Oh hey, look, I'm alive! And writing crossovers, apparently.
I was looking at HP crossovers and saw there was one for Amnesia and I looked at it and was like "Well, ok, but what about this idea?" and started writing.
Anywho, this is sort of like those cliche "The new Professor is weird." type of stories but it got kind of...long. Like over 5k words long. Yep. Well. At least I finished something, that's good right? I think it's pretty good actually which is more than I can say about some of the things I've started writing lately. I did sneak a couple easter egg type things in here though.
I wasn't sure if I wanted this to be K+ or T but I decided on T because of a cuss word and "scary" descriptions of monsters. I dunno, I guess I like being safe or whatever. /shrug.
Welp, that's about it. Please enjoy!
edit: And now I notice the similar naming themes of my story and the other one. Oops. Oh well, I can't be bothered to try and think of a new title. Just let it be known it was completely unintentional. /)_-;
For once the entirety of Hogwarts was in agreement.
It was a very rare phenomenon, made even weirder by the fact it wasn't just the students who held this opinion, but the teachers as well. This obviously was saying something seeing as the thing they were in agreement with was about another Professor.
Professor Daniel, the latest inheritor of the Defense Against the Dark Arts position was strange.
At first he hadn't seemed so odd, disregarding the fact he was much younger than any of the other teachers. When he had stood up to be introduced before the welcoming feast there had been quiet murmurs regarding his age. He couldn't have been more than twenty-five or so years old. Another oddity had come with that introduction. His name. Professor Daniel, no last name given.
There had been rumors that he didn't even know his last name. Professor Daniel was brilliant, yet scatter-brained at times. Sometimes he seemed to forget basic things like names or what he was teaching on, or occasionally he would just go blank for no reason until one of his students(or occasionally it was bad enough to warrant getting Madam Pomfrey) snapped him out of it.
When asked about these episodes his eyes would darken and he would change the subject, sometimes just walking away all together. Some people took it that he was touchy about his past, but if asked what he did before he accepted the teaching position at Hogwarts he would happily tell them about his younger sister Hazel and occasionally mention growing up in London, at Mayfair. Professor Daniel also spoke sparingly of expeditions as an archeologist though nothing too descriptive.
This was dubbed strange but nothing too out of the ordinary. Every person had sore spots they'd rather not speak about.
A few weeks after classes had started and everyone was starting to get back into the habit of school and weren't hanging onto every word as if their life depended on it students began to notice other habits of their new Professor.
Although his room was well lit with a large window he always kept a candle lit on his desk. It didn't matter that his classes were scheduled so that it was always the brightest time of day(though that would change mildly in winter though they hadn't noticed that part yet) he always had a candle flickering. If it went out during a lecture, even if he was in the middle of a sentence he would always stop and re-light it, or if it had burned down to the wick he would replace it and light it.
When asked he would just smile, though sometimes it was strained, and reply it was force of habit. People had quickly concluded that this must be because of his past as an archaeologist, being out in the jungle or deserts in the dark of night looking through notes trying to discover some new piece of history. Some had asked the rumor-mongers why he would use candles instead of a Lumos but they had replied he would have to use both hands and Lumos went out when the wand was set down and the masses had been appeased once more.
The next great debate about Professor Daniel started when one of the first year students noticed he didn't ever take out his wand. They had been practicing basic defensive spells and near the end of class he had told them to put away their wands and mark the homework in their textbooks. This wasn't an unusual occurrence, in fact it happened every week during the practical defense class, but for some reason this time it made something click.
"Professor, where's your wand?"
Daniel looked up from where he had been staring at his candle(which had been happening more often as the winter months approached) and he had replied eloquently, "I beg your pardon?"
"Your wand, Sir. When you're having us practice you never take yours out."
Nodding slowly as if deeply in thought Daniel said, "Well I've never really thought about that. I suppose I don't take a wand out because I don't need one."
"So you can do wandless magic?" the student said, excited and the other first years were looking at him wide-eyed.
