Severus was in his private sitting room staring into the fire. It had been a really long day. He sipped gently at his glass of brandy while he mulled things over. Harry was starting to remember him, and he was not supposed to. Albus wouldn't say anything on the matter aside from, "Sometimes memories are to important to forget," or "You mattered to him when he was little, he cared for you." All his comments were cryptic and never gave Severus a straight answer.
He was contemplating what he was going to do when he heard a pop and crack in his study. Surprise shot through him, the only creatures that would dare bother him at this time were the house elves, but what was a house elf doing in his study? He certainly hadn't summoned one. Rising quickly from his couch, Severus entered his study with a bad feeling coiling in the pit of his stomach.
An unfamiliar house elf stood before him and bowed, "Master Severus Snape sir, I am Dobby the house elf. I have been sent by my Master to ask for a meeting. Does Master Severus Snape sir have a few spare moments to meet with my Master?"
Severus stared a moment at the creature that invaded his domain before glancing outside. He noted the placement of the moon—it was sinking, "It's one in the morning." Severus said with annoyance.
"Yes sir, Dobby is sorry sir, but my Master… he wishes to speak with you, he says it is urgent."
"And just who is your Master?"
Severus' answer came in the form of Lucius Malfoy as the fireplace nearby crackled and green flames rose high into the floo, drawing Severus' attention away from the house elf towards the figure appearing and stepping out from the grate. Severus felt his heart grow cold, what the hell was he doing here!
The man was tall and thin but well built and his clothes spoke volumes about how well he was doing for himself. Long silvery hair, bright icy blue eyes, and the coldest smirk Severus had ever seen moved closer to him and he felt his memories of the man come flooding back.
"Hello Severus." The man said, a cruel smile twisting his lips.
Dobby let out a terrified little noise and Lucius's eyes fell on the house elf, "Good boy Dobby, you may go back to the house and tend to Narcissa." The house elf bowed lower than he had for Severus and disappeared with a crack out of sight.
"Severus, my dear friend," Lucius' voice purred, "It is so good to see you."
Severus felt his heart pounding wildly like a caged animal as the man removed his dark green cloak, which appeared to be thick and lusciously warm and set his cane aside. Lucius extracted his wand from his cane which made of a dark shiny wood with a metal head and lazily pointed it at the fireplace. The fire grew and red and orange light flickered across the walls. "Perhaps you could arrange for some refreshments?" The man asked, a smirk evident in his voice.
Severus said nothing. He called for Grummet and the house elf popped in only to reappear shortly with a tray of tea and some biscuits. Once Grummet was gone Severus turned his back on the other man and walked slowly over to a bookshelf laden with many books and stared absently at a dirty faded book, reading the faint title on the tattered spine over and over.
The Extended Works of the Brothers Grimm.
Lily, give me strength.
"What are you doing here Lucius?" Severus asked quietly.
"Can't I come to see an old friend?" The man's words were smooth and even and Severus shivered.
"We aren't friends, not anymore." Severus said, still with his back to Lucius.
"Pity." Lucius said as he moved slowly across the room to stand behind Severus. Severus felt the man's light blue eyes burning into him and Severus hoped to God the man wasn't here for what Severus thought he might be here for.
"I have missed you. I haven't heard from you since… how long has it been Severus?"
Severus swallowed and tried to keep his voice from shaking, "Eleven years."
"Tsk, eleven years… it's felt like a life time." Severus flinched a little when he felt the man's fingers reach out and touch his hair.
"How did you know I was here?" Severus asked.
"My dear son, Draco, informed me that he really liked his Head of House — that he showed preference towards him and was very kind and understanding when the boy had had some issues adjusting. Apparently he had had a nightmare?" Lucius asked as his fingers crept closer to Severus' neck, wrapping a few strands of Severus' hair and gently spun it around his fingers. Severus turned and looked the man in the face, his cold blue eyes were intense and his pupils dilated.
"His description of you was uncanny, though he didn't do you justice." Lucius continued, "You look just as handsome as always. I knew right away when he said you were the Potions Master. Of course, the truth is, he mentioned your name… I just had to be certain before I made an appearance."
Severus took a step back when the man came closer; his back pressed against the bookcase and Severus saw the slight smirk as Lucius eyed his nervous behavior.
"There is no need to be nervous… I am not here to harm you. I just missed you; it's been eleven years after all… I thought perhaps we could… catch up." Lucius said as he stepped closer still, reaching his fingers out again, they trailed down Severus' face and Severus felt something inside of him grow angry, very angry. He was no longer a scared child; the man couldn't manipulate him anymore.
