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A Lovecraft tale

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Dear Miss Lenore Lovecraft

We are pleased to accept your application to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Please see below what will be provided once you are enrolled as a teacher at the school and ensure to meet Professor McGonnigal at the Hogwarts gates at the break of Dusk this Friday.

Newly enrolled teachers will reside within a standard sized and fully furnished bedchamber and private lavatory, modifications are allowed to suit the resident’s needs and preferences.

A house elf will be provided along with all and any stationary which may be needed.
Any modifications to given classroom and office is solely up to the appointed teacher.

Kind Regards
Deputy Headmistress
Professor Minerva McGonagall

 

The weekend couldn’t come any quicker for Lenore. Once she finished packing everything imagined that would be needed for the year, whether it be demonstrative for students or simply something to keep busy, it was packed without a second thought.

The day before, Lenore thought it wise to apparate to Diagon Alley to pass the time and hopefully come across anything that might prove useful at hogwarts. Maybe a book or two...

“Where are you going?” Said a tiny voice.


It was Mr. Arthur, Lenore’s baby corn snake.


The snake was saved a few weeks ago from shamans searching for rare animal skin and upon finding Mr. Arthur a few distances from her cottage, a rare albino who was only just hatching from its egg. The Shamans believed it to be an omen from their ancestors until Lenore gifted them with a sleeping draught and saved Mr. Arthur from a fate she didn’t want to imagine.

“I’m off to Diagon Alley, would you like to come along?” Mr. Arthur nodded his tiny head and Lenore indicated for him to slither up her cloak into a little pouch where he could rest comfortably.

Lenore was a parselmouth, being a Lovecraft meant she was a descendant from the famous Salazar Slytherin family. One of Slytherin’s daughters married into the Lovecraft family one of which became the famous HP Lovecraft, Lenore’s great grandfather, who was, among other things, a practiced parselmouth.

Once in Diagon Alley, Lenore dashed to Flourish and Blotts hoping to find anything of interest.
When inside she walked to the invisibility section. She could see from the corner of her eye a dark figure gliding past her as she scanned for anything of interest.

“Curious,” Lenore jumped at the sudden break of silence and turned her head to have a look at the culprit behind her. It was Severus Snape. He took note of Mr. Arthur on her shoulder. She didn’t even realize the silver snake slithered out of the pouch to inspect the new environment he found himself in. “Oh! Good Afternoon Mr. Snape,” Lenore hoped she didn’t sound too nervous speaking to the potions master, “this little creature is Mr. Arthur, a corn snake, doesn’t look it, but he doesn’t seem to mind the difference.”


Snape continued to curiously look at Mr. Arthur for a few more moments and looked up at her, his mouth subtly curving, “Good Afternoon Miss Lovegood, I hope you’ve been keeping well. I hear your application for the Defense Against the Dark Arts post has been accepted,” Lenore know Snape has been after the post for years, why Dumbledore denies him the position is beyond her, she only hopes Snape wouldn’t hold anything against her for having her application accepted.


“Yes Mister Snape, I’m very excited to start the year, I’ll be at the Hogwarts gates tomorrow evening and settling in my quarters over the weekend.”

“I see,” Snape replied, sounding almost pleased, “I look forward to seeing you at the dinner table Friday evening then, as well as Mr. Arthur,”


Lenore could feel her lips forming into a faint smirk, “So, what finds you here in Floutish and Blotts?” Said Lenore curiously, trying not to sound neither too interested nor nosy. Snape brought a thick tome from his satchel which read: Nicholas Flamel on advanced alchemy.

