Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, but I do own Santa Claus. Luna sold him to me for a box of old baseball cards when she invaded the North Pole and took over his warehouse. I'm hoping he doesn't eat all of my cookies.
You can read this as a Christmas themed pseudo-epilogue to We're In This Together, if you like.
Hope you're all having a good holiday season.
'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house...
There were minimal stirrings that night in the Potter family home. Harry, Pansy, and their kids were all snuggled together under a blanket on the couch watching television. Dobby was likely in the kitchen, almost certainly making more treats or another round of hot chocolate for everyone. As an early present, the elf had received a cookbook of Christmas sweets and it seemed like he wanted to try out all the recipes before the new year.
Having a couple of toddlers to try to keep up with was probably the only reason Harry hadn't gained several pounds already.
They had begun the evening with the sad jazz and even sadder little Christmas tree that Charlie Brown had picked out, and that was followed by the Grinch stealing all the goodies from Whoville before his heart grew several sizes.
It Was a Wonderful Life was about to come on next, but Harry decided the kids were still a bit young for that. He had a feeling that little Rosemary especially would not like the fact that the bad guy was named Potter.
"Daddy, we need a puppy!"
Turning to his right, he was treated to two very different expressions from his favorite women. His daughter was using the 'you're wrapped around my little finger and will do whatever I want' look. According to Pansy, it was every single expression she used because Harry was such a pushover for his little girl. His wife, on the other hand, was giving him the 'I will not take care of a pet if you spoil her any more than you already do' face.
"Sweetheart, just because you want a puppy doesn't mean we need a puppy."
"We could name him Max."
"Like the Grinch's dog," Harry sighed. He was already losing this argument.
"And put an antler on his head at Christmas time!"
"I don't want a puppy," Alex piped up. "I want a hippogriff! They can fly! That's much better than a puppy."
"Puppies are cuter."
"Hippogriffs are cooler. And they have sharp talons and beaks so they can fight. That and flying- puppies can't do any of that."
"Daaaaaddyyy," his daughter whined.
"Kids, we already have a pet," Pansy interrupted. His wife really was a life saver sometimes. "Hedwig has sharp talons so she can fight, and she can fly, and she's cute."
"She's not as cute as a puppy."
There was the pout, Harry's mortal enemy. It was the thing that made him buy her ice cream at least three times a week. Usually, Pansy just rolled her eyes about the fact that there was now a tiny little woman that he spoiled even more than her.
"If she hears you say that, Hedwig will eat all your bacon for a month," Harry teased. "You know that I can't actually remember the last time I had bacon. Hedwig's stolen it all for so many years that I can barely remember what it tastes like."
"I like sausage more, daddy."
He sighed. Time to try another tactic?
"When you're older, you can have a pet, okay? I didn't have a pet until I was eleven. That was when I got Hedwig."
"Wow, she must be really old."
"She's gonna get you, Rosie. Hedwig can hear what you say about her. She's just like Santa Claus. You'll wake up with her staring at you in the middle of the night. Then she's gonna start eating all your sausage for breakfast."
"Alexander, don't tease your sister."
Harry didn't need to turn around to see his son's grin or to know that he wasn't really sorry about teasing his little sister. It was apparently his job as the oldest. Or so Alex had told Harry a few weeks ago. Not even six years old and he was already turning into a little smart ass.
Harry wondered where he got that from, and if he could reasonably blame it on Pansy's side of the family.
From everything Sirius had told him about his own dad, probably not.
"Alright. It's starting to get late so it's going to be bedtime soon," Pansy stated to much dismay.
"If you stay up too late, then Santa won't come," Harry added.
"That's why Santa doesn't leave presents for adults, Rosie. Mom and Dad stay up too late."
"I don't want any presents!" Rosie fussed.
"What do you want?" Pansy asked.
"I want Santy Claus to bring Aunty Luna home for Christmas."
"It's not Santy Claus, it's Santa Claus."
"Alex, don't pick on your sister, especially not at Christmas time. Plenty of people call him Santy Claus. There's nothing wrong with your sister calling him that."
"No, don't tell me."
"That's my boy." Harry squeezed his son's shoulders and was trying not to give in to his daughter's stare. She didn't need a puppy since she already had the puppy dog face mastered.
"Mommy said that you're the best wizard in the world, Daddy. She said you can do anything. I want you to make Aunty Luna come home!"
