Dumbledore recovers Voldemort's Horcrux and almost dies, and Snape puts himself at great risk to save him - but the ending is happy (although Professor Flitwick doesn't think so)
Severus Snape blinked and opened his eyes. He’d just had a square meal (despite his scrawny appearance, Snape was quite a glutton) and had been taking a nap in his office. Looking around wildly, he saw a silvery phoenix sitting on his desk – Dumbledore’s Patronus.
“Well, finally!” said the Patronus. “I was starting to think you’d taken a friggin’ Draught of Living Death.”
“What is it?” asked Snape, straightening up.
“Dumbledore is badly hurt and will probably die if you don’t take your ass off that chair and hurry to the gate. He just Apparated there.”
“What’s happened to him, exactly?” asked Snape, bounding to his feet and starting to grab bottles and jars off the shelves and throw them into his bag.
“No idea, but his hand is very badly hurt, it’s like a burn or something, and it’s spreading.”
“I’m on it,” said Snape and bolted out of his office.
He met the Headmaster a short way into the Hogwarts grounds. Dumbledore was dancing on the spot, cradling his right hand and howling in a most un-Dumbledore-ish manner.
“Dumbledore! What happened?” cried Snape, running up to the Headmaster and grasping him by the shoulders.
“My – urrrrgh – hand,” moaned Dumbledore through gritted teeth, producing the hand in question. It looked as though he had dipped his fingers in hot lava, only the burn was still spreading, slowly but surely, toward his palm. Snape quickly put his bag on the ground, opened it and took out a few bottles, the contents of which he poured on Dumbledore’s scorched fingers. Dumbledore yelped and jumped about a foot in the air. When he was back on the ground, Snape grabbed his hand and looked at it. The potions seemed to have produced no effect whatsoever.
“Oh dear, this IS serious,” muttered Snape and, throwing his arm around Dumbledore’s waist, he said, “Come on, Dumbledore! We must get to my office ASAP, and will you please tell me what exactly happened?”
“The – ouch! – Horcrux!” managed Dumbledore as Snape led him back up to the castle.
“The Horcrux?” repeated Snape, his eyes widening. “You mean you’ve managed to find one?”
“Yeah, I – arrrrgh! – have it here with me, but – OWWWW! – son of a bitch placed some kind of curse upon it, and it’s EATING AWAY MY HAAAAAAND!!!”
“Don’t, worry, Albus, it’s going to be all right,” Snape said breathlessly. “It’s going to be all right, just wait a little more…”
Once in his office, Snape led Dumbledore to a chair (his fingers were completely burned now), gasped, “Be right back!” and dashed out into the hallway, shutting the door behind him. He ran until Dumbledore’s yells could no longer be heard, then skidded to a halt, pushed up his sleeve and touched his Dark Mark with his wand.
Lord Voldemort was playing chess with Nagini when he felt his wand vibrate hard in his pocket. The Dark Lord rolled his eyes.
“Excuse me,” he said to the snake. He took his wand out and gave it a little flick. A puff of smoke flew out of its tip, instantly taking the shape of Severus Snape’s face.
“I do hope it’s important, Snape,” said Voldemort. “I’m playing chess with Nagini, and you’ve just ruined my concentration.”
“I beg you to forgive me, my Lord,” said Snape, “but I need some advice.”
“Advice? You know, if you weren’t so important, I’d kill you for such impertinence,” said Voldemort, but he sounded a bit amused. “All right, what is it?”
“If you wanted something hidden forever, never to be touched by another human being, what kind of curse would you place upon it, to make sure that if somebody did touch it, it would be the last thing they did?”
“Why do you ask?”
“Well – umm – just in case, you know. I mean, you never know when you’ll have to stash something, right? So…I thought I’d just…you know…” Snape’s voice trailed off as he thought, “Boy, that was so lame.”
“You mean you interrupted my chess match just to ask me a purely theoretical question about protective spells?” Voldemort said incredulously.
“Well, um – yes,” said Snape, looking very uncomfortable. “But it isn’t purely theoretical, my Lord, because you see, I’ve learned to trust my intuition, it’s never yet failed me, and today it says to me, “Severus,” it says, “you’re going to have to stash something pretty soon, and you’ll have to protect it really well”. And it also said, “You must consult your Lord and Master about that”. So – I’m just – er – following the advice. My Lord,” he added.
Voldemort, who had been listening to this with growing incredulity, turned to Nagini.
“What do you think?” he adressed her in Parseltongue.
“It’s the largest pile of bullshit ever laid by a human being,” said the snake. “Either that, or he’s telling the truth. I think the latter, because no one, not even Snape, would dare feed such outrageous lies to you.”
“My thought exactly,” said Voldemort and turned to Snape again. “Very well,” he said. “If you are so confident in your intuition – what was that?”
“I beg your pardon, my Lord?” said Snape, raising his eyebrows in a most innocent way (Dumbledore had just given such a yell that it had carried all the way to where Snape stood).
“I thought I heard something like a scream on your end, no?”
“I heard nothing, my Lord.”
“I thought I heard something, too,” said Nagini.
“Did you?” said Voldemort. “Nagini says she heard it, too,” he told Snape.
“Well, I heard nothing, it must have been something on your end.”
Voldemort and the snake exchanged looks, and Voldemort shrugged.
