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Title: Two Lords a Leaping
Author: [personal profile] alisanne
Challenge: Written for the 2009 [community profile] snarry_games. I was on Team Cauldron.
Genre(s): Fandom Crossovers and/or Fusions and Alive and Kicking (or Snape EWE)
Prompt(s): Angels and Demons
Rating/Warnings/Kinks: PG-13, *Character death/NOT Harry or Snape*
Word Count: 16200
Summary: This is the story of what happened the day a Potions master teamed up with Time Lord to stop a megalomaniac from taking over the world.
Author Notes/Disclaimers/Betas This is an HP/Dr Who crossover. The Specific episode of Dr Who referenced here is Blink, the Doctor referenced is Ten as played by David Tennant.
Endless thanks to my beta readers, [personal profile] sevfan, [personal profile] eeyore9990 and [personal profile] leela_cat, who whipped this into shape. Kudos also to the moderators of the Snarry Games for allowing me to play again. And, as I’m sure you’re aware, nothing you recognize is mine. Certain passages contain direct quotes from the book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.



~**~

Two Lords a Leaping

~**~


The hallway in that part of the castle was deserted, as it generally was. Severus knew he was taking his life into his hands being there at all, but it wasn’t as if he could return the way he’d come. Minerva and the other professors had blocked that way, forcing him to fly. Flying required a lot of magic, however, so he had landed as soon as he could, in a spot he knew no one would be waiting. The balcony outside the Hall of Death. Catching his breath, he slipped in through a window and allowed himself to sag against the wall for a moment. He didn’t relish having to do that again soon.

After straightening up, Severus began to move, consciously slowing his breathing. He walked slowly, carefully, between the statues lining the hall. Some of the statues were actually statues while some were clearly...not. Unfortunately, there was no way to differentiate until it was too late.

A noise made him jump but he knew enough to keep his eyes trained on as many of the figures as he could as he moved through. The exhortation that Albus had drummed into him on so many occasions echoed in his memory. Do not blink!

He was almost at the end of the hallway. Bloody Albus. Apparently these was something in this hallway that was necessary to defeat the Dark Lord. I don't know why he couldn't have just told me what it is... Severus rolled his eyes. Once he located the mystery object, he could then Apparate to the Shrieking Shack where the Dark Lord was reportedly waiting to speak with him. Bloody Lucius and his bloody messages.


Severus sighed. Once he was done with the Dark Lord, he needed to find Potter. There were things the boy needed to know, things that only Severus could tell him. Fingering the bezoar in his pocket, Severus found himself wishing he could have taken another dose of anti-venom. Still, the doses he’d already taken would have to do. And perhaps the Dark Lord wouldn’t attempt to kill him that night.

Snorting to himself, Severus discarded that idea. The creature was erratic, insane, and murderous. Severus’ days were clearly numbered. I've quite the busy schedule before that, however, he thought darkly.

Out of the corner of his eye, something moved, and Severus, unable to resist, glanced that direction, immediately knowing his mistake. “Fu--”

A moment later Severus found himself spinning away, leaving behind a hallway empty of all but silent, winged stone statues.

~**~


“So where are we going now?” Martha asked from her perch on the railing surrounding the time console.

The Doctor grinned. “Where do you want to go?”

She rolled her eyes. “Well I don’t know, do I? You’re the one with the space and time travelling ship.”

“We could go to the swaying mountains of Feldspoon,” the Doctor said thoughtfully. “They’re not good if you’re the type to get seasick, but really, you’ve a pretty strong stomach. If seeing the Judoon didn’t scare you, then swaying mountains really shouldn’t-- Hang on.” He poked a button that had begun to flash. “We-ell, now isn’t that odd--?”

“What?” Martha hopped off the railing. She knew that look. It meant something interesting was about to happen. “What is it?”

The Doctor was peering into one of the monitors on the time console. “Something, or perhaps I should say someone, has been taken out of his proper time.”

“What does that mean?”

His manic grin told her the answer even before his verbal reply. “It means we should investigate. Allons-y! Time to visit nineteen seventy! Ooh, that rhymed.”

Martha only just managed to grab onto the railing before the ship took a sharp tilt to the left. She hid her grin. She would never actually tell him, but this was always her favourite part. Hurtling into the unknown, chasing adventure.

~**~


Crouched as they all were behind a tree, Ron’s and Hermione’s breathing sounded loud in Harry’s ears. Several shrouded figures had just entered the Shrieking Shack, and while he knew it was probably dangerous to follow them, he knew what he wanted to do. “We shouldn’t go in, should we?” he whispered. “We should go back.”

“To the Great Hall?” Ron snorted. “With our luck we’d run into Parkinson and she’d try to turn us over to the Dark Lord again.”

“She was just scared, Ron.” Hermione sighed.

“Scared or not, I say we stay away from her.”

Harry nodded. Staying away from Slytherins seemed like a good plan, especially tonight. “So, stay or go?” he asked.

“Of course we should go back.” Hermione shifted next to him. “And yet we’re going in, aren’t we?”

Harry smiled. “Yes, we are.”

“Nice to know some things never change,” Ron muttered.

They looked at him and he rolled his eyes. “What? I don’t know why we’re even discussing it. We were always going in.”

“We need a plan, though,” Hermione said. “Blundering into a trap won’t do us any good.”

“The plan is to see what V-his plan is and then get out,” Harry said, tripping over the name. That had been a hard lesson to learn. “We still have to recover and dispose of a couple of Horcruxes, after all.”

“Right, well, let’s go.”

“Wait!” Ron tugged Harry’s robes before he could stand. “Who’s that?”

A solitary shrouded figure was walking towards the Shack. The person hesitated for a moment before slipping inside.

“The Shack’s a really popular place tonight,” Ron quipped.

“For Death Eaters, anyway.” Harry sighed. “Right, if the way’s clear we should go in now. We don’t have all night, you know.”

He rose, the others following him as he made his way forward and to the Shack. At least it wasn’t a full moon, he thought, grateful. It was bad enough to have to deal with Death Eaters, but werewolves on top of that would not have been fun.

They crept through the broken down building, the rickety shack reminding him of the night he’d met Sirius for the first time. The intervening years certainly hadn’t improved the place. If anything, it was even more decrepit.

Careful to step gingerly and avoid making noise, the trio moved slowly towards voices. Voldemort was holding court, his sibilant voice making Harry shiver. Holding up his hand, he gestured, and they edged forward until they were just behind a wall. There was a crack through which they could see a part of the room on the other side.

Beyond them there were several cowled figures, Death Eaters, presumably. Voldemort and Bellatrix were there, Voldemort gesticulating wildly as he spoke. “...should be here soon and then I shall display my mastery! I shall rule all!”

“Of course, my Lord!”

Still kissing his arse I see, Harry thought darkly. Bloody loons.

“Lucius, you did tell Severus that I wished to see him immediately, did you not? I trust he shall be here.” Voldemort’s tone was cold, and Harry frowned. It didn’t sound as if either Malfoy or Snape was on the good list at the moment.

“Of course, my Lord.” Malfoy sounded scared, Harry realised. Maybe things aren’t going as well for him as he’d hoped. “Severus should be here momentarily. If he’s not here within a minute, I shall go and retrieve him himself.”

Voldemort chuckled. “No, I don’t think so, Lucius. Perhaps if I trusted you more I would allow you to leave, but not right now. Not when I am so close to being the Master of Death. You have been too much of a disappointment recently, I’m afraid.”

“My Lord--”

Crucio!

Harry shuddered and closed his eyes for a moment, the cold joy in Voldemort’s pronunciation of that word taking him back to the cemetery where Cedric had died and where he had first experienced the torture of the Cruciatus Curse.

Malfoy was screaming and writhing on the floor. From Harry’s position, he could see Bellatrix’s face as it was happening. She was grinning, her eyes glowing with unholy glee. He swallowed bile. Hermione’s hand tightened on his shoulder and he released the breath he’d been holding.

“Perhaps now you will realise the price of failure,” Voldemort sneered at the trembling figure on the floor. “Get up!”

Malfoy arose, limping shakily towards the back of the room.

“My Lord, let me...collect Severus,” Bellatrix purred, her high-pitched voice setting Harry’s teeth on edge. “His hesitation proves he’s a traitor. He must be dealt with. Allow me this small task to prove my devotion.”

Voldemort smiled. “As amusing as that would be, oh loyal one, I need him alive and relatively unharmed. I must kill him, only that way will the Elder Wand be mine! I shall summon him myself through my Mark.”

Harry blinked. Was Snape secretly on their side? Was that why he hadn’t shown up yet? Biting his lip, he again pondered Dumbledore’s insistence that Snape was to be trusted. Next to him, Ron shifted, and Harry’s eyes caught his. Ron looked grim. He jerked his head towards the way they’d come. “Too many,” he mouthed. “Let’s go.”

Shaking her head, Hermione placed a finger over her lips, miming silence.

“But while we wait,” Voldemort said, “perhaps we can entertain ourselves. Come out! I know you’re spying.”

Harry froze, then began to search his robes for his wand. Hermione immediately tightened her hand on his arm and pointed.

Someone was being dragged into the room. They were obviously struggling, and Harry, realising that his, Hermione’s and Ron’s presence hadn’t been detected, relaxed slightly. The intruder’s face was hidden and Harry bit his lip, wondering who Voldemort had got his claws on now.

“Well, isn’t this interesting?” Voldemort was circling the person, and as Harry stared, he stopped in front of the crack in the wall that Harry and his friends had been peering through, blocking their view. “Now what shall we do with you?”

The reply was indistinct.

“Let you go? Now why would I do that? You’re the perfect person to flush out Harry Potter, aren’t you?”

Harry, eyes wide, looked at Ron and Hermione, both of whom looked as conflicted as he did. He felt torn, one part of him wondering if he should charge in and try to rescue whoever it was who Voldemort had captured, the other convinced that he should wait and see what would happen.

Ron bit his lip and began digging about in his robes, finally pulling out what looked like the remnants of a set of Extendable Ears. He shrugged.

“Wait,” Hermione mouthed and Harry nodded.

“Where is Potter?” Voldemort spat. The person must have given him a cheeky response because he immediately snapped out his favourite word. Crucio! He practically caressed it as he said it, rolling the ‘R’ as if tasting it. Harry’s hands clenched into fists.

The screams of the person being tortured practically stabbed Harry in the heart. Dropping his head to his chest, he finally exhaled when Voldemort cut off the spell.

“So, what do you say now?” Voldemort asked, shifting his position so that Harry and the others could finally see again. “Where’s Potter?”

