No Obvious Truths
"Harry, Harry, Harry!" Draco whispered, prodding at his brother (gently of course) his eyes gleaming with excitement. It was Christmas Day; they'd be opening all the gifts today. He'd tried to guess what was in each and every one of them, never once trying to open them - he'd learned that lesson long ago his mum made sure he didn't get to peek early. There was a spell that sent small shocks to your fingertips on them, it wasn't painful per se, but it also had an informing charm on them, which meant his mum knew the second he'd tried to open them.
"G'way!" Harry muttered still half a sleep rolling away from the prodding.
"Harry!" Draco whined, "It's Christmas!"
"S'wat?" Harry murmured, opening his eyes blearily.
"Christmas!" Draco repeated, understanding what Harry had said - although how he had was absolutely anyone's guess.
"I'm tired, Draco!" Harry said his tone soft.
"Do you feel sick?" Draco's concern was immediate as he began to feel Harry's head like he'd seen his parents do millions of times. "Shall I get mum up?"
"I don't feel sick," Harry added quietly, feeling guilty for worrying his brother as he sat up, "No wonder, it's five o'clock - is anyone even up?" his tiredness abating as he stared at Draco's sheepish face in amusement. So that's what it was like to be excited for Christmas? He'd never really had one, the rare occasion where the Dursley's had remembered his existence it had been Dudley's old clothes they'd given him or dog biscuits from Marge. No Christmas had never been something he'd looked forward to in the past, while he loved everyone here…he was still half afraid that it would be like the Dursley's all over again. It was silly, since the Dursley's hadn't ever bought a single thing for him in his life yet here he was, in a room full of things just for him! And he'd been bought an art set just last month - and it hadn't been for any occasion.
"No, I always get up first and open presents…it's nice to have someone else too," Draco admitted quietly, sounding deep in thought. He'd always wanted a sibling, growing up in a huge manor with hardly any interaction by anyone other than his parents or uncles and the occasional friend it was lonely. Then out of the blue, at least to him, he was informed that he would be having a foster brother, his mum was quick to reassure him that she still loved him and that Harry wouldn't be loved any more or less, despite the fact he would need more attention when he first got there due to him being so sick. Everyone had reassured him as if they thought he would go of in a strop but Draco had just been content with the knowledge he'd gotten his wish and he didn't have to wait for a baby to grow up to play with. A brother the same age as him and just as he got to know Harry and he got a little bit better, they were separated and he'd had to go to Hogwarts. He was back now and determined to enjoy the holidays - every minute he didn't even care that he would miss out on sleep.
"Alright, alright," Harry said, moving back his covers.
"Remember to wear something warm," Draco warned, gathering his robe and dragon slippers so he could put them on without getting out of bed.
"Is Severus coming today?" Harry asked as he put them on, and stood up - he'd never felt better as long as he could remember.
"Yes," Draco said, giving Harry an odd look, "He's coming to check on you, remember?"
"Was that today? I don't remember him saying," Harry replied perturbed.
"Oh, that's because you went to the toilet," Draco said, his eyes lighting up in remembrance.
"Ah," Harry muttered his understanding as they both headed down to the living area, the fire looked as if someone had just put it on - the House-Elves no doubt. Dobby must have realized Draco would get up really early and made sure he would be warm. He was glad for that, he still got cold easily, but with the warming charms imbued in both his robe and slippers he was toasty warm. Despite the fact he'd seen the tree dozens of times, he couldn't help but gaze in wonder - it was taller than him and Draco put together. Narcissa had to levitate the angel onto the top of it since nobody in the house could reach it. It was just a foot of the ceiling; the smell of pine was very welcoming. The baubles were statistically placed all around, only a few colours, blue, green and silver with the occasional gold, it blended in beautiful and Harry was mesmerised by it.
"What's wrong?" Draco asked Harry, staring at him confused, as he sat beside the Christmas tree a present in his hand. Harry was looking at the tree as if it was the most majestic thing he'd ever seen - 'a dragon' popped into his mind. Which reminded him that Smaug had been left behind, it wasn't very often Harry went anywhere without him. "Aren't you coming to open your presents?" Draco then proceeded to tease, excitement thrumming through him.
Harry moved next to Draco and sat down, while he had gotten presents while he was here, they hadn't been wrapped up or a special occasion like Christmas. Dudley had gotten through a mountain of presents each year within a few minutes, not taking the time to appreciate anything, complaining that he hadn't gotten as many as last time, needless to say he didn't have a fair comparison. He certainly would never act like that here, he was pretty sure Narcissa would yell his ear off for it. He sniggered at the thought as Draco handed him a small gift.
