the mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure.
Name & Title Professor Severus Tobias Snape Para | Multi-Para Player Canon & AU All Eras including Post-War Some Mature Content See Blogs for Rules and Writing
"If that was true he must have felt that he had lost the old warm world, paid a high price for living too long with a single dream. He must have looked up at an unfamiliar sky through frightening leaves and shivered as he found what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw the sunlight was upon the scarcely created grass. A new world, material without being real, where poor ghosts, breathing dreams like air, drifted fortuitously about...like that ashen, fantastic figure gliding toward him through the amorphous trees." ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.
Hermione stood in the mirror, staring at her reflection. This was it. It was time to leave the only home she had known. The only family she had. Voldemort was at his strongest, and the Golden Trio had to take him down once and for all. Was it that simple? Just a few horcruxes, and Voldemort would be gone forever. Little did they know that his snake, Nagini, and Harry Potter himself were the two last remaning ones. "Hermione, darling. It's time for supper." Hermione looked away from the mirror. "Coming, mum!"
The memories of her mother and father were etched into her mind. The fight had finally come to Hogwarts, and Harry was sought out by Voldemort. The fight had to end. One of them had to die. The camping after Bill and Fleur's wedding had come to a hault when they had no choice but to return to Hogwarts. Everyone was in danger. Everyone was going to die if they didn't come back.
"Hermione! Run!" Ron and Harry simultaneously yelled her name. Nagini, Voldemort's snake was after the three of them. After Hermione threw a few pieces of debris at the creature, it sought her blood. "Ron! Harry! Just.. go! Find the last horcruxes! Defeat Voldemort!! Go!" Tears filled her eyes as she distracted the snake. This was her last stand against the man who tortured her friends and family. She pointed her wand at the snake, but fear filled her veins. "S-stup..." She couldn't mutter a single spell before she snake struck her arms first. She held them up in defense. Pain seared through her body as she fell. The last thing she saw was the snake striking a final blow to her neck. The same way the beloved Professor Snape died. Or at least they thought he had passed on.
Hermione woke for only a moment, coughing up blood. A blurred figure was approaching, but she couldn't quite make out who it was. Maybe the war was over. Maybe Ron and Harry figured it out and killed Voldemort..."
Hello!! Thank you for accepting my add or sending me one My name is Rabe Graves, distance family member to the house of Graves I live with my grandfather ever since my parents died when I was young. I go to the school of hogwarts in the trio era as a ravenclaw student. Im just doing my best to make my grandfather proud
Please do feel free to Interact with me in stream, ask to plot Or whatever you wish! Im always open for new connections
resendin!!~ hope you enjoy my new greeting better haha
// It was driving me crazy -- I had to go back and fix a few things lol. This is the good one! There may still be some typos and over usage of words but I'm not bothering to proofread any further changes. :'D Enjoy!
Having spent the better part of just over three months now corresponding with the mysterious P. Beaumont, Hermione felt it was time to let others know of her plans to pursue this business partnership with a complete stranger. Rewind to four or five years ago, when she was but a petulant teenager and she would have been sounding the alarm bells. She thought back to the time that Harry found that cryptic copy of Advanced Potion Making. Neither of them knowing who the Half Blood Prince was at the time, she warned against the dangers of following instructions from a scribbled name in a notebook. “Don’t be so daft! Merlin only knows what kinds of results they’ll yield. You could blow up the whole classroom!” she would often exclaim, or some derivative of that warning. Of course, the trio would come to learn that the particular edition Harry consulted belonged to none other than Hogwarts’ Potion Master, Severus Snape who had given himself the nickname during his own time at the school. Now she was just as hypocritical. Corresponding in personal, almost intimate detail with an unfamiliar individual that she now had plans to meet with in person. Past Hermione Granger would be so disappointed with her current self.
But that was the beauty in it all, wasn't it? Having the ability to cultivate into a new person as one aged. Now a young woman of 21 years old, she had grown. She had changed her former uptight ways. Where logic and reason used to dictate, instinct sometimes prevailed. Maybe it was the war that played a part in her evolution. Sights that she couldn’t unsee, happenings that she couldn’t prevent from transpiring even with all of the knowledge and talent she possessed. Those experiences, coupled with the reality of simply getting older seemed to lighten her in several ways. Enough that she completely abandoned any and all reservations she possessed about entering into a new elixir-making enterprise with someone she hadn't even met in person. Besides, she was a capable witch. Although magic wasn’t to be performed in the presence of a Muggle unless it was for absolute safety, she didn’t necessarily fear for her well-being. The battles she fought prepared her for dangerous situations. If required, she could defend herself properly. Not to mention, she only agreed to meet with P. Beaumont in a public place. Somewhere that people were plentiful and observant. She would be fine.
