A/N: This is something a lot of my readers have asked for: a look into Anastasia's life and the events leading up to Art of Potions. It's not going to make a whole lot of sense if you haven't read AoP, sorry. I don't know if this at all explains Anastasia in the way you might want, but this is just how she is.


Anastasia King had never been a lonely person, truly. She'd always had her admirers and hangers-on, but she'd never felt the need for them. She'd be better off if everyone just left her alone. Except for him. His had been the only presence she could stand. She'd really never noticed that until he was gone.

The painting was wonderful, flawless. Well, it was actually extremely flawed, but that's what made it so perfect. The first time she'd tried painting in this manner and it was just so damn perfect. She'd promised him that it would only be practice, but really, how could she waste this masterpiece? They'd never know- it wasn't as if it looked like him, after all. He was so much more than that. She thought he knew that, that he could see that. We aren't our flaws, she told him.

But she thought wrong. She thought she'd surprise him at the gallery opening, show him that his painting was the centerpiece, the piece de resistance. The gallery owner had loved it. The critics had loved it. But he simply spat at her and walked away.

It was a misunderstanding, she thought. He'd come back. Without her, he had nobody. Well, there was that slimy Lucius Malfoy, but that rich bastard would only use him for his talents, as Anastasia had told him again and again. He'd know that, he'd understand that, and he'd come back. Anastasia was sure he'd come back. So she waited.

And waited. And waited. She heard rumors that he was a Death Eater. Anastasia was shocked, a sentiment the rest of her peers didn't seem to share. She hated the Death Eaters. They were idiots, putting their trust in a madman like that, with no tangible benefit to themselves. And what happened if their precious Dark Lord fell? What then? Azkaban was what. Who the hell wanted to risk that? Anastasia thought he'd been of the same mind. He couldn't be a Death Eater. That just wasn't possible.

But the more Anastasia thought about it, the more she felt an unfamiliar feeling form in the pit of her belly, a feeling she'd later learn was worry. Anastasia had never felt anything like it before; she'd never had anyone to worry about before. But she still had her pride, so she called him the only way she thought she could. She took the painting down. She refused to show it. She demanded a recall of any and all reproductions. She refused to have it printed when that boring man writing a book did a piece on her. If anything, it made her more famous. But that wasn't what she wanted. She had more than enough in the way of fame. She wanted the one person she could stand back at her side.

Then the war ended, and he was exonerated. Anastasia was so very glad. They were at peace now, there was nothing stopping him from coming to see her. But he never did. She had to accept the fact that she could never have him again. She'd ruined it. She was alone.

She took a string of lovers in the years afterwards, all beautiful, beautiful men, many of whom fell in love with her, more of which loved her for her fame. But they never added up to him. Sure, they were kind and sweet and so very handsome, and even very good in bed. But they weren't him, and Anastasia kicked them out of bed the moment they'd done their job. They weren't the ones she wanted.

And then, like a miracle, she'd seen his name in her book. Charmed, the visitors book at her showings always automatically wrote down the name of any visitor, no matter how long they stayed. And his had been there. Had it all been a misunderstanding? Had he just been waiting for her all these years? Did he finally understand that they shared something beyond any silly little squabble?

Anastasia wrapped his painting- it was something she was never without. If she couldn't have him, she'd have the next best thing- in plain brown paper and headed to Hogwarts. She'd go to Professor Dumbledore first. He'd always liked them as a couple. Anastasia knew there was a reason people called him a genius. Dumbledore would be able to appeal to him; he'd never been able to say no to Dumbledore.

Anastasia knew that her years of loneliness would be over, one way or the other. She wouldn't let him slip out of her fingers, not again. She'd be damned if she let anything get between her and Severus Snape a second time.