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Zelda Spellman knew it was going to be a terribly difficult day when she woke up feeling as though someone was hammering the inside of her skull. She’d had headaches all of her life, but this one was exceptionally impossible to ignore. She debated transferring directly to the Headmaster’s tower to tell Professor Blackwood that she was feeling unwell and would need someone to cover her classes, but she hardly wanted to be alone with him after he’d made such inappropriate advances towards her only last night. 

Groaning, Zelda pulled herself out of bed with a great deal of effort. She had a small amount of migraine potion left, sitting on her vanity, but even after the garnet liquid had slid down her throat, she felt no relief. This was the trouble with having chronic migraines and cluster headaches; one became immune to all of the conventional remedies. Hilda had been trying to grow more potent ingredients for her migraine potions in Greenhouse Three, but had had little success so far.

No matter. She had a job to do, and she was no stranger to working through pain. She could handle it. But just as she was picking the most comfortable robes to wear to teach, there was a knock on her bedroom door. The students knew never to disturb her unless there was an emergency, so Zelda quickly went to open it, quite forgetting that she was still in her nightgown.

She was not at all pleased to see that it wasn’t a student, but rather the Headmaster, who was darkening her door.

“Zelda,” said Faustus Blackwood, raking his eyes over her.

“Headmaster,” said Zelda, not making any indication that he could come in. At this, he made a “tsk” sound as he leaned into her space, one arm draped against the doorframe.

“Zelda, Zelda, Zelda,” said Blackwood, reproachfully. “I’ve been telling you for sixteen years to call me Faustus. If anyone has that right, it’s you.”

Zelda could feel his eyes undressing her and had to stop herself from slamming the door in his face. Just because they had intimate knowledge of each other from their school days (and after) did not mean that she would stand for him trying to rekindle the flame, when she had made it very clear that she wasn’t interested now that he was married.

“To what do I owe this…honor?” said Zelda, still making no move to let him in. But Faustus just pushed passed her, entering her room without invitation, as if he owned the space himself.

“I wanted to clear up the…miscommunication we had last night,” said Faustus, making himself at home by sitting on the end of her bed.

“Miscommunication?” repeated Zelda, feeling the anger rise inside her. She didn’t call what Faustus did a “miscommunication.” It definitely fell under the umbrella of "assault."

“Yes,” said Faustus, patting the place beside him, indicating that Zelda should take a seat.

“There was no miscommunication,” said Zelda, refusing to move any closer. “I told you I wasn’t interested in an affair, and you suggested that if I wanted to remain teaching at Hogwarts, I should reconsider.”

“See? Miscommunication,” said Faustus, hitting his cane on the floor for emphasis. “I would never have said such a thing. Your brother may have appointed you because you were family, but you are still the best Potions teacher Hogwarts has seen in over a century.”

Zelda scoffed. “So, bending me over your desk was… what? A performance review?”

Suddenly, Faustus leapt to his feet. Zelda didn’t have much time to react, and even if she did, the pounding in her head made it impossible to come up with a protection spell quickly enough. Faustus had slammed her back against the door in no time, one hand firm on her bicep, the other using the handle of his cane to play with her curls.

“You can’t tell me you aren’t even a little bit tempted.”

Zelda could feel the magic building in her hands, but tried to quell the urge to hex him. He was the Headmaster, after all, and she would really hate to have to explain to the Deputy Headmistress, Lilith, exactly why she had attacked her superior.  

“I have no desire to be your mistress, Faustus. Just because your wife won’t let you touch her when she’s pregnant, doesn’t mean you should start coercing your female staff into satisfying your…needs.”

Faustus chuckled, then, throwing his cane away so that he could use his right hand to caress her face while the left still pinned her to the wall. “Oh, my dear, sweet Zelda. You’ve never needed convincing in the past. I’ve had you in every room of this castle. Why play the blushing virgin now?”

“I’m Constance’s midwife, Faustus. Forgive me if I think your wife and unborn child deserve more than a witch with divided loyalties,” Zelda said, though it was hardly the real reason she didn't want to sleep with Faustus anymore. It sounded better to claim the higher moral ground and stick to it, rather than admit that she did enjoy their trysts, but didn't like how battered her body would be after each and every encounter. It was delicious agony, of course, and she had left her mark on him many a time as well with the whip or flog, but the last time they had snuck off to the dungeons, he had left her chained there for nearly eight hours, magically bound so that she couldn't even summon herself a cup of water. Zelda wasn't particularly interested in exhibitionism, and as a teacher, she needed to think about the eventuality that a student could have stumbled upon their...activities. Not to mention, she had been missing for so long, Hilda had practically strong-armed Cerberus into doing a search of the Forbidden Forest with his Care of Magical Creatures class. Faustus claimed that leaving her chained was just a part of the game, so that she would be desperate for him by the time he returned, but that was when she realized that they were no longer equals; Faustus wanted complete control.

