The Christmas I Loaned My Sons
By: Ellipsis the Great
DISCLAIMER: The idea is from 'Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul.' Harry Potter and all things affiliated with him belong to the amazing J.K. Rowling. I own the Potter twins, and all of the plot outside what I garnered from CSFTCS.
Summary: After losing his wife and son to a magical disease, Draco Malfoy puts an ad in an editorial to borrow a son for Christmas. Harry Potter answers.
Rated: T just in case. May change later on.
Spoilers: Five years post-Hogwarts. Compliant with all books, sans the epilogue in DH.
Warnings: CONTAINS SLASH! There WILL be shounen-ai in this story! Maybe actual yaoi later on, but definitely shounen-ai!
CHAPTER ONE: The Ad
Is there any place where we can borrow a little boy three or four years old for the Christmas holidays? We have a nice home and would take wonderful care of him and bring him back safe and sound. We used to have a little boy, but he couldn't stay, and we miss him so when Christmas comes. –D. Malfoy
As I read the above appeal in the Daily Prophet, something happened to me. For the first time since Ginny's death, I thought of grief as belonging to someone else. I read and reread the letter to the editor.
Somehow, it didn't matter that it was from Malfoy. All that mattered was that we had something in common, now. Not the War—everyone had that in common. And not just death, either. By now, everyone had experienced death. What we had was the feeling of making it all the way through the War, and after all that still losing someone to a completely unrelated incident.
I lost Ginny to childbirth. Childbirth, of all things.
Draco lost Pansy and Adder to Dragon Pox. Worse, he lost them a mere month before Hermione finished creating a vaccine against the disease.
"Daddy!" My three-year-old son, Phoenix, barreled into my leg. He looked up at me with wide, excited green eyes, squealing happily as I scooped him up into my arms.
"Good morning, Nix." I said, kissing his bed-mussed red hair. "You hungry?"
"Yeah, yeah!" He said, nodding vigorously.
"What do you feel like eating?" I asked as I put the editorials on the table.
"Flapjacks!" He answered immediately, bouncing in my arms.
"Alright, alright." I set him down again and retrieved the pancake mix from a cupboard. "Can you get a mixing bowl, Nix?"
He nodded again and scrambled to one of the shelves, pulling out a mixing bowl as I gathered the rest of what we would need to make the pancakes. When that was done and I had measured everything out, I picked him up and set him on the counter.
"Think you can mix it up?" I asked.
"I mix it, I mix it!" He said, picking up the spoon and stirring, his face scrunched up in a look of deep concentration.
"Daddy?" I looked at the door, where stood my other son, Phoenix's twin Byrne. He peeked out from behind the doorway shyly, the polar opposite of his gregarious brother for all that they looked so much alike.
"Hey, Byrne." I said, picking him up and setting him comfortably on my hip. He sighed happily and set his head on my shoulder, one hand fisting in the fabric of my nightshirt.
"We's making pancakes!" Phoenix piped up.
"Mm." Byrne grunted sleepily.
I laughed, looking from one boy to another, and thought again of Malfoy's editorial. It had been three years since Ginny's death, and time had helped erase a few of the scars she had left on my heart. But there were special times when the ache would return and loneliness would engulf me—birthdays, our wedding anniversary, and holidays.
He had lost his family only a few months prior, so this would be his first Christmas without them. How much more pain was he going to feel, having no one left? I had had the unconditional love of two perfect baby boys and Ginny's family to help me through the worst times. The only person Malfoy would have was his mother, who had never fully recovered from the loss of her husband. Pansy's family saw the marriage as nothing more than a business arrangement, so they would be of no comfort to him at all.
And Malfoy had lost a child. No man, not even Malfoy, should have to bury his child. I couldn't even begin to imagine what that pain must feel like, although I had seen it in Mr. and Mrs. Weasley at Fred's funeral, and then again at Ginny's.
"How would you boys feel about not going to Nana's this Christmas?" I asked.
"Not go?" Byrne asked slowly as both boys' heads cocked to one side in identical expressions of confusion.
"Well…" How to explain this to three year olds? "I know someone who just lost some people who were very close to him, and he's very lonely this Christmas."
"We find them?" Phoenix asked.
"No, no, they…they're in the same place as your mum. They can't be found." I explained.
"Oh." Phoenix's eyebrows furrowed as he tried to grasp the concept.
"I thought maybe we could go keep him company so he won't cry."
"No crying!" Byrne said, eyes widening. He absolutely hated it when people cried. I'm still not sure why that was, but Hermione said it might be 'a childish manifestation of a hero-complex.' I suppose that meant he inherited my 'saving people thing.'
"Does that mean you want to go?" I asked.
"Nana will be lonely?" Phoenix asked.
"I'll owl her and let her know where we'll be." I assured him. "She has a lot of people to keep her company, and we can go to her house for Christmas dinner like always. We just won't be there Christmas Eve or morning."
The boys exchanged a long, thoughtful look.
"Okay. Let's go." Phoenix said finally.
"No crying." Byrne added.
I smiled. "I'll send the owls right after breakfast."
A/N: Phoenix: a mythical bird of great beauty fabled to live 500 or 600 years in the Arabian wilderness, to burn itself on a funeral pyre, and to rise from its ashes in the freshness of youth and live through another cycle of years: often an emblem of immortality or of reborn idealism or hope; person or thing of peerless beauty or excellence; paragon; a person or thing that has become renewed or restored after suffering calamity or apparent annihilation.
Byrne: a raven; mischievous and thievish; popularly regarded as a bird of evil omen and mysterious character.
I liked the idea of their being named after birds that are basically the polar opposites of each other, just like they themselves are opposites. I also liked the idea of their names being a mixture of their personalities and vice versa—Nix is bright and mischievous, while Byrne is dark and more of the 'hero' between the two of them.
Adder (Draco's dead son): A venomous snake. (This one just amused me, and I figured there should be some humor in this fic…)
I hope you guys enjoyed the first chapter; feel free to drop me a line and let me know what you think!