Love Is Only a Feeling
*~* Love Is Only a Feeling *~*
It was the very worst thing.
She wasn't supposed to have this sort of reaction to a man. She had not when he'd first said his name. History of Magic used to be a boring class, but she could listen to Professor Wyndam-Pryce lecture all day with his unruly brown hair that begged for fingers and those blue eyes. There was a scar on his neck. It was about three inches long. Like someone had tried to slit his throat. He fingers itched to touch it, to ask him how it had happened. She had never wanted to know another person more.
But she could not do that as Raven Hope.
She had to stamp this down. Had to make it go away. She was not some errant schoolgirl, free to form inappropriate infatuations with her professors. She had things to do. It didn't matter than no one had ever sung to her without a word the way this man's sorrow and duty and honor did. There was so much to him. She would know it all.
But for the fact that she was currently Raven Hope.
Faith was lounging... in winter wear. Oliver had gotten her this tacky lawn lounger for Christmas. She loved it. Wes had been practical and gotten her this nice set of robes and a winter cloak. Not that she liked the cloak less, but the lounger was an interesting gift because it allowed Faith to watch Oliver teach.
She'd gotten other stuff. Hell, for the first time in her life she'd actually had a really good Christmas.
But things were about to change. She could feel it in her bones. The way you could tell when the weather was gonna change sometimes. Plus, she didn't really know what to do with Oliver... well, she knew what she WANTED to do with Oliver. He was being disgustingly gentlemen-like though. It was refreshing, but at the same time, she really didn't know what to do.
They hadn't even had sex yet.
It was bizarre. She'd never done the kissing and touching thing without it ending in the sex thing. Oliver seemed content to take his time with her, and he was REALLY taking his time. There were days when he didn't even touch her at all, didn't speak either. He was just satisfied to be near her. Faith was confused by it. No one had ever been content to just be by her. Something was always expected. Something more than her mere presence anyway. It was just too foreign to her. She didn't know what to do with the nice boy.
And he was SO nice. He'd even coaxed most of his and Madam Hooch's students to call her Miss Faith. She kind of liked that.
She kind of liked Oliver.
Faith couldn't be sure, but she suspected that she might kind of love Oliver. She'd never loved anything before. The true test would be when they finally did have sex. If she didn't feel a burning need to kick him out of the bed or run, then it had to be the real thing for her.
The sixth years were filing out after he'd dismissed them. Severus opened his grade ledger, and something toppled out. It was a folded piece of parchment. He scowled and plucked it from the floor. He opened it, noting that the scent of vanilla strongly clung to the parchment. He recognized Willow's flowery scrawl. His eyes bugged when he realized what was written.
I'm not wearing any panties today. Just thought you should know.
your little red
Severus looked up. He was sure her words were somehow reflecting on his face. He folded the parchment up again rather quickly and stuffed it in his robes.
A love note.
The annoying little brat of a pixie had slipped him a love note. HIM! Didn't she know he was Severus Snape, and Severus Snape DID NOT receive love notes? Strangely he had this warm feeling at the thought of her not wearing underwear.
"Professor Snape, are you all right?"
He glared at Lily. She was smirking at him knowingly.
"I am perfectly fine, Miss Rosenberg. Not that it is any of your affair."
"You just seem a bit... flushed."
"Mind your own business, brat." He hissed through his teeth.
"Sure thing, Dad. Mom mentioned she wanted me to have tea with you guys later."
"I am not your father."
"But you could be."
"What precisely are you getting at?"
"Precisely that I'd like to adopt you and Willow as my guardians, my parents."
"One does not just adopt parents. It's the other way around, Miss Rosenberg. The parents adopt the child."
"And wouldn't you like to call me your very own?"
He glared at her.
"No one would question it. I look like Mom, act like you. It'll be great."
"Why me?" The class had cleared out. He could ask this question now. "Of every mature gentleman you know, why do you choose me?"
"Because Willow chose you. She's me. I'm her."
There was something more. She seemed to struggle with it. He just waited. He had a feeling what was next would be the crux of the matter.
"When... when Aaron Monatgue attacked me, I remember your voice... after. Dawn and Harry said you covered me up. I could hear you all talking... kind of. It was like a dream, and your voice made me feel safe... the way a little girl ought to feel safe with her... daddy. You took care of me."
"I did not... I mean I..."
"We don't have to speak of it again, professor. I didn't mean to offend you. Forget I even mentioned it."
