OUR FIRST ANNIVERSARY

Summary: They've only been together for one month, but to Albus, that's an important anniversary and one that should be celebrated. Complete. ADMM

Rating: T

"I wish you didn't have to leave in the morning," she said softly, breaking the comfortable silence which had engulfed them several long moments ago.

His lips pressed lightly against her forehead and his arm tightened around her, hugging her a little closer "Mmm, so do I. More than you know," was his only reply. His fingers began toying with the ends of her hair once more, lulling them both back into silence as they stared into the flames in the fireplace.

After dinner, they had retired to his rooms to spend the rest of the evening together, curled up on the chaise lounge and enjoying the quiet moments they had before bedtime. Minerva's head rested on his chest and her fingertips skimmed across the smooth material of his robes as they reclined together. A half empty bottle of wine and two glasses sat, long forgotten, on a nearby table as the flames danced in the fireplace and soft words of love were spoken.

"Look, Albus, it's starting to snow," Minerva announced suddenly, snapping Albus from his musings. "First snowfall of the new year, isn't it?" She tilted her head to look up into his face and was caught off guard by the intensity in his sparkling blue eyes. It caused a shiver of delight to pass through her body, from the ends of her hair to the tips of her toes.

"Hmm, I believe so," he replied, his voice barely above a whisper and slightly husky. His eyes were focused on her parted lips, tempting him to capture them with his own. Unable to resist, he closed the distance between them, ever so slowly, until he was able to gently nibble and suckle her bottom lip, drawing a moan of appreciation from her. Feeling a wave of heat pass over his body, he wasted no time in deepening the kiss, spending several minutes engaging all of her senses with his own sensual touches, tastes, and sounds.

As the night wore on, more tender kisses and caresses were shared between Albus and Minerva until her eyelids began to grow heavy from the lateness of the hour. "I really think I should return to my own rooms. It's getting late and I need to be up early in the morning."

He refused to let her go just yet, one arm around her waist and the other resting on her upper thigh. "It would be nice if I didn't have the conference tomorrow, but I hope to be home in time for dinner. I hope that will be acceptable," he said, his voice holding a bit of sadness, which did not go undetected by Minerva.

"Albus, it will be fine. We've spent other Saturdays apart and I'm sure once you're back here, we'll make some time together. It will be nice not to have to rush to my rooms tomorrow night because it's a school night," she answered, a grin on her face.

"Yes, just another Saturday," he remarked, loosening his grip on Minerva with a twinge of remorse. "We'd better get you to your rooms, Professor. Can't have you falling asleep in the middle of breakfast, and I won't be there to keep you awake with my stimulating conversation," he teased, hoping to lighten the mood for himself and for her.

They walked a little more slowly back to her rooms, neither one quite ready for the evening to end but each knowing it was inevitable. "I love you, Minerva. Sweet dreams." His breath was warm across her face before he slowly brushed his lips to hers in a quick kiss.

Minerva's eyes were still closed as Albus pulled back, leaving her wanting a little more. "Can't you come inside for just a little bit longer?" She was incredibly tired but couldn't bring herself to watch him walk away.

He smiled and squeezed her hands. "Afraid not, my dear. If I go inside, I won't want to leave and that's just not possible this evening. Perhaps another night … soon."

She nodded her understanding though her eyes told a different story. There was something amiss with Albus but she couldn't quite put her finger on it. He had been grumbling for days about having to be away on Saturday, and as the day grew nearer, his mood had not improved. It puzzled her why one day out of so many they had shared together since she started teaching would make such a difference. As she watched him walk down the corridor, she found herself wishing she could go with him, to curl up in his arms and spend the night. However, that was not to be ... at least not yet.

Albus woke up the following morning in a foul mood. He sat up in bed before the sun's first rays ever appeared, and his thoughts turned immediately to Minerva, who was no doubt still warm in her bed dreaming of pleasant things. As he swung his legs over the side of the bed sat on the edge, he smiled at the image his mind had conjured. Her hair would be a beautiful mess as it splayed across her pillow. Her lips, those soft, supple lips that he dearly loved to kiss, would be slightly parted. Her dark eyelashes would create little crescent moons just below those stunning green eyes hidden by closed eyelids. And perhaps her cheeks would be flushed with a faint pink hue from a dream of a picnic on a warm summer's day. He took a deep breath and reveled in the image, letting his breath out slowly and reminding himself that even if she hadn't realized the date, he had and he'd make it a good day.

