Disclaimer: We don't own anything and we never will... Le Sigh! The song is "I'm Not That Girl" from Wicked, the musical. A/N: Okay, here we are, appearing for the first time in the public's eye. We had a lot of fun writing this story, and please keep in mind this is the first attempt either one of us has made to co write a MMAD fic. We have had fun. We laughed, we cried, we ate chocolate, and yes, we even stubbed our toes on a few tables and chairs. Please tell us it was worth it. I'm Not That Girl…
A/N: Okay, here we are, appearing for the first time in the public's eye. We had a lot of fun writing this story, and please keep in mind this is the first attempt either one of us has made to co write a MMAD fic. We have had fun. We laughed, we cried, we ate chocolate, and yes, we even stubbed our toes on a few tables and chairs. Please tell us it was worth it.
I'm Not That Girl…
I'm Not That Girl
Albus Dumbledore sat in his overstuffed easy chair, concentrating rather hard on the board in front of him. He was concentrating so much so that he did not notice that his companion, the fair and ever lovely Minerva McGonagall, was watching him from behind her mug of mint tea. Minerva sighed as she thought of the man across from her. He was so handsome. It didn't matter whether he was concentrating on their chess game, as he was now, or whether they were taking a walk through the school gardens. No matter what they were doing together, she always found herself getting lost in those deep, blue eyes of his. His features had definitely not diminished with age, as some tended to do. No, he was most certainly the most handsome wizard she knew. He was also charming, fun to be with, intelligent, and altogether wonderful. He was as perfect as any human could be. True, he was not without his faults, but then again who doesn't have faults? She watched him as he smiled triumphantly and moved his rook in direct alignment with her bishop.
"Check, my dear," he said triumphantly. She quickly averted her gaze to the chess board. She had to clear her mind and attempt to see the move he had made.
"Very good, Albus," she smiled. "But not good enough. Queen to E7." Within a matter of moments, her queen moved towards his rook and thrust her chair through the small castle. "Check mate, Albus." Albus sighed and fell against his chair in defeat.
"Good Heavens, Minerva," he smiled. "I can't believe it. I haven't won a game in more than a week. That's horrible." Minerva chuckled as she sat back in her chair as well.
"Well, I suppose I am just getting better at this," she smiled. She pulled her right leg to rest it over her left when she inadvertently bumped the chess board, knocking several of the pieces over. "Oh dear, I'm sorry." She set her cup down and began to pick up the pieces.
"It's quite alright, my dear," he chuckled as he helped her to pick up the pieces. He reached for his bishop only to discover that her hand was already there. His hand covered hers and they looked at each other, both not sure what to do.
Hands touch, eyes meet
Sudden silence, sudden heat
Hearts leap in a giddy whirl
Their hands touched and their eyes met. Neither one could breathe, much less speak. For so long, both had loved each other, and yet neither one said a word. Minerva had returned to Hogwarts to teach a few years earlier and had found that her school crush had not dissipated and Albus felt even more like a dirty old man when he discovered that he still harbored feelings for his former student. But try as they might, neither one could deny the attraction that grew each year.
The sudden silence created a surge of heat to flood Minerva's cheeks as she looked down at their hands. Oh why did she have to blush so furiously? What would he think? What would he say? As for Albus, he was just glad that he had a long beard to cover his blush. How would he explain to Minerva that it was because of her that he was blushing so terribly? And it was bad enough that he was blushing. When he saw that she was blushing as well, he felt his heart skip several beats. Could Minerva McGonagall be blushing at the simple act of touching his hand? He tried not to get his hopes up, but it was hard not to.
"Minerva. I-," Albus was interrupted by a knock on the door. They both stood up rather quickly and as a result a wave of dizziness washed over Minerva. She fell back and her arms flailed. Albus reached out to grab her hand, but she pulled him back with her. What resulted was Minerva lying flat on her back with Albus right on top of her.
"Ouch!" exclaimed Minerva.