“Flamel?” replied Lenore, admiring the engraving on the leather bound tome, “one of his new volumes? would you say it’s a page turner? I’ve read his volume on the theory of the philosopher stone, I couldn’t put it down. Although I was a bit annoyed by the vagueness of some of his arguments,” Snape was taken aback by her interest, clearly expecting Miss Lovecraft to nonchalantly wave off the book, “Uh- yes indeed.” Snape answered hesitantly, “I expect you might enjoy this then, I can lend it to you when you’re at Hogwarts.” Snape placed the tome back in his satchel, “If you are looking for a page turner, might I suggest Moste Potente Potions or the updated volume of Sapiens,” he walked to a pile of books and gestured for Lenore to follow. Snape pulled out the two books and handed it to Lenore, “apparently a muggle wrote a similar book to Sapiens, but...” Snape gently tapped on the sapphire blue bound book leaving a faint mark on the cover, it was dusty and had an embossed engraving of the title and author, “...this in particular speaks about the development of magic,” fascinated, Lenore opened the book and ran her fingers down the contents page, “Goodness, this is most fascinating! I’ll give it a read, and perhaps we can have a friendly debate. Thank you Mister Sn-“


“Severus, please.” Severus said abruptly, “I expect my colleague to call me by my name, and yes, I look forward to our friendly debate. Good day to you... Lenore” Severus hesitated saying the name but remembered his own words to her, he turned to the silver snake, “and to you Mr. Arthur,” the snake hissed in return, Lenore was careful not to speak to the snake or acknowledge him speaking. No one can know her abilities, it’s too dangerous. Lenore kindly greeted Severus in turn and left for Knockturn Alley after purchasing the books.
The doorbell rang when she entered Borgin and Burkes followed by being greeted by a pale and worn man, Mister Borgin.
“Aaaah, good evening Miss Lovecraft , anything I can assist you with?” Borgin said quietly.


“Good afternoon Borgin, do you perhaps have any new books in stock?” Lenore asked hopefully.


Borgin’s face brightened, “Indeed I do, but I’m afraid it will be extremely costly. I saved it just for you actually,” Borgin reached for a black chest, unlocked it carefully and bore a strange book which seemed to be bound in various types of leather and have metal clasps. “This...” Borgin said slowly, “is the original necronomicon, I believe your grandfather owe his fame to it,” -stunned, Lenore couldn’t believe what she saw. Can this truly be the original necronomicon? She moved towards it hesitantly unsure if she should be afraid or excited.


“How did you get this? Were you going to sell it to anyone else?” Borgin had a certain twinkle in his eyes, clearly pleased with Lenore’s reaction to the book.

“Of course not! I can only trust this in your hands which is why I would give it to you as a gift. I originally wanted to sell it for at least a hundred galleons, but decided against it. These dark wizards would do anything to get their long fingers on this book. A wizard came in the other day bearing the book, seemed quite happy to be rid of it, didn’t even ask for a single knut!”


Pleased, Lenore safely covered the book with a cloth provided by Borgin and apparated to her cottage where she spent her evening paging through Sapiens aware of the faint mark on the front cover, knowing Severus would like to know her thoughts on the book.
Mr. Arthur was coiled on her lap resting peacefully.

Chapter Text

Lenore waited in front of the Hogwarts gates, the evening was icy. The trees slowly started to lose their leaves and the stars only just began to decorate the sky.

McGonagall appeared soon after Lenore arrived and was shown her quarters and office. “I hope you haven’t waited for me too long dear. Dinner will be starting soon. Come now. Follow me,” McGonagall said briskly, “you can leave everything for Poppet, your house elf, to pack out for you” with that said, McGonagall and Lenore slowly walked to the great hall for dinner. No students were at Hogwarts yet, they would only arrive on Monday, which gave teachers enough time to prepare for the new term.

As they entered the hall, Flitwick and Sprout were already seated, deeply immersed in their conversation about the effects of charming gillyweed, Dumbledore was yet to arrive and Severus busied himself by writing something on a piece of parchment. McGonagall indicated for Lenore to be seated between her and the potions master.

Severus’ attention directed from the parchment to Lenore as soon as she was seated, “We meet again, Lenore.” Lenore could feel herself flushing, she felt a faint smile forming on her lips, “Good evening Severus, I trust you are well.” Lenore straightened herself and readjusted her seat, feeling a bit awkward by their greeting.

