The sinewy tall man returned into the Hogshead Inn while Leonor crossed the street. She glimpsed from the distance at Alma’s shop in the main street. Everything was silent and dark except a little rose-red light in the attic room. She sighed and followed the landlord, still wondering about his age. She couldn’t give a good guess. The air in the pub smelled of stale drinks and unclean folks, even though there was just one last guest sitting over an empty tankard. Leonor glanced round and moved to the long bar where the landlord wiped the sticky surface with a greyish brown cloth. The dirt on the floor gnashed under the steps. He called out to the obviously drowsy wizard holding the pitcher with both hands.

“Fletcher, pay your bill. It’s closed now.”

The burly man blinked, gazed at the landlord and stood up. He looked at Leonor and his eyes narrowed before showing a toothless grimace and wiping his bald head with ugly fingers. The so-called Fletcher tossed some coins at the bar and rushed out of the pub like in a sudden hurry. The landlord grunted to himself, collected the Sickles and threw them into a drawer.

“I’m Leonor”, she said unemotional and without stretching a hand as a greeting. The landlord watched her with blue piercing eyes before taking two glasses from a cupboard. He filled them with a clear liquid and handed one to Leonor.

“Aberforth”, said the landlord and drowned the cup in one go. Leonor copied him. The colourless liquid burned in the throat like fire.

“Brave”, snorted Aberforth and refilled the glasses to the brim.

“Why do you watch me?”, asked Leonor without preamble. The bloke’s resemblance with Dumbledore showed weakly on the surface. Blue penetrating eyes and lanky grey hair scraped up most of the similarities. A grim and bitter look replaced the bright smile and the mischievous twinkle of the headmaster. Shabby robes created a stark contrast to the colourful embroidered clothing of the famous brother. It was almost as if Albus lived in the sun while Aberforth had chosen the shadows. The strong liqueur created a warm pleasant burn around Leonor’s stomach, a curative feeling against birthday blues.

“Do I?” Aberforth frowned slightly with a strange lively graveness.

“You do.”

“Any issues with it?”, replied the landlord grumpily and emptied another cup.

“It’s at least impolite.”

 “It’s for your own good.”

“What makes you so sure to know what’s good for me?”

“Age.”

“Age doesn’t give the right to stalk. Stay out of my business!”, replied Leonor clutching her wand visibly under the cloak.

Aberforth grinned. He leaned over the bar and came threatening close to Leonor’s face. A wry grin curled his mouth.

“Girl, I’ve seen rise and fall of two dark sorcerers. Don’t tell me you’ve seen more! I smell the wrong people, I know what pushes them. They will pelt your little perfect … apothecary. You are in the wrong company”, said the landlord with a stern finality in the voice.

Leonor drowned the refilled cup holding the gaze. She wondered about the motives of Aberforth to tell her. The information itself didn’t take her by surprise.

“Why would you warn me?”, shrugged Leonor.

“You are not from here.”

“Fine, then all is said. No need to trace my steps anymore. Call me if you need a word. Good night!” Leonor shoved the empty glass into the hands of the host and made the way to the exit into the meanwhile cloudy January. He didn’t call her back. Suspicion rose like fog above autumnal lowlands. The grudging honesty sounded genuine, not forced. The idea that Dumbledore was involved in the warning in one or another way dispersed by the arrival of two owls.

Peter’s birthday card played a catchy tune, a Romanian folk song. Leonor smiled and read. Peter’s mother complained about the workload at the school and wished Leonor to come back and help in the hospital. Peter boasted about the happiness with the gorgeous twins. Both deluded Leonor in a nice way. Peter’s mother likely had very little to do. Everybody stayed home in winter. Peter himself skipped every mention of his wife. It just meant he cared for everything with magic. His wife stopped to live a muggle’s existence when magic solved things quicker. Peter loved his wife and would take the burden as long as he could.

The second letter arrived camouflaged like muggle mail. A stamp and the blue airmail sign were printed above the address, no sender and no official paper. Leonor took lousy pages with a FBI letter head and coffee stains out of the envelope and looked at the familiar handwriting. She absorbed the lines eagerly. The picture of the small windowless office with the brick walls came to her mind. The little room was crammed with three desks and shelfs of forensic evidence, everything Alan and Leonor hid to keep the magic involved in crimes a secret. The harsh and tight-lipped former partner summarized the events after Leonor left. She’d never expected to get one written sentence out of him, not after more than five years. Leonor couldn’t deny feeling good and somewhat homesick. But would she really like to return?

