"I need two members of staff to go to Scotland to do a little errand for me," Albus announces one morning in the Hogwarts staff room. Severus looks up from the heavy potions textbook he was reading and passes a glance at Minerva who is at his side He smiles before he whispers, "I do believe that you are a Scotswoman Minerva, you would be best suited for Albus's "little errand"." She throws him a cold glance before replying:
"Do you remember when Albus had his other "little errand"? We spent days trying to track that poor professor when he got lost a mountain cave in some god forsaken place! And when he came back the poor man had to be taken to St Mungos for his memory to be erased" Severus sniggers.
"But you would be the best seeing as you are Scottish, you wouldn't get lost because you know the place?" he asks raising an eyebrow.
"Just because I am Scottish does not mean I know Scotland like the back of my hand Severus!"
"One should hope that you would know enough of the place so if you do get lost then at least you would know of a near by place that you could go to." Minerva opens her mouth to say something but Dumbledore cuts across.
"Minerva I would like it if you could go to Scotland," he says pleasantly and Minerva gapes at him.
"Headmaster I can't I have classes and I need to be here. I have a lot of work to do and-"
"All that is taken care of, there is a stand by professor that will stand in your place and as for all your work, Professor Flitwick has kindly agreed to do it," Albus smiles, "Besides it would be a nice little holiday."
Yes some holiday, I'll probably end up down some ditch for two months waiting for someone to come and find me and all I would have to survive on are some rodents which live down there. She grimaces at the thought and does not hide it from her face.
"Did I not say that you would go?" Severus hisses at her ear. She turns to answer him when, again, Albus cuts across her.
"Severus, I would like it if you could accompany Minerva on this. I'm sure having a holiday would suit you as well." This time its Severus who looks open mouthed at the headmaster.
"My classes headmaster, I'm already a little behind considering I have Longbottom in my class-"
"I have an excellent professor that can do all this Severus. Really, you work too much and it would be nice for you to get some fresh air in you lungs. Its not healthy if you don't take a break from brewing potions."
Since when did you become a potions expert? Severus thinks sourly.
"Well with that done I think we should have some breakfast, I for one, am starving." And with that Dumbledore exits the staff room followed by the others, all except Minerva and Severus who still stare open mouthed after the headmaster.
Severus slowly raises his hand and knocks softly on the door; he hears her call and opens the door. She looks at him with an eyebrow raised.
"Hello Severus, what may I owe this honour to?" she asks, she sees the small smile on his lips.
"Its Wednesday, I think you do all the honours with the weekly drink and I think we need one after this mornings news?" he says and she sighs and stands from her place at her desk.
"I'm not looking forward to it; I can only imagine what would happen." She lifts up a bottle of their usual Firewhisky and pours them both out a glass.
"Are you happy about the company?" he asks taking a sip and sits down on the sofa. She smiles and goes to sit beside him, "The company is interesting and much better than putting me with anyone else could you imagine if it was Sybil?" she laughs, "I don't think she would of returned …" she laughs again at his raised eyebrow.
"It's also better than you going alone." He adds and she nods.
"When are we leaving?"
"Tomorrow morning, we have to travel as muggles; we have to be muggles because the person we have to meet is a muggle."
"Trust him to do deals with muggles," mutters Severus. Minerva chuckles and rests her head against his shoulder.
"It would be quite nice to have a holiday…" she says softly.
"Mmm yes but not one that Albus has arranged…we'd end up in the infirmary having all our bones re-grown and Merlin knows what else," he says moving his arm round her thin waist. The next hour they talk of all the things they would expect in an Albus prepared holiday, amusing them both by saying outrageous things. Towards the end of the evening Minerva asks;
"Severus what are you going to wear tomorrow?"
"Clothes of course Minerva, like any sane person," he says this sarcastically and she lightly whacks him with the back of her hand.
"I know you're going to wear clothes, but what ones? We have to be muggles you know you can't wear you're robes."
"I know all of this Minerva and I have some suitable black clothes to wear," he says, "What are you wearing?"
"Clothes Severus, like any sane person," she mimics and receives a small scowl in return.
"Seriously Minerva, you should have grown out of childish games by now," he says a thin smile not escaping his lips.
"Lighten up Severus," she says and entwines her fingers with his, "I'm going to wear what I usually wear if I have to mix with muggles." He nods and she, smiling, brings her lips to his in a soft kiss.
She waits near the front door entrance; she wears a black skirt, a green blouse over which she has a V-neck tartan jumper and a plain black coat. She glances at the big clock and sees he is late, she taps her foot in annoyance and then she hears the familiar footfalls of his. Her eyes widen when she sees him dressed in plain black trousers, white shirt, a black jumper and a black trench coat. He looks at her and raises an eyebrow at her expression.
"Good morning Minerva, I do hope there is a reason you're looking at me like that?" he says standing near her.
"Severus, I'm just surprised that you actually have muggle clothes," she says in reply and kisses his check softly.
"I said so yesterday, or did you think I was lying?" he asks as she pulls back.
"Of course I didn't think you were lying! It's just you don't have a lot of fondness with the muggle world so I thought that you wouldn't own anything muggle made," she peers at him and see he is smiling.
