Categories > Books > Harry Potter > The Noble and Ancient House

A Great ad Noble Holiday

by fey_puck 0 reviews

The times and trials of the family Black.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: G - Genres: Drama, Humor - Characters: Andromeda Tonks, Bellatrix, Narcissa, Sirius - Published: 2007-07-19 - Updated: 2007-07-19 - 1749 words

There was something extraordinary about Christmas time, when bright lights chased away shadowed corners and it was always snowing when you looked out the window, even when it wasn't really. Everything smelled like evergreen and holly branches. Occasionally there would be a brush of cinnamon in the air, like some exotic stranger passing by, and the children always paused in those moments to try and take it all in. Christmas could easily be the best day ever, Regulus had decided long ago, and the opinion was as true now as it was when he was a younger child.

Of course, there had been an incident earlier involving singing mistletoe and a battle of the Black brothers to get through the archway first, but that had ended with twin screeches of horror and nothing worse.

Besides, Regulus had always known that Sirius screamed like a girl and now everyone else knew too.

Feet not quite reaching the floor, heels kicking the sofa in a way that would earn him a scolding on any other day, Regulus looked around the decorated parlor with wide blue eyes.

So many presents.

All of them just waiting to be opened.

"Why can't we open them now?' he asked, hands plucking at a pillow.

Glancing up from his position by the tree, Sirius snorted. "Because the presents have some sort of security charm on the wrapping."

The older Black boy poked one gift rather harshly in demonstration, making an annoyed sound when the paper simply stretched and bounced back.

"But we could ask Mother and then maybe open them," Regulus said. "Even though it's before supper and all."

By his feet, Bellatrix paused in brushing her doll's long hair. It matched her own, straight and black and pretty with a bow, but would probably be forgotten the moment her new treats were opened. "I think it's a good idea."

"That's because you always agree with him," Sirius groused, seeming put out by the fact. "Even when he's being dense."

Bellatrix stood up on her knees, brush held threateningly in one tiny fist. "You should leave Reg alone. Just because you're going to Hogwarts next year you think you're so great. I bet no one in Slytherin will like a snotty brat."

"Are we talking about me or you now?" the older boy huffed and tossed a candy cane at his cousin.

Bella's shoe was off her foot and in her hand before anyone had time to blink. Regulus froze, terrified, at the impending doom. Mother's prized vase was almost directly behind his stubborn brother. This fight couldn't end well...

"Honestly, you two, we could hear you from the sitting room," a cool voice broke in. Narcissa arched an elegant eyebrow at the scene, skirts gliding along the thick carpet as she and Andromeda made their way in. "If you're so desperate for presents, why not simply ask Aunt Walburga?"

Regulus watched as the blonde sat next to him and grinned at her. Cissy had always been his favorite. She was pretty and nice, not loud like her sisters or mean like his brother. And she would always include him with a small smile on her lips like it was all some grand secret.

"You should ask, Cissy," Bella chimed in, shoe and battle forgotten. "You're the bravest of us all."

Sirius grumbled a "yeah, right" and grabbed another candy cane.

"Ask Father, he always liked Christmas," Bella said.

"No, ask Aunt Drusella," Regulus suggested. "Your mother always wants to see what everyone got."

Narcissa simply sniffed, opening the book she had brought with her on her lap. "Why would I want to? I'm not that eager to spend time shredding paper."

The black-haired girl stuck out her tongue. "You're just mad because Father wouldn't let you go on holiday with the Malfoys even though the Parkinson's girl is."

"She's got you there, Cissy," their other sister said as she made her way towards the dining room, having listened to and observed the conversation. "Maybe you should have asked Santa instead."

Narcissa frowned, book snapping shut. Regulus thought she might have been blushing slightly but it was so hard to tell despite their family's pale countenance. "I'm not worked up over something so silly. And really, you and your Muggle traditions. Santa, of all things."

"I heard he's real," Regulus spoke up, wanting to end the discussion before more innocent sugar was thrown about.

"I heard that he's a proper pureblood!" Bellatrix exclaimed, hopping to her feet in a whirl of black and sea-green taffeta. "That's why he has so many elves and makes them work all year 'round."

"Sirius, didn't you hear he was real?" Regulus pressed the issue, ignoring his cousin's chatter.

"I might have," Sirius said, shrugging a shoulder before standing with a crack of his spine. Narcissa made a disapproving sound in return. "Doesn't mean it's real though. Only children believe in that stuff, little Reggy."

The younger boy scowled fiercely at the nickname. "Don't call me that, dog-breath. And you did too say he was real! You even told me to write him a letter."