The prisoner lay panting on the filthy floor, face hidden. “Bite me,” they muttered, voice hoarse from screaming, but clearly still defiant.

“Filthy blood traitor!” Bellatrix screamed, advancing as if to strike the prisoner.

Voldemort held up his hand, cutting Bellatrix off. “I grow weary of these games and the waiting,” he said. “You said ‘bite me’, child? Very well. I shall find Potter and Severus myself and you shall get your wish. Nagini!” He waved his wand.

Harry’s eyes widened and he leaned forward as the huge snake, coiled in a large cage, was levitated over to the coiled figure. The obviously magical cage encased practically the prisoner’s whole body.

“Kill!” Voldemort hissed in Parseltongue.

The victim tried to push the cage off, tried to sit up, but their hands went through the cage, unable to push against it. The giant snake lunged and bit down, copious amounts of blood spurting from the prisoner’s neck. There was a scream and the figure struggled for a moment, skin turning almost translucent before going still. Voldemort barely looked at the prisoner as he walked past them and out of the room. “Come, Bella.” He chuckled coldly. “Any who wear my Mark cannot evade me for too long. I have summoned him and as he is not here, Severus must be dead. There is no other explanation. Thus, I am the Elder Wand’s master after all!”

Bellatrix’s distant cackling drowned out Hermione’s horrified gasp as the cage rolled away, the figure flopping over to finally reveal Ginny’s face, dead eyes staring up at them.

~**~


Severus groaned and looked around. One moment he’d been at Hogwarts at night in that damnable ‘hallway of death’, and the next, he was lying in the centre of a deserted suburban street at what looked like noon. And it was cold. He cast a quick wandless Warming Charm. “What the--?”

An ancient automobile turned the corner, and Severus struggled to his feet, only just managing to dive out of the way before being run over. “Bloody Muggles,” he muttered, brushing off his robes.

Looking up and down the street, he quickly ascertained that he had no idea where he was. It looked as if it could be any neighbourhood on the outskirts of London, however. After making sure there were no Muggles about, he cast a Tempus Spell.

“Eleven forty-five a.m.?” He sighed. “Lovely.”

“Hullo.”

Severus’ head snapped up and he stared at the girl whose face was peering out through thick hedges. “Good day,” he said.

“Who’re you?” she asked.

“I’m Professor Snape,” Severus responded automatically, then sighed. “You, however, may call me Mr. Snape.”

“You’re funny,” the girl said, pulling frizzy hair out of her eyes. The gesture was oddly familiar. “Why are you in a dress?”

“I’ll have you know that I am not--” Severus took a deep breath. “These are teaching robes,” he explained. “When you go to university, your teachers will have them.”

“Okay.” The girl’s eyes were assessing. “Are you lost?”

“I--” Severus hesitated. “I appear to be. Perhaps you can help me,” he said, moving closer. “Where is this place?”

“This is Billington. You really are lost.” She smiled. “I’ll get Mum.”

“No, wait--” But she was gone, darting into a small house. Severus sighed, starting out down the street. The last thing he needed was a hysterical and suspicious Muggle woman asking him questions. For a moment he pondered transforming his clothes.

“Mr. Snape?”

Severus jumped, turning to look down at the petite woman who had spoken. “Madam,” he replied.

“My daughter says you’re lost.” The woman, accompanied by the girl he’d met earlier, seemed friendly enough. Severus inclined his head.

“She is correct. I am looking for...er...” Severus hesitated, unsure what Muggle landmarks were located around. “A bank,” he improvised.

The woman laughed. “Well there are many banks in London,” she said. “Was there a specific one you were looking for?”

London, then. Severus exhaled. “How far are we from Charing Cross?” he asked.

She smiled. “Oh you are turned around. Quite a way, I’m afraid. Are you going for the dedication?”

“Dedication?”

“Why yes. It’s about to be designated a grade II monument, you know.”

Severus froze. “I thought it already had been,” he said carefully. “Several years ago.”

“Oh no! They only agreed to it last year. The dedication is next week.” She patted her daughter on the head. “Margaret here loves monuments and she’s told us all about it.”

“I see. And the date this classification is happening is--?”

“February fifth,” Margaret supplied.

Severus’ hands clenched. “And the year?”

Both Margaret and her mother blinked at him. “Nineteen seventy, of course,” the woman said, edging away slightly.

“Of course,” Severus repeated, voice faint. Sweet Merlin.

“Did you hit your head?” the woman asked. “Margaret said she saw you lying in the street.”

“No, I’m fine,” he lied. “I must go. Thank you for your assistance.”

“Are you sure you wouldn’t like a cup of tea?”

Severus hesitated. Tea did sound good... “I don’t--”

“Come on. I’ve a kettle on in the kitchen,” the woman said, turning and leading the way up the street and through a small garden into a bright and airy kitchen. “Have a seat; I’ll just be a minute.”

Frowning, Severus nevertheless had followed her, Margaret trailing after them. The kitchen was pleasant enough, and it was certainly warm. February, he mentally sighed, crossing his arms and relaxing his Warming Charm. Thank God for all-weather robes.

“I’m going to be a dentist,” Margaret announced after a few moments of her mother bustling about.

Severus raised an eyebrow. “Pardon me?”

Margaret grinned. “Billy Granger, he’s my boyfriend, we’re going to get married and we’re both going to be dentists.” She tilted her head. “And then we can fix teeth. Like yours.”

“Granger?” Severus stared at her, ignoring the rudeness. “Are you-- Do have a relative named Hermione by any chance?”

“No.” Margaret tilted her head. “Pretty name, though.”

Severus’ headache suddenly got much worse.

“Here we are, tea, and I had some cake left over from yesterday. You look as if you could use some.” The mother was back and Severus accepted the dish with cake and the steaming mug, drinking the latter quickly. It was hot and delicious, and for a moment he closed his eyes and contemplated what to do.

“Are you going to look at Charing Cross now?” Margaret asked.

Staring at her, Severus blinked. “I...think so, yes,” he said, picking up his fork to eat. “That’s an excellent idea.”

~**~


“So, here we are, nineteen seventy!” The Doctor ran to the door of the TARDIS, throwing it open. “Shall we?”

“Where are we?” Martha asked, following him out into the street. “Wait, this is--”

“London.” The Doctor drew a deep breath. “Smell that air!”

Martha coughed. “It smells horrible, actually,” she complained. “And it’s all smoggy.”

“Leftover from Britain’s industrial age.” The Doctor grinned. “You think this is bad? You should’ve been here in nineteen fifty-two! Humans are finally starting to think about the environment, though. Still--” He rocked back on his heels. “Sometimes I miss the old days. People were so much friendlier. Did you know that this is the year that the first jumbo jet lands in Britain?”

“Er, no,” Martha said. “Hey, are we in Charing Cross?”

“We are.” The Doctor set off at a brisk pace. “Well, come on. We have to find the way in. I think it’s over here.”

“The way into what?”

The Doctor had already entered a dodgy looking pub and, rolling her eyes, Martha followed. “Are you sure this is a good place for us?” she whispered as everyone in the place turned to look at them.

“It’s the only way in, I’m afraid.” Smiling at the surly-looking bartender, the Doctor held up some psychic paper. “We need to get in,” he said.

The man looked at the paper, his face clearing. “Oh! Well why didn’t you say so? Thought you were Muggles. We’re always happy to cooperate with the Ministry.” He leaned forward. “We won’t be letting any of the wrong sort through.”

“Ye-es, well, we know you’re, er, loyal and all that.” The Doctor pulled Martha along with him. “Would love to stay and chat more, but things to do, you know?”

“Right, of course.” The bartender tapped a brick on the back wall and an archway appeared. The Doctor steered a gaping Martha through the impromptu doorway.

“Doctor, what--?”

“Thanks, ta ra!” The Doctor waved at the disappearing bartender.

Martha crossed her arms. “So where are we? This is not London.”

“Of course it is, it’s wizarding London, the part of the city hidden by magic, Diagon Alley.” The Doctor pursed his lips, looking up and down the street for a second. “Right, so I think our best chance of catching up with our quarry is this way. He’ll need money, and for that he’ll have to go to the bank.”

“Wait, who are we looking for? And what’s wizarding London?” Martha asked, trying to keep up with him as he threaded his way through the milling people. She couldn’t help but stare at the more outlandishly dressed. “And oh my God, is that woman wearing an owl on her head?”

“Don’t be silly, that’s her familiar.” The Doctor paused. “Well, it’s probably her familiar...well, it could be a family member who’s an Animagus, I suppose--”

“Stop!” Martha grabbed his arm, pulling him into an empty doorway. “Will you please quit babbling and tell me what we’re doing?”

“I told you, someone’s been moved out of time, someone that shouldn’t have been.” The Doctor frowned. “I thought he’d have come here first, though. Maybe we’ll need to search the city for him.”

“Search all of London?” Martha put her hands on her hips. “Right, if we’re doing that, then I want lunch first. There’s an ice cream shop over there. Let’s go.”

“We can’t.”

“Why not?”

“We’ll need Galleons.”

“We need what?”

“Wizards use different money, and I don’t have--” The Doctor dipped his hand into his pocket and pulled out some coins. “Well, will you look at that? I guess I can buy you ice cream after all, once we find him.”

Martha narrowed her eyes. “No! We eat first. I know you, something will happen and we won’t get to eat.”

“Martha--”

She shook her head. “Don’t you ‘Martha’ me! Time Lords have to eat, too. Come on, we’ll find the lost bloke as soon as I try some of that pumpkin ice cream on the advert.”

They settled into seats by the window and a smiling woman brought them dishes of the most delicious ice cream Martha had ever tasted. “This is really good,” she muttered, tucking in. “I think I was hungry.”

“Yeah.”

Martha sighed, recognising the sound of the Doctor’s mental wheels turning. “What?”

“Something’s not right.”

“Other than the fact that we’re in a magic city hidden in London, you mean?” she asked, voice dry.

“Aside from that, yes.” The Doctor was tapping his index finger against his mouth. “Does it seem quiet to you?”

Martha looked around. “Not especially,” she said. “Seems pretty busy.”

“This is the centre of commerce of the British wizarding world,” he said, voice thoughtful. “At any given time, thousands of people should be here, but they’re not.”

“Oh.” Martha shrugged. “Maybe it’s a magic holiday?”

The Doctor shook his head. “No--” He tilted his head as if listening to music only he could hear. “Can’t you feel it?”

“Not really.”

The woman who had served them the ice cream bustled by. “Need to put down the shutters,” she said, no longer smiling.

“Why, what’s wrong?” the Doctor asked.

