This is a response to a challenge from the challenge tag on the ADMM site. It's really just a fluffy little bit of reading. Enjoy!

PS. I do tell everyone that I really am JK Rowling, but, alas, that is a lie. So consider that your disclaimer. Thanks:-)


The Lavender Room

"Albus, I feel so…self-conscious," Minerva whispered as she walked into the large, loud, lavender room on the arm of her escort, Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore.

Minerva couldn't help but shiver a little upon entering, though whether she was trembling with anticipation or worry, even she was not quite sure. She recalled the first time she had come to this place, and she vaguely remembered that on that evening she was feeling rather the same, both apprehensive and excited.

That had been thirteen years ago.

Just after finishing her education at Hogwarts, Minerva decided that she wanted further training in the art or Transfiguration. She applied to the London Academy of Transfiguration and Charms and was accepted on a full scholarship. Though her parent's felt that she should be doing something more practical what with NEWTS out of the way (like find a man and get married) Minerva was determined to become an Animagus. "Not many wizards manage it," her parents constantly reminded her, "And even fewer witches." But rather than discourage the young woman, this bit of fact only made her want it more. The courses should have taken four years to complete, but Minerva threw her entire life and self into her studies and finished after only three.

That was ten years ago.

And now here she was, back in the large, loud, lavender room, only this time she was at her class's tenth reunion.

And this time, rather than being accompanied by her then six year old owl, Oedipus, she was on the arm of her boyfriend of ten months, Albus Dumbledore.

"You certainly studied with some rather talented students, Minerva." Albus said, suddenly waking Minerva out of her daydream.

"Did I?" she asked, glancing around.

"Well, first off, over there is Nikos Pantelikis. He broke his father's heart when he chose the London Academy over the Athens School of Continuing Sorcery, which was founded by his great-great-great grandfather. Nikos became an animagus at fifteen, after four years of practicing quite illegally. I believe his animal form is a dolphin. Beautiful, but not altogether the most practical or useful animal, or so I've heard."

"A dolphin, though," Minerva said, her eyes a little wider than usual. "What amazing animals they are!" She couldn't help but feel jealous. Not only because she was a boring little Tabby cat, but because he managed to transform five years before she did.

Albus nodded and slid his arm around Minerva's waist. He gestured nonchalantly to another man. "And that gentleman over there, the one with the rather handsome hat—"

"It's a gaudy, tacky, awful hat," Minerva interrupted, and Albus kissed her on the temple before continuing.

"His name is Alexander Ryan Andrew Michael Bancroft III," Albus began, and Minerva interjected again.

"What a name!"

"But you might know him better as Aram Croft."

Minerva barely concealed a gasp. Aram Croft was indeed a well known man, for he had just recently invented a potion designed to allow people to transform into other people, using just a bit of their hair. He had dubbed it 'Polyjuice Potion,' and the Ministry was rather excited about it.

"And there," Albus was saying. " From your class, that's Marguerite LePage-Rose, I believe she's teaching here now, Psychology of Charms, and her husband, Frederick Rose, graduated only eight years ago and teaches here as well."

"I didn't realize that I attended classes with such brilliant minds!" Minerva admitted, for the first time wishing that she had done just a little less studying and a little more socializing.

Minerva was also feeling something else. She was beginning to feel a little ashamed, because in the ten years post graduation, what had she done? Not much. She sighed, and Albus was concerned.

"What's wrong, Love?" He asked, and she shook her head. He placed two fingers under her chin and brought her eyes up to meet his.

"Something is bothering my little kitten, and I'd like to know what."

"It's just that… They've all accomplished so much. And I… What do I do? I'm merely a private tutor. Four days a week I teach Preliminary Transfiguration, Basic Charms, and History of Magic to seven children between eight and ten years of age, and on Friday and Saturday nights I waitress for Rosmerta. I was apparently smart enough to skip a year, and yet I have accomplished so little in the decade since."

"Minerva, please do not say that," Albus whispered, brushing a couple of stray black hairs back so they were not obstructing his view of her face. "I hope you do not really believe that. Those children you teach are special. They were all born with such strong powers that they cannot control themselves and their abilities without your help. Like that one little girl, who causes glass to break when she gets upset. You have taught her to control herself and to repair what she has damaged. And the boy who sets things on fire in his sleep, he hasn't cause so much as a spark in six months, and that is because of you. You may be doing good on a seemingly smaller scale, but that does not make you, or the importance of what you do, any smaller."

He paused, and they locked eyes for a moment. "And as for waitressing," he continued, "It certainly affects me on the grand scale to see you in that little uniform skirt and blouse."

Minerva was blushing, but she also laughed, which pleased Albus. "You are horrible," she told him, pushing him away playfully. That was when she noticed someone coming towards them.

"Oh, Albus, Mirabella Martin is here! I told you about her, remember? The Professor I so greatly admired. Really, she was my mentor, my advisor, and, to be honest, my only friend during my three years here!"

Minerva was so excited, she did not notice that much of the color had drained from Albus Dumbledore's face. A second later, Mirabella Martin was by Albus' side.

