The Great Hall with its four long House tables and its staff table set at the top of the room was decorated as usual with floating candles that made the plates below glitter and glow.
Elizabeth who sat at the rear end of the Slytherin table looked up and saw how Dumbledore got o his feet at the staff table. The talk and laughter echoing around the Hall died away almost instantly.
“The very best of evening to you!” he said, smiling broadly, his arms opened wide as though to embrace the whole room. Elizabeth noticed that his right hand was as blackened and dead looking as a corpse.
The headmaster noticed some of the students looking at his hand. He merely smiled and shook his purple-and-gold sleeve over his injury.
“Nothing to worry about,” he said airily. “Now… to our new students, welcome, to our old students, welcome back! Another year full of magical education awaits you…”
Elizabeth got lost in her own thoughts and stared out into the ocean of student. Her mind travelled miles and miles away from the school.
“… and Mr. Filch, our caretaker, has asked me to say that there is a blanket ban on any joke items bought at the shop called Weasley’ Wizard Wheezes.
“Those wishing to play for their House Quidditch teams should give their names to their Heads of House as usual. We are also looking for new Quidditch commentators, who should do likewise.”
As the headmaster talked about Slughorn taking over the potion class and other things that, according to Elizabeth, had no interesting at all. And as the word echoed all over the Hall as people wondered wheel they had heard right, Elizabeth searched for her mentor at the staff table who was looking very anxious.
“Professor Snape, meanwhile,” said Dumbledore, raising voiceso that it carried over all the muttering, “will be taking the position of Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.”
As soon as the headmaster had finished, Potter stood up with a loud and clear ‘No!’, heads turned in his direction. He was staring up at the staff table, right at Snape.
You could almost hear the Granger girl talk with Potter who answered without looking away from the staff table. Snape, who was sitting on Dumbledore’s right, did not stand up his mention of his name; he merely raised a hand in lazy acknowledgment of the applause from the Slytherin table.
Dumbledore cleared his throat and the whole Hall erupted in a buzz of conversation at the news that Snape had finally achieved his heart’s desire. Seemingly oblivious to the sensational nature of the news he had just imparted, Dumbledore said nothing more about staff appointments, but waited a few seconds to ensure that the silence was absolute before continuing.
“Now, as everybody in this Hall knows, Lord Voldemort and his followers are once more at large and gaining in strength.”
The silence seemed to tauten and strain as Dumbledore spoke. Elizabeth glanced at Draco and saw that he wasn’t looking at Dumbledore, but making his fork hover in midair with his wand.
It’s like the headmaster’s words is unworthy of his attention… I wounder if it has anything to do with what he said on the train, Elizabeth thought to herself as she turned her attention back to the headmaster.
“I cannot emphasize strongly enough how dangerous the present situation is, and how much care each of us at Hogwarts must take to ensure that we remain safe. The castle’s magical fortifications have been strengthened over the summer, we are protected in new and more powerful ways, but we must still guard scrupulously against carelessness on the part of any student or member of staff. I urge you , therefore, to abide by any security restrictions that you teachers might impose upon you, however irksome you might find them – in particular, the rule that you are not to be out of after hours. I implore you, should you notice anything strange or suspicious within or outside the castle, to report it to a member of staff immediately. I trust you to conduct yourselves, always, with the utmost regard for your own and others’ safety.” Dumbledore’s blue eyes swept over the students before he smiled once more.
“But now, your beds await, as warm and comfortable as you could possibly wish, and I know that your top priority is to be well-rested for your lessons tomorrow. Let us therefore say good night. Pip pip!”
With the usual deafening scraping noise, the benches moved back and the hundreds of students began to file out of the Great Hall towards their dormitories.
Elizabeth didn’t sleep well that night. She laid in her bed, thinking back when she and Snape had been arguing about Balthazar, who the professor had thought was a jewellery death eaters only could get. He had been acting strange before they had said goodbye earlier that evening. But she couldn’t put her finger of what it had been.
The next day, Elizabeth skipped her first lesson, sending a note to the professor to make sure that she didn’t got in trouble for doing it, to talk with the headmaster. She had some serious matters.
She didn’t meet so many student or professors on the way, but that wasn’t so wierd with everyone attending their classes in one way or another.
As she reached her way to the headmasters office she knocked on the door as she walked up the stairs, held up by the giant griffin statue, and was greeted with a muffled invite.
At the large oak desk, in a solid high chair, sat the headmaster deep in thoughts.
“Excuse me, headmaster, but I’d like to talk with you about something…” She said as she walked up to the desk and took a seat as the headmaster gave her his attention and gestured her a seat.
“So, miss Braonáín, of what cause could you be wanna talking with me?” He asked gentle as he smiled.
“It’s about my education, sir,” she said as she build her courage up. The headmaster only nodded as if he already knew everything.
“Ah, yes of course… You want to start your apprentice training,” he answered even before she could say anything about her visit. She was stunned and could only nod as an answer to his words.
”Well, then… In what subject would you like to start your traning in?” He asked and looked at her over his half-moon shaped glases. Elizabeth hesitated for a moment.
”Deffence Against Dark Arts, sir” She answered and took a deep breath. The headmaster only nodded and gave her a small smile.
”Then, miss Braonáín, I shall talk to professor Snape and tell him that you’ll be starting tomorrow… And, ofcourse before I forget, you’ll also get your own room as your traning starts.” He said before he stod up and excused himself, saying he had a meeting to attend.
Elizabeth stod up and bowed to the headmaster before she left the office.
