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Chapter 7: A Family Christmas
DISCLAMER: The only thing I own here is Hannah and my plot
A Family Christmas
The train whizzed past the simply green countryside without a care in the world. The Hogwarts express a big whirl of colours among the plain green. Hannah sat in the centre of a carriage chamber, nestled between her brother and Hermione, who were flanked by Ginny, with Ron, Luna and Neville holding fort on the opposite bench. Draco stood pacing the small area of floor in the room. They were all asking the same question, why had they found Hannah unconscious in the hallway.
Hannah had battled with herself over that terrifying incident. But it was her problem wasn’t it?! She didn’t feel the need to inform the others. She wasn’t about to remove one of the people in her life that made her happy. If that resulted in her death, she felt at least she would die happy, call that morbid, stupid or pathetic, it’s what she believed.
The voices from around her joined with the voice in her head. The noise became more distracting, like the hum of hundreds of birds. She couldn’t stand it and even as she started to talk, she knew she was wrong, they were only being protective of her, they all loved and cared for her.
“Will you guys just stop asking me please! There is nothing to tell” she almost screamed, tears leaking from her eyes. She got up in a huff and stormed passed Draco, slamming the door shut as she left.
Draco looked horrified by her outburst, he knew better than most how she was faring but even he didn’t anticipate this reaction from her.
“I think perhaps you pushed her too far” said Luna, speaking up. Hermione and Ron at least had the courtesy to look guilty. Harry merely looked confused and shamefaced. “I’ll go find her” said Luna.
It wasn’t hard to find Hannah, she was standing in one of the cracks between carriage compartments, the place that usually stored the bags. In Luna’s eyes, she looked terribly unhappy.
“Hannah, are you alright” she asked quietly, placing a comforting hand on Hannah’s shoulders.
“I’m fine” replied Hannah.
“And the fainting?” Hannah stiffened under Luna’s touch.
“Please don’t ask me Luna, it was nothing” pleaded Hannah.
Luna understood perhaps more than the others Hannah’s desperateness for the subject to be dropped, yet she also sensed there was a lot more to this fainting that than Hannah was saying.
Luna wasn’t sure if Hannah wanted to return to the compartment or stand out here a while but Hannah seemed content standing there is silence, a point which was bizarrely uncomfortable for Luna. She was so lost in her own thoughts she failed to notice that Hannah had spoken to her and when she asked her to repeat, she felt quite shocked and flustered.
“You and Neville would make a cute couple” Hannah pondered a while ignoring the look on Luna’s face. “You like him, I can tell. And he likes you. He stares at you longingly when you aren’t looking” she giggled, “You two should get together and don’t waste a moment apart” Hannah added matter of factly to a gobsmacked Luna before darting down the carriage hallway and into their compartment.
Malfoy Manor stood proud and tall, a mere shadow of the dark memory filled atmosphere the previous Manor instilled. The Malfoy Manor from the days of the war had been demolished, all remains of past dark deeds and horrific memories gone and all items of a dangerous nature removed and destroyed by the ministry.
Cissie had worked hard during the months after the war and indeed continued through the months that Draco and Hannah were at Hogwarts for. She wanted the house to reflect the love and family unity she felt with Draco and Hannah. She wanted it to be bright and cheerful and stand as a protective safe haven for Hannah. She ultimately had dreams for this house and the lives of both Draco and Hannah but that was neither her or there for now.
Cissie lead Hannah up towards her room – a room coincidentally across the hall from Draco’s. No surprises there really! Draco had long since disappeared in search of food to quieten his grumbling stomach. Since the ride back to the Manor, Hannah seemed to have dropped the cold shoulder towards Draco, leaving an awkward silence in its space. Draco hoped this meant she had forgiven him for Parkinson’s disgusting behavior.
Hannah had allowed Cissie to blindfold her upon entry to her new room. She didn’t like being blindfolded, it was unsettling to be reminded of the darkness she endured under Voldemort’s command but this surprise was important to Cissie, so Hannah had decided to endure it for her.
