I am reposting these chapters. As I began to reread this with the intent upon finishing, there were errors that I could not overlook.

Samaria Kirby is my creation. Everything else belongs to J.K. Rowling.

Chapter 1

"Good morning class. Please, turn to page 195," said Professor Samaria Kirby with a smile.

Harry sighed as he turned to the instructed page within his textbook. This year, not only did he have to deal with being the fourth, and youngest, of the Triwizard Tournament, but he also had new classes; including this one, Magical Healing. He was finding it quite difficult. Though difficulty of the class was compensated greatly by the wonderful nature of the teacher.

Professor Kirby was a young witch, perhaps 26 or 27, and had been teaching at Hogwarts since Harry could remember. This was just the first time he'd had her as an instructor. Most of the guys fancied her. If she caught them staring, she would just smile and continue teaching. She was strict in her lessons, but not to the point of humiliating a student, and she was rather beautiful.

She should give Snape a few lessons, Harry thought. Potions was still the class he loathed most, and he would rather face the difficulty of the Magical Healing lessons, rather than Snape's ire.

Professor Kirby had been one of the few people who had believed him when he said that he didn't put his name in the Goblet of Fire. She had even offered to help him in his classes, seeing as he had so much to deal with. He had Hermione, of course, but Professor Kirby was just a little more patient with him than Hermione. She had quickly become one of his, Ron, and Hermione's favorite teachers. They often went to her office just to talk. Sometimes, they even had lunch there, as she very rarely ate in the Great Hall.

Shaking these thoughts away, Harry tried to pay attention.

It wasn't that this class was boring. It usually wasn't. It was just that they had to learn the theories of the healing spells before they could practice performing them. That part was boring.

He looked around the class and smiled.

Hermione of course was hanging on every word and coping it down. Harry made a quick mental note to ask her to copy them. The rest of the girls either loved the Magical healing teacher, or completely despised her; the opinions of each was obvious on their faces.

Chuckling, he then looked at the dazed look on the faces of each of the boys. Each one adored her… until they got a grade they didn't like. But even then, after a few days they got over it and started to fawn over her again.

Unfortunately, the Gryffindors shared this class with the Slytherins. It was in fact mostly Slytherin girls that loathed Ms. Kirby. Harry understood somewhat why. She had a very shapely figure and wore robes to accent it. Her long, blond hair was usually worn down in waves and her make up graced her face immaculately, it brought out her blue eyes and pouting lips to perfection. He was sure he would be jealous of her, if he were a girl.

Harry shook these thoughts from his head as the people around him began to stir. Class was over, and he had daydreamed through the entire thing.

He gathered his things and, with Ron and Hermione, walked up to the front of the class. Ms. Kirby smiled as she saw them coming.

"Hi, guys. Lunch today?" she asked.

"Sure," shrugged Ron, as if that was not exactly what he was hoping for.

She smiled, "Come with me."

The four climbed the few steps to a door off the side of her classroom that led to her office. When they all were sitting in there, she gave a flick of her wand and a plate of sandwiches appeared on her desk with an ice-cold jug of pumpkin juice, along with four glasses.

"How are your studies going," she asked the trio, her American Southern twang very obvious.

"Just wonderful. I was terrified that things would be so much harder this year," Hermione said.

Harry and Ron just groaned.

"And what subject is giving you boys trouble?" she asked.

"Potions," they said together.

Ms. Kirby smiled, "Would you like some help?"

Both boys nodded.

"Alright. I'm sure Professor Snape would be glad to assist."

The smiles on Ron and Harry's face dropped like a bomb and they both looked as if they were just sentenced to death.

"Something wrong?" she asked, smiling. She knew good and well what was wrong. They hadn't made any secret about their feelings toward the Potions Master.

"Are you bloody mad? Even if he agreed, he'd murder us," Ron stated.

"Or make us wish to be murdered," agreed Harry.

