J.K. Rowling owns Harry Potter and all it entails.
I really thought I had ended the Simon series, but many readers expressed a hope to me to continue them especially Timandsophsmom and Mira SeverusSirius Black-Snape. In fact, Mira SSBS and I have had delight conversations about Simon, and she offered a story idea to me. Once she told me what it was, I could totally see Severus in the role of Mira's father considering what happened! I may continue this series now and again, but I plan on publishing other material shortly after Christmas that bears no relation to Simon and his antics.
So, as a little gift to Mira SeverusSirius Black-Snape, I present Severus, Sasha, and Elmo.
Hermione opened the door to the cottage to find a snow covered surprise before her.
"Simon, Sasha! You said you weren't able to come home for Christmas this year, either of you!" Hermione cried, pulling both of her children into the house. "Come in. Severus! The kids are here!"
Hermione bounced happily between her children as they struggled to pull off their chilly wraps, hindered by her attempts at hugs and kisses.
"Mum!" pleaded Sasha, "Please, we can't get undressed if you're attempting to squash us in the process." She looked up and saw her father round the corner. "Dad, tell mum to get off!"
"Wife, let them get their things off," he admonished Hermione. Looking happily at his children he continued, "I thought you both said you wouldn't be home for Christmas this year?"
Simon spoke, placing his wet hat on the rack to drip. "Well, the University decided to furlough the staff over Christmas, and I had no plans so, here I am!"
"And," replied Sasha, "When I told Madam Pomfrey Simon would be home, she thought it would be nice to surprise you both, so she allowed me two weeks off from my apprenticeship and here I am!"
"But we have nothing planned," cried Hermione. "No tree, no decorations, nothing for a holiday meal."
"It's all right, mum," said Simon. "Sash and I will get a tree and decorate it. Maybe you and Dad could whip up a few decorations? We'll help you bake. It'll work out." With that, the two younger Snapes grabbed their bags and headed to their rooms.
Hermione smiled brightly at Severus. "Oh, what a surprise!"
"Indeed. You hadn't sent their gifts to them yet, had you?"
"I was going to send them tomorrow by owl. Goodness! I had better plan what to have for dinner…and breakfast. Oh, dear, I don't know if I have enough food in the house," Hermione started to panic.
"Love, slow down. There are three days to Christmas; we can easily get everything we need. Come, let's make some tea and sandwiches for the children, and we'll make our plans from there." He pulled Hermione into a hug and kissed the top of her head. "I am pleased they are home, are you?"
"Of course! This will be a lovely Christmas." She kissed his cheek then arm in arm they went to the kitchen to make supper.
The next day, Simon and Sasha were in the attic rooting through the boxes for the decorations for the tree.
"Mum said they'd be in the white boxes, Si."
"Yes, they're here. Four of them she said, right?" Sasha didn't answer so Simon looked over at her seeing her bent over looking in a box. "Sash, what are you doing?"
"Look Simon, mum saved a box of toys from when we were little. Here's your broomstick and my first copy of Hogwarts:Ahistory. Wondered where that had gotten too. And oh look, Elmo!"
"What, they saved that wretched Elmo?"
"Hey, he was my favorite toy!"
"Yeah, well he wasn't dad's, remember?"
"Bits and pieces. I remember him with a knife one night at the kitchen table, and you and mum begging him to stop because I was screaming."
"Oh Merlin, what a night that was," Simon chuckled. "Dad really hated Elmo."
"Tell me the story! I don't remember!"
"Let's take this downstairs first; it's cold up here. I'll tell you the story while we decorate the tree."
Simon and Sasha set the boxes down in the sitting room. Sasha carefully placed Elmo in a wingback chair next to the fireplace while Simon popped the lids off the boxes. Each dipped into a box to get a string of lights and began winding them onto the tree.
"Si, tell me the story."
"You were two years old, so I was eight. During the summer, we had gone to the Potter's and while we were there, we watched their telly. You know mum and dad wouldn't have one in the house at the time. Dad said it would fry our brains." Sasha laughed at this.
"Anyway, there was an ad on the screen for Tickle Me Elmo and you were entranced. Lily Potter then went and got a few books about Elmo to let you borrow and you became instantly Elmo crazy. Everything had to be Elmo. Elmo this and Elmo that. You drove dad nutters. Your birthday was coming up and given that you were all into Elmo….hey, don't put that Slytherin ornament too close to the Gryffindor one, you know how dad gets. Anyway, mum and dad decided to buy you a Tickle Me Elmo. I remember them going to London with Grandma Granger to a toy shop to get it.
Once you opened that present on your birthday, you were done for. We had had a little party; Granma Minnie, Grandma and Grandpa Granger, and the Potter's were all there but once you had your Elmo you could have cared less." Simon laughed and this in turn caused Sasha to laugh as well.
