Continuation and update of Snape Fanfiction.
Snape strode down the hallway his robes billowing out behind him on his way to the Headmaster’s office. Rounding a corner he met up with McGonagall. She gave him a small smile which he responded to with a short nod. Shortening his stride they walked side by side the last few corridors. Coming to the statue guarding the Headmaster’s office they joined the other heads who were waiting outside looking scandalized. The headmaster’s voice and that of a woman’s could be heard screaming at each other from where they stood. The voices were too muffled to discern what they were saying but clearly it was not a polite conversation. McGonagall glanced at him and muttered, “Slytherin.” under her breath. Snape sneered, “Gryffindor, what Slytherin would be screaming at the Headmaster?” he asked raising an eyebrow. Flitwick snorted softly before turning and asking Sprout about the latest batch of mandrake she was working with. A few moments later the voices died down. McGonagall stepped forward and said the password, leading the group upstairs. Dumbledore called them in as they approached the door.
Inside, Dumbledore sat at his desk, calmly watching them enter. A young woman stood on the other side of the office, between the door and the desk. A calm mask covered her features, only her flushed cheek betrayed that she had moments before been in a shouting match with the headmaster. She was buttoning the cuffs on her white shirt as if the sleeves had been pushed up during the “discussion” with the headmaster. Snape watched as the others conjured chairs and settled themselves, he picked an out-of-the-way corner to lean in.
“Perfect timing, please have a seat everyone. I would like to introduce Lorna McCray.” He said gesturing to the young woman. “She is seeking to apprentice with two of our teachers for the year.” Only a sudden stillness and hard eyed stare betrayed the woman’s shock. They clearly had discussed no such thing; Glancing at the others, he could see that McGonagall had a slight frown marring her face while the others seemed totally ignorant of the power plays underlying this meeting. “She is a Rune Master and has been apprenticed in several other disciplines. She will be staying at the castle for the rest of the year while she is her in the country.”
A quick round of introductions were made and a house elf called for tea. The girl looked barely in her twenties, much too young to have completed a mastery. Well, he had completed his potions mastery in his early twenties but still, runes was supposed to be a near impossible field to achieve a mastery in. That was why it was no longer taught at Hogwarts, there were only a handful of qualified people who had their mastery in the world. He knew of only two in Britain, and they both were so old as to be unable to teach.
“Would you care to sit, Lorna?”
“I have not given you leave to call me by my first name, Headmaster Dumbledore. Please call me, Miss or Apprentice McCray.” She said, stressing Dumbledore’s title. Her voice was low and had a gravely edge to it.
A trickle of golden runes, fell from one palm in a liquid chain to the ground, forming the outline of a chair for a moment before solidifying into a deep comfortable looking leather chair. McGonagall made a small sound of approval. She accepted a cup of tea, raising it to her nose she inhaled. Giving a shake of her head and a raised eyebrow at Dumbledore she set the tea aside untouched. Snape refused a cup that was being handed to him at this. If she was trained in potions she might be also trained to detect them as he was…of course he trained himself in the ability as self-preservation after being given too many prank potions by the Marauders.
“Honestly, I am not sure what I would learn in a Transfiguration or Charms apprenticeship. No offense professors, but much of the same material is covered in Rune work. I would simply be learning new ways of doing the same spells. I have already studied charms in an apprenticeship under Master Roland in England, and Healing under Healer Kantocas in Greece. It may be simpler for me to work as a kind of teachers aid for most of the teachers and as an apprentice to only one, potions or herbology perhaps? I can assist in classes as they fit with my schedule, be given research projects to do for joint publication at the end of the year if the research pans out, assist in grading, ect.. I would also like to see about assisting in adding some Rune based warding to the campus and castle if possible.”
She sat back and waited for their response, hands clasped before her. Snape noted that she was wearing grey fingerless gloves on each hand. In fact, her outfit was strangely informal for someone seeking a position. She wore brown slacks with a white button down shirt. The top two buttons were undone, showing an elaborate red-gold jeweled necklace and a black shirt that slipped into view as she breathed.
Stepping out of the shadows, he watched her eyes travel his form.
“Why potions?” he asked.
“My family has had a potions mistress or master in every generation. We have an extensive library of potions manuals and notes on experimentation. I would like to investigate it farther.” She said simply meeting his eyes.
“If you become my apprentice you will be tested on your skills and sign a contract for the apprenticeship term.” He said sharply.
“Of course. I would expect no less.” She said softly. “I am willing to be tested in any way the professors wish to show where I am at in each area.”
He let a small brush of a mental probe slid along the edges of her magic and mind and found a shield. Immediately pulling back, he took in the slight raised eyebrow. She had noted his probe, yet had not reprimanded him. Interesting. Maybe she was more Slytherin then she seemed.
