"Miss Eugenie?" the young voice asked, "Do you really have to leave me?"
"Yes, Severus, I do." "Remember what your father said? It's time that you began working with Professor Quen." She said in a low soothing voice as she continued to stroke his head. "Close your eyes now and sleep."
Eugenie shuddered as she recalled the conversation she had with Mr. Snape earlier in the day. The house elf brought her a note as she and Severus were working on sums in the school room. As she took the paper from the salver, she noted the crisp, almost rough texture, of the stationery and realized who it was from.
Please come to my study at once.
There was no signature but she knew that only the master of the house would request her presence in such a fashion. She rose from the desk and smiled down on the boy,
"I must be gone for a little while, Severus. Please continue with the sums and if you finish before I return, you may continue with the story of Hannibal and the elephants." He looked up at her with his solemn face with just the corner of his mouth rising slightly, and she knew he enjoyed the task.
As she left the room, she felt a flutter rise in her stomach. She had never been called to the master's study before. Truthfully, the work she did along with her student had almost been ignored during the two years she had been in the house.
She had been the governess for several wizarding families over the past decade. Most of them were interested in their children's life and education. She stayed long enough in most of the homes to teach the basics of education before the youngsters were ready to move onto a private master or Hogwarts.
It was not so in the Snape home. She rarely saw Mr. Snape, whose activities kept him often from the household. The social world was more important to Severus' mother. Parties, the theater, and the social whirl of the south of France filled her hours.
Most parents came to the classroom daily to visit the children. When they weren't entertaining or traveling, parents invited their children and the governess to the dining table.
That was not true here. Each evening their supper was brought to the classroom and the nursery still served as Severus' bedroom. It was almost as if his parents had forgotten that they had a second son.
Soon after her arrival to the household, she realized that the shy sensitive boy had been raised by a succession of nurses and house elves. Sevrerus' first words and steps had not been viewed by loving doting parents but by someone who felt that he was a responsibility not a child.
Maybe because it was because of the lack of caring parents or adults interested in him, Severus and Miss Eugenie had developed a relationship that he had not had with his nurses or earlier governess. They both enjoyed a love for reading and study that for Severus was unquenchable. History was their favorite subject, both that of the wizarding and that of the muggle worlds. They spent hours together just reading about the Romans in Britain, their conquests of western Europe and the witches and wizards that influenced the age.
The honey-colored wood of the study doors glinted in the sun shine that came though the gallery windows. She knocked softly with no reply. She waited a polite minute and tried again and then heard a brusque reply.
The brass of the knob felt cold in her hand as Eugenie opened the door and entered the richly furnished room. Mr. Snape looked up from his work only long enough to point with his chin to a chair near the desk. The stiff chair with the flat back made her almost sit at attention. In the quietness of the room the only sound present was the ticking of the clock and the scratching of his quill. Her fortitude began to fail as she waited for him to address her.
It seemed like an eon before he finally looked up and reached for an envelope that was sitting on the desk. As he rose, he looked at her in a dismissive manner. His deep baritone voice resonated as he spoke,
"Miss Ermengild, your services will not be needed here after the end of the month." He strode around the desk and held out to her a thick envelope, that matched the note she had received earlier.
"This contains a letter of reference and most generously I feel, a month's wages."
"Sir, " that is Wednesday, the day after tomorrow. But why, is there something I have done wrong?" The words tumbled out of her mouth in a shocked tone.
Valerius Snape looked down at her with his hard dark eyes. He towered over her with his hands held behind his back and an acrid smile on his lips.
"After the death of Isaias, Severus is now my heir." He continued, his thin lips forming the harsh works. " It is time that he took his nose out of a book and quit acting like a fool scholar instead of my heir. I have made arrangements with Professor Quen who will begin tutoring Severus on Wednesday."
"But Sir," she said as she rose to her feet, "he's just a little boy." Eugenie pleaded with tears rising in her voice. "Severus is a very sensitive and bright child. He's not ready..."
