Longer A/N, because they are important – don't skip them:
Okay...this one is the first in a short/longer line of fics stemming from my trip to NY. This particular has been heavily influenced by Dumbledore's looks in the 3rd movie, which we watched on 42nd Street. I only say: "Fat Lady"-scene. 'shudders'
This here is dedicated and written for three incredible ladies. And actually, all of them have a part in this story, which they should easily find themselves.
Thanks to Mascaret, for challenging/plotbunnying (geee…a new word) me.
Finally, due to several occasions where it happened – if you want to use ANY of my ideas, please ask first.
Disclaimer: Those who saw me, will know that I don't own any.
Warning: This is AD/MM – so if you can't stand 'old people love' (like one idiotic reviewer called it), then do the Rockford-turn NOW. The others, enjoy…
"Bei mir bist Du Schoen"
Wandering the halls of the castle, he couldn't help the surge of pride running through him. It was almost as good as being addressed as 'headmaster'. Putting a strand of his grey and auburn hair behind his ear, he smiled.
Who would have thought he'd make headmaster of Hogwarts some day? In his own time as a student, he had not exactly been the most promising young wizard. His only recognised feature was his ability to be in trouble, which ran in his family, he guessed. But then he figured, only a few witches and wizards showed their true potential in school.
His beloved wife was one of them, of course. He smiled fondly, remembering how she had whizzed through every assignment at a pace he couldn't help – grudgingly one might say – to admire. He wasn't the only one, though. All teachers eventually, if reluctantly, bowed to her genius.
He sighed. Thinking of his teachers made him cringe at the thought of entering his office. As a student, he had dreaded the occasions when called to that particular office. It never meant anything good. However, when he grew up, those feelings diminished and he began to love the enigmatic yet cheerful atmosphere of the circular chamber. He also enjoyed chatting with the portraits of former headmasters and headmistresses very much.
Until recently, that is.
Lately, it gave him a very uneasy feeling to be in the company of those portraits.
Coming to the stone gargoyle, he uttered the password and rode the stairs that were crowned by the majestic gryffin upstairs. Before opening the door, he took a deep breath and prayed that the situation had finally been resolved.
He walked through the door and groaned immediately. Quite obviously, nothing had been resolved. The atmosphere was just as tense as before.
As had become a pattern lately, the headmaster's gaze went to the portrait of Armando Dippet first, who retained one of the closest connections to the people in question, having known the both of them on a personal and private basis.
The portrait-Dippet only rolled his eyes and shrugged.
The living headmaster then turned to his immediate predecessor, but it took him a while to catch Severus Snape stalking angrily from the left side of the room to the right. The former Slytherin-head muttered irritably: "Honestly, will they ever grow up?"
Before the current headmaster could even open his mouth to reply, a Scottish-tinted voice came from the left. "Tell him that!"
Headmaster Weasley shot around, but at the same time a male voice came from the right.
"However, Severus, first I ask you to remind the obstinate witch in front of that blue curtain to stop being childish."
"I am not obstinate, Albus Dumbledore. And it is you who behaves like a spoiled child." The woman – now shouting – retaliated.
"Well, who of us refuses to talk civilly, Minerva?"
"Civilly? Civilly?" the woman screeched. "After you refuse to conduct yourself like a civilized man, you want ME to…"
"Minerva, calm down. And Albus, try at least to behave like the gentleman I edified you to be." Mathilda Banks, headmistress during the reign of Queen Victoria, interrupted.
The two people in question, however, only folded their arms, turned their backs and humphed. The rest of the portraits waited with bated breath and – when the danger of further temper flares seemed gone – shook their heads.
"Now you see why it was a bad idea to have only one portrait of them hanging here." Phineas Nigellus said to no one in particular.
"Yes, but you were originally only disgusted by the idea of having to witness their constant kissing, hugging and making out." Semion Lascart replied, unable to keep a slightly disgusted frown off his face. "You never thought of a marital spat."
"Yes, and ten days is more than pushing it."
Minerva's voice broke in and she sounded annoyed. "Would you stop talking about us as if we are not here?"
"Us? Us?" Phineas needled. "Didn't you say that there is no longer an 'US'? You even left your own portrait."
Indeed, the large square portrait just behind the headmaster's desk was abandoned, and only the crest in the background, displaying a cat on purple background and a phoenix on green tartan, indicated who usually occupied that painting.
