Chapter 1: Severus

‘Pity, Severus’, said Alice with authority, ‘is far worse than hate or fear.
It’s the one thing that possesses the true potential to actually kill you.’
Severus started back at her, eyes wide.
Alice leaned toward him confidingly, causing him to wriggle uncomfortably.
‘All that other stuff hurts for a while, don’t get me wrong. But pity? Pity runs you through like a sword, and it’s a wound that never fully heals. That shit right there Sev’? It will fuck you up well hard.’

She looked down at the gurgling baby in the black stroller. His..mother, (she presumed), had parked him next to Alice, who was sitting on a bench outside the store, with a negligent air of ‘here, mind this’, without really looking at Alice very closely. She had simply assumed that a smallish girl reading a book.. an ‘actual paper book’, on a public bench must be fairly harmless.

So Alice had kept an eye on him, despite having formed an instant dislike of his mother, dubbing him ‘Severus’ after the character ‘Snape’ in the Harry Potter books, and set about instilling in him all the advice she felt Snape would have eventually gotten around to giving to Harry, had he been given the opportunity of more than one ‘final speech’.
But we all only get one, and Snape had chosen his as he had seen most fitting.

‘So, Sev’, baby..’ she smirked, laying on her favourite pun, ‘that’s about it really. Oh, and stay away from girls with…’
‘Hey, what are you doing? Get the hell away from my baby!’
Alice was leaning partly over the stroller, about to bid Baby Sev’ farewell, when his mother had returned, and getting a fresh look at Alice, who was dressed in her usual ‘day to day’ ‘up the street’ wear, a mix of conservative Cybergoth mixed with BrownCoat from Firefly, and decided she didn’t like the strange/ unusual get-up this weird girl was in, especially leaning over her child.

Alice went to push the stroller away from herself, towards the woman who was bearing down on her at full steam. ‘Don’t touch that stroller!’, the woman almost screamed, ‘or so help me, I will slap your skinny little ass into next week.’
‘Skinny little ass’, Alice mouthed silently, taking in the woman’s appearance, quickly realising from her loud commands, business styled dress and hair, as well as carrying a bit more height than the usual female, that this woman was ‘a ball buster’.

However, Alice smiled to herself, most probably the kind of ball buster that was unaware of the 3” soles adorning goth boots, and akin to a bird, that many blended layers could easily billow out, making you seem larger than you were. And when combined with an absurd sense of melodrama, which Alice had buckets of, well…

Alice succeeded in judging the timing just right. The woman had almost reached her, and started another line of, ‘I swear, I will..’

Just as she got to them, Alice stood abruptly, right in front of the woman, and with ‘juuuust’ a touch of Scottish brogue, swayed towards the woman, projecting loudly, with almost a hiss in her words , the brogue giving her voice a nice extra rich growl, ‘YOOOUUUUUUU, annd WHOOOOOOSE FUCKIN’ ARMEH?’ While giving the woman her best practised ‘evil and menacing’ stare.

The woman backed up, startled by Alice’s unexpected height and ferocity. Alice shrugged her arms, letting her layers of cloth start to flutter out and shift forward, making it look as if she was growing larger.
At this point, the woman grabbed her baby up and, at almost a run, hurried off up the street, presumably to find the police or someone, just, leaving the stroller there.

She looked up to see the shop assistant from the store that the woman had just been in, standing in the doorway of the shop watching and smiling broadly. Her smile indicated that the woman hadn’t been the easiest customer.
Alice wondered how much she had seen..
She gave the girl a wink. The girl grinned wider, before returning inside.
Alice recognised her from school. She wasn’t ever particularly very nice , but then again, she couldn’t recall her ever being particularly mean. That seemed to be the way it had been at school, hate Alice, or ignore Alice, only a rare few tried to be friends with Alice.

She scowled, as that thought essentially brought her back around to where she was warning Sev about pity.
Then , having done nothing wrong, sat back down and resumed reading.


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