Their teacher just shook her head, "Boys, potions isn't my forte. And even if it were, he would be the best one the help you. He is the instructor, after all."

"I think we can manage," Harry mumbled.

"Oh, you two. He really isn't THAT bad," Ms. Kirby said, a teasing smile on her lips.

All three, including Hermione who stayed out of it until now, rolled their eyes. Just as Ms. Kirby opened her mouth to defend him, the object of their discussion opened the door, "I need to..." He paused as he saw the three students.

After a death stare for each one, he turned to Ms. Kirby, "We need to speak."

"In a moment. I have company."

"I'll wait in your classroom," after another death glare he left.

Their teacher merely shook her head, and the three looked at her as if to say, "We told you".

"Maybe I should go see what he wants."

Ron look as if she was crazy, "Your mental. Did you see that look he gave us all? He could kill you!"

"He wouldn't do that, Ron," she replied.

"He just might, you never know," he said back.

This time it was her turn to roll her eyes, "I'll see y'all later."

The three students stood and left as she went into her classroom to talk to the potions professor.

"Took you long enough," he said.

"Well, I'm sorry. You didn't make an appointment."

He shook his head with an annoyed look. "What is so important?" she asked.

"I wanted to talk to you about this," he lifted the sleeve on his left robe revealing the slightly gray Dark Mark.

"It's darker," she said.

He nodded, "It won't be long before it burns, I'm sure."

She pursed her lips, "Have you spoken with Professor Dumbledore?"

"Yes. When, and it's only a matter of time, the Dark Lord returns, I will become a double spy."

"Double spy?"

"While the Dark Lord will think that I'm spying on the headmaster for him, I will be actually spying on him for the headmaster," Snape explained.

Nodding, she then asked, "And me?"

"You… have a choice. You can either become a spy too, which would be what's expected by the Dark Lord, or we can hide you away."

"You know I cannot just run and hide," she said crossing her arms.

"I thought so. You know you will have to prove yourself, even though you're my wife."

"I know, but I want to be with you. No matter what."
Nodding he walked up to her with a somber expression. "You're not happy with my decision?" she asked.

"Having my wife work directly under the most evil and feared wizard in centuries? No, I am thrilled," he replied with a raised eyebrow.

She smiled, "I thought so."

He shook his head at her.

"What?" she asked. "Does that mean I can tell my students I am married to one of the most feared teachers of the school?" Samaria winked.

"Not yet. Why would you want to?" he inquired.

"One, I want to see their face. Two, it's getting rather old having 14 and 15-year-old boys asking me on a date. And three… to see their face."

"Your impossible," he scolded.

"You love me any way though."

"Unfortunately," he said.

Rolling her eyes, she popped him on the arm, "Well, they will know one day. I don't see why it's such a big secret."

Snape sighed. "It's not anymore. I've been afraid of the Dark Lord rising since the incident with the Sorcerer's Stone, and was hoping to keep you out of any dealings with the him. That would have been possible, had I been able to keep you a secret from him. Dumbledore doesn't seem to think it feasible, however. He also thinks you would be a great asset. But aside from that, it's just not any of the students' business," he told her.

"Oh. That's why you've been so insistent upon me keeping my mouth shut. Well, I was just going to tell Harry, Ron, and Hermione… What's with that face? I wish you four could just get along!"

"When Potter stops thinking that he is all powerful, and the world should bow at his feet; when Granger stops being an insufferable know-it-all, and when Weasley stops licking Potters boots, then perhaps we might."

"Urgh! All of you have ungrounded prejudices against each other, and I'm sick of it! You all need to grow up!"

Snape just smirked, "That Southern accent comes out a lot thicker when you're angry, Samaria."

She gave him a death glare that gave his own a run for their money.

"Anyway, this is off subject. I don't care that people know now. Dumbledore has made his opinion known, and I think it's best we follow his advice. As much as I loathe it, he is right more often than I," he said.

Her glare melted away into a smile, "You'll live."

"I suppose."

