The Potions Master's Birthday as it Played Out on his Tumblr Blog
Jan. 9, 2011
Salutations from both members of Tumblr, and anonymous lurkers.
Willow steps into the Potion Master's domain quietly, waiting for his attention before speaking.
"I know you're quite busy, Professor, and excuse me if I interrupt, but I know that tomorrow is your birthday and, even if you don't celebrate it, I wanted to wish you many happy returns."
She gives a little bob of her head, trying a smile.
"Ah. Miss Willow," the professor sighs in annoyance. "I am sure there will be others who will be persistent upon wishing me a happy birth…" There is a pleasant pop as a wildly colourful gift in yellow, green polka dotted paper, with a riot of eye-caustic coloured ribbons, appears on the desk. Professor Snape sneers, then backs away as the gift tips on its side, and appears to have the effrontery to twinkle at him! When the gift tries to nudge him affectionately, the Potions Master jumps up off his desk chair, unsheaths his wand, and dashes smoothly to the other side of his desk.
The gift sighs, and then in a burst of twists and turns, the wrapping explodes off of the gift, followed by the lid. A pair of nauseating colour-infused socks pops out onto the desk. "Albus!" grits the wizard. With a sharp flick of his wand, he intones sharply, "Incohare ornus!" There is a brief flame, and then the socks, and the box, and the remains of the wrapping, are all ash.
"Accio Ogden's!" snarls the Potions Master. A bottle zips through the inner door of the wizard's quarters and he catches it smoothly, and slips it into a pocket of his robes. "Five points for the warning, Miss Willow." Professor Snape slips through the door of his office. He plans to be as far away as possible on his birthday.
"Birthday, Severus? Surely you're staying?"
The Headmaster catches the wily Potions Master just as he is about to step out of the castle towards the Apparition point. The old man smiles at the younger man, a taut grip on the arm that clutches at a bottle of Ogden's Finest Firewhiskey in an interior pocket.
"Headmaster," Professor Snape addresses his employer stiffly, "I am late for an appointment."
The Headmaster smiles, and with a tap to the younger wizard's arm, the weight of the Ogden's vanishes. Professor Snape scowls in the face of Dumbledore's twinkling eyes. "I rather think you have more important matters to deal with in your office, my boy." With gentle strength, Dumbledore steers his Potions Master away from the door, and towards the dungeons. He then pats Professor Snape's back. "Go on, Severus. It would be the height of rudeness of all days, today, to turn away from those who have always known the best of you." The Headmaster's eyes twinkle firmly, "And, do accept any gifts you receive, even from students, with grace."
The Potions Master's scowl manages a new level of darkness as he watches the back of his mentor walk blithely away. "We'll see you at dinner, Severus." Dumbledore pauses, turns back slightly, and gives the younger man a smile that withers the scowl on his face. "Happy birthday, my boy. I hope you enjoyed the socks." With a soft chuckle, the Headmaster retreats to his tower.
For a moment, Professor Snape is frozen in place. Then, in a swirl of billowing robes, and a growing smirk, he strides down to his office in the dungeons.
Anonymous leaves a note:
This letter is being sent to you anonymously due to the fact that many young women/seventh years wish to convey a message to you. We all sincerely wish you a very happy birthday and hope that you have a day free of problematic students and headaches.
Various 7th year female students of Hogwarts.
Entering his office, the first thing Professor Snape notices is a letter. It is flitting over his desk, rather pleased with itself, he thinks. The Potions Master snatches up the letter, and fancies that he hears a slight squeal from it as his tight grip crushes a small portion. Tapping it with his wand (to make sure that no untoward hexes or curses are contained within the parchment) the wizard then reads the brief note.
Professor Snape's face flashes with a grimace, and then his skin flushes with an unnatural rose. When have I become the fodder for school girl fantasies? his mind shouts.