"No." Daniel said shortly, to the confusion of the class. "I don't need a wand because you are the ones practicing. I am here to watch and correct."
The first year nodded, though he still looked confused and said, "Yes, but...well. We've never seen it and most of the other professors at least-"
"Well I'm not like the other professors." Daniel said shortly, cutting him off and causing him to flinch back at his tone of voice and the look that had appeared in his eyes for a moment.
Class had ended shortly after that and rumors started only a few minutes later. Professor Daniel was usually fairly soft spoken. He never raised his voice or got irritated no matter what was going on. Why would a comment about a wand set him off like that? It did raise more questions though, now that someone had brought it up it was impossible to not notice that the Professor never used magic. He always used the muggle way of lighting candles or cleaning up small messes that may occur during class.
That brought up the question of if Professor Daniel was actually a Squib. That didn't really make sense though, could Squibs actually teach classes? Maybe he was muggle-born and just preferred doing things the way he was raised, after all he mentioned looking after his sister when he was younger and cleaning the house so that would make sense.
It was after this incident that the other professors started paying attention to the new D.A teacher. Of course they had heard the rumors and put it off as usual school foolishness but something struck them as off about this latest thing. Maybe it was the way the terrified first year had described the look in Professor Daniels eyes when he had voiced his difference from the other adults at school.
Professor Daniel was odd.
Almost a week before Christmas holidays Daniel had been forced to go down to the dungeons to deliver something to Professor Snape. Professor Flitwick had seen him wandering around on the ground floor after dinner and had stopped him, asking if he could do him a favor. As usual Daniels impulsiveness won in favor of his logic and he accepted before he could ask what was wanted from him. When told the location of where he was to deliver the package he had stiffened almost imperceptibly before accepting his task and leaving.
A few of the more curious students watched this interaction and were confused when Daniel went in the opposite direction of the dungeons only to come back a few minutes later with an old lantern. The students remaining after Daniels strange detour frowned in confusion. What would he need a lantern for? The dungeons weren't that dark.
As he descended the first staircase Daniel took a deep breath, glancing up at the torches placed in the wall providing light. Turning the corner he noticed the torches were getting slightly more spaced out, something that confused him and struck him as not a very intelligent design. The deeper you went in a castle the more common you would want your light sources to be.
Stopping on the second landing Daniel looked down to what he believed must be the entrance to the dungeons. He had never come down this way, preferring to stay on the middle floors where light was more easy to come by and there were more people. He could practically feel the gloom as he took the last few steps before it flattened out into a long, dim corridor.
Taking a slow step Daniel jumped and gasped as he accidentally kicked a rock and set it skittering down the hallway. Taking a breath(there's no monsters, no Shadow, no Darkness, no Alexander) and trying to calm his racing heart he continued until he found the door to what must be the Potions classroom. He knocked twice before pausing a moment until he got an affirmative answer and slowly opening the door.
Severus Snape was never one for rumors. He avoided them the best he could, and in all his years teaching at Hogwarts he had been fairly successful at ignoring them until this year. This year they had forgone everything and everyone in favor of the newest member of Hogwarts staff. Daniel, the young new D.A professor with mousy-brown hair down to his shoulders who wore trousers a dress shirt and a vest instead of standard robes, who always had a candle lit on his desk and had never been seen using a wand.
If he was honest with himself he would say he wasn't surprised the students had targeted the new professor; he was a mystery and if there was one thing Hogwarts students were intrigued by, it was mystery.
Looking up from grading papers he saw Daniel at the top of the stairs by the door, small package in one hand and old lantern in the other, held out in front of him like some sort of defense. Seeing that the other man wasn't going to speak any time soon, Severus decided to prompt him to action.
Flinching slightly as if startled Daniel looked around before putting out the lantern and lowering it. "Oh, ah, Filius asked me to deliver this to you." the younger male said, coming nearer to the desk.
