Well I've decided that after a long hiatus, I'm not going to continue with Unpoisoned Ivy. Especially now since my interest has shifted from Fred (whom I still like but not as much) to the greasy haired, big nosed Potions master that is Severus Snape 3 I fell in love with him after going to the midnigh premier of Deathly Hallows part 2, and (SPOILER TO THOSE WHO HAVE NOT SEEN IT) seeing the clip of him holding the dead form of Lily in his arms ad sobbing. So beautifly sad!
So after that, my OC, Esme O'Brien, was created. She is more developed than my other OC's I think, and I'm constantly coming up with more ideas about her :) Oh, this is going to be so much fun!
This fanfiction shall be rated M for language and possible sexual content in the later chapters (I havent fully decided yet)
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. The franchise belongs to the amazing J. K. Rowling. I only own Esme :)
We are all born for love. It is the principle of existence, and its only end. -Benjamin Disraeli
Esme took a deep breath as she stood outside of two tall, iron gates. Her long, midnight blue cloak fluttered in the breeze, making her look like something out of a fairytale. Her long, raven-black curls floated in the wind around her. She just couldn't believe how fortunate she has gotten in the past few years. To think she, of all people, was getting to do something she knew she'd be exceptionally good at. To think she, Esme O'Brien, was going to be teaching at the finest boarding school for witches and wizards in the world: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
She sighed happily, shifting her grip on the small trolley that was latched to her rather large and heavy white trunk. This old piece of luggage was her old trunk from her schoolgirl days here at Hogwarts, and it contained some clothes and all the material she needed for her classes, consequently making it quite heavy. On the lid of her trunk was her initials printed in fading gold lettering. Next to that was a large version of the school's crest, also in fading gold. It was a wonder how it managed to stay in this kind of condition, seeing how it had been in her parents' attic ever since she graduated. She set the trunk on its side and let go of the trolley's handle, dropping her leather suitcase down onto the gravel next to her feet. This contained more clothes and all sorts of hygienic necessities that she may need to last the year. If not, then it gave her the excuse to take a trip down to Hogsmeade Village, not far from the castle.
Esme took one look at the gates and promptly concluded that they were locked. And for good reason, she noted. We can't have Muggles wandering onto the grounds despite that they can't see the school, now can we? With a glance on either side of her, she reached for the left pocket of her cloak and pulled out her wand. 12", Holly, Dragon Heartstring, good for hexes. She pointed it squarely at the gates and whispered "Alohomora."
Gold sparks flew from the tip of her wand and magic of the same color began crawling over the bars of the gates. When the magic dissolved into nothing, the gates swung open wide enough for a person of her size to walk through. Esme slipped her want back into her pocket, picked up her belongings, and walked forward, her shoes making a soft crunching sound as she stepped on the gravel path underneath her. The path climbed a high mountain up to Hogwarts castle, which towered above her in all its beauty, transformed from the ruins it was charmed to look like for the Muggles. She let another, more content sigh escape her lips as she trekked up the path to the old, wooden walkway bridge that spanned a small canyon and led to the castle's entrance courtyard. The big clock that took up most of the castle's entrance wall chimed five times in a deep ring. Five o'clock sharp, she thought. Right on time!
She gazed with a dreamy expression at the large oak doors she was steadily approaching, lulled also by the trickling of the fountain in the middle of the courtyard. She remembered walking through those very doors during her years here as a student. She recalled how magical it was when she was only a first year with no clue on what to expect. Her heart gave a warm flutter at the thought that she would soon be doing it again. Only this time, she'd be doing it as a teacher. The two doors that she watched open so many times opened once again, revealing a familiar woman in emerald green robes, a black pointed hat, and a peculiar broach pinned to her black turtleneck collar. Her hair, Esme knew, was pulled up in a tight bun under the hat, and a pair of square glasses perched perfectly on the bridge of her nose. Her old and stern face lit up slightly upon noticing Esme.
