his teeth looked very nice so he's probably been getting them whitened

Just; C.H. 10

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9

“And tell me again why you’re dragging me to the mall? Since when do boys do such things.” I laugh, pressing my All Star covered feet against the dash board of Calum’s car, the wind blowing through the opened windows with Calum behind the wheel.

“My sister’s getting married in a few weeks. I need a suit. Who better to ask then my new lady friend?” Calum turns his head and grants me with one of his million dollar smiles, his dimples on full show, his fingers tapping along to the Kaiser Chiefs lowly blaring through his speakers.

“I’m flattered that you think I have a fashion sense.” I laugh as I point out my attire of a ripped shirt, a pair of cut-off jeans shorts, accompanied by my all stars. “So you have a sister?”
“Yeah, Mali-Koa. She’s a few years older than me, and of course, happily together with her boyfriend.” He shrugs his shoulders as he makes a turn for the parking lot of the closest mall, his right hand turning the volume down.

“You wouldn’t say, them getting married and all. I have an older brother.” I share, Calum’s eyebrows raising as his mouth takes the shape of an ‘o’.
“And yes, before you ask. He is the protective type. If my friend’s name isn’t Sherilyn or Sarah, he doesn’t like them. Especially if they’re male.” I chuckle, getting out of Calum’s parked car and waiting for him at the front, my hand placed on the hood of his black car.
“I’m kind of in a pickle then.” Calum laughs and I can’t help but giggle along, following him to the entrance of the mall.

“I’d go for a black one. It’s suits you better than the navy.” I shrug my shoulders when he holds his two options out towards me. “And beneath?”
“White dress shirt. Is there a dress code?” I ask as I start to rummage through the endless suits the store supplies, searching for a tailored one. I’m sure it would look great on Calum.

“What do you mean?” Calum seems completely thrown of guard and I can’t help but laugh at his ignorance. “Like a black and white theme. Or an ‘all in pink’ theme. Anything?”
Calum breathes loudly, hanging the blue suit back into the rack as I hand him a tailored black suit to try on. “Not that I’m aware of.”
“That I’d keep it simple, a black tie or maybe a blue one. I don’t know, I am shit at colour coordinating.” I laugh, holding a nice looking satin blue tie towards him, as well as a plain black one.

“I’ll have to see you in it to know if it fits, though.” I shrug my shoulders. I wasn’t complaining about seeing Calum in a suit. Every girl knows a man gets ten times more attractive while being in a suit.

“Calum? Is that you? Hi!” A female voice echoes from behind Calum and he turns around, revealing the face that belongs to the voice I was all too familiar with. I’m met with the same busty girl from the first party of the summer, and probably ‘the girl with the knockers’ Luke was joking about days prior. I take a step back, my bottom lip pulled between my teeth. I was actually enjoying myself but I wasn’t in the mood to be ignored again, the ties clutched between my whitening knuckles.

“Oh uh hi Mandy. What are you doing here?” Calum awkwardly makes conversation and I busy myself by looking at the suits to my right, eyes glued to the floor as my fingers skim absentmindedly along the expensive fabrics.
“My friend needs a suit for his graduation. So I decided to tag along. I haven’t heard from you since forever.”

“Ah – uh yeah, I’ve been busy. Have you met Y/n already?” Calum’s voice seems to lose its tension when he addresses me, my head raises just in time to see Calum throw his arm around me and haul me into his chest, an awkward smile etched on my lips as I wave at the girl. “Hi.”

“You’re the girl from the party, aren’t you?” She grants me with a once over and I am absolutely regretting not dressing up for hanging out with Calum today. But I thought since we were just friends I didn’t need to impress anyone. I didn’t think of Mandy of course.
“Well, Calum, I have to head back but I – uh – I’ll see you around?” Mandy glances from me towards Calum, a fake smile plastered on her lips as she looks up at him. He grants her with an evenly fake grin, nodding his head. “Probably. Bye Mandy.”

“Talk about awkward.” I mumble underneath my breath as I push the ties back into Calum’s hands, his eyebrows furrowed. “What?”
“Ah – uh nothing. Let’s try those on, yeah?” I grin up at Calum, my flat hands pressed against his chest to guide him towards the dressing rooms.

It didn’t take Calum long to choose the tailored suit, along with a simple black tie and a white dress shirt for his sister’s wedding. I’m sort of glad it didn’t take an awful lot of time, as it would have with my brother who doesn’t like anything – but doesn’t try on anything either.

“Let’s sit down for a minute, I’m actually knackered from that small shopping spree.” Calum motions to a bench near the small playground on the edge of the mall. I scoff loudly, stopping him to buy myself a bottle of coke from the machine as I answer him. “You clearly have never shopped with a girl.”

“I am now, aren’t I?” Calum grins and I roll my eyes visibly, shaking my head as I pass him towards the unoccupied bench. “Oh believe me honey, when I’m on a roll you wouldn’t be able to follow.”

