Title: I must be dreaming
Author: Tartan Lioness
Summary: Albus gets a surprise when he comes home from a trip
Disclaimer: All I own is the plot. and I don't even really own that as it WAS a challenge... I have no money so please don't sue me!
A/N: This came from a challenge on the ADMM Fanfiction Board by Melly Poo… Thanks to Lily, you know how much you mean to me!
It was very late one evening when Albus came back to Hagwarts. He sighed. 'Cornelius must learn to trust himself! I can't keep this up. I am Headmaster of Hogwarts, not the secretary of the Minister of Magic!' He had for the past week assisted Cornelius Fudge with his dicisions. He was not due back before tomorrow afternoon but tonight he had finally stood up to Fudge and told him that he had a job and a life to take care of. He walked the empty halls of the grand castle, knowing he was probably not the only one out of bed. No, the Marauders were probably out too. And that Lily Evans… She may be a very sensible girl and her friend Molly Bluestone too but sometimes, just sometimes, they … forgot … the rules… very conveniently… After they became friends with the Marauders a few months ago they were worse than ever. Albus shook his head as he remembered their last prank.
He pulled his cloak tighter, the halls of Hogwarts were cold at this time of the night. He finally made it to the gargoyle which hid the entrance to his office. Saying the passoword he stepped onto the stone steps which had appeared. When he reached his office he made a beeline for the hidden door which led to his private chambers. He just wanted to go to bed. But when he entered he stopped abruptly again. His bed did not look like it had when he left it. There was a bulge in the middle of his large four poster bed. He frowned. 'That is not my blanket,' he thought. His blanket was usually gold and red. What covered the bulge was midnight blue. When he stepped closer he realized that it was not a blanket but one of his robes. The bulge moved and a hand shot out from underneath it and grapped a part of the robe, only to turn around so it was lying partly beneath her. For it was indeed Minerva McGonagall who now had her nose burried in Albus' robes. Albus blinked at the sight of Minerva in his bed. 'What in the name of Merlin is she doing in here? She's never been in here before… only in my livingroom. Not that I mind though. I have wanted in here for so long.' He shook his head as if to clear it from his thoughts. Then he sat down on the bedside and looked at the sleeping beauty in his bed. So peaceful. She looked so peaceful. As if she had no worries in the world. He wished he could just climb into his bed and put his arms around her. But he knew that if she woke she'd hex him into the next century. He sighed again and stroke her cheek. Standing he suddenly saw that she was clutching something in her hand. 'Why would she take a picture with her to bed?'
He reached down to take it away from her so that she could sleep better. In the beginning she would not let go but at last she did. Albus cluckled at the sight of his only love curling up on his bed. Smelling his scent off the robes it seemed. He looked down at the picture. It was the picture which had been sitting on his bedside table for the past five years. He instandly remebered when it had been taken. A Yule ball five years ago. She had been dared to let her hair down for the entire night and she had looked magnificent in her scarlet and gold dress-robes. In this picture she was happily dancing the night away in Albus' arms. Suddenly he realized how radiating the both looked. It looked as though they were glowing with happiness. He frowned and looked at Minerva, who was still fast asleep. He had known he loved her for many years. Was there any chance she might feel the same?
"Mmmhh… Albus… you smell good… I love the scent of you… 'the best scent is the one of the man you love', you know…"
Albus stared at Minerva. It seemed as though she was taking in her sleep. 'Wait… the man you love? She loves me? But that's impossible! How could she ever love… me! I'm an old man! I was her professor… but Merlin knows that I want her to love me, but I must have heard her wrong,' he thought.
He sat down beside her again, stroking her hair for a moment before he left her to sleep in his bed and went into his livingroom where he laid down on his couch and fell asleep, dreaming of Minerva just like every night.
When he woke up it was way past dawn and he was happy the holidays had started today. Christmas. His favorite time of the year. He had spend the holidays with Minerva for many years, as none of them had much family left and both of them felt better staying at Hogwarts. He remembered last christmas when he asked Minerva if she wanted her own family one day. She had looked sadly at him and answered that she was not able to have children. During the fight against Grindelwald she was wounded so badly in her abdomen, her chances of ever becoming a mother were eliminated. He had comforted her as well as he could, holding her as she cried. She had always wanted her own child and Grindelwald's followers had made sure she'd never be pregnant.
He got up and walked into his bedroom. Minerva was still sleeping, very unusual for her. Still snuggled into his robes she made a muffled sound of protest when he stroke her hair to wake her up. "Minerva… Minerva… you have to get up, Minerva," Albus softly called. Suddenly her eyes snapped open and she stared into the face of her best friend and the man she was secretly in love with. Her eyes widened. "Albus! You're early! I thought you'd be back this afternoon!"
"Yes, Minerva, I know you did. Is that why you're sleeping in my bed instead of your own? Because you thought I'd not be back until later today?"
"I… erm… well… I felt lonely," she whispered. "And sleeping here, with your robes with me just reminded me of… you. And you're always here for me so I'm not lonely and I just wanted to pretend that you were here and… I'm sorry, Albus. I should not have trespassed without your permission," she said, looking down.
"Minerva… You must understand that you are welcome in any part of my chambers at any time. I was merely surprised to see you in here. And I see that you found the picture. The only picture of you in here that is not charmed. Look," he muttered an incantation and all the paintings changed.
"That's… me," she said, not really knowing what else to say.
"Yes, Minerva. That's you. You're the last thing I see in the evening and the first thing I see in the morning."
"Albus… why? I am not exactly worthy of this amazing honor. I mean… I'm just your collegue… your friend."
"Ah, but Minerva, you are so much more than merely a friend. You've been here for me when I needed you. You let me be there for you when you need it. And that is an honor for me. You see I want to be able to comfort you as apparently my robes did tonight. I want to be here for you, Minerva."
"But why, Albus? Why do you want to do all this for me?" Minerva, who was still sitting in his bed, asked looking intendly at him. She had a feeling she knew where this might lead and she wanted to hear those words more than anything.
"I'm sorry, Minerva. I cannot tell you."
"Albus, you just called me your friend. Do you trust me or not?" she sternly asked. He smiled at her. "Albus?" she gathered all her courage and took the chance, "do you love me as more than a friend?" she held her breath as the words sunk in.
"Minerva… I'm sorry, Minerva," her heart sunk. "I know that you do not want to hear these words but," and it shattered, "yes, Minerva. I love you more than anything. I want to be with you every day, every moment for the rest of my life and I feel guity for feeling so as I know that this will place a burden on your shoulders. Please just forget all about my feelings and I will hide them like I have for so many years." And her heart collected itself and leaped in joy.
"Albus… when you said 'I'm sorry, Minerva' my heart almost broke. I did want to hear you say you love me, Albus. Why do you think I've been sleeping in here? Because I could be close to you even as you were away. And you wouldn't know. You wouldn't despise me for feeling as I do. I love you too, Albus, more than I can ever tell you."
"Minerva? Do you mean this? You're not just playing with my heart?"
"I would never. I love you, Albus Dumbledore," she smiled and drew him in for a kiss. It only lasted for a few seconds and left them both wanting more. Albus smiled at Minerva and kissed her with great passion. She lay back down on the bed and pulled Albus on top of her. Their kisses turned deeper and deeper as they expressed their love.
"I love you," was later murmured over and over again.
A/N: If anyone wants to write a Lemon to this I'd love to read it! I can't write them…