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A Surprise Christmas Gift
Twelve-year-old Severus Snape hunched over the thick volume of Moste Potente Potions. It was a book from the restricted section, but he talked Professor Slughorn into giving him a pass. The Head of Slytherin had been in a rather jolly mood with the holiday season, so the request was too easy to obtain for the dark-haired Slytherin.
A slight noise startled him, and he glanced around the library. Not a soul was stirring, not even the Grey Lady, who he'd seen earlier. The librarian wasn't even there. Then again, it was Christmas morning, and he had chosen to remain at Hogwarts instead of returning home. Yet, he couldn't remain in the dorms because the other Slytherins were opening their presents. He didn't want to show him his pair of repaired socks and a box of Bertie Botts' Every Flavor Beans. He hated Bertie Botts, and his mum knew it too.
His finger ran down the page as he memorized the ingredients for the Polyjuice potion. He looked at this page often once he found it. If only he could be someone else for a day, but he shook his head, causing his hair to fall into his eyes. He'd never be able to get the items necessary to brew the potion. He couldn't afford powdered bicorn horn or shredded boomslang skin.
"Happy Christmas, Sev." The voice was soft, feminine, and familiar, but he still jumped and tensed his shoulders.
"Hello, Lily," he said without turning around to face her. "I thought you'd be home for Christmas."
She laughed and sat beside him. "It was bad enough last year. Petunia has been rather frightful since I started attending Hogwarts. I decided this year I would stay. Now, what are you doing in the library on Christmas morning?"
"I could ask you the same thing." His voice drawled over the words. Everything was much simpler between the two of them when they were in Spinner's End. "You shouldn't be sitting here beside me."
"Think it would ruin my reputation?" Lily's voice contained an amused lilt.
"It would ruin mine more," he said, and the two friends shared a hesitant laugh.
"I got you something." She removed a wrapped box from her school robes and set it upon the book.
He stared at the shiny green and silver paper. Slytherin colors. It was too kind of her. They really shouldn't still be friends, but he couldn't help himself. He liked Lily. "Er…thanks. I didn't get you anything, though."
"Don't worry about it. I hope you like it." She smiled at him, and he finally glanced over and met her green-eyed gaze.
He cleared his throat. "Thanks again."
"Well, don't just sit there. Open it."
"Sure." His long fingers tugged at the ribbon. Then he unwrapped the rest of the gift. She had given him chocolate frogs. Not that he would tell anyone else, he did like to collect the cards. She knew him too well, and he felt happier from the small gift.