Author: John Sexton
Genre: Harry Potter Slash
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Chapter Thirty-Six -- Ultimate Power
While Headmaster Severus Snape and Deputy Minerva McGonagall were celebrating the conclusion of breakfast with the rest of the school in the Great Hall, Salazar was in the Room of Requirement, in their D.A. version of the magical chamber.
The area had been arranged as a comfortable common room.
The handsome young warlock was snuggled up against Draco on a comfortable sofa. They were sharing a tall glass of chilled pumpkin juice and a bowl of breakfast snacks.
Arrayed before them, in a series of comfortable chairs, sofas and bean bags, were Hermione, Ginny, Dean, Seamus, Neville, Luna, Greg and Vince.
Neville was still cradling the Sword of Gryffindor, having just regaled his exploits with the magical weapon, barely an hour earlier.
"Then your dad reached over and squeezed the nape of my neck... I nearly shit myself!..."
The room burst into hysterics.
"Then he said:" Neville lowered his voice to impersonate the daunting Potions master, `well done, Neville!'... can you believe it?"
"Gorblimey... so wad did yer do den?" Seamus enthused.
"I just said `thank you, Headmaster,' and I swear I nearly pissed myself.
The room erupted again.
"Then I just mumbled something like `who'd have thought!' under my breath, like, and he just replied `indeed!' It was just surreal!... bloody unbelievable."
Neville paused... as the laughter subsided, he held up the sword at arm's length, then he sighed, playfully.
"I can't believe your dad let me bring this up here, Sals. But only after I cleaned it up, of course."
The rest of the room gave a few laughs and smiles.
"I suppose I'll have to give it back to him after dinner, but he said I could take it to the feast tonight. Can you believe it?"
"Yeah, yer a hero now an' all, Nev!' Seamus enthused.
"Yes, we're all very proud of you, Neville," Luna added coyly.
Neville blushed and everyone gave a good natured cheer.
"Seems like the old man's taken a shine to you, Neville," Sals teased him gently, "who'd have thought!"
That engendered the most raucous laugh to date.
"So how long do you think it will take us all to get back to some kind of normality, Sals?" Dean asked.
"Dad and Kingsley reckon Thicknesse and his cronies will be out of office and in Azkaban before the day is out."
"And McGonagall assured me that the austerity measures have been scrapped as of today," Hermione confirmed.
"Yeah, and Dad thinks that most of the Muggle born students will return to Hogwarts soon too," Ginny added enthusiastically.
"Slytherin is going to take a while to recover," Greg opined glumly.
"Yeah, there aren't many seniors left after what happened this morning," Vince droned with equal gravity.
"Don't be so glum, fellas," Draco replied more enthusiastically. "We'll come back stronger than ever after this. We needed a cleansing of sorts, after the despoiling influence of Voldemort. The junior ranks were not as corrupted as the older Slytherins."
"The Sorting Hat saw this coming," Sals added. "It felt this would make Slytherin stronger, and I believe it's right. But I think you're going to get your arse whopped, come Yuletide, when our match is rescheduled," he quipped provocatively.
"Don't get too cocky, Snape, they've still got me!" Draco retorted haughtily.
Then he leaned in towards Sals and kissed the tip of his nose sweetly.
The room erupted with laughter and the banter continued well into the morning, until lunchtime.
By mid-afternoon the Aurors had made a complete security check of the castle.
The Aurors were aware of the thousand Death Eaters who had perished in the two secret tunnels that led into the castle from Hogsmeade. They, along with their twelve senior Slytherin accomplices, had been crushed to death, as the tunnel collapsed in on them, the very moment that Voldemort had died.
What the Aurors did not know, was that a further two hundred Death Eaters had died in the Vanishing Cabinet.
The Auror search had included the Room of Requirement, of course. But there was no sign of any Death Eaters or the cabinet. This was because Salazar had relocated the magical device to the bottom of the Black Lake, days before the attack.
There the Death Eaters emerged, directly from Borgin and Burkes, only to drown, tangled up in the thick reeds, in the murky depths of the Hogwarts lake.
The evening meal was a truly festive occasion, with the students seated across the four house tables randomly. This was a significant departure from the centuries old norm, and it was a bold move that promised to enhance student solidarity and comradery.
It had the added advantage of minimising the obvious demoralising depletion of the Slytherin ranks amongst the seniors.
Neville, Sals and Draco were all honoured for their contributions to the defeat of The Dark Lord and his evil forces.
While the boys were not subjected to the embarrassment of being asked to speak, their exploits were regaled in splendid detail by the headmaster and headmistress, as well as Kingsley Shacklebolt and Remus Lupin.
Headmaster Snape took a special effort to assure the students that their lives would return to normal as soon as possible. He confirmed, in no uncertain terms, that the austerity measures, imposed by the corrupt ministry of Pius Thicknesse, were cancelled.
The announcement that Thicknesse and his cronies had been arrested and were already in Azkaban was met with enthusiastic approval by students and staff alike.
The celebrations continued till nearly eight o'clock that Sunday night.
The students went to their respective houses, well fed, ready for a good night's sleep and an early start for the resumption of lessons the next Monday morning.
Dean and Seamus were the only students still in their Gryffindor common room, just after nine.
"I'm going to hit the cot, Seamus," the tall, dark Gryffindor yawned. You coming?"
"Nah, I'm gunna catch up on da Quidditch news," the Irish lad replied, holding up the latest newspaper report on his home team, the Kenmare Kestrels.
"Besides, I be tinkin I need anodda shower," he added as an afterthought.
What he really meant was that he was waiting for Sals, in the hope of having another torrid session in the bathroom. They had not had sex for several days.
It was less than five minutes before Sals entered through the Gryffindor portrait, but Seamus caught the Adonis's vibe the instant they made eye contact. Even so, he opted to put on a brave face.
"You still up?" Sals asked casually.
"Yeah, I was just gunna make a move," Seamus made his opening gambit, hopefully. "You be up for a shower den?"
"Nah, sorry mate," Sals countered, "the Prince and I have some catching-up to do."
The hurt on the Irish lad's face was patent. It would have been detectable to a simpleton, let alone the most powerful Legilimens to enter the Gryffindor common room in half a millennium.
"But I was hoping to catch you before you headed off to bed," Sals added cheerfully, despite the negative vibes.
"Yeah?" Seamus responded warily, anticipating the worst.
"Yeah. Look Seamus, I won't beat around the bush here. I'm pretty sure you realise that things have changed recently, particularly with Draco... especially after the events..."
