The Sugar Quill
Author: JK Ashavah (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: A Very Muggle Christmas  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

A Very Muggle Christmas

Disclaimer: I do not own, nor do I claim to, the people, places and situations of the Harry Potter universe. I think we all know that! ;-) They are the property of the lovely J.K. Rowling, AOL Time Warner and respective publishers, included but not limited to Bloomsbury Publishing Plc and Scholastic Books. This is a piece of fan fiction; I am making no money, nor am I in any way affiliated with any of the aforementioned. ;-)

Lyrics from "Silent Night", written by Josef Mohr.

Author's Note: A sequel, of sorts, to Summer Visitors, but it is not necessary to have read that fic to understand this one.

Many thanks to TQ my sister and my mother, the other JK in my life, for helping me with this, and as always, hugs to TQ for her lovely beta reading. Thanks to Elanor for the fastest beta reading in the west.

Dedicated to the wonderful people at Gryffindor Tower for the inspiration and the Christmas cheer. Merry Christmas.  

A Very Muggle Christmas

By JK  

Ginny Weasley sighed, breathing a cloud of misty air onto the window in front of her bed. It was Christmas time and for once, she had come home for the holidays. To stay at Hogwarts would have made her rather lonely; several of her best friends, along with her boyfriend (none other than the famous Harry Potter), had finished their careers at Hogwarts at the end of the last school year. So, when it was said that all of her brothers would return for Christmas, Ginny had quickly agreed to come home, despite the fact that she quite liked Colin Creevey. After all, she reflected, there's a limit to how much time you can spend with someone who's probably only gaping at you with such interest because you're Harry Potter's girlfriend.

But the holidays had not worked out as Ginny had hoped. Charlie had been injured by a rampaging dragon, and was unable to travel. Bill was held up by complications at work; the goblins would not let him leave Egypt until the difficulties with a recently discovered tomb were sorted out and the curses broken. Percy was home, being more pompous than ever after a recent promotion. Fred and George were rather busy locked up in strange corners of the house, working, no doubt, on tricks for their joke shop.

The only really redeeming part of the holidays was the opportunity to spend time with Ron. But even that was not as sweet as it might have been, for being with him made her think of his best friend Harry, whom she missed dreadfully. It was lonely at school without him, and he hadn't stopped by the Burrow at all during the holidays. Besides, Ron had plenty of things of his own to do, and couldn't spend his entire holidays lounging around with his sister.

Not that Ginny could blame Harry. He was a working man now, and very busy with his new job, but she would have thought he could take just a moment out of his life to wish his girlfriend a merry Christmas, and in doing so make a contribution to it actually being one.

But that was obviously not to be. Ginny wiped the arm of her sweater across the window, creating a clear patch in the fog that clung there long after her warm breath had vanished. Out in the back yard, Fred, George, and Ron were having a snowball fight. She watched them, envious that they were enjoying the day.

She really should have been having a fantastic time. Normally she loved helping her mother with Christmas preparations, and the sight of the Christmas tree brought a warm feeling of contentment to her, spreading from her stomach over her entire body.

Oh, she had been having fun, but she felt that she was lacking in true companionship. It was at times like this that Ginny always felt the saddest that she was the only girl in such a large family. Her brothers were wonderful, but she would have loved a girl around her own age to talk to. Hermione Granger, Ron's girlfriend, had stopped by a few times, but Ginny hadn't had much of a chance to speak with her, as Ron had claimed her for himself and refused to leave her side. Once again, she couldn't place any blame on Ron's shoulders. Hermione was, after all, his girlfriend, and Ginny suspected if it had been Harry that she might have done the same.

Ginny rolled over in her bed, sighing again, and stared at the ceiling. Her shabby room was painted a beautiful shade of green, one of her favourite colours, but even that brought her no pleasure, for it just reminded her of the enchanting hue of Harry's eyes.

She dragged herself off her bed and over to the mirror, where she absently fixed her hair, which had begun to come out of its long braid due to being rubbed on the pillow. Then she wandered down the stairs, deciding that Christmas Eve wasn't really a time for moping.

"Ah, Ginny!" Her mother greeted her warmly at the bottom of the stairs. "I was just looking for you! There's someone here who desperately wants your company." She gave a small laugh at the expression on her daughter's face and hurried off towards the kitchen.

Trying to ignore the funny way in which her heart fluttered and quickened its pace at her mother's words, and straining desperately not to raise her hopes too much, Ginny hurried towards the door, fixing the edges of her sweater and brushing a stray wisp of hair which had escaped her fussing in the mirror out of her eyes.

Her breath caught in her throat, causing her to cough rather embarrassingly. She hurried into the front hall, where Harry stood. He was red cheeked, flushed from the cold, and in the process of shaking snow off his heavy winter jacket.

