A/N: I can't believe I'm actually doing this…Welcome, one and all, to the epilogue of the epilogue for Chocolate, Love, and Revenge! I thought I'd come back and give this one last little tidbit. And I missed you all ridiculously.
Disclaimer: All hail Jo.
Minerva McGonagall sat primly in her office chair, watching as two Ravenclaw students polished her cabinets, her grin bringing new depths to smug satisfaction. Silly little munchkins thought they'd try and steal her chocolate, well, she'd sure shown them.
Just as she managed to restrain a bout of evil laughter, a tall man swept into her classroom, face hidden behind a large pile of books, which were teetering dangerously and about to slip from his grasp. He was preceded into the room by a vague scent of lemon, and the rim of a pointed, purple wizards' hat could be seen poking over the top of the books, matching his stylish robes quite spectacularly. His boots clicked on the floor rhythmically as he made his way to her, and Minerva unconsciously widened her smile.
Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, was quite pleased with himself.
More so than usual, in fact.
After all, he had gotten the girl, and was well on his way to getting her permanently. Will was gone, hopefully for good, off to chase some mythical rot in the desert sands of Africa.
Albus privately hoped he ran out of water…or maybe got eaten by an ostrich.
Additionally, the Board of Governors had upped school funding, which allowed him to finally appease Hooch with her damned brooms, and to stop Snape bitching at him about leaky cauldrons.
Chuckling to himself, he dropped his burden onto Minerva's desk and tried to school his face into some semblance of control. As you can imagine, it was more difficult for him than it sounded. As his glasses peeked over the very top edge of a tome, he caught sight of his love's beaming face, and nervously rubbed his hand over his inner robe pocket.
Right. He could do this.
He wasn't the least bit afraid.
Nope, not at all.
Pinocchio, however, seemed close to hyperventilating in the depths of his subconscious.
Gracefully, or so he'd like to think, Albus moved behind Minerva's chair and started to rub her back, unaware of her glare at the gawking Ravenclaws he had yet to notice. "So, Min, how was your day?"
Internally panicking, Minerva hoped this wasn't going to go where she thought it was headed. But, she couldn't very well cold shoulder the man, and his hands felt so nice…Trying to unobtrusively alert him to their audience, she lowered her voice as she answered. "Nice. Yours?"
Unfortunately, to Albus' ears, it sounded more like a purr.
His hands slid across her shoulders, attempting to soothe the tense muscles under her emerald teaching robes. The books lay on her desk, forgotten for the moment, along with papers she had undoubtedly been grading. He spotted some chocolate wrappers too, hidden between bookends and under quills. He lowered his face till it was by her ear, still distractedly aware of his pocket, and responded in a low rumble, completely unlike his usual cheerful voice. "Mmm. Fine, I suppose. Busy. I missed you."
Oh god, thought Minerva, this would surely be the end of her, right here. The Ravenclaws were trying to be discreet at least, and were doing their best to blend into the wall. Blushing furiously, the dark haired witch fixed her eyes firmly on the stack of books next to her. Studying the titles, and momentarily forgetting her plight, she fingered the spine of one. "Albus, why do you have self help books? Because honestly, my addiction to chocolate isn't that bad…I swear."
He laughed, again near her ear, and it was really starting to piss Minerva off as he started to lightly kiss the skin behind it. What was Albus' problem tonight? He never did this sort of thing.
It was almost as if he were trying to…seduce her...
And the damned Ravenclaws! Couldn't he see them?
"They're for Severus, darling." Now she knew something was seriously wrong with the man. He never called her darling. "The man seems to have developed a rather alarming addiction to betting. Why, just this morning he wagered with Xiamara that I'd get lucky ton-mpphhhh!" Albus suddenly found her hand clapped over his mouth. Mumbling through her oddly white-knuckled fingers, he managed to get out, "Joking, Min, joking!"
She released him, sinking back into her chair and sinking her head into her hands. Panic was vaguely starting to creep into her stomach and up her spinal cord. What was he doing? Albus never said things like that, or even joked about them. And in front of the students? Well, she reasoned, he didn't actually know there were students, but…
At the sight of her obvious disapproval, Albus clutched his hand even tighter around his pocket. This was not going well. Crouching down besides her, Albus took her hands in his. "Look, Min, I'm not myself tonight. I'm too nervous. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea, I-I'll see you at breakfast, alright?"