"Start small then work our way through to the big ones," Draco told him gleefully.
Harry nodded, excitement beginning to build, Draco's mood was infectious. Dudley had done it the other way around, big first until he'd gotten to the last small box. Hmm, he was thinking about the Dursley's a lot today, he didn't like it at all. Watching Draco open his first he then followed. Tearing open the paper (which by the way was moving) but he already knew that, since he had asked Narcissa for paper to wrap his gifts up. Since he hadn't been able to get out and about in public, he had used the mail order to get items he wanted; he just hoped they liked them. He had made them himself, and spent a month drawing them, getting them just right.
"Look a watch!" Harry commented, opening it up.
"It's the same as mine!" Draco explained, "I got one after my Hogwarts letter came, so I don't end up late for class. Dad says it's important to make a good impression. Being late is a sign of laziness and incompetence." already onto his second gift, placing his new quill and ink set to the side. There were many different colours and he liked them, but it wasn't something you could sit and play with.
Harry grinned nodding, Lucius had said that quite a few times, he hated when people were late for meetings - especially when the board of governors met to discuss the school or any matter that needs attending too. He got really grouchy if he was forced to wait, probably because he wanted to be somewhere else and that he saw it as a snub of sorts. Gazing at the watch, his heart fluttered, it had the Malfoy coat of arms on it, and it meant more to Harry than anything else in the world that they truly saw him as part of the family.
Opening many others they found pyjamas, new cloaks, and a few articles of clothing from Gladrags that looked special made for them. They fitted each of them perfectly, although Harry's were a little looser, but that was to be expected since he was putting much needed weight on and he needed clothes that would fit him in a few months time.
"Boys!" Narcissa called, causing both Harry and Draco to jump in fright and turn to face her. She was shaking her head deeply amused as she gazed around at the mess currently all over the floor, not that she truly minded in all honesty. She was used to it, Draco always woke up at the crack of dawn to open his presents, this time not as quiet as normal.
"Hi, mum!" Draco said innocently, smiling at her winningly.
"Good morning, boys, have you eaten breakfast?" Narcissa asked, stepping into the living room.
Harry wordlessly shook his head, no they hadn't eaten yet.
"Dobby?" Narcissa called, as she took a seat as always immaculate in appearance.
"What can Dobby do for Lady Narcissa?" Dobby enquired appearing before her.
"Bring us all breakfast, Lucius, Tom and Severus won't be joining us until later, bring the boys some hot chocolate as well." Narcissa commanded.
"Marshmallows?" Dobby asked.
"YES!" Draco and Harry replied in answer to that question.
"Dobby will be right back!" the House-elf said before he disappeared again.
"A BROOMSTICK!" Draco shrieked in glee, as he unwrapped it, "A professional broomstick!" not just a child's one that he'd had for years. A nimbus 2000, he couldn't believe they'd finally gotten him his very own proper broom. "Can we go outside and play? Please!" Draco uncharacteristically begged.
"Not until you've eaten breakfast," Narcissa, "And wait until the others get here, you cannot take Harry outside without adult supervision while using your broomstick," knowing this would get through to her son quicker than anything else. He wouldn't want to go and play alone outside - no matter how excited he was he wouldn't go when he knew Harry was stuck indoors. She would always be worried about Harry and Draco, especially with whatever harebrained idea her husband got into his head. Added to the fact it was icy out there, and very cold they didn't want to risk Harry getting sick especially now that he was having so many good days where he felt better. This was the holidays, so they wanted him to enjoy them.
"Okay," Draco agreed giving his new shiny broomstick a longing look, but later, he would get to fly and take Harry with him. Perking up, he began to open more presents, finding a professional cleaning kit, Quidditch gear, Quidditch equipment (minus the bludgers) and it was in green - but no Slytherin badge yet - but he would change that.
"Awesome! Thanks mum!" Draco almost squealed in his excitement but he had more decorum than that.
"I've got one too!" Harry said in awe, he liked the look of the snitch, picking it up he held it in his palm, thinking it must be so difficult to catch he realized as it began moving buzzing around the room.
Narcissa smiled at her boy's she'd allowed Lucius to buy them the Quidditch gear and brooms knowing that it was better than an unknown alternative. Lucius bought first thought never, especially about the dangers; honestly he was like a child himself. Tom was just as bad! She had to keep a close eye on whatever they bought. Lucius had always been that way, she was glad she didn't have to worry about Severus, now he was a man she could rely on.
