author's note: is is my first ever completed fanfic. I wrote it on a dare from my friend, Valerie, who claimed that I couldn't stomach writing about her 'favorite' HP OTP… I love proving her wrong. Anyway, keep in mind that this is supposed to be a COMEDY, written in the style of a cheap paperback bodice-ripper romance novel (my metaphors are generally not so saccharine and innuendo-ridden). And a very special thanks to my super awesome Beta-friend, Jasmine, for taking a chance with my story and helping me prove that true love can make even the most awkward of couples utterly endearing.

For the Love of Him

By Strega Arvay

It was a quiet evening as the setting sun dipped behind the castle, casting an orange and ruby patina on the glistening snow covered grounds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The birds of twilight had sung their last songs, the beasts of the forest lay quiet in their dens and all the inhabitants of the school, full and content from the day's last meal, were making their way back to the warm comfort of their rooms. All was calm and still, the world barely making a sound save for the wind in the trees and a faint rhythmic sound of a falling axe echoing from the edge of the forest. For while others were inside, snugly situated by a blazing hearth lost in a book or in the arms of a lover, Rubeus Hagrid stood ankle deep in the snow cutting firewood, alone and forgotten on Valentine's day.

Although it had warmed his heart to see all the youngsters frolicking about in newfound love with their sweethearts, the day had been exceedingly long and hard for this gentle giant. He was rife with inexorable troubles, namely the spirit crushing and heart wrenching and torture known as unrequited love. Hagrid was deeply in love and had been for many years, each one spent pining away like a sick puppy… but not this one. Unlike so many lonesome February-fourteenths before this, Hagrid had finally worked up the courage to reveal his feelings to his valentine and had done so in the form of a note inconspicuously hidden amongst two dozen overgrown red roses. It was a lovely and generous gesture, despite the squat little garden gnomes he had employed to deliver the message, but so far he had not received a reply.

The hope that his affections might soon be returned kept his head held high, but no matter how he strived for optimism he remained irrevocably pained and utterly single-handed. His anxiety and tension mounted exponentially throughout the day, the only release to be found residing in his solitary handiwork. Consequently, by the end of the day, he had turned nearly half of the forbidden forest into kindling.

Staring wistfully at the sunset, the clouds outlined in fire, Hagrid collected his wood and gave a great sigh. Sweaty and aching from his labors, he marched resignedly back to his cabin. For such a small place, his home had never seemed so vast and empty. Even Fang had gone off, fancying the company of Madam Rosmerta's poodle, leaving Hagrid in complete and desolate solitude. Fighting back the tears that were welling up in his beetle black eyes, Hagrid kicked off his sopping boots and turned to add a log to the dying fire in the hearth. But he stopped short, startled as the flames suddenly flashed a brilliant emerald green and out of the hearth stepped Albus Dumbledore.

"Good Evening, Hagrid," Dumbledore said serenely, brushing soot off of his majestic midnight blue robes. "Is that wood for me?"

"I…er, what?" Hagrid looked and realized he still had his arm extended, ready to place the log he was holding in the fireplace. "Oh, righ', sorry," he said as he hastily tossed it to one side.

"Quite alright," Dumbledore chuckled, his blue eyes twinkling in the firelight. "I was hoping we might have a word?" He gestured to the chairs by the table, but Hagrid didn't move. "Hagrid?"

"Sir, I beg yeh…please… 'ere me out." Hagrid was shaking visibly, his broad face blistering red. "I shouldn't 'ave… It weren't me place to…. It was wrong fer me to…"

"No. No Hagrid, not at all," Dumbledore soothed, ushering him to his patched armchair that groaned ominously as he sat.

Large tears were now leaking out of the giant's eyes. "Wha' I did… wha'… wha' I said… "

"…was beautiful." Hagrid looked up at Dumbledore, who had bent down to face him, and saw that he was truly sincere. "I never knew you felt so strongly for me. Did you really mean what you wrote?"

