They had been waiting for her behind the corner, watching the door in the hope that she would come out. The truth was that they had suspected for a long time that something was going on between their friend and the Potions Master. It wasn't obvious. But it was there. The walks that they would take out on their own in the afternoons. Always sitting next to each other in the staffroom. Strange glances exchanged at the staff meets. Out of place smiles. A touch on the shoulder, elbow or, when they thought no one was looking, wrist.
And the truth was that no one was looking. Everyone had long ago accepted that Severus Snape had about as much love in him as there was water in the Sahara Desert and that Eowyn Gondolin was far too young and carefree for him. Little did they know that she was only two years younger than him.
It had actually been Minerva McGonagall who, being far older and more mature and practically Eowyn's mother, had noticed something strange and given them the heads up. From then on they had been monitoring Eowyn constantly with a little bit of help from Rolanda Hooch who, having much more free time and a much more energetic spirit than most, was happy to help.
Every night for the last week they had been watching Severus' door intently. For three days that week Eowyn had come down to his room. But she had always left no later than ten o'clock and looked immaculate. Well, as immaculate as anyone could look with the amount of staying power that her hair had. But tonight …
… Tonight she had come out at four o'clock in the flipping morning in her nightclothes with a warm flush in her cheeks and her blonde tinted brown hair looking as though it had been nested in by a particularly vicious bird of prey.
They didn't even need to look at each other. They all leapt out at the same time shouting "BOO!" at the top of their lungs.
Eowyn instantly leapt back, wand at the ready, auror training kicking in. Then, realising who they were, she dropped her wand and her head, but not before they caught her cheeks going sunset scarlet.
"Well," said Charity, brown eyes twinkling as though she was twelve again, "look who's out after light's out."
"In a nightdress that is …" Auriga poked the edge of Eowyn's nightgown to one side, "barely knee length." She raised an eyebrow. "Someone's going for risqué."
"It … it's not what it looks like," stuttered Eowyn, slapping Auriga's hand away.
"It's jolly well what it looks like, Winnie!" scoffed Septima, giving Eowyn a slap on the back. "And what it looks like is a pretty active affair!"
"Please, Tima, keep your voice down!" Eowyn pleaded.
"No, Septima," said Auriga, her white toothed grin glowing in her dark skinned face, "it's not only an active affair … it's a clandestine one."
"Quit the long words," said Charity, giving Auriga a shove. "My brain doesn't work to well at –"
"Four o'clock in the morning," said Septima, grinning evilly at Eowyn. "So his bed's that comfortable?"
There was so much blood rushing to Eowyn's face it was a miracle her body could function properly at all. "Alright, I admit it," she hissed.
"Admit what?" asked Auriga.
"What you say is happening is happening," said Eowyn, head in hands.
"What's happening?" asked Auriga, feigning innocence.
Glaring at her friend, Eowyn sighed. "You really want me to say it don't you?"
"Yep," said Charity.
"Fine. I, Eowyn Tauriel Gondolin, am involved in a romantic relationship with Severus Snape (no he doesn't have a middle name, Septima) which, before you force it out of me, Auriga, does incorporate sex. Happy? Or do I need to call my lawyer?"
"You get that recorded, Charity?" asked Auriga, relishing the panicked gleam that came into Eowyn's dark blue eyes.
"What do you mean record?" Charity asked, blinking owlishly up at her taller friend. Eowyn sighed with relief, hand on her heart.
"Please don't tell anyone," Eowyn whispered. "If Umbridge found out …"
"She'd fire you both in a heartbeat," agreed Septima.
"Of what heart?" Eowyn asked.
"We won't tell a soul," said Charity, eager to comfort her friend.
"Apart from Minerva and Rolanda," said Auriga with a grin.
"You mean Minerva's in on this too?" Eowyn gasped, eyes well and truly wide now.
"Mhm!" said Septima with a smile. "She was the one who suspected it in the first place."
"After all," said Charity, "you've practically been her daughter for the last … twenty-two years of her life."
"You won't tell anyone else?" said Eowyn. "No letters to family or anything. If Umbridge finds out she'll have our hides."
"Professor Umbridge, you mean," said Auriga, mimicking Minerva's tone. Her friends rolled their eyes.
"She's just lucky we don't call her something even less complimentary," said Charity. "Like 'the Toad'."
"I'm afraid some second years have already copyrighted that," said Auriga.
"As I recall you gave them ten points each for imagination," said Septima with a smile.
"Why my dear Professor Vector, I have no idea what on earth you are insinuating!" said Auriga, practically radiating fake shock.
So they continued up the flights of stairs until they reached the entrance hall, chatting and laughing and shoving each other like children as they flung barbs at each other, their students, their headmistress and yes, You-Know-Who himself (a.k.a. Snake-Face). It was only when Eowyn finally hugged them all goodnight and began to make her way down to her cottage down in the grounds that she heard Auriga singing away in the background.
"Eowyn and Severus, sitting in a tree, having S-E-X and –"
"For the love of Merlin, Auriga!" she heard Septima exclaim. "Keep your voice down before everyone in the school starts battening down the hatches for fear of procreation!"
And somehow Charity managed to choke through hiccups of laughter, "Can you imagine? Winnie's hair and his nose! Ha! The poor little dear!"
"Shut up before I remember my auror training and unleash a Hungarian Horntail on you!" Eowyn yelled up the stairs, face pink.
"Since when did aurors do that?" asked Charity from above her.
"Since Mad-Eye decided that Vladimir the Vicious could do with a taste of his own medicine," Eowyn called.
"Oh, so now I know why you're so bonkers! You trained under Sir Constant-Vigilance himself! I keep forgetting that!"