Disclaimer: I don't own anything, just the plot so don't sue me.
A/N: I thought this up half asleep, sitting in an arm-chair curled up in a ball, so apologise if the plot seems a little random. I thought it was sweet anyway. Oh, and the bit where her hair comes free? I always wind my hair up into a bun, and I thought perhaps she does the same and then pins it, just in case you didn't get it.
R&R as always, I would be nowhere without my lovely reviewers! Thank for all who reviewed my last fic, you people keep me going!
Summary: How can Albus resist when she's so peacefully asleep not giving her a little kiss? He can't.
When She's Asleep
Albus looked over the top of his book, his twinkling blue eyes surveying the interesting scene before him with amusement. Minerva, his Deputy Head and secretly, his one and only love, was curled up an arm chair by his fire with her head leant against the back and her own infinitely larger novel resting on her raised knees.
Her eyes had been fluttering for quite some time now, and Albus had the sneaking suspicion she had given in to her own tiredness, at last. She had been so exhausted these last few days, and he knew she hadn't been sleeping well. Her eyes were no longer flying across the page as they had been doing in a frantic effort to keep herself awake. Albus slowly put down his book and crept slowly towards her, a smile creeping over his face.
She didn't move, and his suspicions were confirmed. She was most definitely asleep. He moved quietly over to her and paused, observing the peaceful and pleasant look she held on her countenance. She was so beautiful, laying there it was if she was quite at peace with the world. Albus let a loving smile pass onto his lips.
How he longed to lean down and give her a small, sweet kiss. Just once, so he could know how it felt, for he was sure it would never happen. She felt nothing for him, not in the same way he felt for her. He loved her, with his whole heart and soul. It was for he fought, for her he won, for her he dreamed up new ways to irritate the staff, just so she would laugh at him.
Blinking, he brought himself back to the present dilemma. What to do about the woman asleep in his arm chair. He couldn't very well carry her through the castle to her own rooms, they would be seen and suspicion would arise. But he couldn't very well leave her here either. Albus sighed and ran his fingers over his chin, thinking.
The only solution he could see was for him to sleep on the couch and for her to sleep in his bed. However inappropriate she would think it in the morning. Albus couldn't think of another way for her to rest comfortably, she was already beginning to stir a little from the uncomfortable position. He didn't want her to be embarrassed by waking up now, very stiff.
He stepped around the chair so he was in front of her, still watching her admiringly, before leaning down and sliding his arms under her legs and around her back very very carefully, so as not to wake her. She moved her head to nestle into his chest and muttered something.
Albus couldn't help the glowing smile that slid onto his face then. It was like he had stepped into one of his best dreams. Minerva was in his arms, her head in his chest and sleeping peacefully. He sighed longingly, and carried her gently out of his office and into his private chambers. After somehow managing to open his bedroom door, he placed her gently onto his bed, and transfigured her robes into one of her nightgowns that he had seen her wearing (one late night call to discuss something he had forgotten instantly on seeing her).
A small, warm smile appeared on her face at this, and she turned from being on her back to face him, her eyes still heavily shut but the peaceful look on her face turning to one of happiness, breathing in deeply as her hair rumpled a little on his pillow. Albus bit his lip. It was so tempting. Resolving to apologise when she woke up, he leant over her to remove the pins holding her hair in place.
Sliding them from their places, he took a deep breath and leant back, her smell intoxicating him. It so happened that when he had finished, she turned again so her face was buried in the pillow, and her hair began to unwind. Albus watch, fascinated as it came free and fell all over her, sweeping over her shoulders and down her back.
Albus drew in a long breath, trying to contain himself as all his feelings for her rose to the surface. Why did she hide her beauty? Why was he the only one to see it? Why was he the only one foolish enough to loose his heart to a woman that didn't love him? Why? His mind screamed at him to leave, but his heart pleaded with him to just give her a small kiss first. Just to remember.
His eyes swept over her figure and he moved away a little to pull the duvet over her, thinking that perhaps she moved because she was cold, and also wanting to steady himself with distance. He would not jeopardise his friendship with Minerva by giving in now. But surely one little kiss wouldn't hurt? Just one.
He came back to stand near her head, and she once again turned her face towards him, her lips parted slightly. Albus could feel his breath becoming ragged, the sight of her full, rosy lips almost too much to bear. Before he knew what he was doing, he leant down and gently brushed his lips over hers, savouring the feel of her lips and the scent of her hair and the rushing feeling in his heart that told him this was undeniably the most beautiful moment of his life.
She stirred slightly, and he thought he felt a small response to his touch, but he pulled back quickly in case she awoke. Thankfully, she just pressed her lips together and muttered, loud enough for him to hear,
"I love you." Albus let himself answer, knowing she was still asleep and there was no harm in it.