The woman shook her head, clearly scared. “He’s coming. You should get out.”

“Who?”

“You Know Who.” Her mouth snapped shut. “I’ve said too much. You need to go; we’re locking up and then leaving. You should do the same.”

Out on the street where they’d been unceremoniously shoved, Martha shivered. The street that had seemed filled with people before was deserted now. “This doesn’t feel right,” she muttered.

“That’s what I said.” The Doctor narrowed his eyes. “Come on, we need to see what’s going on here.”

“Maybe we should be discreet this ti--” Martha sighed as the Doctor walked out into the centre of street and stood there. So much for simply watching from the sidelines.

Suddenly, the Doctor looked up, shading his eyes with his hand, and Martha followed his gaze. In the sky there appeared to be several black clouds streaking closer and closer to them.

“Oh dear,” the Doctor said after a moment. “Not good. Come on!”

Grabbing Martha’s hand, he tugged her along the street until they came to what looked like a locked sweet store. Whipping out the sonic screwdriver, he pressed it, the door springing open a second later. Shoving her inside, he followed and pulled the door closed, just in time, as it turned out.

“Stay hidden,” the Doctor whispered, pulling her into a crouch beside him. From their position, they had a decent view of the street.

The black clouds arrived and as each one landed, it became a person. Martha gasped. Each one was wearing a mask that looked like the top half of a skull. The Doctor placed an index finger over his lips to remind her to be quiet, but given the look of the new arrivals, she didn’t think she needed the reminder. She nodded.

“Diagon Alley, it is time to welcome me, your new master!”

Martha clapped her hands over her ears in an attempt to block the voice which was amplified almost to the point of pain.

“I, Lord Voldemort, have arrived!”

The Doctor narrowed his eyes.

“It is time for you to see and know my true power. I am Lord Voldemort and these are my Death Eaters!”

“Well that’s a catchy name,” Martha said. “Morbid, but catchy.”

“We-ell,” the Doctor said, voice thoughtful. “I wonder if he has anything to do with our unwilling time traveller?”

“Speaking of, how are we going to find him?” Martha asked.

The Doctor grinned. “Oh, something tells me he’ll find us.”

Martha sighed, and as the attackers began setting fire to buildings, she hoped this mystery man would find them soon.

~**~


Severus bid Margaret and her mother goodbye and set off on foot. He needed a current copy of the Prophet, and quickly. His knowledge of the events of nineteen seventy was hazy, but he did remember something about Voldemort causing a lot of trouble that year. God, that’s this year! I need information, and a bloody Time-Turner.

Only that won’t work, he immediately realised. First: they only take people backwards in time. And second: Belbus Smith hasn’t invented it yet. That won’t be until nineteen seventy-six. Fuck!

Refusing to consider what it would mean if he couldn’t pass Albus’ messages on to Harry, Severus’ feet took him towards a park, where he finally sat on a bench to consider what to do.

Hogwarts was out; he didn’t want to involve Albus in any way as that would only needlessly complicate things. Spinner’s End was...tempting but probably dangerous. He wasn’t sure he could stand to see himself as a child being abused by his father without murdering the man outright. And while it might be satisfying, it would change the past a bit too much. For all he knew, that could pave the way to Voldemort’s victory.

I have to get the information to Harry somehow, though. If only he had a way to leave the boy a message. But how? It wasn’t as if Harry owned anything that he kept with him all the time--

Severus sat bolt upright. That infernal Invisibility Cloak! If he could get his hands on that, he could place his memories in a bottle and leave them in a magically created pocket, timed only to appear at the precise moment it was needed. But that meant... He groaned. James Potter would be ten, preparing to go to Hogwarts. Closing his eyes, Severus tried to recall where Potter grew up.

Kensington, he remembered suddenly. He had come across it when looking through the Hogwarts rolls as Headmaster, and he again recalled the stab of jealousy when he realised just what sort of wealth Potter had been born into.

Standing up, Severus walked behind a copse of trees and Apparated to Kensington Gardens. Looking around, he saw no one and exhaled. Knowing that this was not a neighbourhood in which he wanted to attract attention, he cast a Notice-Me-Not Spell on himself and proceeded to track down Potter’s home with a Point-Me Spell.

It was beautiful, of course. Severus ground his teeth and walked up to the front door. He tested for wards, found them present but not activated and exhaled, relieved. He tried a simple Alohomora, shaking his head when it actually worked.

Slipping inside, he passed through an elegant, if old fashioned, foyer and walked towards what he hoped was the study, which was where he imagined someone would keep a priceless Invisibility Cloak handed down from the legendary Peverell brothers.

On a table there was a copy of the Prophet. Severus picked it up, heart sinking when he saw the headline. Death Eater attacks increase! What does You Know Who have planned next?

“Diagon Alley,” he whispered, remembering the account of an attack he’d read about much later. “Fuck.”

A yell made him drop the paper and hurry towards the window. Outside, in a beautifully tended garden, was a young James Potter. Standing over him was an older man, his father, Severus presumed.

“...the last time I’ll tell you this, James. The Cloak is a family heirloom, not a toy. I will not have you terrorizing the neighbours.”

“But I wasn’t--”

“I saw you.”

At that, James looked sheepish, and Severus’ lips curved into a smirk. Spoiled little prat.

“So I can’t take it to Hogwarts when I go?” James was pouting now, and Severus rolled his eyes. “You promised!”

“Merlin help me, but I did.” The elder Potter sighed. “Yes, you may take it to school, but you won’t have it to play with before then. I’ve put it in my study for safekeeping.”

Looking around, Severus pulled out his wand and cast a Point-Me, following the pull. He entered a study, and right there on the desk was the Cloak, its filmy fabric spilling over the edge.

Reaching into his robes, Severus withdrew the bottle he’d prepared for his memories and began the transfer. He hurried, not sure how much time he had alone with the Cloak before Potter or his father re-entered the house. Some of the memories would be jumbled, but there was no help for it; at least all the information would be there. And if he sees something he shouldn’t, then so be it. It’s not as if I shall be around for him to mock.

Once he had what he deemed adequate, he corked the bottle and whispered a Pocket Creation Spell and a Timed Concealment Spell. He had just placed the bottle into the now invisible pocket when his luck ran out.

“Who are you?”

Startled, Severus jumped, dropping the Cloak on the floor.

“Answer me!”

“Believe it or not, Mr. Potter, I’m a friend.”

“A friend who has invaded my home and is attempting to steal from me?” Potter scowled. “You’re another of his crew, aren’t you?”

Severus narrowed his eyes. “Whose?”

“You know who I mean!” Potter nodded towards his left arm. “Show me your arm, then, if you’re so innocent.”

Severus blanched. “I--”

Potter nodded. “As I thought. You’re one of Voldemort’s. Well, I’ll tell you what I told him, I’m not joining him! In fact, I’m calling the Aurors--”

At the mention of Voldemort’s name, Severus flinched, trying to recall if the name was taboo yet. Would Death Eaters come barrelling in at any moment? “I’m sorry, but I must leave to save you. Know that I mean you no harm.”

“Oh no you don’t--!”

As Severus Apparated away, he could feel the wards slamming up. He barely squeezed through. Concentrating hard, he thought of the one place he should be relatively safe, Diagon Alley.

~**~


Ron was sobbing, Hermione was clinging to him, her face blotchy and red from crying, and Harry was...numb. Another person I could have saved, he berated himself. Fucking stupid, pointless--

By the time they had got to her, Ginny was gone, eyes staring up at the ceiling. Hermione had closed them, but Harry could still see them staring in mute accusation at him, asking why he hadn’t saved her.

“Why?” sobbed Ron. “Why couldn’t she just have waited behind like we told her? Why did he have to kill her?”

Because he’s evil. Harry bit his lip. This was all his fault, too. Everything was his fault. He must have said something aloud because Hermione shook her head.

“No, it’s not, it’s his fault.” She bit her trembling lower lip. “Don’t blame yourself, Harry, it’s all him.”

“I should have saved her.”

Ron, his face pressed to Ginny’s still body, growled, “I should have saved her. I’m her brother!”

“I’m her--” Harry paused.

“Her what?” Ron asked, looking up, grim. “I thought you broke up with her.”

“Only to protect her!” Harry resolutely ignored the voice in his head that tried to remind him that while he’d loved Ginny, he hadn’t been in love with her.

“Well that didn’t work, did it?” Ron muttered.

“Stop it!” Hermione cried, face crumbling. “This isn’t a contest. We all loved her and now she’s...” Sobbing, Hermione buried her face in her hands. Ron hugged her.

Harry looked away, remembering the last time he’d seen Ginny alive, the look of joy on her face when she’d seen him after all those months of camping in the filthy woods... “I still should have saved her,” he whispered.

Hermione wiped her eyes and began rooting through her bag. “Dittany? No, maybe some Asphodel would help,” she muttered to herself, dashing away the welling tears when she couldn’t see anymore, but it was obvious to Harry that it was hopeless; Ginny had lost too much blood. She was gone.

“Stop, Hermione,” he hissed.

She looked up at him. “Harry?”

Just then, Voldemort’s magically amplified voice surrounded them. “Hear me, everyone. You have resisted me, and despite the shortsightedness of that decision, I admit you have been brave. I, Lord Voldemort, can appreciate bravery. I reward it in my own followers.

“Yet you have sustained heavy losses. If you continue to fight me, you shall all die, one by one, until no one if left standing. I have no wish for this to happen. I mourn every lost magical life.

“I, Lord Voldemort, am merciful. I order my forces to retreat immediately. You have one hour to dispose of your dead with dignity and to treat your injured.

“And now, Harry Potter, for you. You have allowed your friends to die in your stead rather than face me yourself. Where is your bravery? I will wait for one hour in the Forbidden Forest. If, at the end of that hour, you have not surrendered yourself to me, then the fighting begins once more. This time, I shall enter the battle myself, Harry Potter, and I shall find you, and I shall punish every last man, woman, child, or creature who has tried to conceal you from me. One hour.”

Harry’s stricken eyes met Ron’s, then Hermione’s.

She reached for his arm but he dodged her by standing up. He was shaking. “He’s right. This has gone on long enough. Ginny’s dead, Fred’s dead, Remus, Tonks--” His voice broke. “They’re all dead because of me and do you know what means? It means I have to kill him,” he said, voice low. “I have to find that fucking bastard and kill him before he kills anyone else.” His voice was getting louder by the word but he didn’t care.

Hermione nodded. “I understand, but--”

“I’ll go with you.” Ron stood up abruptly, face set. “He needs to die and I need to help you do it. We’ll do it together.”

