Disclaimer: I don't own a thing. The characters belong to J.K.Rowling. I promise to return them more or less intact.
AN: I was watching Superman with my little brother once, and I thought the idea was interesting.
Time Tuners are delicate instruments. This is why.
Lead Me Not Into Temptation
The sky was a brilliant blue, just as it should always be. The parade of white fluffy clouds seemed never ending as they made their way toward the horizon. It realized what the people below it were only just beginning to realize. It was a time for celebration.
It had taken him another two years. Two years after Harry Potter had walked through the boar flanked gates of Hogwarts for the last time as a student, he returned with even more trepidation. He had left that unsure school boy far behind. A young man, far older than his years had walked, his head held high, and faced the destiny others had chosen for him.
The wind had stilled, the birds became silent, and the battle began. Curses flew, angry words were exchanged, emerald eyes flashed, but Voldemort had lost and was no more. Harry stood, transfixed, as he watched the body of the most evil wizard simply fade away into nothing. Even the blades of grass beneath him simply stood tall once more and swayed in the wind. To Harry, it could all have been just a bad dream.
It took only a matter of seconds for the word to spread, and the entire wizarding world rose up in one voice of celebration. Albus Dumbledore, who had stood beside the young man through it all, deflecting spells, declared a week of remembrance. All classes had been cancelled, and at the end of that week, Halloween, the greatest feast ever seen was held for the students.
It was the next morning, ironically the first, that things changed, while still managing to stay the same. Life still made itself difficult.
It was still only seven o'clock, and classes were an hour away. The professors had all arrived for breakfast and were chatting amongst themselves about anything that came to mind. The war had been over for a week, but excitement was still running high, along with spirits. After being away from their classes for an entire week, most of the students were reluctant to start them again, and most of the children had yet to pull themselves from their warm beds. So, when the mail arrived that morning, there were only a handful of students sitting, bleary eyed, at the house tables, try to remember what a spoon was used for.
Owls swopped back and forth, brown, grey, and white balls of fluff dove toward the tables, seeming to enjoy the students startled reactions as much as the professors did. A wager had begun to guess at the first to fall from their seat. A poor first year Hufflepuff who has tipped over his pumpkin juice was currently in the lead.
There was one owl, however, that didn't join in. Instead, it continued to circle high above the hall. It was an odd owl, black from head to toe, and looked more like an overgrown raven than an owl, waiting to be noticed. Finally, when it had received enough attention, it flew toward the head table and came to rest in front of Albus. It stood stock still as he untied the large paper from its leg, not bothering to hide its contempt as it watched the other owls.
"Now now, there's no need to try and out do them. They're only having a little fun," Albus admonished gently. The owl looked at him indignantly before turning its back on him and flying away, knocking over his oatmeal in the process.
A small sound came from his right, and it grew into an outright laugh when he turned and looked down. "Is there something amusing Minerva?" Albus asked, knowing exactly what was making her eyes water.
Tenderly, she reached forward with her napkin and wiped the offending globs from the tip of his nose and his fore head as he took off his glasses and did the same. "I think you hurt its feelings Albus," she said, trying to catch her breath.
Albus could feel the warmth spread through him. It had been far too long since he seen her laugh like that. "Well, the oatmeal was a little lumpy for my tastes this morning anyway. And," he said, looking out of the corner of his eye, "if it makes you laugh like that, I'll have to do it more often."
She just shook her head and continued to chuckle, taking the liberty of unrolling his newspaper. The sharp intake of breath and muttered, "oh my" made his eyes follow hers to the headline. His hand came to rest over hers as he leaned in, reading over her shoulder. He had heard rumors of course, but this was unexpected.
Minister Scrimgeour resigns under suspicion
Minister of Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour, resigned from his post late last night. Scrimgeour,
who cited his failing health as the reason for his resignation, left office in what could be the
shortest term for a sitting Minister since Theodore Coldwater some 250 years ago was caught trying
to sell the Americas to a group of goblins. Scrimgeour, who could not be reached for comment,
may have had another reason for his sudden, and unexpected, departure.
It has been learned that an internal investigation into Scrimgeour has been going on for
several months, although the specifics could not be released to the public. The IAD, Internal Auror Division,
spokeswizard did have this to say. "Mr. Scrimgeour has been under investigation due to a... disturbing
personal relationship with another Ministry employee. This person, who will not be identified at this time,
has also been under investigation for reported links to the rogue group, collectively known
as Death Eaters."
If the allegations facing the former Minister prove true, it will be up to the Wizengamot to decide his fate,
but there is one question on the minds of almost every person this morning.
Who will be the next Minister of Magic.
Several names have been thrown out for consideration, including Arthur Weasley, Bertie Higgs, and a
member of the Unspeakables named Hadrian Scipio. But, there is one name that had garnered more support
from Ministry members and the public, Albus Dumbledore.