She had returned to her classes for the rest of the day and thought about skipping the meals just so she could pack all of her stuff in time for her moving to her new own place in the school.
I cant believe that the headmaster actually agreed on letting me take on my apprentice time, she thought for herself with a smile on her lips as she listened to one of the professors during the day.
As the day went Elizabeth found herself sooner then she thought was possible in the Slytherin girls dorm, looking at her stuff, that had been packed and sent away to another part of the castle.
What the heck happened to my stuff? She thought to herself as a piece of parchment came floating down right in front of her face. She grabbed the parchment and read the inscription.
“They’ve already moved my things?” she said to herself gob smacked. Well, then she didn’t need to worry about packing her stuff until late in the night. But the question still remained,where was her new room?!
She walked through the castle, the curfew getting closer and closer, looking for a teacher who could help her find her new place.
After what seemed like an eternity she ran into professor Snape.
“Ms Braonáín, what exactly do you think you’re doing out at this time of the evening… Shouldn’t you be in the girl dorm, sleeping by now?” he said calmly as he reached inside his cloak for a old watch which showed some few minutes past curfew.
“I was not meaning to go over curfew, sir. But I am looking for my new room..” she explained as he stop her.
“What are you talking about, ms Braonáín?” he asked in reply and she explained to him about the conversation with the headmaster and the news about her changing room on the school and that he was going to teach her in the DADA lessons. The professor turned around in a blink of an eye and was walking, really fast, away from there and Elizabeth didn’t understand a thing about what just got in to him. She shrugged her shoulders as she to walked away to find another teacher who possibly could help her.
She did after some time, and ten points taken from Slytherin, find a teacher who helped her.
The room was quite small, bigger than what she’d expected and had a wonderful, warm and cosy looking to itself, with a small touch of Slytherin in it. Elizabeth liked it and figured that she was going to feel really at home in the little room. But the most amazing thing to her, was that the small room didn’t just had that single room in it. It had a small bathroom with a bath and shower in it, a toilet and sink. Its floor and walls was covered with elegant black and white marmot. Elizabeth was so overwhelmed by it all that she almost screamed out in absolute joy, but hold herself quiet and jumped up and down several times in one minute as she walked back to the big queen size bed and laid down, groaning in bliss.
I’ll never leave this room, she thought to herself as she changed into her pyjamas and dived down beneath the beds duvet and relaxed. She had to get up early the next day, but she was so excited over her training and her new place that she couldn’t sleep nor felt that tired at all. She looked at her books that had been placed on the desk that was in the room and smiled to herself.
A chapter or so can’t hurt, I guess… I mean, he is writing good books, she thought as she got up from the bed and went for one of her books written by Gabriel S.T. Wreatchetburgh.
She opened the book and took the smell of her book in her nose and smiled. If there was one thing that Elizabeth loved, books was the thing.
At the same time, in a nother part of the castle, a sertent professor Snape was knocking hard on the door to the headmasters office. Snape opened the door without waiting for an inventation and stormed into the office. He walked up to the desk and slamed his hand in it.
”What is it that I hear about me teaching ms Braonáín?!” he asked quite mad.The headmaster,whom was reading some papers before calling in for the nght looked upat the professor, who was smelling a lot of Firewhiskey, and smiled.
”Lemondrops, Severus?” he asked lightly as Snape shoke his head.
”I don’t want your stupid candy, I want you to explain yourself!” he answered the old man. The headmaster sighed and leaned back in his big oak chair.
”You see, Severus, ms Braonáín has came to me and ask me to aprove her apprenticetraining with you for two years now. Don’t you understand how badly she want you to teach her your knowledge?”
Snape moved away from the desk in a second as if the desk was something dirty from the other side of life, that had came back to the living.
”I got nothing to teach her that will help her in the world we call life and reality.” he said with disgust dripping with those words.”I never agreed to teach apprentisses, Albus. You promised me!”
The headmaster noded in agreement as he looked at Snape.
”Yes, Severus, I did… I did promise you that.” he said and laid his both hands on the desk, as if he was holding the senario in them to him to see. ”But don’t you think it’s a bit mean toward her to not teach her, Severus?”
Snape looked at the old man, his mind was in rage and fightimg with itself. He sighed and shoke his head.
”Have it ever ocured to your brilliant mind, that I don’t wanna do this any more?” he simply asked as he left the headmasters office. He stoped at the door and after a minute or two the headmaster spoke.
”So, can I count on you taking her on as your apprentice then, Severus?”
Snape just nodded and dissapeared.
Back in his personal quaters, Snape sat by the fire which was dancing for all it had within its cage of shaped iron. Thanks to the headmaster, this evening had became just like one of those evenings where Severus’ world was crumbling down upon him and all he wished for was to drown all his emotions and thoughts with a bottle of Firewhiskey until he was numb enough to drift off to sleep. He had already by the time he got back, emptied the contents of four glasses but this was far from satisfactory.
Out of nowhere, Severus let out a joyless laugh, his voice full of bitterness as he spoke to himself.
”What are you trying to achive here, Albus? Fix me?” He shook his head while he poured himself a nother drink, as he thought of the thing that had destroyed his night. He well remembered the very first time that his student had requested of him to take her on as his apprentice.
Such foolish girl, to think that I would ever change my mind. He thought as he took a sip of his fifth glas. And that the headmaster would after so many tries be okay with it?!
”You’re such a fool to think that I would fall for what ever you have planed, Albus…” he spoke to himself once again.