"I love you too Minerva." Then he pulled back, and slid over to the door, a sweet, loving smile touching his mouth again. Letting his eyes take in her figure under his sheets again, willing himself to remember every single detail before he closed the door. He noticed her hand snake up to her face and gently touch her lips, as if savouring something. He did the same, knowing he would never forget it.
"Goodnight Minerva." He whispered, slipping out of the room, and closing the door behind him. 'Now for the couch, though I know I won't sleep.' Albus thought, grinning.
Minerva snuggled into the pillow a little more, knowing that in a little while she would have to get up and face the world again, but she wanted a few more minutes. She wanted to enjoy the feeling of happiness and contentment that was glowing inside her. Why was she so happy?
Gradually, her senses began to tell her. She had fallen asleep last night, in front of his fire, and she remembered a slight touch on her lips and a warm presence beside her but other than that, it was blank. For some reason, she didn't mind. She was happy, more so than she had been in a long while, but why?
She felt like Albus was here, in the same room as her, but that was impossible. Her nose told her that he was here, she could distinguish his scent a mile away, but her hearing told her no one was in the room apart from her. While she still wanted to cling to the last bit of sleep she had, she was mystified. How could he be here, yet not be here?
She opened her eyes and gasped. This was not her room, as she had thought. This was not even her bed. These were Albus' rooms, and (her mind went into over-drive at this thought) Albus' bed! She sat up hurriedly, and found she was in her nightgown, not the robes she had worn last night. She knew what he must have done.
He had given up his bed so as not to cause her the embarrassment of waking her, or carrying her through Hogwarts. She shook her head and sighed.
"What am I going to do with you Albus?" She asked out loud, sliding out of bed and transfiguring her nightgown back into her usual teaching robes. It was only then she realised her hair was flowing around her shoulders. She headed over to his mirror, glaring at her reflection which showed a slightly ruffled, bright, happy woman.
"Minerva, you look simply wonderful. I wish you would always be so free with your hair." Came a delighted voice from behind her. She knew that voice. Turned round, she aimed her glare at him instead of her reflection. Albus smiled genially, looking especially handsome in dark blue robes that accentuated the light blue of his eyes.
"Albus, what on earth did you think you were doing? Why didn't you let me sleep on the sofa instead of taking yourself off like that? Or better yet, why didn't you try waking me up and sending me off to my own rooms!" Minerva asked him exasperatedly, meeting his eyes and was not amused when her little speech merely made him laugh.
"My dear, I was thinking of you and I wanted you to sleep well, and not wake up with cramps everywhere. I was quite comfortable on the couch, and as I can see, you slept well." Minerva blushed, and turned away, running a hand through her unorganised hair which made her blush all the more. Albus was delighted.
"Really Albus, if you can sleep comfortably on that old thing I'm sure I can." Minerva replied, shaking her head at him and hurrying over to his mirror, conjuring hair pins to put her unruly hair back in its place. Albus sighed and went over to stand behind her, taking her hands in his.
"Albus." She protested quietly, trying to ignore the feel of his breath on the back of her neck, and the tingle of excitement shooting up her spine as their skin connected. He smiled sweetly at her reflection in the mirror, gently holding her hands in front of him behind her back. She would not pull her hair back this time.
"Yes my dear?" He answered in a whisper, leaning forward so his mouth was level with her ear allowing his emotions to take over. She shivered, the tingle becoming a buzz in her ears. Albus smiled and she couldn't help smiling back. It was a sweet smile, just like his, and he noticed.
"Why are you holding my hands?" She asked very quietly, half afraid, half terrifically excited that perhaps his mouth would touch her ear. When had this started? When had this become so intimate? Minerva didn't care, and Albus certainly didn't. He chuckled and looked over his glasses at her reflection, giving her a look.
"Because I love your hair as it is." He replied, his tone so soft that had he been a few more centimetres away she would not have heard. Minerva drew in a long breath, wondering what else he meant. His tone seemed to carry a double meaning.
"Indeed." Was all the reply she could make. He chuckled again, and his thumb began to make soothing circles across her soft skin, making her shiver again. Albus felt it, but made no comment. He knew she wasn't cold; her hands were pleasantly warm, so he knew she must feel what was in the atmosphere as much as he did.
"Minerva…" Albus breathed, turning his head and placing a light, soft kiss on her cheek. Minerva drew in her breath sharply, watching his reflection in the mirror, hardly daring to believe what he had just done. He pulled back slightly, and sighed longingly, just as he had done last night.
That sound Minerva recognised, and jolted her memory somewhat. She knew now what the soft touch on her lips had been, and knew why she had felt so happy when she had woken. Albus had shared his soul with her last night, though he hardly knew it. He had not thought she was wake, and in a sense, she hadn't been, but she was aware.
