Disclaimer: JK Rowling owns everything related to HP. A Night before Christmas is owned by Clement Clarke Moore. Grinch is owned by Dr. Seuss.
A/N: This story is set in the Sword of Slytherin universe, but one does not have to read either Summer School or Sword of Slytherin to understand it. At least I don't think so. The main things to keep in mind are that Harry and Draco are Snape's adopted son, Aurora Sinistra is Snape's wife, and Angel is Snape's daughter with Aurora. I sincerely hope you enjoy all the silliness I put them through with this fic. :D
Curious dark eyes glanced around the small upstairs bedroom as a little girl about four years old lay in a bed that was at least two times bigger than she was. Her parents had tucked her in the previous night and told her that if she wished for anything, she could come to their room at anytime. She of course didn't want to bother them so she remained in her bed the entire night, just waiting.
However, as the sun slowly started to rise, the little girl started to get antsy. After all, it was Christmas Eve, the day before she could open the presents that were under her grandparents' massive Christmas tree in their drawing room. And she wasn't exaggerating a bit about the tree being enormous. In fact, it was so large that it took an army of house elves to decorate it with the various silver and gold ornaments, silver and green twisted together garland, magical-powered blinking Christmas lights, and the sparkling star tree-topper. Actually, the tree was covered from top to bottom in decorations without a single bare spot on the entire tree.
Glancing towards her closed door, the curly blond child nervously bit her bottom lip in anticipation of either her mommy or daddy opening the door to tell her it was time for breakfast. After about thirty seconds, though, she couldn't wait any longer. She threw off the covers and hopped out of bed. Making sure she slipped her feet into her slippers so her father didn't get upset with her, she silently opened her bedroom door and stuck her head out. Her parents' bedroom door was closed as were her grandparents' and her brothers' doors.
She couldn't be the only one awake in the manor. Sure, it was 5:30, but her daddy was always awake then when they were home. Biting her bottom lip nervously again, she glanced up and down the corridor and attempted to listen for any movement. She heard only silence, though. With a huff of annoyance, she closed her door and headed back into her room to wait some more.
Sitting on the edge of her bed, she swung her feet as she looked out the window. It was snowing still, but it had let up somewhat. She could at least see the immediate grounds now. It looked rather beautiful outside, cold yes, but very beautiful with the pure white snow blanketing the trees and ground. With another sigh, she glanced at the floor. She was the only one awake in the manor and in the world it seemed. Didn't they know it was Christmas Eve? Didn't they understand how special the day was? She did. Well, that was only because her older brothers had told her the meaning behind the day. However, she didn't share their views that it was just about the presents. After all, if it was just about the presents, then weren't her parents and grandparents going to be upset about only have a few presents when her brothers, her aunt, and she had a ton more than them?
The little girl then glanced back out the window, catching movement out there in the snowstorm. Standing up, she walked closer to the window in an attempt to catch a better glimpse of it. A few moments later, her dark eyes lit up in sheer wonder as she watched whatever it was move slowly across the grounds. It was an animal of some kind, but she couldn't tell what kind through the snow.
When the animal suddenly stopped and fell, she released a soft whimper. The poor thing had collapsed for some reason. The altruistic side of her quickly took over. She had to help it.
Whirling around, she rushed over to the chair where her clothes for the day lie and rapidly changed into them. Once she had on her green fuzzy socks she received from Grandpa Dumbledore, her anti-itch wool sweatpants, and her green jumper from the nice red-haired lady, she slipped on her ever-warm boots and cloak before running out of her room. She had to help the poor animal right that second. She'd deal with her daddy later. He'd understand. She knew he would eventually.
Once she hit the brisk winter air outside, she felt chilled to the bone. She did her best to ignore it, focusing on the animal instead. After a few short minutes of struggling against the harsh blowing wind and mountains of snow, she stopped and stared at the majestic creature within touching distance. It looked like her older brother's pat-thingy, only this animal wasn't transparent and didn't even glow.
"Hi, pretty deer," she softly whispered, holding her hands out to show it that she meant it no harm. She gave the creature a soft smile when its eyes darted towards her. "It's all right. I'm not gonna hurt you." She took another step towards the animal, trying her very best not to scare it. Thanks to her older brothers, she knew exactly what happened if someone spooked an animal by accident. And she didn't feel like making her daddy anymore upset than he likely would be already with her leaving the house and not telling anyone beforehand.
