Hello everyone! Sorry this chapter has taken me so long! It goes to show just how tired I am that I ended that last sentence originally as if it was a php function. haha
Anyway, the next chapter for this is in the works. I just started it tonight and am trying to get it up by the end of the holidays so that were still in the spirit. I also did post another story up here a little bit ago called Secrets. It's about Harry telling Sirius about his recent sexuality discovery. I found it sitting in my documents folder and thought I should post it, so check it out! :)
And a quick note, some of the books mentioned in this chapter were released after the year this story takes place in. Please forgive me, I was trying to come up with good books that I have read and loved and had trouble coming up with some to fit this time period. I could have chosen books at random, but I didn't want to put down some that I had never read.
SamerA Jay - Of course I did! If someone points of a silly mistake of mine, I"ll always fix it! Sometimes things just slip though the cracks no matter how many times I re-read the story. haha
MMWillow13 - I'm glad you are enjoying my story! I don't know why, but I've always had a soft spot for Albus. I think that even though he may not have chosen the right way to handle things at times, he truly did think he was doing the right thing for the situation. As for experiencing abuse, I may not have experienced abuse or witnessed it first hand, but I have seen what it can do to children. I truly hope one day in the world we live in that no one will be able to hurt even the smallest child.
Nanchih - Why not? The Giver is an excellent book. :)
Christmas morning found Severus still in his pajamas sitting on the edge of Harry's bed smiling down at his boy. He had let the boy sleep in a little this morning; last night had been a great adventure for him and he needed some more rest.
Albus was able to get away from the castle so he had arrived a few days ago and ever since the old man, and Harry had been decorating the house up to the nines. While Severus just sat back and watching and shaking his head in fondness. It was really amazing how much the old man resembled a kid at times.
And then last night, they had all helped decorate the Christmas tree they had cut down the day before. It had been a great time, he had never see Harry so happy of excited before. Those small green eyes had shown so bright when they were handing the sparkling decorations. Then after the tree was covered in ornaments, they had gone into the kitchen and baked ginger bread men to leave out for Santa. When the cookies were finished and laid out for the man in red, Severus had noxed all the lights except for the tree and the strings of colored lights on the ceiling, and everyone had curled up on the couch with cups of hot apple cider. Soon after Harry's cider was finished, the boy had fallen asleep on Severus's shoulder listening contently to Albus telling stories of his youth.
And now, Severus was here to wake his boy up so he could see the presents they had placed under the tree for him. He hoped Harry liked all the things he had gotten him, especially the ones from Santa. Severus knew that Harry didn't believe in Santa anymore, probably was never allowed too, but he also knew Harry wanted to believe and and he wanted to encourage that as much as possible. The boy deserved a happy, magical Christmas.
Still smiling, Severus gently shook Harry's shoulder. The boy rolled over and faced Severus while he opened sleepy eyes.
"Happy Christmas Harry."
Harry smiled and let a wide yawn out. "Happy Christmas Daddy."
Severus reached over to the bedside table and grabbed the glasses and then gently placed them on Harry's face. "Did you dream of Gingerbread men and sugar-plum fairies?"
The boy blushed and shook his head. "I dreamed that I heard reindeer on the roof and someone coming down the chimney, but then Arwen came and laid down on my head waking me up."
Smiling Severus brushed back Harry's hair and chuckled. "I bet that was a good dream. Do you want to see what Santa brought you? I saw quite a bit of presents down there for you."
Harry's eyes lit up, but Severus could see a touch of sadness in them. "For me?"
"Yes Child, now come on Albus was practically jumping from joy this morning. We don't want him to have all the fun now do we?"
Harry smiled and shook his head as he sat up. He then swung his feet over the edge of the bed and then hopped down. Severus stood and gently wrapped his arm around the boy's back and guided him out of the room and down the hall.
When they were passing the bathroom though, Harry stopped and looked shyly at the door. "Daddy?"
