Enjoy The Hogwarts Carol by Wonk! Just in time for the holidays...I'll try to finish it before Christmas rolls around.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Harry Potter characters (they belong to the genius J.K. Rowling), nor did I write Charles Dicken's "A Christmas Carol". Though I would gladly want to own both of them any day. They are/were both geniuses!
Spoiler: I'm not sure. All four books, probably.
Rating: PG for mild language
A/N: I hope you enjoy my cast of characters :). I made sure that each character was fit perfectly for the part. And Severus Snape is the perfect Scrooge, is he not?
Oh, and please notify me if I made a mistake and a certain part was not true to either story.
*cheery Christmas music starts to play*
It was the Harry Potter boy who killed him, though I can't say I blame him. If I cared enough about my parents, I must say that I would be quite vengeful about their deaths, myself. But mine weren't killed, they just loathed me, and I failed to have any feelings for them in return.
And Voldy was as dead as a doornail.
Where did the expression originate anyway? Egad, I must be picking up horrid phrases from my Potions classes. Probably those awful seventh years, they must really learn to speak like normal human beings…though I wouldn't consider the worthless slime as anything close to humans. I know my Slytherins would never say such things.
Can doornails even die?
Voldy (as he was known to me, Voldemort by those who didn't fear him, and the Dark Lord or You-Know-Who to those who quaked in their boots at his very mention) and I used to be partners. I don't know how many years we were of one goal, they all seem a blur to my mind. The day of the Deatheater's memorial for him was not of my interest. I did attend, but only out of my oath and because the tattoo on my arm was burning quite badly. It has started to fade, I can't help noticing, and the ink seems to bleed when I take baths. Perhaps the tattoo is only temporary? But I should not bother with such idiotic questions, and as I said before it seems my most moronic students are having a pull on my superior mind.
Some of the Other's tattoos are completely gone, and they have told me if I use rubbing alcohol (I have never heard of such a liquor, if that's what it is. Some inferior Muggle concoction, I'm guessing) it will come right off. But I have some sort of attachment to it; I would never be able to take off a symbol that has made me what I am today:
A Potions teacher and Head of Slytherin House at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
It is at times of remembrance like this where I regret my choice of ever leaving the Dark Lord's circle.
I could tell it was Christmas Eve this certain night. Though I avoided the Great Hall, the scent of Christmas ham and a few off-key notes of Dumbledore's favorite Christmas carols (at a particularly joyful tone this certain fear-free holiday) never failed to reach my ears. I was carefully pulling the leg hairs off of a Draugknot when a particularly terrible note blasted through my door.
"Weasley!" I shouted, setting down the ruined Draugknot and tweezers and slamming my fist on the desk.
"Y-yes, Mr. Snape?" Arthur Weasley, who I had come to know as a poor excuse of a man, and even more so after he was fired from the Ministry for tampering with some Muggle something or other, walked toward me, his hands folded in front of him, his teeth chattering, the tinge of his cheeks matching his bright red hair.
"Shut that blasted door!"
"Y-yes, Mr. Snape." Weasley left my desk, slammed the door shut, and walked back to his corner of my beautiful dungeon room, continuing to clean the cauldrons and potion bottles that littered the countertop.
No sooner had the door closed than it suddenly-much to my disdain--burst open again and a blast of icy cold air poured into my classroom. I grumbled as a familiar body, thin and wiry, followed by a black-haired and green-eyed head, tumbled into my classroom. The body was soon pursued by a pretty young girl with bushy brown hair, and a miniature version of my idiot assistant.
"Happy Christmas, Mr. Snape!" The black haired boy, the Boy who Lived (much to my dissatisfaction), the very Harry Potter himself, said cheerfully as he and the other two exploded into my dungeon and clambered up to my desk. All three of them (now seventh years, I had seemed to be stuck with them so much longer) held empty mugs in their hands and the hefty scent of Butterbeer reached my elongated nostrils. From the cheerful looks on all three of their faces, I had no doubt that the Weasley Twins, two sons of my assistant and brother to the red haired boy of the three, had somehow gotten into the school and spiked the Butterbeer with even stronger alcohol in the school kitchen. Those damn elves were just too friendly. The Butterbeer was apparently so strong that it gave these three troublemakers the nerve to come down to my dungeon on a chilly eve of the holiday I hated most.