Severus could see his eyes still flicking around the room anxiously. Snape had seen reactions like this before, from people with mild phobias, but Daniel was different somehow. He could audibly hear Daniel swallow as his eyes landed on holes in the wall where bolts for restraints used to be. Strange.
Daniel tore his eyes away from the wall staring firmly at the desk when he held out the package that Severus had nearly forgotten about, his attention on analyzing the strange young man before him. Murmuring a small thank you, or at least as close to a thank you as Snape would ever deliver to someone, he opened it removing some potions ingredients and a few pages of notes. He was so absorbed in what he was reading he didn't notice Daniel hadn't left until he was distracted by a sound and looked up.
Daniel was still there, though he had taken a few steps away from the desk. He was hugging the lantern to his chest and with a start Severus realized the sound he was hearing was the younger man grinding his teeth. Mildly concerned about the new professors well being Severus set down what he was looking at and walked around the desk. Standing next to him he noticed he was several inches taller, though that wasn't much of a surprise as it had been noted that Daniel was somewhat petite.
When he was a few feet away Daniel suddenly turned and looked at him, though Severus had the feeling he wasn't actually looking at him. His eyes were wide with fear yet slightly unfocused. He had stopped grinding his teeth but now he was breathing with short panicked breathes.
Severus was just beginning to create a plan of action when the lights went out. Curfew. He mentally cursed, a non-verbal Lumos illuminating enough so he could get to his desk and light a branch of candles. It wasn't until this was done(though it had only taken a minute at most) that he thought to check on Daniel.
It took him a moment to locate him, and he was very surprised when he did. Daniel was obviously trying to breathe silently but panic and quiet did not go hand in hand, creating instead shuddering breathes that were just noticeable. He had somehow managed to make his way to the wall, near where the restraints had been in the days of this being a real dungeon, and was hiding(cowering) under one of the tables. He was rocking back and forth, shaking his head and his lips were moving though Severus couldn't make out what he was saying, if he was saying anything at all.
He also noticed that he was avoiding looking at him. Curious, he walked into Daniels line of sight and was rewarded by a choked gasp and whimper. Then he actually caught his gaze and was startled by the instant recognition of the look in his eyes.
'He has completely lost his mind. Albus, what have you gotten into now?'
Recognizing that whatever Daniel was seeing right now obviously wasn't him he decided to leave the room(though of course still be watching to see what occurred) and see what would happen. Hopefully Daniel would get better, but if not, well, there went another one.
The monster had no real face. It was just a mouth, a long grotesque extension of the lower jaw. Its eyes were white and milky, scars criss-crossing it every which way. Daniel didn't know how it could possibly see. Mismatched arms and sagging flesh held loosely together by leather belts. It seemed impossible it could move at all yet it was all he could do to run and escape it.
Collapsing, unable to think with a high-pitched ringing in his ears there was nothing he could do. The monster was no longer chasing him, just standing there looking. Watching. Waiting. He saw it look at him, he knew it saw him, he was going to die. Choking back a cry that was half sob half scream he could do nothing but tremble.
No. That's not right.
The monster stopped, just as it had in Brennenburg Castle. It looked at him one final time before leaving the room. Why had it left? Wasn't it going to kill him? Light. He had to get to the light.
No, it's not like then.
There, on the desk. Candles. Light. With agonizing slowness he uncurled from the ball he was in and went to take a step forward, instead collapsing. Can't walk. Crawl instead. Dragging himself across the floor toward the light the room swirled, shifting in and out of focus. Finally making his way to the desk he pulled himself up, vertigo making him sway on his knees as he knelt, head and arms laying on the desk as he gazed up at the saving light.
No, what was he doing? What's happening?
The room melted into focus and the ringing in his ears stopped. As time went on his head stopped pounding and his heart began calming to a normal pace. He was safe. Safe.
"Oh god, what have I done?"
Now that his terror had subsided he realized what had happened. He had had a fit, right in front of Severus. That had not been a monster, merely a comrade who was now probably confused and curious. Standing up he brushed himself off, realizing he still had a firm grip on the lanterns handle. Setting it down on the desk he forced his fist to open and release the handle, slowly flexing his aching fingers.
