Here's an early Christmas treat for you all. Never fear, the culmination of the Simon stories is being edited as you read. It will probably be two chapters, I think.
I am overwhelmed each time I get an alert that one of you fine readers has placed my stories on your favorite lists. It is so encouraging to me!
Alas...earwax, er I mean I still don't own Harry Potter, perhaps some Every Flavor Beans, though. They were invented by J.K. Rowling as was Harry Potter and universe.
Two days before Christmas Eve, Severus Snape was standing in front of the mirror in his bathroom adjusting the collar of his muggle shirt as he dressed for the trip to Hermione's parents. He had a good relationship with Hermione's parents, Helen and David. They were comfortable seeing Severus either in his robes or muggle clothes; he just felt uncomfortable in muggle clothes.
This year they would be spending Christmas week at Hermione's parents. They had been to her parents many times for the holidays but never actually spent the night for Christmas. This year Hermione wanted to give Simon a muggle-style Christmas experience; tree, lights, carols, Father Christmas, the works.
Sure wizards had Christmas, but mostly without the religious overtone and certainly without the fat jolly elf, Father Christmas. That was a purely muggle thing. In the wizarding world, Father Christmas did not bring presents to the children. You just woke up on Christmas morning with presents at the end of your bed or around the tree if your family did that. Magical families that had a muggleborn witch or wizard parent usually knew about Father Christmas.
Severus' own youthful Christmas experience was dismal at best. He might have gotten one gift at Christmas when he was very young but as he reached primary school age, there was nothing. It wasn't until he became a teacher at Hogwarts that he received any gifts again, and it wasn't until he met and married Hermione that he truly experienced the joy of Christmas as it should be.
"Hermione, why is it again I have to wear muggle clothes for the trip to your parents?" He walked into their bedroom pulling at his collar.
"Because my mother's sister and her husband will be there when we arrive, which is also why we can't floo like usual. They don't know I am a witch. We'll have to apparate and pretend we drove. And we'll have to transform something into suitcases to make it look good. Where's Simon?"
Severus scowled at the thought of dealing with more muggle family. He liked Hermione's parents, he really did; he just found dealing with other muggles tedious because of the need to constantly 'censor' himself as he spoke and acted. He remembered the near miss he had with Hermione's elderly great aunt who walked in on Severus one morning in the kitchen just as he cast an accio to get the teacups from the cupboard. Loathe to oblivate her, Hermione (who walked into the kitchen right after her aunt) was able to convince Auntie Jan that it was her poor eyesight and a reflection from the sun coming through the window.
"Simon is in his bedroom looking for a few last minute toys he can't live without."
"Well, we leave in half an hour so I'd better get him squared away. Did you finish packing all his presents?"
"They are shrunk and in the bag on our bed." Severus said as he slipped his arms around Hermione's waist and pulled her to him. He nuzzled her neck and rubbed his cheek in her hair. "We do have our own room this time, don't we?" He squeezed her even closer.
Hermione rubbed her hands along Severus' arms. "Now that the folks have a bigger place we do. Simon will have the room next to ours and there is a bath between."
"Good," said Severus. "I refuse to sleep with Simon again. How that boy can manage to turn sideways in his sleep is beyond me. And his feet! They wind up wedged into body parts that should not have feet wedged into them."
"Severus! He does not! You just hate not being able to snuggle." Hermione said smugly.
"As I recall, you had plenty to say when his foot was wedged into your…"
"Okay!" Hermione interrupted, laughing. "Let's just say we're glad he has his own room and be done with it, shall we?"
"Oh, let's." Severus sarcastically chuckled and pulled his wife around for a kiss.
The Snape family arrived behind a copse of trees at the back edge of the Granger property. Simon, who had little experience with apparition of any kind, promptly vomited into the snow. While Hermione cleaned him up and did a quick breath freshening charm on him, Severus transfigured a couple of pieces of parchment he fished from a coat pocket into luggage. The trio walked to the dirt road nearby and then quickly around to the street and up to the front door of the Granger house. Hermione rang the bell and the door was quickly opened by Helen.
"You're here!" She cried with glee. "Come in; come in out of the cold." She pulled Hermione into the house and stepped back to give her a hug and allow Severus and Simon to come in. "Simon, love! Give Grandma a hug! David, the kids are here!" she shouted over her shoulder.
Hermione took Simon's coat and began to undo her own as Severus was hugged and kissed by her mother. He took the greeting good-naturedly and then took off his own coat. David came into the entryway to greet his daughter and her family.
"Good to see you!" he exclaimed. "Give us a hug then, Simon." He drew Simon to him and gave him a bear hug. "Ach, you've grown so much since I last saw you." He put the boy down and pulled Hermione to him. "Love it's good to see you. And you, Severus, as well." He shook Severus' hand. "Come through to the lounge and get warmed. Got a blaze going. Drink Severus? The folks are in there as well."
"Dad, let us take our things up first, will you? Give us a chance to get our bearings." Hermione pled. She could see Severus tense at the mention of 'folks' and knew he'd need a moment or two to get himself composed.
"All right then. Up the stairs and to the left, last two doors."
