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Fools Rush In

At nearly 100, Albus is surprised to find that he is, very improbably and most inconveniently, in love.

Albus Dumbledore, Minerva McGonagall, Severus Snape
12,604 words

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The weekend Albus passed was among the most miserable of his life. The jealousy he’d suffered during Minerva’s marriage flooded back, made worse this time because it was his own bloody fault.

He’d become complacent about her. Once she’d returned to the castle and they’d re-established their former, comfortable friendship, Albus had allowed himself to fall into his old mode of near-contentment, settling for what they had rather than what he really wanted. He hadn’t pursued the deeper relationship he longed for because the risk of pushing her away had seemed unbearable. So he’d simply let things go on as they always had.

Now, history was repeating itself. Minerva might once again be slipping away before his eyes, falling in love with the attractive Head of the Auror Office. Who apparently had a wealthy family and a cosy chalet in the Swiss Alps.

Albus decided he was the most foolish so-called genius ever to wield a wand. Not to mention a coward unworthy of the House of Gryffindor.

He spent Saturday attempting to read a book he’d received for Christmas and trying not to think about what Minerva might be doing. That evening, Filius came by, and Albus lost three games of chess in a row to him. Filius asked him if he was feeling all right.

Albus mumbled something vague about the weather and a headache before sending Filius on his way with reassurances that he’d be right as rain — no pun intended — come Monday.

After a Sunday in which he accomplished little in the way of work and less in the way of relaxation, he took to his bed earlier than usual. Sleep, however, did not knit up the ravelled sleeve of his cares; it didn’t even have the courtesy to turn up.

His thoughts roiled with wherefores and what-ifs, and at half-past three, Albus was thoroughly disgusted with himself. He tore off the bedclothes and shoved his feet into his slippers. The February chill hit him like a scourge, so he tugged on his dressing gown and stalked to his sitting room, using his wand to raise a fire in the grate.

He plopped down in his favourite squashy chair to think.

Point the First: He loved Minerva McGonagall.

Point the Second: Minerva was newly embarked on a romantic, possibly intimate, relationship with Rufus Scrimgeour.

Point the Third: The thought of Minerva in love with someone else rendered Albus utterly unable to function as a normal adult human, much less as the headmaster of one of the world’s most prestigious schools of magic.

It was obvious but terrifying.

He had to tell her.


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