"Ev'ry word," he said, his face blushing even redder than it already was. "I even grew the flowers mehself."

"I… I honestly have never been more touched in my life."

"Then wha' took yeh so bloody long to tell me?" Hagrid scowled, his brow furrowed. "I 'ave been waitin' 'ere all bloomin' day fer yer answer."

"That was my fault entirely Hagrid, and I am deeply sorry," Dumbledore said, bowing his head in apology. "I was detained. Young Miss Arvay was caught hiding in Professor Snape's closet again and he demanded I deal with the issue immediately."

Hagrid smiled weakly and gave a small laugh. "She is a persistent one, ain' she? A righ' credit to 'er house."

"Indeed. Full of Slytherin ambition." He nodded, smiling. "And though I don't in any way condone lurking inside of people's closets, you have to admire her bravery."

"Mor' like madness, if yeh ask me."

"I'll give you that one, but still it does take a lot of courage to give your heart to another, unsure if it will be returned whole or broken, to trust them with your feelings, to share your emotions, your desires." Dumbledore was now looking Hagrid deep in the eyes. "You were very brave, Hagrid, to show your feelings, to take that risk. But… I…"

"S'alright…" Hagrid said quickly, his eyes downcast. "I understand. Yeh… yeh don't feel the same fer me."

"No, Hagrid!" Dumbledore seized his hand in his. "I do. I really do. I just… wasn't brave enough to tell you first." And he kissed his hand, first the back, then the palm, the rough calluses softened by the lone tear that fell from Dumbledore's eyes.

In an instant, Hagrid had leapt to his feet, throwing his arms around the weeping man before him. "Don't," He growled softly, holding Dumbledore tightly to him. "Don't yeh cry. Don't yeh dare."

And for what seemed like hours, they stood there, simply holding on to each other, feeling the warmth and comfort of their bodies pressed together. Hagrid rested his head on top of Dumbledore's with his hand nestled deep in his hair, silken locks like strands of moonlight. Though he was old, Dumbledore was stronger than he seemed. The ferocity of his embrace existed in every muscle of his arms and extended out into his long fingers, nimble and powerful as they caressed up and down Hagrid's back.

With his face buried in the crook of Hagrid's muscular arms, Dumbledore was suddenly very aware of Hagrid's scent. It was alive, like the air in a lightning storm, and as soft and heady as freshly dug earth. It was powerful and highly intoxicating. He lost himself to the smell and feel of the moment, longing for more. His hands moved along Hagrid's sides, up his arms, and around his neck. He traced his fingers in small circles along his ears, passing up into his tangled mane. His skin was tough like tanned leather and covered in fading scars, the exact opposite of the seemingly delicate white hands now trailing lightly across his chest.

Hagrid moaned softly at the touch, nuzzling Dumbledore's neck, inhaling deeply. Very tenderly, he kissed the side of his head, his breath like a warm whisper on Dumbledore's ear. He kissed him again, harder. And again… and again, trailing kisses across his jaw line. Dumbledore turned his head in response. For a brief moment they locked eyes, Hagrid looking down on Dumbledore's upturned face, their noses just barely touching, and then their lips met, eyes closed in a deep and passionate kiss.

Up near his navel, Dumbledore suddenly felt something bump into him, something hard. He broke away from the kiss and looked down. "Why, Hagrid…" Dumbledore murmured, barely able to suppress a giggle. "Is that a wand in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?"

"Wha'?" he said, taken aback. "But me umbrella don' fit in me pocket… I mean… ohh…"

"What's this about an umbrella?" Dumbledore inquired quirking a teasing eyebrow.

"Nothin'…" he said hastily and with a laugh, he swooped down and kissed him again, practically lifting Dumbledore off the floor as he held him.

