Disclaimer: I'm not muscling in on JK's turf - just gambolling on it, like a spring lamb, having fun working out the literary and psychological puzzles which she is having fun setting us
#8: A Shore Thing
[In which domesticity occurs.]
There was one thing to be said for Apparition; it might be uncomfortable, disorienting and disturbing, but it was certainly quick. The main delaying factor was the necessity for the professor to contact Remus Lupin and get the password ("erythematosus") which would get him through the wards which Lupin had put on Lynsey's flat. That being done, in little more time than it must have taken him to pack he was standing rather diffidently in Lynsey's living-room, clutching a threadbare old-fashioned carpet bag which had definitely seen better days. Against the fashionable off-white of the walls he looked like a crow in a snowfield.
They eyed each other cautiously, from a distance. Lynsey gazed openly at Snape, who ducked his head aside and looked at her out of the corner of his eye. "Are you certain about this?" he asked, trying and failing to sound offhand.
He had been concerned that his mere presence would put Lynsey in grave danger; until Minerva had pointed out briskly that she was in grave danger anyway. A Muggle who had helped The Traitor to escape... simply being with him could hardly make her more of a target.
"Quite certain; you're very welcome." He still looked exhausted and rather unwell, although at least the bruises were gone, and the sore on his wrist was nearly so. "Make yourself comfortable pet, do - you look all in."
Snape folded down onto the sofa with a grateful sigh and let his head flop back. "I don't know which was worse," he said with his eyes shut, one long black-clad arm draped along the back of the sofa; "Molly's incessant chivvying 'for my own good', or the damned mirror constantly telling me to tidy myself up and get a haircut."
She had thought about preparing trout for him - a sentimental reminder of that strange night in the woods - but she didn't want to disturb or embarrass him by appearing to try too hard, so she had made a risotto instead. At first Snape ate as if he thought someone might take it away from him, but by the second helping and the third glass of wine he had settled down a bit. "I suppose," he said, picking a stray prawn off his sleeve, "that I will have to buy some Muggle clothes tomorrow - you'll have to help me, since my knowledge of Muggle fashion is twenty years out of date."
"You can if you want to - and I'd be happy to help - but it's not mandatory. That's one of the great things about St Andrews."
"Mmm. Anywhere else, and dressing like a pre-Raphaelite monk would attract attention; but wearing academic gowns in the street is something of a tradition with the university here. St Andrews' own robes are scarlet - but people will just think you're a visiting lecturer from some college with a rather Gothic sense of style. Used to be, some of the shops would give you a discount if you were in a gown, but I'm not sure if that's still true."
"It would be - useful if they did."
They had considered fleeing the country, hiding - but all routes in and out of Britain were likely to be being watched. There was no reason to think the Death Eaters knew where Lynsey lived, or even in which country, other than "probably in Britain" - that information had not been on any of the leaflets for the Solstice Moot - and it would take them a long time to work through every L. O'Connor in the 'phone book. Even had she been in the 'phone book, which she was not. Nor did they know what kind of work she did, and in any case she traded under a business name.
So it was unlikely that the Death Eaters, who despized all Muggle technology, would be able to find her; and if they did, she was probably safer with Snape than without him. The running battle through Chislehurst Caves could only enhance his already formidable reputation, and make the Death Eaters more reluctant to tangle with him. The Unnameable One was unlikely to send his minions after him unless he was fairly sure they would succeed; since if he tried and failed it would make him look like an idiot. And first they would have to find him. It was true that a man called Karkaroff had fled the Death Eaters and had been caught and killed in just over a year - but Karkaroff had still been Marked.
Nevertheless, the Order was going for the belt-and-braces approach. As well as comprehensive wards on the flat itself, and on the stair on which it sat, there was somebody watching the house at all times, whether they were in or out of it; and if one of them went out, another Order member tailed them. On top of that, they were both shielded by something called a Boring Charm - the magical equivalent of a psychic effect which Lynsey knew as a "Someone Else's Problem Field", which made anybody outside their immediate circle who started to notice them forget them again within a few seconds.
On top of that, if they went out Snape wore a glamour, to make him look less strikingly like himself, although Lynsey - who rather liked his beaky prow of a face - found that disappointing; and he was braced to Apparate them both away from danger at any time. And Hermione Granger, apparently, was brewing a fresh batch of a very slow, complex potion which could, if required, make them both look like someone else altogether.
Minerva, it seemed, was taking no chances of Severus being re-taken.