"Enough!" "Please inform Master Severus of the changes." With that he moved back to his desk.
She opened her mouth to speak but his cold dismissive look told her that anything she said would be in vain. She turned and left the room quietly closing the door behind her.
When Eugenie closed the study door, it took all her determination to remain standing. She quickly moved to one of the chairs that stood along the gallery wall and sat. Thoughts raced through her mind. Was it something she had done? Something she had failed to do? Then the words of Valerius Snape began to repeat themselves in her mind.
"...After the death of Isaias, Severus is now my heir."
Isaias' death had been a shock to his parents. He was the child that they doted on; their beloved son. All their attention had been given to him. Eugenie had only met Isaias a few times during the two years. He had spent Christmas, and a few weeks of his summer breaks at home but the rest of his free time was spent traveling or at the home of his close friend Lucius.
Severus was six years younger than his brother. His parents had never planned to have a second child. Soon after his birth his mother abandoned him to a nurse and the house elves, who raised him until he was ready for an education.
Isaias was a tall proud boy with rakish good looks and a cavalier attitude. He had always been excessively polite to Eugenie but when she observed him with his younger brother there was a noted evil streak. Like any younger sibling, Severus looked up to his brother and Isaias took advantage of this. One minute Isaias would be kind, generous and attentive; the next his actions would do something that would leave Severus hurt and humiliated.
When she regained her strength, the young governess realized that the task of informing the Severus was now hers.
The door to the schoolroom seemed heavier than it had felt before. It took her entire strength to push it open. Inside she could see Severus sitting on the window seat with his legs crossed under him. On his lap was an oversized book of Roman history. The summer breeze lazily furled the sheer draperies as the boy sat reading
"Miss Eugenie?" he asked with his always questioning air, "Did Hannibal really think that he could take elephants over the Alps in the winter? What as he planning on feeding them?" He looked up at her with the smile he always had on his face when he asked her challenging questions, but when he saw her expression he knew something was wrong.
Eugenie walked over to the window seat and gently sat next to Severus. She quietly took the book out of his lap and took hold of both of his small hands in her larger ones. She sat quietly for a moment as the summer sun shone in through the bay window. She looked at his large dark innocent eyes and his child's face. A lock of his ebony hair had fallen before his eyes.
"Severus." She said as she brushed the hair from his face. Trying to speak in a low controlled voice to keep the tears away she continued. "There is something I must tell you and you must promise to be a strong young man."
He looked into her face, searching for a clue, then looked down into his lap.
"Yes, I promise," his voice now lacking the inquisitive tone it had earlier.
Still holding his hands, Eugenie began.
"Severus, remember the note that I received a little while ago? It was from your Father."
His now pallid face looked up into hers as she tried to continue. She sat motionlessly for a moment as she attempted to form her thoughts into words. All they could hear was the twittering of the birds in the tree outside the window.
"Your Father has arranged for you to work with a new master. His name is Professor Quen. He will be arriving so you may begin your studies on Wednesday."
Severus looked out the window across the lawn to the lake.
"Does that mean . . . " She could hear the quavering in his voice.
"Yes, I'm afraid that it does," Eugenie said. She could see a tear that he was trying to fight forming at the corner of his eye. "I will be leaving the day after tomorrow."
"Why?" he muttered in a cold distant tone. He continued looking across the lawn.
Eugenie stood and he turned to look at her.
"Your Father feels that it is time for you to begin . . . " she grasped for the correct word ". . . a new course of study. You are now the heir and he wants you educated as an heir."
For a moment the boy looked frantic, "What are we to do, I can run away, we could go to Rome and study history!"
"You will not run away, we will not go to Rome, " Eugenie countered with a calm but stern tone.
The governess rose and stood behind the boy with her hands on his shoulders.
" You are grasping at straws, Severus. We must obey your father's wishes."
