Albus was away the morning the Shrieking Shack went up in flames.
With a new Dark Lord on the rise, the Ministry had been quick to ask
for his help. He had gone to London for a fortnight to meet with a number
of Aurors and high Ministry officials, and left the school in Minerva
McGonagall's capable hands. Minerva fire-called him early Tuesday evening
with the news that the Shrieking Shack had burned to the ground that
morning in a mysterious fire. She assured him that Remus Lupin was unharmed;
there had been a full moon the previous night, but apparently Mr Lupin's
friends, James Potter and Sirius Black, had gone to the Shack early
in the morning to retrieve their friend. They had only just been able
to rescue him from the flames. She told him Poppy had met them at the
Whomping Willow and treated the three of them for light burns and smoke-inhalation.
While the loss of such a perfect place for Remus Lupin's monthly transformations
was most unfortunate, he and Minerva both agreed that, with a month
before the next full moon, they would be able to make some alternative
arrangements. It was fortunate that Remus had such good friends; Albus
was still pleased when he remembered how the young werewolf had told
him that his friends had discovered his secret and did not hate him
for it. He made a mental note to find a way to covertly award Gryffindor
some extra points when he returned.
Minerva said she and Filius had not found anything out of the ordinary
that might have caused the fire, and they guessed that it must have
been a bit of stray magic, or perhaps a side-effect of Mr Lupin's condition.
Spontaneous fires were uncommon, but they were known to happen. Albus
agreed that they would have to take precautions in case it did indeed
have something to do with Remus' lycanthropy.
Because nobody had been seriously hurt, and there was thus no need
for the headmaster to return, he remained in London with Alastor and
the other Aurors to discuss the threat from Voldemort.
Thursday morning, Marcus Maynard - the Head of Slytherin House - fire-called
Albus to inform him that one of the Slytherins had gone missing: sixth
year Severus Snape. Marcus was adamant that it wasn't a boyish prank
or something similar. Snape was truly missing, and most likely had been
for at least two days. Albus took his leave from the newly named Order
of the Phoenix, and return to Hogwarts immediately.
Apparently Snape had last been seen early Monday evening as he left
the Slytherin common room. His absence from class was noticed on Tuesday,
but merely resulted in a loss of points for truancy. His fellow Slytherins
had grumbled, and been ready to talk to Snape about House responsibility
as soon as he showed himself. However, when he remained absent from
classes on Wednesday (and the loss of points was beginning to affect
Slytherin's chances in the race for the House Cup), a Slytherin prefect
finally brought the fact that Snape's bed had not been slept in since
Sunday to the attention of her Head of House.
The staff had questioned the students and done a search of the castle
and the grounds. Hagrid had gone into the Forbidden Forest to look for
the missing student and asked the centaurs whether they had seen him,
but this had revealed nothing more than that Snape had last been seen
slipping out of the castle at ten o'clock Monday evening. Minerva and
Marcus had decided to give Snape one more night to return before they
bothered the headmaster, as they both knew the importance of his visit
to London. When Snape was still missing Thursday morning, Marcus had
More than a week had passed since then, and still there was no trace
of the missing Slytherin. Albus had contacted Snape's father to tell
him of his son's disappearance, but the elder Snape had seemed neither
worried nor distressed. Albus knew Ignatius Snape's reputation - the
Order suspected that he was a follower of Voldemort. Although he feared
that Snape had somehow been caught in the Dark Lord's net, something
about that just did not ring true. It was not Riddle's style, and why
would he be interested in a sixth year student? Albus sighed, and hoped
that they would not one day find the boy behind a white mask.
And now he was standing in the remains of the Shrieking Shack. The
fire had been intense, and only a lot of ash and a few charred beams
remained. There was a trace of magic in the air, but it was too faint
to determine its nature exactly: too much time had passed. This had
been Albus' first opportunity to come out here and check the ruins.
He had of course questioned Remus Lupin, James Potter and Sirius Black
on whether they might have seen Snape. A fire and a disappearance all
in the same night, it was too much of a coincidence not to follow up.
However, James and Sirius had both sworn they had not seen the Slytherin,
and Remus had been too unwell to notice anything he had said.
The ashes smudged his boots and the hem of his bright red robes. Albus
gave his surroundings one last searching look. He was wasting his time
here. Snape had run off to join the Dark Lord, or - if they and the
boy were lucky - to seek his fortune elsewhere. Wherever he was, he
was not here.
As Albus stepped forward to leave the charred ruin, his foot hit something,
sending it skidding away. He paused and bent down to pick the object
up. A long and thin piece of wood. One end was jagged, as if it had
been snapped in two, and it was burnt beyond recognition.
Albus turned the stick around in his fingers, closing his eyes for
a moment. His hand tightened around the wood, and he suddenly needed
to get away from the suffocating stench of ash and fire. He decided
against his original plan to walk back to the castle. The weather was
fine and perfect for a stroll, but he did not have the time for it.
Instead, he apparated easily through Hogwarts' wards straight into his
chambers and dropped the piece of wood onto his desk. He would think
about it later. For now, he needed a change of clothes. There was a
staff meeting in a few hours that he needed to prepare for.
It started with a whisper: a soft susurration just below Albus' hearing.
He would wake up in the middle of the night positive that he had heard
someone speaking. However, his rooms were empty, and when he checked
his wards they had not been breached. It started with a whisper, and
at first Albus paid it no heed.
Voldemort kept him preoccupied. The Dark Lord was steadily gaining
followers, and the Order had so far been unable to infiltrate the Death
Then there was Sirius, James and Remus' strange behaviour. Albus could
not help noticing that Remus Lupin had taken to avoiding his friends
and spending an inordinate amount of time in the library. He was quieter
than before, and it was obvious that he was having trouble sleeping.
Albus found himself sadly waiting for the day Remus came to him to ask
to be relieved of his prefect duties. Sirius and James were closer than
ever, and were trying to break through Lupin's self-imposed isolation.
Albus watched them close ranks, excluding, Peter, the fourth Gryffindor
in their year, who seemed at a loss to understand what had occurred
between his friends.
Marcus Maynard helped Minerva and Albus with the preparations for Remus'
monthly transformation. They set up a room in the dungeons with a hidden
corridor so that the boy would not risk running into any Slytherins
or other students. After his first transformation since the Shrieking
Shack burnt down, Poppy reported that Remus' wounds afterward had been
more severe, more savage, than after previous moons.
Another month - and another moon - passed, and still there was no word
of the missing Severus Snape. The consensus among the students was that,
although no body had been found, Snape had sneaked out into the Forbidden
Forest and fallen victim to one of the wild creatures there. Albus was
quite sure this was untrue, and tried not to think about yet another
of his Slytherins in Death Eater garb, but did nothing to discourage
the rumour. Albus hoped that it would make students think twice before
breaking the rule about entering the Forest unsupervised. By the end
of the school year, it was as if Severus Snape had never attended Hogwarts.
Albus was busy with the Order and often away, leaving Minerva to run
the school with the other Heads of House, so at first he hardly noticed
the nightly disturbance in his quarters. However, as the term drew to
a close, he was back at Hogwarts and busy with the preparations for
the taking and marking of OWLS and NEWTS. By then the whispering had
increased, and Albus once again checked his wards for any breaches,
finding none. His private rooms were devoid of portraits, so that could
not be the cause. He had also long ago set up special wards to prevent
any ghosts from entering his rooms and disturbing his privacy. The whispering
was annoying, but hardly seemed dangerous, and Albus continued to ignore
it, chalking it up as just another of the castle's little quirks.
On the night before the Leaving Feast, however, the cause of the whispering
finally revealed itself. Albus was sleeping soundly in his bed, with
Fawkes on his perch near the window, when a piercing shriek shocked
the headmaster awake. Heart pounding, he shot up in bed, wand pointing
at the source of the disturbance and a curse ready. The hex died on
his lips when he saw Severus Snape standing at the foot of his bed.
The Slytherin was screaming and trying to fight off some invisible
attacker. His student robes were torn open, ghostly silver blood splattering
the floor and Albus' duvet as Snape was torn apart before his eyes.
"No! No! Help me! Somebody help me! Merlin, I'm going to die!
The boy shrieked as something latched onto his arm and mauled the flesh.
His screams ended in a horrific gurgle when invisible teeth sank into
his throat and ripped it out. For a moment, the boy stood silently in
front of Albus, staring down at his mutilated body in horror. His eyes
rose to meet Albus', and he opened his mouth to speak. Then the vision
faded, and with it, the blood and gore that had sprayed across the room
and even splattered Albus' beard.
Heart still pounding from fright, Albus raked his hands through his
beard in a nervous gesture he had not been guilty of in years. Well,
that explained the whispering. Not to mention what had happened to the
Albus buried his head in his hands, fighting down the bitter laugh
that was trying to claw its way up his throat; people would have been
astounded to see the headmaster so off balance. He closed his eyes and
breathed deeply, concentrating on calming his rapid heartbeat.
All the implications of what he had just witnessed churned in Albus'
mind, but he put off looking at the ugly truth, and instead, wondered
how the young ghost had managed to get past his wards and into his rooms.
Then he remembered the stick - which he now realised was a wand - he
had found in the ruins of the Shrieking Shack. With a quick 'Lumos'
Albus got out of bed and walked over to his desk. Underneath a pile
of paperwork, forgotten because of his preoccupation with the school
and Voldemort, lay the charred remains of Severus Snape's wand. He picked
it up, but he felt it burning his fingers and he dropped it quickly
with a hiss, blisters already forming on his fingers. The late Slytherin
apparently resented the headmaster touching his wand. Albus slumped
into a chair and levitated the broken wand onto his desk.
How could he have been so blind? Albus rubbed tiredly at his eyes.
No. He had not been blind. He had ignored the truth, had deceived himself
and looked past the hints and the clues and the evidence. He had not
wanted to believe it, but now that the truth of what had really happened
to Snape was clear. And if he were honest with himself, he was not very
much surprised. At some level, he had known all along. Albus closed
his eyes again. Please let it have been an accident, he thought
to himself with little hope.
There was a flutter of wings, and Fawkes landed on the chair's armrest.
Albus met the red and golden bird's worried gaze with a small smile
and fondly patted his familiar. He sighed. Until morning there was little
he could do. There was no point in rousing the three Gryffindors from
their beds and attracting Minerva's attention. He wanted to speak to
them alone first, before he decided what he was going to do.
His thoughts wandered to the ghost. It took time for a spirit to gather
enough strength to appear. Oftentimes, it was years before they became
more than a cold breeze in a room or a prickling sensation at the back
of your neck. He assumed that the apparition's strength was in part
due to its violent death, and the fact that its killers had so far gone
free. Nevertheless, it was still remarkable that Snape had managed to
manifest himself so quickly. Albus wondered what they had lost with
Severus Snape's death.
Whatever the case, unless he did something about it, the ghost was
going to return, for longer and stronger each time, without doubt also
drawing on the power of its own wand. It was not unusual that a spirit
became bound to an inanimate object, using it as an anchor to stay within
the world of the living, but this was the first time Albus had heard
of a wand - such a personal magical object - serving as an anchor. His
ever inquisitive mind was already wondering what kind of consequences
this would have for the spirit's powers: would it be able to use magic?
A decisive shake of his head brought Albus back to the present. He
was tired, and thinking about the problem now would not be productive.
The ghost had obviously used up all its energy and would not be appearing
again tonight, nor any time in the near future. Albus would decide what
to do in the morning, after he confronted Lupin, Black and Potter.
Albus went to breakfast early the next morning. He sat at the head
table and chatted with Filius and Iris, who were both early risers.
Surreptiously he kept an eye on the Gryffindor table, and as expected
Remus Lupin was one of the first to arrive.
