|SIYE Time:18:28 on 23rd March 2018|
Genres: Fluff, General, Humor
Story is Complete
Summary: It was just after midnight; very early Christmas morning, when Harry receives an unexpected visit...from Death. He is gifted with a memory of a memory of a Christmas past and gets a glimpse at a possible future...or two.
Hitcount: Story Total: 856
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.
Rated for one swear word.
It was just after midnight at the Burrow. Outside the snow fell, laying a thick white blanket over the ground. Over yonder, the pond had iced over, and there would be ice skating later that day. For it was very early Christmas morning, a day to celebrate with the whole family.
In one of the rooms upstairs, Harry Potter stirred in the unfamiliar bed. He and Ron now lived together in 12 Grimmauld Place, while they began their Auror training. Ginny and Hermione had both returned to Hogwarts to complete their seventh years. but had returned three days ago for the holidays and had spent a lot of time at the boy's place, with both couples enjoying the privacy Grimmauld Place afforded. But Molly had pleaded with them both to spend Christmas Eve at the Burrow, and in the end, they had acquiesed. Charlie had a late Portkey but hoped to be there in the afternoon. Hermione was spending the night with her family and they would join the Weasleys, Harry, Andromeda and Teddy for lunch, after their own Christmas morning together, then attending a mid morning service at their church.
Harry turned over in his bed; he was having a wicked dream about him and Ginny, and his semi erection was rubbing against his pyjama bottoms, so he shifted to get more comfortable. His eyes opened sleepily just for a moment, then shot open as he sat up and reached for both his glasses and his wand.
“Who are you?” he demanded of the figure in his bedroom. Dread filled him with the thought that those he loved were all in this house. Had they been harmed? Ginny, Teddy...the Weasleys?
“Lower your wand, you are in no harm,” instructed the deep voice. The person — he couldn't tell if it was male or female — was hooded, wearing an old, dark cloak.
“I don't think so,” said Harry, roughly. “ Who are you? How did you get in here?” Harry knew Bill's wards were among the very best.
“I can get in anywhere I want,” said the deep voice, seemingly amused.
“You better not have hurt anyone? Who are you, what do you want?” repeated Harry.
“All you care for are unharmed. I have come tonight only for you, Harry Potter,” informed the deep voice.
“Tell me who you are?” ordered Harry, again.
“I, Harry Potter, am Death,” announced his visitor.
“Death? But you — you said you've come for me,” said Harry, his mind awhirl.
Death chuckled. “ Relax, Harry Potter, you will not be seeing the Ferryman tonight. No, I have been watching you for some time. You are a most unusual man.”
“Unusual? How,” demanded Harry, thrusting his wand upwards. “ Tell me.”
“You had in your possession the Deathly Hallows, all of them. You used them wisely, to rid your world of a great evil. Yet the only one you kept was the cloak of invisibility,” stated Death.
“ It was my right to keep it,” defended Harry. “ It's my family heirloom, to be passed down from father to the firstborn son. If I have a son, he will be given it too,” explained Harry. Thoughts of a future, of marrying and having a family of his own were possibilities he was still coming to terms with. A certain red haired witch certainly made those possibilites, well, possible.
“Ah yes, your father, James. He certainly used the cloak well, mainly in his time at Hogwarts,” remembered Death. At Harry's curious look he shrugged. “ I like to keep an eye on my Hallows, whoever should be in possession of them at the time.”
“You watched my father?” asked Harry, lowering his wand.
“I saw you at their gravesite earlier this evening,” noted Death, not answering Harry's question. “ For someone who barely knew them, your grief for them is still very real.”
“ Yes,” agreed Harry. “ I've been fortunate to have people in my life who shared wonderful stories and memories of them with me. I only saw their graves for the first time last year, on Christmas Eve. It felt right to go earlier...er yesterday,” corrected Harry, with a quick glimpse at the time.
“You have not had an easy life, Harry Potter,” said Death.
“ Yes, well, in light of recent events, I know my parents are okay; that they're with their friends. I know that they have watched over me, and are proud of me,” said Harry, remembering that moment in the Forbidden forest. “ That helps me deal with...stuff.”
Death nodded in agreement. “ As today is the Yule, I have decided to give you a gift.”
