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The Adventures of Abigail Higgs and Potter Boy by alicia and anne
Chapter 18 : The One When I Go Home For Christmas
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 2


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A/N: Once again a massive thank you to my beta Sam, the greatest beta I could ask for. :D 

Here's a long chapter for you all, I hope you enjoy it, let me know! See you all in three days!
 




“I didn’t realise that you were going to pick me up today, I thought that mum and dad were” I stated as I walked over to my brother, who was waiting for me. I saw him leaning against the wall with his hands in his pockets as he looked over at me.

I carried Snowball’s cage over with me; he was laying down and peering out at everyone that we passed. Darryl took the cage from me so that he was holding it instead.

“Well, mum and dad are both working, so I thought that instead of making you walk home - as hilarious as it would have been, I realised that I couldn’t put Snowball through that pain - I would come and get you instead.”

“Oh, yes, you’ve got to think of the cat's feelings over mine; he would have been fine if I had to walk home, even though by the time I would have got home it would have been time to come back to school,” I stated, knowing that it would have taken me forever to walk home if my brother decided to make me walk, not that my dad would have let me walk; him and mum would have come to find me and subsequently punished my brother for leaving me.

I turned to look around the platform for Michelle, seeing that she was across the platform and talking to her parents. I would have said goodbye to her, but with the busyness on the platform at the moment, it would have been quite difficult to do. So I decided to just send her a letter later and apologise for not being able to say goodbye, wondering if I could just blame my brother. I knew that I would anyway; Michelle wouldn’t know any different would she?

I followed my brother as we walked over to the exit off the platform. I noticed that we passed James as we walked; he was talking with his dad but turned to look at me as I passed and gave me a wink and a wave, before returning to conversation with his dad. I smiled as I followed my brother, who seemed oblivious to the exchange that had just happened, out of the platform.

“I thought that dad was off today,” I enquired as we walked out of Kings Cross Station, making sure to avoid all of the commuters in their rush to either get home or get to work.

“He was called in for a meeting,” Darryl told me, shifting Snowball so that he was holding the handle of the cage with his other hand. Snowball was quite heavy at times. I probably shouldn’t feed his as much, although most of that wasn’t my fault; I swear he’s going down to the kitchens when he’s not in the dormitory and is getting fed by the House Elves, or when he’s in the dormitory is being fed by my other room mates. I should probably put him on a diet; he will not be happy about that at all.

“What kind of meeting?” I asked him as we walked out onto the street. I knew that Darryl was taking us to a secluded place that the ministry had approved so that we would be able to apparate home without any muggles being around to see us.

“Something about a new idea for one of his books; he seemed quite excited about it, so he’ll probably tell us all about it when he gets home,” Darryl said with a smile, before stopping down a side street and looking around. I held onto the arm that he was holding Snowball's cage with and Darryl apparated us away.

We landed in our front garden. The familiar feeling of having been sucked through a tube flooded through me and I felt slightly nauseated, but I knew that would pass quite quickly. Snowball gave a meow of indignation to tell us that he didn’t appreciate the apparation, but there was no other way to get us home; we didn’t live that close to Kings Cross station so apparation and the floo network were our only options to get me to school. Darryl handed me Snowball before going over to the door and opening it, I followed after him and he closed the door behind me as I entered the house. I placed the cat basket onto the floor and opened the door of it, Snowball walked out of the cage and gave a stretch before darting into the front room and away from us; he seemed quite happy to be home, just like I was.

I loved coming home a lot; when I was at Hogwarts I missed my family a lot. As bad as it sounded I am actually quite glad that I do not have that long left at Hogwarts, although back in the day I didn’t really have many things going on that would make me want to stay at Hogwarts, except of course the lessons and the learning of how to control my own magic. The only thing I didn’t really like was the other students; they weren’t that nice a bunch of people at times, although now I have James to keep me company at school, mainly due to his own doing at being around me all the time, following me and finding me in the corridors and sitting next to me in classes. I still found it weird at times that he was around me so much, so now that he was around me more it felt nice to actually have someone and something to make me want to stay at Hogwarts and enjoy my time there a lot more.

