A/N - This is just another fun, light-hearted Christmas story, which I actually wrote a few years ago and it slipped through the cracks when I was publishing at the time. However, I've found it again, so I hope people enjoy it.
The weekend before Christmas, The Burrow was the scene of a festive afternoon. Molly and Arthur Weasley had decided to treat their grandchildren to a Christmas treat so they had hired a sleigh, two reindeer and a Santa suit in an effort to bring a bit of festive magic into their families lives. Arthur was currently setting up in the garden while Molly in the kitchen icing her Christmas cookies.
Arriving later were the Weasleys oldest son, Bill, his wife Fleur and their two daughters, Victorie and Dominique. Victorie was five while Dominique was only eight months. Also arriving later was Percy and his wife Audrey, along with their eighteen month old daughter, Molly.
Currently already in the house were George and his wife Angelina, along with their one year old son little Fred, named in honour of George's late twin brother. Ginny had also already arrived alongside her husband, Blaise Zabini and their three year old daughter, Amira. The Weasleys surrogate daughter, Hermione Granger, was also present with her husband Draco Malfoy and their three year old son, Scorpius.
The only members of the family that wouldn't be present were Charlie, Ron and Harry Potter. Charlie was currently back working in Romania while Harry and Ron had left after the war just over six years ago and they hadn't been seen since. Molly was sad that her youngest son and the boy she also considered family hadn't been in touch for years, but it was something she had learnt to live with.
Initially when the boys left they were only supposed to be gone a few months, in order to get over their respective broken hearts. After the war Ginny had told Harry that she didn't want to reignite their relationship. While Harry was off searching for Horcrux's Ginny had met someone else, Blaise Zabini, and while nothing had happened between them she had realised that Harry wasn't what she wanted. Ron's heart had been broken when Hermione had told him that she saw him as her friend only and there was no chance of them starting any sort of romantic relationship.
After Harry and Ron left, Ginny got together with Blaise properly and it was through their relationship that Hermione and Draco got together. The Weasleys were initially wary of the two former Slytherins, Draco especially, but they gave them a chance and they were now part of the family. In actual fact the two Slytherins got along with everyone great and surprisingly Draco's parents also got along with everyone fine.
After she finished icing the cookies, Molly checked on Arthur and Angelina setting up the sleigh, before heading into the front room. Arriving in the front room, Molly was surprised to find Hermione was the only person in the room. Hermione was curled up on the sofa, with little Fred asleep in her arms.
"Where is everyone?" Molly asked, settling down in an armchair.
"Ginny's got Scorpius and Amira upstairs, doing god knows what. And as for Draco, George and Blaise, I have no idea where they went," Hermione replied. "They took advantage of the fact I couldn't get up and left without saying where they were going," she added, indicating the sleeping baby and the fact she was seven months pregnant as the reason she couldn't get up in a hurry.
"Knowing them three I'm sure they're up to mischief somewhere," Molly sighed.
"That's what I'm worried about," Hermione chuckled.
"As long as they're back for Arthur's big display," Molly said.
"I'm sure they will be, none of them wants to miss the looks on the kids' faces when they see Santa," Hermione replied.
"I'm sure it'll be something special," Molly smiled. "I've got the camera ready so we don't miss a moment."
Hermione smiled back at Molly and the two women started talking quietly about how excited the kids would be. They'd even invited their good friends, Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood and their two year old twins, to see Santa.
Fifteen minutes later the two witches were still happily chatting away when the front door burst open and seconds later a beaming Ron and Harry stepped into the room.
"Merry Christmas!" Ron exclaimed.
For a moment, neither Molly nor Hermione said anything. They just stared at Harry and Ron, hardly able to believe their eyes. After years of no contact at all, the pair had just waltzed back in and acted as though they'd only seen them a few days earlier. Molly was the first one to recover from the shock, and she jumped up to embrace the two wizards.
"Ssh, little Fred's asleep," Molly hissed as Harry and Ron began to loudly rejoice in being home.
