|SIYE Time:17:51 on 17th November 2017|
Christmas in Heaven
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Genres: General, Humor
Story is Complete
Summary: It's the first Christmas without Molly and Arthur.
Hitcount: Story Total: 2110
Disclaimer: Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R. Note the opinions in this story are my own and in no way represent the owners of this site. This story subject to copyright law under transformative use. No compensation is made for this work.
This is a l-o-n-g one shot. My Christmas gift to you all. Tissues may be needed.
Harry sighed in relief as he saw the Hogwarts Express coming around the bend. In minutes his youngest two children would be back with him, home for another Christmas. He saw Ron and George pushing through the crowds, and they came to join him.
“Just made it,” gasped Ron. “Been busy at the store and we couldn't get away.”
“Well, you've timed it perfectly. I haven't seen Bill or Percy though,” said Harry, looking around.
“Hey everyone,” said Teddy Lupin, joining them. “Good timing.”
The big engine was grinding to a halt. “What are you doing here, Teddy?” asked Harry.
“Came to pick up Domi and Louis. Bill's working and Fleur and Vic are home, cooking. I offered to bring them home and then I get to stay for tea,” said Teddy.
“Doing favours for the future in-laws, good one,” nodded George. “I'm taking Molly and Lucy back to the store with Roxi. Percy will be along to get them later.”
“How's Ginny?” asked Ron, in concern.
Harry pondered the question but was saved from answering with the arrival of his nieces and nephews. He could see his two children still coming, talking to each other.
“Bye Harry, tell Gin we said hi,” said Ron, clapping his hand on Hugo's shoulder. Rose hugged him goodbye, and they left.
“See ya Harry,” said George.
“Bye Uncle Harry,” chorused Roxi, Molly and Lucy. He waved to them all, including Teddy, Domi and Louis.
Harry turned to welcome his two children. Lily flung herself into his arms, wrapping hers around his waist. Harry gathered Al under his arm and hugged him.
They picked up their bags and walked out to the car. It was only as they were on their way home that they asked. “How's Mum?”
Harry looked at Al in the passenger seat. He'd been the one to ask. “She's...okay.”
“But not good,” said Al. He looked out the window.
Harry looked in his rear view vision window to see Lily's worried eyes meet his. He winked at her and she smiled sadly.
“What can we do to help Mum?” she asked him.
Harry smiled at her. “Just...be there for her. This Christmas will be hard for her. The first one without your grandparents.”
“Have-have they decided what they're going to do about the Burrow?” asked Lily.
Harry shook his head. “No, love. No decisions have been made. I think everyone is still trying to come to terms with their loss.”
Molly and Arthur had both passed in the last few months. Molly had a suspicious lump that, in her fear, she had left unchecked. As it grew, it became more painful and one day she passed out while tending to her garden. Arthur found her and Apparated her straight to St Mungo's. After extensive tests, it was deemed too late to treat it. She insisted on returning to her beloved Burrow to live out her days. Arthur and Ginny tended her daily, while the rest of her family visited often. Soon it became apparent that her time was near. Ginny and Harry were now staying at the Burrow, to assist Arthur. Seeing him gently brush his wife's hair, and lay down next to her, holding her as they reminisced about their life together, was so hard for the rest of the family, but they put on a brave face for this woman who had been the backbone of their family for so long.
Molly died in the early hours of the morning, in Arthur's arms. Ginny crept in to check on them both, and found her dad weeping. After saying her own goodbye to her mum, and consoling her devastated dad, she left him to his grief as she went to call her brothers.
The funeral was huge. Arthur was almost in a daze, until the coffin was lowered and he realised his Molly was really, finally gone. He almost collapsed, but his sons Bill and Charlie got him back to the house and into his room, where he curled up on the bed, hugging Molly's pillow.
Life, however altered, went on. The children returned to school, and the adults returned to their jobs. After assuring Ginny that he would be okay, Harry and Ginny left Arthur and returned to their own home. Harry was worried, for Ginny had been so busy watching over her dad and helping with funeral arrangements, that she hadn't really allowed herself to grieve.
It was only a week after the funeral that Ginny popped over to see her dad. Ron had been there the day before and assured her all was well. She noticed that the house was still clean and tidy as she and her sisters-in-law had tidied the place for the funeral. Checking in the fridge, she noted that none of the meals she had prepared for her dad had been eaten.
