Title: Enough Mistletoe, Chapter 3
Summary: Unexpected visitors and the resulting lack of privacy teach Harry and Ginny about the reason for the seasons, and whether you really can have too much mistletoe.
Author's Notes: This was written for the LiveJournal hg_seasonsfest winterfest fic exchange. We all put in our requests, and were given an assignment. My prompt was: Canon pairings; I like stories just out of Hogwarts through when Lily is a baby; Neville would be good, as would any of the Weasleys. Snow, Fireplaces, Hot chocolate – really, winter is my favorite season you can't go wrong with most winter elements (but if you choose to include a sport – please don't go with snowboarding!)
Enough Mistletoe, Chapter 3
"George Weasley! When I get my hands on you you'll wish you'd never been born, you. . ." The female voice continued on from there, describing George's probable parentage (since any son of Molly and Arthur would never stoop so low), hygiene habits, methods of generating heat in his apartment, and accusing him of several rather unsavory habits, not the least of which was cheating at pinochle.
Harry and Ginny stood silently on the stairs, in awe of the continued string of maledictions being shouted at full volume. As they stood there listening, they were quietly joined by Neville, who had his arm around Hannah's waist and what looked to be a permanent smile on his face, and Ron, who wasn't joined to anyone, but who came holding a mug of cocoa and three more biscuits.
"Blimey," Ron muttered, as the tirade increased in vituperation and volume, "wonder what George did to get Angelina so upset. . ."
"Do you think we should do anything?" Harry asked.
Ginny shook her head vigorously, Ron echoing her sentiments. "No, mate. You do NOT want to get between those two when they're fighting. Mum tried, once, but Angelina can out-shout her any day of the week. I didn't ever think that was possible."
Neville looked agape at Ron, then whispered something to Hannah. "Um, we'll just be in the kitchen, okay?"
Harry nodded at Neville and waved a quick goodbye at Ron, who seemed rather more interested in going back to the kitchen where the rapidly-emptying tin of biscuits was.
"Well, do you think we can make it up to the bedroom?" Harry asked. The shouting seemed to have ended, or at least been continued at a less-strident level, and Harry was intent on spending some time with Ginny in private.
"Why, Mr. Potter! Whatever can you be trying to do?" grinned Ginny lasciviously. "I'm not the kind of girl who'll just roll over and die when some handsome man asks her to his room. . ."
Harry looked at her thoughtfully. "Miss Weasley," he said, his voice deepening as he got into his role. "I would never try to lure you to my room under false pretenses. I can see you're a woman of integrity, and I respect that. But you see, I have a problem I was hoping you would help me with."
Ginny smiled at Harry's playing along. "And what problem might that be, Mr. Potter?" she asked, in an innocent voice, while slowly twisting a lock of hair around one finger.
"Well," Harry started, then stopped to clear his throat-Ginny's "innocent" act never failed to raise his temperature. "It seems that I've been somewhat profligate in my buying habits lately, and I've managed to purchase the most beautiful peignoir. It's a dark green, comes with fishnet stockings, and I think it'll look absolutely stunning." He paused for a moment to leer suggestively at her. "I was wondering. . . You seem to be about the right size, so I was thinking you might be willing to model it for me. Just to see, of course, how it will look."
Ginny acted shocked. "But sir! How do I know you'll honor your word? I know your type-you'll get me in your room, wearing some scandalous outfit, then lock me in and ravish me, holding me, and kissing me, and touching me in places that shouldn't be touched by anyone except my husband. You might lock the door, and keep me there all night doing all sorts of unspeakable things to my body-"
Her voice was cut off as Harry growled deeply, grabbed his wife, and tossed her over his shoulder. Taking the stairs two at a time, he raced up towards the master bedroom. Ginny had become a little breathless herself, thinking about all the things that she'd been suggesting to Harry, and was more than ready to be locked in said room, and have said ravishment take place, multiple times.
Unfortunately, they found out what had happened to George and Angelina. They were sitting on the floor, leaning up against the door to the master bedroom, snogging to beat the band.
Harry harrumphed. Then repeated it a little louder. Ginny, still draped over his shoulder, wiggled around so she could see what was going on.
"George Fabian Weasley!" she yelled, as loud as she could, which was rather impressively loud considering her position over Harry's shoulder. "What in Merlin's name are you doing snogging in front of my bedroom!"
The amorous couple broke apart at that, and stared at the rather unexpected picture. Ginny's face had gotten rather red from all the blood rushing to it, so she looked like she had rather a unfortunate tomato attached to her shoulders. Harry, on the other hand, had the most woebegone expression on his face. George laughed first, and even Angelina snickered behind her hand.
But their laughter died out quickly and they climbed to their feet as Harry put Ginny back down. "Sorry, Harry," George said. "We didn't really mean to block the bedroom door. It's just-"
"-this thickheaded oaf got tired of my yelling at him, and decided to kiss me," Angelina finished. She turned slightly and punched George right in the stomach. "That's what you get for trying to ditch me, all right? If you ever start thinking the same way, just remember that I can hit a LOT harder than that, understand?"