"Who's little Fred?" Ron asked.
"George's son," Molly said, gesturing to where the little boy was still miraculously sleeping soundly in Hermione's arms, not having being at all bothered by the noise.
"Wow George has a son," Ron whispered, looking in awe at the child in Hermione's arms. His eyes widened slightly when he spotted Hermione's bump and he turned his attention towards his friend. "Hermione, you're pregnant."
"Thank you for telling me Ronald, I hadn't noticed," Hermione muttered, rolling her eyes at her friend. "And hello to you too, it's nice to see you," she added pointedly.
"Sorry," Ron muttered sheepishly as he leaned down and pecked Hermione on the cheek. "It's great to see you, I was just taken by surprise with the bump."
"Hi, Hermione," Harry smiled at his friend as he also gave Hermione a peck on the cheek. "You look great."
"Thanks. You two look a bit tanned yourselves," she commented, looking at the two men she hadn't seen in six years.
"Well we've been travelling." Ron announced as she settled on the sofa with Harry. "I think we've visited practically every continent."
As the two men began to gush about their adventures, Molly and Hermione shared a disbelieving look. After six years away Harry and Ron had just waltzed in and acted as though they'd only been away for a few days. They hadn't asked either Molly or Hermione if they were okay and what was going on in their lives and they hadn't asked about anyone else in the family. Molly and Hermione didn't mind hearing what Harry and Ron had been up to, but some sort of recognition that they had been away so long would have been nice.
"I'll go and make some tea," Molly announced when there was a lull in the two wizards stories.
Molly was away a few minutes, in which Harry and Ron asked when Hermione was due to give birth and if she was having a boy or a girl. When Hermione had told her friends she was having a little girl at the beginning of February, they then asked how old little Fred was. Before they had a chance to ask more questions Molly returned and the two women began talking about Christmas. If Harry and Ron wanted to act as though they hadn't been away for years, then Molly and Hermione intended to follow their lead and carry on as normal.
"I can't believe Hermione is with George," Ron whispered to Harry, while the two witches were talking to each other.
"I know," Harry whispered back. "I can't believe she married your brother."
"How do you know they're married?" Ron questioned.
"Hermione's wearing a wedding ring," Harry replied. He'd noticed the ring straight away but he suspected that Ron hadn't noticed.
"Well I can't believe she's seven months pregnant and has a son that's just turned one," Ron hissed. "That's just ridiculous. Can't George keep his hands to himself?"
"I don't think his hands were the cause of the problem," Harry chuckled.
Ron shot his best friend a disturbed look, but couldn't help but grin himself. The thought of Hermione with George was a strange one, but Harry's joke had helped alleviate some of the awkwardness. Ron had gotten over Hermione a long time ago, but he'd never expected to return home to find her married to his brother.
Molly shot a questioning look at the two men, but before she could question the source of their amusement little footsteps could be heard pounding down the stairs. Seconds later a little blond boy sped into the room, before coming to a halt near Molly.
"Is that kid a Malfoy?" Ron hissed to Harry, staring at the little boy who was the spitting image of their childhood adversary, Draco Malfoy.
Harry shrugged and the pair set about studying the boy who had just entered the room. So far he hadn't looked in their direction, but from what they could see Harry suspected Ron was right. What he was doing at The Burrow, however, was another matter.
"Ssh, little Fred's asleep," Molly told the boy, as she picked him up in her arms. "What do you want, darling?"
Scorpius glanced over at little Fred sleeping in his mother's arms before returning his attention to Molly. "Where's Daddy?" he whispered.
"He's popped out with Uncle George, he'll be back soon," Molly replied. "Can I help?"
Scorpius shook his head quickly. He had come to get his father so he could show him the present he had bought for his mother while shopping with Ginny. Ginny had told him only to tell his father and not to let his mother know what was going on, so he remained tight-lipped about the reason for his trip downstairs.
"When your Daddy comes back, I'll send him straight up to see you," Molly told the boy, placing him back on the floor. "All right."
