Anarchy in the Aisles – A Snape Family Christmas
Hope you all enjoy my little seasonal tale :D
"No, I don't want too...No...No thank you, Non Merci...Non Grazti." Severus Snape crossed his arms sternly over his knitted chest. This defiant gesture was met with an equally stern look from his partner...wife even.
"Severus, I was fed up with this argument last year, I was bored of this argument the year before that...and the year before that...and let's face it, the year before that." Hermione Snape nee Granger now mimicked the childish, albeit teacherly actions of her husband and nipped her arms tightly over her also heavy knit sweater. Both participants of this argument had both received a Weasley jumper the Christmas prior to this one, and Hermione had pulled hers on joyfully. Severus was a little more reluctant, but a quiet life with his wife had won over his desire to be Uber fashionable "I am sure you are fed up of this argument, my love, as much as I, however; I just wish that you would tire of trying to persuade me to do this every December the twenty-fourth."
Severus gave some particular exaggeration on his I statement as another argument the couple had had in the recent past was surrounding the use of more 'I' statements in order to make their own wishes and feelings known. Severus had been careful to show his wife that he had taken on board what she had said...whilst still mocking the idea internally on a daily basis. "I would like some ham please," emphasis on the 'I'.
"Oh, it's a poor reason for picking a man's pocket every December the twenty-fifth," Hermione mocked back, completely ignoring his attempt to be reasonable.
"Don't quote Muggle literature at me, my love; we watch... and read that damned Dickens book once a year together. You don't think I would miss a direct quotation now, would you?"
"But as I seem to be the only person who knows that...take the day!" A small voice quipped from the corner of the room. A mass of curls from behind a book, as beautiful as her mother and as intelligent as both her father and mother, sat the only Snape child.
"Olivia we don't need your input in this," Severus jibed, glancing across the room at his daughter who raised the heavily bound tome back up in front of her onyx eyes.
"Severus!" Hermione chided turning back around to face her daughter. "Well done darling, very well remembered." Hermione smiled at the girl who twisted her small feet back under her.
Olivia Snape was eight years old and petite for her age, but with the mind of a much older little witch. There was no denying that this girl was showing physical and mental magical abilities, especially when it came to literature
"It's hardly difficult, Hermione; she also has to endure 'A Christmas Carol' on a repeated and annual basis, I'm sure it's all sunk in with her."
"Severus you are going off topic again," Hermione groaned as she lit a candle. Christmas Eve had dawned a dull day, and the family had spent most of it with the lights ablaze and the fire roaring.
"I think it's going to snow, Mummy." Olivia had climbed up and onto the back of the armchair and was now peering out of the window; her feet were periodically slipping on the plush fabric of the elderly piece of furniture.
"Now that really is going off topic, Miss." Hermione crossed the room and gathered up her daughter in her arms, even if she was a bit big for being carried. Olivia giggled and both Snape women turned to face the only male Snape...identical looks on both of their faces.
"Do you think Daddy should come shopping for the Christmas food with us Livvie?" Hermione addressed the girl in her luvvie voice, determined to bring the child around to her side with sweetness.
Severus looked from one defiant face to the next and knew that he was done for. Gone was the harsh in control man who could once demand the attention of a room with a single look, in his place was a soft—albeit well hidden—mushy older man who worshipped his wife and daughter with every fibre of his being...it was in that moment he knew he had lost the battle.
"Yes, Daddy, please come. It's not Christmas without you." And they had won. Severus raised his arms and stomped off to find his coat not wholly unaware of the tittering going on as he moved away from the lounge.
"I love Christmas!" Olivia pulled away from her parents as the trio landed off of a back street in London after a swift family Apparation from home. Hermione had bought a car to maintain some facade to the Muggles who lived around the family home, but Severus being Severus -and being a plain awkward bugger at times-refused to ride in it. He instead insisted upon Apparating or nothing. Hermione knew she was treading on thin ice metaphorically, although there was some ice on the pavements after the most recent snow fall, with Severus, she dare not push him any further than she had too...after all he had pretty much been bullied into coming with them today. "Olivia!" Hermione warned as she grabbed the little girl's hand to cross the street, Olivia had spotted a trussed up Santa Claus and was beginning to run to him. Albeit a clever and wise child, Olivia was still a child and was resigned to act like one, and running into the road was one of her specialities. Olivia clutched her mother's hand and with her father dawdling along behind her, they made their way to the giant supermarket which was, as predicted by Severus, teeming with the season's revellers...only they were about as merry as a dirty roadside ditch. Severus groaned openly and loudly, and Hermione turned to give him the 'look'. Severus sneered back in reply before slapping his wife's bum, making her squeal.
