A/n: Hello from the land of Siriusly Klutzy. I've had this idea floating around in my head for a while now, because I was never really a fan of Santa, but was faced with the possibility that I might see someone dressed as Santa who potentially could have been a babe and wondered what would happen if I did. I didn't, but if I did, I'd hope it'd go something like this.
Happy Almost Holidays, though this shouldn't be my last one before they actually staty.
Much love and a smexy, non-creepy Santa,
Summary: They say that you have to face your fears in order to get over them. I found another way, and I prefer this one much more. My answer to my fears isn't to face them, but to snog them.
Disclaimer: It belongs to Jo.
Serenading Father Christmas
a Siriusly Klutzy story.
When I was younger, I used to have an irrational fear of Father Christmas. It just never seemed alright for a rather large bulbous man in red to sneak into our house in the middle of the night, even if he did leave gifts as compensation. I was fine until I got the concept of, "Hey, this man is breaking in and eating my cookies."
Mum would bring Petunia and me around to the neighbors to show off our holiday dresses. It was just what you did in our neighborhood. Mrs. Three Houses Down had about seven kids, so that god a bit obnoxious at some points, especially when she would demand they sing carols. There were two things about that singing that drove me and my family up the wall.
Mrs. Three Houses Down's children could not sing.
Mrs. Three Houses Down's children did not want to sing.
We wanted them away, just as much as the children themselves did, as soon as possible, so my parents wouldn't even ask the question every neighbor on the block would ask.
"Are you excited for Father Christmas?"
Every time a neighbor would try to ask Petunia- who would immediately light up and gush about why, exactly, she most definitely was excited for Father Christmas to come- and me that, my mother would make severe hand motions to try to get them to stop.
Why? Because whenever someone so much as mentioned him, I would fall to pieces and cry, screaming and terrified the whole walk back home, making it that much more difficult for my father, who would have to carry me so that I wouldn't get my dress dirty.
Over the past ten or so years, my irrational fear has turned into a minor disturbance and has been the source of humor since I could remember, especially for Alice, who found it hysterical that I used to be afraid of a 'jolly old man'. As time passed, I pushed the disturbance to the back of my mind, and it only peeked out around Christmas Day, but only briefly.
Of course no bulbous man in red could sneak into Hogwarts, I told myself. That would just be silly.
"Except through the fireplace," Alice said this past Christmas before we made our way down to the Common Room where our pile of gifts would be waiting for us, untouched by a creeper's wrinkled hands.
I spun around, missing the slipper I was aiming my foot for in the process, to face her and glare.
"Why do you tell me these things?" I groaned, sinking down onto my bed and pulling the covers around me. "Do you realize that there could be some creeper down there right now waiting for us to go down to get these so-called presents he put there as a diversion so that he could kidnap us?"
"You're over reacting, Lily," Alice said, an annoyed expression forming on her face. She reached for a clip to pin her hair up with. "I thought you got over this thing ages ago. After that whole second year thing."
I rolled my eyes and started twisting my hair in my fingers. "Telling me that Dumbledore looks remarkably like Father Christmas without the stomach in no way makes me like that disturbing old man any more!" I exclaimed.
"Father Christmas? Or Dumbledore?"
Alice chuckled. She went into the bathroom and grabbed her robe and mine, tossing mine to me when she got close.
"Get your bum out of bed," Alice threatened as I pulled my scarlet bathrobe off of my head, "and put that robe on. We're going downstairs."
I grumbled but stood up to put my robe on, and the lone slipper that I had missed earlier, as well. Taking my sweet time, I brushed it off quickly, making sure to attack any visible fuzz balls, first putting my left arm in slowly so that the long sleeves to my pajama top wouldn't scrunch to the top, then my right. I measured the belt to tie it around my waist so that each end was an equal distance from my hips, before making three attempts to tie it in a perfect bow.
Alice grew impatient.
"Merlin, Lily. If there is a Father Christmas down there, he's not going to care how nicely your robe is tied," Alice complained. I gasped. "Grow up." She laughed. "Lets go, Lil, come on. Before the new year."
I'd run out of distractions. There was nothing left to save me now. Alice was tapping her foot at the door with her arms crossed. She looked around the room.
