A/N: I figured I'd finish this up before OoP renders it obsolete in a few hours…so here's the final chapter. I should warn you now that this chapter is short, the ending is abrupt, and you'll probably hate me for it.
Chapter 11: Reunited
"DUMBLEDORE! YOU'RE A DEAD MAN!" Germanus shouted, directing his wand to a vase of flowers and shattering it.
"Oh dear," Dumbledore sighed. "I suppose the vase can be fixed…what can I do for you, Seneschal? Please, sit down. Lemon drop?" he smiled, holding out his candy dish.
"How could you let that…thing…near my brother, after all that's happened?" he shouted. "If I hadn't thought my brother was safe here I would have dragged him back home, regardless of his hatred of me!"
Dumbledore frowned. "You think Severus hates you? I don't believe that is the case. You were the reason he left the Dark Lord."
"What nonsense! See this?" he said, pointing to his eye. "Severus did this, and he had every right to."
"He realized he was being used to get to you when Voldemort threatened to kill him in retaliation for your vote against him. However, I believe the first time at which his loyalty faltered was when he was told to threaten you that night."
Germanus, forgetting what he had come for, slowly sat down in the offered chair. "He certainly seems to have carried out his duties."
"Yes," Dumbledore nodded, "but that doesn't mean he took as much enjoyment as he may have pretended to. I'm sure he wouldn't want me to tell you this, but several weeks after he defected he tried to hang himself – partly because of the many atrocities he had committed, but mostly because of the personal injury he had done to you."
"What?" Germanus gaped. "He never told me that. I mean, he hasn't communicated with me since, except for one letter-"
"You still possess the letter, I assume?" Dumbledore asked, his eyes twinkling
"Of course I do. It's all I have of him."
"I believe," Dumbledore continued, "that the main reason he did not contact you further was because he thought that you hated him, not the reverse."
"I suppose that's feasible enough. I never did reply to his letter. I never knew what I would say. I didn't think he'd want me to say anything."
Dumbledore chuckled. "You two are very much alike. Both of you wanted to see the other, but were too afraid of rejection."
"No," he interrupted. "I was not afraid of rejection. I just didn't want to cause him any more pain. I was a horrible father figure to him while he was growing up. I loved him, always, but I never thought he would need me to spend time with him."
"It is not too late to correct your mistakes," he said. "You should go speak with him."
"He's not conscious."
Dumbledore just smiled. A moment later the elderly lady professor burst into the room. "Albus! He's awake!"
"Of course, Minerva. Thank you."
"How did you-" he asked, pointing at Dumbledore. "Oh, never mind." He sprang out of his chair.
Germanus paused at the door and slowly turned the knob. A hand touched his shoulder, and he turned around. It was Anna, smiling happily at him. "Go talk to him. I know he'll want you to."
"I think you might be right," he smiled in return as he finally entered the room. The door shut behind him.
It still smelled horribly in the room, but the rise of Severus' chest was clearly stronger. He walked quietly over to the chair beside him and sat down. His hand sneaked over to Severus' bony one and gave it a light squeeze.
Severus turned his head, his eyes only slightly open. The movement of Severus' lips was Germanus' focus, as the corners lifted up weakly, then down again. "Gemmy," he mouthed, not at all audible but still clear to Germanus.
"I'm here, Sev. You don't have to talk. It would probably be best if you didn't."
Severus sighed softly and closed his eyes, falling asleep.
When he woke up a few hours later, Germanus was still there, holding his hand. He had been shooed out by the nurse shortly after Severus had spoken but absolutely refused to leave. Anna had finally stepped in and, since the nurse seemed to have taken a liking to her, agreed that the two of them could stay if they were quiet. She had grabbed another chair and sat next to him in comfortable silence."
Severus opened his eyes and gave his brother a full smile this time. "Gemmy," he said, softly but still louder than before. "Why did you come?"
"I was told you were dying. I was afraid."
"It's not your fault," he said. "Anna's here, too. She just left to get some coffee." Severus made a horrible face. "Yes, I know, it's a disgusting beverage. I can't understand the attachment Americans have to it. How are you feeling?"
"Better," Sev replied. "I'm glad you're here."
Germanus couldn't help the smile on his face becoming wider at hearing that. "I'm glad I'm here, too. I've missed you."
"Mmm," Sev mumbled, already falling asleep again.
Anna came back with her coffee after Severus was fully asleep again. "You missed him," he chuckled.
Anna growled. "Damn it. I guess it was for the best, anyway. He needed to see you, not me, and I would have done all the talking."
"Yes, it was best you weren't here. We agreed that your awful habit of drinking coffee is disgusting," he laughed.
The next few days continued in a similar fashion, with Severus waking up for a short while before fading away. Finally he was able to sit up, and didn't seem in danger of falling asleep again for a while. Madam Pomfrey had given him some Pepper-Up to get him fully awake so she could give him several tests to make sure he was still intact mentally. She was delighted to report that he appeared fine, and stated that he would be able to take over his classes again within a month.
