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Title: Headmastery
Author: [info]iulia_linnea
Characters/Pairing: "Bea Belovodny," others/pairing withheld so as not to spoil
Rating: PG-13
Warning (highlight to view): For AR, AU, and deaths in the manner of a fairytale.
Word Count: 2813
Summary: Beauty Belladonna Beatrice Belovodny never wanted to be a part of the Sue-niverse, so she arranged to Sort it out.
Disclaimer: This piece is based on characters and situations created by J. K. Rowling, and owned by J. K. Rowling and various publishers, including but not limited to: Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books, Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made from and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended by the posting of this fic.
Author's Note: Written for the 2011 run of [info]hogwarts_houses. Thank you, [info]arynwy and [info]shiv5468, for beta'ing. Thank you, Pirate Monkey/[info]gmonkey42, for letting me play and take liberties with the Sue-niverse.



Beauty Belladonna Beatrice Belovodny never wanted to be a part of the Sue-niverse, but that's what her mother called a world with her in it. Beauty, who preferred to be called "Bea" but never was, was a young lady with clear skin, sparkling pearl-grey eyes, and lustrous black hair. She was fit without having lost her softness, intelligent without appearing intimidating, and generous without making people feel patronised. Sweet-tempered and beloved of animals and people alike, she just wanted to help—with anything—but such was her beauty that Beauty was never permitted to do anything for herself.

She would have hated her life but for the kindness of others. She hadn't it in her to feel disgruntled for long (and no one would have believed her to ever feel such an emotion, anyway).

When her Hogwarts letter arrived, she was thrilled—and grateful. Going to Hogwarts would mean a release from the great love that threatened to smother her daily. She would be able to study as long as she liked without her parents fretting over the condition of her "delicate eyes." She would finally be able to get to know other children her age; her parents had long discouraged her from playing with the friends' children as they "couldn't possibly be good enough to know" her. She would at last be able to make herself useful, something for which she'd always longed. It was going to be wonderful, leaving the Sue-niverse for that of the world of Hogwarts. She couldn't wait.

But as she stood on the platform awaiting the train, she noticed something odd. Apparently, the Sue-niverse was vast for there were other especially remarkable-looking girls clustering together and chattering excitedly. She would have liked to join them, but it wasn't her parents who didn't allow it; something about the way the less remarkable (Beauty didn't think this uncharitable thought; it was said by her parents) students looked at those other girls, whom Beauty took to be her own, gave her pause. No matter their loveliness and other spectacular attributes, the other students appeared to despise them. With this in mind, Beauty covered her head with the hood of her robes—her parents had always insisted she have a hood in order to depress the attentions of the vulgar—and stood apart from everyone until it was time to board the train.

She was surprised to find herself not sentimentally tearful as she took leave of her parents, and took a car to herself as the train left the station. She was not, however, alone for long.

The first boy to look in on her was quite the most handsome lad that Beauty—no, Bea, she reminded herself—had ever seen.

"May I join you?" he asked. "Name's Zabini, Blaise Zabini. Slytherin House. I'm a Sixth Year."

"My name's Beau—Bea," replied Bea. "I'm going to be, how do you say it? Oh, yes, a Firstie."

"Aren't you just adorable," Zabini remarked, stowing his gear in the rack above them and sitting opposite her. "Cold?"

"No, why do you ask?"

"You're hooded, and your hood is lined with fur from an animal I've never seen before." He leant forward to run a hand lightly over the trim. "What is it?"

"Oh, well, I think it's some form of snow tiger. Mum says it's quite rare."

"I should think so! Never felt anything—"

"Pardon me," another boy said, entering the car, "but may I join you?"

"She's a Firstie, Finch-Fletchley, so take your Hufflepuff arse off!"

Bea gasped. Zabini immediately looked chagrined.

"Forgive my rudeness. Do join us, Finch-Fletchley."

"Thank you, Zabini. Don't mind if I do." He turned to Bea and offered her his hand. "I'm called Justin, and you don't look a thing like a First Year."

Bea blushed.

"Bet you Sort Sparklypoo," Finch-Fletchley added.

Zabini, whom Finch-Fletchley had sat down next to, smacked him in the head. "Take that back. Bea's clearly too good for that House."

"Oh, you're right. I'm so sorry, Bea."

"What's Sparklypoo? I thought that the Houses were Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin?"

"Did you see those freakish girls?" asked another boy, from just outside the car. He strode in and sat next to Bea while Zabini and Finch-Fletchley looked on in dismay. "I'm Neville Longbottom, and you're lovely."

"Firstie," both Zabini and Finch-Fletchley retorted.

"Budge over," Longbottom said, taking a seat in between the two other boys. "Tell me all about yourself, pretty girl."

Zabini and Finch-Fletchley laughed.

"You must have had Weasley. You're never so bold."

Bea's hand flew to her mouth.

"Oh, how crude of me. Can you forgive me?" asked Finch-Fletchley.

Bea smiled kindly upon him. "Of course, if . . . ." She cast a pointed look in Longbottom's direction.

