Chapter 1 : Here's to the Night
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Thank you to notanonion, Cherry, ElizaDoLove, sarisayswhat, Gaia, Ramita, Twinklestar, Brielle, Cynthia, Meha, Louise, Jazmin, Izzy, Katelin, & the many others who requested for suggesting amazing holiday scenes as a gift! I couldn’t use every single one, but I hope you enjoy them! I have it in italics and if the characters come from one of my other stories, that’s there too. Thank you all for being so absolutely amazing!
Warning: There is a large amount of fluff ahead.
Potter/Weasley Snowball Fight
Hugo Weasley’s back hit the tree hard, almost knocking the wind out of him. Sweat dripped from his brow, knotted brown hair falling onto his forehead from under his wool cap. This was not what he planned. Going home over break meant relaxation, a good book by the fire, avoiding Rose’s need to quote Quidditch through the Ages, and spend as little time as possible with his older cousins. What he had forgotten, however, was snow.
It started late the previous evening and the Weasley-Potter children sat oblivious in the basement playing Exploding Snap and other card games that caused James to throw the board at the wall. He always threw things. Just a tad dramatic. Hugo had curled up in a plush chair to write a letter to his girlfriend, Natalie, who was with her family in Wales for the holiday. She was another fifth year and had dimples.
Once the morning arrived things changed. In the form of a snowball down Hugo’s pajama shirt at seven in the morning. The grinning gob of James looked down at him.
“Sucks to suck, Hugo,” he said and then ran for it. Fred’s cackle was obvious in the hallway. A match made in bloody heaven.
It was only a matter of time before the kids were ushered outside by their parents who wanted to talk in peace and drink hot tea by the fireplace. Hugo would have given almost anything to so much as taste that tea. Instead, he was perched behind a large tree at the edge of the garden. The shouts were getting louder. Lily shrieking at her brothers to stop ganging up on her. Dominique yelling about the quality of her boots since her feet were wet. Louis whining about something. The usual.
Hugo turned, pressing his gloves into the icy bark of the tree, and peeked out the side. It was chaos. James and Fred had barricaded themselves behind a wand-made snow fortress. With a flick of each wand, ten snowballs soared after their cousins. Roxy, Lily, and Molly hit the ground at the same time, each with a similar disgruntled shriek. Rose was leading the charge against them, wearing a huge piece of bark over her chest like a warrior. Albus was behind her, partly because he didn’t have bark and partly because he was a git when he came to his older brother. She had her arm raised and was firing spells back at them, trying to knock down their fortress, though Fred and James knew a thing or two about snow fortress building.
Lucky seventh-years. Hugo was stuck behind a tree without a wand or waterproof boots. His feet were soaked.
He picked up a ball of snow, patting it into a sphere, and stared at it. He rued the day anyone learned snow was packable. Jerks. He let out a sigh, peeking again. Rose had made it closer to the fortress. Teddy had pinned down Victoire and was shoving snow in her face. Louis was on the back porch drawing images in the snow with a stick.
“For Gryffindor!” James cried, releasing a wave of snow against Rose and Albus, neither of which were Gryffindors. Fred echoed this chant and released a wave of snow, too lazy to use the magic to ball all of it up. Rose and Albus were buried.
So Hugo stretched his arm and threw his ball of snow at his cousins, smacking James in the side of the face and forcing him off balance. He caught himself, wiping the snow from his face with his jaw lopsided. Hugo’s eyes widened.
James’s gaze turned toward the forest and met Hugo’s. Fred peeked around James and also found him half-behind the tree.
“FOR GRYFFINDOR!” James cried angrily, waving his wand and twenty snowballs moved to fly up behind him.
Hugo was in Gryffindor, but he was pretty sure that didn’t matter to James.
It was panning out to be one of those Christmases that no one ever remembered. The boring ones. Where you’re snowed in, your family is stuck helping your grandparents keep their basement dry, and your little brother is upstairs snogging the face off of some blond girl. Hugo had a thing for blonds. Everyone in Hogwarts knew it. I wished I didn’t.
I decided it would be a much better use of my time to do nothing at all. My friends were either back at Hogwarts or at home with their families and seeing it was Christmas eve I didn’t expect company. I was supposed to be with Mum and Dad anyway. I fixed a large mug of hot cocoa and planted myself on the sofa in front of the fireplace. I pulled a thick comforter over my legs (the kind Mum insisted shouldn’t live the bedroom) and flipped on the television.
Nothing. News. Nothing. Bakini-clad girls on Spring Break. Nothing. More news. Riots. Music videos. Nothing.
I groaned, miserable. At least the tea was good.
When I heard a loud knock, I jumped, tea almost finding a new home on my sweater and the comforter. Mum would have killed me, considering I wasn’t old enough to do magic outside of school yet. I let out a frustrated noise, set the tea on the coffee table, and padded over to the door. I left the comforter around my shoulders.
The wind blew my hair back the second I opened the door, snow flying into the living room from the blizzard. There on the front step was Scorpius Malfoy. He was at least six inches taller than me, his wool coat perfectly pressed and his Italian shoes covered in snow.
He arched a blond brow. “Going to let me in, Weasley? Or turn this into a snowball fight?”
I choked a little, nodding. “Yeah, yeah.” I pulled open the door, letting him in to stomp off his shoes, and shut it behind him. My socks were now wet. “What’re you doing here?”
