Characters: Argus Filch, Sirius Black
Word Count: 600
Prompt: Argus Filch, Confiscated Goods
He'd had to go all the way up to the Gryffindor common-room to collect it - the result of the latest exploit of the unholy trinity, sodden with polluted magic. He knew how they raised their aristocratic toffee-noses at him as they sneered at his failed shreds of spells and stiff awkward attempts at muggle conjuring. He always hoped someday... something... would work, that there would be that little spark of miraculous wonder for him, after all. Not all children exhibited it at once. Perhaps even a man could have delayed ability. Such were his perennial musings.
Dumbledore had told him to remove it.
"Is it dangerous?" he'd asked the Headmaster.
"You should perhaps wear gloves. And bring something sturdy in which to carry it, like a metal box."
" You know how young people love to edge around a forbidden world. Sirius Black found it by Knockturn Alley and took it as some kind of charm.They cast a spell on it, or several spells. So inventive and imaginative. Of course they can't be expected to have learned prudence yet. "
No, of course not. Not prudence. Argus thought sarcastically.
He had sighed and trudged frowning up the stairs to mitigate yet another disaster. Apparently the room had required evacuation. The more nervous students were still shrilly jittery outside the door. Someone had been taken to the hospital wing. There were still drips of blood sinking into his wood floor.
But when he entered, the common-room was quiet. There it was on the rug, in the shadow of one of the big comfortable velvet couches. He approached cautiously, but it seemed inert. Crouching, he extended his hand to pick it up and shut it in the box.
Then it was awake, hissing, all tense backbone, pointed teeth, and extended claws, gripping the rug, backing away, even as it held its ground, even as it prepared to spring. It was so sad, Argus thought, that such a little creature, so brave and ragged, should be their sport. Just as he was. And it was then that the miracle happened.
The tiny kitten relaxed and stretched under his sad eyes. It retracted its claws to soft little paws, and looked at him. He held it up before him, looking into its eyes. And something changed forever. Somehow, the touch of magic he had always wanted had bloomed between himself and the little cat. He could feel its emotions. He could see through its eyes. He saw himself as the kitten saw him: a hand of kindness and salvation, watery pale eyes and a smile. He was smiling?
Yes, he was. He felt its relief as well as its hatred of the heedless children who had toyed with it, teased it, experimented on it, and run from it with infectious shrieks.
"I don't think we will need the box after all. Or the gloves," Argus said to himself and the kitten. He tucked it into his shirt where it cuddled and fell asleep, exhausted now that it was safe. He could just see the edge of its dreams at the edge of his vision. He could feel the thought of its pleasure at his old soft clothes. He held his arm around it protectively.
"I'm confiscating this cat." He told the children abruptly as he strode past them and their scattered selfish energy.
When he got back to his rooms, with the little cat curled on his own cushion, he whispered, "I will call you Mrs. Norris." It shouldn't be difficult to care for her.
first posted to my dreamwidth account.