**~trumpets sound~ Yes! I have returned! Aren't you glad?! It took a while, eh? I finally spit this one out. I must give credit where credit is due, however. I would like to thank Blake Rhoades. One day in Geometry, he decided he wanted to read some of my stories. Well, he read this one and it would appear that he liked it a lot. He has encouraged me to write more and even showed it to a few other hardcore HP fans. My English teacher, Mrs. Ellis, also gets credit. She has been encouraging me beyond belief. She gives me confidence in my writing and I thank her for being such a wonderful teacher. And now, for all of you kiddies, the latest chapter. You find out a lot in this one, I know it is kinda a lot to throw out at once, but it had to be done. As always, I do not own any characters that Mrs. J.K. Rowling owns, nor do I claim to. I do, however, own my precious Katerina. Well, enjoy and tell me what you think!**
Severus stomped off to his class. He had Draco in his class later that day; he would wait until then and find out everything he could about this situation. By lunchtime, he had deducted 40 points from Gryffindor, 20 from Hufflepuff, 15 from Ravenclaw and even a precious 5 from Slytherin. All the students guessed at what could possibly be wrong with him.
"Maybe Dumbledore told him that this was his last day," A 4th year Hufflepuff said. A Ravenclaw classmate shook her head,
"I think he finally looked in a mirror and realized just how greasy his hair really is." The group of students around her laughed.
Professor Snape had Draco's class after lunch. Severus sat at lunch, hardly touching his food. Katerina noticed that something was wrong and tried to ask him about it. Severus just waved his hand at her and said nothing. Katerina sighed and left him alone. Katerina had something else on her mind, however. Draco kept throwing evil looks in her direction.
She finally sighed and got up from the table, leaving her food untouched. Katerina retreated to her office, where she lay her head down on her desk and closed her eyes to rest.
Severus watched as Katerina left earlier, but still he sat, staring into space. He didn't even notice when Professor Dumbledore sat down in Katerina's vacant seat.
"Something wrong, Severus?" Albus's voice sounded raspier than normal. Severus turned and looked at him, he also looked older. Professor Dumbledore's icy blue eyes stared intently at Severus. Professor Snape felt uncomfortable under this unwavering gaze.
" Sir, I was wondering, how much do you know about Kat … I mean, Professor Alberthane?" Severus asked. Albus Dumbledore sighed.
"A good deal. Why do you ask?" The older man replied. Severus sighed.
"I am just weary, sir, after the last DADA teacher…" Severus trailed off. Albus shook his head.
"I doubt that Professor Alberthane is anything like Professor Quirrell." He said smoothly. Severus nodded.
"Yes sir, of course. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a class soon." Severus got up, made a short bow to Albus and left the Great Hall. Professor Dumbledore looked after him and sighed.
Professor Snape went into his classroom and brought out his headache potion.
"This is turning out to be quite a day…" He said as he took a small sip.
Soon, the class started filing in. Draco was the last to enter and he looked distracted. Professor Snape told the class to be working on their Wart Potion essay and stated if anyone talked, they would be sorry. The class was quick to obey, after hearing from other students the temper he was in.
About halfway through the class there was a knock at the door. The students looked up.
"Don't be nosy, you have work to do!" Snape barked as he glided towards the door. He was surprised to find Albus Dumbledore and Lucius Malfoy standing outside his chamber door.
"Sirs? How may I help you?" Snape asked, looking at Lucius. Mr. Malfoy's face was somewhat pale and Professor Dumbledore looked concerned.
"I need my son, Severus." Lucius said quickly. Professor Snape frowned.
"He is in class, Lucius, this had better be important." Severus said.
"Oh, it is." Lucius said. Severus turned and looked back into his class. All of the students were staring at the door and trying vainly to listen to the three men's conversation.
"BACK TO WORK!" Severus yelled. He walked over to where Draco was sitting. "Your father to see you, Draco…" He said quietly. An evil smile crept across the young Malfoy's face and he got up. Severus turned to face the class. "I am going to step out for a moment, if I find that you are not busy when I return, 50 points will be deducted from your houses, you will all receive detention, and I will take up your papers immediately for grading. Am I understood?" He said menacingly. The class muttered in agreement.
Severus followed Draco out of the classroom. Lucius stared at his son a moment and turned to Dumbledore.
"That will be all, Albus, I thank you." Professor Dumbledore stared at Mr. Malfoy a moment and looked at Severus quickly. The old man nodded, leaving the dungeons. Mr. Malfoy looked at Severus. "You should hear this, Snape, it may be valuable information to you." Mr. Malfoy paused and looked down at his son, the very image of himself. "Explain your letter to me." He said shortly. Draco nodded.
"As I stated in my letter, Father, Katerina has come to Hogwarts." Draco said, visibly loving the shocked look on his father's face. Mr. Malfoy turned to Severus.