The professor collapses in his chair, at his desk, and the letter squeaks once more as it is brutally squashed between his hands as he set his forehead down upon the palms. But, only for the moment. He raises his head.
"Accio Calming Potion, Accio Headache Relief!" Both potions arrive promptly, and by dropping the letter, he catches one in each hand. After swallowing the potions, he picks up his favourite quill, grabs a piece of parchment, and quickly pens a reply. He then Summons an owl and attaches the short reply to the bird's foot.
"Take it to… well, to whomever had the audac… I mean, the grace to pen good wishes to me." The owl cocks its head 180 degrees, and Professor Snape impatiently shoos it away.
A seventh year student opens the small note in Professor Snape's notable, spiky handwriting. She reads:
She smiles, and giggles as the writing appears to be able to glower just as her Potions professor does.
A student wanders in:
Happy Birthday Professor Snape! Hope you enjoy this present! *hands over a silver wrapped package containing a series of sweets from Honeydukes*
Blessedly, the student, whomever it might have been, vanished quickly. Professor Snape ran his wand cautiously over the gift, before opening it. He stared down at the ornate box lid from Honeydukes.
Selecting a cream-filled chocolate, the scowl he had prepared softened, ever so slightly. The wizard muttered to himself, "Dumbledore did say to accept any gifts with grace." Professor Snape supposed that chocolate wasn't really something to be so easily tossed, on today, of all days. He selected a creme-de-menthe truffle.
The Ravenclaw enters with one thing on her mind, the importance of today for a certain teacher. "Happy birthday Professor Snape," Elizabeth smiles. "I hope you have an amazing day."
"Yes, yes," says the professor as he stifles a yawn. There is an impressive pile of presents sitting behind him; most unopened. Three had been cursed, and the Potions professor had dealt with those promptly, and with a vengeance. The backlash had broken a few of the ugly jars on the shelf behind him, and he had yet to clean up the mess.
The Ravenclaw, rather a conscientious sort, takes out her wand, glances quickly at her professor (one never knows if he might hex, or thank), and at his nod, the mess is gone. Smartly, she dashes out of the office; just in case. She barely hears her professor say, "Ten points to Ravenclaw."
Wilkie tugs down the edges of her hat, trying desperately to hide her ever changing hair. The colors were sometimes repetitive and sometimes ridiculous, neon green? Hot pink? Really? She sighed, wishing desperately that whatever the pranksters who did this used would wear off soon. She silently dug the small package out of her bag, holding the wrapped gift gently as she turned to the heavy door leading to the Potions Master's office. While she was sure that he didn't truly enjoy celebrating his birthday, she also knew that many students or at the very least a good portion of the female population got him something. She knocks gently, then waits.
Her hazel eyes drift down to the simple present. A black leather bound journal that she had found tucked away at a sort of thrift shop in Hogsmeade. There were emerald colored designs that twined around the spine of the book, simple yet elegant. She believed that he could use it for notes on potions or merely to take out his frustrations if the need ever arose, but she was also terribly nervous that he wouldn't like it or even accept it. Even through her nerves though she had made her way down to the dungeons to deliver it herself, wanting to thank the man again and get some fresh air after locking herself in her common room whenever she had a chance to escape the barrage of pranks and comments.
Professor Snape finally dealt with the pile of presents. Most were chocolate, or other sweets from Honeydukes; far more than he would indulge in, in a lifetime. Those were sent as anonymous *cough* gifts to all the Houses. Any sherbet lemons, or lemon anything, went to a sugar-hopped up Headmaster. There were a few interesting books, and quite a useful years subscription to 'Potions & Chemistry', a periodical from the Americas, and an odd looking, brass, and copper contraption, that whistled and spun. Professor Snape had no idea what it was, and intended to look it up later. Maybe. A Miss Moontiger had sent him an exquisite sculpture of an albino cobra that he had placed on the corner of his desk. It would suitably intimidate any students in for detention, or worse.
