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The next couple of days went by rather quickly. Most of the time Ryan and Harry were helping her mother get ready for Christmas. Harry had said he didn’t mind but Ryan still felt bad. Because her father was working and her mother was pregnant, Ryan did most of the things around the house. She took care of the kids, made meals, and cleaned up around the house. With Harry’s help it was much easier, but she would still rather be doing things that normal teenagers do with him, rather than taking care of her house with him.

It was the night before Christmas Eve and Ryan and Harry were in her room talking, while Ryan played Stairway to Heaven on her acoustic guitar. Harry had to admit, she was very good, though she said she wasn’t because she was “out-of-practice” from being away at school.

Ryan liked her room because you couldn’t hear what was going on inside of it (her playing guitar and keyboard) in any other room except her bathroom or if they were standing right outside her bedroom door

They heard footsteps outside of Ryan’s door and suddenly the door was thrown open and a tall guy with short, brown, spiky hair and sparkling blue eyes walked in. Ryan threw her guitar on her bed and ran over to him yelling, “AUDIN!”

This was her oldest brother, Audin. He was the oldest in her family and working in America.

“I was wondering when you’d come home. How come you haven’t written to me?” Ryan asked.

“I’ve been busy, and plus, you haven’t written me either.” He replied. “What have you been up to? How’s Hogwarts? Everything Grandpa always cooked it up to be?”

“First, I’ve been really good. Second, Hogwarts is absolutely amazing. It’s so much better than Santa Isabelle.” Ryan told him, “Oh! This is a friend of mine from school, Harry Potter, he’s spending the holiday with us.”

Harry had gotten to his feet from one of the beanbags and shook Audin’s hand.

“I’m Audin, Ryan’s oldest brother.”

“It’s great to meet you, I’ve heard a lot about you.” Harry said.

“Oh believe me, I’ve heard a lot about you too.” Audin laughed.

“I could imagine.” Harry said.

Ryan had never really noticed how much taller Harry really was than her but now that he was standing next to Audin, who had always been at least six inches taller than her, she realized that Harry was not much shorter than her brother.

Audin sat down in her desk chair and Harry lowered himself back into the beanbag he had been sitting in. Ryan returned to her bed while Audin asked, “So, what’s been going on? How is everyone? I’ve only seen Luke ‘cause the little ones went to bed.”

“Well, everyone’s been good. Luke and I made the Quidditch team as Chasers for Gryffindor, that’s our house. Harry’s our Seeker, he’s crazy good. And have you heard about mom?” Ryan asked.

Audin laughed, “Yeah, I did. Pretty surprising. What’ll that make this, ten?”

“Yeah, and we thought the twins got into a lot of trouble, I can’t even imagine triplets.”

“I hope its boys, or at least two boys and a girl. Girls are already dominating this family, we really don’t need more.” Audin joked.

“So Harry,” Audin started, “you must be pretty popular at school, huh?”

“Yeah, I guess you could say that, sometimes,” Harry replied awkwardly.

“So are you guys dating or what?”

“Audin!” Ryan said exasperated.

“What? I’m just asking. I gotta look out for my little sis,” Audin said.

“Well, thank you. But no, we aren’t.” Ryan told him.

Audin laughed, and then asked, “Rye, you singing for the Christmas service?”

“Urgh, yes. Dad guilt-tripped me into it.”

“Oh come on, you’ve done it loads of times, it can’t be that bad.” Audin said.

“I haven’t done it that often at the church here, and it’s just going to be embarrassing.” She said, glancing at Harry.

Audin looked at Harry and said, “Wait, haven’t you heard her sing?”

“Uhmm no?” Harry said.

“Oh man! You really should. She’s great. Only thing is, she plays other peoples songs,” her turned to Ryan, “You should really write one of your own one of these days.”

“I’d really rather not, thanks so much.” Ryan said sarcastically. “And I’m not that good.” She added quickly.

Audin said, “Yeah she is,” while getting up and heading to the door. “Well, I’ll leave you two for the night, but I’d be getting to bed, everyone else is.” He opened the door then turned around and said to them, “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t.” And left with a wink.

Ryan blushed. “I’m sorry, he’s a little… insane.” She laughed.

“Nah, he seems pretty cool.” Harry said.

“Yeah, he is. He’s probably the sibling I’m closest too, him or Kendall.” She told him.

They were silent for a few seconds until Harry said, “Well, he’s right, we should get to bed.”

