Disclaimer: (Puts hands up) I don't own anything so don't chop me up into little pieces and feed me to the pigeons!
A/N: Hello, I'm back! (no don't hide...) This is just a funny little one-shot that I thought up late last thursday. I have only been able to post it now because I have been snowed under with textiles and english work.
I am in need of another beta-reader as my previous one will not be able to do it for quite a while. If anyone would like the job, please let me know in the review! I would greatly appreciate it as my spelling is that of a fourteen year old (I'm nearly 18...yeah exactly). Anyway, I hope you enjoy the story and any mistakes pointed out in the reviews would be great so I can alter them! Thanks!
For years now, Minerva McGonagall had stood by the side of the great Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts. Thirty-seven years of loyal service to the one man who paid her twice as much attention than the rest of the staff. If she voiced a concern, fell ill from a horrid bout of flu that was circling the school or even had a problem with one of her students, Albus was always there to help and support her. Over the years, they had got to know every little aspect of each other by simply staying up late with a cup of Albus's famous cocoa, and playing chess near a warm inviting fire. The two loved to talk of mindless things, transfiguration, and the latest pranks, amusing rumours among the staff but also they loved debating. The best evening in would include of two hot chocolates, a chessboard, a roaring fire and a chosen topic of which they would discuss. It could be from the latest Transfiguration Today magazine or the best prank of all time, from Quidditch banter to brilliant theories of new potions that could be brewed. All this never changed until one night, on Christmas Eve, when Albus felt the need to spice things up a little in light of the Christmas cheer.
As usual, the chessboard was set up, all the pieces stationed at their places. The fire was crackling in the background and the two favoured mugs set in place. One had a moving picture of the Gryffindor Quidditch team from two years ago when they had won the house cup after seven years. The other bore a moving picture of the current Hogwarts staff along with the crest on the inside of the cup. The portraits of the headmasters and headmistresses of old snoozed away in their paintings, oblivious to the world. The current headmaster however, sat in his golden chair at his old wooden desk, sorting through a pile of finance bills to pass to the governors in their next meeting. He could have quite happily sat there all night going over finance problems, writing letters of advice from people whom had asked his council and poured over research for the latest potion theory which he and Severus had proposed during their long conversation the previous day. But Albus knew that any minute now Minerva was about to walk boldly through the door for the game of chess that he had proposed. By the mere thought of Minerva, a person on the other side of the door knocked smartly and waited to be called in.
"Come in," Albus called, looking up from the parchment that had just held his attention. Minerva strode in and across the room to where Albus was sitting and stood waiting patiently for him to finish his work.
"Good evening, Albus," she said with a smile.
"And a good evening to you, Minerva." Albus greeted her and smiled back. "Please, take your usual place, I shall not be a minute,"
"Thank you, Albus."
"I thought we could change the rules a bit tonight," Albus said conversationally, placing his quill back into the ink well on his table.
"Oh? What do you have in mind?" Minerva replied behind him, with interest. Albus placed the rest of the parchment on a different pile and stood up to face her. Minerva's keen eyes looked upon him slightly suspiciously.
"Well, I thought that since it's Christmas, we could do with a change," he replied, his eyes dancing with amusement. Minerva raised an eyebrow and sat down a comfortable chair facing Albus's black chess pieces.
"Go on," she said narrowing her eyes, the suspicion evident in her voice.
Albus's smile had now reached his ears so that he now resembled a Cheshire cat.
"How about a nice game of strip chess?"
Minerva stared at him, torn between shock and amusement.
"Strip chess?" she repeated with incredulity.
"Precisely, strip chess. What do you think?" Albus asked looking thoroughly amused by the expression his deputy was now giving him.
"Are we not a little old for strip chess?" Minerva said finally after a few minutes of silence.
"I think not, you are never too old for strip chess. I just thought it would liven things up a little," Albus chuckled in mirth. Unable to hold back the laughter anymore, he laughed out loud and Minerva joined him.
"Only you would come up with something as crazy as this, Albus," Minerva commented with amusement.
"Well you know I do hate to disappoint you, my dear. So, what do you think?" Albus pushed the subject further.
"I think it is outrageous and crazy. But then I have always done the outrageous and crazy too," Minerva laughed again.
"Can I take that as a 'yes', then?"
"Yes, you can,"
Albus grinned like a little boy who had just been given a bag full of the best candy in the world.
"I knew you would agree," he said happily, tapping their mugs with his wand to heat up the chocolate. "The rules are thus, everytime a chess piece gets knocked off or out, you have to remove an item of clothing that you are wearing. The one with the least amount of clothes on at the end of the game will have to suffer a forfeit. What shall your for forfeit be for me?"
Minerva sat back into the comfortable armchair and thought of something that Albus could do for her.
"Well, you shall have to clean the Owlery without magic before the New Year. If you fail to comply with this, you shall have no sweets of any kind until the end of January." Minerva said quietly with a mischievous smile on her face.
"Well in that case, I shall ask you to dine with me at the ministry parties for the whole of next year until Christmas Eve and wear your hair down on such occasions." Minerva groaned and placed her head in her hands. Albus smiled wickedly. "Failure to comply, I shall stage a loud conversation about how you really cannot stand mice, frogs and worms with a random member of staff and perhaps a few students."
