The fireplace was crackling with happiness and joy as it was trying hard to keep the occupant on the couch warm. It was early afternoon; the sun was blasting through the windows aiming its orange and yellow rays towards its next object, Lily Potter who had been taking a nap on the couch when loud crack sounded in the living room and woke her from her slumber. Her eyes fluttered opened as she lifted her head to find the source of the commotion.
“Sirius!” she yawned with a fatigued look in her eyes as she welcomed him with open arms.
“Merry Christmas, Lily!” he said, as he embraced her in a warm hug.
“Merry Christmas to you too,” Lily smiled slightly.
“Where’s my little godson?” Sirius requested, looking around the room excitedly for any signs of a baby.
Lily chuckled, vibrations tickling her throat as sound came out. “He’s outside with James and Remus,”
“What? They’re having fun without me?” Sirius’ lower lip began to drop as he did a puppy dog face and crossed his arms in front of his chest.
“Oh come on, Sirius,” Lily rolled her eyes, annoyed at Sirius‘s behaviour. “You’re acting like a child, really!” she giggled, slapping him playfully with the back of her hand on his shoulder.
As she did so, the front door of the cottage creaked open and James and Remus moseyed in, carrying a giggling baby in his arms.
“There’s my boy!” Sirius said excitedly, grabbing Harry from Remus and beginning to take the baby's snowsuit off.
Lily and James watched their two best friends with big, bright smiles on their faces. Sirius and Remus were arguing playfully as to who was going to entertain Harry. As James tried to pull Lily into the kitchen, it was hard for her to take her eyes off the endearing scene in front of her. Feeling a tug on her shirt, Lily finally gave and made her way into the kitchen. The pair began preparing for supper, being interrupted by the occasional shriek of laughter coming from the living room.
Lily carefully took out the turkey from the oven and placed it on the table, she glanced up at the oddly shaped clock on the wall. “Where’s Pete?” she wondered, popping her head out of the kitchen to ask the others. “Shouldn’t he be arriving soon?”
“He said he had some ‘business’ to take care of and that he wasn’t going to be able to
make it tonight.” Remus announced. “He also told us to tell you that he was sorry for not being able to come and hoped that we could do something after Christmas.” he rolled his eyes at Peter’s lack of commitment.
“What on earth has he got to do that is so important?” James questioned as he put an excited Harry in the highchair, wrapping the sleeve of his shirt around his hand and wiping the drool off Harry’s chin.
“Who knows?” Sirius sighed as he shrugged his shoulders. “He’s been acting strange ever since Harry was born.”
Back in the kitchen, Lily had finished putting the dinner on the table. For a little decoration, she had made a vase filled with wild flowers appear in the center of the table. Once again she peaked her head around the corner and told them to bring Harry and join her at the table. Remus scooped Harry in his arms and the three of them quickly made their way into the kitchen, anxiously wanting something to eat.
After placing Harry in his chair, Remus gazed at the food placed before him. Steam swirled above the golden turkey, releasing fumes that made his mouth water.
“Lily, this looks delicious!” Remus licked his lips, anxiously wanting to be the first to grab a plate.
“Thank you,” Lily beamed, her face turning a light pink. She moved her chair away from the table, her face crinkling as the chair screeched against the wooden floor and took her seat.
Half an hour went by, stomachs were starting to get full and the food was starting to quickly disappear from the table.
“Lily, that was absolutely wonderful! I'm stuffed!” Sirius grumbled, leaning back in his chair as he rubbed his stomach in a circular motion.
A smile twisted upon her face as she rose to walk towards a messy Harry who was seated next to James at the other end of the table. Food was all over his face and it looked like he had hardly eaten anything. “What on earth have you done, you little monster?” she questioned him as she waved her wand at the sink and a rag levitated towards her.
Giggling devilishly, Harry clapped his hands together happily, food flying all around, most of it hitting Lily in the face. Chuckling, she grabbed for his wrists and wiped them quickly clean.
After Harry was whipped clean, clear beads shining off his body, Lily lifted him out of the high chair and carried him into the living room as the others followed.
