Chapter Three

Awareness came slowly to Elana. It appeared in stages, first sound filtering through the haze and then shadows chasing each other across her face. Grimacing at how sore her body felt, Elana cracked open an eye just enough to see that she was indoors before squeezing it shut again. The light was playing havoc with her skull, which felt as though someone's cook had been tenderizing it recently. Maybe I should have just died. It would be hells of a lot less painful.

The sound of a door opening interrupted Elana's rather dark thoughts and the sound of footsteps approaching her bed caused her to peep through narrowed eyes. An old man with the longest beard she had ever seen was looking down at her with a rather pleasant expression. It also oozed curiosity and Elana forced her eyes open the rest of the way. "You caused quite the stir, young lady, when you popped up the way you did." He started, claiming one of the chairs by the bed. "The poor Hufflepuff team was in hysterics, though I'm sure they'd deny it."

"I... where am I?" Elana had a lost look on her face. The man chuckled a bit before saying, "Where are my manners? My name is Albus Dumbledore and I'm the Headmaster of the rather magnificent school you currently find yourself in." Elana perked up a bit at this, hissing at the bolt of pain that lanced between her temples. "A school? Is it one of the schools affiliated with the White Wind school?" It was Dumbledore's turn to perk up slightly, giving the young woman a rather inquisitive look. "I'm afraid I'm not familiar with that school. Are you a teacher there?" Elana slumped back on the pillow, wincing as the motion elicited another jolt of pain, and sighed.

"No, just a disciple. I studied there until I made Journeyman." Elana felt her eyes getting heavier and heavier, and soon she was losing the battle to keep them open. Dumbledore chuckled as he saw their guest drift off, standing up and making his way to the door. "Well?" A woman had been waiting in the hall, a bit impatiently it would seem, and now she was giving Dumbledore a rather severe look. "Did you find anything out?" Dumbledore proceeded to walk towards his office, and his companion fell into step beside him. "From what I could gather we seem to have a rather interesting guest, Minerva." He chuckled again to himself.

"Perhaps we should wait until the entire staff is available to discuss the particulars?" Minerva huffed a bit before giving a nod and sweeping away. The students milling in the halls quickly hugged the walls as she strode past, craning their necks to see where she was going in such a hurry. Reaching a staircase, Minerva squared her shoulders before proceeding to march down into what could only be described as a dungeon. Eventually, she stopped outside a door and paused a moment before reaching up and knocking forcefully. There was the muffled sound of an explosion, and what might have been a cut-off curse, before the door was yanked open and an irate face appeared before her own.

"Well? What could possibly be so pressing that you would see fit to interrupt a detention?" A sneer twisted itself on to his face as a cloud of smoke began billowing out the door above his head. Almost lazily a wand appeared in his hand and he waved it behind him. Another muffled curse, most likely a startled student, sounded from the room as the smoke vanished. Minerva sniffed before telling him about the staff meeting Dumbledore was holding shortly. "I decided to start at the bottom of the castle and work my way up, rather than run all over creation trying to track down everyone." She finished, tapping a foot impatiently.

"Very well." And the door was shut in her face. Bristling momentarily, Minerva gave the door a dark look before heading back to the stairs. Inside the classroom, the Professor stalked back to the front of the room where he glowered at the trembling first year standing in front of a now spotless cauldron. "I'm afraid tonight's detention will have to be cut short," he began, sweeping the papers on his desk into a drawer. "and knowing how disappointed you must be I'll gladly issue another one for tomorrow to make up the lost time." The poor boy's face, which had started to light up at the idea of freedom, crashed back down into horror. "Now get out."

As the boy scurried out the door, the Professor glanced around the room a final time before heading out himself. Locking the door behind himself, he swept up the staircase into the Great Hall and stalked over to another staircase that would lead to the staff room. Any students unlucky enough to cross his path quickly changed direction. Finally reaching the correct room, he pushed the door open and slipped inside. "Ah, Severus." Albus looked over from the discussion he was previously engaged in, the tiny man he was talking to moving to claim a seat. "Now that we're all gathered, I believe it's time to make sure everyone's up to date on recent events."

A/N- I need to know. How was my inner Snape?