"Daddy! No!" Olivia whinged as he grabbed her empty swinging hand, and guiding them towards the trolley park where he dragged an overly enormous metal basket on wheels from the others surrounding it.
"Sozzard mate!" shouted a male as he shoved Severus not so carefully to one side as he bashed his own trolley out. Snape gave the youth a disdainful look and attempted to restrain his wand arm from reaching for the wooden object that would help shove the trolley up the man's arse with greater ease than doing it manually.
Severus shoved the trolley across the supermarket car park, muttering vaguely under his breath about Muggles, supermarkets and shopping in general.
"You got the big trolley, Severus?" Hermione asked, looking down scornfully as the metal basket on wheels swayed in the winter wind.
Severus looked down at the contraption ensconced firmly in his hand. "Obviously."
"Didn't you want to get the smaller one, the one that requires a pound to release it?"
"I do not wish to get half of the way around this Merlin forsaken place and find that I am having to load bear like some form of donkey because you, my darling wife, have been conned by every 'three for two and fifty percent' offer available to you on mere trifles of frivolity."
"Can I sit in the trolley?" Olivia whinged pulling down on her father's arm.
"But I'm cold, and I've lost my mittens," Olivia began jumping up and down, yanking further on the coat.
"Did you not thread them through her coat Severus?" Hermione asked, searching around on the ground for the lost woollen hands.
"No, I believed you were doing that, whilst I went on a quest searching for the door keys you have misplaced in order to lock the back door."
"Didn't you just use Accio, Severus?" Hermione sighed and took charge of their child who was now rubbing her hands in her pockets.
"Hindsight certainly is a marvellous thing, Miss Granger; we can discuss who can do what all day, but remember we are still stuck in a car park," Severus sniped as he followed his wife into the store, ignoring the look of indignation on her face.
"Don't you Miss Granger me, Professor," Hermione reprimand as Olivia giggled at her parents' reminiscence of the past.
"Daddddddddddddddddddd...can I get in the trolley? I'm cold," Olivia moaned in a slow drawl, whilst standing underneath the entrance vent.
"Nooooooooooooooooo," Severus replied mimicking his child, he did however playfully lift her up and tip her upside down
"Another word from you, my darling daughter, and I will pop you in the recycling bin with the old Daily Prophets."
Olivia squealed as her father dropped her to the floor and clasped her hand in his. There were two people in this miserable world that Severus could never actively hate...his child and his wife. Severus had been wholly startled when Hermione had informed him that they were to become parents, enough so that half an hour later had found him a worse than appealing state in the Leaky Cauldron, surrounding by not only other melodramatic drunks, but well wishers who had clapped his back when they had heard him bemoaning the fact he was to become a father. It was in fact the Gamekeeper of Hogwarts, who had been able to change his mind. He had then sent Severus home to a rather worried Hermione.
"Severus, yeh got to 'cept it. A baby is a blessin' and with a lovely girl like our 'Ermione, it's bound to have brains and beauty. Yep a kid with smarts anyone would be able to tell ya that." Severus had looked up at Hagrid at this point, swaying slightly from his copious amounts of ale.
"I can't be a father...children loathe me."
"The kids ya teach don't loathe yeh. They're scared of yeh yes, but they don't loathe ya and ya own kids won't loathe ya either."
Severus had banged his hand onto the bar at this point and shrugged.
"Yer a good man, Professor Snape and any kid would be glad to have ya as a father, and 'Ermione... she's a lucky woman."
Severus, at the mention of the woman he adored's name for a second time, brought his head back up and toppled down off the bar stool.
"Tha's the spirit Professor now let's get ya home!"
Severus having been musing on this fact as the family made its way into the fruit and vegetable aisle of the shop, was brought back to earth with a grinding halt as he slammed into a women dithering over a selection of oranges. About to apologise...reluctantly...to the woman whom he had walked into, he opened his mouth and was stopped by the angry glare on her face. It was reminiscent of the same look he gave his students, and suddenly Severus was without words. He moved away from the woman and caught up with Hermione who had asked Olivia to fetch her a plastic bag for the vegetables.
"What's the matter, love?" Hermione asked as she sifted through the carrots looked for the less cumbersome ones.
"I believe that I have just been out Snaped," Severus said unsurely, and he turned to look at the orange woman again.
"The woman with a particular proclivity for picking oranges has used my own look upon me when I bumped into her."
Hermione wanted to laugh, and she would have done had her husband not looked so confused, she could sense the look of confusion moving swiftly on, and she was aware this look would soon by replaced by a look of derision.