Finch-Fletchley apologised to him at once, and Bea was struck by how agreeable boys were. Her mother had told her that all men were "beasts" and to be wary of them. She was surprised to find that her darling mum had been so misguided and put down her confusion to having met other boys who were unpleasant. Surely, she reasoned, her mother would never lie.

Realising that Longbottom had asked her a question and not wishing to ignore him, she replied, "I have a pig that flies at home. I like pigs. They're very clean and smart."

"Brilliant!" the boys exclaimed, and then they began trying not to interrupt each other as they told her of their own pets.

Longbottom had just produced his familiar, Trevor, a noble-looking toad, for inspection and approval when all the boys turned to the door of the car. Standing in it was yet another terribly handsome boy.

"Well, hello," he drawled, looking intently at Bea. "I'm Michael Corner."

"She's just a Firstie, you git, er, Corner," Zabini said, while Finch-Fletchley and Longbottom nodded.

"I don't believe you," Corner replied, sitting down on Bea's free side. "I'm a Ravenclaw. I'll bet you'll Sort Ravenclaw, too."

"No, she'll Sort Slytherin."

"No. Hufflepuff."

"Gryffindor!"

Bea shook her head and issued a shivery, musical laugh. "You're all so kind and polite, but where is the male representative of Sparklypoo?"

The boys looked furtive and anywhere but at her. Finally, Longbottom cleared his throat and then spoke.

"I'm afraid that there are no male Sparklypoos."

"Oh," said Bea, "how sad."

Zabini, Finch-Fletchley, Longbottom, and Corner opened and then closed their mouths as if they wished to speak but couldn't find the words, and then they smiled at her warmly. Bea sat back, grateful for their politesse, and decided that she was going to like boys very much—as soon as she was old enough to do, of course. Her studies would have to come first.

~*~

When the Sorting Hat was placed on her head, Bea heard it, no, him (it was rude to think of something intelligent as an "it"), speak to her.

"Well, you're going to be a difficult one," he said. "By rights, you're meant for Sparklypoo, but I just can't do that to you. Where would you like to be Sorted?"

"I don't know. I've met such wonderful boys already, each from a different House. All the Houses must have their virtues, of course, but goodness, why should there be such separation? Aren't we all Hogwarts students?"

"What a wise little girl you are!" said the Hat. "Rules are rules, though, so you must be Sorted. You choose."

Bea thought quickly about the students she had met and those remarkable girls on the platform. She knew instinctively that they were, however impossible it seemed, disliked, and that decided her. No one should be so hated, and since people always warmed to her, it was her duty to see to it that she Sort Sparklypoo and end the malice towards the other girls like herself.

"Please, may I Sort Sparklypoo?"

"I see what you're thinking, you sweet girl, so yes—better be . . . Sparklypoo!"

"Thank you for being so dramatic, Mr Sorting Hat," Bea said graciously, dipping her head in acknowledgment of the applause her Sorting engendered as she moved to take her place at her House's table.

"Oh, thank you so much for not abandoning us!" a girl with the ears of a cat told her.

"Why, how did you know the Hat offered me a choice?"

"I've special psychic abilities, being the last of my kind," the girl replied.

"You're so very pretty and special," Bea said.

"Yes, I know."

Bea wasn't sure she liked the cat girl's tone; it was smug. Smugness never won any friends for anyone.

"I imagine that you'd never say such a thing to anyone outside our House, yes?" asked Bea.

The cat girl appeared startled, but she rallied quickly. "How right you are to mention that. I shan't any longer."

Bea was relieved—and happy to have already been of use. She knew, deep in her bones, that she could make people like her Sparklypoo sisters.

~*~

All was, however, not right in her House. After unpacking her things and meeting some of the others, she and her roommates went down to their common room to discover that their Head of House, Professor Nepenthe, was hosting a post-prandial highlighting party. None of the girls could explain why such a party was necessary; they'd always been ravishingly beautiful. It was unthinkable to them that their hair should be coming in mousy brown.

"You'd best check your own hair," the cat girl, who still hadn't seen fit to introduce herself properly, said to Bea as she handed her a mirror.

Bea looked into it and saw that her glossy, ebony locks were as glossy and as ebony as ever, but something prompted her to say, "Oh, dear," as she returned the mirror to the cat girl.

Their fingers brushed each other's, and Bea felt then something akin to an electrical spark pass between them as the cat girl waspishly told her, "You'd best attend to your hair."

Confused and nervous, Bea decided that her best course of action was to leave the common room before anyone noticed that she was still in looks. Besides, her mind had suddenly filled with images of destruction that she couldn't explain, and she was scared.

~*~

When Professor Dumbledore found her in the library sometime later, she learnt from him that Sparklypoo House was almost no more.

"Oh, no! That's dreadful. Those poor girls! But, well, for some reason, I think I knew it was going to happen," she told him, explaining about the spark.

"Ah," Professor Dumbledore said. "I thought as much. You took your friend's power into yourself."

"I don't steal!" Bea replied, indignant.

Professor Dumbledore laughed. "No, of course you don't, my dear, but you are special. Not for you is the annoying ability to change eye colour at will. No, you absorb the magical gifts of others."

"But I don't want to do that. It's wrong."

