Minerva stifled a yawn as she thumbed through her remaining stack of paperwork. She had already made a considerable dent in her papers, and only about half an hour stood between her and the sweet bliss of reclining her head onto her cool pillow. Despite the ever-abundant work to be done, she always enjoyed the peaceful time she got to spend with Albus while the two of them worked diligently after the students were, allegedly, all in bed. Even when there was little time for words to be spoken and the only sound that broke the comfortable silence between husband and wife was the constant scratching of sharpened quills against fresh parchment, there was an almost tangible connection between the two of them that plunged deeper than mere verbal exchanges.
Minerva felt her thoughts begin to wander as Albus broke into a small hum. This was not uncharacteristic for him, of course, and was something that she had grown to accept, and actually even enjoy, over the years. After reading and rereading the same passage three times and finding that she had retained none of it, however, Minerva was not so certain that this was something she could continue to ignore, as Albus's content hum was now increasing in volume, and the sound of it was like a buzzing pest in her ear.
But Albus, his eyes closed as if he were savoring some sweet moment in time, could not hear her now over his incessant hum or either was simply doing an excellent job of ignoring her.
As if inspired by sheer delight, his humming grew even louder as he popped a delicious, sugary lemon drop into his mouth. The volume could now be compared to that of a full symphony.
His eyes popped open, and he looked at her as if only suddenly realizing that he hadn't been the only one in the room.
"What on earth do you think you're doing?" she exclaimed with a deep, sour frown. "I thought we were here to work, not compose some raucous racket!"
Albus looked quite offended at this as he continued to suck on the remaining bit of lemon drop in his mouth.
"The 'raucous racket' I was composing was for you, Minerva. A love song of sorts, inspired by my beautiful wife. I thought you might appreciate it."
Minerva pinched her lips together tightly to keep from grinning.
"Is that so?" she asked, struggling to keep her voice sounding stern.
"Yes, but now the moment is ruined," Albus said curtly, his eyes strangely dim. "I apologize for distracting you from your work."
"Oh, Albus," she said dismissively.
Honestly, sometimes the man could be overly dramatic, and yet Minerva could not help but notice the genuine look of hurt written on his face. The mere thought of hurting him, even over something small and insignificant, pained her.
Minerva gave a sigh and plopped her unfinished paperwork onto the desk as she rose to her feet. She stopped to Albus's side, but he, his eyes fixed unseeingly at a point on his age-scarred desk, seemed intent upon refusing to look at her.
Her tone was soft and consoling but not at all patronizing. Albus shifted in his seat but did not look at her.
"I apologize," she said, feeling silly.
He shook his head solemnly.
"Go ahead and finish your work," he replied in a low voice. "I won't bother you again."
"Albus Dumbledore!" she snapped, stamping her foot. "I am trying to ask for your forgiveness."
"And I'm trying to explain to you that I do not require your apology, Minerva," he said calmly.
She groaned, not knowing whether to laugh or cry.
"Fine, you can hum a song for me any time you want. I like hearing it," she conceded.
"Not while you're working," he reminded her, "and I do believe you're supposed to be doing so now."
"Any time you want," she offered, raising her arms slightly. "Go ahead: hum one now. You know you want to."
The corners of Albus's lips finally curved into a small smile, warming Minerva's heart. He took her hand within his own and squeezed it lovingly.
"You're just humoring me," he said unaccusingly.
She leaned down and kissed the top of his silver hair.
"Is it working?" she joked, tugging playfully at his hand.
Albus took the opportunity to pull her in for a soft, lingering kiss on the lips.
"Perhaps," he answered at last, his eyes regaining their spark. "But it's getting late; you really should finish your work."
Minerva stood back up and placed her hands on her hips in mock threat.
"Are you telling me what to do again?"
"No, my dear, I was merely suggesting," he said with a chuckle.
She raised her eyebrows questioningly at this.
"If you don't finish soon, I'm afraid you'll be up all night," he explained, "and you know I never could fall asleep without you."