"Minerva McGonagall, darling, how are you?" She asked with a smile, and the women exchanged a hug.

"Oh, I'm doing very well, Professor," said Minerva, with a shy smile.

"Oh, you're no longer a student, dear, please, call me Mirabella."

This was when Mirabella realized who Minerva had been standing with. Her already large brown eyes grew wider, and her smile got bigger as well.

"Why, Albus Dumbledore, so wonderful to see you here! It has been far too long!" Mirabella leaned up to kiss Albus on the cheek, and it vaguely occurred to Minerva that in all the times she had mentioned the woman, Albus had never said anything about knowing her.

"Mirabella, hello." He said warmly, but Minerva noticed that he still seemed uncomfortable. Mirabella slipped her arm through his and laughed. "Why, it's been…what? Fifteen years? I have been married and divorced twice since then! I see you've met Minerva, my little prodigy. We were always sure that she would go very, very far."

Albus nodded. "And she has," he said, smiling at Minerva.

"I'm sure she has! What do you say we get a drink, Albus, and chat about old times, eh?" She dropped her voice a little, and Minerva pretended not to be listening. "Now that all this time has passed, I remember only the good in our relationship, and I wonder if some of it can't be rekindled…if only for a night." She winked at Albus, and Minerva raised an eyebrow.

"Ah, yes, well…No. That is to say," Albus stammered, clearly afraid of offending Mirabella, but at the same time eager to release his arm from her clutches.

Minerva noticed for the first time what an attractive woman her mentor was. Slightly shorter than Minerva, but with a considerably larger chest and rounder hips, Mirabella was not heavy by any standards…just…more shapely than Minerva, who suddenly felt far too skinny and far too young for Albus. Mirabella's hair was long and strawberry blonde, and her eyes were a dark and mysterious brown. She was not as pale as Minerva, and she had a light scattering of freckles across the bridge of her nose and her cheeks. For about the seventh time since arriving at the Academy for the reunion, Minerva felt entirely self-conscious.

"Actually, Mirabella," Albus said, scratching his chin through his auburn beard. "I'm, uh, sort of involved with someone."

This time Minerva raised both of her eyebrows. Sort of involved? With 'someone?'

"Oh!" Mirabella was flustered, but she did not let go of Albus' arm. "Is she here?"

"Yes," replied Minerva, finding her voice at last. "She is."

Realization suddenly dawned on Mirabella's face. "Are you kidding me? You?"

Minerva nodded, but still Mirabella looked to Albus for confirmation. He nodded as well, and to the surprise of the couple, Mirabella began to laugh.

"Don't be ridiculous, Albus! She's a child! Why she's… She's, what, 28 years old?"

"Thirty," Minerva corrected, but she was ignored by the older woman.

"Really, Albus, be real! You have your reputation to think of! Your very name! You are supposed to be an intelligent, respectable man, and going around with this little nymph will only spoil it all!"

Minerva crossed her arms. "Nymph?" Again she was ignored.

"Be real, Albus Dumbledore. Perhaps this is some sort of mid-life crisis you are experiencing, I don't know, but if you were simply looking for an easy lay you certainly could have called upon me."

This time Minerva had no response. She was speechless.

But, lucky for her, Albus was not.

"Mirabella, that is enough. Minerva is a beautiful, intelligent, attractive woman, wise far beyond her thirty years. She makes me feel happy, Mirabella. You say that you do not recall what went wrong with our relationship? Well, allow me to remind you. We did not have a relationship. We could communicate on only two levels; about Transfiguration, and in the bedroom. We had nothing more in common, nothing more to talk about or experience together."
Coldly, Mirabella asked, "What else is there?"

"So much more!" Albus exclaimed, finally detaching himself from the Professor and taking Minerva's hand in his. "There is compassion and romance and dreams and fears and chess and jokes and secrets. There is so much more to a relationship, a good, lasting relationship, than you have ever understood. I wish you well, Mirabella, and I hope that you can wish only the best for me and Minerva, but even if you cannot, well, we will still love each other with all of our hearts, minds, bodies and souls."

"You should make speeches for a living, Albus. You did all of that extemporaneously? I'm impressed," she said sarcastically. "Good day, Albus, Minerva." She turned to leave, but suddenly swiveled back and stared right into Minerva's eyes. "And we always thought you'd amount to so much," said Mirabella Martin, before storming away.

"Albus?" whispered Minerva, and he whispered, "Yes?"

"Did you mean all of that?"

"Of course."

"Is she better at... in the...you know."

"She is not half the woman you are, Minerva."

Minerva grinned and kissed him on the mouth. Before he could respond she had pulled away.

"Then let's go," she said, before he could make any inquiries. "We've got our hearts, minds, bodies and souls. We don't need some class reunion."

Albus agreed, and as they exited the large, loud, lavender room he whispered in her ear: "Besides, I have a much better idea of what we can do tonight."

"Play chess?" asked Minerva innocently, and Albus wrapped his arm firmly around his waist before responding, "Well, that too."