Which he only further proved when Faustus shoved a leg between her own, moving the hand on her cheek down to where the hem of her nightgown had risen up her thighs. “Are you saying that as long as my wife’s legs are open on your exam table, you’re keeping yours closed?”

When Faustus’ hand began moving up her thigh, dragging her nightgown with it, she decided enough was enough.

Alarte ascendare!” hissed Zelda, not accustomed to having to perform wandless magic, but doing it all the same. Faustus was thrown up and away from her, flying to the opposite side of the room. His body disturbed several shelves of knickknacks, which went crashing to the floor.

“Don’t touch me again. I mean it, Faustus. Don’t come to my room uninvited, don’t call me to your office with ulterior motives, and don’t think I won’t hex you just because you’re the Headmaster now.”

Faustus struggled to stand up, clutching a hand to the back of his head, which had made a sharp impact with her bedroom wall. “You always did like to mix pain with pleasure.”

“Get out, Faustus,” insisted Zelda, as her wand flew off of her bedside table and into her hand.

“I won’t be ordered about in my own castle,” said Faustus, using the wall to push himself back into a standing position.

Before Zelda could respond, there was a loud knock on her door. Neither Faustus nor Zelda broke their gaze.

“You ought to open it. It could be a student,” said Faustus, straightening his robes and running a hand through his ruffled hair so that he would look more presentable.

“And let a student see me holding the Headmaster at wand point?” whispered Zelda, harshly.

“Miss Spellman? Is everything alright? I heard a crash.”

Faustus cursed. “That damn woman never minds her own business.”

“She’s your deputy. It’s her job.”

“Miss Spellman?”

Torn between answering and casting an invisibility charm on both of them, Zelda just remained silent and immobile, staring at Faustus as if she had been petrified.


Lilith was spending her morning lying in bed, reading, when she happened upon a passage in her book that included a very detailed description of how to brew a new and improved remedy for witch flu. The illness had swept through the faculty and students without discrimination, with the infirmary currently filled to capacity with first-years that had never encountered the sickness before. Lilith marked the page, eager to share her findings with Hogwarts' potions mistress. Though the potion looked exceptionally complicated to make, Lilith knew if anyone could brew it successfully, it would be Zelda Spellman.

So, determined to speak with her before the first class period of the day, Lilith set off in the direction of Zelda Spellman’s room. She didn’t want to disturb the woman too early, lest she still be asleep, but with only twenty minutes to go before she would need to be in the Great Hall for breakfast, she figured Miss Spellman would be up and ready.

As she neared Miss Spellman’s door, she heard a loud crash that could only have come from her room. It sounded like perhaps a shelf had fallen, which was peculiar, since she hardly thought Zelda would be redecorating twenty minutes before her presence would be required elsewhere. Approaching the door, Lilith’s hand was poised to knock when she heard voices inside the room.

“You always did like to mix pain with pleasure.”

Lilith’s eyes went wide. That wasn’t Zelda’s voice; it was Blackwood’s.

“Get out, Faustus.”

“I won’t be ordered about in my own castle.”

Lilith sucked in a sharp breath. What in Merlin’s name…? Deciding she ought to intervene in whatever it was, she knocked hard on the door.

“Miss Spellman? Is everything alright? I heard a crash.”

Lilith waited, but there was no response. Surely, she had just heard proof that Zelda Spellman and Faustus Blackwood were behind the door? Why wouldn’t they answer, even if only to tell her to go away? The idea that Blackwood might be insisting upon Zelda’s silence crossed her mind, making the urge to see if Zelda was alright even more intense.

“Miss Spellman?”

Lilith couldn’t help but wonder what business Blackwood could possibly have with Zelda this early in the morning—never mind that Lilith herself was there to speak with her—but the bit of the conversation she had overheard sounded less than civil, and it worried her. She had always sensed some tension between the Headmaster and his potions mistress, but she never would have imagined the tension involved early morning rendezvous.

Eventually, the door opened enough to reveal Zelda, but not Faustus. Lilith’s eyes widened a bit at the silk negligee Zelda was sporting. She’d never seen the potion’s mistress in anything more revealing than a tasteful set of black robes. Perhaps the business Faustus had had with Zelda was…personal. Lilith felt an unfamiliar and unwelcome stab of jealousy at that; she had always found Zelda attractive, and would’ve acted on that attraction, if only she thought it would be reciprocated.

