Disclaimer: Obviously, none of these characters are mine.
Author's Note: I know that there is a discrepancy in the time line of this story but it was necessary for my vision. Sorry if I ruined anyone's day.
Things changed when Harry was born. It tends to happen. James and Lily had been married for less then a year which leads us to believe that time we found them in the closet was less then innocent. James nearly had a coronary when Lily's water broke. I had to call the ambulance because I was the only person with enough sense to do it. None of us knew how to drive and we couldn't apparate or floo.
Sirius was nearly as panicked as James. He said later that the last time he'd heard someone scream like that they were under the Cruciatus Curse. I must admit, it was terrifying.
We waited in the hospital for hours. Frank Longbottom hurried past us once, flushed and agitated. His wife was in labor as well. Lily screamed for James part way through the process and we had to stop him from apparating to her. I convinced him to run instead. We could hear Lily down the hall screaming obscenities and cursing James in every language she knew.
Harry was born on July 31st. Sirius was named godfather officially but we both knew it was a joint godfathership. Harry cried through half of his first Christmas but we expect better of him this time.
Two Days Before Christmas
"Remus, dear, pass me the tinsel." Lily ordered.
"More tinsel, Lil? Don't you have an indecent amount already?" I raised an eyebrow.
"No, now give." She snapped. I rolled my eyes and handed her a strand of red and gold tinsel. Sirius ran up to me and grabbed me around the stomach, pulling me to him.
"Can I borrow this, Lil?" He asked, setting his head on my shoulder.
"Return it when you're done. It's getting close to Christmas and we're not ready." She said, grinning down at us.
"It's only Christmas Eve Eve, Lily my dear." Sirius repled.
"What are you doing?" I asked as Sirius dragged me away from Lily's mess of tinsel.
"Saving you, my dear. You hate tinsel." He pushed me against the wall and kissed me.
"Usually you just laugh at my pain and help James make prank gifts." I murmured into his lips.
"Oh, we finished those while Lily and Harry were sleeping last night. She can't catch us like last year, you see." Sirius leaned his forehead against mine, grinning.
"Ah, yes. I remember it well. You got caught because you didn't realize James had fallen asleep before he dropped his head on the squeaky thing." I smiled.
"If it wasn't for Harry waking him up all the time, we would have gotten away with it." Sirius couldn't even pretend to be upset while saying Harry's name. It was perfectly understandable. Harry had both of us wrapped around his finger by day two.
"So, what now?" I asked.
"Well, there is the issue of your payment." Sirius' grin grew.
"For saving you from Lily."
"Oh? What did you have in mind?"
"I'll think of something." He began to lead me towards our temporary guest room. We were staying in Godric's Hollow instead of going back and forth from our home in the city.
"I'm sure you can."
"Remy, have you seen Sirius?"
"I need his help. And don't call me Jamie."
"Don't call me Remy."
"Have you seen Harry?"
"No Lily. He's a toddler. He's practically invisible."
"Don't be cute, Remus. I can't take cute right now."
"Good Luck, Lil." I laughed.
"Oh, shut up." She snapped before stomping off. I laughed again. I loved Christmas in Godric's Hollow. Something was always going wrong. I figured I should find Sirius myself before Lily found him trying to steal her son.
I wandered into the living room and checked behind the tree which had always been Padfoot's favorite hiding place. Then I moved on to Harry's room, Lily and James' room and finally the guest room that was mostly Sirius' and mine. There they were.
Sirius was lying on his back on the bed, his eyes closed. Harry was curled up on his chest, his little head resting underneath his chin. Sirius had one hand on the little boy's head and one on his back, making sure that he couldn't move. I smiled softly and felt my heart melt. I summoned my camera silently and quickly snapped a picture.
Then I remembered I had to find Lily and James and cut them off. I heard footsteps in the hall and quickly banished my camera. I stepped into the hall and came face to face with both of them.
"Remus, where are they?" Lily demanded.
"Shh," I held a finger to my lips, "Keep your voices down. I'm going to show you something but you have to promise to stay quiet." They nodded. I pushed open the door and they stuck their heads in. Lily's eyes welled up with tears and James wore a funny smile.
"Oh, Remus." Lily breathed.
"Shush. Come on." I motioned them into the living room. We stood there in silence for a while before James cleared his throat.
"Well, I guess Sirius can't help me now," He said in a thick voice, "Remus?"