“I’m going to go and put my stuff in my room,” I called to Darryl as I began to make my way up the stairs and to my room. I heard him call back at me from the kitchen.

“Alright, I will let you know when Mum and Dad come back. Do you want a drink?”

“No, I’m alright, thank you,” I told him as I got to the top of the stairs and made my way over to the closed door that would lead to my bedroom. I opened the door and smiled as I looked around the room, happy that I was home; it felt good, and it felt right. I pulled my backpack off of my back and threw it down on to the floor beside my bed, before lying down on my bed and giving a sigh of relief.

I glanced around my room, loving that everything was exactly how I had left it months ago when I was last here, aside from some tidying being done. The floor looked like it had been cleaned and my bed covers were changed and smelt like the washing powder that my mother used, but other than that it was all the same.

Various posters lined my walls, mainly promotional ones of various comic books that I had read over the years, a small selection of them were of bands that I loved or that my brother had got me into. I also had a few framed sketches that my father had made me, each of them featuring myself as a superhero, as well as my other family members. There were a few drawings that my niece had drawn for me that were stuck around. The various ornaments and action figures that adorned my bookshelves in front of the vast amount of books and comics that were crammed into the space, a huge pile stacked beside it as I had run out of room. I must have a word with dad about building me another book shelf or book case, but I knew that it would not be long until that one too was as filled to the brim as this one was.

I heard a small padding of feet walking to my bedroom door and looked over to see that Snowball had found his way upstairs; he had managed to push the door open and slinked in. He gave me a meow before he walked over to his bed, that was situated in front of the radiator. I knew that he loved lying there, when we were home it was where he spent most of his time, mainly sleeping. He was a very lazy cat, but then again what cat isn’t lazy?

~~

It was a few hours later that my father and mother came home. I was now downstairs and was sitting with my brother in the kitchen, catching up with what he was doing with his life, what he had been up to lately and any fresh gossip from the family that he would have to tell me. There was none.

“Pumpkin,” my father cried as he walked in the room and held his arms out for a hug. I rushed over to him with a smile and hugged him tightly; he was a portly man with a round belly, his dark hair was beginning to speckle with grey and I noticed that he had a lot more in it now then he had beforehand when I had last seen him.

“How have you been, darling?” he asked me as he moved away from me and looked me over. “You get taller and taller every time you leave me, I don’t like it, you should go back to being a baby and staying at home with me all the time.”

“Oh Dad, I wish that I could,” I told him, turning to my mother and giving her a big hug. She kissed the top of my head.

“I’ve missed you, Abigail,” she said to me as she hugged me extra tightly. “We saved putting up and decorating the Christmas tree for when you came home, as much as Darryl wanted us to do it beforehand.”

“I love decorating the tree, it is my favourite thing to do,” I said with a grin as I moved away from my mother.

“We know, that’s why we made Darryl wait. He wasn’t happy about that.”

“No, I wasn’t,” Darryl agreed with my dad and mum. I turned to look at him and shook my head at him. “But, I get to put the star on the tree, because I had to wait so long.”

I gave a loud and dramatic sigh at his words. “Fine, I shall let you put the star on the top of the tree.”

Darryl gave a laugh and shook his head. “As if you had a choice, little sister. I am taller and I have hidden the star so that you can’t get to it.”

“You are pure evil.”

“No,” Darryl countered to me. “I am a genius, there is a difference.”

I shook my head as I turned to look back at my father, who was currently making himself a cup of tea. I could see an extra cup next to it and noticed that it was my favourite mug; he was going to be making me a hot chocolate. It really felt so good to come home and be with my family.

“So how did your meeting go, Dad?” I asked him, walking over to the side and watching as he finished the drinks, noticing that he was putting whipped cream on the top of my hot chocolate. I gave a smile.