"Obey . . . obey?" he rose letting the volume of history slip to the floor and turned to her? "Does he know the meaning of that word? You obey someone you respect and esteem. I have neither for him."
"He is your father Severus, even though it is painful we need to do what is asked of us and if this is what he wishes we must comply."
His countenance suddenly became steely and calm as if he was another person; a look that Eugenie had only seen fleetingly after Isaias' death. He turned to face her.
"Good Day, Miss Ermengild," he said with a formal bow and left the room.
After he had left she mechanically began to straighten the school things spread across the table. In her mind's eye she could see him sitting at the table working as he did each afternoon. A bright and sensitive boy who had been a thrown away by parents to busy too care. For the past two years she had been the only caring adult in his life and now she would be leaving also. She walked to the window to pick up of volume of Roman History lying on the floor and began to cry.
Severus did not appear for tea. Eugenie waited for him in the classroom.
Finally she summoned the house elf to remove the tea things. Just before the dinner hour he appeared at the door of the classroom where they took their meals. Eugenie was at her desk putting things in order. She heard the door open and turned to look just as Severus entered.
"Miss. Eugenie?" he said, in a calm quiet voice. "I am sorry for my behavior earlier this day. You are right. It is my responsibility to do what my father wishes." She looked up at him and smiled, but the smile was not returned.
Supper was set upon the schoolroom table as it always was. The house elf quickly arranged things and then departed. Usually this time was full of discussion of the day's studies or plans for side trips to museums or galleries but not tonight. They ate in silence, both picking at the food. When the meal was finished Severus rose and walked to the window. The sun was setting over the lake. Her first instinct was to comfort him, to place her arms around him and hug him like a mother does her child but she knew he would pull away.
"Good Night," he said and he walked to the door that adjoined the classroom
to his bed chamber.
"Good Night," she said as he shut the door.
Sleep would not come to Eugenie that night. The comforting thoughts of work and security were gone from her mind. She knew that finding a new position in a wizarding household would not be hard. Most parents with any position in society wanted their young children schooled at home. Yet it was still the thoughts of the sudden change in her life as she knew it which kept her awake.
As the thoughts tumbled through her head, she began to think back seven months, Isaias was home during the Yule break. He and his friend Lucius. were spending the holiday. Mostly they had ignored Severus and his world of books and boyish dreams. They had more interesting things on their minds, but that day things were different.
She and Severus were in the classroom. Severus was sitting on the floor before
the grate playing with a treasured set of toy knights and books of heraldry
they had borrowed from the manor library. The knights were carefully lined up when they heard raucous laughing coming down the corridor. Severus recognized the two voices and looked up at the door just before it flung open.
The young men who entered the room were tall and stately with aristocratic
features but the opposite in coloring. Isaias' blue black hair and almost
milky skin were in strong contrast to Lucius' pale yellow white hair and rose
leaf complexion. The young men politely bowed to Miss. Eugenie and continued with their loud conversation. Ignoring Severus, they walked around the school room picking up items and making comments. Finally their eyes landed on Severus.
"Well, little brother, what are you up to today?" Isaias touted as he strode
toward the Severus followed by Lucius.
"Look, Lucius," Isaias continued, "his armies are ready for battle." Isaias
stooped and plucked one of the knights from the floor and pitched it to his
friend. Severus' eyes followed the toy as Lucius began carelessly tossing it into the air.
"You know," Isaias continued, "if we were at school I could make them battle. Not much different from my chess set." Both boys smirked as they looked around the room becoming bored with its contents. Finally Isaias glance settled on the lake that was visible through the frost on the window.
"How about a stroll down by the lake, Lucius, something to do before tea?
And, how about if we take the little brother along?" Eugenie looked up at the young men with concern.