"Oof!" Albus felt the wind rush out of his lungs. When he regained the ability to breathe, he started to pick himself up but stopped, his eyes locking with hers. "Oh, my dear, are you alright?" Minerva faltered.
"Y-Yes, Albus, I'm fine," she responded, not taking her eyes off of his. They stared for what seemed like an eternity. For a second, it looked as though Albus might lean in and kiss her. But they were interrupted by the sound of someone clearing their throat.
"Ahem." They looked up to see the Defense against the Dark Arts teacher, Fleur-de-lys Noir, standing in the doorway. "Am I interrupting anything?" Quickly, Albus and Minerva rose to their feet and began straightening their robes.
"Er, no, you aren't," Albus replied, combing his fingers through his beard. "Minerva just tripped and I tried to catch her but ended up falling with her." Professor Noir nodded her head slowly, not so sure she should believe them. Her beautiful blond hair fell in wonderfully loose curls around her face and down her back. Her eyes were as equally intense and bright blue as Albus' were, though they lacked the same twinkle as his, in Minerva's opinion. Fleur-de-lys smiled then and looked at Albus.
"Well, if you are not busy, Albus, then is it alright if we spoke? In private?" She added that last part as she looked to Minerva. There was something in her eyes that got on Minerva's nerves, but she was not sure what it was.
"Of course, Fleur," Albus responded. Although Albus was always friendly to everyone, Minerva could not help the stab of jealousy she felt that Albus had agreed to speak with Fleur alone; especially when they were right in the middle of their night together.
"If you'll excuse us, Minerva," sneered Fleur. Minerva forced a slight smile and nodded to her.
"Very well," she said. "Good night, Professor Noir. Albus," she said, nodding to Albus. And in a flurry of robes, she was gone, making her way towards her own rooms.
When she arrived in her own rooms, Minerva lay down upon her bed and stared up at the ceiling. Her emotions were in great turmoil and her mind was in a whirl. There was no doubt that Fleur-de-lys was a beautiful woman. She turned the heads of every male staff member in Hogwarts. And although Minerva had not associated much with Fleur outside of Hogwarts, she knew for a fact that she turned heads on the streets as well.
Before she knew it, she was crying. Fleur and Albus had been spending a lot of time together recently and it bothered Minerva. Although she had no real proof that there was anything going on between the two, Minerva felt as though perhaps there was more to them than met the eye. And the more she thought about it, the angrier Minerva grew. Fleur could have her choice of any man in the United Kingdom. Why did she have to choose Albus? Why couldn't she go and find another man to have? Why him? Why Albus Dumbledore? Fleur was so beautiful, so much more beautiful than herself. It just was not fair.
Rolling over, Minerva fell into a troubled sleep.
He could be that boy
But I'm not that girl
From across the large ballroom the Ministry used for its annual Yuletide Ball, Minerva saw Albus and Fleur standing together. Everything else seemed to dull as she watched Fleur giggle and play with her hair. Then Albus asked Fleur to dance and suddenly they were before her. Albus looked at Minerva, not recognizing her, while Fleur sneered in her direction. The horror she felt as she watched Albus' unfeeling eyes overlook her was too much to take.
Minerva woke from her nightmare crying. She knew it had not been real, and yet she could not make the image of Albus, his arms happily around Fleur, leave her mind. She turned on her side, pounding her pillow with a clenched fist. She would not let Fleur make her feel this way. She was Minerva McGonagall, Transfiguration Mistress at Hogwarts, Head of Gryffindor House, and last but in no way least, Deputy Headmistress to Albus Dumbledore. She would not let a mere blonde floozy get to her.
Minerva stood and looked into the mirror. She saw a near middle-age woman, whose figure was just a bit too thin, hair a bit too flat, and eyes a bit too dull. She subconsciously began comparing her drawn and tired features with the bright and youthful face of Fleur and felt her fight leave her. She may be Minerva McGonagall, but she was no Fleur-de-lys Noir.
