A Mortal Enemy
by Ezzie

This is the sequel to "Destiny of Souls". You should read that story first, as this
one will make little sense if you have not. Many many thanks to Sarah, my Beta reader.

Summary: Sequel to Destiny of Souls. Kara and Snape now have to face enormous challenges
in the fight against Voldemort. Introduces another original character and will go more
heavily into Draco Malfoy, Harry/Ginny and the fight against Voldemort. And is Dumbledore
an elf? read/review!

Chapter 1: Despair

Hogwarts was cool inside, even in the blistering summer heat. Enchantments and cold
stone ensured that much. Kara Lynch was dressed in her usual heavy robes and on this
particular day she was wearing black. She stood next to Severus Snape as he gazed at
himself in the bedroom mirror. These were the only moments in the day he took in front
of a looking glass and it was only to make sure there was nothing terribly amiss with his
appearance - such as potion stains on his robes. Other than that he was perfectly content
to walk out into the world with greasy hair and yellowed teeth. He was a menacing site,
even to Kara at times. But she had seen him naked, and anyone who had seen Severus
Snape naked would consider him a God. And that was how Kara saw him now, even
with clothes on.

She put one of her graceful hands on his shoulder and affectionately looked in the mirror
with him. They were quite a couple. Both had the darkest of black hair and stood taller
than many of their colleagues with the exception of perhaps Dumbledore, McGonagall
and Hagrid. Students cowered in their shadows and more had been brought to tears under
their stares. On Kara's left ring finger stood evidence of their pairing - a brilliant
platinum, sapphire and diamond engagement ring that had belonged to Snape's mother.

Snape turned, leaned down and kissed her goodbye before leaving for his office in the
dungeons. Kara went to the bathroom, brushed her teeth and then put her hair up in a
bun. This is how she normally wore her hair, which when loose reached down to her
lower back. She was a little more concerned about her appearance, but that was as it
should be, she supposed. She ensured her robes were wrinkle free and spotless before
she left through the door to Snape's quarters. Kara warded the door and headed for the
Defense classroom where she was to prepare for lessons with Harry Potter today.

But instead of entering the classroom, she was greeted with a note nailed to the door. She
took it off, opened it and was less than surprised to see that it was from Albus Dumbledore.
He wanted to see her promptly.

Kara climbed the familiar winding staircase to where the Headmaster's office was. These
near weakly visits that she had with him now were tiring examples of his intentions to
continue influencing her life. Dumbledore would summon her and tell her about some
sort of new task he wanted her to perform. Once, the Ministry needed a new potion to
combat Dragon burns, another time he needed her to go to London for him.

Kara was just about to begin the final preparations for her second year as a tenured
Professor at Hogwarts. Her first had been exciting and full of twists to say the least.
Meeting Severus Snape, falling in love and getting engaged only topped the list of things
she found herself entangled in after just eleven months in this castle. Then there was
the discovery of the last of her gifts, the interactions with Voldemort and his Death
Eaters, and of course Harry Potter.

The staircase never seemed to move fast enough. She would climb the stairs on her own,
but then she would be out of breath and she had no intention of appearing flustered or
moved by his need to see her. Kara could hear Dumbledore muttering something. No
doubt talking to his Phoenix.

Yes last year had definitely been one that would interest any scholar in the Dark Arts, and
in fact any scholar of Wizarding society. Between herself, Snape, Harry Potter, Albus
Dumbledore and Voldemort there was no space for anything else the headlines of the Daily Prophet.
Snape tended to pay more attention to the press than she did. When she questioned him
on this he muttered something about Potter's second year in school. If it was about
Harry Potter, she didn't want to know. She knew better than to push him to talk
about the boy and had backed down without getting the full explanation. And surely
enough, everyday an owl would arrive with a copy of the newspaper and he would read it
cover to cover. It was almost as if he expected to find some great secret to life hidden
within its bowels.

Almost to the top of the stairs. She heard the Headmaster address the Phoenix by its
name. Only Albus Dumbledore would carry on a conversation with a Phoenix. Kara
sighed slightly. Of course she adored the Headmaster. He had brought her here, given
her the opportunity to teach, and introduced her to Snape - the man she would marry.
But there was something about him that she didn't understand. The first thing was
the fact that he had the aura of an elf; an aura that only she could see because she was an
Oracle. The problem was that he looked nothing like an elf, or any other magical
creature for that matter.

She walked casually in the door.

"Good Morning Headmaster. You wanted to see me?"

"Yes. We are just waiting for Severus. Do sit down. Tea?"

"Yes, thank you."

She looked over at Fawkes to see that he looked sick. He must be preparing to die and
then rise again. She took the teacup the Headmaster held out to her.

"I was just telling Fawkes that he's being melodramatic. Believe it or not
Phoenix's become very moody during this stage in their life. You would think
he's used to it now after 500 years of being reborn."

She heard footsteps just outside the door.

"Ah Severus. Come in. Sit down."

Kara looked at her fiance. It only just now struck her as odd that Dumbledore would
bring them here together and without the other staff. What news was he about to drop on
them? Snape met her eyes and was echoing those thoughts.

