Chapter 4

I have better things to do than to take an evening trek to the seventh floor Astronomy Tower! Like what--weep like a child in your bed? You're pathetic.

"Are you really taking me to my classroom," her cool voice was only a few stairs behind me. "Or are you just going back to your quarters? Because, you know, I'll just follow you there and—"

"Of course I am taking you to your tower!" My skin tingled with rage. "Why do you think we have climbed two flights already?"

Her tone shot back vehemently, "How was I suppose to know? I have never been here before! Merlin! Would you slow down?"

I abruptly stopped two stairs shy of the fifth floor. Trying hard not to show I was breathing deeply, I apathetically asked, "Never been here before?"

"I was home schooled," she smirked as she reached my side. "Thank you for stopping."

"I wanted to anyway," I groaned taking the last two steps.

I would have loved to walk in silence. But sadly, I found out quickly with this wench that was an unachievable dream.

"So how long have you been working here, Severus?" Her voice was annoyingly polite.

"Long enough to become a bellhop for incoming staff," I looked at her oddly for using my first name.

"Ah, sarcasm," she chuckled. "Your humor is amusing."

"Humor?" I found myself asking quietly.

"Er—is that it?"

We suddenly were facing an elaborately carved door at the top of the tower.

"Yes, everything you need will be in there," I said dully preparing myself to turn and leave.

"Wait! Aren't you going to show me where everything is?" She sounded worried.

I pointed to the nearest arched window, "The sky is out there."

She grinned, but still looked concerned. "Please, my first class is in a few hours," she implored. "I don't want to look like I don't know what I am doing."

I would have walked angrily to the tower door if I wasn't so tired from the stair climb. "You go in first," I opened the door.

"It's particularly dark in there," she walked hesitantly towards me.

"It's a narrow winding staircase that ends at a trapdoor on the ceiling." I said knowingly.

She took out her wand from the folds of her robe and illuminated the tip. "Alright, let's go."

"You weren't kidding when you said narrow, Severus" she exclaimed. "You think someone would have thought to put some lights in here."

I was stepping two stairs behind her. "Logic eludes some peop—aaaaaaallll!" Suddenly I felt a weight crash down on me, and I grabbed for the railing.

She shrieked, "Merlin! I am sorry! I can't see a damn thing! I missed a stair!"

Shocked, I didn't respond, but pushed her back upright with the strength I had left. I felt my face grow hot. What in Merlin's name did she thinks she was doing!

We winded up silently for a couple of more seconds until I finally spoke, "Watch out for the—"

"Ow!" Cruses filled the tight space, followed by a blinding amber light as she blasted the trapdoor open. She then began to pull herself up into the opening.

I poked my head up through the door after she disappeared into the room. It was much like I remembered from my youth.

I could see through the dim light the new teacher gazing around apparently amazed at the vastness of her new domain.

"Anything else?" I knew I sounded bored.

She crouched down beside me smiling, "This is marvelous, Severus! Every tool I will ever need!"

" It's Snape."

"Ah, I don't care for formalities," she waved off my comment gazing around the room again.

I decided to get straight to the point, "Can I go now?"

"Well is the sky still out the window?" She questioned back. I knew she was waiting for me to grin, but I only nodded sarcastically too tired for anything else.

"Okay then, I guess you can go," she patted me of the shoulder. "Thanks for taking me up here. I see now why no one else wanted to.

On my journey back down the castle, I became aware that I could not grimace at the thought of the new teacher. It was because either I found her oddly amusingly dimwitted, or I was too weary to find facial emotions.