Chapter 1: Prologue: The Woman Who Died
Lily was named after two aunts, both of whom lived in America, and so she had only ever written and spoken on the phone to them. They had always been in contact with her, and were delighted to find out Lily was a witch.
That was when she found out the real reason their voices never shook or creaked with age. Aunt Morticia was a witch as well, well-versed in Dark Magic, and told Lily all about her proud heritage—about Great-Great-Aunt Calpurnia, and Great-Great-Great Grandmother Desdemona, and countless others—and Aunt Lily was, well, Aunt Lily was a vampire. A vampire, a real one that drank blood, and turned into a swarm of bats, and everything.
Lily started to question whether she should have been in Gryffindor at all. But her aunts were quite supportive, and never said anything about expecting her to study Dark Arts, or disappointment that her house was known for bravery and honour (they said, in fact, that these were wonderful qualities, and did she have an adequate duelling instructor?). They eagerly wrote to her with suggestions on this and that; and, since Lily’s parents didn’t know anything about magic, she made frequent calls to Aunt Morticia when she needed help with her summer homework. She had tried to ask Aunt Lily once, but Aunt Lily had said none of her magic would work quite the same way, and in any case she wasn’t as skilled as Morticia.
When Lily tearfully owled her aunts after losing her friendship with Sev, they promised he would definitely pay for it, and told her not to worry about him bothering her ever again.
Lily sometimes wondered about that, in the years to come. She wondered if they’d cursed him—well, she didn’t have to wonder, really, it was obvious they were definitely talking about cursing him in retaliation.
She wondered what the curse was.
But then the war came, and in between fighting it, having to pretend nothing was going on to her muggle family, holding down a job, and starting a family, she stopped having a spare moment to keep in touch with her more distant relatives. When she and her new family realised they had to go into hiding, she briefly wondered if Aunt Morticia or Lily mightn’t be a better secret-keeper; but James was so assertive, and Lily had learnt from Hogwarts that nobody in the magical world would approve of her American relatives, and so Lily didn't even mention it. It was deeply unwise to admit to having a Dark witch and a vampire for aunts in this political climate. So, she didn’t say anything, and agreed that perhaps it would be best to let Peter do it. Anyway, he seemed the safest, and least likely, target for the Enemy.
But she used a spell she’d gotten from one of the books Aunt Morticia had sent her by muggle post one Christmas, and fed her newborn child a little of her blood, mixed with aconite and nightshade. It went against all her teachings, but Lily already knew what the books in Hogwarts’ library didn’t: that poisons did not affect her. She was not like the people the books had been written for, or by. And her newborn child, with his ashen complexion, and eyes that glowed when he and his mother were alone, was not like them, not like his father, at all, despite his spiral-spring curls and light brown skin. For Harry happily drank the potion with no ill effect other than hiccupping a puff a smoke that formed a heart and crossbones, and all was as well as it could be in a house where the spectre of being in hiding was hanging low and heavy over it.
Lily wished she could communicate with anyone outside the Order, in that year; for she had lots of time, Harry was a very quiet child, unusually quiet, but Lily thought perhaps this was because she insisted on carrying him around with her everywhere, and so he didn’t need to cry for her.
The stories would all say she died instantly; because people died instantly at the Killing Curse.
Lily Morticia Potter was not people.
Lily felt The Killing Curse hit her from behind, and curled over Harry, feeling the years drain out of her—so many of them, so much more than were given to a mortal—and even though she was too weak to point her wand, she saw through fading sight as he tried to kill her child, and was punished for it.
The last thing that Lord Voldemort heard was her soft, triumphant laughter, and the giggle of a year-old baby.
The phone rang in the Munster household that afternoon at three, and Herman answered it.
‘Is Lily there, Herman?’
‘You’ll never believe this, she’s gone bats! Middle of the day! Is something wrong?’
‘Very wrong. I was going to ask you to wake her, but I see she could feel it too. I shall send Grandmama to cook for you while Lily is gone.’