George wheezed and gasped, but nodded his head.
"Okay, then." Angelina turned to Harry and Ginny. "We're sorry about this-well, at least I am." She shot a nasty glare at George. "George was being an idiot, again, and tried to get away-did you know your Floo is unrestricted right now?"
Ginny wryly shook her head. "Yeah, I must have forgotten to set it back to voice-only after Neville came through."
"It does explain why we seem to be gathering all sorts of miscreants tonight," Harry commented.
George chuckled at that. "Yeah, I saw Neville and Hannah celebrating something when I came through, but Ange was coming right after me, so I couldn't even take the mickey for being so friendly."
Harry shook his head. "So, um, if you two are all happy now, can you move out from in front of the door?"
George leered at his brother-in-law. "Why, Harry? What are you two planning on doing in there, hmmm? Might there be a little-"
They never got to find out what George was intimating.
"Hello the house! Anyone around?" The voice was undoubtedly Molly Weasley's. "Oh! I'm sorry, Neville, I didn't mean to startle you. And you must be. . .?"
Harry's shoulders drooped, and he turned to his wife. "I guess we'd better go welcome your mum. . ."
Ginny looked just as forlorn. "Yeah, probably. But you listen here, Mr. Potter!" She poked him in the chest. "We are going to finish this later tonight, okay? There's some mistletoe that still needs using. . ." Her face fell as she said that, and she finished up in almost a whisper, "it's about all I've been able to really accomplish."
Harry stopped and looked down his wife. "Ginny, what's the problem? That's like the eighth time you've said something like that, and every time you just get all sad."
"Harry!" came Molly's voice from downstairs. "Where are you and-"
Her voice cut off as the Floo activated yet again, apparently disgorging someone into the sitting room. Hermione, it must have been, since Molly immediately greeted her.
Harry looked torn. The opportunity to see Hermione's and Ron's reunion was one that promised quite a lot of fireworks, along with a rather large amount of teasing material for the future. But one look at his wife's face reminded him that, while Hermione and Ron might be entertaining, the more important crisis was her. "Um, George? Do you think, maybe, you and Angelina could leave us alone for awhile? Maybe go downstairs and take notes on what happens between Ron and Hermione?"
George, too, seemed torn, but Angelina earned Harry's life-long thanks for grabbing his hand (in what seemed to be a rather painful grasp, if George's contorted face was anything to go by), and dragging him downstairs.
Harry took Ginny's hands in his and backed towards their door. "Come on, Gin. Let's go talk about whatever's been happening today, okay?"
She sniffed a bit, and nodded. Then laughed as Harry ran into their door, which was apparently still spelled shut. "Hold on, Harry, let me get that for you, okay?"
Harry grimaced good-naturedly, and stood aside as she cast the unlocking spell. He tested the doorknob, and, finding it easily-turnable, pulled her into their room.
Which looked as though a kitschy Christmas-card store had torn itself to pieces, flown through space, and disgorged itself all over the furnishings, floor, drapes, and light fixtures.
"Gin?" Harry asked, bemused. "What happened?"
And that's when Ginny lost it. "You want to know what happened? Fine! I'll tell you!" She ripped her hands out of his grip and pushed past him. "It's our first Christmas together," she spat out. "I wanted to make it special for you. I know how Christmases were when you were growing up-those pigs you lived with didn't let you participate in anything!" Her voice had started out somewhat shakily, but she'd hit her stride, and was now carrying on at full volume. Harry surreptitiously cast Silencing and Imperturbable charms on the floor and walls, sure that what was coming was not something to share with anyone else.
"So, I figured that I could make our place into the best, Christmasy-est house ever. I put those stupid pine boughs all along the stairway-do you know it's almost impossible to get pine sap out of my hair? Mrs. Scower's Magical Mess Remover doesn't even touch it! And then there's that stupid song, Here We Go A-Wassailing. So I figured it must be a Muggle thing, yeah? So I asked Mr. Simmons at the grocery about it, and do you know what he told me? He said it's some type of hot, moldy cider! I swear, I would have hexed him if old Mrs. Pruneface from next door hadn't been watching. So, I'm sorry, but I'm not giving you wassail, okay?"
Harry nodded gently, but knew he wasn't really supposed to answer anything else.
"And you know about the mantel-it was going to look so pretty, with all the little presents and nutcrackers-what are nutcrackers for, anyway?" Harry, once again, didn't answer. "And we were going to make Christmas goodies and go caroling, and make snow angels, and . . . and I think I put up enough mistletoe for the whole world to come and snog under, and I BURNT MY FINGER!"
And Ginny burst into tears.
Harry was by her side in a flash, taking her into his arms and holding her just as close as he possibly could with clothes still on. And Ginny, his strong, proud, fiery Ginny, was crying on his shirt and shaking in his arms.
After another large amount of time had passed, Ginny's sobs had died away into hiccoughs, and Harry felt it was safe to talk to her. First, however, he maneuvered them over to sit on the bed-well, on top of something crinkly and slightly pokey on the bed. A muttered curse, and a giggle from Ginny, later, he kissed her on the head and said, "You're a silly goose, you know that?"