Smiling Severus nodded. "Go on Harry, I'll meet you downstairs."
Blushing even more Harry shook his head. "Can...can you wait for me?"
The man nodded. "Then, I'll be right here waiting just for you."
Harry nodded and then disappeared into the bathroom and then closed the door behind him. A few minutes later, Severus heard the water running and then Harry appeared and latched onto his hand.
Harry nodded. He knew it was childish to want his Daddy to wait for him, but he wanted to walk downstairs with him and see his first real Christmas tree with presents beneath it. Every Christmas, save last year, he had been locked in his cupboard after preparing Christmas eve dinner and wasn't let out until it was time for him to put away the tree. Sure he could hear what was going on, but in some ways that was much worse...he could hear what was happening, but he could never participate.
Pushing the thoughts of the past away, Harry focused on the steps before him. They were almost at the bottom of the stairs and Harry could see the corner of the glowing Christmas tree.
When the full living room came into view, Harry's face beamed the joy he felt in his heart. Sure he had seen the decorations and lights the night before, he had helped put them up, but he swore it looked so much prettier on Christmas morning.
The tree stood there with dozens of presents sitting underneath and hanging from the fireplace were overfilled stockings, one for each of them.
Next to the tree stood Albus in vibrant purple pajamas and a large smile on his face. "Good morning boys! Harry I see your name on some presents over here! Come on let's open them!"
Harry smiled and rushed over to the tree to take a look of his own. Seeing that his Headmaster was telling the truth Harry hugged the man and then went over to hug Severus.
Looking down at the boy Severus ruffled his hair and hugged him close. "Go on Harry, go open your presents."
Harry looked up with a sparkle in his eyes and then rushed over to the tree and sat down on the floor before it.
The adults shared an amused glance and then came over and sat on the floor next to the boy, one on each side. They had only seen Harry this happy a few times and it was wonderful to see. Albus even pulled out the magical camera and prepared to take some discreet photos. He wanted to document every moment of Harry's first real Christmas with his family.
As soon as they were all by the tree though, Harry became shy and just looked at all the many gifts before them. He didn't really know what to do now that he was here. Was he to open them or wait for them to be handed to him or some other tradition he didn't know about?
Fortunately, Severus saw Harry's uncomfortable moment and grabbed a gift with Harry's name on it handing it to the boy.
Harry looked up gratefully at the man and took the parcel. "To Harry, From the Weasleys."
The boy looked up at Severus with a smile and then carefully began to unwrap the paper covering the box bit by bit. When the box was open, Harry carefully pulled out a wand holster that they had been obviously customized just for him. It was a beautiful hand crafted leather holster that had his name engraved so that when he put it on his belt all could see that his name was Harry James Severus Potter.
Smiling Harry held up his gift so Severus and Albus could see and smiled widely. Severus put a gentle arm around his shoulder and gave a small hug. "Now that you have that Harry, I expect you to use it. I don't want to see you walking around with your wand in your back pocket any more. You don't want to blow your bottom off!"
Harry blushed, but nodded vigorously. He did not want his bum blown off, he liked sitting down!
Albus held out a hand. "I'll start a pile of your gifts over here if you want. We don't want anything getting mixed up in the paper."
The boy gave a small nod and handed over his first gift while Severus grabbed the next one.
"This one is from me Harry."
Nodding Harry took the package and carefully unwrapped it and then took the item out of the box. It was charm shaped like a house that he could put on the necklace he already wore. Curiously Harry leaned into Severus side and looked up at him for answers.
Smiling Severus obliged. "That charm is special just like the fawn, but instead of calling Don or I, this one will send you here. It will send you home when you clutch it and say 'take me home'. I debated where in the house it would take you, but then decided that it would take you to your safe room. That way if you are in danger you would immediately go somewhere safe. As soon as it is activated Don, Albus, and I will be notified so that we know something is wrong."