Herman knew that his sister-in-law was a little obtuse sometimes, but Morticia was also very thoroughly of the old aristocratic mould, on top of being a witch; and while she had never disliked Herman, nor treated him with any sort of disdain for being a working-class stiff, Herman still felt a little nervous around her. Still, she’d never given any cause for that nervousness to have reason, so he smiled and said, ‘That’s very kind of you, Morticia, thank you.’ Because one also didn’t turn down a witch. That was just bad manners; and Eddie loved his Grandmama’s cooking. ‘Should we be concerned? Is Lily sick?’
‘No, no. Merely a concern of the coven, my dear.’
Ah, right. Then Herman wasn’t going to know anything about it. Magic was for witches, not kreaturen, and certainly not male kreaturen. He heard her hang up the phone and did the same.
And then he tried not to worry.
Eddie came home from school and Herman tried not to worry. Grandmama came over and began at once to bake something, and told Herman it was all being taken care of, and Herman tried not to worry. Grandpa woke up for the night, and immediately came downstairs, and Grandmama told them both not to worry, that her daughter was taking care of it. Men, she said, while stirring something rather viciously, oughtn’t think they can do Proper Witchcraft. Grandpa just nodded sagely.
‘Ahh,’ he said, ‘I had wondered when that young buck was going to make a fatal mistake.’
‘Faugh!’ Grandmama said, gesturing at him with her spoon. ‘That young buck, that young buck! Good ideas, bad execution, but what can you expect from a man? Why not let a woman do it? Why not do a little more reading?’
‘This is why we left the old country,’ Grandpa said wearily.
‘This!’ Grandmama said, worked up into a good froth now, as she got things out of her bag and set them rather hard on the counter. ‘This! Is! Why! Not even doing a proper sabbat, using all the symbols wrong! It makes me sick, Drac! Men!’ she said again. ‘Ugh!’
‘It will work out,’ Grandpa said, as he sat at the kitchen bar. ‘Our daughters are strong women. They got that young niece of theirs to do a proper warding, didn’t they?’
‘Oh, and didn’t it work wonderfully!’ Grandmama was all smiles as she added cyanide and arsenic to the batter. ‘Oh, I’m so proud of that girl! When Morticia sent that old book, I wasn’t sure if she’d read it at all. These young people nowadays. And she married a normal—but look at her! Doing an old working like that! What a good girl! She was always so polite on the phone, and such nice handwriting!’
‘I suppose Morticia is bringing the baby here?’ Grandpa asked politely.
‘No, no. Tisha’s that age.’ Grandmama said, ‘We’ve decided to move up to the old house in Scotland.’
‘Oh, that’s a nice house,’ Grandpa said, remembering it fondly. ‘Scotland’s so dark and wet,’ he added.
‘Oh now, Grandpa,’ Herman said, trying to cheer him up. ‘Minnesota’s very dark and wet too, isn’t it?’
‘Yes, but there’s nothing quite like crumbling old castles on haunted moors. Rundown barns just aren’t quite the same.’
Eddie looked up from his homework. ‘Can we move to Scotland too, Grandpa?’
Grandmama gave Grandpa a look, and he sighed.
‘No, Eddie. I’m sorry.’
Eddie frowned. ‘It’s because I’m a werewolf, isn’t it?’
‘There aren’t any other wolves to play with in Britain, pup,’ Grandmama said, ‘it’s much nicer here, where you can run around and at least play with the coyotes. They’re even talking about trying to introduce wolves into the wild again, you know,’ she added, trying to cheer him up.