She had gone upstairs to find Arthur still in bed. She had thought he was sleeping, so she threw the curtains across, and opened a window, letting the early October fresh air enter the room. “Come on, Sleepy Head, time to get up,” she called cheerfully.
Arthur didn't move. Even when Ginny sat on the side of his bed, he didn't move. Ginny grabbed his hand, suddenly anxious when she felt how cold and stiff it was. “No,” she whispered.
She checked for a pulse, but there was none. “No. Dad, no. No, no, no,” she cried, shaking him. She sobbed on his chest, hoping against hope to feel his arms come up and hold her, but of course, they didn't.
Ginny didn't know how long she stayed like that, but after awhile, she went downstairs and once again, called her family to break the tragic news.
Harry was in an important meeting with the Muggle Prime Minister, and couldn't be contacted, so Ginny left a message with his personal assistant that he come straight to the Burrow when he was free.
Hermione, Ron, Angelina, Percy and Fleur had gone to Hogwarts to collect the children again. Headmistress Mcgonagall and Neville were shocked, and asked to be notified of the funeral arrangements.
A healer concluded that he had simply died in his sleep, but the family always maintained that Arthur had lost the will to live. Life without his Molly was unbearable for Arthur, with her presence still felt strongly at the Burrow. Once again, friends and family gathered to say another farewell.
Now, just over two months later, the children were home for Christmas. It was a celebration that was usually held at the Burrow. Molly and Arthur knew that their children had other families to think of now, too, with all their children married, except Charlie. So the Burrow was ready to celebrate all day long, for whichever family happened to be there at any given time. Molly always made sure there was plenty of food.
This year, with Christmas now only days away, nothing definite had been settled on for Christmas. All the Weasley children and their spouses found it hard to imagine a Christmas without Molly and Arthur at the Burrow. They all planned to be at the Burrow to visit their graves at some time of the day.
“We're home!” exclaimed Lily, unbuckling her seatbelt and opening the car door just as Harry killed the engine. “Mum!”
Ginny must have been watching, for as soon as the car pulled into the driveway, she flew out the door. Her arms outstretched, her face shone with joy. “Lily! Al!” She gathered them both in her arms and they hugged her back.
“Mum, it's so good to be home,” sighed Al happily. As much as he loved Hogwarts, home was home. Mum, Dad, James and Lil.
“Hey Albie,” grinned James, standing behind Ginny. He was easily a foot taller than his mother now, and even topped Harry by a couple of inches. “How's Hogwarts?”
“Jamie,” grinned Al, back at him. “Still standing, despite your absence this year. Peeves said he misses you, by the way.”
“Oh, you two, stop with the childish nicknames and go help your dad with the bags,” said Ginny, shooing them away to the back of the car.
“You were the one who called us them years ago,” argued James, as he and Al jostled to get to Harry first. Ginny and Lily were already heading inside, with Lily going on about her friends and her lessons.
“Here, boys. Al, you take yours, James, can you take Lil's please?” asked Harry, handing them out.
“Dad, Mum was crying again,” said James, seriously.
Harry saw that Al looked worried. “I won't lie to you boys, this will be a tough Christmas for your Mum. Let's just try and make it as easy as we can, and be there for her. Okay?”
“Sure Dad,” said James. He took Lily's suitcase and waved his wand, banishing it to Lily's bedroom. She stuck her head out the window, giving him a thumbs up. He grinned, and went inside.
“All right, Al?” asked Harry, shutting the boot and locking the car. “We're just having a family dinner tonight. Teddy might pop over after.”
“Okay,” said Al, heading inside. Harry followed him, glad to be home He had to work tomorrow, but then had the next four days off.
“Wow Mum, the house looks great,” said Al, looking around.
“Thanks love. I had a lot of time on my hands, and I saw a lot of the decorations in Muggle London, so I splurged a bit. I've kept all your homemade decorations aside for you guys to add to the tree, or we can put them in a keepsake box,” said Ginny.
“Mmm, something smells good. Do you need a hand in the kitchen?” asked Lily, coming downstairs and sniffing.