The first thing on his agenda for the day had nothing at all to do with the conference he was to attend. A quick check of the time on the pocketwatch Minerva had given him for Christmas spurred him into action. He didn't have a lot of time to spend on things this morning. Fortunately, he'd already written his note to Minerva and ordered the flowers to be delivered before she went downstairs for breakfast.

After he'd left her at her rooms last evening, Albus had walked back to his rooms, wishing she could have stayed with him. It would have made it harder to leave her in the morning but it was growing increasingly harder and harder to part company in the evenings. Feeling truly lonely for perhaps the first time in his life, he sat down at his desk and wrote Minerva a short note. Now, he took a moment to read back through his note to her.

My dearest Minerva,

I am truly sorry that I won't be able to spend the day with you but I hope you know my heart is truly with you. I sometimes find it hard to believe we've only been together for one month for I feel as if I've loved you my entire life. If I dared to believe you might return my feelings, I would have shared them with you before December. Wasn't that a delicious first kiss beneath the mistletoe that night? Ah, it warms my heart (and body) just thinking of it.

I hope you don't mind me spoiling you and making up for lost time but a couple only gets to celebrate a one month anniversary once. I only wish that I could be there to kiss you first thing this morning and to share the entire day with you. I promise to make it up to you somehow, though. Until then, I hope this note and the flowers will express my love to you until I'm able to do so myself this evening.

All my love,

Albus

When he was finished proofreading the note, he pressed his wax seal to it then stood and spoke to Fawkes. "Dear friend, I would appreciate it if you would deliver this message to Minerva. She won't be up for at least another hour so please don't deliver it to her just yet. There will be a small treat of cranberries in it for you if you'll do this favor for me." The majestic bird trilled a note of happiness and bumped his head against Albus' hand. "Thank you very much. I'll ask Daisy to see that she brings you a small bowl of them after breakfast."

An hour later, it was with a deep sigh of regret that Albus stepped into the fireplace and flooed to his conference, leaving his heart and his thoughts behind with Minerva. His only consolation was in knowing that she would receive a special bouquet of flowers and later that night, they could share a quiet evening after dinner.

As Minerva woke that morning, she stretched and rolled onto her side. She gave a startled gasp as she saw Fawkes perched quietly on the back of a nearby chair, a note tucked safely in his beak. After getting over her surprise, she spoke softly to the bird, beckoning him to join her on the bed then she took the note from him. "Thank you, Fawkes. There are a few special treats for you on the vanity table, if you'd like to help yourself." He sang her a soft and happy note before relieving her of a few of the treats as she settled back amongst the pillows to read the note.

Tears sprang to her eyes as she read the note from Albus. So that was why he was so reluctant to be away today, she thought to herself, wiping away a tear that threatened to fall. "Oh Fawkes, how could I not have noticed our one month anniversary?" she asked softly. "And he mentions flowers but I don't …"

Minerva stopped short of finishing her sentence as two little elves popped into her room, a bundle of roses and a pot of her favorite tea levitating between them. Wasting no time at all, she threw back the covers and jumped out of bed as the elves gently sat the flowers and tea on the table near her vanity. With another soft pop, the two elves disappeared, leaving Fawkes and Minerva alone once more.

"They're absolutely gorgeous, Fawkes!" She leaned forward and deeply inhaled their rich fragrance, her eyes catching a glimpse of a little card written in Albus' very refined handwriting and the purple ink she'd given him for Christmas.

Their lips were four red roses on a stalk. ~ Shakespeare, Richard III

And more than four red roses for my love on this special day. White roses for the purity of my love for you. Pink roses for the perfect happiness you have brought to my life with your grace and beauty. Yellow roses for my best friend and lavender ones for my love at first sight. Red roses in abundance for the romantic love I feel for you in my heart and twice as many orange and coral colored roses to signify my desire for you. And a single blue rose to signify the love that I once believed was unattainable.

