Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, or any related articles. It all belongs to Warner Bros. and JKR. Wish I did, but I don't.
A/N: I got hiccups and in my mind, I thought how awful and funny, from some points of perspective that if Albus got hiccups during the start of term speech. Here's what I came up with, I'd love to know what you think, so review!
Summary: Hiccups, trips, kisses, and a whole lot of embarrassment.
A MMADness Story
Albus Dumbledore stood once more in front of the masses of students, watching with a smile as they all settled into their houses, ready to welcome them to a new year. He had taken to standing in front of the staff table because he felt he was closer to the students that way, and was waiting for his Deputy, Minerva McGonagall, to call their attention, which she did swiftly while he beamed over his new students and winked at a few of the old.
"Your attention please?" She called, her Scottish twang ever present, and the Hall fell silent instantly. Albus spread his arms wide and spoke.
"Welcome, new students and old, to another year at –hic- Hogwarts, hic, you are, hic, most welcome." Albus swallowed hurriedly. Why now? Why now of all times did he have to get hiccups? Some of the older students were beginning to laugh behind their hands and the younger students were looking shocked. Minerva's eyes snapped onto him and frowned. Had he forgotten to put that anti-hiccup charm on himself that she had given him? She gave a sharp look at some sixth-years in her house who were laughing loudly, and they quietened but couldn't stop giggling when Albus tried to finish his speech.
"Fir-hic-first years, hic, please –hic- note," Albus tried again, but they were getting worse. What on could he do? The charm Minerva had given him only worked when you didn't have them already! Why now of all times did he forget to use that damn charm? He swallowed anxiously, and grimaced across the heads of the students, hoping Minerva would stand and help him. She could finish the speech for him, then he could get rid of his hiccups in peace. His Deputy felt his distress and rose quickly; sighing threw her nose as she hurried around the end of the table to come to his side, still casting withering glances at staff and students alike, who were still laughing at him. It was just so typical of Albus to get hiccups the first night of term, when he could have easily avoided it.
She got within a foot of him and opened her mouth to finish what he had started when she heard a mutter (which afterwards she would surmise as coming from Rolanda or Severus' end of the table) and felt her foot hit something hard. Thrown off balance, she stumbled forwards, towards Albus. He turned, having heard her fumbling footsteps and stepped forward holding out his arms to catch her as she fell. Unfortunately, her momentum was a little more than he had expected and she slipped through his arms to land on his chest at which they both toppled over, with her head was level with his. Her arms wrapped around him as they fell and her face ended up less than half an inch from his own when they reached the floor. Her eyes met his, and her face flushed, neither noticing the pain in their limbs from the fall or the crowd that had stood to watch.
The temptation was too much to resist for Albus, being that close to her was intoxicating and he moved his head forward slightly so their lips met.
Minerva, whose face had been as distressed as his own, calmed instantly and she melted to his touch for those short seconds. Well, they seemed short to Albus, who had been waiting a very long time for this moment, but in fact it was about half a minute they lay there, oblivious to the cat-calling and cheers that were coming from everyone around them. It was the most wonderful thirty seconds they had ever shared, and when Albus moved slightly to tighten his hands around her waist, she tipped her head so she had better access to his lips. He was delighted, and she was in heaven. Then they suddenly both realised where they were and Minerva's eyes snapped open, terror evident in them as she pulled back.
Albus looked up at her with an almost lopsided grin, and she slid backwards, rolling to the side and shoving herself up to stand horrified with a finger tip tracing her lips incredulously. Albus continued to look up at her, bemused, before pushing himself up too and realising with a smile that his hiccups were gone. Well, there's no bigger surprise than your dreams coming true. It was then the whoops and noise from the Hall began to penetrate their ears and Minerva turned to see all of her students laughing, for the first time ever, at her. She stared at them, then turned and took the back exit, shoving past her colleagues who were also laughing, though into their hands, not caring about dinner, only that everyone had just seen her kiss the man of her dreams for the first time. Albus watched her go with dismay, then called everyone to order and finished his speech hiccup free (amid a fair few giggles and laughs not all from the students direction) before giving his first ever reprimand of the staff and students.