"You want her home for Christmas?"
"Well, it's still a few hours till Christmas comes. Maybe I can whip up a little Christmas magic and you'll have a surprise in the morning."
"If I promise, then it won't be a surprise. You'll just have to wait and see what happens in the morning."
Harry couldn't help but grin at her little whiny pout. He just had to keep from looking up at Pansy. He didn't want to give anything away.
When all of a sudden from the roof there arose such a clatter...
Or a very loud crack at least.
"It's Santy Claus!" his daughter happily whispered.
Their home did have a fireplace, supposedly for a floo that they never really used. At the moment, it was making an awful racket though. Harry was going to have to check on it and the roof tomorrow.
"Ho ho ho!"
The outfit was red and white, and there was a big fake beard, but Luna never could get her voice to go very low. She stepped out of the fireplace scattering soot everywhere and pulled out a bag that quickly enlarged to half her size.
"That's not Santa," Alex began before he was cut off.
"No, I'm even better. I'm Saunty Luna! Ho ho ho!"
Harry smiled as he helped Rosie climb out of the blanket and then watched her run across the floor to throw her arms around Saunty Luna's legs.
"Merry Christmas little girl. What do you want for Christmas?" She set her bag down and picked up her god-daughter/niece.
"I wanted my Aunty Luna to come home. I didn't know you worked for Santy Claus."
"Ho ho ho! Saunty Luna is actually more of an independent contractor. The North Pole is a little too cold for me, and you're daddy is a lot more likely than me to eat those cookies you're leaving out."
"Daddy, you can't eat the cookies. They're for Santy Claus!"
"Whatever you say, Rosie."
"Now, let me put you down for a second, Saunty Luna still has to put the presents under the tree."
"Can I see?"
"No peeking in the Christmas bag," she waggled her finger. "You have to wait to open your presents in the morning."
"But Daddy always lets us open one."
"Alright, but only one."
"Can I pick?"
"Why don't you let me pick instead, okay? You trust Saunty Luna, right?"
"Okay, then go sit on the couch and Saunty Luna will pass out the presents and we'll all open one each before bed time."
Rosemary hurried across the room and Harry leaned down to scoop her up while Saunty Luna set a few things under the tree and then came over to the couch with her arms full of presents.
"Alexander, my favorite little man, yours is on top."
"Thanks, Aunty Luna."
Harry smiled as his son started to tear off the wrapping paper.
"And this one if for my favorite little flower girl."
While she started trying to fumble with the paper, Harry slid his hands under it to hold it steady. Rosie wasn't yet quite as skilled with destruction as her big brother.
"Whoa! Look Dad, it's a hippogriff. How did you know, Aunty Luna? I was just talking about wanting a hippogriff for a pet!"
The stuffed animal let out a shriek and flew a loop around Alex, who looked quite impressed.
"Saunty Luna always knows. It's Christmas magic."
"It's bigger than a puppy," Rosie said as she stared at the stuffed dog that looked around and growled before turning and starting to lick her face.
"That's because it's not a puppy, it's a grim," Luna replied. "They're a very magical type of dog that some people are scared of. But you're a brave girl, right?"
"Right. Just like Daddy!"
"Daddy, are you a brave girl?" Pansy teased.
"Daddy's not a girl, Mommy," Rosie huffed. "You're so silly. Daddy's just brave and I'm going to grow up to be brave just like him. Like the story you told about how he fought the dragon."
Harry couldn't hold back his laughter. When it was time for bed, more often than not, his daughter wanted him to tell her stories or sing her to sleep. But once or twice a week, it was Mommy's turn, and it was an unspoken secret that Rosie loved to hear (highly embellished) stories about his younger days from Pansy.
"I didn't always fight dragons, you know. One time I watched one be born."
"Was it cool?" Alex asked.
"Nope, it was very, very hot." His son snorted, and Harry looked over wondering if he caught him rolling his eyes. Alexander was obviously Pansy's son. He had a feeling that both of his kids were going to be sarcastic little terrors once they started school. It definitely wasn't Harry's fault. Nope. And he certainly wasn't in denial about it either.
"What's that mean, Daddy?"
"Well, sweetheart, dragons breathe fire. Or, most of them do at least. And because of that they like to be hot. So dragon eggs like to be warmed in a fire before they hatch."
