The Christmas List

Ginny Weasley stomped up the stairs of the Burrow, grumbling under her breath, "I've only been home one freaking day and this is not how I envisioned spending my Christmas Holiday."

She didn't know why she had to be the one to gather up all the dirty laundry. As far as she was concerned all of her brothers who still lived at home were perfectly capable of bringing their own laundry down stairs to be washed.

She reached Ron's bedroom at the top of the house and wrinkled her cute nose in disgust at what she found.

To say the room was a mess would have been a huge understatement. It was without a doubt a complete disaster.

Huffing with a deep frown she started to gather up all the dirty clothes she could find. Most of it was found on Ron's side of the room with the exception of a pair of jeans that lay between her brother's bed and the camp cot that his best mate, Harry Potter, used whenever he stayed there.

Ginny picked up the jeans and as was her habit, she checked the pockets to make sure they were empty.

She found a small piece of parchment folded up in the one pocket. Smiling gleefully, hoping to get some great blackmail material on her brother, she unfolded it and began to read.

She was surprised when she looked at it, not finding her brother's chicken scratching but the untidy scrawl of Harry.

Across the top was written: My Christmas Wish List

Smiling, hoping to get a good idea of what to get him as a present, she read further. What she found puzzled her because the list wasn't a list of gift ideas at all.

Listed down the page were a bunch of things. Things she had always associated with the Christmas Holidays.

Go Carolling

Help pick out and cut down a Christmas Tree

Help decorate a Christmas Tree X

Go Ice Skating (learn how)

Go Sledding

Bake Christmas Biscuits

Make Hot Chocolate

Read a Christmas Story (Night Before Christmas)

Take a Walk to see all the Christmas Lights

String Popcorn

Make Paper Chains and other ornaments

Write a Letter to Father Christmas

Roast Marshmallows over an open fire

It took Ginny a minute to figure out what the list really was. She had heard that Harry's childhood hadn't been good but she suddenly realized that he hadn't had a normal childhood at all.

The things listed were things she and her brothers had all done as children but Harry hadn't.

Ginny sat down heavily and had to fight to keep her tears from falling. She couldn't imagine what he had gone through and it tore at her heart.

Wiping her eyes, she quickly cast a Geminio, making a copy of the list. The original she folded back up and set on Harry's pillow so that he could find it.

Gathering up the laundry, she headed back down stairs, already planning on how she could help Harry complete his list. (He'd checked off help decorate a Christmas Tree already).

Her only wish was that she could help him fulfil his wish list without him knowing or he'd probably get all defensive.

With that decided, she knew she had to keep it a secret, even from her Mum, that was unless she figured it out. Then and only then would she confide in her and hope for the best.

After dumping the dirty clothes in the laundry, she headed right into the kitchen to set her plans in motion.

"Hey Mum, would it be okay if we all went skating this afternoon?" she asked brightly.

"That sounds like a wonderful idea, Ginny. I'll have your father dig the skates out of the barn and then we can all go down to the pond. It has definitely been cold enough for it to be frozen enough," Molly replied with a smile.

Ginny smiled back at her mother, so glad that she'd agreed. Now all she had to do was convince Harry to go skating. If she knew him, which she did pretty well, he'd probably be embarrassed because he didn't know how to skate.

She just hoped that she'd be the one to help him learn as Ron would probably want to do so but he could barely stay upright himself.

As lunch was ending Molly smiled and said, "Ginny suggested we all go skating and I think it's a grand idea. We haven't done so for quite a while and it sounds like a fun family activity."

Just as she had suspected, Ginny saw Harry wince and look all embarrassed though he didn't say anything right away.

She wasn't surprised when her mother also noticed Harry's reaction. "What's the matter Harry?" Molly asked compassionately.

"I don't know how to skate," he mumbled softly.

"That's no problem, I can teach you," Ginny volunteered immediately.

"Why would he want you to teach him. I'm his best mate, I'll do it," Ron grumbled.

Ginny just eyed her brother dubiously and she was surprised when Harry chuckled softly.

When she glanced at him, Harry dropped his gaze and blushed lightly.

"Well if we're going skating everyone go get bundled up as it's really cold outside," Molly announced, shooing everyone out of the kitchen.

In a flash, Fred, George, Ron and Ginny took off flying up the stairs with Harry following along behind them, looking rather reluctant.

In no time at all they all gathered back in the kitchen, eager to get down to the pond, well all but Harry who still looked like he'd rather not be going.

By the time they got there, Arthur had pulled a box out of the barn that was filled with a number of pairs of skates.

Fred and George were the first of the kids to don their skates and take off out over the frozen pond with Ginny right behind them.

Molly helped Harry pick a pair of skates and she used her wand to make sure they fit well.

Once he had them on, she gave him a reassuring smile before she joined her husband on the icy expanse.

Harry sat and watched for a while. Grimacing when he saw Ron floundering around, barely able to stay on his feet. His attention was then caught by Ginny who was flying around with such grace and ease and he smiled as he watched her.

Ron came over, falling down as he came to a stop right in front of Harry.

"Ready for me to show you how it's done?" he asked as he got back to his feet.

Right behind him, Ginny came up and grinned.

Harry smiled and shook his head. "Mate, don't take this the wrong way but I think I'd rather have Ginny teach me," Harry said with a small grin.

Ron scowled but shrugged. "It's your life you're taking into your own hands," he growled softly before he took off.

"I know," Harry muttered softly as he smiled at Ginny, causing her to giggle. Ron hadn't heard as he stumbled away, running more than skating.

"Are you ready?" Ginny asked brightly.

"Are you sure you're not doing this just so I can make a fool of myself?" Harry asked with a small frown.

"No, I was just hoping to teach you so you could have as much fun as the rest of us," Ginny replied, rolling her eyes. "If you don't want to we don't have to."

Harry immediately felt bad. He just wasn't used to people doing nice things for him.

"I'm sorry and I'd really appreciate it if you would help me learn," he stated apologetically.

"Okay then," Ginny said as she helped Harry stand.

As soon as he was upright on the ice, Harry lost his balance, arms wind-milling and he would have fallen if Ginny hadn't grabbed him by his one arm.

Harry eyed her dubiously as Ginny laughed.

Ginny ignored his look and patiently began to explain to him how to stand with his knees slightly bent and leaning slightly forward.

Harry couldn't help but smile when he realized he was much better balanced and he gave her a nod.

"Now watch my feet," Ginny instructed. "It's not like walking, you need to push out to the side," she remarked as she demonstrated.

