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Okay if you are just starting to read then great, if however you have started this before the first 6 chapters have been re-written and reworked as of (14/05/2020). Please re-read them. This will then make the whole thing make more sense. As always a big thank you to Lib McGranger beat extraordinaire.

This fic may seem a bit jumpy back and forth however I have now added date and times to help you along. As always reviews are always appreciated. Enjoy :)

August 27 th  2006 21.15

Minerva was stood with her back against the door to her personal chambers, left hand grasped tightly to her teaching robes, right hand fisted as her forearm covered her eyes. Her slow groan of an exhale the only sound in the room, but to her ears the blood rushing through them was as deafening. With each tight-chested beat her heart made her body tingle with the pleasurable warmth that she hadn't felt so intensely in many a year. 4 long years to be exact. Why did you think this was a good idea? This was anything but a good idea you stupid, stupid woman. She chastised herself as she calmed herself within her inner sanctum.

She had avoided the cause of her current state, by wit, cunning and, on more than one occasion, sheer dumb luck. And here she was acting like a teenager with a crush, rushing to her rooms and hiding, before she did something she would regret.

"You are earlier than I thought darling. Are you coming up to bed?" Her wife, her beautiful, intelligent and committed wife of 22 years was stood atop the flight of stairs beckoning her to bed. "I would have thought with the time you two spent together when she was at school I wouldn't see you for hours. When you said you would be spending time with her, I thought I wouldn't see you before midnight." A raised eyebrow was thrown in her direction. One of the things Minerva disliked about her wife was the quirks she had picked up from her over the years.

Minerva lowered her arm from her eyes and immediately, with half a century to practice, hid her ravaging emotions in a split second to smile pleasingly at the love of her life, "good evening dearest." Well at least that's what she had always told herself-that the woman she had courted for 8 years and been married to for 22 more was the love of her life. That was indeed the case until her heart began to flutter at the thought of a certain bushy haired witch, when her ears would prick at the mention by others of her and the butterflies that would flap insistently when she was in her presence. Those gorgeous pools of molten brown that she could get, and indeed on a number of occasions had been, lost in. "I thought so too, my love. However, as I have the starts of what I believe is a migraine and it is her first night in the castle we thought it best to retire early." The picture of her glorious smile passed through her mind, "I'm sure there will be plenty of time for us to catch up and engage in the kind of conversations I know bores you to near death." The smile that graced the woman's lips would light up any room and her wife looked down on her mirroring the gesture.

Minerva McGonagall very rarely if ever got herself into any trouble. At least not that hadn't been caused by Albus in their younger years. This however was going to be trouble. Why had she allowed her to come back to the castle? Why did she think the same thing wouldn't happen again? Of course she was well aware of the insanity of it all but here she was having just welcomed Hermione Granger to the teaching staff having not seen her for 4 years. Obviously when Hermione had been at school there was never impropriety however much she allowed her eyes to wander in the girls last 2 years of education. After Hermione had taken a year to travel to Australia allowing her parents to get to know her all over again, Minerva thought she was in the clear. Her wandering eyes had nothing to wander to but that didn't mean her vivid imagination wouldn't indulge on occasion. Upon her return to Britain, Minerva had welcomed her back to the castle with open arms to apprentice in Charms. That was the first mistake.

What she didn't expect was the waves of attraction to rear themselves with a zealousness that rendered her quite teenage-like in the young woman's presence. She of course had to keep a lid on it. Her wife would not find out, could not find out about how she longed to look, to feel and above all to touch. The two years she had spent in the castle had not been the most pleasurable for her and had been the most strenuous of her then 26 year relationship. She had never felt anything like this for her wife and yet she quashed everything down and vented a self loathing and miserable façade in everyone bar Hermione. There were nights her wife would leave the castle and not return till morning but she couldn't bring herself to care nor to ask where she had been. She wanted to give her all the trust she could muster but she was well aware that she was being a miserable sod and wouldn't have blamed her wife for seeking out someone else.

