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“Seriously, what happened to you at Hogsmeade?” Harry asked Ron, Hermione and Ginny as they and Laura, Katie and Lewis threw themselves down onto the sofas and chairs around the fireplace. It was Sunday, the day after the Hogsmeade trip and Ron and Hermione had finally appeared.

“Well basically I ran away, somewhat hastily…” Ron said to them, not meeting Harry’s eyes and it was clear from whatever happened that Hermione had made him forgive him somehow. “And then Hermione caught me up and we talked and I guess I mean to say that I’m sorry for running off, I shouldn’t have and… yeah, I’m sorry.”

Harry personally thought that Ron had every reason to be annoyed with him and Hermione since they had been openly talking about him and Hermione had been calling him a liar but he decided not to push this idea for fear of Ron accepting it.

“So that’s all that happened?” Lewis asked lightly and the three of them nodded.

“Strange that, since I’m pretty certain I saw Ginny punch Malfoy.” Katie said and Ginny laughed, but it sounded almost false.

“Yeah I know, cool that, huh?” She grinned and Harry looked at her oddly.

“What aren’t you telling us here?” Harry asked them, eyebrow raised.

“Ginny’s going out with Malfoy.” Ron blurted out and Ginny gave him an appalled look but didn’t say anything.

“Is this true?!” Laura gasped, shocked and almost outraged.

Ginny nodded but didn’t say anything about it.

“Why?!” Harry asked before he could keep his mouth shut.

“Because I like him, is that a crime!?” She shouted back and stormed out of the room.

“No way…” Harry said, “It’s not possible.”

“That’s what I thought.” Hermione said to him, “But apparently it’s true.”

“Maybe it’s just a really awful joke.” Lewis suggested.

“So where exactly did you go after you ran off then?” Laura asked Ron, not letting him just get away with it.

“We just went for a shop.” Ron told them.

“With Ginny and Malfoy?” Katie asked, raising her eyebrow slightly.

“No, they went off shopping somewhere else, or they might have gone back to the castle, I’m not sure.” Hermione said.

“They didn’t come back to the castle, we would have seen them.” Lewis told her.

“And we ended up splitting up and looking for you after the rain.” Harry said.

“Oh we’d already come back by then.” Hermione said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world, “Because of the rain, you know.”

“Really, where’d you go?” Harry asked, trying to sound nonchalant but he realised that he had probably failed.

“We didn’t stay in one place because you weren’t back yet. We just walked around the school really, common room, kitchens, that sort of thing.” Ron told them and Harry nodded.

The thing was that he was so certain that they were lying and had come back later on but then again why would they lie to him? What could they be hiding? Unfortunately they could easily say that they had just missed each other and they hadn’t come back to the common room for ages after wandering out of it quite early on. The rest of them had clearly realised that they weren’t going to be able to catch them out on the lie that they were inventing so instead stayed quiet to the point where discomfort ensued.

“So how long have Ginny and Malfoy…?” Harry asked, tactfully changing to a topic which was of similar interest since he was so certain that Ginny had punched him earlier on in the day.

“Not that long really.” Hermione said and Ron glared at her slightly.

“I can’t stand it. Ginny going out with him. Hell, I’d rather she was with Harry!” Ron scowled.

“Oh, thanks!” Harry scowled.

“No offence, mate.” Ron grinned sheepishly at him.

“None taken.” Harry muttered.

“So how long’s ‘not that long really’?” Laura asked Hermione who seemed more likely to respond than Ron.

“A couple of weeks.” Hermione said casually.

“A couple of weeks?! Why didn't you tell me?” Harry demanded.

“She didn’t tell me either, and I’m her brother!” Ron said indignantly. “I didn’t even find out until today when Malfoy told me!”

“That was why she punched him.” Hermione explained and they nodded although Harry still felt vaguely unsure of the days events he let the conversation slide.

“Anyway, it was a good opportunity to get some early Christmas shopping done.” Hermione smiled and told them that she had bought presents for three people already the day before.

“Christmas shopping? Already?” Harry asked, “But it’s weeks until Christmas!”

“It’s not, it’ll go really fast. You just watch.” Hermione told him.

Harry was annoyed to find that the weeks did go very quickly and soon he was stepping off the Hogwarts train at Kings Cross to see Tonks waiting for him along with Mad Eye and Arthur.

“Tonks! How are you?” Harry asked her and found himself swept up into a tight embrace.