She circled back until she was right in front of him again. She took his hands in hers and slowly started to skate backwards, encouraging him to keep pace with her.

Harry followed nervously, still feeling a little off balance but with Ginny's patient instruction, he soon began to feel more at ease.

They made a couple of circuits around the pond with Harry gaining more confidence as they went.

"Ready to solo?" Ginny asked with a grin.

Harry gave her a slightly apprehensive look but nodded his head though he seemed reluctant to let go of her completely.

"Don't worry, I'll be right here," Ginny reassured him.

Harry gave her a thin smile and finally let go of her hand as he tentatively began to skate by himself.

True to her word, Ginny stayed close, offering Harry encouragement as he skated on his own.

It didn't take long before he was skating fairly well on his own and while he wouldn't win any medals, he was doing quite well.

Ginny smiled when she saw the look of happiness on Harry's face as he glided across the ice. She couldn't help but feel smug at getting Harry to skate. Somehow she had known with his natural athletic ability that he'd learn quickly.

She was so intent on watching Harry that she didn't notice Ron coming from the other direction. He was barely under control, well, even that was fairly optimistic.

They were just about to collide when Ginny felt herself suddenly flying in a different direction. She was just beginning to get worried when she felt someone grab onto her and settle her on her feet.

Looking back over her shoulder she found a grinning Harry who was tucking his wand away.

She gave him a brilliant smile. "Thanks, I didn't see Ron coming until the last second. You saved us from a potentially very painful collision," she remarked thankfully.

"You're welcome," Harry replied, still grinning, his eyes alight with laughter.

Ginny noticed Harry's eyes dart to the side and when she glanced over she saw her parents skate by in tandem.

Looking back at Harry she noticed a slightly wistful look on his face. "Do you want to give skating together a try?" she asked with a knowing smile.

"Yeah, I think that would be nice," Harry replied, blushing sightly.

As Ginny smiled at him, he took a good look at Arthur and Molly and saw the way that their arms were crossed in front of their bodies so that they were holding both of their hands.

At first when he tried it with Ginny, it seemed awkward but as they slowly began to make their way around the pond, it became more natural, or at least Harry got to the point where he wasn't noticing it.

He began to concentrate more on Ginny herself than what they were doing mechanically.

He couldn't help but notice the smile she was giving him and he found he liked it very much. There was just something about the way she was looking at him that made his insides twist and contort but not in a bad way. Far from it, he found it a wonderful thing even if it did make him feel funny.

"Well, will you look at that," Molly stated softly with a smile on her face.

"What's that, Dear?" Arthur asked but then he noticed where his wife was looking and he gave a soft chuckle. "Ah, never mind, I see," he added after a moment.

Molly noticed the gleam in his eyes. "You will not tease Ginny or Harry," she stated firmly.

"Yes Dear," Arthur sighed dejectedly.

Harry couldn't believe how much fun he was having skating with Ginny. Yes skating by himself was more exhilarating but there was just something about skating with her that made him feel warm deep down inside.

With the Winter Solstice being only a couple of days away, the sun set rather early and it soon began to grow dark.

Arthur and Molly conjured a few hanging lanterns to light the pond so that everyone could continue to skate and have a good time.

As Harry and Ginny skated past her parents Ginny smiled and said "Hey Mum, do you think we could start a fire and maybe roast some marshmallows?"

"That sounds like a wonderful idea," the Weasley matriarch replied with a smile. "I'll go get some and bring some hot chocolate too," she added.

She and Arthur headed for the edge of the pond. Arthur began to gather some firewood while Molly transfigured her skates into a pair of boots as she headed for the Burrow.

The twins helped their father gather wood and before long had a merry blaze going. By then Molly was back with a tray bearing the hot chocolate and the marshmallows.

Everyone went and picked branches off some nearby bushes with Harry sticking close to Ginny. She smiled impishly as she picked one that had a small fork at the end.

Harry gave her a questioning look so she smiled at him. "This way I can roast two at once," she whispered, glancing at her brothers who had just picked sticks that had one end.

Harry smiled and chuckled, doing the same.

"Hey," Fred protested when he spotted Ginny and Harry putting two marshmallows on their sticks.

"I can't help it you're not that bright," Ginny giggled.

Arthur had levitated several large logs and placed them in a semi-circle around the fire with the open side toward the pond for seating.

While the twins placed their marshmallows right down into the flames, setting their marshmallows alight, Ginny held hers much higher, toasting her marshmallows to a golden brown.

Harry thought that was much more preferable than turning them into little cinders and he copied her method.

They thoroughly enjoyed themselves, munching on the warm sugary delights and drinking large quantities of hot chocolate.

Ginny watched Harry out of the corner of her eyes, feeling smug and delighted at how happy he looked.

"This is really nice," Harry said softly as he looked around at the others.

"Yes it is," Ginny agreed.

It was quite a bit later when Molly stood up. "I'm going in to make some sandwiches as I guess most of you have stuffed yourselves with marshmallows," she remarked with a smile.

Everybody chuckled, agreeing with her.

Slowly they all made their way back to the house with Harry walking next to Ginny. He smiled at her and said "Thanks for teaching me to skate. I had a wonderful time."

"I'm glad. I had a lot of fun too but without a doubt the best part was when we skated together," Ginny stated a bit brashly, though her heart was threatening to pop out of her throat.

She had to stifle her giggle as she watched Harry blush lightly. "I enjoyed that the most too," he said softly with a small smile.

Ginny felt her heart soar and she hoped that things would continue to improve in the Harry department. Then she gave a small shrug. It didn't really matter in the long run. All she really wanted was to help Harry complete the items on his list, giving him the kind of Christmas he was longing for.

Dinner wasn't quite ready so most everyone drifted off to get cleaned up before they ate.

Ginny quickly ducked into her room and pulled out her copy of Harry's list and marked off Go Ice Skating and Roast Marshmallows on an open fire.

With a satisfied smile, she tucked the list away before she headed back down to the kitchen to help her mother finish preparing dinner.

She was just finishing setting the table when her mother told her to go tell the others that dinner was ready.

Climbing the stairs, she reached Percy's room first. She knocked on the door frame as the door was open. Percy looked up from the book he was reading. "I take it dinner is ready," he stated more than asked.

"Right in one," Ginny replied with a grin.

Her next stop was the Twin's room. She knocked on the closed door. "Dinner's ready," she called out loudly.

"We'll be right down," Fred or George answered.

The door to the loo opened as she passed it and Ron came out. "Dinner?" he asked hopefully.

"Yes," Ginny replied with a giggle as Ron brushed past her and pelted hurriedly down the stairs.