Severus slapped the hand away and turned, striding to stand next to the fire, . He put his hand on the corner of the mantle and stared at the flames as they writhed and danced.
"You shouldn't have come here. I am not the same person I was. I am a grown man and I won't let you… I will NOT let you take advantage of me. We aren't in school anymore, I am not a fool."
He felt Lucius moving to him, still slow and even, still the same calculating, manipulative, disgusting villain of a man he had been in school. He was trying to find a weakness in Severus, something he could use.
Lucius continued as if he hadn't been interrupted by Severus' outburst, "It's Christmas time… surely you remember when you spent Christmas at the Manor? You'd never gotten a Christmas Present before… you were so thrilled… it was such a pleasure to see you smile so brightly."
"Lucius… just stop!" Severus said as he spun to look at the man but stumbled back when the action showed just how close Lucius was to him; the man was right behind him. He landed with a hard thud on his ass, his elbows propped him up and he looked up, shocked, and Lucius smiled as he knelt down. He held out his hand and then smiled even more evilly as he removed his glove, "When was the last time you had a hand offered to you?" Lucius said as Severus eyed him warily from his position on the floor.
"Stop this right now." Severus said but Lucius moved closer as if he hadn't heard. Scooting back, Severus felt the corner of his desk at his back, effectively trapping him in place though that didn't stop him from pressing back further, trying to put more distance between himself and Lucius.
Lucius's eyes shined with desire and he moved closer, "Remember that night, after the Christmas party? My parents were on the terrace with the Black's and they were drinking… I stole that bottle of brandy… we got drunk… and you taught me that ridiculous Muggle tune. Rather romantic of you at the time. You said you heard your father teach it to your mother, then you taught it to me."
"God damn it Lucius leave me alone! Get out of here!" Severus hissed; he grew more and more uncomfortable as the memories resurfaced with Lucius's voice.
"Come now Severus, it's almost Christmas sing with me…"
"You're insane." Severus said and Lucius smiled brightly, "If you sing with me I promise I will leave you alone. Just one song… between friends…"
"We are not friends!" Severus yelled as he crossed his arms over his chest.
"One song… and I will leave… come now… I'll even let you take the top."
Severus shuddered at that comment and looked at the man out of the corner of his eye.
"Just one verse Sev."
Lucius waited and Severus finally nodded slowly. If it would make the man go away he would sing an aria.
"I really can't stay." Severus started.
"But baby it's cold outside."
"I gotta go away."
"Baby it's cold outside."
"This evening has been."
"Been hoping that you'd drop in."
"So very nice."
"I'll hold your hands their just like ice."
"My mother will start to worry."
"Beautiful what's your hurry?"
"My father will be pacing the floor."
"Listen to the fireplace roar."
"So really I better scurry."
"Beautiful please don't hurry."
"Well maybe just a half a drink more."
"Put some records on while I pour." Lucios's had always sang very well and it was apparent his voice had improved with age. It was low and soft with a rather erotic undertone that, for a moment at least, had allowed Severus to bring his walls down just enough to sing the duet. His eyes had searched Lucius's face looking for any sign of kindness or compassion, but there was none to be found.
Severus stared at the man, he could tell that Lucius wanted to keep singing, but one verse is what Severus had agreed to.
"Baby it's bad out there. No cabs to be had out there. Your eyes are like starlight now. I'll take your hat your hair looks swell. Mind if I move in closer? What's the sense of hurtin' my pride? Baby, don't hold out. Ahh but its cold out side…"
"Enough." Severus said as he grabbed the top of the desk and tried to pull himself up. "You've managed to humiliate me… you did what you came to do. Now get out!" Severus said sharply.
"Dear Severus, I didn't come to humiliate you. I just wanted to come and visit my friend… I missed you."
"For the last time, we are not friends! And I don't care how much you say you missed me. I know you, you manipulative bastard. You won't win me over… not even with memories and that stupid song. Now get out!"
"But Severus…" Lucius said as he stepped up against him. Severus felt the man's heat emanating from his body; the man's bare fingers came up and ran through his hair tucking it behind his ear. His fingers moved down to catch his chin.
"Why did you really come here Lucius? I know you, and you don't just show up unless you want something…" Severus said as the man slowly leaned in.
"I just wanted to see you…"
"Goblin Shit." Severus said as Lucius brushed his lips across Severus's.