As the boy silently picked at his breakfast one of the school owls
flew in through the open doors and landed on the table next to him,
extending its leg for the Gryffindor to untie the letter. Lupin paused,
then took the letter and opened it. All the blood seemed to drain from
his face as he read the short missive; his eyes shot up to meet the
headmaster's. Albus returned the boy's gaze calmly. A pained look crossed
Lupin's face, and he stuffed the letter in one of the pockets of his
robe. He stood up and left the Hall, his breakfast mostly untouched,
and not long thereafter Albus' wards alerted him that Lupin had made
his way to his office.
Soon after that, Potter and Black entered the Great Hall, Pettigrew
trailing behind them. Shortly after they had seated themselves and started
on a large breakfast, another two school owls flew into the Great Hall
and landed next to them, carrying an identical missive to the one that
Lupin had received. Pettigrew tried to read over Potter's shoulder and
to his surprise was violently shoved away. The two boys made a point
of not looking in the headmaster's direction, although Albus caught
Potter's glance as they left a confused Pettigrew at the Gryffindor
table and hurried out of the Hall, to Albus' office.
Albus calmly finished his tea and conversation. The Hall was filling
up with students now, and more owls swept through the air, carrying
notes and parcels. He took his leave of the Charms and Herbology professors
and left through the staff entrance. Nobody noticed his departure any
more than that of the three Gryffindors a few minutes earlier.
He used the private staircase to his own rooms, and paused at the
door to his office. Potter and Black were arguing with Lupin.
"He doesn't know, Remus; he can't know. Don't say anything and
everything will be fine. I promise," Black said.
"Just shut up, Sirius. Shut up! It's not going to be all right.
Snape is dead and -"
Albus chose that moment to open the door and walk into his office.
The three Gryffindors immediately fell silent, each avoiding the headmaster's
gaze. Lupin stood near the fireplace with his back to the other two,
hugging his chest as if for warmth; Potter and Black stood next to one
another in front of his desk, looking at everything but each other or
the headmaster. Albus took the burnt and broken wand from the pocket
of his robe, and laid it on the table.
"Do any of you happen to recognize this?" he asked. Potter
and Black paled. Lupin refused to look, hugging himself as he continued
to stare into the empty, cold fireplace.
"I found it in the ruins of the Shrieking Shack."
The three Gryffindors remained silent, not moving and not meeting Albus'
"It is a wand; or the remains of one anyway." He paused again,
but still there was no response. "Would you care to tell me whose?"
"It's Snape's." Lupin whispered into the silence.
Lupin spun around, his face contorted in a grimace of rage, or grief,
or some other violent emotion.
"It's over, Sirius! No more lies, no more silence. Snape is dead
and I killed him, I - oh, Merlin, I - I murdered him, I ate
him, I -" Lupin fell to his knees, arms around his stomach as he
started to retch and throw up what little breakfast he had eaten.
Black and Potter took a step toward him, but froze at the look on Albus'
face. Albus hurried around his desk to the crying and retching Gryffindor;
he knelt next to Lupin and rested a hand on his shoulder. Shivers racked
through the boy's body and he looked up at Albus.
"I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry," he mumbled miserably.
"It wasn't Remus' fault," Potter and Black protested, but
Albus ignored them.
He took Lupin's chin in his hand and forced the boy to look at him.
His skill at legilimency was such that he did not even need to
speak the spell, and he easily slipped into Lupin's mind.
It did not take much to find the memory. It was at the very front of
the boy's mind, overshadowing practically everything else.
Waking up sated. Full and content and sticky. Red. In his mouth
and everywhere he looked, and the horror as he realised the monster
had killed; he had killed someone.
Remus, are you all right? Who was it? Who was it? Snape. But how
- It doesn't matter - Sirius - We have to get him out of here - Don't
worry - It wasn't your fault - I'm sorry, Moony. He didn't mean it.
We have to burn the - Oh, Merlin I killed him, I killed Snape, I killed
him - Did you get rid of the blood? Get him into the passage, James,
I'll - Snape, I killed Snape, I killed him, I killed him, I killed him.
Albus broke the connection and pulled Remus into his arms, pressing
the boy's face to his shoulder as he quickly and deftly wove a calming
spell over the boy's mind. Slowly the sobs subsided enough for Albus
to gently help Remus up and into a nearby chair. Absentmindedly, he
waved his wand to clean up the mess on his carpet and his robes; then
he grabbed some Floo powder from the jar beside the fireplace and threw
it onto the grate as he called out for the Infirmary. The fire lit and
Poppy Pomfrey's head appeared in the flames a few moments later.
"What is it, Albus?"
"I need you to come over here."
He didn't need to say anything else; the school nurse was already stepping
into his office, her sharp eyes taking in her surroundings in search
of the patient. "What is the matter?"
"Mr Lupin has become unwell. Could you take him to the Infirmary?
Give him a calming draught and put him to bed; I will join you as soon
as I can."
She glanced at the other two Gryffindors, but didn't ask any questions,
instead helping a groggy and compliant Remus Lupin to his feet and then
through the fireplace. Albus watched them go, and extinguished the flames
after they'd left. He stood in front of the empty fireplace for a moment,
his back to the remaining two students.
"Is - Is Remus going to be all right?" Potter stuttered.
Albus turned around very slowly. If they had had any doubt that the
jovial old headmaster with the twinkling blue eyes was gone, it was
dispelled that very moment. Here stood the wizard who had defeated Grindelwald
only thirty years ago, who was rumoured to be the most powerful wizard
of their age. Potter and Black stepped back, away from him. Black's
eyes were fixed solidly on his feet and away from Albus', while Potter's
gaze darted around the room.
"I am going to give you two one chance, and one chance only,"
Albus said in a quiet and menacing whisper. He pointed at the ruined
wand on his desk. "Explain to me: why Severus Snape went to the
Shrieking Shack? How did he know how to get past the Whomping Willow
in the first place?"
"I don't know -" Black began to say, eyes now screwed tightly
"He must have overheard Sirius and I talking, but we didn't realise
until it was too late. I saw him walking across the grounds, so we went
after him. I could hear them. He was screaming and Remus..." Potter
gulped. "But it was an accident. We didn't mean it, right, Sirius?"
Black nodded, but Albus ignored him for the moment. Potter was sweating,
and he looked up at the headmaster pleadingly.
You did what? We have to stop him, Padfoot! Moony will kill him,
what were you thinking? Oh Merlin - Hurry! Please don't let it be too
late, please don't let it be too late, please don't let it be too late
- What are we going to do? Look at what you did! Let me - Of course
he doesn't want to talk to us, Sirius - What were you thinking?
Albus looked away, and Potter stumbled, grasping the back of a chair
for support. Albus glanced aside to Black, and the decision was made.
Potter's terrified gasp made Sirius look up, and they both jumped back
when they saw Albus reach into his robes and take out his wand. Both
boys' eyes widened in terror, but before they could speak or move Albus
pointed it at Potter.
Potter blinked and looked around the room in confusion. Albus smiled
genially, walking up to the boy and resting a hand on his shoulder as
he ushered him toward the stairs.
"Your friend Mr Lupin is going to be just fine, James. Your concern
is commendable, and I thank you for bringing this to my attention. Go
easy on Mr Lupin tonight and tomorrow; these past few months have been
trying for him, but I'm sure a summer at home will do him the world
of good. Now run along, I believe the Gryffindor Quidditch team was
going to have one final game for the year today, and as captain and
Chaser you really should not be late. I am sure you will be able to
find a suitable replacement for Mr Black. I just need to talk to him
in private for a moment."
He waited until the gargoyle had closed the entrance to the staircase
again before turning around to face Black. The boy had retreated to
the wall and, even as he stared at Albus in terror, he made sure not
to meet the headmaster's gaze. When Albus turned around, he was no longer
"Look at me, Sirius."
Black shook his head, his eyes once more screwed tightly shut.
"Look at me!"
"No. It was an accident, I swear!"
In two strides, he had Black pressed against the bookcase, his left
hand gripping Black's jaw so hard it left bruises and his right hand
pressing the tip of his wand to the boy's temple.
It was so simple; it was so easy. He had cornered Snape after Potions;
the other Slytherins didn't care about him anyway. So you want to know
about Remus, do you, Snivellus? Go to the Whomping Willow - There's
a knothole - Use a long stick and the branches will stop and you'll
find a passageway. Tonight, if you dare - Prongs, guess what I did.
The best prank of the century, Snivellus is going to wet his pants!
Screams and Moony howling. Something hits the trapdoor with force
and there's blood seeping through! This wasn't supposed to - Nobody
can find out; we have to keep it a secret - Get rid of the blood - Clean
Remus up and I'll take care of Snivellus - Run! Run, the fire -
Albus' lips twisted in disgust, and he released the boy, stepping away.
Black slumped to the floor, nursing his jaw.
"It was an accident; I didn't mean it to happen. Just a prank,"
he muttered, and then looked up at Albus in desperation. "I had
to do it. He was always sniffing around us, around Remus, trying to
get us into trouble. The snivelling bastard. I just meant to scare him,
teach him a lesson so that he would leave us, leave Remus alone. That's
all. I didn't mean him to die, just scare the git enough to keep his
oversized nose out of our business. It was supposed to be funny!"
Albus reached down and pulled the wretch up, practically throwing him
into a nearby chair.
"Your prank cost a fellow student's life and endangered
the life of another. According to Ministry Law Mr Lupin has to be put
down: he has killed another wizard. The Ministry won't care that it
wasn't his fault, that he had been locked away securely where he and
the other students should have been safe, that it never would have happened
if one of his friends hadn't decided it would be funny to lure
another student there."
"You're not - You won't let them harm Remus, will you? Sir?"
Albus ignored him. "And didn't you even think of yourself? You
knowingly and willingly led a boy to a place you knew a werewolf would
be waiting for him. You would be lucky not to get the Kiss. Even if
somehow you managed to avoid that, you would still be looking at a lifetime
sentence with the Dementors in Azkaban. All because of some prank."
He spat out the last word, and leaned down to whisper menacingly in
the boy's ear.
"If the Ministry were to find out, there would be nothing I could
do to save you or your friend."
Sirius looked aside, and understanding dawned.
"You're not going to tell them. That's why you Obliviated James."
The relief in Sirius' voice was palpable. Albus nodded.
"I am, indeed, not going to tell the Ministry what happened. As
far as they are concerned, Mr Snape ran away two months ago, never to
be seen again. Rest assured: Mr Lupin will be safe. I promised his parents
he would be able to attend school safely here, and he will."
A watery smile reached Sirius' lips, but disappeared when Albus clamped
a hand around his arm, squeezing hard enough to leave bruises.
"Yes, Mr Lupin will be safe. I will cover up your crime, Sirius
Black. However, do not think you will get away with it. You owe me,
boy, and I will collect."
"Have you ever heard of the term Life Debt? If it were not for
me, your friend - your boyfriend - would have had his head on the Ministry
chopping block before lunchtime. If it were not for me, you would be
enjoying the company of Dementors before nightfall. Your life is mine
to dispose of now, Sirius Black. Don't you dare forget."
He roughly pulled the boy out of his chair and half threw him toward
"Now get out of my sight! I will call you when I have a need for
you. Before then I do not want to see you here, or even hear one word
about you from your teachers. Do you understand me, boy?"
Sirius nodded, his face deadly pale.
"Well, get out!"
The Gryffindor turned on his heel and fled down the stairs. Albus caught
the door before it slammed against the wall. He carefully closed it
and sat down behind his desk. A tired sigh escaped him, and he wondered
what to do with Remus Lupin. He could Obliviate the boy as he had Potter,
It was already clear that the wolf had been affected by
its taste of human flesh, and the boy needed to be aware of that. He
could trust Remus to keep quiet. He wasn't suicidal, and any word of
what had happened would invariably end up with his head on the Ministry's
In the meantime, Sirius Black owed him a Life Debt. The Blacks were
influential, pureblood, and steeped in dark magic. There had been quite
an uproar when young Sirius was sorted into Gryffindor. Albus laughed
bitterly. He had had such high hopes for that boy.