Harry nodded. "So, I can only use it in emergencies?"
"No, you can always use that to come home. I just wanted to make sure in case of an emergency you were prepared."
"Can you help me put it on?"
Severus nodded and reached around Harry so that could unclasp the chain. When it was off he carefully put the new charm on it and then placed it back around Harry's neck.
"There you go Harry."
The boy grabbed the chain and brought it up so that he could look at it more closely. "It's beautiful! Thank you Daddy!"
Severus reached over and ruffled the boy's hair. "You're very welcome Harry. Now, I believe this next gift is from Santa. You better open it and see what it is."
Harry smiled and took the next present from Severus. Gently he unwrapped it, and a smile graced his face as he looked in the box. Carefully he took out his new picture frame that had a photo of his parents dancing in circles in a pile of leaves.
Placing the photo down beside him he reached over and hugged Severus tightly. "Thank you."
Patting Harry's back gently Severus returned the hug. "Santa is the one you should be thanking Harry."
The boy pulled back, and with a small nod the boy smiled. Maybe he could pretend just a bit longer that Santa existed.
With a renewed joy Harry took the next package and opened it much the same he had the other gifts. This one appeared to be from Albus and was a small box wrapped in orange wrapping with purple dots. Inside was very different though, it held an elegant gold pocket watch that had a compass etched on the front.
Before Harry could ask just what it was, Albus spoke up in his Grandfatherly, but stern voice. "Use this wisely Harry. This is not a toy, but a tool that I believe will help you throughout your life. It is called a compass watch and when you hold it and think of a specific person it will show you just where that person is and what they're doing when you open it. Although, if they are in a private place or moment it will only tell you where they are, not what they are doing."
Harry blushed at the thought, but then Severus placed a gentle hand on his back and smiled at him. "Go ahead and try it Harry."
Carefully Harry wrapped his hands all the way around the item and thought of where Draco was. When he he opened his eyes and looked down at the small instrument Harry saw Draco sitting on the Weasley's couch opening a present wrapped in green. In a moment though, the scene disappeared and the gold glistened back at him.
Looking back up at Albus Harry smiled widely. "That's wicked! What will it do if it can't show you what they are doing? Will it still show a picture?"
Albus shook his head. "No, print will show up and tell you where they are. Remember Harry, this is a powerful tool. Don't abuse its power, because I will find out and I confiscate it."
Harry nodded seriously. "I won't I promise."
Smiling Albus handed Harry his next present. "Good. I hope you like this one as well. It's just a little something I saw and thought you might like it."
Harry set down the small pocket watch on his lap and took the new gift that was wrapped very similarly to the one before. This time though instead of a small object it was quite a large one and it was soft. Curiously Harry opened the gift and looked down smiling at the new shirt that had a snitch flying back and forth on the front. Picking it up excitedly Harry rushed to the bathroom and threw the new shirt on after taking of his pajama top.
As he came back into the living room though to the two smiling adults he blushed and looked down realizing how foolish he must have looked rushing of like that to try on new clothing. He wasn't a small child after all.
Kindly Severus beckoned Harry forward and when he was close enough held him at arms length. "That looks wonderful on you Harry. Do you like it?"
Harry nodded his head shyly. Thank you Headmaster."
Albus frowned a little. "It never really came to my attention before, but I never asked you to call me by my first name. Please Harry, we live together; you can call me Albus if you want."
Harry nodded again and tried out the man's name. "Thank you Albus." It was weird, but it made Harry feel more like a part of the family somehow.
Smiling Albus reached over and patted Harry on the shoulder. "You are very welcome Harry. Now let's finish with the presents."
Harry nodded and sat down again letting Severus place another gift in his lap. "I believe this is from the Weasley's and there is a note there for you."
Harry nodded and took the note off the package to read it carefully. 'To Harry: Every stitch was knitted with you in mind. We hope this keeps you warm this winter.' Harry smiled knowing it was another one of Molly's jumpers.