“No thanks love, I'm on top of it all. We're having a roast for tea, as it's Al's favourite, and then treacle tart for dessert, as it's your favourite,” said Ginny, smiling and running her hand over her daughter's hair. She kissed her cheek. “Sit down and relax, talk with your brothers and dad. Dinner should be ready in fifteen minutes or so.” She left them to go into the kitchen.
“What about me? What about my favourite food?” asked James, indignantly.
Lily giggled. “We'll have cereal for breakfast, James, not tea.”
James looked around. “Where's Dad? I have GOT to show you this.” He pulled out a box of cereal.
“Potter Puffs? Are you serious? Dad's a breakfast cereal?” gasped Al.
“James Sirius, actually! Get this- it includes a bonus lightening bolt in every pack. Guess what I'm giving Dad for Christmas?” grinned James.
Al and Lily looked at him then at each other, then burst out laughing. “He'll hate it!” giggled Lily.
“Who'll hate what, sweetheart?” asked Harry, coming down the stairs after changing. He came around and sat in the middle of Al and Lily. James was perched on the arm of the couch.
“Oh, nothing Dad. Just discussing presents,” grinned Lily.
“Speaking of, I don't have anything for Mum yet. What about you two?” asked Al, looking at his siblings.
“We'll hit Diagon Alley tomorrow. WWW is bound to have-” begun James when Harry cut him off.
“You will NOT buy your mother's Christmas present from her brother's joke shop. Am I clear?” asked Harry, sternly.
“-nothing whatsoever for Mum, so we'll pop in, say hello then go elsewhere,” said James, winking at Al.
Harry and Al both sighed. All their family had been on the receiving end of James' love of a good prank when it came to presents.
“Aren't you working tomorrow?” asked Lily.
“Nah. Auror trainees get the week off both before Christmas and after,” grinned James. Al and Lily looked to Harry for clarification and he nodded.
“Dinner's ready,” called Ginny, bringing out plates. “Harry, will you pour the wine? What do you say, after tea, we'll dress the tree?”
“Yeah. Sounds good, Mum,” said Al and Lily. James was already sitting down, pinching a bit of meat from his plate.
“It's so good to have you all h-home again. The whole family. I-I...excuse me,” said Ginny, tearfully. She got up and went into the kitchen. James, Al and Lily looked uncomfortably at each other.
Harry came back with a bottle of wine. “What's going on?” he asked, at their long faces.
“Mum's upset,” said Lily, tearfully. “She's in the kitchen. I think she's crying.”
Harry put the wine on the table and went to go to the kitchen. Just then, Ginny came out with a pot of gravy. “Nearly forgot this,” she said, with false bravado. She placed it on the table, and sat down.
The children tried to ignore her red puffy eyes, and started eating. Harry came around to pour her a glass of wine, and kissed her forehead. “Love you,” he whispered. She smiled lovingly back at him, so he went and sat down.
It was a pleasant evening, with the children all talking over each other in their eagerness to share their news. Ginny and Harry updated their children about the rest of the family, and by the time the treacle tart was nearly all gone, they were all caught up.
Ginny caught Harry eyeing the last piece of treacle tart. “No, you're not having any more. You can take it for lunch tomorrow. Go on, all of you, scoot. I'll get a start on the dishes, while you lot get a start on the tree.”
This was one of Harry's favourite parts of the holidays. He and the kids had always decorated the tree then help Ginny make Christmas biscuits and egg nog. It always made the house smell brilliant.Then the kids would hang their stocking over the fireplace and go to bed, leaving Harry and Ginny to plot their Christmas presents, making sure they had gotten each child what they wanted.
This year, though, James declined on helping to make the biscuits, saying he had a date. After winking and declaring, “Don't wait up,” he left. Al begged off too, when Rose firecalled him, saying she needed to speak to him urgently and privately. Al knew it was Rose wanting his advice on what to get Scorpius Malfoy for a present. The two had been dating since school had returned.
Lily yawned, and suggested they make the biscuits the next day. Teddy hadn't come over, and Lily was a bit jealous that he was spending all his time with Vicki and Domi at their place. She decided to have an early night, leaving Harry and Ginny alone on the couch.
“They're all getting older. James on a date, Al having private conversations. Soon they'll be in jobs, and they'll move out,” sighed Ginny.
“I think we'll have Lil for a few years yet, Love,” said Harry, “But after she goes, I get you all to myself again. It'll be just like our honeymoon and newlywed stage all over again,” he leered.
