Harry Potter and the Power of the Past
Disclaimer: All JKR's, not mine.
Summary: This is a complete AU- Harry Potter is a 21-year-old wizard, who's on top of the world. He's rich, in love, and loved by all, but his life is turned upside down as a spiral of events leads to the ultimate battle between good and evil. Can Harry lead the fight for the light, but yet manage to keep his life together?
A/N: Since I didn't have time to post the complete Christmas chapter last Christmas, I decided to work on it this year to post.
S/N 2: This is a direct sequel to chapter 44, Christmas Questions, so you may want to read that chapter again before reading this one.
Chapter 46: Christmas Answers
It was Christmas morning that found nearly forty people in the Potter household, all the friends and family of the Potters coming to enjoy Janus' first Christmas back since his departure five years prior. There was Sirius and Emmeline Black, along with their two sons, Kastor and Pollux, Remus Lupin, Kingsley Shackblebolt, the Diggorys (including the Minister of Magic himself, Cedric), the Krums, the Davies, the Notts, and Emese and Peleus Nigel, Lucida's parents, amongst a few others. As Janus arrived at ten o'clock with Arcturus and Lucida, he was greeted by the slew of people, all excited to see Janus once again, having missed him over the past fix years. After everyone settled down and said their greetings, Arcturus went over to Harry and they started to whisper quietly amongst themselves. Without a word to anyone else, Harry and Arcturus walked upstairs, Janus excusing himself so he could follow quietly behind them, knowing that it was a continuation of what he had witnessed between the pair the day before.
The pair headed for the library with Janus stopping just before the doors, where he would be able to hear the conversation and just barely see through the crack in the door but not be seen by anyone inside. "Here you go, dad," Arcturus said once they were in the library, taking something that was wrapped in purple cloth out of his pocket and handing it to his father.
"I'll get it back to you once this evil is vanquished," Harry said, as he unwrapped the cloth and revealed a long, black wand. "I'm sorry I needed to bother you about this. I just want to be prepared in case of the worst."
"Nonsense," Arcturus shrugged, waving his father off, not thinking anything of it. He had gotten all that he needed from the object, anymore time that the wand spent with him would just be unnecessary in his opinion. "It's yours, after all."
"But I gave it to you, Arcturus, just as I gave your brother the Invisibility Cloak," Harry replied, referencing the Deathly Hallow that he had given Janus at Christmas when the boy was home during his first year in Hogwarts. "You can make your career by reverse engineering it, learning its secrets. I don't care what I have to do; I will get it back to you."
"I'll just have to make my career someway else," Arcturus smiled, knowing that if he needed the Elder Wand to be successful that it was probably a sign that he wouldn't be successful in the end. "Maybe even by making good wands."
"The best wands," Harry laughed, slapping his son on the back. "Thank you, though." Harry said one last time, before opening his workshop, a secret he had long since revealed to all of his sons, and placing the Elder Wand in the top drawer of his work bench. Above the desk, there was a shelf that held Ravenclaw's diadem and Hufflepuff's cup, items that had not left their spot in the years since he had placed them there. "Shall we get back?"
The duo exited the workshop, closed the bookshelf and walked out into the hallway by the stairs, where they ran into Janus. "I was just coming to look for you two," Janus lied with a smile, not wanting either to know that he had been privy to the conversation. "We're just getting ready to eat."
"We were just coming down," Harry grinned, wrapping his arm around Janus' shoulder. "I still can't believe you're here."
"You want me to leave then?" Janus teased as they started to walk down the stairs to the floor below. "I could come back in another five years, give you time to believe it."
"Never," Harry chuckled as they reached the dining room for Christmas breakfast. Everyone was already seated, speaking with each other loudly, apparently wanting for them.
Janus took a seat in the middle of the table next to Lucida, across from Warrick and Galvin, two of his best friends growing up. While Galvin was a year younger than Warrick and Janus, having been born to Cedric and Gaetana in 2004 along with a slew of other children, the three were good friends regardless of the age difference, though not as close as their fathers had been to one another even with Warrick and Janus being best friends, unfortunately. However, Janus knew that he would need more friends in his life now that he had returned, so to that end, he wanted to make sure that Galvin and Warrick knew they were his closest friends and that he had not forgotten about them on his travels, which was the reason he wanted to sit near them for breakfast.
"Next year will be twenty-five years since we lost Roger," Harry started as he took his seat at the head of the table, raising his mimosa glass into the air. "I want to admit something that no one knows, not Cedric, not Viktor, not Remus, not even my wife; a fact that is part and parcel to the spirit of giving that this time of year brings." Harry said, making everyone even more interested in what Harry had to say. "I owe this house to Roger, for without him, I wouldn't have been able to afford it. I was absolutely broke for a while, and Roger helped me pay for this without ever asking for anything in return."
"He did?" Roger's daughter Harmony asked from her spot next to Lucida, happy that Harry still remembered her father. She had heard stories about her father growing up from Harry, but it had been a few years since she asked Harry, Cedric, or Viktor to talk about her father so hearing one without having to ask was a nice treat to her.
"Yes," Harry nodded, giving the pretty witch a look that showed how grateful he was to her father's actions. "I paid him back against his wishes, of course, but his generosity is something I will never, ever forget. I miss him every single day of my life."
"Oh, Rogey Podgey," Cedric muttered with a grin, recalling fond memories of his dear friend. "That man was the best of us all. And I mean, literally, everyone at the table, besides our children. And maybe Kylie…I mean Theodore."
"Oh no," Theodore shook his head from his seat on the opposite side of the table, a playful smile on his face, not wanting anyone to think that he was better than Roger. "Roger was most definitely better than I am."
From her spot next to Hermione, Lisa smiled with tears in her eyes, as cold nostalgia overtook her, memories of her departed husband flooding the forefront of her mind. "His favorite memory in the world, outside of Harmony being born, was when you three," She gestured to Cedric, Viktor and Harry individually. "Went to go visit the dragons before the first challenge in the Tri-Wizard tournament, he never understood why Viktor had told Harry about the dragons knowing full well he would tell Cedric."
"I remember that," Viktor laughed, recalling his experience at Hogwarts during his seventh year. "That's probably why I lost. That was the first time Cedric and I actually became friends."
"And that was because Roger almost lit himself on fire by getting too close to the common welsh that Fleur had to battle." Cedric grinned, illuminating the rest of the group on what had transpired that night in the Forbidden Forest. "We all rushed to put the fire out, saving his hair, and we all know how important that was to him."
"You guys cheated during the Tri-Wizard cup?" Remus questioned, looking between Viktor and Cedric with a faux-disappointed look, having been a professor during the Tri-Wizard tournament himself.
"My kind of guys," Sirius interjected, earning a round of laughter from his sons and many of the others at the table.
"Oh yeah," Viktor replied, admitting that he did indeed do a lot of cheating during the Tri-Wizard cup in an effort to even the playing field between the three competitors. "Cedric and I talked about the tasks all the time after that. Dumbledore didn't tell Cedric anything, playing by the rules, while Karkaroff told me everything and Fleur learned everything through Madame Maxime. I felt it necessary to inform Cedric after I learned how close he was to Harry; though looking back on it, he would have probably won either way."
