Title: And Me?
Rating: So very, very G. There is a puppy.
"Ridiculous," muttered Severus, seeing no need to hide his irritation as he watched the incontinent little creature deliver its unsanitary tongue-bathing worship all over Harry's face. "That one should ascribe significance to this holiday by giving gifts. Especially those of the rug-piddling, food-dependent, howling-at-all-hours kind. What sort of gift is that? And you can tell those bloody Weasleys I said so."
He'd never, never admit he felt the least little bit sad by not being remembered by those who did count the gift-giving significant, though. Particularly the person he lived with. Inconsiderate slug.
A scratching at the window interrupted Harry's fulsome interaction with the hairball. "Oh, good, that must be it. Mind getting that, Severus?" Harry said as the puppy set about yapping in the window's direction.
"Of course I mind, but why should you care, I only exist to answer owls, do I not," Severus harrumphed, but it was only token muttering and he was going even as he said it.
The owl at the window was tawny and impatient, and Severus would be damned if he'd feed the thing. Except he reconsidered; there couldn't be a better way to dispose of that ghastly fruitcake upon the sidetable. As the owl gulped at the tidbit, Severus examined the package it had brought and was brought up short when he saw his name on the label.
Probably jinxed, or, better, a threat from our creditors, he thought as he tore the wrappings open, refusing to admit that his pulse had sped up just that much. Within a charmed Pet-Keep ™ box a tiny white bird with black markings was cheeping. Severus nearly forgot to examine the card.
"You got me a Quillop?" The bird was already hopping from the box to alight on Severus's finger. He scowled. "Gift pets are a nuisance, I told you." He would not smile. He refused to smile.
"Well, you don't have to make a pet of it if you don't wish," Harry said as he only barely stopped the pup from swallowing the discarded wrappings whole. "But the man at the shop said they lay one egg a day, and they sometimes hatch out protection amulets and the shells are useful in healing potions, so I thought you maybe could keep it in your workspace as a sort of, you know, employee."
After a pause, during which the Quillop had worked its way up to his wrist, Severus pronounced, "It can stay."
Harry grinned over his armful of puppy. "Happy Christmas, Severus."
"Hmf." Which was as close as he was coming to a smile.