Setting down the letter Harry opened the paper and was pleased to see that he was indeed correct. Molly had sent him a very handsome blue jumper with a small 'HJSP' embroidered near his right shoulder.
Looking up from his gift at Severus Harry smiled and placed it next to him on the couch. He would try it on later; he was still enjoying his new snitch shirt.
With a smile Albus handed Severus a present, but this time it was not for Harry; it was for the potion master. Severus looked over at Albus with a raised eyebrow. He had thought that they had agreed not to exchange presents this year and focus on Harry. Of course, he had not done so, but he had thought Albus would have. After all, it was a lot more fun buying gifts for a child than a cranky old adult.
Albus just smiled back at him and encouraged him to open the orange paper with purple dots. So Severus looked back down at the gift and carefully unwrapped it. What was inside warmed Severus's heart; it was a picture frame with a picture of Harry sleeping with his head resting on his lap and he was looking down at his son gently carding his long fingers though his hair.
Looking up at Albus, he smiled. "Thank you..."
"You're very welcome my boy." Albus smiled and then picked up another present, but instead of handing it off to Severus he saw that it was for him from Harry.
"Child, you didn't have to get me anything."
Harry just blushed and looked down at his feet. Severus said that it was alright to give his Headmaster a gift and Don had even helped him, but maybe he was wrong...maybe it was inappropriate. He had ruined Christmas, he was awful and should have known.
Albus saw the boy's distressed face and quickly tried to fix his mistake. "Though, you didn't have to Harry, I am so glad you did get me a gift. I am sure I will love it."
The Headmaster smiled as he saw Harry calm down with the help of a calming hand on his shoulder from Severus. The older wizard then opened the box that was in front of him and with a twinkle in his eyes he got up and went over to Harry and hugged him tightly to his chest.
"This is the best gift anyone could have gotten me Harry."
Harry blushed and accepted the hug Albus was giving him. When the older man let go of Harry, he sat back down and pulled out the socks that Harry had tie-died in bright rainbow colors himself with the help of Don. The man then sat back in his chair and pulled off the socks he was wearing to replace them with his new ones.
"Thank you so much my boy, they are just my size!"
"You're welcome sir."
Albus reached over and grabbed the next gift; this one was for Harry. "Here you are Harry.."
Harry accepted the gift and looked down at the purple paper. Carefully he unwrapped the gift, but when the paper was all gone he just sat there staring down at the glittery object.
Severus put an arm around Harry's shoulders. "It looks as though you have a feather from Fawkes there."
Harry looked up at Severus and then over at Albus. "Why would she give me a feather, sir?"
Albus smiled. "You see Harry; her feather can be made into a quill. Not an ordinary quill though, this quill won't let the user write down any untruths and will never leak."
Harry looked down and stroked his fingers through the soft feather, but then looked back up at Albus. "Can you thank Fawkes for me?"
"Of course, Harry. I think this might come in handy when your writing notes in school. You'll never be able to write down something that's wrong. Although, I don't want to ever see or hear of you using this on a test. Alight?"
Harry gave a small nod as Severus reached around and picked up the quill. "I'll help you later make this into a quill." Severus placed the quill on the table next to him and pulled out a package from behind his back to hand to Albus.
Smiling Albus took the gift. "Why Severus, I thought we agreed no gifts this year?"
"I know you too well, old man."
Still smiling Albus chuckled. "That you do, my boy. Now, what do we have here?" Albus unwrapped the box and pulled out a royal blue hat, scarf, and a pair of gloves.
Severus looked away when the smiling old man looked up at him with sparkling eyes. "I saw that you had none the other day and I don't want you catching cold. Nothing more."
Albus reached over and patted his hands and just smiled knowingly. Severus had strange ways in how he showed he cared, and every time he did show it it made Albus's heart glow.
