Harry and Hermione and their children prepare for a day in the snow. A Harmony one-shot, part of the ‘Harmony At Home’ series.
A Harmony One-Shot. Part of the Harmony at Home series
The large bed depressed unevenly, first on the left, then on the right. There was an exchange of low hisses, as blame was hastily assigned, but then all went still.
“You wake her.”
“No…you wake her…as it was your idea.”
“Celesca…you’re younger than me…Mummy won’t tell you off as much.”
“Shut up, Soph. You know you’re Mummy’s favourite…”
Hermione huffed to herself and stirred awake as her daughters argued. “Girls, girls…stop rowing…I don’t have favourites. I don’t like either of you…”
“Mummy!” the girls chimed together, the first time they’d agreed all morning.
“I love you both!” said Hermione, grabbing her girls by their waists and pulling them to her in a fit of giggles. “Now, where are my kisses?”
She soon learned, as she was assaulted by them.
“That’s better,” Hermione grinned. “Now…why are you waking me up on Christmas Eve? At this hour?”
“Well,” said little Celesca, bouncing on the bed. “Daddy and Uncle Neville have gone to get some carrots for Santa’s Reindeer.”
“Mummy?” asked Sophie, who was nine years old and worldly in her ways. “Does Daddy know that Santa isn’t real?”
“Who told you that?” asked Hermione, sitting up.
“I did,” said Celesca, calmly. “Last Christmas, see, when we had the Grotto in Godric’s Hollow, Santa had a lightening-shaped scar on his head, just like Daddy. I knew it was him, just pretending.”
“Why was Daddy pretending to be Santa Claus, Mummy?” asked Sophie.
“Well,” said Hermione, mastering herself. “Santa is very busy at Christmas. It’s really hard to get to every little boy and girl in the world in one night to give them presents. So, sometimes, when the workload gets too much, Santa asks people to go into shops and things for him. He gives the best presents to the kids of those mummies and daddies that help him out when he needs it.”
“Oooh, ooh,” said Celesca excitedly. “Does that mean that we’ll get the best presents, because Daddy helped Santa?”
“I can’t tell you that,” said Hermione, evasively. “You’ll just have to wait till tomorrow.”
“But, Mummy,” Sophie complained. “We can’t wait. We’ve decided.”
“Well, you’re just going to have to,” said Hermione, sternly. “It’s only for one more sleep…then you can open all those presents under the tree.”
“Can’t we have just one?” Celesca begged. She was so earnest, so cute, that Hermione almost gave in to her youngest girl. But she managed to stay motherly firm.
“Just a little one? Please?” Sophie pleaded.
“No, not even a little one,” said Hermione firmly.
“But, Mummy, that’s really so unfair,” Celesca complained bitterly. “We opened the last doors on our advent calendars today. Sophie had a new Gobstones set, but all I had was a silly little pill-o-pers stone. It’s pretty, but it’s rubbish. It doesn’t do anything. It’s really so rubbish.”
“Yes, it is,” Sophie agreed, lording it over her sister. “Especially as when Daddy let us open a present yesterday, I had a years’ supply of Chocolate Frogs.”
“Oh, he did, did he?” asked Hermione, narrowing her eyes. “I shall have to speak to your father about that.”
“Please, Mummy, don’t take them away,” Sophie begged. “I so love Chocolate Frogs. I had your card in the last pack Daddy gave me.”
“Oh…really?” asked Hermione, blushing at her daughters’ enthusiasm.
“Oh yes,” said Sophie, keenly. “But Daddy traded with me for one of Nicolas Flamel. I hope you don’t mind. I needed him. I’ve nearly finished the Alchemists Page in my sticker book. All I need to get now is Paracelsus…oh, and Daddy, himself, of course. His card is so hard to get, Mummy, did you know?”
Hermione grinned to herself. “Your father was always hard to get, sweetheart.”
“Stop talking about stickers,” said Celesca, crossly. “We are supposed to be going out in the snow.”
Hermione sighed that the truth had outed at last.
“Okay, girls, let me get dressed.”
“Yay!” Sophie and Celesca tweeted in joy. “We’ll get ourselves ready, Mummy, You’ll see.”
Hermione had serious doubts about that, but said nothing as her girls disappeared from the room. She eased herself from bed and looked out of the window. The garden was covered in a blanket of white. It was stunningly pretty and Hermione was stirred by a sense of festive cheer. She smiled to herself. Her girls would likely wear her out, but it promised to be a lovely day.
Maybe she could just perch some Christmas cakes on her bump and leave them to their revelry. That might work for her.
But things soon took a turn for the insane. A blonde-haired head popped around the door.
“Mummy…can we bring toys?”
“Just one or two, Cesc,” Hermione replied.
“Okay.” And little Celesca popped away.
“Look, Mummy,” said Sophie, emerging in the gap Celesca had left. “I’ve put my earmuffs on and I’m wearing all my jumpers, as its cold outside.”
Sophie looked like she was dressed for a spell on the moon.
“You won’t need that many jumpers,” said Hermione, crossly. “You’ll be too hot. Take them off.”
“But I cant pick which one I want,” Sophie complained.
“Pick your favourite,” said Hermione, getting irked.
“They’re all my favourite,” Sophie pointed out. “Besides, it’s not fair to the others if I pick one out special.”
“And look, Mummy,” said Celesca, emerging from her room. “I’ve got my dump truck and bucket and spade. Should I bring my fishing rod, too?”
“No,” said Hermione, her exasperation growing. “They are summer toys. Not snow toys. Put them back.”
“Put them back!” Hermione snapped. “And get dressed properly. Snow days are no place for your tutu.”
“But, Mummy, I like my tutu,” Celesca frowned. “I think I look pretty in it.”
“You do look pretty,” Hermione huffed, then she turned to Sophie and frowned. For she was now half naked and all her clothes were in a pile at her feet. “What are you doing?”
“My jumpers, Mummy…they made me so hot, I had to take them off.”
“Can I just take my bucket and spade, Mummy? I’d so like to build an ice palace for a princess…”
Hermione slumped back and sat quietly against the wall. For a moment, nothing moved but her shoulders. Then, a minute or so later, two pairs of little arms slipped around her neck.
“Don’t cry, Mummy, we’re sorry,” said Sophie softly. “Look. I’ve put my favourite jumper on. It’s the emerald green one, look, like Daddies’ eyes.”
“And I’ll just take my dolly,” added Celesca. “She likes the snow. Don’t cry, Mummy.”
There was a whoosh in the hallway and Hermione felt herself scooped up into fierce, loving arms. He was such a dick, he could always cheer her up, even when she felt sure she should be mad at him. He kissed her forehead and gently smoothed her engorged belly.
“I’ve pulled a sickie for the next fortnight. I’m sorry, Min, I should have given work the finger months ago.”
“Daddy!” Celesca and Sophie chorused.
“Right, I’m thinking Potter Winter Games,” said Harry energetically, kissing Hermione again and turning to his girls. “Sledging, Snowball Fights and an ice skating race around the pond. Mummy…will you be the judge?”
Hermione smiled up at Harry, as Sophie and Celesca whooped in excitement. Pregnancy made her so hormonal, but he was so ridiculously lovely he just made her melt.
“Are you really staying?” she asked gently.
“Hermione…I should never have left,” Harry replied. “If I ever make that mistake again, I give you permission to hex me senseless.”
Hermione grinned. “Okay. But I’ll change the h to an s. A girl has needs.”
Harry swooned at her. “That works, too.”