Sniv for the loverly review. I noticed that there were 136 reads on the first chapter and only one person reviewed! Ack! Have you forgotten that I am the vampire of reviews? Gah! Please review!
Enjoy the chapter!
Mara sighed at her trunk three days later and hefted a bag onto her shoulder. The zipper was shut with difficulty, due to the fact that it was brimming with papers and, in a concealed and cushioned section, potion flasks. Then, lifting her trunk with a wave of her wand, she floated it outside and to the Portkey that sat on her dresser. She set the Portkey onto the trunk and touched it, glancing at her watch. She mouthed the seconds and then she disappeared from the house.
She landed at King's Cross in a secluded area. She disposed carelessly of the now-useless popcorn bag and, setting her trunk in a trolley, rolled to the wall that was Platform Nine and three-quarters. With a deep breath, she ran through the gate, feeling the sucking at her skin as she walked ran through. She gave her ticket to the man there and entered the train, receiving help from the ticket man. Settling in a compartment, she started to shuffle through her papers. There was a tapping at the window as the train tooted its departure and she let in the snowy white owl with the red eyes. The owl settled onto the trunk and Mara flipped through her papers, quill stuck behind her ear.
It was nearly evening when she felt the train slow down. Tired eyes looked out the window at the castle and a faint smile came upon her features. She put away her book (she had given way to leisure and cat napping when she gave up trying to understand the elaborate words of a potions book) and stepped off the trolley, leaving behind everything. The trench coat fanned out around her calves and elaborated every step she took to the carriage that waited for her. Two thestrals pranced nervously, eyes rolling about in their sockets, as she got in. Then, bracing herself against the walls of the carriage, the thestrals took off. Once she was sure she was steady, she propped her elbow against the window and lay her chin in the palm of her hand.
The thirty-nine-year-old stepped off the carriage once she reached the lake and concentrated. Some seconds later, a cardinal hopped along the bank before taking off into the air. The red bird flew through an open window into the Great Hall, where the students were filtering in for dinner. The cardinal, or Mara, sat upon a rafter and watched them with a cocked head.
At the staff table sat her dear cousin, currently in an animated conversation with Minerva. She twittered loudly, the song carrying to his sensitive ears. He halted abruptly and looked up in her direction. The cardinal winked and flew down smoothly, landing before him beautifully. He grinned.
The cardinal hopped to the floor and she sat down in the empty chair next to Remus, well aware of the mutters of the students that were there. Those that came in later were informed of her spectacular, yet detached, entrance. She said hello to Minerva with a bright smile and then entered Remus into a conversation concerning his status.
"Remus, exactly how many students hate you?" she asked lowly, appreciative of the food that appeared before her.
Remus winced. "Um . . . all of Slytherin?"
She snorted and turned to her mashed potatoes. "Why am I not surprised? How many got off from the Death Eater trials?"
"Most of them were forced to join the Death Eater ranks, but Slytherin has been seriously depleted. Give them some slack though. That 'most' I mentioned were under the Imperius. Guess who was one of them."
"Malfoy," she said around a mouthful of potato, swallowing as she saw Dumbledore stand.
"Students! Students! At the beginning of the year, I told you that we would have a speaker here at Hogwarts. Here she is: Mara Alexandria." She stood up, a flush rising in her cheeks, and then sat back down quickly. There was some polite clapping. "I think that she would like to say a few words."
She mouthed the words 'no, no, no' over and over again at him, but to no avail. With a sigh, she stood up again and glared at a sniggering Remus.
"Like Professor Dumbledore said, I'm Mara Alexandria. I'm going to be here to talk to you about werewolves." There was an immediate uproar. Mara rolled her eyes to the ceiling and looked over at Dumbledore, who sent off a few purple sparks and bangs that silenced the room to a few whispers. "I was going to say, before you start the uproar, but you beat me to it," she stated sarcastically and there were a few chuckles. "It's going to extend over a period of seven days. It includes Defense Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration, Charms, Divination, Astronomy, Potions, and Herbology. Some of your favorite subjects, I'm sure," she drawled. Remus kicked her shin under the table and her leg buckled slightly. She steadied herself on the table. "And, just to let you know from the very beginning, Re - Professor Lupin is going to be there the whole time to correct me on anything." She rolled her eyes to the ceiling again. "Before I forget, I will have a co-speaker on the last two days. Please give a round of applause for Professor Severus Snape," she said, sarcasm hanging on every tone. There was applause, some half-hearted and some furious (Slytherin). Gryffindor didn't applaud at all, settling for looking sympathetic. Snape glared at her and she gave him a lazy smile. "I think that's all you need to know . . ." She looked down at Remus and shook his head at her. "Good. And now I'm going to shut up and let us all stuff our faces."
When she sat down, the applause was louder and she occupied herself by cutting a piece of meat. Remus grinned at her and she scowled at him. With that done, she forgot about her conference and concentrated on enjoying the mouth-watering food.
You know the drill. Pretty, pretty please with a cherry on top?