Author's Note: Two random updates in one day! I can't believe it, but it's true – below is the final chapter of Lamentations, only 13 years late!
I have always felt quietly terrible in a corner of my soul for abandoning this fic, which I loved a whole lot and absolutely cherished the kind response to in the years that I worked on it. Life got busy and my memory of the HP series got less and less vivid as time went by. However, I always hoped that if I ever went back to HP and did a big ol' reread, it would inspire me to also return to this story – and hooray, it actually happened! (I really wasn't sure if that was gonna be the case. I probably would've estimated it was like 11% likely.) I've spent this year rereading the books and being an emotional mess over how profoundly they still affect me, and after a little initial trying-to-get-back-to-writing rockiness, I was really surprised to find how much Auriga still affects me too.
It was really interesting to return to this project with my current perspective (once I made it past the initial embarrassment over some of the absolutely wild hijinks that curse these pages; good golly, they are WILD). I began writing this as a young teenager back in 2003 and it was a strange and surprisingly resonant emotional experience to come back to it as someone who's now around the same age as Auriga is in the story. I found myself thinking a lot about adulthood and womanhood and self-esteem or the lack thereof and what makes us feel like successes or failures, as well as all the complicated aspects of turning a character like Snape into, essentially, a romcom leading man, especially in the wake of knowing his full character arc in canon.
I was surprised at how easy it was to dive back into their dynamic and really enjoy it. This ending definitely doesn't have quite the same will-they-won't-they chaotic UST energy of the early installments, but I felt dorkily moved writing their moments together in this chapter, and I hope it's satisfying for those of you who might be back here reading after that very, very long wait.
This will be the end of me writing long, mirroring-the-books fic about my beloved Auriga, so there won't be similar multi-chapter fic for Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, etc. I still write shorter fic in many fandoms pretty often, but I like to devote my writing energy for long projects toward original stuff. If you would like to follow my more recent fic, you can find me as dollsome over at AO3. :)
These are such scary and wearying times, and whoever's found their way to this very specific corner of the fanfic universe, I wish you well. I hope that this can bring some nostalgia and happy feelings to your day.
p.s. If you're yearning for some great JKR-written unresolved sexual tension and shippy exquisiteness, definitely check out her Cormoran Strike mystery series. I cannot, and yet totally can, believe Joanne Rowling has destroyed my psyche with the glorious unspoken love between two fictional people YET AGAIN. As if Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger were not enough!
Sunday, July 7, 1992
The Hospital Wing
The thing is, I know that it wasn't so very bad. A giant chess piece fell on me, severely concussed me, scuffed up my skin and broke most of my bones. All easy enough to fix with magic. It's not as if I had to face You Know Who single-handedly - and on the back my stammering Defense Against the Dark Arts professor's head, no less! I didn't have to stop him from getting the Stone and rising up again, angrier and more terrible than ever.
All I did was protect my students, and I would do the same thing again in a heartbeat.
But I had really gotten used to a life without any real danger in it. (Or at least when there was danger, it was a result of my staggering bad luck in the romance department.) The war always seemed like something that mostly happened around me, leaving me strangely untouched. The relations I lost were ones I didn't know very well. My family lived more in the Muggle world, so it was easy to feel like I could get away from it each summer and pretend for a little while that it wasn't happening, that the dark things going on there were unrelated.
That night, for the first time, I was really right in the heart of the war against You Know Who. And it was awful.
It makes me feel for Snape. (I know, Notebook. Don't judge me.) After only that night, I feel like I could spend the whole summer in bed recovering. I can't imagine what it's like to have had years of your life lost to You Know Who. No wonder he's so miserable.
Not that even that's a suitable excuse for treating children like rubbish. Arsehole.
I'm still not sure what happened right after I got hurt. I have a vague feeling that Snape might have carried me; I seem to remember the low, constant sound of his voice, though I don't know what he could've said. It might have been a dream, though. I'm sure he had more important things to focus on at the time than sad old newly-smushed Professor Sinistra.