Severus reaches for a glass which seemed to be filled with a red liquid. Could it be wine? Lenore couldn’t remember seeing teachers drinking wine when she was a student at Hogwarts. Severus must have noticed her puzzled expression, “yes it’s wine.” He answered knowingly, “When students are away, teachers may indulge in an alcoholic beverage or two.” Severus inched a little closer and whispered, “ I was quite pleased at first and helped myself to a few glasses when I came to teach,” a small chuckle escaped Lenore. She had to admit that it was tempting to take advantage of this privilege. Severus conjured a glass for her which filled itself. She held the glass from its stem and gave it a small twirl, capturing its aroma before sipping the contents slowly and savoring the liquid in her mouth. “It’s quite smooth, I think I taste a hint of berries and an undertone of... coffee? Its aroma is divine, quite like vanilla and cocoa” she said still focused on the glass, “a very old wine fermented in French oakwood I presume?” Severus seemed pleased with her analysis and soon confirmed it, “indeed, you have quite the palette. This selection is a personal favorite of mine. Older wines tend to be smoother, which I prefer. I’ve added a few drops of an aging potion hoping it might encourage the wine. To my surprise it worked, but it’s best to leave it sealed for a few weeks so the potion doesn’t affect the drinker.” Lenore continued to sip away at the beverage while listening to Severus, eventually they spoke about the book he recommended to Lenore and the conversation blossomed into many topics of interest until a weary hand rested heavily on Lenore’s shoulders.

It was Dumbledore.

“Good evening Professor Lovecraft and Professor Snape, apologies for my interference.” Dumbledore looked at Lenore with a particular twinkle in his eyes, “Professor Lovecraft, thank you for joining us. I look forward to your year at Hogwarts, I believe we can expect great things from you,” At that, Dumbledore walked to his seat and the plates were filled with food, each plate bearing different food to the other. Lenore didn’t eat meat and was presented with a Tofu and barley dish with a mixture of all kinds of vegetables. McGonagall had a simple Shepherds pie, Dumbledore a butternut soup and Severus nibbled at smoked salmon with a ratatouille side dish with roasted almonds.

Mr. Arthur slithered out to inspect the delicious smells, Lenore took note of the silver snake and transfigured a small piece of tofu placed on a cloth into a newborn mouse to feed to the baby corn snake. Mr. Arthur took it eagerly and slithered to hang around Lenore’s neck.

“Does he ever leave your side?” Severus said, taking note of Mr. Arthur’s activities.

“Not until he’s old enough to hunt for his own food, but even then I’m worried he’s grown a bit fond of his pouch and I’ve become fond of his company,” Severus seemed slightly puzzled by her answer, “do you not have any other company to keep?” Surprised by his question Lenore responded, “Not really, I tend to keep to myself often, the nonsense with houses at Hogwarts repelled most students from me and my name also didn’t prove to be in my favor.” Severus understood the feeling, he suddenly remembered this particular student who always wandered alone and spent most of her time either buried in a book or sitting in the common room among classmates she felt most familiar with.

“Ah yes! I remember, you were only a few years below me, Lucious took a particular liking to you.” At this Lenore looked at Severus disapprovingly, “He was vile,” her expression changed to a faint smile, “I never got to thank you for keeping him at a distance from me, I suppose I was a bit too polite to tell him off,”
Severus chuckled at this.
After finishing their meals, everyone left to go to their chambers.
The following weekend Lenore prepared her classroom and filled her office with magical objects that might be useful to use for demonstrative purposes. Dumbledore came knocking in her office, “May I come in?”
Lenore’s face brightened at the sight of the Headmaster, “Of course! Would you like some tea?” Dumbledore declined her offer and said, “ I merely want to wish you well,” Dumbledore moved closer to Lenore’s office table, “I’m also delighted to see you and Severus getting along, I haven’t seen him indulge in proper conversation since he has been a student.” Lenore could feel blood rushing to her cheeks, “Oh, I see,” stumbling over her words, Lenore finally managed to say: “He’s very good company, we hardly spoke as students,” Dumbledore focused his eyes intently on Lenore’s shoulders, suddenly realizing it must be Mr. Arthur, “Oh, this is a corn snake I rescued a few weeks ago,” delight spread over Dumbledore’s face, “and how handsome he is,” delight was finally replaced by concern, “you haven’t spoken to him in front of anyone, have you?” Of course Dumbledore knew...