Scorpius nodded eagerly and grinned at Molly. "Thanks, Nana Molly," he cried, before flying back out of the room.
"Nana Molly," Ron repeated quietly so only Harry could hear him. "Tell me I'm imagining things, Harry."
"I wish I could, but I heard it too. I also heard Uncle George," Harry whispered back. "You know what this means, don't you?"
"Ginny," Ron replied with a grimace. "The bloody idiot has married the ferret."
"What are you two whispering about?" Molly asked, eyeing her son and his best friend suspiciously.
"Nothing," Ron said hurriedly, speaking a bit louder than he had intended.
Whether it was Ron's voice that disturbed him or whether it was just time for him to wake up, little Fred chose that moment to begin to stir. Harry and Ron watched as the little boy woke up and within five minutes he was sitting up on Hermione's knee, a chunk of her hair wrapped round his chubby fist.
Harry and Ron were still watching Hermione and little Fred a few minutes later when the front door opened and George walked in, alongside Draco Malfoy and Blaise Zabini. While Harry and Ron were sort of expecting to see the blond Slytherin they hadn't expected to see his best friend. His presence at The Burrow was even more confusing to the pair.
"Draco, Scorpius was looking for you," Molly said the moment the blond entered the room.
"Thanks Molly," the blond smiled at the older witch. "Where is he?"
"Upstairs with Ginny," Molly replied.
Draco nodded before turning and heading up the stairs. Harry and Ron didn't know if he had spotted them or not, but they weren't in any hurry to deal with their former enemy. Instead of dwelling on the blond's presence, Harry and Ron turned to George, hoping from a warm welcome from Ron's brother.
George however seemed unconcerned with his siblings return as his attention was focused on his son. George had walked over to where Hermione was sitting and he was currently holding little Fred, who was excitedly bouncing up and down and squealing 'dada' at the top of his voice.
"What exactly have you three been up to?" Hermione asked George as he fussed over his son.
"What makes you think we've been up to anything?" George asked innocently.
"Because you three are always up to something," Hermione retorted. "I swear you lot are more trouble than all the children combined."
"We haven't been up to anything, I swear," George said.
Hermione tutted and looked as though she was going to argue so George turned his attention to his wayward brother and his best friend. Seeing Ron and Harry had been a shock and he wasn't sure he was entirely happy to see them. The way they left had been bad enough, especially for Molly who'd still been recovering from the war at the time. But then to not bother keeping in contact, or even sending the odd letter to reassure Molly they were still alive, was even worse in George's opinion. It was as though they'd just cast the family aside when they were bored with them, and now for whatever reason they were back home and sitting in the front room as though no time had passed and they could just slip back into their old lives.
"So, you've returned," George remarked. "All the letters and postcards were really appreciated," he added snappishly, not even trying to hide his disapproval of their behaviour.
"We meant to write, really we did. But we just kept forgetting and the longer we didn't write the harder it was to get in touch," Ron said quietly.
"Why? Did you lose the ability to pick up a quill the longer you didn't bother to use one?" George retorted.
"I'm sure we can all discuss this another day," Molly interjected quickly, not wanting an argument to break out. As shocked as she was to see Ron and Harry, she was still thrilled to have the pair of them home, and the last thing she wanted was for a big argument to take place.
"Let's remember today is for the children," Hermione said, backing Molly up. "Let's not spoil it."
"What's so special about today?" Harry asked.
Harry's answer came in the form of Angelina entering the room, dressed in an elf costume. "Santa has arrived," she announced, coming to a stop next to Blaise. She then spotted Ron and Harry in the front room and her eyes widened in shock. "This is a surprise," she whispered.
"That's one word for it," George snorted.
"George play nice, remember what Hermione said. Today is for the children," Molly said as she got up and made her way to the bottom of the stairs. "Ginny," she called up the stairs. "It's time."
A few seconds' later footsteps could once again be heard on the stairs, but this time a little girl with long dark hair flew into the room. She ran straight over to Blaise and the former Slytherin picked her up in his arms.
