Disclaimer: Everything belongs to JKR, except for the storyline and original characters. This is now considere as AU as all the seven books are out.

*scared* It has been ages, actually four years, since I write any fanfic and I am not sure if I am still up for it. Anyway, hope you enjoy this and review to let me know what you think about it. Thanks!

Big Big World

Chapter 13 Truce?

It was Snape's turn for the school patrol, which meant that he would have to do a check round the whole school. It was well past two in the morning when he finally finished. That was why he was quite surprised to run into Allison on his way back to his quarters. After the initial surprise, Snape got a bit angry at her carelessness of being out so late at night, eventhough it was insie Hogwarts, it was still no guarrentee of safety.

"What do you think you are doing, Miss Lowe? You shouldn't be out on your own, least of all this late at night!"

If it wasn't because there were so many different theories going on in her mind, and the unnerving amount of coincidences that she had discovered in the dream and from the book, she would have strangled Snape right then and there for treating her like an invalid. However, there were just too many thoughts happening in her head that she only growled at Snape, "I wouldn't be out this late if not because of something important. I need to speak to you."

It wasn't an answer that Snape expected. For all that was worth, instead of continuing getting angry with Allison, he followed Allison back to her rooms, while making sure that no one saw the two of them together. When Snape got into her sitting room, he finally noticed that in her hurry to speak to him she was still in her pajamas. It seemed that she left in a hurry too from the state of her desk. The book, Natura, was open, and a few pieces of paper, scribbled full of characters he didn't recognize, and a pen was lying next to the book.

Once they were in their seats, Snape asked, a little bit harsher than he intended to. "What is it that you wanted to talk to me about?"

Allison's mind was still on overdrive from the amount of information to notice Snape's tone. Now that Snape was here, she wondere if she should get Dumbledore as well. Okay. Dumbledore needed to know as well, but at this time of night, she felt guilty about rousing an old man up for the information she had just deciphered. Not that she thought the information was important, but a bit disturbing. For her anyway. And since Snape was supposed to be her guardian, who better to bother than him. He was supposed to be her guide, and according to Merlin, he was her guardian as well. He was supposed to watch over her. Also, if her speculation was right, the implications of why she could read the book could be explained.

"I had a dream earlier... Or a nightmare rather. I saw the last moments between Merlin walked into the esplumoir," she sighed, "but I didn't see it as a bystander. I saw the whole thing through the eyes of a witch. Merlin called her his apprentice. Her name was Niume. He made her let him go, saying that it was her duty to see him walk into the esplumoir."

Snape's eyes widened slightly at that. He knew about the stories between Merlin and Niume. It was rumoured that Merlin taught her everything he knew, but in return, Niume confined Merlin in a esplumoir because she didn't return his love. Having the whole story overturned by a simple dream that was created by an overactive mind was unnerving. "It is just a dream, Miss Lowe."

"It is not just a dream!" Still unnerved by the dream and the information she had deciphered from the book, she continued, "I checked with the book, and there is a chapter there explaining the nature of apprenticeship uring the Dark Ages, that when the mentor had nothing left to teach his apprentice, the mentor would choose a esplumoir as his confinement or resting place, and the apprentice would become master."

"It still doesn't prove anything, Miss Lowe, as anything useful. If it were true, not that I believe so, it only means that Niume didn't trick Merlin into his confinement." Though that was what Snape said, his mind was also shifting to the conclusion that Allison had thought about, but believed it impossible.

"Just call me Allison. I am sick of this Miss thing and stop intimidating me. I am no child. If we are going to live through this, we can't do this with killing each other." Ignoring the weird look that Snape was giving her, she continued, while contemplating whether to point out the suspicions that they both might have concluded by now. "Do you remember when we were in Merlin's esplumoir, Snape?"

Snape just grunted as reply.

"Remeber what Merlin called me when we were there?"


They just looked at each other for a long time in absolute silent. In the wizarding world, they did not believe in reincarnation, so with all the odds adding up, there was only one explanation. An explanation that Allison didn't want it to be true, but had to face.

Snape started, "Natura was Merlin's creation."

"Niume was Merlin's heir." Allison offered.

"And you are the only one who could read Natura, so far."

"And Merlin called me Niume when he first saw me."

The answer was obvious. Allison Bridget Lowe Janney was a descendent of Niume, a character that Allison had believed to be fictional. Until now.

~To be continued~