There was no way this episode would not impact on the dynamics of the
four Gryffindors: it was already clear that Remus wanted nothing to
do with the others any more, and now that James had been obliviated,
he and Pettigrew would be at a loss as to what had happened. Black was
going to become at least somewhat estranged from his friends and an
obvious target... It was widely known that Voldemort was recruiting
from the young pureblood families; he would no doubt approach Sirius
Black as well. And Sirius would accept the Dark Mark. Albus would make
sure of that.
Albus sighed again, and then stood up. He had managed to glean at least
some good from this awful situation, even if it meant that no true justice
would be done for Snape. Taking some Floo powder from the jar, he lit
a fire. He would consider what to do with Snape tomorrow when the students
returned home. Now he needed to speak to Poppy and Remus, and then take
care of the last little things for tonight's Leaving Feast.
Saturday afternoon, after the students boarded the train to London
and as most of the staff started to do their own packing, Albus sat
down in his room to contemplate his unexpected guest. There had been
no manifestations the previous night - no whispering just below his
hearing - but Albus could feel an ominous weight in the air. He knew
it would not be long before Snape put in a second appearance. He sat
in his comfortable chair, Snape's scarred and charred wand on the table
in front of him. As the high summer sun shone through the window, Albus
sipped his tea and stared at the slim piece of wood. Fawkes was perched
on one of the chair's arms, and every now and then Albus would stroke
the firebird's bright red and orange plumage.
What to do? He could destroy the wand, which would leave the spirit
without a focus, and most likely without a means of staying within the
world of the living. However, it was not unheard of that a spirit that
was strong enough would be able to find its own back, and thus continue
to haunt Albus and Hogwarts. If that happened he would no longer be
bound to an anchor, and much harder to control. There were of course
spells to prevent that: spells to ensure Severus Snape would be banished
from the world of the living, and banished for good. Albus found that
he was reluctant to do such a thing.
He knew he had wronged the boy, wronged one of his students, a child
entrusted to his care. He did not regret his choice the previous day,
and would do the same if given another chance. He could not let Remus
Lupin suffer for Sirius Black's crime, even if it meant Snape's true
killer was not punished as he should have been. Albus had only done
what was necessary, and tried to make the best of a bad situation. He
felt no remorse for his decision even as he regretted that it had been
necessary. He did, however, feel for this unfortunate Slytherin.
Albus sighed. Would it not be better to set the spirit free? There
were ways to force a spirit past the veil and away from the living.
It would probably be best for the boy, not to mention the fact that
keeping a trophy of the crime was not a clever thing to do. If
anyone discovered Severus Snape's ghost
Well, Albus would be lucky
if they only fired him. Covering up murder might even land him in Azkaban;
it would definitely discredit him and cripple the fight against Voldemort.
Thus Albus spent the afternoon weighing his options, trying to decide
on the right course of action. All rational arguments pleaded in favour
of destroying the wand and banishing the spirit, but Albus was not always
a rational man. He had once been a Gryffindor, and even though over
the years he had grown to understand and appreciate the Slytherin mindset
more and more, there was still a spark left of the predilection of his
youth. In truth, he had wronged Severus Snape, and he should not wrong
the boy's spirit a second time.
Decision made, Albus cast a spell to bind the spirit to its focus,
making sure it could not escape. Then he redid his wards to prevent
ghosts from not only entering but also leaving his rooms. He would allow
Severus Snape to haunt him, but he was not about to take any chances
of somebody discovering this particular skeleton in his closet. He levitated
the wand onto one of the shelves of his bookcase and rested it next
to his personal copy of 'The Thirteen Uses of Dragon's Blood.'
The wards surrounding that tome would prevent any intruder - should
they ever manage to make it past his wards - from noticing either manuscript
Afterwards, Albus scratched Fawkes behind his crest, and left his chambers
to speak to the Heads of House and rest of the staff about what would
have to be done over the summer months in preparation of the next school
year. That night, when Severus Snape woke him from his sleep and relived
his death at the foot of Albus' bed, the headmaster watched the boy,
accepted that this burden was his penance.
The spirit's strength impressed Albus. By the beginning of the new
school year, Snape would appear at least twice a week, and often during
the daytime as well. After reliving its death, the ghost would stay
manifested for longer and longer periods of time, at first only staring
at the headmaster in confusion, and then later in anger and hatred.
Albus bore the disturbance of his sleep with equanimity, although Fawkes
did complain a bit. However, as Fawkes spent most of his days napping,
Albus disregarded it.
He did not try reasoning with the ghost. After all, so far it had hardly
been coherent for more than a few minutes, and that short time it spent
cursing Albus. The disruption of his sleep did affect him for a while,
and Minerva even remarked that he was looking particularly tired. However,
after two months, Albus was able to just turn over and sleep through
most of Snape's shrieking.
Nevertheless, there were certain limits to what Albus was prepared
to suffer as penance for his actions. When he returned to his rooms
one November afternoon to find them trashed, he did not hesitate to
throw the somehow smug-looking wand into a drawer, and lock it and
the spirit in there with the most secure of charms. Let Snape haunt
the top drawer of his desk for a while.
Cleaning up his room, repairing the ripped duvet and restoring the
books that had been thrown around, Albus could not help once more being
impressed by the spirit's power and cunning. The ghost had not shown
any signs of telekinesis before, or any indication that it might be
able to manifest itself physically. Again, it was not unheard of that
a ghost could do such a thing, but usually only after having haunted
a place for, at the very least, a century or four. Furthermore, the
ghost must have spent quite some time practising in anticipation of
this attack on his rooms. Which meant that Snape had planned this, which
in turn meant the ghost was regaining more of its consciousness, and
not just reliving its death again and again.
Albus looked at Fawkes reproachfully for not stopping Snape from destroying
his bedroom, or warning him about what the ghost was up to. However,
the fickle phoenix ignored him, preening the feathers of his wings.
Albus suspected he was going to have to watch out for the two of them.
Fawkes could be quite mischievous when he set his mind to it, and if
he and the ghost ever joined forces, Albus would never get any rest.
Almost a month passed and the Christmas holidays had arrived before
Albus remembered to free Snape from his confinement. In his defence,
he had been busy for the Order and away most of the time. But it had
taught Snape a lesson, and that was what counted. When the ghost appeared
that night, it merely manifested itself at the foot of Albus' bed, relived
its death somewhat half-heartedly before disappearing with a glare.
This time Albus wasn't so sure the ghost had really gone. He had a feeling
Snape was still hanging about the room, invisible and observing him.
Well, as long as the dead Slytherin did not destroy anything or disturb
him, Albus would let him be.
The months passed, and on the eve of that year's Leaving Feast, Albus
summoned Sirius Black to his office.
The Gryffindor had indeed kept a low profile for the past year, although
his cockiness had been returning over the past few months. Any friendship
with Remus Lupin, however, had been destroyed. The werewolf had secluded
himself from his housemates, and spent most of his time hiding in the
library. Potter had been disturbed by this development, but he and Black
had stayed close. Albus had already heard of Black's plans to leave
his family and find refuge with Potter.
However, that was not going to happen if Albus had anything to say
Black was nervous, that much was obvious, but he also seemed rather
confident. The lack of any other repercussions or punishment for his
prank had no doubt served to lull him into a sense of security.
Albus was about to burst that little bubble.
He made the boy sit in one of the chairs in front of his desk, but
remained standing himself.
"You have completed your education here at Hogwarts, Mr Black.
"Thank you, sir," the boy said somewhat smugly.
He had done as Albus had demanded, kept his head down and even applied
himself to his studies. Ever since Snape's disappearance, his grades
had steadily gone up.
Albus allowed a small smile to play on his face.
"I am sure you remember the last time you were here, and what
I said then?"
The boy nodded, warily.
"Good. Good. You see, Mr Black, Sirius, there is something I would
like from you. Something I want you to do."
Albus paused for a moment and scratched Fawkes' head. The firebird
leaned into the caress, and Albus noticed that it was paying attention
to the conversation. Normally the phoenix would ignore Albus' business.
"You will be returning to your family after tomorrow night?"
Black shook his head in denial. "No. Um. James has offered to
let me stay with him."
Albus smiled genially, but his voice was like steel. "Oh, I apologize.
Did I phrase that as a question? You will be returning to Grimmauld
Place tomorrow night, Sirius."
"Sir?" There was alarm on the boy's face, and he watched
the headmaster's every move as Albus left Fawkes and walked up to him.
Albus rested his hands on the arms of Sirius' chair and leaned forward.
He brought his face down to Black's level, making the boy back away
and press himself into the cushions.
"You belong to me, Sirius Black.
"You are responsible for the death of one of my students, and
you recklessly endangered the life of another. You have not been punished,
but do not think that means you will not pay. You will return to your
parent's house, and you will live up to your family name, Mr Black.
"Yes, I know all about your family, Sirius. I know what will be
waiting for you. Who will be waiting for you."
Sirius had become deathly pale, and was shaking his head in denial.
"You don't understand, Headmaster .They'll want me to join You-Know-Who!
They want me to become a Death Eater!"
"That's what I'm counting on, boy," Albus hissed. He gripped
Black's left arm and shoved the boy's sleeve back, baring the pristine
skin of his forearm. "You will return to me before the summer's
end, and you will return to me with the Dark Mark burnt into your flesh.
"You owe me a Life Debt, Sirius Black, and I am ordering you to
join Voldemort. You will pledge your allegiance to him, and then you
will come to me, stealthily, and tell me all you learn. You will ingratiate
yourself with Voldemort; you will win his trust and the trust of his
closest servants. You will become one of his closest servants,
and you will report everything you discover to me."
"No!" Sirius tried to pull his arm free from the headmaster's
grip, but Albus merely grabbed his other hand and forced it onto the
armrest as well. He caught the boy's legs between his own and held them
tight, preventing Black from kicking him. Like most pureblood wizards,
Black was not used to being physically restrained without the aid of
magic, and Albus was well aware of the distress this caused. It also
served to emphasize his own strength and remind the boy that, while
Albus might be a very old man, he was not a wizard to be trifled with.
"I won't! You can't make me!"
Black was struggling to get free. His wand remained useless in one
of the pockets of his robes, and Albus just tightened his hold on the
boy's arms, leaving bruises.
"Can't I, Mr Black?" Albus held the boy's gaze, keeping the
Gryffindor trapped in the chair with his body, and the power of his
presence and magic.
"If you tell anybody about Remus, they'll know you covered it
up! You'd be punished too!" the boy tried desperately, and Albus
nearly laughed at this pitiful attempt at blackmail.
"Oh, you need not worry about your friend, Sirius. Or myself,
for that matter. What happened in the Shrieking Shack last year will
remain known only to the three of us. Where is your proof? And would
you so willingly testify if it means that Remus is beheaded, or that
you are imprisoned? No matter what my enemies might promise you, your
confession will not keep you safe, not from the Ministry, and certainly
not from me.
"You owe me a Life Debt, Sirius Black, and are thus bound to do
what I say. I would not worry about Azkaban or Dementors, or even Voldemort,
boy. I am a far more dangerous foe than any of them." He brought
his mouth to Black's ear, his voice quieting to a whisper as his hands
left finger print bruises around the boy's wrists, bruises in the still
unmarked skin. "I expect you to do anything and everything necessary
to gain Voldemort's favour and trust. You will return to me and
reveal his plans. If you do not join the Death Eaters, I guarantee you
will not live to see the end of summer. Try and double-cross me, and
I guarantee you will wish you were dead. Do not try me."
Albus released the boy, and stepped back. Black was deathly pale and
stared at him in horror, making no move to escape.
"In exchange for your
co-operation, I will protect you
from the Aurors and see that you go free when Voldemort is defeated.
You will have paid the Life Debt when Voldemort has been destroyed permanently."
There was a greenish tinge to Black's pallor, and it looked as if he
wanted to throw up. However, the boy knew better than to anger the headmaster
"Do you understand?"
A slight nod of Black's head.
"I said: do you understand me?"
"Yes, sir. Crystal clear," Black answered hoarsely, and he
averted his eyes again.
