Disclaimer: JK Rowling is the genius who came up with all we know and love in the world of Harry Potter. However any unknown characters and places, as well as the plot are products of my own imagination.

Chapter One: Lost in muggle London.

'It won't take long Severus. It's extremely important Severus." Snape muttered angrily to himself as he swept into the Leaky Cauldron, his black robes billowing behind him. "As if I don't have a million and one things to do with the end of the year coming up without traipsing around London looking for something for Dumbledore. And why couldn't he send his lackey Hagrid rather than me?"

"Talking to yourself there Severus?" Tom, the innkeeper, asked with a grin.



Snape favored him with his usual cold glance. "Could you tell me the way to get to-" He glanced at the piece of parchment Dumbledore had handed him "Indian Spices Galore?"

Tom laughed. "Spices? Are you concocting a new potion then Severus?"

Snape frowned. He wished he was creating a new potion, and he wished feverently that Tom would be the first one to try it! "No, it's for Dumbledore. Apparently rather urgent, so if you'd just give me directions.."

"Go out of here, turn right, at the second street turn left, and then left again at the first street. Not far down on your right." Tom said, a little bit annoyed at the way the Professor had acted at his joking. 'Probably thinks he's too good to talk to a mere innkeeper.' He thought bitterly.

Snape's eyes glittered dangerously. "You'd better hope that you've given me the right directions Tom." He said as he left the inn.

"Prickly one ain't he?" An old wizard who was sitting at the counter nearby drinking, and who had overheard the conversation, asked.

"Yeah, wonder why Dumbledore didn't send Hagrid instead. He's much nicer than Severus." Tom replied, wiping the counter down.

"As prickly as he is though everyone says he's an absolute legend when it comes to potions. Nothin' he don't know!" The old wizard said.

"That may be so when it comes to potions, but when it comes to manners he could do with a few lessons." Tom said, and he turned away to serve someone else.

*****

"And left again.." Snape muttered to himself turning down the street. He was still angry over the fact that Dumbledore had summoned him from his office where he was working on an especially hard exam for the fifth year students (an exam he hoped would even fool that smart muggle-born Granger!), and asked, no demanded, he go on this errand. Snape had sighed and asked "Couldn't it wait Headmaster? And for that matter is Hagrid unable to go? I'm rather busy at the moment." The Headmaster had replied, "Sorry Severus, Hagrid is otherwise engaged, and you're the only one I could trust to actually get this spice without mucking it up." "And this spice is urgent I take it Headmaster?" Snape had drawled. A strange look had crossed the Headmaster's face. "Very urgent indeed Severus."

So busy fuming over the inconvenience Dumbledore's errand was causing him Snape didn't even notice the strange looks he was getting. It wasn't unusual to see people dressed rather strangely in London, but men wearing long black robes were a rarity.

Snape's nose wrinkled in distaste as he entered the shop. The air was pungent with the strong smells of various spices mixed together. A small man came out of the back room to serve Snape and he smiled politely at him. "Good afternoon. How may I help you sir?"

Snape handed over the parchment. "I need this spice." He said.

The man frowned slightly as he read the name of the spice. "Hmmm.." He said.

"What's the matter? Don't you have it?" Snape asked his heart sinking. There was no way he was going to spend his day searching for this spice.

"Oh we have it." The man said nodding. "We have it. I was thinking that this is the strangest bit of paper I've ever seen..." He studied it thoughtfully and Snape reached over and grabbed it out of his hand.

"The spice if you don't mind." He said coldly.

The man nodded again and went over to one of the shelves were he pulled a small jar of reddish brown spice out and then came back over to Snape. "Recycled is it then?" He asked.

"What?" Snape asked confused. The spice was recycled?

"The paper. That's why it looks so strange hey. Never mind, the more practice you have the better you'll get." The man said, ringing up the spice.

Snape rolled his eyes. Were muggles always this dumb he wondered? He didn't bother replying to that comment, he merely handed over the money Dumbledore had given him, took the spice and left the shop.

"Have a nice day too mate! Pleasure to have been of service!" The man called after him sarcastically.

As he walked out of the shop Snape was almost knocked over by two teenagers who were running past. "For heavens sake watch where you're going morons!" Snape snapped irritably. His mood was getting worse and worse.

One of the boys stopped and turned back. "Sorry dude..wow, far out clothes you're wearing! Hey Mark- look at this dude's clothing." The boy said.

His friend turned around to look. "Wow, wicked robe dude!" He said.

Snape's eyes widened. What was it these boys were calling him- a dude? "There is nothing wrong with my clothes I can assure you." Snape said, his anger thinly veiled. "I could tell you that pink and red don't mix. And as for your haircut, well you look like a Hungarian Horntail dragon does in mating season."

"A Hungarian Horntail?" The boy repeated. "Wow, this dude is one stoner."

Snape had now had enough of the stupid muggle boys and he turned abruptly on his heel and stalked off. 'I don't know why Hagrid was too busy to make this journey, but when I get hold of him he's going to wish he'd never been born!' He thought furiously. He was so busy imagining the scene with Hagrid and all the things he could do to the imbecilic giant that he didn't realise he'd walked right past the street he needed to go down. 'And as for this spice, it better be bloody important!' He reached the next street and turned right. 'And as for Dumbledore's brains, well they've disappeared completely. Appointing that young woman as a Defence against the Dark Arts teacher. If she met a werewolf she'd probably run a mile in the other direction!' He turned right again. And it was only then that he realised he didn't recognise any of the shops where he was.

"Excuse me," He asked a passing muggle woman. "Can you tell me how to get to the Leaky Cauldron? I'm afraid I may have taken a wrong turn?" And he gave her what he hoped was a charming smile.

She looked him up and down before replying. "I don't know what the Leaky Cauldron is." She said. "But I'd say the only place you need to go is the closest asylum." And she walked off leaving Snape speechless. Was she insinuating he was insane? No wonder he hated the muggle world! With a sigh he kept walking sure that eventually he would come upon the Leaky Cauldron, or at least another person who might know where it was!

As he wandered the streets, getting more and more impatient, he didn't realise he was being followed. It was only when the girl came close up to him as he turned into a dead end and produced a blade that he knew something was up. "Give me all your money." She snarled.

Snape looked at her with interest. "How about a trade? You tell me where to get to the place I'm trying to get to and I give you a few sickles for your trouble." He offered.

The girl looked confused. "Sickles? You're not from around here are you?" She asked.

"You could say that." Snape replied, with a sardonic grin. That was certainly one way of putting it.

"Give me the money and I'll tell you." The girl said, holding her hand out.



With a sigh Snape dropped a few sickles in her upturned hand. The girl looked at them in surprise, and then she shrugged and put them in her pocket. "Right, you go to the end of this street, turn left and follow it through to the square." She said.

It was Snape's turn to look confused. "Sorry, but how do you know where I'm going?" He asked.

"I'm a mind reader!" The girl said with a laugh.

"Oh right, like Trelawney claims to be able to do." Snape said, curling his lip in distaste. "Predicts at least one student's death every year and as yet nobody's died.."

The girl shook her head and turned and ran off.

With a sigh Snape followed her directions and came to the square. Instead, however, of the Leaky Cauldron there was a huge crowd of people lined up. At the top of the line was a table where two men sat, and a woman stood nearby with a clipboard in her hands. As Snape watched she called a name, and the person came forward to shake the hands of the two men. Snape wandered closer to see what was going on.