Disclaimer: JK owns Harry Potter, not me.
Two things were severely affecting morale at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry: the appointment of Dolores Jane Umbridge (or Toad woman as the students and staff affectionately called her) as High Inquisitor and the daily reports detailing the Dark Lord's recent attacks all over Europe in the Daily Prophet. In fact, the reports seemed to state that the Dark Lord was winning the war, which was a rather startling thought since the majority of the students knew at least one person involved. Every day, more deaths were reported with even more horrific stories of tragedy and heartbreak. It was not long before students and staff found mail time as a somber event and one that they all seemed to dread.
So it was no surprise that Hogwarts' top pranksters decided to help lighten the air, if only for a few hours. The two red-haired menaces plotted in dark corners of every part of the castle and spoke in hushed tones as they bounced ideas off one another. And whenever a teacher walked past, the young men instantly smirked towards the professor with their lips firmly shut. Unfortunately, the only prank that was sure to make even the dungeon-dwelling bat crack a smile needed a female member of Hogwarts' teaching staff, preferably one who had a sense of humor. So once more they bounced off ideas of which witch they'd choose for their morale booster. This time they chose the library to plot.
"Definitely not Umbridge," Fred Weasley, a seventh-year Gryffindor, said, just barely suppressing his shudder.
"Yeah, definitely not," replied George, Fred's twin brother, as he crossed off another witch's name from their list. "That leaves Sinistra, Vector, Hooch, or Burbage." They had crossed off their Head of House quite awhile ago with the Head of Herbology right behind her.
"Hooch and Burbage!" exclaimed Fred. "I'd rather see Snape than them."
"That leaves Vector then since Sinistra is likely to firecall Mum if we asked her."
"Honestly," the redhead grumbled, "you bring food up to your professor's office just once, and you end up branded as life as trying to get in her knickers."
"You were trying to, though, Fred," his brother pointed out.
"Oh, please, like the others weren't thinking it," Fred said with a smirk as he recalled that night.
"Yeah, but they didn't try it by attempting to woo her with bringing her food late at night."
"Yeah, yeah," Fred mumbled. He then sighed, glancing at his brother. "Want to go talk to her?"
"Sinistra?" croaked George.
"No, Vector," replied Fred. He then glanced over to a nearby table, smiling at Angelina Johnson, a fellow Gryffindor, who was studying with a few of her friends. When she glanced away rolling her eyes, he chuckled softly. Too bad they had decided to use a professor in their prank and not a student because he would have loved to see Angelina.
"Hey," George said, slapping Fred's arm to gain his attention. "Look who's heading into the Restricted Section."
With a sigh of annoyance, Fred glanced towards the usually locked gates. Sure enough, there was Septima Vector, Arithmancy professor, walking into the Restricted Section, alone. Looking around, he made sure no one was looking before George and he both stood and walked over by her.
Turning his back to the light-brown haired witch that was right behind him on the other side of the black bars, Fred reached for a book, glancing towards his brother. He nodded towards him when George stepped out into the aisle to peruse those shelves, keeping watch. Once it was all set, he wet his lips and spoke softly.
"Professor Vector?" he quietly said, slowly turning around to look through the bars at her. He gave her a polite smile when she instantly whirled around. "We have a business proposition we'd like to discuss with you, Professor."
"A business proposition?" repeated the light-brown haired witch. She then gave a little laugh before rolling her green eyes at him. "Mr. Weasley, if you think you and your brother can—"
"Nothing of the sort, Professor," he interrupted softly. He noticed her curious look instantly. "We'd like it if you helped us with a little morale booster that'd take place in the Great Hall. We have it pretty well planned, but we'd be up for suggestions if you had any, Professor."
"I'm likely going to pay for this later, but sure, Mr. Weasley, I'll help." She then sighed, shaking her head. "However, you and your brother are going to come clean tonight about this little plan of yours. I will not be hoodwinked by either of you two pranksters. Is that understood?"
"Yes, Professor, we understand," Fred answered, inclining his head respectfully as she slowly walked out of the Restricted Section. "We'll be there in an hour with all of our plans." He then flashed a beaming smile. "You won't regret this, though, Professor."
"Mr. Weasley," she said with a sigh, placing a hand on his shoulder, "I already have." She then walked away from him and headed out of the library without another word spoken.
A week later, Valentine's Day in fact, Fred crept into the kitchens. The house elves were all a buzz with activity as they fluttered around in preparation for breakfast. When he found the familiar house elf that he knew would help without saying a word to anyone about his involvement, he felt his luck increasing. He gently grabbed the house elf's shoulder, slowly turning it around.
"Dobby, I have a favor to ask," he softly said.
"A favor?" squealed the huge green-eyed house elf in delight, wringing his little bony hands in excitement. "What do Harry Potter's friends require of Dobby?"