Ginny laughed. “Do you really think you have the stamina you did back then? A wizard is in his sexual prime at eighteen or so. A witch is in hers when she's in her forties,” she smirked.
“So, I'll lay there and let you do all the work,” grinned Harry, nuzzling her ear.
“Work? You're calling our lovemaking, work?” asked Ginny, pretending to be shocked.
“Oh-kay. Did not need to hear that,” grimaced Al, coming back from Harry and Ginny's bedroom where he'd used their fireplace to speak with Rose. “Do you mind if I go out? Half an hour, hour, tops. It's important. Really,” he said.
“Where are you going? To Rose's?” asked Ginny.
Al shook his head. “To Scor's.”
Harry and Ginny looked at each other, and communicated as parents do; silently. “One hour, Al,” said Harry.
“I guess we should clean this mess up,” sighed Ginny. She got up, but Harry grasped her hips and brought her back to the couch and into his arms.
“I don't think so. We've got one child asleep and two that are out, one for at least an hour. I'd say we need to make the most of the opportunity, don't you?” Harry wiggled his eyebrows in expectations.
“You mean...?” gulped Ginny, with a twinkle in her eye.
“Yep. It's time for you to go to work, Gin.” With that, Harry Apparated them upstairs.
Next morning, the whole family were in the kitchen eating breakfast and making plans for the day. Harry was running late for work, so he quickly ate a bowl of cereal, literally taking it out of James' hands as he was about to eat it. Harry tipped it back and drank it, gulping hungrily. He handed the empty bowl back to James. “Is that a new one? I like it. Bye kids. Bye love,” he said, kissing Ginny then hurrying to the loungeroom to floo to work.
Ginny noticed James, Al and Lily share a smirk. “Care to share?” she asked.
James laughed. “You'll find out soon enough. Mum, are you coming shopping with us?”
“Your father's hair won't change colour in the middle of a meeting, will it?” asked Ginny, worriedly.
“Mum, honestly, it's fine,” said Al. Lily nodded. Ginny sighed, still not liking the smirk on James' face.
“Right. So, I'll floo with you lot to Diagon Alley, but then I'm meeting your uncles at Gringott's. We have some papers to sign. Shall we meet at the Leaky for lunch, or do you have plans?” asked Ginny.
James thought he'd pop in to see if Uncles Ron and George needed extra help while they were at Gringott's. He'd worked there in the summer holidays before, and he knew his cousin and best friend, Freddie, would be there too. He agreed to meet for lunch if his uncles didn't need him.
Al seemed anxious to find a present for someone, but wouldn't say who. He and Lily agreed to meet their mum at the Leaky, so once they got to the Alley, they went their separate ways.
Al was the first one of the kids to make it to the Leaky Cauldron. His mum was inside, talking with Uncle Ron. He saw his uncle hand her a handkerchief, and she dabbed at her eyes, shaking her head as he spoke to her.
Ron looked around, spotting Al, and waved him over. He must have mentioned it to Ginny, for she waved her wand to remove the signs of crying from her face, putting on a big smile as she saw Al make his way toward them.
Ron got up, patting Ginny on the shoulder and walking towards Al. “Good lad. Your mum's a bit fragile right now. Take it easy on her, alright?” He started to walk past Al.
“Uncle Ron, any ideas what to get Mum for Christmas? I want to get her something really special,” said Al.
“Al, she'll love anything you give her. Mums are like that,” said Ron. “I best be getting back to the shop. I'll send James straight here. See you soon.”
“Bye,” said a disappointed Al. He made his way to Ginny, and sat down. Lily came through a few minutes later. “Ooh, it's cold out. I just saw James, by the way. He's outside Fortescue's, chatting up some witch. Shall we order?” she asked.
“Looks like you've done a lot of shopping,” said Ginny, eyeing the bulging bags. She waved her wand and did a warming charm on her daughter, who sighed in relief.
“Thanks Mum. Oh, these aren't mine. They're James'. Prat,” she said.
Hannah Longbottom came and took their order, then returned to talk to Ginny. The two witches promised to catch up while Neville was in town.
James still hadn't joined them by the time their lunch came. In fact, he was about to enter the Leaky when the other three were just about to leave.