His hand shot out and grabbed her wrist so fast that Lily actually started in surprise.
"People do not just... choose me for things."
"Well, I question her sanity."
Lily laughed at that despite the tension. Snape dropped her wrist.
"If it is your wish for me to be your guardian, Miss Rosenberg, then I would be honored. I will also question YOUR sanity, but I will handle it if you wish for me to."
Lily smiled. "I do wish it."
"In class you are to refer to myself and Willow as Professors Snape and Rosenberg not father and mother, is that clear?"
"Yes, sir." Her smiled widened. She was making her place in this world. She would have the things she had always wanted but never had in her other life. She gave him one radiant smile before turning to leave. She wanted to catch up with Draco and Dawn... and Connor.
"One thing, Lily."
She turned. "Yes, sir?"
He liked how she called him sir. Already. So respectful. She had no way of knowing that he had always called his father sir. It was meant to be painful for him, but her soft way of speaking it made it seem like an endearment. He'd always almost spat the word at his father. Lily bore it like a badge of honor. As if she were privileged to refer to him in such a way. It was very 'Willow' of her. Perhaps that was why he was inclined to agree to this thing he was sure he would regret down the line.
"You did hex Pansy Parkinson , didn't you?"
Lily looked down, a slight blush staining her cheek. "I did."
"That was some truly brilliant and powerful casting. I would like to know the charm you worked up... if you would tell me."
Lily grinned. "Caesaries Medusa."
"Latin? Head of hair of Medusa"
"I though so. Latin is always good in a hex. You have the right wand movements, it'll stick like bubblegum to a sneaker."
"Simple yet complex. Don't use it again."
"I haven't since... before, sir."
"I know, Miss Rosenberg, but should you be tempted again, I would be most appreciative, and I'm sure the recipient would as well, if you would refrain from giving in to the urge to cast it."
"Unless of course you find yourself in a situation where severe force is needed. No need to be polite if you think someone like Montague thinks to harm you."
"Lily, when it is just us, you may call me... father... if that is what you wish."
"I'd like that... father." She smiled at him brightly before exiting the classroom.
Severus put his face in his hands. Rosenberg had ruined him. Both of them. First he was... Merlin forbid... someone's boyfriend. Now he was someone's guardian, someone's father. Though he couldn't have picked a better child. Even the dark lord couldn't complain. The girl HAD been a vampire.
And the bastard had already tried to take her himself. That reminded him he needed to ask Albus what the Ministry had done with Aaron Montague.
Severus wondered if his naughty little knickerless red knew she was someone's mother now. He was thinking he preferred this method to Black's way of getting children. He didn't like small children. Especially wailing infants who were only good at filling diapers. Now it seemed he had a child that was well on her way to being fully grown. That was much better in his mind.
He rose slowly and gathered his things. Willow had mentioned she wanted to do a REAL tea with Lily. Severus wanted to get a few scrolls marked before then. He also found himself quite anxious to explore the validity of that note she'd slipped him.
He shook his head. For all her appearance of sweetness, the woman was far too devious. It was too delicious for words. As much as he hated to admit any sort of thing, she complimented him nicely. Severus had never considered himself lucky before. He'd never thought he WOULD be in a position to consider it, and it was a strange and slightly annoying experience now that he found himself in it.
Cassie and Fred were laughing so loud that Madam Pomfrey was glaring at them.
Neville had come by. He did so often. He played chess with Cassie. Today, however, Harry and Ron had stopped by too. They were trying to convince Madam Pomfrey that Cassie needed to join the upperclassmen for the upcoming Hogsmeade weekend. Ron was promising not to let her out of his sight.
He was being very annoying.
Fred was snickering about it and trying to hide it. Cassie kept burying her face in the pillow on her hospital bed.
"Well." Fred said, standing up. "Would it help if I went too, Madam Pomfrey? I want to see Hogsmeade as much as anybody. I mean, surely it can't hurt Cassie to get out for one day. Fresh air and all."
Harry and Neville grinned at Fred. They could tell HER argument was winning Madam Pomfrey over. Ron certainly hadn't been making a difference.
"Well, I suppose it wouldn't be so very bad." Madam Pomfrey looked at Cassie. "As long as you don't overexert yourself."
Fred winked at Harry and Neville. Harry grinned at her. He hadn't been around Fred much, but Dawn said she was trying to help, and anyone trying to help Dawn had his good feelings towards them.
