A/N - This is the first of 3 festive one-shots this week. As always with my christmas stories, this is light-hearted and fun. Enjoy!
It was a rather mild evening at the very end of November as a five months pregnant, Hermione Malfoy, got dressed to head to Diagon Alley with her family. The Malfoys were off to Diagon Alley to witness the Christmas lights been switched on. These days the busy shopping street made a fuss of the festive season, and every year they held a large celebration at the end of November to mark the start of their Christmas festivities.
It would actually be Hermione's first time attending the festive switch on, as for the last decade she'd lived in France. Technically, she and her husband, Draco, still lived in France with their seven year old son, Scorpius, but they were back in England for an extended visit over the festive period and Draco's parents were trying to convince them to make the move a permanent one. Even though they'd yet to make their mind up on moving back home, it was certainly something both Hermione and Draco were seriously considering and they would likely discuss the matter several times over the course of their stay at Malfoy Manor.
"Are you ready?" Draco asked, entering what had once been his childhood bedroom.
"I am. Is Scorpius ready?" Hermione asked as she grabbed her bag.
"He's raring to go," Draco replied. "He's downstairs with mother and father."
Checking she had everything, Hermione headed downstairs with her husband. Draco's parents, Lucius and Narcissa, were waiting in the floo room with Scorpius, and all three of them were ready to go.
"Come on Mum," Scorpius cried. "If we don't leave soon, we won't be able to see anything."
"Will it really be that crowded?" Hermione asked her parents-in-law.
"It is a pretty popular event," Narcissa replied. "The street is all decorated festively, and lots of the shops put on stalls."
"And don't forget the celebrity guest to switch on the lights," Lucius drawled with a roll of his grey eyes.
"Celebrity guest?" Draco asked with a surprised chuckle. "What sort of celebrity guest?"
"Don't get too excited, last year it was some dull old former Minister of Magic," Lucius snorted.
"Although it's not about the celebrity switch-on," Narcissa said. "It's about spending time as a family."
"And showing us just what we're missing in France, I suppose," Draco said, giving his mother a knowing look. Even though he and Hermione were seriously considering moving back to Britain, his mother didn't miss any opportunity to remind them how good things could be if they moved back home.
"It never hurts to remind you how good it is to have family around," Narcissa replied. "Especially with another little one in the way."
"We get the picture mother," Draco said indulgently.
"Shall we go?" Lucius asked, not wanting his wife to push her luck with Draco and Hermione as he also wanted them to move back home on a more permanent basis.
"Yeah, come on," Scorpius urged.
"We're coming," Narcissa said, chuckling at her grandson's eagerness.
It had already been decided that because of Hermione's pregnancy that they were flooing to The Leaky Cauldron and heading into Diagon Alley from the pub. Lucius escorted his grandson through the floo, and he was followed by Draco and Hermione, while Narcissa brought up the rear.
"Do we want a drink first?" Draco asked.
"There'll be refreshment stalls in Diagon Alley," Narcissa replied. "And last year the new landlady had a stall selling a selection of drinks."
"The new landlady?" Draco questioned, realising for the first time that The Leaky Cauldron had been spruced up from the dive it had been in his youth.
"Some young witch," Lucius replied. "I can't remember her name. I think Severus mentioned that she attended Hogwarts the same time as you did. I think he said she was a Hufflepuff."
"I'm not sure I'd know any Hufflepuffs," Draco admitted with a shrug as they made their way towards the back exit of the pub.
Entering Diagon Alley, Draco and Hermione were blown away by the sight that greeted them. The entire street had been decked out with Christmas decorations, the cobbles was covered in fake snow and unlit lights hung above the streets. At the far side of the street, beside Gringotts, stood a massive Christmas tree. All down the street were a selection of stalls, some selling refreshments, and others selling products that could be found inside the shops when they were open. Festive music was also being piped into the street, giving the entire thing a really merry atmosphere.
"Impressive," Draco remarked with a low whistle.
"It's lovely," Hermione said, slipping her hand through Draco's arm.
"Let's have a look around before the big switch on," Narcissa suggested.
While Lucius and Narcissa kept Scorpius under control, Hermione and Draco strolled along behind them. Within a couple of meters, they'd passed stalls selling a range of festive food and drink, from hot chocolate and mulled wine to mince pies and turkey sandwiches. While Scorpius got himself a hot chocolate, the adults all had a brandy infused mince pie.
"You have to admit, this is really nice," Hermione said to Draco.
"The whole Christmas market thing, or being back home?" Draco checked.
"Both," Hermione replied.
"So you would want to come home?" Draco asked.
"We have been talking about it for a while," Hermione replied. "And Scorpius would love to attend Hogwarts."
"He would," Draco agreed with a nod, watching as his son admired some mementos at a stall put on by the quidditch shop. "And since I already work with the family company, it would be easy for me to transfer home."
"Then your father can retire," Hermione remarked with a smile. "Your mother would like that."
