A/N- Hey guys, I know its been a little bit since the last update, alot of things going on but summer is here so I figured I should get this up. Most it was already written I just had to tweak it, I suppose. And also on another note, some of those Grammer Nazis will be happy to not that I have now got a Beta, so heres to even more well written chapters from now on!

Beta'd by bexstar888 who is awesome!

Chapter 25

Harry was silent in his father's arms as they flooed back to the Manor. He sighed when Snape put him down the minute they landed in the sitting room and walked out without another word. Harry frowned before turning his sad gaze to Ron who was shaking his head for some reason.

"He's mad at me I think," Harry whispered softly. He was starting to doubt what he had said in the infirmary as Snape hadn't even looked back. Why would he do that if he wasn't mad at Harry?

"Not at you, at the Headmaster definitely though," Ron replied as he reached onto the mantle and grabbed the floo powder.

"Where are you going?" Harry asked worriedly as he looked at his friend. Why was everyone leaving him right now? He didn't want to be alone!

"To the Burrow, and you're coming with me. I don't think Snape will mind, he wouldn't want you here when he's trying to calm down," Ron said quietly as he reached for Harry.

"He would never hurt me Ron, this is different than before!" Harry exclaimed, moving away from his friend.

"I'm not saying he would, I'm just saying that when emotions are high, things are said that you don't mean," Ron told him patiently before reaching out once more but this time grabbing Harry's arm. "Let's go."

"Wait I have to tell him I'm leaving," Harry protested, trying to think of something to get out of this. He didn't want to leave Snape by himself, he wanted to go hug the man and help him feel better.

"That's why you have a house elf," Ron said shaking his head before calling Twinkle to inform Snape where they were going. Once that was done, Ron and Harry flooed to the Burrow.

It was a good thing the boys had decided to go to the Burrow as one of the silencing spells around the dungeon that held Umbridge had worn off, and as a result her screams were a bit audible. As Severus was the only one at home, no one else could hear, but not wanting her Master to get into trouble, Twinkle snapped her fingers and all was quiet once more.

Harry stayed at the Burrow for the next 4 hours or so, maybe it was longer but he had lost track; all he knew was that Snape had yet to come and get him. He got more and more depressed and nothing could get him out of that mood. He just wanted to go home, why couldn't anyone get that? But Ron had apparently told his mum what happened in the infirmary and she was holding the floo powder hostage so Harry couldn't even floo himself home. As they all sat down to eat dinner, Harry was missing the quietness of home and although he loved his friend's family, he wasn't enjoying himself at the moment, so when the floo suddenly flared his eyes were immediately on it to see who it was. For a moment there was silence and then he thought for a fleeting moment that Snape didn't really want him, especially after his outburst at the Headmaster earlier in the day. He ignored the stinging sensation in the back of his eyes as he focused on the floo. He didn't get up to see who was there being that it wasn't his house and tried to ignore the whole thing when Mr. Weasley bent down to the hearth to see who it was.

"Harry, Severus wants to know if you were planning on staying the night with us? The invitation is there if you do." Arthur told him easily.

Harry shook his head and stood up, the little dinner that he had managed to eat was sitting in the bottom of his stomach like a sack of bricks. "No thank you Mr. Weasley, I don't really feel too good," he replied honestly as he hurried towards the fireplace.

Severus frowned at hearing Harry's words, but didn't react to them at the moment. "I'll step back so you can come through," he told him.

"'Kay, I'll see you later Ron," Harry told him as he bent down.

"Bye Harry," Ron replied as his friend disappeared into the green flames. He sighed and turned to his family who had been watching him curiously ever since Harry had told them bits of what had happened at Hogwarts. Now that his friend was gone he knew they were looking for an explanation, so with a sigh he started talking.

~*~*~The manor~*~*~*~*~

Harry looked closely at Snape the second he landed in the man's study. He didn't say anything at first as he tried to assess if the man was still mad from earlier. It seemed the man was aware of what he was doing as he didn't call him out on it, even though he looked back at him curiously.

"I'm fine Harry, there is no need for you to worry about me so," Severus told him quietly.

Harry frowned as he glared at the man. "There is so a reason to worry about you. I hope you didn't take anything the Headmaster said to heart, I don't think he meant it." Harry replied truthfully. He had had time to really think over the man's words and his own, and he knew that plenty of things that should have been left unsaid were said in the heat of the moment.

