Author's note - Getting close to the end, hoping to have it finished so I can work on Azkaban before March shows up.

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Albus headed to his office and Dahlia departed to the DADA classroom. The echoing of her footsteps in the empty hall seemed hollower. Tears formed but refused to fall as she entered the classroom. The numerous paintings of Lockhart tried to get her attention to no avail, even with all of them calling her a different flower name; nothing distracted her as she trudged up the stairs to the office. She wasn't expecting Lockhart to be there but he was all the same; feet on the desk as he gently reclined in his chair, sleeping soundly.

Dahlia studied him for a moment, wondering why he couldn't have just lived up to his own legend. If he could have this wouldn't have happened. Her tears released from her eyes and the gentle sniffing woke the blonde professor. He was confused why she would be gathering her things. He threw his feet on the floor and flew to her side and putting a comforting arm around her shoulders. The night had proved too difficult to refuse his affections as the lilac haired girl turned into the witless wizard and cried into his shoulder.

"My dear Orchid," he said soothingly as he stroked her hair, "what has you so distraught? How can I help?"

Her tear soaked blue eyes met his, "They are making me and Albus leave the school."

The statement threw Lockhart for a moment, "Nonsense, they can't have the headmaster or my lovely assistant leave when school is so close to it's end," his voice was soft but it did nothing to comfort the girl.

"All 12 governors have signed an Order of Suspension against Albus, which includes me," she told him, "the attacks on the students have proven greater than my uncle can handle according to them, or at least Lucius Malfoy."

"I see," Gilderoy said seemingly pulled into thoughtful concentration, as if he was trying to come up with a solution to have her stay with him. Nothing came to him in the moments he was thinking, "I'll come up with something," he placed his fingers under her chin and gently lifted her face to his, "I promise."

The resolve in his blue eyes made Dahlia feel more confident. She doubted Lockhart's pull and influence, but there was something in his confidence that made her understand her uncle's riddles more and believe that this would not be the last time she would be inside Hogwarts. In an unexpected move the purple haired teaching assistant wrapped her arms around the blonde hugging him tightly.

"Thank you Gilderoy," she said quietly, "I still need to pack though."

The DADA professor opened his mouth, "Da…"

Lockhart was cut off by an announcement from McGonagall, "All students are to return to their house dormitories at once. All teachers to the second floor corridor, immediately."

"Ah, well must be off," he said and all the Gilderoy bravado came back tenfold. He flashed a gleaming smile and gave her arm a firm squeeze, "It'll work out Ivy." He bounded away to the second floor.

Dahlia let out a sigh, "One genuine moment and then back to the conceited and condescending professor."

She finished packing her bag and then trudged off to the Ravenclaw common room to collect her personal belongings. It felt like kilometers and not yards away from the classroom. With every step, even though she knew she'd see Hogwarts again, she felt more and more defeated. She didn't want to leave the students unprotected, and without Albus, it felt like they were wide open to anything dangerous.

"Miss Dumbledore," a familiar voice called from behind her. The pace was steady and even and unmistakably Severus Snape.

Dahlia stopped in her tracks, other than Lucius Malfoy, he was the last person she wanted to see at this moment. She turned, her face unknowingly flushed, "Professor Snape, I thought you no longer wanted to speak with me."

He closed the gap between them, "You misunderstand Dahlia," his face twisted with concern as his hands gripped her arms. His dark eyes were shining as he looked over her face and feeling the heat of her anger.

"What am I misunderstanding Severus?" her eyes locked on his, "we kissed and then you stopped talking to me and avoiding me, even refusing to let me assist you."

"Dahlia," he said again, his voice shaking and unsure trying to find the right words to explain his seemingly cold actions. None came to his lips; he stared at the young teaching assistant and was at a complete loss for words. Albus' words rang in his head, "that your feelings are for in fact Dahlia and not Lily." It didn't seem that he could differentiate the two women, decades apart, but so very similar.

The lilac haired girl sighed heavily as her eyes turned sad, "If you have nothing to tell me, I need to leave, as ordered by the governors," she gently broke away from him turning from him.

Snape gripped her arm tightly pulling her around to him again, still no words formed as he pressed his lips to hers once more, pulling her even closer to him. It was something that needed to happen, he still wasn't sure if it was residual from what he felt for Lily Potter or if this was only for Dahlia Dumbledore. Moving his hand to her hair running his fingers through the silk like strands holding her neck in place as his lips danced with hers while her resistance fell away. Dahlia let go of her anger and just felt the sweet sensation of butterflies in her stomach take over as she gripped Snape's slim shoulders.

The passionate expression tapered off and before a thought could have stopped him from saying anything, "Lily," slipped out of his mouth.

Dahlia pushed him away from her, tears streaming down her face. This was only adding insult to injury, being forced to leave and now the feelings Snape had been feeling were for Harry's mother and not her. She couldn't believe that it was a slip of the tongue like Lockhart. A disgusted expression worked over her pretty face as she recoiled from his reaching arms and apologetic face. Turning faster than he could move she bolted to the Ravenclaw dorm, at least she would be rid of memories that would only hurt her, at least for the time being.