DISCLAIMER: I do NOT own anything Harry Potter related. It is owned by JKR and the WB and a whole host of other people that are not me. I am not deriving any profits from the writing of this little story.

COPYRIGHT: The created (not found in Harry Potter) characters are copyrighted by me, and are not to be used for any purpose whatsoever without my consent. This includes, but is not limited too, Tirza herself. The storyline, its plots and chapters that are unique and exclusive to this story are also copyrighted by me. I respectfully request that they, and my characters, are not duplicated in any way, shape or form. Thank you.

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The Great Hall at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was as noisy as ever with student and staff eating breakfast. The headmaster, Albus Dumbledore stood up from the staff table and called for silence. "A quick announcement: Professor Snape is away on business and there will be no Potion's classes today." A very joyous shout filled the hall.

Severus Snape stood inside the London train station impatiently, holding a sheet of paper in his hands.

New York Department of Children and Families New York, New York

Mr. Severus Snape- This letter is to inform you that you are now the sole legal guardian of your daughter, Tirza J. Shelby. Her mother died two weeks ago of liver cancer. We regret the delay in informing you, but you were extremely difficult to find. We have a home lined up for her in the event that you are unwilling and/or unable to care for her. Please inform us as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

Shaun M McKnight Shaun McKnight Head of NYC-DCF

Severus had been stunned a week ago when he received the letter stating he had a daughter. He knew immediately who the girl's mother was as soon as he saw the last name. Ariel Shelby had been the love of his life. They had met at Hogwarts and began a relationship in their fifth year. Soon after graduation, when Voldemort's powers were strong and he had become a spy, Ariel had told him she was pregnant with their child. Knowing the danger to her and the baby if Voldemort found out he was a spy, he told her to get an abortion. They fought for hours and finally Ariel left and he never heard from her again.

Suddenly he saw her stepping off the train. There was no doubt she was his and Ariel's child. Her long curly hair was raven black as were her eyes and she had his cheekbones. She was petite like Ariel, tiny for her age, and had Ariel's complexion and nose. He slowly walked toward her.

Tirza Shelby looked around the crowded train station. Holding a large blue backpack in one hand, she began twisting her waist length black hair into knots with the other. Having no idea who she should be looking for, Tirza just stood there watching people pass her with anxious eyes. A tall, pale faced man dressed all in black started walking toward her. 'Is that him?' she wondered. 'He almost looks like a vampire!'

He came and stood in front of her. Neither spoke for several minutes. "Are you Tirza?" She nodded. "Call me TJ though, everyone does. And don't think I'm gonna call you 'daddy' or something silly like that, I mean, I don't even know you!" "Severus will be fine." She shifted the backpack and grabbed two other bags at her feet. "Are these all your things?" he asked. Tirza looked at him like he was insane. "No way man, I had to pack my entire life! There's tons more stuff around here somewhere." Snape nodded. "Well, let's go find your things and be on our way."

Tirza and Snape arrived at Hogwarts shortly before supper. "Are you hungry?" he asked her. "Starving! I am really in the mood for McDonalds, how 'bout you?" Tirza giggled at the strange look that came over Snape's face. "Don't tell me you are some kinda vegetarian or something?" Snape raised an eyebrow. "No, I am not a vegetarian, and we don't have anything called a 'McDonalds' to eat here." Her eyes grew wide. "Really? I always heard England was a messed up country, but even Japan and Hawaii have McDonalds! So where do you eat here?" "The entire school has meals in the Great Hall," he told her as he led the way out of his personal chambers. "Okay, can I get cheeseburgers?" She was almost running to keep with Snape. "I doubt it." She started running and got ahead of him and stopped. "Man, can you slow down! I'm short; I can't walk as fast as you can." He nodded and slowed his pace.

Tirza slowed as they entered the Great Hall. "Wow, there's lots of people here," she said softly. Her eyes were wide as she took in the enchanted ceiling and the crowd of students. She started following Snape very slowly through the room, shaking a little. He turned to her and gave her a small smile, hoping to make her feel more at ease. "Now, would you like to sit with me at the teachers table?" Tirza glanced at the table at the front of the hall and shook her head. "You crazy? I don't wanna sit up there and get looked at by everybody! Is there any place else I can sit?"

Snape led her to the Slytherin table. "This is my house's table. You can sit here if you'd like. Do you want me to sit with you?" "Nah, I'm cool. Or at least I will be when I figure out what all this food is," Tirza replied. Snape nodded at went to his place at the teacher's table.

The longer Tirza sat at the end of Slytherin table, the better she felt. She had a great spot to watch everyone. She spotted a familiar food item, a roll, and grabbed one, eating it slowly as she took in all the activity. As she watched, a blonde haired boy followed by two bigger boys came up to her. "Are you stupid, little girl? This is Slytherin table," the blonde boy told her. "Yeah? So? What do ya want me to do about it?" The boy and his friends laughed. "You really are stupid," he said. "It means you can't sit here." His voice was dripping sugar coated malice. Tirza shrugged. "I can sit where I want." He glared at her. "Oh really? Hear that Crabbe, Goyle? This little girl thinks she can sit wherever she wishes!" The bigger boys snickered. "Are you going to teach her not to mess with Slytherins, Draco?" Crabbe asked. Draco turned back to Tirza. "Now why don't you be a good little girl and move before you get hurt."