“Deputy Headmistress? To what do I owe the pleasure?” said Zelda, backing away from the door to welcome her inside. Lilith expected to find Faustus there, too, but Zelda appeared to be alone.

“I heard… well. I don’t know what I heard, but I thought you might need some assistance.”

Lilith’s eyes landed on the broken trinkets lying near the far wall. Zelda saw where her focus had gone and immediately waved her wand to mend everything, returning the objects to their previous positions on the shelf.

“One of my spells misfired and hit the shelf. No harm done,” said Zelda, looking rather peculiar, with one hand pressed to her head, as if she had a migraine, and the other holding her wand poised to do magic. The fact that the woman was still in her nightgown completed the strangeness of the image, and Lilith couldn’t help but be concerned.

Lilith also wondered if it was worth revealing that she had heard more than she let on, but decided against it. “Why were you practicing destructive spells alone in your room?”

Zelda shrugged, as if even she didn’t know the answer to that question. “I read about the spell and thought I could control it, but it turned out to be quite unpredictable. I won’t try it again.”

Lilith nodded, before remembering the book in her hands. “Actually, I was reading this morning as well, and came to show you a medicinal potion that I think might be useful to have on hand.”

“What does it treat?” said Zelda, mood changing on a sickle to one of keen professional interest.

“Witch flu,” said Lilith, opening the book to the marked page before handing it over. As Zelda read the ingredients and directions, Lilith let her eyes wander once more. Zelda’s nightgown was exceptionally becoming. Lilith so badly wanted to reach out and touch the fabric. And perhaps the skin beneath…

Zelda cleared her throat. Lilith looked up, sheepishly, aware that she had been caught staring.

“Clearly, I need to get dressed. I’ll look over this potion and get back to you by lunch,” said Zelda, placing the book down on her desk. “Was there anything else you wished to discuss?”

Lilith wanted to say yes, if only to spend more time enjoying this unexpected intimacy, but she was already feeling guilty enough for being caught ogling. “No, no. So long as I don’t hear anymore crashes once I’m in the corridor.”

Zelda’s gaze shifted down and away. “You won’t.”

Lilith nodded, sorry that she had clearly made Zelda uncomfortable. “Good. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the potion at lunch.”

“Of course.”


 

Sabrina Spellman had been studying potions intensively for five years, but she still struggled to make even the most basic of concoctions. It didn’t help that her aunt was practically a genius when it came to potions, and had no patience for her when she still made silly mistakes. It was only the second class of the day, but Sabrina already wished she could go back to bed. Lunch time couldn’t come soon enough, but first, she had to get through her aunt’s lab.

“I’ve assembled the ingredients you’ll need for an advanced color-changing potion. Please be aware that if you don’t follow the directions in your book diligently, there is the possibility of an extremely dangerous chemical reaction occurring,” said Aunt Zelda, directing the last bit right at Sabrina. Sabrina huffed, annoyed that Auntie Zee was always picking on her in front of the class. Just because she wasn’t good at potions, didn’t mean she wasn’t trying to be careful.

“Begin,” said Zelda, though she forgot to turn the hourglass over as she did. The students all got started—all, that is, except Nick Scratch, who was staring at the hourglass.

“Professor?” said Nick, looking at Zelda with curiosity.

Yes, Mr. Scratch? You couldn’t possibly have a question already?”

Sabrina winced, thinking the disdain in her auntie’s voice would be enough to scare anyone, even Nicholas.

“You said to begin, but you didn’t turn the hourglass over. How will we know how much time we have left?”

Zelda sighed in frustration before jabbing her wand in the hourglass’ direction. Instead of turning, it went flying across the room and shattered against the wall. Several students screamed, which made Zelda flinch back, as if the noise caused her an intense amount of pain.

Sitting down heavily, her legs unable to hold her anymore, Zelda said, “You have thirty minutes, Mr. Scratch. There are twenty students in this room. Surely, you can find a single pocket watch among you?”

The students all exchanged glances. Clearly, Professor Spellman was in a mood today. Everyone got to work—though Sabrina did so very slowly, staring at her aunt as she did.  

“Professor Spellman seems…different today,” said Nick Scratch, placing several ingredients into his cauldron at once.

“Maybe she’s sick?” said Sabrina, not liking the way her auntie was pressing her fingers against her closed eyes. Distracted by her aunt’s strange behavior, she didn’t notice that she was putting the wrong ingredient into her cauldron until the potion exploded, smoke billowing out as if she had set it on fire.

Immediately, her aunt was up and out of her seat.

“Merlin's sake, Sabrina! What are you doing!?”

“I put foxbane in instead of nightshade,” said Sabrina apologetically, casting a spell to put out the smoke.

