As of 6/8/12 "Tamara" has her own Twitter account! To interact with the OC from this story, go and follow tamarasnape on Twitter!
Disclaimer: Harry Potter obviously isn't mine. I do this for fun, for my own amusement. This story is the first thing I have written in ten years, so it is me scraping the rust off of my brain! Please keep that in mind and forgive me. I was inspired to return to fanfiction after a long break because I just couldn't stand to see Severus Snape die a solitary man who had never felt loved. Tamara Brookes is my original character. I set my story in the world of the H.P. films rather than the books for the most part although there is some information in here I got from the books that was not in the films. There are a few things that stray a little from what happened in the films but I tried to write this as if it could have been going on behind the scenes. I don't claim 100% accuracy, and I know this story is far from perfect, but I think it could be a fun read! Thanks for taking the time to check it out! I got to thinking tonight and it occurred to me that if there were an actress I'd like to see as Tamara it would be Zooey Deschanel. I think she could capture Tam's quirky spirit.
Tamara smiled somewhat sadly as she picked up the small framed picture and situated it prominently on her new desk. It was, as were many in the wizarding world, a moving image. She and Remus were grinning out of the frame, and every few seconds would give each other a happy smooch. She sighed, thinking of their last goodbye.
Tam had known that they were not to be forever, the two of them. That didn't make it any easier to bid farewell to her beloved werewolf. They had met quite by accident, in Paris, at a wizard bar seven months before. She had just come from America, and he, due to some circumstances out of his control, had no choice but to move around frequently and had decided getting out of Britain for a while would be a nice change. That was how he had explained it to her anyway.
She had heard him ordering a pint in badly mangled French, and approached him recognizing an Englishman. It was a relief, as her own French was very little and very poor. He was sweet, and offered to help her find her way around. That had been the start. They didn't separate much after that for the next seven months.
He had of course, waited a while to tell her the truth about himself. He was a werewolf, bitten as a child, and had spent his life living with the unpleasant curse that made it nearly impossible for him to settle into one place or lifestyle for very long. She would never forget the day that he had decided to confide in her.
They'd known each other for three weeks, when she began to notice a change in him. He'd become fidgety and nervous it seemed, and acted like he was afraid of something. Being an admitted meddler, naturally she confronted him about it. He hadn't wanted to tell her the truth, fearing how she might react, but he knew he shouldn't hide it so close to the time of the full moon, for her safety.
They'd been sitting together on the little couch in his rented room and he didn't look her in the eye at all as he told her the story, only afterward, as he tried to gauge her feelings on the matter.
"Oh Remus I'm so sorry" she said quietly. She grabbed both of his hands. "It must be very difficult for you. Nobody should have to go through all that, and especially not someone as sweet as you are."
He shrugged and mustered up his usual smile. "Things happen to people that shouldn't sometimes but that is the way of the world isn't it?"
She nodded and kissed his hand, which made him chuckle.
"Well," he was searching her face with his eyes now. "You haven't run for the door yet, so can I take that to mean you still wish to be friends?"
She laughed. "Of course I do! You thought I wouldn't? It's not your fault what happened to you, and I'm no shrinking violet I assure you. I love a man who needs looking after; it's one of my greatest weaknesses."
He grinned at her, relieved. "Well, I'm afraid that at those inconvenient times it isn't precisely safe to try looking after me. That's why I had to tell you the truth now. The full moon will be here by the weekend, which means you and I have to keep our distance for a few days."
"What? No way! I am not taking off on you when you're going to go through all that awful stuff. You shouldn't have to be alone…."
Remus cut her off by putting a finger to her lips. "I'd kill you Tam." She could see in his eyes that he wasn't joking. Seeing her expression he nodded gravely. "I'm not myself when I'm changed and it isn't safe. You'll have to do without me for a few days. I'll come and find you when it's all over and you can help me tend my wounds if you like." He smirked at the last sentence.
"Wounds?" she cringed.
He nodded. "It can get a bit messy, yes, so if you want to help me after that I would really appreciate. It's just during that is a problem."