"Look daddy, an elf," she exclaimed, stroking Angelina's hat.
"Do you know who elves always help?" Blaise asked his daughter.
"Yep, Santa," Angelina nodded, smiling at Amira. "Do you want to come with me, sweetheart and get your coat on? Then we can go and see Santa."
Amira cheered as Blaise handed her over to Angelina. Angelina then turned and took Scorpius from where he was standing in between Draco and Ginny. Draco and Ginny had followed Amira into the room, but this was the first time Harry and Ron had noticed them. However, Ginny had noticed the pair the moment she'd entered the room, and she'd froze at the sight of her brother and ex-boyfriend.
"Are you okay?" Draco whispered to her, placing a comforting hand on her back.
"I will be," Ginny replied, flashing Draco a grateful smile before turning to Angelina. "I'll come and help with the coats," she told her sister-in-law, before hurriedly leaving the room with Angelina and the children. She wasn't sure she was ready to deal with Harry and Ron, or rather she wasn't sure she could deal with them without hexing them and she wasn't going to ruin the day by doing so.
"Angelina is one sexy elf," George commented as his wife left the room.
"She is pretty hot," Blaise agreed.
Together the two wizards turned and looked at Draco, who shook his head at the pair.
"I'm not saying a thing," he said. "I wasn't looking."
"You're so whipped," Blaise laughed at his friend.
"I've never seen a man more under his wife's thumb," George added, also laughing.
"As if you two are any different," Draco shot back, rolling his eyes at the pair. "Both of you are terrified of your wives."
"Apparently a bit of fear is good for a marriage," George said as he helped Hermione get to her feet.
"Who told you that?" Blaise asked.
"My wife," George replied. "And my wife is always right."
"Aren't you a good husband," Hermione laughed, finally on her feet.
"I try," George grinned. "Now it's time to be a good father and get little Fred outside to see Santa."
With little Fred in his arms, George led the way out of the front room. Hermione, Blaise and Draco all followed the redhead out of the room, leaving just Molly, Ron and Harry. Molly also headed in the direction of the kitchen, to follow the others out of the back door, but she paused in the doorway and looked back at her youngest son and his best friend.
"Are you two coming?" Molly asked Harry and Ron, who were still sitting on the sofa, looking slightly bewildered by everything that was happening and how blasé everyone was being about their return.
"Yeah," Ron nodded as he and Harry stood up.
Following the others outside they kept their distance and watched from afar. In the middle of the snow covered garden sat a sleigh and two reindeers. Arthur was sitting in the sleigh dressed as Santa, or at least they thought it was Arthur as it was hard to tell who was really underneath the red suit, hat and white beard, while Angelina was organising the children. As well as everyone who had been inside, Bill and Fleur had arrived, along with Percy and his wife. Neville and Luna were also present and there was now five more kids they didn't recognise in the garden.
"This whole situation is confusing," Ron said to Harry. "Why are Zabini and Angelina here? Luna and Neville are clearly friends with the family and unfortunately Malfoy is with Ginny. That timid looking woman over there is with Percy, so where do Angelina and Zabini fit into the picture?"
"I have no idea," Harry shrugged. "Maybe they're together and they're here because he's Malfoy's best friend."
"Well it's all very strange," Ron muttered.
"And it just got stranger," Harry said, nudging Ron. "Look who's just arrived."
Ron looked up to find an elegant looking Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy walking towards the sleigh from the opposite direction. Despite the fact they were clearly somewhere, and with people, they would have once deemed to be below them, the couple looked quite at home in the back garden of The Burrow. Ron and Harry then watched in complete and utter shock as Molly greeted the pair warmly and they joined the other adults in gathering around the sleigh to witness the fun.
"This is bloody bonkers," Ron declared. "What the hell happened why we were away?"
"I don't know mate," Harry shrugged, just as shocked as Ron by the afternoon's events.
