Chapter one's photo: A whole bunch of presents of different shapes and sizes, wrapped up in colourful and shiny wrapping paper with bows
Harry watched as the postman walked away, leaving Vernon’s hands full of boxes for the third time that week.
“Well don’t just stand there boy, take these and put them with the others, make sure they are hidden.”
Harry moved forward to take a box as his uncle dropped them all into his tiny arms. He tottered but managed to not drop them and righted himself before setting off upstairs to the second bedroom. Dudley didn’t use it anymore, just throwing his toys into it once they were broken so he wouldn’t notice some extra boxes in there if he ever did go in.
Once he dropped the boxes he looked out of the window and watched the dark sky, then gasped as the first snowflake fell. It was coming up the Christmas! The lights would go on in the windows, conservatively of course, you had to keep up appearances on Privet Drive but Harry remembered last year when Vernon forgot to turn off the lights and he snuck out of his cupboard and watched them twinkle all different colours on the tree all night.
So, the boxes were presents, all for Dudley of course. Harry would be expected to watch the breakfast, using his little stool as he was too short to reach the cooker top, while the others in the household cooed over Dudley and his gifts. He wondered if now he was ten that Santa would remember that he lived there. Dudley told him that Santa brought presents only to good girls and boys, who slept in bedrooms and not under the stairs but Harry was hopeful that this year would maybe be different.
He rubbed his eyes, stopping the tears from falling from the huge emeralds and turned to walk back downstairs.
Draco was turning in circles in the large hall. The house elves had outdone themselves this year with the decorations. Tall ice sculptures stood at the bottom of the stairs and at the sides of the doors, while garlands twisted their way up the bannister and frosted leaves and vines hung from the doorways and ceiling. It was a sight to behold but they would expect nothing less from a Malfoy. He was to greet the guests as they arrived. Father had said he was ten now, he could act like a real man. Draco had been proud of that and tottered off to get ready. Now he was bored, waiting for the first of the guests to arrive to the boring party. He would sneak into the sun room once everyone was here, he liked it there as it was always warm and the huge glass windows and roof let him watch the snow fall down.
It was there, after the party had finished that his parents found him, still watching the big fat flakes, freezing a few of them in mid-air with his practice wand to see if he could see any similarities. Mother had told him that every snowflake was unique, no two were ever the same.
“Draco, you should have been abed hours ago.”
He turned to face his father and slid down from the warm window seat. “Apologies father, I was thinking.”
Lucius was about to say something stupid, he was sure of it but his mother crouched to his height with a soft smile, it was one she reserved just for him. “What about darling?”
“Harry,” he said softly, ignoring the snort from his father. He always thought about Harry Potter, he couldn’t wait to meet him. His mother’s smile didn’t falter.
“What about him?”
“I just wondered if he was doing things like this at Christmas too.”
She picked him up, levelling a look at Lucius to dare him to say something about it and turned to take him to bed. Draco had not wanted to be carried since he was six, it was rare he let her but he was too intent on his tale to care right then and she was going to take advantage of it.
“And if, we could invite him to the next party we have and he could come to the sun room and I could get him a present, because he can’t have my presents, those are for me. Right mother?”
She laughed, “Yes dragon, those are all for you. Sleep now, tomorrow is Christmas eve and there will be no presents if you are not good.”
Draco immediately shut his eyes as his mother laid him in bed. Dobby popped in and with a snap he was cleaned and in pyjamas. Narcissa stroked back a small lock of hair before going to the door, Lucius smiling at her like when they first met. “Come,” he whispered and the door closed softly.
Harry sighed, he had been locked in the cupboard since 7pm. Marge had come over and didn’t want to look at him after dinner. The feeling was definitely mutual.
At least he had managed to eat something, and he had taken a napkin and stolen away some nuts and some of the vegetables from dinner. It was a small affair as it was Christmas Eve, and the big dinner was tomorrow, after the presents which Harry had been told he had to watch, he would then be cooking stuffing and roast potatoes while Petunia did the turkey. It was too important for him to touch she had sniffed at him and he had just shrugged.
He threw himself back on his makeshift bed and sighed, he was tired from the mornings’ garden work, followed by laundry and then helping to make the dinner before Marge came with her horrific dog. Harry was glad he was locked away, but that meant there was no way he would be out again before morning. The bolt was across the door and he could wiggle it free but with Ripper about he daren’t make any noise that could attract attention.
He must have fallen asleep as he woke to pitch black…wait, it wasn’t pitch black was it, something was shining on the ceiling. He sat up, blinking and rubbing at his eyes but he knew it was night-time, the house was silent. He looked again for the light and realised it was coming from his feet. He pulled back the thin blanket and stared in mounting horror mixed with excitement as something appeared between his odd-socked feet.
The light around it faded and the cupboard was too dark to see anything now, green spots floating in front of his eyes he groped for his torch. Then the batteries that were under the mattress. It wouldn’t do to keep them together and let the Dursleys know he had any light in here that they didn’t allow.
He stilled after putting the batteries in, waiting for any noise from upstairs or from the kitchen where the dog might be sleeping. There was just his breathing, loud in the silence but he clicked on the torch and broke out in a huge grin.
There was a present, perfectly wrapped in silver wrapping paper that seemed to have been imprinted with little snakes and was tied with a green ribbon that curled perfectly at the ends.
Santa hadn’t forgotten him this year, he thought as he picked up the small box and brought it closer. He carefully opened it and revealed a small box which he took off the lid.
Inside was a small locket. The pendant about the size of an adult thumbnail but it was pure silver and shone in the light from the torch. This too was carved with tiny snakes that looked to protect the locket’s contents. Harry smiled at it, his first ever present. He hugged it to his chest, stifling a noise of glee and happy laughter from bubbling up from his chest and past his lips. He looked at it then, sitting in his little hand and thought he should open it.
He couldn’t do it, no matter which way he tried to pull, push or slide the front of it. It stayed put there on his palm.
He frowned and watched as the little snakes moved. He blinked, surely not, but they had, they now had their heads over the heart of the locket.
“Will you open?” he asked quietly, then add “Please?” because even if Dudley didn’t use the manners, they had both been taught them. The snakes seemed to regard him in shock for a moment then before they slithered to the back of the locked and the front slid aside.
Harry opened it and was face to face with a tiny picture of a boy his age, the picture grinned up at him and tipped a non-existent hat.
“Hi Harry, my name is Draco, and I shouldn’t have sent this really, father will no doubt be furious but I just wanted to meet you. I can talk to you from time to time, tell you things that have happened since the last picture. I’m sure you know that they can only keep memories from before they were painted. Anyway, its late so sleep well.”
Harry stared long after the boy in the locket closed his eyes, his short blonde hair ruffled by a breeze Harry couldn’t feel. What was this locket? Some kind of phone? Or electronic messenger that he hadn’t heard about before. he shook his head, the smile creeping back onto his face.
Draco eh, it was a funny name but there were some strange ones at school too, maybe he was foreign. He laid back down and was about to switch off the torch when the boy opened his eyes again. Harry looked into those grey stormy depths. “The locket will only open for you by the way, there was a rumour you were a Parselmouth so the real me took a chance on it.” The picture paused then. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost, trust me there are stranger things than this in our world.”
Harry realised he was staring again and forced himself to nod. The picture smiled up at him and it was a nice smile, soft round the edges.
“Goodnight then Harry, and Merry Christmas.”
Harry smiled then, “Merry Christmas,” he said softly before closing the locket and carefully hiding it under his pillow.