PLEASE READ THE AUTHOR'S NOTE. IT CONTAINS INMPORTANT INFORMATION AS TO HOW THIS UNIVERSE IS CONSTRUCTED!
A/N: Wheee! I like this Plunny better than the Twilight/TF crossover... Of course you all have no idea what I'm blathering about and I honestly could care less. This is one of those stories that I have locked away in my over-active imagination. I hope you enjoy my madness, yeah? Oh plus this is SUPER AU after Harry's fifth year. Sirius doesn't die and Voldie bites the dust. All of the Horcruxes were destroyed by Unspeakables. Severus disappears after the fifth book. The FF VII 'verse is an AU of Crisis Core, if you're fishing for a timeline.
DISCLAIMER: I no owny FF VII; Tetsua Namura better watch his designs. I also no owny the awesome Snake J.K. Rowling made up! Just you wait... I'll have my own characters and a published novel soon! *shakes fist* Oh and I own none of the songs I mention or certain characters sing!
WARNING: This is rather quirky, if I do say so myself. Written during the middle of the night with music in the background and evolves into a yaoi. If you don't like man on man kissing or anything to do with it, click the back button. Seriously right now. If you read any further, I have officially not compelled you in any way, shape or form to continue. I do not tolerate flamers and they will be used to roast my marshmallows as well as serve my errant Muses. Ta!
Severus Snape was not an ordinary ten-year-old. No, he was a Wizard and his Mum often said he'd be a brilliant one at that. What was not obvious, however, was that Severus often saw people's shades from other universes. He'd met several interesting folk over the years, some dangerous, some not. This new shade had landed in his favorite clearing and Severus had promptly introduced himself.
"Hello. I'm Severus." The other boy was around his age and had bright silver hair. Green cat eyes looked at him warily, much as he would have looked at a stranger. "I can see you. Not everyone can, you know. What's your name?"
"...Sephiroth. Where am I?"
"Well, you've landed on Earth and you're a shade." he spoke matter-of-factly, knowing most of the shades didn't believe him at first.
"How do you know this? You could be a hallucin-A phantom. Hojo says I have them a lot."
"I know because I've been seeing shades since I was seven. Mum's not too pleased about it, but she says it's a lucky thing I can. Some of the shades get stuck here. So, Sephiroth, wanna play?"
"Play?" Silver brows furrowed and then the other boy's sleeves were pulled back to reveal needle marks. "What... What do you mean?"
"Bloody hell," he hissed under his breath, running a hand through his hair. "Umm, you make believe. You pretend." Cat-slit green blinked blankly at his statement. "You've never played before? Goodness. You must have a horrible family..."
"My Father injects me with needles." the blunt statement had Severus sighing. "And does things. Some of the lab techs die when they try to talk to me."
"Well, then that's on the list of things to do."
Severus got to know Sephiroth rather well. The other only came when he was dunked into what was called a 'Mako tank' and drugged unconscious. They always met during the summer and he never told Lily where he was going. Sure she was his friend, but Sephiroth was so... different. He saw things Severus didn't and commented when he thought an idea was downright foolish.
"Sev, that's ridiculous. Those Marauders of yours are bullies. Report them to the teachers."
"Seph, seriously? Dumbledore let them get away with almost murdering me. They can do no wrong in the eyes of the faculty. They've even managed to get a rule that there's no dueling in the corridors because the Marauders have attacked me so many times! Lily's stopped talking to me and Lucius Malfoy is starting to make sense..."
"Shut up. Tell me what happened that made the pair of you stop talking."
"I called her a Mudblood as I was humiliated by them again. I apologized, even showed up at the entrance to Gryffindor... She hates me."
"Then she doesn't deserve your loyalty. Severus, you're smart and really... sweet. But you didn't hear that from me and no one else can see the shades. Lucius Malfoy is a liar. He hexed you for Shiva's sake..."
"True." he shared a smile with Sephiroth. "So, what was his excuse for dunking you this time?" Sephiroth shifted and shoved the brilliant silver away from his forehead as he sighed heavily. He smiled briefly as he explained.
"You're a very bad influence. He's started to notice that I'm not blindly following orders anymore. This is my last dunk for a long while. I've made friends... Sort of. I'm not cutting my hair until I see you again."
"Then I'm not either. Seph, at least it won't be as bad as before?"
Sephiroth missed Severus and his sound advice the minute Hojo declared he was never getting 'Mako tanked' again. He prayed to the Goddess that he would eventually see Severus; not to mention he wanted to be as sane as he was now. Angeal and Genesis, a pair of SOLDIER Thirds to his SOLDIER Second, met him as he stepped from the labs with a disgruntled sigh.
"Seph-" Genesis called as he angrily strode towards the VR room meant for the SOLDIERs.
"Don't call me that. Only one person can call me that and he's out of my reach." Punching in his code with a vicious twist if his fingers, he ran Masamune through the first virtual monster in the path of his blade. He was lost in thought as he continued to slash his way through progressively harder levels of creatures, eventually taking down a Behemoth as the final thought resolved itself. He wouldn't, no he couldn't, love someone the way he loved Severus. It didn't matter if there was an entire universe between them.
A decade flashed past before he realized it. He sneered at the plaque on his desk; General indeed. Masamune was parked against his desk and he faintly smiled as he took out the parchment envelope with his name in burgundy ink and Copperplate font. Of course he'd had to wait for it. Inside was a letter from Severus, a lock of waist-length ebony hair as well as a picture taken of him at someone's wedding. He gently pulled out the much-read letter and read it again for the thousandth time.
I know you remember me. As I recall, you have perfect memory. I wrote this in the hopes that some higher being will take pity on the pair of us. I took the Dark Mark. I know, I know; you're probably glaring at this right now because of those words. Lily's dead and Voldemort is bound to come back somehow. Her son looks so much like her that I hate him for it. You'd say something along the line of, 'Why bother? Enjoy his presence.' As much as I would like to, I also know that the Dark Lord would not appreciate his spy being 'nice' to the Boy-Who-Lived. Really, the title is ridiculous as the notion that Potter will take out the Dark Lord with no formal training... But I'm blathering. How are things on your end? Have you made any more friends than the two you mentioned? Is Hojo impaled on the end of your sword? Please tell me he is. That would make my day.
Wonder why I didn't say much about the Marauders? Potter Sr. is dead; Black's in Azkaban for a crime he never even committed, Lupin's fled the country due to the harsh laws and Pettigrew's supposedly dead. I call bullshit on that last. I swear, someone up there has it out for me. Torment me and then torment the ones who once vilified their vicious pranks. Bah, everything's confusing here in the Wizarding World. I kept my promise and am enclosing a lock of my hair with this letter. There's also a photo from Lily's wedding. She took it and gave it to me before she died.
Severus T. Snape
P.S. I made Potions Master! Youngest in a century, if you can believe that.
Sephiroth was just tucking away the precious letter when Zack bounded into the room like the puppy he was named after.
"What's that? It smells like sandalwood. Who wrote it? Can I see-" Sephiroth sucker-punched Zackary in the gut with SOLDIER strength.
"It is private and if you attempt to open that drawer without my permission you will understand what it is like being on the pointy end of Masamune, Zackary. Are we clear?" He grabbed the collar of the native Gongagan and frog-marched him out of his office. "Why are you not training with Angeal?"