Lynsey wondered if they would find themselves with nothing to talk about, now that they were no longer actually running for their lives together; but Severus was not somebody who needed to talk all the time, and when he did talk, it was always worth hearing. He was, she found, quite a restful companion, despite his sharp tongue; he did not, as so many other male friends had done, start feeling neurotic and neglected if she spent too much time on the computer, and demand she pay him attention.
She wasn't quite sure whether that was a virtue or a symptom. Despite his spectacular flare of force and spirit in the leaving of Azkaban he was still tired and unwell, not fully recovered either from the torture or the pneumonia, and the restraining wards of the prison had drained his psychic and magical energy. The second morning after he arrived she chanced to see him emerge blearily from the bathroom, half-asleep and half-clothed, and she was shocked to see how painfully thin he still was. The man looked like a skinned rabbit, despite ten days of Molly Weasley's home cooking.
She didn't want to annoy him or make him feel weaker by fussing over him too openly, so she fretted about him in private. In other respects he was easy company, so long as you didn't pester him with too many silly questions - quiet, reasonably tidy for a bachelor and a surprizingly good, if eccentric, cook, and at least he had the sense to ask if he didn't know how some piece of Muggle household equipment worked. And the cats liked him, which was always a good sign.
So when she returned from a business meeting to find him sitting on the sofa, staring down at his own hands with a tight, queasy expression, shivering slightly and apparently oblivious to Nestor kneading a hole in the cloth which covered his thigh, she made him a mug of hot chocolate without being asked and sat down quietly for him to tell her about it, or not, as he pleased. It was, after all, only two weeks since he had been manacled in a freezing damp cell, a month since he had believed that he was to be completely isolated for the rest of his miserable life - and a little over two months since he had been twisting and howling in the grip of the Dark One's torturers. It was small wonder if he was still very shaken and sore, both physically and mentally.
You would have thought that having a guest there would be a distraction; but now that she had the professor under her eye where she could worry about him in peace, she found she was able to finish the project she'd been working on and start another; just as well, really, since she needed the money, especially with two mouths to feed. Severus insisted on paying his own way as far as he was able, but his house had been seized and sold after Dumbledore's apparent murder, and his meagre savings were still impounded by the state, even though the bank (goblin-run, she gathered) wouldn't physically hand them over without his say-so.
He could hardly seek paid employment in any normal wizarding job, considering that he was now one of the Death Eaters' prime targets. All he had was three weeks' salary which had been owing to him at the end of the previous year, when his and Dumbledore's spying operation went pear-shaped, and which Minerva had insisted on paying him out of the school's emergency funds. She had tried to get him to accept a stipend for his work as an Order member, but Lynsey gathered he had refused vehemently - seeing it, probably correctly, as charity, since no other Order member was paid.
Since the post at Hogwarts had included bed-and-board all found, the cash element was distinctly underwhelming. It was enough to pay for his share of the food, for a few weeks, and to buy a couple of changes of clothes if he was not too extravagant, and that was almost the end of it. What was left went on a child-sized pullover, knitted in Orkney and covered in fine patterns in the natural creams, greys and browns of undyed wool.
"You trying to bribe him into dropping the 'be nice to Harry' clause?" Lynsey asked with a grin.
"Would I do such a thing?"
"Well, would you?"
"Absolutely - if I thought it would do any good."
Afterwards they wandered down Market Street, past the covered fountain, and took a right-and-left under the archway which led into the ruined cathedral. Standing in the open, grass-covered court which had once been the nave, Severus gazed up quietly at the massive, unsupported lacework of stone which was all that remained of the east end of a once-great hall of worship, with the oblong column of the twelfth century tower of St Rule to the right of it and only the sea and sky behind it. Lynsey looked at him under her eyelashes, surreptitiously watching his long hair ruffle and flutter in the salt wind from the sea.
Passing beyond the cathedral, they stood within the faint cruciform outline of the ancient Culdean church of St Mary-on-the-Crag, still just visible through the short turf. Snape's robes whipped around him, billowing impressively and making him look as though he had just stepped through a window in time, although Lynsey privately thought that her own leather jacket and jeans were a lot less draughty.
Out of the corner of her eye she noticed the rangy grey tabby pacing across the springy turf, close enough to observe them and too far away to be caught by anyone who might attack them. As she watched, someone stooped to pet it, and the cat arched its back and flaunted its whiskers without taking its eyes off them.
