Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Part 1)
Hi friends! Sorry I've been away, my computer is fixed now. :) Here is part one of the Christmas fic I'll be writing this December! I have a rough outline in my head and an Advent challenge prompt list, but if there are any prompts you'd like to see in particular for Christmas please let me know!
Lots of love, C
December 1: Snowflake
When Harry blinked his eyes open he was surprised by two things. First, and most pleasantly, he was surprised by how well rested he felt. Second, after pushing Helmi’s wing down out of his face, he was surprised by how light it was outside.
He always hated how dark it was in the winter when he had to get up.
Helmi folded her delicate wings down along her back and curled up tighter on Harry’s chest, nudging his chin with her snout. He stroked his hand down her neck, feeling her smooth scales beneath his fingertips. For what must be the thousandth time he sent up a little thank you that someone, somewhere had made the “mistake” of creating pygmy Antipodean Opaleyes so that Helmi could still curl up on his chest even at the age of 3 and sleep there without crushing him.
“What time do you imagine it is?” he asked her softly, grunting as he shifted to grab his glasses and wand so he could cast a tempus charm.
He cast the charm and then cast it once more, “Bloody hell,” he groaned. “We’re late,” he said, nudging the twenty pound dragon off his chest. “Merlin, he’s going to kill me.”
Harry left Helmi to delve under the blankets for warmth, feeling only slightly resentful that she didn’t have to get out of bed for mundane tasks like showering and dressing. He multitasked by stretching out the tense muscles in his left thigh while he showered and dressed. The stretches were slapdash at best and his healer would have scolded at him if she could see him but he didn’t have time to dawdle.
After racing around the house, getting dressed, and getting his coat on, he called his dragon in parsel tongue, a language she seemed to understand even if she didn't speak it. “Helmi! Let’s get a move on. We’re already late!”
(Read more below the cut)
He heard the soft thud of her jumping down off the bed and her claws scratching against the floorboards as she stretched.
“Now,” he called, rolling his eyes.
She made an appearance a moment later, half flying, half stumbling down the stairs to where Harry was standing with her harness.
“Good girl,” he murmured as he slipped it on and opened the door for her. Much to Helmi’s delight, it was snowing outside as they stepped into the brisk morning air. He watched with a great deal of amusement as she stuck out her long tongue to catch a snowflake.
He debated stopping off at the coffee cart and eventually decided that he was already late, so a few more minutes couldn’t hurt. “Morning Karl,” he said cheerfully when he arrived at the front of the queue.
“Morning Harry,” he replied, then with much more interest he looked down at Helmi, “And good morning to you, my most lovely guest.”
Helmi preened, tilting her head to and fro so that the sun would glint across her lumescent scales.
“Aren’t you looking lovely this morning, Helmi,” he enthused. She flapped her wings and took flight, hovering up near the window so he could get a clearer look at her. “Yes, very pretty indeed,” he said, reaching out to hand her a bit of pastry like he did every morning.
She took it gently from his hand and sank back to the ground before tearing into it. “You spoil her,” Harry said with a grin.
Karl shrugged, “She’s my favorite customer,” he said with a wink. “Now, did you want the usual? Medium coffee with two sugars and a medium mocha with soy and peppermint?”
“Ooh, you’ve got peppermint in again?”
“It is officially December,” he replied with a smile.
“He is going to be so pleased.”
“Probably not pleased enough to let you off the hook about being late. Aren’t you supposed to be in at 8:00?”
Harry winced, “Better make it a large,” he conceded. “And I’m not that late,” he muttered as Karl started making his drinks.
“Whatever you say.”
He finished them quickly and passed them off and Harry started off again toward the shop with Helmi following along contentedly. The Quidditch shop that he partially owned and worked at was just another two blocks away and Harry sipped his coffee and tried to enjoy the last few minutes of quiet he was likely to have until the evening.
The bells overhead jangled when he unlocked the front door and stepped inside. “You’re late, Potter!” the voice he’d been dreading a bit called out.
Harry looked around, trying to locate the other man. Helmi found him eventually, under a pile of boxes and fake snow that he was using to decorate the windows.
He greeted her as he always did, “Good morning, Helmi, you great menace.” Then he shooed her, “Out of the fake snow,” he instructed, giving her a gentle shove after patting her flank. “I’ve left you a breakfast treat in your nest.”
Harry watched Helmi fly over to the nest that Draco had built her a few weeks after Harry had adopted her. Then he turned back, “I brought you a peppermint mocha,” Harry offered.
A blonde head popped out from under the tree he was fiddling with the lights on in obvious excitement, but his pale silver eyes narrowed nonetheless. “It is,” he paused to cast a tempus charm, then continued, “8:24. You are 24 minutes late, Potter.”