She climbed the stairs to the top to tell Harry. She smiled when she got to the landing. Harry was sitting up in his bed, a certain piece of parchment open in his lap.

Her smile grew when she saw him make a mark on the parchment and she knew he was marking off ice skating and roasting marshmallows just as she had done. She figured he had waited until Ron went to the loo before pulling his list out, not wishing to explain anything to her brother.

She knocked lightly on the door frame, startling Harry who gave her a slightly panicked look.

Ginny pointed ignored his reaction. "Dinner's ready," she said softly.

"Thanks," Harry replied sheepishly as he slowly folded up his list.

Ginny was tempted to ask what he had but desisted.

Harry looked at her in surprise, having expected her to ask what he was doing.

Ginny chuckled softly. "I'm not Hermione," she stated with a smirk.

She smiled when she saw him relax and she barely heard him mutter, "Thank Godric for that."

She pretended she didn't hear and turned to head back downstairs. She was surprised when Harry appeared at her side, giving her a soft smile.

"Thanks again for teaching me to skate," he said shyly as he blushed lightly.

Ginny was tempted to say it was nothing but the look of happiness on his face made her reconsider. "You're welcome, again," she giggled.

Harry and Ginny

The next morning as they finished breakfast Arthur smiled. "It's time to go cut down our Christmas tree," he announced.

Ginny had a hard time stifling her grin. She glanced at Harry who had a look of longing on his face. She knew if she played her cards right, Harry would be able to check off another item on his list.

Percy rose, taking his dishes to the sink. "I think I'll pass this year, father. There are plenty of younger hands to help," he said rather formally.

"As you wish," Mr Weasley replied, though there was a touch of melancholy in his voice.

Ginny was taken by surprise when Ron looked up from his plate with a hopeful glance. "Um, Percy, would you like to play some chess?" he asked hesitantly, glancing at his father as he did so.

Though her father sighed and his look saddened, Ginny could have kissed her brother. She couldn't have planned it better if she'd tried.

"So, that means it will be me, the Twins and Harry to help," she announced smugly.

She saw her father smile but it was the surprised look on Harry's face that she concentrated on.

"Come on Harry, you'll need to bundle up really well," she scolded playfully as she rose and began to head off to get dressed.

Harry still looked surprised and he blinked a couple of times in confusion. "You want me to go with you to get the family Christmas Tree?" he asked in disbelief.

"Yes, you prat," Ginny replied teasingly.

She felt her heart soar when Harry broke out in a brilliant smile as he jumped up and bolted up the stairs.

Ginny gulped when she saw her father giving her an appraising look and she prayed he wouldn't say anything if he figured out what she was doing.

A short time later the five of them were out in the cold winter's air tromping through the woods.

"All right, you lot. You know what we're looking for. The "Perfect Tree," Mr Weasley stated with a grin. "It can't be too tall or too short, nor too wide or too skinny. It's got to be just perfect so look carefully."

"Right-O," Fred and George yelled, giving their father jaunty salutes.

Ginny giggled at their antics and she glanced at Harry to see how he was taking things. She was happy to see the smile on his face that matched hers as he watched the Twins.

They reached an area where the trees thinned out some and Fred and George angled to the left. Harry was about to follow when Ginny gently grabbed him by the arm and steered him to the right.

"We've gotten our tree over there the past few years and as I remember it, that area is getting pretty picked over. Lets try over this way," she suggested.

Harry gave her a shrug and let himself be directed to the right, where Ginny wanted to go.

They had been searching about fifteen minutes when they broke into a small clearing and there standing in the middle was the most beautiful tree either had ever seen.

"DAD! Over here!" Ginny yelled out.

Harry looked at her like he thought she was daft as he hadn't heard anything from Mr Weasley and the Twins for quite some time but then he heard "We're coming!"

A few moments later he and the twins showed up, cutting through the trees.

"My word, what a beautiful tree," Mr Weasley beamed, looking at Ginny with pride.

He approached the tree where Ginny and Harry were standing and he offered the handsaw he was carrying to his daughter. "As per tradition, he or she who finds the tree gets to cut it down," he stated with a smile.

Ginny took the saw from her father but then hesitated. "Here Harry, you cut it down," she stated softly.

"But . . ." Harry began to protest.

"No, go ahead. I'd rather not have to kneel down and get all dirty," Ginny insisted.

Unseen by Harry, Mr Weasley and the Twins were giving Ginny shocked looks. They knew she'd never minded getting a little dirty, plus with all the snow there wasn't a speck of dirt in sight.

Harry shrugged and took the saw. He knelt down and with Ginny instructing him on where to cut, Harry managed to fell the tree.

"Well done," Mr Weasley exclaimed, patting Harry on the shoulder. He quickly cast a lightening charm and the Twins hoisted the tree up and headed back toward the Burrow.

He waited as Harry filed past and he laid his hand on Ginny's arm as she went to go by. "That was a very nice thing to do," he whispered to his daughter, his smile quite wide.

Ginny bushed slightly. "I don't know what you're talking about," she replied softly, though her eyes spoke volumes to her father.

Mr Weasley smiled and gave her a curt nod, letting her know he understood and just how proud he was of her.

All the way back to the Burrow, Ginny watched Harry. He had a smile a mile wide on his face the whole way.

Mrs Weasley had sandwiches ready when they got back and Harry and Ginny partook of them while Mr Weasley and the Twins got the tree situated in the parlour.

As they finished their sandwiches, Ginny steered Harry into the parlour where Mrs Weasley popped a huge bowl of popcorn.

Ginny and Harry had a marvellous time, stringing popcorn and some bright red berries, munching on the popcorn the whole time. Laughing and having a great time.

When the strings of popcorn were done, Ginny had Harry help make several long paper chains which also were used to adorn the tree.

By then the afternoon was waning and the rest of the denizens of the Burrow filtered in to the parlour to help decorate the tree.

Boxes of ornaments were brought down from the attic and a great time was had with everyone helping place them on the tree.

Ginny subtly made sure Harry continued to help, calling him over if he sat down or tried to let her brothers do all the decorating.

There wasn't any real dinner per se, just a seemingly endless stream of different finger-foods that were constantly available.

By mid evening the tree was done and everyone was sitting around, sipping on cups of tea and munching on the odd snack as they admired the tree.

Ginny kept glancing at Harry, happy to see how much he was enjoying everything. On the pretext of going to the loo, she stopped off in her room and checked off the items they had accomplished that day. The cutting down of the tree, stringing popcorn and making paper chains and other ornaments.

