Bees, Berries, and Bonnets
A/N: This story was written for MMADfan who helped me with a bit of writer's block. She challenged me to write a story using the following prompts: Albus & Minerva (obviously), wild berry picking, a basket, a bonnet, and a beehive. I hope you enjoy!
It was a glorious summer day at Hogwarts. The sun was shining, the birds were singing in the trees, the temperature outside was warm but not unpleasant, and the corridors were quiet. The students had been sent home weeks ago, and most of the staff had taken that opportunity to travel, leaving Albus and Minerva almost completely alone in the large castle.
Minerva sat at her desk, basking in the warm sunbeams as she worked on the Quidditch schedule for the fall term. As much as she loved to see her lions win, she did try to be fair when scheduling the practice times for each house and to ensure that they each had ample time on the pitch. She was on her third draft of the morning when she heard Albus sigh heavily for the fifth time in less than an hour.
Albus had been sorting through several letters and projects. His latest headache, though, was the school budget. Severus Snape had requested more funds for his Potions class. Professor Sprout claimed she needed to spruce up her greenhouses with new and more exotic plants. Hagrid had submitted his usual request for the purchase of a dragon, giving Albus his usual chuckle at the thought of housing a dragon in the Forbidden Forest. And, of course, there was the usual maintenance and upkeep of the school, salaries, supplies, and incidentals that had to be taken into account. Overall, it was the one project Albus truly detested, and he procrastinated as long as he could.
"You could never have survived as an Arithmancer, could you, sweetheart?" Minerva asked as she pushed back from her desk and stretched. "That's the fifth time you've sighed in the last hour, and frankly, it's ruining my happy mood," she teased.
Albus dropped his quill on top of the parchments and stood, walking over to the open windows and inhaling the fresh summer air. "Let's get out of here and do something, anything. We can finish our work on a rainy day, if necessary. Right now, I'd like to break free from these walls and enjoy the outdoors. We could pack a picnic basket and maybe take a little nap down by the lake."
His voice could not hide his enthusiasm for his newborn idea, and his eyes twinkled at the thought of spending a day outdoors with Minerva. Seeing the transformation before her very eyes, Minerva walked over to join him at the window. "How could I refuse such a handsome wizard and the offer of a picnic by a lake? We haven't done that in quite a while."
Half an hour later, Albus and Minerva were strolling hand in hand across the grounds towards a more secluded spot on the far side of the lake. Albus was humming softly, feeling rejuvenated already after having been given a reprieve from his official duties.
Lunch was a leisurely affair with sandwiches, juice, crisps, and some fruit, all packed eagerly and with loving care by the kitchen elves. Having seen their duties drastically decreased with the departure of the students, they were only too happy to assist the Headmaster and his Deputy.
Minerva stretched out on the blanket, closed her eyes, and took a long deep breath. "I don't think I could eat another bite, though you'd better save me a slice of that cake. It looks delicious."
Albus took a moment to drink in the sight of Minerva. She was wearing sandals and a set of beautiful, pale green, sleeveless summer robes. On Albus' request, she had also worn her hair down, and it was spilling across the blanket, giving the appearance of a pool of dark silk. Taking his finger and swiping it across the frosting, he smeared it on his lips then leaned down ever so slowly and pressed his lips against hers, making sure the frosting coated her lips.
At first, Minerva jumped, having not anticipated his kiss, but she quickly parted her lips and slipped her tongue out to taste the wonderful icing and his kiss. She moaned softly as he drew her bottom lip between his and suckled it, licking all the icing from her lips then teasing her even more. Her hand slipped around his neck, holding him close to her as they shared the leisurely kisses and caresses.
When they finally broke apart, he rested his forehead against hers. "How's the cake, my dear?" he asked softly, his voice heavy with desire and longing.
"It's wonderful, but I'm sure that has more to do with the way it was delivered. I've always said you were the best kisser in the world, and I still believe that," she replied. Leaning up, she captured his lips once more, and it was several long minutes before he pulled back and rested his head on her chest, breathless.
As the afternoon wore on and they woke from a short nap, Albus suggested that they take some time and pick a few wild berries in a nearby patch. He'd discovered the berry patch a few years ago and had the elves bake a lovely cobbler for Minerva each summer since. "We could request a nice meal from the kitchen staff tonight and eat outside, either down by the lake or perhaps on our balcony."
Minerva smiled, knowing where his mind was wandering and letting her own thoughts follow his. "Balcony, definitely. Less distance to travel after dessert," she said with a wink.
"Ah, but there's no one here. so who's so say we couldn't enjoy dessert beneath the stars?" he countered, wiggling his eyebrows and licking his lips.