Ginny reacted instantly, pushing away from him (not that it worked-he held her as tightly as possible) and reaching for her (or his) wand (she wasn't particular). But he just smiled at her, and kissed her forehead again.
"You, Ginny Potter, are a silly goose. You are a silly goose for thinking I want or need all those things to have a good Christmas. Yes, I had to watch the Dursleys enjoy their holiday, and I wanted those things. But I've learned, Gin. I've learned that even with all those trappings of Christmas, they weren't having a happy Christmas. Dudley always complained about not having enough presents, and Vernon and Petunia always rushed around trying to make him happy. And all three of them always tried their hardest to make the rest of Little Whinging think they were the best at being Christmasy.
"But the truth of it is, dearest, is that the real Christmas spirit was what I felt in the Burrow. Your family didn't try to do all those things that the Dursleys did-no flaunting their decorating for the neighbors, no huge mound of presents to keep a spoiled brat from crying, no conspicuous display of festivities. Just a warm home, a warm family, and a happiness that can't be bought. You, Ginny, are Christmas to me."
Harry looked down at his wife's face in love and tenderness, and a little bit of sheepishness for being so sappy. But Ginny's face, the look there, the love there, made it all worthwhile.
She sniffled a bit more, and gave him a watery smile. "So you don't care that the mantel isn't perfectly beautiful?"
He shook his head. Then snickered. "What mantel?"
She slapped him lightly on the chest. "You prat." She was silent for a moment. "And the pine boughs in the stairwell?"
"Honestly, I didn't notice-I was a little bit distracted."
Ginny smiled at him for that, but then frowned. "Well, what about my poor ice-weasel-infested brother?"
"Well, Hermione's there now, and I'm sure they're bickering over things as usual, but even they're part of the Christmas spirit, aren't they?"
"But what about Hannah, and Neville?"
"The more the merrier," Harry responded.
Harry frowned. "Ginny, she's the first person to ever give me a Christmas present-it really wouldn't be Christmas without her, would it?"
Ginny sighed and shook her head. "No, it wouldn't."
Harry held her on his lap for a few moments longer, then shifted. "Speaking of her, we should probably go see how things are going down there-I wouldn't want her to start thinking that we've barricaded ourselves up here trying to hide from her."
"Nah, she'd probably think we were up here shagging, and be too excited about the prospect of another grandchild to spoil." She smiled naughtily. "But didn't you say something about green lingerie? When do I get to see this mythical-what did you call it? A peignoir?"
Harry flushed. "Yeah, well, I don't think it'd be a good thing to bring out right now, since we should really go greet our guests." His eyes flitted around the room, focusing on everything except Ginny's face.
"Why, Mr. Potter, is that a blush? Why would you be embarrassed about buying your wife lingerie?"
"It's not that, Gin. It's just that, well, I'm having a hard enough time wanting to go chat with the family-you and green lingerie would be too much to take, I think."
Ginny grinned up at him. "Having self-control issues, are you?"
"Merlin, Gin, don't you know what you do to me already?"
Ginny wiggled a bit on Harry's lap, emphasizing that, yes, she really did know how she affected her husband. But then she jumped down and held out a hand. "Well, I guess we'd better go down, then, and face the mob."
The stairs, bedecked with the pine boughs, were very quiet. As was the sitting room. Casting bemused glances at each other, they wandered down the hall to the kitchen door.
Opening the door, they were just about floored by the noise and chaos bursting out.
Molly was standing at the stove, tending what looked like all the pots the Potters had, from which dozens of (thankfully) complementary aromas were arising.
Ron and Hermione were seated in a corner, furiously arguing over something that neither one, probably, cared that much about. Ginny was pleased to see that they were holding hands while doing so.
Neville and Hannah were at the table, sipping from mugs that probably held hot cocoa and snacking on Christmas biscuits ("Hey, those are the same ones I was hiding!" "So, you admit you were hiding them!")
Percy and Audrey were standing over by the fireplace, quietly talking about (Harry was certain) something dreadfully boring and important.
Bill and Fleur, with their too-beautiful-to-be-human daughter Victoire were at one side of the table, folding napkins into what looked like miniature snowmen.
George and Angelina were playing a spirited game which looked to be something like "Lick your opponent to death". Harry looked away quickly-not disgusted so much as intrigued by the possibility of teaching Ginny how to play.
Charlie ("Harry! Charlie's here!" screamed Ginny, although no-one except Harry heard her) was describing something that, from the motions of his hands, was either a jousting match done with dragons and tree trunks, or a particularly interesting method of digging for gold.
And Arthur was sitting in the chair at the end of the table, watching his children, both natural and by choice, with a fond smile on his face.
Harry pulled Ginny back into him, and wrapped his arms around her. "Ginny," he whispered softly into her ear. "I can't think of a better way to celebrate Christmas." He looked up at the ceiling, searching for something. Finding it in abundance, he leaned back down. "And, for the record, I don't think there can ever be too much mistletoe in this house."