Grey_Eminence and racheldiego for the loverly reviews and especially racheldiego for making me realize something that I forgot! *is happy* *plot bunnies dance for joy*
Chapter Three: Not-So-Good News
"MARA MARJORIE ALEXANDRIA, GET IN HERE RIGHT NOW!"
Mara winced at the usage of her full name from a rather pissed off werewolf and opened the door to his room cautiously. Someone was throwing up in the bathroom and Mara's worried face turned to one of horror.
"Did you know about Hermione?" She could see that he was barely containing his anger.
"Em... last night?"
He growled and the door to the bathroom opened, revealing a strained and tired-looking Hermione.
"I'm so sorry, Remus."
Of course, Hermione wasn't the one in trouble. The werewolf's features changed and he whirled around. Remus whooped when he saw her, lifted her into the air, and kissed her sweetly, Mara's scolding forgotten within seconds. The cousin took off at high speeds towards the Great Hall, where her least favorite person greeted her at the entrance.
"I expect to see you today, after dinner, in the dungeons."
He spat it out like something disgusting, and when he turned, his lips were curved back in an annoyed sneer. She watched him walk away after that simple sentence and she blinked in surprise. I didn't need this. She continued into the Great Hall, seating herself in Remus' usual spot, near Dumbledore. The Headmaster leaned across the table.
"How is our lovely Charms professor?"
"Inhibited." And Mara would say no more, concentrating on her food. Then, when apparently most of the school was in the Great Hall, Dumbledore stood up. Mara felt the bottom of her stomach dropping out, as if someone had pulled a plug.
"I would like to make an announcement on behalf of Professors Hermione and Remus Lupin."
Mara's head shot to the door, where Hermione and Remus were standing. Hermione gave them a nervous grin and Mara held a hand to her eyes, to avoid watching a blushing Remus.
"Our lovely Charms professor will not be able to cover her classes, due to the fact that she is with child."
There was an immediate uproar. The applause and the whistles and the shouts of 'You go, Professor Lupin!' and 'Never knew you had it in you, Professor!' reached the ceiling and shook the tables. Most everyone was standing (except Slytherin; big surprise) and Remus' bright red face was a match for Hermione's.
"Miss Alexandria, I daresay you wouldn't mind covering the Charms classes?" Dumbledore muttered into her ear.
Mara's hand left her face in a flash and her jaw dropped. "Wh-what?" she sputtered.
"You cannot expect her to teach while she is pregnant!"
"Headmaster -- Dumbledore, I -- exactly how am I supposed to finish my conference?"
"Do you mean to say it isn't finished yet?" a silky voice said behind her. She looked over her shoulder at Snape. Her lips formed a thin, tight line.
"No, Snape, it isn't."
"I'm sure the staff will help you if you ask for it," Dumbledore said, intervening in the fight that was brewing. Snape's mouth closed and he scowled, walking out of the Great Hall.
"Headmaster, I --"
"Who will teach Mrs. Lupin's classes?"
She sighed. "Right, fine, sure. I'll put up with the brats. Now, if you'll excuse me, I hear a stack of Charms books and conference papers calling my name."
She walked sulkily out of the Great Hall and into the Charms classroom, where she summoned some of her papers and a book. Her eyes lingered on Hermione's plan book, open on the desk, and then she buried herself in a book on the best charms to control a werewolf. She heard the clock ding for the beginning of class and, letting her eyes roll up, she saw the room fill slowly with fifth year Gryffindors and Hufflepuffs. She continued reading, her quill scratching over parchment, making notes. The clock dinged again five minutes later, signaling the beginning of class. A Hufflepuff tripped over his feet in the entrance as the ding faded and Mara looked up.
"Oh, do sit down already!" she snapped as he started to stammer.
"Seeing as how your adorable professors decided to put even more work upon me, I'd better introduce myself. I'm Mara Alexandria and I'm to be your substitute for the next nine months. I'll put up with you if you put up with me. I'm no Hermione, but I'm no Snape either."
Some people chuckled.
"According to her lovely script here, you were going to be covering Freezing Charms today. Wonderful. I suggest you don't take a leaf out of Lockhart's book and wave your wand in figure eights . . ."
Ha! Bet you weren't expecting that! Ha! Aren't I brilliant? *is proud of herself*
So, extended time with Snape. Will a grudging truce emerge? Hm...
Constructive criticism, questions, and comments greatly appreciated!