Chapter 4: To the Library and Lunch
Alice sat in the chair, hidden by books. She held a copy of Hogwarts, A History, and was reading about the enchanted ceiling. It wasn't the most interesting material she'd ever read, but it was informative. She'd need as much information about her new home as possible.
She closed the book and set it down on a nearby table, resolving to check it out later. She was careful to keep hidden; Alice could hear the students talking about her, their rumors getting more and more ridiculous. Sighing, she picked up a quill and looked at it.
How on earth am I going to survive writing with one of these? My handwriting's bad enough already. Alice thought, unhappy. She wished she had a good old ballpoint pen. Alice picked up a piece of parchment and began a letter to Ashley White, or Ash, her best friend. Ash lived right across the street from Alice's house, and Alice knew it would have probably been her misfortune to discover the bodies... but Alice didn't want to think about bodies, she just wanted to let Ash know she was ok.
I know you're probably worried about me, but I'm just fine. I'm with dad now... I'm sorry that I didn't come to you when I discovered tehm dead, but the murderers were still in the house, and I know they only would've followed me. I'm afraid they would have just killed you as well. Don't worry about me, please, because I'm ok now.
I miss you and I hope you're ok.
Alice read and re-read the note over and over again before folding it in half. She folded it in half again and again until it was very small. She decided she would ask her father to send it later. She slipped the note into her pocket and looked back at Hogwarts
Later, when very few people were in the library, Alice took Hogwarts, a History and several other books about potions up to Madam Pince to check out. Madam Pince looked at her quite sympathetically as she told her the due dates and handed them back.
Walking out of the library, Alice noticed that one of the few people who were still in the library had been watching her, and had probably witnessed the exchange between her and the librarian. He had very blond hair, almost white, and grey eyes that seemed hauntingly familiar. He was staring at her, and for some reason Alice didn't like the fact that he was.
She hurried on from the library and headed towards her father's office. She'd only made the trek once from his office to the library, but she had a stunning memory for directions and seldom got lost anywhere. Alice hurried through the halls until she came to the Entrance Hall and found the staircase leading to the dungeons. Heading down them, she entered the cold, dank dungeon and stopped halfway down the passageway in front of a large, black door with a polished silver handle.
She opened the door and went inside, closing it behind her. Leaning against the door, she looked around the dark room and collected herself. For some reason, she felt as if she'd just been chased a very long way and had only just escaped. But then, I have, haven't I? she thought. Not just from those men, but from everyone. Alice felt suddenly alone, and she wished that her father didn't have to teach classes.
She gingerly picked up her wand from atop her father's desk where she had left it that morning. Feeling the polished ebony grow warm beneath her fingers was comforting, and she felt a little less alone.
After starting a fire with her wand, she placed it in her back pocket and crossed her arms, looking around. She smiled as she recognized some of the ingredients floating in the jars. Dragon's lung, that's hard to get a hold of, She thought, walking up and down the row of shelves and admiring each jar of disgusting yet rare ingredients.
Alice had a passion and a gift for potions that she attributed solely to her father. For as long as she could remember, he had been the Potions Master at Hogwarts, and brewing complex potions with top marks at her school had made her feel proud of herself; and on lonely nights when she missed her father, it made her feel as if he was proud of her. When she worked with potions, she felt connected to him, no matter how far away he was.
She sighed and sat down, looking into the fire. She remembered an exchange with Ash a year or two ago, when Alice had cancelled yet another movie night to work on a difficult potion.
"You're still a potions fanatic, aren't you? Do you think your dad even cares? It's probably won't impress him, you always said he like DADA better."
"Yeah, but it's not just about dad. I never feel quite so... i don't know, competent, as I do when i'm brewing a potion. It's my strongest feature, Ash, and you know it."
"No, your strongest feature is that you still care what he thinks when he probably hasn't thought of you in years."
"I like potions and it's never going to change, so can we drop it, Ash?"
"Oh, but Ash, he has thought of me. He's thought of me for a long time and mom was just being mom. Alice sighed and grabbed a book from the table next to her. Flipping through the pages, she picked up her wand and got ready to work.
"Duplicus!" she said, pointing her wand at the first page, which glowed a pale yellow before a slip of paper exactly duplicate to the paper, down to the last tiny crease and smudge, drifted from the ceiling to land in her lap. She continued doing this with each page that followed until she had a nice mound of paper in her lap. She put her wand in the book to hold the page and picked up the papers, shuffling them into a neat stack.
This was what she was doing when her father walked in. She looked up at him and gave him a faint smile. He returned it, and arched a brow at the stack of papers.
"Copies of information on potions," she said in response to his look.
"Ah, you're still a potions fanatic, then?"
"Always will be," she replied with a grin that was completely real, completley proud, and completley satisfying to Severus Snape. It showed him that she was healing somewhat in the emotional department, and he was pleased.He had hoped that Hogwarts and its students might have a positive effect on her, lifting her spirits and healing her heart.
