Disclaimer: The characters are JKR's. The song is Too Close For Comfort from the Goodnight and Good Luck soundtrack. I'm not JKR. I'm also, sadly enough not Diane Reeves or in anyway associated with Harry Potter or Goodnight and Good Luck.

A/N: Thank you to all my reviewers! It means more than I can say to know you enjoy my ramblings! Thanks to Always Hopeful, as usual, for her advice!

Happy reading! OSUSprinks

Too Close For Comfort

Be firm, be fair, be sure, beware

On your guard, take care,

While there's such temptation

He had watched her from a close, yet remote distance all year. Throughout classes and private lessons together, he had maintained a careful, firm distance from the serious child, who had returned for her last year as a beautiful, mature, witty- no. He drew the line for himself again. She had returned as she had left: his student. He must keep that at the forefront of his mind at all times.

This year had been the most difficult of his many spent teaching and it was only the beginning of the second term. His attempts to keep his distance, yet treat her fairly had worn on him. But he knew he must be sure to keep his guard up. One look, one touch could give him away not only to her, but to everyone. No. He must not allow that to happen.

One thing leads to another

Too late to run for cover

She's much too close for comfort now.

As he took her hand and lead her to the floor, he realized he had no one to blame but himself. It had been his idea for the heads of each house to teach their students to dance in preparation for the ball. He'd been more foolish still to ask for a volunteer. She was always the first to step forward to help him, no matter the situation. Now they were to dance in front of his students. He placed his hand on her narrow waist, taking her hand in his. Without making eye contact, he began to dance and immediately knew he was lost forever to the graceful beauty in his embrace. Finally daring a glance into her emerald eyes, he saw the same look he'd received most of the year, a knowing look.

He broke apart from her, attempting to calm his heart and the sudden flood of his emotions. As he encouraged his students to try the dance themselves, he felt no small measure of relief that she chose to be seated and not to dance with one of the many who had requested her hand.

Be wise, be smart, behave my heart

Don't upset the cart when she's so close.

Be soft, be sweet, but be discreet

Don't go off your feet, she's so close for comfort.

Her presence alone had allowed him to defeat the villain who had terrorized their people for so long. He'd tried to remain calm for the battle he knew was to come. She still affected him as ever, but the years had taught him to behave and cover his feelings. He would not upset her or the delicate balance of their small group by letting his feelings be known.

Yet the turning point in his duel with the evil tyrant had been her injury. As he saw the red light of the curse shoot toward his former student, every feeling, thought, and fantasy he'd ever entertained of a future with her had rushed to the surface, giving him the courage and power to defeat their common enemy.

In the immediate aftermath, she had been his first and only concern. He'd held her close to him as he made his way to a safe zone and the hospital. Soft words of comfort spilled forth easily from the lips of each to the other, yet he still forced himself to maintain his secrecy. He could not tell her, at least not yet. Perhaps, not ever.

Too close, too close for comfort, please, not again

Too close, too close to know just when to say "When"

Her right hand was in his left, his other hand was on her bare lower back, and they were dancing again. Not in front of his students this time, but in front of much of the community, as the world celebrated victory. She smiled up at him and he was once again lost to her. He held her closer to his chest as she laid her head on his shoulder. His heart began to pound so quick and loud that he was sure it could be heard over the music. He smelled her sweet perfume and glanced down to see her closed eyes and soft smile. The voice of his conscience became more and more distant, overpowered by his desires.

In the end, it was the minister who saved him. As the loud voice rebounded about the hall, they broke apart, suddenly aware that the music had ended and of the many people around them. He saw their questioning stares and realized he had overstepped himself. When would he learn to control his behavior? With a quick, chaste kiss on her hand, he made his retreat.

Be firm, be fair, be sure, beware

On our guard, take care,

While there's such temptation

He wasn't surprised when the application and resume crossed his desk. She had always wanted to teach and such an opening would have been too strong a temptation for her to overcome. He conducted the interview though he knew it was not needed. She had the position from the time she put her name in for consideration.

He was surprised to see that she had changed, though he could still see her former self underneath the new persona she had created. The less feminine robes, harsh hair style, and square spectacles added to the formation of her new professional attitude which found its completion in her brisk and businesslike manner.

He'd offered her the position as he let down the wall around his heart, sure this new creature would tempt him less than her former self. He realized his mistake too late. As she accepted, she suddenly became the joyful witch of her youth, hugging him as she thanked him.

Feeling her thin arms wrapped about him, he could not help but to hug her in return. As she leant back to thank him again, he caught a whiff of her perfume, still wild lavender some part of him noted. The look in her eyes, part joy and part something more, reminded him of his place. Slowly, painfully releasing her from his arms, he offered to show her to her new rooms.