Sandra, the cheerful and good-natured soul of the trio had been insured by a resent investigation. Alan wrote that MACUSA and her husband forced her to take Leonor’s place. MACUSA just filled an unpopular position lacking properly trained wizards willing to work with muggles. Her husband wanted the extra money. Alan was already a conscience-stricken man and the inability to keep his partner out of harm’s way weighted heavily on the written lines. Leonor remembered how Sandra struggled with the bizarre crimes and now she’d been right in the middle of it, defenceless and overworked. A part of the blame woke in Leonor’s soul too; she’d never told her suspicions about the selfishness of Sandra’s groom, instead the escape to Europe left everything unsaid. Leonor had not been there, and the six-year-old daughter almost lost her mother, she wondered if the bloke of a father would care now.

Leonor heaved a sigh; the first private letter from the U.S. arrived on her birthday. She would respond soon, knowing the words wouldn’t make Alan to forgive himself. She put the pages carefully down on the workbench, checking the maturation process of the Wolfsbane. After a minute, she narrowed her eyes and glanced back to the letter. It rippled slightly; she pointed the wand quickly and uttered an incantation giving the old password. Alan knew she would remember and a few more lines appeared at the bottom.

“ICPO will raid the drug mafia in Mexico, soon. Keep fingers crossed that the swoop will catch your brother. Could need some of your skills in N.Y. Happy birthday mate! PS: Hope the British owls deliver promptly! Alan.”

Leonor read the letter again and again, on the way up to the first floor and leaning against the window sill. There were so many possibilities if Juan would be captured. She could publish some of her studies and even return to work for the FBI if in need of a hiding place. Sudden anger clouded Leonor’s mood. She’d never really considered to return, the bridges were broken, but the person she cared about forgot her birthday! She folded the letter with some swear words and went for a shower to cool off. The angry mood transformed into disappointment. She lay on her back staring to the dark ceiling, thinking about words. She wanted to hurt Severus, at least a bit. Leonor formed sentences seemingly a hundred times in a row. A butterfly moth circled around her head and flew up into a low loom of light. The moon’s light hid behind clouds and the forecasted icy snow flurries clanked subdued on the window. The ceiling was far too bright for such a night. Leonor stiffened and stretched the arm to reach for her wand, but it fell to the floor. She frowned upon herself, but could only investigate the source of light without magic. She noticed a folded paper next to two card boxes of equal size, carefully tied with a white ribbon. She must have overlooked them when curling under the blankets in the dark room. The paper emitted a bright glow, enough to attract the moth. Leonor moved her hand carefully around, hesitating to touch it. She was brim-full of curiosity and suddenly she recognized the kind of the white bow, Hattie’s signature! It overpowered the caution.

She snatched the parchment and unfolded it to read the spiky writing.

“Happy birthday! I visit you Friday to check the Wolfsbane.”

Leonor’s heart made a little somersault; once no sneaking into the dungeons. Severus had remembered. She couldn’t restrain herself from ripping open the first box. It contained a bottle. The outside glass was clean, but the label yellowed and splotchy. The ancient lettering revealed a very old French Elf-made wine. Leonor became more curious. The second box contained soft stuffing. In between the nonwoven fabric lay a white rose, still a flower bud – perfectly shaped and flawless. She took a smell at the petals and a slight sweet haze flowed into her nose. Leonor smiled and moved her eyes back to the short letter. Two more lines appeared slowly on the parchment.

“Prepare two glasses and keep the wine cool, best little above freezing point.”

*

The Shrieking Shack towered darkly in the surroundings of Hogsmeade. The beginning of the woods and the boundary to the grounds of Hogwarts appeared to be close. The part of the village seemed forlorn, isolated, noiseless. There had been no howls in January and February; there would be nothing in March either. Leonor walked deliberately slow; the mud under her feet was soft and slippery. The power of the winter waned quickly, but the sun unfolded not enough warmth to dry trails and countryside. Wisps of clouds covered the pale light of the full moon every now and then. Leonor entered the shack through a loose plank of a window in the ground floor. The broken window panes showed the desolate state of the place, even though most of the barricades to keep the villagers away were intact. The ground floor was littered with waste. Weathered wood, paper and rags filled the edges. A fruit crate covered the tunnel from the Whomping Willow partially.