Anyway, the next thing I properly remember, I was in the Hospital Wing, though it had the hazy quality of a dream too, and I couldn't seem to move any of my limbs. (Which makes a lot of sense in retrospect.)
"How is our dear Professor Sinistra, Madam Pomfrey?" asked Dumbledore.
"She's had a rough night, Albus, there's no denying that, but she'll be right as rain. I'll fix the scrapes and cuts in a pinch. The broken bones are no challenge, though I seldom see so many all at once. But with blows to the head, one has to be a little more careful. Brains aren't to be trifled with-"
"Indeed," said Dumbledore.
"Just fix her," Snape growled from the chair beside my bed. And then, clipped but courteous: "Please."
I felt a strange peace at the sound of his voice (the concussion, no doubt), and drifted into unconsciousness again.
When I woke up the next time, it was late morning and the room was full of sunlight. I was more alert, and could move my arms and legs just fine, though they felt a little stiff. Harry Potter slept in another bed at the end of the wing. Snape was standing there, watching him with a look that was hard to decipher, but wasn't homicidal fury for once.
I noticed there was an empty chair turned toward my bed, and a folded blanket on the floor beside it, like whoever had been sitting there had been offered some warmth (by Poppy, no doubt) and refused.
"Severus?" I said.
He turned to me. "You're awake."
"And your bones are fully formed and all in the right place, I trust?"
"Was that up for debate?" I asked, alarmed. (I hadn't quite gotten the sense of what had happened yet.)
"An insipid expression," Snape said, walking over, "but I suppose I agree with the sentiment."
Reality began rushing back to me. "What happened to Harry? Did Quirrell succeed? Was he working with You Know Who-?"
"Harry defeated Quirrell. Or, to be more precise, he defeated the Dark Lord; Quirrell perished in the process. Albus showed up mere seconds after you were knocked out, but by the time we got to the Mirror, Potter had no need of our assistance."
"How did Quirrell … perish?"
That's when he explained the bit about You Know Who living on Quirrell's head. He was kind enough to pass me the bedpan just in time for me to throw up in it.
"I must go," he said once he'd caught me up to speed. "There's still some marking to do before the end of the term. I simply wanted to check and see that you and Potter were recovering from your recent foolhardy adventures."
I nodded, struck dumb by Snape being very nearly cordial.
As he made to go, something hurtled me back in time to our early years at Hogwarts, the only time I'd ever seen him show real flashes of happiness. It made me say, "Lily Evans would have been grateful for all you've done to keep him safe."
I'm not sure why I said 'Evans' and not 'Potter.' It's the way I always remember her. She was Evans for so much longer.
At her name, Snape froze in the doorway.
"I know you were friends once," I added.
"Once," Snape agreed after a long pause. He turned to go, and I figured I'd best let him. I was already on thin ice, daring to mention that once upon a time, before he grew old enough to know better, he'd cared about another human being.
I looked over to examine my bedside table and discovered you sitting there. Snape and the others had recovered you after going through Quirrell's chambers and breaking the various little curses he'd set around his room to remain undetectable.
But before I could go wild with joy, Snape kept talking.
"Friends have never been a priority of mine." He spoke without facing me. His hand rested on the ajar door, like it was poised to push it open of its own accord and pull all of him away if he said too much. "Especially in the wake of accepting my post here, when I no longer harbored any youthful longings for company, I never entertained the idea. While some consider such bonds essential to a full life, I've never been among them. But in recent years, I've been … surprised. You are - though I shudder to say it - the closest thing I have." Finally, he turned and looked at me. "I'm glad you survived."
"Thank you," I said. For once, I couldn't think of anything more verbose. I'm ashamed to admit it, Notebook, but I had forgotten your existence completely. "You too."
His mouth twitched, but in a way that looked quite unlike his usual twitches. I realized after a moment that it was because - and I know this sounds crazy, Notebook, but I swear it - he was trying not to smile. Or maybe smiling the best he could.
Either way, something about it made me feel like I'd accidentally eaten a hundred Fizzing Whizzbees and would start hovering out of my bed at any moment.