First, she told her parents. Mr. & Mrs. Granger were extremely proud of their daughter. They accompanied her on trips to Diagon Alley when she had to acquire her school supplies each year. They listened with deep interest whenever she came home on holiday as she recited everything she learned while she was away. They fostered their daughter’s love of learning by providing her with every book she asked for. Although a bit strict at times, they still allowed her the freedom to blossom and grow. And, above all else, they supported their daughter’s difference; two Muggles, raising a witch — that was a challenging task already. That, coinciding with rearing a brilliant mind like Hermione Granger’s? Suffice it to say, they had their work cut out for them. Which now included revelations that their daughter was embarking on a new business adventure making tinctures and potions with someone she barely knew. Naturally, they were skeptical. An endless amount of questions followed her news. Ones like asking if she was quitting her job at the Ministry (which she wouldn’t dare based on the amount of risk), where this P. Beaumont was from, what their background was and why was she so certain that they could be trusted? Eventually, with the right amount of convincing and scientific explanations about the findings of their research, Hermione’s parents acquiesced to their daughter and gave her their blessing. Moreover, they relished in the thought that if successful, it could even be a side income for their daughter. An entrepreneur, they were called. This bolstered their approval.
Next, came telling her dearest friend besides Harry: Ginny Weasley. Hermione and Ginny’s relationship hadn’t always been close. A year existed between the two girls which didn’t grant them the full opportunity to form a dependable friendship. But as the two young women got older, their bond became stronger. Especially so after the war. Partly due to the fact Hermione began dating Ron immediately after it ended. And partly due to Ginny and Harry becoming an official couple as well. The trio became four. Both girls would rant about their beau’s to each other. Ginny had insight into her brother’s aggravating ways, fully understanding why Hermione grew so irritated with him. Similarly, Harry was the closest thing that Hermione had to a brother and their relationship mirrored that; she was able to provide Ginny advise on how best to deal with his anger and impulsiveness.
Although Hermione and Ron were newly separated, Hermione still wanted to tell her best female friend all about her latest affairs. Ginny remained a loyal to Hermione even though she made the decision to break it off with Ron. Somehow understanding why Hermione came to the conclusion that she did about the relationship with her brother, Ginny continued to support her friend no matter how much it upset Ron. Unlike Hermione’s parents, Ginny was full of enthusiastic energy upon hearing the latest report. She expressed her concern, of course and even offered to follow Hermione to the coffee shop where she was due to meet her pen pal. The two women sharing a laugh over a glass of wine at the thought of Ginny sitting in a corner booth with one of those silly party favours that Muggle children often received. Thick, black plastic glasses without frames in them. A large nose covering her smaller one and a bushy dark moustache resting above her upper lip. Indeed, what a great disguise. No one would ever recognize her! Hermione managed to assuage her friends fears that she wasn’t going to be abducted by a crazy person and promised to send her an owl as soon as she arrived home safely. That was enough to keep Ginny’s playful threats at bay.
The day finally arrived. One that she wasn’t sure would ever come. She was about to meet the enigmatic P. Beaumont for the very first time. They were the one to suggest coffee but wanted Hermione to choose the location. Perhaps, she wondered, if this was due to the fact that Beaumont resided in Paris? Or somewhere in France. Maybe they didn’t know London as well as she did. Regardless, she was pleased to make the executive decision. In her final correspondence the day before, she relayed precise instructions, down to the exact subway train to take that would assist in getting P. Beaumont to a quaint little French confectionery in the Soho district of London. Suitable, she assumed. To choose a French-style bakery that served up tea and coffee to pair with the sweet delectables for their first meeting. Known for being the oldest pâtisserie in London, she hoped that Beaumont would appreciate the added touch for sentimentality; an homage to their beginnings as letter friends. In addition to the instructions, she provided them details on what she would be wearing and how to find her. Uncertain if she would be meeting a male or a female, she wanted to be sure they would recognize her without the awkward need to wade through the bustling bistro trying to lock eyes with a gaze trying to do the same.