“Alright dear, you can remove the blindfold now” whispered Cissie excitedly.
Hannah slowly removed the blindfold wanting to savor every part of the room her eyes now looked upon. It was beautiful, that as surely the only way to describe this room. White walls, with long elegant green curtains covered the floor length windows. A white fairytale bed stood in the centre of the room, covered in a silky purple bedspread. The room was simple yet elegant, there was a walk-in wardrobe that Cissie was most proud of and a picture of a funny looking cow eating grass hung on the wall, it made Hannah giggle. Cissie’s expression had turned hesitant as Hannah observed her new room, “I love it!” whispered Hannah, “I love it!” Cissie beamed.
The days before the arrival of guests fell into a casual routine. Breakfast was made for them by Dora who insisted that they should have filling breakfasts and after that, the days were spent in different areas of the house as they all talked together or Draco and Hannah sat in the library desperately trying to finish their homework before all the excitement and guests came. One moment of shock was to be had during dinner where Hannah announced she’d never had a Christmas stocking and Cissie upon hearing this, promptly dropped her glass, which broke.
Much excitement was to be had the day before Christmas Eve when all the guests arrived. Hannah was overly excited having been kept in her room all day with Draco for company, while Cissie decorated the house – with the help of Dora – and made up all the guestrooms. One might have said that Hannah was even more excited than young Teddy Lupin. Hannah could almost rival Teddy in mental age with her current excitement level.
First through the fireplace in the central hall were Andromeda and Teddy – who quickly squealed demanding the attention of Cissie to hold him. Next came Luna and her father with Neville and his grandmother. Both Luna and Neville looked decidingly awkward and flushed. And lastly came the Weasley’s in all their majestic gingerness followed closely by Harry and Hermione. By this time Hannah’s excitement was close to spilling over and she only had eyes for Harry as she ran towards him head on and swept him into a tight hug. A kind of hug you can only share with a sibling.
“I have something for you” she whispered in his ear. She whisked him away from t room of guests, which would have been perceived as incredibly rude had it been done by anyone but Hannah. Everyone was merely happy Hannah had progressed so well, she was happy, she may still be having the occasional nightmare but to all around she was almost healed, if she were happy everyone else was.
“I want you to have this” Hannah said as she handed Harry a small black box. Harry felt puzzled beyond belief until opening it and blushing like only a young man can. Hannah covered Harry’s embarrassment as if it wasn’t there. “I know you are planning on asking Ginny. Oh Harry don’t look so shocked, I may not have been around lots but we are twins. I just thought you’d like to ask her with Mum’s (Lily’s) engagement ring. If you’d rather not I understand” Hannah mumbled now feeling rather foolish that she’d asked him.
She was about to head back when Harry touched her arm lightly, “Thank you, this means...this means a lot to me” he stammered and suddenly to Hannah the world seemed stupidly bright again. Harry pocketed the small box and together they walked back to the centre hallway, surprised by the level of joyous shouts coming from there.
Gone were all the bags and suitcases, the coasts had been put away and Dora was happily handing out big Christmas chocolate cookies with a big smile on her face. Cissie led everyone to the largely spaced living room, whereupon entry Hannah gave a small squeal of delight to rival Teddy’s as she spied the enormous Christmas tree surrounded by masses of presents.
The rest of the day and majority of Christmas Eve was spent in such a joy that Hannah had scarcely known. She hung out with her friends a lot, pleased with the fleeting glances between Luna and Neville and wishing she had the nerve to glance at Draco like that. Hermione or Mione as she’d asked Hannah to call her, was astounded that Hannah had already finished all her holiday homework, to which Ron asked if he could copy from Hannah’s. Hermione’s angry glare was enough to silence Ron’s short lived hope. On Christmas Eve Draco helped Hannah wrap her Christmas presents. He was amazed by how happy this small task made her and hoped tomorrow was all she expected it to be. For Draco, Hannah was, in many ways so like what an eighteen year old should be, yet she could also seem very young and venerable. Draco liked both sides of her.