"Take this box of chocolates and leave them where Professor—"
"DOBBY!" scolded a house elf suddenly, placing its hands on its hips as it stormed towards them. "You is to be helping, not chatting with young masters. What if Professor Dumbledore caught Dobby speaking to young master instead of helping with breakfast?"
"Yes, Chatzy," replied Dobby, his ears drooping pathetically. When the other house elf left, however, Dobby held a hand out to Fred. "Dobby shall place it wherever Harry Potter's friend wishes."
"Now, this is important, Dobby. This box needs to be left where Professor Vector usually sits." Fred gave the house elf a faint smirk when Dobby stared quizzically at the heart-shaped box for a moment before looking back up.
"Dobby will not let down Harry Potter's friend." The house elf then snapped his fingers, sending the heart-shaped box to its destination.
"Thank you, Dobby." Fred turned around then and silently walked out of the kitchens to head back to the Gryffindor common room. Phase one of their prank was in place so it was onto phase two.
Not even Lord Voldemort himself could ruin Aurora Sinistra's day today. It was Valentine's Day, the best day of the year in her mind. There was no doubt about that either. It was the one day where one could be a hopeless romantic with all the other closet romantics and not get any grief about it. Though, this year, it was just going to be plain awesome in her opinion.
Her husband, the most amazing guy in the universe (granted, a bastard to everyone else), was in her life finally. That had only taken twenty-four years to accomplish. But she wasn't complaining. After all, every good witch of the time knew that a little waiting (especially twenty-four years of it) only made love stronger. And, oh, was their love strong at times.
So with a beaming smile, she walked towards her usual spot at the staff table next to her best friend's and her husband's empty chairs. Then again, she knew her husband was currently in a meeting with the Headmaster and that they'd both be arriving shortly. She smiled politely at Minerva when the elderly witch walked in and took her seat and towards the others as they slowly filtered into the Great Hall for breakfast.
Her stomach suddenly growled, voicing its displeasure over her waiting to eat. It would just have to, though, because neither her husband nor the Headmaster had entered yet. However, when her stomach growled once more, she sighed. Her eyes slowly roamed over the table, attempting to find something small to eat. She then softly laughed when she saw the heart-shaped box next to her. Septima was always receiving such things from her numerous admirers for Valentine's Day.
Reaching over, Aurora grabbed the box to open it. However, a kiss to her cheek stopped her instantly. She glanced up at her husband with a guilty look before laughing off her embarrassment.
"Something you'd like to admit, Aurora?" her husband said, giving her a pointed look.
"Oh, hush, they're Septima's, not mine," she answered, shaking her head.
"Ah," he simply replied, taking his seat beside her.
"It's not like she's going to miss it anyway," she quipped.
"No, you're probably correct. She won't," he agreed.
"And I'm only taking one," she stated for some odd reason.
"You need not explain it to me, Aurora. I trust you."
"And whoever sent it?" she asked. "Do you trust them?"
"If you are asking me if I'll save you if the chocolates are poisoned, I will do my best," he answered, glancing at her with his dark, mysterious eyes lit up in amusement.
"What if a bezoar doesn't work?" she argued, not understanding why she would do such a thing.
"Then perhaps you shouldn't eat any of her chocolates, Aurora," he replied quietly.
"You don't think they're poisoned?"
"I think if they were, they wouldn't have been given to Septima then."
Aurora then sighed. He did have a point. It'd be extremely rare that someone would poison the Arithmancy professor. Septima was practically loved by all it seemed. Smirking, Aurora shook her head. It was more likely it was some sort of love potion. Well, there was no reason to worry about that anymore. She had her husband, who'd likely save her any way, and she meant any way, he could.
Pulling the cover off, Aurora grabbed one of the chocolates and popped it into her mouth. Biting down, she immediately smiled as the liquor poured out from the center. She especially loved these candies. She'd have to ask Septima if she could have the entire box.
Two things then happened. First, Aurora suddenly became really cold. And two, the entire hall went dead silent. Narrowing her eyes, she stared back at the teenage boys ogling her. What in Circe's great name was going on? And why was it so bloody damn cold?
Reaching to pull her robes tighter around her, she was shocked to find that her robes were gone. Glancing down at herself, she caught her new outfit. Her mouth dropped as she leapt to her feet, causing a sudden intake from the others.
"What the hell am I wearing?" she screeched, staring at the leather halter that seemed to have increased her cup size and the black leather skirt that tied with leather cords on her left side. While she wouldn't admit it if anyone asked, she did, however, love the black platform heels that laced in a crisscross pattern from ankle to knee she was currently wearing.
Loud obnoxious laughter then filled the hall, emanating from Septima who was currently doubled over from laughing so hard. Tears appeared to be streaming down her cheeks as she continued. In fact, a couple of times, the light-brown haired woman wiped the tears, only to cry some more.