"Let's just get the berries first and then worry about the rest later," she answered, knowing that if he pressed her further, she would easily cave to his wishes.
After emptying the contents of their picnic basket and sending them floating back to the castle, Albus Transfigured the picnic basket into one that was suitable for the wild berries. "Ready when you are, my dear."
"Oh no, you don't. You're not going to spend another hour in this sun without some sort of bonnet or hat on your head. With your fair skin and the sunshine, I don't want to spend the evening applying the sunburn cream to you and listening to you wailing and moaning about how badly it hurts." With a snap of her fingers, the blanket flew into her hands and within seconds, she was holding a bright purple bonnet with a wider brim than normal. "There you go. Now, shall we pick those berries and then dash back to our rooms for a bath before supper?"
Albus took a moment to kiss her passionately before leading her off in the direction of the berry patch. They'd been picking the wild berries without the aid of magic when suddenly, Minerva yelped in pain. She dropped the berries to the ground, and her finger immediately began to throb. Startled by her sudden outburst, Albus rushed to her side.
"What's wrong?" he asked, taking her finger from her mouth and inspecting it.
"I think I was stung by a bee. I've noticed quite a few around, but I was being very careful," she answered, her face showing obvious signs of pain. Before she could explain further, she felt several more sticks, some on her legs, one on her right hand, and one on her left shoulder. "Albus, we have to move, now!" She yelped before running away with him following closely.
Once they were a safe distance from the berry patch, Albus helped Minerva to sit on the grass and began inspecting her bee stings. "Let's get you back to the castle where I can take care of this properly. Looks like you've got quite a few stings, and they're turning red and swelling."
Leaving her a safe distance away, he cautiously made his way back to the berries and their basket. Summoning the berries Minerva had dropped and a few others he'd left in a pile on the other side of the bush, he placed them in the basket. His eyes happened to land on a small beehive near where Minerva had been picking. "We're sorry we disturbed your home but the least you could have done was to sting me and not my lovely wife," he grumbled to the bees. "But I have to agree, she is the sweetest and best-tasting thing in all the world."
"Who were you talking to just then?" she asked, having seen him speaking but being unable to discern his words.
"The bees in the hive. I was chastising them for stinging you but explaining that I could see how they would naturally be drawn to you since you are so delectable and intoxicating," he answered. Taking her hand, he pulled her to her feet. "The sooner we get you upstairs and out of these clothes, the sooner I can examine every inch of you and make sure the pain goes away. I have a few ideas that might prove most beneficial." He kissed her cheek, and in no time at all, they were back inside the comfort of their bedroom.
After taking a few moments to make their dinner requests from the kitchen elves, Albus joined Minerva in the bathroom, watching in awe from the doorway as she slowly removed her clothing. His body was already beginning to react to the sight of her nude form, and he eagerly stripped out of his robes to join her.
"Here, let me help you," he said softly as he walked up behind her. His lips grazed across her bare shoulder then down to the side where the bee had taken a nibble. His tongue soothed the red bite mark before he breathed a warm breath on the same spot. Instantly, the pain, swelling, and discomfort were replaced by a tingling sensation. "Better, my love?"
"Mmm, much better," she answered. She closed her eyes and leaned back against his chest, pressing her body against his. "But if you'll remember, I was stung several more times … in various places. Think you're up to kissing them all and making them feel better?" she asked in her best seductive tone.
He pressed his hips against hers, letting her feel his arousal. "Sweetheart, I'm up for a great many things with you this evening," he answered, his hot breath sending shivers of delight and desire over her body.
Later that evening, as the two lay curled up in bed with the summer breeze floating through the open windows, Albus' hand lazily caressed Minerva's sated body. "Thank you, my dear, for a wonderful summer day. I'm sorry you were hurt, though…"
"Shh, it wasn't that bad. And you certainly made up for it by making sure my entire body was free from any undetected stings. I quite enjoyed that inspection. It was rather satisfying. Only next time, let's just stay here in the comfort of our bedroom, and we'll pretend I need a full body inspection. Better yet, I think it's your turn. You were incredibly close to those pesky bees as well, and we can't be too careful." She rolled him onto his back and slipped down to the foot of their bed, beginning a slow and thorough exploration of his body, stopping at points of interest along the way.
The following day, the Quidditch schedule and the Hogwarts budget were still unfinished, but the two hard-working professors had decided to have a bit of a lie in and then to enjoy a luxurious breakfast in bed using the rest of their fresh berries, but only after another inspection of each other just to ensure that no bee stings had been overlooked.