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Ok, here’s the next chapter. It’s not too great either, but hey, I’m just doing this for a lark. I still need betas, so if you’re into that kind of thing…And sorry if Draco is a bit of a weak character in this segment; he’ll get better, I promise. ********************************************************* More Questions Than Answers Alannah woke and panicked. *Where the hell am I?* It took her a moment before she remembered the prior nights events. Just as she was sitting up in hopes of sneaking off to her own room, Snape appeared at the door of the bedroom holding a cup of tea. “What happened? Why am I still here?” she demanded. Snape forced the teacup into her hands. She tried to take a sip, but it was still too hot. “You fell asleep,” he said. “I thought it a bad idea to leave you alone after what happened earlier.” “I need to get to class. What time is it?” she asked. Snape chuckled and Alannah stared. She had never heard Snape laugh. “What’s so funny?” she asked. “Nothing, it’s just that you must really be flustered,” he said in an amused voice. “It’s Saturday. You don’t have any classes.” She sank back on the bed. She was losing it. “The rest of the school is in Hogsmead,” Snape was saying. “If you want to go, you’d better get going soon.” “I don’t want to go,” she said. “I never really liked Hogsmead, and I have an ass-load of homework.” “Language, Leskevitch,” Snape said absently. “Do you want to tell me what happened last night that diminished you to a blubbering fool, or will I have to extract the memories directly from your mind?” “No, I don’t want to tell you, and you can’t read my thoughts; I’ve already seen to that,” she said, annoyed that the professor was not willing to just let her leave. “I know. You block your mind very well for one so young. I tried to see what was troubling you last night while you were sleeping.” “HOW DARE YOU!!!!!” Alannah shouted. “THOSE ARE MY THOUGHTS, MY MIND, MY SANCTUARY AND YOU INVADE THEM LIKE THEY ARE YOURS TO TAKE! YOU FUCKING SON OF A BITCH!!! I HATE YOU!!!! YOU STAY AWAY FROM ME, NEVER COME NEAR AGAIN!!!!” “Don’t use that language around me, Leskevitch,” Snape hissed. “And you would do well to control that temper. I didn’t see any of your thoughts; you guard them too well.” “It’s the principle, you bastard,” said Alannah, obviously still furious, though she was no longer screaming. “Congratulations, Miss Leskevitch, you have just earned yourself another month of detention.” Alannah threw the teacup on the ground and strode out of the room without looking back at Snape. Alannah was so angry she couldn’t see straight. She flung open the door to her room and collapsed on the bed, breathing deeply. The last thing she wanted was to have her potions teacher pity her. Before last night, she would have said that Snape could not pity anybody, but when she had been so miserable, he had been so...human. She never imagined that the ill-tempered professor could be so kind and gentle. Part of her knew that he just wanted o help her, and he thought that by knowing what had her screaming he could help her. She just didn’t want his help, didn’t need it. Alannah tried to do homework, but she couln’t force her brain to concentrate. With a sigh, she pushed aside her Defense Against the Dark Arts book and began changing into breeches and boots. Not may students used the stables, preferring that ridicules sport quiditch to the time-honored practice of horse-back-riding. Alannah found the presence of the large animals soothing, and there was nothing like the thrill of jumping a large oxar. Last year, she had gritted her teeth and spent an enormous amount of gold on a beautiful Friesian mare named Brio. As Alannah walked to Brio’s stall, she noticed that there was somebody in the tack room. Curious who would be riding while everybody else was in Hogsmead, she opened the door to the tack room and found herself face to face with Draco Malfoy. He was exceedingly good-looking in black breeches and a dark green jumper. “Oh, hello Alannah,” he said, looking only mildly surprised to see her. “Hello Draco. Glad to see I’m not the only one renouncing Hogsmead today,” she said. “I just didn’t much feel like shopping and the usual, how about you?” “Same. You wouldn’t want to join me there a little later, would you? I know I tried to woo you last year and it didn’t really work, but I thought now that I’m with the Order and all...” “You’re with the Order?” Alannah said sharply. “The Order of the Phoenix?” Draco looked confused. “Yes, is there another order?” “I thought you couldn’t join the Order until you graduated,” said Alannah. “Well, I guess they changed the rules, because Potter, Granger, Weasley, and yours truly are all members doing anti-Voldie work.” Alannah frowned. She would love to join, to make those bastards of the Dark Lord feel pain and humiliation, but she didn’t know that she could. Now though...perhaps she could talk to Dumbledore... “Alannah? How about two. I could meet you in the Great Hall and we could head over to the Three Broomsticks and grab a drink?” “Yes, that would be lovely, Draco,” she said, only half-hearing what he was saying. Alannah no longer felt like riding. Instead, she found herself in the dungeon corridor that led to Snape’s classroom. When she did not see him in either the classroom or his office, she pulled aside the curtain in front of the door to his rooms and knocked loudly on the dark wood. Snape flung open the door and looked surprised. “Hello, Miss Leskevitch, may I help you?” he said, sounding bewildered. “Can I come in? I need to ask you something?” she said. “I don’t know—“ he started, but Alannah had already walked past him. “What did you want?” he asked weakly. “I want to join the Order,” she said. “No,” Snape said simply. “Why not?” she said heatedly. “Malfoy and Potter, along with Potter’s little puppets are working as part of it. Why can’t I?” “Miss, Leskevitch, what you must understand is that the activities of Voldemort concern them greatly. Potter is the main target of the Dark Lord, and because they are his friends, Granger and Weasley are in danger as well. Malfoy is obviously useful, as he can inform us of what certain Death Eaters are up to, seeing as how half Slytherin House comes from a Dark family,” he explained. “So why can’t I join as well?” Alannah persisted. “Because business having to do with the Order or the Dark Lord does not concern you, Leskevitch.” “Oh? And how would you know that?” “Because—“ Snape began, but Alannah cut him off. “Lift up the hem of my shirt in the back,” she said. “Excuse me?” “Just do it.” Snape walked around to the other side of her and carefully lifted up the bottom of her blue sweater. He gasped. There was a long scar that disappeared up around the other side of her shoulder. A thick, white line, inturupting the smooth skin that covered her back. But that was not all. There, on the small of her back, was another scar. But it was not just any scar, it was the Dark Mark. ******************************************************* Alright, there you have it. Sorry it’s a bit of a cliffhanger, but I promise things will be explained. You will find out more about the Draco/Lucius/Voldie thing too, and maybe even a bit about our favorite Potions Master. As always, please review, and a big hug to those of you that already have. Oh, and don’t think that Alannah’s scar is some sort of thing like Potter’s scar. It’s quite different.

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