Pairing(s): SS/Aberforth Dumbledore; Mentions of SS/Albus Dumbledore.
Warning(s): Character Death and what looks like an EmotionallyUnhinged!Severus.
Word Count: 1,333 words.
Challenge: Written for quasi_hayley's 'Snape Rareslash Ficathon' for maverickmila. I hope you like the attempt- Severus/Aberforth would never have been a pairing I’d consider writing (ever) if it weren’t for your prompt!
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There is a certain silence the falling of snow necessitates as it descends in a gentle hush upon the earth; smothering the colour from everything it touches with callous flakes that nevertheless continue to appear so breathtakingly beautiful it almost hurts.
It is amidst this snow-falling stillness that he stands, alone- tall and darkly clad, a mar against the pureness of the snow-white about him as he stares unseeingly at the sepulchre before him, reaching out with a jolted hesitancy; wishing to touch but not quite daring to. He is almost unaware of the slow-melting flakes that settle upon his outstretched hand; pale fingers in twitching stillness- reaching, grasping at the flake-flurried air before him, a grimace of pain- guilt-ridden and damning- scrunches at his face whilst slivers of liquid grief run rivulets down his cold-flushed cheeks.
It has been months; many of them- too many of them perhaps, spent in agonising longing as they were. Where his nights were filled with the green rush of instant death, his waking hours no less haunted as he replays over and over those final minutes, of a dying man’s last pleading breath. Too long has it taken him to find the slinking courage within himself, to force himself to set foot upon Hogwarts ground again, almost six whole months later, in order to pay his respects to the only man he’s ever truly loved; because Albus Dumbledore was the only man who ever looked upon him as being someone worthy of receiving the same unconditional love in return.
He makes no move to stem his tears as the weight of mourning grief forces him to his knees; black smudge upon the pureness of snow, he cries, snivels at the name and dates and the epitaph carved so elegantly upon the grave before him- his fingers finally daring to touch at the marbled surface, lingering softly for a moment only before pulling away just as swiftly as a phantom flurry of snowflakes hiss around him, the dense quiet broken by the sudden baying of an animal.
With a start he raises his head, to see- up ahead- as someone approaches, the thud of his heartbeat loud now in his ears as he sees and- recognises…? He dreams, he thinks, he must be- he knows, for he cannot truly be seeing what his eyes believe they are seeing as someone becomes something he knows cannot be real, but there- through the swirl of snow, he steps- a man, age-withered and dressed in drab grey, with waist-long beard and half-moon spectacles that remind him with such desperate longing of the man whose grave he weeps so piteously beside.
He stares, mouth agape at the likeness between the man he mourns and the one that approaches, the screaming child of self-preservation silenced as he sits in stunned confoundedness, face flushed chill-red as the brother approaches, his appearance writhing and wreathing before him as he desperately tries to blink away the film of tears across his eyes, clenching them closed as the crunching of booted feet approach him through the freshly-falling snow.
He dares look up, and lo-behold he cries out with desperate yearning as he no longer sees that which stands before him, but that which he once remembers- of a face that no longer exists in living, breathing reality but survives in the memory of age-wrinkled skin, of the quirked slide of mouth in amusement and displeasure (the kiss of affection), the twinkle in the eye that has always infuriated him, but now which plays so damningly upon his hope.
“Albus?” He whispers in faintness, staring up in worshipful longing at the man that stands before him, tall and thin and everything Albus is not but that he cannot see because a part of him refuses to acknowledge the grumpy-look of angry-surprise that crosses old Aberforth’s face, the shock-grey hair from crown to beard so unlike Albus’ own but which he will not comprehend regardless of how loudly he hears the denial screamed within himself- that the dead they cannot rise, no matter how much love and regret wished it were so.
“Albus?” He speaks again, more desperation in his voice as he reaches up imploringly at the man that stands before him and sees the curve of lips into a smile- the twist of mouth into the grimace of a smirk, malicious glint in sea-blue eyes as Aberforth catches hold of one outstretched hand, reaching out with his other to slide around his brother’s killer’s neck.
“Severus,” Aberforth purrs, the sound of his name is as heaven to the younger man’s ears; the lick of warning in a tone he does not hear. The hands that grasp him- hand and neck- urge him up upon shaky legs, catching him and cradling him in a grip too tight and controlled to be the caress he imagines it to be as he makes to touch- the fleeting brush of fingers against flesh-warmed skin, the way his eyes roam- wide and dilated, seeing Aberforth but knowing Albus, as with whimpered tug he pushes forward, the touching of his cold lips to an unmoving mouth- he presses harder, needing- the flick of tongue urging against the seal of an unwanted kiss.
“Severus,” Aberforth calls, pushing Severus away before urging him forward and into an embrace; an inescapable hold against his chest as he wraps long arms around the emasculated form of the man that shakes like the last lonely leaf in an autumn blizzard. He holds close the man who took the life of his brother and knows that he must avenge the death, for he knows of the love that was between them and cannot understand that it did to stay this young man’s hand when such devotion was tested.
Above all, however, Aberforth knows that he will take the life of this man in payment for the murder of Albus Dumbledore; his hands roaming up and down Severus’ back as the young man clings to him, muttering and murmuring apologies and platitudes and declarations of love that Aberforth dares not believe as he slips from the sleeve of one robe a dagger- all sharp glinting edge as he presses the tip so very lightly against the small of Severus’ back, the gleam of magic-polished silver shining in the snow-glaring whiteness of the world about them as with the steeling of his resolve he thrusts, deep- feeling the poisoning tendrils of magic seeping through from blade to body to swiftly kill what the blade may not.
Severus convulses against him, a wrenching cry against his neck as he falls away, leaning back into the hold of Aberforth’s arms as he tries to speak; slack jawed and dribbling blood, he chokes, calls the name of his brother in whispered accusation- his darkened eyes even less unseeing than they were before.
“Aberforth,” The name touches at his ears like a curse, his body jerking not quite so involuntarily; the bubble of blood foaming his mouth as he tries to deny it, begs silently for the return of his lover with a final keening cry that seeks to sap at the last of his strength only to have his voice silenced by the mouth that closes over his own, demanding the kiss it once refused- tasting at the blood it helped to draw and feeling the last beating seconds of his life.
He lowers the slackened man to the softly blanketed ground, stepping back and swiping his hand across his mouth as he looks upon Severus- his body lying face down with hair as black as soot and his skin as white as snow and the snow staining red with the blood that escapes so swiftly from him.
With hooded eyes, Aberforth watches the seeping-soak of snow- white to red- as he swallows against the bitter tang of blood coating his tongue, his gaze never leaving Severus Snape’s bloodied corpse as he nods his head in slight acknowledgement; it almost tastes like revenge.
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