Disclaimer: You've heard of J.K Rowling right? Or have you been living in a small box for the last ten years, on Mars with your eyes shut and your fingers in your ears? And yes, I did just steal that line from the Simpsons. So sue me….actually, you know, don't.
Summary: Albus and Minerva have ben happily together for twelve years, when Minerva maes a mistake that could mean the end of their relationship.
Rating: Umm, T I guess, there are a few bad words and a bit of suggestion in there/
A/N: Set in the beginning of OotP, after the war has started but before Umbridge has shown herself to be a real cow and Dumbledore has left.
I was inspired by Alteregoalana's 'You were mine' video to write this fic. It's on YouTube and it's great, so go watch.
Minerva McGonagall sighed as she stretched out in the large bed she shared with Albus Dumbledore. Even before she was really awake she knew that he was not there, but it did not bother her: she had been involved with Albus for years and she knew that his work meant that he often had to leave early. Still, there were mornings like this when she wished more than anything that it was not the case, wished that she could spend and hour or two lying in her lover's arms, just because it was Saturday and she could. But she couldn't, she reasoned, so she might as well get over it - she shared so much with Albus she really didn't need anything else, he was her best friend and the only person that really understood her. And that should be enough. Stretching, she stood up and walked slowly towards the bathroom, still trying to get the sleep from her brain.
Half an hour later, she had washed and readied herself for the day and, looking at the clock, she realised if she was quick she'd still have time for breakfast before she had to meet Severus to discuss the ongoing discipline issues between her students and his.
Forty minutes later she was sitting in the library flicking through the pages of a Transfiguration magazine. Severus was ten minutes late but she didn't mind, the magazine had some fascinating articles and, she reasoned, with exams coming up he was probably buried beneath stacks of marking.
Half an hour later she was annoyed: Severus was now forty minutes late, which she found just plain rude. Tossing the magazine aside she strode out of the library and down to the dungeons, which housed Severus' personal quarters.
After knocking on the door and not receiving an answer, she muttered a few choice spells to open the door. Striding into Severus' still dark rooms she frowned, and was about to go and look for him in the staff room when she heard a groan from his bedroom. Normally when she heard groaning coming from someone's bedroom she would have left as quickly as possible, but that didn't sound like any good kind of groan. "Severus…" she called out softly and walked slowly into his dark bedroom. When she received no reply, she muttered 'lumos' under her breath and pointed her lit wand tip at Severus' bed. She could barely see with the small amount of light her wand gave off, but she could make out his motionless form lying on the bed. Stepping closer she called his name again and when he still didn't acknowledge her, shook his shoulder slightly. He turned then and looked at her, but when he still didn't say anything Minerva became extremely concerned and lit the candle on his beside table, which gave out a surprising amount of light.
What she saw made her gasp. Severus' face was a mess, his right eye purple and swollen, a deep cut down his cheek and his hair was matted with blood.
"I'll get Madam Pomfrey, stay there." She told him softly, but before she could turn away he grabbed her wrist.
"Wait," he said, his voice hoarse, "Next to the fire, on the second shelf. I just need that."
Hurrying across the room, she found where he had described. Picking up the only bottle on the shelf, she held it up towards the light so she could examine it. It looked like a thick liquid, but the colour was hard to guess at through the dark glass of the vial. Returning to his bed, she helped him to sit up. Once she was sure he could sit up without anymore support from her, she showed him the bottle which he immediately took from her. Unscrewing the top he lifted the bottle to his lips, and though from his expression she could tell that it must taste awful, he finished it one.
"Thank you," he said after few seconds, and his voice was already sounding slightly clearer.
"Rough night?" she asked, just for something to say, after all asking after his health seemed pretty foolish.
"The worst," he muttered, but did not elaborate.
"Why didn't you come and get someone?"
"It was late; I didn't want to wake anyone."
"Oh Severus, I think your health is a bit more important than a few hours sleep."
"Maybe," he said, but he did not sound self-pitying. He really just didn't know, she realised, and she thought that she could weep. What a tragic life he had led. When he had first returned she had not trusted him, but as the years had passed and he had risked his life many times in an attempt to save everyone else's, they had established a friendship.
"I think you mean more to so many people than what you realise, Severus. I know you do to me," she said softly.
