Chapter Sixteen: People Change

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Chapter Sixteen

Classes seemed to whiz by the next day, as if nothing had ever happened. Life goes on, I suppose. Nevertheless, my head swarmed with troubles that no one else was plagued with: the bounty over my head for no apparent reason, internal affliction about my mother, those damned no-good Malfoys, and worst of all, Severus Snape.

And here I was, stalling for time as I slunk around the Gryffindor common room. I lounged backwards in one of the plush chairs next to the fireplace. Next to me on the floor, Fred sighed. "Shouldn't you be in tutoring?" He asked.

From my other side on the couch, George spoke. "Yeah; not like we're encouraging you to get an education or anything-"

"Or spend time with Profesor Snape," Fred added in.

"But Gryffindor points are dwindling." George finished.

I raised an eyebrow at them both, tiltin my head up. "Funny- you two almost sound /responsible/." I piped up, snorting.

Fred lifted his hands in mock surrender. "Hey, Merlin forbid you fly on your own for a while, but we want to win the House Cup." He replied.

I hastily interjected; "Im only five minutes late." however, five minutes wouldn't put much of a dent in the whole hour and a half I had with him, and I couldn't avoid him forever- nor could I disobey a direct order from Dumbledore.

George shrugged halfheartedly. "You'll only get another detention, too."

Detention. That was a chance of even more time with Snape. These loons are actually starting to make sense. Reluctantly, I stood to my feet with a groan, stretching my back. "Fine, fine. I can take a hint. I know when Im not wanted." I quickly threw the pillow at Fred. He tucked it under his chin with a smirk.

"We adore you." He called.

"See you at dinner." George added as I closed the door. Outside of the portrait, I closed my eyes and sighed. This would be a long hour and twenty-five minutes.

I arrived roughly ten minutes later. Snape was brooding at his desk. He didn't even look up from the paperwork as I came in. I pitied the students he was grading. "You're late." He hissed.

I struggled a nonchalant shrug. "I had to use the loo."

Without warning, Snape slammed his cost against the desk, causing an echoing boom to cascade throughout the enclosed stone room. I actually jumped. Snape snapped his head towards my stiff form by the doorway. "Do you think this to be some sort of joke?" He barked.

I stood my ground. "You think I want to be here?" I asked, incredulous emotion in both my voice and expression. I had no choice. Surely he knew that. An extra hour and a half with him? After what happened between us? No thank you.

Snape almost stood, though he seemed to rethink it and continued to sit. I almost wished he would have stood. "Trust me; I want you here a lot less than you do." He growled under his breath.

Even though what was between us was gone, that still hurt. A lot more than it should, really. I almost staggered back in shock, until I reminded myself of what he said before. Dumbledore's words had gotten the best of me. He planted the seed of hope in my mind, and now I can't smother it. That little nagging sensation that maybe, just maybe, he was right. Snape did still want me, and he was just being difficult. But that proved it, right? He didn't. How could he, and say something so painful with a straight face? Even when we're alone?

"You underestimate my loathing for you, Snape." I snapped, my sass reviving from momentary, shock-educed hibernation. I wasn't even lying this time, and he couldn't even call me out on I because he knew it.

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