Elphinstone would receive the answer to hid proposal the next day. Minerva said she was sorry, but she couldn't marry someone she didn't love. It was the same thing she had told Dougal, but it wasn't any easier to say the second time.


Albus was another matter entirely. Minerva moved away from the table, beginning to pace once more. He knows that I love him, which would explain why he spoke now. He could do much better though, especially now that he's being hailed as the next Merlin. But does he love me? He says he does, but that means little. He knows me better than Elphinstone does, but he still doesn't know anything about me. At least his offer of courtship is more sensible than an outright proposal, even though it is more old fashioned. We would be able to learn about each other, and see if it really is love. Sitting down, Minerva sighed. She had another letter to write before Athena came back from delivering Elphinstone's.


Albus received a letter from Minerva late in the afternoon, the day after the proposal in Aberforth's bar. He took the letter from the pretty white owl, attempting to feed her a lemon drop. They were a marvelous muggle candy he had found when he was traveling. The owl didn't appear to appreciate the sweet however, and gave him a reproving look very similar to her mistress. Albus chuckled as he opened the letter. Like mistress, like familiar.

Dear Albus,

I cannot pretend that I am not shocked by your offer of courtship. I never believed that you noticed me beyond your professorial capacities, especially with other witches to be found who are better for you. I am uncertain if it would be wise for us to date, as you are my employer. There are no rules against it at Hogwarts, but I want to ensure that you have thought this mad scheme out. I know you Albus, you always like to charge in guns ablaze without thinking of the consequences. Think about if you want this, and if you will still want me years from now. I know my heart; I have known since I was seventeen. If you are sure about this, then I accept your offer of courtship.

Yours,

Minerva McGonagall

Albus smiled. Minerva was agreeing to let him court her, to let him prove how much she meant to him. He re-read the letter, frowning as he read the part about "other witches" who would be better for him. She still doesn't see herself clearly. She doesn't notice the way others look at her as she passes by, captivated by her beauty and the self-confidence she seems to radiate. She is radiant, and she is so unaware of this. I have been watching her since she was sixteen, and she never noticed?


A/N: This chapter is very short, I know, but I've had this sitting around for a while. The beginning of their courtship will be in the next chapter, as I'm unsure how long I should string it out. Should they realize their feelings after only a few dates, or should it take longer?