"It's really funny how things worked out," Harry said with a rueful smile, seeing the connections that they all shared between one another. "I became friends with Roger the first train ride to Hogwarts—we were in the same compartment, along with Hermione and Lisa."
"That's right," Hermione nodded, remembering that day nearly three decades prior, where she first met Harry, Lisa, and Roger, each of whom had quickly became her closest friends in the school.
"I then became friends with Cedric because he and Roger had been childhood friends," Harry informed the table, relaying to the young adults that had never heard the story before on how everyone had become friends. "Eventually, Cedric became my best friend. Now, I had been friends with Viktor before Hogwarts due to the Quidditch World Cup, so he sat at the Ravenclaw table with me when he came to visit Hogwarts for the Tri-Wizard tournament. Well, because of that and through his friendship with me, Roger became best friends with Viktor. Viktor and Cedric then became friends through the both of us, and the rest is history. All of our history, since each and every one of us is tangled up in that web."
"I miss him," Viktor sighed, feeling Hermione rub his back in a comforting gesture. He gave his wife a reassuring smile, telling her that he would be okay and that he was happy to talk about Roger, something that he tried to avoid as much as he could in the past.
"We all do," Cedric agreed, earning a nod from nearly everyone at the table, those who knew him at least. "One of my favorite things about him was how he always knew when one of us couldn't afford to play one of his games, so he knew when to suggest that we play and when he shouldn't. He never made us feel awkward about being broke when we were younger, but he always had a way of giving us money without it seeming like he was doing it out of charity."
"We don't really get to hear stories about dad, so that was nice," Harmony said, wiping the tears from her eyes, suddenly overcome with the emotions he felt for her father.
"I wish I knew him," Warrick said disappointedly, saddened that he had been born after his father's untimely death. His father's death was doubly poignant to him, as Roger's death, which was caused by a brutal war between right and wrong, served as the reason why his mother named him Warrick; she did it in an effort to serve as a constant reminder of what evil could do.
"He would have loved you, War," Harmony replied tenderly, knowing it was true and that Roger would have loved Warrick immensely. While she herself barely remembered her father, she knew from the stories that she had been told throughout her life that he was a caring man that had loved her more than anything in the world, so the fact that he would also love his son the same way was not a real jump in rationalization. "Can you tell us more?"
"Yes, he would have," Lisa agreed with her daughter, and then adding, "Harry could tell more stories about your father than you would care to know," Lisa smiled Harry's way, having heard about only a pittance of Harry and Roger's actions herself.
"That I could, he's my first and oldest friend." Harry nodded with a laugh. "You want to know what kind of man your father was? I'll let you in on this: back in his sixth year, he put his name into the Goblet of Fire, hoping that he would be chosen. Well, obviously Cedric was; afterwards, he was so disappointed that he didn't get picked to be the Hogwarts champion, but he felt miserable feeling that way because Cedric had been chosen and he was really happy for him. So, late one night a few days after Cedric was chosen, he told me to give him all of the candy that I had, and I did just that, though he didn't let me in on what he was doing. The next morning, I walked into his room, and I found him comatose on chocolate frogs." Harry laughed at this, unable to contain himself. "I asked him what he was doing, and he said, eating away his jealousy so he could root for Cedric from then on."
"You never told me that!" Cedric exclaimed, disappointed that he wasn't able to talk about that with Roger. If he had known that Roger was jealous, he would have tried to take his name out of the tournament and allow Roger to participate instead.
"You've never told me lots of things, so consider us even," Harry grinned with a wink, knowing there were countless of stories between Cedric and Roger that he had never heard before.
"What brought this on, Harry?" Lisa asked, wondering why the fond walk down memory lane started.
"Look at those three," Harry said, gesturing to the middle of the table that housed Janus, Warrick, and Galvin, each of whom were listening to the conversation with interest. "Do they remind you of anyone?"
The entire table turned their gazes to the trio's way, looking for the resemblance that Harry was pointing out to the group. "They look exactly like you three," Remus suddenly noticed, seeing the uncanny resemblance between the two trios.
"There is a remarkable resemblance to the way you three were." Kingsley agreed from his spot next to Remus as a large smile formed on his face.
Janus, Warrick, and Galvin all looked at each other, wondering what they were talking about. Janus, with his messy black hair and emerald green eyes looked identically to his father, except without the need for glasses. Warrick, meanwhile, with his straight black hair that was combed perfectly and his warm blue eyes, he looked especially similar to the way his father looked before his untimely death. Gavin, likewise, had straight brown hair, parted in the center of his head and gray eyes that made him look like his father, Cedric. Overall, while there were a few differences between the sons and their fathers, traits inherited from their respective mothers, it was a rather amazing resemblance that they shared amongst each other.
"Wait," Janus said, reaching into his robes and taking out his wand. He ran it over one of the forks next to his plate, transfiguring the piece of silverware into a pair of round glasses that were black in color. "Okay, how about now?" He questioned, putting the glasses on and making himself look even more like his father.
"Oh Merlin," Cedric laughed, shaking his head in amusement, inwardly curious as to why they didn't point that out every time they were together. "It's like looking into a picture from thirty years ago."
"Amazing," Viktor whispered, wondering how he had not seen the resemblances before—he had seen the resemblance of each individually, but never together as a trio. "If I didn't know any better, I'd think you three were my best friends."
"You know, I wouldn't be the Minister of Magic if it wasn't for Roger," Cedric sighed, knowing that it was Roger's death that truly gave him the ambition to become the Minister of Magic in an effort to make sure that the reign of Voldemort could never happen ever again—which was why he was devoting as many Ministry resources that he could to capture the new threat that was present in the country. "If he was still around, I would have been perfectly content just being with you all, but without him around, I wanted to change the country so people like him wouldn't have to die in the future."
"That bottle of red rum that you threw against the wall can vouch for that," Theodore said, earning a small smile from everyone that had been there that day during Cedric's outburst.
"Not one of my finer moments," Cedric replied, though the smile on his face betrayed his seeming disappointment.
"On the contrary," Sirius opined, not agreeing with Cedric's assessment. "I think that was your finest moment, the magical time in your life where you decided what you were going to do and went all out to get it. When I think about you, that moment is exactly what I think about."
"As do I," Remus agreed, having always found that memory special to him as it illuminated Cedric's character. "I'm just glad we're all still here to remember it, I just wish Roger was here, as well."
"We all wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him, as the Order of the Phoenix owed him a lot," Harry started, knowing that Roger had given more than many knew. "Not to take anything away from you, Sirius, as you opened up your home for us to use and fed us every single day, but Roger also helped fund the Order of the Phoenix," Harry informed them, recalling the amount of galleons that Roger had given to Harry in order to use in the fight against Voldemort. "You two were basically the bankroll for the Order, and yet never asked for a knut in return. For that, I'm eternally grateful."
