A/N: Since a few people asked for a final installment of the "Crush" and "Out of My League" fics, here ya go. Like the other two, it is vaguely based on a song. This one is "I Surrender" by Celine Dion.
Minerva gazed into the golden burning flames of her enchanted fireplace, consistantly shuffling a piece of parchment from one hand to the other. She slowly, carefully unfolded the note and reread its slightly faded words.
My dearest Albus,
The time has come that I feel obliged to tell you the words I have been hiding for quite some time. I cannot continue living with the lie that consumes me. I must now swallow my pride and confess this to you: I love you.
I do not, however, expect that you return my feelings. I only ask that, if possible, you do not allow this to ruin our friendship. Being your companion means more to me than anything else in the world.
With deepest sincerity,
Minerva began to crumble the letter and contemplated tossing it into the flames, but deciding against it, pocketed the paper on the inside of her robes. She took a deep breath and stood, knowing precisely what it was she had to do.
Albus sat in the high-backed chair in his office, drumming his fingers apprehensively against the desk.
"I must do something, Fawkes. She deserves to know."
The phoenix gave an understanding, somewhat sympathetic chirp and flew around the room, landing upon the back of his master's chair. Albus stood, briefly uncertain of his exact destination but determined to allow his heart to lead the way.
As he arrived at the foot of the staircase, a single shadow glided across the floor towards him. A chill ran down his spine as he found himself face to face with his Deputy Headmistress. Albus looked down with love and concern into her glazed eyes.
"What's wrong, my darling?" he asked comfortingly, smoothing her hair with his hand.
Minerva shook her head.
"Abus, I can't do this anymore," she said through slightly clenched teeth.
His heart sank. Perhaps this was not the best time to tell her, after all. Whatever it was that was on her mind was troubling her greatly, and Albus hated seeing her hurt. He put an arm around her.
"I should have told you years ago," she said, closing her eyes.
Minerva thought of the letter she had written, but it seemed childish and irrelevant now that she was so close to verbalizing her deepest secret.
"You can tell me," Albus said in almost a whisper, leaning closer to her.
Minerva took a deep breath, surrendering her innermost doubts and fears and catching his lips in a soft but passionate kiss.
"I love you," she whispered breathlessly.
Albus took a moment to reassure himself that he was not dreaming and that it was, in fact, reality.
"And I love you," he said, pulling her into another kiss.
Minerva rested her head into his chest, unsure whether to cry or shout or simply to be silent.
"You do realize that now the students will have legitimate cause for gossiping about our 'love life'?" Albus said with a chuckle.
Minerva looked up at him with a mischevious smile.