"Uhh... Cause him and Gen-Gen are sucking face in the VR room? Plus I'm really, really bored. You never have any fun! Didn't you play as a kid?"
"Only once, Zackary."
"It's got something to do with that letter." Sometimes 'Geal's Puppy was too smart for his own good. "You mind telling me the story?"
"Aww, c'mon! Please?"
"Puppy, I have already answered. Would you like to play a prank on Genesis and 'Geal for leaving you with me?"
An evil grin lit up the Second's face as he said, "You're on."
Severus snarled as he Warded his door with a haphazard flick of his wand. All he wanted now was a hot shower, a cup of hot chocolate as well as Sephiroth's reply to his letter and not necessarily in that order. Raids always left him feeling unclean, sickening everything around him until he'd had his shower and warm beverage. The letter had been delivered by a regal black phoenix that very morning and had his name on it. Settling in front of the fire in his sitting room, he sighed as he took the letter from an inner pocket of his robes. The envelope was expensive-looking and had his name on it in neat cursive lettering in black ink.
Have I mentioned that I miss your advice? I do, you know, especially when I have to get my monthly injections from Hojo. No he sadly isn't dead yet. I'm thinking arsenic-flavored chocolates might do the trick... The madman wants me to go to Nibelheim. Nibelheim is a backwater town that has one ShinRa reactor and a Mansion that should have been burnt years ago. This is all according to Cloud Strife, Zack Fair's mentee. Oh, perhaps I should backtrack for a moment. Yes, I have made more friends besides the two I mentioned. I will name them for you. Angeal Hewley (superb cook who manages to make everyone's favorites which is why we never eat anywhere on the Plate) who is my Commander, Genesis Rhapsodos (I swear the man's insane, forever spouting off about LOVELESS) who is also my Commander, Zackary Fair (Angeal's former mentee who has personal space issues and has the attention span of a goldfish...), Cloud Strife (born Nibelheimer and excellent sarcastic companion who reminds me of a smaller, blond version of you) and Tseng of the Turks. I can't stand the rest of the Turks save Rude.
I made General a few years ago, probably about the same time you took the Dark Mark. Why would you do something so... foolish? It goes against the boy I remember, Sev. Zackary is bouncing from foot to foot as I write this. The man is impossibly full of energy at all times. I honestly don't know how 'Geal even kept up with him... Not to mention the ridiculous stunts and pranks he pulls. Nothing as bad as the Marauders, of course, but he makes up for it with sheer idiocy. Enough of Zackary, however. How are you? I hope you haven't hexed a student. Shiva, I miss you. I didn't think it possible to miss someone this much. I think I landed on a bit of luck when I became one of the many shades you met. I have yet to thank you for saving what was (and still is) left of my innocence. I've been to war. I killed people I did not know all for one man's greed. I hate ShinRa; the only ray of sunshine is my friends and the Vice-President. He wants to steer the company away from Mako and go with more ways that don't harm the Planet. You're the only one I can tell this to. I've enclosed a lock of my hair and a photo that Cloud managed to take on one of my off days. Leviathan knows there aren't many of those.
Sephiroth L. Valentine
P.S. Hojo isn't my Father. Cloud's a genius when it comes to the ShinRa files.
He lifted out a long silver braid that looked like it would have reached Seph's knees and a photo fluttered to the ground as well. It was of Sephiroth sprawled out on a brown leather couch, his hair in a casual ponytail that was low-slung. He looked to be asleep. Attached to the photo with a paperclip was another sheet of thick paper and another photo.
This letter, if you can't tell, is from all of us close to Sephiroth. Cloud's writing as he has the neatest hand at the moment. Wow. You two must have been really close. Anyway, we decided to send you a picture of when Seph's awake. He hates it when we call him anything resembling it and we're guessing you have something to do with that. Good luck and we hope you stay alive for Sephiroth's sanity.
P.S. We don't mean to intrude on what is clearly you and Seph's space. Stay safe and healthy.
P.P.S. Don't believe everything he says! He's just as bad with pranks as I am!
P.P.P.S. Please ignore Zack. He's not all there, if you get my drift. LOVELESS is not drivel, no matter what Seph says!
P.P.P.P.S. They're all a bit crazy sometimes. I hope you have a better day than the one you are currently having.
Severus laughed. He couldn't help himself; the four who were obviously Seph's friends were hilarious after a horrible raid. Each post script was in a different hand and all with the same blue pen. He figured out that the top was Cloud, the second was clearly Zack's, third was Genesis's and the final one was Angeal's.
The second photo was of Sephiroth in his uniform, cat-slit eyes alight with laughter as he strolled in front of who he assumed were Angeal and Genesis. The red-haired male held a white leather bound book labeled LOVELESS. The dark-haired man was shoving a teen (who clearly looked to be the infamous Zack) out of the photo. That must have meant that Cloud had taken the picture. He went back to the envelope and saw another picture. Did this never end? The final picture (he checked three times) was of all five of them at some public festival. He quickly spotted the little blond Seph had mentioned.
He carried around the photos, the letter and the lock of hair in a Warded pocket as he swept into the Great Hall at breakfast the next morning. Thank Merlin it was the weekend and Dumbledore was clearly groggy. Minerva, however, proved more difficult to foist off.
"Severus, who would deliver a letter via phoenix?"
"An old friend of mine." he spat, pointedly staring at his not-filled cup of hot chocolate. Many of the students thought he would actually drink the swill deemed as coffee here. As if; the only coffee he'd drink was a cappuccino made in a quiet trattoria in Rome. It filled with his preferred drink and he sat sipping it as he watched the tired students stumble in. After he felt human again, the Deputy Headmistress could not be put off any longer.
"Where did you meet said friend?"
"It is none of your business." he sneered, finishing his bacon off with quiet relish before scooping some more onto his plate.
"It is when that particular phoenix has never been seen before."
"He is not an enemy if that is what you are implying. In fact, he's a rather... intimate friend." he purred, mentally smirking as she flushed bright pink. Did he just-He had implied that he and Sephiroth were together, in a way he was not even sure if his friend did swing. Hopefully the comment did not bite him in the arse too badly...
It did; those sort of comments always did. Voldemort was not pleased to hear he had a lover.
"Sseveruss, why have you not told me of thiss potential ally?"
"Milord, his home is far from here; he is Neutral in the ways of magic. He holds allegiance to his King and is a General." He technically could term ShinRa as a King: it wasn't as if the military aspect hadn't hardened Severus to the conclusion.
"I cannot say, Milord." He'd sworn an Unbreakable upon himself years ago to never reveal his shade-seeker ability. The other who had witnessed it (his Mum) was now dead.
"You swore an Unbreakable Oath." the cold statement was clear of all hissing, making it very dangerous.
"Do you have a photo?"
"No, Milord." He lied straight through his teeth. Voldemort nodded in what the monster obviously thought was a regal manner but only served to make him look more demented as he was dismissed.
Sephiroth broke his pretty desk as a wave of immense pain hit him from out of nowhere.
"Shiva!" he gasped as he recovered. "That had better not be Severus in pain... That hurt." Zack barged in as he was regaining his composure.
