Chapter 1: Introductions
Snape makes some introductions.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
"This is my fiance, Miss Anya Jenkins."
McGonagall choked on her tea.
Dumbledore bowed over Anya's hand. "Pleased to meet you, Miss Jenkins. I'm Albus Dumbledore, headmaster here." He drew her over to sit down beside him.
"You have an interesting collection of ghosts here."
"Have they been giving you any trouble?"
"Oh no! I had a nice conversation with the spectre in the bathroom - Myrtle - poor girl. How did she die?"
"Ah. Petrification's not that bad a death, if you die of it. Self-aware petrification, on the other hand..."
Snape smiled. Straightforward, tactless, bloodthirsty, and all mine.
Done at the request of Mistraltoes, who wanted a Snape drabble.
Chapter 2: Shopping
Snape goes shopping.
Challenge: tthdrabbles #51 - The Written Word
Summary: How Snape and Anya met.
Author's Note: This is part of an AU universe where Anya ran away to London after "Hell's Bells".
Snape sneered at the sign: "The Magic Box". What did Muggles know about magic? Still, he might be able to find a few potions ingredients; it wouldn't hurt to look, while he was here in Muggle London. He perused his list. Some of the herbs, perhaps.
He pushed the door open; the bell jingled.
"A customer!" The woman practically leaped on him. "Can I help you?"
"Do you have any-"
She snatched the paper out of his hand and cast her eye down the list. "We're out of Solomon's Seal Root; the rest is in stock. European or Indian sandalwood?"
"Indian, if you-"
"No problem," she said. "I've only got dried Hoo Beatles; it isn't the season for them."
"The mistletoe will cost you extra if you want it cut with a golden sickle by the light of the moon. But you won't find a better price for conjuring powder in all of London."
Snape looked down his long nose at her. "Indeed?"
She named a price that was a third cheaper than his usual supplier. She added, "We take Euros, Pounds, Galleons, Visa Card, Master Card and American Express."
This could be the start of a profitable acquaintance.
Chapter 3: Token of Affection
Challenge: tthdrabbles #52 - token
This will make no sense unless you've read "In Truth, Beauty" first.
Anya wrung her hands. "It will all go wrong!"
"No it won't."
"The wedding is in two days; that's plenty of time for disasters."
"Nothing will go wrong." Snape took one of her hands and kissed it. Then he wrapped her fingers around a tiny bottle. The liquid inside glowed like molten gold. "I brewed this for you. For a perfect day."
Her eyes widened. "Felix Felicis? That takes six months to brew!"
"I have no intention of losing you through ill-luck."
"You could take it yourself," she pointed out.
"You deserve felicity more than I do."
She kissed him.
Chapter 4: Rationalization
Snape is always rational.
He had forgotten how beautiful she was. In his thoughts, she was a mind, not brilliant, but sharp-edged, cynical and blunt.
The correspondence had started slowly; discussions about rare ingredients, brief notes appended to his orders (delivered by common post-owl), pointers to articles she thought might interest him, and then the articles themselves. He wrote back with scathing critiques of same. And more orders.
In Muggle London again, his footsteps had taken him to her shop.
He decided to pick up his orders in person from now on. Because it was cheaper. Of course. There couldn't be any other reason.
Chapter 5: Brewing
A meeting of minds. (companion piece to Rationalization)
Written as a birthday fic for jedibuttercup in 2008. Thanks to Mistral for brainstorming and Jonathan for brainstorming and alpha-reading.
The first time Snape ordered a potion ingredient that Anya didn't recognise, she lied, saying that it wasn't in stock. There wasn't a second time.
It wasn't the sting of failure that motivated her (though it did sting). It wasn't just that he was an important customer (though having the Potions Master of Hogwarts as a client was indeed a coup). They were reasons enough to get her started, but once she began looking into advanced Wizarding potion-making, she made a startling discovery: she could do this herself. It was magic, and she could do it. It didn't matter that she was no longer a demon, that she was mortal, that she wasn't a wizard: she could brew potions. And she was good at it.
People were confusing, but potions were straightforward. Ingredients had properties that one could look up and research. Techniques could be practiced and honed. If you dropped a Klizkin feather into a cloud-pillow brew just as the first bubbles formed, the potion would turn lavender; it was repeatable, reliable, comprehensible. It was something she could control, something she could understand. Unlike people.
