Minerva McGonagall shifted under the crisp white sheet. The pain seemed to be subsiding, but she was so weak, even the small movements too her great effort.
It was the end. She knew it was the end, but it didn't upset or frighten her. She had lived a full, long life and unlike Tom Riddle, she planned on meeting death with dignity instead of foolish fear.
“Minerva.” A soft voice called her name from the door. “There's a man to see you. He says he's a doctor.”
“I've seen enough healers, Kelly,” Minerva managed to whisper. “There's nothing they can do to help me anymore. Age gets us all.”
“She didn't say a healer.” A young man with shaggy brown hair and a ridiculous bow-tie slipped around the nurse and into the room. “She said Doctor.”
“Is it really you?” Minerva asked, each word a trial to get out.
“It's really me.” The young man smiled at her even though his old eyes looked sad. “I told you I'd come back.”
“You never could get that thing to work right.” She tried to cough, but her body didn't have enough strength.
He rushed to her side and pulled a small metal tube with a green light at the end out of his jacket pocket and pointed it at her throat. She smiled at him as the urge passed, and she breathed clearly.
“That's not fair, you know. It was a lot easier to fly it when there were two.” He smoothed the white wisps of hair away from her forehead as the nurse slipped out of the room.
“That was your decision,” she reminded him.
“No, it wasn't,” he said quietly. “It was right for you to stay, so I made sure you did. You had a good marriage with David, didn't you?”
“I did.” She took a breath that might have been deep had she been stronger, but it came out as a rattle. “Then I started studying metaphysical theory at the University, and I was happy there, too. I'm surprised you could even find me after that accident with a Time-Turner.”
“It wasn't easy after you changed your name.” He let out a chuckle even though his eyes were tearing up.
“But you promised and you came.” Minerva's voice was getting weaker by the moment.
“I did.” The tears were flowing freely down his cheeks. “It wasn't right to leave you the way I did, even if it was best. It must have hurt you greatly.”
She gave him a peaceful smile. “It was the best decision.”
“Was it really?”
She gave him a small nod as her breathing got shallow.
“I love you, Susan.”
“I love you too, grandfather.”