“Your brilliant father dies at the height of his magical ability, and you haven’t the faintest idea what to do with yours,” said Zelda, cleansing the cauldron with a spell of her own.

“It was an accident, Auntie Zee. I’m sorry!” insisted Sabrina, having never heard her aunt so upset at her, and she had done a lot of stupid and reckless things in her life.

“Excuse me, Professor, but I really don’t think that’s fair,” said Nick, coming to her defense.

“Did I ask you to speak, Nicholas Scratch?” said Zelda, towering over the boy in a way that should have been intimidating, if she weren’t pressing a hand to her head in obvious pain.

“No, Professor.”

“Then don’t,” she said, before turning to Sabrina. “Start again!”

A hush went over the class as Zelda returned to her desk, but didn’t sit down. Instead, she grabbed the book that she had been reading and stalked over to the supply shelves, apparently in search of an ingredient.

“Professor Spellman is acting horribly today,” said Nick, beginning to arrange a new set of ingredients. “Never mind a color-changing potion. We need a personality changing one!”

“Something like…this, you mean?” said Prudence, opening her potions book to the ingredients page for the Personality Changing Potion.

Sabrina looked nervously between her classmates before casting a quick glance at her aunt. “Prudence, Nick, this is a bad idea. She’s just having a bad day. That doesn’t give you the right to poison her!”

“She basically called you a disgrace to the Spellman name, Sabrina. You can’t tell me you don’t want to give her a taste of her own medicine?” said Prudence, putting ingredients rapidly into the cauldron, lest the deception be discovered before she was finished.

“She’s never said something like that to me before. She’s just…stressed. I don’t want to see her hurt,” pleaded Sabrina, her eyes going wide at the amount of nightshade Prudence was putting in the new potion.

“Come on half-breed, we’re not trying to kill her. We’re just going to have a little…fun.”

Having given up on making a new batch of color-changing potion, Sabrina just sat in silence, worrying her bottom lip with her teeth as Prudence gave the potion its final touches.

“Professor Spellman!” said Prudence, raising her hand. “My color-changing potion is ready.”

Zelda immediately stopped what she was doing near the supply rack and stalked to the girl’s desk. Prudence lifted the ladle carefully to Zelda’s lips as the three of them all held their breaths.

Zelda fanned out her fingers, examining her short, painted nails for any signs of change. “Nothing appears to be happening.”

“Yeah, Prudence, nothing’s happening,” said Nick, smirking.

“Professor…” started Prudence, winking at Sabrina as she did. It was time to test the spell. “Why don’t we forget about potions class for today?”

What did you say?” said Zelda, her voice dripping malice.

“Umm…” began Prudence, losing her nerve.

“Forget about potions? The highest of the witch arts?” said Zelda, her face going red.

“…Yes?” said Prudence, holding her breath.

Suddenly, a strange look came over Zelda’s face. Sabrina put a hand to her mouth, terrified of whatever was about to happen.

“Why not?” said Zelda, her voice suddenly several notes higher.

Sneering in success at her handiwork, Prudence asked, "Really?"

“Of course!” Zelda said, flinging her arms wide. “Talented young witches and warlocks have much better things to be doing than making potions!”

“Are you being serious, Professor?” said Nick, starting to sense that they might have made a mistake. “Are we really being released early?”

“Why not?” Zelda said again before she started to giggle. Sabrina’s eyes went wide. She’d never heard her auntie giggle in her whole life. “Suddenly, I feel light as a feather. You should all be free to go celebrate life while you’re young!”

“Auntie, but what about our potions? You said they all could explode like mine did if they’re made wrong,” said Sabrina, trying to use logic to break through whatever gleeful stupor had come over her aunt.

“Dear, sweet child, let me clean them all for you!”

With that, Zelda waved both arms wildly, her wand still tucked away in her robes. Wandless magic was volatile at best, dangerous at worst. The students all immediately ducked behind their desks, in case there was about to be a room full of explosions, but the cauldrons instead hovered up to the ceiling, suddenly empty and apparently…weightless.

“Auntie, you cleaned them, but you also…”

“Sabrina,” said Prudence, cutting her off. She shook her head, telling the half-witch to keep her mouth shut. “Professor Spellman did a marvelous job. Nick, would you be so kind as to increase the gravity upon our cauldrons?”

“Sure thing,” said Nick, bringing the cauldrons back down to their desks with ease. “That was some impressive magic, Professor Spellman. What did you do?”

But Zelda was no longer paying the students any attention, and was instead rummaging through the shelves once more, humming gayly.

“Guys…we can’t just leave her like this. Her magic isn’t stable. We need to give her the antidote—now.”