One thing leads to another

Too late to run for cover

She's much too close for comfort now.

It was the night before her first day teaching. She had seemed nervous, almost terrified during dinner and he had invited her to join him for a chat in his rooms. Nothing out of the ordinary, he told himself, just a pep talk to rally a frightened young colleague. She appeared at his door only fifteen minutes later, wearing fitted robes of the deepest purple, one of his favorite colors. Unable to think of anything but her robes and what the change might mean, he asked if she played chess.

Too close, too close for comfort, please, not again

Too close, too close to know just when to say "When"

She was glaring at him. Her death stare, as he had named it during her days as a student. He had beaten her, finally. The game had been going on for roughly an hour each evening for the past three days. He was not used to such challenging partners and it was obvious she was not used to losing.

He looked into those green orbs filled with frustration, and smiled, thanking her for a good game. The look in her eyes suddenly softened. She smiled and assured him he would not be so happy the next time. She stood just as he did also and they found themselves close, very close with only the chessboard levitating between them. He closed his eyes, smelling her now familiar perfume. Her hand on his chest forced him to open his eyes and he realized the chessboard had been banished to the corner, by her magic or by his own wishful thinking, he could not tell. She looked up at him and he felt as though he were out of his body, unable to stop himself from leaning closer, his gaze fixated on her slightly open lips. Suddenly, he came to himself and stepped back. Turning away, desperately trying to stop the blush spreading under his beard, he asked if she would like to play another round. Replying softly in the negative, she turned and left, almost fleeing out his door, but not fast enough for him to miss her tears.

Be firm and be fair, be sure, beware

On your guard, take care,

When there's such temptation.

He asked her to be his deputy not because of his personal feelings, but because she truly was the best for the job. That had not stopped her from questioning his decision, citing her inexperience and youth. Once he explained away her excuses, referring to her talent, accomplishments, and maturity, she accepted the position.

Though he knew he made the best decision for the school, he often wondered if it had been wise for himself. Being with her everyday, often for hours at a time as they worked together was difficult, even though she was her brisk, professional self during those times.

It was the time spent together after their work was completed, seated in front of the fire chatting, with her tea and his cocoa or playing one of their frequent, fierce games of chess, which tempted him most. Then she let him see her true self, the inquisitive, intelligent woman with a quick wit and quicker smile, the side of her that he loved most. Yes, he could finally admit to himself that he loved her, even if he could never give into his temptation to admit it to her.

One thing leads to another

Too late to run for cover

She's much too close for comfort now.

He asked her to accompany him to the ball not to claim her attentions as his own, but to prevent them from being claimed elsewhere. He reminded himself of this as she opened her door, revealing her dark green gown, which to his secret delight emphasized her narrow waistline as well as her shapely curves. He came closer to fasten the choker, his large hands fumbling over the clasp due to its size but also the nearness of her and the scent of her perfume. Regaining his composure, he offered her his arm as they made their way to the ball.

It was their first dance as Headmaster and Deputy Headmistress of their school. He was aware of the many appreciative looks she was receiving but it seemed she was not. He took her hand to lead her on to the floor. Her full skirt flared as he twirled her around the floor in a waltz. As the music changed, he slowed the pace.

As he drew her nearer to him, her head went instantly to his shoulder. He closed his eyes enjoying the feel of her in his arms. His hand snaked its way upward to play with the long ebony locks that fell loose down her back. Hearing her content sigh, he opened his eyes to realize how close he had once again come to letting his feelings be known. The last time he had been this close, after his only victory, months ago, she had left in tears. He could not bear the thought of seeing her cry once more.

He made his apologies and rushed out the door, leaving her in the middle of the dance floor, alone.

Too close, much too close.

She's much too close for comfort now.

He should have known she would follow him. Yet it surprised him to hear the knock on the door. With a wave of his hand, the door opened, letting her into his private rooms. She sat down next to him, taking his hand and trying to understand what had happened. He saw once more how much turmoil his actions caused as a tear dropped down her porcelain cheek. Turning away from her and the pain he caused, he attempted to send her away.

She dropped to her knees before him, loyal as always, begging him to let her help him fix whatever was wrong. Taking his face in her hands she lightly kissed his forehead, then each cheek, before placing a soft but lingering kiss on his lips.

One thing leads to another

Too late to run for cover

He looked at her with more tears in his eyes, playing gently with her hair and thanking the gods above for sending him his goddess. He had revealed to her the secret that had weighed down their friendship since its beginning and she confessed to having the same secret longings. He wished for a thousand years worth of time to show her how he loved her and to make up for so much time they had already lost. Not wanting to waste anymore time, he gently woke his own sleeping beauty whose head rested upon his bare chest.

She's much too close for comfort now.

A/N: I hope you enjoyed! Thank you for reading! OSUSprinks :)