The next thing she knew, his lips were on hers, locked in a desperate, hungry kiss. Although she fought him at first, as his lips continued to caress hers she gave in and opened her mouth to him.
Their kiss continued for several minutes and increased in passion, until Severus slipped his hand under her loose robes and caressed her stomach. She moaned loudly as his hand travelled higher: his hands were soft, just like Albus'.
"No," she groaned pushing him away. "I can't," she said, before rushing from his rooms, straightening her robes as she went.
When she reached her rooms, she sank down against the wall and buried her head in her hands. What had she done? She'd betrayed Albus. She felt sick to her stomach as her thoughts all swirled into one: Albus' twinkling eyes and warm smile, Severus' lips insistent against her own, Albus' concerned face as he woke her yet again from troubled sleep, the Dark Mark burnt black against Severus' wrist. Groaning in frustration, she wiped the tears from her face and thought of Severus. It was his fault, she realised, he had kissed her, it was his fault. But he was suffering and in pain and no doubt unbearably lonely, plus he had no idea about her relationship with Albus, which they had, out of necessity, had to keep quiet. No, it was not his fault, she was the one with the commitment to Albus, she was the one who had betrayed that, not Severus. But what was she going to tell Albus?
Wrapped up in her own thoughts, she did not realise the hours that passed, and as the sun set and the room became darker, the door she was sitting next to opened, making her almost jump out of her skin.
"Minerva!" Albus greeted happily, "what are you doing down there?"
"Oh…I just dropped my wand," she said, flustered.
Albus said nothing, just offered her a hand to get back onto her feet. Once she was standing, he did not let go of her hand, instead he used it to pull her towards him and locked his arms around her waist, planting a kiss on her lips.
Minerva froze. This was wrong. She did not now what else to do, so she pushed him away.
"Is something wrong dear?" Albus asked, sounding extremely concerned.
"No," she muttered, backing further away. She had to tell him, she knew that, but she could not bring herself to take that twinkle from his eyes. She loved him, she could not hurt him. "I'm just….very tired." She said. How would he react, she thought, when she did tell him? When he had told her that he loved her she had felt so lucky, she couldn't imagine then that she could ever hurt Albus, yet somehow she had managed to, and now it felt like it was eating her up.
"Ah, ok," Albus said and although he was not convinced he let it drop. No doubt Minerva would discuss whatever it was with him whenever she was ready.
As she lay in bed that night, Minerva could not sleep. She had tried every technique she knew of, but she could not banish the images from her head, the image of hands touching her skin. And the pale hands she dreamt of were not the hand s of the man lying next to her. "Shut up Minerva," she muttered to herself, hoping it would help her brain to quieten down, but it did not, and as the hours went by and she still could not sleep, she came to the conclusion that there was only one course of action. Slipping quietly out of bed, she put on her old tartan dressing gown and left the room and quietly as she could, setting a course for the dungeons.
After she had knocked on Severus' door she realised that he would probably be asleep, and was about to leave when she heard him call for her to enter.
When she entered and saw Severus sitting on his couch, she was relieved to see that his wounds were starting to look much better.
"Minerva," he said, sounding surprised. "I am sorry about…"
"Severus," she cut across him, "don't say you're sorry. I know you don't mean it." She said; her voice low.
He raised an eyebrow but did not say anything, clearly waiting for her to make the next move.
Moving slowly towards him, in her sleep deprived state she did not listen to her own brain's warnings that this was a huge mistake. All she knew now that for the moment this was all she wanted.
Straddling him, she lowered her lips to his and continued the hungry kiss from earlier in the day. And as he lifted her into his arms and carried her towards her bed, it felt good to be held by someone who she knew would still be there in the morning, and she was content in the thought that, for the moment, that was all she wanted.
Morning dawned and Minerva woke up slightly disorientated, she wasn't alone. That alone was enough to confuse her slightly: Albus was always up and gone before she woke up. Even more confusing, was the green and silver wall decorations that she was sure had not been there yesterday. Green and silver. Slytherin. Snape. SHIT. She looked beside her and sure enough, there was Snape, sleeping like a baby. A great big greasy-haired baby.
