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The Snow's Tale
It's cold; the icy wind cutting every inch of me. But there wasn't a single place to go. Not back into the restaurant I was just in for over an hour. Not the motel down the street that makes you pay for every hour you stay in a room. And not home. Not even the very place I grew up in because that was miles away. My parents abandoned me on this dark, unknown street. I felt so alone. I was alone. No one seemed to want me. I was just left here to fend for myself. Where could I go now? Surely, I had other relatives. Maybe I did, but there hadn't lived anywhere near walking distance. How was I supposed to get food? Or keep myself warm when winter comes?
Using magic is a possibility, but I still couldn't make food out of nothing. I longed for an owl. To send a letter to someone who would help me. But I never owned one. I didn't have anything on me but my wand. I sat down on the curb, just waiting to finally fall asleep. And also praying I didn't become hungry. Not knowing what to do wasn't helping. And I had no ideas. Maybe I'll come up with one tomorrow. I can come up with some plan on where to live. Yes.
I watched her from my window. There wasn't a single soul around her. Not even close. I watched her walk away. But yet over an hour later I found her sitting upon the curb of my street. Her head fell onto her knees and she wrapped her arms around her shins. She looked so helpless. I snickered at my thoughts. Who cares? But something ignored that coldness inside of me. I walked outside and painfully made my way to the lone girl sitting on the curb. Once my feet were just in front of her, she looked up. A sharp pain ran down my spine. Her eyes. They were a brilliant green. Her hair; a fiery red. An image of Lily Evans appeared in my head.
The little girl standing in front of me looked so much like her. Exactly like her. It was as if she reappeared from the dead. But the girl in front of me had no hint of freckles. Her face was completely flawless, hair was wavy instead of straight, and her cheeks were redder. My heart felt small warmth for the first time in fifteen years. "Yes?" "Why aren't you home? It's past curfew."
She didn't answer. And I knew she had been abandoned. I believe I had seen her before when I was wondering the poor wizard town of Gorton. Parents would often leave their children on the streets to fend for themselves if they hadn't had the money to take care of them. I may have despised children, but that hadn't meant I felt good about them being left alone on the streets. "Come with me," I stated indifferently. She was so desperate, she hadn't argued.
I led her inside my house still feeling my jaw clench harder and harder. "You may take that room right there." I pointed to a door right beside the fireplace in the living room. She hadn't looked at me. I just watched her gaze around the room taking in her surroundings. She turned to me with a small, sad looking smile."Thank you." I walked into my room ready to finally fall asleep.
Telling by his actions, he was kind but didn’t like that he was so. He tried to be cold. He tried to not care. He tried to keep it all in. But it didn’t matter. Cause the very next day I woke up with a home. It may not be much at all and temporary, but it was still something. Last night I was surprised no tears fell from my eyes. One of the few rare days I didn’t cry. I wish there were more of them. I walked over to the dresser in the room and opened it. There wasn’t a single thing. Then I remembered I hadn’t brought anything but my wand with me. Sighing, I closed the drawer and walked over to the door. When I set my hand on it, I didn’t open it because I wasn’t sure if I should or was supposed to.
I shook my head and turned the knob. The living room was empty. There hadn’t seemed to be a sound. Maybe he was still asleep. Then questions appeared into my head as I sat down on one of the living room chairs. What’s his name? Why had he helped me? He felt sorry for me, didn’t he? Where did he work? Is he married? Friends? Family? But it didn’t seem like anyone new was in the house. Did he really live all alone? After forty minutes of staring at my hands, the same dark man walked out.
He walked past me, into the kitchen. It was as if he didn’t even notice me sitting there. I used to get that a lot. Even from my parents. A frown formed on my face. What am I supposed to say? I got up and walked into the kitchen. He was making bacon and toast. “How many pieces of toast and bacon would you like?” he asked. I hesitated but said, “One of each please.” He looked at her for a moment. He looked her up and down. “Are you sure you don’t want more than just one?” I nodded. “H-how long can I stay? I can be out here right after breakfast…if that’s what you wanted. I don’t wish to be a bother.”
