“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”
Sunlight streamed through the windows and shone on her face. Hermione blinked awake and smiled. She felt the arm around her torso tug and bring her closer to his warmth. She burrowed deep into Harry’s chest and sighed contentedly.
“Happy Christmas,” she heard him say from above.
She tilted her head back to look at his face. His hair was mussed and there was still sleep in his eyes. But the smile which greeted her was happy and bright. Hermione brought a hand up to caress his cheek and he nuzzled her palm.
“Happy Christmas, love,” she replied.
Harry bent his head and kissed her. Hermione sighed and looped both of her arms around his neck, drawing him closer. She savoured the kiss and playfully nipped at his lower lip. He groaned and his arms pulled her closer when a small snore sounded from behind him.
Hermione bit her lip to keep herself from laughing as Harry groaned. She peeked over Harry’s shoulder to see Teddy asleep against his back. The little boy was sprawled out on one side of the bed fast asleep. His chest rose and fell in deep slumber as he laid completely oblivious that it was Christmas morning.
Harry, Hermione, and Teddy spent Christmas Eve doing Muggle activities around London. Hermione taught her two favourite boys how to ice skate in Somerset House. It amazed her how utterly uncoordinated Harry was on skates while Teddy took to the activity immediately. The boy was quickly skating circles around them, literally, as Hermione laughed and tried to help Harry back on his feet after falling on his bum for the tenth time. To escape from the cold, they retreated to a small cafe around the ice rink and settled into hot chocolate topped with little marshmallows. Teddy chatted happily away and sang along to the group of carolers out on the street spreading Christmas joy. After that, they took the tube to Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. The massive outdoor park was lit up with Christmas lights. There were fair rides and games and different kinds of food stalls. Teddy was in heaven as he tried to win some stuffed animals for Hermione. He even sat on Santa’s lap and secretly told him what he wished for while he slyly eyed Harry and Hermione waiting for him in the wings of the made-up North Pole.
They had the best time. Hermione marvelled at how celebrating Christmas with a young child was so much more fun and magical. It was like rediscovering Christmas all over again and she was even more grateful that Harry was there beside her making it so much more special.
They returned to Godric’s Hollow really late that night and opened one Christmas present each (as was tradition) before they crashed in bed.
Harry winked at Hermione before he turned around to face the sleeping boy. Hermione shook her head and rose from the bed to sit on its edge. She watched as Harry’s fingers descended on Teddy’s sides and start to tickle him mercilessly.
There was a yelp as Teddy woke up before shrieks of laughter erupted from his little body. “Mi-Minny!” He yelled from between his laughs. “Help me!”
A sly smile graced her lips. Hermione’s hands found Harry’s sides and soon there was a tickle war of epic proportions between the three of them in bed. They didn’t hear when Winky popped into the bedroom to announce that breakfast was served. They didn’t notice when the house elf shook her head in amusement before popping away too.
It was Christmas morning and Harry, Hermione, and Teddy were starting it in the best way possible.
Teddy sat on his favourite chair in the dining room table as they ate. Winky prepared a full English breakfast spread along with some hot chocolate. He obediently spooned the eggs into his mouth while his eyes kept darting to the Advent calendars on the kitchen island. There was only one more door left to open since it was finally Christmas. He would have eaten the sweet immediately if he had any say in it (like what he had done for the previous twenty-four days), but he had promised a certain someone that he wouldn’t rush. He sneakily glanced at his godfather who was having a conversation with Minny.
After the party at the Burrow and Auntie Minny was asleep, Uncle Harry sat Teddy down for a very serious discussion. His godfather told him his intention of adopting Teddy and asked the young boy for permission. Teddy was absolutely gobsmacked. He knew his parents died fighting in the war Uncle Harry fought as well when he was still a baby. He didn’t think he ever called anyone “dad” or “mum” since he was too young when his parents died and it had always been Grandma Andie and Uncle Harry who were with him. The two always told him stories about his parents (like explaining to him what he could do with his appearance because of his mum) and reminded him how much they loved him, but he had next to no real memories of them. Which bothered him at first, especially when he started preschool and his new classmates kept talking about their parents. But after school, his godfather and his girlfriend picked him up. He filed outside after his classmates and saw their bright faces and all worry left his body. He may not have parents, but he had Uncle Harry and Auntie Minny.
And that was okay with him. He could see that they love him and he loved them back so that was all that mattered.
When Uncle Harry asked him if it was okay for him to be Teddy’s dad officially, the little boy almost cried. He ran into his godfather’s arms and told him that he loved the idea and asked when it would happen.
Uncle Harry squeezed him tight after that and a deep, rumbling laugh left his chest. Uncle Harry told Teddy that he was relieved Teddy liked the idea (which Teddy found silly , since of course he would like the idea), but he said that there was one more thing he needed to ask him.
Uncle Harry’s next proposition gave Teddy a long pause. It completely threw off Teddy’s plans for the future but he was a smart little boy. He knew when to call it quits. He knew when he was defeated... which he couldn’t even be that mad about since if he was to lose to someone he would much rather have that someone be Uncle Harry.
So he agreed to Uncle Harry’s suggestion and he went to bed that night with a smile on his face.