"Esme O'Brien?" she asked, looking slightly bewildered.
"Good afternoon, Professor McGonagall." Esme said politely, smiling. She hadn't seen the older woman since she graduated, which had been thirteen years ago when she was seventeen. And Professor McGonagall didn't look to have aged too much during that time. Sure, a few more wrinkles had been added here and there, and her hair was a tad duller in color, but otherwise she looked the same. "Right on time, just as I promised."
McGonagall smiled, her face more relaxed as opposed to her normal stern and strict face that she reserved for class. Esme remembered that well. "Yes, you have always been very good about that haven't you?" she said. Esme nodded, making her silky hair tickle her freckly cheeks. "You were never late to any of my classes as I recall. And you paid much attention as well."
"Yes," Esme felt her cheeks grow warm, flattered at the praising tone her old professor was using, rendered rather speechless as she racked her brain for something else to say, but finding that nothing else was needed right at the moment.
"Well, come in, Miss O'Brien. I was instructed to escort you to Professor Dumbledore's office as soon as you arrived." McGonagall side-stepped out of the way so Esme could go in first. Esme pulled her trunk up the stone steps as carefully as she could, politely refusing any help from the older woman. She finally got past the final step and glided smoothly into the entrance hall, dodging the enormous pendulum of the clock on her way in.
The rays of the setting sun streamed in from the massive windows and cast rectangles of light onto the gleaming stone floor. It was quiet, not at all what she was used to. Usually there would be chatter bouncing around the hall mixed with the thuds of footsteps as students headed to and fro for their classes. But the students weren't expected to arrive until tomorrow evening. That gave her plenty of time to get her class and belongings organized.
They walked towards a large and beautiful stone staircase, furnished with careful and intricate designs suitable for a school such as Hogwarts. Not wanting to drag her trunk up all the stairs manually, Esme pulled out her wand again and waved it in the direction of her larger luggage. Immediately, a stream of purple-ish gold magic wafted from her wand and engulfed her trunk, lifting it effortlessly into the air in the process. Satisfied, Esme followed McGonagall up the stairs.
"The Headmaster inquired that he wanted to discuss a few things with you," McGonagall continued, leading Esme down a series of hallways towards Professor Dumbledore's office. Their footsteps echoed off the high ceilings, giving off an eerie feeling because the castle was so empty. "He wouldn't say what about, specifically, and it's not in my nature to pry."
"Mm," Esme nodded in agreement, completely understanding her old Professor's statement, and also understanding that there were things that needed to be discussed between her and the Headmaster. Things that probably had to do with schedules and her classes and rules that applied to teachers. It only made sense for him to do so.
McGonagall cast a sideways glance at her.
"You've grown so much since the last time I saw you, Miss O'Brien." she observed. Then she added with a slight chuckle, "Well, the last time I saw you was when you were seventeen."
Esme laughed good-naturedly. "Yes, I've done a lot more growing since then, Professor."
McGonagall laughed along with her. "Oh, you don't need to call me that. I'm not your professor anymore. You may call me Minerva."
"Oh, right. Sorry Pro-err...Minerva." Esme said, finding it odd to be calling the older woman by her first name when she had been calling her 'Professor McGonagall' for as long as she could remember. And it was only polite anyways. "Well then I shall extend the same invitation to you. We're colleagues now, so you may call me Esme."
"Alright then." Minerva seemed satisfied with that statement, as she gave an affirmative nod just as they reached the entrance to Professor Dumbledore's office. In front of them was a large stone gargoyle. Esme remembered from her school days that it was the guardian of the Headmaster's office.
"Lemon drop." Minerva stated flatly. It looked to Esme that she was a bit displeased with Dumbledore's choice of password. Esme thought it was rather adorable, using the name of a candy as a password.
The gargoyle leapt aside to reveal a spiraling wooden staircase. Minerva led Esme up the staircase, with the latter's trunk still floating effortlessly behind her.
