A Christmas Vow by Alexannah
AN: There will be a sequel. I couldn’t just leave it here, after all. I’ve begun the writing for it, but the plot’s much less formulaic and it’s going to take longer. I can’t
make any promises about when it will be posted. I don't know if I will be posting it here, since I am having problems with the doc manager AGAIN, but it will definitely be on FFnet (same penname) if not. It’s called “A Christmas Pledge” and I will begin posting as soon as I can.
Albus groaned as Severus shook him awake. “What’s the time?”
he said groggily.
“What?” Albus sat up, rubbed his eyes, grabbed his glasses
and looked at the clock. “Severus, it’s two in the morning. What are you on
“I said, I quit.”
“Yes, I heard you. What on earth’s brought this on? And
couldn’t it wait until later?”
“No,” Severus said firmly.
“Severus, please don’t leave. You’re the best Potions Master
I ever employed—”
“I’m not resigning my teaching post, Albus,” Severus said
with a sigh. “I mean I quit being a spy.”
Albus’ eyes widened. “What? Why?”
“Because I see now that I can best help the war effort in a
“Hold on, hold on—what are you talking about?”
Severus hesitated. “It’s a bit complicated to be explaining
at two in the morning.”
“So why’d you wake me up?” Albus said grumpily. “I’m an old
man, Severus; I need my sleep.”
“Because I felt I should officially notify you of my
position before I begin my new role. Which I intend to do right now.”
“And that is?”
“If I told you now,” Severus said, “we would not be able to
help having a long discussion about it, and believe me time is of the essence.
I just have to ask you to trust me—I’m preventing a tragedy here.”
Albus paused. “All … right. I trust you, Severus. Fill me in
properly tomorrow. Can I go back to sleep now?”
“Of course. When you’ve told me the Gryffindor password.”
There was a long pause. “Fiddlesticks.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“That’s the password.”
“Oh, I see. Thank you. And sorry to disturb you. Merry
With a surprised smile, Albus returned the greeting.
The portrait of the Fat Lady swung open reluctantly, but
since Severus had the password she couldn’t very well argue. He entered the
Gryffindor common room, and immediately spotted his target.
Harry Potter was sitting in a chair by the fire, staring
blankly into it, his knees drawn up to his chest and his arms wrapped around
them. He didn’t take any notice of Severus at all.
Severus sat down in a chair opposite, watching him for any
reaction. The boy remained completely blank.
“Isn’t it about time you were going to bed?”
Harry jumped violently, eyes snapping to him. “P-P-Professor
Snape!” After a moment he pinched himself, as if wanting to make sure he hadn’t
fallen asleep and was dreaming. “Er … are you even allowed in here?”
“Well,” Severus said, “Heads of Houses have to gain
permission from either the Headmaster or the other Head of House to visit
another House’s common room. In this case, the Headmaster consented for me to
Harry swallowed nervously. “Wh-what are you doing here?”
“I came to talk to you.” Severus paused, noting Harry looked
even more nervous at that. “Relax, you’re not in trouble.”
“No. I wanted to give you something.” Severus withdrew the
present from his dressing-gown pocket and gently pressed it into Harry’s hands.
“I’m sorry it’s not wrapped—though I suppose it is after midnight.”
It was a snow globe that Lily had enchanted, many, many
years ago. Unlike Muggle snow globes, the snow never stopped falling, and the
figures inside—a red-haired girl and a dark-haired boy—continuously skated
around a frozen pond.
Harry’s eyes widened as he noticed the charm on it. “Wow.”
“Your mother made it,” Severus said softly, causing Harry to
look at him sharply again. “When we were in our third year. It was her
Christmas present to me.”
“My … my mum made you this for Christmas?” Harry whispered,
staring at the globe again.
“Yes. You probably aren’t aware … we were friends, back
then.” Severus had to force back the lump in his throat. “She was very gifted
at charms; it hasn’t needed a single renewal in twenty-four years.”
“Those people in there …”
Severus smiled sadly. “They were supposed to be us.”
“It’s incredible,” Harry whispered, “but … I don’t
understand … you’re giving this to
“Yes, I am.”
“But—” Harry was obviously struggling to comprehend. “You
hate me! Why would you do that?”
“I don’t hate you, Harry.”
Harry blinked at him, slowly processing the use of first
name. Severus continued.
“I admit that, only hours ago … I did. However …”
“So what changed?”
Severus’ mouth twitched. “I think I did.”
Harry was still looking wary, as if he thought it might all
be a trick.
“I also wanted to apologise,” Severus said.
He couldn’t help but chuckle, and Harry’s eyes widened
further. “Yes, precisely. I wanted to say sorry for … well, everything,
actually. I have given you such a hard time over the years … more than I think
you are even aware of. But I promise you that ends, now.”
“Who are you and what have you done with Severus Snape?”
While light-hearted, Severus could sense the confusion in
the question, and the thought gave him yet another guilty pang.
“I understand if you can’t trust me straight away. I know I
would not, in your shoes. But I promise you, I can see things a lot more
“Oh, yeah? Like what?”
Severus hesitated. “Let’s just say I received a reminder
that you are your mother’s son as well. Something I … forgot, for a long time.”
“Oh. What kind of reminder?”
“Ah, I think that should wait until another time,” Severus
said gently. “It’s very late. You should be getting along to bed.”
“I’m not tired,” Harry said, failing to stifle a yawn as he
stared down at the snow globe in his hands.
“Yes, you are, and you need your rest.”
Harry’s head dropped, and his breathing evened. Severus
moved quickly to rescue the snow globe before it fell out of his suddenly lax
Sleeping spells weren’t as good as sleeping potions, but
considering the boy was so tired already, it had only taken a little nudge to
get him to fall asleep. Severus pocketed the snow globe, picked Harry up in his
arms and carried him up to the right dormitory.
After tucking him into his bed, Severus placed the snow
globe on the bedside table, drew the curtains and wrote a note, which he
attached to them.
Had late night. Please
do not wake early.
“Goodnight, Harry,” Severus whispered. “Merry Christmas.”
AN: Thanks for reading ... have a happy Christmas ... Goodbye ‘til
the sequel, then. (Any plot suggestions are welcome!)