She sat Harry down gently on the cold wooden floor beside the Christmas tree. Harry focused his beady eyes on the object. Shimmering silver tinsel wrapped itself around the decorations, the lights shining through and reflecting in Harry's wide eyes. He gazed down from the tree and eyed the space down below. Nothing was there except an old tree skirt. Sensing that something should be there, Harry started clapping his hands excitedly.
“What? Do you think there’s something there for you?” Lily pursed her lips and laughed as she waved her wand and gifts of all shapes, sizes and colors appeared under the beautifully decorated green tree.
Walking over to his family, James bent down so he’d be level with Harry. He ruffled Harry’s hair, making him giggle. Smiling, James grabbed one of the packages wrapped in red and green paper, with flying golden snitches on them. Opening it up, he revealed a set of pale brown blocks that had different creatures on them. From centaurs to spiders, any magical creature you could imagine was painted on the blocks.
When Harry picked them up with his tiny, delicate hands, the owl in front of him began to flap its wings gently against the block. It was trying to find a way to escape its wooden cage, but it had nowhere to go. Gazing at the block with his bright green eyes, Harry raised his head to look at James.
“That’s an owl!” his father told him softly as he took hold of the block from the child. Flipping the tan object over to another side, James showed Harry another creature.
This time, when Harry reached for the block, a frog appeared in front of him.
The creature opened up its huge mouth and croaked, the sound echoing and bouncing off the walls. Harry jumped, frightened at the amphibian's sudden sound. He looked up at
Laughing slightly at his son, James quickly took the block away from Harry's grasp. “I think that’s enough of that one. How about we open another?”
Harry slammed his hands together excitedly. “I think there’s one under the tree from me,” Remus said, bending down and pulling out an oddly shaped package. Unwrapping it for the baby, he revealed a small stuffed dog with brown fur and small tan patches scattered across the animal.
A twinkle appeared in Harry’s eyes and he reached out his hands as far as they would go, trying to grab for it. Putting it down so Harry could get a closer look, the dog barked as soon as it hit the floor. Jumping in shock, Harry backed away slowly from it.
“What’s the matter?” Remus asked Harry with a slight chuckle.
The dog started to walk towards Harry. Assuming he would start to cry, all four of them watched his reaction closely. Would he scream and want Lily to pick him up? Would he want nothing to do with the toy? They waited and wondered. Harry reached out his left hand and once the dog got closer to him, his fingers slid across the fur of the animal.
The dog ran around Harry in circles, releasing dust bunnies in its tracks. Running as fast as it could, the dog acted like it was trying to catch something, though no-one knew quite what.
Harry patted his knees excitedly. Bouncing up and down, vibrations could be felt underneath the others’.
Apart from the noise that Harry and the dog were making, a loud hissing sound emerged from behind the sofa. Whipping their heads to see what the source of the noise was, they noticed that it was the Potters’ dirty orange cat, Mittens. Another loud hiss came from the cat, which made everyone jump.
“Uh-oh,” Sirius muttered underneath his breath. “I don’t think Mitty likes the toy very much.”
They all watched, even Harry with a worried look in his eyes, as to how the cat was going to react to the dog.
The fur on Mittens' body stood up on end as she hissed at the new addition. Her eyes grew twice their size and she got ready to pounce. Her claws stretched out from their hiding place in preparation to gnaw at this imposter the moment she reached it.
Harry had his beady eyes carefully on Mittens. He didn’t want her to destroy his new toy. Glancing towards the adults, he saw that they each had their eyes carefully on the cat, wondering what its next move was going to be. Mittens waited patiently until her enemy began to move.
The stuffed object made its way around Harry, circling him, and Mittens pounced.
Scared and unsure, Harry began to cry. Tears streamed down his face like a waterfall and Sirius lifted him up off the floor and began bouncing him up and down, making hushing noises to calm him.
Lily, on the other hand, dived to catch Mittens, to try and stop her from tearing up the dog that Harry had come to love. Not catching it, the cat scurried from the room and Lily lifted herself up off the floor and ran into the kitchen to try and catch it.