"I do not wish to discuss this with you Harry," Severus said with finality, knowing Harry would drop it.

"Oh," Harry replied, falling silent. "I missed you," he mumbled out after a moment when it was apparent Snape wasn't going to be the first to break the silence.

"And I you, but you were right to go with Ronald to the Burrow. It was for the best." Severus assured him.

Harry didn't particularly agree but he wasn't up for another argument. His head was at this moment full to the brim with confusion. Well it wasn't really confusion, it was stubbornness and self-clarity. He was starting to become aware that what Sirius and Uncle Vernon had done to him wasn't right. Deep down a part of him had known that, but once Dudley had defended him everything just clicked into place, and then to add in a visit to the Weasleys, he saw how a real wizarding family acted when they didn't realize that they were being watched. He felt in his heart the same ache that he felt at losing the last part of his connection to his parents, slipping away every time he thought of Sirius.

He didn't want to lose it, but he also knew now that that was not how you treated someone you cared for. Ron had explained it in a way that Harry had been extremely surprised with, so much so that he thought it had almost sounded like something Hermione had said. Speaking of which Harry shook his head in amusement, wondering how she would like the new Ron.

He sighed as he looked over at Snape, who had taken a seat in his chair and was quietly studying him. Harry would have been creeped out, but the man tended to do that more often than not that Harry was used to it now.

"Christmas is tomorrow," Harry said casually; he was trying to see if the man had bought him anything.

"So it is," Severus deadpanned as he looked at Harry with a blank expression. He knew what the boy was doing, but he would just have to wait until tomorrow. He was actually curious to see how the boy reacted to all of his presents, which for the moment were currently shrunken and hidden away in the front closet.

Harry frowned as he stared at his hands, unable to ask his question. He sighed, refusing to dwell on it. Even if he got nothing from Snape this year, who cares? He had never gotten presents and so he refused to acknowledge that small ache in his heart at the fact that the man hadn't even bothered to get him anything. His breathing hitched unconsciously as his mind conjured up an image of him getting nothing this holiday except for a laugh in the face. Would Snape really be that cruel and do that to him? Did the man think he didn't deserve nice things?

"Relax Harry, you will have presents," Severus told him when he heard the quickening of the boy's breaths. He was not trying to send him into a panic attack over something so trivial, he had only meant to tease the boy.

Harry nodded as he calmed himself down and shook his head, slightly embarrassed. He couldn't believe he let himself get that worked up over a few presents. "Sorry," he croaked out.

"It's fine, I shouldn't have teased you," Severus told him gently. "I do however want to know why you said you weren't feeling good."

Harry looked at his hands, not wanting to see the man's face. "I was worried about you so much my stomach was hurting," he admitted quietly.

"Merlin child, you're going to give yourself an ulcer if you continue doing that," Severus told him in concern.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to. I couldn't help it, I knew that, well I thought that you were...well I don't know what I thought." Harry stammered out softly as he unconsciously wrung his hands together worriedly. He stared at them, not wanting to dwell on thinking the man was disappointed in him or something.

"Relax yourself Harry, all is well with me. Right now let's focus you," Severus told him gently.

"I'm alright, but I feel really bad for what I said to the Headmaster. Do you think he's mad at me? What if he kicks me out of Hogwarts?" Harry asked worriedly as he stared at the man across from him.

"Albus wouldn't do that, and no I do not think he is angry with you. If he is angry with anyone is it himself." Severus told him honestly; he had nearly forgiven the old man. He knew in his heart that Albus hadn't meant what he said but it still hurt when he remembered the angry words and that's what was stopping him from truly forgiving him. How could he fight next to someone who didn't even fully trust him? He sighed before reining in his thoughts lest they show on his face and alert the child.

"Why would he be mad at himself?" Harry asked softly.

"You were hurt once more on his watch, and that has taken a toll on him. You are after all his favorite student," Severus replied matter-of-factly.

"The Headmaster isn't allowed to have favorites," Harry mumbled.

"It's not that it's not allowed, it's just frowned upon," Severus replied before shaking his head in amusement as he remembered that particular staff meeting.

"Oh," Harry replied softly before smiling. "Do you think he'll get me a gift?"

"Of course he will, as a matter of fact he has already sent it," Severus told him, remembering the bright neon colored wrapping paper with Harry's name on it.

Harry grinned happily as he took in the man's words, but he didn't ask anymore. He couldn't wait until tomorrow!