I panicked. "Well, you're not the closest thing I have; Victoria's my best friend, and a lot of the faculty and I are quite chummy. I've had many more pleasant conversations with Hagrid, and Flitwick-"
Snape scowled. "I don't doubt it."
"But sure," I finished nonchalantly, "I suppose I'd count you as a friend."
"How touching. Alas, I cannot reciprocate. You'll understand, I'm sure. Our temperaments are hardly complementary. Friendship would be impossible."
"What?" I frowned at him. "You just said-"
Snape held up a finger. "I said you were the closest thing I had. There's a difference."
"Ha ha," I deadpanned, wishing I could snap that know-it-all finger off. "Aren't you clever?"
"Indeed. I've been known to put a certain Ravenclaw to shame."
Then he turned and departed, all triumphant.
"You wish!" I shouted after him. It was all I could do. I hadn't learned 'Brobdignalian' yet, which was probably for the best; yelling it randomly probably wouldn't have made my case, even though it's got such a respectable number of syllables and unlikely letters.
Ye gods, he's infuriating.
… I cannot believe Severus Snape and I are (the closest thing to) friends. That must be why he brought me coffee this morning. It's the sort of thing that (the closest thing to) friends do. How will I ever adjust to this bizarre new reality?
Victoria dropped by for a late night chat; she wasn't allowed to stay long, since Poppy was extremely displeased by our tendency to "chatter like first-years." It was wonderful to see her, though, and even better to find out that apparently - oh, I'm grinning at the thought - Snape has been taking care of Herman the iguana.
I haven't been able to stop smiling since.
From the hysterical amusement that comes from trying to imagine Snape taking care of anything, that is. Not because I think it's strangely cute or anything.
Cute? Snape? Please. Even in the darkest, most sleep-deprived fathoms of my brain and heart, I never would've been bonkers enough to put the concepts 'Snape' and 'cute' together.
I wonder if he's made him a little nest or something.
Monday, June 8, 1992
Albus just dropped in to check on Harry - he's been doing it a few times every day, and says the boy's due to wake up any time now - and sat to chat with me (and dip into the glorious sticky toffee pudding Wimmy brought me for a midnight snack). He had already thanked me for protecting our students, so it surprised me that he wanted to talk about anything else. We've never been especially chatty, me and Albus, even though he's always been pleasant to me. I always got the sense he had much more important things to do than check in with the dotty Astronomy professor.
"You are, I think," he said, waving the pudding-covered fork he'd conjured out of thin air, "an uncommonly patient person, Auriga."
"Me?" I said in surprise. "Oh, I don't think so; you should see me in line at Flourish & Blotts for a new Gilderoy Lockhart-"
"There are two people in the world who haven't given up on Severus Snape. And I believe we are both here, delighting in this extraordinary pudding."
I wasn't sure what to say about that, so I shoved more pudding into my mouth instead.
"He was the one who thought to repair your glasses when we got to the Hospital Wing," Dumbledore said. "I confess, my mind was elsewhere. And he insisted that Poppy provide you with the very best care as quickly as possible. He was so insistent that she came very near pushing him out that window."
"Well," I grumbled, feeling a new wave of appreciation for my perfect lenses; I hadn't thought to wonder about them either, "that sounds not-entirely-prattish of him. For once."
Dumbledore chuckled. "Thank you for your willingness to give the man more chances than he, perhaps, seems to deserve. I suspect it has the potential to do us all more good than we know. And after all, it's a most enlivening hobby, to have a nemesis."
"Ah, yes. Nothing keeps one's wits quite so vibrant. And a nemesis with whom you are, ultimately, on the same side? Now, that is a blessing indeed." He seemed wistful, I suspect because his pudding was almost gone. "Quite like this gustatory masterpiece. Besotting a house-elf certainly has its advantages!"
So, yes. Now I get to live with the knowledge that Albus Dumbledore knows my house elf is in love with me. Spec-bloody-tacular.
Then again, what doesn't Dumbledore know?
And he seems to think that Snape has some real worth.
Which makes me feel quite validated, in a way.