She didn't like it, but at least he'd given her something she could do for him when it was over. She leaned back against his chest and set her head carefully on his shoulder He put an arm around her and she could feel his heartbeat through his shirt. Something else seemed to have him riled.
"So what else is bothering you?"
He chuckled. "You're good."
"Empath remember? It starts with a gift for reading people. Your heart's near pounding out of your chest."
He grinned widely, when she looked up at him, and he was blushing furiously. "Well, it's just that… I've got very keen instincts you see."
She raised an eyebrow in question.
"Look at it like this" he explained. "A male dog knows when a female dog is… interested. See what I'm getting at?"
Now it was her turn to blush. "Good Lord."
He laughed at her embarrassment. "Yes, and it gets stronger around the full moon. I'm afraid you've been absolutely torturing me for three days."
She hid her face in her hands and giggled for a while. When he thought she had recovered, she looked at him again, and burst into another fit. He joined her this time. They couldn't help it.
"I must admit I wasn't entirely sure at first, as I don't really get that sort of attention very often" he teased. "The closer it's got to the full moon the better idea I had. It's had me a bit flustered."
She finally managed to subdue her giggles enough to speak to him again. "Sorry for that" she managed.
He looked shocked. "Sorry? Don't be sorry. I don't mind."
She kissed him.
That was the day they had become lovers. She remembered every detail, and had promised herself never to let go of any of it. They'd spent a glorious spring in Paris together until he had announced to her that it was once again time for him to move on, and asked if she'd like to go with him back to London. He promised to take her to the infamous Diagon Alley and help her get "A proper English wand" to replace her now rather shabby American one. She had laughed to him about how it was true that they just didn't make things in America like they used to.
In London they had rented a flat, and Remus did indeed take her to Diagon Alley and to Ollivander's, where she had found a lovely ebony wand with a dragon heartstring core that she immediately bonded with. It was meant to be hers and Remus insisted that he must buy it for her, as his way of introducing her to the wizarding community of Britain. She knew he didn't have much money, as a result of it being difficult for a werewolf to find and keep employment, so she had at least made sure that their arrangement with the landlady involved Tamara being the one responsible for paying the rent.
That summer in London was the best she'd ever had, and now, standing in her new classroom at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, she swiped a tear away from her cheek with her palm. She missed him.
It hadn't been her idea to become a teacher here. In fact, she really hadn't had much idea of becoming anything at all. She'd been content with the idea of following her werewolf around the world. It was he who had refused that, and he who had written to Professor Dumbledore on her behalf.
Remus had told Dumbledore that she was skilled in using magic for the purpose of art and entertainment. To her, it had been nothing more than a hobby, and a way to make Remus smile in the evenings, but he saw it as a true talent, and thought it should be shared with others.
The Hogwarts headmaster had replied expressing great desire to have a magical performing arts program at the school, and so it was that she had found herself here, rather against her will.
"I don't want to do this if it means leaving you. Why can't you just come along if you want me to do it?" She had practically begged him.
He had once again shaken his head at her. "Tam, I told you before, I don't settle in anywhere for too long. I can't. It may seem a quite romantic way to live, but eventually, I assure you, it gets old. I won't have you carrying the burden along with me when it isn't your burden to bear. You're a decade younger than I am, and you deserve a real chance at making a life for yourself."
The tears had flowed once again, as they had off and on since he'd first told her that they wouldn't be continuing on together as she'd hoped.
He looked miserable. That was one of the hardest parts for her. She knew he didn't wantto give her up. "Don't cry again Tam, it pains me so."
He hugged her tight to him, and continued. "I don't want to regret us. I've been happier these months than I've been at all in my adult life. I want us to part knowing that we'll always have each other in our hearts with no ill will or bad feeling. You will always have me right here with you." He placed his hand over her heart and seeing the hope in his eyes, she put her hand on his chest over his heart as well. He smiled, tears glinting in his eyes. "Yes my dear, just like that. I'm sending you off to my old school, where I had happy years, where I know you'll do great things. If you ever have need of me, you know I'm only an owl away. I promise you."
