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25 September 1992 - Snape on the Brain

"Good afternoon, Gwen. I was beginning to think you wouldn't be coming." said Dumbledore as I came sleepily into his office the following Sunday afternoon.

Smiling slightly, I replied, "I was awake most of the night and as a result I slept through most of this morning. I only woke up a little while ago."

With a warm understanding smile, my grandfather touched my shoulder as we walked together through the door that led to his personal living chambers.

"You had a difficult week." he observed softly as we settled into our usual chairs.

"I'm still so embarrassed. I really don't know what has gotten into me lately." I said as I took the cup of tea that my grandfather offered me. Raising my eyes to his, I asked, "Was I always so temperamental?"

Laughing fondly, Dumbledore replied, "You have always had a rather strong will."

"I suppose." I sighed as I took a sip of tea. "Plus Professor Snape always seems to know exactly what to say to make me angry."

"I'm sure he doesn't mean to."

"You don't really believe that do you?" I asked. "Of course he means to. Professor Snape knows exactly what he's doing!"

After taking a swallow of tea, Dumbledore replied, "Learn from the mistakes you've made, Gwen, and you'll find that the weeks to come will not be nearly as difficult as the time you already have behind you."

"I know you're right, Grandfather and I really do try to start each day telling myself not to let such petty nonsense upset me...but...." I paused a moment and shook my head in frustration. "Professor Snape-"

"You seem to spend a lot of time thinking about Severus." Dumbledore commented with a twinkle in his eye.

"I....what? No! No I don't." I retorted defensively.

"Dear, you have said his name three times in less than a minute." he pointed out with a grin.

For a moment I could only stare at my grandfather in amazement before I stammered, "That's because each and every time I have been angry, Professor Snape has been right there. Every time I look at him he is scowling at me as though he finds the mere sight of me annoying."

"I see...and do you look at him often?" asked my grandfather as he continued to smile.

"No, I do not look at him often!" I answered indignantly. Leaning forward in the chair, I added, "I see him at meals, staff meetings and occasionally we pass each other in the corridors and in spite of the fact that I have apologized for my part in our arguments, he has never once done the same. At the moment he seems to be ignoring me."

Dumbledore smiled at me a moment, than sat back in his chair and laughed.

"What's so amusing?" I asked.

"Poor Severus can't win." he replied. "If he speaks to you, you get angry. Now you claim he is ignoring you and you're still angry. Exactly what do you want from him, Gwen?"

My eyes widened as I answered. "Nothing! I don't want anything at all from Severus Snape!"

"And you say his name yet again." Leaning forward, my grandfather suggested quietly, "It appears to me that you want his approval."

"I don't care if he approves of me or not!" I exclaimed as I took another swallow of tea.

"Then why are you so upset, Gwen?"

"I'm not upset. I'm really not, he simply drives me up the wall!"

"You are aware that you just contradicted yourself aren't you?" smiled Dumbledore.

"No, I didn't." I argued. "Why should I care if a spooky, mean tempered professor believes that I'm a spoiled child that has had everything handed to me on a silver platter?"

"That's a good question, Gwen. Why does it bother you?"

"It doesn't."

"Then why do you spend so much time dwelling on it?"

Defeated, I slumped into the chair and answered, "I don't know. Perhaps it's because I've had more trouble adjusting to being here and Professor Snape is simply an easy target for my frustration."

Turning his gaze towards the window, my grandfather said softly, "I was around your age when I first came back to Hogwarts as a teacher and I recall feeling that like you, I was coming home when I accepted the position...As a student I believed that the teachers had everything so simple. It never occurred to me that the staff had personal lives of their own...that adult issues arose for them every single day....and for each of those days they had to put their personal problems aside and do what they were here to do...to teach, to guide and protect the students that were in their care." Smiling at me, he continued gently, "You are simply in the process of discovering what the rest of the staff has known for some time now...that we don't have all the answers....and life becomes more complicated when you are on the other side of the teacher's desk."

I felt myself smile slightly as I asked, "So it does get easier?"

"I promise you it will." he answered. "I have seen you with the students and it's obvious that you love what you are doing. As the months go by you'll find it easier to go about your work and live up to your responsibilities without letting personal issues interfere. I assure you, Gwen, you are by no means the first young professor to struggle with the transition from being a student to becoming a teacher."

"Thank you." I smiled gratefully. "I really needed to hear that."

