“Why didn’t you stop?” she whispered quietly, hands resting in his. He smiled softly, face still as white as the sheets he was lying upon, the very corners of his mouth pulled upwards in a slight curve. Though rattling in pain and exhaustion, the faint flood of adrenaline was coursing through his body, making him slightly feel drunk.

“Would you of?”

She scowled, but before she could open her mouth to retaliate, the door opened.

“Lily!” Harry grinned happily, sitting up slightly straighter.

Lily giggled, the large door shutting behind her. Her green eyes were alight with joy, her red hair scraped back into a wavy ponytail. Her tiny frame almost danced towards the bed as she ran over to Harry and Ginny.

“Daddy! Mummy!” she shrieked, clambering into the chair beside Ginny. She smiled toothily at them, sitting with her legs bent underneath her. “Are you okay?”

“Perfect, Lily,” Harry said softly, squeezing Ginny’s hands before letting them go. He lent forwards and boldly picked Lily up by her waist; Ginny shrieked in horror and panic, Lily in joy.

“Harry - !”

“I’m fine, Gin!” Harry protested, setting Lily down in his lap. She laughed joyously, hugging his hands around her waist.

Ginny opened her mouth again to argue, but shut it slowly. Sighing, she shifted in her chair, watching the pair of them.

Lily looked so tiny, so small, sitting upon Harry’s already short, skinny frame. Her head was bowed as she stared at their hands on her waist; her hands, half the size of his, looked so miniscule, so breakable clutching his. She stared at the blue veins on Daddy’s hands, eyebrows furrowed together.

“Just, please Harry, be more careful?” Ginny whispered, scooting the chair over. She rested her head on his shoulder as she sat at the very end of the bed, closing her eyes wearily.

“I don’t need to, love.”


He sighed dramatically, turning his head as he did so. “Fine,” he whispered into her hair, kissing the top of her head lovingly.

Lily moved one of her hands and stared closer at the blue lines. She let go of his hands and picked up his wrist carefully in one hand, as if it were china.

Harry’s head turned slowly towards her.

His hand was limp in hers, but not heavy; with her other hand, she traced the blue veins on his hand. Her eyes followed each path, each pattern, each parting.

Suddenly, his hand snapped out of hers. Lily jumped, turning her head to quickly look at her father.

Harry stared at the hand she had been holding with a mixed look of loathing and disgust. Sighing, he hid it under the covers from her.

Confused, Lily reached for his hand. She pulled it back out from under the blankets; he pulled it back, hiding it again.

“Daddy - ” Lily moaned, reaching forwards again and pulling back his hand. Ginny’s eyes opened slightly at the tone of her voice; it was a tone that she had rarely heard her daughter use before – one of confusion and disappointment and impatience – and a hint of anger.

“I don’t want you to see them,” Harry muttered gruffly, his good mood gone, pulling his hand back. Lily lunged for it again, clutching it in both of her hands.

“Why?” she demanded.

Harry seemed slightly taken aback.

Why?” he said quietly, staring at her incredulously. She nodded defiantly. “Because – because I don’t want you to.”

“But I do!” she protested, moving her eyes to his scarred hands. Harry’s mouth opened to argue, but Ginny softly nudged his shoulder. His gaze turned questionably to hers.

She kissed him softly, before pulling back. “Let her,” she whispered, breathing on his lips. He watched her carefully as she leant back against his shoulder, then looked at Lily, who was investigating his hand closely.

They sat in silence for a long time. Lily pushed up the sleeve of Harry’s jumper after a while and traced the veins on his arm. Ginny stayed silent, eyes closed, drifting in between consciousness and unconsciousness, but never completing either journey. Harry watched Lily for a while, then watched Ginny. His eyes fell to the ring sparkling on the third finger on her left hand; a lopsided smile slowly appeared on his face.

“You really love Mummy, don’t you Daddy?” Lily whispered almost too quietly, her gaze never moving from the scars on his arms.

He looked from Lily, to Ginny, to the ring - her ring - and then, finally, to his scars. He finally understood what Lily meant, and no longer felt ashamed of his scars.

Christmas approached fast. The outside air that breathed in and out of the frosted open windows was cold and bitter; the air inside Saint Mungos, however, was warm, friendly and joyous.

The corridors were donned in bright tinsel that sprayed paper confetti out at children; glittering stars that hovered and really shone, replacing the hospital lights; holly wreaths on doors, green and red; miniscule fairies fluttering in and out of doors, carrying messages for other Healers.
A huge Christmas tree sat in the magical foyer, a beautiful golden angel perched on the very top that waved and cast glittering Charms on visitors below. The tree itself was covered in every decoration possible: Santa Clauses that whizzed around the branches, some riding broomsticks, some bright red sleds, others reindeer; snowmen had snowball fights on the pine needles, throwing tiny snow droplets at each other; angels glided gracefully in and out of the branches; every colour possible of tinsel was laced throughout the branches – golds, reds, greens, silvers, blues, purples; glittering trails of stars and crystals, varied in sizes and shapes and colours, were scattered everywhere…

Lily was bounding down the corridor with James, racing him to the Christmas Tree, both alight with Christmas spirit and the rumour Chris Turner had told them both as they sat in the food room. She shrieked as paper confetti burst out of one of the tinsels and showered her; several people looked around, startled, and quickly parted as she sprinted her way through them.

James was close behind her and more hazardous with his running. He skirted around an old man with a cane, ducking under his arm and narrowly missing knocking over the wooden cane. He yelled out as the confetti fell over him, too, and ran after her.