“A gift from Death?...What could you possibly give to me?” asked Harry, taken aback.
Death raised his arm, and Harry thought he was about to be struck down. He opened his mouth, but Death waved his arm, and Harry found himself in a memory.
“ Where are we? Is this some kind of weird, invisible Pensieve?” he asked. It had the feel of a Pensieve, as he and Death stood in a bedroom.
There was a giggle, and Harry's attention was drawn to the bed. Two lumps under the covers materialised, moving around. Harry had no idea what was happening, until the giggles turned to sighs and moans.
He turned to Death. “ Really? Sorry, I'm not into voyerism. I don't know what you thought but I don't need to see this!” he gestured at the bed.
Just then the covers were thrust back, and two heads emerged, breathing heavily. At first Harry thought it was himself and maybe Ginny, until the two figures spoke.
“Merry Christmas, James.”
The man kissed her. “ Merry Christmas, Lil. Come here,” he urged, reaching for her.
Lily giggled, batting his hands away. “ No, we don't have time. Sirius and Remus will be here soon, and I wanted to have breakfast ready for everyone.”
James drew her into his arms. “ Screw Padfoot and Moony. If I want to stay in bed with my wife, then I will, and nobody's going to stop me,” he vowed.
“ What about Harry? It's his first Christmas, and I want to make it extra special for him,” said Lily.
“He's still asleep, or we would have heard him, clever boy. Besides, he's only five months old, Lily, he won't even remember,” insisted James, beaming at the mention of his son.
“You did remind Sirius not to get him that broomstick, didn't you?” asked Lily, settling at his side.
James shrugged, kissing the top of her forehead. “He's going to give it to him for his birthday or Christmas, either one,” he said.
Lily sighed, shaking her head happily. “He spoils our boy,” she said fondly.
“ Yeah, he loves Harry. He's determined to be the best godfather he can be,” agreed James. He rollled over on top of Lily. “ Can we not talk about Sirius while we're together like this, please,” he teased.
Lily ran her hands up and around his neck. “ Maybe you should shut me up then, Mr Potter,” she taunted.
James grinned. “ My pleasure, Mrs Potter.” He lowered his head to hers, just about to kiss her when the door opened suddenly.
“ Oy, don't do that in front of you son,” barked Sirius, placing his hands over baby Harry's eyes.
“Pads, you're here early. Merry Christmas,” greeted James, rolling off his wife.
Lily pulled the covers up to her neck. “ Was Harry awake? We didn't hear him crying,” she said.
“He was just waking when I went to check on him. We've been having a great conversation in his room. I've been telling him about all the pranks we've pulled and how, when he's older, he'll become a Mararuder like us. I told him the best lines to pick up women, and the best make out places in Hogwarts,” said Sirius, tickling Harry to make him laugh.
James laughed too. “ That's my boy. Can you say da, yet, Harry? Come on now, da...da,” he encouraged.
“ James, he's five months old,” chuckled Lily. “Sirius, nick off so I can get dressed. Is Remus here yet?”
“ Not yet. Full moon was a few days ago, though, so should be here soon,” said Sirius. “ Uh-oh.” Sirius felt a rumbling in Harry's nappy and a strong aroma hit their noses.
“ Ugh, here,” said Sirius, screwing up his nose as he handed Harry over to his parents. Harry waved his arms as Lily pointed to James, who took his son.
“ I'll be downstairs, breathing normally again,” said Sirius. “ Lil, when's breakfast going to be ready.”
Lily gestured for him to leave. “ Go, so I can get dressed, and I'll be right down. James, I'll leave you to look after Harry.” She ran her hand over Harry's black hair, and kissed his chubby cheek. “ Merry Christmas, darling.”
“Baba dada,” gurgled baby Harry.
“ Did you hear that?” exclaimed James. “ My boy is a frikken genius. Ow, Lil, what was that for?” He rubbed his arm where she had lightly hit him.
“ Don't swear around my boy. My clever boy,” cooed Lily to Harry. “ Who's my clever boy?”
“Oh boy,” groaned Sirius, rolling his eyes.
“You heard it, right? He said dada, didn't he?” challenged James proudly.
“I heard a bunch of jibber jabber,” teased Sirius.
