Disclaimer: Anything you recognize belongs to J.K. Rowling.

This is a short story that I wrote in response to a challenge issued at the Albus and Minerva Fan Fiction Board.

The first challenge, posted by Jestana, was to use the following line: "My dear, I didn't know you had so many freckles."


"My dear, I didn't know you had so many freckles."

This is what someone, possessed of an invisibility cloak and rather too much curiosity, would have heard recently, if said individual had been ingenious enough to end up outside the door to the private chambers of Professor Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. If this person had the temerity to remain, he or she would have been privy to the following conversation:

"What do you mean many?" queried the voice of Professor Minerva McGonagall. "I only have five or six, as I recall."

"Seven," corrected Professor Dumbledore, "and all this time I thought you were flawless."

"Sorry to disappoint you," she replied, in a voice dripping with the kind of sarcasm usually reserved for Professor Severus Snape.

"Oh, I'm not disappointed," he reassured her. "In fact, I'm elated."


"Because, my dear Minerva," Professor Dumbledore explained, "while the gods frown upon human perfection, we mortal men find it downright intimidating."

"You have never been intimidated by me," she stated matter-of-factly.

"On the contrary, I am struck nearly dumb by your charms every time I gaze upon you," he countered. "But now, knowing that you have even as tiny a flaw as seven little freckles, you seem more…approachable."

"What do you want, Albus?"


"You never butter me up like this unless you want something," Minerva elaborated, exasperation clearly evident in her voice. "Now out with it!"

There was a slight pause before he answered, "You."


"I want you."

"You want me to…?"

"I want you Minerva," he said quietly, but firmly. "Just…you."

"Oh," the silence was deafening.

"Minerva, I'm…"

"All right," she interrupted him, "you may have me."

For a long time there was nothing but the sound of rustling fabric and soft sighs. Indeed, any eavesdropper in an invisibility cloak would probably have used this opportunity to sneek back to her or his dormitory. If so, our late-night wanderer would have missed the one last coherent utterance of the evening:

"Oh my, a birthmark!"