Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling owns Harry Potter. I'm just borrowing the characters for a bit of Christmas fun!
So I know it takes me forever nowadays to update all of my stories, but I just wanted to take some time to post a special fic for Christmas. Consider it my holiday gift to you.
This takes place on December 24th and 25th during Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Happy Christmas, Severus
Minerva McGonagall knocked on the dark wooden door at the end of the dungeon corridor. She smoothed down the front of her dress robes for the umpteenth time to get rid of the non-existent creases that she feared would spoil her standard sharp, pristine look. Just as she reassured herself that she looked fine, she heard footsteps approaching.
"Good evening, Severus," she said as the heavy door of the Potions Master's private quarters opened to reveal the tall, thin man dressed in black. "I hope you are ready for what is to come."
"Must we attend this year's inane frivolity?" asked Severus Snape with a giant sigh.
"You know that Albus will come looking for you if you do not," replied the Transfigurations teacher with a small smile.
"That is what wards and jinxes are for."
"Would you really dare to jinx the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry?"
"No," sighed the Potions Master, "but I can dream." He shut the door to his private quarters behind him. With a flick of his wand, all of the protective spells he had placed on his rooms set. "At least I know that Peeves cannot get through."
"I am glad that you have found something positive to brood on," said McGonagall as they began the trek to the staff room.
"I cannot jinx the students or my fellow colleagues, so he is the next best thing. Sometimes."
"I see. Then am I to believe that Peeves is responsible for placing the 'Ebenezer Scrooge' sign on your door."
"Yes," Snape replied grudgingly, "although I think that the blame originally lies with Albus for putting the Christmas wreath on my door first."
"Why not just take the sign down?"
"It is attached to the wreath with a permanent Sticking Charm, and we both know that Albus would be devastated if I was to accidentally destroy his blessed decorations along with the bloody sign."
"At least we aren't required to dress in Christmas colors," said the Transfigurations teacher as they reached the first floor landing.
"Merlin forbid if I was ever made to wear Gryffindor scarlet."
"You shouldn't base your wardrobe upon House colors. Slytherin green does not make me a turncoat."
"Minerva, you are Scottish. It is different for you. You love tartan. Your eyes are green."
"It would not kill you to wear colored clothing."
"There is nothing wrong with black," he grumbled.
"I never said that there was."
"Garment color aside, we can only hope that the damage will not be too great this year," said the Potions Master.
McGonagall laughed. "That all depends on whether or not Rolanda has gotten a hold of the Firewhiskey yet."
"Knowing her, she has."
"If that's the case, then poor Filius," sighed the Transfigurations teacher. "He'll have a headache by now."
"Rolanda, I can handle. She, like the first and second years, believes that I am the walking dead or a vampire – "
"She does not – "
" – But I will have to walk out if Sybill shows up."
McGonagall winced at the thought. "And I think I would have to walk out with you."
"And Albus will be in his usual festive mood," continued Snape. "He will be glowing with Christmas cheer, watching from the fireside as Filius shakes his fists at Rolanda. Aurora, Septima, Pomona, and Charity will be giggling their pretty little heads off at the two of them. Poppy and Irma will shake their heads disapprovingly, but will ignore Rolanda after a while. Filch will be lurking in a dark corner with Mrs. Norris. Hagrid will be switching between helping Filius and laughing with Rolanda. And, if we are fortunate enough, Binns will float right through us."
"I think Albus has extended an invitation to Wilhelmina," said the Transfigurations teacher as she and the Potions Master turned the corner.
"Oh, so I missed one. She is likely to converse with Poppy and Irma."
"Remus should be there, also. The full moon isn't for another week."
"Don't be like that, Severus! Remus is nice."
"Whatever you say."
They had arrived at their destination. McGonagall placed her hand on the staff room doorknob. "Are you ready?"
"I don't think we have a choice, Severus."
"Very well." He sighed, pulling out his wand. "Wands at the ready?"
"Perhaps that is a good idea," she replied, taking out her own. "One, two, three."
The Transfigurations teacher pushed open the door. All of the staff room's current occupants turned their head towards the two. And then all hell broke loose.
