The School Song
The stars shone down from the enchanted ceiling as those in the Great Hall enjoyed their copious portions. Gryffindor had got another Weasley, Slytherin a new Malfoy.
At the High Table, in the center, Albus Dumbledore listened politely to his Deputy Headmistress complain about the Fat Lady's drunken episodes during last end-of-term. Soon, he was stealing a sidelong glance at his protégé, who was then breaking eye contact with... the Potter boy?
Privately, Albus had thought Harry might go directly into his parents' House, yet the Sorting Hat had lingered over its decision. He chuckled softly, recalling Severus' audible sigh when the hat finally shouted out "GRYFFINDOR!" At least he needn't also
be the boy's Head of House. But what of the hat's hesitancy? Was it somehow related to the scar?
A few minutes later, supper was over, and there was only one thing left. Dispatch with the announcements and lead the school in song.
The rumble in the Hall died down from his more ominous warnings as Albus instructed the students to sing whatever melody suited them best. Then, drawing out his Wand, he gave it a tiny flick, and out came the ribboned words:
"Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts..."
Albus looked out over the room with an expression of benevolent amusement, as the cacophony of melodies transformed, for his ears only, into majestic harmony. Then, with another flick of the Wand, the song metamorphosed into a polyphonic chorale. Yes, there were
certain advantages to mastering the Elder Wand.
The Elder Wand! If only Gellert could see it - really see
his "Deathstick" - conduct a room of schoolchildren in song! The incongruous image alone was sufficient for Albus to continue the practice, no matter how disapproving the fixed stares of Minerva and Severus. Using the Wand for such mundane, even eccentric, pursuits helped diminish its power, especially over him, and render the dormant cancer benign.
And it had
been a cancer, the consuming desire for power and Hallows, that had gripped him during Gellert's summer in Godric's Hollow. His friend's rise, his pursuit of the Wand, his murderous reign - all of it had started there, with Albus at his side.
Voices from across the Hall sang out "Dead flies and bits of fluff"
as Albus glanced again at his protégé, remembering that he had once blown the young man's phoenix wand out of his hand with the Wand he took from Gellert. Rough-hewn and brusque though Severus yet was, something new and powerful was beginning to form out of the old Death Eater's ashen despair. Albus' eyes teared with gratitude over his vow never to kill with the Elder Wand, unless it was the only way to save innocent lives. Severus, he knew, would
protect the boy at whatever cost. He was certain of that. And it would help to mend his soul.
But what about his own soul? Could that
ever heal after Gellert and Aberforth and... Ariana? Would he ever redeem his own shame?
Tears rolled down his cheeks in earnest as the Weasley twins sang, funereally, that learning would drive their brains to rot. Mastering himself, Albus waved the Wand vigorously, conducting their now-anthemic final strains. Then applauding just as vigorously, he wiped the tears from his eyes as he proclaimed:
"Ah, music. A magic beyond all we do here."