A MMAD Christmas
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot…if you can call it a plot.
This little piece was written as a Secret Santa gift for Eloquentphoenix. It was rather hurried I'm afraid due to work pressures and it is a little late too. I'm sorry about that Elo, I just ran out of time. I am well aware this is not my best work, but it's my first attempt at any ADMM since Deathly Hallows, which I'm afraid killed my muse for a while. Anyway…on with the story.
Albus Dumbledore awoke excited, today was Christmas Day, an excellent day to be up early. However on poking his big toe out from under the maroon eiderdown Albus revised his decision. No…Christmas Day was an excellent day to stay right where he was. Hastily withdrawing his toe, Albus snuggled deeper under the covers. The figure next to him grunted in a most unladylike manner and burrowed deeper into his embrace.
"If you think I am leaving this bed just so you can unwrap your presents at this ungodly hour you are sadly mistaken" mumbled the woman, her eyes still firmly closed.
"On the contrary my dear," Albus chuckled," I was just contemplating lying here all day enjoying the company of my lovely wife."
"Shame you're stuck with me then" Minerva giggled.
Albus sighed dramatically. "Yes it is rather, but I shall have to make do… ouch!"
Minerva playfully slapped his chest, still steadfastly refusing to open her eyes and admit it was morning.
"Merry Christmas my darling" Albus whispered, placing a gentle kiss to his wife's forehead.
"Merry Christmas Albus," Minerva smiled, "But can we please go back to sleep, at least until its light outside."
Albus drew his wife close, silently wondering how she was able to tell it was five o'clock without ever opening her eyes.
Several hours later Albus was reawoken by something tickling his nose. He brushed it away with the back of his hand and settled back to sleep. There it was again…something tickling. Opening one eye he was met with Minerva's gaze. She was flicking the end of his beard over the tip of his nose. Well really…a man's beard should never be used against him…
Minerva had been watching Albus for several minutes before she woke him. He looked so peaceful dozing in his purple nightcap, but they were in danger of wasting the whole day.
"We really should be getting up now you know; we need to firecall the children before lunch."
With a sigh Minerva rose, padding across the stone floor, now warmed by the fire crackling in the grate, toward the window.
"Oh Albus" she breathed "It's beautiful."
Slipping from the bed, Albus adjusted his cap which had fallen forward, obscuring his view and joined his wife at the window. Wrapping his arms tightly around her, he surveyed the scene before him. It had been snowing; the Hogwarts grounds were covered in a crisp white blanket, the weak winter sun causing icicles on the trees of the Forbidden Forrest to glisten and gleam like the diamond on Minerva's finger.
It was the first time in many years that Albus and Minerva would be spending Christmas together alone and they were both looking forward to it immensely. Their two children Catherine and Alan, both aurors had elected to spend Christmas in London with friends. For once all the students had left for the holidays, even Severus had left for the festive season, albeit on a spying mission for Albus. Filch would be safely lurking in the dungeons and the only other people in the castle, Pomona and Filius would be leaving that morning to spend the day with their daughter Amy.
"Let's go for a walk before we call the children" Minerva suggested.
"What a wonderful idea my love." Albus had secretly been hoping Minerva would suggest a stroll. All that pristine snow, just crying out for a snowman and some snow angels, not to mention how beautiful he found Minerva with rosy cheeks from the crisp air.
Twenty minutes later, having eaten a light breakfast, the couple were wrapped up warmly in matching red and gold hats and scarves, ready to brave the elements. Just as they were about to leave their chambers there was a hurried knock on the heavy oak door.
Opening the door Albus and Minerva were faced with their long-time friends Pomona Sprout and Filius Flitwick.
"Albus, Minerva, Merry Christmas. I'm afraid we are running very late" squeaked Filius. "Poor Pomona was up nearly all night, a small greenhouse emergency."
Albus looked alarmed.
