Disclaimer: It belongs to the fabulous JK. Rowling.

Fudge Flies and Flobberworms

Chapter 3

"Ah, there you are! The Queen of my castle!"

"Albus?"

He kissed the corner of her lips, pulling back quickly.

"So what do you think? Like my new robes?"

He held his arms wide, twirling extravagantly. The luminous colour cause for alarm.

"I've always found orange…appealing."

Her reply earned her a chuckle but Minerva was still too surprised to take notice. Albus was supposed to be at a conference and not due back until Wednesday.

"I see I have managed to catch Miss McGonagall unawares. It's the hat, isn't it?" He pulled the hat on and off his head, wiggling his eyebrows. "With or without? Such a quandary!"

"Well I suppose that depends on whether you are attending a teaparty or hoping to dazzle the ladies."

Again the eyebrows wiggled disarmingly.

"And my charming smile isn't enchanting enough?" He did not wait for a reply but continued. "So, my dear, how are you?"

"Well, your unexpected return has now ruined my strategic takeover of Hogwarts. I had plans to sack the medi-witch and was in fact just on my way to seal off your gargoyle."

"Ah, just how has Poppy managed to get on your wrong side so early in the morning? I'll have you know that she was quite insistent that I come see you at my earliest convenience. She seemed to be labouring under the misconception that your owl of resignation has flown out of my window, escaping my notice, and that you are packing your bags as we speak. She told me to, and I quote, 'get my sorry self up those stairs and grovel'." Hidden behind a chuckle he added, "She also mentioned the possibility of you not being alone."

It was said in jest but the words riled Minerva unnecessarily. She found herself wishing to goad the Headmaster and before she could think things through the words had passed her lips.

"And is that so absurd?"

It was said more sharply than needed and the teasing atmosphere abated, Albus choked on a chuckle.

"Well…no."

Before her eyes, the greatest wizard this side of the moon squirmed, looking for all the world as if that particular thought had not once crossed his brain. Minerva felt increasingly annoyed, she was not over the hill quite yet. She didn't think.

"But…are you alone?"

His eyes were wide as if suddenly realising the weight of Poppy's words.

"No."

Well aware off the implications insinuated with her denial, however, Minerva felt it served Albus right for being so presumptive.

"Ah." His eyebrows rose to such an alarming height Minerva struggled to stifle her amusement. "I'll come back at a more opportune moment then."

She had half a mind to continue this torture but she had left a four year old unattended, time was a luxury she did not have. She would spare him this once.

"Albus, don't be so foolish. You were bound to find out sooner or later."

She moved back from the doorway, reaching out for his hand.

"Really, Minerva, I think it's for the best." Albus tried to shake her off, slowly backing away. "Why don't I just pop by after lunch? Or perhaps you have made plans already? Of course you have and you'll be no doubt busy this evening. Why don't we just arrange something for a later date and I'll just get out of your hair."

He was rambling and it endeared him to her all the more.

"Albus. Albus, just who do you believe to be in here with me?" He shook his head and waved his hands and at the sight of his swishing beard Minerva finally gave into the giggle that had been threatening to bubble forth from her throat. "Honestly Albus, you can be rather…sweet."

She took hold of his hand and pulled him inside, shutting the door behind them.

"Yes my most formidable description – sweet."

He was trying to make light of the situation but she could sense his discomfort. It was then the seriousness of the situation hit her. Sitting in the next room was her one and only granddaughter, here to stay with her for an indefinite amount of time. Her daughter had said that it would not be for long but then again she had never been the most reliable of souls.

"Actually, Albus." A treacherous sigh passed her lips. "Truth be told, I'm in a bit of a…pickle."

Well no not so much a pickle as a full blown oh-my-Merlin-what-the-bloody-hell-am-I-going-to-do but Minerva was never one to panic.

"Need me to help dispose of the body?"

He gave her hand a gentle squeeze earning him a slight quirk of her lips.

"It will be your body that will need disposing, if you're not careful."

He pulled her closer, rubbing her back, knowing that although she was not one to often show emotion she was even more unlikely to admit needing help.

"I've bested one crazed maniac, I might not have it in me for another. So on that basis alone, I shall take heed of your warning."

She gave him a gentle shove.

"Wise move."

Then with a deep sigh she led Albus though to the living room. The nearer they drew the louder Grace's laughter grew. Minerva could feel Albus's wide-eyed stare and though her footsteps became slower she was reluctant to come to a complete halt for then an explanation would be inevitable. In a role reversal, Albus gently tugged Minerva into the living room where they found Grace on her knees jumping up and down on the settee. Minerva turned to Albus giving him a feeble, lopsided smile to which he blinked then returned his gaze back to the bouncing child.

"This, Albus," Had Minerva been a religious woman, the moment would have been perfect to offer up a prayer, as it was she settled for a jaw-clenching smile. "This is my- granddaughter."

It seemed Albus's eyebrows had taken up permanent residence two inches higher than their normal home. However, despite his shock, his twinkle sparkled in full force, Albus loved children.

"Vee?"

"Came to see me late last night."

She cast a pointed glance in the child's direction and Albus understood it was not a conversation for little ears.

"Gracie, the sofa is for sitting on." She held out her hand and wiggled her fingers beckoning her granddaughter. "Now come and say hello to the Headmaster."

Grace curled close to her grandmother, her little body pressed close to Minerva's thigh. Her big grey eyes regarded Albus apprehensively as he crouched down low holding out a hand.

"Well, how do you do, Grace?"

Both her hands remained clamped tightly to Minerva.

"I do a lot of things but how do I do them?" She shrugged. "I don't know."

Minerva's frowned whilst clarifying, "She says a lot of things like that. I can't explain it."

At this Albus barked a laugh and tousled Grace's hair. Standing back up straight he began rummaging through the many pockets of his bright orange robes. A rustling was heard before he produced his find.

"Would you like a sherbet lemon?"

Grace shook her head.

"Are you sure, I've never known a child to turn down a sweetie?"

"I'm sweet enough."

"And how can one argue with that?" The comment was accompanied by a tap on the little girl's button nose.

Minerva was dreading breakfast.

TBC

A/N: Thanks for all the reviews, they are greatly appeciated as I know this is just pointless fluff.