Notes: Believe it or not, this is only my second one-shot ever. And I believe it shows! Not to mention it has been some time since I’ve written anything longer than a few sentences. This was written for Jenna822’s Food Challenge on the forums. Reviews are loved and appreciated, they are one of the best gifts you can leave an author.
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Another morning had risen upon the sprawling grounds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The sky was a piercing blue, unblemished and clear for as far as one could possibly see; the sun dazzling as he spread his warming light across the land. The fresh snow that blanketed the castle grounds shimmered and gleamed in the morning light, for the powder was so fine that morning it was as though the fairies themselves had graced the grounds leaving the tiniest and fairest of diamonds. This was a very beautiful morning for all.
There was one inhabitant of the enchanted castle however that could not see such a delightful morning, but even if he had he still would not have found the beauty there before his dark eyes. For deep within the castle, far below in the damp dungeons one man was beginning to awaken in his candle lit chambers. Natural sunlight had never poured through the large windows of his room, only the green hued light of the lake above, and images of water plant and creatures rather than the snow and trees.
Sluggishly, Severus Snape sat up in his bed the heavy grey blankets falling down his bare chest while his back popped with a stretch. With a slight grimace, the Potions Master knew he had spent far too many hours bent over cauldrons just a few hours ago. Yawning and brushing strands of hair out of his eyes, Severus Snape slid from his bed, stepping into well-worn green slippers. Grabbing his dressing gown of black flannel, Severus slipped it on over his black pajama pants as he went out in search of a small pre-breakfast snack to tide him over until he would arrive in the Great Hall. He stepped through his small sitting room into his even smaller kitchen…if you could even call it such a room. It was more appropriate to call it a cooking closet given its size. Large enough for a person to stand in comfortably or uncomfortably with a partner, it had a few cupboards, a butcher-block counter and an old wood burning stove; the stove acted as a second source of heat for the chilled floors of stone. Running a calloused hand along the stubble upon his chin, he reached into one of the cupboards for a linen wrapped basket that he always kept within there. It held his indulgence, his morning treat, the ambrosia that would make his blood soar. Pulling back a flap of the linen, enchanted to keep the delicacy warm and fresh, he slipped his fingers to pull one out…only to reach linen at the bottom.
With a start Severus grasped the basket in his hands, opening the folds fully to see within its depths. Empty! Where were his bloody biscuits!? He stared into the empty depths, a small tick forming by his eye as his stared at the crumbs of biscuits long gone. Where were his flakey, buttery biscuits that would melt in his mouth? Make his heart soar while a smile would form on his lips…where were the damned things!
Letting out a snarl, Severus threw the basket down and stormed from his closet of a kitchen the ends of his dressing gown billowing behind him in his agitated state. His routine was ruined, his morning soured. Those biscuits were a gift from the gods, a blessing from his angel years ago.
Not once since the fall of Voldemort fourteen years ago had he gone a morning without one of those flakey, soft, buttery…mouth watering….
Frustrated and gloomy, Severus prepared himself for a day full of dealing with dunderheads in his potions lab and that idiot in pink. Showered and clean-shaven, he was soon dressed in his usual black robes and stalking the corridors upwards to the Great Hall.
His irritation poured off him in waves, even his Slytherins avoided him in the corridors. His fellow faculty members avoided his gaze that morning, burying their noses in goblets or tea cups. Even that vial woman in her pink cardigan didn't dare 'hmm' him that morning. Scoffing at the meager piles of toast, Severus drank his usual three cups of boysenberry tea and picked at his eggs that morning. Without his biscuits he was frazzled, more easily frustrated than normal. Twice he nearly peppered his tea and quite nearly threw his plate of eggs at McGonagall for mocking Slytherin's latest loss at Quidditch to Flitwick.
Sadly, he didn't fair much better with his students throughout that morning. Period after period, he had to deal with them. Excuses and arguments, rudeness and idiocy. He even had to take points off his own house for their mindlessness. By the time the dreaded period of Gryffindor fifth years entered his lab, Severus was ready to go back on his word to Dumbledore and go on an 'Avada Kedavra' rampage through the corridors.
These were the worse bunch, mindless and rude, glaring at him with contempt. Yes, a few of them held promise with the art he instructed but he would never admit that to their faces. Today however it seemed to be their goal to create a new level of idiocy in the classroom. Mistake after mistake was made, small explosions created with noxious fumes billowing from melted cauldrons. Points were deducted from Patil and Thomas. By the time the lesson bell rang, he was ready to pull out his hair in frustration.
As he glared upon the Gryffindors, his expression one of ice, Severus watched as they packed their satchels with the speed of one possessed. Longbottom had melted yet another cauldron, and Miss Brown was ready to burst into tears should someone even breathe too loud near her. But finally, after an eternity, every last scarlet clad student was out of his sight, leaving him to brood in solitude. With a flick of his wand, the messes left behind were banished from his classroom allowing him to use his break period to mark essays in peace. But there, upon the stack of Gryffindor parchment, was a basket tied with red and silver ribbon. He had not seen a student carrying such a frivolous item into his classroom. They wouldn’t have dared!
With a suspicious eye, Severus walked around his desk and leaned back in his chair. Still eyeing the basket, wary of any mischief he lifted the cloth covering it only for his expression to soften. Piled atop of each other were baked biscuits fresh and crisp, steam still rising from the rounded crusts. He could smell the melted butter used within, the yeast of the dough…it caused his mouth to water. The corner of his mouth quirked upwards for a moment, the temptation to great and with a quick hand he snatched a biscuit from the pile as well as a folded scrap of parchment, unfolding it with his thumb.
Happy Birthday Professor Snape.
His Slytherin pride nearly forced him to drop the biscuit and throw it all into the bin beneath his desk, scoffing at the audacity of the wretched girl. But he couldn’t help it; his addiction was far too strong for him. Before he could place the parchment down the first tentative morsel had been bitten.
His eyes closed in bliss, the flakey crust melting upon his tongue with a tantalizing slowness. It left a trace of butter and honey dancing upon his palette, making his blood hum once more. They were nothing like the ones he was accustomed to not in the least. These were new, fresh and teasing in taste. With every bite a new flavor danced upon his taste buds. A hint of lemon. A dash of orange.
With a soft sigh Severus let go of the breath he hadn't realized he had held in for so long. Selecting another biscuit with the observation one would expect from an expert connoisseur, Severus reached into a drawer and pulled out a spare jar of maple sweetened pumpkin jam. Coating the biscuit, Severus leaned back in his seat with his feet upon his desk a rare smile gracing his thin lips.
"Twenty points to Gryffindor," he murmured to himself before taking one more indulgent bite.