AN; Hello! I'm back! Here is the first chapter of the sequel to Love Will Set You Free- I strongly advise you to read that first if you haven't already which you can find on my profile. Thank you for the immense support I received especially for the final chapter. The amount of views I have had for Love Will Set You Free is INSANE! Over 1,100 in 9 days! Anyway- I really hope you enjoy this first chapter!
DISCLAIMER; All HP-Goodness is owned by the brilliant incandescent talent that is known as Queen Rowling. OCs and Plot are mine
CHAPTER ONE; WELCOME BACK
A figure sat in front of a fire, intently reading a large book. The moonlit sky shone through shutters, the moons streaks highlighting the figure's olive skin. A tap at the shutters stirred the figure from the words in front of them as they looked up to see a black and grey owl flapping its wings impatiently.
The figure rolled their eyes before opening the windows and shutters to let the owl in.
"Ciao Claudius," the figure said, as the owl flapped around the small Italian flat.
"Hai qualcosa per me?" (Got something for me?) The figure said highly amused as the owl landed on their arm. Claudius stuck his leg out to the figure with a small note attached.
I would like to meet you to discuss a matter that is most important. Details are scarce as security in England is strict, I am unsure of the situation in Italy.
Please be at my office at Hogwarts on Wednesday 14th May at no later than 8PM to discuss such matters
Yours truly, Albus Dumbledore.
The figure scoffed as they re-read the note. 'Sempre assumendo cosi' (Always so assuming) they thought before slumping on their bed that night. 'Vredo che sto per tornare a Hogwarts' (I guess I am going back to Hogwarts) the figure thought as they drifted off to sleep.
Two figures spoke intensely in Professor Dumbledore's office. Professor Dumbledore sat evenly, holding his hands together with his half-moon spectacles riding half way down his nose. Whilst the other figure stood up indignantly in front of his desk, their face scrunched up into a sneer.
"I cannot go back Albus, you know how I feel about them."
"Feel, you still feel something for them?"
"Of course I do. I may have been young Albus but I still care very much for them,"
"I understand that, but you need to know why I need you here."
"I cannot, I just cannot do it. It has been too long. They will get suspicious if I just turn up out of the blue."
"I know your work in Italy is important. You have been extremely useful in telling us about the situation there but you are needed here. I am sure you can use this opportunity to feed information back to the Death Eaters in Rome."
"I'm sure I can, but I am still don't know why I am needed."
"The situation is getting worse. Tom's followers have killed 40 this week alone. Parents are concerned about sending their children back here at the start of the year and we need somebody else here on the inside. Somebody parents and children alike can trust. Someone like you."
"I don't know Albus, stop making me feel guilty," the figure said spinning around to stare Professor Dumbledore down.
"You need to know the facts, you need to know why it's important you return."
"Then enlighten me Albus. Tell me why I should face them," the figure snarled. Their hands curling up into fists.
"They are getting weary. The stress is slowly killing them. I don't think they can cope much longer the way they are," Professor Dumbledore said leaning forwards. The figure stepped back, as if repulsed by what he had just said.
"So what do you want me to be? Some sort of comfort blanket?" The figure said heatedly.
"No, I want you to take over some of their lessons. I know you hold a mastery in the subject. You are more than capable of teaching. Plus if You-Know-Who knows you are here I am sure you will be inducted straight into the inner circle, he will want to know about Italy and you can gather more information for the Italian Death Eaters and for us,"
"That's too risky Albus. My situation is fragile enough as it is," the figure snarled.
"We have someone on our side who is already close to You-Know-Who. They can help you," Professor Dumbledore replied.
"And who is this 'someone'?" The figure asked.
"The very same person whom we have been discussing," Professor Dumbledore answered. The figure gaped before returning back to anger.
"And how do you suspect they will react Albus. Do they even know I am associated with the Death Eaters?"
"No, and not favourably I know, but they will lighten at the prospect. I know you two were extremely close during your time together here,"
"That may be true, but not after what happened after Christmas of our 5th year. I fled the country. I had to continue my education elsewhere," the figure shouted, their temper rising.
"Surely as adults you can move past whatever happened,"
"You were not there Albus. You do not know what happened," the figure shrieked, their finger pointing accusingly at Professor Dumbledore.
"That is also true. But please, they need you,"
"And what will I do about my daughter? Nicoletta is about to start her first-year. I can't exactly make her drop everything can I?"