“No sir.”
With that, Dumbledore greeted Lenore and briskly walked out of her office. Shortly afterwards, another rapping came about the door, “Come inside!” Lenore called.
A dark figure entered quietly, his familiar hands held a thick blue volume.
“Severus,” Lenore said softly, “how may I help you?” Lenore attempted to compose herself, she realized she must have seemed too eager for his company. Lenore needed to keep her calm and professionalism. They are colleagues after all.
“Good Afternoon Lenore,” Severus finally said. He walked towards her table to rest a familiar tome on top of it, “I promised I would lend this book to you, I think you might find it to be quite the page turner,”
Lenore stood closer to the book to inspect the familiar engraving, “Thank you Severus, I look forward to paging through it.” Lenore said still focused on the book before directing her attention to him.
Severus folded is arms before inching backwards to the door, “Since the term is starting tomorrow, Pomona and I are going to the Three Broomsticks for a drink this evening, you are of course welcome to accompany us,” Severus seemed almost hopeful for a moment before returning to his usual composed self. Lenore shyly tucked a strand of dark hair behind the fold of her ear, “I would be delighted,” Severus’ lips curled slightly at her response. “Good, May I escort you from your chambers closer to the time,”

“Of course, my room is behind the portrait of Edgar Allan Poe, the password is ‘Shady Lady’,”

Lenore arrived at her chambers later than she expected, a warm bath waited for her and a black robe laid neatly on her bed.
Lenore indulged in the bath, but knew she had to get ready before Severus entered the room.
When she entered her bedchamber and was greeted by a paper bird tweeting in her room. It was such beautiful magic.
“Finite Incantatum” Lenore whispered sadly, she enjoyed the sight of the bird.
The bird transformed back into a parchment which read:

Lenore,
I will be waiting for you outside your chambers.

Severus

Readying herself, Lenore exited her chambers and found Severus waiting for her patiently, “I hope I didn’t make you wait too long Severus, I made it back to my quarters later than I anticipated and couldn’t leave smelling like a toadstool,” Severus chuckled at her remark and offered her his arm.
Together they apparated in front the Three Broomsticks.

“Pomona should be here soon, can I offer you a drink?” Severus opened the door leading inside the pub, “The evening, I would say, is ideal for firewhiskey,”
Still holding onto Severus’ arm, Lenore replied brightly, “that sounds delightful,”

The two decided on a table nearing a corner which was far enough from the noisy bar. Severus excused himself and returned with two narrow glasses of firewhiskey and three wine glasses with a bottle of wine floating behind him.

Once Severus was seated and shots were drunk, Pomona barged into the pub seeming all too keen for a drink herself.
Pomona spotted Severus and Lenore in the corner and helped herself to a seat.

“Sorry I’m a little late, but no matter, seems like the two of you are doing alright without me,”

Pomona reached for the third glass resting on the table and slowly sipped away at its contents. Pulling her nose at it every now and again, clearly not accustomed to its bitterness.
“Honestly Severus, how can you drink this nonsense. A creamy butterbeer would have sufficed,” Pomona remarked jokingly and turned her attention to Lenore, “So dear, what made you decide on applying for the subject?”
Lenore, still focusing on her glass, tried to construct a reason for applying. Honestly, she didn’t know herself. Maybe she just needed to get away from the solitude of her cottage. Perhaps she needed to find more purpose in her life other than living off of her family’s fortune.

“Well, I suppose things became a little dull at home after my apprenticeship as an Auror. I realized hunting for dark witches and wizards wasn’t something I’d be keen to dedicate my life to. The quiet life seemed much more attractive to me, thus I’ve been spending the past few years living quietly at my cottage and indulging in scholarly books. I’ve also been writing a few of my own, but it’s all unpracticed theory.”
Severus was listening intently and Pomona seemed to almost daydream of living a solitary life in a cottage herself.
Lenore knew she lived a life most working witches and wizards would dream of, but it becomes difficult to live such a life in absolute solitude.
“And what is this unpracticed theory you’ve written about?” Severus asked curiously, “Well, it’s primarily on a potion to enable a witch or wizard to speak parseltongue. I’ve been researching for a basis ingredient. At the moment I have a theory of either having the DNA of a speaker or vocal cord powder from a basilisk. But as I said, it’s all in theory still.”