Severus was just happy that the child had bounced back from what happened earlier that day. He didn't need or want Harry to dwell on the incidents that were becoming much too frequent in his young life.

"Tomorrow can we go back to Hogwarts and see Dudley for Christmas?" Harry asked after a moment.

"No, I would rather not go back to the Castle just yet. He can however come here if you'd like," Severus replied quickly. He didn't want Harry to think that he didn't want the boy over by taking too long to answer his question.

Harry gave the man a bright grin. "Are we having Christmas dinner at Hogwarts or at the Burrow?" He asked eagerly, remembering how Ron told him his mum had wanted to see them both for Christmas.

"The Burrow, Molly has already issued me her invitation," Severus told him. Truthfully he didn't really mind going over there, he just didn't want to see Molly's knowing smile when Harry did something that reflected that Severus had indeed been a good choice for him.

"I can't wait." Harry replied happily.

Severus chuckled at his blissful expression, and he found to his surprise that he couldn't wait until the morning either.

Christmas morning came bright and early for the two occupants of the Manor, one of which had been awake a few minutes after the sun rose. Harry laid in his bed sleepily, knowing it was an inappropriate time to wake the man. He didn't want to get into trouble so he very quietly crept out of his room, downstairs and into their sitting room where the tree was set up in all its glory. His mouth dropped open when saw the mountain of presents under the tree. He wondered how many people Snape knew because they certainly couldn't be for him.

Just for a moment he allowed himself to pretend that one Christmas he would get half the presents that Snape had under the tree. He looked at them wistfully before he found himself walking towards them. He grabbed the first one he neared and looked at the tag, surprised to find that it belonged to him. He shook it gently, unsure of what it was and so read the label stating that it was from 'Father Christmas'. Harry grinned before turning to look for the cookies and milk that Snape had made him leave out, then gasped in shock when he saw that they were gone.

He didn't know what to think, and he couldn't wait to ask the man when he woke up. Could Father Christmas be real? I mean, he was wizard! Anything could be possible. Harry grinned as he put down his present and grabbed one that looked like it could be a cloak or something. Once more he silently cheered at seeing this was also his. He couldn't resist and he quietly unwrapped it, finding a warm quilted blanket as the gift. He wrapped it around him and laid on the sofa; planning on waiting for Snape to get up. That was his plan anyway, but 10 minutes later he found himself dozing off, comfortably snuggled under his new blanket.

Harry woke up 4 hours later to the soft sounds of someone walking around and a small shutter clicking. He groaned before rolling over and opening his eyes blearily, only to find the clock on the mantel was telling him it was 9am. And that Snape was up and looking at him in amusement.

"Happy Christmas Harry," Severus told him before returning to his coffee.

"Thank you sir, Happy Christmas to you too," Harry said happily as he stretched and slid off the sofa, his blanket coming with him. He couldn't understand why he felt the need to take it with him but it made him feel safe and cherished. He shook his head, unsure how a blanket could make him feel like that. Was he going mad or something?

"I see you've started opening the presents without me," Severus told him lightly. He had been shocked when he had woken up around 7am, only to find Harry's bed empty. He had of course immediately checked down here and had chuckled quietly when he saw the child sleeping. He had to wonder at what time Harry had woken up.

"Just this one, it felt soft when I picked it up," Harry replied quietly. "Is it okay that I opened it? I didn't mean to go back to sleep; but the minute I tucked it around me I felt tired, but at the same time extremely safe," he said quickly trying to explain as he ended up floundering in his explanation.

"It's yours Harry, and actually that's what I was going to tell you. Molly and I made that blanket, and it's infused with love, lavender and chamomile, and a few other properties that aid in a calming and restful sleep. It's designed to give the owner complete and total rest that is devoid of nightmares, along with a sense of security like you have never had before," Severus explained. He was happy to see that it had worked, and he knew that this would come in handy until Harry accomplished Occlumency.

Harry was touched – no - he was beyond touched. He realized to his great embarrassment that tears were filling his eyes and so he quickly looked down before the man could see. "Thank you sir," he replied, gratitude and awe covering his tone.

"You're very welcome Harry, you deserve this," Severus told him softly.

Harry sniffled, wiping his face with a corner of his blanket before he scooted over towards the mound of presents.

"Which ones are yours?" Harry asked once he had gained control of his emotions enough to speak. His eyes were still shiny but he was no longer on the verge of breaking down into tears. He shook his head before inwardly sighing; he was turning into such a girl.