“Lil, can you take my parcels home and put them in my room, please? I'm taking Sophie out for ice-cream,” he said.
“Who eats ice-cream in this weather?” asked Lily. “Her lips will turn blue.”
James leaned over and whispered to her. “Guess I'll have to warm them up then.” He winked at her and returned back to the Alley.
“Mum, can I go and see Molly and Lucy?” asked Lily.
“Sure, we'll fire-call Aunt Audrey when we get home, sweetie,” said Ginny.
“Can I go to Rose's, Mum?” asked Al.
“Sure,” sighed Ginny. “Will you be home for tea?”
“Can I stay if Aunt Hermione asks me?” he asked.
“Me too, at Aunt Audrey's?” asked Lily.
Ginny nodded, and they flooed home from the Leaky Cauldron, where, not half an hour later, Ginny sat alone. She'd owled Harry, letting him know it was just the two of them for tea, and suggested he pick up take-away for the two of them.
They took advantage of the quiet to finalise and wrap the children's presents. When the children returned home, they made plans for a family day the next day; which was Christmas Eve.
Harry cooked a hearty breakfast, and they all ate leisurely, with James entertaining them with stories about his Auror training. After that, the boys and Harry got down to wrapping other friends and family presents, while Ginny and Lily started making Christmas biscuits.
Hagrid stopped by, as he usually did on Christmas Eve. Luna fire-called from Australia, wishing them a Happy Christmas. Owls were flying in, with greetings and well wishes from Neville and Hannah, Seamus, Dean, Demelza and others. Oliver and Katie Wood also invited them to their annual New Year's Day Quidditch match.
James and Al volunteered to test the biscuits, and declared them the best ever. They, along with Harry and Lily ate so much, they didn't need to have lunch. It had been a fun day, with Christmas music on the wireless in the background, yet Harry could see Ginny getting more and more withdrawn as the day went on.
As tradition, they went to Godric's Hollow in the late afternoon. They laid wreaths on Lily and James' graves, as well as Remus and Tonks, who were buried nearby. Inside the church, they lit candles for Sirius and Professor's Dumbledore and Snape.
They had planned to go the Burrow the next day, and Harry could see Ginny was struggling to stay cheerful for the children. They Apparated home, Al with Harry and Lily with Ginny. Ginny disappeared into the kitchen to make some eggnog, while the children lay their stockings out.
“Do we still need to do this, Dad. It's not like we're little kids anymore,”said James.
“Weren't you the one waking us all up at dawn last year to open presents?” grinned Al.
“This year is hard enough on your Mum as it is. Let's just stick to our usual traditions,” said Harry.
“It's going to be so strange at the Burrow tomorrow,” said Lily, getting teary.
“Grandpa always had some crazy Muggle thing to show me in his shed,” sighed Al.
“”I'm really gonna miss Nan sending home left-overs from Christmas lunch,” sighed James.
Harry heard sniffles coming from the kitchen, so he made a decision. “All right, that's enough. Go upstairs, get whatever you need. I'm going to shrink the tree and all the presents. We're going to the Burrow tonight, and we're going to spend the night.”
“You mean Santa's not bringing our presents?” asked James, in a teasing voice. Al and Lily chuckled, but Harry was gathering everything up.
“Gin? Ginny, love, come on, we're going to the Burrow. Tonight, now!” called Harry.
Ginny came from the kitchen. “What are you talking about, Harry? We can't go tonight. Everything is here.”
“We're taking it all with us. I think we need to honour Molly and Arthur's memories by having an epic Christmas at the Burrow. We'll stay there tonight, and all day tomorrow,” said a determined Harry.
“Oh Harry, that...that sounds brilliant. Kids, are you sure you don't mind?” asked Ginny.
“I dibs not getting Uncle Ron's room. Those orange walls hurt my eyes,” said James.
“Believe it or not, it's actually faded a lot over the years,” said Ginny, smiling as she packed up some food to take. “We'll come back and get the food for lunch.”
Harry secured the house and let the kids go through to the Burrow. Ginny was the last, and she kissed him quickly. “This is great, Harry. Thank you,” she said.
“Anything for you, love,” said Harry, caressing her cheek. He watched as Ginny went through the floo, then followed. As he stumbled out, he could have sworn he heard Ron and George laughing. When he straightened, he noticed that it was Ron and George, as well as their families. In fact, looking around, Harry noted all the Weasleys were there, except Charlie.