"Not if you're pulling a prank." Lily cut me off.
"Of course I'm not." James sounded affronted.
"I'll help you, Jamie." I said.
"Don't call me Jamie." He snapped. I laughed and followed him.
"Since when do we open presents on Christmas Day?" Sirius demanded.
"Since you decided to sleep through Christmas Eve." I laughed. He threw an arm over my shoulder.
"I found you the perfect present." He whispered in my ear.
"Does it have anything to do with sex?" I asked. He nipped my neck.
"Maybe." Then he let out a bark of laughter. Harry giggled.
"Oh you think that's funny, do you?" Sirius said playfully to the one-year-old.
"Well, I don't think it is." He scooped Harry up into his arms and twirled him around in the air. Harry laughed and squealed. I laughed too. Sirius passed the baby off to me and then transformed into a big black dog. I set Harry on his back. Harry grabbed two large handfuls of Sirius' fur and Sirius began to parade around the room. Harry laughed and chanted "Paddy" until Lily came in and fixed a stern look on the both of them. I scooped Harry up and Sirius changed back.
"I do not approve." She said.
"You don't have to approve, Lil. It's Christmas." Sirius leaped to his feet and kissed her on the cheek before handing her a present with a flourish.
"Flattery will get you no where." Lily snapped, though her eyes sparkled with laughter.
"On the contrary, my dear woman. Flattery got me Remus." Sirius tweaked her nose. I stopped tickling Harry and glared at Sirius. Harry looked up at me and then at Sirius and then tried to glare as well. He got very close but then Sirius pulled a ridiculous face and Harry was lost to a fit of giggles.
"He could be a good Moony impersonator." James observed.
"If Sirius wasn't so good at corrupting him." Lily smiled.
"Present Time!" Sirius exclaimed.
"Presen! Presen!" Harry laughed.
"That's right, Harry. Presents. You remember presents." Lily kissed her son on the nose and then took him from my arms. She set him on the ground and we all gathered around the tree. Sirius pulled a Santa hat on his head and began to hand out the first batch of presents.
"You look ridiculous." James laughed.
"I think it's sexy." I grinned.
"Not around Baby." Lily snapped automatically.
"Spoilsport." Sirius said, kissing me and dropping a present into my lap.
I opened my present as I always had, slowly taking the paper off and carefully putting it down. Sirius tore through it like he was still eleven. Lily helped Harry open his presents while hers rested by her feet. James was watching them, tilting his head to one side, his present halfway open in his lap.
"James, that's from me." I told him. He snapped out of his trance and grinned shyly at me. Sirius laughed.
"Still completely fascinated, eh, James?" He grinned, pulling out his pocketknife to try and cut through the tape on the box. I had stopped opening my present as well, watching Sirius. I smiled vaguely as he cursed at the tape. James coughed loudly and I turned to him.
"You're no better then I am." He murmured.
"I never said I was. Open the present already, James." I answered. He tore the rest of it off and looked down. It was a baby book. I smiled, watching as he flipped through it. I had filled it out already in neat penmanship up through very recently.
"Remus… you must have been working on this for…" James looked confused.
"Actually, Lily just helped me. Didn't take very long. You like it?" I asked.
"Gah… yeah. This is incredible." He stared at me.
"It's charmed so that whenever something important happens, it'll write itself in. I charmed it for your handwriting." I smiled.
"Thanks Remus." He muttered.
"Remus, haven't you gotten through one yet? You'll never get to mine at this rate." Sirius asked accusingly. He was half-way through his pile already.
"Leave off." I snapped. The gift in my lap was one from Lily. I carefully unwrapped it and found a simple black book in a wooden box. I picked up the book and flipped through it, finding the pages empty. Lily glanced over at me.
"It's a journal." She explained. Comprehension dawned on me.
"Oh! Lily, this is like the one I saw in Hogsmead on our last trip!" I smiled broadly at her.
"Why's it in the box?" Sirius asked, looking up.
"The box only opens to the person it's charmed for and if someone manages to break into the box, the journal can only be read by the person who knows the password," I answered vaguely, eyes fixed on the box, "This is too expensive, Lil."
"It is not. Not anymore. You know that James' family has more money than God and I'm getting boatloads of money for my work at St. Mungo's with the werewolf victims. Besides, you and Sirius have spent a small fortune on Harry this past year." Lily smiled at the awestruck look on my face.
