Happy Christmas – Bonus
Summary: The scene that started it all! In which it's Christmas at Grimmauld Place
Carolers blasting their songs at everyone's doors with help from the sonorous charm, wizards and witches rushing to get their gifts because they thought waiting would make the crowds die down, and trees being cut left and right to decorate homes for a short period of time. It could only mean one thing: Christmas had arrived again.
At Grimmauld Place, Sirius and Hermione Black were talking over how they would greet Harry. He was supposed to be coming over, along with the Weasley's, and the rest of the Order following close behind. Remus had business to take care of today, or he would be here along with the other two Marauders, planning the great way they would meet their godson this wonderful holiday.
After the Ministry debacle, Harry had been closer than ever to Sirius. He didn't want to let the man out of his sight, now knowing – thanks to Hermione's information on the veil – what would've happened had Sirius' wife not cast that jinx at Sirius, which sent him careening away from the veil and into the wall. It was a painful collision, but as Hermione pointed out, it was better than being dead.
Much to Harry's displeasure, he couldn't stay with Sirius forever. He was still too young to live on his own, and Sirius' name hadn't yet been cleared by the Ministry. Even knowing Voldemort was back, and discovering Pettigrew at the scene of a recent Muggle attack, the Minister refused to acknowledge Sirius Black's innocence.
He had been a wanted man for too long, and even Scrimgeour demanded his arrest before and after his initiation as Minister of Magic, which meant letting him go free now would make the Ministry look bad to the public eye again. Of course, they couldn't allow that to happen. So, Sirius was not given the innocence he so desperately wanted, but the Order was working hard to correct this mistake, and Sirius managed to find a permanent home at Grimmauld. Who knew the home he used to hate with such passion would become the home he felt most safe in one day?
After several well-placed charms, courtesy of Hermione and Remus, Mrs. Black no longer inhabited the cramped home. It made the place seem a little less dreary to Sirius' eye, and after Kreacher's "unfortunate" death, which was mourned with several bottles of Firewhiskey and a night of the most mind blowing sex Sirius had ever experienced, they were finally able to do as they pleased with Number 12 Grimmauld Place.
It had a cozier atmosphere now, with all the dark objects gone and cleaned away. Sirius found himself thankful Hermione had no taste for the flowers and frills most women loved, instead keeping the house unisex yet fashionable. Only the library had been changed drastically, and that was only to add a, in Sirius' opinion, ridiculous amount of new texts Hermione insisted were good for the Order, but were most likely for her own enjoyment.
"I've got it!" Sirius exclaimed.
Hermione raised a brow at his sudden outburst, but she scooted closer to hear how he wanted to meet his godson this time. Each time they saw Harry, Sirius tried to come up with a new and great way to greet him, making him seem all the cooler in the teenager's eyes. Unfortunately, each time was drastically changed from how he intended by some unforeseen event, usually Kreacher's interference or Mrs. Black going insane in her portrait again. Now, that wouldn't be a problem though, so maybe for once he would get his "cool introduction".
"Here's what we're going to do..."
Harry entered Grimmauld Place with all the grace of a centaur balancing on a hippogriff's back while said hippogriff was wearing rollerskates. He ignored the chuckles that followed his entrance, instead searching for his beloved godparents. Merlin, he hadn't seen either Sirius or Hermione in so long, and it was driving him crazy!
Despite almost a year passing since he led everyone to the Ministry, Harry still had nightmares about what would have happened if Sirius fell through the veil. He would never forgive himself if that had been the case, and he was pretty sure his suffering would have caused his friends pain as well. He knew his temper could get bad, and his mood swings were worse than a pregnant woman's, but it was just his personality and who could really change their personality?
"Harry!" Sirius called gallantly, throwing his arms wide. He was standing at the top of the stairs, leaning dangerously over the railing. Harry glanced up, his eyes shining with adoration and happiness they had been lacking ever since he returned to the Dursley's.
Unfortunately, Sirius grand appearance was cut short as the railing, which had yet to be completely fixed, broke under his weight. The dark-haired Marauder was sent spiralling towards the ground while Harry could only watch with widened, frightened eyes.
"Sirius!" Hermione screeched, pulling out her wand. She was stopped from any spells by her foot slipping, and she soon found herself tumbling right after Sirius.
Thankfully, the fall wasn't long and so no real injuries came to the male Marauder. However, he would wish the fall was longer a few seconds later, when his beloved wife landed on top of him, knocking the air from his lungs. Sirius groaned as the Order members laughed at the humorous display. Hermione whimpered softly, something about Sirius being a lousy catch and being in immense pain, before she pulled herself up and tugged her husband up as well.
"Well, you certainly know how to make an entrance!" Remus said jovially, smiling at his two best friends. Sirius glared at him, and Hermione only smiled sheepishly, a light blush covering her cheeks.
