A/N: This is just a very short idea that came up. I'm still working on the next
chapters of Innocence and Experience; have no fear... but this leetle bug bit me
on the rear (not that it's been the only one to do so). I've actually been trying
to post this and Chapter 30 of I and E for a few days, but fanfiction.net was
having trouble with the uploading of my files. Happily this is no longer the case!

This particular story is one part only and won't be a chapter story; the Snape
ends here. Or this one at any rate. As most might guess, the breaks in between
sections indicates the passing of some time ranging anywhere from a day to a
week or more.

Be forewarned; this Snape should be considered to be the original somewhat
nastier one despite this being a humorous story. This short is completely
separate from my other story (and hopefully separate from any stories I might
write in future!) There's a small Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference in
here. Try as I might I just can't seem to keep small bits of humor from creeping
into my writing now and again.

Disclaimers apply as always. JKR is to be admired; we are all in debt to her for
creating such a wonderful universe to enjoy. I'm hoping to get reviews despite
how short I expect this one to be. Thanks in advance!

--------------------------

He knew he could do it. If that waste of skin Sirius could do it, so could he.

He would become an Animagus.

The advantage to having an alternate form could not be ignored, especially
considering his current line of work (teaching brats was more of a punishment
than an actual line of work). Spying on his former master could be considered a
creative form of suicide if one didn't use every tool within his possible reach,
and use it properly.

Thus, after the next day of punishment Snape made his way to the library,
shooting malicious glares at any student who showed the slightest curiosity in
his presence. His own library was more than sufficient when the subject was
concerning most forms of potions research, not to mention his texts delving into
alchemy and the other more respectable forms of magic, but the Restricted
Section of Hogwarts library would contain the information he hadn't previously
found the desire or need to seek out.

Needless to say he hadn't ever let a single tome of Divination even contemplate
on the merest possibility of how to prophesize its way past the gate into his
personal haven.

Passing through the library towards his intended goal, Snape spotted a pair of
his seventh year students and growled, "Office hours," before they could do
more than step in his direction and open their mouths. Thankfully they had been
trained enough over their school career that they knew when it was best to not
push things. Hit even the most oblivious person repeatedly enough and they'll
learn to duck, Snape thought uncharitably. Even Neville had managed to begin
to keep his fear under control in his classroom; fortunate as he didn't want to
hear further stories about the 'Boggart Incident', be it from student gossip or
teasing from his collegues. Nor was he particularly in the mood for another year
of adding potions of spectacular colors, temperatures and consistancies to his
customary black ensemble. He'd recently heard of the concept of a safety
shower in Muggle chemistry classes and had to grudingly admit the sense to the
idea, but had as yet to find a way to broach the topic with Dumbledore without
sparking off those infernal twinkles of amusement that were certain to appear in
his eyes.

The books he found on his required topic were sparse in number but he was still
somewhat pleased to find that one of the few authors whose work he respected
had published one of them. Swiftly, Snape took down the book after reciting the
requisite spell authorizing him and checking it out at the same time for Madame
Pince's records. With that, his retreat back to his chambers was just as swift
and dotted with the occasional snarl at students who got in his way and/or
didn't manage to get out of his way fast enough for him.

A soft mutter and a sigh of relief escaped Snape only after he had closed and
warded his door firmly behind him. He carefully deposited the book on his end
table and set about brewing himself a proper cup of tea. Being a potions master,
he knew a bit on the subject of brewing.

At long last, Snape settled himself next to his fireplace in his favorite armchair,
warded it against floo communication, lit it and readied himself for a good long
read. Sleep was something he found was overrated and only did it out of
necessity.

As he read, Snape found himself somewhat surprised at how long the process of
animagus training usually took considering again that the wretched refuse Sirius
had been able to accomplish the task. Well... the man was stubborn.

This was definitely going to take a while.

* * * * *

Most of the rest of the year had passed with Snape's adhering to his strict plan
of exercise and meditation each night after dinner and detentions before bed.
He knew he was close. He was certain of it. Soon the transformation would
begin... perhaps even his next attempt.