‘Oh, any time now. We’ll have your Uncle Gomez look into it, okay?’ The Addamses had been throwing money at various wolf reintroduction studies, projects, and conservation efforts for years, just as they did with bats and snakes. America was a wonderful place to be a monster, the new world just didn’t have as many ground-in prejudices about certain animals, especially with the advent of ecology. Eddie had been spotted at least a dozen times, but the worst the locals called him was a coyote (the best, a cryptid), and the worst they did was call Animal Control to try and catch him (not that his mother would ever allow that to happen)—catch him, mind, so they could simply transport him far away from human mortals and let him go. Not shoot him, not poison him, not kill him. Humans were so thoroughly unafraid of the night, now, that they even spoke affectionately of wolves, made movies where they were majestic heroes rather than villains. Yes, America was right where Eddie should be. He was the happiest, most well-adjusted werewolf in either family’s long memory.
Britain, in contrast, was the last place a little werewolf pup should be, especially given the fact that their magical community was so strong and had adopted that most horrifying of things, a central government. Grandmama had no doubts about what would happen to Eddie if his family were to move to Britain; whereas Wednesday and Pugsley had already grown up and moved out, with children of their own in Pugsley’s case. True, the monster community in Britain was small, had always been small; but the name Addams still carried weight, and anyway there was a nice seething turmoil, and lots of witches for Morticia to socialise with. She was getting to the age where she needed to start recruiting young witches to the dark powers, enslaving menfolk, and making the streets run with blood. The average Midwesterner just wasn’t up to that kind of magic—but an English witch newly out of a civil war?
Grandmama smiled, and poured the batter into pans, imagining what fresh hell her daughter was going to wreak on Britain.
Chapter 2: The Travelling Glass
Lily knew that she, being a vampire, could travel much faster than Morticia, even during the day, when her powers were not quite up to it. Going bats, however, solved the problem neatly, since bats were not, strictly speaking, sensitive to light so much as simply preferring it in order to avoid predatory birds, and to be awake at the same time as most of their food. A vampire’s bats, however, had no eyes, and were covered in black shadow to protect sensitive skin from sunlight, and navigated mainly with leylines; more importantly, the aura of terror meant that even crows avoided the swarm of them. Navigating from the American North to England was also fairly easy—it was just navigating from her home nest of magic toward the haunted northeastern seaboard, then over the ocean, veering toward Atlantis as she found the old familiar pattern that spread across Europe—the green of fey magic in England was easily discernable from the darkness lurking in her native Carpathians.
Once, England had been haven for fae and monsters both, a grand and neutral country where they could live together; but, as usual, men had changed all that—specifically, the wizard Merlin, and later, cursed be his name, Van Helsing. Lily landed outside the wards of Godric’s Hollow, fighting back a hiss at their hostility toward her kind. Wizards! She pulled the hood of her cloak up and began to glide over the misty ground, politely avoiding fairy rings. A few will o wisps, playful things, began to follow in her wake, bobbing up and down around her—they loved vampires. She circled the village, and waited for her sister, watching the shadows.
‘Good evening, cousin,’ greeted a kelpie from his pond. Lily stopped and smiled at him.
‘Good evening,’ she greeted politely.
‘ ‘ere about tha’?’ the kelpie said, pointing his majestic head toward the floating sigil of wizardfire in the sky.
‘I cannot say, as I cannot cross the border,’ Lily said, frustratedly. The kelpie whickered in sympathy.
‘Ahr,’ he said, with a bitter humour. ‘Them there’s what yeh might call paranoid. No normals, no People.’ He looked at her. ‘None o’ your sort as well. Shame!’ he said, shaking his head. ‘What’s th’ world come to, eh? Denyin’ honest people their rightful meal.’
‘I quite agree with you,’ Lily said, grateful for a sympathetic ear. ‘May I sit?’ she asked.
‘Go on then,’ the kelpie said, and Lily sat on a nearby rock, arranging her skirts. ‘Who yeh waitin’ for then?’ the kelpie asked.
‘Mrs Morticia Addams,’ Lily said, and the kelpie gave an exclamation of surprise and awe.
‘No! She’s comin’ ‘ere? She ‘erself!’
‘Yes,’ Lily said. ‘Somewhere in there is a baby that belongs with us.’
