Disclaimer: I own nothing. Except Evey...she's mine, you can't have her.

'From What I've Tasted of Desire, I Hold With Those Who Favor Fire' --Robert Frost

It was her first day of work and she was already late. This was really not the way she wanted to start out. The doors opened too loudly and slammed behind her. Her bags floated soundlessly in front of her. Stumbling over the threshold in a cloud of red curls, she tried not to make anymore noise than what she's already made.

"Professor Loveless?" Evey looked up, pushing her mass of hair out of her face.

"Yes. Hi." She smiled and held her hand out to a tall man clad in black. He merely quirked an eyebrow at it and spun around.

"You're late, Professor." He said silkily, pacing quickly in the direction he had come. She had to jog to keep up.

"I know. I'm really sorry, but—"

"Indeed. I've neither the time nor the patience for lateness or excuses, Professor." He led her down a hall and up a staircase.

"No, you never did." Evey mumbled.

"Excuse me?" He said dangerously over his shoulder. She flinched.

"Nothing, sir." She answered mechanically.

"In…deed. I see you've still got your foot lodged firmly in your mouth, Ms. Loveless."

"So, you do remember me, Professor Snape." Evey smirked. Severus nodded. They had stopped just outside of the Defense against the Dark Arts room.

"How could I not? This is your classroom. I'll trust you to find your own quarters as I'm already quite late for dinner. Drop your bags inside and you are also expected." Evey nodded and did as she was told.

The classroom was just as she'd remembered it, if not a bit empty. She would have to change that. Each desk was lined against the wall, leaving a wide, empty void in the middle of the room.

Her quarters were easy enough to find and once she'd put her bags down, Evey headed to the great all. She'd have more time to get better acquainted with her rooms later.

The great hall was extremely crowded, as it was a majority of the time. Students shouted across the room to their friends who'd been sorted into other houses. Teachers, with their heads pressed together, spoke in hushed tones about unknown topics. All but one; Professor Severus Snape sat alone, his arms crossed tightly over his chest, staring at something invisible off in one corner. The seat next to him was, presumably, hers.

"And so we meet again." Evey said as she sat down next to him. His posture didn't change, not did his staring contest with nothing.

"So it would seem." Severus mumbled. "I trust your found your way well enough."

"No," Evey replied automatically. "I am, in fact, lost somewhere in the castle right now." He tolled his eyes to meet hers in a deadly glare. She remained unfazed.

"Your cheek is astounding. I suppose what I meant was 'I trust you found your way to your quarters well enough'"

"Yes, I did. Thank you." His eyes fixed with hers for a moment, then traveled across her face.

Red hair, though not straight but curly; Green eyes, soft, delicate features. She reminded him of…no…Severus wasn't such a masochist as to think of her. But it was already too late. This vixen must have some right out of hell to bring back the memories he had suppressed when even around Harry Potter. He didn't remember thinking about this and her when he'd had Evey in school.

Evey grimaced, self conscious under his intense stare.

"Have I got something on my face?" She asked uncomfortably, raising a hand to her cheek and furrowing her thin eyebrows.

"No." Severus said quickly. He shifted his eyes away from her. She shot him an odd look.

Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of the school, stood and held out his arms. The room fell silent. His deep purple robes fell gracefully around him; his hair fell in a sleep silver curtain down his back. Evey looked down at her own fire red, plain robes and suddenly felt extremely underdressed.

"Welcome new students! And to our alumni, welcome back!" His kind, booming voice echoes around the wall.

"This speech, as I'm sure you remember, usually comes before the feast, but Albus thought it was crucial for everyone to be here." Severus leaned over and whispered mockingly. Evey pulled a face.

"Yes, thank you. I don't feel bad enough without you reminding me."

"Prefects will show you to your common rooms where heads of houses will go over other rules with you and hand out your schedules. Classes start first thing tomorrow. Goodnight! Sleep well!" He then turned toward the staff and walked toward Evey and Severus until he stood in front of them.