The staircase ended into a large round room that was furnished with all sorts of curious knick-knacks and decorated tapestries. Moving portraits hung all over the walls, containing the likenesses of all the previous Headmasters of Hogwarts. The office looked to be about the same as all the times Esme had come in as a student. Finally, her attention shifted to the old wizard sitting behind the desk in the middle of the room, his blue eyes sparkling with amusement at her curiousity behind half-moon glasses.
"Ah, Minerva, I see you have brought our newest addition to the faculty." Professor Dumbledore addressed his colleague, who nodded her head.
"She was right on time, as she promised, Albus." Minerva told him.
"Excellent, excellent." Dumbledore beamed. He finally turned to Esme, who felt a little overwhelmed at once again being in the presence of one of the most powerful men in the Wizarding World. She made sure that her luggage was set down carefully on the floor before speaking, not wanting them to float there forever and waste her energy. "Esme O'Brien, it's such a pleasure to see you again."
"Likewise, Headmaster." Esme returned his cheerful smile, albeit shyly. He made a motion with his hand toward a chair sitting in the middle of his office, facing his desk, gesturing for her to take a seat. She obeyed without saying a word, a smile still on her lips. Minerva stayed standing.
"If you don't mind, Albus, I will be going to clean and organize my classroom." She told Dumbledore, who nodded.
"Not at all, Minerva." He replied, his smile still in place. "Don't let me keep you."
"Very well," Minerva shot one last kind smile at Esme. "I trust I'll see you at dinner tonight, Miss O'Br-err, Esme."
"Of course, Minerva." Esme agreed, finding it amusing that Minerva was having more problems using her first name that she was using the older woman's. Then again, Minerva was older than her, and had been referring to her as 'Miss O'Brien' for as long as she knew her. It would take some time to get used to it.
Her old teacher turned and walked out the door. Dumbledore turned his attention back on herself.
"I'm delighted that you chose to accept this position, Esme." He began. "You were the first person I thought of to contact as soon as Filius decided to retire."
Esme blinked, caught off guard. She was really the first person the Headmaster had thought of to take the position? She knew all about Professor Flitwick's–the Charms teacher that had taught her when she was a student–decision to retire and enjoy the rest of his years, as he was quite old. But he had been such a wonderful teacher. Did Dumbledore really think she was the right person to teach Charms?
"I just knew you would be the right person for the job," Dumbledore seemed to have read her mind as he went on. "You had very high marks in the subject as a student. In a lot of subjects, really. It proves that you were a true Ravenclaw."
Esme felt flattered that the Headmaster was praising her for her grades. Students sorted in Ravenclaw were known for their intelligence. But that didn't mean she didn't get any bad marks. She had done poorly in History of Magic, as Professor Binns, the only teacher that was a ghost, droned on and on, making the subject rather boring and pointless. Her Potions grade suffered a bit as well, as she could never really brew the elixirs correctly. One of her old classmates, who was also one of her closest friends, tried to tutor her, but she had gotten rather frustrated with him because he seemed to be making up his own instructions instead of following the textbook's recipes. He was rather stubborn about the subject, which had ignited an argument between them. Towards the end of it, Esme had refused to be tutored by him any longer and had stormed out of the room in an angry fit. They made up eventually, but Esme, in her own stubborn-ness, declined his offers to tutor her again.
"Thank you, sir." She said. Dumbledore's eyes twinkled in amusement at her. He picked up a piece of parchment from his desk, cluttered with so many other rolls of parchment, some scribbled on in different colors of ink, some completely blank.
"This is the schedule of your classes, Esme." He handed the parchment in his grasp to her, watching her hazel and gold-flecked eyes skim over the words written in his neat, looping handwriting. "Your office hours shall be the third hour on Tuesdays and thrusdays."
Esme shook her head yes again, tearing her eyes away from the paper to look up at the Headmaster. He seemed to be studying her with curiosity and amusement.