As she turned in defeat, Minerva's gaze fell upon her pensieve. It was not her habit to save dreams, usually she only used it for important thoughts and memories she did not want to forget, but just a week before she had dreamt of something she wished to remember forever. Touching the silvery fluid, she stepped into her dream.
Minerva stood watching herself and Albus from across a ballroom remarkably similar to the one in her earlier nightmare. Albus asked her dream self to dance, and Minerva smiled as she watched the couple fall into each others arms. Soon they stopped before her, as Minerva knew they would be. This part she knew by heart, as it was the end of so many of her dreams about Albus. Taking her hand, Albus knelt before dream Minerva, and promised to love her forever and cherish her always. He kissed her hand as he produced a small ring box, which held a perfect diamond.
Minerva pulled herself out of the dream before she saw anymore. Her eyes were already filled with tears. She stood before her full-length mirror once more, taken in the image before her, reminding herself who she was, and more importantly, who she was not.
Don't dream too far
Don't lose sight of who you are
Don't remember that rush of joy
Minerva reached out and touched the surface of the mirror, tracing her sorrowful features with her fingertips. It would not do to linger in her dream. Albus had never taken any interest in her and there was no reason for him to start now. Not now, when they had been through so much already. Not now, when there was another woman who was far more beautiful.
As she moved once more to her bed and slipped under the coverlet, Minerva thought over her dream. She would never forget the rush of joy she felt when Albus proposed, or the sheer heartbreak she had felt upon waking and realizing it was just a dream. Albus would marry; he had too much to give to remain single much longer. However, he would never marry her and she must remember that or she would surely fall apart when he did make his choice.
He could be that boy
I'm not that girl
No, Albus would never leave whichever woman he so chose to have as his life partner. He was just that kind of man. However, Minerva would never be that woman he would choose. She just was not that woman.
Ev'ry so often we long to steal
To the land of what-might-have-been
The next day, Minerva was walking around the lake. The warmth of the summer sun beat down upon her face and she smiled as she tilted her head upwards towards the sky and soaked in the golden rays. She loved this time of the year. The school was quiet and she could let her professional mask slip, if only for a few moments, and just be herself. And not the self that she allowed most people to see but the self that she allowed Albus alone to see.
Minerva sighed as she finally came full circle once again. Ever since last night she could not stop thinking about him. He was in her mind constantly. Even while she worked, she thought of him. His face, his name, and his voice reverberated through her mind like a song that she could not get out of her head no matter how hard she tried.
Sitting down underneath a large willow tree, she leaned her head against its trunk and closed her eyes. Perhaps, just this once, she would allow herself to indulge in a fantasy. Okay, so maybe it was not the first time she imagined something of this sort, and it would most certainly not be the last. It was a fantasy which she had indulged in a number of times, but one she would never confess to anyone… not even her diary.
In this fantasy, she explored all that could have been between herself and Albus. What if her dream had really happened? What if they danced together and then he proposed? As she closed her eyes, she imagined how he would look on one knee, staring up at her with nothing but love and adoration. She would smile through her tears and nod, because words would fail her. He would then slip the ring onto her finger and stand up and pull her into his arms.
Minerva let a real tear slip from the corner of her eye as she heaved a heavy sigh. That would never happen. He could never feel anything for her.
But that doesn't soften the ache we feel
When reality sets back in
Opening her eyes, she wiped her tear away from her eye. She was being foolish and she knew it. Why could she not control herself? Honestly, she was playing the fool. This would never do. She would have to stop thinking about Albus and the relationship they would never have. Why could she not just be happy with what they had? Why could their friendship be enough? Then again, she had to wonder if their friendship would ever be enough for her?
The furrowed, scaly bark of the large, old tree cut into her cheek as she turned, leaning her face against its cool trunk. Why was it that every pleasure in her life came with pain? Why could she not find happiness, true happiness? Had she not sacrificed enough of herself and her heart during the war? Why was she forced to love a man who could never love her? Who would only grow to love another before her very eyes?
