Disclaimer: All things related to Harry Potter belong to JK Rowling, etc...
A/N: This fic was inspired when we saw an ad on a website that read simply "Albus Dumbledore For Sale." We couldn't let that go without a fic. ;)
Albus Dumbledore For Sale
"Albus, you can't be serious! A bachelor auction?"
"Why not, Minerva? The money raised will be going to St. Mungo's, it's a very good cause, I should help."
"But Albus, it's so degrading. I can't believe you would stand up there on display and let strange women bid on you."
"Does that mean you won't be attending the auction to buy yourself an eligible bachelor?"
"I should say not! And I refuse to stay here and help you decide what to wear to such an event. I find it disgraceful that our Ministry and hospital would hold a bachelor auction and even more disgraceful that the Headmaster of our most prestigious school is going to let himself be bought and sold."
With those final words the deputy headmistress of Hogwarts turned and stormed out of the headmaster's office, leaving him gaping stupidly at the place where she had been standing. Albus had truly wanted Minerva's advice on what to wear to the auction and while he hadn't exactly expected her to be enthusiastic about the idea he was surprised by the vehemence of her objections. Shrugging it off, he pulled out what he thought was a nice set of robes: bright purple with silver shooting stars, and got ready for the auction that was taking place in an hour. Just before eight o'clock, Albus apparated to the hotel in London where the event was being held and checked in with the auctioneer.
Minerva had gone back to her own rooms after she left Albus' office and paced around for a few minutes wondering why she was so upset with the idea of him being auctioned off. It was just for one date after all and as he had said, he was sure to bring in a good deal of money for the hospital. Albus had always been considered one of the wizarding world's most eligible bachelors, even before he defeated Grindelwald in 1945, although that had increased his popularity at least two-fold. As she paced, Minerva realized that it was because she didn't want him to go out with some strange woman; she realized that the reason she had always felt so hostile towards his female admirers was because she didn't want him to fall for any of them.
This chain of thought led to even more agitated pacing and a good deal of muttering about bloody confusing men. Suddenly stopping her movements, Minerva knew what she had to do, but she must not be recognized. She looked at the clock and realized she only had a few minutes in which to take action before the auction would start, but luckily Albus was scheduled to be last. Minerva rushed around her rooms getting ready, she took a bath and put on her best robes and after a quick bit of magic and a check in the mirror she set off for London.
Albus watched the auction with detached amusement, several young Aurors and Healers in Training brought in very nice sums of money for St. Mungo's, he was certainly the oldest bachelor in attendance. Before he realized it was coming, it was his turn and Albus felt totally unprepared to face the crowd of chattering women. Some of them had cat-called the other men, he certainly hadn't expected that! He walked out onto the dias, smiling and accepting the applause with a polite bow of his head, and then instinctively scanned the crowded room for Minerva before remembering she had refused to come. The bidding began and Albus found himself disapproving of each lady who was bidding and watching the door, wishing to see Minerva sweep through it at the last moment and outbid them all. A few moments into the bidding the door did open and his heart skipped a beat, but it was a blond haired blue eyed woman he had never seen before and his spirits fell.
The new woman made her way to the front of the room, bidding from almost the moment she entered.
"Twenty-five galleons," she said in a strong clear voice.
"Thirty," another woman countered.
"Thirty-five," said the blonde woman.
It went on until all other bidders save one had dropped out of the contest.
"One-hundred," the blonde woman's voice rang through the room, she was still standing in the aisle and looking very determined.
"One-hundred and ten," said the other bidder with a note of annoyance in her voice.
"Two hundred," the blonde woman said definitively, with a true note of challenge in her voice.
The other bidder finally sat back in her chair and relinquished Albus to this blonde stranger, who smiled broadly and triumphantly.
The auctioneer, one of the nurses from St. Mungo's, called out "Sold!" sounding very excited. "Mr. Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts, Order of Merlin First Class, Grand Sorcerer, Chief Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confederation of Wizards, sold to Miss, er..."
"Smythe," the blonde woman filled in for her.
"Right, to Miss Smythe, and thus ends our first St. Mungo's bachelor auction. Many thanks to all our bachelors and bidders. Each of the bachelor's holds a card with details for your date, to take place immediately following the auction. Thank you all again and have a wonderful evening."
The crowd broke apart, chattering excitedly, all of the winners going to collect their dates. Albus stepped down off the dias and walked toward Miss Smythe, smiling awkwardly and extending his hand.
"It's nice to meet you. Shall we?"
She inclined her head in a nod and took his arm as they walked out of the ballroom, but she stopped him before they could leave the hotel and pulled him into a secluded alcove in the lobby.
"There is something you should know," she said a bit nervously.
Albus gestured for her to continue and she took out her wand, making him nervous until she turned it on herself. With a brisk wave of her wand, Albus' jaw dropped and it took him a moment to find his voice. She waited nervously for his reaction. Finally, after what felt like hours, he spoke.
"Yes," she nodded. "I realized that I couldn't bear the thought of another woman winning you in this auction, but I didn't want to be seen bidding on you. Are you terribly disappointed?"
"I have never been less disappointed in my life."
"When I was up there on that dias and all those women were bidding for me, I realized that I wanted you to be here and bidding. I kept watching the door hoping you would sweep in at the last moment and out bid them all"
"Well then I'm glad I did."
"As am I my dear."
"So what is this date we are supposed to go on?" Minerva asked with a note of amusement in her voice.