“Interesting...” Severus answered, “and what is your motivation for creating such a potion?”

“Ah well, the Aurors and control of magical creatures department have had a lot of troubles with wizards creating basilisks. Since they’re so easy to make, it makes it harder to keep under control. Only a parselmouth can control these creatures, therefore if a potion can be made to speak to them, it could make it easier to control the species.”

Lenore realized there could be potential problems if dark wizards are able to brew the potion, but then again, there are so many dangerous potions and dark objects out there, that if a dark wizard uses them, it could mean a lot of trouble for the ministry.

“Would you consider a partner in your work?” Severus finally said. Lenore was slightly stunned by his request. Well he is a potions master, and Lenore isn’t fully practiced in the potions field to call herself a potions mistress. Maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
“Well, you are a potions master. I wouldn’t mind practiced hands helping me take on the task,”
Pomona was grinning from ear to ear, sitting quietly and observing the scene before her. Severus was a little uncomfortable by this and didn’t hesitate to comment on her behavior.

Pomona left the pub long before Severus and Lenore decided to, both ended up taking an evening walk to the castle when the pub neared it’s closing hours. Still indulging in their discussion about the possibility of brewing the parseltongue potion.

Severus walked Lenore to her chambers in the dungeon and didn’t leave until she disappeared behind Poe’s portrait.

Severus felt young again. He couldn’t believe that this woman was once a student at Hogwarts with him and he neglected to take any notice of her before. Even Luscious had enough sense to have noticed her.

That evening Lenore couldn’t sleep. Too excited for breakfast to come.

Chapter Text

The following day was absolute chaos.
Between the long staff meetings, plans for the semester as well as class plans. Neither of the teachers had sufficient time for a sit-down. Very few teachers attended breakfast because most were too busy revising their schedules and class plans. All the house heads needed to attend a compulsory meeting during breakfast, which left Lenore with teachers other than Severus to speak to, unfortunately.

During the staff meeting Lenore couldn’t help but try to steal a few glimpses of Severus sitting across from her. But he was stern and cold as ice, only focusing on his notes and teachers speaking. Is he usually like this during term? Lenore felt like she was on the receiving end of a cold shoulder, but shook off the idea. Severus is a teacher and term has officially begun. There is no reason for Lenore to think that any of Severus’ behaviour in public is directed towards her. It’s simply irrational.
The evening came quickly. The dining hall filled with chattering students and all the teachers were chattering happily. Severus, still stiff and cold, spoke to Lenore about the Tome he lent her. She skimmed through the book and managed to read through an inch of it after her evening with Pomona and Severus. She needed a distraction that night after he escorted Lenore to her quarters.
Finally, Lenore managed to ask, “Severus, I must ask (out of concern, of course) why you have been so stiff and cold today?”

Severus hesitated a few moments. Scanned over the buzzing students and finally managed after much thought:” Lenore. Please understand that my role in this castle is rather complicated. I find you... tollable. So do not think that my attitude in this castle is directed towards you. I cannot allow students to see me grow soft, especially around…” Severus hesitated another moment as if carefully thinking of what he needs to say next.
“... a teacher.”

Lenore became silent. She understood his reasons and felt a bit childish for asking. Although her first impression of Severus has been conflicting to the one she’s been seeing now.
The first-years have finally arrived for their sorting ceremony. Everyone dined happily after the ceremony and Dumbledore’s announcements.
After plates were cleaned and the chatter died down, students were escorted to their dormitories and teachers left for their quarters. As Lenore walked to her quarter, she heard the sound of brisk footsteps getting louder from behind.
It was Severus.
He seemed a little more relaxed, yet still more stiff than what Lenore became used to.
Severus offered his arm and walked with Lenore to her quarters. “We never discussed when we’ll be working together,” Severus spoke softly, clearly aware of the echo in the hallway and the portraits listening.
“Well since we’ll have to experiment quite a lot, why don’t we arrange for a day during the weekends? I’d like to use the library at my disposal. Hopefully there will be some useful resources, although I am worried that if we do need basilisk chords then it will be done illegally. Only a parselmouth can control these serpents and I’d hate for the ministry to intervene.”
Severus seemed to have already considered this conundrum. It's so easy to breed these dangerous creatures and also incredibly risky since one look from a basilisk is enough to kill. Although, what if the basilisk is in the final development phase within the egg, it’s eyes wouldn’t be open and surely the chords will have developed by then. Or have there been accounts where a newly hatched basilisk can kill? Surely there is a possibility that the ability of a killing stare is only plausible after the beast’s first development phase after hatching. There are so many possibilities and problems to think of.

