Title:

The Parts that We Play

ACT I

The Choices that We Make

Author: Amireal
Archive: FF.net, my site if I ever get around to updating it, anywhere else, please ask.
Warnings: Uh... Don't THINK so.
Rating: R
Author's notes: I really tried to work within the timeline. If I messed up, I appologize.

IMPORTANT: This is a series in five parts. Each part is a whole and complete story and can be
read individually. This is NOT a WIP. Well... it's a WIP the same way the Tea Series is a WIP.

Feedback: Always appreciated. But please, if you don't like the pairing, don't read on and
criticize me, you were fairly warned.( see subject line)

Summary: Life is a series of choices, its what we do with them that makes all the difference.
I paced back and forth frantically, the options before me were obvious, tell all or twinkle my way
up the ladder of insanity in his mind. Those black eyes told me that my inane and nonsense
responses would not work for much longer and I needed Severus to trust me. Not that he would
after our conversation, but the man had always had a strange affinity for honesty.

"I'm not really Albus Dumbledore." I said finally.

Severus shifted uncomfortably before me, trying not to show that he hadn't really expected to be
right.

"Then who are you?" He asked, turning that trade mark sneer in my direction.

"The real Albus Dumbledore retired over 75 years ago. Just after Grindewald. I am his grandson,
Alquocious Juxtin."

Severus' eyes went wide at my name. I gave a small twinkle and said, "And my parent's wondered
why my friends called me Bob."

"You're... not..." Poor Severus looked so lost.

"I am the same person you've known all your life Severus. I just go by a different name." I was
imploring him to understand. If he stood up and walked out of my office never to return I would
understand completely. I had been lying to him for his entire life. But then, Severus' understood
the moral ambiguities the dark has brought upon us. "Judge me by the merits I have garnered in
my lifetime and nothing more." I asked. 'Do not leave me.' I silently begged.

"One day-" Severus' voice was gruff, he stopped anc cleared it, "One day, you will tell me
everything."

I smiled at him, grateful that for now he was willing to understand. "Thank you Severus."

Black robes swished as Severus attempted to make a hasty exit. He nearly stumbled over his
chair, a telltale sign that the man was much more affected by the encounter than he wanted to let
on.

"Severus." My quit voice stopped him cold, but he did not turn to face me, "Please, you are the
only one that knows and I find it... tiring... to be an old man all the time."

Severus' head bowed slightly making his stiff shoulders stand out.

"Could we, perhaps, play a game of chess tonight?" I hoped he would understand the request for
what it was. A chance to know me without my slow walk or my long beard or any other of a
hundred pieces of my metaphorical and physical costume.

His head gave a sharp nod, "It would be an honor headmaster." And he was gone.
*****

Evening had me pacing up and down my rooms like a nervous father waiting up for his daughter
on her first date. Or maybe I was that girl waiting for her date. I had no idea. I just wanted
everything to turn out alright. Severus' friendship had always been a staple in my life from that
moment he returned to me bloody and broken all those years ago.

A quiet rapping at my door signaled Severus' arrival. I bade him enter and we stood awkwardly in
the middle of the room, unsure of where to begin.

Since the awkwardness had been my doing, then it was my job to end it. "Thank you for coming
Severus."

He snorted in his typical manner, "You placed the greatest mystery Hogwarts as seen at my feet
earlier, how could I resist?"

Ah, that was my Severus.

I smiled at him. Not my Albus Dumbledore Isn't that special smile, or the That's exactly what I
had in mind smile, not even the I know more than you smile. No, I smiled a real, genuine smile.
The first in what had probably been years.

The corner of his lips quirked upwards. I see I wasn't the only one in a good mood.

"I believe you invited me for a game of chess." He offered, probably more interested in hurrying
me along to whatever I had actually planned for the evening.

"Yes I did. But first," I said and noted Severus' satisfied glimmer as I went on, "I've integrated
you into my wards."

He looked at me curiously.

I reached out and grasped his arm, "My own *personal* wards."

Severus blinked several times and then nearly jumped from my grasp he was so startled.

"My god." He whispered. "You look..." his hand came up to skim across my face, it trembled
slightly, "Like you... but... younger... so much younger."

I gave him a self depreciating smile "I'm enough older than you."

"Not by much." He gave another startled look, "You attended Hogwarts?"

I nodded knowing where his intelligent mind was taking him.

"You're what? Around 50?" He continued.

I nodded again.

"Riddle?"

"Three years behind me, but an insufferable prat even then. Suck up as well." I answered.

"I need a drink." Severus said as he sat down heavily on one of my armchairs.

I agreed with the sentiment and poured us both generous helpings of bourbon. Not that chocolate
Liqueur that I ply Minerva with when she won't leave me alone. She's a horrible snob when it
came to alcohol.

