Summary: Student and Professor relationships are illegal. But Tom has watched Albus Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall and knows they have feelings for each other. Wanting Dumbledore out of the way, Tom has an idea. But what exactly will the consequences be?

Disclaimer: The plot is mine, but that's it.

Author's Notes: Okay, so a tiny taster of what Tom's planning. It came out in the chapter. This was just meant to be the scene at the end, but the rambling before just appeared out of nowhere.

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Interlude: Tom

I think things are progressing well.

Maybe not as well as they should be … but my plan can still work. I hope.

Argh. No they're not. What's Dumbledore thinking, getting engaged now??? That's just another reason for him to hold back. I don't want him to hold back! How am I supposed to do this now???

All right, I'm calm now. I'll just have to reassess what I have to do. And, on the plus side, it said engaged, not married.

Right. So. One more potion to make. Great. Why is it the simplest ones take the longest to brew? Will I have it done in time?

I mean … it's not like I can't carry out my plan a different time … but the Animagi course just seems like the perfect opportunity. It's a special event, his defences will be lowered, and he'll be more vulnerable anyway because he'll be spending a whole weekend in her company without the rest of the school … That's not to say other people won't be there, but there won't be as many, and a different atmosphere can make a world of difference.

That's assuming she is the one picked for the course. The rate things are going, he'll probably choose someone different so he won't have to spend so much time in her company … alone. (Alone-ish.) Or maybe just to get rid of some of the rumours flying round the less-bright students.

No. I have to stay positive. This WILL work. Within a month he will be fired, by the governors if not by Dippet, and Minerva will be all mine.

Focus. The first two potions are brewing. I will start Potion Three later. But now, the next step of my plan.

Aha … perfect.

"Minerva?"

She looks so beautiful. As always. I can't believe I am going to do this. But I have to. She'll trust me afterwards, and that's what I need.

"Not now, Tom," she sighs. She looks like she's been crying. Minerva, crying? Well, only a little bit, but it still shows. Oh yes. The engagement.

"How are you?" I ask, taking her bag from her.

Minerva sniffs. "Fine."

"No you're not." I put my arm round her shoulders and feel her tense. This is not a good sign.

"Tom, please, I'm not in the mood now. I've just had an argument with -"

She cuts herself off, but I can easily fill in the rest of the sentence. "Dumbledore?"

Minerva gasps. "Did you hear -?"

"No, it was written all over your beautiful face."

"Tom," she moans. "Please."

"That's actually what I wanted to talk to you about," I try. "Can we go somewhere private?"

"If you take your arm off me, yes."

So far, all right.

"It's about Dumbledore," I begin.

"Yes, I gathered that. What do you want from me now, Tom?"

"Want from you? I don't want anything from you." I summon up my best hurt look. "Although I can't say I'm surprised you think that way, after what I said."

"Tom -"

"No, let me finish, Minerva. I …" The words taste bitter in my mouth. I've never used them before on anyone. But this is necessary. "I'm sorry. For what I did. I should never have used blackmail to get you to go out with me. I just … I don't know why I did. I just like you too much and I was afraid you would say no."

UGH. I sound like Dumbledore. Only he's too bloody honourable to resort to blackmail – or anything, for that matter.

Minerva looks like she's not sure whether to be shocked or relieved. "Well … thank you, Tom. I guess you're not as bad as I thought."

YES!!!!! Just the reaction I wanted! Thank you!

"I haven't finished," I say. "I … I sensed how unhappy you were on our date, and I … well, I'm not going to stand between you." No, wait – that came out wrong. "I mean, if you're not happy dating because of … you know … then you don't have to."

Phew, I don't think she noticed my slip-up. Thank goodness.

For a moment Minerva looks unsure, but then nods. "Thank you, Tom. You don't know how much that means to me."

"Oh, I think I can guess," I murmur, daring to give her one tiny kiss on the cheek. She doesn't pull away like she did before.

Was it worth it? Yes, I think it was.

TBC …

AN: OK, now can anyone guess what Tom's up to? First person to hit the nail on the head gets ... um ... I'll think of something!

Review Responses

Frostfur: Why thank you. Keeping someone in character in first person is tricky, glad you think I succeeded! Yep, Albus is jealous. Hehe. Will he get married? You'll see!