“I’m great thanks!” She grinned at him and Harry couldn’t help but smile back. “Looking forwards to going home?”

“I am, actually.” He replied, and he thought it was quite odd that he was so willing to return to the house that Sirius had once owned. Come to think of it, he wasn’t just quite willing to return, he has been looking forwards to it for almost a month now and to finally be returning to his surrogate family was an idea that cheered him immensely and not even the knowledge that he would be spending Christmas with Snape would ruin that for him.

“Come on, we must get back.” Arthur said to those that had just got off the train. “Molly will be wondering what happened to us.”

Harry walked outside into the icy air and winced slightly as the wind ruffled his hair and blew into his eyes.

Hermione was walking behind him, using him as a small and inadequate shield against the cold. She had decided, after much deliberation that she would be spending Christmas with the Order, if only to keep Ginny and Ron from tearing out each other’s throats.

“So have you had an interesting term?” Tonks asked him and Harry shrugged.

“Quite interesting.” He said and glanced behind him at Ron, Hermione and Ginny who were walking in silence and glowering at each other at every possible opportunity. Tonks grinned.

“Gotcha.” She muttered to him before almost tripping up over the kerb. “And have you done all your shopping yet?”

“Yep.” Harry said and Tonks stared at him.

“You never…” She said and studied him for any trace of a lie. Harry grabbed her arm and pulled her out of the road before she was almost knocked down by a car. “Bloody hell, you have!”

“Well it was a Hogsmeade weekend again the other day so I had the chance to go do some shopping then, Market Day as well though so I was constantly trying to avoid the village centre.” Harry told her.

“But you can’t have got everything in Hogsmeade…” Tonks said, pushing for information.

“I didn’t. I asked if I could go into Diagon Alley the other weekend and McGonagall said yes, on the condition that I didn’t go alone.” Harry said and Tonks noticed that his tone soured slightly.

“So who did you go with?” Tonks asked him and Harry’s scowl expression darkened.

“Snape.” Harry muttered and Tonks barely suppressed a snort of laughter but she managed, if only because Harry looked ready to kill.

You went Christmas shopping with Snape?!” Tonks hissed at him and by this point she could barely breathe with suppressed laughter. “Do they…?” She asked, glancing back at the three teenagers who walked sullenly behind them and Harry shook his head.

“As if I’d tell them that.” Harry muttered, “Can you imagine Ron’s face?”

“I really can’t see you and Snape walking around Christmas shopping…” Tonks sniggered.

“We weren’t shopping together.” Harry explained, “Snape was all ‘you don’t like me, Potter, and I don’t like you but we both need to shop and this is the only way we can both get here without running away from the school.’” Harry said, doing his best Snape impression which had Tonks in hysterics and Harry had to push her into the enlarged taxi that they were using to get back to Grimmauld Place.

“So then what?” Tonks muttered as she and Harry sat on the edge of the back seat, whilst Ron, Ginny and Hermione sat on the other side of the car, talking between themselves in the same quiet manner. Arthur was driving and Mad Eye was sat in the front. Probably searching for Death Eaters. Harry thought and mentally rolled his eyes.

“Then we just separated really, he went one way, I went the other and we shopped for things then.” Harry told her in the same quiet undertone, “Course we walked into each other in Flourish and Blotts and he glared at me but we didn’t say anything.”

“Must have looked strange for a Hogwarts teacher and a student to have been walking around on their own.” Tonks said.

“Nah, doubt it. We weren’t really noticed because it was the weekend before Christmas holidays and loads of other people were shopping as well.” Harry told her and she nodded.

“Bloody hell, I wish I’d already got mine done.” She sighed.

“Much to do?” He asked her.

“Everything!” She groaned and Harry grinned. “However, because you’re such a marvellous kid then you can have the fun of coming with me.”

“No way.” Harry scowled.

“That wiped the smile off your face, didn’t it?” She flashed him a smile and he pulled a face.

“I’ll come with you but you’ll owe me for it.” He muttered to her. The car took a sharp U-turn and everyone was thrown to one side before they skidded up outside Grimmauld Place.

Harry was quickly shoved out of the car by Tonks and had to drag himself up from the floor before she stood on him as Ginny pushed her out of the car as well.

The headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix are located at Number Twelve Grimmauld Place. He thought and the house immediately came into view as if it had just muscled it’s way between the two houses on either side of it.

