The sound of her heels clicking through the corridors echoed as she sped up. It had only been six hours since they had parted, four since she had seen him briefly at breakfast, but god, she could barely breathe for want of him. Sun danced through the windows, bathing the stone in warmth and light. Her senses were on edge. She could smell the sulfur in the braziers, see the flecks of dust floating through the air, hear the whisper of the portraits' robes as they moved about in their frames. But best, she could still feel him. She felt him all morning. His fingers along her spine during breakfast when Sybill was weaving along the table with the sherry flowing free and Severus constantly shattering and re-forming his coffee cup. He'd be lucky if Hermione didn't have him at the altar by the end of the week. She could feel his beard brushing her cheek during her first lecture, causing her to lose her concentration, giving the second years a perfect example of what can go wrong without focus. That poor frog would come nowhere near her after that.

She turned the corner and sped up again. She opened her mouth, the gargoyle springing aside so she didn't even slow down as her feet hit the stairs and she was moving upward, closer. The door above opened for her, unprompted, and she stepped in, directly into a pair of arms and lush lips. His mouth was hot and sweet, dragging her down into oblivion as his tongue stroked her own. And then she was flying. Her feet left the floor as he spun her around, clutching her tightly against his broad chest and she was surrounded by his laughter. The deep purple robes bunched under her grasp as she clutched his shoulders, allowing herself on this one occasion to enjoy the childishness of it. Her head fell back and she laughed harder than she had in years, laughed until she was dizzy and light-headed, leaning into him completely when her feet touched the ground. His beard was soft under her cheek, and she wanted little else other than to stay there forever.

"No wild fifth years, I take it?" Albus asked, nipping at her ear before soothing it with a kiss.

Minerva sighed. "No just a second year missing an eyebrow and a rather disturbed frog." She leaned back and saw his raised eyebrow, amusement evident. His mustache was twitching. "Do not smirk at me, Albus Dumbledore. Just for that, I don't think I'll tell you." He laughed at her haughty tone and leaned down to suck on her protruding lip. She didn't quite give in, not yet. It would only set a bad precedent. She needed to at least pretend she could still say no to him.

"You mean, you won't tell me how my Transfiguration professor, my highly qualified and imminently talented Transfiguration professor, managed to set the frog-turned wooden bowl on fire, spooking said eyebrow-less child so badly that she singed off said eyebrow on the first attempt?" He smiled, tweaking her nose and curling his finger in a bit of hair that had fallen from her bun. "I think I can save you that bit, love. What I would love to know above all things at this moment is what caused you to lose focus in the first place? I know it's been a . . . hectic day, but you haven't accidently set something on fire since little Billy O' Flannery came up behind you in the corridor with that snake, spooking you so badly that you blasted him thirty feet with his robes on fire."

"You're assuming that was an accident. I like to think of it more as an unanticipated opportunity at behavioural reform. He spent that whole year peeking in showers, trying to get his hands under skirts, and trying to banish blouses. And he was only 12! He's lucky I only set him on fire. The other seventh years wanted a crack at him." Her tone was indignant, but there was a gleam in her eyes that Albus recognized, one few others got the opportunity to see. She pulled out of his arms, turning her back on him and moving further into the office. She got all of three steps before he wrapped himself around her again, nuzzling the space behind her ear. She couldn't keep her knees from buckling.

"Tell me," he whispered, running a thumb just under her bellybutton, a firm stroke down, a slight pause, a tickle back up. She leant fully into him with the next down stroke, which seemed to end just a touch lower. He was a horribly wonderful man.

"You." Her voice was raspy and heavy, and she could barely see through her lidded eyes. She didn't care. "You seem to have a rather, decided, effect on my ability to function. " His arms tightened around her, pulling her hard against him, grinding the very obvious result of her own, effect, against her. "Not at all conducive to an efficient classroom experience," she gasped out, reaching behind her to thread her fingers through his hair, holding him to her. He growled, rolling his hips against her, and biting down on her shoulder. Her breath hitched at the subtle pain but couldn't help tipping her head to the side, giving him better access.

Just as Minerva was about to reach behind her to grasp exactly what she wanted, a voice startled them both. "I should like to remind you both, that you're expecting guests in just under ten minutes. The two of you are worse than the children, I mean really!" With that, Phineas stormed out of his portrait, causing several rounds of chuckling and both Albus and Minerva to jump apart, red in the face, and breathing heavily.

Albus took her hand in his, bringing the palm to his lips and holding it to his cheek. Her lips were swollen, her hair was a mess, and her eyes were only rimmed with green, her pupils wide. She was his. "Connor and Ewen should be here soon."

Minerva nodded, pulling her hand away slowly. "I should . . . I should go freshen myself up." She moved across the office to the small en suite on wobbly legs. It was ridiculous what that man was capable of. It was quickly becoming a certainty that she would never get anything substantive done again. She took another step, definitely needed to take care of a couple things as dampness moved down her leg. She reached the door, pulling it open. "Minerva." She turned and saw him standing in the same place, his eyes burning and his beard an embarrassment. "I love you."

Her breath hitched, and she leaned against the open door, giving him a soft smile. "Love you too, you silly man. Now, go cool yourself off before the boys get here. No point in giving up the jig before we need to." Albus looked down, smoothing his robes as if that would help, and the last thing he heard before the bathroom door close was her laugh.