"Well, I might mention it. It's been four years since we were married. And those three are the closest thing I have to real friends. It's difficult to make real friends when your husband is antisocial, and you're the youngest teacher at Hogwarts," she tried to explain.

Snape shrugged his shoulders, "Do what you wish." He knew she would anyway.

She smiled and hugged him.


It was a week before the three were able to get time to go back and visit their healing teacher.

Ron, Hermione, and Harry were walking down the hall toward her office, and just as they rounded a corner, Harry was thinking of asking Professor Kirby if he could start coming to her office for weekly tutorials. Then he heard the voice of Malfoy.

"Yeah, that Professor Kirby is one hot babe. That ass of hers… I would mount that my wall. And her tits, well, let's just say…" he didn't get the rest of it out.

Harry, not even taking the time to reach for his wand, walked right up to him and punched him straight in the nose. He could feel the cartilage smash under his fist. Malfoy fell to the ground, blood gushing out of his nose. He didn't even have time to rise up before Harry was on top of him, punching him with everything he had.

Crabbe and Goyle jumped on Harry, then Ron on top of them. Fists and blood were everywhere.

"What is this?" demanded a cold voice that made every one of them stop.

When they looked up, they saw the Professor Snape's face.

"Up," he ordered.

All five got up, and stood before him. Hermione was still to the side where she was shouting at them.

"What is this about?"

None of them said anything. Harry figured Malfoy didn't have an explanation. Harry knew no matter what he said, the Slytherins would get off. So, he said nothing.

"No one? Fine, come with me," Snape led them down the hall to the closest room: Professor Kirby's.

"In!" he shouted. As they went in, Snape went into her office and came out with her.

"Oh my goodness! What happened?" she asked as she rushed to them.

"That's what I would like to know. Now!" Snape glared at them.

Harry swallowed and looked up through his swollen eyes, "Malfoy was talking bad of Professor Kirby."

Ms. Kirby and Snape's eyes shot toward Malfoy. She stopped examining Ron's wounds.

"What did he say?" Snape asked, eyes still on Malfoy.

Harry fidgeted; he didn't want to repeat it, especially with herin the room.

"Now," growled Snape.

With a deep breath, Harry told him what he had heard. Malfoy went to deny it but stopped at the look at Snape's face. Harry had never seen Snape look so made. He glanced over to Ms. Kirby and saw her face pink and she was looking down.

"The healing can wait," Snape said. "Slytherins with me, Gryffindors stay."

After they left, Ron scoffed, "Sure, they get off easy… again!"

"No, they didn't, Ron," Ms. Kirby said as she took out her wand to repair Ron's face.

"What do you mean?" asked the red head.

"Well, Professor Snape was more furious than I have ever seen him. They won't be getting off at all. In fact, I think you three just might."

Even Harry was confused. He'd seen Malfoy insult and be disrespect many teachers, and Snape had never acted like that. He told Ms. Kirby as much. Hermione came in quietly, and walked over to where they stood.

"Severus won't stand for any disrespect toward himself, nor me."

"Why?" Harry persisted.

"I'm his wife."

The three just stood staring at her.

"You're, you're what?" Ron demanded.

"His wife," she said simply, now moving to heal Harry.

"Why?" was all Harry could get out.

"Well, you see, he started teaching here in my second year. I absolutely loved his voice, his attitude, and his gruffness. It fascinated me. So, when I graduated I came back as an assistant to Madam Pomfrey. I worked with him a lot also making healing potions. We became friends, then courted, then… well you get it."

Harry shook his head in wonder and Ron just looked at her as if he knew she was mental. They all knew that she had lived in America but her parents, not liking the schools there, sent her to Hogwarts. That must be it, Harry thought. It must be an American thing…

After she finished with Harry, she walked to her office and motioned for them to follow.

Still very surprised, they did so without a word.

