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Severus had never deluded himself into thinking that Dumbledore taking him in, forgiving him, allowing him to join in the fight against the mad wizard he so strongly had believed in for too long, was an unconditional and selfless act of kindness.

It had felt as such though, when those blue eyes had gazed upon him with a friendly glow in them, the smile warm, the words welcoming.

But there had also been steel in those eyes, very clear to Severus. Calculating steel that foresaw a future where Severus' services would be needed, and demanded. A demand Severus would then have no choice but to answer to, when the time came.

In spite of all this, the deep knowledge that one day a price would have to be paid, it had moved Severus beyond his own boundaries. Had moved him to show gratitude where he normally would've scoffed and turned his back. Had moved him to find love in his heart for this old coot of a wizard, no matter how annoying he could be, and how much he persisted in knowing what was best for Severus.

Moved him to believe that biology had nothing to do with fatherly love.

He knew Albus had taken advantages where he could, of affections, of love, of loyalties... but he had done what was needed. Not because he could or wanted to, but because he had no other choice.

Just as he had had no other choice than sacrificing himself when the time came, for a hopefully greater good.

Again, it had not been a selfless act. But in its essence, it was an act of kindness. The ultimate way of proving his love for a world that needed to be woken up, needed to act before it was too late. Severus hoped Albus' act would have the desired effect and move the Wizarding World to realise that it was now or never.

WC: 320

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Severus from Theatrical Muse

July 2006

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