"Thank you, my dear boy. I had an unfortunate mishap with my old winter clothing. Something I believe to do with a werewolf."
Severus narrowed his eyes at the older man and deadpanned, "You gave them away and never bothered to get a new pair. Sounds just like you."
"Come now, Severus, today is a day to be merry. No need for old grudges."
Severus sighed. "You're right."
The man reached behind him again and brought forth another present and handed it to Harry who throughout the adult's conversation kept looking back and forth between them in slight confusion. Shrugging the incident away, Harry took the gift and started to unwrap it. It was really heavy and he was curious what was inside.
Inside, there were four books Harry had been looking at during their last trip to Diagon Alley. He set the books down on the floor and then reached over to hug his daddy. "Thank you!"
Severus wrapped his arms around Harry and patted his back. "You're very welcome. What book do you want to read first?"
Harry picked up the books again and looked at the titles. 'The Outsider', 'Hatchet', 'and 'The Golden Compass'. "Could we start with 'Hatchet'?"
Severus smiled and nodded. "I think that sounds good."
The rest of Christmas morning passed in the same way, with all three of them opening presents. Harry received more books, puzzles and clothing from Albus, Severus, and Santa, and a ton of chocolate from his friends and Remus. Severus was given a small painting in a picture frame from Harry. The boy was saving the larger one to give to him on his birthday, but he had painted this one special for him. It was a still painting of a silhouette of Harry and Severus looking out at the black lake side by side. Needless to say, it was Severus's favorite gift.
After they were finished opening gifts, they all walked into the kitchen and were amazed by the breakfast spread that Maya had laid out for them. Severus had immediately called the small elf and gave her what was hidden behind his back. She was thrilled and excitedly unwrapped the gift and looked inside with wide eyes. As soon as she saw the shrunken kitchen ware she jumped up and down, carefully placed the box on the table, and ran up to hug Severus around the knees.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you Master Severus! I so happy, yous the best master ever!"
Severus reached down and patted the elf's back gently. "You are very welcome Maya. This is just my small thanks for all you do for us all year."
Maya looked up at Severus with tears in her eyes. "Maya has best home ever!"
Severus smiled ad shook his head in amusement. The small elf then let go of his legs and popped out of the room with her gift. She was so excited to try out her new kitchen wear!
Harry came up behind Severus and hugged him from behind. "What did you give her?"
Severus smiled and steered Harry to sit down at the table. "Just some kitchen wear. When I did the dishes the other night, I noticed that some of it was warn out. Maya would never tell me, so I figured I would give her a little gift."
Harry nodded and looked at all the food before him. There was an assortment of everything and it was almost overwhelming. Coming up from behind him Albus patted Harry on the shoulder knocking him from his stupor. Looking up, Harry gave a small smile and watched as Albus sat on the other side of him.
The three served themselves breakfast and thoroughly enjoyed themselves with the wonderful spread. After they were finished, Severus and Harry started to clear the table to help Maya while Dumbledore watched on with an amused smile.
"You know, Maya is going to be disappointed that you're helping her."
Severus looked at the elder wizard and shrugged his shoulders. "She's getting better at accepting help, Albus. Maybe you should get up and help too?" Severus rose an eyebrow at the man.
Albus just sat back in his chair and smiled. "Oh my dear boy, I am an old man and old men need their rest. I am sure you two can handle it."
Severus shook his head. "You may be old, but was I mistaken when I saw you jumping from joy this morning?"
"Just more evidence that I am tired, Severus."
"Manipulative old coot."
Meanwhile, Harry was drying the already washed dishes and could hardly contain his laughter from the two bickering men.
Maya then popped in and snapped her fingers finishing off the dishes for the duo making Severus turn to her and shake his head. "Go relax Maya, you earned the day off."
She shook her head. "No Mater Severus, yous earned day off. Lets me take care of everything."
Severus was about to protest, but the small elf held up a finger and shook her head. "Nos Master Severus, it's Christmas."