"You see, Harry. I knew your parents. I didn't say much, because you told me once that everyone was always comparing you to your father and mother. I didn't want you to think I was. Well, my parents met yours when they were here on vacation. They became close. We visited them often, and after hearing about how wonderful Hogwarts was for them, they sent me here. I spent two summers with them. The summer up until you were born, and then the next summer when you turned one. Yes, I even knew Sirius and Remus. Sirius was like a big brother to me. About the time I started my second year, they had to go into hiding. That Halloween, they were killed."

She paused, but Harry didn't know what to say.

So, she continued, "When I became Madam Pomfrey's assistant and began working with Severus, he was like ice. But the more we talked, the more he began to thaw. When he found out my connection to the Potters, well, that gave us something else in common. For a while, it was a negative commonality, but that changed over time. We had different views of them, but it was a conversation topic. One thing led to another, and after a couple of years we were married."

The teenagers were still silent. Hermione had a dreamy expression on her face, Ron, one of disgust, and Harry of confusion.

"So, you were close to my parents?" he asked. finally.

"Not as much as Sirius or Remus, but yes. Yes, I know about Sirius and his innocence. I'm sorry I haven't said anything; I just didn't the first words out of my mouth to you to be 'I knew your parents'. And, you all know Severus; we didn't make a big announcement when we were married so not many people know."

Harry, despite the fact the he really didn't want to, understood. He could also appreciate the irony; his favorite teacher and least favorite teacher were married. Ron on the other had looked as though he didn't know her.

"Ron, are you okay?" she asked him.

Shaking himself out of whatever stupor he was in he asked, "But your last name isn't Snape."

"Oh, it is. I just go by Kirby, my maiden name, here. I was already established as 'Ms. Kirby' by the time we married. Also, it would be too confusing to have two Professor Snapes," she explained.

After a few cookies, which she made appear to cheer the boys up, she walked the three to the door. Before they left, however, she hugged Ron and Harry, "Thank you for defending me."

They both blushed and nodded as they left.


The next few months flew by. Halloween came and went. Soon, Christmas was in the air. The Yule Ball was announced. Students were in a flurry, talking about it. Each house was gathered and taught how to dance.

Samaria smiled as she walked with Severus in the dungeons.

"This is ridiculous," he muttered.

"No, it's not. It's wonderful. It's going to be fun!"

He grunted, and continued into a large classroom with nothing but Slytherins and a phonograph. Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle, who all stood in the back, had healed but it was a lengthy process. Aside from the 50 points each taken from their house, they had to let their wounds heal naturally (other than Malfoy's crushed nose, which had to be regrown as all the cartilage was shattered) only using a potion that stung to fight infection.

"Regrettably, the Yule Ball is in fact a ball, and requires dance. I have asked Professor Kirby to assist me in teaching you the traditional dance," Snape said.

With a flick of his wand the music started, and he held out his hand for her. She took it, and they began to dance gracefully. After a few snickers from the students, (that were quickly silenced by Snape's glare) Samaria finally stopped him.

"Maybe we should let the students try now," she suggested.

"Very well. Pair up."

"Mr. Malfoy," Ms. Kirby said and Malfoy looked up, startled. "Would you come here, please?"

Very reluctantly Malfoy made his way to the front as the rest of the Slytherins paired up.

"You will be my partner for this round," she said with a smile.

Looking at her suspiciously, he took her hand as the music began. Snape stood in the back against the wall, observing.

After a few turns around the room Malfoy became confident that she wasn't going to get him back for what he said, and relaxed. He, then, tested his luck.

"So, there are rumors about you and Professor Snape going around," he said.

"Really? What kind of rumors?"

"That you two are shagging because of the way he acted when Potter and I fought over you."

She quirked a brow at him and chuckled, "I wonder who started something like that?"

Malfoy glanced away for a moment, then asked, "Well, are you?"

"As a matter of fact, we are."

Malfoy missed the next step in the dance, causing Ms. Kirby to trip on him and fall to the floor. With a quick look at Snape, who didn't notice, Malfoy helped her up and continued the dance.