Sals changed tack. The super-cool, super-confident Dark Lord slayer seemed suddenly nervous and uncertain.
"You know that Draco is my man, right?... I mean I've made it pretty clear for a while now... so you knew this was coming... right, Seamus?"
As conflicted as Seamus was, just then, he suddenly found it amusing to see his hero, the intrepid Salazar Snape, so nervous and embarrassed.
"Yeah, I know!"
Seamus decided to let Sals off the hook. He knew this was coming, so there was no point in fighting it, or making Sals feel any more guilty than he already was.
"I understand," he grinned sardonically, "De Ice Prince has finally snagged de Dark Lord slayer... it was bound to happen... in all fairness ye did warn me."
Sals immediately brightened, obviously relieved to be let off the hook.
"Thanks mate, I knew you'd understand. I did have another reason to want to catch you tonight..." Sals smiled salaciously. "I have it on good authority that Greg and Vince are rendezvousing with Justin Finch-Fletchley, in about an hour, in the Prefects' Bathroom."
"So?" Seamus replied a little defensively.
Since his break-up with the lanky, Muggle-born Hufflepuff, last Easter, the sex-crazed leprechaun had abandoned any hope of ever getting his hands -- let alone his mouth or his cock-hungry arse -- on Justin's magnificent nine inch prick again.
"Don't look so depressed, Seamus," Sals attempted to cheer him up. I was watching Justin at dinner tonight, he couldn't take his eyes off you. Whatever happened between you two last Easter is long forgotten. He's got the hots for you, babe."
The Irish imp's hopes and his cock were both rising in response to this news. But they suddenly faded with the realisation...
"What good's dat to me, Sals? I'm not a prefect,"
"Who said you had to be, Seamus? The password to the bathroom is `bubbles,' ... ten o'clock... okay?"
Five minutes later Salazar Snape entered the Room of Requirement once again. However, this time the area had been designed as a sumptuous bathroom that far exceeded the amenity of the legendary Prefects' Bathroom on the fifth floor of the castle.
While the bath, itself, was smaller than the prefects' facility, it resembled a large Muggle Jacuzzi more than a swimming pool.
The room was fitted out with all the necessary accoutrements; a huge walk-in shower, a bidet, toilet and vanity. While, off to the side, was a king-size bed, complete with a bed-head and four phallic corner posts of varying heights that left little to Salazar's imagination.
The final asset was a leather sling hanging from the ceiling, on the other side of the bed. To its side was a shelf adorned with whips, paddles, lubricants, aphrodisiac potions vials and dildo's of various shapes and sizes, from moderate to obscene.
The design was something that Sals would have expected to see in one of his Aunt's Vanity Fair magazines, sans the sling and the toys, of course! Or it could easily have graced the pages of a glossy travel brochure for a five-star hotel.
It most certainly was not something that Draco Malfoy, the consummate Wizard and Mugglophobe, would ever have encountered, let alone imagined, in his entirely closeted sixteen years of existence.
"Have you been rooting around in my head again, when I was distracted?" the handsome Gryffindor accused his lover.
Draco was centre-stage, on the bed, semi naked and adopting a pose that was overtly provocative.
"No, of course not," the blonde sniped at his lover, in a faux indignant mien, before he smiled cheekily.
"This is courtesy of Hermione," he quipped, "only she doesn't know it."
"Draco!" Sals exclaimed indignantly, "WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH YOU!"
The blonde tease spread his hairless legs suggestively and purred...
"Anything you want, big boy!"
Sals kicked off his boots, and crawled up the centre of the bed, between the Slytherin's silky-smooth, alabaster legs. He cocked his head towards the sling and the shelving...
"Now don't try to tell me you got THOSE from Hermione!"
"Well... okay..." Draco smiled sheepishly, and bit his bottom lip guiltily, "they might have been yours!"
Seamus stood outside the Prefects' Bathroom, with his hand poised to rap on the door. He hesitated, terrified of the array of possible scenarios that awaited him.
The sex-crazed leprechaun was wondering if any of the boys were there yet. Would they be the only ones there? It was ten already, technically past curfew, so that reduced the odds that anyone else would be there.
He'd had sex with Justin before. He knew Justin inside out. Actually it was Justin that knew him inside out, literally. The thought of the Hufflepuff's huge cock had him aroused already.
But feck, he'd only got off with Vince... ONCE! And that had been pretty tame. So that was really the extent of his experience with the three of them. Shit, he hadn't even seen the Slytherin's snake in the flesh yet. But he'd felt it at least, and he knew it was even bigger than Justin's monster, and that had him still more excited.
The thing that really had him worried, though, was the fact that Greg was going to be there, according to Sals. Vince had claimed that "Greg was not like that!" So where did that leave him? Was Sals wrong? Was Vince wrong? Was he mad for turning up here, after all?
Finally his throbbing cock made the decision for him; sometimes he wondered if its head had a bigger brain than his skull.
He decided to knock, then realised that was stupid. Sals had given him the password!
He leaned in towards the door.
"Bubble," he whispered.
The door creaked open, and he heard laughing and splashing. He snuck inside, then closed and bolted the door behind him.
As the sounds grew louder, he turned around to see the three naked sixth years chasing and splashing each other in the pool. They had not noticed him yet.
Draco was on his back, with his head over the edge of the bed. Sals's massive weapon was buried to the hilt.
The blonde could take the entire twelve inches with ease, these days, without even gagging. He loved to bite down on the very root of the rock-hard weapon, with his nose buried hard against the powerful young warlock's hairless pubic area.
Salazar loved the sensation, and he cooed salaciously when Draco bit down hard on his throbbing boner.
They had been at it for some time already. But this had been the most aggressive that it had got so far.
Up till then it had been gentle foreplay; kissing, nibbling and teasing each other sensually.
Draco had his own seven inches lodged deep in his lover's throat, as they pleasured each other in a passionate sixty-niner. He love Sals biting down on the root of his cock, just as much as his partner did.
They slowly withdrew their cocks from each other's throats until only the engorged glans were lodged in each other's mouths.
The smooth skinned blonde loved how Sals bulbous glans completely filled his mouth. It was so much wider than the rest of the weapon, which was almost as thick as his wrist. He thought it was the most beautiful cock he had ever sucked, and he adored the fact that it was so long that the entire foreskin retracted, when it was hard as steel like this, so that you could hardly tell he was uncut.