"I'll make the arrangements."
"Fine," the figure said, slumping into a chair and sighing heavily.
"Good, I'll see you on the 1st of September," Professor Dumbledore said with an air of smugness.
The figure growled and marched out of the office without so much as a second glance.
5 Months later
The Great Hall was decorated grandly. The candles floated in the air, making the hall well lit. The hall was full of students chatting and laughing happily. The staff table was full, except for one chair between Professors Snape and Umbridge the latter who had just been announced as the new Defence against the Dark Arts Professor.
"Thank you very much Professor Umbridge, that was most illuminating. I am yet to make another announcement," Professor Dumbledore said, eyeing the toad-faced woman kindly before turning back to face his students who were hanging on every word.
"Alongside Professor Snape I am most delighted to introduce our new co-Potions Professor. They will also be assuming post as our new co-Head of House for Slytherin and will also be teaching some classes in Years 1 through to 5 whilst Professor Snape aids his NEWTs students."
Professor Snape's face scrunched into a snarl. He hadn't been excited about the prospect of having another person assist with teaching Potions. He had told Professor Dumbledore he had coped fine by himself and didn't need an 'outsider muscling in on his teaching prowess' he had used more colloquial and colourful language.
"Please welcome Professor Simona Sforza," Professor Dumbledore said proudly, extending his arm towards the entrance of the hall in anticipation of her arrival. Students looked towards the entrance, craning their necks to get the first glimpse of the new Professor.
Professor Snape's face dropped into one of shock. He had not seen Simona since late February of their 5th year, even then the experience was extremely painful. He recalled as he unceremoniously humiliated Simona in front of a good few members of student body, only after the Marauders had humiliated him.
"I repeat, Professor Simona Sforza," Professor Dumbledore said, raising his voice. Some students lost interest and began to gossip, mainly in confusion and speculation.
However Simona didn't walk through the doors. The hall remained in silence for at least 2 minutes before Professor Dumbledore cleared his throat, gaining the attention of the students.
"Ah, it appears Professor Sforza is not here. No matter I shall resume-" Professor Dumbledore said with a slight chuckle before he was interrupted when the giant wooden doors swung open.
A petite figure, clad in black robes, a pencil skirt, a crisp fitted white shirt and bright red heels burst through the doors, her unruly black hair flying behind her. Her emerald green eyes were narrowed, her expression intense and unemotional. Her skin was no longer impossibly pale, it had regained its olive hue after spending the past 20 years in her native country. Her beauty was unequivocal, many students gasped in surprise before turning to one another and eyeing the new Professor with a mixture of jealousy and longing. She painted a most dramatic picture, her entrance had commanded the attention of almost every pair of eyes in the Hall. Simona scanned the hall for her daughter, she smirked as she noticed Nicoletta sitting at the Slytherin table.
Professor Snape watched as Simona flew past the house tables, Professor Umbridge muttered under her breath 'this simply will not do'.
"Professor Sforza, I wondered when you would arrive," Professor Dumbledore said before holding out his arms towards the new Professor. Simona's expressionless face broke out into a warm smile.
"Professor Dumbledore, it is so nice to see you again," Simona said brightly, before planting two kisses on each of Professor Dumbledore's cheeks. Her Italian accent back in full force.
"Professor Sforza everyone," Professor Dumbledore said clapping Simona heartily on the shoulder. Simona staggered forwards and smiled warmly. The students applauded quietly, still trying to wrap their heads around Simona's dramatic entrance.
Simona bowed to Professor Dumbledore before spotting the empty seat between Professor Snape and Professor Umbridge. Her face lost its sparkle, transforming into a scowl before swiftly sitting down with her eyes focused on the wooden doors from whence she had just came.
"Severus," Simona said simply, her voice cold and hard, her eyes still trained in front of her.
"Simona," Severus replied, trying to sound unemotional. After 20 years he still remembered the event that made Simona left with a mixture of pain and anger, but both the former and the latter had diluted itself over time. He was still slightly hurt by Simona's betrayal, but blamed Sirius and James for the incident more than Simona. He also regretted the harsh words he said to Simona the following day which were mainly said out of displaced hatred.
After Professor Dumbledore's speech, students were dismissed back to their dormitories. Severus attempted to gain Simona's attention and failed as Simona began talking with Professor McGonagall.
"Simona, I wondered if you would ever return here. I am glad to see you back here and teaching," Minerva said with a cheerful glint in her eye. Simona smiled warmly back.
