SBPOA Xmas

Harry Potter was the Hero of the Wizarding World, The Boy Who Lived, killer of He Who Must Not Be Named (yes most people still used that). His official titles included Titular Head of Great House Potter and Consort to Great House Bones. He was famous in his own right as reserve Seeker for The Chudley Cannons…although plans were in the works to get traded to one of the teams needing a primary Seeker… sorry Ron.

What he was today, however, was just like a significant portion of the Human Race, both Muggle and Magical. Harry was frantically searching for a gift for Lily Amelia Potter, his daughter on…of all days, December 24. Yep, Christmas Eve and the clock was ticking. He sighed at the symbol of his last resort WEASLEYS WIZARDING WHEEZES. He growled "How did it come to this?"

"Outta my way!" a customer exiting the store snapped as she pushed the door into Harry.

He gave the witch a half bow and cheerily offered a "Merry Christmas, ma'am." Harry encountered many such people, especially during Christmas, throughout his life. "What? Don't want an autograph?" He walked in and started browsing, anonymous in the crowd of cranky, last minute shoppers.

Harry was quite content as NOT the center of attention. People bumped him, one wizard snatched something off a shelf he just happened to be standing near. Harry was on his own mission. There was a deserted section of the huge store, it wasn't even well lit. He walked down the left aisle, then back up the middle and stopping "What have we here?"

The knee-high shelf was dedicated to a toy train. They were patterned after the train to. Hogwarts and called 'Hoggie' They were large, wood toys the front painted to make a smiling face.

Harry did not know why, but it stirred something in him. He picked up one box, liked it, but did not feel quite right. He pushed two others aside, then pulled out a different 'Hoggie' Something was different about this. The young father didn't know how, but the toy train whispered his daughter's name. Harry held it close and thought "How odd."

With a mind towards events past, the Wizarding World's most famous Dark Lord killer cast several evil detection spells on both box and toy. Satisfied with the clean bill of health and thrilled with his selection, Harry made his way to the registers.

"Is that all for you, sir?" asked the checkout witch, busily.

To which, Harry nodded and replied "Yes."

"OH! My! Mr. Potter!" she squealed excitedly, stopping what she was doing.

He waved her down and "Shush! Do you want a stampede?! I'm just another shopper. Fred and George don't even know I'm here!"

"But you can't, Mr. Potter." She insisted, though quietly "They're most firm that your money is no good here."

He rolled his eyes…glanced at her chest…and said "Diana? Right? Look … It's Christmas and I can't NOT buy a present for my daughter."

"I suppose" she hesitated "errr… put it that way."

Harry's expression darkened "I'll bet I have enough pull here to get you a pink slip instead of a Christmas bonus."

"EEEP!" Diana squeaked.

Then he smiled and asked "How much?"

"Three Galleons, ten Sickles." She replied, "with tax, four Galleons, one Knut."

Harry pulled out a coin and handed to her "Here's a fiver. Keep the change. Merry Christmas. Bye." And out he went.

Susan Bones Potter was among the most famous witches, a significant power in the Wizengamot, and a rising star in The Ministry. Just now, however, and with her daughter playing in her room, she was baking. A pop announced the arrival of her husband of slightly more than two years "Well, Mr. Last Minute" she greeted him with a kiss "how'd we do?"

"Mission accomplished." He announced, proudly, looking around "No little eyes about?"

Susan shook her head "Upstairs." And eagerly "Lemme see! Lemme see! Lemme see! Lemme see!"

"Whose present is it?" chuckled Harry as he pulled box from shopping bag. He pulled the gift out. But his wife was less than impressed.

Susan scowled "Well… it's nice and all - But-"

"What?" snapped Harry.

She flinched and fired back "Don't bite my head off, Harry! It's just not something normal for a girl. And not really all that-"

"I think I can decide what my daughter wants…and likes." He angrily glared at her.

"Lily's in her room." Said Susan, suppressing an urge to scream "Why don't you get her ready for bed?" and watched him storm out.

