A/N- Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought these two would make a good couple. But, I was listening to "Chemicals React" by Aly & AJ and I felt inspired. A fluffy one-shot. . . .Oh, and I'm not sure if Minerva would really call Dumbledore by his first name or not, so I figured I'd let her, just this once.
Summary- They were the Heads of rival houses. They were supposed to hate each other. . . .But one lonely night proved to a certain Gryffindor woman just how much she cares for the greasy-haired Head of Slytherin House. Yule Ball, GoF
Pairing- Severus/Minerva

"If I told you I was in love with you, would you run? Or would you return my feelings?"

She had tried to hide it. She didn't want to believe she may have deeper feelings for. . .him of all people. She shook her head, trying to get him out of it. Picking up her papers, she exited her classroom and went down to her quarters.

"Really," she had thought. "How could I think he'd be the one for me? I'm 72 years old! If I were to have been with someone, it would've happened already."

But alas, there she was on the eve before Christmas Eve, sitting on her bed, thinking of the man who had possibly stolen her heart. She imagined the Yule Ball the next day, and a smile crept onto her face. She laid down and thought of what it would be like to feel his arms supporting her as they swayed to the music. Her eyes closed sleepily and before she knew it, she was dancing with her possible lover.

He walked into his room and sighed. That stupid ball. . .Why must we all go? He had never been one for formal gatherings, even when he was a child. As a matter of fact, he pretty much hated any kind of gathering. But dances had to be top on his list of despicable outings. He sat in his chair and, with a wave of his wand, closed the door behind him.

The Potions master opened his closet with another wave of his wand and looked at what he could wear.

"I suggest you wear something nice, dress robes, preferrably." Professor Dumbledore had said that night at a staff meeting. "And you all are required to dance at least once. It's a ball, so I want you to have fun!"

Yeah, I'll give you fun, the man sneered. He gave up looking for something and retired to his bed. Pulling the covers over his head, he sighed and closed his eyes. Instantly he opened them again. A noise that sounded an awful lot like a woman screaming jolted him up and he left his room.

He wasn't the only one startled by the scream. Other professors had stepped into the hall with their wands illuminated.

"Please, everyone calm down!" Professor Dumbledore said above the murmurs. "I want Severus, Alastor, and Madam Pomfrey to follow me. The rest of you kindly return to your rooms."

"Albus, what's happened?" Alastor asked.

"I'm not certain, Alastor. But it seems Minerva's been attacked," he answered calmly.

Severus' hands began to shake. "How?" he asked quietly.

Soon, he had his answer. They opened the door to her room and found her looking terribly frightened. Albus walked slowly over to her and offered her his hand.

"Are you all right, Minerva?"

"I...I didn't...I couldn't have..." She looked up at him with an expression similar to that of a terrified child. "It wasn't me, I swear."

"What do you mean?" he asked softly.

"Headmaster!" Madam Pomfrey shrieked. All five of them looked out the window and a dementor was looming menacingly in front of it.

Severus was the first to act. He lifted his wand and without a word, a Patronus emerged from the tip and chased it away.

"Albus, what does this mean?" Alastor asked. "Dementors here at Hogwarts?"

"We shall talk about this, but not now." He turned his attention to Minerva, who was calming down. "Will you be all right?"

"Y-Yes," she answered shakily.

The four started to leave, but Minerva gently held Severus' arm, pulling him back.

"Can you stay with me, tonight?" she asked softly. "I don't want to be alone if it comes back."

He sighed. "Okay," he answered reluctantly. He closed the door and sat in a chair near her bed.

She sat looking at him for a minute, admiring his bravery. When he looked at her, she immediately looked down at her hands and flushed. I feel so childish around him...It's like I'm in school all over again, she thought.

"What were you talking about before?" Severus asked after she had laid down. "When you said it wasn't you, what did you mean?"

She shuddered. "It was a mistake I had made in my youth," she confessed. "I never meant to do it, but I did. And when the dementor kissed me, the memories came back."

"Memories of what, exactly?"

"...I'd rather not talk about it."

He nodded understandingly and looked out the window. "I understand. It isn't easy talking about a side of you that seems to haunt you."

Ahh, he was referring to his Death Eater days. So he knew exactly what she meant. She smiled appreciatively and looked up at the ceiling. As hard as she tried to fall asleep again, she couldn't seem to. Maybe it was the closeness of the Potions master that had her uneasy.

"You should get to sleep," he said softly. "Wouldn't want to be fatigued during the Yule Ball, would you?"

"No," she answered sleepily. She closed her eyes and tried to think of something other than him, and in a few minutes, she was almost asleep.

She could've been dreaming it, but she suddenly felt a warm hand hold hers gently.

"Good morning, students." Professor Dumbledore said the following morning. "I hope you are all well rested, because as you know, tonight is the Yule Ball." He smiled and looked around at the faces of the excited students. "So, use this day wisely to get yourselves ready, and I hope to see all of you tonight."

Severus walked into the Great Hall a little late and took his place next to Minerva. He didn't say a word to her as he ate his cereal, and he didn't acknowledge her when he stood to leave. He nodded to Albus and swiftly walked out.

Minerva pretended not to notice the sudden cold shoulder, but she couldn't help but wonder why. She glanced in the direction he had gone and sighed. I wonder what's up with him.

Severus looked at himself in the mirror that evening, clearly unimpressed. He never thought dress robes were for him. Unsatisfied, he walked out of his room and into the Great Hall.

