A/N: Well, this is it. The end. I want to apologize to everyone who felt this story was rushed. It was. I just got stuck and couldn't do anymore with it. Thank you to every one who reviewed. I've had a few requests for more stories in the "Circle Spell" universe. I don't have as much time as I used to, but if anyone has an idea for a story they would like to see in this universe they are welcome to send it to me, and either I'll write it, co-write it, or give them permission to write their own story set in my little AU. Also, if anyone really, really likes the spell I created and wants to adapt it to their story, all I ask is that they ask for permission (I'll most likely say yes.) Enjoy!
Minerva opened her eyes and groaned. "Four days." Said the voice of the headmaster from her left. She turned her head to face him and gave him a weak smile. Her head was pounding. "Hogwarts, is, as you can see, still standing. And you have been in here for the last four days."
She struggled to sit. "Why is it always me who ends up in the hospital after we use that spell."
"Because of who you are." He told her. "The spell pulls its energy from all of you, but you my dear are doubly cursed. First, it senses you are the strongest, so it pulls more from you. Secondly, in an effort to keep your friends from being hurt by the spell, you subconsciously give it even more, so they won't be fatigued."
"Lovely." She muttered as she stretched.
"And speaking of who you are, there's something we need to talk about."
That tone was back in his voice, the one she'd heard long ago. When she'd first confronted him about their interrupted conversation, he'd fed her some lie about taking over transfiguration. A lie she'd believed, until two minutes after she'd apparated into her apartment. But she'd never known how to bring it back up. She wondered if they'd finally finish it. "What is it Albus?"
They were interrupted again. This time by her three students. Harry, Ron and Hermione ran in clamoring in excitement. She was a little surprised to find all three pull her into a tight hug, but she let them and watched his eyes. The twinkle dimmed and the Headmaster stood to leave, again. "Albus!" She called to him. He stopped and turned. She returned her students hugs, but her eyes never left his. "I want to finish this conversation."
He smiled at her. "Tonight? Over dinner?"
She nodded and turned back to the trio as he left quietly. They stayed for until Poppy had shooed them out, and then it took her an hour to convince the nurse to let her out. It had finally worked and now she had exactly an hour to get ready for this dinner.
She had showered and dressed in a pale blue dress as opposed to her usual school robes. And she had left her hair down. And then she had paced her rooms for well over an hour. Finally a knock on the portrait's frame signaled an end to her wait. "Open." She commanded the portrait. There stood Albus, looking as nervous as she felt.
She greeted him with a smile and he entered cautiously. Thanks to the house elves, the small table in her sitting room was already set with food. He handed her a bouquet of wild flowers and she blushed as she thanked him for them. They sat down to eat and made meaningless small talk all the way through the meal. Finally, Dumbledore couldn't take it anymore. "You said you wanted to talk." He reminded her, the frustration he felt with himself manifesting in a slightly accusatory tone.
"I thought you had something to say. I have no idea what this conversation is supposed to be about." She told him defensively. That was a lie of course, she had feeling about where this conversation was going, but she did not dare hope enough to presume in anything other than her heart.
He ran his hand through his hair and stood up. She watched as he walked to the window, then over to the fire place, then her desk, then back to the window. "I don't know if Serena is right, or if Grindelwald was right." He finally spoke, still staring out at the night sky. "But I do know…." He took a deep breath and crossed back to her. "I…." He started to laugh. He pulled his chair over next to where Minerva was sitting and sat down, still laughing. "I'm 150 years old, and here I am acting like a bumbling 15 year old." He smiled tenderly at her. "You are the only person who could do that to me my dear. What I've been trying to tell you, tonight, and for the last fifty or so years….is that I love you."
Tears sprang into Minerva's eyes and she touched his cheek tenderly. "You could have saved us both a lot of agony if you'd said that earlier." She told him, giggling through her tears.
"You could have said something too." He pointed out.
"I could not have. A lady never makes overtures to a man." She informed him stiffly, as if scandalized by the mere suggestion.
"A lady also never curses, or so my mother said." He retorted teasing. "You, on the other hand, have a very foul tongue."
A wicked gleam entered her dark eyes. "You have no idea."
She rather enjoyed the choked sound he made.
Serena was sitting in the north tower, staring up at the moon when a dark shape obscured her vision. It was an owl. He landed next to her and lifted his leg. Serena took the letter off and gave him a small treat out of her pocket before turning her attention to the letter.
If you even say I told you so, I'll kill you.
Serena let out a squeal of glee before leaping up and running down the stairs.