“That might be a problem,” said Prudence, her voice lacking its usual arrogance. When she looked up from her cauldron, her eyes were wide with fear. “We need a spoonful of the original personality changing potion to put in the antidote—and Professor Spellman just cleansed it all away!”

Chapter Text

Lilith had been turning the morning’s unexpected events over in her mind ever since she left Zelda Spellman’s room. She didn’t know why she was fixating on the idea that Zelda and Faustus were engaged in some sort of affair—though, from what she had heard, it sounded like the relationship could be entirely one-sided, which was even more disturbing. She wasn’t at all surprised that Faustus would cheat on his wife, but she was surprised that Zelda would be the object of his desire. Not because she wasn’t beautiful—Merlin knew, Lilith had taken note of Miss Spellman’s beauty from the moment she set eyes on her—but because Faustus seemed to prefer women he could control, like the directrix of the choir, Constance. Lilith couldn’t imagine Faustus ever being successful in controlling Zelda, which brought a smile to her lips as she dismissed her second Transfiguration class of the day a few minutes early.

Her students gave her strange looks as they packed up their belongings and left. She understood that it was unusual for her to dismiss them early, but really, it was terribly rude to look at her as if she had grown another head. She just wanted a few extra minutes to walk to the potions classroom, so that she might accompany Miss Spellman to the Great Hall for lunch. As far as she was aware, that was hardly a crime, but as she headed down to the dungeons, a very anxious Sabrina collided with her on the stairs, nearly causing them both to go tumbling down.

“Miss Spellman! What on earth are you doing running on the stairs?” said Lilith, trying to catch her breath after the shock of a teenager’s full weight striking her.

“Professor Lilith!” said Sabrina, panting as she avoided Lilith’s gaze. “I’m sorry, but I’m in a hurry.”

“I can see that. Why are you in a hurry?”

Just then, she could hear the footsteps of two more students climbing the stairs in haste. Nicholas Scratch and Prudence Night nearly ran right into Sabrina, but stopped just before the collision happened upon seeing the Deputy Headmistress.

“Oh! Professor! What are you doing going down to the dungeons?” asked Prudence nervously.

Lilith looked between the three troublemakers with impatience. “One of you better confess—right this very moment—what is wrong. I have no patience for your mischief today.”

“You see, Professor…” began Nick Scratch, “we just finished our potions class, and we really need to find Professor Spellman.”

“What do you mean, find her? You were just with her, weren’t you?” said Lilith, worry creeping into her tone.

“We were,” said Sabrina. “What Nick meant to say is that we’re looking for…Aunt Hilda! You know, the other Professor Spellman.”

Lilith crossed her arms in disbelief. “I’m well aware that we have two professors of the same name, Sabrina. Are you saying that if I apparate at this very moment to the potions classroom, I will find Zelda Spellman exactly where she should be, preparing to leave her classroom for the Great Hall?”

“She might have already left,” said Prudence, quickly.

“Yeah, I think she said she had something to do before lunch!” Nicholas chimed in.

“Alright,” said Lilith with a sigh. “Who is going to tell me what’s really going on, or will I have to see you all in detention?”

The three students exchanged wary looks.

“Tell me now—or I will bring you to the Headmaster immediately, and let you explain yourselves to him instead.”

Sabrina was the first to crack. “There’s been an accident.”

“What kind of accident?” said Lilith, impatiently. If she had a galleon for every “accident” Sabrina had caused, she would be the richest witch in all of Scotland.

“Prudence…made a mistake with her color-changing potion, and my auntie was the one to test it.”

Lilith looked between the three students, trying to sense if this was yet another deception being fed to her. They all looked properly guilty…

“Exactly what kind of ‘mistake’ was made? Is her health in danger?” said Lilith, thinking she ought to notify the infirmary immediately, but then, the whole reason she had been coming to see Zelda was that the infirmary was filled to capacity, and something needed to be done about it.

Sabrina started to cry, which shocked Lilith out of her thoughts.

“What’s wrong, girl?” said Lilith, fear rising in her throat. There was any number of terrible potion combinations that could cause permanent damage to a witch’s health.

Nicholas put his hand on Sabrina’s back soothingly. “We didn’t mean to hurt her—we were only trying to make her nicer.”

“Are you saying you intentionally gave your Professor the wrong potion?” said Lilith, her voice rising. How dare these students violate a teacher’s trust so completely?

Prudence straightened her spine, turning up her nose in defiance. “It was only a joke. She’ll be fine once we figure out how to make the antidote.”

Lilith’s heart rose into her throat. “You gave your professor a potentially dangerous potion without checking you had the ability to make the antidote beforehand? Has your magical education taught you nothing?”