“Oh, okay.” Ryan said standing up. “Goodnight.” She added, smiling.

“Goodnight.” Harry said while retreating into the bathroom.

Ryan set her guitar down and laid sprawled out on her bed, she sighed. He was so perfect. If only he felt the same way. Little did she know, in the other room, he was thinking almost the same thing.



**********


Christmas Eve at the Aikens’ was a busy event. Everyone was running around getting the house ready for tomorrow and cooking what could be cooked a day in advance. Their Grandpa Dumbledore (their other grandfather was dead), Aunt Bridget, Uncle Dawson (Bridget's husband), and cousins Jesse and Raegan would be coming over for Christmas dinner.

Christmas came with Ryan waking Harry up at 5:30am.

Ryan shook him awake, “Harry. Harry. Harry! It’s time to get up!”

Harry groaned, “What time is it?” he asked groggily.

“It’s a little after 5:30.”

“In the morning?!” Harry asked.

“Yes, in the morning.” She told him, “This is what happens when you have siblings more than 6 years younger than you, they wake you up at the crack of dawn on holidays. Plus,” she added, “If you don’t get up now we won’t have time to open presents, shower, and eat before service.”

Harry sat up in his bed. Ryan just looked at him. They both thought, almost at the same time, that the other looked very cute just having gotten out of bed. They smiled at each other and headed downstairs where everyone was waiting expectantly.

“Urgh, finally! I thought you two would never get down here.” Tristan said dramatically.

“Oh shut-up and start opening presents, sheesh” Ryan said.

All of Harry’s presents were under the tree along with all of the Aikens’. This made for a very large amount of presents. The younger kids started sorting presents into piles in front of their owners and soon everyone had a pile to start digging into. From Ron, Harry had gotten a large box of Every Flavor Beans and a Chudley Canons poster. Ryan had gotten a large box of Chocolate Frogs. Apparently, Ron really liked giving people sugar highs. Hermione had given both Harry and Ryan books (Ryan got two) and homework organizers. Ryan doubted very much that she would ever use the organizer, she was not a very organized person, plus, she procrastinated more often than not. Ryan’s books from Hermione were titled, Hexes and Jinxes; For the Advanced and Spells of Beauty; A Witches Guide to Make Herself Enchanting. Hermione had written a small note on the inside cover of the latter saying, “Not that you need it. Happy Christmas. Love, Hermione.” Ryan was so not used to this “Happy Christmas” stuff, considering she grew up saying "Merry Christmas". Something she would really have to get used to. Harry’s book from Hermione was titled, Great Quidditch Teams of the Twenty First Century.

Harry and Ryan had ended up giving each other the same thing. The ended up giving each other a Broom Stick Service Kit. Ryan, having never had one, was thrilled. Harry, having left his first at the Dursley’s, was equally thrilled. It was now seven o’clock and everyone had finished unwrapping their presents. Ryan’s mom stood up and said, “So, pancakes, bacon, and eggs for breakfast, yes?” Everyone agreed and she headed into the kitchen with her husband right behind her.

Fifteen minutes later everyone was situated around the table eating a delicious Christmas breakfast. Harry had to say that Mrs. Aikens gave Mrs. Weasley a run for her money.

By eight o’clock everyone had finished eating and Mr. Aikens announced, “Okay everyone, we leave in half an hour.”

Everyone headed upstairs to get out of their pajamas and into their dress clothes for church. Harry headed into the shower to take a very fast shower while Ryan got dressed in her room. Twenty five minutes later Harry knocked on her bedroom door, through the bathroom. She yelled for him to come in and he walked in wearing a pair of nice khaki pants and a light blue polo with two white strips and Hawaiian flowers across the chest.

Ryan was wearing a dark red flowing skirt that went a little past her knees, a long off-white tank top with sparkles and a dark blue V-neck short sleeved shirt. The sparkles on the tank top showed because the shirt had a V-neck. She was wearing light brown flip-flops and had just her bangs pulled back. The rest of her hair curled lightly around her shoulders.

Harry’s breathe caught in his throat and he croaked out, “You look… beautiful.”

Ryan blushed, “You don’t look too shabby yourself.” She smiled. “Well, should we head downstairs?”

“Yeah, probably” Harry replied.



**********



Harry had never been to a church service before. The Dursley’s were the most un-religious people he’d ever met, besides maybe the Malfoy’s, and the Weasley’s had never gone to church. They had just passed around small pieces of bread and grape juice. Harry wasn’t really sure what that was all about. He sat between Lucas and Audin. Everyone was looking up toward the front of the church expectantly. He leaned over to Audin, “What exactly are they waiting for?”