With a satisfied nod, she headed back down to spend more time with Harry, something she was enjoying very much. She was pleased to say that her shyness and inability to act normally around him had disappeared.

It was later as they headed up to bed that Harry surprised Ginny by giving her an awkward hug. "Thank you for making today special," he murmured bashfully.

"It was my pleasure," Ginny replied with a smile. She knew she was going to have some pleasant dreams because of the warm feeling she was experiencing from Harry's hug.

The next morning brought a huge surprise. Almost a foot of snow had fallen overnight.

After a hurried breakfast, Ginny subtly suggested that they should take advantage of the new snow and go sledding.

Everyone immediately agreed and once more everyone hurried off to bundle up before heading outside.

Mr Weasley dug several old toboggans out of the barn and they all headed off to a nearby hill.

Ginny wasn't sure it was on purpose or strictly by accident but she ended up with Harry on a two person toboggan.

She could see the excitement in his eyes as they settled on the sled and she couldn't help but scream as they pelted down the hill. The only saving grace was Harry was yelling just as loud as she was.

They spun out at the bottom of the hill and she ended up laying on top of Harry in a heap of snow.

It took a moment for Harry to clear his face of snow and Ginny was blushing as she realized where she was but then Harry's eyes met hers and he burst out laughing.

"Come on, we need to do that again," he laughed.

It took a few moments for them to untangle themselves and dig themselves out but they soon were trudging back up the hill, eager to repeat what they had just done.

Though they did take a couple of rides with some of the others on one of the four person toboggans, for the most part they went together on the two person one.

Ginny couldn't remember ever having a better time and she could see how much fun Harry was having, a constant smile on his face.

After what seemed like the hundredth time down the hill, each ending almost exactly the same, with them tumbling into the snow, Ginny looked at Harry. Though he was still smiling and laughing, she could see him shivering. They were both soaked to the skin and starting to get cold.

"Hey Mum, Harry and I are going to head back to dry off and get warm," Ginny called out to her mother.

She could see the hesitation in her mother's eyes. "It's okay, stay and have some fun. We can handle things," she added, setting her mother at ease.

Ginny could see a bit of reluctance in Harry's eyes but she knew he was about at his limit.

She was glad she didn't have to insist when he followed her lead and headed back to the Burrow.

Once back inside they headed up stairs to change into dry clothing. Ginny took the opportunity to quickly mark off sledding on her copy of the list. Unseen by her, she had left her door ajar and Harry noticed her marking a piece of parchment, just like he had a few moments ago.

He almost said something but then he decided not to. He quietly continued down into the kitchen, thinking hard about what he had seen.

He tried hard not to show anything when Ginny joined him a few moments later and he thought he had been successful, though she did see the fleeting look he gave her.

Deciding to ignore it, she headed for the pantry. "Harry, will you get the milk out?" she called out as she dug around in the pantry.

"Sure," Harry replied as he headed for the coldbox.

When he turned around after getting the milk, he found Ginny pulling a small sauce pan out, placing it on the cooker.

She smiled as she took the milk from him. "I thought some hot chocolate would be just the thing," she said happily. "Want to help?"

Harry smiled as he thought about his list. "Yeah," he replied with a grin.

He was surprised when after pouring the milk into the pan, she unwrapped several pieces of chocolate. She handed them to him, "Place them in the pan," she directed as she put the milk away.

She saw his puzzled look as he dropped the pieces of chocolate into the pan of milk.

"Is there something wrong?" she asked with a slightly concerned look.

"What? Ah, no. It's just that, never mind," he stammered.

"Harry," she drawled lowly, voicing her displeasure.

Harry blushed as he shrugged. "Well, it's just that whenever my relatives make hot chocolate they used some sort of powder," he said softly, dropping his eyes and not meeting hers.

"I've heard of that but Mum insists that making it with real chocolate is so much better," Ginny explained as she stirred the pot.

Over the low heat, the white milk slowly turned brown as the chocolate melted. When it was fairly dark, Ginny took a small taste.

"Needs sugar," she commented offhandedly.

Before she could move, Harry darted to the table and grabbed the sugar bowl.

Ginny smiled at him when he handed her the sugar. She added a couple of spoonfuls before stirring and tasting the concoction once again.

"Much better," she remarked with a smile.

When tendrils of steam began to rise from the pan, Ginny poured the hot chocolate into two mugs, handing one to Harry.

Mugs in hand they made their way into the parlour and sat down on the couch in front of the fire.

Both took sips of the hot chocolate and sighed happily.

Ginny noticed Harry giving her a shy glance.

"Thank you," he murmured softly.

"You're welcome but I need to thank you too because you helped," she replied with a grin.

Harry gave her a small smile. "Well, then you're welcome too," he said softly.

Ginny tried not to make anything of the fact that after Harry got up to add a couple of logs to the fire, he sat back down quite a bit closer to her than before, though it was difficult when he placed his leg next to hers when he stretched his feet out toward the fire.

Only years of not reacting when one of her brothers had teased her kept her from reacting, though she did let a small smile form on her lips as she felt his warmth on her leg.

Since the others weren't back yet and they were alone, Ginny decided that it was a good time to mention another thing on the list. She just hoped that he didn't think anything about it.

She took a couple of breaths to calm herself. "I'm going to write my letter to Father Christmas after dinner, want to join me?" she said lightly, or at least she hoped she did.

She felt him jerk and tense beside her and for a moment she thought she'd over done it but then she felt him relax.

"I'd like that," he whispered.

While in reality, it had been several years since she'd written such a letter, she wanted Harry to feel at ease with it so she was willing to write one this year.

They were just finishing their hot chocolate when they heard the back door open and the others came back into the Burrow.

A few moments later Ron came into the parlour. "Hey, hot chocolate, did you make me some too?" he asked pointedly.

"No, Ron. We had no idea when you'd be back so you'll just have to make some yourself," Ginny replied, feeling slightly annoyed that he had expected her and Harry to have made hot chocolate for him.

Ron gave her a scowl and stomped off back out into the kitchen. "Muuuumm," they heard him whinge.

Ginny rolled her eyes while Harry shook his head as he glanced at her. "I swear he acts like a five year old most of the time," he sighed.

This had Ginny giggling and they shared warm smiles.

After dinner Ginny went up to her room and retrieved a couple pieces of parchment, her bottle of ink and a couple of quills.

She was just returning to the kitchen to use the table when Ron intercepted her, with Harry just behind him.

Ron's eyes lit up maliciously when he saw what his sister was carrying. "What, you're actually writing a letter to Father Christmas? Aren't you a little old to believe in him any more?" he laughed cruelly.

