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Title: Showing Severus
Author: iulia_linnea
Pairing: Severus/Minerva
Rating: Hard R
Warning (highlight to view): For implied adult/teen chan.
Word Count: 2276
Summary: Minerva needs the trust of the men in her life.
Disclaimer: This piece is based on characters and situations created and owned by J.K. Rowling; various publishers, including, but not limited to: Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books, Raincoast Books; and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Author’s Note: Written for bethbethbeth’s Snape-a-rama Instant-AU Challenge and based on elsajeni’s prompt of: Snape, a homeless teenager who does whatever it takes to scrape by, is brought to Hogwarts after Minerva notices his innate magical talent.

Albus Dumbledore looked up in surprise as Minerva McGonagallstrode into his office with a gangly, dangerously thin, mutinous-looking boy in tow.

"Sit down, young man," McGonagall said to the boy, while Dumbledore took note of the young man's ripped and filthy Muggle clothing.

He appeared to be no more than fourteen-years-old and was obviously near-starved.

"Some lunch, I think," Dumbledore said, as McGonagall took one of the chairs in front of his desk. "Please," he continued, with a nod of his head toward the boy, who had not yet taken the other chair.

"Snape, do as you're told," McGonagall snapped.

Snape, whose eyes had been moving greedily over the magical objects lining the walls and sitting on tables—the ones gilded in gold—jumped away from McGonagall as if she'd made to strike him.

"Don't be frightened, Mr. Snape," Dumbledore said jovially, sweeping an arm in the direction of the empty chair before him. "It's not enchanted."

"How would I know if it was?"

"If it were, I believe you mean," Dumbledore replied.

Snape glared at the old wizard and retorted, "If it were, I wouldn't know it. Why should I sit down, then?"

"Are you in the habit of eating standing up?"

"Albus, I don't believe the boy is in the habit of eating at all."

"I'm not a boy! And I'm standing right here!"

A tray, heavily laden with sandwiches, apples, and three steaming mugs, appeared on Dumbledore's desk.

Snape's eyes widened and he sat down without further complaint, reaching at once for a sandwich.

McGonagall smacked his hand away, and, seeing that Dumbledore was about to chide her for it, said, "If he's to remain here, he'll have to learn to behave." Turning to Snape, she ordered, "A cleaning spell first, young man, and then I'd like to see you display some manners."

"Manners? What the bleedin' hell good are—"

Snape stopped speaking abruptly when Dumbledore drew his wand and pointed it at him. His lip trembled, but other than that, he betrayed no other sign of fear and did not move.

"Scourgify!" Dumbledore cast, before remarking, "For Professor McGonagall's sake, it would be best if you asked politely for your lunch, Mr. Snape."

"You'll . . . you'll just say no."

Dumbledore shot a glance at McGonagall, whose eyes had grown suspiciously bright at the boy's words.

"Of course we won't," McGonagall told Snape. "You simply cannot continue to behave like a lout."

"What's a lout?"

"A . . . a bad, rude sort of boy."

"So this 'asking politely' is just a lie then?"

Dumbledore chuckled.

"Bet it ain't polite to laugh at a bloke!"

"Indeed not, Mr. Snape. I'm merely amused by your . . . strong sense of self."

"I'd like a sandwich—please?" Snape said, rubbing his clean hands nervously.

"Be my guest," Dumbledore replied, leaning back into his chair and sheathing his wand. "In fact, would you be good enough to take the tray into the antechamber while Professor McGonagall and I have a word?"

With his mouth full, Snape said, "Can't you talk about me in front of me?"

"I don't think so. It's not . . . polite," Dumbledore responded, his eyes gleaming with mirth as he continued, "and there are many interesting objects to look at in the antechamber."

McGonagall made an impatient-sounding cluck as Snape tried valiantly not to display his excitement at the thought of being in a room alone with what might be valuable, pawn-able artifacts and made his way quickly from the room.

"Good afternoon, Minerva," Dumbledore said, after waving a hand at the door and allowing it to close.

"Albus! You all but invited the boy to steal!"

"In the interest of expediency, I offered him a distraction. What did you offer him?"

Minerva looked down at her lap and wrung her hands in it. "That boy was in Knockturn Alley—about to barter his mouth for a bit of bread from some pervert!"

