Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, or anything to do with it. I also owe the end of the story to Always Hopeful, who completely rocks my socks.
A/N: Okay, so as previously stated, Always Hopeful wrote the end of the story, and she rocks my socks. lol. Um... other than that, just the usual: reviews are great, hope you and enjoy, yadda yadda yadda.
PS: Oh, if anyone's looking to do a co-written story, I'll be glad. I'm in the mood to write with someone else, I'm kinda getting lonely. lol. ttyl!
Harry Potter's eyes caught the lone figure of his Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, walking across the snow covered grounds, and turn the corner around the castle. His interest was caught, so the snowball flung by Hermione Granger, caught in a moment of relaxation, stung the side of his head as it made contact. Harry frowned at her, before motioning to her, as well as their other mutual best friend, Ron Weasley, to follow him and be quick and quiet about it.
They both followed without argument, having become accustomed to Harry's knack of finding adventures to keep themselves entertained over the years, especially during winter and summer breaks. They moved quietly, their feet crunching under the packing snow, to peek around the corner of castle, so they were just looking over the hill.
And they noticed that they were not only watching one of their professors, but as well as watching another professor as well.
Albus is watching her lying in the snow, as if she doesn't feel the coldness biting away at her skin. Her robes are tied tightly around her curves – she never did have a stick figure, and he appreciated that very much on more than one occasion. He watches as the snow delicately falls on her face, kissing her cheeks lightly before melting away from the heat of her skin. She speaks.
"They hate me."
Albus steps forward, and replies to her, "They do not hate you, my dear." He knows the students do not hate her, having seen on more than one occasion the gratefulness in their eyes when she saves them from a detention from Serverus.
Her eyes are watching the snow fall down from the grayish sky, as she replies back to him, "I know they do; I've heard them talking about it."
Albus sighs, knowing that she is going back down a road of self doubt; he's never liked her going down the road, but to bring her back to her self confident self… he feels guilty about loving to have an excuse to give her a list of all the things that make her wonderful. He pushes away this feeling, as now is not the time to bother with his own feelings. Now, is for Minerva.
Albus gently kneels down beside her, and finds himself shivering from the snow biting away at his own skin now, as he lies down next to her. His blue eyes flicker over to her; he knows that she can feel him next to her. He's focused on the sky above them now, as is she. "My dear, hate is a very strong word."
"They used it." She says; her eyes not moving. He wonders if she's shivering like he is, but he doubts she is, as she has a tendency to forget when she is in low in confidence.
Before he gives her his answer, he worries about her health.
"They are teenagers, Minerva. They do not know what they say, or do, and they do not understand why there's a need to have homework."
"Albus…" she sighs, and a little warning flashes in his brain. He turns to look at her. He waits a moment, and she finally turns her own eyes to look at him as well. He doesn't like what he sees; green eyes filled with longing and sadness.
"Albus, do you think if they knew that I love them like my own children, they'd resent me more, or would they understand?" she asks him, her voice soft.
He notes in his head that she's putting the dark side, before the light side. "I think that if they knew we were married, and if they saw you with Abby, Peter, and Sophie, while they were younger, they would understand you."
Her eyes move from his towards the grey sky. "What do you mean, I'm the same person with our children, then without." She insists.
He smiles at her. He could go on and explain how to herself she's always the same person, but to others, she becomes a different person. Instead, he decides to say, "You understand people, darling, and you know how to handle people of all ages. It's what makes you a good teacher."
She sighs again, and gives him this question: "Then why is it that they hate me so?"
"They don't understand you." Albus replies, before deciding it was time for him to cheer her up. He smiles mischievously, and rolls himself over her, earning himself a squeak of surprise, and more giggles.
"Albus Dumbledore, how could you do this in broad daylight? What if a student were to walk by? We could be caught!" Even though she was attempting to scold him, she could not keep the smile from spreading onto her beautiful face.
"Therein lies the excitement, my dear," Albus replies with that ever present twinkle in his eye.
"Albus, behave," she replies. He can see in her eyes that there are still traces of self doubt, but not as much as before. Leaning down, he offers a small peck on the lips before standing and helping her up as well.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione quickly rushed away, not wanting to be caught spying on their two professors. Once they were sure they were far enough not to be held suspicious, they slowed and offered small smiles to each other.
"They're married..." whispered Hermione, not really speaking to anyone in particular. Ron was beat red and Harry wasn't quite sure how to react.
"Well, I suppose it makes sense," he said after a long while.
"Bloody hell," murmered Ron as they all came to a stop.
"We cannot tell anyone," said Hermione, looking first at Ron and then at Harry. They all nodded their agreement.
"Cannot tell anyone what, Miss Granger?" The three jumped as they turned and saw Professor McGonagall and Professor Dumbledore staring at them.
"Well, we-we-um," Hermione stammered.
"Yes, Miss Granger?" she asked, quirking a brow. Harry sighed in defeat.
"We can't tell anyone what we were planning on buying you for Christmas, professor," he said. Hermione and Ron looked at him, confused at first, but quickly catching up.
"That's right, Professor," continued Hermione. "It was supposed to be a secret..." Minerva smiled at the thought. A present? From her students?
"Well, thank you for your kindness, Miss Granger, but it really is not necessary to be spending your money on me." The prospect secretly thrilled her.
"No, we insist," continued Hermione. Minerva nodded her head, offered thanks again, and walked back to the castle with Albus by her side. Once they were gone, Ron looked at her and frowned.
"Great, now we really DO need to get her a gift."
"Oh, Ronald, knock it off and think of someone else for a change." With that, Hermione stormed off, Ron bickering with her and Harry shaking his head at the two.
Albus chuckles, as his arm slides discreetly around his wife's waist. He decides that although it's not so bad that the three students he knows best know that he and Minerva are married, he will not be sharing this information he had gathered from their encounter with his wife. He pulls her closer to his side, as they walk closer to Minerva's private rooms.
"What's so funny?" she asks, her eyes suspiciously looking him up and down.
He stops them both at the door, as he turns to her. "I think I remember telling you something about how the students really do care…" he trails off, grinning at her childishly.
He accepts the fact that he deserves the playful slap on his arm, as the door opens for them.