"You look more and more like Vesta every time I see you, Esme." he observed. "How is she doing?"
"She's doing fine, thank you for asking." Esme told him, another exalted blush coloring her cheeks. She got that a lot. Many older wizards and witches she knew always said she was looking more and more like her mother every day.
"And Asinius?" Dumbledore pressed on.
"Dad's doing fine as well." she told him. "He sends you his regards."
"Wonderful!" the Headmaster beamed. "And I take it Divan is well?"
"As well as you can be when you're Divan." Esme chuckled, the love for her brother–two years her junior–filling her heart at the thought of him.
Dumbledore laughed along with her. "It's good to hear your family is doing well, Esme." he said kindly. "But now, I'm afraid, we must get back to business. As you remember, first year curfew is at 7:00, second year curfew at 7:30, third years at 8:00, an so on and so forth."
"Yes, I remember that clearly." Esme chuckled again, remembering the few times she had snuck out of the Ravenclaw common room to get a late night snack from the kitchens. "Is there a specific schedule for patrolling?"
"Yes," Dumbledore nodded, folding his long, bony fingers together on top of his desk. "You shall patrol the halls on Mondays and Fridays. Seeing as the first day of classes falls on a Monday this year, you will have to patrol that night. It would be wise to report to the entrance hall after seventh year curfew, which is at 10:00."
Esme said nothing, just nodding to show she understood, waiting for him to continue. She knew she had more responsibility as a teacher, more than she'd had when she was a prefect in her fifth, sixth, and seventh years.
"As always, the Dark Forest is forbidden to all students." Dumbledore reminded her. She remembered that part as well, too.
"Speaking of forbidden places," the Headmaster broke her out of her thinking as his face became a bit serious. He leaned forward and began speaking in a low voice. "My old friend, Nicholas Flamel, came to me a few days ago, asking if I could hide a very special object here in the school. He wanted to hide the Sorcerer's Stone, a very powerful artifact, here where it would be most safe."
Esme's eyes widened. The Sorcerer's Stone could turn any metal into 100% pure gold, and produce the Elixir of Life, a liquid that could make the drinker immortal. But why would it need to be protected? Unless-
"He fears that Voldemort's (He frowned a bit when Esme flinched at the name) most loyal followers will try to get their hands on it. If that happens, you know what the consequences will be."
Esme nodded gravely, her eyes clouded over with solemnity and fear. If You-Know-Who's most faithful servants were to get ahold of the stone, there was a huge chance that they could somehow revive him. And if that happened, no one was safe.
"That is why, tomorrow, we are all going to go down the trapdoor in the third floor's right hand corridor. You and a few other teachers will place enchantments in different rooms to ensure that the Stone is under the highest protection. Tonight, however, I want you to think about what sort of enchantment you will use."
Esme nodded her head again, noticing that that was the only thing she seemed to be doing today. She already had a good idea about what she was going to do.
Dumbledore smiled at her again, fully ready to change the subject. "Well then, I believe that is everything. You already know about the students' schedules-oh, silly me. I almost forgot."
He handed her a stack of seven rolls of parchment. "These are your student rosters for roll call."
Esme tried to grasp them and her class schedule without messing up the parchment, trying to keep them neat. She found she wasn't doing a very good job. An idea popped into her head, and then she dumped the parchment unceremoniously back on Dumbledore's desk. Pulling out her wand again, she picked up each individual roll of parchment and shrunk them down to miniature size with a light tap. Once shrunken, she slipped them into the pocket she usually stored her wand. Now she had her hands free just in case the Headmaster had anything else to give her. But she remembered he had already said that was everything.
"One more important detail I forgot to mention," Dumbledore said then. I guess that wasn't everything, Esme thought. His eyes glinted with mischievous amusement. "It seems as though Ravenclaw is now without a Head of House..."
Esme's own eyes lit up, already knowing where the conversation was going. "I would love to take the position, sir!"