"I expect you to report to me no later than August 31st. Good
luck, Mr Black."
The boy gave him a sickly smile and stood up, shakily making his way
to the door. "Thank you, Headmaster."
Albus smiled, and held the door open for the boy.
"You're welcome. Let me accompany you to the Great Hall. It is
dinner time, I believe."
When Albus returned to his quarters later that evening, he found Fawkes
on his perch and Snape's ghost standing silently in front of the window.
The spirit just looked at him, for once silent and not hurling abuse
or reliving his death in gruesome detail. Albus raised an eyebrow in
query, but when no reply was forthcoming, he ignored Snape as he usually
did, and got ready for bed.
"Is that why you didn't punish him? You planned to use Black as
a spy?" It was a menacing, accusing hiss.
Albus looked back in surprise from the open doors of his wardrobe.
This was the first time Snape had actually spoken to him. Until now,
the spirit had only cursed the headmaster. Now it was obviously waiting
for an answer.
"I did not punish Mr Black then because it would have revealed
Remus Lupin's condition to the Ministry, and the poor boy would have
been put down."
"As he should have been!" Snape shrieked, and Albus could
see the ghost forcefully trying to remain calm. Slashes on the back
of his robes opened, and silver blood sprayed the windowpane, but nothing
"Remus Lupin knew nothing of what Mr Black planned to do; he is
just as innocent as you were."
Snape laughed bitterly. "Always protecting your precious Gryffindors,
aren't you? Who cares about the Slytherins, about greasy Snivellus
Snape? You certainly didn't, Headmaster!"
"I merely tried to make the best of a very bad situation, Severus.
I could do nothing to save you, but I could save Remus. That I cannot
regret doing. As for Sirius Black, he might not be in Azkaban, but he
is paying for his crime."
The ghost snorted. "For justice to be done it must be seen."
Then he disappeared, although Albus knew he had not left.
With a tired sigh, Albus got into bed and tried to get some sleep.
When Snape woke him for the third time that night with his shrieking
and screaming, Albus put up a general silencing charm before burrowing
deeper into the blankets.
The fear of Albus Dumbledore proved to make Sirius Black an excellent
spy. Albus did not doubt that when Black ranted about him to the Dark
Lord, he was entirely sincere. The information he provided was invaluable;
they had discovered the identity of more important Death Eaters and
un-Marked spies over the course of one year than in the previous five.
Albus did not know what Sirius did to ingratiate himself to Voldemort,
and frankly, he did not care. He saw the haunted look in the young man's
eyes, noted the stiffness with which he often moved, but the information
was always good, and that was all that mattered.
It was fortunate that they had finally managed to infiltrate the Death
Eater ranks with a spy. Especially now the Dark Lord had intensified
his senseless campaign against Muggles and all non-pureblood wizards.
Although pureblood families like the Weasleys and Potters were not safe
either because they openly defied Voldemort. Albus did what he could
at Hogwarts to prevent more students from joining the Dark Lord, but
Voldemort was a master at luring the young and foolish away. The headmaster
sadly saw nearly all his Slytherins choosing the wrong side.
Most of the time busy with the Order, Albus left the bulk of his school
duties to Minerva, and he was extremely grateful for the deputy-headmistress'
untiring work. While she saw to the details of running Hogwarts, Albus
could work with Alastor and the other Order members as they tried to
turn the tide in the war against Voldemort. Although Alastor protested,
Albus often accompanied the Auror on reconnaissance missions. He was
old, but not too old, thank you very much.
However, even with Sirius' intelligence, things were not looking well.
The papers were filled nearly daily with reports of another Death Eater
attack; another family of non-pureblood wizards and witches murdered,
another senseless slaughter of unsuspecting Muggles. The Dark Mark seemed
ever-present in the sky. Times were stressful, and Albus was starting
to feel the strain.
Snape was now a permanent addition to his rooms, visible or not. Most
of the time, the ghost just silently watched the headmaster. He had
not spoken to Albus since that first time. Although there were no more
incidents of vandalism, Albus did begin to notice that things would
go missing and turn up in unexpected places. It was a morning ritual
to wake up and not find his glasses on the bedside table. Albus would
grumble as he searched the room for them, but in a way, he enjoyed the
distraction from more worrisome issues.
The ghost was obviously testing his boundaries, testing Albus' limits
and patience. Snape learnt not to bother the headmaster on nights that
things were going particularly badly; on nights that Albus wished he
could just drink an entire bottle of his brother's fire whisky and forget.
A week in a desk drawer proved to be a most effective deterrent.
Although Snape did not talk to him, Albus found himself speaking to
the ghost. Small things at first: details of his day, student pranks
and teachers' gossip. Nothing he had not once shared with Fawkes. Unlike
the phoenix - who was a decidedly bad listener most of the time - Snape
listened and watched Albus with those dark eyes that were usually filled
with anger and resentment, but more and more with curiosity and interest
The headmaster began talking about the Order and the war against Voldemort
- began sharing his thoughts - in the secure knowledge that Snape would
never be able to reveal them to anybody else. Snape listened, and that
was enough. Once, Albus asked whether the Slytherin had been approached
by the Dark Lord, whether he had been planning to become a Death Eater.
Snape had laughed, making the headmaster look up in surprise. It was
extremely rare for the ghost to react to anything he said, let alone
answer any question Albus might pose.
"I wasn't popular enough to be asked in school; Lucius made that
clear in fourth year. But yes, if I had lived, I would have joined in
a heartbeat had they approached me. Anything to see you dead,
Albus was well aware of Snape's hatred of him, but it still stung slightly
to hear the sentiment spoken aloud, even if he did not show it. Instead,
he just smiled genially, eyes twinkling. "Well then, I guess it
is just as well you didn't. Survive that is."
Snape's eyes widened in surprise, then narrowed in rage, and he shrieked
at the injustice, treating Albus to the full, detailed experience of
his untimely demise. Albus just returned his attention to the paperwork
in front of him with a smirk.
Times were stressful, and Albus found he was grateful to have Snape
as an unwilling roommate, as an unwilling and unexpected confidant.
He refused to be bothered by the ghost's small pranks and tricks, and
bore them with equanimity, although he was quick to lock Snape in his
drawer when the ghost crossed the line.
Tonight, however, Albus' patience and tolerance were particularly low.
One ghostly foot out of line would see Snape confined to that drawer
quicker than he could open his mouth to shriek.
Alastor had disappeared two days earlier. His house had been destroyed,
and the Dark Mark hovering above the ruins left no doubt as to the identity
of his abductors. Albus had spent the last forty-eight hours with the
other Order members, desperately searching for his friend and cursing
Sirius for not warning him about this attack. A few hours earlier, the
missing Auror had finally been found; or rather, deposited, on the doorstep
of St. Mungo's.
Finally, safe in the sanctuary of his rooms, Albus was unable to stop
his hands from shaking as he remembered the state of his dear friend.
Monsters. The headmaster's face contorted in grief, and he ran
shaking hands through his beard and long, silvery hair. They had mutilated
Alastor, had amputated his left leg with - according to the doctors
- a hacksaw. Most likely while Alastor was conscious. They had gouged
out his right eye, and disfigured his face with what could only have
been an iron brand. He had been whipped and cut and raped, and the doctors
had said they were unsure he would awake from the shock-induced coma.
But Albus knew Alastor, knew his friend would survive and outlive them
all. And when he awoke, Albus would be there to help make those bastards
In the meantime, Albus grieved for his friend, while at the same time
he felt elation and relief that Alastor was alive and safe. There was
regret and self-recrimination as well that he had been unable to prevent
this, that he had been unable to protect one of his oldest and dearest
friends from this horrible fate. Albus needed an outlet for all his
emotions and frustration. He needed to do something to calm down, to
regain control of his emotions so that he would be able to catch Alastor's
torturers and see them wishing they were dead.
Albus gracelessly dropped down onto the edge of his bed, pulling up
his robes. He fumbled with the buttons of his trousers and freed himself.
There was a measure of peace to be found in physical release, even
if Albus had not sought it for a long time. As the years passed, he
had simply lost interest in such things; it had not been a conscious
choice or development, but simply something he had one day realised
he did not find as interesting or appealing as he used to. Nevertheless,
it could still serve a purpose; he knew the power of sex on the mind
and the psyche, how a purely physical action could calm the spirit and
- at least for a while - ease the grief. And so Albus closed one hand
around his cock and started pumping his member, slowly coaxing his old
flesh to hardness. His eyes were closed as he lay back on the bedding.
Switching hands for a moment, he searched the bedside table for the
jar of moisturiser he usually used for his hands, and scooped out a
liberal amount. He slathered the slick cream onto his prick, and groaned
as the dry friction muted into pleasure even as tears sprang to his
The fingers of his left hand started tracing patterns on his ball sac,
then caressed the globes within as his jerking picked up slightly in
speed. Albus turned his head to the side, as if unable to watch what
he was doing, and he kept his eyes closed tightly. He tasted salt in
his mouth as tears wet his beard. Groaning, the headmaster concentrated
on the feel of impending orgasm in his body. He forgot everything but
the physical sensation, and humped into his tight fist. So close. So
A soft sound made Albus open his eyes, and he looked toward Fawkes'
perch. The phoenix had turned his back to give him some privacy, but
next to him stood Snape's ghost, watching Albus with glittering black
"Jerking off to the memory of your Auror-lover, Albus?" the
boy hissed maliciously.
"Not now, Severus." There was a note of finality in the headmaster's
voice. Snape heeded the warning and stayed silent.
Albus looked away again, concentrating on the movement of his hands.
He rubbed circles over his cock-head with the pad of his thumb, teasing
the slit, and thrust into his fist, until with a cry he came. Semen
spilled over his hand onto his belly, his robes, and the sheets. Albus
ignored the mess, stroking himself through orgasm until it became too
painful to keep touching himself. Then he released his flaccid member
and stared up at the ceiling as his breathing slowly returned to normal.
A movement from the corner of his eye made Albus look aside and he
watched Snape gliding through the air toward him, boldly staring. Albus
felt too tired, too exhausted - mentally and physically - to do anything
but return the ghost's stare. He was not ashamed of himself, and these
were his rooms. Therefore, he made no move to clean up or tuck himself
Snape reached the edge of the bed and hovered in the air, slowly moving
up Albus' body. He let his eyes wander over the headmaster's naked,
spent flesh, a sneer curling his lips. The ghost's proximity made Albus'
skin tingle and break out in goosebumps, and Albus shivered. Still he
said nothing, just lay there instead, letting Snape look at him.
Albus realised the spirit was probably just testing the limits of his
patience and tolerance, trying to take advantage of the fact that he
had caught Albus in this rare unguarded moment. He should put a stop
to this right now, but then Snape somehow managed to materialise sufficiently
to press his lips to Albus'.
He was not prepared for the dizzy rush this caused. The way his lips
became numb, and he opened his mouth to gasp for air, pulling it from
- through - Snape. It was hard to think with his limbs and his mind
still heavy from orgasm. Albus found himself swiping his tongue across
Snape's still closed lips and then between them and into the ghost's
mouth. They stared at each other as their tongues met and fought. Snape's
touch was cold, but not unpleasant. Every now and then, the ghost became
insubstantial as it lost its focus and physical presence for a moment.
The kiss sent pleasant shivers through Albus' body that seemed to concentrate
in his cock, miraculously making it twitch and show an interest in the
Albus' reaction must have frustrated the ghost for Snape's kiss became
more savage, and he bit at Albus' lips and tongue. Without thinking,
Albus grasped Snape's shoulder in retaliation, using his magic to ensure
the ghost materialized there as well, and he flipped the two of them
over, pinning the boy beneath him. Snape gave a startled cry and disappeared,
reappearing next to Fawkes who had turned around to watch the two of
them in amusement. The ghost stared at Albus with wide eyes, apprehensive
Albus was panting and confused. He felt out of his depth, and ran a
shaky hand through his beard, grimacing at the way his semen had made
it stick together. He looked away from Snape, and reached for his wand
in order to cast a quick cleaning charm before putting his robes in
order. When it could no longer be put off, he looked back up at the
"Severus, I am sorry, I -"
Snape was glaring at him now, but there was a hint of triumph on his
face. Triumph and satisfaction that he had managed to unnerve Albus
so. However, he made no move to approach Albus again and seemed ready
to disappear the moment Albus made any sudden movements.