That had been the end of her argument, as he had hoped it would be. She couldn't fight him on it anymore, because she knew that he wouldn't give in. The last thing either of them wanted was to part on bad terms. She would go ahead and embrace the opportunity he'd won for her, and they would remain friends. At least it meant she could keep up communication with him.
Seeing the battle won, Remus spoke up again on another matter. "Tam, now that's settled, I need to ask a favor of you."
"Anything" she whispered.
"There is a boy who will be returning to Hogwarts for his second year this year. He is the son of some very dear departed friends of mine, and I wonder if you could perhaps keep an eye on him for me. He'll be well protected, of that I have no doubt, but I'd appreciate it if you could stand by in case he needs someone. Even if it's just someone to be of some cheer to him should things look bleak. If you could do this for me, I would find it a great relief."
Tamara nodded. "Certainly I can do that. How will I know the boy?"
"His name is Harry. Harry Potter. I haven't seen him since he was just a baby but I'm told he looks like his father."
Remus pulled a picture out of his jacket pocket and showed it to her. There were four teenage boys laughing and jostling each other. One of them she recognized right away as Remus himself and she couldn't help but smile.
"There's a handsome young fellow" she said.
He chuckled "Well, that's not the one I want you to look at." He pointed to the boy in the middle, who had dark hair and glasses. This one looked a bit arrogant to Tamara, obviously the Leader of the Pack. Remus was on one side of him, and on the other side was a handsome richly dressed boy who had brown wavy hair almost to his shoulders. The fourth in the photo was a short blonde pudgy youth who was looking at the middle one in something like adoration.
"James Potter" Remus gave a name to the leader as she had come to think of him. "Harry is his son, and who I want you to look out for."
"Who are the other two?"
He looked uncomfortable at her question. "Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew" he said quietly, and stuffed the photo back into his pocket. "Anyway, thank you for this Tam. Before you go I need to make you aware of some things from the not too distant past."
Having only recently come to Britain, she hadn't ever heard the story of The Boy Who Lived. Remus told her all about HIM. He Who Must Not Be Namedand about the resistance efforts against Him and how young Harry Potter's parents had died trying to protect their only son. He had told her how somehow the baby had survived. The only one to ever survive an attack from Him had also somehow; it was believed, brought about the evil wizard's mysterious disappearance. Naturally Tamara found it all to be terribly intriguing, and was pleased to be able to play some part with the boy on Remus' behalf. She'd told him so, and he had thanked her again.
On the day of her departure he had kissed her goodbye, and she had cried some more before departing via floo for Hogwarts. She'd agreed to go, but she didn't have to like it. He'd told her that he would stay in London for a while longer, and make sure the flat was secured properly until she returned to it for summer break, before he left onto his next temporary home. As long as she remembered to send the rent in to the landlady every month on time, she would have the place to come back to. She made sure to remind him that he had the place to come back to as well if he ever needed to.
Now, standing in her classroom, arranging her things where she wanted them, their time together seemed a lifetime away instead of only two short days.
Tamara aimed her wand at another box, and its contents slowly began floating out and arranging themselves around the room. Dumbledore had done beautifully with getting her the items she'd requested for the classroom. Instruments of all kinds lined the room, and a fabulous piano was its centerpiece. She felt a bit of a fraud, actually, as she had no idea at all how to play most of the instruments properly. She could play absolutely anythingwith magic though, and that was what she was here to teach the students. She would show them how to project and sweeten their voices through their wands, and make any music with a little focused magic. She would teach them how to use their power to create artful entertainment, as she so often did herself at home for fun.
In truth, if it hadn't been for the unpleasant fact of having to leave Remus, she would have been quite thrilled by her new job. Hogwarts was amazing, and so far everyone she'd met had been lovely. The idea of pioneering a whole new professional option in the wizarding world was of course also very appealing. If she did it well, it could really take off. For someone who hadn't really had many goals before, she was definitely on the right track.
Another perk, in her opinion, was that Professor Dumbledore had agreed to help her brush up on her own magical skills by scheduling some time for her to sit in on some classes. The American wizarding education was lacking, at best, and around European wizards and witches Tamara felt like quite an amateur.