"Listen to her Severus", Albus said from his seat at the table.
Sighing Severus shook his head. "Alright, you guys win. Come on Harry, why don't you go take a shower and get dressed. Don will be here soon and then we're going to head to the Weasley's."
Harry smiled, ran up to Severus to hug him, and then ran upstairs to do as Severus had said. Albus just watched and smiled, but then got up and stood beside Severus patting his shoulder. "You have a good kid there Severus."
Severus nodded. "I know, he really is."
With another pat on the shoulder Albus started walking up the stairs as well and called behind him to Severus. "I doubt the Weasley's would like to see me in my night clothes."
Severus shook his head and looked down at his own attire knowing that Albus was right. With a small laugh, he started up after the other two, and hid his surprise gift for Harry in his pocket. As he made his way up the stairs he heard the shower going in Harry's bathroom and quietly slipped into into his bedroom. Making his way over to the bed he placed the small box on the pillow. He then just as quickly and quietly left the room shutting the door behind him.
Smiling Severus made his way back to his room and changed waiting for the happy boy to barge in his room. Harry had become more daring lately, and he was trying to encourage that.
Just after he was dressed, a little ball of clothing rushed up to him and ran into his arms. Severus just smiled and patted Harry's back.
"I assume you like it then?"
Harry just nodded into his chest and then looked up at him with a grin. "It's brilliant! Thank you!"
Smiling Severus sat down on his bed and had Harry sit next to him. "Now Harry, there are rules that come with this gift. It is a practice snitch, so that means that you can only use this to practice with. It's in tune with your magic and if you call for it, it will come to you. You can see why that would be unfair in a game. Do you understand what I'm saying Harry?"
Harry nodded. "Yes Daddy. You don't want me to use it in a game, because that would be cheating. I won't, I promise."
"Good boy. Now, are you all ready to go to the Weasley's?"
Again Harry nodded. "Yes, are we flooing over?"
"We are Harry. Is there anything you would like to bring with you besides the gifts Albus is caring?"
Harry shook his head. "No, but could you help me so I don't fall through? I don't want to fall in front of everyone."
Severus gave a small nod. "I'll keep a hand on your shoulder. How about that?"
Harry nodded and hugged his Daddy again. "Thank you!"
Shaking his head Severus patted Harry back and then pulled away. "Come on you silly boy, let's get going. They're going to wonder where we went to if we go over soon."
Harry nodded and let Severus steer him out of the bedroom and down the stairs to the living room to join everyone else. When Don saw them he nodded slightly with a smile and gestured for them to go through first.
As soon as they were through the floo, Harry managed to stay standing thanks to his Daddy's hand on his shoulder and was thankful for it with all the Weasley's standing there waiting for them. Immediately, Molly Weasley came forward and enveloped him in a huge motherly hug.
"Oh, my dear! Happy Christmas! Are they feeding you alright? I know that healer says they're feeding you alright over there, but with Albus there you never know just how much of that food is really sweets in disguise."
Just then Albus appeared through the floo and looked at the elder Weasley. "I take no offense Molly, but I have to say Severus only lets me give him one sweet a day!" The older man put what looked like a pout on his face.
Molly looked down at the messy head that she was still pressing into her chest. "Well that's good to hear!"
Meanwhile Ron was pushing himself through his brothers and came right up to his Mother and Harry. "Come on mum! Let him breathe!"
Molly looked down again and let the boy go a bit so he could take a deep breath. "Oh my, sorry dear!"
Harry just nodded and looked gratefully at his friend for the reprieve. His friend just patted him on the shoulder and smiled. "Come on, I have something to show you!"
Harry and Ron fled the room after Harry looked at his father for permission and received a tentative nod. They rushed in to Percy's old room and Harry spotted Draco sitting on the bed.