All she could think about for those 2 years was the busy hair, chocolate eyes, smile of a goddess and the curves her fingertips tingled in need to touch. But she refrained, she smouldered in a frustration created by her own need and want. She didn't think she had masturbated so much before in her life than she had done over the course of those years. It was an unending frustration to want to feel the young witches' hands on her and not her own. Her wife failed to do anything to ease the pressure, not that during that time she had even tried. Minerva had spent many nights in their en-suit bathroom with her fingers deep inside herself and grateful for magic, being able to prevent her wife from hearing as Hermione's name was wrenched from her lips over and over with every shuddering breath of her release.

And here she was, back in the castle after 4 years working abroad for the ministry. 4 years that had brought her back with a glowing tan, lightening of her hair and with an air of female maturity that can only come with an adventure in finding herself. She was even more beautiful and alluringly tempting. So tempting she had nearly given in. Almost brought her fingertips up to dance along the jawline, to slip into the hair and draw them closer together. Nearly looked her in the eye, but she knew that would be a bad idea as she would give herself away, and that would not be good. Walking away had prevented her from taking the young woman then and there and she needed to build her defences back up to the point where she could stand to be in the same room without the urge to push her up against a wall and have her way and be damned what people thought about it all.

She was on the edge and she knew that the line would be so easy to cross. Her integrity and her vows were something that she would not break again.

"I'm going to have a shower, try to stall this migraine. You head to bed and I'll join you soon." Minerva glided towards the bathroom slipped through the door and as she locked it placed a silencing charm on the room. And just for good measure as she turned the shower on she charmed it so the sound on the water could be heard throughout her living quarters. She had been good at not getting caught at this but never had she thought she would have to do it again.

Chapter Text

This is another re-write (14/05/2020). Thank you to Lib McGranger for putting up with my hideous spelling and all the idea that seem to not materialise.

Reviews as always very much appreciated.

January 12 th  1999 19:00

Whilst at school no pupil had any knowledge of their professor's personal lives. Yes of course there were the rumours, Hooch and Grubbly-Plank, Dumbledore and McGonagall, even Filch and Pince, but no one knew what went on behind closed doors. Everyone assumed they were single and lonely (barring the obviously rampant sex between them all) and spent time in solitude, researching, studying reading just generally being a stuffy old professors. They were however mistaken. Most of the staff at Hogwarts were indeed married or seeing people, more than half lived in the castle with their partners, yet students were the very kind of people ignorant to these goings on. Some may have noticed if they had wanted to investigate but there were more interesting things to do in a giant magical castle.

Minerva had been married for 15 years and only 2 students had dared to enquire as to the goings on in her chambers. The first who was swiftly thrown out of her office was a curious 6th year by the name of Severus Snape. The second person however, she could not lie to, would under no circumstance lie to. Hermione Granger, fresh from a year on the run, returning to be taught by those she had stood beside, they had laid their lives on the line together. Therefore when entering her delayed 7th year she was greeted with less formality and given privileges most were not. Wandering through the corridors one evening returning from a visit to Hagrid, she had stumbled upon a scene that left her intrigued as to how things happened. Minerva McGonagall was walking along, arm around another woman's waste, hair flowing down her back in formal robes giggling at something she had not heard. She stopped dead in her tracks, never had she been struck by the power emanating for the woman. She had seen her in battle and she exuded power but this power had her weak at the knees and her pulse quicken in her chest, butterflies bubbling in her stomach. Next to the two women were Rolanda Hooch hand in hand with someone Hermione recognised as the keeper of the Holyead Harpies. The 4 women strolled leisurely towards the staff room Hermione following, calculating the possibilities of what was happening in front of her. Not noticing when the women vanished and she had wandered straight passed the staff room and in totally the wrong direction of her dorm, she turned on the spot and headed to bed.