"Harry!" she breathed, flinging her arms around him. He smiled and returned the favour, wrapping her in an embrace. After a few moments, they pulled away, and Harry laughed.

"I've got you all wet, Gin," he said, his eyes sparkling as he brushed some flecks of snow from the front of her sweater. She smiled shyly in return. "Grab your winter things, I'm taking you out for the day."

"But," Ginny's eyes strayed towards the kitchen, from which a mixture of mouth-watering smells was beginning to emerge. "Christmas Eve is a family day, and we're all supposed to stay around and help get ready ."

"I talked to your mother, and she says it's fine as I haven't seen you in so long."

Ginny's face broke into a grin.

"Hold on a moment then, Harry. I've got something for you." She hurried back up to her room, quickly threw on her warmest winter clothes, and snatched up the soft parcel wrapped in festive paper of red and gold that lay on her desk. She raced back down to where Harry waited, pausing a moment to catch her breath before extending the parcel to him. As he unwrapped the soft green scarf that she had knitted, a grin swept across his features. He switched the scarf for the one he was wearing in an instant, and Ginny had to admit to herself that it looked fantastic with his green eyes. "Thank you. It's perfect," he said, wrapping his arms around her. He then offered her a small box beautifully decorated with golden ribbon. As Harry now lived with his godfather Sirius and his wife, Ginny had a suspicion that perhaps Mrs Black had helped him with the decorating.

Inside lay a shining golden bracelet, the metal twisted and worked into beautiful patterns. Harry gently fastened the clasp around her wrist, and she flung her arms around his neck.

"It's gorgeous, Harry!" He gave a shy smile.

"Come on. I've got a great day planned for us."

He led her out the door to where his pale blue Volkswagen beetle was parked. He had bought it new earlier in the year and repainted it the colour of the summer sky at midday. He walked around to the passenger side and opened the door for Ginny. A grin plastered goofily across her face, she slid into her seat and waited while he slipped into the driver's seat and turned the keys in the ignition.

They sat silently for a while, just enjoying each other's company, then Ginny spoke.

"Dare I ask, Mr Potter, exactly what we're doing?"

"Well," Harry replied, smiling shyly, "I thought since you've grown up hearing so much about Muggles that I'd show you some of the things I've learned since I left home last year. We're going to do Christmas Eve the Muggle way."

* * *

Harry drew up beside a small hill covered in newly fallen snow. He and Ginny got out of the car as soft flakes began to swirl gently from the air. Laughing, Ginny stretched out her tongue and caught one. It melted in an instant, making her giggle even more.

"Come on." Harry had pulled an unfamiliar object from the backseat while Ginny was caught in the wonder of the snow. She eyed it dubiously.

"Harry, what exactly is that?"

"It's a toboggan. Sit down here." He led her to the top of the hill, where he placed the toboggan, then showed her where to sit. He took a place in front of her, grabbing onto a rope at the front of the toboggan, which Ginny assumed must be used to steer the thing. "And now, wrap your arms around my waist." She did so gladly, burying her face in his scarf. "I'll push off. Hold on!"

Ginny squealed as, with a slight jerk, the toboggan shot off and began careening down the hill.

"Harry!" she shrieked as they narrowly missed a rock. His reply was lost in the wind rushing past her ears, but one thing was for certain. She was holding onto his waist very tight.

As the toboggan slowed and finally ended its wild rush at the bottom of the hill, Ginny was torn between laughter and scolding.

"That was ..." She was shaking her head, but the rush of the wind on her cheeks and the feeling of speeding down the hill had infected her. "Can we do it again?" Harry grinned.

"This time, I'll steer better. I'm not used to doing it with two people."

Ginny hugged him and helped him haul the toboggan back up the hill for another run.

* * *

By early afternoon they were both beginning to shiver a little, as well as being quite sick of traipsing up the hill dragging the (seemingly ever heavier) toboggan after them. But Ginny had a wide grin on her face and could feel the flush on her cheeks from the wind. She was ready for whatever Harry was going to present her with next.

Shaking the snow off their garments, they got back in the car, and Harry drove her to a town not far away. There were many other cars on the road, and Ginny was more than a bit nervous that one of them would smash into her and Harry, but none of them did.

Harry stopped in front of a Muggle "fast-food" (as he called it) shop, and the two of them headed into the warmth of the building, to be greeted by a flurry of activity. Everywhere, Muggles were walking with trays, standing in line, or sitting and chewing while they raved about what they were doing for Christmas.

Harry joined the line, and told Ginny to save a seat. She did so, and several minutes later he rejoined her, carrying a tray with two burgers, chips, and drinks on it.

Ginny didn't really notice what she was eating. She was too busy gazing all around her at the Christmas decorations and the Muggles. She gaped at things which would be perfectly ordinary to Muggles. The machine with which staff dispensed drinks behind the counter particularly fascinated her.