"She gave you a dirty look? Do you want me to deal with her?" The look appeared instantly.
"Of course I do; I, Severus Snape, once the most hated Headmaster of Hogwarts, former Death Eater and double agent for two powerful Wizards, want you, Hermione, to go over and tell off a Muggle orange picker for me because she, and I quote, gave your husband a dirty look."
Hermione shrugged her shoulders and snickered to herself. It had taken a few years to bring Severus round from the once angry and secretive man he had once been, and now she was able to tease and mock him like any other person she knew.
"What are we having for Christmas dinner?" Olivia asked as the family moved on to the refrigerated meat aisle, having collected all of the usual vegetable trimmings...yes, including the sprouts.
"We have a choice; turkey? Beef? Chicken? Pork? Duck?"
"I want fish fingers," said Olivia perfectly seriously, "or goose."
"That's not at all at opposite ends of the spectrum darling," Hermione laughed, stroking her daughter's head.
"Why are you asking for goose?" Severus said suspiciously, rounding on the little girl.
"Because Bob Cratchit has goose in Mr Dickens's novel," Olivia said, scouring the nearest meat shelf in the hopes of finding a goose or some fish fingers.
Severus glared at his wife as A Christmas Carol was brought up for the second time that day. "I am really beginning to grow tired of hearing what Mr Dickens's has to say on the subject of Christmas; one would think he was the only one who ever wrote a Christmas tale."
"I still want fish fingers," chimed in Olivia her mind straying from Charles Dickens for the moment. "Fish Fingers, chips and spaghetti." The family moved towards the Christmas meat, and after much tooing and froing and, out of memory for their Hogwarts days, Severus and Hermione finally settled on a small turkey and a piece of beef.
"I'm surprised Mummy and you weren't really really fat when you were at school, Daddy." Olivia had heard many tales of Hogwarts, her soon to be own school, and the food had been something her sharp, young mind had taken a hold of.
"When you had to chase Uncle Harry and Uncle Ron around the castle, Livvy, like I did, you didn't get a chance to eat let alone get fat," Hermione smiled as they moved around the store to the toy aisle.
"What about you, Daddy?" Olivia quizzed.
"Same yes..." Severus said and pretended to examine a packet of chipolatas. The couple tended not to discuss Severus' past in front of Olivia, it was something they were prepared to do when she was old enough to understand her father's role in the war...and going into it now in a shop was most definitely not an option. Your use of the apostrophe S in the bit about Severus' past is correct, but you can also use just an apostrophe without the S.
"Mum, I want!" Olivia began when she saw a large collection of children's books; fortunately she had left the weight issue alone and had moved onto books, she was after all a Snape/Granger child.
"No Darling, it's Christmas tomorrow, you will have to see what Father Christmas brings you."
"Mummmm, Father Christmas is not real," Olivia said loudly.
Severus chose that moment to clamp his hand down over his daughter's mouth and whisper in her ear. "Shhh, he will be able to hear you and that Brief History of Time and Hogwarts A History might not end up in your stocking after all."
Olivia's eyes went wide, and she went quiet in order to think about this fact for a moment.
"Excuse me," a large male said to the family suddenly as they continued around past the toys and onto the preserves and tins aisles.
"Of course," said Severus grumpily, "why not attempt to walk through me, I'm not a solid person after all!" His hand went immediately to his pocket and was stopped when Hermione caught a hold of it and held it tightly in her own.
"Hexing in public causes a mess, pet," she said to him.
"Yes, but I would have made him permanently be able to walk through people; it seemed that was his wish, after all, when he attempted to plough straight through me."
"The Hogwarts ghosts don't want another spectre joining them due to Christmas supermarket rage, Severus."
"Who said anything about Hogwarts?" Severus grumbled, knowing full well now why he tried to avoid these kinds of jaunts. Severus reluctantly pocketed his wand again and continued to follow his wife's bushy tresses around the store. It was after a few moments of his gaze lingering longingly on Hermione's posterior that he realised his offspring was missing.
"Ohh... where has that little chit gone?" he groaned and wandered around to the clothing section to look for his daughter.
Hermione was used to this. It was often the two would play hide and seek about a shop and then Olivia would blame her parent's for wandering off. Hermione adored the two people in her life that brought her so much joy; Severus with his stubborn mostly unchanged attitude from when she had known him as a professor, although he was mellower these days, and Olivia, the mini Severus and Hermione she had craved to know, and loved discovering her personality more as the days progressed. Severus trailed through the clothing aisles to find his wayward daughter, examining a pair of novelty reindeer socks. "No!" he said without hesitation, grabbing Olivia by her hand, he pulled her back to her mother on the bakery aisle.
