Christmas came and went. Minerva's parents had sent their gifts to her; a new quill, a journal, a book about Transfiguration and some candy. Althea had sent her a book on Transfiguration as well, knowing her best friend loved the subject. Minerva had sent her a book, 'Flying Your Best, Playing your Best', it was a Quidditch best seller. Minerva thought it would help her roommate to fly and get ready for the next year when they would try out for the team.
There were two weeks before students were supposed to return from the holidays. The castle was quiet as ever, only a few students disturbing the peace as they chased each other. Minerva walked into Professor Merrythought's office deciding to finish her potions homework but stopped when she saw Professor's Dumbledore and Merrythought look at her. ''Is everything alright?'' she asked as she approached them. They shared a look and something was decided as Dumbledore offered her a seat.
''What's going on?'' she asked, suddenly feeling light headed. Dumbledore sat in front of her, ''Minerva'' he said quietly, and at that point Minerva knew something bad had happened. ''Is it my brother?'' she asked quietly, fear seizing her insides. ''No, sweetheart. It's not your brother'' he replied, ''it's your friend Althea'' he said. Her eyes grew big and her heart started to pound, ''They were on a trip and they had an accident'' he said, weighing his words slowly, watching her reaction. ''Are they alright?'' she asked in a small voice. Dumbledore sighed and looked at Minerva, the twinkle that was usually found in his eyes was gone. ''No, honey. I'm sorry but they didn't make it'' he said quietly.
Minerva's world started to spin, 'didn't make it' kept repeating in her mind. She shook her head, not wanting to believe what she was hearing. ''Minerva?'' asked Dumbledore in a worried tone. She was dizzy and light headed. Couldn't make out what they were saying. She got up and started to sway as the dizziness got worse. Dumbledore caught her before she hit the ground. Minerva started to hyperventilate, tears slowly making their way down her face. Dumbledore held her and stroked her back, ''Just breathe, Minnie. Just breathe'' he repeated slowly.
Time went by and after a couple minutes, she started to calm down. Professor Merrythought had left them, deciding that since Dumbledore was her favorite teacher, he'd be better at calming her down than her. When Minerva started to go limp, he effortlessly picked her up and brought her to her room in Professor Merrythought's private quarters. He gently put her down on her bed and sat beside her.
Minerva looked up at him as he gently wiped the tears from her cheeks. ''I don't understand'' she said in a quiet whisper, her voice slowly coming back. He shook his head, ''I'm not sure of the details, but it looks like a bus accident in Whistler'' he said. She shook her head, ''it's a place in Canada'' he explained when he saw her confused look. Dumbledore excused himself and left, leaving Minerva with her thoughts.
She started to cry again as she thought of her friend who she would never see again. She was so full of life, so happy. As she sobbed, she started to have trouble breathing again and she hyperventilated once more. Dumbledore came back a couple minutes later to find her trying to breathe. He rushed to her, ''breathe, Darling. Everything is alright, just breathe'' he whispered as he stroked her back. After a few minutes, she calmed down. He took out a vial and put it to her lips, ''drink Darling'' he ordered her quietly. She drank and laid back down. He stroked her hair back and wiped the tears from her face, ''I gave you a Dreamless Sleep potion. You will soon fall asleep and sleep peacefully'' he said quietly. She nodded and closed her eyes, enjoying the feel of his hand petting her hair back.
Minerva woke up with a start in the middle of the night. She wasn't supposed to wake up though, not with the potion still going through her veins. She shook her head and lied back but it seemed as if sleep refused to come. A small noise made her jump, she opened the light in her room and look down at the floor. There was a small, black kitten staring at her. 'Althea's kitten' she thought. The kitten meowed again, ''Come here, Luna'' she said quietly and the cat jumped on the bed and settled against Minerva's chest, both falling asleep in minutes.