A/N: Just a little fic about three depressed staff members on Christmas Eve at Hogwarts.


~*~


Where are you Christmas?
Why can't I find you?
Why have you gone away?
Where is the laughter
You used to bring me?
Why can't I hear music play?

It was all just an act, really.  Minerva McGonagall attended the annual Christmas gathering at Hogwarts just like most of the other staff members.  She welcomed it; it was the one time during the long, dull holiday break that her time was occupied, and that meant that she couldn't use that time to think about the season.  The cold, empty, friendless season.

She never meant to become bitter.  All her life, she had been a kind woman.  Still was in fact.  It was just that, early on in her life, she had been too preoccupied with teaching and helping fight the battle of good versus evil to think of her own personal future.  She had forgotten to make friends outside of her work.  She had forgotten to let herself fall in love, to find someone to grow old with.  Someone to spend holidays such as this with.

It wasn't her fault the Christmas spirit had gone from her heart.  Loneliness can drive away a great deal of holiday cheer.  And so on Christmas Eve she sat alone in her quarters, drinking hot cocoa and watching the snow falling softly outside.  Alone.

~*~

My world is changing
I'm rearranging
Does that mean Christmas changes, too?


Sibyll Trelawny also sat alone that Christmas Eve, sipping a steaming cup of tea, thick plush curtains drawn over the windows of her tower to keep out the cold.  Even though the room was warm from a blazing fire, she shivered at the thought of the snow outside.  Sibyll hated cold.  She liked rain, but only in the summer when it was warm, and she despised snow.  Although she would never openly admit it, the winter months depressed her greatly, and she longed for spring weather the most during Christmas, when there were no classes to take her mind away from the cold.  During the holiday, she shut herself away in her tower; after all, why should she bother going down to the Christmas feast?  She was always unwanted.

But something seemed different this year.  The sense of loneliness seemed stronger, somehow.  Voldemort was growing in power, and as much as she hated to admit it, Sibyll was frightened.  Her world had grown relatively stable over the past thirteen years since Voldemort first fell, and she was afraid of losing that stability.  She needed people.  She needed something to celebrate.

~*~

Where are you Christmas?
Do you remember
The one you used to know?
I'm not the same one
See what the time's done
Is that why you have let me go?

A glass of wine in one hand, Severus Snape sat alone in his quarters, staring into the small fire that burned in the grate.  He had given up on Christmas a long time ago.  His mother had been a Muggle, and he had been born out of a short love affair she had with a wizard.  She died when he was three, and he had been raised by his father's sister, Anna, a kind, motherly old spinster woman.  Christmas was a happy time in Anna's home, full of lights and love.  Severus had been a happy child as long as he was in that house.

But Anna was dead.  She died in his last year of Hogwarts, the same year he joined Voldemort.  Now, even though he was no longer a Death Eater, he still felt poisoned.  He came back to the light, but he still wasn't really trusted by anyone other than Albus Dumbledore.  Dumbledore was a man who believed in second chances, but the rest of the world didn't.  They saw Severus as a hard, bitter man, tainted by the mark on his arm and the blood of Voldemort's innocent victims.  

As he looked into the fire, he wondered what Anna would say to him today.  He had been changed far beyond her recognition.  He had given up on Christmas, which had once been his favorite holiday.  But had he given up on Christmas, or had it simply given up on him?

~*~

Christmas is here
Everywhere, oh
Christmas is here
If you care, oh

If there is love in your heart and your mind
You will feel like Christmas all the time

Albus Dumbledore didn't need an invisibility cloak to make himself invisible.  He was also the only wizard able to apparate within Hogwarts grounds.  This is what enabled him to silently make an appearance in each room of his three staff members that needed a little Christmas cheer the most. He poured a drop of potion into each of their drinks when they weren't paying attention, then left as quickly and silently as he had come.

~*~

I feel you Christmas
I know I've found you
You never fade away
The joy of Christmas
Stays here in silence
Fills each and every heart with love

Severus took another sip of wine, and seconds later the frown left his features. Funny....he suddenly felt a strong craving for a butterbeer. It really wasn't such a bad idea....the Three Broomsticks would be lively tonight, and they had the best butterbeer one could find outside of Ireland. "Hmm....not a bad idea at all...." he thought to himself. Setting his wine on a table, he put on his cloak, grabbed his broom, and headed out the door after scribbling a quick note for anyone who might miss his presence.

~*~

Taking the last sip of her tea, Sibyll sighed and straightened up to read the leaves out of habit. But after he had swallowed, she stopped, glancing up at the clock suddenly. She had just remembered.....Dedalus Diggle was having his annual Christmas Eve party in Hogsmeade tonight, and it had started less than half an hour ago. Glancing out at the falling snow, she decided that it wouldn't kill her to cold for the few minutes it would take to get to Dedalus's. Wrapping a scarf around her head and fastening her cloak, she hurried out of her tower.

~*~

Minerva drained the last drop of cocoa, staring longingly out at the snow. As she set her mug down on windowsill, she felt a tugging at her heart...she wanted to go out and do something, but had no idea what. There was a need, deep down in her soul.....memories stirred, happy memories. She was happiest when she was with people....helping others....

Of course. The Shelter for Unfortunate Wizarding Families needed volunteers to help serve food and sing Christmas carols for the homeless tonight. Grinning excitedly for what felt like the first time in years, Minerva put on her scarf and mittens, then picked up the mug from the windowsill before heading out the door.

She shook her head, still smiling, and said aloud, "Thank you, Albus."