"He was always proud of that," Lisa whispered, knowing that Roger was happy doing whatever it was the Order needed, whether it was giving them money or handling the businesses while the others were busy. "I vividly remember him saying, 'I may not be able to use my wand or my name like they can, but the Order will go without want until this is over, that I can do.'"
"That we did," Kingsley said, recalling how the Order was always able to make good on its debts whenever they came up.
"To Roger, a friend that I will always have and that I think about nearly every day," Harry said, raising his glass, being followed by everyone else at the table except for Megara, who didn't understand what was going on, being too young to quite get the social moors behind such actions. "Happy Christmas, everyone, I hope our day is as happy as it can be! Shall we eat?" He took a sip of his drink, before placing his glass back down on the table.
"Merry Christmas!" came the responses, as they all took a sip of whatever drink they had in front of them, whether it was alcoholic or not.
With that, they all dug into the meal that Zeali had prepared. There were eggs, breakfast meats, Danish pastries and baked goods, fresh fruit, pancakes, waffles, and French toast, all cooked to perfection. They all ate until their bellies were full, making small talk all the while, enjoying the peacefulness that Christmas morning brought. Before long, breakfast eventually finished up, and the entire group made their way into the living room, where Christmas music was playing and there were bowls of punch, eggnog, and butterbeer, along with Christmas cookies, spread out.
The living room was decorated in the customary way of the season. There was garland wrapped around the mantle above the fireplace. There was a beautiful pine tree in the corner, decorated with baubles, lights, charmed snow, and topped by a figurine of Father Christmas, carrying his sack full of presents for the children of the world. The combined effects of the decorations set a mood that brought cheer to all those in attendance just as Tonks and Andromeda had expected when they spent all of early December decorating the entire house for the holiday season.
"Okay, okay, you've stalled long enough," Sirius called out with a smile, taking a seat in one of the couches across from Janus and Lucida, while the rest filed around them by either taking seats on the rest of the furniture, conjuring their own seating, or summoning chairs from the dinning room. "Get talking!"
"Yeah, we've been waiting just for your story," Theodore agreed with a smile, earning a slap in the arm from his wife Daphne. He shrugged Harry's way as the man let out a laugh, finding amusement in Theodore's antics.
Janus surveyed the room, and seeing that everyone had the same look of expectation on their faces, they knew it was time to tell of their adventures traveling the world. "Alright then," Janus said as he and Lucida both sat on the couch in the center of the room, allowing everyone to see and hear them before they started talking.
Janus looked over to Lucida, who nodded and reached into a bag that she had brought with her for the day. She pulled out five photo albums, got to her feet and passed them along to various sections of the room. "I guess we'll start at the beginning," Lucida said, returning to her seat after handing out the albums. "Oh, and by the way, each one of those albums is a different continent, so there are a lot of pictures—Asia is going to be the least filled since we hadn't finished there before we came back."
"These pictures are beautiful!" Emmeline Black squealed as she and Tonks started on the album that was of Janus and Lucida in South America. There were pictures of the pair standing in front of the pyramids and temples of the Aztecs, standing next to magical beasts that were of the region, and the most beautiful of all, standing above the clouds in the Andes Mountains.
"Yeah, some of them are really nice," Lucida agreed, having spent many a day organizing the albums as a way to pass the travel time. "Anyway, after we left this house that day five years ago, we walked down the dirt road until we hit the muggle road and plotted out our course. We decided to travel for seven years, viewing the six inhabited continents and spending the last year going to places that we didn't get to see on each of the continent or going back to the places that we especially liked. In order words, we were always coming back; it was never a question for us not to return, it was only a matter of when. So after we decided that, we started to head northeast through mainland Europe, until we reached Russia, and then turned back and headed west along the Mediterranean coast, spending lots of time in the Greek islands."
"What's in Greece?" Kastor Black, Sirius' youngest twin son questioned, not knowing why anyone would spend time the most time in the country.
"The island of Meropis," Janus answered, flicking his eyes over to his cousin. "It's all wizarding, not a muggle on the entire island. Think of a Hogsmeade that is the size of a small city and that's Meropis."
Lucida nodded from her spot next to Janus, agreeing with what Janus had said. "After we left Greece, we went westward and once we reached the Atlantic Ocean in Portugal, after about ten months to a year of traveling through Europe, we headed back east to Turkey and down into the Middle East before entering into Africa."
"We spent a lot of time in Egypt, most of our time there while we were in Africa actually, before we traveled down the eastern coastline and into South Africa. After South Africa, we traveled up the western coastline, and when we were done that, we crossed the Atlantic and went to Brazil."
"Oh, Brazil, I've been there!" Daphne Nott exclaimed, earning a roll of the eyes from her daughter.
"What were you doing while you were visiting all of these places?" Warrick Davies asked, wanting to know how the couple spent their days. To him, the idea of filling entire days in a random country for five years straight was hard to fathom, something that seemed much harder to do than many probably expect.
"Learning," Janus shrugged, not really able to go into any more detailed of an answer. "We met more wizards than we can probably ever remember. You'd be surprised how many Diagon Alley-like places the world has."
"How did you move about?" Gaetana Diggory asked, assuming that they couldn't apparate everywhere they wanted to go. While she knew it was possible to apparate everywhere, she also knew that only the most powerful of wizards could apparate around the world like that, and as such, she had never known anybody to actually try the feat.
"We mostly walked and apparated, but sometimes we took muggle ships," Lucida replied, recalling the numerous times where they would walk for days just to reach their destination.
"Go on!" Sirius exclaimed, hoping to hear more. While it was true that he was closer to the youngest Potter boy, Emery, he still cared deeply for Janus and wanted nothing more than to have him live a happy, fulfilling life and as such, he was interested to hear what Janus had done to achieve that goal.
"Well, we then traveled throughout South America, first traveling from Brazil down south, and spending a few days in the wizarding portion of Antarctica, before traveling north through Chile, Peru, and other South American countries that have a rich wizard heritage." Janus continued, referencing the months that they spent learning about the various cultures that South America had to offer.
"Can I ask you something? How did you not run out of gold?" Phoebe Nott asked, hoping it wasn't too personal. Sure, she was good friends with Lucida, but she knew there was a limit to that friendship, unlike her friendship with Arcturus, where the pair could ask each other whatever they felt like asking. "Five years is a long time to travel."
"We entered some amateur dueling tournaments whenever we found them," Lucida answered with a shrug, truly not having worried about money throughout their travels. "I won once or twice, but Janus won quite a few times, which earned us some galleons. But we didn't really spend a whole lot to be honest—we had a tent that had every amenity we needed so we rarely stayed in a hotel or an inn."
"We also did odd jobs for people," Janus added, filling the group in on how they really made most of their money. While the tournaments gave them galleons, it was the odd jobs that occupied most of their time.
"Like what?" Galvin Diggory asked, curious as to what they had to do to earn a living. How did they support their travels? Sure, he knew that Harry and Tonks, as well as Lucida's parents, probably gave them some galleons to start off with, but how did they stay afloat for five years worth of traveling?