All through Christmas Eve night the house was still and quiet and everyone asleep. Teddy dreamed of Santa Claus and lots of presents. Harry dreamed of Ginny, Ginny of Harry. Mione dreamed of school work, Ron of food and Luna of nargles. Draco dreamed of the one he was falling for, the one he never wanted to lose, Cissie dreamed of Lily, hoping she was doing well by her, acting mother to Hannah. And lastly Hannah dreamed of Christmas with her family, wishing for only the best.
Surprisingly it was Hannah and not Teddy who was up first in the morning and completely shocked to find a Christmas stocking on the end of her bed. Her vision began to slightly blur as those tears she was so used to stung her eyes, she quickly blinked her eyes, pushing the tears away. She couldn’t bear the thought of opening the stocking’s content by herself, so she quietly tiptoed to Draco’s room.
A shocking act for anyone bar Hannah. She didn’t think anything of it. She knew she had probably fallen hard for him, she was only recently accustomed to love and the strong beating in her heart told her this was something special. Besides this Hannah got on best with Draco. He was asleep when she climbed into his bed and gently nudged him awake. He grumbled a bit at first, understandable as it was quite early. But finally opened one bleary eye, the yelped and blushed profusely as he realised who was in his bed.
“Draco guess what I have” Hannah whispered mischievously.
“Erm I erh don’t know” said Draco while his mind screamed ‘she’s in your bed, Hannah’s in your bed’ and his face turned an even deeper shade of red.
Hannah, completely oblivious to Draco’s sudden torment, said, “Draco, I got a Christmas stocking!” her eyes lit up with an excited glee, “Draco...will you open it with me?” she pouted unintentionally. Just how could anyone say no to that thought Draco, it was like butter wouldn’t melt. She just seemed so excited and Draco was touched and secretly ecstatic that she’d chosen him to share this moment with.
“Of course” replied Draco.
Draco watched in amazement as Hannah carefully unwrapped each present. The look on her face as each present revealed itself, one of pure joy. She presented each present to Draco for approval, like what a small child would do, Draco just found this endearing. She was most amused by the orange in the bottom of her stocking, Draco said that’s what all the good girls and boys get. She didn’t ask what the naughty ones get.
“Draco can we go downstairs pretty please?” she begged as Draco laughed, shoving on a jumper in answer. Hannah raced Draco down the stairs though Draco was more inclined to let her win and watch the happiness pour out of her. More people were in the living room and Teddy was joyously ripping wrapping paper off presents with the help of Andy, and making cute noises that tugged on everyone’s hearts.
Cissie was the first to notice Hannah’s presence but only because Hannah made a beeline towards her to thank her for the stocking. Cissie tried to browbeat Hannah into sitting down and opening the vast amount of presents people had got her. But Hannah was having none of that, she wanted to give the others her presents first as they meant something to her and hopefully them.
She started with Mione, Ginny and Luna, giving each of them a small squared wrapped box. Hannah watched them open the boxes cautiously and then gasp accordingly. To others it may not have seemed like a lot but to Hannah it was a great deal and a true sign that these girls meant a lot to her. Each girl’s shocked expression turned on Hannah, “Please, I want you to have them” she murmured, hoping the girls would be satisfied. To the curious eyes of others watching she mentioned, “I gave them each a piece of Lily’s jewellery”, then in an afterthought mentioned, “Hannah, I didn’t think, do you mind?” Hannah shook his head in response.
Next she turned to Cissie, presenting her with two presents. One a stunningly simple necklace of Lily’s and the other a framed moving photo of Cissie, Draco and herself as they’d hugged all that time ages ago in the hospital wing. It didn’t matter that Hannah was covered in cuts and bruises, it was the never-ending love and relief that the photo captured. It brought Cissie to tears, and in a surprise move, it was Molly who went to comfort her.