Albus pulled the card he had been given earlier out of his pocket, "Dinner and dancing apparently, although suddenly I find I'm not in the mood for dinner."
"What are you in the mood for?" she asked, almost breathlessly.
"You, a bottle of wine, a roaring fire, and perhaps some dessert," he said softly yet huskily.
"Shall we go home then?"
"No," he shook his head.
Minerva looked confused and a little bit hurt when she repeated, "No?"
"I have a flat here in London," Albus informed her, his eyes twinkling mischievously. "There will be no chance of interruptions."
Minerva smiled, "That sounds perfect, Albus, lead the way."
He looped her arm through his and they set off through the streets of London, enjoying the clear starlit night and the warm summer breeze. As they passed by the Thames, Minerva came to a stop and Albus turned to face her.
"The river is beautiful tonight," she said quietly, "look at the way the moonlight reflects off the surface."
Albus stepped closer to her and wrapped an arm around her shoulder, "It is indeed beautiful, my dear."
Minerva looked up and realized that he was looking not at the water, but at her. She swallowed and tried to think of something witty to say, but the words were chased out of her mind by the intense way he was looking at her, as if he was trying to memorize her.
Finally, she managed to choke out his name, "Albus?"
His voice was barely above a whisper when he answered, "I'm sorry, my dear, I don't wish to make you uncomfortable, but the moonlight on your hair is mesmerizing. You're radiating light, and I..." He stopped talking and extended his hand toward her head and let it hover just above her hair as he ran it from the top of her head down past her shoulder as if trying to caress the light.
Minerva's eyes closed and her breathing was growing heavier and then, just before he kissed her, she sensed that Albus' face had drawn closer to hers. It seemed like an eternity and no time at all until his lips met hers and she felt a warmth envelop her body. All too soon the kiss was over and her eyes fluttered open lazily to look into the blue pools that had always drawn her in so easily, but now there was something else in those familiar eyes, something she could not quite name.
Albus laced his long fingers through hers and began leading Minerva, at a slightly faster pace, toward his flat near Hyde Park. She followed, wondering if they were acting rashly and marveling at the ease with which they had reached this level of intimacy. She had only just realized that she had been jealous of Albus' many admirers and that she would be unable to bear another woman winning his hand even for one evening an hour ago and here she was on her way to his home for what promised to be an evening of passion. Was she then in love with him? Was he in love with her? It seemed much to early for that, and yet, Minerva wanted nothing more than to join Albus in the most intimate of acts that two people could engage in. She wondered what he was thinking.
After he started moving again, Albus was having similar thoughts. He wondered if he was rushing Minerva and if later she would regret moving so quickly. It had taken until the auction, less than an hour ago, for him to realize that he had absolutely no interest in any of the women who were bidding on him, that he had not been interested in the women who wrote to him and showered him with attention in the last forty years because of Minerva. Even when he had dated, which had not been often, owing to the time constraints of life at Hogwarts, he had subconsciously compared each of his dates to his friend and they had all come up short. Looking back, it all made sense, but as he had only figured it out tonight he thought that perhaps they were acting rashly. He decided they would have to talk when they reached his flat.
They reached the flat and Albus let Minerva precede him through the door. She looked around the small comfortable space, thinking that it reflected his tastes completely. It was the most eccentric set of rooms she had ever been in, every surface was covered in whirling silver instruments similar to those in his office and the walls and furniture were an outrageous jumble of clashing colors. The flat was welcoming and gave off a warm lived in feeling, even though Albus could not have spent much time here in the last decade due to the war they had been involved in. Minerva had not known him to leave Hogwarts in the months since Voldemort had been defeated by baby wizard Harry Potter, but then she realized that she did not always know all of his movements even if she was deputy headmistress.
Albus pointed his wand at the fire place and it roared into life, however the flames held no heat as it was the middle of summer and rather a warm evening, he had merely started the fire for atmosphere. Another flick of his wand summoned a bottle of wine and two glasses from the kitchen and Albus settled Minerva on the rug in front of the fire with several plush cushions before sitting next to her and pouring the wine. As he savored the flavor, Albus decided that he should voice his concerns now before things went to far.
"My dear, before anything else happens tonight I feel that we should talk. This is all happening rather quickly and I want to be sure you are completely comfortable and we will not regret this tomorrow." He tried to keep the hopeful expression off his face as he waited for her answer.
"Are you trying to tell me you have changed your mind, Albus?" Minerva asked cautiously.
He shook his head, waiting for her to give him the answer he needed.
She took a deep breath, "I would not consider forty years to be such a short time. We have been friends for over half my life, ever since you helped me become an animagus when I was sixteen actually. I think we have had sufficient time to get to know each other." She smiled coyly, "Do you disagree?"
Albus chuckled, "No, I do not disagree." Then, leaning in closer to her, he murmured, "Besides, you are a very persuasive woman."
Minerva's smile turned positively wicked when she leaned up toward his ear and breathed out, "Good, because I intend to get my money's worth out of this date."
She pressed a tantalizing kiss to his neck and Albus squirmed a bit as he replied, "You're going to give me performance anxiety."
"Hmmm," Minerva mumbled into his neck, lifting her head slightly she teased him, "there are potions for that you know."
Albus faked an affronted look, "I'll show you who needs a potion."
Minerva almost immediately found herself pinned beneath him among the pillows on the floor, the glasses of wine completely forgotten, as Albus took his time in showing her that he most definitely did not require any outside assistance to satisfy their needs.