Tirza glared at him defiantly. "Ya know, I don't care what your problem with girls is, but I am hungry and I am gonna sit here and eat my food, so just leave me alone." Draco put his face inches from hers. "Oh really?" Tirza rolled her eyes and sighed. "Yeah, vampire boy, so why don't you and your Batman-wanna friends just leave me alone!" She picked up another roll and started to eat. Malfoy stared at her. How dare this little nobody talk to him that way? He grabbed her arm tight. "Move it," he growled. Tirza's eyes blazed at him. "You're hurting me, let go. NOW!" Malfoy laughed and tightened his grip on her arm.

By now, most of the Slytherins were watching the scene between Malfoy and the girl, wondering what she was going to do now. Tirza stood up and shot a deadly look at Malfoy. "I meant it. Let go of me right now!" "Make me little girl." "You son-of-a-bitch," she growled. Suddenly she drew back her fist and punched Malfoy square on the nose. His hands flew to his nose, releasing her. "Now leave me alone." Tirza went to sit down, but Malfoy grabbed her from behind. She quickly turned and kicked him in the stomach. He staggered backwards, then ran at her and punched her left eye.

"Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!" The entire student body started yelling and ran to Slytherin table to get a good seat for the action. Tirza punched his nose again. She tried to punch him in the stomach, but he grabbed her arm and twisted it behind her and pulled her to the floor, kicking her side twice.

Thinking he had won, he turned and bowed to the audience. Tirza came from behind, one hand holding her side, and kicked his shin, knocking him to the ground. Tirza then stood in a ready stance, waiting to see what he would do next. He started to try and get up, and she kicked at him again. This time she missed and Malfoy grabbed her foot and twisted her ankle. She fell to the ground and the crack of bones could be heard as Malfoy released her foot. He came over to her, ready to punch her. Before he could, Tirza kneed him in the groin. Draco doubled over in pain and rolled on the floor. A cheer was heard from the crowd as Draco continued to roll on the floor, making Tirza the 'winner'.

The Hagrid, McGonagall and Snape finally pushed through the crowd. Snape turned his nasty glare to the crowd. "Sit down, now! All of you!" The large audience scurried to their seats. Malfoy and Tirza were still on the floor. "Mr. Malfoy, get up, let's go to the hospital wing. Mr. Crabbe and Goyle, come along too. And Snape, can you bring Tirza?" McGonagall said. Snape nodded. He leaned down and touched Tirza's shoulder. "Are you able to walk?" Tirza grimaced with pain. "No, I think the bastard broke my ankle." He gently picked her up and cradled her in his arms. "Well, you have certainly started your life here with most interestingly. Is this going to become a regular routine?" She shook her head no as he carried her to the hospital wing.

Draco and Tirza sat on beds on opposite sides of the room, glaring at each other. Tirza was worried. 'This is just great. Not even here 24 hours and I've already gotten into a fight. Bet my dad's real happy to see me now!' she said to herself. She looked towards Madame Pompfrey's office where she was talking with Snape and Dumbledore. She cringed at the look on Snape's face. 'I think I'm in big trouble.' Malfoy on the other hand, wasn't concerned about being in trouble, he was upset because a girl a gotten the best of him in front of the entire school!

"I tell you what Severus, that girl of yours put up a right good fight! Malfoy is several inches taller and a good twenty pounds heavier and she still kept her own," Madame Pompfrey said. Snape glared at her. She ignored him and continued. "Mr. Malfoy's nose is broken, giving him two black eyes and he has a nasty bruise on his shin. Tirza has a broken rib from being kicked, a broken ankle and a black eye with a nasty gash on her forehead, as well as a hand shaped bruise on her arm. All the broken bones are easily mended, and Tirza's cut will need stitches. I will let the black eyes heal on their own." Dumbledore nodded. "Thank you Madam Pompfrey. Severus, please bring them both to my office as well as Mr. Crabbe and Mr. Goyle when Poppy has released them." He turned and left the hospital wing as Poppy went to tend to her patients.

Snape silently marched the boys and Tirza to Dumbledore's office, anger clearly written on his face. Tirza couldn't even look at him, she was scared that he was furious with her and would send her away. 'Could life get anymore messed up?' she thought miserably. Snape stopped at the gargoyle. "Candy canes." The gargoyle came to life, moving to reveal a moving staircase. Tirza followed Snape and the boys onto it and it moved them to Dumbledore's office. "Wow, this is cool! How does." Tirza caught the look on Snape's face and quickly closed her mouth.

When the gargoyle stopped moving, Dumbledore was standing before them. "Gentlemen, I'd like to talk to Tirza first. Please wait outside." They left and Tirza watched Dumbledore nervously. He didn't look mad, but she couldn't tell for sure. "Sit down, Tirza." She sat in the chair that he indicated. "Call me TJ," she said softly. Dumbledore nodded. "Of course. Would you like a lemon drop?" Tirza smiled. "That's my favorite candy. I'd love one, thanks!" She took one and popped it in her mouth. "Um, professor, are you going to send me away? Severus is the only family I have left, I don't have anywhere else to go. I promise I'll never do it again, I swear!" she suddenly burst out. Dumbledore smiled at her. "My dear, I have no intention of sending you away. I would however, like to hear your side of the incident." Tirza let out a breath she didn't even know she was holding and nodded.