Of Wishes and Dreams
By RogueAngel

Summary: After Christmas with the Weasley's Harry makes a wish....

Disclaimer: Nothing is mine, I'm just borrowing them from JK Rowling and Disney - I think.

A/n - This is my first attempt at Harry Potter Fanfiction. Please be kind. ;) Many thanks to Bela for a quick and thorough beta job!

Chapter 1

Harry sat quietly on the couch, a tattered rug pulled haphazardly across his lap, his fingers absently picking at the unraveling edges. It wasn't that he needed it to keep warm; the living room was quite comfortable now that he had restarted the fire in the hearth. The old woolen rug had been tossed across the back of the couch earlier and it had seemed natural to pull it over himself. Feeling the scratchiness of it against his hands reminded him of the earlier conversation between George, Fred and their mother. The rug had once been used by the Weasley children as a play mat, but it was much the worse for the wear now, and quite homely. The twins had lamented the fact that their mother hadn't bothered to get rid of it, but she had protested. Her children had played on that blanket for years. Though old, worn, faded and tattered, it had sentimental value. She wasn't about to toss it out because it was no longer aesthetically pleasing to them.

One of the twins, Fred most likely, had mimicked their mother's words perfectly as she spoke, his hands positioned on his hips just like her as she lectured them. Ron laughed as he shoved a chocolate frog into his mouth and Percy shook his head, tsking at the twin's antics. Ginny had leaned over from her place near the fire, her merry eyes catching Harry's bemused look.

"It's the same thing every year," she told him softly, the rest of the room's occupants still occupied in arguing good-naturedly over the beloved rug. "Nana Marie, mum's mum, made it for the twins after Charlie accidentally set fire to the old play rug that he and Bill used. Luckily, Percy wasn't playing on it at the time," she laughed softly. "Mum's determined that the grandchildren will one day play on it." She shook her head, digging through her stocking for another sugar quill. "It's a nice thought, but I don't know if the rug will last long enough - even though she only brings it out at Christmas now. I can't imagine this lot producing grandbabies anytime soon."

Harry looked around the room at her brothers. Bill hadn't changed since he had last seen him after the Tri Wizard's tournament, much to his mother's dismay. From the conversations he and Ron had overheard, Bill was enjoying the single life too much to settle down. Charlie was too busy with his dragons to consider it either. He had loudly lamented the fact that not many women were willing to brave the wilds of Romania - not to mention dragons - to be with him, but he didn't seem to really mind. Harry got the distinct impression that he didn't lack for companionship. Percy was too busy working to even date, much less settle down, and the twins... Well, it was hard to imagine them ever being serious enough to marry and raise a family. He knew that Fred and Angelina were still dating...but, he just couldn't imagine them doing more.

That left Ron...and Ginny. Harry shuddered at the idea of Ron as a father. Not because he thought Ron would be a bad one, but...they were the same age and if Ron was to be a father, that meant that Hermione would probably be the mother...and Harry just wasn't ready to even think of that. They still had to finish their last year at Hogwarts, and after that...no, children were very far off in the future.

Then his eyes turned to Ginny, still searching through her stocking, a small frown on her face. The fire light behind her caused her cheeks to flush becomingly and made her hair seem almost alive. It wasn't the first time that Harry had been suddenly struck by what a pretty young woman Ginny had turned into. She was no longer just Ron's little sister, though that fact was never very far from his mind. She was also his friend, and a very pretty one at that.

"What about you?" Harry heard himself asking as he watched her.

Startled, Ginny glanced up from her search, her eyes wide. "Me? Grandbabies?"

Harry nodded, somewhat amused to see her flush even more.

"Well...I...I'm only 17," she stammered. "I still have another year at Hogwarts...and even then...." she looked around uncomfortably.

"Even then..." Harry prodded, enjoying her sudden discomfiture. It was a new feeling to be teasing Ginny. In the past he had always been cautious because he didn't want to encourage her embarrassing crush on him, or add any unnecessary rumors that he might actually return her feelings. Now that they were friends he realized it could be quite fun to make her blush and stammer.

"Well, I'd need a husband, wouldn't I?" she began digging through her stocking once more, avoiding Harry's gaze. "Seeing as I don't even have a boyfriend at the moment, I think it's way to soon to speculate about babies."

"But you like the idea," he said, unable to take his eyes off her. He had been watching Ginny a lot lately. It had seemed that since he had first seen her this summer, shortly after his seventeenth birthday, his eyes were constantly drawn to her like a magnet. It wasn't just that he suddenly realized how pretty and ...feminine..she was, but she seemed to sparkle from within. Her eyes, her smile, the way she teased him and Ron; whenever she was around he felt like the black cloud that was hovering over him would disappear. He didn't think of Dumbledore, or prophecies, or Voldemort, or any of the other multitude of problems that seemed to be accosting the wizarding world. When he was around her he felt like nothing more than a normal 17 year old boy. And he liked that feeling.