"Don't mind, Miss Ermengild," Isaias said with a soft drawl, "We'll keep an
eye on the young master, we'll keep him out of trouble." She could see from
the glint in his eye and the sarcasm in his voice that he had something
planned. Yet she could not refuse to let him go. Severus got up excitedly. It was not often that his beloved brother invited him on an adventure.
Soon Eugenie could see the trio walking along the lane toward the lake. It had been a sunless day and already dusk was beginning to grow. The older boys were walking in tandem with the younger following behind.
It had been a warm autumn and the weather had abruptly turned cold just before Christmas, causing a sudden freeze on the lake. The snow that had fallen during Christmas week had given the grounds a fairy-like appearance. Eugenie remained at the window watching the three. As they neared the lake she saw Lucius remove something from his pocket and begin tossing it in the air and occasionally between the older boys. She could see Severus trying to catch it as they tossed it over his head.
Once they tossed it into the snow. Severus made a dash for it, only to be overtaken by his taller brother who roughly shoved snow in his face as he grabbed the toy from his hand. The older boys kept up with their ruthless game until the object was tossed onto the ice. Again Severus made a dash for the toy.
As Eugenie watched from the classroom window she saw Severus run out onto the ice. The deceiving snow cover on the ice made it appear to be stronger then it was. She gasped in horror as the events unfolded before her. Severus had reached the toy but as he turned the ice before him started to break. As if she was watching in slow motion he began to sink. First the hole was small and as the gap widened he was soon up to his shoulder, grabbing at the crumbling edges.
The older boys had continued walking along the lane and hadn't noticed that
Severus was no longer following them. They must have heard the splashes for she could see them turn and look at the spot where Severus should have been. One of the boys turned to run out onto the ice but the other stopped him. Again she could see the splashes of the smaller boy in the icy water. Finally the taller boy broke free of his friend and ran onto the ice.
By this time Eugenie had regained her senses. She grabbed her cloak that hung on the hook by the door and made a mad dash for the entrance hall. As she ran she called out for the house elf that was in charge of Severus and the
"Crow . . . Crow," she shouted, "Master Severus has fallen through the Ice!"
She raced through the front door and along the frozen gravel lane to the
lake. Her heart throbbed in her chest as she pushed further toward the lake.
As she ran she could see a dark-haired boy lying on the ice trying to pull his brother from cold water. One hand had Severus by the hair and the other was grabbing his cloak as he attempted to pull him up. The surface had become wet and slippery. The water that had splashed up onto the snow-covered ice turned it into a soft and crumbly mess.
With much effort Isaias was able to pull his brother onto the ice. They both
lay there in exhaustion. She could see Lucius standing on the shore with his wand in his hand and his mouth hanging open. The suddenness of the situation had left him without words or the use of magic.
"Don't move, the ice is too thin," she shouted out across the ice as she raced the last hundred yards toward the shore. As she ran she pulled her wand from her sleeve, ready to cast the Wingardium Leviosa charm at the boys, but if it was the shock of the cold water or the direction of the breeze Isaias did not hear her. Isaias had regained his strength and rolled from his back as in
preparation to kneel.
The ice that was now covered with water had been weakened further and the added weight of the older boy was too much. As he began to move the entire section he was on gave way and he slipped below the surface. Eugenie pointed her wand and screamed the spell but it was too late. She again repeated the chant and unconscious Severus levitated from the ice.
"Accio Severus" she yelled and the limp wet boy began floating to her over the ice.
"Do something, he'll drown!" Eugenie screamed at Lucuis who stood like a statue. "Do something," she repeated. " A rope, we have to get him out of there!" He still did not move. By that time the household staff began to appear.
"Crow will do it Miss. Ermengild" the house elf said anxiously. She quickly conjured a rope that was tied to a nearby tree and around the elf's middle.
Nimbly he ventured out onto the ice toward the gaping hole and the black water. They watched in trepidation as he neared the spot. He slipped and landed near the hole coming close to sliding into the water himself. The ice near the hole appeared to be rotting away as the water lapped its edges. Crow lay on the edge of the ice with his arms and face in the water trying to locate Isaias. He was not to be found.