“Casual friends aren’t allowed to visit on Christmas Eve?” Scorpius smirked at me, dusting the white snow from his hair. He pulled off his coat, revealing an argyle sweater over a collared shirt and neatly ironed pants. Leave it to him to come over in that when I was in wet socks, flannel pajama bottoms, and an old Finches shirt.
“Apparently they are.” I shrugged and moved back to the couch, flopping down and peeling off my socks, pulling my feet up into the comforter.
“I have a surprise. Look.” Scorpius moved his hand into his pocket and pulled out a Christmas bow. It was plastic and red, like the kind Mum put on our wrapped gifts. He fiddled with the bottom, peeled off the protective seal, and stuck it to the top of his blond hair. “See? I’m festive.”
I snorted, rolling my eyes and moved my feet so he could sit down. “I’m fairly sure that’s as festive as Scorpius Malfoy gets.”
“Guilty.” He leaned back on the couch, eyes on the fireplace. He’d never been to my house before. We’d only just started this odd friendship the beginning of this year, our sixth, and neither of us had given it a name. Or a destination. We knew we had classes together, that we enjoyed making fun of the Hufflepuff Quidditch team, and that we made each other laugh. Which I couldn’t stop doing at the sight of that damn bow on his head.
“My parents are away for Christmas,” Scorpius noted, wrinkling his nose. He didn’t look at me. “They always take a trip over the holidays, and I’m always invited, but this year apparently they wanted to rekindle romance and you can’t do that with your sixteen-year-old son around.”
I tried not to think about my parents rekindling their romance. Or Hugo kindling one upstairs.
“You’re in far better company here anyway,” I replied. “In fact, I was just about to continue doing nothing and stare at the fire when you showed up.”
To my surprise, he laughed. He slipped off his shoes, which I had never seen him do at Hogwarts, and snatched the other half of the comforter, pulling it over his lower body. “Then don’t let me keep you,” he said, smirking slyly.
My roommates told me his smirk was arrogant and snarky. He just looked amused to me. So I flipped the television back to those music videos, watching as Christmas music soared into my ears.
“Fitting, don’t you think?” Scorpius asked, nodding to it. ‘Baby, it’s Cold Outside’ was on. “It’s a little more than cold, though, if you ask me. How about we change the title? Baby, it’s nonsensically cold outside? Baby, it’s so cold outside I can’t feel my toes? Baby, I need to stop talking before my teeth start chattering?”
“Baby, it’s warm in here.” I shot him a cheeky wink.
His brow arched. “It’s because I’m here,” he whispered playfully.
I nudged him. He nudged me back. So I elbowed him. “Baby,” I said, “I’m glad you’re here.”
He nudged me again, but then grabbed my hand, pulling me against his body and kissing me hard. His lips were still cold from the wind, but his kiss was warm. Scorpius moved a hand to my lower back, his tongue brushing against my lip as we kissed.
None of my shotty exboyfriends had kissed like that. Like there was something welling up inside of them and they couldn’t stand it any longer. That was how Scorpius Malfoy kissed. Like his life depended on it.
His fingers tangled into my hair as the kiss grew more passionate, my hands moving to his chest. His heart thumped against my palm.
I was breathless when he pulled away, my eyes opening slowly to find his gaze already on mine. “Hi,” I stammered, a pink blush already across my cheeks.
“Hey,” Scorpius whispered, pressing his lips to mine again, but only for a fleeting moment. “Sorry, I had to.”
I blushed again, laughing nervously. Our faces were very close and I could feel his hot breath against my skin.
Then he glanced up. My eyes followed. There was mistletoe above us that definitely hadn’t been there before. When I looked back at him, his smirk was back. Playful, a little arrogant, and very attractive. So this time I brushed my fingers across his smooth cheek and leaned in, kissing him.
Bink / Meta - BTQC
“I can’t stand you.” Bink folded his arms over his chest. He was dressed in a thick coat and a hat with the flaps that covered his ears. “Go away.”
Meta opened her locker, tossing her long, brown hair over her shoulder. She never wore a hat. Never needed one. She ignored him, fiddling around in her bag to find her missing shoulder pad.
“No one likes you.”
Meta’s hand gripped a knee pad, a lipstick, and a watch, but not the shoulder pad.
“You’re just a mean person.”
“You’re sounding a lot meaner than me right now, Legace.” Meta shrugged. “Yes!” She pulled out the shoulder pad and slammed the locker closed. “Get over your grudge. You’re just mad girls are wary to sleep with you after what I said.”
“No, shit!” Bink said. He leaned against his locker even though he was desperate for the cold air. His coat was making him sweat. “You could have just told me it was done. You didn’t have to say that. I hope no one’s shagging you now. You don’t deserve it.”
“Well, being with you was like no one was shagging me anyway.” Meta shrugged again with a saucy smirk. The one Bink loathed. “Let it go. We both know you’ll just go seduce a Hufflepuff or something.”
“I don’t shag Hufflepuffs.”
Meta rolled her eyes. “What are you going to say to Potter when he comes back from his fancy family holiday?”
“I’m going to tell him to piss off.”
“No more friends?” Meta beamed.
“I don’t know--why are you even talking to me? We broke up.”
“Because I want to get under your skin, Legace. Is it working?”
“I hope you fall off your broom.” Bink grabbed his scarf. “And then twitch a little when you land. Or a lot. You can decide on the level of twitchery.”
“You’re not even attractive.” Meta strolled toward the door, glancing to her right. Bink was only a meter or two away. “The girls only want to be with you because of the rumors you and Potter started about your talent in the sack. Which, by the way, is lackluster.”