She didn't respond, so Albus straightened and started to gather the leaning tower of books into his arms once again, a frown occupying his features. Just as he was turning to go, convincing himself that the flash of color he had just seen out of the corner of his eye was imaginary, she lifted her head and called after him. "Nervous about what?"
Pinocchio was foaming at the mouth by this point, and Albus could feel his face reddening. Shifting the books from arm to arm, he tried to slide a small smile onto his face. "Nervous, did I say nervous? I meant nauseous. No! I meant…um…neurotic! Damn, no! Err." His voice trailed off, echoing in the silence of the classroom.
Minerva was getting concerned. Should she take him to see Poppy? He certainly looked ill, and his hands were shaking, along with a faint sheen of seat adorning his forehead.
He looked like he was going to be sick.
Slapping a hand over his own mouth this time, Albus considered all possible escape routes. The windows were looked, the door leading out to the corridor lay unblocked, but she was making her way towards him now, and he would have to bypass her to reach it. He could faint. Or maybe he could upchuck, as it certainly seemed to be what his body wanted.
But her eyes, those marvelous eyes, were looking at him with such concern. And love. And…vague panic, but okay, he couldn't begrudge her that.
He knew what he had to do.
And no, it wasn't throwing up. Yet.
Just as she reached him, he crashed the self help books onto the nearest desk, grabbed her hands quickly, and dropped to the ground.
On one knee.
Minerva was in full blown panic mode now. What was he doing? He had just dropped library books, Irma would kill him, and he was dropping to the floor in front of her.
She watched as he fumbled inside his pocket with one hand, his blue eyes wide with terror, and he squeezed her hands quickly before bringing into her sight a very small, velvet covered box.
It was only then she noticed he was on one knee.
They both stared at the box fearfully, as if a monster was going to leap from it and attack them. Neither noticed the two students, Ms. Grey and Mr. Yule, gaping at their professors.
"Min. Minerva. I..I love you. I almost died when you ran off, and when I saw you with Will I felt like my heart was being ripped in two. You make me feel, Min! Jealousy, protectiveness, love, anger, happiness, craziness, when I'm around you! You bring out my quirks! I love everything about you! From your slightly sadistic tendencies to your love affair with chocolates! I. Love. You. Will…will you…" His voice cracked, and it seemed as if his lungs were constricting rapidly. Her eyes were wide, shocked, and brimming with tears.
He didn't want to think about what would happen if she said no.
Her mouth opened, flopping about uselessly for a moment, before she just nodded weakly and collapsed next to him in a heap of emerald. Kissing every inch of her face he could find, Albus though he was going to explode with relief. She was mumbling something, and he vaguely made out the words 'bloody Headbastard, making me think he was' and 'Prepare the wedding chocolate!' As neither of these strange sentences made much sense to him, he merely slid a small, diamond and gold ring onto her finger and hugged her crying form.
Elizabeth Grey and Henry Yule silently slipped out the door into the corridor, making a mad dash for the Ravenclaw Common Room. Their popularity was simply going to skyrocket! Detention had so been worth it!
Back in the classroom, Minerva lifted her head, starting to laugh lightly and admiring the shining ring on her finger, glanced slyly at her fiancé, she said. "I get to tell Severus."
"Good, I believe it's his month again."
She laughed harder. "They started another bet?"
"Of course. Now, let's go sneak some sweets from the kitchens." He looked like himself again, and apparently his sweet tooth was back as well.
"Albus, you never have to sneak sweets. You're the headmaster."
"Poppy's put me on rations; says it can't be good for my health."
"Nonsense." He kissed her.
Just as Minerva flicked the lights off with a twitch of her wand, Albus wrapped an arm around her waist and bumped her hip with his. "If you get to tell Severus, I get to tell Will."
"Agreed. Oh, and Albus? Severus was right this morning."
"You are going to get lu-mhmmm!"
Albus Dumbledore quickly slapped a hand over his fiance's mouth. "Shh, Minerva, Not where students can hear you!"
Pinocchio did a little dance.
The End. (Seriously)
A.N: No more. Ever. Don't even tempt me. REVIEW, MY MINIONS, I HAVE MISSED THEE.