The next night at 7pm sharp, as she did three times a week, Hermione knocked on the door to Professor McGonagall's office and entered. She was going to ask, she needed to know, curiosity was getting the better of her as it did in most situations. She was convinced her Animagus should have been a cat, however only a fox would have the cunning she had expressed over the years.

Taking her regular seat across from the woman she took a steadying breath. "Min," and another, she did not like being on the wrong end of the wicked tongue the woman possessed. She had seen it directed a Ron far too many times, "who was the woman you were with last night?"

Minerva was stunned, although a split second later she was wondering why it had taken 6 months for Hermione to notice anything. "That was my wife." She answered without hesitation, there was no reason to hide this from the young woman before her like she had with Severus all those years ago.

"You're married?" Hermione gasped in shock. "And not to Albus? Bloody hell, I did not see that coming." Hermione was flabbergasted, she had never really believed the rumours of Albus and Minerva, she had naively assumed that the woman was an old spinster. She would never in a million years pictured the her as a lesbian.

"Tell me," Minerva quirked an eyebrow, "Is it the fact that I am married, or that I am married to a woman that has that look of perplexion on your face?" She was struggling not to down right laugh, she had never before seen a look of utter confusion on the young woman's face, and it was rather, well, charming. That is not a good thing to think when she walks around with a distracting body like that.

"…" Hermione looked for words but couldn't gather them. Not only had this woman allowed her to know something so personal but was now toying with her in a very flirtatious way. For the second time in 2 days her heart began to hammer. She hadn't believed it when her female friends spoke of it, yet here she was sat in the presence of the most formidable woman in the wizarding world and she had a flutter, and the longer she sat there under her scrutiny the more the wings flapped around her stomach. "Neither…Both…It's more that I would never have thought you would tell me something so personal." She recovered and breathed trying to calm her beating heart. This is not a good time to start to think of her like that. She's bloody well married. She chastised herself.

"Well when you have fought side by side together and seen the good and bad together, you have earnt my trust. I believe the truth is something that you will keep to yourself. You earnt my trust a long time ago Hermione and I can not see that changing." It is also very nice to see the blush rise up that very appealing neck, and if you happen to know I'm attracted to women then so be it.

"Thank you Minerva, I would never break your trust." The younger woman smiled, "I am very grateful to have gained it so young by doing nothing other than was necessary to survive and allow those I love to survive. I have to ask though, how on earth are any of the professors married and living in the castle for 9 months of the year?"

"I wondered if you would bring that up." She raised an eyebrow at the younger woman. "I am sure you would be able to work it out if I gave you some time."

"Can you just tell me? It's been a long week," a pout upon her lips. "You can tell me and pretend I worked it out?" Her pout turning into a toothy grin. Oh Merlin, Hermione you are flirting with her, what the hell are you doing. "Of course if you cannot say and I have to work it out myself I'm sure it can't be too difficult to do, well barring Albus having anything to do with it?"

"No, no dear I can indeed tell you. And for Albus' part, he did it for me. Well he did it for himself so he didn't have to deal with all the paperwork he dumped on my desk." Minerva allowed a sad smile to cross her face as she did whenever she thought about her dear departed friend. "For many years it was against school rules for any teacher to have a relationship let alone marry anyone. Albus and his fluffy filled head resented it from the moment he stepped through the doors to teach. As his notion of love being the greatest form of magic and yet not allowing it in the castle drove him crazy. When I was asked to start teaching, I had been with my now wife for the best part of 5 years and I was not willing to give that up for my dream job. I told the interviewing panel that she was to move into the castle with me or I would not take the post." She chuckled lightly, "You know I'm not entirely unsure that is why the old coot offered me the job in the first place. Well it didn't go down too well with the governors and they declined me the job. They didn't see why they should bend the rules and would definitely not consider it unless I was married."