Refilling my cup, my grandfather asked, "So tell me, what artistic endeavors will you be taking your students on this week?"

Feeling encouraged that I really did have the ability to face yet another week, I spent the remainder of my visit that week describing how my students would be studying the art of Tarot Magic. As always, I came away from my weekly talk with my grandfather believing that everything really would be all right and no problem was as insurmountable as it appeared.

*~*~*


26 September, 1992 - A Disturbing Dream


I carefully made my way down the narrow stairway that led to the dungeons, ignoring the chill in the air that covered my skin in goose bumps beneath the sheer, white night-gown.

The dungeon was dark and empty. The only illumination came from the fire that burned beneath a large simmering cauldron. Standing before the fireplace with his back to me, was the black robed Potions Master, his attention fixed on the bubbling potion.

Quietly approaching him, I whispered in a breathy voice, "Professor Snape, I wish to speak with you."

"So that means I am to stop everything I am doing simply because Dumbledore's Darling wishes me to?" he asked icily.

My chest swelling in anger, I replied, "That is exactly what I wish to speak with about, Professor Snape. I came down here to inform you that I am not going to tolerate your hostility against me any longer!"

Turning away from the cauldron, Snape glared at me, his features only partially illuminated by the fire as he hissed, "And how much longer must I tolerate what you have been doing to me?"

Tossing my hair behind my shoulders, I replied indignantly, "I have no idea what you are talking about! I've done nothing to you!"

"Yes, you have you manipulative temptress!" he snarled as he advanced on me, his black eyes gleaming. "You have troubled my sleep and bewitched my senses. Little by little you are driving me mad!"

"How dare you speak to me of such things!" I exclaimed as I turned away, intending to storm out the dungeon door.

To my surprise, Snape had suddenly crossed the room and pulled me roughly into his arms. "No more!" he hissed. "I can't contain myself any longer!"

"Unhand me you beast!" I demanded. Then, like something out of a horrible romance-novel, my bodice ripped.

Far from unhanding me, Snape dragged me down on the bed that had suddenly appeared in the middle of the dungeon. While my words protested, my body responded willingly to his icy cold touch as I eagerly reached up to put my arms around him, wanting more of his caresses and kisses. In that incredible moment of completion I was aware of the nearby cauldron bubbling higher before finally boiling over.



I was awakened abruptly as the gold bird on the clock began to sing, alerting me that it was time to get up and face another Monday morning. Sitting up in bed, I wondered what in the world had prompted that dream. As if I would ever let someone like Professor Snape so much as kiss my hand.

As I stood before the vanity mirror and ran a brush through my hair, I couldn't help but flush as I recalled the vivid details of the dream. It must be understood that at that time in my life, although I was thirty-one years of age, my knowledge of wizards was limited. After only being briefly involved with a couple of potential suitors, I had not experienced anything other than a few clumsy kisses goodnight. I had simply never met anyone that had invoked stronger emotions in me and over the years, had become comfortable with my solitude.

"But....Professor Snape?" I said incredulously to my reflection. "He's so....so......He's Professor Snape!"

"And your problem with that is what?" asked my mirror.

Trying not to dwell on the dream, I left my room and went down to the Great Hall for breakfast, desperately hoping that I wouldn't bump into Snape along the way.

My grandfather smiled at me as I approached the table. "Good morning, Gwen. You look well rested."

"I do?" I replied. "Oh...I...well...Yes I slept well last night. A very deep, heavy sleep."

Seated to my left was Gilderoy Lockhart, who was going on and on about the new book he was writing. On my right was my grandfather who was conversing with Minerva about the ongoing search for a new Muggle Studies teacher. I only caught bits and peices of what was being said, due to the fact that I had become aware that Snape had entered the Entrance Hall and was approaching the staff table.

I had wanted to avoid eye contact but didn't lower my gaze in time. His black eyes met with mine for a brief moment as he silently stalked by the table and took a chair next to Professor Flitwick. Stealing a glance at the Potions Master now and then, I could only imagine what his reaction would be if he had any idea that I had dreamed of him during the night....no doubt he would find it sadistically amusing.

Thankfully, I did not have any more contact with Professor Snape for the rest of the day and was somehow able to keep my mind on my lessons as my students were finally given a chance to create full color paintings.