Below them, the long rib-bone of the harbour wall extended into the North Sea, its strong curve made irregular and curiously organic-looking by age and rough weather. "That's where we were sitting - down there," she said, "on the wall along the back - when Harry had his brain-wave about using Dobby to reach you."
"On the wall?" Severus looked at the slumped, meandering stonework rather dubiously, and she remembered that he was, if possible, even more scared of heights than she was. "You mean that - narrow thing, along the seaward side there?"
"Uh-huh." The harbour wall was divided into two levels. There was a broad, level walkway perhaps ten feet wide, and then along the edge of that foot-way, between it and the open sea, a higher, rather battered wall which kept the wind off the causeway proper.
At the landward end this outer wall was about five foot wide and less than hip-high and one could easily clamber up onto it, and could walk along it fairly safely, despite its pitted surface. If you did walk it, though, you found that it inclined gently upwards; the further out to sea you went, the higher you were above the walkway, until you were about six feet up.
Towards the far end, where it was already much too far out to sea for comfort, the wall widened and dropped back down to shoulder-height before a series of broad steps took it up higher still, until by the end it was ten or twelve feet above the causeway. Worse, although this higher stretch of wall was more modern than the low end, and the stonework underfoot was much more even, it was also far narrower; perhaps thirty inches across. There was no railing except the one around the stair which took you back down to the walkway at the far end, and nothing on the other side of the wall but a long drop onto rocks, or into the North Sea, depending on where the tide was.
"Is that - quite safe?"
"It's worse than that: it's traditional for students to walk the wall at least once during their stay here. That is - a lot of students stroll out along the causeway on a Sunday, in gowns, but you're supposed to walk the higher bit at the back at least once."
"Oh yes. Somebody told me that girls were allowed to stay on the path where it was safe and didn't have to do the wall-walk, so of course I did. It was windy, too; the boys all chickened out and jumped down before it got too high, and left just me and another girl." She smiled reminiscently. "I've rarely been so bloody scared in my life."
"Then I shall walk it, definitely - but not when it's windy, and not just yet. I'm still not entirely steady on my feet, and there is a difference between brave and stupid - even though you would have trouble convincing a Gryffindor of that."
"Explain to me how this works," he said, peering at the screen and trying to pretend he hadn't just grabbed at the back of her chair to keep himself from falling.
'Oh, Lor' - you couldn't ask me something simpler, like the meaning of life, death, the universe and everything?"
"Forty-two," he replied promptly, and folded down onto the sofa in a billow of robes.
"But of course. Well... you finally left the normal - sorry, the Muggle - world when, about?"
"Nineteen seventy-eightish. Up to that point, I was still spending part of each year as a Muggle. After that - well, I still took an interest in Muggle literature and music, but I didn't have much to do with their everyday life any more."
"All right, so - do you remember the early programmable pocket calculators?"
"Merlin, that takes me back. I had a Sinclair Cambridge - it was very useful for working out proportions for potion ingredients, but I couldn't use it at Hogwarts because the standing magical field - What's funny about that?" he added, scowling.
"Oh - just - you doing something so techno-nerdish as buying the latest electronic toy." Severus coughed delicately. "What?"
"I didn't - exactly buy it. I was, um, 'going through a phase'."
"Hah. Well, if you remember anything about those machines, you'll understand... you can set it to do things, the way you could set the Cambridge only much, much more complex. The instructions are couched in binary - complex patterns of ones and zeros...."
"Calculations in base two?"
"Basically. The ones and zeros are stored as little - marks, little magnetic blips, on a disc made of stuff which is basically the same as what you make a cassette tape out of, and the pattern of blips tells the machine how to do things, and you can change the blips - and hence what it does - either by typing changes in or by copying them from another sort of disc."
"So when you are working you are - changing the blips?"
"Sort of. Web-design - what I'm mostly doing - that's mainly just entering commands which cause information to be displayed in particular ways - 'put this bit in italics'; 'centre this' and so on. But when I'm doing - thing called Java - then I'm programming, and that's like - do you know what automata are? Mechanical toys which you wind up and they run through a complex sequence of actions?"
"Oh, yes. I saw some at Blackpool when I was a child - there was one I remember with trains which ran in and out of a shed. My mother was in a good mood for once, and she gave me a shilling to make it go. I thought it was - hah. 'Like magic'."
"It's not, though."
