Author:bonfoi Rating: G Pairing: Remus Lupin/Severus Snape Summary: Given the chore of collecting mistletoe for Christmas decorations, Lupin and Snape come across something interesting. Challenge:adventdrabblesPrompt #23: Three Wise Men Word Count: 739 Genre: Alternate Universe; EWE; Slash; Adventure; Romance; Myth Warnings: none A/N: Happy Yule!
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Phineas Nigellus Black muttered sleepily in his portrait, soothed by the sounds of the seascape to his right, the susurration of the tide ebbing and flowing a pleasing counterpoint to Dumbledore’s incessant Yuletide planning.
When his many centuries-removed cousin, Jamie Black-Prince, popped into his frame, the displacement shifted Phineas out of his seat and into a painted side table. The clatter of books falling—some of which fell into the seascape—woke several portraits.
“Young sir!” Jamie stage-whispered. “Young Phineas! Move your stumps, young ‘un! Ye need ta get ta the Hufflepuff stables this instant! The Holly King’s in the castle!” Jamie finally hissed.
Phineas stopped trying to right himself and accepted his elder’s hand. “The Holly King? What fool brought him inside the castle walls?” He tugged at his robes with shaking hands.
Dumbledore’s too-sweet voice answered before Jamie could. “Why, Phineas, one of your Slytherins escorted him past the Black Lake.” The Gryffindor had the temerity to look superior. “Of course, he was in the company of a brave Gryffindor.”
“That’s no excuse, Dumbledore!” Phineas barked. He straightened his wizard’s hat with a firmer touch and grabbed Jamie’s painted hand. “Take me where I need to go, Cousin! We’ve got to stop this Yuletide intruder!” The two disappeared and then reappeared in a small farm scene—ironically of a centaur foal gamboling with a young wizard—and saw the offending spirit in the flesh.
Albus Dumbledore slipped in behind them, a grimoire partially hidden in his sleeve. When the two cousins glared at him, he held the spine of the book toward them and put his finger to his lips. Ever the conniver, Dumbledore had actually come armed for the confrontation.
Just then, Severus and Remus pulled open the stable doors.
“…tell you, it could work! You’d be a delightful Grinch, Severus! You’re a redeemed character, if not at all reformed—for which I’m most grateful, truly.” Remus dodged a flurry of conjured snowballs with a laugh.
As his laughter died away, Remus noticed Severus’ fixed stare at the stall where they’d left Gideon and Currycombe. A strange glow was emanating from it. Soon, holly sprigs began to sprout from the rafters as oak leaves and acorns grew from the supporting posts.
“Lupin…” Severus hissed in a low voice. “Move back towards me.” His wand was out, his body falling into a defensive stance easily. His other hand gestured for Remus to go to the opposite side, out of the line of fire.
Remus bit his lip and nodded, surprised at the change in the atmosphere. His wand slipped into his hand easily and he stepped aside, a quick glance catching the three wizards crammed into the painting just over the worktable. He gestured with his head and Severus nodded.
A bubble of fog seeped out from Severus’ fog and words appeared. Three wise arses who forgot to tell us something important! Remus could feel Severus’ frustration coming through the jagged lettering of the message. He swallowed his grin and followed Severus’ slow steps toward the stall. Unfortunately, he felt the niggling of the moon’s pull under his robes…
Albus flipped open the mysterious book he’d brought and turned it so his companions could begin to read aloud—softly—from it. Another figure, one crowned with oak leaves and acorns began to form at Remus’ and Severus’ backs. The Oak King solidified, a looming, verdant figure that spoke of change.
Remus’ nose twitched and he stopped in his tracks. He lifted his nose and sniffed deeply. “Severus,” Remus said in a normal voice, “I’d step aside now.” Remus stepped to the left as he heard the scuff of Severus’ boots going to the right.
The Oak King passed them. Where his leafy robes touched the floor, a green carpet of grass sprang up where the once was straw. The wood floorboards began to sprout leaves and branches as well. As he approached the stall, a strange mix of winter and summer occurred and Remus reached out, not surprised to find Severus so close that his hand was right there for the holding.
“I think those three,” Severus indicated the picture with Albus, Phineas, and Jamie with his chin, “have a hand in this…”
“This is something to tell our children about, Severus.”
Whatever Severus was going to say was swallowed up in the all the sounds of the forest coming alive…within the Hufflepuff stables of Hogwarts Castle.