I bring fic.
Title: Ten Things Adelaide Tippings Learnt About Severus Snape and One Thing She Did Not.
Chapter Title: Chapter One: Arrival
Characters: Adelaide Tippings (OC), Severus Snape, Albus Dumbledore.
Summary: Adelaide arrives at the castle, and meets Severus for the first time.
Notes/Disclaimers: I sadly own none of the characters except Adelaide Tippings. This fic is taking place during The Goblet of Fire. I'm aware that the timeline is totally crack!
The only other person that was as visibly excited at the prospect of the children arriving at Hogwarts besides Adelaide was Hagrid. She remembered how excited and scared she had been when she had first arrived on the platform at Hogsmeade Station when she was a first year. The thrill and excitement of meeting all these new people, and the prospect of being sorted into houses. She had offered to go with Hagrid to usher the first years into the boats, but Dumbledore had summoned her to his office so that he could finalize the teaching arrangements for the year ahead.
Adelaide had never been in the headmaster’s office before. One of the perks of being a teacher at Hogwarts was that you were allowed to roam the castle at your will, and it was one that a curious Adelaide had promised herself she would take full advantage of. As she entered Dumbledore greeted her with a warm smile and a friendly handshake.
“Ah, Miss Tippings, so good to see you again! I hope that you had a pleasant journey to Hogwarts, I am very sorry that I could not be here to greet you personally, but I had some urgent business to attend to.”
“I had a very pleasant journey, thank you headmaster. Please, do call me Adelaide.”
“Only, if you will call me Albus, Adelaide. We are just waiting for Severus Snape to arrive, and then we shall begin to arrange the teaching schedule.”
Adelaide felt herself go rather red. Meeting Severus Snape was not something she had been looking forward to. She knew that anyone would have been angry having to train a new member of staff and have their teaching programme messed up at such a short notice, it was understandable, but she had heard of the infamous manners of Severus Snape, and knew that he was the person least likely to take this well.
“Oh, I see”, she managed to say after a while. Dumbledore gave her a reassuring smile, obviously having sensed her unease.
“Do not worry my dear; Severus is nothing to be scared of.”
Adelaide felt herself blush even more, and just as she opened her mouth to reassure Dumbledore that she was not afraid of Severus Snape, the stone door to the office slide open.
Snape came into the office, his black robes billowing out behind him. He looked to Dumbledore and nodded curtly, making no further movement as to suggest he even saw Adelaide. Dumbledore rose from his chair and shook hands with Snape.
“Severus, good to see you arrived here safely. May I introduce our new addition to the teaching staff here at Hogwarts, Miss Adelaide Tippings.”
Snape looked down at Adelaide, his face stoic. He surveyed her for a few seconds before nodding curtly again in a non-verbal greeting. A nervous feeling rose up in Adelaide’s stomach, she felt like a child again facing the scornful looks from her parents, and anxiously fixed the sleeves of her shirt, looking to the floor.
“Well,” Dumbledore continued, “shall we get underway, please have a seat Severus.”
He flicked his wand and a chair identical to Adelaide’s appeared next to her. Snape took his seat, and Dumbledore took some rolls of parchment from a drawer in his desk.
“I did not want to allocate Miss Tippings too many classes before she is ready, Severus, so I have assigned her the Second and Fourth year classes to teach alone only. I have taken the liberty of assigning you the Fifth and Sixth year classes, Serverus. It is my wish that you both take any First, Third and Seventh year classes together, as these are important classes and I feel that it is vital that Miss Tippings learns how best to teach these classes. Would you agree?”
Adelaide turned to Snape. He was shifting uncomfortably in the seat, and leaned forward slightly, as if to talk directly to Dumbledore and not her.
“If you permit me, headmaster, may I suggest that the Fourth year class is much too advanced to be taken by an untrained teacher with a lesser knowledge of the course material than myself. There is too much at stake if she teaches the students the wrongly. I feel it is best that I take this class.”
Adelaide felt anger rise in her chest, “I am anything but untrained, Professor Snape, I can assure you that.”
Surprised, Snape turned to her, making eye contact with her for the first time since they met.