Sabrina’s cries became even louder, echoing off the stone walls. Through her sobs, she said, “We’re sorry—we just—we need help! We can’t—let her stay—this way!”

What way?” said Lilith, though she was quickly losing interest in whatever these students had to say. It was urgent that she find Zelda Spellman—and the antidote—as soon as possible.

“It really isn’t that bad. She’s just—not herself,” said Nick, with an air of diplomacy that was vaguely absurd to Lilith, considering they had just committed a serious crime against their professor.

“She’s happier. What’s wrong with making her happy? She was singing and humming to herself like she hadn’t a care in the world. It’s not like we turned her into a frog or anything,” said Prudence, refusing to take responsibility in a way that made Lilith want to expel her on the spot.

“You three will go to Professor Hilda Spellman immediately and inform her of the situation. Hilda has a vast knowledge of antidotes, and should be able to help. I will use a locator spell to find your potions mistress—and you better pray I do find her, because if I do not, I will have you expelled from Hogwarts faster than you can say, ‘eye of toad,’ do you understand?”

“Yes, Professor,” the three students chorused, before passing her on the staircase.

While apparating within Hogwarts’ walls was against the rules for students, except when overseen by a Ministry of Magic Instructor, certain teachers could ask for special dispensation so that in the event of an emergency, apparition could be used to travel through the vast castle more quickly. Deciding that the intentional poisoning of a professor counted as an emergency, Lilith disappeared on the spot, cringing as she felt the familiar hook behind her navel.

When she reappeared, she was standing outside of Zelda’s room. She could have apparated directly into it, but that felt like too much of an invasion of privacy. Lifting her hand to knock, Lilith listened carefully to see if she could hear anyone behind the door. When no one answered, Lilith whispered an advanced unlocking spell, knowing that Miss Spellman would have only the most secure spells in place to keep the students out of her private business.

Stepping into the room gave Lilith a sense of déjà vu. She had only been in Zelda Spellman’s quarters a handful of times, and even then, those times had usually been for professional reasons. This morning had been the first time she had a professional curiosity to share, rather than important school business.

Zelda had clearly never returned to her room after leaving for breakfast. Everything was just as it was when Lilith had left this morning. Walking over to the woman’s vanity, Lilith picked up her hairbrush. The locator spell required an object that belonged to the missing person, and Lilith had made one too many mistakes in the past where she chose an object that had either been borrowed or stolen from someone else. She could only imagine how many potential objects in Zelda Spellman’s room could really belong to Hilda, or even the late Headmaster, Edward Spellman.

Taking the brush in her hands, Lilith whispered the locator spell over it. The brush began to float away. Lilith struggled to open the door once more before it would bang into it. She had been following the spell for quite some time through the castle—receiving no small amount of curious glances from students—when she finally realized where the brush was taking her.

She came to a stop outside her own quarters, feeling quite lost. Why would the locator spell lead her back to her own room? Steeling herself, she tried the door, and was surprised to find that it was unlocked. But nothing could have prepared her for the sight she was greeted with upon opening the door.

There, lounging on Lilith’s bed in the center of the room, was Zelda Spellman, naked as the day she was born.

Chapter Text

“Miss Spellman?!” said Lilith, immediately closing her eyes and holding a hand up for the sake of propriety. Even with her eyes closed, however, Lilith could still see the glorious sight of her naked colleague etched into the underside of her eyelids.

“Welcome home, Lilith,” Zelda purred, and for the love of Lucifer, Lilith couldn’t keep from shivering at the pure lust in the woman’s voice. “Have you eaten yet? Would you like to have something more…satisfying?”

Lilith’s brain didn’t immediately register the meaning of those words. She was too busy thinking about how the voice sounded like liquid velvet. Pulling herself together, she ignored Zelda’s questions entirely, in favor of getting straight to the heart of the matter. “Miss Spellman, may I ask you a question?”

“Of course, darling,” said Zelda, her voice suddenly much closer, which surprised Lilith enough that she forgot, for a moment, exactly why her eyes were closed, and opened them to see Zelda standing right in front of her, without an ounce of embarrassment or modesty at her nakedness.

“Why are you…?” Lilith couldn’t force the word, “naked,” out of her mouth, so she let the words trail off as she turned sharply to the left and walked over to her desk, where her green robe was currently draped over the back of the chair.

“…here?” offered Zelda quite unhelpfully, following close behind Lilith. Her hips swayed with every step, which Lilith was pointedly trying to ignore as she picked up the robe.

“Well, yes, I would like to know the answer to that, but I was also wondering if you wouldn’t mind putting this on?” said Lilith, averting her eyes as she offered the robe to Zelda.