"Lily. No one else is up here. Come on. My aunt's fudge is wasting away down there!" I bit my lip and looked impatiently around the room. "You know and I know that there is no creeper down there. Just fudge and a couple stacks of presents with our names on them." She rolled her eyes. "Lily, I'm begging you."
Nothing left to distract me. And, really, what were the odds that something was actually going to be down there anyway? Besides a plethora of enthusiastic-Father-Christmas-loving kids who were tearing away at presents as we spoke.
"Fine," I finally agreed. She grinned happily, squealed, and jumped once. "Let's go, then." She dashed down the stairs and I took off behind her, the calling for new socks pulling me along.
I nearly collided with my best mate as I rushed down the stairs after her. She stopped right in the doorway, blocking my way into the Common Room.
"Alice, what are you…?" I asked, standing on my tip toes to try to see behind her.
"Oh, my God," she said slowly, but there was a hint of a smile in her voice. She turned back towards me, a huge smile that she wasn't trying to hide was practically radiating off of her.
"Maybe we should go back up. You know, until things die down in here." She let out a snort and that was when I knew I had to see what was going on. What if they were little first years getting hung by the fireplace in their stockings? I had to do something.
"Watch out," I demanded, shoving past my loony but protective good mate.
She laughed and muttered, "If you say so," as she got out of my way.
I looked around first to the fireplace to make sure my guess wasn't actually happening. Nope, no little kids in their stockings. I quickly scanned the room, but no one seemed out of control. The first and second years were gushing over their gifts, while a big group of fourth and fifth years were sitting lazily in the corner, opening up their presents as if they were half asleep. It wasn't until I got to the closest group that I saw why Alice tried to usher me back up the stairs.
The Marauders were sitting around a table, their own pile of presents no where to be seen. But there were only three Marauders. Yes, three Marauders, and one Father Christmas.
"Oh, my God," I mumbled, taking a step back and trying to turn around. Alice stopped me.
"Oh, no you don't," she said. "You had the chance. Besides, I see our piles. They're there." She pointed to two healthy looking stacks. Right near the group with their very own Father Christmas. Fan-bloody-tastic.
I stayed behind Alice, clinging to the back of her robe and trying to suffocate the painful memories that were resurfacing, including many mall visits where Mum thought that maybe I'd gotten over this thing by now and tried to force me onto his lap. No such luck.
"Morning, boys," Alice said happily, evilly, as we passed them on our way, no less than a five feet distance from them. "Happy Christmas."
The three normal boys, clad in pajamas, chorused a morning and happy Christmas back to us. The fourth, that damned Father Christmas, turned to greet us face to face.
Thankfully, he wasn't in a beard, but the glasses weren't optional. He couldn't see his own nose if he didn't wear those things. He had a pillow stuffed in the red robe with fluffy white lining, and a hat to match was placed crookedly on his head, pure white curls pouring out, but not completely concealing the uncontrollable patches of black that were peaking through, signifying- as if I had any doubt- exactly who it was.
"Morning, Alice. Lily," Father Christmas James said with a grin. "Happy Christmas."
"Hello, James," Alice said happily. James gave her a knowing look. "Whoops. I mean, Father Christmas." She nudged me in the side and I could feel her shaking with laughter.
"Is she alright?" Sirius asked. He was lounging in the chair, leaning back on two legs, and eating Chocolate Frogs out of a box on his lap. "She looks really pale." He looked at me looking at James. "It's not a stripper costume, if that's what you're thinking."
Alice nearly burst, keeling over with laughter. The boys exchanged a confused look as Alice stood back up, gasping for breath. I was trying to get by my pile, possibly hide behind it. But that just didn't seem to be working.
It really didn't help that I was just getting used to being good mates with James. We talked like normal humans instead of shouting. In fact, just a few weeks before, I told Alice that if this kept up, I might just possibly fancy him.
The Marauders, and most of the rest of the Common Room, as well, were looking at Alice expectantly. Once she could breathe properly, she explained. "Lily here, has an irrational fear-"
"Disturbance!" I corrected.
"-disturbance, whatever, of Father Christmas and I had just spent a great deal of time and effort trying to persuade her to come down her, telling her that there is no Father Christmas waiting for her down here to kidnap her and have his way with her."
