A/N: Hi everyone! This is my first fic so be kind! Constructive criticism is welcome because I'm only a newbie writer. And review, review, review! Please! does puppy dog eyes

A/N: I wrote this story before HBP came out, and I didn't change it, so it's different from the events in HBP. Anyway enjoy!

Disclaimer: No, I don't own Harry Potter, and anyone who thinks so is simply weird because I'm actually not 40, or rich or famous……

It was a cold icy night, and the sleepy little village of Ottery St Catchpole lay under a thick blanket of snow. Icicles glistened as they hung off balconies and rooftops. The sleepy silence was broken by the church bells striking midnight. Ding, ding, ding….twelve times in a row.

Suddenly, woken by the noise, an inquisitive squirrel ran along the rooftop of a small thatched cottage next door to the church. The squirrel pawed curiously at a particularly large icicle. A small, round walnut from the broad walnut tree overhanging the cottage was trapped inside frozen and unmoving. The squirrel could see no way to get to its prize, but then began to gnaw through the thick lump of ice. It took 20 minutes, but finally the squirrel succeeded. The icicle went hurtling down and landed on a paving stone that was not covered with snow with a loud clear CRUNCH.

In a small bedroom on the second floor of the cottage, the curtains were pulled open quickly to reveal a sleepy-eyed, bushy-haired witch. Her name was Hermione Weasley. Behind her, a handsome red-haired freckled man yawned sleepily and propped himself up in the squashy double bed.

"'Mione…." he yawned, blinking the sleep out of his eyes, "What are you doing? Come back to bed. I'm so tired….being an Auror is really hard work I can tell you that!"

Hermione, or ''Mione' as her husband Ron, liked to call her, turned away from the window and said disapprovingly,"I heard something outside and I thought it might be one of Fred and Angelina's kids playing one of their silly pranks again."

"Oh yeah," mused Ron. "I remember that, took me a month to get rid of those warts…"

Stifling a smile, Hermione got back into bed and said happily, "I'll never forget your face when you found out you had gigantic pus-filled warts on your ahem…you-know-where!"

"Oh, ha ha." said Ron dryly, as Hermione had just let out a small snort. "It wasn't bloody funny!"

"RON! What have I told you about swearing! What if the children hear?" Hermione hissed, sounding annoyed.

"Oops…sorry 'Mione." he leaned over and gave her a small kiss on the mouth. "I'll try and stop just for you ok?" He leaned in for a deeper longer kiss but was interrupted by a small, but determined knock at the door. Sighing, Ron pulled away from her and said, "Come in."

"Mum, I had a nightmare about fire crabs and they were evil and the size of a horse and….and…..I thought I was going to die!" A girl aged about 10 years old with very bushy red hair, freckles and big blue eyes had rushed across the room and flung herself into her mother's arms sobbing quietly.

"Rose dear, ssh…it was just a dream that's all….hush now." She rocked Rose gently while Ron attempted to soothe her.

"I've had much worse dreams than that Rose, much worse! I once dreamt that elephant ninjas wanted me to join their evil cult and…" his voice trailed off reminiscently and he stared into space without speaking but grimacing slightly.

Just then, the door creaked open again and a tall gangly brown-haired boy with blue eyes and big feet of about 14 years, stood framed in the doorway, his hair tousled and holding the hand of a small 6 year old girl with smooth ginger hair, lots of freckles and deep brown eyes.

"Mum, Dad, there's a hole in Molly's ceiling," yawned the boy. "She came into my room and woke me up so I came here." he paused. "What's wrong with Rose?"

"She's just had a nightmare Mark, don't worry." Hermione said soothingly, before turning to Ron, her expression accusing. "I thought you fixed the roof? Last Tuesday?"

"Well…" began Ron slowly, "I maybe, might have got side-tracked…"

"Oh yeah, Dad, you found that old crate of Firewhisky in the attic! I remember now…" Mark broke off as Hermione's eyes flashed dangerously at his dad..

"Er, anyway, you haven't woken Jane up have you?" Ron said, hastily changing the subject, his face turning as red as his hair. Their cosy little cottage had very thin walls and creaking floorboards. It was common to be woken up in the middle of the night by a member of your family talking or taking a midnight stroll.

"No, I haven't," snorted Mark. "Her royal highness is still having her 'beauty sleep'."

"Oh yeah?" came a voice from the doorway. Jane looked like her mother, but had the same hair as her twin brother Mark and her eyes were her dad's-clear sky blue.

"Oh for Merlin's sake," muttered Ron, "Must we have EVERYONE in here?"

"I'm sorry Dad, but Mark woke me up!" said Jane, casting an annoyed glance at her brother. Mark opened his mouth to retort but Hermione quickly jumped in to prevent the inevitable argument.

