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Advent Drabbles: Dec. 24 Under his Pillow

Advent Drabbles: Dec. 24 Under his Pillow

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December 24, 2009
Title: Under his Pillow
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing/Characters: Severus, Tobias
Rating: G
Words: 564
Prompt: Presents

Severus lay in bed. It was dark. It was Christmas. He knew it was Christmas.

It was written in the shop windows, which were strung with tinsel and ribbons, decked in vines and berries. There had been carols at the school. There had even been carollers at the door, though not for long. There were candles in the windows of the other houses, wreaths on the doors. Even the snowmen had square snow presents beneath them like ice cubes. There was an angel over the door of the church and a display where the other children could sit on the lap of Father Christmas and tell him what they wanted for Christmas. All the children were talking about the stockings they would find across their beds on Christmas morning; about their trees and lights; about the pantomimes and parties they would attend; about the turkey and pies and sparkling fruit water they had for champagne; about who should get the lucky coin in their puddings; about how they would decorate the gingerbread houses their mothers would make them; about the toys they favoured in crackers. They giggled over plastic mistletoe they waved at one another in jest. They argued whether they really had to be good in order of Father Christmas to come. They argued over whether he was real and how reindeer could fly and how a man could climb down a chimney.

School had let out the day of the winter solstice. He knew it was the solstice – Yule – because he had learned about it in Science class. Severus was glad he didn’t have to listen to them any longer. He had not been included, save that they jeered at him. “What’s Mummy getting you for Christmas. Guess it’ll be coal. Your hair looks like coal already. Like your eyes. Coalboy. If she can even afford coal.”

Severus lay in bed. It was dark. It was Christmas. The fire had gone out and his father had as well. He had also listened to his mother going to bed.

The door opened and shut with a gust of even colder air. Feet stamped snow from boots on the mat behind it. Feet on the stairs. His door opened. Severus lay rigid. No. He relaxed his face and his closed eyelids, feeling his lashes against his cheeks. He smelled sweetness and rum as his father bent over him. “Sleep, son. It’s Christmas. But you wouldn’t know about that, would you? My poor boy.” There was a snuffling sound and a movement of the pillow under his cheek. His eyes were closed.

The light from the square of the doorway disappeared and the doorknob made a soft sound as it turned shut. Severus hand moved up under his pillow.

In the morning, when the sun illuminated the room, he looked at the two little paper packages, one folded around and securely taped, the other wrapped around something harder. He unwrapped the very carefully and very slowly. The first was a packet of crumbling shortbread, creamy, pure white and perfect. The second was a glass ball with a loop of gold cord. It was small and gilt, in the shape of a red-breasted, glossy golden robin with bright beads of black eyes and a Christmas hat. If he tied it to a string, he could hide it around his neck under his shirt.

Severus knew about Christmas.
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