‘Well! And ‘ere’s me trapped out ‘ere!’
‘Oh, please don’t trouble yourself,’ Lily said gently. ‘That’s very kind of you, but Morticia will be here soon.’
‘She travellin’ by broom, then?’
‘No, no, I imagine shadow or mirror. Are they afraid of mirrors?’ she said, gesturing toward the village. ‘Do you know?’
‘Can’t say as I do,’ the kelpie said. ‘Them that wear paint do it indoors, must be mirrors there.’
Lily nodded at the assessment in satisfaction. ‘Well, then she may be in the village already. I’m grateful to have company.’
On the other side of the village, inside the little house, Morticia Addams stepped through the mirror in the closet, and stepped through the door into the bedroom, where her niece lay dying, but still clinging to the last few moments. Morticia knelt beside her, putting a hand on her back.
‘Lily, it’s Aunt Morticia.’ She saw that the baby was in a sling, and picked up both her niece and the child, walking a few short steps to the mirror and walking out of a pond to Lily’s namesake, who was standing by the kelpie who owned the pond.
‘Lily, she needs turning,’ Morticia said, and Lily got to work at once, biting the girl’s neck while Morticia undid the sling, tying it around herself and seeing to the baby. He had marvelous hair, already a lovely white streak in the black curls, likely from the shock of whatever had attacked, and the streak connected very neatly to a lightning shaped cut that spread across his forehead. It didn’t seem to bother him, he was fast asleep in his little red blanket.
The kelpie had gone back beneath the water, likely because there were others approaching. Morticia quietly stepped between her sister and the wizards, fixing them with her stare.
‘That boy belongs to us, I believe,’ said the old man at the front.
‘No,’ Morticia said, with a tone as sweet as nightshade. ‘The child is an Addams on the mother’s side. Lily?’
‘Nearly done, sister,’ Lily’s voice was a bit more hissing with her fangs out, and her temper riled. Morticia smiled, satisfied; if Lily was nearly done, then the change had fully taken.
‘Begone,’ she ordered the group of men, ‘this is a matter of the Coven now, you are unneeded.’ As they always were, but Morticia was too well-bred to say that. She smiled brightly. ‘Unless you’d like to cater?’ she said, hearing the waking cry of a new vampire. Several of them popped out of the area, and Morticia looked down at the baby with a satisfied little smile. The old man, however, remained, stubborn as wizards always managed to be.
‘I am only concerned for his safety. The Dark Lord—’
‘We are quite well-versed in Dark Lords, sirrah,’ Lily said, coming up beside Morticia and gathering all her age and power around her, hair floating slightly in the eerie light of her power, eyes glowing red. ‘No Dark Lords would ever attack our family. This man you speak of is one of your kind, and you shall sort him out. We are taking our family elsewhere.’ She was holding the hand of her new blood-sister, and looked to Morticia. ‘Come, sister. Dawn threatens.’
‘Indeed,’ Morticia said, giving the old man one last warning look before she joined her sisters and turned away, taking to the air on shadowed wings.
Chapter 3: The Letters from Nobodies
Lily Potter was no longer; after consuming enough blood to fully regain consciousness, her old life seemed like a dim and half-remembered dream, except… the first night she awoke, she called out for her baby, only to hear him answer with his usual declarative tone ‘Ma!’ from only feet away, where he was playing with a hellhound on a quilt on the floor.
It took her nights and nights to remember her mortal husband, let alone that she might miss him, only a slight tugging at her heart when she looked at her son. But then he would notice her looking, and look up at her and flash his green eyes, and she would smile again, and forget how she could ever have been sad. She couldn’t really remember James, she couldn’t remember anybody else, certainly; and she took a new name, as was traditional for a new vampire: Lilith.