They polished each other's knobs sensuously, with their tongues, then slowly took each other back down to the root.
This was something that they rarely did, and Draco was savouring every minute. Of course he knew that it wouldn't be long before the sling was in use and he'd be riding that massive shlong to the hilt and back, probably with a similar sized dildo rammed into his hot arse to keep it company.
In the meantime the hyper-sexed Slytherin was content to take his sweet boyfriend's love stick any way he could get it.
It was going to be a long night, and he knew they were going to need a few replenishing potions before they could face a Transfiguration double period first thing tomorrow morning.
Foreplay had never been Seamus's thing. The rabid leprechaun was in heaven within minutes of being discovered by the three huge sixth years.
If he had thought Vince and Justin were well endowed, then Gregory the Great had literally blown him out of the water. The monstrous Slytherin was even bigger than Sals, and that was something that the Irish pixie never thought he'd see.
From the moment Greg had emerged from the water, Seamus was mesmerised. It was as if the burly sixteen-year-old had charmed his cock with an engorgement spell.
Far from being intimidated by his own meagre six inches, Seamus was in paradise. He was a confirmed bottom and a size queen of the first order.
Transfiguration was going to be a double drag tomorrow morning, unless old McGonagall decided that engorgement charms would be on the agenda.
They'd been going at it for over an hour already, and the insatiable leprechaun was just hitting his strides.
Vince had not disappointed with his cock either. When he'd emerged from the pool, it had proved to be every bit as massive as it had felt, through the material of his trousers, that day out on the grounds.
While not as big as Greg's monster it was about as big as Sals, and that ranked Justin's niner a commendable fourth.
The sex had been hot and heavy for the first hour, and Seamus had been fucked senseless in a series of round robin spit roasting that had his throat and arse gaping like the castle's fifth floor corridor. But now things were about to get serious.
Justin was on his back, on a low bench at the side of the pool. His thick nine-inch cock was standing rigid and pointing to the ceiling. Vince guided the spritely leprechaun over to straddle the lanky Hufflepuff's waist.
Justin looked up at Seamus and smiled, as he gripped the imp's hips with his massive hands, then he lowered the Gryffindor down onto his hard-standing weapon.
The beautiful cock slid easily into Seamus's well lubricated arse. He was soon riding the granite phallus like a bucking thestral.
Before Seamus knew what was happening, he felt Vince's beefy mitts grip his hips from behind. He soon realised the Slytherin's intentions, when he felt the blunt tip of Vince's twelve-inch monster nudging the puckered lips of his already stretched arse.
Greg stood in front of Seamus with a potions vial held under his nose.
"Here, sniff this lover boy, it'll make it easier."
Seamus sniffed at the vial tentatively. His head began to swim and he felt slightly dizzy. He was soon euphoric, and began to snort the sensual vapours more vigorously, as he felt Vince's battering ram nudge more insistently at his back door.
The libidinous leprechaun gasped, as the Slytherin's cock mated with the Hufflepuff's, and he groaned with the sharp pain of the dual intrusion.
But a few more snorts of the vapours and he was flying and jamming his overstretched arse down hard onto the double penetration.
Once Seamus had hit his straps, and riding the studs with gay abandon, Greg stepped closer and thrust his massive cock down into the imp's equally overstretched throat. Soon the gigantic Slytherin was lubricating Seamus's thoracic love canal with his copious emissions of precum.
The insatiable Irish lad was soon swooning deliriously, as he snorted the vial and settled into a frenetic rhythm, with the three love sticks pounding his spritely frame from every direction.
Transfiguration was a mind-numbing drag for Seamus the next morning, despite the infusion of a series of replenishing potions that Justin had slipped him just before breakfast.
To his utter annoyance, that magnificent specimen of wizardhood, and his delightfully smooth and annoyingly charming Slytherin boyfriend seemed on top of the world. Their apparent buoyant demeanour was in stark contrast to his own lethargy.
If their sexual exploits had been even remotely akin to his own, then they must had some impressive pick-me-ups this morning! The imp consoled himself that maybe they hadn't got their rocks off after all, and their night of sexual escapades had been a fizzer.
Then Seamus recalled his own outlandish exploits, which consoled his jealous tendencies to some extent. But, as he swayed from side to side, and wiggled his well-worn arse across the hard bench, he decided that -- as erotic and exciting as last night had been -- he would probably not embark on that trip again for at least a week. Well... he smiled to himself, as Greg looked over and winked at him... a few days at least.
Salazar sat atop the Astronomy Tower, which had become his regular retreat these days, where he contemplated the meaning of life, his place in history and his possible destiny.
These were daunting and sometimes terrifying considerations.
Other days he spent time up there with Draco, discussing the future and their hopes and dreams. Now and then he would visit his father, in his private rooms, off the headmaster's office. There they would sit and sip their Ogden's Old Firewhisky. Sometimes they would talk about all manner of things, or they would simply sit and enjoy the solitude of their companionship, as father and son.
Today the young warlock was perched with his back against one of the pylons, facing away from the edge, just as Draco always implored him to do.
He was contemplating Harry Potter's snitch that Dumbledore had bequeathed to him. It remained the one enduring mystery, and it had bothered Sals for some considerable time.
The wily old wizard had not known of Sals's true identity, so why leave Potter's snitch to HIM? Neither Draco nor his father had shed any light on the problem.
The sword and the book had made sense and had proved vital in bringing about Voldemort's demise. But what purpose would the snitch serve, particularly now that The Dark Lord was gone.
One chilling thought worried Salazar: that the snitch was a last resort, a bulwark if ever The Dark Lord should return. The notion terrified the handsome young wizard. Surely not! Voldemort was dead, Sals had destroyed every Horcrux. Unless... Salazar had missed something. Possibly another Horcrux, one that not even Voldemort knew about.
The dark Lord had been totally oblivious to the living Horcrux of Harry Potter's scar. Maybe he'd created another Horcrux by accident, and part of his black soul was still alive.
Sals shuddered at the thought.
Maybe Nagini had given birth to another foul creature, like the one that was used to resurrect Voldemort's black soul back in fourth year!
The handsome wizard berated himself that he was becoming paranoid. Surely there had to be another reason for the snitch, a more benign and wholesome one.
Salazar gazed down at his lap, where he was nursing an interminably long parchment that Draco and Hermione had transcribed for him, from `The Tales of Beedle the Bard,' the book that Dumbledore had bequeathed to Draco.
