Harry Potter and the Happy Holidays:
Disclaimer: Harry Potter, Severus Snape, and all other characters from "Harry Potter" are property of J. K. Rowling. I do not own them. This story is written for only the pleasure of other readers. This particular story takes place during Harry's Sixth Year. Instead of going to the Burrow, he stays at Hogwarts for the Hols.
Please Enjoy! And Happy Holidays!
It was on a brisk morning that Harry Potter found himself wandering thoughtfully through Hogsmeade. All the stores were decorated festively. All the shoppers were flushed from the cold and wore merry smiles. You could smell the confections from Honeydukes and the spiced hot chocolate from Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop in the air. Harry found himself wondering how just the jingling of bells and a bit of cold air could make someone feel so… warm… on the inside.
Even before Harry had come to the Wizarding World, he had always felt the Christmas Spirit. Before, it used to be him secretly staring at the fabulous Christmas tree that the Dursleys' decked from the cracks in the door of his cupboard. The dazzling lights and glimmering ornaments always mesmerized him. He had always wished so badly that they would let him participate. Now, Harry knew Christmas could be so much more! Hogwarts didn't just have one Christmas tree but twelve! They were especially beautiful this year! The silver and gold ornaments with blinking fairy lights just made the Great Hall sing in excitement! And then add the snow falling from the charmed ceiling! Harry couldn't think of a more magical setting to be in for the Holidays!
Hogwarts had given him so much of what he desperately wanted when he was younger. Christmas was just one simple thing compared to everything else that he'd come to love since becoming a student here. He had the best two friends in the entire world, Ron and Hermione. He had an adoptive family, the Weasley's, that he loved with his entire heart. But they were just the beginning! He had Hagrid, Luna, and Ginny. His roommates Neville, Seamus, and Dean. There was Professor McGonagall and Professor Dumbledore. Remus. The Order. Even the thought of his rival Malfoy put a smile on his face.
Harry made a funny face at the thought. Smiling because of Draco Malfoy, what a laugh!
Harry puffed out a cloud of warm breath as he stood and glanced back at the shops. He had finished his shopping all except for one gift. Harry Potter was going to buy a gift for The Severus Snape.
'Why?', you may ask.
It had not escaped Harry's attention that Snape was looking more pale and grim this year more than any before. Now that he was no longer the potions professor, Harry received fewer detentions from the Dungeon Bat. Harry had been given the opportunity to see his professor in a different light. For one thing, Harry couldn't deny that Snape had saved his life so many times no matter how badly Harry thought of him. He always seemed to give, even if he was a great git the entire time. He was rude, sarcastic, and completely unfair, but he was also Harry's so called Knight-in-Shining-Armor. Harry decided it was time he gave something to Snape in return. It wouldn't be as great as saving his hide from crazy jinxed brooms or jumping in to defend him from a werewolf, but it would be something!
Snape wasn't his favorite person in the world by far, but he was someone that Harry wouldn't be Harry without.
The word left a bitter taste in Severus Snape's mouth. He found holidays to be quite distasteful. Never in his life had he enjoyed a holiday. Maybe in another life, when he still had Lily, he would have found some happiness in the ridiculous festivities. He scowled. Those brief moments had been so beautiful… a long lost dream.
Of course, Albus and Minerva attempted to engage him with silly gift giving or social gatherings. Severus tried to not think of the headache Molly Weasley had given him by trying to get him to attend a Christmas party for the Order. Heaven forbid the woman was stubborn. Even Poppy Pomfrey and Pomona Sprout tried to infect him with their holiday cheer. Severus always ignored their attempts, declined their requests, and always returned the cheer with a glowering glare before he slinked back off to the cold, damp dungeons.
He would never admit to anyone that it was lonely.
And it hurt.
He hated this time of year when everyone was happy with their family or friends. Their lovers. Severus had to stop his tracking through the hallways and snap at an inquiring portrait in frustration. The painted figure "eeped!" and ran off into another frame nearby. He didn't let up on his glare as he continued on toward the Great Hall.
It probably wasn't hard to tell he was angry. "An angry, bitter old man." Severus muttered to himself. How cruel it was for him to end up as he was. A man with nothing and no one but betrayals, manipulations, hatred, death, regret, and a reputation that would keep away any happiness for him. A reputation that he himself keeps close at heart so that no other could touch his heart again.