“Like you’re any good.” Bink rolled his eyes. “You just lay there. I mean, sometimes you roll over. But other than that, those are your moves. Impressive, McLaggen. What a catch you are. Does Edwards know about this? I’ll be sure to tell him. And then get someone to let him upstairs to dote on you.”
“It would be better than you. Have you seen the faces you make? God, Legace.”
“Have you seen the faces YOU make?” Bink countered.
Meta narrowed her eyes, walking toward him and pointing at him. “Listen here, git,” she snapped. “I will ruin your fucking life with one snap of my fingers. Don’t think I won’t.”
“You mean in one snap of your fingers you’ll still be here? That will ruin my life.”
“I hate you.”
“I hate you way more.”
Meta shoved him into the locker. “Have fun sucking up to Potter.”
“Have fun trying to shag Potter now that you can’t have me.” Bink folded his arms.
Meta grabbed the collar of his coat, shoving him back against the locker. “Shut up right now, Legace.”
“Or what? Going to off me at school, McLaggen?” He narrowed his eyes.
Neither knew who started it, and neither talked about it afterward, but Bink’s back was knocked hard into the metal lockers again and his lips were on Meta’s as they sank into a tangled embrace to the floor. His coat was shoved away, somehow a tear appearing in the arm. His hat was eventually found next to the door.
Meta’s shoulder pad never turned up again.
Javery – BTQC
I was twenty-eight. These things did not happen to twenty-eight-year-olds. Not in the slightest. Well, I guess they did. But I didn’t want them to. I didn’t want to have carrot-vomit on my sweater, a knot on my head from a rattle, or a cat that wouldn’t come out from under the bed because its tail got yanked one too many times.
I wiped the carrot off my chest, slinging the cloth into the sink for Avery to get later. I would clean it wrong anyway. I grabbed an ice-pack and held it to my head and decided the cat could stay there because I didn’t care about it at the moment. I cared about getting the hell out of my kitchen before my parents came over. They always visited on Christmas Eve. It was annoying. And Mum’s lipstick was always on Dad’s shirt collar. Ew.
I was ready to tackle Christmas Eve with the brute force of a Quidditch Star. Front cover of Quidditch Weekly. Sixteen times. Booyah, McLaggen. I rounded the corner into the living room and stopped dead.
Avery was on the couch, head on a pillow and her feet stretched to the very end. She was in her nice holiday skirt and black tights with a warm red sweater. She was asleep. Malachy, our son, was on her chest, snoozing as well. He was six months old, a complete terror, and the best son a father could ask for. And I picked out his Quidditch footie pajamas. They were manly.
Our two girls were passed out under the Christmas tree. Well, not under. Beside. And sort of almost under. They were in their fancy dresses and white shoes, dark hair sprawled out on the carpet. Carpet complete with dog hair. Godric.
I flicked my wand at the fire, sighing, and brought out a blanket, draping it over both girls. Michelle rolled over. She was the one with Avery’s pretty green eyes. I turned the Christmas music down a little, the crackling of the fire becoming more prevalent. Snow was falling outside, but in flurries. The ground was blanketed from two nights ago.
I sat down in front of the couch, still holding the ice bag to my head, and looked up at Malachy. He was drooling on Avery. Way to go, son.
“Hey.” Avery’s eyes were opened only just, a tiny smile on her lips. “You’re healing well.”
“I’m going to smell like carrots the whole bloody night,” I whispered, leaning over and pressing my lips to hers. “I hope you find that attractive.”
“Only since it’s carrots.” She smirked again, lazily. “If it was beans you’d have to go sit in the snow.”
I kissed her again. “My parents should be here shortly. Should we wake the kids?”
“Let them sleep,” she said. She moved her hand so it didn’t disturb Malachy and laced fingers with mine. “I want to spend some time with my husband.”
“That bloke who carries the mail is going to be jealous.”
“Let him be.” Avery chuckled and Malachy stirred so she stopped. “I love you, James.”
“I love you,” I echoed, kissing her again. I pulled away, my eyes on hers. Her green eyes that I was so fond of. Then I cringed at the knock on the door, triggering the dog’s barking and both girls shooting up like sprouts. “There went that.”
Avery grabbed my hand and pulled me back into a kiss. “They can wait,” she said.
Dan Ellis & Libby – Keep Away / Hide & Seek
Everyone knew I was the greatest. It wasn’t like that wasnt painfully obvious or anything. They were just wary because I was so young. Sixteen now though! Practically old enough to run a country. Definitely old enough in my case. I could run Parliament in my sleep. Maybe even REM sleep. I’d have to see how non-REM worked out first though.
I could certainly handle the job of Seeker again as long as no one hexed me like last year. It was not only humiliating, but it was downright painful watching Perry up there snatching up my glory like a mustard hot dog. She was so arrogant about it too. Always wanting things her way.
Don’t do this, Dan. Don’t do that.
Blah blah blah, woman. I’m the one that saved her from that annoying Libby girl, doesn’t she remember? Elizabeth does. She talks about it frequently.
Since she’s my girlfriend and we spend a lot of time together.
And all that.
But this year is going to be different. I am going to be the star of the Gryffindor Quidditch Team, Perry is going to sit on the bench retying her trainers, and I will have a contract with a professional Cup-qualifying team before the year is out.
“Dan, what’re you doing?”