“Not sure if that’s a threat or a challenge.” Calum laughs as he drops down next to me, his legs stretched out, ankles crossed as his hands rest on his stomach. I’m leaning forward, elbows resting on my knees with my purchased bottle dangling between my legs.

“My last boyfriend took that as a challenge, which I won, by the way.” I simply state, a smug grin etched on my lips as I glance in Calum’s general direction.
“I’ve never heard anything about you dating someone.” Calum questions and I can sense he’s a bit reluctant to ask so, but seeing as how we’re trying to be friends, I guess I owe him.

“Probably because you didn’t know me until two weeks ago. And probably also because usually don’t date.” I shrug my shoulders, bringing the bottle of coke to my lips to take a refreshing sip, my gaze transfixed on the swinging set right in front of us, swinging slowly in the wind, completely deserted. “Why is that?”
“Oh you know, horrid relationships, fuck-ups of ex-boyfriends, the whole lot.” I laugh, turning to Calum who’s giving me the tiniest of smiles. “I don’t date either.”
“You don’t say.” I grin, my smile slowly dissipating when I see Calum’s frigid stance. “Why?”
“I don’t know. Guess I’m not very good at it.” I jab my elbow in his ribcage and he hisses before swatting me away. “I’m sure that’s not the case, Casanova.”


“Are you hanging out with the boys again?” Sherilyn questions as she makes herself comfortable on my bed, her arms stretched above her head before she lets them drop onto the sheets again, her gaze fixed on my body while I’m digging through my closet.

“It’s not really hanging out, I’m tutoring Luke and after they asked me for a swim. I told you you could come with.” I shrug my shoulders as I throw her a look, my bikini in hand. I throw the clothing near Sher’s feet on my bed, disappearing into the bathroom on the other side of the hallway for some body lotion. “I don’t even know them!” I hear Sherilyn yell from probably the same spot as I left her in. “Your phone buzzes, it’s Calum. Shall I look?” I hear the grin that’s on her lips and I shriek a ‘no’ before popping back into my bedroom.

“Sheesh, calm down Y/n. You’re skating on thin ice right now.” I raise an eyebrow, extracting my phone from the iron grip Sher seems to have on the stupid rectangle. “It’s just a text, Sher.”
“It’s just sex. It’s just a crush. We’re just friends.”

“Implying anything?” I laugh, dropping my phone back onto the bed and deciding I’d answer when Sherilyn has left. I know that every time Calum will reply, she’ll be all over my phone and I don’t really want that, to be honest.

“From the time I’ve known you, I know you don’t do just. Don’t you think that trying to be friends with a guy you’re having a crush and that you’ve slept with is a bad idea?” I can’t provide my friend with a decent answer; I had wondered the same on late nights when I couldn’t sleep. I drop onto the edge of my bed, tucking one of my legs beneath my bum as I grant Sherilyn with my undivided attention. “No. But it doesn’t hurt to try, does it?” I give her a tiny laugh, but is disappears quickly when I see she doesn’t reciprocate.
“Whatever you say, Y/n. I trust that your judgement isn’t clouded.”

“Since when are all our conversations so dreary and gloom? When is Sarah returning? She’s in time for our road trip, right?” I try to convert the conversation elsewhere, Sherilyn’s features immediately transforming to a bright, happy grin. “She promised me she’d be here two days beforehand to help me pack.”

“You could use a few hands extra, yeah. Glad. I’m really looking forward to it, I can’t believe it’s still weeks away.” I let my body drop onto my bed, eyes closed as I hear my phone buzz again.
“Calum really needs you, Y/n.” I hear the smile in her tone and when it’s accompanied by a tiny giggle, I know she is thinking of the whole wrong reasons.

“I wish time would go faster so we can leave, even if it’s just for a week.” I lift my phone with my right hand, balancing it above my head.
When are you coming over babe?

Don’t ignore me, I’m bored

I roll my eyes, but I see Sherilyn eye my smile as my fingers type away.
           Then be bored. Luke gets priority rn x

“Don’t hope for a quick summer too much, when we return we only have one week left. I’m not ready for the next semester to start.” Sherilyn resumes our prior conversation as she crawls off of my bed, patting her jeans back in its crease. “You’re right. But still, being here and being boring isn’t all that either.” I chuckle, throwing my shirt back on as I have now replaced my bra with my bikini top. Sherilyn gasps exaggeratedly, her hands on her chest as she stops in my open doorway.
“Did you just call me boring?”
“And you know it. Byeee!” I laugh, waving at a laughing Sherilyn as she disappears down the hallway.

Another text from Luke asking where I am right now makes me hurry up and get my car. I’m glad that the boys’ frat is only a few minutes away and I pull up with screeching tires within a reasonable time span of ‘being late’.
“Sorry, sorry. I got held up.” I sling my book bag off of my shoulder as I enter the kitchen and I’m stopped in my tracks with a smirking Calum, a beer in his large hands as he takes a sip, eyes glued to mine.