Leonor climbed the stairs with a vacuum flask full of Wolfsbane. The last day of the March’s moon cycle ended soon. It was late; she had been kept in the hospital wing with a nasty fracture of a leg. Remus lived in the shack more often recently. His body was still used to Wolfsbane even after a couple of month. It saved the painful transformation and he didn’t suffer from a bad condition nor from the tiredness that came as an aftereffect of the potion. Leonor had hoped for those symptoms and it had been confirmed. She entered the large room on the upper floor and called out, but Remus didn’t respond.

The ragged four-posted bed was strangely rumpled. The fireplace was cold; the ash emitted almost no heat like the fire dyed hours before. A few personal belongings, a half-eaten meal and an empty jug of an unknown beverage stood on the mantelpiece.

“Remus?”

Leonor called without receiving an answer. She glanced nervously around. The thermos flask of the previous day lay abandoned on the floor. She put it into her shoulder bag and waited, leaving through some crinkled magazines with cars and motorcycles. She wondered if Hugo delivered the short message of her later arrival. Remus was supposed to sleep by now, but without the last helping of the potion the transformation could take place, at least incompletely. A small ray of moonlight shone through the gaps in between the planks and showed the thick layer of dust everywhere. Leonor returned outside just to call again after the former colleague. A loud barking announced a living soul in the distance and hopefully Remus was on his way back, safely guided by his furry black school friend. She leaned against the boarded-up entrance of the shack, the wand raised in self-defence.

A spring-like breeze drifted around the house and blew old leaves into the edges. The spring would soon bring new greenery and it was about time for warmer weather. Leonor’s thoughts drifted slowly to Remus. It was not save out here, not tonight. But her feet wanted to wait, delivering the last potion. Blame for being late crumbled the good mood. The concentration lacked with the silence and the steady balmy wind. Severus agreed in January defiantly that Leonor delivered the Wolfsbane alone. She’d asked him to be reasonable and finally he stopped arguing; he stopped with kissing her fiercely and holding her body tight as if something would take Leonor away soon. When she returned, he waited outside listening into the darkness. Likely he even followed her. Leonor’s disapproval created a relieved sheepish grin on the stern face and the remainder of the evening continued very relaxed. Severus guards were down, and the hard features softened into a still young man in his thirties. It was better than any birthday party. The cosy warmth of the fireplace and the excellent sweet wine made Leonor drowsy. She dozed off in Severus arms, but he was gone in the morning. The white rose stood on the table with a brief ‘Good Morning!’. The rose worked its magic at the full moon showing itself in full bloom.

The scattered clouds vanished and gave room to the clear sky. The first stars were visible, and the bright moonlight illuminated the clearing around the shack without mercy. The sweet memory returned to the difficult present situation; there was no evidence that werewolves transformed only at midnight. Precious time elapsed. The hope about Remus’ return dropped. Distant low snaps of dry branches and angry hooting of a wood owl echoed through the night. After a while the owl became silent, only the continuous cracks of wood were audible. Leonor crossed the clearing to walk back along the path; the same way used by the students to spot the evil spirit in the Shrieking Shack. It was always silent at daylight and during Hogsmeade weekends. The irony that she knew the reason of the occasional roars couldn’t save Leonor to jump abruptly a few meters further down the rough trail. Two dark figures pushed themselves out of the shadows. The moonlit night was bright enough to recognize a hunched Remus supported by a tall man. Black! The realization shot through Leonor immediately.

“Get out of the way! You are too late”, barked Black, his expression frightening.

“Remus?” Leonor addressed the hunched figure, but there was no reaction. Black pushed him further into the direction of the wooden hut and shoved Leonor aside.

“He needs the Wolfsbane or he’ll transform!”

“He needs to go to the shack, step aside!”, spat Black contemptuously.

“No! Take him back into the darkness.” Fear resonated in Leonor’s voice. Black didn’t listen. Remus tumbled over the uneven ground like in stupor. Leonor raised her wand and an unmistakable, but faint red light hit Black’s side.

“What …”, hissed Black, tripped and turned. He struck Remus hard with an elbow who gave an unmistakable wolfish bark.

“To the shadows. He’s not going to make it.” Leonor took the vacuum flask out of the bag. She approached Remus and started to pull him back into the bushes.

“You’ve got to drink this. Immediately!”, cursed Leonor.

