Title: The Best Laid Plans…
Disclaimer: Alas, I do not own the HP universe; JK Rowling/Warner Bros does. No money is being made and no copyright infringement is intended.
The Best Laid Plans…
..."Yes really," Dumbledore replied. "Someplace romantic where we can enjoy ourselves…without anymore interruptions."
"I believe you've said that before…"
"Oh but this time, my dear," Dumbledore said with a bright twinkle in his eyes, "I will not fail."
Severus Snape did not hurry in his packing. The last thing he wanted was to return to the dining room too early and become embroiled in Dumbledore's attempts to explain the myriad of complex deceptions of the preceding weeks. Knowing his colleagues, Severus thought, they'd gawk at him or even worse, ask him questions as well. The very idea sent chills of horror down his spine. Not willing to take any chances, Snape read for an hour and a half before packing up the room with a wave of his wand.
Much to Snape's consternation, Albus was not waiting for him when he made his way downstairs. Hearing voices in the dining room, Snape loitered in the villa's entrance hall, awkwardly waiting for Albus's to appear.
A moment later, Hooch exited the dining room.
"Don't tell me they're still grilling him in there," Snape said.
Hooch let out a chuckle. "The Headmaster left over an hour ago."
"He explained everything quite succinctly and then said he had to leave to make some arrangements for the two of you elsewhere. This was supposed to be a private getaway, wasn't it, Severus?" Hooch asked sympathetically.
"Yes." Snape sighed, "Merlin, will this ever go right?"
"Well, at least, it explains your behavior," Hooch said. "I thought I was going to need to have a little talk with you when we got back to Hogwarts about moderation."
The corners of Snape's mouth quirked a bit. "Yes well…was that all he said then?"
Hooch paused a moment before continuing significantly, "He told us he was in love with you."
"What in the devil's name is he telling you that for?" Snape asked sharply in disbelief.
"'Deeply in love.' Those were his words. And I presume he told us so we would know how very serious he is about you, Severus."
Snape was trying to look severe, but he knew that he was not quite carrying it off. Inside, he felt a little too much like a love-struck adolescent. And judging by the smile on Rolanda's face, he suspected that it showed.
A moment later, the pair spotted Dumbledore walking through the main doors, heading towards them.
Hooch leaned in, gave Snape a kiss on the cheek and whispered, "I'm so happy for you, Severus."
"Sorry for the delay," Dumbledore called as he approached.
"So where are we off to this time, Albus?"
"It's a surprise."
"Have an ounce of decency, why don't you!" Hooch exclaimed angrily, turning Albus's and Severus's attention to the clustered faculty, plastered against the dining room entrance, staring intently at them. "I'll get rid of them for you," she said.
"There's no need," Dumbledore replied. "We'll be gone in a moment." Dumbledore glanced around, picked up a glass on an adjacent table and said, "Portus."
Snape raised his eyebrows in surprise and remarked, "In a hurry I see."
Dumbledore smiled. "You have no idea," he said before taking Severus's hand in his and placing it on the glass.
Snape could hear the faculty whispering loudly behind him. He was just about to utter a biting remark about their rudeness when Albus leaned forward and kissed him. Nothing about this kiss could have been mistaken for a friendly one. It was deep, it was passionate…so much so that Severus was no longer conscious of the gaping stares being leveled at them or the exclamations of 'oh my!' in the background.
It was by far the smoothest port Severus had ever experienced. He was barely aware that they had left until he felt the gentle thud of the ground beneath his feet. They landed with their lips still locked.
When Albus pulled away, albeit hesitantly, he directed Severus's attention to the view in front of them. It was beautiful, Severus thought at once. Mountains in the distance, a blanket of forest to the left and before them a great lake with the sun just beginning its descent over it. For a long moment, Severus was lost in the view when suddenly, it registered.
Turning around, Snape saw the castle.
"There's no one here, Severus. Argus was left standing watch, and I sent him with Mrs. Norris to a cat spa. Filius is visiting his sister, Hagrid is in Paris, and everyone else is gossiping about us while imbibing entirely too much wine."
Snape was too stunned to speak.
"We have the whole castle to ourselves for at least one week, perhaps more."
This was exactly what Severus had wanted from the start, time alone with Albus. Overwhelmed by Albus's efforts to make him happy, a rush of guilt swept over him. Snape began, "Albus, I should apologize for my behavior over the last few days. Especially this evening. It was rather childish of me."