"Thank you, Lily." I murmured. She laughed slightly and turned back to Harry who was shaking one of his presents around wildly. The present opening continued.
Sirius grinned at the motorcycle care kit James got him and a new dog collar Lily bought him with the license that read Padfoot and listed Remus as his owner. He marveled over the picture of a dog that Harry had colored for him. The little boy took it from the Sirius' hands and shook it in the air, exclaiming "Paddy" which caused Sirius to burst into laughter. He looked disappointed when he couldn't find one from me.
Lily bought James a wand holder for his jobs with the Auror's Office, three Quidditch books and a coupon that offered one night where she would do anything he wanted for him. He flushed red when Sirius catcalled over it as did Lily. Sirius had unearthed some old prototype of a broom in one of his family's many storage houses and given it to James, saying he didn't know if it still flew but it was probably worth enough for him to buy as many working brooms as he wanted. Harry crawled over to his dad and handed him the present that his mother told him to, which turned out to be a picture of a stag. This time, Harry exclaimed "Daddy" and James nearly burst into tears causing Sirius to dissolve into laughter again.
Harry, of course, ended up with the most presents. Lily gave him lots of different clothes and toys along with a tiny photo album filled with pictures of the past year. Sirius got him a little black leather jacket and a miniature motorcycle that Lily confiscated on sight despite Sirius' loud protests. James bought his son, again to Lily's displeasure, a working toy broomstick. His favorites though appeared to be the four stuffed animals from me – a stag, a dog, a wolf and a rat.
When Harry's last gift was open, Lily paused and looked at the three men in front of her. She held up the toy rat.
"Where's Peter?" She asked.
"He said he was going to miss Christmas Eve but come by for Christmas dinner." I informed her.
"He's never missed Christmas morning before." She commented. I shrugged and Lily turned to her own presents.
I got her a set of books called "Health and Healing: Having a Magic Touch" and a dress with a note pinned to it reading "One Free Night of Harry-Sitting". Sirius bought her a spa trip informing her that she needed to loosen up before she got wrinkles and then dodged her attempt to knock him in the head with her book set. James refused to allow her to open his present yet which he said, blushing furiously, was private. Harry picked up a random present of the pile which happened to be for me and handed it to her, feeling left out. I rolled my eyes and swapped the present in Lily's hands for the one actually from Harry.
"Thank you, Baby." Lily laughed, kissing her son on the head before opening the present. It was an imprint of a hand in a cement cast with the words Harry James Potter Age One written around it. Tears filled Lily's eyes and she held Harry to her. He stared up at his mother with slight discontent in his face and then finally kissed her arm. She kissed his head again and set him back down.
"I think we've found Lily's favorite present." I grinned. She rolled her eyes at me and studied the handprint carefully.
James bought me a dog leash and a self-refilling set of my favorite teas. Harry's present was the third in a set, a picture of a wolf. "Moony!" Harry declared. I smiled at him and ruffled his hair. On top of the journal, Lily got me a set of pens to go along with it. Lily handed Harry over to me when he'd finished opening his presents.
"Follow me," She ordered. I started to pass Harry off to James but she pulled on my arm, "Bring Harry."
"Where are we going, Lil?" I asked, trying to get up but failing. I put Harry down and try again, still failing. I was still a little battered from the last moon. Sirius stood up instantly and pulled me to my feet.
"Can't do anything for yourself, can you?" He laughed.
"It gets harder every month." I muttered, picking Harry up again, who protested loudly especially when I removed a small ball of shiny wrapping paper from his hands.
"Sirius, Remus, come on!" Lily snapped, impatiently. I looked at James who shrugged and motioned me to follow her. I obeyed, taking Sirius' hand and pulling him with me. We followed Lily into the snow covered backyard, looking around curiously.
"Is this another present, Lil?" Sirius questioned. James clapped him on the back and went to stand next to his wife.
"We decided a few weeks ago that you guys do way too much for us," Lily began, "Ever since Harry was born, we can't seem to get rid of you…"
"Though we don't mind…" James interjected.
"There is no way we can repay you for what you've done for us and we don't want to because we always want you around and if we're in your debt, you're more likely to stay until you collect," Lily grinned. They all laughed, "But we wanted to do something to show you how much you mean to us and how much we like having you around. So… Merry Christmas!" She waved her wand, and behind her appeared a small, beautiful guest house.