"Happy indeed, Potter," I said with my usual sneer. "I hope you are doing well on preparing your potion for the next class after the holidays."
"Of course," the boy said, a slight twinge of pink reaching his cheeks.
"What do you have to be happy about? You do not have the skills to make a potion as simple as a drowsy draught. You will surely fail your exams and never make it in the wizarding world."
"I'll make it good enough," Harry said, his grin only widening. He was being unbearably cheerful. If the older Weasley wasn't there, and if the boy hadn't defeated one of the most powerful wizards in history, I would have pulled a Petrificus Totalus right then and there.
I had nothing left to say. "Bah, Humbat."
"All right, sir?" the redhead asked, scratching his fiery hair with the same grin that his friend sported plastered across his freckled face.
"What else can I be?" I said with obvious sarcasm. "'Happy Christmas', indeed! Any one who tries to enter my office again with those horrid two words on their lips deserve the Dementor's Kiss! Out of my classroom, now!"
Granger was being unusually quiet, not asking about her marks or how she did on the last test as she usually did on unscheduled trips to my classroom. Then I realized that her hand was in Weasley's and her face was a bright shade of pink. I sneered, that's the last thing I needed, the three were already messed up enough without hormones making their minds even worse.
"That's rather harsh," Weasley said.
"You celebrate Christmas your way, I'll celebrate it in mine. Now out of my dungeon!" I got up from my desk and stumbled toward them, my damn gangly limbs getting before myself. They just walked calmly out the door and said in unison "But do please join us for Christmas dinner tomorrow! Happy…!" before I slammed the door shut to their backs.
Then another sound reached my ears. It was a chuckle. The idiot assistant of mine, the father of the lusty Ron Weasley, was laughing quietly in his corner of the room, poking his wand through a towel to clean out the test tube in his hand. I had told him that he had to clean them the Muggle way as punishment for his lack of intelligence. Obviously, he hadn't listened.
"Oh, shut up, Weasley."
The balding man's chuckles stopped immediately, but were soon replaced by loud, boisterous talking as again my door burst open and in walked a portly fellow with blond hair covered by a bowler hat, followed by a smaller man with watery eyes and buck teeth. They were Ludo Bagman and Peter Pettigrew (who I believe was on probation), or as I liked to call them, Has-Been and Rat-Face (opposed to the former Wormtail, or as the Weasley's had once called him-Scabbers).
They both approached my desk, Ludo taking his hat off with a graceful sweep and clutching it in front of him with both hands. His boyish face broke out in a smile and Rat-Fa…I mean Pettigrew...hovered quietly behind his bulky figure.
"Merry Christmas, Mr. Snape," Bagman said much too cheerfully. "Peter and I are here to collect potion ingredients for the poor. Since you have a good supply and all, and I knew Dumbledore wouldn't mind, I was wondering if you would be so kind as to…"
I snorted. "Kind? What meaning is this 'kind'?" I took another Draugknot from the jar and continued my job that had been interrupted and ruined just minutes before.
"Well, you have so much. And poor families have so little…"
"Well, I didn't do that to them, now, did I? I really don't see how this concerns me." I started pulling the hairs off harder, almost ripping one of the legs clear off the ugly little creature in my hand. "If they are so poor they can go live among Muggles, for all I care."
"But sir, these families are in desperate need…"
"Of Saint Mungo's mental care staff. I will have none of this. Leave me."
"But sir…" It was Peter who spoke this time. Not like it mattered.
Both men frowned and walked toward the door. With his back turned to me, I heard Has-Been say "Merry Christmas, Mr. Snape."
"What a Scrooge," Peter whispered as they left and shut the door behind them.
I snorted and returned to my work, placing each single hair in a tiny diamond flask made particularly for this type of work.
The night passed by without (thank goodness) another unwelcome interruption. The only time I stopped my work was when one of the kitchen elves--wrapped in a tea towel embossed with the Hogwarts coat of arms--brought my dinner down to me: cold ham with peas, spiced potatoes, a raspberry tart, and a warm mug of Butterbeer. I thanked her coldly and looked at my watch. It was getting late. The Christmas carols had stopped soon before and the footsteps of the remaining Slytherins echoed past my classroom as they walked to their dungeon commons. It was time to retire.