Audin laughed lightly, “Ryan’s gonna come out and sing in a second. If you hadn’t noticed, she left after communion.”

Harry assumed this was the bread and juice, and he had noticed that she left. He looked up toward the front of the church along with everyone else and saw Ryan walk out of a side room. She stood in front of the microphone and Peyton giggled, “RyeRye.”

Ryan smiled. The piano started to play. Harry saw her take in a calming breath, then start to sing:



How beautiful the hands that served
The wine and the bread and the sons of the earth
How beautiful the feet that walked
The long dusty roads and the hill to the cross

How beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful
Is the Body of Christ

How beautiful the heart that bled,
That took all my sin and bore it instead
How beautiful the tender eyes
That chose to forgive and never despise

How beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful
Is the Body of Christ

And as he laid down his life, we offer this sacrifice
That we will live just as he died; willing to pay the price,
Willing to pay the price

How beautiful the radiant bride
Who looks at her groom with his light in her eyes
How beautiful when humble hearts give
The fruit of pure lives so that others may live

How beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful
Is the Body of Christ

How beautiful the feet that bring
The sound of good news and love of the King
How beautiful the hands that served
The wine and the bread and the sons of the earth

How beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful
Is the Body of Christ



Harry’s breathe caught in his throat for the second time in less than two hours. He had never even imagined that she had such an angelic voice. He had never, in his entire life, in his opinion, ever heard anyone sing better than he just had. Her brother wasn’t kidding when he said she was amazing.

After the service ended everyone was out in front of the church talking to friends and people that went to the church and wishing them a happy Christmas. Harry hadn’t had a chance to talk to Ryan so he went to find her among the people mingling.

He found her standing next to Lucas, Kendall, and Tristan, talking with someone from their church who seemed to be complimenting Ryan for she was blushing profusely. The lady they were talking to walked away and Harry came up to her, “Ryan, that was amazing, how come you never told us you could sing?”

“Thanks, but I’m really not that good. And I never really got around to telling you that I’m into music, I mean, it never really came up, ya know?”

“Yeah, I guess, but wow, you were amazing.” Harry said.

“Thanks” she blushed and even deeper shade of red.

Just then Dumbledore stepped up behind Harry. Harry had not even realized that Dumbledore might possibly be at the service.

“Ryan dear,” Dumbledore said, “You did superb. It was truly wonderful.”

“Thanks grandpa.” She said and she hugged and kissed him. He greeted the rest of their group and left to talk with Ryan’s aunt.

“Ya know, I never really even thought about the fact that Dumbledore might have been married,” Harry told Ryan.

“Yeah, our grandmother died right after Aunt Bridget was born. My mom was only three at the time. I never knew her.” She told him.

“Man, that’s really sad. I know what it’s like to grow up without a parent,” Harry added, “or two.”

Ryan smiled sympathetically and then said, “Hey, it’s Christmas! Let’s not be so down-in-the-dumps, okay?”

Harry laughed, “Good idea.”






The rest of their Christmas was spent spending time with Ryan’s family. Harry felt like a bit of an intruder but everyone in their family seemed to open him with open arms. Every time he would get that awkward, I-don’t-belong-here look on his face, Ryan would pull him back into the conversation, laughing and smiling.

Hermione, Ron, Ginny, and Ron’s twin brothers, Fred, and George (whom Ryan was meeting for the first time) came over around 5:00 and they set out for an invigorating snowball fight in the back yard. The teams were Audin, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Lucas and Jesse against Fred, George, Harry, Ryan, Kendall, and Tristan. The teams were quit evenly split and no one actually kept track of who was winning.


At the end of the day after tucking in Peyton, Sydney, and Kendall (apparently Tristan was too cool to be tucked in, Ryan laughed at this) Ryan and Harry headed to bed. Lying down in their separate beds both of them thought that it was probably their best Christmas so far.



************************


A/N: Okay guys, this is the last chapter I have written so far so I'm not going to be able to update for awhile. I'll keep writing if you guys keep reviewing ;-)

Thanks everyone that has reviewed and everyone that hasn't, you really should consider it.


Song belongs to Twila Paris.


Oh, and sorry if anyone is offended about the whole church thing, I just figured it kind-of fit in with Ryan's character.

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