"Well - not usually, but - I wanted so much to see it again, and Mums wouldn't give me another coin and I - well, I looked at it, wanting it to go again, and it did go. Hardly a very impressive introduction to magic; I don't think I even moved the trains themselves, just - tripped the little lever that the coin would have tripped."
"Even so... wow. You have no idea, do you, how rare telekinesis is? Even minor telekinesis."
"Is it?" He shifted position slightly, with a very faint hint of preening self-congratulation which made Lynsey grin. "So how does this - peasy...."
"PC. Short for Personal Computer."
"Yes. That. How is it related to automata?"
"Well, it's just that, people who make automata... you have all these odd-shaped little levers and gears and cams which are set so that when this creeps to a certain point along that bar then something else clicks into position, and that starts something else moving.... Programming, writing the code, the - the instructions which make the PC do certain things, is like that, except instead of physical cogs and gears you use a special set of words called a programming language to describe what you want to happen.
"So it'll say, maybe, 'keep on doing this, add one each time you do it, and when you've got one more than the number you first thought of, do something else' - only in special language - and you bolt a whole string of basically quite simple 'if this then this' commands like that together, and with them you can make the system do really complex things. And the logic, the type of thought-process you need to see how to make it all fit together, is very much the same as the logic that sees how to make the little cogs and gears interact to make a doll smoke a cigar. Or trains run in and out of a shed."
"And could you, do you think, teach me how to do this?"
She considered him for a moment - inventive, original, his clever face alight with interest. "Yes - I would think so."
On the fifth day, he left her - not for good, or for ill, but just to attend an Order meeting. She was fairly glad not to have been asked to accompany him; much as she liked most of his co-conspirators, the crushing, wringing sensation of Apparition was one she could well live without.
When he came back, some six hours later, he looked grey with exhaustion, and Lupin and Harry were with him - ostensibly to pay a social call but in practice, she thought, to make sure he got home in one piece (literally). They popped into existence in mid-argument.
"No!" Severus snapped sharply, before Lynsey's ears had quite stopped ringing from the triple bang of their arrival. "Nobody else is paid just for attending, and I'm not a - a bloody invalid, that should be paid a pension."
"Well, call it a loan, then - " Lupin began.
"Would you take a loan from the Order? God knows, you dress badly enough - "
"I know I'd never be able to pay it back - and at least I can re-stock the freezer by hunting if I have to. You would be able to repay it, when the Ministry gets round to unfreezing your assets."
"You mean 'if', Lupin - if the damned Ministry unfreezes my assets, not 'when'."
Harry coughed. "How would it be if I - if the Order paid you to tutor us - I mean me, Ron, Hermione, all the junior members - in practical Defence Against the Dark Arts? When you've recovered a bit."
Severus gave him a sour look. "I thought you were the one who was supposed to be the brilliant, natural DADA teacher, Potter - according to your fan-club."
"I wasn't bad," Harry admittedly cheerfully. "Better than Umbridge, anyway."
"That's no great claim; there are things living under rocks which could teach Defence better than darling Dolores."
"Yes, quite, so I didn't have to be brilliant or - or arrogant or anything to think that I could do it better, did I? I just think that now - well, with going after the you-know-whats and everything, we could do with being taught by somebody with real field experience."
"Good God - do you know what you'd be letting yourself in for?"
"Oh yes - worse luck. But I've come to realize that as far as your students are concerned you're all bark and no bite."
"You are confusing me with Lupin here - I do not bark. May I remind you that I once threw a jar at your head?"
"Yeah - but if you'd meant it to hit me, it would have, wouldnít it? We could start up Dumbledore's Army again and you could teach us properly - I don't know anyone better qualified to do it."
"If Longbottom is involved, I get extra money."
They had brought several issues of the Daily Prophet with them, since Severus didn't want to attract attention by having owls delivering to Lynsey's flat. She had seen some moving photographs during her stay with the Order in the Lake District, but they still astonished her - not so much the movement itself, but how interactive they were. Minister Scrimgeour was looking distinctly peaky and reared back when he noticed her, looking hunted; and there was an article on one of the inside pages about the Ministry still not having released Exonerated War Hero Severus Snape's bank account. Severus himself curled his lip at it, and muttered "Amazing what a little blackmail will do."
"What I don't get," Lynsey said, reading over his shoulder, "is, OK, Hermione bullied Rita Skeeter into writing the article, but how did they get her editor to agree to print it? If Scrimgeour was leaning on them...."
