Disclaimer: These characters are not mine, they’re J.K. Rowling's.
A/N: Thanks go to Arabella for beta-reading! J And also, thank you Rachel for giving me the
quote, ‘Somebody’s in a bad mood’.
The Christmas Present
the Christmas break approached, the teachers began to pile more and more
homework on the students.
I can’t stand this anymore!’ Tory
exclaimed one day, after a particularly difficult Potions lesson with Professor
Snape (who was the Potions teacher as well as the Headmaster. As if they didn’t already have enough to do
with him!). Christopher Longbottom had
added his newt tails too early, and the whole potion blew up in his face,
giving him an enlarged nose and several boils.
Snape had already been in a very bad mood that day, and had given poor
Christopher detention and taken twenty points from Gryffindor for his
‘clumsiness.’ Then he had given an extra
amount of homework because they apparently ‘hadn’t learned enough.’
neither.’ Jenny looked once again at the
large pile of homework Snape had given them, and groaned loudly.
took seats in the Great Hall for lunch.
Setting her books down, Jenny peered around the table, and was relieved
to see that Christopher’s nose had gone back to normal size with no boils on
‘Oh!’ Tory jumped to her feet. ‘Jenny, I forgot my bag of potion ingredients
in the dungeon! I’ll be right back.’ Tory took off, nearly crashing headlong into
a Ravenclaw Prefect.
you aren’t a Mudblood, Granger.’ The voice that spoke was full of a horrible,
twisted kind of laughter. Jenny did not
need to turn around to know who it was.
go back to your slimy Slytherin table.’
asked my father about your surname. He
told me everything.’
up. I don’t know what you’re talking
about.’ Jenny hissed. But—who else would tell her? No!
No! No, she was not going to hear it from Malfoy. ‘What… did he tell you?’ Jenny hated herself for asking Malfoy
that. Those five words… she knew she was
going to regret this…
mean you don’t know? Well, of course you wouldn’t... my father
Malfoy! C’m ‘ere, look at this!’ Malfoy gave one last sneer and hurried over
to the Slytherin table to see what his friend was pointing at in the Daily Prophet.
already knew what they were looking at.
They were pointing to the page on the escape of Ron Weasley.
could have sworn she saw Malfoy sneer at her again.
the late evening, just before twilight, Jenny sat alone in her room, curled up
in a ball on her bed with the hangings shut.
She thought about what Malfoy had said as she stroked Crookshanks
absentmindedly. The cat’s yellow eyes
were like two shining suns as he closed them happily; his body became an orange
mountain, which rose and fell like the rolling waves in an ocean as he purred
softly after each rhythmic breath. He
was lucky. He knew his family, even if
he was a very old cat.
was wearing a white shirt, which made her long, red hair look like wine up
against it. Her hair was unusually
straight tonight—normally it was wavy so it looked half its real length, and
she was surprised at how long it had gotten to be. I wonder what my dad’s hair was like…
wondered what Malfoy had been talking about.
She wondered if her mum had been a witch. Did everyone know something she didn’t?
‘Jenny?’ Tory’s voice came from the door. Jenny didn’t want to talk to anyone right
now. She wanted to be alone.
pretended to be asleep.
awoke very early that morning. The sun
hadn’t even risen yet, but it was near dawn, because there was a thin line of
pink on the horizon. Something had been
troubling her, so she had gotten up. From
the windowsill, she watched the Gryffindor Quidditch team practice.
was Christmas Eve. This would be the
first Christmas she’d had without her mum.
just remembered what she had wanted to do last night. Jenny took out a quill pen, her ink and a
piece of parchment from under her bed.
I’m beginning to worry about you. What is happening? Why aren’t you replying to my letters? It’s nearly Christmas, and you still haven’t
sent me a letter! Classes are fine, but
I hate Potions. I really hate Malfoy.
rolled up the parchment and left the dormitory.
She had just reached the portrait hole, when she heard someone speak
you going?’ The voice belonged to
Tory. She was in a crimson armchair, her
hair was a mess, and she had deep circles under her eyes.
the owlery,’ Jenny replied hastily, pursing her lips. She didn’t want to talk. She wanted to send a letter. ‘You look tired. Why don’t you go back to bed?’
coming with you.’ Tory gingerly got to
her feet and yawned widely.
want to go alone,’ Jenny snapped.
looked slightly hurt, but turned to go back to bed, muttering under her breath,
‘Somebody’s in a bad mood.’
took off at once, though she felt slightly sorry for being so harsh on Tory
when she had just wanted to comfort her.
Jenny decided that she was not a morning person.
took a slower pace once she had gotten all the way to the third floor near the
owlery. There were only a few people up,
but they were either ghosts or teachers.
inside the owlery, Jenny found a small brown owl that seemed to be waiting to
deliver a letter. He eagerly extended
his leg for Jenny to tie the letter to.