"You're a very pretty deer, do you know that?" the little girl said innocently, taking another step closer. The animal only watched her, making sure she didn't come too close. "Don't tell my brother Harry, but you're prettier than his pat-thingy." Tilting her head to the side, she gave the animal a curious look. "Can I pet you, pretty deer? I'm not gonna hurt you. I promise on my witch's honor." She then giggled as it watched her. "Well, I'm really a witch yet." Pulling out her pockets as she had seen her brothers do numerous times, she showed the animal that she didn't have anything. "See? I don't have my wand yet, but sometimes I do magic." The young child's smile fell a bit. "But Daddy doesn't like that, though. I mean, he doesn't get mad or nothing. In fact, he tells me that it's a bit of a good thing that I can do magic, so he's sort of proud of me I think, but Daddy always tells me that I need to be careful who sees me do my magic because I'm very special. Does your daddy tell you that?"
The animal's dark eyes stayed trained on her as if expecting an attack from the innocent child. Lowering its head slightly after a few moments, the animal's pinkish tongue licked some of the pure white snow. However, when it heard the soft giggles erupt from the little girl, its head shot up again with its massive antlers piercing the air.
"You're very pretty, deer," she softly repeated, inching a bit closer. She flashed another soft smile towards the animal to keep it from darting off into the forest. "Can I please pet you? I won't hurt you. I promise. I'll be really gentle. Please can I pet you? You're just so pretty."
When the animal didn't respond, she moved a bit closer, taking its silence as its assent to her actions. She leaned forward slowly to run her hand along its tan side, just as her grandpa had taught her to do with his horses. Then again, she usually had an adult with her, warning her when the animal didn't want to be touched.
The second her hand had connected with its fur, the animal's head whipped towards her with its menacing antlers knocking her backwards into the snow. Hidden underneath that pile of fresh white powder from all eyes, young and old, was a granite angel statue. As if a bad horror story, the young child fell through the powdery snow mound, hitting the back of her head against the hard granite. Cold and darkness overtook her within mere moments afterwards as the snow silently fell on the young child.
Whimpering quietly, the child slowly regained consciousness while someone gently prodded the back of her head. She could tell that she was lying on something, and that she wasn't outside anymore. Her eyes slowly fluttered open, only to find herself staring into her daddy's eyes. She could see the disappointment with a mix of concern as he stared back at her.
"I sorry, Daddy," she whispered, biting her bottom lip to keep the tears at bay.
"What were you thinking?" he replied semi-coldly. "You could've died out there. Do you understand that, Angel?"
"Yes, sir," she answered with a sniffle. When her daddy grabbed her chin to keep her from moving a moment later, she made no sound. Sound only annoyed her daddy after all.
"What in Merlin's name compelled you to go outside without an adult?"
"There was a hurt deer," she immediately replied, hoping her daddy wouldn't be so upset then.
"A hurt deer?" he repeated, giving her an odd look. "You went outside because of a hurt deer?"
"Yes," she answered. She made sure to continue staring into her father's eyes to show him the proper respect. She had seen how upset her daddy was when her brothers didn't do that.
"Because it was hurt, and I didn't want it to suffer all alone out there."
"So you then decided to venture outside without the proper attire to assist this wild animal you knew nothing about?"
"Yes," she affirmed.
"I don't suppose you learned your lesson," he said more so to himself than to her.
"Only that I should've talked to him more," she answered honestly. When she noticed her daddy pinch the bridge of his nose, she glanced down at the ground, finally breaking eye contact with him. She had made him upset. She hated when she upset him. "I'm sorry, Daddy."
"For going outside and worrying your mother or for not helping the poor deer?" he responded, crossing his arms.
"For scaring Mommy and you and for not helping it," she answered. "Am I gonna be okay?"
"You'll live," he replied with a sigh. "However, you won't be alone today. You struck your head rather hard so someone will be with you at all times to ensure that you remain well."
"I understand." Glancing away from her daddy again, she smiled sadly towards her older brothers who slowly walked into the drawing room. She could tell that they knew she was in big trouble. They had that look of sympathy in their eyes towards her.
"Is it all right if we come in, Dad?" asked her green-eyed, dark-haired older brother.
"Yes, Harry." Her daddy then stood up and glanced towards her brothers. "I need to run an errand. Can I count on you two to watch your sister?"
"Yeah, we'll watch El," Harry replied.
"If you need anything, you may have a house elf fetch either myself or Aurora."
"Where is Mum anyway?"