"Little things," Janus answered, shaking his head, having not really found it an issue at all while they were away. After all, there were a lot of advertisements for day jobs in the magical newspapers across the world so long as one knew where to look. "We helped de-gnome this old witch's garden in Canada, helped find lost items for people, worked with curse-breakers for a bit, things like that."
"We made enough to more than support ourselves," Lucida finished, seemingly wanting the topic to end. "And then after South America, we went north to North America, and learned a lot about the magical history of the Native Americans, as well as the magical side of the States, which had been relatively unknown to us before then."
"Native American magic, what's that like?" Pollux, the other of Sirius' twins asked, intrigued at the idea of the differences between Native American magic and the magic that he had learned in Hogwarts.
"A lot of historical animagi, I'll tell you that much," Janus answered, flicking his eyes over to his father and Sirius, who both had grins on their faces. Theodore also instinctively looked over to Harry, who stared back at his old friend, finding it comical how many animagi were in the room when the process was difficult to complete.
"And after North America, we went to Australia," Lucida continued, hoping to move through the stories as quickly as possible. "We only spent about six months or so there, before going north to China. After a month or two there, we heard about what was happening back home and came right back after five and a half years of traveling: a year and a half in Europe, a year and a few months in Africa, a year in South America, a year in North America, and about 10 months between Australia and Asia."
"How did you hear about the new dark wizard?" Viktor questioned, wondering how they had learned about the wizard from halfway across the world.
"Word travels in the less savory places of the wizarding world, regardless of the country you're in," Janus answered honestly, knowing that dark wizards around the world kept an eye on various dark happenings in an effort to better pursue their selfish desires.
"What was your favorite place?" Lisa asked, wondering where it was that the pair had enjoyed themselves the most.
"Either Meropis or Egypt," Lucida answered after a moment of thought, the questioned surprising her a tad. "It was where we spent the most time. Those two places were a lot of fun, at least for me they were."
"For me, as well," Janus agreed, recalling that they had spent the most time at those two places for specific reasons. "We spent the most time there for a reason."
They spent the next half hour or so delving into what they learned and saw in more detail. They spoke about their run in with a dragon in Mexico, the hag that had attacked them in Germany, their adventures in Peru, the time they flew on the flying elephants in South Africa, as well as all of the other wonderful and magical things that they had seen throughout the world. They answered all the questions that were tossed at them, though they did not go into as much depth as the rest probably wanted them to, instead keeping their secrets to themselves. Eventually, as the photo books circled back to them, and everyone had asked what they wanted, the group turned back to individual conversations until Harry called for everyone's attention.
"As you can see, the tree is empty," He said, gesturing to the large Christmas tree that was in the corner, covered with twinkling lights, red baubles, and charmed snow, where all of the gifts that had been present on Christmas morning were gone, having been unwrapped by their owners. "But we have one more present for you, Megara," He said with a smile, as he walked out of the room, only to return a few moments later with an animal in his arms.
Megara Potter, the youngest child of Harry and Tonks sat peacefully on the couch as Harry brought her the final present of the day, the first Christmas she experienced with her oldest brother and his fiancée around. In Harry's hands, there was a gray and black kitten, barely the size of a squirrel, with a red bow for a collar. "Kneezle!" Megara yelled out excitedly, hugging the kitten closely to her as Harry gently handed the animal over to her.
"Merry Christmas, sweetie," Tonks kissed her daughter's head, as everyone smiled at her excitement. She couldn't help but be filled with happiness as she watched her daughter play with the kitten for the first time, knowing that she had made Megara happy by giving her a pet to love.
"Aw," A few people chirped, seeing the cute kitten that Megara was holding onto. A few people walked over to where Megara was sitting with her new pet, making Harry smile in satisfaction as Tonks was doing as well, happy that his daughter was happy. Eventually, the excitement died down and everyone returned to their seats and resumed the individual conversations they were having before Harry had brought Megara her present.
"So she never grew into metamorphmagus powers like you thought she would, huh, mum?" Janus questioned, looking over at his sister, who was playing with the small, grey and black kneezle, which seemed to be part snow leopard.
"Nope," Tonks shook her head, running a hand over Megara's back. Then, speaking lowly to Janus, she whispered, "She loves animals, though, so maybe she'll be another type of magus that runs in the family."
Janus looked over to his younger sister, who was throwing a ball of yarn at the kitten and watching as he ran after it. "Hello Megara," He hissed to his sister, wondering if she had inherited the parselmouth ability of their father just as he had.
"It won't work," Harry hissed back with a grin, staring over at his oldest boy. The ability to speak parseltongue was a trait that he shared with a single child, Janus, which created a bond between the pair that no one else could have. "You're the only one."
"Can we not speak parseltongue on Christmas? Okay, thanks." Phoebe Nott exclaimed, earning a round of laughter from everyone. "It freaks me out." Seeing Janus' large smile, she rolled her eyes, realizing that he was probably doing it on purpose "He knows that too—he used to say hello to me everyday when we were in Hogwarts through parseltongue."
"Dad's already tried that," Arcturus mentioned, having seen his father whispering to his sister in the language of the snakes in an effort to see if she could understand him. "He played a game with her a few years back, but she didn't respond."
"I had hoped she would be a metamorphmagus, but alas, maybe it'll show up in a grandchild or something." Tonks sighed in a sad tone, disappointed that she couldn't share her abilities with any one of her children, while Harry got to share his with Janus. "Either way, I'm hoping she's a Hufflepuff now so I can have a complete set." Tonks grinned happily; excited to see if the unlikely event of having each one of her children be in a different house actually came to pass.
"That's funny," Hermione smiled, realizing that if Megara was a Hufflepuff, the Potter children would have all been in a different house. "I wonder how many would be able to say that."
"Yes, the cunning and ambitious Slytherin," Tonks said, looking towards Janus, who was still watching his sister and her pet kneezle. Then, her eyes flicked over to Arcturus, who was talking with Phoebe Nott, seemingly in deep conversation about something. "The beautiful and intelligent Ravenclaw," She said, before moving her eyes over to Emery, who was grabbing a drink from the table and laughing with Viktor, presumably discussing something about quidditch as the pair always did when they were together. "The brave and chivalrous Gryffindor," She said, as she smiled at Megara, who looked up at her mother with wide eyes, still so happy that she received a pet. "And the hardworking and loyal Hufflepuff," She cooed to her youngest daughter, hoping that her daughter would be in her house, the house represented by the badger.
"Did you hear about that new magi-zoo that the Finch guy is opening on the Isle of Mann?" Emese Nigel, mother of Lucida questioned Tonks, wondering if she had heard about it. "Are you going to take Megara there?"
"We are, actually," Tonks answered with a nod, looking over to her oldest son's future mother in law. "That was part of her Christmas gift today: tickets to the zoo on the first day. She's in love with animals; I wouldn't be surprised if she became a magizoologist."
"Is that why you get her a kneezle?" Daphne questioned, wondering if Megara had mentioned that her desire for a kneezle beforehand.