"Wow." Harry glanced down and saw the gears moving in his precious little daughter's mind. He was terrified of what she was going to be like when she grew up. Once she was smarter than him and had figured out how badly wrapped around her finger Daddy was, Rosemary could end up the most spoiled little princess in the world.
Pansy was right. He was going to have to grow a backbone one of these days. If he could throw off even Riddle's Imperius curse, then surely he could learn to throw off his daughter's non-magical pout.
"We don't need a puppy, Daddy."
"We need a dragon."
"Whoa, yeah, that's a great idea Rosie. A dragon would be really cool," Alex grinned. "Do you think we could ride it if you tamed one, Dad?"
"I am not going to be taming any dragons any time soon."
"Your father isn't allowed to try to do anything that dangerous anymore," Pansy replied. Looking down at Rosie's fussy face, she felt the need to continue. "You wouldn't want Daddy to get hurt, would you?"
"No, but... but, he's Daddy!"
No matter all of the crazy things he'd done in his life, Harry was probably proudest of the fact that his daughter thought he was invincible.
One of these days, she'd learn otherwise, especially if she got older and started to hear some of the scarier stories of his youth. Yes, he had survived it all, but certainly not without suffering some wounds along the way. He could already sense a hint of melancholy for when Rosie would eventually learn that Daddy wasn't actually Superman.
"Alright, why don't we see what Saunty Luna brought Mommy and Daddy?" Luna suggested. Even she wasn't crazy enough to want a dragon for a pet.
Because they weren't cute enough, but still.
Pansy started to open her present, and he was guessing that it was clothes based on the shape of the box. Once it was open, he saw that he was sort of right. Not the type of clothes that she would be wearing out in public though.
"What is it Mommy?"
Yeah... how do you explain sexy lingerie to a three year old?
"It's special clothes for bedtime, sweetie."
Good save, Pansy. Harry was a little too distracted by the very skimpy 'outfit' and he was very appreciative of Aunty Luna's taste. Pansy always looked hot in black, and the one thing Luna never goofed around with was lingerie. She even got matching stockings for Pansy, and it was well known that Harry loved that.
"What did you get, Daddy?"
His box was really small. Luna and Pansy were both watching him, mirth in their eyes and he just knew what sort of doom awaited him. He slowly, methodically opened his gift.
Yep- he could already feel himself starting to blush. It was basically a speed-o. The bow tie was an odd touch though.
"Why is Daddy's so small?" Rosie asked.
"Because Daddy often gets hot in bed," Pansy replied, without batting an eye. "Daddy can't wear too much too bed or he'll get all sweaty."
"Like when I was sick and I got all sweaty in bed?" Alex asked.
"Sort of," Harry answered, ignoring the snorts from Pansy and Luna.
"What about your present, Saunty Luna?" Rosie wondered.
"Well, this present actually came all the way from the North Pole. Saunty Luna got it for herself, but she thinks she might let Mommy and Daddy play with it too. If they're good."
She unwrapped her gift and Harry felt the need to hide his face in his hands.
"What is it?" Alex asked. "It just looks like a piece of metal."
"Yes, but this piece of metal can be enlarged." Luna did just that with a twist of her wrist and the gleaming chrome pole went from a few inches long to roughly eight feet tall before she flicked it back the other way and it went back to its original size. "Or I can shrink it back down."
"That's kinda cool, I guess."
Thankfully his son was still too young to understand, but Harry wasn't. The bow tie made more sense now too. A couple of months ago when she had visited around Rosie's birthday, he, Pansy and Luna had been watching some old Saturday Night Live episode that had Patrick Swayze and Chris Farley both auditioning for Chippendale's.
His brain was still kinda stuck for a few moments, but he did notice Pansy telling the kids it was time for bed. They started to complain before Saunty Luna offered to tuck them both in.
It had only taken half an hour to get Alex and Rosie both to go to sleep (or at least pretend that they were sleeping), and Harry was now sitting in the middle of the bed. Saunty Luna was still in her outfit as she came in, including the long fake beard. At least, Harry hoped it was fake.
"Did you seriously get yourself a portable stripper pole for Christmas?"
"Is that a serious question, Harry? When would not having a portable stripper pole be a good idea?"
"Never. Stripper poles make everything better."