"Will you two meet me in my office in fifteen minutes? I trust, Severus that is enough time to go over things with your first years?" Severus nodded curtly.

"Lovely. See you soon."

"Welcome back to Hogwarts, Evey." Albus said. He smiled and gestured for them to sit down. She and Severus took the two empty chairs across from his desk.

"Thank you, sir. It's good to be back."

"It's Albus, Evey. You're an adult now."

"Yes, sir—Albus. Sorry."" Albus smiled and looked to Severus.

"You're awfully quiet, dear boy" He said.

"I'm counting." Severus muttered, looking down his nose at the older man.

"Counting…?" Albus' face crumpled in confusion.

"Yes. I'm counting the seconds of my evening which are being wasted. Would you mind skipping the ridiculously time consuming pleasantries and simply get on to the point?" Both Albus and Evey gave him a curious look.

"He does this when he's nervous." Albus told her.

"Albus, for Merlin's sake! Get on with it." Evey flinched at Severus' dark tone.

"Severus, I'm putting Evey in your charge. Make sure she's doing things the way they ought to be done. Though I've no doubt she will perform beautifully, just as she did in school."

"You're putting me on probation?" Evey asked.

"In a way, yes. I won't lie."

"Perhaps I misunderstood, headmaster. Have you put me in charge of yet another whiny teenager?"

"I've not been teenager for five years, Professor." Evey countered.

"Severus, I'm not giving you a choice." Albus' tone was mild but final.

"We're stuck together." Evey said smugly.

"Why on Earth would you be happy about that?" Severus asked warily.

"Well, you know you were always my favorite."

"After which detention did you figure this out?"

"I've lost track." Evey said with a careless shrug. Severus sighed and quickened his pace. She had to jog to keep up.

"Do you mean to tell me that I wasn't your absolute favorite student?" She panted.

"We spent so much time together that I figured knowing one student is more than an accomplishment. I hardly knew enough to be able to pick favorites."

"So I was your favorite." Severus sighed and sped up. She increased her speed as well.

"Is there any particular reason why you're following me?" He asked. Evey slowed slightly.

"We were talking, and I just followed. Sorry."

"Goodnight, then." Evey turned at his cold tone and headed back toward her classroom. As she walked, she spotted a tall figure striding quickly toward her.

"Evey, there you are." Minerva McGonagall said with great relief in her voice. Evey smiled slightly. "Where've you been?"

"I was talking to the Headmaster and Professor Snape." She replied. "Apparently Professor Snape is to watch over me for a while. I'm on probation."

"Indeed. He gets that task every year. I daresay he was hoping to be relieved of it, but it seems that that's not happened." Evey shook her head, unsure of what to say. Minerva smiled.

"Well, you've found your quarters. Welcome back to Hogwarts, my dear! Do you mind if I walk back with you?"

"Not at all." Evey replied, gesturing with her hands. The two started walking. Minerva placed a hand on Evey's shoulder, causing her to jump slightly.

"I'm sorry, my dear. There are some things that I need to speak with you about." Evey nodded and waited for her to continue.

"It's about Severus." Evey continued to wait. "Don't…try to be friends with him. He doesn't take kindly to anyone. If he decides to be social, don't push him. And—"

"Professor," Evey interrupted, "I was in Professor Snape's class. I don't mean to be arrogant, but I know how he works and I've spoken to him. I think I can handle his attitude." She couldn't look Minerva in the eye for fear of her reaction.

"I hope for your sake that you can. Severus has got a razor tongue. But…from what I remember, so had you." Minerva paused and put her hand back on Evey's shoulder. The girl tensed. "Just don't bring the school down, dear. We've already got one war; we don't need another right now." Evey nodded and frowned when Minerva turned around.

"Sleep well, Evey." She called over her shoulder.

"You, too, Professor,"