“Oh, dear God,” I mumbled, glancing over my shoulder. Speak of the Slytherin, Libby was right there twiddling her bloody thumbs. What she was doing on the Quidditch pitch (and in my way) was behind me. “Can I help you?”
“Do you think I should try out for Keeper?”
“Of course,” I replied quickly, voice dripping with sarcasm. “We could all use a laugh at try-outs.”
She sat down on the bench beside me. “Do you think I should get into contact with Oliver?”
“What if he ignores me?”
“Of course.” I nodded. “Or something.” I stood, picking up my broom, and shouldered it. Suddenly, I was a therapist. I wasn’t fond of this. What would Elizabeth say? Probably that, in this moment, I was being far too kind. “I wish you the best.”
“You are far too stupid for your own good,” I snapped, walking toward the center of the pitch. She could get a brain transplant with a Ravenclaw and still be a complete idiot.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Try out for Quidditch,” I called back to her, “Goodness knows you’ll at least make the Quaffle look like a good Keeper.”
She made one of those ‘hmpf’ noises girls so often make. I’d never understand them. Like a pout, but vocalized. She wanted me to turn around. To face her head-on as I insulted her. It was her fault she was an idiot. And my fault for letting her speak to me. For not being more obvious in the last five years of classes that I wanted nothing to do with her, especially after the pus incident third year.
“Do you think Jane Perry’s even coming back this year?” Libby ventured. I could hear her feet shuffling against the grass as she followed.
What kind of –? No. One does not shuffle on Quidditch grass. It’s delicate. Springy. No shuffling.
“What kind of a question is that?” I said, irritated. I unhooked each latch on the trunk and crouched down, opening it. “Of course she is. She has to complete her seventh year.”
“I’ve seen her in all the papers. I bet she’s not coming back.”
“She’s the reserve Seeker. She has to come back.”
“You want her to?”
“Do you want to get hexed?” I looked up at her. Her face reminded me of one of those pug dogs mixed with a rat. A really ugly rat. The furry ones from the London sewers.
“Do you have a crush on her, Dan?”
I stared for a moment, dumbstruck. Not only would Elizabeth certainly be hearing about this, but the assumption itself was absurd. “Ex-excuse me?” I stammered. One of the few times I’ve ever stammered. Shock does that to even the most talented of individuals.
“I bet you do.”
“You know what? You’d make a lovely Keeper. I’ll see you at try-outs.” I nodded to her, mounted my broom, and took off after the Snitch I released moments before.
Bloody impossible women.
Bink / Haley Star – BTQC
I glanced up. Bink Legace was standing next to me in the common room, blond hair falling over his forehead. He looked a little drunk to be honest, but he couldn’t be. No, it was a trick of the light. And he smelled like booze. He plopped down on the couch next to me.
“Hi there,” I ventured. I didn’t know what else to say. We talked at try-outs. During practice. But not much outside of it. Bink didn’t make a habit of hanging around sixth years when it wasn’t sure he’d be getting some. Which he wouldn’t from me.
It was tequila he smelled like. Tequila and lime.
“Reading.” I held up my Potions book.
“Sounds stupid,” Bink noted. He put his feet up on my lap and leaned back, closing his eyes. “Have fun.”
I shoved his feet off my, pinching him so hard he yelped. “Can I help you, Legace? What do you want?”
“A bloody nap,” he said. “I was comfortable!” He rubbed his thigh bitterly.
“And stay off.” I shot him a smirk and leaned back, crossing my legs.
“Go on a date with me, Haley,” Bink said.
“Then let’s just have sex.”
“How about a snog?”
“Who dared you to do this, Legace? I’ll see to it that they’re murdered.”
Bink nudged me with his foot. “Come on, Star. Let’s go on a date. I’ll wine and fucking dine the shit out of you.”
I glanced over, book still open in my lap. “Go get me a margarita.”
“And then you’ll go out with me?”
Bink Legace was gone like the wind. The portrait hole slammed shut behind him. I could never figure him out. The way he operated. He seemed like a fun bloke, but the moment a girl’s guard fell he pounced on her like a lion on a wounded gazelle. I didn’t want to be a gazelle. Or anything wounded. Honestly, I wanted to kick his ass around the fucking block.
But he was nice enough.
Especially when he sauntered back in the portrait hole holding a frozen strawberry margarita with a bendy straw. He handed it to me.
“I’m not sleeping with you,” I said.
“Okay.” He moved back onto the couch and put his feet up on my lap again. This time, I didn’t move them.
The margarita was amazing.
Quidditch Team Bake Sale (ish) – BTQC
“All right team,” I said, glancing around at them. We were in the kitchens and we were on a fucking mission. “We have to have this shit done tonight or we won’t have anything to sell at the bake sale.”
“And we can’t just buy them...why?” Bink wrinkled his nose. He was looking at the instructions on the side of a box of cake mix.
“Because we want to turn a big profit,” I explained, leaning on the counter. “We’re going to do this in shifts. Like an assembly line, but without the unattractive goggles and overalls.” I always pictured it that way, though assembly lines probably looked different. “Aves, you get to add the stuff to the bowls. Bink, Freddie, you’re in charge of the mixers. Wes, you and Paloma will spoon the cookies onto the sheets. Lily, you’re in charge of putting them into the ovens and timing them and making sure they do not burn.”
“What are you doing then?” Lily asked, a hand moving to her hip.
This proved harder than I thought it would. Avery did just fine. She cracked eggs and tossed butter into the large mixing bowls. She added the mix from the box and wiped her brow with the back of her hand. It was going well.