"Oh, that thing." Sirius waved a wand nonchalantly. "I just said that to keep you busy for a while. It's still in my dresser drawer if you want it."

"But...I wanted..."

"Sirius, that was terrible of you," Narcissa admonished, running a delicate hand through Regulus's tousled brown locks. "Telling stories like that and playing along. Really, aren't you a bit old to play tricks?"

Sirius offered a look that clearly said "Too old for pranks? Never!" and wanted to leave it at that.

A double dose of Black sister glares focused on him and the grey-eyed boy added a quick "Sorry" under his breath. It was enough to cheer Regulus up though. He never enjoyed arguments and would willingly leave them behind if given half a chance.

"What did you ask for anyway, Reg?" Bella asked, head tilted like a curious puppy. "In your letter. I've never had to write a letter of things I wanted."

"It was just a couple thing. Boring, like..." Regulus mumbled, ducking his head.

His darker cousin made a face. "Boring? Why ask for something boring? I asked for a new playhouse, by the oak tree in our yard. One with three bedrooms. Narcissa asked for a whole new wardrobe from France."

"I will not be outdone by others this year," Narcissa defended herself. One pale curl fell to rest upon her cheek and she elegantly pushed it aside. "I have a duty to look my best, no matter the cost. Beauty is an art, both natural and toned over years of discipline."

"You're going to have strange children with strange complexes," Sirius felt the need to point out. "And I have an urge for pudding," he continued, turning to follow Andromeda's earlier path towards food and heaven.

Narcissa's china-blue eyes halted him. "Wait, we have to hear what Regulus's wanted. And all the things he may not find under the tree because you decided to fool him."

Finding himself the center of attention once again, Regulus almost slouched but a rap on the shoulder by his favorite cousin made his posture straighten to unrivaled levels. "It's just...I wanted...and since it wasn't from Mother or Father...I wanted a Muggle toy..."

Bellatrix looked aghast. "WHAT? Why would you want one of /those/, of all things? To practice hexes on?"


"I suppose it's a good thing, then, that your brother held on to the letter," Narcissa sighed, as if disappointed. "I can't imagine this would have gone over well with the family."

Regulus winced and chanced a look at said brother, but he only looked bored, grey eyes blank and somewhat...smug?...but Sirius was usually smug anyway. One would be hard-pressed to find him without that gleam in his eyes, no matter the situation.

"Well, I have more good news," Andromeda said, skipping into the room. She was smiling and looking pleased with herself. "I talked them all into letting us open one present each before the meal. Splendid, isn't it?"

With a cheer, Bellatrix dove towards the tree in a most un-ladylike manner and grabbed the nearest box with her name out. Rolling her eyes, Narcissa followed and picked one of her own before retiring to a chair, her other sister following her lead.

Regulus jumped up, only to be pushed back down by a stronger hand. "Hey! Sirius, let me open a-"

A present was shoved under his nose.

"Open this one, okay? While Mum and Dad are off entertaining. It's from me, okay?" Sirius ordered and Regulus almost pushed the gift away but his brother was grinning his sideways grin. It was fond and amused in a good way, enough to make Regulus listen to his big brother.

He nodded, pulling off the green bow as Sirius retreated back the tree, which now sparkled and played a music box melody.

Unwrapping the present, Regulus opened the box and blinked, startled. Reaching in with one hand, he pulled out a fluffy black dog, with big brown eyes and a pink tongue sticking out. Soft and squishy and simple.

And it didn't move, didn't bark, no matter how long he held it.

A Muggle toy.

Looking up towards Sirius, Regulus smiled brightly and clutched his new treasure as if it was worth more than any silk robe or magical pet he'd ever received. And it was, because it meant Sirius listened and knew and didn't care what anyone else thought, as long as his brother was happy.

Sirius smiled back, before bounding over and plopping down on beside the younger boy. "I have a new gold pocket watch. Engraved and everything. Nice, huh?" he commented, showing the object off. "Not that I'll use it much."

Sirius would use it every chance he had, and they both knew it, but Sirius wouldn't be himself if he didn't contradict.

"Santa left me a dog," Regulus said, hugging his toy, then tried to duck and avoid his brother's half-hearted poke.

They were laughing and it was colorful all around and it smelled like cinnamon and something sweet. Bella was giggling with bright eyes and Andromeda hid a smirk behind bob-cut hair while Narcissa sat like the loveliest of princesses with an everlasting rose on her lap.

Perfect and wonderful, the best day there could be.

Regulus watched the snowfall outside their charmed window and wished it could last forever.
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