We sat there, staring at our bourbon, letting the intoxicating affect warm our systems.

"Are you going to explain all this, or shall I be doomed to die unsatisfied.?" Severus finally
murmured.

I snorted quietly, the alcohol must have been getting to me, "I'd never let you die unsatisfied
Severus." My companion's start is the only thing that alerted me to the implications of my last
sentence.

Stupid.

Where on earth that had come from I had no idea.

"My father died when I was very young." I start quickly to cover up the strange silence between
us. "I was raised by my grandfather." I took another sip. The words were hard to get out, after
years of keeping my stories straight, I found it difficult to open up, even that much. "He took a
sabbatical from life, as he always liked to say. After Grindewald, he just didn't want to deal with...
anything. Somedays, I think that in the beginning, he hadn't even wanted to deal with me."

Severus made a nondescript noise that I translated as "Go on."

"He refused all request for public engagements for as long as I could remember. No articles, no
interviews, no conversations. He'd even adopted my last name to handle my school papers." I
remembered those days with some sadness, they were the last where I had been youthful. "Then
one day... early in my seventh year, he wrote a paper."

"The 12 uses of Dragon's blood." Severus stated for me having already done the math.

I nodded. "And then another and another. Soon he was accepting speaking engagements and
heading all over the world. When I was home, we began talking about all sorts of magical
subjects." I continued. "Not the mundane ones though, the complex and the ambiguous. He
started sending me his papers to read, even quizzing me on them."

Severus was nodding along, as always one step ahead of me.

"I hadn't been sorted into Slytherin for nothing." Severus' eyes met mine on that revelation, but I
pushed on, "I confronted him about it near the end of my seventh year."

Severus swallowed the last of his bourbon in one swallow, "And what did he say?"

"What followed was probably one of the most disturbing conversations in my entire life and I've
had quite a few of them." The words had been flowing out of my mouth at an impressive speed. I
wasn't used to being that direct, spilling all of that information at once. It seemed, however, that
once I'd started, I wouldn't stop until I had finished. I wondered if I needed that catharsis, or if I
simply trusted Severus that much. "Near the end of my sixth year I had been involved in a
quidditch accident- oh don't look at me like that- I'm rather good with a broom."

Severus' eyebrows shifted back to their normal position.

"My grandfather had visited me in the infirmary. While at Hogwarts he had sensed... something
that had felt much like Grindewald." I had never really gotten him to elaborate on what it was that
had gotten him so scared that day. "He laid out his plan for me. It was rather simple. He'd
returned to his teaching position at Hogwarts. Transfiguration, of course. I was to spend the next
2 years learning every spell he though I might need and then I was to take his place."

Severus nodded, "Long enough to establish slight changes in behavior and for you to learn all
sorts of interesting things." he rubbed his brow, "Why do I get the feeling that, that is not the end
of the tale?"

"You always were a smart lad." I answered him, easily falling back into usual routine, "Just
because I took over his teaching position... and practically his life, does not mean that he stopped
sending me texts and manuscripts to read, or that over the summer hols I was not inundated with
new spells and charms and hexes and curses to learn."

Severus eyed me with a new respect. I guess having learned at the knee of Albus Dumbledore was
almost as good as being him.

"He taught me until the day he died. And then the old bastard left me a note with instructions on
what sections I should start on first in his personal library and where he had hidden all the special
items and manuscripts." I finished my second glass and added dryly, "Imagine my surprise."

Severus' low chuckle was a comfort. The telling of the tale had left me hollow somewhere deep
inside, his voice managed to make the void seem just a bit smaller. "You look very much like
yourself... but older. You were closely related, but did you really have that uncanny a
resemblance?"

"No... at first the spells I used had me become an exact replica, but as time wore on I changed
them piece by piece so that it was more me than him. This spell is much easier to maintain. I don't
even have to think about it all." I shrugged, "people just attributed it to aging."

Severus once again, nodded. That man could throw so much into such a simple action. It was
rather annoying. But then, I've been told that about my twinkle.

"The question is now," I began tentatively, "is, where does this leave us?" I left it up to Severus
what would happen next, he was after all, the betrayed party.

Severus studied his glass for several seconds, long tapered fingers tapped on it aimlessly, "I'm not
sure where this leaves us." he finally answered. He carefully placed the glass on the table next to
him and stood up. "I like thinking myself an observant person. That I should have noticed this
long ago. Part of me is not surprised, it looks back and its sees all the little inconsistencies fall into
place. Another part of me," Severus was using his fingers to keep track of his points, "thinks this
is all some hallucination."