With a sigh, Albus stood up. What a mess. He would deal with it later.
First, he had to locate Sirius Black. His spy had some explaining to
Now that the boundary of physical intimacy had been crossed, Snape
seemed determined to unnerve and torment Albus in this way. Albus was
at a loss to know what to do. Any protestation from his side would only
encourage the ghost into thinking it had found a weakness to exploit,
and he found himself reluctant to confine Snape to his desk drawer again.
Besides, he was unsure whether that approach would work this time. Perhaps
if he ignored the ghost's advances Snape would lose interest and stop.
However, Albus doubted whether his intentions were that honest or pure.
The war against Voldemort was not going well. In a way, it was relaxing
to be able to forget about it all when he entered his rooms, and instead
concentrate on this game of chicken Snape was determined to play. It
was proving to be a distraction Albus was only too glad to accept.
After the decades of celibacy, Albus discovered that his libido had
returned with a vengeance. He had lived like some kind of monk for nearly
a lifetime, but apparently he had been fooling himself about that as
well. He had not lost interest in the physical, only suppressed it.
And now that he was offered this chance at intimacy and physical companionship,
he was loath not to take it. Even if that companion was the ghost of
a former student whom he kept prisoner in his rooms.
Allowing Snape to do this, doing this to Snape, it was wrong. He should
not even be thinking about it, should never have let it get this far.
However, more and more students were returning to the school with a
skull and snake tattoo. More and more Muggleborn students did not return
at all, the Dark Mark hanging above the remains of their homes. The
Ministry was falling into chaos as more and more people spoke up urging
the Ministry to give into Voldemort's demands, to do anything, give
anything to stop the near daily attacks. The days of Grindelwald - days
that Albus had thought and foolishly hoped long gone - had returned,
and they were fighting a losing battle. Everything was wrong, and Albus
found he could not stop himself from indulging, from allowing himself
this one vice.
So again, he lied to himself. Snape had made the first move. If he
had still been alive, he would have been eighteen and no longer his
student. If this was what the ghost wanted then who was Albus to deny
him this? As long as Snape was willing...
It started with cold touches that woke him from his sleep. A ghostly
hand ran down his back unhindered by his nightwear, raising goosebumps
all along his spine. To Snape's frustration, Albus just turned onto
his other side and ignored it. After that, it did not take long for
the ghost's touches to become bolder, moving to his front and rubbing
his nipples. This, too, Albus ignored, until finally one night Snape's
hands began to stray downward.
Albus awoke to the feel of cold, ghostly hands caressing his cock,
sending shivers up and down his spine. He opened his eyes, and saw Severus
hovering above him, staring at him with that dark gaze. His hands disappeared
into the sheets, only manifesting on Albus' cock beneath his nightshirt.
Albus shifted into the touch with a sigh. Snape frowned.
"You're enjoying this, aren't you? Pervert!" he bit out and
his grip tightened, making Albus wince. However, Albus made no move
to escape those cruel fingers. Instead he reached up and - using his
magic to make Snape manifest entirely - grabbed the ghost's shoulder
and rolled them over, trapping the ghost beneath him. This time he did
not let Snape escape, did not let the ghost become incorporeal again,
and for a moment they stayed locked in stalemate. Snape released his
tight grip on Albus' cock. With a smile, Albus released the magical
hold preventing the ghost from escaping.
"Afraid to finish what you've started, Severus?" Albus said
as the ghost made to disappear. Snape, who had already moved from under
Albus and was retreating from the bed, stopped and glared. Albus pretended
to ignore him as he cast a quick 'Lumos' and then sat up against
Snape hesitated, but returned to the bed - and Albus - cautiously.
This time Albus made no move to touch the ghost, no move to force him
to manifest, no move to restrain him. With a look of distaste on his
face, Snape moved his hand through the covers and Albus' nightshirt,
closing his fingers around Albus' rapidly awakening erection again.
Albus let his eyes drift shut and enjoyed the inexpert stroking. It
had been such a long time since he had felt the touch of another on
his flesh, and he had never before attempted something like this with
"Not so high and mighty are you now, Albus?" Snape
hissed, and Albus looked up. The ghost's face was close to his, dark
eyes filled with fire.
Albus just closed his eyes again as he arched into the fist around
his hard cock. Snape's touch was cold and made his flesh tingle. Every
now and then Snape would lose his focus, becoming ephemeral again. The
sensation of thrusting into Snape's hand was unlike anything
Albus had ever experienced. He moaned 'more' and 'harder', as he enjoyed
the ghost's touch, which was rapidly becoming more confident. He made
no effort to hide his enjoyment or arousal, and Snape was so preoccupied
with what he was doing that he didn't notice Albus watching him. Albus
watched the gleeful look of triumph on the ghost's face at his apparent
power over Albus' body.
When Albus finally came, Snape quickly retreated to the edge of the
bed and out of Albus' reach. There he remained hovering in the air with
a smug look on his face as he watched Albus slowly recover from orgasm.
Albus waved a slightly shaky hand through the air, casting a quick cleaning
charm, and then met the ghost's eyes without flinching.
"You actually want me, don't you, old man?" Severus sneered,
but Albus ignored the ghost's hateful words. He smiled, leaned forward,
and reached out a hand to cup Snape's cheek. The ghost watched Albus
warily, but allowed the touch, focussing enough to give Albus' fingers
some resistance and the cool feel of smooth skin.
"What's not to want, Severus?" Albus said, and carefully
kissed him. Again Snape allowed it, keeping his eyes open and watching
Albus' every move. Albus pressed his tongue between Snape's lips, startling
the ghost and making him retreat hastily to the corner that held Fawkes'
perch. The phoenix had woken up, and was watching the two of them with
unconcealed amusement. With a smile that turned into a smirk when he
turned his back to the ghost, Albus pulled the blankets up, and went
back to sleep, feeling more content and relaxed than he had in a very
Despite Snape's skittishness, the ghost's smug triumph at having 'power'
over Albus was evident. Albus did nothing to dissuade Snape from this
belief. He accepted the ghost's touch eagerly, hungrily, and slowly
worked at pushing Snape's limits while Snape was convinced he was pushing
Albus'. It was a worthy challenge - one that Albus was more than up
to - and a very welcome distraction from the reality outside his private
He did some research to find out the possible side-effects to having
sex with a ghost, and was not surprised to find quite a number of books
on the subject. His suspicions that Snape was unusually powerful for
a ghost were confirmed, and he had no doubt that it was in part due
to the fact Snape's anchor was his own wand. His violent death, the
fact his killers had not seen justice and Snape's potential as a wizard
when he'd been alive had definitely contributed to the ghost's power
During his readings, Albus stumbled upon an ancient text that indicated
that if a ghost 'took into himself life's essence' he would effectively
be able to drain another wizard of some of his power, hence the origin
of myths of creatures such as succubi and vampires. Albus brought this
book back with him to his rooms, and he casually left it open - at the
page in question - on his desk.
That night, Snape kissed and touched him with such passion and dedication
that, by the time the Slytherin began sucking his cock, Albus would
have found it near impossible to resist if he had actually wanted to.
Albus was not worried about Snape stealing his magic so he became weaker.
He was a powerful wizard, and the bonds he had forged between himself
and the ghost over the past few years would make it impossible for Snape
to harm him. Besides, the drain on his magic should be slight and temporary,
easily recovered from. The only real benefit Snape would gain from it,
as far as Albus could tell, would be the ability to manifest himself
physically for a longer period of time and more easily, which would
only be to Albus' advantage. Although Albus doubted the ghost realised
The smug look on Snape's face after Albus had come made him smile with
fond amusement. When he reached out to the Slytherin, Snape readily
floated into his arms to kiss.
It was easy to ignore Snape's gloating and taunting that he was a 'pervert'
and a 'dirty old man'. Albus let the ghost have his triumph, let him
come to believe he now held the headmaster in his thrall. And after
two months, Albus deemed the time finally ripe to encourage Snape to
take their relationship one step further.
There had been a lull in the Death Eater attacks, but Albus knew it
was just the calm before the storm. He had spoken to the Potters earlier
that day, attempting to convince them to go into hiding. James, however,
was being difficult, insisting that Sirius be their Secret-Keeper. How
Black had managed to stay friends with Potter and still appease the
Dark Lord, Albus did not know. However, he trusted Sirius to be able
to convince Potter to choose somebody else, somebody trustworthy. Whatever
the case, Albus retired to his quarters that evening with a great sense
of relief, glad to escape the outside world and instead concentrate
on completing Snape's seduction.
When he entered his rooms, he found Snape sitting on the windowsill,
stroking Fawkes' feathers. Over the years, the phoenix and the ghost
had become close and appeared to have formed some kind of friendship.
Albus was certain Fawkes communicated things occurring outside the headmaster's
bedroom to the ghost, and he supposed Fawkes was no doubt grateful for
the ghost's companionship as well: between the school and Voldemort,
Albus did not have nearly half as much time to spend with his familiar
as he had in the past.
Albus closed his doors, putting up the additional night wards, and
then started to undress.
"An early night, Headmaster?"
Albus smiled as he pulled a nightshirt over his naked body before getting
into bed. "It has been a long day, Severus," he replied, turning
off the lights with a wave of his hand. He settled into bed on his side,
and waited patiently. As he had expected, he soon felt the telltale
cool tingle of Snape's presence as the ghost rested on the bed behind
"Do you really want to sleep, Dumbledore?" Snape whispered
in his ear.
"I am tired, Severus."
The ghost ignored this, and moved roaming hands over Albus' shoulders
and down his chest, touching Albus' skin through the nightshirt. Albus
sighed and turned onto his back; Snape lowered his mouth so they could
kiss. Tangling his hands in Snape's black hair, the ghostly strands
twining around and sometimes through his fingers, Albus let his other
hand move over Snape's back. By now, Snape had enough skill and strength
to materialise completely and maintain sufficient focus for extended
periods of time. However, it was still rare that Snape would allow Albus
to touch him, and he could feel the ghost still in his arms. He broke
the kiss, and stopped Snape's hand that had moved to grasp his erection.
"Let me see you, Severus."
The ghost hesitated, and the wary look had returned to his eyes.
"I want to do something for you." As he spoke, Albus sent
a tendril of his magic into the ghost, and Snape shivered in surprised
pleasure. He swallowed nervously, and with the blink of an eye, the
ghost's student robes had vanished. Albus kept a hand on Snape's shoulder,
using his own magic to make sure the Slytherin remained tangible.
It was the first time Albus had been granted a look at his former student's
naked body, and he admired the sharp angles and long limbs. There were
faint silvery lines criss-crossing the ghost's entire body, and only
now did Albus notice the lines on Snape's face as well. It took him
a moment to recognise them as an intricate pattern of scars: the faded
signs of Snape's violent death at the werewolf's jaws and claws. Before
Snape could notice Albus' distraction - Albus did not want to remind
Snape of the injustice done to him - he cast a quick spell to remove
his own clothing. Another first, until now Snape had pleasured Albus
through his clothes. Snape pressed a hand against Albus' chest, pushing
him onto his back again.
"What would your precious Gryffindors say if they saw you now,
Headmaster? Lusting for me, a ghost, a Slytherin, a student!"
Albus just smiled and pulled Snape down for another kiss, silencing
the spiteful words.
"Oh yes, I want you, Severus," he whispered against the ghost's
lips, trailing the tips of his fingers over the ghost's erection and
then down behind his balls. Snape stilled beneath his touch, but made
no move to escape. "I want to be in you, feel you around me. Will
you let me?"
