The Miracle Which Is Life

Disclaimer: Albus and Minerva both belong to J.K. Rowling, and I thank her for allowing her fans to legally write fanfiction.

The snow began to fall on the ground as if the heavens had waited until this day to send all the pleasurely weather. But what was so special of this day, she asked herself. What set today apart from all other? Why now? Why, when there were decades to come? She shook her head, she hated the snow, but somehow in all her infinite wisdom she couldn't put her finger on just why she was so unhappy with it.

Winter, she told herself, was coming early this year. And she knew just what that meant: a very harsh- albeit short- season. So was the holy time of year, but she hadn't the slightest care in the world. She never made too much of a fuss over the holiday time. She prayed to the angels and to God to keep all safe and well, she prayed to let the world rejoice in happiness for just one moment, one moment of safety. . . . . and without fear or longing. Just simply being, that was good enough for her.

"What is wrong, my dear?" came a very calm voice from somewhere across the courtyard in which she was sitting.

A bird chirped, one of the few that hadn't migrated yet, but she knew it would leave soon. She smiled and again shook her head. "Nothing is wrong, Dumbledore, nothing whatsoever is wrong."

"Then why the look of pensive thought?" he asked her, finally coming to view near a non-native pine that had somehow made it's way there.

"No," she disagreed, "not pensive, just. . . ." She searched for the right word. "conscientious I suppose."

He stroked a needle on the tree, pricking his finger and drawing blood. He turned to her. "Why is that?" he asked quietly, calmly, effectively.

Her head was now in her hands, her elbows coming to rest on her knees. He made his way to sit on the cold stone bench where she was. He took one of her small hands in his. She frowned when she saw he had cut himself. "Albus, you're bleeding," she said gently.

He glanced at their interlocked hands. "That I am."

She had just begun to realize the drop in temperature and shivered. "It's rather getting cold, we should. . . . . ." She looked into his eyes and was lost, lost in those beautiful blue eyes of his. She had paused her sentence, she had yet to make the words come from her lips.

". . . . . go inside," he finished for her. She blushed, maybe it was the cold, or maybe she actually was a bit embarrassed, though the latter was brushed aside.

The bird chirped again. She paid it heed and smiled, maybe the winter wasn't so bad after all. They made their way to the castle. The trip seemed long. There was no interruption from Peeves, no other teachers left in the cold, no ghosts hiding to catch a mysterious gaze. It was only they in the corridor, only the most handsome looking couple ever to be seen. And never to be seen.

Her quarters were closest, and so he bid goodnight. But she wouldn't hear of it. "You are bleeding, you are cold," she said. "Come, have a bit of cocoa and maybe a warm moment or two by the fire."

He made as if to protest, but knew she could- would- make him come either the easy way or the hard way. He decided he'd rather the easy way, and what the hell, why not? He was a grown, respectable man and her superior, why couldn't he have a drink with his collogue? That was why, he noted as she led him into her private sitting room. The way she moved, the way her hips swayed from side to side when she walked, the way her buttocks was perfectly sculpted, and the way her hair glistened in the firelight. That was why he knew he shouldn't.

"Come, Albus," she said, sitting upon a crimson colored sofa, "I promise I don't bite." Of course, he knew she didn't bite, but that wasn't the point. The point was- Oh! what was the point again, he had to ask himself once more. Twice more.

He sat beside her and began to stick his still bleeding thumb in his mouth. She stopped him before he did so. "Don't," she told him softly. "Here, let me." She easily took his thumb into her soft, warm mouth and suckled the blood from it. She just as easily brought it back down into his lap and said, "You always were quite level to pain."

The fire crackled. "I believe being around you has began to have an effect on me," he replied. She smiled. He saw her dig into the small table drawer to the side of the couch, probing for something. She had apparently found it. The sheathe was more beautiful than anything he had ever seen; more work had been put into it than the dagger itself, he thought. He was proven incorrect when she took the blade from it's casing. The hilt was perfect for her small hand, as if had been made for her and only her. It wasn't encrusted in jewels or frivolous valuables, but the engraving on it was incredible. A scene was portrayed, one long since lost to men that even Albus knew perfectly well didn't exist, yet so it did. Camelot, Arthurian mythos, knights, and a round table were all there. Of course there was a sword knot, what flamboyant dagger didn't have one? It was of old dragon hide, he knew for a fact; fore, this was no ordinary dagger, such it was the blade of Guinevere. At least 1500 years old, he thought to himself, and yet it was still stunning.

Minerva didn't so much as flinch as she sharply brought the metal against the flesh of her left thumb. She bled openly, and the blade was stained with rich, hot blood. Her finger was now bleeding profusely, as did he noticed his was doing also. She took his hand, their fingers were joined, the blood was beginning to whirl rapidly together and so their blood was bonded. He felt a rush, as did he knew she was feeling too. They were bonded by blood now, allies for life. The cuts had both healed themselves by now and the two were smiling dully.

The fire was now causing the warmth their bodies were basked in. Minerva now had the sudden urge to do the first spontaneous thing in her lifetime. "Why don't we go back outside?" she asked, her smile brightening even more so her face, taking 30 years off her age at the very least.

He smiled too. "Yes, I would love that." And before either knew it, their cloaks were on, the mugs of hot cocoa forgotten, and out into the courtyard they were.

The same bird chirped again. It was blue, she noticed for the first time. 'It was blue!' she chanted like a mantra over and over in her mind. 'Blue.' She almost wept then and there. Blue like his eyes, blue like the mood of this sullen sky, blue. . . . . like the color of the blanket she had used as a child. They sat upon that bench once more. Once more for old time's sake, they both thought, silently communicating with one another. They knew this war would end soon, and they knew that they were going to end their lives with it. She wrapped her arms around his neck with a sigh and leaned her head on his shoulder. In turn, he lay his head on hers. She shed a tear knowing that she'd never get to express how she felt about him. And he bit his lip knowing he would never get to hold her like this again and tell her how much he loved her. They both gazed unknowingly at the sky, why they did that, they hadn't the slightest clue. The bird finally flew off, off somewhere warm where it was less likely to be in exposure to great threat.