On Christmas morning, Lily and James woke up to the doorbell ringing at seven o' clock in the morning.
"Let's just ignore it, James. Who would come at such an ungodly hour on Christmas morning?" Lily groaned, while she tiredly got up to check and see if Harry had been awakened by the bell, which fortunately he hadn't.
"You know I can't do that Lily. Don't forget that I'm an Auror and I'm on call. For some reason the Floo network may be down so someone has come to alert me the Muggle way," James replied dully and headed downstairs, quickly throwing his robes over his pyjamas.
James peered out through the small window next to the door, seeing that Dumbledore and someone, whom he would never expect to show up at his house, let alone on Christmas morning, were standing on the front porch. 'Strange,' he mused as he moved to open the door.
"Good morning," he called, just before questioning his guests. "Headmaster, who made us become suspicious of our Secret Keeper?"
"Harry," Dumbledore replied immediately.
"Snape, why do you owe me a life dept?"
"Because you saved me from your werewolf friend," grumbled the other man, causing James to open the door.
"Headmaster, to what do we earn the honour of your visit?" James queried, while he led the visitors into the living room, noticing that Dumbledore's expression was grave.
Lily and Harry were just opening the last present from Harry's advent calendar. Lily gasped in surprise upon seeing their early visitors, "Headmaster, Severus."
As soon as everyone was seated, Dumbledore began to speak. "We have good and bad news," he said gravely. "The good news is that Harry in all probability saved your lives last night." Ignoring Lily's and James' gasp, he continued, "The bad news is that you weren't only right with your suspicion concerning Peter, but that he already informed Voldemort that you live in Godric's Hollow, even if he didn't tell him the correct address, which means that you'll still be safe as long as you stay within your home. However, as soon as you leave your home, Death Eaters might attack you."
James looked from the Headmaster to Snape. "Headmaster, how..."
Dumbledore sighed. "Severus is my spy, and he witnessed how Peter, of whom he discovered last night that he was a Death Eater, was punished by Voldemort, because he was no longer your Secret Keeper."
At the end of Dumbledore's statement, the fireplace flared and an excited Sirius stepped out, closely followed by Remus.
"Moo-y, Pafoo!" Harry shouted in absolute delight, dashing over to his godfather, who playfully threw him into the air, before he began to tickle him as he took a seat on the sofa.
"Good morning, Headmaster, sorry for the interruption. James, we just noticed that Peter never returned home last night, because he didn't show up at our place at the arranged time, and his apartment was empty," Sirius blurted out, throwing Severus a strange look.
"Padfoot, Moony, I really hate to tell you this, but Peter was a Death Eater," James explained in a toneless voice. "He tried to sell us out to Voldemort, but we changed our Secret Keeper just in nick of time. Harry apparently saved our lives by making us suspicious of him, by how much he disliked him."
"Back to what I was saying," the Headmaster threw in, "was that according to Severus, who is spying on Voldemort for the light side, the Death Eaters have orders to look out for you in Godric's Hollow. Therefore, we believe that it would be safer for you to move to Hogwarts as soon as possible, straight away if you can. That's why we are intruding on your Christmas morning."
"Thank you, Albus, Severus. We'll move to Hogwarts immediately. I can still come back over the next few days to pack everything," James decided, throwing Lily a questioning glance.
Lily let out a long sigh. "James, let's at least have Christmas morning here. Since nobody can find us here anyway as long as we stay inside, it'll be early enough to move this afternoon or evening. Isn't that right, Headmaster? Severus?"
"Lily, I believe that would be the best since it would give the Headmaster time to let the house elves prepare your quarters," Severus replied in a soft silky voice, which Harry obviously liked since he immediately toddled over to the man, who had been quiet so far.
"Hi. I Hawwy," he told the man, trying to climb onto his lap, causing Severus to automatically pull him up onto the sofa with an uncomfortable expression on his face.
"Hello Harry, I'm Severus," he replied gently.
"Sebu Hoga too?" Harry queried, remembering that he had seen the man in the Great Hall when he had visited Granny Minerva with his Mummy.
Seeing that Severus threw her a questioning glance, Lily explained, "Harry wants to know if you're living at Hogwarts too. He probably remembers that he saw you at lunch the other day."
"Severus is our Potions Professor," the Headmaster threw in, "and you'll see him at Christmas dinner tonight, Harry. However, for now we need to return to Hogwarts. Please take the Floo straight to my office when you're ready."
With that, Dumbledore stepped into the fireplace, closely followed by Severus, leaving a slightly subdued Lily and James behind.
"Now Harry," Sirius finally broke the silence, "shall we see what Father Christmas brought for you?"
"Yey," Harry shouted excitedly, toddling to the Christmas tree, under which Sirius was just fishing for a colourfully wrapped present, which he handed the child.
Harry received several books and small toys. However, he cheered in absolute delight when his father enlarged the last present he had opened. The item became really huge and emerged as a play house containing a huge car park, a work bench, a potions corner, as well as a ball pool, which Harry tried out immediately, squealing with pleasure as he disappeared under the balls.
For the next few hours, Harry was busily playing in his playhouse. From time to time, one of the adults went to join him for a while, but Harry only emerged from the play house when Lily called everyone for lunch. Since they had completely forgotten to eat breakfast after the news they had received that morning, Harry was too hungry to ignore his mother's calling.
"Mummy, Ne-Ne go Hoga pay Hawwy?" he queried, turning huge emerald eyes up to Lily.
"Of course, sweetie, Neville may come and play with you anytime," she quickly reassured the child, before she pulled him in a bear hug. "Thank you, Harry," she mumbled in a hardly audible voice, knowing that the child wouldn't be able to understand the reason for her gratefulness anyway.
After lunch, Sirius and Remus played with Harry, while his parents packed all the essentials they would need during the next few days, including Harry's play house, all of Harry's books, toys, and clothes, and prepared to head over to their new home.
An hour later, the three Potters entered their new quarters at Hogwarts, where Harry watched as James enlarged and once more popped up the Christmas tree they had brought with them from Godric's Hollow, before he stood in complete wonder in front of the charmed window that showed the view of the Quidditch pitch and the lake.
"I lub Hoga," Harry squealed in absolute delight, happily leaning into his Mummy's robes as he noticed her standing beside him.
"We all love Hogwarts," James reassured him as he stepped over and pulled his family into an embrace, grateful that they were safe for once, before he was pulled out of his reverie when he noticed something soft and dark dripping from Harry's mouth onto his own blue robes. "What's that?" he asked in disgust.
"That is a piece of Harry's liquorice wand from his advent calendar," Lily said as she covered a chuckle and quickly cast a scourgify spell at her husband's robes.
Merry Christmas to all of you!
Merry Christmas to all of you!
Thanks to JWOHPfan for correcting my mistakes and to Mushcorn for second beta-ing and making this chapter more readable! A special thanks to all my kind reviewers for their support throughout this little story!
Everything here belongs to J. K. Rowling, and I am not earning anything by writing this story.