Inside, I flinched. I didn’t want her to leave. She was the only thing that reminded me of Lily. I felt like her being here would bring Lily back. Maybe she could be the new Lily. What am I saying? That’s horrible. She is no Lily. She is far from being the woman I loved—love. “You can stay as long as you need too,” I said plainly. Something in her eyes relaxed. She smiled. But her smile was sad. “Thank you,” she said in barely a whisper. She walked over to the table and sat down. She stared at nothing for ten minutes. That was when I put her food onto a plate and gave her some butter and jam. She was patient. Her bites were small. I ate along with her in silence.
After a while I asked, “Where do you go to school at?” “I was home schooled. My parents couldn’t afford for me to go anywhere. Although, I hadn’t learned much magic…don’t think I’ve learned anything at all but a couple simple spells.” Her voice was small. “Well, if you would like, I can bring you to the school I teach at. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.” “I’d like that…I can help pay off the money. I can work…be an assistant. I can find a job somewhere—” she rambled on. “There won’t be any need for that. The Headmaster will take care of it. How old are you?” “Fourteen.” There was a pause.
“I’ll have to teach you what I can to catch you up,” I grumbled, “Then you will attend your fourth year when Christmas Break is over.” She smiled. All the sadness escaped. “Thanks. I think that would be brilliant. You could catch me up by then?” “Well, it won’t matter. You could go to school right now and still know about as much as those stupid children know.” Her expression didn’t falter. “My parents abandoned me…” she began out of the blue. “I was just laying on my cot in the living room. Reading one of my favorite Muggle books and minding my own business. My parents were out doing something. Drinking. I suspect they were taking it all in huge gulps like they always do.”
“You don’t have to tell the story….” “I want to. Anyway, when they came home, they were completely wasted. Drunk and dizzy. I ignored their fighting and bickering.” Her voice lowered and it was shaky. “My mother gave me a smirk. She had tired eyes, but her smirk…it was…scary. She gripped me by the arm. Told me I wasn’t worth the money. And she tossed me out. Told me to never come back. So I wondered. I wondered around for what seemed like hours. I went into a restaurant not knowing where else to go. I ordered a glass of water so they wouldn’t kick me out for a while. But soon, I had to leave. I wandered through a couple of towns. And I ended up on this street. I was growing tired so I just sat down on the curb. Waiting….” She didn’t say what she was waiting for. She just ended her story there.
There was a pang of guilt in my stomach. For thinking of keeping her just for my selfish thoughts. “What is your name?” “Isabelle Lynn Kale. Yours?”
He contemplated on answering. “Severus Snape.” For some reason, the name sent chills. “I am pleasured to meet you,” I smiled. He went back to his coffee and breakfast.
A couple days had passed and Severus was so kind as to get me some new clothes and personal things for my stay here. I was grateful. Very grateful. But I couldn’t help but frown and cry every moment I was alone. And after a while, that feeling drove me mad. I decided to stay close to Severus so I could feel something. Yes, for some reason he made me feel happier. Even in his cold shell, I felt warmth. It was difficult for me to keep this attachment hidden. Severus noticed almost too soon for me to be able to find an excuse. “Why in the world do you follow me everywhere? I’m lucky you don’t follow me to my room,” he mumbled with displeasure.
“Sorry,” I smiled up at him. “I just like your company.” I hadn’t lied yet. He didn’t say anything. “Well, could you follow me a lot less often?” he finally growled. My heart sank a little, “As you wish.” I walked into the kitchen so that he could read in the living room in peace. Every now and then I’d look up from the kitchen table to see if he was still sitting. Then I’d go back to looking at my hands and thinking. I never really thought about much. Just about how I wish life would be.
I’d be with loving parents, I’d have a sweet older brother and sister to look out for me and help me whenever I’d need it. An older sister would be especially helpful. She could be my own best friend. Someone I could tell anything to. I had never had anyone to tell anything to. Finally, after an hour or so, Severus looked over at me. My eyes met his.
“What did you do this whole time I’ve been reading?” he asked plainly. “Thinking, I guess.” “You guess you were thinking?” I opened my mouth, but closed it since I couldn’t think of anything to say. “I suppose we can begin lessons again,” he sighed. I smiled. We have been working on a little bit of everything. I had been waiting all day for the moment he’d say he would begin teaching me more again. I walked over to him waiting for him to give me something to do. “Let’s work on something difficult. How about a patronus?”