There was definite alarm on Snape's face now, and Albus sent another
tendril of his magic into the ghost as he pretended to be oblivious
to the doubt and bliss warring within Snape.
"Please," he pushed a finger into Snape's tight hole, surprised
by the warmth as opposed to the ghost's otherwise cold touch. He gently
turned them over, manoeuvring Snape onto his back and beneath him.
"I - I don't -"
So cocky only moments ago, Snape was wriggling uncomfortably now, eyes
wide open and staring at Albus apprehensively. Albus' magic kept him
solid, although the headmaster made certain not to tie the ghost to
the physical realm. Snape could disappear and escape, if he wanted to.
The ghost had to want this too, had to be willing.
Albus kissed Snape again as he added a second finger into the boy's
arse. Snape's ghostly flesh tightened around them; he was so warm and
soft inside. Albus ached to bury himself inside the ghost.
"I want to spend myself inside you, Severus," he whispered
in Snape's ear, a seemingly innocuous reminder of the side effects,
the benefits Snape could reap if he allowed this. "Please."
Snape bit his lip and then nodded, spreading his legs and accepting
a third digit as he closed his eyes to hide the wild look in them. Albus
could not stop the brief triumph from showing on his face, but fortunately
Snape missed it.
He reached for the jar of lotion on the bedside table. Snape was watching
him again with eyes wide as Albus coated his aching erection with the
viscous substance, wriggling on the fingers that impaled him. Albus
made sure to keep a hand on the ghost, using his own magic to ensure
Snape remained physically manifested. He freed his fingers and urged
Snape to turn over and get up on his hands and knees. That pale back
- criss-crossed with silvery lines - and those smooth buttocks were
the most enticing sight Albus had seen in a long time. He let his eyes
roam Snape's forever youthful body as he positioned his cock against
Snape's twitching hole.
Snape gripped the sheets and hung his head down, averting his face
from Albus' gaze and otherwise obscuring it beneath a curtain of black
hair. Albus spared a moment to wonder whether a ghost could still experience
pain, but then he was pressing steadily and slowly into the surprising
warmth of Snape's body. It was unlike anything Albus had ever experienced
or expected, and by the time Albus was seated balls deep within the
ghost he was already panting. Shivers racked his body, gooseflesh breaking
out on his skin everywhere he was touching the ghost. He pressed a kiss
to the nape of Snape's neck, and tried to place the unique smell - the
unique taste of magic - that was just Severus.
"Sweet Severus," he whispered, and carefully pulled out of
the shaking body beneath him. He sheathed himself a second time with
slightly more force, and Snape gasped, bracing himself against the headboard
now. Albus set up a slow rhythm. He stared at his shaking hand in surprise
when he reached out to push Snape's black hair aside. The ghost looked
back over his shoulder, eyes still wide, but there was a flash of satisfaction
nonetheless when he saw how this was affecting the old wizard. When
Albus leaned in to kiss his lips, Snape breathed in, stealing his breath
Sooner than he expected, Albus found himself losing control, breathing
raggedly and thrusting wildly into Snape. And this time, unlike all
the times Snape had sucked him off, this time he could feel the drain
on his magic, on his power. It was a noticeable strain, a tugging link
that made him dizzy, and his vision black out for a moment. For the
first time since he had decided to embark on this seduction, Albus wondered
whether this had been such a good idea after all. His heart was pounding,
and exhausted, Albus collapsed to his side, pulling Snape with him.
He kept his arms around the ghost, grateful that Snape made no move
Mind racing with contingency plans, Albus reached down to caress Snape's
swollen prick. Until now, the ghost had pleasured him and shied away
from letting Albus touch him. It said something about Snape's state
of mind that he silently arched into Albus' hand. Snape's skin was soft
and cold. When he came, the only indication was the look of rapture
on his face and his arse tightening around Albus' limp cock, which was
still nestled inside the ghost, squeezing just a little more magic and
life from him.
They were silent for a long time. Albus closed his eyes as he finally
slipped free. He felt tired and drained, filled with a lethargic exhaustion,
and his hammering heart was finally returning to a more sedate pace.
He did not doubt it would take him more than just a few hours to recover
from this little escapade. In hindsight, this had not been a good idea
at all, and he pondered ways to avert Snape's suspicions, ways to prevent
the ghost from realising Albus' mistake. Just as he was about to speak,
however, Snape abruptly pulled away, dressing himself in his robes with
the blink of an eye.
"You've been playing me for a fool!" Snape was obviously
too distracted by this insight to realise the lack of effort it took
to retain his physical form. "You made me think you couldn't resist
me, and I fell right for it!" There was a bitter edge to Snape's
voice, and he glared hatefully at Albus. "And now you've manipulated
me into giving you this!" Snape's voice broke and silver blood
began to seep through the tears in his robes, darkening the bedcovers.
Albus quickly took the boy's hand and pulled him back into his arms,
ignoring the ghostly feel of blood as he tried to prevent Snape from
losing control and reliving his death again.
"I do care for you, Severus. And I do want you; I thought that
would be obvious," he kissed Snape's thin lips, and pulled the
blankets over both of them. "Next time - if you still want to that
is - you can top."
Snape's frown lessened, but he still looked at Albus suspiciously.
Albus tucked the boy's head against his chest, beneath his chin, and
stroked the silky black hair. He was tired, but felt sated as well.
A good night's rest and an easy day tomorrow, should see him recovered.
Snape was too angry to realise the true revelation of their coupling,
and would undoubtedly be sufficiently distracted and mollified by the
prospect of fucking Albus Dumbledore. Albus had to confess the idea
held appeal. He glanced aside at his ghostly lover and saw that Snape
had fallen asleep. The magic and energy he had gained kept him from
losing his physical form, and should dissipate by morning. In the meantime,
Albus' bed and arms would not be empty throughout the night. He pressed
his lips to Snape's cheek, and then settled in to sleep as well.
Snape seemed resigned to the fact this approach had backfired and he
would not succeed in tormenting Albus this way. To Albus' relief he
did appear interested in maintaining this new aspect of their relationship
nonetheless, and he allowed himself to think that Snape had become fond
of him as well. Whether or not he had, it did not stop the ghost from
continuing to test the limits of Albus' patience and indulgence, and
he soon resorted to other methods in an attempt to unnerve and upset
His growing power as a ghost - in part due to the simple passage of
time and in part due to their continued sexual relationship - allowed
him to change his appearance at will. The first time Snape did his 'Oh-Merlin-I'm-Dying'
routine while they were having sex, Albus was slightly startled, but
after having lived for so long and seen a Dark Lord rise and fall, it
would take more than the sight of Snape going down on him with his throat
torn out to unnerve Albus Dumbledore. Appearing as a decaying corpse
was just as unsuccessful. Snape finally gave up this line of attack
when morphing into a maimed Alastor Moody only made Albus smile and
kiss him with even more passion.
After that, Snape returned to hiding Albus' glasses every morning,
dog-earing the wrong pages in whatever book Albus was reading, and other
minor pranks. Albus indulged the ghost and made sure to mutter complaints
as he searched for his glasses when a simple 'Accio' would have
sufficed. He suspected Snape was aware that Albus was indulging him,
but the ghost seemed content enough with the situation, and if that
was all it took to keep Snape eager in his bed, well
The war against Voldemort raged, and Albus was always grateful and
relieved when he could retire to his rooms and Snape's company, in and
out of his bed.
It was with a great sense of relief that Albus closed the door to his
"Voldemort is dead. For the moment at least," he told Severus,
who was hovering next to Fawkes.
"Congratulations," was the disinterested reply, and the ghost
continued to watch the phoenix preen his feathers.
"He found the Potters, and killed James and Lily."
At this, Severus did look up with interest. Albus ignored the brief
flash of glee on the ghost's face.
"For some reason the killing curse rebounded when he attempted
to kill young Harry. I have placed the baby with his relatives. It is
best to let the boy grow up without the fame, and the ties of blood
will provide the best protection from any Death Eaters who may want
"At least you're not giving the child to Black. Isn't he the boy's
Godfather? Potter always was thick, but even I can't believe he never
realised his best friend was a Death Eater."
Albus snorted. "I would never leave a child in Sirius Black's
care, let alone the Boy-Who-Lived. Besides, Sirius is in Azkaban at
the moment. Aurors found him at Godric's Hollow, and well, with the
Dark Mark on his arm
"Black's in Azkaban?" Severus interrupted abruptly, excitement
clear on his face.
Albus passed a tired hand over his face and dropped into the comfortable
chair next to the fire. "Yes. I will have to get him out tomorrow,
of course. Voldemort has only been temporarily defeated. He will return;
I can feel it. When he does, I will need my spy again.
"I think I will give Black the Potions position. Marcus is retiring
in a few months anyway, and it will be the easiest way to keep an eye
The sudden and complete silence from the other side of the room, made
Albus look up. Severus was staring at him in wide-eyed disbelief, already
trembling with rage.
"You're going to free Black? When he's finally where he belongs!
Make him Potions professor?! He was the worst student in professor
Maynard's class. Sirius Black can't brew a simple wart-removing potion
to save his life!"
Severus' voice went up in pitch, and Albus saw that the slashes in
the back of his robes were already widening. This was not what he had
planned to come home to, and he did not want to have to deal with the
ghost's histrionics for the foreseeable future. So he stood up and walked
to Severus, placing his hand on the boy's shoulder. However, Severus
refused to materialise, and Albus' hand passed right through him.
"You must understand: Black is too valuable as a spy and leaving
him in Azkaban would destroy him."
"Good! He deserves to rot!" Severus shouted, and disappeared,
indicating that as far as he was concerned this conversation was over.
Albus looked to Fawkes for support, but the phoenix just continued
to preen his wing feathers, pretending to ignore Albus. He glanced around
the room in an attempt to locate the ghost, but Severus had become increasingly
skilled at evading Albus' notice. Albus sighed.
"Come on, Severus. Don't be like this."
"What if I leave him in Azkaban for a month?" he asked the
"A year at the very least!" Severus snapped from beside the
bookcase, near his wand.
Albus sat on the side of the bed. "Sirius would not be able to
stand more than two months with the Dementors. I need him sane."
He paused, but Severus remained invisible. "I'll top tonight,"
he added in a last ditch effort to appease the ghost.
Severus appeared, still translucent.
He had belatedly realised the effects of having Albus fuck him, and
been trying hard to seduce him into doing it again. Albus had steadfastly
refused: with Voldemort at large and wreaking havoc, he could not afford
such a drain on his powers. However, for the moment, that threat was
gone. Albus could afford to be generous; he could afford to indulge
them both. It was the weekend, and it seemed he did not need to go into
the Ministry tomorrow after all.
Severus floated toward him, gliding onto Albus' lap and then manifesting
himself physically. "And you will leave Black in Azkaban for at
least two months?"
Albus nodded and kissed him.
Afterwards, he lay panting on the bed, dizzy and sated. Severus positively
crackled with energy, but sat there playing with Albus' beard. Albus
reached up and laid a possessive hand on Severus' shoulder, pulling
him down and against him.
"You will be the death of me yet, Severus Snape," he said
with a tired laugh as he pressed a kiss to Severus' forehead.
Severus settled into his embrace easily, resting his head on Albus'
"That's the idea," he muttered, which only made Albus smile
and tighten his hold on his lover.
Albus slammed the door to his rooms and started pacing. He had rarely
ever been this angry. If he faced the infuriating man in this condition,
well, Albus would not be held responsible for his actions. His fingers
flexed and his hands itched for his wand, itched to hex the bastard.
Severus had appeared in the middle of the bed, amidst the rumpled bedclothes,
looking delicious as always. However, Albus was too damned angry to
think about that right now.
Albus spat out his Potions professor's name with all the frustration
of having been stuck with the man for years, and likely many more to
come. Severus' expression became carefully neutral, although Albus could
see the always-burning flame of pure hatred in those dark, dark eyes.
"What has your precious Gryffindor done this time?"