“I guess so,” he said. “Maybe Wormtail took a knife by the wrong end, wouldn’t put that past him…Anyway, Severus, the curse I’d use is one of my own invention. To place it, you must first visualize the Seal of Yog-Sothoth…”
Voldemort went through the instructions, Snape listening to him with an expression of utmost attention on his face – Merlin alone knew what immense willpower it required. For all Snape knew, Dumbledore could already be dead.
“…and if someone is stupid enough to touch it, they’ll regret it,” finished Voldemort.
“Thank you, my Lord,” said Snape. “You have been of great help. However, I have one more question…”
“You’re pushing your luck, Severus. You know that, don’t you?”
“No kidding,” thought Snape as he said, “I apologize most deeply, my Lord. I would never waste your time if – ”
“Okay, okay,” said Voldemort, waving his hand. “Just get on with it and be quick.”
“If I or someone – someone important to me should accidentally touch the cursed object, would there be any cure?”
Once again, Voldemort exchanged looks with Nagini.
“His questions are getting stranger and stranger,” said Nagini. “Say, you don’t think that maybe Dumbledore’s found one of your Horcruxes and got hit by the curse, and now Snape’s trying to find out how to save him? That would explain the yell, too.”
For a moment Voldemort stared at the snake in shock, but then his face relaxed.
“Nah,” he said dismissively, “that’s impossible. No one knows about my Horcruxes. You’re being paranoid, Nagini.”
“Look who’s talking,” muttered the snake as the Dark Lord turned to Snape and started giving him directions for preparing the antidote.
“Thank you very much indeed, my Lord,” said Snape when Voldemort had finished. “I don’t even know how to express – ”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever,” said Voldemort. “Always glad to help one of my faithful Death Eaters. Now beat it and let me finish the match already.”
“Yes, my Lord,” said Snape’s face and vanished.
“I think I’ll torture him when we meet again,” said Voldemort. “I don’t remember any of my Death Eaters ever being so impertinent – especially Snape.” He looked thoughtful. “You know, Nagini, maybe you are not being paranoid, after all. I think I – HEY! What the hell is that bishop doing there?! The last time I looked at the board, he was on B4!”
“What are you talking about?” said Nagini in an indignant voice. “He’s been there all along!”
Snape finished laying bandages on Dumbledore’s hand and straightened up, wiping his forehead with the back of his hand with a sigh of relief.
“There,” he said. “You can remove these tomorrow. I’ve managed to stop the spread of the curse, but – ” Snape’s voice shook slightly – “I’m afraid your hand is going to be like this forever.”
“Thank you, Severus,” Dumbledore said earnestly. “You know,” he continued, taking Snape’s hand with both of his own, “I may not always show it, but…I really do appreciate the things you do for me, Severus…”
“Oh, really, Headmaster…” muttered Snape, looking away.
“…and I see now more clearly than ever that I haven’t been giving your work the credit it deserves. Severus…” whispered Dumbledore, and the slightly flushed Snape looked at him. “I – I want to tell you something. Lean in, please…” Snape complied. “Closer, Severus.” Snape bent even lower, and Dumbledore took his face in his hands and planted his lips on Severus’s. At first Snape was shocked, but then he found that he was enjoying the kiss a great deal and began to respond. Their tongues entwined as Snape slid into Dumbledore’s lap and embraced him. Dumbledore buried his uninjured hand in Snape’s greasy hair, his other hand caressing the Potions master’s back.
“Oh, Albus,” gasped Snape, drawing back from Dumbledore for a moment. “I never knew you were that good a snogger.”
“You’re not too bad yourself,” said Dumbledore, his eyes twinkling, and then Snape found himself being thrown to the floor, the Headmaster landing on top of him and starting to rip his robes. Dumbledore’s injured hand was clearly casuing him pain, but he ignored it. Snape moaned with pleasure as Dumbledore sucked at his nipple, his left hand finding Severus’s privates and starting to fondle them. Then Dumbledore turned Snape over, and Severus shivered with anticipation as he heard the Headmaster’s booming voice, “Accio lubricant!”
Professor Flitwick heard the cries as he approached Snape’s office. For a second he froze in his steps, and then hurried forward, drawing his wand. He halted in front of the oak door, took a deep breath and pushed it open.
Professor Snape was lying naked on the floor amidst torn rags that had evidently been his robes, his fists clenched, his face screwed. On top of him was none other than Albus Dumbledore, also naked and pumping away with all of his might. Both were making very meaningful sounds like “AAAAARGH!” and “OOOHHHHH!” and “UMMMMM!” and “YYYEAHHHHH!”
Professor Flitwick let out a squeak and clapped his hands to his mouth, staring at the scene before him with eyes full of horror. For about twenty seconds he stood rooted to the spot, and then turned around unsteadily, staggered out of the room, not bothering to close the door behind him, and started to run, faster and faster, but not fast enough to escape the cry of climax (he wasn’t sure whose) that he knew would haunt him for the rest of his life.
“I love you, Severus,” said Dumbledore when he found himself able to speak again.
“I love you, too, Albus,” muttered Snape just before he fell asleep.
And so they lay there on the floor in a tight embrace, the fire crackling in the grate, not caring about anything right now. Up in his chambers Professor Flitwick was sobbing uncontrollably into his pillow, wishing like he’d never wished anything in his life that he had asked Snape out earlier.