A/N: JKR owns all, but we know this. And this is femmeslash, so if you don't like, don't read! This was written for the Legendary Gods & Goddesses Comp ( Athena), The Ultimate Femmeslash Comp, the Legendary Creatures Comp (Bakeneko), and the Harry Potter Femmeslash Project Challenge: theme: teacher/student, cross-gen.

Hermione smiled. Tonight was the Halloween Ball at Hogwarts. Dumbledore had decided that it would be nice for the students to be able to enjoy themselves with a night of "frivolous dancing," as her Head of House once put it, despite the War raging on around them.

She didn't have a date, but she wasn't too bothered about it. In fact, Hermione had been pining after a certain teacher for quite some time now.

But nothing would ever become of it, she was sure of that.

Fixing her mask on her face, Hermione checked her appearance in the mirror. She was a phoenix. The strapless dress was bright red, with feathers covering every inch of it. She looked like the fire bird, ready to take flight. Her hair was pulled back and done into a fancy up-do. She was ready.

Making her way to the Great Hall, she smiled when she saw it was already underway. Harry was twirling Ginny across the floor, while Ron was cuddling with his current girl, Romilda Vane. She was so happy for them all.

Now if only Hermione could find a bit of happiness as well.

Her eyes flicked upwards towards the Heads table. It seemed that almost everyone was dancing. Everyone except for her.

Hermione began to have feelings for her sometime after fifth year. The two of them had become close and she had become somewhat of a mentor for Hermione. But as time went on, Hermione's feelings had changed.

She had never realized she was into women, but as time went on, it just felt right. She could imagine spending her life with the rest of this woman, despite the fact that it would never happen.

Walking up to her, Hermione took a deep breath. "Why aren't you out there dancing Professor?" Hermione asked, sending her a smile.

Minerva turned to her. "Because I cannot dance with the person that I would truly like too. It would be in appropriate."

Hermione felt her breath catch. Who was Minerva talking about? Dare she think it was her.

"But you look lovely Hermione, the red suits you."

She beamed. "Thank you Professor, you look lovely as well."

"Pish posh, I look like an old lady who decided to play dress up for a night."

Hermione chuckled, "You're not as old as you make yourself sound."

"Yes, well, we both have different opinions of age."

The rest of the night passed on quickly. Hermione had danced with Ron and Harry a few times, each doing their best to make her laugh. They knew how awkward situations like this were for her.

The end of the night, Hermione felt a tap on her shoulder. Turning, she saw Minerva. "Professor?"

"Miss Granger, would you mind accompanying me for a walk?"

She nodded, and the two of them left the Great Hall. She followed Minerva all the way to the top of the Astronomy Tower. What were they doing up here?

Minerva moved to the edge, leaning against the railing. Hermione followed her, staring out over the grounds. Vaguely, she could hear the music drifting upwards from the Great Hall.

"Was there something you needed?" Hermione whispered, breaking the silence.

Minerva sighed, turning to face Hermione.

Hermione was surprised by what she saw. Minerva was usually the perfect image of stoic propriety, but now she looked a bit lost. "Minerva?" she whispered, concerned.

"I know about you current feelings Hermione," Minerva said abruptly.

Hermione froze. "I'm sorry Professor, I didn't mean to make you-"

"Hermione, dear, be quiet. It's quiet all right. And we're alone, so you may call me Minerva."

Hermione felt her heart racing. "Minerva, I know it's inappropriate, but I…" she trailed off, unsure of what to say.

Minerva's hand slid along the rail until it was touching Hermione's. "Inappropriate yes, but not silly. It just so happens that I feel the same."

"You return my feelings?" Hermione asked, hope in her voice.

"Yes, I daresay I do."

A smile graced her lips. "Well, that's a bit surprising. A happy surprise though," she hastily added.

Minerva nodded. "I… it's been a long time since I have felt this way Hermione, and I am not one to rush into things. However, you are still my student and until you graduate, that is what you will remain. If time passes, and you still wish to purse this, then we will."

Hermione smiled. "I understand Minerva. And I'd like that, very much."

Minerva smiled at her. "You really do look beautiful tonight, Hermione."

She blushed. "And so do you. You are beautiful, Minerva, and age doesn't mean a thing to me… I hope you know that."

"Yes, I do. And that makes me very happy," Minerva said with a smile. "But we should get back to the Great Hall. It's almost time for the ending song."

"Before we go, may I make one request?" Hermione asked, peering up at the older woman.

"Yes, what is it?"
Hermione took a deep breath. "May I have this dance?" she asked, holding her hand out.

Minerva was quiet for a moment. "Yes, I think that would be acceptable." She took Hermione's hand, pulling the younger girl close. Her hand drifted to Hermione's waist, holding it loosely.

Hermione closed her eyes, enjoying the sensation. At once, the two of them began to slowly move around, drifting to the faint music below.

Hermione couldn't remember the last time she had felt so in peace. Minerva held her tightly in her arms as they moved as one. The feeling was indescribable.

Hermione knew that they would have to maintain the student teacher relationship until she graduated, but that would be okay. She was now filled with the hope that she just might have a future with the woman she loved. Everything would be all right.