“I am not suggesting that you are unsuitable for this position, Miss Tippings, only undertrained to teach potions at such a high level, and few posses such an understanding for the subject as I do.”
Adelaide’s face grew hot, she sat up straighter in her chair.
“Professor Snape, I do not think you have any basis to make this assumption of me, as you only met me minutes ago, so you cannot possibly know what I am qualified to do, and what I am not.”
Snape drew back his shoulders indignantly, and sat back in his chair, apparently choosing to ignore what Adelaide had just said.
“I think,” Dumbledore began, “that if it means so much to you Serverus, that I shall change Miss Tippings classes to Second and Third years, and then you can both teach the Fourth years, and you shall see just what Adelaide here is capable of.”
Dumbledore rolled away his parchment, giving a little wink to Adelaide.
“I think that was all I had to talk to you both in the way of teaching matters, now I am sure you are both aware of the other reason I have asked Adelaide here this year.”
Snape gave a small sigh and Adelaide nodded knowingly.
“I feel that it’s you, Severus, that would be better at explaining the Order’s work to Adelaide, Potions was never my strong suit, I must admit. If you could do me the favour of showing Miss Tippings the potions laboratory, and fill her in with the work you have been doing, I’d appreciate it. I do say that you will manage to do so at the moment, the students will be here in roughly an hour.”
Snape rose from his seat with a “yes, headmaster” and billowed to the door and down the stone stairs before Adelaide even knew what was happening. Dumbledore rose from his chair and shook his head sympathetically.
“It appears that Severus is in some sort of a rush, my dear. Well I wish you good luck with the following year, and I shall introduce you to the students tonight. Now if you will excuse me I have some last minute arrangements to finalize.”
“Oh course headmaster, I just have to thank you again,”
“I’ll hear nothing of the sort,” Dumbledore interrupted, “It is you I have to thank, Miss Tippings for bringing you’re talent to this school. I was worried that certain members of staff, shall we say, would not take kindly to your presence, and while I was right, I am sure you will be perfectly able to convince them otherwise.”
Blushing, Adelaide walked down the stone steps to try and find where Snape had billowed off to.
She found him, pacing the corridor outside Dumbledore’s office. Adelaide thought that his large black robes gave him the appearance of an overgrown bat, and she stifled a smile. She cleared her throat to gain his attention. Snape stopped mid pace, he wore the expression of someone that was mildly annoyed, and Adelaide thought to herself that this must be the constant state of mind that he was always in.
“I suppose I should start by showing you the classrooms.” Snape said, after a short silence.
“Yes, if you don’t mind,” replied Adelaide, “I did try to have a look around them when I first arrived but all the doors in the dungeon were locked.”
“Yes, I don’t appreciate people who lurk around where they are not wanted” Snape answered in a slightly accusatory tone, before turning and proceeding along the corridor.
“Oh, right” sighed Adelaide in the deserted corridor, “this is how it’s going to be.”
They walked in silence towards the dungeon with only the sound of Adelaide’s heels clicking along the stone floor accompanying them. Another thing Adelaide loved about the wizarding world was the fantastically eccentric clothes you could get away with wearing. When Adelaide lived in the muggle world, she dressed like any other late 20-something would, but in the wizarding world, she could get away with looking as if she’d stepped out a Charles Dickens novel. Today she wore a full length grey skirt with a black scarf tied at her waist and white long sleeved, high necked shirt. She always wore her long hair pinned up on top of her head in a curly brown mess. It was too unruly to even think about trying to control it. Her skin was very pale, but she had a healthy glow in her cheeks, and was lucky enough to be blessed with naturally good looks that she never had to wear much make up.
Adelaide wondered to herself whether Severus Snape had been a better looking man in his younger days. He had arrived at Hogwarts a year or two after she left so she had never met his younger self. Was this tired looking man with lanky black hair the result of 14 years of teaching? Although, she supposed that, in Severus’s case, a previous allegiance with You-know-Who was probably to blame.
Finally they came to the bottom of the dungeon staircase.
