Houses Competition: Year 2, Round 3
[Crossover]: Little Mermaid, [Prompt]: Turquoise
Word Count: 1248
Tags: OOC Severus Snape
From the Atlantic to the Black Lake
Severus sat on a small, grey rock by the shores of the Black Lake, playing with the pages of a book that rested on his lap. This was a spot that he frequented during the mornings because of the clear view of the morning sun, nestled between the hills. It was a small clearing off the shores of the lake, sitting directly underneath the cliff the castle stood on.
This cold, Christmas morning, he was surprised to find himself feeling lonely. He had only just started finding himself drawn to solitude, so the feeling of loneliness was something he was almost alien to now.
Just as the feeling began to overpower him, he grappled in his mind for reasons; he took solace in the fact that there would only be two more winters like this, and then he would get out of this godforsaken castle and serve the Dark Lord.
Oddly enough, the thought made him even more desolate because he knew the moment he joined him, she would never speak to him. It had been months since they had spoken already, but joining his side would be the last nail in the coffin and he knew it.
He gazed out at the lake, willing himself to just stop thinking. The still waters gave him the peace he wanted and to his relief, he found himself revelling in the quiet. It wasn't very often that the Hogwarts grounds were this quiet, and though it used to leave a hollow feeling in his chest before, the idea that everyone was home with their families. But he was starting to prefer this to the faux comfort of his own home.
As he watched, he saw the ripples gain a distinct shape a few meters away from the rock. He jumped off of it, unmindful of the book that fell into the lake, and towards the edge of the water. He watched in mute shock as he saw a curtain of red hair appear, and for a heartstopping second, he thought it was her. But when two hands, dripping with water pushed the hair away from blue eyes, he felt a disappointed pang as he realized that it wasn't her.
He crossed his arms and watched curiously as the clear, turquoise eyes blinked at him in confusion before shooting him a nervous smile. She backed herself up into the rock he was previously sitting on, and tucking a strand of hair behind her ear, she said, "Hello," very softly.
"Hello," he replied, unsurely.
"I-I'm Ariel," she offered sheepishly.
"Severus," he said, taking note of her bare shoulders, asked, "You might want to step out of the water. Aren't you cold?"
She shook her head in denial, but refused to explain. He narrowed his eyes at her, and had half a mind to just walk away but he couldn't help his curiosity. As he contemplated what to ask her, she inhaled deeply and said, "I can't step out of the water."
"Oh, would you um, like me to er, get you a towel? Or-Or a blanket?" he asked, brandishing his wand.
"What's a blanket?" she asked frowning. "Or a towel?"
It was Severus's turn to frown as he tilted his head at her, trying to gauge whether or not she was joking. "A blanket is supposed to keep you warm," he said slowly. "And a towel keeps you dry."
"But I told you, I'm not cold," she said, confused. "And why would I want to be dry? I live in water so-"
"Oh!" he exclaimed, realization dawning on him. "You're a mermaid!"
"But you don't look like the ones I've seen," he continued thoughtfully. "You look quite normal, frankly. The ones in the lake are-"
"Oh, I know," she shuddered. "They're a different kind. We're distant cousins, I believe. They come from Greece. The Mediterranean Sea. I'm from the Atlantic Ocean and-"
"Atlantic!?" he exclaimed. "What're you doing here?"
She looked around worriedly for a few seconds before telling him in a low voice. "I ran away from home."
"Father won't let me sing," she muttered, annoyedly.
But he doesn't say anything. She seemed genuinely agitated by it, so he simply stood there in silence. She clears her throat and breaks the silence, before continuing sheepishly, "Well, I was running away. And now, I'm lost. I must have swum in through-"
"You couldn't have, this is lake is landlocked," he said bluntly.
"But then how did-" she started, confused. "I was swimming away from home and I'm fairly certain I followed two eels, Flotsam and Jetsam, if I'm not wrong. They had promised to take me to a place where music was everywhere but then an octopus got in the way. I think I scared her because suddenly there was shiny, ink everywhere and she was muttering something and-"
"Magic!" Severus exclaimed, because that could be the only explanation for Ariel finding herself in the Great Lake, a landlocked waterbody, while she was swimming in the Atlantic Ocean.
"Magic?" she frowned.
When Severus explained to her, Ariel scoffed at him, asking why an octopus would squirt magic at her, let alone send her to a lake in England. Severus had a hunch as to why, simply because there could possibly be only one reason to attempt to make a person disappear, but he didn't say anything. Instead, he asked her if she wanted to leave.
She refused in initially because he had honestly answered her when she'd asked if music was allowed here. Ultimately, it took Severus reminding her of her Greek cousins that she'd have to share the lake with, along with the Grindylows, of course, to change her mind. She gave in with a reluctant grunt, and ran off towards the castle to find a way for her to get back.
Once he left, Ariel made an attempt to climb onto the rock, her turquoise fin curling over the slowly warming stone. She decided that she quite liked being above water, and gazed out at the sun. The sensation of heat was new to her, but oddly comforting. She liked the gusts of breeze that blew into her hair, and the way it moved in the in the air as opposed to the slow, almost dead sort of hovering that it did under water.
She turned around when she heard footsteps, and Severus was running towards her, a strange object in his hand. It had an odd blue glow to it and he told her that all she had to was hold on to it and she would be home within seconds. But she'd have to hurry, because he could get in big trouble for what he had just done.
As she takes it from him slowly, she asked, "What is this?"
"A candelabra," he replied. "Sorry, that was the least suspicious looking thing I could find."
"I like it," she said softly, as she ran her fingers across the candleholders, scratching the remnants of the wax with her finger and inspecting it.
"What is this?" she starts to ask, but the portkey starts to grow biter, and seconds later, Ariel is whirling through time and space before finding herself in front of the Atlantica Palace.
Severus forgets about the incident in a couple of months, but Ariel remembers the morning for years; it was after all, the first human she had met and he didn't seem half as bad as Father said they were.
A/N: I'm not a Snape apologist. Just FYI. :')