Thankfully, not many people were there yet. He strolled over to where the other professors were and began chatting idly with Professor Flitwick.

After about twenty minutes, the Hall had filled up, and the four champions were escorting their dates to the dance floor. That's when he saw her.

"Wow," he breathed.

Minerva walked over to Albus, looking absolutely beautiful in her forest green gown. Even when she and Albus began dancing, he couldn't take his eyes off of her.

When they'd stopped, Severus sat at the table and drank some punch. He watched the students as they danced effortlessly with their partners, and for a split second, he wished he had one of his own.

The ball was almost over; most of the students had already left. He smiled to himself. Ha, I got out of having to dance, he thought.

"You still haven't danced, have you, Severus?"

He looked up and saw Minerva smiling at him. He sighed and stood. "No, I haven't." And I was hoping no one noticed, he added.

"Albus said he wanted you too, so come on." She held out a hand for him and smiled wider. Severus could've sworn he saw her blush, but he chased the thought away.

Reluctantly, he took her hand and led her to the dance floor. Unfortunately for him, a slow song started to play. Oh, great...

He held her waist gently and began to slow dance. He wanted to say something, but his voice seemed to have stopped working.

"You look very handsome tonight, Severus," she said quietly. Forcing herself to look him in the eyes, she smiled and flushed again.

"Thanks," he said indifferently. "You look beautiful as well." You idiot! Is that the best you've got?

She smiled and stepped a little closer to him. "You don't need to be afraid of me, you know. I won't bite." She looked at his chest.

Hmm, is that so? He pulled her closer to himself and wrapped his arms around her waist. Now, their bodies were almost touching, and for some reason, he liked the feeling.

"So, have you wished for anything for Christmas?" she asked.

"I don't need anything," he answered bluntly.

"Severus, there must be something you want." She looked into his fathomless black eyes.

". . .I suppose." A dangerous gleam sparkled in his eye. "There is something I want."

"What is it?"

"Oh no. If I tell you, it won't happen, now will it?" he answered.

"Yes, you're right." She looked back at his chest and smiled. "I've wished for something as well."

"Well, we will see tomorrow if our wishes come true."

"Indeed," she said.

The song ended and Severus let her go. "I'll see you in the morning," he said. "I'm feeling fatigued."

"That could be because you watched me sleep." She smiled and blushed again. "Severus, just because I needed security doesn't mean you had to watch me all night."

He shrugged. "True. But if I had fallen asleep, it could've attacked again."

"I would've been okay."

"That's not what you said last night," he corrected her. "You wanted me there to protect you, so I did."

She sighed in defeat. "All right. Good night, Severus."

"Good night." He turned to leave, but just as he started to leave, he turned back around and kissed Minerva on the cheek. Without leaving her time to react, he walked out.

Christmas morning brought the smells of gingerbread and pine to the halls of Hogwarts. Severus walked to the Great Hall early in the morning and took his seat before anyone else. In his hands was a small package that he had wrapped earlier in the morning.

"So, Severus, I trust you slept well?" Albus said cheerfully.

"Yes, headmaster," he replied. He looked around for the Gryffindor Head of House, but she was nowhere to be found.

Hmm...I wonder what happened.

He walked back to his room and sat on his bed. His mind seemed to be engaged in a war of its own.

Admit it, you love her.

No, I can't! She's a Gryffindor!

When has that mattered to you?

People will talk.

Let them talk.

What will my students say? They'll think I've gone soft!

Love does that to you, my friend.

He sighed in annoyance and opened his journal. He hadn't written in it in a long time, but he felt the need to get this off his chest.

25 December
Minerva and I danced last night at the Yule Ball, and I can't seem to get her out of my head now. I don't know why, she's in Gryffindor for crying out loud! But I can't seem to stop thinking of her eyes, or the way her face lights up when she smiles. I don't understand this at all.

A knock on his door startled him. He closed the book, hid it under his pillow, and opened the door. "Merry Christmas, Professor."

"Please, Severus. Minerva," she smiled. "I came to give you this." She handed him a gift wrapped in red and golden paper. Gryffindor colors, Severus thought.

He took it from her and motioned for her to come in. He opened the door wider and she walked in. He walked to the desk and handed her a gift as well.

"You didn't have to do that," she said.

"You didn't either," he replied. He sat next to her on his bed and looked at her. "You go first."

"All right," she said. She unwrapped the box and lifted the lid carefully. She gasped.

"Severus, this is..." she breathed. She looked at him and smiled. "Thank you."

He took the silver necklace from the box and put it around her neck. "There, it looks perfect."

They looked into each other's eyes for a moment, then both looked away.

"I guess it's my turn now," he said finally.

He opened his and cocked his head when he saw what the box contained. "What is this?"

"Here." She took the leaf out of the box and hung it above their heads. Smiling and turning many shades of pink, she sat next to him again. "It's mistletoe," she said softly.

He looked at her in surprise. She actually wants to kiss me? He had to smile at that.

He gently held her head between his hands and kissed her lips softly. He smiled at her again. Then, he kissed her a little deeper.

"Severus," she said quietly.

"Yes?" he answered, his lips just centimeters from hers.

"I love you."

He smiled for the third time. "I love you too."

". . .Kiss me again."

And he did. Passionately, lovingly, deeply he kissed her. The fight in his head had ended; he now knew for a fact that. . .

Minerva is the only one for me.

So, what did you think? It was kind of a spur of the moment type thing, but I really like how it came out! And I know, I should be updating my other stories. . .I'm working on it, I promise!! Please review!!