Harry's anger was gone, on the surface at least, when he tapped on his daughter's bedroom door and pushed it open.

"Papa!" the toddler squealed, happily. She pushed away from looking out her window, stumbled, made her way into a waiting hug. She pointed at the window and announced "Snow! Snow!"

He stood, walked over, smiled at the bundle of joy he held and nodded "I see Lily. We can play tomorrow. But, now, it's time for beddy-bye."

"Baff?" asked Lily, hopefully. She didn't really care for bed, but bath was fun. She immediately started tugging on her outfit's zipper. She was naked and splashing in the tub in minutes. And her father was dripping wet in places too. When done, she was lifted out and demanded her reward "Kissy!"

Harry laughed and obliged, pressed his face into her belly and blew. He stopped and looked up her laughing face. Winked and repeated the deed, then kissed her cheek and dried her.

"Hi Mama!" Lily waved at Susan "Papa baffed."

Despite the fight, Susan couldn't help being amused. A glance at her husband's clothes elicited a laugh and "So I see. And are you all clean? Huh? Are you?" She picked up her daughter and playfully rattled her around.

Lily giggled limply as Susan shook her. Then embraced her and settled in bed. She yawned "Nite Mama."

"Good night Princess" said Harry, kissing her cheek.

Lily squirmed at the scratchy sensation and poked her Father's face.

Harry smiled, then looked at Susan and frowned. She returned the expression.

Lily waved her chubby fist as her parents closed the door. Despite Dobby being on guard they always left it a bit open, as they would their door. Lily fell asleep with a thought she had not seen Mama and Papa kiss, they always did.

"I'm going to wrap, then come down with the gifts." Said Harry coolly.

Susan retorted "Fine."

"Good morning Little Miss " said Dobby within seconds of Lily's first sounds of wakefulness.

The toddler grinned and muttered "Morn Duff"

"Today is a special day, Little Miss" the Elf explained "Wait and see all the pretty lights Harry Potter sir has on. And the decorations on the tree. And Miss Susan cooking lovely dinner. "

Harry, despite both his and Susan's considerable wealth, insisted that they never overdo on presents. And with being raised by her iron willed Aunt Amelia, Susan largely agreed. Modest piles were under a smallish Christmas tree. Unfortunately the couple were still on sour terms that blessed morning.

Susan brought Lily down the stairs. A sweeping kind meant for one of the wealthy Houses of Britain. The tree not so much for those that cared about appearances.

The couple woke up still at odds, but Harry smiled at the sight of his daughter, at least.

"Psnts?" Lily asked with a delighted laugh. She was put on the floor to make her own way to the tree. It was new. Lily liked it. She liked Present days, too. In her young mind she understood differences. Sometimes presents were for Lily, sometimes they were for other people. She even liked it when Mama or Dada would give her something to give to someone else, because she would get a hug and kiss from whoever she gave it to. As has been said, Lily liked hugs and kisses, even from the yellow haired man who never really smiled at Dada.

"Merry Christmas, Princess!" Harry exclaimed, opening his arms for her to partly crawl, partly walk to.

That was Dada's special name for Lily, the toddler recognized. He used it much less often and only to her. Lily stumbled just near the present pile, but Dada caught her in a hug.

"Yes, Lily." Replied Susan "We have presents. For you, for Mama, and Dada."

That sounded odd to Lily, but she nodded and was lowered to the floor. She knew not to grab at anything, that presents would be handed out.

Wizarding tags had moving pictures like others. Harry or Susan would point to the tag and say "To Lily from Mama" or "Papa"

Clothes, she liked and cooed especially over a plush top from Susan. Toys were her thing, though, and the parents mixed clothes and toy gifts. One from Susan earned a delighted giggle, much delay and a quirky eyebrow from Harry. She squealed "DADA!" It was a one-eighth sized Quidditch Seeker on a broom, easily recognizable by the Lightning Scar as Harry. It floated, but was not meant to support even a small child's weight.

"I made sure the toy company gave me the first production model. " Susan offered, with a grin.