Like everything Hermione did, she put way too much thought into what she would wear. Should she go for a dress? No. Too formal. Jeans and a loose fitting t shirt? Uh-uh. Too casual. Finally, after practically emptying the contents of her wardrobe onto the floor, she decided on a pair of slim fitting black denims. They were just tight enough to compliment her matured figure but not too snug, either. Above the waist, she wore an over-sized whitish, cream coloured sweater. It was smartly tailored in the way that it didn’t cling to her in a scandalous way, yet it hugged her frame in a stylish manner, alluding to the presumption that she maintained an attractive figure beneath it. Fall was in the air but it remained warm enough to go without a jacket so she was happy with the choice in the end.
Upon waking for the morning, she showered as she normally did but took extra care to moisturize her skin with a concoction of her own making. It contained a mix of shea butter, primrose oil, hawthorne berry, chickweed and hemp seed oil, among some other additives like vanilla and of course, lavender to aide in giving it a subtle smell of softness. She then tempered her normally misbehaving mane with a small helping of Sleekeazy’s Hair Potion. Over time, she managed to tame it down. Going from unruly and busy as a young girl to illustrious and only moderately curly; much more fashionable and refined now as a grown woman. There was no denying that Hermione blossomed later in life. A bit of an ugly duckling story, one could even say. However, she kept her makeup moderate. Resolving only to add a bit of foundation to brighten her face and a light shade of rouge on her lips to further fine her overall look. Finally completing it all with a quick spritz of hydrating mist.
As she slipped on her tan coloured ankle boots that matched the large leather satchel that hung over her shoulder, Hermione took one final glance in the mirror to ensure she looked alright. That, followed by one last inspection of the contents inside her bag. Frantic hands rummaged through the elongated depths of the charmed kit, fingers gripping items like her wand, hand cream, several different books on herbs and the keys to her flat, among other things. With one long, deep breath, Hermione disapparated from the her place in her bedroom and landed in a secluded alleyway mere blocks from the street named Greek St. Slowly, she walked toward number 28, finally arriving at the cake shop named Maison Bertaux.
She arrived 20 minutes earlier than P. Beaumont was expected to appear, stating in her letter that they meet at 11 o’clock. Stepping inside, she was greeted with a warm smile by the lady behind the counter. “Hello” Hermione exclaimed with a smile. “Everything looks so lovely…” she said as her brown eyes admired the display cases brimming with sweet delights like marzipan fruits, various types of eclairs, berry tarts and other delicious looking French pastries. “Is this your first time here?” the woman posed to the other, wondering if Hermione needed help in choosing what to eat. “No, actually. I’ve been here several times before but it’s been awhile. I love the authenticity inside. Paris is one of my favourite cities...when I come here, I’m instantly transported back.” Unintentionally chatty sometimes, Hermione was just trying to relay a genuine adulation for the space. “Ah, mais oui! Paris! C’est bonne!” For a moment, the two shared a brief conversation in French but just the bare minimum. Hermione broke it off when an English speaking patron entered the shop behind her, making her realize that she was taking up the other’s time. “So sorry!” she said with a laugh and just shook her head. “I’ll just have a coffee, please. And one of your mixed berry tarts. Thank you.” Paying with her Muggle money, Hermione acknowledged the small wait to be had and scurried to find a seat toward the back of the small cafe. There, she would wait for her guest.
Stomach knotting. Eyes wide and scanning. The next 15 minutes would crawl like cold molasses.
“Please, stop…” Hermione mewled. Mercilessly, the tip of Bellatrix Lestrange’s red hot dagger bore into her skin as the deranged witch laughed with an undisguised mirth. The younger witch was bound to a chair, her wand stolen from her possession and held captive in a box much like the one she found herself in. There was little light except for the faint glow of a charmed orb above her head that emitted an ominous purple-like colour. The walls were black, or so they seemed, lending an even further air of maliciousness to the already sinister room. Her slender wrists and legs were restrained by an unrelenting black rope, holding her to the chair and seemingly tightening every time she moved. Similar to the wrath of Devil’s Snare. “I told you, I don’t know anything…” with those words of defiance, Hermione was tortured again.