Lucius pulled back a little and looked into Severus's eyes, his smile dropped just a little and he sighed. He leaned in again but instead of going for another unwelcome meeting of mouths, brought his lips to Severus's ear, "I really did want to see you, because I really do miss you. You were different from the others; we had secrets no one else knew about. You are special Severus… but you are right… seeing you isn't the only reason."
Lucius pulled back and moved away from him and Severus felt his legs nearly give out; he quickly moved to a chair and began to pour the tea. Lucius's demeanor changed completely. He gave a sneer and sat across from Severus leaning back in what most would consider undignified, but that was the difference between Lucius's other friends, he didn't have to be a Malfoy when he was around Severus and the younger man knew this. Lucius had grown close to Severus because Severus had never judged him, never berated him for not keeping Pureblood appearances up.
"I was hoping…. Our history be damned… would you be willing to keep an eye on Draco… everything else aside… I trust you and I don't trust Dumbledore. Will you keep an eye on my boy?"
Severus suddenly realized the man looked worried, his brow was lightly furrowed and his fingers were drumming very slowly back and fourth on the arm of the chair, "Luc, your boy is safe here. No matter what you did in the past, Dumbledore holds no grudges towards the boy… though Dumbledore seems to enjoy teaching the boy certain lessons, but to be fair, Draco can be rather nasty to other students sometimes."
"Only child syndrome." Lucius said with almost no interest in his voice.
"No excuses Luc… Draco can be rather bold and intelligent, he is a true Slytherin… but he also enjoys watching others suffer… much like you did."
"He is a good lad. Will you keep an eye on him? Be his guardian at least while he is at school away from my watchful eye?"
Severus snorted, he doubted that Lucius was the watchful father type but perhaps fatherhood had changed the man, he seemed genuinely concerned for his son but the man was a very accomplished liar.
"I suppose I could do that… with our past history I do owe you some gratitude… but don't expect anything else from me." Severus said holding up a finger.
"Gosh your lips look delicious." Lucius said so softly Severus almost didn't hear him.
"No." Severus said in a stern tone almost as if he was scolding a child.
"But it's so could outside." Lucius joked as he stood and approached.
"Stop it or I will refuse to do what you ask of me."
"But look out the window at the storm…"
"I swear to Hecate Lucius."
The man kneeled before him and reached a hand out; Severus grabbed said hand to stop it from moving any closer.
"Despite the fact that Muggles have always been disgusting creatures, their music was one thing you introduced me to that I just loved."
Lucius shot forward and pressed his lips to Severus's, Severus stiffened horribly and his hand jerked up to shove Lucius away but the man grabbed his wrist holding him still.
Severus had forgotten how soft the man's lips were, how he smelled like spices and cloves, how his grip had always been stronger than his, which is why Severus had always lost this battle. Anytime he had tried to resist, the man had always overpowered him.
Lucius's spare hand rubbed up Severus's chest and then started to unbutton the black tunic but Severus finally had had enough. Too many years he had been subjected to Lucius's whims and giving the man what he wanted. He wouldn't do it anymore; he wouldn't submit or give in.
Severus grabbed his wand with his free hand and cast a spell, Lucius was tossed back rather gently and the man landed on the floor. Severus was breathing heavily but he stood and felt himself grow the bravery he had always lacked as a student. Lucius stood quickly and looked at Severus in shock
"Get. Out." Severus said as stern and cold as he could, his eyes burned into the blue orbs of Lucius and the man's surprise and shock slowly turned into a chuckle and then a full out laugh.
"You always did surprise me when we were younger, I should have expected more. I am pleased to see you've developed a backbone. It's good to see you Severus."
Severus raised his wand and motioned to the fireplace, "OUT!" The man nearly screamed.
"Very well old friend. I will go, but I will come to visit again. There are other matters aside from Draco and our old affairs that we need to speak of. Rumors are on the wind my friend… we need to prepare."
Severus said nothing as Lucius stepped into the fireplace and flooed back to his Manor. Severus collapsed into his chair and threw his wand down. He put his face in his hands and tried to fight back tears, "Fuck!" He yelled as he kicked a nearby end table.
He stood on his still shaky legs and walked to his fireplace. He ignored the lingering smell of Lucius and flooed to Albus's office.
He stepped out and sank to the floor as tears flooded his eyes and he gasped, "Albus I need to-" he stopped when he saw Minerva sitting across from the man with a pawn held in mid-air.
Albus stood suddenly and crossed to Severus, "Minerva, I believe we need a moment, do you mind if we finish this game at a later time?"
"Of course not. Good night, Severus and you Albus." She nodded to both and quickly left the room.