Severus Snape quietly entered The Great Hall. It was Christmas Eve. What was left of the student body and the faculty were all sitting joyously around a fine table full of wonderful foods and tasty desserts. He growled softly before making his way to the end of the table. His original plan was to relax in front of his hearth and indulge in some classic literature. That was before Albus meddled with his evening plans and threatened him with having to teach that foul, insolent brat another "remedial" course if he didn't show up and "join in all the fun". Damn Albus and his twinkling eyes.
Nothing on this earth could possibly tempt him to teach Potter Occlumency again. Ever. So suffering an evening with a group of his peers and hopeless students it was.
Dinner passed fairly well without too many attempts to converse with him. Minerva was particularly forceful with her attempt to be jolly with him. Severus shot her down with an arched eyebrow. He was definitely not one for cinnamon eggnog or peppermint truffles. After a decent helping of creamed potatoes, roasted chicken, and grilled asparagus was dined upon, Severus set his serviette down with the intention of calling it a night. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy was waiting for him after all.
He didn't see the set of eyes glancing at him as he left toward his quarters.
And that set of eyes didn't see the set of twinkling eyes that sparkled as the first set of eyes followed Severus out.
Halfway there, he was halting in his path by the arrival of an exotic bird. A green and red eclectus parrot for that matter. It landed on his shoulder and looked at him quietly while it held its leg out. Attached was a midnight blue box with a simple silver bow. "I believe you have the wrong recipient." Severus said softly.
The parrot cocked his head to the side and gave an oddly voiced "Here pretty boy".
"How clever of your owner to coo at you like an imbecile."
"Here pretty boy, pretty boy."
Severus sighed and removed the package from the insistent bird before watching it fly off with its vibrant feathers. Obviously the bird was owned by some flamboyant store owner. It was all the rage to have Christmas gifts delivered by exotic birds these days. Severus disliked the frivolity of it. He turned his attention to the small package in his hands. It couldn't be from Albus or Minerva. They both liked to irritate him in person.
It did come as a small shock to see his name scribbled out on the small tag attached to the gift. Why would anyone send him a gift? Who would send him a gift? Severus felt a sudden bolt of anger. Someone was obviously sending him some sort of joke. They were probably just having a laugh at him, to rub it in his face that he never receives gifts during the holidays! Albus and Minerva had given up quite a few years ago. Severus huffed and stormed down the corridor.
But who sent it? The thought alone was enough to stop the potion master once again. He stood in an empty entranceway to the dungeons staring at the package. It felt heavy for something so small. It was wrapped with care. He scowled at the small pit of hope in his belly at the thought that maybe it wasn't a joke.
His hands shook as he slowly unwrapped the gift. He lifted the lid of the small box to reveal a necklace. It was exquisite, a delicate Lapis Lazuli caged bead pendant in white gold. He could feel the warm glow of protective charms radiating off it. It was stunning.
"Professor?" a soft voice asked tentatively from behind him. Severus turned and found himself faced with the one and only Harry Potter.
"I… um… I wanted-" the boy was taking forever to formulate his sentence.
"Spit it out. I don't have all day." Severus interrupted. Potter glared up at him before huffing.
"Happy Christmas, sir." He said, although it was said a bit defiantly. Severus did his best to return his typical Holiday glare. Unfortunately, the brat never seemed to respond to his glares quite like everyone else. How he found it an invitation to approach him, Severus will never know. But here Potter was, now standing about a foot away from him with an odd emotion playing across his features.
"Are you lost, boy? Do you need me to hold your hand back?" Ah. The holidays were starting to feel quite nice. There was nothing like taking some of this anger out on Albus' Golden Boy.
"Possibly, sir. I did just follow you through a few hallways I'm unfamiliar with." Potter admitted with a small smirk. Cheeky brat!
"Why are you following me?" Severus towered over the Boy-Who-Lived, who seemed unaffected.
"I wanted to wish you a Happy Christmas, sir."
"You've accomplished that task. Now leave me be, Mister Potter." Severus turned to walk off, but a hand on his arm stopped him in his track. "I am warning you, Pott-"
"Sir, I mean no offense." Harry said before he jumped Severus.
Severus went stone still as he felt soft lips pressed against his. Harry had wrapped his arms around his neck and was tip toeing his way up to him. He didn't return the gentle kiss, which resulted in the brat yanking some of his hair at the base of his neck. Severus growled and grabbed Potter forcefully by his rear end and pushed him against the wall as he aggressively responded to the kiss. If the insolent brat wanted a kiss he would give him a kiss he'd never forget!