Hands traveled, grasping and searching. Agile fingers quickly undid buttons, the outer layers falling abandoned to the floor. The motions had a mind of their own, each one acting as if from memory or a long forgotten dream. But with each passing moment, with more and more skin slowly being exposed, warm and welcoming to the touch, Hagrid's apprehension grew. There was no way. There was no way in heaven, hell or earth that this could happen. As much as he loved the man in his arms, his deceptively delicate features, his slender frame pressed against his hulking body, his strong hands, greatly outsized by his own… he knew that it just wouldn't work. Hagrid was a beast of a man and Dumbledore was… well, not.

"We, erm, might 'ave a… uh… problem…" Hagrid sighed. "Yeh see, I'm… an' you're… ah… are yeh even listenin'?"

A slight murmur was all he got in reply. Dumbledore's eyes were closed, his smiling face resting on Hagrid's burly chest as his hands roamed freely, cool and tantalizing on Hagrid's heated muscular form.

"R-righ'…" he spluttered, struggling to maintain focus. "So, the problem is… is tha' I- ugh…" Hagrid groaned, his eyes rolling back into his head. "Wha' I mean is you an' I… we don' exactly… AH! Will yeh cut tha' out!" he said, pulling Dumbledore's hands away from below his belt. "I'm tryin' to tell yeh somthin!"

For a moment, Dumbledore looked like a child who was just denied a sweet but then, upon seeing the worry in Hagrid's face, he ceased pouting, now genuinely concerned. "What's the matter?"

"We can't do this"

"Why not?"

"Well, I…" Hagrid gulped, fighting embarrassment. "We're jus' too different, you an' me. I'm so… yeh know… and you're…" But Dumbledore just looked on, his head slightly tilted in bemused puzzlement. Hagrid looked at the floor. "I'm jus' afraid I migh' break you," he mumbled awkwardly.

Blushing furiously, Hagrid chanced a glance at Dumbledore and was surprised to see that he was smiling. Not only that, he was laughing!

"Oh my dear, Rubeus," he chuckled, his eyes developing a puckish gleam. "There is certainly no need to worry about that." And in one deft motion, before Hagrid could say anything in reply, Dumbledore's cast aside his robes, letting them flutter aimlessly to the floor. What Hagrid saw was the biggest surprise of his life.

"Blimey…" he breathed, looking down in awe. "I always said yeh were a great man, I jus' never knew 'ow great…"

"It's actually my biggest and longest kept secret, not to mention the hardest." Dumbledore smirked. "The hardest to keep secret, I mean."

"I'll bet," Hagrid laughed, edging closer. He ran his large hand over Dumbledore's smooth shoulder, his nails lightly scraping against his alabaster skin. Dumbledore shivered slightly at the sensation, his back arching in response. The heat between them was almost palpable.

"Yeh know what, Dumbledore?" Hagrid purred softly into his ear. "I think this migh' work out after all."

"Call me Albus."

Hagrid smiled and kissed him lightly on the lips, one hand on Dumbledore's bare back and the other fumbling with the buckle on his belt. Dumbledore reached down, sliding the tips of his fingers just over the top of Hagrid's trousers, and began to pull, leading him slowly to the oversized bed in the corner.

The night was long and dark, the bitter winter wind rattling the small hut near the forest's edge. But inside, even as the fire in the hearth dwindled to mere ashes, the air was hot, perfumed with a sensuous and lustful spice. Moving as one, the two bodies twisted and turned, gasping and moaning. Their throes of passion like a tempest at sea, crested and fell, heavy and hard, until, at long last, they gave way, falling panting and exhausted into sweet oblivion.

Sunlight was peeking brightly through the curtains when Hagrid woke the next morning, languid and content. Stretching grandly, he reached over to the other side of the bed and found it empty. He simply stared at it, the vacant spot where his lover had lain sleeping soundly, and, for a moment, he believed it had all been a dream. He had already had so many like it before, each ending with him alone once more.

The faint clink of ceramic mugs over near the fireplace told him otherwise. Hagrid sat up, the covers falling away from his bare chest. "Good mornin', Albus."