As the pair tried to take in what was happening they watched as the children went into the sleigh one by one to get a present and have a chat with Santa. Each child emerged with a gift bag and shrieks of joy could be heard when they were opened. When Scorpius had his turn Harry and Ron used the opportunity to look around at the family they hadn't seen in years. However the little blond's excited shouting when Angelina helped him down from the sleigh grabbed their attention.
"Mummy, mummy, look what I got off Santa."
Harry and Ron watched in total shock as Scorpius ran straight past Ginny and stopped in front of Hermione. Exchanging confused looks the pair edged closer to hear what was being said.
"Open it up, Scorp and have a look," Hermione told her son.
Scorpius opened the bag and produced a quidditch figure, a chocolate frog and a joke dung bomb from Weasleys Wizard Wheezes. As Scorpius expressed his glee at the toys, especially the dung bomb, Hermione turned to glare at George who was standing beside her.
"That's what you three were doing, you sneaky toads," Hermione hissed. "We specifically said no joke products in the gifts."
"I don't know what you're talking about," George said, feigning innocence. "We never touched the gift bags."
"Really?" Hermione glared at the redhead, trying to get him to crack and admit the truth. "Angelina, Ginny and I made up those bags this afternoon and there wasn't one Weasleys Wizards Wheezes product in them."
George looked around for an escape route and he spotted Amira finishing off with Arthur. "Oh look, it's little Fred's turn to see Santa. We'll have to discuss this later on."
George took off at lightning speed, leaving a glaring Hermione staring after him. Hermione then took hold of Scorpius' hand and escorted him to where all the other children were playing, leaving Harry and Ron to discuss what they had just learnt.
"I can't believe Hermione has a child with Malfoy," Harry said.
"And with George," Ron added. "Hey, whose child do you think she's carrying now? Is she still with George or has she moved on?"
"I have no idea," Harry sighed. "I can't believe Hermione would have children with both Malfoy and George, let alone adding a third person into the mix."
"What the hell?" a shocked voice behind Harry and Ron exclaimed. "What are you two talking about?"
Harry and Ron turned round to find a puzzled looking Neville standing behind them. In all the commotion they hadn't noticed their former schoolmate coming over to say hello.
"Sorry Neville, we didn't see you there," Harry said. "We were just talking about Hermione."
"I heard," Neville said. "But I think you've gotten the wrong end of the stick somewhere."
"I don't think so, it's all fairly clear," Ron shrugged. "Hermione had a kid with Malfoy, who moved onto Ginny, while she moved onto George and had little Fred. The big question now is, who is the father of her unborn baby?"
"What exactly do you think I am?" Hermione's annoyed voice sounded loud and clear from nearby. After leaving Scorpius to play with the other children, she'd returned to have a proper catch-up with Harry and Ron, only to overhear them maligning her character and casting her in the role of a loose woman.
Turning round again Harry and Ron found everyone, bar the children who were happily playing together, standing nearby watching the pair of them. From the looks of things they had all heard the conversation with Neville, and not one person looked very impressed with what they'd been saying.
"Well?" Hermione demanded. "What sort of person do you think I am?"
"We're not judging, Hermione," Ron said in a soothing voice. "It's perfectly normal to have children with two different men."
"I do not have children to two different men," Hermione snarled. "My son and my unborn daughter are both my husband's."
"But your son is Malfoy's kid," Harry said, looking towards the blond boy, who was playing with his Quidditch figure and some of the other children on the nearby sleigh.
"Yes," Hermione replied tightly. "Draco is Scorpius's father."
"But that would make you a Malfoy," Ron spluttered.
"He's quick, isn't he?" Lucius Malfoy drawled sarcastically, causing a few people to chuckle.
"That can't be right," Ron continued to splutter, ignoring Lucius's remark. "You're with George."
"What on earth would make you think that?" George questioned with a confused frown.
"Because of little Fred," Harry explained. "He's yours and Hermione's."
"Fred is mine," Angelina said, drawing the pair's attention to the fact that little Fred was now in her arms.
