I Guess I know have to call this 'A Very (BELATED) Potter Christmas Special ^^ .
This started as a special little bonus chapter dedicated to my wonderful editor Avicorn! She got it on the 24th, but due to holiday festivities, she was unable to get it back to me immediately. I hope everyone still enjoys it and has a wonderful holiday season! Please read and enjoy (and if anyone wants to give me a (belated) Christmas gift, a comment is always appreciated! ^^ )
It had been blistery weather all day long and well into the late afternoon. Even now, with the clock's hands steadily moving towards six in the evening, snow was blowing past the two story brick house in playful swirls. It was one of those days where the weather perfectly fitted the level of activity within the home. Hectic, fast paced, and with more than one snow bank forming in the corners…though, this was largely due to Anthony having forgotten to close the door after Hermione had kicked out Bittens (Alice's rescued Labrador retriever that had a perchance towards nipping the heels of guests). Then again, what house isn't like this on Christmas Eve?
Hermione was currently supervising the setting of the dining room table while Harry finished putting the last few touches to their Christmas supper. Hermione's shoulders would twitch up ever so slightly every time Ashton put down one of her good china plates a touch too hard or when Anthony would accidently chinked the crystal glasses together. Harry hid back a chuckle when Alice dropped the box holding the silver. Hermione had nearly jumped out of her skin. The pleasant chime of the doorbell ringing throughout the house was a nice distraction from Hermione's impending and growing fear of the future destruction of her long sought after, and only recently acquired china. Hermione shooed Alice towards the front porch to greet whoever it was waiting at the door. Harry put down the spoon he had been using to 'test' the cranberry sauce (for the fifth time) and came to help his wife pick up the tableware.
"Remind me again why we decided to do this?" Hermione grumbled as she put the forks and spoons back into their proper felt-lined slots.
Harry put on the large smiled he had been containing. "Because we wanted to have the whole family down for Christmas this year?" Harry had been looking forward to this all week. He had taken the triplets off to get a tree on Monday and there had been no stopping him from getting into the Christmas spirit after that. First the tree, next the entire outside of their house was decked out in garlands and blinking fairy lights.
"No, no…I mean why are we doing it here?" She tucked a strand of wavy chestnut hair behind her ear. "We should have just gone to Molly's like we always do." Hermione grumbled. "Triple A is going to destroy everything nice I own!"
Harry simply smirked at his wife as they both stood up. Normally Harry would have a wonderful little anecdote about the wonders of children, however…true to her words, Ashton, Anthony, and Alice had been giving everything breakable in the Potter house a run for its money. Instead he gave her a peck on the lips and carried the oak box to the sink and started to wash the silverware off.
Giving her nod seal of approval to the set table, Hermione sent Ashton and Anthony off to play before supper. Taking her seat on the other side of the counter, Hermione put her chin in her hands and watched her husband diligently clean the silver. "Aren't you even the little bit curious who it was at the door?" She asked in a teasing voice, full well knowing that Harry had been more than a little eager for their oldest to arrive. They hadn't seen Avery in four months now. A long stretch for Harry, but she had been working to the bone on keeping her latest deadline.
Harry slid his eyes to the side and directed a smirk to his wife's playful smile. "No need." He declared. "It's Page." He answered confidently, counting out nine clean forks.
"Oh?" Hermione pulled her long hair over one shoulder and started to braid it into a loose plait. Every so often she would come across a new collection of silver strands contained within it. She would frown at it, but Harry knew that she was secretly proud to see the graceful colour of her age. Unlike Ginny who had been dying her hair the flame red of her youth for years now, Hermione considered the silvered hair as proof of her newly acquired Sage status. "And how do you know that?"
"Simple…" Harry passed Hermione a set of newly cleaned forks and knives. "There was a subtle *popping* about five minutes ago from someone using the apparation portal at the front. Since Avery doesn't apparate due to Devon, and William told us that he wouldn't be getting here until seven and he is not one to be even a minute early or late…so that only leaves one of our children left. Honestly…" He gave Hermione a mock-disappointed stare. "I was an aurorer after all…I expected better from you."
Hermione waved one of the table knifes at him in a dangerous motion. "Don't test me," She warned with a smile. "I know where you sleep."
"Do you ever!" Harry teased, giving Hermione an outlandish wink. To which she rolled her eyes at him and set the silverware on the edge of the table.
"Fa-thar!" Page entered the kitchen and swung her arms out from underneath her crimson red wool cape dramatically. "Muh-thar!"
Hermione chuckled and accepted her second oldest daughter's arms for a hug. Alice watched giddily from around the corner as Page theatrically placed an air kiss on both of her mother's cheeks before moving to Harry. Page was still revered almost to the level of a celebrity amongst the Triple A. Her dramatic ways and secrecy of her job led to an elusive level of veneration often reserved for the Queen. The other two-thirds of Triple A were otherwise distracted with the horseplay now supplied by Page's super spy husband who was the perfect conduit for hyperactive 11 year olds.