"I would appreciate no mention of this evening ever again, none of you here were at all helpful or indeed at all sensible this evening." He said heavily, looking over his glasses at the crowd before turning to glance at his colleagues. Many looked quite ashamed, but there were a few who looked up at Albus disappointedly. They had not expected to be told off for something they had nothing to do with, though two of the staff shifted uncomfortably under his gaze.
"What did you expect us to do Albus?" Rolanda asked, shaking off the uncomfortable look Albus had previously seen and standing to come round the table, careful to not loose her footing like Minerva before her. "Were we just supposed to ignore you lying on the floor with our Deputy Headmistress?" She asked, meeting his eyes and putting her hands on her hips. A few students raised their heads as she said it, their expressions agreeing with her. Albus looked over at her, and though his expression was disappointed, he did answer in a lighter tone.
"I did not know you had such a fascination with seeing to people lie on the floor at close proximity Rolanda." The flying instructor swallowed and glared at the Headmaster who was looking somewhat amused at the ripples of giggles that had spread out over the students at that remark (they knew that Madame Hooch was not generally fond of sentimental expressions of any kind), before replying in a heavily suggestive tone that she hoped would make Albus squirm and think,
"I don't usually, only when they happen to be two people who have loved each other since the dawn of time and only just realised it!" Albus blinked and frowned, wondering if perhaps for once, the woman had hit the nail on the head. But he was so unsure in himself of what he felt! Then his eyes drifted over to the door Minerva had just left through and he knew Rolanda was right. He wondered how he could have been so blind. The flying instructor noticed the glance with a softened heart and approached him carefully, saying quietly as she smiled,
"Go after her. I'll take care of this." Albus considered, then nodded, and motioning for Rolanda to sit down, as he turned and hurried to pick up a custard tart (a personal favourite of his) and some ginger newts for Minerva in case she didn't feel like coming back to dinner and considering how flushed and miserable she had looked when she left, he would judge not. He nodded to Severus to dismiss them then hurried after Minerva, followed by many eyes, some interested, some sad. He knew in his mind where she must have gone. Her favourite place to go was the lake but the way there was overlooked by the Hall, so she wouldn't go that way. He knew her second choice would be the Astronomy Tower. That is where he headed.
He pocketed the sweet things inside the depths of a side pocket as he hurried to the steps that would take him to the Astronomy Tower, and began to ascend them. Worry was coursing through him, and shame was working its way into his mind. What if she regretted the kiss? It had felt wonderful at the time, but what if she thought it was a mistake? What would become of him if she did not feel the same way as he felt for her? He had forced himself on her, and had given her no choice! She couldn't very well push him away, she was lying on top of him! What must she think of him?
Albus quickened his pace, hurrying up stair after stair, not stopping when he reached the Astronomy stairs. His chest was heaving, but still, he did not stop. He had to talk to her, as soon as possible, and explain. With a little luck and hope on his part, she would feel the same as he; after all, she had seemed as if she had enjoyed it. Finally, his foot fell on level ground and his chest expanding rapidly to compensate for the loss of oxygen but he soon had his breathing under control and he sighed with relief, but it was short-lived. The sound of heart-felt sobs reached his ears, and he turned to find Minerva looking at him, her emerald robes easily distinguished against the dark walls.
Her checks were pale, and he could see even at this distance that there were shining trails left on them from her tears. His heart went out to her, and in an instant, he was by her side, opening his arms to her to ask if she would like the comfort he knew how to provide, murmuring her name very softly. She went willing into his arms, and they wrapped around her warmly, while hers slid around his waist as before but this time her head lay in the crook of his neck and he could feel her shaking. He soothed her, and soon she had recovered enough for him to say, without feeling guilty of taking advantage of her vulnerability,
"Minerva, I'm so sorry. I was wrong to push myself on you like that." Albus murmured, rubbing a hand up and down her back soothingly, the apology as sincere as her abating sobs. She shook her head and drew away, looking up at him amazedly. She could not believe he thought that was what had upset her. No, quite the opposite. She had enjoyed the kiss very much, but had been disappointed with herself for not thinking of where she was, or of the circumstances that would follow if she went along with it. No, she had realised in that minute just how much she really did feel for Albus, but unfortunately, so had everyone else. Albus looked down at her, wondering what she was thinking. He still had hope, but he couldn't read her eyes this time.
