Title: In the Final Hour
Author: Vasaris, the Fuzzy Dragon
Disclaimer: I wish I owned the characters. Harry would have relatives who cared for him and Snape would have some closure. Alas, Harry and Snape belong to J. K. Rowling, primarily, as well as Scholasitc and Warner Brothers.
Feedback: Feedback is good. Constructive Criticism is excellent. Adoration is always welcomed.
Beta: Many thanks to K. B. and ShaeLynn for their willingness to critique this on short notice.
Archive: Part of the From Dusk till Dawn Severus Snape/Harry Potter Fuh-Q-Fest at
Challenges: 1000 words, exactly, at least according to my spell check.
150. Incorporate the quote "Cry havoc and let lose the dogs of war" (KC) (note: looked up the original Shakespeare at and verified that the phrase is, in fact, to let slip the dogs of war, and that is the actual phrase I used. I like the way it sounds. :)
162. One last time before battle (Nienna Ciryatan)
164. Include Harry saying, "Aw, piss off!" to someone. Not necessarily Severus. (Nienna Ciryatan)
In the Final Hour
It was, Harry thought, a Dark and Stormy night. Not in the traditional sense, of course, for the moon was full and high, igniting the high wisps of cloud and drifting expanses of fog with silver fire. Were a muggle sitting atop the medieval, barricaded Towers of Hogwarts, he might think it a glorious and beautiful sight. Muggles wouldn't be able to sense the dark, black magic battering against the ancient Wards. They wouldn't be able to see the phantom glitter of a thousand Dark Marks against the sky.
Muggles could be oblivious to the obvious.
"Mars is bright tonight," came a thoughtful voice from behind him.
"Aw, piss off. Can't you see I'm --"
"-- brooding? Yes, Harry, that is very much evident to me." The voice was worn and gentle and unwelcome as a plague of boggarts.
He didn't turn. The time when Albus Dumbledore's merry blue eyes could calm or soothe him was long over.
"Did you need something, Master?"
"I wish you wouldn't call me that, Harry."
"As you desire it, my lord." He turned and rested his gaze behind his gaoler, refusing to meet Dumbledore's eyes. "Was there something you wanted?"
The old man sighed, a weary exhalation that left Harry more satisfied than chastised. "Harry, you know that I only want was is best. You do more good here, safe, where people can rally to you than on the field of battle."
"You're a fool if you think I believe that." A sneer crept across his mouth with slow malevolence.
"I wish you would, Harry."
"I'm sure you do, my liege. Is it fun being the king of a dying kingdom when you could end all of this by letting me go?"
"Allowing you to attack Voldemort head on would solve nothing, child."
"A figurehead that gains fewer and fewer followers as time goes on. Who wants to follow the Boy-Who-Lived-In-Fear, old man?"
"My boy --"
"Ron's dead. Neville's missing. Hannah Abbot was found in this morning, flayed alive with an unbreakable life-support charm. There are thousands of injured wizards and nearly a million muggles dead."
"Who told you that?"
Harry attempted to control the vindictive twist of his lips. "Oh, I'm supposed to be ignorant of that? Ron and Neville are just away, right? That potion you've had Snape slaving over? Not an antidote for the muggle-killing poison that red-eyed bastard slipped into the London water supply? The refugees? Obviously not the last muggle-born or related wizards left in Britain. And you don't want me to confront He-Who-Can't-Keep-A-Rein-On-His-Ego."
"You're not ready, Harry."
"As if you'd know, playing dotty grandfather all day, Master." Harry turned and met the old man's eyes, scowling. "If you've nothing for me, I've places I'd rather be than with you."
Dumbledore's genial blue eyes flickered briefly. "As you wish, Harry."
"No, Master, I don't believe you love me."
With that, Harry swept through the door, leaving a confused old man behind.
It seemed base and depraved to surround himself with silky, fragrant water when his best friend had died; to writhe beneath a lover's hands even as poor Hannah had done beneath hours of the Cruciatus. Sin drenched each biting, sucking kiss. Corruption spread from each thrusting stroke of cock. It was wicked, the voluptuous pleasure of the prostate, the sumptuous orgasms wrung from his flesh.
Harry didn't care.
His lover had come up from the dungeons whispering of blood, vengeance and magic.
Tomorrow the battle would come. Tonight was for them, alone.
It was, Harry thought, a Dark and Stormy dawn. Rosy-fingered, dawn painted the sky in pastels that emphasized the lashings of the black magic that raged beyond the glistening wards. For a moment, he envied the muggles wakening to find that the mysterious plague that had hit London had tapered off on what promised to be a glorious spring day.
Harry smiled as the sun climbed over the horizon. It was time.
"Good morning, Harry!" Dumbledore's eyes sparkled behind his half-moon glasses. "We haven't seen you at breakfast in quite a while."
Harry didn't smile back. "I don't care to break bread with my enemies, my lord."
Someone hissed. In times past it would have been McGonnagal, but she, like so many others, had fallen in the name of the Light.
At the end of the head table, he could see Snape rising, the potion master's expression carved in marble. Dumbledore scowled abruptly, his displeasure hewn roughly in the granite crags of his face.
"How many wizards and witches have fallen wearing your sign, old man? How many here in this room wear a phoenix rising upon their wrists, their magic suppressed and fed to you? How long do you intend to play both sides of the fence, Tommy boy? How long have you had control of Dumbledore's mind and soul?"
"I have no idea what you're talking about, Harry. Perhaps we could discuss this in my office?"
"I shouldn't think so, my Lord." Snape abased himself at Dumbledore's feet, lifting and kissing the hem of his robes. "It is obvious that the Boy-Who-Lived has more than two brain cells to rub together."
'Dumbledore' kicked at Snape, snarling. "How dare you."
Harry's wand flicked out. "Don't bother running, Tom."
"I am Albus Dumbledore!"
"Then where's Fawkes, Professor? Killed in a tragic accident… because a phoenix cannot bear the presence of a Dark Wizard, can it?" Five years. Thousands and millions dead. Harry saw Snape roll to his feet, a small, bright-bladed dagger in hand.
The thing masquerading as Albus Dumbledore sneered.
"What, exactly, do you think you're going to do with that?"
Severus moved, almost faster than the eye could see but not quick enough to avoid the spray of blood as he cut the puppet's throat. Red eyes stared up at the potions master in mute astonishment as he spoke quietly.
"What do I expect to do, old man?" Severus' smile was terrible in its bloodstained beauty. "I shall cry 'Havoc!' and let slip the dogs of war."