Nobody obeyed. Remus body bent more like in pain. His knees gave way and his face dropped to ground. Black heaved him up, unsuccessful. He was taller than his wolfish friend, but likely Black’s gaunt body wasn’t powerful enough.

“Help to make him drink the Wolfsbane!”, shouted Leonor livid. There wouldn’t be enough time to run or apparate away. A spell moved Remus to his back. She kneeled next to him, lifting his head into a drinking position.

Remus growled like delirious. Black gazed dumbstruck without showing nerves. Leonor couldn’t hold head, wand and flask. The thermos flask rolled slowly away in the muddy ground and Leonor heaved a sigh; it was luckily secured with an unbreakable charm.

“Black, take the potion and make him drink!”

Leonor closed her eyes, counted the seconds, hoping Black would just do it. Instead Remus rebelled, his arms struck out wildly. Leonor winced before casting another stunning spell to stop it.

She grabbed the bottle of potion, removed the stopper and hissed once more to Black: “Hold his head!”

The liquid run steadily into Remus’ throat. Magic supported the continuous flow without interruption. If the flask was empty she sat back, breathing heavily. Her shoulder was throbbing. There was not much time.

“We need to get him to the shack.” Leonor levitated the motionless body without asking for Black’s consent. He followed eying Leonor like a hawk. Remus woke before they removed all planks to bring him inside. He stood still hunched, his face painfully contorted.

“Get inside”, commanded Leonor and gave Remus a hand to help him through the hole. It was rather difficult; his whole body disobeyed to the human moves.

“Not a very brilliant stunning spell!” Black’s mocking tone interrupted the tense silence. He climbed into the ground floor nimbler than his haggard appearance bespoke.

“Stunning spells are not effective fighting werewolves”, replied Leonor pointedly. “Anyway, Remus needs to be conscious to fight the transformation.” She continued to push the man holding her hand further to the stairs.

Suddenly, Remus fixated Leonor with bloodshot eyes. The scars in his face stood out with a strange bluish colour and a striking contrast to the pale skin. The scars were never so prominent like now. Ugly stubbles grew visibly on shaved cheeks. Nobody would believe in the mild and well-balanced temper of Remus Lupin; his inflexible expression sent shivers up and down Leonor’s spine. It rooted Leonor to the spot, speechless. Remus moved forward, forceful and determined. Leonor retreated, taken by surprise.

“You’ve been with Snivellus. Sirius suspected it all along”, barked Lupin with an unfamiliar unhuman and rasping voice.

Leonor still digested the accusation when Remus arms captured her. His palms pressed against her throat, compressing the windpipe. Leonor forced herself to continue breathing. She closed her eyes, strengthening the will to last out. Remus was beside himself, uncontrollable. The beastly smell of the animal repulsed Leonor and she turned her head; the move made breathing even harder. And then it was over; she sagged to the floor, coughing and inhaling.

*

The wolfs body thudded to the floor, splintering wood moaned under the weight. Severus tumbled hard, tripping over the fallen person by force of impact. He realized whom he struck to the ground. Severus glanced up and noticed Leonor a short distance away on the foot of the stairs. She had no obvious injury, but looked bad and ashen. The apparition blew the attacker away. An unmistakeable desire to punch the Marauder’s face surged up inside. The right fist reached back and stopped in the air. The rigid cruel half-transformed body got slack. Feeble sounds emitted from the person writhing on the dirty floor. The wolf was no match, no match to him anymore. There was no resistance from the slumped down limbs. Severus breathed heavily. Leonor was hunched up, beaten, but alive.

“Are you alright?”, croaked Severus lowering his arm.

He paid no attention to the groans under him. He just wanted her to be alright, without bites or claw marks, uninjured. Leonor just lifted her chin in an almost imperceptible nod. She was sallow with fear, but he’d not been too late. Severus swallowed in relief, hoisting himself up to give her support and to flee from the scene, quickly.

“What happened?”, said Severus. Almost no magic combated a full-grown werewolf.  There was only a step more to embrace her shoulders and to take her away and then Leonor shouted hoarsely.

“Protego!”

The big black dog jumped against the shield, caterwauling and barking. Severus cursed his unmindful self. It could have cost their lives. Severus expression contorted. The pure knowledge about Black’s existence in the room created contempt. Who was to blame for Lily’s death? The one bespeaking the prophecy or those trusting Pettigrew? Severus couldn’t forget. He would always blame himself supporting Voldemort’s ranks and bringing about the death of the girl he loved. Severus spared the tormented creature on the floor; there had been no point to demonstrate strength against a succumbed heap of misery. Instead the gaunt prisoner’s face of the Daily Prophet conjured the desire to fight. Severus raised his wand and in his imagination even the dog did the same; hatred dripped through the air, silent and deathly.