Albus ignored the ghost's mocking tone; he did not want to get into
that old fight with Severus again. Now all he wanted to do was vent.
Albus stopped pacing and took a deep breath, his lips contorting into
a bitter smile, more of a grimace really.
"Sirius Black has been sleeping with one of his students, one
of the seventh year Gryffindor girls." Albus raised a hand to prevent
Severus from interrupting. "And it gets even better. Not only did
he been seduce the poor girl: he got her pregnant! She started having
abdominal pains in class today, and Minerva sent her to Poppy who discovered
the cause and called me.
"He's the Potions professor, for Merlin's sake! Couldn't
he have made the girl a simple Prophylactus?"
Albus ignored the disdainful snort from Severus, and collapsed into
the armchair by the window. "Thank Merlin for Poppy. She called
me as soon as she had determined the paternity."
Ghostly fingers carded through his silvery hair and beard, and Albus
closed his eyes as he leaned into the cool but gentle touch.
"What will happen to the girl? Is she keeping the child?"
Albus sighed, and covered his closed eyes with one hand. "That,
thank Merlin, is no longer an issue. She miscarried. It was probably
just as well. She is only a child herself, and will get over with it.
I would not have been able to conceal a student's pregnancy, nor the
involvement of a member of staff. This way at least I can prevent anyone
else from finding out."
The hand stopped stroking for a moment before resuming its movements.
Albus sighed contentedly.
"Why am I not surprised?"
The headmaster opened his eyes to stare at the ghost hovering above
"I am only doing what is necessary, Severus, what has to be done.
If it were to come out I would have to dismiss Black and I cannot
do that. However much I wish I could." All Albus' frustration
returned and he stood up again to pace the room. Severus settled himself
in Albus' chair, legs pulled up beneath his robes although Albus got
a glimpse of deliciously pale and naked feet.
"Merlin, I wish I could fire him. I would gladly hand him over
to the Ministry for sleeping with one of his students, but I can't.
He has to stay here where I can watch him, where he will be ready when
"So what are you going to do?"
Albus dropped onto the bed this time, and lay on his back staring at
the ceiling. It was on days like these he really felt the years.
"I talked to the girl: she's completely infatuated with Black.
She says Sirius promised to marry her as soon as she finishes school.
I wouldn't be surprised if he had planned to. However, there is fortunately
no chance of that happening anymore. She had had Potions the class before,
and I mentioned that the fumes might well have caused the miscarriage.
Black knew about the pregnancy; he should never have allowed her to
attend those classes."
"Was that the cause?"
Albus shrugged. "Who knows? It is not impossible.
"Merlin, I'm tired. Whatever did I do to deserve this?" He
looked aside to Severus who was still sitting in his chair. "And
I do not want to hear a single 'I told you so' out of you."
Severus raised an eyebrow and widened his eyes in mock innocence.
"Why would I ever say such a thing? It's not as if I've ever warned
you that Sirius Black is a lying, murderous bastard piece of shit, who
should have been put down years ago like the mongrel he is."
Albus sighed again and closed his eyes. What was he going to do? It
was bad enough that Black was the worst Potions professor in the entire
history of Hogwarts - and Hogwarts had seen some appalling Potions professors
- now the man had had to add sleeping with a student to gross incompetence!
Albus should have realised something was wrong. Black had been too well
behaved, too happy lately. A mirthless laugh escaped the headmaster.
He would indeed not be surprised in the least if Sirius had meant to
marry the girl, whether she was pregnant or not. Well, not if Albus
had anything to say about it.
How to punish Black suitably? Losing his child was a good first step.
A few subtle remarks and the girl already blamed her lover for
the loss of her child. A grandfatherly talk tomorrow, a little comfort,
the promise she would never have to see Black again, and that Albus
would make sure nobody ever found out her shame. No, she would break
things off with Black; that relationship was finished. However, it was
not enough. Albus wanted to hex the man, wanted to knock some sense
into that thick skull. The boy never learned, did he?
Then a thought crossed Albus' mind, and the pure genius, the beauty,
of it took his breath away. Oh. Oh. Perfect.
Albus turned onto his side to face Severus again. The ghost had drifted
back to Fawkes' perch and was scratching the phoenix between his wings,
to Fawkes' obvious pleasure.
Something in his voice must have tipped the spirit off, because Severus
looked at him warily.
"I have a favour to ask. Would you do something for me?"
Severus narrowed his eyes suspiciously. "What?"
"Only if you are willing
"Just spit it out, Headmaster."
"No need for crude language, Severus."
He glanced away coyly before catching the ghost's eyes. "Haunt
Black for me."
Severus' eyes widened in sudden surprise and avarice; he rushed to
the bed, abandoning Fawkes.
"Haunt Black? Really? For how long? What can I do? You're not
joking, are you? Don't you dare mock me about this! I'd make you regret
it. You know I can!"
Albus laughed, and shook his head. "No, I am not joking. You can
haunt him for a week, and I don't care what you do. Make sure he never
touches a student again. Teach him a lesson. Just don't drive him completely
insane. I will require his services in a few years when Voldemort
Severus nodded distractedly, his dark eyes glittering with unsuppressed
malice and anticipation. "Don't worry, Albus. I'll make him regret
he was born. He'll never want to have sex with anybody ever again by
the time I'm done with him."
Albus smiled. He knew he could trust Severus to teach Black a sorely
needed lesson, one that the Potions professor would find impossible
to forget. Speaking of Black, Albus' wards alerted him to the fact the
wizard in question had just given the gargoyle the password to his office.
Albus picked up Severus' wand from its place on the shelf next to his
dragon's blood manuscript, and modified the charms to allow the ghost
to leave his chambers for the first time in fourteen years. The wand
vibrated gently in his hands, sending shivers up Albus' arms that concentrated
on his nipples and seemed to shoot straight to his cock.
"Thank you, Albus, thank you."
Albus smiled at the ghost; he could not remember Severus ever looking
this young and excited. "Think nothing of it, my dear boy. Thank
Severus disappeared, and Albus left the bedroom. In his office, the
headmaster settled himself behind his desk and waited for Professor
Black to enter.
It took a week for Sirius to break down and ask Albus for help, just
as the headmaster had expected.
Albus had spoken to and consoled the distraught Gryffindor girl, and
then offered to arrange for her to complete the school year at Beauxbatons
under the guise of an exchange program because of her excellent Potions
grades. The headmaster added fraudulently changing grades to the long
list of Sirius Black's offences. He had promised her he would make sure
nobody found out the real reason for her sudden departure, least of
all her conservative, pureblood parents, or her strict Head of House.
Albus was once again grateful that Poppy was the Hogwarts school nurse.
She had agreed to accompany the poor girl to France and make sure she
settled in. The headmaster did not know what he would have done without
In the meantime, Black had started to patrol the school at night, seemingly
reluctant to enter his dungeon chambers any more. The dark rings beneath
his eyes soon garnered attention and concern from the rest of the staff.
They all told him to get some rest, and invariably sent him back to
his rooms when they encountered him during his midnight wanderings.
Albus watched from a distance as he patiently waited for Sirius to break
and finally approach him for help.
Albus sat behind his desk, silently watching the younger wizard fidget.
He did not offer tea, and the sweets dish stayed firmly on Albus' side
of the desk.
"Sirius," he said in a cold tone. Albus was not going to
make this any easier than necessary.
"Headmaster, I - I can't take it anymore, I need your help. Please."
It came out in a jumble of words, and Albus merely raised an eyebrow
"I can't sleep, and it won't leave me alone. I think I'm losing
"Calm down, Sirius. What exactly is the problem? What won't leave
"I think I'm being haunted."
"Whatever makes you think that?"
"Things have gone missing, or been destroyed. I return to my rooms,
and there's writing on the walls, and no matter how often I remove it,
it always returns."
"Perhaps a prank? Or maybe Peeves?"
Sirius shook his head desperately. "No prank, and it's not Peeves.
I've asked the ghosts and they assure me it's not them. I don't know
who or what it is, but it's evil and spiteful and hurtful and it knows
things! It knows things nobody could. The writing -" Sirius'
voice broke. "The things it says, it can't be any of the children."
"Very well then, Sirius, I will have a look."
"Thank you, Headmaster, thank you so much!"
It was clear Black was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, not surprising
when Albus viewed the state of the Potions professor's dungeon rooms.
Books were strewn about, their spines broken and pages ripped out.
Carved into the upholstery of the couch and into the seat of every chair
were the words 'traitor' and 'murderer'. The walls were splashed with
bright red paint, and just above floor level - at child's height - children's
handprints spelled out Daddy. Through the open door Albus caught
a glimpse of Black's bedroom. Scrawled messily over the sheets and on
every other surface in the room was the phrase 'Death Eater Whore'.
Sirius collapsed into one of the chairs, and buried his face in his
"I can't take it anymore. I'm sorry, Headmaster; please help me.
I clean the place up and repair the damage, I try to sleep, but the
nightmares - I can't - I'm so sorry, please help me."
"Quiet now, Sirius. I will see what I can do."
Albus took out his wand - Severus' was in one of the pockets of his
robe - and he intoned an obscure spell that would ward the room against
Cornish Pixies. Not that Sirius knew that, of course. In the meantime,
he scanned the room for any sign of his wayward ghost. A faint shimmer
near one of the walls revealed Severus' location, and Albus made a curt
movement with his head to the ghost's wand. When Severus made no move
to leave, Albus mouthed the word 'drawer' and put on his sternest face.
The wand tingled through the fabric of his robes against his skin. Albus
clapped his hands together decisively. Sirius looked up with hope-filled
"There, that's done. You really should have come to see me sooner,
The headmaster nodded. "It would seem that you have fallen victim
to one of Hogwarts' resident spirits. They are not exactly ghosts; they
usually do not have enough strength to manifest themselves or do any
real harm. However, it has been known to happen. If I am not mistaken,
the last person to be bothered by one of them was my predecessor, Dippet,
when poor Myrtle Jones was killed. They tend to pop up whenever somebody
dies in the castle. Nasty little things.
"But you should be safe now. Good luck cleaning up the mess. Just
as well it is the weekend tomorrow, and don't worry, I am happy to excuse
you from eating in the Great Hall this weekend."
With that, Albus swept from the room. As he made his way through the
corridors back to his rooms, he was no longer able to suppress the satisfied
smirk, although he did manage to school his features to a more genial
smile by the time he passed a group of Slytherins. As soon as he entered
his quarters, he redid the wards preventing Severus from leaving, but
the ghost had already appeared, and was too busy practically bouncing
around the room in glee to notice, let alone care.
"Oh, you should have seen his face, Albus! You should have seen
him! I started fucking him as Remus and then turned into James."
Severus' appearance morphed into that of the late James Potter. "How
could you recommend Peter, Sirius? You promised to look after Harry!"
Potter's face decayed into a grim skull, and then Severus stood before
"He freaked out, and he cried. It was glorious. I would let him
fall asleep and then appear as myself or as Remus or the Potters or
Lucius. Ah, his memories, Death Eater whore indeed! You needn't worry
about Black, Albus; he will never touch a student again. It was glorious,
thank you, thank you!"
Albus smiled in satisfaction and sat down on the foot of his bed. "I
knew I could trust you, Severus." He smoothed an imaginary wrinkle
in his bright blue and yellow robes, gazing directly at the ghost. "And
if you are really that grateful, well, I can think of one or two ways
for you to show your thanks."
Severus glided through the air toward the headmaster, his black eyes
glittering. "Oh? Something like this, perhaps?" He straddled
Albus' lap, resting one hand on Albus' shoulder as he twined the other
in Albus' beard.
