If Minerva would let him, he would have transformed Umbridge into the toad that she was. He was sure that all his malice for her would more than make up for the fact that he was hopeless at Transfiguration. Running his hand over his face he pinched his brow and silently prayed for whatever god that was out there to strike this foul creature from the face of the earth, taking her stupid little kitten plates that Eowyn thought so adorable with her. Oh, alright, maybe he'd let Eowyn keep the kitten plates.
Eowyn. She was the source of their troubles. She was never on time for anything, staff meetings or otherwise. Breakfast. Quidditch matches. Classes. Although he had to admit, that last one could sometimes be attributed to his own fault. She was just too hard to resist sometimes.
"This cannot continue! Professor Gondolin's constant lateness to her classes and my meetings cannot be tolerated! This is on top of all the other problems within her teaching curriculum! Letting the children near that filthy octopus creature" – it's a bloody squid, woman – "is beyond dangerous and –"
Tune her out! Tune her out!
But it was so hard! Dolores' high, girlish voice insisted upon penetrating every single layer of hatred that he built up. So high and screeching. Not like Eowyn's. Eowyn's Irish lilt was clear and friendly and warm – except for when she had slapped Gilderoy Lockhart around the head and screamed at him for daring to touch her. Now that had been a moment worth seeing, he thought, a selfish grin creeping onto his face. The look on Lockhart's face. The shock. It had filled his heart (yes he had one) with deep schadenfreude joy … not to mention an increased level of love and admiration for the woman who had put that look there in the first place!
He'd done it! He'd tuned Umbridge out! His smile grew even wider and …
"Severus are you alright?"
It was Charity. She looked genuinely concerned. But then Charity looked genuinely everything. She couldn't have told a lie if she wanted to. Hufflepuff to the core.
"Yes," said Severus, supressing a yawn. "Why do you ask?"
"It's just that …" Charity began.
"You're smiling, Snape," said Auriga with a grin.
"Is it a crime to smile?" asked Severus, consciously turning the corners of his mouth down.
"It is in your universe," said Septima.
"I do not know what you mean, Professor Vector," said Severus, turning to face Umbridge, who was going on about Eowyn's 'reckless antics' on the Quidditch pitches two weeks ago. She saved Malfoy's bloody life, woman! What more do you want?
"Are you in love, Severus?" Septima asked, a wide grin spreading over his face, a grin which he vividly remembered from their schooldays.
"Do you not know, Septima," said Severus, as Charity and Auriga quietly died of laughter, "I do not have a heart to love."
Before they could come up with a suitable retort, the door was flung open and Eowyn Gondolin made her typical late, dramatic entry. Actually this was more dramatic than usual.
Eowyn's hair was flying everywhere, blondish brown strands flopping all over the place. Her eyes, dark blue and flecked with teal, were bright with the excitement that always filled them when she was in a rush. Freckles glowed in the lantern light. Plump pink lips were parted slightly as she panted. He'd kissed those lips many times. He'd kissed them just a few hours ago. He'd heard them gasp his name.
Cool it, Snape, that line of thought isn't going to enhance your concentration skills!
But this wasn't the dramatic part. He doubted any of the other professors even noticed her lips or her hair or her freckles. They were used to them. It was the fact that she was still in her nightclothes.
If the tie on her nightgown had stayed tied it would have been alright. But as it was Eowyn's knotting skills did not come anywhere close to her skill with animals so it had of course come loose and was barely hanging off one shoulder. It was dark blue, her favourite colour and the colour of her house, Ravenclaw. She had four nightgowns exactly, one yellow (Hufflepuff), one red (Gryffindor), one green (Slytherin) and of course this one. She would wear them alternately (in other words to a pattern that he didn't understand) but the blue was still his favourite. The nightgowns were all very loose and McGonagall style but the same could not be said for her chemise.
She had not been intending to be seen in public, that much was obvious. It only just made it to her knees, showing off long, naturally tanned legs and small, scarred feet (she was an ex-auror for crying out loud!). On top of that it wasn't exactly loose and clung to her, revealing a narrow waist and … don't look at the chest, Severus. That is one sure way that this will end in disaster. It occurred to him that he should know how long her nightclothes were. But he supposed he'd been in too much of a rush to get it off to realise.