Deciding he had gotten the blood flowing well enough Daniel ran a hand through his hair anxiously, wondering where Severus had gone. He may have had a few moments already this year where he needed someone to snap him out of it, but he had never gone into a full fit before. He needed to say something before the other man went off and told everyone they had hired a man better off in Bedlam House.
Since the events in Prussia he had been unable to hold down any sort of job. It was embarrassing, honestly. A man of his standing brought to near uselessness by unpleasant memories. Daniel knew that was a very bad understatement, but when you got down to it that's all they were. He had hoped that at least by now he would be better about the dark. For a brief while he had had a mild fear of opening large side drawers in desks(due to the incident with the bones) and a ridiculous aversion to raspberry jam.
When he was approached in a pub by an old man in strange clothes offering him to teach at a magic school he had been sure it was a joke being played on him by the last co-worker that had seen him during a fit when he had been forced to go into the autopsy room and re-arrange to make room for another corpse. He had nearly been hauled off that time. Regardless, when the man had come to the hostel he was staying at two days later saying all the preparations were made and his quarters were ready at the school he had picked up his small bag of belongings and followed. When he saw that he was teaching in a castle of all places he had nearly quit before he could start but pushed his fear to the side in hopes this could be a job he could keep for some time, or at least have a place to stay.
When he had seen the evidence of magic he had taken it in stride. After all the last person who was said to 'help' him had apparently been a being from another dimension. Daniel shuddered and pushed those thoughts to the side. He didn't know if he himself could use magic, and honestly didn't exactly want to try it. Daniel had been normal before the events involving the Orb and didn't fancy seeing what would happen if he did try to use one of their wands. In his opinion best case scenario was that it didn't work at all.
Shaking off other thoughts and bringing himself back to the present he decided he should look for Severus and try to explain. He had heard Albus had hired a werewolf, a narcissistic author, and a sort of wizard policeman who turned out to be someone else in disguise, but he wasn't sure if the old wizard would still employ someone with as many issues as him. Maybe even if he didn't catch and talk to Severus in time he would still be allowed to stay until the end of the year. He could always hope although luck had not been his friend lately.
Daniel sighed and looked around the room trying to decide where to check out first. There were two doors inside the room that didn't lead out to the corridor he had entered from. Ignoring the uneasiness in the pit of his stomach he decided to go toward the door on the right beside a shelf of what must have been potion ingredients.
Calamine, Aqua Regia, Cuprite, Orpiment. The four mixed together create a very corrosive acid.
Shaking his head to clear it, after fits he was more prone to remembering things, he reached out to open the door and was slightly startled when it opened by itself. At least that's what it appeared at first, when really it was just Severus opening it from the inside. When the door began moving Daniel had jerked back and placed a hand over his pounding heart only to let out a slow breath when he saw it was just his fellow professor. They stared at each other for a moment while Daniel caught his breath. After a moment the younger man started to speak.
"I'm, ah, I apologize for earlier. I have...a bad reaction to the dark." Daniel said awkwardly, rubbing a hand on the back of his neck and looking over to where his lantern was still sitting on the table.
"So it would seem." Severus drawled and Daniel winced slightly. He could already tell that his regular cut down, half lie of an explanation wouldn't work for this man. When the other man turned and walked back into the room he found himself following without any prompting, though he nearly ran back and grabbed his lantern.
Looking around the room he was glad to find it was surprisingly well lit, a fire in the fireplace and torches in the walls and candelabras on the table. Daniel was sure he would have felt better in a room with a large window as well, but as he figured it was already dark by now it was a moot point. Sitting down Severus prepared each of them a cup of tea, Daniel taking a sip of his for politeness sake before setting it down again.