"Pretty much," Tonks nodded, flicking her gaze over to her friend. "Though, to be honest, it was more to keep her company than anything else. I mean, the boys had each other to play with, and if not, they had all of your children, as well, but Megara's really the only one her age."
Meanwhile, across the room, everyone was enjoying their time with one another, finding joy in being around their loved ones. "I always thought the sorting hat was an old-fashioned way of sorting the students." Harmony Davies said conversationally, having always felt that there should be another way to separate the students. "I mean, all it does is create enemies between the houses, doesn't it?"
"What do you mean?" Harry asked as he took his seat next to Viktor and Cedric, raising a questioning eyebrow as he looked over to the daughter of his deceased best friend, Roger Davies.
"Well," Harmony said, expressing her opinion eloquently, just like her father was capable of doing, a trait that made him the businessman that he was known to be. "Kids focus on the negative aspects of the houses, not the positive ones, which just reinforces the notion that the other houses are bad, and the house you're in is the only good one."
"What people don't understand is that the sorting hat sorts the most prominent of a person's features at that time of their life, not the only ones." Remus interjected, having had the debate once before with Minerva McGonagall one night in the headmistress's office back when she was still the headmistress. "Take Kylie for example, he was a Slytherin, but he and Severus were the bravest men I know by doing what they did. They should have been in Gryffindor."
"As if," Theodore smiled from his seat on a chair next to Remus, giving the werewolf a large grin. "I'll take my dungeons over the Gryffindor tower any day of the week." He looked around the room, counting the amount of Slytherins that were present. "Daphne, Phoebe, Lucida, Janus, and myself; looks like the Slytherins are growing."
"It is changing, though," Hermione said, noticing that ever since Voldemort had been defeated, Slytherin wasn't the pureblood bastion it once was. Her students were more willing to interact with each other, unlike in the times of the past, where Slytherins stayed to themselves, unwilling to give muggleborns the time of day. "Compared to how it was when we went to Hogwarts, or when Remus and Sirius went to Hogwarts, its much, much different. Much, much better, I think."
As the group went into separate conversations, Hermione rose to her feet and headed over to Tonks, wanting to talk with the group of woman that were sitting together on the couches near the fire. She took a seat in between Gaetana and Daphne, giving both a small smile of greeting. "Has she spoken to you about the wedding yet?" Tonks questioned Emese Nigel, looking over to the witch's daughter, Lucida, who was sitting with her best friend Harmony, seemingly discussing something.
"No," Emese shook her head in the negative, having not yet spoken to her daughter about the wedding. "I assume she'll want a springtime one, though."
"That would be nice," Tonks grinned, knowing how pretty a spring wedding would be—with the foliage coming alive with vibrant colors and the great weather, it was a perfect time for love. "We can have it here."
"Overlooking the ocean just like yours?" Gaetana inquired, raising an amused eyebrow. She recalled watching Harry and Tonks get married with the crashing waves of the ocean as a backdrop, with all the sights, sounds, and smells that the ocean brought; it was quite the spectacle.
"Exactly," Tonks nodded enthusiastically, unable to contain her excitement at the prospect. She was thrilled to have Lucida become her daughter in law, having seen how much the pair cared about one another while they grew up.
"Your wedding was beautiful, so that would be fantastic," Andromeda opined, wishing that she herself had a wedding like Tonks and Harry had. When she and Ted had gotten married, it was a simple affair in her uncle Alphard's backyard, with very few people there and very little grandeur.
"Perfect," Emese smiled, hoping that it would come to fruition like she pictured it would. "I always knew they would get married some day. They've been enamored with each other since they were children."
"Didn't they meet at Sirius birthday?" Emmeline questioned, remembering the party she had hosted for her husband's 50th birthday. "What were they, eight or so?"
"Well," Tonks thought out loud, doing the math in her head. "Sirius was 50, so Janus was 6, and I guess Lucida was 7."
"We all met before that, but yeah, that was when they first spent a lot of time together," Emese agreed with a nod of her head, agreeing that it was at Sirius' party that Lucida and Janus started their infatuation with one another.
Seeing her oldest son walking over to the snack table by himself, Tonks quietly excused herself, jumped to her feet and walked to catch up with him. Janus gave her a sideways glance when she reached him, pouring two glasses of eggnog for them to enjoy. "Anything I should know about that neither of them is telling me? Arcturus seems off for some reason." He questioned, looking over to his younger brother, who was talking with Phoebe Nott.
"Oh, you know your brother, never willing to take a handout," Tonks murmured as she shook her head. "You should go see how he lives, look in his icebox. It's empty."
"He's not doing well?" Janus asked with a raised eyebrow, curious if that was what his mother meant by that statement.
"Not exceptionally," Tonks sighed, sad that her middle son wasn't as successful as he should be. "While I'm sure you're aware, he apprenticed for Ollivander after leaving Hogwarts, collecting ingredients for him, you know going to the unicorns, finding trees, all of those kinds of things, and studied wandlore, and then started his own shop. Unfortunately, however, Ollivander has too large of a hold on the wand market, which is hurting him. We've offered to help him, but you know him."
"I'll figure a way to help him," Janus promised, his eyes flicking over to Lucida, who was looking his way. "He's talented, he deserves success." He watched as Arcturus got to his feet and left the room, presumably going to the bathroom.
Arcturus returned a few moments later, and upon seeing an empty seat next to Lucida, he walked over to the couch that she was at and sat down. "Sickle for your thoughts," He said, giving the woman a sideways glance.
"Just a lot of people here, that's all," Lucida replied with a shrug, not really having anything to say. She was a quiet person, one that really only spoke when spoken to, similarly to Janus, which was why they got along so well in the first place. "What about you?"
"What promise were you referencing the other night?" Arcturus asked quietly, wanting to know what Lucida was talking about when she said that she and Janus had returned to fulfill a promise. He had tried to ask in the room at the Leaky Cauldron a few nights prior when the conversation first came about, but Janus' return to the room from the bathroom had prevented him from getting the answer.
Lucida looked in Arcturus' eyes, and gave out a loud sigh, knowing that she would have to tell Arcturus what she meant the other night. "I don't even know if I should tell you this, especially not here, but…you see, your father made Janus promise that he wouldn't become the next Dark Lord before we left five years ago. He made him promise that if a Dark Lord ever came, it wouldn't be Janus and instead, Janus would be right there next to him, fighting the good fight. That's why we came back, to fulfill that promise to your father."
"I didn't know that," Arcturus admitted, biting his lip in thought. When did Janus make this promise? Was he there for it or was it a secret meeting between his father and his brother?
"As so you wouldn't," Lucida agreed, fully believing that she was the only one that did know about it outside of Janus and Harry. "When has Janus ever been open? Ever? How many snide comments have people made about him that he just ignores? Do you think he'd ever admit that his father, the one man that was always on his side and never once questioned him, not even scolded him, wanted to make sure that he didn't become a Dark Lord?"