"That's preposterous, why should the love between two people be determined by marriage. It's..." Minerva held her hand up to stall the younger witch. "I am here am I not? I have been here teaching for the past 20 years." Hermione nodded. "Then I will finish." The young witch had the graces to blush. There that lovely colour is again.

"I asked my wife to marry me. She refused. I asked again the next year. She refused." At this point Hermione was looking at her with confusion. "Don't get me wrong we love each other very much but she was not willing to compromise. We do on occasion still argue about it. Two years later Albus arrived on my doorstep with another job offer. He had told the board that this time they would accept me and my partner married or not or he would resign. They made an exception for me. Three days later my wife and I moved into our chambers at Hogwarts."

"So why does no one know that there are spouses living in the castle?" Hermione sat further back in her chair, mind trying to work through the options.

"That's simple. We each have a floo in our chambers and this leads to the partners place of work or one of the rooms above the leaky cauldron specifically kept for use of Hogwarts staff and relatives. We spend meal times with the pupils at the governors requests and retire for the evening to our other halves. Those on the staff who are single take the majority of the evening rounds, although not a written rule they do take the burden without question. To be honest there are only three members of staff at the moment without someone living with them." Minerva smiled at the look on the young woman's shocked face. "Not many pupils have asked about the situation, in fact I myself have only been asked twice. Once this evening and the other by a very inquisitive Severus when he was a pupil. I didn't tell him anything and the look on his face when he joined the staff was rather amusing."

"I am grateful for your honesty. It sort of…" Hermione tailed off.

"Sort of what dear?" Minevra raised her eyebrow.

"It keeps my dream alive of coming back to Hogwarts, to teach. But I do want to find the person to spend my life with and I just assumed I would have to choose." She smiled brightly. "This way I can have everything and having love in my life."

Minerva nodded her agreement. "And what subject do you imagine yourself coming back to teach?"

The conversation that evening went on longer than usual as they delved into the depths of Hermione's aspirations to teach, to find the person of her dreams and start a family. They only parted when Hermione realised the time and apologies profusely for keeping her from her wife.

For Minerva's part that night had been the first that she had not thought about getting back to her wife after her office hours. The cold shoulder she had been given for the next two days had been enough for her to make a compromise that only once a week she would be later than her office hours and it would be on an evening her wife was out of the castle. It was these evenings she would spend with Hermione, becoming closer than she should have and she knew it but couldn't bring herself to care about it. The young woman had captured something within her that she had thought long lost.

Hermione that evening dreamt of the older witch for the first time. Each meeting they had would end with her having a dream and as the weeks went on they became more and more intimate. Knowing that Minerva was married was probably a good thing as it kept the boundary in place that she feared she may otherwise try to push or more likely cross.

Chapter Text

This chapter was re-written (14/05/2020). Thank you to Lib McGranger ym lovely beta, who hates time line jumps (I'm sorry). Reviews are always appreciated.

May 15th 1999. 22:45

"So when are you planning on venturing off to Australia?" The elder woman had spent the last 3 months looking forward to the day that Harry Potter was no longer her responsibility, and here she was 16 hours away from that point. The only downside, the young woman who had become a close friend and confidant over the course of the year was also no longer going to be strolling the hallowed hallways.

Hermione looked up from the chessboard sat between them, a sad smile on her lips. "I was thinking I may take a few weeks to get everything in order, then depart. I can't believe it is going to be a whole year away from this place. I know many in the muggle world will go out and adventure, but I still can't shake the feeling it will be a lonely year." She sighed and settled back into the chesterfield. "I will miss this place. I know it holds so many ups and downs for me but I can not say I am happy to be leaving."

"You will always be welcome in this castle Hermione, as long as I am here to open the gates." The Headmistress raised the glass she was fiddling with to her lips, she was going to miss the witch, "I for one will miss our evenings, they bring a rather relaxing break to my week." The empty glass refilling itself with a wave of her hand. "Are you sure you do not wish for another? It is a celebration, graduating with highest honours." She winked at the other.