“ Sirius Black, my clever son does not speak jibber jabber. Now go,” ordered Lily. “ And leave the cat alone,” she called, as Sirius closed the door behind him.
“ Too late,” he called out, then they heard an angry meow. Lily sighed, then turned her attention back to Harry. “It's your very first Christmas, sweetheart. There's presents waiting downstairs for you, and we'll have breakfast before we get you all dressed up and go to church —“
“ Aw Lil, do we have to?” whined James. He planned for a quiet day at home with his wife, son and best friends, eating and laying around.
“ -and then we'll stop and see Miss Bagshot for a quick visit then come home for a lovely Christmas lunch,” finished Lily, kissing Harry's hands. She screwed her nose up at the smell. “ James, he really needs to be changed.”
“ Fine. You better go down and see what Sirius is up to. He's probably changing the name tags on all the presents,” grinned James.
“ Well, they're mostly for Harry, anyway,” reasoned Lily, getting up and getting dressed.
Baby Harry reached his hands out for her, and she reached out to grab them and kiss them again. “You best hurry before he starts crying for a feed,” she instructed James.
“ Right, I definitely can't help with that. Come on, son,” said James, getting out of bed. “ We'll be down soon,” he told Lily, walking to his son's bedroom.
The scene changed to what was presumably later that day. Lily was holding Harry on her lap as she sat at the table. Joining her were James, Sirius and Remus, the first two were wearing paper hats they'd won from a Christmas cracker.
“Has anyone heard from Peter lately?”asked Lily, looking around.
“He told me he'd be gone for quite a while,” replied Remus.
“Who or what is in Albania?” asked James, dishing up the Christmas pudding.
“Maybe Wormtail has a girlfriend,” suggested Sirius. “He's certainly been very secretive lately.”
“ Merlin, can you imagine. Anyway, enough about the rat. A toast, to my wonderful wife and a brilliant Christmas day with family. And to Harry, for his first Christmas. May he always be surrounded by those he loves, but especially at Christmas.”
Sirius, Remus and Lily raised their glasses and clinked them against James'. “To Harry,” they chorused, looking at the little boy.
As if he knew they were talking about him, Harry offered them a gummy smile, till the cat jumped on the window sill and began to clean itself. That took his attention away.
Harry then found himself back in the Weasley's bedroom. “What was that? A dream? I'm dreaming all this, aren't I?”
“ No, Harry Potter, that was your Christmas past,” said Death.
Harry swallowed. “ That- that was my first Christmas? It was real, all of it?” he asked. He bit his lip to stop it trembling.
“ Why would I lie?” asked Death, rhetorically. “ Yes, that was a memory, my own memory. Later that day James mentioned passing the cloak down to you when you started at Hogwarts.”
“ Dumbledore gave it to me for Christmas my first year,” remembered Harry.
“ Ah, Albus. An interesting man,” noted Death.
There was silence, then Harry said, “ So, that's it. You came to show me a memory of my first Christmas. Thanks. Er, goodbye?”
Death chuckled. “ Oh, I'm not going anywhere yet. Sit down, Harry Potter.”
Harry sat on the edge of his bed. “ Are you going to show me more memories of me and my parents?” He tried not to sound too eager and knew he was failing miserably.
“ No, Harry Potter, I am not,” said Death.
Harry's face fell, then he shrugged. “ Fine. So, can I go back to sleep yet?”
Death said nothing until... “Curious.”
“Sorry, what's curious?” asked Harry.
“ Most people would ask me to show them the future, or ask me when they were going to die,” noted Death.
Harry wrinkled his nose. “Why would anyone want to know that?”
Death seemingly cocked his head; it was hard to tell. “ You don't wish to know your future?”
Before Harry could respond, Death waved his arm, and Harry felt himself once again in a memory...or was it?
It was a different bedroom with a different bed, but there was again, two figures moving under the covers, moaning and sighing in unmistakable pleasure.
Harry looked at Death. “ Not this again. I really don't need to see my parents -”
“ Wait,” interrupted Death, his long cold spindly fingers resting on Harry's shoulder.
One head emerged from under the covers. Harry gasped out loud. It was Ginny, an older Ginny, maybe in her early twenties.
“Did you hear that?” asked Ginny, stilling to see if she heard correctly.
A muffled voice answered her from under the covers.