Until Fred and Bink turned on the mixers.
More batter landed out of the bowl than inside of it. Bink was dripping in snickerdoodle.
“That’s a good look,” Lily teased with a grin, taking the mixer from him and turning it off. “Shall we try again?” She glanced over to me. “By the way, the ovens are preheated. Everything is ready. It’s your Chasers who are slowing us down.”
Fred took a handful of the batter and threw it right at Lily’s face.
She yelped, taking the bowl from him and dumping it over his head. Cookie badder mixed with his dark hair as Fred stood there, gaping at my baby sister.
“WAR!” he cried angrily, grabbing for the bag of flour. He barely got it over his head before Bink leaned over and shoved a pair of scissors into it.
Fred’s entire body was covered in flour.
“We should just bake you,” Wesley said impatiently. He was clicking the spoon against his lap. That got him a fistful of chocolate chips to the face.
“Okay, okay, settle down,” I said, putting out my hands. The kitchen was a mess and I was being eyed suspiciously by a few passing elves. Not my fault my Quidditch team was incompetent. “Let’s just start over, okay? Help clean up this mess.”
“What’re you going to do?” Avery asked, narrowing her eyes.
Well, at least the badder tasted good when it was poured over my head. I gaped at my team, all of whom were giggling, and narrowed my eyes. “Laps,” I said with a nod. “Until your bloody legs fall off.”
Lily saluted me. “Shall we continue?”
“Of course.” I took a bag of flour and chucked it at her, then grabbed Avery’s hand and tugged her behind one of the kitchen islands. “War!”
She laughed, looking over at me. Then she grabbed some icing and put it on her fingers. She smeared it across my cheekbones. “War paint,” she said.
I could hear bowls crashing around the kitchens, clanging loudly as Bink let out a masculine war cry. Which also might have been a mating call. I couldn’t quite tell.
“Ew, stop!” Lily cried.
Definitely a mating call.
“STAY AWAY FROM MY SISTER.” I looked down at the icing on Avery’s fingers. “Did you have to pick pink?”
“It’s your color.” She smirked.
I grabbed the frosting, sitting up on my knees, and threw it at the group. It hit Paloma on the side of the head. She shrieked and turned toward me, eyes on fire.
“JAMES POTTER!” Paloma cried, grabbing a handful of chocolate chips and marching toward me.
I ducked and grabbed Avery around the middle. “Save me!” I whined. “She’s going to kill me.”
“You covered her with icing,” Avery mumbled. “You’re on your own.” She kept thinking that, too, until her hair was streaked pink with the icing I’d left on the counter. Paloma smirked. “Oh, hell no!” Avery jumped up, receiving chocolate chips down her shirt, and did her own war cry.
Which was strangely sexy.
I, in turn, clung to her legs since I was already covered in various cookie mixes and ingredients.
“Wes!” I cried.
“Don’t look at my sister when she has cookie mix on her!”
“You have a sister?”
Javery Gift-Giving – BTQC
Our first Christmas together. This wasn’t like a stupid anniversary or something. This was the real thing. Christmas. The celebrated holiday of adoration and gift-giving and all-around merriment. So needless to say, I was petrified. I shopped for weeks trying to find the right gift for Avery. I couldn’t find anything worthy of her. Except maybe that fruit basket only because I wanted her to share it with me. The kiwis looked yummy.
We agreed to meet at my place since the ‘rents were at the Burrow treating Lily like she was four and Albus was off with Paloma celebrating Christmas with a snog or a shag or something. Ew. Picturing that was not doing much for my gag reflex.
When she arrived, she was wearing a pretty red dress that hugged her body, her hair falling down around her shoulders. She had cut it a few inches shorter in November and I liked it that way. I liked her any way, really.
She carried a small square box with a scarlet ribbon on top.
My palms were sweaty. My present sucked. I had to take it back. Right now. On Christmas. She would hate it. Then she’d break up with me.
Oh my god, Avery was going to break up with me on Christmas.
I was practically single.
“Hey,” she said with a smile, leaning over and giving me a kiss.
She hated me.
And my present. And everything about me.
“Hey.” I smiled nervously. “Can I get you a drink?”
“Cocoa is fine.” Avery placed her coat over the arm of the chair and sat down on the sofa. She placed her gift on the coffee table. “You did a great job on the tree.”
“Lily did most of it,” I noted, grabbing two cocoas from the kitchen. “I stood around and gave her advice on where the best ornaments went.”
“Is that why all of yours are toward the back?”
“She doesn’t take direction very well.”
Avery laughed. “How was your Christmas?”
“Mum made me clean up all the wrapping paper.” I set both mugs on the coffee table and sat a safe distance away from her in case she wanted to break up already.
“So it’s all stuffed in the closet?”
“Don’t open it or it’ll rain wrapping paper.” I smirked.
Avery grinned and took a sip of her cocoa. She loved Mum’s recipe, who altered Grandmum’s just a bit by adding some nutmeg. “Want to do gifts then?”
Prepare for life as a single bloke, James. You’d have to start playing the field again.
“Yours first,” I said quickly.
“Nope.” Avery grinned and set her mug back on the table. “I want to open yours first.”
I grumbled a little and walked over to the large spruce. I grabbed the large rectangular box out from under it and carried it to her. It was only a few inches thick and wrapped in blue paper with which snowflakes. I stuck on a dark blue bow. Quite festive of me. Even Lily thought so.
