Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling owns Harry Potter. Plain and simple. We can all understand that, right? I mean, I know it's hard to swallow, but hey, we can't all own Harry Potter.
grugster: Thank you so much for all your wonderful comments! I am simply honored to be an author whose work you enjoy. Yeah, I know that it's really sad when good things come to an end (I get sad too when stories I enjoy come to an end). As for Severus not being in The Burdens of a Lioness, don't worry; he'll show up every once in a while (I'll try to give him at least one chapter in it). Also, I plan to write another story featuring him, but I'm not sure who else I'll put in it. I'm debating between Albus, Minerva, and Remus. Or hey, maybe I'll just put all four of them together for my next Severus-centered story (it might be called Recurring Pain)! What do you think? I'd really appreciate it if you'd let me know, and thanks again for your support!
DamesFan: Yes, contrary to popular belief, Severus is human! I know a lot of people like to write him as a vampire, but I think that that's just too creepy! Besides, if he was a vampire, he wouldn't have been able to touch Quirrell because if I recall correctly, Quirrell was rumored to have garlic in his turban…
Athena Keating-Thomas: Thank you for all your reviews! Yeah, I think my biggest problem in my writing is that I sometimes make the adults sound like teenagers. I think I do that because a lot of people in my stories get hurt or sick, and they're in a state of vulnerability (especially Severus). I think I make the "teenager tone" come out because of Severus' bad childhood (I know that's a bad excuse). But hey, it's probably just because I'm sixteen (finally!), and I'm still developing my writing style! Anyway, thanks again for your reviews!
Tsuneni soshite Matsudai: Yeah, I guess the door could go whoosh, too. Or I could just get a can of WD-40, and the doors could close silently without the ghosts lurking about! Warm fuzzies are great!
miss mcGonagle: I think that Albus and Minerva would have no objections to adopting Severus. I mean, he's so cute (gives him a hug)! But I don't think Severus would appreciate it too much. I think he's content with their support, love, and attention, but hey, I could be wrong!
Rosaleen: An ending to make Raven Dancer proud, you say? I'm honored that you bestowed such a wonderful comment upon me! Thanks so much for your support!
Sorry if this annoys anyone, but…HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!
Well, this is it…the last chapter of The Easter Holiday.
I have to say that it's been an awesome journey for Severus, Albus, Minerva, and me! I'm just thrilled at all the support you readers have to offer! A big HUGE thank you to everyone who ever reviewed this story, excluding Dracosballduster, whose rude and vulgar remarks will go down in history as a disgusting display of derogatory drabble! So I send a "THANK YOU, AND I LOVE YOU!" to Rosaleen, valis2, Q-BriarXJade-Q, Rikki8879, LinZe, XiaoGui, Quill of Minerva, Nerweniel, ADandMMforever, excessivelyperky, Kee, Kassy, Silver Sorceress, kidarock, Aurinko, Lizzi-Chan, Lou. McGonagall, Rhiane Raine, HayleyPotter, ginger newts, TabbyMin, Lady Urquentha, bigkihap, catgirl89, kyer, duj, TartanLioness, MoroTheWolfGod, InsertNameHere, jennykim2007, zafaran, grugster, miss mcGonagale, Little Morgsi, Selena, theravenwaits, shadowfax21, Alesia G, Morgana-Alex, MaxwellHouse, Tsuneni soshite Matsudai, Athena Keating-Thomas, DamesFan, Joelpup62, and Grey Grim! Also, a big thanks to all those that read!
Just as a reminder, I've just put up two new stories, The Burdens of a Lioness and Before the Order. Also, I'll be coming out with The Side Effect and The Staff Room in the near future. I'd really appreciate it if you'd check them out!
Now, on to the completion of The Easter Holiday…
Chapter 23: Under the Stars
Albus Dumbledore, Minerva McGonagall, and Severus Snape were sitting in the Potions Master's private quarters having afternoon tea. They were all clambered on the black leather sofa, cuddled up as they had been when they woke up that morning. None of them had had much spare time that day: Snape and McGonagall had to prepare for the resumption of classes and Dumbledore had to visit Grimmauld Place to talk to Remus Lupin and Sirius Black. Despite their busy schedules, they found time in the late afternoon to reconvene their little gathering. "So, this is it," sighed the Potions Master, sipping his tea. "The last day of the Easter holidays."