After a fitful night's sleep, Eugenie woke with the glow of the late summer sunrise hitting the flowered wallpaper of her chamber. She lay in bed enjoying the moment when she realized that this would be her last day as part of his household. Arrangements had been made for her to leave after breakfast the following day. She was torn between the need to pack her accumulation of personal items and teaching tools, and spending her final day with her student.
The house elves had brought up her trunk and the boxes for her books. If she could persuade Severus to help her pack the classroom things, it might bring closure to their time together. She entered the classroom to find him seated at the school table with the same volume of Roman History before him.
"Good Morning," she said and he repeated the same to her barely looking up.
"What are you reading about today?"
In his same quiet calm voice he replied, "I've moved on from Hannibal and now I'm reading about the rebellion of Boudicca. Her tribe lived in Norfolk and Suffolk and they fought a vicious uprising against the invading Roman army. Some people think she used magic to fight off the Romans." He closed the book and look at her with his same child like eyes.
"Severus," she said as she knelt on the floor next to the table. "We have one last day together. We can use it to our benefit or we can just shut the door. It's your choice." He looked down at her from his book. At first his eyes were black and cold, his face as severe as his father's, but the longer he looked at her she could see the little boy trying to get out. She stood took the book and summoned the house elf for breakfast.
Their conversation was slow at first, but then began to regain the regular familiarity it had in the past. The mundane topics continued for a while until the child spoke.
"Where will you go?" Severus blurted out after a particularly long pause in the conversation. She had been waiting for that question since the meal started.
"Well," she said trying to sound positive, "I have a sister who lives near York who I can stay with until I can find a suitable position with another family." Trying to change the subject she went on. "We need to make a list of the subjects you have studied so Professor Quen knows where you are standing academically. We can make a list of the books we have read, and document where you are in Latin and Greek and how far we are with mathematics, history and science"
Making the lists and documenting the educational scope and sequences used over the two years took most of the morning. By lunchtime they had the schoolroom in order. Miss. Eugenie's school room things were packed and everything was in its place.
They again ate lunch in the solitude of the classroom and afterward decided to take a walk in the warm afternoon sun. Quietly they slipped out of the house and turned a direction that took them away from the lake. The path circled the small park that surrounded the manner and then turned out into a small copse.
As they ambled they fell back into the roles of teacher and student. They observed plants and talked about their taxonomy and medicinal and magical values. They began to discuss Boudicca and her skirmishes with the Romans. As the walk continued the pauses between the bits of conversation became longer and more frequent. The only sounds were the birds in the trees and the gravel crunching under their feet.
During the lulls in conversation Eugenie began to think of the days she had spent with Severus. When she first came to the Snape household, she found Severus as a quiet reserved child who spent most of his time reading. Memories fled back. The day she discovered they both loved history; reading and discussing favorite books and the exploration of the Snape library.
The thought of the library brought back another memory. That of a cold winter afternoon soon after Isaias' death. The two of them had been working on a plant identification project and they needed a volume she had seen earlier in the library on magical uses for non magical ferns and bracken. She had decided to quickly slip down to the library to grab the volume and Severus was to stay in the classroom and continue with his drawings of the fronds.
It took her a little longer than she expected to find the book. As she climbed the stairs to the classroom she could hear the raised voices of a man and woman. The angry voices became louder and clearer as she came closer to her destination. When Eugenie arrived at the door she realized that the voices were Severus' parents. This was the first time that they had even attempted to visit the classroom and now their voices were raised in anger.
She placed her hand on the knob in preparation to open it but her hand fell away when she realized what they were saying. Valerius was blaming his youngest son for the death of the Isaias. How could he come to this conclusion? How could he say this to his own child? The logic of his argument didn't follow.