Dumbledore turned around, smiling. "Good morning, Rubeus." He was wearing nothing but one of Hagrid's old button-up shirts, which on him looked more like a dress if anything. Hagrid couldn't help but grin as Dumbledore made his way over to the bed carrying two steaming mugs of fresh tea. The sunlight lit his features, shimmering in his hair like a halo. Hagrid had never seen him look more beautiful.

"I hope you don't mind," Dumbledore said, pausing beside the bed, "but I made the tea a little strong. It really helps in the morning." He offered Hagrid his cup, but he didn't take it. He just kept looking at Dumbledore, his misty eyes beaming.

"What is it?" Dumbledore asked, setting the cups on the table by the bed.

"I'm jus' so happy," he said. The tears in his eyes were stinging, but he refused to blink, afraid that if he did Dumbledore would no longer be there when they opened again. "I'm so lucky to 'ave yeh." He reached out and caught hold of Dumbledore's hand.

"And I, you," he said, kissing the top of his head. Leaning his forehead against his, Dumbledore looked into his eyes. "I love you, you know."

Hagrid smiled. "Yeh do?"

"More than you will ever know."

With that, Hagrid pulled Dumbledore onto the bed, holding him close and kissing him deeply. They disappeared under Hagrid's fur blanket, laughing and rolling about in their morning delight. A sound at the door, however, caught their attention. Dumbledore pulled back the blanket, lying still on top of Hagrid. "Did you hear tha-," he started, but Hagrid hushed him, placing a finger over Dumbledore's lips as he listened.

He heard it again… scratching at the door, followed by a low-pitched whine. Hagrid laughed, rolling his eyes. "Aw, it's jus' Fang."

"Should we let him in?" Dumbledore asked, his mouth toying with the finger still lingering on his bottom lip.

"He can wait," he said, moving his hand to cradle Dumbledore's head, running his fingers through his hair and down his back. "I 'ave waited long enough fer this moment as it is, an' I'm not abou' to give it up."

Dumbledore stroked Hagrid's face with the backs of his fingers, smiling gently, his eyes glowing like a warm fire. He moved closer, their lips lightly grazing each other's. "Happy Valentine's Day," he whispered and tenderly kissed him. He turned his head and kissed him again, and again, moving from his lips to his cheek, to his neck, his shoulder, his chest, his abdomen, further and further down, disappearing under the covers once more.

"Hey, Kate!" called a blonde haired Ravenclaw as she trudged through the snow down the hill to her Care of Magical Creatures class. "Where's Professor Hagrid?"

"I dunno, Valerie." The young Hufflepuff said, shivering slightly in the wind. "He hasn't shown up yet."

"Is he sick?"

Kate shrugged. "All I know is that Fang's been sitting here waiting for him ever since I showed up." She reached down and gave the dog a quick scratch behind the ears. "Hope he's okay..."

"I'm sure he's fine," Valerie said, peering at the cabin. "He probably just overslept or something."

They waited for a little while longer, huddled together with the rest of their classmates for warmth, but he still didn't show.

"Oh, this is ridiculous!" Valerie exclaimed, her teeth chattering. "I'm going to go see what's keeping him." And she marched off towards the cabin.

There were no lights shining from inside the house, but there was smoke billowing out of the chimney. Was he even there? Standing outside the door, she raised her hand to knock but froze as a deep guttural cry suddenly issued from inside the cabin.

"Oh… Oh, Albus, don't stop! …ugh… yes! Oh, yes! YES!!"

Valerie turned very slowly, her eyes as wide as dinner plates, and walked away, not really seeing where she was going.

Kate called out to her as she neared the group. "So what's the deal? Is Hagrid coming?"

The corners of Valerie's mouth twitched as she halted in her tracks. She nearly fell as she doubled over with laughter. "Why oh WHY did you have to say it like that?"

The End