Title: The Return, III Challenge: A New Start Word Count: 100
Small talk was awkward, inconsequential, and traditionally the province of dunderheads, but it helped to cover the inevitable conversational gaps when Pomona, or Hagrid, or this year's DADA teacher mentioned something that had occurred during his suspension. Severus had no problem finishing his breakfast (banquets at Malfoy Manor had trained him to eat regardless of the circumstances) but it was a relief to excuse himself for a brief meeting with Minerva before his first class.
"It will get better," she assured him, briskly skimming his lesson plans before handing them back. "You know it will."