"No need," Albus replied before pulling Severus to him.
Snape pulled back slightly and continued with a smirk playing on the corners of his mouth, "That being said, I feel it necessary to point out that despite rumors of your omnipotence, Headmaster, I was right about this whole trip."
Dumbledore smiled. "I should think, Professor Snape, that the whole Andrew escapade would be proof enough of the falseness of that rumor." A pause. "But I see that I still have some ground to make up." With a whispered word, Dumbledore revealed a small table a few meters away from them, with a white linen tablecloth and two immaculate place settings. Near it was another table with about a dozen trays of food spelled with warming charms.
Answering Severus's unspoken question, Dumbledore explained, "That's our dinner from this evening and it includes some Alsatian favorites: foie gras, tarte flambée, coq au Riesling, terrine légère au Gewürztraminer, confit de canard, gratin de pommes au vin blanc d'Alsace, and choucroute garnie."
"From that list, I must presume you're starving, Albus."
Dumbledore chuckled. "Not at all. But I felt horribly about our rather unfortunate departure from Alsace. I wanted you to be able to try a little bit of everything, Severus. So I took the liberty of ordering everything off the menu. Including dessert," Dumbledore added with a twinkle.
Finding himself overwhelmed with Albus's thoughtfulness, Snape began, "That's so…"
"Sweet?" Dumbledore supplied helpfully.
"I was going to say crazy," Snape replied with a smirk, "but I suppose 'sweet' will do. So are we going to eat?"
"Not now. The food's for later," Dumbledore said, with a look that promised all sorts of things in between.
"Don't look so smug, Albus," Severus said playfully. "Given our luck, the faculty will all be so hung-over they'll return early."
"I very much doubt it."
"Let's just say I may have…suggested…they take that extra week in Bordeaux as well."
Snape's eyes widened at Albus's meaning and he exclaimed in a shocked voice, "You confounded them!?" A pause. "I knew you were brilliant."
From inside his robes, Dumbledore pulled out a perfectly chilled bottle of crémant d'Alsace, stoppered with a cage-shaped champagne cork, the bottle's neck wrapped in gold foil.
"You didn't have the inclination to try it before, Severus. And I didn't want you to feel deprived, so I bought the best vintage they had."
Dumbledore opened the bottle with practiced ease and poured just enough in his glass to taste. He took a small sip in assessment and said, "And I must say, it is divine," before placing a soft kiss on his lover's lips, giving Severus his first taste of the wine.
They drank the crémant in silence, savoring the view, and soon, Severus was wondering why Albus hadn't ushered him over to the table to share the dishes he had procured. Remembering Albus's comment that the food was for later, Severus asked, "If we're not eating now, Albus, then what—"
"Ah, I was beginning to think you'd never ask," Dumbledore replied with a twinkle.
A moment later, another whispered word from Dumbledore revealed a cabana just a few feet behind him, draped in white cloth. The bed inside opened up to a full view of the lake and the impending sunset.
"What is this?" Snape asked.
"It's your bed, of course."
"I know it's my bed, Albus. What is it doing here?"
"It is rather softer and more comfortable than the ground, Severus. And I intend to have my wicked way with you right here."
"What? Here? You can't be serious."
"Oh but I am," Dumbledore replied in a tone that made Severus flush with desire at the idea. "I have, after all, suffered tremendously," Dumbledore emphasized with mock seriousness, "over these past days."
"Oh really?" Snape asked playfully, a smirk touching his lips. "You have empirical evidence of that, do you?"
"As a matter of fact…" Albus replied with a touch of humor in his voice.
Severus smiled at Albus's meaning, but immediately sobered at the idea of getting undressed in the middle of Hogwarts' grounds.
"You may have taken care of the faculty, Albus, but who's to say we won't have unexpected visitors? The gates are just around the bend."
"Also taken care of, my dear," Dumbledore said as he stepped behind Severus and wrapped his arms around his lover. "I've asked the castle gates to keep everyone out unless I give them express permission to enter."
As Albus began to massage his arms and shoulders, Severus replied slyly, "I am beginning to see that there are definite advantages of having the Headmaster as a lover."
"Oh, you're just discovering them now, are you?" Albus murmured in feigned annoyance as he placed a series of soft kisses along Severus's neck.
