Layers Below
by Scy

Never too hot in Hogwarts. The students see their teachers as bundled up against some chill that doesn't exist. His dungeon chambers are always kept at low temperatures, keeping all but the most dire needs out. and also lending to the space something of his manner. The area reflects its owner, and in his case. seeps into the clothes and dampens the bones with wariness. They don't want to admit that they need him, but in a crisis. it is his pragmatism, that so often finds it's way into their plans. When the heroes failed, others took up the slack.

He is useful because he dries the children out. Not in the fashion of a vampire, no he takes their naiveté and dips it into consequence. In his classroom, they see how individuals as ingredients can set a potion to overflowing, or peaceful evaporation. Care is learned; more quickly by some than others, and those try new combinations outside Potions class.

He has little patience for the amorous problems of the students, they are getting to the age when their hearts are causing them more problems than the Dark Powers. He could find so many ways to break the children now, their minds are just realizing what and who they are, but he only sips tea and ignores their tears.

Still, he watched as some students demonstrated genius, Hermione Granger was the most dramatic example of that, but others were adequate in their efforts.

He understood the promotion that was necessary in acquiring followers. It cropped up time and again in history. In 1095, Pope Urban II wanted to gain the support of the people for the Crusades. His speech was greatly staged, made more so because of the fact that he brought Normans with him, and stacked them in the audience to take up the cheers at appropriate moments. These men had red cloth and needle, sewing this on their clothing, saying 'God wills it', and being hokey. But the public fell for it.

Such worked with the knights of France, they were told that they had a 'great reputation,' as being pious, courageous. Implying that if they didn't go, they were impious and cowardly.

Another thing that is effective is mentioning food, that old bit about 'land of milk and honey,' was brought up.

There was a standard for the young women; who they were supposed to fall in love with. Boys like Harry, courageous and humble about his abilities. Or Ron Wesley, who fumbled, joked, but was a stalwart friend when it counted. A young woman was meant to be attracted to men like that. And perhaps, that was the difficulty, no one wanted to completely submerge themselves in the group mentality. There were extremes at Hogwarts, and to choose one or the other, would be a normal response. But, Ms. Granger had begun to seek him out, perhaps as the intelligence of her peers became a strain on her. To pretend to be ordinary was not in her nature, and on her own she was extraordinary and with recognition. He reinforced her strict self-regulation by putting pressure on her in his classroom. So that errors would decrease, and in a time of emergency, she would react with wisdom and composure.

Her suspicions of his motives were something that he respected It was important that a person not become too relaxed around someone that exhibited a questionable mortality. Her intensity of observation was evident during class when she was combining elements to mix a potion.

As she matured, he was privileged to watch her intellect sharpen, and when he rebuked her for a mistake, there was a deepening pause into which her increasingly tart reply was dipped with the tight set of her chin and bright, challenging eyes.

He didn't look inside a person so much as he got his fingernails under their epidermis and peeled back that first layer so that he could get at their minds. A very subtle scalping that left the victim with an impression of clammy fingers trailing behind their eyelids.

There are decent reasons for his lack of connections. He's had relationships, and love, and devotion and been obsessed with and over. All of has ended and all he has are the scars. Ones that he cannot scratch out no matter how long and ragged his nails grow.

Love is Friend and Adversary, old yet still lemon-tart, quickening on the tongue to a heat that enlivens the weary body.


Silverlake: Authors / Mediums / Titles / Links / List / About / Plain Style / Fancy Style