"So you didn't leave Malfoy for George," Harry said to Hermione, trying to put the facts right in his head.
"As if," Draco scoffed, wrapping a possessive arm around his wife's waist. "No offence, mate," he added to George.
"Once you've had a Malfoy man you never go elsewhere," Lucius bragged, winking at his wife. "We're more than enough to satisfy even the most demanding witches."
"Lucius," Narcissa scolded, blushing slightly as Blaise, George and Bill chuckled at Lucius's remark.
"Right, let's get this straight," Harry said, trying his best not to think about what Lucius had just said, and the images that were trying to implant themselves in his head. "Hermione is married to the ferret and George is married to Angelina. Am I right?"
"I'm actually married to Draco, not a ferret but you've got the gist of it." Hermione replied as Draco let out a low growl at the mention of the dreaded ferret incident from their fourth year at Hogwarts.
"Okay, so if that's the case why is Zabini here and who is his brat?" Ron asked.
"His brat is your niece," Ginny sharply informed her brother, as she fought the urge to pull her wand out and hex both Ron and Harry for their insensitivity. "A fact you would know if you'd bothered to keep in touch," she added with a snort, not able to hold her tongue.
"You're married to Zabini?" Harry questioned, looking at the unexpected pairing. As Ginny was talking, Blaise had moved beside her and was now standing with a protective arm around her shoulder.
"Yes," Ginny confirmed with a nod, silently daring either her brother or her ex to make a disparaging remark about the wizard she loved.
"Bloody hell this is too confusing," Ron muttered, shaking his head.
"Watch your language, Ronald, there's children present," Molly scolded her son.
"Maybe we should all go inside and have a nice cup of tea," Arthur suggested, eager to keep the peace and not ruin the day. He would also like to have a proper catch-up with his youngest son, as he'd only been alerted to his return by Angelina moments before the children had started their visits with Santa. "It's getting cold for the children and we can have a nice talk and iron out any confusion."
Everyone agreed and the children were gathered up and shepherded inside. While the children were settled in the front room with Percy and Audrey volunteering to watch them, everyone else gathered in the kitchen. Harry and Ron were dismayed to find Lucius and Narcissa among the group in the kitchen and they were particularly put out to witness Narcissa helping Molly and knowing where everything was kept without having to ask.
For the next half hour a long discussion took place as Harry and Ron were filled in on the lives of their family and friends. The pair had to admit their mistakes in pairing the couples and they were scolded by Molly for simply not asking for help deciphering what was going on. They also had to make some grovelling apologies about the conclusions they'd jumped to, especially to Hermione given what they'd been thinking about her. Luckily with the festive season upon them, people were in a forgiving mood and Hermione agreed they could forget the entire incident and start afresh.
Although a lot of the family did make it clear that the fact Ron and Harry hadn't been in touch for six years was the real issue. Not everyone was ready and willing to just accept them back and pretend as though they hadn't ignored them for six years. To be fair, Harry and Ron were more than happy to accept the criticism and they vowed to make up for the fact that they'd all but abandoned their family for the last few years. Given time they were confident they could build fences with all of the family and make up for spending six years without having any contact with anyone.
"Will you two still be here for Christmas?" Narcissa asked as she and Lucius were preparing to leave.
"I think so," Harry replied, sharing a wary look with Ron. "Why?"
"I just want to let you know your both welcome to join us on Christmas Eve with the rest of your family," Narcissa said with a smile.
Harry and Ron exchanged shocked looks at the invitation as Narcissa and Lucius said their goodbyes and left. Once they were gone they asked about the invitation and discovered that every Christmas Eve the entire family went to Malfoy Manor and every Boxing Day was spent at The Burrow.
Things had certainly changed in the six years they had been absent and it looked as if they had to get used to a lot of Slytherins if they were sticking around. At the minute Harry and Ron hadn't decided if they were staying for good or if they were off again after Christmas. Either way it looked like for the next few weeks they were going to be seeing an awful lot of people they never expected to spend the festive season with.