Unseen by him but perfectly visible to Ginny over his shoulder, Harry blushed deeply, looking very uncomfortable and embarrassed.

Ron turned, looking back over his shoulder. "See, I keep telling you she's nothing but a baby," he sneered.

Harry's eyes glanced at him before they flitted to Ginny. His mouth opened and closed a couple of times as he searched for something to say. Finally something took hold. "I find nothing wrong with her writing Father Christmas," he remarked lowly before he turned and bolted from the room.

Ginny felt her anger rising. "You are a complete arse, Ron," she growled before she stormed off in search of Harry.

As she pushed past him, the Twins approached. Ron turned to them, chuckling. "Can you believe her, writing to Father Christmas?" he asked disdainfully.

Fred and George sighed, shaking their heads. "She wasn't doing it for herself," Fred said sadly.

"Yeah, she was trying to help someone else," George added sounding just as sad.

"What?" Ron asked bewilderedly.

"You really are clueless," Fred and George both stated before they headed off, leaving Ron standing there looking totally confused.

Ginny found Harry standing on the back porch, his hands stuffed into his pockets and his shoulders hunched against the cold.

Ginny paused and took a deep breath before she approached him.

As she opened her mouth to speak, Harry cut her off. "Sometimes I don't understand him," he said sadly, staring down at the ground. "As long as I've been his friend, I still can't understand why he's never learned when to keep his mouth shut."

Ginny closed the distance until she was standing right next to Harry. "I've known him for all my life and I don't understand him either. For some reason he just never thinks before he speaks," she remarked softly, her tone just as sad as Harry's.

"The thing I've learned though is to just ignore him. He's been like that forever," she continued.

Harry gave her a small smile and nodded his head. "He'll be better once Hermione arrives or at least he'll have someone else to focus on."

Then he sighed and looked Ginny in the eyes, "If you're still willing I'd like to go back in and write my letter," he said softly.

Ginny smiled at him, her face glowing with happiness. "Come on, I'll make us some hot chocolate to get us in the mood," she stated with a smirk.

"Hey, I know how to make it too," he teased with a grin.

"Then you can help," Ginny stated with a smile.

Harry's smile grew and he linked arms with Ginny and led her back inside to the kitchen. After they made the hot chocolate together once more, they sat down at the table and each wrote their letter.

Ginny was surprised at how serious Harry became as he wrote his letter, spending quite a bit more time than she did. She attempted to peek and see what he had written but his writing was rather small and not very neat so she couldn't make out anything trying to read it upside down.

Whatever it was, she saw how pleased Harry was when he was finished, he looked so satisfied about what he had done.

"We can leave the letters here for Mum to mail for us," Ginny explained.

Harry gave her a worried look and it wasn't until she reassured him that no one would read his letter that he relented and left it for the Weasley matriarch to send off.

Once they were done, Ginny looked at the clock and noticed it wasn't that late. "Hey Mum, can we go into the village to look at the lights?" she asked with a smile.

"That sounds like a splendid idea. We haven't done that in ages," Molly replied.

Harry glanced at Ginny and gave her a small smile, something that warmed her heart. She did notice the way he was looking at her and she wondered if he had figured it out but she couldn't quite make up her mind if he had or not. Giving a shrug, she figured at the moment it didn't matter because he was going along with things.

As she and Harry bundled up as it was getting quite cold now that the sun had set, Molly went around to invite the others to go along with them,

Mr Weasley immediately joined in, thinking it would be nice to take a walk in the village with his wife like they did when they were younger.

The others all begged off, all saying similar things, either it was too cold or they were to tired, so in the end it was just Molly, Arthur, Ginny and Harry who set off.

With Ginny's parents linking arms and walking together quite closely, that left Harry and Ginny to walk together too, though they didn't link arms.

It wasn't that far into the village and they got there fairly quickly. Ginny once more smiled whe n she saw the look on Harry's face. He looked so pleased and somewhat in awe of all the lights.

There was a touch of wonderment and that child-like innocence that Ginny had never seen on him before. It made her feel warm inside that she had been a part of giving him that little bit of something resembling a childhood.

They hadn't been in the village long when they came across a small troop of people that went up to the next house and began singing. They stopped and listened while they serenaded the people who lived there.

As the group began to move on, the man who seemed to be in charge noticed them and asked if they wanted to join them as they made their rounds.

At first it seemed that Mr and Mrs Weasley were going to decline but Ginny spoke up first. "That sounds like fun, doesn't it, Harry?" she said, giving him a wry smile as she put him n the spot.

Harry blushed but after searching Ginny's eyes, he nodded and so they joined the small ensemble as they wove their way through Ottery St Catchpole.

A couple of the people lent their songbooks to them, with Molly and Arthur sharing one as did Harry and Ginny.

Ginny winced when her father began to sing when they reached the next house as he was definitely off key and was one of the loudest.

That didn't seem to put anyone off as some of the other people weren't the greatest singers either. Everyone seemed to be having a great time and there was a lot of laughter between each song.

Harry and Ginny were surprised when at some of the places they sang, the people who lived there shared hot chocolate and Christmas biscuits with the group.

It was a couple of hours later when the group broke up and the Weasleys and Harry headed back to the Burrow. Ginny couldn't hide her smile as Harry talked animately as they walked.

It was much later after all the children had gone to bed and were sound asleep that Mrs Weasley went down into the kitchen and retrieved the letters.

As she had done with Ginny's letters when she had been small, Molly opened the letter to read it, wondering what her now older daughter would be wishing for.

Dear Father Christmas,

I know it's been several years since I've written but this year is different than most recent ones. Yes, I still need some physical things like in the past, most pressing would be some new bras and knickers but the true reason for my writing is to ask for something quite a bit different.

I have a friend, one who has started out more as a family friend but recently we've become a little closer on a personal level. He's never had a real family Christmas before, well at least since he was one.

He's grown up somewhere he isn't treated all that well and though I don't know the extent of things, I know it hasn't been pleasant.

My Christmas Wish this year is for him to have a truly magical Christmas. I'm doing all I can to help him celebrate it in a way that will help him but anything you can add will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you, and still believing,

Ginny Weasley.

Molly felt her eyes misting up as she finished Ginny's letter. Of course there could only be one person she was referring to, Harry Potter, and she wondered what her daughter knew that she didn't.

She stared at the other letter laying on the table. In truth it wasn't really hers to read.