Headmaster Ronald Weasley smiled fondly at the memory of when this crest had been unveiled.
The war against the Dark Lord had been going on for quite a while and things had not been looking good for the side of the Light. Until that particular day. Due to his own hubris, Voldemort had fallen easily into a trap. The Order had been prepared, Voldemort's henchmen had not. The final battle had been short but fierce and many witches and wizards had fallen. But in the end, Harry had been victorious. This victory, however, had come with a price. Voldemort had died, but Harry had sustained serious injuries. As a matter of fact, his wounds had been so severe that he had died of them only four years later.
However, Harry had still been there to witness one of the greatest secrets of the wizarding world becoming public knowledge. Even more than 120 years later, Ronald gladly remembered the day he had seen Albus Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall renew their vows in a public ceremony.
The search for a fitting gift for their two adored leaders had been long and tedious, for after all, what could you possibly present to the most powerful witch and wizard of modern times, when they were quite capable of conjuring everything by themselves?
Finally, they had found – or better made – two perfect gifts. One was this crest, so strangely fitting the couple. It was shaped like Minerva's brooch, its amber stones set in the corners. In the middle, the cat and the phoenix were displayed on purple and tartan. The adage of this union they had set on both sides, in Latin and English: "Unified in Eternity".
Their second gift had also found its way into the crest. Underneath the adage, the new "McDumbledore"-tartan (as they had fondly, but secretly shortened their beloved Headmaster and Headmistress' names) was showing: a purple and silver creation with gold threads.
The new tartan quickly became a tradition at Hogwarts, for the couple was never seen without it and the following headmasters took the idea up as well. Every one of them, including Ronald, always wore a token of those colors on festive school occasions.
It had been a tearful moment, when they had presented their gifts to the couple. Never before had Ronald seen his adored yet feared teachers losing their control so much. With over 140 years of life experience though, he believed, they had done so deliberately, weeping openly for life, death and love.
Had they been the model of a fair employment of ability, power and reason before, they now became the epitome of love and happiness. Most of the people who had known them, were trying to model their marriages after their example – Ronald and his wife were no exception.
The 'McDumbledores' were just the perfect couple. Nothing seemed to faze them, not even this rather disrespectful nickname that Ronald's twin brothers had used publicly. There had been just nothing to interrupt their happiness.
Ronald found it still strangely relieving that they had died together – probably holding hands – in a simple car crash while on a well-deserved Muggle vacation from their duties as Minister of Magic and Headmistress of Hogwarts.
It would have been downright cruel to separate them in death. Therefore, they were not only buried together, but almost all paintings showed the two of them in each other's company.
Unless of course, they had a spat. Headmaster Weasley shook his head. He had never thought those two could have a fight. But the fact that they quarrelled over something so petty just blew his mind.
How could the greatest witch and wizard of modern times fight over a manicure?
Granted, Dumbledore was yet again in a desperate need for one, along with a complete hair job – but could painted people fight over that?
Apparently, Dumbledore and McGonagall could and judging from the intensity of their agreement, not for the first time.
Ronald guessed that the headmaster during his own time as a pupil, sometimes became so involved in important issues that he just forgot to take care of certain basic needs. In Ronald's third year at Hogwarts, things had seemingly been extremely bad.
Throughout the school year, Dumbledore had not only looked like 'Merlin gone hippie', but also as if he had come straight from a dustbin, with his hair grey and unkempt. In addition, he seemed to need a license for his nails.
Apparently McGonagall had been rather disgusted by his appearance, for the two of them had rarely been seen together, which in Ronald's memory was a very rare thing. They always seemed to be glued together.
On the other hand, young Ron had probably missed most times, having been too involved with his own teenage life and a certain young witch.
Coming back to the present, he made a decision. He would no longer stand for this. They had to make up. Their spat (though the reason for it could luckily be kept quiet) was causing way too much tension to be kept alive for much longer. Minister Longbottom had indicated just this morning that tension was running high at the Ministry, where a similar painting was hanging. This could go on no longer.
Even almost 90 years after their death, people saw the couple as role models – in magic, in life and in love. People needed their happiness. And thus, Headmaster Ronald A. Weasley made his decision.
Raising up to his full height, which had made him tower even over Dumbledore back then, his deep voice took the commanding tone he used on the students in the Great Hall.
