A/N: This is set pretty early in the events of Book 5.

Not Going Anywhere

Minerva's hands trembled with violent fury as she clutched the latest edition of the Daily Prophet. Albus Dumbledore Demoted from Chief Warlock of Wizengamot, Removed as Chairman of International Confederation of Wizardsthe bold headline glared up at her. Anger bubbled up in her throat and boiled in her blood as she skimmed the blithering article which, in addition to making numerous unwarranted stabs at Albus's character, highlighted the possibility of stripping his Order of Merlin First Class. Minerva swallowed hard and clenched her teeth as she tossed the newspaper carelessly to the floor.

"Incendio," she hissed.

As the Prophet burst into flames, the bedroom door opened, and Albus stepped inside. He opened his mouth to react, initially concerned for his wife's safety as she stood over the fire, but the unmistakable glare on her flushed face told him that she had everything under control.

"I take it you've read today's Daily Prophet?" Albus asked, trying his best to keep his tone light.

"Albus, they can't do this!" she exclaimed.

"I'm afraid they can, my dear..." he replied with a small sigh as he stepped towards her, "and they already have."

"Surely there are some rules against this! Something must be done!"

Albus shook his head as he took her hands into his own.

"There is nothing left to be done," he replied. "Besides, as long as they don't remove my image from the Chocolate Frog cards, I am altogether unconcerned."

He gave her a smile, but Minerva saw straight through it.

"Albus..." she whispered tenderly.

The false smile slipped from his face, and his eyes, which would not quite meet hers, had all but lost their merry twinkle. Minerva felt her heart literally hurt inside her chest as she watched his serene facade crumble before her eyes.

"There are more important things," he tried, his voice low and quavering somewhat.

She shut her eyes tightly for a moment as she swallowed the lump that had been forming in her already constricted throat. She hated what this was doing to him. He had always cared more for others than for himself, and yet again, it was getting him nowhere. When he had tried to alert the Ministry that the Dark Lord had returned, they had immediately turned their backs on him and painted him to be an incompetent, crazed fool so that no one would give a second thought to his warnings. Even a great wizard such as Albus Dumbledore had a breaking point, and Minerva knew that he was quickly approaching it.

She enveloped him into her arms and rocked him gently. He deeply breathed in the scent of her hair and skin, allowing the sweetness and familiarity of it to comfort and soothe his heavy heart.

"Come lie down," she whispered into his ear.

Albus gave a nod and allowed her to lead him to their bed. She lay down first and then reached up for him when she had snuggled down into the bed. Without a word, he joined her under the covers and molded his body against hers, his face burying into the curve where her shoulder and neck joined.

Minerva smoothed his cheek with her cooled fingertips and leaned up to kiss him softly on the lips. She rubbed his back soothingly as she reclined her head back onto the pillow. Albus inhaled deeply, his breath tickling the sensitive flesh of her neck. He closed his eyes and allowed the feel of her skin and the rhythmic rise and fall of her breathing to reassure him of her nearness and to chase away those bitter, vulturous fears gnawing at the pit of his stomach. As if sensing this, Minerva pulled him even tighter into her arms and rested her cheek against the top of his head.

"I'm right here," she whispered, her voice thick with emotion. "And I'm not going anywhere."

The End