“Well, if I have to be frank Lenore. The Ministry isn’t up to any standards when it comes to the control of magical creatures... and I am not exactly unfamiliar with dabbling in… illegalities. So to speak”
Lenore was completely stunned by his response; would he really go as far as to create a basilisk egg illegally? Admittedly it was rather flattering and amazing to see someone willing to go as far for the sake of a potion.
“Well, if you are willing to go as far with me then I won’t hold you back. But then would you say it safe to do on the premises? There is an abandoned cottage in Hogsmeade which once belonged to a distant aunt, I’m sure her ghost wouldn’t mind. Then there is also the concern of supplies...”

Lenore and Severus came to a halt in front of Poe’s portrait.

“A kind suggestion which I do appreciate, but my potions classroom should suffice. As for the ingredients… We’ll meet halfway.”
Both said their greetings and Lenore disappeared behind the portrait.

Mr. Arthur came slithering towards Lenore excitedly. Lenore has been training Arthur to become a little more dependent and hunt his own food by scattering baby mice around the castle and in her room. This way Arthur can both learn to feed himself and explore larger areas.

“Lenore!” Mr. Arthur hissed excitedly. Keen to rest on her lap.
Lenore fell asleep quickly, too tired to think of anything.

 

The following week has been difficult but rewarding for Lenore. She preferred a more practical approach to the dark arts, she believes that students should rather see dangerous creatures, learn how to approach them, defend themselves and understand dark wizards. Afterwards Lenore would assign students to write an essay to encourage them to read more about the subject they discussed in class. Lenore enjoyed giving classes and interacting with students, she felt like she was doing something more meaningful than sitting in a quiet cottage.

The weekend was looming closer. Severus and Lenore occasionally discussed over breakfast and dinner how they will gather ingredients for the first experiment. Lenore felt unsure how their first attempt will go. They’ve decided to opt for basilisk-related ingredients last. For now, as a base ingredient, Lenore will use the blood of a parselmouth. Her blood.
No one other than Dumbledore knew she was a parseltongue and she preferred people to not know her abilities.

 

Severus and Lenore both worked quietly among each other, intently focusing on the project at hand. Severus was busy cutting boomslang skin as finely as possible and Lenore was grinding dried Dragon Arum Bulb.
After hours of cutting, stirring and brewing. Severus and Lenore finally decided that it was time to let the brew simmer for the remainder of the week to dissolve any parts of the magical properties of the Arum Bulb in the potion before adding the parselmouth blood.

The following weekends result didn’t seem
promising. Severus tested the potion first and besides a few unwilling croaks coming from his mouth. Nothing happened. Lenore couldn’t help but explode with laughter, Severus joined soon enough. He couldn’t remember a time when he truly laughed for anything.

“Well, it’s the first potion. And besides, I can’t imagine it easy to invent something as complicated as this...” Said Lenore still chuckling. “I say let’s clean up and look for more information. We can try again next weekend.”
Severus scrubbed the cauldron whilst Lenore cleaned up the table and packed away the remainder ingredients. She couldn’t help but to steal a few glances behind Severus. His rolled up sleeves exposed strong arms. Lenore also never took note of how delicate yet masculine his hands looked. Not until now. Years of slicing and grinding ingredients must have honed his hands to become strong and precise. Lenore had watched him treat ingredients and it has been mesmerizing for her. His fingers expertly worked through the tough folds of the Snake Vines and delicately cut between the scales of the boom slang skin. Lenore couldn’t help but wonder what other talents his fingers might
possess... “Can I help you with something, Miss Lovecraft?”

