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Chapter 3

Bella woke up with a bad feeling. The room was dark and quiet. Silence was something that Bella wasn't used too. Her father wasn't exactly quiet when he came in from his nightly drinking parties; thumping around the kitchen looking for goodness knows what and shouting rude words that drifted up through the ceiling and penetrated Bella's innocent ears. At first she didn't really remember why she felt bad, but as she blinked through the gloom...trying to hit her like a bullet being shot at full speed. Last night's events Oh, no! She bit her lip and started to shake. He...didn't shout; he let her stay. She wondered, now that it was morning, would Snape kick her out?

She slid out of bed and quickly stood up reveling in the fact that the room didn't spin and made her way towards the living room where Snape sat. He was reading a newspaper, but the look on his face made her hesitate for a moment, then she pulled herself together and stepped forward "Sir?" He looked up and stared at her through his obsidian eyes. She felt like she was trying to charm a snake. If she broke eye contact he could strike at any moment. She truly felt ashamed of herself.

"Sit." He told her and she knew better than not to obey. So she sat without meeting his eyes. He got up and a minute later he came back with a plate of pancakes. She stared at it like she couldn't believe her own eyes. Wait? He has done all of this for her...after what she had done yesterday? "Well," he frowned "Do I have to order you to eat or do you think you can manage that yourself?" His face was set in a scowl. Bella nodded and started eating. She hadn't realized how hungry she had been.

He got up and pulled out a... stick from his robe. Bella didn't want to ask since he clearly didn't like her questioning, so she just watched him as he pointed the stick at her and mumbled some words under his breath. It was strange because a minute after she felt... healed. She glanced at her arms and her bruises...they were gone! He handed her a small vial of purple liquid. "Go to bed and drink it." He ordered. Bella really did want to ask, but decided not to. Even if she had no idea what the Snape man had given her, she knew he wasn't going to do her any harm.

She nodded, but before she went back to the guest room she spoke. "I truly am sorry for my actions last night. I hope you can forgive me." When Bella didn't get any answer she just said, "Thank you for all you have done for me."

Snape didn't say anything because he really had no idea what to say. Normally he would have thrown her out because of what she did. There was something about her; she looked so innocent. He knew she didn't want to do anything cruel and thought about how her parents had threatened her. Maybe he should just be nice to her until she is well again. What would he do then? Well, he would think of something.

Bella drank the potion and within seconds she was asleep. When she woke up she felt completely recharged. Her fever was down and her body didn't hurt anymore. On the edge of her bed there were a pair of jeans and a sweater. She quickly pulled them on and walked out. The Snape man was sitting in the kitchen reading. "Do you mind sir?" She asked politely. He glanced up at her; his face was set on a scowl. Maybe that was just his regular facial expression. He nodded, but stayed silent flicking through his paper. She sat down opposite him. After a while she looked up and staggered backwards. She would have fallen on her butt if it wasn't for Snape's strong hands gripping her. "Th-the m-moved!" She managed to blurt out.

Snape pulled her up to her feet. Okay, he needed to make things clear for her. "Sit." He ordered. Was his voice always this emotionless? "You are a witch," he said after a while.

Wait what? "I'm sorry," she said not knowing what to do. She thought for a second; he didn't hate her. He sighed. "I am a wizard and you are a witch. There is nothing bad about being a witch. When you are a witch you can perform magic." Bella didn't believe him one bit. That is just... impossible. Yet, it would explain why so many strange things happened around her. "So when you healed my bruises with that stick...was that magic?" She asked. Snape rolled his eyes like she was the stupidest person in the world. "Yes and it is called a wand." He hissed, something that made her shrink. "Sorry sir. I won't ask."

Bella couldn't believe she was magical. It was just too much to handle. She excused herself and went upstairs. She lay down and closed her eyes. Was this why her parents had hated her so much, because she was a witch? Had her father beaten her up only because she could do some unusual stuff? She felt tears form in her eyes. She tried to blink them away, but ended up sobbing herself to sleep.

Snape entered the room a short while after she had left the kitchen. He saw Bella lying on the bed sleeping. He just couldn't get himself to wake her. She looked so... peaceful. He quietly closed the door behind him.

Bella woke up some hours later. Her fever was gone and she felt a lot better than what she had just a couple of days ago. She stroked the covers on her bed, if she only could stay here forever. She knew that would be impossible. There was some paper, ink and a quill at the desk. It was strange because she had never seen a feather quill before. She quickly wrote a letter to the kind man who had helped her. He shouldn't be bothered with someone like her. Besides she preferred leaving than being asked to leave.

Dear Severus Snape

Sir, thank you for everything you have done. I will never forget it.

Please don't be mad at me for what I did. I didn't want to steal from you and I hope you can forgive me. I am very sorry for leaving like this, but I don't want to be a burden to you.

Thank you so much again.

- Bella

This time Bella just walked out the front door. Snape was probably out, she couldn't hear anything anyway. She didn't know where to go only that she didn't want to burden Snape any further.

Severus Snape came home a few hours after Bella left. He sat down in the living room and began reading his paper.

The hours went by and he noticed something was wrong. The house was awfully quiet. Bella couldn't still be asleep, could she? He made his way towards the guest room. He knocked three times before entering. The bed was properly made up and there was a letter on the desk. He grabbed it and read it slowly.

"Silly girl!" He growled. There was snow and ice cold outside. He quickly grabbed a blanket and ran outside. "Bella! Bella where are you? Silly girl!" He yelled. She was going to die if he didn't find her. He felt like he had some sort of responsibility over the little girl.

It was pitch black so it was hard to see. He knew he couldn't light his wand because the muggles would notice. "Bella where are you?" He yelled.

After around thirty minutes of searching, he found her. She was lying on a bench, shivering from the cold. She only had jeans and a sweater on. He quickly wrapped the blanket around her and ran toward his house. She was unconscious and really cold. "Stupid girl," he mumbled to himself.

Bella woke up in Snape's living room. She was lying on the couch in front of the fire place and had a lot of blankets around her. "What were you thinking child? Running away like that in the middle of the winter!" Snape growled. She shrank into the couch trying to block out the venom in his voice.

Snape hadn't meant to lose control like that, it just happened. What was she thinking? It took him a while before he calmed down. Then he took her hand and guided her upstairs. She stumbled a bit on the stairs, probably because she had just been unconscious. They stopped in the room she had been sleeping in the last few days. "This will be your room. You may decorate it as you please." She looked at him a bit confused and startled. "Are you letting me stay?" He nodded without hesitation.

His face was still emotionless, but there was something in his eyes. "I will not have you do something silly as what you did today. Is that clear?" He growled and she nodded. Still not over the shock that somebody actually wanted her, she wrapped her small arms around him. "Thank you so much sir." Snape froze, but then relaxed and patted her back. He cleared his throat. "Now, go to sleep. I will see you in the morning. It is rather early."

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