Professor McGonnagal signed her name on Harry Potter's acceptance letter. "I can't believe it's been ten years already."

"Time flies, doesn't it?" Albus Dumbledore asked, unsticking two lemondrops. McGonnagal rolled her eyes. She had never met a grown man with such a sweet tooth - and not just for candy, she smiled.

"We have some interesting first-years coming in this fall." She mused, "Harry, another Weasley boy, Lucius Malfoy's son," her grimace let Albus know exactly what she thought of that family, "Neville Longbottom." she trailed off.

"Frank would be proud." Dumbledore smiled. McGonnagal nodded thoughtfully. She signed her name on another letter.

"That's the last one," she smiled.

"Would you like some help carrying those to the owlery?" he asked, already piling a portion of the stack of scrolls onto a maroon-robed arm. He had taken to wearing the color as soon as the last auburn streak in his hair had turned white.

A figure watching from one of the paintings, as many happened to be, would have seen two sorcerers, aged enough for wisdom, but not elderly carrying masses of ungainly scrolls, and heard the occasional muttered curse followed by laughter when one of the awkward objects hit the floor.

A figure new to Hogwarts would have seen two friends, who were maybe, possibly, probably something more. These two figures could have watched them until they were no more than two robes in the distance, one maroon and the other a peacock blue, as they walked towards the owlery. It was time to prepare for another year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

**+(*/|\*)+**