I nodded, standing up and joining him where he had settled near my floo. I once again put my
hand on his arm. "I've often wondered the same thing. I've not been myself for 30 years,
sometimes I wonder who I am."

His hand settled over him, though he still hadn't turned to face me, "Who are you Aloqacious?"

I shuddered, "I loathe that name, please, call me Albus."

Severus nodded.

"As for who I am. I am me, you're friend. The same man you have known for over 30 years. I'm
just a little less... insane" Severus snorted. "And a little more... cunning."

Severus' fingers threaded themselves into mine, "You were never like a father to me Albus, I
don't know what you were, but not a father."

My mouth went dry. At the hidden implications, whatever they might be. "That's good to know."

Severus once again nodded.

Damn his laconic tendencies.

The fingers holding his tightened and I squeezed in return. "Chess?" I asked.

"Delighted."

He finally turned to face me, his hand not dislodging from mine, we were inches apart, not moving
when he finally murmured. "Bloody hell." and swooped forward, pressing his lips to mine.

Merlin but that felt good! My knees nearly buckled and I flung my arms around his neck to hold
my self still. Severus let out a small grunt as my weight landed on him. Arms tightened around me
and pulled me up and closer. His long lean body pressed into mine as our mouths moved against
each other. I'd lost track of everything but the heat of his mouth and the small shudders wracking
me.

It had been too long since anything like this had happened. A few odd encounters in Hogsmeade
when I dared leave the disguise behind. But nothing so... intense.

I felt the cold stone walls at my back and wondered when we'd moved. Severus' hand were
everywhere, and I was suddenly glad that I did not have the physique of a 150 year old. The
sensations overwhelmed me again and it was all I could do to hold on as Severus made every
nerve in my body tingle.

We finally broke apart, gasping and the rest of my senses checked in. A strong earthy smell
invaded my nose and soft skin was under my fingertips, my other hand rested on a muscled hip,
feeling the heat pouring through. My body was pressed firmly against Severus and gave little
shivers every time he moved.

Severus was flushed and breathing heavily, I was probably in a similar state. "What are we,
Albus?" his deep passion roughened voice asked.

It made me shudder, the deep resonances rolling over me.

Dazed, I shook my head, "I have no idea." my voice was shaky and all but a whisper.

Not accustomed to being so out of control, I did the only thing that seamed plausible at the time. I
kissed him.

He let out a small groan that went through ever muscle in my body and liquified it. We melted
together in desperate kisses, trying to get as close as possible. My fingers found their way to silk
strands of hair. The need to breath caught up with us again and I aimed my lips for his neck,
sucking gently on the skin below his jaw.

"Oh god. Albus." His ragged moan reached my ears again.

We broke apart again, resting our foreheads against one another. "What re we doing?" I asked.

"I think its rather obvious." Severus answered, still gulping air.

"Severus." I warned. "Please don't play my role. Its unbecoming."

He closed his eyes, controlling some unknown emotion.

"What are we doing?" I asked again, not sure I knew the answer myself.

He kissed me again, curling my toes and causing my eyes roll nearly to the back of my head
before releasing me.

"Does there always have to be an answer?" He asked grinding his hips into mine.

"Nguh." Was about the extent of my vocabulary.

I gave an involuntary shift back that reduced my ability to speak to zero. Severus seemed similarly
affected.

We twined together exchanging fervent, wet kisses, bodies gyrating to a primitive rhythm.
Pleasure ebbed and flowed, welling inside me and demanding completion. Eventually I just
wrapped my arms around Severus' body and held on for dear life as every nerve in my body
exploded.

Severus spasmed in my arms and we fell to the ground together. "What was that?" He asked.

"Now you want to know?" I managed to get out.

"Now seems like as good a time as any." He answered, pulling me closer.

I shifted my arms to more comfortable hold him and answered, "I don't know, Severus. I don't
know.

*****

I woke up with fuzzy memories of making it to my bed with a groggy potions master in tow. We
were still twined together.

"Have you figured it out yet?" Severus asked.

I looked over at him and noted that his eyes were still closed. "No. But I'd rather keep doing it if
its all the same to you." I held my breath waiting for an answer.

"Considering that's the only proposition I've had in about 20 years. I'm not going to turn it
down." Severus' voice was low and still had a sleepy timbre.

I raised an eyebrow, "The *only*?"

Severus raised his head and looked me in the eye, "The only one worth taking." He said.

Oh.

Oh my.

Those words sent a jolt through me and the only thing I could think to do with that energy was to
kiss the man next to me. So I did.

Unfortunately that was the extent of what we could partake of, he had his duties and I had mine
and we were fast encroaching on them.

Slipping on my robes, I felt my character come back to me. I was once again Albus Dumbledore,
though, I didn't have to work as hard to smile.

END ACT I