He blew into his cupped hands habitually, and laughed when he noticed, again, the smart woollen gloves covering his fingers. He had not expected anything for his birthday... not after the row his parents had had a week before...
"No, absolutely not! Christmas has already left us strapped for cash."
"But Tobias... he's just a chil-"
"Never too young to learn that life is full of disappointments!"
Severus had thought that that was that. He hadn't got his hopes up, but when he saw the package wrapped in rumpled second-hand Christmas paper, his heart had leapt in his small chest.
The tightly-knitted black gloves were magnificent. He felt so grown-up! All the other children were still fumbling with mittens - how childish!
His lips brushed against the fine wool again, but this time he inhaled. The gloves smelt of his mother - all roses and herbs and warmth and comfort.
He would only find out years later that she had unravelled her finest shawl for his gift.
Ta-daaa! My entry for the Happy Birthday, Severus Showdown!
Bittersweet... but I cannot imagine little Severus any other way. Mums do things like that for their kids - even if the sacrifice is never fully known.
Severus, Eileen and Tobias Snape are the intellectual property of one JK Rowling... blast her for making Severus' life so crummy.