Author: flaminia_x ★
Warnings: None, really, except one small implied threesome. Barely
Summary: Severus figures out his heart's desire.
Author's Notes: Written for the prompt: two characters get sent backward or forward in time and begin to fight over the third character. I do hope you forgive my tweaking of the prompt, but it seemed to work out better this way. Semi-loosely based upon the lyrics to The Scorpions' "Send Me an Angel," included below.
Send Me an Angel
"Well, isn't this interesting."
Severus Snape tentatively stepped out of the doorway and looked around.
The musty hallway didn't seem to have changed much, but the changes were there - perfectly obvious to someone who had spent as much of one's life at Hogwarts as he had. The tapestries were a bit more worn, there was a new portrait on one of the walls, and one window off to a side had a crack in it that he knew quite well hadn't been there ... before.
Severus knew exactly where he was, just not when he was.
Sighing, he gathered his robes around him and stalked down the hallway.
If this was where that blasted portal sent him, then he was reasonably assured of his safety, and besides, he desperately needed a cup of tea.
Preferably with a shot or two of something stronger in it. But he had to know how much further into the future he had been sent, and there was only one place that would hopefully give him both some tea and some answers. To the Headmaster's office it was, then.
"Ah, dear Severus, I was wondering when you might reappear." The drowsy portrait of Albus Dumbledore sparked to life as Severus walked in unannounced. Whoever the Headmaster was these days was dreadfully lax on security, but there was no time to fume about that now.
"Albus," Severus greeted his old mentor, then flopped into a rather cosy-looking armchair. “I don't suppose you have the power to summon one of the house elves for some tea, do you?”
Dumbledore winked and snapped his fingers. Immediately, Winky popped into sight, rubbing her hands together and staring at the sight of Severus Snape slumped by the fire.
“Prof – Professor Snape sir?” she stammered, looking confused.
“It's alright, Winky, it is Professor Snape, and I believe he is hoping for a nice hot cup of tea, perhaps with a bit of that Old Ogden's in it? You know the bottle I'm talking about. Can you do that for him, Winky?” Dumbledore asked.
“Oh, yes, yes sir, Winky will be right back,” she exclaimed and with an audible crack, she disappeared.
“So, Albus, here I am. Still at Hogwarts. Perchance, could you tell me the year, or is that too simple a question to ask?” Severus griped.
Dumbledore chuckled. “Oh, Severus, I'm so glad to see the years haven't changed you. But then again, years haven't gone by for you, have they?”
Severus sneered up at the portrait. “Given that yesterday I was sitting in this office and it was mine, I'd have to say no. When is it, Albus?”
“It's 2018, Severus. If my calculations are correct, you've jumped twenty years into the future.”
2018. Yesterday, he had been the Headmaster at Hogwarts. Yesterday, it had been 1998. Yesterday, Voldemort had perished at the hands of Harry Potter, and yesterday Severus had crawled, weak and trembling, into the Headmaster's office and begged Dumbledore to help him, just one last time. “Tell me what to do, Albus, I wasn't supposed to survive … I don't know how to live in this world ...”
Seeing his broken friend kneeling in front of him, Dumbledore had taken pity on him, and casting a small spell, one of the few left to his portrait self, the air in front of Severus shimmered, revealing the Mirror of Erised.
Severus raised his head, shaking. He saw the Mirror, saw what he desired most in the world. Too tired, too weak to rail against it, he bowed his head, accepting the truth of the sight. The mirror's surface shimmered and rippled, disappearing into a soft white light.
“Go, Severus. It is your time,” Albus whispered.
Slowly, Severus crawled through the mirror.
“2018. Am I – am I still ... have I aged? I – I didn't see, in the Mirror … it was all a blur ...” Severus said quietly.
“You appear the same to me – although in remarkably better health,” Dumbledore replied. “I would imagine that no time has passed for you, or at least only what time was sufficient for you to heal.”
Severus stared at the fire, barely noticing when Winky reappeared, carrying a tray laden with scones, biscuits, clotted cream, a very large pot of tea, and half a bottle of Old Ogden's Firewhisky. At Dumbledore's nod, she sat the tray down on the table next to Snape and quietly Disapparated.
“Severus … you should eat something. At least drink your tea,” Dumbledore cajoled. Staring off into the distance, Severus fixed himself a cup of tea, pouring a large helping of Firewhiskey into his mug. Gulping it down, he fixed himself another … and promptly fell asleep, his biscuits forgotten by the fire.
“Oh, Severus, my poor boy,” Albus whispered, staring down at his former student and colleague. “I can only imagine what you saw in the Mirror that day, but whatever brought you here was strong, strong indeed. I hope it was worth it. Sleep now. You will find answers in the morning.”
“I'm telling you, Harry, I don't know why he's here, or where he came from,” an exasperated Draco spat as he walked into the Great Hall the next morning. Neither one of them spared a passing glance for any of the students that greeted them; instead, they marched to the head table in a huff, arguing quietly.