Harry snorted, "You mean blackmailed." That was really the first smile they shared in two days. "How long have you had that?"

"I'll answer no question without my attorney present." Retorted Susan in a light tone.

Dramatically, Harry declared "And here's the last one for Lily!" Putting a fairly large wrapped box before his daughter.

One of Lily's favorite things about presents was just tearing off the paper. So this much was a thrill in itself.

"Saved it for last huh?" Susan observed, with a sharp tone.

Harry shrugged unapologetically and watched Lily tear apart the wrapping paper. Until the point when the toddler could see the toy train inside the box. Harry opened the box, lifted out 'Hoggie' with the smiling face, pulled it off the base.

Lily was already eagerly touching the toy train. Something about it made her want it. "Gimme!" she demanded.

"Ah-ah." Harry corrected, lifting the toy train out of reach.

Distressed, Lily stretched out her fingers, then thought about her Father's action, understood her offense and corrected "Train peez, Dada?"

"Very good, Princess." Harry was quick to place 'Hoggie' in her lap and kiss her forehead.

Susan was somewhat disconcerted with her daughter's fascination, but then wondered if it just had to do with the argument with her husband. She put the emotion down and got on with the ritual, touching her shoulder and saying "Lily, give this to Dada and say From Mama."

"Uh-huh" acknowledged Lily after an extra moment with 'Hoggie'. She received a hug and kiss from her Father and helped open the present.

Harry oohed and ahhed, kissed her lips, which he didn't often do "Give Mama a kiss for me." he instructed "And then give her this present, please."

"Mama, from Dada" she pushed a box to Susan and gave a kiss like Harry had kissed her. And Lily enjoyed playing messenger between her parents a few times. Lily began to think this was her favorite Present Day.

In another difference Mama whispered "Call Dobby." And after the House Elf appeared "Give this to Dobby."

"Thank you Little Miss!" Dobby toppled her over in a hug, and sobbing words of praise for the Potters.

Free from present delivery, Lily first played with 'Little Dada' then much more time with her 'Hoggie'.

Another part of this Present Day, new to Lily, was visiting all the other nice people in Lily's life. More gifts were traded, lots more hugs and kisses. She especially liked the belly kisses from the two redheads who she thought were the same. And Lily loved playing with different people who were her size.

All of the homes the Potters visited were smart enough to notice tension between the couple. But discrete enough to mention it quietly to one or the other, or not discuss it at all.

By the time Susan and Harry apparated home, a certain little girl was dangling in her Mother's arms head on shoulder. To minimize the upset, getting Lily undressed and into bed was a triple team affair, with Dobby Harry and Susan each doing part.

"Hoggie" the toddler muttered.

Harry could not help but smile, pulled his wand and whispered "Accio"

After half hearted attempts at hugs and kisses, Lily was covered and curled around her toy train. After a jaw cracking yawn, blissfully asleep.

"Well you got it right. " Susan admitted, with ill grace.

Harry sighed "I'm thrilled Lily loves her presents... Including 'lil Dada' ... I'm sorry we've been fighting. Everybody talked about it, with you too I'm sure. "

"Yeah, me too. " Susan admitted "This was supposed to be our first real Christmas with our baby. You're right Harry, we've both... me mostly...been stupid."

Harry slipped his arms around her with a smile and kissed her "Merry Christmas Susan Bones" he said softly.

"In this House it's Susan Potter. "she corrected with a grin, returned the kiss and squeezed his waist affectionately.

Arms around each other, they made their way to the master bedroom. Harry whispered "Dobby, nothing but an emergency please."

Susan pushed the door completely shut which automatically activated wards that kept sound from escaping.

Epilogue 1

The next few days were genuinely happy for the Family. The Cannons lost a game that Susan was in the stands with Lily for.

"Nice catch there, mate. " said Ron Weasley "Your Quidditch newsman on the scene, with Cannons reserve Seeker Harry Potter. "

Giving a little slap on the chest, Harry replied "Well, once I saw the Snitch, knew it was a race no matter the score. "

"Better a close game, than even miss the Snitch." Ron acknowledged "And I see the Mrs came out. And the prettiest of the Potter clan. Any words of wisdom, Lily?"