For the first time that she could remember Dumbledore didn't sit down as he began to
address them. Instead he stood in front of his Phoenix and refused to look either of them
in the eye. He did this for quite some time and then turned and walked towards his desk.
The aged Wizard picked up a phial containing a pink swirling liquid and held it out to

Snape took it reluctantly and looked at it. He had a puzzled look on his face.

"Do you know what that is Severus?"

Snape's brow furrowed.

"No. Headmaster I'm afraid I do not."

Snape looked at her for answers. Kara shook her head. She had never seen a Potion that
looked quite like that. Could it be an unknown poison that Voldemort was using?
Perhaps the Headmaster wanted them to analyze it. The pinkish color certainly made it
possibly a new Alabasor poison, or an unnamed Class A poison that used mulberries.
Kara strained as hard as she could to remember a poison that looked like that.

"The Elixer of Life," Dumbledore muttered.

Kara turned her head to look at Snape who was shaking his head. Snape had filled Kara
in about the last Philosopher's Stone and how it had been in Dumbledore's care.
His fingers enclosed a little more cautiously around the bottle when he realized
Dumbledore was not kidding.

"The last of the Elixer from my friend Nicholas Flamel's stone," Dumbledore
clarified as he walked behind his desk and sat down. "I have been drinking it in small
doses for the past ten years. I have needed it to keep my strength and mind."

He picked up an object off his desk and balanced it in the palm of his hand.

"As you no doubt remember Severus, the Philosopher's Stone was destroyed and so I
cannot make more of the Elixer. I will take the last dose in a week; and then two weeks
later I will leave this life," he said calmly as he inspected the two Professors looking at
him. He looked oddly calm for just having broken this news to them. She figured they
weren't the first to be told.

Neither of them said anything. Kara couldn't find the words to begin her
interrogation of the Headmaster. What did one say at the realization that the person in
front of them would die? How often did you find a man that knew he was going to depart
from the mortal realm and was prepared for it, down to the day? Were there even
questions appropriate at this time?

"Severus?" Dumbledore probed in a calm voice. Kara looked over at Snape again and
found that a sad look had formed in his eyes. Snape looked back at her but refused to
let her read his mind.

"Yes?" he finally replied.

"You understand why I am informing you now, do you not?"

"Not exactly."

"When I'm gone, the school governors will have to replace me."

"Minerva. And she will need a deputy. I understand." Snape nodded his head slightly,
grief obviously overwhelming his sensibilities.

"Ah. Not exactly correct Severus. Minerva informed me years ago she has no interest in
the position."

Snape tilted his head and gave Dumbledore a quizzical look. Kara knew what he was
thinking. Dumbledore was going to leave and there would be no Headmaster. The
school governors would bring in a stranger, most likely someone from the Ministry to run
the school. And from that there would be a power struggle with the headstrong Head of
Slytherin house. This new person wouldn't understand the gentle nature with which
Snape needed to be handled. If she was calculating correctly, Snape was mentally
picturing the day he would get fired - no doubt over some incident with Harry Potter.

"I do have a successor in mind; I have for quite some time," Dumbledore continued
when Snape didn't encourage him to do so. He stood up and began pacing behind his

"I need someone already familiar with the school and it's traditions. It needs to be
someone capable of continuing my legacy of fairness and equality; and naturally
someone who can protect the students. In short, Severus, I am recommending you."

If Snape was expecting anything, he was not expecting this. His usual stoic manner fell
and his head nearly dropped to his chest. Kara had only seen him this moved the night
that he found out she had Inner Focus - the first night they met. She instinctively reached
a hand over and placed it on his shoulder. He didn't shirk away immediately but
seemed to remember himself and stood to pace. It was his favorite way of dealing with
stressful situations.

The Headmaster was sensing Snape's denial.

"You are the most logical person Severus. You are powerful, talented, wise and strong. I
couldn't leave the school in the hands of anyone but you. Voldemort would come
walking through the front door as soon as my body was in the grave."

"I'm not ready," Snape snapped as he stopped pacing and regained his composure.
Kara wasn't sure what he meant. Was he not ready for the Headmaster position, or
not ready for Dumbledore to leave him? It was very unlike Snape to doubt himself and
she knew the ambition that resided in his blood was yearning for an opportunity like this.

"You have three weeks."

Three weeks? What a ridiculous statement. No person could ready themselves to take on
a role like this in three weeks. Snape was shaking his head in disbelief. She looked at
Dumbledore, who was beaming despite the morbid nature of the conversation. She could
hear Dumbledore saying in his mind that he had full confidence in Snape. He believed it
deep down.

"Three weeks will hardly be enough," Snape protested, but Kara could already hear the
resolution in his voice.

"No one expects you to be perfect. And you will not be alone. Minerva will be here. You
will have Professor Lynch and the rest of the staff to back you up."

"I will have to give up teaching Potions and my Head of Slytherin duties," Snape replied
in a voice that was less than enthusiastic.

"I'm sure you will have no trouble filling that position," Dumbledore said as he
gave Kara a knowing glance.