"Perhaps. Of course, it's my belief that Professor Nepenthe encouraged the ladies of Sparklypoo to fight and thus destroy themselves, and that isn't appropriate behaviour for a professor, is it?"

Bea bit her lip as an idea of what the Headmaster wanted from her entered her mind.

"I see you understand me. Evil must be stopped, Miss Belovodny. As a loyal student of Hogwarts, I feel I must encourage you to do your duty by the school."

With those words, he turned on his heel and left her.

It didn't seem fair, what the professor was asking. It didn't seem right, that he should want to use a child to complete so adult a task. But Bea did understand why he wanted Professor Nepenthe vanquished, and since she was a loyal student and didn't believe that evil should be permitted to flourish, she went in search of Professor Nepenthe.

~*~

As it turned out, Professor Nepenthe's special magical talent was in the persuasive use of her secret beauty; this Bea absorbed, leaving her Head of House a dried up husk on the stones of her office. Standing over her body, Bea felt a warm glow—a quite literal one—as the Aurors arrived sometime later. The light emanating from her worked on them remarkably well, for she found that they did believe her that there had never been a Professor Anastasia Nepenthe at Hogwarts, only a doll made up of corn that the silly, emotionally and mentally damaged members of "Sparklypoo" had created for themselves.

"In any case," Professor Dumbledore told the Aurors, "we've returned the girls to their parents for care. I can't imagine why you felt you were needed here, but as you can plainly see," he continued, pointing at what he'd taken to referring to as the effigy of the so-called professor, "there is nothing amiss."

Of course, the Aurors were confused; the Headmaster, himself, had summoned them, but they left in any case.

"Well done, Miss Belovodny," said Professor Dumbledore. "Now whatever shall we do with you?"

A variety of disturbing images flooded Bea's brain. She shuddered.

"Don't be frightened," said the Headmaster.

"Oh, I'm not. I'm merely disgusted. I know all about Harry Potter now."

"I beg your pardon?"

"I can see it. I can see what you're planning for him, and I don't like it, not one little bit."

Dumbledore drew his wand and pointed it at her without a word, only to yelp as if in pain and then drop it as it burst into flame.

"I don't know why that happened," said Bea, "except to say that it seems my special magical ability is that of calling luck to myself. Yes," she continued, as the Headmaster rubbed his burnt hand, "and I feel very lucky right now."

As she finished her little speech, which she hoped hadn't made her sound smug, Dumbledore's hand began to crumble into ash. And then his arm. And then his shoulders. And then he collapsed atop of the pile of ash that his body had become. Relieved, Bea walked through the pile repeatedly until the ashes were thoroughly scattered, and then made her way back to what had been the Sparklypoo common room.

~*~

When she entered the room, however, it was to find herself in Gryffindor's common room. Turning to look around, her view shifted, first to that of Hufflepuff's common room, then to Ravenclaw's, and finally, to Slytherin's.

"Please stop!" she shouted, covering her eyes with her hands.

Dry warm hands gently pulled her own away from her face, then, and a deep, silky voice met her ears. "None of that."

Bea opened her eyes. "Professor Snape."

"Beauty Belladonna Beatrice Belovodny," he replied, smirking at her in a heated way.

Bea flushed and cast her gaze upon her feet.

"Look at me, Firstie," Professor Snape said, an odd hoarseness to his tone. "Look at me, Lily."

The name met her ears and seemed to seep into her body like a spell, and Bea felt herself shifting and stretching and changing until . . . .

"Yes. It worked!"

Lily smiled up into Sev's eyes, remembering everything. "Well, of course it did. I've always been brilliant at Potions, haven't I been?"

He seized her into a fierce embrace, taking away her breath, and Lily yielded to him in spite of the fact that Sev was badly in need of a wash and a long session with a toothbrush—but oh, how she'd missed him!

And it had been worth it, hadn't it been? She'd borne her remarkable son. She'd "died" so that she could return to thwart the prophesied Sparklypooean menace and save Sev's life from the machinations of the wretched, unfeeling Albus Dumbledore—just as the two of them had planned in their fourth year after encountering Professor Trelawney during one of her prognostication sessions—and she and Sev had done it all with the aid of one of Dumbledore's own grimoires.

"I'm so glad we found that book!" she exclaimed, breaking their embrace. "But we'd best be off to finish Voldemort before he can do any more harm to my son."

"Our son."

"Oh, yes, my love. Our son."

For Sev, of course, was also brilliant at Potions, and his best work had been brewing the potion that had made their son favour James Potter so strongly.

"Will Harry understand, do you think?" Severus asked. "Will he be able to forgive us?"

"Of course he will. As you know, I'm very persuasive."

They laughed.

And so, Severus and Lily, pleased by the strength of both their magic and their mutual devotion, went forth to answer one last prophesy and rearrange the memory of their universe—for certainly it would have been inconvenient for anyone to have remembered Beauty Belladonna Beatrice Belovodny (but Lily remembered enough of her to want to fetch her flying pet pig)—before settling down at Hogwarts to enjoy a long and happy life together.

Their first act, once things were as they should have been all along, was to abolish the House system for all things save Quidditch.

No one minded that manner of Sorting at all.