"What?" he hissed.

Ms. Kirby asked, "Well, what else should I do with my husband?"

Though boy's mouth dropped, he didn't miss a step in the dance. Laughing at his expression she said, "Close your mouth before you swallow a bee."

Quickly recovering his composure, Malfoy asked, "Why?"

"What do you mean, 'why'? I love him."

"But, but you're hot! You could have anyone you wanted!" he exclaimed.

"I have who I wanted," she replied.

Just then the music stopped, and they switched partners. Samaria partnered up with several students. After the hour had passed, they were all dismissed. She walked up to join Severus by the wall, and waited for the complaints she knew were coming.

"This is a waste of time. I don't see why they made us do this unnecessary work," he growled.

"Oh, it wasn't that bad, surely? You really hate dancing with me so much?" she teased.

He glared at her, "You know perfectly what I mean. If we must have a ball then it should be up to the students to learn the dance, not the teachers."

"Humph. It didn't kill you. And besides, I had an interesting conversation with Draco."


She looked up at him, "There's a rumor going around that we're, um… what was the word he used? Um… shagging. That we were shagging."

Severus was just taking a drink of water, and when he heard what she said spit it back into the glass and started coughing.


"You heard me," she snickered at the look on his face.

"What did you tell him?"

"The truth."

Severus ran his hand over his face.

"I told him we were married. You have a problem with that?" Samaria crossed her arms.

He sighed, "No. Of course not."

"Good," she smiled, and took his arm to lead him out of the room and he rolled his eyes.


"I don't see why you can't just let her dress herself. She isn't helpless," Severus complained for the tenth time as he walked into the bathroom in their living quarters.

Samaria was gathering her makeup, hair accessories, and anything else she thought she would need.

"I promised I would help her. She doesn't do this kind of thing often."

"Often? Try never. I've been waiting for that mop of hers to catch on fire in potions for years," he retorted.

"That's horrible! You know Hermione is the smartest one in that class, in her whole year for that matter, and you criticize her looks. Would you like to know what the children say about youbehind your back?"

He mumbled something incoherently.

Setting down her bag, she walked up to him and put her arms around his waist, "Just because I find you extremely attractive doesn't mean everyone else does. Besides, this is a special night for all the students. I want to help her as much as I can."

She collected her bag and gave him a quick kiss.

"I'll see you at the ball," she said, as she lifted the dress robes she would wear that evening, and left.


"Oh," Hermione gasped as she looked in the mirror.

Her hair and makeup were done to perfection. She looked as if she couldn't believe who was staring back at her.

"You look beautiful," Ms. Kirby said over her shoulder.

"Thanks to you," breathed Hermione, still mesmerized.

"Oh, Honey. It helps a great deal when you have someone beautiful to work with."
Hermione turned around and gave her a hug.

"Viktor Krum is going to be the envy of the ball."

"I doubt that."

"I don't. Now, help me with my hair," Ms. Kirby said as she took a seat at the vanity in the Gryffindor girl's dormitory. Fortunately, the other four girls who shared this room with Hermione went into town to have their hair done at the Homemade Salon.

"Me help you? I'm not so good with hair, as you can usually see," muttered Hermione.

"Oh, it's not hard. I'll tell you what to do and you just do it."

Under the instruction of Ms. Kirby, Hermione picked up the curling rod and began to curl her long blond hair.

"Where did you learn this stuff?" Hermione inquired.

"Well, when I was about 15, when I would go home for the summer, I was very active in the local theatre. I helped with every play, and the ones I in which I didn't act, I did hair and make-up. Oh, here," she stopped her explanation to show the girl how to roll it properly, then continued.

"Practice made… well not perfect, but I'm better at it than I was as a young teenager."

"You're an actress?"

"Yes. I absolutely love it. I've been doing it ever since I was a young child. I was told I was good, but I didn't want to go into such a risky profession. Didn't really care for the idea of being a starving artist, so I went into what I was good at AND could make a living: healing."