"I suppose you wish to know what occurred out there?" Daniel asked, deciding to cut right to the chase. Severus nodded and he continued, "I'm sure you know that we all have our demons that we do not wish to speak about." Another nod and Daniel sighed, "I do know, though, as Albus told me, that you have ways of...extracting, information even without consent."
Severus waited patiently until he saw the younger man was waiting for some kind of acknowledgment. "Yes, I have truth serums or I could use Legilimency on you, which is a type of mind reading. Either way you would be powerless to try and keep the information I seek from me. If you preferred showing me the memories of your own accord we could use a Pensive, though I do not think that will be necessary."
Daniel shuddered at the notion of someone else seeing what he had seen. Seeing what he had done. Due to the amnesia potion he still had only vague recollections of the horrors he had done. Those few rooms that had jogged his memory were enough to make him ill, he didn't even want to think about what else he had done. Maybe he was selfish. Maybe he had been a monster, maybe he was a monster, but still...he didn't want to be like that any more.
"Where do I even start?" Daniel muttered before taking a deep breath and just beginning to speak. He told about his trip, being trapped and finding the Orb. His rescue and return to England and the horror that had followed him, killing whoever he came in contact with. The letter from Alexander and his acceptance to go to Brennenburg. How desperate he was to be free of the Shadow, how frightened he was, willing to do anything.
She deserved it, the little bitch.
Shivering, Daniel glossed over what he had done, what Alexander had taught him, to keep the Shadow at bay, pointedly avoiding looking at the man sitting across from him. He glanced up once to see Severus with a suspiciously blank face, before continuing on to when he took the amnesia potion. The other man seemed interested in this.
"You took a potion to erase your memories? How did it work?" Severus knew about memory charms and minor memory altering potions, but hadn't come across something that completely erased the drinkers memory.
"I remember taking it, and then things became blurry. I was able to barely navigate my way through the castle and nearly made it to the front entrance before I collapsed. When I awoke I barely remembered my name and where I grew up. I had written myself a note before I took it so I knew what I had to do." The potions master nodded in acceptance and Daniel continued.
He was wary about this part of his story too. Monsters, invisible things in the water. Flashbacks and hearing things that weren't there. Again when he recounted his journey down to the dungeons and torture chambers he was vague about the remembered tortures. Along the way he told what he had learned about Alexander and the strange blue cylinders that were almost like a diary. Explaining Agrippa had been mildly difficult, especially when he had asked him to take his head and throw it into the portal. Daniels voice got quieter as he recounted Alexander talking to him telepathically and sending his monsters to capture him, only for him to barely escape the Shadow as it swallowed the dungeon.
The last thing he remembered was Alexander in the Inner Sanctum and the blue glow of the portal. After that he only remembered waking up outside a village in Prussia with no knowledge of how he had gotten there and realized he could no longer sense the menacing presence of the Shadow he had felt since first coming in contact with the Orb. When he was done with that he gave a short summary of his time before Albus had found and recruited him as a teacher.
Finally done with his story Daniel sipped his tea, regardless of the fact it was cold by now. Severus noticed and waved his wand over it and Daniel raised an eyebrow when steam started to rise from the cup before just shaking his head and taking another drink.
They sat in silence and finished their tea while contemplating what had just been said. Severus looked at the young man in front of him. He could hardly believe what he had been told. Mystical Orbs, beings from other dimensions, Shadows that consume everything, a substance created by the torture of people which kept an abomination at bay temporarily? He knew there were strange things in the world, especially the Wizarding world but even then some things were still difficult to believe.
Especially that the quiet young man in front of him had been capable of cold-blooded torture. Severus knew that what he had told him was only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what had happened and what he remembered. Yes, he had been even younger than Daniel when he had joined the Death Eaters and tortured and killed, but that had been with spells. What Daniel had done was obviously more...hands on. The potions Professor twitched at that thought. Although he considered himself anything but squeamish some things Daniel described had been decidedly...unpleasant.