“Didn’t think you’d jump that quickly to my needs, Y/n.” Calum laughs and I chuckle as well, rolling my eyes for him to see as I drop onto the chair I had made my own by now.
“You’re a horny fuck. Where’s Luke?”

Calum passes me, his outstretched hand coming into contact with the back of my head as I groan out. “Prick!”
“Do you always have to make everything sexual, Y/n? Good grace, please! And Luke’s upstairs getting his books.” Calum smirks and I know he’s just messing with me but his tone is so convincing I might actually start believing it was me who was the horny fuck.

“You’re unbelievable.” I breathe, my grin permanent on my lips whenever I was around any of the boys, seeing Calum chuck his empty beer can into the bin. “So I’ve been told.”

“Y/n, Y/n, sorry I couldn’t find my book.” Luke grins sheepishly and I shake my head, taking it from his hands as I flip it to the right page. “That means you haven’t revised like I told you so, did you?” Luke’s blush becomes even more prominent and I shoo Calum out of the kitchen.
“Well, I don’t give a shit if you don’t listen to me. It’s not my ass that’s on the line. So I’m just going to go to the next chapter, evolution.” I point my finger towards the blonde in a bit of a motherly way and I’m met with Luke who raises his hands into the air as a defensive motion.
“Don’t worry Y/n, I’ll make sure I’ll revise.”

“God damn it Y/n, how long can you tutor someone? It’s nice out, wrap this up!” Michael groans as he hangs over my shoulder. He had made a sport out of it to come and annoy us every ten minutes for the past hour. Luke didn’t seem to grasp the contents though. It isn’t as if I was finding joy in this when I saw the scorching, inviting sun through the window, the pool calling my name underneath its breath and I was stuck indoors.

“Mikey, shut up. The more you annoy the shit out of me, the longer I’m keeping Luke hostage.” I huff out, winking at Luke to assure him we were almost finished before I’d gotten the boy a heart attack, Michael squeezing my neck roughly in response. “Nooooo, Y/n, daaarling, stahp.”

I merely ignore him and turn back towards Luke. “Biological evolution is thus the genetic change within a population inherited through several generations. It isn’t a simple change over time like weight gain or loss, they aren’t genetic. And now I’m sick of this shit as well. We’ll do natural selection next time; my body is screaming for vitamin D.” I push myself upright, the chair screeching backwards as I flip Luke’s book closed.

“Ah, thank god.” Michael cheers and Luke rids himself of his shirt almost immediately. I follow closely behind and am momentarily blinded by the harsh sunlight.  I wave at Ashton who is lounging about on one of those blow up beds on the water, slowly drifting around as he enjoys the hot midday sun. Calum is lounging on the edge, in the water, waving at the three of us as we appear. Luke jumps in immediately, cannonballing, making sure Calum got a lot of water to swallow and Ashton to tumble off of his blow up bed and into the water.

Michael disappears somewhere along to the side to fill the cooler with beers and soda, and I sit down on the edge of the pool and let my feet soak in the cold, clear blue water.
“Fancy seeing you here.” Calum starts to casually paddle over towards me and I chuckle, splashing a bit of water in his face as he nears me. Michael passes us by and hands me two beers, my teeth biting into my bottom lip as I grant him a bright grin, opening one and setting it in front of Calum.

“Come in the water, it’s refreshing.” Calum tries to persuade me, shaking his head, droplets of cold water landing on my face from his mess of hair. “It’s cold.” I simply state, shivering as I wipe my face with my free hand, the other holding the beer. I take a small sip and set it down next to Calum’s.
“Not if you come in gradually.”

His arm winds around my waist and he lifts my bum off of the concrete, slowly and steadily lowering me into the water as shivers break out over my whole skin. My hands immediately find their place on his shoulders as his other arms steadies me. “See? It’s quite alright.”

“Hey lovebirds, come join!” Ashton calls and Calum lets go of me almost immediately, a bright red colour gracing both of our cheeks. “Well then, let’s go.” I smile as I swim over to where the other boys are waiting with their ball for a game.

Part 11

‘Pocket Change’

The Founders’ District, it was universally agreed, was a nice place to live.

This much was obvious, even to a thirteen-year-old — coincidentally the age of the young man who passed the root of the Halloway on that chilly, Merchantsday morning. The steep, postcard-picturesque avenue was crowned by St Wilhelm’s cathedral, its great windows of stained glass glimmering as they trapped the early light. As if on cue, the peal of the bells began to echo out over the city. It was seven o'clock.

At the very least, he now knew why his enthusiasm was running low: the bells had stolen it all. How anyone got a lie-in around here was a mystery.

