Author's Notes: This was wrote for last years SS/HG Exchange and Mundungus42 I hope she enjoyed it. Also many thanks to my wonderful beta logical_quirk, and my sister, Dixiebell for all the little sacrificial plot bunnies.
Therapy via Portrait
"You're dead, you old fart," Severus snapped at the painting above his fireplace. "So go away and bother me no more. I want no twinkling, no offers of candy; I only want some peace and friggin' silence!"
"Severus, my son, I only want what is best for you. It's Christmas Eve. The war is over; let it go, let her go and enjoy your life," spoke Albus in a whisper from above. "Lily."
"Shut up!" exploded Severus, pushing himself back from the mantle. "My sanity and teeth are saved from your constant buggery, so just leave me be." The last was delivered with a voice of such sadness. He stepped to the bar and poured himself a double.
"You leave me no choice, then." Dumbledore said. "Lily is dead, Severus, dead." He spoke in a stern and final voice. "Sitting here brooding every Christmas for the last eighteen years hasn't changed things yet."
Severus looked up at the painting. "I love her. I will always love her," he croaked. He looked up at the painting, gulped the liquid in his glass and just as quickly poured himself another.
"Loved," was the reply. "Loved, it's the past tense just like her."
"Love; it's never ending," Severus wearily argued. He walked to his chair before the fire and collapsed back into it.
Albus Dumbledore's portrait then spoke with a grave finality. "It's time to lose the past." Here he paused, and when he spoke again it was his old master's voice, strong and firm. "You will have three visitors tonight –" Severus started to interrupt. "No, this is it, Severus. You will bury Lily tonight."
A Touch of Frost, The Promise of Fire
The fire had died down and was now just glowing embers. Severus sat nursing his glass of Firewhisky and fought the urge to nod off in front of the fire. He was deep in thought. His mind running back to Lily, he could smell her scent still. He smiled at the memory.
Something cold brushed his cheek, like a touch of frost. He dropped his glass as he jumped from his seat, reaching for his wand as he turned, only to drop it at a glance of who now stood before him.
Standing in front of him was the love of his life, painted in shades of gray. "Lily," he whispered. He stepped toward her like a thirsty man to a fresh mountain stream.
The apparition stepped back and smiled sadly. "Yes, Severus, it is me." He stepped towards her again. "No, don't come any closer. I am not here for us, Severus; I am only here for you." She smiled wistfully.
"Please, Lily, it's been so long."
"Its time, you know, you have to forget me," she said.
"I can't," Severus replied. "You were always in my heart, you still are, your memory consumes me," he said. "My love for you consumes me even now."
"Severus, I am the past and even then it was only James. James and our son," the ghost of Lily Potter said. "Thank you for keeping him safe and watching over him. I owe you for that."
He said nothing. The ghost stepped closer to him, lifted a translucent hand and caressed his cheek. All he felt was a touch of frost. "Is this what you desire, Severus, a cold touch? That isn't a life of any sort." She spoke softly but her meaning was clear. The air around Severus was chilled by her close proximity.
"You do have a future, Severus," she said, stepping away from him. "There is someone waiting for you, and unlike my cold touch her touch is fire." She smiled wistfully as she said this. And then the ghost of Lily Potter slowly faded from this world.
A Vulgar Mutt
He again sat by the fire in his chair staring at the flames. One Ghost down, he thought to himself. Who else would show up? He watched the clock on the wall slowly tick by the night.
"Miss me – Snivellus!" shouted Sirius Black from behind the chair.
Severus fell out of the chair this time. His face was pale as he glared up at the figure above him. "You're dead," he spat.
"Yes, a technicality, Snivellus, but not as dead as you." This was said with a leer in Sirius's voice. "Here you are, sitting by the fire sniveling over a woman who wasn't yours to begin with."
"Bastard," Severus snarled and pulled himself from off the floor and back into his sturdy leather chair.
"Don't get all sweet on me, Snivellus," Sirius said with a wink, "when I am here to do you a big favor." He smiled.
The gray vision of Sirius Black strolled around the room, nonchalantly picking up books, leafing though a magazine. "It changed so much while I was gone," he mumbled and dropped the magazine. Looking back at Severus he said, "But, as I said I'm here on a favor, and also, as bad as I hate to say it, I owe you for Harry."]He said this with distaste.
"You owe me nothing, you mutt, I want nothing from you." He sneered at the ghost.
This seemed to anger the ghost. "Yes, Severus, you are a waste of my time, I agree. Here I am wasting my night with you while I could be getting a little ectoplasmic joy with a ghost up on the third floor. Ever see the little lady in the milkmaid costume?" He gave a vulgar laugh. "Or –" He paused. "I could really see what goes on in the girls' showers."
Severus snorted. "Why does that not surprise me. You were always filth. Like I said before," he sneered, "take your flea-bitten ass out of my rooms. Whatever you have I don't want any of it."
"Yet you're going to take this, old man." The ghost approached him, grasped his shoulder and flash. They were standing inside the kitchen of number twelve, Grimmauld Place.
Snape gasped in shock. "Sidealong, with a ghost?"
"Christmas Eve magic? I don't know," mused Sirius. "There are things more important to see than wonder about that." And he pointed at the group gathered. "Don't worry, they can't see us."
Gift wrap littered the room. On the couch were a cuddling Ginny and Harry. Ron was helping Lavender clear the table. Luna and Neville stood by the fire in deep conversation and Hermione Granger stood looking out of a frosted window at the street.
Ginny detached herself from Harry and strode over to the window. "What's so interesting?"