"Albus that is not is at all. I'm glad you closed the gap; you should have done it a long time ago instead of being the gentleman all this time. I wish I had had the courage. No, I'm just upset that it happened with so many people watching! Oh Albus, you know I hate people knowing things about my private life, and this will be all over the papers by tomorrow. I wish… well, that it had not happened there. In your rooms, maybe." Minerva replied anxiously at first, but then easing a little as he sighed with well, relief would be an understatement. Albus was overjoyed that it was not the actual kiss she regretted, just the circumstances. But in his mind, it was a good thing. It meant they didn't need to hide their love from the students, the staff, and eventually, everyone else.
"Minerva, I love you, I have done for years, I realise that now, and if it would make you happy, then I will go back to the Hall and erase everyone's memories of tonight, if you wish." Minerva thought her heart was going to burst when she heard that and she made to answer but he continued. "But I don't think it really matters that people know, I mean, now the war's over and no one is being targeted anymore, does it matter who knows? And my dear, I think some even knew how we felt before we did, Rolanda made that clear after you left. They would not have rested until they had made some sort of attempt to make us – what is the word nowadays? – an item."
Minerva laughed, and nodded, then drew in a sharp breath as he lifted a hand and draped it down her cheek, noticing for the first time that her eyes fluttered as he touched her. Her cheeks were subsiding back to their normal colour and her eyes were shining with happiness from his admission. He smiled down at her, and smoothed his thumb over her skin, causing a thrill to run up her back. She, with effort, pulled her eyes open and answered, finally reassuring him that she was indeed the woman he was to spend the rest of his life with.
"I love you too Albus, have done for what seems forever, and now that you put it like that, it does seem rather silly." Albus raised an eyebrow but before he could tell her that he didn't think that at all she smiled and raised her own hand to rest it on his. "And I am glad we don't have to hide, because I do love you." Albus slid his hand further round her face and drew her to him to press his lips to hers, a lot more gentle than the last kiss had been. She sighed and gave herself to him, happiness swirling around them. As they drew apart, they both smiled and entwined their free hands. Taking advantage of the fact they were now alone, Minerva decided to be a little mischievous.
She knew of a spot just above his hip bone that was particularly sensitive owing to the fact that his brother had hit him there with a hex when he had been younger, and she let her hand drop to just above the spot so she could swirl a light finger over his robes which would no doubt agitate the skin underneath. She had accidentally caught it a few years ago when brushing past him, and had looked up concerned when he had groaned. He had explained, but neglected to tell her that it was only she that had ever made him groan when touching the spot. As she touched it, he started and his gaze flicked between her finger and her face, where a small smirk was blossoming.
"Minerva, we should really be getting back to dinner." Albus demurred, as her finger drew a small circle, and his eyes tried to close of their own accord. She moved closer, a seductive tinge to her tone as she asked quietly,
"Why is that?" Albus swallowed, and as she moved closer so she was pressed against him, he couldn't seem to formulate a sentence that made sense in his mind let alone out loud.
"Uh, well…um, err…" He mumbled, trying to think of a reason but his mind was distracted and for once not quite up to the task. After all, it wasn't often he was this close to her, and well, temptation was building up again. Minerva smirked, and leant up on her tiptoes to whisper,
"Well, isn't this an unusual sight. Albus Dumbledore tongue-tied." He gulped, and she smiled before pressing her lips to his, asking for the comfort of his touch to answer the aching in her heart. He gave up trying to think, and swept her up in a love that would last through ages uncounted.