Author: Slightly Sinister Sinestra PM
Simple little story. Hagrid decides noone should be alone for Christmas. No HBP.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Rubeus H. & Severus S. - Chapters: 2 - Words: 2,844 - Reviews: 37 - Favs: 45 - Follows: 7 - Updated: 04-01-06 - Published: 11-18-05 - Status: Complete - id: 2665567
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Love Hagrid, love Snape, but unfortunately I own neither them or anything else in this fic save the plot.
Summary: One shot. Christmas cake and tea, Hagrid style. No HBP.
Hagrid settled back in his (suitably enlarged) armchair in the staff common room, warmed by the roaring fire and the tea, with its firewhiskey lacing, in his stomach. He felt the beginings of a comfortable drowzeyness on the edges of his mind, and wasn't bothered in the slightest by it. He watched the antics of his fellows, embued with the students' infecious holiday cheer, with a fuzzily good humoured smile and slightly blurred vision.
Minerva and Flitwick were currently engaged in a surreptitious sniping war, firing off minor charms and transfigurations to make holly and mistletoe dance around people's heads, and change drinking glasses into birds, and stools into small dogs. Everyone else was in too much of a good mood to mind all that much as the escalating competition caused a Beauty & the Beast style cuttlery performance, and a real live partridge in a pear tree in place of a lamp. Dumbledore, in another of his outrageous star-sporting robes, had been cornered by a tag-team of Sinstra and Sybil, one busily (and somewhat drunkenly) correcting the positions of the astral bodies, and the other earnestly discussing the interesting portents they contained. Finally, desperate, Albus shut them up by sweeping Sybil under one of Flitwick's floating mistletoes, and kissing her soundly. Sinstra collapsed giggling, the staff roared appreciatively, and Sybil, having gotten over the shock, set about persuing the Headmaster with renewed vigour.
Rubeus chuckled into his beard, watching the Headmaster's somewhat frenzied retreat, all the while laughing his white head off. Hagrid quietly cheered Sybil on, rumbling encouragements. 'Go on, Sybil! Yeh've nearly got 'im now!' It was a thoroughly enjoyable Christmas party.
Then the large man frowned slightly. It seemed not everyone was here to enjoy it. There was one presence conspicuous in its absence. True, the man rarely came up here, but it was Christmas. You weren't supposed to be alone on Christmas. Come to think of it, though, Hagrid couldn't remember having seen him at any of the Christmas parties over the years. Well, that wasn't right. Man should have company on this night, of all nights. Rising and making his excuses, he set off in search of Severus Snape.
There was a damp chill in the air down in the dungeons. Hagrid had been down here plenty of times before, and he still didn't see how anyone could live in these places. Come winter, you'd be freezing, and it was always in gloom. Living here'd really get your spirits down after any length of time. No wonder Snape was always so dour. Well, OK, he'd always been like that anyway, but it couldn't have helped any.
He reached the entrace to Snape's quarters, just another darkwood door among many. There really wasn't anything to distinguish it from any other, save a discrete brass sign announcing the professor's name and subject. To tell the truth, it looked far more like an office door that the entrance to someone's home away from home. But then, the professor never had been one for obvious sentiment. Things were there to serve their purpose, not make you feel better.
He knocked, planning how to approach the snarly professor, much as he would plan the approach to any dangerous (by other's standards) creature. The door swung open roughly. 'Albus, for the last time! I am not coming to any damned party! ... Oh. It's you, Hagrid. What do you want?' Hagrid smiled at the swiftly masked surprise in the other man's face. He obviously had been expecting a reproach from the Headmaster, not a half giant on his doorstep. Well, that was interesting.
'I've come t' ask for yer help with some'at, professor.' Snape raised an eyebrow. 'Oh?'
'It's Fang, sir. I don't think he's bin feelin' to well. I was wonderin' if yeh'd come and have a look at 'im?' Snape sneered. 'Hagrid, you are our resident creature expert. I know next to nothing of how to take care of animals.' 'Now, tha's not true, sir. I remember when you was a student, an' you takin' care of tha' cat you was sent. Took care of him right well, yeh did.' A flicker of expression crossed the other's face: sadness, fondness, remembrance. Hagrid smiled softly. 'An' anyway, yeh know the potions and stuff tha'll make him better,' he tried, playing the slightly stupid giant card for all it was worth. It worked on most people.