When they had finished eating, they returned to the car and Harry drove her to a nondescript part of town and stopped in front of a building which sat like a huge concrete box by the roadside.

"Come on."

The two of them stepped out of the car, and Harry led the way. He handed over some Muggle money to a man at the door, who handed them each a ticket. Then they walked along a short corridor and came out into a totally different place to what Ginny had expected.

In the centre of the room was a huge circle of ice surrounded by walls. Muggles were gliding in circles around the middle of it, with some clutching desperately at the walls and pulling themselves around. Still others watched from outside the ice, smiling as they watched friends and family. As Ginny looked on, a Muggle teenager lost control and collapsed onto the ice, letting out a yelp of pain but dragging herself immediately back to her feet.

Harry tugged gently on her arm and took his ticket to a counter, telling the lady behind it his shoe size. Ginny followed suit, and was presented with a pair of ice skates. Harry had to go back and get a different pair, but Ginny's fitted snugly around her feet.

Harry led her out to the ice, letting her go first. Stepping onto it was a frightening experience. Suddenly her feet were slipping wildly, beyond her control. She grabbed immediately on to the wall as she almost fell. She struggled to take a few simple steps, then Harry glided up to her. He offered a hand; she looked at him as though he was crazy.

"It's the best way to learn. Go around with someone who knows what they're doing. How do you think Mrs Sirius taught me?" His eyes were twinkling with laughter.

Ginny gave a shy grin at Harry's joke, shut her eyes, and offered her boyfriend her hand. He gently pulled her along. She stumbled and fell, dragging him down with her, but they were both laughing all the way from upright to sprawled on the ice. They giggled on the ice for a moment staring into each other's eyes, then Harry pulled them both back to their feet and they started again, somewhat slower this time. Harry watched Ginny move, offering helpful tips.

"Point your feet out a little bit. No, don't roll your ankles. That's better."

Once she got over the immediate feeling of panic that had overwhelmed her, she found it a thrilling experience. After one lap, Harry took her around again, until she began to get the vague idea of how to balance properly. He let her try on her own, and she promptly

fell over once more, grinning even as she rubbed her bottom where she had hit the ice. After about an hour, she had developed enough confidence to do a lap on her own with Harry gliding along beside her, watching protectively. He clapped as she raised her hands above her head in triumph after she slid past the gate which marked one lap. She had finally learned how to co-ordinate both balancing and moving her feet to propel herself.

After several small falls and a lot of giggling from both her and Harry, she managed a lap around the middle of the rink with no reassuring wall, Harry skating slowly along just behind her. Her hair was beginning to fall out of its braid yet again and fall in gentle wisps around her face, but she didn't really care.

After a few hours, they handed their skates in and ate at the facility provided, sitting in chairs while watching the other skaters. Ginny was pleased to see that the Muggle girl who had fallen when they arrived was now, if rather shakily, skating around the middle of the rink.

She was surprised how hungry she had become. She hadn't noticed the amount of energy skating had taken out of her before, but now she had, she was eating ravenously. She wasn't ashamed to, for Harry was eating just as much, and, in between mouthfuls, she noticed him occasionally stealing a glance at her.

When they had finished their meal, they traipsed outside. Ginny was surprised to notice that it was dark.

"Where to now, fair prince?"

Harry laughed at that as they got back into the car.

"We're going Christmas light spotting." Ginny paused for a moment, uncertain, but Harry gave her a knowing look, and winked. "You'll see."

And she did. Harry was driving her through some of the residential streets, looking for houses which had been festooned with Christmas decorations, particularly flashing lights in a myriad of colours. There were nativity scenes, Father Christmases, angels, reindeer, and even snowmen in some of the front gardens.

They spent a happy hour driving through the town, gazing at the lights, then pulled up outside a large square, in which a gigantic tree towered far above their heads, absolutely covered in golden, glinting tinsel and glass icicles, shimmering with the sparkling colours of thousands of tiny rainbow lights.

Harry and Ginny walked to a bench at the edge of the square and sat, staring in rapture at the tree, while nearby, a choir struck up the opening notes of a Muggle Christmas carol, which Harry slowly began singing along to.

"Silent night, holy night. All is calm, all is bright. Round yon Virgin, mother and child. Holy infant, so tender and mild. Sleep in heavenly peace. Sleep in heavenly peace."

Then the voices began the song again, and this time one rose above the others, singing in another language.

"The song was written in that language," Harry whispered, as Ginny listened to the strange syllables working their way around her ears. She leaned in close to Harry, wrapped an arm around him and closed her eyes. Once this moment was over, she would have to return to the bustle of festivities and last minute wrapping that was Christmas Eve at the Burrow, and Harry would have to go back to his no doubt hectic home, where a baby would soon be seeing his first Christmas with his parents and good-as-brother. But for now, everything was perfect on that not quite silent, but very holy, night.

* * *


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