Headmaster Severus Snape was semi aware of someone calling his name but it was early and he wasn't quite awake yet. He was certain there was at least another hour of sleep to be had, the heaviness in his eyelids told him at least that much.
The voice call grew more anguished.
Perhaps it was a nightmare. Though he didn't think so.
Snape opened one eye, looked around the room quickly and then closed it. He waited to see if he was called again.
"Headmaster?" the voice calling him dragged out the name.
Severus Snape open both eyes, the red and gold of the room startled him as it did most morning and he gave half a growl, it mocked him daily in it cheerfulness and unfortunately it couldn't be helped or changed. His pile of dirty clothes were on the floor in the corner next to the laundry bin, he carefully slipped his wand from under his pillow and levitated the clothes into the bin. It would save an argument later.
"I saw that" the lump on his chest murmured, the voice heavy with sleep.
Snape reached up and ran a hand through the messy head of hair, Harry Potter, the boy who lived and his bond of a little over a year.
"So someone is calling you? I thought perhaps it was a dream. Is that the Minister of Magic?" Harry yawned and stretched awake all in one movement nearly hitting Snape in the nose.
Snape hated waking irritated.
Standing Snape threw his robe on, he was in no mood to deal with the Minister this morning. For some reason he hadn't slept well. There had been a strange dream where things kept popping in and out of the room, different clothing wardrobes and dressers with strange handles. He knew dreams usually represented something of the subconscious nature but what his subconscious was trying to tell him he wasn't sure, that he was a bad dresser or that he needed to expand his wardrobe?
Snape didn't care either way.
Severus stopped upon entering his office, his desk was filled with tea services, trays of tea all stacked precariously on top of one another nearly reaching the ceiling. How they hadn't collapsed upon one another he didn't know, he was sure the stack was swaying near the top. Little gold papers littered the floor.
Snape pulled his wand, he wasn't sure what was happening but he had a bad feeling about this.
"So it's happening there as well is it?"
Snape looked toward his fireplace the Minister's head was bobbing in the flames. He nearly had forgotten what he had come down here for. "And what is that Fudge" snapped Snape, suddenly the day before memory came to him and his fear with his magic and Harry's. Though he was slightly relieved it was not his magic nor that of the bond.
Harry appeared in the doorway just as he thought of his bond, like he always did. He was carrying Snape boots and trousers. However stayed out of sight when he heard Fudge speak.
Harry was not currently on the best terms with the Minister or anyone in the magical government right now. It was a long story.
"It's coming back, all of it the stuff that won't fit in the In-between."
Snape gasped and rocked back on his heels.
"Do you know what this means, death, destruction, magical abnormalities, things we don't know or understand, things that should not be names or can't…banned things…bad things." the Minister Fudge shuddered in fear. A whole body tremor.
Something squealed behind the Minister and he let out a loud cry. "Snape, look I know Harry is… um… well could you ask him to help out, this seems right up his ally. I have to go." He whimpered again and was gone.
Snape couldn't even imagine what was happening at the Ministry or any place in the wizard world and what his meant in the muggle world he couldn't even begin to understand how they were going to deal with that mess.
"Snape," McGonagall rushed through the door suddenly, "Headmaster." She said again. She stopped suddenly when she saw Harry holding Snape's trousers. It seemed awful early for that type of activity. "Potter glad you're here as well."
Professor McGonagall came into the office trailed by Hermione Granger. Harry smiled he hadn't seen much of his friend lately. She was currently in training at the Aurors research department. It was something she would be good at and he could only imagine she was in book heaven.
"My trousers Potter," Snape held out his hand.
Harry was half tempted to run off with his pants but he was curious about what exactly was going on. He tossed Snape the pants and bent over to pick up the gold square papers on the floor.
"What exactly is going on?" Harry questioned turning over the paper in his hand and gave it a sniff. It smelled of chocolate and peppermint. It reminded him of Christmas.
"The in-between is full" Said Snape simply buckling his pants and slipping on his boots, all while being mindful of the tea trays and cups littering the room, bump just one and it would be a landslide of broken glass and sugar.
"That's what I feared was happening." McGonagall shook her head, "you know in my time it happened. I was too young to remember but my father loved to tell us bedtime stories of that time."
Harry was confused, the what was full. "What is happening?"
"The in-between here and there is full." Snape emphasized with his hand here and there as if that clarified it all.
"Um…" Harry ran his hands through his hair this whole thing made no sense he didn't know where there was and barely knew where here was. This whole thing was getting strange he knew that much.
"Think, for Merlin's tit Potter where does stuff go when you banish it?"
Harry shrugged, he had no idea where stuff went, he just knew it was gone. But he was guessing now it was this in-between place. "So when you vanish something it goes to this in-between place?" he asked carefully he knew Snape was reaching his breaking point (the minister seemed to have that effect) and on most days he tried not to push him over. Unless it was for pleasure of course.
