DISCLAIMER: I own nothing. Please don't sue.

SUMMARY: Albus and Minerva play a card game and have a conversation which leads to a confession of their feelings for each other. Short and sweet. Enjoy.



"Do you have any fours?"

"Go fish."

Minerva McGonagall sighed, shook her head, and drew a card from the pile. Another long day at Hogwarts was reaching its end. Half an hour earlier, headmaster Albus Dumbledore asked her to come to his office to discuss some official matters with her. When that ended sooner than he anticipated, he made the observation that she looked more stressed than usual. His suggestion? A game of cards - nothing complicated or horribly time-consuming, but enough to give her a taste of life's simple pleasures to end the day on a high note. That was why they were sitting on the floor of Dumbledore's office playing Go Fish.

It was Dumbledore's turn next. "You wouldn't happen to be holding any tens in your hand, would you?" he asked.

Minerva handed him the ten of spades. He then asked if she had any aces. She didn't, and told him to go fish.

"Your turn," Dumbledore said, arranging the cards in his hand to his liking.

"I would like those kings, please."

"Minerva!" he said with a groan, taking the three kings out of his hand. "You are the epitome of malice and cruelty, do you know that?"

She set the four kings down on the floor. "The fifth-years seem to think so, too."

"I suppose you gave them three hours of homework again?"

"No, just two this time."

Dumbledore nodded. As the former Transfiguration instructor, he understood the importance of an abnormally high amount of homework in that course. Transfiguration was difficult and complicated, and downright dangerous if someone didn't know what they were doing. He had to wonder if Minerva was going overboard, though. She was such a workaholic.

"A what?" Minerva asked when he told her what he was thinking.

"You heard me," he replied with a grin. "A workaholic. Someone who works so much that they forget which end is up and how to have fun."

"I know what a workaholic is," she said, "and I am not a workaholic."

"And I'm not the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."

She shook her head. "What you are," she said, "is silly. Do you have any sevens?"

"Go fish."

She drew the ace of diamonds and made a mental note to ask him for his aces on her next turn.

"Do you have any queens?" the headmaster inquired.

Minerva handed him the queen of spades and the queen of clubs. "Take them," she said disdainfully. "They mean nothing to me."

Dumbledore set down the four queens. "Perhaps they will mean something to you," he said, "when I say that this brings the score to an even three each. You have the kings, the eights, and the threes; I have the queens, the jacks, and the twos."

She shook her head. "I see what you're trying to do, Albus, and it's not going to work."

"What are you talking about?"

"You're trying to intimidate me."

"Now why would I want to do that?"

"Are you going or not?"

"Oh. Right." He looked at his hand. "Would you, by any chance, be holding any sixes in that lovely little hand of yours?"

"Go fish."

As soon as he picked up the card, Minerva said, "How about those aces?"

"Ha! Fished my wish!" Dumbledore announced, holding up the six of hearts that he drew from the pile.

"No!" Minerva said, slapping herself on the forehead. "Argh! No!" She took the ace from her hand and held it out to him. "Just take it, Albus."

"Why, thank you." He took the card from her. Their fingers brushed at the handoff. He smiled at her. She smiled back and quickly looked away. "Have you happened to draw any tens since the last time I asked?"

"Go fish."

He drew a card from the pile, and she waited. She waited for almost thirty seconds, and then he chuckled and said, "You can go, Minerva."

"Do you have any fours?"

"Rats." He handed her the card he had just drawn from the pile.

"Thank you," Minerva said, and added the card to her hand. Then, in her best Sean Connery voice, she added, "The day is mine."

For almost five seconds, Dumbledore could only stare at her. When the shock wore off, he threw his head back and laughed. "That was GOOD!" he said. "Where on Earth did that come from?"

She shrugged. "I overheard Lee Jordan and the Weasley twins doing it a while back and wondered if I could do it myself."

"You should show them that sometime," he suggested. "I'm sure they would be quite impressed."

"No, I don't think that's such a good idea," Minerva said with a shake of her head. "They would never let me forget it. The last thing I need is another reason for those three to tease me."

"Another?" he repeated.

"One dance with Ludo Bagman at last year's Yule Ball was all they needed. They didn't stop asking me if I fancied Beaters for weeks."

"But Ludo Bagman is your cousin. Since when is it such a big deal to dance with family members?"

"They don't know he's my cousin."

He smiled at her. "You know, Minerva, they're only teasing you because they love you."

Minerva laughed. "And I suppose when you tease me about being a workaholic, you're only doing it because you love me, right?"

He didn't reply. Her laughter faded into a nervous chuckle. "Right?"

"Actually..."

For a few moments, neither one of them moved. Then, Dumbledore set his cards down, leaned over, and did the last thing she ever expected him to do - kissed her. It was so light and delicate that she could hardly feel it, and over almost as soon as it began. "I'm sorry," he muttered as he pulled away. He couldn't even look her in the eyes. "I shouldn't have done that. Forgive me."

Her mind was spinning. Albus Dumbledore - THE Albus Dumbledore - had just kissed her. All the years of friendship, all the smiles he gave her as they passed each other in the hallways, all the times she glanced back over her shoulder when walking by him and saw him doing the same thing, and all the times they happened to look at each other and not break eye contact until someone else came along and interrupted their moment - could it be possible all that was leading up to this moment? Could it be possible to know you're in love with someone without ever realizing it?

Minerva set down her cards, and then reached out and touched him on the cheek, turning his face toward her. "Don't be sorry," she said, and then quickly added, "Unless you tell the Weasley twins. Then you WILL be sorry, I can promise you that."

A longer, more intense kiss followed her statement, and it was a long time before they pulled away. After all, decades of pent-up emotions weren't easily set loose in a few seconds.

When the kiss ended, they looked into each others' eyes for a few moments, and then Minerva softly asked, "Where were we?"

"Your turn, I believe."

They both picked up their cards and looked at them. "Do you have any sevens?" she asked.

"Go fish."