Sprout piped up, “I actually am trying to see if I can engage Nevil Longbottom as a part-time apprentice until he graduates. I do not think I would have time to take a full-time apprentice along with him, I am afraid. You of course could still assist in class and after occasionally when I need more hands.”
“Of course, thank you Professor Sprout.” She paused, glancing at the other professors, “One thing that all the professors need to be aware of is my medical history.” She began, only to be interrupted by Dumbledore.
“Perhaps we can discuss this later, once Madame Pomfrey has returned and seen your records.”
“Now, is as good a time as any, having your healer consult my records will not change my condition.” She said flatly.
“I suffer from seizures. They have been getting progressively worse in the last few years. I wanted the staff to be aware incase I have an attack while I am in class so that the students will not be alarmed. One of the reasons that I am in the country is for treatment.” She said watching Dumbledore with hard eyes.
“Perhaps, one of the head boys or girls could show you around the school while we finish up some school paperwork, Miss McCray. I will have a house elf come get you once our meeting is finished.”
The young woman gave a soft snort.
“Have a house elf guide me.” Turning back to the other professors she gave a small smile. “I look forward to working with you, professors.” Turning she picked up two small bags and a coat that was stacked together in the corner, before exiting the room.
“Albus, what in the world is going on? Why are you being so rude to that young woman?” McGonagall demanded once the door was closed. Snape settled back to watch. After a good ten minutes of evading the woman’s demands with half answers, Dumbledore pushed the discussion back to the Apprenticeship. They worked out a schedule of rotating days of her helping in various classes along with a week-long string of exams and tests that they would proctor to see what level she was at in her studies. Calling her back to the office, they presented it to her expecting questions. She had none, she simply reviewed it and agreed. If she was accepted to apprentice with Snape, then the contract of apprenticeship would have to be drawn up but for now she was being treated as a teaching assistant and would be paid as such.
“Now, I believe it is nearly time for dinner. Tibby, if you can show Miss McCray to her rooms for her to freshen up, and then guide her to the Great Hall. Miss McCray, we will see you at dinner.”
Picking up her bags again she gave the room a nod before following the house elf out the door.
“Servius, if you could stay a moment?” “Of course, Headmaster.”
“I take it there is a reason you want Miss McCray to stay where you can keep an eye on her?” He said, taking a seat in the one real chair facing the Headmaster’s desk.
“There are very few things I regret in my life, Servius, but Miss Lorna McCray is one of them.” Servius nearly dropped the cup of tea he had just conjured.
“Her father is a full blood Draxian.” This made him spill his tea down his front. Vanishing it with a wave of one hand, he asked softly, “Are you certain?”
Draxian’s mad Lord Voldemort look sane. They delighted in causing chaos and pain. Extremely powerful magic users who were also a kind of shapeshifter, they were know to destroy entire cultures on a whim. Luckily they were extremely rare. There were only a handful of them at any one time in the entire world. The two males he was aware of were currently rampaging around different remote parts of Mongolia and Africa. However, unlike Lord Voldemort, they had no true goal in their chaos. They lived to destroy and tear things apart but few ever did so in a major way, they drifted from area to area, taking what they fancied and destroying the area once it was no longer amusing to them. He knew of one female at the moment that was in the Amazon, happily turning rural tribes against one another as she had been doing for the last 50 years. Once they found something to play with, they would stay in an area till the culture revolted against them or they lost interest, such as if the people became peace-loving.
“15 years ago, Lorna’s mother came to me seeking away to temper the child’s wild magic. At the age of three she had wandless magic, several animagous forms, and was able to control the elements to a small extent. She was terrified the child would hurt herself or someone else by accident. To my shame, I decided to bind the child’s magic. The collar you saw Lorna wearing is part of a set. She also wears two metal bracers that act by using her own magic to bind itself. Lorna came to me today to ask that the binding be removed. As you can guess, I refused to do so.”
“Why did she wait till now to ask?”
“She claims that the bindings are irrelevant since she will die from the curse her father cast on her at the age of 2 anyway sometime in the next year. She wants the bindings removed before she dies.” “Is it certain that she is going to die?”
“She is a child of rape. Her father found out that she was born and tracked her and her mother down when she was two. She was horribly injured, raped, and as a finishing touch he cast, the Death Snake on her. It is only because her mother was both a potions and runes master that she even survived. She bound a massive healing and protection spell into the very scars that covers the girls body. It has slowed the curses progress, but not stopped it. The slightest illness turns into a major ordeal with her. Any injury takes months to heal. And now the last healer she visited has shown that the binding is interfering with her mother’s spell, allowing the Snake to attack her organs. The best guess is that she will have at most two years left.”