A single tear rolled down her cheek as she screamed out in agony. The smell of burnt flesh permeated the air as Bellatrix hovered in front of her face. Hermione wanted to be tough. She wanted to be brave. She wanted to sit rigid in the chair, inflexible to the torment falling upon her. But there was a point at which one’s resolve crumbled under the pressures of distress. Although she would never give her friends up or betray their trust, the continual abuse was enough to shrink her in size. “I’ll give you one last chance, you little bitch.” Bellatrix spat in her face. So close that Hermione could see the jagged edges of her teeth and the stains that tainted them. The other woman’s breath was hot and foul, which caused Hermione to wince and wretch forward. “Tell me where he is!!!” demanded the other, her patience growing exceedingly frail. Bellatrix was referring to Harry Potter, of course. She had taken Hermione captive and placed her in this torture chamber, determined to extract his whereabouts from his best friend by whatever means necessary. “Quit playing your games. I can make this so much worse.” Hermione writhed and wailed beneath the pain, more tears streaming down her cheeks as she tried to catch her breath. Obviously Bellatrix derived pleasure from the sights unfolding before her; a weakened Mudblood in her presence, stripped of her pride and her magical abilities. Decimated to a pleading, panting shell of a woman who had nothing left to give. “I don’t know where he is...I can’t remember…”
A resounding thud reverberated through the room. One full palm met with Hermione’s bruised cheek. The sensation caused her to jump out of bed. Images were blurry. Her senses not fully adjusted. She woke in a pool of her own sweat, mingled with that of her very real tears that soaked her pillow. Finally, her vision adjusted and she realised that it was all just a dream. A very real and vivid dream. The kind of nightmares that plagued her every now and again. They took many forms but often resulted in the same scenario. Bellatrix Lestrange held her prisoner. Sometimes it was in Malfoy Mansion. Other times, in a cabin in the woods. Every time, however, she was being battered marred. And only just when she was on the brink of passing out in the lucid dream from the very real agony that she felt through it, did she wake. Ron was usually there to comfort her. Somehow knowing that she was fighting through the ordeal in her sleep. Though, now that she was without him and slept alone these last few months, she was forced to face her demons on her own. All she could do was break down and cry. The experience crippled her. Not even the vial of lavender oil that she kept by her bedside could cure this plight…
Birds started to sing outside, welcoming the rise of the sun that signalled the beginning of a new day. Hermione loved mornings. They brought her a calming sense of joy. An early riser by nature, it was her chance to sit and enjoy a cup of tea in the little reading nook she had at the front of her cottage. Carefully, she would position a book in her lap while precariously balancing a hot cup of tea in one hand and usually some sort of breakfast in the other. Be it a muffin or a bowl of fresh fruit. She would read the latest passage of interest but pause as the sun made its way upward across the horizon, painting the sky with beautiful warm hues of orange and yellow. Arguably the best part of the day, she thought. The rising of the sun held promise and optimism; a chance to start over. Both Harry and Ron would curse her for it. Groaning and griping that it was too early for reading. Or that they weren’t ready to start their day at such ungodly hours. Of course, she would argue that they were wrong. What was the use in sleeping the day away? She’d counter. So much to see and do! Better yet, to learn!
On this particular morning, however, she was the one groaning and griping. She didn’t catch the time that she lurched out of bed but it was definitely well before sunrise. This newest night terror was unlike anything she had experienced before. It was almost as if they were getting worse. With others, she could feel herself in them, like an out of body experience. Almost as if she was looking down upon the events transpiring. Whereas with last night’s, she actually felt like she was a part of it. The searing of her skin from the hot knife, the contusions on her body from the multiple rounds of Crucio, the cracks in her lips that stung whenever she opened her mouth to speak and the warm blood that trickled down her temple. All of it was so fresh and so real.
Barely able to fix herself a proper cup of tea, Hermione shuffled from the kitchen to her window sanctuary. No doubt, she looked like death warmed over. Mind frazzled, eyes narrowed from sheer exhaustion. She tried making sense of it all, while still trying to come to grips with the terrifying ordeal. At least it was a Saturday. For her, this meant an off day from the Ministry. She couldn’t imagine having to gain her composure to endure a day of monotony. Usually, she loved her job. Enacting change, making a true difference for the lives of all magical beings and creatures. But she was in no shape to do anything productive, much less anything at all. It was unlike her to be so affected by this type of occurrence. Deep down, it frightened her. Forever the one to remain diligent and steadfast. To be this depleted of energy and cognisance was likely a sight to behold. Books weren’t even her friend in this moment. She didn’t even have the ability to pour through the pages of a dream decoder or thumb through theories on dark magic and the possibility of being tortured by resurrected evil souls. Absolutely nothing had her attention except for the spiral of smoke that circled through the air from the hot mug of tea in her hands.
If not for the sound of the mailbox outside her door slamming shut, she would have sat there for hours. Unlike the owl post, her mailbox was traditional. Reserved for letters from her parents and the odd paper bill she received from the Muggle world for items she purchased from that world. Begrudgingly, she found the energy to pull the blanket off her tiny frame and trudged toward the door to collect the latest piece of mail. To her surprise, another letter from P. Beaumont.