“It went really well. I’ve come up with a new childrens book and the publishers love my idea, so I have got to come up with more things to show them. Which means that I will be down in my office working on it for the rest of the day. If you want, you can come and join me,” Dad said, handing me my hot chocolate. I took it gratefully.

“So what is it about? What’s the plan?” I asked him as I followed him out of the room and off towards the direction of his office.

“I have come up with a character called Ghoulish Graham and I am going to write about his adventures in the wizarding world and the Muggle world. The publishers said that it was a very promising idea.”

I nodded as we entered the office and I took my usual seat in the soft armchair by the window, placing my cup of hot chocolate on to the window ledge, whilst my father took a seat at his desk and placed his own drink on his desk.

“So,” I said to him. “Tell me everything you have planned for Ghoulish Graham.”

I had spent the rest of the night with my father, much like I used to when I was younger. We bounced ideas off of each other as I took a seat at his drawing desk, pulling some parchment towards me and drawing down my own ideas that I had for Ghoulish Graham. It felt like I hadn’t been away, as though this is what I had been doing instead of school.

The only time that we were interrupted was when my mother made us go to the dining room for dinner, but even then our conversation was just continued from back in my father’s office, as though we hadn’t been interrupted.

My mother merely rolled her eyes, used to our behaviour, before engaging my brother in conversation.

~~~

It was great to be at home, even if I did have to see my brother, who had become more annoying since I had been gone, but a lovable annoying. My sister had arrived this morning, which was Christmas Eve morning, with my niece Christina, who I had missed more than anything else in this world. I absolutely loved her and me and my brother always had fights over who her favourite was. I knew it was me, there was no contest. My sister would have been here sooner, but Christina had to go and visit her father’s side of the family; my sister and he had separated not long after Christina had been born and the split was just about amicable. He had asked to see his daughter over some of Christmas and they had worked out a time that suited both of them; the only thing was that he would be getting her over New Years, so they would be leaving not long after Christmas.

Or at least that’s what I overheard my sister telling my mum when I stole my brothers owl to send a last minute gift. I had sent my others earlier on in the week and had been deliberating whether or not to actually send this one, which was my present to James.

It had taken me nearly all day to sum up the courage to send my gift, the fear of what James would think about it almost stopping me, but I finally done it. And now I regretted it more than anything else I had done.

I can’t believe that I sent it. I was such an idiot and a loser, and James was finally going to see it.

I had been talking to him since September and I’m already getting him a present - well, I had already sent him a present. He was going to think that I was weird, he would then feel obligated to get me one in return, or he would just ignore it and I would have to live in the shame forever.

I watched as my family’s owl continued to fly off into the night, resisting the urge to yell for it to come back to me. I would upset the neighbours and I would then have to face the questions from my family about why I’m yelling at birds out of my window.

I was just going to have to live with this.

I was going to have to live like a recluse and pretend that we weren’t friends anymore.

He was going to think that I was crazy; he was going to throw my present in the bin and never talk to me again.

Why did I think that this was a good idea?

“Are you going to come downstairs?”

I turned around at the sound of the voice and saw that it was my sister; she was standing at the doorframe and looking at me pacing around my room in frustration. She didn’t know the reason for my madness; she just knew that I was mad.

“Yeah, I’ll be down in a minute. I need to just finish what I’m doing,” I finish lamely.

She watched me for a while before she responded. “Are you okay?” she asked me.

I nodded and stopped pacing, “Yeah, perfectly fine.”

“What’s up?”

I gave a groan as I sat down on the edge of my bed and put my head in my hands, “I’ve done something that I may regret.”

My sister walked over to my bed and took a seat next to me, “I see,” she said from next to me. “What kind of something?”

