“This year has passed by so quickly! Can you believe that Christmas is two days away?” a young woman asked as she took a sip from her steaming mug of hot cocoa. Her smile lit up the room, warming it emotionally. The redhead sitting next to her on the light blue sofa drained of all color. He had forgotten to get his wife a Christmas gift and it was their first Christmas together. Of course, she didn't know this.
“George?” she asked, setting her mug down and nudging her husband's shoulder. When he didn't respond, she put her hand on her head of brown curls, frustrated and frightened. Usually, he was a bouncing ball of excitement and energy. She nudged him a few more times until he finally became alert again. He smiled at her and tried to forget the fact that he had nothing to give her for the holiday.
“Katie,” he said, kissing the top of her head and pulling her close to him. He slung his arm across her abdomen as she put her hand upon his arm. She continued to smile as he kissed her lips gently. The way her lips felt on his always sent shivers down his spine. Of course, it helped that everything else Katie did was perfect. His older brother, Bill, said that he was still in the honeymoon phase of his marriage and that was why everything his wife did was wonderful.
She yawned sleepily and looked up at him. The twinkle in her warm eyes made him grin; she always had seemed happy at this time of the year. It was her favorite, for she loved the lights and how inviting and kind everyone was during the holiday season.
“I think I'm going to go to bed. Good night,” she said as she stood up and kissed his cheek.
Rather than go to bed with her, he chose to think about what he could get her for Christmas. It needed to be sweet and sentimental whatever it was. It needed to be perfect and something she'd always remember. He could get her a pair of socks to wear to bed; her feet were always cold when they touched his at night. She'd remember him getting her socks for the wrong reason. There was always the gift of jewelry, but that was a bit corny.
As he ran out of ideas, he walked over to their petite Christmas tree. A larger one wouldn't have fit in their small apartment. He fingered the slightly sharp branches of the fragrant evergreen and looked at his reflection in one of the silver orbs.
The way it mimicked his face perfectly reminded him of his late twin. Of course, Fred would want him to smile and that was what George did every one of the six years since his death. Sometimes the smile was fake as he fell apart inside, but usually the grin was genuine. He had someone to smile for and he was happy for it. He had other people in his young life to live for and that was what mattered at that point in time. Grinning at the realization and a few memories, he retired to bed.
“Oh, please open it,” she begged on Christmas evening. They had chosen to have their own little Christmas after they had left the Burrow for a larger Christmas. To be fair, they had gone to the Bells' home on Christmas Eve.
“I can't,” he said, not wanting to explain why he wouldn't open her gift. She placed her hands together the way one does whilst praying. Her bottom lip stuck out a bit in a pathetic manner as she sat at his feet upon her knees.
“I wrapped it in your favorite color.”
This was true; the wrapping paper was a bright red. He laughed and took her hand, drawing her up into a standing position. She bit her lip stubbornly. That was part of her charm to him, though. If she set her mind to something, nothing would get in her way of doing or getting that something. Smiling, he sat down next to her on the floor.
“You shouldn't have,” he said as he tugged at the gold string that she had tied around the square package. She furrowed her eyebrows in confusion. He knew what was going through her mind. Why shouldn't I get my husband a present? Isn't it normal to get the person you love more than anything in the world something to open on Christmas? Of course, her thoughts were completely normal.
“Yes I should.”
She sat up on her knees and fingered his ginger hair, her eyes still filled with confusion. While he toyed with the bow, not quite ready to open her gift, he watched the flames dance with each other in the fire he had set to warm the apartment. He laughed quietly when he thought of how excited Katie had gotten when she found out he had bought them an apartment with a fireplace. She practically danced through Diagon Alley. For some reason unknown to him, a fireplace was important to her.
“Are you going to open it?”
“Yes, love. I would never keep you waiting, unless of course there's something that will explode in my face.” He winked at their little joke. One year, he had put a box of exploding birds (fake, mind you) in her Christmas present. Having not expected her supposed box of chocolates to blow up in her face – quite literally – Katie had nearly attacked him as a result of her fright. She playfully punched his shoulder before resting her head upon it.
“Come on, open it,” she whispered as she kissed his cheek. Still, he couldn't bring himself to open it. It was too much for her to have bought something for him when he had nothing to return the gesture. Though he was still debating it in his head, he allowed Katie's hands to guide his in opening the box. He felt horrible inside when he saw that she had bought him a brand new wizards' chess set.
“Well, do you like it?”
“Y – yes. I love it,” he said as he thought of what he could whip up with a wand in two seconds flat. That was when the idea hit him. He looked at the doorway and the little piece of green leaves and white berries hanging on a red ribbon from it. Mistletoe. Flicking his wand, the mistletoe fell from its hanging spot and flew into his hand. He held it over his and Katie's heads and grinned. Leaning forward, he kissed her in a long, slow kiss. As they pulled apart she smiled.
“I'm sorry I don't have anything better.”
“George,” she sighed. “Will you ever learn that the best gifts can't be bought? I need to go thank your parents for you one of these days.” They both laughed before their lips met in one final kiss under the mistletoe.