“Good morning, Headmaster,” Professor Sprout said cheerily to Draco as he poured himself a particularly large cup of tea. Nodding her way briefly in acknowledgement, he immediately turned his attention back to Harry and stirred in twice as much sugar as he normally took, distracted by Severus
Snape's sudden reappearance.
After the battle had ended and the furor had died down, life gradually returned to normal. Harry had taken a few years off, done some traveling, and later returned to Hogwarts as the Defense against the Dark Arts professor. Ginny had opted for a professional Quidditch career, and Hermione and Ron had married and become Aurors. Surprisingly, Draco Malfoy had become quite the potions specialist, restoring his family's name to some level of respectability by making near-miraculous improvements to Wolfsbane. After a stint as the Potions professor at Hogwarts, during which he and Harry had not only not killed each other but become quite good friends, he had been elected to Headmaster upon the death of Minerva McGonagall some five years earlier. But all anyone had ever known about Snape after the war was that he had been injured by Nagini. His body was never recovered, but no one could fathom a way in which he might have survived. His whereabouts were, quite simply, the biggest mystery in wizarding Britain, at least until now.
Draco had come in early the next morning to get ready for the day. He and Harry had been tucked away as usual in the other man's quarters, ostensibly grading this week's essays but in reality using the time for more personal purposes. While most of the faculty was aware of the true nature of Harry and Draco's relationship – had to be, after ten years – they thought it best to keep their personal life very, very private.
To his surprise, Severus Snape was curled up in a ball in his best armchair, a tray of uneaten food sitting by his side. Dumbledore's portrait was of absolutely no help – Draco tried to rouse the old wizard, but he only snored louder. His ruse fooled no one, but no matter what Draco did, Dumbledore would not respond. Draco's only option was to place an afghan gently around his former mentor and Floo-call Harry, who ran through half-dressed to stand next to Draco, staring down at the sleeping man.
They had little time to spare before breakfast, and Severus seemed more than willing to remain completely asleep, so they hurriedly finished their morning ablutions and, having put a series of confinement charms on the rooms, rushed off to the Great Hall, murmuring heatedly under their breath.
Harry, of course, had immediately asked Draco where Severus had come from, but Draco had no answers for him. To be honest, Draco was feeling rather more than a bit shocked. Between Harry and himself, it had always been Draco that was convinced that Severus had died, his body hidden or
destroyed by someone in a fit of revenge after the battle. But Harry had been equally convinced that somehow, Severus had managed to survive.
Draco had sneered at Harry, had said contemptuously that he only wanted Severus to be alive so that he didn't have to feel bad about their longstanding hatred for each other. At first Harry had ruthlessly denied it, turning the tables on Draco and saying that he only wanted Snape to be dead so that he had no reminders about his Death Eater father. But after months of fighting, they had both grudgingly acknowledged that there was a bit of truth in both their statements. After that, they were able to talk
more rationally about Severus, and found that while they certainly had different kinds of memories about the man, they shared a mutual respect for him now, a respect that quickly blossomed into one for each other.
They had actually joked once that Severus had been their matchmaker, albeit not in person.
But just because they had found that they both cared for the man, even shared a mutual attraction for him, they definitely did not agree about his being dead, an argument that caused strife between them every year on the anniversary of the Battle. Because there had never been a body, Severus had never been declared legally dead. Harry, convinced the man was still alive, wanted to push for further Ministry investigations, Aurors, Unspeakables – anything that would help figure out where Severus was.
But Draco vehemently disagreed, saying that the man was dead, and to act otherwise was a disgrace to both his life and death. Instead, he wanted to have Severus finally declared deceased, so that maybe in death he could have some peace.
Today, Draco had been proved very, very wrong.
Pouring himself a second cup of tea, he turned to face Harry at the head table. “Alright, alright, I give up. You were right, he's alive, and I was wrong. Okay?”
“Look, Draco, I wasn't trying to rub it in or anything – I'm just as confused as you are.” It was a mark of how distracted both men were that Harry almost reached over to hold Draco's hand, flinching back at the last second.
Draco sighed, reaching for more toast. “I know, Harry. I'm sorry. It's just that I was so sure ...”
“I know, love,” Harry whispered. “I can't say as I'm sorry to see him though. But are you okay?”
Draco smiled fondly at Harry. “Yes, I actually am. It's just a shock, that's all, but I'm okay, I promise.”
“Good,” Harry said firmly. “Then right after breakfast, I suggest we figure out exactly what's going on.”
Draco chuckled as he finished the last of his tea, grimacing at its sweetness. Leave it to Harry to need another problem to solve. Turning to Professors Sprout and Bones, he hurriedly discussed the day's plans with them, and then briefly spoke with Madame Pomfrey on his other side.
Finished, he raised an eyebrow at his partner, and the two rose in tandem, heading back to the Headmaster's quarters.
They found Severus wide awake, the tray of scones and pastries from the previous evening completely clear of even a trace crumb. He was pacing back and forth in front of the fireplace, speaking with Dumbledore when they entered the room. Turning hastily toward them, he stopped, staring.