"Time to go, Weasley," I said, stretching and then closing the flask and the jar which I had been using.
Weasley sighed in relief and started wiping off the countertop where he had been working. All of my cauldrons, test tubes, flasks, and other such items were arranged perfectly, I hate to admit.
"You'll want tomorrow off, I suppose?" I asked him.
"If that's okay, sir," he answered, throwing the towel into the trash.
"Well, it's not okay," I said with a confident sneer. "And it's not fair. Why should I pay you for something that you do not do?"
Weasley frowned. "It is only once a year, sir. I don't remember getting any other holiday off."
"Well…" I didn't know what to say. The balding, red-haired idiot was right. "Not a good excuse at all. Thievery. But I suppose you might as well stay home, just be here early the next morning."
"I will, sir."
I made sure the man had left and made my way to my room, which was not very far from the Slytherin House. I could still hear a slight din through the thick walls as I reached the door, but I decided I didn't have the energy to scold them. And, if I knew my students well enough, they were probably just as disappointed with the holiday as I was.
I faced the painting that served as the passage to my room. It was a gargoyle, terrible and beautiful, which moved about ever so slightly in it's unhindered environment. It never left its home; it wasn't quite friendly and didn't make acquaintances easily. I saw this as an advantage; I would never be locked out of my dormitory just because my painting had decided to take a stroll through the castle.
"Serpens Cutis," I muttered. Suddenly my painting changed. It was no longer the gargoyle which I had come to know and love, but a man. Not even a man but something horrible and so familiar. It was a withered body cloaked in black robes, the hood pulled up but not far enough to disguise that hideous face that sat in its shadows. The face was flat and a fiery shade of pinkish-gold, no nose but instead two flat, snake-like slits adorned the center and were flanked by flaming red eyes. I opened my mouth to scream, but nothing came out. Then I blinked, and it was gone. My gargoyle was back, stretching brutishly in its frame.
"Serpens Cutis," I muttered again. This time the painting swung forward and let me into my room. I sighed as a shiver ran down my spine. The ham had probably given me indigestion; it was making me see things.
"Lumos," I whispered as my wand lit. My chambers were dark and I didn't want to bother lighting anything besides my wand if I was just going to go to sleep. It was worth too much effort and time.
No matter how much I tried to ignore it, the hairs on the back of my neck had risen into a most uncomfortable position. An uneasy feeling had settled into the pit of my stomach, but nonetheless I walked past the couch in my sitting room, crept silently up the short flight of stairs, and stepped into my bedroom.
An unmistakable creak of floorboards from across the room greeted me there.
"Peeves!" I whispered angrily. "Get out of here!"
Unfortunately, and as I had expected, Peeves was nowhere to be seen.
I shook my head. Paranoia.
I settled into my chair and started looking through my favorite book, holding my wand over with one hand. I always needed to read if I was going to fall asleep. One Thousand Wizard's Herbs and Uses was the perfect one for the job.
But something distracted me from the pages that I had been so fixated on. They were images swarming in my mind, the face of Voldy, the one I had seen in the painting. What had the elf done to my food? Surely she wouldn't have poisoned it? No, I would have known if it was poisoned. I was the Potions master, after all.
I set the book down on the end table and the images disappeared. Cautiously, I glanced around either side of the chair, sighed, and rested my head into the cushions. It was time to sleep. I couldn't hold back any longer.
"Humbat," I muttered, staring up at the ceiling, sleep failing to immediately greet me. There was a bell on my ceiling, why I didn't know (what use did Wizards have for bells?), hanging from a rope so the base would hover about one foot over my head if I were standing.
It was swaying. And there was no breeze.
"Peeves, come on!" I said angrily, my knees starting to shake. I really had no need to be scared, there were plenty of ghosts in this castle, and they couldn't hurt me. But why was I so afraid?
It started to sway so violently that it rang, clear and deafening and much louder than it should have rung. The sound echoed through my presumably empty bedroom and I sunk back into my chair, trying and failing to draw my neck into my robes. I squeezed my eyes shut, not wanting to see what was going to happen next.