Ginny closed her eyes. “ No, stop,” she half protested. “ I really should...mmm...I think I heard...oh wow, yes...don't stop, right there, that's it...shit!” The pleasure left her face, to be replaced by a resigned look.
Harry had heard it too; the sound of a baby crying. But as he was about to ask Death where the baby was, another head of black hair emerged from under the covers.
It was himself.
“ Are you sure you heard him?” he heard himself ask Ginny in a husky tone that he had never thought he'd imagine using.
“Are you sure you heard him?” He ran a hand up and down her side. “ I don't hear anything.”
Ginny curled into him. “ I thought I did. He'll be wanting a feed soon.”
“And then we can open presents,” said Harry, eagerly.
Ginny chuckled. “ You sound more like a Weasley every Christmas, Harry. Yes, once we've I've fed him, we can all open presents.”
Harry hitched one of Ginny's legs over his hip. “He's still asleep, I can't hear anything. Come on, Gin, it's Christmas morning,” he teased.
“ Wah — wah. Wah- wah.”
“ Sorry dear, someone is demanding breakfast. Keep that thought, though. I have a feeling we'll be in for an early night tonight. It's going to be a long day.” Ginny kissed him lightly, then climbed out of bed and shrugged on a bath robe. The baby's cries were getting louder.
Harry rolled onto his back and put both hands under his head. “ James' first Christmas,” he said aloud, happily. The cries had now stopped.
Real Harry was confused. His dad's first Christmas? It was definitely him and Ginny, so who was James?
Older Harry listened as he heard voices, then giggling and gurgling, smiling at the sound of those he loved most in this world.
“Harry, get in here,” called Ginny.
He reluctantly left the warm bed, grabbing some boxers from where Ginny had tossed them last night, and added a bathrobe for warmth. He left the room and went across the hall.
Ginny was leaning against the door jamb and he stood behind her, one hand caressing her hip as he peered over her shoulder.
Harry froze. No, it couldn't be...could it? But...it was definitely Teddy Lupin in the cot, albeit an older Teddy, maybe three or four. A small baby sat between his legs, cute as a button as he laughed when older Teddy tickled him.
“Isn't that the cutest thing. Your godson and your son. Try and keep them there, I want to get the camera,” said Ginny, patting his arm and returning to the bedroom.
Teddy looked up and grinned when he saw Harry. “Happy Christmas, Harry. I helpeded Jamie.”
“Happy Christmas, Teddy, thank you for helping him,” replied Harry.
Teddy picked up the baby's hand. “ Look Jamie, it's your dad. Come on, show Harry what I taught you. Dad, dad, dad,” he encouraged.
The baby named Jamie saw Harry and lifted his arms. “baba dada gaga.”
Teddy looked proud. “ He said it! Did ya hear him, Harry, he said it!”
Real Harry fought back tears as older Harry walked into the room.
He picked up James, who gurgled happily, reaching for Harry's glasses. “ Who's my clever boys, then?” he asked, delighted. “ You, Teddy,” — he lifted Teddy up too, hitching him on his hip — “ are a great teacher.” Teddy beamed at the praise. “And you, James Sirius,” — Jamie sucked on the collar of Harry's bathrobe — “ are the cleverest baby I know.”
“Oh, they moved. I missed it,” groaned Ginny, as she returned to the baby's room.
Harry swung around, both boys in his arms. Ginny's face lit up. “ Hold it,” she said, snapping the picture.
“Wah-ma. wah-ma,” wailed James, reaching for Ginny.
She came over the group of three, kissing first Jamie, then Teddy and finally Harry. “Merry Christmas, m'wah, m'wah, m'wah,” she said.
“ Yuck,” said Teddy, wiping her kiss off. He leaned his head on Harry's shoulder as Ginny took James.
“ Why don't you take Teddy downstairs to see if Santa has been while I change this one,” suggested Ginny.
“ You sure? We don't want you to miss out,” asked Harry.
“ Just start Teddy's Santa presents, I can feed James while I watch,” said Ginny, already laying Jamie on the change table.
Teddy wriggled to get down. “ Come on Harry, I want to see if Santa has been. Come on,” he urged, running out the room.
Harry smiled as Ginny talked jibber jabber to Jamie as she deftly changed him, making him laugh when she blew a raspberry on his belly.