“And the gang's all here,” quipped George. He motioned to Harry and Ginny. “Come on in, find a patch on the floor. We were just discussing sleeping arrangements.”
“Looks like we all had the same idea. Actually, we were about to owl you.The girls asked if we could do this,” said Percy.
Hermione hugged Ginny. “It's going to be hard for everyone. Molly, Arthur, the Burrow...Christmas just needs to be here.”
“Thanks, Hermione, you said it brilliantly,” said Ginny, putting her arm around her sister-in-law's waist. “Harry said we should have an epic Christmas at the Burrow. We even brought our tree.”
“So did we,” said Bill and Percy, pointing. Two trees stood guard near the door.
“Anyone for Christmas biscuits. Molly's recipe,” called Angelina and Fleur. “How's the egg nog coming, Audrey?”
“Just about-hic-perfect,” slurred Audrey, making Fleur and Roxeanne giggle.
“I think we should decorate the house,” said Harry.
“Yeah,” called the kids.
“Don't forget to put the wireless on. It's nearly time for the 'Best of Celestina Warbuck', grinned Bill.
“Mon Dieu, must we -?” grimaced Fleur.
“Yes!” yelled Ron, Harry and George. “She's Mum's favourite singer.”
“James, Fred, will you go out and find a gnome. We need to find one for the top of the tree. Domi, Lucy, Molly and Lil, can you get a start on the paper chains?” asked Ginny. The girls all nodded, while James and Fred went outside.
“Wait, where's Teddy and Vicki?” asked Lily.
“We owled them, letting them know we were all here. They went to his grandmother's for tea,” said Roxeanne.
“Right, well, the rest of you kids, how about you go up to the attic to get some decorations,” said Harry.
“Come on, Hugo,” called Rose, following Al and Roxanne. He hurried off after his sister and cousins.
“So, where IS everybody sleeping?” asked Harry.
“That, Harry, is the million dollar question!” grinned George.
Harry tossed and turned, finally turning over and reaching for Ginny. When he found the other side of the bed empty, he put his glasses on and went to find his wife. He was nearly down the bottom of the stairs when he came across Fleur, Audrey, Angelina and Hermione sitting on the stairs. “What are you guys doing here?” he asked sleepily.
“Sssh,” whispered Fleur.
“What's going on?” asked Harry. “Is Gin down there?” He heard a door slam, followed by laughter.
“Our other halves, and your better half have been down here guzzling egg nog. They're all pissed, and they just decided to go for a race around the Burrow. On broomsticks,” giggled Audrey.
“This should be good,” said Fleur, getting up and going to the window. “Come on.”
The five Weasley spouses ran to the window, seeing their partners whooping as they flew around the Burrow.
“My money iz on my Beel,” grinned Fleur.
“Nah, Ginny,” said Harry, Hermione and Angie simultaenously. Audrey snickered and nodded in agreement.
They saw a flash go past the window, then heard cheers and a crash. They waited, then heard more laughter. The spouses inside shared a look and a sigh of relief.
The door flung open. The Weasley brothers, including a just arrived Charlie, carried Ginny in. “Our champion,” they cheered.
“Told ya,” grinned Angie to Fleur. They backed away to let the Weasley siblings enter.
“Hey, what's all the noise?” asked Louis. The adults all turned to see the children standing sleepily on the steps.
“Is it Santa?” asked a cheeky James.
“Hey, it's Christmas,” said Hugo, looking at the clock. “Merry Christmas!”
They all came together to embrace and wish each other a Merry Christmas. Brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, nephews and nieces.
They heard the sound of the door opening, and heard Teddy whispering. “Ssh, everyone's probably asleep by now. We'll just-”
“Merry Christmas!” they all yelled as Teddy and Vicky came in, holding hands.
“It's a bit late, isn't it?” asked Bill, pointedly staring at Teddy. “I'm sure Andi went to sleep hours ago.”
“We're engaged!” cried Vicki. Her mother, cousins and sister raced over to her to congratulate her and see her ring.
Harry, James and Al congratulated Teddy, who beamed happily.
“Anything to eat, love. I'm starving,” said Ron to Hermione.