A patronus. I have watched my mother perform it. I could never get it right. No matter how hard I tried. But the spell I wanted to learn the most was this one. I had wanted so badly to know what mine would take the form of. “Alright, all you have to say is “expecto patronum” and flick your wrist.” I tried but failed to produce but a small bulb of blue light. Severus shook his head, “Don’t flick your arm. Flick your wrist. Like this.” He demonstrated as if I didn’t know what a wrist was. I clenched my jaw and tried again, this time flicking my wrist. But, once again, there wasn’t anything coming out. “I’m sorry,” he sighed, “I forgot to say. You must find something happy to think about. Something that is very worthwhile. A memory that made you very happy.”
A memory that made me happy? Surprisingly, there wasn’t a single one of them. I suppose when my mother made brownies for the first time made me a happy little three-year old. I felt a searing pain. Tears began to form. I pushed them back. I had to have something. I forced my memories to rush to the front of my head. My childhood was nothing but work, going hungry, and wishing my parents would stop yelling. “Brownies. My mom made brownies for the first time when I was three. Is that a happy memory?” I asked trying to smile.
“Brownies? Well, did it make you very happy?” “It was food. Can food make a person that happy?” I nervously laughed. “You can try.” I tried, focusing on the joy of putting a warm brownie into my mouth. There was a bigger blue light than before but after three seconds it faded away. “Well, I think we should find something else to work on,” I said. Was I ever going to be able to find out what my patronus was? “What’s your patronus?” I asked Severus. “Go to your room or make yourself some lunch. I don’t wish to be bothered.”
My room? He said it was my room. Did that mean I would get to live here forever? A smile formed upon my face and I felt warm once more. I was finally able to put a real smile on my face again. I had a home. Somewhere to come back to whenever I left. “My room?” I asked smiling. He looked over my face trying to figure out what was it that made me so happy. “Well, this is where you will be living from now on, unless you wish to go somewhere else,” he tried to smile, but seemed to fail. So he gave up. “Alright, I’ll go to my room.” I walked into my room and looked around. It hadn’t changed physically, but to me, it was a whole new room. It was my room. It was something I could come home to. Home.
This is what I was calling it now. This is my home. I lay down on my bed and for the first time, I was alone without a single tear even approaching my eyes. The next day we focused more on studies. It seemed as though I learned two years worth of lessons in one day. Not only that, but Severus actually looked proud. “Well, Miss Kale, it looks like you have learned ten times more than any fourth year I know,” he grunted, “and that’s no lie.”I laughed, “Please, call me Izzy.”
It was the day before Christmas that I found out that I was a fast learner. There were various small little spells and potions and things I hadn’t learned, but I learned everything I needed to know to go into the fourth year at Hogwarts. I had this excitement hidden in the bottom of my stomach just thinking about going to public school. Severus has taught me so much. I wish I could somehow repay him. Although, I think my shy kindness is too much for him to bear so I waited to ask him about what to do. For now I was going to enjoy my last few days of Christmas break. “So?” I asked Severus. I stood right by the arm of the chair he was sitting in. I put on a smile just waiting for him to answer me.
“Yes?” he asked looking up at me. “Can we go out to eat for Christmas? If it isn’t too much to ask.” He looked back into his book and after a few seconds of standing there with a sincere smile on my face he looked at me again. He sighed. “Alright.” “Thanks!” and out of happiness I kissed him on the cheek and walked into my room, regretting it. I felt myself flush. As long as he couldn’t see my face then. I looked at the mirror that was on one of my bedroom walls. My face was the color of a tomato. Shaking my head and laughing, I looked through my new wardrobe in search for the perfect outfit that I’d wear the next day.
I picked out a pair of black leggings, flats, and a dress that didn’t go past my mid-thigh. Now all I needed was a ride to Diagon Alley. I knew exactly what to get Severus for Christmas. That book he continued to look at whenever we go out. I took a job at that restaurant I went to before I came here to Severus’s house. It wasn’t a big job, but it gave me the amount of money I needed to get that book. Maybe I can walk there. I knew a special passageway. I walked back into the living room, but Severus wasn’t there. I walked into the kitchen and saw him making dinner.
