The Halloween feast was, as it always had been, delightful for Kya. With the provided entertainment, everyone was too distracted to notice Professor Snape offer a seat to Professor Alabaster. She was in too good a mood to refuse. She felt nothing could set her off that night.

Professor Snape was encouraged by Professor Alabaster's acceptance of his invitation. He thought that perhaps after dinner, he could pull her aside and get her talking. Soon, she would be speaking to him as she did with all the other faculty members, and her short-lived career would end after the truth was out. Even the Headmaster would be convinced of her incompetence.

The feast took hours with the entertainment, which was enjoyed by most. During dinner, it appeared that everyone was getting into the spirit of things. Everyone was involved in a game of "What the heck killed the Bloody Baron?" Many of the older years enjoyed making up charms and potions that would have described resultes that made the younger years do a double take with Snape and Flitwick. While Professor Flitwick would laugh at the more absurd charms, thus giving away the hoax of the more gruesome tales, Snape ended up with more shaking students in one sitting than in an entire week of first years. He neither confirmed or denied the tales some came up with, but instead gave cryptic answers such as "There are some things they won't teach to Hogwarts students."

Soon, students and teachers alike were ready to leave, all feeling very full, to get a good nights rest. There was a note of excitement in the air since the start of the Quidditch season was to take place the following day. It was always Slytherin versus Gryffindor. The rivalry between the two houses always fueled the players on the field as well as the crowd.

As he saw all the students just about gone from the Great Hall, Professor Snape caught up to Professor Alabaster.

"Professor, I'm wondering if you would join me in my office for some tea." Professor Snape said as politely as only Professor Snape could.

"I'm not sure. I am pretty tired." Professor Snape could see that she was trying to be courteous, but he noted the hint of annoyance with him. He was positive that if they didn't speak tonight, he might never get the opportunity again. If she truly was tired, than she would more likely make more mistakes, and something he could use against her may slip out.

"Please. I insist." Professor Snape finally said.

Reluctantly, Professor Alabaster agreed. She thought to herself that if one sign of trouble appears, she could always leave his presence and arrange to change classrooms to avoid him.

Professor Snape led the way to his office. As they entered, Professor Alabaster felt a chill go up her spine. Noticing this, Professor Snape lifted his wand and lit a fire to help her feel more comfortable and, hopefully, more open.

A kettle appeared over the fire and the water within began to boil. Professor Snape turned to Professor Alabaster, "What kind would you like?"

Professor Alabaster looked at him and said, "Doesn't make much difference. As long as there is no caffeine in it. I'd never get any sleep tonight."

Professor Snape grabbed some tealeaves from the shelves behind him. Although he was more of a coffee drinker, and not much of a tea drinker, he did keep some for occasions when he needed to be relaxed.

"Professor Alabaster. I asked you here tonight so that we may get this pointless feud out in the open and resolved. It will help neither of us in doing our jobs, and can make our jobs more difficult in the end." Professor Snape said, quite frankly.

Professor Alabaster turned to him, and nodded her head in agreement. She didn't like the idea of having Professor Snape speaking in such a negative tone about her to her students, but she also didn't like the discomfort in having to see him around Hogwarts everyday, suspecting that he was up to no good. As a student, Kya had remembered that Professor Snape seemed unfair and cruel to those outside his house. Because of how many years he had been at Hogwarts, there was no changing him. The only reason she had yelled at him so was because she felt that, as authority figures, they should at least respect each other enough to form a solid foundation.

Professor Snape handed a cup to Professor Alabaster, who took it, and blew across the top to cool it down. He than sat across the desk from her, holding his own, with no intention of drinking it.

Kya looked up at him from her cup, "in order to do so, we need to get a few things straight."

"Of Course." He responded.

"I don't expect you to apologize for your behaviour."

"My behaviour? And your own was more acceptable?" He started without waiting for her to finish.

"Mine was behind closed doors and WITHOUT an audience."

"Point taken. I have thought about what you said. Or rather yelled the other week." He began. "Perhaps you are right on some points." He noticed that once he had said that, a look of surprise came from the young woman across from him.

"Why do you look so shocked?" Was all he said.

"Well, that seemed to just come out of nowhere." She said, looking at him. "First you say that you thought of what I said, and than admitted that you were wrong on some points? Are you feeling ok?"

Professor Snape could see that he had her undivided attention. "Don't feel flattered. I don't agree that I'm immature and unprofessional, but that you were right to be angry with me for my actions. I didn't try and get to know you professionally."

Professor Alabaster put down her cup. "What would you like to know?"

Surprised at her being so straight forward, he began to think of many questions he could ask. Perhaps he could get her to admit that she is not as qualified as he for the Defense Against the Dark Arts job sooner rather than later.

"How long have you been studying the dark arts?"

"Most of my life. I pretty much began when I was around 6 or 7 years old." She replied.

"Why so young? I can't believe that your parents would allow such a thing." He said. 'Unless they were deatheaters, or something of the sort.' He thought.

"My parents were killed when I was very young. I remember my guardians were killed shortly before I began to study it." She said, sounding a bit cautious. Snape took this as a sign that he was close to something that she didn't want to reveal.

"What kind of experience do you have with what you teach?" He asked, making it sounding more like a challenge.

"I'd rather not go into that." She simply stated. This intrigued him. Had she no experience with what she was teaching?

"Or you'd rather not admit that you're unqualified, like I always suspected." A curiously happy look came about his face. That was all that was needed to enrage her again.

"Did you invite me here to talk, or to insult me, Professor? I thought you wanted to clear up this feud." She was becoming angry again.

He looked at her. Why had he just done that? He wanted to get some information. Now it seemed to be better if he had not done anything at all. It was not like him to mess up his plans like that. Trying to defend himself, he stood up, walked towards her, and stated, "I'm just wondering if I should give you the respect you think you deserve. Obviously I can see that you are incapable of what you do, and rely heavily on the books you teach from. Do you honestly think that. . ."

SMACK

The force of the impact shocked him. The next thing he knew, the door to his office was swaying and Professor Alabaster was nowhere in sight.