It was the translation from the Runic script of the `Tale of the Three Brothers' chapter, which Dumbledore, presumably, had marked with the symbol of the Deathly Hallows.
Atop the scroll sat the snitch.
From the time that Luna had identified the Deathly Hallows, Sals had contemplated that the snitch might contain the Resurrection Stone. It made perfect sense; after all, he already had the Cloak of Invisibility and the Elder Wand. Dumbledore had seen to that.
Young Snape picked up the snitch and once again contemplated the words engraved on its surface: "I open at the close."
Salazar thought back to the tale of the three brothers and how the second brother had used the Resurrection Stone to bring the girl that he loved back to him. But eventually it had to come to an end!
"Could that be it?" he suddenly posed the question to himself.
He picked up the snitch and held the golden ball towards his lips and whispered, "I need to say goodbye."
Suddenly the snitch opened and there, between the two halves of the golden ball was a ring, crowned with a black stone. He recognised it immediately; it was Marvolo Gaunt's ring.
"NO!" Sals cried in terror and panic. "No! No! No!... Oh Merlin! It can't be! I destroyed this along with the other Horcruxes!"
Suddenly the fear that he had contemplated only minutes earlier came to the fore: that a Horcrux had survived Voldemort after all. That everything had been in vain... he had failed!
But then he drew a deep breath. He began to rationalised and slowly took control of his emotions.
"Why?" he asked himself. "Why would Dumbledore do this?"
There had to be a reason, a sound rationale for this. Besides, the Horcrux, if indeed THIS WAS THE HORCRUX, had already been purged of its foul contents. Dumbledore had already destroyed that fragment of Riddle's black soul.
"So what the fuck did I destroy down on the edge of the forest? And if that was the Horcrux, what in the name of Merlin is this?"
Sals cautiously squeezed his forefinger and thumb into the open halves of the snitch and carefully removed the ring from within. Examining it more closely, he immediately recognised the symbol embedded in the gaudy black stone that sat atop the ring.
The young Adonis's dark orbs ogled at the crude gem...
"The Deathly Hallows! So I was right all along! This is the Resurrection Stone!"
Salazar recalled the transcript on his lap. He placed the scroll and the empty snitch on the stone floor of the tower. Then he detached the gem from the ring, and laid the gold signet next to the snitch.
The intrepid young warlock then stood back from the edge of the tower, with the Resurrection Stone in his right hand, faced the east and closed his eyes.
Sals held the black stone to his mouth, just as he had done with the snitch. Then he rolled the gem in his hand three times, as described in the scroll. He repeated Albus Dumbledore's name with each turn.
When he opened his eyes the old man was standing before him, smiling pleasantly. He was not real, not alive in the normal sense of the word. He was ethereal, but not as white and translucent as in their last meeting. This image was more akin to that of Tom Riddle, back in the Chamber of Secrets; he was a Shade.
"Ah Salazar, My Boy," the ancient warlock greeted him cheerfully. "I see that, once again, you have prevailed."
"I don't understand, Albus," Sals shook his head in utter bewilderment, "why didn't you just tell me about this when you gave me the ring... if you ever did give me the ring? And if you didn't, what did I destroy along with the other Horcruxes?"
The wily old wizard had clearly maintained his sense of humour. He smiled craftily, then stroked his long white beard before replying.
"Two good questions that deserve two equally good answers, lad.
"Firstly, the ring that I gave you was a decoy of sorts. Its purpose was to provide you with a prop, to convince Tom Riddle that all was indeed lost." The old man grinned mischievously. "It also served to convince you that all was won!
"Secondly, only one worthy of wielding the power of the Deathly Hallows should be capable of proving so. You already possessed the cloak and the wand. This was the final test."
"So then, Albus," Salazar squinted at the ancient wizard, "are you saying that your fear that you might well empower the most potent wizard since Merlin the Great has come to fruition?"
"Ah, that remains to be seen, lad. As I posited at our last meeting, your fate is yet to be written."
"Do you regard me as worthy, then, Albus?"
"Again, Salazar, that remains to be seen; but I have high hopes. I do find it intriguing that Tom Riddle was never aware of the significance of the ring, other than it was a family heirloom. He mistakenly took the Deathly Hallows symbol to be the Peverell coat of arms!"
The old man beamed at the lad, and closed his eyes briefly, in a gesture of sublime contentment.
"You do realise, lad, that you are the first wizard ever to possess the Deathly Hallows at the same time. None of the three Peverell brothers managed to do that. Use them wisely, Salazar."
"Shall I see you again?"
"If you retain the stone, that is always your call, I am your willing counsel."
"Then should I retain the stone?"
"That is your call, lad. But I am pleased to see that you have good counsel close at hand. Severus and Draco have both erred in their day; but I have always found that those who have turned from the Dark, having seen the Light, tend to make the best confidantes."
"Thank you Albus, I will try to do you proud, and honour your faith in me."
Salazar reached into his pocket, then opened his fist, to release the stone. As he did so the image faded from his sight. He found himself alone, atop the Astronomy Tower, once again.
Salazar snatched the snitch and the parchment from the floor, leaving Marvolo's ring laying on the cold stone. He drew and aimed his Elder Wand at what was left of the Horcrux.
"Evanesco!" he intoned bitterly in Parseltongue, just as he had with the decoy, almost a week ago.
Headmaster Severus Snape was startled by Sals frantically calling from the bottom of the spiral staircase.
"Dad, Dad" the boy's voice echoed as he burst into the office, having strode up the spiral staircase three steps at a time. He was gasping for breath.
Sals was clasping the snitch and a parchment, which he dropped onto the headmaster's desk.
Severus looked up from his work, then he grinned at his boy. He was clearly amused and intrigued by the lad's exuberance.
"Dad, you're not going to believe this, come and stand here, next to me."
The handsome youth waved his hand at the great door to the chamber, slamming it shut, to ensure their privacy, as his father made his way to stand at Sals's side.
"Here," Sals pulled his father closer, "stand right here, right up close, and look this way," the boy turned Severus till they were both facing the large oak door.
The Hogwarts headmaster stood silent but bemused by his offspring's childlike enthusiasm.
The boy reached into his pocket and removed his right clenched fist. He then raised it to his mouth and whispered, while rolling his knuckles, clearly turning something over in his hand.
"There!" the boy cried with glee.
However, the boy's enthusiasm died in a heartbeat, when he turned to see the confused look on his father's face.
"Sorry Sals, what am I supposed to be looking at?"