The owl took off through the window; however, she remained where she
was, looking all around her at the different owls. Some were small, some large, some brown, some
gray and some were a snowy white. It
fascinated her to see so many owls. It’s funny, Jenny thought, how much I have to get used to in the wizarding
manor’s walls looked silvery in the pale moonlight. They stood tall and menacing. Just
like prison walls…
thought haunted Ron. Prison was worse
than a nightmare. Malfoy was going to
pay for all the years Ron had had to suffer.
Ron was going to follow him, haunt him.
then he would find Jenny and tell her the truth.
was shaken awake by Tory.
‘Jenny! OI JENNY!
Are you alive? C’mon Jenny, it’s
sleepily opened her eyes and was instantly yanked out of her bed and pulled
downstairs into the common room. She
dropped into a chair near the fire, longing for the warmth of her bed.
‘Jenny! Look, you’ve got presents!’ Jenny’s eyes widened as she spotted her pile
on the floor under an enormous tree, which was decked with little, shining
ornaments that moved and spoke when she came near enough. It was amazing.
Jenny spotted, had already open a fair amount of her own presents, and was
waiting eagerly to see what Jenny had gotten.
sighed and stumbled over to the tree, wishing she was still in bed. She usually loved Christmas, but it just
wouldn’t be the same without her mum.
Every Christmas, she would wake up to the smell of breakfast, which was
different every year; she and her mum joked and talked all through the meal,
and barley ate at all, but Jenny hadn’t really minded that. After breakfast, they would open presents
under their Muggle tree, which was nothing compared to this one, and she had
gotten very few presents at home as well.
Jenny suddenly felt very grown up, being on her own without her mum on
handed her a box wrapped neatly in red paper.
This is Mum’s, she thought,
amused at how her mum even wrapped presents neatly. She grinned as she remembered her last
Christmas with her mum. Jenny had been
helping her wrap presents at the kitchen table, and her mum had been carefully
taping and folding while Jenny hadn’t cared whether her own boxes had looked
neat or not.
‘Jenny dear, please
try not to be so reckless with the folding.’ Her mother had said.
had let out an exasperated sigh. ‘I’m not being reckless, I’m being
‘Jenny, that present
is for aunt Matilda, and it’s fragile. Be careful!’ her mum had warned, though
Jenny had continued ‘being creative’.
memory made her miss her mother even more, so Jenny shifted her attention to
the present instead. She tore open the
paper, and lifted the lid of the box.
Inside lay a large blue book, about as thick as the tree trunk. Tory raised her eyebrows and Jenny stifled a
laugh as she read the cover: Hogwarts, a History II: From 1899 to 1999 Hogwarts.
suddenly stopped laughing. ‘I thought
your mum was a Muggle, Jen.’
shrugged and went to open another present.
‘I guess she went to Diagon Alley to get it. Muggles can go in there, you know.’ Wait…
without a wand? How DID Mum get it?
than the book, Jenny had gotten a box of chocolate frogs and a box of sugar quills
from Tory (she had gotten Tory the same thing.
‘We could’ve just kept our own
presents!’ Tory laughed when Jenny had opened it.), from some of the other Weasleys at Hogwarts (David, Rachel,
Fay, Ben, Samantha, Carrie and Percy Jr.), she had gotten a sack of treats for
Crookshanks and a maroon sweater (‘Ugh. I HATE maroon,’ Jenny thought to herself, and decided
that this would go in the bottom of her trunk), a chess set from Sarah, and
dungbombs from Tom and John.
and Tory began to play a lazy game of chess, and Tory was losing very badly to
Jenny. Chess was Jenny’s favourite game, and she always won.
True enough, Jenny’s rook knocked Tory’s bishop (which was her last
piece save the king) off the board with a violent swing. Jenny’s rook was free to checkmate the king.
Tory pushed herself off her stomach and began circling
the tree, looking for extra presents that they hadn’t yet opened.
‘Jen, there’s one more present for you.’ She came back from behind the enormous tree
carrying a square box in her arms. The
paper covering it was a midnight blue with little stars and moons that
Jenny slowly unwrapped it, not wanting to ruin the
beautiful paper (this reminded her very much of her mum unwrapping a present),
and deciding to save it.
Inside, there was a book. But it wasn’t the same type of book her mum
had given her: this was a photo album.
‘But who would send me a photo album?’ Jenny thought
aloud, her brow furrowed, ‘I already have presents from everyone who would send
‘Maybe someone sent you more than one thing.’ Tory said, ‘I sent you two things. Or—or maybe, Jenny, you have a secret
Jenny shrugged and flipped open the cover. On the first page, there was a picture of
three people about her age. One looked
‘There’s a note.’
Tory said, handing the small piece of parchment to Jenny. ‘What does it say?’
Jenny frowned down at the words. She was confused. ‘It says, I
thought you might need to look at this.
Maybe the pictures will help you make sense of everything.’