He led her through the corridors of Hogwarts, berating himself. Obviously, the excursion to Diagon Alley combined with their walk round the lake had tired her out so much that she was vulnerable to those strong fits of pain. 'We will go to my rooms and play chess.' He told her firmly.

Her voice was light and thrilled his heart, as she replied. 'Even if that means you will loose again?'

'Yes.' Was his answer. 'If I can hinder you from hurting by loosing at chess, I will loose.' He added.

She did not reply, and so he looked down at her after a moment, to see what her reaction was. Her eyes shone happily. Had he finally found the right words to reach her? His feelings for her swept over him and he could not help smiling. Minerva smiled back and to Gandalf it seemed as if time stopped at her smile.

He did not know how it happened, but all at once they were no longer walking, but standing across from each other, their eyes locked, the black shards of her eyes burning into him. His hand was at her temple, he did not know when he had lifted it, when he had reached towards her with it and now it floated just a hair's breath from her skin. And then he touched her, tracing the cool skin reverently, so smooth and beloved.

Yet, when he had kissed her temple, her cheekbone, cheek and the curved line of her chin with his fingers, he broke contact reluctantly, his fingertips lingering for a short moment on the side of her chin before drifting away from it. Before it got lost entirely, her hand anchored it to her. Her hand held his lightly, her thumb gently tracing his knuckles.

Minerva's eyes watched him, unblinking, as her touch sent a shiver up his arm and straight into his heart, where it reverberated and made his blood pound. He folded his fingers around her hand and raised it to his lips, wishing to show his enchantress how much he treasured her again and again. The words left his mouth without him thinking of it. They were just right.

'My lady.'

Then he drew her to him, the black-haired, black-eyed witch who held his heart and held her in his turn, wrapping his arms around her erect form, relishing in the feel of her arms closing round his waist and her body snuggling against his.

'Gandalf?' She asked, her voice muffled.

'Yes, my love?'

'It won't work.

'What?!' Dismayed, Gandalf gripped handfuls of her robe with his hands, as if he could hinder her from leaving him that way.

Her face turned up to his, she was smiling. 'Our age difference is too great.'

He fought amusement and exasperation, but could not fend off both for long. 'Minerva! How could you scare me so?'

'Easily.' She replied smugly. 'I thought you would be so relieved afterwards, that you would kiss me finally.'

He chuckled, 'all you had to do was ask.' Before she could answer, he sealed her mouth with a kiss.