Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter NOR any of his friends NEITHER any of his enemies. It's hard to admit, but when I'm done with them all, I have to return them to Joanne K. Rowling in an original wrapping and unharmed. I make no money, I mean no harm.

Simple Things

Minerva McGonagall put down her fork, sipped from her goblet and dared look on the other end of the staff table. He was worried, she could tell that, even if he tried not to give it away. She took another sip and glanced in his direction. This time their eyes met and his expression changed a little. Not softened... just changed. In an almost invisible, irritating, Severus Snape's way.

Men and women... that is never simple.

Minerva returned to poking in her meal. She couldn't deny she felt waves of warmth coursing through her body whenever she thought of her younger colleague... no, she could deny it and she surely would. To anybody but herself. And Severus, if he ever bothered to ask her about it. Which he never had and most likely never would.

It wouldn't feel so bad if it wasn't Severus who had started this... relationship. On Christmas Eve they had run into each other just under the mystletoe and Severus had kissed her with a glint of mischief in his eyes and then he had leant closer and whispered into her ear she had been the most beautiful woman in the Great Hall.

Maybe she should have known better when she had looked around to see that the only present female that could have been called a woman was Hermione Granger, the rest of girls being too young. But she hadn't minded. Not with a promise of something more, which had turned out to be a couple of nice evenings over a bottle of good wine, listening to soothing music and sharing three - three! - kisses. It hadn't been what Minerva had expected from dating a younger man.

If she could call it dating. Minerva frowned. At this unbelievable speed they were going to take off shirts just before she turned two hundred. It would be a nice birthday present, but Minerva preffered getting it a bit earlier. She decided to clear the topic, stood up and paced to Severus. She bent to whisper in his ear, pretending her heart wasn't beating twice its normal rate.

"I want to talk to you. My office?" He nodded absently, his eyes fixed on Harry Potter, who was just leaving the Hall with the rest of the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Minerva headed for her office.

Was she wrong expecting to find fire beneath the pale, sallow skin? No, she knew for sure it was there - then why the hell hadn't he shown her yet?

Severus left the Great Hall twenty minutes after Minerva. Not that they couldn't walk out together, but he had been talked to by Flitwick, who had insisted on consulting some stupid, unimportant chant right there and then. Severus sighed. He had planned on getting through some of the worse students' homework before the Quidditch match, but Mineva wanted to have a talk. That meant they might be late for the match anyway, as Severus had found himself incapable of stringing a short sentence in her presence lately.

As he approached her office, mind busy trying to figure out what she wanted to talk about, he heard a familiar voice. He stopped with his hand on the door handle. What was Argus Filch doing in Minerva's office?

"So what do you think?" Argus asked.

"Personally, I see no possible future for it," Minerva answered.

"I'm worried about it. He's so... cold," Argus said.

"He doesn't show his feelings and I must admit he didn't look like if he was ready for a commitment like this," Minerva replied.

"What commitment? A relationship?"

"If we can call it so, yes, a relationship. Maybe he's just too young to take such a thing seriously..."

"Yes, the difference in age," Argus interrupted. "That bothers me a lot. Not just he's younger, but so much younger... It's amoral!"

Severus turned on his heel and fled. Discussing their relationship with Filch, how could she!

Some unfortunate first-year didn't get out of his way quickly enough and he took ten points away from Hufflepuff without turning back to find out her name.

Reaching his own office, he shut the door behind him and started pacing over the room. Cold? He had been trying his best to be nice to her! Showing no feelings? She'd never told him she'd minded. Too young? Hadn't she known it before?

He stopped before a cupboard with lines of vials. The glass door of the cupboard reflected his face. She should see this, he thought, now I am showing a lot of feelings. He frowned and suppressed the urge to break the glass.

"Too young to take such a thing seriously," he murmured angrily. He felt like drinking a bottle of pure ethanol. But all he had was a bottle of wine, not strong enough to make him properly drunk. He returned to pacing the floor.

He took the thing seriously. Or had taken. He paused. Yes, had taken. He had held himself back not to scare her. He had done all things possible to make her sure he had meant it. Obviously Minerva hadn't got the message.

He gave in to his anger, swept a pile of parchments of the table and collapsed on the nearest chair.

"Not just he's younger, but so much younger... It's amoral!" Argus' words startled Minerva. She couldn't help thinking of Severus and how much have the both cases in common.

"Argus, come off it," she barked irritated. "They're cats! They have probably their own morality. Anyway, I believe Mrs. Norris is old enough to know what's good for her!" Argus seemed surprised by the change of her opinion. So was Minerva. Had she really just compared her situation with that of Argus' cat? She couldn't believe it.

"If you say so..." Argus said uncertainly.

"Now, if you can excuse me..." Minerva picked up few parchments and tried to look busy.

"Ah, waiting for someone." She looked up. "You should have said I was bothering." And Argus winked. Minerva's eyes narrowed.

"What are you talking about?"