"Albus, I know." She whispered, turning her head to look at him, her eyes speaking what her heart knew but her mouth would not tell. Albus saw the joy, the passion, the love, all the same combinations of emotions he saw in the mirror every morning when he woke up. He saw her love. She knew.
He could contain himself no longer, and leant forward, capturing her lips with his own, in much more than a soft kiss, as last nights had been. This was passionate, hot, loving and arousing all at the same time. She melted into him, turning to him so as not to impair herself. He dropped her hands to slid his own around her, one on her neck, one on her waist.
She was engulfed by a siege of emotions, most of which she had never felt before in her life but they were all there, swirling around her brain and exciting it as nothing but he could. He was drawing her closer, trying to extinguish a fire that had been burning for far too long.
She slid her arms around his neck, pulling him closer as well. They were completely surrounded by their feelings and their love, which had made itself known now. He drew back quickly, questioning her with a look that this was truly what she wanted. She merely gave him the same look he had given her over his glasses.
"I love you Minerva, I hope you know that." Albus murmured, brushing some of her stray hair form her face and resting his hand against her cheek. She smiled and murmured back, the contentment she felt when waking returning with full force,
"I do know Albus. And I love you too." The happiness that leapt into his eyes was unmistakable and Minerva couldn't help laughing. Not giving her anymore time, he pulled her back to him, his lips quickly finding hers this time and building up a passion unequalled by any either had ever felt.
Sliding his hand down from her neck to her waist, he picked her up and swung her around, their lips never parting for a moment but joy radiating everywhere. She was breathlessly happy, and he was possibly the happiest man ever to have lived. She truly was the love of his life, and she knew it.
Then a noise sliced though their happiness: A knock that was unmistakably a professor. Albus swore in his head and she drew away hurriedly, retreating to the end of the bed and waiting for Albus to do something. The knock sounded again.
Cursing under his breath again, Albus swept from the room, and out into his office. The knock sounded again, and it sounded impatient. Albus sighed and called "Come in" to the unwelcome visitor. He was even more unwelcome when Albus saw who it was.
Severus. Now, of all the times for him to come, now? He looked very serious and Albus was immediately concerned. Something in his manner suggested this was not going to be a pleasant visit.
"Headmaster, a professor is missing." Severus told him, cutting straight to the point. Albus' heart beat quickened and he licked his lips hurriedly before asking apprehensively,
"Minerva." Albus sighed with relief, and breathed out. Oh thank heaven, it wasn't that she was missing at all; she was just not somewhere where many would think to look. Severus frowned at Albus' unexpected reaction. He seemed relieved! Ridiculous.
"Headmaster, did you understand me? She is missing! She did not turn up for breakfast and she is not in her rooms. I don't think she went to them last night even." Severus repeated his grave news. Albus smiled and answered quite happily,
"She is not missing Severus."
"Then where is she?" Albus had to stop himself from looking at his quarters' door and he answered carefully,
"She has returned to her room I think she came to see me about something before breakfast and we got to talking and so missed breakfast." Albus explained, hoping with all his might Minerva would not appear in his doorway any time soon. Severus seemed dissatisfied with this explanation.
"No, she is not in her rooms, I told you, I don't think she slept there last night." Albus looked away form the younger wizard, not quite sure how he could explain that. Severus frowned even deeper at Albus' obvious struggle for words. It was then Minerva chose to show herself.
"I'm here Severus." Minerva admitted, stepping out from behind the door, her hair back in its customary bun and her robes quite spotless. If it had been a different situation, Albus would have laughed at Severus' expression. It went from relief, to confusion, to realisation to disgust in a matter of seconds. He had obviously reached his own conclusions as to how she was in Dumbledore's chambers. Albus stepped forward to try and explain but Severus' mouth twisted into a smirk and he shook his head.
"There's no need to explain Headmaster. Some things even I am not ready for. Though I must say, it took a while." Albus' eyes nearly popped out of his head, and Minerva looked faintly embarrassed but Severus beat a hasty retreat, saying he would inform the staff Minerva had been found. Albus watched him go, too surprised to comment.
Minerva waited until he left then groaned and flopped down in one of the nearest chairs. Albus couldn't help but grin at her exasperation. Of all the people to come, it had to be him.
"Rolanda will love that little detail. I'd be surprised if I am not still hearing about it next year. And no doubt the students will find out as well." Minerva shook her head wearily. Albus smiled tiredly, and went over to her, picking up her hands and kissing the back of each one lovingly.
"Minerva my love, it doesn't matter. They would have found out anyway." Albus said, smiling down at her, the twinkle in his eyes brighter than before. Minerva nodded and smiled back.
"I know, I just would have liked a little time to enjoy 'us' before Rolanda began pestering me." Albus laughed, smoothing his thumb over the back of her hand in a patient manner. Minerva noticed and smiled then sighed, standing to lean in close and ask in a seductive tone,
"Where were we?"