"Yes," said the Transfigurations teacher. "Tomorrow, classes will resume – "
" – students will try to explain why they haven't done their homework – "
" – detentions will be handed out – "
" – House points will be lost – "
" – or gained – "
" – and I'll be trapped in the voluminous mass of noise that is Hogwarts' student body. "
"Come now, Severus," said the headmaster, pouring himself another cup of tea. "They really aren't that bad."
"Speak for yourself, Albus," said the younger wizard, but he was not wearing his usual scowl.
"So Albus," said McGonagall, eager to change the subject, "what will you do? When you leave?"
"Well," said Dumbledore, popping a lemon drop in his mouth, "Aberforth has offered to let me stay with him. I figured I'd take him up on it for a while. I'll be able to stop by at Grimmauld Place more often now, so don't you two think you've gotten rid of me yet!"
"Of course not, Albus," said the Transfigurations teacher, getting up to refill her cup. "I wouldn't dream of ever getting rid of you!" Before sitting back down next to Severus, she kissed the headmaster on the cheek.
"So I guess you two really are in love?" said Severus, looking at them with the shadow of a smile playing across his lips.
"Yes, Severus," said Dumbledore, smiling.
"So, am I in your way?" asked Snape, playfully. "I mean I am the only thing that's standing – I mean sitting – between you and her."
"Of course not, Severus," said McGonagall, kissing the Potions Master on the forehead. "I love you, too."
"And I love you, child," said the headmaster, also kissing Snape on the forehead. "We'll always be here for you, Severus, no matter how old you are."
"And I suppose you'll always call me 'child,' then?"
"I'm afraid so," said Dumbledore, wrapping an arm around the younger wizard.
"It's late," said Severus, glancing at the clock.
"Yes," said the headmaster. "I suppose I should go."
"And I guess we've got to prepare for tomorrow," said Snape with a sigh.
"Well," said Dumbledore as the three stood up, "I will be seeing you in the near future, Severus." He reached out and hugged the Potions Master tightly. "In the meantime, take care of yourself, child," he whispered.
"I will. And thank you, for taking care of me. Both of you," he added, turning to McGonagall.
She pulled the younger wizard in to an embrace. "I'll see you tomorrow, Severus."
"Good night," said Snape as the headmaster and the Transfigurations teacher left his private quarters.
Dumbledore and McGonagall left the dungeons in relative silence, each lost in their own thoughts. "How will you be leaving Hogwarts?" asked the Transfigurations teacher, softly.
"I'll take a Portkey from the Astronomy tower. I don't want to run the risk of being seen by someone, especially Dolores."
"So now you're finally being cautious about being seen? Thank Merlin!"
"Come now, Minerva, I was never seen this week."
"Oh, and how many near misses have you had?"
"It doesn't matter. Not that I wasn't risking anything," said Dumbledore as they reached the top of the Astronomy tower, "but I would risk being exposed if it meant that I could see you."
"I'll miss you, Albus," said the Transfigurations teacher, "a lot."
"I'll miss you, too, Minerva. But I won't be far away. I'll see you at Grimmauld Place, and you can contact Aberforth if you ever want to talk to me. Who knows, maybe I'll be able to come and see you sometimes."
"All right," she whispered. "Just be careful."
"So I'll see you later. Please take care of yourself," said Dumbledore. He pulled McGonagall to him, kissing her tenderly. She wrapped her arms around his neck as he deepened the kiss. They stayed like this until they were both in need of air.
"I will see you later, Albus. In the meantime, you take care of yourself. And…I'll always remember this week."
"Me, too," said the headmaster, gently kissing her once more. "I will always remember finding my deep love for you, during the Easter holiday, and this beautiful night when I got to kiss you, under the stars."
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