She looked back down at the stack of papers and pointed her wand.
"Riotilus," she murmured, and a page near the bottom of the stack neatly wiggled its way out and floated into the air, gently lowering to rest on the top of the stack. She picked it up and handed it to her father. "I was wondering if I might have time to begin brewing that before bed tonight?"
"You would, but you'll be sleeping in your own room tonight. The headmaster wishes you sorted at dinner."
"What?!" Alice said, looking up at him.
"I said the headmaster wants you sorted tonight. At dinner, you will be sorted into a house, and from then on you will attend classes with your house, eat with your house, share a common room with your house, and share a dormitory with the girls of your house who are in the same year." She continued to stare at him.
"You mean I have to be sorted in front of everyone? What happens if I don't get put into any 'house' at all?"
"Don't worry about it Alice, you'll get sorted, and wherever you get sorted into, you'll most likely find people interested in the same things you are, so it shouldn't be long before you've made a few friends."
"Dad, soeaking of students... Do you teach any boys with white-blond hair and grey eyes?"
"Hmm?" He asked, looking up, startled. "why?"
"There was a boy in the library who looked very familiar, and I wondered if you taught him. He had blond hair and grey eyes."
"It was most likely Draco Malfoy," Severus replied, looking back down at the paper. Alice thought for a moment.
"Malfoy? wasn't someone named Malfoy just sent to Azkaban?" when her father gave a her a strange look, she shrugged. "I receive the Daily Prophet and the Wizarding Times, as well as the German and Italian papers. Terry used to help me translate them." she looked back down at the stack of papers and placed it on a table, standing up. "Is it time for lunch yet?" she asked, effectively changing the subject.
"That is the reason I came down here. I was wondering if you wanted to eat in the Great Hall, or eat in here."
"I should probably eat in the Great Hall... the more time I spend out of sight, the more rumors I'll have to deal with when I finally show up in public. I heard some girls in the library this morning, and apparently I've moved up a few ranks and am now married to you." She made a face. He shook his head.
"Well then, if you wish to eat in the Great Hall, we should probably head up there now or we'll be late." She nodded and followed him as he opened the door to his office and led her up the dungeon stairs into the entrance hall. They headed into the Great Hall, which was almost full. There were two empty chairs at the staff table to the left of the large chair Alice guessed was the Headmaster's chair. She looked in curiosity upon the man seated there.
"Albus Dumbledore?" she asked as they walked to the sets, glancing up at her father. He nodded. When they approached the chairs, he motioned for her to sit next to Dumbledore. She gave him a questioning look, but sat in the chair.
"The headmaster wishes to speak with you." Alice nodded understanding and looked over at Dumbledore.
"Good Afternoon, Miss Snape. Though it is most unfortunate what brings you here, we are glad to have you," Dumbledore said, turning to look at her. She was startled by how young his eyes seemed.
"Thank you, Sir," she managed to reply. She looked down at the silver plates covering the table and gasped when they filled with food. Her father smiled.
"I had heard about that, but I just wasn't ready for it," she said, shaking her head. Dumbledore looked down, picking out a nice slice of roast.
"How are you feeling about the sorting at dinner, Miss Snape?" he asked, looking at Alice as she selected an apple from a basket of fruit.
"I don't suppose I'm quite ready yet, but I know it's something best dealt with sooner than later. And please, call me Allison, Sir." Alice smiled at him and he smiled back, his long white beard twitching upwards as the skin surrounding his blue eyes crinkled at the corners. In that instant she decided this was a person she could get to like.
The rest of the lunch went quite quietly; the only events occurring were the introductions of the other teachers. She recognized Professor McGonogall as someone who would be strict but fair, and the tiny Professor Flitwick was very amusing. Professor Sprout seemed quiet, and the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, a pretty witch with short, feathery black hair, seemed even quieter. The other teachers were friendly, but none were very noticeable.
When the lunch was over, Alice managed to slip out of the room and through the crowd of students without much notice. Her father had to teach a class immediately after lunch, so she had decided to take a nap rather than stay awake and worry about the sorting. Slipping into her father's office, she went through the door in the corner and entered his room. Looking around now, she noticed things she had not noticed the night before.
The room was furbished in green and silver with plush black rugs covering the cold stone floor. The bed was a huge four-poster made of ebony and covered in green sheets. The pillows were green and silver striped, as was the underside of the soft down comforter covering the bed.
She slipped off her shoes and lay down on top of the bed, stretching out. It wasn't long before she fell asleep.
AN: ok... chapter five is deifnately going to take a while. I had up until seven written, but I combined a few chapters so that the story made more sense, so now I have chapter six and seven, but no chapter five. sorry guys ^^; I'll try to get it written as soon as possible.
I'd love ot hear what you think of it so far. ^^
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