Hermione nodded as she continued to curl her hair. Afterwards, she helped her teacher pile the golden locks on top of her head, and pin it with tendrils hanging down. After putting on makeup, Ms. Kirby helped Hermione into her dress robes, and Hermione helped her. They each added some perfume (magical perfume that didn't fade for quite a while) for a finishing touch. By the time they had finished all of this, it was time for the ball. As they headed down to the common room in the Gryffindor Tower, Ms. Kirby asked, "So, have you told Ron and Harry who you were going to the ball with?"

"No! They would take the mickey out of me if I did!" she insisted.

Samaria wasn't sure what "take the mickey out" was exactly, but knowing Ron and Harry, she got the gist.

As they reached the staircase that lead to the Great Hall, Ms. Kirby leaned over and said, "This is your night, make a grand entrance Cinderella."

Samaria stepped back on the next to the last landing, and let Hermione finish the rest of the decent alone. She hoped Ron saw her as she floated down like an angel.

She saw between them what Ron and Hermione seemed to miss. Harry seemed to notice somewhat, but being a boy, Samaria didn't fault him too much for not paying attention to those things.

After a few minutes, Samaria walked down into the Great Hall. She immediately started searching the room for Severus.

Usually, she had no problem finding him with his black hair and clothing, he stood out in most gatherings. Tonight, though, most of the guys were wearing black, with the exception of poor Ron (what was his mother thinking?!).

Finally, she found him. To her surprise, he had already noticed her from across the room and was staring at her with a strange look in his eyes. As he got closer, she saw what it was: adoration.

When he reached her, she saw that he took her appearance in again, top to bottom, and then back up. The rich blue robes she had chosen brought out her eyes, but other than that they really were not all that special. Maybe they hugged her curves a little more and flared a little more at the bottom, but not enough to spark what was in his eyes.

He leaned in and whispered something in her ear. Samaria blushed at what he said was going to happen as soon as he got her out of there, and slapped his shoulder.

"Hush! Someone might hear you!"

"Well, they already know what goes on behind our closed doors, thanks to you," Severus said with a raised brow.

"Not my fault!"

"I'm sure," was his only reply as he put his hand on her lower back and steered her to where the teachers were standing.

"Ah, Mrs. Snape. You look beautiful," Albus said.

"Oh. Thank you. And please, I keep telling you to call me Samaria."

"Yes, but every time I say 'Mrs. Snape' it reminds me that Severus finally married," he replied as he kissed her hand. He was such an old charmer.

Professor McGonagall came up and said, "The champions are ready." With that Albus signaled the band.

The four champions and their escorts came onto the floor and began to dance, albeit Harry somewhat reluctantly. Hermione, however, looked like she was having the time of her life. Samaria looked around for Ron, and it didn't take long to find him with his red hair and maroon robes. He stood in the circle that surrounded the dancers, and he looked very sulky.

Samaria snickered behind her hand.

Prompted by her laugh, Severus asked, "And what, may I ask, is so funny?" She had already confided her suspicions to him so she told him what she had seen.

Shaking his head, he said, "You are going to stay out of it and let them manage their lives themselves, aren't you?"

"Me? Interfere? I'm surprised at you Severus. You should know me better than that."

"I do. That is precisely why I asked."

She laughed, and in an attempt to avoid his question, pulled his arm toward the dance floor to follow Albus and Minerva.

When he resisted, she pouted her lips and looked up at him.

"You know that doesn't work on me," he said.

"I know but this does. If I'mnot please tonight on this dance floor, you won't be pleased later on," she whispered.

Sighing, he said, "You are evil. I think you might be a Death Eater in your spare time."

She laughed and led him onto the dance floor. After a few dances with him, one with Albus, and to her surprise Draco even came up for one; she walked over to get a drink.

While she was there, she overheard Hermione and Ron going at it. Wanting to step in if it got bad, she didn't want anything to ruin Hermione's night, she listened.

