First Impressions

The typical summer holiday silence that annually befell Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was shattered one late summer day with an incident on the first floor. Books that had been neatly stacked moments earlier flew every which way as a tall, wan-faced figure sent them across the floor. "What idiot placed these books here?" he demanded the empty halls, snapping his own book closed. He turned at the sound of approaching footsteps, and was greeted with the sight of a rather embarrassed young woman, and a wave of disconcertment washed over him. His steely gaze glazed over her Asian features.

Adelina Cummings ran for her books as soon as she heard the commotion. Her black robes sashayed behind her as her sensible black pumps made short work of the courtyard. Adelina's typically serene face fell as she noticed the literature scattered across the cold stone. Her eyes went to the coal-black pair boring into her, and a shudder coursed through her. "I apologise, Sir. I was trying to—"

"I haven't time for excuses," the dark-haired man cut in. He glanced disdainfully at the books. "Clean up this mess."

Adelina watched, mouth agape, as the stranger stalked down the hall, black robes billowing out behind him. "Git," she whispered to no one as she knelt to recollect her books.

A short time later, Adelina was intercepted by Minerva McGonagall, and escorted to her chambers. The rooms were quite spacious, by Adelina's standards. The living area contained a comfortable couch, a table with two matching chairs, a large fireplace, and Adelina's personal favourite — a large bookshelf. It was separated from the bedroom, which was furnished with a large bed, ornate dresser, and desk. A private bath compensated for the fact that the chambers were not located within what seemed a mile of the potions classroom, where Adelina would spend most of her time. Then again, that was in the dungeon, and Adelina was grateful for the ample sunlight provided by the windows.

Quickly putting everything in its proper place with the aid of her wand, a 10" springy willow with veela hair, Adelina went to the lavatory to freshen up for dinner. She scrutinised her reflection in the mirror, and adjusted her chignon so that every last hair was in order. She wore little make-up, save the light blush to highlight her high cheekbones, and the occasional shadow to enhance her exotic almond eyes. When her attire required it, Adelina applied a bit of matte foundation to the livid scar on her collarbone; however, those occasions were few and far between, due to her modest garments.

In the Great Hall, Adelina passed a few students who'd stayed on during the summer. Pausing to speak with them, her mind was filled with second thoughts as the students visibly cringed at the mention of Severus Snape. Her pace was markedly slower as she approached the Head Table.

"Miss Cummings," Albus Dumbledore smiled. He rose from his chair and approached the young woman, holding his hands out to her. "I am so glad you could join us. Might I introduce your colleagues?" he asked, leading Adelina to the others.

Adelina's brain scrambled to recall the various names and faces, but by the end of the lengthy introductions, she could not recall ever hearing Severus Snape's name mentioned. Just as she opened her mouth to inquire about her mentor, a dark-clad figure strode into the Great Hall. As he neared, Adelina's chocolate-brown eyes widened in shock as she recognized the man from earlier. The little colour that resided in her porcelain cheeks quickly vanished.

Dumbledore smiled. "Adelina, might I present Professor Severus Snape?"

A/N: This is my first Harry Potter fan fiction. Mucho thanks to the Harry Potter Lexicon. And I do intend on completing Ship of Dreams . . . when I can find the perfect ending. Please review so I know whether to continue this or not!