The current headmaster, who has been called for office no less than seven times in the past, has always politely refused
the position, but can that be ready to change. Only time, and the next election will tell, but with such popular
support behind the movement, could anyone possibly stand in his way?
The silence between the two old friends was deafening, until Albus started to chuckle. The slight shaking of his broad shoulders soon began to grow, until he was holding his sides, the laughter ripping from his throat.
Minerva's mind was reeling with the possible outcomes as she watched him, utterly incredulous and doubting his sanity. Projecting a calm she didn't feel, she folded up the paper and laid it down in front of them, her slim fingers folding on top of it. "Something funny Albus?" she asked cooly.
"Definitely," he said between chuckles.
She watched him, her heart pounding, until a thought wormed its way to the forefront. 'He's not going to take it.' To anyone who knew him, it was an obvious statement, but Minerva could feel the oppressive weight that had descended upon her lift as the relief washed over her like the evening tide.
"I take it," she said, her own lips betraying her and turning upward, "that I don't need to worry about losing you to the Ministry? Don't you want the opportunity to make ten pin bowling the national pastime?" she teased.
"Why Minerva? Looking for a promotion? Granted, the office is certainly bigger, but the staff can be a bear."
She tried to glare at him, but the light dancing in his eyes simply made it impossible. "No more so than dealing with an unruly headmaster," she said slyly. "Really Albus, after all this time, why won't you take the position. You have all but run the country for the last twenty years anyway. Why not make it official?"
Her tone, and the fact that she obviously expected an answer surprised him into silence. He watched as she absently filled his tea cup while he piled fresh strawberries onto her plate. "There are two very simple reasons for it my dear. One, Hogwarts is my home, and has been for most of my life. I cannot imagine anywhere else I would wish to be. And second, it would simply be too tempting."
She stared at him, confused, but he appeared utterly serious in his reasons. "Tempting?" she repeated questioningly.
"Hmm," he replied absentmindedly while he tapped his spoon gently on the side of the cup. His eyes took on a faraway look as he watched the liquid swirl downward, pulling him into its depths.
"For reasons I have never been able to understand, people seem bound and determined to follow me. If only they knew my mother would never allow me to have a pet since I couldn't remember to feed the poor animals. I highly doubt that there is... anything that our people would not let me do."
Minerva stared at him through narrowed eyes, her heart beating just a little quick for her own liking. "But surely, you wouldn't do anything that was not for our world's best interest? You're far to good for that Albus; I don't believe it."
His eyes stayed focused on the unseen, never noticing the few students who were staring at the pair. His hand slid over hers and gave it a tight squeeze. "Your faith in me never ceases to amaze Minerva, but can you not? Even the most altruistic of men have become tyrants in the name of peace. The muggles got it right. Absolute power corrupts absolutely."
He fell silent and gripped her hand tighter, almost painfully. "Albus," she called his name softly. This was not the type of reaction she had been expecting, and his answers were worrying her. In that instant she would give anything to have her lighthearted man she had fallen so hard for back.
He turned toward her, and the concern the filled the emerald orbs seemed to bring him back to the present. "Do you see my dear Minerva? You've always wondered why I'm my own boggart."
His voice dropped as he leaned in, the smell of sandalwood ensnaring her, enveloping her. She shuttered as his lips came to rest beside her ear, and his warm breath danced across her skin. "Given the right circumstances, I know exactly what I'm capable of, and it scares me to death. But," he said pulling back again, his voice returning to that light tone she knew best, "I have no reason to fear. As long as I have you, there is someone to keep my ego in check."
The bell rang, signaling the beginning of classes, but as the hall emptied around them, neither moved. Emotions crashed through her, each warring for dominance as his words sunk in. Minerva's hand surprised her and remained steady while it traveled up the length of his forearm and came to rest against his beard. She couldn't help marveling at the silky texture beneath her finger tips. "What am I going to do with you Albus," she breathed, staring into his eyes, becoming blissfully lost.
He grasped her hand, and brought it up to his lips, kissing her palm and allowing his tongue to dart across the sensitive skin. "I can think of one or two things," he dared, "Perhaps we can discuss them tonight, perhaps over dinner in my chambers."
Minerva stared into his eyes that always reminded her of the summer sky, and she saw everything she hoped for, as well as a vulnerability that surprised her.
She mimicked his previous actions, only stopping for a light, but promising, kiss first before finally stopping beside his ear. "Perhaps," she whispered.
She was smiling as she got up and walked out of the Great Hall and headed toward her classroom for the first lesson of the day. Albus was still sitting in his chair, staring into space with a goofy grin plastered on his face, long after she had arrived.
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