Jealous? No way!
Jealous? No way!
As the weeks went by, however, Elizabeth’s happiness had slowly evaporated, and as usual, it was Professor Fletcher who was to blame – he and his nightmarish Potions lessons, which were becoming worse and worse by the minute. On one dull, grey December afternoon, this poor excuse for a teacher had decided he’d had enough of demonstrations, and actually forced the students to make a potion of their own. Thus making a big mistake, because most students were unable to make a proper potion even under Snape’s supervision, but at least Snape had prevented most of the cauldrons from exploding ... unlike Professor Fletcher, who, with his lack of knowledge and teaching experience, could do nothing but watch helplessly as panic began to spread around the classroom at the speed of a bushfire. One by one the cauldrons exploded, causing various more or less serious injuries to their owners. Soon, most of the class was up in the hospital wing, with Joshua and Jamie, who had been affected the most, having to be carried up, as they were both unconscious. The few students, who’d managed to remain free of injuries, then spent the rest of the afternoon helping Professor Fletcher clean the classroom.
“That’s it, I’ve had enough!” fumed Elizabeth as she and Jane were walking from the dungeons. “I have to find out where Snape is, and hopefully make him come back.”
“O.K., but who are you going to ask?” inquired Jane.
Elizabeth had to admit she didn’t know yet, but just then, she saw Harry, Ron and Hermione coming in the opposite direction, so she said: “I’ll ask Harry. He knows everything that goes on around here, so he might know something about Snape too.”
And with that, she ran up to him, giving a nod in the direction of Ron and Hermione before blurting out: “Hi, Harry! So happy to see you ... I was just just wondering if you could tell me where Snape is at the moment? I really need to talk to him and I thought you might know…”
Harry gave her a look as if to say ‘Why would anybody want to talk to him?’, but eventually answered: “I think he’s on some kind of mission, but I don’t know where. And even if I did, I probably wouldn’t be allowed to tell you, because I heard Dumbledore say something about it being very secret and-”
But at that moment, he was interrupted by Ron, who’d been watching Elizabeth rather suspiciously right from the start of the conversation, and who now asked: “Why would you want to talk to that greasy git, anyway?”
For some reason, this insult of Snape had sent a wave of fury going all through Elizabeth’s body, suddenly making her want to knock Ron to the ground and beat the living hell out of him. But she quickly dismissed any such thoughts from her mind and brought herself to answer the question with a false sweet smile instead.
“Well, maybe you haven’t noticed,” she said, trying to look as innocent as possible, although even Ron couldn’t mistake the sarcasm in her voice for anything else, “but Professor Fletcher is an incompetent old fool, and after today I’m beginning to fear for the students’ safety. That’s why I want to talk to Snape – to try and make him come back ... before somebody gets seriously hurt.”
“You want Snape back?” asked Ron in disbelief. “You must be out of your mind! Whatever Fletcher did today, it surely couldn’t have been as bad as even a single minute with Snape!”
“You have Potions on Thursday, right?” Elizabeth asked, clearly not expecting an answer, for she quickly went on, determined to have the last word. “So maybe you should keep your opinion to yourself until then, because unless I’m greatly mistaken, Fletcher won’t be put off by today’s incident – and he’ll try the same with your class. Then perhaps the idea of Snape coming back won’t sound so bad to you any more. Have a nice evening!”
And with that, she departed, leaving Ron staring open-mouthed after her.
But she hadn’t even reached the end of the corridor, when she heard somebody running after her. Turning around, she saw Jane ... accompanied by a rather excited-looking Hermione Granger. Elizabeth rolled her eyes – she and Hermione weren’t exactly friends ... in fact, she found the girl quite unpleasant, and ever since their rather one-sided conversation four years ago, she had been doing her best to avoid the Gryffindor’s company as much as possible. But it looked as though there would be no getting out of it this time – the best she could do was to take a deep breath and...
“Hey, Elizabeth, that was great!” Hermione exclaimed. “Even I can’t usually get Ron to shut up like that – you’ve really left him speechless there!”
Elizabeth let her breath out a bit quicker than she’d intended. For a moment, she was lost for words, because whatever she’d expected Hermione to say, it wasn’t this.
“Well ... thank you, Hermione,” she said finally. “But I thought Ron was your friend, or am I wrong?”
“Oh, he is,” Hermione whispered, looking around as if to make sure he wasn’t anywhere near. “But he can get very annoying sometimes, talking about Quidditch for hours... Or take Snape – he’s absolutely obsessed with hating that man; I don’t think even Harry hates him that much, even though I’d understand if he did. Anyway, talking about Snape – I agree with you, I too think he should come back. I’d never say this in front of Ron, but the truth is, I’d do absolutely anything to get the school rid of Fletcher. I just can’t stand that guy! Mind you, Snape’s not much better – cruel and mean and unfair, but at least he knows his stuff. And when he returns, I might actually be happy to see him for once.”
“It almost sounds as though you fancy him,” Elizabeth said, feeling a sudden pang of jealousy shoot through her body. “Seeing I’ve never heard any other person say as much as one nice word about him before...”
“Heavens, no!” Hermione cried, shuddering at the very thought. “What on earth got an idea like that into your head?”
“Sorry, forget it,” Elizabeth muttered, suddenly feeling very foolish. “That was rather silly of me. Anyway, got to go, it’s late and I want to get some sleep. Good night!”
And having said that, Elizabeth quickly spun around and started to leave, but before Hermione could respond, she turned back again, and on a sudden impulse said: “Oh, and if Ron gets too annoying, you’re welcome to come and sit with us.”
Hermione smiled. “Thank you, Elizabeth. Actually, I might use the invitation as soon as tomorrow. I’d like to do a bit of studying, and our common room is far too noisy. Would you two like to join me in the library in the evening?”
Elizabeth and Jane both nodded, and after wishing each other good night, they all set off in different directions for their dormitories.“Great, we’ve missed dinner,” Jane mumbled gloomily, but Elizabeth was too absorbed in her own thoughts to listen. Did she really feel jealous just a few minutes ago? And if so, why? Why would she mind if Hermione fancied Snape? Maybe it wasn’t jealousy after all, but a completely different feeling, and she had just misinterpreted it. Or maybe, she was just tired. That sounded by far like the best option, so she decided to stick with it and hope that after a long hot bath and a good night’s rest, all these thoughts and feelings would just melt away.