Hey, I'm back! Yay! I'm psyched for this story. It's been on my brain for some time, so here it comes!

note: Minerva does not teach, but that's all I'll tell you for now

note: Uhm…pre EVERYTHING. Nearly all of this is made up from my own brain and holds no connection to the books except for the characters and certain dates. But while I'm at it, these characters do not belong to me in any way, shape, or form.

note: yes, this first chapter is pretty short for my standards, but I think it will be beneficial enough. Hope you like it!

Summary: There was something about her from the beginning that called to him, attracted him to her. And always, there had been something about the man which made her want to look deep inside of him. With the calm water, twinkling stars, and forgotten shells, there arises a flame that had never been burned.


Seashells

Chapter one: Holiday

Albus watched with a smile as his things packed themselves up. It only took one bag to hold his worldly possessions, thanks to the wonders of magic. He was glad to be finally getting away, freeing himself of the world in which he lived. There'd be no reports, students, ministry, or owls for an entire three weeks, thank Merlin. Freedom; it was such an awesome gift.

He took this holiday every year for really nothing else other than his sanity. The man truly believed that he would go crazy if he never got away; on more than one occasion he had come close. There was just something relaxing about Hermit Lake. It was just him, the sky, and water. Solemnity was the key to it all.

The man looked around his home, finding nothing but furniture and then nodded his head for reassurance. All packed. Albus grabbed his bag and then apparated with a pop to his summer home.

Naturally he came into another virtually empty house. There was only furniture on the lower level with the exception of utensils in the kitchen. He walked around the entire bottom level, opening every window in the house to allow the summer sun to invade the presently shady rooms. Everything was just as he had left it after eleven months of darkness, with the exception of dusty sheets which covered the settees.

The front room was still homely, the back rooms still friendly, and the kitchen still threatening. He'd never admit it to anyone but a close friend that he lacked any ability at all to cook. Even oatmeal that he attempted to make turned out burned. Albus had resorted many years before to start bringing his own rations, which would include a massive amount of confectionary and pre-made sandwiches (created by sweet old Ms. Thomas). The entire house had been fire-proofed many years beforehand, merely because he couldn't stand to lose the love of his life.

Feeling a decent sense of happiness, Albus made his way up the stairs to where his bedroom was. A wide smile crossed his face when he took a glance of the room. The walls were splattered with red a white paint. Everyone who had ever come into his house wondered about the odd choice in colors; he'd always told them that he needed to express himself. Express he did. The man's bed was also red, enticingly red. He was rather tempted to just fall onto the mattress and let himself drift off to sleep. Of course, Albus refused to do that; taking a nap would be giving in to old age. Old he was not.

A man of eighty-three, he was a strapping young man, at least in the means of the wizarding world. He'd never understood the concept of aging to wizards versus muggles, but he could comprehend the fact that magic kept him and others looking younger longer. If he were to be mistaken for a muggle, he would look like someone of perhaps forty; a wonderful age. He did rather like the advantages of being magical most of the time.

Albus continued to survey his room and then made a break for the window to open up the white curtain. Sun streamed in through the area, lighting up anything and everything. He nodded in approval and then turned back to stare out the window.

He had the most beautiful view of the lake. The brilliant blue water swished only slightly as a breeze blew through the little cove. The surrounding trees also moved, dancing gently. Across the lake there was only one house, usually uninhibited when he visited. It was a rather nice home, containing a pleasant front porch and green shutters. He believed that the house opposite of him was a reason that Hermit Lake agreed with him so much. Though he was very much alone most of the time, the fact that he knew that there could possibly be someone else kept his mind wandering.

He loved people very much. Albus couldn't have chosen to be a professor if he didn't like people—particularly young ones. He worked at Hogwarts during the school year, acting as the Transfiguration Professor. The man had been doing it for nearly thirty years. During the summer he helped with different departments in the ministry, mostly specializing in education. However, Albus had been given a great amount of praise for his developments in magical elements.

That praise was perhaps a major reason of why he did indeed take a holiday every year. He didn't like to be thought of in the light that he was. Albus was not a great man; he simply knew his craft, simple as that. One or two discoveries did not make a person anything to hale. The world liked to think of him as modest; he considered himself unworthy. What a fine line there was indeed.

Albus blinked a few times, suddenly having his attention drawn elsewhere. There was someone on the lake, drifting in a boat. He pressed his nose to the glass of the window to get a better look. The figure was rather far away from him, but there was no doubt in his mind that what he stared at was in fact a feminine being. There was, as it seemed, a parasol blocking the sun.

He couldn't see anything of the girl. The man could not make out whether he was staring at a little child, an old woman, or, perhaps the most deadly of all, a middle-aged woman. The boat was completely facing the opposite direction. There was no way at all to see her face. Albus though, he made up an image in his mind. It didn't take much imagination at all for him to see a young woman floating across the way. She would have green eyes and blonde hair. Her skin would be milky white, hence the parasol.

The man shook his head slowly.

He hadn't been in love for years. He was jumping at any opportunity, even before all—if any—facts were known. He couldn't help but chuckle to himself; for all his luck, he'd be staring at someone old enough to be his grandmother. He could fantasize though, at least before he met her. He'd go across the way and meet the girl, woman, or lady that evening; until then he'd pretend that he would introduce himself to the most beautiful woman on Earth (who would fall madly in love with him).

Albus chuckled again. Hermit Lake would be the perfect place to woo a woman. He had the stars in the evening, the lake in the day, and a solitude that was inept anywhere else. Maybe if he kept his fingers crossed long enough he could get lucky, maybe even find the love of his life.


Hm. Well, had to leave it at that. Hope you liked the first chapter. of course, you must remember that this IS ONLY the first chapter, therefore, the least interesting to a point.

(sighs) I love romance. It's the best ever. I hope you share my interest, otherwise I daresay this story is not for you.

I'd be really thankful if you'd leave me a little note. I'll offer a cookie or two…I have chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin. Either one take your fancy?