Harry smiled and waved a little while Ron just barged in and grabbed Draco by the hand pulling him behind him as he left the room. Draco hesitantly let Ron pull him along, but was nervous what was going to happen. "Ron...Ron where are we going?"
The boy just shook his head so Draco looked at Harry for some information. Unfortunately, Harry didn't know what was going on either so he just followed along shrugging his shoulders.
Finally, Ron had decided that they had reached their destination, his room, and let go of Draco's hand. "Well, go on, open the door." Ron prompted Draco.
Looking over at Harry and then back at Ron, Draco put his hand on the nob and turned it slightly opening the door. When the door was open Draco stood back and looked at the two beds that now adorned the room and then looked at Ron in confusion. Normally, the other bed was only there when Harry visited.
It was now Ron's turn to look nervous. He looked down at his feet and nervously shrugged his shoulders. "It's yours if you want. The spare bed used to be for when Harry slept over, but you're my Brother now...and I know you have nightmares. I wanted to wait for Harry to get here so I could ask if that was ok...and Draco...you don't have to accept it...I just thought..."
Harry smiled and nodded. "It's fine with me Ron."
Draco looked between the two other boy's and rose an eyebrow. "Is...is this a joke?"
Ron shook his head. "No! I just...I know I've been a prat...it's just...it takes me awhile to accept new things...and well...I was really a prat..."
Draco looked at Ron slightly astonished. Was this sort of an apology?"
Taking a deep breath Ron sighed. "I mean...I'm sorry...I really am. I know you have nightmares...I heard mum and dad talking...and if you want...I know that sometimes being in the same room with someone helps...at least it helps me..."
Still shell shocked Draco looked between a now smiling Harry and a nervous looking Ron. Finally, not being able to take anymore he bolted from the hallway and hid in his room shutting the door soundly behind him.
Looking at the door Ron sighed and looked at his feet dejected. "I guess it was too little too late...can you go get my mum to try to get him to come out? I didn't want to ruin Christmas for him."
Harry patted Ron on the shoulder. "I'll go talk with him. I'm sure he's just a bit confused. You have been quite a prat to him and I'm sure he thinks this is just another trick...I mean my cousin did something similar to me when I was younger..."
"It's not a trick though! I really meant it!"
The other boy smiled and nodded. "I know Ron. Let me talk with him."
Ron nodded and then with his head down he walked back to his room to sit on his bed. He felt so bad. He had really messed up this time.
Harry just looked over at his friend and shook his head. He knew that it always took awhile for Ron to come around, but when he did he really meant it. He hoped he could talk to Draco and make him see that. It would be good for both of his friends to make up and try to at least be friendly, they had more in common than they thought.
Sighing Harry turned and walked back to Draco's room. When he reached the door, he gently knocked and called out to Draco, "Draco, It's me. Can I come in?"
A shaky positive reply followed so Harry went inside the room and shut the door gently behind him. Looking around he saw Draco sitting on the bed hugging his pillow. With a smile Harry walked all the way in and then sat down on the side of Draco's bed.
"You know Draco...Ron wasn't trying to trick you. He was being serious...as hard as that is to believe."
Draco looked up at Harry. "He wasn't trying to trick me?"
Harry shook his head. "No, I don't think he has a sneaky bone in his body. He may have a thick head and he takes awhile to come around, but when he apologizes he really does mean it."
"Really? He was really trying to be nice?"
Harry smiled and nodded. "Yeah, he really wants to try to make amends."
Draco buried his head in his arms and pulled his knees to his chest. "I blew it."
"No Draco, you didn't. Come on, let's go see Ron I'm sure he wants to clear all this up."
Draco looked up at Harry and gave a small nod. So Harry held out a hand to his friend and helped him up off the bed.
Both of them walked down the hall to Ron's room and Harry knocked on Ron's door before entering the room with Draco following close behind.
As soon as Ron and Draco spotted each other they both blurted out a sorry and then blushed. Harry just smiled and shook his head. "I'll just head downstairs then. See you two in a bit?"
