Merry Christmas Severus

It was the first day of the Holiday Break. Most of the students had just departed for the Hogwarts Express to make their way home for the holidays. There were a few students however who would be spending their holidays here at Hogwarts so therefore one of the teachers had to remain to supervize this year it was Severus Snape... AKA... Bat of the Dungeons. After the last student left and he had spoken to those students remaining he strode down the corridor toward the doorway of his classroom. In front of his door he spotted a package wrapped in green paper and tied with a big red bow. The card on the front simply said Severus Snape. He did not recognize the writing. After checking for hexes and charms, he picked up the gift and took it into his private rooms and set it on his table. Severus had several things he wished to accomplish so he forgot about the gift until that evening. Sitting down in his chair with his glass of brandy he opened the gift carefully. Taking off the paper he found a box. Slowly opening the box he found a note:

On the first day of Christmas your secret love gave to you

1 vial of Basilisk Venom, and the promise of much more

Merry Christmas, Severus

Severus could not believe his eyes. A vial of Basalic Venom was worth several thousand galleons. There was no signature and he had no idea of anyone who could afford such an expensive gift. Except for Lucius, of course,and this was not from him, from Lucius he usually received a bottle of fine Brandy and a new dress robe. Severus put the venom into his private locked potion cupboard and sat drinking his brandy and contemplating the gift.

OOO

The next morning during breakfast Severus looked over the students still there to see if one of them possibly could be the one. There were 3 Ravenclaws, he doubted it was any of them. There was 1 second year Hufflepuff, she was fron a poor family and was scared to death of everyone, she sat with the Ravenclaws talking quietly. There were 4 of his snakes, he knew that none of them were the gift sender. The last one there and the only Gryffindor, was Harry Potter. The war was over and Potter had returned to finish out his Newts. While Severus was looking Harry looked up at him and smiled. No, it couldn't possibly be Potter, could it? Thinking on it more Severus realized that it was possible. Giving up on this puzzle Severus asked if there were any problems or questions. The Ravenclaw prefect raised her hand. When Severus said she could continue she asked. "Professor Snape, Marianne is the only one left in Hufflepuff and she is awfully young to be alone that much. Would it be possible if she stayed with us in Ravenclaw? Elinor has agreed to share a dorm room with her." Severus thought for a moment then agreed with their request. He then asked Harry if he wanted to stay elsewhere.

"No, Professor, I'm quite enjoying myself all alone. It is very peaceful in the tower now." Harry answered. Severus nodded and left the Great Hall.

Upon opening his door to head up to the Great Hall for dinner Severus found another gift. Severus decided to wait and open the gift when he returned so after he checked it out he put it in his was uneventful and soon he was back to his rooms. This time Severus made himself a pot of tea and sat in his chair before opening his gift. It was the same as before upon opening the box he found a note. He still did not recognize the handwriting:

On the second day of Christmas your secret love gave to you.

2 vials of Phoenix tears, and the promise of many more.

Merry Christmas, Severus

Sure enough when he opened the box there were 2 small vials of Phoenix tears. Where was his gift giver getting all of these priceless potion ingredients? Severus was getting excited to learn who his gift giver was and decided to try and catch the person in the act of leaving the gift. The first had been left after breackfast and the last one before dinner so far there was no pattern. After several hours of reading and contemplating who his mysterious gift giver was Severus went to bed.

OOO

The nest morning Severus rose early wanting to go out to the Forbidden Forest and collect some winter rose petals. The only place Severus had ever seen them grow in the wild was the forbidden forest and they were best picked just after sunrise during the week before the Winter Soltice. As Severus opened his door he almost stepped on the box setting there. Picking it up Severus decided to open his gift, he could always go pick flowers the next day. Taking the gift into his room Severus checked it again for curses or charms. Removing the paper he saw the note opening it he read:

On the third day of Christmas your sedret love gave to you

3 dozen winter roses, and the promise of many more.

Merry Christmas, Severus

Inside were 3 dozen winter roses, freshly picked. All he had to do was preserve them which he did before heading up for breakfast. Severus spent the rest of the day brewing potions for the hospital wing and planning potions to make or create with his many new ingredients. Severus joined the students around the fireplace in the Great Hall after dinner for some pleasant conversation and hot mulled cider. He actually allowed himself a smile at some tale one of the Ravenclaws was telling.

OOO

The fourth day of the holidays started quietly, breakfast was uneventful and Severus joined the students outside to supervise so they could fly their broomstick He watched as Harry showed the Ravenclaw seeker and several of the Slytherin players how do some of his dives. Soon they were all laughing and had even convinced him to join to make the teams even in a pick-up Quiddich game. Severus played Keeper and did a good job at it too. Little did he know there was a very sneaky house elf taking pictures.

Lunch was full of laughter and companionship as they all sat at the same table and talked about the game and plans for the next day. Several of the students asked if they could go to Hogsmede to do some shopping so they made plans for everyone to go after breakfast because Severus could not chaperone the group going to Hogsmede and keep track of those at Hogwarts at the same time. After lunch the Ravenclaws invited everyone to meet in the library to work on their homework, everyone agreed it would be a good idea to get it done before Christmas. While the students were working on their homework Severus went back to his quarters and enjoyed a quiet few hours of marking Potions essays. He decided to get his 'homework' done also.

Dinner came and there was still no package by Severus' quarters so he headed up to the Great Hall. The students hadn't arrived yet and when he looked toward the head table he noticed a gift. Just as he picked it up he heard the students coming down the stairs from the library so he hid the package under the table wjere he could get it later. From all the talking and laughter the group must have had a good time working on their homework together. After about an hour or so the students headed to the dorms either their own or another one. They all knew they needed to in their rooms by 11PM unless they had prior permission. They also knew that Severus was known to do a bedcheck from time to time.

When the last student left Severus got his package and headed to his rooms. Setting the package on the table he unwrapped it and opened the note.

On the fourth day of Christmas your sedret love gave to you

4 vials of unicorn blood, and the promise of many more.

Merry Christmas, Severus

Unicorn Blood where in the world did he get unicorn blood? Severus thought. Alright this is getting serious. These ingredients are extremely valuable and rare. Where is he getting all this money and why is he spending it on me? How long is he going to keep it up? Severus read for awhile did a quick bedcheck on Potter in the tower and his snakes in their dorm. Everyone was where they were supposed to be. Severus went to bed wondering what was coming next.