The ringing only lasted for a minute but it seemed like an eternity. It suddenly ended. I had clamped by hands over my ears, but the frail bone and taught skin did nothing to conceal the unmistakable sound of chain being dragged across my sitting room floor.
No ghost I knew wore chains.
The dragging and clanking continued, coming ever closer to me. I could hear footsteps as they traveled up the flight of stairs, the chains catching and rattling on the edge of each step.
In a seconds time the sounds were before me, and a figure appeared in the darkness, glowing though it was blacker than the shadows themselves. It was the cloaked figure that I had seen only a few moments before, but this one had chains fastened around its waist, wrists and ankles.
Voldy had returned.
"You're…a ghost," I said as calmly as I could, trying to keep my voice from stuttering. "What do you want with me? What can you do?"
"Much," the ghost said. The voice was high pitched and venomous. There was no doubt that it was Voldy's voice.
"Who are you?" I asked, my mouth getting ahead of my brain.
But the Dark Lord did not laugh. "In life, or half-life as I wasn't truly alive, I was your master, the Dark Lord, Voldemort."
"How can you be a ghost?" I asked, the fear starting to ebb away but doubt starting to form in my mind. Was this a trick pulled by the too-advanced-for-their-own-good seventh years? Could they ever do something like this?
"Only the most unfortunate become ghosts, Severus," he answered, his red eyes cutting into me. "I was only unfortunate because I made myself that way. I put myself in this position. I became a ghost, and with the worst punishments of all."
"But…what else would you be?"
"Not everyone becomes a ghost, Severus."
"I know but…"
"Silence." Voldy held up his hand, the chains rattling and clashing against each other. "You doubt me, but you should not. I am, how would you say, working myself up to a better after-life. I will always be a ghost, but there are ranks. It's like a caste system." He shrugged. I couldn't believe this was the same Voldy that millions of witches and wizards had feared around the world for years. "That's why I'm here."
"And why would that be?" I started to stand, but found that my knees would not support me. Voldy watched as I sunk back into the chair and relaxed against my will.
"You are walking down a dark path, Snape," Voldy said with a great shake of his chains. I couldn't help but think it was for a dramatic effect.
"You shouldn't be talking," I shot back with a snort.
"My path has ended," he turned away to walk toward the fireplace, and then turned back. I then realized that he was the only light source in the room, but every outline of furniture was clearly visible in the darkness. "My torture has begun. But to make my torture a little more endurable, I am here to help you."
"Okay, I get why you're here. But why me?"
"Because you have potential," Voldy said with a sigh. "You are not as hopeless as the others. You have good in you…"
"I'm not listening…" I said in a singsong voice, gazing up at a fly that was walking across the stone on the ceiling.
"LISTEN!" The unfortunate fly fell dead to the ground. I turned back to look at my deceased master, not wanting to, wishing he would just go away and leave me alone.
"Severus Snape," he continued with another rattle of his chains. "If you do not change your ways, you will end up like me for all eternity. Is that what you want?"
I refused to answer and pursed my lips. I almost laughed as I thought of the situation. I was sitting in my bedroom talking to the ghost of Lord Voldemort. When had my mind taken that final turn?
"So be it, this is my warning: Tonight you will be visited by three other spirits."
"What," I said with a smirk. "Only three? What can they do to me?"
"Much with persuasion, Snape," Voldy answered. "But I must be off. Expect the first when your clock strikes one."
"Is there no way to get around this?" I asked him, holding my robes down as they threatened to flail above my knees in a sudden draft (which had no doubt come from Voldy himself).
"No. If you don't, you will be destined for my fate. There are never any guarantees, Severus, only choices. And those are yours."
He suddenly faded away, and the room was left in an unbearable chill. If there were windows in the dungeons, I would have thought that one had been opened. I stood in utter horror, not able to digest what had just happened. But not one more ounce of questioning beheld my brain, as I walked over to my bed and collapsed on it, barely able to close my eyes before I fell into a deep sleep.
What do you think so far? You like? REVIEW! I have a problem and I need reviews to fuel my life. Really ; )