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Advent Fic - 2018

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As Severus wrapped the book he had chosen for Harry, he thought back to his first holiday at Hogwarts.

"You may be asked about a Secret Santa exchange by your Slitherins," Albus said. "You should discourage that idea."

"And why would I do that?" Severus asked.

Albus hesitated. "You are aware there are... different backgrounds in your students."

"Yes?"

"Even small gifts, which some of the better off pureblood students seem to not understand, have meanings that the Muggle-born students will not know," Albus said.

"And?"

"Well, there have been unfortunate misunderstandings that have repercussions all year long," Albus explained.

 

Severus went out of his way that year to ask the House Elves for food and drink for a House party. He spoke to the Perfects about traditions, and what they meant to both Wizards and Muggles.

He rigged the Secret Santa selections so every purebloods were matched with Muggle-borns or a Half-Bloods.

The instructions for the gift was "something related to a holiday your family celebrates" and was required to be hand-made.

Some older pureblood students came whining about having to work at their gifts, and Severus spent time to ensure they understood what he was trying to do.

 

At the party before the Winter break, gifts were exchanged and a generally happy mood pervaded the Common Room.

"Some of you will have gifts that you do not understand the meaning of," Severus announced. "Who wants to guess what it means?"

Severus had bribed some older students with extra points if they would speak up. But he was surprised when a first year held up a small plant she had received.

"I'm pants at Botany, but I'm going to guess this has to do with Yule?" she said. "I think it's mint and maybe means something about fresh starts?"

 

"Very good, Miss WIttingham," Severus said. "Anyone else want to add to that?"

"Mint is also an oft used plant, used in healing potions," one of the prefects put in.

"And it's used to make some yummy candy!" Another first year cheerfully added.

"Very good!" Severus said, handing each a small bag of chocolates. "Who is next?"

At that, the questions and answers flowed easily. Once Severus had handed out his chocolates, a number of students broke into smaller groups to exchange their own questions and answers.

 

Severus looked down at the book and hoped Harry would appreciate his intentions.