"I never thought my father would say that," Arcturus mumbled, surprised that Harry would tell Janus such a thing. He knew that Janus had darkness inside of him, but he also knew that Janus was too proud to devolve into such a wizard, one that used his immense powers and abilities to terrorize those around him. "Why did Janus want to know about the basilisk wand?"
"I have no idea," Lucida lied, not wanting to divulge that information. She was willing to tell as much as Janus wanted to be revealed, such as the promise that he had made to his father or any other question that fit within that scope, but she would not go against their plan and tell Arcturus something that Janus felt necessary to keep secret.
"As a wandmaker, Janus' wand does frighten me, I must admit." Arcturus opined, having used the components of his brother's wand many times during his career, though only once in conjunction with one another. "His wand is not only well suited for the dark arts, but perhaps is best suited for it. However, a basilisk wand is even more suited for the dark arts, which is saying something."
Before Lucida could respond to what Arcturus had said, a voice from her side drew the attention of all those in the room. "It's snowing again!" The voice exclaimed, as everyone turned their gazes to the large windows that showed the snow falling outside, covering the ground in a pristine layer of pure white.
"Anyone want to go build a snowman?" Warrick suggested, getting to his feet with a large smile on his face. It had been a few years since he had built a snowman, but with the festivities happening around him, he was in such a good mood that he felt the urge to partake in childhood things once more.
"I would, but I flooed here, so I don't have my winter jacket," Phoebe Nott said in a disappointed tone, depressed that she wouldn't be able to go out with the group.
"Are you a witch or not?" Arcturus said, shaking his head in amusement at Phoebe. He took out his wand, twirled it, and conjured a green parka, one that had white fure lining. "There you go."
"Oh, right, thanks," Phoebe said, blushing a bit in embarrassment as she accepted the coat from Arcturus. It wasn't that she had forgotten she was a witch and could use magic to conjure a jacket, but rather, she always wanted to be able to support herself without magic that it made her think of using magic as a last resort.
"Can I go too, mummy?" Megara questioned, hoping that her mother would allow her to play in the snow.
"I'll be with her," Arcturus said, getting to his feet, willing to join in on the fun and watch his sister all the while.
"Me too," Emery agreed, offering to look after his sister and allow his brother to enjoy his time with his friends in the snow.
Tonks weighed the request, before giving in with a nod. "Sure," Tonks answered her daughter, not wanting to disappoint Megara, especially not on Christmas. "Go and get your coat from the closet."
"Okay!" Megara chirped, placing her kitten gently onto the floor and jumping from the couch to get her jacket. Andromeda got to her feet, as well, following her granddaughter out of the room to help the young girl to put on her jacket and zip it up tightly.
The younger generation all went out into the snow, leaving the older ones to stay inside by the fire. They all built a large snowman together that stood nearly twelve feet tall, which came to life via an animation spell and then chased after everyone, before breaking off into two groups: the bigger group built two snow forts and had a large snowball fight, while the other group of three made snow angels with Megara. They spent the better part of an hour out there with smiles on their faces, having fun in the snow for the first time since they were children, before they all went back inside and enjoyed a nice cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows.
A few hours later, dinnertime came, and with it, everyone made their way into the dining room once more. There was a large roast beast in the center of the table, surrounded by various side dishes that all looked delicious. They all took the same seats as before, and after dishing out the food and wishing each other a Merry Christmas, they all dug into the gourmet meal that had been prepared by Zeali, the Potter's loyal house-elf. Bottles of wine were being passed around the group, each enjoying the merriment that the day brought to them all—it was a family, even with the varying shades of relatedness that existed amongst them.
Before dessert, Harry, Janus and Arcturus went out to the kitchen to make sure Zeali didn't need any help. "So you had a good trip, hm?" Harry questioned on the way, still wanting to learn more about Janus' travels, knowing that there was still some stories that Janus had not yet told, some morsels that were left unsaid.
"It was amazing," Janus nodded, knowing that he would never be able to forget all that he saw and learned while he was away. It was an experience of a lifetime, one that he was glad to have done with Lucida, the love of his life. "I have gifts for you all, but with Christmas, and especially everything else that is going on right now, I didn't have time to get them out yet. I hope to be able to do it later tonight."
"Understandable," Harry smiled, flicking his eyes over to Arcturus, who quietly listened on. "Let's just hope that this all ends soon enough, before people start really getting hurt."
"Janus will be able to help," Arcturus said, knowing that his brother would be a big asset to the cause. While the recruits that he brought to the Order at his father's request had been decent wizards and witches in their own right, none of them were to the caliber of Janus, who stood far above the rest when it came to wizarding might.
"Yeah," Harry said, knowing that Janus' presence probably would allow them to end it sooner than later. Then, looking over to the elf that quietly sat at the kitchen table, he cocked an eyebrow. "Do you need any help, Zeali?"
"Zeali is all finished," The elf smiled up at his master, before snapping his fingers. As a result of his action, all of the cakes, pies, and biscuits that had been on the counter disappeared, presumably going to the dining room table for everyone to enjoy.
"You can come out and eat with us, you know," Harry suggested, hoping the elf would finally take him up on his standing offer. He had always been a good master to Zeali, a kind and loving one, but Zeali for some reason wanted to stick with the customary duties of the house elf and was never willing to take anything more than what he deemed as fair: a couple of days off every month and a few galleons a week as a salary, along with a bedroom in the basement. That wasn't to say that Zeali did not consider the Potters his family, for he did, along with his father Dobby (who had since retired from Sirius' employ), but while he was working, Zeali liked to keep as professional as he could, even with his desire to be a little freer than many of the other house elves liked to be.
"Zeali has plans, Master Harry," Zeali squeaked, excited with how he would be spending the rest of the Christmas evening. He would get to see his father and mother, along with a choice friend that he hoped to see more often.
"Have a date Zeali?" Janus smiled, assuming that was what the little elf meant.
"Yes!" Zeali replied embarrassedly, not daring to meet the wizard's gaze.
"That's great, Zeali," Harry laughed, happy for the elf. He knew that Zeali was still relatively young in his thirties, even with having been in his service for over twenty years, as Zeali had been very young when he first started working for Harry all those years prior. "Have fun!"
"Zeali will, Master Harry. Happy Christmas to you all," Zeali said, before disappearing, having completed his duties for the night. Looking at each other, Harry and his two sons all shrugged in amusement, before turning and heading back towards the dining room.
"Harry, I just wanted to say Merry Christmas," Theodore Nott said, walking towards them just as they were exiting the kitchen.
"You're leaving?" Harry questioned disappointedly, not wanting his friend to depart so early in the night. Over the years, the pair had become closer, with Theodore eventually taking a Roger's spot in the group in body, though certainly not in spirit as Roger would always be with them.
"Yeah, we promised Tracey and Despereaux that we would stop by before the night ended," Theodore answered with a nod, knowing that he had to make an appearance for his other friends so his wife would be happy. "We figured we'd go there for dessert. Daphne just left to pick something up at our house before she heads over there, said to tell you goodnight and Merry Christmas, but Phoebe is staying here for a bit."
