Yes, I know Antebellum watchers, this is not an update for Antebellum. It's another idea I've been playing with in my head...honestly, Antebellum does not seem to be getting even a fraction of the interest that The Slowed Decay of Time did. I still intend on continuing it, but without a bit more encouragement, it's not a priority. So, here's a new idea I've got...let me know what you guys think. I think its fair to say that I have a soft spot for odd pairings, especially when they are with someone older and someone younger. Hey, I'm married to a man 29 years older than I am, and you all know the rule "write what you know".
It was in the heat of the battle; that was Harry's excuse. Seeing her in that way had only been a hormonal response to the thought that he might die. Of all the female population, she had just happened to be the one to grab his hand and pull him out the way of a curse. Oh, and of course there was the bit about not having seen her in a year prior to that day. Hell, she'd even said she was glad to see him. But it was just the heat of the battle – there's no way a feeling like that would last more than the moment it had occurred, and certainly no way it would haunt him day in and day out.
At least, that's what he'd said nine months ago, to himself, and certainly no one else. There was no way he was going to tell Ron or Hermione, or any one else, that in the heat of the battle, when she had touched his hand, he Harry Potter had suddenly had the desire to stop everything and kiss Minerva McGonagall.
No way he'd live that one down. Hermione gave Ron a hard time for having a soft spot for Madam Rosmerta, and she was only in her thirties. She would roast Harry alive if she new he was having erotic dreams about their former Transfiguration Professor, nine months after the thought had occurred to him…in the heat of the battle.
The major rub of the situation was that Harry was on his way to Hogwarts to interview for the Defense Against the Dark Arts post. After the battle, nine months ago, the Ministry had granted Hogwarts permission to hand out honorary diplomas to himself, Ron, and Hermione.
Hermione had nearly pitched a fit at this, determined to return and finish her education properly, but Shacklebolt had pointed out that with their field experience, they might as well have been doing an exchange program for all the on the run learning they'd done while hunting Horcruxes. Hermione had grudgingly agreed with Minerva that if they were to return to Hogwarts, they would most likely be bored silly.
The compromise that had been made was that they sat their NEWTs, and what classes they didn't pass they would be free to return to Hogwarts for. None of the three failed any classes, and when Hermione saw that she'd passed all the classes with O's, she'd gladly taken the Hogwarts diploma and been on her way with her two friends.
Harry arrived in Hogsmead with a faint POP. To his surprise, a small tabby cat jumped off a ledge nearby and padded toward him. "Hello, Professor McGonagall," Harry said, hoping he didn't sound as nervous as he was.
The cat transformed back into the human form of Minerva, and Harry bit his lip to prevent himself from letting out a gasp. She looked incredible. Minerva was wearing a pair of Muggle blue jeans, rather form fitting if Harry didn't say so himself, and a dark green tank top that rested modestly just below her collarbone. Granted, that was still a hell of lot more exposed skin than he'd ever seen on her before.
"Gawking isn't polite, Mr. Potter," Minerva said sharply. "I realize an old witch like me must look ridiculous in Muggle clothing, but as it is summer, it is hot, and I'm the bloody Headmistress, I figured I'd relax a bit."
"You don't look ridiculous, you look beautiful," Harry said before he could stop himself.
Minerva had the good grace to blush. "That's kind of you to say, Mr. Potter."
"Harry," the young man said. "Just call me Harry. It is summer, you know."
Minerva's lips twitched, as if trying not to smile. "Minerva then," she replied. "Shall we head up to the castle? I believe you wanted to interview for a job?"
Harry simply nodded, afraid that he'd say something else he didn't mean to. Like, yea, the job that would let me stay close to you, he thought.
"So why do you want this job, Harry?" Minerva asked as they managed a leisurely pace on the path back to the school.
"Um…" Harry did have a reason other than wanting to be close to the woman who would never look at him in the way he wanted her to, right? "When I taught the DA, the year Umbridge was here, I really enjoyed doing it. I think I was more proud of the fact that I helped others learn to defend themselves, than I was of the fact that I killed Voldemort, in the end. I figured, now that I know my life is less likely to end suddenly, I would like to continue to teach others how to defend themselves…you know, just in case some other idiot bloke decides to fancy themselves a Dark Lord."
"Good answer," Minerva replied, this time allowing herself to smile. "Normally this would be the part where I inquire about your qualifications, but as I am already aware that after passing your NEWTs, you went to the next office down and sat for your Defense Against the Dark Arts Mastery, and passed with flying colors, that's hardly necessary."
"It was all fresh in my head," Harry mumbled. "I figured why the hell not?"
"Why the hell not, indeed," Minerva replied.
Harry stopped dead in his tracks.
"What is it?"
"I do think that's the first time I've ever heard you swear, Minerva." Harry answered, shaking his head and then continuing to walk.
Minerva shrugged. "I swear, just like everyone else."
Harry chuckled. "And when is it that you do all this swearing? Because I've never heard you."
Minerva crossed her arms. "I swear…when it's appropriate."
Suddenly, Harry didn't care about his fears. Like it or not, he fancied Minerva, and if the last nine months were any indication, that wasn't about to change. It occurred to him that if he never made a move, he wasn't giving the idea of them the slightest chance. If he did make a move and she rejected him, well, then it might be better to do that before he started working for her. It's not like he needed the job. He did want it, for the reasons he'd told her, but if he didn't get it, well…he could still provide for himself.
"Minerva, come here," he said, taking her hand and pulling her toward him. A second later, Harry's lips were on hers, and his hands softly caressed her curves. She did not pull away, though Harry didn't delude himself – that was probably because she was stunned.
A few seconds later, Harry let her go, and took a small step backwards.
"Bloody hell." Minerva said quietly, gently touching her own lips.