Hey Guys, So this is chapter two, Happy reading :)
24th December 2024
Albus Severus Potter lived in the top most room on the fifth floor of his Parents house. It was not the smallest room in the house, but was by no means the biggest, but it suited him just fine. He loved number 12 Grimauld Place and, as much as his days at Hogwarts were fun, he flourished within the walls of his house. It had a particularly odd layout which made it all the more intriguing. The front door opened onto the third floor, which was home to the kitchen, dining room and living room which came off the long narrow passage way. Two floors lay below it each with many rooms leading from it. Lily and James both had rooms on the second floor (both having artificial windows) with their own bathrooms. The ground floor had 6 rooms, most of which were empty bar a few curious objects. Albus’ favourite had a single object in it. A magnificently tall mirror as high as the room itself with an ornate gold frame inscribed with the words Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi. Although he had initially thought these words to be welsh from when his mum lived in Holyhead, he thought maybe they had some deeper meaning but had never known what. What was more, when he looked in the mirror, he did not see himself standing in the room but standing in the hallway of the house surrounded with his friends and family, including his dead grandparents and he fitted in perfectly. This was most peculiar as every time he looked behind him, he was on his own, in this dark dingy room feeling perfectly out of place. He had once asked his dad what it meant. He merely smiled at Albus
‘I once something of a similar scene when I looked in that mirror Albus, well sometimes I still do. But as a very wise man said to me once, It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live’. Albus wasn’t quite sure what this meant, but was sure it probably meant that he shouldn’t go back to the mirror too often. He was pretty sure his brother and sister had never bothered to look under the tarpaulin, as they probably would have mentioned it before now.
His parents had a room on the 4th floor of the house, that was the master bedroom of the house. The floor had three other rooms; a bathroom that Albus shared with his parents, and the bedrooms of the children who had lived in the house before; Sirius and Regulus Black. Albus knew that they were dead and that his dad had been very close to Sirius, but it was somewhat a taboo subject within the house. His dad spent an awful lot of time in Sirius’ room, but Albus had rarely been into either of the rooms. And lastly was Albus’ room that lay alone on the fifth floor, only accompanied by a small landing.
The walls of his room were painted a light blue with a large window that on looked the night sky. His bedroom portrayed his personality perfectly. His walls were covered in maps of the world and the stars. His room looked perfectly tidy, but on closer inspection, every ounce of space was cluttered with old books, both wizarding and muggle. He only had three pieced of furniture; A bed, a wardrobe and his desk. To an outsider, his desk looked to be filled with junk, but anyone who knew Albus could tell it was filled with his most prized possessions. On the desk was a pot of quills and some ink that he used for his schoolwork. To the right was a cage on top of a pile of newspaper which was home to his snowy white owl Hedwig II, He’d had Hedwig since he was 11 years old and his dad had bought her for him. Albus and Harry had a particularly close relationship which was evident from the rest of the objects on his desk. There was a blank piece of folded up parchment that lay under a fragment of a mirror, both of which had previously belonged to his father. The marauders map was of great worth to Albus, and although he rarely used it for trouble making, he loved the knowledge that he held a fantastically rare magical instrument that had once belonged to his grandfather. He had never seen anything but his own reflection in the fragment of mirror, but every time he looked, he hoped for glimmer of blue or green, like his father had always told him about.
Many people would have thought that Albus was Harry’s favourite, and he was, in a way. Harry had offered these possessions to his other children, but neither James nor Lily were very interested in them. He and Albus did have a very special relationship. Albus wasn’t like the rest of his family, he wasn’t overly loud or mischievous, he didn’t like Quidditch, largely because he wasn’t very good at it, He was overwhelmingly academic and loved books, he looked nothing like his red head siblings and cousins, He was the spitting image of his father. He had messy jet black hair that couldn’t be tamed, bright green eyes that were supposedly like his grandmothers, he was a scrawny boy who looked a little too thin and had round black glasses. Although he loved his family and was equally loved by them, Albus Potter felt like an outsider.
