Chapter 4 : 4 - The Charmer
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Awesome CI by .asperity @ TDA.
When she finally reached the corridor holding her chambers, having gotten lost and having resorted to asking a number of portraits how to get back, she found the door of her room slightly ajar. The lights were on.
Wand at the ready, heart beating like an anxious bird trying to escape a cage, Carla tiptoed towards the doorway and opened it with her foot. Light flooded into the corridor.
Snape spun around from where he was standing at her mantle piece to face her. Never before had she seen anyone look so vulnerable - like a deer caught in a car's headlights.
"What - what are you doing in here?" she said.
He seemed lost for words, his mouth flapping open and closed repeatedly like he was some sort of goldfish. He was holding her brother's letter.
"Give me that!" She strode into the room and tried to prise the letter from his fingers, but his grip was strong and he wouldn't give.
"Your brother doesn't like me much," he mused, suddenly finding words. "What did you tell him about me?"
"You read my letter?!"
"I knew you were on your date tonight with that slimy Hawking - "
"He's not slimy!"
" - So I decided I would come in here and do some research of my own. Anyone could have come in, Miss Hemmingway - you left your door open. You should count yourself lucky that I was here."
"Lucky?! You've been rummaging through my stuff all evening! And what do you mean 'research of your own'?!"
"Miss Hemmingway, I am perfectly aware of all of the questions that you have been asking around about me."
Carla's face paled. "I don't know what you're talking about."
Snape regarded her for a second, shrugged, and then turned to the letter.
"Give that to me."
"Tell me, Miss Hemmingway, what did you tell your dear brother about me? I know I can be cruel, but 'abomination of a man'? That's uncalled for."
Carla scowled. "I am not answering any more of your questions, Severus Snape - "
"You didn't answer any!"
" - And so I suggest you give me that letter and get out of my room."
"Hmm." Snape looked around. "On the subject of your room... Your chambers are rather... plain compared to mine. I never thought Dumbledore would be one for sexism, but you can't put anything past him. He's quite unpredictable. But then, I'm sure McGonagall's chambers are in a much better state than yours. Perhaps it's just you."
"Okay. I'm quite positive that Dumbledore isn't sexist, and that it's not just me." Carla tugged the letter away from his grip with one hard final pull. "I don't know why you're doing this. Do you fancy me? We're not children, Severus. If you like me, you can tell me - "
"I do not like you, Miss Hemmingway," Snape sneered. "I don't know what got that idea into your head. I've never disliked a person more."
Carla fumed. "Then why did you come in here and poke around in my stuff?"
Snape looked at her wordlessly before turning on his heel and striding from the room. He stopped, a silhouette in the doorway. "I hope your date went well tonight," he sneered. "Caught yourself a charmer there, haven't you, Miss Hemmingway?"
He closed the door with a slam behind him, leaving Carla alone to process the words he'd just spoken. She folded up the letter and put it on the coffee table, going into the bedroom and closing the door.
She huffed loudly, looking out at the magnificent four poster bed robed in sheets of golds and reds, the large ornate mirror with an intricate golden frame, the towering wardrobe carved from oak. Plain? Only the most stuck-up git on earth would ever think that. It seemed like Snape fit the description perfectly.
11th September 1983 - What was I doing? I am so stupid. Why did I go into her chambers? I knew she was going to come back. This is going too far. She's not Lily. I know she's not Lily. I didn't need to search her room to know that - so why did I?
Snape leaned back from his desk, hands in his hair. He brought them down a moment later to bang on the table frustratedly. The pen he had previously been writing with clattered to the floor. Why was he acting so foolish?
We are all fools in love.*
Okay, now was really not the time for Pride and Prejudice quotes. And what did that even mean? Why did he even think of that? Severus Snape wasn't in love with anyone, least of all a stupid little girl who looked like Lily.
Carla slept in late the next morning and would have stayed in bed until noon had a knock at the door not forced her to drag herself out of bed. She pulled on a dressing gown and shuffled to the door, opening it and stifling a yawn with her hand at the same time. She was greeted with an overly large, overly colourful bouquet of flowers.
"Professor Hawking asked me to bring these to you," a shy voice from behind them said.
"Oh." She took them into her own hands and placed them on her coffee table before coming back to the door. "Thank you for bringing them, Toby," she said, smiling.
The third year grinned. "He said if I did it then he'd let me off for my detention."