"Well, I'm off for another exciting evening in the restricted section of the library. Hermione's probably waiting for me already. Harry, when you see Dawn, tell her I'll be needing a blood sample to do tests on pretty soon."
Harry nodded. That was the other thing. Fred was clever. She was very clever. She would figure out this whole portal thing with Dawn's blood, and if she couldn't, then it just couldn't be figured. Especially since Hermione was assisting her. If the two of them couldn't come up with some answers then answers were not there to be found.
"Hey, Miss Burkle, when you see 'Mione, could you remind her that she does have a boyfriend?" Ron said in a very pouty tone.
Fred, arms full of her books, gave Ron a sympathetic look. "Ronald, are you feeling neglected?"
"I dunno... I just..."
"You're welcome to join us for research."
"I'm horrible at that. I have no patience for it."
"I know that. You know that. Hermione knows it too, but... Hermione would love that you tried, and it would let you be around her. And just maybe the head researcher would let you guys cut out early for some alone time."
Ron made a face at Harry. "See you later, mate. I'm off to research."
Harry grinned at him... and wondered how his own girlfriend was doing with what she had planned for this afternoon.
Dawn was breathing a little harshly as they entered the darkened room. She was also gripping Draco's hand so tight he thought she might break some bones. There were two chairs set up next to the bed there. Spike turned sharply and looked at them as they walked up. Dawn moved closer to Draco.
"Bit! Draco! I knew you'd come to visit Spike. They said you wouldn't, but I knew you'd come."
"Hagrid said you were doing a bit better, Spike." Dawn said quietly as she made to sit in one of the chairs.
But Spike grabbed her and pulled her onto the bed with him. Dawn gasped in surprise. Draco made a grab for her, but Spike grabbed onto his collar and yanked Draco into the bed too. Draco shouted in alarm and struggled a bit. It did little good. Spike was stronger, and fairly quickly he had an arm about each of them. They were like three peas in a pod, all close in the bed.
"Oh now, Malfoy, don't be such a big girl."
Dawn giggled. Draco scowled.
"I am feeling a little... better." Then Spike glared at some point across the room. "You shut up."
Dawn and Draco exchanged a look.
"Don't. They'll think I'm crazy. I haven't had visitors."
Dawn was looking worried. "Uh... Spike?"
"Sorry, Bit. Edward was just gabbing."
Draco looked when Spike was looking. He squinted and tried really hard to see ANYTHING, but nothing was there. He wanted to believe something was really there talking to Spike because that meant Spike wasn't crazy. Draco didn't want Spike to be crazy. Who else would look out for him if Spike was crazy? Sure, he sort of had Mr. Weasley now and of course Ginny. He had Mr. Giles and Tara, but Spike had been the one all last year and this past summer. Spike was his family. Like Tara.
"Dumbledore thinks I might be able to be out for a little bit now. I have to come back here at night, but I could be out again."
"Really?" Dawn said hopefully.
"That would be great." Draco said honestly, though unsure if Spike was actually well enough to be in mixed company. "We've missed you. Maybe Dumbledore would let you come to the next Hogsmeade visit?"
Spike nodded. "Maybe."
Dawn smiled and leaned her head on Spike's shoulder. Draco was worried though. Dawn wanted Spike to be 'all better' so badly she was willing to see him as further along in his recovery than Draco felt he was. He wanted Spike to be better too, but because Spike was actually better not because Draco or Dawn or anyone else wanted it to be so.
Draco reached out and grabbed Dawn's hand across Spike. He gave her a squeeze. Dawn met his eyes. A silent agreement was made between them. They would just help Spike out until he actually was better... because it couldn't be good for him to be cooped up in this room all the time with only Hagrid caring for him. He needed to be with the people who loved him the most.
Connor had just stepped out of the Gryffindor common room when his arm was grabbed. He swung at his attacker, but she caught his fist.
"Lily." He breathed. His face turned a bit red at having swung at her.
He stared at her for the longest time. He was getting used to her black hair now. Connor was thinking he actually preferred it to all the other hair he'd seen her with. It just looked right with her school robes and uniform. It made her eyes seem more green too.
"I thought we might take a walk. Catch up a little. I feel like I never see you, Connor."
She smiled at him, and Connor felt himself go warm.
"I'd like to walk with you." He'd like to do more than walk, but Connor had been raised a gentleman.
She hooked her arm through his and began pulling him down the corridor. "So how're your classes going?"