“Come on, it’s freezing!” Tonks said and tugged on Harry’s arm, pulling him towards the house with Arthur, Mad Eye, Ron, Hermione and Ginny not far behind. Tonks reached out and pushed open the door and the very first thing that Harry noticed was that the portrait of Mrs Black had gone and where it had once been there was simply wall.

“Ron, Ginny, Harry, Hermione!” Molly cried the moment they were through the door and in a moment she had embraced them all tightly in one large hug which left Harry and the others breathless.

“Can’t breathe Mum!” Ron gasped and she let go.

“Oh, it’s so good to see you all again.” She said and smiled brightly at them all and they couldn’t help but smile back at her. She cast her usual critical eye over Harry and them all before ushering them all into the kitchen for tea since the Hogwarts Express had spend the day racing through countryside and had only just arrived back at Kings Cross at 6pm.

When they walked inside they saw that the table had already been set and Dobby was wandering around the room, ready to assist in any way that he could.

“Oh come on, I’m starving!” Fred complained at the end of the table and George went as far as to get up from his seat and practically push Ginny into a seat at the end of the table.

“GEORGE!” Barked Molly at the top of her voice as Harry, Ron and Hermione took their seats. Harry found himself sat between Minerva and Tonks and opposite Remus, Severus and Filius as they looked longingly at the food in front of them. Finally Molly, Arthur and Mad Eye took their seats at the table.

“Oh, it’s so lovely to be eating together again.” Molly said and the rest of the table smiled as they helped themselves to the array of food before them.

“We’ll have to decorate soon as well.” Filius said in his usual high pitched manner as he took some roast potatoes from the bowl which floated past him and down the table towards Bill.

“Definitely.” Minerva said, “We can start tomorrow, although we all have shopping to get done.”

“Except for Harry and Severus that is.” Tonks muttered under her breath and Harry shot her a glare which could have killed and Snape muttered something darkly about morons.

“We need to get a tree.” Remus said and Mad Eye nodded.

“I’m sure that Hagrid would be able to get us one, would he not?” He asked gruffly.

“Certainly.” Severus said, “Although no doubt it will be decorated in red and gold.” He scowled darkly.

“Can’t have a Slytherin tree now, can we Severus?” Minerva smiled slightly.

“Have your own miniature Slytherin tree in your room.” Filius told him.

“So that those idiots,” Here he glared down the table at Fred and George who had just made Ron’s gravy explode in his face, “can set it alight every morning? No, thank you.”

“I hope it snows this Christmas.” Tonks said idly as she ate a mouthful of spaghetti. Harry wondered just how Molly had managed to make so many different meals for them all in one day, the variety seemed able to rival Hogwarts and yet there were only them eating.

“Even if it doesn’t then I can charm it so that it does.” Filius said.

“I don’t want it to snow in the house.” Severus said.

“Snow in the house it is.” Harry muttered under his breath and Tonks and Remus smiled, having been the only ones who heard it.

“I don’t fancy being the target for snowballs inside the house.” Severus scowled and already Harry was plotting the many ways in which he could irritate Snape using snow indoors that holiday. Remus caught his eye and shook his head at him slightly.

How the hell does he know that I’m plotting against Snape? Am I really that transparent? He wondered as he ate some more of the chicken on his plate.

“Well then I shall go to Hagrid tomorrow and ask if he can bring us a tree round to the house and we can start decorating then.” Minerva said and everyone nodded.

“And before we get decorating then we can go shopping into Diagon Alley tomorrow.” Filius said.

“Yeah, I really need to get some shopping done!” Tonks said and Harry grinned.

“I can’t believe you’ve not got anything yet.” Harry said to her and she scowled.

“Do you want me to shout out that you went Christmas shopping with Snape?” Tonks muttered to him and Remus, for whom this was the first he had heard of Harry and Snape’s shopping adventures, stared at Harry.

“Shopping with Snape?” He mouthed at him across the table and Harry looked quite irritated with the way in which Tonks was refusing to let the subject drop.

“Later.” Harry mouthed back at him and Remus nodded before letting a grin split his face. Harry and Snape – SHOPPING! Remus just couldn’t help the mental image of Harry and Snape walking around Diagon Alley in the snow with lots of presents in their arms as they walked along the street looking uncharacteristically happy.

This was incorrect for many reasons, mostly because it had yet to snow but Remus was too busy trying to block out Harry and Snape who were now skipping down the street in his mind whilst not letting the amusement show in his face.