The toddler hugged Ron's neck and giggled "Dada whoosh!"

"Oh? And what do you have there?" Asked Ron with a smirk at his friend. He took Lily from Susan and directed "Get a close up on this. "

Lily held up the toy and answered "Lil Dada."

"Stop it Ron." Groaned Harry.

The Quidditch correspondent handed the toddler back with a laugh "Well anyway, we know what certain fans are getting from their parents this Christmas. Get yours before they run out."

And so things went for the Potters, quite happily. Until one day, Harry was broody to the point where Lily pushed aside her 'Hoggie' crawled up his lap, leaned her head into his cheek and just sat there.

"If you want my advice," offered Susan "a visit with Sirius might be what you need. "

Lily knew that name and cheered "Granpa!"

"Yes Granpa" Harry chuckled at his Godfather's reactions to that. Sirius just couldn't manage a good mad whenever Lily called him that.

Hours later, near supper time, Harry returned happy to all outward appearances. He floated 'Lil Dada' in his daughter's direction and chuckled when she flinched as it bumped her head.

But Susan noticed he was somewhat reluctant to touch the toy train. And said so, after Lily was tucked in "You're angry too, Harry. I don't think Lily could tell, but underneath that smiling father, there's an anger I haven't seen since...well...The fight with Voldemort. "

"Sirius wasn't home. " he began "So I spent the afternoon with Luna. "

Susan gave a light laugh "My husband? Spending hours alone with a beautiful young witch? I'm jealous. "

"She's my Godfathers wife!" Harry complained and lightly slapped her shoulder.

Susan rubbed herself and whined "Brut. "

"Luna was her usual self. Radish earrings and such. " he said, somewhat evasively.

Susan nodded sagely and predicted "No doubt said something completely nonsensical on the surface, but answered all your questions. Though Luna never makes you angry. "

"You cannot understand the future , Harry Potter, without experiencing the past. She tells me. " he replied.

Susan rolled her eyes "Classic Luna. "

"So, a gentle Legilimens," he went on "The course of time will find the right moment. She promised. "

Susan nodded "So what did you learn? What has you so angry?"

"I'd rather you see it." He answered "Part of it is really wonderful. Only the end has my blood boiling. Dobby! Dobby, we're going to visiting the past. Please watch over Lily. "

The Elf appeared and bowed "Of course Harry Potter sir. "

A pair of large bowls sat in a corner of the Master bedroom. Harry took his wife's hand and pulled her into the memory. In answer to the obvious question, he offered "#12 Grimmauld Place, the date is October 4, 1981."

"So I get to see baby Harry Potter?" She cooed "Oooh!"

"Among others. " Harry answered with a knowing grin.

And in a playpen in the living room was said baby. Spinning himself around, giggling happily, with a particular toy Susan recognized "A Hoggie train."

"Mmmhmm" Harry acknowledged softly.

Susan bent over and commented "No sign of a scar. You were obviously happy, and loved. "

"Until Voldemort and Dumbledore" he added bitterly.

The couple watched baby Harry play until he settled down and fell asleep, arm draped over his toy.

"Well that explains why you liked it when you saw it. I'm really sorry Harry. " She apologized.

He just pecked her temple and touched her lips "Another player is coming on the scene. "

Susan heard voices she'd almost forgot "Mum? Daddy? "

"Order meeting." Harry explained "Of course in emergencies-"

Susan was focused on her parents, "I never knew, never thought. And me!"

"Quite the brat you were too." Harry quipped, drawing a stony expression. "Just wait and see."

Baby Susan studied her new surroundings, saw the sleeping boy, and squealed "Toy train!" She crawled over, yanked it free and started playing with it.

"See?" Harry quipped "Brat."

Susan frowned at her younger self's behavior, watched with displeasure as she played with the 'borrowed' toy.