It was as the family moved away from the Christmas clothing paraphernalia when the real fun began. Anyone who is anyone is aware that as part of any Yuletide tradition, one is to eat a Christmas pudding with some form of alcoholic sauce, namely brandy. However anyone who is anyone will also be aware that most people loathe the thought and taste of the Christmas pudding , with a few select people. Yet when the Snape family came down to buying this particular item, the same issue, which occurs with all families, occurs with them.
"Mum, I don't like Christmas pudding," Olivia whinged, poking at the shiny foil wrapper that surrounded a particular brand of pudding.
"I agree with Olivia," Severus also stated in a form of rare agreement with his daughter regarding a Christmas appetite.
"But it's a tradition Severus, everybody has one; it's purely for aesthetics and nobody eats it, but its tradition and that is what tradition is...moving through the motions...pudding wise." Hermione chose a random scarlet wrapped pudding and tossed it into the trolley. "Also you do not strike me as a man who plays fast and loose with traditions, Severus."
"My love, we have a Christmas tree, we have a turkey, we have a putrid looking wreath on a door. I helped you scrawl out those thirty-five Christmas cards to be people we barely know...we have enough tradition without inflicting an essentially vile pudding on all of us...it's a waste."
"Can I have some Jelly and Ice cream?" Olivia piped up, looking longingly at the packets of squishy Rown-trees on the shelf.
"No! And you are not making a trifle either, Hermione."
"Fine; we can have a chocolate Gateau as well!" Hermione sighed.
"Fine!" came the two replies of the other two family members.
As the family came upon the freezer section they were surprised, or not so surprised, to find their path blocked by three wayward trolley carts and a couple of customers having a rather loud conversation about the upcoming festive period. What made matters worse was that an attendant was also taking part in the chat. Severus grumbled audibly..."Are they planning on staging a production of Les Miserable's here, is this the start of a barricade?"
Severus looked down to find his daughter smiling up at him in admiration, and his mind began to form a subversive plan.
"Oh Merlin, I forgot the eggs for the Yorkshire pudding, and I can never find them in this shop," Hermione sighed and pushed the trolley towards her husband and daughter and turned to go and find the eggs. Taking advantage of his wife's departure, Severus knelt down and whispered close to his daughter's ear.
"Do you think," he said sotto voce "you could do me a big favour, Olivia?"
Olivia nodded in assent.
"When I turn around to look at that pointless shelf filled with ice cream sprinkles, I want you to push our trolley as hard as you can through those three trolleys."
"But I will get in trouble, Dad," Olivia said warily eyeing up the Christmas jumpered adorned Muggles.
"On the contrary my dear, I will ensure you get the biggest present from Father Christmas this year."
Olivia considered this, she was wholly aware that Father Christmas didn't exist, but pleasing her dad who would actually be buying her presents...she reverted to the savviness she had learned at her mother's knee and grabbed a hold of the trolley handles. Severus slowly pivoted and faced the pointless shelf and tried to look interested, imagining himself covered in rainbow sprinkles.
Olivia took her opportunity, backed up the cart and shoved it hard, breaking into a run as she did so. Anyone who was not so self involved to be engrossed in a conversation as to be a hindrance to others, might have noticed the oncoming battering ram. But alas they chatted on unawares until with an almighty crash, metal clashed with metal, and the blockage was dislodged with a cry from each trolley owner and the attendant. Severus then with mock surprise worthy of a pantomime dame came over to collect his daughter but did not stop to apologise for his daughter. Instead he ushered her and the trolley round the curve of the next aisle where he picked Olivia up and gave her a huge hug.
"Well done, my little anarchist."
It was at that rejoicing moment that Hermione returned ladened down with eggs.
"Gosh, there is a bit of a kafuffle going on around that aisle," she said, popping the eggs in the baby seat of the trolley, fully preventing Olivia from sitting in it for the rest of the shop. Severus and Olivia exchanged furtive glances.
With the shopping completed, they moved to a surprisingly vacant checkout where there was seated the most obscure looking woman Severus had ever seen. The woman beckoned them and gestured them to put the items on the conveyor belt. Olivia ran to the bottom of the till and grabbed some bags as was her customary packing job. The checkout operative's smile broadened further whilst Olivia, stared at the woman's garish forced Christmas ensemble, which included an uncomfortable hair band with several flashing prongs sticking out of the top.
"You look like the Statue of Liberty," Olivia said seriously.
"Do you want to try it on dear?" the woman laughed, "It's not overly comfortable." She handed over the headband and began to scan the shopping. Hermione and Severus were both rather unnerved at that moment at how much the headband dwarfed their daughters head.
