Author's Note- Hello again! This fic is a random oneshot that sprung entirely from my eccentricity of gazing and squealing with delight at the glorious sunset. Somehow, my folks don't appreciate this very much and always say, "It's just the sunset" which annoys me to no end … I mean, think of one day without the sunset … and then, WHAM! It struck me out of the blue as (to put it in Ron's words) "the mental sort of thing Dumbledore would say!" and since I am a MMAD shipper …
Well, enjoy and don't forget to drop a line with your comments cause they make me squeal with delight as well, lol!
Disclaimers- Everything that you recognize doesn't belong to me … if it had, it would have been my name printed on the cover of the HP books, sigh.
By Nymph of the Night
"Minerva, quick, come here!"
Professor Minerva McGonagall was sitting in front of her essay-littered desk with a harassed expression on her face that suggested unnecessary disturbances were not welcome and would most certainly not be tolerated. One hand upon her creased forehead, habitually raking through her raven black hair and the other tightly grasped around a long, olive-hued quill, she stared down dumbly at the twenty-inch, sixth-year essay on 'Complex Aspects of Human Transfiguration' before her. Evidently, the student in question had either sustained extensive brain injuries or had been sound asleep throughout her long-suffering explanations on this more complex and elegant realm of Transfiguration, for apart for her name scribbled indecipherably on the top and the title, there seemed to be no other word, with a hint of fact worth reading on the entire twenty inches of parchment. For one thing, she had never asked for a twenty-inch thesis, only eighteen inches, for this greatly reduced the amount of tripe she had to endure daily, an occupational hazard for a Hogwarts professor.
She twiddled her quill noncommittally and for the sake of passing time, once more dipped it into a nearby red-inkpot, redundantly contemplating the grade this unfortunate pupil of hers deserved – unfortunate, because she was most certainly going to receive a highly unpleasant sermon on the baloney that she had sent in as her assignment, courtesy of Professor McGonagall. She considered a 'Troll' and then decided against it; the girl seemed to posses substantial powers of imagination considering she had written a twenty-inch essay without being acquainted with a single fact on the said topic. However, this rubbish definitely did not deserve 'Dreadful'. Minerva wondered if what the girl would make of her if she inscribed a 'Trollful'; she was having a difficult time trying to decide what grade was to be awarded to the recipient. In a fit of indecision, she neatly marked at the top, 'Meet me after class' and flung the ill-fated essay aside, pulling up another long sheet from under the pile of pending correspondences before her and praying that it would make more sense than the last.'Human Transfiguration involves transfiguring various aspects of the human body …' it began sagely in untidy, cramped, scrawny letters that always took a toll on her fiery temper.
She snorted in shocked disbelief. Was she so incompetent a teacher that three-quarters of an hour of lecturing was insufficient to help her students grasp the basics of human Transfiguration enough to write a sensible dissertation? She would have to refine her technique somehow, to ensure that her lessons got through their surprisingly thick skulls; she did not recollect having so much difficulty in Transfiguration when she had been in her sixth year … perhaps, as she often pointed out to the man himself… Dumbledore was just a better teacher …
Speaking of Dumbledore, the man was starting to get on her of-late, highly irritable nerves now, constantly striving to engage her in some pointless discussion on why sherbet lemons stuck together in pairs (his decidedly-inane justification being that perhaps they were a married couple), where his long-lost, horribly-yellow, banana printed socks would be (and how they must be missing playing with his friendly toes) or what could be the possible reason for Binns refusing to resign after his recent demise, indifferent to the torture he had caused students even during his long life (to which Minerva had sarcastically suggested that perhaps he was secretly in love with Madam Pince).
Minerva was starting to get aggravated by his obstinate refusal to understand that she would rather mark her nonsensical essays in private (for the fear of frustratedly exploding in his presence). Somehow, he seemed to have no other work these days than employ her in idle, fruitless chinwags; his correspondences seemed to have dwindled, magically suffering deaths and severe illnesses within the last fortnight, Cornelius Fudge was away for a holiday to Mauritius with his newly-wedded daughter and for the first time in his life, Albus seemed to have completed all formalities and school-related paperwork before the academic year had commenced.
"Minerva, come on!" His insistent voice cut through her incensed contemplations once more.
Albus was standing at the window with his back to her, as a result, she had complete advantage of the garishly outlandish lemon-and-lime robes that he was unabashedly sporting which, in her opinion, clashed horribly with his long, auburn hair. She squinted back jadedly at her table, still covered with piles of uncorrected essays. Sure, the prospect of staring out of the window beside Albus Dumbledore was not anymore appealing and she knew she would greatly regret putting away the marking later-on at night (when she would irately commence on a lengthy invective to herself on the idiosyncrasies of Albus Dumbledore punctuated by a fabulous lexicon of swear-words) still, the panorama of correction did not seem very tempting to her either.
With a clouded mind, she pushed aside her chair and stood up, stiffly from being stuck in the chair for so long an era and made her way to the adamant wizard, by which time he had already completed seven persuasive reiterations of her name along with a frantic gesture at the windowsill.
"Come one," he caught hold of her wrist and dragged her indefatigably to his perch; her heart fluttered ecstatically and she ignored it; she had grown used to this unfathomable sensation during his many visits in the last fortnight.