Hermione lead the way as Severus took the luggage. "Follow your mother." He said to Simon. Once in their rooms, Hermione and Severus helped Simon set out his pajamas and stuffed dragon, they went back down to the lounge to greet the rest of the family.
Christmas Eve finally arrived. David and Helen had spent the day regaling Simon all about Father Christmas and how he would come into the house at night to leave the presents under the tree. Hermione and Severus quickly deflected Simon's questions about whether or not he flooed or apparated; "The boy has such an imagination, don't you think?" Hermione asked her confused aunt and uncle. Simon would need to be sure to leave out some milk and biscuits for Father Christmas, they explained. At 7 p.m., Severus told Simon it was time for bed.
"Simon it is time for bed."
Simon, overtired from the long day and change in his normal routine, was querulous. "I don't want to! I want to stay up with the big folks." He stamped his foot and began to cry.
"You are tired young man, and it is time for bed." Severus spoke more firmly and bent over to retrieve Simon from his spot near the tree. Hermione stood to help him out. "Stay here love, I'll take him up." said Severus.
"All right. Simon be a good boy and go right to sleep so Father Christmas can come." She kissed Simon's reddened cheek and wiped a few tears.
"All right, mummy." The rest of the adults stood to wish Simon a good night and kiss him. Severus rolled his eyes and left the room with Simon who was whimpering about not being sleepy all the while lolling his head sleepily on Severus' shoulder.
Twenty minutes later, Severus returned to the lounge. The ambient lights had been turned down so the lights from the tree illuminated more brightly. Someone had turned on the radio so that Christmas carols played quietly in the background. Drinks were passed about and the adults spent several quiet hours in talk and playing cards. Finally, around 1230 a.m., Severus and Hermione made their way to bed.
"Severus, we should get Simon's gifts and put them under the tree." Hermione said as she flopped down on her back onto the bed.
"Oh, in a minute love." Severus flopped down next to Hermione and began to kiss her neck. "We've got time before he wakes in the morning to do so." He began to suck on the sensitive spot behind Hermione's ear.
"Whatcha' doing?" Hermione asked coyly as she felt Severus suck harder and begin to nip. His hand wandered to her chest.
"I think I don't need to answer that." He replied his voice deeper with desire.
Hermione pulled him closer. "Okay, but we'll need to remember to put the gifts under the tree afterwards."
What should have been a warm, cozy wake up the next morning for Severus and Hermione was not. A door crashing open and a screaming child took care of that.
"FATHER CHRISTMAS DIDN'T COME!"
Hermione sat straight up and snatched her robe from the end of the bed. Simon crawled up between his parents, tears streaming down his face.
"I went down to the lounge and there were no presents. FATHER CHRISTMAS DIDN'T COME!"
By this time, Severus was also awake and pulled the boy to him. "Are you sure?" he asked.
"Yes, I saw…..no presents!" Simon curled into his daddy's bare chest crying hard.
"Maybe mummy should go check to make sure." He widened his eyes at Hermione pleading for her to do something.
"Yes, yes. I am sure you didn't see them. Perhaps he didn't think there was a tree and left them in the kitchen." Hermione scurried from the room and ran quietly down the hall as Severus attempted to soothe Simon. She knocked on her parent's door and opened it. "Mum! Dad! We forget to put the presents under the tree. Help me, quick!"
Helen and David scrambled from bed as Hermione went to her aunt's room and relayed the story. A few minutes later, five adults hurriedly shoved presents under the tree. Once the gifts were in place, Hermione asked her folks to prepare some tea and went to get Simon and Severus.
She arrived in the room to hear Severus finish a story about his and Hermione's first Christmas together. "Simon, didn't you hear the bells?" she asked
Simon looked at his mother. "What bells?"
"The sleigh bells. Father Christmas was just here! He told me that he had so many houses to deliver to and one of the reindeer was quite sick so he got a late start. He came to this house just as I went down to the lounge."
Simon's eyes widened. "He did? Really?"
"Yes, he did. Now come and see your gifts. Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Sara and Uncle Drew are waiting for us!"
Simon flew from the bed and out the door. Severus got up and put on his black sleeping pants and a t-shirt. Picking up his robe he said, "Nice save, dear."
"Well, if you hadn't tired me out so." She reached up and kissed him. "Come on; let's watch him make his way through the swag."
"Happy Christmas, everyone!" cried Hermione as they entered the lounge. "Dad, will you pass out the gifts this year?"
A/N: Again I have trolled the memories of my son's childhood days to come up with this story. Santa really did forget to come to Worrywart's house one Christmas when Worrywart Junior was about 4 or 5. Mr. Worrywart and I were rather rudely woken up one Christmas morning by Worrywart Junior screaming SANTA DIDN'T COME! as he ran into our bedroom. You see, Junior did not like to go to sleep at night and so as we waited for him to fall asleep, we fell asleep too (although I don't recall if we were distracted like Hermione and Severus were and simply too cozy to get up the next morning in time). Anyway, Mr. Worrywart cuddled Junior in bed telling him the same story Hermione told Simon about sick reindeer blah, blah, blah while I rushed to the living room throwing the presents under the tree! Now, how can I turn the 'oven is on fire' story into a Simon story….
p.s. Reviews are like Every Flavor Beans, you don't know what they'll be like, but you enjoy getting them! Thanks! WW