"She has an appointment with Madam Pomfrey this morning." At the sight of her brothers' looks, her daddy added, "And you may keep your thoughts to yourself."
"So no little baby brother or sister then?" asked Harry with a soft smirk.
"As far as I am aware, no," her daddy replied with a hint of annoyance. He, however, quickly bent down and kissed Angel's forehead. "If your head begins to hurt even worse, inform your brothers immediately. Is that understood?"
"Yes, Daddy," she answered. While she did have a headache, it was just a dull ache currently. She was pretty sure that he wasn't talking about that sort of worsening. As her daddy walked out of the drawing room, she watched him with sad brown eyes.
"What are we going to do with you, Celes?" her grey-eyed, silvery blond brother asked.
While her full name was Angel Celestria Prince, her brothers each had their own little nicknames for her. Harry always called her 'El,' while Draco, her other brother, always called her 'Celes.' Granted, neither of the boys really were her true brothers, but they were in her mind.
"El, what were you doing outside? You knew that it'd upset Dad."
"There was a hurt deer, Harry," she answered quietly. Both of her brothers laughed, shaking their heads. It wasn't funny.
"Celes, must you try to adopt every living creature within a hundred mile radius of you?" asked Draco with another laugh. He crossed his arms and stared at her with pure amusement. "I mean, this is almost as bad as the time you kidnapped the Headmaster's phoenix."
"Yeah, do you remember the look on Dad's face when we walked in and found El on the sofa with Fawkes beside her?"
"I thought he was going to have a heart attack," roared the blond as he laughed hysterically.
"That wasn't funny," she grumbled. Her brothers were dunderheads. There was no doubt about it. Huffing in annoyance, she crossed her arms and glared at them. Why didn't her daddy ever tell them that? At least it'd be true that way.
"El, yeah, it sort of was," Harry said with a smile. "We still love you anyway, though."
"Of course we do," Draco replied. "Now, do you feel like having some hot chocolate with us?"
"With lots of marshmallows?" she asked with big brown eyes.
"As many marshmallows as one could stuff in a cup," Harry answered.
"Yes, please," she responded politely. As her brother summoned a house elf, she lay on the sofa, just waiting. Idly, she wondered where her daddy had gone. It likely wasn't somewhere he wanted to be, judging by the look that was on his face. That and he usually stayed with her after she injured herself.
When Draco handed her the cup a few moments later, she silently grabbed it from him and cautiously took a sip. It was just as good as the first time she ever had hot chocolate. The yummy liquid filled her with pleasant warmth. Picking off a marshmallow, she smiled and glanced towards her brothers. They never had as much fun as she did.
"So, what are we going to do today?"
"Open presents?" she asked hopefully.
"Not unless you want Dad to ream our arses, Celes," Draco drawled. "How about we play wizard chess, and you help me beat Harry?" He flashed a soft smile at her. "You know you want to, Celes."
After the game was finished and Harry had won, the children went to see if they could help out in the kitchen. They had been expecting to find the house elves. They found instead their grandpa making gingerbread cookies.
"What in the world?"
"Now don't tell me my son-in-law doesn't cook," her Grandpa Orin, a man with rich chocolate eyes and dark brown hair, said good-naturedly. "Because I know for a fact my daughter sure as hell can't cook to save her life."
"You can cook?"
"Sure I can. All the Sinistra men know how to cook." He then shook his head as something occurred to him. "Ah, yeah, forgot about that, sorry." His eyes then narrowed on Draco. "I take it that Lucius thought cooking was below him," Grandpa Orin said with a knowing look.
"It was the house elves' job," Draco said quietly.
"I bet. Well, personally, I'm surprised the bastard made it past his teens, no disrespect of course. Then again, you aren't Lucius by any means, are you, Draco?"
"Do you know a lot about pureblood families?"
"I knew that Lucius Malfoy was made a sick bastard because of his father Abraxas, and that Arthur Weasley married a, well, a rather interesting woman we'll say."
"You don't like Mrs. Weasley?"
"Oh, no, quite the contrary, dear boys," Grandpa Orin said, laughing jollily. "Molly Prewett was and likely still is quite the witch. I just find her to be a rather interesting choice for him. Then again, the same could be said about Syra and me. Now, what do you boys and my dear sweet say about helping this old man bake some good old-fashioned gingerbread cookies?"
"Sure," replied the three children with wide smiles.
So that was exactly what the children did. They helped their grandpa bake cookies. Taking time of course to throw flour at one another, it was after all Christmas Eve.