She subscribed to the leading potions journals, and noticed Snape's name in them; sometimes as the author of an article, but more often in letters to the editor, which were as scathing as they were erudite, though all clothed in cold and superficial politeness.
It was understandable that Mr. Bobblewort failed to mention whether he was using Indian or European Sandalwood ash in his potion. However, the two species have distinct but subtle differences, due to their different growing conditions. It may not matter for the cruder potions, but I was under the impression that his article was intended to illuminate techniques for advanced potion brewing.
Anya tapped her pen thoughtfully, and added a note to the bottom of the invoice for Snape's current order.
You may be interested to know that I have recently aquired a source for African Sandalwood. I have found it somewhat rougher than Indian, but with a stronger Fire aspect than European Sandalwood. Please let me know if you would be interested in a sample with your next order.
A. C. E. Jenkins,
Proprieter, The Magic Box
Thank you for the African Sandalwood sample. You were correct about its Fire aspect, but it is inaccurate to say that it is "rougher" than Indian Sandalwood. The more precise description would be "coarse-grained". I am certain you will keep this in mind in the future.
Prof. S. Snape
Potionmaster, Hogwarts School of Wizardry
I am afraid that my source for Platypus Spurs has dried up; the Australian Customs Office is too efficient. However, I can offer you whole Cane Toads for half price. Their poison glands have similar properties. You may be interested in the enclosed article from the Australasian Potions Monthly on "Brewing with Cane Toads".
A. C. E. Jenkins
The article was both vague and misleading, though I admit there were some interesting techniques for ingredient substitution. I deduce that the isolation of Australasia has forced their potion-masters to improvise frequently due to the difficulty of aquiring certain ingredients. I have enclosed further comments on the article, which you may be interested in perusing.
Prof. S. Snape
Dear Professor Snape,
I much regret that I cannot assure you of the quality or the provenance of the Mexican Zeffa Berry powder which you requested. If you have any way of telling whether the samples I have procured are genuine, I would be grateful for your help.
This is what you must do...
First, test the colouration by mixing the powder with water. It should be a blackish-purple, similar to blackcurrant juice. If the mixture dissovles completely, then you have berry juice powder rather than whole berry powder. Berry powder will produce a black precipitate. If the mixture is cloudy, or the precipitate is not black, then the mixture has been adulterated.
Second, the flame test: put a pinch of the powder on a ceramic tile, and insert in a fire source; the flame should turn purple. Also, the residue should be a golden colour.
Professor S. Snape
Thank you for your invaluable help. I'm afraid that the Mexican Zeffa Berry powder turned out to be blackcurrant powder. That's one supplier I am not going back to. Though the Suppurating Boil paste that I applied to his final bill should make him think twice about doing that to anyone else. What a fool. If he tries that with someone less generous than I, he'll end up as a greasy stain on the sidewalk.
Dear Miss Jenkins,
Satisfying as it may be to imagine suppurating boils on your former supplier, the method is both innacurate and unwise, not to mention lacking the true satisfaction of seeing one's victim suffering in person. Inaccurate because the man could well have a secretary who deals with his correspondence, rather than himself. Unwise because, until he actually is a greasy stain on the pavement, you have left yourself open to retaliation, since the origin is traceable back to you. Even if you are capable of defending yourself, those around you may not be so capable.
Professor S. Snape
"How dare the man presume to advise me about vengeance?" Anya said, her voice rising with every word. "Who does he think he is?"
She slapped the letter down on the bench and stalked off to do inventory. Half an hour later, the soothing knowledge of a store well-stocked had calmed her down. She picked up the letter again and re-read it. Okay, he had a point. She was mortal now, not an immortal demon who had dealt out vengeance rather than receiving it. Now she had to factor "I could possibly die" into the equation, something she wasn't used to at all. Not to mention that when she'd been a vengeance demon, she could just vanish after the job was done. Fine. She'd be more careful next time.
Next time... She paused as the implications of that percolated through her brain. Next time. Snape, unlike almost everyone she'd been associated with since she became mortal, had not told her that she ought to be nice. He hadn't said that vengeance was wrong. He understood.
Anya smiled, and put the letter away in a safe place.
Chapter 6: Virtue And Vice
Anya knows her stuff.
Done for tthdrabbles challenge #83: Virtue and Vice.