“I may have sent a Christmas present to a boy I liked,”

“And that is bad because...”

“Because, what if we’re not at the stage of sending Christmas gifts to each other? What if he receives it and then realises that he has to get me a gift in return, what if I’ve made him feel obligated to get one and he detests me for it? What if he hates my gift? What if he just ignores that I ever sent one to him and we’re both filled with awkwardness around each other? What if I have ruined everything?"

“I don’t think that you’ve ruined everything,” my sister told me comfortingly. “I think that he’ll love the gift, I assume that you’re talking about James?”

I nodded.

“Talking about a boy, are we?”

We both looked up at the new voice and saw our brother watching us from the doorway.

I rolled my eyes at him before nodding.

“Ah, boy problems? Tell me where he lives and I’ll sort him out,” my brother told me, clenching a fist before punching it into his other hand.

My sister scoffed from next to me, “He could probably take you before you got to him.”

“I could beat him up for you, don’t listen to Sarah; she’s just jealous that I wouldn’t beat anyone up for her.”

“You can’t beat anyone up, you’re a coward,” Sarah told him honestly and Darryl shot her a glare before turning back to look at me. I watched in amusement as my two siblings fought amongst each other.

“Be that as it may, if he wrongs you in anyway, I’ll be the first backing up dad in hurting him. Although, you’re not allowed to like boys yet,” my brother told me with a frown on his face as he crossed his arms. I gave a scoff at his words. “You’re way too young, Abigail.”

“I’m sixteen years old.” I told him. “I’m nearly seventeen.”

“You are still too young, I’ll let you get a boyfriend when you’re at least twenty five.”

“But Sarah’s not twenty five and she already has a child.” I argued back, pointing at my sister, who was looking at Darryl in disbelief.

“Then you should learn from Sarah’s example.”

“You’re a prick, did you know that?” Sarah said in annoyance to Darryl.

“I did know that actually,” Darryl said with a smile before grabbing Sarah and pulling her towards him for a hug, his arms over her shoulders as he smiled at her. “You know that I’m joking, you’ve created my beautiful niece Christina.”

Sarah rolled her eyes at Darryl before pushing him away from her and going to walk out of the room.

“You need to just try to forget about it, Abi, you don’t want this to ruin your Christmas.”

I nodded as I stood up and began to follow her out of the room, Darryl walking behind us.

“You never said who this guy was,” Darryl said to me. I shook my head.

“Why would I tell you who he is? I don’t want you to ruin anything that I might have already ruined,” I said to him. Sarah turned around to look at me with a smirk.

“I know who it is,” she said in a singsong.

I groaned at her words; she did know, I had already sent her an Owl about it all during my time at Hogwarts this year. I wasn’t sure that I wanted Darryl to know about it.

“Tell me,” Darryl demanded. I shook my head and was surprised to see that Sarah was shaking her head as well.

“No can do, brother, it’s a secret between us sisters,” Sarah told him and I was thankful that she was keeping my crush a secret. I knew that the minute Darryl found out he would do everything he could to embarrass me.

“I can be a sister,” Darryl told us, pouting slightly as he looked at us.

I laughed as we walked into the front room. Dad looked up at us and I saw that he had an eyebrow raised in question; he must have heard Darryl.

“Do you want to be a girl again, Darryl?” He asked him.

Darryl shook his head as he took a seat next to me on the arm chair; I gave a tut as I tried to move over and make more room for both of us, not that there was enough room for both of us. He shuffled slightly and caused me to cry out in pain, although I was laughing.

“Move your fat ass off of me,” I cried loudly.

“Dad, that was just a stage,” Darryl said, ignoring me and shuffling again, causing me to almost lean off the edge of the armchair.

“A phase that lasted for most of your childhood?” Dad asked him.

“Do we need to bring it up all the time?” Darryl asked him, moving himself to sit on the arm of the armchair, putting his legs over me this time. I could handle this one, it wasn’t causing me pain.

“You bring it up, Darryl, you can’t seem to stop talking about being a sister and how great Christina’s dresses are.”

“I think he’s jealous that he didn’t have any good dresses when he was younger,” I said with a laugh. Darryl gave me a challenging look.

“All I had back then was Sarah’s dresses, but she always ruined them by playing in the mud and climbing trees,” Darryl told us.