Ginny's eyes flew up to meet his once again, obviously wondering what he meant. "Babies? Well...uh, sure...I like babies. And someday...when I find the right bloke..." she trailed off, never taking her eyes off of him. For some strange reason Harry felt like she was asking him a question, but he wasn't sure what it was.

Harry felt himself blushing and he hoped that she would think it was from the heat of the fire and not because he just realized what a personal question he had just asked. "I meant..about the play rug...your mum keeping it for her grandbabies."

"Oh," Ginny looked flustered, then with an obvious effort she managed to get control of her sudden embarrassment. She smiled impishly at him. "Well, one of us has to be the sentimental one." She paused. "What about you?" she finally asked. "Do you think my mum and I are too sentimental about an old tatty rug?"

Harry looked at her for a moment, his heart suddenly beating heavily in his chest, then he looked around the room at her family. All of them were laughing and joking, even Percy. Then he looked down at the rug, its colors faded with time and the edges beginning to unravel. He thought of the history of love that the rug represented. Made by their grandmum, cared for and lovingly preserved by their mum. Five of the Weasley children had played on it. It was a piece of their family history. "No," he finally whispered, looking wistfully at the rug in question. "I think it's wonderful. I wish...." He trailed off, unable to finish his thought, tears suddenly welling in his eyes.

Ginny reached out a small hand, laying it to rest on his arm. "Harry," she said softly. He looked at her hand, so small on his forearm, and then into her soft brown eyes, seeing the understanding and caring in them. He opened his mouth to say something, but a loud explosion near Percy made them jump and the moment was broken. It was just as well, Harry thought, as he laughed half heartedly at Percy who was still smoking, because he wasn't sure what he had been about to say.

So here he was. It was 1 in the morning, no longer Christmas, and he was sitting alone in the Weasley's living room unable to sleep. It had been his best Christmas. The only Christmas that he had ever been included as part of a family. Christmas morning at the Dursley's had seen him cooking breakfast while Dudley plowed through his numerous gifts, and while the Christmases he had spent at Hogwarts had been fun, celebrating with friends was better than not celebrating at all, this Christmas had been wonderful. He had felt like a part of a family for once.

The family had merrily exchanged gifts, including Harry as one of their own. He had even gotten one from Santa. Though all the Weasley kids had rolled their eyes as they opened theirs, Mrs. Weasley hadn't been upset. A tradition was a tradition, she reminded them with a smile. She'd even knitted him his very own stocking with snitches on it. When he saw it that morning he had to try very hard to keep the tears in his eyes from falling. Luckily, Charlie accidentally nudged one of George and Fred's gifts and it exploded. Harry was able to get control of himself as Charlie threatened the twins and Mr. Weasley picked up the mess. Harry hadn't been surprised to see Ginny watching him from across the room though. He managed a smile and then dug into his stocking with as much enthusiasm as Ron.

It had been the best Christmas of his life, and yet he was suddenly feeling depressed. Why, when he had been so happy all day did he feel so sad now? He stared into the fire, his hands fiddling with the rug absently as he tried to understand his mood. He thought about his stocking, the presents, dinner...the rug...his conversation with Ginny.

As he sat there thinking, he felt the tears come to his eyes again, his throat suddenly tight. He wanted a family. He loved the Weasleys, but he wanted his own family. He didn't have any memories of his parents - not real ones, anyway. There were no ratty rugs that had been made by his grandmother; no heirloom china to be brought out on special occasions; no traditions to enjoy or make fun of. There was nothing. And now that he had experienced a real family Christmas he felt horribly saddened by all that he had missed over the years.

Sighing deeply he turned away from the fire, staring instead out the living room window. From his vantage point on the couch he could see nothing but the inky black sky. One star seemed to be particularly bright, drawing his attention. It pulsed rhythmically, making him feel sleepy. His eyes started to close drowsily as he watched the star. It seemed to be getting brighter and he was reminded of a muggle video Dudley had once gotten for Christmas. He remembered standing in the hallway to watch it so that Dudley wouldn't see him and get him sent to his cupboard. For years, whenever he looked to the night sky he would make a wish, picking the brightest start to pin his hopes to - to be a part of a real family. He stopped wishing well before his tenth birthday, deciding that he was too old for such foolishness. There was no such thing as fairies, and there was definitely no such thing as magic. But now.....

Sleepily he opened his eyes, focusing all his being on that one shining star.

"Star light, star bright,

First star I see tonight.

I wish I may, I wish I might

Have the wish I wish tonight," he whispered.

With a sad smile he drifted off to sleep, the rug still clutched tightly in his hands.