The wizard looked up to see Miss Wilkie in his doorway. The hapless student was the recipient of a student prank that was currently wreaking havoc with her hair. He closed his eyes for a moment against the rainbow flashing barrage that was poorly hidden by her hat. An angry flick and swish of his wrist, and the student's hair was back to its normal colour.
"Miss Wilkie, I think you need to visit Weasleys Wizard Wheezes for assistance in dealing with your erstwhile Housemates," he snaps out the suggestion. Her face brightens despite the chiding as she examines her hair. The Potions Master continues, "Your skin on Monday, nose changes on Tuesday, and what was it on Wednesday?" Professor Snape taps his chin in thought. "Oh yes. Those boils were a tad painful, from what Madame Pomfrey told me."
"Sir?" She holds out the package wrapped in, of all things, parchment. "Thank you, sir, and happy birthday?"
The professor hasn't deigned to open any gift in front of a student, but he does so, this time. The parchment is vanished to reveal rather an elegant looking journal. His fingers brush over the emerald enameled design on the spine, and across its black, blank cover. It is a leather journal of some quality. He is also able to sense an Expansion Spell that allows for twice the amount of writing. Professor Snape glares down at the student, regarding her. A quick shush of Legilimens shows him that the student has no idea the true quality of her gift. He also sees her grave sincerity, and desperate hope that he accept it.
The Potions Master gives the girl a short nod that is nearly a bow of acknowledgment. "Thank you, Miss Wilkie. I am in need of a new Potions Journal and this will suit my work admirably."
Wilkie blinks and she can't hide the bright smile that lights up her face. Not only did he help with her hair, but he also seemed to enjoy her gift. She nods and bows to him, the smile still dancing across her lips.
"You're welcome, Professor, I've very glad you like it. Also, thank you, for helping me once again. I will be on my way. I hope you have a relatively pleasant evening and sleep tonight, sir," She nods and bows again before leaving, glad that should could provide him with something of use.
A Knock at Professor Snape's office sounds. At the door, Miss Haitland, a 7th year Ravenclaw stands. "Sir, I do realize that you do not celebrate your birthday, and I had planned to respect your wishes on this matter. However, "she hesitates, "as I am under duress *glares behind her*, I have decided to conform to this social ritual." * She hands him a long wooden box containing unicorn tail hairs.* "Might as well give you something useful" she mumbles, then leaves-presumably back to the library.
Professor Snape takes the narrow box from Miss Haitland, and his eyes widen, the tiniest of margins, as he eyes a contingent of female students behind the Ravenclaw. They aren't all Ravenclaws, though. A few are Hufflepuffs, two are Slytherins, and he almost chokes as three Gryffindors smile simperingly, and wave at him.
Miss Haitland is leaving, pushing through the crowd of young ladies, and the Potions Master panics slightly (although you know he would never admit it).
"Back to your dorms!" he snarls. None of the students seems too inclined to leave, and so he spreads out his arms, turning his robes into dark wings. He gives the girls his darkest look, and then shouts, "GO!"
All the female students, seeing the sudden personification of the vampire their Potions professor has long rumoured to be, let out screams, and scramble to get out of the Bat of the Dungeons way. Professor Snape turns abruptly, and then slams the door to his office closed. He leans his back against it, and huffs out a sharp breath.
"Is this bloody birthday not over, yet?"
Capricorn - Professor Severus Snape
December 22 to January 20
Practical and prudent
Ambitious and disciplined
Patient and careful
Humorous and reserved
On the dark side….
Pessimistic and fatalistic
Miserly and grudging
The sign Capricorn is one of the most stable and (mostly) serious of the zodiacal types. These independent, rocklike characters have many sterling qualities. They are normally confident, strong willed and calm. These hardworking, unemotional, shrewd, practical, responsible, persevering, and cautious to the extreme persons, are capable of persisting for as long as is necessary to accomplish a goal they have set for themselves. Capricorn are reliable workers in almost any profession they undertake. They are the major finishers of most projects started by the 'pioneering' signs; with firm stick-to-it-ness they quickly become the backbone of any company they work for.