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thepotionsmasterwife  asked:

Hey!! I just followed you and I absolutely love your blog!! Can I request a headcanon where it was an established fact that like 90% of (at least slytherins and ravenclaws) girls had a crush on Snape? I am legit surprised it's not an actual canon! Like sure he was a meanie and a tough teacher, but like isn't every single girl in a high school likes "tall dark mysterious bad boys"! I am surprised it was never mentioned since it would certainly be the case for me and everyone I know.

Thanks for the follow – and I’m glad you like it!

Snape’s attitude is certainly off-putting enough, but the interesting thing to me about Snape at Hogwarts is that he’s an exceptionally young teacher when he starts there.  As a Head of House, he appears to be an outlier when compared to McGonagall, Sprout and Flitwick; even more so when you consider that prior to him, Slytherin was led by Slughorn, and prior to McGonagall, Gryffindor was led by Dumbledore.

In canon, he seems to have not been dealt the best of cards in the attractiveness stakes – his hooked nose, his sallow skin, his greasy hair, his uneven, yellow teeth – but again, what’s intriguing is that Snape does so little about any of this.  His nose can’t be helped, but it seems incongruous that a Potions Master is incapable of whipping up something to keep his hair clean, or that given Hermione manages to have her teeth corrected with magic, that Snape doesn’t do something about his own.

And I know there’s a billion of fandom explanations, ranging from Harry’s viewpoint being skewed by his hatred, the way children perceive adults, various excuses for his hair being lank, his yellow teeth actually being nicotine stained…  But given your prompt, let’s have a closer look at another idea…

“Do you have any trouble with your Muggle electronics?”

Lucius gave him a sharp look.  “My Muggle electronics?  Have you somehow mistaken me for one of those foul Weasleys, Severus?  Mistaken this Manor for the joke of a hovel that they reside in?”

“I only wondered.”

“You only wondered.” Lucius eyed him critically.  “What is it that you’re missing from your Muggle abode, Severus?  Don’t tell me that you’re addicted to something on that ridiculous wailing box your mother was permanently attached to?”

Severus glared at him. “I don’t appreciate you speaking about her like that.”

Lucius gave a feral grin. “Touched a nerve?”  Severus’ fierce glare didn’t abate.  “Right, forget I said anything about your dear mother.” He clapped Severus on the shoulder, and propelled him towards a chair.  “Sit, and tell your good friend Lucius what’s ailing you.”

Severus remained standing, but glanced away.  “I’m having trouble with the shaving spell.”

“Shaving spell?” Lucius’ eyebrow quirked.  “You don’t use that, do you, old boy?”  He peered closely at Severus’ uneven stubble.  “Although yes, on second thoughts, you obviously do. You have looked a bit rough since moving back to Hogwarts - I merely assumed Dumbledore was working you too hard.”

“My razor from home doesn’t work at Hogwarts.”

“Doesn’t work how?  It’s the same, isn’t it?  Lather up, and slide it over your skin.”

“It’s electric, Malf,” Severus corrected.  “You plug it in the wall, and the blades turn for a closer shave.”

“Curious,” Lucius said, feigning disinterest.  “You mean to say that you’ve never shaved with an ordinary blade?”

“I thought wizards used the spell Pomfrey showed us in third year,” he said, defensively.  “We all did at school.  It was rubbish, so I asked my dad to show me how he did it.”  

“He was good for something then?”  Lucius opened a drawer in his desk, and pulled out a business card.  He pressed it into Severus’ hand.  “You should take a trip to Twilfitt and Tatting’s.”

“The robes shop?” Severus stared at the business card, confused.

“They have a barbershop upstairs,” Lucius said, indicating that he should turn the card over to the other side.  “For the discerning client.  Tell them I sent you.”

“I see,” said Severus, reading the details of the card with interest.  “Thanks, Malf.”

“My pleasure,” Lucius intoned.  “Oh and Severus?”

“Yes, Malf?”

“Do yourself a favour and get a decent haircut whilst you’re there.”

Minerva peered around the door of the hospital wing, and frowned.  “Is Severus not with you, Poppy?”

Poppy bustled over to the door, wiping her hands on a towel as she walked.  “Were you expecting him here?”

“Not particularly,” Minerva said, “but he’s not in his office, or his quarters, and I know he used to bring the potion supplies up to you on Sundays.”

“He hasn’t done that in weeks,” Poppy said, with a half-smile.  “Not since Albus said that Severus required a break.”

“He’s a wily old dog,” Minerva sniffed.  “He told us he’d employed Severus because he was willing to provide high quality potions to the hospital wing.  If he’s not supplying them, who is?”

“We’ve gone back to St Mungo’s,” Poppy explained, ushering Minerva through to her office.  “Like we did when Slughorn was here.  They’re very efficient, and reasonably priced – but the quality isn’t quite the same.  Still, for simple coughs and colds, the difference is negligible, and for anything more serious, Albus has assured me that Severus will still brew.”