"Luna, sweetie, take off that awful beard," Pansy said as she came in from the bathroom in a very short nightgown. It wasn't the hottest thing she had, by any means, but it was still a little too tempting considering the fact that he knew they wouldn't be having any of that sort of fun tonight.
Harry might have been amused to realize that he was pouting in the exact same way his daughter did at that moment.
"Aw, but it really completes the outfit."
"If Harry isn't allowed to grow a beard, then you aren't allowed to wear one either." Pansy shook her head and rolled back the covers, scooting over to Harry's left side. "It's too bad though, I think the rest of the outfit looks very nice on you."
"Thanks. I like the idea of Mrs. Claus being a sexy little minx." Luna kicked off her shoes and walked over to the chest of drawers on the wall near the door that led into the bath. "Can I borrow one of your shirts, Harry?"
"Good. I need to feel comfy tonight."
"You too, huh?" Harry shook his head. He couldn't remember exactly how long ago their cycles had synchronized, but he was at least sort of used to it by now. He always kept plenty of red wine ready- which was a lot easier since he couldn't stand the stuff.
"Yes, but look on the bright side," Luna said, as she started to change. "Taking good care of the two of us when we aren't feeling our best means you're at the top of the nice list this year."
"What about me?" Pansy asked.
"You're on the naughty list."
"I was on the naughty list last year."
"You're on the naughty list every year, and you love it," Luna giggled. "I was thinking I might wear this outfit again. Only next time, I might shrink the skirt down a little."
"A few inches?" Pansy teased.
"Several inches. Harry's a good boy. But-" Luna turned to look at them both and pointed for emphasis. "Both of you will have to wear your special new bedtime outfits. And Saunty Luna might want all of us to play with her new portable stripper pole too."
Pansy started to chuckle next to him while Harry smiled.
"I think you both know that I'm in!"
"That's because you're completely incorrigible, Harry. You're still like a teenager a lot of the time," Pansy said.
"Well, you loved me back then too, so I guess that's still a good thing."
"Speaking of good things," Luna interrupted, "I talked to my father the other day. I may have asked a favor of him."
"Yes, New Year's Eve is coming up, and I know you were both planning on going to a party that night if you could get a babysitter, right?"
"We were," Pansy agreed.
"Then I've got good news and even better news. The good news is that Alexander and Rosemary will get a visit from their god-grandfather Xenophilius that night. Between him, Winky, and Dobby, I'm sure even their overly protective Daddy will admit that the kids will be fine."
"Yeah, I guess." Harry had to smirk though. "It's a little sad that Winky is the most sensible of the three of them."
"I'll tell Dobby you said that," Pansy teased.
"Dobby and I are both aware of our flaws," Harry argued. "Having more sensible females around keeps both of us from doing anything too foolish."
"Remind me to tell you about when Harry tried to teach him to drive," Pansy said to Luna.
"That sounds like a fun bed time story."
"Sorry, sweetie," Pansy yawned. "Momma's too tired tonight."
"Oh poo." Luna came around to the other side of the bed and climbed in. "Anyway, the even better news is that I can come with you both to that New Year's Eve party. And the even much better news is that you and I can go shopping for a dress for me some time this week."
"There should be plenty of sales," Pansy nodded. "We'll have to get you something nice and slinky."
"And slutty?" Luna sounded very hopeful.
"Not too slutty, sweetie. It's a more upscale party."
"A little bit," Pansy admitted. "And no, you can't scandalize them too much."
"Harry and I live here, and some of those snooty people have kids that Alex and Rosie play with."
"Besides, it will be plenty scandalous anyway. I know how you like to dance with Harry and I."
"That's your fault, if anything," Luna argued. "You're the one who taught me how to dance."
"Me too, actually," Harry added.
"Don't poke the momma bear when it's time to hibernate," Pansy growled. "I need some sleep and you both know the kids will be up at the crack of dawn."
"You're right," Luna said as she leaned over and kissed Pansy's cheek. "Good night.
"Lay down, Harry. It's time for our pillow to make us comfy."
In his much younger years, Harry had sometimes slept on his front. He couldn't remember the last time he'd been able to do that- probably some time when he was still a teenager. Rosie liked to nap on his left side almost daily, which was also the side her mom had slept against him too. Thankfully, he was pretty used to being a pillow by now.
And with two beautiful ladies sharing his bed, Harry really didn't have anything to complain about.
It really was a Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.