"I'm sure she would, but I don't think it's going to happen anytime soon. Even if I did come home, I can't see father totally leaving the business."
"Even if he doesn't retire completely, he'd still have more free time to spend with Narcissa."
"And what about you? Would you leave the hospital?"
"They do have a major wizarding hospital in his country," Hermione said with a laugh. "I can still be a healer, no matter what country we live in."
"We can discuss it later," Draco said, chuckling as he watched his son convince Lucius to buy him a new quidditch scarf.
"He is so spoilt," Hermione muttered, affectionately shaking her head as they moved on down the street.
As they continued to explore the stalls, more people crowded into Diagon Alley and as it got nearer to the big switch on, they made sure they grabbed themselves a prime spot near the front of the crowds gathering in front of the large Christmas tree. As Scorpius gulped down a second hot chocolate and munched on a hot turkey sandwich, Hermione took the chance to look around the crowds to see who she knew.
Almost immediately she spotted the twin heads of the Weasley twins, manning a brightly coloured stall featuring bits from their shop. She also spotted a couple more Weasleys milling around the crowds, including her ex-boyfriend and former friend, Ron Weasley. Ron seemed to be with his sister, Ginny, and a couple of small children, and not far from where they were standing, Hermione spotted Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood. She also saw a few other people she'd gone to school with, including Hannah Abbot, who was wearing a jacket with the new Leaky Cauldron logo blazoned on the back. If Hermione was guessing, she would say Hannah was the new landlady of The Leaky Cauldron.
"Who do you think will be turning on the lights this year?" Narcissa asked as her husband put his arm around her shoulders.
"No doubt it will be someone pathetic," Lucius muttered.
As if to answer Narcissa's question, a quiet hum settled over the street as the hour of the lights turn-on arrived. Everyone's attention was on the large Christmas tree and the small podium with the switch standing beside it. With all eyes in the same direction a figure emerged from behind the tree and walked up to the podium, raising his hand in greeting.
"Wow, its Harry Potter," Scorpius gushed excitedly as the crowds went wild at the sight of the world famous quidditch player.
"Don't tell me you're a Potter fan," Lucius said to his grandson, a look of distaste marring his handsome features.
"Harry Potter is the best seeker in the world," Scorpius informed his grandfather.
"I can't believe you've allowed this Draco," Lucius said to his son, a slight smirk on his lips to let his daughter-in-law know he was only messing and wasn't being serious.
"I know it's terrible," Draco replied with mock seriousness. "Can you believe my son worships, Potter?"
"You're a fan too, Dad," Scorpius argued. "Last year when we watched England beat France, you were screaming as loud as anyone when he caught the snitch."
"I was merely being patriotic and supporting my country," Draco retorted as Lucius gave him a withering glare.
"You said Harry Potter was the best seeker you've ever seen," Scorpius said.
"Did you really say that?" Hermione teasingly asked her husband.
"I just got carried away in the moment," Draco muttered.
"So you don't think that Harry Potter is the best seeker in the world?" Scorpius demanded, as every member of the Malfoy family turned to Draco.
"He's not too bad, I suppose," Draco admitted reluctantly.
"He's the best," Scorpius declared confidently as he turned back to focus on his hero, who was about to switch on the Christmas lights.
After saying a quick few words, and wishing everyone a happy festive season, Harry flicked the switch and the entire street lit up with the elaborate lights that decorated Diagon Alley. The large tree was illuminated by lights, and the shaped lights hanging above the street twinkled on and shone down on the crowds.
"Do you think I can get Harry Potter's autograph?" Scorpius asked, turning to his parents.
"I think I can do better than that," Hermione whispered to Draco. "Keep Scorpius busy, there's something I have to do."
Slipping away from her family, Hermione pressed into the crowds to make her way towards Harry. Her old friend was surrounded by adoring fans, but when he happened to catch sight of her, he quickly excused himself and rushed over to her.
"Hermione," he greeted happily, wrapping her in his arms and squeezing her tightly. "Look at you," he chuckled as they broke apart and he gazed down at her obviously pregnant figure. "Boy or girl?"
"We don't know yet," Hermione replied.
"It's so good to see you," Harry said, embracing her yet again.
"You too," Hermione replied, equally as happy to see her old friend. "I've missed you."
"It's been too long," Harry agreed. "So are you just here for the holidays, or is it too much to hope that you've finally come home?"
"Lucius and Narcissa are trying to persuade us to come home," Hermione admitted.
"I never thought I would say this, but I agree with the Malfoys," Harry replied with a chuckle. "Come home, Hermione. We all miss you."
"All?" Hermione questioned with a raised eyebrow.
Part of her decision to leave England a decade ago was because of her bitter break-up with Ron. It wasn't until they'd broken up that it had occurred to Hermione that everyone she was close with, was either relater to Ron or also friends with him. So many people had been caught up in the break-up, and Hermione hadn't wanted to force people to choose between her and Ron, so when she'd gotten a job offer in France, she'd snapped it up.
