Title: One For The Ages

Author: Ilse O'Hara

Disclaimer: I do not own any part of the Harry Potter series by J.K.R. I have not made any money from this piece of literature, ok! Why don't you just go off and gloat while I go cry in a corner, J.K.R!

Summary: Many one-shots combined into one story that suggest the possible getting-togethers (is that grammatically correct?) of Albus and Minerva.

Rating: T for, ummm, angst and ummmmm, ya know… (jk).

Setting: Varies, first one is right after the Umbridge attack

Albus Dumbledore, unseen by the naked eye, strode purposefully into St. Mungo's Hospital. His eyes were empty; their ever-present twinkle gone without a trace of its former glory. Searching for the Spell-Damage floor, he walked and meandered, hoping to find her. The toad Umbridge had hurt Minerva McGonagall, the greatest, most intelligent, and most beautiful witch in her age. He wasn't there for her. She had done so much for him in the past years and he couldn't even guarantee her safety, let alone tell her that he loved her. Albus Dumbledore had been in love with Minerva for twenty years. Every time he plucked up the courage to say something about it to her over their weekly chess match, she would smile at him and his courage would vanish in an instant. As he wandered along the hallways, being ever so careful as to not bump into anyone, he didn't know what he was going to do. The Daily Prophet had mentioned in mere passing that Minerva was attacked and hit with four stunning spells at once. Albus had immediately rushed to the hospital. As Albus prepared himself for the worst, he saw a door open and two Healers come out, and whispering in hushed tones, they said,

"I doubt she'll make it through the night," a small, pretty witch said.

"I dunno. She's a fighter. It takes a lot to bring down McGonagall. I remember one time in me fifth year she,"

As the figures walked down the corridor, and the story behind what the other Healer had done when he was fifteen at Hogwarts to make Minerva mad was lost to Albus's ears, he quietly opened the door of her room. What he saw almost made him lose his faith. Lying in a stark white hospital gown that was so cold compared to her emerald green robes, Minerva looked like death itself. Her long hair, which she piled in her usual bun with amazing regularity, was fanned out behind her. Albus strode over to her bedside and made himself visible. Leaning over and gently taking her hand, he whispered,

"Minerva, please. It's me, Albus. I need you to come back, Min. Your little lions need you, Harry most of all." When she did not stir Albus pressed on earnestly,

"Min, please, wake up. Please. Please," here, Albus lost his resolve to not cry. Minerva was never going to know that he loved her and he was ashamed. Shaking with grief, he only barely heard the faint whisper,

"You could just appoint a new Deputy,"

"No! I couldn't. She's my life, she has to know-," Albus stopped crying and jolted upright. "Minerva! Oh, thank goodness!" Minerva's eyes fluttered and she said, weakly,

"You…shouldn't…be…here…Umbridge,"

"I'll kill her, I will! She hurt you!"

"Calm down, Albus, why are you blaming yourself so much. What do I need to know?"

"What?"

"You said, 'She has to know,' what?"

Albus heaved a great sigh. Leaning closer to the bed, he said quietly,

"You may hate me for the rest of your life once you here this, but I'll say it anyway, Minerva. Over the years that you have been my deputy, you've come to be my best friend. That friendship has, well," he stuttered.

"What, Albus. Tell me before I fall asleep with suspense," came Minerva's wry remark.

"Minerva, I love you. I have for twenty years," Before Minerva could respond the door handle rattled and Albus vanished.

Two weeks later

Albus paced his study restlessly. He still hadn't heard from Minerva. Upon the fabulous removal of Umbridge by the Golden Trio (I have changed the timeline a teensy bit), Albus had returned in full force. Deciding that the best thing he could do for his worries was to take a walk; Albus walked out into the corridor and wandered down towards the kitchens. On passing the east tower staircase, which led to Minerva's private rooms, Albus saw a light go on. His need for some lemon drops vanished instantly and he bolted up the stairs with the ease and agility of a man less than his many years. Upon reaching the door, Albus knocked softly.

"Come in," came a faint reply. Albus entered slowly. His eyes turned from joyous to pity as he saw Minerva struggling to stand with the help of her walking stick. He quickly rushed over to her and helped her sit back down, saying,

"No, no my dear. Stay seated," Minerva's eyes seemed to show a flicker of hope at the words my dear, but it died immediately after. She was about to speak when,

"Minerva, I never got to finish what I was saying. I want you to know that I love you. I have for twenty long years, and I know that you may not," his response was cut off as Minerva threw her arms around him and kissed him full on the lips. Albus, after taking a moment to assure himself that this event was really and truly happening, responded to the kiss with as much passion, if not more than it had started with. When they broke apart, Minerva rested her head on his chest and whispered,

"I was afraid it was a dream," Albus was puzzled. If she thought that she had been dreaming about him then, "Yes, Albus. I love you, too. I have loved you for twenty-five years, so, I win!"

"So that means, that, well,"

"Darling, shut up." Minerva said, and she began to kiss him again. Albus was only too happy to oblige.