"Next time there's a ball pluck up the courage and ask me before somebody else does! And not as a last resort." she heard Hermione tell Ron.

"Well, that's—I mean, that's just completely off the point." was Ron's reply.

Then Ron saw Harry.

"Harry," he exclaimed.

Hermione then turned on Harry.

"Where have you been? Never mind! Off to bed, both of you," she said before Harry could get a word out.

"They get scary when they get older," she heard Ron tell Harry as they started up the stairs.

"Ron, you spoiled everything!" Hermione screamed in tears, causing both boys to run off.

As Hermione sat on the stairs and pulled off a shoe, Samaria walked up to her and sat down.

"What's wrong, Darling?" she asked.

"Oh, Ms. Kirby! Ron is such a git!" with that Hermione buried her head in her teachers lap and sobbed.

"There, there. I know. Boys can be so insensitive. I'm afraid that's part of life, dealing with their insensitivity."

"But why do I have to care what he thinks?"

After a bit of thought, Ms. Kirby said, "My dear, we can't help who we love, or even who we like. It just happens."

Hermione cried harder.

"Come on, let's get you to bed." With that Ms. Kirby lifted the distraught girl up and help her up the stairs.

"Samaria," Severus said behind them.

She turned and said, "I'll be along soon. I need to talk to Hermione."

He gave one nod, and headed for the dungeons.

"Oh! I've gotten make up all over your robes," Hermione said.

"Don't worry, Hun. I doubt I'll ever need to wear them again anyway," Samaria said as she helped Hermione up and led her upstairs.


It was after three in the morning, as Samaria crept through the castle to her and Severus' chambers. She hoped he wasn't too put out things didn't go as planned.

When she finally reached their bedroom, she saw he was already asleep.

Very quietly she undressed, and crawled into bed next to him. When he didn't stir, she knew he was either asleep or mad. Asleep, she hoped.

Turning on her side, she thought of the past few hours. After she had gotten Hermione calmed down, she had gone to leave, only to run into Harry in the Gryffindor Common Room.

"Harry what are you doing up?" she asked.

"Couldn't sleep, too much drama," was the reply.

Samaria walked over and sat with him in front of the fire. She then asked, "Ron and Hermione?"

"Yes and no. I actually understand Hermione's point, but I didn't tell Ron that. He'll figure it out one day… hopefully." He paused. "Can I tell you something and you not tell anyone else?"

"You know y'all can trust me, Harry," she replied.

"Well, I think I like Cho Chang, the Ravenclaw, but when I finally got up the courage to ask her to the ball someone else had already beaten me to it. And what's worse, it was Cedric! So, I asked Parvati and Padma Patil to go with Ron and me. Neither of us wanted to dance and so now they're made at us, which isn't that big of deal to me, someone's alwaysmad at me. Why not them? But anyway, I had to sit and watch Cho dance with Cedric, then get chewed out by Hermione, and then listen to Ron!" Harry sighed. Samaria smiled at him.


Samaria woke with a start. What woke her? She heard the shower turn on and realized it was Severus.

Knowing that she'd never go back to sleep, Samaria rose and dressed.

By the time the shower stopped, she was already in the living room waiting to walk to the Great Hall with him.

Severus walked out, continued right past her and out the door.

He must be mad, she thought.

Sighing she followed, deciding not to bother him until he got over this.


Samaria grunted as she plopped down in her chair for dinner in the Great Hall two days later.

He is so stubborn! she thought.

Severus still hadn't spoken to her. Whether he liked it or not, the next time she saw him she was going to get him to talk to her.

He didn't show up for dinner, so afterwards she went looking for him. After searching all of his usual places, Samaria finally found him in a random hallway in the school.

"Severus, we need to talk."

He kept walking, acting as if she hadn't spoken.

"Severus," she said more severely, grabbing his arm. Finally, he turned to face her.

"What?" he asked.

"Are you going to stay mad at me forever?"