Almost finding the dream humorous by the time supper was over, I retired to my room that evening positive that the previous night's erotic images would not be repeated. I soon discovered that I was mistaken.

*~*~*



27 September, 1992 - "I Like It Spooky"


As before, I found myself descending the dark, cold staircase that led to the dungeons wearing only the same sheer, white nightgown that I had worn the previous evening.

Entering the empty potions classroom, I noticed that the door to Snape's office was open. Silent as a cat, I crossed the room that was as usual, only illuminated by the fire beneath the cauldron.

Snape was there at his desk when I stepped into his office. His eyes gleamed as his long black hair partially obscured his pale, drawn face. Tossing my hair back, I approached his desk as he silently glared at me.

"Professor Snape," I whispered, "I want you to know that I forgive you for your barbaric, animalistic behavior."

"Are you sure that's the only reason you came down here?" he asked snidely.

"Indeed, it is." I answered curtly.

"Are you certain of that?" he said softly as he rose from his chair and walked around to the front of his desk. Glaring at me, he continued in his soft, icy voice, "You could have told me that in the Great Hall or the staff room. Instead you have left your warm, royal bedchambers to come down here where it is dark and cold and spooky."

Flustered, I glared at him and said breathlessly, "I like it spooky!"

With a growl, Snape pulled me tightly against him, his fingernails digging into my back as he covered the side of my neck with kisses.

"No!" I protested as I made a half hearted attempt to pull away. "We can't! This is wrong!"

"You can't deny me!" he whispered hoarsely.

Keeping one arm tightly around my waist, Snape swept the pile of parchment along with an assortment of small bottles off of his desk and on to the floor.

"But, Professor Snape," I exclaimed as he laid me back on his desk. "That was homework that your students handed in. It all needs to be graded!"

"It doesn't matter!" he hissed as he embraced me. "They are all a bunch of dunderheads who are bound to fail anyway!"

Putting my arms around him, I arched my back and submitted to his passionate demands.

"Yes, my love!" I sighed.



The golden bird on my clock awakened me with a pleasant rendition of "Greensleeves". Sitting up in bed, I pushed my hair out of my eyes and thought about the vivid dream I had just had.

"I like it spooky?" I said incredulously. Shaking my head, I jumped out of bed and said out loud, "This has got to stop."

As I got dressed and ready to face the day I realized with a groan that it was Tuesday which meant there was a staff meeting in the faculty room immediately after the afternoon classes were dismissed. I could more or less avoid Snape the rest of the day but it would be rather difficult when we all assembled in for the meeting.

Oh well, I reminded myself, he typically stands at the back of the room. Perhaps if I take my time getting there he will already be in the meeting when I arrive and there will be no need to speak to or make eye contact with him.

The better part of Tuesday was more or less a repeat of Monday. I only saw Snape as he passed by the table at breakfast and took a seat next to Professor Sprout. As the afternoon drew to a close, I had almost managed to put the dreams I had been having out of my mind and thought that perhaps the staff meeting would not be as difficult as I had feared. Besides I hadn't mentioned my dreams to anyone so Snape couldn't possibly know about them. There was nothing at all to worry about.

At last the final dismissal bell rang. Watching my students file slowly out the door, I remained at my desk with the intention of not going to the staff room until the last possible moment.

My thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the sound of loud voices along with flashes of light. Hurrying to the classroom door I saw that a small group of students had gotten into a fight in the corridor and were now casting hexes as each other. One of them, to my surprise, was Neville Longbottom, along with Harry and his friend Ron. The other three students that were involved was Draco Malfoy and two other Slytherins whose names were unknown to me.

"Enough!" I said sharply as I stepped out into the corridor.

To my surprise, the hexing came to an abrupt halt as the students all looked at me sheepishly. Glaring at them, I demanded, "What do all of you think you're doing?"

They never had a chance to answer for at that moment, Professor Snape emerged from the surrounding crowd of students, once again mysteriously on the same floor as my classroom. Without a word, he approached the boys who had been involved in the scuffle and glared down his hooked nose at them. It was then that I noticed that Draco and his friends' skin had all erupted in ugly red blisters.

"Hospital wing." Snape said softly. Turning his eyes to the three Gryffindors he whispered, "All of you. Thursday evening, detention in Filch's office."

I could see the looks of outrage on Ron and Harry's face while poor Neville looked in bewilderment and fear at the glowering Potions Master. Surely Snape had noticed that the three Slytherin students were involved as well.

