Situations Like This

NOTE: Snape's opinions are not my own. He strikes me as the sort of person who would think very little of Americans, and this is reflected in this fic.

x.x

Situations like this really, really shouldn't happen.

Only the combined machinations of Dumbledore and Voldemort could lead to something like this.

Snape visibly shuddered to think of what would happen should they work together. Thankfully, the two master schemers were on opposite sides of the war, and nothing up to and including the looming apocalypse would get them to work together.

What is wrong with this situation? Do you want a list?

The first thing that is wrong with this situation is that Severus Snape is in a car. A muggle car. Severus Snape does not like cars, does not like muggles, and, especially, does not like muggle cars. The fact that muggles are the only creatures that have cars only proves the point.

However, this car is not as muggle as most cars. This only makes the situation worse. Severus Snape is in a car that Arthur Weasley enchanted. Every respectable wizard knows that the only thing worse than a muggle is a wizard that tinkers with muggle cars.

Well, every respectable Snape who's having a bad day, at least.

And what else wrong with this day? It's raining. Enough said.

Actually, that's not quite enough, because Arthur Weasley forgot to enchant the windscreen wipers. This means there is nothing stooping the water molecules from pursuing their downward migration all over the windscreen.

It also means he can't see a thing.

And why is this such a bad thing? Well, aside from the obvious, of course.

It is an awful, beastly and all around ghastly thing to happen because somewhere out in that rain there is a tree garnished with muggle repelling charms that, it is rumoured, grows on top of something that Snape (or, rather, Voldemort or Dumbledore) wants to find. Or something like that.

It sounds silly to Snape, too.

That's why he's blocked the knowledge of who sent him on this mission. He might just try to kill them if he remembers.

So, one day Severus Snape was driving through the rain in a too muggle car (that wasn't muggle enough because it didn't have windscreen wipers) enchanted by Arthur Weasley looking for a tree with too many charms somewhere in some corner of the United States of America.

Oh, I forgot about that. Severus Snape has spent the last seven hours surrounded by uncouth North Americans.

Snape's dark eyes betrayed none of his frustration as he re-cast the water-repelling charm. For a moment, the torrent of water swayed to the sides of the windscreen like a curtain at a theatre. If he were lesser man, he might have held his breath. He did, however, let out a small sigh as the water began to flow over an invisible barrier about an inch from the windscreen. It was as if the windscreen were an inch further away. The extra inch of visibility did nothing to help Snape's mood.

The whole thing collapsed again, and Snape cursed Voldemort and Dumbledore in his mind.

It was at that moment that something brushed his mind. Snape's mental barriers battered it away without a thought.

The mental touch was like a persistent fly though, and soon it were buzzing around his head. It brushed against him again, and Snape's mind swatted it and tried to continue concentrating on not driving into anyone.

Soon the touch was pulsing through his head at a constant rate.

A few moments later, Snape realised that no-one in America should be able to perform legilimency, because the American wizards had no formal government or even a social system.

They were barely more than barbarians.

Legilimency was a fine art. Even at its most ruthless, it involved mountains of concentration and years of learning. It was subtle fingers of mind and magic, extending from the eyes to catch reflections of intent and thought in the pools of another's eyes. It was a firm hand, holding another mind as it searched through it. It was an irresistible call that drew exactly what you wanted.

This was not that. This was like a pulsing radar that scanned the minds of everyone in its reach.

It was barbaric.

It was abuse of the fine art of legilimency.

Someone needed a talking to.

Snape had always loved talking.

x.x

Alice was still unresponsive.

"Um… Alice?" Emmett enquired, poking her.

Alice blinked a bit, and giggled.

Emmett continued to poke her, but it became apparent that it was purely coincidence that she had giggled upon the first poke.

None of the vampires paid any attention to the car that was approaching them. After all, they were in a car park and it was about time for school to start.

They did, however, pay attention when a bat-like man stalked out of it and glided up to Edward.

Edward didn't have time to think much more than this guy looks like a vampire before the man started talking.

"Edward…" his voice came like silk from between pale lips, "Edward Cullen? I see."

He was not feeling intimidated by this human. He wasn't!

Jasper was snickering.

"And a vampire. I understand now."

And suddenly it wasn't funny anymore. Jasper's snickers stopped dead as confusion and alarm began to rise in his siblings. Something subtle about the man seemed change. He began to circle around them. His words were drawled slowly, teasingly.

"Mr. Cullen, it appears to me that you and I see the mind from different eyes. It is apparent that time had clouded yours, so let me lend you my own. The mind is a maze, a kaleidoscope and an infinite complexity. It codes its secrets in half-thoughts and instincts. It is not a piece of paper, on which every intention is spelled out in ink, waiting for you to come within reach so it can brandish itself in front of your senses. You seem to have forgotten this.

"You paint yourself as a super-being, perhaps a god, who is allowed to invade a person's very soul. To strip it and read it without care before glancing onwards. Let me tell you that this is not a birthright, nor is it your right as a vampire. It is a position you have fashioned for yourself out of arrogance."

The man's coal-black eyes glittered and he smiled without amusement or happiness or warmth.

"Let me be plain with you, Mr. Cullen. I do not like you. I abhor you. Legilimency is an art which is precious to me, and you have kicked it, beaten it and left it in the dust. I am also far from home, which means two things: that I have no reputation to uphold, and the laws keeping me from doing whatever I wish are not in effect.

"Are you with me?"

The vampire gave a jerky nod.

"Good."

Was the man's smile more… genuine?

The strange man's cloak swirled behind him and he was gone like a bat in the darkness.

x.x

Snape got into his car with the feeling he had at last achieved something in this war.

x.x

Alice was still giggling at Edward.

"He did have one redeeming quality," the bronze-haired vampire admitted. "At least I couldn't hear his thoughts."

Jasper joined wife in chuckling as he felt his brother's mild horror.

x.x

I'm not very sure about this one, and if readers (especially twilight fans) could spare a minute or two to answer some questions about it I'd appreciate it.

Are my vampires annoying, whimpy, out-of-character and off-putting?

Is my Snape eons out of character?

Is the first part of the story boring, and would it be better if it were shorter or didn't exist?