Minerva removed the scarf from around her neck, unwinding it slowly as she watched Albus do the same. Sometime between the warm mugs of hot cocoa they had shared as they walked hand-in-hand down the lighted streets of Edinburgh and Apparating to the front door of her cottage, things had become awkward. He caught her watching him and she felt a burst of heat infuse her face. Ducking her head, Minerva quickly made her way over to the fireplace and lit the logs, which rested there with a flick of her wand.

She was being a fool. Nothing had changed between them. Well, everything had changed between them, but nothing was different from Edinburgh to her front door. Honestly, she was acting childishly. They loved each other. It was completely normal and exciting and thrilling. There was no reason to be shy around the man you loved, even if she was alone with him in her house for the first time after their joint confession. And that's where the true problem lay.

Ever since their rather heated kiss … kisses … on the Ferris wheel, Minerva had thought of little else. Between the happiness of knowing the man she loved felt the same way, and the sparks of fire which raced along her nerves at every touch and look, she was rather in a state. She just wasn't sure what she wanted to do about it. She didn't feel that throwing herself at him and ravishing him senseless was probably the best idea, though she did rather like the sound of it. If only she could figure out a way to lead him in that direction without being blatantly obvious.

Minerva jumped as a pair of hands wrapped themselves around her shoulders.

"You haven't forgotten about me have you?"

Albus' voice sounded delectable. Minerva's body quivered as his warm breath caressed her ear. She looked down at her hands, which were now clasped tightly together, and noticed that the logs were burning rather brightly, a sure sign she had been lost in thought for more than just a few moments. Her blush reasserted itself upon the realization of how much time must have passed, and how it must have looked to him.

"Of course not. I was just lost in thought for a moment," she answered as she turned to face him.

His blue eyes were sparkling with a mischievous light, and for a moment Minerva would have sworn that he knew exactly what she had been thinking.

"Here, let me help you out of this so you can be more comfortable. The fire is really warming the room nicely."

Minerva felt a tug at the shoulders of her dress and froze. While she was more than ready to take their relationship to the next level, she would never have expected for Albus to move so quickly. Her expression must have given him pause, because Albus ceased his gentle tug and looked at her questioningly.

"You may keep your cloak on if you wish but it is a bit damp from the snow and is probably not helping you warm up."

Minerva glanced down and realized she was in fact still wearing her cloak. A rather un-Minerva-like giggle escaped her throat. "Oh, of course. Please take it. Thank you."

Albus gave her a funny look and took off the soggy garment and went to hang it on its hook. Minerva watched him go, admiring his Transfigured trousers. She realized how silly she was being. Albus was still Albus and she should simply act as she always did and see where things led. And she could certainly nudge things along if need be.

"Would you like anything to drink, or eat?" Minerva questioned, an attempt to make good on the advice she had just given herself.

"No, thank you. I believe the hot chocolate and biscuits were quite enough for me."

Albus had finished hanging her cloak and was headed to the sofa to sit down. Minerva followed him and gratefully collapsed beside him when he extended his hand and pulled her down into his embrace. They watched the fire for a few moments, both admiring the warm glow and intimate atmosphere.

"I didn't believe I'd ever see the day where Albus Dumbledore turned down additional sweets," Minerva whispered as her head rested in the crook created by his shoulder.

"Hmmm, it depends on the sweet. Don't tell anyone," Albus whispered conspiratorially, "but I simply can't stomach much fruitcake."

Minerva burst into laughter beside him and tears welled in her eyes. For some reason, his aversion to fruitcake was the funniest thing she had ever heard. She felt Albus jump when she had begun to chuckle, but he soon joined her and Minerva loved the sound of their combined laughter. It was melodious.

They fell into each other as their laughter abated and somehow ended up with their arms around one another. Their eyes met and it was then that Minerva realized their lips were not so very far apart. The delight at his statement and energy that her laughter had produced quickly turned to something much deeper, something that was causing her nerves to spark again in ways that had to be unseemly. Her body was on fire every place that Albus was touching her, and she craved more.

Minerva wasn't thinking anymore, she was reacting – to her body and to her heart. She made the first move between them when she saw the color of his eyes darken. She pushed herself into him, their lips entangling, at first in a soft caress that made Minerva's toes curl and her heart ache in her chest. However, she needed more; her body still craved it. She pressed herself even further into him and moved her hands so that they cupped his face.

They were practically crushed together as Minerva's tongue demanded entrance and ravished his mouth. He pushed back in return and she felt her body burn even brighter as his tongue explored her mouth and as his teeth nibbled her lips. His hands began to roam freely and little whimpers broke free from her throat when he lifted her up and pulled her onto his lap.

Minerva's heart was pounding in her chest as Albus' hands found the bare skin of her calf. His teeth and lips were leaving a trail of fire down her neck and Minerva's breath was coming in short gasps. She pushed her hips into his and found blatant proof of his arousal. They moaned in unison.