"That could certainly guide planes onto a landing strip couldn't it?" Hermione said.
"We've all had to wear something like this. I'd like to know what I did to deserve this one?" the lady said, looking over at the garish head piece. "Are you looking forward to Christmas, dear?" the lady addressed Olivia again.
"Yes, because my daddy said he would buy me a huge present if I rammed some trolleys," Olivia clapped her hand over her mouth.
"It was a tight squeeze." Severus waved his hand in dismissal.
Hermione gave him a look of derision, but with a queue forming behind them, the unloading was resumed. The family passed a pleasant chat with the friendly checkout attendant, Fiona; she proceeded to tell them all about her previous Christmas debacle where her husband Terry set the tree on fire with faulty Christmas lights. At this point a man rudely approached the till and ignoring the Snape family, he proceeded to launch a barrage of complaint against the poor Fiona.
"Ere you short changed me, and you missed the three for two offers on Pringles. I hardly had any shopping so how you forgot to scan some, I really don't know!"
"I'm so sorry sir," Fiona apologised. "If you'll just let me finish up with these customers, I'll sort it out, or you can take it up with customer service."
"There's a queue at Customer Service, and I was served first so just sort it, yeah!"
"Excuse me," Severus interjected, forgetting politeness just as this boorish man was. "We're being served, Fiona has apologised. Christmas isn't going anywhere just yet so can't you just wait two minutes?"
"Look at all the shit you've got here, it'll be ages so..."
Snape put up his hand and cut off the man. He stepped forward to be closer to the usurper of the peace, pushing Olivia behind him. The man was much shorter than Severus, and his scowl waned a little now he was at such close proximity. Fiona looked up admiringly at her rescuer and even Hermione, who was a little nervous at how this would end, felt proud of her husband. Severus took a five pound note from his wallet and handed it to the disgruntled man.
"There, I daresay that will more than amply compensate for an error over Pringles."
The man's jaw dropped a little, and he gawped at the five pound note for several seconds before snatching it from Snape's hand and making his exit, grumbling all the way. Hermione saw Snape likewise mutter something under his breath, but by now she was just ready to pay up and go home.
Olivia squeezed her dad's hand. "You're quite scary sometimes, Dad." She laughed and Fiona joined her.
"Yes." Fiona beamed. "I've never seen anyone so intimidated by a five pound note. Thank you."
"It was my pleasure."
With the shopping packed and the bill settled, Severus, aided by Olivia, pushed the trolley out the supermarket. Meanwhile, Hermione scanned their receipt just to be on the safe side, but found no errors. As she looked up, she happened to catch sight of the horrible man from the checkout, pushing his own trolley back to the stand. Several passersby were cocking their heads in astonishment with eyes as wide as saucers. The man seemed unaware that trailing behind him, swinging proudly, was a tail looking much like one the devil himself owned. It had a sharp arrow point end and was jet black. Onlookers shook their head in disbelief, but Hermione knew full well what had occurred. Glancing towards her husband, he bore a remorseless expression.
"Dear, you would have done just the same," he remarked, and Hermione sighed in agreement.
Olivia, being very much a daddy's girl, nodded strongly in agreement, and she giggled as the prat in question strolled away with his tail and bag of Pringles in tow. Each of them took several bags in each hand, Olivia insisted she carried the bag with the chocolate gateaux in, her parents obviously acquiesced. With their hands full they were forced to link hands by their little fingers, and they Apparated home.
With the fire crackling, the tree lights lit and an array of shopping, the family unpacked their wares and where to settle down a cup of hot chocolate in front of the Muggle television. Olivia had insisted upon having a television set after spending time with her friends who owned the contraptions. As Severus mixed some milk into the cocoa powder, he reached into the top cupboard to locate the sugar pot for Olivia's drink, and his hand closed upon a scarlet wrapped package. Severus's eyes narrowed as he pulled the item down and tossed it back and forth in his hands. I have a question about the usage of the word 'were' here.
"It seems," he said, "we have a stow away. The pesky thing must have climbed into our trolley and Apparated home with us, Hermione."
Hermione walked into the kitchen and blushed deeply. "I popped it in when you were arguing."
"It's not staying is it?" he asked, throwing the pudding up in the air and catching it with one of his large hands.
Hermione considered the offending Christmas pudding for a moment and finally nodded, "Fine."
With that, Severus drop kicked the pudding into the swivel lidded bin, threw his arms around his wife's shoulders, feeling elated he had got the pudding in the first time, and guided her back to the festive family scene.