As Harry grew, he learnt magic from his Aunt Morticia and Grandmama Frump, and duelling from his Uncle Gomez, and was a very happy child overall. He had lots of friends, little neighbourhood vampires and fae mostly, who taught him how to fly, how to fight, how to speak to crows. He climbed trees and splashed around in brooks and learnt all about what lived in the trees and the waters and the earth. He learnt how to identify poisons and how to set devious traps. He learnt how to coordinate black with black. He learnt how to politely address everything from Aos Sí to fallen angels. He learnt how to effectively murder someone no matter what tools were handy, and all the different kinds of pain, and how to properly build an iron maiden.
He learnt, in short, everything an Addams should know.
His best friend was a redcap called Warmheart, and his other best friend was his cousin Rue Addams, who lived in Vermont and so only came to visit for holinights. They did write furiously to one another, though, and sent scrapbooks. Harry was a little jealous that Rue had found a normal like them, a little girl named Lydia. Rue always said that Harry was lucky to have so many fairies and vampires, there weren’t any in Vermont, only old people. Harry also had a big three-headed dog named Spot, who helped him find his way home when he got lost wandering around the moors, and would happily play fetch with bones for hours; but Rue had a hellhound she’d named Phobos, and Harry was quite sure a hellhound was much cooler than a plain old three-headed dog. Phobos could turn into shadows, and had twelve eyes, and his mouth went all the way to his middle. He was cool. Rue just laughed and said Spot was cool too, a grand old traditional breed, and Harry couldn’t exactly disagree. They teased each other about this or that the other had (as one does when one has a penfriend that lives in another country), but really they both were content.
When Harry was eleven, he got a letter from an owl. Sometimes Mum got letters from owls, but she always got very sad or angry when they arrived, and usually went to talk with Aunt Morticia behind a closed door about them. Sometimes they made her cry, Harry could tell because vampires cried blood, and there were red streaks down Mum’s face when she came out of the conservatory where Aunt Morticia spent most of the early evening with her plants. So, when Harry got a letter from an owl, he started to cry, because he was only eleven, and Mum was a grown up person and how was he supposed to handle a letter from an owl that was addressed to him?
He didn’t open the letter, he hid under his covers and cried for what felt like a long time, and the monster under his bed was starting to get concerned, so it went and got his mother. Lilith came in to see a very confused barn owl on the windowsill and her son hiding under the blankets, sobbing.
‘Harry?’ she said softly. ‘Harry, darling, it’s Mummy.’ She came in the room, closed the door softly behind her and sat in the chair by the bed. ‘What’s wrong, love?’
The black and purple quilt moved, and a letter poked up from the black lace edge. It had the Hogwarts seal. Lilith took it, and turned it over in her hands. By now, most of her memories of her human life were just vague feelings, recollections like books she’d read a long time ago. That H still stirred recognition in her, vague but the memory of something strong. She broke the seal and opened the letter.
The words were strange and yet familiar, something felt wrong, shouldn’t this be a happy letter for a child? But why would it be, argued another part of her. She didn’t remember, she just felt like it was somehow… supposed to be exciting. Perhaps for children who weren’t monsters, though the children at this school would surely have to at least be witches…
Then again, she thought, looking at the owl, who was still waiting politely, letters from owls were never good. They were always from wizards, or the witches that cleaved to them, and had turned away from the dark powers, from the shadows that gave all witches their true magic. They talked of things Lilith didn’t remember, and didn’t want to. When she wrote back, they only wrote back more fervently, accusing her family of erasing her memory, or assuring her that she would remember in time, ignoring her requests to stop contacting her, stop trying to make her remember such horrible things, stop calling her ‘Lily’, that was her Aunt’s name, not her name.
Minerva McGonagall. That sounded like a proper witch. Deputy Headmistress… well, if the school was run by witches, surely it wasn’t so bad? She would have to investigate.
Harry had peered out of the quilt by this time, and reached over to get a tissue from his nightstand. ‘Is it bad? Why are they writing to me?’