"Look!" he cried blissfully, pulling her close next to him and pointing in the horizon at the magnificent vista that her teak window seemed to have framed. The zenith seemed to be dabbled with iridescent shades of vibrant gold, bordered with a streak of glistening, pale orange as the blazing scarlet sun, lit with a halo of blood red, sank deeper and deeper by the second, illusion-like, into the shimmering lake which was, in itself a spectacle, ablaze with sparkling colour, like an artist's palette, the tints and hues merging so seamlessly into each other as the water rippled noiselessly with the zephyr.
"Isn't it glorious?" he breathed, caught up profoundly in the elation of the scene, the luminous colours reflecting dazzlingly in his own pair of cerulean blue eyes which were alight with unstated fervour.
"Albus," Minerva said softly, careful not to interrupt his idyllic trance; nevertheless, sounding somewhat disappointed. "It's only the sunset." With that silent assertion, she slipped back to her world of unmarked essays and perplexing grades.
Albus, however absorbed he had been by the astounding vision, did not miss Minerva's pronouncement and the evident disappointment elusively lingering in her voice. He continued to stare outside the window; his gaze fixed on the setting sun and then, softly addressed her.
"You do not think it is beautiful?"
"I – it's not that, Albus … it's just … I see it everyday," she answered with a delicate sigh, her eyes resolutely affixed on the blue-inked text on the parchment in hand, her mind sauntering elsewhere.
"Ah," Albus said gently, still gazing out in the distance as the ruby-red radiance died out and transformed itself into a silky, pastel pink that mellowed the nether skies unto tenderness. "But seeing it everyday does not diminish its grandeur in any way, does it? For though the colours paint the sky day after day, just one day of a dull, colourless sunset shall suffice to teach us how much we carelessly ignore these daily gratifications and how much importance we actually attach to them, for the true value of an entity is never realized until lost."
He sighed deeply as the pinkness slowly dissolved into the starless night, a delicate shade of lavender coating the heavens as the sun bade its ultimate farewell for a fresh birth tomorrow; he did not even need to turn back to know that Minerva, though still looking intently at the parchment before her, was absorbing his every word with a profound deliberation, deeply contemplating on its greater denotation.
"I see you every day," he continued slowly, his eager eyes feasting keenly upon the wonderful sight before, but his mind was spinning rapidly. "But that does in any way change how much I value your wondrous retorts, irritated commentary on our beloved Minister, opinions on how I ought not to dole out sweets to students, half-smiles at my idiosyncrasies, reminders that I ought to reply to so and so … everything small thing about you that my seem so trivial to others and yet, they do mean a lot to me. For though today, I may take you for granted as just one among the millions, I know that it is unlikely that I will be able to spend a day without you and in that lies your true significance. That is why I love you."
For the first time since Albus had begun talking, Minerva's eyes left the parchment it had so far been glued to and bore into his lime-and-lemon turned backside in shocked silence. Had he … had he just said what she had … heard him say? No … she was loosing her grip, she was going mad … why would Albus … it was not … but she was sure had heard …
Deciding that the last line of Albus' enlightenment had really not been a figment of her overactive imagination, her breath caught sharply in her throat as she realized with an abrupt jolt, what Albus had been insinuating with his final sentence. The man was still standing there with unsurpassed calm; there was no change in his magisterial stance since his recent, unobvious pronouncement; he might as well have been informing a two-year old that the sky was blue. She was raring to say something, something meaningful, but her tongue seemed to have chosen that particular moment to glue itself to the roof of her mouth, her insides seemed to have frozen into solid ice and her brain was apparently Stunned.
"Wh-I-" she mumbled inarticulately when her tongue, insides and brain had finally decided to co-operate with her madly beating heart. Smiling slightly as she gained improved control of her otherwise disciplined senses, and as a perfect reply to Albus' last comment struck her, she left the chair and slipped soundlessly beside him, sliding her arm around his waist gently. Albus Dumbledore did not look down at her, but reciprocated the gesture and in turn, slipped his own arm tenderly around her thin waist.
The soft, lavender hue had long since vanished, leaving in its wake, a deep, stirring shade of violet to envelope the firmament haphazardly, hungrily devouring the fading lilac as night called upon the earth and day slid into the darkness. The lake's undulating flow did not cease with the vivid sunset, the gentle rippling merging impeccably with the soft whooshing of the wind through the silhouetted pines at its shore as the last of the birds' cries echoed in the silent night and a lone star shone to illuminate the dusky gloom.
Her head resting on Albus' shoulder, their arms around each other securely as the silvery moon came to call and the nightingale sang in its lilting chirp, it's melodious tribute to the starry night, she sighed in a voice barely above a mute whisper so as not to shatter that serene stupor they had long since slipped into together, "Its glorious."
As the night progressed, the pallid moonbeams sifting through the teak windows of her office illuminated man and woman, lips pressed together in a passionate kiss as the moon shone on incessantly, continuing the day's unfinished chores.
A/N: Well, hope you like this, cause, for the first time, I am actually proud of writing this fic and I like it a lot … it's personally dear to me so, if you've read it, spare a second and review, pretty please! Cheers, li'l Lee.