Glaring at her best friend, Aurora then noticed the horrified looks on the Weasley twins' faces. She should have known it was them! Those no-good, rotten Weasley boys were going to be the death of her yet. Gritting her teeth and glaring daggers at the two, she opened her mouth.
"FRED AND GEORGE WEASLEY!" she yelled, sounding surprisingly like the twins' mother. She then leaned forward, laying down the whip that had been her wand previously. When it cracked accidently, she noticed instantly that several of the male staff and students sit up a bit taller. Losing herself to her anger, she yelled, "Both of you boys deserve to be punished severely."
"Hell, Aura," Septima said, laughing softly, "you can punish me severely in that outfit."
"That's not helping," Aurora growled, shooting a piercing glare at her best friend. She then whirled towards the shocked blue-eyed elderly wizard staring at her. "Please, Albus or Minerva, I don't care which one. Please change me back."
While Aurora was rather skilled in Transfiguration, she knew that she didn't have the necessary control of her magic currently to attempt it. Knowing her luck, she'd likely make the situation even worse. And it was already dangerous to be standing in front of hundreds of adolescent males wearing that sort of outfit.
Both Minerva and Albus attempted to transfigure her clothes back into her robes, and both failed as a result. They seemed naturally confused by it, too. The charm appeared to be just a simple transfiguration spell, but even with the twins' help they are unable to change it back.
"I apologize," the Headmaster said. "I am unable to. You'll have to change without magic."
"Lovely," she growled, glaring at the two young men. She then clenched her teeth before tearing off her husband's black flowing teaching robes. She ignored the gasps and shook her head angrily when his head jerked slightly in surprise. "Oh, don't give me that look," she grumped. "You know why." She then whirled around, the bottom billowing in his familiar way, before she attempted to stalk out.
"Pr'fessor, ya forgot yer whip," a kind voice called out, stopping her in mid-step at the corner of the staff table just mere inches from the door.
Snickers and badly hidden smiles then spread like wildfire throughout the room. After all, it's not every day one heard that said from the half-giant. The only person not showing a look of enjoyment was Aurora's husband, who just stood there and stared at her in his white undershirt and black trousers.
Aurora held her hand out, forgetting her loss of control magically, summoning the whip to her. Unfortunately, though, her nonverbal spell missed the whip entirely. She snarled a moment later when she had her husband's belt in her hand. Why couldn't anything go right? She threw the belt towards the ground, making it crack.
"DAMMIT!" she screamed. This was Valentine's Day, the day she loved. But somehow someone was out to make it the day from hell. Gritting her teeth, she shook with rage. Oh, those Weasleys were going to wish they were never born when she was finished with them (after she had dressed in robes again of course).
"Aurora," a soft voice spoke in front of her a moment later.
She jerked her head up, wanting desperately to harm the person who had the audacity to interrupt her. However, when her rich chocolate eyes met her husband's, she sighed, releasing her anger. She grabbed her poor wand that had the unfortunate luck of being turned into a whip.
"Thank you, Severus" she replied dejectedly, turning and silently leaving the Great Hall. As soon as the door to the antechamber closed behind her, she fled to her rooms. Why couldn't she just have one damn good Valentine's Day? Walking into the sitting room a moment later, she stopped at the sight of her husband. But he had just been in the Great Hall, hadn't he? "How did—"
"Two hundred points to Gryffindor," he replied quietly, removing his robes from her shoulders, "for a Valentine's Day we're likely never going to forget." His dark eyes then trailed over her body.
"You're giving them points for this?"
"That they don't know about," he pointed out. "They are aware, however, that they both have detention until the end of the term with either Filch or me, and that their mother will be informed by the Headmaster over this prank." He then placed his hands on her hips with a soft smirk. "I for one am not going to let this," he said, motioning to her outfit, "go to a waste, though." Leaning in, he brushed back her dark curls to whisper in her ear. "Especially not when you look so… ravishing," he said softly before leaving a trail of hot kisses against her neck.
"Severus," she moaned softly, placing a hand against his lean torso. She then shrieked when his strong arms suddenly swept her off her feet. "Where are we going?" she asked, knowing exactly where he was carrying her.
"Call me a hopeless romantic," he drawled, staring down at her with dark lusty eyes, "but I'm planning to spend my Valentine's Day making love to my wife."
"Somehow, I don't think I have to concern myself over the would-be scenario of losing my teaching position," he replied, cutting her off. He then gently placed her on top of their bed with a faint smile. "And if the old coot does try anything, I always have a few tricks up my sleeves." His undershirt came off and fell wordlessly to the floor. "And if Umbridge says anything, well, I am not a Potions Master for nothing." He then chuckled as his pants pooled at his feet. "You know, I do believe I'm going to learn to love this holiday." His lips then covered hers, and the fog soon entered their minds.
A/N: Hope you enjoyed. :D