“Spaghetti?” he asked. I smiled, “My favorite. After eating I asked, “May I go out?” He raised his eyebrow, “Where?” “Just out. I made some money over at that restaurant. I wanted to get something.” “Alright, as long as it isn’t illegal,” he huffed. I smirked, “Oh, it’s just a bag of drugs.” He became wide-eyed. “It was a joke!” I hurried off before anymore was said. I walked to the edge of town with the money in my front pocket. With a single tap on a brick of an old building, I walked into Diagon Alley. I have only ever been here twice with Severus. So that means I have been in Diagon Alley a total of two times. The streets were busy with last minute shoppers. I was one of them.
I walked over to the bookstore. And picked up Defense for the Experts: Volume Four by Katharine Walling. After that was purchased I had just enough to get a bag and Christmas tissue paper. With a huge grin, I walked out. I only had a few coins left. Couldn’t really by much with it. So I just walked back home. The word rang through my eyes again with a beautiful chime. Home. “What did you get?” Severus asked without looking up from his chair when I opened the front door. “Just a bag to keep my belongings in just in case you’ll kick me out,” I lied. Inside, there was a giant laugh just waiting to escape. But I held back my smiles and laughter. “I won’t kick you out as long as you behave,” he said.
Still, he didn’t look up. “Oh, you know I’ll always behave.” I walked into my room without further questioning. I wrapped the book with all the tissue paper I bought and put it gently in the bag. It was ready. Now I had to wait patiently for tomorrow. And tomorrow didn’t come quick enough. When we walked into the restaurant my eyes wandered everywhere. There were a few people there. It was Christmas; you’d expect everyone to be home. It was a three star restaurant. It was fairly fancy and elegant.
When we took our seats I set Severus’s gift beside me in the booth (I had told Severus it was extra clothes in case I got cold). “I still don’t know why you had to bring that. I told you it wasn’t going to be cold in a public building,” he grumbled. “Oh, be happy,” I set the present on the table and slid it closer to him. “I was kidding. It’s a present for you not clothes. Merry Christmas.”
She handed me the present and I felt something inside twirl. I pushed that feeling aside because a new feeling arose. Guilt. I hadn’t gotten her anything. I didn’t celebrate this holiday. Actually, I did get her something. But there wasn’t any way in hell that I would give it to her. I didn’t understand why I even bought that thing, but I did. But I wasn’t going to give it to her. It was something I thought she’d like, but there was something inside me saying that I shouldn’t give it to her. That she wouldn’t like it. Maybe I should give it to her anyway. I opened up the bag slowly keeping a cold face on. It was Defense for the Experts: Volume Four by Katharine Walling. The book I had kept on looking at but never bought. “How did you get enough money to buy this?” I asked with a shocked face on. Damn.
She smiled, “That restaurant. They gave me enough money for doing some dishes and waiting on tables. I noticed you kept looking at it, so I thought I’d get it since you were so kind as to let me live in your home.” No, I shouldn’t give it to her. Yes, you should, said a voice. I didn’t want to, but yet I did. I sighed and shook my head at myself mentally. Our food finally came and I was still arguing with myself. She kept looking at me with a smile on her face. She was trying to get an emotion out of me, I could tell. So I looked up and gave her my best smile, “Thank you, Izzy.”
That was all it took to make me happy; a thank you and my name being said by his lips. There wasn’t a thing that could ruin this moment. Then he began to search in his pocket for something. He pulled out a long, velvet box. “I don’t know if you’ll like it, but I’ll give it to you anyway.” I opened it and there was a necklace. It had a silver chain with a silver circle charm. The charm contained swirling lines that seemed to change color. It was very pretty. “Thank you. Can you put it on?” I stood up while he hesitated for a while.
I handed him the necklace, turned around and pulled my hair to the front of my shoulders. He finally stood up and laid the necklace on my collarbone and hooked the back. I turned around and smiled up at him. “I really love it.” He nodded and sat back down feeling awkward. I laughed at him. “What?” he asked. A little color came to his face. “Your cute when you feel awkward.”