“Oh, has he now?” Minerva raised an eyebrow.  “I think I shall be having a word with our esteemed Headmaster.”  She turned to leave, and then paused.  “Poppy?”


“When exactly did Albus suggest that Severus required a break?”  

Poppy pulled a ledger from her bookshelves.  “I can’t tell you offhand, but I can say when the first order went through…”  She flicked through the pages.  “Six weeks ago.”

“Six weeks ago,” Minerva nodded, with a smile.  “Would that be six weeks ago when our young Potions Master cleaned himself up a bit?”

“I think, Min, you might be right.”  Poppy gave a wide smile in return.  “He wouldn’t want to be hanging that nice new hairstyle over cauldrons all weekend, would he?”

Poppy looked up, surprised at being disturbed twice in one hour.  “Severus!  I didn’t expect to see you in the castle.”

The young man blushed. Out of habit, he tossed his head, as if his hair would cover his embarrassment – and then his cheeks grew even brighter as he realised his hair was now too short to hide his face.

Poppy bit back a smile, and pushed a chair out for him to sit at.  “Did you know Minerva was looking for you?”

“No,” he said, rubbing his hand over his cheek self-consciously, urging the burning to abate. “I’ve been…out.  What did she want?”

“She didn’t say,” Poppy replied.  “I’m sure you’ll catch up with her this evening.  So, what can I do for you?”

He looked ashamed, his black eyes focused on the floor.  “Do you know much about dental spells?”

Poppy fixed him with a piercing stare.  “I know that you need to stop smoking those dreadful Muggle cigarettes, if you want to do anything about the state of your teeth.”

“I have,” he mumbled, feeling like a recalcitrant child.

“You have?”  Poppy’s eyes widened.  “I never thought I’d see the day.  I remember a rather petulant 14 year old sitting in this very office complaining that I simply didn’t understand addiction.”

He took a breath.  “Yeah…well…I was a bit…”

“It’s fine, Severus,” she said, with a genuine smile.  “I was rather fond of that stroppy 14 year old, his distasteful habits aside.”  She paused, aware that he was still staring uncomfortably at the floor.  “Just like I’m rather fond of the slightly less stroppy 24 year old who is sitting in front of me now.”

He smiled at that, and lifted his gaze from the floor.  

“Show me,” she said, and he obligingly opened his mouth wide, allowing her to peer at his teeth. “And now close,” she instructed, stepping back.  “They’re structurally sound.  A little uneven, but I think the yellowing has improved since I last saw you.  How long ago did you stop smoking?”

“A few weeks.”

“I should think we could do something to aid the process along,” she said, running her finger along the shelf behind her desk.  “These,” she said, pulling a jar from the back and setting it before him.  “Two at night, and,” she paused, reaching to the far side of the shelf, “this paste once a week.  No more than once, else you’ll ruin your teeth.”

“And the uneven appearance?”

“Magical intervention is always a little mixed,” she admitted.  “I hate to say it, but Muggle braces would probably yield better results.”

He snorted.  “Wearing those whilst teaching a class full of witches and wizards?  I don’t think so.”

“I didn’t think you’d like that,” she smiled.  “Try the whitening,” she said, “and we can always look at straightening them later if you’re still unhappy.”

He stood, and pocketed the jar and the tube of paste.  “Thank you, Poppy,” he said, giving a half nod as he exited from the room.

“Filius,” Pomona shouted, as she pushed her way into the staffroom.  “Clear the board, he’s coming!”

Filius quickly erased the sweepstake from the board, full of odds and bets about who exactly had caught Severus’ eye, and when the happy pair would announce their union to the wizarding world.  A moment later, Albus swept into the room with Severus hot on his heels.

“It’s oddly quiet in here,” Albus observed, as the staff all pretended to be absorbed in various journals and periodicals, the board now completely clear.

“Research,” Filius said, quickly.

“Fascinating article in this month’s Transfiguration Today,” Minerva added.

“Mammoth strides being made in Mandrake harvesting,” Pomona said.

Rolanda grinned, and slapped the Daily Prophet on the small table before her.  “And the play-by-play of Ireland’s defeat of Sweden was an engrossing read.”

“You’re all more transparent than the Bloody Baron,” Snape grumbled, settling into a chair in the corner of the room, pulling out a copy of his favourite Potions periodical from his robes.  “What have I done now?” he grumbled, flicking through the pages, but his eyes were flitting between the people in the room.

“Nothing,” the group chorused.

Severus slat the magazine across the room, and stalked out, banging the door loudly behind him.

Rolanda burst into fits of laughter as Pomona retrieved the magazine from the floor.  “I guess we need to work on our subtlety,” she said.

Albus watched as Filius reinstated the sweepstake on the board.  “Ah,” he said, understanding dawning.  “I see our Potion Master’s makeover has not gone unnoticed.”