Salazar looked suddenly crestfallen and confused. He looked up sharply at his dad, before a flash of inspiration changed his disposition.
"Here," Sals cried, holding his right hand up towards this father's side, "grip my fist tightly!"
Severus obliged, and his visage changed instantly to one of incredulous elation.
"Lily! Lily, is that you?" he cried in disbelief.
The older wizard made no move towards the apparition. He recognised a Shade when he saw one. But the insight did not dampen his enthusiasm.
Severus realised that this was the first genuine face-to-face interaction that he'd had with his soul-mate, since Salazar's conception. He was instantly moved to tears.
In fact the dream sequence that had led him to save their son, on the morning of his sixteenth birthday, last July, had not been an interaction at all. It had merely been a series of images and awakenings that led him to brew the potions necessary to save Sals and eventually lead him to the boy.
"Severus, Darling, I'm so proud of you. And you, Salazar, my darling boy, I can't tell you how proud I am of both of you.
"Seeing you together, at last, as it should always have been, fills my heart with joy. You are so handsome, my darling boy.
"Just think, Headmaster and Head Boy... who'd have thought!"
"I'm not Head Boy, Mum!"
"No, of course you aren't, Darling, you're only in sixth year. But there can be no doubt you will be."
"I don't know about that, Mum. I think I'd prefer to stay out of the limelight for a change."
"I understand that, Salazar, and it's up to you, of course. But people look up to you, they respect you. It will not be the same as the pressure of being The-Boy-Who-Lived. I'm confident that by next September you'll see it differently. But whatever you decide, just know that I will be proud of you. Both of you."
Lily looked into Severus's eyes and saw the sadness and the tears.
"Oh, Severus, My Darling, don't be sad. We all make mistakes. You've more than made up for that, a thousand times over. How can you possibly have any regrets, when you look at our darling son. I love you both, and I'll always be with you. Do me proud, My Darlings!"
With those final words, Lily Evans-Snape faded into the ether from whence she had come.
Severus and Salazar faced each other, with tears streaming down their cheeks, then they crushed one another in an intense embrace.
Eventually Severus eased back from his son. He gripped Sals head in both hands, then he kissed the boy's tear-streaked cheeks, finally placing a gentle kiss on his forehead.
"I love you Salazar, I couldn't be prouder of you. No matter what you choose to do with your life, know that I will stand by you to the last breath."
"Thanks Dad, I love you more than you could ever know. I'm proud of everything you've done for me.
"It takes a great man to admit that he's made mistakes, Dad. Like Mum said, you've made up for it a thousand times over. Every last one of us owes our life to you.
"We will all be eternally grateful for the sacrifices that you've made on our behalf."
The following day Salazar found himself atop the Astronomy Tower, once again. He still had not revealed his conversation, let alone his contact, with Dumbledore to either Draco or his father.
He had returned to the tower to contemplate the Deathly Hallows further, in particular how he should approach the issue with the two most important people in his life.
That triggered a number of other issues. One was his relationship with Hermione and Ginny. They had always been close to him, but now, with everything that had happened since June, things had changed.
They were still his dearest and closest friends, of course, but he had recently found his soul-mate and a father that he never knew he had. Now the hierarchy had changed.
However, the one overarching difference, the one that still disturbed him greatly, was his relationship with Ron Weasley.
When everything had gone tits up in June, Harry's friendship with Ron, as well as his other friends, had been put on the back-burner, more or less out of necessity.
Harry had no alternative but to put his friendships behind him, when he fled Privet Drive. He had to try to protect them. After all, he had thought he would never see any of them again.
But his return to Hogwarts, as Salazar Snape, had put everything into a new perspective; his breach with Ron then seemed irreconcilable and it had hurt so much.
Ron's behaviour towards him, as Salazar Snape, was understandable, but it was not acceptable. It was immature and it revealed a side of Ron that had always been there, but for friendship's sake it had been overlooked.
Ron had let him down badly before, most notably during the Triwizard tournament back in fourth year. Sure, Ron had come round eventually. But the most hurtful behaviour had been towards Sals, when he had appeared as Harry, at that first meeting of the D.A. last September.
As hurtful as that had been, Sals now wanted to set things right, but he wondered if it was a realistic expectation.
Finally he resolved to try. He stood up, withdrew the Resurrection Stone from his pocket, then held it to his mouth. He repeated Ron's name three times, as he rolled the stone over in his hand.
"What do you want?" rasped Ronald's familiar voice.
Sals squeezed his eyes tighter, in a reflex to the pain of hearing his former friend's bitter tone. When he finally opened them he was heartbroken to see the scowl that defaced the familiar visage.
"I was hoping to say goodbye to a friend."
"You're not my friend, Snape!"
"Yeah, I realise that now. I'm sorry, I guess I was mistaken, you were never my friend."
"What's that supposed to mean, Snape?"
"You were friends with The-Boy-Who-Lived. You were the boy with the famous scar's best friend. It was your one great claim to fame."
"You betrayed all of us!" the redhead screamed angrily, "You lied to us, to me!"
"I never knew! Okay Ron?"
"Only my friends call me that, Snape!"
"Oh we're back to that again, are we?"
"Go back to your Slytherin boyfriend, Snape! He's a Malfoy! How could you?"
"He's not who you think."
"He's a Slytherin for fuck's sake, they are all evil!"
"Some people change, he was brought up to think that way. Draco's not the person you turned me against on the Hogwarts Express. He grew up! Ginny, Hermione, Neville... we all grew up. I was stupid enough to think that you might have too. I'm sorry!"
"Yeah, well I'm not, fuck you Snape!"
With that the image dissipated, and Sals was left with a tear in his eye and a hole in his heart. He sighed... even in death it seemed that some things never change.
Salazar didn't return to the Astronomy Tower for several days after that painful encounter with Ron Weasley. He applied himself to his studies and spent most of his spare time with Draco, in the seclusion of their special version of the Room of Requirement.
He never raised the incident with Draco or his father; he probably never would. He decided that it was a chapter in his life that was now closed and better forgotten.
Each Friday evening, since the demise of Tom Riddle, Sals and Severus had begun a tradition of sharing a quiet Ogden's before an open fire, in the tranquillity of the headmaster's private rooms.
While Salazar was technically not yet of legal age, his exploits and tribulations to date, more than warranted this small indulgence, in his father's eyes. It was therapeutic, as well as contributing to a deepening of their relationship, especially so since their joint farewell with Sals's mother.