"My days, Minerva McGonagall are you trying to get me drunk?" Hermione pouted. You can get me as drunk as you like. Bloody hell woman stop flirting with her.

"You can think that if you want, however I would never be trying to get one of my students drunk, even if you are only a student for the next 15 hours 45 minutes." She raised her brow and gestured to the glass on the table next to the young witch. "How would it look if you showed up to your graduation ceremony with a hangover? I would have to…" She trailed off, she would not start to think of punishing the young woman. There are so many ways I would like to punish her.

Hermione gave in and picked up the glass, which automatically filled itself, slowly and took a swig of the maroon liquid letting out a moan of pleasure. "This is good wine, Min." A drop remained on her plump lower lip, and without thought she slipped her tongue out and gently licked it off. She felt rather than saw the reaction of the elder witch, breath slightly hitching in her throat. The Gryffindor slowly beginning to rise within her. Don't say it Hermione, don't say it…. "You know, you never need an excuse to punish me Minerva." Shit, shit, shit ,shit…. She lept up and headed to the bathroom, not daring to glance behind her.

Minerva stared at the retreating form, struck dumb with the boldness. Most definitely a Gryffindor that one. Her mind began to wander to what kind of punishment the young woman would be interested in. Bushy brown hair spread out across crisp clean linen glowing in the sunlight, she couldn't see her eyes as they were occluded by an emerald satin blindfold. Her hands tied with the same material to the bed posts of the bed she shares with her wife. The perfect position to implement punishment. A smirk spread across Minerva's features as she lifted her glass once more and sipped, closing her eyes and relaxing back into her chair relishing the opportunity to indulge her fantasy. She knew she shouldn't, she knew that she was married, but the temptation was too great and as long as no one found out, nothing could go wrong.

Hermione slipped back into the room and stilled at once. It was not very often that she got to witness this woman in such a relaxed state and she was most definitely going to take advantage of it. Staring unabashedly at the object of her desires her eyes settled on the pulse point, drumming a rhythm she was sure was not at all normal. Her fingers twitched to reach out and caress the skin, run them higher and into the hair held in its tight bun, pull her closer. Her breathing started to increase as she could feel her arousal growing. Then the faintest of hitches in her breathing and a pair of emerald eyes snapped open to meet hers.

Neither moved, neither spoke, both knew what they themselves wanted to do in that split second of eye contact, however both knew it was a bad idea.

Minerva gaining her wits first averted her eyes and controlled her breathing to an almost normal level as the younger woman moved back to her seat and picked up her glass again before flopping down. "I still cannot see a way for me to win this game, you appear to have me trapped in all directions. I might as well lay down the king now and give in now." She huffed scouring the board for her next move. Relieved to not be looking into those eyes.

Minerva stared at the board deep in thought. "I could let you win, lay my king down," She commented, reaching out and tumbling the piece over. "But my queen still stands, and therein my dear, lies greatest problem."

Chapter Text

Re-writen (14/05/2020) Thank you to my beta who is awesome Lib McGranger. Reviews are always appreciated.

27th August 2006 21:15

"'Mione, darling. Come to bed it's about time you slept. You've had a busy day moving everything in." Hermione's girlfriend sauntered into the room clutching a cup of coco. "I can't believe the Headmistress asked you to have a walk with her on your first night back. Really you would think she would have waited". Taking a sip of her drink, "You know these house elves really do know how to make a good cup of coco."

"We have been here less than 12 hours and you are using the house elves already? You know how I feel about them, especially in this school. They have given up so much to help us all and you are getting a bloody hot chocolate when you could have very well made one yourself." Hermione huffed as she headed into her kitchen area to make one of her own. "They deserve respect not being summoned for your every beck and call, and for a bloody coco." She slammed her cup on the countertop to emphasise her point.