"Oh, no real harm done Albus "Pomona added hastily. "My fanged geranium doesn't seem to have entered into the Christmas spirit. It tried to destroy my muggle Holly bush. Anyway, we just dropped by to deliver Minerva's present. It only arrived late last night."
The foursome had exchanged gifts the day before, but Minerva's had yet to arrive.
"I'm sorry we can't stay Min" Pomona Sighed. "I hope you enjoy the present. It's called a DVD, a muggle invention. I watched the films with Amy and her muggle friends. It's about the Queen of a land called Genovia and the love of her life. I know you love muggle fairytales and I found the couple strangely familiar."
Behind his wife Filius snorted. Pomona had insisted he watch the film and he had to admit the relationship between Queen Clarisse and her head of security Joseph did bear a striking similarity to the Headmaster and his Deputy in years gone by. Glancing at his watch Filius shrieked
"Pomona, quick, we'll miss the portkey. Goodbye all, Merry Christmas." With that he ushered his protesting wife toward the entrance hall.
Albus and Minerva had been strolling hand in hand across the Hogwarts grounds for some time. Minerva had initiated a snowball fight, something her students would surely never believe. Albus felt privileged to be one of the few people with whom she felt able to drop her guard. She had also indulged him and assisted as he made an army of snowmen by transfiguring pebbles into hats, scarves and carrots for noses. As they neared the black lake Albus pulled Minerva close to him and embraced her tightly. She stepped easily into his arms and rested her head on his shoulder. As they stood in silence surveying the ripples as the giant squid lazily swum in circles, Minerva spoke.
"Albus, do you think our world will ever be safe? First Grindelwald, now Voldemort. There will always be others won't there…It scares me Albus."
"It scares me too." He admitted. "But as a wise man once said, Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear. We must have courage Minerva."
She nodded and gazed up at him, reaching up to plant a gentle kiss to his lips. As she drew away Albus studied his wife's face. Her usually porcelain skin was rosy from the cold. Her blue eyes, bright as sapphires in the midday sun and her long ebony hair, not restricted in its usual bun, contrasted with the stark brightness of the snow. Suddenly he longed to be somewhere else. Not that he disliked being at Hogwarts, but either of them could be contacted easily and whisked away on some urgent mission. He wished to be completely alone with his wife, just for one afternoon, perhaps at their private home.
"Min, let's go to the cottage for lunch, we can call the children from there. The house elves have the day off so won't have prepared any food, we can cook it ourselves, and it'll be fun."
Somewhat bemused Minerva regarded his excited face and knew she could never refuse him anything.
"On one condition." She smiled slyly, knowing he could never refuse her either. "You watch my present from Mona and Fil with me. I think Alan left the box to play one of these DVD things there."
Albus despised muggle fairytales… He preferred muggle stories of pirates or cowboys. However if that was how his Minerva wished to spend the afternoon, he would be only too pleased to accompany her on the sofa, perhaps with a glass or two of mulled wine.
Many hours later the couple were curled on an overstuffed sofa in their small home in the North of England. After a delicious meal and calls to both their children they had settled together to watch the film. As the picture ended Albus found he was rather drowsy, he blamed the heat of the roaring fire, but knew deep down it was probably the excessive amount of Christmas pudding washed down with his wife's potent spiced cider. Albus felt his eyelids droop.
Minerva however was indignant.
"She meant us didn't she?"
"Who my dear?"
Pomona, when she said the Queen and Joseph reminded her of someone. She meant us."
A low chuckle rumbled in Albus' chest. "I do believe she did my dear… However here we are, perfectly aware of each others feelings and readily acknowledging our own."
With that he summoned a soft rug, draping it across them and settling for a nap once more. Minerva thought for a moment then settled down to nap with her husband, she was rather sleepy too. Resting her head on Albus' chest she whispered.
"I love you Albus."
"And I you Minerva, Merry Christmas."
His wife did not reply, for she was already sleeping; Dreaming of facing her enemies, her husband at her side.