Severus thought his ears might bleed he'd had his fingers shoved in them for so long now. He hated hols, hated. He would have elected to stay at Hogwarts, had even begged for the first couple of years, but his mother said that she missed him and that she at least would like him home for Christmas. He didn't know why, it wasn't like she paid anymore attention to him. She was always running around, cow-tailing to his father's every need. Is your tea warm enough, dear? Would you like me to get your coat for you? Do you know when you'll return tonight - no, I don't mind of course not, I was just wondering so I could set some food out for you, it's nothing. Severus, what have i told you about leaving your books on the kitchen table!
Finally, he extracted his fingertips from his eardrums. They were still arguing.
I didn't mean to burn the ham Tobias, honest. I got, I got carried away with the-
The sodding Christmas tree, I know! Thought I toldjer we weren't getting one this year!
But - Tobias, it's Christmas.
A familiar tapping at his window pulled Severus' attention away from his quarreling parents. He sat up on his bed and walked over to the dingy, yellowed window, pushing it open enough to let the tawny owl through. Curled underneath its sharp claws rested a tightly rolled bit of parchment. He gave the owl a treat which he retrieved from his sock drawer and patted it on top of the head.
I am going barmy having to listen to my sister prattle on about her new boyfriend all ruddy day. He's an oaf, I've seen him. He picked Petunia up for a date just the other night. I don't think I can take much more. Would you like to escape for a bit? At that place, you know?
Severus picked up the quill on top of his dresser and flattened out the parchment.
You're timing is impeccable. If I stay here any longer I will be forced to sectumsepra my own ears. I will be there, I do know where.