"Okay, give the both of them my regards," Harry smiled, having not seen Despereaux or Tracey since the Notts had hosted a holiday party a year prior. "See you next week at the meeting?" Harry questioned, looking over to Theo as he made his way towards the fireplace that was in the living room.
"Yeah," Theo nodded in the affirmative. "I'll try to see if I can weasel my way into this dark collective, but I'm not having much luck so far."
"You're trying to go back under cover?" Janus asked curiously, having not expected to hear that news. He knew that Theo had been integral in the fight against the Dark Lord Voldemort by gathering information in his 'Kylie' persona, but he didn't know that the person was still useful even without Voldemort around.
"Yes, but the only thing is that most of my contacts are still in Azkaban, at least those that were Death Eaters," Theo answered, earning a look of understanding from Janus. "I need them in order to get my foot in the group."
"Just be careful," Harry said with a furrowed brow, not knowing how he felt about Theo making such efforts and putting himself in unnecessary danger. "It's not worth it if it gets you injured. You mean more to us, to me, than simply information."
"Don't worry, I'll be okay," Theo grinned, not worried about any injury coming to him, having honed his skills of occlumency and legilimency over the years. "See you."
"Bye Kylie," Harry called out, watching as Theo disappeared in a flash of green flames.
"His spying was that helpful against Voldemort?" Janus inquired, wondering if it was helpful enough for Theodore to risk exposing himself to even more danger. While he knew Theodore's actions were crucial to beating Voldemort, he didn't know how crucial they ended up being, as Harry had defeated Voldemort in a straight up duel, rather than with subterfuge.
"Unbelievably so," Harry answered, gripping his son's shoulder. "He was one of the ones, along with Severus Snape and another disloyal Death Eater named Rosier that helped bring Voldemort to an end. Without them, I'm not sure we would have been victorious as they accomplished one final mission for us, which still marks Theodore's hand to this day."
"That's why it's purple?" Arcturus asked, having always wondered why Theodore's hand was a shade of violet, but never wanting to be rude and ask about it.
"Yes," Harry nodded, knowing that the feint purple tone of Theodore's hand was because of the bite mark that Nagini had given him while trying to kill the piece of soul that resided in her. "Shall we get back?" He questioned, before turning and walking out of the living room and into the dining room, which was bustling with people. Harry and his two sons returned to their seats, enjoying the various desserts that the table had to offer.
"Where'd you go?" Lucida questioned him, glancing away from her conversation for a brief moment.
"I just had an interesting conversation with my father and Theodore Nott," Janus murmured into Lucida's ear, hoping that no one would overhear him. "I'll tell you about it later, but be prepared for a long night tonight, a late one."
"But I thought Santa delivered all his presents last night?" Lucida whispered back to him, not understanding why it would be a long night.
"He did, but we have Boxing Day to take care of so just be ready," Janus whispered with a small smile, appreciating Lucida's joke, but wanting her to take it seriously. "Be sure to continue to remember to use your occlumency to guard your thoughts."
"Okay," She nodded, as she turned her attention back to the conversation she had been having with Phoebe and Harmony before Janus had drawn her ear away from it.
Before long, the desserts were all gone and many of the guests began to head home, with only Remus, the Potters, the Blacks, the Tonks and the Nigels staying behind. They all sat around the fire as they enjoyed a nightcap, not discussing anything in particular, but each enjoying it nonetheless. Christmas music played lowly in the background over the wizarding wireless, creating a warm ambiance that enveloped the room. Eventually, as the night neared its end, the Blacks and Remus said goodnight, returning to their respective homes, having enjoyed a wonderful Christmas with their loved ones.
When he saw that it was only his immediate family still there—his siblings, his father and mother, his grandparents, and Lucida and her parents—Janus got to his feet and pulled three wrapped gifts out from Lucida's bag. "Lucida and I wanted to give you all the Christmas presents that we have for you since we didn't get the opportunity to do it earlier," He said, handing the packages over to Lucida to dole out to their respective recipients.
"Here you go, sweetie," Lucida said, giving a tired Megara a present wrapped in paper that had moving snowmen on it. She then walked over to Emery, before handing him a package, where he received it with a furrowed brow, curious as to what was inside.
"Arcturus, Lucida and I will bring your present to you soon, it's not one that we can just hand to you like these three are," Janus informed his brother, wanting to convey to the younger wizard that they hadn't forgotten about him. His brother nodded in understanding, not all concerned with when he would receive his present, or that he would receive one at all. "And as for you guys, both sets of parents, we didn't know what to get you, if we're being honest."
"Oh, that's more than okay, you guys returning here is all that we wanted," Lucida's father Peleus said, happy to have his daughter home for Christmas more than anything else. "And I'm sure Harry and Tonks agree."
"Absolutely," Tonks nodded enthusiastically, having been given the greatest Christmas present she could ask for with Janus' return. Before their appearance in the basement of Sirius' home, she had no idea fi she would ever see her son again, so to have him around was a blessing that she would never take for granted.
"That may be so, but we know you all missed us, so with that in mind, we wanted to be with you guys, just us three, to catch up and spend some time together," Lucida said, hoping to give her parents exactly what they wanted—time with her. "Just you, me, and mum for a day or two, how does that sound?"
"Same goes for you guys," Janus added, gesturing to his parents, wanting them to know that he planned on doing the same thing with them as Lucida was doing with her own parents.
"That sounds great," Harry smiled, excited for the prospect of spending time alone with Janus. It had been many years since Harry and Tonks had been alone for an entire day with Janus; if Harry was remembering correctly, it had been since the trio's day in Diagon Alley before Janus entered Hogwarts since they had last been together alone.
"Good," Janus nodded, then adding with a smile, he said, "Merry Christmas, everyone."
"Merry Christmas!" They all returned in unison as Lucida brought one last present over to Andromeda and Ted.
"Can I open this now?!" Megara questioned, too anxious to wait any longer. It was well beyond her bedtime, but because it was Christmas, Tonks and Harry had allowed her to stay up for an extra hour, a treat that she enjoyed to the fullest by playing with her new kitten, which she had yet to name.
"Yes," Janus laughed, watching as his little sister ripped the package open to reveal a book entitled 'The Big Book of Big Beasts'. "It's a book of the largest animals in the world, both magical and not, all with facts and moving pictures." He explained, keeping his gaze on his sister as she interestedly flipped through the book and looked at the pictures, apparently happy with the gift.
"What do you say, Megara?" Tonks questioned, wanting to instill manners into her daughter at a young age. She recalled how her mother had never allowed her to play with any presents unless she said thank you for each one, a parenting device that she intended to use on her own daughter, just as she had used on her sons.
"Thank you," Megara said, placing the book on the couch next to her and getting to her feet. She crossed the room to where Janus was sitting, and gave him a hug, bringing a smile onto everyone's face.