"I must say Dad, this all smells wonderful." Page smiled cheerily. "It's been so long since Chris and I have had time to eat a decent meal."
"Considering how I don't even remember the last time you've even picked up a wooden spoon," Hermione countered cheekily. "I have no problem believing that it's been a while since you've had a home cooked meal."
"Spoons can be wooden?" Page countered smartly, acting fully shocked by the concept. Hermione scowled good naturally at her daughter and her lack of domestic savvy. Her shocked face dissolved into a grin. "Besides, what would be the point in me cooking when we all perfectly well know that I would only put the Potter name to shame."
"You couldn't be more right Pagey-girl!" Harry teased as he beamed at his tiny daughter. "I've experienced your chocolate cake before. I'd hate to say it my dear, but it tasted rather like mud."
Page grinned up at her father. She'd never really gotten her growth spurt. The doctors attributed it to her premature birth. She stood a good six inches shorter than Hermione and at least a foot to Harry. What she lacked in height however, she certainly made up for in sass. "I think that may have had something to do with the fact that the main ingredient in that cake was mud. Who knows?" She added with a shrug. "Maybe it's time I started to get some cooking lessons from you two."
"Please!" Hermione laughed off the comment with a jerk of her head to the library where Page's husband was making copious amounts of noise with Ashton and Anthony. "If you and Chris could rub more than three days off every month, I can be you dimes to dollars that you would choose to spend it anywhere else other than your parent's kitchen."
Page simply smiled. "We'll see…" She answered cryptically.
Harry raised an eyebrow and stared at his daughter inquiringly. "What are you-" He started before he was cut off by the ringing of the doorbell.
Page was more than a little keen to draw the conversation away from herself. "Why, I do believe that somebody is at the door!" She pointed both her hands towards the foray. "I must go and see who it is!"
"No need." Hermione laughed as Page froze in her 'sneaky-bunny' pose. Smirking she re-picked up the pile of clean silver. "It's your sister." Harry's face erupted into a fanatic grin. "Oh, go on you two." Hermione gave permission with a dismissive wave of her hand towards the front of the house. "I can manage to place the silver all on my own."
Harry didn't wait around to see if his wife would change her mind. With the approval granted, he was out of the kitchen immediately and headed to the foray to greet his oldest daughter, Page followed closely behind at his heels. Alice beat both of them to the door.
"Avery!" The youngest member of the Potter family exclaimed happily, greeting the oldest of the Potter children. Avery and Devon entered the house, letting in a cascade of the still blowing snow from outside in with them.
Avery's porcelain skin had a healthy rose tone to her cheeks as she walked in from the cold. "Hey Sweetpea!" She greeted Alice happily as she placed both of her hands the little girl's cheeks. "I've missed you!"
"What?" Harry asked, mouth open in shock. "You haven't missed me?"
Avery flashed a brilliant smile at her father before spreading her arms out wide. "As if I could get by without missing you, Dad!" Harry grinned as he walked into his daughter's embrace.
"And don't you look nice tonight Devon." Page chortled, bringing in Avery's husband into the conversation. He had been previously standing their awkwardly in the corner folding and re-folding his coat over his arm.
"Thanks." Devon replied in a voice ten shades shyer than he normally used. It was easy to see that he had never really gotten over the shiner Harry had given him on their first encounter. It didn't matter how many times after that they came to the house, Devon was not fond of entrance way.
"Hi Devon." Alice looked up bashfully at Avery's husband. "I have something for you."
Devon smiled down at the curly haired youth. Out of the Potters, the triplets were the most accepting of him. Granted, it may have had a little something to do with his young adult novels. Triple A had made a killing selling off autographed copies of his series to their classmates before anyone realized what they had been doing. "And what might that be?"
Alice grinned up at him as she pulled the envelope from behind her back. "It's tickets to my next competition. I think you and my sensei would get along really well. You would have so much to talk about!"
"Oh, Sweetpea…" Avery gave off a laugh as Harry took her coat and muffler. Walking over to her husband, Avery patted his shoulder fondly. "Devon isn't Chinese. I doubt Mister Li would be at all interested in a novelist."
"I am half Korean though." Devon added before bending his knees and taking the envelope from Alice's hands and gave her a larger smile and a nod of his head. "And I would love to come and see you kick some complete-" He caught the warning cough from Hermione and finished his sentence without skipping a beat. "and utter awesome kids and prove that you're the best!" Alice gave Devon a toothy grin before scurrying behind her mother. Hermione gave him a small nod and a smirk as she brought the wine glass she had filled in the kitchen to her lips and took a sip.