"Neko? You look bad." Trust Tseng to state the obvious. He glared as Angeal swept into his office with a Master Cure.
"I am-By the Leviathan!-fine." The pain intensified before disappearing entirely.
"You are not fine. Tell us where it is coming from." Damn the Turk and his no nonsense approach...
"I am perfectly alright. Get someone to replace the desk." he pulled the letter out and tucked it into his duster's inner pocket. Tseng held out his hand for the letter he let no one else touch. "No, that is personal."
"ShinRa doesn't do personal, General."
"And I'm telling you, Turk that is very much personal. I find it missing and bad things will happen. I wonder if Genesis would mind torching ShinRa with me... Ah." A sleek black bird trilled softly before landing on Sephiroth's outstretched arm. "Thank you, Odin." The regal bird let out a musical song before disappearing in a flash of flames. "He's... in pain, but as well as he can be under the circumstances. Fair enough." Relief swept through him as Severus had explained they now held a Bond. He apologized for any pain caused and that Voldemort was now aware (remotely) that he existed.
"Who exactly uses a bird to communicate?"
"An old friend of mine." Tseng rose a dark brow and he barked out a laugh; the man had looked so similar to the moving picture of Severus that he couldn't help himself. "He's old-fashioned."
"That is putting it mildly, General. I need a name."
"I cannot say."
"What? You cannot or-"
"I cannot. We used a magic long forgotten here." he answered, shoving Zack out and grabbing the pile of paperwork now on his couch. "My desk?" Angeal grumbled but called the ShinRa Furniture Dept. as he described the desk. "Thank you. I'll be finishing my work in your office, 'Geal."
This eventually turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Sephiroth got all of his paperwork for the month finished in about three hours (ignoring Zack made this a little harder than average, considering the idiot savant had his own office now). Cloud stumbled into Angeal's office, promptly collapsing onto the couch.
"I hate Sgt. Kirkland*. He's Ifirit incarnate... worse than Genesis in a bad mood and he had it out for me."
"Sgt... Kirkland. Why is that name familiar?"
"He picks on the gay cadets and officers." was the muffled though disgruntled reply. "Pretty ruthless about it too."
"He's what?" Sephiroth was ticked off. All of the Firsts save Kunsel and a few others were gay. He was livid that some idiot had managed to stay in ShinRa for so long. "Where is his office?"
"Twenty-second floor. Why?" Cloud was now sitting up and very much alert.
"Which door? I'm breaking it in when I get down there."
"You're done with paperwork? That's a miracle in and of itself..."
"Third door after the elevator. Can I come and see? A lot of people don't like him very much."
"Please do. I suspect even the Vice-President and his Turk will get a kick out of this and protect my reputation." He retrieved Masamune with a swift movement and was stalking down the hallway when he had a thought, halting in mid-stride. "Odin?" The phoenix flashed through from the other universe and trilled softly. "Want to help me play a trick on a conceited bastard?" A chirp was his answer. "Excellent."
Resuming his stalking he took the stairs three at a time before he located the elevator and calculated how much force he needed to kick in the standard ShinRa door. Within the space of a second he kicked the door off its hinges and stared at the sight before him. Sgt. Kirkland was towering over a whimpering Cadet who was holding a bruised cheek. "Sgt. Kirkland!"
"Stay there. Cadet, what is your name?"
"... Ghirhas, sir."
"Your first or last?"
"What was the Sgt. doing standing over you like that?"
"I told him to stop harassing my battle buddy."
"Ah. Your battle buddy?"
"SOLDIER First Class Jurian."
"Yes, the new program was to take effect today. Dismissed. Go by the Infirmary. I hate the sight of bruising. Wait, cut that. Odin?" The beautiful bird perched on the boy's shoulder. "Now you may go."
"Yessir." The Cadet walked out with his head held high, fingers buried in the phoenix's chest feathers.
"Kirkland I will ask you a question only once. If you do not answer satisfactorily, I shall hand you over to the Turks. Do we understand one another?" he asked softly, caressing Masamune's hilt for effect. It worked better than he'd hoped for. "Are you harassing my gay subordinates?" Instantly the man stiffened.
"I just saw you hit the Cadet paired with my First... who so happens to prefer men over women. Care to explain?"
"He's disgusting, sir!"
"We get to the crux of the matter. Why is he disgusting? Humor me."
"He sleeps with men!"
"Is this... the only reason?"
"Yessir! Bet you like those Honey Bees." Sephiroth smirked before quietly withdrawing the second photo, a still of Severus in a t-shirt and jeans. Ebony hair flowed freely and was only held in place by a silver clasp.
"Au contraire, Kirkland." He flipped the photo around and watched as the man paled faster than he'd ever seen someone do. "He's gorgeous, hmm? I haven't seen him in a while, but he's oh-so good to me."
"Yes, I am." he stated simply, tucking the picture away and motioning with Masamune that he walk out the door. "Tseng, he's all yours. Rufus."
"Sephiroth. May I see?"
"...Sure." he shrugged and took it back out, smiling softly as his memory caught up to him. Rufus gasped and looked up at him in open astonishment.
"This is who you are dating?" the incredulity made him chuckle lightly.
"He looks like an older version of Tseng."
"Damn. I wish I'd met him first." He took the picture back and tucked it away again.
"No, you don't. It took me drugs and a Mako tanking."
"He's a ShinRa employee?"
"Mmm-mmm. Ask your Turk."
Another letter popped up on his brand-new desk and Zackary had his clumsy paws on it before he could react.
"Puppy, hand it over."
"But it has my name on it..." Sure enough, it did have Zackary's name on it. Another popped up, this one with his name on it. "See?"
"Nope! Hey, he wrote to 'Geal and Cloud too. No letter for-Oh, here it is. Can I go deliver them?"
"Go on." He slit open the parchment letter and blinked at the official looking stamp. Prying off the wax took a bit, but he managed to get it open.
To General Sephiroth
It has come to the attention of the Unspeakables that you have been actively speaking to the shade-seeker of this generation. Please desist in contacting this universe.
Head of the Dept. of Mysteries
Lord Garacon Illustrious
He stared at it for several moments before incinerating the letter. No one told him to stop speaking with Severus. He heard a roar that sounded suspiciously like an enraged Genesis and the whoosh of Firaga flames. Seconds later, said Commander burst into his office, marching right up to his desk.
"What was that?"
"Apparently, there are control measures in his universe."
"We sent him one measly letter..."
"You sent Sev a letter? Why?" he asked, pinching the bridge of his nose in restraint and to stave off the headache already forming.
"... To say hello and to keep up the good work." the answer was surprisingly surly for Genesis's usual dramatic flair. "If the guy can make you smile after a day in the labs, he's good for you."
"This reminds me... Do you still have that clean syringe?"
"Yes. Why?" the wary look sent his way made him laugh.
"I've bought Hojo chocolates and I'm lacing them with arsenic."
The Mako in Genesis's eyes lit up with his confession, "Yes, you can take my syringe! I'll be right back." True to his word, the red-head was back in seconds; shaking the clear, clean needle and plunger gleefully. Sephiroth carefully drew out the right amount and injected it into the chocolates one by one. "Now, for delivery..."