Carla rolled her eyes. "Why didn't he send them himself? Is he going away or...?"
"Yeah, he goes away pretty much every saturday to go and see his parents."
Aw. That was cute of him.
"Well, thanks again for dropping them by," she said, closing the door and turning to the flowers. Whilst stroking the petals and admiring their scent, she noticed a small piece of paper wedged between some stalks. She pulled it out and read it.
I am away seeing my parents in Newcastle today, so I'm sending you these flowers in the hopes that they will make you think of me. I know I will be thinking of you all day long.
I was scared to say this to your face last night because I don't know how much I'm asking, but I'll ask you now. Could you stay away from Snape? He looks at you funny and I don't like it.
I'll see you tomorrow.
Carla smiled, blushing at the 'yours', and folded the note up, sliding it into one of the drawers on her dresser and going back into the bedroom. She did want to follow Peter's request about staying away from Snape, but unfortunately she still had a lot of unanswered questions about last night. Besides, what he didn't know wouldn't kill him.
Snape was really not in the mood for lunch, but he entered the Great Hall anyway. He groaned as he noticed that there were no empty seats at the table that weren't next to Miss Hemmingway. She'd planned this, he was certain. No matter. Snape turned on his heel and went back out of the hall the way he came. He hadn't been hungry anyway.
He was on his way down the steps out of the entrance hall into the main courtyard when he noticed the sound of footsteps behind him. He didn't turn, knowing who it was without having to look.
"Shall we take a walk, Severus?" Miss Hemmingway asked.
"I'd rather not," he said icily.
She fell into step beside him as they went down some steps and out into the grounds. "You're always just the epitome of chivalrousness, Severus."
He smirked. "I try my best."
They walked in silence for a few minutes. She turned on him once they were far enough away from the castle that she knew that they were definitely not going to be interrupted.
"I need to know what you were doing in my rooms," she said.
"Like I said - you poke around in my stuff, and I'll poke around in yours. Kind of like karma, I guess."
"All I did was ask for your first name! It's something that I ought to know!"
"Why? Do you know me enough to need to use it? Do you like me enough to need to use it? No one at this school calls me Severus."
"In case you haven't noticed, I have been using it! I don't like calling people by their last names, it's derogatory and old-fashioned." She fumed beside him. "Look, this is all besides the point. I don't believe what you say. You weren't in my room because of this stupid karma thing you have going on, so why were you? What were you looking for?"
Snape scowled. "It was personal and you have no business in knowing what I was doing," he said finally.
"Well, actually, it is my business, since you were searching my chambers!"
"You are delving into something you don't want to be a part of, Miss Hemmingway! I suggest you butt out of it!"
"Just tell me why you were searching my chambers! That's all I want to know!"
Snape really needed to hit something. His fingers twitched as he thought about it. "I will not tell you why I was searching your chambers, Miss Hemmingway," he hissed, after taking a moment to pull himself together. "I suggest that you don't ask me again."
He turned and started walking back towards the castle.
"I deserve to know!" she called after him.
Carla, disappointed in the outcome of her meeting with Severus, stayed in her chambers for the rest of the day. The sun filtered in through her windows, warming her to the core. This was probably the last warm day they were going to get this year, but she was spending it all inside. It was Snape's fault.
Hours passed. Carla wasn't tired due to her long lie in, so instead spent the time doing what little marking she had (she preferred doing practicals in class and didn't hand out much homework, so there wasn't much to do) and then read a book long into the evening. Her stomach was rumbling and she was about to leave her room at around eight to go and get something to eat for dinner when a knock at the door sounded.
She got up from her armchair and opened it with the hint of a sigh.
It was another third year, this one bearing a box of chocolates.
"Let me guess, Professor Hawking sent them?" she said. He'd gotten her favourite ones, the dark chocolate truffles with a hint of liquor at the centre. You could only get them in Honeydukes, and she wondered how he'd known that they were the ones she liked most. Intuition, probably. Or maybe he was secretly a seer.
The third year shook his head. "It was Professor Snape, Miss."
A/N: I hope you like the surprise at the end of this one haha! Please review, I live off them so much. Just tell me if you like it or don't, what you think, anything. It's like my food. If you don't review, think of it as me missing a meal haha.
*P&P quote stolen from the 2005 P&P film. I'm not sure if Jane Austen says it or not in the book, but Miss Lucas says it during the ball at Netherfield in the film.
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