Her explanation received blank stares.
"What the hell kind of household did you grow up in, Evans?" Sirius asked, popping some Bertie Botts Beans into his mouth. "And you guys thought my family was bad? She's terrified of Father Christmas."
"Not terrified," I tried to correct again. "Mildly distur-!"
"Are you really?" James interrupted, a sly grin appearing on his face.
"Disturbed, yes," I tried once again to explain. "Terrified? Not so much."
"So you're saying that if I took a step closer, you'd be scared?" James asked vindictively.
"Don't be stupid, of course not," I said, but I could already feel my hands getting clammy as I took an involuntary step away from him, mirroring the one he was taking towards me. Unfortunately, my back met an Alice who held me in place.
"And if I did this," he put his hand on my waist and looked at it for a moment, then at me to make sure I wasn't about to pass out or hit him. I wasn't, of course, and if he were in normal clothes, I might actually be happy about this. But because he was dressed up as someone as vial as Voldemort, I turned into a frigid seventeen year old, stiff as a board. "You would be compelled to run?"
"I… I-I might. I-I," I tried to answer, my voice squeaking in at different octaves. "I m-mean, I might be distraught by the who-whole thing…" It wasn't working. I couldn't control my voice, so it was running through different notes as if it was doing scales.
Sirius snorted. "I think she's trying to serenade you, Father Christmas."
"No! No," I said, trying to redeem myself. "I just… can't speak properly." Particularly so when your hand is on my waist, Father Christmas, so if you'd be kind enough to remove it, I might be able to form coherent sentences that aren't damaged by fear and fancy.
"And if I did this…?" One of my biggest fears and wildest fantasies was happening, and who would have thought it would have been all in the same moment. James Potter was leaning in towards me. Father Christmas was leaning in towards me. Thrill and fear were fighting, trying to figure out which emotion was more dominant as to predict which reaction I should go with. Do I kiss James back? Or do I biff Father Christmas on the head?
For one raging, wild second, thrill and fancy lost control and fear took over. I balled my hand into a fist and thwacked Father Christmas on the back of the head, his glasses falling askew.
"Bloody hell," Remus said, jumping out of his chair, the other two Marauders following suit. "James, mate, are you alright?"
Alice was stuck between wanting to laugh and wanting to help me.
My hands had flown up to my mouth and I began apologizing profusely. "James! Oh, I'm so sorry! I just… I lost control! I didn't mean to hit you! You were just… coming towards me! And all I saw was him and it … I'm so sorry! Does it hurt? It doesn't hurt, does it? I mean, I can't hit hard. I didn't, did I? James, really, I'm sorry. You can report me, tell Dumbledore. Oh, my God, I'm so, so, so sorry!"
James stood up, rubbing the back of his head. His hat had fallen off when he sunk to the ground and it now lay unthreateningly, partially concealed, underneath the chair.
He looked much better without the hat, much less disturbing. In fact, he looked like James Potter in a fluffy red and white robe. It was almost normal, except for the pillow, but I could ignore that if I just looked at him from the shoulders and up.
"You… hit me?" he asked, not as confused as I thought he would be.
"Well, you scared me for a second," I answered, ignoring Alice almost completely, save a stomp on the foot, as she muttered something about 'disturbance my arse'.
"If I… tried again," James said, sounding hopeful, "would you hit me… again?"
"I don't know." I looked to the ground at the hat laying there pathetically on the floor, and then back to James, then to the rest of the anxious Common Room, who have been watching this entire scene play out. "I guess not."
"Merlin," Alice whispered behind me. "Could she be any less romantic?" I tried to stomp on her foot again, but she must have moved it.
"Huh." James put his hand to his chin in mock thought for a moment before looking at me, and leaning in again, this time close enough so that the bulge of his feather pillow stuffed stomach made an attempt to interfere. James pulled it out and tossed it to Sirius before it could ruin the moment, leaned in, and kissed me.
I was mostly focused on kissing James, but I still heard the sigh as the entire Common Room let out the giant breath they were holding. Some of them even cheered.
I guess the only way to get over irrational fears (or mild disturbances, whichever you prefer) is to snog them. It worked for me, anyway.