Zelda took the robe, but made no move to put it on. Instead, she draped it right back over the chair, and moved into Lilith’s personal space.

“Aren’t you happy to see me?” said Zelda, her voice deeper than Lilith had ever heard it.

“I am—I mean, yes, I suppose—” fumbled Lilith, trying to keep herself from reacting as Zelda flung her arms around Lilith’s neck and pressed their bodies together. Before she knew it, Zelda’s mouth was on her own. Lilith’s hands went immediately to the woman’s hips, trying to push her body away. But Zelda was not to be deterred; she just deepened the kiss. Spells raced through Lilith’s mind—spells to incapacitate, to freeze, to soothe—but with a tongue currently slipping its way into her mouth, there wasn’t really an opportunity to spell-cast, and even if there were, Lilith would be far too afraid of the spell going wrong, since she was certainly lacking in focus, discipline, and the ability to perform magic safely at the moment.

After a few seconds that felt like centuries, Zelda pulled back, sighing in contentment. Then, she rested her head against Lilith’s shoulder, as if the kiss had knocked the wind out of her, as well.

“Zelda…” Lilith started, trying to catch her breath. “Do you remember your potions class today?”

Zelda hummed, but whether it was in acknowledgment of what she had said or satisfaction at being so close, Lilith couldn’t tell. “Well, I… I went looking for you, after your students told me something…bad had happened. When you weren’t in your room, I got worried…”

Something shifted, then. Lilith felt Zelda’s body go stiff against her. Slowly, so as not to spook her, Lilith reached behind her, took up the robe once more, and flung it like a cape around Zelda’s shoulders. Zelda, for her part, didn’t react at all, just let Lilith wrap the fabric around her body as if she were a child—or a doll.

This sudden docility was deeply unsettling. She had never seen Zelda Spellman surrender so easily in all the time that she had known her.

“Zelda?” said Lilith, worriedly, as she helped the woman put her arms through the sleeves of the robe. It didn’t quite fit her—Lilith was just a tad bit shorter and thinner than the other witch—but at least she was somewhat covered up, now. Zelda’s body was loose and obliging as Lilith dressed her. The intimacy of the moment was nearly more than Lilith could handle, but she couldn’t afford to forget that this was the potion at work, not a genuine moment between them.

“I couldn’t go to my room. So, I came here,” said Zelda, her eyes very far away. Shaking her head, as if to clear the cobwebs, she continued, “Aren’t you pleased?”

Lilith paused as she was tying the robe tightly around the woman’s waist. “I’m pleased that I found you. But what do you mean, you couldn’t go to your room?”

Instead of answering, Zelda slipped away. Lilith nearly tugged on the robe to keep her in place, but thought better of it. The woman was clearly not in her right mind. She was going to kill those meddlesome children for doing this to a member of the Hogwarts staff without thinking of the consequences. There would be a mandatory workshop on the subject of magical consent forthwith, if she had anything to say about it.

“I’d rather be doing something better than talking,” said Zelda, sitting down on the edge of the bed before leaning back, so that she was propped up by her elbows. “I promise I’ll make it worth your while.”

Lilith had no idea how to proceed. She couldn’t very well accept any of Zelda’s advances when she was drugged, but she also didn’t want to turn her down so insistently that Zelda would seek out someone else’s bed. Just the thought of Blackwood seeing Zelda in this vulnerable position set her teeth on edge. Satan only knew what he would do with her in this highly suggestible state.

Suddenly, Lilith realized why Zelda hadn’t gone back to her own room, and she wanted to kick herself for not thinking of it sooner. “Zelda, when I came to your bedroom earlier, I heard something…unexpected.”

“Oh?” said Zelda, absently, running a hand down her now-clothed body in an enticing manner. Lilith bit her lip, hard, to remind herself that she needed to be the rational one in this situation.

“Blackwood was there,” Lilith pressed, coming closer to the bed. Zelda looked flushed—almost feverish. She hoped Hilda Spellman could identify the antidote sooner rather than later. There was no telling what kind of ramifications there would be if they took too long to counteract the potion.

Quick as a flash, Zelda launched herself from the bed, grabbed Lilith by the arms, turned their bodies, and pushed Lilith backwards, onto the bed. Lilith was so shocked by the suddenness of it all that she didn’t react until she was flat on her back, with Zelda straddling her hips.

“I don’t want to talk about him,” said Zelda, before leaning down to place feather-light kisses on Lilith’s neck. “If I don’t have you right now, I feel like my body is going to explode.”