Startled by Severus remark Lenore realized she must have stood behind him, staring, for a good few minutes. Lenore became hot with embarrassment, if Severus knew what she was thinking she would absolutely run for the hills. “Oh... I... it’s nothing.” Severus raised his brow suspiciously whilst drying the cauldron and putting it away.

“Itʼs getting late, we should retire to our quarters.”

Lenore walked to her quarters scolding herself for
thinking about Severus so intimately. She felt ashamed of herself for feeling so aroused for her thoughts. Once Lenore got to her quarters, she couldn’t find Mr. Arthur, he’s probably in the castle somewhere, her room wasn’t exactly adequate temperature for him.
Lenore crawled into bed and curled up with a book, but couldn’t focus on its contents. Her mind was still too preoccupied with this evenings endeavors.
Finally, Lenore decided to let her thoughts drift. It’s not like anyone would read her mind.
Lenore imagined what it would be like if those familiar pair of hands snaked over her body. Lenore touched her breasts and circled her nipples imagining it being Severus, she could feel herself getting wetter as she continued the motion. Finally, her hands reached her knickers, where she glided and circled her fingers over the material covering her clit. It felt glorious. She always used to imagine someone doing this to her, but putting a face to the figure aroused her so much. She couldn’t deny that the sensation was all too foreign to her. All too good. Lenore’s fingers finally slithered their way to her folds, moving the material slowly aside. Gods she wondered how would Severus long fingers feel instead of her own. Would he also tease her before slipping inside to play with her wet folds?

The thought made her wetter. Lenore finally removed her knickers, abandoned the blanket and spread her legs. She held herself up with one arm behind her while having the other arm in-front of her. Inserting her ring and middle fingers inside herself, Lenore began to slowly adopt a steady pace going in and out. Her hips followed this motion. Steadily rocking
against her fingers. It felt so good and she could feel herself getting hotter.

A low moan escaped her lips and her head fell back. Would it felt this good if he did this to her? How deep would his long fingers be able to go? He’d probably be able to stroke parts of her she could only imagine. “Oh, Severus!” Lenore breathed, she imagined his body over her and his fingers deep inside her. Gods why did she want him so badly, she gushed at the thoughts and let out a loud moan followed by a dissatisfied sigh.
Lenore got up and walked to her lavatory to wash her sopping wet fingers. Walking back to bead she noticed a wet stain where she had been sitting and rocking against herself.
Lenore attempted to clean the bedding with a simple spell and dozed off under the covers.

Still not completely satisfied.

Chapter Text

The next few months had been continual trial and errors, Lenore finally opted into secretly breeding a few basilisks with the intent to cut out the necessary ingredients as soon as they hatched. She wouldnʼt allow Mr. Arthur near her when she had to do this in fear that it might deeply upset him.

Mr. Arthur has grown rather quickly and now roams the castle and grounds whenever he pleases. He always comes back to Lenoreʼs quarters as soon as the sun sets and often times he would nestle at the window in her classroom during the day. Students seem to enjoy having him around and particular struggling students find a lot of comfort from him.

“Good morning Third Years. Today we’ll be discussing the Egyptian Sphinx, can anyone tell me about it?” Lenore glided into the chattering classroom one cold November morning which in effect silenced every conversation about the latest quidditch game.
An arm slowly rose in the air among the sea of seats, “Yes, miss Riscott?” Lenore called while writing a few notes and page numbers on her blackboard.

“..er..” said a small voice, “well.. I know they have a human head and a lion’s body. They’re also quite big, I think they also like puzzles,” there were a few giggles in the classroom which pushed shy Miss Riscott deeper into her seat.

Lenore beamed at the shy student, “Yes, indeed Miss Riscott. Ten points to Gryffindor,” this had the desired effect. Miss Riscott conjured some confidence again and peers silently cheered her on.

“The Egyptian sphinx has a human head on a lion’s body. For over a thousand years it has been used by witches and wizards to guard valuables and secret hideaways. They are highly intelligent, and therefore delights in puzzles and riddles. They are usually very dangerous only when what it is guarding is being threatened.” Lenore conjured a magical display of a Sphinx, the class looked in awe at the huge projection of the creature.