Not Snape, it seemed. 'And stuff? Hagrid, what are you up to?' Uh-oh. Rumbled. Before he could try to recover, though, the potions master sniffed, and turned back into the room. 'Well, I suppose it'll do no harm to have a look at him. As long as we don't make any detours on the way. I'm not going to any party.' Hagrid grinned in relief. 'Of course not, professor! Straight there. Promise.' Snape came back out to him, a thick cloak swirled round his shoulders, and a satchel slung over his arm. 'Wha's that?' Snape looked at him curiously. 'Ingredients. I don't want to have to make two trips on this. I should have everything I need for whatever your dog is likely to have gotten.' Oh. Right. Ya gotta be more careful, Rubeus. This one don't fool easy. 'Shall we, then?'
As soon as they were in the door of his cottage, Fang trotted forward to sniff them over and slobber on them a bit. 'Ah, sorry about tha', professor. He tends to drool a bit. Well, a lot, actually.' Hagrid wasn't sure how the obsessively neat man would react to Fang's ... excesses. To his surprise, though, Snape knelt down in front of the dog to allow him to check him out fully, seemingly oblivious to the copious amounts of saliva he was getting on his robes. He fondled the dog's ears gently, murmuring a greeting. Hagrid was surprised, but pleased. Fang rather liked it as well, nudging the thin chest with his great head and growling slightly with pleasure. Snape smiled at this, shoving the dog playfully back, and climbing to his feet. He turned to Hagrid.
'Hagrid, there is nothing wrong with Fang, and you know it. Why am I here?' he asked quietly. A few minutes ago, Hagrid would have been worried at this, afraid he'd lost the man, but he could see now that if Snape hadn't at least partly wanted to come, he wouldn't be here. Maybe his loneliness was finally getting to him. But Hagrid could understand why he didn't want to go up to the party. The intensely private, withdrawn child Hagrid remembered had grown into an intensely private man. The wild antics inherent in the staff get-togethers would only grate on his nerves. Hagrid knew what it felt like to only want some nice quiet time with someone content to sit in silence.
He smiled gently at the resigned potions master. 'I just thought yeh might like to sit an' have a cup o' tea with me. It's a touch draughty down in them dungeons, and I thought it'd be nice an' warm for yeh out here. Plus, Fang's been missin' yeh since yeh went out patrollin' with us a couple o' months back. He thought yeh were a grand fellow.' Snape looked down curiously at the animal collapsed happily on his feet. 'Guess animal instincts aren't all they're cracked up to be,' he said softly. 'Now, none o' that. Fang's never bin wrong about a person yet. An' I've never been wrong, either. So, sit yerself down, professor. I'll put on a pot of tea.' He watched the man cautiously take a seat, then bustled around getting things ready.
'Slice o' cake, sir?' he asked. Snape, distracted, looked up from a contemplation of Fang's ears. 'What?' Hagrid held up the plate. 'Christmas cake, sir. Made it meself. Like to try a piece?' Hagrid knew of the reputation his cooking had round the school, so was fairly sure the professor would decline, but he might as well ask. The man could do with a bit of filling out. 'Oh. Thank you, yes.' Hagrid blinked, then shrugged and handed over a sizeable chunk. Snape took it gingerly and tried it. He chewed for a minute while Hagrid watched in amazement. He swallowed, and looked up at the cook. 'Um, exactly how much firewhiskey have you put in this, Hagrid?' Hagrid grinned. 'Warms yeh right up, doesn't it, sir?' Snape stared at him for a moment, then smiled tentatively back. 'Better hurry up with that tea, then. I'll need something to ease it down. Wouldn't do to waste the whiskey by getting the cake stuck before it hits the stomach. I must warn you, though, I tend to be a bit weird when drunk.' 'Ain't everyone, sir?'
Some time later, they sat comfortably beside the fire, Fang curled up on the sofa beside Snape, Hagrid sitting opposite on a chair. They both had a warm cup of tea clasped in hand, and were both feeling pleasantly sleepy. Hagrid turned to his quiet companion. 'Sir, I've bin meanin' to ask yeh. How come yeh didn't mind when Fang drooled on yeh? I always thought yeh didn't like mess.' Snape stared into the fire for a long moment before answering softly. 'There have been far worse things staining my robes over the years. I don't mind a little dog drool from a friend.' Hagrid nodded, not persuing it. He was glad that Snape at least thought of Fang as a friend, if not himself.
Hagrid smiled. 'Rubeus, Severus.'
They simply nodded to each other, companionably, and settled back to doze.
Today's child is bold and brave
Yesterday's child is older and grave
How shall tomorrow's be?