Over the last ten years, Hermione hadn't spoken once to Ron, nor had she corresponded with him. However, she had kept in touch with Harry, and even though it had been years since she'd last seen him, their friendship had endured. He'd attended her wedding to Draco, along with Neville, Luna and the twins, and he'd even met Scorpius as a baby. But it had been years since they'd actually seen each other as they both lived busy lives, and Hermione had always been conscious of not making it seem as though Harry had sided with her following her break-up with Ron since her best friend was married to Ron's sister, Ginny.
"Time's moved on, Hermione," Harry replied with a shrug. "Besides, it's the perfect time of year for making a fresh start."
"But you said Ron went mad when he found out I was with Draco," Hermione pointed out, recalling Harry informing her that Ron hadn't taken the news of her romance with Draco very well at all and had vowed never to speak to her again.
"That was over eight years ago," Harry returned. "I'm sure Ron would be thrilled to see you."
"Not tonight," Hermione said. "Tonight, I have a favour to ask you."
"For you, I'll do anything," Harry replied with a grin. "Especially if it means you're coming home."
"You're almost as bad as Lucius and Narcissa with the emotional blackmail," Hermione laughed. "I promise you that we're thinking about it."
"Good. So what can I do for you, Hermione?"
"Scorpius is a big quidditch fan, and he just so happens to have watched his idol turn on the Christmas lights," Hermione began.
"He's a fan?" Harry laughed. "Let me get this right, Draco Malfoy's son is one of my biggest fans?"
"He is," Hermione replied, laughing along with Harry as she could also see the irony in the situation. "And he would love to meet you."
"And I would love to meet him," Harry said. "I take it he doesn't know that we're friends."
"No," Hermione replied. "But if we do come back home, he'll be thrilled to learn that the great Harry Potter will be part of his life."
"The great Harry Potter, I like it," Harry chuckled.
"Don't go getting too big headed," Hermione warned. "So, are you coming to make me seem like the coolest Mum going?"
"Let's go and impress your son," Harry said, slinging his arm around Hermione's shoulders.
Finding her family wasn't easy amidst the crowds, but Hermione finally located them getting more hot chocolate. Leading Harry over to them, Lucius and Narcissa greeted him with a polite hello while Draco offered him a handshake and a greeting. However, Scorpius just stared at Harry with his mouth hanging open in amazement.
"You'll catch flies with your mouth hanging open like that," Hermione warned her son.
"But its Harry Potter," Scorpius said in awe. "You're Harry Potter," he whispered to Harry.
"I am," Harry chuckled. "And you're Scorpius Malfoy."
"He knows my name," Scorpius gasped. "Harry Potter knows my name."
"I know more than your name, Scorpius," Harry said. "Do you know that after your parents and grandparents, I was the first person to hold you as a baby?"
"How?" Scorpius asked in confusion.
"I may not have mentioned it before, but Harry is my oldest friend," Hermione said.
"You're friends with Harry Potter?" Scorpius questioned in disbelief.
"Best friends," Harry said, giving Hermione a large smile.
"Mum, you're the coolest," Scorpius cried, hugging his mother before turning and grinning at Harry. "Can I shake your hand?" he asked.
"Forget the handshake, give me a hug," Harry said, holding his arms out for the young blond wizard to run into. "Merry Christmas, Scorpius."
"Merry Christmas, Harry," Scorpius returned. "Can we see you again?"
"Just you try and stop me," Harry replied. "I'm sorry I can't stay and chat now, but I should be getting back to my family. Enjoy the rest of the evening, and I'll see you all soon."
"Thanks Harry, you're the best," Hermione said, giving her best friend a peck on the cheek.
"It's what best friends are for," Harry replied with a jaunty wink. "I want a proper meeting sometime soon, Hermione."
"I promise I'll be in touch," Hermione vowed. "And thanks for making me look cool," she added in a whisper.
"Anytime," Harry answered with a smile. Saying another goodbye to Scorpius, he then vanished into the crowds with a cheery wave.
"You have to tell me everything, Mum," Scorpius enthused as he grabbed hold of his mother's hand. "I can't believe you know Harry Potter."
"You can just call him Harry," Hermione chuckled.
"So we'll be seeing him again?" Scorpius asked enthusiastically.
"Something tells me we'll be seeing a lot more of him," Draco remarked as his parents shared a knowing look.
It was clear to everyone that Harry had done far more than just make Hermione look like the coolest Mum in the country. He'd reminded Hermione just how many people there were who would love to have them back home. Lucius and Narcissa weren't the only ones who thought Draco and Hermione should return home. Draco's friends had already expressed their desire to have him home, but now Hermione's best friend had done the same. Even though it wasn't confirmed that evening, it was clear that the Malfoys were coming back to England. The big Christmas lights switch on at Diagon Alley was just the start of a new future for the Malfoys, a future that would take place back home in England.