"We know that you have your own home in the city but we wanted you to have a home here with us… where you won't wake us up with all your… nighttime activities." James laughed. I blushed, gaping at the little house. Sirius bounded forward, sweeping both of them into a hug before hurrying back to me. He grabbed Harry and lifted him up into the air, spinning him around. Harry laughed. I stepped forward.
"You guys… this is amazing." I murmured, hugging Lily and then James.
"I know you've had a rough year, Remus, after what happened to your family. But we're your family too. And you always have a home with us." Lily kissed him on the cheek. Sirius ran back up to them. Lily took her son back and opened the door.
"Look around." James offered. Sirius wrapped an arm around Remus and they entered the house. It had a living room and a kitchen with a small table in it. There were two doors, one leading to the bathroom and the other to the bedroom. It was fully and beautifully furnished. I stared around, his mouth hanging open slightly.
"Hey, Moony. Wanna christen the bed?" Sirius nearly tackled me from behind.
"Maybe later." I laughed, turning in his arms before kissing him soundly.
"You haven't given me my present yet." He stuck out his bottom lip and I bit it playfully.
"I know. I'm waiting. You haven't given me mine yet." I pointed out.
"You go first." He ordered.
"Okay. Let's go in the house and I'll give it to you." I twisted out of his arms and returned to the cold. I closed the door behind him.
"You two still have to swap gifts." James said suddenly.
"We were just talking about that." I grinned.
"Cold!" Harry yelled. We laughed and hurried back into the house. I pulled my gift out of my pocket and started down at it, strangely worried. I bit my lip and handed it to Sirius. He immediately tore into it.
"Wait," I held out a hand, "You might not like it but… it's not something you can return. It's sentimental to me. Go ahead." Sirius stared at me for a second and then opened the box. Inside was a small golden heard-shaped locket on a delicate gold chain. Sirius gazed at it and then looked up at me.
"Remus…" He breathed.
"My dad gave it to my mom when they were dating. He told her that he had given her his heart already and wanted her to be able to display it to the world. You have my heart Sirius. I want you to display it." I swallowed around the lump in my throat. Thinking about my parents still made my heart ache. Sirius leaned forward and kissed my soundly, smiling against my lips. He pulled away and took the locket out of the box, clasping it around his neck.
"I love it," He wrapped a hand around it, "I love you."
"I love you too." I murmured smiling uncontrollably. Lily made a funny noise and we both looked at her. She had tears in her eyes.
"Sorry!" She exclaimed. James laughed and wrapped an arm around her.
"You're making me look bad, Remus!" He joked.
"You haven't even given me my present yet!" Lily scowled at him.
"It's private." James muttered, blushing again. I turned back to Sirius.
"It's your turn." I reminded him.
"I think I should wait until Peter gets here. More dramatic and all." Sirius teased. I glared at him.
"Alright. Stand up. Hold on." He pulled me up and hurried off into our temporary bedroom, returning with something in his pocket.
"The suspense is killing me." Lily whispered to James. He winked at her and I looked down at him.
"You know what it is already." I observed. He nodded, grinning. I bit down on my lip again and gave Sirius my full attention. He stared at me, locket glinting, and a small half-smile on his face.
"Remus, you are the only person who has ever loved me after knowing me completely. I have told you all of my secrets. I have told you secrets I thought I would take to my grave…" He paused, taking a deep breath, "You've seen me at my lowest point and I've seen you at yours. We've argued and fought and broken up and got back together. I let your biggest secret slip and yet… you forgave me.
"I've always wanted to be completely at peace with myself but I can't seem to forgive myself the way you forgave me. But when I'm with you, I feel… complete and safe. I love you," Slowly, dramatically, he got down on one knee and pulled a box out of his pocket. My breath caught in my throat as I gazed down at him in amazement. He opened the box to reveal a gold band, "Remus John Lupin, will you marry me?"
"Yes," I gasp instantly, "Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! Oh Merlin, yes!" Sirius' face split into the most enormous smile and he leaped to his feet, grabbing my hand. He slid the band onto my finger and then, putting a hand on each side of my face, kissed me fiercely. I grabbed onto his shirt, my head swimming and tears on my face. He pulled away slowly, kissing the tears off my cheeks.
"Merry Christmas, Remus." He murmured, kissing me again. Lily, obviously losing control of her emotions, squealed. We both looked down at her, grinning like fools.