"Rarer than hen's teeth." Anya pressed her thumb against the fingerprint scanner on the safe. She handed Snape a glass-stoppered glass jar sealed with beeswax. "Jukskei Horn flakes."
Snape held it up to the light, examining the translucent amber flakes within. "How was it prepared? If it's touched by flesh, metal or magic, it loses all its virtue."
"I know that," Anya said. "I prepared it myself. Obsidian knife."
"Without a holding charm? The slices are too even."
"Holding charm?" Anya gaped at him. "Do you see a wand here anywhere? I used a muggle invention: it's called a vice."
Chapter 7: Presumptions
Necessity is the mother of invention. Follows on from Virtue and Vice.
Challenge: tthdrabbles #85 - making do
"I find it hard to believe that you're a squib," Snape said.
"I'm not a squib," Anya said.
"You know too much for a muggle."
Anya sighed. "Why do wizards assume that you must be born into the Wizarding world to know about it?"
"The Statutes of Secrecy might have something to do with that."
"Not in the States."
"They must have something similar."
"A huge don't notice magic spell over the whole country; it's easier than oblivating individuals."
Snape raised his eyebrows. "The whole country?"
Anya shrugged. "You'd be amazed how people just ignore what they don't want to know."
"Not at all. You should see some of my students," Snape said. "But how can you run a magic shop? Deal with Gringots? Make potions?"
Anya ticked off the points on her fingers. "First, wizards aren't my only clientele; wizarding magic isn't the only magic there is. I even get mundanes who don't know anything about magic: that's what the crystal exhibit is for. Second, I speak Gobbledegook fluently. Third, you don't need magic for most potions."
"You need controlled flame," he said. "Don't tell me... another one of your muggle contraptions."
Anya grinned. "It's called a Bunsen burner."
Chapter 8: Health Benefits
Challenge: tthdrabbles #053 - Green
The steam rose gently from the contents of Snape's teacup. He frowned. "It's green."
"It's Japanese," Anya said. She took a sip from her own delicate china cup.
"That is hardly something to recommend it," Snape said.
"Green tea is full of polyphenol antioxidants," Anya said brightly. "They detoxify the blood, getting rid of harmful free radicals. Green tea reduces high blood pressure, lowers blood sugar, fights cancer, and lessens the effects of aging."
"Muggle superstition," Snape said with a sneer.
"Since I don't happen to have a Philosopher's Stone," Anya said dryly, "I have to make do with Science."
Chapter 9: Valentine's Day Ball 1
Dumbledore loves a ball. Others, not so much.
Challenge: tthdrabbles #94 - be my valentine
The great hall was a confection of pink and white. Enchanted candles let off pink smoke that smelled of roses, and cauldrons fizzed with white bubbles that floated in the air. Couples danced across the floor, dressed in finery that Hogwarts rarely saw.
"Ah, young love," Dumbledore remarked with a twinkle in his eye.
The new assistant potions teacher frowned. "Young foolishness," she said. "They may seem happy, but tomorrow morning this place is going to be strewn with broken hearts."
"You dislike Valentine's Day, my dear?"
"Not exactly," Anya said. "It used to be my busiest time of year."
Chapter 10: Valentine's Day Ball 2
Outside the great hall... (follows on from Valentine's Day Ball (1))
Challenge: tthdrabbles #94 - be my valentine
The garden was quiet and dark compared to the light and music inside the castle. Quiet but not silent. Dark but not deserted.
Anya paused, listening. There it was, a betraying rustle. Placing her feet carefully, she stalked her prey. They were behind that bush. She aimed carefully, and pulled the trigger.
Two figures jumped apart and stifled shrieks as they were doused in water.
"Mister Thomas," Anya said, lowering her super-soaker. "Twenty points from Gryffindor."
Dean Thomas spluttered a protest.
"Oh, and one point from Hufflepuff, Miss Abbott."
Anya hadn't realized how much she would love being a teacher.
Chapter 11: Valentine's Day Ball 3
Another year, another ball...
Challenge: tthdrabbles #94 - be my valentine
Another year, another ball. The great hall was decorated with clouds and rainbows, and every cloud sported a cupid, complete with magical arrows.
Yet the more things changed, the more they stayed the same. Or did they?
"Out!" snarled Snape. "Twenty points from Ravenclaw! Each!"