Hermione shook her head. “The prophecy--”

“Sod the prophecy,” Ron snarled. “I’m going, too.”

“Right.” Harry nodded, knowing it was useless to argue. Truth be told, he’d be glad of company. “Let’s go.”

“Stop, both of you!” Hermione, face white, was holding out her wand as if to use it. “Can we please just think for a minute before you go haring off without a plan and get yourselves killed?” She took a deep breath. “Do I have to Stupefy you?”

“No.” Harry collapsed into a sitting position on the floor. “But, Hermione, I have to do something or he’ll keep killing people. You heard him.”

“I know. But we need a plan. Dumbledore had to have had a plan, right?”

“Yeah, but how do we find out what it was?” Harry groaned. “Sometimes I wish he’d been less cryptic.”

“Sometimes?” Hermione rolled her eyes. “Let’s just think for a minute. What did he leave us to figure it out with?”

“The Resurrection Stone,” Harry muttered. He reached into his robes, hands encountering his Cloak. He pulled it out. “I suppose you could technically include this, too--” He gaped as a bottle rolled out of a pocket that he knew hadn’t been there before.

Hermione snatched it up. “This looks like...memories.”

“Why would Dumbledore leave Harry memories in the Cloak?” Ron asked. “Wouldn’t he just have, I dunno, told him?” Both Harry and Hermione looked over at him, eyebrows raised. He flushed. “Never mind.”

“I need a Pensieve,” Harry said, standing up. His eyes fell on Ginny’s body once more and his hands clenched into fists. “And then I find Vol--” At Hermione’s gasp, he closed his eyes. “I find that bastard and I kill him,” he ground out.

“Now that,” Hermione said, standing up and hugging him, “sounds like a plan.”

~**~


One second Severus was in Kensington and the next he was landing in Diagon Alley behind Fortescue’s. He took stock, faintly surprised he hadn’t Splinched himself. Unplanned Apparation was the fastest way to earn a visit to the Splinching ward at St. Mungo’s, and he didn’t want to have to explain his presence in this time to anyone. He was essentially a wizard with no identity, at least none he could claim.

Hissing as pain shot up his left arm, Severus gritted his teeth and, clutching his arm to his chest, peered around the corner.

The scene that greeted him was directly from his nightmares. Several storefronts were on fire, and while he didn’t see any dead bodies, he did see Voldemort standing in the centre of the chaos laughing like the madman he was while Death Eaters cast haphazard Incendios.

Pulling his head back, Severus calculated the odds that he could Apparate out and not be caught. It was standard operating procedure to put up an Anti-Apparation jinx during a Death Eater raid, but he didn’t know when Voldemort had instituted that policy. Perhaps it was after this attack, he thought wryly.

The Death Eaters would begin searching for trapped wizards next, Severus realised. Another standard practice. The last thing he needed was to be brought before Voldemort wearing a Dark Mark, especially since Voldemort wouldn’t remember Marking him. That wasn’t an explanation he relished having to make.

His arm still throbbing from the proximity to Voldemort, Severus edged along behind the buildings, moving from Fortescue’s to the space behind the magical instruments shop. Hearing a sound, he froze.

“Oh, hello, come on in, then,” a voice said.

Startled, Severus looked up to see a thin man in a dark Muggle suit standing at the back entrance of what he remembered as a sweet shop. “What are you doing?” he whispered. “Stay inside, it’s dangerous out here!”

The man seemed to look right through him for a moment. “If it’s that dangerous then you should get in here.”

A woman stuck her head over the man’s shoulder. “Don’t argue, just get in.”

Raising an eyebrow, Severus nevertheless slipped inside, the door shutting securely behind him. The man held out an instrument of some kind, waving it over the lock for a moment before turning and grinning at Severus. “That should keep them out.”

“Who are you people?” Severus asked. “And why didn’t you leave before the attack?”

The woman rolled her eyes. “That was my question, too.”

“I’m the Doctor and this is Martha,” the man said, offering his hand.

“Severus Snape,” Severus replied, shaking the Doctor’s hand briefly.

The Doctor nodded. “You’re out of your time.”

Severus blinked. “Wh-- and how did you know that?”

“Oh, I’m a Time Lord,” the Doctor said, as if it made any sense. “It’s a basic ability I have, to spot things or people who are out of their time. Normally I wouldn’t worry about it, but something tells me it’s pretty important that you be in your correct time and place.” He frowned.

“Only the fate of the entire wizarding world,” Severus muttered.

“Ah, well, then, good thing we’re here!” The Doctor looked unaccountably pleased.

Severus scowled. “Unless you can get me back to nineteen ninety-eight, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in Scotland, you cannot help me,” he snapped.

“We could if we could get back to the TARDIS,” Martha muttered. “But we’re trapped here with that Vol--”

Severus clapped his hand over her mouth. “Don’t say his name,” he hissed. “Say it and he or his minions can come to you.”

“Really?” The Doctor simply looked intrigued. “And how does that work, I wonder? Some sort of sympathetic resonance, maybe?”

Martha rolled her eyes again, and Severus didn’t blame her. “Does it matter? We need to get out of here before they find us.”

Severus closed his eyes. “I do not detect an Anti-Apparation jinx in place,” he said. “Which means the Aurors will be arriving soon.” At their blank looks, he sighed. “As it’s clear that neither of you are wizards, I can try to a Side-Along-Apparation if you’ll permit.” The last thing he wanted was to try to explain who he was and why he had a Dark Mark to Aurors.

“Will it get us out of here?” Martha asked. At his nod, she said, “Then what are we waiting for?”

The Doctor, who had been staring out the window, pulled a pair of glasses out of his pocket and put them on. “We-ell, isn’t that interesting?”

“What?” Martha asked, coming up behind him.

“I don’t remember that being there before.” The Doctor pointed at a statue of a winged angel in the centre of the square. “Has it always been there?”

Severus followed where he was pointing, groaning when he saw the statue. “No,” he said, voice cold. “At least not in my time. I think they’re following me.”

“Er--” Martha tried to interject.

Ignoring her, the Doctor looked at Severus sharply. “Following you? So you’re familiar with them? How?”

“It sounds mad,” Severus warned.

“Tell me anyway.” The Doctor seemed interested.

Severus narrowed his eyes. “Very well. One of them spirited me back to this point in time just by touching me.” At the Doctor’s nod, Severus pursed his lips. “You are not surprised. What do you know of them?”

Martha’s voice got slightly louder. “Excuse me, but--”

The Doctor nodded as if Severus had just answered a major question. “They’re aliens, quantum locked, which means you can’t ever see them move. They move fast once no one is looking at them. What they did to you is something they do to those who they perceive as a threat.” He rocked back on his heels. “So how exactly did you threaten them, Severus Snape?”

“Hello, you two! Those masked people are coming,” Martha said, snapping her fingers. “And that statue’s moved as well.”

Both men’s heads snapped towards the front window. Outside, a Death Eater was pointing his wand at the sweet shop where they were, a statue now standing directly behind him. Severus’ eyes widened. “We really ought to go.”

“What is this thing you want to try to get us out?” the Doctor asked Severus.

“Side-Along-Apparation.”

“And what’s that?”

“It’s a transportation spell.”

The Doctor shrugged. “Now seems like a good time.”

Nodding, Severus grasped both the Doctor’s and Martha’s arms. “Where’s this machine of yours?” he asked.

“Charing Cross.”

Severus concentrated. It took some effort, but fortunately there was no jinx up, so moments later they were standing next to a blue police box. At the entrance to the alley, Muggles were going about their business as if nothing untoward were happening. I suppose nothing is happening to them, Severus thought darkly. The only indication of what was happening in Diagon Alley was the overcast sky.

“Wow,” Martha gasped, staggering a bit as she caught her breath. “That was...odd.”

“Where is your machine?” Severus asked, looking around.

The Doctor smiled and patted the side of the police box. “Here she is, the TARDIS. Would you like a tour?”

Severus raised an eyebrow. “Bit small,” he muttered.

To his surprise, the Doctor simply exchanged an amused look with Martha before producing a key and, with a flourish, opening the door. “I think you’ll be surprised.”

Stepping inside, Severus looked around. “Ah, wizard’s space. Interesting.” He didn’t miss the crestfallen look that crossed the Doctor’s face. “Is something wrong?”

Martha chuckled. “He just likes shocking the natives,” she said, walking past Severus. “Best hold on, something tells me this will be a bumpy ride.”

“Where are we going?”

The Doctor bounced over to a central console with a pulsing, blue...thing.

“What is that?” Severus asked.

“This?” The Doctor pointed to the blue column. At Severus’ nod he grinned. “It’s the TARDIS’ time rotor.” Pushing some levers, he muttered, “Nineteen ninety-eight, wasn’t it?” He squinted. “Scotland, you said?”

Severus nodded. “Yes--”

He was jerked to the side, only barely managing to hang on to the railing.

Martha grinned from her secure spot on the railing. “Told you.”

~**~


Getting back into Hogwarts proved more difficult than Harry had anticipated. He had to dodge roving Death Eaters and professors. The Cloak became virtually indispensable once he got close to the castle.

Inside, the place was all but deserted. All the action appeared to be in the Great Hall where it looked as if everyone was gathered to mourn.

Hermione and Ron had wanted to come along with him, but Harry had insisted they stay with Ginny’s body. Their quick acceptance had indicated that he’d made the right decision. However, when he finally made it to the hallway in front of Dumbledore’s office -- Harry mentally smacked himself, it was Snape’s now -- he stared up at the stone gargoyle.

“Password?” it asked, not deterred by his invisibility.

“Now what would he use for a password?” Harry muttered.

Sweets didn’t seem likely, no type of food did, actually. Harry made a face. With his luck it was probably some obscure Potions ingredient. Why aren’t the statues snakes? At least then I’d have a shot.

The bottle of memories was burning a hole in his pocket, and Harry, desperate, decided to throw himself on the mercy of the statues. Whipping off his Cloak, he said, “Look, I know you’re supposed to guard this door, but as you can tell, the situation’s bad out there and I need to help. To do that I need to view these memories.”

The gargoyle didn’t budge.

“Look, do you want Vol--” He bit his lip. “Do you want the Dark Lord to win? You think he’ll just torture more people. Is that what you want?”

Nothing.

Agitated, Harry ran a hand through his hair. “Dammit, why’d Dumbledore have to die?” he cried, missing the headmaster more than ever.

To his shock, the gargoyle moved aside as soon as he uttered the name ‘Dumbledore’. “Thanks,” Harry muttered, dashing through. Inside, the office looked much the same except that the portraits of former headmasters and mistresses were all empty.