“You,” Severus whispered, his brow furrowing in recognition. “You – and Potter. Oh … oh no ...”
“Yes, Prof – Sev – uh, I mean, Mr. Snape, sir,” Draco said cautiously.
“Would you like to sit down?”
Severus fell most ungracefully into the same armchair he had slept in, robes and legs akimbo, staring at his two former students before he dropped his eyes to his twisted hands.
Waving his hand, Draco conjured up a fresh pot of tea – he'd make sure not to put so much sugar in it, this time – and poured out for the three of them.
“There now,” Draco said as he sent the cup floating over to Severus. “Do you feel up to talking with us a bit, or do you require some food?” “I – I -” Severus stammered, most unlike him. Clearing his throat, he closed his eyes, then opened them deliberately. “No, I'm quite alright,
thank you.” Sipping his tea, he focused very hard on not letting his trembling hands show.
Harry and Draco glanced at each other for a second, a world of conversations passing unspoken. “Sir,” Harry began tentatively, “I wonder if we might ask … well, where you've been all these years.”
Severus snorted, almost dropping his tea.
Mistaking his humour for derision, Draco hastened to explain. “You don't really have to tell us, sir, it's just that we all thought you were dead – well, I did, anyway – but no one could find your body -”
“Obviously because there was not one to find, Mr. Malfoy,” Severus said shakily, his words an empty parody of themselves.
“Well, yes, obviously,” Draco continued. “How is it that you managed to hide away all these years? I mean, we looked – it was months before we called off the search. And you … you look like you haven't aged a day ...”
“That's because it's only been a day for me, you twit,” Severus responded hollowly, his fingers twitching around the handle of his cup.
Harry started. “What do you mean, only a day? You've been gone for twenty years, sir!”
“No, actually, I haven't,” the man replied. “For me, it's May 3, 1998. I am thirty-eight years old, and you, Potter, defeated the Dark Lord yesterday.”
Draco and Harry gasped and looked at each other in surprise. “How – how is that possible, sir,” Draco whispered.
“I can't tell you,” Severus whispered back.
“You mean you don't know how you got here?” Harry asked.
“No, I mean I won't tell you,” Severus snapped, eyes darting up to his former students briefly before returning to his lap.
“Severus,” the portrait of Dumbledore rumbled, “it does you no good to hide.”
“What's he talking about, sir?” Draco asked.
“Severus,” Albus said compassionately, “You have faced more fear than anyone I've ever met, and all without a single word of complaint. I never asked you what you saw in that Mirror, but whatever it was was powerful, and you accepted it. You came here. But what good does it do you if you do not face your desires as well? You are alive, you are free – not just to live, but to be happy.”
Severus exhaled, slowly bending his head over his clenched fists almost like prayer. “Albus ...”
“Severus, accept it. It's alright,” the old professor whispered.
Harry looked at the tired man in front of him. He rose and crossed the room, kneeling down and putting his arms around him. Severus sobbed, one wracking cry, and clung to Harry, shaking. Draco swiftly followed, squatting next to Harry and rubbing Severus' back in soothing circles.
“Shh, sir – Severus, it's alright,” Harry whispered in the man's ear, brushing his hair out of his tear-covered face. Draco echoed Harry's words, reaching out and taking hold of one of Severus' hands.
“Please, Severus, tell us what happened,” Draco murmured.
Severus' body shook as he forced himself to take several deep breaths, calming himself enough to speak. Head resting on Harry's shoulder, he closed his eyes. “I was hurt. Very badly. I managed to make it back here to my office, and … I begged Albus to help me, to figure out what I was supposed to do. He showed me the Mirror of Erised. It … it melted, or transformed – I crawled through it. It brought me here.”
Harry's arms tightened around the man. He had seen the Mirror, knew the powers it contained. Dumbledore was right – whatever Severus had seen had to have been amazingly powerful. “What – what did you see, sir?” he asked, barely audible.
“You.” Severus raised his eyes to Harry's, shuddering when they widened in shock. Turning his eyes to Draco, he said, “And you.” Draco breathed in, as surprised as Harry.
“What do you mean, sir?” Draco said quietly.
“I saw you. Both. You two were apparently my heart's desire. And stop calling me sir – we're the same age now, if you haven't noticed, and it's a bit odd,” Severus said, his voice muffled in the collar of Harry's robes.
“Oh – oh,” Harry said, looking at Draco. “You wanted … us? Both of us?”
“Yes,” Severus said in embarrassment.
“Oh,” repeated Draco. He and Harry had another wordless conversation across the top of Severus' head. Almost immediately, they reached a silent agreement, smiling at each other lovingly.
Turning to Severus, Harry gently cupped his chin, pulling his head up so that he was forced to look at them both. “Severus – we want you, too.”
Pulling the man down with them onto the floor, the two proceeded to convince their former professor just how much they meant those words.
From above, Albus Dumbledore looked down on his former students, smiled, and pulled the curtain across his portrait. Sometimes, even Headmasters needed privacy.