"Why were you out of this house," he blared. "Why did you make Isaias go out on the ice after you!" There was no answer from the child and Valerius carried on with his rants. "What were you thinking? Why couldn't have been you instead of your brother. You are a selfish child. Books and reading is all you ever care about. Mark my words Severus; you will never amount to anything."
Eugenie couldn't believe what she was hearing. How could he blame Severus for his brother's death. Rational parents did not do things like that. Isaias' death was an accident. He had been trying to save Severus. Why wasn't his mother trying to defend him. All that Eugenie could hear from her were sobs.
Eugenie stood outside of the door debating what to do. Her hand was inches from the latch when the door flung open and Mr. Snape was standing in the door. His dark lank hair was plastered against his forehead. Valerius' form was pallid and thinner than usual. His black robe swirled gracelessly around his form. His eyes were black and hard and he wore a grimace that expressed his mental state. He walked toward forward pushing her out of his way and flowed down the gallery, his raiment billowing behind him.
When she entered the room Severus' mother was sitting at the school table. Even though she was weeping her countenance was that of a queen: tall, proud, not a hair out of place. Only the smudges of makeup and red eyes gave a clue to the emotions that had passed a few moments earlier. Eugenie scanned the room for Severus. It took a minute to find him cowering on the floor in the corner of the room.
Eugenie looked from Severus to his mother expecting the natural thing to happen, but when Mrs. Snape rose she ignored her son and walked out of the room and never looked back. Eugenie quietly shut the door and went to Severus. She knelt down next to him on the floor near his feet.
"It wasn't your fault," she tried to say in a calm and sympathetic voice. Severus did not reply. His eyes were dry and black. His jaw was set. Severus did not look at Eugenie. He continued in silence.
Again she said, "It wasn't your fault." At this he looked directly at her, rose from the shelter of the corner and walked quietly to his room shutting the door behind him.
They continued their walk they circled the park in silence. The path continued around the grounds and approached the lake from the opposite view. The clouds skittered across the sky making patterns of shadow and light on the lawn and the lake. The marsh plants and trees that grew along the shore made the view seem like something out of an impressionist painting.
They paused as they came to the spot where the accident happened. Eugenie knew she had one chance to tell him. To let the boy know that it was just a terrible accident and there was nothing he could have done to change the hand of fate on that day.
As they paused, she took Severus' hand in her own turning him to face her. "I have something I need to tell you and you have to listen to me." He looked at her and then across the lake, his eyes panning the vista of the opposite shore.
"I already know what you are going to say." His voice coming in a quiet whispers. "You are going to tell me that Isaias death wasn't my fault. Down deep
I know that. What happened is what the fates had planned for us. My mother and father . . . " His child's voice began to quaver.
"Your brother was a fool and a schemer" Eugenie boldly said. "I knew from the glint in his eye that he had something planned, some mischief to hurt you. He just never planned that it would also be his undoing."
They began the walk back to the house when Eugenie stopped again.
"Severus," she said "You are a strong person. Use it to your advantage . . . to get away from all of this. You are the brightest boy I have ever taught." Looking back up at the house she went on. "Don't let them hold you back. In a year or two you will be able to leave here and go off to school. Don't let them handicap you. Learn as much as you can. Remember knowledge is power." They continued up the lane and returned to the house in silence.
The next morning came in a blaze of summer color. It would have been much easier to live through the morning if it had been dark and drizzly. The brightness of the day did not match the sober events that were yet to take place.
Miss Ermengild arrived in the classroom for the last time. Today instead of carrying a book and notes for the day's lessons, she arrived with her cloak over her arm. When she entered the room, Severus was as usual in the window seat reading. She scanned the room as she entered, taking in its view for the last time. The house elves had already laid the things for breakfast in their same orderly fashion.
"Good morning," he said as he looked shyly up from the volume he had been reading.
"Shall we eat before it gets cold?" she asked? They sat at their usual places eating the same breakfast as they had for the past two years.