Monday, June 8, 1992
Home, sweet home!
My time in the Hospital Wing was wonderful, of course, but it's quite nice not to have Poppy's watchful eye on me. Now I can drink all the coffee I want!
Though she might be right about cutting back a bit. I do get jumpy and sleep-deprived, don't I?
Excellent news: Harry Potter woke up today. There's a definite air of cheer that's pervaded the entire castle because of it. (Well, maybe it hasn't reached the dungeons, but who cares about those spoilsports?) He's certainly had a legion of eager well-wishers waiting for it to happen. Honestly, it's a relief to be out of the Hospital Wing and finally get to totally shake the sense that my presence there was somehow stealing an eleven-year-old's thunder.
Hermione and Ron must be beside themselves with joy; they checked up on him every day, though they were kind enough to stop by my bed and thank me too. They even left me a card. Inside it, Hermione had written a long, thoughtful note that I cannot possibly transcribe, or even summarize, lest I cry all over you, Notebook, and leave you irreparably damaged. Briefly: she's the kind of student that makes this whole teaching lark worth it. In the bit of space left over, Ron wrote in tiny handwriting: Thanks loads for saving us, Professor Sinistra. Hermione says you were brilliant. Sorry for falling asleep in class that one time. -Ron
Which, I guess, has some charm in its own way.
My bedroom quarters are looking extra cheerful-absolutely drowning in flowers! I thought at first that Wimmy had just gone overboard (or maybe just reasonable-board; I did break nearly all my bones, let's remember), but it turns out they've all been sent to me from friends and family and kind acquaintances near and far. Even Destiny du Maurier came out of retirement to send me some dahlias!
I had a wonderful time looking through all my flowers. Back behind all the bouquets of bright blooms (ugh; there's some du Maurier phrasing for you), I discovered a pale green, pointy-looking succulent in a little clay pot. The card didn't say anything about wishing me a speedy recovery; it just had terse instructions on keeping the leaves dry and not over-watering. If I hadn't recognized the handwriting, I would've worried it might have been some kind of dark object planted in my room for nefarious purposes.
As it is, well. I'm going to be careful to keep the leaves dry and not over-water it.
In other news, I've had a Floo chat with my parents in the fireplace; to my surprise, they're in Hogsmeade, alongside Lyra! I guess they've been in absolute fits of worry over me ever since Minerva told Mum what happened; Dad drove them to Scotland and randomly wandered around the highlands, shouting "SHOW YOURSELF, HOGWARTS!" no matter how many times Mum told him Hogwarts can't be found by Muggles. Apparently, he got some very confused looks from passersby. Especially passersby with hogs. (But there can't have been too many of those, right? Then again: Scotland.)
They're all staying in Hogsmeade for a few days, and after the End-of-Year Feast I'll be popping down to join them and show them that I can, indeed, still walk and talk and everything.
If all it takes to impress my mother is getting my entire body more or less ground into fine powder in a You Know Who-adjacent crisis and then living to tell the tale, well, I suppose I'll take it.
I'm definitely making them take me to Madam Puddifoot's. Their treat!
Monday, June 8, 1992
The End-of-Year Feast has come and gone, Notebook! Gryffindor managed a glorious surprise victory over Slytherin thanks to the heroics of Harry, Hermione, Ron, and dear Neville Longbottom. Watching the Great Hall's decor go from green and silver to red and gold was more restorative than anything Poppy could provide in the hospital wing. (Er, emotionally, at least. To be fair, it probably couldn't have mended my bones. But my soul-bones are feeling some extra fortitude!) You should've seen the expression on Snape's face. He was cheerier singing Celestina Warbeck for his life at a three-headed dog.
I couldn't help thinking, as I stood with my fellow teachers at the head table while the Great Hall filled with cheering, that my life is quite lovely after all. Yes, I'm terrifyingly prone to romantic disasters so demented that even Moira K. Mockridge wouldn't touch them with a ten-foot pole. But I work in the most wonderful place on Earth (not that I've seen much of Earth, but what could possibly beat Hogwarts?), and I get to do a small part in shaping these kids into the extraordinary people they become. Most of my colleagues are pretty excellent company, in their own bizarre ways. And I have my very own dungeon-dwelling nemesis, which means that life can never get too boring.
