Sitting before the fire in the Ravenclaw common room, Arelia mused over the events of the Sorting and the Welcome Feast. Ravenclaw Tower was quieting now as the hour grew later. In the ensuing solitude, she stared into the flames and let her thoughts wander.
They had acquired a nice cache of first years, all promising wizards and witches of genius quality. The new Head Girl was a Gryffindor, but the Head Boy had been chosen from her own house.
At the feast, she hadn’t been able to keep her eyes off of Professor Snape; except when he turned to meet her gaze, which he had done uncomfortably often. Worse, Carine had noticed. Her friend couldn’t come over and tease her about it, at least. They were still prefects, and had a lot to do after a Sorting.
Tomorrow at breakfast, they’d receive their new class schedules. Teasing aside, she hoped she might have at least one or two double classes with the Slytherins.
Things would be so much simpler if Carine had been made a Ravenclaw. She’s smart enough – more than some. She sighed. There’s no denying that she has all the Slytherin traits, too.
Arelia finally went to bed. She’d waited until her dorm mates were all asleep to avoid their questions about her new look. Slipping into the little white silk nightdress on a whim, she crawled into bed. She drew the privacy curtain around her and settled comfortably – but sleep eluded her.
Why was Snape looking at me? Because you were looking at him, you idiot, why else? But was it just that?
The image of his face, his piercing gaze, gave her a delicious shudder. He certainly didn’t qualify in her usual categories of nice or conventionally handsome, but she couldn’t ignore the overall aura of dark allure he created around himself. When she compared others her age, with their vapid good looks that so often hid such drab personalities, they simply didn’t measure up. After all, she’d had a better view of that nameless Hufflepuff Quidditch Captain, yet she kept craning her head to stare at Snape.
Carine would probably help me if I wanted him, ignoring the fact that he’s a teacher, of course, which I can’t. But say goodbye to all those cute ruffled girlhood dreams of romance in that fantasy. The courtesy of ‘hiking up the skirt’, as Carine put it, might be the closest to romantic a man like that would get. Anyway, it’s not really an issue, is it? I’m not a Slytherin. Besides, it might just be groundless gossip. Carine shouldn’t believe everything she hears.
In spite of that logic, the idea of the forbidden refused to bow out gracefully. When she opted to imagine herself with the Quidditch boy, just to relax, his features kept melting into Snape’s in her mind’s eye. Eventually, she gave up fighting it – but it was his voice, and the memory of his black-eyed predatory gaze, that fired her blood more than any of her old images of imagined sex.
The white silk of the short nightgown was soft, so much more sensual on her skin than thin cotton or thick flannel pajamas. Bunching it up, she let the image of Snape in the booth take over her mind’s eye.
When she thought of his long, thick fingers touching her, as pale as her own but so strong, the answering heat made her gasp as she pleasured herself.
Trembling slightly after it was finished, she turned her head to press her face into her pillow. It had never affected her that way before. The slight aftershocks were delicious, yet usually they never lasted longer than the furtive act itself.
Forcing her heart rate to calm with steadying deep breaths, she called up the memory of that dark, velvet voice again. ‘My pleasure,’ he had said in that bar. The look on his face had made her blush.
Maybe the rumor is true after all.
“Congratulations, Lachlan,” Raegan ‘Decker’ Marcus, her opposite prefect, quipped as she entered the common room from the suite’s stairs.
She ignored him. Going to the hearth, she picked up three split logs from the bin and confiscated them for her own fireplace. As she headed back down the stairs, she overheard Marcus complaining to Rogere that he’d have to scrap his plans of chasing her. The satisfied smirk on her face probably would have injured his arrogant pride if he’d seen it.
Carine had entered the old familiar dorm room this evening and found someone else’s belongings on her bed. After a moment of confusion, she had turned and nearly pelted back to the common room to check the door of the suite. It hadn’t been locked, and her school trunk and other possessions were there.
When she got the fire going, she locked the suite door and started unpacking. There was a tall wardrobe, a dresser, and a pair of nightstands on either side of a massive bed. A hope chest with a padded seat of Slytherin green velvet sat at the foot of the four-poster, which did not sport the usual privacy curtain. Along the wall beside the door was a writing desk and chair. All of the furniture was a dark red cherry wood that had been polished until it gleamed in the firelight.
The fireplace had no hearthstones forming a bench, although a black metal screen with the Slytherin crest sat to the side that could be placed in front of it. A thick soft rug of black sheepskin was spread out across the stone floor between the fire and the hope chest.