“Stop calling me that, Draco,” he said as he cast a wandless spell to hang the lights in the window and passed Draco his mocha. “It’s weird.”
“There was a time when it was the norm,” Draco replies, taking a sip of his mocha and humming in delight. “And I’m cross with you, mocha or no.”
Harry rolled his eyes, “We don’t even open for another 35 minutes.”
“Yes, but we were supposed to be decorating the store this morning.”
“We could just use-”
“Don’t even say it,” Draco snapped.
“Magic,” Harry finished.
Draco glared at him in the way that only Draco could. “This was your-”
“Idea,” Harry finished with a sigh.
Eyes narrowed at him as Draco continued, “You were the one who started-”
“This tradition,” he groaned, finishing the other man’s thought once more.
“Stop that,” Draco growled.
Harry rubbed his forehead, “You know, I didn’t expect you to turn it into a tradition.”
“Well, then you never should have made the challenge in the first place.”
He unwound his scarf from his neck and shrugged out of his coat, remembering that first year that they’d worked together. When Harry’s injury was new and he’d been bitter and angry. It had seemed crazy but they’d been running in similar social circles following a tentative truce made in their 8th year at Hogwarts. But Draco needed someone to help run his quidditch shop and bring in customers and Harry needed something to bring him out of his sulking.
“I don’t think that you should keep holding that against me,” he said with a huff.
The corner of Draco’s mouth tipped up and Harry’s heart fluttered uselessly against his ribs. “Maybe not, but I like doing it the muggle way.”
“That’s because you hate me.”
Draco laughed, a small, delighted sound, “You know that’s not true.”
“Do I? Wasn’t it just a mere minutes ago that you were spitting my surname at me like a curse?”
He laughed again and Harry’s lips tipped up at the sound. “You’re so dramatic.” He shook his head and threw a handful of fake snow at him, “Come on, let’s get started.”
“I’ll stay late,” Harry promised earnestly. “I’ll get everything before we go home.”
“Too right you will,” Draco replied, sipping his drink. “But I suppose I’ll stay and help you.”
"Oh, come on," Harry said with a huff. "I'm sure you've got a thousand things to do. It's December," he chuckled, knowing that every year, Draco's December was packed full of activities.
Draco looked away and cleared his throat, "Not this year," he murmured. "It's not the same without-" he broke off, unable to finish the sentence.
And Harry wished that he could just sink into the floor, he hated that look on Draco's face, hated the way it made his own heart ache and burn. "I'm sorry," he said softly.
He shook his head and waved a hand, "It's fine," he said casually. "I just," he shrugged, "It's not fun by myself, you know?"
"Do Christmas with me," Harry replied without really thinking. "I know I'm not your mum but," he shrugged a little helplessly. "I'd be happy to do all of the Christmas things you used to do." He swallowed, nerves flaring, "if you wanted to."
Draco stared at him for a long moment that seemed to stretch out into eternity. "I wouldn't want to impose," he said.
"It's no imposition," Harry said quickly. "It'd be fun," he said, the corner of his mouth tilting up. "I've never really had anyone to do Christmas with."
At that, Draco's frown deepened. "What?"
He shrugged, "I've just always been on my own in December since Hogwarts."
"Well," Draco said, straightening his shoulders and giving Harry a little smile that made the tension unfurl from Harry's gut, "It seems you need this as much as I do."
He laughed, "I do," he agreed.
"Right," Draco said. "Well, we'll decorate the shop today after work and I'll think about a list of activities for us to do during December."
"I'd like that," he said softly.
"Me too," Draco said.
And the intimacy and comfort of the moment surrounded Harry, making him feel full to the brim with light and joy. It held for a beat longer before an alarm went off and the moment that Harry always wished would tip and expand into more shattered like an icicle.
Draco blinked and turned to grab his wand. "We need to start getting everything opened up," he said briskly. "Only twenty minutes until customers start coming through that door."
He nodded and watched as Draco headed toward the registers, letting the excitement of getting to spend more time with Draco flood his being. If everything worked out, this might just be the best Christmas Harry had ever had.
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100 good questions to ask your friends at 4:02 am when you can’t sleep (can also function as an asks list)
Are you bothered by your cosmic insignificance?
Do you mourn for a place or person you’ve never known?
Do you really think there is somebody for everybody?
Do you place any value in gender roles?
Do you have to be related to be family?
Are your platonic relationships just as valuable as romantic or family ones?
Are you in love? Do you want to be?
Do you think you can put love into categories (family, platonic, romantic, etc.) or is it just one general sensation?
Would you be happy with a life without romance?
Are you always going to be a little in love with somebody?
Would you change your appearance if you could?
