A/N: This One-shot was grown in my mind from Nasta's point of view from Chapter Thirty-Three – Going Home when he speaks of how lucky he is to have Harry and how much he loves him and how he no longer cares for the broken peace that had once surrounded his life, now we find out exactly why Nasta thinks himself the luckiest man in the world.

This is set two years before Nasta meets Harry! Nasta is thirty-four and has been living away from his Dad and Brother for sixteen years.

A Lonely Time of Year

Nasta Tabrien Delericey, aged thirty-four, looked around at his small apartment and sighed. He loved his apartment, loved the independence it gave him, the seclusion from people he just didn't want to be around. He loved the peace and the quiet it offered him, the solitude after a hard day at the Brecon Dragon Reserve, but this time of year more than any other was really the time when he most wished that he had someone to share his life with.

It was Christmas Day and he was alone, stuck in his apartment with nothing to do. His Father was in Dubai and his older brother Sanex had been invited to spend the day with his current girlfriend's family.

He had originally been going with his Father, but his most favourite Welsh green dragon at the reserve had come down with an illness and he, as a senior handler, had been needed to help move the dragon, named Caronwyn, to the medical enclosure and find out what was wrong with her and his Dad had gone to Dubai without him so he didn't miss his work meeting scheduled for Boxing Day.

Nasta had cancelled all of his Christmas plans, expecting, along with two other handlers, to be spending the entire of Christmas and beyond at the reserve with a sick dragon. It had turned out that Caronwyn had just eaten a dead and rotted sheep, nothing serious and they had quickly remedied the situation.

Now instead of laughing and joking with two of his friends from the reserve as they were busy with a sick dragon, he was sat in his apartment all alone on Christmas Day, wishing that he had had someone here waiting for him to spend the day with.

He probably could have gone to his Dad in Dubai this morning, but he knew his Dad would have made plans so he wasn't on his own for Christmas either, he was likely spending the day with the other businessmen that had flooed out to Dubai with him and if it was one thing Nasta couldn't stand, it was businessmen, add in that they would probably be drinking and complaining about their wives and children, their pet dog and Nasta would rather poke a sleeping dragon in the eye with a short stick than spend Christmas with them, even if he was with his Dad.

He had opened his few presents from his brother and Father and had smiled at their cards, but now he was bored and lonely. It was only really around Christmas that he felt this way, felt broody for a couple of kids that looked like him excitedly ripping open a mountain of presents, laughing in that contagious childish giggle, showing him and their Mother what they had gotten as if they hadn't spent half of the year buying and wrapping them before sneaking down on Christmas Eve night and laying them out in perfect piles.

He could close his eyes and imagine a pretty, loving woman coming out of the kitchen, laying out the Christmas dinner on the table as he kept the kids entertained and out of her hair due to the fact that he couldn't cook much past the basics and would likely be more of a hindrance than a help.

Nasta opened his eyes and sighed sadly as he couldn't get rid of the image. He hadn't seen the point in cooking a full dinner just for himself so he had just eaten a simple pasta meal for one. He had hoped that he would be happily mated by now, but none of the submissives were even close to what he was looking for in a life partner. He had debated just taking any one of them, just to crush the killing loneliness he felt in his heart, but he knew himself and he knew he would end up loathing his mate and his own life after a while, besides how could he justify having children with someone so self-centred that they couldn't see past the end of their own nose? How could he put innocent children through that?

So here he was, thirty-four years old, alone and childless on Christmas Day, just willing the day to end so he could go back to work tomorrow and the world went back to normal.

He felt miserable and grouchy as he knew that all around him there were people celebrating the holidays with their families and he was stuck here, in this self-made prison, all alone and hating it. He wanted a family, he wanted a mate, someone to spend the rest of his life with, but he was unwilling to lower his standards, from what he had learnt from the last eighteen years observing the submissive Drackens he met from all over the world, he was going to die a lonely old man and that thought depressed him even more.

He poured a shot of Firewhiskey into a glass, he wasn't one to usually drink and his Father would skin him alive if he even knew he had the bottle in his apartment, regardless that it had been a gift from one of the guys at the reserve, but he felt like he was drowning in a sea of his own misery, he needed something, anything, to level out his emotions and this was all he had.

Taking the shot back in one long swallow Nasta fell back onto his settee feeling crushed by the oppressive silence stretching on and endlessly on around him. He grappled for his wand from its resting place on the coffee table and flicked it at the radio hoping to relieve the stifling silence with something that didn't make him feel worse, but every station was full of Christmas cheer and he couldn't take it.

He flicked his wand again and switched the radio off, he summoned the shot glass and the bottle of Firewhiskey, he poured himself another glass and tipped it back. There was a burn at the corners of his eyes and he cursed himself. He would not cry over his situation! It was his own fault that he was mateless! He was too picky, had too high a standard, if he hadn't been either then he could be mated and have several children by now! It was his own fault and he refused to bawl his eyes out like he had last Christmas when he had come home to his cold, empty apartment after visiting his Dad.

Giving up as a tear squeezed its way out of his closed eye; Nasta drew in a deep, shuddering breath and tried to control himself and his crushing loneliness. Tomorrow he'd be absolutely fine, tomorrow he'd go back to work, go back to being with his dragons, tomorrow it wouldn't matter that he had no family, no mate to love, to hold and cherish, to love him back just as much, no kids to adore, teach and protect. Tomorrow would be another day and he'd go back to enjoying the peace and quiet of his self-made fortress, but for now…now he summoned a vial of store-bought sleeping potion and downed it in one go, it was only one in the afternoon, but he couldn't take much more of today. Today of all days he loathed the silence of his apartment, hated the peace and solitude, despised the fact that he had such high standards when it came to taking a mate and detested that he had no children to share his love with on this very special day.

Tomorrow would be a different day, the magic of Christmas would be over and people would start interacting with the outside world again, but for now Nasta would sleep. Sleep so the bitter loneliness he felt on this day of the year wouldn't eat him alive. One day he would have a mate, one Christmas he would have children to love and enjoy, but it wasn't this Christmas, so for now he would sleep until it was all over and the loneliest day of the year for him would pass by without him noticing.

A/N: So here is the first on the inside look on what Harry's mates' lives were like before him. I had to start with Nasta, I showed you that he's closed off and broody, but this is the first time that I've shown you why he's that way.

This scene had no place in the main story, so I'm so happy to have gotten it out somehow, I hope you all enjoy it because it's Christmas Eve, I've just got home from a night shift, I'm going to forget about all the cooking and cleaning I have to do today and just sleep, who said I never took any me time?

StarLight Massacre. X