So that was why Dumbledore had suggested she fill in for Snape all those times. He was
preparing them both. Kara wanted to scream at Dumbledore. He was too clever for his
own good. She was willing to bet that Dumbledore didn't understand how much
Snape enjoyed his role at this school. And now it was changing.

An owl flew in the window and landed on Dumbledore's desk. He handed the bird a
cookie from a jar and untied a note from its leg.

"Pardon me, but I need to speak with Minerva about something. I will be back. Make
yourselves at home."

A statement no doubt directed towards Snape. This would be his new office.

When the Headmaster was gone she rose up and walked over to Snape.

"What do you mean you're not ready?"

She was half expecting Snape to burst into tears in shock and grief, but then again she
had never seen him cry even at the prospect of the worst situations. He didn't fail to
meet that expectation.

He looked into her eyes and she could see he was in utter shock. Kara wondered to
herself if he wasn't using an anti-tearing spell.

"For the past two years we have had a solid plan. One that was laid out perfectly and
explained in great deal to me. I was sure of everything in my life until about five minutes
ago." His voice was harsh. "It is just like him to spring this on me. He did it when he
brought you here and he did it by not telling me Potter was an Oracle."

"Perhaps he has factored this into the plan. He was obviously aware of how much Elixer
he had left."

"This is just another example of his insanity. He knows I'm not ready for this.
It's one thing to play the role of a bishop, it's another to play the role of the king,"
he said making reference to chess.

"He seems fairly convinced Severus. There is no doubt there. He believes you're

Snape looked up at her and raised his eyebrows knowingly. She nodded her head.
Whatever Dumbledore had in mind he knew he was up to the task.

"He knew you would be taking over Potions," Snape said coolly towards her.

"Another reason why he insisted so strongly on bringing me here, no doubt," Kara replied as
she rolled her eyes.

His face nearly broke into a smile when he noticed how indignant she was.

"I suppose we should begin looking for a Defense teacher immediately then. Again.
Unless of course you would rather continue teaching it."

"What will be more difficult to replace?"

"The Defense position. But I have come to learn over the years there is no getting around
that. It is inevitable. Hogwarts has rarely tenured a Dark Arts Professor for more than a
few years. At least you're still alive with your memory in tact. Besides I could never
fill my own position with someone who possessed less knowledge than myself."

She nodded. It was almost a compliment. She gave him a wary smile.

Fawkes made what could only be described as a whimper from his perch. Snape turned
around and looked at the bird.

"I don't suppose you're going with him are you?"

Fawkes' head tilted to the side and studied the Dark Professor curiously.

"He's not fond of me."

Kara smiled at him.

"I'm sure he will warm to you."

"If he hasn't in the past 27 years, I doubt he will now. He seems to never have
forgiven me for joining the Death Eaters."

Fawkes whimpered again.

"Besides this isn't final. There are always the school governors. Chances are they
will reject his recommendation."

"If I heard correctly he's already cleared it with them," Kara replied. She had heard
mutterings deep in Dumbledore's mind earlier.

Snape merely looked at her momentarily and shook his head. He understood what she
meant by that.

Kara walked over to the teapot that Dumbledore had placed just above the fire and
poured Snape a cup of tea. She handed it to him and sat down again.

"Knowing Dumbledore he will get a funeral fit for a Muggle King with thousands of
adoring students," Snape said bitterly.

"A prefect place for Voldemort to attack."


"You and I will be there."

"As will Potter, no doubt."

It seemed odd to be discussing Dumbledore's funeral as they heard his footsteps
just outside the office. Professor McGonagall was with him.

"Severus. Kara." Minerva said as she entered the room after Dumbledore.

"Minerva." They both replied in response.

"Congratulations Severus. I want you to know you have my full support," McGonagall said as
she placed a motherly hand on his arm. "There is no one more perfect for this position."

"I'm sure some of the students will disagree with you Minerva."

"Only because you are a strict Professor in the classroom. Now Potions will be taught by
someone with, shall we say, less House bias." There was a recognizable tension in her

Snape raised his head proudly.

"And they will have a Headmaster who can turn the tide of favoritism fairly back towards
Slytherin," he managed to get out in a calm and confident tone.

"Ahem..." Dumbledore interrupted. "Now I believe the search for a new Defense
Professor should commence immediately. I have several potential candidates for you to
look at."

Out of the corner of her eye Kara could see the exasperated look Snape shot the

"Just things that get sent to me randomly," Dumbledore added quickly as he spied the
look Snape had on his face.

"And of course you will want to attempt recruiting on your own."

Dumbledore handed Severus fifteen large scrolls.

"Kara, make sure he looks at all of them -- seriously." He placed a lot of emphasis on the
word 'seriously'. She nodded, not quite understanding why he thought Snape wouldn't.

"Now if you don't mind, Minerva and I have some things to discuss. I will see you
both at Lunch."

End of Chapter 1. Like it? Review. Give me feedback. Do you like it? Hate it? Let me know!
Please be sure to read Destiny of Souls, otherwise the rest of this story will make absolutely
no sense.

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