‘It will be all right, love,’ Lilith assured him as he climbed onto her lap, leaning on her shoulder. He was a very small boy, delicate as a bat. Lilith kissed his head, and showed him the letter. ‘It’s a letter from a school, I’m going to investigate for you, and if it’s safe, then perhaps you’d like to go? There would be other children there to play with.’
‘That… that sounds nice,’ Harry said, thinking of how boring it was to play Wake The Dead and Interrogate The Witch with only other monsters. And he couldn’t keep up to play Waterskate or Race The Pooka, and even though some of the bigger water folk were very nice, they still told him to stay on the shore or they would eat him. Other children would be nice to play with, he didn’t get to see most of his cousins enough, and anyway they were all at least a few years older than him (though they were very cool and nice and let him play with them anyway). Most of all, Harry’s magic wasn’t like his mother’s, and wasn’t quite like Aunt Morticia’s or Grandmama’s either. He was a boy witch, and his powers were different. He could do very well with things like potions and could Summon and Converse and Negotiate with all manner of demons, horrors, and devils very well; but Grandmama and Aunt Morticia had told him that he was starting to get to the end of their ability to teach him new things.
He read the letter, and read the name of the person who had written it.
‘She seems very sure I’ve already decided to come,’ Harry said, worried.
‘Well, she isn’t your mother,’ Lilith said, squeezing him. ‘I am. And I say you don’t have to go if you don’t want to. How about you ask your friends about this Hogwarts, while I go talk to the Coven, okay?’
‘Okay, Mum,’ Harry said, and hugged her. ‘Thank you,’ he added. ‘I love you.’
‘I love you too, batling. Go on and play, Mummy will take care of this.’
She watched him go, and sighed at the owl still waiting on the sill. ‘You’re not going anywhere until I answer, are you?’ she asked, resigned to how the wizard-familiars acted. The owl gave a rather pleasant sound, like nails on a chalkboard. Lilith sighed. ‘Well,’ she said, ‘at least you’ve a pretty voice.’
The owl was not at all sure what to say about that.
Chapter 4: The Questioner at the Gate
Mum and Auntie Morticia handled things as they usually did: with purpose and not-inconsiderable power, and Harry soon forgot to be worried. He was especially excited when cousin Wednesday came over to visit, and taught him a lot of new games, and gave him a beautiful axe that had been hers once, as well as teaching him to use a crossbow. Warmheart said if Harry ever left Spider Hollow, Warmheart would go with him. Spot said the same thing, because of course Spot would, dogs were like that.
Lilith and Morticia contacted everyone they could, and received a great many recommendations—and warnings.
I don’t know if you know this, but he’s seen as some kind of messiah, wrote a selkie from Brighton.
The wizard running that school is decent enough; he’s respectful of other peoples, came a message from none other than the Queen of the Unseelie. He speaks our tongue, and offered haven to the Kraken and his merrow-guard.
The forest around the castle is safe haven, wrote in a small family of vampires, there are Thestrals and even a pack of werewolves of Aragh’s bloodline.
‘The Potions Master is terrible, but salvageable,’ said Calamity Strange, a witch who lived in Shropshire. ‘I think he was simply a boy-witch that did not find an appropriate coven or make appropriate bargain with the Dark Powers.’ She sighed, never ceasing in her spinning, the treadle-wheel whirring quietly. ‘Fell in with that wizard calling himself Voldemort.’
‘How sad,’ Morticia said, one of the black chickens sitting happily on her lap, clucking softly as she pet him. ‘But he hasn’t seen the Darkness yet?’
‘Faugh! Wizards, see?’ said Calamity. ‘They call all proper witchcraft Dark Magic, and they’re as arrogant as men always are. I’d tell you not to send your nephew there; but, well, a boy under proper supervision might learn a great deal.’
She sent Morticia away with a breeding pair of her prized black chickens, who were black down to the bone, and, she said, a special favourite of Himself.