"That's childish! You could at least talk to me!" she said, getting more frustrated by the minute.

"You could at least make time for your husband," was his angry reply, his cool demeanor gone and replaced with fiery anger.

Good, she thought. I can handle arguing better than being ignored.

"I make time for you, but it doesn't all have to be about you!"

"How dare you put words in my mouth! That is not what I said!" he said his voice steadily rising. No one could infuriate him like this woman, not even Harry Potter.

"It's what you thought!" she retorted, her volume matching his.

Since most all of the students had stayed behind during holidays to attend the ball, the hallways were fairly full, and those close enough to hear turned to watch the argument unfold.

"Oh, so now you're skilled in Legilimency! Tell me, what am I thinking now?"

"Don't start. You're just mad because you didn't get what you wanted the other night!" she snapped.

"THIS IS NOT ABOUT SEX!" he said in an extremely loud voice. As soon as he said it, he realized just how loud. Looking around at the students, some laughing, some shocked, he took her arm and led her straight to their quarters in the dungeon.

"That is exactly what this is about," she insisted on the way, but he refused to say anything else until they were behind closed doors.

The second the door in their chambers were shut Samaria demanded, "What is it about then?"

"Those three, Potter, Granger, and Weasley! You spend more time helping them with their petty problems than even speaking with me!"

"That's not true," she insisted.

"Oh, is it not? Every day during lunch, where are you? After dinner? Before the Yule Ball, where did you go? And after? I barely see you. Why else would I be making up excuses to come to your office so often?"

Samaria stood there, stunned. Had she really been spending so much time with them? They had grown so close, and she loved helping them. But… maybe she had been neglecting Severus. He's not the most open person in the world, so when she had found some other than him under fifty to talk to she jumped in feet first, never once thinking of how he would feel. She knew he despised Harry; so, all of the little comments he made, she hadn't really given them any thought. She had a horrible thought. Severus was once in love with Harry's mother, Lily. He feels that he lost her to James. How must he feel, thinking he was losing his wife to James' son?

"I'm sorry," she whispered. "I didn't realize."

That seemed to surprise him. Samaria usually didn't back down from an argument, whether she was wrong or not.

Severus walked up to her and wrapped his arms around her waist. That was his way of showing her she was forgiven.

Hugging him back she said, "I won't stop being their friend all together, but I will ease up on the time I spend with them."

"That's all I ask," he murmured into her hair.

Smiling she reached up and kissed him.

"So, I'm forgiven," she asked, coyly?

"Perhaps, I may need a little persuasion," catching her tone.

"Then come, Professor. I shall persuade you."


The next day, Samaria and Severus found themselves in Professor Dumbledore's office.

"You are here because, as you both know, it is only a matter of time before Voldemort returns," he said.

Like most everyone else in the wizarding world, Samaria winced at his name. Severus, though did not say it, was used to the name.

"Severus has informed me that his Dark Mark grows ever darker, as does Karkaroff's. Samaria, you wish to spy for our side, am I correct?" the headmaster asked. She nodded.

"Severus, you must teach her Occlumency. She must be able to hide her thoughts from her new master."

"I will," he answered.

"Good," was Dumbledore's reply. "Start as soon as you can. I fear we have little time."

"Yes, sir."

"Next week, I will hold the first meeting of The Order of the Phoenix in 13 years. I want you two to be present. I will give you the date and location before then."

"Order of the Phoenix?" asked Samaria.

"An organization I started when Voldemort (wince from Samaria) was last in power. I think now would be a good time to start it back up." The Headmaster paused a moment. "Now, you two go enjoy the holiday. It might be the last real one for a while," Dumbledore somberly said.

As they left his office, neither said a word.

"It's really happening, isn't it?" Samaria finally asked when they were back in their living quarters.

"Yes. Do you know what you're getting in to?"

"Not exactly, of course. But, then again, whoever does?" was the reply.

Severus nodded and led his wife to their room to begin their first of many lessons.

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