In the back wall, farthest from the door, was a singular luxury – the private bathroom. The clawfoot tub was massive for a single-occupancy room, and even though it didn’t have as many taps as the prefect’s bathroom, she didn’t mind at all. This one, she wouldn’t have to share.
The decoration of the room was largely the province of its furnishings, but there was a wide black marble mantle over the fireplace, and one of the two tapestries in the room hung over it. The other hung over the head of the bed. The mantle tapestry depicted the Slytherin crest again, and the other was an intricate showcase of many different flora and fauna, all of which had uses in potions.
One odd thing was a painted arch on the wall, some feet from the bathroom door. Merely a wide line of black on the gray stones, it had a line of runes painted inside it in silver. Carine had picked up her wand and tried to see if it could be some sort of secret passage, but it seemed to be nothing but paint.
She dropped onto the thick bedding, a green and black theme, in silk, velvet, and wool. Her now empty trunk was closed and leaning against the wardrobe, beside a tall silver candelabrum holding ten white candlesticks. The pile of schoolbooks and supplies were sitting on the desk, beside which was another silver candelabra stand.
A small, black creature came up over her left thigh from his hiding place among the mound of black silk pillows. He sat up on his hind legs, whiskers working madly, his beady black eyes staring up at her.
“So,” she asked the sleek-bodied rat, “do you like our new room?” Picking him up to her left shoulder, she felt him settle and wrap his thick white tail around her throat. “No more cats to chase you up the curtains now, Latimer.”
She rose and stood with her back against the door, surveying her realm. The bed was on her left, the fireplace on her right, and the precious bathroom waited across the room.
“It’s the exact dimensions of heaven. And to think, I was worried about perks!”
Carine continued arranging and rearranging things to her liking. Latimer gave up trying to keep his balance and jumped from her shoulder to the bed and away.
When she couldn’t keep her eyes open any longer, Carine slowly undressed, pitching her clothes into a short wicker basket on the floor of the wardrobe. She assumed the house-elves tended this room like the rest, and expected that they would find the laundry there.
For a moment, she had the peculiar feeling of being watched. Glancing around the room and at the closed and locked door, she finally spied Latimer watching her from the wall under the painted arch. Sighing, she went and picked him up, plopping him onto the bed before crawling in.
It was a delight to sleep nude at school for once, and though she was tired, the simple novelty of silence was such a pleasure that she lay awake a while longer to appreciate it.
The absence of dormitory mates and their snores was fantastic. No sounds of furtive sex intruded, when one or more of the boys slipped in to join their partners. Best of all, there were no boys coming around to importune her. In time, the soft sound of the fire drew her down into a deep sleep.
~ ~ ~
For the next three days, she was focused on getting the new class schedule mashed into an actual routine around her prefect duties. Hogwarts was still conspiring to keep them apart, but she did have Defense Against the Dark Arts with Arelia, on Mondays, right after her Transfiguration class.
Arithmancy and Divination dominated Tuesday, while Wednesday was cursed by the epitome of dull: History of Magic. At least it all had the chance of perking up in the afternoon. Care of Magical Creatures often involved the severing of one body part or other from the intrepid Professor What’s-his-face.
Among the familiar run of dull subjects was one she had insisted on taking, though her parents had protested. Muggle Studies was on Thursday, after Herbology, and she was looking forward to it more than most, since it was new to her. She had argued that if she got a traveling job, knowing about Muggle things, issues, concepts, and the like was bound to come in handy.
Potions was on Friday, after Charms, and all things considered, it was destined to be entertaining this year. In the first place, Professor Snape didn’t take on that many N.E.W.T. students, which left him more able to spend one-on-one time with each of them. That distressed many of those who needed to take the class, but who had never gotten over their fear of him. In the second place, as his new Teacher’s Pet, she was eager to discover just how much MORE she could get away with in his class than she already had as a Slytherin prefect.
For my first trick, maybe I can get him to switch Arelia’s class time to mine? His N.E.W.T. classes were a grab bag of houses already but their schedules had put them there at opposite ends of the week.
When she returned to her cozy suite at last, Carine could tell that a house-elf had been by. Her laundry was clean and folded in piles on top of the dresser, the candles were lit, and the fire was blazing.
One peculiar item that caught her immediate interest was the addition to the mantle of a crystal decanter and a pair of whiskey glasses on a silver tray. The liquid was golden. Taking the decanter down, she opened it and sniffed experimentally.
Firewhiskey? Whichever house-elf cleans up around here qualifies for sainthood!