When I flip back through you, Notebook, I realize that I've spent a lot of time thinking about all the ways in which I'm not good enough. But now that I've nearly died, I don't so much mind that my hair is unruly (after all, so is Hermione Granger's; maybe we'll start a trend. Smart girl chic!), or that my list of past boyfriends is short and sad, or that my social skills aren't precisely astounding. I try my best to be good to people, and I can be brave when it counts, and I'd do anything to protect our students and our school. Even though I've taught here for years, when I was standing at the head of the Great Hall with my colleagues today, it felt for the first time like I was really a Hogwarts professor.
Wouldn't you know, Notebook: it was a good feeling.
Maybe this will mark my transformation into the new Auriga Sinistra: wiser, calmer, altogether more dignified. A grown woman of thirty-two next week (grown women always accept their age with dignity; Poppy Pomfrey and I had some very inspirational conversations about the complexities of womanhood while I was recovering). A woman worthy of the illustrious position of Hogwarts professor!
But I wouldn't hate it if my hair calmed down just a bit.
Thursday, June 11, 1992
I just opened my door to find Snape standing there.
Now, don't get excited, Notebook. We're mature now, remember, and aren't going to become absolute swooning freaks over things like Snape visiting my bedroom quarters. He wasn't there for any sort of reason Victoria would get excited about.
On the contrary. He was holding a cage containing a certain recently-ownerless iguana.
"It's your turn," he said shortly, holding the cage out to me.
"Excuse me?" I sputtered.
"I have watched over the creature while you were recovering. Now that you're once again in the bloom of health-" He spared a judgmental look at my star-patterned pyjamas; apparently not judging me while I was in the Hospital Wing was too much for him, "-it's your turn to take responsibility for him."
"Oh, really?" I crossed my arms. "How do you figure?"
"It is, of course, Potter's fault that Slatero Quirrell is dead and therefore unavailable for iguana care. But since people are so reluctant to blame children for the repercussions of their actions-"
"By 'actions,' do you mean vanquishing You Know Who single-handedly? Again?"
"-I suppose we were the two adults in the closest proximity to that particular disaster. Therefore, the burden of caring for the beast falls to us in equal measure."
"I can't just devote all my time to watching an orphaned iguana, Snape. I'm a busy and important person."
"Very well. We'll split the time. For the first half of the week, he'll reside in the dungeons with me. For the other, he'll come up here with you. Does that suit your - forgive the choice of phrase - backbreaking schedule?"
I couldn't find any reason to protest, and it felt right about on schedule for him to start making fun of my recently demolished skeleton, so I just reached out and took the cage.
"Are we co-parenting an iguana?" I asked him, peering in at Herman.
"Don't be ridiculous," Snape sneered. "And don't overfeed him. No matter how beseechingly he stares at you."
"But what about the … mistaking my arm … for a female iguana problem?" I asked delicately.
Snape grimaced. "There are simple spells to curb such behaviors. He shouldn't trouble you in that area anymore."
"Oh. Um, thanks." I was quite sincerely touched that he'd thought of it. I suppose it is the '90s. Chivalry takes odd shapes these days, but it can still be found if you keep an eye out for it.
"If you overfeed him," Snape went on, "or talk to him in any kind of condescending babble worthy of a particularly dull infant, I assure you, Auriga, I will know, and I won't be pleased."
"Oh, I'm so scared!" I jeered.
I was, a little, but I hardly wanted him to know that.
"Charming as ever," he said. "Goodbye."
He turned and began to walk away, and something about the sight of his retreating figure stopped me. It's just that he looked so normal, so Snape, storming off because I'd said something annoying. But that didn't change the fact that he'd sat at my bedside in the Hospital Wing, or that he'd fixed my glasses.
"Wait," I called, setting Herman's cage on the floor. "Severus."
I hurried to meet him.