"Professor Snape, what about Draco Malfoy and the other two Slytherins?" I asked calmly.

Fixing his dark gaze on me, he answered softly, "You saw the state they were in. I believe they have suffered enough."

Oh really?, I thought defiantly.

I'm sure Snape expected me to step forward and challenge him but I managed to keep my thoughts to myself. While I had not been a teacher very long, I knew a few things about how detentions were handled...and with this incident taking place right outside of my classroom, I had the ability to step in and conduct the detentions as I saw fit but I saw no reason to remind Snape of that fact at that particular moment. With a small smile, I quietly went on my way to the staff meeting aware with each step that the Potions Master was walking beside me.

Thinking of the expressions on the faces of the three Gryffindor students, I thought to myself, Don't worry. This isn't over. I'll take care of it.

*~*~*


28 September - Sybill Trelawney


For the third morning in a row, I abruptly awoke from a rather...intense dream about Professor Snape. Once again I had gone down to the dungeon in that ridiculous sheer lace nightgown and paid Snape a visit in his office. In the most recent dream however I had been the aggressive one, eventually causing the buttons to be torn from the Potions Master's frock coat as I pulled him roughly to that damn bed that again seemed to materialize in the middle of the classroom.

"I can't stand this anymore!" I ranted to myself as I got dressed for classes that morning. "As if I would ever allow Professor Snape of all people! I'm sure the man sleeps in a coffin!" Roughly running the brush through my hair I continued, "Why is this happening? And more importantly, when will it stop?"

During the lunch break, I went to the staff room with the intention of adjusting the scheduled detentions so that they Harry, Ron and Neville would come to my classroom the following evening. While I agreed that they did need to be punished for fighting and casting hexes in the corridor, it bothered me that Snape had allowed the Slytherin students to get off scot-free. Once I had made the adjustments, I noticed that the Divination teacher, Sibyll Trelawney had a free period that afternoon.

I had not known Professor Trelawney when I was a student at Hogwarts so I had no way of knowing exactly how skilled she was in the art of Divination but figured she couldn't be as bad as many of the students...and some of the other staff members...said she was. My grandfather never would have hired her if she was unable to do the job.

Wanting another opinion on my dreams besides my own, I decided to pay Sibyll a visit while we were both free that afternoon.

The Divination classroom was very much the way I remembered it although the current professor appeared to keep it a little darker than her predecessor had plus the air was thick with perfume that I was sure caused many students to get headaches after an hour or so.

"I knew you were coming to see me." said a somewhat cold and misty voice from the back corner.

Trying to appear friendly I smiled and said, "Then at least I didn't take you by surprise. Do you have a moment?"

"Why don't you tell me?" the thin woman shot back sarcastically as she stepped further into the room.

"I beg your pardon?" I asked, wondering what I had done to offend this woman.

"Well, it's common knowledge that everyone thinks you should have been given this class. Therefore you with your superior gift of the Sight should already know if I have a 'moment' or not."

Groaning inwardly I thought to myself that the last thing I needed was yet another professor who felt hostile towards me.

"Professor Trelawney," I said respectfully. "I have no interest in teaching Divination and am quite happy with what I'm doing right now. Actually, I've come here because I was hoping you could help me with some dream interpretation."

Her already vastly magnified eyes widened slightly begind her large spectacles.
"You, the Mistress of Dreams...granddaughter of the great Seer, Gabrielle Corwin, need my help?" she asked.

Mistress of Dreams? That was a new one. First "Dumbledore's Darling", now this. I was starting to wonder if I should just hand in my resignation and go home.

"Yes, I can't seem to make sense of them and....Professor..you are the Divination teacher, which is why you were the first person I thought of." I explained sincerely.

The thin woman's demeanor changed and she looked quite pleased at what I had just said. With a smile, she gestured towards one of the tables and said in a more pleasant voice, "Of course, Professor Archer. Do sit down and tell me all about it."

As we took our chairs, Sibyll placed a cup of herbal tea before me then stared at me with great intent.

Sipping my tea, I began, "A friend of mine contacted me recently and told me about these...disturbing dreams she has been having. They have occurred three nights in a row and she has begun to wonder if that means anything."

"Oh it does!" she shrieked. "A dream taking place three nights in a row means that what occurs in the dream will come to pass!"

"Are you sure?" I asked warily.