Rushing over to the stone Pensieve that, mercifully, was still in its place, Harry opened the bottle and poured the silvery memories it into the receptacle.

He waited a couple of seconds for it to settle before leaning forward and placing his face inside, and tumbling into the memories.

Bright sunlight, Snape watching his mother and his aunt, his mother flying off her swing, Snape telling her what she was, what they were, Petunia’s obvious jealousy...

An accident when Snape’s unintentional magic made a tree branch hit her...

Platform nine and three quarters, where Petunia spat the word ‘freak’ at Lily as Snape watched...

James and Sirius taunting Snape on the train...

Snape being Sorted away from his only friend...

Snape and Lily arguing about James and Remus, Mulciber and Avery...

Snape calling Lily
that word...

Snape trying to apologize, Lily turning her back...

Dumbledore coldly manoeuvring Snape into spying for him...

Snape and Dumbledore discussing Voldemort’s return and Snape’s bravery...

Snape working desperately to save Dumbledore, and Dumbledore’s order that Snape kill him rather than allow Draco Malfoy to do it...

With a gasp, Harry wrenched himself out of the Pensieve and leaned against it to catch his breath.

The memories were painful to watch, especially those with Dumbledore, who Harry now knew had simply been moving chess pieces about. Still hyperventilating, Harry finally decided to see it through and, taking a deep breath, he plunged his face back in. The memories seemed to know where he’d stopped and they took up exactly where he’d left off, with Dumbledore ordering Snape to kill him.

“Would you like me to do it now?” asked Snape, his voice heavy with irony. “Or would you like a few moments to compose an epitaph?”

“Oh, not quite yet," said Dumbledore, smiling.


Harry shook his head as the scene played out, as Dumbledore all but begged Snape to make sure his death was as painless as possible.

The scene changed to one where Snape was alone, reading. Placing the book down, Snape looked over at a clock on his mantel and Harry, glancing over, too, gasped. It had a hand labelled ‘Harry Potter’ and it was pointing to ‘safe’. Snape snorted and returned to his book...

Snape asking Dumbledore why he was spending so much time with Harry. Harry blinked, was that jealousy...?

Several nights of detention with Snape watching him clean cauldrons...

One morning when Snape was wanking in the shower. Harry looked away, embarrassed, but when Snape moaned
his name, Harry’s eyes fairly flew back to him in time to see him come...

Snape in Dumbledore’s office, they were arguing, and as Harry watched, Dumbledore finally revealed the ultimate secret, that Harry carried a piece of Voldemort’s soul within him and would have to die so that Voldemort could, too. Snape’s face looked as devastated as Harry felt when Dumbledore told him that, and when Dumbledore asked Snape if he had come to care for Harry, Snape’s face flared with colour...

Snape planting the sword of Gryffindor in the Forest of Dean, watching as Harry retrieved it and as Ron helped him out of the icy water, Snape turning away once Harry was safe...

Snape caressing a torn picture of Harry before placing it reverently into a book and turning out the light...


Harry was thrown out of the last memory, shaking from sensory overload. Oh my God! Licking his lips, he wondered how his world could have changed this much in only a few minutes. Snape actually likes me. He’s worried I’m going to die. Then, the sobering thought hit him. And I will, probably without ever seeing him again.

The realisation was a humbling one. I need to find him before Voldemort does. No one else is going to die if I can help it.

Shaking, Harry nevertheless managed to replace the memories into the bottle by dragging them one by one with his wand. He then re-corked the bottle, slipping it back into the Cloak. The mysterious pocket was still there, thankfully. Harry prayed it wouldn’t disappear before he could return Snape’s memories to him somehow.

He wished he could simply lie down and absorb all that he’d learned, but he had no time. And really, who wanted to think about their own death too much? Maybe if he didn’t think about it, the thing would just happen and he would die and it would be finished. But what of Snape? that annoying mental voice asked. He deserves to live, doesn’t he?

“Everyone should live,” he muttered to the empty room. “Except, apparently, me.”

Well, he’d done the job Dumbledore intended, he’d destroyed the Horcruxes. He gasped. Except Nagini. Someone needed to kill the snake, and he wasn’t sure who that would be if he was off surrendering to Voldemort. Ron and Hermione would know it needed to be done, of course, but he wished he could take care of that one last detail before, well, dying.

Rubbing his scar, Harry exited the Headmaster’s office, walked down towards the grounds, and ran straight into Neville.

“Harry?”

Blinking up at Neville, Harry nodded. “For the moment, at least,” he whispered under his breath.

“What?”

Harry shook his head. “Nothing. Look, Neville, I need a favour.”

Neville nodded. “Anything, you know that.”

A brief smile flashed over Harry’s face. “Thanks, Nev. Look, do you know V-- his big snake? Nagini he calls it.”

“Yeah, I’ve heard of it.”

“Great, well, if you get the chance, would you kill it? It’s, um, important to V-- him, and if we’re to succeed then it has to die.”

Face serious, Neville clapped Harry on the back. “I’ll take care of it, Harry,” he said earnestly. He looked suspicious for a moment. “Wait, where are you going?”

“I have to find Ron and Hermione,” Harry lied. “We need to do a couple more things before we kill Vol--Voldemort.” At Neville’s start, he sighed. “He knows I’m here, Nev. I may as well say his name.”

Neville grinned. “All right. And don’t worry, I’ll kill the snake.”

“Thanks.”

“Harry?”

Harry spun around. “Yes?”

“I’m rooting for you and Ron and Hermione to get that bastard. We’ll keep fighting, all right?”

It was all Harry could do not to cry. Somehow he held it together long enough to shoot Neville a tight smile. “Brilliant,” he choked out before hurrying off towards the Forbidden Forest.

His thoughts bleak as he walked, Harry contemplated his short life. Every breath of air, every blade of grass seemed to hold a new significance. He didn’t want to die, but he had to and it was the hardest thing he’d ever had to do. For some reason, his thoughts kept straying to Snape, and to the memories Harry had seen. The man had cared for him, that was clear, and now that Harry knew that, it made it easier to acknowledge that he hadn’t actually hated Snape for a very long time.

Looking up, Harry saw the Dementors and he shuddered. He was cold and he didn’t think he had the capacity to produce a Patronus just then.

He stumbled, and the pouch that held the Snitch that Dumbledore had bequeathed him moved against his chest. Fingers closing over it, Harry pulled it out and stared at it. Finally things were beginning to make sense.

He put it close to his lips and whispered, “I’m about to die.”

Inside was the Resurrection Stone, and, closing his eyes, Harry turned it in his hands three times. He almost wept when he saw his mother walking alongside him.

Remus, Sirius and James all walked with him, too. Harry tried not to be disappointed that Snape wasn’t there. It wasn’t as if the Marauders would have welcomed him, really.

Lily told Harry that she was proud of him and she loved him, and as they all talked, Harry slipped through the Dementors and into Voldemort’s camp, where hooded and cloaked figures were gathered around the campfire. Hagrid was also there, clearly a prisoner.

As they spoke it was obvious that no one had thought he would actually show up, except Voldemort. “I really thought he would come,” Voldemort said, tone oddly wistful. “Apparently I was wrong.”

“You weren’t,” Harry replied, revealing himself and stepping forward to face Voldemort across the fire. “I’m here.”

Hagrid screamed, but was quickly silenced and then Harry and Voldemort faced off.

Voldemort shook his head. “Foolish boy. The Boy Who Lived is about to die.”

Raising his chin, Harry simply stared Voldemort down. Voldemort’s lips moved, and the flash of green, when it came, was fast. Just before everything went black, Harry’s one hope was that he’d have the chance to see Snape this time.

~**~


“So who were your friends back there?” Martha asked Severus while the Doctor was out of earshot.

He glanced over at her. “What makes you think I know them?” he asked, crossing his arms.

She shrugged. “You seemed to know what they would do. And you didn’t seem surprised when that snake-eyed bloke began burning things.”

“Perhaps I’ve just seen him before,” Severus retorted.

Smiling, Martha stood up. “No, it seemed more personal. But it’s okay. Even if you don’t tell me, you’ll tell the Doctor.”

“And why would I do that?” Severus’ eyes darted in the direction of the Doctor, who was muttering to himself and fiddling with controls. “Will he try to extract information from me by force?”

“The Doctor?” She laughed. “Not a chance. You’ll volunteer it.”

“Severus!”

Severus stood up and walked over to where the Doctor was fiddling. “Yes?”

“Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is what you said, yes?”

“Yes.”

“It really doesn’t want to be found, does it?”

Severus sighed. “It may be difficult for non-wizards to locate,” he allowed.

To his surprise, the Doctor grinned. “Well, I do love a challenge.” Reaching into a compartment, he pulled out a stethoscope and placed it over the console, listening for a moment before nodding. “As I thought, hidden in a pocket in time. Clever wizards! Not clever enough to evade the TARDIS, though.”

“So you can get me there?”

“Absolutely. It’ll take a tiny re-calibration, but we should be there in two shakes.” The Doctor pursed his lips. “So what’s the story, then?”

“Story?” Severus kept his face bland.

“Here you are, a forty-year-old professor, living your life, and suddenly quantum locked aliens show up, sending you hurtling backwards in time and the TARDIS practically shakes itself out of mid-flight to alert me to your presence. You’re a very important man, Severus Snape. What I’d like to know is why.”

“You’re wrong. I am just a cog in a wheel,” Severus muttered, looking away. “Potter is the important one, so if anything, your ship and those aliens were really after him.”

“Potter?” The Doctor leaned against the console. “And who’s he?”

“He’s the bane of my existence,” Severus snapped. “Bloody boy keeps trying to get himself killed and I have to keep saving him. And what a thankless task that is, let me tell you. He and those reckless friends of his live to get into trouble, bloody Gryffindors--”

“But he’s special to you, isn’t he?” the Doctor said quietly, eyes fastened on Severus’ face.

“What?” Severus sputtered. “He most assuredly is not! He’s entirely exasperating and annoying and downright--”

“Very attractive I bet,” the Doctor interjected as if Severus hadn’t been ranting. “Sounds a bit young, though. Should watch that.”

“He is my student,” said Severus, voice cool. “I would never, ever entertain the idea of--”

“Oh, so you’ve not told him?” The Doctor nodded slowly. “That could be why fate is forcing you back together. Unresolved passion is a force all its own.”

“Passion is not a part of our relationship, such as it is. Not passion in the way you mean, anyway.” Severus sagged. “When he was born, he was marked by the Dark Lord.” At the Doctor’s blank look he clarified. “The wizard who attacked Diagon Alley earlier, the one from whom we barely escaped.”

