For Unto Us…
Recent discoveries in addition to the archives of the Granger-Snape correspondence as collected in the publication, What I Want My Words to Do to You.
by Severus Snape and Hermione Granger
edited by Lm. Samiko
It was indicated in my previous publication, What I Want My Words to Do to You, that the included missives were the entirety of the surviving correspondence between Severus Snape and Hermione Granger-Snape. Happily, this has proven not to be so. Recent renovations to the family home have uncovered these previously unknown letters, which Madam Apollonia Snape-Patil has very kindly permitted to be published. Once again, I must offer my sincere thanks to her in allowing academia this very personal glimpse into the lives of these great heroes, particularly considering, as she says, 'the likelihood of my father's ghost returning simply to scream at me.' Lm. Samiko
December 8, 21xx.
December 24, 20xx
To my most beloved Hermione,
Christmas has come upon us again, the season during which you badger and berate me, constantly nagging about my 'humbug nature', and I daresay you are quite correct; I have never comprehended what you call the 'Christmas Spirit.' As far as I have observed, the Christmas Spirit consists of Albus's— and now Minerva's —fervour to over-decorate the castle unto the last pebble of the foundation stones and the Muggles' fervour to trample each other in some absurd quest to spend less money then their neighbours on gifts they don't want to give to people they don't like— and who don't want whatever rubbish they've been given. That is my impression in the general, at any rate. In the specific… I do not wish to go overmuch into detail, beloved, so let me simply say that being allowed to stay in a mostly empty castle watching other people receive presents I couldn't afford was the better manner of spending my 'holiday.'
Your efforts of the past three years, though heroic in their own way, can hardly be expected to counteract the experiences of several previous decades.
After all, what is there in this forced gift-giving— not to mention the forced socialization —to celebrate or enjoy? I have never understood this process. I doubt I ever will.
I needed to write this, Hermione, to acquaint you with things I wouldn't say to you before. That said, I believe that this year… this year, I begin to understand, in some manner, something of the original spirit of Christmas, the event that inspired all of the pursuant nonsense that you are so determined I enjoy. For, after all, this Christmas, you have given me the one gift I never expected— or, indeed, ever knew I wanted. But then, perhaps 'wanted' is not quite the correct word. Nor is 'needed', I think, though that word has its own validity. For how else could I understand… any of the emotions I am feeling right now? I cannot even begin to name them as I sit here next to your bed, writing this letter. Do you know, Hermione, I find you beautiful as you sleep here, though sweat has plastered curls to your forehead. I never thought to find anything that would strike me so deeply in my soul. I thought such a thing didn't— in fact, couldn't —exist. But I was wrong. And for that, I am so profoundly grateful that these words seem the weakest I have ever penned to you. I cannot think how much more inadequate they would be if I tried to speak them to you. I should merely sound a fool. Perhaps I am. For I am certainly not an eloquent man, however much you try to convince me otherwise. How can I even begin to make you understand what I cannot even articulate to myself? For that matter, I shall probably burn this letter once I finish it. Then, at least, there will be no physical evidence of this… impossibility. I can at least spare you my ridiculous maunderings.
I think I have been more frightened today than I have ever been or ever care to be again. Perhaps now I shall have to believe in a God, if only that I may be able to thank Him (or, as you might say, Her) for the gifts of your life and your love, which in turn have gifted me with the— what else can I call it? —the sheer miracle of your— my— our child who now sleeps beside you. Such a small thing— and so ordinary, in its way. After all, how many millions of infants with their red, wrinkled faces are born each day? But ours… Our child. Our daughter. For me, this is a miracle too great to comprehend, too improbable and absurd to be true. I was never meant to be a father. I do not dare to fall asleep, for fear that both of you will disappear into dream aether when I wake.
But enough. If you cannot understand my silly maudlin ramblings by now, it is useless to waste more good parchment in trying to convey them. Merlin knows I barely understand what I'm trying to say; I can hardly expect more of you. Perhaps I should simply have written the following and had done with it:
Thank you, my beloved.Your husband,
December 25, 20xx
My dearest husband,
There's so much I could tell you, now that I have managed to snatch your letter from the book in which you stuffed it. You could have simply given it to me, you know, instead of making me lie in wait until you had to visit the lavatory.
But I can barely think of anything that really says what I want to say. It seems both of us are equally overwhelmed by our daughter's arrival. Though I know in my deepest soul that she's ours (and that black fuzz certainly points to it), I can't quite believe it. I never really thought motherhood was in my stars, either.
But, for once, I shall be more brief than you, my heart:
You're welcome. Merry Christmas. And thank you. For she is as much your gift to me as she is mine to you.
I love you, now and for all our Christmases to come.Your wife,
(real) ANs: This was written for the third prompt of the Yule 2008 Challenge: Revisiting Friends, and was inspired by 1) several hours of Christmas music, and 2) Dorothy Sayers's short story 'The Haunted Policeman.' The title is from Handel's Messiah. Thanks for reading and I hope you've enjoyed this little addendum. Lm. S