|Her Harshest Critic
Author: Sakura's Pointe Shoes PM
Minerva's feeling down after overhearing some nasty gossip about her appearance. Can Albus make it all better?Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Humor - Albus D. & Minerva M. - Words: 1,296 - Reviews: 14 - Favs: 12 - Published: 07-29-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3689292
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: Her Harshest Critic
A/N: An extremely fluffy little oneshot I wrote last night. Enjoy, and please review!
Disclaimer: I don't own HP, their world, or Albus and Minerva. This is all for fun, no copyright infringement is intended.
It had been curiosity that had drawn her to her mirror. Curiosity mixed with a strange yet necessary urge to reassure herself about her reflection. She was never one to take gossip seriously, but that didn't take the sting out of gossip directed at her. Her students were vicious, interpreting her disciplinarian methods and tedious homework instructions as personal attacks. Their words cut deeply, but she kept her control tightly in check.
Once she was alone inside her bed chambers, she found that she couldn't for the life of her keep up her facade even if the entire Ministry of Magic careened into her personal space with Rita Skeeter in tow.
Loneliness does have its benefits, I suppose... She thought sadly. Her personal life was depressingly bereft since her duties as Deputy Headmistress took precendence over all else.
With a determined sigh, Minerva McGonagall turned to gaze at her mirror. She did not like what she found.
Since her youth, her appearance was always under scrutiny. Her mother was an unforgiving critic, always the first to find a flaw in her body. Her eyes were too large, shoulders too broad, lips too thin, feet too long... She had never been perfect in her mother's opinion, and she certainly wasn't perfect according to her own standards either.
Now, after years of fighting two wars, teaching, running a school, playing Dumbledore's right hand, there were some things she noticed about herself for the first time.
She had always had sharp, severe features, her tight bun playing up the abrupt angles in her face. With trembling fingers, she raised her hands to pull out the pins that restrained her raven tresses. It took her a long time to remove them all, especially because she was accustomed to taking them out with the help of her wand.
Her hair was actually quite long when it remained unbound. It fell down to her midback and had a healthy, shiny appearance. The weight of all of it piled and forced into a bun each day was intensely uncomfortable for her scalp, but it did wonders for her teaching credibility. She shook it out by tossing her head, enjoying the freedom that her privacy provided.
Next, Minerva focused on her face, particularly on her eyes. They were still large and almond-shaped, striking green in color. She wore no make-up on her lids, because she wasn't sure where to start with witch's beauty products. Her high cheek bones and hawk-like nose were slightly pinked, but that was just the cause of the chill of the winter air.
Her lips were thin as always, but she did not keep them pressed into a straight line like she did whilst upset or stressed. She reached for a tube of beige lipstick that she only used for special occassions. It smoothed over her lips with ease, she smacked twice and peered at herself once more. With the help of the artificial color, her lips now looked slightly fuller and more inviting.
She took off her glasses and set them on her vanity, in hopes of letting her eyes stand out. When she turned her attention to her overall look, she was a tad bit more pleased with herself. The hurt that reverberated through her chest moments before was lifted, her feminine pride still reeling from the impact of the earlier insults she'd borne. (Yes, contrary to popular belief, Professor McGonagall did in fact know that she belonged to the female gender...)
Since Minerva had been so busy appraising herself in her vanity, she was completely unaware of the swoosh from her fireplace in her sitting room.
Albus Dumbledore appeared unceremoniously through her bedroom door, with remnants of soot on both shoulders. He almost gaped at the sight of her, nearly stumbling over his own foot in obvious shock.
Minerva shot up from her seat, hands flying to the collar of her navy blue silk bathrobe. She pulled the sash a little tighter in self-conciousness.
"Albus! Merlin's arse, you gave me a fright!" She screeched.
He cringed, the woman could out do a Banshee if she put her mind to it.
"My apologies, dear, I should have knocked or at least informed you of my presence before barging into your private chambers..." If Minerva weren't so swept up in her own embarassment, she might have spotted the smitten, utterly entranced expression upon the Headmaster's face.
"Really Albus, never you mind. What may I do for you?" She inquired, hastily shoving her glasses back on. She looked uncharacteristically flustered, her stance awkward and gangly, for a fleeting second, Dumbledore was reminded of the young lady he once had the pleasure of teaching.
Now there was a woman standing before him and he could hardly ignore the way she looked at him through her lashes or how her long fingers rested on her collar bone near her slender neck. Suddenly the room felt way too small and warm, his nose could make out her faint perfume...
"Uh..Er...I needed some assistance with- with..." Minerva arched a questioning eyebrow at him, but it only worsened his composure.
Gods, your lips look so soft...
It took him a moment to realize that he had said that aloud.
It took her a moment to comprehend what he'd just told her.
They stared at each other in dumb silence. Albus gripped the fabric of his robes with sweaty palms, scarcely daring to meet his Deputy's eyes. Minerva's cheeks were aflame, she was shocked into muteness. Her boss had just told her in a completely unprofessional manner that she had nice lips.
She found it all too endearing, so she surprised them both by taking a step nearer and taking his hand.
"Would you like to find out if your observation is indeed correct?" Her naturally contralto voice had never sounded so sultry.
Albus responded by capturing said lips in a kiss.
A resounding crackling in the air made them jump apart. Minerva's house elf, Daisy, looked from Albus to her mistress with huge, disbelieving eyes. Then she raised a gnarled finger at Albus with a look of disapproval.
"Headmaster Dumbledore has lip color on his mouth. It is most unbecoming on a man so distinguished..." She muttered. "Daisy believes Mistress Minerva has been a naughty, naughty girl..."
Minerva glanced at Albus, who looked simultaneously mortified then amused. She found herself smiling brightly at him, and then she was wrapped up in his arms.
Daisy grunted something unintelligible and shook her head from side to side.
"Daisy, I hope you don't mind, but I'd appreciate it if you've busy yourself in the Kitchens,or something."
Daisy did as she was told, but the couple was able to see her deep scowl before she disappeared. Minerva allowed herself to giggle, provoking Albus into full-blown laughter. His hold on her tightened, warming her up with his proximity.
"Do forgive Daisy. She can be rather grumpy at times..."
"I can forgive Daisy most graciously, my dear, if you'd permit me to once again test my hypothesis." He smiled down at her with twinkling eyes.
She grinned, happiness softening her features. "How could I ever say no to you, Albus?"