“This is theoretically what a Sphinx looks like, they are very powerful and spells rebound from them. The only way to pass them would be to solve their puzzles. Turn to page 167 and try to solve the first few puzzles commonly used by the Sphinx. For homework over the December holiday, I want you to write about why spells rebound and what are the nature of their riddles. There is usually a pattern so the first to find out their pattern will be awarded 30 points and 50 points will be awarded to the first student who can tell me what spell cannot be rebounded by the Sphinx and why.”

The entire class lit up and eagerly paged to the chapter, determined to get those points. Lenore felt a little guilty for giving that incentive, they would have to do quite a lot of research within the restricted section before finding an answer.

Lenore came to enjoy teaching and spent a lot of her own time taking full advantage of the library researching more about her own subject as well as potential ingredients for the Parseltongue Potion. Occasionally she would see Severus strolling inside and page through a number of books as well, they were both in comfortable silence in the library, never really talking, but occasionally glancing up from the book they were so preoccupied with until either of them had to return to class or leave for dinner.

Lenore still felt quite embarrassed about her thoughts on Severus that one evening, since then they’ve been working together in silence and formed a comfortable routine, she sometimes couldn’t help but flush with embarrassment. Occasionally they would both set up meeting dates where they needed to work out the next potions ingredients and methods to try.

They both agreed to work together more during the holiday since they had more time to themselves. Lenore wondered if Severus indulged in anything other than potion making...

After the students left to stay with their families over the holidays, Lenore and Severus went to work on their potion almost immediately. Lenore supplied all kinds of basilisk-type ingredients and Severus opted in getting more common base ingredients. They were close in getting the potion to work, Severus managed to say a few single words in Parselmouth before croaking or hissing.

One particularly cold Sunday morning, Lenore strolled on the familiar path to the potion master’s classroom, but Severus was nowhere to be seen. Naturally it would be safe to assume that he had some errands to run so Lenore didn’t bother pondering about Severus’ whereabouts.
The day passed on without Severus’ presence, Lenore couldn’t ignore his absence any longer. It was completely unlike him to not show up when they have scheduled a day together. Lenore sent Mr. Arthur to slither throughout the castle to look for him. She briskly walked throughout the castle and grounds looking for Severus. None of the staff had seen him or heard from him, nor did any of the students. Mr. Arthur was also unsuccessful in finding Severus. Lenore decided to walk to Hogsmead, hoping to spot a black figure gliding over the grounds or brooding in the Three Broomsticks or Hog’s Head.

Severus was nowhere and Lenore couldn’t ignore the dreadful sinking feeling in her stomach.
“DIKSY!” Lenore roared loudly, hoping the house elf would appear.

Crack!

“Yess, mistress Lovercraft? How may Diksy serve mistress?” The little house elf had bat-like ears, a little button sized nose between large glimmering eyes. He stood shivering in the thick snow, head bowed with large eyes looking at Lenore innocently.
“Diksy, I need you to go to Master Snape’s chambers and see if he is okay, please do so swiftly and inform me on what you see. I will be walking back to Hogwarts so find me on the roads”

Only a few seconds have passed until the panic stricken elf reappeared in front of Lenore, “M-Mistress! Mistress! M-Master Snape is lying on the floor, I-I do not know what is wrong with him!” The elf looked panicked and Lenore took a few moments to kneel down before Diksy, gently rubbing his shoulder to soothe the elf’s delicate nerves.

“Shhhh Diksy,” Lenore cooed, “It’s going to be alright, I need you to take me inside his chambers,”
Diksy looked almost horrified at this notion, an elf couldn’t take anyone inside a teacher’s chambers uninvited. It was strictly forbidden. But the circumstances left Diksy confused. But he finally caved in and aparated Lenore to Severus’s chambers.

A dark figure was lying motionless on the floor with an empty vial not too far away from his hand.

Lenore’s gentle fingers found a very slow beating pulse pounding in Severus’s neck. He was only in a very deep sleep.

Lenore took the vial and inspected it very carefully. It was a simple Dreamless Sleep potion, so why did it put Severus in such a coma-like sleep?
“Diksy, I need you to apparate Severus and I to the hospital wing immediately!”