Brown eyes read the words on the paper with a sudden attentiveness. Frowned lips soon formed a smile. So, they liked the balm. Amid the misery she felt, she somehow managed to encourage a feeling of happiness within. It brought her pride and joy to know that they appreciated her own work. Scars though? And many, at that? Sure, it was rare for an individual to walk among the path if life without so much as a single scar. Most had a few, in fact. It seemed, however, that Beaumont owned more than the average person. She wouldn’t dare pry but naturally, this made her curious. The more they communicated, the more it seemed they weren’t so different after all. She might have been a witch but she was still human. Subjected to the same afflictions as everyone else and not immune to wounds either. Salves, potions and charms didn’t have the ability to solve all of life’s damages.
Running on little to no sleep, she knew she was delirious but it took her reading the next few lines on the paper several times over for the meaning to sink in. First, complimented on abilities but now they wanted to collaborate with her on a project?! Merlin! P. Beaumont didn’t even know her. This brought her both excitement and confusion. The sudden recognition that she wasn’t dreaming anymore was everything she needed to come back down to earth. Truly awake now and brimming with the idea of new promise, she rushed to her writing desk to compose a response.
Ink pen in hand, she began to write. Unaware that her penmanship displayed hints of weariness and strain.
Your letter could not have come at a better time. Admittedly, I have been recently plagued with some personal distress but your words managed to brighten my spirits. Truly.
It also brought with it, great humility. To learn that the balm I had enclosed was greeted with your appreciation but even more so, the request that you have bestowed upon me. Consider me humbled that you approve of my work; so much so, that you have made a request to work together on a future project. Normally, I would be hesitant to agree to such a bold venture without knowing more about my potential associate but I trust your body of research completely.
Should it be sufficient for you, please consider this reply my formal acceptance of your proposal. Where and how should we begin? Do not hesitate to suggest anything I can begin with as part of my own groundwork.
She had her appetite back. Not just for breakfast that morning but also, to learn and to explore. A nightmare no longer had the power to overthrow her.
Hermione spent the remainder of her week traipsing around the Provence region and its bordering small towns. Mornings used to sipp coffee alongside the coast of the small fishing communities, afternoons depleted by leisurely browsing through the wide open markets in the streets and evenings finished off by sampling the delectable eats that the quaint villages had to offer. She visited the Pink Salt Marshes and brushed up on her Roman history. Undeniably, she could have spent several more weeks in beloved France but her life could only be put on hold for so long back in London. The spontaneous jaunt to the country served her well, both mentally and physically but she couldn’t run from her problems forever.
Luckily, the Ministry afforded her an extended break in exchange for the promise that she would still review any and all memos sent to her attention while she was away. Then, there was the matter of Ron. Newly separated from him, she could not refute the notion that part of her was attempting to avoid any and all interaction from him. After their heartbreaking feud in his bedroom, she made a mad dash for her parents’ house. A rather cowardly move on her part in retrospect but she just couldn’t bear to hear him, begging her not to leave when her mind had been made up. She was too young to be tied down by the confines of a serious relationship. Harry and Ginny were practically married and she suspected that Ron was starting to wonder if should propose. There was no way she was ready for any of that. The world was much too big; endless things to see, countless experiences to be had. And, rather selfishly, she wanted to know what it was like to appreciate all of these things on her own. Spread her wings, so to speak. Rely only on herself. It was both liberating and frightening.
Reluctantly, she had returned to the small flat she was renting on the outskirts of London. Ethereal images of France still wafting through her mind. Everything remained just as she left it; her bed made just so, her bookcases arranged neatly by title and the warm fuzzy blanket she adored was folded against the large arm chair that screamed her name as she made her way through the door. If not for the sound of paper crunching beneath her boot, she would have missed, perhaps even stepped on the package that was just big enough to be pushed through the mail slot on her door. “Oh!” she spoke aloud, without even realizing it. “What’s this?” The question soon answered when she noticed the return address at the corner. Another correspondence from the mysterious P. Beaumont. If there had been another in the house with her, they would have asked what she was smiling at so foolishly. Strange, how something as simple as a friendly exchange with enigmatic academic could bring her so much joy. To her elation, the packet that came from her was bigger than the standard piece of mail. Naturally, this made her even more curious.
