A/n: sorry I haven't updated my other one, but it was getting seriously angsty (it will be updated when it doesn't depress me so much. Hehe) so I set out to write a fluffy one shot, and well, I think its going to grow from there. Reviews are always nice, and make me write quicker! (I feel like a review tart, soliciting them for favours given hehe!)
Minerva had not dated seriously since that night. She had hated the absurdity of the masquerade ball. Really, was there any point in dressing up and covering your face? It was always possible to tell who was under the mask anyway. To Minerva it seemed utterly pointless. But Poppy had cajoled her into going, reasoning that when she took up a teaching position at Hogwarts in the new year the chances of meeting an eligible bachelor were very seriously depleted.
So she had gone, with very little effort in her appearance, wearing simply a set of deep emerald robes that matched her eyes. For the last time in a long time, she wore her hair down in public. This fact alone probably rendered her unrecognisable for most of the occupants of the hall. Minerva McGonagall had rarely worn her hair down since her student days.
As she entered the hall she was completely oblivious to the many stares she attracted. This often happened, but she always attributed it to the person she was with, (or if she was alone, checked her teeth.) Poppy had really made an effort and looked stunning in a set of pale grey robes with blue stars. Minerva was not surprised that she would be turning heads. Both were wearing half masks, Poppy's quite elaborate one contrasting sharply with Minerva's solid blue.
Assessing the occupants of the room Minerva immediately singled out her future employer standing by the punch, talking avidly to a wizard in truly horrendous mustard robes. Delena Finch was waving madly from across the room, already on the arm of some dashing young man, and surrounded by a crowd of others. She would undoubtedly be leaving with one tonight, some things never change, and Delena had been like that since their school days.
As the night wore on, and the lights dimmed, more and more of Minerva's friends began to pair up. The atmosphere in the hall didn't welcome light conversation about the weather, and as Minerva had no one with whom to share an intimate conversation she sunk quietly in a corner, trying to decide when would be an appropriate time to leave.
Albus Dumbledore had been dragged into this event by his brother, (who wanted to talk to a man about a goat, and needed someone to back him up in case it got ugly. Albus had failed to comprehend how is could possibly 'get ugly' in the middle of the ministry ball, but Aberforth had assured him that the man in question was half goblin, so you could never tell.) He had arrived early and had been deep in conversation with a Romanian wizard with obviously no idea of fashion (even by Albus' peculiar standards) when a Goddess had walked into the room. Her midnight black hair had shimmered in the reflected light from the candles and seemed to float around her in a glistening halo. Her emerald robes had emphasised the creaminess of her skin and when he looked closer there was the promise of eternity in her full lips, slightly parted. Albus shook himself out of the reverie; she was unattainable and probably only too aware of her own beauty and affect on people. Albus had had women like that when he had been younger, and knew full well the dangers of a temptress like her.
As it turned out, he had managed to both overestimate his self-control, and underestimate his effect on him. Although he had not had a chance to talk to her, nor even learn her name (for that was the idea of the masquerade) she seemed to draw him ever closer, like a moth to the flame. And he allowed himself to be drawn, closer and closer to the light, aware of the risk, aware of the heat, and willing to be burnt just the same for a chance with his Aphrodite, his Venus, his Minerva.
A/n: I know that Aphrodite and Venus and the Greek/Roman goddesses of Love and that Minerva's Greek compatriot is Athena, the goddess of wisdom. So if you read it closely its love, love, wisdom and I know that doesn't really make sense, but it was too good a comparison not to use... Its sitting right there, crying out to be used. Albus is looking for a Minerva-type figure and well, there she is. hehe