Title: Make a Wish

Disclaimer: No copyright infringements intended!

Summary: Can a dreary Potions Professor who obviously detests anything joyous have a peaceful moment and a precious memory on Christmas? ...well, yes, he can. Please, R&R. Thank you.

Characters: Severus Snape / Eileen Snape née Prince

Genre: Drama / Family

Rating: K+

Words: 1.485

A/N:Have a wonderful advent, all ye, my fellow Snapers ;P

The Great Hall was festively decorated; there was a large Christmas tree, neatly placed in the middle of the room, red and golden ribbons floated through the air and a good dozen mistletoes were attached to the roof here and there.

The whole day Dumbledore had kept grinning and chuckling to himself, from time to time humming Christmas melodies; enjoying most other professors of Hogwarts, but in turn involuntary annoying the Potions professor…

Severus Snape had spent the day as lonesome as possible, but that was a task too tough for the fact that it was almost Christmas.
As he sat in his favourite chair in his office; lucky for he managed to escape the joyous headmaster, the cheering staff and the disgustingly happy students, Snape stared at the yellowed calendar on the cold brick wall and sighed.

Christmas – once again.
He shook his head slightly and pretended to search for something on his desk. Realizing that he was alone in the room, that there was no need to pretend anything at all he leant back and grunted at himself.
At least it was to be over soon and then he would have another year before it would come again...

When Severus had been a child there was indeed something to be happy about on Christmas.
His family had never been rich – they've had barely enough to keep themselves alive. But when Christmas was nearing Snape's mother, Eileen would be all cheery and happy; singing for no obvious reason, smiling kindly at her beloved son and making jokes about 'Father Christmas seeing everything, so be nice'. Severus would grin, nod his head and blush a little, feeling slightly guilty; like all kids do when adults say something like that.

Each year when Christmas Eve had eventually come Eileen led her little boy into the living room. Until then the door had been locked the whole day – as not to frighten Father Christmas away, of course – and when she finally opened the old, wooden door Severus got greeted by a rather impressive image.

Eileen had gotten a small, weak tree; the best she could buy with the little money they had, but with magic – when her husband, Tobias hadn't been looking – she'd made it appear huge, green and simply wonderful.
About thirty candles were attached to the trees branches, all lit and spreading their warm, golden light through the entire, little room.

Tobias had to work on Christmas, every year, until nine in the evening and so Eileen always got the chance to celebrate alone with her little prince for some time; before he would come back home. And they both always enjoyed this little amount of peaceful time, filled with love and kindness like they were but a usual, happy family on Christmas Eve.

Every year there were small red, golden and green dots magically flying through the room, dancing with each other; their light reflecting thrice as bright in Severus wide eyes.
Severus had always been too stunned to bring out a single word. He just stood in the doorway, his mother embracing him from behind and he would stare and wonder.
Whenever Eileen saw the effect her magic had on her only son she would smile and whisper softly into his ear,
"Merry Christmas, Severus"

And he would smile...

As soon as Severus's innocent eyes would become accustomed to the beautiful brightness he would run to the tree and kneel down besides it. He knew what was waiting for him, right there, directly under the tree.
A small parcel, covered in colourful wrapping paper and a small note attached, reading his name.
Always excited Severus unwrapped the present, he knew, was from his mother, who was watching him happily.
In those parcels there had always been something gorgeous. Something he really, really wished for; or sometimes even something he'd never known off, something that was so magical, so special that he couldn't take his eyes off of it for weeks.

On one Christmas there was a rather big parcel awaiting him under the tree. Severus was only five, nearing six years old back then and he'd written about a dozen letters to Father Christmas to tell him, what he really wanted; what he really, really wanted was a stuffed animal – a teddy bear, to be precisely, like the one he'd seen another child carrying around in the park the other day. Each letter ended the same. The last line read with,
'Onli dat. Plees. I wil be de bestest boi. Promis!'
And then it was there. He got the stuffed teddy bear he'd wished for. It was soft and about half his size, with hazel brown fur and round, black eyes.
This Christmas Eve, Severus was the happiest child in the world and Eileen would hide her fingers from his gaze when he turned to show her his Christmas present. He didn't discover the little red marks on his mother's fingers; she was good at hiding, but not that good of a sewer...

On the last Christmas Eve, Severus had spend with his mother he found a tiny parcel under the tree. That Eileen had always wondered about; the older and the taller her son got the smaller got the parcels...
In this particular one was something special. As he opened the small box the first thing he noticed was a shining bright light spreading from whatever the parcel contained. It was beautiful and as he took it out, it floated on his palm, looking like a little, white light-ball.
"What is it, mother?" Severus asked, still mesmerized by the strangely glowing subject on his palm.
Eileen caressed her son's head in a loving gesture.
"It's a wish," she whispered, a tender smile on her lips, her eyes fixed on her precious boy.
"A wish?"
"Yes... they're very rare, so think good about what you want to ask for."
Eileen had saved their money the whole year to buy this wish for her son, she'd refused to spend it on new clothes when hers fell apart around her fragile form and sometimes she'd even skipped some meals, no matter how burning the hunger was in her.

He would think about it – he would think so carefully about his wish that he would keep it for many years to make his wish only when he was absolutely sure he'd made the right choice...

It was late, nearly midnight when Snape eventually left his office with a little item carefully hidden under his coat. The halls were empty by now and there was no noise to be heard in the whole castle, except for the quite tapping of Mrs. Norris' paws, who still strode aimlessly through the otherwise silent hallways.
Snape headed confidently for the Great Hall and when he got there it was still bright and festively, patiently waiting for the next day, when the students would gather to enjoy the warm and joyous atmosphere.

Careful, as not to cause any noise Snape stepped closer to the large Christmas tree in the middle of the Great Hall and looked at it for a while.
The tree was real; there was no magic trying to cover a little, rotten bush.
And he felt a wave of regret coming over him – he missed the effort he'd always seen under his mother's magic.
Yes, he'd known. Always. He'd always seen the tiny, sickly tree under the magic, but he never told her; he didn't want to spoil it for her and even more important, he loved it just the way it was.
He always knew the effort she'd put into Christmas, only for him was part of the gift...

As he now observed the decorated hall he recalled the times when he was a child and when he was alone with his mother on Christmas Eve, before his father would come home to slur incomprehensible names at his mother and eventually lose consciousness. He recalled the happy times.

Severus closed his eyes and there he saw it again; the little, weak tree his mother had worked for so hard, the little, flying colour-dots and Eileen's pale face, unusually happy, her eyes sparkling like they only did during those precious times.
And slowly a smile, that had gotten so rare in these past years, crept onto Severus' lips.

Thoughtful, he reached into his pocket and took a small light-ball out.
It floated on his palm a few seconds before the aging wizard frowned in concentration and the wish grew. It grew and got brighter and brighter until it filled the whole room before it finally dissolved abruptly, leaving nothing behind but silvery sparkling dust.
Eventually, after all these years, the wish was made.

Severus opened his eyes and sighed deeply. He turned to leave, but before he stepped through the doorframe he looked over his shoulder. A small, sad smile on his lips, he whispered,

"Merry Christmas, mother"...

A/N: Did you see the wish expanding? Maybe it was big enough to fulfil another wish – try it! =)
I think, the wish was actually a fallen star, but who knows? And Eileen wouldn't tell... ;P
I hope you enjoyed this small story a little.

Though I don't think this is good enough to be in anyone's favourites I'd like to ask you to not favourite without reviewing. (This seems to become common somehow... =( ) Thank you!

And thank you for reading! =) Please, review.