"Mmm, you and Snape," Argus replied with a wide smile.

"H-how do you know about it?" she stuttered.

"Oh, I heard it from someone who heard it somewhere, you know..."

"A gossip."

"Don't worry, I won't tell anybody. That is, if there's still anybody who yet doesn't know." He's exaggerating, she realised. Must be! And a sad thought appeared on her mind: if only it was true...

Argus left and Minerva looked impatiently at her watch. Severus should have been there ages ago. Finally she decided to go and find out what kept him so busy. Or who...

Jealous, at your age, Minerva? She shook her head. But she didn't feel well about it all. Maybe she had made a mistake, maybe she shouldn't have let it start, maybe it was amoral, maybe she should stop it right now...

But she didn't want to stop it. She wanted to move forward and deeper and...

Minerva stopped and concentrated on the nearest painting. She shouldn't think like that. But in fact she wanted Severus Snape and he hadn't been very helpful about it.

Thinking about it, she didn't know what she had expected. Surely not fireworks, earthquakes or sparkling... anything. Maybe sparkling eyes. She sighed.

She saw a familiar shadow on the end of the corridor - Crookshanks with a mouse in his mouth. Most likely heading for a date with Mrs. Norris, who had her own feline morality. Minerva walked on slowly, frowning. Cats had oh so simple lives.

She knew what she wanted, though. To give and receive passion, to be held tightly and securately, to be kissed and possessed and guarded and loved.

What am I looking for? He'll never do it, two months are enough time to find out... Sad, she raised her hand to knock on the door. Without waiting for an answer, she entered.

The room seemed to be abandoned. There was no light and the floor was covered with parchments. Minerva slowly let the door close behind her. Automatically, she reached for her wand.

"Severus?" She took a few steps forward.

"What do you want?" he snapped. She turned to face him and hid the wand. He was sitting at the table, glaring at her angrily.

"You didn't come," she reminded him, confused.

"Oh, I did come." He stood up and walked towards her. She backed away and hit the wall behind herself. "I did come and I heard you." He was so angry, for a moment she thought he would strike her, but he just clenched his fists.

"Do you think you can talk about me like this? Handle me like this?" he yelled. She had no clue what he was talking about but never dared move or say anything. Her eyes grew wider when he shouted about how he felt about her and what he had expected. What a pity she couldn't understand half the words because of the way he spat them out. She learned, at least, that he had feelings for her and her heart began working way too fast.

"And now, now you think you can just... just turn me down like... that?" She wanted to protest. She wanted to say turning him down was the last thing she would want to do but she couldn't because he swore and kissed her.

It had nothing in common with their previous kisses. It was a deep and demanding kiss. Minerva felt a hand plucking her hat away and letting down her hair. Another hand grabbed her own hand and pressed it against the wall. She felt the weight of his body and the warmth of his body and the earth trembling.

I'm going crazy.

He released her hand and pulled at her robes, trying to undo the buttons. But his fingers were shaking, so a second later he yanked at the robes violantly, the buttons flying in all directions. He pulled the fabric to her waist and finally broke the kiss to look at her.

"I thought... Christmas... was in December," she managed to say. His eyes glittered as he leant forward again.

The room was quiet except for incatations Minerva used to sew repair her clothes. They didn't talk; they didn't need to say anything.

Severus watched her. With her hair falling down over her shoulders and on her back, she looked... marvellous. Beautiful. He felt he should say something nice, but he couldn't think of anything nice enough.

"We're going to be late if you don't move on with it," he said instead. She looked up.

"Like if it were my fault. I did bother with unbuttoning." He looked half guilty, half pleased and she smiled. She hadn't felt like this some, well, some years. She set to work again.

"What were you talking about, anyway?" she asked casually. "Well, shouted," she added.

"I heard you and Filch in your office and..."

"Oh, that Mrs. Norris talk?" She caught the expression on his face. "We were talking about Mrs. Norris and Crookshanks."

"Who the hell is Crookshanks?" he growled.

"Granger's cat." Minerva dressed up and looked at the clock on the wall. "It's almost eleven, let's go."

"Anxious to see Slytherin win?"

"Anxious to see Slytherin beaten," she replied easily. In fact, right now, she didn't really care for Quidditch. She cared for him.

She ran fingers through his hair, earning a peck on her cheek. They left the castle together and parted just to join their houses. Minerva reached her place next to Lee Jordan at the same time when the captains approached Madame Hooche to shake their hands.

"Um... Professor McGonagall?" Jordan said quietly.

"Yes, Jordan?"

"Why are you wearing Slytherin colours?" Minerva looked down on her scarf, then glanced at Severus and saw the very smile in his eyes no one other would notice. She reached for her wand to colour her scarf the right way but then an idea stroke her.

Among his students, Severus looked down on his red and golden scarf and pretended to be offended. At the same time they canceled the spells and shared a look no one else would decipher.

She loved him. As simple as that.