Germanus had been forced to wait outside while she conducted the tests, and went in to see Severus as soon as she was done. He sat down in his usual chair and smiled at the fully awake, though grumpy-looking, man. "Feeling better, Sev?"
"Still feel like I've been hit by a train, but better, yes."
"Good. I don't want to bother you by talking about anything uncomfortable if you're not up to it…" he trailed off, raising an eyebrow.
"Anna put you up to this, then?" he asked, looking away.
He grabbed Sev's chin and pulled him back to face him. "No, she did not. I came here of my own free will, I assure you. She's the one that tagged along. I-" he paused, biting his lip. "I'm very glad to hear that you're going to recover fully. You gave me quite a scare."
"I'm sorry about everything, Gemmy. It's very hard for me to say that, you know. I've been in the habit of never apologizing lately, but even though I know that an apology can never make things better between us, you do deserve one from me" Severus said.
"No, an apology can't make things better," Germanus said. Severus looked away. "There is nothing that an apology is needed for from you. I've never been angry at you about my eye. I always believed it to be my fault for letting you slip away from me and into the clutches of that bastard that has hurt you so badly."
"It wasn't your fault," Severus protested.
"I shouldn't have parented you the way I did. I was wrong. I'm sorry."
"Oh, for God sakes, you two!" Anna called from the doorway. "Just call it even and make up, already!"
"Are you listening in?" Germanus called out as Severus tried not to laugh. "How rude."
She came fully into the room. "Well, if someone doesn't kick you both in the butt, you'll be apologizing to each other until doomsday!"
"It's good to see you again, too, Anna," Severus smiled.
"Aw, I missed you, Sev. Not as much as that lout of a brother of yours, though – not that he'll ever admit to it," Anna smirked.
"I most certainly will admit to it," Germanus argued.
"If you two don't stop I'm going to laugh and do myself damage," Severus said.
Germanus frowned. "You absolutely will not! Maybe I should leave."
"Only if you want to," Severus replied. "I want you both to stay. Please?"
"Not if we're going to impede your recovery by doing so," Germanus said sternly.
"Germanus, we're staying. I have to tell him about the Potions class you taught," Anna said, rubbing her hands together. "You're going to love this, Sev..."
"I can't believe you took points off Gryffindor for Draco Malfoy!" Snape laughed. "Damn, my ribs may hurt like hell, but it's worth every moment!"
"Anna, how could you?" Germanus said in mock dismay. "I'm sure I'm not as good a teacher as you, Severus, but I did try."
"I know, I know. That doesn't mean it's not hilarious."
"Sev, this might not be the right time to ask, but –"
Sev grinned. "Ask away. It's unlikely that you'll ever get me in a better mood than when I'm on mild painkillers."
Germanus gulped. "Will you come back with us? There's no reason for you to stay here, and it's unsafe for you to be here, as well."
Severus looked down. "I don't want to disappoint you, but I intend to stay here. I can't abandon Dumbledore now, after all he's done for me."
"Nearly getting you killed, you mean," grumbled Germanus.
Severus sneered. "Don't insult him. He's a good man, and he would never force me into a position where I would be in danger. I volunteered of my own volition, knowing the risks."
"I miss you, Sev," Germanus said, grabbing his brother's shoulder.
"I've missed you, too, you know," Severus said. "But my place is here, now. Dumbledore needs a Potions teacher and someone to help him fight Voldemort, and I intend to be there for him and the children, no matter how obnoxious they are."
"I hear he's found a proper substitute until you're better, by the way, so you don't need to worry about Germanus mucking things up further," Anna added.
"Good. I don't want him to feel obligated."
Germanus was struggling with the fact that he and Severus would be parted again. He was fiddling with the ties on his robe to distract himself. "So, I suppose holidays are out of the question?" he mumbled, still hopeful.
"I'm sure Dumbledore could spare me for a week or so out of the winter holidays," Severus assured him. "I haven't taken a day off for a decade except for this," he said, gesturing to his still-weak body. "He can't expect me not to spend a little time away from the school, from now on."
Germanus nodded. It would have to be enough.
"Gemmy, do you think you could leave Anna and I alone for a moment?"
He looked at his brother in puzzlement. "I suppose I could, if you wish."
About half an hour later, Anna left the room. "He's asleep," she said, as Germanus was moving to reenter the room.
"What was that all about, anyway?" he asked.
She looked at the floor, blushing. "He, um, wanted to talk to me about stuff, that's all."
"What stuff?" Germanus asked suspiciously.
"Oh, nothing much. He's got some silly ideas, that boy…"
"What sort of silly ideas?" Germanus cried. "I'm dying with curiosity, now."
She let out a strained laugh. "Oh, he's got some ridiculous notion about us being romantically involved. How nuts is that, eh? I'm blaming it on the painkillers, myself."
"Ah, yes. Painkillers."
They stood there in silence, but it was not as comfortable as usual. "I guess I'll start packing us up, then. Make sure the guards and doctors are ready to go. I figure we ought to get back soon. Tomorrow, maybe," Anna said, fidgeting.
"Mmm," Germanus nodded. "Of course." She was walking away before he had even answered. He turned to the door of Severus' hospital room and smiled, shaking his head.