“These are where all potions rooms are located.” Snape began. He walked over to the first door and opened it; Adelaide was surprised when he motioned for her to enter first. “This is the teaching classroom for the first to third years, and next door is the classroom for fourth to seventh years; they are both connected by adjoining doors. Through here is my office, although I am not sure where they will be allocating you.”
They left the classrooms and entered Snape’s office. At the far end of the room was a dark oak desk with lots of dust covered books littering its surface, long shelves lined the room, housing lots of strange looking roots and potions ingredients in glass jars. Adelaide walked over to a jar that contained small organs that looked like toad hearts and tapped at the glass with a childlike curiosity. She turned to Snape who was still standing in the doorway staring at a brand new oak desk that was in the middle of the room, it had nothing on it apart from a small gold plaque which read, “Miss A Tippings.” Snape’s face was livid.
“I don’t know who exactly in the Order arranged it so that you were here to spy on me,” he began, “but my work for Dumbledore is highly classified and dangerous and I do not appreciate anyone thinking that I cannot be trusted.”
Adelaide stared at Snape open mouthed. She could not believe what she was hearing.
“I have no idea what you are talking about!”
Snape suddenly took a few steps towards Adelaide, surprised she jumped back banging against the shelf that held the toad hearts. Snape stood inches from her almost shaking with anger, his eyes, which previously had made little contact with her own, now boring into her.
“You can tell Sirius Black that what I am up to is none of his business and if he is so interested in what I am doing he should face me like a man, rather than hide away in that house of his and send some beautiful half-wit to charm me into giving up my personal affairs. You may have fooled Dumbledore, but you and the rest of the Order cannot fool me.”
Adelaide felt as if he had just struck her. She could not believe what she as hearing. The idea that she had been sent to spy on Snape was ludicrous. She felt her face grow hot again, and the anger rise inside her.
“I think you will find, Severus, that you are dreadfully mistaken. I am not here to spy on you, or collect evidence against you, or do charming of any sort. I have never met Sirius Black in my life; in fact I think you will find that I have only ever been to his residence once when I met with Dumbledore to discuss this position. You are well aware of the two reasons that I am here, there is no deception in my presence.”
Snape opened his mouth to reply but she continued.
“What I find most insulting by your accusation is not the fact you think I could be capable of such deception but the fact that you think I am an idiot.”
Adelaide took a step forward and prodded Snape in the chest. His mouth still hung open, giving him a look of boyish stupidity.
“I cannot believe that you think the only reason I was hired by Dumbledore and allegedly by Sirius Black was because of the way I look. Do you really think that the only reason I am here is because of you? Is because I’m attractive mean that I couldn’t possibly be intelligent? I am stunned you thought so much of yourself to have actually believed someone would plant me as a spy to find out what you are up to. I have to tell you, no one cares all that much, frankly everyone at the Order wishes you’d stop talking about it. It is you that is making it out to be bigger than it is!”
Adelaide pointed past Snape to where her new desk stood.
“And I will make sure that is removed. I wouldn’t want to inconvenience you in any way, now if you’d please excuse me…”
Adelaide pushed past Snape and started to walk towards the door when he grabbed her arm and pulled her in. A hot stab of fear exploded in her chest. His dark eye’s pierced hers, the look of absolute fury in them frightened her. She felt hot tears being to rise behind her eyes as she struggled to remain composed. His face was unreadable, he seemed to be trying to look into her mind to be absolutely sure what she was saying was true. They stood like this in the harsh silence for what seemed to her like an eternity.
“Let me go.” Adelaide finally managed to whisper through gritted teeth.
Snape, as if suddenly realizing what he was doing let her go at once. She made straight for the door, trying not to run from the room, and paused before leaving to turn back to Snape. He was standing with his hands against the wall looking down at the floor. For a fleeting moment Adelaide would have believed he was truly sorry for his outburst.
As she hurried up the stairs to the Great Hall, Adelaide could here the sounds of the students arriving. She knew that from what happened here tonight, her year at Hogwarts was going to go from bad to worst, and she knew that, besides You-know-Who, Severus Snape was the man she was most frightened of in the world.