Within your heart

Keep one still, secret place

Where dreams may go

And sheltered so

May thrive and grow.

L. Driscoll (public domain)

Vivian Vector stood alone by one of the boxwood hedges that lined the grounds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She had spent the best years of her life here – first as a student, then as a teacher. For over thirty years, she had called this place home.

Not many women would enjoy trying to drum the ins and outs of Arithmancy into the heads of squirming children who would rather be anywhere else.

She did.

As she looked up at the castle, the roof lines and towers outlined sharply against the blue summer sky, there was joy – this place, this beautiful place, was where she belonged.

Now she was teaching the children of the first students she had seen finish their studies and leave Hogwarts. Life was coming full circle.

She did not have a family of her own. There was a shortage of eligible men at Hogwarts who would appreciate a plump, short witch with now-greying hair. It wasn't as if she hadn't dreamed... but it just hadn't happened.

There had been a couple of summer flings when was younger – but she could not imagine living anywhere else, doing anything other than what she was doing. Teaching and Hogwarts would have to figure into any future plans. And so the romances had fizzled out.

She wasn't lacking for friends. The factulty, most of whom had been here as long or longer than she, were, in a way, her family. She had never felt lonely.

But still, there was that one pesky dream she had kept tucked away in her heart since the second year after she had become a professor. He had arrived then – sullen, bitter, a dark figure in voluminous robes. She had scarcely allowed herself to acknowledge the dream – after all, he was so much younger than she was. But ever since then, it had been there, hidden quietly, and every once in a while she would pull it out, and look at it, and indulge in some daydreams. And then very sensibly put it away again.

She had seen him grow and change over the years. First he had been an angry young man with a chip on his shoulder, then the secretive, brooding, solitary man who had lost so much in the Great War. In the last few years he had mellowed, seemed to have found a certain measure of contentment, if not happiness. She was glad for that.

Looking over to the side of the castle, she had a good view of the herb garden. She liked coming here on certain afternoons, knowing he would come and gather ingredients for his Potions class. He seemed more relaxed in the garden than he seemed anywhere else, and she liked to watch him move among the flowers and plants, snipping a branch here, stripping off some leaves there in graceful movements.

It was during those short minutes she would let the dream out into the sunlight most often.

Vivian decided it was time to go back. Time flitted away too quickly. There were parchments to mark and lessons to prepare.

She didn't hear him walk up behind her until she felt his hand on her arm.


She turned to look up at him, surprised. She didn't think he had ever noticed her being out before.

He reached into the basket that held all his cuttings and pulled out a small bunch of lavender. She could have sworn there was a twinkle in his black eyes. "Here. I thought you might like this."

"Well, thank you, Severus," she said with a smile as she took the fragrant bundle from his hand. As he nodded politely and walked back to the garden, she turned to go inside.

And there was a bounce in her step. And somewhere in her heart, the dream grew, just a little bit.

A/N Just a one-shot plot bunny I had to get out! The poem is in the public domain and not subject to copyright restrictions.