Climbing quietly out of bed, she started to hunt for her clothes. She had to get back to her own rooms before Severus woke up, but it would not do to be seen running naked through the castle by a student. She had dressed and was just slipping her slippers on, hoping that if she left no trace of their night together behind, Severus would hopefully just think it was a product of his imagination, when she tripped over the bed post.
As she swore loudly, Severus sat bolt upright and was already reaching for his wand by the time he realised who had woken him.
"Minerva," he said softly, relaxing slightly.
"Severus…." She paused, she knew what she had to do but that didn't make it ay easier. "There's no easy way to tell you this, but what happened here last night was a mistake. And, I think it would be better for both of us if we just kept it quiet."
He looked hurt, but also like he was expecting it, which in a way pained Minerva even more. "I understand," he said quietly, managing to keep all emotion out of his voice, a trait she envied.
Slipping on her other slipper, Minerva left as quickly as she could. Once she had returned to her rooms, she dressed as quickly as she could. Looking around the empty room, she wondered where Albus would be. She wanted to talk to him. She wanted to tell him everything before the ache in her chest got any worse - she had risked everything that she wanted for the rest of her life, for something she just had just wanted for a few hours one night. Deciding he would probably be in his office, she strode towards the griffin at its entrance at an alarming pace, causing several students to jump out of her way through fear of collision.
The password 'love hearts,' that made the griffin move aside, added to the pain in her chest, but she tried to ignore as she climbed the spiral staircase. She knocked on the door and waited for Albus to call for her to enter before she pushed it aside.
He was sitting behind his desk, buried behind a mountain of parchment. Working hard, she realised, probably trying to make the world a better place. At that thought, she hated herself even more.
"Minerva!" Albus greeted warmly, "are you feeling any better?" he asked.
"No," Minerva answered, causing Albus to look up sharply, his concern obvious. "I need to talk to you."
"Of course, sit down." He instructed gently.
She shook here head. "Not here. Can we sit on your couch?" She asked.
"Of course." He said, and moved from behind the desk to sit on the couch at the side of the room. The couch was where he sat when he needed to talk to students about a delicate private matter. No doubt he would be using it in the next few months to tell any number of students that their parents had been attacked by Voldermort, she thought sadly.
She sat down beside him, but was very sure not to touch him. She didn't deserve to, not after what she had done.
"Albus," she started, but was unsure of how to go on.
"Yes my dear?" he asked, his eyes twinkling, but out of concern she was sure.
"I've made a terrible mistake," she said, her eyes swimming with tears as she lost control of her emotions.
"Minerva I'm sure whatever it is between us we can find the answers." He said reassuringly.
She shook her head sadly, "you don't understand. Albus, last night I…I…I slept with Severus," she managed to say eventually, looking down at the floor.
When a few moments had gone past and Albus had still not said anything, Minerva looked back up at him. He was hurt, she could see that, but he was not angry.
"I see," he said sadly.
They sat in silence for a few minutes, Minerva did not know what else to say, and she was sure that Albus was still absorbing the news.
"Do you love him?" Albus asked eventually.
"Albus, no!" Minerva was shocked: she didn't even know how he could even think that.
"Well then, I'm sure that everything will be ok." Albus said, much more calmly.
"I…what?" Minerva asked, confused by his calm acceptance. "You're…forgiving me?" she asked.
"Minerva, I've told you before I would do anything for you. Even forgive you. As long as you love me everything will be ok."
Minerva was shocked. She had often thought that Albus put too much faith in love. He seemed to think it could save the world, but Minerva knew you needed a lot more than that.
"And that's it? As long as I love you? Albus, I love you more than anything, but how can you still love me now?"
"Because, Minerva, I have been happier these last twelve years than what I have ever been in my life. Because of you. And I know that if I lost you now, I wouldn't know what to do, it just wouldn't be worth living anymore. Despite of what you've done."
"But…how can you still trust me?"
"I can see how sorry you are, I trust that. I trust that is enough to stop you from doing it again. I think all that you need to do is forgive yourself. "
Somehow, Minerva thought, she could actually make sense of that. Maybe love truly was all you needed, and she loved this man more than anything, more than her next breath. And when she told him as much, he took her into his arms and she knew that it didn't matter that he was never there when she woke up, or that they couldn't they couldn't tell the world about their relationship and do all the normal things that couples did. As long as he would always hold her like this it was enough.