Her girlfriend moved up behind her and tentatively placed a hand comfortingly on the small of her back. "I know you are tired my dear, but please do not take it out on me for getting a drink from the elves that work here. I know you think highly of them but they were more than happy to help." She knew this Hermione, this was the stressed Hermione, the highly strung something has hit a nerve Hermione and every time it would be taken out on her. "We have talked about this, you need to think about what is bothering you and direct your anger in the direction it should be and not at me." She ran her hand down the bushy haired witches back. "I would think your anger is clearly meant to be directed towards our lovely spinster Headmistress, clearly she has nothing better to do with her time than pester you when you should have been here with me." She attempted to pull Hermione closer to her and was met with a clear restraint fromm the woman. "I have given up my life to move here for you and your dreams, I do not wish it to be an unpleasurable experience."

Hermione pulled away, spinning so the two women were face to face. She stared into the eyes of the woman who had brought her some form of happiness in the past couple of years. She had been a distraction and someone to keep her mind away from what she knew was an impossible force to fight. "Do not give me a shrink talk now," she ground out through gritted teeth. "I will not have you think you know what I am thinking or accuse of me misplaced rage. Not here, not in this place, not in my home." Hermione moved towards the sofa she had been settled on before being interrupted. "I invited you into this place, and I will be the one to uninvited you if needs be. She grabbed the cup off the counter top and stormed towards the sitting room, "Get off to bed if that is where you want to be. I am going to sit here and read for a while."

"I want to be in bed, with you." Her girlfriend retorted as she followed at a safe distance. "I want to spend my time with you, but instead I have to fight for your time with that woman." She gesticulated in the vague direction of Minerva's quarters. "Merlin, only 12 hours in and you already have your priorities mixed up."

"For your information, I was the one who asked her to go for a walk so we could catch up. You have had me to yourself for the past 4 years. I want to get back to interacting with the people I call my friends." She collapsed onto the Chesterfield sofa. Recognising for the first time that it was the same one she had claimed as her own in Minerva's rooms many years previous and a smile tugged at her lips at the thoughtfulness of the elder witch. "And, not that you need to, nor deserve to know, but she is married and has been…" She paused to steal herself for the lie about to come out her mouth, "happily married for the past 22 years. No matter what you think of her, she is one of my closest and dearest friends and if you think I am going to apologies for spending time with her and not with you, you have another thing coming."

Her girlfriends left without another word, the heavy footfall clear to Hermione that she would pay for her words in the cold shoulder for a few days. She would come round though, she always did. She was left alone with her thoughts, thoughts consumed, as they had been for many years, by the woman who still had her queen beside her. In years gone by she would seek council in Harry or Ginny, even on a drunken occasion, Nevil. Yet the one person would have confided these thoughts in only days ago, was the one person she had no intention of letting slip to, leaving four women in a situation that was going to be anything but easy.

Chapter Text

So the lockdown muse has arrived at last. Her is the next instalment. I am gong to go back and date the chapters as after a chat with my beta it seems my brain has an inability to express time jumps well on paper so I figure that I may as well date each chapter. (this one will be done too). Thank you to my beta Lib McGranger for going through this and listening to my ideas on where to take this and the others. You are a star. So any ways enjoy and reviews are always welcome.

27 th  August 2006, 19:55

Minerva gave herself the pep talk before she joined her professors in the Great Hall. It was just another day with a new professor, and she was just going to treat Hermione exactly the same as she would any other.

That however failed the minute she pushed the doors open and set eyes on the woman who had consumed her dreams for close to a decade. She was engaged in conversation with Filius, and he had clearly just made a comment so amusing she had to do that wonderful thing where her head tilted slowly to the side exposing the expanse of neck that just begged for Minerva's longue to run up. Stop it, you need to remain professional.