The Headmaster beamed. "I knew you would, Esme." he said
Esme grinned back. She just couldn't believe this was happening, couldn't believe she was this lucky. She was the new Charms teacher and Head of Ravenclaw House! It was like fantasy becoming reality.
"Now, I believe we should have your things taken to you new sleeping quarters." Dumbledore eyed her luggage that was still sitting by the office door. She wasn't looking forward to levitating them all the way to her rooms, wherever they may be. "Nyklus!"
With a pop so loud it made Esme jump, a terribly skinny little creature wearing a ragged tunic with some equally-as-shabby, striped boxers appeared by her chair. The House-Elf bowed to the Headmaster. "How may Nyklus serve Headmaster Dumbledore?" he asked.
Dumbledore was not cruel to House-Elves as some rich families were, most of them were the Pureblood families, or families who had all wizards in their lineage, that were prejudiced against Half-bloods and Muggleborns, people with Muggles in their family history. Dumbledore treated House-Elves like members of the faculty, as they were responsible for cleaning the castle and preparing the meals.
"Take our new Charms teacher's luggage to her new sleeping quarters." The Headmaster told Nyklus carefully. "The one with the lake view would be nice for her, I think."
"Yes, Headmaster." The House-Elf bowed again, understanding his job fully. He waved his bony hand at her trunk and leather suitcase, and her luggage vanished, having been magically transported to her new sleeping quarters.
"Now," Dumbledore began speaking to Nyklus again. "Please show Professor O'Brien the way to her rooms. Then you may go back to the kitchens."
Esme didn't hear the House-Elf's reply. She was busy letting her new title sound in her head. Professor Esme O'Brien, Hogwarts Charms teacher and Head of Ravenclaw House. It had a nice ring to it.
Esme followed Nyklus out of the Headmaster's office after a polite goodbye was exchanged. She glided behind him at a leisurely pace, her eyes shifting to her surroundings. It all looked so beautiful now that she was able to take it all in. When she was younger, she didn't have time to appreciate it, as she was too busy trying to get to class. But now that she was older and didn't need to worry about that (as much) she could take it in and marvel at the beauty of the castle's interior.
As they turned down a corridor, another person–a man–came around the bend going in the opposite direction. Esme's gaze found his, and her eyes suddenly widened.
It seemed as though time had stopped.
She knew this man. He was taller than her by a probable eight inches; she was about eye-level with his collarbone. His skin was as pale as hers was, maybe even more so, and he had a few stress lines on his face that were probably due to the seemingly permanent frown gracing his lips and the downwards, grumpy-looking arch of his eyebrows. His eyes, a dark onyx in color, were wide with surprise, and she knew then that he recognized her. He was thin, but well built with his broad shoulders and not overly bulging muscles. His hair was shoulder-length, jet black, and looked incredibly greasy, but yet he had no odor hanging around to suggest he didn't shower. Oppositely, his scent, or what small portion of it she managed to get a whiff of, was rather intoxicating. And familiar.
Esme's pale cheeks turned rosy as the blood rushed to them in a blush. Her heart pounded inside her chest like a fluttering hummingbird trapped in a cage, wanting to be free. She averted her hazel and gold-flecked eyes from his piercing onyx ones, not wanting him to see how red she had become.
It seemed as though her old friend Severus Snape was going to grace her with his presence again after all these years.
But as soon as it seemed that time had stopped, it started back up again. Esme's mind came crashing down to the real world as she remembered that she was following the House-Elf Nyklus to her new sleeping quarters. Letting her gaze shift to the dark-haired man fleetingly once more, she allowed herself to give him one tiny, almost curt nod as a timid 'hello'. Severus had apparently seen the nod, because he returned it vaguely before gliding ahead in his black, billowing robes and disappearing around the corner she and Nyklus had just rounded a few minutes previous.