Hannah knew these next two present to people exchange would be the hardest. So she quickly whipped round giving everyone else their presents in one big go first. Then while the others were occupied turned her attention to matters in hand.
To Draco she also gave a picture, one of the two of them peacefully asleep together on her bed after one of her nightmares. He didn’t ask how it was taken but blushed a little at the memory. If he were ever to look at the back of the photo, he would find a secret message all for him.
And so came that last of the presents to give, the one that made Hannah’s hands shake violently and tears threaten to appear. She handed it to Harry. She watched nervously as he unwrapped it, fearful of his reaction and hoping that the speechless open mouthed expression on his face was a good one.
“Hannah, where did you...how?” he seemed a bit disorientated.
“Lily made an album for each of us when we were born – of course yours is fuller than mine” she sounded bitter, “Severus kept adding pictures to it for you. It was supposed to be given on your eighteenth as it’s a special birthday for muggles, but as there was no time for that..” she paused, “Do you like it?” she asked, terrified for his answer.
Words need not be said, he hugged her with a family love so strong, whispering, “We’ll fill your book up sis, I promise”
She had one more present to give but was unsure how others would react to it. “Dora” she called sof6ly, warmed by the familiar pop of her arrival. She could feel the others look round curiously but she paid them no attention, handing Dora her present – a new outfit in red and purple – and receiving one in return, the Dora’s pop signaled her disappearance.
Now Cissie was able to grab Hannah and sit her down to open her presents. Teddy was still hogging most of the limelight so Hannah’s presence became slightly invisible. It was good she guessed as she got to open her presents slowly and save the wrapping paper.
By George she was given a box of Weasley Wizard Wheezes and a note saying she was the only person besides her brother, who was allowed anything from the shop for free. From Mione she received her very own feather quill and Ron for some bizarre reason had given her a chess set. Luna had given her a set of daydreaming fairytale books and of course Molly had knitted her a Weasley jumper. Cissie had given her a photo of Draco, Harry and Hannah – they all looked so happy. Draco gave Hannah a broom, promising to teach her to fly and Harry gave her a brown speckled owl called Pickles. Hannah was so overcome by emotion that her tears began to fall before she realized.
“Oh Hannah, are you ok?” asked a concerned Cissie. Everyone looked at Hannah, she nodded, “These are happy tear. Thank you all so much”
The days flew past unnaturally fast after Christmas, Draco tried to give Hannah a flying lesion but Hannah couldn’t stomach it with everyone watching, she said he’d have to teach her when they were alone, he blushed.
In contrast to Christmas at Malfoy Manor, New Years at the Weasley’s house was a different matter. They were only there two nights, travelling back on the Hogwarts express the 2nd of January. And honestly the Weasley house couldn’t have held all the guests much longer.
What New Years Eve really came down to was kissing and who would kiss who. Ginny and Harry of course would kiss each other, as would Mione and Ron. And would Neville get the courage to kiss Luna? Really everyone was just excited to see if Draco and Hannah would kiss. The adults weren’t stupid, they could plainly see how these two felt about each other as much as everyone else.
Molly had laid out a tremendous spread of food in the marquee outside the house and her and Cissie were busy swapping cooking tips. Once everyone was dutifully stuffed, a walk outside was needed to await the fireworks and count in the New Year. Draco – bless him – was sweating slightly and appeared very nervous. Harry had already given a nod of approval and it seemed everyone was awaiting a kiss between them. That was a lot of pressure.
Draco looked up at all the happy couples around him.
He walked purposely towards Hannah.
He took hold of her hand.
He looked deep into her eyes.
He placed a hand around her waist bringing her closer.
He whispered how beautiful she was.
He place his other hand on her cheek, his eyes never leaving hers.
He leaned towards her.
His lips gently brushed hers in the most intimate of kisses.
“Happy New Year” he whispered and smiled at her growing blush.
I hope you all like this chapter :3