"Thank you for looking out for me," I said in a rush. "I don't remember exactly what happened, but I know you were there."
His scowl seemed a tad softer than usual. "Of course I was there. Contrary to what everyone around here thinks, I'm not entirely without a soul."
"I know you're not," I said, meaning it.
And then, without at all planning to, I kissed his cheek.
It will be hard to forget the look on his face when I did it. It was like something at the very center of him melted, just briefly, and he was as human and hungry for love as the rest of us. It made me want to kiss him again, but it made me want to hold him too. I've never quite felt that way looking at him before. Like he could use a hug as much as I could, or maybe even more.
Of course, I didn't do either of those things.
"I've, um, got an iguana to watch," I said instead, stepping away.
"No overfeeding, Sinistra," Snape said sternly, and then kept on walking away. His gait was slightly faster than usual, like he couldn't wait to get away from me.
Or maybe like he didn't know how to be around me anymore.
Either way, I'm relieved that he's out of my orbit.
But a little glad to know we're both under the same roof.
Herman's settled in quite nicely here. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Especially since he doesn't seem to be feeling very, you know. Lusty lizard.
The way I see it, our future as a human/iguana team is golden. I'm saving him from not only the dreariness of life as a pet to a duplicitous villain with You Know Who on their cranium, but the even-worse dreariness of living down in the dungeons with Snape. What could possibly go wrong?
Oh, damn it! Are iguanas supposed to eat flowers?
I'm going to sprint to the library and see if I can find a book on iguana care, just in case. They should invent something that you can consult immediately that gives you answers to any question you can possibly think of, no matter how specific and strange. Honestly. Why hasn't magic gotten there yet?
All right. I've got Iguana Care For The Cautious Novice (a book title that seems unsettlingly on the nose), and I'm definitely not going to mess up again.
Snape wasn't joking about those beseeching eyes. I'm pretty sure that this iguana is starving to death. Isn't it just like Severus Snape to starve a poor, innocent, recently orphaned iguana who's just lost his two fathers?
Oh, one extra lettuce leaf from his food supply won't hurt.
It's not as if you can gain weight from lettuce!
Sunday, June 14, 1992
Dungeons (Especially ominous today.)
I'm waiting for Snape to return to the dungeons for our first official iguana swap, and I have to admit it: Herman is plumper than he was at the start of the week.
Snape won't notice. Even he must be cheered enough by the summer holidays and sunshine that he won't get too worked up over a little thing like a slightly rounder iguana.
Never raise an iguana with your nemesis, Notebook. I'll give you that handy piece of advice right now. It will be a minor miracle if I ever see that barely-rotund (but very happy, and I think that's important!) iguana ever again in my life.
Tuesday, June 16, 1992 (Yay!)
The Exquisitely Sunny Hogwarts Grounds
Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me! I've had some excellent festivities already today; Victoria planned a surprise party for me in the Great Hall, and surprised me with a trip to Paris in July! We're going to stay at her aunt's chic flat and eat all of the bread and cheese we possibly can. (And, I suppose, see some sights, if it comes to that.) Everyone was really wonderful. Minerva apologized again for her chess pieces going berserk at me and got me a gift certificate to Flourish & Blotts, and Sybill told me her Inner Eye had had new revelations and I may actually be in store for a long and happy life, albeit a romantically dicey one rife with anguished Byronic heroes. (Really? WHERE? I should've asked her to point me in the right direction. I have always had a pesky weak spot for Mr. Rochester. Though knowing my luck, he would probably put me in the attic.) Honestly, at this point, I'll take that upgraded fortune happily. I'm going to Paris to eat bread and cheese. Nothing can get me down.
Now that the party's over, I'm spending the afternoon enjoying Gilderoy Lockhart's newest, Magical Me, next to the lake in the sunshine while Herman explores the grounds nearby. The book hasn't even been released yet, but Albus somehow snagged me an advance copy. Working for the greatest wizard of our age most definitely has its advantages!
Before you ask: no, Snape didn't get me a present, but Herman was returned to my quarters and mysteriously wearing a tiny birthday hat earlier. It's hard to imagine a better gift than that. He looks quite dashing exploring the grass in his little cone hat; it's a shame he doesn't have a lady iguana to impress!