“I think you’ll find it was you who ruined my dresses by wearing them and then deciding to climb trees and play in mud,” Sarah corrected him, “Don’t forget you trying to dress the dog up in the dresses as well.”

“I’m surprised that he didn’t try and run away,” I admitted. My dad had brought the dog when we were younger; we had barely had him a few months and Darryl was already trying to dress him up in clothes. Puppies and clothes do not mix whatsoever; a lot of fabric got ruined back in the day, mother was not best pleased.

“He did, many times,” Dad informed us, looking over at our family dog, Benjy, who was laying on the rug in front of the fireplace, trying to get warm from the flames. “It’s a good thing that he couldn’t get further then next doors garden, although I didn’t realise just how many small places a puppy can get through.”

“And now he’s too lazy to try and get through any gaps,” Darryl informed us, nodding over to Benjy, who was still sleeping.

“That and he’s not running for his life after having been terrorised by the likes of you,” Dad said with a laugh, before turning to look in the direction of the door and at Christina, who had just walked into the room. She was wearing her pyjamas, carrying a teddy in one arm and rubbing her eye with the other. She looked really ill.

“Look who’s awake,” my dad said, “How are you feeling, Sunbeam?”

Christina shook her head instead of answering, as she peered around at us all; she had been feeling ill since yesterday and it seemed like she had the beginnings of the flu. All she had been doing since yesterday was sleeping.

She saw that I was sitting on the chair and came over to me, pushing Darryl's legs off of me so that she could climb on top of my lap and sit with me. I wrapped an arm around her as she snuggled into me.

“Are you feeling alright?” I asked Christina, looking down at her and using my free hand to push some of her blonde hair out of her face. I noticed that her forehead was really warm. She shook her head and snuggled in my arms, even though she was getting a bit too big to sleep in people’s arms, I still loved that she did. Darryl had moved to the sofa, in the beginnings of a sulk as Christina chose me to hug, but we all ignored him.

“I think that her cold is getting worse,” Sarah said to me as she came over and placed the back of her hand on Christina’s forehead. I looked down to notice that her eyes were closed; she must be quite tired, especially to go back to sleep, she was normally the most excited out of all of us on Christmas Eve. I noticed that her face was pale and that she was beginning to shiver, even though we were sat in the armchair closest to the fire.

Darryl came over with a blanket and placed it over both of us, so that Christina was covered.

“Do you think that she should go to St Mungos?” I enquired.

“Nah, she just needs her rest and some fluids; they’ll only send her home straight away and tell me the same,” Sarah told me. “Are you going to be alright with her sleeping on you? I can get Darryl to move her into one of the beds upstairs?”

“No, it’s okay. I like cuddling her.”

“If you catch this, don’t get annoyed with us.”

“I won’t get it, and even if I do it’ll be worth it.”

Sarah gave me a smile, before Mum walked into the room and came over to place a glass of orange juice next to us. “When she wakes up have her drink some of this, it’ll help boost her immune system.”

I nodded at her.

“Me and your dad have decided that we’ll wait for Christina to wake up before you lot begin making the desserts.”

“That’s fine,” I said. Every year on Christmas Eve, me, Sarah and Darryl would all make the desserts, whilst my mother and father would prepare the Christmas dinner for the next day. It was a family tradition that had gone on for as long as I could remember, although back when we were all younger, my father would be the one helping us out. Now that we were older and able to cook on our own, or could actually be trusted to, we were left to our own devices. Last year we had attempted to make a gingerbread house, Darryl and Christina had been in charge of decorating whilst me and Sarah had been left in charge of cooking and assembling it. I am proud to admit that we didn’t fail, and it actually looked quite good.

“What? We have to wait to make desserts?” Darryl cried from the sofa. “I’ve been waiting since six this morning.” Out of all of us, my niece included, Darryl was the most excited about the desserts, mainly because he would be attempting to eat them all himself.

“You haven’t been up since six this morning,” I said with a frown, knowing that my brother was never awake at six in the morning, unless he didn’t actually go to sleep the night before.