“Come on, Harry, hurry” called Teddy.
Ginny looked around, surprised to see Harry still there, watching. “ I love you,” he told her, full of emotion. “ I love you both so much.”
Ginny lifted Jamie up and into her arms, clad in only a nappy and a singlet. She went to Harry and kissed him; Jamie snug in between them. “ We love you, too,” she said softly. He caressed her cheek and kissed the top of Jamie's head.
“ Go,” urged Ginny, “ we'll be right behind you.” She grabbed a light blanket to wrap over James, grabbed some clothes for him and followed Harry out the door, and to a waiting Teddy.
Harry blinked back tears, and found himself back in his borrowed bedroom at the Burrow. “ What the — no, take me back,” he demanded, looking around.
“I cannot do that, Harry Potter,” said Death, calmly.
“That was my future, wasn't it?” asked Harry, excitedly. “ I'm going to marry Ginny and we'll have a son named James Sirius. It's brilliant...and Teddy was there. Wait, where was Andromeda?”
Death seemed amused. “ Oh, this was just one of many possible futures for you, Harry Potter. After all, the choices we make, even small ones, can change a future, just like that.” He clicked his fingers together.
Harry blinked again, and found himself in the bed, under the covers and looking up at the ceiling. He sat up and looked around; nothing was amiss. No cloaked hooded figures lurked in the corner. “ Did I just dream all of that?” he asked aloud.
Harry yawned, shrugged and rolled onto his side. He was back asleep in no time.
Death reappeared from the shadows. “ Merry Christmas, Harry Potter.” He waved his hand over Harry's hand, then simply disappeared.
Harry found himself dozing on a comfortable sofa. He heard people talking around him; they were close. He felt no fear from them, instead, their presence comforted him, much as seeing his parents, Sirius and Remus had done in the Forbidden forest. It was a feeling of family.
“ Mum, why is Dad still asleep?”
“He's been working hard, Lily, there's been a really big case, and you know your dad is head Auror.”
“ I know. He was yawning all the time while we were Christmas shopping today.”
“A good night sleep and he'll be right as rain for Christmas day tomorrow, promise.”
Harry heard the sound of the doorbell. A boy who looked a lot like him burst through a door. “ That'll be Scorp and his dad.” He rushed to the door.
Harry felt someone sit near him, stroking his back. “ You better wake up, Harry. Scorpius is here...and his dad. You know this is important to Al.”
Harry didn' t know any Scorpius or Al, but he recognised Ginny's scent and touch. He opened his eyes to see the lookalike boy open the door to allow access to a blonde hair boy...who he kissed.
Harry sputtered as he sat up. Ginny nudged him, but it only got worse when he saw the man who he presumed was this Scorpius' dad.
Draco Malfoy. In what crazy, fucked up universe did he and Ginny invite Draco Malfoy over for Christmas Eve dinner, and let his son — because who else could he be — kiss boys, especially boys named Malfoy.
“ Harry, you're gawking,” whispered Ginny, nudging him. She smiled brightly. “Draco, Scorpius, welcome to our home. Happy Christmas Eve.”
“ Thanks Ginny, hello, Harry. Thanks for inviting us,” smiled Draco, easily. He handed Ginny a bottle of wine. “ Happy Christmas.”
“ Hi, Mr Potter, Mrs Potter,” said Scorpius shyly, his hand encased in his son's.
“ Come in, sit down. Dinner is about half an hour away. Pre-dinner drinks?” asked Ginny.
“ Lovely,” agreed Draco, sitting where she gestured.
“ I should check on dinner, be right back,” said Harry, excusing himself.
“ James and Jules are snogging in the kitchen,” warned the girl he assumed was Lily.
“ Er, right. Thanks...Lily,” he said, hoping he was right.
She beamed and followed him. “ Oy,” she shouted at her older brother, making him and the girl his lips were attached to, jump apart. “ We've got company.”
James ignored her. “ Dad, you're awake, finally. Why are you looking at me like that?”
Harry was studying him, looking for signs of the baby he'd seen earlier. Yes, this was the grown up James Sirius. A thought occurred to him. “ Is Teddy coming tonight, too?”