Probably the fact that he was an introvert contributed to him feeling like an outsider, but that was not the main reason, no. Albus Severus Potter felt like he didn’t fit in with the rest of his family because he hated Christmas. He hated everything about it, the hype, the decorations, the presents, the food, he hated the whole Christmas season, where it was the rest of his family’s favourite time of year. He had not always hated Christmas, he had loved up until 2016 when he was 10, after that he couldn’t stand anything to do with Christmas and no-one knew why. It had been a shock for his parents when the following Christmas, Al hadn’t joined in anything; getting the Christmas tree or decorations. He even refused to ask for presents, so Harry had to guess, only receiving a polite ‘thank you’ when he opened them on Christmas day at The Burrow, where he sat and read a book much to the dismay of everyone else. After much badgering of ‘What’s the matter Al?’, ‘Who’s upset you?’ and ‘Not even just one game of wizarding charades?’ they had been left with the conclusion that Albus simply didn’t like Christmas anymore.
7 years later and nothing had changed. It was the night of Christmas eve, and Albus was dreading the following day. He had bought his parents, Lily and James presents (the children never had to buy presents for the whole family because there were just too many of them) out of courtesy as they had bought him presents. They were all about to go out carol singing with Rose, Hugo, Lucy, Fred, Roxy, Dominique and parents as all the others were working. After much persuasion they’d been forced to leave Albus on his own. There was a quiet knock on his door.
‘Come in’. It was Lily, his 14 year old sister.
‘What is it Lil?’ he asked, half knowing what she was about to say.
‘Please come carol singing with us’
‘Lil I –‘
‘You do this every year and it’s not fair!’ The hint of a tear was emerging in her eyes. ‘Christmas Is a time for family and just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean you can spoil it for the rest of us!’
‘Lily, I wish I wanted to go carol singing, but I just don’t’. She looked like she was about to burst into tears. He walked over and gave her a hug, hating it whenever he upset any of his family.
‘Lil, please don’t cry’ She shook her head defiantly. ‘I’m not trying to spoil it for you, I really don’t want to go carol singing and I’m not going’ Tears trickled down her cheeks.
‘But if it really means that much to you, I’ll come down and put presents under the tree with you a bit later, alright?’. Although he disliked this tradition of ceremonially putting presents under the tree whilst the fairy lights were turned on, at least it was more bearable that carolling. She beamed at him.
‘Thank you Albus’ she half whispered before running down the hall to join the rest of her family. He heard the front door slam, and he knew he was alone. He liked the feeling as he always felt more at peace when only with himself. He looked out of his window at his family walking round the corner, half wishing he’d gone with them as carolling used to be one of his favourite things to do. He pushed the thought out of his mind by reminding himself of why he hated Christmas. That put a stop to his glee.
He looked at the scene before him of the square of no mans land that separated Grimauld Place from Moorland Avenue. Albus was only disappointed by one thing; there was no snow on the ground. Snow was the only thing about Christmas that he liked, but most of the time he associated it with winter, not Christmas. He loved that snow seemed to make the world stop. Even the thinnest of snowfalls would stop everything, kids wouldn’t go to school, parents to work and transport just stopped completely, and it was something about this stillness that Albus enjoyed. Not to mention the legendary snowball fights he and his cousins had a Hogwarts. He pulled himself back into reality and moved away from the snow less scene. He picked up the book he was reading at the moment ‘Handbook of Hippogriff psychology’, and began to read.
Albus had almost forgotten that it was Christmas eve because he was so immersed in his book, It was only when he got to ‘How Freud’s theories relate to teenage pregnancies in Hippogriffs’ and he heard the sound of voices downstairs and knew his family were back. He glanced at the clock on his desk and saw it was ten past nine, almost late enough to warrant going to bed and escaping this Christmas hell hole.
‘Albus’ He heard his mothers’ voice calling up the stairs ‘Al, come and say hello to everyone’.
Albus put his book to one side, got off his very comfy bed, and descended the stairs to the third floor where everybody was in the living room.
‘Hey Al, how you doing?’
He sat down in an empty chair nearby as everyone got back into their conversations.