"It's not so bad. " Harry took her hand, kissed it and rubbed it comfortingly. "Watch. "

Baby Harry woke to find his toy missing. Rubbed his eyes and focused them. His eyes followed the sound his ears picked up. An intruder! And an intruder playing with HIS train! Baby Harry stood, holding the side of the playpen made his way to the intruder, yanked his train away, toddled to the opposite corner and declared "MINE!"

"WAHHHHH!'" was Baby Susan's instant, vocal response. She stood and looked in the direction her parents were, crying.

Harry looked at his wife's expression and snorted "Quite a first date, huh?"

In rushed worried parents who instantly scolded their child "Harry James Potter!" Was perhaps a syllable ahead of "Susan Amelia Bones!"

"Oh great" Susan rolled her eyes "the whole war against Voldemort put on hold for my temper tantrum. "

Harry shrugged "I thought the self blame bit was mine. "

There was a babble of baby talk, protesting parental discipline.

Then Lily Potter telling her son "Harry, Why don't you play catch ? Like you do with Mummy?"

Baby Harry sat and pushed the train at the invader, fully expecting her to push it back.

The train hit Baby Susan in the leg, and she slowly tumbled over it. She glared at the train and shoved it back at the boy, muttering angrily in a mix of English and her own language.

"What was that?" An amused Harry asked.

Susan shrugged helplessly. As her baby self clearly said "No!"

Baby Harry caught the train, spun it around and pushed it back. The invader didn't seem so bad.

"No!" Baby Susan declared and shoved the train harder than before.

It bumped Harry in the chest and the baby smiled. Satisfied, the memory adults departed to resume their meeting.

Again Baby Susan turned the train around and pushed it back. This time, without the harsh negative, and the game was on. Soon both toddlers were laughing happily.

Harry and Susan watched as the play went on, not bored at all. Eventually, the game stopped.

Baby Susan leaned against the playpen netting and yawned. Baby Harry crawled over and poked her knee, got another yawn in response.

"Awww " cooed Susan softly, as if her loud voice would disturb the moment. "That's the sweetest thing. "

After a time, Harry predicted "Here comes a little magic. "

The dozing toddlers were interrupted as the meeting ended and the parents returned. The Potters and Bones both smiled at their children sleeping on each other.

"Think Daddy would smile at our more recent activities?" Harry quipped , tweaking her on the rear.

Susan swatted him on the arm and retorted "Well how else would grandparents expect to become grandparents?"

"Too bad we can't understand what they're saying. " Harry complained.

Susan nodded "It's why so few bother with baby memories. If you don't know how to speak when the memory is formed, you can't understand what anyone says. "

"Yeah but we can make pretty good guesses. " Said Harry

Lily Potter roused her son and Baby Harry waved "B-bye Suz."

And in response to her Father, Baby Susan sniffled "S-soon Hry."

The toddlers held hands as Susan was lifted by her Father. Pulled apart, they continued waving, a stream of sparkles flowed between them.

"That was beautiful, Oh Harry ". Susan sighed and hugged her husband's arm.

He squeezed one of her hands and kissed her, then "If you really want to know frustration watch this. "

"What?" Susan complained , wanting to focus on her parents. But soon they were out of Baby Harry's sight, thus out of the memory.

Memory Lily had her wand out, touched it to the front of her son's Hoggie train and a few strands of red hair were glowing.

"So, too bad we can't know what spell she cast, huh?" Harry complained.

Susan nodded as that portion of the memory ended.

"Now we'll skip over Halloween, if you don't mind. " Harry narrated, to which Susan did not protest "Now Voldemort certainly committed the worst crime against me. But, what's the worst thing that can happen to a baby in a place he doesn't know?"

"Leaving a baby in a basket all night isn't very bright. " Susan at one time worshipped Albus Dumbledore. She didn't loathe him the way her husband did, merely acknowledged him as a flawed human being.

Harry gave a disgusting noise as the Headmaster disapparated "Can't even stay to watch his handiwork. Let's follow Petunia inside. "

"Potter " was the only word Baby Harry understood from his muggle Aunt. The couple watched her carry the basket into #4 Privet Drive, drop it ungently on the kitchen table, causing the toddler to stir and whimper.