Lilith tried to lean away from Zelda’s lips, but she didn’t have much leverage with her body pinned between Zelda’s knees. One of Zelda’s hands was stroking Lilith’s collarbone through her clothes, and seemed ready to travel lower.

“That’s the potion talking. Listen to me, Zelda. It’s very important that you listen.” Lilith grabbed Zelda’s wandering hands and held them tightly—perhaps too tightly—by the wrists, to keep them still. “You’ve been drugged, Zelda. The drug is making you do things you wouldn’t normally do—”

“Who says I wouldn’t normally do this? I’ve wanted to for years,” said Zelda, her expression changing from lust to innocent confusion in an instant. It was strange to see, almost as if a switch had been flipped inside her.

Taking advantage of the woman’s brief bewilderment, Lilith moved her grip from Zelda’s wrists to her upper arms and pulled her sharply to the side before rolling on top of her, effectively switching their positions. Zelda’s body was pliant and yielding beneath her, which, with any other circumstances, might have been enticing, but now, it only made Lilith’s stomach flip. Clearly, Zelda would let her do anything, so long as it was on the road to consummation, and that was a terrifying thought.

“You could’ve told me you wanted to be on top. I much prefer the bottom, anyway,” said Zelda, a devilish smile curling her lips upward.

Lilith’s mind was racing, and so was her heart. She had Zelda’s arms pinned above her head, and she was currently sitting on the woman’s lower abdomen to keep her from moving, but Zelda kept wiggling beneath her, which was having a very…noticeable effect on Lilith’s body. She needed a way to end this, but all of the magical measures she could take seemed either too extreme or unhelpful in the long run. She could magically bind Zelda, but that might make the woman panic. She could give her a sleeping draft—Lilith was sure she had some in her desk—but the potion might negatively interact with the one that was already in her system. She could call for help—surely, Hilda would know what to do…?

“Have I done something wrong?” said Zelda suddenly, desperately, her eyes going wide. Lilith was confused by yet another sharp turn in the woman’s emotions. What in heaven had the students given her? This wasn’t a typical personality-changing potion. They must have given her too much, or made a major mistake in the brewing process…

“Why do you say that?” asked Lilith, wanting to let the woman’s arms go, but nervous that that might just start the whole seduction process over again if she did.

“I’ve done something wrong; I know I have,” said Zelda, hiding her face in the crook of her arm.

“Zelda… you’ve done nothing wrong. It’s just… you’ve been drugged, and I don’t want you to do something you’ll regret,” said Lilith, her heart breaking at the way Zelda seemed to feel the need to hide from her.

“I promise I’ll be good,” Zelda said, turning to look at Lilith once more with earnestness and—was that fear? —in her eyes. “I’ll be good, I swear! I’ll do anything you want.”

“Zelda, I’m not going to hurt you. I just don’t want you to hurt yourself,” said Lilith, loosening her grip on Zelda’s wrists to test the waters. When Zelda remained completely still, she let them go entirely.

“But I deserve punishment,” said Zelda, her eyes closing. “Please give it to me.”

Overwhelmed by an intense bout of nausea, Lilith scrambled off of the bed, leaving Zelda free to move.

“No, Zelda, that’s not—I’m not—you don’t deserve punishment. Why would you—?”

“I need to go,” said Zelda, slowly sitting up and wrapping her arms around herself as if she were cold. “I know he’ll help me.”

When Zelda tried to rush past Lilith, Lilith cast a spell to lock the door from the inside.

“Let me out!” shouted Zelda, pulling on the doorknob without success. “You can’t keep me here!”

“Who is ‘he’?” said Lilith, ignoring Zelda’s protests.

“Professor Blackwood,” said Zelda, pushing her full weight against the door, as if she could break it down by force.

“What will he do to… ‘help?’”

“That’s none of your business,” said Zelda, raising her hand to summon her wand, but realizing with a jolt that it wouldn’t come. “What happened to my wand?”

“I have no idea,” said Lilith, honestly, thinking that it was probably in the same place as the woman’s missing clothes. “Now, let’s go back to Blackwood. Why do you want to see him?”

“So he can make this feeling go away,” said Zelda, wringing her hands and beginning to pace.

“What feeling?” said Lilith, but she was interrupted by knocking on her window.

Stolas, her owl, was tapping his beak against the glass. Quickly, Lilith went to the window to open it. There was a letter from Hilda attached to its leg.

Urgently attempting to brew an antidote. Time is of the essence. When you find my sister, keep her busy—and whatever you do, don’t let her near Blackwood.

“Zelda?” said Lilith, still looking at the letter in disbelief. “Zelda, what feeling will he make go away?” But when Lilith finally tore her eyes away from the paper, she realized that her room was now empty.

Zelda was gone.