"MINNIE!" screamed Rolanda Hooch, jumping off the coffee table. She tripped over her robes and all but fell into McGonagall's arms. "You made it," she giggled, pulling her friend into a back-breaking hug. "You're just in time," she continued loudly. "There's still plenty of Firewhiskey, and the house elves have brought up the most amazing punch ever – "
"Why do I have a feeling that the house elves had nothing to do with this?" muttered Snape as he pocketed his wand.
"SEVERUS!" exclaimed a wide-eyed Hooch, kissing both of the wizard's cheeks before squeezing him.
"DOWN, ROLANDA!" shouted Filius Flitwick, sending the sofa cushions to attack her with the flick of his wand. "Sorry, you two," said the Charms instructor. "If only I could put her in a cage. Stop that!" he yelled as the Flight instructor proceeded to jump on the couch.
"Are you all right?" asked Remus Lupin, walking over to the witch and wizard.
"I think I'm fine," replied the Transfigurations teacher. "But your collar is crooked now, Severus." She reached out to fix it, but the Potions Master beat her to the task.
"Don't touch me, I'm unclean," said Snape, shivering in disgust.
"At least she did not try to disrobe you," said the Defense teacher, leading them over to a circle of armchairs near the fireplace. "I noticed that she is rather friendly when she is intoxicated."
"You don't know the half of it," said McGonagall with a sigh as she sat down. "I swore never to go drinking with Rolanda or any of the other younger female staff ever again after Poppy, Irma, and I had to literally carry them back from Hogsmeade at three in the morning while they sang 'One Warlock in My Heart.'"
"I hope this was not during the school year," said Albus Dumbledore, sitting next to the Transfigurations teacher. "That would not be a good example for the students."
"It was at the end of Rolanda's first year of teaching. They decided that we should have an all-witch's night out, and well, I'm sure you can figure out what happened next."
"I don't know how she does it," said Lupin, watching as Hooch instigated a game of 'Ring Around the Rosie' with Sinistra, Vector, Sprout, and Burbage.
"One would have hoped that she had reached some kind of alcohol limit by now," replied the Potions Master as he summoned food and drink from across the room to the table in the middle of their circle.
"Ashes, ashes, we all fall DOWN!" sang the Flight instructor, knocking over the other witches, who began giggling immediately.
"Don't fall down on ME!" said Flitwick, his voice muffled by the dog pile he was under.
"Filius is right, Albus," said McGonagall, helping herself to the food, "we really ought to put her in a cage."
"Now, now, Minerva," reproached the headmaster, "Rolanda is not an animal – "
"I beg to differ," said Snape before taking a sip from his goblet.
"You could give her a bed time," suggested Lupin, "but seeing as our Charms instructor is barely holding his own, I doubt that it would help."
"She is a grown witch," said Dumbledore, his eyes twinkling. "As long as she does not hurt herself or anyone else, I don't see why she can't have a bit of fun on Christmas Eve."
"A bit?" said the Transfigurations teacher, raising her eyebrow.
"Try a bottle's worth," said the Potions Master.
"Make that two bottles' worth," added the Defense teacher as Hooch put a lampshade on her head.
"Merlin, Albus," said Flitwick, "at least let me tie her up." The Charms instructor held onto the fifth, unoccupied chair in the circle, massaging a stitch in his side. "I'm too old to be doing this every year."
"I'm sure Rolanda will be fine if you leave her for a few minutes," replied Dumbledore.
"Are you kidding?" asked the Charms instructor. "If I leave her to run amuck, she'll be racing down the halls upon her broomstick wearing nothing but her knickers, those brightly-colored socks you gave her for Christmas last year, and that bloody lampshade."
"Here," said Snape, passing a goblet to him. "It's not a Migraine Potion, but I do not think that you are one to turn down merlot."
"Thank you, Severus," said Flitwick, sipping his drink and rubbing his temples. "And may I say that you have excellent taste in wine."
"That's quite a compliment, coming from you," replied the Potions Master.