"Professor, the pleasure is mine. I am so glad to be back," Simona replied with the same amount of cheer.
"No need to refer to me so formally Simona, you are now my equal after all," Minerva said as the two Professors made their way out of the Hall.
"I guess I will have to get used to that huh?" Simona said, her eyes glittering. Severus walked a few steps behind the two women, watching as Simona spoke with gusto to her old Transfiguration Professor.
"So I hear your daughter has started here. What house is she in?" Minerva asked.
"Obviously I missed the ceremony, but I spotted Nicoletta sat at the Slytherin table," Simona said with a twinkle in her eyes.
"Like mother like daughter," Minerva replied with a smile.
"'Come la madra, tale figlia," Simona said in response.
"Albus has told me about what you have done for us in Italy. I never knew You-Know-Who had influence over there," Minerva said as they stopped to talk.
"Thank you, I don't suppose you know another reason why I am here," Simona said quietly.
"No, I know you are here because of-" Minerva looked around to see Professor Snape lurking in a dark recess of the shadows. "Well you know, but everything else has not been divulged to me from Albus."
"I cannot tell you any more at the present time Minerva, I will be at the next Order Meeting to reveal my findings. You will know then. Can I ask where I'll be staying?" Simona asked as she stared down a gaping Hufflepuff who turned an unseemly shade of scarlet and ran off.
"Of course, your rooms will be in the dungeons next to your Potions classroom, we have had a new classroom especially built for you," Minerva said happily. Simona batted her hand.
"You needn't go to so much trouble, I assumed I would be sharing the classroom with Sev-Severus," Simona said, saying the last word with distaste. Severus' eyes shot back to the conversing couple at the mention of his name.
"Oh pish posh, there's no bother Simona," Minerva said with a chuckle, Simona smiled back.
"Goodnight Minerva," Simona said as they reached the staircases. Minerva waved with gusto as she ascended the stairway towards the Gryffindor Tower.
Simona reached her new Potions classroom. Using the key Minerva had given her, she unlocked the classroom and lit the candles. She gasped in appreciation as she took in the new room. Tables were lined in neat rows in front of a blackboard, a desk sat in front of it. Vials and bottles were arranged alphabetically on shelves that covered the back three walls, but left space for two dark wooden doors. One labelled 'Storage' the other remained unlabelled.
"I hope you find everything to your liking," came a deep voice from behind her. Simona jumped in surprise and spun around to see Severus standing rather uncomfortably at the door. Simona's pleased expression transfigured itself into a scowl.
"Oh, it's you," she said with a slight sneer. Her intense dislike for him had not dissipated since the last time she saw him over 20 years ago.
"No need to sound so pleased to see me," Severus said sarcastically. Simona scoffed, sitting on one of the desks and folding her arms.
"I apologise if I gave off the wrong impression, Severus," Simona said with a snarl.
"Still so bitter, after all this time," Severus said offhandedly.
"I don't know if you remember or not Severus, but you did rip out my heart and step on it," Simona said with malice.
"I never put you down for someone who holds a grudge, I thought you would have just brushed it off and ran back to Black and Potter," Severus replied.
"As much as I would have enjoyed deploying my revenge for those comments Severus, I decided to leave. How are things with Lily anyway?" Simona asked in mock innocence. She tried to stop her amusement as she watched Severus' expression turn murderous before putting back on his impassive mask.
"Why have you come back here?" Severus replied after a minute or so of silence, his height looming over Simona.
"That is none of your business," Simona growled, seemingly unperturbed by their height difference.
"It obviously concerns me, now pray tell, why are you here?" Severus retorted, his voice still sounding annoyingly calm.
"I said, it is none of your business," Simona spat, her voice replicating the same low and dangerous tone Severus seemed to favour when he was angry. "Now if you don't mind, I'm trying to familiarise myself with my new classroom," Simona continued, her contempt never leaving her voice.
"Then I shall leave you to it," Severus said walking away from Simona before stopping at the doorway.
"Welcome back," Severus said as he bowed and strode away.
AN; So I hope you enjoyed the first chapter guys! Many more to come, I have already written the first three chapters :) PLEASE READ AND REVIEW. I would really like to know what you think of this chapter and if you like what's going on. Of course Severus and Simona are not going to rush into each other's arms.. There is a lot of bitterness and anger on both sides. I hope I can and will portray this in later chapters. Love you all! xoxo