Potter gasped at the sudden attack which gave Severus the perfect opportunity to slip his tongue in to the defenseless mouth. He must have indulged in some of Minerva's peppermint truffles because the sweetness coated his breath and made Severus' mouth tingle in pleasure. Potter didn't seem discouraged from his rough technique and was actively participating. Their tongues twisted together in a battle of sorts. Teeth bit and worried each other's lips. Neither of them was giving up their battle. Potter moaned softly as Severus licked his bottom lip softly. A spark of pleasure curled in Severus' belly as the kiss slowly became more gentle. Soft chaste pecks were being pressed against his face and he could feel Potter's legs wrap around his waist. Finally, their breaths mingled as they broke apart.
Emerald met Onyx. Severus never hesitated in silently casting Legimiency. Oddly enough, there was no resistance. He felt himself being pulled gently into the green depths. He couldn't find any traces of Potter trying to humiliate him. No ill will intended. Just an honest want to give... him a beautiful necklace... Severus watched how Potter had taken his time in selecting his gift. He'd gone out of his way to have it charmed by Albus. Severus pulled back, finding Potter breathing oddly.
"That felt different." he stated. Severus snorted at the useless statement.
"You willingly allowed me to penetrate your mind. Of course it will feel 'different'." Severus retorted. There was a moment of awkward silence between the two, but neither of them pulled out of their intimate embrace against the castle wall. "You gave me a gift." it was not a question. Merely a statement he hoped the Gryffindor would elaborate on.
"Yeah, I wanted to thank you for everything you've done for me."
"I've done nothing for you-"
"You still helped me out a lot, even if you give me more detentions than all my other professors combined."
"Ever detention bestowed upon you was well deserved." Severus replied in a silky voice. Potter visibly shivered before ducking his face in attempt to hide the rising blush. The Potions Master arched an eyebrow. "Are you experiencing discomfort, Mr. Potter?"
"You don't say." Severus interrupted before leaning in and teasing Potter's enticing lips. The Gryffindor sighed and returned the gentle kiss. Severus mentally smirked at how snogging successfully quieted the brunette. Though a snogging Potter was also rapidly becoming a very desirable Potter... Why exactly were they snogging? It was a valid thought, but the raven haired man put off voicing it until he'd completed debauched his prey.
It was several minutes later before Potter emerged panting. "Wow!" he said breathlessly.
"Mr. Potter, may I inquire your sudden interest in...," a quick nip to Potter's neck, "me?" The blush was beginning to challenge the Weasley red.
"Yes, sir." Potter replied, both parties of the snog pausing long enough to look into each other's eyes again. "Look up."
"Up?" Severus turned and looked up at the entranceway. A large sprig of green leaves and white berries bound by a red ribbon suspiciously hung above them. "Mistletoe." Harry Potter, The Chosen One, was snogging his evil Potions Professor because of a bit of mistletoe. Certainly the world was ending and the Dark Lord was becoming partial to hot pink! Severus wasn't sure how he felt about the situation. On one hand, he definitely disliked the annoying Gryffindor. Then again... he was rapidly gaining ground with the kissing.
"Happy Christmas, S-Severus." He was whispered softly.
Severus didn't dismiss the Gryffindor's wish this time. He took a moment to study the flushed but honest face. Potter really meant it. Severus felt... happy. "Happy Christmas, Mr. Potter." Severus returned. The boy gave a small smile and tightened his embrace around him. He had a few seconds to think about his options. He hated holidays. He hated the parties, the socializing, the gift giving... but he, daresay, liked this. Severus reinforced his hold on the Gryffindor before wordlessly started to make his way back to his quarters.
"Mr. Potter, it is my pleasure to inform you that you talk excessively." Severus quipped with a ghost of a smirk. Potter snorted.
Twinkling eyes sparkled with glee as the figures disappeared further into the dungeons.
Finally. Finally, Albus Dumbledore thought as he stepped out of the shadows. He finally successfully got Severus a Christmas gift that he loved. Minerva was going to be so giddy to hear the news. With a flick of his wand, the tiny sprig of mistletoe flew into the pocket of his robes. Now, on to his next victi-uh-recipient…
A/N: I must say, I imagine Dumbledore must like pretending to be Santa. Gift giving and all.
Again, Happy Holidays!