Avery simply continued to give her husband a peculiar stare. "You're what?" She finally managed to ask.
Devon simply shrugged and moved to follow Harry and Page out of the porch into the connected library where the rest of Triple A and Christopherson were waiting. "My mother was originally from Busan."
Avery fixed him a firm stare as she brought of the rear of the Potter train. "Poppy-cock." It was obvious that she didn't believe him. "I've met your mother. She was most definitely not Korean."
"Charlotte is my stepmother. My mother's name was Han Song Yu. She died when I was seven." Devon explained taking a seat on the comfortable and worn leather couches.
Avery took her seat next to him and continued to stare at him slightly slack jawed. "Why am I only just finding out about this now?"
Devon shrugged again with a laugh and put an arm around her as the rest of the seven Potters found seats on the remaining spots on the couches and armchairs. "I always thought you knew. How else could you explain these cheekbones? You certainly never said anything."
"You…I….Gah!" Avery finally relented with a slump of her shoulders and a slouch into the cushions of the couch. Then, with a huff, she rounded her attention towards her mum, who, for some reason appeared giddier than normal. "Not a word!" She warned with a wag of her pointer finger. "Not one word."
This time it was Devon's turn to stare suspiciously at his wife and the matched grins of her parents. "I…do not understand." He admitted.
Avery's face instantly turned a shade of red that most tomatoes would be envious over. "I…I…" She looked between Harry and Hermione desperately who returned her look of desperation with ones of glee. "I don't think I want to be in this room to hear this." She announced.
"Which is fine." Harry interjected. He gave the wondering glace of his wife a nod. "After all, it is time to eat. You don't want the Turkey I've been slaving over for the last day to get cold, now do we? Pidge," Harry turned to Page. "If I'm not mistaken, I think I saw a bottle of some very nice wine in your bag. Why don't you take it to the table?"
"Already there!" Page announced as she stood up. "Why don't we take this wonderfully embarrassing conversation to the dining room?"
The rest of the Potters (plus the addition of Devon) stood up and made their way to the kitchen. On the way, Hermione tugged discretely on Devon's sleeve and motioned for him to make his way to the back of the pack.
"One of these days you are going to have to explain it to me where all of these nicknames come from." Devon whispered down to Hermione. "Every time I seem to come here, there is a new one floating around."
Hermione gave off a bit of a laugh. "Don't worry, I think soon we're bound to start recirculating a few of the old ones." Making sure that Avery was out of earshot, Hermione motioned for Devon to lean down. "I had always told Avery that she was going to marry an Asian someday. She had been feeling pretty proud of herself for proving me wrong, and there she went and did what I said." Hermione grinned up at the tall author. "Thanks for adding to my list of correct predictions."
It had taken the few moments it took to walk from the library to the dining portion of the house for one blaring fact to be realized.
"Where's Chris, Ashton, and Anthony?" Page asked, looking over the five other people around her.
That one simple statement was enough to get the heads looking around. Each one coming up with the same answer all on their own…no one had a bloody clue.
"I thought that they were all playing in the library when Avery got here." Hermione offered. "I'm sure they'll come if you call for supper Li-Li." She ruffled Alice's hair and gave her a push towards the stairs. "The rest of you can help me move the food on to the table."
This was not to be however, for no sooner had she mentioned moving the food, a *bang* and a cloud of lilac coloured, cinnamon scented smoke filled the kitchen, and Christopherson appeared dressed in a suit, carrying the turkey towards the table. Anthony followed lead, and was wearing a monocle and pocket watch as his 'dressed up' add-ons, and he carried the asparagus dish. Ashton was next, a bowtie tied around his neck, and he brought in the turnips. The final member of the procession was the tall and dressed rather dapper oldest son of the Potter family. William was also dressed to the nines and carried in the bowl with the stuffing. It suddenly became apparent that Page's remark had not been a conveniently timed wonder, but instead a cue for her husband to appear.
"Hi Mum." Will addressed them happily, flipping his thick curly hair out of his eyes. "Merry Christmas!"
"What are you doing?" Hermione asked, unable to feign her shock.
"Didn't I tell you?" Christopherson countered innocently. "My last cover I had to work as a maître d'. Please, everyone take a seat." You didn't have to ask Hermione twice. The concept of her not having to set the table was delightfully rich.
After everyone had taken their places around the table and Chris and Will had directed the two boys with the dishes, it was then that Harry decided that it was the appropriate moment to stand and make a toast.
"Well…" He started only mildly awkward, unused to speaking formally to the people he loved. He adjusted his glasses and held up his wine glass. "I just want to thank all of you for coming for this special Christmas Eve supper. It has been too long since we have all been able to eat a meal together."
