Albus Scrooge Dumbledore
by Iva 1201
A/N: I've just watched 1938 version of Dickens's The Christmas Carol. The Scrooge there reminded me of Dumbledore in several scenes – and I thought: hell, why not? Why Snape has always to play this role in fanfiction? So, here you are my Christmas offering, hopefully rather original in the plot idea. (-: Oh and yes, I know I have running stories and I should write on them – but you will have to forgive me, this was a sudden inspiration and the story is already writing itself in my head. Also, since you want this for Christmas and I will be mostly off-line from middle of this week till the beginning of the new year, I am leaving this unbetaed – please, excuse remaining mistakes of a non-native author. (-: Merry Christmas to all!
I. Christmas 1981
Armando Dippet was dead: to begin with. There was no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by his successor in the Headmaster's chair of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Albus Dumbledore, as well as the present Ministry of Magic officials.
Dumbledore knew he was dead. Of course he did. How could it be otherwise? How could he have otherwise moved to the Headmaster's suite and taken the Headmaster's throne-like stool in the Great Hall of the school?
No, old Dippet was as dead as a door-nail or there would be no biography Armando Dippet: Master or Moron? by Rita Skeeter nor any portrait of the old teacher in the gallery of Hogwarts's Headmasters and Headmistresses. But annoying as the fact sometimes was, unlike the majority of other dead people, Dippet had a talking portrait speaking his mind about (and of recently mostly against) his successor's actions. The most frequent topic of these days was the Snape boy, whom Albus Dumbledore at the age of 21 years! had appointed not only to become the new Potions Master of the school but whom he also saw fit to take over the Head of House position in Slytherin. Armando Dippet didn't approve at all.
But while Dippet – and many of the other past Heads – didn't like the idea of a mere boy taking over two of the most demanding positions at Hogwarts, they couldn't help it but stand on the boy's side whenever he entered a heated discussion with Dumbledore – for the boy in their eyes mostly acted wiser than the aged Headmaster himself. He had actually even protested against his own naming to the both positions mentioned previously – an act that had earned him a lot of respect of the portrayed witnesses of the conversation. Alas, Dumbledore wouldn't hear a word neither from the boy, nor his predecessors.
And that brought us to Christmas 1981 – and right to the Hogwarts Head Office. Under the watchful eyes of the past Headmasters and Headmistresses, Albus Dumbledore had just handed a piece of parchment to the before mentioned young man, Severus Snape, and benevolently smiled at his protégé.
"Congratulations, Severus," the old man said self-satisfied. "It seems that we can keep you for many years to come."
The dark-clad boy kept staring at the parchment. "The Ministry has withdrawn all the charges?" He asked incredulously after a while. "How?"
Dumbledore wasn't sure if the boy wanted to ask "How could they?" or "How did you manage?" He opted for the latter as it was a question he could easily answer. "I reminded them of what they owed to me," he offered, unashamed of the statement. "It was worth much more than forgetting about one young past Death Eater, my boy, if I can say so. Yet, there is a condition – you must remain under my custody here at Hogwarts."
Dippet eyed Snape curiously now – the boy was much too quiet.
"Are you not happy, Severus?" Dumbledore asked curiously, also noticing the boy's strange reaction.
"I..." Snape stuttered, his eyed kept down. Then he swallowed and looked up at his employer. When he spoke, his tone was respectful, but nothing else. "I am very appreciative of this. This is better than what I could have hoped for. I thank you, Headmaster." Snape bowed his head. "If you excuse me now, I have a potion to finish for Madam Pomfrey."
"Not on Christmas Eve, Severus, surely? The staff is meeting in the staff room in half an hour for Christmas punch," Dumbledore invited.
"I am sorry, Headmaster. Madam Pomfrey will confirm to you that this particular potion is of the best quality when brewed during winter solstice days. Please, excuse me by the rest." This said, the young man turned to the door.
"Have a pleasant evening, Headmaster," Snape mumbled as an afterthought once there and left the room.
Dumbledore shook his head. This was not exactly the reaction he had expected. "I don't understand the boy," he offered to his predecessors and seated himself back to his chair, Accioing the parchment that Snape had left lying on his seat. "It's not that the boy could have expected more, is it?" Dumbledore caught Dippet's eye.
"No, Albus, but he hoped for more, I think. To hope is not forbidden to anybody, you see, not even young past Death Eaters. This boy of yours is thirsty for knowledge, don't you know? Do you not think that as bright as he is, he would have liked to join Oxford or Cambridge for a couple of years or possibly travel a bit before settling down and act as your Potions Professor? And here you offer him a life-time prison on silver platter and he must even thank you for it. No, Albus, I don't think this was handled alright, if you ask for my opinion."
"Nonsense, Armando, nonsense," Dumbledore shook his head in denial. "The boy has unlimited access to one of the finest British wizarding libraries as much as his own, extraordinary well equipped I may add, Potions laboratory here. Nobody else would have given him that yet. He has no reason to be ungrateful or dissatisfied."
"And the life-time prison note was the best Christmas present you were able to come up with? What about giving the boy a symbolic key to his laboratory or a couple of rare potions ingredients to make him happier about the situation?" Dippet admonished, feeling with the young Slytherin and his sorrow.
"I shall not pamper this one, Armando. He has enough on his conscience as it is, no need to make him feel too comfortable yet." Dumbledore strictly ended the conversation here. Gazing at his watch, he added: "It's time for me to go now in any case; the teachers are already waiting downstairs. Merry Christmas to all of you, ladies and gentlemen!" Standing, Dumbledore bowed in all the directions and then disappeared behind the heavy oak door leading to his antechamber.
End part 1/3.