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To Lose It All by Nessa Elendil
Chapter 18 : December 24, 1983
Rating: 15+Chapter Reviews: 1

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A/N: I know, I'm really bad with the skipping over great lengths of time! I promise it'll slow down as the story progresses, or at least I'll try to make it.


Christmas carols were playing softly in the background as Jasmine, Nymphadora, Andromeda, and Ted watched snow fall peacefully outside the window. The Christmas tree was glowing red, green, and gold as a soft fire crackled warmly beneath the stockings hung on the mantle. Holly and mistletoe were abundantly hanging in the house, and the smell of poinsettia and pineneedles filled the air.


While the peaceful, calm setting was nothing compared to Christmas at Hogwarts, both Jasmine and Nymphadora were glad to be home.


It was getting a bit late in the evening, the stars were out, and street lights illuminated the town and falling snow. Nymphadora yawned and cuddled closer to her father.


"I think it's time for bed," Andromeda whispered to Ted as Nymphadora fell into a silent slumber. Ted picked her up and carried her to her room as Andromeda got up to follow.


She placed a hand on her sister's shoulder. "You going to stay up a while longer?"


Jasmine nodded, still staring out the window, her eyes not seeing lay outside.


"Happy Christmas, Jas."


"Happy Christmas, Andromeda."


Jasmine waited for the sound of two doors closing and all noise save the carols from the radio to stop before sinking back into the cushy chair she was sitting in. Thoughts weighed heavy on her mind, and the tugging on her heart led her to decide upon a rash and potentially foolish decision.


Turning off the radio, Jasmine silently went to her room and unearthed something she had salvaged over two years ago, that night...


Back in the kitchen, Jasmine scribbled down what was supposed to be a Christmas tree on a folded piece of parchment, writing 'Happy Christmas, Pads' on the inside. Jasmine ran two fingers down the unrecognizable drawing, and it resembled a tree not unlike her sister's in their leave.


She grabbed her cloak and carefully placed the card inside of it along with the delicate object from her room, then stepped outside before apparating to Privet Drive.


Jasmine carefully crept in the shadows to Number Four and peeked in the window. She found the sitting room where Petunia and a fat man she presumed to be Vernon sat with a chubby three-year-old boy; but Jasmine couldn't find Harry, this worried her, and Jasmine Black was not one easily worried.


She crept around the back, and used 'Alohomora' to get the door open. Jasmine snuck inside and closed the door behind her. The object in her cloak, a teddy bear, the same bear she had given Harry when he was born, the one he loved to chew up, Jasmine gingerly took it out before transforming into Tips. As Tips, she picked up the bear, named 'Blotchy' by Harry once he first started voicing a few words, in her mouth and went to look for her godson. Jasmine knew she had to stay hidden, if Dumbledore found out she was here, she would be at the receiving end of his anger, not something she would've normally minded, but when it was access to her godson at stake...


Jasmine crept around, her senses amplified as a fox. When she saw the door to the cupboard under the stairs ajar, she was drawn to it, but she didn't want to look, she didn't want to see; she knew that was where Harry was. She snuck over to the door, and used her nose to open it just enough to slip inside.


What she saw: Harry, her godson, whom she loved as her own son, sitting alone in the dark in a cupboard under the stairs, which was apparently his room by the looks of it, and more so on Christmas Eve, killed her inside.


The fox's eyes filled with tears as she remembered Harry's first Christmas. Even though he had only been five months old, everyone could see how happy he was, and they all knew he understood love. But he didn't understand this. Why everyone he knew and loved would seemingly abandon him to this loveless life. Why no one came to save him. And seeing him like this was more than Jasmine could handle.


Jasmine had planned on just dropping off the bear and leaving - she had written "Hope you still like Blotchy as much as you did when I first gave him to you! Happy 3rd Christmas, Harry! Love, MW" on a tag she placed around its neck - but now, as she looked at Harry, even at this young age, she noticed how he looked exactly like James, except for Lily's startling green eyes, she wondered how she could simply leave him, especially after he had been alone so long. But she would have, it would ruin his life even more is she took him with her; he'd have to run from the law, never get to attend Hogwarts, never visit Diagon Alley, or any other place in the Wizarding world. If he stayed, he'd at least have a chance to get his life back.


"Fox," the small boy said, with his three-year-old accent. "Foxy," he repeated, holding his small hands out to her.


He's talking, Jasmine realized. He couldn't pronounce 'fox' before. It seemed like just yesterday Harry was practicing 'mama'.


"Foxy," Harry said again as he stood up and waddled over to her, wanting to pet the animal he recognized.


At first, Jasmine was worried he'd fall and hurt himself, but she realized if he was talking, he was probably walking. Just how much of his life did she miss, and how more would she? It wasn't fair, not to her, not to Harry, not to Sirius, Remus, James or Lily. Why was it their lives that had been destroyed? If they really did so much as to deserve this on Earth, what was it they deserved when they died? But why Harry too? What could a three-year-old have possibly done?


Harry plopped down next to Jasmine and began to pet her. Jasmine smiled to herself and cuddled up to her godson, giving him a lick on the nose.


Harry stuck a small fist in her large ear, and Jasmine leapt back in surprise. Harry's emerald eyes filled with hurt, and Jasmine quickly tickled him with her black nose and licked his cheek.


Harry giggled, but looked at his godmother quizzically as she turned around and grabbed Blotchy, handing him to Harry, who immediately recognized it, and held the bear close, falling on his back and giggling with glee.


Jasmine gave Harry one last look before the crying fox turned to do the hardest thing she had to do yet, leave. The clock struck midnight, it was Christmas Day.

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