A/N: With thanks to Zsenya
her help with the story, and R.J. Anderson for leading me to
in the first place.
Then we came
a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at
open door dicing for pieces of silver,
the empty wine-skins,
But there was
information, and so we continued
And arrived at
not a moment too soon…
of the Magi", T.S. Eliot
Albus had granted leave for the day to any faculty member who
it. Seeing as it was Christmas Eve and I had not yet purchased my
Medea a gift, I went down to Hogsmeade, spent some time in my flat
and thought about what Medea could want. She enjoyed books - she was
researcher for the Department of Mysteries - and I could likely find
something at Bodley and Tohms. After a fortifying cup of tea, I
the thickly-falling snow and trudged down the high street. It was
five o'clock, and the stores were preparing to close for the
I'd have to hurry.
I entered the store followed by a whirlwind of snowflakes.
the stacks, I found a copy of Magical Moron: The Unauthorized
of Gilderoy Lockhart. I figured that since I had complained to
all that year about that buffoon, she would enjoy the book. She
had enjoyed my letters about him, or so she said; apparently, they
as needed comic relief.
I paid and exited, keeping one hand firmly planted on my hat.
wind had picked up, and the snow seemed so thick as to be a
I managed to struggle about twenty feet back up the street before
to duck in the Three Broomsticks to shelter from the storm. Brushing
snow off of my cloak, I took a brief glance around to see quite a
Rosmerta, the proprietress, was bawling out the young
"If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times -
serve Severus Snape! The man gives me the chills, and I don't want
in my pub!"
The bartender, however, was giving as good as he got. Slamming
a shot glass, he shouted, "You saw how he was! A man in his
needs a stiff drink - he doesn't need to be thrown out in the
"That still doesn't excuse you giving him a bottle of -
I cleared my throat. Rosmerta jumped, saw me, and quickly
all smiles. "Professor McGonagall! What can I get for
I put on my sternest, most professorial look. "You can
me where Professor Snape is."
Rosmerta immediately assumed an indignant look. "He
out of here, drunk as a Muggle - "
"With no little assistance from Rosmerta's foot," put
the bartender with a glare.
Rosmerta returned the glare and continued, "And where he
from there, I neither know nor care."
I nodded curtly, thanked her, and left the Three Broomsticks.
really. Severus was not the most cheerful person in the world, but
drunk, you didn't shove someone out in the middle of a howling
- and on Christmas Eve, no less.
I could hardly see, and that was likely why I stumbled on
I looked down at my feet and saw a body. A long, black-clad body
a bottle of Ogden's Old Firewhisky and snow collecting on the limp
hair. It was Severus.
Sighing, I considered my options. I couldn't leave him there. I
Apparate back to Hogwarts - even if the wards weren't there, I
couldn't get him to Apparate while he was inebriated. Floo powder -
there was an idea. I could take him back to my flat, light a fire,
get him back to Hogwarts from there. Having settled that, I drew out
wand and murmured, "Mobilicorpus!"
Having raised Severus in front of me, I kept an arm on his
to keep him from being buffeted about too badly by the wind. He also
as a shield for me - a light punishment for being drunk, even if it
a holiday. He was a teacher, after all, and a role model. That sort
thing just wasn't done.
We reached my flat in due time, and after removing his cloak, I
him out on the old sofa in the living room. It was then that I
that not only was he soaked, a darker substance had crusted on his
A reddish substance that looked a great deal like blood.