"We're going to stay at Uncle Harry and Auntie Ginny's house tomorrow everyone, so in the morning we need to pack some clothes."

"Oh good," beamed Jane, her sleepiness soon forgotten, "I love visiting their house-"

"And we'll get to see Sirius and James!" piped up Molly, her brown eyes shining.

"And Buckbeak and Crookshanks Junior!" added animal-mad Rose, bouncing slightly on the bed.

"And Ginny might make those delicious chocolate biscuits again…" slavered Ron, his mind already picturing the warm plate of biscuits in Harry and Ginny's homely kitchen.

"Yes, well," said Hermione, "I think we all need to get some sleep now, if we're getting up early tomorrow-" Her words were cut short by loud groans from all the people in the room, particularly Ron.

"But Mum, I'm not tired now, I'm all hyped up for tomorrow!" moaned Jane and Rose said,"How is Molly going to get to sleep with a hole in the roof? She'll be freezing Mum!"

"Alright, alright!" cried Hermione, rolling her eyes, but smiling slightly, "I'll tell you a story then, to calm you all down!" Rose, Molly and Jane settled themselves comfortably on the bed, but Ron and Mark didn't look too keen.

"Mum! A story! That's kid's stuff! I'll just stay in here and finish off my homework." Mark said quickly, going to fetch his books.

"What kind of horrible teacher would give homework in the Christmas holidays?" Ron said indignantly. His expression darkened. "I bet it was Malfoy."

"Yeah, it was," Jane interrupted, an annoyed look on her pretty face, "He gave the whole year LOADS but we got the most as usual."

"Prat." muttered Ron darkly. "He'll use any excuse to pick on Gryffindors."

"I still can't work out how he got to be a Potions teacher!" said Hermione. "He's not even that good at Potions!"

"Lupin obviously made a bad choice." said Ron.

Remus Lupin had become Headmaster of Hogwarts 10 years after Voldemort had been defeated, when the great Albus Dumbledore had died of old age. He was a wise and fair headmaster who always tried to look past people's differences and give them a chance because as a werewolf, he knew what it was like to be different. Many angry parents wrote to the school when he began his reign as headmaster, complaining that they didn't want a dangerous werewolf near their children. But, however, they were forced to eat their words, as under his steady hand, the school went from strength to strength, winning two more Triwizard tournaments and achieving the best O.W.L and N.E.W.T results Hogwarts had ever had. One of his more controversial decisions had been letting Draco Malfoy, an ex-Death Eater to take up the post of Potions teacher 3 years ago. But the risk he had taken seemed to have paid off. Malfoy, although hated by all pupils except Slytherin house, was getting the students through their exams extremely well.

"I'd like to get my hands on Malfoy, the slimy smirking git," said Ron angrily, "I can't believe he did that to you 'Mione…" his hands were clenched as if ready to punch.

"Ron," said Hermione sharply, "That was a long time ago, not in front of the children."

Rose, Jane, Molly and Mark (who had come in at the words 'smirking git') stared at their parents.

"Mum," said Jane slowly, "What happened?"

"Well, it was in our seventh year Jane, after one of Seamus' after-Quidditch match parties. I was walking back to the dormitory-the party was held in the Room of Requirement-when out came Malfoy from behind a pillar. He was very drunk and after following me for 5 minutes and rambling on about turkey, he grabbed me and tried to kiss me."

"Woah!" said Mark, all thoughts of homework forgotten, "What did you do Mum?"

"I kneed him in the groin and ran straight back to the common room. I told your father and-"

"And I went out and gave him good dose of Muggle duelling!" interrupted Ron, grinning at the memory.

"Cool, go Dad!" cheered Mark, but stopped at the disapproving look on Hermione's face.

"Violence is never the way to solve things Mark." She said sternly but a smile slipped across her face as she said, "But in Malfoy's case, I make an exception!"

"Wow," breathed Jane happily, "How romantic! Dad beat him up just for you!" she paused. "Mum, how did you and Dad get together?"

"Yeah, Mummy…" came a little voice from under the duvet, "How did you and Daddy fall in love?" Molly's little brown eyes peeked over the bedcovers.

"I know you and Dad and Uncle Harry were all best friends but when did you two realise you liked each other?" said Rose looking eagerly at Hermione,

Ron and Hermione looked at each other and smiled, Ron gave Hermione's hand a squeeze under the covers. "Do you want us to tell you the story?" Hermione said, smiling at her children.

There was a loud chorus of 'Yes!' and a scuffle as Mark clambered onto the bed and everyone attempted to make themselves more comfortable. When they had settled down they all looked expectantly at Hermione.

"Well," said Hermione happily. "It all started on Valentine's day…"

END OF CHAPTER 1

A/N: Good or bad? Let me know by reviewing! Pretty please with a cherry on top!