"My dear boy… what has got you so upset?" Albus asked as he helped Severus to stand, instantly the man wrapped his arms around the elder wizard and sobbed into his shoulder. Dumbledore didn't hesitate and he wrapped his long thin arms around the young man.
"Fuck…" came muffled from the man's mouth and Dumbledore smiled a little, he hadn't heard that word in a long time, it seemed so silly to hear it now.
"My dear, dear sweet boy… tell me… what has happened to make you so upset?"
Severus finally pulled away harshly, as if he had suddenly realized what he had been doing and turned to pace.
"Lucius Malfoy just… he just showed up in my private chambers…"
Albus grew still, and he looked at the young man's tear stained face.
"He-he…. He hit on me! He tried to seduce me! He was acting like the last eleven years haven't happened… it was just like before…" Severus trailed off and looked at the man with anguish.
"It's not what you think…" Severus said quickly.
"It is fine dear one… I'd had a suspicion about his intentions towards you during school… However, I regret to say that I could not do anything about it unless you came forward…"
"How did you know?" Severus asked.
"Lily." Was all he said.
"Lily? B-but we weren't talking by then…"
"The dear girl noticed how you acted around Lucius…. Said she had seen it before… during the summers you spent together growing up…"
Severus flinched at that comment, "So she… she was worried about me?"
"Quite so. I suspect she didn't want you to know since she never made you come forward. I can only assume if anyone could have made you come forward it would have been her."
Severus nodded, "I had prayed she would come back to me, to help me, but by then things had begun the inevitable spiral out of control."
"Were you the only reason Lucius paid a visit?" Dumbledore asked carefully.
"No, no he wanted me to keep an eye on Draco. Make sure his son was doing okay in school and making friends… I shot him across the room with my wand when he kissed me and he seemed pleased… like I had passed some test… like he had been seeing how I would react, how I would defend myself… he said he was going to come back to talk about other matters… I think he means about Voldemort. He said there are rumors on the wind, that people are hearing things about him."
"That is not good."
"Indeed." Severus agreed.
"What do you wish to do about this?" Albus asked.
"Me? You are asking me?" Severus asked surprised.
"Yes my dear boy, I trust you and your judgment. Normally, I would ask you to see him again and try to gain information… but truthfully I do not want to put you in that situation unless you think you can handle it. Your safety is important to me no matter what you think and I won't put you in a dangerous situation unless you want to be, at least in this particular circumstance I think you need to be in control because it is more than just your mind that could be hurt. I am under the impression that the man is not a… kind… lover?"
Severus flushed horribly but shook his head and looked at his feet.
"I won't ask you to do this. I can block your fireplace from outsiders if you like… I was alerted to someone coming into your room but I didn't think on it since Poppy had said you were having her over for some sort of book discussion."
Severus felt his eyes scrunch up, "I had had to cancel on her because of the private lessons… I needed a couple hours to write up a schedule for break and next term."
"Oh yes… I hope those will go well. That was a marvelous idea Severus and really very kind of you."
"Albus can we please stay on topic?" Severus pleaded.
"Yes, yes my dear boy I am sorry. I will leave it up to you, I can make sure the man won't come back and you will never have to deal with it again. Or if you want to face your demons I will be here to support you… you are stronger now than you were as a child, I wouldn't doubt your superiority over Lucius… but I also know that in situations like what you went through it is hard to stand up to a tormentor."
Severus thought it over; on one hand Dumbledore was offering him a chance to avoid this entire situation. He wasn't guilting him, manipulating him or trying to talk him into it. He was genuinely worried and offering to help Severus literally save his ass.
But on the other hand, Severus really wanted to know what Lucius had heard, he wanted to know if Quirrell was tied into all this, he wanted to know who had survived the Dark Lord's fall and managed to hide from the Aurors. How many of his old "friends" still roamed free via hiding and staying close to Lucius.
Looking up at Dumbledore was easy but requesting the man's assistance made his stomach hurt, "I will continue to see Lucius but will not sacrifice my dignity to do so. I will try to extract what I can from him but the instant he tries to go too far I am going to hex him into oblivion and I will discontinue seeing him."
Dumbledore nodded and then asked, "Do you wish me to keep tabs on the meetings or would you prefer privacy… I trust you to tell me what I need to know."
Severus was so grateful that he smiled lightly, "Due to the man's overly abundant hormones I would prefer it to remain private. If he tries to undress me again I'd prefer you not to have to see me defend myself."