‘Albus Potter, why did you not come carolling?’
Rose Weasley had sat in the vacant chair next to him. Being the same age, naturally they were good friends, and she was Al’s favourite.
‘Is that it? Do I not even get a merry Christmas?’
She smiled and moved the conversation away from Christmas. Albus was actually beginning to enjoy his evening in the company of his family, when Lily called everyone’s attention.
‘It’s time to put all the presents under the tree and turn on the lights’.
‘Guess it’s time for your departure’ murmured Rose. Albus got out of his seat and was trying to inconspicuously get out of the room.
‘Albus Severus Potter sit back down right now!’ barked Lily.
‘Lily, you can’t force him –‘ started her father.
‘No, no! He promised, so yes I can’ Albus sighed and reluctantly sat down. Albus thought the whole thing quite stupid. Each individual, well out of his immediate family, had to put their presents under the tree one by one, even though they never opened them at home, but always at The Burrow, with the rest of the family. In turn his mother, father, brother and sister went and got all the presents they’d bought for everyone and put them under the tree, whilst everyone else tried to guess what they’d got. Then it was Albus’ turn.
‘They’re just in my room, give me a moment’
He walked slowly up the stairs, not wanting to take part in such a Christmassy tradition. He lay on the floor, and fished under his bed for the four wrapped presents. They were all wrapped in birthday paper because he didn’t want to make them any more to do with Christmas than he had to. For his mother he’d got a lovely necklace (helpfully pointed out by Aunt Hermione) which had a flower pendant at the bottom. His dad had broken his sneak-a-skope a couple of months ago, so Albus had bought him a new, fancy one. He’d bought James a copy of his favourite bands, The Dementors Kiss, new album that he wanted. And for Lil, he’s bought her a bottle of perfume that he’d thought had smelt nice. He thought of them not as presents to celebrate Christmas, but a nice impromptu winter gift. He headed back downstairs reminding himself that he was doing this to try and make Lily happy. He entered the Living room and quickly shoved the presents under the tree before anyone could say anything.
‘Ok, lets get these lights on’
‘I’ve got the mains’ said Uncle Ron, and he got out his deluminator. Harry walked over to the tree, pointed his wand at one of the fairies, said ‘Lumos’ and the fairy took the little ball of light. Uncle Ron pressed his deluminator, and the room was flooded with darkness, leaving only the light of a string of multicoloured fairies all holding little balls of light. The lights had much the same effect as snow, but Albus didn’t like them nearly as much. Everyone fell silent for a minute, and took in the scene before them.
‘Right well I’m off to bed, night’ Al tried to get out of the room as quickly as possible.
‘See you tomorrow’
Albus ran upstairs to his room, very relived that he’d survived another Christmas eve. He brushed his teeth, combed his hair, put on his pyjamas, took his glasses off, turned off his light and got into bed. With nothing to distract him, his mind started to wander to what was going to happen tomorrow. Christmas was always a busy affair at the burrow, and he would be forced to take part in it. He’d have to open presents and watch whilst everyone else did. Then there was all that festive food, turkey, mince pies, and the awful Christmas crackers, and Lily would find a way of getting a hat on his head. For a minute, just a minute, he felt himself get a little excited at the prospect, and then he remembered. He didn’t like Christmas.
Sleep was about to take him, when Albus heard somebody come into his room. He half sat up.
‘Huh?’ It was his mum.
‘Sorry sweetie, I didn’t mean to wake you’ she came and sat down next to him on the bed.
‘Have you had a nice day?’
‘As nice as I could have hoped for’
‘I get worried about you over Christmas, I feel like you’re lonely’
‘Don’t mum, I just don’t like Christmas’. She sighed.
‘Ok, well if you’re sure, Goodnight Albus’ She kissed him lightly on the head, and walked over to the door.
‘Night mum’, Albus lay down ready to sleep.
‘Oh and Albus, Merry Christmas’. He heard his door closing and his mother walking downstairs.
‘Bah, humbug!’ muttered Albus as he rolled over and fell asleep.
Thanks for reading guys
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