Minerva used the back of her hand to wipe the tears from her face, clutching the card to her chest. "Oh Fawkes, he's the most wonderful man in the world. I can't believe I forgot our one month anniversary." She dashed over to her desk and grabbed some parchment and a quill, quickly writing Albus a note and thanking him for the beautiful note, the card, and the flowers. She now understood his mood from the past week and his reluctance to be gone for the day. Had she realized the significance of the date, she would have felt the same way, no doubt.

Promising Fawkes more treats upon his return, she enlisted his help in delivering the message to Albus at his conference. She had added a note that she would wait to eat dinner with him, regardless of what time he returned, in the hopes of salvaging some of their day.

After she made her obligatory appearance at breakfast, Minerva began to get to work on a plan for the evening. She went straight to Albus' rooms and began to work on making everything as special as possible for his return.

The sun was dipping low into the sky as the last meeting of the day was drawing to a close for Albus. Hastily, he bid all the wizards and witches a pleasant evening then found the nearest floo and disappeared in a sea of green flames. Stepping into his sitting room, he was completely caught off guard by the sight that met his eyes.

As soon as he stepped away from the fireplace, it roared to life once more with a nicely maintained and very warming fire. As he brushed the soot from his robes, his eyes scanned the room, utterly amazed by all of her hard work.

The curtains covering the large windows were drawn back to give them a lovely and unobstructed view of the falling snow. There were candles lit throughout the room and the wall sconces were dimly lit. The chaise lounge and other furniture had been moved back from the fireplace and just in front of him was an elegantly decorated table, which sat low to the ground. A delicate white table cloth covered the table, which held two deep maroon plates, crystal wine glasses, and polished silverware. Two silver domed dishes also sat on the table, no doubt the meal they were to share, and a chilled bottle of wine sat in the wine bucket nearby. Pillows were also in abundance around the intimate table for two, giving the impression that one was supposed to lounge while eating, something Albus had often enjoyed and considered a romantic luxury of dining at home.

Hoping she would be there to greet him, he called out her name and waited. He was just about to call her through the Floo network when he heard a noise coming from the direction of his bedroom. He turned around quickly and his breath hitched in his throat.

"I thought I heard you calling my name," Minerva replied in a sultry voice. Her lithe figured was framed in the doorway leading to his bedroom and bathed in soft candlelight. Her shiny black hair was down around her shoulders and the dress she wore were new. Deep red truly suited her complexion and the sight of her bare shoulders and a glimpse of the creamy skin above her breasts were enough to drive all thoughts from Albus' mind. Well, almost all thoughts.

Without uttering a word, he crossed the room to her, shedding his outer robe on the ground as he went. "You look … breathtaking" he said, uttering the last word as a whisper on her lips. His arms slipped around her waist, drawing her flush against him as he kissed her passionately, rendering them both breathless.

When they parted for air, she leaned back a little and ran her hands over his chest. "Welcome home and happy anniversary."

He picked her up and twirled her around in the air as they both laughed. "Happy one month anniversary to you, too, my dear. Did you like my flowers this morning?"

"They were beautiful and I loved the note explaining the meanings of the colors. You truly are a romantic and I am very lucky to have you."

He kissed her again before wrapping his arm around her waist, moving to stand beside her. "Did you do all of this for me? It looks very pretty. You must have been busy all day."

"Not really all day. I had to make a trip to London for my new dress. I hope you like it." She turned around slowly, giving him a full view of her new purchase. The back was low cut and Albus could already feel his body reacting to sight of her, his mind already wondering how the dress would look crumpled on the floor by his bed.

"My dear, if you could read my thoughts, you'd have no doubts just how amazing you look in this dress," he answered, a slight blush covering his cheeks.

She leaned up and kissed his cheek then moved her lips to his ear. "Oh, I think I know, but I hope you'll maybe show me later." She took his hand and led him over to their awaiting dinner. Settling herself on the pillows by the table, she looked up at him and smiled. A shiver passed through her as she felt the intensity of his gaze and warmth it stirred within her. She pulled him down to sit beside her and kissed him once more. "Dinner is served, handsome." Minerva removed the dome from both silver trays and levitated them out of the way. "I asked the elves to prepare your favorite meal. I hope you enjoy."