Capricorn make of themselves, resourceful, determined managers; setting high standards for themselves and others. They strive always for honesty in their criticism of self, they respect discipline from above and demand it from those beneath them. In their methodical, tough, stubborn, unyielding way, they persist against personal hardship, putting their families and/or their work before their own needs and welfare to reach their objectives long after others have given up and fallen by the wayside. In fact when practical ability allied with the drive of ambition are required in employees to make a project succeed, Capricorn are the people to hire. They plan carefully to fulfill their ambitions (which often include becoming wealthy), they are economical without meanness, and able to achieve great results with minimum effort and expense. Because of their organizing ability they are able to work on several projects simultaneously.
They have a great respect for authority but may not, if they reach high rank, be willing to listen to other opinions on things they are directly responsible for. As the ranking authority figure in a given situation they expect their underlings to be as self disciplined as they themselves are, and to perform every task undertaken to the highest standard.
They are, nevertheless, fair as well as demanding. Among their equals they are not always the most pleasant of work fellows for they are reserved and too conservative, valuing tradition more than innovation, however valuable the latter, and they are often humorless. There is also a tendency to pessimism, melancholy and even unhappiness which many Capricorn are unable to keep to themselves, especially if they fail personally. In the extreme this trait can make them a very depressed individual; ecstatic happiness alternating with the most wretched kind of misery which is so subconsciously buried that he or she should seek help if such emotions become frequent. For the above reason, capable Capricorn should spend many hours in meditation, gathering the strength to control such inner emotions.
The swings in mood are not the only reason some Capricorns deserve the adjective based on their name - capricious. They can be surprisingly and suddenly witty and subtle for the quiet, reserved individuals they seem to be, and they also have a tendency to ruin things by unexpected and utterly irresponsible bouts of flippancy. In certain individuals in whom the characteristic is strong, the temptation to do this has to be resisted with iron self-control. Another unexpected quality in some Capricorn is an interest in the occult which persists in spite of their naturally skeptical turn of mind.
Their intellects are sometimes very subtle. They think profoundly and deeply, throughly exploring all possibilities before deciding on a 'safe' alternative. They have good memories and an insatiable yet methodical desire for knowledge. They are rational, logical and clearheaded, have good concentration, delight in debate in which they can show off their cleverness by luring their adversaries into traps and confounding them with logic.
In their personal relationships they are often ill-at-ease, if not downright unhappy. They are somewhat self-centered but not excessively so, wary and cautious around people they do not know very well, preferring not to meddle with others and in turn not to allow interference with themselves, thus they tend to attract people who do not understand them. Casual acquaintances they will treat with diplomacy, tact and, above all, reticence. They make few good friends but are intensely loyal to those they do make, and they can become bitter, and powerful enemies. They sometimes dislike the opposite sex and test the waters of affection gingerly before judging the temperature right for marriage. Once married, however, they are faithful, though inclined to jealousy. Most Capricorns marry for life.
Their occupations can include most professions that have to do with math or money and they are strongly attracted to music. They can be economists, financiers, bankers, speculators, contractors, managers and real estate brokers. They excel as bureaucrats, especially where projects demanding long-term planning and working are concerned, and their skill in debate and love of dialectic make them good politicians. They are excellent teachers, especially as principals of educational establishments where they have the authority to manage and organize without too much intimacy with the staff members. If working with their hands, they can become practical scientists, engineers, farmers and builders. The wit and flippancy which is characteristic of certain Capricornians may make some turn to entertainment as a career.
Miss. Haitland snickers as she hears the screams of the terrified students fleeing from Professor Snape. As she'd hoped the simpering girls distracted the Professor enough that he did not ask where his gift came from-and thus did not deduct points from Ravenclaw for her entrance into the Forbidden Forest.