“What's new?” everyone cried out, then laughed as Ron pointed, “To the kitchen!”
Despite it being two in the morning, breakfast was prepared. Past Christmas celebrations were brought up, the favourite ones being of the young Weasley siblings.
“Mum. Wouldn't it be Christmas in Heaven too? What do you think Grandma and Grandpa are doing?” asked Lily. She'd crawled onto her mother's lap like she had done when she was little, and rested her head on her mum's shoulder.
Ginny gazed off into the distance, brushing her daughter's hair off her face. “Well, Grandma would, of course, be preparing the food. She'd have Grandma Potter to help her. Grandpa would be setting up the long table. Tonks would be setting out the dishes, and she'd probably drop one or two, but Grandpa would fix them right up again.”
The children, no matter their age, quietened down to hear Ginny's story. “Grandpa Potter and Uncle Sirius and Uncle Fred would come in. They'd place the crackers on the table, then laugh because they put some prank in them. I think Uncle Remus would pull a cracker, maybe with Professor Dumbledore, and something funny would happen. Maybe Dumbledore's beard turned red and green? Professor Snape would be there, shaking his head at their childish antics, but then he'd sit down on a whoopee cushion that Uncle Remus had planted on his seat.” This made everyone laugh.
“Grandma Potter and Grandma Weasley would scold them, but Professor Snape would laugh as much as any of them. Then they'd all eat the delicious food, and think of us all down here. They'd hope that we're all safe and well, and that we're all here together,” said Ginny, nuzzling Lily. From behind, Harry placed his hands on Ginny's shoulders and squeezed in comfort.
Everyone sighed happily at Ginny's Christmas vision for their absent loved ones.“We should have all our Christmases here at the Burrow,” said Molly.
“Mother's Day, and Father's Day too,” nodded Dominique.
“Maybe we could celebrate Mum and Dad's birthday here too,” suggested Percy.
“This cereal is really good, James,” said Ron, taking a big spoonful. “What?” he asked as exasperated heads turned his way. “It's really good.”
“Way to break the mood, Bro. Let me try,” said George. He got a clean spoon and dipped it in Ron's bowl. “Hey, that is good.”
“Get your own,” said Ron, pulling his bowl closer to himself.
“Glad you liked them,” grinned James, his arms full of presents. “You each get a box for Christmas. Potter Puffs!” He started handing them out, and the others ripped off the wrapping.
“Cool, a free lightening bolt,” drawled George, shooting a cheeky look at Harry, who looked taken aback.
Ginny burst out laughing. “Look at the picture! They've drawn Harry as a superhero, complete with a cape and huge muscles. ”
“Nice puffed out chest, Dad. I think yours is bigger than Mum's,” grinned James.
“How...when...but why,” stammered Harry, staring at the box in amazement.
“It's okay, Dad. They were a prototype and they only made one hundred of these,” grinned James, “and I brought fifty. Do you know what that means-they're limited edition. I'll make a fortune, especially if you sign them, Dad.”
“They're bloody delicious,” said Ron, pouring himself another bowl.
“I've been telling you how tasty Harry is for years. Now do you believe me, Ron,” grinned Ginny.
Ron scowled, then shrugged and continued eating.
“Pass the box, Ron. Don't be a Potter Puff hog. Who wants bacon?” were the cries in the kitchen for the next hour, till one by one, or two by two , they all went to bed.
They all rose at different times on Christmas Day. Presents sat under the tree, waiting for the right time to be opened. However, it wasn't the presents that were important, it was the fact that they were all there together.
When everyone was awake and dressed, they all went out to Molly, Arthur and Fred's graves.Together.
“We miss you, Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle Fred,” said Lucy. “Merry Christmas.”
“Hope you're having fun, like we are,” said Louis.
“Prank the Grandma's,” grinned Freddie. George clipped him over the ears goodnaturedly. Freddie and James shared a smirk.
Slowly, they all walked away from the graves. Angie, Audrey and Fleur went to the kitchen to organise some food. Ron and Hermione went for a stroll, arm in arm. Some of the children headed down to the Quidditch pitch. Some of them simply headed back inside, or settled for a snowball fight on the other side of the house.