And he was proven correct. The next time he finished the meditation exercises
and began to concentrate upon letting his body find the change he felt a
tingling in his arms and shoulders. From where he sat cross legged on his mat he
felt the urge to raise his elbows slightly and let his arms hang out and down. His
fingers twitched and he felt himself lean his upper body forward before the
sensation ended and he came back to himself.

Hmmm. A bird of some sort perhaps. Potentially very useful. He was satisfied
with his progress thus far.

* * * * *

Snape's progress had continued apace- as to be expected with someone of his
intelligence and capability, he thought to himself. The last few attempts had
both made him more comfortable with the sensations that heralded the
beginning of the change, and each time he was able to stay in that frame for
longer... watch it progress just a little farther... settle himself into that frame of
mind easier and quicker.

Yes, it was like taking baby steps, but self-transformation was something he
wasn't going to fool around with or cut corners on due to pride.

* * * * *

The theory of a bird form was proven out. When Snape was firmly settled into
the mindset he explored it... found he was comfortable with it and set out to
explore further. He pushed just the smallest amount and focused upon that
sensation along his upper body. Here the question of what would happen to his
clothes was answered as they seemed to shift just a little, drawing into him ...
connecting to him while the skin of his fingers and wrist suddenly sprouted the
tips of what he saw were feathers.

Black feathers, thank heavens.

Quickly he released himself from the change; distractions in the midst of
transformations could result in something very unfortunate. Taking a deep and
cleansing breath, Snape rewarded himself with one of his custom tea blends and
the time to relax.

At least he wasn't going to change into some sort of horrifically colored tropical
bird. That would be bad for camoflauge.

* * * * *

Each time Snape made the attempt he got further into the change. He wasn't
particularly enthusiastic over watching his legs start their transformation into
bird claws for the first time, but it was all in the name of science ... and
self-preservation.

The more he thought about it the more he liked the idea of having a bird form; it
could possibly be the difference between life and death should his spying be
discovered and a quick escape needed. With this in mind, Snape worked all the
harder.

* * * * *

Well. His feathers were fully formed and thankfully remained black, but he didn't
seem to shrink in size as much as he had thought he would. Ravens were smaller
than this ... He felt the hardness of a beak beginning to form; a nice strong one
for biting.

Snape felt fatigued of late and it had affected his work to the extent that Albus
had a few gentle words with him, concerned for his health. But Snape knew it
wouldn't be long now. He could rest afterwards, when his new talent was
developed fully. At least hours awake from insomnia weren't being wasted any
longer.

He wondered if he'd dream about flying after experiencing it firsthand.

* * * * *

At last! He was on the cusp of it; he felt it like the first time the changes
began. This time the transformation would be complete and he would be able to
take full measure of that which he would become.

And then, like a sprinter getting his second wind, Snape burst through the
barrier between human and animal. His arms and long-fingered hands developed
into wings, sprouting feathers that merged with the longer ones made from his
black robe. His stature changed from biped to avian as he swiftly shrunk in size.
His voice changed to a strange noise in his suprise and triumph, and he gave
the last push instinctively to settle himself into his new form.

It took a few minutes to get used to the new body; how it balanced and how it
moved. Soon enough he flexed his wings, folded them into his body and carefully
set out to walk to the mirror he had set out for himself earlier. At long last he
would be able to solve the puzzle of his new avian identity.

His first look at the mirror shocked him, but as he continued to stare and
consider the characteristics of this bird and his own (unwilling) history with it.
He supposed he shouldn't be entirely suprised.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

He was a vulture.

--------------------------------

A/N2: I have nothing against vultures, personally. In fact I found a very
interesting webpage that contained Indian myth about the Vulture and it does
seem a very Snape-like bird both in function and form.

http://www.campearth.org/vulture_medicine.htm

He cleans up others messes so that we don't run into carcasses everywhere
and digests bacteria and other things that would do us harm, etc. The main
humor behind my choice of animagus form is The Boggart Indicent and the hat
involved in it.

I hope you enjoyed this one; I found myself putting more thought behind the
ideas than I intended to...