Grey_Eminence for one of the most hilarious reviews I've ever read!
Chapter Thirteen: Way Out?
Dumbledore had said that there was no way to reverse it. Even Snape had explained, rather grudgingly, that there was no way out. The staff expressed both sympathy and congratulations, even though both Snape and Alexandria seemed vehemently adverse to it. Remus had a fit and ended up locking himself into his room to not kill Snape. Snape and Alexandria spent as much time apart as possible. Her Potions presentation was sent to her room by hawk and she managed to add all the finishing touches within a week. November eleventh, there were signs all around Hogwarts on the bulletin boards.
Professor Mara Alexandria will be starting her conference tomorrow. The schedule is as follows:
November 12th: Defense Against the Dark Arts - all years - from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm; 3rd to 7th years - from 3:00pm to 4:00 pm.
November 13th: Transfiguration - all years - from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm
November 14th : Charms - all years - from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm
November 15th: Divination and Astronomy - 3rd to 7th year - accompanied by the Headmaster - from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm
November 16th and 17th: Potions and Herbology - all years - accompanied by Professor Snape - from 2:00pm to 4:00pm each day.
It will take place in the Room of Requirement. Prefects will lead their houses (and required years) to the Room of Requirement, where the Head Boy and Head Girl will greet them. A snack will be served each day in the middle of the conference. On the day and hour when 1st and 2nd years are not required to attend, these will stay within their Houses while supervised by the paintings.
Headmaster Albus Dumbledore
It was the talk of the day. The werewolf's cousin and the Potions Master's lover (or so they thought) was to give a conference. Some were apprehensive, mostly the first and second years, as well as the fourth years, who had seen her and the Potions Master in action. Mara could not escape the mutters, looks, and whispers of good luck. She spent all of the 11th preparing the Room of Requirement, which was very cooperative. She set up the magical projector, making sure the needed pictures were all there. Then, when she reviewed the DADA speech, she was forced to magically change all the announcement so that the first part was an hour and a half, making the second half end at 4:30. When she reviewed the schedule again, she realized that it had turned out quite differently from her earlier expectations.
Muttering to herself, she talked with the house elves, where Dobby was very helpful. After making sure that the table of snacks that would appear was self-replenishing so that the house elves were not distracted from making dinner, she fell into a small sofa that she asked the Room of Requirement to provide. She looked around the room, bigger than the Great Hall, and the cozy spots and numerous sofas, chairs, poufs, and cushions. With a sigh, she placed an strong Holding Charm upon the room and curled up to sleep. She dreamed of potions and signet rings.
She awoke to someone pulling at her arm. Dobby's huge eyes peered at her and she gave a yell, sitting bolt-upright. Dobby looked apologetic.
"Dobby! Gods, you startled me. What is it? Is there something wrong with tomorrow's arrangement?" She started to panic. The lack of sleep from the past week started to catch up to her.
"No, miss!" he squeaked. "Dobby happened to overhear about Miss Alexandria's problem with Mister Snape and Dobby thinks he knows a way to not have to marry Professor Snape!"
Mara was intrigued. Snape had explained to her, rather tiredly, that there was no way to get out of it. If they postponed the wedding for too long, they would both die. If one committed suicide, the other would die as well. If they were separated great distances for too long, the ring would attract them and probably have them end up 'shagging like wild Kneazles'. There was a problem with each way out. Such is the power of marrying a Snape. Mara had found the irony of the situation, being forced to marry someone who hadn't planned to be married ever and who deeply disliked her, deeply amusing and had laughed spontaneously several times, much to Snape's annoyance.
"What is it, Dobby?"
"Professor Snape and Professor Alexandria must do something the other wants them to do desperately!"
"What, anything?" she said, echoing the words that had appeared in her mind.
"Yes, miss!" he squeaked. "Anything at all! It must be something the other wants desperately!"
"Thank you, Dobby. I shall run it by Professor Snape right now. You know what to do this week, yes?"
"Yes, miss!" And he disappeared with a loud crack. Mara Flooed to Snape's living room. He was sitting before a fire, holding a flute of wine in his hands. It was white wine and, according to the bottle floating by his elbow, from a rather good year.
"What do you want, Alexandria?" he asked moodily. She took the wine from his fingers and snatched the bottle out of the air, setting it on a far off table. She stood in front of him, holding his wrist as he threatened to grab her own in anger.
"Don't. I need you to have a clear head." She pulled up a chair with a wave of her hand and sat down in front of him, starting to fiddle with the ring on her finger. She had become used to feeling it there, but not seeing it, and fiddled with it when she was nervous. "Dobby put forth an idea."
He snorted. "That harebrained house elf? You trust him?"
"He did help Harry in his fifth year in finding the Room of Requirement," she pointed out and Snape grunted.
She told him the idea and waited for, most probably, rejection. But a pensive look crossed his face and he stood up to pull a book from the shelves that lined the room. Flipping through it, he sat down again and then after a few minutes, tapped a page.
"It seems your little friend is good for something." Mara shot him a triumphant look. "But there's a hitch." Her face fell. "It has to be performed within two months of the engagement." He closed the book and tapped the cover with one long finger. Mara stared down at her hands.
"It can be done, right?"
"I'm not sure. There was something that you could do for me, but I don't know how long it would take." Her eyes turned curious. "I shall inform you tomorrow."
She left at the obvious dismissal and stared at her ceiling as night fell, forgetting completely to go to dinner.
It was a bit short, I know. I'm sorry. The next one is longer and just about how Trickie Woo likes it. ;)
Next chapter: We listen in to part of the Defense presentation and Snape explains yet another hitch attached to the ring...
I have also just submitted a precursor to this story on Wolfsbane, entitled "In the Midst of War". It is the explanation about how Mara met Harry and co.