The Gift

Disclaimer: I don't own anything in Mrs Rowlings world. I make no money. The only thing I get out of this is experience, reviews and feedback.

Rating: G

Summary: Professor "Scrooge" Snape doesn't like holidays, or does he?

Archive: Sure, just give me a yell and ask first. J

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Christmas was not the most enjoyable of holidays for some, the potions professor, Severus Snape, was one of those people. Having no where to go during the holiday, the professor usually remained behind at Hogwarts to help supervise the children that would be staying at the castle.

He retired early to bed, feeling the cold air chill him down to his bones and his breath hang like an icy specter before his face. The drafts made his cloak billow occasionally, sending an icy sliver up his spine. He shivered, pulling the material closer and hurried to his bedroom, which was well hidden, from students and even teachers. Only Dumbledore knew where the secret entrance was.

Sneaking his way around the darkened corridor, and finding it deserted, he slipped into his room and immediately went to his roaring fire. After warming himself up a bit, he conjured up some spicy wine and settled by the fire to enjoy his private time.

The only sound in the room was the grandfather clock along the wall, and deep, contented sighs of the man sitting in front of the dancing firelight. Midnight was fast approaching, to which the clock gave several loud, deep chimes, sounding somewhat more like a church dirge of massive bells, instead of an old clock.

Groaning as he rose, Severus quickly changed clothes and slid into a warm bed, pulling the blankets up soundly around himself and drifting off into a deep slumber.

He awoke a little before 4am, hearing the large clock chiming a shrill alarm to wake him. Grumbling, he slid out of bed and changed clothes. Watching the time, he checked his pockets and realized his special potion was missing. Cursing to himself, he hurried out of his chambers and down to his office, where his special potion was surely left there last night, forgotten.

His profanity doubled at the cold bitter air as he hurried down to his office. He swept past the student desks, his desk and into his office with a long torrent of obscenities and retrieved his vile. When he turned to leave, he noticed a small wrapped package on his desk, decked out in silver wrapping with holly secured to the top.

Frowning, he examined the package, used his wand to detect spells, and eventually started pulling off the paper hazardously. The last time he received a gift, it exploded and turned his hair shiny purple and his face a deep plumb for several days, courtesy of the Weasley bothers.

Wand at the ready and wincing back in case of some device that could be triggered, he opened the top and waited for it to activate. It remained still and silent. Severus frowned and leaned over cautiously for a better look and gasped as he peeked inside.

Exposed was a collection of small gifts. He surmised it was several students that brought everything together to create the package before him. Shaking his wand and doing a few counterspells, and finding that nothing was enchanted, he began to pull out the gifts one by one.

The first was a small collection of vials, clean, neat, and probably not very cheap. The second gift was a fairly good-sized bottle that sported a laughing person on the front and the label read, "Happiness potion". The third was a book, old, withered, obviously very antique and written in a strange language. The fourth and final present was a large bottle of shampoo, which caused Severus to snarl and squeeze the bottle viciously. He was about to sling it across the room when he read the name, "Perkens Perfect Hair Care". He frowned and read the line under the title.

"One washing a month will keep your hair looking smooth and shiny. Long lasting and enchanted with anti oil residues. Makes the perfect gift."

The rage slacked and he thought curiously, and tapped his wand on the gifts, "Revecio refleco taite". The gifts each sported the person that had given them.

Harry had bought the Happiness Potion and new vials, Hermione had bought the book, and Ron had bought the shampoo. Each of their mirror images showed them smiling as they searched, then purchased the presents, and carefully putting everything in the box for it to be wrapped and presented to the potions professor.

Severus thought for a moment, sighed, and picked up the box to carry it to his room. After slipping unnoticed into his quarters, he put his present down on a small table and grinned over at the monstrous pile of presents piled up in the corner.

Pulling out his special potion, he shrunk the presents to fit into his palm and visited each child remaining at Hogwarts during the Christmas holiday, placing their gifts at the foot of their beds. When every present had been delivered, Severus smiled faintly and whispered up a spell that doubled the junk food that Harry, Hermione, and Ron had received. Then, pleased with himself, he went back towards his room to sleep.

Dumbledore was waiting outside of Severus' room and smiled warmly when he seen his friend returning from his yearly routine. "I take it all went well?"

Severus nodded and gestured for the headmaster to follow him inside. Once inside, Severus gestured towards the silver wrapped present on his table, "I found that on my desk when I went down to retrieve the potion that allows me to slip into their rooms unnoticed. Harry Potter and his two friends were responsible."

Dumbledore's face showed shock though his eyes twinkled behind his spectacles, "Oh no. What did it do? Are you going to change color again?"

Severus smiled and shook his head as he took a seat beside his fireplace, gesturing for his friend to join him, "No, actually they were real presents. Potter gave me some new vials and a happiness potion, Granger bought me a book in a strange language, and Weasley bought me shampoo that you use once a month."

Dumbledore nearly choked and stared at his potions master, "You know they only did it cause they felt sorry for you. I mean, they just felt that they.."

Severus smiled and waved his hand, "I'm not upset." He looked suspiciously at the headmaster, "You knew didn't you? You knew what they were getting me?"

Dumbledore shook his head, a smile breaking out across his lips, "I didn't know what they were getting you, but young Mr. Potter and his two friends approached me before the holidays, asking if you wanted any presents because they never see you with anything. They felt bad that they recieved gifts and you didn't. I told them that you don't celebrate holidays and gift giving, but they insisted."

"They don't know?.." Severus trailed off.

"No, they don't know that you deliver their presents. They think their parents send them to them on Christmas. They have no idea we hide all the gifts in your room and then deliver them on Christmas morning."

"I'd like to keep it that way." Severus said through a yawn. "I don't want children in my quarters searching for their presents. Its best they never know."

Dumbledore smiled and got up to head towards the door, "Well, since you aren't upset with Potter and his friends, and you finished the deliveries, I will let you sleep."

"Thank you." Severus yawned again and walked with the headmaster to the door. "You can tell the children in the morning when you see them at breakfast, that I had found the gifts and found them very….." he searched for a word, then frowned, 'Pleasing."

Dumbledore grinned, his eyes twinkling, "I shall pass on the message. See you at lunch then."

Severus nodded and the two parted company. Changing clothes and settling into bed once again, Severus listened as the clock struck 6am, and smiled to himself as he drifted off to sleep. "Merry Christmas Potter, Granger, and Weasley."