"Everything you see except for this small pile over here, are yours," Severus told him, looking up at the fireplace where even now the camera was hidden but still able to take pictures, even though the photo album was wrapped up.

"Wicked," Harry said in awe, before his eyes flicked to the man once more. "And I can open them all today, no joke?" He asked just to be sure.

"It's Christmas Harry, you may open them all now," Severus promised. That was all the boy seemed to be waiting for before he ripped into his presents. He sighed happily, nothing was going to ruin this day for Harry. He deserved this, all of this.

"New clothes," Harry said in a tone of disbelief as he looked at the thick parcel full of clothing.

"I know clothes aren't the best gifts Harry, but they're practical," Severus started off, thinking that for most children, clothes were not on their Christmas list.

"No way, these are brilliant Professor," Harry said happily as he carefully moved them to the side and dove back into his presents.

Severus's mouth twitched up before he too started to open his gifts. He got the usual chocolate from Minerva, Firewhisky from Filius and socks from Albus. But what surprised him was the parcel from Molly and her lot, and one from Harry himself. He saved Harry's present for last, opening up the Weasley's present to find a black sweater that he was happy to note was void of his initial, unlike Harry's. It was made from the same thick but soft material of wool Molly always used and he found to his horror that he was touched by the simple gift. He hadn't been expecting it to say the least. Putting his emotions aside he grabbed Harry's present and looked up when he realized he was being watched.

"It's not going to jump out at me is it?" Severus asked warily as he stilled his motions to look at Harry for confirmation.

"No, but be careful, it's extremely fragile," Harry said.

Severus nodded before gently and carefully unwrapping it. Pulling the lid off the box, he was rewarded with a few vials and he sucked in a breath as he went through them. Unicorn Hair, Basilisk blood and teeth, Phoenix tears, ashes and a feather! Centaur hair and Runspoor venom! He couldn't believe the sheer amount of rare ingredients and he turned his shocked gaze to Harry.

"Where did you get all of this? Do you have any idea how much the Basilisk items alone can go for?" Severus asked, his voice laced thickly with glee.

"Well no, but I'm just glad you like it," Harry said shyly as he ignored the question about where he got them all. Snape didn't need to know all the gritty details.

"These are the most sought out ingredients in the world, child. The gallons I could get from just a drop of Basilisk blood would have Ron's head spinning," Severus told him. He wanted Harry to know how valuable the gift truly was.

"I don't care how much their worth, I got them for you. A present from a son to his father," Harry told him happily.

"Which the father wants to tell you he greatly appreciates. I have never received a gift like this before Harry," Severus said softly.

"A gift with so many rare treasures?" Harry grinned.

"No, just one special treasure from a boy who still doesn't understand how great a gift this is. How great a treasure the boy is to me," Severus told him firmly.

"Me, a treasure?" Harry asked softly.

"You are a treasure, the most valuable one I have ever had the pleasure of receiving. I only hope that I will be allowed to keep you," Severus whispered.

"You will, the Headmaster will find a way," Harry told him as he crawled over to the man.

"I do hope so." Severus replied.

"He will," Harry repeated. "He owes you that much," he added, resting his head against the man's chest.

The silence that followed that moment only lasted 10 minutes before they heard the floo. As Severus had warded his floo to only allow certain people in he wasn't worried. He was however shocked when Albus flooed over with Dudley, surprising the two males on the floor.

"Can I help you with something this morning Headmaster?" Severus said as he stood up, being careful of Harry. He couldnt stop his formal addressing of the man, still raw with hurt from their previous encounter.

"Yes Severus, I just thought that Harry would want to spend the morning with Mr. Evans here before you both head over to the Weasleys," Albus explained. He could see the dark haired man steadily ignoring his gaze and he could only sigh before he took a seat.

"If you're here to drop off of Dudley, why have you sat down? Shouldn't you be leaving?" Harry asked quietly, he hadn't forgotten just how much the man had hurt them both.

"I thought that I would enjoy your company today. Speaking of which Happy Christmas my dear boys," Albus replied looking from one to the other.

"Right, Happy Christmas Dudley, I'm sorry I don't have a gift for you," Harry mumbled out when he saw the boy extend a present towards him.

"You're forgiveness is enough Harry, I don't deserve that, but I thank you for it," Dudley told him seriously.

Harry grinned before nodding as he looked at his cousin. "Want to see some of my gifts?"