"There is nothing interesting, so far, just the comings and goings below." Hermione gave Ginny a wistful smile. "You know, it always seems so sad after the presents are opened," she said, glancing back down at the street.
"You need someone to snuggle up with, that would get rid of the holiday blues," Ginny said, concerned.
"I have one in mind but he is the sort that never glances my way," mumbled Hermione.
"Who?" inquired Ginny.
"No one you know," Hermione quickly replied. When she said nothing more and continued to stare at the street Ginny excused herself to more talkative company. Only after she left did Hermione raise one finger to write a name on the glass. "Severus," she whispered as she wrote then quickly erased the name.
Severus gaped at Sirius. "What? You don't mean? Her?" he said, shocked.
"Yeah pal, no accounting for taste, is there?" said Sirius and slapped Severus on the back. Flash, and then he was in a darkened room. A window let in just enough light so that you could see a bed. A figure was under the sheets but you couldn't see any details.
"Oh, hell." Severus whispered. "What next?"
"Just listen," Sirius whispered. "Oh good, a solo."
"Solo?" Severus asked. "What –" He didn't finish the question because he heard a moan from the bed. "Who?"
"Who else?" Sirius replied leeringly. "To bad it isn't warmer, we could have had a good show."
The sheets arched higher on the bed. "AHHH … Severussss!" Hermione's voice was a strained whisper in the dark as she climaxed.
"Well, show's over, what a let down. Sorry, old boy," Sirius said and slapped Severus again on the back, and with the now familiar flash they were back in Severus's rooms. Or rather Severus was; Sirius Black had disappeared.
Two for One Special
Severus's head nodded and he jerked awake. "No ghost, just a dream," he said to himself as he leaned over to pick up his fallen book. And that was when he heard the noise. Grunts and moans were coming from the direction of his bedroom. He stood and walked into the room to investigate this new ghost.
Ghosts: there were two. One, then two, yes, two ghosts. Yet they were merging and moving. It was like a ghostly tangle of snakes. Severus quickly realised that they were fucking. Rather vigorously for ghosts.
"What the hell do you think you are doing?"
"Crap!" a male voice exclaimed.
"Get off, mate." A voice sounding like the late Nymphadora Tonks was accompanied by a groan as the ghost of Remus parted from his wife.
"Perfect timing as ever, Severus," Remus said as he rolled from the bed. Ghostly garments appeared on his naked form and he walked toward Severus.
"So what are you going to teach me?" Severus asked with a sneer.
"Teach you? No, Severus, I am here to show you what will happen if you make a few changes," Remus said with a smile.
"The future?" Severus asked.
"No, the possible future. Let's take a little walk," Remus said and walked toward the door.
Severus stood to follow.
Flash. This time when he arrived at the destination, he was alone and not "viewing". He was looking out of the eyes of the Severus of this time and place. In a detached way he was feeling his alternate's feelings. He tried to make this Severus stand, but found that he couldn't. He again was just an observer.
He viewed the room; this was a familiar place but changed. It was his own set of rooms and he was standing by his mantel, but instead of a portrait of Albus, there was a mirror above it. Muggle Christmas lights decorated a tree in the corner, gifts were piled underneath the tree and a large cat is batting at a dangling ornament.
He heard the toilet flush and turned toward the sound. Hermione appeared in the doorway, a large smile on her face. She was clutching a plastic stick of Muggle origin.
"We are pregnant!" she squealed, jumping up and down and then rushing over to plant a kiss on his lips.
Flash. Again he was an inside observer. Hermione was gripping his hand, crushing it really. The other Snape was chanting, "Push, Push, Push," and he watched a baby's head crown.
Flash. Somewhere on Hogwarts grounds, a small child screamed and he felt his heart leap with fear. A quick turn and he was racing toward a child on the ground. And as he grabbed the child up, quickly feeling for cuts or breaks, he felt … What did this Severus feel? It was something he had never experienced.
Flash. He was in a bed. A young woman was holding his hand and looked at him with tears glistening in her eyes. He ached, bone deep. His hands were spotted with age and they shook with tremors.
"Grandfather, I love you," she whispers, and a tear splashes onto his hand. She looked like Hermione and his heart burst with love for his favorite granddaughter. Her father placed a hand on her shoulder. He looks like me, he thought to himself.
"Severna, he needs his rest," her father said, and gently pulled her from the bed and out of the room. The door clicked shut.
Hermione appeared, and sat on his bed. She looked about 30, elegant and pale. But what ghost isn't pale?
"Darling, don't you think its time to come home?" A pale hand reached for him. He grasped it with an equally pale one of his own.
Flash. He was back, sitting in his favorite chair. Remus and Tonks were on the floor in front of him. Tonks's legs were over Remus's shoulders and the expression on the ghostly Tonks's face made it look like it was a good tonguing. Tonks's head was thrown back as she released a long wail of ecstasy. It made Severus's hair stand on end.
"Merlin, stop that infernal noise!" Severus snapped.
Remus looked up. "Damnit," he mumbled. Coitus Interuptus, yet again. He pulled himself reluctantly from between Tonks's thighs and walked toward Snape and the fireplace.
"Do you two ever stop?" Severus asked. He stood and went to the bookcase, pulling from it a large and very old book.
"After all you have seen tonight, you're going to read?" Remus asked in a frustrated voice.
"No, this is a gift." Severus replied. Turning toward the table he transfigured a candle into a festive box.
"A gift?" Remus asked dumbly.
"Yes, I know a certain young witch who likes poetry." And looking at Remus with an almost hope-filled look in his eye he asked, "Do you think she will get the hint?"