He whistled as he stepped from his apartment to the SOLDIER cafeteria. Stopping, he cocked his head to the side at the silence in the normally loud place. There was a note pinned to the door.
All SOLDIERs will report to the Parade Grounds.
Sephiroth shrugged, trudged back up the three flights of stairs, changed into his uniform and grabbed Masamune as he made his way out to the PG.
"General, have you heard?" He met with Kunsel, who had also just seen the sign.
"Heard what? I just got up, Kunsel."
"Hojo's dead." He blinked and then let a large grin spread across his face.
"Really? Do tell."
"Apparently, he was sent a box of chocolates and... some of them were laced with arsenic. But not all of them. Scarlet and Palmer are also in the Infirmary because of the same chocolates, only they spit them out after a quick bite. Did you do that?"
"I was asleep. Please do not tell me I have a clone..."
"No sir. Umm, there are no fingerprints or anything."
"Hmm. Sounds like the thing to put in that damn book of yours."
"Sir... You cursed."
"Yes. I do so quite frequently. Especially when Gen washes his red socks with my black."
"You do laundry together?"
"It's cheaper." Kunsel laughed at that fact.
"Sir, you're the highest paid besides Lazard and the President himself..."
"I know that."
"Is it true?"
"Depends on what you want to know."
"Are you sleeping with the other Firsts?" Sephiroth outright guffawed at that question.
"No. They're too close for that sort of thing... Not to mention I have someone already. Though I'm sure Gen, 'Geal, Zack and Cloud are all together." He didn't mention that he was slightly unsure if they would ask him one day.
"Yup. Confirmed that one with a bad experience... So, whose the lucky girl?"
"Lucky man and if we ever meet again, I'm bringing him here." he murmured, aware of all the stares of the other Firsts. "Damn."
"Sephiroth! Kunsel!" He dodged the tackle-glomp, sighing as Zack attacked his fellow First instead.
"Zack, stop humping my leg." Kunsel grunted as he stood after the virtual body tackle.
"Sorry." The Puppy was grinning from his place on the cement.
"You're not even remotely feeling that at the moment."
"Nope!" The cheerful answer had Sephiroth gritting his teeth.
"I hate you." Kunsel shook off the Puppy and marched off in a huff.
"Aww, really?" Sometimes Sephiroth hated his SIC.
He wanted to scream from the sheer amount of frustration funneling through him at the moment.
"Ms. Granger, desist. I am quite sure Mr. Potter can cut his own valerian root!" he hissed with more venom than strictly necessary. Her lip trembled but he really couldn't be arsed to care at the moment. "Mr. Malfoy, do not even think about flinging that hair. I would like to make this the sole class that has not blown sky-high today." He'd had six showers in one day and that didn't include the Double-Potions with this class. "I would also not like to take yet another shower due to your petty behavior."
"Yes, Mr. Finnegan? Your problem is?"
"Is it supposed to do that?" The bubbling was fine but the color was off.
"Your valerian has not been put in yet. Where is it?"
"Here, sir." The cuts were precise and clean.
"In; before it loses the potency." They were dropped in and the Potion smoothed out instantly. "Anti-clockwise stir and it had better be only one." His patience was gone; it had disappeared after his NEWT students had acted like the first-years. He was speaking slowly and in measured tones to not scream at all of them. "Excellent." He whirled on the rest of the class. "I suspect you heard what I said?"
"Yessir." the droning chorus was something he sighed at.
"Good. Get on with it."
Finally, one class without an explosion. He internally cheered as the combined class packed up and left.
"Ms. Granger, please stay." She motioned the rest of the Golden Trio onwards. "I apologize for my temper. I have had an extremely bad day."
"Thank you, sir." she fled before he could do any more than that. He dropped into the chair behind his desk, placing his head on the cool wood.
"Shiva, I could kill something right now... I miss Seph. I miss Lily. Merlin." he mumbled as he relaxed his shoulders.
"Talking to yourself again, Severus?" Oh, the one voice he did not want to hear today...
"Lucius." he didn't even look up from his blessedly cold desk. "I have had a terrible day. Please tell me this is just a social visit."
"How many classes exploded today?"
"All of them save your son's class."
"Putting it lightly, Luce, putting it lightly."
"I shall leave then. Perhaps next week?"
"So this was a social."
"Indeed, but it can be put off in favor of your day being marginally bettered without idiotic students I suppose."
"Mmm, I need a letter from Odin." he muttered back without moving at all.
"A special friend's."
"I'll... leave you to it then."
His day managed to be better after classes had ended, even a letter showing up.
To Messer Snape
You will desist in seeking out the Gaian shade known as General Sephiroth and those under his command. The Unspeakables have sensed holes in the universe around you.
Head of the Dept. of Mysteries
Lord Garacon Illustrious
Severus snarled at that and whistled for his own familiar, a falcon known as Aconite.
"They can't control the rest of the universes. Of course I have bloody holes near me! It's not every day a shade manages to get seen and they usually leave because I convince them to. Of all the foolish ideas to have, this has to be on the list of most imbecilic maneuvers ever made." While he was at it, he wrote another letter to Sephiroth not knowing it was to be his last before ending up in Sephiroth's world.
Harry Potter was clearly smarter than he let on in class.
"Potter, I will tell you right now that I most likely will not survive this War. I serve two men who are power-mad. I am here to help you protect your mind. Listen and I am fairly certain you will survive intact. That is all I ask for."
"... Why aren't you yelling at me?" Confused innocent green met jaded, world-weary black.
"It does no good and I happen to not care what we do in here. It's Warded by Curse-Breakers. I don't care that you hate me. You will survive."
"Yessir. What do we start with?" The earlier confusion was instantly replaced with a sly cunning. Potter could have been in Slytherin with that look but Severus did not ask.
"You'll start by reading this." he handed the teen his own book on Occluding. "Do NOT lose this as it is mine and I would like it back."
"Property of the Half-Blood Prince..."
"I was a foolish teen much like yourself when that name came about. You will not tell anyone about it."
"I like it... sir."
"Please. Skip the formalities. Call me Severus in here. You know I am only putting up a bloody front for the Dark Lord."
"So... You don't hate me?" Severus sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose as he staved off yet another hex.
"No. I was assigned to be your other godfather if Black or Longbottom Sr. ever did something spectacularly stupid. Unfortunately, Dumbledore hid you before I could find you. The old coot then convinced me to hate you based upon a predicted return of said Dark Lord. Now that it has happened... I do regret treating one godson correctly and not the other. You'll find you have several back-up birthday presents from first year on." he admitted softly, giving Harry a wry smile.
"Oh. I understand."
"Sadly, you actually do. I wish that you did not." Again he mentally berated himself for the necessary treatment.
"Stop that." Harry frowned at him, looking the spitting image of Lily as he did so. "I know why you have
to do it."
"Book, Mr. Potter."
"Call me Harry."
"Book, Harry and just because I am your godfather... It means absolutely nothing outside this room. Do you understand?"
"You really do dumb down your homework. Don't do it in my class or anywhere else. I will not have you suppressing things you are clearly good at."
Sephiroth stared at the lab tech.
"I am not your test subject." he groused as he was poked and prodded for the examination. "At least Hojo was open about it..."