“I’m beating you!” Lily taunted, jumping down the stairs two at a time. Daintily, she skipped around a young couple carrying a sleeping baby – James, however, just missed running into the wizard’s leg and ran after her, taking the steps four at a time.

He overtook her on the final steps, jumping all of them in one leap and landing on the floor, hard. Lily screamed and stopped, falling to the floor beside him as he lay there unmoving.

Some people looked around as James fell: a few started forwards, faces wide with shock.

“James?” Lily said quietly, reaching out slowly to touch his arm. Suddenly, James bounded up and ran forwards once more. Lily screamed. “CHEATER!”

She ran after him, but the race was won: James stood under the great tree, leaning casually against the trunk.

“You cheated! That was a foul trick!” Lily scolded, glaring at him. He shrugged.


Scowling, Lily looked away from him and gazed up through the needles. The tree glittered with golds and reds and greens and silvers, and every other beautiful colour there was, and stunning ornaments glittered here and there.

Together, they started searching the branches for what they were looking for.

“There!” Lily shrieked, pointing to the very top of the tree.

Even though it was about thirty feet above them and they were standing in the middle of a busy hospital reception, the angel sitting delicately on the very top branch heard them and turned towards them. A dainty smile lit up her golden features and she fluttered gracefully down.

She looked beautiful whilst perched on the top branch, but at the bottom she was even more stunning. Honey coloured blonde locks fell in gentle waves down to her mid back; bright, blue eyes blinked and shone from a pale, angelic face; her petite body was framed in a striking, gentle golden dress with red in patterned carefully onto it; large, golden wings sprouted from between her shoulder blades and curved in around her shins, the feathers silky soft and shimmering. She was around the size of Lily’s leg and in her graceful hand was a small, perfectly carved wand made of the finest wood, a trail of ivy carved into it.

Smiling softly at the pair of them, she balanced on the edge of the large plant pot that was behind them; the two children swivelled around to face her.

“You’re really pretty,” Lily gushed quietly, her pale cheeks tingeing pink. The angel faerie smiling prettily at her.

“Thank you,” she said quietly. Even her voice was golden and breathtaking, “You are very beautiful yourself.”

Lily flushed harder.

“Is it true you give out Charms?” James said quietly, his own cheeks flushing as he asked. The faerie turned to him, the smile still present on her soft face.

“That depends,” she said slowly, looking over James, “On who it is.”

“What it it’s us?”

The faerie smiled wider at James’ bluntness.

“And who are you?”

“I’m James Weasley – and this is my cousin, Lily Weasley.”

“Weasley?” the faerie laughed amazingly, her voice dancing around them, “I know your family. Regular visitors at Christmas – and every other week. Especially with you young children. Of course you may have a Charm.”

James grinned, clapping his hands, “Yes!”

The faerie climbed elegantly to her feet, perching on her bare feet on the rim of the pot. She fiddled with her perfect wand, “James, what Charm would you love?”

“Can I have a cookie – please?” he said quickly, bouncing on his heels.

The faeries smile faltered, “I’m terribly sorry, dear, but Grumpwomps - ”

“First law. Yes. I forgot,” James shone crimson, “Dad told me about it – well then… can I have a Snitch?”

Laughing again, the faerie’s broad, warming smile had returned. She waved her wand in such a complicated fashion but in such a perfect way that Lily and James gawked. Golden flowers emitted from the wand tip and danced around her; suddenly, it burst into a small Snitch that fluttered and darted. It quivered in front of James’ face and he lunged, grasping it in his fingers.

“It’s yours now.”

“Thank you!” James grinned, letting go of the Snitch. The golden ball circled around him in such a speed it was nearly invisible; he lunged, and was quickly grasping it in his hands again.

“And you, darling. What Charm do you wish for?”

Lily dragged her eyes away from James’ Snitch and gazed at the faerie.

“Can – please, if it’s not too much bother… can Mummy and Daddy… get better?” Lily whispered quietly, another flush darkening her cheeks, “Please.”

The faerie’s smile disappeared, and her features became more humane, more possible to exist. Lily’s emerald eyes were large and full of such selflessness – such innocence - the faerie’s fragile heart broke. She flew forwards and her fragile arms hugged Lily’s neck softly. She hovered in front of the five year old.

“Certainly.” she whispered, “I’ll do what I can.”

Flying upwards, she waved her wand around impressively. Lily smiled as the golden leaves fluttered towards her parents rooms.

Harry watched Nigel fold away his chart and place it back on the bedside table. Now or never. Swallowing, he spoke.


The Healer looked up, raising his eyebrows as a sign to continue.

“Could I – would I - be able – to walk? On Christmas?” he said quickly, watching Nigel’s reaction slowly.

There was no visible response, then the Healer reached over and picked up the chart. He opened it slowly, eyes finally moving from Harry to the parchment.

“To Ginny’s room, I take it?” he asked slowly, flipping through the charts and graphs. He paused, muttered something inaudible, then flipping through more statistics.

“Er – yes. I want to…y’know…” Harry dragged off tonelessly, tentatively. He didn’t finish, but instead watched Nigel apprehensively, waiting for the denial.

“We’ll see,” Nigel said slowly, putting down the chart, “It depends.”

The words spun around Harry’s head. He nodded quickly, smiling. “Thank you,” he grinned, a ‘we’ll see’ better than a ‘no’.

a/n: :sings coke adverts: the holidays are coming! the holidays are coming!
so! a part of this chapter was originally the next chapter, but then it fitted better in this chapter, so yea. (:
i'm away on holiday on the 14th, and i don't know if i'll have an update before then. :S SORRY!
but you love me...?

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