Bags dropped at the entryway, Hermione dashed for the oversized chair positioned directly in front of her fireplace. With an elegant wave of her wand, she set the hearth ablaze and swathed herself in the blanket to compensate for the chill that filled the air due to her absence. Carefully, her nimble fingers pried open the corners of the brown paper, her dark eyes glimmering with excitement to see what was inside. A piece of parchment fell into her lap just as her fingertips attentively gripped the glass bottle that was finally revealed. It glowed a strange purple colour which transfixed her instantly. “Amazing!” she peeped quietly to herself. Clearly unaware that the contents in her grasp were filled with magical properties made by none other than her former Potions Professor. Obviously, she was perplexed. All outward appearances suggested that the tincture she held could have easily been purchased from the shelves of Slug & Jiggers or Mr. Mulpepper’s. There was no reason to believe that P. Beaumont possessed any magical abilities but this was merely assumed on her part and subconsciously decided that the individual on the other side of the letters was likely a retired university professor, or maybe just a hobbyist herbalist. But even the bottle that acted as the vessel for the peculiar liquid looked familiar. Vials like this were rare, especially for a Muggle. Only a select few of them visited the likes of old perfume shops or apothecaries.
Eager for an answer, her eyes fell upon the impeccably creased paper as she began to read. Miss Granger… engrossed by the words, a large smile spread across her lips. Part fondness, part enthusiasm. This individual had taken the time out to appreciate the preserved sprig of lavender she had sent them and, on top of that, send along an experiment, as they called it. Of course! She soon realized. The glass container held the herb that she sent to them in liquid form. Even more intriguing was the idea that this particular blend was concocted to aid with muscle pain. While she didn’t necessarily have much of this herself, her arm still flared up from time to time. Unbeknown to Hermione in that moment, her focus moved to her left arm; almost always covered by a long sleeve to hide the painful scar left behind by the merciless torture from Bellatrix Lestrange. The ordeal caused Hermione to pass out from the pain. A sharp, silver blade piercing through her skin down to the bone. Mudblood.Forever etched into her forearm. No amount of healing salve had ever been able to erase away the memories; her skin there bumpy and deformed, the disparaging word visible if one looked hard enough to decipher it.
Lost to the torment for a moment, Hermione came to, soon understanding what had just happened. A single tear fell down her cheek, recalling the suffering she endured at the hands of pure evil. Valiantly, she suppressed the affliction she felt from it all but clearly, the flashbacks were just as vivid and she could swear it only happened yesterday. Gently, Hermione pulled the stopper from the tiny bottle in her hands and brought the brim to her nose. Aromas of soft lavender funneled through the air, immediately calming her frazzled senses. There was something to behold in this particular tincture. Expertly crafted, retaining the elements of the therapeutic herb with an even greater power than it had in its original form. If that was even possible. Any and all of her anxiety melted away in that exact moment. In all the potions she came across, nothing had ever had this kind of effect on her. There was only one thing to do, she thought. Make it into a balm.
And so, off she went. Into a small room at the back of her flat. Remodeled to be a makeshift classroom, of sorts. Yes, indeed. That was something only Hermione Granger would do. Create her own classroom, filled with even more books, potions ingredients, a small cauldron and various artefacts that made it all the more authentic. She didn’t even bother putting her belongings away. They remained at the door where she left them.
Hermione spent the first 10 minutes of her efforts analyzing the violet liquid even more. With her eyes, her nose, under a microscope and thumbing through the appropriate texts to see if she could deconstruct the concoction without causing it to lose its properties. To her dismay, she came up short. If ever this P. Beaumont agreed to meet her, she would certainly be asking what, exactly, they did to create the perfect infusion.
After several hours toiling away and nowhere near as expert as her new penpal, Hermione clutched a small tin of lotion in her fingers. Its texture thick, like a waxy sort of paste. Designed to be a topical ointment. Largely to be used and applied directly onto an open wound to encourage healing, it could also be used to reduce inflammation and maybe, if she was lucky, mitigate the effects of scarring. Additional uses included dabbing it behind one’s ears or smearing a meager amount below the nose to elicit calm or to assist with the ease in falling asleep. Even with this product of her own, she still made sure to keep some for herself; this included several drops of the lavender oil-like substance which she would continue to explore and develop. Or maybe just use to drop into her bath or onto her pillow at night. Either way, she was forever grateful for the thoughtfully bestowed donation.
The only thing left for her to do, like a keen student, hyped with the notion of pleasing their teacher with their latest project, was to send her friend (could she even call them her friend?) a sample to gather their thoughts.