"I'm so happy!" She shrieked, getting to her feet. We finally let go of each other. Lily pulled me into a hug. James stood as well and hugged Sirius and then me. Lily hugged Sirius. Then we all hugged each other again. James picked up Harry and Harry hugged each of us. In the midst of the insanity, the front door opened.
"Hey, anybody home?" Peter called from the front door.
"We're in the living room," Lily answered, "Peter, you're never going to believe what happened!" He came into the room.
"What?" He asked.
"Sirius asked Remus to marry him!" Lily said immediately. Peter looked between them shocked and then smiled.
"Congratulations, guys!" He patted Sirius on the back and grinned at me.
"Thanks, Pete." I smiled, my cheeks starting to hurt.
"Yeah, thanks Wormy." Sirius pulled Peter into a hug.
"Nice necklace Sirius." Peter commented, raising an eyebrow.
"Shut up about my necklace. Remus got it for me. It's special." Sirius pushed Peter and grinned. Lily sighed.
"I'm exhausted." She admitted, flopping down on the sofa. I was still smiling uncontrollably. Sirius wrapped an arm around my waist and I turned my beaming look on him. James set Harry in Lily's lap and kissed her forehead.
"I just got here and you guys are already tired. What is this?" Peter laughed.
"It's been an exciting morning, Petey," James clapped him on the shoulder, "Let's you and me check on lunch."
"Are you happy?" Sirius asked me.
"This is the happiest day of my life." I answered honestly.
"How are we going to pull this off?" He whispered in my ear.
"What do you mean?"
"Are we… you know, allowed?" He pulled me closer to him. I thought this over.
"I don't know. We've never had any troubles before."
"We've never tried to do this before." He reminded me.
"Let's not worry today," I smiled again, "It's Christmas. Let's just be happy for a while." He nodded and kissed me gently.
"Hey guys! Lunch!" Peter shouted from the next room.
"Good, I'm starving!" Sirius bounded off. I laughed and took Harry from Lily. She stood up, rolling her eyes.
"I'm really excited for you but… I have to say this. Good luck being married to that lunatic." She shook her head.
"He's perfectly sane and you know it Lil. I've had him examined twice. And he hasn't set anything on fire for several years. I'm rather proud." I shrugged.
"He flew his motorcycle through a barn last month."
"That was an accident."
"He chases birds."
"In dog form."
"And in human form. He did it last week."
"To make Harry laugh!"
"He steals from me."
"To make you mad."
"He steals from James."
"For the same reason."
"He tied you to a bed and forgot about you." I paused and blushed bright red.
"Well… the bed thing was my idea actually…"
"I didn't need to know that." Lily groaned, covering her eyes.
"Come on, Rem! It'll get cold." Sirius vaulted into the room, grabbed my arm and dragged me and a screaming Harry into the kitchen.
"Be careful of my baby!" Lily yelled after us.
"Sorry Lil!" I called back as I was pushed into a chair. Lunch was a blur. Peter regaled us with stories about his fantastically stupid boss, James cracked strange jokes that caused Sirius to cry with laughter, Lily tried to coax a fussy Harry to eat something, Sirius pawed me under the table and I alternated between a bright blush and a huge smile when I caught sight of the band on my finger.
After lunch we wandered back into the living room to open Peter's gifts. I got chocolate (exactly what I asked him for), Sirius got an obscure hair product, James got tickets to a Quidditch game, Lily got a nice bracelet and Harry got a cute jumper.
"Thanks Petey. My favorite teams!" James exclaimed.
"I know." Peter laughed. Then James winked at me and waved his wand. Lily turned to him.
"What are you doing? James Potter, you better not be doing what I think you're doing." Her voice rose quickly and I grinned at Sirius before waving my wand as well.
"Why don't I know what's happening?" Sirius questioned, worriedly. Two strands of mistletoe floated out of the closet. One drifted to a spot above James and Lily and one stopped above Sirius and me.
"Merry Christmas, Lily Potter." James smiled, kissing her. She giggled.
"Merry Christmas, Sirius." I grinned. He kissed me, twining our fingers together. Suddenly a loud crash brought us out of our contentment. We all jumped and turned towards the noise. Harry had knocked over the Christmas Tree.
"Mer' Chri'mas." He laughed.
Thank you for reading, you wonderful person. A Very Merry Christmas to you! Have a splendid New Year.