It was mid-December when the handsome young Gryffindor decided to raise the issue of the Deathly Hallows with his dad. In fact, Sals was almost certain that his father was completely oblivious to both the legend and the facts surrounding the Hallows.
Severus was well aware of the existence of Sals's invisibility cloak. After all, it was Severus who had returned the cloak -- along with his wand - to Sals, after he had rescued him from Muggle London, back in July.
In fact it was the wand that had led Salazar to find the cloak, having tracked the wand's magical signature, to the home of the Muggle who had stolen both items from Sals in Bedford Park.
Of course Severus had long suspected that Harry Potter had owned an invisibility cloak, as early as first year.
Even so, at the time of returning it to Sals, Severus had no idea of the cloak's history, or of the legend surrounding it. Neither was he aware that it was not just an invisibility cloak, but the legendary Cloak of Invisibility.
Severus had not known about the Elder Wand, either, until Sals had revealed its secret to Voldemort, in front of his father.
Finally, nobody, except Sals and Dumbledore, knew of the existence of the Resurrection Stone, not even Voldemort himself, who had possessed the ring that bore the stone for half a century.
Of course Draco, Hermione and the gang all knew of the legend of the stone. However, he doubted that many of them, save maybe Draco, thought that it actually still existed, if it ever had.
And, of course, Sals had revealed the stone to his father, earlier in the week, when they had contacted his mum.
So then, he had decided, it was time to draw the parts together, at least for his father. He owed him that; he trusted his judgement enough to confide the dark secret to him; he dearly wanted his counsel.
"You haven't really asked me much about the stone that Albus left me in the snitch, Dad," was Sals opening gambit, mirroring his Queen's pawn move on the board that sat between them.
Severus smiled and moved his queen's knight.
I presumed that you would raise the issue when you were ready.
"You've heard of `The Legend of the Three Brothers,' right?"
"I've heard of it, but I can't say I'm familiar with it. Children's stories, especially wizarding tales, were not a significant part of my childhood."
Severus grinned with that last remark, but it was a slightly pained expression. Sals knew why, from their previous discussions on his dad's early life.
"Well, Dad, it turns out that, like most children's stories, it was based on fact. Each brother had a magical device that they were able to cheat from Death. One was the Elder Wand!"
Salazar raised his eyes provocatively.
"Go on," his father returned his look, to which he added a nod of cognition.
"The second was the Resurrection Stone, which had the power to bring souls back from the dead... NOT BACK TO LIFE!" Sals added, urgently forestalling any false hopes that this might engender.
Severus response to this second revelation was deadpan. Salazar pushed on...
"The last brother acquired the Cloak of Invisibility!"
This final statement evoked a patently startled expression on the normally stoic Potions Master's face.
The boy quickly continued, having just dropped the last shoe.
"All of the brothers lost their magical relics eventually, and they were lost to history. The legend said that whoever possessed all three, at the same time, would become the most powerful wizard to have ever lived. He would be the `Master of Death!' ... ... ... Collectively they are called the `Deathly Hallows!' you know... pretty spooky, eh?"
Father and son sat in stark silence for several seconds, until the tension finally forced Salazar to quickly add a caveat...
"Of course nobody ever did own them... at the same time..."
"Until now!" Severus complemented the statement profoundly, but he couched it in a loving and supportive smile.
Sals was slightly taken aback by his father's acuity.
Back when Severus had returned the cloak to Salazar, in July, Sals had explained how he had acquired the cloak from Dumbledore - via James Potter, via the Peverells -- when he was in first year.
"You know how I acquired the cloak and the wand, of course."
Severus nodded then smiled.
"So I suppose you can guess where I got the stone."
His father smiled again.
"Yeah... it took me ages to work out how to get it to open."
Sals shook his head and laughed...
"Dumbledore was being his damned frustrating, infuriating self, as usual. The old fucker could have just given it to me, but no... he had to hide it in a ball, then obfuscate the solution... `I open at the close!'... can you believe it!"
The boy was almost rambling, now that the pressure of revealing the secret was off his chest...
"I understand why he did it though... I had to prove I was worthy... You know, the incredible thing was that Riddle had the damned stone all along, and he never even realised it!... can you believe it? It was on that bloody ring that eventually killed Dumbledore."
The boy -- for that's all he was... a mere sixteen-year-old boy -- grew suddenly silent again. Then he drew a profound breath, as the magnitude of the revelation finally caught up with him.
Neither spoke for nearly a full minute.
When the stunning youth finally exhaled, he sighed, then laughed nervously...
"You know the legend says that whoever possesses all three, at the same time, would be the `Master of Death!'... and I have no idea what that means. If Albus knows, he never saw fit to tell me!"
The boy laughed again...
"But he did, at least, say he had high hopes for me! Whatever that means. And he did say that I had good counsel in you and Draco."
Severus smiled at his son, then stood up and embraced him warmly.
"I've no doubt that the Hallows are in good hands. I have to admit, Sals, that the thought of so much power being in one hand is rather daunting. But if ever a wizard was worthy of possessing such power, it surely is you. Even without the Hallows you are the most powerful warlock since Merlin, but I trust you, and I'm immeasurably proud of you, Son. Use it well."
Salazar Snape was alone in the room of requirement. It was the Sunday before the Yule festival, and he was looking forward to it for a number of reasons.
Of course Christmas Day had never been a celebration for him at the Dursleys'. He was treated worse than a house elf, cooking and slaving all day. The only presents he ever received were disused or broken household items that only served to mock him with the contempt in which he was held.
Christmas at Hogwarts had at least been loving and cheerful, with the Weasleys treating him as one of their own. He received real presents, decent food and celebration, for the first time in his life.
Yuletide this year was going to be different, on a whole new level. For the first time in Salazar's life, that he could actually remember, he had his own family - his real father and Draco.
But that was three days away. His more immediate concern was Draco and the Hallows. Sals had been brooding over the issue for over a week, since he'd broached the subject with his father.
Draco was down on the Quidditch pitch, training for the match against Gryffindor. It had been rescheduled to be played after lunch on Christmas Day, having been cancelled on the day of Dumbledore's memorial service.
Sals had promised not to spy on him. But his real motive for missing the practice was more personal. He had resolved to reveal the secret of the Hallows to Draco this evening.
The crux of the dilemma for Salazar was the immensity of the burden that he would be placing on Draco. It was a secret that could never be revealed to another living soul. But even worse than that was the danger that he was laying before Draco.