"Sir, you are in good health and ShinRa would like to see you happy."
"Kids are not on my list of things to do before I turn twenty-five!" Sephiroth hissed back. "Not to mention women are giggly, outright jealous of anyone who gets more attention and they all just... Ugh.
Forget it. You aren't even listening."
"Do you prefer men?"
He rolled his eyes and shrugged, "One in particular. I don't date because of him."
"Can I see?"
"Mmm, depends on if I can trust you." He lazily shot back.
"Please?" Sephiroth smirked and drug his duster closer to him, pulling out the photo before handing it over. "Oh." The woman flushed as she handed back the photo.
He smoothed it carefully and sighed, "Yes, oh is the correct response. I'll thank you to put out that I'm taken."
"Yessir. He's very... striking."
"Something wrong with that?" he growled, tucking the precious photo away.
"No! No, he's very handsome but you just crushed the dreams of half the girls around the world."
"Only half?" His brows furrowed as he thought about why that would happen.
"The other half will debate on who you are smitten with."
"Ah. Your... opinion?"
"I have a gay brother. I don't mind it." she called back as she took his blood away. "You're done, by the way."
He hummed softly as he tapped out a beat to the music he was listening to. The stack of paperwork was duly ignored as he sang softly under his breath.
"To the left,
To the left,
To the left
To the left
Mmmm to the left, to the left
Everything you in a box to the left
In the closet, that's my stuff
Yes, if I bought it, baby, please don't touch (don't touch)
Zackary..." Zack bounced into his office and he swallowed sharply as his SIC grinned wickedly. "What?"
"You sing pretty well. Wanna do a karaoke night in the slums? I usually only bring Cloud and 'Geal since Gen is horrible."
"What makes you think I'll even go along with your ridiculous request?"
"I recorded it."
"I care why? It's a few lines."
"Uh-uh. I have another song." Sephiroth knew what he meant. Taylor Swift's Safe and Sound; but how did he get it? The look must have given him away. "Kunsel."
"Traitorous bastard. He should have been a Turk." he snorted, crossing his arms.
"Your secretary melted when she heard you singing."
"No... I like May. She knows what flavor my tea is..." he whined, thumping his forehead on his desk. "I hate teaching my secretary my favorites."
"She hasn't said anything."
"May said she can't stand anyone else besides us Firsts. Your secret's safe with her. Promise."
"Good. May?" he paged his secretary.
"I need my tea. Zackary is being a pain in my ass."
"Yessir. Would you like anything else?"
"With or without strawberry cream cheese?"
"With, I think. I need the sugar to keep up with my SIC. Thanks for keeping it a secret."
"Not a problem, sir. Just... Don't stop your little hobby."
"I won't. Convince the Puppy it is unnecessary to drag me to karaoke night and I'll let you have the next day off?"
"Sorry, but no. I occasionally join in. It'll be nice for you to get out more."
"You agree with Zackary far too much for my tastes, but I hate the other secretaries. They fawn over him and give him sugar." She laughed at his sulky comment and cut off the paging. "You. Get out and on your paperwork before I tie you to your chair." The Puppy yipped and fled the room. "Finally."
With a corner of bagel still in his mouth, his sage & honey tea and his reading glasses, Sephiroth looked nothing like a General as Lazard strolled into his office. He chewed his bite of bagel and swallowed, motioning for the Director to sit.
"Sir? Did you need something?" He quickly pulled the glasses off of his face.
"You were actually doing your paperwork. No, I just wanted to drop by and tell you that Hojo's death is deemed to be an accident in the labs. They were clearly the work of the scientist. You've been cleared of all suspicion." Sephiroth frowned at that.
"I was a suspect?"
"You made clear your distaste for the late Professor."
"Yes, well... Did you have reading glasses on?"
"You're seeing things, Lazard. Clear out if you're intent upon conversation, as I have a groove." The minute Lazard left, the bagel was back in his mouth and the reading glasses reappeared. He hummed around the warm bread, scowling as the latest proposal for SOLDIER. No, they were not allowed to use his DNA for new recruits... Or test Scarlet's weapons on them. As much as he was ShinRa property, he was also his own person. Severus had taught him that much from the beginning.
"Seph?" He growled lowly at the nickname. "Sorry. You've been at it for hours. It's clock-out time." Angeal stood in his doorway, hands in his pockets and a sheepish grin on his face. "Please?"
"Damn you, Banoran. I can never get anything done with that look. Bet you stole it from the Puppy."
"I invented that look. Puppy stole it from me." answered his friend, a playful grin on his lips. "Let's mosey."
"Now that you stole from the Pup."
Sliding his hands through his hair, he debated on a braid or a simple pony-tail.
"Pony or braid?"
"Braid. You want help?"
"No." He gathered his hair back, brushing it out before braiding it easily and flicking it back over his shoulder without much thought. "Where is this place anyway? Do I need contacts and my hoodie?"
"Contacts yes, no hoodie. The place is pretty dark."
"My hair stands out."
"It'll look blond at the bar. Cloud looks just fine and his hair is easily recognizable."
"Sounds close enough that I'll answer. You?"
"Same as always. I'm a known customer."
"Fame doesn't go so well in there. It's another reason we don't bring Gen." Sephiroth rose an eyebrow at that. "He's flamboyant... Excellent guitarist but a terrible singer. We take him on guitar night instead. It keeps him happy and all of us together."
"How... does that work?"
"It's easier than it seems. We're all pretty close but Genesis is the most affectionate. If... If you ever get your guy, come over sometime. It's relaxing."
"... If I didn't have Sev, would you invite me in?"
"Both of you are more than welcome. That is, if he goes for that sort of thing." Sephiroth smiled, a warm feeling his chest. Angeal hugged him close before caressing his jawline.
"Thanks, 'Geal. I'll consider the offer."
The bar was dark and comfortable. They hung out, drank SOLDIER-strength liquor and generally had a good time. He was pleasantly calm and relatively content (he'd only had soda to keep him company as he wasn't a fan of drinking) when a stranger sat in his lap.
"Hey, b-e-a-utiful. Dump them an' come wi-with me."
"Get off." He picked the man up and dumped him on the floor. "'Geal, time to go home."
"Yeah." Angeal was mildly buzzed but still alert enough to detect his discomfort. "Guys, c'mon." Sephiroth smiled at the pronounced Banoran accent. He loved it when 'Geal forgot himself.
"Comin', 'm comin.'" All of their accents became more pronounced the more they drank. He chuckled softly and hauled both Zack and Cloud up and under his arms.
"'Geal, you have to walk by yourself. I have my hands full."
"I already paid the tab."
He grinned when the three trudged into his silent office and lowered themselves onto his couches.
"Bad headaches?" he whispered, sorting through his signed paperwork before putting it into the In Box for May to file.
"Goddess, I hate tequila. Why do I drink it again?" Angeal hissed softly as he petted both Cloud and the Puppy into sleep.
"Because it makes you feel better than beer, which is basically bacteria pee."
"Right..." Angeal pinched the bridge of his nose, sighing softly.
"It's what you told me when I asked last night."
"I hate doing that. I say things I don't usually say. It is dishonorable." Sephiroth shrugged and continued to file his papers in order.