"Sure." Dudley replied and took a seat next to his cousin.

That was how the next hour and a half went; Harry would open a present and then his cousin would have an input on it. Everything was going great – well, except for the glares that his father seemed to be directing at the Headmaster. He knew the man deserved it, but on Christmas, he didn't want his father mad. He wanted him happy, like he had been before they had flooed over.

Harry looked from the Professor to the Headmaster and back to Dudley before frowning. He hated the tension that he could feel and he found himself wrapping his arms around his torso before he could help himself. He didn't like feeling like this at anytime, but it felt worse because he finally had some place to call home and the air was so tensed he felt like it was a struggle to breathe fully. He quickly removed his arms when he saw Snape give him a concerned look, the last thing he wanted was the attention on him. He sighed before playing with the soft throw rug under him. He felt uncomfortable in the silence that had suddenly enveloped the room; he wanted the laughter that they had just had before the old man had flooed over. Harry struggled to think of a topic where everyone could contribute for a few moments then he suddenly had a thought.

"How come you said Dudley was a squib? Aren't squibs products of two magical parents? How can he be a squib if both of his parents are muggles?" Harry asked the Headmaster curiously as he looked back at his cousin, who also appeared to be interested in the answer.

Albus sighed as he looked at the expectant eyes of the two boys. Truthfully he had been waiting for this question, only he hadn't bargained on it being Harry who would ask it, but in hindsight he supposed he should have, as the boy was naturally curious of everything around him.

"Because I do not believe there is a name that describes Mr. Dursley's unique situation. While it's not unheard of, it is however very rare," he stated calmly.

"What's rare? What's he got? Is he gonna be okay?" Harry asked, suddenly worried as he stared at his cousin in concern.

"He's fine Harry, I only meant that Dudley did have magic once." Albus replied quietly. He could see the emotions flicker on the older boy's face; it got to the point where it became too much and he had to look away.

"Where did it go then? Did someone take it from me?" Dudley asked warily as he looked at the man. He couldn't prevent the hope that suddenly flared in his chest at the mention of his magic. He was acutely aware that the man had also gained Professor Snape's attention and the dark haired man was now looking at him as if he was something new to dissect.

"No, I can assure you no one took it from you, but I have a theory as to why it's gone. I do remember a time when you performed accidental magic yourself," Albus replied thoughtfully as he tapped his chin.

"What did he do?" Harry asked eagerly as he looked at his cousin in a new light.

"You were both around 7 I believe. You managed to get the cookie jar from the top of the refrigerator without even moving from your place in the chair. I believe your mother was horrified if I recall," Albus replied as the forgotten memory resurfaced.

"So mum knew I had magic and didn't tell me?" Dudley asked, anger flaring into his chest.

"Well no, she blamed it on Harry, even after I assured her that the magic I felt wasn't Harry. She wouldn't hear of it, her son wasn't like us she had said, and quite insistently too." Albus replied softly. As he went over the memory, he could see now the hints of the Dursley's abuse. Why hadn't he checked and confirmed? He shook his head ruefully, poor Harry.

"So what happened to it then?" Harry asked when his cousin looked to be deep in thought.

"As magic is a part of who we are, it defines us and everything we do. I believe that Mr. Dursley's magic unconsciously knew that it wouldn't be accepted into his life. I think he subconsciously hid it deep inside his body for years because he saw how you were treated for being different," Albus replied with a sigh.

"He hid it so his parents wouldn't turn on him too," Harry replied quietly. He couldn't believe this, not to mention he couldn't help but sympathize with Dudley. He would feel horrible if his magic suddenly left him; even if by doing it to unconsciously protect himself.

Dudley was staring hard at a place on the wall. He was blinking fairly fast trying to rid himself of his sudden emotions. All his life he had been jealous because Harry had been able to do things he couldn't do, only to find that once upon a time he could do it too, but he blocked it because of the hate his parents had been spewing. They had robbed him of something special, and now it was gone and he couldn't help the loss he felt for a world he would now never truly be a part of.

"That's exactly what happened," Albus replied softly, before turning to look at Severus who was steadily ignoring him, his gaze instead focused in wonder at Dudley.

"Is it possible for him to get it back?" Harry asked finally, knowing that was what his cousin wanted to ask if his voice had been working properly.

"I think it might be, but it will be difficult," Albus told him carefully. He didn't want to give either boys false hope as the process would be rough to say the least, especially if the boy didn't truly have the will for it. He himself had to really want it back for this to even work.

