Minerva sat on the edge of Albus's desk so her feet just touched the floor; Albus leaned against a desk in the front row.  Minerva was trying to clear her mind and focus on the transformation.  She had gotten closer in recent weeks, but her happy mood from earlier in the day had dissipated, and tonight her patience was wearing thin.  As her frustration grew, her ability to focus was taking a beating.

            With a deep breath, Minerva gathered all the energy she could muster and forced it into action.  And began to change!  She could feel her skin itch slightly as fine hair began to grow; the classroom came in to amazing focus as her vision grew sharper; she felt air escape her lungs as she began to shrink; she panicked.  This momentary loss of focus cost her.

            Minerva lurched forward as any sign of transformation undid itself.  She pitched forward off the desk and landed hard on her knees, her hair falling across her face.  Albus was crouched by her side in a heartbeat, but all Minerva was aware of was her labored breathing and the fact that she had failed yet again.

            "Minerva…" Albus began, but she cut him off with a half-growl, half-shriek of rage, pounding the stone floor with her fists, which only succeeded in bruising the heel of her hand.  She savagely raked her hair away from her face, and to her even greater rage hot tears pricked at her eyes.  She tried to scrub them away with the back of her hand, but to no avail.  Giving up, she sat back on her heels and sobbed.

            "I'm sorry, Albus.  What you must think of me."

            "Now, Minerva, I do hope you know me better than that.  You're perfectly entitled to cry.  I'm glad you feel comfortable enough to do so in front of me," Albus said soothingly.

            But Minerva just shook her head.  "I'm just a stupid, emotional, little girl."

            "No, Minerva, you are a highly intelligent, powerful, young woman who isn't used to not succeeding.  It's perfectly understandable for you to be frustrated and upset.  And maybe even scared that you won't ever be able to do it?"

            Minerva snapped her head up to look him into his eyes, endless pools of understanding.  Albus held out his arms and she sank forward into his embrace.  Immediately her tears began to subside and her breathing became steady and calm as he held her.  Until she realized he was holding her.

            Minerva's breath quickened again and her heart began to race.  She silently cursed her body for betraying her.  But her right hand resting on his chest could feel his heart beating too, and—it couldn't just be wishful thinking, could it?—Minerva could have sworn his heart had just started a double pace as well.

            Tentatively, she pulled her head back to gaze into his eyes again.  They were no longer filled with understanding.  They showed a new emotion that was bigger than understanding.  It encompassed it, but also so much more.  There was a tenderness there, a caring, a—wishful thinking again?—desire.  Minerva knew it was a look that was reflected in her own eyes.  Could it be…love?

            Minerva's head, seemingly of it's own accord, began to move forward, as did Albus's.  Their lips touched, and the world around them seemed to speed up and stand still all at once.

            They lost all track of time in that sweet, soft kiss, which slowly morphed into a deeper kiss, the intensity of which was sending electric tingles all throughout both of their bodies.  As Minerva shifted her body to press against Albus's, he slid his tongue along her bottom lip, seeking to bring the kiss deeper still, when he suddenly pulled away.  Standing up, he stepped around Minerva, who was staring confusedly at the spot where he had just been.

            "Minerva," Albus said, leaning against his desk, still breathing heavily from their passionate kiss, "I am truly sorry.  I shouldn't have done that, it was wrong of me.  I'm so sorry."  He couldn't bring himself to look at her, until she spoke.

            "I'm not," she said, remaining on the floor, but twisting to face him.  "I've wanted to do that for a long time."

            Albus met her gaze and lost himself in her deep blue eyes for a moment.  "So have I, Minerva, you have no idea."  He shook his head slightly, closing his eyes, trying to break the thrall she had inadvertently placed him under.  "But it's still wrong."

            However, Minerva wasn't ready to give up hope, not when she was so close to having those hopes affirmed.  And though, on any given day, she herself could have listed the reasons she shouldn't feel the way she did about Albus, she knew that nothing could be more perfect than to love this man.

            "What's wrong?" she asked, standing up and walking towards him.  "What's wrong with us?  The only thing I can think of that's wrong is them."

            Albus shook his head weakly.  "But you're—"

            "I'm me," she interrupted, gaining confidence from the look of weakening forced restraint in his eyes; he wanted this as much as she did.  "And you're you.  And I love you.  But if you don't love me," she continued, suddenly unable to read his sparkling eyes, "if it's too 'wrong' for you, then I can walk away.  All you have to do is give me one reason, one legitimate reason this is wrong.  Just forget about age and positions and everyone else.  Those are not legitimate reasons," Minerva said with a slight smile.  She pressed herself against him, circling his neck with her arms.  "Just think about us, and this."

            Minerva had laid her heart out for him, and, for a moment, his face remained in the same unreadable pose, and Minerva thought she had made a horrible mistake.  Then one of Albus's hands went around her waist and the other buried itself in her hair.

            "You are amazing," he said, with almost awe.  "I love you."  Then he pulled her head toward his for another passionate kiss.  They stayed that way for quite some time.