-1It was a dark, stormy night. Business was slow on this particular evening, as it usually was when there was bad weather, and customers were rare, favoring a night beside a hot fire in their loved ones arms rather than those of a working girl. Although, more likely, the stillness of the night was due to the death of one of the greatest wizards in history. She thought this last part rather bitterly. What had he ever done to help their kind?

She had begun to put away her things when the slam of a door announced the arrival of a customer. Most of the other girls had closed up for the night, and seeing as how she had been in service the longest, fancied herself up in preparation for her client. She chose a sheer grey camisole that went down to her knees. In this kind of weather, she knew that her eyes had a tendency to look more blue than normal, and the grey of the fabric would help to accentuate them. It also detailed her figure rather well. A single ribbon was tied at the base of her breasts, and the silk-like material clung to her figure, while still allowing room for movement.

She put her hair up in a simple knot and waited for her customer. There was a soft knock of her door, and she straightened herself up before it was be opened. The desk girl let the man in, then silently shut the door.

He was thoroughly soaked from the rain outside. His black hair hung dripping in front of his face, making it difficult for her to se him, especially since he didn't seem to want to look at her. She slowly approached him and placed the crook of her finger under his chin, gently lifting it up so she could see.

And what she beheld instilled both fear and pity. His face was etched with lines of anger and hurt. The scowl that played on his mouth revealed both bitterness and sadness. And his eyes… His eyes refused to meet hers. But when they did, she was taken aback by what they held. In that instant, they locked together intensely. Never had she seen so much regret. It was almost as if he felt shame for what she had to see.

Before she knew what had happened, the connection was broken, and he threw his arms around her. Instinct told her to fight. Run. Get away from this horrible, half-crazed man. She tried to push him away, but he only held on tighter. It didn't take long before she realized that he wasn't attacking her. Curious, she stopped her struggling and paid close attention the silent heaving coming from the man embracing her. He was crying.

She quickly recovered from the shock, and without a word, led him to the bed and began to stroke his air. She motioned for them to lie down, but he resisted, seemingly content just to sit. His refusal brought a hollow sadness to her chest. Using her other hand to stroke his cheek, she began whispering silent murmurs in his ear. Even though she knew nothing of the man, his pain was so great that she felt it in herself, and desperately wanted to ease it. No one deserved so much anguish.

She placed chaste kisses around the crown of his head and on his forehead until his breathing calmed. For a few minutes they jut sat there, holding each other. How long had it been since she had done this with a man? How long had it been since a man just wanted the touch of a woman? The companionship?

Abruptly, he pulled himself from her arms. The look on his face had been replaced with a cold, hard mask of indifference. Where there had been hurt and regret, there was nothing--and empty void--except in his eyes. She could see it still, lying just beneath the surface: the same broken, wounded man that had entered her room not a half an hour ago. How well he hid it. He took something from his robes and threw it on the bed. Giving a brief bow, he turned and left the room, closing the door behind him.

The shock of his sudden departure gave way to curiosity at the small sack the he had left. Timidly, she picked it up and dumped its contents onto her awaiting palms. In it was her payment: dozens of gold Galleons spilled over her hands and onto the bed--nearly five times the normal fee for an evening with a pleasure girl. She sat on her bed for the remainder of the evening, looking every once in a while at the door, half expecting him to walk through it.

He never came.

It wasn't until the next day that she saw the posters up. "Wanted: Murderer" it said boldly. She leaned closer to read the smaller writing at the bottom. "Severus Snape. Guilty for use of the Avada Kedavra curse and murder of Albus Dumbledore. Considered highly dangerous. Avoid at all costs. Any information about this man should be given to the Ministry of Magic without delay. Refusal to do so be considered cooperation with the enemy and will result in arrest and a possible sentence to Azkaban"

She looked at the face of he man in the picture. He stared steely through his long black hair with his arms folded in front of his chest. The gaze was not that different from the one he had given her the night before.

Casting one last look at the notice she gathered her things, and with a small smile on her face, walked away.