Minerva McGonagall sat before her mirror and braided her long black hair. It seemed strange to have her things in Albus' bedchamber, but since they were spending nearly every night together now, it seemed only sensible that Minerva move her things into his rooms. Up until this point, Minerva had insisted that they spend their visits in her bed. It was safer that way. Albus had mildly argued with this, but Minerva was adamant.

"What is it about my bedroom that bothers you, my darling?" Albus asked, imploring her to confide in him. Minerva simply changed the subject and the matter was dropped. Until tonight, that is.

Minerva peered around the corner to make sure that Albus was still in the bathroom preparing for the night. She picked up her wand and muttered, "lumos" before approaching the bed carefully. She lifted first the comforter and then the blanket and sheet, each one at a time and conducted a pedantic search of the bedclothes. Unable to properly scrutinize the far side and the end of the bed, Minerva stealthily crept up onto the bed and burrowed beneath the covers and continued her conquest.

When Albus emerged from the bathroom, he was treated to quite a baffling sight. All that remained visible was Minerva's shapely backside shrouded in her nightgown and bathrobe. He could see the faint light from the end of Minerva's wand, but as he walked softly toward the bed he still had no idea what she was muttering about. The sound was muffled by the fabric and Albus fought to suppress a chuckle as he contemplated whether to interrupt his beloved's intrepid quest.

"Minerva, my love, what are you doing?" he finally asked. Minerva gasped and jerked backwards, tangling herself in the sheets as she tumbled back onto her back on the mattress. This time, Albus didn't hesitate to laugh. Her robe was coming undone, and her neatly braided hair was now mussed and rather static-filled from her mission beneath the covers. Her wide eyes glared menacingly at the man she loved. Her glasses hung perilously close to the end of her nose, and she puffed a breath upwards in a failed attempt to get the strands of hair out of her face. Albus was still chuckling when Minerva muttered "Nox" and tossed her wand to the floor beside the bed. Albus sat down on the edge of the bed and Minerva finally spoke.

"Cimex lectularius; Commonly referred to as the bedbug. Primarily nocturnal, it feeds on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded creatures. If I even so much as think about a bedbug I'm overcome with the conviction that I am covered by them and being eaten alive and I simply cannot stand it!" Minerva gushed, beginning to scratch her arm rather viciously. "I've never allowed us to sleep in your bed because I had never checked your bed. I didn't know if there were bugs! I simply cannot tolerate it, Albus!" Minerva moved to scratch her knee and Albus covered her hands with his.

"Delusional parasitosis is not uncommon to people with phobias that involve insects," Albus said gently.

"Delusional? I most certainly am not delusional!" Minerva protested. Albus allowed his eyes to wander the length of his beloved. Minerva saw this silent observation and scowled.

"I merely detest the little blighters and the thought of them crawling on my vulnerable skin at night is a thought that causes me to…"

"Panic?" Albus interrupted gingerly. Minerva pulled her knees up to her chest and rested her chin on her knees. She refused to meet Albus' eyes, but stared across the room to Albus' bureau and writing desk.

"Minerva, dearest, I can personally assure you that there are no insects of any kind in my bed," Albus said, gathering her into his arms.

"How do you know?" Minerva muttered, tears brimming in her eyes.

"Because," Albus explained. "I know for a fact that the house elves have been instructed to make a thorough inspection of your bed when they arrive to turn it down for the night. When we decided to room together, I asked them if there were any specific accommodations for your comfort that I needed to be aware of." Minerva looked up at Albus, a look of awed shock on her face.

"Oh, Albus!" she murmured, stroking his face. She closed the distance between them and kissed him soundly on the lips. She looked at him again and smiled.

"What am I to do with you? I don't deserve the way you dote on me," Minerva said.

"On the contrary, my dear. I would like very much to dote on you for the rest of my life if you'll permit me," Albus said. "as your husband." Minerva was speechless for a moment as Albus produced a ruby flanked diamond ring.

"I thought you'd never ask," she whispered, a tear finally brimming and falling from her eye. Minerva waited patiently for him to place the ring on her finger before rewarding his efforts with another kiss.

That night, Minerva slept soundly, tucked snuggly beneath the covers and securely bound by Albus' arms as the first snow of the year swirled on a midnight breeze outside the lattice-work windows.