She beamed at me and ripped open the paper. She tore the tape off of the white boxer underneath and pulled off the lid.
“James,” Avery breathed, her brows raising.
“You can break up with me if you want. It sucks.” I closed my eyes tight, waiting for the blow.
Except she didn’t break up with me. She threw her arms around me and kissed me hard, falling on top of me on the couch. I almost choked since I was still mid-swallow of the cocoa. I looked up at her, completely puzzled.
“I love it,” she said.
Avery regained her composure and sat up, taking the jersey from the box. It was a lightweight Gryffindor jersey. The kind I’d introduced at the end of last year that we never got to wear, as graduating seventh years. I thought they were easier to run laps in than robes. Avery had been mildly upset after all those years of wearing the robes around (or her sports bra).
So I got her one made. Gryffindor colors. Her number on the back with FLYNN across the top. The Gryffindor lion was on the front.
“This is the most amazing gift ever,” Avery said. She pulled it on over her dress. Somehow, it made her all the more attractive.
I grinned. “Yeah?”
“You’re going to hate my gift.”
“I am not! I thought you were going to hate mine.”
“Yeah! I was prepared to try and find love again.”
Avery snorted with laughter, picking up her box. She handed it to me. “Go on then. Let’s see what you think. If you hate it, I’m going to have to find love again.”
I bit my lip and untied the bow. I set the box on my lap for a moment and took the ribbon, tying it around my head like a war band. I probably looked badass. Or really, really foolish.
I unwrapped the box, tossing the paper onto her lap, and lifted the lid. Inside was a slip of paper and four chocolate truffles. I popped one into my mouth. Milk chocolate. Delicious.
Avery’s leg was bouncing anxiously.
The slip of paper was small. I unfolded it and read, “Merry Christmas, James. This coupon is good for an entire night of sex. Save the rest of the truffles for some fun.”
I nearly choked as I looked up at her.
“I’m sorry, you thought I was going to break up with you?” I gaped.
I snorted and pulled off my shirt. “Best Christmas ever.”
Draco / Astoria
It was days like this that made everything worth it. Every argument, every disagreement with his parents, and every time I wanted to get out of this house. Draco’s parents insisted we stay at the manor after they relocated to southern France. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it, of course, but a place that had seen so much already had a history. It felt like a borrowed home.
Draco insisted it was fine. We remodeled several of the rooms, put on several fresh coats of paint to liven things up, but it still felt like someone else’s home. Not mine.
Daphne got to have her own country cottage with her husband. I got a manor that gave away every creek of my footsteps.
Not that I should complain. Draco and I were happy. Happier than we had ever been before.
I owed that to the little boy in front of us. Scorpius Hyperion was almost a year old. His birthday was in a couple weeks and the gifts shipped from relatives were already tucked away in one of the manor’s many room-sized closets. He had a tuft of blond hair like his father, but his eyes were mine. He was busy chewing on the ear of his teddy bear, smirking up at me in his navy Christmas sweater and corduroy pants.
“I’ve found the camera,” Draco called from the other room. “Is he doing anything yet?”
“Staring, mostly,” I said with a smile. I smoothed Scorpius’s hair. “Hasn’t noticed the presents. He’s still preoccupied with Teddy.”
“We should give it a more interesting name,” he commented. “Why not something prestigious?”
“I think Scorpius has all the prestige necessary,” I said with a small laugh. My robe was spread out around me on the floor. “Here you go, love.” I handed him his first present.
Scorpius scared down at it, puzzled expression on his pudgy face.
“Open it.” Draco smirked and knelt down, the camera in his hands. My parents had sent it to us for all of Scorpius’s first moments. Since they were so far away and my father couldn’t Apparate, we promised to record as many of them as possible. It wasn’t like Daphne was having children anytime soon.
Scorpius looked between us and abandoned Teddy for the present. He ran his stubby fingers across it. Draco, impatient, leaned over and ripped part of the paper off. Scorpius yelped.
“If he has a fondness for neatness like you do, I will give up on life,” he grumbled.
I laughed and kissed his cheek. “You will love him.”
“Go on, Scorp,” I whispered, tearing at the paper a little more.
His little eyes followed my movements as his hands reached out. He tore a little piece. Then a little more. The box under the paper was a shiny gold. He squealed and tore the rest of it off, throwing the paper hard at his father. “Gah!” he cried.
Draco was beaming. At first glance, he didn’t seem like the fatherly type, but he was. More than I ever imagined. He got up in the middle of the night, insisted against his parents’ wishes that we didn’t hire a nanny, and read him bedtime stories before he drifted off to sleep. And not all of them were about Slytherins.
“Look at him,” Draco said with a grin. “He loves it.”
I leaned my head against Draco’s shoulder and helped our son open the box. Inside was a small, stuffed gray horse with glass eyes. Scorpius stared hard at it.
“It’s yours,” I insisted with a laugh, picking up the horse and putting it in his hands.
Scorpius turned it over a few times. And then stuffed it in his mouth.
“You’d better hope he doesn’t do that with your gifts,” Draco noted with a smirk.
“And what are my gifts?” I asked.
He wrapped his arms around me while Scorpius gnawed on the animal. “Do you remember when I asked you to marry me?”
“No, of course not.” I rolled my eyes.
How could I not remember us arguing in the back garden of the manor after his parents insisted he marry some twat girl and my parents insist I marry someone who didn’t have such twat parents? Even though we weren’t married, weren’t going to get married, and hadn’t so much as slept together. We had been dating for a little over six months, fought more than we should have, and were heading in a downward spiral.
