A/N Continuation of the continuation of Shake On It.
Harry walked into the library in the late afternoon on Christmas day to find Severus holding a book and looking pensive.
"What is it?"
Severus frowned. "You know earlier, when we thought about sicking the Ghosts of Christmas on Albus?"
Harry nodded. "Yeah?"
"Very eloquent response," Snape sneered mildly, "I have found the incantations for the Summoning."
"You mean, there actually ARE Ghosts of Christmas?" Harry said in surprise.
"Indeed. What do you think?"
The younger man bit his lip. "In the movie the Ghosts were hardly pleasant. The entire experience was frightening."
Severus nodded. "It was…harsh. Nevertheless, in the movie, the effects were quite enlightening. It seems that the Muggles have managed to relatively accurately depict these spirits."
"Scrooge certainly improved," Harry mused, "but Albus isn't…well, he isn't as mean as Scrooge."
Severus contemplated that. No, Albus wasn't nearly as mean as Scrooge, but he doubted Scrooge had hurt people more than Albus had. People had known not to trust Scrooge. People had always assumed they could trust Albus.
"He isn't mean, no, but he certainly is as blind to how his behaviour affects others as Scrooge was in the film," he finally said. "Even though he apologised for the way he handled the information regarding our biological bond, I have the impression he is still unaware how much misery both of us, but you especially, have suffered because of his decisions."
"True." Harry studied the chapter. "It says here any physical effects last only for the duration of the spell, which is twelve hours. So it won't harm him?"
"No," Severus replied. They stared at each other for a long time.
"We are going to do it?" Harry finally broke the silence.
Severus looked down at the book.
"I think I shall omit this from my report to Miss Granger as to how our Christmas celebration was," he decided, "I can explain dinner and movie. I think I shall not be able to adequately explain how we went from unwrapping gifts to Summoning rituals."
The incantations themselves weren't awfully difficult, at least not for two accomplished wizards.
When the final spell was spoken, they waited. Finally, a smokey figure began to form.
"You called?" the female shape of the figure was vague but somehow still attractive, "do you realize what you have asked for?"
"I believe we have asked for the Three Ghosts of Christmas," Snape replied.
"You have. You have asked them to visit one Albus Dumbledore, I believe. I am here to decide on your request."
"Decide?" Harry blurted out, "I thought we'd summon them and be done with it."
The older wizard poked him painfully in the ribs and the apparition turned slightly to him.
"There are conditions. First, we must be sure that the one we will be visiting can withstand the shock – for it is a shock, to be visited by ghosts. Second, the motives of the casters must be considered."
The two remained silent and waited for the woman to resume her explanation.
"The Ghosts job is not to destroy, but to edify. To set straight those who have drifted from the right path. For that reason, they refuse to be summoned for purposes of revenge only. The casters must truly love and care for the person who is to receive the visit."
She eyed them carefully, quite a feat considering she did not actually have eyes. "Are you such?"
Severus looked away. "I…I love Albus, and I care for him, but I cannot deny part of me wants revenge, as well…"
Harry gulped. "Same here. I care for him, but I am also angry…"
He sighed. "I am sorry for summoning you in vain, spirit," he ended dully, "There was nothing of this in the book, or we would not have attempted…"
"Hush," the spirit said, "I have said the Ghosts will not be summoned for purposes of revenge ONLY. I can sense you do care for the man, and he does need their visit."
She went still for a bit, and then turned to them once more. "The Ghosts have decided. They will visit Albus Dumbledore, but you will witness their visits. I will accompany you. No one will see or hear you, but you will be witness to it all."
The two looked at each other. "Very well," Snape gave their consent, "We will do as you say."
The smokey figure withdrew slightly. "The first visitor, the Messenger, will arrive at Mr Dumbledore's house at seven in the evening. I will return to you at that time."
A puff, and she was gone, leaving two slightly shaken dark haired men behind.
"Well," Severus finally regained his bearings, "I suppose the best thing to do now is to rest and have some supper. It will be a long night."