"Miss Brookes" said a voice from the doorway, startling her out of her memories. It was Dumbledore himself. "I do hope you are settling in well?"
"Oh yes, thank you! It's great." She smiled at him gratefully.
"I'm so glad you think so" he smiled back. "I wanted to speak with you about a few small matters, if you have some time."
"Good. I had been thinking, since you never attended the school yourself unlike most of our staff, and since you were intending to participate in some classes as a student yourself, it might be a nice idea to have you sorted into a house. Normally I wouldn't suggest such a thing for a teacher, but in this special case I feel it might help you gain a better feel for how things work here at the school." His eyes twinkled. "Also, I think it might make a nice bit of fun don't you?"
Tamara grinned at him. "Yes, that's fantastic! Remus told me a lot about his time as a student here and I admit I was terribly jealous. I'd love any opportunity to experience what it's like to get an education here."
"Excellent! The first year students are all sorted on their first night here, which as you know will be in three days time. For yourself, I think it best if we do it privately, as I don't wish for the students to wrongly assume you to be more one of them than you are one of the staff. Our sorting hat is in my office, if you'd like to follow me."
Tamara couldn't help but look all around her on her way through the castle with the Headmaster. She found herself always distracted by the many wonders whenever she was in the corridors. She just couldn't tear her gaze away. It was for this reason that she suddenly got a face full of black fabric and buttons, and was nearly sent sprawling onto her backside.
"Excuse me" said a very deep and quite irritated voice from nearly a full foot above her head.
"Oh I'm so sorry!" she gasped, feeling like a complete idiot. She looked up to see the face that the buttons belonged to, and there, towering over her, was a rather intimidating man with jet black hair that hung past his chin, a slightly large nose, and eyes that were so dark they were more black than brown. He was dressed all in black as well, and his long wizard's robes made him a very imposing figure. She stared, wide eyed.
"Ah," said Dumbledore "Severus! I'd like to introduce you to our new Magical Performing Arts teacher, Miss Tamara Brookes."
Tam was still staring, and the man raised an eyebrow at her, no doubt wondering if she were daft, or if she'd crashed into him hard enough to jar her brain.
"Hello" she finally squeaked.
He extended his hand stiffly, and she shook it, feeling a tingle all the way up her arm when she touched him.
"Pleased to meet you Madam" he said slowly.
Oh that voice is just too much…she thought to herself.
Dumbledore spoke again. "This is our esteemed Potions Master, Severus Snape. He is the head of Slytherin house."
Tam smiled at the newly introduced Professor, and forced herself to return his "Pleased to meet you." She cringed inwardly at the way her voice cracked.
"Actually, Severus, if you aren't headed for anything pressing at the moment, I wonder if I could persuade you to accompany us. I've asked Minerva to meet me in my office as well, as I was just taking Miss Brookes up to be sorted."
Snape shot Dumbledore a questioning look. "Sorted Headmaster? Why would it be necessary to sort a teacher?"
"Miss Brookes is American, obviously, and for that reason she didn't attend school here at Hogwarts. She has told me that she feels her magical education was rather lacking, and requested that she be allowed to take some classes here to better it. I thought under the circumstances that it would be wise of us to have her privately sorted, just to get a feel for what classes she should be placed into, and give her a taste of what being a student at Hogwarts means."
The towering black eyed man appraised her thoughtfully with his eyes, before nodding to Dumbledore. "I see. As it is, no I don't actually have anything pressing to attend to at the moment Headmaster."
"Excellent." Dumbledore started walking again in the direction they'd been heading before Tamara had collided with the Potions Master.
She knew she should follow him but she was still staring at Snape, and couldn't seem to persuade her feet to move. He looked straight into her eyes for a moment and she had a slightly strange sensation in her head. It passed as quickly as it had come, and the man gestured with a decidedly smug smirk for her to go ahead and follow Dumbledore. She knew she was blushing furiously, so she forced herself to look away from him and get on with their journey.
Tam tried to pay attention to where she was walking this time, but was keenly aware of the steps of the tall wizard behind her. She was quite ashamed of herself. I've been away from Remus for two days and now I'm turned into a total zombie by bumping into a stranger?