The sound broke them apart and they gazed at each other, each pair of eyes devouring the other, their hands stilling themselves where they had last explored, each clutching the other tightly.

"Minerva, are you sure you want to continue? I don't want to rush you. I can wait. I want you more than anything I've every wanted before, but you are worth waiting for. I'd wait forever." Albus paused when Minerva placed one finger against his lips and took her other hand and placed it in her pocket, just where she kept her wand.

"Albus Dumbledore, I love you more than life itself, but if you don't finish what we've started, I'll hex you so thoroughly –"

Minerva was cut off abruptly as Albus' lips captured her own in a kiss so searing it took her breath away. She wasn't thinking anymore as he stood, keeping her in his arms, and carried her back to her bedroom, just as she had demanded. Together, they tumbled to the bed and unleashed the passions they'd been holding at bay for so long until they collapsed, exhausted but sated.


The room was dark and there was a slight chill in the air. But all Minerva could feel was warmth and happiness, complete and utter bliss. Her eyes were closed, but she could sense that morning was still a few hours away, despite the late hour at which she'd succumbed to exhaustion and sleep. However, that didn't stop her mind from indulging in a few snippets of dreams … or was it her reality now?

The man in her dream was no longer faceless. He now had a most distinctive face, and his name has been ripped from her lips in the heat of the passion they had created together. His soft pink lips had danced across her flushed skin, tasting her and showing her new pleasure points as they discovered them together.

And his beard! Merlin's great ghost, his beard. She stifled a moan as her body, once more, began to react to the mere memory of how he'd used that to his advantage. Even now, as she lay nestled in his arms, she could feel the tiny hairs tickling her, heightening her senses, just as in her most erotic dreams. But this was better, so much better. She sighed softly as his beard caressed her nipples with every breath he took, taunting her and creating a new fire deep within her. Never could she have imagined feeling so happy and so satisfied.

As she continued to lie silently in his arms, listening to his even breaths and feeling his warmth surrounding her, Minerva continued to let her mind wander through memories of her dreams. Just as in her fantasies, his touch had been almost ghost-like at times, creating a great need and desire deep within her. He had awakened something inside her which had been dormant for far too long. His large, strong hands had been gentle as they caressed and massaged her aching breasts, legs, even the center of her desire. He seemed to take delight in exploring her body, and she had enjoyed every moment of it to the fullest.

But it had been a mutual exploration. She, too, delighted in running her hands over his body to create a heightened passion. Her lips had soon followed, her tongue darting out to taste and tease as together they expressed their love.

As she was kissing her way back up his legs, she paused when she reached his knee. She hadn't noticed it when she first began nibbling along the inside of his legs but now she saw it as plain as day. The peculiar scar which had been a most fascinating part of her dream lover's knee was now right in front of her. Seeing it as a sign, Minerva used her tongue to trace the scar before kissing her way back up to his lips, where she kissed him with a passion so intense it left them both breathless.

Now in the stillness of the night, she ran her hand lazily across his chest, feeling his muscles ripple beneath her fingertips as she smoothed his hair over his shoulder. Daringly, she planted a series of light kisses across his chest as her hand slipped over his stomach and around to cup his bottom. She gave it a gentle squeeze and was pleased when he moaned softly, still sleeping. Well, some bits of him were sleeping and others were well on their way to being wide-awake.

"Don't start something you don't intend to finish, my dear." His voice was thick with sleep but still held an alluring tone which caused Minerva to shiver in delight.

Her eyes flew open and she tilted her head to look up into his face. Even in the darkness, she could see a twinkle in his eyes. "Who said I had no intentions of finishing?" she challenged, running her hand lightly across his bare bottom, just enough to cause him to shiver. "If you have to go back to the school today, I don't think it would hurt to give you a proper send off."

He growled and arched his back, pressing his growing erection into her stomach. "I do believe you have my full attention. I made arrangements to be away until at least mid-afternoon so we have plenty of time to see that we're both well cared for before I have to take my reluctant leave."

She pressed her slim finger across his lip to silence him once more but he drew it into his mouth and bathed it with his tongue, reminding her of what arousing things that warm, broad tongue could do.

Before long, Minerva and Albus found themselves making love once more, enjoying the new developments of their mutual love and attraction. When they were finally sated and rested, it was nearly lunchtime and soon Albus would have to return to Hogwarts. But before he left, they decided to shower and eat a bite

After a lengthy and very playful shower together, they cooked a large meal of eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, and potatoes. It took them longer than either of them had intended because of the tender touches and teasing kisses, which in turn led to four pieces of burnt toast and nearly overcooked potatoes.

Albus leaned back from the table with a full stomach and a full heart. He watched Minerva take another bite of her potatoes and admired the way her lips slid over the fork as she pulled it out of her mouth. He was completely enamored with her and was greatly disappointed that he would have to leave so shortly. Her every touch sent a jolt of warmth through his system and made him fall even more in love with her.