"Why isn't dad here?" Draco asked, realizing belated what his mum said. "I understand why uncle Sev can't come but why not Dad?"
"He will be through very soon, its still very early Draco" Narcissa reassured and chided him, "He wouldn't miss Christmas for all the money in Gringotts." Lucius knew Draco got up early every year, so hopefully he would be here soon, Lucius just wanted to spend as much time with Tom while it was the holiday's and he wasn't called to meetings every day. She just wished Severus could do the same, but being a Hogwarts teacher, he couldn't, especially if any Slytherin's stay behind. Although he was coming through after breakfast and staying until dinner before he has to get back to the school.
"Look! A new art set!" Harry said grinning brilliantly, as he ripped the rest of the paper off. "I needed that!" he'd used a lot of his charcoals and paints making everyone's Christmas. "I love it! Thank you Narcissa!" Harry beamed at the woman as if she was his sun and moon.
"You're welcome," Narcissa replied, she loved Christmas, loved seeing Draco so happy and excited now Harry too of course.
"Breakfast for everyone, does Lady Narcissa want it on the table?" Dobby questioned, it was very rare that they sat around eating breakfast in the living room. Both Lucius and Narcissa had been brought up with very strict pureblood families; such an option wasn't given by the Malfoy's or Black's back in the day. The only times you didn't come to eat with the family at the table was when you were sick and ate in bed.
"Can we have it here? Please!" Draco begged he still had lots of presents to open. Usually when he begged it worked so he crossed his fingers and hoped it did this time too. "It's only bacon and pancakes!" he added hoping to persuade her.
"Just this once," Narcissa warned, making it clear to her son not to make a habit of it.
"Dobby will be back with it," Dobby added before he was gone, and before they could even strike up another conversation he was back with their foods placing it on the table. The large mugs of hot chocolate with marshmallows looked amazing as both boys immediately dived for it.
"Careful, it's hot," Narcissa quickly scolded them.
"Sorry, Narcissa," Harry said moving more carefully as he sat down so not to spill his hot chocolate.
"Here," Draco said putting another present in Harry's lap before he dug into his own. "Aren't you going to open yours mum?" she usually joined him.
"After breakfast, come eat." Narcissa commented.
Breakfast had been a rushed affair, as both boys desperately wanted to look and see what else they had under the tree. Most things left were just for Severus, Tom, and Narcissa and of course Lucius but there were a few still lying around for the boys.
Just as Draco and Harry had sat down near the enormous Christmas tree a ping alerted them to someone coming. They were not surprised to see Tom and Lucius step through the Floo, but it did surprise Narcissa to see them with another mountain of presents.
"Those better be age suitable Lucius Abraxas Malfoy," Narcissa warned her eyes narrowed in warning.
Lucius paled, "Of course they are," Lucius replied hastily.
Harry and Draco sniggered softly at the look on his face.
Tom coughed before crouching down next to Harry, carding his hand through his hair. "How do you feel today?" it looked like a good day and for that he was grateful, it was a special day today, especially for the whole family. Harry's first Christmas with them - his first proper Christmas actually.
"Great!" Harry proclaimed, better than ever. He loved being here, and was so glad for this second chance, although if Dumbledore had anything to say about it he wouldn't have been here. The way he was going he might actually get to attend Hogwarts next year. He definitely had his fingers crossed, although getting better was more important than that.
"Did Smythewick come?" Tom enquired, as he gracefully took a seat as Lucius gave the gifts to the children.
"For a few moments he was called away on an emergency, he says he will owl the results," Narcissa, which was a few days ago but healers needed a break as well, not all of them obviously.
"If you've not heard back I will write to him tomorrow," Lucius said firmly.
"It's Christmas," Narcissa cautioned, "Give it two or three days if you must." if it had been bad he would have gotten in touch by now surely.
"An Art Easel!" Harry gasped in delight, a beautiful oak wooden one, it was amazing.
"Quidditch tickets!" Draco yelled in delight.
"Do you want to open my presents?" Harry asked shyly, he'd never given anyone a gift before and he was really apprehensive to whether they would like it or not.
"Of course," Lucius said smoothly.
Standing up Harry grabbed the four presents that were the exact same height and width. He handed one to Draco and then proceeded over to Narcissa, Tom and Lucius and handed them theirs over.
Lucius choked when he saw it, staring utterly mesmerised at the attention to detail Harry had put into it. He had wings sprouting out of his back, his long blonde hair falling in strands down the wings, and his chest. There were a few words on the painting, angel and of course Harry's name. Harry couldn't possibly see him as an angel could he? It made no sense to him he was no angel. "Wings? Angel?"