"You're quite welcome, little one," Janus said softly, thrilled that his sister was starting to warm up to him. "Lucida gave it to you, too, you know. Think you can give her a hug?" He questioned, watching as Megara gave Lucida a hug as well, one that Lucida had gladly accepted in return. Janus flicked his eyes over to Emery, as the younger wizard started to unwrap his own gift. He saw Emery's eyes go wide, before furrowing his brow, apparently trying to decipher what the present was: it was a round golden piece of metal, with two interlocking beater bats engraved upon one side.
"Is this…?" Emery started, before shaking his head, not believing what he was holding. He recognized the symbol on it immediately, having seen it many times over the course of his life, even dreaming of it when he was a child.
"The gold medal from the first modern quidditch World Cup in 1862, yeah," Janus nodded with a smile, happy that he was correct in his assessment that his brother would appreciate the gift immensely. While he and Emery did not get along too well, he still wanted his brother to have a happy Christmas, regardless of their differences.
"What?" Harry exclaimed quickly, his eyes wide in amazement, surprised that they were able to find such an item. Not many members of World Cup champions gave up their medals, or trophies depending on the host country, so to find one on the open market was exceptionally rare. "That must have cost a fortune."
"It did," Lucida replied, turning her gaze over to Janus, who shrugged in response, not really concerned with how much they spent. They had done enough odd jobs on their trip to secure a comfortable life for themselves in his opinion, especially considering the pay for the job that had set up their return to Great Britain in the first place, and a little splurging on family at Christmas was not going to change that fact.
"This is awesome," Emery whispered, running his fingers over the medal with an excited look on his face. "Thank you!" He said, truly grateful for the gesture, the historical significance of it not escaping him.
"You're welcome," Janus replied, earning a smile from everyone in the room, all of them well aware of the difficulties that the brother's had with each other. "Your turn now," He said, looking over to his grandparents, Andromeda and Ted, who had yet to open their package.
Ted and Andromeda looked at each other with a smile, before Andromeda tentatively unwrapped the package, not really knowing what to expect. Once the packaged was completely unwrapped, she noticed that it was a box with various packets inside, each labeled with the name of a different country. "What is this?"
"We didn't know what to get you, but we knew that you had enjoyed traveling, so we got you a really cool thing that we saw in Uruguay," Janus started, gesturing to the package on Andromeda's lap. "You see those packets? Each one has a different meal for two inside. You simply toss the packet into a fire, and from the packet, a pot will appear. Inside the pot will be a different meal from all the countries that is included in the box. The meal is the national dish of the respective country that is on the packet."
"That is pretty cool," Emese said, impressed with the gift. She enjoyed the neat little magic that the world contained, things that many people overlooked because it wasn't flashy enough.
"I can't wait to try it," Ted said enthusiastically, agreeing with Emese's assessment. "It looks like we have dinner for the next month or so." He grinned to Andromeda, who nodded her head in approval.
"The wizard who invented it was a genius," Lucida informed them, though she did not know him personally. "Some of the best charm work I've ever seen."
"I've never even heard of this," Harry said, sliding into the seat next to Andromeda in order to get a better look at the gift. The packets reminded him of muggle hot chocolate packets, or maybe even army rations, though he knew those tended to be a bit bigger than the packets that were in the box.
"You will soon enough," Janus replied knowingly, having felt the type of magic that the packets contained—it was some of the greatest he had ever seen. "It's going to be a while before it makes its way over here, but it will eventually."
After the Tonks and the Nigels left, Arcturus went to go visit a nameless friend, and Megara was fast asleep in her own bed, Janus and Lucida both said their goodbyes to Harry, Tonks, and Emery, intent on spending the final hours of Christmas day alone together. "I'll see you tomorrow, mum," Janus called out as he and Lucida stepped into the green flames inside the fireplace while holding hands and disappeared, heading back to their temporary room in the Leaky Cauldron .
"Bye," Tonks waved, before walking up the stairs to her bedroom, stifling a tired yawn all the while. After changing into her nightgown and preparing herself for bed, she got under the covers just as the door popped open and Harry closed it behind him.
"I loved hearing about Janus' travels," Harry said as he came into the room after tucking Megara into her bed. He disrobed and jumped into bed, pulling the covers over his body as he got comfortable, resting his head against the pillow while looking up to this wife.
"They did and saw so much," Tonks sighed, wishing that she had been able to see it along with them. While she had traveled some in her younger years, before she met Harry, it was never to that extent, making her somewhat jealous of her son's adventures. "I'm so glad that he's home."
"Me too," Harry agreed, stifling a yawn, tired from the day's events. "Goodnight, sweetheart."
"Night," Tonks said, using her wand to extinguish the lights of the room. She snuggled under the covers, the warmth of the bed enveloping her, and as such, it did not take long for the darkness of sleep to overcome her.
Though she did not know what time it was, but later that night, Tonks rolled over as she heard the door to her bedroom close, and tiredly opened her eyes to see Harry sitting on the edge of the bed. He was taking off his shirt and getting back under the covers, apparently having spent that last few minutes out of them. "What's wrong?" Tonks questioned quietly, wondering why her husband had gotten out of bed at such a late hour.
"There was a break out at Azkaban," Harry whispered, keeping his eyes on the ceiling, seemingly lost in thought as to what had happened. "All of the former Death Eaters escaped. Those that are still alive, that is."
Tonks gulped the ball that was in her throat, knowing that she had Auror friends that had been working at the prison. "That's awful. What happened? Are the guards okay? What about the dementors?" She asked quickly, not knowing what the answers would be, having only experienced a break out of the prison twice before—once when it was her own cousin, Sirius Black.
"Shacklebolt said one of the guards was imperiused, and the dementors were driven away by his patronus," Harry answered, thankful that no one was hurt, even if it was at the expense of the Death Eaters escaping. "Apparently the two dark wizards were there, as well, and went through the prison freeing them all from their cells."
"Do we have to do anything?" Tonks asked, wondering if she was needed. While she was still technically an Auror, she rarely went out into the field anymore, oftentimes just covering the desk duty whenever an Auror called in sick.
"No," Harry shook his head in the negative, having already accomplished what was needed for the time being. There would be more to do in the morning, but because there was nothing to do until then, it would be useless not to get a goodnight's sleep. "Go back to sleep. We'll deal with it in the morning."
"Okay," Tonks agreed, snuggling into his shoulder in an effort to fall back to sleep, though she did not know if she would be able to do so with Azkaban's breakout running through her head. "Merry Christmas, Harry," She whispered, hoping to get one final moment of joy out of the day.
"Happy Christmas, Tonks," Harry replied with a smile, closing his eyes in his attempt to fall back to sleep. He had a good day, a good Christmas with his son being back, regardless of the bad ending to it. It was his sincere hope that the rest of his Christmases would be as peaceful as the one he had just experienced and that his children would be there with him on Christmas for the rest of his life like they were that day. With that in mind, as he was slipping into darkness of sleep, he opened his lips and whispered, "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night..."
A/N: Hope you all enjoyed this chapter and got an even greater sense in the direction the sequel would be going! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all the readers out there. I hope you have, or have had in the case of many, a wonderful holiday season, regardless of what you celebrate.