Without hesitation, she poured some into one of the glasses and took it with her to the desk. Halfway through her homework, she was feeling pleasantly intoxicated. Long before any of it was finished, she drank the rest of the bourbon and headed to bed.
~ ~ ~
The fire had burned down to a red glow, leaving the room dark and warm. The little furry ball of Latimer had been curled up at Carine’s left ear, but when he moved, scuttling off the bed, she woke. Grumbling, she stuffed a pillow further under her face and closed her eyes again.
Then a soft sound caught her attention and she raised her head up a little. “Latimer, don’t start,” she complained, “I’m trying to sleep.” Before she laid her head down again, that same feeling of being watched intruded. It happened on and off, inexplicably, ever since the year had begun. She sat up abruptly to look around the room and gasped when she saw a large dark shape limned in red light at the foot of her bed.
A familiar baritone spoke one word of magic. “Lumos.”
Carine stared as Professor Snape slowly smiled. “My apologies for waiting so long to visit, Miss Lachlan, but we’ve both been busy.”
“Professor,” she whispered, only partly relieved. He wasn’t a ghost or an intruder – in the conventional sense – but his entrance had been unnecessarily spooky.
He only said one word in reply. “Nox.”
When he moved out of the red fireplace glow, he became almost invisible.
Carine heard a series of minute rustling sounds and the quiet tap of wood on wood. “Professor Snape?” she called out.
Her heart was still hammering from the fright he’d given her and his silence wasn’t helping. She didn’t know where he was until his fingers touched her lips, making her startle – but the admonition was clear.
He moved away for a moment, and then his weight came down beside her, under the blankets, and his bare skin was a shock on the silk sheets. Carine almost swallowed her tongue.
You wanted this, idiot. Now you’ve got it. Deal! Don’t mess it up!
She wondered what she should do, but then he took over, pressing her onto her back, his hand on her thigh. Her breath quickened as he moved over her, lying between her legs. Then his body pressed down over hers and his mouth found her lips.
The kiss was searing, and in an instant she knew she was about to forget every paltry male she’d ever lain with. She brought her hands up to touch him but he caught them in the dark and held them, not too gently, on either side of her head.
Carine’s thoughts spun out of control. She was used to doing things, talking, making jokes. Tease and play, then sex, then more jokes. The silence of this, blind in the dark with his body controlling everything and not a word spoken? Her earlier fright attempted to regain hold of her emotions.
‘If you like it rough’, Rowan said. Oh my God! Is he going to hurt me? When he broke off the kiss, she struggled to speak. “Sir, please … say something…”
“Hush,” he whispered.
He didn’t speak again.
Prima Nocte, Severus thought, smiling in the darkness. First night. The time to explore, discover – what she possessed, could offer, would or wouldn’t do naturally. In so many ways, this is always the best of it. Later, when his need was sated, he might allow her to ask questions. They always wanted to ask endless questions. Or perhaps I should wait, let her endure this in silence, and then wonder when I will be here again? She is afraid now. Good.
He would not allow her to touch him and after a few lightning fast restraints, she stopped trying to. With her hands held over her head, she became as still as she could, allowing him to move her body as he liked. Allowing him to take her as he liked, too, with a compliance that, though somewhat hesitant, heralded a general willingness to give him whatever he wanted.
Yet he didn’t wish to spoil it by trying too much at once. Leaving her on her back, he gave up exploratory pretense and satisfied himself – quickly but not harshly.
She cried out more than once but remembered not to speak. To reward her, he made more of an effort to allow her to enjoy it.
Stifling his own cry against her slick and heated skin, he moved away from her as soon as he was able. Throwing on his black clothing with practiced ease in the dark, he picked up his wand from the dresser and left the way he’d arrived, his bare feet stepping without a sound.
~ ~ ~
On Friday, his new pet seemed subdued in class. No doubt his habit of behaving in public as if nothing had happened was as daunting to Lachlan as it had been to her predecessors. They stumbled to do the same but somehow always failed.
After class, on his way to the Great Hall, he saw her friend, Galen, coming down the stairs from the second floor. The two girls met, embraced, and he heard the brunette ask what was wrong.
That could be a problem. Confide in a Slytherin friend if you must. For this Ravenclaw, make up whatever you like. The truth is not yours to give.
As for Galen, he was almost grateful she was a Ravenclaw, otherwise the choice between them might have proven difficult. She watched him now and then, too, after leaving Lachlan at the Slytherin table. What was she thinking?
Perhaps it would be prudent to arrange a meeting with this one. She can’t possibly know Occlumency, and I can determine for certain if she’s going to be a problem. For now, Miss Lachlan and I have the weekend.