Minerva McGonagall received a letter on August first:
To Deputy Headmistress McGonagall,
Before my son is enrolled in Hogwarts School, I would like to receive a tour of the campus, and speak to the teachers. Harry has been homeschooled in magic all his life, and we are looking at continuing his education, but you understand that a tour is necessary to assess the school’s merits and flaws, and to make an informed decision. This is, after all, my son’s future.
I have several concerns that I wish to speak to you about, but in brief:
- Are there properly desecrated sites for Sabbat? We are a very observant family, and Harry will expect to be able to perform traditional rites, summonings, and observe important days, such as All Hallows. (We can send a pair of black chicks if there are no suitable chickens available at the school; Harry knows how to take care of them.)
- What is the curriculum like for history and traditional Witchcraft, such as cursing? I have heard from friends that there is a comprehensive potions curriculum, as well as a good herbologist on campus; but I shall want to speak to the teachers who instruct in male magic.
- Harry is used to a nocturnal schedule, and the transition to day will be difficult. Will there be support for this? Sleep is very important to a child his age.
I look forward to meeting you and the other witches of the school, I shall have the head of my coven with me, Morticia Addams. I must have an appointment after dark, I hope this is understandable.
Dumbledore heard Minerva’s summary of the letter, and thought for some moments before replying. ‘Well,’ he said, ‘I suppose we shall have to see what can be done. Hogwarts has always accepted students of all religions.’
‘They’re… the Old Ways,’ Minerva said, concerned. ‘And Lil—ith, coming here! Is that wise?’
‘I don’t see the harm in it,’ Albus said. ‘I often find that being shown a painful truth is far more bearable than being told. And Severus has always been very knowledgeable about Dark Beings and Beasts.’
Minerva sat back, sipping her tea and conceding the point with silence. ‘Well,’ she said, ‘I know they’ll have issue with the history department. It never set well with me, either, that part of the curriculum.’
‘Ah,’ Dumbledore said with a sad nod. ‘Yes, the Ministry is rather iron-fisted on that point, I’m afraid.’ But his eyes were twinkling, and Minerva could guess why, much to her chagrin.
‘The Addamses are quite civic-minded,’ she said crisply.
‘Are they?’ he said with an air of surprise she knew was entirely farcical. ‘I suppose they might find fault with the Ministry’s standards, then.’
‘Albus… if you’re thinking what I think you are…!’
‘That Morticia Addams might see fit to lift the curse on the Dark Arts position?’ Albus suggested with wide eyes. ‘What an excellent idea, Minerva! We shall have to ask her. Witches such as she are quite good at lifting curses.’
‘Or casting them,’ Minerva said grimly.
‘Well,’ Dumbledore said cheerfully, ‘tradition. Biscuit?’
Minerva took one, snapping it in half rather sharply. ‘I meant are you predicting she’ll take one look at the state of History of Magic and decide to take over?’
‘Well, you know, I have to give a fair interview and assessment of any new teacher,’ Dumbledore said, refilling his teacup. ‘I’m afraid I’ve technically been breaking school rules, not allowing Cuthbert to retire. There just haven’t been any applicants.’
‘I wonder why,’ Minerva said flatly, taking a drink of tea so that Dumbledore wouldn’t see her expression.
An Addams, teaching! Teaching history! She’d heard of the Addamses—who hadn’t? They were infamous for their unashamed alliance to the Dark Powers, the Old Ways, and had reacted to the panic of the witch hunts by banding together, marrying monsters, and becoming everything the muggles feared.
‘Of course, we can’t assume that will happen,’ Dumbledore said.
Minerva knew it would. Dumbledore never mentioned possibilities unless they were going to happen. He had a gift for predicting people; some called it the Sight, but Minerva knew it was merely age—if reaching the age of a hundred and ten could be said to be ‘mere’ anything.
‘I shall go tell the staff to expect guests on August the fifth, then,’ she said. It was best to get it over with. She was half-sure they’d find Hogwarts wanting, as furious as that made her. Durmstrang would likely be a better fit, they’d probably had Addamses before, they’d know how to deal with them….