"It all looks so delicious, and I do mean all of it," he replied, dropping a feather light kiss to her shoulder then brushing his lips softly up the column of her neck to her ear. "I can't wait to see what's for dessert," he whispered.

Minerva moaned very softly as her head fell to one side and her eyes fluttered closed. "Oh, you're such a bad influence," she purred. "I could almost skip dinner and move straight to … dessert." She placed her hand on his chest and lightly pushed him back. "But, there's something to be said for patience and waiting," she added with a wink and a smile. "Trust me."

He rested his forehead on her shoulder then kissed it once more. "Very well. I'll try to be good and patient but I won't make any promises." He gave her a very naughty grin before tucking into his food.

Their conversation was very relaxed and comfortable, filled with laughter and the occasional peck on the lips or tender touches. By now, the snow was beginning to fall more steadily, creating a picture perfect scene for the happy couple.

"I had no idea you were planning all of this for tonight. If I had, there's no way I would have been able to stay as long as I did at the conference today. All day long, my thoughts were of you and what we might have been doing to spend the day together."

"I'm glad you liked your welcome home party tonight. I'm just sorry I didn't realize the date until this morning," she said, dropping her eyes to her folded hands in her lap. "Your flowers and note brought tears to my eyes. They were … perfect."

"Perfect, like you are for me?" he asked, taking her hands in his and bringing them to his lips, then drawing her into his lap as they reclined amongst the pillows.

Her eyes darkened and she stretched out on top of him, the length of her body resting comfortably on him. "Perfect like we are for each other," was her honest reply. "Isn't it time for that dessert now?" Her lips were skimming over his throat, suckling gently on his pulse point as her hips pressed downward on his. "I have this insatiable craving …"

With great effort he pushed her back and grinned. "I have a small present for you, first, my dear. I was waiting for the perfect time to give it to you and now seems ideal."

Minerva groaned in protest. "Can't it wait until later? I'm very hungry for my dessert and I think we've waited long enough, much too long in fact."

Albus chuckled. "It will only take a second of your time and then we can see about that delicacy you have planned for us." He had seen a glimpse of the bedroom when he'd greeted Minerva and had some idea of where the night would take them. He had clearly seen his bed turned down with what appeared to be soft burgundy sheets on the bed as well as a few of the flowers from the bouquet on the nightstand and more candles. He raised his hand and whispered "Accio, present" then watched as a slender black case with a pretty green bow floated into the room, landing gently into his upturned hand. "For you, my dear. I'll admit it's nothing much and something you'll think is silly, but I hope you'll understand its full meaning when you open it."

Minerva took the black case, wondering if it contained some sort of necklace or bracelet. She hadn't even thought of getting him a present while she'd been in London shopping and now she wished she had. Still straddling his lap, she sat up and took the box from him, her heart beating wildly in her chest as she slowly opened the present.

A look of confusion flashed in her eyes followed quickly by a grin then a hearty laugh. "You truly do think of everything!" Inside the small box was a very practical gift but one that let Minerva know, in no uncertain terms, just what Albus had in mind.

"It's for you, well, obviously. That way you won't have to bring yours when … well, should you decide to spend the night with me from time to time or every night should you agree." Albus grinned as he removed the object from its case. "So, should we go put your very own toothbrush with mine now or should we wait until after our dessert?"

Minerva took the toothbrush from him and placed it on the table, then wrapped her arms around his neck, hugging him tightly. "Let's not worry about the toothbrush until I need it … tomorrow morning." She covered his lips with hers in a heated kiss before he had a chance to respond.

It would be much later the following morning before either of them remembered the toothbrush on the table. But, from that night forward, more and more of Minerva's personal things found a permanent home in Albus' rooms, including her heart and her favorite pillow.

The End.

A/N: If you've made it this far, we sincerely thank you for reading the story and hope you enjoyed it. We'd love to hear your thoughts on how we did with this plot bunny!