"Maybe Professor Quen will be a good teacher," she started. "You have never had a man for a teacher. You're older now, think of all of the things he can teach you."
"I suppose your right," answered Severus "I will be different, but I suppose it could be good too."
When they were almost done with the meal, Eugenie took her hand bag and opened it.
"I have something for you Severus," she said as she pulled out a small book "I picked it up the last time I was in London. It was to be a Christmas present but it will function just as well as a going away gift." He took the small book from her hand and began to scrutinize it. The book was small and bound with leather that had been tinted an odd shade of green.
"Open it," she said and as he did he looked up at her with a suspicious smile. "Don't get too excited," she continued. "It's just a reproduction but I thought you might enjoy it anyway. It is a copy of an old Roman wizard's diary with many references to potions. I not only thought you'd enjoy doing the translations but the topic may come in handy someday."
This time as he looked up his smile was genuine. Then he did something that he had never done before and it took Eugenie by surprise. Severus put his arms out and hugged her.
"I'm really going to miss you," he whispered.
"I'll miss you too. But Severus, remember what I said yesterday" She pulled him away so she could look him clearly in the eyes. "Knowledge is power. Learn everything you can and never quit learning. When you get to school things, will be different." This time she hugged Severus.
That very moment the door was unceremoniously cast open and Professor Quen stood before them. They dropped their embrace and turned to look in his direction. Professor Quen was not an imposing figure of a man. He was short, extremely thin, and balding, but his countenance said something different. If a man could look languishing and sinister at the same time, Professor Quen's visage was genuine. He swept into the classroom and looked at Eugenie.
"You are Miss Ermengild, I presume, and this is must be the young Mr. Snape?" Eugenie and Severus were still sitting at the table, which gave the professor the opportunity to look down upon them. It took a few moments for Eugenie to regain her composure and she rose to greet him with an extended hand and which the professor ignored.
"Yes, I am Eugenie Ermengild. I am very happy to meet you Professor Quen. You are quite correct. This is Severus your pupil." Severus rose to meet his teacher but the professor swept by and began scanning the books in the classroom shelves.
"Professor Quen, I have left for you . . . " Eugenie began endeavoring to sound like the professional educator she was but he cut her off in mid sentence.
"If you have good-byes to say, do it and get it over with. We have work to do here and I'm sure plenty of catching up to do. I have no need for silly emotion," he said with a sardonic tone.
She looked at Severus with tears in her eyes.
"One last good bye," she said as she gave him another hug. "Remember to learn everything you can."
"I will," the boy whispered. "You won't be disappointed."
They held their embrace for another moment until Eugenie broke it.
"I must go," she said as she reached for her cloak and handbag. " Do not forget" She turned for the classroom door and opened it for the last time.
As the door shut behind her the last word she heard was Professor Quen:" . . .
Things will be different here from now on . . . "
Notes on names...
St. Valerius: Feast day June 14. Sts Valerius and Rufinus were beheaded in 287 for being missionaries in Gaul.
St. Isaias, Bishop: Feast day May 15. Native of Kiev born in the eleventh century. He was know for his works of charity. Died in 1090 and his body was enshrined in the Cathedral in Rostov.
St. Ermengild: Feast day February 13. Daughter of King Erconbert, king of Kent, and Queen Sexburga. Married to King Wulfhere of Mercia. After her husband's death she went to the abbey at Minister - in - Sheppey which was founded by her mother. Ermengild became the third royal abbess of Ely. She died in 703.
Bl. Eugenie: Feast Day March 10. Born in Metz France in 1817. During a pilgrimage to the shrine of Sainte-Anne d'Auray in 1825 she felt called to founded a teaching institute that worked in the world, but kept monastic observances. In 1839 she founded the group later named the Congregation of the Assumption (Religious of the Assumption, Sisters of the Assumption) to perform this mission. The Assumptionists received papal approval in 1888. Died 1898.