“How could it pass anyone by?  New hair, new teeth, new robes.  He’s like a whole new person.  Well, apart from his temperament.”  Minerva passed Albus a cup of tea, and settled down on the sofa next to him.  “Do you know who he’s interested in?”

“I believe he has been seeing someone,” Albus admitted.  “Although I am not at liberty to say who.”

“Which is why you’ve given him a reprieve from brewing for the hospital wing,” Minerva announced triumphantly.  “I knew it.”

“The boy is allowed a social life,” Albus said, sternly.  “We’re only young once.”

At that, the staffroom fell silent.

“I think you should consider a transfer to Durmstrang,” Lucius said loudly, across the table.

“I’m quite happy at Hogwarts, Malf,” Severus said, raising his glass.  “Quite comfy there, once you get past being surrounded by Gryffindors.”

“Karkaroff is at Durmstrang,” Lucius continued.  “I’m sure we could put a good word in for you.”

Severus gave an involuntary shudder at the mention of Karkaroff.  He knew from Dumbledore that the man had offered his name in return for his own freedom.  “I’m sure you could, Malf,” he said.  “I’ll talk to you in private later.”

Lucius gave a curt nod, and turned back to his direct neighbours.

“That’s the politest ‘shut up’ that anyone has ever said to Lucius at one of these functions,” Narcissa observed, taking the vacant chair next to Severus.  “Do you mind?”

“Feel free,” Severus said, sipping from his glass.  “Yaxley has headed to the loo, and then I’m sure he’s intending to find someone more powerful and influential to sit with than Hogwarts’ shabby Potions Master.”

“Hardly shabby these days,” Narcissa observed, feeling Snape’s robes between a delicate finger and thumb. “These are impressive quality. Not Malkin’s?”


“And your hair,” she said, reaching to run her hand across his parting.  “It’s very neat, and…clean.”

“Thanks,” he said, trying desperately not to blush.  Narcissa gave him a puzzled look, and he inclined his head.  “What?”

“Your scent.”  She leant towards him and sniffed.  “What is it?  You always used to smell of day old cauldrons but,” she took another dramatic sniff, “this is delightful.”

This time, he couldn’t stop the blush from filling his cheeks, and even turning the tops of his ears pink.  “It’s aftershave.”

“Where from?  I shall order some for Lucius.”

“I made it.”

“You did?”  Narcissa beamed at him.  “You should bottle it.  Sell it.  You’ll make more than Dumbledore pays you.”  She took in a deep breath again.  “Gorgeous.”

“Gorgeous is he now?” purred Lucius, who had left his chair on the opposite side of the table, and was now standing between his wife and his friend.

“Just his scent, dear,” Narcissa said, standing, and allowing Lucius to wrap her in a tight embrace. “I was trying to convince him to make me some for you.”  She looked back at Severus.  “Would you?”

He nodded.  “Of course.  Anything for you.”  He looked at Lucius, whose gaze had hardened.  “Both of you.”  

With that, Lucius gave a satisfied nod.  “An after dinner brandy in my study, Severus?”

“Have you noticed the hourglasses?”

Minerva gave a slight smile. “Yes, they’re looking rather healthy, aren’t they?”

“The fifth years tell me that he gave out some points on Tuesday,” Filius said, leaning across Pomona.

“He didn’t?  Severus gave points?”

“Impossible,” Minerva huffed.  “He doesn’t know how.”

Filius laughed.  “I said exactly the same, but the Hufflepuffs who share the class confirmed it.”

“And he gave extra tutelage last week,” Pomona said, lowering her voice so as not to draw attention to their conversation.

“Yes, well he does for the Slytherins,” Minerva groused.  “Says it’s his non-discriminatory version of Horace’s Slug Club – only he misses the fact that he’s omitting three other houses of students in the process.”

“No,” Pomona corrected, “you misunderstand, Minerva.  He set extra sessions for all of the houses.”

“It’s true,” Filius chipped in.  “Curiously enough, all of the girls from my house in the fifth, sixth and seventh years have signed up.”

“And in mine.  And a few of the boys, for that matter.”

“I hadn’t heard from my students,” Minerva said, “but they are unaware that Severus and I are relatively friendly away from the public eye.  They rather assume that we’re darkest enemies, so they wouldn’t immediately tell me if their opinion of him had altered.  I shall check tonight.”  Minerva frowned.  “But why the sudden interest?  Especially from the girls!  He’s not teaching them love potions or something equally drippy, is he?”

“Who knows?” Filius shrugged.  “But he is very talented at Potions,” he added.  “I suppose they could learn a lot, especially if they can see past his grumpy demeanour.”

“Well, that’s the point, isn’t it?” Pomona huffed.  “He isn’t grumpy anymore.”  She took a long swig of her pumpkin juice.  “I’d have set him up with a girlfriend years ago if I’d known it’d have had this impact on my house,” Pomona said.

