Blessed Peace

By Bernice

Notes: For Millefiore who is so very tired of angst and cried out for some happy sap.  Another in the Care of Magical Creatures series


"Silencio!" brought blessed peace from Hagrid's rumbling snores.

The relentless roaring noise of it was instantly squashed, and Snape settled his head back on Hagrid's shoulder with a sigh of relief.

There were many benefits to sharing a bed with Hagrid, many benefits, but the damned snoring was not one of them. With lungs the size of Hagrid's he was able to achieve a level of noise equal in volume to the great hall at feast time!

The silence closed in immediately, dark and soft like the night, and Snape snuggled down on his muscular pillow, satisfied, prepared to get a good night's sleep. Quiet and dark, the absence of snoring left a vacuum of sound in its wake, although very slowly Snape started to become aware of other noises intruding on his consciousness that he hadn't noticed before.

A gentle wind raised and rustled the thatch on Hagrid's cottage, and somewhere near the window something small buzzed its tiny wings; a moth, a fairy, a mosquito perhaps.

Beams in the roof crackled as the temperature dropped slightly, and the foundations settled. Soft thudding hooves moved behind the castle, possibly a centaur venturing near the edges of the forest, or a thestral looking for a late night hand out.

A distant shout drifted down from the castle; some student was outraged over something petty, and a giggle and thud and further giggles gave away the progress of courting seventh years towards the broom sheds. Snape felt a vague compulsion to go give them detention for being out after hours. But the bed was warm, the mattress snug, and Hagrid's arm held Snape pressed very close.

Under the bed Fang stirred, scratched, farted, bit at a flea, then whined quietly as he drifted back to doggy dreams and whuffling grunts.

Snape was now even more awake than when he'd cast the silencing spell. He could hear every leaf rustling outside, every creak, every whisper, every shift, cough, snap, sneeze, thud, call, caw, creep, murmur, whistle, flutter, slither, chew, snort, turn, thud, brush, twinkle, drip, and footstep. All the noises clicked, crackled, and buzzed, a cacophony of tuneless annoyance.

Even worse than that, he could hear the empty void that should have been full of Hagrid's deep, relaxed, proof of life. It just wasn't right for Hagrid; lusty loud, and expansive, to be silent. Even in sleep.

"Finite incantatum" brought blessed peace as Hagrid's rumbling snores filled the terrible silence.


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