Teddy glanced at Auntie Minny’s plate and saw that it was almost finished. His eyes shifted to his godfather and saw Uncle Harry’s knees bouncing nervously under the table. He had to bite down on his lip to keep a giggle from erupting.
“That was a wonderful breakfast,” Hermione commented. Winky popped in and smiled graciously at her.
“Winky is glad Miss Hermione enjoyed the food!” The elf replied. Hermione grinned and Winky disappeared all of the plates with a snap of her fingers. “Now Winky go and look after the little troublemakers. Have fun at Miss Andie’s today, sirs and ma’am. Merry Christmas!”
There was a chorus of Merry Christmas around the table and the house elf popped away. Hermione rose from the table and looked at her two boys.
“Shall we start getting ready?” She asked. “We need to pack up all of the gifts before we go to London and we have to remember to bring the trifle Winky made as well. Teddy, have you decided what you are going to wear? How about you, Harry? You know how particular Andromeda is about her parties-”
“Wait a second, Auntie Minny!” Teddy said. He hopped up from his seat and grabbed her hand. “We’re forgetting something!”
Hermione smiled at the little boy and crouched down. She straightened the collars of his Christmas print pyjamas and ruffled his hair. “And what is it that we are we forgetting, Mr. Teddy?”
His eyes shifted quickly to his godfather before landing back on her pretty face. “We haven’t opened our Advent calendars yet! It’s the last day!”
Hermione giggled and nodded her head. She lifted Teddy up into her arms and carried him to the kitchen island. She set him down next to the propped up calendars and gestured with her head for him to start.
Uncle Harry had joined them and he was standing close to Auntie Minny. Teddy smiled brightly and grabbed his calendar from the display. His little fingers pried open the door marked with “25” and carefully removed the chocolate from inside. It was much larger than the other sweets and he showed it proudly to Harry and Hermione before he popped it into his mouth. He closed his eyes and hummed at the sweet taste, savouring its flavour.
“I guess it’s my turn next,” Harry whispered from behind her. Hermione turned her head and saw him looking at her with such intensity. Harry reached around her and grabbed his own calendar. He and Teddy spent one night opening all of the doors he missed while away and eating the chocolates in one sitting much to Hermione’s disapproval. Harry made quick work of the last door and extracted the bonbon from within. He unwrapped the sweet and took a bite of the dark chocolate.
He closed his eyes and breathed.
“Your turn, Auntie Minny!” Harry heard Teddy say.
This was it.
“You can open the door, Teddy,” Hermione said softly with a smile. Teddy had opened all 24 of her calendar doors since he enjoyed it so much. Harry opened his eyes to see Teddy shake his head. The little boy was grinning and he caught Harry’s eyes. The smile grew.
“Uh uh. It’s the last day, Auntie Minny. You have to do it!” Teddy urged. He was vibrating with excitement and his legs were swinging back and forth as he sat on top of the counter.
Hermione looked back at Harry in amusement and shrugged. “Well, alright then,” she acquiesced.
Hermione reached for her own calendar and quickly scanned its surface for the unopened door. She found the one marked with “25” and her fingers traced the dotted line to break it open.
The door popped open and there was a clink as something hard and shiny fell on top of the marble.
Hermione felt Harry reach around her to grab the ring.
Her breath hitched when he turned her around.
His eyes were ablaze with so much emotion. He was looking at her with so much love and devotion that the tears immediately pooled when he grabbed her hands and got down on one knee.
“Hermione,” he said, voice thick with feeling. “You are the best thing that has ever happened to me,” he began. He watched as she trembled and the tears fell down her cheeks. “You make me the happiest person alive and there is no one else I would rather be with than you. I want to spend the rest of my days with you. I want to build a family with you. I think we already have a pretty good start with Teddy,” Harry said, and he heard Teddy giggle. The boy’s laughter brought a smile to his face and he watched as a teary smile graced her lips as well. “I want that, and more , with you. I can’t… I can’t imagine not having you in my life, Hermione. I can’t imagine not having you in our lives,” he said.
He took a deep breath and asked her the question he had wanted to ask her every day since exactly one year ago.
“Will you marry me?”
A choked sob left the witch and Hermione nodded her head furiously. She tugged on Harry’s hands to bring him to his feet. Her arms looped around his neck and she stood on her tiptoes to kiss him. Harry sighed against her lips and his arms circled her waist to bring her closer.
Their kiss was all sorts of perfect imperfection. It was incredibly wet for Hermione was still crying and their clothes were in disarray for they were still in their pyjamas. But none of that mattered since they were together, there in each other’s arms, in the home they have built, with the family that they have developed.
There was giggling to the side and the two looked to see Teddy smiling brightly on his perch on the counter.
“Sooo, Auntie Minny,” the little boy said. “Was that a yes?” He asked cheekily.
The question was so joyful and so innocent that unexpected laughter erupted from Hermione. She turned to the boy and scooped him into her arms.
“Yes, Teddy,” Hermione said with a smile. “It was definitely a yes.”
She nuzzled his cheek and felt Harry grab her hand. He slipped the ring onto her finger and embraced them.
The small family stood there in each other’s arms, hearts glowing and revelling in the warmth.
All of their wishes came true.
It was truly the most wonderful time of the year.