The unfortunate seventh-years scrambled out of the grotto.
Anya came up behind him, super-soaker strapped over one shoulder. "Aw, you beat me to it! Can't I give them just one squirt?"
"I have a much better idea," he purred. He pulled Anya into the grotto. "Don't you..." he kissed her, "...agree..." another kiss, "...Mrs. Snape?"
Chapter 12: Motivations
Why was Anya asking him questions about Voldemort?
Written for jedibuttercup's birthday.
"What sort of immortality does he have?" Anya smoothed the parchment in front of her, pen poised above it.
Snape assumed she wasn't talking about Nicholas Flamel. "Why do you want to know?"
"Because I want a June wedding," Anya said. "Or July. July will do."
"What has the date of our wedding got to do with the Dark Lord?"
"Because it will be easier to get married after he's defeated, of course," Anya said. "And I want a June wedding, so we need to defeat him by May at the very latest."
"We need to defeat him?" Snape said. "He's supposed to be defeated by the Boy-Who-Lived. The Chosen One. Mister Harry bloody Potter."
"Oh, there's a prophecy, is there?" Anya said, writing the word "prophecy" on her parchment, and underlining it.
"Prophecies are nonsense."
"The Powers That Be don't send nonsense to their Seers," Anya said, "but they love being cryptic so that they can hide the loopholes. What does the prophecy say?"
"Only Dumbledore knows the full prophecy."
"Okay, I'll ask him later," Anya said, adding "ask Dumbledore" to her list. "But you're sure it's about Harry Potter?"
Snape sneered. "As if a fifteen year old boy could defeat the Dark Lord."
"Fifteen?" Anya said. "The Powers don't seem to think that's too young for Chosen Ones; Buffy was called at fifteen."
"The Slayer," Anya said. "The Vampire Slayer."
"The Vampire Slayer is a fifteen year old called Buffy?"
"She's twenty-one now," Anya said. "That's a record for a Slayer, they're usually killed before then. But that's because Buffy doesn't fight alone, she's got support. Harry doesn't have to do it alone either; we can help. And I've had practice!" Anya said brightly.
"So have I," Snape drawled. "I hope you're not in it for the glory; it's a very unreliable method."
"No." She hopped up from the desk and kissed him. "Just you. I'm in it for you."
He kissed her back. "What have I done to deserve you?"
She smiled. "You exist."
He'd never dreamed that two words could heal a wound that old.
Chapter 13: Necessary Paperwork
Severus deals with some paperwork.
Done for tthdrabbles challenge #101 - Paperwork
Severus looked over the form.
Name: Anya Christina Emanuella Jenkins
Birth Country: Scandinavia
Birth Date: 10th year of King Ottokar II
Blood Status: Red
For someone with her history, the colour of her blood was a probably salient answer. He crossed out "red" and replaced it with "squib".
"I wonder how you got permits for your store, with such compulsive honesty." He made more emendations to her answers.
"That was different," Anya said. "I wasn't trying to trick the Ministry."
"Don't worry. Those fools will not withhold our Marriage Licence even if I have to Confound every one of them."
Chapter 14: Wedding Bells
Why change a good plan?
Challenge: tthdrabbles #87 - Tying the Knot
I actually wrote most of this quite a while ago, and did nothing with it because I was persuaded not to. But it was too delicious not to use, so I polished it up, and here it is.
"You can't get married today. It's a huge mistake."
Snape looked down his nose at the old man. "And who are you to give me such advice?"
"You don't recognize me, do you?"
"Am I supposed to?"
"It sounds crazy, I know. But you have to believe me," the man said. "I'm Severus Snape. I'm you."
"Really?" he drawled.
"I'm you. I'm you from the future," the man said.
"And you don't want me to get married," Snape said, stealthily reaching for his wand.
"Look! I can prove it to you!" The man pulled an object from his pocket. It glowed purple.
"Petrificus Totalus!" Snape cried before the man had finished his movement.
The man fell like a stone.
Snape towered over him. "If you think for one minute that I would be stupid enough to blatantly break the laws of time in order to warn myself about something as unimportant in the scheme of things as my own marriage..." He waved his wand over the old man. "Revallio!"
The disguise vanished, to reveal a bumpy, leathery countenance. Doubtless one of Anya's enemies. "Incarcerus!" That should keep the demon for later. Right now he had a wedding to participate in.