly patterned mugs to Minerva, he poured her a
generous amount of butterbeer. She took a sip and smiled. “You’ve thought of
shrugged. “I try.” He then tried to not look too pleased with himself, but he
had an idea that he failed miserably.
hopped off the rock and began to gather flowers. He watched her with mild
interest. Once she had gathered a fair handful, she sat on the grass and began
to weave them together. “A crown, fairest lady?”
laughed. “With no laurel around for a wreath of glory, wildflowers will have to
do for you.”
He stood on
top of the rock and bowed. “I shall be honored.”
watched her work from his vantage point, dexterously manipulating the stems.
How long had it been since they’d had a day like this? Six months or more? He
supposed it was forgivable, since they were just coming out of a particularly
nasty winter. But feeling the warmth of the sun on his back, watching the wind
ripple through the grass and Minerva’s hair – this was life. Not,
intellectually pleasurable as Oxford was, spending hours upon hours ensnared in
Bodley’s grasp; not working himself to death at St. Mungo’s – if one could do
that at a hospital. His thoughts became rather detached and incoherent, but all
he knew was that his thoughts made him happy, and standing on the rock made him
happy, and being able to watch his wife and know that things were good made him
happy – what more did a man need?
looked up at him, holding the finished wreath in her hands. “Come down from
there so I may lay your wreath upon you.”
down, landing lightly on one knee before her. She settled the wreath on his
head, where it lay, slightly too large and slightly askew. “A lovely fit, my
lady.” He gave her a rakish grin.
laughed. “Not entirely, but I think it will do.”
two bottle caps from his pocket, he spread his palms in front of her. “It’s
time for the return of the magician.”
trick would you show me this time?”
his palms over each other three times, closing and opening them as he did, and
on the last pass, two garish, argyle-patterned kites sprang from the caps’
place in his outstretched palms. Theron laughed as she shook her head. “I don’t
think I’ll ever stop being surprised by you.”
leaned forward and kissed her lightly. “I should certainly hope not.”
their kites all over the hills for the rest of the afternoon.
looked crowded from the outside, and when Minerva expressed that sentiment to
Theron, he said simply, “I think you’ll find that our table is being held for
us.” He held the door for her, noting as she entered the restaurant that his
father was sitting at a back table, waiting for them. Theron caught his
father’s eye and nodded; his father rose, came to the front, and bowed to
Minerva. “May I escort you to your table, madam?” The professor had a distinct
twinkle in his eye, and Minerva, who had begun to smile brilliantly from the
moment she had first seen her father-in-law and former Head of House, dropped a
graceful curtsey and accepted his arm.
I shouldn’t be surprised that you’re here,” she said.
not,” his father agreed. He pulled out Minerva’s chair for her and settled her
in it, assisting her in removing Theron’s old blue cloak. As he handed it to
Theron, who draped it over the fourth chair at the table, he said, “That’s a
touched the wreath of flowers on his head and laughed, but he did not remove
it. “It’s my wreath of glory.”
of the May,” said Minerva, with a wry, fond glance in his direction. Theron
tried to look kingly and noble; Minerva swatted him with the menu.
picked up his own menu and adjusted his spectacles. “Perhaps we should order,”
he said, smiling into his moustache.
leaned over to Theron and whispered, “You can take the wreath off, if you
lightly, “My lady made it for me, and I would not remove it for all the
Galleons in the world.” For this he earned a blush and a smile, and he squeezed
her hand under the table as he looked down at his menu.
carved off a bit of tiramisu with his fork and said offhand, “Hogwarts will
need a new Transfiguration teacher next year.”
quietly made a study of his own plate. He had completed almost all of his part
in today; this was his father’s part to play.
said, sounding nearly panicked, “You’re not leaving Hogwarts, are you?”
Armando Dippet is. I am to be the new Headmaster.”
began to say something, but the professor cut her off, “Armando has asked me to
hire my classroom replacement, and I would very much like you to join the
looked up; Minerva was staring at his father, speechless. He continued, “I knew
after that day when you taught my classes that you would be – are – a wonderful
teacher. The job is yours if you want it, and I can’t think of anyone who would
be better for the position.”
silent. They watched her with apprehension, waiting for her reaction.
to Theron. “We’d have to move.”
wouldn’t be a problem,” said Theron.
to Apparate over a larger distance.”
is good for the health.”
to spend some nights up at the school.”
appreciate the time I have with you even more.”
“It’s a lot
change that I don’t mind making – that I want to make, if it makes you
happy.” It was the truth. He looked at her, wondering if his words alone would
softly, “It does.” She looked at the not-quite-Headmaster and said, “Professor,
I would be honored to accept this position.”
your future superior,” said Albus, twinkling mightily, “may I be the first to
welcome you on board.”
couldn’t stop grinning himself. Things were about to get better; Minerva’s own
small ship was righted and back on calm, blissful seas.
only one small thing left.
stop,” said Theron, looking out at the back garden of Weathervane from the
terrace. The Dumbledore ancestral home, while rather eccentric in color, had
beautiful gardens – and one white rose arbor. His father had proposed to his
mother under the arbor, and the roses were in full bloom tonight.
looked up at him, her eyes lovely and dark. There were no questions about what
was to happen; she trusted him, and she was happy. Theron sighed softly and
smiled down at her. Without a word, he undid the clasp of her cloak and laid it
gently on the stone wall, the scent of the roses in the arbor deep in his
He took her
small hand in his and led her down to the roses.
arbor was an interesting looking creation – one his father had adapted for his
own purposes, and lent to Theron for tonight. The Muggles called it a
gramophone. His father, smiling into his moustache as he did it, had handed him
this record as Theron left his office – had said it was by a Muggle named Frank
withdrew his wand from his sleeve and tapped the great horn-shaped bell of the
machine. It began to play, soft and sweet.
He bowed to
his wife. “May I have this dance, my lady?”
extended her hand in acquiescence.
danced until the small hours, knowing that the past with its ups and downs was
through, and the bright-looking future was ahead – but the present was there,
and so was the music. It was all there to be enjoyed.
petals fell softly, intermittently; Theron Dumbledore had no idea. He was busy
dancing with his wife.
East of the sun and west of the moon,
We'll build a dream house so lovely
Near to the sun in a day, near to the moon at night,
We'll live in a lovely way dear
Living our love in memory
Just you and I, forever and a day,
Love will not die, we'll keep it that way,
Up among the stars we'll find
A harmony of life, too lovely tune
East of the sun and west of the moon, dear,
East of the sun and west of the moon.