"Indeed, I am. What happens in these dreams? Does your friend dream of death?"

"I....No...No she doesn't." I replied. "My friend has been dreaming of a wizard that she knows in her real life...and she doesn't get along with him. In fact, she and this wizard detest each other. They often fight and he is always berating her and making her feel like she's had everything handed to her."

"Oh!...Like you and Professor Snape!" Sibyll smiled.

"Yes...I mean no!" I stammered. "I...anyway...the dreams she has been having...they are..."

"They are what?" asked Sibyll when my voice trailed off.

Trying hard not to blush I answered, "They are...erotic in nature. Very very erotic."

"Oh, I love those dreams." the thin woman laughed.

"So, as you can see," I continued, "it bothers her that she has dreams of that nature about someone that she can't stand. She wants them to stop but they seem to be getting more and more vivid."

After a pause, Sibyll asked, "You say he berates her and makes her feel like she doesn't deserve what has been given to her?"

"Correct."

"Well, I would say that she wants to show this wizard that she is in fact an equal and every bit as good she believes she is. The erotic nature of the dream is simply a symbol that she is someone that the wizard should in fact take seriously." Sibyll explained.

I considered this explanation a moment then said happily, "That makes sense! It really does. I don't know why I didn't see it before. Thank you. Thank you so much for helping me to sort this out!"

With a beaming smile, Sibyll replied, "Oh, not at all, my dear. I'm glad I could help." After a pause she added, "Of course, there is one other thing these dreams could mean."

"What is that?" I asked as I finished my tea.

"Well, while your friend won't admit this to herself she could simply be wanting this wizard to take her and do her until the owls come home." she smiled impishly.

Stunned, I said softly, "I.....no...I don't believe that's it."

A moment later the thin woman snatched my tea cup and closely examined the leaves then said, "It appears to me that is exactly what is going to happen. Lucky girl!"

"No, wait!" I exclaimed. "Those are my tea leaves. Don't you need to read the leaves for..for my friend...to do a reading for her?"

Sibyll turned her greatly magnified eyes towards me then after a pause said, "You're right. How interesting." Once again she examined the tea leaves before asking, "Do you know this wizard who has been giving your friend such a difficult time?"

"No." I answered trying to sound convincing.

"Really?" she replied, then with a girlish giggle, she said, "Well, you're going to. You're going to know him very well!"

"I see." I said softly, not liking the idea at all. Rising from my chair, I added, "Thank you again for your time, Professor. I do appreciate it."

"Oh, anytime, Professor Archer." she replied.

Stunned, I left the Divination classroom than stopped in the corridor to ponder what Professor Trelawney had said about the tea leaves.

Running my hand through my hair I whispered, "She really is a fraud."

*~*~*


29 September, 1992 - Victory


Much to my delight, I managed to sleep through the following night without another dream about Professor Snape. More the likely, Professor Trelawney had been correct in that the Potions Master's snide remarks had been causing me to doubt whether I was indeed qualified to be a teacher at Hogwarts and that I desired to be seen as an equal.

With new determination, I went downstairs to face yet another day of classes, resolved to be every inch the professional that my grandfather believed I could be. As usual, Thursday's class was my favorite and that week we began our work on the Tarot Trumps with the assignment being to design the Fool card in whatever color medium they preferred. It was fascinating to walk around the classroom and see the different interpretations for this particular card. The Fool of course, did not stand for being foolish. Instead it represented a new stage of life...a "babe in the woods" period that is usually met with great enthusiasm but tends to have it's pitfalls that the Fool needs to learn to watch out for.

Which sounds a lot like my life at the moment, I thought to myself.

At the end of the day, I sat down at my desk at the front of the classroom and proceeded to grade homework. Neville of course remained behind for detention.

A few minutes later, Harry and Ron came hesitantly to the door.

"Come in." I smiled. "If you brought any of your homework along you may as well work on that."

Taking seats in the desks next to Neville, Ron said tentatively, "We thought the other day that Snape had assigned our detention with Filch."

"He did," I explained. "but I thought that was a bit harsh and since I didn't have much to do this evening I thought your detention would be better served here."

From the looks on their faces, the change in plans was acceptable to them and the three boys got to work on an essay for Professor McGonagall's class. I left them to their work and continued grading that day's drawings.

A little over an hour later, I was aware of the students putting their quills and parchment away. Raising my gaze to them I asked, "All finished?"