“Ah, multiple names.” The Doctor shook his head. “That’s why I just stick with one.”

“Right. Anyway, Har--Potter’s parents were killed defending him from the Dark Lord.”

“Why don’t you call him Voldemort?” the Doctor asked. “There’s great power in a name you know.”

“Habit,” Severus snapped. “It appears that we are safe here in your ship, but the hex on his name makes people reluctant to use it. It is especially bad for those who bear his Mark. As I do.”

“Quite the egomaniac,” Martha muttered.

“You have no idea,” Severus said dryly. “Anyway, Potter was marked at birth and, as it turns out, carries a piece of the D--Voldemort’s soul in him. Voldemort wants to keep the wizarding world for wizards only, the purer the better. He does not approve of Muggle-born wizards and thinks they should be destroyed.”

“Blood purity?” The Doctor sighed. “Some ideas span the universe and they never improve things. He sounds like Davros in his fanaticism.”

Severus just stared at him blankly.

The Doctor waved his hand. “Another monster from another place and time, he explained. “Not important at the moment, although his does explain why the angels were after you. They approve of blood purity as well.” He crossed his arms. “Anyway, do go on. Potter was marked, has a bit of Voldemort’s soul in him. And you mentioned you’re marked, too?” He pursed his lips. “Yet something else that’s binding you and Potter together, I’d say.”

He’s quick. “In a way,” Severus admitted. “Although I took my Mark voluntarily, when I was young and foolish. It’s not quite the same.”

“Something tells me your Mark wasn’t as voluntary as you claim,” the Doctor observed.

Severus ignored that. “Anyway, Voldemort’s body was destroyed when he tried to kill Potter as an infant,” he continued. “But he didn’t die. Voldemort returned and now he’s trying to make himself immortal by storing pieces of his soul in various receptacles, animate and inanimate. These...Horcruxes are dangerous and make him immortal.”

“So you need to destroy them, then, right?” Martha said.

“Easier said than done,” Severus muttered. “He had placed powerful hexes and curses on many of them. For a long time we didn’t know how many there were. Potter has been tracking them all down to deal with them, but I don’t think that he’s aware that he, himself is a Horcrux.”

“And it falls to you to tell him,” the Doctor said.

Yes, VERY quick. Severus nodded. “I was to find a way to transfer my memories to him. He--” Severus cleared his throat. “He does not trust me, and with good reason; I constantly berated him in school and I...killed his mentor. But I have information that he needs. I believe I managed to leave him a message that he should find at the right moment, but I can’t be sure.”

“You killed--” Martha was gaping.

The Doctor seemed unsurprised. “He was already dying, wasn’t he?” he asked. “The mentor?”

Severus narrowed his eyes and redoubled his Occlumency shields. “Indeed. Albus tried to take care of one of the Horcruxes himself and ended up almost dying. I was able to slow the process but not entirely stop it.” He swallowed hard. “We decided to use his death as a way to cement my position in Voldemort’s inner circle and to save another student from having that stain on his soul.”

“But what about your soul?” asked the Doctor, eyes shrewd. “He was your mentor, too, was he not? And yet he made you kill him.” The Doctor raised an eyebrow. “A bit harsh.”

“We all do what we must,” Severus muttered.

“Some more than others,” the Doctor replied, twisting a handle. The TARDIS shuddered to a stop, the whirring sound that indicated movement, ceasing. “We’re here.”

Exhaling, Severus turned towards the door. “Right, well thank you for bringing me back.”

“Oh, we’re coming with you.” The Doctor smiled at Severus’ startled look. “Surely you didn’t think we’d miss a magical fight with aliens and Dark wizards, did you? Not to mention angels who are actually demons.”

“Angels?” Severus shook his head. “Look, it’s not necessary--” Severus winced as the Doctor walked past him and to the door.

“Of course it is!” The Doctor sounded far too cheerful. “This Voldemort chappie sounds dangerous and I’m quite sure he’s not supposed to win this. Martha and I’ll have to help you make sure he doesn’t, won’t we, Martha? Plus, someone has to deal with the aliens.”

Martha grinned. “Looks like that’s us.”

Severus wasn’t sure why, but he was actually welcoming the idea of help from these people. Now if only he could manage to find a way to save Potter.

~**~


Harry woke up slowly to the sound of squealing. Lifting his head, he saw what appeared to be a baby lying on the ground several yards away. It looked like no baby he’d ever seen, however. Its skin was raw, rough, almost serpent-like in appearance, and just the sight of it made Harry shiver.

Sitting up, he realised he was alone in what looked like white expanse, naked, and yet comfortable. Clothes may not be bad, though... And as he thought it, there appeared robes next to him.

He stood up, dressed, and walked over to the baby. I should pick it up, comfort it, and yet--

“Leave it, Harry.”

Harry’s head popped up, and seeing who was approaching, he smiled. “Professor Dumbledore!”

“Harry.” Dumbledore was beaming. “Dear me, Harry, it’s good to see you.” Dumbledore led Harry away from the baby, to a bench that he would have sworn hadn’t been there a moment ago, and they sat. “I imagine you have questions,” Dumbledore said, eyes twinkling as of old.

“The baby?” Harry asked, his gaze drifting over towards it.

As Dumbledore explained the significance of the baby and Harry’s now missing scar, Harry’s eyes scoured the blank landscape. “So I carried the last little bit of Voldemort’s soul? And in dying I’ve killed that last part of him?”

“Yes.” Dumbledore sighed. “And now you have a choice to make. You can move on, or you can go back, ensure the wellbeing of the wizarding world. Voldemort is still there, although he now has just the one damaged, fractured soul left.”

“So many people have died. Remus, Tonks, Fred, Ginny--” Harry blinked back tears. “What do I have to go back for?”

“Were they the only ones you were living for?” Dumbledore smiled. “You have friends, old ones and, perhaps, new ones to make.”

Inexplicably, Harry thought of Snape. “Is...is Professor Snape here? I should like to thank him. He...I saw all the things he’s done for me and I wish I could--”

“Could what?”

Why was Dumbledore bloody twinkling again? Harry flushed. “Could talk to him about my mum. And maybe tell him I’m sorry for doubting him.”

“Severus has sacrificed much for you, it’s true.” Dumbledore smiled. “But his life has not yet been forfeit. He remains on the earthly plane. So you would have the opportunity to speak with him if you return.”

Harry’s eyes widened. “Snape’s alive? I need to get back--”

Dumbledore’s eyes seemed to grow bigger, brighter. “Tell him I said hello, my boy,” he said, voice beginning to echo. “And blessed be to both of you.”

The light around him grew brighter and Harry blinked as everything disappeared.

~**~


After pointing the Doctor and Martha towards Hogwarts -- to Severus’ shock the Doctor could see it quite clearly -- Severus turned back and went in search of Voldemort. His Dark Mark throbbed as he got closer to the Dark Lord’s location, and he smiled grimly. It was fortunate that the Mark worked as a way to track Voldemort.

Making his way through the Dementors, Severus was deep in the Forbidden Forest before he encountered the Death Eater camp. Peering through the trees, he looked straight into a clearing that was visible from his position. He smiled. There appeared to be much confusion. Several people were gathered around a fire, and as Severus watched, Bellatrix was bent solicitously over a hunched figure.

“I require no assistance!” Voldemort got to his feet before pointing at Narcissa Malfoy. “You! See if the boy is alive.”

Fuck, am I too late? Severus watched as Narcissa picked her way across the forest floor and leaned over to check Potter. It took several seconds, but finally she looked up, face blank.

“He’s dead,” she announced.

A ragged cheer went up, and Severus, devastation crashing through him, leaned back against a tree. I am too late. Looking up into the sky, Severus saw the bursts of red and silver sparks that the jubilant Death Eaters shot into the air and he closed his eyes.

Not even Voldemort’s repeated desecration of Potter’s body made him open his eyes, in fact, it made him glad he wasn’t watching. Perhaps I should just turn myself over, he thought dully. It’s over.

“Severus.”

Startled, Severus turned to see Lucius standing behind him. He narrowed his eyes. “Lucius,” he replied, shifting the aim of his wand towards Lucius. “I see I’ve missed a lot.”

Lucius looked haggard, tired. “Where were you?” he asked, eyes darting back and forth. He ignored the wand pointed at him.

Somehow, Severus managed to paste a smirk on his face. “Oh, here and there.” He nodded towards the clearing. “Why aren’t you out there celebrating?” he asked.

“I am no longer on the Dark Lord’s preferred list.” Lucius smiled humourlessly. “He wanted to kill you, by the way. He searched for you using the Mark.” Lucius tilted his head. “How did you hide?”

Severus raised an eyebrow. “I have my ways.”

Lucius stepped forward and before Severus could move, he had seized Severus’ robes. “You must tell me how you did it!” he hissed. “The Dark Lord punished me when I couldn’t find you.”

“Lucius, I’m--”

Shaking his head, Lucius stepped back. “I...apologize,” he said stiffly. “I just... I require a way to rescue my family from this madman and I thought you would help me, Severus.”

Severus glanced out towards the clearing where Voldemort had directed Hagrid to pick up Potter’s body. “He must be stopped,” he said. “You agree?”

Lucius nodded. “Yes.” His eyes darted towards the clearing. “He has the Elder Wand, which he believes is his, but it’s yours, isn’t it?”

“Why do you say that?” Severus thought back to that night on the Astronomy Tower when he’d killed Albus. Was he really the Master of the wand?

“The Dark Lord believes that.” Lucius sneered. “He looked for you so that he could locate you and kill you, thus achieving mastery over the wand. Your success in hiding lulled him into a false sense of security. Now that you’re alive--”

“You think the wand will respond to me?” Severus pondered that. Something about the theory was off, but he couldn’t say what and he had no time to dissect it now. “It might. How can we test it?”

“They are returning to the school to claim victory.” Lucius pointed to the retreating Death Eaters and Hagrid. “We could find a way to snatch it while he’s distracted by gloating.”

“All right.” Severus held out his hand.

Lucius hesitated before taking it. “We have to save Draco and Narcissa,” he said, fingers gripping Severus hand firmly. “I have placed them in an untenable position and I have to fix it. Will you help me?”

Severus nodded. “Of course, Lucius.”

Lucius closed his eyes in clear relief. “Thank you, old friend. Come.” He gestured. “We’ll follow them, perhaps take a course parallel to theirs so we can watch for the best opportunity to snatch it.”

