Well, the minerva_fest has certainly gotten off to a bang! The very first story I'll Be There Before You is a winner. It's a lovely depiction of Minerva's relationship with Amelia Bones, told in flashbacks as Minerva heals from the multiple hexing she got near the end of OotP. The writing is evocative and atmospheric, starting from Minerva's youth in Portree on the Isle of Skye on the day she met a visiting Amelia at a ceilidh. The author's facility with characterization makes you understand right away who these people are and where they fit with one another. The heights around Portree are a character, too, and a very important one. The very next day after they meet, MInerva takes her up to see the view, and the stone at the top becomes the place they meet every year on midsummer's day, no matter what may befall in the meantime. The twists and turns in their relationship are beautifully portrayed and the powerful ending will leave you with tears in your eyes. Go read this - you will love it!
As I was reading the story, it brought to mind a poem by Skye Bard Aonghas MacNeacail, who was born and brought up in Portree, and I wonder if the author of I'll Be There Before You has read it. I won't bore you with the poem in its original Scottish Gaelic - if you don't know the language you won't be able to make heads nor tails of it. Just trust me when I say that the English Translation, while still lovely, has nothing on the original in beauty. The translation is the poet's.
stroke me, winds, with news from each quarter: rest on me
stroke me sun, your your light heats my heart: rest on me
stroke me moon, my health in your whiteness: rest on me
stroke me elements, your showers wash me clean: rest on me