12: Grand-Ma-Ma Snape
I understand it's been forever so if no one is still interested that's OK. I can't make any guarantees of future chapters (of anything) but I AM writing more than I have in the last 2 or 3 years thanks to some major life upheavals finally settling down.
12: Grand-Ma-Ma Snape
Despite her misgivings about the black coach and creepy skeleton-reptile-horsey things pulling it, Willow decided it was kinda neat, and pretty comfy too. Also, she was beginning to see that it really suited her father, in a dark wizard undertaker wannabe kind of way. No one spoke and Willow found herself giving in to the wonderful haze of sleep, head pillowed on Kennedy's shoulder as the slayer's thumb made absent circles on the back of her hand.
She awoke to a muffled argument over who was going to carry her inside. A glance around proved she was alone in the shadowed carriage while her father and Kennedy argued. Stifling a yawn she stumbled out of the carriage. “Nobody's gonna carry me. I can walk.” She only stumbled once or twice on her way up the walk.
The house itself was rather nondescript and almost disappointing. She had been expecting turrets and gables and ugly stone gargoyles, something befitting of the name Shadow Manor. Instead she found herself looking up at a plain three story structure which looked gray in the darkness. Dark shutters framed the windows facing her. At least the door was overly large and heavy looking with an old iron knocker shaped like a gnarled fist.
Snape opened the door and motioned Willow and Kennedy forward. Upon entering, Willow gasped and dropped Kennedy's hand, stepping forward and turning in a slow circle, all the while staring up, up, up.
Grand staircase—major check.
Inside, Shadow Manor was more than she had expected—and much bigger than the narrow three story outside had suggested. “Wow.” Something that might have almost been a smile twisted her father's face for a split-second.
“Welcome, welcome, to Shadow Manor, child. I have waited far too long for this day.”
Willow yelped and spun back to face the stairs. Halfway up, at the landing where the stairs split, a woman in a long black dress stood with one hand on the banister. For a surreal moment, Willow wondered if she had slipped in to an episode of the Addams Family, then the woman smiled and continued down the stairs and across the stone floor. “Come, come, let's have a look at you.” The closer the woman came, the more Willow thought she looked like Morticia Addams...if Morticia Addams had been taking wardrobe tips from Elvira and a Vegas Showgirl. The torches mounted in wall sconces flared up and the woman graped Willow's arms and tilted her this way and that, studying her carefully from all angles. This close and in better light, it was easy to see the resemblance to her father. She had the same dark hair and eyes, and rather unfortunately, the same nose. She was also older than she had first appeared, the gray interspersed in her hair glistening and the fine lines of her face more pronounced as she smiled. “Oh! You are lovely. Quite like your mother, the poor dear.” Suddenly, the redhead found herself squashed up against an ample bosom as the woman encased her in a hug.
“Mother, I do believe she might like to breathe.”
Immediately, Willow felt the arms around her loosen and she stepped back, taking a deep breath. The woman grasped her hands and, still smiling, introduced herself. “I am Sonora Snape. You, dear, may call me Grand-Ma-Ma.” Willow couldn't hold in the giggle as she once again thought of the Addams family. “Come, you must be simply exhausted. I've decided to settle you in the west wing, for privacy you know. After all, you don't really know us yet.” There she paused, glancing apologetically at Kennedy. “I must apologize though. I thought the others weren't arriving until tomorrow.”
Sonora didn't get to answer her granddaughter before her son started his growling and glowering.
“How could you, Mother? How dare you! I will not stand for it! This is MY home!”
Releasing one of Willow's hands, Sonora Snape faced her son, returning his glare and proving beyond a shadow of doubt just where he had inherited the look. Nostrils flaring, he pivoted and stormed across the entryway, robes and cloak billowing around him like roiling storm-clouds. The slamming of a door was still reverberating when Sonora turned, leading Willow and tossing a “Well, come along then,” over her shoulder at Kennedy. Up the grand staircase, then a right on the landing to one of the smaller staircases. At the top they went through a pointed archway and down a few shadowed passages until they stood before a large wooden door. One hand on the knob, she turned to face both young women. “As I said, I've only the one room prepared. Tomorrow, though, I can finish another close by if you'd like.”
Taking Kennedy's hand Willow smiled at her grandmother. “That won't be necessary. We're, you know, together.”
The woman's eyebrows lifted impossibly high and a Cheshire cat smile threatened to split her face open. “Excellent. Willow dear, do remind me to take you to the portrait hall tomorrow. I simply must introduce you to my father!”