“Or boyfriend,” Albus whispered, as he passed the conspiring group on his way out of the Great Hall.  “Let’s not make assumptions.”  All three teachers were instantly wide eyed, and looked over at Severus, who was sitting at the opposite end of the table, absorbed in animated conversation with Rolanda about Quidditch.

“Really?” Filius squeaked, but Albus hadn’t broken stride.

“Surely not,” Pomona said. “Not Severus?”

Minerva raised an eyebrow. “Who knows?  That boy is full of surprises.”

Albus flung open his office door, and waved Severus in.  The Potions Master walked in, his head bowed – and it was obvious he was missing his long hair.  

“Chin up, Severus,” Minerva said, kindly.  “We’ll get to the bottom of this.”

“I haven’t done anything,” he said, quietly.  “I don’t understand why she would say such things.”  He lifted his head until his gaze met Minerva’s.  “I don’t remember anything happening like this when I was at school.”

“You’re very young,” Minerva said, softly, taking his hand.  “No youth is going to fantasise about sleeping with me, are they?  Or Pomona?  Or Filius?  Or Poppy? Or Albus?”

“But I’m old enough to be-”

“Their boyfriend, Severus,” Albus interjected.  “I know it seems alarming to you, but you’re a handful of years older than these students. Wizards and witches live well into their hundreds; an age gap of ten years is not unheard of.”  

“But she’s 15!”

“I am not suggesting an age gap of ten years is appropriate now,” Albus said, sternly.  “But if you were 39 and she was 29, would there be such a protest?”

Severus scowled.  “I suppose not.  But that’s not what’s happened here.”

“I know.”

“Why didn’t this happen sooner?”  Severus looked confused.  “If the attraction is because I am a few years older than them, now that I’m 25, why didn’t this happen when I was 21?”  Minerva shifted uncomfortably in her seat, but Severus caught the movement.  “Come on, Minerva, you obviously know.  Tell me!”

“Severus,” Albus indicated that he should sit down.  “A few years ago, you were teaching students who knew you from school.  I fear, to those older students, you held no mystery. They remember you from the Great Hall, from the Slytherin common room-”

“From being hung upside down and stripped naked by James Potter,” Severus angrily spat.  “You can say it, Albus.”

“Severus,” Minerva interrupted, “that’s not what he means.”  She adjusted the sleeve of her robes uncomfortably, “I appreciate that might have been a factor, but when you started here, you were very…”

“Introverted,” finished Albus.  “And your self-care was not the best.”

“What are you suggesting?” Severus said, his eyes narrowing.  

“Merlin’s beard, Severus!” Minerva exploded.  “Take a good look at yourself!  You might not be winning a centrefold in Witch Weekly like Gilderoy Lockhart, but now you’ve got a smart haircut, and you’ve stopped smoking those foul cigarettes, and you’ve adopted a more cheerful personality, you’re not half bad.”

“…is that supposed to be a compliment?  Or a criticism?”

“Minerva doesn’t mean it like that,” Albus said, soothingly.  “What she’s trying to say is that this castle is full of hormonal teenagers. I’m sure you remember that from your own schooldays?”

Severus stayed silent.

“And the sudden caterpillar to butterfly transformation of their young Potions Master, with his dark and mysterious past was sure to cause a few hearts to flutter.”

“It wasn’t my intention,” he said, quietly.

“We know,” Albus nodded.

“What are we going to do about the rumours?”

“The rumours will die down,” Albus said, taking a seat at his desk.  “You do understand what the governors will request of you?”

He nodded.  “I want them to see the truth.  I want you all to see the truth.  I didn’t encourage her,” he said, looking fierce.  “I didn’t even know-”

“We know, Severus,” Minerva said, squeezing his hand again.

Albus stood.  “Shall we away to the Ministry?”

He’d been tried once before, and he wasn’t keen to repeat the experience, even though this time he had both Albus and Minerva by his side.  Thankfully, he wasn’t in chains – but it had been a long time since he’d felt quite so small.

He’d provided memory after memory for the Ministry pensieve, and he’d spent over two hours in the interrogation suite with the Head of the Auror department.  

Thankfully, albeit with his legs wobbling and his head feeling drained, the deliberation came back that he had no case to answer.  The student who had made the accusations couldn’t provide any proof, and Severus had numerous cast iron alibis – even without his testimony under Veritaserum.  

He still felt sick to his stomach.


Minerva stood in the doorway to his office.  “Can I come in?”

“Do what you want,” he said, sulkily.

She stepped through, and looked at the cauldrons littering the room.  “Brewing for Poppy, are we?”

“It doesn’t make any sense to buy from St Mungo’s when you have a Potions Master on site,” he replied.

Minerva flicked her wand at the door.  

“What did you do that for?”

“I don’t want to be disturbed,” Minerva said, approaching him.  She ran her hand slowly through his hair, and winced when she felt the familiar layer of grease.  “Growing it again, are we?”

He nodded sharply.