I felt as if I had to keep close watch over her. And that's exactly what that necklace would do. I had the same one around my neck. That way I was able to see what she was feeling instantly. I just had to decode the colors on the stupid wrinkled parchment that came with it. I wasn't sure if I should have told her about that part, but I don't think it'd matter. Albus had suggested that this would be a good thing when I told him about her. Giving her this would ensure her safety and happiness. Isabelle sat right in front of me while I read my book. Although, with her sitting right in front of me, I had to reread the same sentence over and over again. "Would you like to unpack early in your dorm room?" I asked.
I looked up from my hands and shook my head. The memories came back to me as if it happened just yesterday. My parents left me on the streets. They didn't care about me. If I was alone, I'd go insane. He sighed at my answer and went back to his book. After a while he looked up again. "I can't concentrate with you just sitting there being bored." "Oh, I'm not bored," I tried to smile. He shook his head and tried to read again. But I assumed he was failing miserably because he set the book down and pulled something out from under his shirt. It looked like the same necklace he gave me. But it was darker silver. "What's that?" I asked. "It's the same necklace as yours." He seemed to be hesitating. "I got one too."
I nodded. Did he want to match? Did he do it on purpose? Now I turned anxious as to know what was going through his head. He looked at it and put a confused look on. He put the necklace back under his shirt and stared at me. "Would you like to be sorted into your house before the students get back?" I nodded. He led me to a large gargoyle. He said, "Sugar plum." And it we stepped onto the first step and it began to move upward. Soon enough we were in a room full of junk. Everywhere from a giant globe of the world to little knick-knacks. "Yes, Severus?" an old man said coming out behind the big globe.
"Miss Kale would like to be sorted immediately." "Honestly I can wait if—" I began. "No, it isn't any trouble." The old man grabbed the hat off of a shelf and set it on top of her head. Then there was a strange, croaking voice, "Hmm…very interesting. Difficult, difficult." I felt my face flush as I watched Severus and the old man watch me in this old junky hat. "Clever. Very clever. No, not brave…" I felt like slapping the hat. It couldn't say what she was and was not. If I wanted to, I could definitely be brave. "Ravenclaw!" the hat said.
I sighed. When I was told I was going to be sorted I thought it'd be some odd test. A scary test. Afraid I was going to get it wrong; I waited for as long as I could to be sorted. Snape made no expressions. The old man smiled, "You will love the girls in that house. One of the many pleasures of this school is that your house is your family. Teamwork to help you win points and always looking out for each other." I smiled. I could have a new family. Snape sighed and walked out leaving me behind. "Did he intentionally leave me behind?" I frowned.
"He is just upset you weren't placed into Slytherin. Although, I guarantee he is happy you weren't placed in Gryffindor," he laughed, "We'd have a problem then. I'm Albus Dumbledore the Headmaster of Hogwarts." "I'm Isabelle Lynn Kale." "I know who you are. Severus talks about you whenever he visits. Keeps me updated. I don't even have to ask." I nodded not knowing what to say. "He has taken a real care for you," he smiled again. I felt my insides jump. Really? Was it true that he at least cared? I didn't say anymore. Instead I went out of Albus's office and walked around the castle trying to remember where Severus's classroom was.
Instead, I ended up outside the castle. I walked around in the snow for a while until I saw dark figures above my head. They were hooded and faceless. The hooded figures started to float down to me. I became scared. Were they evil? I thought Severus said this school was uber protected. A rush of cold swept past me, but the hooded figures didn't do anything. Tears ran down my face and then I heard a scream. "Isabelle!" I turned around and saw Severus running swiftly up to me. He held his wand out and yelled, "Expecto Patronum!"
I was confused. The hooded figures just floated in front of me. But I wasn't harmed, nothing had changed me. What was bad about them? "What?" I asked, "What were those things?" "The Dementors that will be guarding this school because of the escape of Sirius Black. They suck the happiness out of you. The happiness of your memories," he explained. "Are you alright? Did they hurt you?"
I shook my head. Happy memories are something I lacked. So if that was the only thing they did, I had nothing to worry about. "They only stood in front of me." He didn't say anything. He just put his hand on my back and pushed me back inside the castle. "I expect you to stay inside and stay out of trouble. Nothing more." I sighed. Looks like there’s going to be no fun this year, "Alright." How wrong was I?