FanFic 100 Prompt Challenge – 071 – Broken

In the course of his life, Albus Dumbledore established many rules to himself, rules concerning his personal life and his job. Probably one of the most important rules was to not dwell on the fame and attention he received when he defeated Grindewald. He vowed to himself that he would never let it get to his head the fact that everybody called him "the greatest wizard of our time". He had always managed to follow that rule exactly like he was supposed to.

Another important rule was to never get romantically involved with any of his fellow workers. Not with any of the Aurors he had worked beside on the search of Grindewald, and especially not with any of the Hogwarts' professors. When he became Deputy of the Headmaster Armando Dippet, the interest of the female staff on him increased considerably. Albus was always kind and gentlemanly, but never gave hopes to any of the women who tried to catch his eye. Obviously not being able to date the women in the castle left him with practically no other options; he spent most of his time in Hogwarts, which meant barely attending to social events, even the ones held by the Ministry, and, in consequence, not knowing women except those he worked with. He soon had been given the title of "a lifetime bachelor", but none of this had made him want to change, he still would not date any of his colleagues. Following that particular rule proved itself to be quite simple, since he had never been attracted to any of his co-workers. He had always managed to follow that rule exactly like he was supposed to. Until she came into the picture.

When she came back to Hogwarts as a professor, after years of traveling around the world, he soon became entranced by her beauty and intelligence. He couldn't help but notice how his former student had grown up to be an amazing woman. It was almost impossible to believe that Professor Minerva McGonagall had once been an insecure first year Gryffindor student. As soon as she arrived in Hogwarts to take the place of the retired Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor, she and Albus engaged a friendship which had been growing since her seventh year, when he trained her to be an Animagus. They spent nights playing chess and remembering her times as a student, days walking around the gardens arm in arm, and evenings in his office having tea. A few years later Minerva would refer to them as the best of friends. But that didn't explain the fact that Albus, for the first time in his life, found himself truly desiring to break one of the innumerous rules he had set to himself.

When Armando Dippet died and Albus became Headmaster of Hogwarts, the first person he thought was worthy of being his Deputy was Minerva. When he asked her to not only be his Deputy, but also fill in the positions of Head of Gryffindor and Transfiguration Professor, both of which he had vacated, she smiled one of her precious smiles and hugged him tightly, saying that she would be thrilled to accept and would make her best to not let him down. She left his office, and Albus started doubting his decision. He knew that when he thought of her to be the Deputy Headmistress of Hogwarts it was because she deserved, and, frankly, he couldn't think of anyone else who could bear and understand him as well as she did. But giving her the position would mean having to spend more time with her, which would set off the alarm in his head which kept reminding him of the rules. Opposite to the 'alarm', was a little voice (which sounded a lot like his brother's, Aberforth), that had said more than once that the rules meant nothing and that he should just throw them out of the window and the hell with the consequences.

Except that he had never broken a rule in his life. Well, maybe a few of them, but of minor importance, such as not being on the corridors of the school after curfew while he was a student, and not entering the Private Session without permission. But he had never broken any of the rules he had created to himself. Most of them had been extremely hard to follow, but the one concerning relationships with co-workers had never given him any trouble. And this only made the situation more difficult for him to deal with.

But, he reminded himself over and over again, he was thinking too forward. The rules would never need to be broken if Minerva didn't want it too. As far as Albus was concerned, the attraction was one-sided; Minerva had never shown any signs of wanting something with him that went beyond friendship. Except, maybe, the times he had caught her staring at him when she thought no one would notice. But that meant nothing, right? That had to mean nothing. If she felt anything for him, he would be even more tempted to break the rules. Damn, he would break them for sure!

It had to stop. He couldn't afford to be attracted to Minerva because of that goddamn rule he created. The rule which was working perfectly until she joined the staff. Albus had lost count of how many times he had cursed himself for making these stupid, stupid rules. Why did he need them anyway? Well, he knew the answer to that question; to keep him with both his feet on the ground.

He had seen many relationships in between members of the staff going downhill, creating an unhealthy and uncomfortable atmosphere for both parts involved, and he had swore he would never put himself and another person on this position. If a relationship doesn't work out, the couple will most probably go separate ways and maybe never talk with each other again; but in the castle it was impossible. The said couple was forced to be face to face with each other, not to mention speak. A relationship with Minerva wasn't possible.

Why the hell he was already thinking about a relationship with her was beyond him. Yes, she was extremely beautiful and intelligent, and, oh, yes, he was attracted to her, very attracted. But she didn't know that, and didn't feel the same about him. He was a good fifty-years her senior. She probably thought of him as some kind of father figure; that thought made Albus sick.

Albus spent many years with these thoughts running over his mind, threatening to take over his control. One night, seven years after Minerva had arrived back at Hogwarts, they were playing chess in his office, as they did every Friday night. Albus made his move and sat back to watch Minerva as she eyed the chessboard, carefully wondering her next move. Albus stared at her shamelessly, taking in her emerald green eyes, her long dark hair which had fallen loose from its usual bun a few hours ago, and her delicate features. He was well aware of her beauty, and always had been; he usually did that, stared at her when they were alone. He loved the smug expression she had on her face whenever she was playing chess with him, a clear sign that she, of course, was going to beat him, again. He wondered if she had ever noticed his stare, and, if she had, why she had never said anything before. It was like a routine: he wouldn't take his eyes away from her and she wouldn't lift her eyes from the chessboard. Except that, this time, as she made her move, she looked up and locked gazes with Albus. They stared at each other intensely for a full minute, with fire in their eyes, before starting to slowly move closer. And as their lips met in a passionate embrace, the chess board falling to the floor and the chess pieces forgotten, the only thing in Albus' mind was that rules are, indeed, made to be broken. And he had learned that in the best way possible.

A.N.: It's been some time since I last wrote anything new for MMAD. I'm so glad I finally did it, this fic had spent a lot of time in my mind. So, please, review and tell me if I still know how to write MMAD or not.