Do you have the feeling you’ve lost something you might have had in another life - whether it be a person, a place, a world, a language, etc.?
Do you believe in reincarnation?
Would you want to be reincarnated?
Do you think you’re special, or just another person amongst billions? Can you be both?
Do theoretical ethical debates have any value? Is it important people discuss ethical dilemmas, e.g. the trolley problem?
Did you have imaginary friends? Do you still have them?
Are you religious? Do you think your religion is ‘correct’?
If you aren’t religious, do you wish you were? Why?
Do you want a grand adventure?
Do you have somebody, whether it be a friend or stranger, who you think you could have loved if the circumstances were different?
How long does it take you to fall in love with somebody?Is the sensation of ‘falling in love’ or ‘being in love’ better?
Is love about convenience or something more? Can it be about both?
Do you think you really understand your gender and sexuality?
How fluid is your concept of gender and sexuality?
What’s the most life-changing choice you’ve made so far?
Are you afraid of growing old?
Would you want to live forever? How about for a billion years, a million, a millennium, a century?
Do you believe in some form of god/s?
Are your choices fated or of your own free will?
Do you have a hunch about how you’re going to die?
Do you believe in star signs?
How old do you have to be to be considered an adult?
Was your childhood happy?
What are you missing from your life?
Have you ever met someone who had a very similar personality to your own? Did you get along?
Do opposites attract?
Is your life what you expected it would be five years ago?
Do you know what you want out of life?
What makes a person ‘good’? Are you a ‘good person’?
What fundamentally matters do you?
Is freewill an illusion?
Do you create art? How do you define art?
How often do you lie? Is all lying inherently bad? Are you generally truthful?
Do you want to be remembered after your death? What for?
Is true world peace ever possible?
Do you have to suffer to truly understand the human condition? What is the human condition? How can you really experience it?
Are you free? Will you ever be? Can anyone be truly free?
Do you hold yourself to higher standards than you hold others?
What do you expect from a friend or partner?
What question could you ask to find out the most about a person?
Do you justify all your beliefs or have you just inherited/absorbed some?
Which beliefs do you have that is most likely to be wrong?
Can human really understand the complete nature of the universe, space and time?
Is a conscious what makes someone a person?
What do you think about artificial intelligence?
Do you thinks humans are obsessed with escapism (books, video games, movies, etc.)? Are you looking for an escape? Do you think that’s a bad thing?
Are we eventually going to ‘run out’ of new combinations for music, art, language, etc.? Is there a limit to human creativity?
What do you think the next era of music will be like?
What do you think the next era of fashion will be like?
Do we live in tumultuous times, or do they just seem so strange because we’re living in them?
Would you want to meet a clone of yourself? Would you like them?
How confident are you, really?
How consistent is your perception of time?
What age should people be allowed to vote? Should children and teenagers be allowed to vote?
How do you feel about the idea ‘an eye for an eye’?
What’s the worse thing a person can be?
How do you feel about monogamy?
Can you be in love with someone and still fall in love with someone else?
What’s the tragedy of your life?
Would your life make a good play?
Should people be prosecuted for crimes that weren’t considered crimes at the time?
Would you fight for your country? Do you feel a sense of loyalty to your nation?
Do you believe in gender equality in every aspect?
Do we have a moral obligation to care for others? To what extent?
Do you crave approval and/or praise?
Is there comedy in all tragedy and tragedy in all comedy?
Are you ever going to be satisfied?
When you are sad, do you listen to music that conveys your emotions or music that makes you happy?
Is your music organised by mood or sensation or do you just listen to everything at any time?
Would you marry a friend if they needed you to (e.g. for citizenship)?
Are you a deep person?
Given the chance to live your life on Mars, with no hope of returning to Earth but with the promise of scientific discovery and glory, would you take it?
Are you who people think you are?
Do you think you would be happier if you had been born a different gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, nationality or religion?
What’s your toxic trait? Are you trying to improve yourself and fix it?
Do you anger easily?
Are you a jealous person?
If you lost all your memories, would you have the same personality?
Given the chance to reset your life (with none of the knowledge you currently have), would you take it?
Is hate as strong as love? Who do you hate?
Do you speak multiple languages? Which do you dream in? What language would you want to learn?
Do you draw meaning from your dreams, or do you disregard them?
How would you describe yourself when you love? Do you love forcefully, unconditionally, gently, quietly, desperately?
Is unrequited love real love?
Is your perception of yourself similar or the same to how others perceive you?
Are you overly analytical?
Do you ever feel that you are really a terrible person, and only act good out of societal or some other obligation?
Do you believe in magic? Are you superstitious?
What belief do you have that isn’t logically grounded, but you still firmly believe in?
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