VIII. Bindu

'Can vows and perfume, kisses infinite,
Be reborn from the gulf we cannot sound;
As rise to heaven suns once again made bright
After being plunged in deep seas and profound?
Ah, vows and perfumes, kisses infinite!'

– Charles Baudelaire translated by Frank Pearce Sturm


From Hermione Granger's perfume notebooks, vol. II:

The ingredients of the Amorlatio perfume are similar to those of the Amortentia potion.

Frozen Ashwinder Eggs, Alihotsy leaves, Mooncalf milk, powdered pearls, and Occamy eggshells are used in both distillations, though the amounts differ. Different from Amortentia, Amorlatio does not ask for Lamia venom, crushed Spiralling Corals from the Solomon Islands, or the extract of Devil's Snare roots. But as the source for the essential pheromonal note of the perfume, Siren's sweat is added.

Patented by Spinner's Scents in March 2010, the perfume was first presented to the public at the 2010 May Fair, where it won the first place in the competition of magical perfumes.

A lightly arousing erotic perfume, Amorlatio stimulates the senses with scents based on whatever or whoever is most attractive to the wearer. In extremely rare cases (ten in ten thousand test subjects) Amorlatio may reveal to the wearer of the perfume a mate whose magic is uniquely compatible with their own.

According to Ancient Greek tradition, wizards and witches who share such an extraordinary magical compatibility are 'soul mates'. The alchemists of old called this union 'Mystic Marriage' or 'Chymical Wedding'.

In modern applied alchemy, the so-called 'coniunctio' has come to scholarly attention as a part of the magical, spiritual, and personal transformation adepts undergo when they gain Mastery. Their exceptional compatibility increases both the strength and the sensitivity of such a couple's magic. This allows them to complete the final stages enlightenment (citrinitas and rubedo) at the same time, and they gain true Mastery – not only the ability to produce a Philosopher's Stone, but the power to create the Elixir of Life.


1 June 2010

A wreath of miniature invisible lotus flowers crowns my curls. And Severus wears a single invisible lotus blossom tucked into the lapel of his tuxedo as a boutonnière. Tomorrow the Daily Prophet will certainly remark upon the unremarkable floral decoration of bride and bridegroom of the year.

The holy grove is filled with the honeyed scent of Linden blossoms from the ancient tree at its centre, which serves as the altar for today's ceremony. Beyond the circle of trees, the Forbidden Forest dreams in the heat of the day, adding a hint of resin and spices and warm wood to the perfume of the day.

I stand barefoot on the freshly mown meadow. My white dress clings to my ripening curves in a way that leaves little to imagination. That should guarantee at least a scandalous headline for Witch Weekly. And the decadent banquet that Lucius Malfoy (proud and self-styled matchmaker of the 'bridal couple of the year') and Mystery de Medici have organised for us as their wedding gift should take care of all other headline needs of wizarding tabloids on both sides of the Atlantic for the forseeable future. But I couldn't care less.

Professor Flitwick's orchestra of Transfigured owl heads and student choir begin a new melody that twirls and swirls around us like a summer breeze. On the altar I glimpse the red dodecahedron of my Mastery's phial next to Severus' redware flagon – both filled to the brim, so much more powerful than the typical, purely symbolic gifts exchanged at a traditional handfastening. At the last moment, Draco puts down his sketchpad and steps back to join the circle of family and friends surrounding the grove to bless us and wish us the best of luck upon our wedding day. Then my father takes my arm and leads me to where Severus is waiting for me under the Linden tree.

Fragrant notes of herbs and leather and musk envelop me, and Severus' kiss tastes of eternity.


'And all my soul is scent and melody.'

– Charles Baudelaire, translated by Alan Conder



Author's Notes:

There are no words to express just how grateful I am to everyone who helped me with "The Scent of Magic", listened to my woes while writing, my wibbling while waiting for it to post during the SS/HG Exchange, and at last to my elation when it finally posted and was well received. Therefore, a huge, heartfelt THANK YOU goes to:

The owners of BPAL for allowing me to basically write BPAL fanfic, and Juniperus for paving the road to that gracious permission: without you, there would be no story.

My patient, insightful, and endlessly supportive beta-readers, Bluestocking and Machshefa: without you, the story would be only half as good as it is.

My enthusiastic and critical alpha-readers who cheered me along even when I thought the story would never end, Mis_T and Zauza: without you, there might be a story, but at the end there would have been nothing left of the author.

Knowledgeable friends who patiently answered some very odd questions – besides my alpha- and beta-readers – ariadne1, Ferporcel, Juniperus, and Organic Chemist: without you, the details and the depth of the story wouldn't be what they are.

My amazing and supportive friends on LiveJournal and Buzz, who helped me brainstorm, listened to endless discussions of odd details, my ranting and raving, and still cheered me on and encouraged me every step of the way – you know who you are: without you, my life would be so much poorer, and my stories, too.

The mods at the Exchange who graciously granted several extended extensions: without your patience, I wouldn't have been able to finish the story the way it turned out.

And last but not least, to every reader who took the time to leave a comment: without you, the story would have remained just a file on a computer – your comments and questions made the story come to life.