Words cannot possibly begin to express my gratitude for your latest gift. How pleased I was to arrive back in London to such a wonderful surprise at my doorstep. Your correspondence brought me immense joy and I am thankful that you continue to provide one to me.
The vial that you enclosed in the package is unlike anything else that I have ever come across. I can only presume that you have made the conclusions that I have undoubtedly travelled to various apothecaries throughout Europe; D.R. Harris & Co. here in London remains to be one of my favourites. So, naturally, something as elementary as a bottle has piqued my curiosity. May I ask where you procured the rare vessel that contained the beautiful, violet-coloured essence? I have only ever seen such phials in perfumeries and shops that sell unique herbs.
I have taken it upon myself to do some experimenting too. Consider me inspired. Enclosed, you will find a tin of lavender balm. Made specifically with the essence that you graciously provided to me. From time to time, I have an old injury that likes to remind me it still exists. Mostly just scar tissue that becomes exacerbated when I overuse my arm or is sometimes irritated by certain fabrics. I am going to try using this salve on the faint marring on my forearm and hope that it will continue to diminish the visible presence; thankfully, however, that is faint. Much better than what it used to be this time two years ago. But that is another story for another time.
Please tell me what you think after you have tried it. Whether on an accidental wound that needs quick healing or as an aide for sleeping. I greatly look forward to hearing your thoughts and even your criticisms, should you have any.
Minerva sits up straighter in her chair, eyeing the bottle of wine before flicking her wand for two glasses to appear, "Severus," She clears her throat and then squares her shoulders in the challenge, "I accept."
Hermione knew she was going out on a limb that day in the Parisian library when she took pen to paper and wrote the mysterious P. Beaumont. Or rather, she hoped that her letter would reach him, her? Whomever they were. It was silly of her, really. Even overzealous. But it wasn’t her nature to keep her curiosities at bay. They gnawed at her whenever they existed. Bubbling and brooding from below. Eventually boiling over until she either blurted something out that she regretted, proving herself to be the insufferable know it all that she knew she was deep down or it came to consume her. Constant and demanding. Urging her to get to the bottom of it, whether to satisfy her interest or to encourage it more. She often wished she could turn it off. Ever cognisant of the fact that her mind was forever spinning like a cog wheel; always turning, never truly at rest.
In the time that went by, Hermione thought for sure that her letter had fallen on deaf ears. Though fully aware that the Muggle post system wasn’t nearly as swift and proficient as the magical way of sending Owl Posts, she was only in France after all. A piece of mail sent from England to Paris would have taken two, three days at best. It was nearing the six day mark and almost time for her to depart from Paris and make her way to Provence. There, she planned to explore the bounty of lavender fields. Paris was but a mere treat in her journeys; a place to lay here head and traverse through for nostalgia’s sake. The real part of her trip was soon to begin. Chances to learn and to advance her skills even more. Reading endless books about the plant’s properties was beneficial but dropping to her knees and feeling the whorles between her fingers, inhaling the delicate aromas of the buds, examining the excretions from the root. None of those things could ever be properly depicted in a book, much less from the dried variety she purchased from the Apothecary. It was moments like those that she longed for. The entire purpose of her trip was to discover herself, to leave the world she knew behind. Too many memories. A series of ambivalent choices; none of which she knew how to decipher.
Not even now, as she packed the last of her belongings into her small suitcase in an effort to ready herself for the next leg of her journey.
The mundane task of shoving one’s belongings into a bag for travel had seized her attention like it would any other. Dazed by the basic nature of it all, her concentration was broken only by the sound of the rusty old letterbox opening and closing beneath the open window below. There was only one explanation for it as the house she was renting didn’t have a permanent owner and therefore, no other mail had come to be delivered there. It couldn’t be, she thought. Thrilled by the idea of her eager letter being replied back to after all. Like a kid on Christmas morning, Hermione rushed down the stairs of the small abode, bursting through the door to retrieve the contents inside. Just as she hoped, there in the left hand corner, the name P. Beaumont had been scrawled. Surprisingly so, along with a return address appearing to be that of a private residence. “Eee!” she squealed to herself, clutching the envelope with a strange sense of joy. Something about this P. Beaumont academic had reeled her in from the very start; the way they wrote, the sheer talent they employed to make an otherwise dull subject utterly beguiling. Heck! Hermione didn’t get this excited over letters from Harry, much less her parents. Like a voracious appetite, she wanted more and held that very more in her hands. It was time to tear it open.
