A/N This is a silliness I wrote at 5 am when one of those strange ideas pops into your head. It was never intended to be put on here, but it goes before another story to explain some mirrors, ("I should have done this long ago..." cheeky plug!), so I thought I'd better! I like bits of it and not others, so I don't expect anyone else to like it all! And it ends mushy, sorry. Let me know which bits you like, they're probably the same as mine!
Sat wrapped in a heavy cloak, stockinged legs ending in heavy boots, Severus Snape momentarily entertained idea of what he looked like. Lack of sleep had paled the already painfully white face and made the dark circles even starker. The hair, its normal repelling self, hung long on his shoulders, merging with the dark cloth of the cloak. The boots were a necessity, the bare flagged floor being only marginally colder than the bed he had left two hours earlier, fed up with battling the constant stream of dreams which attacked him. A low laugh was swallowed before it became a sob, as he imaged the faces of his Slytherins if they could see their most feared Professor, the embodiment, so they thought, of all that it was to be Slytherin, sat in a dark room, too cold to move, too scared to sleep and cheeks damp from silent, private tears. A violent shiver broke him from his thoughts and back to reality. He had a first year class to suitably awe, impress and traumatise in four hours time. A reputation to maintain and "tradition" to uphold. Small smile there. He tutted. Assuring himself that no one else would be awake at this hour, he moved a cold-stiffened hand to wandlessly flick open the door to his personal supplies. "Accio Wormwood" he muttered. "Accio Asphodel". With a sigh he mixed a very light dose. Then, as an afterthought doubled it.
At three o clock, the ward sneakily and VERY carefully placed on the dungeons and their Master awoke the head teacher, who padded across the rugged floor in stockinged feet to relax in a hideously flowery chair behind his desk. In front of him sat a small mirror, the sister of which hung on a damp dungeon wall, after being given as a gift when its predecessor was 'carelessly dropped'.
'Oh Severus, I am sorry, these butter fingers! I have just the one to replace it though... I shall pop it down to you later!' Dumbledore smiled at the memory, the barely contained flash of anger at his carelessness and the dubious look given to the replacement, undoubtedly checked thoroughly for spells after he left. Dumbledore knew Snape well and had been very careful. Then he sighed deeply as he watched his shaken Professor through these enchanted mirrors, sitting stiffly in his chair, fingers plucking at each other, a sign of the man being deep in thought, Dumbledore had noticed. Allowing himself to gently weep. Albus grimly decided that the weeping was consciously only allowed when the man being watched was sure he was totally alone. If he could get him to do it in company he was sure a lot of problems would be solved. He also knew that it would go against the stern, sadistic reputation Snape had spent years creating. And, unfortunately, needed to survive from both his enemies and himself. Several pots of tea later, as he watched the Asphodel infusion being doubled, he sighed and felt his age. As the dark figure slumped forward over his desk, Dumbledore returned to his bed for a quick sleep before breakfast. "If" he mused "the caffeine would allow".
A silver tabby slunk along the corridors of Hogwarts, ignoring the many feline distractions on offer. Mice were left to scurry and collect the crumbs from hastily eaten biscuits sneaked from supper. Leaves, having escaped he broom of Filch, gently stirred in the breeze and escaped the claws. A toad, lumbering, escaped pet, got only the briefest of glances. As the cat reached the opened windows onto the gardens, it let out a decidedly Scottish yowl of pure exhilaration and leapt out into the moonlight, enjoying the freedom and heightened sensed of cats everywhere.
Rubeus Hagrid strode into the Forbidden Forest, followed by a large drooling Fang. He whistled and hummed and every so often stopped to pick a plant and place it in the sack on his shoulder. Eyes alert, hoping for a glimpse of a unicorn or centaur, he moved silently, which given his size and appearance- akin to a small mountain- just went to prove what they say about books and covers. "Come on Fang" he called in a voice that the hound thought was far too awake, "keep up!"
In the boy's dormitory in Gryffindor, Neville Longbottom gently murmured something, the only part of which the ears listening could pick out, was "maybe bananas". The mouth attached to the ears grinned and the hand scratched in a thatch of red hair as the grin turned into a yawn. The gentle breeze moved the curtains on the bed and the far away call of an owl, returning to the owlry after a night's hunting, made sure the last thought in the mind beneath the thatch as it surrendered again to sleep was how much he loved his school.
The sun broke through the mist on the horizon and turned the grounds of Hogwarts Castle into a dewy scene straight off a chocolate box. The whomping willow cringed slightly as the rays hit it, and the school almost seemed to sigh, its various inhabitants safe within. For now.
(Anyone else notice Snape's fingers in the films? Its kind of endearing… )