Harry waited for Ginny. She stood in front of her parent's graves. “Tell Fred I said hey. Kiss Mum and Dad Potter for us. I hope Tonks and Remus heard about Teddy and Vic. Sirius, I hope you and Severus are getting along okay. I miss you, Mum, Dad, but I know you're together, and that's what's important. I-I love you.”
Harry came behind her and put his arms around her. “Their presence will always be here at the Burrow. Every time we tell a story, or share a memory, we're keeping them alive. I know it's hard for you, but when you're feeling down, or need a hug, I'm here. I know my hugs aren't as good as your Mum's, but we're here, me and the kids. For you.”
Ginny turned to him, burrowing her face against his chest. He wrapped his arms around her. “I love you, and I hate seeing you so sad.” He kissed the top of her head.
“I hate being sad too. Thank you, love. You and the kids have been great. I've got such a wonderful family. I need to remember that,” said Ginny.
“Your parents set such a great example, love. I'm sure James, Al and Lily will be happy to have their brilliant Mum back again,” smiled Harry.
He put his arm around her waist and they slowly walked back to the house. Ginny poked his chest. “I think your chest is bigger than mine,” she grinned.
“Wanna go and find out? I'm sure no-one will miss us for awhile,” grinned Harry.
“Present time,” yelled Charlie, using the Sonorus charm to reach the Quidditch pitch. Whoops and hollers were heard as children came running from all directions.
Presents were exchanged and explained. Food was prepared and eaten. But what was important was that they were all there. Laughter and merriment was always in abundance at the Burrow, and today, this first Christmas without Molly and Arthur, was no exception.
Each person there took a moment to remember Arthur and Molly and in Heaven, they could hear and feel their thoughts.
“You are truly blessed to be that loved and missed,” murmured Lily Potter, as she comforted Molly.
“We have remarkable children, who married wonderful spouses. We are truly blessed to have shared so much of their lives with them,” said Arthur. “but our time on Earth is done. Now, like all of you, we get to watch from afar.”
They took a moment to watch Harry and Ginny kiss under some mistletoe. Lily and Molly teared up, while James and Arthur chuckled.
“They're going to be all right,”said Tonks, as she gazed upon Teddy and Vicki sharing a kiss too.
“They have each other,” smiled Remus, putting his arm around Tonks.
“Potter Puffs! I love it,” grinned Fred. He high fived Sirius.
“All right all right, let's sit down and eat,” said Severus, his hands covered in oven mitts as he held a tray. “Isn't Albus here yet? The roast will get cold.” He placed the meat in the middle of the table.
“I'm right here, Severus, and it smells delicious. Merry Christmas to you all,” said Albus. He grinned as he looked down to Earth. “Ah, young James and Fred are about to pull a prank. I wouldn't open that present if I was young Albus. Oh dear, too late.”
So in Heaven, as on Earth, families, whether by blood, marriage or deed, came together to celebrate Christmas.
In the North Pole, Santa sipped on a Butterbeer. His feet were resting on a footstool, and his big red coat was undone. He sighed contentedly as he prepared to toast a crumpet over the open fire.
“Another Christmas done,” he sighed in satisfaction.
“The reindeer are all fed and resting, and the elves are off on their Christmas holiday. It's just you and me, dear,” said Mrs Claus. “Ooh, crumpets!”
“Actually, my dear, try this first,” said Santa. “One of the children in England left it for me. You know, instead of the usual biscuits and milk.”
“Mmm, tasty. What are they, dear?” asked Mrs Claus.
“Potter Puffs,” said Santa, holding up a box. He pulled out a toy. “Look, a free lightening bolt in each box!”
“My word. They are delicious,” said Mrs Claus.
“Yes, they are. That James Potter will get an extra special present next year,” grinned Santa. “Ho, Ho, Ho!”
Later that night in England, James smiled in his sleep. His Potter Puffs had been a hit. In the next room, Al wondered if his Mum had really liked the Pygmy Puff he'd got for her. Down the hall, Lily wondered if Vicky would ask her to be a bridesmaid.
In the main bedroom, Harry and Ginny slept in each others arms, as they did every night. Ginny would waken the next day, and life would be a bit easier, despite her parents absence. Her beloved husband and children would help her through the sad times, and would give her many more happy times.
All was well.
Wishing all the Authors, Validators, Readers and Reviewers a very Merry Christmas. I hope wherever you are, you're with someone special who knows how special you are too.
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