All week long Sals had brooded over the cruel reality that he could not avoid facing. At the heart of the matter was Dumbledore, possibly the greatest wizard since Merlin.
The sobering truth was that the ancient warlock had been betrayed, NOT ONCE, BUT TWICE, by beguiling youths who lusted after power. First by Grindelwald, then by Riddle. It had left the ancient warlock a bitter broken man, in the end, a shadow of his former self.
Salazar loved Draco. Fuck! He was besotted with the blonde Adonis. But the overarching fear that had plagued Sals all week long was whether he was being fair to Draco. Was it right to tempt any young wizard with such immense power. Was Draco strong enough? Was Salazar strong enough to defy Draco should he fall to temptation.
The young Gryffindor had brought a Pensieve with him. He had decided to make use of Draco's preoccupation with Quidditch practice to delve into his own recollections of their first encounter as Snape and Malfoy. Sals was hoping that these reflections might give him some insights into how to handle his current dilemma.
Young Snape looked at the green mist swirling in the Pensieve. He decided to equivocate no longer, and dived headfirst into the memory...
When the mist cleared Salazar found himself in the Riddle house. There were his dad, Draco and himself, standing before that foul monster.
Sals was viewing them from behind. All he could make of Draco, through the gloom of the dark chamber, was his travelling cloak and his platinum-blonde hair. But Sals could already see that the boy was trembling.
The trio had just Apparated into the chamber simultaneously, Sals and his dad from Dragonera, Draco from Malfoy Manor.
The na´ve blonde's locks flicked left then right, as he realised that he was with the Snapes, but not where he'd expected to find them. The look on the blonde's terrified and confused face, even if only in profile, tore at Sals's heart.
Salazar felt a pang of regret and sympathy for Draco, despite this being a mere memory. Sals found it intriguing how watching his own memories always seemed more visceral and real than watching recollections from another source.
He moved through the room in the memory, until he was facing the trio, just as Draco looked up at the Dark Lord. Salazar could no longer see Riddle's virtual image, which was now behind him. However, he could tell, just from the expression on the blonde's face, that this was the moment when Draco realised that he had been deceived and, worst still, that his previous encounter with the monster had been a complete disaster.
This was the moment when Draco realised his complete vulnerability in the hands of Voldemort. Sals had made Draco aware of it, during their school robe fittings, at Malkin's earlier that afternoon. But now the terrifying truth hit home as he desperately avoided the Dark Lord's eyes.
Sals could feel Draco's pain, if only vicariously. But he felt the boy's anxiety and terror even more this time round. Young Salazar figured that was due to the fact that Draco meant so much more to him now. This memory had been taken from within mere hours of their first encounter as Snape and Malfoy.
Now, five months on, Sals was looking at his soul-mate in deep distress, and the pain was so much more intense and personal.
Most of the rest of this memory from the Riddle chamber seemed to pass by in a blur, as they approached the recollection that Sals was dreading. It was the moment when he had convinced Voldemort to let him inflict the Cruciatus on Draco.
Even now, his mere vicarious involvement in the abuse sent shivers of betrayal and disgust down his own spine.
Worse still was the flicker of hope that flashed across his beautiful blonde's visage, when Voldemort uttered:
"We sense your reluctance to continue, young Salazar!"
Only to be dashed, when the Dark Lord added:
"Yet, there is no compassion in you... for this useless cur at your feet... You merely consider such treatment of this unworthy cur the waste of a valuable resource... You were revelling in inflicting this traitor's pain; We could feel your excitement, your hunger... Such discipline... all simply to achieve a strategic advantage."
Sal's stomach turned as he watched Voldemort turn to his father... "you must be very proud, Severus!"
Even as a remote observation, the pain that was etched into Draco's face, at that moment, was still too much to bear for Sals. He knew now, just as he had known back then, that the pain that Draco had endured at that moment was from the betrayal that he had felt, far more than that of the excruciating pain of the Unforgivable.
Salazar reared up out of the Pensieve, gasping for breath. He was crying bitterly, and the lump in his throat was excruciatingly painful.
He looked at the time. Draco would be back from training soon.
Sals wasted no time, as he poured a second vial into the Pensieve, which included part of one of his father's memories. He dove straight in...
Draco slumped onto the floor, in the foyer of the Snapes' Dragonera villa. They had just Apparated out of the Riddle house, and Draco was breathless and distraught and still in a great deal of pain.
Salazar felt as guilty, as an observer, as he had back in real time in the image. The virtual Sals could not bring himself to look at Draco, let alone speak to him. He turned and stormed into his own room in the villa, leaving his father to tend to Draco.
Sals still felt ashamed as he watched Severus gather Draco's frail body into his arms and carry him into the lounge room, where he set the boy down on the sofa.
The Potions master dashed into his laboratory and returned with several vials of remedies, which he promptly administered to the distressed Slytherin.
The boy was still sobbing bitterly, long after the potions had alleviated the physical pain and distress that had tortured his body.
"Try and rest," was all Severus said to the boy, as he got up and crossed to Salazar's bedroom.
After six months of rigorous training, watching his son mature into a fearsome warrior warlock, Severus was stunned to find the boy weeping as bitterly as the blonde in the adjacent room.
"I thought you said you were ready for this!" Severus castigated his son.
"Leave me alone!" Sals wailed.
Watching this unfold brought another lump to Salazar's throat. This surprised him. He had more or less expected that he would be distressed watching Draco suffer all over again; but he had never suspected that witnessing his own distress would weigh down on him so heavily.
"If you're struggling with this, Sals," his father inveighed him sternly, "just how do you think you're going to cope with what is to come. This night was a picnic, compared to what you will both have to face before Voldemort is defeated! You knew that before we started!
"We rationalised this. It was your insane scheme after all. You know it was the only way we could shield Draco from future attacks. You said yourself that he was a danger to our mission as he was. His arrogant na´vetÚ would be his undoing, until we could build up his defences, sufficient to resist The Dark Lord... so what did you expect?"
"He looked so weak, and he felt so betrayed," Sals cried, still in distress, "I could see it in his eyes. He had believed in me, Dad. I couldn't believe I could feel that much pain."
"You knew there was no way to prepare him, without risking our own lives, Salazar. We could not wait to try to train him up. Thanks to that idiotic redhead... the Wizarding world will have heard about your relationship before dawn tomorrow!"
"I know that, Dad," the lad sniffled... "don't you think I know that?" he added indignantly.
Salazar had stopped crying, when Severus waved his arm, with a grandiose flick of his wand.