Harry chuckled and ran to hug his godfather, surprising the man enough to send him tumbling back to the floor again. He smiled this time though, and returned the hug his godson so eagerly gave him. Hermione and the rest of the Order watched this with fond smiles on their faces before a loud clapping caught their attention.
Dumbledore grinned at the attention turned his way, though Harry still had Sirius in the near death-grip he called a hug. The white-haired man walked forward, more like skipped, and spun around once at the end, as though his walk had been a sort of dance. Remus and Hermione applauded him, Sirius would have had he not had his hands full at the moment, and Tonks smiled widely at her former headmaster.
"Well, now, since everyone is here, why don't we begin the festivities!" It was more of a command than a question, but everyone nodded or mumbled their agreements. Before long, everyone was doing something.
Molly took over the kitchen, making more food than Harry thought she'd ever made before. Tonks tried to flirt with Remus, who nodded occasionally but was mostly watching his best friends with a fond smile. Kingsley was demonstrating some "wicked Auror moves" for the twins, who were applauding and awing over his utter coolness. Dumbledore had dragged a reluctant Minerva into a rhythmless dance, though everyone could tell she was having fun and just didn't want to admit it.
Most of the laughter was directed at Sirius and Hermione though. Harry and Ron watched and laughed as two dogs, one black and the other brown, fought over a chew toy in a sort of doggy tug-of-war. The laughter increased when Moonstar set down her end and turned her back to Padfoot wagging her tail. The grim was quick to pick up the toy after that and hand it over, then return behind Moonstar to watch her tail wag in the exotic way only a dog could truly appreciate.
Hermione returned to her human form and smirked at Ginny, who was watching with wide, amused eyes. "And that," she said primly, "is how you get a perverted mutt to do what you want."
Sirius turned back as well, pouting at his wife. "Aw, come on, 'Mione!" he exclaimed pitifully. "I was enjoyin' the show!"
Hermione snorted amusedly and lowered herself to be eye level with the still sitting Sirius. He looked at her hopefully, his eyes going wide and watering.
"Well then, you'll just have to enjoy the show later," Hermione said with a smirk. "I'm going to help Molly in the kitchen!"
Sirius watched her go, a scowl crossing his face as he waved a fist at her back. "That isn't right, Hermione!"
Hermione, though, was already gone. Ginny jumped up and followed her heroine into the kitchen where her mother was mixing up more food than the younger redhead ever saw her make. Remus finally focused on Tonks, who was more than eager to engage her crush for so many years in a conversation. Harry and Ron, meanwhile, managed to (easily) convince Sirius to relay stories of his days at Hogwarts with the Marauders and Lily.
"...And that's how we tricked Lucius and Snivellus into going to the dance together!" Sirius finished, laughing raucously at the memory of his enemies misfortunes. Harry and Ron joined in, all steadily ignoring the glaring professor in the corner.
"Dinner's ready, boys!" Hermione called, poking her head into the sitting area. The boys grinned eagerly at each other and rushed into the kitchen, Sirius beating them due to his taller stature.
Laughter filled Grimmauld Place for the first time in a long while, and Sirius found himself wishing they would never have to leave. He smiled at Hermione when she kissed his cheek, her brown eyes sparkling knowingly. She understood his desire to keep everyone around, feeling rather lonely when the house was saved for just the two of them.
They shared a quick kiss, ignoring the wolf whistles from the twins, and Sirius took time to look Hermione up and down. He took notice of the form-fitting wine-colored silk button up shirt she wore, which had the sleeves rolled up to her elbows and a few buttons undone to reveal just enough cleavage. The tuxedo skirt, which she had charmed to stop mid-thigh rather than past her knees, and the dark stockings which hid creamy, tan legs from view. Then again, Sirius decided, it wasn't all bad when everyone was gone.
"Happy Christmas!" Dumbledore said jovially, holding a glass of eggnog up. Everyone, save Snape, repeated the gesture, large smiles on their faces.
With Harry on one side, snuggled against him as though afraid Sirius would disappear, and Hermione on the other side, her bright smile directed at him and his godson, Sirius had to admit that this was, indeed, a happy Christmas. Perhaps the happiest he'd ever experienced.
Well, this is it my friends! The scene that started it all. This story is officially done! I suppose I should do the whole crying while thanking everyone for reading and reviewing for this long. Yes, this is officially my longest fic, has been since it reached 28 chapters actually. Maybe my RLHG series will be longer, after all, I have a much stronger appreciation for Remus/Hermione than I do for Sirius/Hermione, but there's no telling. Anyhow, hope to see most of you there as well!
The winning name for my RLHG series is: Mischief is Never Managed: Books, Pranks, and Chocolate
Hermione's Nickname shall be: Moonstar
With all that said, The Misadventures of Padfoot and Moonstar is officially FINISHED!