She hadn't been noticed as she strode slowly towards the other professors, they were all enamoured by the fabulous young woman. Over the years Minerva had always enjoyed being able to observe her without being noticed, being able to watch the flow of her hair, the flutter of her eyelashes and the glorious sound of her laughing. Floating along, placing the fact she was married on the back burner as she always did when she was with Hermione, there was the unmistakable flutter in her stomach. Yep, this was indeed a bad idea, bringing her back here. No, it wasn't a bad idea- it was a dangerous idea and was going to test her resolve and restraint to its very limit.

Hermione had noticed the door open and the slender form slip through trying, she knew, to remain unnoticed. Filius had at this point decided to hit the punchline of the most terrible "dad joke" she had heard in a while. She couldn't help it, couldn't refrain from laughing and throwing her head to an enticing angle. For Merlin's sake this is going too far. You have been back in the castle for 8 hours. Stop it.

Minerva stumbled, catching her toe on a decidedly unhelpful cobblestone. She tried to remain upright but that was not going to happen and mustering as much grace as she could on the way down, landing in a crumpled heap on the floor.

Hermione wasted no time, in one fluid movement she was over the table and landing with feline stealth. Long strides got her to the woman in a flash, she knelt down face to face with her, "Hey there," she smiled down into those glorious eyes. Losing herself in them far quicker than she should have. "That was quite an entrance," Hermione smirked at the elder. Don't say it… please just keep your mouth shut. "I know we haven't seen each other in a while, but the whole head over feet thing is a bit too far, don't you think?" seriously woman learn to control your mouth.

Minerva looked up at the younger witch barely believing what had just been said. The bubbling in her chest rising while she was struggling to regain her composure. Not only had she just landed on her arse in front of her staff, she had done so in front of the one person making a fool of herself in front of would not do. The corners of her mouth began to crease as she struggled to contain herself. And as Hermione began to chuckle low in her throat she lost her resolve and a full belly laugh erupted from her. She hadn't laughed like that in a very long time. And as it began to subside and her control returned, "Now Miss Granger, is that any way to speak to your superior?" An eyebrow raised, "I may have to punish you for your insolence one of these days." Good god woman, 8 hours and you have cracked, this is not good at all.

"Please, Minerva, I have told you before," the young witch whispered as she leant down and helped her mentor to her feet. "You can punish me in any way you like, any time you like." She winked and turned to face the front of the hall as the two women began to walk towards their meal. Tilting her head back slightly, "Join me for a walk after dinner, we have so many things to catch up on." She stopped dead, Minerva only realising in time to prevent her walking into her and ending up on the floor again. "That is of course if your wife isn't expecting you back straight after dinner?"

Mesmerised by the woman, "I think I can arrange something." she replied. This is going to be a long long year.

Unbeknownst to both women, Filius sat watching the interaction with apt attention. He had known these two were attracted to each other and had been for many years, he had known they had spent many an evening enjoying each other's company. But as he watched them together here, he knew that what was to come was going to be anything but easy. Cybil sat to his left and failed to mention the red pulsating aura surrounding the women and the sparks of invisible magic they were giving off. Everyone could see them anyway, there was no need to mention to anyone how the two womens souls swirled together.

Chapter Text

Here we have the next chapter for you all. Again thank you to Lib McGranger for being a great beta and reminding me of the titles of my fics when I can’t seem to type the right thing. Reviews are always appreciated folks. Enjoy 😊

 

August 27th 2006 21:00

 

Hermione was first to slide through the oak front doors, holding them open for the Headmistress to follow. They descended the slightly damp flagstone steps, with Minerva coming to the side of the younger witch. The silence that was drawing longer between them was something that had always been comfortable in the past, seemed to morph into something of an anticipation of what was to come. 

Hermione led the way through the grounds towards the edge of the Forbidden Forest. “I always loved walking down here after dinner,” she said to her companion, breaking the uneasy silence. “I know it wasn’t strictly allowed.” She turned to see the older woman had turned to face her. 