"Go take a nap. If anything arises. I'll wake you." He went back to his work, humming softly as he dared when his PHS made him squirm. "Hello, ShinRa hack n slash at your service."
"Not funny, Valentine. Do you know where Commander Hewley, Major Fair and Captain Strife are?" Lazard asked, panic in his voice.
"In my office asleep. Why?"
"Someone just blew up the front of the ShinRa compound. Genesis is containing the fire. I'm glad they're safe."
"You need me down there?"
"No. It's been contained."
"... If you say so."
"I do." The click made him scowl at the PHS for a moment before picking up the appropriate files and handing them over to May.
"I'm done for the day. I'll be in the office on my computer if you need me." He arrived in time to see Odin drop off another letter in burgundy ink. "Yes!" he hissed softly. His day was so much better now.
General, hmm? How old are you anyway? Twenty-four, I bet. I'm a good decade ahead of you. Yes, I know I'm old.
Sephiroth snorted at that before he went back to reading.
Potter's smarter than he looks (of course, that could be because he's my other godson, but who knows). Yes, I have godsons. It's a little different here in the Wizarding World. I think I told you we share a Bond now? I hope you weren't too frustrated a couple of days ago because I felt it through the Bond and lashed out at one of my students... Then again, it was a terrible day. A total of six classes exploded and covered me in unnamable GUNK. Six showers and one class that didn't explode made my day awful. Then there was the letter from the Unspeakables. They can't control universal traffic, for Merlin's sake! I've always been a shade-seeker. I was born one. I send them home. I build up what is hurt, what is damaged and send them where they can do the most good. Just what is wrong with that?
Ugh. Never mind them. How are the Four? They sent me a letter that made me laugh after a raid. Topped with your letter about the arsenic flavored chocolates for Hojo, my day was much better afterward save the Crucio Voldemort threw my way. Did you do it by the way? I'd love to hear if the bastard's dead. I hated him for doing that to you... But if he hadn't we would have never met. Heh, talk about irony. He took us away from each other and gave us Odin in place of the tank. Much more comfortable on your end, I'm sure.
I'm glad you miss me. I miss your advice and comments just as badly and you ended up sounding like my conscious. Yes, I know it's pathetic. I honestly could care less because this is just you and I.
Here he shook his head and read on, smiling at the thought of being Sev's consciousness.
I hope Zack and Genesis haven't driven you up a wall yet. Angeal and Cloud seem like stable influences. Are they all together? It seemed so in the photos they sent with their letter. Have-I hope I'm not being presumptuous with you here-you waited for me? I would be honored if you had. Of course, the same could be said of me. I swore an Unbreakable Oath never to reveal to anyone the names and faces of my shades. Perhaps it is strange to claim shades from another 'verse, but they land in my care... Am I wrong in doing so? I only doubt myself when I talk to you. Here I have to remain strong and stoic; it is better not to have relationships that will eventually be ruined by the Dark Lord's interference. Thank you for being there, my friend.
He held the letter close and inhaled the sandalwood and heather scent, memorizing as he tucked away the letter with the various others that discussed everything they had never gotten to as teens. Apparently, even with the other gone, they had needed each other's advice. For the first time, an entire universe felt very far away...
Severus hissed as he clapped a hand to his Mark, the dark ink pulsing sharply.
"Harry, I'm being called. Stay here and practice your meditation as he's likely to torture me."
"Severus! At least take a muscle relaxant." Harry's eyes flashed with a genuine concern he hadn't seen in years.
"I have to have all my wits about me." he snarled, clamping down on his arm to stop the shock of pain from overflowing to his body.
"Severus..." Oh, that tone was all Lily down to the vicious glare. "Take something with you."
"I have them in my DE robes, foolish child. Now meditate!" He slipped on the uniform, stealing out of Hogwarts and Apparating directly to Riddle Manor. He was not the last Summoned and Voldemort started early with a horrific screech from Wormtail.
"Crucio! Crucio! Crucio!" The trembling rat was screaming absolute agony. He desperately hoped Harry was not feeling those all in a row. "Now, Severus, as you have refused to bring us your... General... I want Potter. I know you have him for remedial Potions. Take him and bring him to me. I will give you thirty minutes to deal with the brat." He cursed under his breath after he Apparated out again. It took him fifteen minutes to reach the room and he found Harry deep in meditation. He reached out mentally.
We need to implement Plan Wicked.
Sadly, yes. Hurry up.
Harry snapped out almost instantly and immediately put up a fight.
"What the bloody hell-You're on his side!" Harry shouted as soon as they hit the corridor.
"Precisely, Potter. Now shut up." he hissed while dragging Harry with force he didn't really mean.
"No! I won't! Dumbledore!"
"Dumbledore can't hear you. I put up a Silencing Charm." Of course, this was the opposite. "The Dark Lord is sick of chasing you from venue to venue and decided that I had the best opportunity to rise with the ranks to his left-hand. You can thank Dumbledore for the position you're in. He recommended them."
"He did and he will again. You're just his sacrifice for the Greater Good!" Harry, do not take this to heart: the old coot is ridiculously fond of you. "Much like your Godfather."
"What's he got to do with this?"
"Please. The Dark has known he was not one of us for a very long time. Too goody-goody; the white sheep of the Black family. Feh. Dumbledore did not allow a trial for that mutt. Why would he?"
"You-You're LYING!" Harry was good; he had to give him that. -How was that?-
Amusing and frighteningly good. I sense a Slytherin in there somewhere.
-Nah, a Slythendor.-
Cheeky brat. Their mental conversation had taken less than a second and they resumed with a false viciousness that Severus was proud of. "Quiet! You're only fighting the inevitable."
"Hey! What are you doing with Harry?" Oh, he could cheerfully kill the youngest Weasley.
"What does it look like?" he snarled, "Potter's earned another detention!"
"No, he's not-" Severus cast a nonverbal Silencing Charm.
"I found the brat sneaking. Get out of my way, Weasley; he needs to see the Headmaster for his punishment." He drew himself up to his full height of 6'4", sneering down at the other teen.
"What? What'd he do?"
"My personal business, Mr. Weasley. Get. Out. Of. My. Way." he spoke slowly and with increasing fury until he practically spat the last into the reluctant teen's face. Harry get him to back off. We only have another ten minutes to get to the Dark Lord before he decides to Crucio me again... The dark-haired teen made a motion with his fingers and touched the gold coin softly. Understanding dawned upon Weasley's face as they departed.
"Got it, Har!" What was that?
-Umm, I might have told Hermione about Plan Wicked and Zephyr?-
Good thinking. The D.A.?
-Already in motion.-
Fine work, Harry.
They swept out of the castle and beyond the Anti-Apparation wards within five minutes. Harry struggled after they landed outside of Riddle Manor.
"Quiet. Do you want the others to hear your screams?"
"I trusted you." Harry said harshly, trying to 'wriggle' out of his grip. "You're Voldie's dog, through and through. I shouldn't have opened up."
"Potter, you fool, never trust anyone." He walked with firm steps and an even firmer grip on Harry's neck. "Milord."
"Sseveruss. A pleasant ssurprisse... Ah, hello, Harry Potter. Care to join us?"