“My Gryffindors have told me that you’re no longer offering extra-curricular tutoring.”

He nodded again.

She lowered her hand, and ran it down his face, caressing his jaw, his rough and uneven stubble scratching her palm.  “And you’re no longer going to Hogsmeade?”

“The barbershop is an extravagance.  Poppy’s spell is sufficient for my requirements.”  

“No more aftershave?”

“No more aftershave.”

Minerva held his jaw firmly, and tilted his head so she could stare him in the face.  “Don’t punish yourself like this, Severus.  You did nothing wrong.”

“It’s not worth the risk,” he said, quietly.  “I have spoken extensively with Albus, and he has suggested that given my past…”  He paused, looking pained.  “Given my past, I should endeavour to go unnoticed.”

“And what of your lady friend?” Minerva enquired.  “Or…male friend?  We weren’t sure.”

Severus looked stunned. “How did you know?”

“No young man overhauls his appearance without motivation,” she smiled.  “And you haven’t answered my question.”

“We broke up,” he said, quietly.  “Said the scandal would bring shame on the family name.”

Minerva stood for a long moment, and then wrapped the younger man in her arms.  He felt frail.  “I’m so sorry.  I’m so so sorry.”

Severus closed his eyes, and with his fringe falling across his brow, allowed himself to be firmly held in the older woman’s warm embrace.

After a few minutes, she pulled away, and looked at him critically.  “You smell of cigarettes and day old cauldrons,” she said, grimacing.

“Just the way I like it,” he smirked, pulling the packet out of his robes.  “If we’re done, I’m off up to the Astronomy Tower.”  At her shocked reaction, he barked a laugh.  “To have a smoke, Minerva,” he assured her.  “I’m not about to throw myself off.”  He paused.  “Not this week, anyway.  Not after our chat.”

Minerva watched helplessly as the young man swept out of the room, knowing that was as close to a thank you as she was going to get.

anonymous asked:

Random prompt: "oh... You're a guy?"

As if it wasn’t obvious from his profile picture.

Arthur corrected the collar of his shirt - chequered, with a red bow tie to match today’s colour, Wednesday, which in his mind had always been scarlet - and cleared his throat. He used the pause to come up with a snappy reply. He was expected to. He had seen enough MadTV in his youth to know all the good lines. Yet, when confronted with Alfred, his mind seemed to go blank.

Perhaps it was being compared to a woman which in itself wasn’t an insult and yet, coming from Alfred, probably was meant to be. Perhaps it was because he ordered his coffee without bailey. Or whiskey. Or something stronger.

He licked his lips and, placing his palms flat onto the table, spoke, “Yes.” He fumbled for a cigarette. He knew well the pause warranted something more, but he didn’t add to the sentence. Instead, he did everything but shoot a nervous glare at Alfred.

Alfred sat like Alfreds sit - you know, the jocks you know from school who become bigger jocks as men, stealing three seats on the train by spreading their legs so wide that had they been women, some cop would’ve charged them with indecent exposure. But they’re not women, so they’re not charged with anything, just admired for their courage.

Alfred sat like that, legs spread and leaned back in his chair, casually, like he owned the Starbucks. Maybe he did, or maybe his dad did. Arthur had never pondered on the origin of Alfred’s fortune, but it showed - in the Gucci cap, the shiny Lamborghini, the real tan covering his body (I mean, fake tans are a sign of wealth too, but the small kind, the “I can’t afford another holiday in Thailand but I can afford another good spray, so bring it on!” Alfred didn’t do fake, only when it came to whitening his teeth. How American.)

“Oh,” Alfred replied.

“Yes,” Arthur repeated, in case he didn’t hear it the first time, and he sheltered his cigarette as he lit it. They were seated upstairs, right by the windows, and he tried waving the smoke outside. If he was discreet, maybe no employee would notice, and he would be left alone.

He had a feeling he already looked so pathetic no business would deny him a smoke to calm down.

“Didn’t you see the picture? The pictures?” he asked, stressing the plural. “Heck, I even had one of me wrapped in a rainbow flag at the last parade.”

“Dunno, just thought chicks dig colours.”

“Nice. Very nice, chicks, alright, I get it.” Arthur had a deep drag.

Alfred raised his brows. “You get what?”

“You’re one of those, you know, who call women chicks.”

“And you’re one of those, you know,” Alfred imitated and leaned forward, “gays.”

“I am.” Arthur blew out smoke and raised his brows too. The imitation game was on. “So?”

“So,” Alfred paused and leaned back again, “so nothing. I mean, here we are, on a date. And how well it is going.”

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SH, of the unending excellent prompts, sent me this request: “I am always fascinated by behind-the-scenes administration sort of stuff, so with that in mind: a woman, mid-twenties, who gets a job on the social media team (specifically web video content) for the Habs (because who else?!) and befriends or falls in love with one of the players.”

Heeeere’s CARMEN.

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