"Ah," Albus replied, his expression hardening. "I trust you dealt with the 'pervert'?"

"He's in the custody of the Aurors now."

"And you have your money bag back?"

"Would you stop that?" Minerva demanded, standing abruptly. "You know that I hate it when you—"

"So, Mr. Snape snatched your money bag and rushed off into Knockturn Alley. You pursued him, which took some time, and then, when you found him, your . . . maternal instincts caused you to shield him from both pervert and Aurors?"

"I couldn't very well allow them to take him to the Ministry's Home, now could I?"

"No, of course not. What do you propose we do with young Mr. Snape?"

"I'm going to enroll him. He's quite talented. He needs looking after."

"Exactly how did he steal your money bag?"

"He Transfigured it into a feather and levitated it toward himself."

"Did he? That is clever. It's too bad that he'd never encountered one of your anti-theft charms before, isn't it?"

Minerva smirked. "Yes, he seemed quite put out when it Transfigured itself back into a bag and bit him while I was chasing him. I lost him when I bent down to retrieve the bag, but his blood was on the material by then."

"Making it easy enough for you to scry out his location."

"Yes. Albus, a young man of his ability should not be living on the streets like an animal. He has no family. He's been homeless since his mother died. I want—"

"Minerva, the boy could easily have lied to you about his background. We'll need to look into it before you can—no, before I can petition the Ministry to be appointed his guardian."

"Why you?"

"That should be perfectly obvious to you . . . Mrs. Riddle."

Minerva sat down heavily. "How stupid of me not to think of it. Anyone assuming guardianship over a minor child is investigated."

"And the circumstances of this particular petition, given Mr. Snape's situation, will lead to a more rigorous investigation than usual, but I doubt I shall have any true difficulties in my seeing that my application for guardianship is accepted. Now then, why don't you relieve Mr. Snape of the, ah 'souvenirs' he's collected and take him to your chambers? He is in need of a proper bath, and I have, it appears, a full evening's work ahead of myself."

Severus, who had been eavesdropping, quickly scrambled to replace the objects he'd pilfered, and he was standing at attention when McGonagall came through the door. The witch's haughty glare made him inwardly quail, but he stood his ground. He had decided, and quickly, that living in a great pile of stones and having to be polite—and take baths—was worth it if it meant that he could have all the pork sandwiches his stomach could hold. Besides, old Dumbledore seemed nice enough—for a schoolmaster.

"I don't have nothin'. Go on, search me if you like."

"That won't be necessary," McGonagall said, her dark eyes flashing with repressed amusement. "I intend to trust you, Mr. Snape, and I expect that you shall endeavor to be worthy of that trust. Follow me."

Obeying McGonagall, he replied, "My name's Severus, you know."

"That's a fine name. My name is Minerva. You may call me Minerva when we're alone."

No one had ever complimented Severus about anything before, and he found that his unease lifted a bit because of the witch's praise and the offer of her name—but his natural inclination toward suspicion made him wonder.

"Why'd you help me?" he demanded, stopping suddenly.

"Why shouldn't I have?" Minerva asked briskly, without stopping.

Severus had no answer to offer, so he continued to follow her. He wanted to ask McGonagall why Dumbledore had called her 'Mrs. Riddle' but decided that such a question would meet with her disapproval.

When they arrived at Minerva's quarters, Severus was stunned. He'd never seen such a large, comfortable room before.

"Don't stand there gawking. It's not much, but it's mine—and yours, as well, for the time being."

"What're you talking about? This is bigger than my parents' whole house was!"

"I doubt that. This is only the sitting room," Minerva replied, removing her hat and undoing her bun to shake out her long black hair. Turning, she raked her bright eyes over Severus' body and asked, "How old are you?"

"I'll be sixteen in January," he answered, shivering under the witch's gaze.

"Ah, so you need more than feeding up. No wonder you took to thieving. I expect it was rare for you to find anyone willing to pay for your . . . other abilities."

Minerva's words hit Severus like a slap. "I know I'm not much to look at, but you don't have to insult me."

"Oh, I wasn't. I think," Minerva purred, circling the infuriated boy, "that you're a lot to look at."

