The rumours spread like fiendfyre through the school. By the end of the first week, everyone has heard at least three different theories about the history between professors Storm and Brown. None of them quite hit the truth, but a few skirt painfully close — whispers of a torrid romance gone wrong; a marriage abandoned on the morning of the wedding; the ring that still hangs around Professor Storm’s neck. Thanks to the usual start-of-year lack of excitement, the mystery just keeps gaining traction.
The professors themselves manage the newfound fame with a surprising dignity. Professor Brown — new to the staff team, but an old hand at the teaching profession — is full of a carefully practiced closed-off warmth. His smiles and anecdote-filled snatches of advice are given freely, but there is a hardness under them that everybody sees but no one can worm past.
Professor Storm, on the other hand, is as brusque and brash as always, carrying on with her lessons with the cynical cheer that has made her one of the most popular members of staff at Hogwarts for years now. Indeed, if it weren’t for the slight (but noticeable) falter in her step when she swept into the Great Hall for the Welcoming Feast and first caught sight of Professor Brown, it’s unlikely that anyone would know there was anything bothering her about the new Professor.
Lix Storm’s poker face has always been one of her strengths, in and out of her old gaming circles. It’s not so hard, these days, to keep her infamous half-smirk on her face while she’s teaching, or sat up at the staff table, or patrolling the corridors. Even ignoring Randall’s sharp eyes takes less out of her than it would have a dozen or so years ago, when she was younger and less hardened.
But in her own rooms, when there is nobody to see her but the few portraits she’s hung in there, there is rarely a trace of a smile on her lips. Seeing Randall again is draining. Remembering is draining, and despite the decades she has spent trying to numb herself to the memories, remembering is all she seems to be doing, now. More and more often her eyes are drawn to the pensieve that sits in the corner of her room like a hardly-used phantom.
It’s a risk, she knows, to keep one so close to her when she’s so tangled in regret and guilt and yesterdays. Now more so than ever, what with Randall’s presence dragging up old hurts that should have been lain to rest long, long ago. Losing herself in what could have been would be so easy.
The strain will be too much soon — she knows herself well enough to know that. Randall, the memories, Sofia. The remorse she’s avoided for so long. But for now she pulls herself together each morning with a tight smile and a tumbler of her best firewhiskey, and ignores all the things tugging at her seams.
She has students to teach, after all.
i feel like lars von trier is the gay white boy with an aesthetic blog and really problematic text posts
"You shouldn’t be worried about equality, women can vote!" Ah yes now I can choose which straight white man can oppress me what a time to be alive