“Indeed.” The actuality of Potter’s death was beginning to set in and Severus resigned himself to dying in this attempt. Still, if he rid the world of Voldemort, he could peacefully go into the next world. And perhaps see Potter and make peace.

Lucius sighed. “I had truly thought the boy could do it, Severus,” he said. “Towards the end when he faced the Dark Lord and they both collapsed, I thought that was the plan, but when the Dark Lord got up and Potter didn’t--”

“This was Dumbledore’s plan all along,” Severus snapped, guilt crashing through him at the thought that he had been the one who had provided Harry with the strength to die by sending him his memories. “The boy sacrificed himself to make the Dark Lord mortal. If we kill him now, Lucius, he should really die.”

Lucius nodded. “Then that’s what we have to do.”

As they tracked Voldemort and the Death Eaters, Severus cleared his mind. He had a job to do and he couldn’t afford to be distracted, yet he couldn’t help but wonder how he would deal with a world without Harry Potter. I’ll make your sacrifice worth it, Severus vowed silently. I promise.

~**~


“So this is a magical school?” Martha looked around. “Just looks like an old castle to me.” They had snuck in through the front, a grand entrance which had been empty. Apparently everyone was outside fighting Voldemort. Martha wasn’t sure why they weren’t out there, too.

“Yes, well, I think it’s harder for non-magical people to see everything,” the Doctor said absently. “Although you did notice that the staircases move randomly, didn’t you?”

“Yes.” She looked over her shoulder. “I thought that was just some variation of an escalator.” She crossed her arms. “So what are we doing?”

The Doctor held up the sonic screwdriver. “This way,” he announced. “Keep your eyes open.”

Martha nodded. “Yeah, okay. What are we looking for again?”

“We’re looking for statues.” He shot a quick look at her. “And I’m being literal, Martha. Keep your eyes open all the time. Try not to blink.”

Martha rolled her eyes. “In case you haven’t noticed, there are sodding statues everywhere in this place.”

“Yes, but the ones we want look like angels or demons. Usually they’re covering their faces, they hate revealing their faces. Anyway, they send out a specific quantum signal-- Ah, here we go.” The Doctor took off down a dark hallway. As he moved, torches on the walls flared to life.

“Wait, shouldn’t we--?” But he was already out of earshot. “Wait for me!”

She caught up with him in the centre of a hallway. “Lost the signal?” she asked.

He shook his head. “I think we may need more people,” he muttered, pointing.

Turning her head to see, she gasped. The hallway ahead was lined with statues, every single one consisting of a winged angel, standing there with hands covering their faces. “Are they all aliens?”

“Not sure.”

“How do we tell?” she whispered.

“Can’t.” The Doctor sighed. “I have to test each one individually. Here’s the thing, you have to stay here so you can see the entire hall at once and you cannot blink. One of us has to be watching at all times. If we blink at the same time we’re sunk. They move faster than your human eyes can follow.”

“What about the Time Lord eyes?” Martha asked.

The Doctor smiled. “Faster than that, even.” He exhaled. “If you think you’re about to blink, tell me so I’ll have my eyes open.”

“Yeah, all right.” Martha bit her lip. It was all well and good saying ‘don’t blink’, but there was no better way to guarantee that she would need to blink early and often.

The Doctor walked ahead of her, slowly rotating the sonic screwdriver and muttering to himself as the light of the torches flickered and cast shadows over the now ominous statues.

Martha kept her eyes open for as long as possible and then just before the need to blink overwhelmed her, she opened her mouth...and blinked.

When next her eyes opened, she gasped. There was now a stone statue directly in front of the Doctor, its razor-sharp claws out, jagged teeth bared, almost touching him.

“Martha,” the Doctor said, voice calm.

“Yes?”

“You blinked, yes?”

“Yes.” She cringed. “Sorry.”

“Just a little warning next time, all right?” The Doctor moved the screwdriver over the statue, humming. “We-ell, this is fascinating.”

Martha had given up and was now blinking by virtue of using her fingers to alternately close her eyes one at a time. “What is?” she asked.

“I think if I change the resonance of their quantum frequency, I can trap them in the stone state forever.” He pursed his lips. “Either that or it’ll blow them up.”

“Blow them up?” Martha sighed. “Do we have to?”

“Not necessarily. I should give them a choice.” He looked up at the statue. “I need a way to communicate with them. I can’t just destroy them.”

“I can talk to the Nargles.”

Martha squeaked and spun about to look at who had spoken, then cringed as she looked back over her shoulder. She exhaled when she saw the statue hadn’t moved. The Doctor, looking past her, smiled. “Hi, there. Who’re you?”

“I’m Luna,” the blonde said, walking closer. “Who’re you?”

“I’m the Doctor and this is Martha.” The Doctor smiled. “What are the Nargles?”

She pointed. “The statues. No one else sees them move but I can tell. Little things about them are always different, you know?”

“And you can communicate with them?”

Luna nodded, pulling on her earring, which, as far as Martha could tell, was a radish. “These help. They protect against them.”

“Do you know why they’re here?” The Doctor asked.

“It’s the magic, it gives them energy.” She frowned. “The Dark Lord promised them more magic, but he lied. He always lies.”

“Mad megalomaniacs generally do,” the Doctor agreed. “So you can communicate with them?”

“Sort of. A simple answer like ‘yes’ or ‘no’ should be easy enough to manage.”

“I need for them to promise that they will leave this place and not return,” the Doctor said. “If they do that, then I’ll let them live.”

For a long moment, Luna stared at the statue that had almost touched the Doctor. After tilting her head, she finally said, “They laughed and said no.” She looked up at him. “I don’t think they believe you can hurt them.”

“Tell them that if I do this--” He held up the screwdriver and pressed the lever. “They won’t like it.”

Martha was finding it hard to switch back and forth between her eyes while watching Luna and the Doctor, but even she could see that there was something different when the Doctor said that. “Um, look out!” she cried.

The Doctor and Luna turned to see several statues pointing at the torches in the walls.

And then the room went black.

~**~


Harry did his best to keep his eyes closed and his breathing as inconspicuous as possible. Hagrid was being very gentle in carrying him, much to Harry’s relief.

If it had been anyone else but Hagrid, Harry might have given him an indication that he was alive, but Hagrid was the least subtle person Harry knew, and he was pants at keeping secrets. And this was an important secret.

Narcissa Malfoy’s actions in the forest had seriously shocked him. When, after ascertaining from Harry that Draco was still alive, she had told Voldemort that he was dead, Harry had known he was in for it. Voldemort wasn’t the sort not to make a spectacle of things, after all.

The Cruciatus Curse he had cast hadn’t hurt, however, and Harry had allowed his body to flop about the place enough that no one suspected he still lived.

He wracked his brain for a way to let his friends know what was happening, but concluded that they would have to think him dead, along with everyone else, for anything to work.

He cracked an eye open, carefully scanning his surroundings. They were still in the forest; Hagrid was still crying, although the big, splashing tears had stopped. His head was hanging down over Hagrid’s arm and everything he saw was upside down.

He caught a glimpse of something in the forest and he squinted. Was that--?

Harry’s heart began to hammer. Gliding next to them, following their path, was Lucius Malfoy and Snape! He was alive! And he looked...upset.

Closing his eyes again, Harry tried to calm himself. Just because Snape was alive and looked devastated didn’t mean it had anything to do with him. Did it? Ignoring the voice in his head that suggested that perhaps Snape was worried about him, Harry concentrated instead on their steady walk back towards Hogwarts.

When they stopped, Harry prepared himself for Voldemort to announce his death. Nothing could have prepared him for the screams, however. He could hear Ron and Hermione and McGonagall...

Remaining silent, Harry risked another look to search for Snape. He was there, just off to the side, face set. Malfoy was behind him also looking grim. The fact that they weren’t with the rest of the Death Eaters told Harry everything he needed to know.

Voldemort was taunting everyone, telling them that Harry was a coward and yet, Harry held his breath, biding his time, biting back his rage, his anger, his anxiety.

Someone yelled, and Harry, startled, cracked an eye open to see Neville charging Voldemort. Sadly, he was quickly Disarmed. Bellatrix cackled and Voldemort mocked Neville, finally Summoning the Sorting Hat and placing it on his head.

Harry tensed, ready to move. No way was he allowing anything to happen to Neville.

Then, all hell broke loose. Several of the statues that ringed the grounds exploded, the Hat burst into flame, and before Harry could react, Grawp came out of the trees and charged the Death Eaters.

“Hagger!” Grawp screamed.

Hagrid laid Harry does on the ground gently and began movin towards Grawp while Neville broke the Body-Bind Curse and pulled the Hat off his head. A moment later, he was wielding the sword of Gryffindor, a look of fierce determination on his head as he fulfilled his promise to Harry. The sound of Nagini’s death scream echoed and was taken up by Voldemort.

Grasping his Cloak, Harry threw it over his head and got up, edging close to the outskirts of the fray. No one noticed he was gone immediately, of course, except for--

“Potter.” Snape’s grip came out of nowhere and was vice-like. Harry wasn’t sure how he’d known where he was. “What do you think you’re you playing at, pretending to be dead?”

“Severus, is this really the time and place for this conversation?” Lucius quickly cast a Disillusionment Charm over them all. “Isn’t it enough that he’s alive?”

Snape pulled the Cloak off Harry and stared at him. Harry’s breath caught at the fierce look in Snape’s eyes. “You know I have to fight him,” he whispered. “I understand now. I saw Dumbledore, he explained everything.”

Everything?” Snape snorted. “I highly doubt that.”

“What is your plan, Potter?” Lucius asked.

Harry dragged his eyes away from Snape with difficulty. “Get close to Voldemort, give him a chance to surrender, then duel him.” He glanced back to Snape. “It’ll work. Trust me.”

“Oh for--” Snape’s hand tightened on his arm. “Bloody Gryffindor. Are you hell bent on throwing your life away? What makes you think you can duel the Dark Lord and win?”

Harry smirked. “I have information he doesn’t.”

“You’re going to give him a chance to surrender?” Lucius rolled his eyes. “Speaking as one of his former associates, might I advise you that is a very foolish idea?”

Harry shrugged. “Oh, I know he won’t accept, but I have to try. It’s only fair.”

“That it is,” a new voice said from behind Snape.

All three of them turned to see a man and two women approaching.

“Luna?” Harry blinked. “What are you doing?”

“Oh, hullo, Harry. Headmaster Snape, Mr. Malfoy. We killed the Nargles.”

Harry’s eyebrows went up. “The--?” He looked at the people behind her. “Who are they?”

“Oh, hello!” The man had a friendly smile as he held out his hand. “I’m the Doctor and this is Martha. You must be the Harry Potter that Severus told us so much about.” He tapped his forehead. “Nice scar, very dashing.”