It occurred to Severus then that it wasn't Minerva's "maternal instincts" that had been piqued when she found him in that alley.

"Tell me something. Have you ever . . . serviced a witch before?"

"Why . . . why'd you want to know that?"

"Because I'm interested in you, Severus," Minerva replied, leaning against him from behind and wrapping her arms around his shoulders. "I want to know all about you. You show such promise," she continued, breathing the words against his ear.

Nervously, he said, "Your perfume's nice."

He was used to complimenting customers.

Minerva laughed and spun Severus around to face her. While trailing one hand down his chest to rest it against the front of his straining trousers, she whispered, "I didn't bring you here just for that, you know. Your magical ability—it's quite advanced for one so young."

Abruptly, she pulled away from the shaking boy and strode toward a door at the back of the room, and Severus, who didn't believe the witch's assurances about not just wanting him for shagging, sighed and followed her.

The room in which he found Minerva was her bedchamber, and she was already partially undressed.

"Come in. I want to show you something."

"Seen it before."

"Oh, not this," Minerva told him, rolling up her right sleeve to reveal the strangest tattoo Severus had ever seen.

"What's that?"

"My husband's Mark."

"Mr. Riddle made you get a tattoo?"

Smiling slowly and lying back on the bed, Minerva beckoned Severus over with a pat of her hand. He kicked off his shoes and laid down next to her, breathing heavily.

"You're worried."

"Am not."

"Yes, you are, and if I'm going to trust you, you mustn't lie to me. You're worried."

"Yes."

Minerva reached out to push a greasy lock of Severus' hair behind his ear. "What I've shown you is a very great secret. You will not speak of it."

Severus snorted. "Seems stupid to show anyone something you want kept secret."

"Ordinarily, I'd agree with you, but I want your trust, as well."

"Oh, all right," Severus replied, leaning his cheek into the caressing palm of Minerva's hand and wondering, Do all older birds talk so much before doing it?

"How old do you think I am?"

Jumping off the bed in alarm, Severus exclaimed, "You read my mind! Like . . . like Dumbledore did yours!"

"What a good little spy you are," Minerva said cheerfully, pushing herself up and clapping her hands. "I knew you were the right one."

"For what? What do you want with me? I don't like this—I want to go home!"

"No. You don't. 'Home' was where your father beat your mother and you, too, and all because of the power you hold. You don't have a home, Severus, but I can give you one. I can show you how to use your magic—the magic you've been trying to hide."

"How . . . how do you know all this?"

"You're terrified, but mastering it because you're intrigued."

"Yeah, all right. I . . . I want to know."

"It's called Legilimency, and I'm a spectacular Legilimens. There is also a sister discipline to Legilimency known as Occlumency, which allows one to shield one's mind."

"It didn't work for you before," Severus said, instantly regretting it.

"Don't look so frightened. I won't harm you. You're right. It seemed not to work, didn't it?"

"You mean you tricked him? You made Dumbledore think that he could read your mind?"

Minerva grinned. "You're quick. I like that. Yes, that is exactly what I did. Albus Dumbledore is one of the greatest wizards ever to be born, and I tricked him."

"Who taught you to do that? Mr. Riddle?"

"Oh, very good, Severus! Come, sit down. I have so much to show you."

Severus didn't truly wish to sit down next to Minerva. She fascinated him—and, with her hair fanned out over her shoulders, she seemed almost pretty—but her magic scared him. Yet, as the perfume of all that glorious hair reached him, he felt disoriented, and that made him want to do as she'd asked.

It was only when he was stretched out next to her again that he realized her hair must be pomaded with some sort of sweet-smelling drug.

Minerva read this thought and laughed gently. "And that discipline is called Potions. I'm certain you'll want to learn all about it."

Severus sighed, his nervousness fading. "Did he teach you about Potions? Your husband, I mean?" he asked, boldly reaching out to draw a hand up and down Minerva's hip.

"Mr. Riddle taught me many things, my dear, and, if you decide to trust me, I'll show them all to you."

"Because of my 'promise'?"

"That, and your prick," Minerva replied, moving to cover Severus' body with her own and sliding down his torso, nipping at his chest as she went.

When she began to mouth his cock through his trousers, Severus moaned, "Oh . . . yeah, yeah, I trust you!"