She sat there for many long minutes debating with herself whether she should read it or not. She was fairly certain that it didn't contain a list of toys or games like a young boy would usually write or even new clothes, though he desperately needed them, at least his muggle clothes.

No, for some reason she suspected the letter would be much more mature than that.

Finally she came to a decision and hesitantly reached out and pulled the letter to her. "I may not be his mum but I'm as near as he has," she softly whispered to herself.

With her hands shaking slightly, she opened the letter and unfolded it.

Dear Father Christmas,

I know I'm rather old to be writing a letter to you but this is the first opportunity that I've had to do so. Growing up I was told that little boys like me weren't allowed to write to you and ask for any presents as I didn't deserve any.

It took me many years to figure out that wasn't true but I still didn't write one because I would have been punished severely if I did and got caught.

That's neither here nor there any more really. Even back then I wouldn't have written for the normal presents that a young boy usually would have. I wouldn't even have asked for more to eat so I didn't feel hungry all the time as I was never given enough to satisfy my hunger.

What I wanted the most was a loving family and it's been my secret wish for as long as I can remember.

The thing is I kind of have one now. While they aren't my family by blood, they have taken me in and treated me as one of their own even though they don't have many Galleons to spend. They have given me what I truly wanted and needed, love and acceptance.

While I wish there was some way I could repay them for all they have done for me and ease the financial burden I place on them, I know they wouldn't accept any payment.

Recently one of them has become much closer and I treasure every moment I get to spend with them. I'm fairly certain that they discovered my secret and they've gone out of their way to help me fulfil what I've wanted and that means the world to me.

I wish there was some way I could give them the presents they deserve but I know that is even beyond what I can expect from you.

I know a letter like this is supposed to be to ask for what I want for Christmas and the only thing I really would want is for that relationship to continue to grow.

Because it seems that all the other things I've been wishing for have already come true.

Well, I don't really have any more to say, other than that I somehow think that you've had a hand in giving me what I've been dreaming about for so long.

So thank you,

Harry J Potter

Molly had tears in her eyes as she finished reading Harry's letter. She was fairly certain that the person that he wrote about was Ginny and she wondered what secret she had discovered.

She sat there nursing her cup of tea, thinking about everything that had been going on and it didn't take long for her to figure out that Ginny had been suggesting all the activities that they'd been doing.

She rescanned the letter and picked up on Harry's saying he was being able to fulfil the things he had wanted.

Molly smiled as she thought about her daughter. While she could be feisty and show off her temper, she also had a heart of gold and would do anything for someone she cared about and if she was reading things correctly (and she wasn't thinking about the letters) Ginny was coming to care about Harry quite a bit and it appeared that the feelings were mutual.

Her smile grew as she thought about the two of them, they did make such a cute couple.

It only took a couple of more minutes of contemplation for her to come up with what she wanted to do and that was nothing. She was going to let nature take its course and see how things developed on their own.

She picked up the two letters and after casting a privacy charm she retrieved a box from deep inside the china cabinet. Opening it she glanced inside, smiling as she looked at the collection of letters that her children had written over the years to Father Christmas.

She gently laid the two new ones on top, resealed the box, replaced it in the cabinet and recast the charms that kept it hidden. Feeling quite satisfied with the state of things, she headed off to bed.

As she climbed in next to her husband, he rolled over and wrapped his arm around her.

"Everything okay?" he asked sleepily.

"Everything's fine, dear," she replied, smiling as she thought about Harry and Ginny.

"Okay," Arthur mumbled as he cuddled against his wife and drifted back off asleep.

The next day was December 23rd and though Christmas was fast approaching, Arthur still had to go into the Ministry and Molly had some errands to run for the Order that afternoon, though she should be home in plenty of time for dinner.

It was right after lunch and Molly was just getting ready to leave when Ron dug out the tin that held the Christmas biscuits.

"Mum! The tin is almost empty," he cried out in horror.

"Well I don't have time to make any now. It will have to wait till after dinner," Molly informed him.

Ginny and Harry came into the kitchen from the parlour. "Don't worry Mum, I'll bake a batch or two this afternoon," she volunteered.

"Thank you Ginny dear," Molly stated with an approving smile. She then looked at Ron. "Since you seem to eat most of them, you should help your sister make some more."

Ron stared at his mother in shock. "What? Baking is women's work and while Ginny's only a girl, she's better suited than I am," he complained vigorously.

Molly looked at him in disgust and was about to yell at him when Harry spoke up. "I'll be glad to help Ginny," he offered shyly.

Molly smiled at him knowingly. "That's so wonderful of you to volunteer to help, Harry dear," she said warmly. "I'll make sure you get extra while someone," she said, glaring at Ron, "Will just have to do without."

With that, she stormed out of the door, leaving Ron gaping, wide-eyed at the threat of not having any more Christmas biscuits.

As soon as his mother was gone, he turned to Harry. "I can't believe you're actually going to help her. What the heck is going on?" he asked accusingly, eyeing Harry darkly.

"Nothings going on other than I'm going to help her because it's Christmas," Harry replied, though Ginny noticed his eyes darted to her for a moment, looking apologetic.

Of course Ron didn't notice as he appeared as clueless as usual. He just waved dismissively at Harry as he turned and walked away with a scowl on his face.

"You know, you don't have to help if you don't want to," Ginny remarked as she began to gather ingredients.

"NO, I mean no," Harry interjected, his eyes wide. "I want to help, please," he begged, his eyes beseeching her for understanding.

"All right then," she finally replied fighting a smug smile.

Along with the ingredients, Ginny grabbed a couple of aprons and held them up to Harry. Both had a frilly edge with one being purple and the other a yellowish green.

Harry blushed as he took the yellowish green one but he put it on without any fuss, giving Ginny a funny lopsided grin.

As Ginny put on her own apron Harry reached up and pulled down the recipe box her mother kept by the cooker.

"What type of biscuits are we going to make?" he asked as he began to flip through the cards.

"I thought we could start with some Gingerbread men," Ginny replied as she looked over his shoulder. "Ron doesn't like them as much as the others so they may last a bit longer."

"Okay, that sounds good," Harry chuckled as he began to put the muscovado sugar, the butter and the golden syrup into the sauce pan.

Ginny was actually quite surprised that he did so so easily without looking like he needed any help whatsoever.

"I'll keep an eye on this if you want to get the dry ingredients together," he said, eyeing the pan critically.

"Sure," Ginny said in surprise as she began to measure out the flour.

In no time at all, the pan was set aside to cool and while Ginny finished preparing the dry ingredients she had Harry summon down the big old tin that held all the biscuit cutters.