The other professors were, of course, staring their eyes out. Dolores looked as though she could have drained the lake with her mouth. Minerva's mouth was a tight, but slightly amused, line. Pomona was shaking her head, hand over her eyes. Rolanda Hooch was stewing up an embarrassing retort. Poor Filius was redder than a tomato's backside. And Professor Lench. Severus' mouth tightened. That man was the embodiment of the words 'lecherous stare'.
It wasn't fair. Every year there would be someone eyeing her up. First it had been Lockhart (damn the man to seventh hell). Then Remus (ugh). Then Igor bloody effing Karkaroff ('nough said!). Now it was Carimus Lench, the man who had come in to cover for Bathsheda Babbling the Study of Ancient Runes teacher while she went on maternity leave. Oh, he envied the woman. She didn't have to spend her days catering to Umbridge's every bloody whim.
"He stares at you."
Eowyn had laughed, eyes twinkling adorably and hair blowing in the wind that came up from the lake. "Everyone stares at me, Severus. I'm the wacky Irish auror who doesn't understand the word 'safety' and has hair like a haystack! Everyone stares!"
He rubbed the hand that was in the small of her back in circles a little. "Yes. But I mean he's INTERESTED."
"In me or the size of my arse?" she'd asked, frank as ever.
"Probably the latter," he said.
She'd smiled. "It's nothing to worry abou', Severus. You know I'll hex him to within an inch of his life if he tries anything."
"I know. But I'm a jealous man. I don't like sharing. Especially not a fire-pot like you with a fop like him."
She had laughed again at that, giving him an affectionate squeeze. "Well I'm not jolly well going to walk around with a neon sign saying 'I belong to Severus Snape' hanging above my head, so I'm not!"
They had continued off towards the castle, laughing, forgetting Lockhart and the monster hidden in Hogwarts' depths and the stacks of exams that lay on their desks. They merely laughed.
She made him laugh. That was one of the many things he loved about her. She, so innocent and charming and honest, she had been the first person in so many years to make him genuinely, purely happy.
"What?" asked Eowyn, glancing around the room. Even now, no longer possessing the ignorant attributes of a virgin, she could be so innocent at times, entirely unaware of the effect her body could have.
Before Umbridge could say anything Minerva spoke up. "You might want to re-tie the knot, Eowyn," she said gently.
"What knot?" asked Eowyn, running a hand through her hair in an effort to tame it.
"Look down," said Rolanda Hooch.
Slowly a bright red flush crept up her neck and over her cheeks. Grabbing the sides of her nightgown she hastily pulled it securely around her body, before striding over to sit in her usual spot, between Severus and Minerva.
"Stop!" said Umbridge.
What now, woman?
"What?" asked Eowyn, confused.
"You are not sitting next to a man, Professor Gondolin. Over there between Professor Burbage and Professor Vector!"
You bloody –
Don't swear, Snape.
This is my own thoughts, I can bloody well swear when I want to!
Dolores knew nothing. The staff of Hogwarts might stare in amazement and embarrassment, but they would never let it go any further. Hagrid, Filius, Filch. They could all be trusted.
I probably can't, he thought, a faintly amused smile quirking his lip. Three years ago maybe. But not now.
Still, even if he wasn't going to be angry at Umbridge for her underestimation of the staff's moral standards, he could be enraged at her for depriving him of a game of footsies under the table.
"As you wish," said Eowyn, walking over to sit down between her friends. Looking over at Severus she rolled her eyes, then pointed a finger to her head.
**Does that mean 'shoot Umbridge' or 'occlemence'?**
He saw her start a little at the words in her mind. Then she sent back **D'you have a gun?**
Then Umbridge started talking and they were forced to pay attention. Or at least pretend to.
Hope you like it! Please review and tell me what you think! I will hopefully be able to update regularly and although I haven't got all the chapters written I have the storyline all planned out so you needn't fear that this will be an unfinished fic! The dates in the chapter names are important as there is a bit of jumping around in time so pay attention to them. Now, if you hate Gilderoy Lockhart (and Umbridge) and love Severus Snape then this is the place for you! Once more please review and if you've any ideas let me know! :)