Summary: An outtake scene from 'The Last Gift'. If you don't know the story, it will probably not interest you. Translated by RaeWhit

The Trap

He should have seen it coming. The bowl of fish in the middle of the day when he'd not asked for it, the Man in Black's voice—gentler than it usually was—that sly smile… Oh yes, he should've recognized the signs from what'd happened two days before.

A trap.

He'd trotted naively to the bowl, glad to have this unexpected meal. But scarcely had he stuck his nose in when he saw the Man in Black's shadow lunge for him. With reflexes worthy of a lion, he'd leapt out of reach, straight for the stairs, but a spell forced him to alter his trajectory, so that he found himself driven into a corner of the laboratory, the menacing shadow bearing down on him with a small, satisfied smile.

"Well, well, one could say the battle's over, you innocent cat!" the man had sniggered.

Shadow had narrowed his eyes, feeling a dull anger overtake him at the wizard's superior expression. The man lifted his wand, and in the fraction of a second, the cat leapt with all of its might, aiming for the Man in Black's hand.

The man let out a very satisfying yelp of surprise when the cat ripped the wand from his hands, before fleeing like lightning for the nearest cupboard, the wand between his fangs.

Shadow would've given anything to be able to laugh at the expression in the man's eyes when he'd disarmed him: priceless! A string of swear words filled the room, bouncing off the stone walls. Oh yes, the Man in Black was furious.

Footsteps approached, and the red contorted face of the Potions master appeared beneath the cupboard.

The cat pulled itself back a bit more, clenching the wand tightly between its jaws. No, he wouldn't have it! Not a chance! He knew only too well what might happen to him if the wizard got his hands on him! The cat shivered at the memory of what'd occurred two days earlier. Never again! No matter what the Man in Black had to say, he'd never again allow him….

"Accio wand!" the wizard suddenly said.

For a second, Shandow thought that something was wrong with that incantation; the man would've had to have his wand to cast that, wouldn't he? And the wand was….

An instant later, he felt himself being dragged by his nose, his teeth still sunk into the wooden stick, his green eyes squinting as he tried to understand what was happening to him.

Before he could thing to let go of the wand, it was in the wizard's hands, and…him with it.

It was Shadow who yelped this time, as the Man in Black lifted him by the skin of his neck.

"Infernal beast, you think you're clever? Here's a lesson for you—never underestimate a wizard without a wand! And now…."

The cat struggled with the energy of despair. No, no way, the Man had no right to do this to him, he had no….

A second later, a cloud of acrid-smelling powder enveloped him, making him sneeze so he wasn't able to catch his breath. Coughing, swearing as the cat scratched him, the Man in Black was working at ruffling his fur, rubbing roughly so that the horrible stuff was spread through his coat, drenching him in that awful smell.

Two minutes later, the Man finally let him go, and the cat ran to hide beneath the cupboard, unhappy and vexed. He shot a murderous look toward the wizard who seemed just as disheveled and exhausted as he was by the battle. The wizard fell into an armchair, vanishing the powder from his clothes and hands with a quick Tergeo.

"It's done," he sighed. "There was truly no need to make a massacre out of it! Whether you like it or not, it'll have to be repeated the day after tomorrow. I'll finish this anti-flea treatment, even if it has to be done on your corpse, you have my word on it!

Under the cupboard, the somewhat vexed and ruffled cat lifted a paw to scratch frenetically at its head.

Two days. That left him enough time to infest the splendid cloak that the Man hung on the wall, as well as his robes and…. Surreptitiously, the cat slid out from beneath the cupboard and went to the chair where the wizard still sat. Then, without warning, he jumped onto his chest, rubbing deliberately against his clothing.

The man groaned and trapped him by the skin of his neck, his eyes furious.

Shadow blinked, allowing a slight purr to escape from his throat. The black eyes softened ever so slightly, and after a moment's hesitation, the Man put him down again on his chest. The cat curled up against him, purring outright this time.

The wizard let out a sight, but passed a hand through the stinky fur.

"Fleabag," he grumbled.

Eyes shut, the cat smiled.