"No! Snape, you bloody traitor! I hate you!" -Thanks for the presents.-
"I said, quiet," he snapped out, "or do you wish for death so early?" You are quite welcome. There are three more after you reach majority.
"Severus, you amuse me. The boy has come to trust you. Make him scream."
"Which curse, Milord?"
"The one you invented."
"Yes, Milord." He swished his wand in the distinct movements and prayed he wasn't cutting too close to anything Harry was fond of. Sorry. Harry thrashed on the ground, blood pouring from the bitten lip as the teen held in his agony. His godson refused to scream in front of the Dark Lord.
"I asked him to do that to me once, out of curiosity. You're brave, Potter, not screaming. Heal him and then we will duel." Severus quickly muttered the Healing incantation, putting as much power as he dared into the process without alerting the Dark Lord to his true potential. I Healed what I could. Ready?
-Yeah. You barely nicked me.-
-Uh-huh. It hurt, but I faked it.-
Thank Shiva you did... "I am done, Milord."
"Good. All of the lower ranks, out!" They shuffled out as the Dark Lord drew his wand on Harry.
"Severus, stand here." A long, pale finger pointed to his left side. He obeyed with a nod and stared intently at his other godson. "Now, Potter... Avada Kedavara!"
"Lumos Morte!" Harry had no wand and twisted his hand into the complicated pattern meant for wand-work with ease.
"Tempus Reducto!" Bellatrix screeched as the light struck at three different points, killing the Dark Lord instantly and striking his Bond with Sephiroth. He gasped as the Bond tugged him away from the blast. The Inner Circle chose that moment to throw every hex they possibly knew at Harry and Severus chose the shield that would take the damage for himself.
"Harry, use this!" he threw a phial of memories that Harry caught with his Seeker accuracy. He had enough time to see Harry take out the rest of the circle save Lucius, who was a deep-cover spy.
He slammed through a tear in Sephiroth's reality landing roughly on his side. The curses fired at Harry hit him simultaneously, making his body feel like it was on fire. His back bowed with the pain of Cutting Curses, a non-fatal Sectumsempra and a Bone-Breaker Curse. Dimly, he was aware of a terrible, hoarse screaming. Everything faded to a blissful black...
When he awoke again, he was in some sort of Infirmary his robes nowhere in sight. This place didn't even come close to Hogwarts and looked to be far more advanced. He swallowed his collected spit and attempted to sit up. Bad move; his body gave a monumental protest.
"Bloody hell, they didn't pull any punches..." he whispered as he tried to sit up slower. "Damn Death Eaters and their tendency to over-power any spells directed at my godson." A woman spoke quickly in a language he had no idea of and his confusion must have slipped past his mask. She slowed down immensely and he was able to make out words, albeit very carefully.
"You've been wounded, sir. Please stay in bed."
"Ah." he sighed, sinking back into the pillows. "Thank you."
"The General is worried. He would not leave your side." His eyes widened at the mention of his friend.
"He was coaxed away by Commander Hewley."
"May-May I see him?" He internally cursed his speech stuttering. "The Commander, not the General." was added as most people would have been confused.
"Is he still-Oh. Wow." Dark blue eyes widened as he pushed himself up inch-by-inch with his elbows.
"I am capable of speech. They will fade in good time, Madame. I want to talk with the Commander." She fanned herself with her hand before she left. He heard a thump in the corridor. "What?"
"Even Sephiroth doesn't get up like that after a mission gone wrong." Severus rose a brow at that and fore-went the accustomed shrug. He knew his body's limits after brutal raids and killings.
"I happen to know my weaknesses and this is child's play compared to some of my more recent raids. You are... Angeal."
"Your handwriting. It is unique and you have a silly little name-tape still stuck to your sweater." he smirked as the absolutely huge man gently peeled off the tape. "I take it Seph's been out of it."
"He's... dealing. You should see the VR room."
"Ah. I fear I still need rest. If you'll excuse me?" He slipped back into a painless oblivion.
The second surfacing to consciousness he was fully aware that he'd been there for a while and that he felt much better; perhaps a little sore from the scarring Sectumsempra as well as the Bone-Breaker. He sat up gingerly, sighing as he could breathe normally.
"Now, where the bloody hell is my wand and robes?"
"Sir?" He hissed at her irritably, still searching the room after years of spying. "Are you alright?"
"The clothing... I came in. Where is it?"
"Oh. The General has all of your personal effects." He relaxed a bit before realizing his chest was bare and he had gauze patches over his Sectumsempra. "It won't stop bleeding, sir."
"Of course it won't. I invented it for enemies. I need to speak with the General." She nodded sharply, departing with quick efficient steps that reminded him of Poppy. An ache hit home as he realized he was stuck here. He tested his bond with Harry, surprised to find it still open. Harry?
-Oh, Merlin! You are alive! Where are you?-
Ouch! Harry, calm down. I am in Gaia and I am afraid I cannot get home save for a blessing from this universe's Goddess. Declare me dead. Don't get that expression on your face, I can see it from here. You and Draco each inherit a piece of my will. Don't let him push you over. Marry whom you please and free that dogfather of yours. Now, get out of my mind.
The exchange took less than twenty seconds and Severus could still feel Harry. He smiled faintly as his magic swirled around him in a playful show. The woman, whose name was Assistant Nurse Gainsborough, returned with Sephiroth. "Seph."
"Severus, what happened?" He was handed his robes and he sighed contentedly as his wand warmed in his hand and silver & green sparks shot out of its end.
"Mmm, my dead Master decided not to wait anymore for my godson's death." He carefully peeled the patch away and immediately incanted the spell. "There, now I won't bleed all over Nurse Gainsborough's hard work. It's a mix of spells that should never meet under normal circumstances. Avada Kedavara, Lumos Morte and Tempus Reducto are dangerous in and of themselves. Combine them, it seems, and you get a universe portal if you have a Bond such as ours. By the way, I never did get a reply."
"I was in the middle of a blasé meeting writing it when you appeared on ShinRa's center table and broke the thing... You sounded... like you were in agony."
"Ten Cutting Curses, a spell of my own invention and a Bone-Breaker. Of course I was screaming like a nutter. Ah, there they are..." He'd found his supply of Skele-Grow. "Seph, do me a favor and break my left tibia again, will you?"
"It won't heal properly if I leave it like this. Skele-Grow works miracles, trust me. Merlin, Morgana, Morrigain and Hecate! Give a Wizard a warning! Ordera Revelo. Nice, along the same seam as before." He drank half of the bottle and carefully observed his leg as it healed at the proper pace. "Hmm, give it several hours."
"Professor! What are you doing?"
"There are Materia for-"
"Have they worked on me?" he interrupted firmly, holding up a hand.
"Well, we've yet to try."
"Good. Don't until we can ascertain that they have the same effect on me as they have on you. I am different, genetically. Let me see that. What is it called?"
"A Mastered Cure, the strongest form of that Materia. It heals all wounds." He pointed his wand at it and smiled softly, gently holding it over one of his healing Cutting Curses. It glowed a soft emerald color and he watched as the skin under it knit at a rapid pace. His magic swirled around the curious Materia and prodded it gently. It glowed again before falling back into its natural color.
"Hmm. Interesting material. You may use it."
"What are you holding, precisely?"