As if summoned by her thoughts, Albus was suddenly standing before her. His back to the tree that hid her from his gaze, the man she loved seemed to be in deep thought. She wished for the right to go to him, to make him understand her feelings. If only... Just then a soft laughter broke the silence.
"There you are, Albus."
Blithe smile, lithe limb
She who's winsome, she wins him
Gold hair with a gentle curl
Fleur wrapped her arm around his. Minerva watched as he returned her carefree smile, his face lighting up as she wished it did for her.
"Fleur! Ready for our walk?"
As she nodded, golden locks rippled down her back and across her shoulders. She gazed up at him with such adoration and complete trust. Minerva found herself unable to watch the display any longer. She stood and turned away from them, tears running down her cheeks as she quietly made her way to the castle.
That's the girl he chose
And Heaven knows
I'm not that girl
She wanted to hate them, but she couldn't. She had only wanted Albus to be happy and Fleur seemed to make him so. Minerva would just stand aside. Yet she could not help but to lay there as Tabby, curled up in one the windowsills of her bedroom, watching the couple's progress as they walked across the grounds. Even after their return to the castle, Minerva continued to stare out through the wavy glass onto the grounds that had been her home since the first day she entered its large, aged gates.
He had made his decision. He had chosen and she could not, would not interfere. Albus Dumbledore was perfection and as such, he deserved perfection. She was not that woman, but perhaps Fleur could be.
Don't wish, don't start
Wishing only wounds the heart
Minerva sighed as she looked at herself in the mirror a few days later, preparing herself for the semi-annual Ministry Ball. It took place twice a year: once in June and once in December around Christmas. Minerva just rolled her eyes as she straightened her robes. This was only a poor excuse for witches and wizards from all over the world to rub elbows with the so called "crème de la crème" of society, and, for many, it was the chance to parade their spouses, fiancés, or prospective beaus in front of the whole world. It was a stupid tradition and she wished it would stop.
Still, it had not stopped the disappointment she had felt when the night arrived and Albus still had not asked her to attend with him. She knew she should not have wished for him to ask her specifically. True, he had never asked her to attend with him before, but he had heard him say how much he was looking forward to this particular banquet. He said that he had some important business to take care of. He had also said that he had a very important matter to discuss with her.
Her heart fluttered when she thought that there was something he wanted to ask her. She was sure it was something personal, as it had nothing to do with the school or such. If it had, he would have asked her up front and not had that charming smile of his plastered all over his handsome face.
For what seemed to be the millionth time that night, she bereted herself. She shouldn't wish for things she knew she could never have. Wishing only wounds the heart and shatters the soul. She could not, and would not, have him. He was above her in so many ways. How could she hope to have someone as wonderful as him upon her arm?
I wasn't born for the rose and the pearl
There's a girl I know
He loves her so
I'm not that girl
She walked to the door when she heard someone knock upon it. There he was, the very embodiment of truth, valor, and good looks. Minerva smiled as he pulled her hand with his and kissed the back of it.
"Good evening, Minerva," he murmured as he pressed his lips to the back of her hand. Her heart fluttered once again.
"Good evening, Albus," she said. She could not stop smiling and no matter how hard she tried, she could not stop her heart from fluttering.
"You look lovely tonight," he said as he stood straight once again.
"Thank you," she replied. She went to say something when another figure stepped up next to him and looped her arm through his.
"Bonjour, Minerva," she said. Minerva bristled, but continued to smile.
"Hello, Fleur," she said, forcing herself to be cordial with the woman. "How are you this evening?"