"Is there a Katerina Alberthane teaching here now?" Lucius asked coldly.
"Yes, she is the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher." Severus stated with no emotion. Inside, he was feeling sick. Lucius frowned and went into thought. "What is the problem, Lucius?" Severus asked. Draco spoke for his father.
"She is Father's half-sister." He said with a certain glint in his eye. Severus gulped and turned to Lucius, trying to compose himself.
"Is she? I wasn't aware that you had a half-sister…" He said slowly. Lucius nodded.
"Not many people are." He said. "She was an accident … as you know, my father was…" He paused and looked around him, "A strict follower of Our Lord." Severus nodded, knowing that he was referring to Voldermort. "My mother, however, went through a period of rebellion. She left my father and started sleeping with another wizard. I have forgotten the man's name, but I do remember that he was not of our kind. A mud-blood lover, you know the type. She became pregnant. The wizard, fearing discovery that he was sleeping with the wife of the enemy, left her. Having no place to go, my mother returned to my father and tried to convince him that it was his child. My father knew better and told her to be rid of the child and she would be allowed to come back into the house without serious punishment. He did not need for the Dark Lord to find out that his wife had a lover that was against our ways. However, my mother refused to abort the child. They told everyone that it was their child. When the child was born, my mother sent it away, and my parents told everyone that the child died. The little girl was put up for what muggles call 'adoption'. She was raised by muggles. My mother always kept up with her after all these years, even though my father told her not to. So, my mother had told me the girl's name and all about her. My mother even sought her out once, and I went with her. Katerina and my mother have had secret relations ever since. And since my father's death a few years ago, they have become very close. I rarely see her; I have no use for her, she is merely the product of an illicit affair, a mistake if you will. My mother sometimes insists that I see her. Narissa and Draco know her. She is trouble. She was trouble before she was even born. Since she was raised by muggles, she loves them, she also doesn't believe in Our Lord. She does not need to be here." Lucius finished his monologue. Draco was looking at his father with an expression that Severus could not really describe. It was a mix of admiration, glory, and even mirth at his father's family's misfortune. Mr. Malfoy looked at the younger. "Thank you for informing me, Draco." Mr. Malfoy said and Draco smiled proudly. "But you're late. School started quiet a while ago, why did you not tell me immediately?" Mr. Malfoy's voice was stern and Draco's smile disappeared. The younger gulped and opened his mouth, but nothing came out at first.
"Well, you see, Father…" He stuttered. Lucius sighed angrily.
"Out with it boy! None of your stuttering around!" The elder said warningly.
"At first it didn't seem that she would cause any trouble, sir…but she has slowly had an effect on…" Draco looked nervously at Professor Snape, who narrowed his eyes at the boy, "On some people." Draco finished. Lucius followed Draco's gaze to Severus and his eyes widen a bit.
"I see…" He said slowly. Severus worked and put on his best scowl and looked at Mr. Malfoy calmly. "Go on back to class Draco, you need to do your work." The elder said. Draco nodded and turned to reenter the classroom. "If I hear that you are blabbing about this all over school, you WILL be sorry, boy. Do you hear?" Mr. Malfoy said menacingly. Draco slowly turned around, the fear evident on his face.
"Yes…yes sir." He slowly hissed and returned to class. When he had left, Mr. Malfoy turned to Professor Snape.
"Severus, tell me where I can find her." Lucius said simply.
"I will," Severus replied in a monotone voice, "but not now, she has a class now, you wouldn't want to draw more attention to yourself, would you?" He asked. Lucius thought a moment.
"You are right. I shall wait until tonight, I'll come back then." He said. He turned to leave and then suddenly turned back to face Severus. "Don't fall into her trap, Severus, she is no good."
"What is that supposed to mean?" Severus shot back, his anger flaring.
"She seems like a good idea at first, but I assure you, she isn't. I didn't think Draco was right, I think you would be able to see through her." He replied. Severus was grateful that Lucius took the meaning of his question a different way. He had actually had been asking why Lucius thought her no good. Malfoy, however, took it that he meant why on earth he would ever fall into anything that had to do with her. Severus nodded curtly. "I'll see you right after dinner tonight, Severus and you can take me to her." Mr. Malfoy said and left. Severus sighed once Lucius was gone and tried to think of what to do.
Professor Snape went back into his class to find everyone working, or at least pretending to work. His terrible mood continued on through the day, and even getting worse, if such a thing was possible.
**So, it's true! Katerina truly IS Draco's aunt. Isn't that amazing? I would like to thank Mija for reviewing. And I am terribly sorry for the state of this chapter when you read it, Mija, I hadn't pick up on the new rules for Word on fanfiction yet. I think I got it now! =) Until next chapter!**