"Let us begin then," Minerva said with determination in her voice. "Pawn to E2,"
Albus gazed over the board calculating his attack upon her newly positioned pawns. Going over the strategies that Minerva had put upon him in the past, Albus weighed the pros and cons of placing his pawn in it's designated space. Deciding to go for it, Albus commanded his pawn to move near Minerva's. After the first few goes, nothing much happened as neither had positioned themselves in such a way as to attack the opposite team. But when Albus made a very nifty move with his knight, he managed to knock a pawn off the chessboard, resulting in Minerva having to remove the pins that held her famous bun together. Her greying raven hair fell down to her waist, distracting Albus from concentrating on his next move.
A very dirty trick indeed, he thought with a slight smile. Minerva decided to put her strategies in to place on the otherside of the board after causing a diversion to make Albus think he was winning. But all the while, Minerva was plotting to over throw his castle that had strayed out of sight, because it's controller had diverted his attention just to get her to make the first move. As soon as Albus realised what Minerva was up to, it was too late. He could no longer save his castle as her knight had it trapped. So Albus removed his outer cloak and placed it on a side table. The minutes seemed to snail past until finally Albus won himself another small victory by erasing the troublesome white knight the had wormed it's way through his defences. Minerva removed her black knee high boots and placed them beside the chair. Allowing herself a small smile, Minerva made her move and retaliated by taking out two pawns in a row.
"I believe you have to take off two pieces of clothing that you are wearing," she countered slyly to him. Albus stared at her, giving no indication of showing her what he was really thinking. Taking off his boots and his socks, Albus placed them by the side of his chair. Thinking hard, Albus formed a good strategy to take Minerva's other knight and castle out. After a few good moves to position himself, Albus's black knight took out Minerva's white knight and castle.
"Now it's you're turn," Albus smiled in delight.
Taking off her outer garment and a stocking, Minerva sat back and closed her eyes, the positions of the chess pieces stood out boldly in her mind. After coming up with a solid plan to be rid of Albus's knight, Minerva commanded her queen to take it out, along with a stray pawn. Raising an eyebrow to Minerva's smug smile, Albus removed his inner jacket and his waistcoat. With a smug smile to match Minerva's he began selecting all the pawns that surrounded his knight to wipe out. After another fifteen minutes, Albus celebrated his victory with having destroyed most of them. Minerva removed her other stocking, her broach and her dress.
"Feeling cold?" Albus inquired mischievously as Minerva glared at him.
"No, but you shall be in a minute," she replied with a deadly calm voice.
"Well, please do prove me wrong," Albus countered as Minerva made her move to attack his pawns. Ten minutes later, Albus sat in his armchair in only his trousers, shivering slightly from the chill that seemed to make the room cold.
"Feeling cold?" Minerva smirked in satisfaction. At least she had a petticoat dress on and her underwear, she thought with a smirk that could rival Severus Snape. Albus narrowed his eyes and diverted his attention to the board at hand. After a good deal of thinking, he made a very clever move that took out Minerva's king. Minerva had no choice but to take off her petticoat dress and sit in her underwear. Albus felt himself blush as he glanced at the beautiful woman that sat before him. Without realising what she Minerva had done, Albus blinked and realised that she had taken out another pawn. Sighing, Albus took off his trousers, which left him sat in his purple boxers. He was distracted too much by Minerva to pay any attention to what her strategy was and the next time Albus looked down at the chessboard, he was in checkmate.
"Yes! Yes! Yes!" Minerva laughed and clapped her hands happily as Albus stared in horror at the chessboard.
"No!" he said miserably, admitting defeat of a well-played game.
"Well that shall teach you to play strip chess!" Minerva laughed at his forlorn face.
"Oh no! I want a re-match!" Albus said with determination.
"Not tonight, you can't." Minerva said with a smile. She looked around on the table for her clothes that she had placed there. "Where are my clothes?"
"I'm sorry?" Albus looked up with a defeated expression on his face.
"My clothes, I placed them here," Minerva indicated to the table she had placed them on behind the chair. Albus smiled. The smile then turned into outright laughter.
"I'm afraid my dear, it seems that my house elf has been around while we were too engrossed in our game of chess!" he laughed even harder at the expression of disbelief on her face.
"But I can not walk back to my quarters like this!" Minerva said in panic.
"No, but you are most welcome to stay the night. I have a spare dressing gown that you can borrow to curl up in if you don't mind. We can sort your clothes out tomorrow, it is two thirty and the house elves shall be working," Albus said getting up and picking the purple dressing gown up from the bed. Minerva shot him a grateful look and took up his offer.
"Thank you, but where shall you sleep?"
"On the sofa over there," he replied and indicated to a small red sofa by the window.
"Don't be ridiculous, there is plenty of room for both of us on this bed."
Albus blushed and smiled.
"Thank you, my dear." he said quietly as he pulled on his nightshirt. Minerva climbed over near the wall and under the duvet.
"You are always welcome, Albus," she replied with feeling. Smiling, Albus climbed under the duvet, cuddled up to Minerva and kissed the top of her head.
"Merry Christmas, love."
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