William Monk and Hester Latterly are the property of Ms. Anne Perry, writer of Victorian mysteries. William makes such a wonderful Slytherin and Hester such a splendid Gryffindor I couldn't resist putting them in a cameo. The series concerning these two individuals, as well as many more of a varied and colorful cast, begins with "The Face of a Stranger", and is wonderful and well worth the read.
The late operatic composer Puccini owns the character of Floria Tosca, from whom I borrowed the name for Snape's Arctic gyrfalcon, Tosca.
The late Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's property includes the characters of Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, Mrs. Hudson, and Moriarty. Ever the great chemist and near-wizard, I couldn't resist making Holmes the Hogwarts Potions Master, which does fit wonderfully with his early retirement supposedly to Sussex.
No Severuses, Hermiones, or Dracos were hurt in the writing of this fic.
Author's Notes: I wish first and foremost to thank my friend and beta, Karen, who goes by the name "Potions Student" on ff.net. For infinite patience with my constant flooding of her mailbox with writing, many crazy late night conversations, and encouragement to keep up with this fic, I am profoundly grateful. Diolch yn fawr, fy nghares.
To those who have reviewed this fic and made a bit of a following, it seems (a thing I hardly yet believe!), I also extend my gratitude. It's been a great time, and I look forward to your comments on the forthcoming book 2.
My thanks also go out to the gals at the Snapefic Liberation Front at Yahoo! Groups for their wise critique and ever-present encouragement, plus insane discussions by the bucket load. Looking forward to more of it, ladies!
"Passager" as Tosca uses it is a falconer's term used to describe a hunting raptor (eagle, hawk, owl, falcon) that is in the somewhat awkward stage between that of an "eyass" or nestling, and a "haggard" or adult. In effect, a teenager.
For the idea of Tosca, I profoundly thank Pat, my opera-loving friend.
Book 2, entitled "As the Falcon Hath Her Bells: On the Wing" will be arriving presently. Have patience, and I hope you'll find the wait worth it!
The title of "As the Falcon Hath Her Bells" comes from the Bard himself:
and the falcon her bells, so man hath his desires.
"As You Like It", Act III, Scene iii
This fic was begun in response to a Valentine's Day challenge, and continued at request. The challenge became Chapter One.