"Very well, merci," she replied. She looked up at Albus. Minerva felt a tear form in her eye, though she would not allow it to fall. Minerva had always thought Fleur was beautiful. Anyone could see that. One would have to be blind not to see it. But tonight, she looked even more beautiful than usual. She had donned a stunning blue dress which clung to her every curve. It was a halter dress which tied neatly around her neck and showed a nice amount of cleavage. It went down to her ankles and she finished off the outfit with some blue high heels. Finally, Minerva could see a necklace around Fleur's neck. It was a beautiful pearl necklace with one giant pink pearl in the middle shaped like a rose. This was one of the few times Minerva could remember being envious of another woman. "Shall we go then?" Albus smiled and nodded.
"Of course," he replied. He held out his other arm for Minerva. "Shall we?" She smiled and accepted it.
"Yes, thank you very much," she replied. With that, they left, all lost in their own thoughts.
He had just asked her to dance. His face was flushed and it was obvious to anyone watching that this man, the greatest wizard of their, and perhaps any age was nervous. She said yes, of course. it was very difficult to refuse Albus anything, and she had yet to see Minerva McGonagall try.
Fleur sighed softly before turning away. She left a message with a waiter for Albus, telling him she had decided to return to the castle early. With one last wistful glance toward the dance floor, Fleur left the ballroom, deciding to take a walk in the fresh air to clear her head.
Don't wish; don't start
Wishing only wounds the heart:
She had come to Hogwarts the previous fall with one thought in mind, to woo the great Albus Dumbledore. Once she had gotten to know the man behind the historical figure, she had been even more determined. His eccentric ways, including those silly muggle sweets, had endeared him to her heart and she had been convinced she could be the one to make him happy.
"How was I to know he had already filled that position?" She mumbled to herself, a tear making its way down her flawless cheek.
It was very obvious that Albus needed a woman in his life who could be his partner and company, someone who could be at his side through thick and thin, for better or worse. It was equally obvious that no matter how much she wished it to be true, Fleur was not that woman.
There's a girl I know
At the beginning of the term, she had only vaguely considered Minerva McGonagall to be a threat to her plans of a future with Albus. Not that the woman wasn't beautiful and intelligent, she was both many times over, but Fleur had been sure that her own charms and flirtations would win out in the end. She had severely underestimated her competition... at least in her ability to captivate Albus Dumbledore.
He loves her so
She realized now that taking her position at Hogwarts may have been her own undoing. It seemed that her interference had been the catalyst both Albus and Minerva needed to express their feelings to each other.
Not that they had, she thought. She glanced at her watch, at least not yet.
On their last walk about the grounds, only a few days before, Albus had revealed to Fleur that he planned to tell Minerva his feelings for her at the ball this evening. He had laid his whole plan out before her, asking for her input. She had been pleased that he trusted her so much with something that important to him and heartbroken to find out once and for all that he loved another.
I'm not that girl
Fleur was not surprised, but rather a bit disappointed to find herself walking into that specific garden at that specific time. She heard the first strains of Sweet and Lovely, as the band began to play the Crosby ballad Albus had chosen. The garden was just as she had imagined it. The stars were bright in the dark sky, casting dim light on the beautiful flowers and the bench Albus had described to her.
At the sounds of footsteps, Fleur drew back into the shadows, far enough away to not disturb, but close enough to watch. She wanted to hate them, but she couldn't. The more she knew Albus, the more she just wanted him happy and with Minerva he would be. As the couple settled on the bench and Albus began his well-prepared speech, Fleur turned away, barely making it to the Apparation point before allowing her tears to fall. She made her way to the Headmaster's office, thankful it was summer and there were no students about. She placed her resignation letter on the large desk before looking around his office once more, a wistful smile on her face.
Albus Dumbledore was in love with a wonderful woman and would be happy from this day forth. Fleur could no more wish that away than she could wish away her unhappiness. He was in love, and she just wasn't that girl.
A/N: Thank you so much for reading our little attempt at a collaboration! I hope you had as much fun reading it as we had writing it. :) Look for more work in the months, years, and who knows? Maybe decades to come! Happy reading always, Hopeful Sprinkles :)