Harry looked on at all the cutters with a sense of reverence. "Merlin, some of these look positively ancient," he breathed out softly.

Ginny's eyes widened in surprise. In some sense she had always just taken them for granted. They'd always been around and she couldn't remember her mother not using them.

When the wet ingredients were cool enough Harry poured while Ginny mixed it in with the dry. Once it was fully combined they wrapped it up and placed it in the cold box as it needed to cool for thirty minutes before they could proceed with rolling out the dough and cutting out the shapes.

While they waited for that to happen they started another dough, this one for simple sugar biscuits and it went together quickly.

Harry and Ginny had a great time working together, each helping the other as they measured ingredients or mixed something together.

As Harry was adding the second cup of flour to the bowl they were working on a bit of it splashed up and landed on Ginny's cheek.

Her eyes widened in surprise and she eyed him appraisingly, making sure it was a complete accident and not something he did on purpose.

She giggled when she saw the way Harry was looking at her in fright. "I know you didn't do it on purpose but please try and be a little more careful," she chided him lightly with a giggle.

Harry breathed a sigh of relief and went back to work.

Ginny idly wiped her cheek with the back of her hand as she continued to work on the dough.

Harry thought she looked utterly adorable as she hadn't cleaned her cheek, just smeared the flour across it. To him it only made her look more beautiful.

And so it went, the afternoon flying by as Harry and Ginny made many more than the two batches of biscuits they had talked about.

As the afternoon waned and the wonderful fragrance of baking biscuits filled the house, Ron came in to see if he couldn't snatch a few.

Ginny spotted him immediately and threatened him with her wand, sending him scurrying for the safety of the parlour.

She couldn't believe how fast the afternoon was passing as she and Harry made biscuit dough, decorated the baked biscuits and just had an all around wonderful time together.

It was as the last batch was baking in the oven and they were cleaning up when Harry went over and stood in front of Ginny. His eyes were shining brightly and he had such a smile on his face it made her heart skip a beat.

"Thank you for allowing me to help," he said softly, staring deep into Ginny's eyes.

"I'm glad you could help," Ginny murmured in reply, her eyes fastened on Harry's.

She noticed his smile morph to a much more mischievous one and then in a move that took her totally by surprise, he slowly reached up and brushed her cheek with his thumb.

When he saw how her eyes widened he chuckled softly. "You had flour on your cheek," he whispered with an impish grin.

It took a moment but Ginny eventually got there. The only time flour had splashed up was when they started the second dough.

"You mean I've had flour on my cheek the whole time?" she protested as her cheeks flamed red.

Harry nodded. "Yeah but you looked so cute I just couldn't force myself to say anything."

Ginny felt her embarrassment change in an instant to extreme annoyance. "Cute? Cute?" she growled.

Harry cocked his head, ignoring her growing ire. "Well, maybe cute isn't the right word," he whispered warmly.

"It isn't?" Ginny asked softly in confusion.

The thing was, Harry still had his hand resting on her cheek and he cupped it as he leaned in toward her.

Ginny stood frozen in place, her mind trying desperately to process what was happening. Her mouth suddenly felt as dry as a desert and she felt herself going cross-eyed as she tried to keep them fastened on Harry's lips.

When it became impossible to keep her eyes on his lips, she let them flutter closed and she felt a feeling of intense anticipation fill her.

"No, I think beautiful is the correct word," he whispered.

She felt his warm breath caress her face and she quickly licked her lips to ease their dryness.

She was shivering in anticipation and it felt like her heart would jump right out of her chest.

She felt his lips just begin to brush against hers when the timing charm for the last batch of biscuits in the oven sounded, signalling that they were done.

Ginny groaned in frustration as she felt Harry pull back and she was almost in tears when his hand dropped off her cheek.

She just stood there as Harry removed the last two trays of biscuits from the oven and set then aside to cool.

Ginny was hoping that he'd come back over to her to continue what had been happening when Molly came through the door, giving her and Harry smiles when she saw what they had accomplished.

While Ginny was slightly pleased with her mother's praise, she felt extremely disappointed that she wouldn't get to find out whether or not Harry would have kissed her or not.

She had to blink her eyes several times to clear them and she saw Harry giving her a smile that was full of regret.

"We'll talk later," he said softly as he brushed passed her, heading upstairs to clean up before dinner.

Ginny gave a low groan that elicited a chuckle from her mother.

"Did I interrupt something?" Molly asked with a knowing look.

"Mum!" Ginny protested, her face colouring deeply.

"I'll take that as a yes," the Weasley matriarch chuckled.

She smiled warmly at her daughter. "Take a seat," she directed softly.

Ginny slumped into a chair at the table while Molly put on the kettle to make a pot of tea.

The petite redhead closed her eyes and tried to pretend she wasn't going to have an awkward conversation with her mother. In fact she was fervently wishing that the floor would open up an swallow her.

Unfortunately, to Ginny, that didn't happen and she heard her mother sit down, pouring cups of tea and chuckle softly.

Ginny opened her eyes and found her mother giving her a strange sort of look. She could usually tell what her mother was thinking but for the first time in ages, she had no clue as to what was running through her mind.

Molly looked thoughtful for a moment before she turned her full attention on her daughter.

"I couldn't help but notice that over the past several days you've gone out of your way to do things and be extra nice to Harry," she stated softly, her eyes sparkling.

"What's wrong with that?" Ginny asked defensively.

"Nothing whatsoever," Molly grinned.

"I . . ." Ginny began.

"I'm not asking for you to explain anything," Molly said, cutting her off.

Ginny looked at her mother in confusion. She had no idea where the conversation was heading.

"The thing is, I also noticed you and Harry becoming closer," Molly stated warmly.

"Mum," Ginny pleaded softly.

"Don't worry, I'm not going to say or do anything to stop it," Molly reassured her daughter.

Ginny was now totally confused and it obviously showed on her face because her mother gave her a smile.

"The thing is I want you to reassure me it isn't some sort of fling for you, that you're serious about your feelings for Harry. He's had a hard life and doesn't need nor have time for someone who isn't serious about their commitment," Molly cautioned.

"Mum," Ginny breathed in shock.

"The thing is, Harry's a special young man. He has a lot on his plate and needs someone who is going to be there for him through thick and thin. Someone who will support him when he needs it. He also needs someone who won't put up with his moodiness and be willing to let him know when he's being a complete arse," Molly continued, looking at her daughter seriously.

"Can you be that person?" she asked pointedly. "Please think about it before you answer," she cautioned.

Ginny sat there stunned, just staring at her mother. It was one thing to think about those things and a completely different one to be called on it.