"What does he have to do?" Harry found himself asking.

"Learn Occlumency for starters, and once he has a firm grasp on the mind magic, then he can go in and find his magical core. I am certain his magic isn't gone, it is merely hidden. If he really wants to find it, he will. His magic has gone dormant, he just has to gain the willpower to pull it back out again." Albus replied honestly.

"So that means there's nothing we can do to help him is there?" Harry asked dejectedly as he stared helplessly at his cousin.

"No, this is something he has to do on his own. After the Occlumency of course," Albus replied truthfully.

"Dad can you help him with that? Like you're helping me?" Harry asked, turning to look at the dark haired man who hadn't spoken during the entire conversation.

"Of course, as I said Harry you're going to need all the protectors you can get." Severus replied quietly. "And that is to say if Mr. Dursley even wants it back," he added, his gaze on the other boy who turned sharply in his direction after he spoke.

"It's Evans now, and I do want my magic back. I want to be a part of Harry's world. I'm all he's got." Dudley replied in annoyance at the mention of his old last name.

"I beg to differ. Harry has me, Ronald and his family, Albus and the wolf. I believe Harry would be just fine without you if it came down to it." Severus told him bitingly, having felt the need to make a point. Even if he was currently still angry with the old man, he did tend to have Harry's best interests at heart and had earned his spot as one of Harry's protectors.

"I'm the last blood relative of his, that has to mean something," Dudley retorted, turning to glare at the man.

"Okay, stop. I love you both, but please don't fight over me. I want you both in my life. I don't want to have to choose between you, so please don't make me," Harry cut in, looking from one to the other with a wary expression. He didn't like the way this conversation was going and felt that he shouldn't have to choose one person over the other. The feeling of being cherished and loved by both Snape and Dudley was such a powerful feeling that it hurt to even contemplate the idea of choosing one over the other.

Severus sighed before shaking his head, he gave Harry an apologetic look but he wasn't going to verbally apologize to him in front of the other two gentlemen in the room. He ran his hand through his hair before taking a sip of his tea. "Alright, why don't you open another one of your presents Harry?"

Harry gave the man a smile before grabbing another present and shaking it before he eagerly dug into it. He laughed as he opened up the present from Ron, knowing already what it was going to be, then set it aside happily before moving onto the next one. This present had him pausing because he could see quite clearly that it was from his godfather. He managed to keep a tight smile on his face and it helped that the other three males in the room were still on the subject of Dudley's dormant magic and what that meant if he managed to get it back.

He took a breath as he slowly opened the package, hoping that Sirius hadn't been spiteful and sent him something mean. He didn't think he could handle it if his Christmas was shattered. He sighed in obvious relief when the small box opened to reveal a bunch of pictures of his godfather and his parents, along with a letter. He looked over at the letter; it was roughly two pages long but he decided not to read it right now, he would read it when he was alone. He couldn't help the small bit of hope that flared in his chest, he needed to know what it said and he couldn't wait until he got a free moment. His expression must have changed because the next thing he knew everyone's attention was directed towards him.

"What's that you've got there Harry?" Dudley asked curiously.

"Just a letter," Harry replied quickly shoving it back into the box.

"Whose it from?" Severus asked quietly, his eyes narrowed. He didn't like the way Harry seemed to be hiding it from them.

"No one," Harry lied softly.

"You're lying," Severus stated carefully. "Is it Black?"

"No! It's not Sirius, it's...um...it's this girl from school," Harry mumbled out and found to his horror that he was blushing over a pretend girl. His face reddened even further when he saw the amused expression on his father's face, not to mention the Headmaster.

"Oh a girl is it? Which young lady is it Harry?" Albus asked cheerfully.

"Just someone, can we please not talk about this?" Harry asked, the tips of his ears turning a bright red that was beginning to rival Ron's hair.

"Of course my dear boy, however if you ever want to talk about it, I'm sure either Severus or I will be there to listen and give advice." Albus said giving him a pointed look.

Harry could only close his eyes in humiliation as Dudley snickered at the implications of what the old man had said. "Thanks Headmaster, but I'll...I'll be fine," Harry managed to choke out.

He was still trying to wish the ground would swallow him whole when his father's deep laughter reverberated throughout the room a moment later. He couldn't help it and soon joined in, and in no time they were all laughing. Harry couldn't help but think that this had turned out to be the best Christmas he had ever had.