"My comic books," Harry revealed quietly, "His name in the books is Warren, his parents were really rich and proclaimed they loved him but couldn't stand the sight of his wings so servants raised him, they wanted to perform an operation on him to remove his wings until they heard of Charles Xavier's school and sent him there instead. He lost his wings due to betrayal but got them back by going to a villain for help. He did bad things but he put his family and his inheritance first." after a few moments of silence he then asked "Do you like it?"
"I love it, you have a real gift for art, Harry," Lucius told him proudly, "Thank you." the time and effort he must have put into it still stunned him. He didn't think he'd ever had someone go into so much trouble for him before, and it did profoundly touch him.
Harry sighed in relief before giving a full out toothy smile, beaming at him.
"Who is wonder woman?" Narcissa teased, wondering about the background of the person she was supposed to be like. It was rather odd how close to Lucius this 'Angel' was. Lucius' parents were supposed to have loved him too, but he'd been brought up thinking the opposite.
"She was born in a time where woman were oppressed, she broke the mould for every female, she had power and she used it for the benefit of others, showing everyone that a woman can do just a good job at being a hero like a man. She was strong, fierce and if anyone tried anything with her they'd know all about it." Harry declared in a rush.
"She was also an Amazonian if I remember correctly," Severus stated, as he climbed out of the fireplace announcing his presence.
"She was," Harry blushed, but she and invisible woman were the only ones that looked like her but wonder woman was more like Narcissa than the invisible woman.
"Why don't you show Severus his?" Narcissa said sweetly, hiding a big grin behind her cup.
Severus narrowed his eyes on her, sensing her amusement but he nonetheless sat down beside her kissing her hand. Did he even want to see what Harry had done with him? Especially considering that Lucius had wings sprouting out his back? Narcissa had a full wonder women get up on and Tom? He wasn't one hundred percent but it looked like Loki. He didn't know the superhero's very much, he hadn't had money growing up so comic books were out of the question but there was the odd occasional reference to them.
"Happy Christmas, Severus!" Harry stated smiling still - in fact his jaw was beginning to hurt with all the smiling he was doing today.
"Happy Christmas, Harry," Severus replied, accepting his gift and handing over two to Harry, one obviously for Draco.
Severus opened his a bit at a time, not letting Lucius or Tom, who were peering in a non-Slytherin fashion trying to see who Severus would take after. He sighed in relief when he had no extra heads or appendages that didn't belong on a human body. There was no mistaken who he was meant to be, and even HE knew who this superhero was.
He had absolutely nothing in common with batman that he knew of.
"Batman?" Severus enquired his lips twitching, as he gazed at Harry expectantly.
"He saves people, you saved me." Harry told him solemnly. He knew Arabella had gone to Severus for him for him, to try and save him. If not for Severus getting in touch with Lucius and Tom he would have died in hospital. He'd been getting weaker and weaker by the day; each day he breathed was a blessing that he owed to all the people in this room and of course Arabella. Thinking about her Harry turned to face Narcissa. "Is Arabella coming today?"
"She is later at dinner time, with a guest," said Narcissa, Remus Lupin now that was someone she never saw herself letting into her home.
"YES!" Harry cheered, he was out of comic books to read and Arabella always, ALWAYS brought him new ones when she visited. Harry turned when he saw shenanigans jump into the room, after the small pieces of Christmas paper that were floating around. Jumping on the moving pictures as if they were taunting her. Harry laughed at the sight feeling accomplished he moved over to Draco and watched him admiring the painting. It was Draco on his dragon, Falkor as well as Smaug.
Harry unwrapped Severus' present excitedly, gasping "Does this mean…?" Harry whispered his voice hopeful. It was a potions kit! It had everything he could possibly need to brew a potion.
"Soon," Severus said honestly. Turning to the others he spoke, as he placed the painting down the side of the sofa where it was safe from harm. "The cancer is half gone, I spoke to his healer yesterday, mostly about his potions and how he was healing. He's very pleased with the process, by summer holidays he should be free of it if there are no complications."
"That's another reason to celebrate!" Narcissa said relaxing against Severus, now that was news she had been longing to hear for a while. She'd suspected as much since Harry was so jubilant these days.
I wanted to give you a longer chapter since the other one was so small, although to me it kind of felt like a filler chapter but I might just be worried about nothing! I know he thought about the Dursley's a lot in this one but given the circumstances I think he would...so do you want it to go to the end of the year in the next chapter or would you prefer to see Blaise Ron and Draco (twins) etc.. still in school for a few more chapters before Hogwarts ends? R&R please