Leonor still upheld the shield, speaking like from a distance. It would be easy to capture Black, now. Should he?

“Get upstairs, if you don’t want me to curse you!”, said Leonor to Black, forcing herself to sound strong.

The dogs barking didn’t stop. The animal circled the shield eerily.

“Severus, get the Dittany out of my bag”, asked Leonor tense.

“Careful! Lupin’s crony just safes himself. What happened to him?” Severus pointed to the meanwhile still body on the floor, the wand still at the ready.

“Remus decided to go outside despite my message to be patient ....”

“… very heroic to roam the grounds at full moon!”, spat Severus into the direction of the dog. Black replied with another threatening bark.

“I like to examine Remus and then we are off”, said Leonor quietly. Her haunted look mingled Severus’ hate with the conviction that she just did a healer’s job. Leonor fished the flask of Dittany out of the shoulder bag; her gaze and shield charm unwavering.

“Remus needs attention, get upstairs and I’ll do my work”, addressed Leonor once more. Strangely the dog turned and climbed up the stairs, turning his head with a few barks until the noise got lost on the upper floor.

Leonor kneeled. “His pulse is quick, still accelerated. The Wolfsbane works. The stubbles are gone and the awful smell. I’ve never seen a beginning transformation and I don’t know if I like to experience it again. The long-term therapy delayed everything. It feels like fate, not knowledge. He’ll sleep long now”, added Leonor hoarsely.

“What did he do to you? Your voice …” Severus’ hand moved Leonor’s hair away. “He tried to strangle you …” Severus glared at the ugly spots at Leonor’s neck.

Leonor smiled a sad smile dabbing Dittany on Remus’ skin. “I’ll need a turtleneck for teaching. Good that the second task of the tournament with all the officials is already over. Bones can be fixed in next to no time or at least overnight. Bruises still need days to heal even with the best medicated arnica salve. Strange, isn’t it?”

Severus glared at Leonor until she looked up; her dark eyes tired and sorry.

“You have been right. How did you know that there was trouble?”

“Black could have helped you”, said Severus dangerously calm. His wand twitched, and he observed the upper landing. Only creaks resonated from above.


“Black must have transformed into the Animagus while you arrived. He’s the dog giving the fleabites to Helen. Sad to know she was observed by an Animagus. He is even taller than I remember from the Quidditch match last year. I’ll levitate Remus upstairs”. Severus drew his wand for support while following, but then Leonor’s hand found his and she shook her head almost invisible. “Let me go alone, it’s not worth to start another fight.”

She was right too. Severus swiped his spare wand and the loose waste raised the dust on the floorboards. Black’s contempt of Slytherins was entrenched from his birth. Regulus once mentioned something and still Sirius Black had been his mother’s best son; the younger brother wasn’t enough to his parents either. Black never suffered from poverty, neither did Potter. They were Dumbledore’s solely full-time fighters; young, reckless and underestimating the evil. Severus resented Dumbledore. Whatever Severus did wrong in the headmaster’s mind; it had something to do with the return of Black. A Slytherin was never fit to them, but a Slytherin will follow his own beliefs and those were impossible to control, not even by Dumbledore. Gryffindors formed their own pack and Lilly fell early for it, early. It was still beyond Severus, why he got hexed most by the Marauders. Mulciber or Rosier or any other of the evil spirits should have been the target, but apparently even the Marauders feared the unprincipled dark counter curses. Mulciber didn’t dare to use the Imperius Curse on Mary McDonald right under the teacher’s nose.

Leonor returned and they both climbed outside; nailing the loose barricades carefully to just leave a little hole open.

“How did you know?”, asked Leonor again. “You bumped into Lupin and knocked him over, didn’t you?

“I just knew …”, replied Severus flatly.

“You’ve been out of breath, you’ve been running.”

Severus remained silent, but Leonor pierced him with curiosity.

“Severus; I really appreciate your help. I’m happy you stopped him. I’ve methods to fight a man, but the power of a werewolf … those with experience have not survived.”

“Magic leaves a trace; everybody’s magic does that. I simply apparated to your whereabouts. I didn’t know that I would land on Lupin.”

