Title: The First Christmas
Age-Range Category: Three
Character: Severus Snape
(Highlight to View) Warning(s): None.
Note: Just a thought that ran away with me, that went in a very different direction to what I expected! I couldn't stop tinkering with it so all mistakes are mine :)
Summary: Christmas can be hard when you have nobody to share it with.
Snape spent the first week of the Christmas break disgustingly drunk. What was there to live for? This was the first Christmas he could remember without a card or a gift or even just a smile from his first — maybe his only — friend, Lily Potter. The world was a darker place without her infectious smile, despite her turning away from him without a second thought.
Yes, the Dark Lord was gone. The rest of the wizarding world rejoiced, and the Christmas parties this year would come to be legendary, but Severus Snape was a completely broken man. He had nothing to celebrate and nobody to enjoy his time off with; no family or friends or even a casual acquaintance to pass an hour or two in quiet conversation.
His parents were long dead, having been found so when Severus went home after his sixth year at Hogwarts. The cause of death was never determined as he had neither the money nor inclination to bring it to the attention of the authorities, but he had buried them besides the rest of the Prince line in their family crypt. Just what his pureblood ancestors would say to a Muggle being laid in their precious tomb was a thought that amused Severus at the time - he wasted precious little time worrying about the opinions of the dead now. His only real friend during childhood had been Lily Potter and the less said about her the better: suffice to say his heart was a gaping wound that seemed completely irreparable.
His fellow Slytherins had seemingly vanished too, for so many of his house had been caught working for the Dark Lord whilst those evading capture kept a low profile in this new era of joy. He knew that he was thought of with suspicion by many of his peers — how on earth had he managed to be in Voldemort's inner circle and even have the Dark Mark and yet be safe under Dumbledore's care at Hogwarts? Although the majority of the true inner circle languished in Azkaban, there were plenty canny enough to bide their time in the hope that Voldemort would return.
He supposed there were his fellow teachers, but most of them had taught him only three years previously and still saw him as a student and not a fellow educator. Why, he was actually on his way to achieving his Potions Mastery, which many of the teachers lacked in their respective fields. You don’t need advanced qualifications to teach at Hogwarts, and as most see it as a lifelong job they see no reason to undergo strenuous testing and gruelling assignments whilst simultaneously teaching a full class load. He had to admit that it was intense, but the seven year course he had embarked on after Hogwarts was too good an opportunity to throw away. If he could serve at the right hand of the Dark Lord and study full time then teaching was a piece of cake! Speaking of which…
Severus stood suddenly, only swaying a fraction, and strode to his desk. In the centre was something incredibly out of place in his usual immaculate workspace: a large tin in Slytherin green wrapped in gold tinsel with an unnecessarily large tag poking out the top. It read:
Sev,He paused, running his fingers along the final lines. With love. He had received this treasure in his second year, the first time he realised that staying at Hogwarts for Christmas was an option. He had obviously missed his ray of light, but the tin that showed a harmony in house colours had mimicked the beauty of their friendship. It was an exceptionally clever little charm that his witch had gifted him with, and he looked forward to his secret stash of heavy fruity alcoholic joy more than any other seasonal fare. He prised the lid open with a practiced hand, to reveal…
I finally managed that replication charm! I know how much you love my mum’s Christmas cake so here it is for you — as long as you don’t eat the final piece you should never run out, just click the lid back on and reopen to replenish it.
With love always,
Not a single crumb remained of Mrs Evans’s Christmas cake. Not a smear of marzipan, or a dusting of icing sugar, or even a rogue cherry.
He sank to the floor, cradling the empty tin in his arms, hot tears splashing on the lid. Why hadn’t he realised that her magic would die with her? Swiping angrily at the only tears he’d shed since that horrific Halloween, he placed the tin back in the hidden compartment of the desk where it always lived, closed it gently and rose to his feet. He grabbed the bottle of rum that had been abandoned by his chair and swigged, allowing the spiced liquor to drag him into unconsciousness.
The only thought that crossed his pounding head was that he wished he lived further away from the banging on the main road. As the floor shifted beneath him and the room rose to greet his sorry face, a few more notions swam into focus — he wasn't anywhere near a road, the noise had mercifully stopped, he hadn't lived without silencing wards for years and hang on? How was the room moving? Oh but actually, hmmm yes this will do nicely, a soft surface and a warm cover and a squidgy pillow and a stroking of hair and sleep…
Boxing Day dawned bright and clear, with the start of the second week of the holidays and therefore a working week. It took Professor Snape an unusually long time to move from his bed to his bathroom, even longer for him to figure out that the shower had to be turned on to do him any good, but the clarity gained with hot water (and a cheeky swig from a magical little hangover potion) was not pleasant. Sweeping through his private rooms, removing empty bottles and smashed tumblers along with a plethora of food debris proved cathartic, though he still couldn't remember how he ended up in bed. Moving back into said bedroom, a small piece of parchment fluttered to the floor from the duvet he shook out.
Severus,The note, unsigned and with handwriting he didn't recognise, was crumpled into a ball and dropped. He may only be 21 but how dare someone judge how he spent his free time?
You must not do this to yourself again. I am aware of how painful this year has been and so allowed you a week of wallowing, but it was your last. Do not expect me to sit back and watch as you throw your precious life away.
I'll be there when you're ready to ask for the help you need.
With a shake of his robe and a sneer the rooms were left for the mania of the great hall, unaware that a smiling face looked on. Perhaps next year he would be open to persuasion.