Trying to come up with a solution to quiet the crying baby, Sirius grabbed what he had in his pocket, remembering the present he was going to give Harry for Christmas.
Revealing what he had hidden, he raised Harry’s head which was placed on his shoulder, drenched with salty tears.
“Look what I've got,” Sirius cooed. Harry turned his attention to what his godfather had in his hand.
He looked at the object that was placed in front of him. What was it? He knew he’d seen it before. Noticing the confused look on his godson's face, Sirius explained. “It’s a toy wand!”
James had been running around aimlessly, trying to help Lily keep Mittens from destroying the dog. Hearing what Sirius had said, he turned his head towards them and moved his mouth slowly with each word. “Sirius, you didn’t?” he asked threateningly, not too sure what to expect from his best friend.
“What?” Sirius had a mischievous grin upon his face.
“You know he can’t play with that yet,” James said,
“Ah, but he can still try!” Sirius replied jokingly.
James just rolled his eyes, annoyed at his friend as Lily reappeared into the living room from the kitchen.
“How’s it doing?” Sirius asked, obviously referring to the toy dog. Harry tried to grab for the wand that Sirius had in his hand as it dangled aimlessly in the air.
“It’s just fi…Sirius, that isn’t what I think it is?” Lily took her attention from the dog and to Sirius and Harry.
Sirius paid no mind to what Lily had just asked.
“That doesn’t actually DO anything, does it?” Lily asked cautiously, not knowing what to expect to come out of the wand since she’d never had one of her own.
“I don’t know, let's give it a try!” Sirius said childishly as he grasped Harry’s hand in his, along with the wand, and gave it a wave.
The wand vibrated, shaking both Harry’s and Sirius’s hands violently. Getting scared, Harry started to whimper and Sirius attempted to calm him by rubbing his hand on his back in a circular motion.
The wand escaped the grasp of both their hands and turned into a flock of butterflies before their eyes. Trying to calm Harry who was still whimpering, Sirius pointed his index finger at the newly found creatures.
Harry, finally starting to calm down, slowly turned his head and focused his attention on the scene before him.
Each butterfly had its own special element about it. The line across its wings had its own special meaning. One could say that it meant happiness and another could say it meant peace. Another line could mean joy, and a different one could be excitement. In the end, each line meant something that made a person feel at ease, it made everything calm. It took the stress out of what they were dealing with and made everything so simple, so easy, even if it was only for a few moments.
Harry stretched his right arm forward as far as it would let him to try and catch one of the butterflies, wanting to keep it as a gift, a souvenir, but each time he got close to one, it would move away, escape.
The butterflies flew towards the kitchen, where the window was open just a crack for the flock of butterflies to make their exit.
Surprised at to where they went, Sirius turned his head to Harry and asked, “Where’d they go?”
Harry gazed into his godfathers grey eyes blankly. He was just as confused as Sirius was.
Sirius carried Harry to the front door and opened it.
A blast of cold, frigid air swept across their faces. Harry shook his head, shivering at the chilly breeze.
“Sirius! Harry’s coat!” Lily yelled from inside the house, running towards the door and yanking Harry’s blue coat from the rack. James and Remus followed slowly.
Once outside, Lily caught up to Sirius and Harry where she found them twirling around in circles, dancing in the snow that was falling gracefully around them.
She found the butterflies had returned and were dancing around James, Remus, Sirius and Harry until each of them had flown off into the night, never to be seen again.
“Well there goes your wand Harry,” Sirius sighed and shook his head in disappointment.
Lily, James and Remus came up to them and James took Harry’s coat from Lily’s grasp to swing it around Harry’s tiny shoulders.
Snow continued to fall. James noticed Lily’s hand dangling aimlessly to the side and grasped it in his. Feeling his hand on hers, Lily turned her head towards his and smiled, gazing into his eyes.
Remus and Sirius were looking at the stars, pointing out constellations to Harry as Lily and James walked up to them and whispered into Harry’s ear, “Happy Christmas, Harry!”