Esme was dimly aware of her surroundings now, so lost was she in her thoughts as a result of seeing her old friend again. She hadn't seen him since the ending of her sixth year, which would have been the ending of his seventh and final year. They had kept up a minimal contact during the first month in her summer break. But pretty soon, his returning letters had gotten so fewer and far in between until he hadn't responded at all. She had no idea as to why though. And now there he was, thrust back into her life for a few more seconds.
This thought brought up an excellent question: Why was he here? Did he just want to walk around and revisit his old haunts...or, well, his old, good haunts?
No, Esme shook her head, dismissing the thought. She could remember, as a direct witness, that he had had more bad experiences here than good. And the good ones were like his letters–fewer and far in between. It seemed like they had hardly ever happened at all. That assumption was out.
Was he speaking to one of their old professors about something, or catching up on old times?
Definitely not, she dismissed again. She knew him well enough; if he didn't have to speak to his old Professors anymore, then he sure as heck wouldn't make the effort to do it.
One more thought struck her. Could he possibly be teaching here?
She felt her heart skip a beat at this thought, but she almost laughed out loud. Severus, a school teacher? Never! It just wasn't him. Didn't fit his style, she thought. No, he seemed better off experimenting with potions and getting wealthy off his findings. He was just that talented in that particular field in her opinion.
Esme was so preoccupied with her thoughts that she didn't even realize that they had apparently arrived at her new sleeping quarters. It was when she almost tripped over Nyklus, who came up only a little higher than her knees, that she brought her head down from the clouds.
"Nyklus hopes that Professor O'Brien is pleased with her rooms." Nyklus said in his high-pitched and yet gravelly voice. He produced a small, silver key seemingly out of nowhere and unlocked the room. He opened the door for Esme, who, after thanking him, took a few hesitant steps in.
It reminded her so much of her old school dormitory and the Ravenclaw Common Room, and yet it was all for her. The room was shaped the same, with an already cheerfully roaring fireplace on the wall opposite the door. A comfortable looking, three-cushion couch and two matching, equally delightful love-seats sat in the middle of the room, grouped near the fireplace on top of a soft looking rug. Through an archway to the right, there was an oak dining table with a matching set of four chairs sitting in the middle of the next room. This was sitting on top of another rug, which was identical to the one in the sitting area. On either side of the fireplace, and placed in a flower-like pattern around the room, were small alcoves that had iron torches mounted high on the walls. Underneath the torches in the alcoves near the door were large, empty bookshelves. Perfect for her books-for-entertainment collection. In the two alcoves by the fireplace were large windows, which, like Dumbledore had said earlier, had a very pleasant view of the lake on the east side of the castle. To the left of the sitting area was another door, which Esme guessed led to the bedroom and bathroom. To her delight, her trunk and leather suitcase were sitting neatly behind the couch, along with several other boxes containing more personal items that she had sent ahead of her earlier that morning.
"It's lovely," Esme said with a smile to the House-Elf. "Thank you, Nyklus."
Nyklus nodded. "Is there anything Professor O'Brien wishes Nyklus to bring? A drink or a snack?"
"No thank you, Nyklus," Esme told him. "I believe I'm all set. What time will dinner be starting?"
"Dinner shall be at six-thirty. Would Professor O'Brien like Nyklus to escort her to the Great Hall?" Nyklus asked.
"No thank you," Esme declined again. She wanted to be left alone for a little while to unpack and sort her things as well as her thoughts. "I think I can find my way there on my own."
"As Professor O'Brien wishes." Nyklus bowed.
Esme politely thanked him for his help and dismissed him, after which he vanished with that loud pop that still made her jump despite being ready for it. She looked around her new living quarters, a small smile gracing her lips. Then she looked to her collection of boxes waiting to be unpacked and sighed.
This was going to take a while.
And that's the end of Chapter 1!
Just so you know, I'm going by Professor Flitwick's look in the first movie to justify his age.
Reviews are love, constructive criticism is appreciated, and flames wil be use to roast marshmallows :3
Until next time, my lovely readers! :)