"Oh, the editor is one of Horace Slughorn's little pets. Horace just leant on him the other way - and he has a lot more weight."
"I don't like Slughorn much," Harry muttered.
"And why would that be, Potter? Do tell. Apart from the mere fact that he's a Slytherin."
"He's very - well, self-serving, isn't he? Sir. And a snob, and a bit of a racist."
"He is all those things, yes, and seven more besides. But he doted on your mother, despite his rather patronizing attitude to Muggle-borns, and he saw talent and worth in me when no-one else saw anything except a common little half-blood brat with no money or manners. And maybe he viewed us both as something he could use - but at least he thought he could use us because he thought we both had some intrinsic value. Few pure-bloods with his sort of background would have deigned to look twice at either of us."
On Sunday morning, the weather being surprizingly warm for March, Lupin popped through to be their extra backup, so that Lynsey could take Severus down to the shore again to watch the students in their gowns, promenading along the harbour wall. Neither of them liked to tie up an additional Order member unnecessarily; but Lupin happily gave up an hour or two of his free time, declaring that he wanted to paint the scene anyway. His preliminary sketch was disturbing, the scarlet robes seeming to float above the stone like a parade of Flanders poppies - but then, "disturbing" was probably what most people would expect from a picture painted by a werewolf.
He was actually wearing new robes, which Lynsey gathered was a first, and looked exceedingly pleased with himself; having sold three of his seascapes to a gallery in York, for a fairly good price considering that he was an unknown.
Afterwards Lynsey and Severus sat out in the little communal garden, which was warded as heavily as the rest of the stair. Hers was what is called in Scotland a "garden flat", meaning that the front of the flat was actually below ground, its windows opening onto a sunken "area", while the back door let onto a garden at a lower level than the street. Technically the garden was shared between eight households; but in practice Lynsey had most of the use of it.
Severus gazed down moodily at the half full glass of beer in his hand, not meeting Lynsey's eye. "I suppose," he said, "that now that Lupin has found himself a source of income which doesn't involve poaching, that makes me the poorest member of our little circle again - even if I had access to my savings, which I donít. You would think from the look of him that it would be Dung - but I hear crime pays quite well these days." He downed the rest of the beer in one swig, put the glass back on the tray with a decisive click and leaned back on his elbow in the unkempt grass. "At least if I do tutor Potter and his Merry Morons I'll be able to pay my own way."
"That would be nice, but it isn't necessary."
"I think that it is; I have no wish to be a financial burden, as well as - "
"Tish. You're quiet, you're useful about the house and you're not a big eater - why would you be a burden?"
Severus favoured her with one of his trademark sour looks. "You make me sound like a well-behaved pet."
Lynsey smiled back at him. "Not a pet, except in terms of the endearment, and certainly not a well-behaved one; but I do take a - proprietary interest. I realized it when we were - when you sang The Shaking of the Sheets to freak out Old Mouldy, and I could feel his mind trying to get at you through the Mark and I remembered Tam Lin and I found myself thinking 'Not yours, mine'."
He frowned at her, his black brows bowing like crow's wings. "I'm not sure I like the implications of that - you don't bloody own me."
"Different kind of 'mine.' Not possessive - possessed, perhaps, or protective, but not possessive. In one of Terry Pratchett's books, there's this, um, this talking dog who denies the possibility of having a master, but when a man he likes is injured and unconscious in the snow, the dog stands between him and the wolves, expecting to die, and barks 'Mine, mine!' And one of the wolves - one of the wolves is really a werewolf, and the man's lover, and she growls 'No, hmine!' Do you know who Oskar Schindler was?"
"Schindler was a German industrialist before the last war: a bully, a braggart and a crook, who treated his workforce like serfs, like property. But when the Nazis came to take away some of his workers to be starved and, and tortured and killed, because they were Jews, Schindler said 'Mine, mine!' and he used his bluster and his crooked dealing to save them. And then he said 'Mine, mine!' of his Jewish workers' families, and saved them as well."
She smiled at him, sensing something transcendent. "And then he started to think of all the Jewish prisoners of the Nazis as 'Mine, mine!' and saved hundreds more, because 'What I have I hold, and what I hold I care for.' It's not an owning-and-using sort of 'Mine' - more like a belonging to, or with. My friend, my country, my family's estate that I'm going to spend my life maintaining - that sort of mine. It's a bit like - well, you know what they say - home is where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in."
"Not in my bloody family."
"That's as may be - but look on this as a home in that sense. Wherever I am, there will always be a place for you there if you need it."