Ron nodded and Draco looked at him hesitantly, but then nodded as well so Harry left the room and quietly closed the door behind him leaving his two friends to finally mend things between themselves.
Walking down the stairs Severus was waiting for him at the bottom and wrapped an arm around his shoulders. "Everything alright scamp? Where are your friends?"
Harry smiled and lent into his Daddy's kind touch. "They're making amends. Ron came to his senses. See Daddy? He's not all rocks in head." Harry smiled up at Severus with an eyebrow raised.
Fondly Severus ruffled Harry's hair and shook his head. "Brat." The man then gently led Harry into the living room where everyone else was gathered. As soon as they came in the room Harry spotted the family clock had several new spots on it. Walking a little closer he looked at the clock more intently, but then turned to look at Molly with questioning eyes.
Seeing the look Harry was giving her Molly smiled and knelt down to the boy's level so she could look him in the eyes. "Love, you're part of our family now...and so are Severus, Albus, Don and Draco. That means that you all deserve your own spot on the clock."
Harry reached forward and hugged the woman not caring that his friends were in the room watching the exchange. Sure he had Severus now, but still it meant a lot of him that there were other people who cared as well.
Molly pulled back from the hug and placed a gentle kiss to Harry's forehead. "You are such a wonderful child Harry, never change that."
Harry smiled and blushed, but then stepped back into his Daddy's arms. He liked the contact with Molly, but he had this need to be near his Father and he didn't really know why. Maybe it was because he had gone without a parental figure for so long, he just wanted to stay as close as he could.
Severus smiled and pulled his son's back into his chest. "Come on Harry, why don't we go see the rest of the kids. I am sure they want to see how you are doing."
Harry nodded and the two left to be immersed in the rest of the family, leaving Molly looking sternly at Don. "I see those bags under those eyes. When was the last time you slept?"
"Molly, please, it's Christmas. I am sure we can discuss this another time."
The woman just rose an eyebrow and led him to the library and then had him sit down on a near chair. "I spoke with Pam yesterday. You were right about her presence helping Ginny come out of her shell. But, that is not what I wanted to talk to you about. She said that you were overworking yourself, again."
"Pam spoke with you?" Don looked away ashamed, but a touch a warmth filled his chest. His Pam was worried about him.
"She did. She said that when you immerse yourself so deeply in your work that you forget how to take care of yourself. You know she is quite worried about you. She was about to contact your Healer, but I told her I would talk with you instead so we wouldn't interrupt the celebrations."
Molly then came and sat down in a chair next to Don and rested a gentle hand on his arm. She had learned a lot from being the Mother of Seven and knew that something was bothering the man. "Talk to me Don, why are you not sleeping?"
"I'm worried." Don looked down at the gentle hand on his arm and placed his other hand on top of it.
"What are you worrying about dear?"
Blushing Don looked the woman in the eyes, but then he looked down and rummaged in his pocket pulling out a small box. "I...I...was going to ask Pam to marry me...on New Years."
Molly smiled and patted his arm again. "So you're worried that she won't say yes...and that's why you're throwing yourself into your work."
Blushing even more Don stuffed the ring back into his pocket. "Well...yes."
"Oh dear, you shouldn't worry so much...and maybe you should ask her tonight. So you can finally get some sleep..and she can stop worrying about you."
The man signed and nodded. "Promise not to say anything?"
Smiling Molly just patted his hand. "Of course not dear. Now, why don't you go take a quick nap. I can watch over your boy's for you and Ill even make sure Albus won't go into a sugar induced coma."
"Are you sure Molly?"
"Yes, you can take Arthur and my room and I'll come wake you in a few house."
Don smiled. "Thank you Molly."
"Just go get some sleep dear." Molly then helped the Healer to his feet and gently pushed him towards their room to get some much needed rest. As she watched him leave, Molly shook her head fondly and then went to join the rest of the family.