Blood and Snot

Bernice

Written on request, a sort of sequel to Out of the Bag

Beta by Melpemone

Note:  I had thought I'd do a whole series of tiny, gen Snape/McGonagall stories based on Out of the Bag, but after writing this, I don't think I will.  In fact, I love Out of the Bag, but I don't like this, so I don't think that this will be a sequel.  It can stand alone or die, but it can't stand on Bag.  So, I hereby declare this to not be a sequel to Bag.

"I know who you are!" Severus snapped at her, and wiped his nose on his sleeve, leaving a smear of blood and snot.

 Minerva sat primly on the grass and licked a paw, using it to smooth back her whiskers as she watched the young man.  He was awkwardly folded under the tree - his knees nearly came to his ears, jagged; his limbs growing faster than he could learn to control.

"You're not fooling anyone!"

He shouldn't be in the Forbidden Forest, even though he was just inside the edge; but then, she thought, he shouldn't be dirty and bleeding, and Hogwarts should not have failed in its duty to protect and care for every one of its charges.

 "I don't know what you think you're going to achieve, crawling around me as a cat, but it won't work.  You only fooled me once!"

She wanted to say that it was only cat ears that tracked him this far, and only cat eyes that saw his dark shadow amongst the tree's buttressed roots, but she couldn't talk in cat form, so she didn't.

"I could kill you, you know," he said, looking sly.

She flicked her ears back. 

"I could kill you in cat form, and no one would ever know.  Your carcass would be eaten by something in these woods before anyone even realised you were gone."

She made a small moue of distaste.  She didn't take his threat seriously for a second.  Not only that he couldn't, but she knew he wouldn't.  She did not appreciate him saying things like that, though.  It showed a distinct lack of respect, and had she been in human form, she would have given him a good clip around the ears.

His eyes narrowed.

 "And if they did find out, no one would be surprised.  You know what they say about us Slytherins.  We're evil to the core.  Ambitious – like that's some kind of curse – sneaky, deceitful, nasty little snakes. If I killed you, I'd just be finally doing what I keep getting punished for anyway, so why not?"

She flicked her tail sharply and frowned.  Surely by this age he should have outgrown such pouting petulance?  He sounded like a five year old stamping his feet and crying 'ti's not fair!'

"Everyone already says I'm a monster.  Horrible, greasy, evil, nasty Slytherin. So why shouldn't I just do what everyone expects of me?"

She wasn't even going to acknowledge that.  She knew him well enough to know that if she said no, that he shouldn't do it, he'd probably turn around and do it just to show her she couldn't tell him what to do, detentions be damned.  She used one back foot to vigorously scratch inside her ear, a wonderfully satisfying scratch that she couldn't do in public in human form.

"Stop ignoring me!  I'm threatening to kill you!  I could crush your head with a rock, or snap your neck with my bare hands.  I wouldn't even need magic!  Even as a cat you should have the sense to fear me!"

She licked one shoulder brusquely, and returned to staring at him.  The very idea that a student could be any threat to her was ludicrous.  She didn't know why he wasted his breath making such foolish threats, or he ever thought that he could distract her from knowing what he was really thinking and feeling.

He groaned in annoyance and let his head fall back against the tree.   "Everyone says I'm bad.  That I'm already a Death Eater, that I'm one of them."

She didn't know if 'one of them' meant Lucius's gang, expecting Severus would join them; or if it was Potter's gang, denigrating the young Slytherin.  She sat and listened.

"I don't know.  Maybe they're right. It's not like I really have that many options.  I don't think I believe anything either side has to say.  They're both right and they're both wrong at the same time."

She folded her paws underneath herself and daintily lay down.  This was interesting, and she wondered who where the 'sides' Snape mentioned.  Surely he was too young to have been approached by any of the currently growing factions?   There were things to be learned here, perhaps, although none so important as the distress of her young student.

"I just wish they'd let me make up my own mind, not push me one way or the other."  He was quiet for a moment, then said: "Oh, by the way, I won't be able to hand in my Transfiguration essay…" he pulled some torn and soggy papers from his robe pocket. "Dog ate my homework."

She fluffed out her whiskers in irritation, but not at him, and rolled her eyes to let him know she understood, and he laughed at her, a broken, unattractive bark of a laugh, which soon choked itself into a sob.  He stopped that abruptly, and wiped his nose again.

"I hate you, you know."

She knew, and she also knew it wasn't her he hated, but that she was the only one around and he needed to hate someone right now.

They both sat quietly for a while.  Then he reached out and grabbed the scruff of her neck and she mewed in surprise as he roughly dragged her over, but she relaxed, and lay calmly in his lap, as he buried his face in her side, smearing it with blood and snot.