She wasn't sure what had struck her so about this man, but it had a huge effect. He was… different. His very presence was completely overwhelming. All that black, draped over a man who was certainly over six feet tall with features as strong as his would certainly make an impression on anyone, but there was more to it than that. He positively dripped with power and authority. She wondered how his students could possibly accomplish anything knowing they'd have to present their results to such a being.
When they finally reached the Headmaster's office, there was an older woman waiting for them outside. She was also taller than Tamara, though nowhere near the height of Professor Snape. Dressed in beautiful velvet green robes, with a witch's hat placed elegantly upon her head, she too struck quite a figure. She nodded to Dumbledore and Snape and smiled kindly at Tamara.
"Miss Brookes" she said, extending a hand, which Tam accepted. "It is a pleasure to meet you. I am Minerva McGonagall, I teach Transfiguration, and am head of Gryffindor house."
Tam smiled. "Wonderful to meet you Minerva! Your robes are beautiful." She couldn't help herself, it had to be said.
"Oh, why thank you!" Professor McGonagall seemed surprised by the compliment. Tam noticed peripherally that Snape was smirking at her again and felt her face flush once more.
The wonders inside Dumbledore's office naturally captured her attention immediately. She wondered vaguely if the other professors would think her raised by muggles due to her fascination with what she was seeing at Hogwarts School. In truth, both of her parents were magical, but had decided to live outside of the wizarding community. Tamara knew her way with a wand, and was well aware of what existed in magic, but getting to see it all up close like this was a treat to her.
Dumbledore removed a large, and rather beaten up old hat from a high shelf, and turned toward her. "Miss Brookes, if I may, I must place the hat upon your head to determine to which house you are best suited."
Professor McGonagall spoke up "Headmaster, I wonder if it would be wise to give her some information about the houses first, so she has some idea of what this all means."
Dumbledore simply smiled, and to Tamara's great amusement the hat began to sing.
Tamara laughed out loud. "That's fantastic!"
Dumbledore set the hat on her head, and after a few seconds it spoke to her. "Hmm" it began. "You're a study in contradictions you are" it mumbled, sounding amused. "Not a Ravenclaw though, no. Got the nerve for Gryffindor… loyal as a Hufflepuff, to be sure… but…" it paused dramatically. "There's more to you than most would notice."
Tam thought to herself that truth be told, she was a tad disappointed that the hat hadn't mentioned Slytherin house in regards to her. She had actually read about the different houses in Hogwarts: A Historyon the train and though nobody would probably have guessed it who knew her, she personally had believed if given the chance she'd have ended up a Slytherin. She had a dogged determination to win what she wanted once she realized she wanted it, and she knew that although she was a kind person with deep loyalty to those she loved… she wasn't against using whatever means she needed to make her way. She knew there was a bit of prejudice against the house, but she herself believed it to be unfair. Wasn't it quite wise to look out for one's interests? Also, she wasin fact a pureblood witch. Being so really meant nothing much to her either way, honestly, but wasn't it common for purebloods to end up in Slytherin? Besides that, it might be an adventure indeed to be sorted into the house of the tall deep-voiced Potions Master she hadn't been able to stop noticing since she'd crashed into him.
Finally the hat continued. "Pure of blood you are, and once you set yourself to wanting something you do mean to have it" it said.
Tam held her breath, hoping…
"Yes" the hat said. "Slytherin!"
Tamara grinned, feeling like one of the eleven year olds she knew would be coming here to be sorted into their own houses in a few days. She glanced at Professor Snape and saw that he had an eyebrow raised again, this time seemingly in surprise.
McGonagall looked slightly taken aback, but Dumbledore smiled knowingly. "Ah, all right then" he said, nodding. "In that case, I shall be sending you with Severus momentarily. I think we may just as well have you set up residence in the dungeon with the other Slytherins. I think, Severus, upon returning there you will find that there is now a chamber set up next door to your own that will contain the rest of Miss Brookes' personal effects. If you'd be so kind as to show her around, and help her set a password for her door, I am sure she would be most appreciative."