Hogwarts had been his home for so many years now. It was the place he always felt he truly belonged, the place he was always meant to be. Now, however, arriving at Hogwarts would not feel like going home, but rather like leaving his heart behind. His only comfort was that Minerva would soon join him at Hogwarts, and there they could make a life for themselves.

His life would be busy leading up to the New Year. He would have so many preparations to make, in addition to helping Minerva start down her own path as a professor. He knew she would do brilliantly. But as with all things, there would be a learning period where she developed her own pace and style. She would be creating friendships and adjusting to a life with more limited freedoms. Starting at a holiday was a good time to begin, as she would be graced with a break early on, and that would mean more time for them to spend together, getting to know each other.

Getting to know each other had such a nice ring to it. Albus couldn't wait until they could be together more fully. Where he would know that every day he would get to see the woman he loved. When they would finally have time to spend together without the distraction of knowing one or the other would need to leave soon. Where the future would be planned and fulfilled.

Minerva finished her meal and placed her silverware on the table. "Where have you been?" she asked him.

Albus smiled and reached out and took her hand. "I've just been thinking of what the next few weeks will be like for us. What our lives will be like when we are finally together."

It was Minerva's turn to smile and Albus loved the way her eyes glowed when she did. He admired her beauty, intelligence, grace, determination, loving nature, generosity, thoughtfulness … the list was endless as far as he was concerned. Albus wasn't sure what he had done to deserve the witch before him, but he knew in his heart that he would make every day they had together a moment to be remembered.

"It won't be long now," Minerva replied.

"And I'm very much looking forward to it," Albus said, a twinkle in his eyes. "However, for now, I'm afraid I really do need to leave. If I don't, I will be late for my meeting with Armando."

"Is it time already?"

"To my everlasting regret," Albus said teasingly, but with a hint of truth behind it.

Minerva sighed as she let go of Albus' hand and stood, a sparkle entering her eyes. "I suppose we should do it now before I can no longer fight the urge to pull you back to my bedroom and trap you here for a few more hours."

Albus laughed and smiled, the response Minerva had been hoping for. She watched as he stood and moved to gather his cloak. She knew she would feel his departure more acutely now that they were so close to being together more fully. The evening before, their night together, the morning they had shared, had been like a wonderful dream. And if it were, she knew she never wanted to wake from it.

She walked to the door and fiddled with his cloak to make sure it was just right, but her eyes were locked with his. He's beautiful went through her head. A silly sentiment perhaps, but at the moment it was the word that described him best. And not just because he was a handsome wizard, but his personality, his very soul, was beautiful.

"You will keep in touch until I arrive?" she teased gently.

"Of course, my dear. I will not be able to sleep until I have heard your sweet voice wishing me a goodnight. And we did plan to meet in Hogsmeade Wednesday evening. I'll be sure to arrange it with Armando during our meeting this afternoon. I simply could not survive a week without seeing you."

Minerva laughed softly. "Nor I."

She reached up and stroked the side of his face with her fingers. His soft hair brushed the side of her hand. A smile lingered on her lips as she took a moment to absorb his every feature. Albus returned the favor, causing Minerva's body to tremble. As he cupped her face, she felt her heart skip a beat. His lips descended on hers so very softly, their lips whispered against each other. Minerva melted, her body moving so that it was flush with his. He had started a warm blaze that was travelling through her veins in the most delicious way.

The kiss deepened, and Minerva moaned as his tongue slid into her mouth, stroking and teasing in ways she knew would drive her mad before long. Before she could return the favor, Albus had broken their kiss so that he could trail kisses across her jaw, nibbling here and there until he reached her ear. Minerva clung to him now, her fingers twisted into his robes in a plea for more.

"I love you," Albus whispered into the shell of her ear. His moist breathe caused fiery sparks to cascade down her body. His lips found hers again in a sweet farewell, one that spoke of love and promises for the future. Minerva put her whole heart and soul into returning his unspoken emotions; her every fiber radiating with her love for him.

They broke apart slowly, each trembling slightly from the passion they had shared in their farewell kiss.

"Until Wednesday, my dear Minerva."

"It will seem like forever," she replied, still a bit breathless from their kiss.

"I love you," Albus said as he opened the door. He leaned down for one more kiss. It was soft and altogether too short for Minerva, and yet it still made her body tremble. He walked onto her porch and stroked his fingers down her face, his twinkling eyes watching her so closely.

"I love you, Albus Dumbledore."

He was gone shortly after the words left her lips. Minerva leaned against the edge of the door and let the cool air wash over her. Her thoughts centered on the next week, her date with Albus, and more importantly, her arrival at Hogwarts. Soon she would be able to see Albus every day. To be able to touch him, to kiss him, to simply be in his presence, knowing she would not have to leave soon. She couldn't imagine a better future. Yes, she was very much looking forward to being with Albus, and to spending the rest of her life with him.

The End

A/N: Thanks very much to everyone who read the story and left a review. We hope you have enjoyed the story as much as we enjoyed writing it. We're working on another story but it will be a bit before it's completed! But, we hope you'll give it a look when it's posted.