"Harry, you'd swear that it's been years since you've seen your children!" Hermione joked, lifting her wine glass in response to Harry's toast. "Just tell them that you love them and let's get this meal rolling!"
Harry smirked at his wife. If anyone else had urged him on, it would have come across as harsh. However, the twinkle in his wife of twenty six years let him know exactly what it was that she wanted to get rolling.
"Alright then." Harry conceded with a laugh. "I love you all, and could think of no other place than here that I would prefer to be tonight. I am happy to welcome the new additions to the family, and look forward to all the additional Potters who will join this table in the near future!"
Hermione immediately snapped her head to Avery and stared in shock at her oldest. Avery rolled her eyes at her father before tilting her head towards her mother and gave it a bit of a shake to reassure Hermione. "Don't worry Mum…There won't be any new Potter additions joining us this Christmas."
Hermione didn't even have time to release her built up breath before a clear voice entered the conversation. "Well, I wouldn't say that there's going to be no new Potters joining us." Page added nonchalantly as she exchanged a knowing smirk with Chris.
Every head, as if on a metal cue, turned at the exact same time so that they were now all facing Page and her husband.
"You're not…" Hermione started, and then left the question hanging. Page began to very intently examine the ceiling above them.
"Babies!" Harry exclaimed happily before he pushed his chair aside hurriedly and wrapped his arms around Page. The rest of the family quickly followed suite, hugging Page and Chris. Devon opted for only shaking Chris' hand. It was easy to see that Page's muscular husband still terrified Avery's husband.
"You always have to beat me at everything!" Avery teasingly scolded her sister as she pinched her cheeks when she got her turn to embrace her.
"What can I say?" Page replied with a laugh as she fixed her hair and readjusted her glasses. Her hug from the Triple A had included more than one kiss and several hair ruffles. "I like the attention. Besides, I've already mastered being a Super Spy…this was the next hardest thing I could think of." Turning her knowing smirk to her mother, Page couldn't resist another jab. "Guess I'll be getting those cooking lessons sooner than you expected."
Harry's ears perked up.
He heard the whispers again. Harry casually turned his head around the library, doing his best not to attract the attention of the other people socializing around him. He fought the urge to smile when he saw Avery motioning covertly for him to join her in the other room.
"Well…" Harry started loudly. "I think I'm long overdue for another cup of eggnog." He directed everyone's attention to the empty cup in his hand. Standing up, Harry did his best not to run as he left the library. Sadly his actions did nothing to stop the suspicions of the rest of his family and the associated extensions.
"I didn't realize that there was any eggnog." Devon commented innocently.
"We don't." Hermione answered flatly. She directed her gaze out after her husband. "Honestly…" She said under her breath and gave a good natured roll of her eyes before turning her back to the people in front of her. "What were you saying Ashton?"
"Hey Birdie." Harry addressed Avery once they were out of earshot of the others in the library. "What was it that couldn't wait?"
Avery beamed at her father and pulled out a brightly wrapped rectangular package from behind her back. "I wanted to give you your Christmas gift."
Harry grinned as he excepted the silver and blue package. "We're doing gift exchange in only a few hours. You don't want to wait for everyone else?"
Avery gave him a smile filled with secrets. "I want to see your expression when you open it. It's a special gift."
Harry beamed at his daughter as he put his mug down on the banister and pulled off the glittery ribbon. After he pulled off the paper carefully, there was no hiding the fact that the present was a book. Pulling off the rest of the wrapping paper, Harry held the book in front of him and read the title out loud.
"Harry Potter and the Untold Story: The accurate and up to date, but never finished biography." Harry studied the hard cover book and moved his eyes to meet the giddy ones of his daughter. "Avery…" He whispered.
"I've been working on it all year with Marlene and she finally gave it the green light last week. This is the first copy produced and it belongs to you." Avery hurriedly gave a rapid explanation. "I remember as a child reading the Harry Potter series and how it didn't make any sense, so I wanted to make it right, and this is the only way I knew how to."
Harry studied the cover again. "But then name on this is Devoney Potter…I thought you were going by Abbotsford now?"
Avery's smile took a serious tone. "Don't worry Dad, I will always be a Potter, be it on paper or not. The heart in my chest is that of a Potter…and isn't that the part that really matters?"
Harry dropped the book to the floor and threw his arms around Avery. "This is the nicest gift anyone has ever given me!" His voice whispered hoarsely, his eyes were thick with tears. "How is it that you always know the perfect thing to do?"
Avery squeezed her father back tightly. "Merry Christmas Daddy."
"Merry Christmas Birdie, I love you."
An extra little story because I missed my characters ^^ I'm not above doing more one shot cameo stories if the desire is there. Comment or send me a message if you would like one dedicated to you.
Have a great day!