McGonagall gave him a look that made Tamara suspect she was horrified by his suggestion. "Headmaster I could…"
"No worries Minerva, Severus has already said he is free at the moment, and as they are going to be neighbors, I think he would be the best one to show her the way" Dumbledore insisted. Tam picked up a very strong sense of mischief coming off of him, and it made her a little nervous. She looked over (and up) at Snape to see how he felt about the idea.
His face betraying nothing, Professor Snape nodded to the Headmaster. "Certainly." Then, to Tamara, he said "Madam" and nodded towards the door. McGonagall was shaking her head.
Silently pleased, Tamara left the room with Snape. Once in the corridor he took the lead, since she had no idea which way to go. She had to almost jog to keep up with him. His legs were far longer than hers, and his stride was brisk. She realized now that he actually wasn't quite as tall as he'd seemed, in fact she suspected he wasn't quite as tall as Remus. Over six foot, yes, but not by much. It was his presence that made him seem taller. His robes billowed out behind him as he went and Tam found herself unable to focus on anything else.
This is going to be a very interesting year she thought to herself, fighting back an idiotic grin. She couldn't help but still feel a bit ashamed of herself though, as Remus came back into her mind. The Man in Black was far more interesting to her than he should have been, she knew, and he was so veryunlike her dear Remus that she really couldn't believe she was letting herself develop such a silly crush.
Still, she thought, trying to shake the guilt from her head, Remus is the one that sent me away, so he isn't really in a position to be hurt if I notice someone else now is he? As much as it annoyed her, they really weren't an item anymore. He had made it clear that they couldn't be.
Snape led her into the dungeons, and took her first to the Slytherin common room. She was deeply impressed, and he must have noticed because he was smirking again. It was under the lake, so the light had a green hue from the windows. The room was richly furnished in green, silver, and black. He told her the password, because as a teacher who would live down here, it may occasionally fall to her to check in on the Slytherin students.
Next, he walked her to her rooms. The first door they passed he pointed out as his own, and as Dumbledore had said, there was another door a bit farther down the corridor. Tamara knew it hadn't been there before, even though she'd never been here. There was something in the way the Headmaster had said it that told her the chamber had been newly made with magic just for her.
"You can protect your door with a password, and I recommend you do so. The last thing anyone would want is a mischievous student rooting through their belongings or booby-trapping their bed" Snape told her.
"How do I do that?" she asked.
He showed her, setting a temporary password of "Belladonna" for her door. "You can change it to whatever you like. Most of us change passwords regularly as an added precaution" he explained.
She nodded, and not really thinking about it she blurted the question that came to mind, "What's yours?"
He looked at her like she'd grown at least two extra heads, and she felt her face go hot. Oh lovely Tam, make him think you're stalker who's going to go through his underwear drawer while he's in class…
As soon as she'd thought it, she saw another smirk cross his face, his amusement obvious in his eyes. It was almost as though he'd somehow caught the thought, and she decided she'd better be more careful with her musings around him in future, because she didn't know what he was actually capable of magically.
"The purpose of a password is quite defeated if it isn't kept private, wouldn't you say?" he asked, black eyes still glinting smugly.
She boldly looked him in the eye, and instead of speaking she thought hard Don't quite know what to make of me do you? Well, for starters, yes I really am quite a silly person so we may as well just get past that right now. Secondly… if you want to know something you could just as easily ask.
His smirk quickly faded and he stared at her looking a bit less sure of himself. That proved her theory.
She snickered, and said sweetly "Well, mine will stay as you put it for the time being I think, so feel free to visit anytime. Thank you for your help. I'm going to go in and get settled…."
She turned to go through her door and was surprised to hear him speak again. "Bezoar."
Tamara spun back around. He was watching her, stone-faced.
"My password… for the time being" he clarified. "Is bezoar. Should you need anything." He stared at her coolly, and shocked, she stared back.
"Oh. Ok. Thank you" she stammered, before she practically leapt through her own door to get away from showing him any more how much he rattled her.
As soon as the door was closed behind her she burst into a fit of uncontrollable giggles. Feeling like a daffy teenager, she shook her head in disbelief. Out loud she said "Oh what the hell am I doing?"