"If I were a nicer and less suspicious person I suppose I ought to be overcome with gratitude at this point, but... I suppose it's the Slytherin in me, but I more than half expect that if you're helping me you must have some ulterior motive."
"Oh, sure - but my ulterior motive is that I enjoy your company!"
He snorted at that. "So you've said - and to my mind that's the least credible part of your entire thesis."
"What's not to like? You're clever, original, amusing - OK, catty, but nothing I can't handle and, I know it makes me sound a bit sad and old-fogeyish but most of the people in IT are so much younger than me, it's just - nice, you know, to talk to somebody who's the same age as me; somebody who's read the same books, seen the same films, who remembers the same songs.... The songs most of all, I think, because the music makes us - it shapes how we see the world. What?"
"When I was - fourteen," he said carefully, with the sweat sticking the thin material of the shirt to his skin, "there was a song that everyone was singing. It started 'Loving you is easy 'cause you're beautiful', and I could feel my own ugliness closing in like a vice."
She turned to him, frowning herself and gazing down at the strong, bitter planes of his face. "You're not - ugly, pet. Just - odd. You look fine, just in a way that's not - that one doesn't usually see in humans."
He made a thin, sharp noise, baring his teeth like a beast in pain, and Lynsey cursed herself under her breath. "Oh, look - I mean - I don't mean you look bad or, or grotesque or anything, it's just that you look kind-of like an Afghan hound - all long bones and long nose and long hair - and that's quite bizarre if you take it as a human look, but in absolute terms Afghan hounds are better-looking than apes any day, all right? Different doesn't mean worse: humans are really pretty funny-looking as a class. And besides - what does it matter? I happen to think you look OK but it hardly matters: it's your spirit that attracts me, your character."
He blinked at her. "Leaving aside for the moment the matter of your peculiar tastes, where did we go from 'like' to 'attracted by'?"
Lynsey blushed; she could feel herself doing it. The professor gave her an odd look. "And here I thought that I was joking," he murmured, easing himself down onto his back in the grass and looking mildly but definitely smug. "Wasn't the narrator in Tam Lin...?"
"Fighting to save her lover. Yes."
PLEASE NOTE: Mood Music, the story to which this is the sequel, is currently up for an award in the Identity (Best Original Character) category of Round Six of The Multifaceted Fanfiction Awards.
The story Lost and Found, by Borolin (which is to say, by whitehound and Dyce in combination), is likewise in the Tears (Best Darkfic) and Courage (Best Extreme Fic) categories. Dyce's solo story Survivors is also in the Rapture (Best Het Fic rated G to PG-13) section.
If you liked any of them enough to vote for them, please go to The Multifaceted Fanfiction Awards at and cast your vote before 22nd July.
Systemic lupus erythematosus is an auto-immune disease which is often just called "lupus" - that is, "wolf".
A "stair" in this context is a group of flats branching off a common stair.
You can see the ruined cathedral and the harbour pier at Geograph.
Blackpool is a famous holiday destination in the north of England, with many amusement-arcades containing, among other things, coin-operated automata known as penny-in-the-slot machines. The particular machine which Snape describes really existed in Blackpool in the mid 1980s, though I don't know if it would have been there when he was a child. I found it mentioned in a discussion at www.pennymachines.co.uk.
The Terry Pratchett book in which Gaspode the talking dog tried to protect Captain Carrot from the wolves was of course The Fifth Elephant. Terry also said that a witch has such pride, such arrogance, she looks at the people, she looks at the land and she says 'Mine' - and then she defends what is hers. But unfortunately I can't have Lynsey quote this, because itís from Wee Free Men and that hadnít been published yet.
In the Scottish Border Ballad Tam Lin, a young man is stolen away to be the servant of the Queen of the Fairies, and given great honour, but after seven years he will be handed over as a tithe to Hell. A mortal girl falls in love with him, and in order to win him free she has to hold him tightly while he is transformed into a succession of monstrous shapes. In Mood Music, the story to which this is the sequel, there is a scene where Snape tries to drive Voldemort out of his mind (out of Snape's mind, that is, although the other would be good too) by concentrating on a grisly Mediaeval song about death. Voldemort attacks Snape through the Dark Mark and Lynsey claps her hands over it and tries to drive him out, and when she feels the Mark writhing under her hands, trying to throw her off, she thinks about Tam Lin and "Mine! Not yours, mine!"
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