All previous disclaimers apply.
The mystic dark of the night, nursed and brightened slightly by the stars, embraced and held the large house to it like a lover would hold their beloved, safe and close. The warm yellow light pouring from the many windows melted easily into the comfortable darkness rather than cutting it off suddenly, inviting all who came near the house to join in the warmth and joy held within. It was the Christmas season again and just cold enough to make the stars bright and crisp, but not yet cold enough for snow. The house was supposedly too close to the sea for snow, but those inside had seen it in years past, so they knew that nothing was impossible. Inside the cozy home was an even more cozy scene of love and family.
Two eight year-old girls, identical twins with bright gray eyes and dark brown hair, giggled uncontrollably at the antics of a twelve year-old boy as he danced around with a pair of felt antlers on his head, singing off-key to a horribly cheesy and warbling recording of some classic Christmas carol, the title of which didn't matter considering you couldn't hear the words or tune above the shrill giggles of the girls and the playful howls of the young man. He ran to one of the girls, growling playfully, and wrapped his arms around her waist from behind, picking her up and twirling her around. His own chocolate brown skin and pitch black, curly hair was in contrast to the girls' milky coloring, yet everything about the way they acted around each other, the affection they displayed, spoke toward the conclusion that the three were siblings. It wasn't long into their energetic game of chase around a large Christmas tree before the three collapsed in a heap of gasps and giggles next to a merrily burning fireplace.
"All right. Time to settle down. All three of you. Legend, I thought you were supposed to be helping them get ready for bed," There was warmth and humor in Ron Weasley-Potter's voice as he walked into the large living room with a tray that had a plate of gingerbread cookies he and his husband had decorated with their children earlier in the evening and five glasses of milk.
"Aw, Dad! They are ready for bed," Legend laughed, "They're in their pajamas. We were just letting out a little bit of spare energy, weren't we?" The young man turned to his sisters and smiled, nodding in an exaggerated fashion and winking.
"Yep!" Both girls answered at the same time, sending them both into hysterical giggles again.
"Girls, it's time to settle down now."
"Go easy on them, babe," Ron felt the jolt of electricity down his spine when his husband whispered in his ear and marveled that it still happened after nearly fifteen years of marriage, "It's Christmas and you know how much they miss Legend when he's at school."
"I know, Harry," Ron whispered back, setting the tray down on the low coffee table and smiling when he turned around to see Harry holding their newest addition, just ten months old and three weeks new to their family. Their best Christmas present, Annabelle had called the him when they had heard that the adoption had gone through. Harry and Ron had been thrilled when they had gotten the news that they were going to be getting a new little boy, but they had been even more thrilled that the girls were so excited. Annabelle and Corrine had been so excited that they hadn't been able to sleep for a week before they had gone to pick up Marcus from the agency where Nahane worked now that the war was over and she and George were married. Just behind Harry's leg, clinging to his jeans was their four-year-old Haven, their blonde haired, violet eyed angel. Her smile went wide when Legend crawled across the floor to her, stopped about two feet away, and began to talk to her quietly, calmly.
"Haven girl, do you want to come sit with me to hear Papa tell the story?"
"Yes," she laughed, 'Yes, Legend."
"Okay. Walk to me, Haven girl. I'm right in front of you."
Haven stretched out her hands in front of her and walked slowly toward her brother. She had been to three different homes before she had come to the Weasley-Potter household because none of the other families could deal with the fact that the beautiful little girl was slowly going blind. By the time she had come to them, all of her sight had been gone, but they had just taken it in stride and now they knew they couldn't possibly live without her in their lives. She was so even tempered and sweet. Sometimes her incurable blindness was difficult on them all, including her, but the love they received from her was worth any difficulty. Legend swooped her up in his arms, making her giggle, once she had touched his hands, and sat back down on the comfortable chair, settling her in his lap. Harry smiled and handed Marcus over to Ron, heading toward the bookcase to get their traditional Christmas reading.
When he turned back around his heart jumped into his throat and he couldn't breathe for a moment. He never actually got used to it. Knowing that Ron was his husband and that they had five amazing children. He hoped the fact would always take his breath away. Especially in moments like these when Legend and Haven were sitting quietly, sharing a glass of milk and a cookie, in the big chair. Ron was seated on one end of the couch, Marcus sleeping contentedly in one arm, the other he had wrapped around Corrine's shoulders as they rubbed noses and smiled at each other. Annabelle stood at the other end of the couch, an angelic smile on her face as she waited for him so that she could sit on his lap while he read.
He walked over to the couch, thinking about how his life had changed in the fourteen years and ten months since he and Ron had been married. They had come to the seashore fro their honeymoon not wanting to leave the country during the rebuilding process, even though they were assured that everything would be fine even if they left for a couple of weeks. But, it had been their choice not to leave, just in case. During a walk along the cliff shores, they had seen a beautiful house for sale. A large white house with wraparound porch and green shutters. The same house they had seen in their dream. They had bought it that very day and had three wonderful years in it with just the two of them.
Just as they were starting to long for children they had received a letter from Nahane stating that their adoption paperwork had gone through and that there was a little boy just waiting for them. His name was Legend. Four years later, the twins had come along. Six more and there was their little Haven. And just two years later, three weeks ago, their little Marcus to complete their family. They had wanted to adopt older children, war orphans, but there had been such an outpouring of love after the war that by the time they were ready to adopt all of the war orphans had been placed and the orphanages were back to adopting out infants. In a way, that was a good, thing, but they had been just the tiniest bit disappointed until they'd held Legend for the first time. He and Ron had worked with the Magical High Council for a time after their marriage. He was still there, but Ron had moved on to a position as official historian of the Council, put in charge of writing, without prejudice, the history of the war. He had been asleep for much of the war and so it was thought he would be unbiased in his research and writing. Everyone had been surprised how well he had taken to it and how much he enjoyed the research and writing, especially since it meant he could stay home and write and take care of the children at the same time. The only things Harry and Ron loved more than their jobs were their children and it was often said they would never compromise when it came to their children, even if it meant compromising at work.
"Who all is coming over tomorrow, Papa?" Annabelle asked as he sat down and she crawled into his lap.
"Well," he smiled and kissed her nose, "Grandma and Grandpa. Uncle Viktor, Aunt Hermoine, Lily and Tyler. Uncle Bill and Aunt Fleur. Uncle Charlie and Uncle Draco. Uncle Fred, Aunt Katie, and Percy. Uncle George, Aunt Nahane, Angie, Minya, and William. And Uncle Neville, Aunt Cecile, and Marty."
"That's a lot of people," Corrine giggled.
"Yes, it is," Ron agreed, "And we're all going to be on our best behavior, aren't we?"
A chorus of yes met his half-joking question, "Good. Now let's all settle in to hear Papa tell the story."
Harry sat back and opened the book to the story they had read to their children every Christmas eve since they had gotten them, "Marley was dead to begin with . . ." Harry started, looking over at Ron. With his free hand Harry reached across the back of the couch as he read, linking his fingers with Ron's.
"I love you," Ron mouthed and Harry mouthed it back as he turned a page.
Thirty-five years old, married almost fifteen years and they still loved each other as much as they had the moment Ron had woken from his long sleep. Probably more. All because of a letter that Ron had been brave enough to write that Harry was never supposed to see. But, he was glad he had. Every day he was glad. Because now his life was everything he had ever wanted it to be. And that was a very good feeling. A very good feeling, indeed.