Albus caught Severus' lips and they kissed. He lay back with Severus
on top of him. It was such a strange feeling: the absence of weight
and the resistance of flesh. When he turned them over, trapping Severus
beneath him, he ground his cock into the ghost's groin, but missed the
mischievous glint in Severus' eyes. They had long ago established an
understanding that Albus would not keep Severus trapped in his corporeal
state, although he did allow the ghost to draw from his powers to remain
physical, and so Severus was able to abruptly disappear causing Albus
to drop heavily onto the bed. With a grunt, Albus pushed himself up
and reached out to grab the ghost, but his hand passed through the transparent
form. Severus sat cross-legged next to him, stretching his arms and
then covering his mouth as he yawned.
"You know, haunting Black really took a lot of concentration.
I'm feeling rather tired to be honest."
Severus yawned again and he flickered in and out of sight. "Can
hardly manifest myself..."
Albus moved onto his back as he closed his eyes in exasperation. Ghosts.
He turned his head back to Severus and fixed the Slytherin with a glare.
Severus laughed and pounced, straddling Albus' hips as he raked his
nails lightly over Albus' chest through the cloth of his robes. He leaned
forward, and for a while, they kissed as Severus' hand moved through
Albus' robes and started pumping his cock. Albus pushed lightly at Severus'
shoulders - and the ghost quickly took his cue, breaking the kiss and
moving down Albus' body. His face disappeared in the folds of Albus'
robes, the glimpses of pale skin and the ghost's dark hair set off beautifully
against the light blue of Albus' robes. Albus closed his eyes as he
arched into the slick feel of Severus' mouth. Cold fingers moved through
his robes, pressed his legs apart and followed the small crease of skin
behind his balls. With a sigh, Albus came.
Severus' face was flushed - arousal and triumph and excitement - and
he plucked impatiently at Albus' robes even as his own clothing vanished.
"Take these off!"
While a simple spell would have sufficed to undress him, there was
something about struggling to get out of his robe. The way Severus would
at one moment pull at the cloth, and the next simply pass through it
to press his hard cock against Albus. They were both laughing by the
time Albus finally managed to drop his robes off the side of the bed.
It made Albus feel young and alive, no matter that there was no way
even Severus would be able to make him 'rise to the occasion' again
so quickly. He still found it hard to comprehend how he had done without
this for so long.
"On your knees, Professor," Severus whispered against his
lips, even as one hand strayed downward again and a cold finger pressed
inside of him.
Albus was shivering, his skin breaking out in gooseflesh, and he hastened
to comply with the ghost's request. He could feel one of his legs passing
through Severus' arm as he turned around. At the same time, Severus
wriggled a second finger inside of him briefly before withdrawing both.
Cold hands moved up over his back, gripping his shoulders as something
that was cold and hot, real and unsubstantial, pushed inside of him.
There really was no comparison to being fucked by a ghost. The cold
touch, the way Severus would lose focus every now and then, thrusting
into Albus, the crackle of raw power and magic coursing through
both of them. Albus closed his eyes and let Severus do as he would.
He could hear the ghost chanting his name, a litany of curses and endearments,
hatred and gratitude, until Severus came with a cry, losing the concentration
necessary to remain corporeal. The power of the ghost's own thrust sent
Severus passing through Albus, and for a moment, there was the
sensation of sharing his body, of Severus seeing the world through his
eyes. One heartbeat shared before Severus had moved through him completely
and lay in front of Albus, shimmering in and out of sight.
Albus exhaled and dropped onto his side. He reached out and carefully
rested a hand on Severus' chest, allowing the ghost to draw from his
magic. With a content look, Severus moved into Albus' arms and started
tugging the blankets up over them.
"Good night, Albus," the ghost mumbled into the crook of
Albus' neck, and Albus smiled fondly as he extinguished the lights with
a silent 'Nox'.
Four years later, Harry Potter came to Hogwarts, and Voldemort made
his first reappearance.
As Albus had foreseen, the war was rekindled and it was even bloodier
than before. After years of being incorporeal Tom Riddle was beyond
all reason. Sirius was sent back to spy while Albus had Alastor Moody
and Remus Lupin tutor Harry in Defence Against the Dark Arts.
When Severus found out that Albus had asked Remus to come to Hogwarts
and had appointed the werewolf as Alastor's assistant, the ghost had
been livid to say the least. Albus had wanted to tell Severus himself,
but the right moment had never arrived. Then one day, he had returned
to his quarters and found a disaster area. Albus suspected Fawkes had
betrayed him. Locking Severus in the desk drawer was not an option;
they had moved past that. They were lovers; Albus could hardly treat
the ghost like some recalcitrant child. Even if he did often act like
Severus spent a month sulking, but tales of Black's ineffectual attempts
to win back his childhood friend and get close to his godson did a lot
to mollify the ghost. Albus suspected that the main reason Severus was
upset was that he felt threatened by Remus' presence. Albus made sure
to convince the ghost that he had no interest whatsoever in the werewolf,
and that Severus was the only one he wanted in his bed and his private
By the end of Harry Potter's fourth year, Riddle finally regained a
body and things only became worse from then on. Once again Albus was
grateful for the haven his rooms provided. At the end of the day, he
could close the door and forget about the war, and instead spend time
with his familiar and his ghost. He could unload his troubles and find
a measure of peace in Severus' arms and body.
The ghost of Severus Snape stood next to the infirmary bed, gazing
down at the headmaster's still form. They were in a private room, alone,
and Severus had just turned down the white sheet that had been covering
Albus Dumbledore's face. Fawkes was perched on the foot of the old wizard's
bed, and Severus gently stroked the firebird's feathers.
"So. You're finally dead, old man."
A hand on his shoulder startled him, and he looked aside to meet twinkling
"I am not dead: I'm just resting." There was humour in Albus'
voice, and Severus fought to contain a smile. Instead, he raised an
eyebrow sceptically and tilted his head toward where the corpse was
currently laid out.
"Your body begs to differ. And all the wards in your rooms fell:
that's how I was able to leave and follow Fawkes here."
Albus smiled and ruffled the phoenix' feathers. Fawkes seemed unperturbed
by his master's current condition. "You didn't take the opportunity
to get as far away from Hogwarts as fast as you could? Severus, I'm
The other ghost snorted, but did not meet Albus' eyes.
"I could hardly leave without making sure you were good and gone."
The words were spiteful, but Severus' voice lacked all malice. Was that
a blush Albus saw on his cheeks?
"Of course, my dear," he said, pressing a gentle kiss next
to Severus' ear. "However, my original treatise is not entitled
'The Thirteen Uses of Dragon's Blood' for nothing." Albus
moved to the bed and carefully began to lie down into his body. "So
sorry to disappoint you!" he laughed, before closing his eyes and
This time Severus did not hide his smile, and he settled onto the bed
next to Albus as the headmaster's colour slowly returned. After a moment
blue eyes snapped open, and Albus gasped for air as his hands clawed
at the bed sheets.
Whatever he had done must have set off some alarms, or the surge of
magic that had passed through the room must have alerted those outside,
for only seconds later Poppy burst through the door with what seemed
like half of Hogwarts on her heels. Minerva McGonagall was there, as
well as Remus Lupin, Alastor Moody, and an exhausted but triumphant
Harry Potter. Sirius Black stood at the back, the only one present who
did not seem ecstatic that the headmaster had survived after all.
"Give me some room," Poppy commanded as she checked Albus'
pulse and eyes and began casting one diagnostic spell after the other,
but Albus waved her away and sat up. Harry Potter rushed forward to
help him, and then grasped the headmaster's hand.
"I'm so glad you're alive; we thought you'd died!"
"It will take more than one Dark Lord to bring me down, Harry."
"I killed him, Albus. I did it! He's dead, and he's never coming
Albus smiled and squeezed Harry's hand. "I never doubted you would,"
he said softly. "Well done. You have made us all very proud."
Harry beamed and his grin only grew wider when he looked up at Remus
Lupin, who had come to stand behind him and rested a hand on his shoulder.
"I think it's time we left now and let the headmaster get some
rest. Although he would deny it, I am sure even he will need to recover
from coming back from the dead. And you still need to have a mediwizard
look at that cut on your arm." He nodded to Albus and led Harry
out of the room. If he held on to the young wizard a bit too tightly,
his hand rested on Harry's hip a bit too familiarly, and Harry leaned
against him with too much ease, it didn't matter. Albus looked away,
knowing that he need not worry about either of them anymore. He did
not miss the look of envy on Black's face though, and sighed inwardly.
It seemed Sirius would never learn.
"It is good to see you well again, Albus. You had us worried for
"Thank you, Minerva. How are the school and the students?"
"They are both fine. The Death Eaters did not make it into the
dungeons, so the children were safe. You-Know- Riddle managed
to do some damage to the Astronomy Tower, and I suspect we will not
be able to use the Quidditch Pitch for quite some time, but there was
nothing more substantial. I warded your rooms, so they have not been
"Good. Thank you. I know I can trust you to get everything sorted."
The stern witch nodded and tucked a loose strand of black hair behind
her ear. "If there is anything that needs your personal attention
I will come to see you." With that, she smiled and left the room
Albus looked to Black, who was standing back against one of the walls
and as far away from Alastor Moody as he could.
Silence. Albus sighed and shifted in the bed, glancing aside to Severus
who was watching with a neutral face. When he met the ghost's eyes,
Severus pursed his lips and frowned, then sighed and nodded, turning
his attention to Fawkes instead.
"You have fulfilled the terms of our agreement, Sirius, and I
release you from your Life Debt. Thank you for your services and aid
in destroying Riddle; they were invaluable."
"You will keep me out of Azkaban and safe from the Aurors this
"I will not break my promise. However, a word of advice: when
the euphoria at Voldemort's defeat passes there will be a backlash against
all those associated with him. No matter their motives or their true
intentions. Not to mention the fact that there are no doubt still Death
Eaters at large. They will be out for blood, Sirius, and the blood of
a traitor to the cause in particular. Lie low, or leave the country.
"But Remus and Harry -"
"Sirius, you are still young," Albus interrupted. "You
have more than a lifetime still in front of you. Do not waste it. Leave
England, take this opportunity to start anew."
Black opened his mouth to protest and then thought better of it. He
nodded and turned around to leave, but Albus called out to him just
as he walked through the door.
"Oh, and Sirius?"
He turned around warily.
"Just so you know: you are dismissed from the Potions position."
A wry smile worked its way onto Black's face, and he snorted in amusement.
"Thank you, Dumbledore."
"Are you sure that's wise, Albus?" Alastor said once Black
had left the room. He sat down in one of the chairs and his magical
eye roamed around the room, resting on Severus for a moment, but he
did not mention the ghost sitting on Albus' bed, holding Albus' hand.
"I don't trust him."
"I gave him my word, Alastor."
Moody muttered something that sounded suspiciously like 'once a Death
Eater, always a Death Eater' under his breath, but let the matter drop.
"Are you truly all right? You gave us a quite a scare back there."
"You should know me better than that, Alastor."
Alastor chuckled and nodded. "I guess I should indeed."
"What are you going to do now?"
The retired and disfigured Auror leaned back in his chair. "I
think I'll stick around for a while. Lupin can take over Defence; he
was doing most of the work anyway. Potter says he wants to become an
Auror, and it's become a bit of a habit now, watching his back."
Albus smiled. "Thank you."
"And what about you, Albus? What are your plans now that you've
seen a second so-called Dark Lord to his grave?"
"Well, to get out of the infirmary and then, I think, I might
retire. I have spent enough time fighting Dark wizards to last me at
least three lifetimes; I deserve a bit of a holiday. Minerva can take
care of the school and the children. It's been more than a century since
I've travelled, and I am an old man now," he ignored Alastor's
bark of laughter, "and a change of scenery, a warmer climate, would
Alastor shook his head, and his magical eye wandered back to the ghost
on the bed for a moment before returning to meet Albus' twinkling blue
"Going to leave any skeletons in your closet for Minerva to find?"
Albus laughed and twined his fingers with Severus', raising their joined
hands and pressing a kiss to the ghost's cold flesh. It made his lips
tingle, and Severus looked away with an ill-concealed, smug smile.
"Ah, she doesn't deserve to be haunted by my past. I'd much rather
take my skeletons with me."