"I might not like the muggle world but sometimes you have to do things you don't like and when I have to mix with them I also need something to wear," he looks at the clock, "You said the same yesterday."
"I remember Severus. Where is Albus? The man wants us to be early and he himself is late, speaking of which you were also late yourself Severus."
"I don't usually have to wear these clothes so naturally I put them at the back of my wardrobe and I had a hard time finding them again," he says and at the time Dumbledore appears smiling broadly.
"Morning Severus, Minerva. Glad to see you nice and early, now I have a map which you can follow, it's the easiest rout to follow," he hands Minerva the map and both she and Severus glance at it, the rout led them all the way to the north of Scotland.
"Now because you are going to be with muggles I think it would be best if you do not use a lot of magic," both of them nod, "so that is why I'm going to bond them so they can only perform ten spells."
"Headmaster you can't, what if we need more than ten spells?" Minerva says outraged.
"Then I suggest that you use them wisely," Albus says his eyes twinkling as he sees their shocked faces. He takes their wands in his hands and mummers a spell and Severus and Minerva watch as red smoke comes out of hers and wraps around the tip of Severus's. Then the smoke disappears and both ends of the wands glow yellow for some seconds before Dumbledore gives them back to their owners.
"I believe you are ready to go," Albus says and Minerva and Severus nod.
The doors open and they walk down to the platform and get onto the Hogwarts express, which is waiting to take them to Kings Cross.
"Severus we need to get that train!" Minerva says heatedly as she watches the potions master tag after her fast strides. He gives her a cool look and gets on the train with her. They move down the train and are fixed with stares from the other passengers. Quite a few look at Severus and herself and she wonders if they really do look non-muggles. They find two empty seats and sit down, there are only three others in the carriage and two are too busy concentrating on sticking their tongues down each other's throats then to bother with them. The other one is asleep so they basically have the carriage to themselves. She takes out the map that Albus gave them and Severus peers over her shoulder.
"So we are travelling to the bloody northern outskirts of Scotland?" he says irritation in his voice. With a sigh Minerva nods and folds the map back up and places it in her tartan handbag once more. He takes her hand and gives it a squeeze she smiles and returns the gesture, leaning against him. She was glad it was him that could go with her and she was also glad that she wasn't going alone. After an hour the other passengers have got off and Severus looks at his watch.
"Minerva, I think we should eat something, this is a muggle train we don't have food service on here," he says and pulls his wand.
"We only have ten spells Severus," she says, "We need to use them wisely."
"So starving is an option? We do need to eat Minerva," he says and folds his arms after laying his wand in his lap.
"Alright, your right," she says and he picks his wand up and casts a simple spell and on his lap appeared a plate of sandwiches of different fillings. They eat without speaking until they are both full. The plate he just left on the opposite seats and he puts his arm around her waist.
"This is going to be very interesting on how we mange to cope with each other," he says his voice muffled against her hair.
"Yes, I wonder which one of us will return to Hogwarts alive?" she says lightly and he gives a low chuckle. She lays back and closes her eyes, her mind's eye she can see the two of them in some little cabin far away in the snow, in a Nordic country because Severus wasn't into the sun and hot places, which suited her. Smiling softly she slips off into a light sleep.
The small taxi pulls away and leaves them both staring after it. They are not at their chosen destination, which, the taxi driver says; they have to catch another train to get to the northern parts of Scotland. So they stand by another train station and Severus glances at the big clock hanging up.
"It's rather late Minerva, and the next train is not till 10 o'clock," he says in his voice the edge of annoyance shows.
"Then we should start tomorrow, for the night we could go to an inn or some pubs have rooms to let," she sighs and they make their way out of the train station. After circling the town the find a very small and crowded pub that has a room. She had to ask all the questions since Severus said he couldn't understand a word that they were saying; she laughs at this and translates. In the end they go up to the room, which is on the second floor, which is the top floor. The room itself is of a normal size that means it has enough room for a double bed, chest of draws with a mirror and a small on suite and still has some more room. Minerva places her handbag on the chest of draws and then collapses on the bed. Severus goes and lies by her side and she turns towards him.
"This is so tiring, Muggle transport takes out all your energy," she says yawning and kisses his cheek.
"I most certainly agree and would like to point out that their rooms in the pubs aren't the best quality," he says sighing in her hair.
She gives a small laugh, which is cut short when his mouth is on hers for a passionate kiss. She moans softly against his lips when his passes his long smooth fingers trace the swell of her breasts. They make love slowly and in the aftermath she lays in the circle of his embrace, with a lazy smile on her face she falls asleep content.
The morning comes and they are both awakened by a loud banging sound and very angry male shout from down the corridor.
"What in hell's name is going on…," Minerva grumbles as she rises out of her peaceful sleep to the harsh noise.
"If I didn't have the amount of spells I could do bound to ten I would blast that man to hell and back," Severus curses and gets out of the bed heading for the shower. Smiling she follows him and he raises an eyebrow at her when she does.
"Don't cats hate getting wet?" he says all innocent like and she hits his arm lightly with the back of her hand.
"Very funny Severus," she says sarcastically and he sniggers, so before he can get a word in she pushes him into the shower and turns the hot water on before slipping in herself. They finally emerge twenty minutes later when the water turned cold and she realised that they had to be out of the room by noon.