I scramble backwards. "You just talked."

"Thank you for stating the obvious," the snake comments dryly.

"You just talked," I repeat.

"Once was enough. Yes, I just talked. I am talking right now, actually. Anything else you'd like to say, any more pearls of wisdom to send out to the world? Perhaps next you'll make the stunning observation that the sky is blue or that grass is green," deadpans the snake.

Still in shock over the fact that a snake just talked, I reply that, "The sky isn't always blue, it's a variety of colors. A scribble of black, a field of white-"

"-Soupy blood red, yes, someone's read The Book Thief. Anyways, can we move on from the fact that I am talking?" the snake queries.

"Sorry. You don't meet a talking snake every day, you know. Or at least, I don't."

"And I don't meet a human intelligent enough to understand snakes every day, but you don't see me standing there, mouth open like an idiot, repeating 'You understand me'," the snake responds, adding in a mutter, "though I'm starting to doubt the 'intelligent' part."

Dazed from the run (and from meeting a snake that talks), I can only reply, "I heard that."

"I would have been disappointed if you hadn't," the snake zips back. "And close your mouth, a fly or something is going to land in there eventually. You're being quite rude."

I shut my mouth, then immediately open it again to defend myself. "Well excuse me! I just woke up on the street! I have no idea where I am! I don't even know my own name, so you'll have to ignore my bad manners. For all I know, I never had parents to teach me them!" I yell.

The snake rolls his eyes. "Well, considering that you understand all the book references I'm throwing at you-"

"You made one." I interrupt.

"-yes, well, you still got it, so you must remember something. And I happen to know all about you and your life. But I can't tell you."

I'm about one more snarky comment away from chopping the stupid reptile up for soup. "What do you mean, you can't tell me? It's my life!"

The snake, apparently, does not realize how close he is to being eaten, as all he does is do something that looks remarkably like a sly smile, and, in what is actually a rather good River Song impression, say, "Spoilers…"

"Aaargh! Can you tell me anything helpful?" I query.

"Mmm…my name is Aadin," the snake points out (very unhelpfully, I might add).

"Not. Helpful," I growl.

"Oh, you never know. Power of a name and all that," Aadin continues obliviously.

I close my eyes and take a deep breath, reminding myself that though it would certainly help relieve some of my stress, turning Aadin into a meal won't help me get any more information about my previous life. "Well, what am I supposed to do? I've got no family, no home, no memories, no anything! I need to eat and find someplace to sleep, and I don't have any money or anything."

"You don't know that. Check your pockets. There might be something useful in there, you never know."

I glance down at my outfit for the first time. Nothing too unusual, jeans, T-shirt, blue Converse, and a light jacket, all looking fairly new. I check the pocket of my jeans. Nothing. I stick my hands in the pockets of my jacket, expecting the same, only to find a bill. Excited, I pull it out. "One dollar? Great, that's a huge help. I might be able to buy a can of soda at a vending machine," I drawl sarcastically.

For the first time, it's the snake that looks confused. "Wait, what?" He slithers closer to look at the bill. "Stupid human numbers," Aadin mutters in annoyance. "All so similar. I could have sworn it was a hundred!"

"Wait a minute! Did you set me up for this?" I accuse him. By 'this', I of course mean getting amnesia and being dumped on the street, unconscious and covered in reptiles.

"Wha-No! Of course not!" Aadin protests. "I mean, I knew it was going to happen, yes, but I certainly didn't make it happen. You knew it was going to happen, too, for that matter."

Our conversation is interrupted by the arrival of a girl. "I heard voices," she tells us by way of introduction. She stares at Aadin and me. Her eyes, I note, are a peculiar shade of blue-green. After a moment of this, she continues with, "Does the snake talk?"

Oddly enough, she acts as though this is the most normal thing in the world.

"Don't say 'yes'," Aadin's voice jerks me out of my thoughts.

Her gaze snaps over to Aadin. "So he does talk," she muses, seemingly to herself.

"What-You shouldn't be able to understand me!" Aadin is now very surprised.

The odd girl totally ignores him, instead tilting her head to one side and listening intently. Then she runs. "Bye!" she calls over her shoulder.

I'm left with just the green and silver snake for company. Green and silver... I groan. "No. You are not allowed to be this cliché."

"What do you mean?" He sounds confused.

"I'm talking to you. Parseltongue, Slytherin, you're green and silver, the house colors, the symbol of which is a snake! Cliché!"

"Oh, right, it's my fault that I'm green and silver and that you can understand me."

"I-" I'm interrupted by the sound of running feet. Yet another kid arrives. Another girl. This one, however, has black hair and brown eyes. There also seems to be some sort of metal device attached to the shoulder of her shirt.

"Who are you?" she asks. "I'm Amber, by the way."

"This is going to sound really stupid, but I'm not sure."

Amber's eyes widen. "Oh, are you that kid that was on the news? Found on the street, snakes writhing all over him, one guy almost got bit!"

"Yeah, that's me."

"So you must not have any parents, then, if you're out here," she waves a hand around vaguely.

I shake my head. "I really don't know. I've got amnesia or something. Can't remember anything about my past life. Maybe I have parents out looking for me, maybe I don't."

Amber winces. "Ooh. Not a good feeling. But if you do have parents, they might look for you where I'm from."

"And where's that?" I ask.

"The...uh, the city orphanage," she replies hesitantly.

"Oh." Cue awkward silence. "Um. I'll come with you then, I guess?"

"Don't. You. Dare." Aadin hisses (well, technically he always hisses, being a snake, but this is more hiss-like than usual).

The sound of Aadin talking get Amber to look down. "Th-that's a snake," she whispers, sounding petrified.

Aadin ignores her. "Don't go with her. It's a very bad idea," he continues. "I don't know why, it just does."

Meanwhile, Amber has been speaking into the device on her shoulder. I just manage to catch the last two words-"Come quick!"-before she turns her head back to me.

"I'm really very sorry about this," she has a strange, sorrowful half-smile on her face.

I hear a slight whoosh sound, feel a pinprick in my arm, and I sink to the ground, unconscious, still staring at the feathered dart embedded near my wrist.



Which I likely won't even start on until next month or something. *sigh* I'm sorry. I just...yeah.

Anyways. Review, please?