She had a few hours yet before she had to formerly check out of the home she was renting but she took it upon herself to leave early. Instead, using the extra hours to take the coveted letter to one of her favourite coffee shops before she would board the train for the next destination. The perfect place to fully engulf herself in the words shared with her, she thought. And so, she went on her way. Suitcase clutched in one hand, prized letter in the other, her look completed with a gleeful smile.
Practically swallowed by rows of purple, Hermione closed her eyes and took a deep breath inward. She had only been in Provence for one full day but had already fallen in love with the French countryside. That, coupled with a renewed zest for the gratification that field research brought her, she reached for the piece of paper she kept in her charmed satchel. P. Beaumont had composed a beautifully written reply back to her. More terse than the original journal piece she first read but fascinating nonetheless. She didn’t take it personally. Perhaps they just had a different style of writing when it came to more personal correspondences. Academic writing was an entirely different art. This note was slightly more informative, denoting their findings for other ingredients like Lemon Balm, Chamomile and Passion Flower. They spoke briefly of their own struggles with insomnia and shared some personal experience with making hot teas from these substances. Along with some extensive research, though never published they insisted, on potent painkillers. Valerian root, as it turns out, wasn’t just a sleep aide. A path to learn more about its pain numbing properties was being forged. Naturally, this fascinated Hermione. Not necessarily because she suffered from chronic pain but rather, the breakthroughs that were being made by this unknown individual. It excited her to think that she could be communicating with a research trailblazer. Maybe someday, she could even assist them! Foolish to think but not entirely implausible.
Here, among the lines of Lavender, Hermione decided there was no better an opportunity to write P. Beaumont another letter. Like something out of a Muggle movie, she thought. A bit romantic, even. In a purely platonic way, of course. Just the sentimentality of it all; two passionate intellectuals, exchanging letters on the properties and findings of herbs and there she sat, among one of the many shared with her.
After rummaging through the endless depths of her shoulder bag, Hermione finally found a pen and some loose paper. She sat down delicately in a soft patch of grass and began to write.
Thank you, Mister? Mrs.? (forgive me, your gender remains a mystery) P. Beaumont for the enthralling pieces of work you sent me earlier this week. I am truly appreciative.
I must also convey my sincerest curiosity. Your pieces on Lemon Balm and Chamomile were particularly intriguing. Admittedly, I know very little about each. Especially the former. On occasion, I have taken the latter in hot tea form to assist with persistent headaches but I am not aware of much else.
Today, I am exploring the vast expanse of Lavender fields in the Provence region of France. I have spoken to some local farmers and have been examining the differences between their cultivation methods. Fascinating, to say the least. How it grows and blooms differently depending on the angle of the sun or the amount of water its given at specific intervals of time. Have you explored this plant much in your own research efforts? I have taken a certain interest it in. Largely because of its dual properties as both a pain and sleeping aide. It is my intention to take some field samples back to London with me in a few weeks but I have yet to devise a practical way to preserve its true properties.
In the meantime, however, I have enclosed a dried sample for you to examine. I can only hope it remains unwithered when it arrives in your clutch. It is my hope that you will find the specimen useful and unlike any other piece of Lavender you have studied before.
I hope that we can remain penpals. Your written works bring me a sense of wonder and marvel. Forever on a quest for more knowledge, it would be my greatest pleasure to learn from you. Perhaps, even, in a far off time, you may even afford me the opportunity to meet you for lunch so we aren’t so unfamiliar. Although my actual residence is just outside London, travel for me is quite easy and accessible.
Until then, I look forward to your next correspondence and your thoughts on the strains of Lavender contained within my letter.
She thought about changing the wording of the letter ten times over. First, thinking it sounded too enthusiastic. Wondering if suggesting that they meet eventually would sound too bold. Or maybe that the sample of Lavender would come across as being a silly gesture? Typical Hermione. Overthinking everything. Inherent qualities that she was trying to improve upon. Fixing them, even. Endeavouring to get better at just letting things be. Not bothering to nitpick every last detail and to stop imagining the worst possible situation.
Turning a new leaf, Hermione took several deep breaths. Initially savouring the aromas of fresh Lavender around her but as a final step, the proverbial stamp on the letter - she stuffed the envelope with the magically cured samples spread across her palm and made her way to the nearest post office. High on the promise of embarking on yet another enchanting quest.
-smells and inhales his scent deeply, closing her eyes in such bliss. Against her Werewolf mother's loving will, she gives a fanged grin, and lunges to bite him on the shoulder. The closer she gets to him, the more intoxicating his blood-scent becomes to her.-