She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "I think I can," she replied a little hesitantly. She was a little shocked that her mother had referred to Harry as a young man and not a boy like she used when talking about any of her brothers still at home.

Molly raised a questioning eyebrow at her.

"Mum, how can I be sure completely. It's easy to say yes but it's much more complicated than that. I want to be that person and I think I can be but surely you can understand that I have some doubts and continually second guess myself," Ginny stated with heartfelt sincerity.

Molly nodded her head in approval. "I'm actually glad you said you had hesitations and doubts. It shows you've really thought about it and understand the ramifications of everything," she said with pride.

Ginny blushed under her mother's praise but smiled just the same. She breathed a sigh of relief and relaxed when her mother began to talk about more mundane things and she found she was actually enjoying talking to her mother who was treating her more maturely.

When their tea was drunk and the biscuits eaten, Ginny rose to head to get ready for dinner. She went over to her mother and hugged her hard. "I love you, Mum," she whispered warmly.

"I love you too, Dear," Molly whispered back, hugging her extra hard.

The next day was Christmas Eve and the house was abubble with anticipation.

The one thing Ginny noticed was that while he was smiling, Harry seemed more subdued than he had been for the last few days and almost seemed to be avoiding being alone with her.

Shortly after lunch, Ginny was helping her mother clear the table, though she was thinking hard about a certain raven-haired young man and whether she should go into the parlour and try to talk to him.

She had just placed the last load of dirty dishes in the sink and was turning around when she jumped because Harry was standing right behind her.

He gave her an apologetic smile. "Um, Ginny . . . I was wondering if you'd take a walk with me?" he asked hesitantly.

Though Ginny's heart felt like it was lodged in her throat, she nodded and said "I'd like that very much."

As Harry helped her on with her cloak, Ginny couldn't help but glance at her mother who was smiling at them.

Once they stepped outside, Ginny noticed that Harry seemed to withdraw into himself, looking quite pensive.

Ginny forced herself to remain quiet, giving him all the time he needed as it was his show, so to speak.

They walked on in companionable silence until they were down by the pond. Ginny noticed a smile break out on his face as he stared out across the ice and she couldn't help but remember the fun they had while skating together.

Harry closed his eyes and sighed but it was a happy sigh. He then turned to face Ginny and once more she found her heart in her throat.

Harry's emerald eyes seemed to blaze with an inner fire that she'd never seen before.

Ginny saw him take a deep breath as he prepared to speak and she was almost afraid to hear what he had to say. She didn't think she could stand it if he was going to let her down gently, saying he just wanted to be friends.

Then Harry surprised her by reaching up and gently cupped her cheek. She found herself unconsciously leaning into his touch.

"Ginny . . ." Harry began but then faltered. He huffed in annoyance before he took another deep breath and continued. "Words fail me. There's so much I want to say," he said softly, his eyes pleading for understanding.

Ginny gave him a small reassuring nod, wanting him to continue.

He gave her a small grin and chuckled softly. "I can't begin to tell you how much it's meant to me the way you've gone out of your way to help me," he said lowly.

When Ginny went to respond, Harry quieted her with a finger on her lips.

"Please let me finish," he pleaded.

Ginny gave him a small nod, her eyes telling him to continue.

"If I'm not mistaken, I'm pretty sure you found my list," he remarked with a small smile, his eyes sparkling.

Ginny smiled back at him and gave him a confirming nod.

Harry chuckled. "I wasn't sure at first but then as one by one I got to check off more and more items, I was fairly sure."

He caressed her cheek softly and gently. "You have no idea how much that means to me," he whispered warmly.

Ginny felt her cheeks stretch as she smiled widely, her eyes glowing with understanding.

Harry glanced down for a moment before looking back up into her eyes. "The thing is the more time I spent with you the more I found myself wanting to be with you even more."

He then gave her a wan smile. "The thing is I never expected anything like this to happen," he whispered regretfully.

"Is it a problem?" Ginny asked worriedly.

"Well, the only problem is that I don't have a suitable gift for you," he said sadly.

Ginny was about to tell him she didn't need anything from him but she never got the chance.

Harry stepped closer to her, their bodies less than an inch apart. "So the only gift I can think of that is worthy of what you've done for me is my heart," he whispered as he leaned in and captured her lips in a tender kiss.

Ginny's head spun as her eyes snapped shut and she gave herself over completely to Harry's kiss.

She had dreamed of what it would be like when she kissed her true love the first time but what she was experiencing at that moment far exceeded anything she had imagined.

It was a whirlwind carrying her and her heart higher than she thought humanly possible but at the same time it was soft, warm and comforting, giving her a sense of peace and security that had disappeared after her disastrous first year.

Ginny was disappointed when the kiss ended. She so wanted it to continue.

She sighed contentedly as she snuggle into him as he wrapped his arms around her, pulling her in even closer.

"That has to be the best gift I'll ever receive," she whispered warmly.

They stood there until the sun began to set, just snuggling together, sharing small, soft kisses and gently caresses.

Ginny sighed as she stepped back, glancing at the setting sun. "We'd better head back," she sighed reluctantly.

Harry gave her a small smile and nodded his head as he took her hand and began to lead her back to the Burrow.

Ginny found it unbelievable that no one other than her mother seemed to notice the change in hers and Harry's relationship.

It was after dinner when everyone was heading into the parlour that things changed.

Ginny excused herself for a moment, running up to her room after smiling at Harry and letting him know by her look that she'd be right back.

She darted into her room and grabbed what she wanted before she ran back down the stairs and into the parlour. She smiled when she saw Harry sitting alone on the couch in front of the fire.

Surprising everyone but her mother, she handed the item she had grabbed to Harry and then laid down with her head in his lap.

Harry glanced at what Ginny had handed him and smiled.

Unseen by the couple, Ron rose and headed for the pair, his face contorted with a scowl.

Molly rose instantly and blocked his path, giving him such a glare that he stopped short, looking at his mother in shock. She shook her head and pointed back to the chair he had been sitting in, thoroughly cowed, he turned and went and sat back down, a bewildered look on his face.

Molly nodded and smiled in satisfaction before she sat back down and smiled at Harry and Ginny.

Harry looked at the book Ginny had handed him and with a smile he opened it and began to read. "T'was the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse . . ."

Ginny smiled and closed her eyes, letting Harry's voice fill her. Right at that moment all was right with the world and though their future was uncertain, she knew that things would be okay.

Harry and Ginny

A/N: Just a little Christmas present for you, my readers. I hope you enjoyed it.