November passed by quickly without much notice. Christmas was in less than two weeks and teachers were scurrying to finish grading assignments before the semester ended. Severus watched Ariella grade essays from across the teacher’s lounge. She looked bored as her eyes skimmed the parchment. She sighed as he watched her begin to slam her head against the desk. Severus’s eyes widened at the action. He stood quickly and drew her attention.
“Severus!” She exclaimed as she too jumped to her feet. She bounced across the room and grinned widely.
“How long have you been here?” She asked as Severus quirked an eyebrow at her sudden interest in his presence.
“Almost as long as you have, Cross,” he answered dully as Ariella huffed in annoyance.
“Well, maybe you can help me. I’m bored out of my mind grading the essays I assigned last week and honestly, I’m kinda annoyed with all of the idiotic things I’m reading!” She announced with a hopeful gleam in her bright amethyst eyes. In the weeks that had followed the Halloween incident, Severus and Ariella had spent more time together than Severus would ever admit. Sometimes they talked (well Ariella talked); sometimes they just sat together and read various books. They argued, but never heatedly anymore. By now, it had turned into playful banter.
“Very well, Cross,” Severus conceded as he watched a crooked smile split Ariella’s face. It was a look he had grown to adore, tolerate. Ariella quickly handed him several rolled up pieces of parchment and sat across from him. Severus sighed as his eyes swept each essay with disdain. He could understand why Ariella had begun to beat her head against the table. Each essay became more illegible and unintelligent than the one before it.
“I give up!” Ariella said suddenly.
“I’m going to reassign it and if they don’t do it right this time, they fail,” Ariella remarked and Severus smirked as guilt settled across the blonde’s face.
“Or…I could just drop the assignment,” she suggested as Severus shook his head.
“You have to be firm, Cross,” he commented as Ariella sighed.
“Yeah, I know. So are you going home for Christmas?” She asked as she collected all of the failed essays and stuffed them into a bag that lay next to her chair.
“No,” Severus answered curtly as Ariella nodded.
“Me either. I figured Harry would need someone to stay with him,” she remarked as Severus leaned forward on his elbows.
“But won’t your family mind?”
“Nah. They’re never around anyways,” Ariella replied with a shrug. Severus quirk an eyebrow.
“Not even on Christmas?” Ariella smiled softly.
“It’s ok. I’ve gotten used to it,” Ariella commented as Severus nodded. He remembered briefly about Ariella’s heritage. Purebloods weren’t often family oriented.
“What about you? Won’t your parents miss you?” She asked as she began to pull her curls out of the haphazard bun she had thrown them in. Severus quickly shook his head.
“They’re not alive,” he answered as Ariella stopped.
“I’m sorry,” she replied instantly as Severus frowned.
“For your loss. I didn’t know,” she remarked.
“It wasn’t your fault,” Severus remarked as he scowled.
“Still. So does that mean you’ll be around for Christmas?”
“Of course,” Severus responded, unsure of what the blonde was up to.
“Great! I’m going to get you the greatest Christmas present ever! You, Harry, and Remus won’t know what hit you guys on Christmas!” She exclaimed happily. Severus stared at her as she jumped to her feet.
“I’m going to go think of ideas right now! I can’t wait!” She remarked chirpily and she turned to bounce out of the room. Severus watched her. Part of him wanted to stop her and tell her not to bother. Yet, he didn’t.
“Remus!” Ariella greeted when she met the werewolf in the hallway. Remus smiled as he turned to face the blonde. Her eyes were all lit up and a bright smile was spread across her pretty features.
“Elle, you seem happy,” he remarked as Ariella quickly hugged him.
“It’s almost Christmas! Speaking of which, would you mind coming with me to Hogsmeade this weekend for a bit of shopping?” she asked as Remus nodded.
|Alan Rickman||as Severus Snape|
|Katherine Jenkins||as Ariella Cross|