"Now if only I could enjoy it," sighed the Charms instructor. "Albus, why don't you watch Rolanda?"
"This is a time for bonding among the staff, Filius," said the headmaster. "She'll be fine on her own."
"I think I understand why everyone thinks you're barking mad," replied Flitwick. "What about you, Minerva?"
"I've sworn off that a long time ago," she answered.
"Sorry, but I would prefer not to be stripped of my clothes."
"Right. And I can't exactly ask you to look after her, either, now can I, Severus?"
"As much as I would like to help you, I refuse to stand within three feet of a plastered Rolanda Hooch."
"Hmmm. Oh," said the Charms instructor, a small glimmer of hope in his eyes, "Hagrid!"
"What can I do fer yeh, Professor?" asked the gamekeeper.
"Could you keep an eye on Rolanda for me?"
A worried expression settled on Hagrid's face. "I could try, but I don't know if I'll be able ta."
"Just for a little while," said Flitwick, his tone slightly begging.
"All righ'," replied the gamekeeper with a small smile, "but yeh never know what she can do."
"Thank you, Hagrid. Make sure she doesn't jump out of a window," he called after him.
"You're off the hook," said McGonagall.
"For now," Snape reminded.
"Don't ruin the moment, Severus," chuckled Lupin.
"Just be grateful that it's not you on duty," said the Charms instructor.
"And let us all be grateful that Rolanda will not be able to squash Hagrid," added the Defense teacher.
"Hear, hear!" laughed the Transfigurations teacher.
"Thank Merlin for that," added the Potions Master.
"Yes, I don't know how much more of this 'falling down' business my back can take," sighed Flitwick.
"Please, Ro, get down from there," said Hagrid, pulling on the Flight instructor's arm. "Ya can't fly withou' a broom." Hooch, who was succeeding in her attempt to open the window, was giggling madly.
"Hagrid is right, Rolanda," called the headmaster. With a wave of his wand, the window closed and the witch was placed on the sofa in front of the fire. She blinked for a moment before jumping onto the coffee table again with a loud 'whoop!'
"She's hopeless," sighed McGonagall.
"And why do you get to use magic on her?" asked Flitwick as he glared at Dumbledore.
"As you yourself put it, Filius, I am the headmaster," he replied, his eyes twinkling madly.
"Com'mon, Filly," called the Flight instructor as she swayed slightly while dancing. "Come and have some fun with us."
"Rolanda Hooch, I'll have you know that I am thrice your age, and even if I wasn't, any kind of fun instigated by you is likely to get me killed." The wizard went to the punch bowl to get another drink, but not before the Potions Master saw him mouth, 'Filly?'
By this time, the four others were lazily lounging in their armchairs. "Severus?" said the Transfigurations teacher, breaking the silence.
"Mmm," replied Snape. His head was tilted back slightly and his eyes were closed.
"What do you want for Christmas?"
"What do I want for Christmas?" he repeated, opening his eyes.
He contemplated his answer for a minute before replying. "A nice lie in. A good book and a mug of hot chocolate. Some peace and quiet by the fire."
"Is that all?" asked Lupin.
He chuckled. "Yes, that is all. I should think that it would be too much to ask for reduced stress, so I will settle for a small measure of peace on Christmas day."
"Is life really that bad?" asked Dumbledore.
"Only when I have to scrape frog bits off the dungeon ceilings after Longbottom blows up another cauldron."
"Sounds disgusting," said the Charms teacher, returning from across the room.
"I suppose that is why none of us chose to go into that particular field," said the headmaster pleasantly.
"All of your foolish wand waving is useless in Potions," replied the Potions Master.
"But that foolish wand waving is much faster than brewing your potions," said McGonagall.
"But often not as effective," countered Snape.
"But it is less likely for body parts to be blown off by student mishaps in our classes," said the Defense teacher.
"I will agree with you there, Lupin," chuckled the Potions Master.
"Three, two, one! HAPPY NEW YEAR!" shouted Hooch. Vector, Sinistra, Burbage, and Sprout cheered with her. Pomfrey, Pince, Grubbly-Plank, and Filch threw them disapproving glances.