Sals's bed suddenly flew across to the side of his room, along with his desk, and another bed and desk appeared on the other side of the room.
"What are you doing?" Sals cried in disbelief.
"Draco has to sleep somewhere!"
"Can't he sleep on the sofa?... at least for tonight?... I don't think I can face him just yet, Dad... please!"
"I think I'd prefer to sleep in here, if that's alright with you, Sals," Draco squeaked from the bedroom door, which he was holding ajar. "Sorry," he added coyly, "it was pretty hard not to overhear all that!"
Salazar was stunned to feel a hand suddenly grip his shoulder. He reared up out of the Pensieve, to find Draco standing behind him, broomstick in hand, a damp wisp of blonde hair cresting his forehead, and the faintest beading of sweat atop his sensuous upper lip.
The blonde Adonis was stunned to see his lover's tear-filled eyes all irritated and bloodshot.
Draco dropped his broom and hugged Sals fiercely.
"Hey, what's wrong, love? What have you been doing to yourself?"
"Oh, nothing... just feeling sorry for myself."
"Dare I look?" Draco teased, as he motioned to lean down into the still-swirling mist.
"NO!" Salazar panicked, "you don't want to see that again... it was our first encounter with that bastard, Riddle!"
"Oh, babe! Why do that to yourself?"
"I... I was just... I have something to tell you, and I was just..."
"It's the snitch... isn't it?" Draco quipped, almost playfully.
"How?... Wha " Sals stalled, clearly stunned.
"Salazar Snape!... don't you think I know you by now! You never shut up about that damned snitch since you got it. Then suddenly you've said nothing for more than a week. I knew you must have opened it... I've just been waiting for you to tell me."
Draco reached up with his index fingers and tenderly wiped the remnants of the tears from the corners of his lover's eyes.
"I just never imagined it would get you twisted up into such a state as this!"
He pecked Salazar on the lips, then whispered...
"It was the Resurrection Stone, wasn't it?"
Salazar's eyes flew open, Draco giggled.
"I knew it... it just had to be."
"Duh! Who gave it to you? Eh? Duh? Who gave me the book? Who gave you the cloak, who gave you the wand?... I just put two, and two, and two and two together and got eight! I can count, you know!"
"Oh Draco, I'm sorry, love... I just..."
"Hey! I understand, okay, more than you think.
"I know the history of Dumbledore and Grindelwald. I know why you're worried, and I really do understand."
"It's not that I don't trust you, Draco..."
"I know that, Sals. But I really don't think you have anything to worry about."
Sals didn't reply, but his look elicited an explanation.
"Think about it, Sals. As Potter, even with your mum's spells and protections suppressing your magical core, you were still powerful enough to smack Voldemort down, not once, not twice, but five times... if we count when you were first attacked as a baby!
"So just say, I went rogue, seduced by the temptation of the power of the wand, the cloak and the stone!" Draco grinned cheekily at Sals, then poked his tongue out at him, playfully. "What chance would I - or anyone else for that matter - have against Salazar Snape, the greatest wizard since Merlin himself?"
Salazar pulled Draco towards him and hugged him fiercely, with a huge sigh.
"Come here, Draco. I love you so much, babe!"
Salazar and Draco woke from a deep sleep, in the early hours of Christmas morning.
The kissed each other passionately and wished each other a Merry Yuletide.
They spent the next few hours in their warm bed, in the Room of Requirement, making sensual love, until it was time to go visit Severus in his chambers.
When they arrived they found the dignified headmaster relaxing in front of a roaring fire, sipping a Cornish Eggnog and reading a potions book.
They exchanged greetings and proceeded to exchange gifts.
Draco and Severus had given each other books. The blonde received "The History of Potion Making in the Age of the Druids" by Cornelius Clagg, while Severus was given "Potions in a New Age" by Flinders Fiddlestick.
When Draco opened his gift from Sals he was delighted to find a silver replica of Vipera, adorned with emerald eyes and tongue. She immediately slithered up out of the box and wrapped herself around Draco's wrist.
"Her name is Slytherina," Sals informed Draco, with a twinkle in his eye.
Sals gift from Draco was a solid gold wrist band, opened in the form of a large Omega. It was encrusted alternately with emeralds and rubies on its outer edge and inscribed on the inner edge: "Sals & Draco -- December 96."
Severus's gift to Sals was a framed wizard photo of his mother and father as eleven year olds, taken on the eve of their departure to Hogwarts.
When Severus opened his gift, he was astounded to find the black stone with the Deathly Hallows symbol inscribed on it. It was accompanied by a small card that read: "For when you need to talk to Mum."
After a sumptuous lunch, with the rest of the school, in the Great Hall, everyone made their way down to the Quidditch Pitch for the long awaited deferred clash of Gryffindor and Slytherin.
Draco had been named captain of the Slytherin team, and it was a stronger line-up than one might have expected, given the limited number of seniors available.
The match was hard fought in the cold winter's afternoon. The score was tied at two-hundred and twenty all, by mid-afternoon.
Salazar was chuffed to discover that Draco had cottoned on to his tactics that had enabled him to secure the spot as Gryffindor Seeker, back in mid-September. It was proving to be a genuine tussle between the rival Seekers that had the crowd on the edge of their seats for most of the afternoon.
On more than one occasion both of them had seemed to have the snitch in their sights, only to have it change direction at the last second and slip from their grasp.
Finally Draco was closing in on the elusive golden ball, and was just about to snag its right wing.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, Salazar Snape swooped down and grabbed hold of the feathery left wing at exactly the same time that Draco caught the other.
It was an exact repeat of the last catch of the snitch in the September selection trials.
The Gryffindor and Slytherin Seekers drifted down to the surface of the pitch, each still holding on to one of the feathery wings.
Madam Hooch cruised down to stand beside the boys and declared the match a tie. She had decided to split the snitch points, awarding the boys seventy-five points each, thus declaring the match a draw at two-hundred and ninety-five points each.
Deputy McGonagall was smiling broadly as she confirmed the result to the stadium.
"It seems," she declared above the roar of the crowd, "that you are indeed `The Chosen Ones!'"
Hope you have enjoyed this Potterfic; it has turned into a bit of a saga. Sorry about the four year hiatus. At least it is finally complete. Hope it has been worth the wait.
If you have enjoyed this, you might like my other Nifty story...
This is a two-chapter Potterverse short story [complete] which can be read as a prequel to this Potterfic.
All feedback is appreciated via: email@example.com