"The letter they're reading promises the Muggle equivalent of 320 Galleons a month for my care. " Harry grumbled "I've heard this a million times so Vernon is telling horse nose about how there's no reason I should have anything near as nice as their little angel. "

Here, Susan was in full agreement with her husband. It made her sick.

"Hoggie " Baby Harry whined. He could see his favorite toy just beside the basket Dumbledore had delivered him in.

Susan snarled as the train was snatched away by the bulky, but not yet fat, man. "Bet that was something like Lesson #1. " She futilely attempted to comfort Baby Harry by stroking the so recently scarred forehead. But the loss of his only toy in this strange place made him inconsolable.

Harry's stony expression softened slightly at his wife's action, but his hate for his uncle was plain. "Hoggie was given to Dudley, but I didn't see him for weeks. " he commented, then ordered "Last scene. "

Baby Harry was just finished feeding by all he knew wasn't Mummy. She didn't do all the things Mummy did. And the man wasn't Daddy. They fed him, changed him, but mostly hollered at him.

"And don't disturb Dudley." This instruction the couple understood because it was repeated endlessly to Baby Harry. He was laid with some gentleness in the same playpen as his cousin.

Baby Harry looked around and his face lit up with glee. He exclaimed "Hoggie!"

Susan smiled at the scene, but cringed at Harry's grim expression.

After a happy reunion with his beloved toy, the scene unfolded much like a similar one between Harry and Dudley. The cousins were laughing as they pushed the train back and forth.

"That's nice." Susan said with a smile.

Snatched just as it reached Harry's fingers, the train was smashed to the floor outside the playpen.

Susan was stunned at the sudden turn of events. And appalled when a heavy foot came down, shattering the train to pieces. As a grand finale, Baby Harry was unceremoniously lifted by one arm from the playpen and dumped on the hard floor. She watched the toddler cry even harder as the trash bin was brought in and the toy pieces were scooped up.

"Vernon dislocated my shoulder. " Harry explained.

Susan softly touched that spot and kissed it "But that's hardly the only reason he's crying." She observed.

"I was about six and Vernon told me to take out the trash. " Harry said "I never knew why I took that whole bin out. But even at the time, it felt satisfying, even knowing he'd beat me. And he did. "

Susan cried, wishing she could help the injured baby. Settled for holding her husband "Come on Harry " she urged "There's good and bad memories here. But we've got a life and a daughter. "

"I didn't stop crying for days...after this." Harry admitted. He passed a hand through his crying self, and said "It gets better, kid. I promise. It really does. I'm ready, let's go home."

The transition brought Harry and Susan to their bedroom , they just held each other for a while. Then she pulled on his hand "Come on Harry" she said "I know what to do."

Thump::ding ding::Shuffle shuffle::Ding ding::VROOOOM:::
Thump::ding ding::Shuffle shuffle::Ding ding::VROOOOM:::
Thump::ding ding::Shuffle shuffle::Ding ding::VROOOOM:::
Again
Again
Lily Amelia Potter's sleep was being disturbed. And as wakefulness increased she realized she wasn't in her bed, but on her floor.

"Hi Princess!" a cheery Harry shuffled in and kissed Lily's neck. Susan tickled her belly and crawled away.

Lily rubbed her eyes and sat up. Very confused. She watched her parents push her train between them. Then Mama sent it straight at her, between Lily's legs and lightly bouncing off her chest. Lily blinked in surprise and pushed it back.

The game was on. Susan made some train noises, rang the bell, pushed it back. Lily giggled and returned it. This time her Mama sent it to her Papa, surprising Lily. Harry copied Susan then sent it to his daughter.

And so it went:: Harry, Lily, Harry, Susan, Lily, Susan, Harry.

Ironically, it was Harry who began to fall asleep first. He eventually fell over onto the soft carpet.

"Dada ok?" Asked Lily, worriedly.