“You don’t know that I haven’t, I could have been excited about Santa arriving,” Darryl told us.

“You’re such a loser; he doesn’t arrive until tonight, you know that, right.”

Darryl gave a laugh at me before saying, “Oh, little sister, If only you knew how right you are.”

I shook my head

~~

It was the afternoon of Christmas day and I barely had time to myself. So it was nice when I sat down on my bed and looked down at my pile of gifts that I had gotten off of my family that day, admiring the new comic books from my father and mother, my new pyjamas – no, I was not too old to have pyjamas that made me look like a bear – some new socks and underwear, a couple of t-shirts off of my brother, mainly depicting bands that he’s been getting me into and quite a few slogans that he found hilarious that I thought were quite funny as well. My sister and niece had brought me quite a few bath sets and some more of the lip gloss that I loved so much. I took one of the lip glosses, took the lid off of it and put some on my lips, trying to resist licking the honey flavour off of my lips. It was quite difficult to not do.

I had completely forgotten about the worry I put myself through yesterday, about sending James the owl with my present for him, until I heard a pecking at my window, noticing that my families owl was back with a letter attached to it. I tried not to let myself get worked up over the fact that he didn’t send a present back, not that I was expecting him to, and tried not to think of what the letter might say; it might be telling me that I should just not send him any presents in the future. I took the letter with a shaking hand, worried about what it may contain, and the owl gave a hoot at me before flying out of my open bedroom door, probably making it’s way to my brothers room where it could go to sleep.

I opened the letter and took a breath before looking down at it and beginning to read it.

Dear Abigail,

I am so sorry for the lateness in this reply, although I’m quite impressed that I managed to actually send this today. I’ve been busy for the entire day, it’s been almost non stop.

I’m currently at my Aunt and Uncles tonight, Mum and Dad decided to spend the night here so that they could have a few drinks with Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione. It was quite nice to spend the night here, although in the morning we’ll all be going to my Grandparents house. It should be a laugh, all of my cousins and aunts and uncles will be there. I know for a fact that we’ll be going home tomorrow though, as dad has work early after boxing day. I would have thought that dad would have made sure he had the day off, being Head Auror, but apparently crime waits for no man. That, and he’s already booked off a week over New Years. I suppose it’s good when he’s the one doing the shift rota for his work. so I should be able to send your gift. I would like to apologise in advance if it arrives extremely late at night, or the early hours of tomorrow morning.

Speaking of gifts, YOU ARE AMAZING!

Seriously amazing! That gift was awesome! How on earth have you found that issue? I have literally been searching high and low for that over what feels like the whole world. I have had aurors on the hunt for that issue (I say Aurors, I meant dad and Uncle Ron, who is an ex auror) and neither of them could find it and they’re trained professionals.

But thank you so much! However you managed to get it, although if it cost you a lot of money or your had to sell your arms for it, I would feel guilty and be forever in your debt.

Now I feel like my gift for you isn’t good enough. I shall try and see if I can steal any of my cousins presents and pass them off as other gifts for you, so if you see a tag that says “To Rose, lots of love Mum and Dad” Please feel free to ignore it.
I shall also send you a letter about when and where we want to meet over the holiday. I’m not forgetting the fact that you have my comic book, although if you want to give it back to me after that’s fine. I still want to see you, though. Let me know when you’re free.


Thank you once again!

James

I gave a wide smile as I read the letter over again, the elation filling me as though I had a balloon inside of me. I felt like I would float away in happiness. He didn’t hate me, he didn’t want to stop talking to me. He had even got me a Christmas present, without feeling guilty or being pressured into getting me one because I had gotten him one.

I felt like I wanted to call out in happiness, but I settled for just grinning widely.

This was going to be the best Christmas by far.


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