"Albus, Minerva, please return to your own portrait immediately. I need to talk to the both of you."
Neither, the witch nor the wizard made any movement, save for the tightening of their still folded arms, and humphed. "You can just as well say it this way, Mr. Weasley."
Ronald cringed at the choice of his former Head of House's words. They strongly reminded him of the reprimand that Harry and he had received in their very first Transfiguration class. But he decided not to let that faze him.
"As you wish then." He stemmed his fists into his sides. "You two need to stop this ridiculous behaviour. You behave like children, badly mannered children at that. Fighting and not speaking to each other for ten days – because of a manicure and a hair job – is not worthy of you. Honestly, this is stupid. And it needs to stop – immediately."
Ronald paused and then continued in a softer voice. "You know that I love and adore you two. We all do. You are still the best we have . The best role models. Our idols. Your love was – is – the most wonderful thing in our world and it made us all happy. But we need you. If you are happy, we are too. When you are unhappy, we are unhappy as well. And we are most certainly not happy now. And neither are you."
"He is right." To the surprise of all, Severus Snape agreed. That was a first, since Severus seemed to have made it his goal in life and death never to agree with a Weasley. Which certainly accounted for the partially volatile term when he was headmaster and Ronald his Deputy.
"Albus, Minerva," Severus pleaded, "You two love each other so much that everybody can feel it. Don't throw it away. Nothing is worth that. Most certainly not a manicure. And honestly," his almost proverbial sneer returned, "I am tired of trying to fix you up. I am dead. I think I deserve a bit of quiet after this draining life of mine: after being taunted mercilessly as a boy, then enduring Voldemort's torture, the strain of spying, the war, those addlebrained students and finally having to deal with my incapable deputy."
"Thank you, Severus, you are very kind." Ronald interrupted the tirade, a tad bit annoyed. The rest of the portraits snickered quietly.
The current headmaster chose to ignore them and turned to his old idols again. "Be that as it may, he is right. Do something!"
"What?" Albus asked.
"Anything!" Ronald answered. Then he turned to leave. "And do it fast, please. It is high time." He smiled. "I really love you guys." And then he was gone.
The portraits stared after him for a while.
"Who would have thought that red-headed troublemaker had it in him?" Mathilda Banks said.
Then the portraits looked at each other. "Well," Armando Dippet suggested, "why don't we all go visit my portrait at the Ministry? There is going to be a party tonight. Bertie Botts' birthday I think."
Murmurs of agreement were heard and one by one they went either to their respective painting or to that of a friend with connection to the Ministry of Magic.
Finally all of them were gone and only Albus and Minerva remained. They stared at each other for the longest time.
Finally, Minerva asked in a small voice: "Are we really that important?"
Albus shrugged. "It seems so."
A pause followed.
"Albus, I really…"
"You first, my dear."
"Albus, I really cannot take the way you neglect yourself, but I don't want us to fight like this."
"I don't want us to fight either, dear."
"Why don't you do something about it, then?"
"Only if you promise not to get this upset over something so trivial again."
"If you promise to take better care of yourself and not need me to remind you in the first place."
Yet a larger pause.
"It would be incredibly childish not to agree, wouldn't it?"
"I'm afraid it would be. Maybe even worse."
"And you really want me to do it?"
"Do you really need to ask?"
"Very well, then….'Fixo Mani'!"
A few minutes later Albus spoke. "Fixo Cana!"
After another few minutes his voice could be heard again. "Well? How do I look?"
Minerva smiled satisfied. "Perfectly handsome, darling."
Dumbledore grinned back. "In that case: Come here, my Goddess."
She smirked as well. "No, you come here."
His smile matched hers in brilliance and love. "Meet me…"
Only moments later the couple was reunited in their own portrait and embraced tightly. Then Dumbledore's smile turned a bit lecherous, while his hand wandered downward on his wife's back. "Aah, my dear, you still have the best tush in the wizarding world."
"Years of broomstick riding, darling." Minerva deadpanned.
Albus Dumbledore couldn't help it – for a few moments, he was absolutely dumbfounded. Then suddenly he howled with laughter. He laughed so loudly that Minerva's chuckle was almost inaudible, but finally she joined him and the headmaster's office rang once again with mirth and happiness.
So? What do you think? Leave me a message, please. Thank you.