As Simon told the story, they placed various ornaments on the tree; Sasha would just hang them anywhere with Simon coming behind her and ensuring all the Slytherin and Gryffindor decorations were not too close together.
"What was so obnoxious about it? I only remember that he was bright red and I could carry him around," she giggled. "He had a big nose just like dad."
"The whole point of the Tickle me Elmo as that it laughed. You squeezed his hand and he chortle, but when you squeezed his hand three times, he'd start to vibrate and laugh even louder. It was fun to hear for the first two days or so but then…" Simon started to chuckle as he remembered.
"But then, what? C'mon, tell me!"
"It began to grate on Dad's nerves. He never was one for foolish anything be it wand waving, silly girls, or toys without a purpose, and he certainly considered Elmo that. After a week, even mum was starting to go spare. Dad wanted to figure out a way to make it stop laughing or at least laughing so loudly, but that meant taking it away from you and if we even tried, you'd scream bloody murder. We tried to bribe you with your favorite food. I even tried to trade Elmo for one of my toys that you often tried to take away from me with no luck. We even tried to take it from you when you slept, but you had a strangle hold on it and would start to cry and scream even in your sleep. Even when it was bath time, you kept it right next to the bath and wouldn't let anyone take it.
Finally one night, after about three weeks of Elmo driving us all crazy, Dad had it and when he finally came up with the solution; he and mum couldn't believe they hadn't thought of it before."
"What did dad do?"
"He transfigured one of your other stuffed animals into an Elmo and swapped it out while you were sleeping."
"Yes, he did!" By this time, the two had stopped putting ornaments on the tree and were sitting side by side on the couch, leaning back with their feet on the coffee table. "Dad took Elmo into the kitchen where he and mum began to look at it to try to figure out how to open it up to get it to stop laughing. I had wandered into the kitchen for a drink when I saw that they were doing. They both told me to shush when I began to ask what was going on. So I sat and watched them.
They struggled for about 15 minutes attempting to open him up. Dad wanted just to use magic and slice him down the center, but mum said no because she wanted you to be able to play with it afterward. Finally Dad found a place where he could open the doll, but had no muggle screwdrivers. So he grabbed a carving knife from the drawer. He was going to use the tip as a screwdriver and just as he tipped the knife into position, in you came!"
Sasha was laughing at the image that popped into her head. There were a few times that she remembered surprising her father and the look on his face was always priceless. "Oh Merlin, so that's why I had this thing with Dad and knives when I was little. I even had trouble in potions class when he was still teaching!"
"Oh yes. When you saw dad take a knife to Elmo, you started to scream and you jumped on Dad and tried to pull him away. You were screaming 'No Kill Elmo, No Kill Elmo'". Simon and Sasha were laughing quite hard now. "Mum was trying to tell you that dad was not killing Elmo, Dad was trying to make sure no one got hurt with the knife, and I was just making sure I didn't get in trouble for anything."
Sasha wiped her eyes, attempting to breath and ask "What happened after?"
"Well, Dad gave you back Elmo to stop you screaming and Mum took you to bed. She said that Elmo had an 'owie' and that Dad was trying to fix it for you and that he was not trying to kill Elmo. Then mom did a sleight-of-hand trick and what you thought was her giving you your Elmo back was actually the transfigured Elmo. But the really funny moments happened after. When we went to Grandma and Grandpa Granger's for supper, Grandpa asked Dad to carve the turkey. When he picked up the knife you started screaming 'No Kill Elmo' again. After that, anytime Dad carved meat at the supper table you'd scream. This went on for about a year. They had to start carving the meat in the kitchen before bringing it to the table."
Sasha again wiped her eyes all the white laughing. "This did not happen!"
"Yes," Simon laughed with her. "It did. I'll have to show you the penseive of it one day." Once they had themselves under control, they got up and finished the tree. About an hour later, Severus and Hermione returned from shopping.
"Oh, the tree looks beautiful, kids. You did a great job," said a smiling Hermione.
"What is this?" asked Severus and the three turned to look at him. He was standing by the chair and dangling from two of his fingers as though it smelled foul, was Elmo.
Simon and Sasha burst out laughing. "We found him upstairs," wheezed Sasha. "Si and I were reliving a few memories."
"Well memory this thing back upstairs."
"No," said Sasha. "I want to have him." She snatched Elmo from her father and clutched the doll close to her body. Severus watched her with a little smile of remembrance playing about his lips.
Two days later the family sat down to dinner with their Granger grandparents as guests. As Severus picked up the carving knife, Sasha grinned wickedly at her brother and hollered:
"No kill Elmo!"
May you all have a safe, happy, and peaceful Christmas!