"Um, all right. I suck at Transfiguration and Charms. Actually, the only thing I seem to be any good at is Defense Against the Dark Arts."
"Hermione's tutoring me. She's kinda bossy sometimes."
"I could help if you like?"
"Er, ok, if you want to."
"It would let me spend more time with you. Of course I want to."
"Ginny helps too sometimes... when she's not off somewhere with Draco. She's a really good teacher, and Neville's giving me pointers about Herbology."
"Neville's a good guy."
"Do you like him?" Connor asked, hating how needy and squeaky and ultimately jealous his voice sounded.
Lily raised a brow at him. "Sure, I like Neville."
"But not nearly as much as I like you." She purred. "You're sorta sexy when you're jealous."
"I am not-"
But Connor was cut off by her grabbing a fistful of his robes, planting her lips on his, and yanking him into a nearby broom closet.
Tara woke up to the sensation of the most glorious foot rub she's ever had. She'd decided to take a quick nape after her last class with Severus today.
She rolled onto her back and sighed. "Mmmm. Sirius, what are you doing here? I thought you were spending the afternoon with my father."
"He and Anya were arguing about trolls. A subject Anya has scary and VAST knowledge of for some odd reason."
"She dated one."
"Wh-what?" He asked laughing.
"Well, he wasn't a troll when she was with him."
"Why do I get the feeling there's a story here?"
"It was how she became a vengeance demon in the first place. She was cheated on, and so she turned him into a troll."
"Bloody hell. The woman must have been a menace."
"No. She was just hurt."
He crawled up beside her in the bed and wrapped his arms around her. "I didn't mean to sound insensitive. You know, despite her blunt and often tactless ways, I do happen to like Anya. She means well. She adores you and your father. I have to like her for that reason alone... though I do have to wonder about this preoccupation she has with Harry's sex life."
Tara giggled and snuggled her cheek against his chest. "She just wants Dawn to be treated right."
"As if Harry would treat anyone wrong."
"It's not that. Anya is a strong believer in good sex. She wants everyone to be having the best sex they can possibly be having."
Sirius chuckled loudly at that. "And now I really like her."
Severus smiled at the way Willow was fluttering about. It was her first tea. You'd think she was giving it for the Minister of Magic with the way she was fussing about the details.
"I had a lovely chat with Miss Lily Joyce Rosenberg today."
"It seems she has picked out some parents for herself."
Willow stiffened. "Who?"
Severus smiled slightly. She was jealous of whomever it was. The silly little twit didn't realize it was her. It amused him that she was jealous of herself.
"She didn't tell you? Why, Professor Rosenberg, I am quite shocked. I thought Lily told you all."
Willow slammed the sugar bowl down and spun around to face him. "Stop being so toying and obnoxiously Slytherin and a poophead and tell me."
"Yes. A poophead."
"Well, just for that I don't believe I should tell you."
"It's you and I."
"She's decided, the annoying little viper, that you and I are her parents."
Willow put a hand to her mouth. Her eyes were wide.
"Bloody hell, woman. You're not about to get emotional, are you?"
"Aww, Cranky Pants-"
"It's a girl."
He rolled his eyes as she squealed and practically threw herself into his lap. He tried to turn his face away as she rained little kisses on it.
"I detest sentimentality, woman. Do cease with your mush."
"All right, but we have to snuggle later."
Severus rolled his eyes. "You and you need for snuggling. I must be developing tolerance. It doesn't bother me as it used to."
Willow giggled and kissed him. "No, you just love me."
"I fear I must. Anyone else who subjected me to what you subject me to would have been dismembered long ago."
"Oh, the sweet nothings you whisper to me." Willow joked.
He scowled at her.
"Now, I wonder where our girl is?"
"Getting into trouble no doubt."
"What makes you say that?"
"She is your daughter."
Connor was right in the middle of seriously kissing Lily for what seemed like the hundredth time when the door to the closet flew open. The two students jerked their heads apart. They were unaware that a long strand of drool was connecting their lips.
Professor Dumbledore was standing there grinning. "Ah, Miss Rosenberg, Mister Angel, how good of you to investigate this broom closet. Mr. Filch informed me that there were moaning and slurping sounds coming from inside here. I am quite sure it was just Peeves playing a joke, would the two of you agree?"
AN: I know the last few parts have been fairly action-less. Not so with the next chapter. Just getting all the plot ducks in a row here.