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Title: A Hogwarts Christmas Carol.
Disclaimer: I claim no rights to the characters, just the situations in which I'm placing them.
Summary: The first Christmas after the war. Snape is his usual bastard self, but the powers that be decide that it must stop now. They will use every power they can to make the dour man see sense. What will Snape see through the eyes of the spirits?
The Hogwarts Christmas Carol.
Severus was sulking more so than usual. It was past time for the Christmas holiday. A supposedly bliss full time, with no stupid students running all over the place. But not this year. No, this year the little bastards had elected to give up their holidays and catch up with work they'd missed.
He stalked across the great hall for breakfast and sat in his customary seat reaching for the tea pot.
"Sod off, Wolf."
"Cheerful this morning aren't we," Remus teased.
"Leave me alone."
But Remus ignored him, "What would you like for Christmas?"
"Not to have to teach stupid bloody students would be nice, to have a quite Christmas."
"Most of them will go home before Christmas day. I think including the staff there are only thirty of us for Christmas," Remus informed him drinking his own tea.
"Thirty! Who's staying?"
"Well, there are eight members of staff. As for students; Harry, Ron and Hermione are staying, along with Lavender Brown, Angela Thomas, Katie Bell, Neville Longbottom, Draco Malfoy, Ginny Weasley. All the Weasley's are coming, in fact. Molly said if the kids can't come home for Christmas then they will have to bring home to Hogwarts.
"Do you mean to tell me, my Christmas is to be invaded by all 9 Weasley's? Wonderful," Severus snapped sardonically.
Remus just smiled. "Yes they'll all be here, but it's not 9 its 11; Bill is bringing his wife and their baby. Now who else was it... Oh yes Dudley, Harry's cousin is coming. Apparently Harry's made friends with him, now he's told his parents he never wants to see them again."
Severus snorted. "If he's anything like Tunni he'll mean it too," Severus flushed slightly realising he'd said too much. Thankfully, Remus either ignored his slip or didn't notice.
"Who else?" Remus thought hard. "There is one more. Pretty little thing, damn what's her name... I remember, Luna Lovegood."
Severus reached for more tea, this was going to be a two cup day. "Just great, it's a list of the exact people I want to spend Christmas with. I don't see why anyone celebrates this bloody holiday anyway. It's just another day," Severus grumbled.
"But Severus, it's Christmas," Remus said shocked.
"Bah," Was the only response he gave before stalking back out of the hall towards the dungeons.
"Sir, Professor Snape, sir."
Severus stopped and turned to see Luna Lovegood running towards him. "What do you want Miss Lovegood?" He snarled.
"I was talking to the centaurs, sir. They asked me to give you a message," The girl said as if it were a perfectly ordinary thing to do and say.
"Why were you talking to them in the first place? You should know better than to venture into the forest. Even you aren't that stupid."
"I've been going there since first year sir. I was looking for things. The centaurs are fun to talk to," Luna's voice was dreamy as ever.
"What was the message?" Severus asked in exasperation.
"They told me that Venus is to have its first lunar eclipse for 500 years next week."
"And what exactly is that meant to mean?" He asked reluctantly.
"I'm just the messenger, Sir. See you in class, sir," With that Luna skipped off singing softly to herself.
"Wonderful" Severus thought, "Just bloody wonderful." Back in the sanctuary of his own rooms, Severus looked at his calendar. There were 5 days till Christmas. Soon it would be over. "Thank god"
Severus hated Christmas with a passion, and couldn't understand it's attraction for anyone else. But Severus' rest didn't last long. There was work to do. "Lessons on a Saturday, Bah Humbug."
Each teacher had agreed to give lessons to the students who signed up for their classes, and hold as many classes as necessary. It came as a shock to Severus along with the rest of the faculty that every student who had elected to stay at the school had signed up for potions. Indeed some students were down to come to one or two classes a day.
Monday morning when Severus entered his classroom two of those people were already there. Harry Potter was holding Draco Malfoy against the wall by his robes. Both boys were looking guilty and flushed.
"Put him down Potter. Five points from both houses for fighting, now sit down," Severus walked to his desk muttering and missed the grin the two boys shared. He didn't miss the fact they sat together.
Dinner that night was a strange affair all the houses mixed not paying attention to the house tables.
"It's nice to see them all getting on isn't it?" Remus asked from his left.
"Bah humbug. It won't last, you'll see. Only this morning I found Potter and Malfoy fighting."
"Severus, you have to have a little faith. Some things are meant to be. It's Christmas after all, a time for miracles. And this school has had a few of them in the past if you remember."
"No I don't." Severus snapped quickly.
Remus sighed sadly. "That's a shame Severus. I remember clearly," He whispered and watches as Severus stormed from the room
Back in his rooms Severus pored himself a very large brandy, before going to bed.
At the stroke of midnight, Severus woke to the sound of rattling and a voice calling his name. He growled and stalked out of his bedroom to confront the intruders, but what he saw stopped him in his tracks. Lucius Malfoy stood by the fire place waiting for him.
"Lucius, I was under the impression you were dead," Severus questioned, recovering from the shock of seeing him.
"Quite right, old friend I am."
"Then why are you here? And why are you covered in chains? I'd heard in school you were a bit kinky but that's a hell of a lot of chains," Severus teased his friend of so many years.
Lucius dragged the chains that covered his body and part of the flood and sat on a chair. "These chains are my atonements Severus. Each link can only be taken away by my atoning for a mistake I have made. Which is why I'm here to warn you. Every day, my old friend you are making your own chain. After the war yours had almost gone, but you still insist on being a bastard. As a result the chain is growing again."
"This is a dream, isn't it? You're a result of a bad piece of cheese I had at dinner. Go away. Leave me to my slumber," Severus got up to go back to his bedchamber.
"I will go, Severus. But, you will be visited by others. You will be visited by four spirits. Good bye, old friend."
Severus spun back around. "Four?" He questioned. "I remember this story, Malfoy, there's meant to be three."
Malfoy senior smiled. "You're a special case. Oh, and don't be surprised if you start seeing things during the day too."
Severus went back to bad, content in the knowledge that it was just a bad dream, a bad piece of cheese, or too much mustard. It was absolutely, not real.