"Rolanda, New Year's isn't for another week," sighed Flitwick as the witch danced upon the coffee table. "It's Christmas, for Merlin's sake!"
"Oh. Well, then, Happy Christmas!"
The headmaster and the Transfigurations teacher laughed. "Happy Christmas, Severus," said McGonagall pleasantly, holding up her mug.
"Yes, Happy Christmas, Severus," said Lupin, also raising his mug.
"Thank Merlin," added Flitwick, holding up his goblet. "I'm done babysitting Rolanda. Happy Christmas, Severus!"
"That's the spirit, Filius," replied Dumbledore as he lifted his mug. "Happy Christmas, Severus."
The Potions Master gave in with a sigh. "Oh, all right, then. Have it your way." He raised his goblet. "Happy Christmas."
Severus Snape woke up in darkness. Thank Merlin there's no bloody sunlight in the dungeons. He rolled over and pondered going back to sleep when he saw what time it was. 11:37 am!
"I suppose I shouldn't sleep Christmas away," he said aloud to himself. Even if the idea is really tempting.
He showered and dressed quickly, deciding to don only black pants and a long-sleeved, black collared shirt. Upon entering the living room of his quarters, he was met with the smell of chocolate. A very tempting chocolate at that.
He sat down in front of the coffee table, upon which was a small array of gifts. He picked up the one closest to him and read the card. Happy Christmas, Severus! I trust that you will find this particularly interesting. –Minerva McGonagall
Curious as to what she had given him, he diverted his attention from the note and unwrapped the package to reveal a thick, leather-bound tome entitled Potions Brewing of the 16th and 17th Century. "I thought that this was still being translated from the original Latin text," he said to no one in particular.
Although he was tempted to open the book right away, he set it aside in order to find the source of the chocolaty scent. He pulled a cylindrical package towards him and opened it. He picked up a slip of parchment as it fell out of the wrappings. Happy Christmas, Severus! One can never have too much chocolate, so enjoy! –Remus Lupin
He opened the parcel to find that it was a thermos. Inside was the richest, most delectable hot chocolate he had ever smelt. "At least he knew not to put those miniature marshmallows inside."
The third gift turned out to be a bottle of good, quality chardonnay. Happy Christmas, Severus! I know you are one to appreciate good alcohol, so please don't let this fall into Rolanda's hands. For all of our sakes. –Filius Flitwick
The last package was slightly squishy and had a large ribbon on it. "Please don't let this be what I think it is," he sighed. But in fact, it turned out to be a nice pair of warm, thick black socks. Happy Christmas, Severus! I know it gets very chilly down in the dungeons, and, seeing as the rest of your colleagues have gotten you the desires you voiced, I thought I would give you something that I always appreciate. I still think that the green and silver striped ones I gave you for your birthday are particularly charming, but I think that these may be more to your liking. –Albus Dumbledore
After unwrapping everything, the Potions Master sat back to examine what he had received. Then, due to a very Christmassy and un-Snapelike feeling, he picked up the socks and pulled them on his bare feet. They were warm. Perhaps Albus isn't so crazy. He opened the thermos and poured himself a generous mug. He picked up the mug and the potions book, sat back, and started to read.
Perhaps Christmas was not so bad after all.
A.N. The song title "One Warlock in My Heart" was modeled after the song "One Man in My Heart" by The Human League.
I don't drink, so I don't know what merlot or chardonnay taste like, but I know a lot of people who like them.
If anyone is interested (and if you don't already know), Binns' first name is Cuthbert. I just didn't feel that Severus would call the History of Magic professor by his first name.
Also, I "invited" Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank to the party because I figured that she has probably substituted for Professor Kettleburn a time or two before Hagrid became the Care of Magical Creatures professor.
Lastly, I thank you for taking the time to read this story. I tried my best to make it as long and as interesting as possible, and I hope you'll leave a review for me as a Christmas present.
Mele Kalikimaka (Merry Christmas), Hau'oli Makahiki Hou (Happy New Year), and Aloha from Hawaii!