In celebration and sorrow, I offer this, the only Harry Potter piece I ever wrote that was both written and occurs after the book canon officially ends.

The movie is a triumph. Not perfect, never perfect, but such a triumph.

"In you go, Al," said Nev - Professor Longbottom. "Professor McGonagall will be with you in a moment."

Al sighed and walked toward the professor's desk. He really needed to see her, or he wouldn't be here. But his father had sent him a message to give to her - why he hadn't sent it by owl, Al didn't know - but he would deliver it as instructed and wait to see what he was supposed to do.

He had never been here before, but he had heard - from James - that the walls were lined with portraits, who would tell on you if you were bad. He couldn't help but wonder if that was true because James was always bad, or if it was yet another in the long string of half-truths his brother liked to annoy him with. Mum had once said that they were exactly what his father had coming, naming them as he had.

One of the portraits that hung just to the right of the Headmistress's desk was studying him with black-eyed intensity. It was a very dark but strangely idealized portrait, in a green and silver frame and situated in a golden chair. The man it pictured had an over-sized hooked nose that seemed to jut from his face like a ship's prow. His skin was pale and fair and his hair and robes had been blended, dark, into the black background around him.

"Young Master Potter." The portrait sounded rather like midnight itself had been given a voice. "In trouble already, I see?"

"No, sir. I don't think so, sir," he said.

The painted face crinkled into an ironic sneer and studied him briefly. "You look exactly like your father," the voice replied, almost an accusation.

"Yes sir," he agreed. "Did you know him, sir?"

Now the face was truly annoyed. "I am the portrait," he hissed, "of Severus Snape."

"Really?" Al exclaimed, excited beyond his shock and possibly beyond his manners. He drew closer, heedless of the portrait's displeasure. "My Aunt Luna painted you, and Dad said he drew most of your memories from some you gave him."

The portrait nodded curtly. "Your father always did meddle where he wasn't wanted."

Al considered this for a moment, noticing that the portrait looked quite pained. "I'm named for you," he said softly.

The portrait flicked a cold eyebrow at him. "Really? I understood your name was 'Al'." That last word came out with only mild contempt, but contempt all the same.

The boy drew himself up proudly, eyeing the portrait with no little concern. "I am Albus Severus Potter," he said with great, childish dignity.

"Dear child," said another portrait, the large one behind Professor McGonagall's desk. Al turned and looked at it, his eyes wide at the sight of the tears standing in the painted, ethereal blue of the portrait's shining eyes.

"Hello, Professor Dumbledore," he said. "We've talked before."

"Indeed," agreed the old man, and it smiled at him. "Don't let me interrupt your conversation with Severus."

"Humph," said Snape's portrait. "Please don't let me interrupt the cheery reunion." He was definitely sneering now, and his voice was thick with loathing.

"I wanted to meet you," said Al, smiling even in the face of the portrait's displeasure.

Snape's painted face looked completely shocked by this announcement. "Indeed? And why is that?"

"My father said you were one of the bravest men he ever knew. I knew that you must be someone really amazing. Plus, there are stories about you, legends, and Professor Longbottom said you were a great man, too, and Professor McGonagall doesn't talk about you but she did say once that you were a brilliant man who protected children fiercely." He smiled mischievously. "Uncle George said you were a basilisk. You know, King of Serpents."

The portrait seemed to consider this for several long moments, his painted face a conflict of emotions too strong for a portrait to handle. "I was the Prince of Fools," he said at last, in a quiet, still voice like a storm about to die out.

Silent with awe, Albus watched him, wondering what all was hidden forever behind that black-eyed gaze. He wondered how much, if anything, he would ever know. "My father promised to tell me about it some day."

"And you can count on the honor of Harry Potter above every wizard you will ever meet," agreed the portrait before him, saying it as though it were ripped, unwillingly from his canvas. "He couldn't lie if his life depended on it," added Snape, then, and the sneer had become amused, ironic.

They considered each other gravely for several long moments, and then Snape's portrait stood. "You have your grandmother's eyes," he said, and stalked out of the frame like a great, overgrown bat, the billow of his long cloak trailing behind him.