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Advent 2010: December 4: Christmas at Home

Advent 2010: December 4: Christmas at Home

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sherlock.  not good?
Title: Christmas at Home
Author: janus
Rating: G
Characters: Severus
Word Count: 825
Warnings: none
Summary: Imaginings, fears and the reality of Severus' eleventh Christmas, as well as a special hope for one to come.
Prompt: Severus' first Christmas at School

It was Severus’ first winter at Hogwarts. He had worried most of the term, wondering whether he should go back to Spinner’s End for Christmas or stay at the school. Hogwarts was definitely ‘home’ now, he told himself. But there was that inextinguishable spark of hope, or perhaps imagination, that if he went home he would find it transformed somehow. He imagined that there would be a tree and a little turkey. It did not have to be a whole real turkey, for he knew there was no money, but perhaps there could be a little sliced turkey from the butcher. He imagined returning to Spinner’s End to a bough of evergreen on the door, tied with a big ribbon.

He imagined, in short, that with Christmas his mother’s heart had softened. His father’s heart would change with his mother’s, he was sure. His father wanted Christmas; he just didn’t want magic. But if his mother gave in, Severus reasoned, so would his father, and they would have both Christmas and magic.

In his Muggle school he had learned that the birth of Christ transformed the world, magically, each December, by helping everyone want to be good. Christmas must be magic in itself. Even the Muggle town had seemed magical, with the fairy lights, the shining tinsel and decoration, and the happy excitement. It was cold but there was something to which everyone could look forward.

Severus knew better than to send presents that would be unwelcome. But he still imagined a present for himself under a tree, perhaps a scarf or pen, and a stocking on his bed, maybe with an orange and a pair of socks. He had dreams like this at night as Christmas approached. He also dreamt he had given his mother a dressing gown and she had thrown it in the dustbin. He dreamt of himself watching the truck drive until it disappeared up the street, and his present becoming dirtier and dirtier with the detritus of each house. One dreamt one's desires and one's fears.

But maybe, just maybe, it would work this year if he extended his magic very hard, joining it to that of Christmas.

Then the letter had come that he was to stay at school. He was not wanted, he was sure.

He was the only Slytherin left in his dormitory. It was true that Lucius had given a little frown when he saw him standing at the door without a coat or bag. Lucius was elegant and firm, a prefect. He had welcomed Severus his first day, and so Severus did his best for the older boy. Now Lucius approached him.

“You are staying at the school, Severus?” Again the slight frown, but somehow Lucius gave the impression it was not for him.

“Yes.” Severus almost wanted to say ‘Sir,’ but that was not right. Even if Lucius was older, he was still a boy.

“We’ll arrange something better for you next year.” Lucius’ voice was kind.

“Really?” Wondering, he asked it without thought but quickly recovered, his eyes bright. “Thank you.” After all, he believed because it was Lucius.

“Have a happy Christmas.” He batted Severus’ shoulder, then said with a wink, “And study your Potions.”

This was easier and Severus smiled back as the older boy turned. “I love Potions. Happy Christmas.”

And it was a happy Christmas. Severus did not mind being alone, and he was free to explore the castle, encountering only the occasional ghost or portrait. Most of the other children left amused themselves in their common rooms with games and pastimes. His footsteps echoed when he stamped on the floor, and he grew to like the cold stone and the secret corners.

All the main areas of the school were decorated with trees and lights, wreaths and boughs of bows, and sparkling globes and stars. The pillars of the great hall were wound around with holly and its bright berries. The food with its roasts and cakes was even more sumptuous than during term. One never knew where a new box of opened chocolates might next appear. Coming in from the snow, his cheeks so cold they burned, Severus looked up at all the light and wonder welcoming him home.

Christmas morning, there was a pair of new hand-knit socks at the foot of his bed. One had a mandarin orange in the toe. The other had a liquorice wand. The students who were left gathered in the Great Hall for carols, and then a great feast of turkey, as much as he could ever eat.

And after dinner, Severus slipped down to the Potions laboratory to work. As wonderful as everything was, he wanted more. He wanted a personal Christmas the next year. He would be ready and worthy, he vowed. He would be sure to study his potions.

first posted to my dreamwidth account.
  • It's really heartbreaking -- Sev's hopes that his parents might come around. After all, he's just a child still, just wants to be wanted and loved. Loved it :)
    • He knows it is mostly imagination, but he likes to indulge sometimes. In dreams, if not the waking world. But Abraxas will take him in and become proud of him. Thank you so much!
  • You give me a wobbly lip every time.

    • Oh dear. *snugs* I hope that is not a bad thing. I try to end them with hope for dear Sev.
  • Aww, this is so sweet, and sad, and tender. I love it.
    • Aw, thank you so much. I try to treat him tenderly. He's so focused, so diligent, so good and so often everything went wrong for him.
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