Until Draco grabbed my shoulders, kissed me hard, shoved my against a tree, kissed me again, and told me in a gruff voice to marry him.
And I said yes.
Draco smirked and pulled a box out of his pocket. He handed it to me.
I raised a brow and opened it. Inside was a platinum ring with swirls twisting up to a point, made to look like a stem. He had tied a leaf stem to my finger. After, he bought an expensive engagement ring and proposed properly, but that was just a formality.
I stared. “It’s a stem.”
“It’s a leaf stem.” Draco kissed my cheek.
I slipped the ring on beside my wedding band. It was beautiful. I moved my finger a little and showed it off. “Scorpius, if you could not put Mummy’s ring in your mouth, I would appreciate it.”
He giggled and spit out the horse. Saliva went everywhere. Draco kissed the tip of my nose and picked up the horse, wiping it on his trousers. He handed it back to Scorpius and kissed him on the top of the head. “Merry Christmas, son.”
Fred II / OC
Bored. Bored. Bored.
I leaned over the counter, arm propping up my head. So bored. Mondays were boring. No one shopped on Mondays because they were boring. We should have been closed on Mondays. I made a mental note to tell Dad to boycott Mondays.
I jumped, almost jamming my elbow into the register. “Shit,” I said, looking up.
A pretty blond girl was in front of me. She placed two large bags of candy on the counter. She was tall with pretty hazel eyes and a low-cut top. What? I was a guy. That’s what I paid attention to. And her hips, but let’s not get too in depth.
“That all for you?” I rubbed my shin after knocking it into the shelving below the counter and weighed the candy, punching numbers into the register.
“It is.” She smiled. I liked her smiling.
It obviously wasn’t because of my amazing WWW apron, which was frayed at the edges. I forgot mine at home and had to borrow one of the extras in the back.
“Brilliant.” I ruffled my hair. That was stupid. I wished I could take back the ruffling.
“Are you going to get more candy in soon?” she asked.
“Yeah.” I nodded. “Our orders come in Thursdays.”
“Are you going to be here Thursday?”
“Fred.” I put her candy in a paper bag. “Four Sickles.”
Lydia smiled again and placed the coins on the counter. “You look bored.”
“You’re the only customer I’ve had in four hours,” I noted with a shrug. “Mondays are slow.”
“You should boycott.”
“Tell my father that.” I put the money in the drawer and slid the bag across the counter at her. “Thanks for stopping in.”
“Look. It’s raining.”
I glanced over. It was. Hard. “I see that,” I said. “Looks like even less people will be stopping in today. Lucky me.” I plopped down on the stool behind the counter.
Lydia shrugged and hopped up to sit on the counter. I didn’t stop her. Dad was upstairs in the flat and no one else was there. She crossed her legs and opened the bag, offering me a piece, which I took. “Guess you’ll have to deal with my company.”
“Oh, the pain.” I grinned at her. “Why are you out shopping today anyway?”
“Bored.” She tossed a toffee in the air and caught it between her teeth. “Spending money tends to cure that.”
“Until you run out,” I noted.
“I don’t think four Sickles will break me.” She twisted her body around, looking at me. “You’re cute.”
“I know.” I shot her a smirk.
“And just keep getting cuter.”
“Am I going to have to ask for your owl information or are you just going to show up Thursday looking for more candy?” I leaned back and put my hands behind my head. Arrogance was a natural expression of mine.
Lydia hopped down off the counter. “We’ll have to see, won’t we?” She closed the candy bag and placed it in her purse. “Looks like it’s clearing up out there.”
I looked. It wasn’t.
“I’ll see you, Fred.” She shot me a wink and walked straight out the door, the pouring rain soaking her in seconds. She paused in the alleyway for a minute, glancing both ways. Her clothes clung to her body.
So, naturally, I did the only thing any bloke would do. I leapt out from behind the counter, threw the doors open, and followed her into the rain. I grabbed her shoulders and turned her around, kissing her right then and there.
“What if I have a boyfriend?” Lydia said into my lips.
“What if I have a girlfriend?”
“Do you?” I asked.
“Maybe,” she replied.
“Maybe I do too.”
“Do you care?” Lydia opened her eyes. Rain was streaming down her face.
I kissed her again. I was never boycotting Mondays again.
Albus / Paloma Dove - BTQC
James told me Potter boys don’t talk about feelings. Or act anything but manly. Or be obvious gentlemen. So I wasn’t quite sure what I was supposed to act like on my date with Paloma. We went into Hogsmeade, avoiding most of the other couples heading to The Three Broomsticks or that really pink place that made me feel awkward.
I was dressed nice. Collared shirt with an argyle sweatervest. Paloma said she liked it. She was in a black and gray skirt and chunky knit sweater with a belt. I couldn’t stop staring.
What was wrong with me?
We’d been out several times. I liked her. She liked me (probably).
Yet this was what we were doing. Hanging out, talking late into the night, going on dates, and remaining who we were.
What would I do if she started going on dates with other blokes? Kill them? Probably.
What would she do if I accepted that date offer from that Hufflepuff girl with the pretty blue eyes? I didn’t know. I wasn’t at all sure how Paloma felt.
Because Paloma never told me how she felt.
