Chapter 1: Lost Kitten
"This is a problem." A dark haired man said, pacing up and down.
"You can deal with Voldemort, I'm sure you'd be able to deal with this." Dumbledore said staring at the man before him with slight amusement. "Now, take a seat and we can talk about the arrangements."
"Dumbledore, you don't un…" Snape stopped pacing and turned to look at Dumbledore, finding him still grinning at him humorously. "Sir, this isn't a joke." He said mildly annoyed.
"No, of course not, this is a serious matter." Dumbledore said sitting up straighter on his chair and gesturing a hand for Snape to sit down on the chair across his desk.
Almost in defeat, Snape took the offer and plopped down on the chair.
"Now, tell me when does it begin? He asked still in a good mood.
Snape blinked at him for a while as all the sudden changes that is about to take place raced through his head and coughed as he got his mind back together. "Tomorrow, but I can't accept it. Surely, not now."
"Very well, then take as many absentee days as you will. I'm sure you'll need sometime to get use to this new task." Dumbledore said obviously ignoring Snape's protest.
Snape tried to quickly bring another point on why he couldn't do this absurd request; stuttering and only managing to release a fraction of his theories at a time all out of order an in no way making sense. After a while of struggling, he just got up on his feet and headed towards the door without saying a word, knowing that he just couldn't argue with the man. As he slowly walked, all he could think was what he just revealed to Dumbledore and their conversation afterwards; and all he managed to say before disappearing from sight was a quiet, "I'm late for class."
All the students were already seated and attended for as soon as Snape arrived to the class room. Everyone's eyes were on him as he marched to the chalkboard, cast a spell on it to make the chalk start writing, turned around to look at the students and said. "This is your assignment. Begin." He demanded.
As if on 'Q' they all at the same time looked from Snape to the board and a roar of groans of disapproval came from them as the list continued to lengthen.
Somewhat satisfied, a small smile appeared on his lips on hearing the students in such despair, yet it did not lift his spirits.
"What was up with Professor Snape, today? Harry said looking at his list of homework assigned all and only by Snape. The entire hall was noisy with students going about their daily break as they eat lunch.
"Dunno." Ron said as he stuffed his face as if he was starved for days, all the while Hermione starred in horror. "Maybe he woke up in the wrong side of the bat cage." Ron continued. He looked up at Hermione who looked like she was about to puke. "What?" He finally said to her.
Harry couldn't help but laugh at the scene before him.
Giving Ron a small look of disapproval, Hermione got her mind back together and began with her usual lecture tone of voice. "Well, if you two would read the Daily Prophet every once in a while, you would know that a week ago, a couple of death eaters were killed in a small battle with some other witches and wizards fighting for the Order." She crossed her arms, waiting for a reaction from Harry and Ron, but all she got from them was blank stares. So, she continued.
"Well, maybe he's angry because he lost some of his friends."
"Or that he lost the battle." Ron added.
Nobody said anything as all three turned around to take a peek at the head table; in particular, Snape.
As soon as they saw Snape looking at them with a grim face, they quickly turned back to face one another.
"It's like he knows we're talking about him." Ron said in whispery voice.
Harry and Hermione nodded in agreement, and then continued eating and chatting with other classmates. Mostly dissing, complaining, and thinking of ways to cheat on Snape's assignment.
The next morning was almost as Snape expected; with visiting the court, paperwork, waiting, but nothing could prepare him for what he was witnessing now.
The little body sat before him, her head down, her legs didn't even reach the floor. She wore a dark sweater that looked itchy and uncomfortable, with a gray skirt and black leg warmers. She had dark wavy hair, that looked uncombed and dry. The little girl looked up at him, her eyes lids looked irritated from crying and there were black halos circled around the dark windows of her soul. Those eyes were pitch black, and Snape could almost feel like he could just fall into their dark depths. Her lips were dry and she looked malnourished and pasty.
They looked at each other for a while; observing one another. Then without warning, the little girl jumped to her feet and held on to him with her tiny arms around his waist, her head placed on his belly. Snape didn't know what to do, and worse he didn't know how he was going to live with this girl now in his life. Seconds passed on to minutes, and still the girl held on.
Snape tried to pull her off, but the girl had a tight grip on his garments. Without much success he stopped trying to force her away. He looked around and no one seemed to notice the miniature human wrapped tightly around his waist. He rubbed at his temples thinking hard on what he should do, he couldn't walk like this and he simply couldn't ask a random stranger to take her like she was a lost kitten. He once again looked up, and noticed a woman walking, holding hands with a child. He observed them for a while, and without thinking he reached for a hand still clenching his garments, and with no resistance this time, she just accepted the other into her tiny own.
"Let's get something to eat." Snape said, finally breaking their silence.