Dumbledore moved his fingers over Severus's nipples, teasing them through his shirt, delighting in each little moan his movements elicited. He silkily whispered against the shell of Severus's ear, "So…am I finally forgiven?"
"Ask me again…in a few hours," Severus growled darkly, as he pressed himself further back, rubbing his lower body against Albus's erection.
"Merlin Severus…" Albus moaned through his growing haze.
Incited by the gasps of pleasure coming from behind him, Snape spun around and caught Albus's mouth in a deep, fiery kiss, all while pushing Albus towards the cabana he had so conveniently arranged.
As they tumbled onto the bed, all pretense of languid love-making was abandoned – both men devouring the taste of the other, grinding and crushing their bodies together, their hands almost frantic with an unfulfilled hunger.
They set about tearing off the others' clothing, the urgency growing exponentially as each piece of fabric was removed, worshipping each bit of newly exposed flesh in turn. Impatience begot a muttered vanishing charm that took care of the rest; neither could hold back the sigh of contentment at the feeling of skin against skin.
Overcome with desire to feel every inch of Albus against him, Severus cupped his hand on the back of Albus's neck and pulled him into a heated kiss while thrusting his aching length against Albus's belly. The ensuing friction made Severus shiver with delight and cry out in demand for more.
Albus pulled away slightly and asked in a soft murmur, "What do you want, Severus?"
With eyes dark, almost rabid, with lust, Severus breathed heatedly, "You know what I want," his voice and words so self-assured, they were Albus's undoing.
Nothing more needed to be said. As though they had been together for years, Albus understood and heard the unspoken 'now.' He turned Severus onto his side, kissing his back in a line moving upwards towards Severus's neck, while his hand drifted lower.
A whispered word and Severus felt Albus's fingers, stretching him, gently at first, but soon with the rough promise he craved. He clawed at the sheets, trying to say something, struggling to communicate the magnitude of his need in that moment, but instead whimpering through his desire, pressing his body back, writhing on Albus's fingers. When Albus finally entered him, Severus's whole body seemed to almost sigh with relief, relaxing into this welcome penetration, even as Albus gasped from the strain of not finishing right then and there.
Albus sucked in a deep breath and took the moment of stillness to pant a vehement 'I love you' in Severus's ear before he wrapped his arms around Severus and made love to him. The passion of their newfound love was all too evident in their breathless moans and the sheer abandon of their frenzied movements. And yet, there was a strange sense of ease and comfort in their joining, a contentment that echoed an almost unparalleled intimacy between them.
When the sun finally touched the lake, their naked bodies were illuminated by the most glorious orange glow as they cried out together in ecstasy.
After taking several minutes to enjoy the satiated bliss, Severus opened his eyes and took in the sight of the sun's crest descending past the horizon.
"You realize," Severus whispered, "I won't ever be able to look at this sunset the same way again."
From behind him Albus murmured through still slightly labored breathing, "That was precisely my intention, my dear."
Severus smiled. How strange and out of place it was…the two of them lying there on his own bed in the middle of the grounds at dusk. Overhead, through the diaphanous drapes, he could just make out the form of the rising moon. Before him, the water stretched out in a palette of indigo, blue and lilac. Severus felt a slight breeze, cool off the water, but Albus's body was so close behind him that he only felt warm and relaxed. After so many ill-fated plans, after so many different cities and sights, what a strange place to end up this was. And yet, it was perfect. Albus had made it so.
"This is beautiful, Albus," Severus said.
"No place like home?" Albus asked softly.
Severus snuggled further back into Albus's cradling warmth, sighed, and said, "Exactly."
- finis -
Author's Note: I was so happy to write and share this with you. Thank you for all your comments along the way.
I hope to now focus the majority of my energies on 'Unexpected Grace' and slowly on my snarry sequel to 'Light on the Dark Side of Me.' Hope you join me there.
I've learned several things while writing this story: I like writing the faculty, especially Hooch, I love writing ticked off Snape, and I adore writing 'randy' Albus. I hope you found this a satisfying ending. This is my first real attempt at ADSS smut...go easy on me. 5 points to you if you got the very subtle point I attempt (but likely fail) to make at the end...that Severus isn't thinking of Hogwarts when he answers, 'exactly.'
I really can't wait to hear what you think of the ending...