Disclaimer for the whole story : I don't own HP
Ever since he could remember, Ron had always liked the days leading up to Christmas more than the day itself. When the Advent calendar was put up on the mantelpiece, Ron had disliked crossing off each day. The days before Christmas were charged with so much preparation and eagerness and Christmas ended it all. Life, which had been twice as exciting in the run up to the holiday, became doubly boring after it. He had always felt that Christmas was a bit of an anticlimax to the fun and madness that led up to it.
Ron remembered all the lovely things about Advent at the Burrow. He had had some great times with his family. The smell of freshly baked goods would drift through house to his room. This scent would mingle with the aroma of pine from the wreaths and the giant tree in the living room. He and his siblings would spend their days making or buying presents for each other. They always had fun hiding them and it was a game to try and find out what the others had got for them.
The kids would all group around their Mum when they were younger and Dad would read out stories from Beedle the Bard while Mum knitted their sweaters. She would always threaten them with her needles if they tried to guess whose jumper she was knitting. On Christmas Eve, the house would be charged with excitement. Everyone would be up at odd hours trying to catch the others putting their presents under the tree.
There had been an incident once when Ron had convinced Fred and George that Santa Claus would leave coal in their stockings because they were so mean to him. The twins had stayed up all night to catch Santa and beg forgiveness. When Mr. Weasley had crept into the living room that night to put all their gifts under the tree, he had tripped over the sofa and crashed into the tea table, upsetting the milk and cookies all because Fred and George had tackled him the minute they'd seen him. They had been a little upset that Santa didn't really exist but more alarmed that the person who decided whether they got proper presents or not was their father. Ever since that incident, the twins had always been extra good around Christmas.
Ron treasured all that. He loved going to bed on Christmas Eve, enthusiastic about the prospect of a pile of presents the next morning. He loved guessing if his jumper would be a different colour this time. He loved watching the twins curse wrapping paper and the little anecdotes and mishaps that were bound to happen during Advent. Ron valued the journey more than the end. As much as he just enjoyed and soaked up all the excitement that led up to the holiday, on Christmas Day itself, he was always a little sad that his presents were generic, his jumper was still maroon, he still got mostly sweets and maybe a few Quidditch related gifts from his family and all the fun seemed to end on the day.
The anticipation that something might be different each year was what he liked Advent for; the disappointment that he hadn't gotten anything extra special from his family was why he wasn't very fond of Christmas. Of course, he did like his presents and he understood that with so many people, he couldn't be singled out. But he always wished that for once, he could get a present worthy of all that anticipation, a present that was thoughtful and specially made for him and only him.
This Christmas however, the month before the holiday could not have been more different. His house smelled like paint and carpentry as the new nursery was finished up. There was no real Tree in the living room because the scent of pine made Hermione nauseous. His Mum didn't care about his jumper this year; she was busy knitting one for the new family member that his wife, Hermione, would bring into the world soon. There was no need to think of a hiding place more secretive than under the bed since Hermione couldn't even bend that far down in the final stage of her pregnancy. The anecdotes and mishaps still happened though. Ron shook his head, smiling slightly as he remembered Harry and himself running around London trying to find a brand of biscuits that Hermione was craving for. The biscuits had been discontinued the previous month and they had had a hectic time trying to find a shop that might still have some stocked.
Oh and Christmas Eve was entirely different this time. Instead of being comfortably tucked into bed, Ron was pacing up and down a hospital corridor.
Ginny, herself three months pregnant, watched him amusedly. "She'll be fine, you know."
"She could have let me stay with her," Ron said distractedly, glancing at the doors of the ward as Hermione screamed again. He winced. "I could have...I dunno...comforted her or something."
Harry grinned. "She did let you stay till just about half an hour ago. She must have realised you'd say something tactless and she wouldn't have the energy to yell at you. It's probably for the best that you're out here and not causing her even more agitation by saying something stupid in there." He smiled fondly at his wife. "When James was being born, Ginny walloped me over the head with the nearest pillow when I asked her if it hurt too much."
Ginny laughed. "I was screaming my head off. Wasn't that enough of an indicator of the pain? You'd better not be as idiotic this time."
Harry grinned and squeezed her hand as Ron tried to peer into the dim room through the little circular windows in the room. "How much longer do you think it'll take?" the redhead moaned and resumed pacing the corridor. Barely two minutes had passed when Hermione gave one last loud groan and the sound of a baby crying came faintly through the doors.
Ron stopped mid stride and stared at the doors. His heart thumped in his chest. He hadn't felt this eager during any other Advent in his life. He didn't care about Christmas trees and presents at that moment though. He just wanted to know...
A Healer pushed open the doors and strode into the corridor. "Mr. Weasley? Congratulations! You're the father of a lovely little girl. Your wife and daughter are both doing fine. You can come in and see them now."
"Congratulations mate!" Harry said clapping Ron on the back. Ron barely registered their words as Ginny joined her husband. She pushed him towards the ward. "Go on. We'll come in later."
Ron walked forward as if in a trance. He made his way around the Healers who were still bustling about the room and offering him their congratulations. Hermione smiled at him when she saw him. She was pale and tired but she was sitting up and glowing with happiness. He sat on the edge of the bed and touched her knee lightly. "How are you?" He asked.
She smiled at him. "Just fabulous," she sighed contentedly. She held out the little bundle in her arms. "Happy Christmas, love."
Ron glanced at his watch. Sure enough, it was one in the morning. Christmas morning. He reached out tentatively and took the little mass of blankets carefully from Hermione. Two bright blue eyes looked at him curiously. Ron felt his own identical eyes welling up as he handed his daughter back to his wife. He held a careful finger over the little girl's cheeks, meaning to caress them but she pushed out a determined hand and curled her own minuscule fingers around his. At that moment, the tiny, wrinkly, squishy, pink little baby with the smallest tuft of reddish-brown hair was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen.
He kissed Hermione tenderly on the forehead and smiled proudly at her. "Rose Weasley," he said.
"Rose Weasley," Hermione agreed smiling back fondly at Ron.
"This is the best Christmas present I've ever got," he grinned.
Hermione chuckled. "Don't expect one every year. It takes a lot of work. But it's worth it," she added looking down at their daughter as the child yawned and scrunched up her eyes.
Ron nodded. For the first time, he felt as if he had received the perfect present. Christmas Day was no longer boring and he was sure that as a new father, his life would be pretty thrilling.
For once, he had got a better Christmas present than the anticipation of Advent had promised.
So this story is mostly going to contain Christmas related drabbles and oneshots written for the Christmas Boot Camp on the HPFC Forum. I hope you liked this one!
I hope this made you get into the Christmas mood and you'll share some joy by leaving me a review ;) Do let me know what you thought about this!