Harry glanced at Snape who was...blushing? “Snape talked about me?”

Martha grinned. “Yeah, he told us how special you are.”

“He did?” Harry shook his head. “Was he delirious at the time?”

“As amusing as this discussion is, I don’t believe we have time for pleasantries at the moment,” Lucius said, interrupting. “The battle is getting quite heated, and if you think you’ve a shot at killing the Dark Lord, Potter, then now is the time to take it.”

Looking over, Harry saw everyone battling on the lawn in front of Hogwarts. Molly Weasley was screaming at Bellatrix Lestrange, who was taunting her back. They duelled and Harry saw the move coming just before Molly took Bellatrix out with a hex to the chest. “I have to go,” he said, wrenching himself free from Snape.

“Potter, you bloody idiot--”

But he was already moving away, swinging the Cloak over his head once more and disappearing from sight. Edging closer to the battle, he positioned himself so that he was squarely facing Voldemort before finally revealing himself.

“Harry’s alive!” The cry went up as soon as he appeared and everything seemed to stop. Voldemort, eyes glowing with rage, saw him and bellowed.

As Harry circled Voldemort, doing as he’d promised, explaining why Voldemort wasn’t the master of the Elder Wand and why he should cultivate remorse, Harry could sense, from the corner of his eye, Snape standing there. “Severus Snape was never yours,” he said. “He was Dumbledore’s and now he’s mine.”

Voldemort’s red eyes flared. “That doesn’t matter. He’s dea--” He froze, staring over Harry’s shoulder. “Impossible! But...I summoned you. If you had been alive my magic would have compelled you to come to me.”

“I was beyond your reach,” Snape said, voice cold.

“You aren’t now!” Voldemort screamed, raising his wand.

“I thought you wanted to kill me?” Harry asked.

“I shall kill you both for daring to try to defeat me, for daring to think that you could deny me my true destiny. I am the Master of Death!”

Harry wandlessly cast Protego, just in time as it turned out, since the bright red hex Voldemort sent Snape’s way simply sizzled to nothing. “You deal with me,” he said. “Not Snape, not anyone else. Me.”

“Oh, I shall deal with you, Harry Potter,” Voldemort spat, the Elder Wand clutched in his hand. “I’ll destroy you! Avada Kedavra!”

Knowing it was coming, Harry was prepared. “Expelliarmus!” he cried.

The resulting blast was as bright as noon, its coruscating colours almost blinding Harry for a moment. The Elder Wand arched into the air and Harry reached up, catching it easily. Snape had come up behind him, trying to pull him away and shield him, but Harry shrugged him off and watched as Voldemort fell backwards, lying still.

For a moment there was stunned silence and then everyone was screaming and cheering. Harry swayed for a moment, exhaustion finally catching up with him, and of course, Snape was there, supporting him. He smiled up at Snape gratefully.

Ron and Hermione were hugging him, Hermione babbling at Snape that she’d known all along that he was good. Everyone seemed to want to touch Harry, and he smiled and let them, not allowing Snape out of his sight. Something told him the man would try to escape as soon as possible.

Harry watched Minerva McGonagall edge close to Snape, holding his breath, but when she simply started to cry, Snape grabbed her and hugged her firmly. Harry let out the breath he’d been holding.

They all went to the Great Hall, Harry still clinging to Snape’s hand, Ron and Hermione clinging to him, Luna chatting with the Doctor about Blibbering Humdingers, Martha talking with, of all people, Neville, Lucius clutching Draco and Narcissa to him, face filled with a fierce joy, and so many others all milling about. Every statue of an angel had chunks blown out of it; most of them now looked like demons, and something told Harry there was a story to that, too. He was too tired just then to care, however.

As they sat there and people came to touch Harry and speak with him, he watched as the Doctor walked around examining all the statues with some sort of instrument. “What is he doing?” he asked Snape.

Snape sighed. “I’ve no idea. As far as I can tell, he’s mad. A genius, but mad.”

“I think he’s making sure the aliens are all dead,” Martha said from beside Snape. “He had to blow them up earlier.”

“Aliens?” Harry started to laugh. “There were aliens?”

“Luna’s Nargles,” Snape deadpanned.

This set Harry off more until he was fairly shaking with laughter, and when the laughter turned to tears, Snape simply continued holding him. Harry closed his eyes, glad he’d returned.

~**~


Harry woke up when Severus moved. Protesting, he clung to Severus’ robes. “No...”

“Potter, I must go to bid the Doctor goodbye.”

Eyes opening slowly, Harry blinked up at him. “Oh. Right.” Sitting up, he looked around, blushing when he realised he’d fallen asleep on top of Severus in full view of everyone. “I’ll go with you,” he said.

“There’s no need.” Severus coughed. “You’re tired, you should stay here.”

Harry shook his head. “I’m fine.” He stood up. “Let’s go.”

Outside, the sun was coming up. The Doctor and Martha were standing next to a blue box with... Harry squinted. “Luna? What are you doing out here?”

Luna beamed at him. “I’m going travelling with the Doctor,” she said. “They asked if I’d like to go and I said yes.”

“Where are you going?”

“Anywhere. Everywhere!” The Doctor was eyeing them and Harry flushed when he realised he’d automatically taken Severus’ hand. Glancing up, he saw the moment Severus realised they’d been noticed. When Severus deliberately tightened his hand on Harry’s, something relaxed inside him. Harry smiled.

“Thanks for your help,” he said. “With the...aliens I mean.”

The Doctor grinned. “We-ell, can’t have aliens taking sides in Earth conflicts, can we?”

Martha coughed. “Unless they’re Time Lords?”

The Doctor shrugged. “I hardly count.” Turning back to Harry and Severus, he continued. “I’m relying on you two to keep things safe here, yeah? No more Dark Lords. We all know where that leads, don't we?”

“To wars and death,” Severus said. “Indeed, we do.”

“Yes, I suppose so. Mind you, all those battlefield romances are quite nice, too.” He winked at them.

Harry blushed. “Something tells me non-battlefield romances are better,” he said softly.

The Doctor laughed. “That’s the spirit! I knew you’d work it out.” He leaned forward. “Severus was worried you wouldn’t fit, but all those rough edges puts you together like jigsaw puzzle pieces, don’t they? You’re a good team.”

Severus’ face went red. “Right, well, thanks again.”

Martha, shaking her head, stepped forward and, to Harry’s shock, hugged Severus. “Stay in your own time, yeah? This one,” she nodded towards the Doctor, “won’t always be there to rescue you.”

“I rather think that’s my job,” Harry said, surprising himself and, clearly, Severus, who was staring at him with an odd look on his face. Harry held his breath as Severus dipped his head, his lips settling firmly over Harry’s.

The kiss was gentle, restrained, and remained that way for all of a second. Harry moaned into Severus’ mouth, arms wrapping around Severus to pull him closer and Severus allowed it, all but devouring Harry’s mouth. Harry, straddling his leg, began to slide against him.

A cough pulled them apart.

“Don’t mind us, then,” the Doctor said, sounding amused. “We’ll just be off--”

Harry, blushing furiously, mumbled, “Thanks again.”

“Oh, thank you! It was brilliant!” the Doctor crowed. “And I’m glad you two’re settled.” He looked at Luna and Martha. “Are we all ready to go?”

Luna, nodding happily, hugged and Harry and a completely shell-shocked-looking Severus, before walking into the TARDIS.

As they watched it disappear, Harry said, “Think we’ll ever see them again?”

Severus shook his head. “I hope not. Once this lifetime was enough.” With that, he pulled Harry close, kissed his forehead, and led him back to Hogwarts and to their future.

~**~


Ten years later...

“This is really fabulous,” Harry breathed, arms spread wide on the balustrade. “This place is beautiful. A holiday in Venice was a great idea.”

“I do have them occasionally,” Severus remarked from his spot on the chaise lounge.

Grinning, Harry turned to face him, running his eyes appreciatively over Severus’ relaxed and naked form. “You do,” he agreed, sauntering over towards him. “I love your ideas.”

As Harry straddled his lap, Severus ran his hands up Harry’s thighs beneath the dressing gown, which had been about the only item of clothing that Harry had worn for several days. “Yours often have merit as well,” he purred.

Leaning down, Harry pressed his lips to Severus’, moaning as the kiss quickly went from light and teasing to deep and sensual. Severus rolled him over, Harry instinctively clinging as he was pressed into the chaise.

Severus slid his mouth from Harry’s lips to his throat, shifting so that their cocks slid against each other in a satisfying glide.

Harry’s eyes fluttered open and he froze.

Sensing there was an issue, Severus lifted his head. “What is it? Am I too heavy?”

“No.” Harry pointed. “I just can’t do it out here. Not with that watching.”

Turning his head, Severus glanced up at the ceiling, blanching when he saw the angel statue perched there. “Has that been there all this time?”

Harry shrugged. “No idea.” He blushed. “This is the first time we’ve made it out of the bedroom.”

Severus smirked. “Point.” He sighed. “We could move this indoors, although I thought it would be a nice change to get out of the room.”

“We could call that Doctor chap,” Harry joked. “He seemed to be able to handle them.”

“Absolutely not.” Severus wandlessly Banished the statue. “Even if I did know how to locate him, I wouldn’t. Something tells me he would watch.”

Harry chuckled. “We can’t have that,” he said. “Now, where were we--?”

~**~


About ten million miles above that very spot in the TARDIS, the Doctor turned to Martha. “I knew they’d suit,” he said. “Shame about that perfectly innocent statue, though. Still, I can’t say I blame them. A little paranoia can be healthy.”

“I just can’t believe we’re spying on those poor sods.” Donna Noble shook her head, although she couldn’t seem to take her eyes off the writhing bodies depicted in the flickering display.

“It’s not spying, it’s called following up.” The Doctor winked. “I helped save them. It’s only right to make sure they’re okay.”

“Every month?” Donna asked, tone dry. “Look, space boy, I came out ’ere to explore, not to look at men, not that those aren’t some fine men, mind you...”

“Can we go and see the Crumple-Horned Snorncacks now?” Luna asked from behind them.

As one, the Doctor and Donna turned to look at her. “And where would they be?” Donna asked.

“I think there are some on Neville and Draco’s estate.”

The Doctor raised an eyebrow. “That’s the brave lad who killed the snake and the rather attractive, blond, pointy bloke?”

She nodded.

He pursed his lips, then nodded. “Yes, all right. Allons-y! Crumple-Horned Snorkacks it is!”

~**~

Finis

~**~

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