“No, indeed it is not strictly allowed,” Minerva replied with the hint of a smile playing on her lips. “But then again there are a good few things you lot got up to that weren’t… ‘strictly allowed’.” The young witch tried in vain to hold back the guffaw that left her lungs as Minerva used air quotes at the end. There were a fair few things I got up to that weren’t allowed too, she thought as she basked in the happiness radiating from the woman in front of her. 

The smile that had been tugging at Minerva’s lips was now radiating in its full glory. “I’m glad I can amuse you Miss Granger,” she stopped to push her glasses up her nose. “Sorry, Professor Granger.”

“You know, Headmistress I have missed the way I am referred to in this castle. I’m going to miss it once it changes.” Hermione waited in anticipation of the response. 

“You are changing your name?” The headmistresses exclaimed shock emanating as her eyebrows shot into her hairline. “Why on earth are you changing your name? The only reason to do so would be to take another’s is if you are to be…” Her thoughts trailed off. 

“She asked me to marry her when I took the job here, I think she feels rather self conscious about me being back here, back where I am comfortable.” Hermione spoke to the ground not willing to look the elder witch in the eye.

“Back here where your mind can wander to things they shouldn’t?” Minerva questioned rhetorically. “This is going to be a tough year if we are unable to get past this.” Her right hand coming up to rub her left arm trying to quash the goosebumps of shock that had begun to emanate. Her heart hammering as she felt the cracks begin to widen at the thought of Hermione marrying someone. Jealousy that should not be there riled itself up in her veins. Forcing it down she continued. “Let me be the first of the staff to congratulate you.”

Hermione’s shoulders slumped. “It will be a tough year, particularly if you let your jealousy live on your sleeve with everyone else as you have just now with me. Your congratulations is not warranted or wanted. ” she spat back and chanced a look towards her dreams. Her chest rising as a look of defeat passed across her mentor’s face.  “But maybe. Just maybe I don’t want to get past this. Maybe I want to be distracted. Maybe I have been dreaming of coming back to this place, coming back to my home,” she took the woman’s hand in her own. “Coming back to you. Where I belong, where I should have been for the past 5 years and where I would give my life to be forever more.” 

Minerva couldn’t breath, her thoughts were traveling a million miles an hour. This was not what she expected to happen in this conversation. The young woman was supposed to have been happy in her relationship and although back in the hallowed ground, she was not supposed to be openly making advances on her. “Hermoine, we have been over this before.” She gently removed her hand from the beauty before her. “And quite frankly we are in a more precarious situation than we were 4 years ago. You are now no longer single and if you hadn’t noticed I am still married. Have you really not been happy before coming back here?”

“I have been happily distracted. And although I know my time here will always be torturous, I am settling for someone who is easy and comfortable.” The truth hurt both as it was laid before them. “Can you say that you are happy in your marriage?”

“Why are you settling dear?” Minerva responded in order to deflect from her own unease. 

“I am settling for I know that what I want is something that is not achievable. Something that has been out of my reach for as long as I have wanted it. Something that I am aware is taboo and would threaten the very foundations of anything. But I must be some kind of masochist as I want to be here, in the torture chamber.” She ran her hands up the headmistresses’ arms to settle on her shoulder. “And you didn’t answer my question.”

Minerva pulled away, turned around and started to head back in the direction of the castle. Back in the direction of safety, in the direction of somewhere that would get her out of a situation she was slowly becoming aware would not end in a good way. “I have been happy very few times in the past 8 years. All of those times I have been near something I can not have, and the happiest of those days, my dear, was the last time you ventured through the doors of this castle. I have not felt any more alive than I did that day, well except perhaps the day I accepted you back into this castle.” She continued to walk trying to distance herself. “I am not happy in my life, I am not happy in my marriage but I made vows. Vows which you are preparing to take of your own, vows that I have broken once but can not, however tempting, bring myself to break again. My conscience will not allow it.” 

And with that she was gone through the doors, leaving Hermione to make her own way through the empty castle. She had never felt more alone as she did now, heading towards her rooms and the woman she was supposed to spend her life with.