(Note to self: talk to Snape about co-parenting second iguana?)
(Second note to self: be careful not to actually use the term "co-parenting." He wasn't wild about it last time.)
(Third note to self: why does Snape have a supply of readily available tiny birthday hats?)
I am officially thirty-two, Notebook, and I think I'm relieved about it. I've always liked even numbers better. An even number has to mean a more even year. Thirty-one was doomed to be chaos. But thirty-two? It's hard to imagine a number with more dignity and poise! Maybe forty-eight, but that's a way off yet.
And so what if I don't have a boyfriend? My points from last week's entry still stand. I have some fantastic colleagues who threw me a fun birthday celebration instead of leaving right away for their holidays, and I have an amazing job at the most magnificent school of magic in the world. (Well, all right, maybe I always daydreamed of going to Beauxbatons when I was little, but I've wised up since. Pastel colors so aren't my style, and I've never gotten the hang of French. I suppose I ought to try to brush up on that before next month.) I teach some wonderful, maddening, outstanding children-some of whom are brave enough to try to save the world at age eleven. (Others try to drop off toilet seats to the Hospital Wing, but there's no denying that Fred and George Weasley know how to liven up a grim situation.) I had a nice Floo check-in with Mum and Dad and Lyra in the fireplace earlier, and was glad to see them even though we just spent time together less than a week ago. (Talk about a miracle.) Wimmy and his fellow house elves made me the most magnificent birthday cake you could possibly imagine, with the icing done up to look like a starry night sky, and they performed a choreographed version of some new pop song called "I'm Too Sexy." I have to admit, Notebook, it was quite catchy. It's a hit in the Muggle world, but I think the songwriters can't be Muggles. There must be wizardry at work there. There's no explaining how a song with such objectively terrible lyrics is so good, otherwise. It's not like Celestina Warbeck is singing it. (I bet "I'm Too Sexy" would even get "Spell On My Heart" out of Snape's head. Perhaps I should buy him a tape deck …)
And hey, speaking of sexy: if the right man comes along, well, I'll be perfectly thrilled to meet him. But I'm starting to wonder if maybe the right man isn't exactly like I've always imagined him. Sure, it would be great to have some Byronic hero or - even better - Gilderoy Lockhart-style heartthrob waltz into my world out of nowhere and dazzle me, like Algernon did, but I don't know if I'm entirely in the mood for that sort of romance anymore. I'm a bit too messy for that. I think I'd like somebody who's a bit messy, too. Someone else who's got some growing to do, so that we could do it together.
Possibly while being nemeses and co-parenting an iguana.
You know, I think being responsible for a living being aside from myself has really been good for me, Notebook. I can tell that I've grown, and matured, and learned restraint and calm.
Professor Auriga J. Sinistra: thirty-two and finally self-actualized.
Dreamy, life-fixing boyfriend not required.
Friday, June 19, 1992
YOU WILL NEVER BELIEVE WHO'S GOING TO BE TEACHING DEFENSE AGAINST THE DARK ARTS NEXT YEAR!
Forgive my intrusion. Your usual writer scribbled something in you with her hands shaking like they'd been struck by a particularly sinister jazz hands jinx, then spilled her coffee all over the staffroom table. She is currently apologizing profusely to Professor McGonagall for the current state of the latter's robes; I chose to take the opportunity to see what scribblings had merited such a dramatic reaction after the ordinary business of our last staff meeting of the term.
First, let me congratulate you on your considerable page count since last we met. Who knew that such an unexceptional life could, regardless, produce a volume that puts Hogwarts: A History to shame?
Second, please do your best to contain all of Professor Sinistra's inane ramblings about a certain addition to the faculty for the upcoming school year, so that we the people around her do not have to bear witness to such adolescent hysteria and unadulterated starry-eyed twittery. For some reason I cannot begin to fathom, she seems to have deemed me her worthiest conversation partner. You, better than anyone, must understand how troubling that is.