Susan crawled over and stroked her daughter's hair, kissed her temple and answered "Dada sleeping. "

"Oh." Lily answered. She pushed her Hoggie to her bed , made her way between her parents, sat down next to Harry, kissed him, said "G'nite Papa. "

Susan whispered "Dobby, bring the plush blanket off our bed, please. Turn down the lights here and throughout the house. "

"Yes, Mistress Susan." the Elf replied, quietly.

After completing his assignments, Susan offered a sleepy "Thank you. "

"G'nite Dobby." Lily yawned.

Susan pulled the vast blanket over all of them, snuggling their daughter between them.

As Lily Amelia Potter's eyes closed, she smiled at just about the happiest night of her life.

Epilogue 2

Yes Magicals knew of ghosts and paintings, but the true afterlife was in magic itself. And that is where your essence went on death. Only a few of the specially trained or unusually powerful were self aware in Magic.

One such was Albus Dumbledore, and upon his assassination by Gellert Grindelwald, that which had been Albus Dumbledore began contemplating his life and found it good. Even his death served the greater good of allowing peace to his love.

Time passed, or did it, for this was timeless. Other bits were encountered. A particular moment from Amelia Bones' life stood out.

Shortly after gaining custody of young Susan, then Senior Auror Bones found a rather insidious spell on her ward. After a detailed study, the spell was proven harmless, even amusing. But nevertheless needful of investigation. She disapparated and followed the spell to its origin. And was deeply disappointed to find herself in a Muggle trash yard. Furthermore, before she could quite locate the trace, it was utterly destroyed. Her eyes drawn to the constant glow of red, knowing her quest ended, she returned home.

Finding a similar thread in the memory of Lily Evans Potter, Albus knew best how to make right his one wrong. Harry Potter, he was certain, would appreciate the gesture.

The remnants of Harry Potter's train had been thrown out by Vernon Dursley, it is true. And Albus had no power to prevent that crime. But he could act on the tiny level of atoms making up the train and hair. He did so. Making those atoms cling to one another against the odds over the years as they were processed, trucked to a forest, made part of a growing tree and eventually included in an identical toy from which they came.

It took much effort, but Harry's gratitude, when he learned the truth, would be worth the effort.

There was a last bit of necessary interference. And if would almost cost Albus his independence in Magic. Harry's mind needed to be touched here and there, to ensure the toy train was found at the right time.

The remnants of Amelia Bones were entirely content in the afterlife of Magic. Then something touched her, and took something. It took time, and effort, to find her former identity. Then there was anger. The burning desire for revenge. But she recognized the need for help.

Susan's parents and Harry's parents were there, and found themselves in contact with the murdered Auror. But, again, time was needed to focus themselves.

Albus was deeply weakened by the long sustained effort. It was hard working in the living world. But it was a job well done. Now his only goal was to remain until Harry Potter came to accept his efforts to make things right. Then he was ripped into.

"You meddling fool!" five voices shouted "Always your greater good over our children!"

Albus argued "Behold, all is well."

"Your manipulations!" the five raged "Making Harry forget a Christmas present for Lily?"

Albus hesitated "There was no real danger. I took away the block at just the right moment. "

"It would have devastated Harry. " James' voice countered "No gift for his daughter? Shame Dumbledore!"

Susan's Mother added on "Obsessed with that train? Yes, it was important for Harry. But, it caused such an argument. Did you even consider how serious it might become?"

"Harry will-" began Albus.

The five shouted him down "NEVER KNOW OF THIS!"

Dumbledore's conscious presence faded in Magic after that, eventually dissipating altogether.

Lily Evans Potter smiled upon the sight of her son under a blanket with both his wife and daughter. A part of her approved of the outcome of Albus' manipulations, but by no means, his methods.

"It's time, Lily." James told his wife and began to fade.

She protested "But we can-"

"Too much temptation, " he said "Our son is happy. Thank you, Amelia, for enabling us to help."

Amelia had a similar conversation with Susan's parents, gave a last look to the sleeping family; Harry curled an arm around his wife, Susan snuggled closer, Lily Amelia Potter between them.