FanFic 100 Challenge #:: 020- Colorless
A Lucky Woman
"I love her."
The deep, straight sound of the words resounded and lingered in the air as if they were tangible enough for one to be able to reach out and touch them.
"It's true, Fawkes. I love her."
Albus spoke the words carefully and evenly as if attempting to somehow intensify the sense of magic when he had first released them from his lips. The phoenix gave a muffled, sympathetic chirp and looked directly into his master's eyes.
A knock sounded at the door.
"Come in," Albus called.
Minerva stepped inside the office and averted her eyes from him.
"Is there something wrong, my dear?"
Her heart panged at his calling her his dear, for as much as she knew she wanted to be his, she was sure this could never be so.
"No, nothing," she replied quickly, allowing a moment of silence to fall between them. "I overheard you speaking…" she said, not entirely sure why she had even mentioned it.
"She's a very lucky woman," Minerva said, wondering how her words could so brilliantly betray her heart.
"She doesn't know," he said.
"Oh, Albus," she replied, knowing her words would pain her but also knowing that she cared more for Albus's happiness than anything else, "You should tell her."
"I should?" he asked, looking somewhat taken aback.
Minerva nodded and clenched her hands together slightly as she realized she was trembling. Suddenly, she felt uncontrollably empty and fatigued.
"What is she like?" Minerva asked carefully.
A smile that pierced Minerva's heart crept onto Albus's face.
"She's the most beautiful woman I have ever met. Her voice is like music, and her eyes are like jewels. When she is near me, I feel as one who has missed a step while walking downstairs."
It was only when Albus had finished speaking that Minerva realized the tears that were welling up in her eyes, but she brushed them aside quickly, hoping he did not notice.
"She sounds wonderful. You really must tell her how you feel," she urged once more.
"I'm not certain I could tell her," Albus said. "It seems my Gryffindor courage has failed me."
"Certainly not," Minerva replied. "If you cannot tell her face to face, write her a letter."
"Perhaps that would be a good idea," Albus agreed with a nod.
Albus picked up a fresh quill and a clean sheet of parchment paper from his desk. He dipped the quill in ink and proceeded to scribble out a few lines onto the paper. When he had finished, he read over it once, smiled, and handed the paper over to Minerva.
"What do you think?" he asked.
She took the paper as her breath hitched in her throat.
Words are simply not enough to tell you how much I love and adore you. You are, and have always been, more than simply my Deputy. I have fallen in love with you, my closest and dearest friend.
With utmost sincerity and affection,
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore
Minerva glanced up at him from the paper, which was now stained with colorless droplets of her rolling tears. If the words had not been written so plainly in front of her face, she would not have believed the truth. The realistic part of her wanted to doubt the words or make her think she had misunderstood what she had read, but those insecurities were chased away by the definite look on Albus's face.
"What do you think?" he repeated when he realized Minerva was at a loss for words.
"You love me?"
He nodded, tensing his body with anticipation of her reaction.
"I love you too," she said, suddenly feeling silly for having no other sufficient, more eloquent words to say.
Albus leaned over and kissed Minerva softly on the lips. She smiled against his mouth as she sensed the faint taste of hot chocolate on him. He gingerly wiped the remaining tears from her cheeks and eyes.
"And Albus," she almost whispered. "What I said about her being a very lucky woman…"
He nodded as Minerva paused, and he smiled back at her as he listened. His hand still caressed her cheek.