They nodded, looking unsure about what would happen next.

Glancing at the hourglass I explained, "I'm afraid I can't let you go for another forty-five minutes. If you have nothing else to work on you could play Exploding Snap or something. Neville there should be a deck of cards in that supply cabinet behind you."

Beaming, Neville got up from the desk to retrieve the cards while Ron and Harry looked at me as though I were speaking in a foreign language. Smiling, I explained, "As I said earlier, I believe that the three of you were treated unfairly. You're being detained when you would rather be in the common room with your friends...I believe that is punishment enough for such a minor offense."

So for the remainder of the time they were there, the students played Exploding Snap while I pretended not to notice. Now, years later, I look back on that time and realize that allowing students to play during detention was not exactly the best way to be taken seriously as a teacher.

At one point, I became aware of a pair of glowing, lamp-like eyes staring at me from the corridor.

Pausing in my work, I raised my eyes to Mrs. Norris. While I absolutely adored cats, there was something about Filch's skeletal feline that I found distasteful. After staring back at me a moment, she sauntered down the corridor, no doubt to inform the caretaker that Ron, Harry and Neville were not being punished enough.

"Fine, go tell him." I muttered to myself. "There is nothing he can do."

At long last the last grains of sand passed through the hourglass. Rising from my chair I smiled and said, "All right. You three have done your time so let's all call it an evening and get ready for supper."

Looking grateful, I noticed all three of them lingered in the corridor while I locked up my classroom for the night. Feeling pleased with myself, I walked along towards the common room with them since my own chambers were close to Gryffindor Tower.

We hadn't gone far when Ron glanced over his shoulder and whispered, "He looks angry."

Turning around, we saw Professor Snape angrily walking down the corridor with his black robes billowing behind him. Further down the hallway, I could see Filch and Mrs. Norris. So that cat had in fact gone and tattled on me.

Harry grumbled, "He's probably going to make us go to another detention."

"No he won't!" I said firmly. "Don't worry. Everything will be just fine."

With that, I turned around and walked briskly down the corridor to confront Snape. His eyes gleamed and his lip was curled in a hateful snarl. Oh well, there was nothing he could do. This time I had done my homework before taking any action.

As we had so many times since the term began, we assumed our toe to toe battle stance and glared at each other.

"Professor Archer," he said icily. "these students were supposed to be doing work for Filch this evening."

"Yes they were," I replied. "until I made some changes, as I had every right to do."

"And what did you have them do?" he smirked. "Play with finger paints?"

Ignoring that remark I said firmly, "They have served their detention and now have a clean slate...which is more than I can say for your Slytherin students."

Pointing at the boys who were apparently still standing a few yards behind me, Snape said coldly, "They will be required to attend their original detention tomorrow evening."

"Ah, ah, ah!" I said as the Potions Master started to turn away from me. "I don't think so."

His black eyes widening, Snape stopped in mid-stride and looked back at me.

Smiling sarcastically, I explained, "Just to make sure that I wasn't over-stepping my bounds, I did some research and found that since the incident involving these students took place more or less in the doorway to my classroom, it is up to me to assign detention. Even if someone such as yourself interferes, I still have the ability to step in and assign the punishment that I see fit."

Crossing my arms, I continued, "As I said a moment ago, they have served their detention and now have a clean slate. To assign them yet another detention for nothing...well, I'm sure you would agree that would be wrong....not to mention, very unprofessional of you."

There was a long moment of silence as Snape turned back and slowly walked forward, glaring at me furiously down his long hooked nose.

"He's going to kill her!" Neville squeaked in a terrified voice.

I returned Snape's glare as he loomed before me, refusing to give an inch. As I studied his expression, I couldn't help but notice that he looked very similar to the way he had in my first dream when he had lunged at me and said that he couldn't contain himself any longer.

No sooner had the thought gone through my mind when Snape suddenly looked uncertain, his eyebrows furrowing slightly. Without a word, he took a step backward and drew his black robes around him before finally turning his back on me and walking away.

At first all I could do was stand there and watch as he disappeared into the shadows, then the realization hit me that I had won. I won and I didn't have to throw a tantrum to do it.

With a sense of accomplishment, I turned back to the three students who were still in the corridor watching and said, "Time to get to the common room and get cleaned up. You don't want to be late for dinner."

*~*~*


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