A Sweet Solution
Started Nov. 14th 2006, Finished Nov. 17th 2006
Rating – K+ or T at the highest
Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be. Jo owns them, and I wouldn't have it any other way. We all know that eventually toys phase out when they belong to us, this way, they never will!
Author's Note: This is the 2nd Albus/Minerva fic I started, and the first that I completed. I am very proud of that fact! This is a response to Lizz's (furandfeathers on the boards) challenge. If you wish to see the challenge and the other responses, its on the ADMM boards, under "Challenge Tag", Challenge 70. The other responses are all great, I suggest reading them! The challenge prompt was: "Albus or Minerva has a secret phobia. What is it? Why didn't they tell the other? What happens when it is discovered?" Away we go, enjoy.
"Sing to me, oh muse…"
Minerva was sitting on the couch reading when the door suddenly burst open, a purple and silver blur coming through it. Startled, she jumped up and spun to face the direction of the commotion, seeing the headmaster looking rather flustered.
"Albus, what is going on?" Minerva was quite worried at his appearance; it was very unlike the usually calm man to be in such a state. "Is everything alright?"
"What? Oh, yes, everything is fine. Just fine. I'm sorry, I must have given you such a scare." Albus replied hastily, looking around.
"Everything is not fine, Albus, or you wouldn't have come running in here like that. Merlin, you look like…well, I don't know how to describe it…I've never seen you like this. What happened?" By now Minerva was completely confused.
Albus began to look a bit sheepish, "How do I explain this one? I am the most powerful wizard of the age. I shouldn't have a problem like this…"
"The house elves refuse to answer my summons, Minerva. I can't get my hot chocolate. Can you believe it? Not one elf will bring me my hot chocolate. And furthermore, I can't even conjure some up myself. I need my hot chocolate, Minerva. What am I going to do?" What had started as a calm explanation sounded desperate by the end. While Minerva watched, her friend – "okay, more than friend", she corrected – began pacing in front of her.
"Surely it can't be that much of an issue. Are you really telling me that you are this worked up over the simple fact that no one will bring you hot chocolate? And do you really need it that badly tonight?" She rolled her eyes as she finished, thinking about the absurdity of it all.
The wizard sighed, casting his eyes to the floor. "I can't eat my lemon drops if I don't have hot chocolate," he stated softly.
Minerva raised her eyebrow at him. "Really. Well, you could always go without the lemon drops."
"No, no. You don't understand, I can't go without them. That's the problem. They are addicting. I need my lemon drops." Albus quickly replied.
"So why can't you just eat them? Forgo the hot chocolate. I daresay the lemon drops will be enough sugar for you."
"NO!" Albus shouted, panicking.
Shocked, Minerva just stared at him. She never expected an outburst like that, to come from him of all people. Even if he was going through chocolate-separation.
He repeated his statement, quieter this time. "No. I can't do that. I need my lemon drops, and I need my hot chocolate to go with them."
"You're right, Albus. I guess I don't understand. Why is it so important that you have the hot chocolate?"
"It just is. The reason isn't important."
"Oh please. It's obviously very important. Look at yourself. Whatever it is Albus, just tell me. What is the worst that can happen if you tell me?" She pressed him.
"You'll think I'm ridiculous, that's what will happen. As if it's not enough that I told you about the house elf problem…" Albus thought.
Minerva put her hand on his arm, bringing him out of his thoughts. Looking at her this closely now, he was able to see the concern that was not only written on her face but in her eyes as well. Sensing that she had his attention again, she tightened her hand around his arm and led him to the couch, letting him sit before perching on the arm next to him. At that moment he decided he owed it to her to tell her what was going on.
With a deep sigh, he began. "I meant what I said about the lemon drops. They are addicting. Once I had a few of them, my body started craving them. All it took was a few. Well, that in itself isn't the real problem. Unfortunately, I suffer from acerophobia." He paused to let that part sink in.
"Acerophobia. It's the fear of sourness. You can imagine what a problem that presents. I'm terrified of sour things, yet I'm addicted to lemon drops and I just haven't been able to shake the addiction."
"Okay, I get that. Where does the hot chocolate come into play?" Trying to understand, Minerva couldn't help but break in and question him.
"The hot chocolate takes away the sourness. In addition to the healing properties the chocolate already contains. Thus, I need my hot chocolate while I'm eating lemon drops to cut the sour taste." Albus answered her question easily and finally looked back up at her.
Minerva pondered on this new information for a few moments, leaving her companion to wonder what she was thinking about. Suddenly she looked him in the eye again, a mischievous look on her face.
"And if you cannot get your hot chocolate?"
"Well, seriously Minerva, that's what brought me here. I was hoping you could be of help."
"And how would you like me to help, Albus? If the house elves won't respond to your summons, they certainly won't respond to mine. Especially if they know that it will benefit you. So, what am I supposed to do?" Minerva shifted on the arm of the couch so that she was fully facing him and raised her eyebrows.
Albus closed his eyes as he tried to process what she said. When Minerva shifted his body became aware of how close they were, and what was directly in front of him. Pushing those thoughts out of his mind, he realized that she had brought up a good point.
"I-I don't know," he stuttered as he opened his eyes to find her leaning closer to him.
"There must be some other way I can help Albus, after all, I'd hate to leave you suffering." Minerva's voice dropped, becoming husky as she spoke to him.
He swallowed hard. "Is she flirting with me? Well. Two can play that game."
"Perhaps there is something you can do, my dear." With that, he put his arm around her small waist and pulled her closer to him without upsetting her perch on the edge of the couch.
She coughed, her eyes widening when she realized what he had just done. Gathering her composure, she tried to answer him in a steady voice. "Okay then, do tell me." She looked across the room, refusing to meet his gaze.
"I need my lemon drops, and I need something sweet to go along with them. Do you know anything that might do the trick?" He reached his hand up to her face, turning it towards him.
Gaining back her courage, she met his gaze as she spoke. "I may have a few offerings, if you are willing to try them out."
That was all he needed to hear and he pulled her down onto his lap, capturing her lips with his own.
After that night, Albus only had need for his hot chocolate during certain times of the day. The rest of the time, he had a different type of sweets to keep his phobia at bay.