"This? It doesn't do what Materia does, for one. It concentrated on specific body parts and magic regeneration. It's a pain potion. Designed specifically for nerve damage. Why?"
"Nerve damage? What is it made of?"
"Something I doubt very much grows here. Seph?"
"It does, surprisingly. Most of the ingredients, save the specific ones like unicorn hair and Thestral scale."
"Odin's still very much a part of mine."
"Yes, it could work." Severus realized they were staring into each other's eyes and holding hands. He blushed fiercely and dropped the slender hand instantly.
"Dr. Gast, I think it's time for the Professor to rest." Severus noticed them leaving.
"You'll take care of it?" he whispered as he traced invisible designs upon Sephiroth's sword hand.
"Of course. The Puppy's been dying to meet you..." a faint smile drifted across coral lips he hadn't seen in over a decade. "He's hyper too."
"Meaning I'll have to pin him to a wall with a Sticking Charm?"
"I explained you were injured severely. He's very gentle when he wants to be."
"Ah. You aren't trying to foist him off on me?"
"No, I do that to 'Geal. Speaking of which... I heard you spoke to him for a short while."
"I was awake. He was there. My speculations... were well-founded."
"Hmm." Sephiroth interlaced their fingers and pillowed his head on Severus's right thigh. "I'm not leaving until you're better."
Severus was out of bed and limping on a cane the following weekend. Sephiroth hovered behind and to the right of him, worried without being overbearing. They were headed towards Seph's office on the 44th floor. Nurse Gainsborough had lectured him severely on the use of his leg. Sephiroth had sniggered behind her back before she whirled on him too. Needless to say, both were sufficiently cowed by her wrath. He growled lowly in his throat when a red-head in a navy suit touched his bicep.
"Whoa, yo. Just steadying you. You a consultant or somethin' for ShinRa? I mean, you look like you're scary enough to be into science and all that it entails. Hope you aren't like Hojo-" He snapped out the cane like he'd seen Lucius do on numerous occasions and put the tip close to the jugular.
"Do not compare me to that sick bastard. I would have willingly murdered Hojo for laying his hands on Seph. Unfortunately, someone got to him before I could. Frankly, Turk, I am not in the mood to be messed with." He rumbled out, hissing in pain as his tibia tightened up momentarily. Setting the cane back onto the floor, he took deep breaths and laced his fingers with Seph's. "I hate Bone-Breakers. The Skele-Grow isn't quite finished because of the Dark nature of the curse." he murmured to his close friend.
"Sev, does it hurt now?" Cat-slit eyes met his in worry.
"No. The pain has passed." He leaned down and absently rubbed at it before popping his knee. "The muscles are still healing."
"I knew she shouldn't have let you out of the hospital."
"I am-Smart move. I almost sounded like 'Geal there."
"Merlin, don't tell me he's worse..."
"Much more than I am or Zack can be." Severus groaned softly and blinked as he lifted his hair for inspection.
"My hair's been trimmed."
"I did it. Your ends were getting split." He smiled softly at his long-time crush and got a light squeeze in return.
"Wait, yo. You two are together?" Severus wanted to slap the man for stating the obvious.
"Seph?" he asked, his voice questioning. Sephiroth smirked and then pinned him against the glass wall kissing him with an enthusiasm he returned. He purred into the warm mouth that opened under his tongue, tasting every inch before slowly setting down a panting General. A thud was heard from the other side. "Mmm, guess that answered his question."
"I thought you said-"
"I did. No one got past a snog because it didn't feel right. On the plus side, I can snog pretty well now."
"I'll say..." They stepped over the fainted Turk and strode past the secretary's desk when she stood and put a hand on his arm. Severus stood very still, the growl back faster than you could say Merlin. "May this is my partner."
"He needs ShinRa security clearance."
"I say he can go in."
"May. Severus is my life partner, my soon-to-be husband." Severus tugged on Sephiroth's hand and kissed the paler knuckles, giving his partner a gentle smile. Seph softened slightly returning the gesture with a shy grin. She groaned and moved away from the door.
"Fine. But this is only because he made you smile." He chuckled lightly before limping ahead of Sephiroth, unhooking their fingers briefly. "What happened?"
"His special unit had a War to fight. They won, but at a price."
"Oh." He felt slender fingers curl around his own again and he swung their joint hands lightly, relishing in the sweet contact.
"Sephy-Poo! There you-Whoa. A lot taller than I imagined." he looked down to see the teen who was obviously Zack stop short of tackling him.
"Animagus Revelo." The hyper-active teen landed on four feet and flames of white-blue. "Hel-Hound puppy? Interesting. Reverso." He absently waved the teen into human form again. "I will assume the aborted attempt to tackle me was due to the limp?"
"Nope! Sephiroth woulda made me a Zack-kebab if I did that." He nodded to the blond and red-head before shaking hands with Angeal.
Warmth spread along his magic paths, making him draw in a shuddering breath. "What the...?"
"My magic... likes Angeal. It's rare where I come from. It's never been quite so friendly."
"Is that bad?"
"Depends on what the context is. In this case it's compatibility, specifically soul and sexual." The last part was blunter than his usual finesse. "It burns deeper with Seph, but that's because we have more in common than I do with Angeal."
"We're all in a relationship; as in together." Cloud murmured, lacing fingers with the seated Genesis and his head in Zack's lap now that the hyper male had seated himself. Severus's mouth went dry at the announcement.
"All four of you?"
"Yes." Angeal admitted quietly, his chin going up a notch. "We are all together and committed." He turned to see Sephiroth looking at him with real panic. Limping over to his partner, he intertwined their fingers and pressed the smaller male against the wall, making it seem like just them.
"Seph, what are you to me?"
"Your shade, your... partner and your General." The amazing green eyes hadn't looked up once during the entire exchange of words so far. Severus tilted up the refined jaw and hummed lowly.
"Mmm-mmm. You are my heart, my soul, my everything. It just so happens that my magic is also compatible with your Four. It is your choice, fy un twyll**." The four behind them shifted uncomfortably.
"You put me first. Always. Why?"
"I am yours." he answered honestly, knowing this was not the time for Slytherin platitudes.
"Good. Then we can share." Severus lost his breath for a few seconds before he remembered to breathe. "What? I've known them for most of my life. They braced me when I lost you. Well, that and 'Geal asked me to think about it long before your magic showed up." He chuckled as he laced fingers again with his beloved shade, pulling him down with ease into the plush leather seat (onto his lap, of course) before turning to the Four and began his story once more.
"I supposed I should start with the beginning..."
Ending A/N: Wow. This took all of my attention for three whole days. I don't actually know what to make of it, to be honest. I like it though. Most of my stuff makes me wanna cringe but I like this one. As all my fans know, the stuff I like never gets any attention... but I'm glad I wrote it. I have sort-of sequels for this; an MPreg version and one that's a tragedy. Which would you prefer? *blinks* Wow. Thirty-two pages; I beat my record of twenty-seven only a few days after I published it. Sweet! *pumps fist into air* I'm just that damn awesome. Seriously.
*I do not mean to pick on people with that particular last name and I love Hetalia. No offense is meant!
** My dark one in Welsh. I like the fact that Severus could possibly speak more than one language and that has been explored in my drabbles and a few one-shots here and there.