“ Dad, have you really forgotten? Tonight is the night Teddy is proposing to Victoire!” cried Lily. “ We just saw him in Diagon Alley to pick up the ring.”
“ Oh, yeah, right. Guess I forgot,” said Harry. He sniffed.“ Dinner smells great.”
“ Yeah, well, you're a good cook,” shrugged James, and the girl next to him — Jules? — nodded. Harry was surprised. He had made the dinner?
“ Harry, are you coming back?” That was Ginny.
Lily and James snickered. “Better get back in there, Dad. Go make nice with Mr Malfoy. Al's been busting a nut all day waiting for Scorpius to get here,” grinned James.
“ Stop it, James, they're so cute together. Dad, ignore him. Scorpius is a great guy, and perfect for Al.”
“ Coming Gin,” he called, winking at the other three.
Harry woke and sat up, startled to see Ron sitting on the side of his bed. “ All right, mate?” he asked, handing him his glasses.
Harry nodded, looking around. Somehow he expected everything to look different.
Ron stood, assured now that Harry was okay. “ Well, Mum and Gin sent me up to get you. Come on,” he urged.
“ Where?” asked Harry, perplexed.
“ Harry, it's Christmas morning. We've been waiting for you,” smiled Ron. “Presents!”
“ Just give me a minute. Go down, I'll be there soon,” said Harry.
“ All right. Don't be long, though,” warned Ron.
Harry heard Ron return downstairs. “Yeah, he's awake. He's fine, Ginny, said he'll be down soon.”
Ginny. A feeling of warmth filled his body. It was Christmas and Ginny and Ron and all the Weasleys were waiting downstairs for him. He stored the memory of the last dream in his mind to think about later.
He went downstairs in his sweat pants and a tee, sure that there would be a Weasley jumper for him soon, as well as a hot breakfast and a toasty warm fire to snuggle up in front of with a certain red head beauty.
“ Harry!” chorused the Weasleys, as soon as his foot hit the last step.
“ Finally,” sighed Ron, rolling his eyes.
“ Wait!” called Ginny, as he moved to get closer to the tree.
He stopped, confused, as she crouched down. Then he saw his godson, nine months old, standing between her legs.
“ Go on, Teddy, walk to Harry. You can do it, go to Harry,” she urged.
Teddy smiled and drooled, and tentatively took a step, then another towards his godfather.
Harry dropped to his knee, opening his arms wide. “ Come on, Teddy, you can do it,” he cajoled.
Giggling, Teddy took tottering, unbalanced steps over to his godfather. Harry enveloped him in his arms and stood. “ You clever boy, you did it.”
All the Weasleys cheered, and Andromeda came over to kiss his cheek. “ Good boy,” she crooned. She kissed Harry's too. “ Happy Christmas.”
Teddy reached out to grab Harry's glasses, successfully this time, as Harry's attention was diverted by Ginny coming over to them.
She stood on tip toes to kiss Teddy. “ Clever boy,” she said, wrestling Harry's glasses from him. Teddy beamed at the attention. Ginny smiled at Harry, propping the smudged glasses back on his nose. “ He nearly got it yesterday. I'm so glad he didn't, and you got to see his first steps,” she said softly.
He loped an arm over her shoulder and leaned down to kiss her. “ Happy Christmas,” he said softly, kissing her lightly on the lips, but longer than he usually did in public.
She smiled when they broke apart. “ It will be a happy Christmas,” she agreed. “ We have much to celebrate.”
She took Teddy from him and over to the Christmas tree to open presents. Harry was content to watch everybody from afar. Percy laughing at something George said, Fleur blushing at a gift Bill had gotten her, Ron tucking into some Christmas candy and Molly and Arthur exchanging gifts. Andromeda held Teddy while Ginny helped him rip off the paper.
Ginny looked over coyly. “ Come on, Harry.” She jiggled a present that he assumed was for him.
“And so much to look forward to,” he muttered with a smile, going over to join Ginny, Teddy, Andromeda and all the Weasleys.
Hermione and her parents would join them for lunch. Charlie would arrive from Romania, and Neville and his gran, and Luna and her dad would join them for dinner.
The future was definitely one to look forward to.
A/N Title was taken from the Bill Murray movie,' Scrooged'. Alas, no Ebenezer Scrooge in this story.
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