I sat across from her at the small Italian restaurant, my fingers wringing the napkin in my lap. She was talking about her Charms homework, stuff I’d done the year before. She wasn’t struggling in it, but she was annoyed that Wesley was asking her for help. She said it distracted her.
In what way? I wasn’t sure, but I didn’t ask.
It was a nice restaurant. Free breadsticks (James’s favorite part when he suggested it to me) and a table near the window. It let me look places other than her chest. Not that I was a pig or anything. But if I looked at her eyes too much she would think I was a Stage Fiver and James said that was the worst.
“Thanks for bringing me out,” Paloma said with a grin. Her cheeks were a little flushed.
“Thanks for agreeing.” Why was she so pretty?
I’d had a crush on Paloma Dove since second year when I saw her walk up to that hat with confidence that freaked me out. She plopped down on the stool, shoved the hat on her head, and it contemplated for three full minutes before declaring her a Gryffindor. Then she sauntered to the table without so much as a blink. I always wondered what happened there. What other house or houses the hat potentially considered for her. Sometimes I think I have an idea, but other times I’m at a loss.
After that I made a point to see her between classes. To take the couch a few chairs over from her. She was pretty as a first year. She was beautiful as a fifth year.
“I like you, Al.”
I glanced up, the shock obvious in my expression because she laughed.
“Are you surprised?”
“Kind of, yes.”
“Why?” Paloma bit down on her lip, eyelashes fluttering.
“You fancied my brother.”
“I didn’t fancy him,” Paloma insisted. “I thought he was cute and he was the Captain.” She shrugged.
“So you...lusted him?” I wrinkled my nose. “So uncomfortable about this.”
“I had a crush. Shut up.” She kicked me under the table. “Can we stop talking about your brother?”
Gladly. I hated James and his stupid breadsticks and stupid getting my crush to crush on him. It was his hair or something.
I reminded myself that I had the same hair and decided it was his eyes.
“Your eyes are really sexy,” Paloma said quietly.
Just kidding. Not his eyes at all. Ha!
“Your...” I paused and looked at her. “Nevermind.” My ears were warm.
“Do you want to bail?”
“On our date?” I asked. “Why? So you can go snog my brother?”
Paloma kicked me harder. She was a violent woman. Then again, she was a Beater for the Gryffindor Quidditch team, so that sort of came with the package. I reminded myself to stay on her good side. “No,” she said. “I was going to bail so I could snog you outside in the alley since I think it’s a little inappropriate to do it in here.”
I gaped at her. Then I threw my napkin on the table, grabbed her hand, and pulled her out the door.
Lily / Wesley – BTQC
We were in the attic. Not because I wanted to be, but because James was downstairs and I knew if he caught wind of Wesley being here he would hex him so fast I wouldn’t even get a chance to kill him first. However, afterward, I would be able to do that.
I snuck him in the back door while James was arguing with Albus over the quality of sweatervests and up the stairs into the attic. It was dusty and smelled a little like old Quidditch gear, but he didn’t seem to mind. He pulled the white sheet off of the old sofa and sat down on it, patting the space next to him.
“Ah, the Potter house at the holidays,” Wesley said with a smirk. “Such a welcoming environment.”
“At least my parents love you,” I replied with a grin, sitting next to him and tucking my legs up under my body. “And Albus doesn’t mind you. Sometimes.”
“Why did you have to have two older brothers?”
“Blame Mum and Dad,” I said. “I certainly didn’t ask for them.”
“Can you exchange them for a younger sister or something?” he asked.
“Oh, you mean so she could fawn all over you? I’ll pass.” I smirked, moving my hair nervously behind my ear. “How about I trade them in to be an only child so you can actually sit down there with me by the tree without being fawned over or hexed?”
“I’ll take that.” Wes smirked. “So where is this gift you told me about? I want you to open mine first.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small rectangular box.
“Like I’d fight you on that.” I rolled my eyes and took it from him. “You didn’t have to get me something, you know.” It wasn’t like we were together or anything. Seriously. Or anything at all. We were just mates. Who gave each other those stares you read about in books.
I wished that would stop.
James probably did too. He was running out of hexes.
“Open it already.”
I nodded, lifting the top off the box and gasped. “Shit,” I whispered. I pulled out a thin, silver necklace was a small emerald on the end. It was simple and beautiful. “Wesley...”
“You can skip the part where I didn’t have to do this and blah blah blah and just let me put it on you.”
I handed it over and Wesley draped it around my neck, leaning over to clasp the back. He brushed my hair back and grinned.
“You look great,” he said. “Seriously.”
I beamed, my face hot. “You didn’t--”
“Now you can tell me how much you like it.”
“I love it.”
“You’re catching on quick,” Wesley insisted. He was beaming. “Where’s yours then? Did you get me the same thing? I thought maybe that might be the case...I look very good in green.”
“I thought about it,” I said with a brief laugh. I looked at him. “Are you ready?”
“For my necklace? Of course.”
“Close your eyes.”
“Are you going to give me a million galleons? I knew it.”
“Close them.” I used my fingers to force his eyes closed. I took out a box and placed it in his hands.
“Can I open it?” He scrunched up his nose.
“Okay. Open it.”
“Can I open my eyes?”
I groaned. “Open your eyes and open the damn box, Wes.”
Wesley chuckled and looked down at the square box, pulling the top off. Inside was a small piece of paper saying Merry Christmas. “Well, you went all out, didn’t you?”
Then I leaned in and kissed him.
Thanks again to everyone who requested these :) They were so much fun to write! I'll have to do this again sometime.
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