“Are you alright, Remus?” Filius asked him and Remus leant his head into his hand.

“Headache.” Remus told him and he nodded. The full moon was going to be in three days time so no one questioned the fact that he was in pain except for Harry who knew full well that he wouldn’t be in any form of pain whatsoever until the actual night of the full moon.

Harry cast him an inquisitive look but when his gaze locked with Remus, the older man had to look away quickly as laughter threatened to overpower him.

“So shopping and decorating tomorrow, and the days after of course.” Filius said.

“And then after that we won’t have much to do except wait for Christmas.” Minerva said.

“And probably do more shopping of course.” Tonks said.

“Yes, so waiting and more shopping.” Remus said.

“And monstrously long essays that some teachers set over Christmas.” Harry glared at Severus who smirked.

“You gave your students essays over Christmas?!” Tonks said. “That’s really mean you know.”

“Not even I set essays over Christmas, Severus.” Minerva said to him.

“Yes well my NEWT students are all surprisingly stupid.” Severus said.

“Yes, surprisingly stupid students who all got Outstanding in their OWLs.” Remus said lightly and Severus glared at him.

“I’m certain you cheated on that test, boy.” Severus said to Harry, “And somehow I’m going to prove it.”

“How the hell could he have cheated on a practical potions exam, or on the written one for that matter?” Minerva asked him and Severus muttered something that only his potato heard.

Dinner ended some time later and everyone left the room feeling as if another mouthful of anything would make them ready to burst. Harry cornered Remus out in the hallway as Hermione sprinted up the stairs where Ron and Ginny were already starting to fight.

“So what was so funny?!” Harry demanded and at this prompt, Remus almost dissolved into laughter again but he managed to keep his composure and only allowed the slightest of smiles to touch his face.

“You and Snape, Christmas shopping!” Remus choked out and this time he did begin to laugh.

“It’s not that frigging funny.” Harry said to him and Remus wiped the tears from his eyes and bit his lip as he looked down on the scowling teen. “What did you think we did? Skipped down the street together through the nonexistent snow?!”

This was too much for Remus who was crying with laughter and leaning on his rather bemused godson for support. The image of Snape and Harry together was too much and he sank to the floor and Harry sat down next to him, staring at Remus in disbelief.

“Off your bloody head.” Harry muttered and Remus grinned.

“You’re not charming snow to get Snape inside the house.” Remus said once he had recovered and Harry just stared at him again.

“How the hell…?!” Harry stared, “You’re just unreal.”

“You’re so incredibly transparent, Harry.” Remus smiled, “You couldn’t have been more so if you had a little thought bubble above your head with Snape and snow in the house in it.”

Harry tutted and rolled his eyes at his guardian who smiled.

“I COULDN’T CARE LESS! MY SISTER IS GOING OUT WITH DRACO MALFOY AND I BLOODY WELL WON’T HAVE IT!” Ron yelled at the top of his voice from the floor above.

“Ginny and Malfoy?” Remus asked, his eyebrow raised, “I can’t see it.”

“Me neither.” Harry said, “You’ll still take me to Godric’s Hollow, won’t you?”

“Of course, how about on Christmas Eve?” Remus suggested to him, “That way I’ll have a little more strength that I currently have at any rate.”

“Yeah, Christmas Eve sounds great.” Harry smiled, “Thanks Remus.”

“You’re welcome.” Remus said and pushed himself up from the floor and made to walk into the lounge, Harry just behind him. “So did you skip down the street with Snape?”

“Oh shut up!” Harry said and pushed him into the room. More angry shouts floated down the stairs but right now Harry couldn’t have cared less. He was home again, it was Christmas and he was surrounded by people who he cared about, even if some of them currently were at each other’s throats. Christmas was certainly going to be interesting, that was for sure.

A/N: Thought I'd skip straight into Christmas instead of having a chapter and then going into it since I didn't think that there was anything crucial that couldn't be covered in the holidays. So I hope you liked the chapter and whatnot. The next chapter will probably be set in Diagon Alley and decorating the house and whatnot, so a nice fluffy chapter but I'm not certain as to that yet. Oh, and before I forget:

None of the pairings in this chapter will stay

So basically at the end of the story there will be no pairings at all. (And I know half of you will have been going 'Ginny and Malfoy?!') So worry not, no end pairings :o)

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