Both Dumbledore and Severus knew what he really meant by those words, I don't want you to see me in case I ever have to submit or fail to keep him at bay.
"Severus, by no means are you to give yourself to him for information. If he will not share something with you unless you compromise your dignity and pride I demand you ask him to leave. I will not allow you to suffer at his hands so that he can have a few seconds of pleasure."
Severus burst out into laughter, "It's usually more than a few seconds… he was rather vigorous as a boy… I am sure that hasn't changed."
"I do not feel the need to give the man the benefit of the doubt… in any case he always seemed rather inept in certain areas since I rarely saw him with the same girl twice and judging by the look on their faces I doubt it was the snogging they were displeased with."
Severus was trying so hard to keep his composure, to revert back to his normal cold silent self but hearing Dumbledore insult Lucius's sexual abilities was far too much even for him so it is inevitable that more laughter followed.
"I assumed he was impotent in the area since he didn't have Draco for so long."
"I guess that is true, he married Narcissa right after graduation… he was married a year or two longer than Lily and Potter." Severus said.
Dumbledore smirked and went back to his desk.
"Care for a night cap?" Dumbledore asked.
"Gods yes." Severus said as he pulled his body across the floor and dropped into Minerva's vacant chair.
"Perhaps we could keep this between us?" Severus asked.
"That was evident as soon as you came in."
Severus gave the man a smirk and took his glass and shot back the fire whisky like a pro.
Severus browsed through his office and personal chambers but couldn't decide what to choose. Christmas morning was only three hours away and he still didn't know what to give Harry. He wasn't sure if the boy would even receive any gifts, his relatives certainly never sent him anything. He knew Dumbledore was planning on gifting the boy and there was a chance that the boy's friends would get him something. But Severus wanted to give Harry something very special, something he would really appreciate.
It came to him then as his eyes settled on the bookcase, "Perfect." Severus said as he crossed and pulled out the old book that his eyes were locked onto. He opened the cover and with a flick of his wand Severus changed the inscription inside so that his name was not present and he smirked as he went to throw a ribbon around it.
Harry stared down at his missing body and spun around in shock, "My body's gone!" he said as he looked up at Ron.
"Hey I know what that it. That's an invisibility cloak!"
"I'm invisible?" Harry said twirling again.
"They're really rare. I wonder who gave it to you?"
" There was no name it just says use it well."
Ron smirked, "Well at least now you own something of your folks right?"
Harry couldn't help but give a sad smile, "It belonged to my dad, I still don't have anything that belonged to my mother."
"Wouldn't say that, I saved the best for last." Ron said smiling triumphantly.
"What?" Harry asked taking the cloak off and setting it aside.
"Found this on the mantle."
Ron pulled a book from behind his back and handed it to Harry. It was an old dirty green book. The black ribbon that was wrapped around it was soft and warm and Harry pulled on it slowly. As the ribbon fell away he turned the book to read the spine.
"The Extended Works of the Brothers Grimm. A fairy tale book?" Harry asked looking at Ron. Harry's friend kept smiling as he read the small card attached.
Your mother was a dear friend of mine and gave this to me for Christmas when we were in school together. Take good care of this book, it is one of the small lovely pieces left of the beautiful woman that was your mother, this book and of course you.
"From a professor?" Harry asked.
Ron shrugged and then said,"Open it mate."
Harry opened it slowly and spied a beautiful handwriting on the inside cover.
You wanted to know what some of my most favorite fairytales were so I grabbed you this at the bookstore in London. Merry Christmas and have a great winter break! By the way, these are a little darker than what you might expect coming from me, but I know you will be able to understand that it is the writing style that I truly enjoy more than anything else!
Harry stared at the handwriting and then ran a thumb over it and drank in how beautiful it was. The blue ink shined against the light of the fire and Harry felt a single tear roll down his cheek.
"Wait… if my mother's handwriting was on the inside of the cover than how did you know that it was from her?" Harry asked as he looked up at his friend with a sly smile.
Ron paled and stood quickly, "Gunna go get dressed for breakfast, Happy Christmas." He ran from the room and Harry couldn't help but laugh a little. His friends meant well by him but sometimes their curiosity got the better of them. He pulled the cloak over his lap and hugged the book to his chest before he sat back in the armchair and realized that this was the best Christmas he had ever had.
He was ready to spend the rest of break reading this book and exploring with his father's cloak when something suddenly popped into his head.
"Hey Ron! Who's Prince?"
A/N: So tell me what you thought of this. This next chapter is going to open with a zinger so I hope you are all prepared. Thanks for reading!