Contemplating the whole thing, whether or not to tell Albus that Daniel was mildly unstable and capable of terrible things(he could nearly say the same thing about himself, though not quite to the same extent he thought)or to keep it to himself. There were pros and cons to each. Telling Albus would let the old coot decide for himself if Daniel really was to be trusted, though in order to get the position in the first place the Headmaster must have already made some sort of judgment. It could be helpful in case the young man had another fit, to have someone else know what was going on and how to help get him back to normal.
Keeping the information to himself seemed like a good option too though. As usual there was the fact of having something to lord over someone else in case they needed a favor, or just using it for blackmail material. He had the feeling Daniel had never told anyone this information before though, so him being the first helped as well. Severus liked the idea of knowing something that no one else did.
"Well?" Daniel interrupted Severus' thoughts.
"Well, what?" he said irritably and Daniel sighed.
"Are you going to send me away? Tell the Headmaster and have me fired? Kill me yourself for all the atrocities I've done?"
Severus examined the young man in front of him. He looked worn, tired. As if he didn't care about anything anymore, or as if he had nothing to care about any more. Mentally wincing the older man realized Daniel reminded him slightly of himself. Of course there were differences, large differences at that, but still in the end they were just two weary men.
"No." Daniels' head jerked up in surprise. "I will keep your secret, as long as it does no harm to others."
Daniel nodded, letting out a breath and relaxing slightly. "Thank you."
Making a sound of acknowledgment Severus said, "Yes, you may be grateful but leave the thank you's for later. For now I suggest informing your students of a few of your...quirks, and if things become bad to send for me."
Daniel nodded, bowing slightly in thanks before leaving, picking up his lantern from the table and lighting it. The door shut quitely behind him.
Professor Daniel was weird.
The week before Christmas holidays Defense Against the Dark Arts had been canceled. Everyone still saw Professor Daniel at meals but there was no class. Some people wondered if he was sick, but then why would he still come eat? Others wondered if it was some remark from a fellow teacher, or maybe a student that made Professor Daniel want to take a short break, regardless that the holidays were right around the corner.
Some wondered if it had anything to do with the wand remark. Maybe he hadn't had one because his was broken and he was waiting to get a new one and he realized there was no use teaching a class without a wand. They usually had substitutes for that sort of thing though, so everyone was still confused.
Christmas came and went, along with the students. After the holidays there was always an influx of mischief and built up excitement from whatever they had done during vacation. D.A classes were back to how they had been before, book work and spell work alternating each class, and to the surprise of some the Professor still didn't have a wand. People knew better than to ask though.
In February a rumor had started flying around that Professor Daniel had collapsed in the fourth floor corridor after curfew. According to the rumors his lantern had run out of oil and he was on his way back to his room when he came across a portrait of an old man with long white hair in an expensive looking red and gold suit. He had apparently collapsed in front of the portrait and been unable to move until Professor Snape came and did something. Class had been canceled for two days for everyone and though Dumbledore hadn't said so most assumed it was because the rumor was true and something happened to Professor Daniel. What was really odd about that was that no one recognized the description of the portrait involved.
The rest of the school year went by relatively normally for Hogwarts, a couple more rumors emerged about Professor Daniel but nothing nearly as exciting as earlier in the year. When asked about his summer and if he would be coming back next year the Professor just smiled and shrugged. That was up to Headmaster Dumbledore, he would say, but any glance he made accompanying that statement would oddly be at Professor Snape.
Finally the last day of school arrived and though still no one knew if Professor Daniel would be at school next year there was still much excited talk about what peoples plans were for the summer. The going away feast was over and students were making their way out of the castle and down to where the Hogwarts Express was waiting. Not many students looked back, but if they did they would have seen Professor Daniel standing near the main doors, lantern in hand looking out into the gloom of evening.
The new Professor had been nice. He had taught indiscriminately, fairly giving and taking points away. He always had his candle in his room and his lantern in the corridors. No one had ever seen his wand and he spaced out nearly as often as he was brilliant. For once all of Hogwarts agreed on one thing.
Professor Daniel was a strange man.