“But you had a target?”

“You’ve been the target, I came very close … the wolf attacked you earlier already?”

“Yes, when Black shoved him out of the trees in the bright moonlight. I managed to send a stunning spell, luckily it worked to feed him the Wolfsbane when he was unconscious for a short time.”

“I heard McGonagall and Pomfrey talk about the French girl … you left the school too late.” There was another pause before Severus continued. “I had an appointment and on my way to the Hogwarts gates I sensed fear. I ran to leave the grounds quickly.”

“You sensed my fear?”

“Something like that …”

“Explain it!” Leonor stopped. She was even pretty with the frown of disbelief in the moonlit sallow face. The village was already close; the trees receded, and the path stretched into the main street. Neither place nor conversation diminished the desire. The appointment would fix it, soon. Leonor was eager to learn, he had to give the explanation to satisfy her and get away.


“There’s a spell to follow a magical trace. If you can eliminate that specific kind of magic, then it’s enough to concentrate.”

“To concentrate on what?”

“… the persons negative feelings, fear, pain, dangerous situations and you can use it as destination of your own incantations, like apparition. It’s really old magic.” Severus hid his expression in the darkness. If the piece of magic was used with the wrong intension then it was an assault, an attack on privacy. Severus hadn’t used it that way. He just wanted Leonor to be save.

“And how exactly did you trace my magic?”

“I noticed it when you had been poisoned, your wand on the workbench. Remember? I wanted to control if you are alright in my room while I was teaching. I didn’t trust Hattie completely. She’s old, and after Crouch’s elf made an obvious mistake … Your wand is a very personal possession and it worked well. The ability to trace you stopped, when I returned your wand.”

“But you just did it again?”

“Well, I studied, I trained. It’s not too difficult to trace a person if …”, Severus hesitated to speak further.

“If what …?”

“…  if you are often close to somebody. I don’t even know if it’s magic. I just sense the danger, and only the danger and I’ll do the apparition with my replacement wand; cannot say why that piece of magic works only then.”

“You are lying in wait to sense my feelings?”

“No. I only sense fear … I’m not lurking.”

“And what other personal item is in your possession to control me?”

“Nothing.” Severus handed his wand to Leonor. “Take it, maybe I get a clue why apparition works only for the spare wand.”

Leonor moved her fingers along the black wood. The ornaments had a simple elegance. She’d seen it before.

“It was in your room, next to your bed. I touched it and then put it back to the shelf.”

Severus nodded and took the wand back from Leonor’s hands. “It’s an explanation.”

“I don’t like the thought that you trace me wherever I go. I’m too tired to think about it tonight”, said Leonor. “I’m going to have a shower. Can you stay with me? There’s no need for magic, if we are together.” Severus noticed her warm and soft fingers touching his skin lightly. She never pushed him too much; and still he knew what she wanted. He was a man, but not willing to give. The appointment - the appointment would make him reasonable again. It was late and still he wanted to get there.

“I’ve an appointment”, answered Severus coldly.

“It’s almost midnight. Don’t tell me you visit Malfoy tonight.” Leonor brushed some dust from Severus’ elegant travelling cloak.

“Time doesn’t matter.”

“Go tomorrow!”

Severus considered Leonor’s expectant face. The lie formed reluctantly on his lips. They looked at each other, searching something what the other couldn’t provide.

“I’ll see an old school friend”, lied Severus.

“You don’t!” Leonor narrowed her eyes and Severus was unable to hide the guilty look. The picture of his appointment wriggled through his forehead, tepid and fake. It felt as if Leonor perceived what he saw.

Leonor looked disappointed and angry. “… you never stay. You didn’t after dinner at Francesco’s, nor after Potter was trapped in the stairs. There’s always an excuse! I’m getting sick of it. Never mind, I won’t see you for weeks. I’ll conduct the study of the Crutiatus remedy at St. Mungo’s. I won’t have time for your ‘training’ anymore!”

Leonor spat the last words. Severus knew he deserved it, he never lied to her before. He resented himself. Leonor stormed away down into the main street. He wanted to get away too, immediately. A forceful apparition carried Severus into a quiet Diagon Alley. His footsteps echoed in the empty cobbled street, but he didn’t mind. He crossed Knockturn Alley to turn into another narrow lane. Severus disappeared through a well secured rear side gate in a dark sleazy area.

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