Laewel sighed as she made her way down to the Dungeons to Professor Snape's office. It was very late and she knew the man would not be in the best of moods after the multitudes of students and other Professors wishing him a pleasant birthday. Laewel was certain that, if anything, it had most probably been less than pleasant.
When she arrived at his door, she knocked and waited. Worridly, she shifted the gift Professor Babbling had sent her with. It wasn't that the young apprentice didn't like the Professor, she just didn't want to face his rath at such a late hour. Still, her Mistress had set her a task and she had to see it through.
Professor Snape glares at the article sent to him by Sybil Trelawney for his birthday. Pinching the bridge of his nose, he supposes he ought to be thankful that at least this time the sherry-filled drub had not predicted one of many deaths for him. Picking up the article, he began to read it.
A timid knock on the door of his office had the Potions Master slapping the small essay on Capricorn down upon his desk. He would hardly tell anyone, but it was, so far, unnerving.
"What?" he snapped.
His door opened, timidly, if at all possible, and the face of someone he didn't immediately recognise peered from the corridor.
"Well? Do not just stand there," the professor ordered, as his eye caught sight of the wrapped gift. "Hmmm, you are Professor Babbling's apprentice, are you not?" The Potions Master answered his own question, "Laewel Collins, is it not? Well, Miss Collins," he sighed, tired and aggrieved with this day. "If you have felicitations to present, please do so, and then leave me be."
"Of course, sir. Professor Babbling and I wished to give you this small parcel and we both sincerely hope you've had a nice birthday." Laewel briskly makes her way to his desk and sets the tiny package down in front of him and steps away. Bowing, she quickly wishes him a good evening and hurriedly leaves the room and the Professor to his doings.
Professor Snape picks up the small package that fits in the palm of his hand. He takes out his wand, waves it over the gift, and then opens it. Inside is a tiny bottle of crystal. Glowing within is the milky, opalescent swirl of Phoenix Tears. The Potions Master blinks in surprise.
The woman in black, who was teaching one of the new courses on the Hogwarts curriculum (Mythology and Mysticism), often wandered about after everyone had gone to bed, meditating as she walked along the silent, moonlit corridors. She had had occasion to greet Professor Snape in passing, but never during her nightly contemplation.
Unsurprisingly, it appeared the man was having a restless night after a day spent encountering more people than usual. It was his birthday, she knew. The woman in black, momentarily meeting his tired eyes, merely said, a quiet intensity suffusing her voice, "Good night, esteemed professor," and inclined her head slightly. She then seemingly melded with the shadows as she swept past him in her monastic robes, praying he would soon be able to rest. Heaven knew the dedicated man deserved it.
As soon as the clock in his office ticked over to curfew, the Potions professor vacated his office, warding it closed, and pulled his dark teaching robes close about himself as he drifted within the shadows of the corridors.
Grumbling under his breath, Professor Snape turned the corner… and felt an easing of the atmosphere around him. He paused, and drew in a deep breath, and felt his blood cooling. The professor's heart was soothed, and that's when he saw a shifting in the shadows a few steps ahead of him.
The voice of the professor that taught a new course at Hogwarts glided past him as gentle as a sigh. Her soft voice greeted him with ancient respect, and he nodded in her direction.
"And to you, Professor Logospilgrim," his voice only loud enough for her ears, it barely disturbed the flames in the torches lining the corridor.
Professor Snape continued his walk as soon as the enigmatic teacher was embraced by the Hogwarts shadows. He smiled. The first one in quite some time. Somehow he felt as though his soul had been lightened.
A/N: to see the images that go with the posts, please start with this post (http : / professor-snape . Tumblr . Com / post / 2662243485 / willow-steps-into-the-potion-masters-domain-quietly) and then end with this post (http : / professor-snape . Tumblr . Com / post / 2680918538 / the-woman-in-black-who-was-teaching-one-of-the-new).