"Banish" Snape corrected him.
Frowning Harry nodded "Right banish and the difference is?"
Snape wanted to slap his hand on the desk but stopped in the nick of time, tea avalanche and all, "Hogwarts a history…. have you even glanced at it. Do you even own a copy? What is Binns teaching in history class?"
"Mostly about the goblin war," Hermione piped up.
Harry nodded, he really didn't know but he was sure Hermione would remember.
Snape looked at her as if she had grown two heads.
"Flitwick should cover this then." Snape growled, someone should be teaching something useful at this blasted school.
"Now Harry, in Hogwarts a history Helga Hufflepuff..."
"The short version Hermione, it's always the short version", Harry slid into the seat in front of Snape's desk, he would rather climb into Snape's lap and lick him, maybe even nibble on his ear but right now wasn't sure how that would be accepted.
Severus narrowed his eyes, Harry was thinking something that wasn't the topic of current discussion and Snape had an idea what. He was amazed at the amount of distraction the boy went through in a day and how easily he was drawn into it all, over and over again.
"Well in short, vanish is to vanish like it never existed and on the other end of things that are Banished have to go someplace and that place is the in-between and because so much stuff has been banished it is now full."
"That's it?" Harry sat up, this had such an easy solution. "Let's just vanish the stuff that is in the in-between."
Harry smile proudly, Hermione and Snape both looked at him he was crazy. McGonagall made a tutting noise.
His smile fell, things were never that easy and he suddenly felt like he was missing something very important.
"Harry things that are vanished can be banished but banished can't be vanished."
Harry said it over slowly in his head but couldn't quite get the words straight. All Harry knew was it made his head hurt. It all made no sense. "Why?" because his solution wasn't going to work but he felt knowing more about whatever it was he should already know about was the important part.
Hermione had launched it to the whys and what ifs of the whole situation and it was not the short version. He nodded when he thought it was needed but really it was still early and he just wanted to drag Snape upstairs and have his way with him. He was starting to suspect Snape could read his mind. Maybe it was something they had to grow into.
"Not to add to your list of things to do headmaster," McGonagall smirked , "But this would give you an out to fire Binns."
"Can you fire a ghost?" Harry head snapped around , appalled that they would want to fire the poor history of magic professor. He was a good ghost as ghost went.
"Yes, and its time. He's obviously out of date. Good thinking Minerva."
Harry and Hermione rolled their eyes, Slytherin and Gryffindors were all love and hate.
Harry stuck his hand in his pocket and pulled out the gold wrapper, "What are they?" Hermione asked. Taking the wrapper Harry offered her.
"Candy wrappers, the kind Dumbledore use to eat." Stepping up to the stack of tea trays, "And the tea trays, imagine those are of his doing as well. So why the tea service, why the candy wrappers?"
"Whatever is squeezed out of the in-between goes back to its original place it was banished." Hermione said.
"Where is this place and can it be visited?" Harry kicked at the wrappers, sending them fluttering. He wasn't sure he wanted to get involved in this. It was always something in the wizard world dragging him back to being Auror. The Aurors were supposed to take care these messes.
Harry smiled and looked at Snape. Just the bare hint of his chest was visible he hadn't brought him down a shirt to go under his robes. Licking his bottom lip Harry inched closer to Snape and slipped his hand in his. Severus smelled good, very Snape like.
"Harry." Hermione emphasized his name trying to get his attention, had noticed whenever he inched to close to the Headmaster she seemed to lose his attention, "We have to get Ministry approval and then we can visit the in-between."
"No, Harry is not in the hero saving business," Snape tightened his grip on Harry's hand, "He stays at the castle. The wizard world needs to learn to fight its own battles and not have Harry rescue it every time. That Ms. Granger you can tell Fudge when you see him next."
The room had chilled when Snape spoke, the earlier excitement of the unknown was gone and the joy of potentially firing Bins was fleeting. The mood darkened.
"Severus," deputy Headmistress McGonagall challenged, "Harry is a grown man and can do as he pleases. You have no control over that."
Snape looked a long moment at Harry whom was now staring out the window, though he had no doubt Harry was listening to everything said. "Yes I can, Thank you for your concern Professor, now if you can make sure the castle is secure from anything that might be squeezed out of the in-between and Ms. Granger I'm sure you have research to do."
McGonagall hated being dismissed, especially by someone half her aged and she has half a mind to argue but didn't. Those two had a strange relationship she didn't understand and she knew Potter well enough to know that when he want to do something or he wanted to go someplace he did. Why he was letting Snape stop him she wasn't sure.
The whole day was turning into a mystery.
To be continued….